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UPDATED: Reader Has Questions about The Fatima Center and Upcoming Dallas Conference – Are There Problems with Speakers? February 20, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, history, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Restoration, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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UPDATE: I added the video I promised in the original post. There’s not much to it, it’s just a brief 1 minute advert for the conference.

A longtime reader of this blog asked some questions I’m really not the best person to answer.  I did have some knowledge of his concerns, so I include my response to him below, but I offered to open up the matter to the readership in the knowledge that many of you have much deeper familiarity with The Fatima Center, Fr. Gruner, and their history than I do.  First, the questions:

This looks to be a fantastic conference, however, I do have some concerns I was hoping you could address before I commit my wife and I to attending.   Although, it’s be wonderful to listen to and perhaps even chat with Chris Ferrara, who often guests on the Mike Church show, I’ve been concerned with Fr. Gruner’s Fatima Center for several years.  Wasn’t Fr. Gruner disobedient to the Church and was suspended?  I have also found that a majority of those associated with and/or sympathetic with Gruner tend to think that the NO Mass is invalid, and many of those are also perhaps sedevecantists.

Not looking to be combative here at all, just cautious and seeking knowledge and perhaps a correction in what may simply be my misunderstanding.

And here is my brief response:

Like the SSPX, there are many arguments on both sides of the Father Gruner situation, but for the most part I think the accusations that he was disciplined are unfounded.  I haven’t really delved into the subject in that much depth, since the man has been dead for a year or two now.

I don’t believe I’ve personally seen or heard any of the speakers I know who are supposed to be at the conference say the Novus Ordo is invalid.  The claim they are sede vacantist is completely false.

To add a little bit more, I have listened to many talks, and read much material, by several of the conference speakers – Chris Ferrara, Michael Matt, Fr. Michael Rodriguez, and Father Paul MacDonald, and I could not recall any of them declaring the Novus Ordo to be invalid.  I feel very confident reinforcing the statement that there are no sede vacantist views in any of these gentlemen that I have ever seen, read, or heard.  Now many have severe problems with the Novus Ordo, especially as it is commonly offered in most parishes, but I don’t think any have declared it to be invalid in toto or from some fundamental basis.  Many also raise very appropriate and vociferous concerns regarding the current pontificate and the overall pontifical leadership of the Church since the late 50s, but that is quite a different thing from declaring that there have been no valid popes since whatever date.

I know some readers are very familiar with Father Nicholas Gruner and John Vennari (may they rest in peace), Michael Matt, Father Rodriguez, and others, and I ask now for additional information that clarifies their views on the topics in question.  I know the reader in question is well intentioned so I ask that replies be made in a spirit of kindness and generosity, and not take these questions as a personal attack on your own beliefs.  I also think specific evidence is the best kind of reply that directly answers the matters in question.

It should be added, however, that many of the speakers on the conference program have run afoul of the institutional Church at various times and have suffered from campaigns of misinformation and misrepresentation.  I think Fr. Gruner in particular suffered from this.  So I would personally very much appreciate any detailed replies that provide light on any particular beliefs held by these men, as well as specific instances of misrepresentation or falsification that may exist.  I bring this up, because I have a vague memory of seeing some really nasty calumnies against not only Fr. Gruner, but also Fr. Rodriguez and, I think, Matt and Ferrara, on Catholic Answers, things that were really quite disprovable.  There have been similar attacks on Church Militant websites.  But it was years ago that I read these things and I have forgotten the details.

Anyway, if one reader has such questions, it is likely that others do as well, so your response may be benefiting a number of souls, and it is always helpful to put these kinds of questions to rest.  I appreciate the time you spend in your response, and again please be charitable.

Find below a video on the upcoming conference by Fr. Paul MacDonald.  I am looking forward to it with enthusiasm.

I should also make very clear, I personally have no questions about the speakers and trust especially Father Rodriguez explicitly in every regard on matters of faith and morals.  I know his brother David, too, and am completely comfortable there, as well, as I am with Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara.  This post was for the benefit of a reader with questions I am not presently in a position to answer directly with hard data confirming the status of the speaker’s belief.  I used to have some of that info to hand, but that was 4 or 5 years ago and I’ve forgotten or misplaced it.  Thus my request to you, but I want to assure all that I cannot wait to attend this conference and am very much looking to it with no reservations of any kind.

Sorry here is the video I promised:

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Comments

1. Mary Anne - February 21, 2018

From the Book:’Fatima Priest’ by Francis Alban with Christopher Ferrara, Esq.” Many people have an opinion about the priestly standing of Father Nicholas Gruner, but very few of them know the facts. ….. Father Grune’s persecution is attested to by the Archbishop of Hyderbad, who has incardinated Father Gruner in his archdiocese and praises and supports his Fatima apostolate. In his formal decree incardinating Father Gruner, the archbishop declared: “Evil forces have conspired to destroy your work of love … So Father Gruner is not excommunicated.

The book, available from the ‘Fatima Center’ is very well documented and also very well written. The back cover contains a description of Father Gruners physical attack at Fatima, “The shocking sound of a ripping priestly cassock, marked the moment. A second assailant grabbed him, spun him around and threw him against the wall”

I would get the book and I would definetely go. Every speaker is soo spiritually uplifting and extremely interesting. There are people to talk to, also … people like yourself with the same understanding and grace I would say. Best of Luck to you !! God bless and Ave Maria!!

Tantumblogo - February 21, 2018

I should be clear. I am going to the conference. This post was for the benefit of a reader.

2. Tim - February 21, 2018

Valid or invalid is not the question on individual Novus Ordos. The question should be, does it confer grace? A black mass is valid technically, if offered by a traitor priest with a validly consecrated Eucharistic. Since I can’t possibly figure all these things out on a case by case basis I simply don’t go to the Novus Ordo, safer that way. I do believe that a great many Novus Ordos offered today have a high probability of being invalid. Stick with the TLM.

3. Dismas - February 21, 2018

Tantum, there is a lot to be said about this and there are different opinions, as you pointed out. Separating opinion from fact, I know all of the speakers save one, and I know they are not sedevacantists.

From insiders at the Fatima Center I have been told that the individuals who attend functions there or who are supporters constitute a mixed bag. A good number attend Novus Ordo Masses. I would be very surprised if there was not a number of sedevacantists among them as well. It is my impression that supporters of the Fatima Center run the gamut.

I guess the statement that the Church is in crisis could also be considered an opinion. If this is not a crisis, I shudder to think what a crisis looks like. These priests and lay speakers are among that more visible cadre who recognize a crisis and speak in terms that echo Church doctrine. By virtue of doing so they must run afoul of the hierarchy, which is demonstrably given over to positions that are alien to Catholicism. We are in difficult times where we are all going to be confronted with very difficult choices. To do nothing will be a choice as well.

I see no need to elaborate. I really appreciate the way you framed your post. The person asking went to lengths not to be combative and to simply ask a very relevant question. I think your response to him fairly says what it needs to.

Back to opinions, it is mine that we have only begun to see the revolutionary nature of the men at the top. Each and every one of us will, at some point, be fishing or cutting bait.

4. Barbara Hvilivitzky - February 21, 2018

As Father Paul McDonald is a parish priest in the Ordinary Rite it’s doubtful if he thinks his Mass is invalid. He does, however, say a beautiful Latin Mass for my parish when our FSSP pastor has to be away.

There are many reasons for divergent views, and loyalties, in priests. The Fatima Centre’s conferences have featured speakers as divergent at Father Rodrigues, and Msgr. Perez. Bishop Fellay said Father Gruner’s Requiem Mass, yet Father Gruner was not a member of the SSPX. I think the line-up at this upcoming Texas conference is terrific and reflects the Fatima Centre’s “catholicity.”

Tantumblogo - February 21, 2018

I’m with you. I can’t wait to go. Really looking forward to it.

5. Shawn Albert - February 21, 2018

The best way to learn about Fatima Center is to go to their website http://www.fatima.org and read what they have to say, also listen to the talks given at previous conferences which are available on their YouTube channel, or can be obtained on CD from them as well.

While there is much controversy around Fr. Gruner and his status, one thing must be kept in mind. His “suspension” was for a totally bogus reason, especially in light of the hundreds of priests and bishops who were (and are) engaged in spreading heresy and/or engaged in immoral sexual activity. Let me be clear. Fr. Gruner kept the true Catholic Faith, and those who worked with him did (and do) also, though there seems to be some controversy about some of those who formerly worked with Fr. Gruner, like Fr. Paul Kramer.

Many years ago in 2002, I attended a talk given by Fr. Gruner in South Portland, Maine. And I would have done it again if I would have had the opportunity.

Bottom line, I recommend going to the conference and seeing for yourself. I think you will learn a lot of good things.

Tantumblogo - February 21, 2018

I should also make very clear, I personally have no questions about the speakers and trust especially Father Rodriguez explicitly in every regard on matters of faith and morals.  I know his brother David, too, and am completely comfortable there, as well, as I am with Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara.  This post was for the benefit of a reader with questions I am not presently in a position to answer directly with hard data confirming the status of the speaker’s belief.  I used to have some of that info to hand, but that was 4 or 5 years ago and I’ve forgotten or misplaced it.  Thus my request to you, but I want to assure all that I cannot wait to attend this conference and am very much looking to it with no reservations of any kind.


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