Meanwhile… SSPX news

We are watching closely the development of a possible – indeed increasingly likely – Personal Prelature for the SSPX.

Meanwhile, in a communication from the SSPX today we read that for Candlemas new seminarians received were tonsured and received their cassocks.  HERE

They wrote.

Those seminarians enrolled in the Year of Spirituality (first year) received the cassock, and those seminarians in the Year of First Philosophy (second year of studies) received the clerical tonsure. In the Society of St. Pius X, the present custom is to receive the cassock one year before becoming a cleric.  [Well…no.  The clerical state now begins with diaconate, but let that pass.]

Here they are all lined up at their new seminary in Virginia.

The seminary looks interesting.

Also, a while back I received a mailing from them with a questionnaire about the things I would want in a retirement community.  They are creating one in the NW of these USA.

They seem to be pretty serious about staying around for awhile.

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  1. Joseph-Mary says:

    The SSPX have a chapel not far from my home. I have not been to Mass there but certainly would consider it. Right now they have a priest from about 100 miles away who comes and their mass is in the middle of the afternoon, not terribly convenient. I already can attend the TLM at a noon Mass at a diocesan parish. But if the SSPX gets enough priests to staff the local chapel and have daily Mass….well, I would like that very much. Last Sunday at the Novus Ordo with Fr. Ramble there was a baptism. So Fr. had to be extra jolly and joke telling and even had his guitar and sang to the baby. I was so upset at the circus and the inviting of all the children in the church around the baptismal font that I did not got to Holy Communion as I was not disposed; I was angry and upset. This has not happened in a long time. I hate liturgical abuse especially when it is so blatant and Mass long.

  2. bibi1003 says:

    I understand how you feel, Joseph-Mary. I get angry when I go to the “happy-clappy” mass in my home parish, with our formerly Pentacostal, tambourine-playing priest. He works Pentacostal elements into the mass. One Sunday, he had a jazz trio play a jazzed-up version of The Old Rugged Cross after communion. He and the deacons bounced their heads and tapped their feet to the beat.

    I can’t go to mass here anymore. It creates a near occasion of sin for me. Going to a Latin mass in Louisville, KY tomorrow.

    God bless you!

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    While I would happily be convinced otherwise, my estimation of Rome’s comportment is to provide hospitality to the Society and the broader group of traditional Catholics in their own corral while they become extinct. Firmly on the leash they can be controlled until they are no longer a threat to heterodoxy. The current evisceration of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the Knights of Malta, the intervention into the Archdiocese of Lipa, et al., do not bode well for the Society reconciled with those presently exercising authority.
    A comprehensive explanation supporting the reasoning by the SSPX and Rome is absolutely essential to accepting rapprochement as legitimate. As we live in the age of ecclesiastical ambiguity – doublespeak and churchy talk won’t do.

  4. defreitas says:

    In our Ukrainian Catholic seminaries, the students are given the right to wear the cassock at their acceptance, and for as long as they are in seminary. If they leave seminary, and are not ordained, then they loose that right. Often times, if they continue to be candidates for holy orders then their continued usage is tolerated, within reason, for a time.

  5. Lucas Whittaker says:

    May God speed the process of a union between us and the SSPX. The usus antiquior is the only way forward toward healing the liturgical frailty that has been caused by the Bugnini-Liturgy: There is strength in numbers! As Father James Jackson, FSSP, writes: “The greatest benefit of the liturgy is to lead us with a steady hand into the sanctuary of the soul, so that we may grow in the supernatural life . . . [an important reason that] precious vessels and vestments [should be] used in [the liturgy is that] the faithful are better able to grasp the sublimity and wonder of the mysteries [that are being] celebrated. This helps them to have the proper disposition for these mysteries, which is awe and reverence for holy things” (Nothing Superfluous, pgs. 1 & 62). If we are to become receptive enough to say our Yes with The Virgin, Seat of Wisdom, then we need the beauty of traditional liturgy to draw us into the mysteries in which we are called to participate, and also to partake when we receive the Holy Eucharist. There is nothing old-fashioned about Union with God: it is our future calling for all of eternity, sharing in the the love of the Holy Trinity.

    A reunion with SSPX would give us all cause to sing the once-popular Peaches & Herb song, “Reunited”. Only, the incense that we should that day burn should be in a thurible within the context of a solemn high Mass, instead of the incense sticks that were burned in homes back when the song was a hit . . .

  6. Pingback: Meanwhile… SSPX news | Fr. Z’s Blog | Deaconjohn1987's Blog

  7. Amerikaner says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens to EF only communities like the Fraternity of St. Peter if the SPPX is fully reconciled. Could the Prelature be created to eventually absorb all EF communities under one structure?

  8. Mike says:

    While I embrace the duty to pray fervently that the Society successfully regularize its canonical status, experience tempers my expectations. I can’t help thinking that this process is going to come “down to the wire” — specifically, a wire from which hangs the date October 13, 2017.

  9. MikeR says:

    Please pray that this PP will happen.

    That will give many Catholics here in Sydney another option for an EF Mass, & that can only be a good thing. We have good options in the West of the city, but none in the South, if the SSPX are reconciled then Catholics in the southern area will have a Latin Mass they can attend.

    Brick by brick, to quote a source.

  10. MaryL says:

    Why don’t SSPX go to the FSSP?

  11. Lucas Whittaker says:

    @MaryL: That is a good question. I suspect that there are numerous challenges to that arrangement, beginning with the fact that each fraternity of Priests has its own hierarchy, formation program, seminaries, churches, et cetera. Once the Personal Prelature has been put behind the SSPX, then it might not be impossible, since they clearly share a common purpose, namely: preserving the Rite of St. Gregory the Great, the so-called Tridentine liturgy. In my opinion, it could be good for the Church (and society, by extension) to have two public priestly fraternities devoted to this purpose.

  12. Andrew D says:

    Sorry to be negative folks but this invitation to the SSPX I feel is a trap. Look at what Bergoglio has done to the Order of Malta and previously to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Lure them into full status with the Church, immediately dissolve the FSSP and other orders who celebrate the Mass of the Saints, making the SSPX the “TLM wing of the Church”. Then, pull an Order of Malta on them, taking full control of the SSPX. All of a sudden, there is nowhere for Catholics to participate in a TLM – just as planned all along.

  13. excalibur says:

    I posted this previously, and say it again. There is great danger in their being ‘normalized’ now, under Francis. With what we have seen with the Knights of Malta, the Franciscans of the Immaculate and their founder, and now an archbishop in the Philippines, etc.

    Yes, others are wary too.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.


  14. jskelley says:


    That is the usual procedure in modern Roman Catholic seminaries as well, though some have done away with the cassock and simply allow seminarians to wear modified or regular clerical suits.

  15. Sword40 says:


    The FSSP came FROM the SSPX back in 1988. There is a lot of resentment within the older FSSP clergy towards the SSPX. But I believe they will become brothers again.

    I too pray for a reconciliation.

  16. michael de cupertino says:

    Those suggesting a merger with FSSP (and ICKSP perhaps) would do well to remember the resilience of distributed systems. Having all your Traditional eggs in one basket, so to speak, allows them to be taken out or muzzled more easily. Better to keep the evil one busy with whack-a-mole.

    Joseph Shaw has a good 3-post-series over at the LMS Chairman blog on being nimble and resilient as an orthodox Catholic community

  17. Imrahil says:

    But wait…

    wasn’t the traditional custom of the Church, as described in the old CIC, to receive the Tonsure not before the first year of theology, or third year of studies (or if a year of spirituality is not counted as study at all, even fourth)?

  18. Jack007 says:

    There is a lot of resentment within the older FSSP clergy towards the SSPX

    Sorry but the reality is the exact opposite. I have been around these clergy since the beginning and have yet to find ONE FSSP who harbors any real resentment towards the SSPX. Conversely, easily 95% of the SSPX clergy I have encountered harbor either old grudges, or sadly parrot tired chestnuts like “sellouts”, traitors etc. I have heard countless sermons by SSPX clergy instructing their faithful to stay away from local FSSP apostolates.
    I suspect however, that the hardline anti FSSP clergy will bolt if an agreement is reached. The rest will tow the party line.
    There is room for optimism. I have seen firsthand SSPX interacting with FSSP clergy in a most civil manner. This would have been impossible just 20 years ago. These were mostly YOUNGER SSPX clergy.
    Jack in KC

  19. rmichaelj says:

    I think there is room for more charity on both sides (and that includes the laity- labeling people schismatic who are trying to reconcile is not helpful).

    I do agree that the younger prelates in general seem to be more accepting of each other.

  20. Kathleen10 says:

    I can’t imagine what would make it desirable to obtain a personal prelature at this time.
    It defies comprehension, even a little comprehension. Even if there are promises to leave them alone, allow them to be who they are, etc., simple observation of reality with this papacy tells one, not now, not now! There is not one example that can be given that would indicate anything other than systematic vaporizing of anything traditional. If this were a military endeavor, it would seem a most ill-advised one. A sovereign order is sovereign no more (1099 to 2017), Cardinal Burke has been humiliated publicly once again by appointing someone to the same post while he is still there, financial resources are now in the hands of the wrong people, and of course, any traditional practices will soon be gone.
    What could go wrong.

  21. Neal says:

    If I may, I’d like to offer a perspective that runs contrary to that of Jack in KC. Over the years as I’ve moved from place to place I’ve had the opportunity to attend Mass at numerous SSPX and FSSP chapels. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a stridently oppositional sermon from either directed at the other group by name. Of course the two groups disagree, for clearly stated reasons that both are able to defend, but the priests generally seem more interested in being sacramental ministers than partisan cheerleaders.

    Probably the most aggressive sermon I heard was from an FSSP priest after an SSPX flare-up during the reign of BXVI, in which he stated in a rather blistering manner that one must not be more Catholic than the pope. Good priest that he was, I wonder if he’s retired that sermon for the time being.

  22. LeeF says:

    See current article on Crux questioning whether the EF is diverging into becoming a separate rite. Pretty good article for Crux and by someone who attends both EF and NO.

    Ten years in, is the old Latin Mass becoming a separate ‘rite’?

  23. JonPatrick says:

    Interesting, that Crux article. Of course the EF is not “becoming a second rite” – after all it is just a continuation of what was celebrated for centuries as the Roman Rite – it is the Ordinary Form that would be the new rite if anything. Pope Benedict was trying to promote the “Hermaneutic of Continuity”, to interpret the Ordinary Form as a continuation of what went before rather than a rupture, with the hope that the EF would act to bring the OF more in line with the tradition. The jury is still out as to whether this effort can bear fruit (the reform of the reform), or whether we are better served by basically giving up on the OF and focusing on the EF as being the true Roman Rite.

  24. The Egyptian says:

    how many priests does the SSPX have? After reading this article
    and the Pope’s comments about a lack of priests, in another article (cannot find it right now) it makes me wonder does the Holy Father see them as a way out of a pickle. Would it not be ironic if an order of very traditional priests saved the day ? Sadly it seems that many orders and dioceses don’t get the message, happy clappy, hippy dippy, does NOT produce vocations. The priestly order that covers our parishes, that has its origins here as well, seems clueless, as does the order of sisters that shares the same name.

    However on the plus side, since the introduction of the prayer for vocations started in our parish recited after every mass, we now have 4 men studying for the religious life, three for priesthood and one to be a brother, we have not had a priest ordained from our parish since 1950 I believe, so maybe there is some hope

  25. Lili of the fields says:

    I’m hopeful about a reconciliation with SSPX and would welcome a Latin Mass anytime, sooner the better. I would welcome anything right now so tired I am of NO mass, hands clapping, holding hands with strangers when praying Our Father in my parish. As tired as I am there is always place for a little compromise but the last straw recently was to force the Amoris Laetitia down our throats with our Pope’s comment on the cowardly following the ten commandments. So a good Latin Mass for me would be a ray of sunshine…

  26. bmmccoy23 says:

    Traditional orders that celebrate the Traditional Mass EXCLUSIVELY have fared well under Francis. I talked to our FSSP pastor about this matter and he pointed out that they and any communities that celebrate exclusively the Traditional Mass have not been touched and have in fact experienced great growth under Pope Francis. The orders and groups that have been suppressed are the Franciscan friars of the Immaculate, Cardinal Burke, the Knights of Malta, that is, RELIGIOUS THAT ARE CONSERVATIVE AND CELEBRATE BOTH THE NEW AND THE OLD RITE (this is likely because Francis had a very bad taste from conservative priests in Argentina; on the other hand he was impressed with the SSPX and trads who he would bump into in hospitals and among the poor). It is important to be very accurate. Everything that is happening in the Church does not fall neatly into the traditionalist persecution complex based on a left/right paradigm. Pope Francis eschew’s airport priest’s and bishop’s and he has very little experience outside Argentina. Based on this experience, when he became Pope, the ax fell (unfortunately) on conservative’s and outreach to ultra leftist’s and the SSPX began. FRANCIS IS THE POPE OF THE PERIPHERY, and if you are on these margins (in this case SSPX) you should feel very safe.

    [I wonder if readers here remember my constant badgering at those of traditional leanings to get out there and get busy with corporal works of mercy. I wonder. I’ve written it I don’t know how many times. For example HERE. Mark my words, folks. Do it or you may lose what you have.]

  27. Thorfinn says:

    The Egyptian asks: “How many priests does the SSPX have?”

    The FSSPX has about 600 of the ~1000 priests worldwide in Traditional orders. The FSSP has 270, then the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICRSS), Institute of the Good Shepherd (IBP) & others make up another ~~100+. I believe all are growing steadily.

    It is interesting the think about future growth potential for these orders. Sometimes they may be magnets for vocations from near and far. But as they staff more parishes or Mass centers or oratories or chapels, they likely have a larger pool of likely vocations. And some vocations will go to that order, but others to the diocese or another order.

  28. iamlucky13 says:

    It looks like their tonsure is a small symbolic clipping, rather than shaving a significant part of their head?

    Is this still allowed in the Roman rite? I thought it was not merely abandoned, but specifically forbidden? Of course, that was a post Vatican II change, so I guess it doesn’t surprise me that SSPX would continue it.

    I bring this up merely out of curiosity, not to imply any objection of their practice of tonsuring.

  29. Lucas Whittaker says:

    @Kathleen10: It is a good thing that this is NOT a military endeavor. The best place for any Catholic to be is within the one true Church under Peter, even when heresy or chaos might exist therein. If we are going to work for unity then we ought to be in the place to which unity beckons us as a community. We have a duty to be and remain genuinely Catholic. It is better to defend tradition from within the bounds of that unity than to leave the place of unity for the sake of tradition. If we calmly place our trust in God to help us to prevail over the many ways that man strays from Truth by recognizing and committing time daily to the “unum necessarium” (Lk 10:42; CCC 2709 to 2725 on contemplative prayer [which that section refers to as “the obedience of faith”]) we can begin to say that we are doing all that we can. When we “raise our mind and heart to God” in listening prayer we then come to know his will for our life, and we can be fairly certain that our active life will bear greater fruit. In this context our life will better benefit more appropriate worship of God, leading to the transformation of believers and the greater Church, by extension.

  30. New Sister says:

    a SSPX Retirement Community in the PNW? I am very happy to hear! Pray tell where this is planned, Father! (Oregon? WA?)

  31. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Ecce quam bonum et quam iucúndum, habitáre fratres in unum: Sicut unguéntum in cápite . . . (Ps. CXXXII) . . . I thought about the issue of unity as I prayed the first psalm from vespers tonight. Of the principles that could be listed as guiding ones for the building up of the belief and worship of our Church, unity could be argued to be near to the first in that list.

    “Veniat dilectus meus in hortum suum, et comedat fructum pomorum suorum” (Canticum Canticorum 5:1).

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