The Vatican warned the Society of St Pius X not to go ahead with plans
to ordain new priests this month, describing the ordinations as
The warning was contained in a communique issued by the Holy See Press Office yesterday.
"In response to the frequent questions that have been raised over recent days concerning the priestly ordinations by the Fraternity of St Pius X, scheduled to take place at the end of June," the communique said, "suffice it to refer to what the Holy Father wrote in his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on March 10 this year: 'As long as the Society (of St Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. ... Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers ... do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church'."
"In the same Letter, the Pope also announced his intention to change the status of the Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', making it part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"There is reason to believe that the definition of this new status is imminent. This constitutes a premise for launching dialogue with the leaders of the Fraternity of St Pius X, with a view to clarifying the doctrinal questions, and consequently the disciplinary questions, which remain unresolved."
The SSPX plans to hold the ordination of the traditionalists priests in Germany, Switzerland and the United States, Swissinfo says.
Catholic bishops, included Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mller of Regensburg, Germany, had urged the Vatican to warn the SSPX not to go through with the ordinations, a plan seen as the SSPX's latest attempt to challenge Vatican authority.
The Vatican has made several concessions to the SSPX, the biggest being the lifting in January of the 1988 excommunications of its four bishops.
This meant they were back in good standing as Catholics, but they had no official function as bishops and therefore should not use their episcopal privileges without Vatican permission.
Vatican warns traditionalists not to ordain priests (Swissinfo)
Ordinations by Society of St Pius X remain illegitimate (Vatican Information Service)
Society of St Pius X (Wikipedia)
Society of St Pius X General House