Bishop authorizes new Spanish and Latin Masses for Basilica

Bill Brewer News

Bishop Richard F. Stika, working with Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul rector Father David Carter, has authorized the addition of a Traditional Latin Mass to the Basilica’s regular Sunday Mass schedule on a weekly basis.

This Extraordinary Form Mass will be offered at 11:30 a.m. each Sunday. A monthly Latin Mass was introduced at the Basilica five years ago. The Basilica also is adding a Spanish Mass to its weekly celebrations. The Spanish Mass will be at 7 a.m. on Sundays.

The Basilica joins a growing list of Diocese of Knoxville churches that are now offering Extraordinary Form Masses.

Bishop Stika hopes the addition of the Extraordinary Form Mass will appeal to an increasing number of Latin Mass-goers who are looking for the traditional celebration. He also would like Chattanooga parishioners to know the diocese is diverse enough to meet their Mass needs.

Bishop Stika said Chattanooga Catholics should be aware that a Society of St. Pius X Mass and a Society of St. Pius X priest to celebrate that Mass is not approved by the Diocese of Knoxville.

“In recent months, some of the faithful in and around the Chattanooga area have become sympathetic to the positions of the Society of St. Pius X, and enough of them have expressed an interest in securing a Society of St. Pius X priest to ‘minister’ to them…” Bishop Stika said.

“I have not given my approval to any activity of the Society of St. Pius X in the Diocese of Knoxville. Communion with the Chair of Peter is a constitutive part of Roman Catholicism — something the Society of St. Pius X accepts in principle but rejects in practice. As Pope Benedict XVI said, the Society of St. Pius X has ‘no canonical status,’ ‘no legitimate ministry,’ and ‘has no faculties from any bishop, is not part of the divinely ordained hierarchical structure of the Church, and all its priests are suspended a divinis.”

“This (Basilica) Mass will be offered at 11:30 a.m. each Sunday as a ‘Missa Cantata’ or ‘Sung Mass.’ It is my earnest desire that this will answer the legitimate aspirations of the faithful and forestall anyone from defecting from full communion with the Church,” Bishop Stika added.