Author Topic: Is the obligation to attend Mass on Ascension Thursday binding according to SSPX  (Read 4343 times)

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Offline JmJ2cents

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From: Father Thomas Asher | FSSPX
The question has arisen each year whether the obligation to attend Mass on Ascension Thursday is binding on our faithful in those places where the bishops have lifted the obligation on that day due to their transfer of the feast. The District Superior asked me to communicate the following to all of the confreres in an attempt to clarify matters. I am indebted to Fr. Christopher Danel and to Travis Rankin for their assistance in sorting all of this out.
In 2008, a dubium regarding this question was sent to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. The response from Msgr. Perl was:
“While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law [cf. 1917 CIC 1247 – ed.] the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days” (PCED, 20 Oct 2008).
Therefore, while in Tradition the Ascension is always celebrated on Thursday, the obligation to attend Mass is binding on Thursday only in the ten states where the feast has been retained on Thursday by the bishops. These states are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nebraska (which belong to the ecclesiastical provinces of New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Hartford, Boston, and Omaha).
Additionally, when the feasts of the Circumcision, the Assumption, and All Saints fall on either Monday or Saturday, all bishops of the USA have abrogated the obligation to attend Mass on those days, with the feasts remaining on their properly-assigned days without transfer. The obligation is never abrogated on the Immaculate Conception or Christmas.
The U.S. bishops long ago abrogated or declined four of the holy days observed in the universal Church: Epiphany, Corpus Christi, St. Joseph, and Sts. Peter and Paul. They have retained six holy days of obligation: the Octave of the Nativity, the Ascension, the Assumption, All Saints’ Day, the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas. (In Hawaii, only the Immaculate Conception and Christmas are of obligation, as Honolulu has aligned itself for this matter with the bishops of the Pacific Islands.)
Although we clearly do not wish either to be or to appear liberal, it behooves us to be honest with the faithful about these days' obligations just as we are about the penitential obligations: only the power of the keys can determine our concrete obligations, as Catholics, on any given day.
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.



Offline JmJ2cents

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From: Father Thomas Asher | FSSPX


Offline trad123

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I'm trying and I don't know how.  ugh sorry.


From: Father Thomas Asher | FSSPX


The question has arisen each year whether the obligation to attend Mass on Ascension Thursday is binding on our faithful in those places where the bishops have lifted the obligation on that day due to their transfer of the feast. The District Superior asked me to communicate the following to all of the confreres in an attempt to clarify matters. I am indebted to Fr. Christopher Danel and to Travis Rankin for their assistance in sorting all of this out.

In 2008, a dubium regarding this question was sent to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. The response from Msgr. Perl was:

“While in accordance with Canon 1246 §2 of the Code of Canon Law [cf. 1917 CIC 1247 – ed.] the Episcopal Conference can legitimately transfer Holydays of obligation with the approbation of the Holy See, it is also legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office of those feasts on the days prescribed in the calendar of the liturgical books in use in 1962 with the clear understanding that, in accordance with the legitimate decision of the Episcopal Conference, there is no obligation to attend Mass on those days” (PCED, 20 Oct 2008).

Therefore, while in Tradition the Ascension is always celebrated on Thursday, the obligation to attend Mass is binding on Thursday only in the ten states where the feast has been retained on Thursday by the bishops. These states are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nebraska (which belong to the ecclesiastical provinces of New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Hartford, Boston, and Omaha).

Additionally, when the feasts of the Circumcision, the Assumption, and All Saints fall on either Monday or Saturday, all bishops of the USA have abrogated the obligation to attend Mass on those days, with the feasts remaining on their properly-assigned days without transfer. The obligation is never abrogated on the Immaculate Conception or Christmas.

The U.S. bishops long ago abrogated or declined four of the holy days observed in the universal Church: Epiphany, Corpus Christi, St. Joseph, and Sts. Peter and Paul. They have retained six holy days of obligation: the Octave of the Nativity, the Ascension, the Assumption, All Saints’ Day, the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas. (In Hawaii, only the Immaculate Conception and Christmas are of obligation, as Honolulu has aligned itself for this matter with the bishops of the Pacific Islands.)

Although we clearly do not wish either to be or to appear liberal, it behooves us to be honest with the faithful about these days' obligations just as we are about the penitential obligations: only the power of the keys can determine our concrete obligations, as Catholics, on any given day.

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.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4

And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

Offline Fanny

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You're either traditional or you're not.
You don't get to pick and choose.

Fr. Asher has proven time and time again to be a liberal in traditional garb.  

If the SSPX has done away with the traditional holy days of obligation, it is another clear indication to one and all they are being absorbed by the conciliar church.

What will it take for people who still attend the SSPX to wake up and smell the conciliarism?

Offline Seraphina

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Sorry, but the statement about New York was wrong.  Ascension Day was transferred to Sunday.  


Offline M and Liz

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Last Sunday parishioners in Walton, KY, were told that they are no longer obligated under pain of mortal sin to attend Ascension Thursday Mass.  The priests will 'encourage' attendance though, as the Mass will continue to be celebrated as usual on Ascension Thursday.  When the pastor was asked why after all these years... why the SSPX is just now following this change by the U.S. bishops, he replied, "I think this is something that fell  through the cracks and so when we realized it we addressed it.  There is nothing more than that. We will continue to treat the Ascension as a holy day and encourage all the faithful to treat it as a holy day ."
No one batted an eye.

Offline Nadir

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Welcome M and Liz, Didn't you think to ask him did he let communion in the hand fall through the cracks and how long before it is addressed? On second thoughts... 

Offline M and Liz

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That question was missed.   
He's been told what a liberal modernist the diocesan bishop is, but continues meetings with him.


Offline Matthew

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Last Sunday parishioners in Walton, KY, were told that they are no longer obligated under pain of mortal sin to attend Ascension Thursday Mass.  The priests will 'encourage' attendance though, as the Mass will continue to be celebrated as usual on Ascension Thursday.  When the pastor was asked why after all these years... why the SSPX is just now following this change by the U.S. bishops, he replied, "I think this is something that fell  through the cracks and so when we realized it we addressed it.  There is nothing more than that. We will continue to treat the Ascension as a holy day and encourage all the faithful to treat it as a holy day ."
No one batted an eye.

Incredible.
Not the SSPX changing more and more every day to "fit better" into the Conciliar Church -- that I expected.

It's sad that so many Traditional Catholics are losing it -- being demoted from "Traditional Catholic" to "Latin Mass Catholic".

Latin Mass Catholics just believe "it's better in Latin" or "the Tridentine Mass is better" but they don't think there's a Crisis in the Church as we consider it -- unless you're talking about the fact that so many ignorant souls prefer the inferior Novus Ordo... That's the only Crisis in the Church for them.

Traditional Catholics want NOTHING TO DO with the Conciliar Church, its entire corrupt or compromised hierarchy, the Novus Ordo Missae, the new Code of Canon Law, or the new relaxed disciplines established by the Conciliar Church after Vatican II.

That's how you can tell a Traditional Catholic from a conservative Catholic, or "Latin Mass" Catholic. There's a huge world of difference.

The SSPX used to be Traditional; now they're conservative. That's not what I signed up for, so I left.

With the defection of the SSPX, Tradition has been thrown back to the Stone Age as it were -- a.k.a. the 1970's. Few options for Mass, Independent chapels only, lots of humble chapels (garage, hotel room, rented facility), lots of variety of theological opinion, severe priest shortage, many people can't get to Mass on Sunday. Oh, and just like the 1970's, we have former parishioners telling us things like, "Come on, stick around and at least have a place for Mass on Sunday. You can ignore the various evils or offer them up. Come on, don't be proud or disobedient..."

For those who lived through the 70's, and stayed faithful to Tradition after the SSPX defected, it's like Deja vu!

 We'll rebuild Tradition once again. We have to. We really have no choice. We still have to save our souls, raise our children Catholic, etc.
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Offline 2Vermont

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You're either traditional or you're not.
You don't get to pick and choose.

Fr. Asher has proven time and time again to be a liberal in traditional garb.  

If the SSPX has done away with the traditional holy days of obligation, it is another clear indication to one and all they are being absorbed by the conciliar church.

What will it take for people who still attend the SSPX to wake up and smell the conciliarism?
I'm confused.  I thought the SSPX/R&R has always considered the 1983 Canon Law legit.  Wouldn't the new liturgical calendar/days of holy obligation be in the same category?
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Offline Pax Vobis

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Quote
The SSPX used to be Traditional; now they're conservative.
Very, very profound and perfect point!  This explains 20 yrs of change in 1 sentence!

In political terms, the sspx policy towards new-Rome is strikingly similar to the immigration problem the US faces.  Let me explain...

In the post +ABL days, the sspx changed its stance towards V2 and the new mass gradually, gradually, gradually, at first, by accepting more and more novus ordo/“conservative” catholics into their chapels without caring too much if they became traditional-minded, (ie had a conversion to catholic thinking).  They only cared if they “looked/dressed the part”, then they were accepted. 

Much like the immigration policies of the 80s-90s where all kinds of people came into our country because they wanted freedom/liberty and peace.  They were drawn by the promise of a better life and many assimilated into our culture as best they could.  The govt wasn’t picky; thru needed workers.  

After a group/country takes in a bunch of “newbies” there is always a period of change, ie the “transition period”.  It can be the group/country that changes to accommodate the newbies, or the newbies change to fully integrate with the group/country.  It’s rarely a 50:50 change.  One side usually is dominant. 

In the transition period of the sspx, many newbies did learn more of the faith and grew in love of tradition, but their novus ordo bad habits/poor chatechism still weighed them down in some areas, and because these newbies we’re not taught traditional fundamentals (ie why we're here, what’s the point of tradition), these newbies loved the Latin mass for the outward message only.  And sspx leadership did not (purposefully or neglectfully, I don’t know) fully integrate these people into the group’s mentality.  The bad leadership looked at their growth as quantity over quality.  They wanted more chapels and more parishioners to look good on paper (and...more money??)

Much like in the US, where so many of our immigrants are from socialized countries.  They love the idea of freedom and capitalism and liberty but their backgrounds gave them a distorted view of these concepts.  They don’t understand that true liberty means limited govt and self-sufficiency.  That true capitalism means working your tail off without food stamps, no free healthcare, etc.  That true freedom means being virtuous, God-fearing and kind to your neighbor; it does not mean being able to believe/promote errors, it does not mean we have to accept your atheism nor pay more taxes so you get handouts FROM your neighbor.  ...In other words, most immigrants, however nice they are, don’t understand how/why America became great. 

And so, in the sspx, they did not integrate their newbies to tradition, they are faced with a group of people who outnumber the true Catholics who built the sspx in the first place.  Either the true Catholics have died or left, having been fed up with the compromises to the Faith and lack of focus on orthodoxy.  So the sspx is suffering from a crisis of identity (again, whether purposefully or neglectfully,  I don’t know, but I will say it’s not all by “accident”.).  The sspx is no longer traditional but only conservative because they have forgotten the reasons they came into existence.  They exist now to provide the mass, but the Faith they offer is tainted and weak.  

Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to the US, which is weighed down heavily with many immigrants who are infected with socialist errors, and no understanding of history.  Then, worse, those Americans who SHOULD know better, have been corrupted by immorality, laziness and complacency in keeping Uncle Sam under control so that it’s almost too late.

With both the sspx and the US, the situation seems dire but there’s always hope.  Prayer, penance and new leadership is needed!  And a re-understanding of the foundation/reasons of the movement is a must!


Offline noOneImportant

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I don't see why this bothers people so much. Holy Days are binding because the Church (and specifically, the local bishop) says they are. Thus the difference in Holy Days observed across different continents. Why exactly is it controversial to acknowledge their power to loose what they have bound? We aren't schismatic. Whether or not it's advisable is another matter entirely, but that's not really relevant here.

Offline Last Tradhican

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I don't see why this bothers people so much. Holy Days are binding because the Church (and specifically, the local bishop) says they are. Thus the difference in Holy Days observed across different continents. Why exactly is it controversial to acknowledge their power to loose what they have bound? We aren't schismatic. Whether or not it's advisable is another matter entirely, but that's not really relevant here.
I guess you are also not bothered by all the other uses of "the power to loose and bound" like communion in the hand, easy annulments, communion for adulterers, sodomites masses.......
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Offline noOneImportant

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Because clearly changing something that is already regularly changed (by country) is equivalent to sodomy. Glad we are all being nice an objective here.

Offline Nadir

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Because clearly changing something that is already regularly changed (by country) is equivalent to sodomy. Glad we are all being nice an objective here.
Oh! That's great! Ascension Thursday is now "just another Sunday" that we can roll up to after the football, with a few drinks under the belt.  :facepalm: 

Sorry, I upthumbed you when I went for the "quote".

 

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