Very good post. Thank you.
Regarding the SSPX: I see them, in some ways, similar to St. Athanasuis and his followers during the Arian crisis. The paralells are pretty similar. The church was engulfed in heresy (Arianism). It is said that about 90% of the clergy were infected by this heresy, which denied the Divinity of Our Lord.
Athanasius was banned from his diocese and an Arian heretic was established in his place. Athanasius was also ex-communicated and spent a total of 17 years in exile. It is now said that the Pope who signed the excommunication was forced to do so, and maybe that is true, but certainly it was unknown to the exiled Anathasius and his “schismatic” followers at the time. St. Athanasius was objectively in schism.
Athanasius went throughout the region and ordained priests and Bishops (without a Papal mandate). The errors of the Arians had already been officially condemned at the council of Nicea, yet they flourished.
The faithful who were not Arians were disgusted by this foul plague. I think it was St. Basil who said that the faithful “went out into the desert to worship” away from their local diocese, because “they would have no part of the wicken Arian leven”.
In our day we are surrounded by liberalism. This too has already been concemned by our Popes - not once, but many times. The way the liberals get around the many condemnations is by claiming that “the faith has changed” or “evolved”, which has also been explicitly condemned (by St. Pope Pius X). They use the term “developement of doctrine” (which is legitimate) to justify the “evolution of doctrine” (which is false). The Arians probably did the same: “Sure what we believe was condemned, but that was back then. In our day the Church has a “new” understanding of the Divinity of Jesus” was probably what the Arians said.
Once again today, the liberals are attempting to change the faith “once delivered to the saints” into something else that is incompatible with what has always been taught.
Just as it was in the days of Arianism, today many flee to the deserts (spiritually) because they will “have no part of the wicked liberal leven”, which is found, to one degree or another, at almost every American Church.
I do not agree with everything the SSPX does, but one thing is that the sacraments and the Mass are valid. In your average American parish, you are never sure the sacraments are. Let me back up that statement, since it is sure to draw fire. In 1979 Rome issued a letter to the American Bishops because they were using invalid “matter” for communion. This, of course, caused the Mass to be no Mass at all (an invalid Mass). The problem with the invalid matter was not corrected, but has even become worse. I remember one day listening to Mr. Angelica. Someone called in and said “today our priest consecrated a cake at Mass: was this valid”. With disgust in her voice Mr. Angelica said “honey, you got nothin”. It was totally invalid and a sacrilidge as well.
In addition, many of these heretical priest (who are allowed to remain by negligent Rome) are now baptizing “in the name of the creator, redeemer, and sanctifier”, which is invalid. The person leaves the way they arrived - unbaptized. Rome does virtually nothing and the problem only gets worse. Rome is not doing its job, therefore the faithful have to be very careful to protect themselves.
You do not have these problems at an SSPX Church. Also the Sermons are usually very good. I sometime go to a local indult Mass. Our new novus ordo Pastor now says the sermon once in a while. Last week he gave a heretical sermon about “universal salvation”. I was so angry I couldn’t even go to communion.
I will not be going back to that Church when that heretic gives the sermon. Instead I will go to the SSPX down the road. This is totally justified by both canon law and common sense.
Faith is greater than obedience. And we have an obligation to protect our families from these wolves in sheeps clothing. The faith is solid at the SSPX, Therefore, I will go there through necessity. “In the case of necessity, there is no law” (St. Thomas).
I would like to go on, but my post will probably be getting too long, so I’ll send it now.