From a reader:
I believe that you advise against attending SSPX Chapels even when that is your only EF option. But, has anything changed since the Pope offered permission to SSPX to forgive abortion in the Confessional and that Italian Bishop had asked them to say EF mass on a certain Sunday a month or something along those lines? If he is giving permission to SSPX to supply the Sacrament of Reconciliation then a parishioner partaking of that Sacrament would not incur automatic excommunication?
You probably can tell I really want to attend an SSPX Chapel but I would not want to be excommunicated.
First, you would not be excommunicated for attending an SSPX chapel.
Next, yes, the Pope has in effect extended faculties to SSPX priests ONLY for the Year of Mercy validly to absolve sins in regular confession.
Still, I think that be regular attendance at an SSPX chapel you might run the risk of weakening your sense of unity with the local bishop and the Vicar of Rome. This may depend on which chapel you could attend and who the priests are. It will also depend on the general attitude prevailing among the people with whom you might be talking as such a chapel.
If an Italian bishop has worked something out with some SSPX priest, fine… for the people in that diocese and that priest. In those places where such an agreement has not been made, then I don’t recommend frequenting an SSPX chapel.
That said, depending on local conditions (I know that in some places you can’t find a decent sermon or reverent Mass to save your life) exercising great prudence a person could go to SSPX Masses on occasion. A person can also fulfill her Sunday obligation at such a parish. Canon law is clear about that. Canon 1248 § 1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states:
The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.
The SSPX is clearly using a Catholic Rite and again and again the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has clarified that one fulfill’s the obligation.
All things being equal (there are decent, reverent Masses and opportunities for confession) you don’t have a compelling enough reason to frequent SSPX chapels.