A pilgrimage group from the SSPX's chapel in Noisy-le-Grand, France, had the privilege of attending Mass offered by their chaplain, Fr. Michel Sivry, at the altar of St. Pius X at St. Peter’s Basilica. Not only has it been reported that this occurred with the prior knowledge and consent of the basilica's "highest authority", but a video team even filmed the event for the French District's website, LaPorteLatine.org, where it may be watched.
There’s something fishy about the brouhaha in Rome about Anglo-Catholics with their bishop celebrating their “Eucharist” on our altar at the pope’s cathedral in Rome, St. John Lateran. It is said this group met with Pope Francis prior to this celebration. Would they have informed the Holy Father that they were looking forward to celebrating “their” “Eucharist” on his altar later in the day?
Then they did. But then there was a brouhaha, especially from Catholics in full communion with the pope who celebrate the TLM but would not be able to get the same permission to celebrate “our” valid Eucharist on a papal altar despite the fact they are in full communion with the pope and the Catholic Church!
Then we find out that the Coptic Orthodox Church in Rome will see their bishop and community allowed to celebrate the Divine Liturgy there. Before the Anglicans got there first, it was touted as the first time a non-Catholic liturgy would be celebrated at the pope’s cathedral. Now they will be the second.
But one codicil. Their Eucharist is valid as are all their sacraments including Holy Orders and Apostolic succession. So is the SSPX and even certain “Sedevacanists” groups still are more in full communion with the pope than Eastern Orthodoxy. Where’s the ecumenism with them???
But let’s face it, it is plausible for Italians to be a bit nonchalant in Rome about who celebrates Mass in all of the basilicas there. I know for a fact that Episcopalians and their priests simply ask to be allowed to celebrate at St. Peter’s and they can. The Italian who allowed it thought they were Catholic because their minister was dressed like a priest.
The same is true for the SSPX. A large pilgrim group was allowed to celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s a few years back.
In my diocese I recently celebrated Sunday Mass in a Methodist Church and on their “altar” on Jekyll Island, Georgia.
The parish from which I recently retired, allowed in the 1980’s an Episcopal Congregation to rent the church building for a Sunday after noon Episcopal Eucharist celebrated on our Catholic altar by an Episcopal priestess who was their pastor. Believe it or not, their congregation name was Saint Elizabeth of Hungry Episcopal Church. They now have their own building up the road from St. Anne’s.
So, what is valid ecumenism and what isn’t and shouldn’t we be more ecumenical with our own groups like the SSPX and TLM communities? Just wondering.