Monday, March 3, 2014

On the Fisher More situation (Calm down, and pray)

Last night I came across a tweet from Rorate that read the following:

My initial thought was:  "Dang nab it!  Don't these prelates understand that they are stoking and not calming
the fires of Lefebvrian drift".  I admit that I am very concerned about some within the traditionalist movement seeing this and becoming more paranoid (rightly or wrongly) about the continued persecution of traditional teachings and practices of the faith.  There are some circles that see traditionalism as an ends rather than a means to sanctification.  We need first remember that the end is Christ. Period!! Jesus is the Point to all this, and we deserve the frustrations that are put in our way, and are expected to make the best of what we have because it is part of God's just will.

Fr. Z makes some interesting points on this matter in his recent article

Fr. Z’s first reaction to Bp. Olson banning Extraordinary Form at Fort Worth’s Fisher More College

That said, what we don’t know about this situation could fill volumes.For example, I discern in the bishop’s second point, the one about his granting faculties, the possibility that the priest who had been saying Mass at Fisher More on a regular basis may not have had any faculties at all, from any bishop or religious superior.  I suspect that there is more to that poorly phrased second point than meets the eye.
Also, while some Catholic college and university chaplaincies also have the canonical designation as a parish (e.g., St. Paul’s at the University of Madison), Summorum Pontificum doesn’t seem to apply as clearly.  The Motu Proprio doesn’t seem to apply to college chapels and chapels on military bases.  That said, the spirit of both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae communicate something far different from the tone, at least, of the bishop’s letter.
A commentator also made an interesting point in Creative Minority Reports account of the matter:

federoff11 said...
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.
MARCH 3, 2014 AT 9:33 AM
 This reminded me of Taylor Marshall.  You probably know him from his old blog Canterbury Tales. Dr. Marshall was made Chancellor of the College about 2 years ago, and yet within a half a year resigned leaving many questions.  Nothing official was said by the college or by Dr. Marshall himself, but this does support the possibility that there might be some underlying issues that would play into this decision.

The Holy Father Francis told the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney (Campos, Brazil), Bp. Fernando A Rifan that "[Pope Francis] thinks that the Traditional Latin Mass is a treasure to the Church and that his only fear is that the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form could be “instrumentalized”

Some might ask what this could mean, but I think it is clear and just.  People using traditionalism and its practices as a way to deny Church authority in disciplinary matters (in a just manner of course). I would point readers to a controversy in the 1400's in the Latin rite where the Ultraquist's were given permission to offer communion under both species.  They did so with the intention of using it as an instrument in deny rightful Church authority in distribution of the sacraments (a discipline as the mass is itself). They were then suppressed for their abuse.

I do pray this situation will be cleaned up soon and the information necessary to calm things down be made public to do so.  Until such times PRAY for all involved!  And dont assume the worst on the part of the Bishop or those reporting on the matter.


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