Talk:Society of St. Pius X

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I've restored the POV template removed today by Shoneen without any debate here in talk page. The Article doesn't explain enough the very position of the Catholic Church: it looks like that the SSPX is almost accepted, while it is not. A ntv (talk) 21:51, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

It would be good if some concrete cases of misrepresentation were presented, so that they can be attended to. In over a year, nobody has yet tried to justify the tag that has now been renewed. Lima (talk) 09:18, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

IMHO the issue is the relation between the SSPX and the Catholic Church: two examples: FIRST, in the first line we have "The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is an international Traditionalist Catholic organization..." and in "Traditionalist Catholics" the reader finds: "Traditionalist Catholics are Roman Catholics, or people who identify as Roman Catholics..". This sentence leads confusion: the reader can think that the SSPX is an expression of the Catholic Church, while the Catholic Church expressly considers the SSPX as schismatic. I suggest something like: "The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is an international Traditionalist Catholic, but not Roman Catholic, organization..." SECOND, In the subsection "The Holy See's view" the final position of the Catholic Church is hidden in a lot of history, and so the reader doesn't understand the actual Holy See's view, that is officially expressed in the 24 August 1996 letter of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. This statement (i.e. that the SSPX is schismatic and their bishops, priests and lays who adhere are excommunicated) that is not an opinion but an official statement from the proposed Holy See office. Wiki should be very clear also for a non-Christian reader: the important facts should be finding at the first glance. So I suggest moving the 08.24.06 letter's paragraph at the beginning of the subsection (removing the term "opinion"), before the other paragraphs that are simply the history to arrive to such hard declaration. A ntv (talk) 20:00, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

On the first objection, it must be said that the second paragraph of the article makes clear that "since 1988, it (the Society) has been in a state of dispute with the Holy See". It is difficult to see how that could be moved into the first very short paragraph. Would it be enough - and would it be practicable? To combine both paragraphs into one? On the second, no general (universal) declaration of the Holy See has been issued. I have retouched what the article says, in order to make this clear, while also changing "opinion" to "judgment". It is unlikely that, as long as there is hope of reconciliation, the Holy See will issue such a declaration, and Cardinal Castrillón, who also is an official of the Holy See, has made statements that seem to be at variance with the Pontifical Council's judgment on the matter; but if the talks break down definitively, then I think a general declaration may well be issued on the lines of the judgment of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Lima (talk) 20:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

That's better. But not enough for a Wiki reader that is not catholic, or even if catholic but not aware of the issue. In the first line he understands that the SSPX is very probably a part of the CC. Only in the last paragraph of the a long and boring subsection, a paragraph that furthermore requires to know what is an excommunication, he could understand that the SSPX is not at all an expression of the Catholic Church. To "be in dispute" is something vague: there are many organizations "in dispute" with the Holy See that are anyway part of the Catholic Church. Because in the first sentence there is a clear ref to the Catholic Church (though "Catholic Traditionalist"), in the same sentence there shall be a statement like: "The Catholic Church, by a statement on the 08.24.06, considers the SSPX schismatic (separated by the Catholic Church), and its members excommunicated". Or simply: "the SSPX is not in communion with the Catholic Church." You know of course that between a written statement of the proper Holy See office requested to issue a judgment on its matter, and an interview of a single cardinal, the Magisterium is expressed by the first: a general declaration is not required for this issue, already fully covered by the Canon Law (interpreted by the proper council as it was). I've nothing against the SSPX, but a Wiki article should be extremely clear, particularly in the introduction. A ntv (talk) 21:15, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Not everyone agrees with your interpretation of the situation. So we must do no more than report what has been officially declared and, outside these reports of such declarations, use neutral phrases like "in dispute" that cover different interpretations. I must add that it isn't just Cardinal Castrillón's personal statements that allow some people to disagree with your interpretation, but the written responses of the department of the Holy See that he at present heads. These responses are later than that of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, a response that, canonically speaking, was also only a private response to a single bishop, not a general decree for the whole Church, and so, like the responses of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, it does not have the force of a general decree. But perhaps you will be satisfied with the two changes I have now made in the article. And I hope other editors will accept them too. Lima (talk) 05:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes of course this is a POV issue. On a side the SSPX has in their homepage a photo of the pope like to say that is possible be part of both the SSPX and of the CC. On the other side there is the Vatican statement of the 08.24.06 excluding that. Present text is of course better, but the issue is not the excommunication of Mons Lefebvre for consecrating bishops, but the excommunication of the present members of the SSPX for schism. To remove the POV tag we should use the standard policy of WP: not a medium statement "that cover different interpretations", but the listing of the two POVs: "in the 08.24.06 letter the Vatican said that present members of SSPX are excommunicated, while the SSPX disputes the legitimacy of the Holy See decision". You cannot say that "The leadership (?) of the Roman Catholic Church ... ordinarily (?) forbids Catholics from receiving the sacraments from them." without mentioning the excommunication for schism. PS: You know that a general decree is not to be expected because the excommunication is from the Canon Law and occurs automatically. A ntv (talk) 08:06, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, A ntv, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts did not say that the SSPX members are excommunicated. It gave its judgment on the existence of the sin of schism, but stated that it was not speaking of the canonical crime of schism, for which the conditions laid down in canon law must be met, and for which alone the canonical penalty of excommunication is imposed. No doubt, in the case of many SSPX members the conditions for excommunication are met; but there has been no declaration by the Holy See that mere membership of the Society means excommunication. Lima (talk) 08:47, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I presumed you were talking about the judgement of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, which we have already discussed; but I now see that you refer to a "Vatican statement of the 08.24.06". I must have found "08.24.06" too hard to understand. Is it a date in the United States order of month-day-year, i.e. 24 August 2006? If it is, I presume there is a mistyping and that you meant 24 August 1996 (1996-08-24), the date of the statement by the Pontifical Council that we have been discussing. Lima (talk) 09:21, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

You are right. We could copy a sentence or two from the paragraph about the Holy See's View, thus using the very words of the 24 August 2006 judgment, and paste them in the introduction in place of the ref to Mons Lefebvre excommunication. A ntv (talk) 12:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

To me that seems too complicated. We'd have to include the distinction between the sin and the canonical "crime" of schism, and the Pontifical Council's judgment that, in regard to the Society's members, it was best not to specify further the conditions for the crime of schism (No. 9 in its note of 24 August 1996, given in the Italian text, though not in the partial English translation to which a link is provided). I think that the now modified lead, with its clear indication of the Society's present non-canonical status, should be enough to remove your doubts about the neutrality of the article. What do you think now? Lima (talk) 13:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

You made a good work. I've no objection to remove the POV tag. A ntv (talk) 13:27, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Lima (talk) 14:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Paul Touvier[edit]

Ok, I have to ask why the section about Paul Touvier is even in the article? To me this is just a case of throwing mud. Paul Touvier was not a member of the SSPX and the church (as a larger organization) didn't get involved in this. This is merely a case wherein a fugitive, sentenced to death, fled to a Catholic Church seeking asylum. Depending on the courage of the minister, many churches that oppose the death penalty would potentially offer asylum to somebody convicted to death---regardless of the crimes committed by the person! In other words, when offering asylum the church was not judging the individuals guilt or innocence, but rather responding to the death penalty. In this case, the church happened to be an SSPX church. Would we have included such a section in the Roman Catholic Church article if Manuel Noriega, wanted for crimes against humanity, sought asylum in a Catholic Church? Would we include it in an article about Methodism? Baptism? etc? I think the only reason why it is in here, is because people are trying to make an issue of it. ---Balloonman PoppaBalloonCSD Survey Results 14:48, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Even if I may not fully agree with Balloonman's reasoning, I think the article would be better without this matter. Lima (talk) 16:48, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I tend now to disagree with Balloonman's suggestion: the Touvier matter is mentioned in recent press reports such as New York Times: Group Says It Doesn’t Share Views of Holocaust Denier Lima (talk) 17:43, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Splitting the controversies[edit]

I wonder if it would be appropriate to create a special article on SSPX-related controversies, since there are many. I had in mind the article Pat Robertson controversies, which essentially says the same kind of things. ADM (talk) 00:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Motivation - specific details[edit]

I have gathered that what's-his-name established this society because he was unhappy with Vatican II. I have a vague notion that Vatican II is when the mass stopped being celebrated in Latin, and since Mel Gibson was in the news a few years ago, I have an equally vague notion that all those old Catholics who hate Vatican II are a bunch of racists anti-Semites. Apart from that, do we have any notion of why what's-his-name hated Vatican II. The article only refers to modernism, which I think can refer to a whole slew of different things. I mean no disrespect, I'm sure this is a complicated issue, and perhaps Im asking for it to be over simplified, but if someone can add some more specific details on the motivation behind the establishment of the order, I think it would greatly improve the quality of the article. -ErinHowarth (talk) 10:23, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Yep, you're right, the article touches almost no theological point. modernism is and was a theological or technical term for a school of thought which could loosely defined as relativism in matters of Faith. If you can get a copy of the Pascendi Dominici Gregis encyclica or of the Antimodernist Oath you could get an idea. Current American Anglicanism could easily be described as a full developed Modernism. Most Catholic traditionalist (not only the SSPX) think that at least some parts of the teaching of Vatican II -or, more agreed- development after it, at least borders modernist errors. The abolition in 1967 of the Oath, didn't exactly helped to calm the suspicions. The main critiques an Vatican II by [[Marcel Lefebvre|++Lefebvre] -himself a conciliar father- were the liturgical revolution after the Council, and serious reservations about Dignitatis Humanae and Lumen Gentium, which could be read as a rejection of the traditional and dogmatically defined Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (no Salvation outside the Church). As a matter of fact, Latin is still normative for the new Mass, but due to a loophole in the regulations nowadays is very rarely celebrated in this language. The rest of your vague knowledge (not uncommon, sadly) is more or less as (in) accurate, but I don't think this is the place for discussing it. Sadly, the unfortunate comments of +Williamson from the SSPX last week, and the slant of mainstream media, do not help to dispel them.--Wllacer (talk) 17:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Just today, you can find at an interview with +Fellay (the current head of the FSSPX) which explains very plainly some of their concerns to Vatican II. -Wllacer (talk) 22:37, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

This seems to be at the root of it:

Q: Ecumenism and religious liberty are at the center of the criticisms you make of Vatican II. A: The quest for unity of all in the Mystical Body of the Church is our dearest desire. Nonetheless, the method that is used is not appropriate. Today, there is such a focus on the points which unite us to other Christian confessions that those which separate us are forgotten. We believe that those who have left the Catholic Church, that is, the Orthodox and the Protestants, should come back to it. We conceive ecumenism as a return to the unity of Truth.

I don’t really understand that, but you put up a lot of links, thanks. I’ll keep reading. -ErinHowarth (talk) 19:13, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Bishop Williamson[edit]

Should the article mention Bishop Williamson's controversial views on the Holocaust? BBC World Service News (26/01/2009) mentioned that his reinstatement has caused a storm of adverse comment. Vernon White . . . Talk 14:54, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

No. That's tangential to the scope of this article.Geremia (talk) 20:10, 13 October 2012 (UTC)


From the article: "In the United States, the Society has been accused of spreading allegedly fascist, un-American political ideas." Un-American? What does that mean? It sounds like name-calling. I'm thinking of deleting the sentence or making it more specific. Your thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tech408 (talkcontribs) 18:54, 26 January 2009 (UTC

I did a quick review of the cited sources. While the information contained herein might be very interesting, and would be a pity to lose,(btw, definitively leaves the impression that +Williamson is, to be mercifull, verbally incontinent) certainly are written by somebody with an axe to grin,d and not even looks to represent a widely held view about the Fraternity . Besides both terms (fascist and un-american) are nowadays such weasel words that don't merit inclusion (but is original to see them together). The paragraph adds nothing --Wllacer (talk) 19:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)--Wllacer (talk) 19:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Incomplete sentence[edit]

"The SSPX has links also with various other "unattached" priests and religious." -- Dougher (talk) 20:49, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Major rewrite anybody?[edit]

This article needs a major rewrite now that the Excommunication has been lifted. The positions of both Rome and the SSPX have changed. We still need to record the historical positions, but most of this article needs an overhaul... it's very choppy and convoluted in ordering. anybody up to it?---I'm Spartacus! PoppaBalloon 18:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

No, the lift of the excommunication has not changed at all the positions of both Rome and the SSPX. The lift is only about a personal act of the past, not the situation of the SSPX. Please check this official declaration of the Vatican Secretariat of State dated 05 Febr 09: "The remission of the excommunication has freed the four bishops from a serious canonical penalty, but IT HAS NOT ALTERED the juridical position of the Society of St. Pius X which, at the present time, enjoys no canonical recognition within the Catholic Church." [1] A ntv (talk) 19:01, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
A similar situation exists as regards the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Partriarchate. The Vatican has lifted the excommunication of the Patriarch of Constantinople, but that is a gesture of good will; it does not alter the canonical relationship of the Catholic and Orthodox communions.--Gazzster (talk) 06:51, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Which would be beside the point, entirely, would it not if the SSPX were sedevacantist? They would be claiming that Rome had become Modernist, that Rome had become Arian, in effect, or something at least other than Roman Catholic. The actual schismatics would be the Pope and those that follow him. But the SSPX has NEVER taken that line. They have always said that the Pope is a real Pope, is really head of the real Church, and that they themselves are the ones who split away (when the SSPV in turn split from them, they took they opposite point of view). So much of the tone of the article is fair from the SSPX own viewpoint. The bias of the article is that the Pope teaches true Catholicism, and thus can speak for the same Church as Pius X, and Aquinas and Augustine, etc. And this is also the confession of the SSPX. And I wouldn't make too much of 'canonical relationships' in an era of a burgeoning one-world religion. All are seen as 'different paths' to the same goal of 'human enlightenment'. What the article might confront is the disintegration of the SSPX as it is incorporated into this fuzzy 'new church', the sudden lack of vocations, donations, the flight from the pews by Roman Catholics who have seen enough of the same in the diocesan parishes which they originally fled for the SSPX. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Short remark I heard when those excommmunications were lifted: Despite that, the Society of St. Pius X is not in good standing with Rome, and its priests (including those 4 bishops) are regarded as suspended from priestly functions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 21 September 2011 (UTC)


It seems that many of these controversies are related or caused by the SSPX's anti-Masonry. For instance, Lefebvre claimed that the French Revolution was nothing but Masonic, and so he opposed it. Pétain was anti-Masonic, this is why Lefebvre liked him, and not so much because of anti-Semitism. The Front National is anti-Masonic because of Masonry's alleged political influence in France. The Third French Republic in the 19th century was also reputed to be very Masonic, see the article Anticlericalism for instance. Pope Pius X (Giuseppe Sarto) was a noted opponent of modernism, which he blamed on Masonry. This is why I believe that all these 50 different controversies could all be reduced to just one, which is the SSPX's opposition to Freemasonry (see Catholicism and Freemasonry). ADM (talk) 10:09, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Reliable Sources please. Blueboar (talk) 13:58, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
'Reliable Sources' would be the very publications of the group, interviews, etc. While perhaps no longer the case (and time will tell), when the SSPX was associated with Roman Catholicism, or traditional Catholicism for the ears of wikipedians, the complaint against international masonry of a particular sort, and particular lodges, was widespread and well-known. While not part of the same movement, the late Malachi Martin, one of the very 'reformers' of Vatican II at one point, wrote about the same behind what he imagined was a 'protective' wall of fiction. Italian papers and magazines have made much of masonry in the Vatican for years, and not just with regard to financial scandals. One has to understand what masonry - means. It's not guys in red caps driving golf carts on the fourth of July, and it's not donations to the latest hospital wing or 'up by the bootstraps' charity, etc. The fraternal charitable organization is like any other. The self-insurance side, the same. Instead, there are levels, stages, particularly in the Scottish Rite, which concern particularly the arcana of ancient Egypt, and occult generally. The 'flavor', but only that, is seen is the Stargate series of all things. So it's harmless enough until one reaches an agenda. And it does follow from the tidbits and curiosities and arcana. That is masonry, that condemned by The Church, by many Popes, over centuries, from certain well-known lodges, had an agenda of a new world order that could never confess Jesus Christ as God, as Hebrew Messiah. But the masons couldn't leave it alone. They couldn't just leave things be. and tolerate differences. Instead, that agenda called for a one-sided application of separation of church/state, and otherwise opposition to the Catholic Church, specifically, and really opposition to none other. And that is the masonry that has concerned the Church, and which still concerns Roman Catholics. See articles on the notion of religious 'liberty', meant by Catholics as the right to be free to be Roman Catholic, anywhere, at any time, and by those opposed to Christ and Catholicism as the suppression of Roman Catholicism, however inconsistently and hypocritically, as Islam is permitted to one classroom, but a manger scene is deemed 'diabolical'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not a reliable source issue. It's that this isn't directly pertinent to this article.Geremia (talk) 20:04, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Stripping articles to form new ones[edit]

I have no clearly decided position on this matter, but I think editors should be asked for their views on one editor's practice of removing material from articles such as this, with which to form many new articles. I fear his practice is impoverishing articles overmuch. While my concern is about other articles too, I feel that the latest changes here may be the most evident case. The lead of this article still provides the information that some would see as the most interesting, both because of its importance for the Society's future and because it is a subject of on-going comment even in contexts that on the surface might seem unrelated, such as Pope Benedict's visit to Israel: "On 21 January 2009 the Holy See remitted the excommunication that it had declared in respect of the four SSPX bishops whom Archbishop Lefebvre had illicitly consecrated in 1988, and expressed the hope that all members of the Society would follow this up by speedily returning to full communion with the Church." I wonder if it is good that the body of the article is now quite silent about this. My wondering concerns not just this matter, which I suppose could be patched up with relative ease, but other less obvious cases too. Lima (talk) 11:42, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

SSPX Anti-semetic[edit]

Just letting those who are interested know, there is currently a debate over this subject at Talk:Pope Benedict XVI.---I'm Spartacus! NO! I'm Spartacus! 14:03, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

That discussion appears to have been archived. Whether or not the SSPX is anti-semitic is not something that needs to be addressed here. However, the fact that Pope Benedict's attempts to reconcile the SSPX to the Holy See were perceived by some as either ignoring or endorsing anti-semitic statements or stances and that this became a controversy that had to be addressed should be mentioned here. Ileanadu (talk) 05:03, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Roman Catholic organization?[edit]

Recently, the article was added to Category:Roman Catholic organizations established in the 20th century. Is it accurate to say that it is a "Roman Catholic organization" if it is not in full communion with the Pope and, according to the RCC, separated itself from the church (although apparently not schismatic). I think this warrants some discussion. The two parties have been quite artful in their language regarding relations between the two, and neither appears to consider the Society to be schismatic. The Society claims to be faithful to the RCC, and the Pope. The RCC's view is different. As far as whether the Society is a RCC organization, I think that the RCC's view should carry more weight as to who is/is not a RCC member/organization. Thoughts? --anietor (talk) 16:45, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I would say that it is an organization, and that it has not broken away from the Church. In that sense it is a Roman Catholic organization. But it is not an official Roman Catholic organization. It is on the same level as the organizations of Roman Catholics on the opposite side of the theological spectrum, such as Catholics for Choice and those that campaign for women priests etc. The category "Roman Catholic organizations established in the 20th century" is so broad as to tend to meaninglessness. It contains at present one Bishops Conference (in fact all the Bishops Conferences were established in the 20th century, unless there is some new 21st-century Bishops Conference), a couple of seminaries, a shrine, a province of a religious order (many such provinces have arisen, and many have been suppressed or joined to another, in the twentieth century), a papal commission ... Lima (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Barring any other Wikipedia policy, the purpose of the category tree is to help people find things. If it people might look in under Category:Roman Catholic Church organizations to find the Society of St. Pius X, then it should be there. From what I gather, the Society itself certainly considers itself to be Roman Catholic and it is clearly a Roman Catholic topic. --Carlaude:Talk 21:16, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Then it is enough to have it in the subcategory "Roman Catholic organizations established in the 20th century", without having it in the still broader category "20th-century Roman Catholicism". It does not fit into the category "Roman Catholic religious orders established in the 20th century", since it was never canonically established as a religious order: it was set up canonically at the beginning as what at that time was classified as a "pia unio" (under the 1983 Code of Canon Law the term is "association of the faithful"), an experimental preliminary form antecedent to becoming a religious institute, and even that status was withdrawn by the authority who set it up as such (the diocesan bishop, concretely the successor of the bishop who had set it up). Lima (talk) 04:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I support the category as well. First, while Rome did excommunicate the bishops (now rescinded) the church has always recognized the priests as valid (but illicit) and the churchgoers as members of the Catholic Church. Second, a RCC organization does not have to be in full communion with Rome. Unless Rome explicitily states otherwise, an RCC organization would be any group started by a group of catholics that identifies itself as RCC... this would include organizaitons that advocate positions in stark contrast to the official position of the church.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 15:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The SSPX was approved once. That should be enough to fit the category.-- (talk) 23:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
A distinction can be made between a Roman Catholic organization and an organization of Roman Catholics. Roman Catholics can form many kinds of organizations: a sports club; an association such as Catholics for Choice that opposes the Catholic Church's teaching ... But these are not what is usually understood by a Roman Catholic organization and should not be specified as Roman Catholic organizations. An organization that was once Roman Catholic can cease to be such. Then it ceases to belong to the category of Roman Catholic organizations. That seems to be the case with the Society of St Pius X. Its members are Roman Catholics (although some would say that they are only tenuously so), but their organization is not a specifically Roman Catholic organization. One could even argue that organizations such as the Church of England were once Roman Catholic organizations. (I do not undertake to do the arguing myself.) Now they are certainly not Roman Catholic organizations. Esoglou (talk) 06:14, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Whatever they are now, I had been thinking the point of categories was "what abstractly fits the descpription". Pope Benedict will be listed as "Roman Catholic bishop (20th century)" because he was that. Even though what he is now is "Roman Catholic bishop (21th century)". That the SSPX was established in the 20th century, that it was a Roman Catholic organization in the year 1973, these are undeniable facts. Is it so important to inquire whether it is a Roman Catholic organization now, to list it as "Roman Catholic organization established in the 20th century"?-- (talk) 01:55, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Society of Pope Leo XIII[edit]

I found the website of a group that calls itself the Society of Pope Leo XIII. It looks a lot like the SSPX except it is named after Pope Leo XIII. [2]] ADM (talk) 22:07, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Women in the Society of St. Pius X[edit]

I think it might of some documentary value if we had an article entitled women in the Society of St. Pius X, because this would add to the existing series of articles about women in Christianity. There is a good deal of information that could be included, such as single-sex education, the use of the mantilla, the effective prohibition of birth control, the rarity of divorce, the opposition to trousers, etc. ADM (talk) 07:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

    • The women in the SSPX are just Catholic women. They don't really have any differences. Perhaps if there are specific women organisation in the SSPX, they would fit, but as a whole, the women and men who support the SSPX are just Catholics. Head coverings are not specific to the SSPX (in fact, it is in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 11:5), the opposition to birth control is a Church teaching (the SSPX has no different stance than the Church as a whole), divorce is forbidden in the Bible and in the Church (sacramental marriages cannot be undone except by death), and the cultural opposition to trousers is not steady; there are many in the SSPX around the world who do not have such stances. It is specific to the cultures of the people in the SSPX. Differences which make the SSPX stand out would be worth noting, but as far as I can tell, there are none. LaRoza (talk) 05:03, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

The term "women [i]in[/i] the Society of St Pius X" could [i]only[/i] specifically refer to the Second Order, or Religious Sisters of the SSPX (or perhaps by inlcusive extension, female members of the Third Order of the SSPX). Laymen and laywomen do not belong to the SSPX, although many could be described as being "attached to" the SSPX. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

SSPX does not have a second or third Order, nice try.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:55, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes they do (setting all canonical validity issues aside). They also have actual female members. Their female members are called "Oblates". Their second order members are called "Sisters".
Interestingly, I'd have said that the skirts are practically universal (though I wouldn't suppose they'd call trousers sinful), whereas headcoverings are not. Indeed, mantillas is one thing and headcovering for women another, the SSPX are certainly fine with hats, or girlscout caps. (The trouser thing is, arguable, in the Bible too btw. Or no?)-- (talk) 02:03, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


Should it be SSPX or FSSPX? Adelbrecht (talk) 17:02, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

The 'F' stands for 'Fraternitas', the Latin for Brotherhood or Society. Sp FSSPX is the acronym for the Latin title. Gazzster (talk) 07:01, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Doctrinal reasons[edit]

I changed some text that said that the SSPX had no canonical status in the church for doctrinal reasons. The quoted text seems to support this:

<quote>The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church.</quote>

However this didn't seem right to me, as the second sentence seems far less categorical than the first ("as long as" is looking at an eventual return) and this more charitable tone seems to be in line with just about every Vatican pronouncement since the excommunication. So looking at the letter then it's quite clear that the sentence is about the fact that the SSPX still have doctrinal reservations about post Vatican II developments, rather than a Vatican dislike of their doctrine. The full paragraph is here:

<quote>Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope. Consequently the Church must react by employing her most severe punishment -- excommunication -- with the aim of calling those thus punished to repent and to return to unity. Twenty years after the ordinations, this goal has sadly not yet been attained. The remission of the excommunication has the same aim as that of the punishment: namely, to invite the four Bishops once more to return. This gesture was possible once the interested parties had expressed their recognition in principle of the Pope and his authority as Pastor, albeit with some reservations in the area of obedience to his doctrinal authority and to the authority of the Council. Here I return to the distinction between individuals and institutions. The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level. The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers -- even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty -- do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.</quote>

JASpencer (talk) 18:19, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

A canonical status in the Church can be granted only by the Church. So why is the Church refusing to grant it to the Society? Surely for the Church's reasons, not the Society's. Surely you don't mean to say that the Church is withholding the grant only because it thinks the Society would refuse it? Both sides, not just the Society, see doctrinal problems as existing between them.
Right from the start, the Church, the Holy See, has been "looking at an eventual return". The Pope's letter was written to get rid of the idea that, now that the excommunication of the four bishops, which was imposed for disciplinary reasons, has been removed, there is no longer any obstacle to admittance of the Society to canonical status. No, he says; "The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons". Surely quite clear. He adds that the Society's ministers exercise no legitimate ministries in the Church as long as the Society has no canonical status in the Church (a lack of canonical status that can be remedied only when and if the doctrinal reasons for it are removed). He then goes on to say that, within the Holy See, he is linking competence for dealing with the Society to the Holy See's Doctrinal Congregation. Why? "This will make it clear", he says, "that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes." I don't see how you can possibly maintain that the lack of canonical status is not due to what you call "a Vatican dislike of their doctrine", the Holy See's judgement that there are doctrinal differences between them, differences that are the reason why the Church cannot grant canonical status (and with it a legitimate ministry in the Church) to the Society.
Instead of the ZENIT site, a more appropriate source for the text of the Pope's letter is the Vatican website. Esoglou (talk) 19:17, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Disobedient yes. Schismatic no.[edit]

In regards to the incorrect notion about the SSPX being schismatic, I refer the reader to the following statements by Cardinal Hoyos who was entrusted with the Pontifical Commission having jurisdiction over relations with the Society of St. Pius X: In an interview in Mexico with Notimex, on March 17, 2007, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, then President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, affirmed that “They are not schismatics, the priests are under a suspension for illicit exercise.” In an interview with Italian journalist, Simone Ortolani, published on the same date the Cardinal repeated the statement that although a danger of schism arising may exist, no formal schism of the Society of St. Pius X exists. On February 8, 2007, in the German Die Tagespost, the same Cardinal stated “Please accept that I reject the term “ecumenism ad intra.” The bishops, priests and faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics.” On Italian television channel 5, on November 13, 2005, the same Cardinal publicly stated: “We are not confronted with a heresy. It cannot be said in correct, exact, and precise terms that there is a schism.”

All of these statements were made prior to the nullification in January 2009 by the Vatican of the decree of the Congregation for Bishops claiming Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer and the four bishops consecrated by them had excommunicated themselves. The nullification of which clarifies this position even more. If a Catholic is not excommunicated (something never in fact alleged with respect to any cleric of the Society other than the bishops), he is Catholic. The Holy Father has stated that the Society as an institution lacks a legal standing and has an irregular canonical status. These are legal issues of canon law which should be left to the legal authorities to rectify some day. In the interim, the Vatican through the official Pontifical Commission has confirmed on numerous occasions that Catholics may attend Masses offered by the priests of the Society and may not be disciplined (excommunicated) for doing so or even for assisting with arrangements to make the Mass possible. In a letter dated January 18, 2003, the Commission stated (as already mentioned in the entry) that faithful could participate in such a Mass and “this would not be a sin.” The same letter further states: “It would seem that a modest contribution to the collection at Mass could be justified.” The same Commission confirmed this conclusion to the Archdiocese of Salzburg in 2006 and clarified that attending Masses offered by the SSPX is not “to be considered a delict punishable under canon law.” In 2008, in a letter to journalist Brian Mershon, the same Commission confirmed its prior advice and stated the faithful could rely upon its advice with docility and moral certitude. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ThreeDogg (talkcontribs) 19:18, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

For doctrinal rather than disciplinary reasons - and so not just for "legal issues of canon law" - the SSPX has no canonical status in the Catholic Church. As the Holy Father said concerning his remission of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, "Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers -- even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty -- do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church" (emphases added).
The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" has stated, even when it was still headed by Cardinal Castrillón: "The priests of the Society of St. Pius X are validly ordained, but suspended, that is prohibited from exercising their priestly functions because they are not properly incardinated in a diocese or religious institute in full communion with the Holy See (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 265) and also because those ordained after the schismatic Episcopal ordinations were ordained by an excommunicated bishop.
"Concretely, this means that the Masses offered by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are valid, but illicit, i.e., contrary to Canon Law. The Sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, however, require that the priest enjoys the faculties of the diocese or has proper delegation. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid. It remains true, however, that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplies these faculties so that the sacrament is valid (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 144).
"While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute 'formal adherence to the schism' (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c), such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church. While we hope and pray for a reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" cannot recommend that members of the faithful frequent their chapels for the reasons which we have outlined above. We deeply regret this situation and pray that soon a reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X with the Church may come about, but until such time the explanations which we have given remain in force."
See Mass with the Society of St. Pius X. Esoglou (talk) 20:49, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Esoglou's last quote is the most relevant on this question. According to the RC Church, schism is a severing from the whole body of the Church. Disobedience in itself does not necessarily constitute schism, though it is a symptom of it.The Ecclesia Dei statement recognises that laity may demonstrate varying degrees of adherence to the leadership of the SSPX. For the clergy it is largely a different matter. As a former cleric of the SSPX myself I had to apply for the penalty for formal schism, ie excommunication, to be lifted. Yet even so understood that this was a precaution, in case I had incurred that penalty.Gazzster (talk) 22:22, 5 July 2011 (UTC)


The French article calls this the Fraternité sacerdotale Saint-Pie-X or Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X. Also the official Latin title is Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X which is much the same thing.

Should we change the title for this article? I've always heard it called "Society" and "SSPX" so I'm not too fussed to be honest.

JASpencer (talk) 16:39, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

The French Wikipedia uses the most common name in French, the English Wikipedia uses the most common name in English. Esoglou (talk) 18:32, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, but isn't the Priestly Fraternity the proper name? I'm fine with it remaining as it is. JASpencer (talk) 18:38, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
See WP:COMMONNAME. Esoglou (talk) 18:54, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

The Lead[edit]

The lead is too long, too involved and too specialist. Most of this should be put into the body of the article. As every change seems to get auto reverted could we please have some suggestions as to how this could be done.

JASpencer (talk) 22:26, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

I think we should hold off for some weeks. Discussions with the Holy See have reached a critical stage. The Society has been asked to give a clear reply by 15 April to certain proposals. There is no certainty that there will be immediate clarity on that date or soon after, but it is more than probable that the content of the present lead, wherever it is put, will soon have to be radically rewritten. Esoglou (talk) 06:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
That's not the point. The lead is too convoluted and most of the text needs to be moved further down the article. JASpencer (talk) 20:20, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Our attitudes and tastes are different. I prefer to wait the short time until the information there will have to be fundamentally rewritten. You prefer not to wait. Esoglou (talk) 06:23, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Again, that's not the point. The fact is that the text within the lead is far too involved for an introduction to the subject. JASpencer (talk) 20:45, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Not Catholic[edit]

This organization is not Catholic, but made up of former Catholics. One only need to follow the precedent set by Jews for Jesus to understand this. Jews for Jesus considers itself as a Jewish organization, but mainstream Judaism doesn't and it is the mainstream opinion that is given in the opening sentence of the article. For example, see [3] (talk) 00:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

This isn't analagous to Jews for Jesus as there has not been the rejection from the Catholic community that there has been with Jew For Jesus and the Jewish community. Reversing this. JASpencer (talk) 06:45, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Why Pius X?[edit]

I do not follow why it is named after Pope Pius X? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:59, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

just a quick note here, not a sspx member but probably has to do with — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Yep. I was a member. They emulate Pius X as a staunch opponent of Modernism, a 19th/early 20th century 'heresy' within the Catholic Church. Even though Pius in his Syllabus attempted to identify it, it is extremely difficult to identify. Indeed, if it really existed as a school of thought at all. 'Modernism' is often used by conservative Catholics as a catch-all term for any idea or practice deemed unorthodox or tending toward unorthodoxy. Thus, St Pius was believed by Lefevre to be the perfect patron for his community.Which is odd, since Pius X was a reforming pope.Gazzster (talk) 04:28, 12 July 2012 (UTC)


Can I suggest a better synthesis of the subtleties of the situation at the moment. I am concerned that at the moment, the article seems a little unbalanced in suggesting that the Society is a left wing organisation which is outside the Catholic Church, and its members are not Catholic. This is not true, simply because of the actions of the Pope in responding to the Society. Yes, the Society has no de jure legitimacy within the Church, but there are a number of de facto things which suggest a more complex situation between the Church and the Society exists. VCW (LordSarnoc) (talk) 14:41, 28 August 2012 (UTC)


The society tried to hold a funeral for this Nazi and had to cancel it. (talk) 21:42, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Broken External Links?[edit]

Which external links are broken? I just tested them quickly after noting the hidden categories, etc. All seems to be working just fine. GeorgeDouglass (talk) 00:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Faculties granted by the Holy See[edit]

THIS JUST IN: Pope Francis has granted faculties to validly absolve sins to all priests of the SSPX. Elizium23 (talk) 17:48, 1 September 2015 (UTC)