People who have gone to SSPX and FSSP churches

What differences have you noticed between services/people/priests? I am thinking of switching parishes from one to the other.

I honestly haven’t noticed a difference…

The SSPX church is very nice but the FSSP church near me also offers confession everyday before mass which is nice. I don’t know if they all do it though. Also FSSP is in communion with Rome so preferably you’d wanna go to that one I think.


FSSP operates parishes. SSPX operates chapels. They are not the same thing.


The main difference is that there is no question about FSSP’s relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

Unfortunately if you say on here “SSPX is not in communion with the Catholic Church” there will be people who want to debate that issue, but it’s pretty safe to say that FSSP and ICKSP allow people to be part of a traditional parish with no question about their status vis a vis Rome.
As someone else said, SSPX operates their own chapels which are not the same thing.


Believe it or not, the FSSP these days can be more hard-hitting in their sermons. The SSPX is nowhere near what it used to be 20 and more years ago.


I think the SSPX’s refusal to accept the liturgical changes imposed by Vatican II get them a red flag in many people’s eyes.

I found their masses to be very similar to those of the FSSP. However, the FSSP parish in my diocese is small and it gets packed very quickly. The SSPX parish I attended was nearly 3x the size and inside was very beautiful and it was reminiscent of how Churches prior to V2 were supposed to be built.


A parish is a community of the faithful, united to their pastor. He, and they, are united to their bishop ordinary, and to other parishes, in a diocese, where they participate in regional ministries. The bishop - their bishop - is in relation to the pope, the college of bishops and universal Church.

Even if the parish is staffed by FSSP or another religious order, the laity are not “under” that religious order’s provincial. They are part of the diocese.

The SSPX doesn’t have any parishes, pastors, or bishop Ordinary. Their chapel is not in relationship to a diocese or bishop Ordinary.


I was struggling with a similar question myself recently. I’ve found a good deal of information on the subject, but perhaps a good place to start is understanding the status of the SSPX (see the link below, and if you’ve time, listen to part 2 as well! It gets into the actual status question)
Here is a very recent CatholicAnswers interview with an SSPX spokesperson (part 1 of 2):

As an intermittent “SSPX adherent” I can get behind this interview. The (non-SSPX) priest was very real but balanced about the different issues without any of them ever falling into the camp of “they’re schismatic” or “they’re excommunicated” or the like.
An interview about the SSPX without prejudice. Who’da thunk?


I have never seen any unfriendly interviews with SSPX. Has anyone?
I recall one or two very friendly interviews with Bishop Fellay, by National Catholic Register.

Catholic Answers, like others, probably decided getting a “friendly interview” is better than no interview.
There were few if any tough questions. In fact, I almost expected the SSPX spokesman to say “I’m glad you asked that…” several times.

I would like to see a neutral (not hostile) interview.

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Both SSPX and FSSP Mass venues are a “niche market”, so to speak. At either one, compared to the typical Novus Ordo parish, you will find:

  • Larger families
  • More homeschoolers
  • More stay-at-home moms
  • Many women wearing chapel veils or other head covering
  • Many men wearing suits, or coat, tie, and dress trousers
  • Many people carrying bound handmissals
  • Kneeling only for communion
  • Reception only of the host, on the tongue, administered by a priest
  • Acolytes with patens
  • Male acolytes only, usually with black cassocks, sometimes even white gloves
  • Utter silence before, during, and immediately after Mass
  • More people with very conservative doctrinal, political, social, historical, and lifestyle views
  • No dissent from traditional moral teachings
  • Generally modest dress
  • A tendency for people to linger for a time after Mass, and to assemble themselves into conversation groups
  • Many people staying behind in the nave, even after Mass, to pray and offer thanksgiving

If this sounds like something you’d like to experience, attend your nearest Traditional Latin Mass, and see how you like it.


Go to FSSP because they’re in communion with Rome! SSPX is in schism!


I am certain that the “Old Catholic Church” and the “Polish National Catholic Churches” are also beautiful.

But, ya’ know what’s beautiful to God?



In fairness to adherents of SSPX, they likely would argue that they seek obedience to the Catholic Faith, not necessarily the current hierarchy.

Our local diocese has sold church buildings to multiple other groups, including PNCC, but not to SSPX.

I respect the individuals in SSPX, though I do not share their position. I am angry about some of the same abuses they appear to be angry about. I think I can do more good here (support orthodox OF liturgies and Diocesan EF Mass and devotions, retreats, support orthodox catechesis (we started an independent school), support diocesan prolife, etc) than over there.

We need lots of prayers. I’m frustrated at the SSPX, not because the diocese is so good - eek it’s not - but because they aren’t working to make it better. They aren’t in formal schism, but are outside of making things better.

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Not schism


There is no schism (at least not yet). They are in an irregular situation … Which would prevent me from going there unless there was drastic circumstances…

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And I agree, Protestant churches have no apostolic succession or valid sacraments. Perhaps the word drastic I used is not the best term… There would have to be special circumstances for me to go to an SSPX. For example I am in a town on a Sunday and there is only an SSPX chapel… But if there also was a FSSP church, I would definately go there.


The Vatican, and dioceses, have one office to relate to other Christian denominations, and relate to SSPX in a separate way.

Suppose SSPX were to change its chapels into parishes, its districts into Dioceses, and designate Ordinaries, and acknowledge they have stable, permanent (not just visiting) laity. They would be recognized as a denomination.

The Bad news is they would be officially in schism. The Good news is they could get involved in any ecumenical activity that they choose to have with the RCC.

At present, they don’t want to do that, but I think they eventually will.

I don’t know. My background is more in social process of organizations, but I lack sufficient personal direct contacts with SSPX people to know the answer to your question.

I should spend more time praying about this issue, and less on internet forums.

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