St. Thomas More was blessed to be visited by Fr. Jürgen Wegner, Superior for the U.S. District, from January 2nd – 6th.
The first night of his visit Fr. Wegner addressed the church’s monthly men’s meeting, where he spoke about the District’s meetings with 50 diocesan bishops in the United States regarding the status of marriages conducted in SSPX chapels.
In March of 2017, Fr. Wegner explained, the Holy Father authorized Local Ordinaries to grant faculties to the SSPX for conducting marriages for the faithful who attend Society chapels. Owing to the grave ongoing crisis in the Church and the state of necessity, the Society has always maintained that it possesses the power to witness marriages according to the extraordinary form of the marriage granted by the Canon Law. Even so, the Society welcomed the opportunity to work with the bishops to close a loophole that was incorrectly exploited when couples in troubled marriages were being given annulments by local bishops simply for having been married by a Society priest.
Fr. Wegner said that of the 50 bishops he spoke with, 10 were strongly supportive of the Society and were eager to establish procedures for delegating authority to SSPX priests to perform marriages. All but two of the remaining American bishops treated the matter as little more than a formality and were willing to delegate authority to perform marriages to SSPX priests.
Fr. Wegner added that the discussions during the visits should give great hope. Some of the bishops recognize that the Catholic life is dying in Novus Ordo parishes, while the Latin Mass churches and communities are steadily growing, both in membership and in the numbers of priestly and religious vocations. The bishops were amazed that of the 30,000 souls who attend SSPX chapels in the U.S., half of them are under age 21. This is a stark contrast to what is going on in the dioceses in these modern times, where parishes are closing, and priestly vocations are almost nonexistent.
On Sunday Fr. Wegner celebrated a Solemn High Mass, after which he gave the monthly blessing to the many children of the parish.