Bishop Bans Fisher More College from offering TLM to students

Note:  I am not jumping to any conclusions regarding the reasons for actions taken by Bishop Olson, since they are unknowable until he tells us.  The questions posed below can be summed up thusly. How is this a banning of a legitimate rite of the Church a legitimate remedy to a legitimate problem?  I believe it is incumbent upon the Bishop to publicly share this critical information.
. . .

 In a shocking, largely unexplained, and possibly canonically illegitimate move, and just over three weeks into his tenure, the Bishop of Fort Worth has banned the daily Traditional Mass at Fisher More College. The only reason offered for the startling action that seemingly flies in the face of the rights established in Summorum Pontificum is that such a ban is "for the sake of your own soul."

I wrote last week, about which there was some controversy, that traditional Catholics within the Church are feeling more and more marginalized. This is not going to help.

Rorate has the breaking story
In a stunning and breathtaking letter, the Most Rev. Michael Olson, the newly-ordained bishop of the Fort Worth Diocese and the second-youngest bishop in the United States, has fully and totally banned the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in the chapel of Fisher More College, where it has been offered for the last three years on a daily basis by chaplains all approved by his predecessor bishop according to the college. This blow comes after the students of the college raised $300,000 in about a week to keep the school open for the spring semester (see here).

Rorate has exclusively obtained -- through a source who has requested anonymity -- a copy of the letter sent last week by the bishop after a personal meeting with the college's president, Michael King. Even more striking, the letter from Bishop Olson states that he's doing this "for your own soul," addressing Mr. King, apparently saying in some twisted way the offering of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form is a danger to Mr.King's soul.

When asked by Rorate for a response to the letter from Bishop Olson, the school declined to comment.

February 24, 2014
Mr. Michael King
Fisher-More College
801 West Shaw Street
Fort Worth, Texas 761 l0

Dear Mister King:

Thank you for your visit today. I am writing you to state formally what I told you during our
meeting. These norms take effect immediately.

1. You do not have permission to have the public celebration of the Extraordinary Form of
the Mass at the Chapel of Fisher More College. This includes Sundays and weekdays.
The weekly celebration of the Extraordinary Form is available to the faithful every
Sunday at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Fort Worth

2. You may only have the celebration of fire Mass in the Ordinary Form by priests who
explicitly have faculties for such celebration as granted by me as the Bishop of Fort

3. Failure to comply with the above-stated norms will result in my withdrawal of permission
to celebrate the Eucharist in your chapel along with withdrawal of permission to reserve
the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel.

I make these norms out of my pastoral solicitude and care for the students of Fisher-More
College as well as for your own soul. I urge you to comply with them. Please convey to your
students my gratitude for their glfi of the spiritual bouquet. Please assure them of their presence
in my prayers.

 I remain,
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Michael F4 Olson, STD
Bishop of Fort Worth
This move is made all the more shocking for the lack of justification. As if the daily offering of the TLM, by itself, could be the cause of injury to anyone's soul. What he offers as a substitute is the one TLM in the entire diocese a few miles away at 5:30pm on Sundays only.

Rorate includes a letter from the Canon Law Centre which suggests that this action of the Bishop is beyond his authority and should be challenged.

I will also note that the Bishop made this decision just over 3 weeks into his tenure in the Diocese.  Hardly enough time to address any underlying issues fairly with the college.  As such, this seems directed at the TLM only.

Whether beyond his authority under Summorum Pontificum or not, this serious action with minimal justification directed at something so ancient and sacred, reverberates far beyond the confines of campus. This is reminiscent of other recent actions directed against the TLM with minimal justification and will likely be seen as very chilling by traditionalists within the Church, increasing that very dangerous sense of isolation.

Update:  It is entirely possible that there are other legitimate issues with FMC, I do not discount that possibility.  But how is canonically suspect banning the TLM supposed to address any other issue?  If there are underlying issues, deal with them.  The TLM is not the source of anyone's problems.  To use it as a punishment or a threat is wholly inappropriate.  I would suggest that the Bishop owes the faithful a fuller explanation of the situation.

*subhead*Put Your Blurb Here.*subhead*


  1. Dogmatic adherence to the only non-dogmatic council and the "liturgical reforms" that were in no way contemplated by, or directed in, the texts of the council is the only requisite for being a "Catholic in good standing." Andrew Coumo will find his way on his journey to the Lord. The Fisher-More folks folks are on the path to damnation.

  2. Pat,

    Why don't you address this with a column at the Register?

  3. He didn't offer an explanation in the letter, but he states that he had already discussed this is a face to face meeting. Is it not reasonable to assume that his rationale was explaind at that time?

    You don't know the whole story, so maybe you should slow down on the persecution talk. It looks questionable on the surface, but there is perhaps a history here to which you are not privy.

    1. There is ZERO canonical authority to forbid a legitimate rite of the Church. ZERO. There isn't a mitigating circumstance that could make this OK.

  4. I'd like to hear from Mr. King about what was said at the meeting, but I wouldn't go so far as Rebecca does. It would be bizarre—it is at least suspicious—for the rationale of an action that is sure to be subject to review to be explained face-to-face and then omitted in the written communication. Suppose that you are subject to a federal regulation, for example, and you are called in to a meeting. They give you an explanation for why they are fining you, but then the written letter simply states the amount of the fine and not the reasoning; to a court, that's going to look like an attempt to evade review.

  5. Perhaps it’s worth noting that Universæ Ecclesiæ says that “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, always in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father clearly expressed by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.” If I wished to defend Bp. Olson’s actions, I might suggest that he is acting in agreement with the mens of the Holy Father’s successor, Francis, who has made clear his contempt for the usus antiquior and the pseudo-hipster Catholics who adhere to it.

  6. There is much more to the story, but I am not allowed to talk about it. This isn't an attack on the TLM, its the problems with FMC (and its feeder school FMA). I see no good reporting here, trying to get to the underlying issues by talking to the staff that has left FMA recently.

  7. How is it anything but questionable to forbid the celebration of the Mass? How is it good for souls to deny them access to the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord?

  8. Simon,

    "...pseudo-hipster Catholics?"

  9. Whether or not there is more to the story, how can it be appropriate to cut off the faithful from a legitimate form of the Mass? Since many of the students there come from families who exclusively pray the EF mass, this will effectively shut down the school, won't it? Seems like a drastic overreach of power to me, no matter what problems there might be at the school.

  10. I have been thinking a lot about how the RC way doesn't really allow for local unity. The Fort Worth bishop is little more than an administrator appointed by Rome, and we know how this Papal stuff works- the power of the current pope is more important than whatever previous popes said before. The filoque is an example of this- it is not necessarily an error in doctrine, but clearly a flouting of the rules established by a council and a pope.
    But post Benedict's motu propio on the chapel door and defy the bureaucrat. While you are at it, find some liturgical books that are a bit older than 1962. Nothing from the sixties is traditional.

  11. Listen all,
    If there are underlying issues at FMC, then the Bishop should address those issues. How does restricting the TLM address any issue? How can the TLM be a danger to one's soul? If there is bad theology at FMC, then deal with that. But to use the TLM as a cudgel is inappropriate.

  12. Why is it that egregious abuses we see everyday, out in the open, are not treated like this? Why is it only the TLM / Traditionalists getting spanked by bishops, with the ensuing, mysterious whispers of "we don't know what has transpired".

    Well, how bad could it be? If it's something so horrendous wouldn't we know about it? This is pastoral? The crazy Germans bishops want communion for divorce-and-remarrieds and the TLM is being suppressed, all in the name of caring for souls.... this is nuts.

  13. I've heard just enough hints from contacts at Fisher-More to think there's something to what Federoff11 says.

    But the problem is that I am having trouble imagining a problem that has as its solution the (canonically problematic) yanking of the Extraordinary Form from the campus - and only that solution. Why not just insist that both forms be celebrated?

    Let us say - getting wild and imaginative here - that you had a professor denouncing the New Mass as invalid and the result of a Jewish conspiracy, with the administration supporting him; let us even say the students formed a Klaus Barbie Fan Club that conducting public burnings of the modern Roman Missal on campus grounds on Saturday nights (while roasting s'mores over the fires). Well, in case like that, you'd have a far more grave problem, and just stopping TLM's is not going to solve it. At that point, you'd be yanking its Catholic credentials altogether.

    Yes, there are concerns at Fisher-More. But I can't see how this ban of the TLM on campus is a proper solution. Especially in a diocese that has only one TLM location, and only once a week. He's only been on the job three weeks, but he could put a lot of traditionalists' minds at ease - and respond to what I know is an underserved tradition-desiring constituency - if he were to complement this action with some act to expand TLM availability, by non-problematic priests, in his diocese.

  14. The Bishop is the Vicar of Christ in his diocese

  15. I would like to know who was celebrating these Masses. Did the school have a suspended priest coming by to say daily Mass? It's weird that the school has such a focus on liturgy (in itself, good), and yet no mention on their website of a chaplain or the identity of those saying Mass.

  16. Jason, yes, but he must exercise his authority within the confines of the law of the Roman Church and the universal law of the Catholic Church, as established by the Holy See. The bishop had the authority to do what he did under the regmie of Ecclesia Dei, but Summorum Pontificum supersedes Ecclesia Dei.

  17. Two words Jason, ready?

    1. rembert

    2. weakland

  18. No wonder so many love SSPX..........

  19. If the college had a pro-baby murdering club or a pro-sodomite group the Bishop would be fine with that.

    The Catholic Church is becoming a joke

  20. Viva yes Cristo the people of the Catholic Church are a joke that is why they need Christ. Rembert and Weakland were successor of the apostles selected by the Successor of Peter, so if you are looking for someone to blame, then well (or the people should go back to selecting their bishops they can't do worse than the Popes)..... Olson as the Chief Judge (so to speak) in his diocese can say, with authority, what is consistent with the Universal Law. Until Olson is disciplined, excommunicated or disposed the Pope must believe he is operating in the letter of the law.

  21. Patrick, I believe the FMC has a FSSP chaplain saying Mass for them.

  22. Jason, Rembert Weakland is one person.

  23. Jason, Rembert and Weakland?

  24. Okay, he is one person. I don't really pay attention to Bishop's outside of Dallas or Ft. Worth, Texas. My concern is that my Bishop leads the one church of Christ as a true Vicar of Christ. And I am going to assume Olson as a successor of the apostles is doing that for Ft. Worth. If he is not, blame the people or person who selected him. (Part of the problem with Weakland may have been he had two last names for names.)

  25. I bet somebody rightfully questioned the fruts of the Bugnini mass. This caused the bishop to come screaming in yelling "there are RAD TRADS in these walls - We must shut the place down!".

    When one rightfully question the fruits of the Ordinary form of the mass (yes, even when done in Latin and done reverently ad-orientem) they are instantly labeled a "soft-sede" or outright sedevacantist or radtrad, or whatever the Catholic Answers staff think of. Its quite sad the persecution that is happening to tradition....

  26. Jason, nor to the correct use of punctuation, it seems. At any rate, I am perfectly happy to blame the person who selected him; the root cause of all that has vexed us for almost a year is that the conclave chose the wrong man.

  27. The mass of 1970 should have never existed. Our fathers and grandfathers should have burn the books as soon as they appeared in the pews and demanded their Mass. But they did not. Paul 6 let Bugnini do what he did and did not stop him. The Pope, bishops and the people of the Church let the Novus Ordo become the Mass. Everyone is to blame and we have to realize the popes from Pius IX to now have not been that great. The people should have treasured what they had but they did not, they refused to challenge Pius 6 and his bishops.

  28. "Jason said...
    The Bishop is the Vicar of Christ in his diocese "

    Then act like it.

  29. "Jason said...
    The Bishop is the Vicar of Christ in his diocese "

    Then act like it.

  30. As alluded to above, the problem here is that regardless of whether or not FM has done anything wrong (my guess is that its teachers have expressed a creeping "pseudo-Lefebrianism") the Church has shown a clear and consistent policy of going hard and fast over any sign of dissent from the right while allowing an almost infinite leash with the other side of the spectrum. Disciplines of the Church (like communion in the hand) have been created to accommodates dissent on the left, schools have taught blatant heresies for decades without losing their charters, whereas dissent on the right seems to get you shut down and/or fired in short order.

    Arbitrary application of the law has consequences; it promotes scandal, disunity, despair, cynicism, etc. A clear trend is emerging and people are reacting to it. You can't just scold people for being scandalized! In matters of public significance, appearance is important.

    It's simply not good enough anymore to say that "the Bishop is the bishop. He saw X. He has a right to discipline for X. Therefore there is nothing to see here." There is something to see here, regardless of what FM has done. The TLM is not something suspicious, and whatever the issues at that school, the EF is not one of them.

  31. Let's take a look at the official position of the school administration, found in a letter that went to parents and families of TMA earlier this month:

    "In our residential College community, we have students from SSPX families, FSSP families, families who attend both forms of the Roman Rite, and families who attend only the Novus Ordo. Likewise, we attract supporters from across a similar Catholic spectrum, some of whom have been extremely generous with their time and resources in promoting our cause. We welcome all Catholics who want to be part of our community, but we also make it clear that our mission is very specific. In other words, we have made a conscious and deliberate decision that fidelity to the traditions of the Church (Mass, Liturgy, prayers, teachings, doctrines, etc.) is essential to achieving our mission, and we state this clearly in our public documents. Unfortunately, we have come to expect controversy and criticism, but we insist on never disparaging other Catholics. Our intent is to provide an environment that is both spiritually safe and intellectually spirited for our students, and we endeavor to achieve this by promoting a traditional prayer life and teaching eternal Church doctrine. Our faculty and staff may voice their opinions about what they perceive are errors, or question what they believe may be inconsistencies in Church teaching, but we do not bash fellow Catholics. Some of our guest speakers have lectured on controversial topics (e.g., creationism, geo-centrism, liturgical music, the message of Fatima, Church history and doctrine, etc.), but we always want lectures to remain scholarly, respectful, and devoid of inappropriate polemics.

    Most importantly, we cherish every one of our students and we appreciate every person who has contributed to our struggling cause. It is unthinkable that we would take action or make statements that reassure some Catholics at the expense of others, especially if some our own students or some of the people who have generously supported our mission are among those we would be expected to disparage. Sadly, it becomes untenable when members of our own community, and even the
    clergy, add their voices to the chorus of detractors and contribute to the spread of enmity and discord, particularly when critics are not fully informed and presume to know our motives and intentions. It only intensifies the ugliness and deepens the anguish, two effects with which we have regrettably become quite familiar.

    We are not an SSPX apostolate. We are not an FSSP apostolate. We are not a diocesan apostolate. Despite our wishes and best efforts in search of one (based on our belief that a Catholic college apostolate like ours should be led by the clergy and not by laymen), we are not aligned with any religious or priestly order. While we may be naively attempting an impossible balancing act, our continual prayer is simply for the grace to know and execute God’s will. I can assure you that we are and will strive to remain, with God’s grace, joyfully and faithfully Catholic, and we will continue to labor in service of God and His Church until we discern that His will is otherwise."

    If this statement indicates an attitude deserving of discipline, I would like to know why.

    And even *if* someone could make the justification, there is never a right to take away a legitimate form of Mass that any priest of the Roman Rite is authorized to say by virtue of his ordination.

  32. Jason,

    "Everyone is to blame and we have to realize the popes from Pius IX to now have not been that great."

    Are you sure you have the right Pope?

    That range of years contains some of the best Popes the Church has ever had: specifically, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X, and Pius XI.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. The bishop has spoken. Disobedience to the bishop will endanger a person's soul. ..but only if the bishop is correct. Reminding the bishop of his duty to souls and his adherence to orthodoxy is a parishioner's duty

  35. Thank you, Steve, for reprinting that letter. We are now past the time when the inappropriate actions of both the clergy and laity can be hidden (lest they cause scandal). It is imperative that the truth of those who are oppressing and those who are oppressed be clearly seen.

  36. I think It's probably a bigger issue with the college that we do not know. Since this letter is not the public declaration, we shouldn't jump to conclusions, but just wait.

  37. It is strange that a brand new bishop would find it necessary to stomp on a legitimate offering of the Holy Sacrifice as one of his first orders of business. Doesn't a new pastor generally spend some time getting the lay of the land and not doing anything rash? And if the College were somehow out of line, why attack the Mass. Oh, it is not about the Mass, some say? Just like the FFI is not about the Mass, right? If it is not about the Mass, why go against Summorum Pontificum and attack the liturgy? There are a number of liturgies in the Church, why is this one persecuted????
    And I cannot help but think of two other bishops, namely Hubbard and Clark, who were young bishops and most of us know what they have left in their wake. God forbid this to happen in Fort Worth!

  38. An awful lot of people carrying on as if the community there will no longer have access to the Eucharist. Is it *that* difficult to attend an ordinary form mass until the dust settles?

    Every time I get interested in the TLM, I get turned off by its more vocal proponents, and decide I'm perfectly fine with a reverent OF. If you think I'm wrong, so be it, but I'm just letting you know that your evangelism strategy could use some work... the nonstop persecuted minority hysterics aren't winning any converts.

  39. I am in the diocese of FW. And I suspect that whatever is going at at FMC, there are probably worse abuses just across the freeway at Our Mother of Mercy. I hope Bishop Olson addresses liturgical issues across the entire diocese. But I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that, whatever is going on here, it is worthy of his immediate attention and firm action, and not just because he likes picking on TLM fans.

  40. Daddio, Ghandi once said that he would be a Christian but for the way Christians conduct themselves. I always thought that silly. Who would say "I would prefer not to drown, but I don't like the way that swimmers behave"? Similarly, I've heard the complaint before that a person would attend the TLM but for the way that traditionalists comport themselves, and I don't find that any less silly, truth to tell.

  41. And if the bishop "suspended" the ordinary form in your diocese? Would it be an adequate response to say "people are carrying on as if the community will no longer have access to the Eucharist, and is it that difficult to attend an extraordinary form mass until the dust settles?" What is revealed is the bishop's cast of mind. And this is precisely why for years we're going to have to look with suspicion on the bishops appointed during what we all surely hope is a short—mercifully-short—pontificate.

  42. Hoping for the pope to die soon... Yes, I'm all warm and fuzzy now.

  43. FMC is imploding in an ugly way. The Bishop is doing his thankless job by trying to limit the damage to his diocese. Bishops often think that the TLM draws crazy people to it like moths to a flame. I agree. It does. Come to my chapel on Sunday, I'll show them to you.

    Maybe he is outside his authority to do this. If so, he ought to reverse it, no one is above the law. On the other hand, I am not going to judge his strategy for dealing with this ugly weird thing that was dropped in his lap.

    As for this blog, it seems to repeat and repost every unsubstantiated and unwise thing Rorate Caeli reports. If I wanted that, I'd simply subscribe to RC, which I do.

  44. And yes, of course, that would be an adequate response! I'll go where the Lord is. At least, I'd like to believe so. But it's you all who now have exactly that opportunity to demonstrate your fidelity.

  45. "FMC is imploding in an ugly way. The Bishop is doing his thankless job by trying to limit the damage to his diocese. Bishops often think that the TLM draws crazy people to it like moths to a flame. I agree. It does. Come to my chapel on Sunday, I'll show them to you."

    Sweet, lovely, kind.

    If you've got facts about FMC, pray tell share them. Otherwise the "all your kind do this, than and the other thing" kind of went out of fashion with the Jim Crow laws.

  46. An awful lot of people carrying on as if the community there will no longer have access to the Eucharist. Is it *that* difficult to attend an ordinary form mass until the dust settles?

    Well, in view of how the Ordinary Form is typically celebrated around there...yes, it could be a cross to bear. Bear in mind that most traditionalists today started out worshiping exclusively in the N.O. - they had no choice, typically, and ended up being driven out by abuses, heterodoxies, and bad pastoral leadership.

    It is true that some trads can take their exclusive emphasis on the TLM as making a dangerous judgment not only on the Missal of Paul VI (as not merely impoverished, but illicit), but on people who frequent it. Such people do, alas, exist. But I often think that such attitudes are intensified when any preference for traditional liturgy is treated as equivalent to fascism by their prelates and clergy. This can be a vicious circle.

    I expect that pretty much all of the F-M community will end up satisfying their worship needs at St. Mary the Assumption, or over in Dallas at Mater Dei. They'll just have to give up on daily Mass, if they feel their spiritual needs are best met that way.

    It is fair to ask as well why the TLM is virtually nonexistent in the Diocese of FW (and daily Mass *is* nonexistent), despite the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and some sizable interest in the traditional liturgy; but that is a question best posed to Bishop Olson's predecessor.

  47. "And yes, of course, that would be an adequate response! I'll go where the Lord is. At least, I'd like to believe so. But it's you all who now have exactly that opportunity to demonstrate your fidelity."

    Fidelity to what? An unlawful exercise of non-authority? Self-righteous much?

  48. A bishop's authority is limited by canon and liturgical law (as well as Divine law). There is nothing inherently wrong about asking (in a respectful manner) whether an action falls within the scope of that authority. Summorum Pontificum greatly limited the ability of bishops to forbid celebration according to the Extra-ordinary Form, either publicly or privately. In particular, see article 5.

  49. Hello adamant,

    Bishops often think that the TLM draws crazy people to it like moths to a flame. I agree. It does. Come to my chapel on Sunday, I'll show them to you.

    Let's posit that as true. If so, might I not suggest that our bishops, clergy and lay leaders bear some very considerable responsibility for this state of affairs? By working to marginalize Tradition as much as possible, they have also, regrettably, left traditional communities in some places to be disproportionately dominated and influenced by more extreme and unbalanced individuals (or the SSPX). If you treat people like social lepers, do not be surprised if they start to act that way.

    As Pope Benedict himself said in God and the World in 2002: "Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her present if things are that way? I must say, quite openly, that I don’t understand why so any of my episcopal brethren have to a great extent submitted to this rule of intolerance, which for no apparent reason is opposed to making the necessary inner reconciliations within the Church.”

    And for what? For Catholics who simply want to re-engage their own tradition? To worship as countless forebears did? Why is this so criminal? Why is the 1970 missal (and more to the point, certain *ways* of celebrating the 1970 missal) being treated as so dogmatic?

    And yet we can also see what happens when bishops are generous to those with such needs. Traditionalism comes out of the shadows, and into the mainstream of the Church again. The spirituality becomes healthier, less prone to dysfunctions and extremes. The contrast in the traditional movement with, say, ten, let alone twenty years ago is something to behold. Look the growth in solid scholarship, and lay groups like Juventutem.

    Yet in my experience, worshiping in TLM communities in a number of cities in the U.S. and Europe, the kooks are not as common as some people think. Perhaps they're too common at Fisher-More. But if that's true, it may be a problem that requires a more far-reaching solution. And if Bishop Olson wants to reduce kookery or extremism (assuming that really is going on here) at TLM's, he might try the kind of generosity in making available the Extraordinary Form much more widely in his diocese, through the offices of good clergy he trusts.

  50. ngIbLH80lIuQtRsnDfOw98XM_4N3MpRQ.55w.qGjm.f6b0igN2I said: "...
    if the majority of the comments here are indicative of the moverment within the RCC in support of the TLM, i fail to see how having two forms of the Mass available to RCs is beneficial...if these comments are the fruits of allowing the celebration of the Mass in its extraordinary form, i would support prohibiting its usage everywhere."

    Now just imagine yourself as a 'regular' Catholic in 1970 when the Mass (now known as the Vetus Ordo) was suddenly prohibited and a different form of the Roman Rite was almost universally instituted. Would ya still agree that the bishop(s) shoulda done what they did?

    The unkind and uncharitable comments about others betrays projected anger.

  51. "Bishops often think that the TLM draws crazy people to it like moths to a flame. I agree."

    This doesn't do it for me anymore. Who cares? The world things a lot of things are crazy that aren't. I hear TLM women incessantly mocked for their out-of-style,"frumpy" dressing, as if that were just as big a sin as immodesty. I'm tired of mocking the crazies. This is what the NT say to me about that critique:

    "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth."

    "For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

  52. Holy people have been persecuted by the Church throughout our history. St. Teresa of Avila comes immediately to mind. Francis of Assisi does as well. St. Gerard Majella, falsely accused of rape, went for a year without the sacraments, refusing to defend himself against his accuser out of obedience to his vows. It would do anyone well, when they feel persecuted by the Church they love so dearly, to embrace this cross, to pray for resolution and peace, to humble themselves, and to let the Lord work it out. The EF was suppressed for 50 years. The Lord saw fit to use Benedict XVI to bring it back in the Lord's time. It's being suppressed at this college in Fort Worth. The Lord will lift these restrictions in His own time."Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for men so persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mt. 5:12)

  53. I'm curious if there are situations out there in OF parishes where the pastoral solution would be to impose the EF Mass upon them. ?

  54. Fisher-More denied ability to offer TLM

    It seems as if there was the TLM there with the extra ecclesiam nulla salus 'ideology'.
    Vatican Council II interpreted with the dead man walking theory was accepted . With the dead-saved are visible interpretation the Council opposes the dogma on exclusive salvation in the Catholic Church.So the college rejected the Council.

    Instead it followed Tradition associated with the TLM and affirmed the dogma on salvation.

    On the other hand if the FMC had accepted Vatican Council II without the dead man walking premise, the students could still affirm extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the rest of Tradition associated with the TLM.

    There is no new Revelation in the Catholic Church to do away with Tradition and especially the dogma on salvation.However we see this being done after Vatican Council II since the Council is interpreted with an irrationality. Even Archbishop Lefebvre and other traditionalists made this objective error.

    So now the powers that be can end the TLM and claim they are doing so in the name of Vatican Council II.The traditionalists in ignorance just accept this.

  55. This week as part of a drama unit I am teaching my students A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Since my little college is a public college, the local bishop cannot ban it.

    As St. Thomas More is said to have said (at least per agnostic Robert Bolt), "I have no window to look into another man's conscience." And neither do we, but we can suggest to the bishop, as did Alice More (again, per Robert Bolt) that he "make a statement now."

    St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, ora pro nos.


    Notice his third sentence...

    News reports and judgments made without sufficient information have created no little confusion. 

    The more things change.

    I'd like to know why it is the Bishop owes Mr Archbold an explanation.

    That aside, the Pope was at pains to note the Local Ordinary does have authority to control and manage the Liturgy in his Diocese.

    In conclusion, dear Brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful.  Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22: “Sacrae Liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet quae quidem est apud Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, apud Episcopum”)

  57. Is there, can there, be a problem of legalism when it comes to Canon Law? Has that been observed by anyone? Thanks.

  58. Pope Benedict XVI also, repeatedly, wrote and spoke about these truths..

    It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”.  Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite....

    There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal.  In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture.  What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.  It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.  Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books.  The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

    but suffused within the soi disant traditionalist movement are not only attitudes and ideas opposed to these truths but expressed personal opinions in opposition to same that can be found at any blog that came into being during the time on The Rise of the online Trad Machine.

    Either the Rise of the Online Trad Machine is right that that there are two rites - one of which is evil according to Bishop Fellay - and that there has been a grave rupture which means that several Popes have been lying thorough their teeth and fingers as they state the opposite in authentic audiences and authoritative documents or the Rise of the Online Trad Machine is an infamously untrustworthy source of information.

    That is, we are to hear His Catholic Church, right?

    Well, when they who occupy the high offices created by Divinely-Constituted authority repeatedly teach one thing, why do so many choose to follow those who are directly opposed to those who occupy those Divinely-Constituted authority?

    You know, Rev Anthony Cekada was right when he eviscerated the pretensions of the Recognise and Resist traditionalists.

  59. Well, when they who occupy the high offices created by Divinely-Constituted authority repeatedly teach one thing, why do so many choose to follow those who are directly opposed to those who occupy those Divinely-Constituted authority...

    authority was intended to be, offices

  60. I think what no one realizes here is that a place like FMC is dabbling with serious schism on a variety of issues. Just because most Trad chapels are also dabbling in it doesn't make it 'OK'. Geocentrism, dogmatic creationism, the equation of ecumenism with indifferentism...all of these are serious issues that will, taken to the conclusion so many trad priests want them taken to, usher people right out of the Church. I think so, and it seems the Bishops agree. This blog (because not much actual research appears to go on here) and Rorate Caeli (because they are exactly the 'neo pelagians' the Pope is banging on about) shout loudly that it's all about the Mass, while remaining blissfully unaware of all the baggage attached to the TLM in the real world. I used to agree, then I spent time in actual Traditional chapels and around the TLM, and now I think the solution to anyone's problems is not there. They're all a lot closer to schismatic (even the FSSP chapels) than anyone cares to admit.

    “Some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment.” (St. Ignatius: Letter to the Magnesians; Ch 4)

    “It is becoming, therefore, that ye also should be obedient to your bishop, and contradict him in nothing; for it is a fearful thing to contradict any such person. For no one does [by such conduct] deceive him that is visible, but does [in reality] seek to mock Him that is invisible, who, however, cannot be mocked by any one. And every such act has respect not to man, but to God.” (St. Ignatius: Letter to the Magnesians; Ch 3)

    “It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all [...] let all reverence the deacons as an appointment of Jesus Christ, and the bishop as Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Father, and the presbyters as the sanhedrin of God, and assembly of the apostles. Apart from these, there is no Church [...] he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons, such a man is not pure in his conscience.” (St. Ignatius: Letter to the Trallians; Chs 2-3, 7)

  61. "Well, when they who occupy the high offices created by Divinely-Constituted authority repeatedly teach one thing, why do so many choose to follow those who are directly opposed to those who occupy those Divinely-Constituted authority?"

    I don't know. Why do Bishops get appointed now without having to sign the oath against modernism?

  62. Rorate Caeli publishes the opinion of the Canon Law Centre (That spelling alone hints of authority) but when one goes to that website and clicks on Advocates one sees one name.

    One name, and he is also the founder; that is, he is a centre - albeit a starting centre :)

    How can a poor Bishop hope to prevail:)

  63. To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

    I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church,..

    Dear Michael. There is not one - NOT A SINGLE ONE - of the Bishops in the SSPX who could take this oath because they do not believe in an unerring teaching authority.

    The SSPX uses the absence of The Oath as a hammer to beat upon the orthodoxy of all the Bishops who maintain the oinds of Unity and who are in Full Communion with the Pope.

    BUT, the fact remains that all the Bishops of the SSPX could not take the oath


    FR. Z has some useful updates.

    I wonder when Rorate's ,Adfero, after his Call to Action , will apologise and do penance for inciting contention and for stirring-up division within the Body of Christ by calling for such action when he knew so little about the situation- or do those actions no longer count as the sisters of the Capital Sins?

    There may be just more than one reason Rorate Caeli no longer links to Fr. Z.

  65. "it could be a cross to bear"... I'm trying to think if I know anyone else who has borne a cross and invited me to join Him... any ideas? Gee, how SHALL I fulfill my Sunday obligation in the meantime?...

  66. adamant4242:

    What are you talking about? Geocentrism? Dogmatic Creationism? Even if they are talking about these things, since when are these heresies or cause for sanction.

    No, this is about the TLM whether you like it or not. If it were truly about something else, then the Bishop would address it.

  67. Let me make a few points here:

    1) The EF is celebrated at a nearby parish church. So it's not as if the students have lost all access to the EF.
    2) Some canonists reporting on Father Z's blog have noted that a) the fact that Masses at FMC occur in an oratory changes the applicability of Summorum Pontificum, and that b) those changes may very well give the bishop the right to suspend the TLM there.
    3) Another commenter on Fr. Z's blog rightfully points out that Bp. Olson has canon lawyers on his staff, and is not likely to have taken this step without assurance that he is complying with the appropriate laws.
    4) There's quite a few hints out there that may indicate some form of abuse of the TLM; I know Dr. Taylor Marshall, a devote of the TLM, worked there until a few months ago, when he quit without having another job in front of him (a risky thing, as Texas doesn't pay any unemployment to people who quit).

    As I pointed out on Facebook, Pat, it all revolves around who originally released the news and how they framed it. Rorate Coeli deliberately front-loaded the event as an attack on the TLM because they've been convinced since 2 hours after the election that "Pope Francis hates the TLM". Doctor Marshall is convinced it's not, and that +Olson had good cause to suspend it at FMC. I suggest strongly we wait to read his take on the matter.

  68. Mr. Layne:

    The EF being celebrated at 5:30pm on Sunday once per week doesn't mitigate this dictatorial measure by the Bishop. Again, whatever problems exist at FMC, they do not call for removing the TLM. When will traditional Catholics cease being 2nd class citizens. Apparently, only when they accept the modernist agenda.

  69. Anthony:

    About those points:

    1) The nearest celebration of the TLM is eight miles away, and doesn't have it during the week. This is hardly suitable for integrating with campus life.

    2) Assuming the spirit of the motu proprio is not being violated here, decrees that restrict are to be interpreted strictly, while decrees that permit are to be interpreted generously. Wanna guess where Summorum Pontificum falls?

    3) No kidding. He has canonists on his staff. So did the Bishop of Calgary, Alberta, when he forbid the FSSP from celebrating the TLM publicly, openly stating that he was not restricted by the motu proprio. His little exercise in despotism lasted no more than a few weeks.

    4) There are a LOT of problems with Fisher More College, some of which involve not learning anything from the lessons of Magdalen College. They are not stated in the letter. Not everyone to whom the letter is addressed was at the meeting. The bishop is bound as a matter of record to state the reasons in the letter, and the school is well within its canonical rights to demand the reasons as a matter of record. So now, instead of a problem, we have a solution that is not entirely based on the problem.

    We agree on one thing. Rorate Caeli is rarely of any help when it comes to these things, other than being able to say "Yay, we told everybody first. Yay!"

  70. Ah, Fr. Z just published a list of the craziness at FMC and it appears Fr. Gruner said Mass there recently. Really, that says it all. Gruner is the epicenter of crazy. No one who wishes to remain on the side of the real Church should be supporting anyone mixed up with Gruner. Lots of people here need to re-think their earlier positions. No Bishop can allow that sort of insanity to operate in their diocese, any more than allowing attempted ordinations of females or similar liberal craziness.

  71. adamant4242:

    You are the epicenter of crazy. Now, doesn't that solve the matter. I've just stated it, it must be true. No need for facts or support.

  72. Anyone who likes and can spell g-o-o-g-l-e can learn all they want about Fr. Gruner.

  73. The nearest TLM is two miles away at St. Mary of the Assumption in Fort Worth. According to Google Maps, the trip is 10-15 minutes by bus.