Is an SSPX Mass Valid for Our Sunday Obligation?

By | August 16, 2019


Olga Marie, on Facebook Live, asks the
following question: “Can we go to SSPX mass and be valid for our Sunday
obligation?” Right, well, because of their irregular status–although I don’t know
if our inquirer is aware that there’s been more good news concerning
movement toward full communion today; as many of our listeners know, our
Holy Father during the Year of Mercy extended faculties, exercising his
immediate juridical authority, he communicated faculties to hear
confessions to all SSPX priests. That was really remarkable, and
since the Year of Mercy ended, he did not take those away, so they they are yet
extended. This is our Holy Father, he is the priest of mercy. Well, we just–in fact
I was just reading it before I came over here, I didn’t finish reading the whole
letter from from the Vatican on this–but it states that our Holy Father is
encouraging bishops around the world to grant faculties. It’s not a mandate, he’s
not exercising his immediate juridical authority as he did with confession, but
he’s encouraging the Ordinaries to extend faculties, where possible, to the
SSPX to witness marriages. Now it does say in the letter, as I was just reading–
I want to go back and really take it apart after this broadcast–but it did
say that, because of the irregular status, the ordinary witness is a priest
who is validly incardinated into the diocese; but where that is not possible,
where a priest is not available, that sort of thing, he’s encouraging them to
extend faculties to SSPX priests. So it’s not–it’s not like the
confession, but it is extending– encouraging bishops to extend faculties. So
it’s more movement, I think, in a good direction when it comes to… Now, as
far as going to masses…again, because of their irregular status, you know, people
should go to parishes where the priest is incardinated into the diocese. However,
the Church has been, you know, bending over backward for the SSPX and those who
love the traditional mass so that a permission has been given, for those who
love the the Latin mass, to attend those those parishes. So, you know, it’s again a
sign that we’re moving toward–and I think it will be an exciting day, I pray
that that day will come soon, where we will have–will no longer have to talk
about this irregular status any longer; but those who are attending SSPX
masses because they love the Latin liturgy, they are not, you know, dissing
Vatican Council II or anything like that… are not sinning. You know, the Church is
not saying that you’re in sin if you go to those masses. There are other things
that have to be taken into account, though. It doesn’t mean you’re free to
reject all of Vatican II. That’s one of the big sticking points
concerning full communion with the SSPX, you know, they have to acknowledge that
Vatican II is a valid ecumenical council. But I happen to know people who attend
those masses from time to time because they love the traditional liturgy,
they’re not available a lot of times very generously in a particular diocese,
and they’re certainly not in sin. And SSPX, Society of St. Pius the 10th. The 10th,
correct. And why–I–maybe I should know this, but why Pius X? What
about him is… Yeah well, I think it was a priestly fraternity that was started in
France before there was a schismatic act. It was simply a group of seminarians,
later priests–I believe it was seminarians and priests back in about…if
memory serves, about 1972, a number of these young seminarians and such
approached Archbishop Lefebvre, who was retired at the time, and they asked him, because of
the post-Vatican II craziness that was going on, with the promulgation of the
Missala Vermanum, the Mass of Paul VI, as it’s called, and the abuses
that were going on, these folks came to Bishop Lefebvre and said, you know, “We need
you to come out of retirement and help us,” and he did. And at the outset, because
he was not an ordinary, he was a retired bishop, he did not have a diocese,
he had to get permission from the local ordinary to begin the SSPX, which he was
granted. At that time he was in full communion with the Church; they were just
concerned. But–so St. Pius X of course was a reformer bishop
who, you know, wrote wonderful documents, you know, the syllabus of
errors against modernism and so many things, so it was–a pope like that
was a perfect fit for them. But what happened was, they started to go extreme,
pretty early on, to the point where they ordained some priests illicitly, Pope
Paul VI got involved; that was not excommunicable, but it was a grave sin.
But then what ends up happening is there’s back and forth between Paul VI and the SSPX, they were suspended “a divinis,” that is, their faculties were
removed, and they continued in disobedience, and this back and forth went on until
Pope Paul VI died in 1978. John Paul picked it up–and really wanted to
have a reunion–he picked up the dialogue, Cardinal Ratzinger, of course, involved
when he became Prefect of the CDF. But unfortunately, it took a bad turn
in 1988, when the SSPX ordained four– or, Bishop Lefebvre, he ordained four bishops
illicitly, and that is matter of excommunication, automatically, latae sententiae, and so that started–but the amazing thing is, I mean, you really
sympathize with the SSPX and the craziness that was going on and such; but
you also see in this whole thing how the Popes have reached out and continued to
reach out. John Paul–he was forced, I mean, he didn’t do anything. He simply
declared what Canon law already stated: that was a latae sententiae excommunication;
but the dialogues immediately were started. John Paul established the
Ecclesia Dei, which was a–its specific task was to be the mediator to try and get
the SSPX back. And now here we are, you know, there’s been lots of trials and
failures and semi-successes and such, and now it’s Pope Francis–some
might think the most unlikely candidate– is the one who really seems to be moving
the ball forward like none other. So anyway, that’s just a brief thumbnail
sketch.

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