Access Denied SSPX


The current US Bishops are really going to listen to the Pope with regard to Traditionalists. Not!.
Hopefully Pope Benedict will have a long talk with this Bishop as well!.


I sent the dear Archbishop an e-mail requesting a written apology by himself to the entire SSPX. And stated that they are more loyal to the Pope and Catholic teachings than many so-called real Catholics.:slight_smile:


Did I miss something in that article? The group was apparently with SSPX. The bishop was heavy handed but was within his rights as the people in question chose to affiliate themselves with a schizmatic organization.

Also it is a bit dishonest for whoever wrote that article to pretend the SSPX is in trouble because they do the TLM mass. They’re in trouble for out and out disobedience. It is interesting that the SSPX feels like it can disregard episcopal authority and yet expect to enjoy the benefits of full communion.


The Pope wants full communion with the SSPX not separation. The actions of the Archbishop were outright wrong. Considering the Pope’s wish. He should have allowed them. For the sake of embracing them, and showing a yearning for communion.


This was our seventh annual pilgrimage. The fact that we were not allowed to say prayers in the mission was not unusual. I think since 2004 we were not allowed to have mass or anything as a group in any of the missions.

The issue here is not, in my opinion, whether or not we coupd have gone inside the mission as a group. This has been deied in the past - and we have always respected the wishes of the Bishop. The issue many of us had was when the park ranger told us “I understand that there is a group of people who are not catholic coming to this mission - and they are not allowed in.” We looked around and said - there are Baptists coming? (as a disclaimer - nothing against baptist - I think it was the only group that came to mind at the time)

Another issue we had is - although as a group we were denied access (Which I can personally understand) - on this particular day they LOCKED THE DOOR to keep us out. We could always go in individually and make our private intentions. They also locked the door at Mission San Juan to deny access.

The missions are owned and funded by the federal government, and operated with a cooperative relationship with the Archdiocese. But this is federal property. The daily operations are done by the park service. Imagine an employee of the federal government telling a group of people “access denied” to a tax payer historical sight - opened to the public - based on their affiliation.

To be denied as a group - I think most of us understood - but as individuals. I think that was illegal.


Yes the Pope wants full communion with the SSPX, as he wants full communion with everyone.

It is the SSPX who separate themselves from communion. It is easy for them to reenter communion.

But rather they want it on their own terms.

As has been stated, it is a matter of obedience and I say good work to the bishop for standing up for what it truly means to be a Catholic.

For the time being the SSPX is outside of the communion of the Catholic Church and it is so by its own choice.


The article only tells one side of the story, and we naturally assume it had a bias. Since this group has been there several preceding years, how is it that they were identifiable? Name-tags? Or perhaps was their behavior somewhat proselytizing with banners, literature, vocalizing, etc.

“Locked doors” is a rather radical procedure, so my take is that there had to be something a little more behind the scene than just a few devotional people quietly visiting a site. It would be nice to contact the bishop to learn why this was done before criticizing.


Adonis, isn’t it true that non-Catholic religions are welcome there in the name of ecumenism? If that is so, (and I’m asking, not making a statement), then why would SSPX be denied access? Would the Eastern Orthodox have been denied access?


I posted this story on my blog, and people who were there commented on the article I linked to. One said that everything happened just as the article stated, and two said that the bishop is Opus Dei, and there is no love lost between the SSPX there and Opus Dei. One said the SSPX published a pamphlet that was critical of Jose Escriva, and that was when the conflict started. So, there’s obviously some history there.


Let me get this straight. People were denied access to federally owned and run missions that are open to the public. Now the public would be any race or creed. A park ranger by orders of the bishop denied them access. It would seem there are legal implications involved that extend to the Church (by way of the bishop) and also the federal govt. (by way of the park ranger).


It does sound like violation of civil rights, doesn’t it?


Yes - non Catholic religions are welcome.


The word–discrimination-- comes to mind. Seems a case could be made of discrimination based on a persons faith.


Adonis, what’s your next step? On another site, I recommended you all complain to the Director of the NPS and the Secretary of Interior. I bet there would be some serious backtracking.


I can’t help but wonder if the park ranger had told Muslims or Jews or any other minority group that they were refused access because they “were not Catholic” what the outcry would have been.


I don’t think the issue for us was the denial of enty - it was the “Your not Catholic” from a park ranger and the locking of the doors.

My personal opinion (and I ONLY speak for myself), is that too much has been made of this. The fact that we as a group were dienied access was typical. I would be suprised if they gave us permission. I think what happened was we had a nervous park ranger (and he was quite nervous) who panicked and locked the doors. I do not believe Bishop Gomez asked for the doors to be locked (I could be wrong) - they were not locked at Mission Espada - our last stop. There was a second ranger who came, I believe to back up the first ranger. We weren’t being rude, or loud, so I do not know why the first ranger was so nervous. According to another pilgrim, who spoke to the second ranger - we were told that if we were bothering any of the tourist at any of the other missions - we would be issued citations. The rangers at the other missions were more cooperative - and simply asked us to clean up after ourselves.

Somebody from our pilgrimage called the local media, and I told Fr. Zigrang that they wanted to talk to one of us on camera about what happened. Fr. Zigrang stated that “We were too busy praying” to talk to them. He seemed pretty unhappy about the media being called.

This is the first year I have not had a hand in the planning of the pilgrimage - usually there is a group of us that plan the event. Fr. Pfeiffer (our previous pastor) always made sure to keep the other mission pastors in the loop. I do not know the extent of who was notified about what. I would imagine that if ANY group just showed up and wanted to have a mass in the missions - they would be turned away. You have to coordinate these things. That being said - we have been denied permission before. Hwoever one ranger stated that we would need a permit, which I am suprised we’ve never gotten before.

Again - I think the issue here is the locking of the door. To deny us individuall access to a federally funded public building is illegal. It has never been an issue in the past.

Sorry for the lengthy post.


Agreed :thumbsup:


Actually the physical Mission Church building is the property of the Diocese and is run by them. I highly doubt that they were denied access to the actual park.


Statement from the diocese:

Department of Communication
Archdiocese of San Antonio
May 17, 2007
Response to Inquiry
Concerning the Society of St. Pius X’s visit to the Old Spanish Missions
The Archdiocese of San Antonio welcomes all people of faith and good will to pray with us in our churches. However, groups not in communion with Rome are not permitted to conduct public services in our churches without our participation. Our position in this matter is consistent with the policies of the Holy See and the
Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas.

Archbishop José H. Gomez has always held the position that persons of faith and goodwill are welcome to engage in private prayer at all of our churches. It was unfortunate that some of the missions were locked for part of Saturday, May 12, but they were not locked at the direction of the archbishop. San Francisco de la
Espada Mission was in fact open and the group was invited to enter and pray privately, but was advised that it could not have a formal prayer service. A few
members did accept the invitation and spent some time in prayer in the church.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio is enriched frequently when we conduct prayer services in our churches with our friends belonging to many faith traditions.

Deacon Pat Rodgers
Director of Communication
Archdiocese of San Antonio


And the commentary from the person who received that letter is here

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