SSPX France celebrates Mass at St. Peter's
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    That's not a mistake. Rorate Caeli has the video from La Porte Latine. A young priest from the French district of the SSPX received permission to say Mass at the Altar of Saint Pius X at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.

    (It is a Low Mass, and if you'll observe, the people are making all the responses with the servers.)
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    Hmmm...a very interesting development.
  • Good news. I pray we'll hear more about it.
  • Many thanks for posting this video.
    I found it very deeply moving... and... quite perplexing.

    I have serious reservations about such an event.
    These reservations are not mean spirited.
    The SSPX are a schismatic entity.
    They repudiate the validity of the most recent oecumenical council and consider the Chair of St Peter to be vacant.
    Several years ago Holy Father Benedict was caused serious (and quite justified) embarassment in the attempted rehabilitation of some members of the SSPX heirarchy who were unrepentant anti-Semitics, among other hateful and prejudicial relics of bygone times.
    The Society hold all of us in contempt who are joyfully in communion with the Holy See and who enjoy the blessings of the IInd Vatican Council.

    Is this supposed to be an olive branch?
    If so, it seems to be putting the cart before the horse!
    Thanked by 3kenstb hilluminar Gavin
  • kenstb
    Posts: 362
    I am also quite shocked. This is a cause for concern. Are these brothers and sisters of ours not in schism from the spiritual descendants of St. Peter? How is this possible?
  • Well, if the SSPX did indeed receive permission, I'd say the situation is more complicated and more promising than some of us- myself included- may have thought.

    We want the wound to the Body of Christ to heal, so I think we want to rejoice in this development.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    The Holy See has, on occasion, allowed even non-Catholic visitors -- for example, Anglicans -- to conduct services in Roman churches. Probably not St. Peter's Basilica, though.

    At the same time, the legal status of SSPX priests has been left ambiguous by the Holy See. Although Pope St. John Paul II stated that the consecration of bishops by Abp. Lefebvre was "a schismatic act", there has not been a general statement that SSPX priests are in schism.

    I believe that MJO may be mistaken about the position of SSPX: I am not aware that they have adopted a sedevacantist stance. During the reigns of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, they continued to include the commemoration of the Pope in the Canon of the Mass, and at the election of Pope Francis, they acknowledged him as the Supreme Pontiff. If there's been some change to that position, perhaps someone can post information about that.
  • The SSPX do NOT consider the Chair of St. Peter to be vacant.

    I believe also that Bp. Williamson was the only one identified with the anti-Semitic rhetoric, not the entire organization.
  • Many thanks, Chonak, for the clarification!

    You may be correct, Felipe. Though I would seriously wonder if where Bishop Williamson was 'home' he was also 'not alone'. There is more to this tale than Latin and liturgy, of which The Church has both in an Ordinary and an Extra-ordinary Form.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 362
    Thanks for the information.
    Chonak, I am happy to hear that the SSPX acknowledge Pope Francis as the Supreme Pontiff. I thought that the anti-Semitic rhetoric was something voiced by an individual who was not speaking for the entire group. If this is a step on the road toward unity, then I am very pleased.
  • Since we are having this discussion -
    Would a knowledgeable person care to shed light on just what, now, is the raison d'etre of the SSPX. What is its appeal and purpose other than Latin Tridentine liturgy. What is there of substance to its philosophical or theological stance that is at odds with the Church?
    Thanked by 1kenstb
  • bonniebede
    Posts: 755
    I understand that the sspx are not sedevacantist.
    I believe some of their issues centre on what they consider to be false ecumenism taught and practised since the Vat II.
    While the term schismatic might apply to some leaders, it does not necessarily apply to the members just because they are members.
    I am in wholehearted favour of not letting difficulties such as the sspx have had for the last 50 yrs become a settled, multigenerational schism. History shows the dangers of letting that happen.
    Some useful reflections here from Fr Edward McNamara

    While I too find some of the aspects of this permitted mass in St Peters perplexing, if someone is of good will, and seeking the Lord, and the pope lets him in the house, who am I to judge?
    Thanked by 2R J Stove CHGiffen
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Although I am not a member of the SSPX, there are obviously many wonderful things that they are promoting. Let me be clear, though, that I believe that all the good that they are doing has to be done under the authority of the Pope and bishops in communion with him.

    That being said, I think this documentary on the life of the Church's # 1 "villain" in modern times, that enigmatic figure, Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve, a former missionary to Gabon, Archbishop of Dakar in Senegal, Apostolic Delegate of all of French-speaking Africa (which at the time was most of Africa), Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost (the largest missionary order in the world who resigned in 1968 from his post as Superior-General rather than preside over the destruction of his order) and a Council Father-- is a very good summary of how the Society came into being and precisely what their raison d'etre is.

    Suffice to say that if they could simply accept the Council in the light of tradition, we would have a marvelous formula for the restoration of so much of Catholic tradition that has obviously fallen on hard times. If they were to accept the Council in the light of tradition, then the answer to MJO's question would be very simple and very easy, and it would be this: Instaurare omnia in Christo.

    Their motto is the motto of St. Pius X; their vision, their purpose, their raison d'etre is that of St. Pius: to restore all things in Christ.
    Thanked by 2Ryan Murphy Gavin
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    We are many parts, we are all one dysfunctional body. One of these days while the Church is engaged in post-Vatican II navel gazing, we will all wake up and find we are Muslims. They are not playing ecumaniacal games and have the decided misfortune to actually believe what their misguided prophet teaches. All you need is love - and fuzzy minded leaders who apologize for the offices they hold instead of leading. It is good none of the Vatican II and successive popes were in office at Lepanto. We would all be speaking Turkish.

    Pius X? They sometimes put the cart in front of the horse and we in the U.S. don't recognize or realize the political elements underneath their surface.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,608
    I have nothing but respect for the SSPX, and Bishop Fellay in particular. He has said, quite clearly: "Those parts of the council that are clearly in line with the traditional teaching of the Church, we accept without question. Those parts of the council that are ambiguous, we interpret in the traditional manner. Anything that changes the traditional teaching of the Church and distorts the True Faith [e.g. the current false ecumenism and the other 'signs of the Church of Nice'], we reject." (This is, incidentally, the same position that I hold - and I attend the Novus Ordo (though I prefer the Vetus) and am in communion with Rome)

    This doesn't sound like a crazy person to me - this sounds like Catholic leader who is willing to defend the Faith at all costs from the attacks of the Enemy. To be perfectly honest, I think the Church needs more bishops like him, who are willing to say the truth and not waffle on, spouting platitudes and niceties, joking around with the enemies of the Church, while at the same time dismantling their own dioceses from the inside out.

    The Society of St. Pius V -- that's another kettle of fish.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    In seeing the SSPX, it is also helpful to note their roots in the context of French society and culture. The French episcopacy was deeply disturbed by the support Lefebrve received from some of the bishops in response to some of the debates around VII. What started out as a simple traditionalist response through a series of events became a serious problem. Remember also that the SSPX had official status in the Church until somewhere about 1975.

    Things are so much more complicated than they had to be. I admire them greatly and have many friends there. But I am also sad for the divisions that have been caused. One Sunday at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet ( the SSPX chapel in Paris) gave me more hope and caused me more struggle than any Sunday I have ever spent in the Novus Ordo.

    Bon courage mes amis!
    Thanked by 2BruceL JulieColl
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 467
    Though I would seriously wonder if where Bishop Williamson was 'home' he was also 'not alone'.

    Given that he has subsequently been expelled from the SSPX, I think generally not.
  • Anything that changes the traditional teaching of the Church and distorts the True Faith, we reject."

    I find this a bit tendentious. It goes without saying that any Catholic is good standing can agree with this.

    The basic problem I have is that the SSPX reserves to itself the judgment as to whether a doctrine is "traditional" and in line with the True Faith. This is really what it came down to in their negotiations with the Holy See under Benedict XVI. As usual, the underlying issues is one of authority.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    As usual, the underlying issues is one of authority.

    No, I think they would claim an understanding of tradition is the issue and its relation to the current experience of the Church. Lefebrve was very frustrated with the "hermeneutic of rupture" to use the current lingo notion.

    To my knowledge, the SSPX has never taken a sedevacantist position. Some of their breakaway followers have done so. Most places of the SSPX still acknowledge the current Holy Father as such.

    And for the record, I am not an SSPX member. i have a close friend who has done much research on them and shares with me his work.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • I realize that the SSPX sees this as an issue of the understanding of tradition, and not a question of authority. But from what I could gather from the breakdown of talks with Benedict XVI, there was a little more to it than the SSPX's official line. (Bishop Lefebrve's consecration of bishops speaks for itself).

    It's one thing to be upset about the "hermeneutic of rupture" and quite another to take it upon oneself to be the arbiter of tradition. (And I did not meant to imply that the SSPX's issue with authority touched the legitimacy of the current pope, which I know they recognize.)

    From what I could see Benedict XVI offered quite a wide latitude for them to discuss the meaning of tradition and Vatican II. However, statements from Bishop Fellay such as, "The Council is not in continuity with Tradition" and calling the current pope "a genuine Modernist" (i.e. a heretic) doesn't help much. I'm not sure what more Benedict could have done, frankly.
  • Since all the popes following VII have affirmed its work, one cannot actually claim to recognise the pope as legitimate who does not accept what the pope accepts. Such recognition, it seems to me, implies acceptance of what the pope has accepted. It seems that the SSPX have appointed themselves, to use a tired cliche, 'cherry pickers' of what they will and will not accept from what The Church in council and pope has affirmed. And, by now, after all these years, they have become a self-referential and self-perpetuating entity. They have done the very thing that a pope whom they pretend to accept as legitimate asked them, commanded them, not to do: consecrate their own bishops, assuring their independence, and blind to their disobedience to a pope whom they condescend to 'recognise as legitimate'.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    For me, I think its started out as a problem with tradition and ended up as just acrimony and as one has noted "self-referential." Or to put it more bluntly as one of my ecclesiology teachers has said," its about a simple pissing contest....."

    Oh well..... I do pray for them every day.
  • I think the SSPX will rue the day it walked away from negotiations with Benedict. I doubt anyone is going to do more to work for unity with them than he did.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,079
    It's too recursive to be sensible.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    I think you're absolutely right, Andrew. On the other hand, we haven't seen the last of papal discussions with our SSPX friends because it's becoming clearer and clearer by the day that their program of restoring all things in Christ---from seminaries to priories, to parishes, to schools, to convents, to apostolic action, to Catholic publishing, to Gregorian chant, to Catholic art, vestments, architecture, moral theology, dogmatic theology, ascetic theology, Mariology . . . (you get the idea) is the program of the future for the whole Church, broadly speaking.

    So much of the good news in the Church right now, again, broadly speaking, whether it be the approved traditional orders, the approved traditional monasteries, the re-integration of the traditional Mass, Breviary, ritual, etc.---all of it in one way or another can be traced in part or in whole to the work that began with Archbishop Lefebrve.

    Now it goes without saying that Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are to be profusely thanked for helping to integrate this work into the wider Church, and it also goes without saying that our SSPX friends absolutely must eventually be regularized, as the sine qua non for their work to bear lasting fruit.

    However, it is also equally clear that in terms of a broad program for renewing the face of the earth, they've got a pretty good handle on things ----- although it goes without saying that they absolutely have to carry out their work cum Petro et sub Petro, as the saying goes, which will assure its integrity.

    Finally, to put it one last way---we've got the Pope, and they've got the program, and the two need to be plugged together and soon. They need the Church, and the Church needs them.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • expeditus1
    Posts: 483
    I think the SSPX will rue the day it walked away from negotiations with Benedict. I doubt anyone is going to do more to work for unity with them than he did.

    While I would agree with your statement, Andrew, it has been my experience that SSPX members are quite content with the current power structure of their individual chapels, and the papacy of Bishop Fellay. I anticipate further expansion of SSPX in this country, with the building of their new seminary, and the uncertainty and misgivings that some Catholics are feeling with Pope Francis. The sands will continue to shift beneath our feet.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Expeditus, I share your feelings completely, and I think it's worthwhile to air some of these observations since so much damage is done to families by the false choice of having to choose between the Church or Tradition when in reality you can't have the Church without Tradition, and you can't have Tradition without the Church.

    Let me tell you a little story. I once had the local SSPX pastor over for dinner as he is a friend of ours. During the course of dinner he said to me, "You know, you really belong with us."

    I said to him, "If I belong anywhere in the SSPX, it would probably be SSPX France, but if I joined you, there is no doubt in my mind that my children would lose the Faith."

    Why? Precisely because of the short-sighted, close-minded, narrow extremism that you mention---an extremism that is closed off to both the rest of the Church and to all legitimate progress, and my children would know instinctively that sort of attitude is unCatholic, unhealthy and unholy.

    You cannot say on the one hand that you accept the Pope while refusing to be subject to him, nor can you say that you are Catholic while refusing to be in communion with other Catholics who are also faithful members of the Church. While I am on record as being sympathetic to the healthy liturgical expression that I see in SSPX Europe, I would also add that I was very impressed by the fact that the District Superior of France made a special outreach to all diocesan priests when Summorum Pontificum came out.

    That sort of thing is, I think, the expression of an attitude of fraternal charity which goes hand-in-hand with the type of vibrant liturgical participation in SSPX France which I believe is the source of so many wonderfully Catholic traits.

    So, in the end, we have to be traditional without being traditionalist, since it's the -ist part that contains all the dysfunctional baggage that you have unfortunately experienced firsthand.

    As the old expression goes, if you can't beat 'em, join em. But we who are in the Church aren't able to join them, though we can co-opt their program. We can co-opt them by taking every single thing they do that is good, holy, true, beautiful and Catholic and appropriate those things in a real and permanent way.

    Thanks to Pope Benedict, we no longer have the agonizing false choice of Pope vs Tradition. Yes, we can have it all. We can have the traditional Mass, sacraments, Roman Ritual, traditional orders, traditional priestly training, traditional schools, etc. We can have all of that in joyful communion with the Pope who is the guarantor of spiritual and doctrinal soundness and health.

    So, I would say to you as I said to my SSPX priest friend, "Father, we intend to do everything you are doing, but we intend to do it inside the Church." And let me add, that we have prayed as a family for twenty-five years that "our SSPX friends" will do the same one day and will come home soon, but we also pray that in the meantime, the pastors of the Catholic Church will start acting in a way which will make our SSPX friends realize that they can do nearly everything they are doing now but inside the Church.

    In other words, the false dichotomies need to end. Like the old song about love and marriage, Pope and Tradition go together and can't be separated. If we drop Tradition, we wither on the vine, and if they drop the Pope, they risk becoming very quickly something that is not Catholic.
  • expeditus1
    Posts: 483
    Deleted by poster.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • This whole matter of the SSPX (not to mention the even more embarassing SSPV) brings to mind the matter of schism, of break-offs, of off-shoots, from the Church. The continuous spawning of yet more 'denominations' is a phenomenon often thought to be characteristic only of Protestantism. Leaving Protestantism aside, though, it would seem that schism and off-shoots are not new to the Catholic body. They happen now and then throughout history. Some were the result of Vatican I and the declaration of papal infallibility, such as a large part of the Phillipine Church. There is a Polish National Catholic Church, and various 'Old Catholic' entities. Yet to be mentioned are the profusion of Eastern, 'Orthodox' Churches, whose cultural differences from the West are but one factor in a basically caesaro-papism which has characterised them from very early times. If not the basileus, it was the local slavic czar, who was the final arbiter of Church polity and, sometimes, dogma. It is interesting that the East never had a centuries-long struggle with lay-royal investiture. The East has always found 'caesar' to be a welcome bed-fellow. Then, there was the matter of England's Henry the Tyrant. This awful king died thinking that he was a good Catholic and bequeathed his soul to our Lady of Walsingham (after having rifled her shrine!) - this (rather unique amongst Reformation entities [indeed, Henry's break had nothing to do with the Reformation, which he detested, but what he put in motion was, under the young and mis-guided Edward VIth, hi-jacked by zealous 'reformers']) was an ill-fated attempt at a caesaro-papist church of the sort that was no stranger to ecclesiastical history. And, believe it or not, even Spanish and French monarchs made it clear that they could go the same way unless certain favourable-as-to-investiture accomodations were forthcoming. Such was at the root of the investiture struggles of the medieaval era. Indeed, this matter of investiture was not laid finally to rest until the early XXth century when the Austrian Kaiser Franz Joseph forbad the cardinals' first choice for a new pope. We see this played out in China today, where 'caesar' (the state [as subsumed in the loathesome and rapacious communist party]) finds ready pawns for its approved 'Catholic' church, while true and faithful Catholics are given great troubles to bear. So, whatever the specifics of their rationales, there is nothing unique in the Societies of Ss. Pius the Xth and Vth. The Church has seen such before, and may again before Time has run its course. And they all believe that their little remnant is the True Church.

    A footnote about Henry VIIIth's sad attempt at a National Catholic Church: I have never heard of an English scholar, no Oxford don, no authority on the unique British constitution, not even a churchman high or low, take note of the fact the the very first clause of Magna Carta asserts that 'the Church of England (Ecclesiae Anglicanorum) shall be free', which at that time (A.D. 1215) meant free of the crown and faithful to Rome. Now they are performing what-would-be ordinations of women and making them 'bishops' as well, lest parliament be overly upset; and the Supreme Governor (I'm sad to say, for I am a royalist) dutifully ratifies this fraud.

    Whatever one's rationale for separation from the Petrine See, at the root of it one will find pride and disobedience. A pride and disobedience that are no different than those of a petulant monk who willfully disobeys his superior. And the path is one to eventual isolation, and inevitable and inherent error.
  • There's also the serious issue of the priests of the SSPX being suspended a divnis. This means not only that they do not have permission to celebrate mass, but that their confessions and the marriages they witness are invalid (with the possible exception of invincible ignorance on the part of those receiving these sacraments).

    So attaching oneself to a SSPX chapel is not just a matter of attending illicit masses (which is bad enough), but can have very serious moral and canonical consequences for individuals and families.

    (I realize that the SSPX invokes what amounts to "emergency powers" (can. 1335) to celebrate the sacraments licitly and validly, but the legitimacy of these powers, except in danger of death and similar situations) is for the Holy see to determine, not the SSPX. This is another examples of the SSPX arrogating to itself the authority of the Holy See.)
  • expeditus1
    Posts: 483
    Very interesting, M. Jackson. You brought up the Polish National Catholic Church, which had been on my mind for some reason. The late Fr. John Hardon, S.J., had written the following article about "defection and leakage" here in the U.S., and how this denomination moved from schism to heresy:

    Of note, the PNCC determined that "Of the twenty Ecumenical Councils, only the first four (Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon) are formally accepted. The next three are also admitted but held to be non-essential. Beyond these, only the General Synods of the Polish National Church are recognized as authoritative."
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Thanks to Pope Benedict, we no longer have the agonizing false choice of Pope vs Tradition.

    Actually, this option has been in place since shortly after Archbishop Lefebvre's illicit consecrations with the establishment of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter - which makes you wonder what the SSPX really wants.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • R J StoveR J Stove
    Posts: 302
    Leaving aside the question of the SSPX's precise canonical status, it is worth pointing out that whatever might be the case in America or France, there are numerous countries (perhaps an actual majority of countries, and certainly a large minority) where SP is a dead letter. There are plenty of bishops who have refused to act on SP in any respect. There are plenty of other bishops who have done so extremely grudgingly, in the spirit of "What I can give you, I can take away again."

    Often enough, in those circumstances, the faithful who seek the Latin Mass must either attend an SSPX Mass or be unable to attend a Latin Mass at all. This is a straightforward statement of fact. Indeed, in a great many instances even a conservatively celebrated Novus Ordo Mass (with, for instance, non-heretical sermons and with Communion received on the tongue) is just unavailable.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • I haven't read all the comments, but I read a lot, and there were some recurring points.

    I will say that when I converted, I spent some time at their website. I fully intended to indulge my Episcopal prep school love for Latin,and read about everything related.

    As I recall--it may have been taken down--they said that the Inquisition in Spain, (with no specification of WHICH event in particular), was necessary because the Jews in question had been trying to "subvert Catholic Culture." There being no such thing in the Catechism, ever, as something called "Catholic Culture," it was a pretty broad brush to paint with.

    I believe the imposition of Catholicism by states, with the death penalty for heresy (because it was then also treason) was very close to being the worst development ever in the history of the Church, although there are so many to choose from. It resulted in the sordid, foul hierarchy of the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Great Schism, whole slews of wars of Christian against Christian, and, at one point, the Emperor Suleiman the Magnificent himself visiting the Pope during all the machinations--and it wasn't prayer for peace in the garden that the Pope was looking for, but some kind of help in war.

    It seems that the more traditionalist Catholics always point to Machiavelli as some villain, which he was, but not one who acted just motu proprio. He saw that the hierarchy had no interest in being Christians themselves, and therefore developed his theory of the secular state as itself an object of veneration. Luther, too--he didn't just one day say, "Wow, all these holy priests levitating and performing miracles is such a drag--I think I'll start an insurrection."

    And the SSPX thinks that this was all fine and dandy. I also stopped reading Latin Mass magazine--again, 10 years ago or more--after the third issue praised some historical figure for his use of violence, or call for violence, to "defend" the Gospel.

    I have deeply disturbed when anyone talks as if SSPX were somehow braver and purer and better. They are schismatic. I am not. I am a better Catholic, objectively. Vatican II has never been declared infallible, therefore we are free to have our own arguments with its documents as we will, and as many members here do. What is not acceptable is to deny any doctrine that has been dogmatically defined, or to deny bishops their right (let along the Pope his right) to maintain discipline within their dioceses or the Church as a whole. As I have said within earshot of my Traditionalist friends: if Pope St. John Paul II didn't say or do something you wanted, the fault is with you, not him. You haven't been listening.

    I have been to the local SSPX mass twice, and frankly it was filled with very broken people What is perhaps best is if parishes found ways to address the needs of people who are so unhappy. The National Shrine in fact has some very old-fashioned stuff, scarcely attended, and then usually by people who look as if they are suffering. From a pastoral standpoint, a way to address their needs would address the needs of people who find SSPX attractive.

    And finally, I really find a complete lack of concern for anyone else in their writings. I sort of have this vague image of some SSPXer listening to a story about the many martyrdoms of this yet-young century and harrumph that they certainly know how that feels---they had to sit through a Novus Ordo.

    Boy, this was going to be a short note.

  • TCJ
    Posts: 698
    What I find odd is how so many priests and bishops are a-okay with attending protestant services and all that. Want to attend service at the Unitarian church? Sure! They're our separated brethren. But when it comes to the SSPX, we aren't allowed to go there or we're schismatics!

    Until the SSPX quit being treated as the lowest of the low -- in fact, like they aren't even Catholics -- while at the same time, we're happily co-existing with false religions, they'll remain where they are.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    It would be nice to hear from anyone who could give us feedback on what SSPX Europe is like. Is it a more open and progressive environment, or is it like some of the things we've heard on this thread (and have experienced in person which aren't so appealing.)

    I visit the SSPX France website, La Porte Latine, quite often, and it looks very attractive: the priests are always with the people, and it seems like their parish communities are always going on pilgrimages and singing and having fun. It seems to me that the community activities of SSPX France reflect very well the same disposition of the faithful at their liturgies. In other words, they seem to participate enthusiastically at Mass and take that same enthusiasm for the faith out into the world. Their faith seems to be a very organic and integral part of their lives.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    My friends who go to St. Nicolas in Paris (the SSPX church) are lovely people with good jobs, children who go to school in the public school.They attend parish gatherings where they eat and have very normal parish life.

    Please, not all SSPX folks are crazy and broken folk. My friends just feel that the mainstream diocesan parishes are weak-willed in their disposition toward teaching the faith. They find the NO watered down and the faith not challenging the status quo of French society.

    They are enthusiastic for the Church and pray for rapprochement every day. And they let this poor American into their home, so they cannot be all bad.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,222
    It's been pointed out by a friend of mine, that SSPX has celebrated mass in St. Peter's before. And, apparently many 'groups' are allowed to celebrate there, and sometimes are not investigated etc... While this discussion is very noteworthy, the event could actually not mean anything as far as official policy etc.
    Thanked by 2Liam expeditus1
  • kenstb
    Posts: 362
    There are good, decent people everywhere. From what I have been able to read about the SSPX, it would seem that the real issue has more to do with Petrine authority and less to do with liturgical language or style. I would think that if the pre-eminent liturgist of our time, Benedict XVI, was unable to facilitate re-unification with SSPX, the issue is more profound than it may seem. TCJ, I understand how some of the comments on this thread may have upset you, but to be accurate, what we do and where we choose to worship is informed by what we believe. Anyone who participates actively in a division among the members of a group that occurs because they disagree on something is a schismatic by definition. Unfortunate but true.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 698
    It's the double standard that annoys me. I could point out a ton of churches and their pastors around here who would have no problem with attending a protestant church for their service. Would any of them dare to set foot in an SSPX chapel? I'd venture to say not! I would also go further and say that a good share of these parishes are actually more problematic in their mentality than the SSPX. What one does or doesn't do doesn't justify any wrongdoing on the part of the other, but at least we ask for some consistency, and consistency is something that I am not seeing.

    A good example would be the parish that invited Buddhists to hold their pagan ritual inside a Catholic church. Apparently the bishop didn't care. Interestingly enough, it was an SSPX priest who put an end to that happening in the church (they got moved to the basement). How? By bringing in a group to pray the rosary.
  • expeditus1
    Posts: 483
    God bless our converts, amindthatsuits! You help to reawaken our own gratitude for this gift of Catholicism with which we have been entrusted - a gift that we can mutilate or renounce until our last breath is taken.

    Assuming that one was to use the "state of emergency and supplied jurisdiction" as the grounds for worshipping with a schismatic group, how then does one appropriate to him/herself, the foresight and fortitude to willingly walk away from the schismatic group when the "emergency conditions" cease to be? It would seem to border on presumption, to claim that this ability rests with myself. Human nature being what it is, with its desire to form attachments to other human beings and to create shared memories, as well as a comforting routine of worship habits, who am I to say that I will relinquish these ties, and rejoin Rome, of my own volition? Graces are given, and graces are withdrawn. Blessed be the Name of the Lord, now and forever.

    I need to correct my earlier post in which I had stated that "it has been my experience that SSPX members are quite content with the current power structure of their individual chapels and the papacy of Bishop Fellay." SSPX is not a homogenous group, and I am aware that conflict has been percolating amongst some SSPX clergy and their adherents, regarding Bishop Fellay's making concessions with "apostate Rome" (their words, not mine). What I had not been aware of, until today, when I decided to do further reading, was that "The Resistance" (as they have dubbed themselves) has been engaged in such contentious rivalry with the "Neo-SSPX" (NSSPX), those who would submit to infection by a "conciliar/novus ordo religion" (once again, their words, not mine). Online articles and forums boast headlines of, "The Resistance versus the Neo-SSPX."

    Dear sweet Heaven, I hope that some little consecrated soul somewhere, known to God alone, never stops uttering the prayer, "Father, that they all might be one."
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • One shouldn't participate in anything that says you AGREE with Protestants where they are in error (ie, their Lord's Supper services). If anyone does that, they themselves are in error. And anything other than prayer, or discussion, or a praise service, would seem problematic to me. But Protestants don't say they are Catholic. Betty the Baptist didn't leave the Church.

    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • TCJ
    Posts: 698
    Again, the SSPX are not schismatic. They do not have supplied jurisdiction, but they are Catholics still. They haven't "left the Church." The faithful are also permitted to go to their Masses. They believe in the doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic church and believe in the papacy. People need to quit spreading (or implying) falsehoods about them.

    Note: I'm not an SSPXer and I hardly know any people who go to their Masses, but they seem to take a heavy rap from people while outright heretics we join hands with and sing to the Lord (but only in their style!).
    Thanked by 2R J Stove francis
  • expeditus1
    Posts: 483
    TCJ, if all was that simple, I doubt that Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, proponent of the Tridentine Mass, would have issued his 1996 decree of automatic excommunication to Catholics in his diocese who belonged to The Society of St. Pius X and its St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, for "fraudulently advertising themselves in Lincoln as 'in full union with Rome,' causing confusion, ambiguity, and uncertainty on the part of many of the faithful in Lincoln..." He went on to say, "Membership in these organizations or groups is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith."
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Yes, it's not simple. There's the de-facto situation: the group's unlawful activity seems to meet the first part of the canonical definition of schism (refusal of submission to the Roman pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him). Then there's the nominal situation, in which the Holy See has held off declaring the whole thing a schism, perhaps in order to help reconcile as many people as possible from it.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 698
    "Membership in these organizations or groups is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith

    Again, double standard.

    I wouldn't go to any of the churches in my town because the above statement could apply to them. In fact, I think it'd apply to them even more so. This brings about the topic of... why do shenanigans that go on in churches that are in union with Rome largely go ignored? Just today, a priest said that the Liturgy of the Eucharist is symbolic of the Last Supper. Symbolic?! It's all jolly well that they want to bring in the SSPX, but they might want to look a little nearer home, too. Once I came across a priest who said, "I don't care what the Pope wrote," but I guess he's completely faithful to the Pope! Yes, there are some bishops who do make an effort to clean house, but they are too few.

    Recently a bishop "...encouraged the Catholic faithful of Pittsburgh--for the first time ever!--to join him in joining hands with Billy Graham's son, Franklin, for the recent 3-day praise and song festival in Pittsburgh." Ah yes. The Grahams. The infamous anti-Catholic Grahams. But the same bishop turned around and said, ""The Society of St. Pius X is separated from the Catholic Church. The former St. James church building in the West End is not a Roman Catholic church. The Roman Catholic faithful are to know that free and willful participation with this group, including reception of the sacraments, implies an act of separation from the Roman Catholic Church. This is a serious matter that no Catholic should take lightly."

    Again, double standard.

    Based on my own personal experiences, if there were an SSPX chapel in the area, I would go -- assuming there isn't another decent liturgy around (and there isn't). As it is, I won't go to any of the local churches because they are that bad. I'd sooner make a two-hour round trip. Ha! I'd rather make a four hour round trip.

    To clarify:

    1. Priests and bishops get away with the craziest things. They are still in communion with Rome.

    2. It's perfectly okay to attend Protestant worship services. We're even encouraged to do so!

    3. It's okay to attend Mass of the Eastern Orthodox (true schismatics) to fulfill an obligation.

    4. The SSPX is the incarnation of the devil and must be avoided.

    Please, tell me. What's wrong with this picture?

  • Another consideration which is operating to the SSPX's benefit - and this is true whether we are pro-SSPX, anti-SSPX, or neither - is the organization's success (with one exception that I'm aware of: the notorious Carlos Urrutigoity) at keeping pedophiles and ephebophiles out of its ranks. Compare and contrast with the dioceses of ... well, complete the list for yourselves.

    The horrid saga of the Society of St. John is described here.
    Thanked by 2Gavin JulieColl
  • It's the double standard that annoys me.

    It annoys me, too, but two wrongs don't make a right. How does disunity on account of heretical beliefs (even if tolerated by some in the hierarchy) justify disunity for any other reason?

    The best remedy for confusion and heresy is loyalty to the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him (in deed, not just in word).
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,608
    If the SSPX can help stamp-out Ultramontanism that will be one of its greatest gifts to the Church.

    We need to realize that the Pope is not always 100%, even on theological matters unless he has said that what he is about to do is infallible - why Pope Benedict XVI himself said that the only time he spoke infallibly was when he proclaimed saints. There were times when Pope St. John Paul II said things that were wrong, there were times when Pope Benedict XVI said things that were wrong, and Pope Francis has also said things that are wrong.

    I'm not going to go into details, this is not the time or place, but I will say that there are times when I do agree 100% with Bishop Fellay, in fact, I find myself agreeing with him more than most of the Bishops of the US. I do pray for their coming back into full communion for they have much to teach us -- the Catholic Religion.
    Thanked by 2JulieColl R J Stove
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,515
    Some of the eastern bishops have said things like, "today we are with Rome, tomorrow...?" One doesn't have to be with Rome on every item or off-the-cuff statement by a pope. The essential doctrines matter greatly, but other things are often not essential to anyone's salvation. So go have a cup of Ultramontane tea, and relax. ;-)
  • After his 2012 expulsion from SSPX, Bishop Williamson wrote: "Hang tight, everybody. We are in for one 'helluva' ride." Based on July 2014 developments in France, it does appear that he is riding with his homies, to use a bit of urban vernacular. A couple of French articles here, one with enlargeable picture:

    Not having any knowledge of French myself, what I was able to learn from another site was that in July 2014, Bishop Williamson and other priest members of The Resistance, met at the convent of the Dominicans in Avrille, France, to form an association called the Priestly Union of Marcel Lefebvre. Bishop Williamson was quoted as saying that "while the priests present judged that it was yet the time for episcopal ordinations of their members, they almost all thought the time for doing so must be close."

    Yet more fracturing and factioning.