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Where do we go from here?


Over at the Remnant, under a piece I did earlier this week, a reader leaves the following question.

In the event (likelihood) that the result of the Synod is that Francis
continues his liberal programme, is anyone able to direct me to any
advice by FSSP or other traditional priests concerning continued
attendance at Novus Ordo Masses? I’ve no chance of getting to a
Traditional Mass (UK) but wouldn’t feel able to continue attending a
quasi-heretical church and certainly wouldn’t receive Communion. Last
week our stand-in Priest made it clear he was in unity with the liberals
(so I didn’t feel able to take Communion). Is there any traditional
teaching covering obligations to attend Mass etc in this situation?
conscience says stay away and keep praying at home instead. I suspect
from reading online that plenty of others are going to be in this
predicament. Do we follow our consciences? Ironic, that, given that
it’s the heretical lot who are promoting the infallibility of
conscience! So why am I feeling guilty about not wanting to attend a
heretical Church any longer?

I think we are going to be seeing this more and more, and it would be a good idea to start developing systems by which we can help such people, perhaps offering lifts if we know someone who is without transport for the long drives to the nearest parish. Perhaps organising regional data lists where people can get in touch with each other in a more personal way than merely on the ‘blogs, to start creating useful communities for mutual assistance.I know that the rudiments of such structures already exist. Things like Una Voce, and the LMS in the UK, as well as Facebook group pages and other outlets online. These obviously must start to be developed much more.

I will offer that a long time ago, except in very unusual circumstances, like when I know the priest personally, I long ago stopped receiving Communion in NO Masses on the rare occasions when I have no choice but to go to one to fulfill my Sunday obligation. I don’t want to start a whole long and fruitless discussion in the commboxes here about whether or no one should or should not, but I would welcome the input of traditionally minded priests who have knowledge of the former teaching and practice if any…

For now, it is enough to know that there are many, many people starting to think, and even making the difficult decision to make serious sacrifices in order to orient their lives towards the one thing necessary, for themselves and their children. This is what I would call one of the very beneficial, even salvific fruits of the current crisis. That it is, simply, finally being revealed for the grave threat that it is.

At the moment, I and other traditionally minded Catholic writers with an interface with the public are consulting and working on ways to address this practical question, since we are all seeing it more and more frequently.

For now, I will offer the words of St. Basil on what people were doing to keep the Faith during the worst days of the Arian crisis:

Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose.
Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in the Faith avoid
the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude,
with groans and tears to the Lord in Heaven.”

Four years after, he writes: “Matters have come to this pass: the people have left
their houses of prayer, and assembled in the deserts
, – a pitiable sight; women
and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air,
amid most profuse rains and snowstorms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in
summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit, because they will have no part
of the wicked Arian leaven.

Again: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished an
accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions.
For this cause
the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”


76 thoughts on “Where do we go from here?”

  1. tho says:

    Argentina is a chaotic mess because of the Peron’s, their vision of self serving socialism crippled a once vibrant economy and set in play the disorder that followed. Now. Pope Francis’s liberalism is making the RC Church a chaotic mess, and who knows what disorder will follow?

  2. Heloisa Hodierna says:

    If you’re still reading I agree with:
    9 days ago

    “If there is no where else to go, I will go and support the Lord as he is abused once again. I think of it as being at the foot of the Cross as Our Lord is suffering.”

    I’ve been struggling with all this but now feel that when we attend Novus Ordo Mass we are like Veronica wiping Christ’s Face. We live in a time when that opportunity has been truly given us. Let us take it!

  3. Heartlander says:

    Sounds to me like it is only licit in extreme circumstances, i.e., when “it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister”

  4. Two2trees says:

    I’m coming late to this party, sorry, but the subject is one I’ve grappled with. The heresy countered by ex opera operato — I’m not remembering the name — anyhow, its negation suggests that a bishop not forbidden to, may lawfully authorize the confection of the Eucharist — hence a valid Mass occurs. Christ is made present.

    However, as per ccc 675, there is a strong sense of offense to Christ, in, for example a football team of extraordinary Eucharist “ministers”, etc.

    I have a sense that the feeling is akin to that felt by John standing at Golgotha. It is horrible to be there, yet I must be.

    Am i technically wrong in a way that this is necessarily incorrect?

  5. Richard W Comerford says:

    Mr. Cannonkat:

    Thank you for your reply wherein you posted in part: “Just make sure you know the disembark place when your bergaglian fellowship”

    Are we praying for Holy Father Francis? Are we fasting? Making sacrifices? Are we striving to live our lives in a state of grace? If not how can we carp and criticize?

    and in part: “becomes clearly the whore of babylon and the abomination of desolation”

    Our Protesting brother and sisters frequently use this language. I understand that they now have 80,00 different denominations. Perhaps something for you to look forward to?

    Without Peter we are adrift, lost and rapidly in danger of losing hope.

    I suggest less whining and more praying.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  6. Cannonkat says:

    Just make sure you know the disembark place when your bergaglian fellowship becomes clearly the whore of babylon and the abomination of desolation. cheerio!

  7. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Lynne:

    Thank you for your reply wherein you posted in part: “I didn’t say that Abp Lefebvre founded a Church”

    Good. He founded a priestly association. Not a Church. We Catholics cannot fulfill our Sunday and other obligations via a priestly association.

    And in part: “My point is that some priests chose to leave the SSPX but it continues to grow”

    So is Protestantism, Islam, Orthodoxy and the Society of Jesus.

    and in part:

    “By their fruits, you shall know them.”

    Disobedience is not a fruit.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  8. Lynne says:

    I didn’t say that Abp Lefebvre founded a Church. My point is that some priests chose to leave the SSPX but it continues to grow, over 600 priests strong and 53 new seminarians this year. By their fruits, you shall know them.

  9. Carolyn C says:

    Jorge bergoglio is not Catholic. He cannot be Pope.

  10. Pingback: These quotes from St. Basil may help you weather the post-synodal depression | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
  11. Trackback: These quotes from St. Basil may help you weather the post-synodal depression | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
  12. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Lynne:

    THank you for your reply wherein you posted in part:

    “Did the Church ‘splinter’ when Martin Luther broke away from the Church?”

    It certainly did. And Christians could easily tell that the splinter with a Pope was Catholic.

    and in part: “The SSPX was founded by a bishop of the Church.”

    The good Archbishop founded a priestly society not a Church. He did not advocate for a separate Church independent from the Vicar of Christ.

    and in part: “The priests who left the SSPX because of their fears are a sad lot.”

    Great. ‘You can tell they are trads – see how they hate one another.’ Is it a wonder there are so few trads?

    and in part: “There is no unity among them.”

    Exactly. Splinters splintering. Soon maybe there will be 80,000 different trad groups – just like the Protestants.

    “Far from us be this miserable thought to separate ourselves from Rome!” Sermon on the occasion of the Episcopal Consecration, Marcel Lefebvre, June 1988

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  13. OnlyEwe says:

    Well that’s what they call the Priest at one particular Novus Ordo church I sometimes attend…

  14. Karen Hall says:

    I don’t have a Jesus problem. I have a “the Catholic Church has lost its mind” problem.

  15. Lynne says:

    Pope Benedict XVI removed the (false) excommunications of the *bishops* of the SSPX. The priests of the SSPX were never excommunicated.

  16. Lynne says:

    Did the Church ‘splinter’ when Martin Luther broke away from the Church? The SSPX was founded by a bishop of the Church. The priests who left the SSPX because of their fears are a sad lot. There is no unity among them.

  17. Heartlander says:

    As far as I know, skipping MASS — a Catholic Mass — on Sunday (or the Saturday vigil Mass) is a mortal sin. And, last I heard, attending an Orthodox liturgy does NOT satisfy the Sunday Mass obligation. I just have to trust the Church precepts, and one of those is weekly Mass attendance.

  18. Heartlander says:

    If there are any Eastern Rite Catholic churches in your area, I would urge you to give them a try. (e.g., Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Melkite, Syro-Malabar) I have attended a Ukrainian Greek Catholic church in the Dallas area, for example, and they have a beautiful, reverent liturgy, very reminiscent of Eastern Orthodox churches in their icons, incense, chanted prayers, and Holy Communion received on the tongue.

  19. Heartlander says:

    Hmmm. Well, there must be SOMEONE out there whom we could ask. I would probably trust whatever Cardinal Burke would advise us to do.

  20. Heartlander says:

    I’m uncomfortable with this kind of talk. As I recall, Donatism was the heresy that said that sacraments were not valid if administered through a sinful priest. That heresy was REJECTED and refuted by Holy Mother Church. We are right to reject the heresy of modernism, but is it right to let ourselves fall into the heresy of Donatism? Remember that Martin Luther went off the rails when he quit praying and doing his simple duties, cutting himself off from the Church’s life and worship. I don’t know. Perhaps you all are right. But missing Mass on Sunday for other than the gravest of reasons, such as grave illness, is a mortal sin. I’m just not willing to do that. I don’t like the Novus Ordo Mass, but it IS Mass, and I can’t see how missing Mass, no matter how much the priest sets my teeth on edge, can be anything other than mortal sin. It is still JESUS there on that altar. Focus on Jesus, not on the priest, the sermon, the music, etc., if they’re offensive. Remember, even if Jesus is surrounded by ugly things, He is STILL JESUS, and HE is the one we should be focused on.

  21. Heartlander says:

    The USCCB actually FORBADE kneeling for Communion? Or just strongly discouraged it? To me, there is a difference.

    Also, Catholic Charities supporting abortion? I’ve never heard of that. What I DO know something about is the “Catholic Campaign for Human Development” or CCHD — which always does a big special collection in the spring. That organization — founded by Saul Alinsky followers — does give money to many leftist outfits, including many that are allied with groups that are abortion supporters.

  22. FRLBJ says:

    I agree that the old Mass is superior to the new one and that one should try to attend one, but one under the bishop of the Diocese and only by extreme necessity to go to a St. Pius the X. But you know what, transubstantiation still occurs at the New Mass. A priest told me about reading a new Mass (which is the only kind this priest reads) where at the elevation of the host, a teenage boy among the Mass goers suddenly started growling. The priest noticed this and held the Host up longer and prayed especially for the boy. Then he continued with the elevation of the Chalice and the words of consecration of the Precious Blood. The boy continued to growl as long as the Chalice was elevated. So there is the proof! The boy was oppressed by a demon.The consecration is thus valid at the New Mass. Even the demons attest to that!

  23. PompousMaximus says:

    I am not just saying that the TLM is superior. I am saying that just shooting for a “valid” NO is the bare minimum a Catholic should do.

    The folks on here are arguing whether to abandon the whole thing. Which I don’t necessarily agree with. Why? Because I know out there is a young faithful priest trained up at an NO seminary who is just dying to be a Martyr for His Church. He offers Mass with the zeal required for believers to become more zealous themselves. But barring that seemingly rare exception, a ginormous amount of priests have been institutionalized in this soft, tender, accompanying-dialoguey stuff.

    They are offering a valid Mass, yes, but that is where it ends. The question is how far do you go for just getting a valid Mass? I sit through openly heretical homilies on a bi-weekly basis. The idea that the Mass is a Sacrifice, really the best Sacrifice, died at my Parish decades ago. There is no mention of sin, ever. Divorced and re-marrieds have already openly been receiving communion…… you name it. So yes the Mass is valid, but it is also a near occasion of sin for those paying enough attention. Which is like the saddest statement in Heaven and on Earth.

    So I would say you are right to an extent, and they are right to an extent. These are very confusing times.

  24. Heloisa Hodierna says:

    I’m the person who posted the original query. Unfortunately, we moved to Scotland two years ago and there is no possibility of getting to a traditional Mass due to both geographical issues and health issues. To get to Mass I rely on a very dependable husband who is non – Catholic (atheist really) but who, ironically, in his opinions and judgements on this matter (and most others) is actually far more Catholic than the Pope and his acolytes. He is not impressed at all with their antics. Additionally, there is no chance of moving again – unless he has a Road to Damascus experience, so prayers appreciated. I did however feel very strongly that this was where God wanted us to move to so will await further instructions!!! I had a word with our temporary stand- in priest last night. I’m not happy with his replies.

  25. reconverted idiot says:

    Yes, I understand and recognise the reasons you give. These communities are in need of more workers for the harvest – so for anyone considering vocation but worried about standard diocesan formation, these should definitely be ports of call.
    I shall indeed pray for them; and thank you for the information. Important stuff.

  26. susan says:

    It isn’t.

  27. Barbara says:

    Great. A nice full reply instead of my poor effort above. Thanks.

  28. Barbara says:

    You are certainly not excommunicated! There are cautions that have been stated by the Church: for example if you are attending an SSPX Mass because you reject the authority of the Church you are in trouble. If you are attending because you are a refuge from horrors in NO parishes, you are fine.

    A little common sense goes a long way to guide you.

  29. Barbara says:

    Do we assume the priest is bringing Holy Communion to a shut-in, or the sick? Any other event would certainly need a look. I know our priest (FSSP) says Mass in his mother’s house when he is on vacation – mostly because there is no parish which offers him the opportunity to celebrate there.
    In the 70s many wayward priests celebrated ‘house-masses'(sic) in rebellion and that flavour still lingers.

  30. Barbara says:

    I’m not sure of all Father Hesse says, but I agree that the Church is obligated to provide me with a suitable Mass. Just as Francis is obliged to rule so that I CAN obey.

  31. Barbara says:

    Karen, get a beautiful picture of Christ The King and carry it in your wallet. That makes you a card-carrying member of The Kingdom!

  32. Barbara says:


  33. Barbara says:

    What’s a ‘presider?’

  34. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Asbury Fox:

    You posted in part:

    “We are arguing that the clerics are heretical”

    Whether or not the priest celebrant is a heretic (Or, worse, even a New York Yankee fan )in mortal sin the Mass is still the Mass. We are still obliged upon pain of mortal sin to attend Mass on Sunday.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  35. Richard W Comerford says:

    Mr. reconverted idiot:

    You posted in part: “Can it really be said that a priest who doesn’t believe in the Real Presence truly intends to confect the sacrament”

    Good question.

    From Wiki:

    “The Catholic position, according to Augustine, was ex opere operato — from the work having been worked;
    in other words, that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the
    holiness of God, the minister being a mere instrument of God’s work, so
    that any priest or bishop, even one in a state of mortal sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter and the intent of causing the sacrament to occur acts validly.”

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  36. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Carolyn C:

    You posted in part: “SSPX is the Church.”

    The SSPX has already splintered. Which particular splinter is the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  37. bigfred says:

    Bp Zubik’s war last year against SSPX in Pittsburgh, USA:

    …but then the diocese ends up with a “quasi-parish” for its Latin Mass Community

    Fr Rodriguez gets 6 month suspension last year for saying TLM exclusively:

  38. Simon Platt says:

    The ICKSP has two apostolates in England, based in Shrewsbury and Lancaster dioceses. Their priests also offer mass every Sunday in Liverpool diocese, but this is a low mass. Perhaps you mean to refer to the FSSP’s new apostolate in Warrington?

  39. Simon Platt says:

    Yes. There are not yet sufficient clergy in these places for weekly high masses. High mass is offered often, but not every week, at least in Preston and New Brighton, precisely because of the need for sacred ministers. I think that the ICKSP and FSSP both, and quite rightly, have to balance the building up of communities in this place or that with the need also to spread their mission more widely. I think they are doing that well. God bless them.

    Today is the titular feast of the Institute of Christ the King. Please pray for their mission in England and elsewhere.

  40. bigfred says:

    Take it as you will, here is the unforgettable canon lawyer Fr Hesse. (He died of a diabetes associated heart attack. It’s such a shame that somebody hadn’t grabbed him by the arm and said to him, “Put the fork down, we’re going for a walk in the woods every day until you shape up.”) As I recall from listening a year ago, he says somewhere in there, “you have the obligation to attend Mass, and the Church has the obligation to provide you with a suitable Mass”.

  41. Gladstone says:

    If I am not mistaken, the Holy Sacrifice technically pauses for the Homily. If this is the case, I would think one’s obligation is no less fulfilled by getting up and taking a 7-12 minute break (depending on the fellow’s windbag capacity.)

  42. Richard W Comerford says:

    MISS White:

    We must obey the Third Commandment. We must comply with the laws of the Church on this matter. We have no choice. We are obliged to attend Holy Mass on Sunday whither or not we approve of the priest-celebrant, the church architecture, the sacred art and music or the rite and form itself.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  43. Carolyn C says:

    I completely agree. SSPX is the Church. I suppose the WUWS is, perhaps, not quite there. If you cannot find an SSPX chapel, or a Traditional Catholic priest who is not afraid to call out these apostates, pray the Rosary.

  44. reconverted idiot says:

    NB I said regular. The other uk locations don’t regularly offer a solemn high mass, I.e. every Sunday, as far as I (and the LMS for that matter) am aware.

  45. Cannonkat says:

    I truly believe it depends on the priest. I have known older very holy priests who did such a dignified NO Mass that put some Traditionalist priests to shame. It depends on the priest. Always. Mother Teresa would attend a NO Mass when she had to, even though she preferred the Traditional. But like the fellow above, I have experienced the Blessed Holy SPirit’s Presence BURST FORTH even at a NO Mass and remain afterwards, even though I choose now to either go to either the Latin, the Ordinariate, or the Byzantine Catholic. AND in this time of Emergency, If an Orthodox priest welcomed me to do so (I don’t hide My being Catholic, and some Orthodox are tolerant, believing as I have over fifteen years experience in Orthodox churches, that we are in the same Holy Mother Church, which has had the enemy sow confusion) I would receive our Lord in an Orthodox Church – better than most NO churches! We have to begin now to understand we carry the Catholic faith within us, while all the CHurch structures may crumble outwardly in the wicked world.

  46. Cannonkat says:

    Its not the only High Mass by a longshot. The Oratory is also at Oxford doing High Masses and at London. The Institute of Christ the king Sovereign Priest has three parishes where there are SUnday High Masses in the UK. One of them just opened in Liverpool. The FSSP is in the UK now. There are High Masses at Ordinariate parishes ad Orientem in Shakespearian English. THe SSpx. ANd there are a number of monasteries to go to, such as St Michael’s which do High Masses. There have been scores of inquiries of good priests wanting to learn the Holy Mass in Extraordinary Form. There is MUCH HOPE BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!

  47. Ad Orientem says:

    At least ask the SSPX. Of course they will say you do not become an excommunicate for going to the Mass they offer. But that is no reason to think they are incorrect in their understanding.

    Why not make an appointment with the nearest Priest for an hour and shoot your questions at him? If you are not satisfied, then look online for more answers, both for and against. Pray for guidance and a pure heart to do whatever God wills.

    These are confusing times. The one group in the Church who simply believes, prays and acts like the Church did until Vatican II and the introduction of the new mass get charged with “schism” and “heresy”. They stand out like a sore thumb, and the more the culture, both within and outside the Church washes away, the more odd and unusual they appear. They have not changed one single thing that Catholics have always done, and they are the outcasts?

  48. Cannonkat says:

    We also need to start building hidden chapels, which is what they did when the Ukrainian Catholic CHurch went underground as well as the French during a hostile Republican government (and there were many) and the same was done in England from the time of Henry VIII until Catholic Emancipation in the early 19th century. They built secret walls even. They hid beautiful altar items & Tabernacles and so should we all. Don’t even tell certain members of your family or neighbours until you know who you can trust. Secret cenacles. Our Lady advises this in various allocutions and prophecies. Right now, I’m convinced Pope Bergoglio is an Antipope. I have friends who believe he is the False Prophet of the Revelation of St John. I think of him as a dangerous antipope who is more of a forerunner to the False Prophet. He tries to fool us when he speaks traditionally, or at a minimum he speaks and acts from the flesh. “Those of the flesh persecute those of the Spirit.” We have to prepare. At some point Christ will come as a Bridegroom to take His bride (that’s us). WHen he does that, guess what is left? The Whore of Babylon, and Antichrist will destroy it, fulfilling the will of God the Father. “Watch” “You do not know when the Master will come. If the Manager of the House knew when the Master would come, he wouldn’t have suffered his house to be broken into!” “He will send his angels to separate the good from the evil. The good He will usher into His Kingdom, but the evil He will throw into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and the False Prophet will be thrown. What I say unto one I say unto all. Watch!”

  49. Cannonkat says:

    Use some logic. Benedict XVI removed the excommunications of the SSPX. So if the priest is not excommunicated when he confects the Mass, and he partakes, its impossible for another to be excommunicated for sharing in that very Mass. And the Ordinariates have lovely traditional English Masses: I know Calgary does. There are many remarkable Ordinariate priests. Also there is in the UK and North America the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the FSSP, the Canons of St John Cantius, and there are many a good monastery which celebrates the Traditional Mass in all these countries. Its not hard to find good priests my friends. There is indeed a sizable Holy Remnant. I’m sure you’re aware of the well over 500 priests in England alone that wrote Antipope Bergoglio that he better hold fast to Holy Tradition. I don’t worry about schism. By the way I also know many good Byzantine Catholic priests who practise a thoroughly dignified and traditional rite of St John Chysostom Divine Liturgy. You know who is in schism? None of the above! Antipope Bergoglio and all his minions are in schism, and that was the argument during the Arian crisis concerning Bishops who were Arian. Heretics are in de facto schism if not de jure! Not us! “The Lord looks on the heart!”

  50. michael ortiz says:

    Right….I agree that the TLM is superior in every way to the NO but I don’t think making the perfect enemy of the good the way to go…indeed it May subtly buy into the NO premise that the personality of the priest some how affects validity though yes his personal holiness is a plus…but isn’t that a blessing of Catholicism that we aren’t at the whim of Pastor Bob at his Mega-church?

    Humor always appreciated!

  51. Lynne says:

    Another Italian bishop has just asked the SSPX to celebrate the Mass in his diocese (in one of the churches) every other Sunday. So, no, you do not incur automatic excommunication by receiving the sacraments from the SSPX.

  52. Aqua says:

    Excellent, most useful links. Thanks!

  53. reconverted idiot says:

    Form, matter and intent. Can it really be said that a priest who doesn’t believe in the Real Presence truly intends to confect the sacrament? Does he really intend to ‘do what the Church has always done’? These are genuine questions, to my mind they express a valid grounds to doubt, at least.
    Not only that, but surely one’s spiritual health depends on more than just receiving a validly confected sacrament, validity is a mere minimum. Reverence, true worship, sound teaching, these too are vital.
    Could it not have been said of the Arian priests that they validly confected the sacrament? So why did the faithful go to the desert?
    The doctrinal case regarding bad priests concerns individuals living sinful lives, it is not advice for what to do in the face of wholesale apostasy, which is a whole nother kettle of fish.

  54. Asbury Fox says:

    Sorry, but that’s not case. We are not arguing that the sacraments are invalid. We are arguing that the clerics are heretical. They are preaching, teaching, and practicing heresy. Just like the Arians. They are worse than the Arians, because they are Modernists. Modernism as Pope Pius X taught, was the synthesis of all heresies. It’s the worst heresy in history.

  55. Guest says:

    Anyone know if a priest coming to your house and giving communion is the same thing as attending a sacreligous mass?

  56. Felix_Culpa says:

    I offer no answers, but merely note the following:

    BEAUTY.—Liturgical ugliness does not necessarily correspond to Mass invalidity. A wise friend once told me: “You always meet Christ at Mass. Sometimes He is enthroned in glory and being adored by the angels. Sometimes he is being reviled and spat upon. But He is always there.”

    WORTHYNESS OF PRIEST.—michael ortiz said, “I’m sorry but I am getting a whiff of Donatism here. It is solid Catholic teaching that even a priest with no faith can confect the Eucharist.” Indeed he can: personal sinfulness, even heresy or complete lack of faith—none of these have any effect on the ability to confect the Eucharist. Like beauty, it’s a bit of a red herring.

    INTENT.—This one is, I think, key. mparks12 said, “…but the Mass is the Mass (at least until the celebrant no longer intends it to be such)…”

    Intent, along with valid form and valid matter, are required to confer a sacrament. Ref. Trent, Session VII: “CANON XI.-If any one saith, that, in ministers, when they effect, and confer the sacraments, there is not required the intention at least of doing what the Church does; let him be anathema.” (

    So it is not a question of beauty of liturgy or of personal holiness. It is a question of: Does the priest actually intend to do what the Church intends?

    In fact, I can imagine it’s possible to have a very quiet and dignified Mass, following all the rubrics even, and have it still not be valid. Say priest so ill-formed that he does not actually believe in the Real Presence, holding instead to some Lutheranesque quasi-symbolic interpretation of the consecration. It may not even be his actual fault, if he were trained that way in seminary. He may hold that erroneous belief quite sincerely, be a morally upright man, and actually celebrate Mass in a dignified way. Even without it being a concious choice on his part, he does not intend what the Church intends. So if the priest himself is unaware of this, then how in the world can a person in the pews figure it out?

    I’m sure there must have been books written on this, for this is hardly a modern problem. Fine minds must have examined this very question back at the time of the origins of Anglicanism, for example. I just don’t happen to know of any.

  57. parishonerusa says:

    Does anyone know if you suffer automatic excommunication by attending SSPX. I read recently that and Italian Bishop sent out a letter stating that Catholics receiving the Sacraments from SSPX incur automatic excommunication. I know that if I ask the SSPX about this they will say it isn’t so and I see conflicting information from traditional Catholic priests outside SSPX. Does anyone here know any more than I do on this?

  58. OnlyEwe says:

    I avoid Masses where the presider is liberal. If there is no where else to go, I will go and support the Lord as he is abused once again. I think of it as being at the foot of the Cross as Our Lord is suffering. As far as taking communion at these Masses…when the environment is hostile, I will pray a spiritual communion and avoid a physical one. Don’t know what else to do…

  59. Martha says:

    Calm down, Ana. I’m not saying anything that wasn’t discussed above. Did you read the post? That was the question which was posed, and the response of Hilary.

    My point, in light of St. Basil’s quote and the times of the Arian Heresy, is one of wondering whether or not we’ve reached that threshold (time to run for the hills… stop collaborating) or not.

    It is the SSPX’s view that the NO is disordered to the point that it must be avoided as dangerous to the faith. I have a difficult time disagreeing with them.

  60. Sur Veilled says:

    There is a directory of TLMs here:
    and here:
    as a 200 page PDF showing locations throughout the US, and some of Canada and elsewhere .

    It clearly marks Masses at Diocesan, SSPS, CMRI, Independant, sede, etc. with contact info.

    Many would be surprised just how accessible the true Mass really is.

  61. PompousMaximus says:

    But when all you can say is that the Mass is “valid.” That’s the bare minimum.

    Read the following, this is what should happen at Mass. Question is, can it happen at everyone’s local anthropocentric worship space? It is up to a well formed conscience, in agreement with spiritual guidance.

    It is from an article from the Remnant, (by Benedict Carter, who I appreciate greatly) he is only one of many well Catechized folks from whom we should be informed. The Remnant BTW is a delightful resource for us right now, please go there often.

    “The Mass, as the centre of our Holy Faith, should:

    · reinforce the entire Catholic Faith in every aspect – the way we worship contains within itself all that we believe;

    · raise up the individual soul to the majesty and glory of God;

    · present to the individual soul the starkness and finality of the moral choices we have to make as Catholics in order to inherit Eternal Life;

    · encourage us to strive for personal holiness.”

    The above has only happened at Mother Angelica’s Shrine in Hanceville (by the Rubric Paul VI Mass), I have been to FSSP, ICKSP (ICRSS), and a couple Indults. But it has never happened in any of the 50+ Churches I have visited for Mass. Sometimes I get a bit of each, or all of one, but never all together.

    Not only that, but sometimes the my Faith is challenged by some of the more “innovative” experiences. Not to mention the questions my wife has……

    So question is….do you feel lucky, sir? do you?

    PS. I am only trying to add a bit a humor with the last bit. I don’t mean in anyway it has anything to do with luck, and is actually a very serious byproduct of the division in the Church.

    PPS. Mr. Carter’s Full article here:

  62. Newtemplar says:

    Our family moved countries in order to be able to access the mass and sacraments in the traditional rite and be close to other traditional Catholic families who would support each other in the Faith. It is imperative to move somewhere where access to the sacraments and sound Catholic teaching are available. Hilary has the right idea, what she refers to as the Benedict option. It will become more necessary as time goes on to take steps to ensure such access and certainly any family with children should consider moving near a traditional Monastery or religious house.

  63. Ana Baučić says:

    Are you saying that I have never received real and living Jesus Christ in the Eucharist just because I have never attended TLM? If you are saying that, you are terribly wrong. BTW, skipping the Sunday mass is a grave sin, so I wouldn’t advise that.

  64. Karen Hall says:

    I feel this way and I have already heard from friends who do. I wish there was a movement, so I could be a card-carrying member.

  65. susan says:

    For Heaven’s sake…is it not finally clear to all that AB Lefebvre was right? God has provided a Pella in the desert. If this garbage sin-nod produces and proclaims the unthinkable, my family will be worshiping at the nearest SSPX Chapel. ENOUGH! In other words; let Rome do what it will, I’m remaining Catholic. If these aren’t times of true ’emergency’ then someone please tell me what is.

  66. parishonerusa says:

    What about SSPX?

  67. Beppo says:

    And what about a diocesan TLM, offered by a non-traditional priest, who is complicit with the new church mindset? When his homily is filled with agreement with the heretics in Rome who are undermining Church doctrine? Who makes one’s blood boil with his lukewarm attitude thus leaving one improperly disposed to receive communion?

  68. scott says:

    But is it just a matter of NO or traditional Latin Mass? What about parishes that offer both? What about supporting priests who remain loyal to these bishops who have participated in this farse? What about our children being confirmed by these sacriligeous apostates who suppress the old rite and deny the next generation of church militant soldiers their patrimony?

  69. Marcus20 says:

    There were signs before this.

    Such as when they jackhammered the high altar out of St Peter’s Basilica.

    Such as when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops forbade kneeling to receive communion.

    Such as when new churches are built with the tabernacle in a different building.

    They have changed everything while claiming to have changed nothing. Even the rosary (luminous mysteries?)

    Now it’s to the point where you can’t discuss the “teachings” of the Pope and his bishops around my nieces.

    Lombardi announced “a new church” this morning.

    It’s a “church” that has been supporting abortion through Catholic Charities for a decade.

  70. Woody says:

    Here’s where we go. This report is only worth the paper it’s printed on. In fact, it has more value as recyclable trash than what its words portend to indicate. Thus, for all those who for the past three weeks attended and participated in the synod, take your relatio and stick it where the sun does not shine. And for many of those, I’m sure they won’t have a problem doing such.

  71. michael ortiz says:

    I’m sorry but I am getting a whiff of Donatism here. It is solid Catholic teaching that even a priest with no faith can confect the Eucharist. I am as disturbed by all this too but I respectfully think running away from valid Masses for this reason is not the way to go.

  72. JCC says:

    The Relatio is just rubbish. But don´t let it fall in the hands of the enemies so they can use it. Defend it and use it against them.

  73. reconverted idiot says:

    The Oratory of St Philip Neri – Church of The Immaculate Conception – in Birmingham UK, founded by Bl John Henry Newman, has Solemn High Mass every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (the only regular Sunday High Mass in the country). It is truly a thing of immeasurable beauty, with wonderful priests. Even N.O. masses there are reverent, ad orientem, and definitely masses where grace flows (I attest, May God be my judge).
    I am considering starting some kind of informal thingy, not sure what, to help more people get to it. If it is of interest, even if difficult but you’d be willing to ‘knock and see if the door opens’ then leave a comment on my WordPress site (link by clicking my Disqus ID) describing your situation etc and I’ll get back to you. Or, better still, just come: hotel it in Brum one Saturday night, go for coffee after mass and get talking. There are people here who want to help, but if nobody lets us know then nothing happens.

  74. mparks12 says:

    The Arians were driven out. The Arian bishops were in power and enforced Arianism. Now heresy is just individual. And heresy does not destroy the sacraments. I can understand not wanting to attend a Mass celebrated by and for heretics, but the Mass is the Mass (at least until the celebrant no longer intends it to be such). It is hard to witness Communion given blasphemously to public sinners, but that happens at every Mass – we just don’t know it.

  75. Martha says:

    Those quotes from St. Basil are sobering, indeed. It is comforting to know that the Church rose again out of those ashes.

    I think the time has come for drastic action. What, exactly, that is, I’m not sure. My family also stopped receiving the Eucharist in those rare occasions that we must attend a NO. Has the time come that we shouldn’t even attend a NO should no TLM be available? I wonder.

  76. Aqua says:

    Yes. The resistance has begun. I see the enemy clearly now.

  77. Netmilsmom says:

    If anyone starts the list or a FB page, please post where we can find it. Thank you.

Comments are closed.