A year or two ago, Cardinal Mueller suggested that, although the excommunication of its bishops had been lifted, the SSPX was still in de facto schism.
At first, I disliked this idea, because it seemed to nullify the emollient effects of the removal of the excommunications, as intended by Benedict XVI. But, upon lengthier thought, I came (as I usually do ... honest, no irony here ...) to the conclusion that his Eminence is right. After all, with whatever justification, the SSPX does not have any recognition in Rome or throughout the world-wide churches which are in unflawed communion with the Holy Father. De facto there is no communicatio in sacris between SSPX clergy and a diocesan bishop. They do not attend his Chrism Mass; I imagine it is pretty certain that he does not invite them. Do they use Chrism he has consecrated?? Or, "ex necessitate", do they use Chrism consecrated by a bishop who may be more orthodox than their diocesan but who does not have a canonical missio from the Holy See and does not even claim to possess even a titular episcopal see? And who does not fulfil the ancient custom of going formally ad limina Apostolorum? To call this a de facto schism, which after all does imply that the Society is not in a de iure schism, and thus is not canonically schismatic, does seem at least arguably to be a useful analytical category.
I wonder exactly how far heterodox or heteropractic elements in the hierarchy need to go before they themselves can prudently be judged to have entered this interesting new category of de facto schism. I have in mind Cardinal Marx and his like, with their threats "to go ahead without waiting for the Synod" et similia. How different is this from the SSPX going down its own path without waiting for Rome to "return to the Eternal Rome"? In each case, it looks to me as though submission to the communio of the Universal Church is made subordinate to, or contingent upon, the Universal Church taking particular actions which are being demanded of her. And the admission of 'remarried' divorcees to Holy Communion would be a matter of communicatio in sacris; those officially admitted to the Sacraments within one jurisdiction would be as officially excluded from them within another. It would be interesting to hear Cardinal Marx explain how, essentially, his position, if he "goes ahead without waiting for Rome", will differ from that of Bishop Fellay. (I apologise in advance to those who may take grave exception to my bracketing a Bishop who is endeavouring to lead his associates back into a fuller communio with the See of Blessed Peter together with a Cardinal who appears to be willing to lead his associates in the oppposite direction.)
As a jurist by training, perhaps Cardinal Burke could convene and preside over a small de facto committee to issue advisory (and totally de facto) opinions about this question. I would be happy to volunteer, especially if it meant freebee stays in the Roman palazzo of the Order of Malta. Now here I am back to irony ... I think ... er ... or perhaps ...