Society of St Pius X


I am a former member of the laity who attended Masses offered by the breakaway Catholic group, the Society of St Pius X (SSPX). This group has been established in Ireland since the 1980s. My family started attending their chapels when I was a child. I left the Society many years ago and now I look back and believe that this group is a cult or has cultic tendencies. My understanding of a cult or high demand group is that it is not defined by belief but by behaviour, that behaviour being undue influence and control over other people’s lives. It is possible that the Society of St Pius X was initially set up with good intentions but quickly became a high demand group with cultic characteristics. I wish to highlight what attracts well-meaning Catholics to this group and the control that is then exercised over many aspects of their lives. I also wish to highlight the need for a greater understanding of cultic issues and groups in Ireland by the Irish Government. There is a great need for a State funded body to provide support and advice to cult survivors, to investigate high demand cultic groups, to provide education about this topic to the general public. The Government has done great work in passing legislation making coercive control in personal relationships a crime that can be tried in court. Coercive control exercised by cultic groups must also be addressed.

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