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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Read Fr. Z: On the SSPX, the Coronavirus, and "Old Scratch"

St. Jean Vianney, patron of parish priests, pray for us.
I love priests! How much I pray that they will all imitate the great patron of parish priests, St. Jean Vianney. I heartily recommend the little gem, Eucharistic Meditations of the saint which you can order here. I've cycled through the meditations once and am beginning again. The spiritual benefit of reading these is such a blessing! I intend to use it as my "sermon" for all the virtual Masses I pray in front of the tabernacle until public Masses are restored. And I've already given copies to two priest and one to a friend and ordered three more. St. Jean Vianney, pray for all our clergy that they will love the Eucharist with the same fervor that you did.

Lately, I've been reading Fr. Z every day and he has plenty of great things to say. I'll link to just a few:

First of all his excellent article about the SSPX. Ask Father: What's the Truth about the SSPX? Important points from the article:

  • The SSPX is NOT in schism!
  • While the priests of the SSPX do NOT have canonical recognition, they have the same right others in the Church do to form an "association of the faithful." Father goes on to say, "Hopefully one day they will be set up and recognized formally as a, say, Personal Prelature or some variant.... They do not have 'no status.'"
  • Since 2005, by papal authority, SSPX priests can hear confessions and the faithful may go to them. "SSPX priests can validly absolve sins even when there is no danger of death. You can go to confession to them not just because there are no other priests around. You can go to them because you want to. No question."

  • "Furthermore – AND PAY ATTENTION because this is really important – suspended priests cannot receive faculties. If the SSPX priests can receive faculties, and they have, all over the place, then they are not suspended!"

  • "[Y]ou can choose to go to a Mass of the SSPX, not just because there is no other Mass, but because you want to. No question."
  • Can it be a sin to go? Yes, if you go because you hate the pope or your local bishop. "[N]o, it is not sinful to attend an SSPX Mass if you are seeking sound liturgy and preaching and other good people who desire the same. No question."
Fr. Z followed up this article with a second. "Another point about the SSPX. They are not a small, fringe group." 

Both these articles are excellent. Instead of arguing with folks about the SSPX, say, "Read Fr. Z and then let's chat." His articles would make a good discussion following point by point. 

And one other article I found particularly intriguing was this:

Wherein an irritated Fr. Z recounts today’s fight with Old Scratch

Like Fr. Z, I too believe COVID 19 is a direct assault from the enemy. Natural responses are important, but so is a spiritual response. Here's what Father is recommending:
I’ve been asking people to pray for the miraculous eradication of the Coronavirus. I strongly believe that this is a spiritual war and not just an worldly challenge. I think the virus and what’s going on in the Church are connected. I don’t know how, but I think they are. So, I am not surprised that I might get some harassment from Old Scratch. And, interestingly enough, about a month ago, when I really started in on this prayer for the virus thing, I wound up falling and re-injuring the same foot that was badly injured in Paris.

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