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More on Fisher-More – UPDATED March 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
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Heh.  Love that lede.

Anyway, Fr. Z had some important tidbits regarding the situation at Fisher-More, which has certainly been the topic de jure.

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.

How orthodox young priests are broken, part deux March 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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I related in a previous post how liturgical abuse and assignments with liberal pastor overseers are used to help break priests of their orthodoxy.  But even more frighteningly, a subsequent chapter describes the use of psychological torture and even brainwashing to break the wills and intellects of orthodox young priest aspirants.  Some very well known and orthodox priests even likened the seminary system in the United States – at least as it existed 10 or so years ago (it has improved, but not that much) – to the satanic Soviet system of GULAGs and general communist totalitarianism. That might seem an overstatement, but wait until you read below, and, also, consider that many of these seminary overlords are far, far leftwing.  The Left has shown repeatedly that it views dissent from its religious orthodoxy as something akin to a mental disorder – we see that hear in this country, and the Soviets literally institutionalized those who opposed the nightmares of the “perfect” communist state.

From chapter 7 of Goodbye, Good men, Go see the Shrink!

Father Perry Amos [not his real name] of the Diocese of Austin put it this way: “One of the classic dynamics at the seminary was that the young, and hence in some ways immature, orthodox seminarian, hammered from all sides by a system inimical to his faith, his sexuality, and his sense of mature human behavior, would be worn down to the point of ‘striking back.’ If necessary, this pressure could also be increased by advisers, faculty evaluations, etc., especially when thy attempted to rearrange or force the manifestation of a candidate’s conscience. Once you ‘struck back’ you were dead. You were ‘insubordinate,’ ‘had problems with authority figures, or were ‘rigid.’  [Apparently, being “rigid” is the worst possible sin a seminarian can commit.  It means being faithful to the Magisterium, and we can’t have that! It will ruin our glorious proletarian revolution!]  It was sobering at the time to realize how closely the dynamic paralleled the brain-washing strategies of the communist re-education camps. Even the connotations of the terms ‘rigid,’ ‘pre-conciliar,’ ‘anti-community,’ resonated with communist terms like ‘capitalist,’ bourgeois,’ and ‘anti-democratic.'”  [I prefer the term ‘running dog lackeys’]

Father John Trigilio [A very orthodox priest and host of my favorite EWTN show, ever, “Web of Faith.”  It helped me a lot during my conversion]  of the Harrisburg diocese made the same comparison: “The one book that helped me persevere through my twelve years of seminary,” he said, “was Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. [I have read this masterpiece. Everyone should. It reveals to its naked core the enormous, diabolical evil that is communism.  That Trigilio, a priest I respect, should make this comparison to Catholic seminaries…..it is beyond disturbing. Heaven help us.  But as he goes on in his description, it is plain he is not exaggerating] His imprisonment and constant surveillance was in many ways identical to my seminary life, in which cultural revolutionaries sought to ‘rehabilitate’ the orthodox into becoming full-fledged party members of the new dissidence. As in the former USSR, if you opposed the ‘party-line,’ which in the case of the seminary was their particular brand of heterodoxy, then you wre labeled as mentally u nfit and kept under close scrutiny ‘for your own safety.’ The mind games, spying, and hidden agendas as well as the vast bureaucracy of the KGB was cloned in seminaries across America.”

“Fellow seminarians spy on one another; blackmail, intimidation, slander, threats, and even violence are employed to protect the status quo. Quote the Pope and you are an archconservative, John Birch, KKK, neo-nazi, etc. Quote Gore Vidal and you are an intellectual Renaissance man.”  [There seems to be a corollary between the methods of surveillance and repression reported here, and traits commonly associated with a certain, currently very en vogue sexual deviancy. But given that so many of that kind ruled so many seminaries, that would make sense.]

I actually saw vocations tortured and killed by those who were supposedly there to promote and foster vocations.” What Trigilio witnessed, he said, can only be described as ” a real persecution and systematic extermination of orthodoxy and manly piety so as to artificially create a climate for married and women clergy.”  [I tell you, I find the words chosen by Fr. Trigilio chilling. “Tortured,” “killed,” “systematic extermination.”  These are the kinds of words we normally see when reading about horrid evils like genocide or “ethnic cleansing.”  Instead, they are being applied to what has occurred to thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of hopeful, pious young Catholic men who only wanted to serve God in His Holy Church!  It is unthinkable that such a state could exist!  And yet I respect Fr. Trigilio a great deal, so I am inclined to accept his assessment at face value.]

———–End Quote———-

Amazing. Diabolical.  Two things pop to mind that I frequently come back to: one, that public heresy is invariably driven by private (or not so private) sin, and, two, that there are no limits to the depths of depravity to which one can sink when you cut God our of your life, or reject His Law and lead a life devoid of Grace.  It appears both were dominant in most seminaries for decades.

Incredible stuff. What a day.  More comments and views than ever, not sure how it happened!  But I’m so glad to know you all love, me, you really, really love me!

I feel like Sally Field!


How orthodox young priests are broken, pt. 1 March 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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I was reading some more in Goodbye, Good Men over the weekend, and I read some accounts of persecution of orthodox young men in seminaries that correlated closely to some of my own experience.  In particular, it seems common to assign orthodox young priests to parishes that have more liberal pastors.   According to Goodbye, Good Men, this process is widespread and starts at the beginning of seminary formation:

One priest says of his seminary days: “It seems like they wanted to break us of any ‘romantic notions’ we may have had of how Mass ought to be offered.”  And, he observed, this continues after ordination when, it seems, young orthodox priests are placed in parishes with liberal pastors who still fancy 1970s-style liturgical experimentation.  [I’ve certainly seen that here locally. More than one – several, in fact – orthodox young priests seem to invariably wind up being assigned to the same parishes with well-earned reputations for liberalism, sometimes extreme.  They rarely seem to be assigned to those parishes with reputations for orthodoxy, although it does happen occasionally.  Coincidence?]

“Another sad part of the formation staff,” said a former student of Mundelein seminary in Chicago, “is their constant scrutiny over how we pray. If a student bows before Communion, it is filed against him as ‘an obsession with the Real Presence.’  Since we don’t kneel at the Consecration, [another former seminarian related that at Mundelein in the 90s, faculty prohibited the seminarians from kneeling during the Consecration or receiving the Blessed Sacrament on the tongue. That is some sick repression]  anyone who chooses to kneel after Communion is observed and remembered.  Outward acts of piety are usually challenged.  Often, the formation faculty equates piety with rigidity, always followed by an analysis of repressed sexual problems.”  [Problems which in reality do not exist.  But as I will show in the following post, psychological “counseling,” or, in reality, mind-bending brainwashing and mental persecution, is a common form of punishment for the orthodox in seminaries, or at least used to be.  I think it’s still extant, just more low key now]

[Another man who was ordained for the Diocese of Pittsburgh noted]: “There are always ways to break the orthodox young man,” he explained: “for instance, if he has a spiritual year or a pastoral year serving in a parish, he may well be assigned to a pastor who is very liberal and consequently abuses the Liturgy.  Even if he gets ordained the process continues; he may continue to be assigned only to serve liberal pastors until he has forgotten any liturgical ideals, i.e., legitimate practices, he may have had about the Liturgy he may have originally wanted to follow.”

———End Quote———-

I had actually wondered to myself for quite some time whether this phenomenon was just in my head or if it was real.  I would see that various young priests seemed to wind up in very similar places, almost invariably.  I tended to doubt assigning young priests was done scientifically, but I didn’t know if maybe I was reading something into the situation due to my own biases.  It seems that I was right all along.

This was written over 10 years ago, and I keep hearing, apocryphally, that things are “better.”  I pray they truly are.

Fisher-More denied ability to offer TLM March 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, sadness, scandals, self-serving, SSPX.
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Some commenters already brought this up in another post, but Rorate has a screaming headline concerning Fisher-More College in Ft. Worth, and some decision by the Diocese of Fort Worth to deny Fisher-More the ability to have the Traditional Latin Mass on campus.

You guys know how much I respect Rorate.  But I think in this case their zeal for the TLM, and perhaps a less than full understanding of the situation, may have skewed their coverage a bit.

As commenter Skeinster noted, there are problems at Fisher-More.  Problems so severe, I privately regretted having supported their fundraising drive last fall (I had heard inklings at the time I gave that support, but came to know much, much more shortly thereafter).

A lot of people who live outside Texas, and even many within the state who reside outside the Metroplex, do not know how close together Dallas and Fort Worth are.  It’s only about a half hour drive from downtown Dallas to downtown Fort Worth.  As such, our local Traditional Latin Mass community shares a lot of people between the two cities.  And, the priests of our FSSP parish provide a TLM in the Fort Worth Diocese on Sundays.  Some priests from our parish have taught classes at Fisher-More.

But they have stopped doing so.  In fact, many long-time faculty have left Fisher-More.  This is not solely related to their financial woes.  In fact, it has to do with really severe problems with the college’s administration, and in particular, the college president Michael King referenced.

I know many exceedingly good traditional Catholic families who have (or, I should stress, had) children at Fisher-More.  I know some folks who have taught there. I know some who are still employed there.  All are unfailingly stalwart supporters of the great Tradition of our Faith and all recognize the hideous crisis now afflicting the Church.  But many – most – have increasingly grave concerns regarding Fisher-More and especially the direction Michael King is taking the college.  Well-known traditional Catholic academic Taylor Marshall left Fisher-More last summer over these same concerns.

These concerns center on Mr. King taking an increasingly severe stand regarding the Council and the changes that have occurred in the Church in the past 50 years.  I am not privy to all the details – perhaps some of those who are could chime in – but the level of excoriation for the Church and Her leaders has reached a state that even many good, traditional Catholics are scandalized by the rhetoric.   And, from what I have been told by many, no dissent from Mr. King’s “direction” is tolerated. Those that voice doubts or express concerns are dismissed, virtually on the spot.  This applies to both faculty and staff. As such, the college has lost many longtime faculty and administrators and even the college’s founder has been sidelined. Again, I have had all this confirmed to me by numerous sources.  Many students – very solid, traditional Catholic students – have left the university as it seems to be heading towards such extremism the students fear scandal if they continue their studies.

In addition, many parents feel that they are being told one story by the administration (Mr. King), but that the reality is something quite different.  Many parents feel misled.

I’m not saying Bishop Olson’s solution is fully appropriate or justifiable.  It seems severe.  And naturally, it was aimed at the TLM. If this was absolutely necessary and the ONLY way Bishop Olson thought he could solve the problems at Fisher-More, he should have explained why his action in that regard was uniquely necessary. He should also explained under what authority he, as a bishop, managed to undo a papal act liberalizing the availability of the TLM.  Bishop Olson has now caused some degree of scandal among the faithful, who feel their rights trampled upon.

After Bishop Vann departed, the vicar general of Fort Worth had already restricted the TLM at Fisher-More.  It could be Bishop Olson followed the recommendations of his staff, some of which probably aren’t too fond of having a traditional Catholic college in their diocese.  And even if this act is intended to be some charitable attempt to recall a wayward sheep, it does seem harsh and uncharitable towards students and others at Fisher-More who have come to depend upon the TLM.  Fisher-More was an attempt to build a traditional Catholic college, but without the TLM either on campus or immediately available on a daily basis, it would seem one of the prime reasons for the college’s existence was just wiped out.  Close as Dallas and Fort Worth are, asking college students to drive 60 miles round trip every day to assist at the TLM in Irving is a bit much.

I also think it was an unfortunately clumsy statement – a truly foolhardy statement – to associate removal of the TLM with “the good of your own soul.”  I think folks are reading a connection there that may not be intended, but it’s too easily made by this very brief, very unspecific document.

Nevertheless, there has been growing concern locally both over King’s draconian style of administration and his seeming desire to make Fisher-More an informal (or formal, who knows?) appendage of the Society of St. Pius X.  That may not be King’s intent, but it is the impression many have.  In addition, I am told that even though they managed to stay open this spring, Fisher-More’s finances are a wreck and the college is living on borrowed time. These issues may seem unrelated, but they are not. In fact, they are tightly intertwined.  That’s all I’ll say about that.

So, make up your own mind.  Hopefully we’ll get some more details in the comments from those close to Fisher-More.

UPDATE: I’m shutting down comments since I cannot monitor overnight. I think this has been talked about enough.