Two dear families we know have recently become regulars at the local SSPX chapel, prompting my husband and me to examine and question whether this is the direction that Our Lord wants our family to take. In talking to one friend recently, she presented some reasons that simply don’t seem to justify attendance at the SSPX:
- They have better socials after Mass. Well, so does every Baptist Church. And better community and better accountability. It’s simply amazing, but doesn’t mean I should turn my back on my Eucharistic Lord. Focus on the relationship that matters: you and Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Of course, it’s nice to throw parties and have events that bring about this nice culture. But, the Baptists and all the other Protestants must have these socials, as that’s the only place where personal relationships can grow. In the Catholic Church, the personal relationship we foster is a personal one with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the most Blessed Sacrament. And personal relationship over and above is just a bonus.
- Their sacraments are valid. Yes, and so are the sacraments of the Orthodox. And until recently, the sacraments of the Anglican. The validity of the sacraments is an assurance of grace, not a reason to make it your parish. This same line can be used to justify attendance at any Novus Ordo Mass, as it is valid too. But, they (the SSPX) have not the oversight of the Local Ordinary (ie, the Bishop).
- Obedience has its limits. Yes, only when it comes to being asked to sin. And no mater how unfaithful the Church is to Christ, she is still the Bride! The Church isn’t asking us to sin in attending a Mass where no one is reverent. It’s like going to Calvary where Jesus is mocked and teased, or worse ignored. Those who love Him must be present at these Masses to give him the adoration He deserves. Furthermore, there are traditional Latin Masses being said all over our diocese legitimately. Why not just choose one of them?
- It is more reverent. It is befitting the dignity of our Eucharistic Lord who bothered to love humanity enough to come down and die for us and become the perpetual and living Sacrifice to the Father to have the highest reverence at Mass. However, the holiness and reverence of the priest do not make Christ any more present on the altar. Rather, if a Mass is said irreverently, as is sometimes called a clown Mass, then all the more reason for a practicing, believing Catholic to attend it and be a witness of reverence, humility and prayer. When my parish was simply nuts in the late 90s and early 2000s, a man was always seen on his knees in the back. I now see that his holiness and humility helped to bring about the return to reverence in the parish.
- I have peace about it. Christ said, “I come not to bring peace, but the sword.”
Because the reality is:
- In missing Sunday Mass when finding a Latin Mass isn’t possible, people have separated themselves from the Sacraments
- The Church is still the Bride, even if not perfect.
- There’s a reason the SSPX is in an irregular relationship with Rome. All other rites or religious orders (which SSPX says they are neither) operate in union with Rome and with the local Roman Catholic Bishop. The SSPX completely ignore the local Bishop. How is that unity that Christ wept over?