FORT WORTH, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) - Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth is currently steeped in controversy over his attack on Texas Right to Life, a pro-life group focused on electing authentic pro-life leaders in the Texas legislature. Yet in August 2016, Bp. Olson allowed a pro-abortion Democrat to speak on parish property. This is despite recent tweets to the Catholic faithful about his "apostolic duty" to "guard authentic doctrine in the parishes."
In August 2016, Congressman Marc Veasey (D-Texas) was allowed to speak on the property of All Saints Catholic Church in Fort Worth. Veasey voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act when it came in front of the House for a vote. He supports abortion through all nine months, and has attended Planned Parenthood rallies.
Church Militant reached out to the diocese of Fort Worth for comment. A spokesman claimed the reason Veasey was allowed to speak on diocesan property was that the event in question was a town hall and not a stump speech.
When Church Militant asked whether the town hall included a speech from Veasey, the official angrily interrupted, reasserting that the event at the town hall wasn't a speech. He said he was present at the event and that attendees did ask Veasey about his position on abortion, which Veasey answered by restating his support for abortion.
The diocese claimed that Veasey listened carefully to the pro-lifers in attendance at the event. An article in the North Texas Catholic quoted Bp. Olson on the subject: "My point is, we've gotten to the point of our civil discourse — to our understanding of our responsibility as citizens — that the only way we are able to participate in our society politically and to contribute to the common good is in a partisan way."
In the wake of the Texas bishops' parish advisory on Texas Right to Life, which Congressman Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) has called "factually inaccurate," Bp. Olson tweeted out an order for Catholics attending Mass to spy on priests and report to his office if the Texas bishops' advisory was not read from the pulpit.
Please notify my office if your parish did not include the advisory bulletin insert or a pulpit announcement. https://t.co/re1BVt6Vc6— Bishop Michael Olson (@BpOlsonFW) February 25, 2018
Bishop Olson went so far as to imply that those who don't read the advisory at Mass are not "true Catholics" and that the advisory is an act of his "authentic teaching office." These remarks come after previous public comments in which Bp. Olson said:
The obedience that one makes as a promise is never at the violation of one's conscience. I mean, the principle of natural law says that you cannot violate the integrity of your conscience. Obedience is a subordinate virtue to justice, and so only has meaning like that. And so, no one can oblige me to violate a well-formed conscience.
In 2014, Bp. Olson sent a letter to a small Fort Worth-based Fisher-More College, forbidding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass on any day of the week, with a threat of withdrawing permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament or have Mass on the property at all. He said in the letter, "I make these norms out of my pastoral solicitude and care for the students of Fisher-More College, as well as for your own soul."
He has also publicly said that there may not be anyone in Hell: "It's mentioned in the Scriptures, albeit exclusively in the New Testament, that one need not believe that anybody is necessarily there. That's a different disputed question as well."