Attending SSPX?

I’m visiting my in-laws this weekend, and my husband and I have been invited to attend their SSPX mass with them. Normally I would decline, and attend a mass that is fully in communion, not “irregular”. However, no masses near me are being said, and the diocese I attend mass at has dispensed us from attending anyway. I know the situation is complicated, and I have had many heated discussions with my in-laws regarding SSPX. When we go, plan to sit and watch, I do not plan to receive Eucharist. May I do this? There is nothing wrong with this right? I know some on one side of the aisle would condemn even stepping foot in a SSPX chapel, while others attend frequently.

There’s nothing wrong with attending an SSPX chapel, if your intentions are merely to pray the Mass and receive the Eucharist.

It only becomes problematic if you’re attending as a symbolic gesture to show your disapproval towards the magisterium.


Isn’t there a Catholic Church in the area?

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As someone who regularly attended SSPX for a while, let me say this:
1: There is nothing wrong with attending an SSPX Mass, especially with family who invites you. There is no sin when attending for a good reason.
2: Even though most of the SSPX locations are not churches in the canonical sense, some of them are. None of them are parish churches, though.
3: They are not excommunicated and not in schism. The irregular situation should not concern you on a regular Sunday or two. But:
4: If you go there often, you’ll become attached - and it took me a while to accept that not every opinion I held was healthy and Catholic. While I truly believe the SSPX have the long end of the stick in a huge number of cases, there is a problem in their attitude.


Most likely the diocesan Catholic Churches have suspended Mass. if the SSPX Catholic Churches are offering Mass I would think the consideration would be one of health not of a valid Mass done in the Roman rite. Which the SSPX is.

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Bp. Athanasus Schneider has pointed out that the faithful can attend their masses. Hence you can go in good conscience and receive the sacraments there. I would like to think that it was for this reason that Pope Francis granted them the faculties for confession so as to that the faithful could profit from their work; despite the legalities still to be worked out between them and the Holy See. I think that Pope Francis is begun pragmatic in that until such legalities are worked out there is sufficient levity for the faithful to be assisted by them.


For some reason which I don’t understand, people often seem to confuse the opinions of the SSPX, which is an exclusively clerical body, with those of the flock who happen to attend their Masses, who are laymen like anyone else.

Contrary to popular imagination, the SSPX priests do not constantly rail from the pulpit against the Pope and the Vatican. I have been going quite frequently to SSPX masses for five years and have never heard a single criticism raised of the Pope or the Vatican by a member of SSPX. By contrast, the flock seem to have almost no other topic of conversation.

So my advice is: if the Pope thinks its fine that people go to SSPX Mass for “various reasons” (his phrase) it’s fine to go. It’s also not bad to listen to what the priest has to say. But do take the chatter of the flock you meet with a large pinch of salt.


SSPX churches are Catholic, according to the Pope


Why not?

Did you read what Pope Francis wrote already five years ago?

“ A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, “

The point to note here is that Francis acknowledges that people can and do “choose” to attend SSPX for “various reasons” not only because they have no option, and the Pope accepts such people as having “good faith and sacramental practice”.


What kinds of SSPX locations would be “canonical” churches? I’m not sure what that means. Is this something that would be more typical in one country than elsewhere?

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I was explained by a priest it concerns the churches solemnly consecrated by a Bishop. Only Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated churches for the SSPX, the auxillary bishops (Fellay have not consecrated churches for the Society. Generally, if it’s referred to as “church” on the SSPX directory it’s a church either consecrated by the Archbishop or by another Catholic bishop before it was taken over by the SSPX.

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I’m not sure what he has in mind specifically with that post, but there is an SSPX Mass in Syracuse held at a diocesan parish with the permission of the bishop.

You can feel free to go.

You also may receive Communion. Catholics are free to attend the SSPX and receive the Eucharist from them.

The only thing to fear during a SSPX mass is the occasional sermon that attacks bishops & new Mass. But there is nothing to fear about the Mass itself.

As others have said, it seems to be true that you can, without sinning, attend.
Personally, I couldn’t in good conscience attend an SSPX church unless I literally had no other option. But that’s just my unsolicited opinion. :yum:

Really? Are you sure about that?

I just Googled the SSPX in Syracuse and it says they use a Chapel at their priory in suburban Syracuse.

Or was this in the past?

would you skip a wedding or funeral mass because one was there? Because Pope Francis said Catholics are free to get married in SSPX chapels

NOTE: I would not normally attend one either, but I wouldn’t skip a wedding or funeral that was there. Also, if I was visiting family who attend the SSPX, I would go with them on a special occasion (sleeping at their house, baptism, confirmation, etc). I wouldn’t cause a scene by not attending when sleeping at someone’s house - esp when Pope Francis said it’s OK

But again, otherwise, I would not normally go there (and I still never have)

No if it were a wedding or funeral I’d definitely go. Probably wouldn’t receive though. Yeah I accept whatever the Church says regarding them, but like I say, unless it were special circumstances I would definitely avoid. If I were simply staying in someone’s house… Hmmm, I’m not sure. I’d have to balance offending my in-laws or whoever with my own convictions. I’d be inclined not to though.

why wouldn’t you receive? Pope Francis has said that Catholics can feel free to receive at an SPPX chapel?

I just looked it up. They’ve apparently moved again to Warners, NY, where they already had a school. Prior to that they were using St. Cecilia’s in Solvay, NY (just outside Syracuse), a diocesan parish.

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