Rorate Caeli

For the Record: Cardinal Brandmüller visits SSPX Seminary

As reported days ago by some French language sources, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) confirmed today that, as a first consequence of the September 23, 2014, meeting between Cardinal Müller and the superiors of the SSPX, Cardinal Brandmüller held a meeting with the SSPX Superior-General, Bp. Bernard Fellay, at the society's German seminary, at Zaitzkofen, Bavaria. Two additional seminary visits are foreseen in the upcoming months:

Franciscan Minister General to Order: We're broke, due to questionable financial activities of the recent past

From the letter of the Franciscan Minister General, Brother Michael Perry, OFM:

In an effort to live as children of the light, the General Definitorium and I wish to bring to light a grave situation in which the General Curia of the Order now finds itself. The matter involves our financial stability and the patrimony of the Order. While our first concern has and remains verifying the nature, extent, and impact of what has occurred, we also recognize the significant role that external actors, people who are not members of the Order, have played in creating this grave situation.

Natus ad hoc

Hæc dicit Dominus Deus: Egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet. (From the Lesson for Ember Friday in Advent, Isaias xi,1: "Thus saith the Lord God: There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.")

[T]he Messianic idea assumed in Isaias a clearness and an abundance of expression which it is impossible to render to you, since I should weary you by the number and length of the passages I should have to cite.

It is he who sees the Messiah springing from the race of Jesse, the father of David, and who at the same time describes, as if from Calvary or the Vatican, the glory of the sufferings and triumphs of Jesus Christ. "Arise, arise, put on thy strength, O Sion; put on the garments of thy glory, O Jerusalem, the city of the Holy One: for henceforth the uncircumcised and unclean shall no more pass through thee"; "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace: of him that showeth forth good, that preacheth salvation, that saith to Sion: Thy God shall reign". "The Lord hath prepared His holy arm in the sight of all the Gentiles, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." "Behold my servant shall understand, he shall be exalted and extolled, and he shall be exceeding high. As many have been astonished at thee so shall his visage be inglorious among men, and his form among the sons of men. He shall sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouth at him: for they to whom it was not told of him have seen, and they that heard not have beheld."

Dec. 22, 23, 24 - Let us join the special pre-Christmas Fast of the Catholics of Iraq

Christian refugees in a Chaldean Catholic church in Erbil
The Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad Raphael Louis Sako calls on Iraqi Christians to fast on Christmas Eve in order to implore the Lord for the return of refugees in Mosul and the Nineveh plains. At the same time, he asks the faithful not to organise "any worldly celebration" for Christmas and New Year as "a sign of solidarity with their displaced brothers and sisters, who are going through indescribable suffering."
For this reason, he urges them to fast from Monday 22 December until night on 24 December, not touching food or drink until noon, as "in the days of Ba'utha". The Fast of Ba'utha commemorates what the prophet Jonah brought to the people of Nineveh for their conversion.

BOLD: Pastor Encourages A Public Affirmation of Faith on Marriage and Family

Rorate received the text of a letter that was placed in all bulletins -- for both the Novus Ordo and traditional Latin Masses -- by the Pastor and Parochial Vicar of St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, Virginia. Over the ages Catholics have turned to those willing to speak up for the Catholic Faith in difficult times for this kind of clarity and leadership, even when many shepherds seemed to turn elsewhere (think, for instance, of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More). Now, hopefully, some can turn to a good and courageous priest like this pastor.

May God move the hearts of so many thousands and thousands of good priests in the upcoming months so that they will lead their flocks to the affirmation of the Catholic Faith in these extremely troubled times:

Affirmation of Faith Concerning Marriage and the Family
We, the Pastor and the Parochial Vicar, in union with the parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal, Virginia, have signed the following Affirmation of Faith concerning Marriage and the Family as a sign of our fidelity to Christ and His Holy, Catholic Church. 

Issues were raised and discussed during the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome (October 5-79,2074), touching upon essential elements of the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Magisterium, resulting in much confusion amidst the laity, and distortion by the secular media, so that we find ourselves deeply stirred to manifest our fidelity to Our Lord and His Church by publicly reaffirming those parts of Catholic Doctrine that seem to have been put in doubt.

We thereby reaffirm our submission to the One, True Church, and plead with Pope Francis, Christ's Vicar on earth, to proclaim and defend the authentic teaching of the Magisterium against those within and without the Church who seek to misrepresent, dilute or contradict the truths relating to marriage and family life,

1. We believe that the Sacrament of Matrimony, as established by Jesus Christ Himself, which images His own union with His Church, is indissoluble. Marriage is a holy and irrevocable vow and promise, made to God, between one man and one woman which is to be open to the children, which He may want to send them, and commits the couple to lifelong fidelity. As a consequence of this vow, and the sacramental grace it effects, many wonderful families have been established and exist among us. Also the many flourishing families in our parish are outstanding witnesses of the Grace of God who enables them to be able to keep their promise to each other and to Him.

Christmas Beauty: Traditional Latin Mass with Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major setting in Jersey City, New Jersey

We are sent the following special event notice:

Final report on American women religious issued

The "Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States of America" has been issued by the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and apparently American sisters and nuns are in perfect communion with the Catholic Church and her permanent Magisterium.  Nothing to see here, folks.

There was no mention of social issues, no mention of habits, no mention of open dissonance, and, in fact, the tone of the report seemed to apologize to dissident women religious who obstructed during the process and refused to participate in the apostolic visitation.  One would never know why the apostolic visitation was called for in the first place under Pope Benedict.

Contrast that to the Franciscans of the Immaculate under this papacy.

Saying and Unsaying: The Synod’s Orwellian Atmosphere

It surprises me how often Catholics grasp at straws when it comes to the situation in Rome and in much of the Church’s episcopacy these days. It’s as if they are working as hard as they can to deny the evidence of their senses and to find absurdly far-fetched explanations that will prevent them from having to draw the obvious conclusions.

Let’s consider three facts.

1. To leave something unsaid is often to unsay it.

Many commentators on the interim relatio and the final relatio noted that these documents were rather inadequate (in varying degrees) when it came to articulating the beauty and blessings of marriage as instituted by God and elevated by Christ and defending its truth and goodness. The documents included this or that true statement, but they did not give the lion’s share of attention to the sacrament of marriage itself and its nobility, permanent validity, and abundant graces for the world, nor did they condemn the sins and structures of sin aligned against Christian marriage.

Deadline: Enroll yourself and family in Christmas Novena of Masses


A reader suggested we bring this again to your attention. The deadline to enroll is December 17th.

A Christmas Novena of Traditional Latin Masses according to the 1962 Roman Missal (extraordinary form) will be offered for THE SANCTIFICATION OF ALL FAMILIES (or persons) enrolled in the Novena. The nine Masses will begin with the Christmas Midnight Mass on Dec. 24th and will conclude on New Year’s day, Jan. 1st, Solemnity of Our Lord’s Circumcision.

 The suggested donation is $20 for each enrollment which includes an enrollment card and the album Excitabo Auroram which will be sent to each family (or person) enrolled. The Masses for this year’s Christmas Novena will be celebrated by Fr. Lawrence Carney, the Chaplain for the Benedictines of Mary.

Event: Learn about the TLM in New York

“Salesianizing” the Traditional Catholic Movement:
The Honey of Humility and Kindness

Saint Francis de Sales

To attract souls to Catholic Tradition it is necessary that those soldiers within the “traditional movement”  increase their efforts to imitate the apostolic style of Saint Francis de Sales based on humility towards God and on kindness towards one’s neighbor.

Prof. di Marco for Magister:
- The Francis Effect and the new Catholic Climate:
“Democratic Tyranny” against dissenters

Teniente-General Juan Domingo Perón

Rorate Mass at the FSSP European Seminary

Wigratzbad, Bavaria, Saturday, December 12, 2014

A Sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent - Gaudete

From the Epistle reading, St. Paul to the Philippians: 
Rejoice in the Lord always, rejoice, and I say again, rejoice.
Giotto - St. John the Baptist (Peruzzi Altarpiece - detail) - 1315

The Ecclesial Age of False Dichotomies
- Point and Counterpoint: Jesus Christ and Cardinal Maradiaga

Rejoice? Really?...

Fratres: Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil soliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione, et obsecratione, cum gratiarum actione, petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. Et pax Dei, quæ exsuperat omnem sensum, custodiat corda vestra et intelligentias vestras, in Christo Iesu Domino nostro. (Epistle for the Third Sunday in Advent, Philippians iv, 4-7: Brethren, Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.)

"Blessed they that mourn," and "woe unto them that laugh" (Matt. v. 4; Luke vi. 25), says Christ. How then does Paul say, "Rejoice in the Lord always"? "Woe to them that laugh," said Christ, the laughter of this world which arises from the things which are present. He blessed also those that mourn, not simply for the loss of relatives, but those who are pricked at heart, who mourn their own faults, and take count of their own sins, or even those of others.

Dear Father: V - Could there be a Puppy Heaven? (And the monstrosity in the 2015 Synod Lineamenta on Orthodoxy and Pastoral Praxis)

Dear Father:
I am perplexed by the recent talk about dogs going to heaven.  I watch the morning shows from New York while drinking my coffee, and everyone this morning  seemed happy and excited by what the Pope had apparently said, whether it was accurately reported or not. I must confess that I am getting exhausted trying to keep up with all the new things coming out of Rome.  Can you help me understand what is going on?  Can I tell my daughter that her goldfish will go to heaven and be with her?
Dog-tired in Dodge City

Dear Dog-tired in Dodge City,

I will try my best to answer your questions and help relieve your tired state of mind.  I, too, was surprised to see an article on the Pope’s supposed statement about dogs going to heaven on the front page of the New York Times, a newspaper certainly of record and influence but not known to care too much about papal statements. 

"Consecrated Life" - the Pope's Apostolic Letter, viewed by a French commentator

Rogation procession at the Pierre-qui-vire Abbey in the pre-conciliar years.
I ended up deciding to read up the "Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis to all consecrated people on the occasion of the Year of the Consecrated Life," that started on the first Sunday in Advent.

St. Fido?
Pope Francis says our pets will follow us to Heaven

[Update: is this story accurate? Probably not: but, as Fr. Cipolla explains, it's the "praxis of mercy" that it implies and the actual use of the latter in the 2015 Synod's Lineamenta that is the real news.]

Via USA TODAY's Newser:

Pope Francis continues to show he's anything but traditional. During a recent public appearance, Francis comforted a boy whose dog had died, noting, "One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures."
Theologians say Francis—who took his papal name from the patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi—was only speaking conversationally.

Calendar review: Monastero di San Benedetto di Norcia

With less than three weeks until the new calendar year, and less than two weeks until Christmas Day, it is an ideal time to give 2015 wall calendars to priests, religious, family and friends.

Several beautiful products for 2015 using the 1962 liturgical calendar are available, including one by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, another by Angelus Press and another by the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

As we posted in October, the 2015 wall calendar by the Monks of Norcia brings a Benedictine focus to the year, along with absolutely stunning photography.  Taken at their monastery, the photos range from one in January of their restored sanctuary, to March with the monastic schola, to June with the monks' famous beer, to the singing of the Divine Office in December.

Dominican Rite TLM for the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

Every once in a while we share photos of the actual priests saying Mass for the tens of  thousands of enrolled Souls in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.
These photos are from an Immaculate Conception TLM Monday. The Mass was said by Fr. Thomas Crean, OP -- who last week became our 50th priest saying the TLM for the enrolled Souls. The Mass location was the Schlosskapelle at Schloss Trumau (near Vienna) where the International Theological Institute is located.
The man behind the lens of these beautiful photos is Chris Owens. You can see 17 photos of this Mass by clicking here.
Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services.
There's nothing labor intensive involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society."

The Synod and the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
10th December 2014
As the 2015 Synod looms ahead laden with the unknown and [many] problems, a prime question is up for discussion.  What is the authority of ecclesiastical documents which may be produced by the ordinary Magisterium of a Pope or Synod?

The progressives, or better the neo-modernists, attach an infallible character to all the acts of the present Pontiff and to the results of the next Synod, whatever they may be.  They say – we need to obey these acts, since,  as in the case of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope or the bishops united to him, cannot fall into error. On the other hand, the progressives themselves deny infallible value to the teachings of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Paul VI, and affirm that traditional morality in the marital field  needs to be up-dated, adapting to the “experienced convictions” of those Catholics that practice contraception, artificial insemination and non–marital cohabitation.

New cardinals coming in February

From Vatican Information Service:

A press conference was held today during which the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced the Holy Father's wish to convene a Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on 14 and 15 February 2015. He also announced two other important appointments: a meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Roman Curia (9 to 11 February) and a meeting of the College of Cardinals (12 to 13 February) to discuss matters relating to the reorganisation of the Holy See.

Francis: No one questioned truths of marriage & no bishops fought at Synod

There was the latest papal interview, where the Pope says he didn't demote Card. Burke; and now, this address, where he explains that no prelates were fighting during the Synod and no truths of marriage where ever questioned.

All right, then...


From Father Richard G. Cipolla:  As one of the Co-ordinators, I am so pleased to announce the official press release for the Sacra Liturgia Conference 2015.  I know that our many readers will be interested in attending this Conference and will support it with their prayers. 

From June 1-4, 2015, an international conference on liturgical formation in light of the new evangelization will be held in New York, under the title:

For the record: Top French Commentator in Radio-Editorial: "Francis, the Anti-Benedict XVI, is leading serious Christians to desperation."

Éric Zemmour is probably the most famous and influential journalist and commentator in contemporary France. Though not a Catholic (he has Jewish-Algerian origins, from a family that was granted French citizenship with the historic Crémieux Decree, of 1870), he is considered "controversial" in France since he is an unabashed old-style conservative in a strongly "Progressive" environment - and he is not afraid, as a conservative thinker, to defend the great history of France, including its Catholic roots. (More about him, and his recent book, "Le suicide français", on how extreme "progressivism" is destroying France, in this recent extensive article of the Weekly Standard.)

He made the following comment in his radio editorial in the most popular news radio in France, RTL, on Pope Francis' visit to Strasbourg. We post it mostly for the record of historic events on how "mainstream conservative" commentators in Europe are beginning to view the pontificate.

Éric Zemmour: "Pope Francis goes to Strasbourg and ignores the Cathedral"

The 150th Anniversary of Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors

One hundred and fifty years ago today, December 8, 1864, Blessed Pope Pius IX issued his encyclical Quanta Cura, to which was attached the famous Syllabus of Errors. The encyclical begins with fierce clarity and lofty zeal for the integrity of the Catholic Faith, in words that may be taken as a standing reproach of wishy-washy shepherds today, who ambiguate and compromise articles of faith and morals:

With how great care and pastoral vigilance the Roman Pontiffs, our predecessors, fulfilling the duty and office committed to them by the Lord Christ Himself in the person of most Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, of feeding the lambs and the sheep, have never ceased sedulously to nourish the Lord’s whole flock with words of faith and with salutary doctrine, and to guard it from poisoned pastures, is thoroughly known to all, and especially to you, Venerable Brethren. And truly the same, Our Predecessors, asserters of justice, being especially anxious for the salvation of souls, had nothing ever more at heart than by their most wise Letters and Constitutions to unveil and condemn all those heresies and errors which, being adverse to our Divine Faith, to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, to purity of morals, and to the eternal salvation of men, have frequently excited violent tempests, and have miserably afflicted both Church and State. For which cause the same Our Predecessors, have, with Apostolic fortitude, constantly resisted the nefarious enterprises of wicked men, who, like raging waves of the sea foaming out their own confusion, and promising liberty whereas they are the slaves of corruption, have striven by their deceptive opinions and most pernicious writings to raze the foundations of the Catholic religion and of civil society, to remove from among men all virtue and justice, to deprave persons, and especially inexperienced youth, to lead it into the snares of error, and at length to tear it from the bosom of the Catholic Church.

Fontgombault Sermon - Immaculate Conception: "She is younger than sin"

(Abbey of Our Lady of Fontgombault - sights and sounds)

Immaculate Conception

Homily of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(St. Peter of Wisques Abbey, December 8, 2014)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Among the feasts of the liturgical year, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary holds a special place, insofar as its object is a gift granted to a human creature and far exceeding what anybody might have imagined. In the long series of human beings tainted by original sin, Mary is the exception. Blessed Pope Pius IX defined on December 8th, 1854:

On the 160th Anniversary of the Dogmatic Definition of the
Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX

Dominus possedit me in initio viarum suarum, antequam quidquam faceret a principio. Ab æterno ordinata sum, et ex antiquis, antequam terra fieret. (From the Lesson for the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Proverbs viii, 22-23: The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.)

The Morning Star is about to rise upon the night which overspreads the fallen world with its deep shadows. The East already warms, and the glorious Sun of Justice sends His rays before His coming. That beautiful Star precedes Him on His way. It is full of His light, and is the reflection of His purity.

You Report: Mass, in pictures

A reader has passed along incredible, professional photos of a recent Mass. Please read account of the Mass below and check out numerous photos we link to at the end.

For the record: The new papal interview [Updated]

The full article, with comments and circumstances, is available at La Nación, Argentina's oldest daily. Below, just the excerpt containing the published portion of the interview itself:
-The first Latin American Pope, that is a great honour for all Latin America. What do you expect from Latin America?

Editorial: Reinventing God

Editorial: Radicati nella fede, December 2014
Newsletter of the Catholic community of
Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy

A God that no longer asks anything of men is one that doesn’t exist. Yet this has been the tragic consequence of the Post-Conciliar Church, which by espousing a secular vision of mercy has arrived at practical agnosticism. If it is true that practical atheism exists i.e. those who live as if God doesn’t exist, even if they don’t deny His existence explicitly, so then real agnosticism exists i.e. those who talk of an unknown God Who doesn’t speak clearly to men, from whom man gets what he wants according to the circumstances; a God Who is essentially there to validate without asking much in return.

This appears typically to be the situation in a great part of today’s Catholicism and lived concretely by the majority of the baptized.

Sacred beauty in the 21st Century - it is possible

From the Fall-Winter Appeal of the Monks of Norcia (Nursia), Italy:

Event: Go to Mass where the movie stars go

Well, not really. But it is great to see the traditional Latin Mass gaining a stronger foothold in Hollywood. As you recall, Rorate was the first venue to announce the arrival, after so many decades of prayers, of a traditional Institute (the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter) in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at the invitation of Archbishop Gómez. Things have moved fast since then - info below, and very short video clip, from friend and choir director Jeff Ostrowski:

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) is in the process of establishing a parish in Los Angeles.  During Advent, Mass will be offered in the Extraordinary Form at 7:00pm each Sunday.  The Pastor of Saint Victor Catholic Church has graciously granted permission for this, since the FSSP does not yet have its own permanent location.  Saint Victor is located at 8634 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069.  Please come and support this FSSP effort at its inception1  About 250 lovers of the ancient Missal bravely drove through the rain last Sunday.
For more information and pics, click here.

FIUV Position Paper: Headcoverings in Church

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
All the published FIUV Position Papers are now available in a printed book from Lulu: click on the button to buy.

Today I am publishing the 22nd Position Paper from the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, on the subject of head coverings in church. I have timed this to coincide with the build-up to the 'Wear the Veil Day', 8th December, promoted by the Latin Mass Society of America and Canada, which was explained on this blog a few days ago. This paper is offered as a modest contribution to a much-needed discussion.

The paper's key particular contributions are two.

First, to focus attention on the contrasting customs for men and women: men have to uncover their heads, as well as women to cover them. It is not something the Church does just to women. This is connected with the theology of the complementarity of the sexes, with consequences for the priesthood and marriage.

Second, to show that the common argument that the traditional Catholic usage was simply the cultural norm at the time of St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, is untenable. The tradition can't be dismissed so easily.

I've put some more commentary on this on my own blog here.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
As noted above, all the position papers published so far, including this one (and another which I'll put on Rorate Caeli in January) are now available in hard copy from An ideal Christmas gift for anyone interested in the Catholic liturgy.

They can be seen for free download as pdfs here; the link for this paper is here.

Comments can be made on my blog.




The custom of women covering their heads, and of men uncovering them, as expressed in the 1917 Code (Canon 1262 §2),[1] is an Apostolic tradition stressed by St Paul.[2] The tradition is maintained in the Eastern Churches, and by many attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite; in the Western cultural context, head coverings can take the form of hats, scarfs, hoods, or mantillas (‘chapel veils’).[3] Although the 1983 Code makes no reference to it,[4] the tradition has been described by Raymond, Cardinal Burke, then Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, as an ‘expectation’ in celebrations of the Extraordinary Form.[5] In the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum Pope Benedict XVI quotes the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:
As from time immemorial, so too in the future, it is necessary to maintain the principle that “each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally received from apostolic and unbroken tradition.  These are to be observed not only so that errors may be avoided, but also that the faith may be handed on in its integrity, since the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of faith (lex credendi).”[6]
In light of all this it would seem that to maintain the tradition is both highly congruent with the ancient liturgy, and laudible in itself as an expression of fidelity to an Apostolic tradition. This paper seeks to provide this practice, which is almost completely unknown in the Ordinary Form, with a rationale.

Interview with Cardinal Scola on the Synod:
- "I believe the Pope won't take the position allowing communion for 'remarried' divorced"

"No communion for the [remarried] divorced: I think the Pope will decide thus."
Interview with [the Archbishop of Milan] Cardinal Scola:  Faithfulness to doctrine is necessary.
Corriere della Sera 
Interviewer: Aldo Cazzullo
December 2, 2014
Cardinal Scola, in the Synod the Church was divided, and there emerged two groups, one consisting of a majority, the other a minority. Is this normal? Or should this worry us?

“The word “division” is out of place.  What emerged from the Synod were diverse positions.  There was a debate, at times intense, always aimed at sharing views. It was not a new thing.  It is enough to look at the Councils.”

What is your position?
“ Personally I suggested to think about the question at its roots, in the light of an anthropological reflection on sexual difference, and, on the theological plane, in deepening the understanding of the relationship between Matrimony and the Eucharist. And I made a proposal that goes in that direction, stated more than once also by the Pope, to remain faithful to doctrine, but to make the process of annulment of marriage more close at hand to the heart of the people and in a more rapid manner.  I put forth the idea of involving the bishop more directly in the process of determining nullity.”

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society: Eighty-sixth posting of Souls

Below, please find the eighty-sixth posting of enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.
We want to point out a few things: 1)  A great thanks to Adelante la Fe for gathering names of Souls for the Society for us en masse on a monthly basis; 2) We added six new priests total this month, for a new high of 48 saying regular TLMs for the Souls, including our second Dominican; 3) We also had a deacon seminarian pledge that he will say Masses if he is ordained. Please, pray for him; 4) This was our largest month ever with over 2,000 individual Souls enrolled; 5) It has usually been widely held that more Souls are released from the pains of Purgatory and taken to Heaven on Christmas Day then any other day of the year. Please, enroll your Souls now, so that they may enjoy the bliss of the Beatific Vision in a few weeks.

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society."

The overwhelming majority of our priests are diocesan with all the time crunches that parish life brings. So we are making a special plea today for you traditional order priests -- join the Society! Our traditional Mass only priests must lead by example. This is a great way to do just that. We are only asking for one TLM a week or a month. Nothing more. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well. And please follow this formatting strictly. 

Please consider forwarding this Society to your family and friends, announcing from the pulpit during Holy Mass or listing in your church bulletin. We need to spread the word and relieve more suffering souls.

Please pray for the enrolled Souls and the 48 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:

Why was the Swiss Guard Commander really fired? Could his predecessor's interview hold the key to it?

It is quite sad when workers are told they are fired in December, so soon before Christmas. Yet that was the case of the commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, who will be gone in late January.

From the Tablet:

Pope calls time on 'rigid' Swiss Guards chief

03 December 2014 14:21 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

The Pope has given the commander of the Swiss Guards his marching orders.

Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig's five-year term had already been extended in August 2013, but it will not be extended further when it runs out on 31 January.

Francis is thought not to have liked Commander Anrig's decision to move to a large apartment over the barracks.

Francis also wants the corps to be less military but Swiss guards find their leader too rigid, sources told the Italian news agency ANSA. (source)

Oh, the apartment... Or why was the fact that he was "too rigid" a problem?...  Since there are no justifications for it, maybe Commander Anrig and his stern manners meant that he, like his immediate predecessor Commander Mäder, crossed some powerful groups (actually, one powerful group) he shouldn't have crossed.

Wear the Veil Day
Show your devotion to Jesus Christ and Our Blessed Mother

The following is a guest post written by the creator of this beautiful video:

For the record: Linking some dots, on the record, regarding Ivereigh's "Team Bergoglio" and the 2013 Abdication and Conclave

1. Card. Murphy-O'Connor disclosed in an exclusive interview with the Herald last September:

Extensive Book Review: Don Pietro Leone's "The Family Under Attack"

The Family Under Attack is available on Amazon and on Amazon UK.

Allowing Doctrinal and Moral Questions:
 Don Pietro Leone's Searching Book on the Family and the Evasion or Inversion of the Finalities
 Drs. Robert & Maike Hickson

“It is difficult to gauge the number of abortions [the destruction of unborn babies] performed per year worldwide, although the World Health Organization estimates a figure of 40-55 million for clinical abortions, and an equally high figure might be estimated for abortions resulting from the use of the interuterine device [the “IUD”] and for the destruction of the unborn resulting from in vitro fertilization. As for those [destructions of life] caused by pills and chemicals in the earliest might reasonably guess that their numbers amount to hundreds, thousands, or millions of millions [of deaths] per year. Such numbers of human lives destroyed each year [by abortion overall] make the genocides of Hitler...and Stalin [and Mao]...seem almost insignificant and, without any doubt whatsoever, [it] exceeds the numbers of human lives destroyed by any other method in the history of mankind. What is perhaps most remarkable about these numbers [of destroyed pre-born children] is not their sheer magnitude, but the mercy of God in allowing the world to continue to exist in light of them.” (Don Pietro Leone, The Family Under Attack (2014), pp. 175-176—my emphasis added)
“What divides the two doctrines [the Traditional and the Novel] is their respective visions of the family: its primary finality [the “matrimoniae finis primarius”] and, consequently, its size and the possibility of limiting its size....To show that the novel doctrine is not unambiguously modernist [“the only justification for giving such confused and confusing texts a Catholic interpretation” (152)], one would have to explain [about this 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae's “unhappy synthesis of two opposing tendencies” (152)] that it can give the finality of love priority over the finality of procreation only chronologically; that the responsibility that it [“the novel doctrine” with its novel “natural birth control”] advocates cannot... exclude generosity, but [such mature responsibility] must entail the attitude whereby parents accept the number of children that God in His Providence wishes to send, and at the time He wishes to send them. This is then how we [faithfully try to] interpret the modern [contemporary] magisterial doctrine on these issues, observing in passing that it [i.e., our strained “hermeneutic”] is a symptom of a grave crisis in the Church that the Magisterium, the function of which is to deepen and clarify Catholic doctrine, has in the last forty to fifty years been producing texts obscure or misleading, which cannot be understood without expert theological exegesis.” (Don Pietro Leone, The Family Under Attack, pp. 152-153)
“We begin with the Declaration of the Holy See in March 1944 (AAS XXVI p. 103) concerning the modern authors who deny the absolute priority of the procreative finality of marriage. It observes inter alia that certain [modern] authors take as the primary finality: 'the reciprocal love of the spouses and their union to be developed and perfected by the physical and spiritual gift of their own person' [We—says Don Pietro Leone himself in this longer bracket and footnote—are not far from Familiaris Consortio here [22 November 1981]. We can trace the inversion of the finalities of marriage in the present [2014] Magisterium to the 'modern authors', through the personalism of Pope Paul VI...and the new theories bruited about on the floor of the [Vatican] Council [1962-1965], even by cardinals such as Léger and Suenens, which reduced the importance of the procreative purpose of marriage and opened the way to its frustration by elevating its unitive end and the gift of self to an equal or higher level (cf. Romano Amerio, Iota Unum, s.46).]” (Don Pietro Leone, The Family Under Attack, p. 133—my emphasis added, in both the main text and in the extended footnote referred to and then quoted)
“We have been careful clearly to distinguish the natural and the supernatural orders throughout, especially in view of the tendency to confuse them prevalent in contemporary thought....In the recent teaching of the Magisterium on the themes treated in this book, the distancing from the Faith occurs principally by means of confusion of the natural and supernatural orders. This tendency was already manifest in the Second Vatican Council [because of Eclectic Ecumenism, too!]. In the first chapter of 'Die Neue Theologie' (Amis de St. Francois de Sales 1996), the comment of the Jesuit Fr. Henri Bouillard S.J. is quoted that: 'The Second Vatican Council avoided the expression “supernatural” in its principal documents.' In this connection Romano Amerio in Iota Unum points out (at paragraph 253 in chapter 35 on Ecumenism) that in the two documents Ad Gentes and Nostra Aetate (on Ecumenism and the non-Christian religions) the word 'supernatural' did not even appear....Ambiguity and equivocation in matters of the Faith not only confuse the mind but also make it more difficult to lead a good life. They [ambiguity and equivocation] are a danger to souls, acting insidiously in the manner of a slow poison.” (Don Pietro Leone, The Family Under Attack, pp. 1, 55, and 91—my emphasis added)

A recent and learned book by Don Pietro Leone, The Family Under Attack (2014), just arrived in the mail as a gift to our family, but it was sent also with a polite invitation and request. This request— made explicitly and especially to my wife—was for her to read and review this deeply thoughtful book, and even in a timely way if it were feasible.

As it turns out, it has not been feasible for my wife to do so in a timely way, in view of some challenging imponderables that surprised us, and given our larger family obligations. But, one evening, when she was looking the other way, her husband deftly snatched the book and began to read it—and then for several hours. He completed the book of 360 pages on the next day, after being especially attentive to the concluding and discerningly critical, two appendices, which were also a sort of recapitulation of the book: Appendix A—“Theology of the Body”; and Appendix B—“Limbo Called Into Question.”

A Dearth of Investigative Reporting on the Abdication and the Conclave - and a very important Parable to enlighten our friends in the media

Christ-Mass - A Christmas Novena of Latin Masses
More of what's been lost with the dismantling of the Franciscans of the Immaculate

The following account from a former Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI) seminarian shows just how purposely destructive the intervention of the FI has been -- at the hands of Commissioner Volpi and approved by Pope Francis:

It was a win, win, win situation:

     1) People could give the gift of Christ to family and friends by enrolling them in a Novena of Latin Masses celebrated according to the 1962 Missal;

     2) Those enrolled received spiritual graces from the Masses, plus a Christmas novena card and a gift-wrapped CD of sacred music; and

3) The proceeds went to assist the contemplative branch of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the Sibillini Mountains in Italy… that is until Christmas of last year when their Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, expressly stopped the contemplative Friars both from offering the Masses for the Novena and from receiving the donations it brought in. This was a hard blow for the contemplative Friars who depended upon these donations to survive, isolated as they were from the populace [see the video below]. 

Bishops and Holy Justice

In our time, the level of insanity in the Church has become so great that people defend or downplay prelates who teach heterodox doctrine, fail to implement the laws and discipline of the Church, and refuse to preach the saving truths of Sacred Scripture. It is surprising how ignorant today’s believers are when it comes to the example of the great Catholic Fathers, Doctors, and eminent spiritual writers of the Church who often spoke clearly and strongly against corruption in the hierarchy. These holy men and women said what they said not only for their times but for our benefit, so that in every generation the Catholic faithful would cling to justice and not be led astray—regardless of who is preaching a false Gospel.

It begins, of course, with Saint Paul himself, who exhorts Saint Timothy to be a bishop who is never afraid to preach the whole truth of the Gospel:

I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry.  (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Of the almost countless examples one could choose from all the centuries of the Church, the most impassioned, luminous, and uncompromising are those of St. Catherine of Siena, whose engagement with a corrupt and cowardly ecclesiastical establishment in her day equipped her to be a prophet for our times:

Announcing a New Book on the Traditional Liturgy

We are happy to announce to readers of Rorate Caeli the publication of a new book, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church (Angelico Press, 2014; 224 pp. paperback), by our own contributor, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski.

For the record: In a Week of Papal Firsts,
"All of us will be up there together, all of us!"

Note: before some "apologists of the untenable" claim this must be a translation error, it is not, as you will see - we carefully checked it and retranslated it word by word from the Italian. What does it mean? We will not venture to say. We report it, for the record, you decide:

The Essential Book Suggestion: "The Liturgical Year"

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar
Full communion? Not yet, and not anytime soon. Why today's encounter was not a breakthrough.

(For the background to this article, please see Why Catholic-Orthodox reunion probably won't happen: Five recent statements from Patriarch Bartholomew, and a reminder from 2009.)

As scheduled, Pope Francis today attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Patriarch Bartholomew in honor of the Apostle Andrew, whom the Church of Constantinople claims as its founder. The Divine Liturgy was followed by speeches -- first that of the Patriarch, then of the Pope. Afterwards they signed a joint declaration; it is already their second joint declaration this year (the first one having been signed in May, in Jerusalem).

In the last several hours, some of the "usual suspects" have been running wild over one sentence in the Pope's speech. (We will also not be surprised if, in the coming days, some eminent prelates, theologians and Catholic 'talking heads' celebrate today's statements as "historic"; nowadays, ecumenical dialogue seems to need all the cheerleading it can get.) The following is the relevant portion of that speech:

Divinum Officium now with full Italian translations

Great news for this first day of the Liturgical Year.

The First Sunday in Advent: Forgetting the Divine Wormhole

    I knew that morning that I had forgotten something important. I had the idea that I misplaced something.  I checked my iPhone, my iPad, no, they were there, I who insisted that I would never have these devices, now wedded to them as if they contained my life.  My car keys, house keys, all there.  But there was this stubborn thought, this feeling that I had misplaced something important.  If I could remember what it was I needed to remember I could look for it.  But I have done this before: I have gone to the pantry to get something to add to what I was cooking and then forgot what it was I had to get.  But it always came back.