Am I supposed to be going to Mass at my local church?
#1
I haven't been attending Mass at all for the past 8 months or so.  Since my familiarization with SSPX, I've made a commitment to work towards getting a job that will allow me to move close enough to a parish to begin regularly attending one.  I'm 90% of the way toward achieving my goal.  This process has actually born quite a bit of fruit in my life.  Previously, I was discerning the priesthood in my local diocese.  Now I am about to get engaged (God willing) to a great Catholic girl; I've been working at a very prestigious job where I've made amazing connections in my local community, and I should soon have an even better job where I'll be making pretty decent money near a parish where I'll be able to raise a family in the sort of Catholic tradition and culture that I feel is non-negotiable.  

Have I been wrong to disconnect myself from my diocese though?  I made an attempt to continue stomaching the EF for a time.  I continued to attend the Young Adults group, etc.  But my displeasure with all of it soon became too much.  I'm well aware that I am not in a state of grace, and I have not had the sacraments for several months.  Should I have been continuing to attend Mass while trying to move closer to an SSPX parish?  Should I start going again now?  I'm not clear as to what my obligations are during this weird period before I move (and it may still be a little while longer).

By all means feel free to give me some harsh responses.  I know I haven't been doing everything I can do to remain in a state of grace.  And of course, it's not too late to seek forgiveness and do the right thing.
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#2
(11-26-2017, 11:38 PM)Imperator Caesar Trump Wrote: I haven't been attending Mass at all for the past 8 months or so.  Since my familiarization with SSPX, I've made a commitment to work towards getting a job that will allow me to move close enough to a parish to begin regularly attending one.  I'm 90% of the way toward achieving my goal.  This process has actually born quite a bit of fruit in my life.  Previously, I was discerning the priesthood in my local diocese.  Now I am about to get engaged (God willing) to a great Catholic girl; I've been working at a very prestigious job where I've made amazing connections in my local community, and I should soon have an even better job where I'll be making pretty decent money near a parish where I'll be able to raise a family in the sort of Catholic tradition and culture that I feel is non-negotiable.  

Have I been wrong to disconnect myself from my diocese though?  I made an attempt to continue stomaching the EF for a time.  I continued to attend the Young Adults group, etc.  But my displeasure with all of it soon became too much.  I'm well aware that I am not in a state of grace, and I have not had the sacraments for several months.  Should I have been continuing to attend Mass while trying to move closer to an SSPX parish?  Should I start going again now?  I'm not clear as to what my obligations are during this weird period before I move (and it may still be a little while longer).

By all means feel free to give me some harsh responses.  I know I haven't been doing everything I can do to remain in a state of grace.  And of course, it's not too late to seek forgiveness and do the right thing.

First, go to confession wherever you can, asap, like today is your last day (you don't know that it's not). 

Did you mean to say the OF? 

If so, I can fully understand not being able to stomach it. I have wanted to not go to it anymore. One Sunday I couldn't make it to Latin Mass, so decided (after reading some SSPX info) it was OK not to go, to stay home and read my Latin missal, to watch a Latin Mass online, and to pray the Rosary. 

But on Monday morning, I woke up in a bit of a panic. I drove to the monastery where I usually attend the Latin Mass, which has confessions after morning Mass. I didn't receive the Lord, and then went to confession. Well, I was roundly rebuked for failing to fulfill my Sunday obligation, even if it had to be at an NO Mass, by a very holy Benedictine priest whom I respect very much. I will admit to feeling confused about the whole issue still, but have decided that it's too much for me to figure out (the more I read and learn, the less certain I feel about either opinion), and decided to be obedient to the good priest's direction and leave the rest to the Lord. I've been to one or two NO Masses since then, and it's never easy, but I would not want to risk falling out of the state of grace.
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#3
Yes, you should continue to attend Mass. Unless Paul VI wasn't actually the Pope, he had the authority to promulgate a new Missal, and it has the words of consecration along with the intent - albeit not as explicit as in the traditional Mass - of offering sacrifice. Is there not a parish near you that does a fairly decent NO? Go and pray the Rosary or the Office if you need to, but go.
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#4
You have a duty under Canon Law and the Precepts of the Church, not to mention Divine Law. to make holy the Sabbath Day by attendance at a Mass or Liturgy in any Catholic Rite. Get yourself to confession ASAP as Margaret-Mary pointed out. Make an appointment if needs be. Don't wait until the next scheduled confession time!

Then make sure you attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. Don't forget that, if you live in the US, Friday, 8 December is of Obligation. I assume you made your Easter Duty , receiving Holy Communion between the First Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday (if you live in the US). If you didn't, I believe you're technically excommunicated, and you should mention that in your confession.

Then, worry about moving closer to the SSPX Chapel, or find a EF or Divine Liturgy that you can attend, so you can avoid the OF.
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#5
(11-27-2017, 12:56 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: You have a duty under Canon Law and the Precepts of the Church, not to mention Divine Law. to make holy the Sabbath Day by attendance at a Mass or Liturgy in any Catholic Rite. Get yourself to confession ASAP as Margaret-Mary pointed out. Make an appointment if needs be. Don't wait until the next scheduled confession time!

Mass attendance on Sunday is NOT part of divine law, only the commandement to "Honor the Sabbath" is part of the divine law. The church has decided via ecclesiastical law that Mass attendance is the way one should (normally) fulfill  this divine law. 

The importance in this distinction is that one cannot be dispensed from divine law (i.e., one cannot be dispensed from the necessity to obey commandement XYZ), whereas ecclesiastical laws can be dispensed.

For example, while one would be dispensed from the necessity of going to Mass (ecclesiastical law) if one was in an area where there were only Orthodox liturgies available, one would not be dispensed from the necessity of honoring the sabbath (divine law) - hence the necessity to read the Mass / recite a rosary / do something above and beyond what one would normally do on a non-Sunday, if one cannot go to Mass. 

To the question in hand: 

Obviously this is a rather contentious issue - my opinion is that of the SSPX; that (very briefly stated) the New Mass is not a representation of the Catholic faith, and thus, upon realization of this fact, one cannot attend the NO except in special circumstances, just as one could not normally attend any other objectively schismatic rite.
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#6
I've had this conversation with fellow parishoners before. What if you lived in a diocese (and this situation exists in alot places in Western Europe) where the priest at the nearest parish is a way over the top, off the wall progressive liberal who supports same sex marriage, communion for the remarried, women's ordination, socialism, giving a few church buildings to the local Islamic community, etc, and then you find the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th next closest parishes aren't much different. A few people claimed they'd just stick it out go for the Eucharist and try to ignore everything else, but I can't see doing that when nearly everything you hear is offensive. I'd rather stay home and miss going to church terribly, instead of going and hating every second of it.
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#7
ICT,

Obviously you are going to get different answers on this question.  I myself have struggled with it for a long, long time. 

When I lived near an SSPX chapel it was not so much of a problem.  These days, I assist at an Eastern Rite liturgy and try to get absolution from older priests ordained before the old rite of ordination was mangled, or Eastern Rite priests.  

This is due to a scrupulosity, having read too much about what happened and the doubt in me  I cannot get over.

It comes down to how your conscience has been formed.  Canon Law dispenses Catholics from the Sunday obligation if the Church has not provided you with a Catholic mass within a reasonable distance.  

Some will say, no matter how modernistic, sacrilegious, blasphemous, protestant, pagan your local N.O. gets, you have to go to it.

I am not so sure.

Say-day-vacationists and hardcore trads will argue that you are bound not to attend no matter how reverent it is due to a defect of form and intention and becoming an accessory of sin to such sacrilege.

[Image: 41NA0X7A6KL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg]

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Sacrilege-J...+sacrilege

There is a lot of ink that has been spilled on this and many books written.  Years and years of debate have taken place on forums like this one if you look in the archives.

I would say let your conscience be your guide, but a lot of holy, good-willed people have been doing that for these decades and have come to radically different conclusions.

But the rigid, never attend the Novus Ordo position, as the years and decades go by becomes less and less.  People give up the struggle.  Alienation, loneliness, isolation, sets in.  Happy novus ordo attending families bear on one's rigid position and one wonders if this test will be over or maybe that traditionalists, although seemingly right and heroic, have turned out to be without hope in a vindication and restoration..
"The missionaries of the 16th century were convinced that the unbaptized person is lost forever. After the Second Vatican Council, this conviction was definitely abandoned. The result was a two-sided, deep crisis. Without this attentiveness to salvation, the Faith loses its foundation." -Benedict XVI, Avvenire interview, March 16th, 2016
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#8
(11-27-2017, 11:10 AM)Dave01 Wrote:
(11-27-2017, 12:56 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: You have a duty under Canon Law and the Precepts of the Church, not to mention Divine Law. to make holy the Sabbath Day by attendance at a Mass or Liturgy in any Catholic Rite. Get yourself to confession ASAP as Margaret-Mary pointed out. Make an appointment if needs be. Don't wait until the next scheduled confession time!

Mass attendance on Sunday is NOT part of divine law, only the commandement to "Honor the Sabbath" is part of the divine law. The church has decided via ecclesiastical law that Mass attendance is the way one should (normally) fulfill  this divine law. 

The importance in this distinction is that one cannot be dispensed from divine law (i.e., one cannot be dispensed from the necessity to obey commandement XYZ), whereas ecclesiastical laws can be dispensed.

For example, while one would be dispensed from the necessity of going to Mass (ecclesiastical law) if one was in an area where there were only Orthodox liturgies available, one would not be dispensed from the necessity of honoring the sabbath (divine law) - hence the necessity to read the Mass / recite a rosary / do something above and beyond what one would normally do on a non-Sunday, if one cannot go to Mass. 

To the question in hand: 

Obviously this is a rather contentious issue - my opinion is that of the SSPX; that (very briefly stated) the New Mass is not a representation of the Catholic faith, and thus, upon realization of this fact, one cannot attend the NO except in special circumstances, just as one could not normally attend any other objectively schismatic rite.
I attend an SSPX mass regularly, and our Prior has stated to me personally not to attend a Novus Ordo mass if I cannot attend The traditional Latin mass for any reason; I am to say the prayers of the mass along with extra prayers or Rosary, and to do all in my power to keep the day holy. Never attending a Novus Ordo mass is also a stipulation for SSPX Third Order enrollment, so I will have to go with the council I have been given and will own my decision based upon the experience of having attended both, and now knowing better concerning all of the contentious issues.
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  Matthew 9:10-14
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#9
(11-27-2017, 12:03 PM)Eric F Wrote: I've had this conversation with fellow parishoners before. What if you lived in a diocese (and this situation exists in alot places in Western Europe) where the priest at the nearest parish is a way over the top, off the wall progressive liberal who supports same sex marriage, communion for the remarried, women's ordination, socialism, giving a few church buildings to the local Islamic community, etc, and then you find the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th next closest parishes aren't much different. A few people claimed they'd just stick it out go for the Eucharist and try to ignore everything else, but I can't see doing that when nearly everything you hear is offensive. I'd rather stay home and miss going to church terribly, instead of going and hating every second of it.

The problem isn't the theological or moral positions of the priest. The problem is the Novus Ordo Mass itself.

Can a good priest bring to it a sense of decorum, the necessary theological understanding that it is a Sacrifice and not a meal? Sure.

The problem is that the rite itself of the New Mass, as Cardinal Ottaviani wrote, "represents both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent."

You're welcome to disagree, but that was the Church's chief theologian 15 years well known for his balanced, reasonable, but orthodox theology.

The Novus Ordo was written as it is to intentionally to deny the Sacrifice of the Mass, blur the line between the ordained priesthood and the "priesthood" of the faithful, and implicitly deny the Real Presence. There are countless examples that could be cited but the most damning point is the very definition, in the liturgical books, of the Mass (GIRM, 1st ed., n. 7):

Quote:The Lord's Supper, or Mass, is the sacred meeting or congregation of the people of God assembled, the priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. For this reason, Christ's promise applies eminently to such a local gathering of holy Church: "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst' (Mt. 18:20)."

This is false, so false, in fact, that it had to be corrected in the 1970 2nd edition :

Quote:At Mass or the Lord's Supper,is the sacred meeting or congregation of the people of God assembled, the priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord or eucharistic sacrifice. For this reason Christ's promise applies supremely to such a local gathering together of the Church: "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst" (Mt. 18:20). For at the celebration of Mass, which perpetuates the sacrifice of the cross, Christ is really present to the assembly gathered in his name; he is present in the person of the minister, in his own word, and indeed substantially and permanently under the eucharistic elements.

The problem is that the Novus Ordo, itself, which was written with the first notion in mind can't simply be corrected by adding words (themselves not very theologically precise) to the GIRM. The New Mass is the same before and after. Lipstick on a pig.

The 1st edition made not a single reference to Trent. The 2nd edition in ambiguous language Trent is still not mentioned, but six footnotes were added referring to Trent.

The authors of that New Mass were also very clear that they were intentionally trying to remove what supported the Catholic notion of the Mass and effectively create a Protestant service that undermined the Catholic Faith, so much so that even Fr Louis Bouyer (a arch-liberal) resigned for the liturgical consilium formulating the New Liturgy, because of the unorthodox things imposed.

The problem isn't with the dingbat-crazy stuff you can see, but about the New Mass itself which presents a serious danger to the Faith, especially as regards the notion of the Mass, priesthood and Real Presence.

Are we really asserting that something so dangerous to one's Faith can be obligatory? We have to go and endanger our Faith every Sunday and just tough it out? 

If that's the case then going to an Orthodox liturgy is perfectly fine as well, since it is typically the same a Catholic rite, and it endangers the Faith probably less than the average Novus Ordo Mass. But we would never countenance one doing this ...
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#10
Everyone, thank you for the replies.  I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying.  I went to two parishes looking for a priest to hear my confession.  Unable to do that, I have one tentatively scheduled for tomorrow.  That was before I read many of the replies more in line with my understanding of what SSPX recommends.  I desperately want to be in a state of grace and receive the sacraments; however, I find myself remembering why I stopped attending in the first place.  Others have already stated it in this thread and elsewhere better than I could.  Ultimately, because I believe SSPX to be correct, I will follow their guidelines for not attending the NO barring convincing information otherwise.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to forgive the Church as it stands for the Catholic education I received growing up.  It turned me away from Christ for many years.  My siblings and even some other family members are still lost because they have in their heads """""teachings""""" of the Church that simply have no relationship to reality (but a priest/religion teacher said so).  Because of this experience, I see very clear danger in absolutely any compromise with the faith.  To me, the issue of attending the OF isn't a question of how much I'm willing to tolerate.  Yes, I am able to identify the deficits and flaws and wacky things a priest might say, but I would be terrified of taking the children I hope to have to anything touching post-VII.  This isn't an intellectual debate for me in many ways; having grown up entirely in a post-VII world, I've seen far too many souls lost, possibly permanently, to play any games with it.  

With that said, I'm still willing to be convinced that SSPX isn't actually correct, but I have yet to see that argument.  If anyone is interested in persuading me, I'm happy to hear you out.  

I remembered today the specific moment I stopped going to Mass.  I realize that this isn't a specific reason related to canon law or doctrine/dogma.  It was this: https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/20...rk-moment/.  Trump wanted to prioritize Christian refugees in the Middle East and leaders in the Church jumped down his throat for it.  Nothing, even now, fills me with the kind of sickness and rage that reading these quotes does.  I believe that the Church can do a lot of terrible things and preach a lot of unacceptable things while still being the Church.  But the decision to forsake Christians in other countries in favor of Muslims - I'm sorry - can only come from Satan.  This controversy was when I decided with great clarity that I could not sit on the fence any longer.  Even if it's not a Magisterial proclamation, I simply cannot accept that the true Church would allow this ever.
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