Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bishop David Konderla, newish Bishop of the Tulsa Diocese

Our Bishop, Bishop Konderla, was called to the fullness of the Catholic Priesthood a little over a year ago, to be a Successor to the Apostles, to transmit Sacred Tradition, to confirm and ordain, and to govern the faithful of Eastern Oklahoma as their Shepherd.

You may recall a year ago I discussed critically some changes in the diocese in light of the fact they occurred after the installment of our new bishop, and that later I apologized for any indiscretion in my blog posts, going too far.   The thing is we do not know certainly and publicly why those decisions were made, and the concrete circumstances.  I recall asking questions, not intending to assert an answer, yet some drew conclusions.

So instead, I would like to give some positive impressions of our newish bishop, which I think we can take as a good sign that Bishop Konderla has much to offer our Local Church.

1.  Bishop Konderla has a reputation of being very conservative, ie orthodox and following church law.  He is especially praised by the many college students he pastored, for many years, as the Catholic chaplain at College Station in Texas.  He oftened preached sermons explaining the Faith, the Lives of the Saints, and the call to holiness.  He helped endless young people know and continue to deepen their Catholic Faith.

2.  Bishop Konderla loves his priesthood.   His biography explains how he really took time to discern his vocation as a young man.  As a priest, he oftened mentored young men considering the priesthood, taking them on roadtrips to visit seminaries.  At one time he considered being a Trappist monk.   One layman reported that in all the many years he knew then Fr. Konderla, Father was always faithfully wearing publicly his priestly clerics.

3.  Bishop Konderla is a gentleman.  That was evident to me in a YouTube video in which he was showing some guys his country cabin retreat.  When I emailed him, he always emailed back and was friendly, caring, and polite.

The Catholic Church is in a Crisis.  It is difficult to not see how that is not caused in part by Ecclesial authority.  Yet thank God for bishops.  Without them there would be no priests.  And without priests, we would not have the mercy of Christ in the sacraments, especially confession and the Eucharist.
So thank God for Bishop Konderla.   We pray for him and all the priests every night.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Society of St. Pius X - Tulsa

Society of St. Pius X - Tulsa.  Its current status, history, and hopes for the future. Why traditional Catholics of the Tulsa area should visit and benefit from Archbishop Lefebvre's Priestly Society. Arguably as a paternal, centralizing force of the Traditional Movement, in the past and for the future.  Because of its impending Accord with the Vatican, and entrance into the diocesan structures.   This is the subject of the latest installment of yours truely, The Okie Traditionalist.

Preface:  much of the information presented here comes from senior founders of the Society's Tulsa apostolate at different occasions at coffee and doughnuts, potlucks, and diners.

Right now a priest from St Mary's, Kansas makes the arduous 10 hour Mass circuit drive to Oklahoma City and then to Tulsa to offer the unadulterated Roman rite of the Mass.  On the 2nd and 4th Sundays, at 3pm, preceeded by confession and rosary, the unambiguous Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered at Fitzgerald's Funeral Home on Bolder Avenue just a few blocks from the Cathedral.  Yes, a funeral home, and yes just blocks from the Diocesan See.  The rented chapel looks like a beautiful, traditional Catholic church.  Afterwards, the faithful go for dinner with Father to discuss the Faith, society, and daily life.  Plans for a new church and hopes for growth, to include Mass every Sunday, remain.


Its 1969.  The new Mass is released and celebrated beyond even the intentions of the Council Fathers. Wanting to pass on their birthright--Catholic tradition--to their children, several families gathered together around the side altar in St. Rita's Chapel at Cascia Hall Preparatory School, where an aged priest--Fr. Spellman, OA, who incidentally once was the Superior General of the Order of St. Augustine--still offered the traditional Mass.  Catechism groups were formed, and the group coalesced into a quasi-parish of sorts, that would remain so to the present day.

One of the core families to found and finance the Society Tulsa Mission was/still is, the Bell Family, who owner and operated the historic Bells Amusement Park. Another was the Ziegler family closely related to the owners of Ziegler's Catholic Goods store.

After Fr. Spellman stopped saying the traditional Mass, in order to preserve Catholic tradition for their children, the parents were forced to go beyond the ordinary norms of canon law, and invite Society and independent priests to come to Tulsa.  A chapel was built in a family's garage.  Eventually the group outgrew the garage chapel, and for some years rented hotel conference rooms for the Mass.  It was hard work to organize, to set up and take down, still under ostracization from the diocese.  They were left to fend for themselves.

Around 1980 the congegation still grew larger, so they purchased land in Broken Arrow and built a chapel using two mobile homes, with a small steeple.  I remember once attending this chapel when I was 7 or 8, and being impressed by the incense and ladies wearing chapel veils.  The Archbishop landed in Tulsa in 1982 and blessed this little place of worship.  

Its now 1995.  The chapel is packed, and a fortunate opportunity presented itself.  A Protestant church in a west Tulsa neighborhood needed to downsize, so the two churches were switched without any $ exchange, except the need to Catholicize as much as possible the new, large church.  Before long the new location attracted at one time as many as 150 souls, with several homeschooling families organizing catechism classes, talent shows, and more elaborate liturgies.  I myself have perused through the chapel's photo album chronicaling the pioneering years of this new phase of growth for the Society of St. Pius X-Tulsa.

I say SSPX-Tulsa, and not just the name of the chapel--St. John Fisher's-- because as the "sainted Archbishop" (so called by Pope Benedict XVI) intended in the Society's Statutes which he wrote, the faithful are to be informally included in and under this Society of Apostolic Life, as "associate members."  So the Tulsa chapel was not simply a group of traditionalists served by priests ordained by the Archbishop, but was a part of the international family of the Society that remains so today.

At some point the line on the graph turned steadily but slowly downward.  Why?  Some families moved to the practically traditional Catholic town of St. Mary's, KS, providentially just a few hours north. Some were more comfortable with the canonical regularity of the Fraternity apostolate, which was attracting new members with the active support of the new Tulsa bishop, the very tradition-minded Bishop Edward Slattery.

Its now 2015.  The cost of repairing and maintaining the old church exceeds the smaller congregation, forced to sell the church to a nearby public school, and to rent space temporarily until a new church is built.  It is a sad turn of events, with a large Question Mark remaining for the future.

Hopes for the future:

Typically, the Society will keep sending priests even if the group becomes tiny.  And many in the group are young enough, that in the worst case scenario, it would probably not be shut down for decades if ever. I understand the money from the sale of the old church remains in savings.  And the Society will usually help financially to build a new church.  Many opportunities present themselves--relatively cheap Protestant churches for sale that can be converted, buying land and building smartly, etc.

Why you should visit.  Why we should support the survival of SSPX-Tulsa.

Yes St Peter and Paul still, for now, has a Sunday TLM, and the Fraternity now has it's own church and an active parish life.  But here me out.

1. The SSPX is the main group to have maintained Catholic tradition.  Without ++Lefebvre, arguably there would be no more Latin Mass or a Traditional Movement.

2.  The FSSP and SSPX are like siamese twins separated surgically in 1988. They can reunite, if not under a Prelature, then through cooperation.  The two brothers can forgive and forget--though I admit that will take some time--but they really are very close to being the same entity.

3.  I've argued that an SSPX Prelature is practically a done deal, and would be a unifying force for trads who pray for Pope Francis at Mass.  The opportunities are boundless.

4.  There are boundless rich resources to be benefited from by associating your family, even if just partly, with the Archbishop's Society--the clear, frank advise and counsel of the Society pastor, newsletters, websites, the Angelus Press, retreat centers, conferences, pilgrimages, summer camps, and on and on.

5.  There would be no Fraternity or diocesan TLM if it wasn't for the SSPX.  This is generally the case across the board, world-wide, but I can demonstrate (albeit imperfectly) how the approved Tulsa TLMs, even the existence of Clear Creek monastery/convent, would not exist if it weren't for the Society.

a) The pioneering founders of the Fraternity apostolate in Tulsa were original members of the Society chapel in Tulsa.  Trads who simply were not comfortable with the 88 consecrations.  Even it's first pastor Fr. Jackson had much sympathy for the Society.

b) Fr. Tim Davison at one time was close friends with Fr. Jackson, FSSP learning directly about the Latin Mass from him, which he would later embrace.  

c) The founding monks of Clear Creek in part chose to settle in the Tulsa Diocese because of the tradition-minded Bishop Slattery, whose retained love of the old Mass, and support of the Fraternity, arguably would not have been so public if it weren't for the influence of the Society in pioneering and leading the Traditional Movement.

It makes you wonder, if it weren't for those first few traditional families who first gathered around that side altar at Cascia Hall, would there be a Latin Mass community in Eastern Oklahoma like we have today?


I hope this latest blog post from my little niche of the blogosphere has moved you to consider one day visiting the Society of St. Pius X-Tulsa Chapel.  And looking into the future of Catholic tradition within eastern Oklahoma, I hope you can see how the presence of Society priests--just down the street from the Cathedral no less--might be one unifier for openly, unabashed traditional Roman Catholics.

PS.  Who knows, you might even get a chance to meet me, if I'm there.  :)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Back in My Blogging Okie Armchair

Deo gracias.  I am resurrecting and normalizing.  My health condition is exponentially improving, and I'm back on track with progressing in work, career, personal pursuits, and this here little hobby.  Its been over a year since I signed up on blogger.  In the first six months I really picked up a lot of momentum and wrote about a lot of cool subjects.  But these last 6 months have been a semi-hiatus.  But thank God I now have the frame of mind and priority to refocus, but my health challenge it seems permanently shaped by perspective on life, including my own, for the better, so you might detect shifts in my style and focus as we go.

Sunday is almost over and time for the work week ahead, so I'll just list some topics I may blog about on the horizon.

The Society of St. Pius X in Tulsa
The Latin Mass community in the Tulsa Diocese
Summer outings I can now do
The Good Works of Bishop Konderla
The Good Works of Msgr. Brankin
Artificial Intelligence
100th Anniversary of Fatima
St. Padre Pio

Have a good week friends!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Musings on Traditional Forums

The priest has chanted Ite Missa Est and you head down the basement stairs with the kiddos to have coffee with the homeschool mothers.   Its a reprieve from the other 6 days and 23 hours without contact with fellow traditional Catholic.  And then its an hour and half drive back home.

We need friends.  We need like-minded friends.  We need fellow conservative Christian people to share time with.  And we need traditional Catholics.  Not just Latin and doctrine, but traditional Catholic friends.

On a number of occassions I've heard our traditional priests warn the faithful from the pulpit about the internet, the blogosphere, and the trad Catholic forums.  Its almost as of they are suggesting avoiding it altogether.

I understand that Father.  But when you live in TimBuckTu (literally or figuratively), how else can you have regular at least semi-real human  contact with fellow trads.  For me at least, the odd trip to trad enclaves for conferences is just not satisfying the primordial need.

Hence traditional Catholic forums.   In today's segment of the Okie Traditionalist, Id like to muse about this phenomenon.  Its history and dynamic, with a few ideas what might one day save these places from self-demolition. 

History of Trad Forums

My experience started circa 2000 on Fish Eaters.  What an enlightenment.  It became a catechetical source in traditional Catholicism.  But I didn't post much because I noticed some bickering.  At the time that didnt seem a significant datum to me needing critically to learn about the Faith in an integral way in which Id never learned before.  

This was a point of reference until around 2010 and by happenstance I ran across Angelqueen forum.  Good source of info, but a lot of crazy arguments mixed in with your odd mini-scandal.  Some kind of controversy between those for or against the writings of Fr. Malachi Martin.  After the hot summer of 2012, with heated friction over closer contacts between Bishop Fellay and Rome, suddenly the forum was shut down, and soon later converted into kind of a lame newsfeed, imo, with 2-3 regulars remaining to add authoritative comments.

Spending more time over at FE, I noticed that hub was devolving too.  Tracy the owner kept getting so exasperated she kept suggesting she might close it down.   And then "Impy-gate" exploded all over the forum for several months, spreading into other trad forums, and I noticed across trad blogs as well.  A poster now openly identifying as a transexual made it his/her mission to explain a secret Vatican document approving of "gender transition" for rare genetic conditions.  The rad trad mafia made it their mission to tar and feather him/her and demonize the forum owner.  Plus, being an SSPX faithful and SSPX apologist, I got treated to some villification myself when I defended the Society, and in other threads took the side of "Impy" in the name of civility and charity.  A rumor started Impy and I were lovers, which told me it was time to say "goodbye."  Fun times.

Around this time I discovered Ignes Ardens and Catholic Info, but they had been taken over by the cause of the "Resistance."  The virulence and toxicity made it hard to breath.  IA shut down under rumor the Society had pressured them to.  But CI carved out it's stronghold against the "neo-SSPX" releasing defaming, private rumors one after the other to the point, last I heard, they were named in a lawsuit filed by the Archbishop's Society.  Not exactly a place for Catholic fellowship.

One day I got a pm from one of founders of the relatively new Suscipe Domine forum, around 2015, welcoming me as a pro-SSPXer.   From what I understood, it was an offshoot from Fish Eaters of disenfranchised folk following the "position of the SSPX," one of the original founding principles, but also in protest to FE tolerating the presence of a transexual.  Personally giving high priority to SSPX-like traditionalism but also high civility, my joining SD was a bit ambivalent.

I personally write off CI and Te Deum (for it's pedantic sedevacantism), so the last holdhoud for me was SD these last 2 years.   I made some friends.  Open support of the SSPX and bold promotion of traditionalism was refreshing.  But 15 years lurking and posting in the forums had molded me at best into an occasional poster.

About a year ago I was disappointed to observe a downward, devolving trend there too.  Things like a daily, year long feud between Jayne and Greg (who have made a career posting in the forums), and growing harsh criticisms of the SSPX to the point the owner Kaesekopf chopped out support of the "position of the SSPX" from the forum's mission statement, with tacit acceptance of the community.  Uncritical supporters of the Society leadership became a dwindling minority class.  Fellay-bashing became a favorite past time.
Before long the kind of petty bickering I'd always observed in the forums since 2000 started to morph more into vigilante witchhunts by some of perceived outsiders, due to some minor detail of disagreement dogmatized into a litmus test of who belonged and who didnt.

How about some English in the Latin Mass?  What's up with that guy?  African melodies in a black parishes' Latin Mass?  Reeks of modernism!  Are you really a trad?

Such is the state of trad forums at present, from my little vantage point of my Okie Armchair.

The Dynamic of Trad Forums

I think the founders and pioneers of a forum are motivated by the noble goal of creating a hangout for trads to discuss and be friends under the protection of forum rules and moderation.  But everybody joining in is coming from a different state, country, or continent from within one of the overarching camps of traditionalism (sedevaxantism, SSPX, approved TLMs).   Some are orientened to the virtues of civility.  Others are so abused by Catholic modernism and trads themselves, every poster is suspect of modernism or trad-bashing.

Those factors combined with the unique nature of an online discussion forum makes is a recipe for miscommunication and disaster.  Where else do people get into intense debates under the anonymity of a username?  What other communication format begins with a "thread," followed by "posts," "replies," and "likes or dislikes?"  When the users are so entrenched in their particularized traditionalist ideologies, dogmatizing theological opinion and personal experience, how is that not a recipe for disaster?

A thread typically devolves like this.  The "OP" makes a statement or asks a question, say about why often TLM parishes have so few Hispanics in attendance.  Alarm signals go off in somebody's head  A few posts later somebody objects to the subject.  Instead of ignoring thread, they hone in on that one word or phrase that to them seems enigmatic or foreign.  Instead of asking about said word, it becomes branded as having a "modernist flavor."  Soon the thread has been (purposely?) derailed into bickering about Hispanic social problems or what kind of Missal is being used.  It comes across as inane and obtuse.  Almost like each person just wants to argue "their position" as a form of intellectual masturbation.  The little detail they disagree with lowers their serotonin levels.  Stroking their frontal lobes helps regain their inner sense of calm and assurance.  From that point the thread can take a number of directions:  talk about the most oblique subjects compared to the OP, a food fight, or worse a Toxic Trad Fight Club blood bath.  At that point the reptilian part of the brain has taken over, and those with either sociopathic tendencies and/or severe social communication disorders dominate.

Where is the fellowship in that? Isnt charity the first law in everything?

Hypothetical Solutions:

While from here on out I'm taking a long potentially permanent hiatus from the forums, brainstorming here, I have a few suggestions.

1.  Make these places subject to ecclesiastical authority.  At least a priest spiritual advisor to the owner and moderators.

2.  Strict moderation.  Meaning consistently, fairly, strictly enforce the rules.  But keep the rules simple, Catholic, and moderate.

Alriiightee then.  There's my thoughts on trad forums friends. Tell me your thoughts and experiences on the Comment box below.   Its almost September with cooler temps. 😎  Deo gracias.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Health Club Experiences

Starting Week Three of my Hit-the-Gym phase of my Rehab.  Health is seemingly, slowly improving.  Since it's been since the second millenium since I signed up for a gym membership, I thought it might be interesting to catalogue some of my experiences with this new venture.

Considering myself still in the category of "young man," it's humbling to hobble down the the stairs from the parking lot to the entrance of the gym, as senior citizens bounce past me carrying their yoga mats.  I look up at the sky and think "Ok.  One day at a time.  Before I know it I'll be bouncing up these stairs after a workout.

When I enter the gym I hand my ID to the clerk who looks like a workout guru athletic trainer.  After a moment of cinversation, it becomes obvious that's who they are.  One of the clerk trainers is a wheelchair-bound paraplegic super muscly guy with a Ziploc bag of homemade energy bars on his lap. Power to him!

So I pass the racquetball courts and pools to the men's locker room.  Call me weird, but I've never been very comfortable in locker rooms.   Something about old men walking around airdrying with their family jewels just hanging out there.   The inviting aspect are the fine, wood lockers, wet spa, and dry spa which are good for stress release and detoxifying your body.

More to come tomorrow...

Okay, I'm back.  So, you know you're out of shape when you prefer to take the elevator instead of the stairs to the second floor, where there is one huge, open floor plan with weight machines, free weights, treadmills and bikes, and walking trek (where I spend most of my workout right now).  Sandwiched in the middle is an exercise classroom surrounded by glass walls, for yoga (dont get me started), zumba, and tai chi classes.  Maybe tai chi?

One upside of this health club is that it is part of a Catholic hospital, so the ethos of the place is quiet and conservative.  There's a few knuckle draggers and Jane Fonda fitness junkies, but the majority are seniors.

Interestingly, almost everytime I go to workout, I cross paths with a Monsignor of the diocese.   Outside of the confessional, I've never talked to him.  I want to go up and talk to him, break the ice, seeing that our paths will probably keep crossing.  How might he react that I go to the Latin Mass?  To the SSPX just blocks from where he serves as a priest?  Hmmm, I double dog dare myself to talk to him about the Traditional Movement!  Should make for an interesting update when I update my health club experiences.

Time for time the pool,  whirlpool, and deli! :)

Okie dokie.  Back once again.  Home from my evening workout.  Popping my knuckles...okay where was I?

The gym floor.  So today I put myself through quite the anaerobic workout, which given my current lack of cardiovascular fitness was actually also a good 20 minutes of aerobic exercise.  Met with "Tad" (the name sounds like an athletic trainer) assigned to all newbie members to start designing a workout routine.  Very friendly guy.  Looks like he's spent years inside a gym.

So as I later keep circling the walking track--every few laps passing an aging sister of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother who run the attached hospital--some inspiration starts swelling.  For months it was hard to walk for any length of time.  Maybe it was the music in the background, or the religious sister going full steam ahead, but the thought struck home that I'm going to get in shape.  In better shape than I ever was before.

Back down to the first floor locker room, I changed into my swim trunks and swam several laps, followed by a long, unwinding meditation in the whirlpool hottub.   Spoiling, but right now practically, therapeutically necessary.

Since starting to make the whirlpool a habit I've struck up a friendship with a regular, a black lady who comes for the "plus size" therapy pool exercise group.
Loves to tell stories and give pointers about making best use of the club.

Last but not least, after changing, I went by the deli for a diet Coke and sat down to read the latest psychodrama in Suscipe Domine trad forum.  Sigh.

Suscipe Domine:

My next post will be why I'm parting ways with it and all forums altogether.  They've devolved into the underbelly of the Latin Mass movement.  Echochambers and groupthink sewing circles, according to Laramie Hirsch.  I would add Toxic Trad Fight Clubs.

As Hirsch says, Toodles!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Near Death Experience

I was sitting with my wife in the back of an SUV.  My mom was driving (she doesn't know how to drive) along a narrow, rocky path.  We were driving along the top of a bear mountain ridge, steep on both sides.  Mountains were in all directions.  I realized in that moment we were suppose to be having a leisure trip to the great outdoors, but may fall to our death at any moment.

Suddenly, the vehicle veared off the path to the right (thanks mom), and we flew off the side of the mountain plummeting thousands of feet.  The SUV was turned on its right side in it's free fall, and looking forward I could see the sky.  And in that last moment I was thinking to myself "Oh my God, I'm not ready to die.  I need to go to confession."

Then I woke up.

Reflection on my Dream:

Before my current health crisis, every month or two we took Saturday afternoon drives in the country, often to lakes or rivers for a picnic, and then stopping and museums or antique stores in historic towns back to the city.  I suppose part of the nightmare was grief or sadness we can't do those kind of things right now.

The other more obvious reason was that perhaps there is still dis-ease in my soul.   Serious illness will make you face the hard facts of existence, and the purgatorial flames of pain and discomfort it seems have not yet fully purified me.

As I've talked about recently, and probably will make more posts about, I've discovered an affection for St. Padre Pio, in particular because he is an excellent example of how to suffer, but also because the man was and still is a powerful healer of the sick.

Padre Pio recommended to his "spiritual children," ie members of prayer groups around the world attached to his counsel, that Catholics say the rosary every day, go to Mass and communion daily, and to go to confession once a week.

For me those counsels would take some special effort, but I'm thinking if God gives messages in dreams, in that dream last night He was probably saying to go to confession more often.

Which I am going to try to do.

TGIF!  Have a restful weekend.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lunch on the North Side

My stomach growled as I darted across the impoverished "North Side" of Tulsa via the interstate.  The double arches caught my eye.  Ten minutes later I was sitting in the corner of McDonald's with my #1 meal--the Big Mac.  After a man asked for directions to the zoo, and the best I could offer were some sketchy directions, he mosied on over to what he called the "Old Timer group" for better help, which caught my attention.

For the next thirty minutes, while I polished off my hamburger and fries, and periodically checked my phone for the latest posts in Suscipe Domine traditional Catholic --I observed this group of a dozen or so older Black men mixed with a few middle aged and young adults.  And I was struck by their group dynamic, something we rarely encounter in "Midtown" or other parts of T-town we frequent.  It was an impromptu gathering of seemingly random Black folk from the north side grabbing a dollar burger or a coffee.  Something you might encounter in a Black barber shop.

Add caption

Which got me thinking about typical white society (or the lack thereof), including in your common traditional Catholic parishes and chapels, or in the online Trad forums.

Every other newcomer to this group seemed to be unknown, but gravitated together apparently by virtue of being Black and from the Northside.  A bit of a nod was all that was needed to indicate they belonged and could slide their tray of food next to everyone else's.

One man looked about 50.  He was decked out in all black, and a gold chain with a cross.  I couldn't make out what he was saying except in every other statement he used the said "God" or "Jesus."  Others responded shaking their head humming "Uuugh huh.  Uuugh huh."  Like the black soldiers in the movie Glory with Denzel Washington, humming in agreement to the Black spirituals song the night before battle.  Before long the man got a call on his cell, and told the group it was his church staff reminding him of a meeting. He must've been a minister.

As he left, an older man maybe 60 walked in.  He was wearing the stereotypical decked out suit outfit of a 1970s "pimp."  He was fittingly proud of his threads and multiple, jeweled rings on his hands.  He joined the group too without hardly a word.

There was a quiet, seemless quality about the group, a close solidarity based on shared skin color and local ethnicity.  At any moment, most were silent, phlegmatically smiling and listening to one person at a time.  It was communal, respectful, and charitable.

Being a white, European-American traditionalist Catholic, first generation son of a German immigrant and an Irish Catholic American, I almost wanted to envy the spirit of this group.

When we eat at your average urban eatery, the atmosphere is something opposite--individualistic, cool, and lonely.

But is it much different in your average traditional Catholic enclave?  For as much incense and Latin and doctrine that we have, do we really enjoy this kind of communal spirit? For as saccharine as it can be, your urban, post-modern Faith Community Catholic parish, imo, has a One Up on us trads when it comes to fellowship and unity.  I know we sometimes have our coffee and doughnuts and pig roasts, but even in the best of my trad experiences across Traddom, the atmosphere often seems somewhat privatized and individualistic.  Am I alone in this experience?

If random people can gravitate together in McDonalds, based on the simple metaphysical principle of "Like attracts Like," and the common bond is the simplicity of skin color, then youd think having a shared love of the Tridentine Latin Mass and the richness of our Catholic Faith, would even more strongly unite us!

Which brings me to a more specific local subject for my fellow Okie Trads.  Several years ago the Tulsa Fraternity parish split.  One group bought their own church.  The other placed themselves under the traditional-bent of one diocesan priest who had learned the Latin Mass.   Sadly, this good priest is now recently gone to other assignments, and the future of the traditional Catholic community of Tulsa, Oklahoma seems to be shifting.

Will the diocesan Latin Mass group continue? Or will the two groups once united under the Fraternity one day reunite at the new Fraternity church? Will the Society of St. Pius X community of Tulsa survive?

Time will tell.  But my prayer is we come together in some way. Recognize what unites us.  Grow as a traditional Catholic community.

And as I will hypothesize in my next segment, perhaps if/when/as the Society becomes regularized, that it's Tulsa Masses will become filled to capacity, that the sons of Archbishop Lefebvre (Society + Fraternity folk + all Trads) will come together across our little sector of the Heartland.

"Uuugh huh!  Clap. Clapetee clap.  Uuugh huh!  Clap. Clapetee clap."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Criticizing the Hierarchy--part II

Is it possible to not criticize the hierarchy today if you want to be an orthodox, practicing, traditional Catholic?  That's the million dollar question we'll be chatting tonight about in this latest installment of The Okie Traditionalist!

In 1950 virtually every Catholic just had to listen to their parish priest to know what to believe, how to believe, and what to do as Catholics. There were no camps of traditionalists, conservatives, and progressives in the mainstream. There was no need to follow the latest news coming out of Rome, or to analyze when the pope or an Ecumenical Council is infallible.  You were on solid ground going down the block to your territorial parish.  Is that the case today?  How do you even ask that question and make an evaluation when our forefathers weren't faced with the paradox of the Catholic Church being in a state of crisis, or even that hypothetical.  We are faced with a problem.  If Catholics have generally always been able to uncritically follow the hierarchy, how can we now criticize this same divinely instituted hierarchy as a habit generally applied to virtually all the bishops?

But when what you witness on the altar appears to contradict what you learned in the catechism, how do you carry about the business of dealing with that paradox?  On one hand Catholics always have been submissive to our pastors without reservation.  Not absolutely, but generally.

But then Father is celebrating Mass like a Protestant service.  The whole spirit of the Sunday liturgy is non-sacred. Rubrics are constantly broken.  Objectively irreverence is at virtually every Novus Ordo Mass (I can defend that observation).


Yet today's orthodox and traditional Catholics are forced by circumstances to evaluate these abuses, and almost always these abuses are actively tolerated if not promoted by the pastor.  The observations are accurate if the fundamental truths of Catholicism are really true.

When I became a trad, part of my reference point were the main negative experiences I had had with Catholic modernism, and invariably with a priest whose behavior wounded me.  Not so much in a personal way as in how being subject to their scandalous behavior was like being gaslighted. I think back to my liberal university parish, to toxic experiences I had at certain church events.  And it always came back to the issue of these abuses coming from the priest or bishop themselves.  

Is it even psychologically or logically possible to completely set aside problems with the hierarchy itself, but at the same time zero in on those sacrileges approved by them?  To set aside part of the cause to just look at the effect?

But then doesnt it get old and also toxic to keep beating our drums to the same war song lamenting the errors of the conciliar hierarchy? When you're gathered with fellow trads around an All Saints Day bonfire, and you talk about how you discovered the Latin Mass, is it even possible to leave out our criticisms of the mainstream priests and bishops.  Of the spiritual torture we suffered.  I mean even if you gritted your teeth, shook your head, and said "No I won't say anything bad about the pastors of the Church," the reality is at least part of the reason you attend the ancient and venerable Roman rite is because of the common abuses you experienced in your territorial parish, from the hands of your parish priest annointed to administer the sacred mysteries. 

One paradox with openly and habitually criticizing the hierchical Church is traditionally Catholics have never done that on the level traditionalists and conservatives today.  The truth is that part of our pious priorities is lamenting clerical abuses, scandals, and heresies.  Go to any coffee and doughnuts after Sunday Latin Mass, these conversations are part and parcel of being traditional Catholics--both by the laity and the traditional clergy, who will grab a doughnut and quietly nod their head confirming their criticisms.

The problem is how it affects each of our spiritual lives.  Where do we draw the line?  How much time do we devote to studying the errors of Vatican II or the new Mass, vs trying to attend daily Latin Mass or study our catechism.  When our soul is on the line.

On the other hand, there's the paradox of how to respond to common abuses and a humanistic liturgy conducted by your territorial parish priest.  Do you plug your ears and close your eyes and wish it's just a bad dream?  Do you continue as our forefathers did and obey and follow your pastor? When the government of the Catholic Church is not of this world, but divine, and divinely instituted by Christ, as a supreme religious authority to which we are intimately bound and subject.

It's like an enormous ecclesiastical "Catch 22."

There's an easy, pragmatic solution to this problem that over the years I've seen take different directions within those enclaves of traditionalism I've encountered.  It starts with the obvious conclusion: "I must keep my Faith and use common sense to evaluate what my five senses are telling me.  The errors and problems are at least partly caused by the pastors, so if I am going to evaluate the errors critically, invariably I must evaluate the pastors in charge."  But after that point, trads of all stripes take it to different limits.  Before you know it, you're burnt out on traditionalist polemics, the petty factionalism between trads (and conservatives) especially evident on the internet, the blogosphere, and in the Catholic forums. Before you know it criticizing Pope Francis and the Local Bishop becomes a hobby, almost a form of piety.  I myself have crossed that line in moments of my traditionalist experience.  But when you neglect saying your daily rosary because of obsessions with Pope Francis online, then hasn't criticism of the hierarchy become the devil's playground?

Despite having clarity about what's going on in the Church, and the necessity of reconnecting with Church tradition, after all these years I am still clear as mud what to think of the conciliar hierarchy, and how I should be thinking of it.
How much and how far should I go in criticizing them.

Lets face it.  Most of us trads are not smiling and singing praises about our present Holy Father.  Yet at the same time, if Pope Francis came to your town, to visit your parish, despite all your criticisms, Id wager a month's salary most of you would be happy and honored by his presence.  Eager to genuflect and kiss his ring.  Because he is the Vicar of Christ.  Mysteriously, he is the voice of Christ according to what the Church teaches about his office.

Tell me whatya think in the Comment Box below.  

Its August, so unless you live in Alaska or Greenland, keep cool.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Criticizing the Hierarchy. Including Tulsa Diocese

St. Catherine of Sienna did it.  But Catholic in Brooklyn says we shant. Voris and the Remnant have built a business around it.  And I myself blogged about this once upon a time.  The inverted hiearchy post a year ago.  

With a hierarchy turned upside down, where the pope answers to bishops conferences, bishops to presbyteral councils, parish priests to members of the parish Faith community, and last but not least, actually now in a supreme place of authority, it is children, toddlers, and babies ruling their parents and thus in an inverted pseudo-collegial hierarchy, babies, nay Embryos take the place of Supreme Pontiff.

Is it any wonder then the Church is in crisis?  And it is logically impossible to recognize and actively respond in conscience to said crisis without criticizing the conciliar bishops or pope.

But lets be honest.  The traditional Catholic today commonly lives on three activities that fuel their zeal (a good thing):  the Tridentine Mass, studying high scholastic thought, and focusing the problem on bishops and priests.

I for one am burnt out on the last part.  The trad newbie naturally follows this line of traditionalism.  How can't he?  To cure a disease we need to know the root causes, but also the main vectors by which the virus entered the host.

But sooner or later the evidence is overwhelming and superfluous.  I've read about one too many doings and sayings from the present pontiff.  Its old.  Unless it's new to you or you dont have much firewood to stoke the fire of your inner zeal.

Bishop Konderla of my Local Church shut down two traditional religious communities.  I posted about it last Fall.  This March I apologized for going somewhat too far.  Truth be told it bothered not just my conscience but my psyche.  It was not promoting my much needed inner peace.  Is what it is.

Criticizing the hierarchy is a very delicate matter.  Its not just about distinguishing criticism of word and deed from criticizing the bishop or priest in question.  It requires a reverent reserve and careful choice of words which is very hard to do when you witness sacrilege and heresy coming from those representing Christ.

Its very late here in Oklahoma.  What I'm getting around to saying is, as I start making blog posts more frequent, my clerical criticisms will decidedly shrink, and at least when I ponder the happenings of my own Okie Local Church, my lens will be widening to focus on what I can see that is good, true, and beautiful, yet ever through the eyes of a traditional Catholic, ie committed to Catholic Tradition and defeating Catholic modernism.

Keep cool.  😎