Aide: Society of St. Pius X Ordains Illicitly

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The canonical situation of the Society of St. Pius X has not changed, and therefore the recent ordinations carried out by bishops of the group are illicit, confirmed the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, addressed SSPX priestly ordinations in response to questions at a press conference Tuesday.

He referred to Benedict XVI's letter of March 10, 2009, and reaffirming what has been stated in response to similar situations in the past.

"While the fraternity does not have a canonical position in the Church, its ministers cannot exercise legitimate ministries in the Church," he said. "Until the questions concerning doctrine are clarified, the Fraternity has no canonical status in the Church," and its ministers "do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church."

"Hence," Father Lombardi concluded, "the ordinations are considered illegitimate."

So far this year, the SSPX has carried out some 20 priestly ordinations.