As several blogs have mentioned (including Rorate Coeli, but I don't link to them on general principles), Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth has ordered the tiny Catholic college called Fisher More to stop holding the Extraordinary Form Mass in the college chapel. Father Z discusses the matter here, and Creative Minority Report here (both sites include the bishop's actual letter to the college). I commend Father Z, especially, for urging caution in jumping to conclusions about this.
The local blogger at A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics has more:
As commenter Skeinster noted, there are problems at Fisher-More. Problems so severe, I privately regretted having supported their fundraising drive last fall (I had heard inklings at the time I gave that support, but came to know much, much more shortly thereafter).
A lot of people who live outside Texas, and even many within the state who reside outside the Metroplex, do not know how close together Dallas and Fort Worth are. It’s only about a half hour drive from downtown Dallas to downtown Fort Worth. As such, our local Traditional Latin Mass community shares a lot of people between the two cities. And, the priests of our FSSP parish provide a TLM in the Fort Worth Diocese on Sundays. Some priests from our parish have taught classes at Fisher-More.
But they have stopped doing so. In fact, many long-time faculty have left Fisher-More. This is not solely related to their financial woes. In fact, it has to do with really severe problems with the college’s administration, and in particular, the college president Michael King referenced.
I know many exceedingly good traditional Catholic families who have (or, I should stress, had) children at Fisher-More. I know some folks who have taught there. I know some who are still employed there. All are unfailingly stalwart supporters of the great Tradition of our Faith and all recognize the hideous crisis now afflicting the Church. But many – most – have increasingly grave concerns regarding Fisher-More and especially the direction Michael King is taking the college.Read the rest here.
Well-known traditional Catholic academic Taylor Marshall left Fisher-More last summer over these same concerns.
These concerns center on Mr. King taking an increasingly severe stand regarding the Council and the changes that have occurred in the Church in the past 50 years. I am not privy to all the details – perhaps some of those who are could chime in – but the level of excoriation for the Church and Her leaders has reached a state that even many good, traditional Catholics are scandalized by the rhetoric. And, from what I have been told by many, no dissent from Mr. King’s “direction” is tolerated. Those that voice doubts or express concerns are dismissed, virtually on the spot. This applies to both faculty and staff. As such, the college has lost many longtime faculty and administrators and even the college’s founder has been sidelined. Again, I have had all this confirmed to me by numerous sources. Many students – very solid, traditional Catholic students – have left the university as it seems to be heading towards such extremism the students fear scandal if they continue their studies.
For what it's worth, the blogger (who goes by the nickname "Tantumergo") is not saying anything I haven't already heard. I have also heard--but have not confirmed--that a sizable (for such a small college) group of SSPX students and families are involved with Fisher More, and that sedevacantist speakers have been invited to the campus; please note: this is simply an unconfirmed allegation at this point, but since it supports the theory many have that Bishop Olson's actions here--admittedly serious ones--are being prompted by a serious situation in the first place I don't mind mentioning it. If it is proven to be false I will gladly update the post to clarify.
In some senses I do find it hard to comment on this, as I also have some experience with Bishop Olson when he was the pastor of my former parish, and I know those experiences may color my interpretations of his actions as our new bishop. That said, the one thing I do not believe for a moment is that Bishop Olson is some kind of enemy of tradition. For now, I trust that this action was taken for good reasons, and that we may even learn more about those reasons in due time.
UPDATE: A local homeschool group received an email back on Feb. 17 indicating that Mass would not be celebrated at the Fisher More chapel "effective immediately." Further exchanges between members of the homeschool group led to the disclosure that the FSSP priest who had been saying Mass on campus had been recalled by his superiors with no other priest being assigned to the chapel. So whatever the problem is at Fisher More, it certainly didn't start with the bishop's letter.
UPDATE 2: Reader Leslie Fain shares this Catholic World Report piece on this story--thanks, Leslie!