From a reader…
I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. In my diocese there is no traditional latin mass available. When we ask through mail, email or petition list, we are ignore. As a result some people, including me, have defected to a unaffiliated mission with a very devout young priest who left the SSPX in disagreement with the possible unification with Rome. We ear the latin mass ounce or twice a month. I have doubts that this is any good for our souls. On the other hand, the entire diocese seems determined to modernize ever more. Do we owe obedience to our bishop when he shows so much contempt for the Tradition of the Church? I suffered the new mass for a good 50 years of my life, longing for the tradition to return. I don’t know who else I could ask for advice in this case. Thank you in advance. God Bless you.
GUEST PRIEST RESPONSE: Fr. T. Ferguson
Tough situation. What do we do when our pastors don’t meet our legitimate spiritual needs?
These are difficult times, but difficult times have always given rise to saints.
Firstly, I think we need to have plans in place – long term plans and short term plans.
Long term plans: where are our future priests (and bishops) going to come from. If it’s tough now and we do nothing, it’s only going to get tougher. Pray for vocations and encourage vocations among the young people. Put together funds to help young men pay off any debts they may have and go off to study for the priesthood. If the diocese is shaky and the seminary they support is shaky, encourage the young men to go off and study for one of the stable and orthodox religious orders, even if that order doesn’t have a presence in your community (and if the order doesn’t have a presence in your community, but five men show up each year at the door of their novitiate asking for entrance, it won’t be long before they do have a presence in your community).
Shorter term – you’re getting a “fix” by going to a Mass offered by a priest who left the SSPX. It’s a valid Mass (presumably), but definitely not in communion with Rome and the priest does not have the faculties to hear confessions or officiate at weddings. Things get a bit shaky here, and I realize that you feel caught between the Scylla of a modernizing and unsympathetic diocese and the Charybdis of a schismatic priest. Neither option is appealing, but a third way does not seem to available. Perhaps continuing to split your time between the two is the best option – but the danger is trying to avoid modernism on one hand and schism on the other – two very dangerous dragons to wrestle with.
I wish I had a better answer.