Archdiocese in Mexico warns against attending SSPX Mass in newly built church

SSPX church in Mexico Our Lady of All the Angels church, built by the Society of St. Pius X, in the Archdiocese of Puebla, Mexico. | Credit: David Ramos/ACI Prensa

With the construction of a new church called “Our Lady of All the Angels,” the Archdiocese of Puebla in Mexico warned the faithful about the Lefebvrist “schismatic movement” of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, stressing that the sacraments their priests administer “are illicit.”

In a statement released May 12, the archdiocese stated that the church, located near the San Pedro Cholula district, “has been built on behalf of the so-called ‘Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X’ (FSSPX), founded by the schismatic bishop Marcel Lefebvre.”

“Since neither the Fraternity of St. Pius X nor the building erected by them obediently submit to the Holy Father’s provisions, much less to the authority of the archbishop, the faithful are asked to go for their spiritual care to their respective parish, where the sacraments are administered licitly and validly, in full communion with the Church and in obedience to the pope and our archbishop,” the statement says.

The Archdiocese of Puebla is headed by Archbishop Víctor Sánchez Espinosa, who is also president of the Episcopal Commission for Liturgical Pastoral Care of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who died in a state of excommunication in 1991 for consecrating four bishops without the approval of Pope John Paul II, was a Roman Catholic archbishop who founded the FSSPX in 1970.

For Lefebvre, the FSSPX was a response to what he considered errors infiltrating the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. Members of this movement are commonly called “Lefebvrists.”

Within the context of the talks held between the Vatican and the Lefebvrists, in 2009 Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of the four bishops ordained by Lefebvre in 1988: Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta.

Despite the Holy See’s efforts at dialogue, and given the refusal of the FSSPX to recognize ecclesial documents, especially from the Second Vatican Council, the Lefebvrists do not have a recognized status in the Catholic Church.

In its statement dated May 12, the Archdiocese of Puebla stressed that “the sacraments administered by the ministers of the Fraternity of St. Pius X are illicit” and explained that this is because “they are not celebrated in full ecclesial communion.”

In addition, the archdiocese noted “they are administered by acephalous priests, that is, they are not under ecclesiastical authority. They do not obey the pope. They do not belong to any diocese or congregation and do not have ministerial licenses issued by the Archdiocese of Puebla.”

Thirdly, the archdiocese warned that “those who have joined this schismatic movement can receive the penalty established for those who commit schism.”

“In short, by illicitly celebrating the sacraments, they tear apart the unity of the holy Catholic Church,” the archdiocese noted.

Regarding the Lefebvrists’ church, the Mexican archdiocese noted that “a church cannot be built without the express consent of the diocesan bishop, given in writing, and said church does not have that permission.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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