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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.

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.


1. Kim - March 3, 2014

The TLM is removed because there are some problems at the school? This makes no sense.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

They aren’t “some” problems, they are problems so sever the college will be gone in 6 months barring a miracle.

Maria - March 3, 2014

Is there a problem with the College because they see the problems of Vatican II? Because they want the Mass of all times? What I see is a great abuse of authority by the bishop,
our Lord warned us of the wolves on sheeps clothes.

James - March 3, 2014

Exactly! This has to be the issue. I know from listening to Dr. Marshall, that he loves Vatican II and cannot let anybody criticize an iota of it.

2. Molly - March 3, 2014

Thank you for your insight Tantum, this is helpful to those of us outside the region.

3. Tradical - March 3, 2014

I’m wondering if the common thread between the SSPX, FFI, and FM is the following:

Complete acceptance of:
■ the Second Vatican Council without reservation.
■ the Novus Ordo Missae.

We know that that was/is the issue with the FFI and SSPX.

Is it the same with FM?

I remember reading that they had recently come to similar conclusions as the SSPX and what the FFI appeared to be reaching on these topics.

Time will tell!


tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Yes, it has much to do with the Council. I am told by a number of people that Michael King has pretty much reached an SSPX-type position, or maybe even SSPX-SO type position, regarding the Council. And he is insisting that be taught in classes.

I remain unconvinced about the FFI. The American FFIs I know did not seem to take such a severe stand regarding the Council. And I say that as someone who has grave concerns over portions of the Council and the devastating consequences they have unleashed on the Church. But I never got the sense from the several FFIs I have met that they took such a strong stand, even if they had some of the more obvious concerns.

I think the situation in Europe may have been different, but I don’t think it rose to the level of what’s been going on at Fisher-More.

ChronicSinner - March 3, 2014

What do you mean by the term “SSPX-type position” in regards to VatII? From my readings, the SSPX accepts most of the teachings of VatII, and indeed, according to Bishop Fellay, they accept “95%” of what VII teaches, but they have a problem with the teachings regarding ecumenism, religious liberty, and collegiality. The SSPX are Catholics in good standing,,,they are not in schim….they are not sedevacantists..they are not heretics…and the Holy See has said that any Catholic can satisfy their Sunday Mass obligation at their chapels. They simply have very legitimate questions on how some aspects of VatII can be harmonized with Tradition…questions that no one in “Springtime” Chuch either can answer or wants to answer. If that is Mr. King’s trajectory for Fisher-More, i.e. to steer his ship along a more traditional path as opposed to one mapped by a Council that has unleashed “devastating consequences on the Church”, then stay the course, Mr. King.

Carolina - March 3, 2014

Where did you read that the Holy See says that attending an SSPX Mass meets our Sunday obligation? As far as I know, it doesn’t. They’re not in communion with Rome. I haven’t read anything to support this.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

It depends which day you ask the CDF. There have been statements from them that state, pretty clearly, that assisting at the SSPX does satisfy one’s Sunday obligation. But then there are an equal number of statements that either cast doubt on this or flat out deny it.

I tend to think it does, but it’s far from clear.

ChronicSinner - March 3, 2014

Carolina, the SSPX is part of the Roman Church, but has irregular canonical status, which His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, said was an internal matter between the Holy See and the Society. Therefore, they are not in schism since by definition, schismatics are external to the Church and can not be involved in “internal matters”…they are not excommunicated, since those applied to 4 bishops of the Society and not the whole order (which is moot, since the excommunications have been lifted anyway). As far as something to read, please see the link below. While it is not a ringing endorsement of the Society, it does clearly state that as long one attends a Mass offered by the Society, motivated out of love for the TLM and not out of spirit of seperation aimed at the Holy Father, then it is permissable and valid to do so.


Papabile - March 3, 2014

It’s hard not to be in some type of Communion with the Church when the Holy Father specifically removed any remaining excommunications of the Bishops. Yes, they are still suspended, but this does not remove communion.

Maury - March 3, 2014

Because the SSPX are XXXXXXXXXXXXX deleted by admin They keep saying that they are “obedient” to Peter, and then take every opportunity to undermine the Holy Father.XXXXXXXXXXXX deleted

ADMIN Comment: We need to be charitable, folks. I edited this comment. Let’s keep our arguments focused on specific points and always with some decorum.

ChronicSinner - March 3, 2014

ADMIN said: I deleted his worst infractions, I’m going to overwrite this one, too. Sorry, let’s be charitable.

James - March 3, 2014

It doesn’t add up. That is why on its roster of professors, there are people who are on the very opposite spectrum. Why doesn’t he fire them then? I’ve been to the school several times enough to know that there is a wide spectrum of what it means to be traditional. A few professors are even novus ordo..even a few staff.

4. skeinster - March 3, 2014

I know people love and depend on them, but THIS is what makes me nuts about RC and is why I do not read them.

Thanks, TE for your sane and measured account.

Marie H - March 3, 2014

I couldn’t say it better skeinster! RC is always initiating conflicts where there are not necessarily any.

5. James Prime - March 3, 2014

I would like to ask Bishop Olson how a valid Traditional Latin Mass for anyone, under any circumstances, in any way, could possibly be harmful to the salvation of a soul.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Yeah, I’m not sure that was his intent, but it’s easy to come to that conclusion from the document.

If that wording was intentional, then we have a much bigger problem. That could have been a sop to some of the administration of the FW Diocese, but I really don’t know. I have a source who might know the details but that individual only rarely contacts me.

skeinster - March 3, 2014

And having a ton of opprobrium dropped on his head by ill-informed RC, et al. readers- that’ll favorably impress him.

St. Benedict's Thistle - March 3, 2014

This, unfortunately, is what will get lost in the ‘story’ of FMC. A bishop suppressed a Mass of which he had no authority to suppress. Surely, this is a scandal that deserves more “oohs” and “ahhs” than a college president who insists on having all viewpoints taught at his school and has purportedly alienated some traditionalist Catholics such that they have left the college.

There seems to be an invisible line that one cannot cross in one’s understanding of V2 and the NO Mass, or the repercussions are swift, both within and without the trad community. It speaks to the ‘danger’ of truth seeing the light of day, and there are many who desire that truth remain shadowed.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

NO. I don’t disagree with the scandal of denying the TLM, but I do disagree with the claim that all King wants is for ALL viewpoints expressed at his college. That’s the very point. He won’t tolerate any viewpoint but his own. And he gets into extreme detail assuring that, basically dictating what is taught by his faculty. All of which are very faithful and most all of which (it may be all, I’m not sure on one or two, they only have a handful of faculty, anyway) assist only at the TLM.

It could be that, in a very clumsy, even uncharitable manner, Bishop Olson felt that the only way to reverse the trend at Fisher-More was to deliberately distance it from Tradition. I think that’s a terrible way to go about it, and Bishop Olson may have been unduly influenced by chancery staff.

Wendy McClure - March 3, 2014

I have to agree with St. Benedict’s Thistle.

And I don’t doubt the bishop is intelligent enough to properly word a simple letter so that it says what he means.

Andy, Bad Person - March 3, 2014

You make the mistake of assuming the bishop wrote it. Frequently, these things are written by underlings and he simply signs them. Not that that exonerates the content, but the bishop’s writing style is not necessarily his own.

c matt - March 3, 2014

Well, to be fair to Bp. Olson, he seems ot fornid the public celebration of the TLM. Priests at FM can still celebrate privately, which is the only thing Sum Pont seems to protect as of right. Seems under SP. a Bp. can, in fact, supress public celebration of it, with some limite recourse by the faithful. That having been said, I am not sure it was a good idea for Bp. O to make that move, but based on the additional info provided here, best you can do is wait and see. My daughter and I visited on a Saturday last month and the place looked deserted. Maybe they were not back in session yet.

DJR - March 3, 2014

A Traditional Latin Mass offered by a member of the Patriotic Association or the Old Catholics would definitely be harmful. Merely having the old Mass is not enough.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Interesting point. Or how about a fake woman priest?


Dave - March 3, 2014

Or how about Fr. Nicholas Gruner, the suspended priest – which seems to be the case.

6. Scott W - March 3, 2014

Thanks Tantamergo. I respect your judgment and knowledge of the facts. You have talked me off the ledge though I hate the fact the TLM is used by both sides as an ideological tool.

7. john - March 3, 2014

I wasn’t alive at the time, but I’d love to see all Catholics united under one mass, that could be understood wherever one goes on earth.
This is the TLM. If there were no “ordinary form” there would be no Patrick Coffins or SPLCs out there to label one a “radtrad” just because of the form of mass they attend.
Then we would be truly universal (Catholic) again, and these divisions would melt away. Very simple in my view

8. Woody - March 3, 2014

So, who owns the TLM anyway? Is it trademarked? Can they have the Novus Ordo Mass at FM? Is that okay and beneficial for one’s soul?

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Well, yes, the letter pretty much directed them to have the NO only with a diocesan priest.

As for its effects on one’s soul, there is Grace there, to be sure, but you know how I feel about the matter.

c matt - March 3, 2014

I guess it’s not so much a question of “trademark” as much as validity. One can say an invalid TLM by simply following the form, but having done it by someone without valid Holy Orders (or suspended orders, etc.).

9. titaniumgirl - March 3, 2014

This is so terribly sad. I don’t know all of the details, it’s hard to know how to feel. I certainly don’t think the Bishop was right to refer to the TLM as a danger to anyone’s soul though. If anything, he just pushed many people closer to the SSPX.

10. Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

It is not about the College or its staff or its problems. It’s about the students and the use of the Mass as a weapon, and the imposition of measures without any alternative.

Let us assume all the grave problems with the College are true – in no way did our post assume the position of defender of the INSTITUTION. It still meant the bishop, who should “smell of his sheep,” according to the Pope, should have met the students to try to solve their problem? How? That is easy: if he wanted to punish the College, not the students who came for all over the country expecting this, he could have offered a daily Mass celebrated in a closeby diocesan parish and chapel, at the very least until the end of the academic year. It is not Mr. King who is punished with the decision. He can go daily to Dallas if he wants to. Not so easy for students coming from large families with academic duties.

We find it disappointing that you, who are wiser than this, mixed up two very different matters: the eventual problems of the school and the needs of the students. We believe that is the same grave mistake made by the bishop. The problem is the principle, friend; Summorum Pontificum is attacked at its very core. This is a precedent, and it may one day reach any of you wherever you are.


tantamergo - March 3, 2014

I think I said this seems from the available evidence seems an uncharitable act and source of scandal. I don’t believe I drove a stake in the ground saying this act was justified. I said there are many factors at play, which could have precipitated this act. Not everything is a conspiracy.

I think I also alluded to the fact that too many in the episcopate – almost all, apparently – still view Summorum Pontificum as non-functional or optional. They seem to still be in the days of Ecclesia Dei, where the TLM is available only under strict episcopal permission. That is of course wrong. Very wrong.

But perhaps my being closer to the issue, and the fact that over half the students and much of the faculty have left before any of this broke, means there is something more at play here than just an ideological attack on the TLM.

I thought it advisable to share some of those other aspects of this matter, rather than setting this up as Fisher-More as the completely innocent victim of episcopal persecution. I am not completely convinced that’s the case. In fact, this action did not come out of thin air, Michael King has been warned to settle down his rhetoric before, and it was only Bishop Vann’s departure that delayed any formal response until now. Did you miss the part where Fisher-More had already been denied the TLM by the vicar general, before Olson even arrived?

But feel free to disagree. I’m not going to die on this hill, it may be more of a trend against the TLM/Summorum Pontificum, but it may not. If you think I am blissfully ignorant that the threat against the TLM continues to grow, apparently under the at least tacit approval of the pope, you think wrong. But I am not sure I’m convinced this action would not have been taken were Pope Benedict still reigning pontiff. But I could be wrong. It could all be part of an overall swing in direction, but I tend to doubt it, in this case.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

Who said anything of “conspiracy”? There’s no conspiracy. We don’t believe in “conspiracies”.

We DID NOT SAY the institution is innocent. Those words were never used.

It seems that rather your proximity to the issue is distorting your view of the much wider issues of principle involved. The concrete situation is less relevant than the fact that this letter, written the way it was, is even possible, almost seven years after Summorum. The bishop could easily have closed the chapel or oratory – that is not what he did; he preferred to offer the Novus Ordo as a condition of operation.

Anyway, saying it will come close to any of you is not a conspiracy… It’s a cold analysis of current trends.



St. Benedict's Thistle - March 4, 2014

I agree. What we are now seeing (and will continue to see) on the part of some Catholics, is a convenient conflation of the core issue of a bishop suppressing the Vetus Ordo with FMC’s institutional issues. In fact, we will now see those who should be thinking clearly, agreeing that the Vetus Ordo is the cause of the problems and must be rightly suppressed as a way of correction. In colloquial terms, some of us are painting ourselves into a very small corner. And yes, the terms for survival of the FSSP and others will become harsh and unforgiving. There will be gnashing of teeth.

James - March 3, 2014

Which institutions don’t have problems. Do Christendom and Steubenville get harassed for having strange topics and strange speakers? My friend who teaches at the school invited me one day to a talk at the campus. After talking to various students that evening, I realized they all shared different beliefs. I know some faculty left because they didn’t want the controversy of open debate about doctrine. The others who are left at intellectually honest. While a few of them may not enter into the fray, they at least let their other colleagues have personal opinions.

c matt - March 3, 2014

To say nothing of Georgetwon, Marquette, Notre Dame, Xavier, that one on Seattle, etc.

11. Taylor Marshall - March 3, 2014

This entirely about Michael King. It has nothing to do with the Latin Mass, which I love and attend.

Woody - March 3, 2014

Then why was the Traditional Latin Mass used as a paddle to punish one man? Very poor behavior by the bishop.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

I don’t disagree with that.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Folks, I don’t think any human soul in the universe is better able to comment on this matter than Dr.Taylor Marshall.

Thank you for the input.

Michelangelo Buonarroti - March 4, 2014


How is it appropriate to let stand the vague accusation against Mr. King by Taylor Marshall?

And, besides, if there is a problem with Mr. King, please explain how forbidding the TLM has anything to do with this. It is preposterous. It is irresponsible to let such a line of reasoning stand.

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

I cannot believe this. You guys, in your misguided zeal, have no idea who or what you are defending.

Why do you continue to come after me as if I am somehow the bishop’s spokesperson, or that I am supporting his action? All I said was that there are other factors in play that may have a bearing on all this, and that it might be prudent to wait.

But patience is a rare virtue these days.

Wendy McClure - March 3, 2014

The bishop forbid the Latin Mass at Fisher More College. He didn’t just tell Dr. King *he* was forbidden from attending the Latin Mass.

Peter - March 3, 2014

I love it – you heard it here first folks…the banning of the Latin Mass has nothing to do with the Latin Mass. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Tim - March 3, 2014

What about him, specifically?

12. KW - March 3, 2014

I really wish when things like this happen, that people outside who don’t know what’s going on would stop blaming the bishop and chastising his actions! Since my husband has seen everything that has happened from the very beginning, we clearly see that GOD is working THROUGH Bishop Olson to bring justice to this situation. Some will complain it is not fair or right to take away the TLM mass, but who are we to question God’s justice. Most have NO IDEA how much harm the leadership of this college has caused to good, faithful traditional Catholics. I believe God is outraged by it, and of course, justice served to Michael King is going to affect the WHOLE college, because he is its “omnipotent” leader, and the consequence of all his actions the past 3-4 years will affect the whole school. The ROOT of this whole problem is Mr. King, NOT Bishop Olson. This could have been avoided a long time ago. The students will invariably be affected by the decisions of the leadership, and this is the consequences of MANY harmful decisions made by him over the last 3-4 yrs. And God can do as he pleases, and it can affect both the sheep and the wolves. Just read the old testament. The students will have to find another place to go soon, anyway. The college has already practically collapsed. Very few students left. And all because of the leadership of one man, who brings destruction with him.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Thank you, KW, I’m sorry your post was delayed in spam for a while. I’m really glad I fished it out, no pun intended.

Folks, I know you don’t want to hear it, I know you want to say how wrong I am, but, really, you are hearing from people who have been incredibly close to this college and its whole situation. They are also good pious souls.

Woody - March 3, 2014

So we should just accept what Bishop Olson did and not worry? As far as Mr. King is concerned, everyone with knowledge of what he is doing and has done will not say WHAT IT WAS HE IS DOING OR DID. Okay, then, let’s just leave it at that. The bishop did what he had to do, Mr. King is responsible for all that has occurred and we need to just move along. Don’t ask questions or be concerned because God is outraged at Mr. King and Bishop Olson has done the right thing.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

That’s not true. Read Fr. Z. I may post that later if I stop replying to comments. That’s coming straight from MD priests. There were significant problems.

I’m just saying, you might trust people very close to the situation to know what was going on. “This is not about hatred of the TLM” – that’s straight from a local FSSP priest.

But read the post, Woody. Did I say everything was hunky-dory? No. Did I say what the bishop did was right? No. I just said there may be reasons here other than just hatred of the TLM or desire to render Summorum Pontificum neuter.

I know it’s frustrating and upsetting but give it time and much more will come out. I think I also made clear in the post that the problem was not questioning of the Council, but outright claims that it taught error/unleashed heresy. When that happened, the FSSP guys left.

13. Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

Unfortunately, it was made all about the Latin Mass. As said before, the institution’s problems are one thing, the harm made to the students by the decision is something else. An alternative should have been offered for their sake. He is their bishop as well. They are also part of the People of God.

Dave - March 3, 2014

An alternative was clearly identified in the Bishop’s letter.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

True. The exclusive celebration of the Ordinary Form.

Thank you.

cyrillist - March 3, 2014

And the TLM in Ft. Worth.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

That was not the alternative offered, that,the weekly Sunday afternoon Mass, is already there. Unless he shut that down too, it’s not an “alternative”, it’s what it is. The alternative in the chapel was the OF/NO.


person111 - March 3, 2014

That’s 60 miles away.

Dave - March 3, 2014

Actually person111 I believe that St. Mary’s parish in the Diocese of Ft. Worth is only about 2 miles from the private oratory at FMC. (FWIW, Dallas is only about 35 miles from St. Mary’s).

Jeff - March 3, 2014

I think you are missing the point.

No, the bishop should not have forbidden the extraordinary form. And perhaps the bishop CANNOT forbid the extraordinary form.

But it SEEMS as if some church authorities are looking at cases in which orders or schools or whatnot seem to be adopting an anti Council teaching and an anti Novus Ordo position.

When they see this as the case, they PERCEIVE the use of the EF as a sort of semischismatic declaration. As part of the tools they use to handle this, they forbid the EF.

That’s wrong. That’s bad.

But it’s not the same THING as a simple forbidding of the EF because of its own nature.

That would be much wronger and much worse. And much more of a dark harbinger for the future.

That’s what I get out of this blog post. And I agree.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

YES. Thank you, very much. I actually had a blurb in there at one point that pretty much said what you said here: “When they see this as the case, they PERCEIVE the use of the EF as a sort of semischismatic declaration. As part of the tools they use to handle this, they forbid the EF.” But it was muddled and seemed kind of repetitive so I took it out. I’m having some writer’s block, sentences just don’t want to form well today.

14. Dave - March 3, 2014

Does anyone even know if the priest(s) celebrating Mass had faculties granted by the Bishop? My understanding is that the FSSP priests left some time ago. That begs the question as to who has been celebrating Mass at FMC.

Dave - March 3, 2014

Father Z has an update on this that suggests, among other things, that Fr. Nicholas Gruner, a suspended priest, has celebrated Mass at the FMC oratory as late as last Thanksgiving. I’m going to guess that this is not about a Bishop’s willingness or unwillingness to support the TLM in his diocese.

15. Here It Comes… – Followup | Opus Publicum - March 3, 2014

[…] of Bishop Olson of Fr. Worth to ban the Tridentine Mass there, I want to direct your eyes to this post which discusses some of the potentially larger institutional issues afflicting Fisher-More […]

16. Richard M - March 3, 2014

I think it is possible to subscribe to both concerns here: 1) That the author here, and Dr. Marshall, are right that there are grave concerns about the theological and psychological atmosphere at Fisher-More under the leadership of Michael King requiring some pastoral response from the ordinary, and perhaps Rorate should have made some real effort to balance its reportage by investigating and reporting that, and 2) That Rorate is right that this measure is clumsy and canonically dubious, and makes no real provision to provide a healthy traditional worship alternative to the students and staff at Fisher-More. Its wording seems to suggest that, indeed, the TLM itself is seen as a harm to their souls.

If things really are that bad at Fisher-More, why not take more drastic canonical action against them? And, if concerned about what the spiritual atmosphere is there, make the effort to provide a *DAILY* EF Mass under a diocesan approved priest at a workable time at St. Mary (if that is the closest parish) and work to help provide transportation arrangements for interested students and staff (it’s not like there are many of them to begin with).

St. Benedict's Thistle - March 4, 2014

If, as posited in this thread, FMC is on the verge of collapse, why did the bishop not let ‘nature’ take its course? Why cause a scandal by suppressing the Vetus Ordo? This has everything to do with the Mass. Michael King is a convenient and apparently attractive diversion. Since he has been shunned by everyone of note (I can almost smell his stench from here, no?) it would seem a bit of overkill to suppress the Vetus Ordo. In fact, the more I think about it, the more this seems to be quite the tool to keep all the good little traddies in line.

17. Michael Jarman - March 3, 2014

I’m a big fan of tantumergo, and I’m not interested in the slightest in Michael King vs. Taylor Marshall. I’m sure I’d like all three of these guys if I met them. Let’s posit that Marshall is completely in the right and King is completely in the wrong. The point is, Bishop Olson in ENTIRELY in the wrong. He isn’t “right” for using the wrong method to do the right thing (assuming disciplining King is the right thing for the sake of argument). “An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention” (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). CCC 1759. I’m pretty sure I WOULDN’T like Bishop Olson if I met him.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

That is exactly it.

As for Rorate “investigating” (as Richard M. says above, sorry but we are not paid for our blogging and have thus no resources for further “investigation”). One of the functions of blogs is to provide sources (we provided 2) that those with resources (mostly the “mainstream” secular and Catholic media) can deepen. On the other points, I certainly agree with you.

The matter of principle is what motivates us here. Considering our work lifes, families, resources, and the fact that no money is made from our web efforts, I think we do a pretty good job, in my humble opinion.

Thank you, Michael Jarman.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

Lol, work lives, down with tablets…

Richard M - March 3, 2014

Hello RC – I’m not sure whether you’re Adfero or NC:

“…sorry but we are not paid for our blogging and have thus no resources for further “investigation””

I grok that, I do. I realize you’re all private individuals, lay or clerical, doing this in your spare time.

But the fact is that Rorate is holding itself as something very like a news outlet for traditional Catholic matters, even to the point of demanding that you be credited in reporting by other sources.

At what point does that create a responsibility to do more? To report more? To get more information (even if it might undercut a narrative) before racing to post? I understand that you’re trying to focus on the injustice (and I agree that it has all the appearance of a great injustice) of this particular action by Bishop Olson. And even though you never expressly held yourself out as defending Fisher-More and its leadership, a reader could credibly infer that. What happens if ugly details start to emerge about President King’s leadership? It will look like another Rorate shoot-from-the-hip reaction – one not without some justice (or some accurate information), but also lacking key facts.

“One of the functions of blogs is to provide sources (we provided.”

Which, I may say, you’ve been an invaluable outlet for – especially for foreign sources not otherwise readily accessible in the English speaking world. Speaking for myself, I continue to find Rorate very valuable in this regard.

All that said, I cannot think of any set of circumstances that could justify this response by Bishop Olson, one which strikes me as deeply unpastoral. Take away the daily TLM? OK, but why not provide a nearby daily TLM at a workable hour for the spiritual needs of those staff and students, given that none exists in the entire diocese? If the concerns are about poor leadership and dangerous theology at the college, why distract from by making the TLM the issue? On this, I think we are in agreement.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Very thoughtful comments. I don’t have any problem with what you’re saying. Maybe my post sounded like I was playing down Bishop Olson’s action here, I did not mean to. I was trying to stress the other factors involved, maybe in doing so I made it sound as if I were trivializing the import and scandal of Bishop Oson’s action. I did not mean to do that.

We keep hearing from folks really, really close to Fisher More. You may not know who some of them are, but I do. And maybe because they are so close, they have a hard time seeing the problem as anything but Mr. King, as he has been so….well, read their words. So maybe I took from that, having spoken with many of these folks on this subject a number of times, a little bit of that impression, too.

meerk - March 3, 2014

“But the fact is that Rorate is holding itself as something very like a news outlet for traditional Catholic matters, even to the point of demanding that you be credited in reporting by other sources.”

Um, welcome to the internet? are you new here?

Richard M - March 3, 2014

Hello Meerk,

Yes, it’s the internet – you can be whatever you want to be. There’s no enforcer standing by your router.

But if you want credibility, it requires more work. The more you put in, the more you will get.

Rorate provides some very valuable links and reportage (please let that not go unremarked). They’re also known for a certain propensity to shoot and ask questions later, and a certain prickliness to some other traditionalists. Perhaps I just came to expect more of them, not least because they take a certain pride in their status as the most visited traditionalist site on the web, worldwide (apparently Fr. Z counts only as “semi-trad” at best).

Rorate says “It is not about the College or its staff or its problems.” Well, yes and no. The issue of Bishop Olson’s response, and how just it was (especially in implying that the TLM may be harmful to their souls) is in a certain sense distinct from any problems in FMC’s administration and instruction. But if it does indeed turn out that FMC has turned Toxic Trad, and that President King has been acting in unjust ways to staff and students himself, that’s going to change the narrative, whether we like it or not. Even if we’re all agreed that the bishop’s response to such a crisis was not appropriate.

Marie H - March 3, 2014

Humble, Rorate Caeli is not. While you used to be a wonderful resource for Traditionalists, the majority of your tweets are negative, immediately assuming the worst. This only promotes anxiety and discord. As Catholics, we need to band together in prayer for Holy Mother Church.

skeinster - March 3, 2014

What Richard M. said- all three comments.

This is precisely why I don’t read RC, unless I’m sent there for something specific. Their choice, my choice.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Education is a life-long affair.

Dave - March 4, 2014

RC => Arthur Fonzarelli.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

We have a serious problem of reading comprehension in the world today. This discussion is one example, discussing the trees in Texas, not the global forest. Another is your comment. I never claimed to be humble in general, I said that that Was MY humble opinion in that case.

I know it’s open season on Rorate. I know when it’s not the comments, when the comments are closed, it’s the tweets, when tweets disappear, it will be the posts, and even after we disappear, still guilty.

Well, it’s the web, you can always avoid what you dislike. I just wish we stopped blaming the messengers…


TC - March 3, 2014

Rorate Caeli,

I hope you have double and triple checked the facts, especially regarding the chaplains at Fisher More. First, how could they have been approved by the local bishop if there hasn’t been a bishop in Fort Worth for over a year? Did the apostolic adminstrator approve them? Second, are you sure that the current chaplains are FSSP priests? Apparently that is dubitable. Third, you should be aware that it is very possible that the problem was not (only) with the chaplains themselves but with visiting priests (like Fr. Gruner).

In general, and most importantly, please don’t forget par. 19 of Universae Ecclesiae, which states that “the faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.” Meaning, there may in fact be reasons that legitimate Bishop Olson’s decision.

Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

No, the last one was a Father of Mercy.

In law, decisions must be explicitly motivated. Not justified ex post facto with whatever is convenient later.

The main fact is the bishop’s letter. Other than that, we are, always, open to corrections of events.


James - March 3, 2014


Bernie Duggan - March 3, 2014

Well stated.

18. Wendy McClure - March 3, 2014

My oldest child is a freshman in Fisher More’s pnline program, with friends on campus. I recently had a 45-minute phone conversation with a woman whose son just left the college in the middle of his sophomore year. She told me in great detail why he left. While I’m not a former employee of the college, I know more about the situation than what’s posted at Rorate Caeli.

Tim - March 3, 2014

So please enlighten us with why this young man left….I keep seeing vague references about Mr. King with no substance….that is not evidence!!

19. Peter - March 3, 2014

I am a physician who has lived in Fort Worth and then Dallas for over a decade before moving recently. I and my family have attended Mater Dei for years – going back to the days of the Carmel. I personally know people on faculty and on the board of FMC. So yes….I know whereof I speak. Who exactly are you again? Oh, that’s right. Someone taking the time to cast aspersions on a place you do not know personally to partially justify or explain an obvious and blatant injustice committed by the Bishop. Well done.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

I would say that many other longtime Mater Dei parishioners, all of whom are employees or faculty or students themselves, with whom I’ve spoken, would strongly disagree that I am “casting aspersions.” They have all lamented what Michael King has done there. They are extremely concerned. They have seen a lot of friends fired, or leave.

Tim - March 3, 2014

What has Mr. King done, specifically?

Bruce Lewis - March 5, 2014

Well, I can tell you one thing Mr. King has done: he has reduced the College of Saint Thomas More, a place I and others dearly loved, to an open field of dirt. Just drive down Lubbock Street and you’ll see. There is nothing left of the place but memories.

I don’t know anything about FMC or this current scandal. I do know what happened at the College of Saint Thomas More: someone took a hammer and smashed something beautiful to pieces,.

20. Hannah - March 3, 2014

So, the Mass of All Time has been “banned” from Fisher More “for the good of their souls?” And this is supposed to be a “discipline” for the leadership?

What?! If it wasn’t for THAT Mass, the world wouldn’t even be here. The devil knows the power of that Mass and that’s why he’s trying to rid the world of it. THAT Mass sanctified generations, sanctified the Saints, and is the center of our Holy Religion.

I pray this gets settled because it’s scandalizing many.

21. Blogmaster - March 3, 2014

Something else needs to be untangled here: 1) management and personality issues; and 2) the theological direction of the college. I applaud the latter, myself, but it has been clear to me for some time that no bishop in today’s climate would tolerate it. Not even the best of them. Still, if that were the bishop’s concern, he might have worked with FMC on reforming their approach. Instead, he decided upon an act that, if complied with, will destroy the residential college, He must have known that.

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Another very good comment, thanks.

I think there have been some efforts to encourage reform. I know there have been warnings something like this was coming. It was widely known the chancery wanted action taken once the new bishop was in office. This knowledge, and the encouragements to change direction, only seemed to harden various positions. It’s actually a very sad situation, all around.

And, as Rorate has stressed and perhaps I should have stressed more, it is the kids and some of the faculty and staff who are really going to pay for this whole train wreck.

22. Mark - March 3, 2014

Banning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is demonic and will lead to the ruin of souls, regardless of the justification given for it. Pray to St. Michael.

skeinster - March 3, 2014

They can still have Mass- just not the TLM. Let’s be accurate.here, please.

Bernie Duggan - March 3, 2014

They do not have to accept the New Mass.They have a right to the Old Mass.

Dave - March 3, 2014

The right to the “Old Mass” does not imply a right to reject the “New Mass.” In fact paragraph 19 of Universae Ecclesiae would imply that just the opposite is true. While you may not be required to attend Mass in the Ordinary Form, you are required to accept its validity.

c matt - March 3, 2014

My undertainding of Sum Pont is that private celebration requires no aprpoval, but public celebration does. The letter from Olson seems to address public celebration, which I suppose he has some control over (whether or not he exercises that control prudently is a separate issue).

23. TJ - March 3, 2014

Just curious, how many on-campus does (did) Fisher-More have?

TJ - March 3, 2014

on-campus students, that is

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

At present, I think they’re down to a couple dozen. Maybe 30.

A number have left of late. Around half the student body, from what I understand. It’s a tiny, tiny place.

TJ - March 3, 2014

That you for the information

TJ - March 3, 2014

Thank you…all thumbs today

24. Bernie Duggan - March 3, 2014

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.” St.Athanatius

25. Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) - March 3, 2014

To Richard M above: no, we do not consider Fr. Zuhlsdorf “semi-trad”, but I think he himself would not self-identify as a traditionalist. His blog was an offshoot of his attempt to retranslate the prayers of the Pauline missal, and he is still dedicated to it as well – and there is no problem with that at all, but he chooses to provide a view that is trad-friendly, but clearly more in tune with the Pauline missal. His main liturgical posts are still related to interpretations of the Pauline prayers.

Whatever he may think or say about us, we wish him all the best.


26. Ed - March 3, 2014

Fisher-Moore has had problems from the beginning which had nothing to do with them offering the TLM. King is in way over his head, and is a terrible manager of this College. This school was being run into the ground by his decisions before there was any conflict or rumors about the TLM and the SSPX. And I am an SSPX sympathizer and occasional attendee. I know all this from first hand experience. King is an unethical individual, and has not the slightest clue about Catholic education, nor do I think he cares. For the sake of the SSPX, if they take over this college, the first thing they should do is remove King. Whatever any of you do, do not take a job or send your kids to Fisher-Moore until King leaves.

27. TC - March 3, 2014

Rorate Caeli,

I hope you have double and triple checked the facts, especially regarding the chaplains at Fisher More. First, how could they have been approved by the local bishop if there hasn’t been a bishop in Fort Worth for over a year? Did the apostolic administrator approve them? Second, are you sure that the current chaplains are FSSP priests? Apparently there is some question about that. Third, you should be aware that it is very possible that the problem was not (or not only) with the chaplains themselves but with visiting priests (like Fr. Gruner).

In general, and most importantly, please don’t forget par. 19 of Universae Ecclesiae, which states that “the faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.” Meaning, there may in fact be reasons that legitimate Bishop Olson’s decision.

28. Mary - March 3, 2014

This school and chapel are in the diocese of Fort Worth, therefore the bishop has the responsibility to watch over it. I understand he will be appointing a diocesan priest over the chapel. (He doesn’t have any diocesan priests who celebrate the TLM.) Perhaps he has been made aware of concerns there and this is the best solution at this time. I understand that the chapel has been without a priest for about a week or more anyways. Is he concerned with the priests who have come out or might celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass there?

29. More on Fisher-More | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - March 3, 2014

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

30. richardchonak - March 3, 2014

Is there a board of trustees out there that can remove King and pull this college back from the brink?

I can’t blame the bishop for telling the administration: no, you are not going (if I may borrow a word from Pope Francis) to instrumentalize the TLM as a marketing tool for your sectarian boarding school.

31. Lorra - March 3, 2014

Whatever did Catholics do before the internet?

tantamergo - March 3, 2014

Boy that is a dang good question and I’ve been having similar thoughts all day.

Lorra - March 3, 2014

I think we’d be a lot better off without it. Now, we have developed an entitlement attitude – we are entitled to know everything about anything. And we are all entitled to weigh in with our expert opinions (as I am doing now :)).

We had more peace of heart and soul before we became the peanut galley tribunal of all things Catholic.

32. MarkW - March 3, 2014

What are these unstated acts committed by Mr. King? Sounds like more bologna piled on on. Please cite some specific instances.

Ed - March 3, 2014

The unstated acts would only expose innocent parties and I cannot talk about them publicly on the internet. This is why we need to trust the Bishop on this. But, Mark, you already seem predisposed to reject the unstated acts if you heard them.

St. Benedict's Thistle - March 4, 2014

So, let us be clear: the unstated acts justify suppressing the Vetus Ordo Mass. Got it.

33. rubyroad2013 - March 3, 2014

Many events led up to the murder.
A murder was committed.
Or, as Mundabor says, “Apples and oranges.”

34. Mary - March 3, 2014

Why a bishop might consider suspending the TLM:

1. Section 13 of Universae Ecclesiae contains the following:

Diocesan Bishops, according to Canon Law, are to monitor liturgical matters in order to guarantee the common good and to ensure that everything is proceeding in peace and serenity in their Dioceses[5], always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

2. Section 19:

The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.

Do these apply to FMC?

Yes, definitely. Both. Period.

The charity expressed by Bishop Olson in this situation was beyond measure. Patiently wait for the rest of the details as he deems necessary. Let us hope that isn’t needed.

35. Critics of Bishop Olson make me leery of attending a TLM | Catholic Bandita - March 4, 2014

[…] UPDATE: As it turns out, I was right. There is some dissent going on at Fisher-More as reported here. […]

36. Marie K - March 4, 2014

People say the bishop should have offered an alternative.

He did offer an alternative in the ordinary form. But, if people reject the ordinary form, I guess that doesn’t work. However, makes a problem manifest.

So, let’s say he should have offers the TLM as an alternative, daily. Who is going to celebrate that Mass if the FSSP has left, and supposedly the CPM priest left? Who celebrates the TLM for them?

It’s easy to demand a daily TLM for two dozen people. It’s another thing for a bishop to be able to accommodate that. Not even Rome expects it.

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

It’s true. I don’t think the daily Mass can be supported as it was, even before this action.

But it doesn’t matter, all this data doesn’t fit the narrative, so it is discarded.

You guys are giving me an enormous education today.

37. Joseph Schutzman - March 4, 2014

While I deplore the illicit action of Bishop Olson in an attempt to crush Holy Tradition, and while illicitly “disallowing the Mass” there is not the answer, it is important to know that there are significant problems moral and otherwise that have plagued this school. I have posted as far and wide as I could regarding them. Some have allowed the posts to stand such as Michael Matt while others like John Vennari amazingly removed the posts and specifically turned a blind eye and when I contacted Rorate Caeli they would not look at it at all. In addition, a member of the board of directors attempted to blackmail me and posted lies about my character in an attempt to keep me quiet about the issues.

I repost one of them here below …

It is important to know that the leadership f this school acts unethically and in un-Catholic ways. Here are a few firsthand data points … not hearsay …

The president of the college …
– directed the staff to lie to government officials regarding the financial management of the school;
– continuously abused the faculty and staff with yelling filthy language;
– summarily fired the dean of students (the only scholastic they ever had on the faculty) when he refused to cooperate with the aforementioned unethical un-Catholic behavior – a father of five without notice, cause or meaningful separation pay with which to support his family.
– summarily fired several staff members when they brought these irregularities to the Board’s attention;
– has constructed a substantially new board for the third time in two years.

The school …
– lies in the description of the college above. They claim to be scholastic, but do not have one scholastic on the faculty or the board;
– have been through multiple deans, faculty and staff in the last two years – Who is the current dean?
– had four (4) brand new faculty members leave just this summer.

Also the FSSP has recently pulled out of the school.

Far from making faceless accusations I am happy to address each and every one of these items (and more) publicly with the president of the college (or anyone else for that matter) even on his own campus, but I am sure that won’t be happening any time soon.

God bless and watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing!

38. FMC Supporter - March 4, 2014

Tantamergo – I have first hand information and I can tell you there are two sides to the story and I know them both. Taylor Marshall attends the Latin Mass but he is no traditionalist and never was. Too many people hoped he would be a traditionalist but he chose the Catholic Answers way to help achieve his success and make money and that meant he had to neutralize his positions, which he was more than willing to do. He still has a lot of Protestant and NOvus Ordo baggage and he likes ti that way. There is much more than meets the eye with him and I would be more than happy to discuss it with you. And there is a certain priest of the FSSP that has also been targeting FMC due to personal issues he has. He does this against his superiors and they do not support what he is doing. This priest was removed from a prior FSSP parish due to trouble with him and now he is causing trouble all over again.

Your blog post and comments are so completely off of the reality of the situation. You have absolutely NO IDEA of the entire story and you just helped further the work of the devil.

Email me and we can exchange numbers and I will be happy to talk to you.

And, btw, a canon lawyer had reviewed the Bishop’s letter and he did over step his authority. He is not able to do what he did.

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

I never said the bishop did what was right. I think I said it may have been beyond his rights and abilities, in fact.

No, I’m done talking about this.

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

I would also say, if you think my insights regarding Fisher-More come from only one source, that being Taylor, you’re wrong. I know of him, but we’re hardly close. No, my info comes mostly from other faculty, staff, and students/parents.

Truthquest - March 4, 2014

Well out of all the replies that have been posted at least this one gave me a slight giggle in this sad turn of events that we should all be praying about. Thank you so much FMC supporter for letting us in your conspiracy theory. Of course everyone else doesn’t know what they have seen or experienced….oh so maligning a bishop isn’t only under your umbrella of expertise and authority but now we should allstart maligning the F.S.S.P.priests who give so many of us Almighty God. Boy howdy thanks for clearing up that colossal mystery. So those in position of authority and decision making at FMC are the innocent good guys and the bishop and F.S.S. P.priests are the bad guys. Can we all please say a Hail Mary for FMC supporter for spreading his vitriol now to even the priests.

tantamergo - March 5, 2014

Yes, and shame on me for not reading the whole comment. I should have deleted it, but it’s been up for a while, so I’ll let it stay.

Your attempt to sully the reputation of the priest in question, whom I know very well, love, and regard as one of the greatest priests and men I’ve ever met, will not fly. It reveals all I need to know about you.

And let’s see, it will be your word against, oh, I just counted, over two dozen others who have reported their angst and heartbreak at the direction Fisher-More has taken. When all these good pious Catholics are suddenly suspect, and you and your very small circle are the only ones possessing virtue and “the real story……” well, if it were me, I’d be very, very concerned about myself.

Former FMC Mom - March 5, 2014

Thank you for that. Very, very much. Feel free to email me, as well.

39. Bishop Olson Suspends TLM, Fisher-More Col. in Dissent - BigPulpit.com - March 4, 2014

[…] Olson Suspends TLM, Fisher-More College in Dissent – Fr. Z’s Blog . . .Problems with Fisher-More College, Not Bishop Olson. . . – Dallas […]

40. ChurchMilitant.TV News 03-04 | ChurchMilitant.TV Blog - March 4, 2014

[…]  Follow Up On Fisher More […]

41. Bishop Bans Latin Mass | The Catholic Eye - March 4, 2014

[…] This is very hard to square, but it is true, as this story from Rorate Caeli reports; and for much more info (the problem may be with the College) see the post from Father Z at http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/03/fr-zs-first-reaction-to-bp-olson-banning-extraordinary-form-at-fort-worths-fisher-more-college/ ; and with this from a Dallas area blog for Catholics, https://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/fisher-more-denied-ability-to-offer-tlm/ […]

42. dymphna wilson (@dymphnaw) - March 4, 2014

Where were all these whispers a few weeks ago when the financial appeal was going on? I didn’t give a dime thank goodness but a lot of nice people did. I wish someone had spoken up sooner.

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

A lot of this has been going on behind the scenes. I actually did contribute, early on. I think that’s one reason folks are so incensed, they may have given money to support this tiny traditional college and now feel violated since this action was taken.

43. Cuff of Coppee - March 4, 2014

Let the Priest then say the NOVUS ORDO – in latin, ad orientem, w/ communion rails, patens, male altar boys etc..

Can you picture the look on the Bishop’s face: “Hey, I thought I told you no extraordinary form!”

“Your excellency, it’s the novus ordo missae…”

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

Absolutely. There is no reason why that could not be, if they can find a NO priest willing to offer Mass in a reverent, rubrical manner. Ad Orientem and all the rest should be easy, actually, but the Latin may be tricky, I doubt any priests in FW can offer Latin Mass, but I could be wrong.

Their chapel does have communion rails, and they could of course continue receiving kneeling and on the tongue. I’m sure this is the least they would accept, if the NO is acceptable at all.

Still, there is a difference, even with the NO offered very reverently and traditionally. I understand that difference, and can relate as to why they would want to insist on the TLM if at all possible.

44. Olson v. King < MOTU PROPRIO - March 4, 2014

[…] The newly-minted bishop of Forth Worth, his excellency Michael Olson, has written to President King of Fisher-More college purporting to revoke the college’s permission to celebrate the usus antiquior. Rorate cæli has the lead report, including the original materials 1; useful commentary is available from the Remnant, Father Z, and DAC. 2 […]

45. St. Marcellus - March 4, 2014

“….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.”

IF that is truly a concern please don’t worry. By all indications, Bsp. Fellay will shortly have the SSPX back in the bosom of freemasonic, modernist ‘Rome’ and all will be well!

46. borromeo - March 4, 2014

Dr. Marshall has listed reasons for the abrogation of the saying of the TLM at FMC that, at least in part, speak to the administrative side of the college; these reasons therefore should play no role in Bishop Olsen’s determination as to whether the TLM is an occasion for pastoral solicitude.

Among those reasons are included: “Mr. King, after selling the original FMC campus to Texas Christian University for millions of dollars, had imprudently entered into a real estate deal that financially crippled Fisher More College”, leaving one with the impression that Mr. King entered into a imprudent speculative real estate deal (read scam) that cost FMC its legacy. In actual fact, Mr. King used the proceeds from the sale of the old campus property to buy/lease the present campus of Fisher More College as a foundation stone upon which to build a genuinely Catholic college. Without further elucidating Mr. King’s action after the sale of the original campus, Dr. Marshall has cast Mr. King’s action regarding the financial arrangements of the new campus (about which Dr. Marshall does not tell us) as a sort of unspoken financial malfeasance. This flies in the face of common decency.

Of note is that the old campus was actually comprised of several small houses that were more or less contiguous in a residential neighborhood and that the former College of St. Thomas More had purchased through the years. No further room for expansion was available. Mr. King saw an opportunity to acquire a much larger facility, one that would accommodate the anticipated growth of the now Fisher More College, and acted while that opportunity was available. To speak of this as entering “into a real estate deal” without explicating what that deal in actual fact was, is tantamount to portraying Mr. King as duplicitous and conniving. Disagreement with another’s direction does not necessarily qualify that other’s direction as rash, wrong, devious, or even imprudent.

If there are other financial dealings to which Dr. Marshall is privy, he should spell these out if he wishes to be credible, although, truly, they do not and should not influence the bishop’s decision concerning the TLM. Insinuations are hardly the hallmark of a forthright critic.

tantamergo - March 4, 2014

IP spoofing? Hmmm…..

Not that I need to defend Mr.Marshall, I think his point was pretty obvious – as glorious and wonderful as the current Fisher-More facility may be, it is unsustainable financially, as he and other former board members pointed out. Former board members. Those who disagree with King finding it so unpleasant they cannot continue their association, apparently.

Barring a miraculous infusion of cash, which perhaps this little episode was orchestrated to engender?, all this will be moot within a few months, anyways.

I think the many, many folks that have had to disassociate themselves from FMC in the past year or so have been extremely restrained in their revelations of the problems there. I think they are being so restrained out of charity. That is to their credit. Perhaps you might reflect on that.

There is so much more that could be said, but I pray it does not come to that.

47. Marietta - March 4, 2014

Couldn’t the Bishop have fired King, instead of the TLM?

Magnus Maximus - March 5, 2014

Exactly, but these bishops hate the TLM and I feel want tot see it vanish. How else do you explain this. I don’t think Dr. Marshall’s explanation exonerates the bishop.

48. Lou J Apa (@louapa) - March 5, 2014

Time for this Bishop to repent and retire from active ministry for his poor decisions!….Pray for this man!….lja/JMJ

49. The Thinking Housewife › A College in the News - March 5, 2014

[…] Davis, the president of Fisher More, for his lack of orthodoxy or mismanagement, commenters at this blog speculate. By the same logic, it would be okay for the director of a hospital to deny chemotherapy […]

50. Fortescue - March 5, 2014

Our oldest daughter happens to be a full-time high school student at Fisher More Academy (FMA), which is the online school (primary and secondary) associated with FMC. She tells us that her FMA education is truly outstanding. both academically and socially (insofar as cyberspace is capable of providing opportunities for social interaction), and we her parents are inclined to agree with her assessment of the FMA experience.
We feel that as a standalone online academy, FMA should be capable of attaining a solid financial footing, and would do well even if FMC proves unable to survive financially. Certainly, FMA is only marginally affected by the new Ordinary’s removal of the TLM at FMC. We do hope and pray, whatever happens to the bricks-and-mortar FMC, that FMA will survive and thrive.
What is the likelihood of FMA’s survival if FMC proves unable to tread water? Does anyone have the “inside track” on the issues concerning FMC viz. the future of FMA? How much, if any, control does the local bishop have over FMA?

tantamergo - March 5, 2014

I know the people that had run FMA for a long time were forced out. That’s not how the president of FMC is describing it, but that’s how I’ve had it related to me by several folks involved in the situation.

They wanted to separate off FMA and just go their own way, but he’s not allowing that. King claims FMA owes FMC substantial monies for various things, and he feels FMA/FMC form a single inseparable whole.

A source very, very well placed in FMA/FMC tells me that FMA is being sacrificed, financially, to help keep FMC afloat.

Truthquest - March 6, 2014

This is so sad because Mr. King’s actions will have a ripple down affect even within the Catholic home schooling community. Upon learning of these facts that the control and monies from FMA are going towards FMC’s financial support many home schoolers may not find that they can consciously use FMA to school their children, not because the program isn’t excellent, but because they will not want to know that their hard earned money is going to ultimately support FMC. Our prayers go out to the original founders of both the college and to the original founders of FMA. To see ideas started, and formed through their prayers and labor and then taken (in my mind stolen but I will leave that to God) from them by crafty “legal” tricks is sickening. Talk about a situation that some could make the case is border line committing one of the four sins that cry out to God for vengeance- defrauding the laborer of their wages. I think Mr. King had to have thought long and hard how he could find institutions that had already done all of the hard and courageous work like getting accreditation, planning of curriculum and sources, etc. so that he could then come in, use what it seems to be his knowledge (or maybe his wife’s, —was told by a friend who personally knows them that his wife had been a lawyer) of the law to squeeze others out to take control.

Mary - March 7, 2014

Check out Queen of Heaven Academy. From their web site:

“Queen of Heaven Academy will offer the proven 18-year curriculum that was used by Regina Coeli Academy. Names of faculty members will be made public at a later date. Please be assured that the QHA faculty will be primarily comprised of faculty who are knowledgeable and have extensive experience with the Regina Coeli Academy (now Queen of Heaven Academy) curriculum.”


“Queen of Heaven Academy offers an online curriculum that is faithful to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church. The direct descendant of Regina Coeli Academy founded in 1995, Queen of Heaven Academy will offer the same curriculum that Regina Coeli Academy offered for 18 years.”


Queen of Heaven Academy is not associated with Fisher More College and is being administered by the former FMA administration.

tantamergo - March 7, 2014

Yah thanks I was going to blog on that but was not certain of the association with FMC. I’m pretty loaded today but I’ll try to do a post next week.

51. MaryG - March 5, 2014

Tantamergo you mention that “I think the many, many folks that have had to disassociate themselves from FMC in the past year or so have been extremely restrained in their revelations of the problems there.” This seems very accurate. The whole of Mr. King’s tenure has been filled with people disassociating themselves with him and his college. 4 separate sets of faculty/staff have left in the very short time he has led the college (is it 3 years now?). People have been quite tightlipped about why they leave…and so soon! Most of them have lasted less than a year. None of the residential chaplains have stayed longer than 6 months. Clearly there is more to this story than simply what Dr. Marshall lays out…as he has only his own experience to go on and not that of those before him or after. It’s a shame b/c the college has an admirable mission. But I would never send my children there or support them financially given that history.

The board needs to replace the president. Clearly he is either a terrible leader (witness the mass exodus or faculty/staff/chaplains) or he is an incompetent judge of character (hires people who constantly leave or must be fired).

hereditasmagazine - March 7, 2014

Yes, someone asked if it would not have been better for the Bishop to fire Mr. King rather than restrict the Mass. That would be a nice solution but the bishop has no more power to fire Mr. King than he has to fire Melinda Gates. The board has consisted of rubber stamps for Mr. King ever since the resignation of five of eight members (mentioned in Taylor Marshall’s statement). There is of course an addition to the board – a non Catholic mentioned by Mr. King in his lame response to Dr. Marshall.

Someone needs to ask questions as to how that non Catholic board member came to have his position. Could it have anything to do with the GoFundMe Campaign? Hmmmm?

tantamergo - March 7, 2014

Other board members consist of Mr. King’s immediate family. Most of the remaining administration is closely related to Mr. King or is intellectually allied to him.

52. TG - March 7, 2014

Someone named Halina has a long comment on Louie V’s blog about this. This person was a member of the board and has resigned even though has a family of 7 kids. The comment blames Mr. King and mismangement of funds. (Tanamergo,I think this person is a member of your parish. Mater something.)

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