Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Will the SSPX come to West Wales?


Despite discussions taking place (or, so I am led to believe), I am not certain that the SSPX would find a large enough congregation here in West Wales.
As far as I am concerned, they would be most welcome; I'm afraid that, under Bishop Burns, West Walians struggle to fulfil their Sunday duties with an EF Mass.
There is  a sizeable potential cohort in Aberystwyth, thanks to the University and the same applies to Swansea. But, in between, there's only a handful of the faithful and a few hundred thousand sheep (real sheep, not metaphorical ones).
This must typify the Society's problem really; how to function properly with limited priests and resources. Next Sunday we shall be in South London and the most convenient Mass is at the SSPX HQ in Wimbledon. We shall attend Mass there and wallow in the comfort of a church (chapel, really) that has no plastic posters, no pot plants, no tacky "He has risen" signs, just a simple ad orientum altar, cut flowers and statues - Catholic culture at its best.
But the priest there is likely to rush off immediately after Mass and drive some 100 miles to celebrate Mass elsewhere. So no pastoral care and no chance for spiritual advice, pity -  but that's how it is.

Another problem faced by the Society is their slide towards a more Calvinistic form of Catholicism. Separation from Rome over too many years has caused this bias which has taken place almost imperceptibly. That will not do. I do not want priests haranguing from the pulpit about the length of women's dresses when all present are perfectly modestly attired or grinding on about Catholics who attend EF Masses within the Church are in error, that's not on, but they are slipping into that mode.
And, finally, Bishop Fellay really needs to put and end to the shenanigans of Bishop Williamson; he should be expelled from the Society pdq. Why has he not already been shown the exit? I suspect that the reason is that among the members of the Society are a number of Sedevacantists who will vote with their feet and go with Bishop Richard down the road of extreme Protestantism. Bishop Fellay, currently in talks with Rome, needs as strong a hand as possible and cannot afford to lose 20% of his following. This man deserves our prayers. I have heard him preach and he is the most saintly man that I have met or listened to.

Some time ago the SSPX published their 62 reasons against the (then) Novus Ordo Mass. I do not go along with them in believing that all OF Masses are invalid but I do believe that many of them are not normally (in the UK at any rate) reverent or fitting vehicles for the worship of Almighty God and the celebration of the Supreme Sacrifice and Eucharist.
I cannot feature the 62 reasons due to copywright issues but they may be found here; I do appreciate that, to many they will be disturbing but they do illustrate that the Society of St Pius X has worked hard and logically to produce a very sound argument. I am not trying to sway readers one way or the other, merely to provide a little solid thinking behind what is normally dealt with in a fairly emotional and abrupt manner.

Meanwhile, Menevia languishes and we find ourselves not so much moving forward in 'brick by brick' mode, more like reversing backwards close to the position we were in in 1989.
Such is progress - but we do have prayer on our side!


  1. All I would like now is to be able to fulfil my Sunday obligation by attending an EF.Mass.Not possible here,and yes,I have been tempted by the SSPX chapel about eight miles away from here.As for the 62 reasons......agree with a lot of them.The sneaky little thought often comes into my mind at my usual Ordinary Form Mass."Is it really valid".I have to squash that thought as soon as it flashes into my mind.I cannot afford to let it grow.

  2. I don't think the Cordi-Marian Fathers, who put together the 62 reasons that you linked to, are associated with the SSPX. In fact, I'm pretty sure they are sedevacantists with Thuc lineage bishops and priests.

  3. David, you may be right but I recall when they were first published and then it was "official" SSPX.....they say it was written by the priests of Campos, obviously before they came back to the main fold.

  4. My understanding is that the SSPX has never denied the validity of the Novus Ordo in itself (ie with valid matter, intention etc.). It is best not to exagerate what they say or attribute to them the views of their more extreme followers (or, perhaps in this case, followers who were so extreme there has since been a parting of the ways...)

  5. Joseph Shaw - thanks for your comment but I do not believe that I have exaggerated or attributed in error. Go to St Joseph's and St Padarn's or Bristol and these are the views promulgated.