Monday, December 29, 2014


I have discovered a new church in Miramar Beach-- St Anthony Mary Claret, just a few blocks down from the condo where I am staying.
It is housed in a building which was (as I guess) an office building, though the only name in any of the office complexes was that of the owner of the building.  Perhaps she is renting it out; perhaps she sold it.
This church evidently subsists on one celebration of the Eucharist per month:  that of the "traditional Latin Mass."  I deduce this both from the marquee in front of the building and from the website.  
Of course, I am jumping to conclusions here, but as a regular (if infrequent) visitor to this area, I question this chapel's existence.  After all, less than a 5 minute walk from there is Resurrection Catholic Church, which has been a mainstay of the area for decades.  Why was it necessary to establish a 2nd building when Pope Benedict's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum allows for the celebration of this older rite on a basis dictated only by the desire of the faithful?  Establishing a separate "chapel" smacks of schism, at least to me.  And this is unfortunate.
But it is true.
For this is indeed NOT under the aegis of the Catholic bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, and it is NOT a "Catholic" chapel in any full sense of the term.  It is part of the schismatic "Society of St Pius X,"  excommunicated by Pope John Paul II, and who refused to be reconciled even by the great overtures toward them by Pope Benedict XVI.
It is very sad.  But people who crave the "Latin Mass" should know that this is not a Catholic service in any full sense of that term.  This is because the "traditional Latin Mass," even though trumpeted as a major issue, is NOT the real issue for the Society of St Pius X--Vatican II (pretty well in toto) is.  This especially means their rejection of documents like those on ecumenism, on relations with the Jews, on religious liberty, and on encounter with the modern world.  It is why the concession of Pope Benedict to allow for the celebration of the "Tridentine Mass" went nowhere with them.  It was only the pseudo-issue for them.  People who support them so they can enjoy the Latin Mass of their childhood are supporting (and rejecting) much more than they think...
Stanley Kubrick's last (I think) film was titled "Eyes Wide Shut."  We cannot afford that luxury, within the Church or in our dealings with those outside the Church.


  1. It is interesting that, while you are on a brief respite from your parish duties, you were led to this experience. Once again, your unanticipated sleuthing clarified a truth for naive Catholic followers....

  2. In Britain they call their churches "catholic church". I think "Roman church" would be more accurate, as they are not universal but love the Latin Mass. Fortunately they only have one church here in Wales.