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. Continue reading