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Society of St Pius X (letter)

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 Contents - Feb 2005AD2000 February 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Year of the Eucharist: a time to get serious - Michael Gilchrist
Appeal: Missionaries' vital role in helping tsunami victims - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
The Church in Australia 2005: can the tide be turned? - Michael Gilchrist
Timor Leste: Australia and East Timor: a Timorese Salesian Brother's impressions - Br Marcal Lopes
Education: State Aid: answering the critics' arguments - Fr Matthew Kirby
Religious Life: Faith and Reason: for a true renewal in religious life and the Church - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Events: Thomas More Centre to host US publisher dedicated to Catholic social teachings - Anthony Cappello
Marriage: Why gay marriage is a self-contradiction - Peter Reynolds
Letters: Religion inquiry (letter) - Jeff Tan
Letters: Missal translation (letter) - Norman Wilkinson
Letters: Revival of faith (letter) - Errol P. Duke
Letters: Fiji example (letter) - Tom King
Letters: Catholic youth (letter) - Jim Brown
Letters: Society of St Pius X (letter) - Anthony Bono
Letters: Eternal destiny (letter) - G. Mahoney
Letters: School leavers (letter) - Mrs M.A. Ross
Letters: Numbers of priests (letter) - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Abortion (letter) - Frank Bellet
Letters: Changes in Liturgy (letter) - Valentine Gallagher
Letters: The New Mass (letter) - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Ten Commandments (letter) - Arthur Negus
Letters: Message from India (letter) - Fr S. John Joseph
Letters: Books wanted (letter) - Edwin McGrath
Letters: Inspiration (letter) - Brian Harris
Books: Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way, by John Paul II - Richard Egan (reviewer)
Books: Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: A Christian Apocalypse:The Sexual Abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, 1884-2004 - David Williams (reviewer)
Books: Books to read in 2005
Reflection: Archbishop Hart: Pope John Paul II and the Year of the Eucharist - Archbishop Denis Hart

John Young's reference to the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) as "unlawful" (November AD2000) was unfortunate (and debatable), especially for those Catholics like myself who have difficulty finding Novus Ordo parishes where liturgical abuses do not occur regularly, even at times putting the validity of Masses in doubt.

It is all very well if reverently celebrated Latin Masses, for those Catholics desiring them, are readily accessible with the blessing of the bishop - including ones celebrated by the Fraternity of St Peter. Some dioceses are fortunate in this regard.

But what is a Catholic to do - particularly in rural areas where distance is a major obstacle - when the choice is between what can amount to a liturgical circus of questionable validity or a Mass celebrated reverently and scrupulously by a SSPX priest?

The present status of the SSPX continues to be debated by scholars, and one hopes good sense ultimately prevails and reconciliation occurs in the not too distant future. The Church as a whole would benefit from the spiritual resources many SSPX priests and religious could offer were they in communion with the Holy See.

In any case, if a Greek or Russian Orthodox Mass were the only alternative to the kinds of aberrations flourishing in some dioceses, a Catholic would be entitled in conscience to prefer the more clearly valid sacraments of those churches, despite their schismatic situations.

If the SSPX is seen as a problem, the onus is on all bishops to ensure that the liturgical abuses identified in Redemptoris Sacramentum are eliminated without delay and that Latin Masses are made more widely available to those preferring them, as Pope John Paul II has requested.

Lake Munmorah, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 1 (February 2005), p. 14

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