Support This Website! Shop Here!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Bishop Olson Does the Right Thing

The traditionalist Catholic blogsophere is all a-twitter over the fact that Bishop Olson of Fort Worth has told the campus of Fisher-More college that they may no longer offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. No one knows exactly why the bishop has made this decision, but everyone is guessing and everyone assumes the bishop will eventually "explain himself."

Let's get one thing straight first.
The bishop doesn't need to explain himself.

When you were a kid and your Dad decided you were not going to do something, did he have to explain himself to you? No. No, he didn't. He could if he chose. If he thought you would learn something, or if he thought you were mature enough to take a lesson, he might. But if he knew you just wanted to have a fight, he might even make a point of NOT explaining himself.

Because the location in question is an oratory, bishop has the right to do this by canon law. Given the nature of traditionalists, given their innate tendency to hew more and more closely to the SSPX as it becomes clear that the Extraordinary Form will never again be the Ordinary Form, it is pretty clear why this action had to be taken. Bishop doesn't want yet another traditionalist group to go SSPX in his diocese.

Given the argumentative nature of the traditionalist community, there is absolutely no percentage for the bishop in explaining why he has taken the actions he has taken. Indeed, from the bishop's point of view, it would be uncharitable to do so. Remember, this whole conversation was supposed to be under the veil.

We can safely assume the Mass was forbidden because of some failings at Fisher-More. No bishop - let me repeat this: NO BISHOP - is going to publicly discuss someone's sins or failings. Period. That's just not what ordained men do. You would think "traditionalists" would already know this.

So for all you lay people "waiting for an explanation", I recommend exhaling, taking another deep breath, and moving on with your life. If this episcopal order grounds itself in a problem that needs healing at Fisher-More, you are not part of the situation and you won't get an explanation. Get over yourself. You're not that important.

This whole thing was supposed to be handled sotto voce, but some idiot on the Fisher-More side figured a new bishop could be pressured into reversing himself. So that idiot released a copy of what was supposed to be a private, non-scandalous order, and thereby generated a scandal. The idiots - and here I am being as charitable as I can be - the idiots at Rorate Caeli decided to try to turn this teapot into a tempest.

How successful have they been? Well, let's just say that Rorate Caeli's attitude, and the attitude of all their confreres in this little imbroglio, is precisely why the bishops of the United States have learned to hate traditionalists and oppose everything they stand for. If RC's hope was to destroy the EF Mass in the US, they have made great strides towards their goal.

If anyone at that website, or any similar website, thinks they can win members of the USCCB over to the EF form by ganging up on one of the newest bishops in the nation, they have no understanding of episcopal collegiality. At all. Just as older brothers don't like seeing younger brothers beaten up by the bully on the block, so older bishops don't like seeing one of their newest brethren beaten up in the blogs. If anything, in any diocese where the local bishop was even THINKING of bringing in the EF Mass, the traditionalists have just forced him to reconsider that rash tendency in judgement.

Traditionalists, listen up!
You just screwed yourselves.

It just came to my attention that one of the websites leading the nervous nail-biting on this non-story wrote this just yesterday. How incredibly ironic! If one were into conspiracy theories, and if anyone really thought there were people in the Fort Worth chancery office out to "get" the EF Form of the Mass, then wouldn't they quietly release the letter to traditionalist hot-heads, knowing that those same hot-heads would most certainly create exactly this kind of brouhaha and thereby trash themselves with the bishops?

That is, wouldn't it be incredibly ironic if the traditionalists in this instance were caught by the same trap they claim is constantly being laid against orthodox seminarians?

Now, I don't think there is any conspiracy theory necessary. I'm certain that someone at Fisher-More thought it would be a good idea to release this letter to other traditionalists in order to "pressure" the new bishop of Fort Worth. But whatever the case, the brilliance of the EF movement is in its response to the red meat. The result is the same.

I've removed the second update because it may be based on a hoax letter originating from a TLM website that will remain unnamed.


Flambeaux said...

Absolutely correct, Steve. Thank you. There is precious little sane commentary about this.

GUJ said...

It is my understanding that Pope Benedict XVI First lifted the Ban on traditional Latin Mass, then removed the said need for permission from the Local Bishop in order to say Mass Traditional Latin Mass. I can't find the article, but I'm sure you can do a search for it.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

It turns out that your summary is not entirely correct.

The bishop cannot remove the rights of a pastor in his parish, but an oratory is not a parish. The bishop can most certainly dictate to an oratory what it can and cannot do.

Ask any canon lawyer or google this answer on the web. Several canon lawyers have already said Bishop Olson is completely within his rights in this case.

Flambeaux said...

And the Rorate crew keep digging. *shakes head*

Viva Cristo Rey said...

So Steve, in your world the bishop can push people around and do anything he may be right.

And we have a world with countless babies murdered by abortion, sodomy the law of the land, most Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence, most Catholics voted for a baby killer for President, most Catholics use contraception, the list could go on and on.

So while the Bishop is spending his time squashing traditional Catholics it is interesting to see the rest of the Church acting as the foundation and source of the culture of death..........

Once you have the TLM destroyed maybe, just maybe would it be ok to try and get Catholics NOT to slaughter babies and believe Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament?

Jim Dorchak said...

Steve and Flambeaux

I am sorry to disagree. I have been at a community that had kissed up to the bishop for 10 years with the end result being nada.

I do agree with your assessment of the ranting and raving on the traditionalist part.

I do not think traditionalists want the EF to be the only Mass, at least not in my circles, and I turn in the NO, Ef and FSSP and SSPX circles. After all you can not have the EF forced on you like the NO. You have to come to the EF like an epiphany. A process of maturation in faith that can not be found in the NO. It should be noted here that I attend the NO. The EF is not available.

Now if the Fisher More people really wanted to have the EF and did not care about the bishop then they should have just asked the SSPX to come in and take over the show (bada bing, bada boom,so to speak).

I think that it was probably inappropriate for the letter to be released, but I found it interesting at the same time.

Now to think more on the bishop and his response, it strikes me that he should have left good enough alone. After all he is culpable in this little spit spat as well as the Fisher Moore people were. Which leads us back to acting like children, where I find that the bishop in question is equally a child in this case for his tantrum that set off the Fisher Moore tantrum.

All and all I could care less about both sides, but I do wonder what would happen if the NO were removed from a parish, or the Catholic Church?

I do not mean replaced with the EF, just removed with no recourse. Lets just say we will no longer have Mass at all.
What would people say then? Would there be a call for more Charity on the part of the priest/bishop/Pope if this was the new reality?

Flambeaux said...

Jim, I'd consider myself very familiar with the people and the situation. Moreso than just about any of the other people online commenting about this.

Olson is in the right, both morally and canonically. This isn't, principally, about the Mass although that is his it is being characterized.

The SSPX wouldn't touch F-M. Williamson or the SSPV might, but then the few sources of finding they do have would dry up. No one who values canonical regularity wants to fund sedevacantists, especially when they are abrasive and deceptive about them.

Feel free to email me if you have more questions. This isn't an attempt by Olson to assert the rules of Ecclesia Dei adflicta.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

It is bishop's responsibility to administer the Catholic teaching institutions in his diocese.

Given that teaching is one of the three purposes of the Church, and that the Catholic college lies at the heart of the teaching mission today, it is incredibly stupid of you to claim that Bishop Olson was engaged in a "tantrum."

He is doing what he is ordained to do, acting completely in accordance with every canon that pertains to the situation, both in spirit and in letter.

You claim not to care.
I doubt you.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Non-Catholic heretic lay person ... Joe Olsen was not ordained a Catholic priest on June 3, 1994 ... he was simply installed as a group leader for Satan's vatican-2 heretic cult that was founded on 8 December 1965 at the Vatican.

Also ... Joe Delaney (dressed up like a Catholic Bishop) ... didn't ordain Olsen since heretic Delaney was automatically excommunicated on 8 December 1965 for his physical participation in the vatican-2 heretic cult which completely rejects the Catholic Dogma.

I list the Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy on Section 13.2 of

This of course means that Fisher-More College ... doesn't have Catholic Mass at all (novus ordo or "TLM") ... they are and have been putting on secular stage shows that look like Catholic Mass.

It all *looks like* Catholic Mass because they are ...

Playacting Catholic rites
Costumeing Catholic vestments
Illicitly using Catholic hymns
Illicitly using Catholic artwork

So the ... discussion here is completely, 100% detached from reality ... as all the activities of heretic cults are.

If you want to be Christian someday ... please see the top Abjuration of heresy on Section 19.1 of

Michael said...

Wow, thanks Mike. Informative, to say the least.

You can tell the tree by its fruits.

Tony said...

Maybe I just don't understand your logic, Steve when you say: "Bishop doesn't want yet another traditionalist group to go SSPX in his diocese. ".

So let me get this straight. In order to prevent another group from going to the SSPX because they can't get the EF where they live, he will remove yet another offering of the EF. Maybe if he eliminates EVERY vestige of the EF in his diocese, these "traditionalists" will accept the OF and happily attend the local "clown Mass".

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Tony, there was a time in the history of the Church when the cup was refused to the people. Why? Because the people had gotten into their heads the idea that if they didn't receive from the cup, they didn't receive the whole of the Eucharist.

The Church solved that problem by forbidding the cup entirely until the people got it through their heads that Christ was fully present in the host, and the host was sufficient to their needs.

When you refer to the Novus Ordo as "the clown Mass", it makes me happy that the bishop has closed down the EF.

If this is your attitude, then a strong argument can be made that you need to be forced to attend the legitimate rites of the Church until you learn to accept them. If that means taking the EF away from all traditionalists for a period of centuries, then I'm fine with that.

GUJ said...

My two cents again. I believe that the Pope stated that NO ONE can prevent A PRIEST from using the EF. I Wish I can find the article. Can you all help me look for this!. It was done in pieces. Here was the course of events aka Wikipedia.

BUT let me say. I am in now way condoning a schism here. If a group is going to schism its not because they are using the EF or NO. If the bishop sees a problem arising, he need to do more than just start banning things.

JPII In 1984, the Holy See sent a letter known as Quattuor abhinc annos to the presidents of the world's Episcopal Conferences. This document empowered diocesan bishops to authorise, on certain conditions, celebrations of the Tridentine Mass for priests and laypeople who requested them.

Then the Pope issued a further document, a motu proprio known as Ecclesia Dei,[85] which stated that "respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition". The Pope urged bishops to give "a wide and generous application" to the provisions of Quattuor abhinc annos, and established the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to oversee relations between Rome and Traditionalist Catholics.

The Holy See itself granted authorisation to use the Tridentine Mass to a significant number of priests and priestly societies, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney. Some diocesan bishops, however, declined to authorise celebrations within their dioceses, or did so only to a limited extent. In some cases, the difficulty was that those seeking the permission were hostile to the church authorities. Other refusals of permission were alleged to have stemmed from certain bishops' disapproval in principle of celebrations of the Tridentine liturgy.

Pope Benedict XVI[edit]

As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was seen as having a particular interest in the liturgy, and as being friendly towards the older rite of Mass. He famously criticised the erratic way in which, contrary to official policy, many priests celebrated the revised rite.[86]

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, I'm sure you know more about Church documents than some lousy old seminary rector and bishop does.

Just drop a line to Bishop Olson with all your research. He'll probably hire you as his advisor. Heck, he may resign the office in your favor, once he realizes how small his knowledge of the Church is compared to yours.

Kaiser Louis-Philip V said...

I just want to say as someone who was considering going to Fisher More, but won't be anymore, that I feel everything being said here. This whole thing has proved sad and disastrous, and I honestly don't know what to do with myself or any of the plans I've made in the last two years. I'd love to say more, but I've said it five different times over all my various channels and I'm too exhausted to repeat myself.

Suffice it to say? This was not how I wanted to start Lent. This was not where I wanted to be seven weeks away from my High School graduation. I did not want to face the prospect of a place I saw as a safe harbor for myself and others like me being compromised, too. This is once more vindication of my stance that you can only enforce orthodoxy through brute force, because mercy be damned, if you aren't the meanest and most hard-boiled man on the street, the opposition will be made bold by your meekness and they'll ruin everything. I've become so embittered at times I wish Rome had fought to the death in a suicidal crusade against the Modern World until all of Catholicism was wiped from the world. It hurts me so much to see such a glorious thing brought to what it is today.

I have cried for our Church, and I cry for those who were looking to this place - like myself - as a light in the darkness only to be deceived. The pain I feel over this development is hardly describable. Someone's going to have to pay eventually for what's being done to our Church, and what other people are doing to it, on both incorrect sides of the isle in this civil war the Church finds itself in.

God, I fear what we will become if this is not stopped.

GUJ said...

Kaiser Louis-Philip, Do not let these comments have a negative reaction on you. Personally I was only commenting on what I knew the facts to be and tried to provide some backup without attitude or heresy. We are all extremely imperfect here (steves extremely rude attitude and hypocritical assessment of everyone acting like a know-it-all, when that is exactly how he is acting, or anyone calling the NO a "Clown Mass" which is not being obedient to the Holy See. The Holy Spirit Protects the Church, She will never stay! - I see liturgical abuses all the time at the NO but its NOT the NO's fault, it is the religious who allow it for a number of reasons" personally I never see these abuses at the EF and that's why I attend those). Try to accept the imperfection of your fellow humans during lent. God Bless. We should all be a bit more Silent during Lent.
..and im sure steve wont be able to sacrifice and hold his comments until after lent!

Flambeaux said...

This is not a Catholic attitude.
"This is once more vindication of my stance that you can only enforce orthodoxy through brute force, because mercy be damned, if you aren't the meanest and most hard-boiled man on the street, the opposition will be made bold by your meekness and they'll ruin everything."

There are no safe harbors. Not since the Fall. There is Redemption...but it is only possible through Calvary and the Tomb. That's the Faith. Christ Crucified. Christ Resurrected.

He became Man that we might be, again, what He intended us to be in the beginning.

Perhaps you should meditate on the Beatitudes. My spiritual director is fond of noting that it is just when we think we have our ducks neatly lined up that God starts shooting them one by one because having our ducks in a row is NEVER part of His plan.

As a wise man once said, "Life is pain. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something."

The solution is never to be more "hardass" or to use brute force. Not in parenting. Not in life. Not in the Faith. That is the way of the Enemy.

Only mercy, love, fullness of compassion will redeem Israel from all its iniquity. That's clear in the Gospels and in the writings and teachings of every saint.

Flambeaux said...

Christ has already paid for what is and has been and will be done to HIS Church. It's His Body. Not ours.