Monday, March 31, 2014

This is how the world ends

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is too big a subject for even my considerable ego to take on in a single post. Basically there are four broad theories on why it happened: "general malaise" which holds that the empire was built on unsound foundations and doomed from the start; monocausal which fixes the blame on one reason such as economics or disease; catastrophic collapse, where the fall was caused by a series of contingent events and far from inevitable; and "transformation" which focuses on the continuity between Rome and the barbarian kingdoms. I'm the most aligned with the catastrophic collapse theory.

Western historians definitively assign the fall of the Western Roman Empire to September 4, 476 when the last Western Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by Odoacer, the first King of Italy. Think about the life of the average citizen of the empire. The decline of his entire world had been playing out over generations. Once in a while there was a major catastrophe like Adrianople or Alaric's sack of the city of Rome. Other than those, it was a gradual crumbling of Roman institutions. Taxes got a little higher, the currency became a little more debased, the highways became a little less secure, the people a little less devoted to the idea of Rome, the barbarians encroaching a little bit further. By the time the last emperor fell and the empire was formally dissolved, it probably did not come as a surprise to the average citizen to the extent they knew anything of it at all. It would have been more like an exhausted sigh that finally someone had put that horse out of its misery.

Post-apocalyptic novels and science fiction stories often describe the end of the world in monocausal terms. The world of the future is the way it is because of a nuclear war, or a zombie apocalypse, or the superflu, or an extraterrestrial invasion. Sometimes this is accompanied by an assumption that without this one major disaster, mankind would have continued ever on in progress and peaceful expansion. And I have to admit, having the world end in one major disaster can make for exciting reading as it produces tales of survival against impossible odds.

I don't think that's how the world will end here in real life. Our collapse is happening so gradually that some liberals will laugh aloud if you warn them of it. Whig history makes me reach for my gun because it assumes that history is one traceable arc culminating in our wonderful selves. The decline and fall of the United States will be a catastrophic collapse. The Immigration Act of 1965, Roe v. Wade, the 1987 amnesty, the Iraq war, Obamacare... all of these were contingent events that could have and should have gone differently. Instead of being outraged over the descent of cities like Detroit into barbarism, we get outraged over Stephen Colbert's jokes. As an aside, Jerry Seinfeld showed us the correct way to fend off the Volunteer Auxiliary Thought Police. The world was OUTRAGED that Seinfeld's comedy tour was mostly made up of white men. Seinfeld replied that he only cared about being funny, not about satisfying every squabbling tribe's monomania. That incident was quickly forgotten as the nomenklatura moved on to look for those more easily shamed and intimidated.

I'm 33 and I expect the United States to break apart within my lifetime. History will move on like it always has, full of ups and downs.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The dawning horror

Drugged and indoctrinated:
The kid is a natural born leader. The charismatic-type who people will naturally follow. Naturally, this is used against the child: He’s a natural leader, therefore it is all the more important to drug him.
But, in any case, what modern parent can approach the specter of a child who doesn’t learn with any equanimity? Even a not-very-attentive adult can see that the knowledge sector of the economy is the safest haven in downturns. The gap between those with college degrees and those without is ever widening. Not just in income, but also in life areas like successful marriages and health. The option for a kid who can’t sit and learn is not a slightly less lucrative career, it’s a much more miserable existence.
How much pathological modernism can be forced into a single paragraph? Understand the (barely) implicit script presented here:
The child must go through public schooling so he can get into college so he can get into an office job so he can survive the failing economy so he can be healthy and have a decent marriage.
First thing to note is the fear. She states “the cold hand of impending doom got us by the neck and squeezed.” The system is working quite well when it can instill actual dread in a parent when the public education system is failing him.
After you've read that blog entry, remember that this is the message that millions of mothers are drumming into the heads of their boys all over the world. I grew up with it myself. My mother constantly told me that I absolutely had to go to college or else I'd be a loser who flipped burgers for the rest of his life. Ironically, my late father never earned a college degree and he did all right for himself and did good by me. My generational peers followed this advice. They went to college and graduated with liberal arts degrees and mortgage levels of debt. I have a liberal arts degree but I graduated debt free, which means I'm much better off than a lot of these other poor kids. The corporate world is not for me as I can't stand walking on egg shells to avoid offending the tender egos of ditzy HR chicks (and the diocesan priesthood is similarly not for me as I have little patience for walking on egg shells around the clip haired, mean faced broads who run the diocesan establishment.)

The only members of my generation who are currently living a reasonably middle class existence are those who work for the government, either in education or health care. Manufacturing jobs and office jobs that pay a living wage are mostly gone here in California. I'll take my chances in self-employment, thank you very much.

I viciously mock you because I care

Has female attention whoring reached its peak?
The level of this goes far, far beyond the attention whoring seen on girls nights out.  As if Tinder, OKCupid,and every white knight at the bar weren’t contributing enough to the over-inflated egos of American females, now we have legitimate businesses piling a group of girls together on a bus, and whisking them away to Vegas so they can bask in the spotlight of men drooling all over them.
Yet, these are supposed to be the best memories of a young woman’s life.  A house has been replaced by lavish hotels.  A husband has been replaced by a thirsty dude begging for permission to buy them a drink.  Saturday morning cartoons with the kids have been replaced by Saturdays lying in bed, dealing with splitting headaches and hazy memories of the poisons and cocks consumed the night before.
When the game is rigged from the start, the only way to win is to not play in the first place. The SlutBus will wind its drunken way through Las Vegas on a tight schedule to entice young thirsty dudes to spend hundreds of dollars on wooing these sluts and paying for overpriced drinks. But if these girls are getting free drinks anyway, why should they pay attention to these poor schlubs?

Return of Kings has a lot of morally unacceptable content, but I still read it because I'm interested by watching these guys blindly grope their way to the truth. Fornication is a mortal sin and not an option for any serious Christian. I expect that Godless heathens will ignore a tradcon like me, but eventually they'll learn the truth the hard way. I'm not so hard on them as I am on the feminists who enable them. Cads and sluts ye shall always have with you. If they have an easier time plying their trades these days, whose fault is that, really?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Credit where credit is due

I didn't think they had it in them, but I'm happy to be wrong this time: More and more Cardinals are saying that Cardinal Kasper is full of it (and they don't mean sanctity or unction):
The Kasper controversy (with the attempt by Cardinal Kasper, invited by the Pope as the keynote speaker, to undermine and destroy the Catholic dogma of the indissolubility of the matrimonial bond) dominated the consistory discussions of February. Some had given the impression that all were quite pleased with the views presented by Cardinal Kasper - Cardinal Müller (see notes at the end) had been quite clear about the issue since the second half of 2013, but the first member of the College of Cardinals to speak up clearly in public following the consistory was Cardinal Caffarra, followed by Cardinal Burke.

Marco Tosatti explains, however, that from day one the College of Cardinals was in its majority against the "Kasper Doctrine", whose practical effect would be the complete destruction of the edifice of the Sacramental Theology of Matrimony and Penitence, a disregard for the Most Holy Sacrament, and a frontal assault to the words of Christ Himself, maintained by the Catholic Church without interruption and even in grave adversities (e.g. the Henry VIII schism or the ongoing struggle against polygamy in Africa) for 2000 years.
Us Americans are often accused of believing ourselves to be the center of gravity in the Catholic Church. On this issue, it's the German bishops who are making so much noise about admitting adulterers to communion, in part because they have a financial interest in keeping as many butts in the pews as possible due to German tax laws. Fortunately, other churchmen are also speaking out:
Is the most serious problem confronting Catholic families today the fact that the Church does not consider divorced and remarried Catholics suitable to receive Holy Communion? I don’t think so. I doubt most Catholics would. But in the run-up to the October Synod on the Family a number of influential churchmen seem to be of the opinion that this is the most significant problem we must deal with, and deal with in a way that the Church has never done before. A full court press is on by those who advocate that the Church change her teaching and practice on this matter.
 The teaching itself cannot be changed. Cardinal Kasper overplayed his hand. Modernists generally don't wage full frontal assaults on doctrine. Instead they try to make exceptions so large that the doctrine becomes a dead letter in practice. The problem with this is that it's no so much pastoral sensitivity as vicious cruelty. We don't exclude the divorced-and-civilly-remarried from communion to be mean but rather to ensure they don't add the sin of sacrilege on top of their repeated sin of public adultery. In practice, the communion line operates more or less on the honor system. Father isn't going to interrogate you about your moral and spiritual life before giving you our Blessed Lord in the sacrament. There's a world of difference between the Church officially condemning a practice while leaving its enforcement to our own consciences, as opposed to officially condoning the sins of both adultery and sacrilege. I pray that Pope Francis does the right thing. I wasn't around back then, but from what I've read it feels like we're moving toward Humanae Vitae 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Winning by default

A positivist believes that we can only be certain about things which can be demonstrated through empirical science or mathematics (despite mathematics being the a priori science.) When applied to texts such as the Bible or the US Constitution, positivism would tell us that everything we need to know about those documents is contained within the texts themselves. Most people recognize, if only subconsciously, that positivism is nonsense. Most people also believe that postmodernism, born from the realization that positivism is nonsense, is the polar opposite of positivism. Postmodernism holds that since we cannot be certain about some things such as man's telos, we cannot be certain about anything. Positivism and postmodernism are more like the two sides of one coin. Jacques Derrida and Richard Dawkins have much more in common with each other than either has in common with St. Thomas Aquinas.

Liberalism comes in at this point and proposes itself as the neutral umpire. Anthony Kennedy told us in his wooliest prose that "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." The liberal argues that since it's impossible for us to be certain, it's unjust to enforce any one narrow vision of the good upon those who might not share that vision. The problem is that it's impossible to avoid this in practice. Government simply is the enforcement of a vision of the good. It's tremendously difficult for liberals to recognize that they're doing this. And since they generally reject metaphysics as a bunch of mystical mumbo jumbo, they have nowhere else to go. Everything becomes mere story-telling - Stephen Colbert's "Truthiness" - and the powerful get to decide what reality is because they can enforce their story.

Because of its incoherence, liberalism appears both mad and hypocritical. Right-liberals often lose the debate as soon as it begins because they've accepted the left-liberal frame: the only alternative to liberalism is obscurantist tyranny. When posed with a false dilemma, the correct solution is to take a third way, which is not simply the golden mean. The middle ground between two lies or between a lie and the truth is still a lie.

Caption contest

One is the head of a powerful and wealthy organization where brainwashed drones mindlessly worship a tyrant through his bizarre personality cult, and the other is the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reactionaries, red pills, and revolutions

To the extent that we're noticed at all, the existence of that loose congregation of bloggers that fall under the "Dark Enlightenment" umbrella causes angst for our liberal overlords. I write the most about Catholicism, but mine is technically a kitchen sink blog where I write about what interests me. If I had to self-identify, I'd probably describe myself as being in the Orthosphere. I'm glad that more and more men are consciously rejecting liberalism, i.e. taking the Red Pill.

The manosphere is tough on us liberal arts majors. If I had to do it all over again, I suppose I'd have majored in something more practical. I didn't go into debt to earn my degree so I'm much better off than a lot of these poor kids who are working at Starbucks and trying to pay off their mortgage levels of student debt. If we're going to return society to some semblance of sanity, something our great-grandfathers might recognize as being Western Civilization, it's going to take more than earning STEM degrees though. First and foremost we have to change ourselves. I suggest converting to Catholicism if you aren't already baptized and confirmed, not because of what Catholicism can do for us, but because we have a religious duty to worship the one true God in his one true Church.

It's well and good to write lofty philosophical treatises on the internet, but some men need to be involved in the liberal arts and creative fields as well. Michael Anissimov suggests these fields to get started. Personally, I'm working on my first novel in my spare time. As I said in my last entry, my reading tastes are simple and thus my stories are simple: badass dudes who settle their problems with violence. I'd like to take a poll of my four loyal readers. Which is the most badass: settling disputes with guns, knives, or fists?

Seriously though, I don't want to write a didactic novel where everyone and their mother can see that there's a Writer on Board. I want to tell a good story that keeps me in beer money.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Larry Correia is great

I read his entire Monster Hunter series in about a month. I'm a simple man with simple literary tastes: give me stories of badass dudes settling their problems with violence. Correia is a gun nut in real life, and the protagonist Owen Pitt's automatic shotgun named Abomination gets more loving and detailed descriptions than some of the human characters. I highly recommend his novels. His personal blog also makes for some pretty fun reading:
I know authors aren’t supposed to respond to reviews. That is supposed to lower us or something. Us artistic types are supposed to be all sorts of aloof, but this is so freaking stupid that I’ve got to comment on it. Here is my reply.
Damn this pisses me off. Where the hell does anybody named fucking Bork get off calling my readers chumps?
Holy shit. Are you kidding me? You left a 2 star review on a book you did not read so that you could get all preachy about the supposed costs of publication. Shut up, you cheap ass bastard.
lzolozozozlolozzolol. Here's a good rule of thumb for Amazon reviews:

Five stars: I didn't read the book but the author's personal opinions coincide with mine.
Four stars: Great
Three stars: Okay
Two stars: Crap
One star: I didn't read the book, but the author's personal opinions offend me.

His glass house is polished to a mirror sheen

Rod Dreher posts this letter from an Orthodox nun to an anonymous convert:
Dear “John”,
I understand that you are on the way to becoming Orthodox. I know nothing about you, beyond the fact that you are English.
Before we go any further, there is one point I should make clear. I have not been told why you are about to convert, but I assure you there is no point whatsoever if it is for negative reasons. You will find as much “wrong” (if not more) in Orthodoxy as in the Anglican or Roman Churches.
So – the first point is, are you prepared to face lies, hypocrisy, evil and all the rest, just as much in Orthodoxy as in any other religion or denomination?
Are you expecting a kind of earthly paradise with plenty of incense and the right kind of music?
Do you expect to go straight to heaven if you cross yourself slowly, pompously and in the correct form from the right side?
The letter itself contains nothing objectionable, but it's a bit rich that Dreher would post it considering his apostasy from the Catholic Church due to his emotional reaction to the Scandal. Years later, he still writes about the Church frequently, generally to remind us how awful it is and that he's really not coming back. Dreher has said that he's trying to keep the scandals of the Orthodox Church at arms length. He satisfies his appetite for drama by focusing on his former communion. Sometimes I get the impression that Dreher is still trying to convince himself that he made the right decision; his stated difficulties with papal infallibility were clearly an ex-post facto rationalization.

I've made no secret of my disgust with many corners of the Church of Nice as Michael Voris calls it, but in the end the only question that really matters is, "Is the Catholic faith true or not?" If it is true, then no amount of scandal, hypocrisy, or evil committed by Catholics can make the faith untrue. Granted, it can make it subjectively more difficult for us to persevere, but to whom else would we go?

A blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation

Describing water to a fish

One of liberalism's neater tricks is convincing everyone that it creates an even playing field in the public square. A liberal government claims that it's above deciding questions of good and evil. It doesn't take sides in the debate except as an umpire who enforces the rules. It ensures that the extremists don't take power and oppress their neighbors with sectarian policies that violate the sanctity of others God given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

To use a technical term from political science, this is balderdash. The essence of government is to tell people what to do. Man is a social and political animal, and it isn't possible to establish an "even playing field" in the real world. Refusing to decide is still a decision. It's not a coincidence that the State has grown ever larger and more intrusive as we've grown ostensibly more free and tolerant.

The frustrating thing about liberalism is that it's unaware it does this. Liberals are being sincere when they say they believe in equal rights for all. But they can't see that a right, by definition, implies discrimination and authority. I discriminate against uninvited strangers encroaching on my property. Speed limits are not equally enforced between truck drivers or bicyclists. A liberal government discriminates against those of us who want, say, a benevolent Catholic monarchy instead. Liberals can't understand why the Catholic Church is making such a big deal about the HHS mandate because the liberal rejects the authority of revelation, or at least doesn't think revelation should play an authoritative role in public policy.

Liberalism claims to do away with things like a ruling class, the aristocracy. But everyone knows that every liberal nation does indeed have an aristocratic ruling class (this will be confirmed in spades if the 2016 election turns out to be Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush.) The liberal aristocracy is based on going to the right schools and making the right connections. Once they've taken their places in the permanent government bureaucracy, the universities, and the media, they begin their careers in managing public perceptions and defining the rules of public discourse. Nonliberal concepts or questioning liberalism itself is not allowed. Traditional bonds of family and religion are tolerated so long as they are perceived to be freely chosen by the liberal superman, and can be severed at any time he pleases.

Everyone implicitly understands that if the ideas of "freedom and choice" were taken to their logical conclusion, it would be impossible to have a functioning society at all. You can figure out whether a public figure is a left-liberal or a right-liberal once you know what kind of unprincipled exceptions they're willing to make. Right-liberals, for example, like to describe the United States as a Christian country. But finding a mainstream right-liberal who opposes Muslim immigration per se is almost up there with unicorn hunting. Left-liberals are firmly in the drivers seat, and right-liberals, having accepted liberalism's frame, are in the position of grumbling that the left-liberals are moving too fast. Right-liberals may admit in private that they believe sodomy is one of the sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance, but they wouldn't ever say so in public. They end up earning everyone's contempt: left-liberals see them as foot-dragging out of unthinking bigotry, and Traditionalists and reactionaries see them as unprincipled cowards.

The manosphere likes to speak of taking the red pill as a metaphor for rejecting the lies of modern liberal society. To be sure, they get a lot of things right. Some of them, however, have only relocated to another corner of the Matrix. The real red pill is rejecting liberalism all together. And that's the work of a lifetime for those of us who never knew anything different until we reached adulthood.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The most successful night

I volunteer with the youth ministry at one of the local parishes, as the youth minister is a personal friend of mine. I never thought that I was temperamentally suited to work with young people but it seems that "gruff and surly" works with a lot of teenagers. Icebreaker games never appealed to me even when I was a youth myself. We generally follow the LifeTeen outline for game ideas. Some turned out well, some didn't. But I thought last night's plan was one of the best we've done yet, if I do say so myself.

After dinner we all went into the church for a brief talk from a core team member, followed by a Rosary in front of the tabernacle. Unfortunately, when the church was wreckovated decades ago the tabernacle was moved off to a side chapel. The pastor is open to moving it front and center again, but our bishop, for whatever reason, is not allowing any tabernacles anywhere to be moved. Anyway, once the Rosary was finished, we went out to the soccer field for a bonfire. Our team's resident musician led them in Praise and Worship songs. My four loyal readers have already guessed that P&W isn't my style. I don't actually dislike that kind of music per se, it's only when it's performed at Mass that I want to rend my garments in fury.

The last half hour was a Q&A session where they could ask anything about the Catholic faith that entered their little heads. I told them that eventually they would all move on from LifeTeen, whether because they'll go on to college or just decide it isn't for them anymore while still a teen. And that's okay. The only reason why any of us work with them at all is because we want them to stay close to Christ and his Church. One young man from the local Jesuit High School said that pretty much everyone he knows who has graduated from that institution left the faith. I kept silent but thought, "What do you expect from Jesuits?" I have to believe that the corruption and decline of the Jesuits is the work of Satan. They used to be the best and the brightest of the Church's religious orders. Now, there is no heresy, sacrilege, or blasphemy so outrageous that some Jesuit hasn't uttered it in the last fifty years.

It's fine to attract the teenagers with food, fun, music, and games when you're starting out. It's good to give them solid catechesis since the odds are good they aren't receiving any at school or at home. I think the LifeTeen outline suggests alternating each week between catechesis, socials, issues of the day, etc. The best thing is to introduce them to the Church's many spiritual treasures. I wouldn't be volunteering for this if it was just going to be another social club to keep kids out of trouble on Sunday nights. I like to hope that God can do some good in these kids' lives even if he's only got broken rusty tools to use like me.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A tale of two RPGs

Vox Day laments the intrusion of Pink SF/F into video games:
This is only one of the many reasons I quit going to CGDC after it became GDC. Social responsibility? Fuck that. Games concern electronic entertainment, nothing more and nothing less.

And notice that all of Heir's "arguments" are nothing but mere assertions, devoid of any evidence or even logic. It shows his complete divorce from sanity when he claims that basic historical reality is "laughable". And speaking as one who has been involved in the financial analysis of more than 200 games, "investment" is not the sole determinant of a successful game; many a million-seller has been developed on a relative shoestring. Heir doesn't understand that since dragons don't exist, one can do what one wants with them. But taking a woman and making her a kickass ninja warrior necessarilymeans that she ceases to be a woman in any meaningful or recognizable manner, she becomes a man with cosmetic female attributes.

This has become clear to me after reading two David Weber novels. In his attempt to be sexually egalitarian, he has essentially removed all actual women from his books. There isn't a single female character whose sex one could not change to male and have the change go almost completely unnoticed in terms of "her" behavior.
I want the bolded part on a t-shirt.

I can accept a badass female mage or assassin, but a woman in heavy steel plate armor swinging a giant war hammer is a bit too much for my suspension of disbelief. Video games are supposed to be fun, not vehicles for disseminating the latest Doubleplus Good Newthink.

Two video games have been very good for this blog's traffic: Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas. Personally, I enjoyed the latter more than the former. Skyrim is mostly about exploration. The Main Quest is okay but the Elder Scrolls have never been about the Main Quest. It requires a lot of imagination to get replay value out of it if you're one of those types who wants to do everything on a single play through. It's possible to become the head of every guild, which is a bit ridiculous. The Companions are quite vocal about how magic and sneaking are for pussies, but they don't call you on it if you try to join with your squishy mage or sneak thief. The Thieves Guild is all about stealth, but it's possible to Rambo your way through the whole quest line while wearing heavy golden armor and a battle axe as large as both your thighs. Your big dumb barbarian can become the Archmage without knowing any spells besides the starters with which you begin the game. It doesn't feel like your choices make any real difference in the world. Skyrim is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Fallout: New Vegas is both more linear and more liberating. There's a strong plot and a definitive ending to the Main Quest. The specifics of the ending are based on your choices throughout the game. Joining the NCR precludes working for Mr. House or the Legion. You can work for any faction right up until the end before you stab them in the back and take Vegas for yourself. The dialogue options you can choose are much more varied than in Skyrim where you can pretty much only say "yes" or "no." That's why there's so much "Serana is my waifu" love for Dawnguard because it was one of the few times where you had a lot of different dialogue options. Personally, I prefer a deeper story even if it comes at the expense of player freedom. With FONV, you have an incentive to replay it in order to get the other endings. With Skyrim, once you've gazed upon all the scenery, there's not much story left to explore.

He's technically proficient, but can't give a promo to save his life

I complain a lot about the Novus Ordo as it is typically celebrated. At the same time, I understand why the Reform of the Reform is either dead or dying. We've gotten used to silly music and ugly churches, and nobody likes sudden changes. Objectively, there's no reason why the Novus Ordo Mass can't be celebrated according to the Church's traditional praxis, but the silliness has been going on for so long that most Catholics think it's intrinsic to the rite itself. But there's another problem that's been killing the Church's witness: bad preaching.

If you went to Mass today, tell me what the priest preached about. Speaking for myself, nine times out of ten I can't remember a word of it after Mass. Most homilies I hear open with a corny joke, followed by a wandering summary of the readings, climaxing with vague assurances that Jesus loves us because we're such good people. Once in a while Father hits it out of the ballpark. And once in a while I heard rank heresy such as the real miracle of the loaves and fishes being that Jesus inspired his listeners to share their picnic lunches, though thankfully that's not so common anymore. I've invited Protestants to Mass. Those that come from a nonliturgical background don't know any better besides bits and pieces they may have gleaned from the movies. But what turns them off more than anything is wimpy preaching. Say what you will about their theology, but those old time evangelists really knew how to get people fired up for Christ.

That's why it's so important that you compliment your priest when he gets the homily right. If he gets more positive feedback, he's more likely to keep it up. The sermons at the local FSSP parish (St. Stephen the First Martyr of Sacramento, CA) are always good but today it was great.

Father gave an exhortation against lukewarmness. When we're driving, we don't keep our eyes focused on the hood but on the road. Catholics who are aiming for Purgatory will probably wind up in hell. It's a terrible thing to have a casual attitude toward venial sin. Venial sin doesn't destroy our relationship with God but it does cause wounds. If we get into the habit of deliberate venial sin then it won't be long before we fall into mortal sin. A Christian should not tip toe up to the edge of mortal sin just to see how close he can get without losing his balance and falling. Do athletes train at the bare minimum just to maintain their physique and their skills? Do soldiers take a few potshots at the enemy and then fall back behind the lines for the rest of the battle, having done the bare minimum? Not the good ones. Keep your eyes focused on God and going to heaven.

The life of the Church would be tremendously improved if, once in a while, Novus Ordo priests gave a good old fashioned doctrinal sermon instead of struggling to explain the more obscure Old Testament readings. There's nothing wrong with that - in fact, I think the GIRM asks them to do that - but the problem is not many of y'all are very good at it. No offense Fathers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Solemnity of St. Joseph

St. Joseph is one of my favorite saints, even though we know little about him. Catholic Tradition holds that St. Joseph is the patron of a good death. As he lay on his deathbed, Joseph was comforted by both the Blessed Virgin Mary and by Jesus Christ himself. You can't have a better death than that. As the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus enjoyed the Beatific Vision every moment of his earthly life. God made man submitted to the leadership of St. Joseph. Joseph taught the Christ child to be a man and how to earn his daily bread through the sweat of his brow by working as a carpenter. St. Joseph is a model of manhood for all Catholic men precisely because of his silence in the Gospels. We never read of Joseph speaking, and yet both the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ followed his lead and happily submitted to his headship of the Holy Family.

St. Joseph has also been proclaimed as the patron saint of the Catholic Church as a whole. He was entrusted to raise the Christ child so it makes sense that he would be tasked with guiding and protecting the bride of Christ, the holy Catholic Church. Every Catholic man would do well to cultivate a devotion to St. Joseph. St. Teresa of Avila said that when she entrusted an intention to the care of St. Joseph, she was never confounded. St. Joseph, ora pro nobis.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes review

You go to hell Skull Face... straight to hell!

MGSV plays okay on the PS3 but it's definitely convinced me to purchase a PS4 when the full game is released. Here's to you Hideo Kojima for getting us to shell out $30 for a 90 minute demo.  It took me a while to figure out the new controls, but once you do the game is golden. It's a little jarring to hear Kiefer Sutherland as Big Boss. Ground Zeroes takes place one year after Peace Walker so the voice transition isn't smooth. Big Boss doesn't do a lot of talking, but then the Snake characters never did. If you beeline the story mode you'll miss out on a lot of extra content. I'm not sure I'm better for hearing it though. The tapes with Chico and Paz... yes, Kojima was right on when he worried that he might be taking it too far. Still, I recommend the game for all die hard MGS fans who can't wait for The Phantom Pain. You get a thumbs up from Beefy Levinson if you know who Nicola and Bart are without googling:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Many Traditionalists are upset with Michael Voris for his stated refusal to publicly criticize Pope Francis:

Mr. Voris is free to take whatever editorial position he pleases with his own company. I don't have a problem with his stance. I myself don't often criticize Pope Francis in public or private for that matter. It's not because I haven't found some of his statements difficult or confusing, because I have. But I'm trying to wean myself off of the papolatry that is so prominent in many right-wing circles. It's neither necessary nor healthy to one's spiritual life to hang on the pope's every word. He's the Vicar of Christ but he's still human. We're not going to be judged on what the pope did or failed to do. We're going to be judged on whether we loved God and neighbor, and kept the commandments.

Of course this is not to say that a liberal pontiff (and I think it's pretty obvious by now that Francis is a good deal more liberal than Benedict or John Paul) doesn't create some practical difficulties. If I had a nickel for every heathen, Protestant, or fallen away Catholic I know who has interpreted the pope's "Who am I to judge?" comment as a license to go nuts, I could buy myself a two liter bottle of Coke. I imagine the proclivities of Popes Benedict IX, John XXII, and Alexander VI also caused some difficulties for Catholics who were trying their best to live the faith (or maybe not. It must have been nice to not have the internet to follow every hiccup from Rome.)

I do take issue with some of Voris's reasoning in that video though. He says that St. Paul and St. Catherine of Siena could criticize popes because they were saints. I guarantee that Paul and Catherine never, ever thought of themselves as saints or as particularly holy. Pope Francis himself thinks that line of reasoning is nonsense on stilts, as demonstrated by his conversations with some of his critics like the late, great Mario Palmaro. If you want us to shut up then just say shut up.

Sooner or later God's gonna cut you down

1 See where the Lord of hosts, our Master, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah all that was valiant and strong, all the support they had against famine and thirst! 2 Gone the hero and the warrior, judge and prophet, diviner and senator, 3 captain of the watch, and nobleman, and counselor, and skillful workman, and master of charms. 4 Only boys will be left to rule, and wantonness shall govern all; 5 the citizens coming to blows, neighbor falling out with neighbor; for age and rank there shall be no reverence. 6 Here is one catching hold of his own brother, his own house-mate, What (says he) hast thou a coat to thy back? Be our chieftain, then; take these ruins into thy keeping. 7 And the other answers, Who, I? Nay, I have no doctor’s skill. As for my house, there is neither bread nor coat in it; ruler thou shalt never make of me. 8 Jerusalem in ruins, Judah lying prostrate! Whispering and scheming of theirs defied the Lord, challenged his divine scrutiny. 9 Their hang-dog looks betray them; they publish their guilt abroad, like the men of Sodom, making no secret of it. Ill-fated souls, retribution has come upon them. 10 For the just, courage! His reward is earned; 11 but woe betide the sinner! He shall be repaid for his ill deeds. 12 My people has been despoiled by the tyrants that rule it; women have gained power over it; those who call thee happy, my people, are deceiving thee, are luring thee into false paths. 13 Even now the Lord stands ready to hold his assize, waits there to pass judgment on all nations. 14 The Lord will enter into a reckoning with the senators and the rulers of his people: You have made spoil of the vineyard, your houses are full of the plunder you have taken from the oppressed; 15 what means it, that you ride roughshod over my people, that you spurn the right of friendless folk? Such warning he gives you, the Lord God of hosts. - Isaiah 3:1-15, Douay-Rheims

Scripture and Tradition are both pretty clear that God will forgive us the eternal consequences of our sins, but the temporal consequences will still be with us. God forgave Adam and Eve for disobeying him, but man must still earn his bread by the sweat of his brow and woman must still endure the pains of childbirth. God forgave Moses his lack of faith, but Moses died before reaching the promised land. Under the new dispensation, we must give God satisfaction through penance. It's unfortunate that for most of us, the priest just assigns us a few Pater Nosters or Aves (and so few people go to confession anymore that you'd think they'd have a lot of spare time to think up better penances, heh.) If we do not make satisfaction in this life then we'll do it in the next life in Purgatory.

Barack Obama's policies are vicious and wicked, but he is the man America elected, twice. Cardinal Walter Kasper is running interference for Satan by suggesting that public adulterers could be admitted to communion, but most dioceses in the West, particularly America, are running annulment mills at a brisk pace. God is giving us what we asked for, and we're getting it good and hard.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Well done, thou good and faithful servant

RIP to Mario Palmaro, one of the great Traditionalist writers of our time. The Eponymous Flower provides a translation for his last article:
A field hospital, where one of the sick, injured and dying says they are fine just as they are. There's no talk of returning to the original state of health, and especially of those medicines that do not suit the palate, certainly not. If you want to Pope Francis such an effusive metaphor that has been received by media, chattering classes and retained in the collective Catholic memory, one can  not otherwise define   the meaning of the speech with which Cardinal Walter Kasper opened the consistory on the family. There can be no doubt, when he says, "but we must be honest and admit that a chasm has opened up between the Church's teaching on marriage and the family and the convictions of many Christians."  There is no doubt, because  all of his  considerations do not focus on, retrieving and returning the fugitive and lost sheep from the herd, and not on the reasons why they have been lost in the first place, but on the need to adapt to the new situation. The shepherd is not only to acquire the scent of his sheep, but especially those sheep who have gone.
Part of what makes the current crisis in the Catholic Church so maddening is that so few are willing to admit that there is a crisis at all. When Catholics say that the emperor has no clothes, it is they who are told to pipe down, that there's nothing to see here, that we're in a new Springtime. The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that there is a problem in the first place. If Catholics are abandoning the Church's moral teachings en masse, the instinct of the Modernist is that the Church's teaching must change.
The speech of Cardinal Kasper is made of the stuff, which is only suitable for being raised as a white flag in the besieged citadel of God. To say that one must resort to the modern categories of thought and morals, is, to embezzle the necessary mediation of ideas and a language that are the true "natural" way.
The truth is not only dogmatic and supernatural, as the truth of the dogma is not only the  fixed point, the aim is to preserve the Catholic thinking. There is a "natural"  truth of the language and the concepts that is absolutely indispensable for exclusively religious purposes. Therefore, the classical ideas of nature and person can not be interchanged for the modern with impunity. 
You can not explain to  the Hegelians the truth of the dogma with  Hegelian terms, the Cartesians with those of Descartes, the Kantians with those of Kant, the Marxists, by using the Marxist concepts and so on, because modern philosophy is essentially anti-natural and the grace's impact on nature, not the anti-nature. 
"If you use their words, you will end up thinking their thoughts." The Catholic Church is not a garbage recycling plant where you can dump any old philosophy into the grinder and presto, out pops a perfectly orthodox new marketing campaign to sell the faith to "modern man."
The real knot,  with which Catholic Theology is gagged and choked  is  the abolition of sin and the separation of faith and sacraments.  The Sacraments are the support and resources to keep the creature from sinning. This is the basic, but forgotten and neglected topic:  sin. That is the scandal, the shame, without which man can not be understood. It's already in order: the Paschal Mystery, the Resurrection, the triumph of the rolled away stone. But there is no guarantee that our souls will be saved from inevitable death. Sin brings the mystery of eternal damnation with it.
At this point, together with the Incarnation the sacrament enters in the story, the mystery that is also essential for the salvation of man from his condition as a sinner. A Church without sacraments is simply unthinkable, it's a no man's land, or if it goes well, a field hospital, where everyone saves himself. The discussion around the approval of the remarried divorced couples to Communion is grueling and in some ways even absurd. The real question is much simpler: How is man to save himself?   How is he to save himself, if one preaches or gives to understand that hell does not exist or if it exists, is empty?
Christ has not crucified in order to save the people before the war, poverty, envy, the marriage gone awry or sadness. He did it to save them from eternal damnation. And the sacraments are the means of grace to get out of this terrible disease. The old Catechism of Saint Pius X said: "The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Jesus Christ to sanctify us." And further, that "they are efficacious signs of grace, because they  have the tangible parts of this invisible grace,  signify or show that they give, and they are effective characters because they really give the grace that they signify." 
 The Good News of the Gospel doesn't make any sense apart from the bad news of Original Sin and the possibility of eternal damnation. If hell does not exist, or if it is empty, then what do I need God for? Why did Christ have to die? The Catholic faith is reduced to a shallow humanistic set of rules for do-gooders. Our sense of sin has died because so few of our shepherds speak of it anymore. I used to joke that if I ever became a priest, the homily I'd give every Lent would be, "We're all a bunch of lazy, ignorant, undisciplined pagans, and we're probably all going to hell unless we repent, confess, and do penance right now." If any priests read my blog, feel free to use that. Your people will thank you.

The crisis in the Church is maddening because it's ultimately an identity crisis. What is the Church for? Why did Christ found her? What do we need her for? I doubt that there are 100 bishops, fifty priests, or a dozen laypeople in the world who would all be in complete agreement about the answers to those questions.

Look in my eyes, what do you see? The cult of papal personality

Year in review: Church teachings that Pope Francis has changed. Sometimes a little levity does the soul great good. I disagree a little though; Francis's "Who am I to judge" comment has probably done more damage than people realize. Francis is forcing us to reexamine our assumptions about the power and prominence of the papacy. It's too early to judge of course, but I'm going to speculate that Francis will be remembered as a Paul VI like figure after he goes on to his eternal reward. He's riding high on the adulation of the world right now. I may be too optimistic, but something tells me he's going to have his own "Humanae Vitae" moment. The great issue of our time appears to be divorce. There's gathering momentum and expectations in the Church that the upcoming Synod on the family will change the Church's discipline by allowing public adulterers to receive communion. Theologians, heretical or cowardly prelates, and the media will drum up fevered expectations just like in the 1960's toward the commission on artificial contraception put together by Paul VI. The Synod might actually recommend changing the Church's discipline. And then, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Francis will shoot them down in no uncertain terms.

If that happens, Francis will become the most reviled man on earth overnight. Paul VI was a fundamentally timid man (John XXIII called him "our Hamlet.") He was so shocked and depressed over the reception of Humanae Vitae that he never wrote another encyclical for the remaining ten years of his papacy. Francis would undoubtedly be shocked at the negative reactions to his upholding tradition and morals, but he'd probably bounce back.

Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Every man for himself

Cardinal Dolan Says "Bravo" to Gay Football Player Michael Sam
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York praised University of Missouri football star Michael Sam for coming out as gay, saying he would not judge the athlete for his sexual orientation.
"Good for him," Dolan said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" airing Sunday.
"I would have no sense of judgment on him," Dolan continued. "God bless ya. I don't think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, 'Bravo.'"
Time to open up to diversty, says Italian Archbishop:
The evening concluded with a debate in depth on the matter of homosexuality. Both Luise and the archbishop praise, in substance, the opening of the Church regarding gays and de facto couples. Particularly for Luise, it is necessary on this theme, "a cultural revolution, that contemplates the fact that homosexuality is not a deviancy, but a human attitude, and not just that, considering that almost 500 natural species display homosexuality." "The new paradigm - says bishop Castellani - is that every diversity is richness. In my life as a parish priest, I saw and lived so many situations [and he describes a few]; and I am convinced that the time has come for Christians to open up to diversity."
Cardinal Dolan is not refraining from judgment. "Good for him" and "bravo" are encouraging words for a man who publicly identifies as a sodomite. Archbishop Castellani is saying that sodomite couples and presumably other arrangements are signs of richness and diversity, another positive judgment.

Let me state for the record here that I care not how many bishops say otherwise, I care not if the pope gives me a direct order, I don't care if an angel from heaven tries to convince me to change. I will never, ever submit to church authorities who attempt to change the Church's traditional teachings on sexual morality. Let us obey God rather than man.

It's patently absurd that our bishops are demanding that the government respect our conscience when so many of them are either silent toward or actively undermining the Church's moral teachings. If the bishops don't believe in the doctrines they were entrusted to teach, then why the hell do they expect anyone else to?

It's helpful to remember the words of Gandalf to Frodo in Moria. The challenge of our times is that laypeople will have to work at keeping the faith while receiving no support, and sometimes active opposition, from our shepherds. Don't let a perverted sense of obedience keep you silent in the face of manifest error. If a priest or bishop says something contrary to the faith, call them out on it.

h/t: Rorate

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sloth will be punished

Whose idea was it to make the Daylight savings time transition happen on a Saturday night at 2 am? Couldn't it always be on a Friday afternoon at 4 pm instead?

I slept in this morning and so went to my home parish's 11 am Mass. God was clearly displeased with me because we had a visiting priest. He's come to the parish several times over the years when his university where he serves as a professor is on break. The music I always expect to be bad. I can usually laugh off "On Eagle's Wings" during the vast desert of Ordinary Time, but during Lent it's just depressing. Father outsourced the homily to a lay woman who talked at us about stewardship, i.e. shaming us into giving more money and volunteer hours. It's wrong but it happens a lot at my home parish, so again I took it in stride. Father waited until just before the final blessing to editorialize:

"How about that Pope Francis huh? He is just so, so wonderful. The Church is entering another new spring time. Finally we have a pope who speaks of love, compassion, and reaching out to the marginalized. Whether your cross is marital difficulties, or sex, or unemployment, or whatever, Francis is listening. I've been waiting my whole priestly life for this, and I feel like something big is about to happen in the life of the Church!"

As Dave Barry likes to say, I am not making this up. Whenever Pope Benedict XVI goes on to his eternal reward, I would not be the least bit surprised to see the Cadaver Synod 2: the Spirit of Vatican II Strikes Back. I haven't been that upset by a Novus Ordo Mass in years. And I've been to the Bay Area!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I know that feel, bro

Bonald of Throne and Altar and the Orthosphere asks in what sense is it possible to believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church?
There is then an important sense in which I don’t have faith in the Church, at least in that I don’t trust Rome to promote Roman Catholicism and discourage sin.  However, before anybody tells me to get lost and become officially Protestant, consider the fact that no one believes anymore in the reliability of Rome in the way that seemed like the self-evidently Catholic position one hundred years ago.  No one believes it for the very good reason that there is no way to believe it.  Every position one could possibly take involves effectively dismissing the Magisterium as a usefully reliable guide.  Consider the options:
  1. What Proph calls “the Magisterium of the moment”:  Pope Francis’s Catholicism is great, and what looks like a gutting of morality and the sacraments is really a Spirit-mandated work of mercy.  But if that’s true, then all the popes prior to Francis were completely wrong about what they thought was their most important duty.
  2. Magisterial minimalism:  basically, no special trust is to be extended to papal or episcopal statements per se when infallibility is not explicitly invoked.  The trouble with this (aside from it being explicitly repudiated in Lumen Gentium) is that it means the protection the Holy Spirit gives the Magisterium is practically worthless.  I have no guarantee that the pope and all the bishops won’t deny the existence of God tomorrow, just that they won’t formalize it in a particular way.
  3. Sedevacantism:  Since we all admit that the Church has gone off the rails, I don’t see how this is a crazier position than anything else.
  4. Catholicism is a false religion, and the contradictions between Pius X and Francis I prove it.
 I figured out pretty quickly after coming into the Church that not every priest and bishop could be trusted to teach the fullness of the one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic faith. At first I took it in stride. Hadn't our Blessed Lord himself been betrayed by one of his hand-picked Apostles? But the more I got involved in the life of the Church, the more I saw that it wasn't just a few bad apples here and there. There was a decades-in-the-making systemic breakdown happening before my eyes, begun before I was even born, let alone considered receiving baptism. The closest analogy to Holy Mother Church's 21st century condition I can think of is the Arian crisis when most of the clergy were heretics.

Numbers three and four are not possible. I think most Traditionalists, among whom I'd count myself, subscribe to Magisterial minimalism. Bonald may go too far in saying this kind of protection by the Holy Spirit is "practically worthless." It certainly demolishes the Catholic apologetic argument against private judgment, which was always an ad hominem anyway. Of necessity, faithful Catholics have been forced to engage in private judgment for decades now, particularly if they had the bad luck to fall under the pastoral care of cardinals like Mahony or Kasper, or bishops like Hubbard or Untener. My attitude toward most pronouncements by the bishops is "Trust but verify."

As a practical matter, this means that I regard the bishops with a sense of benign neglect. Very little of what most bishops say or write is worth paying attention to. One does not ascend the greasy pole of Church politics through bold leadership or challenging preaching. At best, most bishops speak in soothing platitudes tailored to appease each of the special interest groups and squabbling tribes that make up their dioceses. If you're expecting your bishop to come as an angel from heaven with a flaming sword of justice to chase the money changers from the Lord's Temple, don't hold your breath. I pray for my bishop at Mass and when offering a rosary, but otherwise I probably won't ever see him or speak to him again until I have children of confirmation age.

I admit that Magisterial minimalism is both unsatisfying and a double edged sword: the most aggressive modernists also tend to buy into it. John Paul II didn't declare that women cannot be ordained ex cathedra, they maintain, so it's just a matter of waiting for the current generation of sexist old men to die off. It's unfortunate that we have to have these debates about the infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium at all, but it's difficult to have that same level of trust that our great-grandfathers had in our shepherds. However, it's the first option, the Magisterium of the Moment, that is probably the most popular.

Most Catholics are woefully ignorant of Church history, tradition, and doctrine. If the upcoming Synod on the family allows public adulterers to receive communion, then I've no doubt that most Catholics will hail it as the Church finally letting go of the cruel and intolerant words of... Jesus Christ concerning the divorced and remarried. Bloggers at the New Advent network will write column after column about how those who hold to the words of our Lord are evil bigots and Reactionary Trads who must be brought to heel. They will be greatly irritated at being reminded that we're only holding to the universal teaching of the Church for over 2000 years. "That was then and this is now!"

I don't pretend to have a solution to this crisis beyond personal prayer, penance, and conversion. I pay attention to this stuff because I hate to see Holy Mother Church so weakened and battered. But sometimes, for the sake of our own spiritual sanity, we need to sign off of the internet and take it to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I doubt that I'll live long enough to see even the beginning of the real Restoration. But by then I'll be preoccupied with other things I imagine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jenny Erikson goes fourth

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Jenny Erikson was a straw man caricature invented by the manosphere to illustrate their points:
I don’t know why or how some couples are able to settle into friendship after a divorce. I’ve certainly tried, but the results have not been good. I invited him for ice cream with the kids at the mall once, and I thought we might be crossing over into the land of friendship, but I made the fatal mistake of mentioning it.
“This is nice,” I mentioned, as our daughters were playing together in their own world. It was a little awkward, but the conversation was flowing, and much to my surprise, I realized I was actually enjoying myself a little bit. “It is,” he agreed.
“Just because we’re not married doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends,” I said. You think I’d know by now not to say such nonsense, but I couldn’t help myself. I wanted a friendship not just for the kids, but also because there are parts of him that I genuinely enjoy -- I did marry him for a reason. No such luck.
He just stared at me and said, “I can’t be friends.”
“What do you mean?” I cautiously asked.
“It’s all or nothing. I can’t be just friends if I can’t have you for my wife.”
And that’s basically it right there. The fundamental personality differences that made it impossible for us to have a mutually satisfying long-term marriage are now making it incredibly difficult for us to have any semblance of friendship, no matter how superficial. 
Well, let's think about this Ms. Erikson. You frivolously blew up your own family and you then had the gall to get angry at your pastor for spoiling the surprise you were going to spring on your husband. Did you really expect him to stick around and be your emotional tampon? Good on Leif for shooting you down. He apparently shocked you enough to write an entire column about it. It's a pity he didn't call you on your bullshit soon enough to save your marriage, but when it comes to rejecting feminism, better late than never.

h/t: Sunshine Mary

Remember, O man, that thou art dust

Fr. Peter Carota suggests twelve things you can do for a Traditional Catholic Lent. I've noticed that even godless heathens have gotten into the act of giving something up for Lent. Most of the time it's something like chocolate, or soda, or social media, or smoking, or some other activity we like. All twelve of the things Father suggests involve giving up one of our most valuable commodities: time.

Give up an hour of your time every day to spend with Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Give up half an hour of your time to go to daily Mass. Give up fifteen minutes every day to read Scripture or pray the Rosary or read the lives and writings of the saints. The reason why we fast and abstain today is to discipline our bodies and strengthen our spirits. If we can say no to that which is not evil, then it will be easier to say no to that which is.

May all of my Catholic brothers and sisters have a blessed "Hey You've Got Something On Your Forehead" Day.

Setting bad precedents

Most of us have probably never heard of Fisher More College, but Rorate Caeli put it on the map by breaking this story:
In a stunning and breathtaking letter, the Most Rev. Michael Olson, the newly-ordained bishop of the Fort Worth Diocese and the second-youngest bishop in the United States, has fully and totally banned the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in the chapel of Fisher More College, where it has been offered for the last three years on a daily basis by chaplains all approved by his predecessor bishop according to the college. This blow comes after the students of the college raised $300,000 in about a week to keep the school open for the spring semester (see here). 
Many in the Catholic blogosphere told us to calm down, not to speculate, and to reserve judgment because we don't know all of the facts. Balderdash. Obviously we ought not presume to judge the internal movements of Bishop Olson's spirit in making this decision. But when we're talking about an objective action in the external forum, we can and ought to speak up if it is wrong. We seldom, if ever, know all of the facts about any given situation but we are still responsible for making decisions. Most of us are rather selective in calling for sober fact gathering, generally when we're defending a position or a person we already agree with.

With respect your Excellency, I believe you are wrong on the law in this matter. Summorum Pontificum made it clear that bishops no longer have the power to arbitrarily restrict the Traditional Latin Mass. If Fisher More College is becoming too radical in its Traditionalism (dare we say, crypto-lefebvrian?) then forbidding the TLM seems like it would only be pouring gasoline on the fire. Are we to believe that the Mass which formed countless saints, martyrs, and doctors of the Church is now something to be considered bad and harmful to souls?

Many Catholic bloggers are missing the forest for the trees on this matter. I don't know about all of the supposed problems at Fisher More College, but one school is not the issue here. The real issue is whether bishops have the power to suppress the TLM. According to Summorum Pontificum, they don't. Unless and until a pope explicitly abrogates it, SP is the law. What I'm afraid of is that Bishop Olson's action will stand. I'm afraid that SP will become a dead letter in practice as is much of the Church's traditions and disciplines is so many corners throughout the world.