The expertise of the Combox Inquisition

So many experts. We’re awash in them! Just got an email from one:

WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST MOMENTS!Emoji

Tetrad Blood Moons 2014&2015 Predict Building Of Temple In Jerusalem! Be Rapture Ready!

So there’s that.  And as we saw over the weekend, the internet was *full* of experts on US/Russian/Ukraine relations.  Thousands of people who could not find Ukraine on a map and could not give a syllable of coherent history of the region were, overnight, transformed into experts who knew that because they saw a photoshopped picture of Putin shirtless and riding a bear, he was kind of awesome and Obama is a wuss and our sole hope for remaining  a superpower was to do do something awesome too, possibly involving missiles or something.  My FB was awash with expert advice for Obama, plus the secret hope that whatever happened, he would lose (even if that involved losing a sudden and short global war, which would be awesome too because then the media would *have* to admit that Obama sucks, and that’s the important thing).

Since I know very little about Ukraine and only know enough of Putin to know that Catholics are idiots for imagining he is Constantine Redivivus, I refrained from offering my expert advice to Obama. I posted the comments of my friend Dr. Curp because he does, in fact, have actual expertise (as in a Ph.D. in matters related to the region) and seemed to me to be talking sense. Now things seem to be cooling off. (But then again, what do I know?)

So now the experts in the Combox Inquisition have moved on the the burning question of Bp. Olson telling Fisher-More College they can’t celebrate the EF.  Again, my mailbox and FB burn up with hundreds of outraged experts stating in no uncertain terms that, while they don’t really know anything about Fisher-More or the bishop’s reasoning or, well, anything he “owes us an explanation” for this presumably outrageous and unjust act.

People keep asking me for my opinion on this latest “outrage” and so forth.

Okay.  You asked for it, so here it is.

Who do you think you are, combox inquisitor?  Since when does it become the responsibility of the bishop of some diocese you could not find on a map to explain himself and his pastoral decision (in a *private* letter that he sure as hell did not leak to the interwebs to gin up yet another pissed off mob of Reactionaries) to you?  Does the bishop of Bogota need to clear every action he takes with you?  Has God died and appointed you the arbiter of each and every choice the bishop of Kuala Lumpur needs to take?  Since when was canon law revised so that a gaggle of Reactionary loudmouths with keyboards on Facebook are now the deciding factor in what course of action a bishop takes in the pastoral care of each and every tiny school–particularly a tiny school that almost nobody had heard of until they suddenly decided they were Total Experts on it in the wink of an eye.

This is the same garbage that played out when the pope decided that one tiny group of Franciscans was out of line and the whole Reactionary community had hysterics and complained about persecution and declared Francis Worst Pope Evar!!!111!!!

So: my idea is this: since nobody really knows what’s going on, my assumption  is that the bishop is acting within his rights and probably has a reason, rather than no reason, for this action.  Combox inquisitors, in contrast, have neither knowledge nor authority to order the good bishop to explain himself to them.  This is not a matter of civil law.  No crime is being committed or covered up (I speak here to those who are inclined to drag in the priest scandal as some kind of rationale for appointing themselves Inquisitors).  It’s a quarrel within the diocese.  So in the words of Professor Digory Kirke, “Why don’t we all try minding our own business?”

In my non-expert opinion.

Oh, and look!  The Bishop actually has something to say about the matter that suggests (mirabile dictu) that hysterical Reactionary bloggers (with a looooooonnng hystery of hysterical hysterics) seizing on one-sided accounts calculated to feed pre-ordained Reactionary narratives might not be trading in reality.

Oh!  And look!  Dr. Taylor Marshall weighs in:

Regarding Fisher More College and what you’re reading in Rorate Caeli:

Now that the Bishop of Fort Worth has weighed in (and is now being maligned), after much prayer, I feel that I should break the silence.

First off, I love the students at Fisher More College (FMC). I love them so much. It was heartbreaking for me to leave FMC. Last summer (2013) was very difficult for me. I also love the Latin Mass and write about it often on my blog and talk about it publicly (my family belongs to a FSSP parish – Mater Dei parish in Irving, Texas).

For the record, I resigned as Chancellor of the College at the beginning of June of 2013—only days after our seventh baby was born. I had no job prospects and no income. I did it for the sake of conscience. I felt it would be a danger to my soul to remain at Fisher More College.

I resigned when moral, theological, and financial discrepancies came to light regarding the presidency of Michael King. I was an ex officio member of the Board so I knew what others did not. From May to early June of 2013, five of the eight College Board Members also resigned for two reasons:

1) Mr. King refused to disassociate himself from the public statements of faculty member Dr. Dudley that claimed in his Year of Faith lecture that Catholic professors have the duty to teach young people that Vatican 2 is not a valid Council (he also endorsed other “resistance” positions regarding the Novus Ordo, John Paul II, etc.)

2) 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.

Much of the politicization around the “Latin Mass and FMC” is Mr. King’s careful attempt to distract attention away from his financial misdealing at FMC. The college is currently teetering on bankruptcy and this latest entanglement with the bishop will lead to a public statement: “Fisher More closed down because the new bishop of Fort Worth persecuted the Latin Mass!” when in reality the College is failing because Mr. King entered into a dubious real estate deal that washed out college’s endowment AND all the proceeds from the sale of the original campus.

How did a College sell its extremely valuable campus to TCU for several millions dollars in 2012 only to announce at Christmas 2013 that it might be closing without an immediate fund raising campaign through Rorate Caeli?

Rorate Caeli has just released their sensational “exclusive” report on how the new Bishop of Fort Worth is persecuting the traditional Latin Mass in the person of Michael King. They included the (private) letter of Bishop Olson to Michael King and offered their speculation.

This controversy created by Rorate Caeli with the help of Michael King’s letter is not about the Latin Mass or Summorum Pontificum.*

FMC hosted a public repudiation of Vatican 2 and the Ordinary Form of the Mass in April of 2013 that was so offensive that my wife and I walked out of it before it’s conclusion. That did not do much to heal the breach with the local diocese or presbyterate and it contributed to the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) discontinuing their support and presence at FMC. The current FMC website advertises that the FSSP provides a chaplain, but this is not true.

At the same time, Michael King estranged himself from the diocese of Fort Worth by not allowing the Ordinary Form (as stipulated by the previous ordinary Bishop Vann of Fort Worth). He also contracted an irregular/suspended priest without faculties, and hired “trad resistance” faculty while there was no bishop in Fort Worth to check these developments. Mr. King was able to create a community in his image (he affectionately referred to himself the “father” of this community) during the episcopal inter-regnum of the diocese of Fort Worth.

Clearly, a bishop’s intervention was inevitable. The current controversy really has nothing to do with the Latin Mass per se. The Latin Mass is at the center because Michael King is politicizing the Latin Mass in his favor, knowing that “bishops vs the Latin Mass” is red meat for some traditionalist blogs.

Bishop Olson says in the letter that he is doing this for Michael King’s “soul.” The bishop understands that this is a personal intervention – and not an attack on Fisher More College or its students or the Latin Mass.

It’s a serious pastoral problem. Mr. King no doubt leaked Bp Olson’s letter via one of his few supporters to build sympathy before the inevitable financial collapse that will expose his mishandling of Fisher More College. Mr. King, more than anything, would like to blame the inevitable collapse of FMC (within only weeks or months) on the bishop’s “persecution of the Latin Mass.”

Hold your peace. Watch for how it unfolds, and most of all pray for the students that are still dutifully studying and praying. There are some GREAT students at Fisher More College.

As one who loves and prays the Latin Mass, please don’t curse or blame Bishop Olson for this one. He is a new bishop who inherited a TOUGH pastoral problem. Pray for him. And if you love the Latin Mass, don’t be so quick to judge the bishops or cite canon law. Sometimes there are things behind the scenes that you don’t know.

1 Cor 11:1-2 If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

*Regarding Summorum Pontificum in this situation. It doesn’t apply here since the college chapel does not have a priest requesting to say the Latin Mass and the chapel therefore falls under the direct pastoral control of the bishop. It’s the case of a layman (Michael King) asking for it. Those accusing Bishop Olson of breaking canon law or despising Summorum Pontificum should be more careful. Moreover, be assured that Bishop Olson supports the FSSP in his diocese and has nothing against the Extraordinary Form.

Steve Greydanus summorums up the situation:

 Dear hysterical Latin Mass Only Catholics: a) This bishop is not your real enemy. b) You are.

  • Sherry Weddell

    A reading from St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, on discernment of inspirations of the Holy Spirit and inspirations that are not of God:

    “On the contrary, the evil spirit is turbulent, rough, disturbing; and those who follow infernal suggestions, thinking that they are heavenly inspirations, as a rule are easily identified, because they are loud, headstrong, proud, ready to undertake or meddle in all kinds of business, men who under the pretext of zeal turn everything upside down, censure everyone, scold everyone, find fault with everything; they are people who will not be directed, will not give in to anyone, will not put up with anything, but gratify the passions of self-love under the name of concern for God’s honor.”

    • Maggie Goff

      From his “Treatise on the Love of God.” He is my favorite saint.

  • Fr. Denis Lemieux

    Preach it, brother!

  • Gabriel S. Sanchez

    Impressive. A condescending “article” that neither sheds light on the real issues at stake nor even makes the slightest attempt to understand why people were concerned with the letter and the attitude of the bishop of Ft. Worth. Triumphalism comes in many, many nauseating forms.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Yes. You cannot disagree about content, so you sneer at attitude, just as people frequently do with our very host.

      “Mark, you’re right, but you’re so…so…uncharitable!”

    • BillyT92679

      No, he’s frustrated with the omnipresent paranoia and disdain of Reactionaries.

    • http://burgyetal.blogspot.com Chris

      Taylor Marshall’s FB post — which Mark posted in its entirety in this article — addresses the issues at stake. Mark’s post addresses the larger question of those who make judgments from afar.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    *Applauds*

    The best commentary I’ve read so far is: why don’t we wait 24 hours, 48, or even (let’s be crazy) 3 days before getting unhinged over something like this. There’s so much we don’t know about this that I find it hard to believe anyone reads Rorate Caeli’s account (Rorate Caeli of all places! Who thought that leak was a good idea?). And every bit of information we get that adds to this makes it sound more and more that it is King, and not the bishop, who stinks in all of this.

    • BillyT92679

      to me it’s the same premise as defending Putin… doesn’t matter if he’s wrong or right, he likes the EF… just like Putin does not like gays/abortion

      it’s the “opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world” point that Mark talks about a lot

    • Andy

      The last snap decision I made was to try the new flavor of ice cream at the ice cream stand near our house – strawberry-blueberry tort sounded so good and I regretted it for several hours. WHy indeed not wait at least 72 hours or better yet have some faith that the bishop knows what he is doing in this case. I don’t think he owes anyone an explanation except those who it affects directly, and even then he is acting within the scope of his power. Back to the ice cream I should have known better than to trust my daughter, whom I still love and have forgiven, who invented it – sources are everything.

  • http://www.bettnet.com/blog/ dombett

    First, it was Corapi who was unfairly persecuted. Then it was Macial. You’d think these people would get tired of being wrong all the time.

    • Brennan

      Traditionalists (as a whole) weren’t defending Corapi or Macial.

      • Athelstane

        There may have been *analogous* behavior going on, but I can’t really recall any traditionalists (Michael Voris does not count) going to the mat over Maciel or Corapi, neither of whom was anything like a traditionalist priest.

    • chezami

      That really is the amazing thing to me: the sheer stubborn pride-filled unteachability of these people. They’ve been wrong so many times about so much and yet each time they come back absolutely certain they are right and full of resentment when the facts prove them wrong and full of bitterness at the people who show them those facts. The absolute certitude that they constitute the ne plus ultra of Real Catholic faith and that their critics and challengers are fake Catholics never leaves them.

      • BillyT92679

        Father Z is upset with the tone of the letter, but at least he seems to acknowledge the fact that nobody knew any of the facts. But Patrick Archbold and others are just in high-dudgeon here. Archbold actually posted a response letter to the bishop on his blog, which bugged me to no end (he’s not YOUR ORDINARY)

        I don’t get why people just don’t submit to authority when it is legitimate.

        • BillyT92679

          I know Pat Archbold is your friend Mark, or at least acquaintance, so I hate being critical, but he’s been so upset with everything over the past year and a half.

  • chezami

    Actually, members of 40 Days for Life have asked and been ignored, so I decided to help make the question more audible to the bishop. But (and here’s the thing) it was a real question they were asking and getting no answer to. This campaign is not a question for the bishop. It’s a mob that imagines it already knows the answer. As it happens, the bishop of Spokane opted to answer by recognizing that his priests were free under canon law to support 40DFL.

    • chezami

      Spokane has the distinction of being the only diocese on planet earth where I am forbidden speak (an edict dating from well before the 40DFL kerfuffle). I *train catechists* for the Seattle Archdiocese, but am forbidden in Spokane. And the bishop will not so much as return a phone call to tell me why. You have my pity.

  • Dave G.

    I’m not enough of an expert on Ukrainian and Russian relations to be sure, but I told my boys I’ll bet Reactionaries are behind it all.

  • http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/ Erin Manning

    Mark, I’ve posted a couple of things on this. I started hearing about it yesterday from people “on the ground” here in Fort Worth, and let me just say that what Dr. Marshall says–that this is not about the Latin Mass community, but about using the Latin Mass community to cover up for some sort of malfeasance on the part of the powers-that-be at the college–is *exactly* what those with any sort of recent experience at FMC are saying.

    E.F. Mass people–sane and reasonable trads–do NOT fall for the “evil liberal bishop who hates Tradition and the True Mass takes on tiny but faithful remnantish Real Catholic College of purity and grace in a real David and Goliath battle!” template being pushed here. It is NOT the truth.

  • Athelstane

    Hello Mark,

    “Why don’t we all try minding our own business?”

    By this logic, Mark, you ought to have remained silent when Notre Dame granted President Obama an honorary degree. And when Archbishop Myers decided to keep on active duty a priest who had groped a boy, and, more recently, added on a spiffy new wing to his residence.

    Now, obviously these situations are not perfectly analogous to what has happened in Fort Worth. But they do suggest that laity (including Mark Shea) have the right, in certain circumstances, to express concern about the doings in other Church jurisdictions, whether they have their own blog, or by dropping in on someone else’s combox if they are not so privileged.

    I do believe (like you) what I have heard from Taylor Marshall and others involved with FMC, that there are some very serious problems at the college, including crypto-schismatic attitudes, unjust treatment of employees, and poor financial management. The local ordinary has a right to act in such circumstances, and I would support him in doing so. But while none of us know the full story, it’s impossible to come up with *any* set of circumstances that requires depriving the students and staff (most of whom are presumably innocent bystanders) of the access they have had to a daily traditional Mass, in some form, by some means, forcing them to trek into the next diocese, if they have the means to do so.

    • Jared Clark

      ” it’s impossible to come up with *any* set of circumstances that requires depriving the students and staff (most of whom are presumably innocent bystanders) of the access they have had to a daily traditional Mass”

      Not impossible at all. If there, say, is a recurring problem with a priest without proper faculties, like the SPPX, saying Mass on campus, or a swarm of cafeteria Catholics who reject Vatican II, telling them they can only celebrate the Ordinary Form would be an easy way to remove that influence, and such a situation makes the most sense considering what Dr. Marshall said, along with the bishop actually mentioning that a priest needs proper faculties to celebrate Mass.

      And, seriously, a huge, public event that causes scandal and the knowing employment of someone who could sexually abuse children is NOT the same situation as a bishop telling one chapel “Hey, you’ve got some problems going on, so I’m gonna have to restrict you to the Ordinary Form”

      • Athelstane

        Hello Jared,

        I said right up front (go read my post again, please) that the situations I cited are different. But here we have…our gracious host, Mark Shea, who has a long, long track record of criticizing local ordinaries under various circumstances – mind you, often with good cause. It’s just a little hard to take hearing him say: “Mind your own business.”

        The fact that FMC offered daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form (a rightful aspiration, as both Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI affirmed) was a major selling point for people who came to Fisher More. Telling them they must now go to an OF Mass is not going to fly, especially when the implication is made, as Fr. Z has noted, that care of their souls requires it. We’re to believe that the traditional Mass is, ipso facto, harmful to one’s soul? Really?

        Proper pastoral care for the students and staff, most of whom are likely innocent bystanders in this unfolding mess at Fisher More, ought to have taken the form of providing some other means of accessing the sacraments – how hard would it be to find a priest (one the bishop trusts not to engage in crypto-schismatic flights of fancy in his sermons) and a timeslot at St. Mary’s, two miles away? Instead, by making his sole target the EF Mass, he unnecessarily handed President King a weapon to use against him. And it’s the students that will suffer the most.

        • http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/ Erin Manning

          Um, you’re aware that there IS an E.F. Mass every Sunday at St. Mary’s (two miles away) at 5:30 p.m., right?

        • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

          We’re to believe that the traditional Mass is, ipso facto, harmful to one’s soul? Really?

          Where on God’s green earth did the bishop say that?

          Oh, wait a minute, what he said was “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.”

          Do you think that the two statements are really equivalent? Do you really lack adult reading comprehension to that extent? (The same problem seems to persist with people who can’t understand Pope’s Francis’ words).

          As I understand, there was a huge problem with the priests who were saying the EF, not the EF itself. Priests without faculties, or priests of a certain ideological bent that is real poison to souls. The FSSP priest who were serving at FMC left, and that surely says something. If stories are true, faithful priests are steering clear of that place. There are really not that many priests who are able and willing to celebrate the EF. If one can’t be found who the bishop is satisfied with, in regard to his faithfulness to Rome, the Council and Church authority, and his Mass (and don’t forget his homilies) at FMC would have been a spiritual danger to the students, then the bishop had little choice but to do what he did.

          No Mass is good in the hands of people with impulses that are destructive to the faith. Hasn’t all of the complaint with the Novus Ordo over the years been with celebrants and homilies that are unorthodox? Some have insisted that the abuses are bad enough for that Mass to be banned! Yes, it’s a legitimate Mass according to the Church, but everyone agrees abuses should be curbed by the bishop. Does that apply only to the NO? The traditionalist crowd too often forgets that sauce for the goose is good for the gander as well. Any legitimate Mass can be subject to abuses, and the bishop has the right to step in. If you insist on it for one case, you need to acknowledge it in the other.

          Instead of complaining, we should pray for everyone involved.

          • chezami

            These jackasses blaspheme the Mass, repudiate the Council, and then have the gall to offer butthurt whines of persecution when the bishop refuses to allow them to politicize the Mass. They can cry me a river.

            • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

              Don’t be shy, Mark, tell us how you really feel. :)

              I think the bishop made a pretty smart move here. I have also heard from people on the ground that there are faculty members favorable to the NO (which the bishop permitted them to have). And more than likely students. I also read that Mr. King has now shut down ALL Masses at the college. Just who is preventing them from having Mass? Not the bishop. Mr. King. I think he will have few friends left soon. And the blame for it is on him, not the bishop.

              Trads are their own worst enemies sometimes.

    • chezami

      Both ND’s and Myers actions create public scandal and (in the case of the groper) involve civil law. Not analogous. This is a situation in which the bishop, acting within his rights, undertake a discipline that (as we now see) was perfectly sensible. The shrieking from knowledge-free reactionaries is way out of line.

      • Athelstane

        That addition to the bishop’s mansion did not involve civil law, however, Mark. And a defender of the archbishop might rightly suggest that you didn’t know all the facts involved with why it was being built, or being used for. But that didn’t stop you from sounding off about it in harsh terms – terms I agreed with, by the way.

        Look, not all of us are questioning the rights of the bishop to regulate the liturgy in his jurisdiction. *This* discipline, however, appears unjust, since those it targets are not just the apparent bad actor (Michael King) but the entire staff and student body at Fisher More. They’re being deprived of a legitimate liturgical form that meets their spiritual needs, and must now trek over to the Diocese of Dallas to get it, if they even have the means (i.e., a car), or the ability to accommodate their class, teaching, or job schedule. So what’s been achieved here, other than to give Michael King and his allies a weapon to use against the bishop?

        “Mind your own business” won’t cut it, Mark. If it did, you wouldn’t have much to blog about. Just because some of us are dismayed by the bishop’s action doesn’t mean (note carefully) that we’re defending Michael King, crypto-schismatic attitudes, or denying the bishop’s right to have proper oversight of a Catholic college in his jurisdiction.

        • BillyT92679

          But ultimately, it is the bishop’s responsibility to do what he did. If King is making this into some kind of cause celebre, the Bishop’s hands are tied. The kids need the Mass, they do not necessarily need the EF even if they really want it, and if the EF has been politicized, you cannot easily just draft an FSSP priest to come over. If the OF is decried, that’s a real problem that has to be addressed.

          • Athelstane

            The kids need the Mass, they do not necessarily need the EF even if they really want it.

            With respect, it’s not your right to say what they need, and what they don’t. Attachment to the traditional liturgy is a rightful aspiration of the faithful – three Popes in a row have now affirmed that.

            Now, if their attachment is for unhealthy spiritual reasons, that’s a different problem, and that requires a different solution. But yanking the Mass away from all of them, without discrimination, punishes the innocent with the guilty. How hard can it be to find a priest who can celebrate the EF? There are 155 priests in the Diocese of Fort Worth. And the FSSP *was* willing to send a priest over the diocesan border…until things happened, unfortunately.

            If things really are that bad at Fisher More, it boggles the mind why more fundamental solutions weren’t done – to strip the college of the right to call itself Catholic, for starters.

            • BillyT92679

              they do not NECESSARILY need the EF even if they want it
              that’s not the same thing as what you are arguing against. is it beneficial for some? Sure. But, if it becomes a point of distinction in a way that’s a reaction to the OF where they condemn the OF as illegitimate or they defy legitimate authority, they do NOT need it, and it’s actually deleterious to their souls

            • chezami

              Correct. It’s their bishop’s right to say what they need and don’t need. Not some spouting popinjays at Rorate Caeli or a passel of Reactionary hysterics spread out across the interwebz.

              • Athelstane

                Hello Mark,

                It’s their bishop’s right to say what they need and don’t need.

                Only within certain limits carefully prescribed by canon law and the teaching of the Magisterium. It’s a hierarchy, not a despotism.

                • chezami

                  And having seen what both the bishop and Dr. Marshall have to say, I think the bishop is being perfectly reasonable and Rorate Caeli and their mob squad are being their usual hysterical and destructive selves.

            • BillyT92679

              desperate times call for desperate measures
              if the celebration of Mass is tainted/infected with something contrary to its mission, then it has to be suppressed. Bishop Matthew Clark was as liberal as it gets, and even he had to excommunicate Corpus Christi Church in Rochester because of what was going on there in terms of being so liberal.

              Abraham pled for Sodom, and God spared it as long as He could.

        • BillyT92679

          I’d love some kind of via media to get through this, perhaps the Anglican Use (of which there are many in Texas) or calling up a Maronite or Ukrainian Catholic Priest to do a Qorbono/Divine Liturgy.

          • Athelstane

            St. Mary, the parish 2 miles away with the 5:30pm evening Sunday Mass, actually does host an Ordinariate community, St. Timothy’s, which uses a fairly traditional Anglican Use liturgy. I have no idea whether any of the FMC students ever attend it, however.

            Still, it’s usually easier to find a priest that can celebrate an EF Mass, than an Anglican Use or Eastern Rite, especially in the Sunbelt.

          • Dan C

            One can search for syro-malabar or syro-malankara rite churches for qurbana, of which there are several in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Now that is an ancient rite.

        • chezami

          No. But it involved obvious public scandal in the pages of the NY Times, where the facts on display were embarrassing (and the diocese’s “explanation” was only more embarrassing). Here, you have a website with a long history of hysteria going off half-cocked and Reactionaries seizing on it to beat up the bishop when he has, as the fact emerge, done nothing wrong. Is it too much to wait 48 hours before Reactionaries stage a mass act of self-urination and then discover, yet again, that they don’t know what they are shrieking about?

        • Dan C

          Most college campus chapels are not parishes. College students are always welcome to join whatever local parish is nearby. Hence, they are not being deprived of any sacraments. The campus is not under some medieval interdict. Weeping over misbehaved priests and college instructors and college administrators, and using the TLM as a weapon, is a waste of one’s rage.

          That this is discussed and “studied” at all by a subset of Catholics is problematic. (And Fr. Z-with the tag line “the biological solution” referring to aging baby boomer priests-has no standing whatsoever in determining “tone.”) This says so much about this sub-culture that an Extraordinary Form (its extraordinary because its not routine, not because its “extra good”)-advocate is considered “reasonable” when he is “thoughtfully studying and waiting” with regard to this warning.

          That’s weird.

          I think EF-advocates would want to dissociate from a fiscally troubled, poorly run, and likely academically inferior institution. FMC has more potential to tarnish any Traditionalist movement. The bishop is brief, respectful and direct.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Obedience and submission to the legitimate authority of the Church is a duty incumbent upon the baptized (CCC 1269). Regardless of who is in the wrong, this duty is not fulfilled by leaking letters and writing inflammatory things regarding the bishop.

    Advice from a former EF devotee: Submit with grace and serenity. In a discreet manner, work through the issue with Church leadership. Avoid making spectacles and causing scandals.

  • lspinelli

    Related but on a tangent: Certain Reactionaries are now gunning for Michael Voris, of all people. Why? Because he told them in one of his recent Vortexes (EDIT: it was actually an open letter on the ChurchMilitant.tv site, my bad) that they need to quit with their unfounded criticisms of Pope Francis.

    Those who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, do immense harm to the Church Herself and discourage both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us. The sad reputation of “traditional Catholics” as angry dissidents from virtually everything in the Church today is as well deserved as the reputations of those rightly described as modernists.

    A line must be drawn when it comes to criticism of the Holy Father, even
    when he says or does things that would invite appropriate criticism when said
    or done by those of lower ecclesiastical rank.

    How quickly a sheep turns to a goat with these people. And as much as I don’t care for Michael Voris’ tone and presentation, he’s absolutely right on this issue, and he doesn’t deserve this.

    • God_bless

      To continue with the tangent – Michael Voris actually said that? That shocks me as I can’t imagine too many bigger threats to potential converts and the struggling faithful than Voris. Scandalous to say, I know. Does he watch what he produces? And as for him saying, “A line must be drawn when it comes to criticism of the Holy Father…”, this video of his shows he doesn’t think that line applies to him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hjDKMIMkm4

    • Brennan

      I don’t think Michael Voris actually wrote that letter himself personally. He is an employee of Church Militant TV. He’s not its founder and he doesn’t pay the bills.

    • Maureen

      Voris did produce a video promoting Fisher More College a few months ago. However, I can’t find it now. Wondering if Church Militant took it down.

  • Richard

    As to all of the ‘experts’ coming out of the woodwork, it is a manifestation of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. The less you know the less you know about how little you know. The more you know the more you know about how little you know. Richard’s corollary is that half of all experts are just blowing smoke but don’t even know it.

  • Francisco J Castellanos

    Please Mr. Shea, my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.

  • margaret1910

    I could be totally wrong, here, but it sounds like Bishop Olson feels as if the EF is being used as an idol to smite VII than as just a (totally valid) form of the Mass. And, that, because of that, he sees a danger to souls. The Mass is not supposed to be an idol, or a weapon. Mass is for worship of God. Praying for the students and faculty.

  • EMS

    Missing in the above quotes and even 99% of the comments I’ve seen is a very important fact. FM college is tiny, tiny, tiny! FM is not a college with hundreds of students. At its best, it had maybe 70 students! According to a Catholic Dallas blog (who is linked in Erin Manning’s site), there are currently, maybe, a couple of dozen students at the school. And not all of them attended the TLM Mass. So, at most, the decision affects a dozen people, and it sounds like that is also the total staff of the school. Also according to Dr. Marshall, there hasn’t been a chaplain at the school in monhts. So, just how many TLM Masses have been offered daily/weekly/monthly since King took over? And who has been saying them? And none of those who really want the TLM Mass – those dozen or so – can’t figure out a way to get to a 5:30 Mass 2 miles away?
    Also as Dr. Marshall above pointed out, this tiny, tiny, tiny school sold some very valuable property for millions and King is now pleading for financial support. (BTW, the school’s tuition is @ $18,000/yr.) It’s beginning to look as if this entire mess was manufactured by King to get money from TLM loving folks who think they’re helping a legitimate school with lots and lots of students eager for a TLM Mass.

  • Kenneth J. Wolfe

    If Mark Shea received a dollar for every attack he has made on traditional Catholics, he could probably bail out every center-right Catholic magazine that has gone out of print in the past decade.

    • chezami

      I don’t attack Reactionaries. I defend innocents from their vicious attacks. And then, without fail, they show up in my comboxes to whine about being victims. Like bullies do.

    • david

      I for one am glad Mark calls out venom like this. I am sick of it. I know many believers who have been spiritually poisoned by the toxic nature of much of “online Catholicism.” I can only imagine the thoughts of non-believers.

  • Montenegro

    The apocalypse truly _is_ nigh…I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I agree with Mark Shea on this one.

    • chezami

      I try to shake things up with surprises.


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