August 23, 2015

A Commentary On The SSPX

Recently, the Catholic world found itself amid another of the 24-hour-news-cycles concerning the SSPX, creating a mini-whirlwind of sorts. <yawn> <yawn>.  While around us the Church Militant (not the TV branch) seems to be sinking into the cesspool of the "good-news-for-modern-man" meme, the SSPXometer has once again swung wildly, from dial-left  (" the schismatic existence of the SSPX...") to dial-right ("there are no weighty deny...the SSPX...official canonical recognition") to dial-center ("...the situation of separation came about, even if it was not a formal schism.")

Is there any wonder there is so much confusion over the SSPX "can you/can't you" question? 

There's no confusion, really. Rome has already spoken on the matter numerous times. Simply stated in its most current form: it is permissible to attend Tridentine Masses offered by SSPX priests and your Sunday obligation is fulfilled. The Faithful cannot, however, hold a sedevacantist attitude (which the SSPX most certainly does not.) Regardless, they still recommend that everyone stay away, as their concern is the possibility that one may become a sedevacantist if they frequent an SSPX chapel too much. How much is too much? Don't ask me....I've been at it for 30 years and still pray for my local diocesan bishop and current Pope. Personally, I've never met anyone at a SSPX chapel that held a sedevacantist view, anymore than I have at the Novus Ordo Masses I have attended with my sons. I guess in both instances, they keep themselves well hidden while still waiting for THE ONE to show up and set the Catholic world aright, as they have been since the late 50's, give or take a few years. 

Which leads me to wonder: does anyone know how many Catholics may have become protestant-ized by frequenting the Novus Ordo Missae, because they eventually came to disbelieve in the True Presence? Just asking, though you can watch this video and understand why I posed the question.

Rome has explicitly said that SSPX Masses are valid as are the ordinations of the priests, though they also say they remain illicit, though I cannot understand why. Yes, I know a priest must have faculties approved by the Bishop, but Rome herself does so much and allows so much that can be seen to be illicit: the Religious gatherings at Assisi; the promotion and the reception of Holy Communion to adulterers; priests promoting heresy, etc. Is something only illicit when it hasn't previously been confirmed by Rome? And if Bishops can ignore 7 Canon Laws that mandate the reconciliation of separated spouses, can they not also ignore the one that mandates priestly faculties as well? What's the difference? Why unjustly enforce the one while also unjustly ignoring the seven??

Regardless, why does everyone keep bringing up the schism charge? Why do they insist on ignoring what Rome has repeatedly said? Why do they insist on putting unfounded fear and misplaced scruples in front of Catholic Faithful? If a Catholic truly wants to attend a Mass offered at a SSPX chapel and Rome has said they can, why put the fear of a non-existent schism in front of them? Aren't we all going to Heaven anyway via Universal Salvation? If Protestants are now our separated brethren worthy of Heaven without conversion; if they are getting to heaven anyway despite being sunk above their heads in heresy; if attending religious functions that promote heresy (Assisi) is all good and holy - then why does a Catholic assisting at a Tridentine Mass said by a validly ordained SSPX priest, or, sending their children to a SSPX school (EGAD!), or, going to confession or getting married before a SSPX priest (HORROR!!) so very, very wrong? Just because they resist certain errors in Vatican II documents (ecumenism) that go against Our Lord's own words? Just because they won't sign a preamble that forces them to compromise their Catholic Faith of the last 2,000 years? 

Someone please explain this to me. But while you attempt the impossible, remember that Rome herself is so very fluffly-wuffly about what is/is not allowed; what Canon Laws are/are not enforced; about which is/is not the One True Religion. It's going to be hard to convince anyone - let alone me - that the SSPX is in error, when all they are doing is what was done before Vatican II. And someone tell me which document(s) of Vatican II abrogated all teaching and thinking of preconcillar times and put it all on some forbidden index list anyway? And most importantly, which document(s) of Vatican II mandated that all Catholics must adhere to all thinking, thought and doctrine emanating therefrom, without question!, even though some go against all that was taught by Our Lord and preconcillar teaching? 

When did we Catholics become mindless robots and/or borgs loyal only to a Collective, and not to Our Lord Jesus Christ? When did we loose our ability for reasoned, Catholic thought? If we reason that a modern teaching most definitely goes against the very words of Our Lord or the 2,000 years of preconcillar teaching, why accept it benignly, without a fight, without a resistance?

No...I am not advocating that Rome has lost the Faith and no longer need be followed. Far from it. But she has, perhaps, lost the ability to think clearly and Catholic. And perhaps by doing so, put many Souls in jeopardy if such a Soul now believes all religions are as good as the Catholic religion; that practicing Sodomites can achieve Heaven without abstinence, confession and reparation; or that an adulterous marriage can somehow be made good and holy. And if this is what the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is now promoting - or about to, anyway - then as I said above, why does anyone need to remain Catholic in order to save their Soul and dwell in Paradise with Our Lord for all eternity? By current standards, even the apostate Martin Luther is now in Heaven (or soon will be in 2017, anyway).

The always excellent Mundabor's Blog has an equally excellent post today that offers a far better explanation of things SSPX and places it all in a particular Catholic historical perspective. I recommend you follow the link to the article (patronize frequently his blog as well.) He admittedly is not an attendee of SSPX Masses, which makes his posts concerning them all the more insightful and invaluable to Catholics world-wide. He also offers no better reminder of what is needed for the proper Catholic frame of mind in this matter than this quote posted on every page of his blog:

"What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.

We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.

We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now". (Robert DePiante)

Lest anyone has failed to understand from reading this pea-in-the-Pacific of Catholic blogs, I attend Tridentine Masses offered by SSPX priests and have been for almost 30 years. I was married before an SSPX priest and my children all attended schools staffed by SSPX Priests and nuns - and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, were it possible. 

Robert DePiante also wrote,  in Vol. 12, No.2 of his Catholic Voice newspaper, a fitting end to this post. Though not explicitly said within the below quote, I believe he was referring to the SSPX (whom he had referenced earlier in his article):

"Oddly enough, the traditional churches and chapels are operated by priests whom the local modernist bishop will label as "disobedient" and/or "schismatic." Yet, these priests are men who, after long prayer and reflection, have chosen to obey God and the vows made to Him at ordination rather than follow his brother priests and bishops into error. The charge of disobedience does not apply here according to the Scripture principle: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts of the Apostles 5:29).

Yes, there is a greater awareness of the basic faith that comes to us from the Tridentine Latin Mass. Clergy and faithful alike are finding peace of soul and satisfaction of heart through the traditional Mass, and we can be sure that there are more where they came from. Let us pray that increasing numbers will join us in this cause for the return of the Tridentine Mass and that they will refuse to give it up, even if it means attending this Mass under less than ideal situations. In the end, God will see us through."

Indeed, God - and Catholic Reason - will see us through. What is now, will eventually return to what was. 

Instaurare Omnia in Christo...

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