A Catholic Canon Lawyer Explains: Are SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X) Sacraments Valid?

Q: What’s the canonical status of priests ordained by SSPX bishops, and what’s the canonical status of the sacraments they administer? –John

A: It would have been marvelous to be able to respond to John that the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) were now fully united to Rome, and thus had a status comparable to the members of any other religious institute in the Church.  Sadly, however, this is not the case!  While Pope Benedict was clearly hoping to reconcile the SSPX to the Church during his papacy, the fact is that this important item on his to-do list was left unfinished when he resigned in February.

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Seattle Archbishop Sartain: Catholic Churches may not recognize same-sex ‘marriage’ in any way.

“Since marriage is regulated by both civil and canon law,” he wrote, “clerics must always keep in mind the demands of both law systems.  Now that any two persons regardless of gender are permitted to enter marriage as defined in the state of Washington, the law of the Catholic Church diverges from civil law.”

“This change in civil law is not in the best interest of children or society,” he wrote.

– No priest or deacon or lay minister may officiate at a same-sex “marriage.”
– No church facility or school facility may be offered for such an event, even if it is to be witnessed by a non-Catholic minister or civil official.
– No church facility or school facility may be used for a reception after such an event.
– No church ministers, ordained or lay, may offer “wedding preparation” for such couples.

The refresher also addressed the civil aspects of the law.

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Editor’s note: Also worth considering – those who choose to live in an objective state of mortal sin are typically unable to receive absolution (for ANY sins) in the sacrament of reconciliation – unless/until their living arrangement changes – for the better.

Saturday December 8 is a Holy Day requiring attendance at Mass. And the vigil Mass will not suffice.

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Saturday, Dec 8th, 2012, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (of Our Lady), is a holy day of obligation (1983 CIC 1246) observed in the United States. Now, every time an observed holy day of obligation falls on a Saturday or a Monday, some people think they’ve figured a cool way make one Mass count for two obligations, namely, by attending an evening Mass on the first of the two days and counting it toward both days—you know, as if evening Mass were some sort of “Super Rite! Able to slay two obligations with a single Mass!” Not.

Two Mass obligations require two Mass satisfactions. Period.

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Editor’s note: Think of Mary’s Immaculate Conception as God’s very own firewall against the insidious effects of human sin.

Canon lawyer says removing Father Corapi from TV and radio unnecessary. Not required under Canon Law.

When an accusation arrives at the desk of a Religious Superior or a bishop, the procedure calls for a quick, confidential assessment as to the veracity of the accusation. With the advent of the Dallas Procedural Norms the necessary pieces of information required before imposing administrative leave varies from diocese to diocese and Order to Order. In most cases, if an accuser knows the name of the priest, the location at the time of the alleged incident and the year the priest was serving, the accusation is considered “credible.” The accused is supposed to be provided with the opportunity to respond to the accusations in a face-to-face meeting with his Superior prior to the imposition of suspension or administrative leave. In Father Corapi’s case, this never happened.

When a priest is on administrative leave he is to refrain from any public actions as a priest, such as offering Mass or hearing confessions, or from dressing as a priest in any public forum. The decree from his superiors clearly spells out limitations upon Fr. Corapi, but does not preclude him from speaking publicly provided he does not dress as a cleric and does not offer Mass publicly. Fr. John Corapi has observed these directives. Church bodies are to observe these limitations, though the order does not apply to lay organizations or Church organizations beyond the scope of what has been decreed.

Several Catholic media sources have removed Fr. Corapi from their outlets. This is over and above what is required by canon law and the Dallas Norms. Nothing in the order placing Father Corapi on administrative leave precludes distribution of previously recorded materials. Santa Cruz Media is in full compliance with Canon Law and the administrative leave under which Fr. Corapi is functioning.

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