Attending sspx a sin?


I would like to know if I am sinning by attending. I would seriously like to know this and I won’t dismiss anyone who says yes. I started going after I married my husband because he was a huge fan and was told that they are not schismatic.

I came to appreciate the tlm over time and thought that the dress code was nicer than people dressing badly in other places. I definitely did not want to go against the church but with the bad things that pope Francis was saying it seemed reasonable that they were upset with him. Should I not go for the sake of my soul?


The SSPX haters are coming…any second now…7Q9j

I’ve muted all response notifications. Still see likes tho. Nice PMs always welcome. Have a blessed day!


There’s no easy way to answer this. As I said in another thread, the situation regarding the SSPX and the Holy See is complicated. Some important things to note:

  • Their sacraments are 100% valid.
  • They still, however, like everyone else, have to receive faculties (permission) from the local bishop to perform them. Yes, even the FSSP must ask the bishop for permission to celebrate Mass, hear confessions, perform baptisms, etc.

I spoke with a canon lawyer in my diocese a few months ago who expressed the opinion that the SSPX is in schism. I haven’t seen a recent document from the Vatican stating as such. The main reason such a blanket declaration has not been made is because the SSPX only admits priests as actual members. Ergo, they can’t be labeled as schismatic because of a lack of membership from the laity. This canonist also stated that, at least with our diocese, the SSPX were probably not seeking such permissions due to the volume of marriage problems they get from people who were illicitly married by the SSPX due to a lack of faculties. If I remember correctly, the canonist concluded that if you’re attending them to stick it to Rome, then you are likely sinning.

I’m sure you could get a wide range of opinions on this matter, but I would reiterate that this is all a mess, and it would be safest to avoid them and stay within TLMs that have less canonical murkiness around them, such as the FSSP, ICKSP, or diocesan TLM.

‘Pius Society?’

I don’t think that simply attending an SSPX Mass is a sin. It is a sin to encourage schism or disobedience to one’s legitimate bishop. Hence, your comment is very problematic:

You should know that the SSPX dispute with the Church began in the 1970’s, long before Pope Francis.


Attending is, at best, imprudent. At worst, it is formal cooperation with division within the Church and that is most definitely sinful.

It can all boil down to why you attend. Curiosity? Or disobedience?

In my case I would not ever attend, but I’m an oblate of a religious order for which obedience to the pope is paramount. Still, I wouldn’t even attend if it was the only way to fulfill my Sunday obligation.

You would be better off spiritually by attending an Extraordinary Form diocesan Mass (or at a licit religious community, for instance a few of the Benedictine monasteries that still use the EF) if you prefer the older liturgy. You wouldn’t be putting your soul at risk.

And as far as I can see, Pope Francis has never said anything “bad”. He has however said some thought-provoking things, and IMHO that’s good otherwise we really do become self-referential.


If this is what you are learning by attending the SSPX – to disrespect the Pope – it’s not doing you any good.


St. John Paul II is the Pope who excommunicated the founder of the SSPX, Archbishop Lefebrvre and four illicitly consecrated Bishops, in 1988, with the full support of Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the CDF, who became Benedict XVI.

Lefebrve had already been warned repeatedly about his public positions by Popes and other Vatican authorities since the 1970s.

Pope Francis is the legitimate Bishop of Rome, the heir to the see of St. Peter, regardless of the opinions of those who dislike him for whatever reason.


The Vatican approved one of the bishops. Per protocol signed by the AB and Cardinal.


So, half of you think it’s valid and half of you don’t? It’s worse than a Protestant church?

I’m dealing with a husband who’s very attached so it has to be a good argument for me to get him to the fssp instead.

Yes, the pope is the pope, no matter what he does. I know. The ‘procreating like bunnies’ comment in the Phillipines was not very nice to large Catholic families, that’s all, and a few other comments were confusing. But, he is the pope and in the middle ages there was worse and they were still the pope. They don’t preach against him formally or anything. Just so you know.


I disagree. The SSPX have valid Sacraments. The Eucharist they consecrate is real. They also acknowledge Pope Francis as the Bishop of Rome. Protestant denominations (not necessarily the people!) are formally separated from the Church and do not have a valid Eucharist. If I was in a situation where I only had an SSPX church or Protestant church to choose from, I’d pick the SSPX every time because of that.

Also, the excommunications on the original four bishops illicitly consecrated by the late Archbishop Lefebvre were lifted by Benedict XVI.


That is true—the Vatican was willing to compromise and allow one of the Econe Bishops be consecrated per the agreement reached with Cardinal Ratzinger in May 1988 (?). But all four were excommunicated if I am not mistaken, because Lefebrve was not willing to honor the compromise.


Here’s the answer as succinctly summarized as I can muster:

  1. SSPX Confession is valid because faculties were granted by the Holy Father.
  2. SSPX Matrimony is valid if the bishop of the diocese in which the SSPX parish resides grants faculties explicitly, otherwise it is invalid.
  3. All other SSPX sacraments are valid by intrinsic power of the priesthood.
  4. All SSPX sacraments are considered “illicit”, because they exercise those sacraments without submitting themselves to the lawful authority over the Church (the Pope). They are essentially in a state of disobedience (but not schism).
  5. Now the actual answer: if a person attends the SSPX sacraments while fully understanding the history of their disobedience, and without a sufficiently serious reason to attend the SSPX instead of a parish in full union with Rome, that person could be committing a sin of disobedience against the Church, by participating in the disobedience of the SSPX.


Thank you for putting in the effort. I will remember this.


Glad to help. :slight_smile:

In a sense, by asking this question, you’ve opened a moral can of worms for yourself… so I applaud your courage. :wink:


We’re all armchair canon lawyers here, fyi.


There is a spirit of disobedience surrounding them. And, our battles are in the spiritual realm - so best to avoid them and pray for them.

Want an ancient liturgy? Seek out a Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter parish and be wowed.


Google “Hawaii Six”. Cardinal Ratzinger (later BXVI) answered your question in 1996. :wink:


Unless one is driving past a diocesan parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass to get to an SSPX chapel-- no problema.
'Nuff said.

I’ve muted all response notifications. Still see likes, though. Nice PMs always welcome. Have a blessed day!


If you lay two popes end to end, you’ll get (at least) three conflicting opinions about SSPX (all of them correct) . . .

They hav valid sacraments, are not sedevacanist, are pious, are not very good at the obedience thing, build churches, don’t obey the local bishop, have papal tolerance, are offended by a pope creating SSPV, are kind of suspended, except that they’re kind of not, . . .




Aside from the other aspects, discussed in this thread, look at Prudence.

Maybe you just like the Latin Mass, and pay no attention to other stuff there.
Let’s suppose you yourself are spiritually stable, but maybe your neighbor is not. If he sees you there, he may be reinforced to go further in, and absorb other things.

Some clergy each year make a decision to come into communion with Rome and their diocese, say in 2018. That means in 2017, 2016, they and others were considering taking this step. Some did. Some postponed.

If a priest happens to be on the fence, seeing a full SSPX chapel may give one more reason to postpone a decision that would be in his, and the Church’s benefit. There are many places where the FSSP has been asked to open up a parish, but they can’t, because of a lack of priests.

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