Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Local Catholic Asks About Attending Roswell Chapel

Published February 5, 2009

Father Theodore Book, director of the archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship. responds:

A. Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to lift the decree of excommunication from four bishops of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X is certainly a hopeful sign, as it suggests the possibility that the bishops and their society may one day return to full communion with the Catholic Church. However, we are still a long way from that reconciliation. For the moment, the bishops remain suspended from sacred ministry, and the society which they lead continues in schism from the Catholic Church. Because the priests of their society lack faculties to offer the sacraments, any Mass that they offer is illicit, and celebrations of some of the other sacraments, such as reconciliation and matrimony, are invalid, and thus ineffectual. For those reasons, it would be inappropriate for a Catholic to receive any of the sacraments in one of their chapels. At the same time, however, legitimate celebrations of the sacraments according to the older Latin usage are encouraged by the Church, and, in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, all of the sacraments are offered in their pre-conciliar Latin forms at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Mableton.