Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fort Worth Carmelites—A Thought Experiment

See my last post about this. If the Sisters accept the new governing body, what are the odds they are allowed to practice traditional Catholic religious life, traditional Catholicism, and have only the TLM?  Imagine they submit, the new governing body takes over, and they ask just for the TLM. 

The bishop already denied it, he is the liturgical legislator of the diocese, so why should the Sisters think he/they will approve it?  If he won’t approve just the TLM, why can he/they be expected to allow them the traditional Carmelite Rule, or traditional priests? 

Or to not go with contemporary innovations like guitar Masses or a modernized habit or hanging goofy banners in the sanctuary.  Let’s say they try to work this out for better or worse, as they have been on some level at least for a year, and put in writing a request for all these things they have a right to. 

Considering everything that has already happened, and considering all the public facts, what are the odds their rights are protected and put into writing permanently?  Would not the Sisters already be in a reasonable enough place to predict what is likely to happen? This is what they could do.

Place all these requests in writing but expect the almost moral certainty in the months ahead they are not respected. They could go the extra mile and submit themselves to this to report back to the universal Church how they are treated, to garner more understanding and support, especially if/when they are further persecuted to the point they consider again resistance. 

Or, they can already do this thought experiment to help them make a prudential, common sense decision now. I’m not advocating for rebellion or taking a schismatic posture, but if these Sisters are faithful to Catholic Tradition going forward, they are likely to be treated as such even if that is not the case. 

I see two beautiful outcomes. One, they work everything out with Bishop Olson/the Vatican who honors their rights and allows them to govern themselves apart from the modernized Carmelites, as they have already for decades.  Or if their rights are not honored, retain their property, maintain obedience to and union with authority in principle, and in practice as much as moral circumstances will allow, but under those extreme circumstances affiliate with the SSPX. The SSPX already serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so hopefully they could send a chaplain to say Mass, hear confessions, and give conferences, while the Sisters would remain Carmelites. 

In either situation that would be glorious. Glorious for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and glorious for the universal Church, to have such a large, beautiful, and faithful traditional Catholic presence. I pray the Sisters completely shun post-conciliar Modernism and fully embrace instead Catholic Tradition, and be prepared to defend the Faith and their religious life as far as this goes, even if indefinitely for many years to come.  

We Catholics adhering to Tradition are all in this together facing the same threats going forward. My last thought is the next pope will very likely be a Pope Francis II, with Tradition more and more suppressed, so part of the thought experiment is to visualize what will likely unfold under the next pope.