Last week, after the tragic circumstances afflicting the students and others at Fisher-More College, Bishop Michael F. Olson requested a meeting with the pastor of the Dallas FSSP parish, which also has responsibility over the Sunday TLM in Fort Worth. Bishop Olson asked that an announcement be read at all the Dallas/Irving and Fort Worth TLMs, emphasizing his love and affection for our communities and giving us the assurance of his prayers for our well being – in Latin.
The greeting was very warm and indicated to me a marked pastoral concern for Catholics who love the traditional Mass. Certainly, it was not necessary that Bishop Olson express these kind words, and in other circumstances where TLMs have been peremptorily cancelled, episcopal follow-up has ranged from cold silence to continued, outward hostility.
I also got a little more input from some folks who knew Bishop Olson as rector of Dallas’ Holy Trinity Seminary, and they indicated that what I took to be perhaps a certain low-key opposition to the TLM was actually a welcome change from previous administrations and that then Fr. Olson had actually liberalized the ability of seminarians to assist at TLMs. In many dioceses it remains the sad, twisted fact that getting “caught” assisting at a TLM could be the end of a seminarian’s vocation. I understand that was the situation in Dallas not too long ago. But now seminarians are able to assist at the TLM at least semi-regularly openly. Obviously even that is far from ideal and there remains a strong bias or lingering suspicion towards the TLM (or, perhaps, TLM communities), but it is a significant advance.
The last para is hearsay so make of it what you will, but I can confirm that seminarians are able to avail of the Irving TLM at least periodically as their studies and other considerations permit. It would of course be most desirable for there to be a TLM at the seminary, but with prayer that day will come.
So, just a couple of data points, they probably won’t affect people’s attitudes towards this matter a whit, but there they are. I was particularly gratified to hear of the bishop’s statement of support and prayers, it’s the first time I can recall hearing such at a TLM parish. Some may dismiss this as just a meaningless PR gesture, and me a naive fool (I will not dispute the charge). It could be, but we’ll just have to see what the future brings.
Before I go for the weekend (and what a week it has been!), here is some disturbing polling data – that confirms many other recent polls – that anywhere from 50-60% of Americans now favor state recognition of so-called same-sex marriage, with those opposed falling in some polls down to only 1/3 or so of the population. We are plainly losing badly on this matter, even if individual polls tend to exaggerate the degree of support.
I agree with Father Michael Rodriguez, sodomite marriage will be the law of the land in these 50 states within a few years, at most, and this nightmare will be the vehicle of the persecution.
What is even more disturbing, is that this support may not be as much due to cultural pressure as I thought. There is a tendency in polling – which can be dramatically exaggerated by how questions are formed – to give what the respondent feels is the “correct” response. For example, people who answer a religious survey as to religious affiliation as Catholic, tend to overestimate their Church attendance by a factor of two – that is to say, 40% claim they assist at Mass weekly, when the real number is under 20%. But Catholics are expected to assist at Mass regularly, so people tend to give what they know is the expected answer – at least, good number of people do so.
So, if people think most others believe homo-marriage is preferred by others, they would tend to answer that they support it, even if they are waffling or unsure, because that is the expected “correct” answer. But further poll data actually shows Americans are pretty clueless on the degree of public support for this radical redefinition/destruction of marriage, so that bias may not be as significant as I once thought.
Nevertheless, there does remain heavy cultural pressure in favor of this state recognition of immorality as “marriage,” through films, music, TV, etc. This pressure is slowly converting people to a position that would have utterly mortified virtually every preceding generation of Christendom going back many, many centuries.
Bring on the persecution. It will open the doors of Heaven to many faithful, and will plant the seed of a glorious restoration of Christendom – provided we are not nearing the Parousia!
I’m out of time, have a blessed weekend.
Matthew VIII and ecumenism with Jews March 7, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
The Gospel for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday in the 1962 Missal (actually, mine is 1945, but the reading is the same) is from Chapter VIII of St. Matthew’s Gospel (verses 5-13). Towards the end, Our Blessed Lord says some things that would appear, to me, to contradict much of the modern “ecumenical” attitude in the Church, especially with regard to the Jews:
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this: Go, and he goeth; and to another: Come, and he cometh; and to my servant: Do this, and he doeth it.
And Jesus hearing this, marveled, and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
While this Gospel is normally taken as a glorious exegesis on faith, which it is of course is, this second half is also most significant. In it, Christ refers to the Gentiles being the prime recipients of the New Covenant, and prophesies the Jewish rejection of the same. There were certainly many Jewish converts to the early faith, and the Apostles were entirely Jewish in origin, but we also know from 2000 years of history that many Jews, and especially the Jewish religious establishment, rejected Christ’s Sacrifice, the life of Grace, and the entire New Covenant.
And, Our Blessed Lord seems to make clear that this rejection will result in their damnation. He refers specifically to the children of the present kingdom – the Old Covenant, the Jewish religious state, then under Roman domination, but formerly with their own kings – as being cast out for their refusal to accept Christ.
Unfortunately, the post-conciliar ecumenical movement, extending even to the very highest level of the Church in the form of the past several popes, routinely not just implies, but directly states, that the Old Covenant is somehow still operative and that Jews have their own “path to salvation” even while deliberately rejecting Christ – which many modern-day Jews make it a point to do. It is not true charity to leave people in error, to tell them their religious heritage, which they certainly hold dear, is somehow salvific. It reeks of universal salvation and indifferentism of a kind that would have shocked Catholics just a few decades ago.
Beyond this one quite, there are of course numerous portions of Sacred Scripture which would seem to directly contradict the underlying rationale for the entire ecumenical movement, especially that portion of the movement directed at non-Christians. This is just one small reference point. There are dozens of others.
But as we see abroad in the Church today, more and more, there are efforts to undermine if not obliterate Dogmas founded on an incredibly sure foundations of direct references from Scripture as well as 2000 years of Tradition. The Church in Germanic speaking countries is just about totally run amok, with bishops claiming fornication is no longer a sin, that contraception use is morally acceptable (in spite of direct statements claiming this use is mortally sinful going back to the very, very earliest Church – and before), and of course that maybe bigamy is OK, and go ahead and present for the Blessed Sacrament while you remain married to two people, at least in God’s eyes.
To the extent that the Holy Father seems to be at least toying with some of these notions, as well, it is certainly scandalous and profoundly unnerving to faithful Catholics. I don’t have a big point with this post, other than to relate that I was struck by this seeming condemnation in advance of the modern ecumenical movement by Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was always very direct and plain with regard to salvation: either you accept Him as Son of God, observe the commandments, and practice virtue in cooperation with Grace, or you will not be saved. You will suffer eternal torments in hell.
It is amazing that there are people in the Church – uneducated or educated to the point of imbecility, I know not – that appear to have utterly forgotten their Scripture. Or, they are simply so overwhelmingly influenced by the world and its errors that they have grown cold in the Faith.
Difficult times, to be certain. I can only advise more prayer and penance, for ourselves and our Holy Mother Church.
Two more Texas abortion mills close March 6, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Victory.
Good news. HB2, while far from perfect, is working. Two more Texas abortion mills have closed. I have a feeling one more mill in the DFW area will have to close before too long. The requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles is proving too difficult for many of these “doctors” (most of whom are abortionists due to past legal/substance abuse/other problems that basically removed their ability to practice respectable aspects of medicine) to obtain.
Two more Texas abortions clinics are closing because of new restrictions placed on the facilities by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Ten clinics have already closed because of a new law, which strictly limits where, when, how and from whom women can obtain abortions. [Well, if by "strictly limit," you mean, "finally requires abortionists to meet minimal health and safety standards other surgical centers have long had to meet," then OK]
Amy Hagstrom Mill owns the Whole Woman’s Health Clinic. She said Thursday that Republican lawmakers have made it impossible to keep her clinics open in Beaumont and McAllen.
The McAllen clinic is the last in the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas, while the Beaumont clinic is the only one between Houston and the Louisiana border. [Awww, too bad, baby murder is not so convenient]
Abortion rights groups are challenging the law in court, arguing it has no medical basis. One of the law’s provisions requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. [Given how frequently women require emergency medical assistance after botched abortions, this is a highly charitable, if absolutely minimal, requirement]
I know some folks who say that even laws like HB2 cannot really be supported, because they leave the grave evils of abortion and contraception in place. Some feel the ONLY acceptable laws that can be fully supported are those that would make abortion and contraception completely illegal again.
Such would, of course, be wonderful, but they are wildly unreasonable in the present environment. That doesn’t mean we can’t continue to note that these laws are faulty, that as much good as they accomplish, they still keep a barbaric, immoral act legal. However, they are very significant steps in getting us where we want to be, which is a nation with zero abortions and no contraception use, and they measurably decrease the availability of baby-murder, at least.
And we should of course continue reminding all those opposed to abortion, including many Catholics and most all protestants, that so long as contraception remains legal and widespread, we’ll never be rid of legalized abortion. Contraception is the foundation upon which abortion is built, and creates the very “need” for the vast majority of abortions, in the first place, as our very own Supreme Court has recognized.
I pray this law is not overturned, it is doing a great deal of good. We pray outside mills regularly, and we know women are keeping their children because abortion is not so readily available as it was just a few months ago.
Thanks to reader SB for the hat tip!
I wasn’t going to cover this kind of thing very much (if at all) over Lent, but it is absolutely exploding in the secular media (which is how I found it, I was browsing for some secular news, and this is what I see. I’m going to cry). Pope Francis gave another of his famous “wide-ranging” interviews, and hinted that the Church might be OK with civil unions for same-sex couples. So much for a sin that “cries out to Heaven for vengeance:”
Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with “much mercy.”
Pope Francis’ words appeared in an interview published March 5 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera…..
……..”Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pope said, but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” [It is almost a cliche' among Catholic progressives to suborn doctrine in favor of ostensibly more "pastoral" solutions, solutions that always tend towards materialist concerns. Is this what the Pope is doing?] Asked to what extent the church could understand this trend, he replied: “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.” [Doctrine is clear. Christ spoke in terms of black and white. The devil loves shades of grey. In practice, "looking at diverse cases and evaluating them" has involved a whole lot of grey]
In the interview, Pope Francis praised Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which prohibited the use of contraception.
In contradicting contemporary pressures for population control, Pope Paul’s “genius was prophetic, he had the courage to side against the majority, defend moral discipline, put a brake on the culture, oppose neo-Malthusianism, present and future,” Pope Francis said.
But he also noted that Pope Paul had instructed confessors to interpret his encyclical with “much mercy, attention to concrete situations.”
“The question is not whether to change the doctrine, but to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do,” Pope Francis said. [To, in effect, absolutely neuter the doctrine by giving carte blanche in "pastoral" situations? Has this not been the practice in most of the Church since Humanae Vitae was released, and has that not led to mass apostasy from a formally defined doctrine? Contraception is an intrinsic evil. You either use it or you don't. What "pastoral situations" can there be that would permit the use of contraception?]
The pope said birth control, like the predicament of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, [How is sin a "predicament" for the Church? The Church has been healing souls for two millenia. Sin only becomes a predicament when we don't want to call it sin anymore] would be a topic of discussion at the Vatican in October at an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. [I dread this synod more and more.] He said the synod would approach all such problems “in the light of profound reflection,” rather than casuistry, which he described as a superficial, pharisaical theology focused exclusively on particular cases. [In other words, a theology hung up on "rules"......does Pope Francis consider St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, "pharasaical?" ]
The pope said he had welcomed the “intense discussion” at a February gathering of cardinals, where German Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a talk suggesting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics might sometimes be allowed to receive Communion even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.
And Pope Francis heaped great lauds on Kasper both during and after this gathering.
Wow. I know people will say “nothing’s happened yet,” and “it’s just an interview,” but so much of what we’re seeing from this pope confirms time and time again that he plans on enacting – or is at least very favorable to – those items the progressives really wanted in Vatican II but could not get. It’s a veritable laundry list of progressive dreams for a notional “Vatican III.” I’m sure I’ll hear I need to calm down (and perhaps I do), but I’m actually feeling quite dispassionate at the moment. It’s not like this is the first time the Pope has made statements that cause Catholic hearts to palpitate. I’m just reviewing very public statements dating back nearly a year.
As if we needed more motivation for this Lent, but this Synod is shaping up as the most critical, pivotal event in the history of the Church since the Council. We must do penance for all those lost in sin. And for the good of our Church, and for our own sins and failings that have brought us this leadership in the Church we apparently deserve.
Belgian King signs child euthanasia bill into law March 5, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
How long before the sexular pagans have altars of sacrifice set up to burn children to death? That is, after all, what their satanic “god” ultimately wants. Of course, he already gets that in abortion, so maybe such visible demonstrations are passe’. Still, God put a need for worship in man’s heart, but modern paganism has rejected God and seems headed towards truly perverse forms of diabolical worship. I cannot but see the below as yet another step in this process of moral and spiritual degradation.
I blogged about the legislation passed in Belgium a short while back, legalizing euthanasia for children. In a supposed act of mercy (how perverse understanding of the virtues has become!), this bill requires the children to agree to their being killed! Can you imagine! My little boy has been very sick for the past week, and at times he became afraid because he did not know how much more sick he would become, or even if he would die. He was so sweet if sad and scared……and yet now parents are going to “ease the suffering” of their children (or is it themselves?) by asking them to die!
All hinged on the King of the Belgians. There was hope he would be as stout-hearted as his uncle, who resigned his monarchy rather than sign a pro-abortion bill. It was not to be. The King duly signed, and children can now be murdered in hospitals across Belgium.
Good Lord, it makes me sick:
The head of state has completely fulfilled his constitutional role despite various pressures.
King Philippe signed the law this Sunday on the extension of euthanasia to minors. This was the final act expected in the tracking process of the law since its adoption by the House, two weeks having elapsed after having been in the Senate. [that means this was the last act needed to promulgate the law]
There’s more, including an international petition signed by over 200,000 asking the king to refuse to sign, but obviously it was all for naught.
And so now we have yet another via media for the slaughter of the innocents. At least these children have a chance to be baptized, not that many in Belgium do that anymore.
And the sinking of the ship that was western culture accelerates a little bit more. A few of us are scrambling with buckets to bail the thing out, but we are so few, and the maddened masses continuing to pull out the hull cocks are so many.
What’s going on in Syracuse? March 4, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
This is a bit far afield from Dallas, but being your intrepid reporter on all things Catholic (that happen to interest me), and knowing how wrecked virtually every upstate New York diocese has been by rampantly ideological progressive dominance over the past 40 odd years, I thought the following two items relevant.
First, two Catholic churches in Syracuse are bringing in a transgendered person to talk about their confused and destructive (not to mention, appalling to God) lifestyle:
Two Syracuse Catholic Churches are hosting a series of talks on what it’s like to be transgender.
The series of events highlighting what it’s like to be transgender is sponsored by All Saints Catholic Church and St. Lucy’s Catholic Church.
It was organized by the All Saints LGBT Task Force and volunteers from Family Allies for Trans Equality in New York State.
The next event is March 4. “Voices From The Journey: Hearing From Transgender Persons.” That will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and repeated the same day from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
This is only part of the list of talks. There are day long workshops, all intended to normalize a severe perversion/mental disorder and undermine Catholic Doctrine. These conferences are invariably heavy on emotion and short on reason, and try to win support from Catholics (or, it looks like, Katholycs) for both opposition to that Doctrine and in support of insupportable immorality.
Leaving aside Church Doctrine and the offense such folks give to God (see both Old and New Testament), the life outcomes for transgender types are horrific. Even in this unceasingly “tolerant” age, where virtually every kink is approved of and given cultural support on a wide scale, trans-types have nightmarish rates of suicide, substance abuse, self-mutilation, chronic depression, etc. This lifestyle is so fundamentally disordered that to be a trans is to shorten one’s lifespan, on average, by over 40 years. Some try to claim this is due to lingering cultural oppression, but please…..does this series of talks – during LENT, of all times – indicate repression?
What it does indicate is that the Diocese of Syracuse has serious, serious problems. I have to ask, where is the bishop? How can he tolerate not only these talks, but the presence of doctrine-rejecting, division-inducing groups like “ LGBT Task Force and volunteers from Family Allies for Trans Equality?” We have seen in this Diocese of Dallas that these alleged homosexual support groups almost invariably depart from Church Doctrine and become advocates for radical notions of sodom/gomorrah “rights,” undermining the sensus fidei of the faithful and harming the entire Body of Christ.
Reading any number of books, from Rite of Sodomy to Ungodly Rage to Goodbye, Good Men will reveal to any even remotely faithful Catholic that these pro-homosex groups are virtually unanimously irreconcilable with the Faith. And yet a group that is truly dedicated to the good of souls and aiding those with same-sex attraction to living a chaste, virtuous life are ignored and reviled, in spite of the enormous good they do.
But it’s not just in the parishes. A Katholyc college within the Diocese of Syracuse is planning a “drag show,” again during Lent, on campus:
Unfortunately, the “smoke of Satan” is spreading on Catholic campuses. This time Catholic Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, is planning its second annual “drag show” on March 10 in the Grewen Auditorium.
The lewd event flatly undermines moral values and is being promoted on the college’s web site as a “fun event for everyone! Learn about drag culture ettiquet [sic], enter prize raffles, and dance!”
An advertisement for the event attacks human nature by displaying a human face that is a mixture of male and female. Here is the inappropriate tweet promoting the pro-homosexual show.
The “show” is promoted by a group on campus called “Creating Awareness & Reaching Equality.” The same group supports same-sex “marriage” and other sins that violate Catholic moral teaching.
Naturally, this is a college in the “Jesuit” tradition. What will they do when there are no more Jesuits to have a “tradition?”
So this college can get away with promoting decadent, sinful filth, and it’s scot free! But a traditional Catholic college may start to drift a bit in things traditional, and it’s crush, crush them! The hypocrisy is stultifying.
I’d say Bishop Robert Cunningham has some ‘splaining to do. But the entire Church in upstate New York has become diabolically disoriented under the influence of the almost certainly active homosexual, but now thankfully retired, Bishops Matthew Clark and Howard Hubbard. There were numerous instances of priest boy-rape in upstate New York. These things tend to go together: support for the homosexual agenda, and boy-rape scandals.
The Church is upstate New York, once a glorious pillar, is now a fallen down wreck. Vocations are pathetically low (by deliberate intent), parishes are closed, the percentage of Catholics in the population continues to plummet, the few remaining faithful souls are isolated and persecuted, and sin abounds.
But where sin abounds, Grace abounds the more, so let us pray for the conversion and reconstitution of the Church in upstate New York, and for the the conversion of Bishop Cunningham.
You can sign a petition opposing the drag horror show here.
Disney pressures Boy Scouts to have sodo-scoutmasters March 4, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
Disney Corporation, whatever it used to be, is now an open and avowed agent of the culture of death and evil, generally. The trail of destruction that follows virtually all young Disney stars should be enough to tell us there is something gravely immoral at play in that giant corporation.
As part of their continuing efforts to advance radical cultural change and the destruction of the traditional family (does Disney have research that shows that kids in single-parent or other non-traditional homes tends to watch more?), Walt Disney World has told the Boy Scouts of America- which organization jumped the shark last year in admitting openly homosexual scouts – to start admitting sodomy loving scoutmasters by 2015 or lose funding:
Walt Disney World has decided it will stop funding the local Boy Scouts of America chapter beginning next year unless the childhood group allows open homosexuals to serve as Scoutmasters.
The Disney corporation said the BSA violates its non-discrimination policy. Disney World’s VoluntEARS program allows employees to trade volunteer work for donations to a charity of their choice. But the scouts will no longer be eligible for these funds……
……Homosexual groups said the decision is a sign of their growing influence in the culture, especially in the realm of children’s entertainment [Think about that. A local priest says he knows our culture is dead when the men won't stand up to fight against sodomites redefining marriage and - their ultimate goal? - gaining influence over our children. If we won't fight against that, and I mean hard, what will we fight against?]
I think anyone with a smidgen of a brain knew that the Boy Scouts halfway embrace of the perverse culture by permitting homosexual-claiming youth wouldn’t last any length of time at all. The corporate powers that be, who play an instrumental role in advancing radical perversion in our culture, will not allow it. The Boy Scouts could have stood strong and been willing to suffer the consequences of remaining true to the dictates of Christ, but they chose to cave into the world. The first time is hardest, after that, it becomes easier and easier, until it becomes a habit.
For a good Catholic alternative to the Boy Scouts, consider the Troops of St. George.
More notes on Fisher-More and comments back on March 4, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, sadness, scandals, self-serving, the return, Tradition.
I am truly sorry I had to disable comments on the two Fisher-More posts yesterday, but some tempers were getting hot and I simply cannot monitor comments in the evening/nighttime. I didn’t like to do it, but I did not think I could just leave comments wide open, because I had a fair number I had to delete or edit.
I had a long conversation with some people very familiar with Fisher-More last night. It was very helpful, and I thank the kind souls for their time.
Unfortunately, much of what they told me – as so much of what I’ve heard before – was in confidence, so I have to be deliberately vague. I can say that this conversation only reinforced in my mind the grave situation at Fisher-More and the moral/ethical problems of the college’s president. His behavior is inexplicable, a true “Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” situation.
There are some details I feel I can share. The first of these is that the present student body at Fisher-More College consists of 25 students, which correlates exactly with what I was saying yesterday. Due to sagging morale surrounding all the internal strife on campus (a campus which consists of one building where some of the administration/faculty actually live, creating almost a pressure-cooker type environment due to close and constant proximity), many students stopped assisting at Daily Mass some time ago. Some of the students don’t have a particular attraction to the TLM, anyway. The situation became so grave the administration actually compelled the students to assist at some of the daily devotions and Mass.
But given that there are only 25 students, and a good number of those either have the means of assisting at Mass elsewhere, or aren’t particularly interested in assisting at daily TLMs at present, the number of souls truly afflicted by this ban by Bishop Olsen is in the range of 8-12. There remains an enormous principle involved, about which more later, but I think it important to have an understanding of the scope of the matter. I think it is a tragedy and a sin against charity whenever a reasonably attended TLM is closed by a bishop/religious superior for ulterior motives, as seems to be the case here. But it needs to be recognized that the “community” affected here was truly small.
On a related note, and this is truly key, there has been no priest available to regularly offer the TLM at Fisher-More, anyways, since the Fathers of Mercy departed. There has not been a TLM for going on to near two weeks, at present. I do not know of any locally available priests who would be able/willing to offer the TLM at Fisher-More. I am unaware of any diocesan priests in Fort Worth that can offer the TLM. So, even without the ban, the TLM at Fisher-More was in a difficult situation.
But about Bishop Olson. I have received some input that suggests he might have some overall antipathy towards the TLM, based on his previous record at a local seminary. I really cannot say very much, here, and I hope you understand, but there is some evidence that his view of the TLM might be one of tolerance, at best, and certainly not one of support. We probably knew that already.
While the bishop’s options were quite limited, I do fear this action could be part of an emerging paradigm to crush traditional criticism of the Council by denying the TLM to groups that engage in such criticism. Since the TLM is the heart of traditional Catholic life, removing it from an organization may prove an effective way to kill both the offending organization and the criticism itself. But there are so many factors in play, it’s difficult for me to say definitively whether this particular action is part of a trend, or just a terribly unfortunate outlier.
As for the rest of what I had confirmed (for I had understood much of what was discussed already, but the conversations simply helped fill in many details) last night, it’s really difficult to go into in any detail. I can say that there was a rapid and pretty severe new orientation towards a very negative view of controversial aspects of Vatican II. These are views I may have some sympathy towards, but they were expressed in particularly harsh, condemnatory, and final ways. There was also the prospect of developing a relationship with canonically irregular groups as a sort of new direction for the college.
All in all, there are a great many broken hearts. It seemed as if Fisher-More were really about to take off a couple of years ago, but that dream seems pretty remote, now. About half the student body left at the fall-spring break this year. More plan to leave. Some of these who are leaving have no other collegiate options, but they cannot continue in the unhealthy, scandalous environment present at Fisher-More. Some very long time faculty/administration have left, as well. There is constant turnover in the board. There is a great deal of anger and upset, and the whole environment of the college seems almost irretrievably poisoned.
Oh, one more thing I can confirm, Fr. Gruner was at Fisher-More, he did offer Mass, but it was apparently a private Mass. So there you go.
Again, as I said in the first post yesterday, while I have been amazed at the passion this matter involving a tiny Catholic college has aroused, this is not a hill I’m going to die on. If you feel passionately that Bishop Olson took this action simply out of hatred for the TLM, be my guest. I’m not entirely convinced of that, but who knows? It could be true.
I do plan on this being my last post on the matter, and comments will be monitored closely. It is past time to shift gears towards Lent.
More on Fisher-More – UPDATED March 3, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
Heh. Love that lede.
These tidbits include some comments from priests close to the situation, to which I will add comments:
A priest friend forwarded information from HIS priest friend in Dallas. Thus, I will edit a great deal and use bullet points. These things either happened or they didn’t and can be verified one way or another:
- In May a prof of FMC (Fisher More College) gave a talk and denied aspects of Vatican II [To my knowledge, this has occurred more than just once. And by denied,you could take that to mean repudiated or claimed as heretical various aspects.....]
- The FSSP priests withdrew their services at FMC some time ago. [True. Issues 1 and 2 are not unrelated]
- Taylor Marshall, married with several children, resigned his job at FMC without another job. [Ditto]
- At Thanksgiving, 2013, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, the suspended Fatima Priest, said Mass at FMC. [Not sure on this, would not be surprised, not that I have a huge problem with Fr. Gruner, but he is suspended at present]
- These things took place when the Diocese of Fort Worth was vacant.
- “This is NOT about hatred for the TLM.” [I think this is the key]
I think I can say with assurance that this last bit is their honest opinion. These priests saw the direction rhetoric regarding aspects of the recent Council was headed and had to terminate their relationship. I’m not sure who is offering Mass there, now, the Fathers of Mercy pulled out as well.
I had thought – but I could be wrong, because I cannot recall where I learned this – that TLMs were getting infrequent at Fisher-More due to lack of priests to offer them. Or at least that they were not as regular as before. Or maybe they got a retired priest to offer them? It would be great if a commenter could fill in on this.
The priests in question are ones you are accustomed to hearing on AudioSancto (or used to be, in one case). So, these are men who have sacrificed a great deal to bring the glorious TLM to others and who aren’t exactly apologists for the revolution against the Church.
I know it looks bad. Re-reading that letter from Bishop Olson a few times……..well, I pray its tone and even parts of the content are a factor of his being a new bishop, and not reflective of how he’s going to administer the Diocese of Fort Worth. It was very impolitic. It was wide-open to a very negative interpretation – which perhaps it intended to convey. It reeked of the kind of harshness progressives have loved to use against faithful Catholics.
So, it could be Olson is an “enemy” of Tradition and the Traditional Latin Mass, but I would just caution folks, again, to perhaps wait until more data becomes available before reaching that conclusion. All those – let me repeat, ALL those – I know who are truly close to the situation are saying this is not about hatred for the TLM, but about a traditional university that has gone too far into what one commenter termed “Toxic Tradition.”
In practical terms, this matter will probably be moot in a matter of months, anyways. The college has been mismanaged to a degree that is almost certainly irrevocable. And as I said in the comments, there aren’t more than a couple dozen on-campus students at present. Hundreds are not being affected here. That doesn’t lessen the impact on these souls, nor detract from the principle involved, but we should understand this is not like the ongoing FFI situation where a vibrant, growing order was viciously crushed. I say this as one who really wanted this to be a good local alternative for my children, but it just doesn’t seem possible under the present leadership.
UPDATE: I had an update, but it now appears questionable. There is a lot of confusing info out there. It is amazing how much passion there is about this college that doesn’t even have 25 students.
Thanks, I’d rather send my kids to UT.