I hope this isn’t a banned topic. If it is, can someone at least tell me where I can get accurate information? I’m really getting confused and frightened. Thanks.

Tell me about the SSPX. What’s it all about?

Is it the same thing as Traditionalism? If not, what are the differences? They seem very simliar.

I am a convert from evangelical Protestantism.

I don’t like the feeling of this SSPX thing at all. I’m getting the heebie jeebies whenever I run into one of these people on this Board. They creep me out. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but that’s the way I feel. I had to play the piano once in a Mormon church (for a secular concert) and I got the same icky feeling there. Couldn’t wait to get out.

I also know a couple of SSPX families and they’re…sorry folks…creepy. I’m reminded of certain X-Files episodes. I feel like these people aren’t to be trusted. I would not want to accept a ride from these families. They’re polite enough, but I have the feeling that they really don’t like me or my “Catholicism” very much and that they would love to take me to that “reprogramming basement” that Jack T. Chick always writes about!

Again, sorry if this offends truly good Catholics, but I’m trying to make my own personal feelings very clear.

Of course, I’m probably being overly reactive because of the horrific tribunal that was held in my Protestant church (at night even) that resulted in my husband and me being thrown out of the church and shunned from then on. THAT was X-Files creepy and horrifying.

So maybe I’m being too harsh on these SSPX/Trads people?

Neither group seems especially friendly or loving. I keep remembering some of the strict Baptists that I knew–“no slacks, no tracks, no blacks.”

These people seem to see a demon behind every bush, and they keep lists about all the “wrongs” in the Catholic Church. Shudder. It doesn’t help that I’m “on the list” because I play the piano for Mass and I play contemporary and gospel music (with the enthusiastic approval of my priests). So I guess my priests are “on the list,” too. Shudder!

I don’t even like to read the Traditionalist Section of this Board because according to those people, almost everything in my Catholic parish is WRONG WRONG WRONG!!

So now I’m beginning to wonder if I really converted to Catholicism or to some quasi-Catholic cult that isn’t “true” Catholicism like these guys claim to have. Who’s right?

Is my pastor really a terrible infidel because he sometimes talks about the Chicago Bears during his homily instead of chanting in Latin? Am I really doing it wrong to receive Our Lord in my hand instead of on the tongue? Should I be sending a letter to my Bishop about all the kids who show up to Mass wearing their soccer outfits? Are “The Light Of The World Retreats” that originated in our parish “quasi-Protestant trash?”

I guess one thing that frightens me is why the Pope isn’t able to corral this SSPX/Trad thing. My husband said, “Well, the SSPX doesn’t accept the authority of the pope, so he can’t do anything about them They won’t listen him.” Is that true?

Of course, some of the Trads say that Pope Benedict is their buddy and that he is THIS CLOSE to bringing back the old days when the Catholic Church was completely correct. Is that true?

And if they don’t accept the authority of the pope, then why are they tolerated on this board? At least the Protestants are known entities. But these SSPX/Trads claim to be Catholics and mislead and frighten people like me who don’t know much.

This kind of thing sure gives fuel for the anti-Catholic fodder. I can answer a lot of anti-Catholic objections thanks to the apologists on this Board. But I can not answer the questions about SSPX, Trads, and how this can be reconciled with the Catholic claim of “ONE” holy catholic Church. I don’t know the answer. That’s why I’m asking for information.



SSPX is a traditionalist organization. They feel that the Novus Ordo, as well as certain aspects of Vatican II were not completely right. They do not reject the Pope, and it looks pretty reasonable that they will reconcile with the Church in the near future (if they want to- I hope they do). They do not reject the validity of the Novus Ordo, but question its efficacy. The motu propio rumored to be coming out (the rumors are from very high Vatican sources) is a step to the reconciliation, as may be the Good Shepherd Institute in France. This motu propio will make it much easier for as parish to establish the traditional Latin Mass. Some bishops oppose it (especially in France and some in Germany), but it seems likely that this will not stop Benedict XVI. I believe "motu propio" literally means “of my own initiative”, i.e., he is not requesting permission of the bishops, but rather taking direct action as the Vicar of Christ.

Just like any Church or parish there could be some people that seem freaky. A couple of families do not represent the entire organization. And as SSPX’ers have been under the largely false accusation of being schismatics, this may come out in their attitudes (Lefebvre and the 4 bishops he consecrated technically engaged in a schismatic act. This does not apply to all member of the SSPX). Many SSPX’ers are also militant Traditionalists (and Catholics). This is not necassarily bad in the age of luke-warmness.

Mark Wyatt


The SSPX are a schismatic group. They have determined that the Church is in error and that they are the only true authority.

Much like protestantism. There was a change that they did not like so they left the Church in schism.

Others will try to spin this in a way that makes it look ok but it is never ok to leave communion with the Church.


I agree it is not wise to leave the safety of the Church. But Cardinal Hoyos and others have made it very clear recently that the SSPX is not a schismatic group. It is true that Lefebvre and the 4 bishops he consecrated did technically perform a schismatic act. This is a group that will very likely be part of the Church again in the near future. There are serious discussions going on. Why not wait and see the outcome before condemning them more fiercely than even the Vatican is doing?

Mark Wyatt


Where is SwissGuard when you need him? :smiley:


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


I agree.


While I am not a SSPX member or trying to become one of their priests, I do sympathize with them. I am a Traditionalist. I love the Traditions especially the fasting/abstinence, Tridentine Mass, Latin, facing East at the altar, etc. Today in the Traditional Calendar is even a day of fasting and abstinence; it’s called an Ember Day.

I won’t worry about the SSPX. They are just trying to keep the Traditions. I used to be afraid of them too until I really started to see their complete love/devotion/reverence to Jesus Christ and the Church.

To learn more about them, visit Wikipedia. There is a controversy on whether or not the bishops are excommunicated and whether or not the society is in schism. I argue that they are not in schism, but that is a complicated issue :thumbsup:

Even if you don’t like the SSPX, there are other excellent completely faithful groups of Traditional Catholics like the FSSP. We must remember to keep the Traditions of past generations. I hope that, one day, all Catholics are Traditionalists.

Of course, some of the Trads say that Pope Benedict is their buddy and that he is THIS CLOSE to bringing back the old days when the Catholic Church was completely correct. Is that true?

And if they don’t accept the authority of the pope, then why are they tolerated on this board? At least the Protestants are known entities. But these SSPX/Trads claim to be Catholics and mislead and frighten people like me who don’t know much.

Traditionalists like the SSPX, FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, etc. all are completely loyal to the Pope. We are not to be confused with Sedevacantists like SSPV or other like groups.

And, yes the Pope is very close to brinking back the beautiful/reverence/mystical Latin Mass.


What’s the FSSP?

And WHY do you hope that one day, all Catholics are Traditionalists? Are you saying that there is something “wrong” with contemporary practices?

I guess I’m not getting my feelings across clearly. What exactly is WRONG with contemporary Catholicism!!!

And if it is truly WRONG, why isn’t the Vatican stopping it? Is most of the United States doing Catholicism wrong? Forgive me, but that is the impression I’m getting from this traditionalist section.

And I’m getting several answers for the SSPX question, and they’re different. I’m still confused and wary.


Concerning the SSPX, why don’t you talk with one of their priests. In all cases, the truth is found out by going to the source.

Read about the FSSP here. They are a great group of priests. I might join them as a priest one day:

I am not against change. I am against what has been defined as the heresy of modernism. I do prefer Gregorian Mass in all parishes, but that is not the worst of all contemporary practices. I do see some bad in the Church but I am hopeful.

If you would like to know, here are some of my beliefs concerning newer practices:


Let me reassure. First, beware Catholic discussion forums. They are invariably congregation points for pretty extremist ‘Rad-Trads.’ Not all posters are such but the ‘super-Traditionalists’ gather in discussion forums like flies to honey and, thus, have a disproportionate influence. Less ‘traditionalist’ posters give up and go elsewhere! I drop in because there’s nothing on TV anymore!

Stick around in almost ANY Catholic discussion forum and you’ll end up with a guilt trip because you don’t love Latin, you don’t where a brown scapular, don’t pray the rosary in Latin, think non-Catholics might make it to heaven and haven’t memorised the complete text of Vertitas Pravda by Pope Pius MXXXXXVIII of Blessed memory and why the Hell can’t B16 make him a saint since he was a real Pope dammit?!

You get my drift? You are not really going not get a balanced view of Catholic Christianity on discussion forums - really yer not especially in a section dedicated to ‘Traditionalist Catholicism.’ I’m not knocking Traditionalists by the way, those with a preference for more culturally traditional forms of prayer - only the fairly feenyite Rad-Trads who, as I saw, gather in discussion forums to lament how we have lost the glories of the 14th Century. A Traditionalist will say they like the Divine office and prefer the Mass in Latin but are happy for those who like the Pauline rite in the vernacular. A Rad-Trad will tell you the Latin is the only valid form of the Mass, indeed, only the Tridentine is ‘reverent enough’ and yer a lousy Catholic if you don’t love it!

Do NOT get your theology from discussion forums. Really!


In relation to the SSPX, it is a schismatic group which, in essence, (it’s complex but in the main…) denies the second Vatican council as a valid council, sees the current Pauline rite in the vernacular as heretical and they view non-SSPX Catholics with serious suspicion for not being ‘Reverent enough’ with Protestants are just, well, damned. They are an extremist group but B16 is trying to win the less extreme souls who have gone to the SSPX out of a love for the old Liturgy back by possibly allowing greater use of the Tridentine. I hope he succeeds and I wish a great use of the Tridentine for those that like it.

Rest assured that the vast majority of Catholics are not like the SSPX and not Rad-Trads but I accept you wouldn’t know it from coming on forums. If you get the impression that many discussions on Catholic forums seem to put judgementalism and liturgical nit-picking ahead of love and compassion, a lot of people would share that feeling. If it’s any consolation, I haven’t found a Protestant discussion forum that hasn’t ended up being an anti-Catholic fest! Discussion forums attract extremists. It just seems to be a law. ‘Ordinary’ people give up and do something else.

You will now see many threads telling you the SSPX are not schismatic, are actually the really ‘reverent’ Catholics and various other things. I think, however, you can trust to your personal experience.

If you accept the Catholic Catechism (all of it!) and are under the authority of your bishop you are a true Catholic and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!


Cardinal Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has frequently said that SSPX is NOT in schism. He just recenlty said this after Pope Benedict XVI visited Brazil. I repeat: They are NOT in schism.


If you believe what you say above about discussion forums—go read a book—and don’t come here to stir the pot.


The following page of links is probably going to help you. They are mainly dealing with ‘Rad-Trads’ rather then bona-fide Traditionalist who, in the main, won’t suggest you’re a inferior Catholic for preferring some more contemporary forms of prayer.

Suck and see. You’ll also find much better discussion in the blog section where you can ask similar questions. I think you’ll find you get different answers there to here.

Blog here: Ask a question in the 'open forum.'

Honest, you’ll like it there. :slight_smile:


Amen! Amen! :thumbsup:



I come out of road crash fascination! :smiley:

But, I think our erstwhile friend could do with a little reassurance. I’m not trying ot dig at anyone in particular, I don’t know anyone here! But I do find discussion forums, on the whole, do end up attracting extremists - of all kinds!

You may well disagree. I’ve said my piece and I’ve sent a couple of links. I’ll butt out as I’m sure I’ll cause offence. But I just wanted to give some reassurance because based on general experience of Catholics forums, the poor guy/gal is only going to end up with a guilt trip over everything I’m sure!!

Please excuse me - moving on…


I had this discussion on another Catholic Convert board where we all come from a sililar background and are left with dealing with an anti-everyone no-denominational church group.

We discussed this in some detail regarding if it’s sinfull or not. I pray for my father everyday, but I think any group that willfully defies the authority of the Church separates themself from the Church and commits grave sin. Culpability is at play.

CCC 1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

CCC 1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

If you read the following link you’ll find that some are converts and others are cradle catholics married or with special interest on this topic. I hope that this is okay to put this here. We are friendly and this board serves as a support group for former members of the church of Christ (coc).

My father was an SSPX. This is decent and sinfull. To justify otherwise is also sinful. Why no one stands up for the truth escapes me. But whether their in schism or not confuses me. I’ve run into much resisitance here trying to talk openly about it here. And I keep getting ignored and cut off and edited. My post look like I’m crazy. But in reality, I’m still working out some of my kinks from being a former “church of Christ” - Christian only.

I empathize with you on this and hope someone steps up to the plate on it soon. Hope this helps.

Pax tecum


Clear would be in a Vatican document.

I’d start with this site to learn about them. Mr. O is a former SSPX member.


Wow those are some extremely broad strokes you painted Traditionalist in. I’m going to answer as if these are true questions and not what my gut tells me is bait.

SSPX stands for Society of St. Pius X. They are trying to be reconciled with Rome. Bob and Seminarian Matt explained it better than I could.

Not exactly in my opinion. Traditionalist to general prefer the Latin Mass (which is all the SSPX say) over the English Mass but I wouldn’t lump them in the same group.

Yeah that’s pretty just down right offencive to me.

While I have met some people like that they are Sedevacantist not SSPX or Traditionalist. No I wouldn’t accept a car ride form a Sede not because they scare me but because I really don’t care to talk (read: listen to them talk) about where the “real” pope is this week.

Uhhh okay. Again I know sede people like that…

Well they generally do have higher standard of dress than other places I hardly think this is a fair statement.

Altho that is coming from a traditionalist female that takes great joy in wearing slacks to Mass :wink:

Have you ever actually seen a Latin Mass? There is nothing with wrong with the mass you love but a lot of these Traditionalist you find creepy have a deep undying love for the traditions of the Latin Mass. It causes some of us physical pain to see the callousness that is prevalent in so many Parishes today. I’m not commenting on yours in particular cause I’ve probably never been there. But you have to understand its about love not some abstract rule set.


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