Bishops who effectively excommunicate those who attend SSPX Masses may be acting illegally, a leading traditionalist group has said.
The International Una Voce Federation was responding to statements by bishops in Italy and Argentina.
The Federation challenged a decree by the Diocese of Albano, “claiming to excommunicate those who receive the sacraments from, or attend religious services of, the Society of St Pius X”.
The Federation also questioned the legality of a similar statement by Bishop Óscar Sarlinga of Zárate-Campana in Argentina.
“The Federation believes that these ‘notifications’ tend to imply that anyone who has ever attended services of the SSPX is not welcome in parish churches in these dioceses,” a statement said.
“This view is clearly in direct contrast with the emphasis of the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, upon mercy and forgiveness, as well as the ‘openness of heart’ requested by Pope Benedict XVI as a prelude to a healing of divisions ‘in the heart of the Church’.”
The statement continued: “The Federation is asking the Holy See to advise that these notifications are defective and to require them to be modified so as to comply with the law of the Church and the decisions of the Holy See.”
The Bishop of Albano, the Rt Rev Marcello Semeraro, is the Italian bishops’ conference spokesman and secretary of the Council of Cardinal Advisers, which advises Pope Francis on Church governance.
The International Una Voce Federation represents lay organisations around the world promoting the Extraordinary Form. It was founded in 1964 in Paris and counted the composers Maurice Duruflé and Olivier Messiaen among its early members.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund