SSPX Priest Celebrates Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica

Really? How can this be allowed? Does anyone know any factual details on this? I can’t imagine a community in schism with Rome would be allowed to celebrate the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. :confused:

I don’t know if this is true now, but the FSSPX Mass was allowed when Benedict was Pope.

The FSSPX seems to be the same entity as the SSPX as far as I can tell. I found this quote from Pope Benedict (3-10-2009):

"The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society (of St Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church"

I can’t imagine Pope Benedict would allow them to have a Mass in St. Peter’s. If they did get permission, it must have been illicitly obtained from someone else other than the Pope.

And you know this how? Assuming the worst about anyone is not very Christian. Neither is suspicion.

If I am not mistaken, they have said Mass a few times before in St. Peter’s. This isn’t earth shattering news.

If someone was allowed to say Mass in a Church by (wrongly) saying they are fully in union with Catholic Faith, or failing to disclose their SSPX status, that would be dishonesty. The prior poster is saying it (the Mass, and thus the dishonesty) may not have ever happened. They are giving the SSPX the benefit of the doubt, not “assuming the worst” about them.

If someone was “assuming the worst” about the SSPX, they would say, “I bet they lie often”.
If I wanted to assume the best about the SSPX, I would say they are so humble and honest, they would never fudge things a little to sneak in an illicit Mass at St. Peter.

THIS article says they did the same thing in 2000. Hmm…

From the article cited above…

Perhaps too, this example from certain authorities in Rome (as also occurred during the SSPX’s Jubilee Pilgrimage in 2000) will influence those who have authority over certain pilgrimage shrines here in the States to modify their injunctions against our devout pilgrims and their chaplains.

The SSPX has numerous friends and sympathizers among the clergy and laity alike. It stands to reason that some of these sympathizers just might be pretty high up the Vatican food chain. There are MANY very traditional-minded priests (and bishops) out there that TRULY want them ‘in the fold’ and to have ‘regular status’ within the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI said in his letter of 10 March 2009 concerning his remission of the excommunication of the four bishops of the Society of St Pius X; “Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers - even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty - do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.” (Italics added)

They are NOT schismatic, but rather “irregular”. They are NOT sedevacantists, and recognize the authority of the Roman Pontiff.

According to a VERY trusted friend of mine (a very trdition-minded priest who celebrates VALID Tridentine Masses weekly at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston); Catholics should NOT recieve the Sacraments at an SSPX mass, and should ONLY attend one of their liturgies AFTER attending a VALID mass elsewhere. And if they DO attend one of their masses - not to make a habit of it.

We can only speculate as to who gave permission to the SSPX to celebrate the Tridentine Holy Mass at St. Peter’s; but if there is to ever be reconciliation between the Holy See and the SSPX, one of the sides has to throw a bone to the other to get the ball rolling.

Pope Benedict made great efforts (and great strides) to bring them into regular status while he was pope. I hope that Pope Francis can be the pope that finishes the job!

FSSP ~ Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Founded in 1988. In full communion with the Church and posesses VALID and LICIT faculties.

SSPX ~ Society of St. Pius X. Founded in 1970. Currently has IRREGULAR status within the Church.

NOT the same entity. Not by a long shot.

A clarification is in order.

The official name of the fraternity in question is

Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X (FSSPX)

It seems SSPX is just a shortened acronym.

The one in full communion with Rome is

Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri (FSSP), yes a different entity.

Hmm… I have never seen it abbreviated as FSSPX, but rather always as SSPX. I mistakenly thought boomerang confused two different groups.

Please forgive my ignorance, and my sincere apologies to everyone on this thread.

Either way the first S represents Sacerdotalis, which is Latin for priestly. Not a society. I think Br JR mentioned this once.

And perhaps to add to the confusion, the first members of the FSSP were former members of the FSSPX, the latter of which, btw, had been set up as a legitimate fraternity in 1970.


So… WHO gave them permission to celebrate mass at St. Peter’s? And WHY?

My understanding is that they were allowed to say private Mass while they stayed in Rome for the talks, attended mostly by Bishop Fellay and Cardinal Levada, I believe, who spoke for the Pope.

Not just MANY but almost every Catholic wants “them” in the fold. Each year some SSPX priests and laity come into the fold. They gain regular status, they now benefit, and benefit from, the ministry of their local diocese and bishop. They are not walled off into little enclaves apart from the other local parishes or apostolates such as prolife and religious liberty; the former SSPX people now fully participate, as they now come into the fold.

Some SSPX clergy, and certainly some SSPX websites, may not formally reject Francis as pope, but don’t really accept him as an authoritative teaching pope either. They may accept Francis when he happens to agree with them on what is true or important, but are not influenced by him in deciding what IS true and important. They may regard him as perhaps a valid administrator of the Vatican, but not fully a pope. The websites attack him, not obey him.

The Church has made more available the TLM and, if priests want to join, the FSSP. Some SSPX individuals come over; some don’t. The SSPX (as an organization) isn’t reconciling. Their leaders don’t want to give up their position, they want the Vatican to put its endorsement on the structure - their leaders’ power structure - which would mostly stay the same. Its priests and laity would not benefit from fellowship with neighboring pastors, not benefit from the ministry of the local bishop, or Pope Francis, or Vatican II. If the Vatican did that kind of “reconciliation” with SSPX, other groups would petition for the same thing, so that you would have a “Call to Action” island in each city, each “protected” from the local bishop, etc, etc as many other groups would each demand their own enclaves, exempt from the local diocese. The SSPX leaders will never give up their power; they just want to keep the dialogue going, because it helps keep people from going over to Rome.

They are not in schism. They are in irregular status.

They were given permission. :shrug: I don’t think it is our pay grade to go around demanding who(m) (some grammer nazi please tell me which one it would be:D) gave it to them.:shrug:

I can’t imagine they somehow snuck in under the radar. The celebration of TLMs at St. Peter’s is, according to some knowledgeable sources, closely monitored. Fr. Ray Blake has in the past mentioned that the (now former-) archpriest there had been known to snag cruets from the credence ledges of celebrating priests as a show of disapproval. More likely they were given quiet permission to celebrate as a gesture of good faith in support of the ongoing dialogue between the SSPX and the Holy See.

That’s what I’d like to know. Even if it was a private mass just for themselves during their meetings, I don’t think it looks good for the Church to allow schismatics to say mass there. If schismatics are allowed to say the mass in St. Peter’s, then why not allow all Christian denominations in there? How about a Billy Graham crusade, or let’s get a Lutheran service, or maybe that Mars Hill guy or TD Jakes. Why not mix it up a little? Ecumenism gone nuts in my opinion. Catholics are not supposed to go to their churches. Why are they in ours? :confused:

I seriously doubt this. There are many who want nothing to do with the EF, Latin, their strict standards, etc. I’ve heard some haven’t even quite accepted the lifting of their excommunication. I only wish you were right.

The SSPX - referring to the organization and structure - isn’t in irregular status, it does not have a canonical status in the Church.

If you are referring to individual priests, or laity who frequent SSPX services, that’s a more complicated situation. I believe there is variation among their views and practices, so it’s harder to make a universal statement that would cover all persons and situations; perhaps some or all may be considered irregular, I don’t know if any are in schism, they could be, but in any event one answer doesn’t fit all.

The Holy See does not see them as “schismatic”.

I, for one, am sorry they feel that way; but the SSPX (and many of their ideas) have some very strong support among both the clergy and laity. That is not going to go away.

At the and of this video ( Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP discusses some of the issues with the Latin Mass. There are many in the clergy and hierarchy that have staked their entire careers and lives on the Novus Ordo, and will NEVER be okay with anything else. They see the EF as old, outdated, and “bad”; and TRUE progress lies in “looking forward, not backward.”

A Traditional Catholic’s Motto:
We are what you once were.
We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped.
If you were right then, we are right now.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.*

*Borrowed from

This is an excellent video. I believe GloriaTv had it on originally.

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