Why Do Some Catholics Still Question Role of the SSPX as Crisis Continues? 

Consider…

Some weeks ago, a reader from a far-flung part of the world, emailed to ask for my help in responding to critics of the SSPX . It surprises me that there are still Catholics out there who are living through the utter chaos in both the Church and the world, and yet do not recognise the role of the SSPX in the Church at this time.   

The above short video gives a very basic background to the work of the Society, and hopefully bloggers will be able to offer answers (in the comments below) to those critics who, astonishingly, continue to see the SSPX as somehow a “problem”.  This thread, then, is offered as (I hope) a useful response to that “far-flung” correspondent, who is probably thinking that I’ve forgotten all about her request.  I mean, would I? 😀  

Below, two short videos which explain why Catholics should not attend the new Mass.

Part I …

Part 2 …

Comments invited…

37 responses

  1. I think even people who don’t feel right themselves going to an SSPX Mass, do know that they’re not in schism and that it is acceptable to attend. It’s just that for most people, they prefer to go with the crowd – it’s exactly the same as with Covid. Even those who believe the virus is just a tool to control us, still obey the government rules. It’s human nature, in other words.

    • Josephine,

      Very good points. You could well be right – I certainly think that less and less people are troubled by the claims that the SSPX is in schism. Hearing reports of what Pope Francis is saying and doing has, I believe, helped to knock sense into the remaining papolatrists. Notice, the papolatrists who once tormented the life out of us, have given up. In so many ways, Francis has been a real asset to the pursuit of traditionalism! Say no more!

  2. As most modern Catholics have a very poor formation, they tend to understand the Catholic faith as being “whatever Father / Bishop / Pope XYZ says it is”. So they do not consider the role of the SSPX objectively in terms of the fight for the faith (indeed they are fundamentally not equipped to make such a consideration).

    Additionally, I find that as more parts of the Church “wake up” to the need to fight, some of these (especially media outlets) want to portray themselves as being leaders, not followers, in this sense. And so they dismiss the role of +Lefebvre and his SSPX and spread negative propaganda about them.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I agree about the poor formation, definitely.

      It does seem that more people were coming round to seeing that the SSPX had an important role to play after VII.

      I think now, though, with the closure of churches, including SSPX, and the support of the Church authorities and the SSPX for the abortion-compromised Covid vaccines, all this has contributed to the weakening of the faith all over. There won’t be the same resistance to the SSPX after this, IMHO.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      You are so right – the very concept of “fighting for the Faith” is a foreign language to contemporary Catholics, including those preparing for Confirmation! Allow me to underline the point by noting that those preparing for Confirmation won’t get the joke!

  3. As I have said many times I thank this Holy Catholic Site for leading me back to the Mass of Ages to the Real Mass of which I will most certainly attend again once our Churches are open God Spare. I am also 100% sure that had the Mass not been changed to suit Protestants that our Churches would not have closed. Even going back to the 60s when the New Mass was brought in bit by bit I could feel then that something just wasn’t right. Now some of Our Priests who would rather say The TLMASS all of the time are having much more thought than before. Thank God . I don’t want to say to much as I wouldn’t want our Good Priest to be reported to the Bishop ,as ones already within my Parish have expressed let’s just say concern of Our Priest giving The Holy Eucharist on The Tongue. Of course these are the good upstanding Catholics of whom av spoken to who would never attend a TLMASS. How do I know, because they have told me so . And yes ED they even see that our Priest offering the TLMASS is a problem to them . Why a problem. Of that they haven’t told me . The only thing I can see of a Catholic having a problem with the SSPX is it’s just too Catholic for them. Really is their any other reason ?

    • FOOF,

      There you go again, thanking “this holy Catholic site” … No mention of the “holy Catholic editor”. I’m wounded…

      Only kidding… I know you like a joke so here’s something to make you smile…

  4. I’m actually surprised that there is anybody still questioning the SSPX. That’s interesting. I don’t know anybody who still does that, in fact I know people who have attended who used to call “schism” at every turn, but not any more.

    One thing that bothers me, though, is that there are still SSPX people who won’t attend the Summorum Pontificum parishes as if those priests are second class citizens. Has anyone else found that? I’m curious to know how they could justify that.

    • MM,

      Yes, there are SSPX people who are reluctant to attend Summorum Pontificum parishes but it’s not because they disapprove of the priests – no, I’ve never heard anyone suggest that they are “second class citizens.” Far from it. The main criticism I’ve heard is from parents of young children who want to protect them from becoming involved in the diocese, possibly striking up friendships with young Catholics who are raised in the parishes and who are, to a greater or lesser extent, tainted with modernism. Also, they want to avoid the trappings of the diocese such as bulletins containing details of ecumenical / interfaith events, the “Catholic” newspapers on sale, that sort of thing. It’s a difficult balance to strike, between protecting offspring and preparing them to encounter modernism.

      • Editor,

        I wonder about TLM’s said in NO churches (as is the case where I live) and the possibility of sacrilege in those that are not known, such as an occurrence of some demonic action (would communion in the hand, women lectors etc be considered demonic?) that could warrant an exorcism and rededication of said churches before a TLM can again be offered. This situation would be highly unlikely in SSPX and FSSP chapels/churches.

        So a question if I may – given possible sacrileges and desecrations, if the only available TLM for you to attend was in a NO church, would you go to that one?

  5. M .Mary am not a Fan ( if that is the correct word ) of online Masses but today, in fact av just finished watching Holy Mass and Rosary on EWTN from a Beautiful Chapel in Alabama .The Mass although Novus Ordo had much Latin in it and I would say that 90% of the congregation who received The Eucharist received it kneeling down and on The Tongue .I was very surprised actually .Of course I know that once or maybe I should say IF these restrictions on our Churches are lifted, it most certainly doesn’t fulfil a Sunday or a Holiday of Obligation, and that is the question or maybe fear . On your second opinion I am a inclined to agree with you .

    • Faith of our Fathers,

      There’s a priest in Glasgow who says the novus ordo in Latin and facing the Tabernacle but it’s the same New Mass, so it wouldn’t make me want to attend it instead of the TLM or even the Byzantine rite. I don’t care about the “said with reverence” etc. It’s the Bugnini Mass and it doesn’t matter what language it’s in, it’s the same new Mass.

      I admire you for having the patience to watch it on TV. You are obviously a saint, LOL!

      • Maybe am wrong on this and am willing to get the Belt off of the ED ,but am sure She scolded someone a couple of years back when they told someone who told someone else not to attend the Novus Ordo Mass on Sunday. This particular person couldn’t get to a TLMass so they had to Fulfil their Sunday obligation .BTW thanks for the Sainthood .I don’t wish to get into a Biblical argument here as I prefer the TLMass but when Jesus sent out His Disciples to heal the Sick Etc . Some came back to him and said ” Master we seen others casting out Demons in your name should we stop them ” am sure like me you know his reply ” No for whoever is for Me is not against Me “.

        • FOOF

          I certainly would never “tell” anyone not to attend the Novus Ordo but I would never recommend it. I would explain what the priest in the videos above has explained (albeit not so well) but always the decision has to be left with the person, acting in good conscience.

          People, however, who KNOW that the NO is injurious to the Faith and continue to attend it are a puzzle.

          Very recently, I found myself in conversation with a lovely Catholic who attends both the NO and the TLM. She is attached to her NO parish and so she attends both the NO and the TLM – receiving Communion at the NO (which is the first Mass she attends). I forgot to ask if she receives again at the TLM. I have an awful feeling that the rules changed some years ago to permit reception of Holy Communion twice in the same day.

          Now, that I cannot understand. If, as I have said here many times, the novus ordo is acceptable to God, then there is no issue. It’s not about what we, as individuals prefer, how “we” like to “worship”. Nope. It’s about how God wants to be worshipped.”

          The Old Testament is filled with evidence that God disdains false worship and wishes only true worship.

          It is because we have a duty to offer Him true worship, that we attend the TLM. The new Mass is offensive to God and it doesn’t matter how “reverently” a priest thinks he is celebrating it – it’s not what God wants.

          It’s like continuing to present your wife with YOUR favourite chocolates and flowers for her birthday and other special occasions, instead of HER favourite chocolates and flowers. She’ll smile weakly and say “thanks” but it’s not the same…

          I could say much more but this is the period of fasting, abstinence and mercy. I’m signing off now… in mercy 😀

          • Merciful Ed and JD/alias FOOF,

            Not to pile on, but the Novus Ordo was designed by a Satanist as a Trojan Horse to destroy the Church from within. It was also specifically designed to avoid offending heretics (Protestants) – i.e. an early example of political correctness!

            If that abomination is pleasing to God, then I’m a born and raised Scot…

            Another thing to keep in mind: Satan, until recently, never reveals his full hand. The hand he reveals is evil disguised as good – and that’s a perfect description of the Novus Ordo, as far as I’m concerned. The NO in Latin, as many have pointed out, is nothing but lipstick on a pig.

            I say “until recently,” because The Great Reset and its assorted Chicom-implemented goals are now in full view. No longer any attempt to disguise the true and sinister nature of their globalist agenda.

            Likewise, this pontificate is the “religious” version of The Great Reset, with a Pope whose both feet are in the camp of the enemy. No longer any attempt to disguise their intended destruction of the Church, either.

  6. There is a new directive from the Vatican Secretary of State – cancels private Masses and ALL Traditional Latin Masses inside the main Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome.

    https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/5310-vatican-joins-cancel-culture-the-remnant-offers-1000-reward-to-first-priest-who-breaks-new-vatican-law

    Is this with approval of Pope Francis? That is a question I cannot answer, but I have to presume that it may well be. In this day and age reducing in particular the Tridentine Mass is so terrible, God helps us everyone.

    • Theresa Rose,

      You do wonder what else this Vatican and pope can do to undermine the Church. It’s getting beyond the pale.

  7. I’d like to ask something that I don’t think I’ve seen covered here.

    Is there a good rate of young people keeping practising the faith in families who attend the SSPX?

    I imagine there will be but it would be good to know the facts.

    • Fidelis,

      You’ve asked a very interesting – and important – question.

      I’ve no idea of the overall statistics, but I have noticed over the years that when some of the youngsters reach the teenage and young adult years, they’re nowhere to be seen…

      Now, obviously, some will be living and working away from home, but I know there are certainly some who have lapsed and that is very sad but, sorry to say, entirely predictable.

      There are two problems within the so-called “traditional” communities.

      Firstly, there is a determined effort on the part of parents (rightly) to protect their children from being tainted with modernism and other bad influences, so they tend to be kept away from others, even sometimes those families attending Summorum Pontificum Masses. I touched on this above somewhere. And that is fine in the childhood years, until they know the Faith as well as possible for their age and maturity – maturity not being associated with age, necessarily. Remember, St Therese of Lisieux knew that she loved God and wanted to serve Him always, at the ripe old age of 3 years. So, this “protection” can be something of a problem – in my view – unless it is accompanied by preparation – i.e. having been taught the Faith in such a way that they are prepared to explain it to others and to recognise errors at their own ability level, when socialising with peers.

      Secondly, and closely related, there is another key problem within the “traditional” communities in that the priests tend to preach AS IF they are preaching to “the converted”. They assume that we “get it” – they assume that we have more knowledge and understanding that we actually possess, simply because we are there in front of them, we’ve come to the TLM and that in an SSPX church. Bingo! This is very far from being the case.

      I grew up in a parish where the priests assumed nothing. Or, more likely, they assumed the worst! We received hard-hitting sermons which left us in no doubt about our eternal damnation destination unless we reformed our lives and began to live the Faith properly, spreading it, showing good example, whether we were at school, at work or socialising with friends. We had to know and love the Faith and spread it where possible. Regular Confession, Mass etc. All delivered with strong conviction.

      I lived through the Humanae Vitae controversy as a young person, and our priests – all three of them – did not miss and hit the wall. Some people got up and walked out, but that did not deter them. One of the curates once thundered: Sin if you want to, but don’t try to justify it!

      There’s no “thundering” now… anywhere. The chatty homily has replaced sermons .. everywhere.

      I appreciate that priests are often trying to be “pastoral” and don’t want to appear to be pointing the finger at anyone but they need to point the finger. That’s their vocation.

      Anyway, I’m convinced that young people are often weak in the Faith because of the change in the style and content of preaching over the past fifty years and it affects the “traditional” churches as much as it affects diocesan parishes.

      I went looking just now for something to use as an example of preaching with conviction, on YouTube – can’t find anything. However, I found a typical – massive – error in one clip. It is an American priest preaching, very confidently, and in just his first two sentences, he does untold damage to any young person listening. Let me explain.

      His sermon is entitled “Rules Vs Relationship” and I groaned. Red alert, immediately. Here we go. The classic “with it” opening. This is what he said, slowly and dramatically… This is the hallmark of good preaching today – the dramatic effect, not the content of the drama…

      God does not want you to obey laws. God doesn’t want you to follow rules. Let me say that again. God does not want you to obey laws. God doesn’t want you to follow rules.

      Father then went on to say that atheists and Muslims are moral people, keep the rules etc. At that point I switched off, because nobody needs to be a genius to see where he is leading his poor flock. God wants us to have a relationship with Him, blah blah. Then, eventually, we’ll get to the “so, it’s good to keep the rules”.

      Now, in the length of time it took that priest to say those two sentences (God doesn’t want you to obey laws etc) – in the space of that time, any young people in the congregation will have been – more likely than not – lost.

      As an aside, at the very least, the poor parents will struggle with the “obedience” thing for the next week because they’ll be told that “God doesn’t want us to obey rules…”

      It’s an elementary failure to grasp some key facts about young people which leads priests to preach like this, keen to show that they are “with it”, that they can keep the interest of the young, when, the truth is, they can’t. The young need to be enthused, they need to know that God DOES want them to obey His Law and the “rules” – and I have no doubt, as I’ve already said, that Father will have got there by the end of his 20 minute homily but by then, sorry, it’s too late.

      This post has gone on longer than I intended, and I was interrupted by a phone call half-way through, so I need to leave that thought hanging, as I’m called to greater things, right now 😀 However, if anyone wishes to challenge my assertion – “it’s too late” – feel free.

      So that the clergy reading this don’t get too dispirited, though, we have to acknowledge that sometimes we just have to accept that youngsters are “born that way” – here’s a new baby less than a week in this world, and already looking bored out of his mind…

      • Editor & Fidelis,

        Very interesting thoughts. I can’t guarantee mine will be as interesting, but as Editor might say, at least I’m assertive…

        My experience with SSPX priests was that the vast majority of them were not very good teachers or preachers. On the other hand, SSPX bookstores seem to be generally very well stocked with excellent catechetical, historical and apologetic materials. The impression I was left with was that the faithful were pretty much left to their own devices to educate themselves, which many of them did (judging by the booming business going on in the bookstore after Masses). So perhaps the question is, how well are they educating themselves and their children, given the lack of “thunder” from the pulpit?

        I’d say “thunder” has not been replaced with “pastoral” among their clergy, but perhaps by lack of depth.

        One other thing comes to mind: I’m still making my way through The Soul of the Apostolate, bit by bit, and the main point appears to be that if the priest does not cultivate an intense inner life, then his apostolate will be fruitless on the level that really matters. He may have all sorts of activities and large groups, but there will be no lasting power if he himself does not radiate holiness, and the virtues that go with it.

        In your experience, has the inner life of the SSPX priests you’ve known been manifest?

        • RCA Victor,

          It is THE classic mistake of recent years, that it is up to the parents to provide the children’s religious education. Just imagine the outcry if parents were told that it was their responsibility to teach English and Maths, never mind Science and History!

          Even the modernist Cardinal Winning RIP (Glasgow) told a Head Teachers’ meeting on one occasion that blaming parents for the lapsation of the young doesn’t hold water, since there have been at least three generations now who have been adversely affected by the poor religious teaching in Catholic schools. Not having had the Faith passed on to them, they can hardly be held responsible for passing it on to anyone else, including their own children.

          Of course, the “deal” has always been that Catholic education comprises the home, parish and school. Parents are the primary educators of their children and they only “delegate” some responsibility to others as they see fit. Traditionally, this has always meant that the home, parish and school collaborate in the raising of children in the Faith. Preaching and teaching have always been understood to be key components in the religious education of Catholic children. Now, with parents having received almost no Catholic education, and priests and teachers similarly impoverished (thank you Vatican II) there’s nowhere else to go but those bookstores.

          However, as one parent said to me a while back – and this is a crucially important point which applies to all children, but especially teenagers – it makes all the difference in the world if young people hear priests speaking about the important spiritual, religious and moral issues which they need to understand in order to apply the Faith and practise it in their lives; if it’s only “mum and dad” then that can be written off. Parents need the support from adult Catholics outside the home, and preachers and teachers are those identified by the Church as the key people to support parents in passing on the Faith to their offspring.

          As for your final question – I quote a young mother who said to me a while back that she was disappointed that, having fed her children with solid spiritual reading, including the lives of various great priest saints, she has yet to encounter one in real life who lives up to the classic image of a holy priest. Now, obviously, none of us can judge the soul of anyone, including priests, but I throw that out there because it is sad that – in that case anyway – a mother feels disappointed that her several children are not, apparently, witnessing the quality of priest that they are reading about at home.

          Having said all that, we know that there are priests who are doing their best, and who make real sacrifices to provide us with the sacraments at this time of terrible trial in the Church. We do appreciate that – no question about it.

        • They might be uninspired preachers, but they are safe. There is security in blandness. Some diocesan traditional-minded clergy are prone to mystical excesses and preach too much about private revelations and obscure devotions, and even weirder territory. (See my comment below regarding the sermons of Fr C Ripperger)

          • Miles Immaculatae,

            It’s hardly “safe” preaching if it is not keeping young people in the Church. They won’t remain in the Church if they do not know why they should.

            I don’t know what you mean by “mystical excesses” – sounds dodgy – and so I wouldn’t know (and haven’t heard of) any such “dodgy” priests.

            If you refer to preaching about Fatima, that’s not a private revelation. Can’t remember the last time I heard Fatima mentioned in a sermon – astonishingly, given that it is coming true before our very eyes.

            • Editor,

              I know the SSPX parishioners here in the Antipodes must be very fortunate in that they have had quite a few sermons relating to Fatima, particularly by a very good and devout prior here who loves Our Lady and brooks no criticism of the message of Fatima.

              Also, the wonderful FSSP parish priest here also preaches not only on Fatima but of Mary of Agreda and others. So we are blessed in having a great lot of priests, at least for the time being although now that the Vatican has cracked down on the TLM, goodness knows long the FSSP will last here. If it happens that they will no longer be able to say the TLM then the SSPX will have to build more chapels!

              • Warydoom,

                I’ve heard that the SSPX in the Great Britain district preach about Fatima, too, so it maybe depends on the priest.

                I didn’t know that the Vatican has cracked down on the TLM. I must try to find out more about that – it wouldn’t surprise me though, nothing about the Vatican surprises me any more.

                • Sorry Nicky, I should have been more specific.

                  The Vatican is not allowing TLMs to be said in St Peters. Below is a link to the latest Remnant Video on this, and more.

  8. Whilst checking out Theresa Rose’s Remnant link, I noticed a new interview Abp. Vigano, which contains a very frank and precise (and uncomplimentary) sketch of the Ratzinger – Benedict years and approach, along with his usual devastating analyses of Vatican II.

    What surprised me, though, was his failure to answer a direct question put to him about the SSPX and the similarity of his perspective with theirs:

    https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/fetzen-fliegen/item/5311-radio-spada-the-archbishop-vigano-interview

    • RCA Victor,

      That’s interesting – I must check that out asap. I know that Bishop Schneider supports the position of the SSPX and I suppose I’ve assumed the same of Archbishop Vigano… But we live in very strange times.

    • RCA Victor,

      I’ve now read that interview, and I take it you are referring to the following exchange:

      Radio Spada: In some articles that appeared on CatholicFamilyNews.com it was noted that your position on the situation of the Church is close to that of Archbishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, one of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre. From the same source was reported a sentence by you according to which Archbishop Lefevbre himself would be an exemplary confessor of the Faith. Also, in the light of your firm criticism of Vatican II and, on the other hand, of your non-adherence to sedevacantism, it would seem that the approach you promote is very close to that of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. Can you tell us something about it?

      Archbishop Viganò: From many parts of the Catholic world, especially in the conservative milieux, we hear it said that Benedict XVI is the “true Pope” and that Bergoglio is an “antipope.” This opinion is based, on the one hand, on the belief that his Renunciation is invalid (due to the way it was formulated, due to pressure exerted by external forces or the distinction between munus and papal ministerium [ministry]) and, on the other hand, on the fact that a group of progressive Cardinals are said to have tried to have their own candidate elected at the Conclave of 2013, in violation of the norms of the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis of John Paul II. Beyond the plausibility of these arguments, which if confirmed could invalidate Bergoglio’s election, this problem can only be solved by the Supreme Authority of the Church, when Providence deigns to put an end to this situation of very serious confusion. End of Extract.

      I don’t read that as a denial of the similarity of his position to that of the SSPX (not that you suggested that) because I think – as tends to happen in interviews – he’s just focused on that part of the question relating to sedevacantism/questions hanging over the 2013 conclave… I think he would believe that his sympathy for the SSPX is made clear both in the question posed and in his response, which does not discount the SSPX in any way.

      If you (or others) think I’m misreading the above, please let me know…I won’t mind… Honest.

      • Editor,

        You make a good point – well, since you confirmed that I didn’t say +Vigano denied the similarity of his position to the SSPX, I suppose that’s TWO good points – namely, that there were too many questions posed as one question by the questioner, asking his questions in a questionable manner…

        However, since you persist in driving on the wrong side of the road, I think I still have the edge in this debate…. 🙂

        • RCA Victor,

          You put THAT much better than I – very concisely “”there were too many questions posed as one question…” Correct.

          In fact, that is something that I notice all the time about TV interviewers – they pose questions that are a million times too long. Indeed, by the time the question is finished, all that’s left is a “yes” or “no” answer 😀

          I find myself telling the interviewer to “leave it there” – “you’ve said enough – shut up!

          We’ve been planning a video interview with A.N. Other for quite some time now and I am .determined not to make that mistake. So, watch this space!

          As for my driving – don’t ask…

  9. I have noticed that diocesan trads tend to be weirder and more extreme than those at FSSPX Mass centres, even though the latter is (wrongly) accused of being a fanatical faction. I stopped listening to Fr Chad Ripperger of the FSSP because of the nonsense he was coming out with, e.g. ‘generational spirits’, which an SSPX priest told me is theological rubbish and a novelty originating from the ‘charismatic’ sect. Fr Ripperger claims the demon Leviathan is the cause of Lesbianism and he has made other bizarre comments. The Church has never taught these things. If these are things which have been privately revealed to him, then he should keep these private revelations to himself.

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      That does sound bizarre – all of it. And I know what you mean about wishing he would keep such private revelations to himself. I was just thinking the same thing about The Guardian just now – I couldn’t bear the thought of reading the report but the headline reveals that Thornton’s (chocolate Company) is to close ALL 600 UK shops.

      I’m devastated – they might have had the decency to wait until after Easter to make such an unconscionable announcement… And during a health emergency too. Everybody knows that a good dose of chocolate is a cure for just about everything! I’m appalled… 😀

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