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CDF prefect says SSPX in schism, suspended from sacraments

December 23, 2013

The leaders of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) are in schism, and remain suspended from the sacraments, says the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Archbishop Gerhard Müller said that although Pope Benedict XVI lifted the canonical excommunication of SSPX prelates, they remain suspended from the sacraments because “by their schism they have broken away from communion with the Church.”

Archbishop Müller said that while talks with the SSPX have reach an impasse, the Vatican will not close the door to reconciliation. However, he said, a restoration of full communion would require the SSPX to accept the authority of the Church and of the Pope.


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  • Posted by: Nuage - Dec. 25, 2013 3:07 AM ET USA

    The definition of schism is a refusal to submit to the authority of the Holy Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. The SSPX clergy have established parishes, schools, seminaries and ecclesiastical tribunals all within the jurisdictions of Roman Catholic bishops, without securing permission or even communicating with these Catholic authorities. The SSPX refuses - adamantly - to sign a statement of faith and return to the Church, as requested by three Popes. They remain in schism.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Dec. 24, 2013 8:32 AM ET USA

    Rescue folks from the SSPX and send them to the Jesuits at Santa Clara University or any other number of Catholic schools working to further the causes of abortion, birth control and alternative life styles. The work of the Church is the work of souls. This must be understood deeply in order to understand her mission. This involves something called the cross- a sign of contradiction to the wisdom of the world. When this is not properly understood all things (evil) are possible. Emmanuel!

  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 24, 2013 1:58 AM ET USA

    Maybe Cardinal Kasper should be asked, after all he seems to think that the rules for divorced Catholics will change soon though Archbishop Muller has said otherwise. Who is running things over there seems to be anyone's guess.

  • Posted by: JimKcda - Dec. 23, 2013 9:34 PM ET USA

    Clarification: there are several "traditionalist" organizations within the Catholic Church. E.g., The Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) is a "traditionalist" Catholic organization in full union with Rome. The Society of Pius X (SSPX) in a schismatic organization not in union with Rome. There is nothing "traditionalist" about the SSPX. They are in the same category as the Lutherans, Anglicans, Old Catholics and other Protestant organizations. NOT traditionalists, just schismatic and heritecal.

  • Posted by: mario.f.leblanc5598 - Dec. 23, 2013 9:28 PM ET USA

    Let them start with a simple exercise : I shall not claim again that "Novus Ordo Mass = abomination". That will be a great beginning on the path to the Father's house.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Dec. 23, 2013 7:25 PM ET USA

    The SSPX has never denied the authority of the Church nor that of the pontiff. Disobedience is not schism, and one might argue the extent, prudence and wisdom of the SSPX position, but it is clear that Church leaders have tolerated much more dangerous individuals and groups with malice towards the Body. Based on the areas of remarkable growth in the Church, AB Muller might keep his foot wedged in that door. He might well have more friends in the SSPX than among brother bishops in Germany.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 23, 2013 5:34 PM ET USA

    To which one can only say, "Amen and hallelujah!" It is past time to put this schismatic operation out of business and to rescue Catholics from its many deceptions.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Dec. 23, 2013 4:50 PM ET USA

    Following some 10 years of reaching out and talking with SSPX priests and their followers and trying to heal the division, the bishop finally gave up and officially excommunicated them months ago. I'm sure any move they made to come back into the church would be welcome, but it will be up to them now to make the move. In the meantime, the church has moved on. So sad ... especially for the people.