In the Roman Rite, there exist several groups who hold traditional liturgical and doctrinal beliefs (thank God). However, there are divisions among them in regard to visible fidelity to the Holy Father. As a result, some of these groups operate outside canonical regularity and are thus not recognized by Rome as licit, most notable among them is the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) who argue that there is a crisis in the Church that causes a “state of necessity” which allows them to operate outside the visible bounds of Church law. In recent history, Pope Benedict XVI issued the motu proprio, “Summorum pontificum”, liberating the traditional Roman form of the liturgy and sacraments, thus raising the question whether a “state of necessity”, that the SSPX asserts still exists, is a viable claim.
One religious group, the Transalpine Redemptorists who are now formally known as the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, have recently been canonically regularized with the Holy See. The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer are well trained in the dogmatic and moral theology of St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus. Their reunification after the issuance of the motu proprio is based primarily upon the assertion that the “state of necessity” no longer exists. Recently, they posted a brief argument for their claim against a publicized announcement from the SSPX. Part of it follows below.
No “State of Necessity”
In the September 2009 Newsletter of the SSPX in the UK Fr. Paul Morgan says that there is a state of necessity in the Church and he then uses the Editorial to announce to his readers that “the latest position of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer” is that we now claim that “the Society’s Confessions and Marriages are invalid!!”
Let us first state that there is no state of ‘necessity’ in the canonical sense of the word. This idea of necessity is an untraditional use of a canonical term that, like charity it is hoped, will cover a multitude of sins. But will it?
The present situation in the Church may be called a crisis but there is no justification since 14 September, 2007, for breaking Canon Law by exercising illegitimate and possibly even invalid ministry: adding thereby disorder to disorder.
The rest of the article can be found here.