MANILA, Oct. 20, 2011— A Catholic archbishop has warned the faithful against the presence of priests from the controversial Saint Pius X Society (SSPX) in the Archdiocese of Davao.
Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla noted that the religious organization does not have a canonical status in the Church, thus its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church.
Quoting a letter from Pope Benedict XVI, he stressed that the SSPX’s status within the Church remains in question because of its rejection of certain portions of Second Vatican Council.
“Though validly ordained, the priests do not have legal or canonical status on the local Church,” said the 77-year old archbishop.
Capalla then called on the clergy and the Catholic faithful to shun participating in any ministry – Mass, teaching, and community – of the Society of Saint Pius X.
At least three SSPX priests are currently residing and holding their ministry at the city’s Carpio subdivision.
Organized by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1969, the SSPX has rejected modern rites of the liturgy, rejected some portions of the Vatican II documents and questioned papal authority on several occasions.
In 1988, Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the will of Pope John Paul II, a move Vatican declared to be “a schismatic act.”
He and the four bishops were excommunicated by John Paul II in 1991. But in December 2008, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications in hopes of restoring “full communion with the Church” with the SSPX. [CBCPNews]