By REY FLORES
Earlier this week, there was a big kerfuffle about the Traditional Latin Mass being prohibited at the very traditional Fisher More College by newly appointed Bishop Michael Olson in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas.
The initial reports in cyberspace had Bishop Olson painted as a Latin Mass-hating bishop, taking orders from the Vatican and its allegedly left-leaning Pontiff.
Later reports had the president of the college, Michael King, as a scoundrel who made a bad real estate deal that left the school with the proverbial barrel and suspenders around the remaining student body and faculty.
As of my writing this column, there is still much speculation, as well as hard feelings and a damaged Catholic collective.
The only thing I can say about all of this is that I am saddened for several reasons. I am not directly involved, but Fisher More was where my wife and I planned on enrolling our children when the time came for them to attend college.
My wife Mary and I loved the idea of a genuine traditional Catholic college education, in a sea of colleges and universities that are Catholic in name only. We saw the celebration of the daily Traditional Latin Mass as one of the biggest draws for us.
Now that the school finds itself in the aftermath of a revoked Latin Mass and a potential financial scandal, our dreams for a college education for our kids are dissipating.
I blame no one person because I am not directly involved in any way with the school, at least not yet, but I did feel somewhat invested in it and was planning for Fisher-More to be part of our family’s future and eternal salvation.
Whoever is responsible here only God knows, but the one thing I am sure of is that all of this can have eternal repercussions. A loss of a traditional Catholic college is a victory for evil.
In his own Facebook page, former Fisher More College chancellor and Catholic author Dr. Taylor Marshall shared some insider information after he felt he should “break the silence.”
Marshall stated that Fisher-More College President Michael King “. . . had imprudently entered into a real estate deal that financially crippled Fisher More College.”
Taylor then tells us that “. . . King is politicizing the Latin Mass in his favor, knowing that ‘bishops vs. the Latin Mass’ is red meat for some traditionalist blogs.”
As a “traditionalist” myself, I’ll have to agree with Taylor on this observation because there are some deep chasms created by those who purport to love the Traditional Latin Mass so much, and those who abhor it. Again, all this results in victories for evil.
As I always tell those who are either intimidated by the Traditional Latin Mass or are somehow suffering from some sort of liturgical inferiority complex: “I want to share the Traditional Mass with you because it is nothing short of a beautiful heavenly treasure that I must share with all of the world.”
As for the alleged financial indiscretions by President Michael King, Dr. Marshall warns us of Fisher More’s “. . . inevitable collapse, within only weeks or months.”
Perhaps Bishop Olson should be given the benefit of the doubt, mainly because he hasn’t shown any adversity against the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) in his diocese.
And as some have noted, Bishop Olson is no enemy of the Traditional Latin Mass; the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter staffs St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in his diocese. (See Michael J. Miller’s blog at www.catholicworldreport.com.)
It makes me wonder, however, when Fisher More College comes under the microscope while schools like Loyola, De Paul, and Notre Dame are allowed to run roughshod all over the Catholic Church and her teachings, despite their supposedly being Catholic schools themselves.
The bottom line is that if a miracle doesn’t happen to save Fisher More College from this scandal and the impending financial doom Marshall warns us about, many Catholic students, present and future, will never be able to benefit from the beauty, and eternal spiritual potential, that Fisher More College once offered.
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(Rey Flores is a Catholic writer and speaker. Contact Rey at firstname.lastname@example.org.)