[quote=tradconvert]The SSPX is the Society of Saint Pius the Tenth and yes there are issues of their status in relation to the Vatican. But I wouldn’t think twice about whether they are people you should or shoudn’t associate with. Some are extreme in their views and give the SSPX a bit of a dicey name, but the vast majority of the faithful who attend the traditional latin masses (whether at the SSPX or indult chapels) are simply devout Catholics who are practising their faith in an entirely correct and appropriate manner.
If by chance you were to attend a mass at the SSPX chapel near you, you will experience a very holy and spiritual place where the traditional latin mass is said fully consistent with the precepts of the ritual as contained in the 1962 missal, before the wholesale changes to the mass were instituted by the Vatican 2 council. Don’t get hung up by the way they advertise, they are people devoted to ensuring the traditions of the church are fully upheld.
You’re probably correct that the main reason that people go to an SSPX chapel is because they miss the old way.
However, all SSPX priests, bishops, deacons, nuns, brothers, teachers, and administrators have been excommunicated. SSPX was declared to be in schism in 1970 by Pope Paul. The top people were publicly excommunicated in 1988 by JPII, and all other religious in SSPX were excommunicated by their actions.
The automatic excommunication does NOT apply directly to the congregation, that issue is a little hazy. If the people are aware of the 1988 excommunications, then taking communion there is a mortal sin. They (the leadership) have denied the authority of the Pope to enact rules they don’t like, yet still claim authority to the Pope.
Just look at their website and you’ll see the attacks on the Mass, on current Catholic Doctrine, etc.
I am hung up on the way they advertise because they are not recognized by the Vatican as a Catholic church. The priest has been excommunicated, they are not authorized to hold any mass, much less the Latin mass.
The fact that someone who has no clue what they are would not be in sin isn’t the point.
I will say this: I would not be surprised if some sort of settlement is reached. There has been quite a bit of talk that Pope Benedict has met with their leader and they may reconcile SSPX with the Catholic Church.