Sorry, but SSPX Masses DO NOT normally fulfill the Sunday obligation


#1

That’s right, SSPX Masses don’t fulfill one’s Sunday obligation except in extreme circumstances.

First of all, the Ecclesia Dei Commission said this in protocol N. 117/95:

  1. The Masses [the SSPX] celebrate are also valid, but it is considered morally illicit for the faithful to participate in these Masses unless they are physically or morally impeded from participating in a Mass celebrated by a Catholic priest in good standing (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 844.2). The fact of not being able to assist at the celebration of the so-called “Tridentine” Mass is not considered a sufficient motive for attending such Masses.

Now I’d like to address a couple statements that Msgr. Perl made in his previous letter.

*1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of St. Pius X.
*
This last comment applies to whatever specific circumstances this person wrote to Rome about – as Msgr. Perl said above. It cannot be construed that Msgr. Perl is saying that anyone can fulfill his obligation through the SSPX, for that is taking the comment out of context of the original communications.

Msgr. Perl said that an SSPX Mass could, “in the strict sense,” fulfill one’s Sunday obligation. In the same way, a Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgy could, in the strict sense, fulfill one’s Sunday obligation. But that would only be the case if there was no possible way for a person to attend a Catholic Mass, for example, if they were in Greece and it was impossible for them to find a Catholic church, whereas Greek Orthodox churches abound. However, at the same time, the person wouldn’t be bound by the Sunday obligation. In the same way, the Church has said that Catholics may only attend SSPX Masses for truly grave reasons (e.g. the nearest Catholic parish in union with Rome is a really long distance away and one couldn’t drive there without extreme difficulty).

*2. We have already told you that we cannot recommend your attendance at such a Mass and have explained the reason why. If your primary reason for attending were to manifest your desire to separate yourself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him, it would be a sin. If your intention is simply to participate in a Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.
*
Again, this comment has to be put in the context of the original messages which weren’t made available to us (Msgr. Perl had said that the original correspondence was meant to be private correspondence to someone in a particular situation and that there was more stuff that had been said that wasn’t released to the public). So we do not know why Msgr. Perl has made the statements which he did and, again, this cannot be taken as a blanket endorsement of attendance at Society Masses nor of any kind of support for the SSPX. The Church has warned the faithful that they cannot support the schism of the SSPX. This was specifically stated by the Holy Father in his motu proprio Ecclesia Dei (point 5C) when he said,

“In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfill the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church’s law.
It is clear that those who patronize the Society stand to incur the penalty of excommunication - so says the supreme interpreter of Church law, an appeal from whose authority is not possible.”


#2

i understood from someone here at CAF that the canonical status of the laity of the SSPX is not determined. correct?


#3

Neither does an invalid Mass.

And who knows how many of those are celebrated in the Conciliar Church.


#4

That’s irrelevent. Regardless of whether or not attendance at an SSPX Mass is considered an act of schism for laity, one can only fulfill the Sunday obligation (and that of Holy Days of Obligation) at a canonically approved Mass.

In other words, even if the laity are not considered to be guilty of schism and are therefore full members of the Church, they would still be committing the grave sin of not fulfilling the Sunday obligation.


#5

And how do you know that invalid Masses are so common? Do you visit parishes regularly to see if the matter is valid or to listen and make sure the consecration is done properly?


#6

Yes but ONLY in the Conciliar church is it even possible to get Masses that are BOTH valid and licit. And they are certainly out there to be found, at least in most parts of the US and the world. An SSPX mass, though, is NEVER licit.


#7

Well, these AAA threads SSPX and May a Catholic attend a SSPX Mass regularly? and Am I sinning by attending an SSPX chapel? quote from “Ecclesia Dei” and state that individuals were “warned that formal adherence to the Lefebvrist schism was a grave sin”

So it would seem that the canonical status of the informal SSPX laity was not strictly determined per se.
However, if they persist in following SSPX formally, they too would carry "the penalty of excommunication ".


#8

Because the Bishop of Sacramento, the Reverend William K Weigand, told me and about 90 other people so in a Diocese seminar.

He took a poll amongst his priests, and found out that 30% dont believe in the Real Presence.

If thats the case, than in my diocese 30% of Masses are invalid.

And thats assuming the other 70% speak from their heart.

I dont know how it is in your diocese.

Matter, Form, and Intention.

Most NO masses here in Sacramento only have two out of the three. (in any order)


#9

You might want to look in the SSPX and Traditional Catholicism thread where a discussion was raging in full force.


#10

If a priest doesn’t believe in the Real Presence, that in itself is not enough to invalidate the Mass. There’s also the intention of doing what the Church does. If the priest at least has that intention, regardless of whether or not he believes, then the Mass is valid.


#11

The Intention of the Priest should be to consecrate the Host.

If he doesnt believe in the Real Presence…then he doesnt believe the Host is even Consecrated…so how can he have the intention?


#12

How can there be intention without true belief. It would seem that the lack of belief would in itself invalidate intention.


#13

Exactly.

Its like saying you have the intention to buy a computer…but you dont actually believe computers exist.


#14

I would much rather attend an SSPX Mass as opposed to an irreverant…modernist (one filled with abuses and invalid due to content) new mass…And yes…attending an SSPX Mass does fulfill your Sunday obligation…regardless of what you think…secondly, a lay Catholic’s canonical standing has not been defined for one that attends an SSPX Mass…which means it is not schismatic or heretical, etc…it is perfectly valid for one to attend if they so choose.


#15

Thats very true.

Better attend a supposedly illicit Mass than an obviously sacreligious Mass.


#16

I hear you my friend…God Bless


#17

Isn’t it is that the priest must make a positive act of will against and only then it would be invalid? Even if he personally does not believe in it, so long as he does not make a positve intention against but intends to do what the Church does (and if I’m not mistaken, virtual intention is sufficient, but please correct me on that) it is valid.


#18

if an sspx laity’s canonical status has not been determined, how can they be under the penalty of excommunication if their status is not determined? that does not make sense to me. please clarify. wouldn’t the excommunication penalty only be considered valid if the sspx laity supported the schism?


#19

Yes Marilena…then excomm would be supported in that case…but it hasn’t been defined, so SSPX are not schismatic…and to be honest…the more I read of these new age, uncatchechized Catholics…the more I associate with the SSPX…they want to make others believe that all CAtholics who attend SSPX masses are schismatics…but that couldn’t be further from the truth. FYI…I have an indult in my diocese…but think for sh*t and giggles…I am going to attend an SSPX Chapel tommorow, for the first time…to show my unity…because afterall…it is all about Ecumenism right? :smiley:


#20

You are correct.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.