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And why not?
Let me state here and now that I am not a member of the SSPX laity but I would have no qualms in attending one of their Masses if it was down the road from where I live.
As a family, we do owe a great debt to the Society of St Pius X.
In the bleak years from 1988 to 2005, we only had the Society (apart from occasional forays to London some 270 miles distant where we could attend St James' Spanish Place).
Even then, we had to travel long distances to attend Society Masses.
All orthodox Catholics are indebted to the Society in many ways, not least of which was the spread of Latin Masses in dioceses throughout the land.
Without the SSPX we would have far fewer Latin Mass centres around Britain.
The spread happened as a result of some members of the laity using the threat of the SSPX opening a possible Mass Centre in the diocese. This news was guaranteed to galvanise the bishop into action.
This is how it worked. Someone would let slip the fact that the SSPX were sniffing around the diocese looking for an old chapel to buy up as their next Mass Centre.
Now, I don't know if this would be a genuine fact or a made up one, I would hope the former.
The knack was to release this info to a person or persons firmly with their feet in the NuChurch.
This would result in a fairly immediate phone call to the bish and, hey presto!
Next thing would be a Tridentine Latin Mass being offered regularly at one or two of the diocesan churches.
The bishops fear the SSPX more than they fear the devil!
But, I sense that, among many orthodox Catholics, there is a certain reserve about attending Society Masses.
I don't quite know why.
They are licit and, what is more, they are one hundred per cent liturgically accurate.
That is not to say that our priests who have to offer both the OF and EF Masses are, in any way, liturgically untrue, it is just that Society churches are designed for the task.
The sanctuary is architecturally perfect and, if you are an altar server, you will appreciate how important that is.
I do, however, have some issues with the SSPX, minor ones really.
I don't agree with their obsession regarding women's clothing. For example; I believe that, provided due modesty is observed, it is not the right of anyone to criticise dress styles.
And, due to the pressured peripatetic role of most of their priests, the important after Mass pastoral care element is, all too often, missing.
This morning I was reading some background to the late Michael Davies, great man that he was, may he rest in peace.
Michael Davies was a fully paid up member of the Society and really, that ought to be good enough for anyone harbouring any doubts about attending their Masses.
Here is a link to an interview Mr Davies gave to Christian Order, the last interview before he died.
At the end of the interview he makes a somewhat prophetic statement, really referring to his Catholic instruction:
“…sorry, I tend to think in this way, blame it on the Jesuits”
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