Rorate Caeli

For the record: new PCED letter on Sunday obligation
Update: important clarification - not listed as SSPX or SSPX-friendly venue

Clarification (2100 GMT): Following our request for a clarification, we have been informed by the US District of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) that the chapel mentioned in the letter below is not a chapel of the Society and that, while its specific name was expressly mentioned by the sender in the deleted data, it is NOT included in the public list of chapels, including those other chapels identified by the Society publicly as 'Friends of the Society of St. Pius X'. It is very possible that this information, easily researched online on the website of the U. S. District, might have led someone in the Commission to believe that this specific chapel, which is not listed by them and not one of the "Friends of the Society of Saint Pius X" or "other traditional (non-SSPX) venues", is a venue with no affiliation whatsoever with  the SSPX and led to this different appraisal by the Commission. 

For the point of view of the Society of Saint Pius X on their masses and sacraments, please visit their website.

[Originally posted at 1207 GMT] Queen of Martyrs Press has publicized the following letter (dated March 28, 2012) from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. The full text of the original letter with dubia to which this is the response can be found here. (The dubia are also summarized concisely and completely in the PCED letter.)

It is difficult to interpret this letter (as some are now trying to do) as not in any way referring to Masses offered by SSPX priests. The author of the original dubia explicitly refers to the canonical status of the SSPX priests by way of introduction to his questions (thus establishing the context of the dubia) and towards the end of his letter refers to the "Friends of the Society of St. Pius X" chapel as a chapel "affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X" (that is, it is not a Chapel of the SSPX, but one of a friendly independent priest). Nonetheless, the answers of the PCED do not show any evidence of ignoring the clear context in which the dubia were formulated and sent to it. (2100 GMT: Please see clarification at the top of this post.)

This letter is an apparent reversal of earlier statements from the time when Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos stood at the helm of the PCED, notably the 2003 letter to Una Voce America signed by Msgr. Camille Perl and explicitly affirming, also "in a strict sense", that attendance in SSPX Masses suffice to fulfill one's Sunday obligation. And just as the statements in the time of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos reversed even earlier PCED statements that had strongly denounced attendance in SSPX Masses (notably a 1995 letter signed also by Msgr. Perl), so one is left to wonder whether this latest statement will also be reversed in a time not too far off. The history of PCED is a history of reversals and instability, which is a typical sign of the lack of any seriousness and of solid... tradition (small 't').

Refer also to the following Rorate Caeli post from 2006: Ecclesia Dei: SSPX priests and faithful are not excommunicates.