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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

To Those Who Say, "We Don't Need the SSPX Here," Yes We Do!

Want a Traditional Latin Nuptual Mass at your parish church? Sorry! No Mass for you! No diocesan parish is available for young couples who want to be married in the Latin form of the Roman rite. (Photo credit Spiering Photography)

I recently spoke to someone at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal, VA who insisted that the SSPX are not needed here. "We have four Traditional Latin Masses every Sunday; the SSPX should have gone somewhere they are needed. We don't need them here. They should leave!"

Yes, St. John the Baptist does have four Sunday Traditional Latin Masses which are all offered in a small chapel at Chelsea Academy about ten minutes away from the parish church. And there is a daily TLM every morning at 7:00 a.m. in the adoration chapel. 

Frankly, I wonder if all those Masses would be offered if it weren't for the SSPX, since the goal is to channel everyone into the Novus Ordo. What's a good way to do that? Make attendance at the TLM as unpleasant and inconvenient as possible. But how can you do that when people have the option of checking out of St. John's and heading over to the SSPX for Sunday Mass?

The presence of the SSPX presented a challenge that may very well have been the catalyst for all those Masses materializing at the diocesan parish to prevent the large TLM congregation at St. John's taking their bodies and their checkbooks somewhere else.

Am I cynic; or am I a realist? If there were only one TLM offered on Sunday at St. John the Baptist in a location that could only accommodate a fraction of the worshipers and none during the week, what then? Many might have given up and returned to the NO in the main church as the only alternative.

But the SSPX made that strategy untenable. And so the TLM remains generously offered at St. John's....for now.

There is something almost obscene about banning traditional Catholics from the beautiful parish church they paid for. It's like having a door guard who blocks the entrance announcing, "Unless you bend the knee, not to Christ, but to the Novus Ordo, you may not enter here!" 

What my angry acquaintance doesn't seem to realize is that we are talking about more than the Mass. The Catholic Church has, not one sacrament, but seven. They were all changed after Vatican II along with other rites... and not for the better. Exorcists, for example testify to the fact that the new rite of exorcism has made it much more difficult to expel demons. In fact, some exorcisms that used to involve a brief intervention now take many sessions and often are unsuccessful altogether. Read the testimony of exorcists! Demons laugh at the new rite.

But it's the sacramental changes that impact families the most, from the baptism of the tiniest new baby dressed in a baptismal gown to the Confirmation of adolescents, to the marriage of adult children starting out their new life together with covenantal promises: "for better or for worse...til death do us part." All those sacraments have been dumbed down. 

Last Sunday at our Christmas party, I spoke to a lovely young couple preparing for marriage. They want a high traditional Latin Nuptual Mass. I attended one last year to celebrate the marriage of my niece and her fiance. It was at an FSSP parish, St. Mary's in Conshohocken, PA. What a glorious service! What a glorious church! What a precious young couple!

St. Mary's in Conshohocken, PA

Well...John and Mary to whom I spoke (not their real names) were running into obstacles everywhere. They asked permission from Bishop Burbidge to celebrate according to the Latin rite. Previously, the bishop approved a TLM marriage at a parish in Northern Virginia and the priest they spoke to thought there would be no problem. 

Little did he know. That was then and this was now.

They were refused. No TLM for you!

So... they are attending the chapel, and will likely be married there later this year. What a blessing to our little congregation. We had one wedding in the previous chapel; this would be the first in our newly renovated little church. We've had a number of baptisms and, with the generous service to life of our families, we will likely see many more. We have enough children already for a small school! 

Those who believe that Traditionis Custodes affected only the availability of the Traditional Latin Mass are delusional. The document banned all the sacraments in the traditional Latin form except the Mass which is available temporarily. TEMPORARILY... until they wean those backwards, rigid Catholics from their silly attachment to the TLM and force them to accept the NO for the sake of unity. Meanwhile, treat us like second-class Catholics to put us in our place. Unity indeed!

I wonder what the delusional Catholics will say about not needing the SSPX when the other shoe falls and they are being herded into the Novus Ordo because the TLM is banned altogether. That day is coming, perhaps sooner than they expect.

A friend recently told me I was acting like a protestant because I almost always avoid attending the Novus Ordo these days and pray the TLM at home most mornings unless I have the energy to get up and travel the 40 minutes to the 7:00 am Mass at St. John the Baptist or go to First Friday and First Saturday Mass at the chapel.

Why do I avoid the NO? I don't question its validity, but I question how pleasing it is to God. More and more, it seems to me to be the sacrifice of Cain. Even the language of the liturgy supports that view as the priest offers the "fruit of the vine, the work of human hands."

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not talking about the faith and devotion of the people who attend the NO. I'm not talking about the priests who offer it. For most, it's all they've ever experienced. And I know many who put me to shame. But each of us needs to follow our own conscience. So I asked my friend to pray for me that the Lord will give me the desire, or even the compulsion, to go back to the NO if He wills me to be there. I want nothing more than to do God's holy will. I thought of that when I saw this at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last week. 

Traditionis Custodes robbed us of much more than the TLM. It altered everything! I only came to realize how much when I read Dan Graham's book Lex Orandi comparing all the sacraments, TLM and NO, side by side. Every sacrament was gutted! Reading about Baptism made me feel physically ill. And I recalled the NO First Communion of a godchild I attended years ago where people were calling across the church to their friends and glad handing their neighbors. It was more like a gymnasium than a church. So much for respecting the sacrament and teaching the little ones that they were there to receive the Lord of the universe. It was party time! Get out the cameras.

I recommend Dan's book for a sobering wake up call illustrating what happened after Vatican II. (Unfortunately, it's out of print. There are a few copies offered on ebay. I hope it will be reprinted, it's that valuable!)  UPDATE: See Dan recently switched publishers and it's now available. 

If you want to destroy the church, attack its liturgies -- all of them. That's what Traditionis Custodes did. Rumor has it that TC 2 is on its way. Now that Benedict is dead, is there anything Francis won't do to undermine the faith?

Now, let's all repeat: The SSPX is not in schism. Those of us who attend their chapels love the Church and respect the authority of the papal office. But as St. Peter and St. John said to the religious authorities of their day who commanded them not to preach in Jesus' name. "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29) It's a good thing to remember on the day after the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Let us conform our wills to the will of God in all things. If that makes us modern day recusants, so be it.

"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine."


  1. I have mentioned before in the combox that I attend an SSPX mission. Occasionally our traveling priest is unable to make it to us for Holy days, as was the case this past December for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. As I had renewed my 33 day consecration to Mary, I wished to receive Holy Communion and pray the consecration prayer in a Church. There is a local NO parish with a 9 am Mass. I assumed there would be few people there and decided to suck it up and go the NO. I hadn’t been to a NO mass in over 10 years.I quietly prayed my rosary as the church filled and the noise level increased. The faithful were seated with the assistance of an older “butch” woman in her work boots, plaid shirt and wranglers. The pastor sashayed around in a neon blue “Marian” vestment making small talk with the parishioners dressed in their finest gym clothes. I couldn’t bear it. The Mass began with the choir and cantor screaming their songs. By the time the Gospel was read I felt like a caged animal and left as the sermon began. Unbearable, never again can I participate in such irreverence and disrespect for the Lord in the tabernacle there. I made my consecration prayer in the parking lot as I begged the Lord’s forgiveness.

  2. I think it is important to recognize that the Novus Ordo clergy as well as the Novos Ordo mass are about Catholicism as a one “tradition” among many. The sanctuary and ceremonies have no profound importance because if persons of any faith or no faith are equal in the eyes of God how can a building, dress or ceremony be important?

    An priest of the FSSP loves the tradition of the Latin Mass and I believe them to be sincere. But the FSSP priest has had to agree to the Vatican II documents which say every other religion is equal in the sight of God.

    The reason we need the SSPX is not just for the ageless ceremonies but because from the priests who are members of the society we will get the clear ageless truths in the sermon, confessional and every sacrament.

  3. Replies
    1. They were never in schism, Archbishop Lafebvre was excommunicated for ordaining bishops ( which the Pope JPII kept promising but never delivered upon). The excommunication was reversed and the SSPX is in communion with the Church, although they disagree on certain points.

  4. I used to believe that too, Frank. Then I did the research. You can repeat that all you want; it doesn't make it true. check out our page The SSPX is not in schism.

  5. I strongly recommend supplementing the SSPX presence with private chapels for future underground TLM use. Find multiple priests that would be willing to say the TLM there in the case of a total ban on the TLM. Make preparations now. After the ban hammer comes down it will be harder. I understand this already the situation in Wyoming where no TLMs are allowed by the bishop(s?). It's long been rumored that the persecution would begin in earnest after the death of Benedict XVI and the SSPX only has so many priests to go around.

  6. I totally agree, TF. A good place to start would be with the Coalition for Cancelled Priests. How many of them know the TLM and would happily be the pastor of an independent parish operating in the catacombs? We are living in difficult times. God help us to be faithful and true to Catholic Dogma and Sacred Tradition like the recusants Catholics of England and the Catholic of the Vendee during the French Revolution. Things will likely continue to deteriorate under Francis with increasingly heretical moves, especially in the Synod process. We need to embrace the Scriptural admonition to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.

  7. The animosity that some Diocesan and FSSP parishioners have towards the SSPX really needs to stop. First of all, it is ridiculous to still say that they are in schism. Pope Benedict officially ended that when there was no doubt in any one's mind (except the Sedes) that he was the pope. Even for those who think Bergoglio is the pope: Bergoglio issued a directive that the SSPX's sacraments were valid. So, this "don't go to the SSPX, they're in schism" line is ridiculous.

    Bad times are coming very soon now that the holy father has been removed. I believe an invalid consecration will be the directive of Bergoglio and sadly, the vast majority of uneducated Catholics will go along with it. And, while I hope it does not happen, we all need to be prepared for the Ecclesiae Dei communities to be shut down and sadly, I don't see them fighting back.

    Again, this animosity towards the SSPX needs to stop. Right now.

  8. I completely agree with this post. I have been involved with the SSPX most of my adult life, through a lot of criticism and slander. Who offered Masses during the covid lockdown? I was able to attend the SSPX Mass in my former city, when every other church was closed. There are several TLMs available in my new home in TX. Do I think they'll survive? A bishop can be replaced with the stroke of a pen. We need the SSPX. All we need to do is look around the country at the various closures of big, thriving TLM churches. I know who has taken care of my family: baptised my children, performed their marriages, buried my parents, baptised my grandchildren. I will continue to support the SSPX and I won't give a penny to the dioceses, who are so willing to shut down the Masses.

  9. Cynthia…your experience in the Novus Ordo is similiar to mine….I feel oppressed and could not wait for the mass to end. The liturgical abuses, the immodest and inappropriate clothing, the communion in the hand, the irreverence, the shallow homilies by the deacon mostly, the girl altar servers, the uninspiring music with guitar accompaniment and the prayers for Pope Francis…I attend TLM on Sundays but have to attend Novus Ordo on some weekends and it has become more and more difficult to stay seated and not to flee! I feel inspired by what you did…and don’t feel so guilty now as I thought I may be the only one who feels like this. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Ad Jesum per Mariam/ To Jesus thru Mary.

    1. I appreciate your sharing as well. What is so difficult is that the Novus Ordo goers have absolutely no comprehension of the irreverence occurring and why TLM supporters cannot bear it.

  10. Since I moved to my new retirement home there are NO SSPX Chapels or TLM Masses nearby. I only have 1970s N. O. style churches. So I went back to the Divine Liturgy and now attend a Byzantine Catholic Church. I am a convert from the Eastern Orthodox. To me this lifted all the political nonsense out of the Holy Sacrifice. No altar girls with pony tails and big white sneakers and no foolish homilies.

  11. Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict ALWAYS declared that Lefebvre and the SSPX were NEVER in schism.

  12. If the past is any indication of the future (it usually is), then Francis will waste precious little time bringing down the hammer on faithful Catholics who love the TLM. These, he despises, clearly, his actions cannot be seen any other way.
    Please understand, I'm not saying because I happen to know any inside information, I don't, I'm just basing this on history. His.
    The TLM will be banned. Ended. His evil TC made that clear. We have it temporarily, the table is set. Only until such time as blah blah blah, and then, back to the Novus Ordo, because he has taken away the TLM from you. The wording of his own evil script makes it perfectly plain, going back to the NO is their plan for you and me. By taking away the TLM, you will be a good little slave and hither ye back to the Church of Francis and enjoy the tambourines and lady dancers.
    Think you're going to the SSPX? So do I, but I doubt they have forgotten that! How to close that loophole...hmm...yes...let's excommunicate the SSPX! After all, can't get our paws on the money so...what are we losing. These "faithful" Catholics will give up a Holy Mass and Sacraments for our Hootenannys, and we'll have em. After all...obedience!

    But I can't do it. I'm too old, seen too much, read too much. I cannot return. I frankly will despise these men more than I do right now if they do such an evil thing. Call me names, fine. But I'm done with them, if they do it. I'll stay Catholic. But I'm not a slave. I'm a free person. If they do that, they can go to blazes.

  13. I seriously doubt excommunication will come into play. It would put a magnifying glass bigtime on the contradictory behavior at the Vatican. Jesus lamented over the state of the Church (I think in our time) when He said, "When I return will I find faith on the earth?" Maybe not at the Vatican, but in the catacombs and the TLM chapels.

  14. Mary Ann, I attend IHM and have had a conversation with a gentleman from St. johns who said the same thing about the SSPX presence in Front Royal. Like you, I think things would be different for the TLM community in Front Royal if the SSPX were not here. I go to the later mass but we can compare notes whenever our paths cross, God Bless!

  15. Thank you Mary Anne! Even a black Mass is "valid" if properly said. Not something I would wish to offer to God...

  16. @Frank who wrote "SSPX is in schism".

    Sorry to offend your sensitivities - when I asked the CDF their reply was 'not full communion'. Ok - not sorry - just stating the Truth.

    I know that some believe that 'not full communion' is code for 'schism' but as you will note they didn't make that statement - but simply wrote "not full communion" which objectively is correct as they have no 'canonical' standing within the Church. Ta Dah!


  17. I too have heard that from people at St. John's. They are under the mistaken assumption that the SSPX came into the diocese to "poach" trads from the indult Masses. They need to understand that the SSPX was invited in by the faithful here after our cowardly bishop suspended the public Masses during COVID, and eventually were persuaded, again by the faithful, to remain and provide the traditional Sacraments in their entirety. I can't understand why people aren't indignant and incensed after almost half the congregation at St. John's was kicked out of the church in to a makeshift chapel. That was the last straw for us. It is such a blessing to now longer feel like a second class citizen feeding off the scraps thrown our way by the current Church hierarchy.

  18. I love Abp. Lefebvre, but there is no denying the fact he waffled back and forth on any given day. He said my things indicating Sede Vacante and in the early days at Econe even allowed seminarians to hold the SVist position. And then he didn't. The mentality of the SSPX is one of schism as they determine what is or is not orthodox coming from Rome. They considered their excommunications invalid, and yet say the only way to be certain a pope is invalid is through a council of the "pope's" underlings. So a "pope" would have to submit to a lesser authority, yet the SSPX can determine what is or is not orthodox and if their excomms are valid or not. Do you not see the irony in this logic?

    The SSPX are indeed in schism, but they're in schism from the antiChurch. Studying the inconsistencies of the SSPX is what led me to SVism.

    I just hope that all who eventually lose their TLM, but perhaps have sede chapels near enough will consider it. The sedes do have valid bishops, priests and Sacraments.

  19. I don't hold the sede-vacantist position and neither does the SSPX. Here's their "little catechism" on the issue.

    It would be interesting to see you and Frank have a debate. He thinks the SSPX is in schism from the true Church; you from the anti-Church. I'll sit and eat popcorn while you two hash it out.

  20. Thanks for responding Mary Ann.

    When was the last time in the Church's history were individuals/groups considered Catholic who were "not in full communion"?

    I'm not interested in debating Frank, though we probably agree in principle why R&R is not Catholic.

    I'd simply like to encourage those who are questioning things to not be afraid of SVism like I was. And again, if sede chapels are all that's available for TLM, to go there.

  21. Also, you'd be in error to believe 'some' of the SSPX clergy do not hold to SVism. They simply cannot be public about it.

  22. Unknown, if what you say about a black Mass being valid is true, why do they have to steal consecrated hosts?

  23. The sspx was a formal schism and even now has no canonical status and does not exercise any legitimate ministry in the Catholic Church

    If once again we succeed in pointing out and living the fullness of the Catholic religion with regard to these points, we may hope that the schism of Lefebvre will not be of long duration.

    In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

  24. Was Mons Lefevbre (He was not an App when he consecrated his bishops) a sedevacantist?

  25. Mons Lefebvre was not either a Bishop or ArchBishop when he committed his excommunicable offense of consecrating Bishops in direct opposition to the Pope which forbade him to do so and warned him he'd be excommunicated if he went through with his plans

  26. Thank you for the document, Mick. I read it. I loved Pope Benedict. I have read a number of his books as both Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict.

    The letter is interesting, especially Benedict's statement that the issues separating the SSPX from the Vatican are doctrinal which they are indeed. I found this paragraph particularly relevant to the discussion:

    "...the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes."

    The statements were made over and over that V II was a "pastoral council" not a "doctrinal council." The claim is often made that it did not change any of the doctrine, but that is the sticking point -- that they DID change doctrine particularly doctrine relating to ecumenism. Remember the doctrine, "Outside the Church there is no salvation." V II and its ambiguities and now the follow up pretty much deny that doctrine. Benedict wrote this letter during the issue over Bishop Williamson who dismissed a few years later when things could not be resolved. One of the reasons was he opposed reunion with Rome for which the Society continues to hope. So it's clear that the SSPX does not want schism; they want the doctrinal issues cleared up. They accept everything in V II (most of it in fact) that is true and in accordance with Scripture, Dogma, and Sacred Tradition.

    To go on:

    "The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life."

    And there's a sticking point again. It's becoming clearer and clearer that Francis and those bishops in line with him are intent on "sever(ing) the roots from which the tree draws its life." AL and TC both do that, not to mention the synodal process. And all the ambiguities of V II have been interpreted by the Judases in the Church in a heterodox way. And that is what the SSPX and any real Catholic must oppose.

    Benedict does not accuse the SSPX of schism in this letter. In fact he shows his love for the SSPX:

    "Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful?...I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?...At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint."

    Benedict does not accuse the SSPX of schism. In fact he and the Society want the same thing, but the SSPX will not embrace unity without truth.

    You haven't proven your case. In fact, I think this letter does just the opposite. The SSPX may be in a situation where they "do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church." That is not the same as schism. And who is to blame for the ongoing disunity? If I were required to adhere to Assisi, Abu Dhabi, the approval of adultery in AL, and the suppression of the TLM and all the things being endorsed by the synod process in Germany would you accuse me of being "in schism?"

  27. Anonymous, not an expert nor do I wish to know more about "those" Masses but would imagine valid Priests are not always able to be found for such activity...

  28. Dear Mary Ann. Were I in the Space Station I could still see your large and warm heart.

    Me and thee think differently about whether or nor the SSPX is a schism. I think it clearly is a schism and after the parents of children in that schism have taught more than two generations of descendants that Rome is untrustworthy those kids -having become adults- are never coming home.

    Why would they? They have been taught their schism is the real church and that is excaltyy what was predicted a long time ago by a priest writing in the Remnant.

    I'll see if I can chase down the prophetic quote.

  29. Fr. Richard Ginder, a former columnist for The Wanderer. In his short book, 1968, Thou Art the Rock, when referring to the separation of the "wheat and the tares" that took place between Luther igniting the revolt and the Treaty of Westphalia (1517-1648), Fr. Ginder noted the following:

    It is the old story of the tares among the wheat. It took 131 years to make a separation once before but with the advance in communications media, we shall not have to wait so long this time. But we shall see it. It will come - very likely in the shape of a heretical sect attributing primacy of honour but refusing jurisdiction to the Holy Father, at the same time proclaiming themselves the only True Believers.

    He nailed it.

  30. Thank you for the quote, Mick, and for your too kind words. I'm not sure what it means to "refuse jurisdiction" to the pope. I'm not sure the SSPX has done that. I'll talk to Fr. Wiseman about it. He's one of the smartest priests I've ever met.

    The SSPX accepts everything that is in accordance with the continuity of the Faith of the millennia. So do I. I've read parts of the Vatican II documents that are inspiring and beautiful. But the iconoclasts used all the ambiguities to gut the faith and I lived through all that madness and hang my head in shame that I went along with so much of it.

    This confusion may continue long past my exit from this world. It's hard to imagine the loss of faith being worse because of the SSPX than it is already. Aren't the "nones" the fastest growing "religion?" But I continue to search for the truth and trust that if I'm in the wrong place, the Lord will get me right before the end. At present, I am convinced I am exactly where God wants me.

    Let's pray for each other.

  31. Dear Mary Ann. The sspx only obeys when what a particular Pope, starting with JP II , tells them to do what they already wanted to do.

    That is. they "obey" only that which accords with their corporate will.

    Lefebvre reused Jurisdiction when Lefebvre ordained Bishops in direct opposition the the Pope ordering his not to do that.

    A good test for any order of priests is - Did it obey when to was ordered to do thus and such even though thus and such was not sinful?

    As for the V2 rocket which revolutionaries constructed and launched i at the heart of the Church, where it blowed-uo and ruint nearly everything - I am with you in response to it.

    I have read and re-read, many times, Commonitorium by Saint Vincent of Lerins in which he teaches us that God allows prelates to introduce novelties into the Church to test us if we love Him.

    We show our love for Him by staying with Tradition, that which has always been taught.

    It is a test we can not fail owing to the consequences of our failure to pass the test.

    I love the idea of praying for each other.

    I think you for your patience vis a vis this topic and I will now bow out (until the next time I see you linked to by Mr. Walker).