Vatican: Pope extends faculties of the priests of the SSPX to hear confessions beyond the Year of Mercy.
On November 21, 2016, the Holy See published Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera, dated November 20. In paragraph 12 of the document, the Holy Father extends beyond the Year of Mercy the faculty to hear confessions granted on September 1, 2015, to the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X:
For the Jubilee Year I had also granted that those faithful who, for various reasons, attend churches officiated by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, can validly and licitly receive the sacramental absolution of their sins. (See the “Letter according to which an indulgence is granted to the faithful on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy”, September 1, 2015.)
For the pastoral benefit of these faithful, and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion with the Catholic Church, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone ever be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon.”
On November 21 of this year, the anniversary of the statement made in 1974 by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, we can only recall the profession of faith of the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X:
With God’s grace, the help of the Virgin Mary, of Saint Joseph, and of Saint Pius X, we are convinced that we shall remain faithful to the Roman Catholic Church, to all the successors of Peter, and shall be the ‘fideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto’ [‘faithful dispensers of the mysteries of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Ghost’].”
On September 1, 2015, the General House had published the following communiqué, which is still as relevant as ever:
The Society of St. Pius X learned, through the press, of the provisions taken by Pope Francis on the occasion of the upcoming Hoy Year. In the last paragraph of his letter addressed September 1, 2015, to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Holy Father writes: ‘I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Society of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.’
“The Society of St. Pius X expresses its gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff for this fatherly gesture. In the ministry of the sacrament of penance, we have always relied, with all certainty, on the extraordinary jurisdiction conferred by the Normae generales of the Code of Canon Law. On the occasion of this Holy Year, Pope Francis wants all the faithful who wish to confess to the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X to be able to do so without being worried.
“During this year of conversion, the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X will have at heart to exercise with renewed generosity their ministry in the confessional, following the example of tireless dedication which the holy Cure of Ars gave to all priests.”
(Source: General House of the SSPX – DICI dated November 21, 2016)