What the Fisher More Situation Teaches Us

The current situation with Fisher More College is the new handle on the radical traditionalist axe.  As though an indisputable fact, it is being compared with the restrictions placed on the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  The story goes that whatever the problems might have been in these institutions there simply can be no legitimate reasons, or motivations of pastoral charity, that would justify a moratorium on the use of the old Missal.  But I believe a more apt comparison is to be drawn between the way in which the two situations have been used for propaganda purposes by these traditionalists.

In both cases there has been a leaking of documentation to Internet blogger/journalists, whose credentials show them to be, not just advocates for the full implementation of Summorum Pontificum, but also mouthpieces for the extreme side of traditionalism (end of the reform of the reform, the horror of Pope Francis, the impossibility of a hermeneutic of continuity, etc.).  Likewise, in both cases there has been a great deal of prejudicial conjecture, placing the worst possible interpretation on the decisions made by the Church.  In the case of the FI, the problem has been fire-bombed with conspiracy theory and the wholesale destruction of reputations.  It needs to be clear that is has been the traditionalist sources that have made a public spectacle of these ecclesiastical problems.  If any reputations have been damaged on either side, it has been due to the fact that they chose to fight this problem out in the public square.

Ironically, Rorate Caeli accuses those who have come to the defense of Most Reverend Michael Olsen of spreading gossip, when it was RC that published the leaked letter from the bishop to Michael King, president of the college, just as RC and other sympathetic organizations have been publishing leaked internal information about the FI.  Is it really so unreasonable to assume that the bishop may have had grave reasons for his decision? But for RC and others, it is all about—as everything is always about—Summorum Pontificum and its implementation.  It does not matter what the bishop’s reasons were, which he did not care to share publically, RC & Co. are going to drum up a resistance.

I don’t believe that the former chancellor of the college, Dr. Taylor Marshall, is guilty of gossip.  He has maintained complete silence about his resignation in June of 2013 until the just now when the bishop was attacked.  Dr. Marshall himself was an eyewitness to the fact that the college hosted a “pubic repudiation of Vatican 2 and the Ordinary Form of the Mass.”  Likewise, within the FI, there are internal reasons for the restrictions that were never intended to be made a matter of public record, but now the situation has been so convoluted by publicized paranoid conjecture and premature conclusions that the damage is done.

Fisher More’s own website confirms much of Dr. Marshall’s testimony.  Since his resignation, the speakers there have been increasingly more radical, that is, openly hostile to Vatican II and the Holy Father, obsessed with alleged Jewish conspiracies and pet theories of geocentrism, and in the case of a priest, suspended ad divinis:  such are the likes of Robert Sungenis, John Vennari and Fr. Nicholas Gruner.  And now, just as in the case of the FI, the Internet vanguard of the traditionalist movement has chosen to instrumentalize the situation.

I understand and appreciate that traditionalist bloggers see the situation differently and are, therefore, understandably concerned.  They don’t see these anti-conciliar opinions as problematic in the first place, so how could they be reasons to stop the EF?  They also see the EF as such a fundamental good for the Church that they tend to absolutize the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.  And I would grant them SP’s character as universal law provides them with a strong case.  I also understand that many of these bloggers and their readers are just fearful and disappointed because they are loosing the good favor they experienced during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI.  However, it is just not true that the bishop has no discretion in this matter, regardless of whether one judges his decision to be prudent or not. Mark Shea correctly interprets Universae Ecclesiae when he brings up the following passage in this context:

19. The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.

Furthermore, many of the traditionalists seem oblivious to the fact that their propaganda campaign fails to accomplish what needs to be done most, which is to sell the case to those who are bit unprepared to accept it.  But that does not seem to be what some of them are after.  Indeed, the flame-throwing propagandists are their own worst enemies.

It would appear what some of them really want is an all out counter-revolution against anyone that would oppose the rad trad agenda.  And this is why the objections of men like Dr. Marshall lead to his resignation; why in response to such objections the institution becomes increasingly more radicalized, and why when the hens come home to roost—and it was inevitable that they would—it is everyone else’s fault, except the change agents who stoked the flames.

They can argue all they want about the legal issues involved, but it is very unlikely that under either Pope Francis or even Pope Benedict there would ever be a reversal of such a decision in the face of the facts which inevitably the Diocese of Fort Worth has documented and would be prepared to use if challenged.  So the rad trads will blame the bishop as other bishops watch attentively and conclude that the Most Reverend Michael Olsen did exactly what needed to be done.  No bishop wants this kind of trouble in his diocese.    People can complain foul as much as they want and all they will accomplish is to learn nothing from the lesson.  Apparently, even the FSSP has backed away.  They don’t need the trouble either.

The more the moderates in the movement are marginalized and the more the RC radical types are the principle spokesmen, the more the regular folk are going to identify the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy with anti-conciliar ideology, conspiracy theory, antisemitism and geocentrism.  Complain all you want.  That is just the way it is.  I feel for men like Patrick Archbold, but what does he expect?  As it turns out, Michael Voris might be the smartest man in the traditionalist room—not that I agree with him entirely—for having thrown his rad trad friends overboard.

Ironically, Dr. Marshall in the past has counted my concerns about significant radicalized elements within the traditionalist movement as exaggerated.  I don’t know if he still maintains that position, but in my opinion, the longer it is ignored the more harm traditionalists will bring upon themselves.  I am sorry that traditionalists feel marginalized.  But if they feel marginalized they would do well to see to it that men like Dr. Marshal are not marginalized within their movement.  Probably one of the worst days in the history of Fisher More College was the day he realized that input from men like him was no longer welcome.


120 thoughts on “What the Fisher More Situation Teaches Us

  1. Fisher More College:

    “The College has been notified by the Bishop of Fort Worth, the Most Rev. Michael Olson, that it no longer has permission to have the public celebration of the Latin Mass in the College chapel, including Sundays. Effective immediately and until further notice, the daily Mass schedule is suspended.”

    So then, having no Mass at all is better than the Novus Ordo? Time to rethink the faculty.

  2. I think Mark Shea’s comment is very valuable. Why must it be, that people who want to celebrate the EF have to destroy the teachings of Vatican II? Hopefully, the Holy Father will bring about a compromise, that will satisfy the faithful on both sides of this seemingly warlike issue. We must not be tempted into that kind of sin. Oh Holy Spirit abide!

  3. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Rorate Caeli is dangerous.

    Their behavior and their tone sets off major alarm bells for me. These are not people who want to see traditionalism succeed.

  4. According to Dr. Marshall, the school hasn’t had a chaplain in months, which their website forgets to mention. FSSP apparently left last summer, so who, if anyone, has been doing any TLM Sunday Masses, never mind daily Masses at the school? And according to a Dallas area Catholic blog, there hasn’t been any Mass there in ages because of that..The Bishop directed those who want the TLM to a church 2 miles away that has a weekly TLM Mass. One other point, apparently there are only a couple of dozen students still attending the school, not the hundreds that people seem to be assuming.

  5. Thank you for this sane assessment, Father. It truly seems that traditionalists are their own worst enemy. They operate with a victimhood mentality thinking the whole world is against them, and instead of calmly waiting for facts to come out, they immediately jump to conclusions and assign the worst motives to those in authority. They seem to demonstrate little patience and little faith that, if they are right, Our Lord will work things out for them. And it never occurs to them for even a second that they could possibly be wrong. Not only a lack of patience, but certainly a demonstrable lack of humility.

    They also need to realize that as beautiful as the TLM is, it is not absolutely essential for salvation. The Church has the ordinary form of the Mass, and it is a valid Mass. I sincerely disagree with Fr. Z’s “Save the Liturgy, Save the World.” How does he explain all the sedevancantist groups that “save the liturgy” and are now separated from the Church? Something is very wrong here.

  6. Thanks, everyone for the comments.

    Quite a different perspective is had when one factors in the availability of the EF nearby, the actual number of people affected and the fact that if Mr. King can’t have the EF he will have no Mass at all. That says a great deal about what is going on.

  7. Apparently Dr Marshall was not forthcoming with the truth or maybe it was just his version of events. His response to the situation at Fisher More College left it up to the reader to fill in the “Rest of the Story” many times. Hopefully this link will help some of your readers who are concerned with the financial situation at Fisher More College. http://fishermore.edu/welcome . As for myself, I have been attending daily mass at Fisher More College Chapel for the past year, mid Feb 2013 until 2 weeks ago when Fr Henderson of the Fathers of Mercy was reassigned by his superior. At no time from Fr. Simon, Fr. Orlowski, Fr. Wolfe or Fr. Henderson was there anything but reverent celebration of the TLM as well as their homilies. When my wife and I began attending daily mass Dr. Marshall and President King alternated leading us in the rosary. After Dr. Marshall left President King would lead us unless he was away on business. It was the efforts of President King that we have had caring priest to lead us in our daily and Sunday celebration. My wife and I drive through Fort Worth, Arlington and 50 minutes arrived at Mater Dei for Ash Wednesday mass at 12:10. We saw a few Fisher More College students but the rest of them would have to make the drive over to Mater Dei for the 7 pm distribution of ashes and mass. Last year it was a 15 minute drive for us and a maybe a 30 yard walk for the students. I’ve read a lot of comments on the internet about the situation at Fisher More College and a lot of them are just plain mean from people who probably have no clue where Fisher More College is or even took the time to read their website but they have a change to rap the TLM. Anyway I will continue praying for Fisher More College, the student body, staff, faculty and especially President King and look forward once more to attend the TLM in the Fisher More College Chapel.

  8. Looks like the Gnostics at Rorate Caeli are at it again. First the FIs then Fisher More. If only they understood the internal facts of the FIs, then they would understand that the TLM was the least of the FIs problems. I wonder what the internal problems at Fisher More may have been?

  9. “An acquaintance of this author, whose husband has worked for Fisher More College for two years, says that the college president is “a borderline sedevacantist” (i.e. suggests that the post-conciliar popes have not been valid), has alienated the families of many former students, has fired faculty members on the spot for disagreeing with his views, and has then threatened them with lawsuits if they go public with their complaints.”


  10. I have seen Mr. King just about every day for the past year, not only at mass, but at seminars, social gatherings and just one on one time and at no time and I have never gotten the feeling that he was “a borderline sedevacantist”. It seems that folks like holyvail just regurgitates things they find on the internet without validating the content.

  11. How are you able to make any inference to, “Hmmm”? I neither said anything positive or negative.

    Btw…”holyveil” is my oxymoron. No such thing as a holy veil…neither fiddlebacks, incense, or Latin….things do not make one holy.
    Holiness is the correspondence to God’s grace, not a Mass Form. Imitate the Immaculate, Leroy.
    God bless you.

  12. Thanks LeRoy, for bringing some balance and fairness to this discussion. Its one thing to have Catholics on the internet using this situation to beat trads and M. King over the head with it without knowing ALL of the facts, but now apparently we have a priest doing it as well. Shameful, really.

  13. “Btw…”holyveil” is my oxymoron. No such thing as a holy veil…neither fiddlebacks, incense, or Latin….things do not make one holy. Holiness is the correspondence to God’s grace, not a Mass Form. Imitate the Immaculate, Leroy. God bless you.”

    In the sacraments, common material things, such as water, wine, bread, oil, and the imposition of hands, result in the giving of grace. Related to the sacraments are the sacramentals, objects such as medals, blessed palms, holy water, and ashes. Their use can lead people to receive or respond to grace. Indeed, a Mass celebrated very reverently with incense and Latin such as the TLM, can lead people to holiness. The Lord is no dualist. He made matter, he loves matter, and he had no qualms about becoming matter himself to accomplish our redemption.

  14. I stand by what I said.
    Holiness is the correspondence to grace…period.
    It’s love in action…period! 🙂

    Maybe you might meditate on the first two Joyful Mysteries….imitate the Immaculate!!!
    Ave Maria!

  15. No doubt the sacredness of the TLM and the many uses of sacramentals during which would surely inspire in the hearts of its participants a great love and devotion. Also, there is no question that God has any adversity to the application of material elements if they are used in a way that adore or to assist in raising our minds to Him. However, God is more interested in our hearts rather than the means we used to glorify Him. It is not necessary for these to be used in order to for our hearts and minds to be turned towards our divine savior.

    (holyveil’s daughter)

  16. ” In the sacraments, common material things, such as water, wine, bread, oil, and the imposition of hands, result in the giving of grace. Related to the sacraments are the sacramentals, objects such as medals, blessed palms, holy water, and ashes. Their use can lead people to receive or respond to grace. Indeed, a Mass celebrated very reverently with incense and Latin such as the TLM, can lead people to holiness. The Lord is no dualist. He made matter, he loves matter, and he had no qualms about becoming matter himself to accomplish our redemption.”

    If mere use of sacramentals or even outward actions of piety are all it takes to achieve holiness, then how do you explain all the sedevacantist groups that say and do all the “right” things, but are separated from the Church? If use of the TLM automatically leads to holiness, please explain the SSPX, SSPV, and all the other traditionalist groups in rebellion against Holy Mother Church?

    “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word”. (Isa 66:2). If our hearts are not right, all the sacramentals and all the prayers and pios actions mean nothing. Without the right heart, even the beautiful TLM can lead to our destruction, as we have seen time and time again. This has definitely been true in the Fisher More situation.

  17. Ave Maria
    I know what is happening at Fisher Moore. I also know what Taylor Marshells thoughts are. There was a schismatic conference given at the college denying the validity of the Novus Ordo last year (it seems that a lot of the lay faithful were agreed). The new bishop also knew what was going on before he was bishop. Therefore the bishop followed very faithfully the recommendation of Sumorum Pontificum. Those who deny the validity of the new mass do not have the privilege to assist at the Old Mass. Thank you Pope Benedict.

  18. “In simpler language: the local Ordinary is obliged by canon law to defend Church unity and to ensure that abuses do not creep into the celebration of the sacraments (canon 392). The celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form must not be turned into an ideological “statement” that would cause disunity.”

  19. “Mercy,” Francis said, “involves not being too rigid nor too lax. Maybe some rigorists seem saints, but they do not sanctify the priest, they do not sanctify the faithful … Think of Pelagius and then we’ll talk.” Haha! This is the central problem in the FI and this is why the TLM was taken away.

  20. “The celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form must not be turned into an ideological “statement” that would cause disunity.”

    The ironic thing about this statement is that the creation of the Norvus Ordo was nothing but an ideological statement (read “The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber”) that accommodates a Protestant spirit and suppresses Eucharistic theology, and subsequently has been causing disunity and loss of faith for the last 40+ years. Even Pope Benedict called it a banal, on the spot product.

  21. “However, God is more interested in our hearts rather than the means we used to glorify Him. It is not necessary for these to be used in order to for our hearts and minds to be turned towards our divine savior.”

    You are bordering on moral relativism here, or what’s called today “spiritual but not religious”. God very much cares how we worship him, especially in the Liturgy. These do indeed have a direct influence on how our hearts and minds are turned towards Christ. I recommend for you the book “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist”.

  22. I don’t really care about the EF issue here, but what this situation should also teach us is how quick people are to bash “traditionalists” these days. It is almost irrational. At the very least we can conclude that there is much more here than meets the eye, probably on both “sides.” Based largely on the comments of a former employee, people are quick to jump to conclusions. As poster Leroy has noted, Fisher More has begun replying to Marshall’s comments and it is again evident the latter’s comments are open to question, at the least. Yet why the eagerness to side with one person’s comments, and made on facebook nonetheless, yet downplay or dismiss the official statements of Fisher More or its board of directors? Marshall also chose to air his dirty laundry in the public square, so why the double standard in giving him a free pass and only ascribing this approach to the “traditionalists?” And it doesn’t suffice to say, ‘Oh, but they started it, so Marshall was forced to reply.” M. King may be getting into some questionable things, but let’s at least be even-handed and recognize when we are engaging in double-standards and may be making rash and/or false judgments about the information before us.

    • Chris @ 2014/03/07 at 12:46 pm

      The speakers list at the college post Marshall Taylor confirm the situation. The invitation,for example, to a suspended priest to speak at the college says pretty much all you need to know. This is really not about he said, she said. It is about whether it is reasonable to presume that the bishop had grounds to decide as he did. It is, in fact, his competence, and not anyone else’s to decide whether the college should be able to operate a chapel and how so. But if his decision seems to be harsh, we might ask if it seems he had grounds for his decision. It seems that he did, and we might further presume that he has far more information about the situation than we are aware of.

  23. Let me rephrase for clarification, rereading what I wrote I find that I was a little vague.There is a fine line between relativism and having more than one way to pay God His Due homage. You stated that,

    “In the sacraments, common material things, such as water, wine, bread, oil, and the imposition of hands, result in the giving of grace. Related to the sacraments are the sacramentals, objects such as medals, blessed palms, holy water, and ashes. Their use can lead people to receive or respond to grace. Indeed, a Mass celebrated very reverently with incense and Latin such as the TLM, can lead people to holiness. The Lord is no dualist. He made matter, he loves matter, and he had no qualms about becoming matter himself to accomplish our redemption.”

    Which, I agree is partially true. Added use of sacramentals will assuredly aid in raising our minds to God. There is nothing wrong with the new mass however, with the use of fewer “smells and bells”. In the NO, God’s children still participate fully and adore Christ equally as in the TLM.
    Moreover, if every person who participated at either forms reflected on the thought that the mass was instituted by Christ, so that he may physically abide in us, there would be no need for any other assistance in focusing our minds on God. He instituted the mass out of His unmeasurable love for us, so that every day, we have the opportunity to not only receive abundant graces, but to receive the Author and source of all Grace. We remember each time we participate at mass of Christ’s passion, the sacrifice He made for the salvation of our souls. What more is necessary to direct our minds to Him who made us? Lastly, there is no where in the bible, or in any Church doctrine that states that there is only ONE way to adore God. If we have a true love of Him, and do nothing contrary to the Church teachings, which indeed states that the NO is acceptable, we have fulfilled the requirements.

  24. Stoney said,
    “(read “The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber)”

    You might read St. Matthew 16:18-19.
    Have a great day! 🙂

  25. From Stoney:

    “The ironic thing about this statement is that the creation of the Norvus Ordo was nothing but an ideological statement (read “The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber”) that accommodates a Protestant spirit and suppresses Eucharistic theology, and subsequently has been causing disunity and loss of faith for the last 40+ years. Even Pope Benedict called it a banal, on the spot product.”

    Are you sure you know what the word “ideological” means? It has do with “ideology” which means: “the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party.” In other words, ideology means pushing an agenda. It is your opinion that the Ordinary Form of the Mass was created to “accommodate a Protestant spirit and suppress Eucharistic theology.” That is a very presumptive and judgmental statement which you cannot prove in any way. I will concede that the abuse of the Ordinary Form has most definitely caused disunity and loss of faith. But there was a much subtler abuse in the Old Mass which was just as damaging to the people, and that was that most people were just going through the motions, not knowing or caring what was happening at the altar or the significance. Pope Benedict XVI, shortly before he left the papacy, gave a talk in which he said that in the Old Mass there were often two liturgies going on, one with the priest at the altar and one with the people in the pews. The fathers at the Council were trying to correct that and bring people wholly into the sacrifice of the Mass. If that is “ideological”, then I would say that is a good thing.

    The Mass, both Ordinary and Extraordinary, is one of the greatest treasures given to us. It is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to the Father, and we cannot exist without that. Therefore, it is the constant object of Satan’s attack. And I think the most tragic thing that has happened to the TLM is that it has become a weapon of attack by one group of Catholics against the rest of the Church. This is truly tragic, and it has the enemy dancing with glee.

  26. Well said, Chris. The funny thing about this situation, when’s the last time you saw the Novus Ordo being suppressed at a wayward Catholic College, and they being forced to celebrate only the EF of the Mass? lol

  27. Mary Griffin, read the history of Annibale Bugnini appointed secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship by Pope Paul VI, and the brainchild behind the NO. In 1965 he was quoted as saying: “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants.” He was also under suspicion of being a Freemason.

  28. I’ve heard it said several times that Bugnini was a freemason intended to destroy the Church, are there evidence for that kind of claims or are they just another conspiration theory?
    Father Bugnini did not write the new liturgy by himself. He was the secretary and editor for the Consilium. he did make the final call on the changes along with Pope Paul VI. In addition to Father Bugnini, the New mass was written by Fathers Wagner, Hanggi, Righetti, Schnitzler,Journel. Vagaggini, Franquesa, Jungmann ,P.M.Gy. Where they also Free Masons? I don’t think so.
    There is no doubt in my mind that these men wanted to remove everything from the Mass that would be seen as an obstacle to the return of the Lutherans and Anglicans to the Church. This was all about ecumenism.
    They also had an obsession with “active participation” of the laity and a return to ancient practices such as communion in the hand and early liturgical prayers. Bugnnin says in his writings that the words of consecration were “restored to a purer form, reflective of the biblical sources.” [pg 385 Reform of the Liturgy]

  29. Stoney – I have heard all these stories many, many times. It all comes down to this: do you believe that Jesus Christ is in charge of His Church? Do you believe that He can take care of any problems that may exist? Or do you feel that need to give God a hand, that he can’t “steady the ark” without your help? The first crisis in the Church was when Christ died. All but one of the apostles ran away, certain it was all over. And there have been many crises in the Church since then, each one seemingly worse than the one before. But Our Lord has never lost control, He has never been outwitted by the evil one. And He doesn’t need human help to make things right.

    Think on this verse from I Samuel 15:22 – ” “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” Think of this in terms of Fisher More and the situation with the FFI. Our Lord asks obedience and mercy from us. He doesn’t need us to save the Church. He did it 2000 years ago and He has never stopped.

    Michael King put the TLM above obedience. He was wrong, pure and simple. And all who think they know better than the Magesterium of the Church are putting themselves into a very precarious situation.

  30. Mary Griffin stated “The Mass, both Ordinary and Extraordinary, is one of the greatest treasures given to us.” In the Fort Worth Diocese we have over 1000 new mass celebrated a week, 4 Vietnamese parishes, and until three weeks ago we had 8 old mass being celebrated. Today we have one and that is at 5:30 on Sunday celebrated by a FSSP priest from the Dallas Diocese. It seems to me that if there is a battle going on here Goliath is winning (I call him something else). I am not a student, faculty member or staff of Fisher More College but one of a number of families that was attending the daily mass and Sunday at FMC because we feel more comfortable there than at the new mass, and not that we don’t like the new mass. And yes Mary Griffin “This is truly tragic, and it has the enemy dancing with glee.”.

  31. Mary Griffin, I’m sure glad Catholics with your attitude weren’t in charge when various heresies have cropped up on the Church over its history. And today we have the heresy of modernism, the synthesis of all heresies causing massive exodus from the Church. Wake up! Yes, I believe Christ is in charge of his Church, but that doesn’t mean we sit back on our collective asses and do nothing, we are called the Church MILITANT for a reason. And once again, you do not know ALL the facts of the FM or FFI situation, so stop calumniating others.

    Holyveil : Why does Pope Benedict assert that the Mass we go to every Sunday is a spontaneously manufactured product? Find out how the Mass of all time was changed by one radical priest and his cabal of liturgical ‘experts.’

  32. Stoney – you really need to read the story of Uzza in I Chronicles 13.

    “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

    From St. Faustina:

    “My daughter, know that you give Me greater glory by a single act of obedience than by long prayers and mortifications.” (Diary 894)

    When we think we know better than the Magesterium, we are in big trouble.

  33. Stoney:

    I think the “banal on-the-spot product” comment to which I think (correct me if I am wrong) you refer is from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, rather than Pope Benedict XVI – a not unimportant distinction. But if you prefer words from his days as Cardinal Ratzinger – how about his words in Feast of Faith: “Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its content is concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular.”

    And in his letter to Catholic bishops after, as pope, he issued Summorum Pontificum:

    “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 by consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.”

    It seems that Dave Armstrong’s comment that “an abuse of a thing is not the thing itself” applies to both Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI.

    Have a blessed Lent,

  34. William, you seem to have left this off of Card. Ratzinger’s comment from Feast of a Faith: “….But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather than with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.”

    The following are also Paul VI’s words: “A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead.”

    And the following are Cardinal Ratzinger’s words in their totality: “[After the Council] “in the place of the liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it, as in a manufacturing process, with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.”

  35. Stoney – let’s say for the sake of argument that Card. Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI did not like the New Mass and thought there were problems with it. However, he continued to celebrate it and never once in public went back to the TLM. Why do you think that is?


  36. “He who wishes to be My disciple must first deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Me.”

    “Lord, Lord, did you not see how I defended the ‘rite’ to worship you as I choose?” “He who wishes to enter into heaven does the Will of the Father.”
    ~”Love one another as I have loved you.”

    “Do this in remembrance of Me.” ~ Only command Christ gave in regards to celebrating the Holy Sacrifice.

    Raise your eyes and hearts higher! Please.

    Ave Maria!

  37. Two things:
    – This controversy is really over Vatican II, not the Mass.
    – Canon Law is meaningless in this controversy. The Bishop’s real hit was against Fisher-More College’s branding and marketing as a ‘loyal’ extraordinary form college.

  38. Stoney @ March 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm said:

    “The ironic thing about this statement is that the creation of the Norvus Ordo was nothing but an ideological statement (read “The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber”) that accommodates a Protestant spirit and suppresses Eucharistic theology, and subsequently has been causing disunity and loss of faith for the last 40+ years. Even Pope Benedict called it a banal, on the spot product.”

    Pope Benedict did not make that statement, Cardinal Ratzinger did in a non-magisterial preface to a book. From the other quotations you give, you seem to be aware that the thought of Ratzinger/Benedict is both complex and nuanced. Neither as Ratzinger, nor as Benedict has he even come remotely near the idea that Sacrosanctum Concilium or the new missal are Protestant accommodations. In fact, in the Spirit of the Liturgy he asks and answers the following:

    Can the original form of Christian prayer still say something to us today, or should we try to find our own form, a form for our times? Of course, we cannot simply replicate the past. Every age must discover and express the liturgy anew. The point is to discover this essence amid all the changing appearances. It would surely be a mistake to reject the reforms of our century wholesale (81).

    Unfortunately, traditionalists quote Benedict as the new golden boy of liturgical restorationalism, cherry-picking from here or there, where it is convenient and ignoring the wider context, or the complexities of his thought.

    I will say here again, that it is a bad habit to quote a non-magisterial statement from a Cardinal as though it proved something and then ignore, as so many traditionalists do right now, magisterial statements from a Pope affirming the postconciliar teaching on religious liberty (see, for example 26-27). The fact of the matter is Pope Benedict was an advocate both for the development of doctrine and of the liturgy. He was in no way a traditionalist in either matter.

  39. There is a different way of thinking about these matters which leaves aside the matter of facts in any particular instance.

    Here is the way I now look at these matters (as a former soi disant traditionalist) and depending upon what I see, that will give me a solid clue that the putative matter/fact that is the object of the latest captious quarrel is likely to have been seen or thought about owing to a particular ideological orientation and, thus, a matter of unsettled/unproven/unknown facts is being propagandised about for very questionable purposes.

    Cui bono? Certainly not Holy Mother Church.

    There is a very simple test that can be applied almost right from the get-go; is there a Roar-Mewl response evident? If so there is nearly a 100% certainty that any attempted exchange with that source will leave each “side” frustrated.

    There are any number of popular (within its own insular bubble) soi disant traditionalist Blogs that Roar like Lions when they attack Pope, Council, Mass but then Mewl like Kittens when they receive a response.

    And that is exactly what is happening with the latest captious quarrel and after this one is ended we will all move on to the next one with the same purple polemics acting merely as a way to additionally anneal already long-held ideological attitudes.

    The Roar-Mewl criterion identifies an ideological pit of quicksand that one ought to be cautious about entering unless one maintains a strong Bond of Unity with Holy Mother Church – the Bonds of Worship, Doctrine, and Authority – that can be used to extricate one from the pit once it becomes obvious the exchange/discussion is fruitless.

    One ought never forget that an ideologue is akin to a soul suffering a psychiatric delusion and neither an ideology or a delusion is correctable by reason or fact.

    Other than that, ain’t we got fun?

  40. Anyone consider the possibility that this traditionalist ideology leads to physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse of those who don’t wish to subscribe? IT DOES!! IT…. DOES!!
    It’s bullying…that’s the word for it. Bullying. And the Fisher More incident isn’t an isolated case!!

    And those who have been bullied, threatened (harmed) have very little recourse!!! The Church moves slowly, and those hurt, who just wanted to love Jesus and Mary wait in their homes for the bullies to be removed!
    It’s like a mental rape….because the trads can’t get it through their heads to trust that God is in control. GOD IS IN CONTROL!
    That the TLM, as beautiful as it is, will be shut down if the abuse doesn’t stop!!!!! You all want your ‘golden calf’ so much that you are willing to do ANYTHING to keep it….including hurting others! Those who have been harrassed, threatened, tormented, isolated, and refused charity, (who are remaining silent about it) are glorifying God more than those who attend the TLM!!

    Sanctity comes from God alone. His graces…alone. Even our disposition to receiving His graces is a grace! The TLM is a gift from God….and you fight over it like school children in a back street parking lot.

  41. holyveil on March 8, 2014 at 11:01 am said:
    “Anyone consider the possibility that this traditionalist ideology leads to physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse of those who don’t wish to subscribe? IT DOES!! IT…. DOES!! ”

    I go to the Ordinary Mass, and sometimes it is not “perfect” – liturgically speaking.
    I “frequent” so-called “modernists” who sometimes irritate me.
    They never caused the pain, the disgust and the desorder (in my soul) that the “people of the TLM” did (since the election of Pope Francis) – and I am not the only one… Oh yes I loved the latin Mass… but better to go to the “Ordinary” Mass in my ordinary parish with its ordinary priest and parishioner than frequenting the trad mafia.
    I am even not sure anymore that they are ideologues. They are just aesthetes, egoists – and immatures (they hate Pope Francis when he says that evangelising can be “dirty”, because according to them purety = cleanliness) – What an offense……

    Have a good Lent !

  42. Holyveil, you sound like the Obama media calling Fox News a bully just for being there hoping that if you say it enough times we will believe it. There is only one TLM in all of the Fort Worth Diocese being celebrated each week, and that is being said by a FSSP priest from the Dallas Diocese. Fort Worth is not unique in lack of availability of the TLM Liturgy. So when a small college that not only supports their staff and student body but also a community of about 45 families with the TLM Liturgy they cannot have the TLM Liturgy anymore, at FMC, because Bishop Olson “ make these norms out of my pastoral solicitude and care for the students of Fisher-More College as well as for your own soul”. Now who is the bully Holyveil? Some of these families drive an hour one way to attend the daily mass and now will have to drive two plus hours. I love the TLM Liturgy lock-stock-and-barrow, from the Liturgy, the reverence, the statues, communion rails, confession 7 days week, the processions, being able to go to any TLM celebration and know exactly how I am to participate in the celebration. A lot of these things have vanished from the Novus Ordo parishes, not all but most, from when I grew in the 50s and 60s. I don’t know why I can’t just walk to the mass I did as a child and young man and as my parents or of my wife of 49 years and her parents. Why do you people hate us so then turn around and say “God Bless You”?

  43. Guadium..

    There is a great deal of evil hiding behind the TLM. People don’t see it as readily as they see the abuses coming from the other side of the isle; liturgical abuses in the NO; those are ‘in your face’, as it were. Unfortunately, it’s easy to hide evil behavior behind things that are by appearances holy.

    I am spending my Lent reading about mercy, again, because we can never know enough on that subject…and read about VII, particularly the documents. I think, so far as I can tell, the intentions were good; to bring our separated brethren back into the folds of Holy Mother Church. Not to have “obstacles” to them finding their way home. To me, that defines mercy. It means the Council wanted a unified Church…”may they be one as We are One”
    Or should I say, God wants this. (St. John)
    Wouldn’t that make satan itch?…to see strength in numbers? To see us working together toward holiness?

    If Catholics bothered to read the documents, in light of the Gospel, we would have less of the garbage I see in my Church now.
    PS…I dislike the Novus Ordo…young girls as altar servers, the puky, sappy songs…but I will continue attending the NO Mass so long as pinhead priests teach the flock to deny teachings of the Council/Church, to defy obedience to the Pope….so long as people are treated like robots….so long as the bully priests remain with their faculties.

    My faith in God lives through prayer and trust in Him. It is not dependent upon the rubrics of the Mass.

    A grace filled Lent to you.

    “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away…Blessed be God forever.” (book of Job)
    {a good Lenten read}
    God bless you. 🙂

  44. I am new to this blog and not really familiar with Fr. Geiger. However, after reading his response to my post above and several other of his comments, I’m beginning to think he is part of the small group of FFI priests that were instrumental in suppressing his own order over the TLM. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but if I’m not, well that certainly explains a lot. So discouraging to my faith to see such a healthy, growing order be destroyed like this. I remember attending one of their Masses at Ognassanti in Florence, and it was beautiful. It’s always the few that ruin it for the majority.

  45. Stoney,

    Actually, the ecclesiastically approved legislation of the FI and its official positions have never been remotely in reconcilable to your position:

    . . . the Norvus Ordo was nothing but an ideological statement (read “The Rhine Flows Into The Tiber”) that accommodates a Protestant spirit and suppresses Eucharistic theology, and subsequently has been causing disunity and loss of faith for the last 40+ years.

    Unfortunately, you know nothing about our Institute or the reason why the Church intervened, which had nothing to do with acceptance of the old rite.

  46. Stoney…I see you read the scandalous tirades of “Rorate Caeli”. Your words were most uncharitable….but, ironically, proved the point I made (above) to perfection!
    Ave Maria!

  47. Fr. Angelo,
    Then why don’t you tell us the “real” reason such a growing, healthy order is now being slowly destroyed? By the way, you don’t know all of the facts about the Fisher-More situation either, yet you felt the need to use it as a stick to beat traditionalists over the head with it. I suppose the answer to my inquiry is yes, you’re are indeed part of the small group of FFI malcontents.

  48. Stony,

    I only defend the bishop’s prerogative to act as the competent authority in the matter and to presume that he in fact acted accordingly.

    As for my Institute, it was the traditionalist blogs who have made the situation a public spectacle and who have, as in the case of Fisher More, sensationalized and propagandized the situation in a way that is destructive.

    I suggest you take care with further comments.

  49. holyveil and Gaudium, thank you for echoing my sentiments I’ve discovered on my spiritual adventure which has included the TLM to some capacity. I am glad I am not the only one who is saying this who isn’t a major name blogger. Thanks.

  50. Stoney…I do not need to go to their link. Doing so only gets the soul muddy. But since I can read the few words on the link I know where you are going…..There is only one Judge. One. The Holy Father is a shepherd…not a butcher! His words DO NOT advocate sins of the flesh in any way.
    Seems to me you might like reading about divine mercy…we are to be mercifull to everyone, because everyone is made in God’s image! I think Pope Francis understands that message perfectly…our third Mercy Pope!!! Viva il Papa Francesco!! Pax. 🙂

  51. “As for my Institute, it was the traditionalist blogs who have made the situation a public spectacle….”
    Good grief Fr. Angelo, that’s like Obama blaming all of his problems on FoxNews: “If only FoxNews would stop reporting on all my blunders, I would be a more effective president!” The FFI situation would have been a public spectacle whether or not traddie blogs existed. I guess you’re not going to answer my question about what the “real” problem is, but perhaps you are not allowed? Sorry I don’t mean to come across as uncharitable, just trying to get to the truth. God bless all of the FFI.

    • Stoney,

      The Apostolic Visitation and then the Apostolic Commission were private affairs. Our relationship with the Holy See is not the same as that of president of the United States with the people or the press, and by our vows we do not agree to make ourselves public figures. And quite frankly our internal affairs are no one’s business but our ecclesiastical superiors’. Neither the Holy See or the Apostolic Commissioner chose to make this matter public.

      The Visitation remained outside the press (for more than a year) until the traditionalist blog Messa in Latino leaked the decree (a private letter from the Holy See to our Institute) announcing the Commission. The rest is history. Sandro Magister picked up on the leak. Other outlets like Vatican Insider and Catholic World Report published rebuttals only once the whole thing was public. Every other leaked document has had its outlet in a traditionalist blog.

      What is on the traditionalist blogs is gossip. What I have reported here, regarding FMC, is a defense of the competent authority in the matter, the bishop, which has resulted from another leaked document to a traditionalist blog that has been used by the traditionalists to foment further anti-ecclesial sentiments and sympathy for radical traditionalists, like those whose talks were sponsored at FMC under the leadership of Mr. King.

      Did you know that there are a number of other religious institutes either under apostolic visitation or commission? (Aside from the Legionnaires, whose case is now closed.) Can you name them? I doubt it. Why? Because the traditionalists had no interest in instrumentalizing those institutes since the Latin Mass was not involved.

  52. Stoney on March 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm said:
    “The FFI situation would have been a public spectacle whether or not traddie blogs existed”

    If my ex-friends (sadness) of the TLM hadn´t told me, grinning with excitement : “now look what your (!) Pope are doing to our (!) institute”, I never would have known about the “situation” of the FFI. And then they promoted pu-bli-ci-ty in the Trad blogosphere for a petition demanding the dismissal of Father Fidenzio Volpi from his post as authorized Apostolic Commissioner for the FFI… so what.
    The ordinary faithfuls – who per se don´t frequent the traditionalists and don´t read their blogs – still ignore the “situation” of this Institute (most of them just don´t know that the FFI exists) . In fact it is a public spectacle for the traditionalist audience . and against Pope Francis.

    We should create an association “we-want-the-TLM -without- the-people-of-the-TLM”… 🙂
    an Extraordinary Mass with an ordinary priest and ordinary faithfuls… Would it be only possible ?

    Pax vobiscum.

  53. Stoney:

    “It’s always the few that ruin it for the majority.”

    “you’re are indeed part of the small group of FFI malcontents.”


    “Sorry I don’t mean to come across as uncharitable, just trying to get to the truth.”

    Uh huh. And OJ Simpson was just trying to resolve his marital problems.

  54. Great article on why Trads are their own worst enemy.


    Here is the money quote:

    “But what is hap­pen­ing in the Catholic Church is that the Latin Mass is becom­ing the province of a fac­tion of spite­ful, spit­ting lob­by­ists. The Latin Mass is becom­ing asso­ci­ated with those who view Vat­i­can II as an invalid coun­cil and think that peo­ple who attend the Novus Ordo are lesser Catholics; who act as though the Latin Mass some­how makes them bet­ter and supe­rior and more holy, and their halo more sure, per­haps even com­plete. That (not the Latin Mass itself) is the “dan­ger to your soul” to which Bishop Olson referred in his let­ter to Mr. King.

    Only­ism is — like its Protes­tant coun­ter­part — the great­est enemy the Latin Mass has. It is Only­ism that is caus­ing bish­ops, includ­ing the pope, to restrict the Latin Mass. It is Only­ism that is caus­ing Catholics who might oth­er­wise learn to love its beauty to stay far away. A great Mass, whose beauty should be pre­served, is acquir­ing a stink from those who reject a coun­cil and the new Mass and look down on their brother and sis­ter Catholics.

    Those who truly love the Latin Mass must save it from the Onlyists.”

  55. Fr. Angelo, with all due respect, when a thriving order is suddenly suppressed from celebrating the TLM, good pastors such as Fr. Lanzetto are transferred and Fr Fidenzio Volpi is appointed as Apostolic Commissioner to investigate the situation, it’s going to become a public spectacle!!

    I’m aware that the LCWR is under investigation, speaking of which whatever happened to that? Obviously, you are aware of other situations that I am not, which begs the question: if these are supposed to remain private, then how do you know about them?

  56. “Uh huh. And OJ Simpson was just trying to resolve his marital problems.”

    Oh great, now I’m being compared to a criminal and likely murderer. I thought it was trads who are always the ones acting poorly? Anyway, as Fr. Z says:
    The Latin Mass is not going away. It cannot be stopped.

  57. Stoney…you need some serious people skills. You have insulted almost every commenter, including a priest. You whine, are sarcastic, taunting,contradictory, and accusative, …. If you were closely united to God you would never behave this way. Never. And every time you do this you make it harder for the TLM lovers to make their case….instead you are making mine. You are behaving badly as a Traditional Catholic. You are behaving like a bully.
    And to top it off….how would you know anything about “Fr. Lanzetto being a good priest” or “being transferred” (your quote from above). You so much as admitted that you only attended one FFI Mass in Florence. I have been acquainted with the FI for years and don’t know what you seem to. Could you possibly be on an inner circle, more than you declare? Arrivederci, Stoney.

  58. Stoney, I know nothing anyone says here is going to change your mind. But for others who are following this and are truly interested in the truth, I just want to make the following comment.

    I went to the link you provided. I have never seen this blog before, and when I went to the “about” page, all I got was a quote from the Psalms. So there is no way of knowing who this guy is and what his agenda is, so that makes everything he writes suspect. Another big problem that I found in perusing his blog is that he seems to be a strong supporter of the SSPX. Anyway, I will just answer one statement on his post. He wrote:

    “Given that the Society of St. Pius X is assumed to represent the “far right” or “extreme wing” of non-sede traditional Catholicism, it is key to note that they have never denied the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass; their attack centers on its licitness.

    This is from a Catholic World News article from October 15, 2013, which you can find here


    “In a provocative address to the Kansas City audience, Bishop Bernard Fellay said: “It is has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate.’” He said that although the Novus Ordo Mass introduced after Vatican II may be valid, “The New Mass is bad, it is evil.”

    You really expect us to listen to a guy who supports that kind of statement? I don’t think so. And you lose all credibility in using this post to bolster your argument.

  59. Mary,
    Good detective work… 🙂

    Very often I tap on the blue username links to see what information is behind them, and to my surprise (not really surprised), is there anything worth noting. The blog is almost always a new one, with no name attached to it. It’s a clever way to change usernames to throw eggs (insults) on this blog. I know its possible to spoof IP addresses to acheive the same goal, but starting anonymous wordpress blogs is much easier. It takes about 5 minutes to set one up. And an individual can have multiple sites, too!!

    Honesty is always the best policy!


  60. Mary,

    Since you have made some rather strong accusations about me, my character, and my agenda, I feel like I should respond to you. I want to note, for the record, that my blog has over 620 posts. As best as I can tell you skimmed a couple of posts and drew some rather strong, even uncharitable, conclusions. So let me see if I can help clarify the situation.

    First, I am a supporter of the Society of St. Pius X’s canonical regularization, and I was deeply disappointed when their talks with Rome fell apart. I have, from time to time, defended the SSPX from false accusations and misstatements, but that does not mean I am in perfect agreement with the Society. To take just one example, I do not question the licitness (legality) of the Novus Ordo Mass, nor would I use language like “evil” with respect to it. It seems to me that you took a couple of posts where I argued, with facts and reason, that the Society has been misjudged and then used that to tar-and-feather me.

    Second, my point on the SSPX’s view of the Mass was issued because of Alt’s rickety, and problematic, use of that term when he was attacking “Onlyists.” He claimed that “Onlyists,” i.e., those who support the Tridentine over the Novus Ordo, deny that the Novus Ordo is valid. That is not true. The SSPX are certainly “Onlyists” in the fullest sense of the word, but they do not deny the validity of the New Mass. For Alt to state what he did was disingenuous and confusing.

    Third, the Latin quote from the “About” page is actually drawn from the Canticle of Moses, but same difference. I don’t like to brag about myself; maybe that’s why there’s nothing there.

    Finally, I have no “agenda.” My blog is littered with enough autobiographical tidbits to make it clear that I am not out to do much of anything other than write and comment on matters which happen to interest me. At the moment, the kerfuffle over FMC and the Mass has been something of a hot topic. I try to write as much as I can on Orthodox/Catholic relations (I was formerly Orthodox) and the Eastern Catholic Church (which is where I originally grew up). As you should have noticed from perusing the blog, I write a bit on law, social thought, economics, and pro-wrestling, too. It’s a real hodgepodge.

    Thanks for reading.

  61. Holyveil,

    My blog has been around for 2 years. Prior to its existence, I wrote a blog for nearly 7 years that I have since deleted. (I left it behind after I left the Orthodox Church for Catholicism during Lent 2011). My initial “core” readership, which was around 100 people at the start, know of my previous online efforts and who I am. I don’t feel like I have to advertise it. It’s only been in the last 6 months or so that I have been “discovered” enough to where non-core readers (numbering sometimes upwards to 800 people a day) come on to it. Those who stick around consistently have a pretty good idea of my autobiography: Half Hispanic/Half Eastern Pole, grew up Eastern Catholic, left the Church for dumb reasons, became Orthodox, converted back to Catholicism in 2011, wrote a bunch of law review articles and books using economic analysis, distanced himself from that stuff, etc. It’s not a very exciting story, believe you me.

    I do hope you stick around to read more, though. I can’t say everything I write is interesting or fun, but I try to throw some variety into the mix. The Fisher-More College stuff has been a real distraction as of late.

  62. Modestinus, we still do not know who you are. Do you denounce the statements by Bishop Fellay? We would all like to see the SSPX come into canonical union with the Church. But how is that possible with the bishop calling the Mass evil and refusing to accept Vatican II. Cardinal Muller pronounced the SSPX in de facto schism. From looking at your blog, I would say you do not agree. Am I wrong?

  63. Mary,

    I suppose I am jealous about my privacy. I am not trying to be coy, but if you think there is a big secret as to who I am, there is not. If you’re seriously that interested, I am sure we can find a way to correspond off-blog.

    For the record, Fellay’s use of the word “evil” has a technical nuance insofar as evil is the deprivation of good; Fellay — and the Society — find that the Novus Ordo Mass lacks good elements in the Tridentine, hence it is “evil.” I wouldn’t use that word, and I wish he wouldn’t either, but that’s just my opinion. As for Vatican II, it is incorrect to say that the Society refuses to accept Vatican II. The SSPX does, however, refuse to accept teachings in Vatican II which appear to conflict with the pre-Vatican II magisterium. Moreover, the Society supports reading the texts of Vatican II in accordance with tradition. In some respects, I actually think their view is closer to the “hermeneutic of continuity” than they realize, but that’s another, very complicated, matter.

    Cardinal Mueller’s opinion, while weighty, is not dispositive. I do not agree the Society is in schism, and neither does Ecclesia Dei, which has affirmed that Catholics can fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation at SSPX chapels. (By comparison, one cannot fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation by going to an Orthodox liturgy — and the Orthodox are definitely it in schism.) Moreover, the dialogue with the Society took place through Ecclesia Dei then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which would indicate that Rome sees the Society situation as an internal affair, not part of its ecumenical dialogue with non-Catholic bodies like the Orthodox and Anglicans. It’s a complicated issue; maybe the simple way to put it is that a de facto schism — which is Mueller’s opinion, not an official Church statement on the matter — is distinct from a de jure schism which would obviously have serious canonical implications.

    For the record, I attend the Tridentine Mass on Sundays at my local diocesan parish. Prior to that, when I lived in Chicago, I was a parishioner at St. John Cantius. I do not, however, hold the Society in disregard, nor do I think it’s helpful to have an ill disposition toward them.

    • Modestinus @ 2014/03/09 at 6:35 pm:

      For the record, Fellay’s use of the word “evil” has a technical nuance insofar as evil is the deprivation of good; Fellay — and the Society — find that the Novus Ordo Mass lacks good elements in the Tridentine, hence it is “evil.” I wouldn’t use that word, and I wish he wouldn’t either, but that’s just my opinion. As for Vatican II, it is incorrect to say that the Society refuses to accept Vatican II. The SSPX does, however, refuse to accept teachings in Vatican II which appear to conflict with the pre-Vatican II magisterium. Moreover, the Society supports reading the texts of Vatican II in accordance with tradition. In some respects, I actually think their view is closer to the “hermeneutic of continuity” than they realize, but that’s another, very complicated, matter.

      This is simply your effort to explain away the obvious meaning of Bishop Fellay. He is not an idiot. He knows what evil means and what people understand by its use. He was not teaching philosophy when he said these things.

      Here he is on Vatican II and the HC:

      I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real. It is against the reality. So we do not accept it. The Council is not in continuity with Tradition.

      This was as late as October of last year in the same interview in which he called Pope Francis a “genuine modernist.” He also repeated his very clear views on the novus ordo:

      “The same for the Mass. The want us to recognize not only that the [New] Mass is valid provided it is celebrated correctly, etc., but that it is licit. I told them: we don’t use that word. It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity, so we tell them, ‘The New Mass is bad, it is evil’ and they understand that. Period!’” Of course the Roman authorities “were not very happy with that.”

      Do not fill my comment section with any more of your SSPX propaganda. Save it for your own blog.

  64. You are disputing the very words of Bishop Fellay. He called the Mass evil and he denounced Vatican II. He also said he is very happy he did not sign the agreement with Rome in 2012. You can put all the spin on those words that you want, but they mean what they mean.

    Cardinal Muller was not expressing an opinion. He was speaking as Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Unless the pope says otherwise, his words have the authority of the Magesterium.

    Yes, SSPX Masses are valid, but they have no faculties to administer the sacraments. This doesn’t stop them as they still offer confession at their chapels, which has as much validity as if you would go to confession to me. So why would anyone want to go to their Masses?

    It is not a matter of having animosity towards the SSPX. I pray for them as I pray for all people who are separated from the Church and in spiritual peril. But you are doing them no favors by insisting they are somehow in communion with the Church when they are not.

    It is obvious where you are coming from, and since you try every way you can to spin the truth, I don’t see the use of any further discussion.

  65. Mary….put your thinking cap on! How often do you copy/paste somebodies link and then they magically appear? Stoney (unrelated to Modestinus) copy/pastes Modestinus’ link and now Modestinus is here? How did he know to come to MaryVitrix? C’mon.

    I’ll send you an e-mail so you know what trademarks to look for in a particular individual.

  66. I came here because every time someone clicks from this blog to mine, it register in my Daily Statistics. I noticed an unusual amount of traffic coming from this blog (which I had never heard of before today) and thought I would pop over here to see what it was all about.

    Are you always accustomed at making these kinds of accusations at people you do not know? Good Heavens, I thought it was Lent…

  67. Mary,

    First, I acknowledged that Fellay called the Novus Ordo Mass “evil.” I explained to you why he uses that word. (He’s explained it himself multiple times in various talks.) I also stated that I disagree with his use of that word; I don’t find it very helpful. It’s needlessly provocative.

    Second, I have never read a single quote by Bishop Fellay where he has “denounced Vatican II.” Do you know a quote or a talk in mind? I took a great deal of interest in the SSPX/Rome talks when they were going on and, to the best of my knowledge, I have read and listened to every English-language statement Fellay has made on the matter. Though it was never officially released, a copy of Fellay/SSPX’s version of the “Doctrinal Preamble” which they used in their discussions with Rome is available online. Perhaps you should read it. It perhaps does a better job of explaining the Society’s position than I am doing:


    Third, yes, Fellay has said, in the light of recent events, that he is glad that he did not make the agreement in 2012. I would also disagree with him on that point as well.

    Third, not everything Cardinal Mueller says is binding or authoritative, especially in an interview (which is where I believe the quote you referenced came up). Still, even if one were to attribute heavy weight to his statement, it’s not clear what a “de facto schism” means with respect to how the SSPX should be viewed or treated. Mueller has also said quite recently the “door is still open” to talks with the Society, so he’s clearly not treating it like a lost cause — yet.

    Fourth, as for why people go to Society chapels for Mass, you would have to ask them. My guess is that a lot of people believe they don’t have a choice based on where they live, i.e., they don’t live in a diocese with a traditional liturgy, sound catechesis, etc. The issue with Ecclesia Dei is more than just an issue of validity, however. The Orthodox celebrate valid liturgies (Masses), too, but juridically speaking, I cannot fulfill my Sunday or Holy Day obligations there. That’s important to keep in mind. As for the issue of confessions, I am not even going to touch that one for the time being or we’ll be here all night.

    Last — and only loosely related — I had someone ask me not long ago why I defend, and even sympathize with, the SSPX and other traditional Catholic groups when, for awhile, I wouldn’t go near them. After giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that I must suffer from some instinctual need to defend the underdog, especially when the accusers are so uncharitable. I have had nothing but good interactions with SSPX priests and the faithful who regularly attend their chapels. I don’t agree with all of them and it saddens me that they are not canonically regularized, but I’m not going to take some “holier than thou” stance with respect to them, either. I spent too much time watching jurisdictions and dioceses of the Orthodox Church rip each other apart, break communion, cook up all kinds of wild accusations, etc. to last me a lifetime. I’m taking a different track now. Perhaps you might do the same some day.

  68. modestinus on March 9, 2014 at 6:58 pm said:
    “I came here because every time someone clicks from this blog to mine, it register in my Daily Statistics. I noticed an unusual amount of traffic coming from this blog (which I had never heard of before today) and thought I would pop over here to see what it was all about.

    Are you always accustomed at making these kinds of accusations at people you do not know? Good Heavens, I thought it was Lent…”

    An unusual amount of traffic….since 3;08 PM today? And if there was traffic…it would be coming from individual computers, not the MaryVitrix blog.
    As for ‘the accusations’ my two comments were directed to Mary, no one else. Still suspicious.

  69. Do you know how WordPress works? Look in the Stats page, then view the left hand corner. It tells you where people click in from. Gee, and people say trads are paranoid…

  70. Holyveil,
    I only came across Modestinus’s blog yesterday when I read his comments on Mr. Alt’s article. I have never corresponded with him, so your suspicions are completely unfounded.

  71. Seriously on March 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm said:
    Take your football and go home!

    Haha! Thanks for the warm welcome. Well its looks like Mary Griffin has taken her football and gone home.

  72. The SSPX is an “underdog”? They were separated from the Church because they obstinately refused to obey a direct command from the Holy Father. Then a little over 20 years later, Rome again reached out to them, lifting the deserved excommunications and doing everything possible to bring them back. Pope Benedict XVI took a lot of heat for doing so, and in the end, the SSPX completely rebuffed him, and now are saying they are glad they did not sign the Agreement. This is from what is probably one of your favorite blogs, Rorate:


    “Bishop Fellay alluded to the SSPX/Vatican drama of 2012: “When we see what is happening now we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. And we may say that one of the fruits of the [Rosary] Crusade we did is that we have been preserved from such a misfortune. Thank God. It is not that we don’t want to be Catholics, of course we want to be Catholics and we are Catholics, and we have a right to be recognized as Catholics. But we are not going to jeopardize our treasures for that. Of course not.”

    As far as denouncing Vatican II, did you read my earlier post:

    “It is has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate.’”

    You need to do a lot more than “disagree” with Bishop Fellay. This is like “disagreeing” that abortion is a human right. We are talking about people’s salvation here. And you seem to absolutely refuse to recognize the authority of Cardinal Muller. I truly am done here. Trying to have a dicussion with you is like beating my head against a wall, and I really have better things to do.

  73. “Oh great, now I’m being compared to a criminal and likely murderer.”

    Who feigned innocence. “Just looking for the truth.” Please. You’ve already played your hand. Game over.

    “The Latin Mass is not going away. It cannot be stopped.”

    Well, that isn’t true. If rad trads continue on their present course it is not hard to envision a pope that decides to suppress the extraordinary form for the common good. But even if it were true, so what?

  74. Mary,

    If you are so concerned with the salvation of the souls of those in the SSPX, perhaps you should try going out and speaking with some of their priests and the faithful who attend their chapels. Just a thought.

    Then again, I thought it was the neo-Catholic way to “hope that all will be saved.” Anyway, this is beneath me. Judge away.

  75. modestinus on March 9, 2014 at 7:44 pm said:

    “Do you know how WordPress works? Look in the Stats page, then view the left hand corner. It tells you where people click in from. Gee, and people say trads are paranoid”…

    Actually, no, I do not. That is why I referred to another person to guide me. He just now said he thinks he may be incorrect about his answer. As for being suspicious. There are many people who come here only to throw jabs at those of us who do not subscribe to the trad ideology.
    My apologies to you for my mistake, in your case. God bless.

  76. Stoney…. Be loving like the Immaculate….until the martyrdom of your heart. Insulting people offends the virtue of charity. And our words, and deeds, are the only thing we take with us when we die. They will either become our treasure for heaven….or doom us to a hot place.

  77. Holyveil, that is excellent advice and I sincerely apologize if I’ve offended or insulted anyone in this debate. I especially apologize for referring to Fr. Angelo as a malcontent.

  78. Stoney,

    Why do traddies like you constantly throw the crap on the wall and then apologize after the damage is done? Others may believe you didn’t know you were slinging the mud on the wall, seeing how much will stick, or didn’t realize what you were saying, I don’t. I’ve dealt with too many of you. Apologizing ahead of time is also a nice tactic. So, as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do! Forgive me if I’m wrong but your apologies seem even more hollow than your attempts to justify your heterodox positions!

    Please if your rebuttal is something like ” takes one to know one” save it and try actually proving your points if you have any. You know put a little air in your football so we can at least throw it around a bit. Oh, and your welcome for the warm welcome because in the end that is what the traddy really seeks, warm and fuzzy feelings. Give me your address and I will be glad to send you a snuggie!

    Oh, one more thing and again you have to forgive me but I can’t help asking traddies this question. With out qualifications, that is si, si, no, no, can the Pope when acting as such permit an invalid or less holy Mass?

  79. Stoney,

    Not that you would try picking on a lady or aything. Did you notice Mary brought her football back? Seems to me and I actually played the game she has a pretty good arm. Good luck!

  80. Modestinus,

    Just visited your blog and it left me with two serious questions.

    1. What must I do to become a gnostic?
    2. Can anyone join your gnostic church or must we be invited by one of the self appointed philosopher kings?

    I so desire to be lead from the shadows on the wall by such men of wisdom, please I’ll do anything to join, on second thoughts, never mind! But, please feel free not answer my questions.

  81. Modestinus said,

    “For the record, Fellay’s use of the word “evil” has a technical nuance insofar as evil is the deprivation of good; Fellay — and the Society — find that the Novus Ordo Mass lacks good elements in the Tridentine, hence it is “evil.” I wouldn’t use that word, and I wish he wouldn’t either, but that’s just my opinion.”

    A technical nuance, really? St. Augustine defines sin as an absence of good,

    “And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He can bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good?”.

    Don’t think because a lot of people do not know the formal definition of sin no one knows! What Fellay is really saying is that the Novus Ordo is sinful and traddies or “semi-traddies” attempt to justify, nuance, his statement is as comical an attempt at word smithing as are Fellay’s failures. He called the Mass sinful, period!

    “I wouldn’t use that word, and I wish he wouldn’t either, but that’s just my opinion.” No, then what word would you use? Be careful about trying to say valid but illicit? Objectively, of course, is an illicit Mass a sinful Mass? Is a sinful Mass ever a good Mass? You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

  82. Seriously…isn’t the idea for us ‘all’ to get to the Superbowl? Stoney made a fumble early yesterday by mentioning information that I believe only the FI should be privy to…he punted with an apology to get us off track….never came close to the goal posts, but he at least punted. The ‘head referee’ will determine the penaltiies in His time.

  83. Holyveil,

    Stoney should be careful. I had pretty good hands in the day but I don’t know if I could handle one of your’s or Mary’s bullets. Keep up the accurate throws at least that gives him a chance of catching truth. As my coaches use to say practice makes perfect.

  84. Modestinus,

    If Fr. wishes you no longer fill his blog with the crystal ball gazing insights of the sspx I have a suggestion as to were you might put them! Contact me and I’ll let you know!

  85. Seriously, there will be people who will never embrace truth. Look at Judas. He lived with Truth for three years, and betrayed Him for 30 silver pieces….look where Judas is now. We should offer up all our prayers to the Divin Mercy for lukewarm souls because very often what we say to these people, or do for them, falls on deaf ears, and a hardend heart. Prayers offered to God for such souls has a way of penetrating both. Pax.
    {If Judas had only run into the loving arms of the Immaculate…}

  86. My understanding of the Super Pope is that since all matters (such as the liturgy) have already been decided and cannot ever be changed by any pope ever until the end of time, we don’t really need a regular, run of the mill every day pope for anything except for settling doctrinal disputes when they come up every couple centuries or so. I haven’t heard of Bishop Fellay appointing one, so I don’t think there is a currently a Super Pope. But being the gnostic philosopher kings that they are, maybe there was a secret appointment…?

    Ah. I never knew that being a Real Catholic ™ would be so hard.

  87. Ironically, Jimmy Akin’s message about Judas was in my email just now…and since I just made reference to the betrayer I thought I’d share. Please look for the corolary between him (Judas) and the trads; especially in the point where the Messiah’s message doesn’t quite fit into the idea Judas had in mind….
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Name “Iscariot”

    “The meaning of the name ‘Iscariot’ is controversial: The more common explanation considers him as a ‘man from Kerioth,’ referring to his village of origin situated near Hebron and mentioned twice in Sacred Scripture (Gn. 15:25, Am. 2:2). Others interpret it as a variant of the term ‘hired assassin,’ as if to allude to a warrior armed with a dagger, in Latin, sica.

    Lastly, there are those who see in the label a simple inscription of a Hebrew-Aramaic root meaning: ‘the one who is to hand him over.’ This designation is found twice in the gospel: after Peter’s confession of faith (Jn. 6:71) and then in the course of the anointing at Bethany (Jn. 12:4).”


    An Apostle Who Betrays Jesus?

    “The Evangelists insist on the status as an apostle that Judas held in all regards: He is repeatedly called ‘one of the twelve’ (Mt. 26:14, 47; Mk. 14:10, 20; Jn. 6:71) or ‘of the number of the Twelve” (Lk. 22:3).”

    “He is therefore a figure belonging to the group of those whom Jesus had chosen as strict companions and collaborators. This brings with it two questions in the attempt to provide an explanation for what happened. The first consists in asking how is it that Jesus had chosen this man and trusted him. In fact, although Judas is the group’s bursar (Jn. 12:6b; 13:29a), in reality he is called a ‘thief’ (Jn. 12:6a).”

    “The mystery of the choice remains, all the more since Jesus pronounces a very severe judgment on him: ‘Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!’ (Mt. 26:24).”


    His Fate

    Jesus’ choice to make Judas an apostle “darkens the mystery around his eternal fate, knowing that Judas ‘repented and brought back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood”‘ (Mt 27:3-4). Even though he went to hang himself (Mt. 27:5), it is not up to us to judge his gesture, substituting ourselves for the infinitely merciful and just God.”


    Why Judas Chose Evil

    “Why does he betray Jesus? The question raises several theories. Some refer to the fact of his greed for money; others hold to an explanation of a messianic order: Judas would have been disappointed at seeing that Jesus did not fit into his program for the political-militaristic liberation of his own nation.”

    “In fact, the Gospel texts insist on another aspect: John expressly says that ‘the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him’ (Jn. 13:2). . . . In this way, one moves beyond historical motivations and explanations based on the personal responsibility of Judas, who shamefully ceded to a temptation of the Evil One.”

    “The betrayal of Judas remains, in any case, a mystery. Jesus treated him as a friend (Mt. 26:50); however, in his invitations to follow him along the way of the beatitudes, he does not force his will or protect it from the temptations of Satan, respecting human freedom.”


    Our Own Fate

    We, too, have free will, and we, too, may choose the path of Judas in betraying Christ. 

    “The possibilities to pervert the human heart are truly many. The only way to prevent it consists in not cultivating an individualistic, autonomous vision of things, but on the contrary, by putting oneself always on the side of Jesus, assuming his point of view. We must daily seek to build full communion with him.”

    “Let us remember that . . . after his fall Peter repented and found pardon and grace. Judas also repented, but his repentance degenerated into desperation and thus became self-destructive.”

    “For us it is an invitation to always remember what St. Benedict says at the end of the fundamental Chapter Five of his Rule: ‘Never despair of God’s mercy.'”


    Fighting Judas Today!

    “We draw from this a final lesson: While there is no lack of unworthy and traitorous Christians in the Church, it is up to each of us to counterbalance the evil done by them with our clear witness to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”


    How You Can Learn More

    Pope Benedict has more to say about Judas Iscariot. To drink deeply from his wisdom, be sure to check out the general audience he gave on the subject, from which the above quotations are taken.

    General Audience on Judas Iscariot and Matthias, Oct. 18,2006.

    Pope Benedict also has an awesome book on Judas–and the rest of the apostles. It’s called Jesus, the Apostles, and the Early Church.

  88. Dan,

    Your scaring me! If there was a secret appointment and so many claim the throne, New Catholic, eponymous flower, Pat Archbold, and legions from blogosphere, Gheridini and legions from the theological elite, Fellay (could have been a self appointment anythings possible), Apollonia, Cekada, Lanzetta and legions from the clergy, de Mattei and legions from acedemia how do we know who the anti-super Popes are?

    Boy, how I wish I could returned to those old days when being a “traditional” Catholic meant being one of those simpletons who believed simply, “where Peter is there is the Church”. How bout you? But we are so advanced that means trusting in Christ and His promise. Who needs and act of Faith in the Lord when self guidance is available?

    Phew! Wait a minute I do believe, where Peter is there is the Church, never mind I’m good. Not in the Fellay sense I know I’m not good as God alone is good. What am I doing here, I’m so confused, these traddies always get me thinking to much. I assume as a man of common sense you know how I was using the word, sorry. Boy, life must be really hard living in the elite towers of the gnostic traditionalists. As for me and my house I’m beginning to like the shadows on the wall.

  89. If it’s Monday, then the SSPX accepts Vatican Two; but what about other days of the week, or others years?

    Fr. Fellay on The Second Vatican Council

    In January, Cardinal Castrillon had incorrectly written that with some conditions I would accept Vatican II. Since I wanted him to know exactly what I think about the Council, I handed him Catholicism and Modernity, a booklet in French by Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau in which he studies the Council and shows how the spirit of the Council is radically opposed to Catholicism. It is, we may say, a total demolition of the Council.

    Mons Lefebvre signed al the Documents of Vatican Two which means, I suppose, that the Founder of The SSPX was a modernist who was radically opposed to Catholicism.

    Well, it is an interesting ideological position to assume, isn’t it?

    O, and how are we supposed to know when Bishop Fellay/SSPX is being honest; when he/they say he/they completely reject the Council or when he/they say he/they do accept an Ecumenical Council?

  90. Those aren’t shadows. They’re the souls of Communist Jewish Masonic Modernist document writers from the second Vatican Council. Better get some incense and learn Latin.

  91. Holyveil,

    You’re a Cowboy fan! I knew it! Don’t listen to Dan’s kidding he’s probably one of those silly Steeler fans who hasn’t gotten over not being America’s Team.

    Hey, now I know why Traddies are elitist. The feeling of superiority is exilerating. Yah, Dan I know with Cowboy fans “that’s all it is a feeling nothing substantial”. Can’t you just leave us with are delusion and stop persecuting us. Wow, another insight who knew that being a fan of a football team could teach me so much about how that traddie thing works. Dan, when you have an insight, do you give any stock to those tingling sensation in your spine? I heard once they can confirm whether something is true or not. But then traddies would always be having consolations and I don’t think that is sound traditional Catholic spirituality. But let me consult my crystal ball on that first, Bishop Fellay!, Bishop Fellay!

    By the way does anyone know if Stoney really took his football home? I was just kidding or was I?

  92. Seriously….You crack me up! 🙂
    Stoney will return…under another username.

    I should think there is a psychology lesson to be learned if we watch the character makeup of some, not all, of the trads. There are individuals who find it difficult to live in a world such as ours; volitile, ever changing. These people tend to need a life of structure, (ie. the TLM). Its been the same for 500 years. They live in fear, especially a fear of losing what feels safe to them. Unfortunately, fear is dibilitating to the soul. It also inhibits the greatest capacity for loving, which is the phenomon that I think we are seeing.
    These people are content to be lead by the priest; especially the women…”Father, is this o.k.?, Is that a sin?…” Its as if they don’t trust their gut, more importantly the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did tell us that He would send the Paraclete, a Teacher…to guide us? I think people are lazy, or forgetful of Christ’s words, and tend to cling to every word of the priest. They don’t realize that even Satan was able to make truth sound plausible. (Temptation of Chist) This is exactly why Jesus told the disciples to ‘watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation”. If only these people would trust in His word like the Holy Virgin did….

    The most joy filled people are the ones who abandon themselves to everything God sends into their lives….the saints knew this.
    {my 2 cents}

  93. “They don’t realize that even Satan was able to make truth sound plausible.”

    ~~I meant to say the even Satan can quote scripture.~~

  94. Older story but still relevant. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2010/columns/story?id=6068358

    There does seem to be an odd parallel to traddies proclaiming themselves to be the dogmatic elite and the cowboys self-proclamation as America’s team, especially when it is true that “where Peter is there is the Church”, and when it can be scientifically demonstrated (see linked article) that the Steelers are America’s team. When these truths are not argued from some sentimental, pretextual and elitist perspective the conclusions are simple. The parallels are indeed kindred.

  95. Holyveil,

    Dan obviously has Cowboy envy much like Traddies have Pope envy. I wouldn’t trust that site it’s probably a traddie conspiracy, part of some bigger plan to disillusion Cowboy fans so they don’t resist the Steelers fans when they attempt to take over America. And yes Dan my gut tells me so and that will have to be good enough for you. Who needs facts.

  96. There you cowboy traddies go again with your conspiracies. There were no albinos or modernists within the Steelers ranks. Staubach, however…..

  97. Seriously….we better walk away with our helmet in hand before he reminds us that we are one ring behind in the count….. 😉

  98. About time for an update to this post considering all the new info that has been released don’t you think? There has been a lot of clarity from the college in the interim.

  99. Pingback: Further Update on Fisher More | Mary Victrix

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