What is the SSPX's position concerning the heliocentric and geocentric scientific theories of the solar system?
PLATTE CITY, MO (8-30-2011) A recent news report implied that the Priestly Society of St. Pius X promotes the scientific theory of geocentrism as a Catholic teaching based upon the Bible. The SSPX holds no such position.
The Church’s magisterium teaches that Catholics should not use Sacred Scripture to assert explanations about natural science, but may in good conscience hold to any particular cosmic theory. As a religious congregation of the Catholic Church, the SSPX holds to these principles and does not teach any solar scientific theory.
The SSPX and the solar system
As declared by Pope Leo XIII in Providentissimus Deus, science cannot contradict the Faith:
There can never… be any real discrepancy between the theologian and the physicist, as long as each confines himself within his own lines, and both are careful, as St. Augustine warns us, 'not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known.'"
Even today, many commonly-held tenets of natural science are merely theories, not certainties. This is not the case with the Catholic Faith, which is a certainty.
The Church’s magisterium authoritatively teaches on the correct interpretation of Sacred Scripture. As Pope Pius XII taught in Divino Afflatu Spiritu:
The Holy Ghost, Who spoke by them [the sacred writers], did not intend to teach men these things—that is the essential nature of the things of the universe... [which principle] will apply to cognate sciences…"
Providentissimus Deus also states that Scripture does not give scientific explanations and many of its texts use “figurative language” or expressions “commonly used at the time”, still used today “even by the most eminent men of science” (like the word “sunrise”). Such expressions are not scientific teachings about the cosmic world.
So Catholics should not use the Bible to assert explanations about natural science, but may in good conscience hold to any particular cosmic theory. Being faithful to the Church’s magisterium, the Society of St. Pius X holds fast to these principles: no more and no less.