Holy Cross Seminary

Most Asked Questions About the Society of Saint Pius X


Question 10: Can we attend the Indult1 Mass?


     The Society of Saint Pius X could never profit by Rome's Indult, first because of the conditions attached to it, and, in particular, that of acknowledging the "doctrinal and juridical" value of the Novus Ordo Missae which is impossible (see QUESTION 5); and second, but more fundamentally, because such acceptance of the Indult would amount to saying that the Church had lawfully suppressed the traditional Latin Mass, which is certainly not the case (cf. Principle 19).

     But other priests have profited by it, some jumping at the chance to say the traditional Latin Mass, others only because requested by their Bishop, and the odd one or two who would always say the traditional Latin Mass anyway but have accepted to do so under the auspices of the Indult for "pastoral reasons."

CAN WE ATTEND THEIR MASSES?

     If we have to agree to the doctrinal and juridical value of the Novus Ordo, then NO, for we cannot do evil that good may ensue.

     This condition may not be presented explicitly, but by implication, such as:

  • by a priest who celebrates the Novus Ordo on other days of the week or at other times,
  • using Hosts consecrated at a Novus Ordo Missae,
  • or with communion in the hand;
  • new lectionaries, Mass facing the people, etc.,
  • by a priest who was ordained in the New Rite,
  • by sermons that are modernist in inspiration (much to be feared if the celebrant habitually says the Novus Ordo Missae); or
  • by offering only the revised forms of the other sacraments, e.g., penance.

     This brings up the whole context of the Indult Mass. It is:

  • a ploy to keep people away from the Society of Saint Pius X (for many Bishops allow it only where there is a Society of Saint Pius X Mass center),
  • intended only for those who feel attached to the traditional Latin Mass but nevertheless accept the doctrinal rectitude and juridical right of the Novus Ordo Missae, Vatican II, and all official orientations corresponding to these.

     Therefore, attending it because of the priest's words or fellow Mass-goers' pressure, or because of the need to pander to the local Bishop just to have it, inevitably pushes one to keep quiet on "divisive issues" and, distance oneself from those who do not keep quiet i.e., it pushes one to join the ranks of those who are destroying the church. This one cannot do (cf, also QUESTION 13).

     The Indult Mass, therefore, is not for traditional Catholics.2

 


1. The traditional Latin Mass as allowed by Quattuor Abhinc Annos (1984) and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta (1988).

2. One possible exception would be the case of those priests who happen to be saying the traditional Latin Mass under the Indult or with a Roman celebret (Permissions given for the old Missal to priests applying to the Ecclesia Dei Commission, in the wake of the consecrations of Archbishop Lefebvre [QUESTION 11]) but would be saying it anyway if these were denied them.

 


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Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia