Bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) have been authorized by Pope Francis to ordain new priests without the approval of the local diocesan bishop, according to Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the traditionalist group.

“Last year, I received a letter from Rome, telling me you can freely ordain your priests without the permission of the local ordinary,” Bishop Fellay reported. He said that the move indicated that although the status of the SSPX remains irregular, “the ordination is recognized by the Church not just as valid but in order.”

The SSPX has been involved in talks with the Vatican, aimed at regularizing the status of the group, and informed sources have indicated that an agreement is close to establish the SSPX as a personal prelature. Pope Francis has already said that SSPX priests have the authority to hear sacramental confessions and preside at weddings that will be recognized by the Catholic Church. Bishop Fellay remarked that the permission to ordain bishops is “one more step in his acceptance that we are… ‘normal Catholics.’“

Full story at Catholic Culture.

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