IG NEWS! Pope Francis has granted that SSPX priests can give absolution validly and licitly during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Holy Father has sent a letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization about the upcoming Extraordinary Year of Mercy. The letter was posted on the Vatican website today. Towards the end of the letter, the Holy Father wrote:
A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X [a.k.a. SSPX]. 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.
I thought this was a very nice gesture from the Holy Father to the Traditionalist group. I pray that the reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X and the Church would be a fruit of the Year of Mercy. Unlike Pope Benedict, Pope Francis doesn’t seem to put his focus on the Liturgy. But he did put a lot of efforts in unifying the Catholic Church and reconciling with different churches: the Anglicans, the Eastern churches and now the SSPX. Imagine these groups all joint with the Roman Catholic Church, they will bring along with them the richness of their liturgies and music. Let us pray for the Holy Father and the Church.
Fr. Z has posted an analysis on the Pope’s letter on his blog.