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Benson, Leadership & Persecution 

R.H. Benson

Dear TIA,

I want to agree with R.E. ("English Version of the Ku Klux Klan" in the 11/06/14 Comments) that the writings of R.H. Benson are worth reading by faithful modern Catholics.

Many of his Catholic novels such as Come Rack! Come Rope! are available for free or very little on an Amazon Kindle because they were written before 1923 (Benson died in 1914.) While Chesterton and Belloc remain well known among English Catholic writers of the first part of the 20th century, R.H. Benson is unaccountably overlooked. He also wrote some fine ghost stories, as did his brothers A. C. and E.F. Benson, most with a religious atmosphere.

As a convert to Catholicism from the “church of England” (his father was at one time the archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican sect in England!) R.H. Benson also wrote in defense of the Catholic Faith. Among his acquaintances was Frederic Rolf "Baron Corvo," the author of the novel about an English Pope at the beginning of the 20th century, Hadrian VII.


TIA’s Leadership

Dear TIA,

Thank you for your excellent response to T.C., about a heretic pope. Yet again, this argument arises, and again, you have eloquently explained the position all faithful Catholics must take, in humility and faith that God, His Son, and our Blessed Mother will all handle this matter in their own rightful time. We simply have no other choice to take, other than to remain humble and wait – hopefully, in a state of grace – their wisdom in this matter, so far greater than any of ours!

Those of us who are relatively new to the "present" problems in the Church owe a debt of gratitude to you, TIA, and all others in the world who have seen and watched what has been happening, those trying to lead us rather stupid "sheeple" through this storm, with God's grace and strength.

Time and time again, you have told us to "hunker down" – stay as close to the sacraments as possible, strive for holiness, and remain a stalwart in the face of so much "tolerance" for error. Without such guidance and wisdom, so many more would likely be lost and/or heading the direction of so many others destined for Hell with many in the Church happily leading them into the pit of "let's all just be friends" as we crucify our Blessed Lord one more time.

Our prayers should continue to beg God for His mercy that we can continue to have such leaders as you.

     With daily prayers for you and all of your intentions, along with a heap of gratitude!!

     E.M.S., Ph.D.


You Hostile Rigorist, You!

Dear TIA,

Below we read a selection from Pope Francis' final word to the Synod. And we see him in typical behavior, setting up a straw man and then attacking him.

You are not just a rigorist, but a "hostile" one. And one wonders what "we still have to learn and reach for" concerning the two key issues of the Synod, the question of Holy Communion for those unrepentant for mortal sin, and the pretense that homosexuality has some redeeming points -- as if the Church began examining human nature and sin just yesterday. We still have something to learn?

Isn't there a good chance, Pope Francis, that "inside the law, inside the certainty of what we know," lies the will of God, since the Church has been around for 2,000 years? And is it "scrupulous" to consider homosexual acts to be unspeakable sin? Or is it "scrupulous" to consider unrepented mortal sin an impediment to receiving Communion?

It's hard to consider the Pope as anything but a manipulative name-caller, a dealer in insinuations and half-truths. Harsh words, but I have seen his type in politicians before.

Listing temptations, the pope began with "the temptation of the hostile rigorist." Such a person, he said, has "the desire to close inside the script (the letter) and not be surprised by God, from the God of surprises (the Spirit); inside the law, inside the certainty of what we know and not of what we still have to learn and reach for." "From the time of Jesus, it is the temptation of the zealots, of the scrupulous ... considered – today – 'traditionalists' and even 'intellectualists,'" he said. (Original here)


Fr. Stephen Somerville


Hello my name is J.B.. I think it was Fr. Stephen Somerville who said 30 Gregorian Masses for my mother years ago. Recently my Dad passed into eternal life. Do you know how I can get in touch with Father by phone?

Thank you.


TIA responds:


Unfortunately, Fr. Somerville is no longer saying Masses. He currently resides in a retirement home in Toronto, Canada.

We have indicated some places on our website where the Gregorian Tridentine Masses can be said. Please, check here and here.

We hope this will be of help to you.


     TIA correspondence desk


The Persecution Increases

Dear TIA,

I am sending you the recent news that the Bishop of Los Pasos, Texas, put Fr. Michael Rodrigues, who said exclusively the Tridentine Mass in his church in Shafter, on a six-month sabbatical, forbidding him to continue his ministry.

The Blog for Dallas Catholics reported it, below. See how those traditionalists who want to have the Tridentine Mass have every day less room inside the Conciliar Church, despite the Summorum Pontificum.

     Keep up your good work.


Father Michael Rodriguez put on sabbatical


I have to be very careful what I say, so bear with me. As of yesterday Monday Nov. 10 2014, Father Michael Rodriguez is no longer in active public ministry. He is on sabbatical. Sunday was his last Mass in Shafter. The several dozen souls in the desolate expanses of far West Texas who had prayed so fervently for so many years that they would finally have a good and holy traditional priest sent to them after many decades of being without one (within hundreds of miles) have been left spiritually fatherless again. As to how this sabbatical came about, I don't think this is something Father asked for. Here is the information I have on the matter (I add some comments in red):

As of yesterday, November 10, 2014, Fr. Michael Rodríguez, is no longer the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, TX. He has been given a six-month sabbatical in order to discern God’s Will for the future. Fr. Rodríguez remains a priest in good-standing of the Diocese of El Paso. He will most likely be looking at options for priestly ministry beyond the Diocese of El Paso. Fr. Rodríguez has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for the past three years, and this has led to increasing difficulties for him with the local hierarchy. Fr. Rodríguez asks for your prayers, and he especially asks you to pray for the small group of faithful (about 50) of the Presidio-Shafter area who are heartbroken over the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass and parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass.

[Once one becomes accustomed to the great Traditional Latin Mass and the whole traditional practice of the Faith, it is impossible to go back to what is offered in the vast majority of parishes today. This extends to an entire parish life that existed throughout the world as recently as 50 years ago but is now available only in precious, scattered pockets. Shafter was one of those. No more. I do not know how I would react should the TLM suddenly be revoked/removed from Dallas]

Admittedly, Fr. Rodríguez is in a very difficult situation. On the one hand, he intends to do his best to be obedient to his bishop. On the other hand, Fr. Rodríguez is convinced that God is calling him - through the Church - to dedicate his priesthood and all his energy and strength to promote the Church’s greatest treasures: her timeless liturgy and doctrine. Both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have acknowledged that the Church is suffering through a terrible crisis of Faith in the post-Vatican II era, and Fr. Rodríguez, as a loyal priest and son of the Church, cannot stand idly by in the face of such widespread disparagement and abandonment of the Catholic Faith.

In making any decisions for the future, Fr. Rodríguez is begging God to purify his motives, so that he may act, first and foremost, out of love and fidelity to Jesus Christ and His holy Church, and for the salvation of souls. As a loyal son of Holy Mother Church, Fr. Rodríguez is 100% committed to following, teaching, promoting, and defending her Traditional Mass (holy liturgy) and her unchangeable truths (holy doctrine), e.g. the sacredness of marriage, the indissolubility of marriage, the grave sin and intrinsic evil of homosexual acts.

In closing, Fr. Rodríguez asks that efforts be redoubled to pray for the Holy Father so that he will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by Our Lady of Fatima. May the reign of Christ the King come through the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of His Mother!

In a few days a number of us will begin a continuous series of nine-day novenas imploring the intercession of Our Lady and the saints on Fr. Rodríguez's behalf. I will email more information on that in a few days. Moreover, we will pray a 54-Day Rosary Novena on his behalf from Dec 10 - Feb 1, that is between the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and the Purification of Our Lady, (also the feast of Our Lady of Good Success). We invite all to join us in offering these prayers. Thank you very much for your prayers and support.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez

Fr. Michael Rodriguez preaching at his church in Shafter, Texas;
on November 10 he was suspended from his ministry for saying only the Tridentine Mass


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted November 13, 2014

The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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