From a reader…
As SSPX priest and bishops are canonically suspended, would it be a sin to listen, read or propagate a book or a talk by a priest or bishop of the Society ? For example, if I wish to listen to a good talk in French about the basics of modernism, and the only one available is given by an SSPX priest. Thank you very much.
First, I don’t think that the only available talks about modernism are from the SSPX. As a matter of fact, I have in my quiver a talk about modernism. However, I will grant you that not many priests talk about modernism and the dangers of modernism and the modern manifestations of modernism because they either don’t know about it or they, too, are modernists.
Would it be a sin? That depends on what the SSPX priests says, n’est-ce pas?
If the priest commits the sin of scandal in his talk, I would say yes. If you are looking for that sort of thing, I think you would stray from the right path. If not, if he is factual and charitable and does not lead people to undermine their unity with the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in unity with him, then I would say, “Thank you for addressing this important topic!”
The fact of belonging to the SSPX doesn’t in itself mean that what the priest says is either bad or good, to be avoided or sought out. I can say the same for the talks given by many priests and, alas, bishops. Just because someone is a high ranking cleric in good standing in the Church – even at the highest levels – is there any guarantee that everything that cleric says is sound or even within the bounds of what we call smart.
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