Friday, May 25, 2012

SSPX Thoughts

I stumbled upon this cartoon yesterday (at this blog):


I’ve never attended Mass at an SSPX chapel.

I don’t claim to know even a fraction of all the intricacies of the SSPX issue.

But I do know that there’s been a lot left to be desired in the fidelity of our shepherds to the true teachings of the Church over the last 50 years.

An article entitled “The USCCB and Pogo” points out that “we have met the enemy and they are us”: our American bishops have, for decades, supported liberal social policies, ignored Canon 915, and left the faithful floundering with an ineffective “voter guide”; so they should not be surprised that at the results we are reaping now.

Of course, many suggest that this is all the fruit of Vatican II. The author of the above-mentioned article states:

…No one can really state that Vatican ll caused the decline of the Catholic Church; however, the fifty years since the end of Vatican ll have been a disaster for the Church. The number of priests has greatly declined even as the population has increased. The religious women have had an even greater decrease in numbers and those who are left have drifted so far from Church teaching they are now not even recognizable as nuns - especially those who sport business suits and mannish haircuts. Catholic schools have closed by the hundreds, and many parents refuse to send their children to those that remain open. Only a handful of Catholic colleges can really be classified as Catholic. After Notre Dame awarded an honorary law degree to Barack Obama it was renamed “Notre Shame” by true Catholics and even some Protestants. There are currently Pro-Homosexual (Pride) Clubs at 107 Catholic Colleges. Bankruptcies have occurred in eight dioceses due to the sexual abuse scandal. And the list goes on and on and on.

The author cites also the destructive “Spirit of Vatican II” that has led to such widespread abuses. He points to Pope John Paul II’s apparent lack of interest in governing the Church, and his inattentiveness to the lack of moral and doctrinal discipline within the Church – even among bishops he had appointed. There’s more…see the article; it’s worth the read.

And so, it all begs the question: how is it that errant heterodox priests and bishops have been allowed to wreak havoc in the Church for the last half century with impunity, while the SSPX – desiring conformity to Church doctrine, and faithfulness to the liturgy – has been condemned?

A friend of mine put it much more colorfully:

I could care less about canonical regularity. What does it matter in this age of confusion? Puppet Masses, Father Light in the Loafers, Father Showtunes, Sister Gaia all are in communion, but the priests, brothers, and sisters of the SSPX and associated orders are not? Silly. I think of the Great Western Schism, three popes, and various groups all "excommunicated", yet there were faithful Catholics and Saints. Go figure.

Personally, I’m thinking that if the SSPX is brought back into the fold – but allowed to maintain every ounce of their orthodoxy – this may be a way for the Church to overcome the abuses perpetrated in the name of Vatican II.

As my friend further noted, the SSPX liturgies are:

No nonsense, no confusion, all Latin, all correct, and most of all, all Catholic!



  1. I'm with your friend. Good post Jay.

  2. Yeah, he definitely has a point, doesn't he?!

  3. Excellent post. God willing the SSPX will come back fully to the fold. Then you WILL get to attend Mass in an SSPX chapel since it will be the closest (only) TLM to where we live.

    Your less than better half :)

  4. A few months back while looking for a local church to attend, I discovered that the one nearest me - 5 minutes' drive at the most - holds a Low Mass in Latin once a month.

    I've attended twice now, because a)it's around the corner and b)the Latin needs to be supported. Oh, and c)I just can't do the NO any more.

    The priest there is formerly SSPX, and a breath of fresh air, and the few parishioners I've spoken to are mighty pleased to have the Latin in their church. It's a very early one, though, and only once a month.

    Ask me in 12 months' time how it's going, because if it's like my regular church (1/2 down the road), the demographics will change noticeably and there will be more Latin.

  5. Your post and the links put it all in a nut shell. Very well put. A note about AB Vlazny, Cardinal Bernardin was his role model. I think that says a lot about his actions today.

  6. Jer(my "less than better half"),if the SSPX is welcomed back into the fold, maybe we will see an expansion of SSPX chapels, and we won't have to travel so far!

    Nilk: interesting how the TLM seems to build on itself, isn't it? Meanwhile, NO parishes shrink. And I am completely with you on how difficult it has become to tolerate the least as it is abused in our neck of the woods.

    Bill: A bishop's lineage can say a lot. I pray that when they laid hands on Bishop Cary, he got only the good stuff!

  7. Well, this made me laugh. Your 'less than better half' is anonymous. Blogs. Bloggers. Catholic bloggers. Gotta love 'em.

    I do like this post. I'm glad you see the deal. I do go to an SSPX chapel. But it took me years. Once I drove almost a thousand miles to an SSPX chapel (I was running away from my awful divorce in Mexico, and had ended up in Puerto Vallarta, where the pastor of the 'cathedral' there was less than--Catholic, how else can I put it, while someone told me about a 'holy mass' in Guadalajara, so far away, across the mountains), and then I stood outside, unable to go in. A toothless old woman held the door open for me, and gestured, and rather regrettably smiled hugely, but I couldn't do it. Later, several years later, when I finally broke down, I found out what a very nice person this woman was, and how very right SSPX is. You just about have to experience it in someplace like Mexico, where the liturgical and spiritual breakdown is really really in your face.

    Well, that's all over for me, I'm pretty safe in Chicago, and I think Fellay is right, but what a huge task before us.

    I think we *all* shall have to be brave and fight like hell, now, inside.

    Very well designed and charitable blog, thank you for the post.


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