Vatican rejects traditionalist sect's ordinations

AFP/July 5, 2011

The Vatican on Tuesday rejected as illegitimate ordinations performed without its approval by a Swiss-based fundamentalist brotherhood last month.

In June, the head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) an ultra-conservative organisation at odds with the Roman authorities over doctrinal issues ordained new priests at a seminar in Winona, USA.

"So long as the brotherhood does not adopt a canonical position with the Church, its ministers cannot exercise any legitimate ministry in the Church," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters.

"So long as matters to do with doctrine are not clarified, the brotherhood as no doctrinal status within the Church," he added.

A dialogue commission has met several times in the past two years but the rift remains deep between the authorities in the Vatican and the society, which was founded by French bishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970.

The traditionalist brotherhood rejects the changes brought about in the Catholic Church's relations with the modern world including a new liturgy during councils held in the sixties known as Vatican II.

Pope Benedict XVI has strived to heal the rift with the brotherhood which wants the Tridentine mass in Latin restored by issuing instructions in May aimed at widening the availability of the old Latin rite.

SSPX ranks include British bishop Richard Williamson, who was convicted of incitement and fined by a German court last year over a 2008 interview in which he said no Jews had died in gas chambers.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.