Monday, April 30, 2018

FSSP to SSPX. And back to FSSP. My Perspective.

I'm told quite a few people from the FSSP parish in Tulsa read this blog.  One has asked me why did I go before to the SSPX, which I have periodically supported on this blog over the years.  So I thought I'd as briefly as possible let people know my background, if they are interested.

I was fortunate to grow up in a devout, catechized Catholic home, but discovered Tradition in my mid 20s through the FSSP.  I attended the FSSP for 7 years, reading a lot of traditional works, including the works of Archbishop Lefebvre.  His works and life in particular, plus dating a girl who went to the SSPX, led me to the SSPX chapel.  

Many people, including some SSPX defenders, are not fully aware that the SSPX recommends to the faithful who attend their chapels they only attend their Masses.  Accepting their jurisdiction and authority, I followed their advise.  Later, I met and married another Catholic girl who attended the Latin Mass offered by the SSPX.

But as I always understood, the traditionalist movement is fraught with serious problems, and the SSPX is no exception.  Many would come and go from our chapel, but I remained for unity with my wife, and because I had taken many years to accept the Society and it's positions.

But last Fall, the Society dissolved its Tulsa mission, and suddenly the priest was telling us a different advise, to attend the FSSP parish in Tulsa.  

I was happy to re-join the FSSP parish in Tulsa, which I had been active in from 2000-2007, before being with the Society from 2007-2017.  Most Precious Blood is a wonderful parish and has excellent pastors.  But this path I discerned called down was not easy.  It was a serious test of my faith to be a traditional Catholic,  to leave the Novus Ordo rite,  to later join an SSPX chapel with little or no parish life,  and to remain at the Society chapel, despite serious irregularities I experienced in the Society.   But I know my experience is far from unique,  but a common trial for Catholics trying to be faithful to Our Lord and His Church. 

So that is my story, just so you know.  I continue to be devoted to My Catholic Faith, and the restoration of Catholic tradition in the Church.  I still in general support the work of the Society, as I do the FSSP and other Ecclesia Dei societies, the Clear Creek monks, our Bishop Slattery's works of traditional restoration, and all Catholic works today that uphold the good, true, and beautiful.  

Which is the purpose of this blog.

God bless.

Part 2: Clear Creek Community and The Benedict Option. My Experience.

(EDIT:  Preface: to be very clear I am not judging individuals on a subjective level, but critiquing the issues that remain in their project to form a "Catholic Community."  My knowledge is limited, though I have visited Clear Creek about 35 times in the last 18 years, which I believe informs me well enough to echo the concerns I've heard from laity and clergy alike) 



My Experience:

I have a lot of good memories visiting Clear Creek over the years.

I remember sitting in the little cottage of a Clear Creek resident, enjoying some of their homemade bread and humor.  A few months later this person moved out of the area.

I also remember having lunch and a swim with a family,  just behind their family cabin around the corner from the monastery.  They had a huge ranch raising grass-fed, organic beef.  A year or so later, they also moved out of the area.

I also remember in the early 2000s sipping a beer visiting the self-made cabin of an older resident.  He mused and laughed at the sometimes odd happenings surrounding the growing community.  And he and I thought we probably added our own bit of weirdness, looking back on our conversations.

I also remember deer hunting in the back acreage on another family's ranch.  The only live animal I saw was a rabbit, which I spent about half an hour chasing through the woods trying, unsuccessfully, to shoot.




I've sat with another family outside their first homestead out at Clear Creek -- a temporary home made from a bus they drove into the woods -- drinking coffee by the fire.




Yet, I join the ranks of those who never quite harmonized with the place.  Maybe because I don't wear flannel and suspenders?  :)   Or drink too much diet Coke (a CC commentator objected to my "addiction," albeit with playful sarcasm)?  :)   Or emphasize the biblical admonition to "live IN the world, but not OF the world."  I never figured out exactly why, except indirectly listening to the mixed tales of priests and other laity who have visited the area over the years, or attempted a transplant to the area.


The Idea of a Village?

As I said in my last blog post, I support in theory this idea of forming a community around a monastery, as long as it is truly trying to be an actual community and not just a virtual reality shire, or collection of private cliques. 





It would be an error of Christian, political philosophy to think that a SOCIETY is not more than the sum of its parts, as if it does not rise above the level of the PRIVATE, to the level of the PUBLIC.  Or that Christian communities are now reduced to the domain of the private, isolated, and secluded.

But what is an actual community?  By its very nature, it is PUBLIC.  This goes back to the pre-Christian version of St. Thomas Aquinas, who Aquinas greatly relied upon -- Aristotle.  Aristotle explained in his book Politics how a body politic comes into existence.   

First is the institution of marriage, which gives rise to the institution of a family.  But when families congregate and start sharing resources, values, and beliefs, they become an actual PUBLIC ENTITY.  That is, not a collection of private circles divided by ideologies, like happened in America between the "North vs. the South."  At first a handful of domestic homes congregate to generate a hamlet;  then the hamlet grows to include some kind of community center and some basic kind of government to be an actual VILLAGE.  To fully appreciate that terminology, you'd have to siphon out the medieval overtones, albeit of historic importance, and arrive at the political essence represented by those terms.

So far, Clear Creek is at best a hamlet, which would make it a public entity. But it doesn't fully take on the form of a body politic or real, actual community until it has some form of government and public meeting place (and I don't mean the monastery parking lot).  

That might strike a nerve to those of decidedly libertarian persuasion, but then if those who actually want Clear Creek to become an actual Village, or small town, with a parish and economic center, for their progeny, then the answer is a traditional Catholic theology of government and society.

In application, that would mean a town center, with parish, school, market place, etc.  And if there is genuine hope and plan for a Catholic Village, or whatever you want to call it, then there has to be a realistic, concrete process of actualization to make that a visible, tangible reality.  Especially if you want to avoid the pitfalls nearly every attempt at a "Catholic community" has fallen into.  Wouldn't you agree?


The Monk's Vision for a Village Community:

Which brings us to the whole project Abbot Anderson, Fr. Bethel, and the other founding monks of Clear Creek have been trying to carry out, as an extension of the cultural philosophy of their Master, John Senior, who taught them at the Integrated Humanities Program (IHP) at the University of Kansas.   Someone is free to challenge me on this, but it has always been a part of the Clear Creek/Seniorista vision to see an actual, real Catholic Village formed around and near the walls of its cloister.




As I did when I first started visiting Clear Creek at the turn of the millenium, I still in theory support that vision.


Conclusion:

Most of the families out there are now new to me, but I still keep in contact with some of them.  And,  sometimes I see Clear Creekers at Sunday Mass in Tulsa.  

This upcoming Village conference is a good thing, minus the heterodoxy of one of its speakers.  I would never tell people they should move back to the city or state wherever they came from.  Having been an active Friend of the Monastery, volunteer wise, from about 2000-2007, and still visiting there maybe once a year, there is still a part of my soul invested in the place.

One day soon I'd like to make a small cabin as a weekend retreat to hunt, fish, and pray with the monks.  I wanted to make a retreat with the monks back in March, but tried to make reservations just before wanting to come.  It ain't like it was in the old days.  It seems you need to make "reservations" months in advance, and that the numbers of visitors have really increased over the last few years.

I was there for the Catholic Man Show campout in October, and Men's Work Day in March.  Hope to visit again soon, to catch up with the monks and buy some of their excellent cheese.  Maybe before the blistering heat of the summer, which seems even more intense out at CC.

But I do think there are certain aspects of this Catholic community worthy of critical discussion in combination with support.  I've already made my own observations.  So my next segment about CC won't be so much my thoughts, as hopefully that of Mr. Tom Montgomery, who I am hoping will concede to a podcast interview about his advise for the CC community, but for all Catholics of our Local Church.  I think he is probably one of the most senior members of the wider Latin Mass community of Eastern Oklahoma, going back to the 1980s, not to mention possibly one of the wisest and holiest traditional Catholics in our area.

P.S.  If you want to know the best swimming hole on Clear Creek, or want to give feedback about these posts, feel free to email me at JosephOstermeir@gmail.com.  


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Some Facts about St. Padre Pio, Pt. 1

He suffered from a terrible GI disorder ever since his early youth, with frequent bouts of vomiting.

He had mystical visions starting as a young boy, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Our Lord.

He constantly saw his Guardian Angel, all his life.

His father worked in America to pay for him to go to the seminary with the Franciscans.



His family was very poor, but always had a roof over their heads and three square meals a day.

He had a very pleasant personality, frequently joking with others and smiling, despite the fact he was in constant, unimaginable pain for 50 years.

He did get angry on occasion, only to rebuke lay visitors of his Friary when they were blasphemous or irreverent.  Let's just say he pulled no punches.

As a young priest, he had a vision of Christ hanging on the cross in the Friary chapel, in which Christ asked if he would suffer for his people in the towns and villages his Order served.  When he said Yes, he was given the full stigmata, which he bore for exactly 50 years to the day.

He was told by Our Lord in a vision that he would be fully healed from the stigmata exactly 50 years to the day he received it, but just before his death.
On the day he died, later that night, he discovered all the wounds and pains were gone.

Padre Pio was the only priest in the history of the Catholic Church who bore all the wounds of the stigmata.   Very few people knew that he also had a wound across his shoulder, which he said corresponded to a wound Our Lord also had on across His shoulder during the Passion.  Padre Pio said it was the most painful wound, second only to the Crowning with Thorns.




The Crowning with Thorns wound was mystical, with no outward signs on his head, yet he said he felt it digging into his skull for the full 50 years.

Every day, he celebrated Mass in a mystical way, going into a mystical state in which he literally experienced/shared in exactly what Christ experienced/felt during His Passion and Death.  His Masses would often take hours.

Early on, he was called a liar by some prelates in the Church, to the point the pope ordered him for a time to celebrate Mass only in private, very early in the morning.  But multiple medical exams proved that the wounds were not self-inflicted or having a psycho-somatic origin.

Padre Pio only celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass.  When the Novus Ordo changes started to take place to the Missal post-1965, he personally wrote Pope Paul VI and was given permission to opt out of the liturgical experimentation.

Padre Pio was a great mystic and healer.  He frequently bilocated to other parts of the country and world, read the souls of people in confession, levitated on occasions, healed the sick, raised the dead, countless times.

For over a decade until his death, he only ate a couple crackers a day.

His routine was to go to bed around 1am.  Wake back up after 3am.  Pray in his cell, preparing himself for Mass.  4 am go to the sacristy to vest, pray, and hear confessions.  5am Mass, often lasting hours.  Then he prayed in the balcony looking down on the church, sat with the Friars during breakfast, heard confessions, sat again for lunch, had recreation daily after lunch walking or sitting in the gardens entertaining visitors and pilgrims, then he spent his afternoon writing his "spiritual children" around the world and hearing more confessions until Vespers and dinner in the refectory.  Each evening was filled with prayer, reading the Bible, answering more letters, and on occasion going into town to preach or teach.  He kept doing penances until 1 am, before having a couple hours of sleep every night.



Padre Pio was in constant, unimaginable pain, not only from the stigmata, but also from his GI issues, respiratory illness, and later severe, crippling rheumatoid arthritis, not to mention a half dozen or more other chronic illnesses.  He was a walking encyclopedia of medical diagnoses.

In his cell, he had a chair for sitting and praying, a table, pics of the pope, Our Lord, Our Lady, holy cards on the wall.  When laying in bed, he could see a large painting of Our Lady hanging on the wall, given to him by his mother as an ordination gift.  When bedridden, which was often, he often spent hours praying to this holy image.

See this very moving Youtube video of Padre Pio celebrating the Mass of the Ages:



See his last Mass the day he died, knowing while he celebrated it, it would be his last Mass ever offered as a priest before he later died that night.



There are so many more wonders that filled his life.  He said he wished he could have said Mass all day long, every day, in a state of suffering.  He set up prayer groups all around the world, which he was the spiritual director over.  He founded a children's hospital just next to his Friary.  And he spent a great deal of his priestly service literally performing miracles to heal the sick.  There are countless examples how St. Padre Pio has continued to heal the sick after his death, still today.

In my opinion, St. Padre Pio was one of the greatest saints of all times, and certainly one of the most important saints to be imitated during modern times.

To learn more, to help spread his devotions and healing, support the Padre Pio Foundation based at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.   LINK.  

You can request they send you a third-class relic of Padre Pio, and I highly recommend all health care workers to carry this relic on them in the service of healing the sick.



St. Padre Pio, Pray for us!



Okie Trad: This Week in the Church (4/28): Bishop Gracida, Alfie, Married Priests, Tulsa Exorcists, Clear Creek Village Store


Happy Spring time Okie Trads and Beyond.  This April has been rather March-like, I must say, but it is starting to warm up.  I've got a bit of work and a few errands to do today, but I'm thinking another hike out at Turkey Mountain.  The park entrance is very well developed, there are tons of trails, and there are some nice little vistas overlooking the Arkansas River and south Tulsa cityscape.  



Might even run into our Bishop Konderla, who said he liked mountain-biking there.

This last week has been extremely busy for me, and again exhausting.  I definitely need to recharge my batteries.  Joseph Pieper in his must read book Leisure the Basis of Culture deplores our modern proletariat tendency to mindlessly work all week like slaves, and save leisure for the weekend to recharge our batteries for the next work week, modern leisure being more amusement and base pleasure than contemplative activity.  

So I have to raise my hand to the group and confess lately I have't been practicing enough vertical holy leisure during the week, but more endless horizontal motion like a robotic mule.




Bishop Gracida from Corpus Christi, TX:

His article he posted to his blog 2-3 weeks ago is still abuzz across the blogosphere.  Read it HERE.  The first Bishop to publicly call into question the validity of the 2013 Conclave election, and encourage the Cardinals to consider electing a new pope.   Bishop Gracida was one of the few bishops with enough guile to sign the Dubia of the 4 Cardinals to Pope Francis, he is 94 years old, a retired bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, a bishop for a whopping 47 years, a priest for almost 60 years, a former Benedictine monk for 10 years (his Abbot wanted him to be a diocesan priest), and a World War II veteran in seemingly very good health.  

Oh, and he is also decidedly a traditionalist -- he now only celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass, as he revealed to Michael Voris in a ChurchMilitant interview.



I've emailed the good bishop for advise for us Catholic readers, and asking for an email interview to study the position taken up in the article.  He wrote back encouraging us laity to:


 "put continuous, respectful pressure on bishops and cardinals to do what lies within their power to hasten the day of the next conclave."  

Sounds like we CAN implore our bishops what needs to be done about the current crisis, without falling into proud opinion or traditionalist schism.  At least according to one traditional Catholic bishop.  He also said he is open to a short interview, so stay tuned!  I'm saying extra Hail Mary's he will answer the questions I posed for the good of the Church.  If so, I expect the interview to go viral.  As in all the way over to the Cardinals in Rome.


Alfie:

You know how there are certain constant news headlines you decide to tune out for whatever reason?  For me that is the case with the story of the little boy in England apparently the courts want to euthanize, with Catholic progressives vs. orthodox conservatives debating the situation.  Something too about Francis and the Vatican getting involved. That is all I know, from the 5-6 times I've glanced at the daily Alfie headlines.  I've been living decidedly in a secular news bubble for quite a while, limiting my field of vision right now to matters of profession and church interests.


2019 Proposal for Married Priests:

A traditional priest recently deplored this to me.  In practice I agree.  In theory, I don't agree.  Surely, allowing "tried and true" professional men, ordained permanent deacons, to be ordained priests to provide sacramental assistance to those parts of the world with drastic priest shortages, is meant to be a LOOPHOLE to undo priestly celibacy.  The whole modernist push these last decades to undo the Catholic priesthood (married priests, women priests, openly gay priests, an emasculated priesthood) leaves each and every headline like this extremely suspect.  

But in theory, it is not sacrilege for a married man to be ordained a priest;  the Eastern Catholic Churches have married priests for two millenia (i.e. married men who become priests, not vice versa).  The Latin Church does have its history of certain instances allowing them.  And there are regions of the world where Catholics rarely see a priest. What then of those in the Amazon or the like who are dying in need of a priest?   Though for now at least, I think providing for these situations would certainly be manipulated by the modernists.  But I believe it is worthy of consideration down the line, as the numbers of priests get lower and lower. Call me a confused heretic, but I look at it as an open question.  :)


Tulsa Still Hosts Exorcists Conferences:

More on this to come in a later post.  But there are three main places in the world today for the training of exorcist priests:  Rome, Chicago, and guess where else?  Tulsa!  That is thanks to Bishop (now emeritus) Slattery, and Msgr. Brankin, the diocesan exorcist.   When the new bishop powers-that-be in the Presbyteral Council kicked out the Doloran Fathers (Fr. Ripperger's Exorcist, traditionalist society), I wrote in protest about how many people will go without the attention of an exorcist priest, there being only so much one man can do.

But it is a testimony to the Works of Traditional Restoration, of Bishop Slattery in particular, of the forces of Catholic tradition restoration, that these Exorcist Conferences here in the Heartland still continue.


Still no Village Store out at Clear Creek:

A commentator to my post about Clear Creek and the Benedict Option (part 1), an apparent CC resident answering my question if the community still has no public place like a store, posted:


Cool dudes... it's a process. We're still working it. A Pub centric model has potential ;)  I can offer good coffee until next steps are in place.

Cool dudes?  It's a process?  Still working it?

Well, the "Village" started up in potentia, what, 15+ years ago.  Abbot Anderson said in his 2015 article (LINK) construction of the village store/restaurant was underway.  That was THREE years ago!  Guys, at this pace it won't be until 2050 there is anything outwardly resembling an actual community, and you young parents settling the area to homeschool and raise goats will be in the nursing home!  :)

I would love to one day be able to drop in and buy a diet Coke at the Clear Creek Catholic Village store, leaving the monastery after a retreat (I'm a confessed diet Coke addict, and the monks just serve water and lemonaide).  But until that distant day comes, it seems the "Clear Creek Village" remains a "process," and collection of private homes spread out across the valley.  

Or am I wrong?

Alright then, time to attend to those chores.  Have a blessed weekend!


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Clear Creek Community and The Benedict Option, Part 1. The Idea of a Village Conference.


Annual Clear Creek Conference, The Idea of a Village.  June 30th, 2018:

I hear the Clear Creek community is having another annual conference with topics that relate to the idea of starting a Catholic Village around Clear Creek monastery, based in part on the writings of John Senior.  Fr. Bethel, OSB, Abbey Prior, spoke last year,  being the published expert on the thought of John Senior.

This year's featured speaker will be Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a married Catholic priest, Anglican convert, and blogger known for his defense of Amoris Latitiae, accepting its heresy that public, unrepentant adulterers can sacriligeously receive Holy Communion.   Not to mention his reputation for portraying Catholic traditionalists as fundamentalists.  (Most Clear Creekers are traditionalists, btw).




The Benedict Option:

I am all for the so-called Benedict Option in theory.  The idea being for Catholics to live near each other, forming communities, distinct from the secular mainstream, in particular around monasteries.  It is a noble idea.  In the most general sense, I support some people considering this way of life.  

There is historic precedence after all, i.e. during the so-called dark ages, those periods in the medieval period marked by barbarianism to the point many devout Christians gravitated towards living near monasteries.  To form pockets of Christian civilization, distinct from the pagan culture around them.  




And aren't we living in another dark age?  it seems legitimate to at least consider the possibility of a Catholic village or neighborhood.

Monasteries were not only the source of Christian learning, and preservation of culture, they became a locus of social living, an institution that helped Christianize Europe.  The Rule of St. Benedict in particular, as lived out in the Benedictine lifestyle, infused the Christian spirit into the hamlets, villages, and towns that often formed around them.

This phenomenon is well documented by most Catholic historians, including Cardinal Newman, and Warren Carroll whose now authoritative volumes on Catholic history are commonplace in many a traditional Catholic's library.

As are the books of John Senior, which were very informative for me in my "journey to Catholic tradition," eighteen years ago.  In his The Restoration of Christian Culture, a must read, Senior advocates for Catholics to form communities around Benedictine monasteries, or to found Catholic neighborhoods in the city.



In other words, The Benedict Option.



Attempts at Catholic Communities:

There has been some very relative success.  St. Mary's, KS is probably the best example.  The town has 2000+ traditional Catholics for decades, most of the families sending their children to St. Mary's Academy.

But it also has its colorful history of nutters and infighting, and some would say cultish behaviors.

The Society of St. John fantasized about founding a medieval village in PA, with stone-oven bakers and juggling monks, but we know how that ended...

Star of the Sea community, in Arkansas, is a strange mix of charismatics and traditionalists.  Having visited there, it did seem peaceable enough, but it was somewhat (behind the scenes) divided between the two factions, small, and lacking energy.   The founder wanted a lay community of "Catholic pro-life activists" living the simple life in the country-side.  It evolved into something quite different.

John Michael Talbot's Little Portion Hermitage outside of Eureka Springs, AR.  Enough said.  I trust most readers know about their eclectic blend of religion, spirituality, and vocations.  That said, I do like to listen to some of Talbot's songs -- in my living room.

I'm sure there are dozens of other examples.  I myself briefly considered joining a "pro-life community" in Wisconsin, before I came to my senses.  It was called "The Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe" founded by Bishop Burke (later Cardinal) of LaCrosse, WI (it dissolved).  I was 24, so I'm not too hard on myself for the frame of mind that motivates some young Catholics looking for an ideal, alternative environment, as was my thinking at the time.  Hindsight is 20/20, they say.



The Clear Creek Village Project:

A few years ago, I read an article by Abbot Anderson, praising the project of forming a village around the monastery, as a way of returning to a more traditional, 19th century way of living.  His words.  But with all due respect, it struck me as overly poetic, and wishful thinking.  Case in point, he was describing the design and construction of a "village store," where the CC locals can come together.  




Well, it is 2018, and I've never seen or heard any sign of this Village Store in the 5-6 times I've visited CC in the last 2-3 years.  Does it exist?

I am sure certain families have their sociable, private cliques, but I've heard maybe 10 first hand comments about major divisions that exist there.  And I am a listener, not a meddler.  

A good number have moved there believing the world is about to end.  Some have followed a seer, directing them to live there and wait for the final tribulation.

Others have transplanted their families to a traditionalist, Latin Mass monastery, having little or no exposure to either the Latin Mass or traditional Catholics.  Naturely then, there is division between the traditionalists and those who are more Novus Ordo Catholics.

Fr. Longenecker, for example, is a Novus Ordo rite Catholic.


Solutions?

Just shooting from the hip, how about:

1.  The newer, young families re-boot the idea of starting a traditional parish near the monastery.  There are a number of young, millenial-aged men with leadership abilities who can organize people, encourage them, and work for unity, since they do seem to be a de facto Catholic community already.  And it is the nature of a local community of Catholics to form a "local church," in other words a "parish."

Chats in the monastery parking lot, and private cliques, just don't cut the mustard, if you want to aim for a "Catholic Village."  There is a large supply of motu proprio-devoted diocesan priests, in their own limbo, who might jump at the chance of starting a parish there in the countryside, with permissions.  And the new parish can integrate attendance at Mass between the parish church and the monastery.  I am sure the monks would still support the integration.

2.  Start first with a community center of sorts.  A building.  A public place.  A convenience store/post office/pizza place.  Something.  It could be small, but accommodate a crowd.  A public point of reference.  A Village is a public thing, so to organically develop into a public thing, the private has to yield more and more to a public reality.  Hence this public blog post.




3.  If the idea is The Benedict Option, then follow the traditionalism of the Clear Creek monks, in preserving all things traditional:  the liturgy, spirituality, culture, lifestyle, etc.  Be united in Catholic tradition.  Yes, there will be a place for private disagreements.  But there will always be ideological differences between traditional and conservative Catholics today.  The Novus Ordo Catholics need to yield to the traditionalist spirit of the Abbey and traditional Catholic locals.  

4.  Please, reconsider moving to Clear Creek IF:

a.  You cannot adequately, financially support your family living there. 

b.  You want to live in Catholic Disneyland.  There will never be a Catholic Disneyland, except in heaven.

c.  You are planning to practice a "private Catholicism" in your home and closed, cliquish circle.   These monks are called to a purely cloistered life, and cannot provide pastoral support.  You have to try to form a parish, or travel to Tulsa for the Latin Mass and parish life.   

Conclusion:


I hope their conference is a success, and that they can form an authentic, traditional Catholic parish community around Clear Creek monastery.  Having visited CC dozens of times over the years, that hollowed place will always have a special place in my soul.  

(Part 2: hopefully an interview discussion with Tom Montgomery, 90 y.o part-time CC resident, and parishioner at Most Precious Blood in Tulsa, about his words of wisdom for a CC community)

Okie Trad: This Week in the Church

Chilly Saturday April Morning here in Tulsa:

And, unfortunately rain is in the forecast which could damper activities at the church men's group I'm attending later today.  But that won't stop me from making my famous guacamole -- the secret is to make it chunky, with lots of lime juice and cilantro -- and picking up some large pieces of pot-fried pork rinds from the local Mexican mini-market down the road.



Gotta love Saturday mornings.  Last week was pretty exhausting, in particular yesterday, and I still have more work to do today and Sunday night, but right now I'm kicked back in my leather recliner with a space heater and an e-fire lit on the TV screen care of Netflix.

This Week in the Church:

I had the thought to do a weekly Saturday morning post commenting on all the Church news headlines we read about throughout the week, tuning into Canon212, Pewsitter, etc.  To give my own ironic, laugh-lest-we-cry analysis of the latest ecclesiastical gaslighting.  We'll see.  Also had the thought recently to start doing more podcasts, maybe a Sunday night podcast, featuring my Okie redneck Alter Ego Cleetus Clamput, which could be an entertaining hit, maybe.  I'm odd, in that part of me is very European and formal, being raised by a German immigrant mother, while the other side is like a barefoot, Huckleberry Finn redneck Okie which I get from my Okie-raised father (RIP).  So I definitely have a significant Okie side to me that likes to come out.




Conclave Watch:

So the Dubia Watch has come and gone.  Bloggers, priests, even one mainstream bishop are calling for the Cardinals to consider electing a new pontiff.  I have my own "Dubia" to Cardinal Burke himself, and the other Cardinals, I emailed him via his own official website, which I have posted in the upper left hand corner of the blog.   And I got a response!  From someone at their website inviting me to the Cardinal's conference in Dallas, for the low cost of just $199 (Early Bird Special).  I literally LOL.   

Well, I will somehow find a way to get my letter into the good Cardinals' hands.  He is good because of his Dubia Campaign, but I am afraid he may be too weak in spirit or temperament to help organize a conclave.  Imagine if they actually elected a new pope, the pro-Francis world would go nuts.  We'd have 3 popes in Rome!  Two claiming to be the pope in active expression of the Petrine Ministry.  As I told a friend last night, it would take a miracle, but we can pray for miracles.  Hence...Conclave Watch!

The wife just brought me a plate of eggs and bacon -- mmm -- so I better wrap this up "right quick," as we Okie rednecks say.

Bishop Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi supports Fr. Kramer's Thesis that Benedict XVI is still Pope:

Gracida's analysis of a potential new conclave was for me an epiphany, but he also recently posted Kramer's argument that BXVI's resignation wasn't valid, which I've always considered a dubious theory promoted online.  But the present crisis in the pontificate is just too ridiculous not to make fun of it. 

So here is some entertaining, Saturday morning satire for y'all, published this week by MeddlingCatholics.com :  







Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Michael Voris in Tulsa, Speaking On Religious Liberty. Somebody wake up Father! :)


Gotta love Youtube, despite all the political correctness that is trying to take over social media.  

In one sitting, you can watch the fun documentary about "Pope Francis" of Topeka, KS (popcorn worthy), a video made by a young Brit about how he made a primitive cabin in the woods using "bushcraft," and videos by Michael Voris over at ChurchMilitant.com

I like Voris.  He is one of the good guys.  It will be work like his that helps reverse the Crisis in the Church, one day. I hope. While my budget doesn't allow me to be a paying subscriber at the moment, there's all sorts of free stuff over at YT.

And then there was this whopper, Voris defending the Second Vatican Council's document on Religious Liberty here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended by local trads from the diocese.  In a nutshell, Voris' stated polemical position is squarely to the LEFT of the SSPX (and Archbishop Lefebvre's analysis, btw).



VIDEO (2013):  Michael Voris speaking in Tulsa, OK
On Religious Liberty

As an aside, a frequent Okie trad commentator here at the Okie Traditionalist blog, whose name shall remain private, helped organize this event.

"Cracker Jack" advisor Fr. Paul Nicholson was also present to set the record straight, for traditionalists.   Inside joke for his past followers. :)


Photo care of AKA Catholic, aka Loui Verrocchio.

Which brings me to Time 20:40 - 20:58, in the upper right hand corner of the video, you see a possibly interesting if not comical contrast.  Fast forward below:



It is the famous Fr. Angelo Van Der Putten, an affiliate of the FSSP, and former member of the SSPX.  

Either he was sleep deprived from being the Energizer-Bunny in persona, that he is, or he was closing his eyes in silent, prayerful reserve towards Voris' position.  Or both, I suppose.  :)

I for one once asked Fr. V:  "What should we make of the doctrinal errors of Vatican II?"  to which he answered "Well, like the Archbishop advised, whatever is clearly orthodox we accept, whatever is ambiguous we accept in light of Tradition, but whatever is an error we do not accept."

So when I saw Padre nod off, I imagined what he might have been thinking, at least during that particular talk, about the most controversial element of the Pastoral Council, i.e. so-called Religious Freedom (vs. the traditional doctrine of Religious Tolerance):  "This is not what I learned in the seminary, Mr. Voris."

At any rate, Traddom will always have its different polemical positions about Vatican II, the New Mass, conciliar papal policy, how to respond to a heretical Pope Francis putative pope, etc.  

As I always say, while there is a time/place/method for dealing with differences, what matters most is that we traditional Catholics be united under the bi-fold source of church unity:  unity in the Faith, and unity under the divine government of the Church.  Wouldn't you agree?

So what do you all think?  Is Voris right, that ALL VII's statements on religious liberty are kosher, in full continuity with Sacred Tradition?

Remember when the OKC mayor allowed a Black Mass on city property a few years ago,  because of religious liberty? 

And the Catholic response,  including an SSPX public Mass of reparation? 







Monday, April 9, 2018

Texas Bishop Suggests the Cardinals Consider a New Papal Conclave

FIRST Bishop to say this.  From Texas just to the south of us Okies, no less. 




Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida


94 year old retired Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi.  In excellent health.  Interviewed last year by Michael Voris.

Says the TLM. 

Here is his argument. Click HERE.

In a nutshell,  he suggests Bergoglio's election was invalid because it broke church law about papal elections,  based on John Paul II's new conclave laws that prevent breaking of conclave. 

Not to mention, Bergoglio's heretical statements,  he says. 

Francis' Cardinal appointments would be invalidated (I suppose his bishop appointments too...hmm) ,  and the one's who conspired to elect him would be excommunicated,  per JPII's legislation. 

Solution?   He says the remaining valid Cardinals would have to call a new conclave to elect a new pope.

Cardinal Burke,  the tee ball has just been placed on top of the tee.   We need you to step up to the plate.

As in now. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Concerning Google Review of SSPX Chapel in Oklahoma City

(UPDATE: no email response yet from their parish, but I did post something conciliatory in the Google Review. Click on the first link below) 


We've been thinking to take a road trip to OKC sometime soon, to include a visit to St. Michael's Chapel, where the Society of St. Pius X offers the Latin Mass. So I was checking out their website for Mass times and directions, when I first came across a rather disconcerting public Google Review of their chapel, when I googled "SSPX Oklahoma City."  Which I thought appropriate for discussion.

(You can click on her name to view her Google profile, with more photos.  Apparently she is quite the foodie, writing several, fair-minded reviews about OKC restaurants.)



Marlene Puente
a month ago

Everyone was very cold. Except one nice old lady with a
tracheotomy. She even whent to get me a head cover
and im sure it took alot out of her to do so. If looks could
kill I'd be dead. Those men wanted me gone the second
I walked in. They weren't ashamed to show it. I felt
unsafe and one thing for sure God is not there at all.




Yikes.  The images of the scene she describes, that come to mind reading this review, leave me, how shall I say...speechless. 





Being the concerned kind of personality I am, especially for damsel's in distress, I emailed the Coordinator using their chapel email address on their website, suggesting they contact Ms. Puente (is that a Hispanic name?) to offer some kind words after her experience, and consider posting a reply, saying something conciliatory at least.  




I am waiting for a response...

My main reasoning is that for months, or even years in the future, countless people who are interested in the Latin Mass in OKC, whether at the Society or the Fraternity, will often first come across this objectively scandalous review. 

Nonetheless, this blog post will come and go in a matter of days.

The same kind of public relations could even be necessary at some point, I suppose, on this side of the state, to promote Catholic tradition on Google Review, Trip Advisor, and the like.  Any visitor of say Most Precious Blood in Tulsa (FSSP), for example, could get on Google and write a review, though from personal experience I suspect most or all would be glowingly positive. 

Oh I just checked, there are actually very positive reviews of MPB already on the ubiquitous, all-seeing eye of Google:  LINK.   

Google is going to become even more ubiquitous as we go.

True, there will always be anti-traditionalist types that come to the TLM, and peel out in the parking lot after Mass driving home, angry at the "oppression" they imagined there. 

But I didn't get that impression from this reviewer/visitor in OKC.  Did you?

That said, I have to say St. Michael's in OKC has been for several decades, a beacon of traditional Catholicism, in terms of preserving the traditional Mass and doctrine, having been served by both the FSSP and SSPX.  I have known a number of their members over the years and can vouch for their personal character.  And the chapel itself, their weekly liturgies, and the pastoral setting of the place, makes it an idyllic, hidden traditionalist oasis, in the west OKC suburb of Bethany.

Yet, reading this Google Review I have to admit I was quite taken aback, but frankly not surprised.  It does come across at least somewhat sober and level-headed, and I interpret the last part "one thing for sure God is not there" as hyperbole.  She did not personally experience the presence of God in a peaceful way that day, due to her painful experience.

For all we know, she was screaming profanities at the people, or dressed like a street hooker, but I seriously doubt that.   At any rate, even a street hooker can dress modestly.  :)



I hope she was not so burned by the experience to never want to attend the traditional Mass again.

And that future readers will not be scandalized.
This blog post will come and go quickly, but I think that major review will likely stay there for months or even years.

If you would like to also respectfully express concern, here is their chapel email:


stmichaelfriend@gmail.com




  Well said, my son.




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Okie Traditionalist Challenges fellow Okie Trad Blogger Laramie Hirsch: "Alt-Right, Rad Trad" Apologist, Sir Charles Coulombe (indirectly) Helps


Preface: I believe many Okie Catholic readers have associated this blog with that of fellow Okie Trad Blogger Laramie Hirsch, the author of The Hirsch Files.  He now has a new blog called The Forge and Anvil.  We agree on many things, especially on preserving our Catholic tradition, but take opposing views on a variety of subjects, worthy of debate.  Such is life.

The second half of this post discusses Sir Charles Coulombe's Podcast on the Alt Right. 

Introduction:

Well, I haven't received a reply yet from Hirsch about re-engaging this debate from a year ago, on our blogs.  Darn it.  I know he is very busy, as I am. No worries, I'm sitting up late ruminating and reflecting, sipping some diet Coke, before he gets back to me.  I hope.  

But I did notice a comment this week on his new blog (not me, I pinkie swear) saying:

Haven’t you distanced yourself from the Alt-Right brand? Do you no longer buy into the 16 Points? Okie Traditionalist re-posted an old article saying you’re trying to convince Catholics to be Alt-Right.

The reader must be thinking of his recent comments about traditional Catholics and the Alt Right:


But to my surprise, when I attempted to discuss the Alt-Right with my fellow Traditional Catholics in the beginning of 2018, they also blew off the Alt-Right as a group of neo-Nazis. I was shocked at the ignorance of my colleagues. Have they not kept up with things as I have? ...

Yet, at the end of the same post, Hirsch surmises:


Will I continue to proudly claim to be Alt-Right in the future? I’m not so sure anymore. Some people such as Vox Day continue to hold onto the brand, as they’ve invested a lot into it. I know that I have certainly talked it up in public and with friends. However, as I sometimes say, I’ve made mistakes before.








Yes, The Okie Traditionalist Knows Laramie Hirsch, a fellow Okie Trad: 

The thing is, I've personally known Hirsch for over two years in the flesh, and probably since 2013 in the trad forums online, and have collaborated in the past on blogging stories.  

But I feel this disagreement is worthy to be engaged because he has made the Alt Right (and associated movements MGTOW, Game Theory, etc.) central to his weekly articles and outlook.  So I'm challenging him in charity, as a Catholic, and because Hirsch does have quite a following of Catholics who read these opinions.

The well-followed Chicago-based blogger Oakes Spalding of Mahounds Paradise has us both linked in his list of favorite blogs. Thanks Oakes.


Hirsch spreading his Alt Right Message to Traditional Catholics:

Recently Hirsch posted to Catholic Info forum his blog post promoting the Alt Right, and elsewhere on FB, etc., saying to a fellow traditional Catholic who challenged him:


As for us...the Alt-Right can teach us to be the vicious political animals we need to be again.

Vicious political animals?  Again?  Catholics used to be "vicious political animals?"  Catholic immigrants to this country - my ancestors -typically interacted in politics in a "vicious" way?  As "political animals?"  I would be very interested to read from what American history book  Laramie got this information, Catholic or otherwise. Or is he thinking of the Hollywood movie Gangs of New York?


                                               
Incidentally, I would be remiss if I did not gently admonish Laramie when he spoke mispoke on another CI thread:


My philosophy, if you stumble upon your enemy's AK47, pick it up and use it until it runs out of ammunition.

Knowing Hirsch fairly well, I can't believe this is really his position, in his heart of hearts, but more a reflection of typical Alt Right bloggers he follows daily, like the secular Vox Day who disagrees with Our Lord on at least one major point:

43 You have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thy enemy.[6] 44 But I tell you, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute and insult you, 45 that so you may be true sons of your Father in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the evil and equally on the good, his rain fall on the just and equally on the unjust. 46 If you love those who love you, what title have you to a reward? Will not the publicans do as much? 47 If you greet none but your brethren, what are you doing more than others? Will not the very heathen do as much? 48 But you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect


(Matthew 5: 43-48)  emphasis mine


In the same CI thread, Hirsch tried to legitimize the Alt Right movement by citing Pat Buchanan as a traditional Catholic Alt Righter that he respects.  But try and do a long, extensive google or yahoo search, of articles going back many years.  You will discover the fact that Buchanan himself does not identify with the Alt Right;  rather some in the Alt Right claim he is one of them.  No other well-known traditional Catholic online, or in the flesh, actively supports this online phenomenon.

Except for Laramie Hirsch, from Tulsa, Oklahoma!


On the Contrary, Sir Charles Coulombe's Criticisms of the Alt Right, an Excellent Podcast:




In fact, after Hirsch told me he was writing a book as a kind of bridge between traditional Catholics and Alt-Righters (half of that equation at least would be noble, I'll concede that), about a year ago I asked the very well respected Sir Charles Coulombe (whose books converted Hirsch to Catholic monarchism) his thoughts on the Alt Right.  Interestingly, he did a Podcast a few months later on the Alt Right, aired on Veritas Radio Network, interviewed by traditional Catholic author Br. Andre Marie, MICM of The St. Benedict's Center where he is Prior.

Brother Andre Marie himself, a very high level thinker by the way, begins by saying the Alt Right is at heart reactionary, and more defined by what it is against than what it is clearly for.  He recognizes it as a "Big Tent," but underlines "deeply flawed ideologies" of its main leadership, which some Catholics are falling into.  (Time 4:00 - 06:30).  Later he says "I find the movement repulsive on a purely intellectual level," while sympathizing with some similarities it has with the Old Rite of once Catholic Europe.  His opinion alone is very sound and authoritative.

This is an excellent and very informative talk, but here are the main criticisms from Coulombe about the Alt Right, which I challenge Hirsch to consider and address.  I'll list them as I listen to the podcast, pausing to type them out.

Charles Coulombe's Criticisms of the Alt Right:

1.  Racism and anti-Semitism are serious moral problems in the Alt Right, those terms understood in the Catholic sense.

2.  From a Catholic perspective, it tends to "deify" "lesser things" of the world, especially race, ethnicity, and nationalism (Time 34:00 - 35:12).

3. He agrees with Br. Andre that the Alt Right does not respect the role of Black Americans in our history and culture.  (Time 54:00ish - 55:25).

4. And that Eugenics is a serious moral problem, in the sense used by Alt Right leaders in general (vs. the Catholic view of it).

5. And about their common love of Machiavelli, Nietzche, and Darwin in particular. "Regurgitated, German, 19th Century garbage," he completely agrees.

6.  The Alt Right makes religion a mere tool or means to political ends, rather than an end in itself, and Catholic Christianity is not necessarily the true religion for those purposes.

How then can a Catholic, in good conscience, seriously support the "Alt Right" movement?

We can't.


Conclusion:

Hopefully Hirsch will find this debate worthy of his time, from a fellow traditional Catholic blogger, and Okie no less.  Time will tell.  If/when I do a podcast with Sir Charles, as we have discussed, this could be one topic to cover. 

That said, I did find Hirsch's defense of Church Latin, in his OnePeterFive article, to be fascinating and superb.  Click HERE.

As Laramie likes to say, Toodles!