Is The SSPX Now Fully Regularized?

Is The SSPX Now Fully Regularized?

Pope Francis has fully regularized the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), James Bogle, the ex-president of Una Voce International, told (video below: see link – Ed)

Bogle stressed that the SSPX and the sacraments administrated by them, including marriages and confessions, have been formally recognized by Francis. The Society is also allowed to ordain to the priesthood whomever they see fit.

Francis further appointed SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay as a judge at the Rota Romana, the highest appellate tribunal of the Church, thus recognizing his authority.

“I don’t see how much more regular you can get than that,” Bogle concludes. He acknowledges, however, that there are a lot of intolerant bishops who still treat the SSPX as if it were irregular.

To them, Bogle answers that those who do not like the integration of the SSPX “better have the argument with Pope Francis.”   Click here to read more and view video

Comments invited…    

Comments (47)

  • Josephine Reply

    The people who are informed about what is going on, will know that the SSPX is regularized but those who are not (the majority) would need a Vatican statement telling them. Unless you follow these things closely, you wouldn’t know anything about it. I had never heard that Bishop Fellay was appointed to the Roma Rota as a judge – that’s amazing, but I’d never heard it before I read it here, so most Catholics won’t know about all the other examples either.

    August 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm
  • myforever77 Reply

    The people who are not in the know; I wonder if they believed that Vatican II is regularized? Perhaps Bishop Fellay’s appointment is a sort of secret knowing much of the SSPX laity would treat Vatican II as if it were irregular.

    August 6, 2019 at 2:05 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I thought it was rather strange that this announcement came from Mr. Bogle, rather than from either the Vatican or the SSPX, so I hesitated before sending Editor the link. If you look at the SSPX USA website, for example, not a word of this. Perhaps Pope Francis is deliberately downplaying it.

    At any rate, I hope it is true, and I hope even more that the Society and its faithful will accept regularization. Reading the comments below the video are pretty disturbing, esp. this one:

    “What you say was true 20 years ago, when the SSPX was still traditional, but no longer. The best thing Rome can do to crush what tradition remains in it is to regularize the Society (“Regularization carries within itself its own internal dynamism..what is important is that there no longer be resistance.” -Fr. Cottier upon the conquest of Campos). The greatest enemies of Tradition therefore support the regularization, regardless of there lip service to the contrary. This is all smoke and mirrors to pretend that the SSPX is still traditional, so the liberals must resist them. When one looks at the level of collaboration between the SSPX and the various dioceses (delegation for marriage, for example), there is no conciliar resistance to a neutered SSPX. You might want to have a look at this (link to “Resistance” website removed).”

    I’m sure the “resistance-to-nothing” crowd, of which the above comment bears the same odor, will be having a big picnic over this.

    August 6, 2019 at 2:29 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      That comment is absolute nonsense. It’s obviously written by one of the daft “resistance to nothing” brigade.

      All I took from Jamie Bogle’s remarks is that by allowing all that he has permitted, Pope Francis has, de facto, regularized the Society.

      The idea that the SSPX is a liberal body only too glad to be part of the “mainstream” is laughable – in fact, where I attend Mass I detect a strong desire to remain “as is” – there’s a schismatic spirit abroad within the SSPX in the UK, in my experience. Far from being delighted to go along (with local bishops) to get along, the laity, certainly, quite a number of them, are only too ready and willing to remain as they are for the foreseeable future, and if Our Lord Himself appeared to tell them differently, well… I can see tables being thrown around again – I’ll put it no more strongly than that. And I won’t be drawn on who, precisely, would be throwing the tables around this time 😀

      August 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I misunderstood, then, this article, since I thought this was a new development. Apparently the only new thing is Mr. Bogle’s reminding us of reality. Indeed it is difficult to argue with Mr. Bogle’s analysis: he is clearly quite knowledgeable and articulate about the Faith.

        The desire to remain “as is” is strong elsewhere besides the UK, I assure you. It is a prominent feature of the Society’s US chapels as well. I suppose you can’t blame them, given the deliberate “mess” into which Francis and his Conciliar predecessors (of unhappy memory) have cast the Church, but I wonder how these “remainers” (not a Brexit reference!) would have viewed the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Would they have denied His Divinity because He was executed as a criminal, and then gone back to their safe house, the Jewish Temple?

        From my personal experience with the Society, I lay the blame for this schismatic spirit directly at the feet of their clergy, who generally do a miserable job catechizing their faithful, leaving that job to their very good bookstores, and let the bizarre resulting chips fall where they may (that is, readers are left to form their own opinions without correction).

        BTW I would love to see Mr. Bogle’s wife’s reaction to this video…he said wryly…

        August 6, 2019 at 3:26 pm
  • editor Reply

    RCA Victor,

    In response to your BTW final sentence – ditto! With bells and whisles on, if you’ll forgive the bad grammar. Not that anyone is likely to notice these days – have you noticed how every sentence, responding to a question, begins with “So”? Drives me nuts!

    Still it came in handy on Sunday when a newcomer to our Mass said she didn’t understand why it couldn’t be just as beautiful but in English. I asked her to ask me a question about anything and then replied.. “So… I wore this jacket because…” THAT, is why; English changes (and always, it seems to me, for the worse!) while Latin is a dead language so we don’t risk insulting God.

    Am I a clever cookie or what?

    Reply: “So… ” 😀

    Didn’t mean to go off topic – feel free to ignore my language ramblings and note my initial reply about Joanna’s likely response to Jamie’s article on Gloria TV.

    August 6, 2019 at 7:08 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      So….you mean you haven’t invited Joanna Bogle yet to participate in this discussion? I would love for her to Bogle our minds….

      August 7, 2019 at 12:09 am
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    I agree that Pope Francis has de facto regularized the Society. I also think it would be a mistake to get too friendly with the diocesan bishops just yet. I dislike the idea that there are laity in the SSPX who are happy with things as they are – that’s definitely a schismatic spirit – but I also think the bishops are not to be trusted at all. Look at how they are co-operating with the LGBT+ agenda in Catholic schools and cosy up to the SNP government. I think “as is” it has to be for the moment, but no real Catholic is happy with that situation.

    August 6, 2019 at 9:34 pm
    • Margaret USA Reply

      Well said, MM.

      August 6, 2019 at 11:45 pm
  • Lionel Reply

    The future will tell us if it is good news… or just another manoeuvre?
    Anyway, the “conciliar church” will disappear by extinction as it does not produce good fruits.
    Please, let me know what are the good fruits of Vatican II and of the Popes who worked on this devastating Council and promulgated its decrees (Dignitatis humanae – Nostra aetate etc…), while persecuting the faithful Catholics?
    I trust the Lord only and believe in his Justice.

    August 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      Here are some of the “fruits” of Vatican II: two “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (more accurately and familiarly known as drag queens) in line for Communion in San Francisco.

      Very fruity indeed…

      August 7, 2019 at 12:07 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Thank you for that reminder of the “fruits” of Vatican II – what total nutters.

        IS this sort of thing down to “mental illness” in the strictly medical sense of the term – or something (diabolically) else… or is is just a daft fad for numpties?

        I’m never sure. It’s not always easy to know. Then I think “they’re crackers”, then I feel sorry for them. It’s really difficult to know…

        August 7, 2019 at 10:24 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I have met some of these in Glasgow.

        August 7, 2019 at 5:59 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae Reply

    I am confused. Am I correct in thinking that the Holy See recognises that the Society is regular, but the Society has requested that the Holy See not publicise this in order not to wind up resistance types and cause division in the society?

    Is the regularisation related to the Pope’s decision to dissolve the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission?

    August 7, 2019 at 5:58 pm
    • editor Reply

      Miles Immaculatae,

      I don’t think anything has changed, although when Theresa May said “nothing has changed” we all knew that EVERYTHING had changed! 😀

      The fact is that, bit by bit, the Pope has permitted “normalisation” of the Society in the sense that he has publicly said they may hear confessions, conduct marriages and we already know that the faithful are permitted to attend their Masses. Jamie Bogle, in my humble view, was simply adding that all together (and more) and saying “mission accomplished” – the SSPX has been (in fact) regularised.

      However, while that may be true (as it is also true that it’s the post-Vatican II dioceses/parishes/Vatican which are not “regular”, having departed from Catholic Tradition), it would still be necessary for the Pope to formalise the SSPX situation with a very clear statement from the Vatican saying that they are no longer to be discriminated against in any way.

      You know, like the statements they issue in defence of the LGBT+ lobby 😀 It’s unbelievable to think of the fuss that would (will) ensue when such a statement is issued about the SSPX, whereas there wasn’t a peep from anyone (except our unworthy selves) last year when we learned that the Bishops had issued a statement welcoming the Scottish Government’s decision to embed LGBT+ issues across the curriculum

      Honestly, you just couldn’t make this stuff up.

      August 7, 2019 at 7:09 pm
  • Mary Anne Reply

    I find myself alone in the fact that I don’t trust any of it? It’s just plain ‘weird’ the way it is being done. There is a method to this madness. It simply confuses people more. We’ve had enough!! Its just one crazy thing after the other.

    Just a guess here. We are being brainwashed by confusion in order that we not pay close such attention to the SINod which is coming our way in October … that ‘something wicked this way comes’ which will leave our Church in tatters …

    August 8, 2019 at 5:53 am
    • Miles Immaculatae Reply

      Yes, it’s so confusing being a Catholic. The Catholic Church is meant to be the source of truth and the assurance of salvation, but when we can no longer be confident that we can trust the Church, everything falls apart. It’s so disorientating and disheartening.

      August 8, 2019 at 2:06 pm
  • editor Reply

    Mary Anne & Miles Immaculatae,

    There’s another way to look at our dilemma; rather than focus on the “confusion” and “disorientation” (except to keep ourselves knowledgeable about what is right), and instead of allowing ourselves to become disheartened, we really ought to recognise, with thanks, that we have been blessed with the grace to see what we do see, that we recognise the confusion etc for what it is – diabolical activity. That way lies peace of soul. Otherwise, we allow the Devil to tempt us to despair, to doubt the Faith and that way, for sure, lies perdition.

    We will now stand and sign all the verses of Faith of our Fathers…

    And yes, that looks like a Protestant minister playing – I thought I’d give him the job… my contribution to ecumenism 😀

    August 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      Or, as one of our priests would say, “Keep rowing. God will put wind in the sails when He’s ready.”

      BTW Ed, I’m totally jealous of the organ in that picture. Four manuals! I can barely play two! Must be installed in a C of E house of worship – they seem to have the most elaborate music programs (over here, at any rate). Probably to make up for the fact that there’s nothing going on at the altar…..

      Which reminds me: when I got to college, having grown up Protestant, I stopped going to church altogether, because I thought Christianity was just a bunch of good music. Our organist/director had us singing Mozart and Haydn Masses, Handel Te Deum, Brahms Requiem, Beethoven Missa Solemnis, you name it. Protestants seem to love singing Masses, but they don’t usually stop and reflect on what they’re singing, or where it comes from. To them it’s just great music with sacred words they can barely pronounce.

      Speaking of music programs, the SSPX needs to get its musical act together. Other than the scholas singing the Ordinaries and Propers, they seem rather clueless about performing good sacred music….not to mention actually paying their musicians. Oh no, we’re supposed to work for the glory of God, and somehow that puts bread on the table, yup, yup.

      August 8, 2019 at 8:02 pm
      • Fidelis

        RCA Victor,

        I’ve never heard of an organist from the parish being paid – I’ve always known them to have their own job to “put bread on the table”. I remember in our parish, growing up, there would be some sort of social at Christmas to thank all the volunteers in the parish, but never known of anyone to get paid. Sorry to disagree with you on this, but it doesn’t seem right to me.

        August 8, 2019 at 9:44 pm
      • RCAVictor


        My point is that professional musicians make their living by making music, including church music. If someone has a paying job and is happy to volunteer, then good for them, but the SSPX, in my experience, takes musicians for granted, and if there are professional musicians among their parishioners, they will not be paid for their services. Hopefully some of their larger chapels do pay their music staff, I don’t know.

        My former SSPX chapel annually hosted a group of seminarians, and one of the group was always a pretty good organist (in fact, they were better than me). So the talent is certainly there, though musically talented seminarians are destined to become priests, not organists.. Moreover, if the priest is musically literate, that increases the chances that he will staff his parish music program with well-trained musicians….and pay them…unless he finds himself stationed at some tiny outpost in East Jesus, with no budget to speak of.

        PS: My parish pays me….as well as the choir director. That is standard procedure on this side of the pond, and a professional courtesy. A courtesy which, again in my SSPX experience, was woefully lacking, and not only in the music program. As a parishioner noted during a meeting I was chairing several years ago, “The SSPX uses people up and then tosses them aside.” I didn’t know what they were talking about…at first…

        August 8, 2019 at 10:29 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I agree, it would be great if our SSPX chapel would pay a few singers. A Novus Ordo church I went to, before I came to SSPX, would pay a handful of music students a modest wage. They were studying voice at the local conservatoire, and they would sing serious sacred repertoire, renaissance, baroque, classical, 20th century. There was only about five or six of them but the difference it made was astounding. It was heavenly to hear them sing.

        August 8, 2019 at 11:50 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I’m very surprised at these posts about paying musicians – unless the musicians really depend on the church paying them, because, like Fidelis, I grew up in a parish where (as far as I know) nobody was paid.

        As a professional teacher, it would never occur to me to expect payment if I taught a class at church, whether a catechism class for children or an adult class. Mind you, the only time I volunteered, the priest, after initially expressing his delight and accepting my offer, said he couldn’t possibly allow me to teach the adult class… since I’d criticised The Tablet. Now, in that case, there is no amount of money they could offer to pay me, which would lead me to accept the position!

        Obviously, if a professional musician has no job and depends on the church payment to eat, that’s different, but in general terms, I would be surprised that they would expect payment from the church, since often churches can’t, literally, keep the roof repaired over their heads! Unless, of course, the whole thing, practices etc took up an inordinate amount of time, then I could see an argument for payment. Otherwise, I’m genuinely amazed at the idea that people I’ve always regarded as volunteers, get paid.

        I hope the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion don’t get wind of this!

        August 9, 2019 at 10:13 am
      • RCAVictor


        All I can say is that on this side of the pond, paying parish musicians is S.O.P. – except for the SSPX, and frankly, the quality of their parish music ensembles ,in my experience, reflects this. This is puzzling, since from what I saw, there was a lot of musical talent among their seminarians, both vocal and keyboard.

        For example: at my former SSPX parish: volunteer organist and director. Right across the highway from them, a diocesan parish with a TLM, 2 paid organist/directors.

        August 9, 2019 at 3:41 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I agree with what you say. There are two extremes when it comes to the issue of Sacred Music in traditional Catholic comnunities. The first extreme is that sacred music isn’t important, and some traditional Catholics have become so used to hearing low Mass in makeshift Mass centres for decades, gymnasia etc., they have become almost like Recusants during the persecution of the Reformation when priests would say Mass in secret for a handful of people in a cupboard in some private house. On the other hand you have those people who are attached to the traditional Mass only because of the smells and bells and fancy music. It’s an affectation and when us trads were hearing low Mass in spare rooms and gymnasia for years this lot were nowhere to be seen. They are also in my experience socially elitist. When a group of Catholics in my city around my age recently expressed an interest in the traditional Mass I enthusiastically tried to get involved with them. They made it clear that I wasn’t welcome and I wasn’t allowed to sing in their choir or join their secret society. If this is the experience people have of the traditional Mass then no wonder so many Novus Ordo Catholics have a bad view of trads, or at least what they wrongly perceive to be tradition. The SSPX on the other hand have always welcomed me and made me feel included and the community I have experienced at my chapel is not something I have not found anywhere else. No wonder some SSPX folk harbour a schismatic mentality. The way I have been treated by fellow Catholics over the years is appalling. I have tried to express to my diocese my hurt about some of the things that have happened to me but they either don’t care or think themselves powerless to do anything about it. The SSPX immediately empathised with me because they have been giving refuge to disaffected Catholics since the 1970s. I don’t like this new tweed and lace traditionalism that has emerged among some young people. You know Pope Francis is right when he calls it an affectation.

        August 9, 2019 at 12:20 am
      • RCAVictor

        Miles Immaculatae,

        Your experiences with trads is really shocking and regrettable – and shameful, and I’m sorry you were put through that. That said, I think there are and will always be a kaleidoscope of reasons why people attend the TLM, and those reasons will depend on their level of commitment to the Faith and to the salvation of their souls.

        The same spectrum exists in Novus Ordo parishes and in Protestant churches: attendance is socially fashionable and prestigious, the music is great, they like the priest, the food is delicious, the building is close to home….who knows what motivates people!

        I would also caution against “feeling included” as a reason to attend a traditional chapel. In 2009 I decided to stop wandering among “indult” Masses and solely attend the SSPX. I always went downstairs after Mass for some coffee and doughnuts, but for 10 months not a soul said a word to me, or even acknowledged my presence. It was as if I wasn’t even there. Finally, in September of 2010, I went to a 40th SSPX anniversary luncheon after Mass, and was greeted by a woman and her husband and invited to sit at their table, so I actually met, at most, 6 people that day.

        So if I had wanted to feel included, my tenure at the SSPX would have been short-lived indeed.

        I think many trads have developed a bunker mentality over the years, a total distrust of “outsiders,” because of all the persecution and lies they have endured from their own Church. I missed the revolution completely, not returning to the Church until 1999, and not even being aware that there was such a thing as a TLM until 2002, so I was spared the bunker mentality. For me it was like being an explorer in a strange new world, so I accepted whatever people quirks I encountered, and focused on learning about the Faith.

        August 9, 2019 at 4:01 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I agree that feeling included is not a good reason to attend a traditional chapel, but I do believe that it is not possible to live the Catholic faith in isolation, and we need a spiritual community. I could not remain Catholic by practicing the faith in the seclusion of my home, and attend Mass on Sundays without any interaction with the other parishioners. Before I knew about Tradition I was interested in Opus Dei because of the community they offer to members, but then I bacame disillusioned with them on account of their psychologically harmful practices, obsession with socioeconomic status, and latent modernism. It’s a shame that there are no apostolic groups in my parish, such as the Legion of Mary, but the Legion of Mary is tied up with the Novus Ordo now. I would like to find a kind of secular community, where traditional Catholics live together, have their own secular jobs, but pray together and undertake apostolic activity together. No such communities exist that I know of, except actual religious orders, but religious life is an altogether different kind of vocation, set aside from the world. As a layman, I feel somewhat useless, and I wonder what my actual vocation is. Some people think the vocation of lay people is just to pay, pray obey.

        There is another parish that has a traditional Mass in my city, and they have a young adult group. I enquired about joining but did not receive a reply. I suspect that I was blacklisted after I complained to the diocese about the things that happened to me several years ago at a different parish. At this parish the priest does not speak to me, he is extremely uncomfortable around me and finds it hard to even make eye contact with me, and does not reply to my emails. Presumably he perceives me as a dangerous and querulous troublemaker.

        If I am honest I have little motivation to encourage people to become Catholic, and I have lost the apostolic zeal I once had, because in my experience being Catholic has been quite miserable and I wouldn’t want people I care about to go through the same drama. I just don’t know if its worth becoming Catholic these days. I sometimes wonder if I would have been happier if I had never found out about the Catholic Church and had remained invincibly ignorant. I didn’t realise when I became Catholic at 19 exactly what I was getting into.

        August 9, 2019 at 6:35 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Surely there are some bloggers here who could help you find such a community. As for being a troublemaker, I believe that is Editor’s middle name…

        Meanwhile, though I am not a young adult (hold your fire, Editor!), I do lead a solitary life that revolves around Third Order disciplines (SSPX), rather than a community. I do look forward to Mass several times a week (including High Mass on Sundays, where I play and sing), catechism class after Sunday Mass, choir practice, and Compline several evenings a week, but I am not looking for the consolation of a group. I am trying to do penance for a sinful life.

        I imagine it is much more difficult for a young adult to lead such a life, especially in the UK, which seems to be a traditional Catholic desert compared to the USA. Before I became an SSPX Tertiary, I was a Discalced Carmelite Tertiary for about 3 years, until I could no longer stomach their casual NO Masses and superficial catechesis at their monthly meetings…not to mention their occasional visitors from Provincial HQ, who struck me as thinly disguised homosexuals.

        Perhaps there is a Discalced Carmelite group near you that is relatively sane?

        August 9, 2019 at 9:36 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I have replied to you but I think it might be hidden

        August 9, 2019 at 10:40 pm
      • RCAVictor

        It must be, I don’t see a reply. Editor, did something go into spam?

        August 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm
      • editor

        Miles Immaculatae & RCA Victor,

        I’ve just checked all the “hidden” locations and there is nothing from Miles Immaculatae in any of them.

        I will keep checking from time to time, but it’s very unusual for a post to just disappear altogether. Are you sure you didn’t accidentally delete it?

        Tip: it’s always a good idea to copy comments, especially lengthy ones, just in case the original goes AWOL.

        August 9, 2019 at 11:06 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I think I must have most it/deleted it accidently.

        August 10, 2019 at 12:40 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I’m on the case. I’ll be meeting Miles Immaculatae for a chat over the weekend so … pray for him!

        August 9, 2019 at 11:08 pm
      • catholicconvert1


        Your experiences have been very similar to mine. Especially with Opus Dei. I too found my relationship with them to be psychologically damaging. Nothing ever felt like it was good enough, and I lumbered myself with an Opus Dei Priest as my spiritual director, and we devised a spiritual timetable together. It was nothing short of monastic, and I developed serious scruples over it, but he still encouraged me to keep doing the same. It was only later that I was informed by him than none of this was binding under sin. I had no clue about this. The Opus Dei members are very elitist and professional people. One of the first questions they ask is ‘what do you do’? A bit like Prince Charles. However, with them it is not a perfunctory nicety. They are scouring the field for numeraries. I once asked if any people who did menial or low paid jobs could become numeraries, and I sort of got a fluffed answer. They always refer to St Josemaria (one of the fast tracked Saints) as ‘the Father’, which I disagreed with, and John Paul II was always prefixed with ‘the Great’. The Great what? The SSPX are schismatic as well, you know…

        Then I started attending an SSPX chapel occasionally, as I did not have the money to go every week. I met an unhinged woman there who was a sedevacantist who saw dragons and demons in her house. So I stopped going there. My father told me if you hang around with headbangers you’ll become one yourself. Her sedevacantism rubbed off on me, and I started to doubt the validity of the new sacraments, and the occupant of the See of Peter. I wondered ‘have my confessions at my local parish been valid’, which added to my scruples. I had several general confessions heard by SSPX priests. I always thought ‘how many times did I do that’, ‘did I confess that the correct amount of times?’, ‘did I have true contrition’? I was at my wit’s end.

        Then my friend, who was my sponsor, got cancer. I started to develop anxiety over that, which turned to depression and paranoia. So I went on medication and started seeing a shrink. If had not become Catholic, I would never have met my late friend.

        Your last paragraph sums up my views to a ‘T’. I would never have become Catholic had I not met that teacher at my high school, and none of the above would have happened, and I sometimes wish that as all these experiences have ruined my life.

        August 24, 2019 at 3:24 pm
      • Petrus

        Catholic Convert,

        Nice to have you back.

        I’d like to offer you a bit of advice. Concentrate on the Faith and not people. You will find nutters everywhere but the key is to know the Faith well. Concentrate on the basics. Get a good catechism, a good lives of the saints and a Douay Rheims Bible. That’s all you need for starters.

        Develop a very simple spiritually based on the Mass, Confession, Rosary, spiritual reading and mental prayer. I have to say, a lay person doesn’t need a spiritual director. If you are going to a sound priest for Mass and Confession and are doing good, solid spiritual reading, you don’t need one.

        I would also urge you not to worry too much about others. If you know the Faith well, it won’t really matter what others believe.
        Then when you meet a nutter, you will recognise them as that and be charitable, but give them a body swerve next time you see them. Who cares if the woman is a sedevacantist or thinks she sees dragons in her home? What does that matter to you? Concentrate on your prayers and your daily duties. You won’t go wrong there.

        August 24, 2019 at 3:44 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Hello Petrus,

        Thank you for your response. At the moment, I have three catechisms: the new one, which I do not use for obvious reasons, the Baltimore Catechism and Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine. The latter was recommended by an Opus Dei Priest, and it is relatively orthodox, but bears little semblance to the original by Archbishop Sheehan. It was abridged by Fr Peter Joseph, the seminary director at Wagga Wagga, and is imbrued with Vatican II teaching. Hence, I will get rid of those two.

        The other books I have are: the Imitation of Christ, the Dolorous Passion and Meditations and Devotions by Cardinal Newman. I also have the DR Bible and the Little Office.

        I always struggled with balancing spiritual life with leisure, and felt like the church was taking over my life.

        This may sound like an odd request, but as you are a family man who has to structure your life round your dear wife and children, maybe you could help me structure a timetable?

        August 24, 2019 at 4:40 pm
      • Petrus

        Catholic Convert,

        It’s all very ordinary to be honest. We pray the Rosary together after dinner and I do spiritual reading and other prayers whenever I can fit it in, quite often on the bus going to work.

        August 24, 2019 at 8:10 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Catholic Convert,

        That is good advice from Petrus and Josephine.

        Like you, at times I have felt overwhelmed and “all at sea” as regards the spiritual life and its balance.

        But, ultimately, all we need to do is concentrate on “the basics”. I.e. our weekly (traditional) mass, our daily prayers and rosary, our regular confession etc.

        Sometimes, we can be almost over-keen and it can then seem daunting to try to fit everything in that we might like to do.

        But all we need to do is ensure we are doing the basics, and then – as our spiritual life grows – fit things in as we are able. Of course, everyone’s life is different, and so beyond the basics everyone’s ability is different.

        Concentrate on achieving a good foundation, and building from there,

        Slow and steady wins the race!

        August 24, 2019 at 10:30 pm
      • Josephine


        That’s a perfect reply to Catholic Convert and anyone in his position.

        No Catholic needs more than the basics, which you have outlined. Spiritual Directors were always for Religious in monasteries and convents, not lay people

        Thank you for your clear thinking. As well as I’m sure helping Catholic Convert, it’s made me want to up my spiritual reading, LOL!

        August 24, 2019 at 4:41 pm
      • editor


        I really can’t improve on the responses to you from Petrus, but I’ll add a couple of thoughts into the mix for good measure. There is just no way he is getting the last word 😀

        Firstly, your comments about your experience with Opus Dei and “nothing ever felt like it was good enough” / Opus Dei Spiritual Director/Office. Two things to say from The Oracle… (well, I never claimed to be humble!)…

        1) There is a real problem with these sorts of groups (like Opus Dei) who want to have one foot in religious life and the other foot in the world. It just cannot be done. Frankly, I consider Opus Dei to be a dangerous outfit, and, when asked, I always recommend that people stay as far away from them as possible. I know you haven’t asked, but, cutting out the middle man (i.e. The Question), that’s my advice to you. I won’t say take it or leave it, because you’d be mad to leave it 😀

        While there may be a case for lay people who are Third Order members of religious orders to say the Office, generally speaking, the Office, like spiritual directors, was, at one time, the province of priests and religious – not the laity. In all the years of my youth, growing up as a teenager involved in the lay apostolate and then a young (slim, glamorous, witty blah blah) woman still involved with the lay apostolate (they couldn’t shake me off), I never heard a priest advocate that we say the Divine Office, including the Little Office, nor did I ever meet any lay person who did so. This mimicking the prayer lives of the ordained and vowed religious, is all part and parcel of the post-Vatican II attempts to turn the laity into priests/religious and the priests into laity. Now, I know quite a few lay people pray the Little Office, so I maybe missed that in my youth, but I’m simply throwing it into the mix for your consideration. More on the matter of prayer lives shortly…

        2) You will find the great saints and mystics of the Church unanimous in one particular aspect of the spiritual life, whether for priests, religious or laity and it is this: we must stop thinking about ourselves. That’s never going to lead to a peaceful inner life – NEVER. We are taught to “forget” ourselves – the life of the beautiful Saint Therese of Lisieux, her autobiography, The Story of A Soul, is a masterpiece in this regard and I urge you to read it without delay. It is available to read, free, online, so simply Google for a selection of sources. In fact, as advertised in our July (current) newsletter, there is an excellent website which provides traditional books, including The Story of A Soul, free of charge and in pdf format. So, visit this link and scroll to Lives of the Saints

        If I may be brutally frank, and switch to the First Person, unless you stop being wrapped up in yourself to the point where you might wind up requiring psychological counselling, you’ll never be able to enjoy the beauty of our Catholic Faith. You will never be at peace.

        Petrus is correct about ignoring the nutters among us – the sedevacantists are Protestants in all but name, so don’t waste your breath in conversation with any of them or you risk losing your Faith. The cheek of them to think they have the insights not granted the rest of us, the hoi polloi, is breath-taking. Sheer pride to think they can appropriate an authority which no lay person (or even priest) possesses to decide who is and who is not a true pope. It would be laughable were it not for the fact that their (lack of) logic is fooling so many gullible people and taking them out of Christ’s Church.

        Finally, Petrus is right about the “timetable” you request. Yet again, you seem to think that being a Catholic is a job or profession, a career that makes lots of demands on our time, but that is not at all the case. Haven’t you noticed that there’s no monthly pay packet? 😀 Gerragrip! Relax!

        It seems to me that, for the foreseeable future, you need to keep your duties to a minimum, to save us all having to travel south of the border to visit you on some Funny Farm. Thus, I suggest you pray the 5 decades of the Rosary every day at whatever time is best for you – probably before or after your evening meal, and perhaps then spent fifteen minutes doing some spiritual reading, or, as Petrus suggests, use any travel time, if you use buses or trains, to do your spiritual reading. .

        That, Catholic Convert, is all you need to do – Oh and blog for at least ten minutes… One great apostolate that very few people seem to think is important, is encouraging others. So, popping in to say “Excellent – well said” to one or two bloggers, would cover your duty to be a Soldier of Christ until your Catholic life is up and running smoothly.

        Just to underline that last point, the story goes that an old nun died and appeared for judgement, apologising for having led a very insignificant life in her religious community. She confessed that she knew that she hadn’t been very talented and hadn’t done anything of importance during her years in the convent. However, Our Lord told her that she had always made some fun during the community recreations, so that Sisters who were feeling downhearted were always uplifted by her humour and kindness – the fact that she had encouraged others when they felt they were useless had been noted and so, a high place awaited her in Heaven!

        So, encouraging others, in just a few words, can be just as much of an apostolate as writing lengthy comments bristling with deep spiritual, religious and theological insights… not naming names or anything 😀–humor-cristiano-catholic-funny.jpg

        August 24, 2019 at 10:19 pm
      • Petrus


        As a Dominican Tertiary I find your comments on the Office very interesting. Our Rule requires us to say either the Little Office in the Dominican Rite or the entire Rosary. I sometimes do a mix of both, but I gravitate towards the Rosary.

        It’s worth noting that Third Orders were split into Regular and Secular divisions. The Secular Tertiaries lived in the world and the Regular in convents. They were usually involved in teaching or nursing. They would pray the Office together in choir.

        August 25, 2019 at 12:17 pm
      • editor

        Well said – you’ve highlighted the fact that originally the Office would have been prayed in community, with Versicles and Responses marked throughout. Although priests (and if necessary religious assigned tasks which kept them away from community prayer at particular times) did/do pray the Office alone, it’s not ideal. It’s really designed to be prayed in community.

        August 25, 2019 at 5:08 pm
      • Fionnchu

        Thanks for this whole thread–for this first-time commentator, it’s exactly what I was asking as a relative newbie to the TLM. When I was a lad, who started Catholic kindergarten the year V2 ended, tellingly, my best friend’s family (a few years later) went to a SSPX chapel. We were all told this was forbidden, so until recently I grew to late middle age without any clue that the de facto ban had been lifted by Pope B; I had figured that was just a dialogue between the Society and him regarding their own status. I’d no idea the TLM had been allowed for those of us in “regular communion.” I went online and to my surprise, discovered them.

        I am undergoing a protracted application to enter the formation process for Secular Franciscans–they take a long time to “vet” you. I’ve been attending a diocesan-approved TLM, but the monthly SFO Sunday mid-day meetings mean I will have to go to Mass at the NO parish promptly beforehand; there’s no TLM earlier nearer me that will allow me to make the meetings. My giant Archdiocese (although the most populous in the U.S.) offers fewer TLMs than ever. Thus, I ask…

        What advice do you have for those of us who want to attend a TLM but for such church-related duties or obligations as mine, must attend a NO service regularly? I am getting a strong sense of cognitive dissonance, having made my way back to Rome after decades of wandering, only to find that, just as when I was a boy, the guitars and handlifting and gladhanding all chap my sensitive hide, same as it ever was. However, I realize I am entering a fraternity with a different ethos than the 1962’ers. Charity expects me to make sacrifices, for any community, Anybody in a similar situation to mine?
        Pax et bonum, and pray for me as I do for you all.

        September 6, 2019 at 9:37 pm
      • editor


        Firstly, welcome! I hope you are not just a first time blogger, but a newcomer to our humble blogging community. Welcome!

        Your first post is very interesting indeed, and I was about to reply simply to express my personal concerns – generally speaking (always exceptions) – about the idea of “Secular Franciscans” etc. That was all I was planning to say to you but when I read on and saw that if you proceed with your application, you need to attend the NO Mass – then, it seems to me, the choice is clear; IF – in fact – the new Mass is not pleasing to God, then nothing justifies attending it. To this simple gal’s mind, that is the end of the debate.

        And while I sympathise with the emotional break entailed in cutting ties with your parish, I fear that it is the only way to avoid the confusion of the “one foot in, one foot out” camp. That strong sense of cognitive dissonance…” which you mention, is really your (restored) Catholic sense; don’t risk losing it by returning to the new Mass. Because…

        Charity, we must remember, means, first and foremost, the love of God. So, it’s not quite accurate to cite “charity” to help neighbour, divorced from its root meaning. That’s why we have people claiming “charity” when they advocate same-sex unions etc. If it offends God, and His laws – moral, liturgical, whatever – then it’s not true charity.

        Sorry if this has turned into a sermon… again!

        September 6, 2019 at 11:07 pm
      • Petrus

        I would say avoid anything to do with the modern Church, including their TLMs. Don’t join their Third Orders either. There’s poison mixed in with everything associated with them.

        September 9, 2019 at 4:01 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Spiritual direction can sometimes do more harm than good, because priests aren’t qualified mental health professionals like psychiatrists or clinical psychologists are. In an ideal society all psychiatrists would be Traditional Catholics and their clinical practice would be fully integrated with the faith. But the situation in the modern secular world is that Catholics with a matrix of spiritual and psychological problems cannot get the right help they need from either clergy or mental health practitioners.

        August 25, 2019 at 4:39 am
  • gabriel syme Reply

    This is a late reply to the topic, but still:

    I think it is very true that the SSPX is de facto regularised. The faithful can receive all the sacraments from Society priests, without question or reproach. I personally believe that has always been the case, but previously detractors had the means to sow seeds of doubt.

    That this situation is (oddly) thanks to Pope Francis only goes to show that even a stopped clock tells the right time, twice a day. I think his (unarguably reasonable and kind) approach towards the Society is one of the few highlights of his Pontificate and I believe it is all down towards the good impression made upon him by Society priests working in his area of jurisdiction, when Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

    Some conservative catholics / canonically regular trads will sadly argue otherwise, but that is because they will only accept the SSPX if they submit to the same mental gymnastics as they do, as regards Vatican II.

    However – to that notion – as we say in Scotland, “aye, right”.

    August 24, 2019 at 10:40 pm

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