Video Broadcast Introduces Bishop Olson In His Own Words
On November 19, 2013 Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Michael Olson as Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth. As the Dallas Diocesan newspaper reports:
Bishop-elect Olson earned bachelors and masters degrees in philosophy in 1988 and 1989, respectively, from the Catholic University of America. He also has degrees (M.Div. and M.A.) in theological studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston…On May 6, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI granted him the Papal Honor of Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of “monsignor.” In March 2011 he successfully earned his doctorate in moral theology at the Academia Alfonsiana in Rome…He was a member of the formation faculty at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston and lectured at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology between 2001 and 2006. From July 2006 through June 2008 he served in the Diocese of Fort Worth as vicar general and as pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. Since July 1, 2008, he has been serving as the rector of Holy Trinity Seminary.
The Internet has told me that the Bishop of Fort Worth was justified in taking away the Mass of the Ages from these poor kids at Fisher More College ‘for the good of [their] souls’. He then said that they could have the Novus Ordo offered at their college, using diocesan priests.
If I’m understanding this right, the good bishop seems to be adopting the usual, post-2007 Catholic position concerning the nature of the two Masses. To wit, while it’s now ok to go the old way, please be advised that only trivial predilections (‘nostalgia’ and ‘addictive fashion’, depending on how old you are) are the officially accepted reasons for ‘preferring’ one over the other.
Alas, insofar as some among this college community might have held to the position that the Old Mass was in fact objectively better, and that (a fortiori) the documents of Vatican II contained deeply flawed, confusing, and sometimes even silly promulgations and ideas, then these same students and faculty were acting out of line. That is, since these Fisher More folks were celebrating the Old Mass as a way of ‘protesting’ the New Mass (and by extension, Vatican II), then a terrible WrongThink had crept into their little community, and it—The Old Mass!—had to be removed, to be replaced by something literally called ‘ordinary’.
Christ calls us to fast from the things of this world and to feed on the Bread of Life. Our entire religion is based on sacrifice, with the Sacrifice of Christ being the foundation and model for all we do. This same Sacrifice is reenacted during Holy Mass, of which the Eucharist is the fruit, therefore fasting before Communion is an essential part of our religion.
Fasting starves out the demon of impurity, as opposed to over eating, which fuels impurity of heart and mind, especially, our spiritual directors tell us, when this is done before bed. The Church under divine guidance has rightfully maintained the rule of fast through the ages for our preservation and so that we may worthily receive Christ in Communion.
President Provides College’s Perspective
Exclusive to The Remnant
Fort Worth, Texas, March 3, 2014—Today’s blogosphere and Catholic news sites were lit up by the startling news that His Excellency Michael F. Olson, STD, Bishop for the Catholic diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, had forbidden Fisher More College from having Catholic priests offer the Traditional Latin Mass at the college. This, despite the fact that the college had full diocesan approval since 2010, including a chaplain offered as a courtesy by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter from Feb. 2013 through June 2013.
“It is what it is”—Fort Worth Diocese Clarifies Bishop Olson’s Ban on Traditional Latin Mass at Fisher More CollegeWritten by Brian Mershon
Fisher More College is the only fully accredited four-year Traditional Catholic College in America. The school is dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass, which it considers an essential component to its mission of forming the whole person, intellectually, morally and spiritually. The school’s website explains, the “mission of the College is to ‘cooperate with divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian, that is, to form Christ Himself.’ (Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri). … We pray the Traditional Latin Mass and the associated rich Sacred Liturgy that has been passed down to us through the ages. We are certain that fidelity to the usus antiquior is essential to achieving our mission.”
While other Catholic Colleges are being overcome by the winds and waves of secularism and the politically correct agenda of the Left, Fisher More is resisting the ways of the world, and the Modernism shaking the Church, by holding fast to Tradition, which, as Vincent of Lerins said, “cannot be led astray by any lying novelty”.
Most people believe we live in a democracy. They were probably told this myth by a very sweet fourth grade teacher. A democracy is when the laws are made by all of the citizens. At certain points in its history, ancient Athens was a democracy. The Athenian citizens (who were a small portion of the actual population) met together and made laws and voted to fill administrative offices. At the federal level our law is made by 535 Congressmen and Senators and 1 president or by 9 Supreme Court justices. At the state level, the laws are made by usually fewer than 100 state legislators and a governor and less than a dozen supreme court justices. With a population of over 300 million such a number is nowhere close to “all” the citizens.
With everything else in the Church having been “reformed” or given a new meaning—not officially, of course!—over the past fifty years, it was only a matter of time before the concept of “miracle” would undergo an adaptation to post-conciliar requirements.
The problem was how to canonize Paul VI without a single clear-cut miracle to his credit, like one of the many indubitable miracles seen in the case of Saint Pius X, the last Pope to be canonized. For example, the instantaneous curing of a nun of bone cancer after a relic of Pius X was pinned to her clothing.
But the Vatican was up to the challenge: on February 24 we read the news that the “consulting theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Pope Paul VI, moving him closer to sainthood.”
I wonder if it’s possible for so many of our modern churchmen to be any more out of touch with reality than they already are. They keep making grand and solemn statements to the world about this and that social issue, almost as if the world hadn’t stopped listening some twenty-five years ago. With all due respect, exactly who in the world do they imagine still cares? On any given day, Miley Cyrus has more social impact on society than any ten princes of the Church combined. If they realized this perhaps they’d start trying to say things that actually matter to real people, rather than just media people.
Media people are not the real people. The ones I lived with in Rome during the last conclave, for example, care much more about good Roman restaurants than Roman Catholic rituals. A casual observer watching them at work, however, buzzing around with their cameras and high-tech microphones, might have come away with the impression that these guys really do care about all things Catholic. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
So if a cardinal or a pope evaluates the world’s reaction to his words by the media’s reaction, he’ll likely end up with a fairly skewed notion of reality, if not utterly oblivious to the fact that in the real world—in the bars, cafes, stadiums, workplaces, kitchen tables and churches—nobody cares. The scandal has been too great, the words too vapid, the dumbing down too complete, the liturgy too stupid, and too many churchmen just too silly to matter anymore—which is why millions have opted out of the Church altogether.
It goes without saying that hope for the ever-on-the-horizon New Springtime to finally come to our withering Church, has been relegated to the True Believers, and by that I mean the Old Timers. I suppose that makes sense: after all, their ideas have hardened with time, making such folks less liable to change their views, even when confronted by the cold light of reality. I stress that this goes without saying. Everyone who has a stake in the Catholic game knows that it’s the Old Timers who cling to the Myth of Vatican II with an ungodly, stubborn strength.
It’s the old folks who are the most extraordinarily irrational concerning the question, What is to Be Done? We all know that it is among our Church’s charming geriatric community that we find the last remnants of the most ridiculous of unfalsifiable premises—namely, that Vatican II still needs to be cashed out, if only we give its ideas a bit more time, if we attend to the Project with a bit more energy and attention, and if we hold the line a bit longer…if, if, if we just strip down the church even more, if we just get a bit more hip and relaxed and groovy, if we entirely ditch all of the pomp and circumstance and smells and bells and Latin and incense and formality and rules and dogmas, if we just quit acting like we’re the only show in town, if we get a bit more tolerant and accepting of other religions and ideas and attitudes, if we just loosen our collars a bit (or take them off), if we lighten up a bit more, if we embrace a bit more simplicity and iconoclasm and quit parading around in our Renaissance gear, if we quit acting like we’re part of some monarchial hierarchy, if we cease with the formality and titles and special outfits, if we just get rid of all of the aesthetic decadence that forever attaches itself to these ‘old ways’, and if we get a bit more vague on the whole morality thing….then, then, well, you’ll see! People will see the Catholic Church for the hip and awesome and simple and humble and groovy institution that it is. All of these ancient customs and ceremonies and outfits, and all of these dogmas and laws and rules and rules and rules…they are getting in the way of our true appeal! We’re turning people away with all of our gilded and stuffy customs!
If you wreck it, they will come!
Today (February 17) the world press reported that Pope Francis has obtained an Argentinian passport and identity card under his former name, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and that he “would like to keep traveling around the world with the Argentinian passport.” That is, although he already holds a Vatican passport as Pope Francis, head of the Vatican city state and Vicar of Christ, he would like to continue to be known, and treated by immigration authorities, as simply Jorge Bergoglio, citizen of Argentina. In yet another display of an endlessly praised humility that is becoming a titanic spectacle, Pope Francis—or should I say Jorge Bergoglio—insisted on personally paying the processing fees to the Argentinian government. In the “Church of the poor” there is no money to waste on fees for the Pope’s alter ego passport and ID card, but $28 million was readily available for a massive three-hour rock concert cum Novus Ordo Mass on the beach in Rio.
I believe many Catholics today have been lulled and propagandized into a too-defensive position, causing them, mostly unconsciously, to feel hesitant, if not embarrassed, to proclaim their Faith. Although parts of the following little essays may seem a tad pugnacious, keep in mind that any points readers may find worthwhile must be expressed with tact, prudence, and, above all, charity. Choose your audience well, perhaps your golfing buddies.
I. Are You a “Catholic Christian”?
My first reaction to hearing this often-repeated phrase was negative, but I could not understand why. Now I think I do. Consider these situations: Would you say to your wife, “Please pass me a fork utensil”? Do you say to your neighbor, “I enjoy baseball sport”? Do you ask your grocer if he has “oranges fruit”? Rhetorical questions, to be sure; we don’t normally find it necessary to identify a sub-category with its category—unless the person doesn’t understand the connection. If you uttered any of the above quotations, your listener might think you a little odd, or, at best, speaking in near-redundancies.