The official line some harsh critics of Msgr. Lefebvre's fraternity have held in recent years asserts that, by lack of jurisdiction, priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X cannot absolve sins under normal circumstances. They also assert that the 1983 Codex's provisions for crises, cases of emergency, and common error do not apply—some in fidelity to John Paul II and some out of legal positivism.
The Fraternity has always held, to the contrary, that their absolutions hold valid because of common error, because the Law supplies the faculties where jurisdiction is lacking, and because the faithful supply jurisdiction (canon 1335 allows the faithful to request Sacraments of any priest not under latae sententiae excommunication for any reason whatsoever).
In short, it's all a mess, and Francis's latest letter does not clarify the matter. He grants that "
Validity of FSSPX absolutions. Discuss....