On the SSPX and the Situation of Catholics “in the Trenches”
The ordinary faithful are not expendable cannon fodder. They should go where their faith and families will be nourished.
Dedication of the Immaculata
On May 3, 2023, a magnificent new church was dedicated in St. Marys, Kansas. It surely counts as one of the most ambitious traditional churches built since “The Council”; indeed, it is said to be the second largest church in the state of Kansas. Its other claim to fame is more intriguing: it was built by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) for their burgeoning flock. The video of the consecration and dedication ceremony was livestreamed on YouTube; the resulting five-and-a-half hour video is available there. Superb photos may be found in a Facebook gallery here. Needless to say, the church was bursting at the seams with faithful.
Two articles on the Immaculata event are worth reading: “Our Incurious Bishops” by Eric Sammons, and “Little Christendom on the Prairie” by Kennedy Hall. Of particular interest was a statement from the archdiocese of Kansas City that sent a mixed message: though discouraging Catholics from attending Mass at the Immaculata because its Masses are “not licitly offered,” the archdiocese wished it to be known that “it does not consider the SSPX to be schismatic,” that “one may fulfill one’s obligation to participate at Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation by attending an SSPX Mass,” and that SSPX marriages done at the Immaculata are valid because faculties for witnessing them are requested from, and granted by, the archdiocese. This may not be a warm welcome, but it’s not exactly the cold shoulder treatment either.
A retired diocesan bishop speaks out
The SSPX has never not been in the news, but I would venture to say attention to it has skyrocketed after July 21, 2021, when Pope Francis issued his declaration of war against the traditional Latin Mass and the faithful who attend it.
It is therefore of more than minor interest that the emeritus bishop of Chur, Switzerland, the Most Rev. Vitus Huonder, who had been appointed by then-Prefect of the then-Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Müller to investigate the SSPX—discovered upon closer examination that he basically agreed with Lefebvre’s positions. Having received permission to retire in an SSPX community—with Pope Francis’s blessing, no less—he has taken to the screen to offer a remarkable commentary on what he has learned. Filmed on March 31, 2023, the well-produced three-part series is entitled The Great Wound (in German, with English subtitles). Each part is well worth watching and pondering:
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