In the September 2009 Newsletter of the SSPX in the UK Fr. Paul Morgan says that there is a state of necessity in the Church and he then uses the Editorial to announce to his readers that “the latest position of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer” is that we now claim that “the Society’s Confessions and Marriages are invalid!!”
Let us first state that there is no state of ‘necessity’ in the canonical sense of the word. This idea of necessity is an untraditional use of a canonical term that, like charity it is hoped, will cover a multitude of sins. But will it?
The present situation in the Church may be called a crisis but there is no justification since 14 September, 2007, for breaking Canon Law by exercising illegitimate and possibly even invalid ministry: adding thereby disorder to disorder.
What necessitates breaking Canon Law to celebrate the Old Mass when the Church on 7 July 2007 gave full permission for every priest in the Church to use the 1962 Missal exclusively? -None.
If a priest could both offer the Old Mass and hear Confession with faculties, what necessity exists whereby he is compelled to break the Church's Law to hear Confessions, quite possibly invalidly? -This is unnecessary, even irresponsible.
And, yes, if a priest could offer the Old Mass and receive jurisdiction or delegation to celebrate the sacrament of Marriage, (and the Church legislates that he must have this for the Marriage to be valid), what necessity is there for him to celebrate the form of Marriage without jurisdiction or delegation and thereby invalidate a couple’s marriage? -It is surely unnecessary and even reckless.
Therefore, I deny that any priest is compelled by necessity to break the Law of the Church: Since 14 September 2007 every priest may legitimately offer the Old Mass, hear Confessions with jurisdiction, and celebrate Marriages validly if he would but obey God’s Law.
Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
14 September 2009
2nd anniversary of the implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum