Bishop Semeraro and the Pixies
Bishop Semeraro of Albano in Italy has taken it upon himself to excommunicate lay people who attend Masses of the Society of St Pius X. Now, I hold no brief for the Pixies (who can be extremely tiresome, see below) but His Lordship is talking through his nasty little sawn-off mitre and I hope he is ignored.
Many years ago now, the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Liturgical Texts (whose job it is to clarify such matters) declared that while bishops and priests of the SSPX could be considered excommunicate, in the case of lay people…
…Those who participate occasionally and without the intention to adhere formally to the positions of the Lefebvrist movement towards the Holy Father do not incur the penalty of excommunication.
And the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei declared, in answer to an inquirer…
1. In the strict sense you may fulfill your Sunday obligation by attending a Mass celebrated by a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X.
2…If your intention is simply to participate in Mass according to the 1962 Missal for the sake of devotion, this would not be a sin.
3. It would seem that a modest contribution to the collection at Mass could be justified….
It all seems clear enough. So why do we now have this nasty piece of bullying from a bishop who is regarded as being close to the Holy Father?
A contributor to the combox of Fr John Zuhlsdorf summed up the present situation in the the Albano diocese rather well, with this offering which is meant to be sung “in your best Bob Dylan voice”:
Oh yeah, we gotta luhhhhve one another!
No rules gunnah work for me!
I just wannuh be free to luhhhhhhhhve my brother!
Even if it’s carnally!
Them hardline conservatives are so full of hate! They don’t know how to luuuuhhhhhve!
They judge everybody with their mean ol’ rules, Jes’ coz they come from abuuuuhhhhhve!
So if you “love” another man, or a woman you’re not sacramentally married to (switch genders if need be) then the church ought to welcome you with open arms, without judging, but if you’re in love with the way the church USED to be before they changed it…?
No love songs for you. Conform or you’re outta here.
However, as I made clear above, I’m not too keen on the SSPX. Two reasons:
1. At St John’s in Mounttown, Co. Dublin, the main SSPX church in Ireland, I was handed an official leaflet which stated, inter alia, that one could be excused one’s Sunday obligation if one could only attend either the Novus Ordo or what was then described as the indult Mass (celebrated by a priest in communion with the ordinary of the diocese.)
2. I was recently told of a Pixie priest in the West of England, who preached about the Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in London, and about how the Queen had been praying at the cenotaph. “Of course, said Father, “God would not hear her prayers.”