The Cape Town SSPX and COVID – The Index of Lessons Learnt

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This is an index and summary of the Cape Town SSPX/COVID series

Over the last year, I’ve written about a Catholic fringe group, a cult, whose Masses I used to attend. I live(d) next door to them. The Society of St Pius X (SSPX) in Cape Town.

Saint Patrick - stained glass
Saint Patrick – stained glass

My realisation of the sickness within this cult began on St Patrick’s Day 2020, aka 17 March, as the COVID-19 pandemic was rearing it’s ugly (but real) head, and it will mostly come to an end on St Joseph’s Day 2021, aka 19 March.

To St Patrick, thank you for getting rid of the snakes.
To St Joseph, thank you for finding a new home for these people and their cleric.

In March 2020, the real Catholics, the Archdiocese of Cape Town, closed down early to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus. On 17 March 2020, the SSPX cleric had the following to say about this: “These directives have nothing to do with the faith.

When our president announced lockdown, the cleric announced underground Masses held secretly at their chapel and from house to house. He declared that the law did not apply to them – in June 2020: “ these laws have no moral bearing on us whatsoever”. And later in 2021: “… none of these laws have any value whatsoever before God, and so we have no obligation in conscience to obey them …”.

Sorry, but these laws saved thousands of lives.

I was now living next door to a group of people who had adopted a despicable attitude I later realised was informed by the pseudo-morality of psychopathy. I spent the next year doing what I could to prevent them from treating coronavirus like the Gospel and spreading it.

Part 1 – The SSPX – when a church goes COVID cult [link]

Part 1 (dated 29 April 2020) deals with my initial reaction and their initial community-endangering skulduggery. Pre-lockdown, after the legitimate Catholic Church closed down for the safety of the community, the SSPX congregation advertised themselves as the only Catholic church open in Cape Town, and crammed “very close to 100 people” into their small chapel the next Sunday. They then proceeded to have secret Masses throughout lockdown. Many in the congregation also adopted conspiracy theories about COVID-19, including being antimaskers.

Part 2 – Update on SSPX sect’s evasion of lockdown [link]

Part 2 (dated 12 June 2020) gives an update on the situation as it was in June 2020. Lockdown was in level 3, and singing (high risk for the spread of the virus) was not allowed unless done by a solo singer with the relevant precautions. The cleric, after sending a link to the regulations to his congregation, claimed not to know about this particular rule contained in those regulations. He subsequently told his congregation that singing wasn’t allowed because the devil hated their singing. Eventually, when they realised they could get away with it, they returned to full singing. A true pastor would have told them the truth.

Part 3 – Is the SSPX in schism from the Catholic Church? [link]

Part 3 is a more theoretical look at what their real status in the real Catholic Church is. I discuss whether or not the SSPX is in full schism, partial schism, or not in schism at all. Popes have used the phrases “schism” and “recovery of full communion” to describe the situation. They do appear to be in a rather unique position relative to the legitimate Catholic Church, neither like the Orthodox (schism) nor like the Dominicans (no schism).

The International Seminary of Saint Pius X in Écône
SSPX seminary, Écône, Switzerland

Part 4 – SSPX – the Dangers of a Cult Mentality [link]

Part 4 is another theoretical look at them, this time comparing them to a typical cult mentality. It turns out they fit the description. They certainly have their own version of the facts that doesn’t fit the Catholic version of them. Truth, it seems, is relative.

Part 5 – The SSPX – COVID and religious quackery [link]

Part 5 looks at how religious/theological quackery and medical/scientific quackery go hand in hand. Fairly uniformly around the world, the SSPX has caused trouble with their quack COVID beliefs, and videos of Masses, from Écône to the bottom of Africa, show masklessness and disregard for social distancing. Pope Francis referred to priests like the SSPX cleric as adolescents.

Part 6 – SSPX – turning ordinary Masses into funerals (how to) [link]

Part 6 (dated 2 Jan 2021) returns to their ongoing antics and reports on their attempts to have fake funerals in order to get their 50 people in legally and without concern for secrecy and such shenanigans. Their logic: Jesus died, this is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, and so all Masses can be considered to be funerals. One can pray for the once’s deceased loved ones at any time, and if the police catch you going to a chapel to do that with others who coincidentally happen to be there doing the same thing, you can just tell them you’re going to a funeral. The police were not stupid enough to fall for the fake funeral ploy.

Part 7 – The Psychopathy of “Traditionalist” Catholicism [link]

Part 7 closes off with my realisation that “traditionalist” Catholic moral reasoning is much like the rules one would put in place for a psychopath, showing how primitive their thinking really is when it comes to morals and theology.

St Joseph with Infant Christ in his Arms, by Guido Reni
St Joseph with Infant Christ in his Arms, by Guido Reni

Current status, March 2021

They have now bought the Presbyterian church down the road from their (old) chapel, and from 19 March 2021, all their Masses will be held at the new church, and the place next door to me will be empty. Still owned by them, and we’ll see what they do with it. But I won’t have their coven on my doorstep any longer. Thank you St Patrick and St Joseph!

There are a few last loose ends to tie up. I continue to have enough insight into their future activities to keep me content and informed. I’ll have done what I could, and probably all I can do now is watch and pray. There may be a few more things needed after the current loose ends are tied up, and maybe I’ll add addenda to this page. Hopefully minor ones. Hopefully none.

Lastly, there’s a quiz you can take. Quiz time – SSPX and COVID

Pray for the conversion of the SSPX, their priests,
and the laity who follow them.
St Patrick, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.

SSPX, Pinelands, Cape Town, 36 Central Avenue, 33 Central Square, 19 St Stephens Road, Latin Mass

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    • Patrick on March 17, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    “I continue [sic] have enough insight into their future activities to keep me content and informed.” Although your copious amount of posts about the SSPX congregation trying to keep to the Faith, in uncertain times, is revealing, this sentence blatantly divulges your mania. This is stalkerish, obsessive and harassing behaviour. You may delude yourself that you are acting in a righteous cause, but all that you are doing is conducting your own witch-hunting crusade. They are not violating your rights. Please leave them in peace.

    1. Thanks for the [sic] – I’ll fix that. As for the rest, if I lived next door to a church running a child pornography ring, I’d do the same. They’re not trying to keep any faith I recognise as Catholic or Christian, apart from the external appearance of the rites; I think they’ve confused the faith for a distortion of reality and they’re living that out in an evil way.

      A child pornography ring would not be violating my rights, but I would want to stop them and assist the police in keeping track of their illegal activities and providing evidence to them, as long as they are violating the rights of others. I will think of the SSPX as I would child pornographers, because to me they are morally and spiritually equivalent now that I’ve seen through their facade. Keeping the police informed of illegal activity is in no way “stalkerish” or harassing. Keeping my readers informed about the sinister goings on in a cult isn’t either.

      The SSPX worldwide has shown itself to be a despicable group of clergy, and real Catholics need to see this. Pope Francis called adolescent the priests who reacted to COVID the way the SSPX did. You may disagree. I’m sure they all disagree. I’m sure they all dislike what I’m doing and have come up with all sorts of negative words for it. I’ll pray for their repentance and conversion, and I’ll let people know about them. If they’re a joke, they need to be laughed at. I’ll leave it there. Thanks for having your say.

        • Patrick on March 22, 2021 at 4:01 pm

        Stephen, the tone of your response permeates with self-righteousness. It is so overwrought that you introduce a false analogy to defend your invasive behaviour. How can the right of the faithful to participate in and celebrate the Mass, a right that you seek to repress, be compared to the disgusting example that you mention? It is quite a leap of logic. Even if petty regulations suppressed public worship during the lockdowns, much of these petty and arbitrary regulations have been found to be irrational, disproportionate, heavy-handed and unconstitutional, by courts across the country. So even if you simplistically and sacredly rely on the law of the land to defend your actions, there is no unanimity about the legality, the propriety or efficiency of these restrictive regulations. Besides, the law of the land has been used for centuries to persecute and martyr Christians, beginning with our Lord in Jerusalem.
        What did you want the Church to do? Close its doors in perpetuity until there is zero risk of infection? And let down the souls of the faithful, who are in need of spiritual nourishment? We must be careful and adapt to protect ourselves and others, but we cannot hide away from the risks of life. You may not see the Church and Mass as essential. That is your personal prerogative. Preventing others from going to Church, though, is not your prerogative.
        Seeing you as you have introduced extreme and false analogies in your attempt to grasp at straws, let me introduce an analogy. You are like the informants in totalitarian societies who would betray their own family members to the authorities for the sake of their own ideological, self-indulgent satisfaction. Sounds familiar? Coming to our own religion, Christians at various junctures have had to face the malice of persecution and practise the Mass underground, to hide away from the prying snoopers who would make it their business to oppress the faith.

        1. It is really bizarre to think of lockdown as religious persecution. That’s an excuse made up by those who can’t see the relevance of “Love thy neighbour”. Or it’s because they are unable to tell the difference. The SSPX has had a persecution complex for decades. It’s perhaps their default position.

          Insistence on congregational singing, overcrowding – these are not the actions of rational people doing their bit to prevent the spread of a dangerous virus. Trying to have fake funerals is just a joke. This is the childish behaviour of spoilt brats who can’t get their own way. They COULD have stopped singing. That would have been very easy. I think their response to that regulation says more than enough about their moral code.

          Your other assumptions are false and are dismissed as nonsense.

          My final word to you – this was not religious persecution. This was a pandemic. Only fools can’t see that.

          • Marisa Snell on April 15, 2021 at 8:06 pm

          Good evening sir.

          The word of God urges us to obey the law of our land. Any home or workplace or church etc has rules. Rules are there for a reason and if we dont follow these rules we will be living in absolute chaos…as if this world is not chaotic enough…why…because we aw human beings think or act as if we above the law and above Gods word. Imagine us all just doing as we please during this pandemic…the lockdown and all closures that occured during this time may very well have saved ur life or the lives of your loved one’s…u dont know…i dont know…nobody knows…but what we do know is that lives were lost.
          Let me add…faith has got nothing to do attending church everyday or every week. Faith is believing in something u cannot see or touch…Faith is knowing and believing there is a higher power greater than anything we could ever comprehend. Whats the point in going to church every sunday preaching lies and listening and agreeing to lies. With God there is a right and wrong…no in between…no grey areas. What makes the sspx think that they are above the law.? Its pure arrogance…so if someone within the congregation contracts the virus and spreads it to the rest and they pass it on to their families who pass it on to who ever else…what will they say then…Its Gods will?
          God gives us his will but also leaves our will with us.
          There are so many ppl being brainwashed by church leaders…their Gods whom they worship….everything their leaders say is correct in their eyes…its like the bible says…they have eyes yet they cant see…ears but cant hear…
          At the end of the day covid is real…ppla lives are at risk and they have absolutely no respect for the lives of others…how can these.ppl be from God if they not obeying the commandment…love ur neighbour as u do yourself.
          God knows your heart and life whether u at church or not.
          Like stephen made an example of a child pornographer…let me add to that…this very child pornographer could very well be sitting next to u in church.
          “What did you want the Church to do? Close its doors in perpetuity until there is zero risk of infection? And let down the souls of the faithful, who are in need of spiritual nourishment”

          Yes thats exactlt what they should hqve done…close the doors…not use fake funerals in order to gather…thats not only breaking the law but also lying…so much for spiritual nourishment…so much for faithful souls.

      • Justin on May 9, 2021 at 8:27 am

      Thank you for your updates Stephen. This church seems to have been going unchecked for too long.

      I know people who have been sucked into the cult and it’s sad. I’ve heard all the conspiracy theories from them- COVID, holocaust denialism, 9-11 conspiracies together with their anti-semetic views of the evil Jews controlling the world economies- together with their hatred of the Pope. These are regularly preached. I’ve heard all the ‘women must be subservient’ nonsense coming from them as well.

      But… Correct me if I’m wrong- they seem to be a diminishing crowd. A few young families and many older folk. Perhaps this cult church will naturally die off in the next few years?

      PS. Isn’t it interesting that somebody who uses ‘Nunya Bizness’ as his pseudonym calls you a quisling coward?

      1. Thanks for the comments. The local SSPX are going unchecked, yes, and will continue to do so, unless someone louder than I am pays attention. A lot of people have been sucked in recently due to COVID. People who didn’t take COVID restrictions seriously, and who just wanted to go to Mass, and the SSPX advertised themselves as being open when the normal churches were respecting human life and limiting spread. I’m told the local SSPX congregation grew a fair bit. So I am not sure they’re diminishing. The young crowd is big, I think, and not just locally. What is diminishing is their relevance to the broader Church. They might not shrink away, but they’ll hopefully move closer to, or even beyond, the periphery. Then those who are serious Catholics will return, and those who are serious SSPXers will have left.

        ‘Nunya Bizness’ – I have a very good idea who she is, and her comment sums up her attitude well.

    • nunya bizness on March 22, 2021 at 7:39 am

    You strike me as a quisling coward.

    A worm who hides in the shadows and relies on the slithering of other worms around you to bear your weight when you deign raise your voice.

    A heretic and a liar.

    Your obsession with some traditionalist Catholic group (that you lie about in many places in your manic writings) surpasses stalker level. You need help. Probably medication, too. Please see a psychiatrist.

    1. It’s always fun to see the rabid side of religious fanatics. No substance, just insults. Thanks. You’re a prize. (As for the accusation about lying – please visit the SSPX in South Africa and you’ll see that I’m being truthful.)

      Rabid dog

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