Poll: Is the SSPX schismatic?


Do you think the SSPX is schismatic?


All right, technically I suppose they are as Rome has ex-communicated their founder and all but declared the Society as being in schism.

But, it’s hard to argue that they’re in Schism for worshiping as Catholics worshipped for aeons. On the other hand, they’re ignoring the moving of the Holy Spirit through a legitimately convened Council.

So I’ll say No because the Society itself doesn’t seem to feel it’s in Schism. Besides, I’ve been Episcopalian for almost a year now and the lines between the various groups of Catholics has started to blur.


The reason they have been described as schismatic has nothing to do with their way of worship. After all, a lot of utterly faithful Catholics now worship in precisely the same way.

It has everything to do with the fact that their founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, ordained four other bishops on his own initiative and contrary to an explicit instruction from Rome not to do so.

He was bound in obedience to Rome which he owed as a Catholic bishop to listen to this instruction. And certainly put himself and those he purported to ordain (and those they in turn purported to ordain) in schism by so doing.

I don’t know much about the Society of SSPX. I do know that I will never knowingly have anything to do with them nor do I support their split from Rome, and I pray for their reunion with the Holy See.


Yes, but I pray that this split be healed by the hand of God working through HH Pope Benedict XV!.


Yes, they are in Schism…
If His Holiness says so that’s how it is. Having a liturgical preference and a disagreement about it with Rome does not release any Catholic from obedience, now does it? The radical traditionalist rhetoric that I have seen is not only vitriolic, but in many cases grossly misleading as to the allegations that they made. In some cases rivaling some of the worst a-C propaganda I’ve seen.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum,


Is the Pope Catholic?


Yes, why ask it?


The SSPX are not in schism. Cardinal Castrillon has said so in recent interviews. He has said that they are in an “imperfect” communion with the Church, what ever that means… But don’t think that His Holiness Benedict XVI wasn’t aware of his comments. Curia officials rarely if ever make a public comment such as this without at least the approval of the Pope.

Popes can be wrong, and His Holiness John Paul II was wrong in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.

Don’t misunderstand. I am a convert to the Faith. John Paul II was my first pope. I loved/love him, but he was just plain wrong in how he dealt with Archbishop Lefebvre. The Archbishop might have also been wrong in how he went about the consecrations, but I do believe that he was doing what he legitimately thought (and Canon Law, arguably, backed him up) was the right thing to do in the face of an enormous crisis in the Church. A crisis that continues to this very day.


His Holiness has never said so. Neither Benedict XVI nor John Paul II have ever said the Society is in Schism. If you believe other wise, can you cite a quote?


No, they are not. That Archbishop LeFebvre disobeyed the Pope’s directive is indeed serious but does not indicate that he and/or the SSPX went “into schism” by that act.

Cardinal Hoyos and Msgr Pearl have both said that a formal schism does not exist. No one else can ‘vote’ it into being.

Msgr Pearl stated that one’s Sunday obligation to assist at Mass is fulfilled by attendance at an SSPX Mass. How can that be if they are in schism? Is one’s Sunday obligation fulfilled by attending an Episcopalian or Lutheran service? Even though the excommunication was lifted from the Eastern Orthodox church, is the Sunday obligation fulfilled by attending their services?

I don’t think so.


Ummm, except that Cahtolics for aeons have stayed in communion with the Pope and the defintion of schism is separating from such communion.

I would also add that the way they worship has not been done for aeons as the Mass they celebrate came to be celebrated by the whole Latin Church at the Council of Trent and the 1962 Missal is just the last of many modifications of that Mass from Trent. So what they celebrate is in no way even identical to what was celebrated in the days follow Trent.



Not sure where to find the juridical definition of “in communion with”. Hopefully, it does not mean to the degree that they follow the moral teachings and the infallibly promulgated doctrines of the of the church because, in that case, you will find a good number of Catholics, priests, and Bishops in schism with this Pope and all of the Popes before him on many moral and social issues. When Pope John Paul II created the Ecclesia Dei commission and asked all Bishops to be “generous” in the granting of permission to offer the Tridentine Mass in their diocese, do you consider those bishops schismatic that refuse to allow any at all? Or are we only supposed to follow the direction of the Pope when he says “pretty please” or issues a Papal Bull? The diocese of Arlington, VA has just been granted an indult after 18 years. The Diocese of Baltimore has been allowed one Mass in one church in one of the worst sections of downtown Baltimore. Are you overwhelmed by their examples of “generousity”. Not exactly in “lock-step” with the Pope, are they?

As for the Tridentine Mass, that Mass as codified by Pius V after Trent (as a weapon against the Protestant Revolt), has had VERY few changes in five centuries, mostly to add prayers and references to saints. It has grown organically with the help of several Pontiffs.

The Novus Ordo Missae is, as we all know, the adaptation of the Communion service of Thomas Cranmer and Martin Luther. This is the very service that Pius V was protecting the priests of the Catholic Church from being forced to celebrate in England and Europe. If you don’t believe it, visit an Anglican or Episcopal Church and try and count the differences between their service and the New Mass. You’d be lucky to find any. It has led to the decline in the belief of the True Presence in the Holy Eucharist, just as Luther intended when he created it.

Try this experiment: sit in the back of the church after Sunday Mass or better yet, a weekday Mass. Assuming your church has a tabernacle in the sanctuary and a santuary candle lit indicating that the Body, Blood. Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord is in that tabernacle, just as sure as He was on Calvary, count the number of people who genuflect, walk by and give a little head nod, or do nothing at all in the physical presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


“In communion with” is what the Church says it is within its Teachings.

The SSPX is not in communion, that is all that needs to be said within this thread.

The Novus Ordo Missae is, as we all know, the adaptation of the Communion service of Thomas Cranmer and Martin Luther.

This is a lie.



If you want to discuss this, you’ll have to be a little less shallow.

“In communion with” is what the Church says it is within its Teachings.

Please define those infallibly promulgated teachings where the SSPX is outside of the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings. (I’ve already acknowledged that the Episcopal Consecrations were an act of disobedience). You may want to copy His Holiness Pope Benedict on this because if the SSPX is on the brink of regularization with Rome, the Pope should know that there is a dogmatic or theological problem that has escaped him and the Curia for these last 18 years.

The Novus Ordo Missae is, as we all know, the adaptation of the Communion service of Thomas Cranmer and Martin Luther.

This is a lie.

So David, how do you explain that in 1955, there was absolutely no possible way to mistake the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for a Protestant communion service. And now, if you attend the Sunday Service at Westminister Abbey, you will see the Novus Ordo down to the propers (although there is less likely to be any of the happy-clappy stuff you’ll find in the U.S.).

Here is a hint: the Westminister service was the same in 1955.

You need to read up on The Second Vatican Council and the authors of the Pauline Mass, the object of which, among other things, was to make the Mass more pallatable to non-Catholics by removing references to sacrifice and oblation. To quote Luther, “… the Catholic Mass stinks of oblation!”


Here’s my two cents worth…

The SSPX is certianly in an unusually canonical situation. It is exactly like the situation St. Athanasius and his followers found themselves in during the second worse crisis in the Church - the Arian Crisis.

Athanasius was excommunicated, yet continued to act outside of the normal structures of the Church. Normally, this would constitute schism, but given the situation it was the right thing to do. St. Athanasius, who gave every impression of being an excommunicated schismatic, was eventually canonized and proven right. He showed that the faith does not change, and holding fast to what the Church has always taught is the right thing to do; and, despite what you may have heard, this is exactly what the SSPX is doing.

The situation in the Church today is far worse than that time of St. Athanasius, and I have no doubt that Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonized and the SSPX (who is despised and hated by all today, just like Athanasius was during his day) will be vendicated.

The SSPX and the other Traditionalist groups who are keeping the faith “whole and inviolate”, and who have preserved the uncompromised Mass, are the heros of our day.

Faith is greater than obedience; and if the faith is in danger it is lawful to disobey if that is what is necessary to preserve the faith - and in our day of apostasy, when the majority of the bishop do all they can to destroy the faith - it is necessary, just like it was during the day of St. Athansius. That is the reality of the situation.

The following prophecy of St. Francis is interesting to consider given the crisis the Church finds herself in.

[quote=] Prphecy of St. Francis:

"1. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

"2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

"3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

"4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

"5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

"6. Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

“7. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”

(Except for breaking up the narrative into numbered paragraphs and adding bold print for emphasis, the prophecy is presented without any alteration, as given in the Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250; as evidenced by the scanned pages linked to above.)


And you will have to deal with the Truth.

But I see I missed something.

Your signature and it says it all.

Society of St. Pius X (Third Order)
Traditional Catholic Radio

No need for me to respond further.


They are out of communion with the Pope and with the Church of which he is the head, being the Successor of Peter.

I don’t know if that’s technically “schism” or not, but to my way of thinking, it’s no less that the situation of Martin Luther in 1529 and the situation of King Henry VIII a few years after him - their disagreements may well be honest and well-founded but that does not negate the fact that they have established for themselves a “new and improved edition” of the Church separated and apart from the Catholic leadership that goes back to the time of Christ.


Does this help at all?

Catechism of the Catholic Church
2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

And the Code of Canon Law (which says pretty much the same thing)
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.


My impression from things I have read is that SSPX is not in schism, though I think they came mighty close. I don’t think they actually reject any of the teachings of the Church. My impression is that their problem is primarily liturgical. I understand they are reticent at this point to come into the regular organizational structure of the Church for fear they will be put under the jursidiction of bishops who will forbid them to say the Tridentine Mass, etc. (Not a totally unreasonable fear.)

My guess is that, as the present Pope’s reforms take hold, SSPX will become something like the Uniates; outside the regular diocesan structure, but otherwise fully within the Church. Probably if someday all U.S. bishops are like Apb Finn in KC, they will come within the regular structure.

It’s easy to look askance at the SSPX, and I think LeFebvre was wrong in what he did. But if European and U.S. bishops had not overinterpreted the “reforms” of VII, I don’t think the whole thing would have happened.


Schism is not about rejection of Church Teachings, as you can see if you read what the Catechism and Canon Law say.

Schism is about refusal of submission to the Pope and not being in communion with the Church.

Both of which the SSPX falls under.

It is easy to see this as they have set up their own hierarchy and perform marriages, confessions, and the granting of anullments with out having any jurisdiction to do so.

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