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Q: “Can I go to Mass at an SSPX chapel?”
What Does the Prayer Really Say ^ | August 7, 2007 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Posted on 08/08/2007 8:39:26 AM PDT by Frank Sheed

Q: “Can I go to Mass at an SSPX chapel?”

CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULUM — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 8:21 pm

I got a question via e-mail:


If, on a given day, I have access to Mass at a Novus Ordo Church, but am attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, assuming I have no access to a Mass offered by an incardinated priest, can I (for my spiritual benefit) assist at an SSPX chapel even though the priest is suspended a divinis?

Here is my position.  Yes, and no.  That is not a waffle.  I make some distinctions.


Let’s be clear about something. If you attend Mass at an SSPX or other chapel not in union with the Holy See and the local bishop, you can fulfill your Sunday or Holy Day obligation.  The consecration is valid, though illicit.

There are situations in which people don’t have access to a Catholic priest in good standing for the sacraments. One obstacle can be physical distance: it would be unreasonably difficult to travel to a place where Mass is offered licitly. Another obstacle might be, though this is a little fuzzier, moral: the way Mass is celebrated is so bad that you truly can’t stand it, or there is some personal reason why going to that church would be too painful, and so forth. In that case, for one’s spiritual good, going to another place and even receiving Communion might have some justification.


I want to be clear: I won’t recommend going to a chapel of a group not recognized by the bishop or Holy See. I won’t say that, under normal circumstances, a person should seek sacraments from a priest not in good standing.  At the same time, to say a person who otherwise could never participate at the older Mass he deeply longs for must never darken the door of an illicit chapel is just plain wrong.   I know there have been some discussions about this lately in the blogosphere and one prominent priest is taking a very hard position on this issue.  This is an old question, however.


My solution would be that you could attend even an illicit Mass, though I would hope with some restraint, but that you should not receive Communion.  You should receive at your normal parish, if you are not impeded from going there for serious reasons, even moral reasons.  Also, you are obliged to support financially your legitimate parish and the legitimate clergy in good standing.  That is a commandment of the Church.  The obligation of financial support does not extend to a chapel not in union with the bishop and Holy See, even though helping an impoverished suspended priest could be wonderful an act of mercy (have done that myself on occasion): that work of mercy does fulfill one’s duty to support the real parish.


I repeat: If it is simply a matter that you prefer the older Mass to the newer, but in all honesty the newer Mass is being celebrated as it ought to be, then I think you should receive Communion at your normal parish and not at an illicit chapel, even if you even regularly attend the older Mass there. I am not saying don’t go to those older Masses. I simply think that under normal circumstances one should stick to the legitimate parish and receive Communion there. Even if the Novus Ordo Mass is just tolerable, one should rather receive Communion there rather than in a place not in unity with the bishop and Holy See. If you don’t really have to go to that illicit chapel, then don’t go. If you do, then exercise important restraint.


Our personal preferences are important, and we do have the right to a Mass celebrated as it ought to be and with reverence.  The importance of ecclesial unity, however, is also very important.  The legality of the Mass must be a factor in your decision.  I would also suggest that suffering in this matter can have spiritual benefits.  You know the old phrase: "Offer it up."


In any of these cases in which one decides to attend an illicit chapel, I think one’s conscience had better be pretty clear. "I want it my way or not at all!" is not a good approach.  God cannot be fooled.



TOPICS: Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: brianmershon; schism; sspx; tridentine
Tridentine Ping!
1 posted on 08/08/2007 8:39:27 AM PDT by Frank Sheed
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To: Pyro7480; monkapotamus; ELS; Theophane; indult; St. Johann Tetzel; B Knotts; livius; k omalley; ...

Tridentine Ping List!

Summorum Pontificum Database Link from the Jimmy Akin Blog

Freepmail Frank Sheed if you want  ON/OFF  this list!

To find posts to this Ping List, just search Keyword: "Tridentine"


2 posted on 08/08/2007 8:40:19 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: All

There is a major story here. It reached Rorate Caeli yesterday and was taken up by Fr. Z. He currently has over 49 comments on this thread.

Before you can understand, you must read this article:

http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mershon/070807

Fr. Z. is responding to this article. It concerns a holy priest with a Doctorate in Theology in Greenville, SC. This priest’s views are what is the issue in the Renew America article.

Please see the comments to Fr. Z.’s post for other clarifications.


3 posted on 08/08/2007 8:47:05 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frank Sheed

Even though Fr. Z qualifies it:

**I want to be clear: I won’t recommend going to a chapel of a group not recognized by the bishop or Holy See. **


4 posted on 08/08/2007 8:49:12 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Frank Sheed

Do people really have to go through all that interpretation and decision making, in order to go to church?


5 posted on 08/08/2007 8:56:44 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: Frank Sheed

Hmm, valid but illicit. Who’d have thought there would actually be a wikipedia entry on that?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valid_but_illicit


6 posted on 08/08/2007 9:01:39 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: stuartcr

For those that DO believe in hell, yes.

Cheers!
F


7 posted on 08/08/2007 10:42:32 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Larry Lucido

Well, they have one on Bluto, so I guess they aim to be exhaustive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluto


8 posted on 08/08/2007 10:43:56 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: All; AnAmericanMother

POPE RETURNS TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!

Latest News

Bishop Pope Rejoins Roman Catholic Church
08/07/2007

• Print/Download

The retired Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt. Rev. Clarence C. Pope, Jr., has rejoined the Roman Catholic Church.

In an e-mail sent to the clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth on Aug. 6, the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker announced that his predecessor had “telephoned me this morning” to say that he and his wife had “returned to membership in the Roman Catholic Church, in full communion with the See of Peter.”

Bishop Pope is the second Episcopal bishop to join the Roman Catholic Church this year, and the fifth bishop of The Episcopal Church to resign from the House of Bishops since January. The retired Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, also returned to the Roman Church this year. The retired Bishop Suffragan of Albany, the Rt. Rev. David Bena, joined the Church of Nigeria; the retired Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, the Rt. Rev. William Cox, joined the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone; and the retired Bishop of North Dakota, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Fairfield, joined the Church of Uganda.

Elected the second Bishop of Fort Worth in 1984, Bishop Pope was the first president of the Episcopal Synod of America, and a long-time advocate for corporate reunification with the Roman Catholic Church. Upon his retirement in 1994, Bishop Pope announced that he and his wife were joining the Roman Catholic Church. Citing the Church of England’s 1992 Act of Synod permitting the ordination of women, Bishop Pope said then that the “pilgrimage I had longed to take corporately would now have to be taken alone.”

Received by Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston at a ceremony in a former Episcopal church in Arlington, Texas, Bishop Pope applied for ordination as a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Bishop of Baton Rouge gave his conditional approval, subject to the agreement of his diocesan priests’ council, but the council refused his request. Following pleas from Bishop Iker and former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning, Bishop Pope returned to The Episcopal Church in 1995 and was restored to the House of Bishops.

In his e-mail, Bishop Iker stated he wished the former bishop and his wife well.

“They both gave 10 years of faithful service and witness here in the Diocese of Fort Worth, and we give thanks to God for their continuing friendship and ministry,” Bishop Iker wrote. “Bishop Pope wanted to assure me that he remains very attached to us and that his affection for the people of this diocese remains unchanged.”


9 posted on 08/08/2007 10:49:59 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frank Sheed

I won’t be looking for him to become “Pope Pope the First.”


10 posted on 08/08/2007 11:08:53 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: Frank Sheed

This article deserves a thread of it’s own, Bishop Pope wanted to bring his entire Diocese originally, having him back in the fold is wonderful news.


11 posted on 08/08/2007 12:39:02 PM PDT by Cheverus
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To: Cheverus
Elected the second Bishop of Fort Worth in 1984, Bishop Pope was the first president of the Episcopal Synod of America, and a long-time advocate for corporate reunification with the Roman Catholic Church. Upon his retirement in 1994, Bishop Pope announced that he and his wife were joining the Roman Catholic Church. Citing the Church of England’s 1992 Act of Synod permitting the ordination of women, Bishop Pope said then that the “pilgrimage I had longed to take corporately would now have to be taken alone.”

Received by Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston at a ceremony in a former Episcopal church in Arlington, Texas, Bishop Pope applied for ordination as a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Bishop of Baton Rouge gave his conditional approval, subject to the agreement of his diocesan priests’ council, but the council refused his request. Following pleas from Bishop Iker and former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning, Bishop Pope returned to The Episcopal Church in 1995 and was restored to the House of Bishops.

This is a sad comment, I think. I know that similar things have happened in England also. In any case, I welcome him to the Catholic Church with his wife!

12 posted on 08/08/2007 1:04:59 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: NYer; narses; Salvation

Ping to post #9!


13 posted on 08/08/2007 1:06:00 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frank Sheed

Ecclesia Dei has addressed this topic. I’m going with their opinion in this matter rather than Fr. Z or a biased anti-trad parish priest.

Ecclesia Dei did not advise Catholics to refrain from Holy Communion at Society chapels. They did say it is acceptable to contribute financially when attending. Fr. Z and the other priest need to be in union with Rome on this one </irony>.


14 posted on 08/08/2007 2:28:35 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah (Catholic4Mitt)
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To: Frank Sheed

Fr Z won’t recommend “under normal circumstances” that a person seek a priest not in good standing....

that is key “under normal circumstances”

How often are there priests consistently available that understand V2 with the hermeneutic of continuity that BXVI does?

Fr Z may have a “sheltered” life so to speak. It is great to have that but the rest of us have a different experience than St. Agnes and the Vatican.

I would say circumstances are still very abnormal and will likely to continue to be so for years. The MP is a seed; it is a marvelous attempt by the Holy Father to accomplish the revitalization of the NO and at the same time permit the prior form-—logic forbids its abolishment—and still yet a 3rd goal would be that the SSPX regularize itself.

For me it is clear that a purely pastoral use of SSPX/independent chapels is clearly acceptable. There are troubling elements beyond that are best left for others to sort through


15 posted on 08/08/2007 3:05:16 PM PDT by Piers-the-Ploughman (Just say no to circular firing squads.)
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To: Frank Sheed
The consecration is valid, though illicit.

Fake, but Accurate.

Or maybe in this case it is Accurate, but Fake.

16 posted on 08/08/2007 3:17:15 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Piers-the-Ploughman

I have not had to face the situation to which you allude. I have an indult Parish not far away and attend there when I can. There is an S.S.P.X. Chapel not that far away but it is almost as quick to get to the Indult parish.

My prayers are for the total reunion of the Society with Rome in all aspects. It would be great to have all these priests available but only the Holy Spirit can see that this is accomplished. May He make it so!

Deus vult!
F


17 posted on 08/08/2007 3:31:04 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frank Sheed

You should have posted that with its own thread, and the text all in the comment section. A lot of folks would have clicked on that headline.


18 posted on 08/08/2007 3:58:49 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: PAR35; Cheverus

http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=3709

Be my guest. This was linked to the Curt Jester or to the Cafeteria is Closed and I happened to browse it.

If you’d like to begin a thread, please do. I have 7 going today alone.

F


19 posted on 08/08/2007 4:07:44 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: P-Marlowe

lol -disbelief
gotta appreciate a thread-crasher who makes quick work of it


20 posted on 08/08/2007 4:24:04 PM PDT by Piers-the-Ploughman (Just say no to circular firing squads.)
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To: Frank Sheed

Nor do I. I attended independent chapels years ago (my children were baptized there) but now there is a decent NO near by. The pastor actually does preach the complete Catholic faith and morality unflinchingly. But sad to say , I do not think this is “normal circumstances” in the Church today....


21 posted on 08/08/2007 4:28:04 PM PDT by Piers-the-Ploughman (Just say no to circular firing squads.)
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To: Piers-the-Ploughman
gotta appreciate a thread-crasher who makes quick work of it

Thank you. It was my pleasure.

22 posted on 08/08/2007 4:36:17 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Frank Sheed

Yes, there was a lot of talk and head-shaking in the (small) Anglican Usage world when Pope reverted to Anglicanism, and the general understanding of what happened was as reported here. As I have said on several occasions, the inability of the regular Catholic hierarchy and priests to accept the Pastoral Provision in fact (as opposed to paying it lip service) is understandable, but appalling. I am happy to add now, however, that there are signs of greater opennness, most recently from Archbishop Gomez of San Antonio, who seems to be actively helping a former Episcopal priest go through the re-education and reordination process with the ultimate goal of his serving the large AU parish there as curate, at least.

Our great hope now is that with the Motu Proprio, diversity will suddenly become a virtue, and the Anglican Usage might be looked upon as one of a number of valid and appropriate options for getting closer to God in worship.


23 posted on 08/09/2007 6:47:32 PM PDT by Theophane
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