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In france we have quite a few churches from :

Basicaly Society of St. Pius X is an "Unofficial Catholic priestly society, whose members are not in full communion with the Church. Canonically Valid but illicit" (quote wikipedia)

I don't want to argue with people who are in it but basicaly it is a "catholic" demonination but on a map point of view not completely. (people looking for a catholic place will not necessarily want to go there and people looking for Society of St. Pius X cannot find them specifically.)

We have a few in France and some of them are under the denomination catholic, other have "Communauté Sacerdotale Saint-Pie X", 'SSPX' ...

It is not in

Should they be marked as catholic, should a standard denomination be created ?

Thanks !

asked 25 Sep '15, 12:35

Harold_'s gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Sep '15, 14:21

Circeus's gravatar image


First of all, catholic isn't a real denomination. There's a difference between Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Ethiopian Catholic, ... which are all a bit different, certainly when it comes to their administrative structure. However, "catholic" is used quite often in OSM, and should probably default to the type of Catholic most active in that country. So Roman Catholic for France.

That said, I hadn't heard of SSPX before. But as far as I can see, they don't follow the rule of the Roman Catholic pope, and that would mean they don't fall under the Roman Catholic denomination (which is a denomination with rather strict hierarchies, unlike many Protestant denominations).

So, while I have no objections against adding another denomination to the list, I don't see any SSPX or similar denomination on the map. It would be best to see which ones are present, and how many of those, in order to decide on which tag to use. And then document it in the wiki or put it to a vote.

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answered 25 Sep '15, 13:51

Sanderd17's gravatar image

accept rate: 31%

catholic isn't a real denomination

You are correct that there are many types of Catholic. But there are many places, and many languages/dialects, where "catholic" means "roman catholic" and hence, is a real denomination. For example: There are many countries in the Americas, but everyone knows what a person means when they say "American".

(06 Oct '15, 13:02) rorym

"catholic isn't a real denomination" is not accurate.

There is a denomination that is known as "Catholic" and that is the organization that is headed by the Pope, based at the Vatican, and including both Western and Eastern Catholic churches (and a few others). This organization includes Notre Dame Cathedral and other such churches in France as well as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Ethiopian Catholic Church, among others ( )

Because the Pope is in Rome, this organization (that the Ethopian Catholic Church is a part of) is sometimes called the "Roman Catholic Church". Eastern and other Catholics object to this because while they are part of the Pope organization, they follow a different liturgy not based upon Latin or the Roman Rite ( ) nor were many ever under the Roman Empire. They are not part of the Roman or Latin tradition of the Pope organization. They are not "Roman" they will say. They just are "in full communion" with the Roman pontiff.

(21 Oct '15, 05:07) Iloilo Wanderer

Complicating matters further, there are some groups who call themselves "catholic" but are not part of the Pope organization. The Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican tradition are one such group as are a number of independent "catholic" churches. These churches are part of the Catholic tradition but are not part of the Catholic denomination.

"Denomination" clearly means "an organization" and there is only one organization/denomination that is known as simply "The Catholic Church", the one headed by the Pope and that includes both Roman and Greek Catholics, among others. Others may have "catholic" in their name but are not part of "The Catholic" denomination (though they are part of the catholic tradition). Therefore they should not be labeled as denomination: catholic.

SSPX is an interesting case because they have one foot in and one foot out of the Pope organization. They have valid orders but it is not proper for Catholics to attend SSPX's sacraments per Catholic Church law. They are "valid but illicit".

(21 Oct '15, 05:07) Iloilo Wanderer

I think we should make "default" assumptions as little as possible, and try to make things explicit (obviously, I'm spitting into the wind on "catholic"), so I'd say go for it: use it as a denomination tag and add it to the denominations wiki page.

Although the abbreviation is used a lot on the linked wikipedia page, I'd recommend spelling out the name for the tag--there's a strong preference to NOT use acronyms in tagging.

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answered 25 Sep '15, 14:44

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

I have done a few researches.

They have a list of their churches here :

They have approximately 100 chapels in the US ( and 200 in France and are implemented world wide (

A few location I found :

In France : (well known place in France because it has been "occupied" by SSPX by force :

In the US :

In the UK :

Some editor have put operator SSPX but most elements I found had catholic or roman catholic

As for the relation with the Catholic church, it is a very specific one which cannot be answered by a simple answer. (they are sort of in but sort of out) I think a denomination tag should be created.

SSPX is an acronym widely used by members and people refering to them. I think sspx_catholic should be quite understandable for everyone (and has only short acronyms)

Should I just go forward ? (Wiki / elements ...)

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answered 26 Sep '15, 12:45

Harold_'s gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I think that a specific tag works best. I would prefer "sspx" but "sspx_catholic" would be OK as well. They are not really part of the Catholic Church in the sense that it is not OK for a Catholic to attend one of their masses. They are not in formal schism, but neither are they fully "in". It is likely that someone might to OpenStreetMap or any service that uses our info looking to attend mass somewhere and we should indicate that it is not a regular Catholic Church.

The OSM wiki ( ) says:

denomination=catholic: (use denomination=roman_catholic, denomination=greek_catholic, or other rite as appropriate, if known) Catholic Church (Wikipedia:Roman_Catholic_Church)

So there is one denomination (Catholic) but OSM says to use the denomination tag to differentiate between the different rites within the Catholic Church (Roman Catholic, Ethopian Catholic, etc.). We could treat SSPX in the same way, like a separate rite leaving aside for the moment whether it really is within the Catholic Church

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answered 21 Oct '15, 04:42

Iloilo%20Wanderer's gravatar image

Iloilo Wanderer
accept rate: 0%

edited 21 Oct '15, 05:22


please do not use abbreviations such as sspx. Write it out.

(21 Oct '15, 06:33) escada

@escada not a particularly useful suggestion, the long form is long, very long and the description is not very ambiguous (unlike highway=asl or amenity=atm for instance). There are plenty of precedents for using well-known abbreviations in tags, it is values where we want the full form.

(21 Oct '15, 10:12) SK53 ♦

Sorry but for a non-native English speaker sspx is as cryptic as any random character sequence. soc_st_pius_x is at least readable with some basic English knowledge, but apparently searching for sspx will point you to the correct website (if Google's search is not impacted by my visit to the page)

(21 Oct '15, 11:25) escada

+1 @escada. Also note that there are a number of other denominations widely known by their abbreviation (COGIC, LDS, UCC) that have a longer value for their denomination tag.

(21 Oct '15, 14:32) neuhausr

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question asked: 25 Sep '15, 12:35

question was seen: 3,918 times

last updated: 21 Oct '15, 14:32

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