Sunday, May 31, 2009

The SSPX and One's Sunday Obligation
Recently, I became involved in a discussion with a reader of the Cave regarding one's Sunday obligation and attending a SSPX chapel. It amazes me that so many folks still think that a Sunday Mass at a SSPX chapel will lead one straight to Hell!
A basic search of documents on the web from Rome (Ecclesia Dei, etc) would answer the “Sunday Obligation” question very quickly. However, I will save you the trouble by highlighting a few key areas:
The first significant event following the 1988 consecrations of the four bishops was the case which became known as "the Hawaii Six" (1991-1994): six lay men and women who had a radio show deeply critical of the Diocese of Honolulu and its leadership and who helped fund and build a SSPX chapel in Hawaii. The bishop of Honolulu excommunicated these Catholics for the crime of schism (by having a SSPX bishop confirm their children). Then-Cardinal Ratzinger, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had to intervene and nullify the excommunications, much to the embarrassment of the Honolulu bishop.
From the March 31, 2007, issue of The Remnant
Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos has repeatedly affirmed that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is not a case of formal schism on at least five separate occasions in public interviews, as recently as March 17, 2007, and over the past 2-1/2 years. Msgr. Camille Perl, long-time secretary for the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED), has repeatedly affirmed in personal letters that such Catholics incur no penalty and no sin for merely fulfilling one's Sunday obligation at a church or chapel served by the SSPX.
"In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X."
On January 8, 2003, the Vatican's Ecclesia Dei Commission, in response to someone who asked about attending chapels of the Society of Saint Pius X founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, wrote in a letter that:
1) Attending the Society of Saint Pius X chapels fulfills the Catholic's Sunday obligation,
2) That Catholics are permitted to make financial contributions to the Society of Saint Pius X.
The fact remains that the lay faithful who attend SSPX masses to fulfill their Sunday obligation are not sinning nor incurring any canonical penalty by doing so.
Seeing that the Old Mass has been freed, the excommunications have been lifted, and that Rome and the SSPX have agreed to go into doctrinal discussions regarding the Second Vatican Council, do you still believe that my family and I are in grave sin by attending Sunday Mass at a SSPX chapel?

6 Comments:

Blogger TCN said...

"Seeing that the Old Mass has been freed..."

then why do you persist in going there? If it's available from priests who are clearly in obedience to B16, why go to priests who think the Pope is suspect?

Just an honest question.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Al said...

"Seeing that the Old Mass has been freed, the excommunications have been lifted, and that Rome and the SSPX have agreed to go into doctrinal discussions regarding the Second Vatican Council," . . . . .
At this point, I see no reason why you can't attend Sunday Mass at a SSPX chapel & fullfill your obligation.

12:17 AM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

I have no problem with attending an SSPX Mass. I just won't go to confession there until their status is regularized. The SSPX Mass is very beautiful and reverent. All the SPX priests I know are very approachable, give great spiritual direction and seem to be very holy.

I have several family members who are SSPX, so I do get the opportunity to go there several times a year. My regular parish is that of the FSSP.

12:26 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

TCN,
When the only available TLM is celebrated by the SSPX, one has no choice.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

This is not quite the same thing, but a Catholic is permitted to attend Mass at an Eastern Orthodox church , which ARE in schism from Rome, if that is one's ONLY opportunity to fulfill his/here Sunday obligation.

(Of course, it would be great if 75% of Catholics in America would fulfill their Sunday Mass OBLIGATION anywhere!!)

7:19 AM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

This is still a controversial issue, unfortunately. When I was a youngster and serving the Mass of the Ages, never in my wildest imagination could I ever have predicted that the Latin Mass would be a subject of such controversy.

Satan is in our midst and authoring such confusion.

4:45 PM  

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