The following is a reply I was going to post on the Explosive Growth Forecast for SSPX USA thread
in the General Discussion sub-forum. However, what I wrote is inappropriate for that particular section of CathInfo according to the bylaws thereof.
So here it is.
Interesting note: The author(s) of the Pristina Liturgica Blog recommended the SSPX Seminaries to a sedevacantist inquirer who was seeking a Seminary wherein to matriculate. Whatever a sedevacantist might opine regarding this, it is refreshing to see individuals "think outside of the box."
That would be a less than stellar way to begin one's priestly vocation.
It does seem that there aren't many strong options when one wishes to study for the priesthood.
Well, these are "less than stellar" times...
The fact is that a young man who has a vocation to the Sacred Priesthood has the responsibility of prudently choosing a good Seminary.
I don't know exactly how to word the following (which is why I have not hitherto responded to this), but I shall try my best...
In the case cited in my reply, the advice of choosing an SSPX Seminary seemed at first a bit odd to me [since the blog focuses on present day controversies of the sedevacantist world, I had assumed that the author(s) of the blog to be sedevacantist(s)], but it actually makes a lot of sense now that my mind is a bit clearer on the pertinent issues: in the case of the sedevacantists in particular, their clergy have no authority to publicly bind consciences to attend their Chapels or Seminaries; and if they act as if they do, things suddenly become painfully complicated and quite perilous (as has been shewn time and time again). If the SSPX has better Seminaries, then it would be better theoretically for young men who have a sacred vocation to attend those seminaries, ecclesiological disagreements notwithstanding. In the practical order, if a sedevacantist aspirant to Holy Orders freely chooses for some reason or another to attend an SSPX Seminary, such a decision should be respected (or at least spared from naive anathemas). The question of whether the SSPX Seminaries would allow such young men to matriculate into their institutions, and under what conditions said matriculation is to take place, is another issue.
Although I may be criticized by my sedevacantist fellows for having written this, I truly believe that in the practical order no one can impute absolute casuist judgments in the present day, when no traditionalist clergyman can be said to posses jurisdiction in the external forum and thereby publicly and officially bind consciences in virtue of a Canonical mission.
Clergymen who have attained to Holy Orders without a Papal mandate or consent of the local Ordinary according to the prescriptions of Canon Law do not have the inherent right to command the assent of the faithful in virtue of their possession of valid Holy Orders alone, their excellent and salutary intentions of preserving the traditional practice and profession of the faith notwithstanding. A traditionalist cleric must demonstrate that he is possessed of the competence, learning, and sanctity that are demanded by his sacred state (his whole self must be a living sermon, the eloquence thereof being that of the Holy Ghost rather than that of his own finite efforts) in order to efficaciously draw the faithful to his ministry. He truly ought to be a servant to the souls that have been committed to his pastoral care by the inscrutable designs of Divine Providence, and exercise meekness and humility before the terrifyingly unnerving reality that he is in a very strange Canonical predicament. This is especially
true for the Bishops! They above all must be servants of both clerics and layfolk
: no one forced them to take on the Episcopacy, and they did so, despite the problematic Canonical issues, in order to serve the faithful. Normally, the Bishops and Priests would be given unquestionable credibility and authority, but, because the Roman Pontiff is out of the equation, such can no longer be the case. It's not the 1950's anymore!
I would hope, at least, that anyone studying at an SSPX seminary with no intention of serving them as a priest would be paying their own way.
You bring up an important point. According to the principles of commutative justice, a young man of the sedevacantist persuasion who chooses to attend an SSPX Seminary would have to pay all the costs of their Seminary education, since they would not have the intention to serve the SSPX faithful as Priests.