06 March 2014
04 March 2014
From Dr Marshall's FB page
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.
03 March 2014
I had a link from Rorate yesterday on a situation involving the cancelation of the TLM at Fisher More college. I couldn't organize my thoughts last night, but, here they are.
- It is certainly true that we don't know the whole truth to the situation. There could be some details missing....and perhaps it's a mountain being made out of a molehill, but why punish the students by taking away the Mass, the substance of what's forming them?
- Let's play worst case scenario...that the priest denied the validity of Vatican II or the new missal. Do we really want to have a situation where the Mass is dependent directly upon the beliefs of the priest that is offering it? I would have sworn that the sacraments operate ex opere operato....and are not dependent upon the holiness (or lack there of) of the minister of the sacraments. If we want to make Mass dependent upon the beliefs of the person, then they would need to be applied equally....that is to say those priests with heretical beliefs shouldn't be offering Mass...how many souls would be lost because we'd have few priests being able to offer Mass if this had to be the case? Granted theological questions on the missal shouldn't make it to the pulpit, I agree on that point, but we have no idea whether this type was being proclaimed from the pulpit (I highly doubt such a thing since there was approval from the previous Bishops for each of the chaplains)
- Since he's a new Bishop, most certainly he needs to get a feel for who's who in his diocese. That said, 3 weeks is hardly enough time to review a school, come to conclusions about the school. Reviews take months, sometimes years....the abruptness of the decision is cause for concern.
- To say that there are different theologies from the NO and the TLM would not be heretical, it'd be factual. Just as there are different theologies in the various forms of the missals....each missal has the same Truth in them, but the Liturgy too is a source of theology.
- While SP takes the TLM out of the hands of the Bishop, and places it into the hands of the priest. No Bishop has the power to abrogate the TLM....especially the Pope. The Bishop can give faculties, can prevent a priest from publicly offering Mass, but can't bar the priest from a particular type of Mass to offer....it's so to speak above his pay grade (TM).
- I know that many have compared the situation to Padre Pio and the injustices against him. There have been several times where individuals in the Church have been treated unjustly, and have later been vindicated. However, against a group, I would not agree to the advice of shutting up and letting the process work. As a group I think there are different dynamics at play which don't exist in an individual situation. Fortunately in Canon law there are proper recourses to address grievences. This should be done. In a situation where students are being denied a particular form of the Mass, I don't think it's justified. The charism of the school is based upon the traditional form of the sarcaments (Mass, etc)....and I'd love to tell you that you can plug the OF in, implore all the traditional options that are available and get the same result...but it doesn't quite work that way. While from the objective point because Jesus is the same in the OF and the EF they'll be nourished, that is certainly true, however it's not just receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, it's the prayers, the spirituality, the total ethos that comes from the EF, take one piece out of the puzzle, and everything is out of sync...
- Fr Z has some comments here....from the ground there are comments here
- From reading the 2 above, it seems there are deeper problems than initially reported. But is taking away the Mass the right thing to do in this situation? I think the situation could have been handled better...a statement of validity, an oath of fidelity, something like that for the administration, but to punish the students, I think is a bit much.
- Prayers for the situation to be resolved at the earliest possible date