An EF that I am not sure fulfills Sunday obligation


I wouldn’t call myself a traditionalist in any sense other than the fact that I am a Catholic…
When I arrived to the US I wanted to attend a Catholic Mass and I was afraid of going to one of those Churches where the mass is not celebrated reverently… so I went to a Church that said was a Traditionalist Catholic Church.
I went to the Church of Our Lady of La Salette, in Bayside Queens. I asked at the entrance if the Church was a Catholic Church, they said “Yes”… I asked “Is it a Catholic, Catholic church?”… they said “Yes”.

It was my first time experiencing the EF of the Latin Rite. Although I had studied it during my years learning to be an altar server. I didn’t know all the answers by heart, but I could follow the Liturgy quite proficiently seeing that Portuguese my mother tongue is based in Latin.

I didn’t know exactly why but I felt uncomfortable. Maybe it was the weird combination of headcovers for teens using t-shirts, or maybe the weird colours all over the altars…

Quickly it was made obvious that the people were Latinos and they spoke Spanish, as well as the Priest and the Bishop.

During the sermon the Bishop made several weird comments about Halloween being a feast where we sell our children to the devil… something completely alien to me (we don’t usually celebrate the eve of 1st of November with parties in Europe… we usually have Vespers for the Solemnity of All Saints).
This Bishop ends the sermon with a brief comment on how only the traditionalist movement retains the Spirit of the Holy Church, and not to be afraid of the Modernisms coming from the Vatican.

I was shocked… floored… I couldn’t even approach the altar for the Eucharist… it felt like I was slapped and left naked in the middle of an alien world.
My only prayer throughout the whole Liturgy was: “Let them be One”.

I couldn’t find anywhere online the status of the communion of this Church with the Diocese of Brooklyn, so my worry now is that I missed my Sunday obligation for participating in this celebration.

Don’t worry, I don’t think that the EF is bad or anything, it was just a weird “First Date”…
I do need to go to confession, as I haven’t gone in over a month… but does anyone know the status of this Church and if this might be one more sin to add to my list?

Thank you and God bless,

No, this church is not in communion with Rome and no you did not fulfill your obligation by attending it.

Churches in communion with Rome can be found on your diocesan website.

Talk to your pastor.

You wouldn’t have to confess this, since you did not know.

Although failing to go to a parish known to be in communion with Rome (i.e. a simple search on the diocesan website of the place you are going) due to some “fear” of an “irreverent” mass seems like it might be something to discuss with one’s confessor.

I mean, a visitor from Germany would have to work to find this place instead of the local parish. So, the OP actively searched out such a church. I think there’s some culpability there, but I’m not the pastor and I don’t hear confessions. Best to mention it and talk through why one has such a fear.

Thank you for the information.
To be honest it’s not like I searched for a Traditionalist Church… I searched for Catholic Churches in the neighborhood in Google maps and there was St Kevin Parish, and this Our Lady of La Salette. I went to the link I found for both and saw that the second one was a Latin Mass, I did ponder going to the first, but thought that the Latin Mass could be the less shocking experience based in bad experiences I have heard from others (I am shocked to say… yes Michael Voris)…
I completely forgot about the Diocesan Website.
Thank you for the reminder.

By the way, I am not for visit, I just moved…

God bless,

I don’t understand why you expected to be “shocked” at a regular parish mass. I’ve been to mass all over the world and I’ve been two only two out of the numerous parishes I’ve visited that I would call anything *close *to “shocking” and I simply did not return to that parish.

I would suggest that some things are blown out of proportion and you shouldn’t be *afraid *to go to a parish church, that seems a little crazy to me.

I mean, so what if you **had **run into a parish with some real liturgical problems? It’s not like you would have caught something contagious from them or died or anything. You simply would have had to bear patiently with less than perfect human beings and then be on your way.

Welcome! And may I suggest not listening to others but rather forming your own opinions.

This mass may or may not have fulfilled your obligation. The Vatican has said that SSPX masses do, but there was a letter from the Vatican regarding masses said by a group “Friends of the SSPX” that said that their masses did not. So it is not clear exactly which quasi-Catholic masses do and don’t. The safe option would be not to attend such a Mass anyway, although I don’t think you sinned yesterday.

Have a look at this answer to a similar question posed yesterday:

[LEFT] Yesterday, 8:45 am
[RIGHT]Regular Member
Join Date: October 13, 2008
Posts: 7,104
Religion: Catholic

[/LEFT] FrDavid96

  **Re: Does Church recognize sacraments of the SSPX?** 

 Originally Posted by **RosslynV** []("") 

I’m sure this can be a complicated topic. Relations are closer yet still divergent. As excommunications were lifted does that also come with the recognition of sacraments performed by an Sspx priest?

No it does not.

The members of the SSPX “cannot legitimately exercise any ministry.” In the words of Pope Benedict in his Motu Proprio. Those words mean exactly what they say. The SSPX priests have no ministry in the Church. None.4. In the same spirit and with the same commitment to encouraging the resolution of all fractures and divisions in the Church and to healing a wound in the ecclesial fabric that was more and more painfully felt, I wished to remit the excommunication of the four Bishops illicitly ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre. With this decision I intended to remove an impediment that might have jeopardized the opening of a door to dialogue and thereby to invite the Bishops and the “Society of St Pius X” to rediscover the path to full communion with the Church. As I explained in my Letter to the Catholic Bishops of last 10 March, the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the context of ecclesiastical discipline to free the individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. However, the doctrinal questions obviously remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any…itatem_en.html
Quo ducitis, “ministra Domini,” Liturgiam?

The column is dated July 11, 2008.

"However, the doctrinal questions obviously remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry. "

[LEFT]*Given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on 2 July 2009, the fifth year of Our Pontificate. *[/LEFT]

That they cannot lawfully say Mass does not change the fact that when they do, it fulfills the Sunday obligation. That said, it is of course un advisable to attend there.

you thought you went to a Catholic mass and if you did not (when looking back) it was an honest mistake really.
I mean come on, to confess this seems blown out of proporsions IMHO.
You have to ask yourself, Do God wants whats best for us or does he look for an opportunity to take a shot at you?
If you consider that attending what you believed to be an Catholic mass, but turned out not to be it, to be an mortal sin I guess you pretty much end on the last alternative to be honest.
Missing one mass equals eternal damnation - I cant quite get myself to understand that…
Seems way to harsh to me…

As FYI - I do not think that was a Bishop. I believe it was the Monsignor.

Here is an article from 2007 about that parish, which is/was “independent”

At this point in time, given then-Pope Benedict’s clear statements that they exercise no ministry in the Church (and he repeated the same on other occasions), the current understanding -]seems to be/-]* is that attending an SSPX Mass does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. After all, it does not meet the requirement “in a Catholic rite” of canon 1248.

If that sounds a bit odd, that it did in the past, but not in the present, we need to keep in mind that this situation has been developing for over 40 years now. At first, they were simply disobedient priests. Indeed, at the very start, they were priests in good standing. That situation has escalated.

What we need to understand is that before July 2009, i.e. before Pope Benedict clarified that they have no ministry in the Church, and that they are not in Communion with the Church, one could say that attending an SSPX Mass fulfilled the obligation. After July 2009, that’s no longer the case.

The article in “Renew America” plays word games. The Pontifical Commission says that the SSPX are not in formal schism. That’s true. The reason why they are not in formal schism is because of a technicality that only priests are formal members of the SSPX. In order to meet the technical definition of schism, there must be lay members. They have no lay members officially (although they certainly have them in fact, but not on paper). Therefore they’re not technically in schism. This is just one of the many examples of how the SSPX manipulates canon law and publicly speaks untruths in order to misrepresent themselves to people who will not notice the subtleties of the arguments.

*Aside: * with regard to my response from the other thread. Please note that I was answering a different question than the one asked in this thread. Read the OP’s question (other thread) very carefully and see what the OP actually asked. The question was whether or not the lifting of the excommunications of the 4 bishops had a certain automatic result. There’s no doubt that the answer is “no.”

It seems like you made an honest mistake. You asked if it was Catholic, but the person answering you spoke an untruth. That wasn’t your fault.

It would be your fault if you intentionally allowed yourself to be deceived. From what you write, it doesn’t seem that way to me.

Attending an SSPX Mass does not fulfill the Sunday obligation (maybe it did in 1972 or 1982, maybe). Since Pope Benedict spoke with authority (a Motu Proprio is a form of law) in 2009, it’s now clear that attending an SSPX Mass does not meet the requirements of canon 1248 to attend Mass “in a Catholic rite.”

Father, please note: the “church” in question is not an SSPX chapel. It seems to be totally independent or a new order created by their pastor.

Well the Vatican, in its only clear statement on the matter, said that those who frequent the SSPX masses do not incur in sin by that act. Failing to perform one’s Sunday obligation is sinful.

If the Pope had meant to overrule this official interpretation (note especially the very last part of the PCED’s response) he would have done so clearly. As it is, Catholics can rely on the Vatican’s rulings on canon law.

OK. Duly noted.

Regardless, though, it doesn’t meet the requirement of “in a Catholic rite” so it does not fulfill the obligation.

Since one of my posts (from a different thread) was used to respond to the OP in this thread, I did need to clarify that what I answered earlier was a different question than what the OP asked here. Yes, the topics are related, but the questions were very different.

Outdated information.

As of July 2009, there is no ambiguity. Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio (which is, by definition, an act of law) overrules whatever was interpreted by a lower authority in the past. That’s how laws work.

It didn’t contradict the previous document so it didn’t overrule it.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit