Pope Francis: SSPX's confessions valid and licit

September 01, 2015
Source: District of the USA

Read the SSPX's press release about Pope Francis' statement.

At noon Rome time today, the letter of Pope Francis to Archbishop Rino Fisichella (who is heading the Holy Year of Mercy) was published at the Vatican's website.

Concluding the letter was this statement concerning the Society of St. Pius X:

A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity.

In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins."

In response to this announcement, the Society of St. Pius X's General House has issued a communique expressing its gratitude to Pope Francis for this "fatherly gesture" while reminding that:

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."