Is The SSPX Now Fully Regularized?

Pope Francis has fully regularized the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), James Bogle, the ex-president of Una Voce International, told (video below: see link – Ed)

Bogle stressed that the SSPX and the sacraments administrated by them, including marriages and confessions, have been formally recognized by Francis. The Society is also allowed to ordain to the priesthood whomever they see fit.

Francis further appointed SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay as a judge at the Rota Romana, the highest appellate tribunal of the Church, thus recognizing his authority.

“I don’t see how much more regular you can get than that,” Bogle concludes. He acknowledges, however, that there are a lot of intolerant bishops who still treat the SSPX as if it were irregular.

To them, Bogle answers that those who do not like the integration of the SSPX “better have the argument with Pope Francis.”   Click here to read more and view video

Comments invited…    

33 responses

  1. The people who are informed about what is going on, will know that the SSPX is regularized but those who are not (the majority) would need a Vatican statement telling them. Unless you follow these things closely, you wouldn’t know anything about it. I had never heard that Bishop Fellay was appointed to the Roma Rota as a judge – that’s amazing, but I’d never heard it before I read it here, so most Catholics won’t know about all the other examples either.

  2. The people who are not in the know; I wonder if they believed that Vatican II is regularized? Perhaps Bishop Fellay’s appointment is a sort of secret knowing much of the SSPX laity would treat Vatican II as if it were irregular.

  3. I thought it was rather strange that this announcement came from Mr. Bogle, rather than from either the Vatican or the SSPX, so I hesitated before sending Editor the link. If you look at the SSPX USA website, for example, not a word of this. Perhaps Pope Francis is deliberately downplaying it.

    At any rate, I hope it is true, and I hope even more that the Society and its faithful will accept regularization. Reading the comments below the video are pretty disturbing, esp. this one:

    “What you say was true 20 years ago, when the SSPX was still traditional, but no longer. The best thing Rome can do to crush what tradition remains in it is to regularize the Society (“Regularization carries within itself its own internal dynamism..what is important is that there no longer be resistance.” -Fr. Cottier upon the conquest of Campos). The greatest enemies of Tradition therefore support the regularization, regardless of there lip service to the contrary. This is all smoke and mirrors to pretend that the SSPX is still traditional, so the liberals must resist them. When one looks at the level of collaboration between the SSPX and the various dioceses (delegation for marriage, for example), there is no conciliar resistance to a neutered SSPX. You might want to have a look at this (link to “Resistance” website removed).”

    I’m sure the “resistance-to-nothing” crowd, of which the above comment bears the same odor, will be having a big picnic over this.

    • RCA Victor,

      That comment is absolute nonsense. It’s obviously written by one of the daft “resistance to nothing” brigade.

      All I took from Jamie Bogle’s remarks is that by allowing all that he has permitted, Pope Francis has, de facto, regularized the Society.

      The idea that the SSPX is a liberal body only too glad to be part of the “mainstream” is laughable – in fact, where I attend Mass I detect a strong desire to remain “as is” – there’s a schismatic spirit abroad within the SSPX in the UK, in my experience. Far from being delighted to go along (with local bishops) to get along, the laity, certainly, quite a number of them, are only too ready and willing to remain as they are for the foreseeable future, and if Our Lord Himself appeared to tell them differently, well… I can see tables being thrown around again – I’ll put it no more strongly than that. And I won’t be drawn on who, precisely, would be throwing the tables around this time 😀

      • Editor,

        I misunderstood, then, this article, since I thought this was a new development. Apparently the only new thing is Mr. Bogle’s reminding us of reality. Indeed it is difficult to argue with Mr. Bogle’s analysis: he is clearly quite knowledgeable and articulate about the Faith.

        The desire to remain “as is” is strong elsewhere besides the UK, I assure you. It is a prominent feature of the Society’s US chapels as well. I suppose you can’t blame them, given the deliberate “mess” into which Francis and his Conciliar predecessors (of unhappy memory) have cast the Church, but I wonder how these “remainers” (not a Brexit reference!) would have viewed the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Would they have denied His Divinity because He was executed as a criminal, and then gone back to their safe house, the Jewish Temple?

        From my personal experience with the Society, I lay the blame for this schismatic spirit directly at the feet of their clergy, who generally do a miserable job catechizing their faithful, leaving that job to their very good bookstores, and let the bizarre resulting chips fall where they may (that is, readers are left to form their own opinions without correction).

        BTW I would love to see Mr. Bogle’s wife’s reaction to this video…he said wryly…

  4. RCA Victor,

    In response to your BTW final sentence – ditto! With bells and whisles on, if you’ll forgive the bad grammar. Not that anyone is likely to notice these days – have you noticed how every sentence, responding to a question, begins with “So”? Drives me nuts!

    Still it came in handy on Sunday when a newcomer to our Mass said she didn’t understand why it couldn’t be just as beautiful but in English. I asked her to ask me a question about anything and then replied.. “So… I wore this jacket because…” THAT, is why; English changes (and always, it seems to me, for the worse!) while Latin is a dead language so we don’t risk insulting God.

    Am I a clever cookie or what?

    Reply: “So… ” 😀

    Didn’t mean to go off topic – feel free to ignore my language ramblings and note my initial reply about Joanna’s likely response to Jamie’s article on Gloria TV.

    • Editor,

      So….you mean you haven’t invited Joanna Bogle yet to participate in this discussion? I would love for her to Bogle our minds….

  5. I agree that Pope Francis has de facto regularized the Society. I also think it would be a mistake to get too friendly with the diocesan bishops just yet. I dislike the idea that there are laity in the SSPX who are happy with things as they are – that’s definitely a schismatic spirit – but I also think the bishops are not to be trusted at all. Look at how they are co-operating with the LGBT+ agenda in Catholic schools and cosy up to the SNP government. I think “as is” it has to be for the moment, but no real Catholic is happy with that situation.

  6. The future will tell us if it is good news… or just another manoeuvre?
    Anyway, the “conciliar church” will disappear by extinction as it does not produce good fruits.
    Please, let me know what are the good fruits of Vatican II and of the Popes who worked on this devastating Council and promulgated its decrees (Dignitatis humanae – Nostra aetate etc…), while persecuting the faithful Catholics?
    I trust the Lord only and believe in his Justice.

    • Lionel,

      Here are some of the “fruits” of Vatican II: two “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (more accurately and familiarly known as drag queens) in line for Communion in San Francisco.

      Very fruity indeed…

      • RCA Victor,

        Thank you for that reminder of the “fruits” of Vatican II – what total nutters.

        IS this sort of thing down to “mental illness” in the strictly medical sense of the term – or something (diabolically) else… or is is just a daft fad for numpties?

        I’m never sure. It’s not always easy to know. Then I think “they’re crackers”, then I feel sorry for them. It’s really difficult to know…

  7. I am confused. Am I correct in thinking that the Holy See recognises that the Society is regular, but the Society has requested that the Holy See not publicise this in order not to wind up resistance types and cause division in the society?

    Is the regularisation related to the Pope’s decision to dissolve the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission?

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      I don’t think anything has changed, although when Theresa May said “nothing has changed” we all knew that EVERYTHING had changed! 😀

      The fact is that, bit by bit, the Pope has permitted “normalisation” of the Society in the sense that he has publicly said they may hear confessions, conduct marriages and we already know that the faithful are permitted to attend their Masses. Jamie Bogle, in my humble view, was simply adding that all together (and more) and saying “mission accomplished” – the SSPX has been (in fact) regularised.

      However, while that may be true (as it is also true that it’s the post-Vatican II dioceses/parishes/Vatican which are not “regular”, having departed from Catholic Tradition), it would still be necessary for the Pope to formalise the SSPX situation with a very clear statement from the Vatican saying that they are no longer to be discriminated against in any way.

      You know, like the statements they issue in defence of the LGBT+ lobby 😀 It’s unbelievable to think of the fuss that would (will) ensue when such a statement is issued about the SSPX, whereas there wasn’t a peep from anyone (except our unworthy selves) last year when we learned that the Bishops had issued a statement welcoming the Scottish Government’s decision to embed LGBT+ issues across the curriculum

      Honestly, you just couldn’t make this stuff up.

  8. I find myself alone in the fact that I don’t trust any of it? It’s just plain ‘weird’ the way it is being done. There is a method to this madness. It simply confuses people more. We’ve had enough!! Its just one crazy thing after the other.

    Just a guess here. We are being brainwashed by confusion in order that we not pay close such attention to the SINod which is coming our way in October … that ‘something wicked this way comes’ which will leave our Church in tatters …

    • Yes, it’s so confusing being a Catholic. The Catholic Church is meant to be the source of truth and the assurance of salvation, but when we can no longer be confident that we can trust the Church, everything falls apart. It’s so disorientating and disheartening.

  9. Mary Anne & Miles Immaculatae,

    There’s another way to look at our dilemma; rather than focus on the “confusion” and “disorientation” (except to keep ourselves knowledgeable about what is right), and instead of allowing ourselves to become disheartened, we really ought to recognise, with thanks, that we have been blessed with the grace to see what we do see, that we recognise the confusion etc for what it is – diabolical activity. That way lies peace of soul. Otherwise, we allow the Devil to tempt us to despair, to doubt the Faith and that way, for sure, lies perdition.

    We will now stand and sign all the verses of Faith of our Fathers…

    And yes, that looks like a Protestant minister playing – I thought I’d give him the job… my contribution to ecumenism 😀

    • Editor,

      Or, as one of our priests would say, “Keep rowing. God will put wind in the sails when He’s ready.”

      BTW Ed, I’m totally jealous of the organ in that picture. Four manuals! I can barely play two! Must be installed in a C of E house of worship – they seem to have the most elaborate music programs (over here, at any rate). Probably to make up for the fact that there’s nothing going on at the altar…..

      Which reminds me: when I got to college, having grown up Protestant, I stopped going to church altogether, because I thought Christianity was just a bunch of good music. Our organist/director had us singing Mozart and Haydn Masses, Handel Te Deum, Brahms Requiem, Beethoven Missa Solemnis, you name it. Protestants seem to love singing Masses, but they don’t usually stop and reflect on what they’re singing, or where it comes from. To them it’s just great music with sacred words they can barely pronounce.

      Speaking of music programs, the SSPX needs to get its musical act together. Other than the scholas singing the Ordinaries and Propers, they seem rather clueless about performing good sacred music….not to mention actually paying their musicians. Oh no, we’re supposed to work for the glory of God, and somehow that puts bread on the table, yup, yup.

      • RCA Victor,

        I’ve never heard of an organist from the parish being paid – I’ve always known them to have their own job to “put bread on the table”. I remember in our parish, growing up, there would be some sort of social at Christmas to thank all the volunteers in the parish, but never known of anyone to get paid. Sorry to disagree with you on this, but it doesn’t seem right to me.

        • Fidelis,

          My point is that professional musicians make their living by making music, including church music. If someone has a paying job and is happy to volunteer, then good for them, but the SSPX, in my experience, takes musicians for granted, and if there are professional musicians among their parishioners, they will not be paid for their services. Hopefully some of their larger chapels do pay their music staff, I don’t know.

          My former SSPX chapel annually hosted a group of seminarians, and one of the group was always a pretty good organist (in fact, they were better than me). So the talent is certainly there, though musically talented seminarians are destined to become priests, not organists.. Moreover, if the priest is musically literate, that increases the chances that he will staff his parish music program with well-trained musicians….and pay them…unless he finds himself stationed at some tiny outpost in East Jesus, with no budget to speak of.

          PS: My parish pays me….as well as the choir director. That is standard procedure on this side of the pond, and a professional courtesy. A courtesy which, again in my SSPX experience, was woefully lacking, and not only in the music program. As a parishioner noted during a meeting I was chairing several years ago, “The SSPX uses people up and then tosses them aside.” I didn’t know what they were talking about…at first…

          • I agree, it would be great if our SSPX chapel would pay a few singers. A Novus Ordo church I went to, before I came to SSPX, would pay a handful of music students a modest wage. They were studying voice at the local conservatoire, and they would sing serious sacred repertoire, renaissance, baroque, classical, 20th century. There was only about five or six of them but the difference it made was astounding. It was heavenly to hear them sing.

          • RCA Victor,

            I’m very surprised at these posts about paying musicians – unless the musicians really depend on the church paying them, because, like Fidelis, I grew up in a parish where (as far as I know) nobody was paid.

            As a professional teacher, it would never occur to me to expect payment if I taught a class at church, whether a catechism class for children or an adult class. Mind you, the only time I volunteered, the priest, after initially expressing his delight and accepting my offer, said he couldn’t possibly allow me to teach the adult class… since I’d criticised The Tablet. Now, in that case, there is no amount of money they could offer to pay me, which would lead me to accept the position!

            Obviously, if a professional musician has no job and depends on the church payment to eat, that’s different, but in general terms, I would be surprised that they would expect payment from the church, since often churches can’t, literally, keep the roof repaired over their heads! Unless, of course, the whole thing, practices etc took up an inordinate amount of time, then I could see an argument for payment. Otherwise, I’m genuinely amazed at the idea that people I’ve always regarded as volunteers, get paid.

            I hope the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion don’t get wind of this!

            • Editor,

              All I can say is that on this side of the pond, paying parish musicians is S.O.P. – except for the SSPX, and frankly, the quality of their parish music ensembles ,in my experience, reflects this. This is puzzling, since from what I saw, there was a lot of musical talent among their seminarians, both vocal and keyboard.

              For example: at my former SSPX parish: volunteer organist and director. Right across the highway from them, a diocesan parish with a TLM, 2 paid organist/directors.

      • I agree with what you say. There are two extremes when it comes to the issue of Sacred Music in traditional Catholic comnunities. The first extreme is that sacred music isn’t important, and some traditional Catholics have become so used to hearing low Mass in makeshift Mass centres for decades, gymnasia etc., they have become almost like Recusants during the persecution of the Reformation when priests would say Mass in secret for a handful of people in a cupboard in some private house. On the other hand you have those people who are attached to the traditional Mass only because of the smells and bells and fancy music. It’s an affectation and when us trads were hearing low Mass in spare rooms and gymnasia for years this lot were nowhere to be seen. They are also in my experience socially elitist. When a group of Catholics in my city around my age recently expressed an interest in the traditional Mass I enthusiastically tried to get involved with them. They made it clear that I wasn’t welcome and I wasn’t allowed to sing in their choir or join their secret society. If this is the experience people have of the traditional Mass then no wonder so many Novus Ordo Catholics have a bad view of trads, or at least what they wrongly perceive to be tradition. The SSPX on the other hand have always welcomed me and made me feel included and the community I have experienced at my chapel is not something I have not found anywhere else. No wonder some SSPX folk harbour a schismatic mentality. The way I have been treated by fellow Catholics over the years is appalling. I have tried to express to my diocese my hurt about some of the things that have happened to me but they either don’t care or think themselves powerless to do anything about it. The SSPX immediately empathised with me because they have been giving refuge to disaffected Catholics since the 1970s. I don’t like this new tweed and lace traditionalism that has emerged among some young people. You know Pope Francis is right when he calls it an affectation.

        • Miles Immaculatae,

          Your experiences with trads is really shocking and regrettable – and shameful, and I’m sorry you were put through that. That said, I think there are and will always be a kaleidoscope of reasons why people attend the TLM, and those reasons will depend on their level of commitment to the Faith and to the salvation of their souls.

          The same spectrum exists in Novus Ordo parishes and in Protestant churches: attendance is socially fashionable and prestigious, the music is great, they like the priest, the food is delicious, the building is close to home….who knows what motivates people!

          I would also caution against “feeling included” as a reason to attend a traditional chapel. In 2009 I decided to stop wandering among “indult” Masses and solely attend the SSPX. I always went downstairs after Mass for some coffee and doughnuts, but for 10 months not a soul said a word to me, or even acknowledged my presence. It was as if I wasn’t even there. Finally, in September of 2010, I went to a 40th SSPX anniversary luncheon after Mass, and was greeted by a woman and her husband and invited to sit at their table, so I actually met, at most, 6 people that day.

          So if I had wanted to feel included, my tenure at the SSPX would have been short-lived indeed.

          I think many trads have developed a bunker mentality over the years, a total distrust of “outsiders,” because of all the persecution and lies they have endured from their own Church. I missed the revolution completely, not returning to the Church until 1999, and not even being aware that there was such a thing as a TLM until 2002, so I was spared the bunker mentality. For me it was like being an explorer in a strange new world, so I accepted whatever people quirks I encountered, and focused on learning about the Faith.

          • I agree that feeling included is not a good reason to attend a traditional chapel, but I do believe that it is not possible to live the Catholic faith in isolation, and we need a spiritual community. I could not remain Catholic by practicing the faith in the seclusion of my home, and attend Mass on Sundays without any interaction with the other parishioners. Before I knew about Tradition I was interested in Opus Dei because of the community they offer to members, but then I bacame disillusioned with them on account of their psychologically harmful practices, obsession with socioeconomic status, and latent modernism. It’s a shame that there are no apostolic groups in my parish, such as the Legion of Mary, but the Legion of Mary is tied up with the Novus Ordo now. I would like to find a kind of secular community, where traditional Catholics live together, have their own secular jobs, but pray together and undertake apostolic activity together. No such communities exist that I know of, except actual religious orders, but religious life is an altogether different kind of vocation, set aside from the world. As a layman, I feel somewhat useless, and I wonder what my actual vocation is. Some people think the vocation of lay people is just to pay, pray obey.

            There is another parish that has a traditional Mass in my city, and they have a young adult group. I enquired about joining but did not receive a reply. I suspect that I was blacklisted after I complained to the diocese about the things that happened to me several years ago at a different parish. At this parish the priest does not speak to me, he is extremely uncomfortable around me and finds it hard to even make eye contact with me, and does not reply to my emails. Presumably he perceives me as a dangerous and querulous troublemaker.

            If I am honest I have little motivation to encourage people to become Catholic, and I have lost the apostolic zeal I once had, because in my experience being Catholic has been quite miserable and I wouldn’t want people I care about to go through the same drama. I just don’t know if its worth becoming Catholic these days. I sometimes wonder if I would have been happier if I had never found out about the Catholic Church and had remained invincibly ignorant. I didn’t realise when I became Catholic at 19 exactly what I was getting into.

            • Miles,

              Surely there are some bloggers here who could help you find such a community. As for being a troublemaker, I believe that is Editor’s middle name…

              Meanwhile, though I am not a young adult (hold your fire, Editor!), I do lead a solitary life that revolves around Third Order disciplines (SSPX), rather than a community. I do look forward to Mass several times a week (including High Mass on Sundays, where I play and sing), catechism class after Sunday Mass, choir practice, and Compline several evenings a week, but I am not looking for the consolation of a group. I am trying to do penance for a sinful life.

              I imagine it is much more difficult for a young adult to lead such a life, especially in the UK, which seems to be a traditional Catholic desert compared to the USA. Before I became an SSPX Tertiary, I was a Discalced Carmelite Tertiary for about 3 years, until I could no longer stomach their casual NO Masses and superficial catechesis at their monthly meetings…not to mention their occasional visitors from Provincial HQ, who struck me as thinly disguised homosexuals.

              Perhaps there is a Discalced Carmelite group near you that is relatively sane?

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