Society Of St. Pius X
The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) is an international traditionalist Catholic organisation, founded in 1970 by the French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The society's official Latin name is Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X, meaning "Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X".
Pope Benedict XVI has declared that, for doctrinal rather than disciplinary reasons, the SSPX has no canonical status in the Catholic Church and, because of that lack of canonical status, the ministries exercised by its ministers are not legitimate in the Church. However, the society's superior general has said that the Holy See in practice gives some recognition to the legal and valid existence and ministry of the Society priests.
Tensions between the society and the Holy See reached their height in 1988, when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the orders of Pope John Paul II, resulting in a declaration of excommunication against the bishops who consecrated or were consecrated, an excommunication remitted for those still alive in January 2009 with a hope expressed that all members of the society would quickly return to full communion.
Concrete discussions between the Holy See and the society, begun in 2009, reached a critical stage in 2012, with the society asking on 6 September for more time to prepare its response to proposals presented to it on 13 June and the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" stating: "After thirty years of separation, it is understandable that time is needed to absorb the significance of these recent developments. As Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI seeks to foster and preserve the unity of the Church by realizing the long hoped-for reconciliation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X with the See of Peter – a dramatic manifestation of the munus Petrinum in action – patience, serenity, perseverance and trust are needed."
Read more about Society Of St. Pius X: Foundation and Early History, 1988 Consecrations, Canonical Situation, SSPX Today, Discussions With The Holy See, Political Controversies, Notable Groups That Have Split From The SSPX
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