From a reader…
We are in a desperate situation. We have looked very deeply into the matter, and feel very strongly that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is the most reverent. We are morally accountable to bring our four beautiful children to the most reverent Mass possible. We live in a rural area, and the only Novus Ordo Masses within an hour driving distance are not reverent — they have liturgical abuses and other irreverent practices. There is a SSPX chapel 45 min. from our home which offers the Latin Mass twice per month. Is it permissible and prudent to go there twice per month? We have pleaded with our bishop and after years, have only been able to get the Latin Mass offered once per month in our diocese.
I have great respect and sympathy for parents who are trying to raise their children in today’s secular and today’s ecclesiastical environments. What challenges you face, both from outside and – woe to us! – within the Church. God is offering you great graces as you face the mounting trials of your state in life.
You have pretty much equal distances to drive, it seems. You have to haul your family a hour each way, which is not insignificant.
The irreverence and abuses at the Novus Ordo Masses you mention, and your sense of responsibility to your children, could constitute a moral impossibility to go to that Novus Ordo only parish for Sunday Mass when there is an decent alternative.
The decent alternative presents itself twice a month in the SSPX chapel.
There is a great deal I don’t know about your situation. For example, if the preaching at the Novus Ordo parish is sound, or if the preaching at the SSPX chapel is harsh or aimed with hostility against legitimate ecclesial authorities, etc.
All things being equal, however, I think that you can in good conscience go to the SSPX when Mass is offered there. You fulfill your Sunday obligation in doing so. You may receive Communion if you wish. You can, in justice, contribute to the collection, since you are receiving a service from them. You can go to confession to SSPX priests…. now.
That said, remember that even though step by step we all seem to be coming towards greater formal unity, you should not weaken your own unity with your local pastors, including your parish priest and your bishop.
When Mass is not offered at the SSPX chapel, you should go to your local parish. All things being equal, your local parish is your default choice.
The SSPX chapel may present excellent Masses, preaching and catechesis, but you are still within the bounds of the official parish, which is something that an SSPX chapel cannot, by law, be. The parish priest has the faculties and duties assigned by the local bishop. Do not forget this when making choices about where to go for sacraments, etc.
I would double-down on your prayers and even fasting for the local pastor and for the bishop.
Continue respectfully to make your concerns known. Keep every scrap of correspondence.
If there are serious abuses in the Mass in the official, Novus Ordo parish, then make them know to the bishop and, beyond him, the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome. You would need to send proofs of what you claim is happening, of course. Also, having more than one person sending information to the bishop or to Rome is helpful. You have the right to make your concerns know. Review the whole of the document Redemptionis Sacramentum, especially the very end, where your rights and obligations are described.
Meanwhile, perhaps all those couples who are also raising children out there, and perhaps in a similar situation, might chime in with their own experiences… together with a promise of reciprocal prayers.