In this town, I've attended the Novus Ordo, the FSSP, the SSPX, or the diocesan Latin Mass. Ninety nine percent of the time, I try to favor the Traditionalist parishes.
I ended up going to confession today at a Novus Ordo parish in midtown Tulsa. It was a very comfortable place. Very cozy. There were many well-dressed, well-manicured, healthy-looking people chuckling, laughing, and talking loudly in the lobby. It was SWPL Land. There was no concern, fear, or awareness of trouble outside of the community "bubble."
Some ladies were dressed more casually and scantily than I'm used to when going to church. When I saw them line up in the pews in the front row before their afternoon Mass, I cannot recall any of them on their knees praying. Instead, they sat back in the pews like an anticipating audience at a movie theater.
These guffawing folks have nothing to worry about. They have no fears. There is no reason to believe that the Church hierarchy will ever come down upon them. Parishioners can donate as much money and time into the parish as they'd like, knowing full well that their contributions will endure without fear of being erased. The warm syrup of a post-Vatican II liberalized Church washes over them again and again. They are completely materialistically secure, probably for their entire lives at that parish.
This is not the case at the only diocesan parish that offers the Latin Mass.
Bye Bye To Traditional Priest Fr. Davison
At Sts. Peter and Paul parish, here in Tulsa, the famous Fr. Tim Davison has been "allowed" to go care for an ailing family member, far away in another state. So, he's on sabbatical. But then again, who doesn't have an ailing family member somewhere out of state? Is that a reason to just leave the flock?
Fr. Davison's contributions to Sts. Peter and Paul were substantial. He brought dignity, respect, and reverence to the parish. For a time there, the Latin Mass community was a growing phenomenon. He had changed the spartan, bare, Presence-less sanctuary into one where the tabernacle was front and center. The English Novus Ordo Mass was celebrated ad orientum. Additionally, thanks to his ties to Latin American culture, Fr. Davison earned the respect of hundreds from the Hispanic community, and he had a shrine to St. Toribio Romo built on the parish property. Though the Hispanic Mass was a Novus Ordo Mass, he also celebrated that one ad orientum. Fr. Davison's amazing presence at Sts. Peter and Paul had even attracted some very notable figures in the American Catholic Church, such as Fr. Ripperger the famous exorcist, and Mother Miriam who ran a radio show that addressed Catholic domestic issues.
But we here at The Hirsch Files know what happened to Fr. Ripperger's order and Mother Miriam. And now, in correlation with the new Francis-chosen Bishop Konderla--former college chaplain at Texas A&M University--Fr. Davison has been sent away.
True, Davison's tenure at the parish had lasted 14 years. But if I'm not mistaken, Monsignor Gier recently had a celebratory jubilee Mass for his 50 years as a priest--and 17 years as a rector at Holy Family Cathedral. (I can recall at that jubilee Mass how excited they were to discuss Msgr. Gier's suggestions for the aesthetic changes and paint schemes he wanted to make in the Cathedral last decade.)
It goes without saying that there are rumors that Fr. Davison was pressured out, though this is not presently a certainty.
The Diocesan Latin Mass Has Always Been In Danger
There is a clear reason why those folks at the midtown Tulsa Novus Ordo parish are able to lounge and wallow in their climate. There is also a clear reason why the people at the remote north Tulsa neighborhood were unable to settle happily and pour themselves and their funds into their parish.
At the former, there was never any danger. They will never have to worry about being attacked or bullied by either Bishop Konderla or the presbyteral council that guides the bishop's actions. Such a parish is recognized as the up-and-coming thing. It is the new way. That parish fully embraces the New Springtime of Vatican II.
|The Sword of Damocles|
Why did those families abandon what seemed like a solid community and a solid priest who was attracting real Traditional Catholic stars? Perhaps the writing was on the wall. Perhaps it was already assumed that the Latin community at Sts. Peter and Paul had a finite shelf life. Fr. Davison's attempt to restore Catholic Tradition in a diocesan structure was an idea that was on shaky ground, and people knew it.
Therefore, because the sandy ground was ready to open up beneath them, parishioners had no cause to make any kind of long-term contributions. Temporary contributions, perhaps, but nothing serious. Purchasing a multi-thousand-dollar stained glass window would be out of the question, as it would only be a matter of time for a new bishop and a new priest to come in and orient things back to FrancisChurch standards. Why would a community build a cathedral, only to have FrancisChurch come along later on to bulldoze it down?
I will not even be surprised if the changes that Fr. Davison made to the sanctuary are reversed by the new priest, and the tabernacle is returned once more to the side.
When parish life is this unreliable, what motivation is there to contribute anything towards it? When a community can be eaten away by a brand new disapproving bishop who is pressured by the other liberal priests in the diocese, why bother? The plan of FrancisChurch in this case is to neglect and starve the Traditional Catholic phenomenon until it is dead. It is a non-confrontational, effeminate, passive-aggressive way to attack enemies. Just as Pope Francis refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Dubia, so too will the local power structure refuse to acknowledge the willful destruction of Catholic Tradition in the diocese of Tulsa.
Simply put, traditionalists in Tulsa are the niggers of the diocese.
Before Fr. Davison left, he made sure to train one of the other parish priests how to say the Latin Mass. I've attended one of his services, and he does the Mass quite well. Problem is: he speaks hardly a word of English; Spanish and Latin only. So, an English-speaking deacon delivers the homilies.
Modernist FrancisChurch changes have already made their way into the parish. Novus Ordo Mass is no longer celebrated ad orientum. Now, the priest celebrates Mass versus populum,
Some families have already left, now that Fr. Davison is gone. I suspect the rest will follow eventually. With no support from higher authorities, and a potential indifference towards Latin by the present priest, it is only a matter of time before the tree withers.
The future of the Latin community at Sts. Peter and Paul looks bleak and dreary. Traditional Catholics want to worship God in the most reverent way the Church can offer. But modernist Catholics would rather worship their own good feelings and comfort--and Church hierarchy is happy to oblige this appetite.
Once the Latin Mass is gone from Sts. Peter and Paul, will the presbyteral council go after the FSSP next? Many Traditionalists in Tulsa in various different parishes have speculated about this.
My recommendation is this: for Traditional Catholic Tulsans, perhaps their long-term investments would be better served in purchasing tent poles, folding chairs, and saving up for hotel conference room fees.