Reactions in the Press following the letter of Pope Francis at the approach of the Holy Year

Source: FSSPX News

Le Figaro on September 1, Jean-Marie Guénois: "Francis loves paradoxes. The very day he receives Bishop Jacques Gaillot at the Vatican - an act that in itself reinstates this very social and progressivist bishop who had been deposed by Rome under John Paul II's pontificate - the Argentinian pope offers an unexpected hand to the faithful of Archbishop Lefebvre, members of the Society of St. Pius X. (...) The priests and faithful of the Society of St. Pius X have never been excommunicated. Nor has the validity of the Mass according to the old Latin rite that they celebrate ever been questioned, but two sacraments, marriage and the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) involved certain jurisdictional legitimacy issues in the eyes of Canon Law. And Francis just removed this obstacle by recognizing the 'good faith and sacramental practice' of the Society of St. Pius X that remains nonetheless in a 'uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint'."

La Croix on September 2, Nicolas Senèze: "Although the sacraments of reconciliation and marriage can only be celebrated by priests in communion with their bishops, the Church can recognize a "supplied jurisdiction", particularly in cases of distress and necessity. (...) For the SSPX, the 'crisis' they consider the Church is going through, the 'apostasy' professed since Vatican Council II and the doubts as to the validity of certain sacraments after the liturgical reform willed by the council, all place the faithful in just such a 'state of necessity', forcing them to turn to the Society's priests." Note the use of quotation marks and the "they consider": the "crisis" they consider the Church is going through...the "apostasy" just such a "state of necessity" if the popes themselves had not spoken since the Council of "Satan's smoke" in the Church, of a "boat taking in water on all sides", or of a "silent apostasy".

Famille chrétienne on September 2, Gérard Leclerc: "The pope has taken an initiative that shows that for him, the members of the Society of St. Pius X are part of the Church. I think he wishes to force matters by establishing this communion despite the disagreements: he is forcing us to go beyond legalism, and enter upon the path of true communion."

Il Tempo on September 3, Don Pierpaolo Petrucci, SSPX District Superior of Italy: "But we have always validly and licitly administered the sacraments in the name of the general norms of the Code of Canon Law because of this crisis that is shaking the Church. (...) What is important is that there has been a legal recognition from the pope, without him demanding anything in return. In fact, in a way it is a recognition of the licitness of our ministry that has been questioned (before)."

Le Courrier on September 4, Astrid Kaptjin, professor of Canon Law at the University of Freiburg (Switzerland): "In my opinion, this single act cannot constitute an actual reintegration. There are too many points of doctrinal disagreement. Besides, up until now, the different pontiffs' actions only concerned the liturgy and the sacraments. On the doctrinal level, they did not want to give in on certain aspects now fully accepted in the Catholic Church, such as ecumenism, religious freedom, an increased power granted to the bishops' conferences: these are all things that the Society continues to refuse."

(sources: FSSPX/MG - Figaro/Croix/Famille chrétienne/Tempo/Courrier – DICI no.320 Sept. 11, 2015)

Read also :
Communiqué of the General House of the Society of St. Pius X on the letter of Pope Francis at the approach of the Holy Year (September 1, 2015)