July 25, 2011

The ordinations of 20 new priests for the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X are "illegitimate, period," said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.

Although Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of the society's four bishops in 2009, Lombardi said, he made it clear that until the society had reconciled fully with the Vatican — particularly regarding its position on doctrinal questions — its members have no official standing in the Church.

The group ordained four priests in mid-June in Winona, Minn., 12 new priests in late June at its headquarters in Econe, Switzerland, and four new priests July 3 at its seminary in Zaitzkofen, Germany.