Thursday, August 28, 2014



When I first read this, my eyes saw FSSP, not SSPX and I went to the video and saw liturgical abuses, altar servers coming up late and not vested properly, the priest wearing a modern chasuble and no maniple. So I thought to myself, I'll write a post on liturgical abuse in an EF Mass at St. Peter's.  Then I thought to myself, did I see SSPX instead of FSSP? And I went back to the Rorate Caeli headline and sure enough it was SSPX! Well! Well! Well! This is stunning ecumenical news concerning the SSPX if you ask me. And yes, yes I know, the liturgical abuses were not really and the unvested altar boys certainly know what they are doing.

The other thing I was going to write in terms of the EF Mass is that I've only celebrated the EF Mass for the last seven years but I haven't attended one believe it or not in that time. What I notice watching this low Mass is how sober the EF Mass is, how gestures are like sign language and there is no need for an audible voice when the priest is praying directly to God just as long a you know where he is in the Mass and have the prayers available in a missal to follow along in the vernacular or Latin if you understand it. 

It shows the beauty of movement, gestures and an superabundance of these in the EF Mass which is its liturgical genius lost completely almost in the OF.

But the real bombshell is an SSPX Priest was allowed to celebrate Mass in the Basilica. EF Masses are celebrated privately every Morning at St. Peters by any other priest who wishes to do so.

SSPX Priest Celebrates Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica

By the gracious permission of the higher direction of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, the faithful of the church of Saint-Martin-des-Gaules, Noisy-le-Grand (near Paris) -- who were in Rome for a summer vacation pilgrimage led by Father Michel de Sivry, of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) -- were able to attend a Mass at the Altar of Saint Pius X, where the saintly Pope's body reposes.
The Mass in the Vatican Basilica was celebrated by Fr. de Sivry on August 9, 2014, during this special centennial year of the dies natalis of Saint Pius X.


Anonymous said...

If one listens carefully, one can hear Jesus cheering.

Anonymous said...

Yes, stunning news and yet this proves once again as Rome has stated the S.S.P.X. is "NOT" in schism as so many,many people that are enemies of Tradition continue to level at the S.S.P.X. As for Guido Marini that would also be fantastic news for Tradition as well!!!! Let us pray the S.S.P.X. comes home to Rome soon, they can work wonders with all of their priests within the Holy Roman Church as opposed to being on the outside this way the many enemies of the S.S.P.X. in the Church would be powerless against them. And the number of TLM's would swell overnight!!

Robert Kumpel said...

The ultimate irony of this is that many of the pope's most enthusiastic followers admire him for his merciful attitude, yet are apoplectic over THIS kind of mercy. For some in the Church, mercy only extends to criminals, apostates, dissenters, molesters and every type of moral and ecclesial deviant. However, when it comes to anyone who embraces Tradition, especially anyone with a "preconciliar" orientation, their mercy dries up. Tradition and Preconciliar orthodoxy and practices are the great unforgivable sin for which these unrepentant Catholics must be forever banished and damned.

How nice to see that gentle Pope Francis not only talks the talk, but walks it as well.

James said...

I was pleased by this, but I'm not sure that it points to a broader rapprochement.

As for the CDW post, I think that it's possible that the current secretary, Arthur Roche, will get it, as. it's likely that he'll be seen as a compromise candidate. I don't think that either Marini would make the shortlist for the job in its current form, but I admire your optimism!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the Mass was a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Shouldn't the priest have used white vestments instead of red?

Anonymous said...

The priest was wearing red vestments because that was the color of the day for the OF and he didn't' want to cause anyone inconvenience in the sacristy. We traditional Catholics don't force ourselves on anyone or make a fuss. We are only bold when the Church permits sacrilege and scandal happen just as Our Lord was when He saw what His Father's house had been turned into.

Bye the way, Francis will NEVER appoint. Guido Marini as head of the CDW, it will be Piero Marini and we all know this.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I presume he had to wear what was available in the sacristy. I had to smile at the irony of the Gospel being read in Latin by a SSPX priest and a dualing OF Mass nearby with everyone singing "One Bread One Body !"

But as I watched the Mass and know it so well I must lament the universal nature of this Mass prior to Vatican II but now lost with the vernacular and creativity in the OF ! This Mass is for a French congregation but exactly as I celebrate our Low EF Mass each Tuesday afternoon . The nationality and the language and culturally differences of the congregation give way to unity in the EF Mass. The OF Mass emphasizes all the divisions of people as expressed in language, culture and nationality. And what know what Pope Francis said about division just yesterday, it is not Christian !

Anonymous said...

Have faith it is not Piero Marini, we may all be surprised in a good way??? Come on guys lets be positive, I understand completely the frustration with this current papacy it is not what we were hoping for, but be patient and don't give up, pray pray pray for the return of the TLM to Rome and the world over. P.S. Father, that was funny about the OF Mass going on next door with One Bread One Body.

Wipo of Mainz said...

Perhaps the priest used the only vestment he had brought with him to Rome (its modern lightweight design makes it ideal to pack for a flight). I don't know why it's red. The altar boys obviously volunteered themselves at the last minute.

The absence of altar cards is interesting, as I understand that the sacristans supply these for the priests who celebrate their early morning private Masses in the EF (at designated altars). Did Fr de Sivry give them the impression that he was going to celebrate an OF Mass? Judging by the number of tourists it wasn't a particularly early Mass. There's nothing on the SSPX site to indicate that permission was given 'from the highest source'. The staff at St Peter's wouldn't know he was SSPX unless he mentioned it.

I wonder if the Society has succeeded in pulling off a clever propaganda coup?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Rorate Caeli stated that permission was granted by the highest authority in the Basilica. One wonders if Pope Francis was quickly consulted ? This certainly has ramifications.

Wipo of Mainz said...

Thank you, Anonymous. 9 August is the Feast of St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, so red would indeed be the OF colour. No wonder he wanted to start the Mass as quickly as possible!

I think my suspicions are well founded.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have heard from reliable sources that Anglican/Episcopal priests have presented themselves to the sacristan and without checking credentials properly they have vested and celebrated what they call the Eucharist at these side altars.

John Drake said...

I agree with Wipo! Wonder what our friends over at PrayTell will say?

Joseph Johnson said...

I thought the same as Fr. McDonald in his 7:44 comment as to the universality of this EF Mass celebrated by a French-speaking priest assisted by French-speaking boys. It didn't matter that their everyday spoken language is French--I could follow this Mass because I know the (universal) Latin parts. This is why Latin (if people refamiliarize themselves or learn for the first time the Latin Mass parts) makes SO much sense for multilingual groups.

As to the vestments--they are definitely of the Autom/simple Pope Francis style (not my favorites) but they are probably what was available for that priest in the sacristy. At least he found a decent looking alb.

The really important thing is that this incident graphically illustrates that the power and universality of the EF Mass is NOT about the often beautiful vestments that are often associated with it. No biretta, no fiddleback and no maniple but the EF Mass STILL speaks the UNIVERSAL TRUTH that it is meant to speak!

Anonymous said...

This is becoming high intrigue indeed, please keep us updated Father.

Mommy on a mission said...

What makes me cheer is the fact that tradition regardless of what you believe is continuing to be presented. What saddens me is that many Vatican II followers believe that the council was a wonderful thing for the world? I came into the Church in a Novus Ordo Mass and I'm not a member of the SSPX but the abuses in our church are worse than ever. I look at the SSPX with open arms and understand why they are the way they are. So many Catholics are more supportive of protestants than our Catholic brothers and sisters. Regardless of what you believe we should be trying to help members of the Catholic fold come back into communion with the church instead of cutting them down because they are traditional not extremist. The average Catholic in the United States doesn't believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and so many women dress inappropriately. My biggest point is this group didn't lay down and give in to protestant like liturgy or any of the changes that hurt the Church. They kept true to what tradition instructed them to. Peace and unity can not be formed by hate. If you are an individual who reads this and thinks that I don't know what I'm talking about or thinks I'm confused you need to pray harder for your soul. Read the Humana Vitae by Pope Paul VI and think about how so many Catholics claim to be Catholic but use contraceptives. Truth is painful to take at times, remember Pope Leo XIII's vision, quit shooting groups like the SSPX down, Rome will always be Christ's Church but that doesn't mean that the devil won't attack our faithful there to drive tradition out. Some of the best Catholics I've been around are SSPX members and they are amazing and educated in the faith, if I want to know more about tradition they always have an answer. Many Novus Ordo priest are new age for the most part and since the 60's rolled through its terribly hard to find one that was educated in tradition. Our Catholic faith is beautiful but not so much taught correctly in this day in age. Remember it is our job to pray for the fold to unite and have the holy ghost bring us back together. Well done SSPX.

John Nolan said...

I have attended in my lifetime about ten SSPX Masses, the first of these being the one celebrated in the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, by Archbishop Lefebvre himself in 1976.

In Paris in 1992 at St Nicholas-du-Chardonnet I helped myself to a lot of the literature available at the back of the church and read it at my leisure. It was utterly and completely orthodox. Sermons are simple and direct and are not diatribes against Vatican II and the popes who implemented it. In Brussels in 2008 the SSPX church of St Joseph in the Leopold Quarter (which is the Belgian national shrine) was the ONLY place in the entire city where I found a vibrant Catholic liturgical life - the confessionals were in constant use and offered many languages (in other Brussels churches they merely gathered dust) and the participation of the congregation in the sung Latin Mass was inspiring. I understand French and once again the sermon was both erudite and orthodox.

Fr de Sivry on 9 August no doubt pulled a fast one one the Basilican authorities, but listen to his homily and it is quite clear that he is Catholic through and through. Hardly surprising, since his seminary formation was that approved by St John XXIII.

By insisting on adherence to the minutiae of the Second Vatican Council the Vatican is preventing the full integration of the SSPX. It owes an apology not only to Marcel Lefebvre but also to Cardinal Mindszenty who was also shabbily treated by the Roman establishment. It is in the nature of bureaucracies that they are incapable of admitting mistakes, and the Vatican is no exception.

Anonymous said...

This really isn't new. The Society has been offering Mass there for years now, Deo Gratias.

O "schism", where is thy sting?

~Denis St. Paris

Anonymous said...

~ Denis St. Paris