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Monday, September 14, 2009

No "State of Necessity"

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


Sixupman said...

There exist a large element of English speaking SSPX which is little more than a covert sedevacantist clique - without the courage of their true convictions.
That element, exemplified by Frs. Morgan and Scott do not have universal support within SSPX.

St. Jude Pray For Me said...

Dear Rev. Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Please let me be blame Fr. Paul Morgan's policy:

At first, why the SSPX does not want to admit that it is mostly thanks to your effort and dedication if " 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 " ?

The question is: is the SSPX guilty of pride and presumption or, more simply, is it Fr. Paul Morgan who wants to bring light to old rancours ?

Your actions are worthy of praise and my prayers, Reverend Father, are and always will with you and with your whole community.

God bless

K Gurries said...

I think some confuse "crisis" with "necessity". The principle of authority is always active -- and perhaps even to a greater extent during times of crisis. For example, to disobey direct orders during times of war is more serious than in times of peace. Necessity comes into play during a crisis when there is absolutely NO RECOURSE to the legitimate authority. Is that the case today?

B. said...


although I disagree with the SSPX's position and have rejoiced greatly in your regularization, I have to admit that I find the date you give for the end of the state of necessity to be a bit arbitrary.
It was possible since 1988 to be a priest with full faculties and offer the traditional sacraments (FSSP, etc.), and it is still possible after September 2007. It might be easier, but that is only a gradual change.

So I'd say either there was no state of necessity from 1988 onward or there is still one (even if I can't see how.

Anonymous said...

When I see the altar rails just this past month ripped out in my old Novus Ordo Church, I see that the state of necessity is there just as before, just as it has been these last forty plus years. SP did not free the conciliar church from its pact with the devil, its false teachings of ecumenism, religious liberty, and collegiality. All of the errors taught which are contrary to the teachings of the Church for two thousand years are still there, and to pretend that all is fine is to lie.

Anonymous said...

Well, let me add my comment that you may not want to hear. If anyone thinks that that the "crisis" or "state of necessity" is over, you are fooling yourselves. Can you with a straight face say that everything is as it should be in the Catholic Faith today?! Do you really mean to tell us that the listing ship of Holy Mother Church is upright again? Would that it be so, and how I pray it is so, but that is not the reality we face.

Lhd said...

The state of necessity is a "legal justification" that made an illicit not punishable.

Example: a man because of hunger due to poverty or a financial crisis steals meal.

The hunger is the state of necessity and not poverty or financial crisis.

Other people, in prevision of this same situation could have gathered food.

Make the comparison on one side between hunger and need of a Traditional Bishop and on the other side between poverty and crisis on the Church.

The crisis on the Church must continue till God decides to put an end on her, but state of necessity ceases when Rome offers ordinary jurisdiction to a Traditional Bishop in an international level.

Thus, "state of necessity" ceased for SSPX in 2000-2001 (an Apostolic Administration was offered to her at that time) or 2008-2009 (Mgr. Galarreta said a canonical solution was offered to her twice).

The point is that on neither occasion was imposed a now valid excommunication and therefore SSPX could continue to act a supplied jurisdiction (not to be confused with the "state of necessity": to act that way is not an "illicit") in virtue of Can. 1335.

Just another mad Catholic said...

annoynomous two points

1stly the Church CANNOT make a pact with the devil, to do so would imply that the gates of hell had prevailed which is impossable, I agree that V2 wasn't the best council ever but it was a valid council, if certain cardinals + bishops have erroniously interprited it then thats thier problem not the council.

2ndly I agree that things are still not ideal but they are getting better, the restrictions on the TLM have been lifted. Men like father morgan are simply displaying a protestant attidute and refusing to be part of the badly needed renovation.

Oliver said...

The condition of the Church since you entered the modern Roman pantheon continues to deteriorate and heresy is abroad in every hierarchy. The true faith can only be maintained and practised outside the conciliar entity without compromise, hybridisation and the loss of healthy spirituality. When the next round of liberal reforms descends on your isolated island and you are asked to share you altar with priestesses, to approve of contraception, abortion and sodomy and voice the next abridged version of the 1962 Missal, you will be eating your words and realise the state of necessity will be here for the rest of the century.

Neil Addison said...

I fear that the SSPX is in danger of missing its opportunity to really influence the Church.

I don't think it realises how much the Church itself now accepts privately that that things have gone badly wrong and we need to look to our roots to find the way forward. Even with the "new" Mass there is an increasing tendency to say it in a traditional way "ad orientum"

The full return of the SSPX to the church would be a major event and its influence (not power but influence) would be immense especially within the English Speaking Church. However the window of opportunity for its return could pass soon and both the Church and the SSPX would be the poorer.

I think you put the nail on the head in an earlier blog father when you referred to "a Schismatic mentality" I fear that the SSPX would prefer to remain on the outside looking in and criticising the Church rather than coming in and helping to revatilise the Church and to solve the problems of V2 within the Church

Anonymous said...

To Just another mad Catholic:

I didn't say the Church made a pact with the devil, I said the conciliarists did.

I don't know where you come from, but where I come from, things are not getting better, they are getting worse. I reiterate, they have JUST THIS PAST MONTH, ripped the altar rails out of the Novus Ordo Church that I grew up in. Sadly, all we hear of are the positives here and there, but the negatives are never mentioned, and they far out weigh the good. This gives a false sense of a 'return' to Tradition to those gullible ones. Let's see the return to Doctrine before we all start jumping on the conciliar bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

"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."

Father, yes in theory all priests are free to offer the TLM in every diocese of the world, but in fact,and in many cases the faithful do not have access to a TLM,or even a reverently celebrated Ordinary Form Mass, without having to drive hundreds of miles.

This is he case in my diocese, where on certain Sundays there is no Diocesan offered TLM, within 100 miles, but there is an SSPX Mass offered only 55 miles distant.
Is it wrong to assist at an FSSPX Mass when there is no reasonable possibility of assisting at a diocesan TLM?

When one lives in a diocese where the geographical distance is 300 miles long by 200 miles wide and there are only 2 diocesan priests that offer the TLM on Sunday, in the whole diocese, and one begins at 6pm, you have a problem.
Thats where the FSSPX come in.
God bless you.

Neil Addison said...


The point Father Michael Mary is making is that if the SSPX rejoined the Church then that SSPX Chapel 55 miles from you would be a fully "Catholic" Church to which you could go in good conscience and to which other Catholics might be attracted to go to without feeling that they are, in some way, leaving the Church.

Furthermore if the SSPX was fully part of the Church then the priests in your local SSPX Church would have proper contacts with the other Catholic priests near them and be able to influence them in how they offer the New Mass

Oliver I think you are talking about the past the day when the Church might have embraced the things you mention has, I believe, passed and the SSPX if they returned to the Church now could have an immense effect on it.

The SSPX often talks about the crisis in the Church but what they fail to face up to is that they need to return to the Church in order to help the Church survive the crisis. V2 has now run out of steam and the new priests who are joining the Church are more orthodox than the older V2 generation. The SSPX can provide that final weight in the balance to restore the Church to its past

Isabelle said...

Just another mad catholic:
"...the Church CANNOT make a pact with the devil, to do so would imply that the gates of hell had prevailed which is impossable..."

The Church did not make a pact with the devil, but the modernists who have infiltrated the Church have. The smoke of satan has entered the sanctuary. It is folly to believe otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It is not the church that has veered off from the traditions but leaders in the church. If we look at vatican II documents, what we got is not what the council intended. We are in a difficult time in history but the church will not fail. Let us all pray for the SSPX to return to Holy Mother the Church. The SSPX can have a great effect on the Church if it returns now but if the present situation continues they will become just another sect. Pray Pray Pray .

Brendan said...

Fr. Michael Mary,

Everything you wrote in this post is what the FSSP said in 1988 when Ecclesia Dei was erected and their community was recognized by the Vatican.

Yet for twenty years you maintained there was a state of necessity and so operated sacramentally as well as living as a Redemptorist outside the structures.

Granted, the liturgy of 1962 has been greatly freed by the 2007 motu proprio but you could have regularized yourself after the Episcopal Consecrations of Archbishop Lefebvre. What you say now of Summorum Pontificum, the FSSP said basically of Ecclesia Dei.

What changed?

David said...

Brendan, one need only compare the two documents to see what has changed, and the change is quite radical. SP liberates the 1962 liturgy from the whim of the local ordinary, at least from a legal point of view. The F.SS.R. fathers are absolutely free to celebrate the 1962 liturgy and the local ordinary can do nothing to prevent them. Such was not the case for the FSSP in 1988.

David said...

Oliver, if your nightmare scenario comes to pass, then we'll all be living in the catacombs. If you think that Fr. Michael Mary will accept any of that nonsense, then you don't know him very well. Moreover, if you really believe that such things will come to pass, then you have very little faith in the divine foundation of Holy Mother Church.

Brendan said...

David, thank you, but I'd still like an answer from Fr. Michael.

SPWang said...

...these 'talks' are going to take a loooooooong time...

Just another mad Catholic said...

Annoyn ( I wish you would use your real name)

I live in a diocese where the Bishop spends half his time doing anything he can to suppress the Old Rite, I can only independantly ( i don't own a car) get to it Once a month.

On the whole however things are getting better, we finnally have a Pope who recognizes the need to restore Tradition, every Priest of the Church has the RIGHT to use the Old Rite and the Holy Father has invited the SSPX to bring their concerns over Vatican 2 to the table, as such the state of necessety is over. IF the SSPX are willing to submit to the judgement of Rome I would feel quite comfertable frequenting their Chapels again, However methinks that the discussions will be the easy part, healing the psycic damage of the last 40 years will be the most difficult.

Unknown said...

I have come to the point where I think only Heaven knows the true state of Holy Mother Church. I am a former adherent to the SSPX; currently a member of the local EF Parish. Unfortunately, I am still looking for a good "foxhole" in which to practice the Holy Faith.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Help us to persevere during these dark days of chastisement!!!

Anonymous said...


The F.SS.R. may be able to freely offer the Latin Mass in the remote and tiny chapel on the island where it impacts and matters to a very, very few, but they will have no choice whatsoever if and when requested to celebrate the new mass. And that day will come. They have also accepted Vatican II and all of its errors. Wonderful. That is what is known as a hasty, poorly reasoned compromise.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Just another mad Catholic (I assume that is your real name?)

Does it really matter how I sign my posts in the grand scheme of things? No, I don't think so, because you see I will STILL be anonymous to you and everyone who reads it!

No, on the whole things are NOT getting better, in fact they are getting worse. If this pope is so dedicated to restoring tradition, then why won't he say just ONE Latin Mass for the entire world to see? You say that every priest has the right to say the Latin Mass? He may legally have the right, but just see the threats and stumbling blocks put up when he pursues it. You need a reality check, I am afraid. Methinks that the psychic damage is what has been done to all novus ordo Catholics that have been following error for the last forty years.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about what it says in canon such an such, the bottom line is that there should never be a compromise with modernism. Just because a priest has the right to celebrate Mass in Latin, does that mean that he can turn his back on everything else which is going on in the church?

Neil Addison said...
"The SSPX often talks about the crisis in the Church but what they fail to face up to is that they need to return to the Church in order to help the Church survive the crisis."

I would say that the SSPX is still better able to help the Church than being fully intergrated. Remember the Moto Proprio, lifting of the exommunications etc would never have come about if it hadn't been of the prayers offered by the SSPX to Our Lady (two Rosary Crusades).

Secondly, you fail to see that there are still many modernist Cardinals, bishops and archbishops within the Church with great power and influence. In my opinion the SSPX should only reconcile with Rome when they have the true mass as there mass. Until that happens we can only pray and hope that they will recognise that the root of all the problems within the Church is the altering of the liturgy.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, the crisis is theological pluralism which allows heresies and orthodoxy to flourish; and incense the same conciliar altar, as it were.

Hans Kung remains a priest, presumably 'celebrating liturgy' and hearing confessions validly, even as you do. This crisis (the new pluralism) rises to the level of emergency if sacred tradition is our guide, no?

Bill said...

If everything is OK then why can't you answer one very simple question:

Can I receive communion in the hand, standing not kneeling, at one of your Masses?

Oliver said...


Terrible things have happened in the Catholic world and the momentum for even worse things is there to refute any suggestion that Rome is turning traditional or could even if she wanted to. Influential figures in the mould of Ted Kennedy and Tony Blair articulate the minds of the majority of both laity and clergy and these people want the V2 reformation to continue and to echo the modern social changes happening in the world. If the Rome of the future manages to keep some of her central power, it will be to rubber stamp these changes. If not, a loose horizontal structure will allow auntonomous churches to go their own way. We see this happening now.

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

Bill: No, we say the Mass according to the 1962 rubrics. Communion on t he tongue and kneeling.
Stephen: No that's not true. There is only one Catholic orthodoxy; there is cockle and wheat everywhere and the priesthood is not exempt.

Thank you all for your comments.

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