Pope Francis has declared that priests of the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, will validly and licitly absolve sins during the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, which begins on December 8.
“A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X," the Pontiff said at the conclusion of a September 1 letter to the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. “This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several brother bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint."
“I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity," he continued. “In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins."
In the letter, the Pope also discussed the jubilee indulgence and the works of mercy and said he has decided, “notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it."