From: Father Thomas Asher | FSSPX
While we must urge and exhort the faithful to keep the traditional days of feast or of fast, it needs to be clear that they are not obliged under pain of sin to do so when the power of the keys has eliminated the obligation. Unfortunately, the faithful are sometimes convinced of an obligation that does not exist and then violate that "obligation" culpably. The sin is real in that case, despite the fact that the obligation is not. Let us not be the cause of such sins by being unclear or culpably wrong about these points ourselves in our communications with the faithful.
A number of considerations here:
1) Where is the accompanying announcement Fr. Asher should have
provided which explained the scandalous nature, and deleterious consequences, of this legislation of the conciliar bishops (which the SSPX of old would certainly have provided)?
2) As with another famous SSPX.org article which (using the same pastoral rationale as Fr. Asher uses above) reaffirmed the conciliar laws of fast and abstinence are the binding laws, there seems to be no jurisprudential consideration of whether a law which has manifestly deleterious consequences for the sanctity and piety of the entire Catholic Church (not mrely the US District) aree in any real sence properly "laws" at all. How can laws which attack the common good for which they were ordained be considered legitimate? And if not legitimate, then the preceding laws continue in force.
It seems the conciliarized SSPX is only concerned that the laws were promulgated by legitimate authority. But if that is the only criterion for ascertaining legitimacy, without any reference ot the common good they are supposed to foster, then the bishops conferences could remove the penalty for abortion, and logically, the SSPX would have to explain to its people that, "traditionally abortion was punished by excommunication, but it no longer is. We musn't have our people think it is an excommunicable offense, then procure one anyway, and suffer the real consequences. Let us not be the cause of such sins by being unclear or culpably wrong about these points ourselves in our communications with the faithful."
3) Implicit in this submission to conciliar law (if it is law), is the acceptance of collegiality: It is the bishops conferences to which the 1983 code delegates the authority to transfer feasts, so the acceptance of this authority and laws is simultaneously an acceptance of collegiality (at least as regards the transfer of feasts, and also the new disciplinary laws of fast and abstinence).
4) Notice how, as with all modernist propositions, it is the pastoral justification which is advanced: "Oh, we would love to hold to tradition, but the plight of the poor faithful compel us to make an honest admission, lest we lead them into sin." But is this not allowing the exception to disprove the rule?
In which direction do the scales tip between assessing the number of those who will sin according to the scenario Fr. Asher lays out, versus the number of those who, being dislodged from Tradition, now having no excuse to abstain from work on Thursday or attend Mass (i.e., the employers know it is no longer a mandatory holy day), encouraging the reduction in the life of the Church in public society and sectioning it off to Sundays-only, etc?
Presuming these conciliar laws really are laws in the technical and legitimate sense, is there some reason why the priest could not address such issues in the confessional or in private conferences, as they always used to?
5) Finally, notice the selectivity of these pastorally-based admissions of the SSPX: As Nadir observes on p.1 of this thread, where is the admission from the SSPX that there is no sin in receiving communion in the hand? I would think that would be an even larger issue (its hard to say the word) "misunderstanding" in the weekly lives of Catholics than those "imagining" they sin by culpably missing Thursday Mass. But if the fact that a law has been promulgated by the competent authority is now the only criterion for legitimacy (and therefore its binding nature), to be logically consistent, we ought to hear why communion in the hand is no sin.
And perhaps that will come soon!
No, it seems to mee that this announcement from Fr. Asher (as with the SSPX.org article on the new laws of fast and abstinence), though addressed to the faithful, was in fact intended to be received by Rome, to signify that the SSPX is on board.