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The SSPX Debate: Update

Dear OnePeterFive donors, supporters and readers,


I wanted to give everyone an update on the SSPX debate series. The debate so far has been primarily about the contentions of Mr. John Salza regarding canonical mission, and Mr. Salza was gracious enough to field a number of answers to his critique which we published here.

Mr. Salza and his co-author Mr. Robert Siscoe plan to publish their critiques of the SSPX at their website, We will plan to continue publishing pieces on both sides of the SSPX question as a means to promote charitable but frank discussion on the matter.

However, I felt the need to write this in order to clarify where OnePeterFive stands on the issue. Here we must make the distinction between Communion at the SSPX and every other issue that goes with the SSPX. Because there is much that can be debated. But Mr. Salza’s assertions about canonical mission have a direct bearing on whether one can fulfill one’s Sunday obligation at an SSPX chapel.

This is ultimately the most important bottom line, as many faithful are faced with difficult decisions as their Latin Mass is shut down in various places. Ultimately the editorial board at OnePeterFive remains unconvinced by Mr. Salza’s arguments, and considers the stance of the formerly-named Ecclesia Dei commission to give authoritative answer in this regard. Namely, any Catholic can commune at an SSPX chapel with no sin whatsoever.[1]

Mr. Salza has said on this matter that moral theology dictates that one always take the more cautious of two options. Fr. Z makes reference to another principle on this matter:

The anomalous and slowly evolving SSPX situation is complicated.  When things are really complicated in the Church, we are charity bound to cut people some slack and interpret restrictive laws as strictly as possible so as to give people maximum latitude.

Thus the complicated canonical situation should be interpreted in a way that allows the faithful more freedom to act as best they can to fulfill their Christian duties. In this case we cannot find grounds to dissuading any soul from communing at the SSPX, according to the competent authorities in this matter.

Other SSPX Matters

Now as we said we have a distinction between communing at the SSPX and everything else related to the fraternal society. Trads have disagreements on all sorts of matters and the SSPX has opinions in this like we all do. From here, we wish to make it clear that although we will not publish further debate on the question of canonical mission, we do consider all other topics open for debate on these issues.

To that end, we will be publishing pieces on both sides, but not necessarily all together. This gives us the freedom to publish pieces as they arise and not wait for contrary opinions to be provided. Let this post serve as clarity that we do not intend to exclude any opinion, simply because it has not appeared yet. We consider the SSPX to be allies, but this does not mean that we officially agree on every matter. If you think something is not well represented, send us a submission! Anyone who enters the debate may submit a critique of another’s views, and we ask that all participants keep a gentlemanly attitude toward each other as we seek to foster a spirit of rational and charitable discourse.


As always, please contact me with anything.

T. S. Flanders
Ss. Faustini et Iovitae, Martyrs


[1] For evidence of this point, we direct the reader to the article by Dr. Kwasniewski in which he references this PCED response. More recently we have Fr. Z’s comments on this matter as someone who worked with the PCED.

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