THE PUBLIC NOTICE CONCERNING “THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X”

PUBLIC NOTICE

DECLARATION OF NON-ASSOCIATION

At the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic, public masses and other gatherings in Church facilities were suspended from February 27 to June 20, 2020 in all parishes in Tokyo and Chiba under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo as rigorous measures to control the spread of infection, upholding the sanctity of human life.

Despite this course of action taken by the Archdiocese, we received information that a number of people continued to gather and celebrate Catholic masses somewhere in Tokyo during the aforementioned period.

After examining the facts on the matter and consulting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See, I would like to make the following declaration:

That the organization called “The Society of Saint Pius X” or “SSPX” is not associated whatsoever to the Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo.

Pursuant to the letter from the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Japan dated September 1, 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See stated that “considering that the Society of Saint Pius X does not yet have a juridical status in the Catholic Church, its ministers – even if they have been freed from ecclesiastical punishment – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.”

Consequently, the ministers of the SSPX do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo.

Furthermore, since it is not recommended at this time for Catholics to participate in SSPX masses, I pray for wisdom upon all our brothers and sisters to make the right judgment as faithful followers of Jesus.

October 1, 2020

Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo

Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:

EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE PUBLIC NOTICE CONCERNING “THE SOCIETY OF SAINT PIUS X”

 

The Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo released on October 1, 2020 a public notice declaring that the organization called “The Society of Saint Pius X” or “SSPX” is not associated whatsoever to the Archdiocese of Tokyo. At the same time, it was also declared in the said public notice that based on the statement made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See the ministers of the SSPX do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

Following is an explanation of the background of the public notice.

At the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo, in its commitment to protect all life, took precautionary measures to suspend public masses and other gatherings in Church facilities within the Archdiocese from February 27 to June 20, 2020.

Needless to say, our Church is built on unity as a community. Considering the fact that we are not able to gather in Church on Sundays, our present situation provides us with the opportunity to reflect anew on the meaning of community.

Certainly, every Catholic is free to choose which organization to belong to. But in view of the current situation, it is important to be aware that Catholics are not merely members who belong to an apostolic association or an activity group, a monastery or a retreat house. But rather, every Catholic is a faithful who belongs to the diocesan community, a member of the parish community.

In addition, we have learned from our present situation that unity in community does not simply mean physically gathering in a building. We have reaffirmed from our experience the importance of spiritual unity.

During the state of emergency, it was decided to take immediate precautionary measure to suspend public masses in order to protect all lives. With patient endurance, many people obeyed. However, we have received some reports of cases where people refused to understand the purpose of the precautionary measure and chose not cooperate. It was truly disappointing from the point of spiritual unity in the Church. If not only physical unity but spiritual unity is not achieved, the presence of the Church as a community called together as one by God loses its meaning in our present society dominated by the view of relativism.

Among the cases mentioned above, the Archdiocesan Office received information that despite the suspension of public masses in the Archdiocese a number of people continued to gather and celebrate Catholic masses somewhere in Tokyo.

Examining the facts on the matter, it was established that the Mass was offered by a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X. Based on the result of the consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See regarding the current relationship between the SSPX and the Holy See, the above declaration was released.

Inasmuch as the SSPX is an organization that is not associated with the Archdiocese of Tokyo, their activities are independent and free.

However, the ministers of the SSPX do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo.

Furthermore, taking into consideration the relationship between the SSPX and the Church, it is not recommended at this time for Catholics to participate in SSPX masses. I therefore pray for wisdom upon all our brothers and sisters to make the right judgment as faithful followers of Jesus.