Rorate Caeli

May Month of Mary: II - "Mother," Our Lord says to the Blessed Virgin, "I can refuse you nothing."

Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la -Garde, Marseille

The Holy Virgin is often compared to a mother, but she is much better still than the best of mothers; for the best of mothers sometimes punishes her child when it displeases her, and even beats it: she thinks she is doing right. But the Holy Virgin does not so; she is so good that she treats us with love, and never punishes us.

The heart of this good Mother is all love and mercy; she desires only to see us happy. We have only to turn to her to be heard.

The Son has His justice, the Mother has nothing but her love.

God has loved us so much as to die for us; but in the heart of our Lord there is justice, which is an attribute of God; in that of the most Holy Virgin there is nothing but mercy. Her Son was ready to punish a sinner; Mary interposes, checks the sword, implores pardon for the poor criminal. "Mother," Our Lord says to her, "I can refuse you nothing. If hell could repent, you would obtain its pardon."

The most Holy Virgin places herself between her Son and us. The greater sinners we are, the more tenderness and compassion does she feel for us. The child that has cost its mother most tears is the dearest to her heart.

Saint John Mary Vianney

Online Latin courses beginning this June!

Suggested and highly recommended by friends of Rorate:

The Academy of Classical Languages is pleased to offer two Latin courses beginning this June, each at a different level:

An introductory course for beginners: “Latin Level 1,” meeting Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30pm CST, June 8 - July 1. We use the Natural Method of learning language with Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina books. Level 2 is scheduled to continue during the month of July, same days and times.

A more advanced course: “Readings in Classical Latin,” Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:15 - 2:15pm CST, June 10 - July 3. We use Hans Orberg’s second book, Roma Aeterna, which introduces the reader to come of the classics of antiquity. Other readings (liturgical, biblical) may be included, depending on interest among the participants. Texts are read and commented on in Latin, with a minimum of the vernacular used in class. If demand is sufficient, further sessions are scheduled.

The instructor for both classes is John Pepino, PhD.

Do take a look at their website for more details, testimonials, etc.:

Martin Mosebach: The Liturgy as a Window to Another World

Our friends at the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny recently sponsored a Solemn Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City which was followed by a talk on the liturgy by the celebrated German novelist and advocate for the Traditional Mass, Martin Mosebach.  This is a translation of a talk that Mosebach was asked to give by the Bishop of Limburg/Lahn on Ash Wednesday 2013.   

I know it will give great delight to our readers, not only because of its trenchant analysis of the liturgical situation in which we find ourselves, but also because of the beauty of his style, which, mirabile dictu, comes across in the excellent translation.

The Liturgy as a Window to another World (1)
Martin Mosebach

(Address Given at Holy Innocents Parish, New York, May 12, 2015)

When it became apparent in the early 1950s that television sets would soon be in many households, German bishops deliberated about whether it would be wise to allow or even promote television broadcasts of the Holy Mass. Indeed, people thought about such questions sixty years ago and they asked the great philosopher Josef Pieper for an expert opinion. In his opinion, Pieper rejected such television broadcasts on principle, saying they were irreconcilable with the nature of the Holy Mass. In its origins, the Holy Mass is a discipline of the arcane, a sacred celebration of mysteries by the christened. He mentioned the lowest level in the order of priests – done away with following the Second Vatican Council – the ostiary, or doorkeeper, who once had to ensure that the non-baptized and those temporarily excluded leave the church and move to the narthex following the liturgy of the Word. The Orthodox still do so in some places; the call of the deacon, “Guard the doors” is heard in every Orthodox liturgy before the Eucharist. While in Georgia I once experienced this demand, often merely a ceremony of a recollected past, being taken literally. A monk approached me, fell to his knees and apologetically asked me to leave the church since I, as a Roman Catholic, was not in full agreement with the Orthodox Church. I gladly acquiesced as I think not everyone has to be permitted everywhere all the time. Sacred places and holy acts are first declared quite plainly by the drawing of boundaries and such boundaries must somehow be visible and palpable. Still, anyone who has not given any thought to the dubiousness of filming the Mass has perhaps on occasion felt uncomfortably moved when they saw believers receiving communion on television or as the camera rested on the face of a celebrant chewing the host. Are such feelings truly only atavistic, produced by ancient magical fears? Other cultures are also acquainted with an aversion to photography. It is as if it would disturb a spiritual sphere.

Event: TLM on Pentecost in Harvard Square

This Sunday, for the Feast of Pentecost, there will be a traditional Latin Mass celebrated at St. Paul's Church in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The renowned St. Paul's Choir School will be singing the music.

SYNOD BATTLES: Blackmail, Veiled Schism Threats, the Kasperization of the German Church, and the Destruction of Marriage - Document and Analysis


Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (Central Committee of the German Catholics)
Saturday, May 9, 2015
To Build Bridges between Teaching and the Reality of Life – Family and Church in the World of Today

Plenary Assembly on May 8 and 9, 2015 in Würzburg [Germany]
Declaration of the Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (Central Committee of the German Catholics) in preparation for the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican [October] 2015

 The Central Committee of the German Catholics (ZdK) [Rorate note: the oldest, main and most influential group of German Catholics, founded under a different name in 1848 and responsible for the famous Katholikentage, Catholic Days] welcomes the call of Pope Francis to all the faithful to make a statement about the situation of the family in the Church and in the world of today. The world-wide reactions to this call will have to be put together during the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the fall of 2015. The ZdK is aware of the universal Church's understanding of the context for the discussion of the topic and pays special attention to its own regional considerations.


With the following four central messages, the ZdK would like to make a contribution to the debate, in light of the preparation of the consultations for the XIV General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops; it would thus like to invite a discussion about its following statements and to seek allies for the upcoming challenges.

1)      We regard the sacramental marriage as the model for a life-long bond as a promise for a successful life with the help of God. We confess this to be the model of life and we encourage couples to make such a marital promise and to found a family. At the same time, we respect other forms of cohabitation in which important values are realized: reliable responsibility for one another; fidelity in that relationship; and a commitment to walk together the path [sic].

2)      As a church in the world, the ZdK works in a special way for a strengthening and for a promotion of marriage and the family in our society and in the state. By family, we mean also the different non-marital forms of reliably lived partnerships and of generational responsibility which make a large contribution to the societal solidarity and which ought to be treated justly.

3)      The Church's teaching has to be further developed with the help of a dialogue with the faithful, and with an attentiveness to their respective life realities. As a church which is attentive to men, their sorrows and hopes, we are called to engage with confidence the given society of today with all its manifold, socially accepted forms of living, and to become ourselves bridge-builders between practice and teaching.

4)      In our church [in Germany], we support a strong pastoral care for marriage and the family, which needs, locally, a convincing personal offer [of specific and special care], also in changing pastoral structures.

In detail, this means that:

In other forms of communal living, as well, there are to be found values which signify a marriage as a covenant between God and men: an unbreakable [sic] “yes” to the other person, the constant readiness to reconcile, as well as the perspective upon a fruitful relationship in exchanging the gifts of different persons.
These forms of living and family [also] have to be honored, even if they are not to be found in the form of the sacramental marriage. We think here of enduring partnerships [cohabitation], civil marriages, as well as civilly registered partnerships [i.e., homosexual unions].

Corrispondenza Romana: One way or the other, Volpi no longer in charge

Corrispondenza Romana
Roberto de Mattei
May 17, 2015

After the article we published on May 15th 2015 as to the end “of the Volpi era”, a bulletin signed by “Father Fidenzio” appeared on the Franciscans of the Immaculate’s site, wherein the Commissioner acknowledges that he was taken ill on April 29th, of “having started” his convalescence, and of being “on the point of” resuming normal work activity: which doesn’t explain how he was able to re-engage, as he says “in the full exercise of his governing tasks.”  Respect for Father Volpi’s privacy stops us from giving further information about the actual conditions of his health. 

Good times for dissident Dominicans:
Über-liberal Timothy Radcliffe appointed by Pope Francis as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

The Vatican Bollettino for today reports that Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP, has been appointed by Pope Francis as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The former Master General of the Dominican Order is a prominent supporter of the Kasperite proposal in favor of communion for the "divorced and remarried". He has also spoken out in favor of the ordination of women, if not to the priesthood, then at least to the diaconate (see this.) However he is more famous for his frequent public interventions pushing for greater acceptance of homosexuality, having been a frequent celebrant of the infamous "gay Masses" in Soho, London. Rorate has noted his blatant support for homosexuality a couple of times (see this and this - scroll to the bottom of each post).

Synod Battles: "The Swiss Church was manipulated by the Liberal Lay Employees of the Bishops' Conference"

Communiqué of the Francis of Sales Association of Journalists, Switzerland

Swiss Church Is Being Manipulated By [Liberal] Lay Employees [of the Conference of Bishops]
Defective Preparation for the Upcoming Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

According to well-informed circles close to the Swiss Bishops, those Pastoral Assistants, Catechists, Lay Theologians and some others who have evaluated a [recent Swiss] poll on behalf of the upcoming Synod of Bishops (Part II in October of 2015 in Rome) have done so according to their own tendentious inclinations.

Rite of Canonization 2015: partial restoration of Litany of Saints

The Rite of Canonization introduced last year will be used again on Sunday, the 17th of May for the canonization of the Beatae Émilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854), Maria Cristina (Brando) of the Immaculate Conception (1856-1906), Mariam Baouardy of Jesus Crucified (1846-1878) and Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (1843-1927).

"The Franciscans of the Immaculate: 'the Volpi era' is over."

Corrispondenza Romana
Roberto de Mattei
May 13, 2015

Sic transit gloria mundi. For the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the Institute founded by Father Stefano Maria Manelli, ( externally commissioned on 11th July 2013) the “era of Volpi” , which will certainly be remembered as one of the saddest in the history of this religious order, is over. Father Fidenzio Volpi, assigned by the Congregation for Religious as Apostolic Commissioner to liquidate Father Manelli’s order, is in fact in a Roman clinic, after suffering a cerebral ischemia, followed by a hemiparesis, which has seriously compromised his health, forcing him to renounce, irrevocably, his appointment as Commissioner.

Tagle is the new President of Caritas International:
And the "pre-Conclave atmosphere" heats up...

As already predicted by some Catholic and secular news agencies in the preceding weeks, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, was elected yesterday as the new President of Caritas International. He succeeds Oscar Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is stepping down after serving two terms. Tagle himself was not in Rome yesterday; John Allen notes that he was in Chicago receiving an honorary doctorate from the Catholic Theological Union, one of the Americas' most liberal theological institutes.

Some had raised the possibility that Cardinal Tagle would run unopposed, with the only other candidate standing down. However this did not happen: the other candidate (Maronite Archbishop Joseph Soueif) remained in the race. Catholic News Agency further notes that there was  a very real difference in emphasis between the programs offered by either prelate:

You Suggest: Novena of Masses supporting Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

A reader sent us the following. We urge any assistance possible to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles -- a special group of nuns close to our hearts:  
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles are running a Novena of Latin Masses in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus which will be ​
​offered at their Priory. Here is what they have posted on their website:

A Sacred Heart 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 Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 12th and will conclude on June 20th.

The suggested donation is $15 for each enrollment which includes an enrollment card sent to each family (or person) enrolled. 
The link for enrolling in the Novena is HERE. 
Besides the spiritual benefits coming from such a Novena, the community of 25 Nuns (with a median age of 28!) would greatly appreciate a generous participation as the proceeds will help them expand their Priory to accommodate the many young Postulants who are entering this year.​

Fontgombault Sermon - Ascension: Rather than gaze into the sky, let us convert our hearts and follow the Martyrs of today


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, May 14, 2015)

Postquam locutus est eis, assumptus est in cælum.
After He had spoken to them, He was taken up into Heaven. (Mk 16:19)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Is the feast of the Ascension a new Good Friday? At the ninth hour, when He was nailed and lifted up on the Cross, Christ cried out with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit.

FATIMA: the prophecy of a crisis and the promise of an eagerly awaited triumph

Bl. Jacinta Marto
Francesca Bonadonna
Famiglia Domani
May 22, 2014
Almost a century has passed since the great Fatima event when Our Lady, messenger of God, appeared to the three little shepherds to give an immensely important message and to offer Her maternal intercession for a humanity afflicted by sin - a humanity, more narcotized than ever by creeping secularization, Most Holy Mary is the Queen of the eagerly awaited kingdom, foreseen according to Her promise and unforeseen according to its time and modality; the hope of a new millennium for the children of Light i.e. the militant forces of the People of God moved by the Holy Ghost amid the breakers of unrest and disorder but heading towards the safe harbor described in St. John Bosco’s dream, which points to the two pillars of salvation: the Holy Eucharist and the Virgin Mary.

The Father of Liberation Theology's full rehabilitation:
A perfect example of ecclesiastical amnesia at work

The stages of Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez's rehabilitation and ascent to favor have been well-documented on this blog and elsewhere, beginning with the appointment of Gerhard Cardinal Müller as Prefect of the CDF in 2012, and accelerating with the election in 2013 of Pope Francis, who received Gutierrez in private audience later that year. In February 2014, he was present in the Vatican for the launch of Cardinal Müller's book Poor for the Poor: The Mission of the Church; two of the book's chapters were written by Gutierrez, and the preface was written by ... Pope Francis. 

Today, Fr. Gutierrez -- without any clerical collar or insignia, let alone any sign of his Dominican habit -- was the star speaker at the Vatican press conference for the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, alongside Caritas' outgoing President and the Coordinator of the C9, Oscar Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga. Praising the "change in atmosphere" in the Vatican,  Gutierrez also stressed that the Vatican had never condemned his work, commenting that he was not being "rehabilitated" because he never needed it in the first place. 

In reality the lack of a condemnation does not mean anything; the postconciliar Vatican's desire to punish dissident theologians has always been greatly exaggerated. A very long list can be compiled of glaringly dissident and prominent "theologians" who massively wreaked havoc in Catholic institutions during the past 35 years without getting so much as a "bad book review" from the CDF. 

There could be also other reasons for the lack of a condemnation: foot-dragging by the relevant episcopal authorities, for instance...

Cardinal Pell’s Letter of Support for the Roman Forum

Cardinal Pell recently sent the following letter of support for the Roman Forum, which will be taking place in Gardone from June 29th to July 10th this year. Note the Cardinal’s emphasis on the importance of tradition in responding to signs of our times.

The Bergoglio Pontificate: “One Does Not Get Fully Rid of the Impression of Chaos” and “Autocracy” (Interview with Robert Spaemann)

The Philosophers Robert Spaemann and Hans Joas on the New Pontificate
“One Does Not Get Fully Rid of the Impression of Chaos”

[The following is not a full translation, but the main excerpts of the interview.]

Robert Spaemann and Hans Joas represent a kind of intellectual polarity in the current assessment of Pope [Francis] and the Church. In spite of the contrasts between these two philosophers, there are also some striking parallels. Spaemann and Joas both personally profess the Faith and Church and they have dealt with these questions professionally. Volker Resing [Editor-in-Chief of Herder Korrespondenz] moderated the interview.

Question: Pope Francis has been in office for two years now, . Again and again, he has surprised many people. He has raised hopes among some, but others are rather skeptical. How do you assess the phenomenon of Francis?

Robert Spaemann: My perception is ambivalent. Sometimes, I am thrilled by what he says. Sometimes, I only can shake my head. He does not fit into any of the clichés which one has ready to use here among us. His piety is very traditional. He speaks much about the Holy Family, he warns again and again against the devil – and this in a very concrete manner. We have not heard anything the like in many years. He says for example: “If you have chased away the devil, be attentive, he comes back and first looks very innocent.” He speaks like a Latin-American bishop who is fully rooted in the piety of his people. On the other side, in my view, his cult of spontaneity is not helping. In the Vatican, some people are already sighing: 'Today, he has already again another different idea from yesterday.' One does not fully get rid of the impression of chaos. And it is irritating how he prepares the Synod. It is the intention that two parties meet at the synod which the Pope wants to to lead into a dialogue whereby he himself plays the role of a moderator. At the same time, however, he takes sides already in advance by favoring the position of Cardinal Walter Kasper, he has excluded the Institute John Paul II for Studies on the Family from the pre-Synod consultations and tries with the help of explicit pressure to influence those consultations.

Question: How do you see the situation with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI?

Guest-note: Did one of the main Vatican II documents distort the Words of Our Lord in the Gospel?

by Dr. John Lamont

Those who wish to apply a 'hermeneutic of continuity' to Vatican II, or who deny that there can be any opposition or rupture between the documents of that council and Catholic tradition, or who claim that the assertion that the authentic teachings of Vatican II formally contradict the tradition of the Church is false, might consider the following passage from the council's pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes:

You Suggest: new SSPX U.S. seminary update and request

A reader passed this along:

While other seminaries are for the most part being shut down or consolidated, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X in the United States has a different kind of problem on its hands. They have outgrown their past two seminary buildings.

March for Life in Rome: May 10

Corrispondenza Romana
Summary of article by Mauro Faverzani

 All is set to go: a great response from adherents and good media coverage

Everything is set to go. In a few hours time the Fifth National March for Life will begin. Also this year the organizers were able to arrange everything necessary in terms of logistics and services for the tens of thousands expected to arrive in Rome from all over Italy and the world.

Father Felice Cappello, an example for Traditional Catholics

The dangers that we must avoid are basically two: on the one hand, modernism and spiritual slackening, on the other, rigourism, rigidity, bitterness and excessive severity.  This is why Father Felice Cappello (1879-1962) could become a model to imitate for traditional militants(both the consecrated and the faithful). This ardent follower of St. Ignatius of Loyola was one of the most sought after confessors in Rome. He was not a “lax” priest but attracted droves of penitents with his sweetness, affability, courtesy and goodness (like St. Francis of Sales and St. Leopoldo Mandic). Father Felice Maria Cappello was also very learned, as he knew how to resolve efficaciously the most tangled up moral situations, imparting serenity to the consciences of his penitents. He always made the effort to be a “just” confessor, but never severe. The following are some thoughts from his writings:

In your counsels and decisions never use severity: Our Lord doesn’t want it.  Be just always, never severe. Always give the solution that allows souls to breath. Never tire in insisting about trust. Be persuaded that above all, souls need to be encouraged and believe increasingly in God’s love, which is immense.” 

You Suggest: New summer school in London - pursuing wisdom through learning

The following report is from a reader: 

Benedictus is a new Liberal Arts initiative in London, England. This project runs a two-week programme during the month of August.

This Summer there will be an amazing opportunity to explore Christian civilization and the great search for truth of which Catholics are the heirs. During the two weeks of the Summer School the group will participate in the continuing conversation of Christendom -- a living dialogue with its greatest thinkers, writers and artists.

The Benedictus Summer School is rooted in the classical and Catholic intellectual tradition, and its principles centre on the development of the whole person, through the joyful pursuit of wisdom.

The Summer School will take place in London from Sunday 2nd August - Friday 14th August 2015, and is open to those aged 18-25.

Click here to visit the Benedictus website to learn more about the Summer School. To watch a quick video, see below:

Full text: German Bishops' Conference explains change in labor laws allowing for employment of homosexuals in "civil unions"

"Hi ! We're from the German Bishops' Conference and we're here to help !"

This is the original press release of the German Bishops Conference (Deutsche Bischofskonferenz), published on May 5, 2015, explaining why the bishops of Germany have chosen to change their labor rules allowing for the almost unlimited employment and the end of the possibility of dismissal of persons who enter into permanent "relationships" that violate the doctrine on Marriage established by Our Lord Jesus Christ , including (and especially, as the legalese below makes clear between the lines), same-sex civil "unions" (known as "registered life partnerships" in German law) -- just one more step in the German "Progressives" war machine effort to force the Synod to accept immorality as a fait accompli.

Press Release
5 May 2015

Revision of the Church's Labor Law
Bishops Pass an Amendment to the “Constitution of the Ecclesial Service within the Frame of the Church's Labor Conditions”

On April 27, 2015, the Plenary Assembly of the Association of the German Dioceses (VDD) passed a revision of the “Constitution of the ecclesial service within the Frame of the Church's Labor Conditions” (Constitution – Const). During the recent years, this current decision was prepared for by an episcopal working group and already discussed several times by the bishops themselves. The amendment concerns the collective, as well as the individual, Labor Law:

May 12: Solemn Mass and Conferences with Martin Mosebach and Luc Perrin in Holy Innocents, NYC. Free Admission.

On Tuesday evening, May 12, at Holy Innocents Church in New York City, the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny will sponsor a Solemn Mass followed by lectures from two leading European Catholic intellectuals.

Events: Mass in San Francisco (May 16); Solemn Mass in Jersey City (May 23)

1. May 16, San Francisco:

A Mass in the Extraordinary Form that will be celebrated in San Francisco as a part of the Archbishop Cordileone Support Day Family Picnic activities on Saturday, May 16. The Mass will be celebrated in the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, which is in the heart of North Beach at 610 Vallejo Street (at Columbus Avenue), not far from the picnic site at Washington Street and the Embarcadero. The Mass will begin at 9:30 AM.

2. May 23, Jersey City, NJ:

Priests: souls are crying out for your help

Fr. Brad Sweet says Mass for the Souls. Find Fr Sweet on Twitter, @bradbradsweet

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. And, please remember our new policy change, that the names of Souls you enroll will no longer be made public. We now have 54 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the souls.

Today we share a couple of pictures of Fr. Brad Sweet, PhD, of the Canadian Diocese of Charlottetown (and formerly ICEL) saying Mass for the Souls enrolled in the Society. You can find Fr. Sweet at his "Twitter parish" by following @bradbradsweet

Highlights of the German Bishops' Official Documents for the "Family Synod"

Rome, Open City - and German niceties
Yes, as part of their ongoing propaganda effort, the German Episcopal Conference (yes, Germany, the nation of almost non-existent priestly confession) has released their working documents for the October Synod on the Family in German, French, Italian -- and, obviously, in Spanish and English, since what they want is to influence proceedings and change views as soon as possible.

Which spares all of us the embarrassment of having to translate texts such as those below:

Queen of May
- I- Mary, the foundation, the noblest after Christ

Giovanni Gabrieli
Sancta et Immaculata Virginitas
quibus te laudibus efferam, nescio:
quia, quem caeli capere non poterant,
tuo gremio contulisti.
Genuisti qui te fecit,
et in aeternum permanes Virgo.
[C]an anyone fail to see that there is no surer or more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ and obtaining through Him the perfect adoption of sons, that we may be holy and immaculate in the sight of God? For if to Mary it was truly said: "Blessed art thou who hast believed because in thee shall be fulfilled the things that have been told thee by the Lord" (Luke i., 45); or in other words, that she would conceive and bring forth the Son of God and if she did receive in her breast Him who is by nature Truth itself in order that "He, generated in a new order and with a new nativity, though invisible in Himself, might become visible in our flesh" (St. Leo the Great, Ser. 2, De Nativ. Dom.): the Son of God made man, being the "author and consummator of our faith"; it surely follows that His Mother most holy should be recognized as participating in the divine mysteries and as being in a manner the guardian of them, and that upon her as upon a foundation, the noblest after Christ, rises the edifice of the faith of all centuries.

Antonio Socci: "Dear Pope Francis, we adore God, not men"

Dear Pope Francis, we adore God, not men
Antonio Socci
April 28, 2015
In a message today, Pope Bergoglio said precisely the following:

“How much I would like us to kneel in veneration before the poor in church.”

Appeal for statistics on the EF and OF near you

A traditional Missa Cantata on a Sunday at St Bede's, Clapham Park
I'm appealing for help from all over the world: if you have the chance to observe the congregations attending the Traditional Mass and the Novus Ordo, in the same or comparable churches on the same or comparable days, to count them and how they are made up and let me know, as an informal empirical study of the phenomenon of both the proportions of men and women, and of the presence of children at Masses in the two Forms.

Please send your observations to with the Subject line 'Statistics'.

To illustrate what I want, here is my own report for this project.

In SS Gregory and Augustine's Church, Oxford, England, the 9:30am OF Mass on Sunday 19th April was attended (including clergy, servers, and singers) by 74 people: of whom 22 were male, and 11 under 17. 

The 12 noon EF Mass in the same church on the same day was attended by 39 people, of whom 21 were male, and 12 under 17.

Fontgombault Sermon - "The Lord's hidden life in the workshop of Saint Joseph"

At today's Mass, a novice pronounced his first vows at the Abbey of Our Lady of Fontgombault, which is why the Abbot deals with both the Feast and aspects of monastic life.

Working monks - Fontfroide Abbey

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, May 1st, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,
and most especially you, who are going to take your religious vows,

On this first day in the month of May, the month of Mary, under the Patronage of St. Joseph the Worker, you are going to consecrate your life to the Lord, as you wish to become ever more son in the Son.

In two verses in a row, today’s Gospel mentions a double fatherhood for Christ. The Heavenly Father’s voice is heard to assert: “Thou art my beloved Son”; whereas for people He was the son of Joseph. This double fatherhood, which is recalled when Jesus begins His public life, reminds us also of the episode of the finding in the Temple. St. Joseph and Mary desperately seek their child, and they eventually find Him in the Temple among the doctors. Mary cries out: “Behold! Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.” (Lk 2:48)

Jesus’ answer, the very first words from His mouth that the Holy Writ tells us of, bears witness that to Him there is another fatherhood, that of His Father in Heaven: “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Lk 2:49)

Would there not be in this answer, whereas Jesus is barely twelve year old, the seeds of a conflict between the foster father, St. Joseph, who by virtue of his responsibility is entitled to claim authority upon the Holy Family, and the Heavenly Father, “my Father”, Whose will Jesus has come to do? Let us ponder on these years of hidden life, and especially on those years that begin with the finding of Jesus in the Temple, and will end up with the beginning of the public life.

Irish priest: God supports same-sex "marriage"

On May 22, the people of Ireland will vote on whether to legalize so-called same-sex "marriage." And one priest is supporting this effort -- even writing that God "rejoices" when two people of the same sex show "faithfulness to each other."
The deep and obviously extreme problems with the Redemptorists of Limerick have been chronicled for years here at Rorate (see here, here and here). Puppet Masses, priests in drag and homosexuals preaching from the pulpit is not a rarity. 

Now, a Redemptorist priest is supporting the May 22 referendum -- and very publicly. 

Cardinal Burke in Germany: The Lion in the Wilderness

On April 25th, the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, H.E. Raymond Cardinal Burke celebrated Pontifical Mass at the Throne in Frankfurt-Schwanheim, Germany. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the association Pro Missa Tridentina. In his sermon Cardinal Burke Spoke of the lion in the vision of St. Ezechiel, the symbol of St. Mark. St. Mark is associated with the lion, Cardinal Burke said, because he begins his Gospel with the prophecy of St. John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness, like a roaring lion. The lion’s courage of John the Baptist foreshadows the courage with which Our Lord Himself proclaims the Gospel, and calls all men to an unconditional conversion.

When one looks at the corruption and confusion and opposition to the most basic principles of the natural law which the devil has sown in the world, and even within the Church herself, Cardinal Burke continued, it is easy to become discouraged and lose heart. But St. Mark teaches us to take courage, and oppose evil the courage of the lion, knowing that the Lord Himself is with us. Our very suffering in this time should fill us with joy that we can “fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ.




Jesus, Lily of the Valleys
Mary, Queen of May
Joseph, Patron of Laborers

Orate pro nobis!


Cantigas de Santa Maria - X : Rosa das Rosas (Rose of Roses)
Alfonso X, the Wise

God the Father wishes Mary to be the mother of his children until the end of time and so he says to her, "Dwell in Jacob", that is to say, take up your abode permanently in my children, in my holy ones represented by Jacob, and not in the children of the devil and sinners represented by Esau.

Just as in natural and bodily generation there is a father and a mother, so in the supernatural and spiritual generation there is a father who is God and a mother who is Mary. All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for their mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father. This is why the reprobate, such as heretics and schismatics, who hate, despise or ignore the Blessed Virgin, do not have God for their father though they arrogantly claim they have, because they do not have Mary for their mother. Indeed if they had her for their mother they would love and honor her as good and true children naturally love and honor the mother who gave them life.

An infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God's true friends is that the heretic and the hardened sinner show nothing but contempt and indifference for Our Lady. He endeavors by word and example, openly or insidiously - sometimes under specious pretexts - to belittle the love and veneration shown to her. God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them because they are, alas, other Esaus.
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
Treatise on True Devotion

The Society of Saint Pius X recognized in Argentina: what does it mean? Much more than you may think! A guest-piece by Don Pio Pace

We are very honored to post this new article by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.

The Society of Saint Pius X recognized in Argentina: what does it mean? 
Much more than you may think!

Father Pio Pace

By way of a decision of March 13, 2015, of the Secretariat of Worship of Argentina, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX / FSSPX) was recognized in that country as a legal person, as an association of the Catholic Church "according to what is established" by Canon Law, and was registered in the Registry of Institutes of Consecrated Life. It should be known that the concordat links between Church and State in Argentina are very strong. The State grants all sorts of advantages to worship activities, so long as the organizations providing them as registered by it, either as Catholic or as non-Catholic, but nevertheless belonging to a recognized confession. This presupposes an administrative recognition, without which they are illegal and may be dissolved: in order to be legal, and juridically able to sign contracts, have assets, plead in courts, etc, they must be registered in the appropriate Registry.

Buenos Aires? Ecclesia Dei? Mauritius bishop has different take on SSPX

Bishop Maurice E. Piat

From the website of the Diocese of Port-Louis in Mauritius:

Event: TLM celebrations for the Holy Shroud

From the Associazione Cardinal Saldarini: 

Following our appeal made in January, the "Associazione Cardinal Saldarini" of Turin received communications about more than 25 masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite that will be held by various traditional groups (including ICRSP, FSSP, and a pilgrimage of the London Oratory led by Fr. Uwe Lang) in different locations in Turin for the exposition of the Holy Shroud (April 19 - June 25, 2015).

Among many celebrations, a particular mention should be made for the Pontifical Low Mass that will be celebrated in the church of the Arciconfraternita della Misericordia in Turin by Mgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the "Ecclesia Dei" Commission, on May 3, 2015, with the musical assistance of the Schola Sainte-Cécile of Paris. The Schola Sainte-Cécile will also celebrate in the same church sung Masses during their pilgrimage to the Shroud, from April 30 to May 2, with a musical program including Missa Exultate Deo of Cosset, Missa Regia of Dumont, Missa Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam of Campra and Hassler's Missa Secunda.

"Francis Effect"? - Catholic moral influence collapses in Italy as parliament approves "Quick Divorce"

1970: Communist daily Avanti celebrates the approval of divorce in Italy

The "opening up" of the Church following the Second Vatican Council had terrible consequences for the influence of Catholic moral doctrine in Italian legislation -- the most astouding examples being the legalization of divorce and of abortion under Paul VI. John Paul II had as one of his most difficult tasks that of rebuilding Catholic presence in Italian political life, which he gradually did, with the great help of Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Ruini, Vicar of Rome and influential president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), despite the intellectual sabotage of men such as the Jesuit archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Martini.

The symbol of this new rise of Catholic influence in Italian legislation was the 2005 referendum on fertility laws, in which the right and moral Catholic view prevailed, with the support of Pope Benedict XVI.

Now, the united Catholic front painstakingly formed under the Wojtyla and Ratzinger pontificates has just collapsed like a house of cards, and attacks on morality are advancing with virtually no opposition in the Italian Parliament. Could this be what is usually meant by "Francis Effect"? Sandro Magister explains it in his Italian-only blog regarding the new Express-Divorce Law -- with the help of professors of Catholic universities themselves!

Catholics and quick divorce
Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo
April 27, 2015

Greeted enthusiastically by the chorus from the mass-media, quick divorce shows itself to be a pitiless test and perhaps a definitive end of what was considered for years “the Italian exception”: i.e. this country’s ability through political Catholicism in the public forum, to go effectively against the mainstream on the key issues of life and family.

“Avvenire” the Italian Episcopal Conference’s daily newspaper, with its editorial, commenting on the law in words of unequivocal condemnation, carried the headlines “Quick divorce, an uncivilized goal. A devastating, anti-family slippery-slope”. Yet, this “wingding” in the secular news-media was indexed as “the wrath of Catholics” and immediately dismissed.

Indeed, the numbers of the votes that approved the law are eloquent in themselves: 398 voted yes, 28 voted no and there were 6 abstainers. This, in a parliament crammed with Catholics; in a government where numerous ministers and the Prime Minster are Catholics and the proposer of the new law, Alessia Morani, a lawyer specializing in marriage law, defining herself as a “mature, democratic Catholic.”

Sermon for the Third Sunday after Easter: Seeing, believing and not believing

The gospels of Eastertide all deal with faith, specifically Easter faith, but also faith in God and what that means and what it looks like.  Once again we make reference to the uniqueness of the post- Resurrection appearances of Christ, and their startling nature and the understanding on the part of each of the Gospel writers that words just cannot convey what happened, what the disciples saw.  It is as if words cannot bridge the reality of the resurrected Jesus.  And part of these appearances include Jesus’ upbraiding his disciples for their lack of faith, for their initial refusal to see what is really there:  “I am no ghost.  Look at my hands and my side.”  From Matthew’s Gospel: “But later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief.”  And from Luke on the road to Emmaus: “ Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe..!”

This has to make us ponder, this has to make us ask the question:  what is faith in the resurrected Christ, and how does one get to the point of faith in Him?  And going further with this question, we surely come to the question of belief in God, what is its nature, what does it involve with regard to the individual person.  We know the old adage: seeing is believing.  Well, obviously the disciples and Mary Magdalene did not equate seeing with believing, at least in the synoptic Gospels.  But that is why these appearances of the risen Lord seem so odd to us, a bit, forgive the term, sketchy, not clear, something that leaves us wanting something more.  We could say that the disciples were not that smart and so they had a hard time getting things.  But this is not a matter of intelligence. This is a matter of seeing and not believing.  And that doubt persists right up to the Ascension:  at the end of Matthew’s Gospel we read:  “When they saw him they worshiped him but they doubted."

We see the answer to these quasi-paradoxical statements and events when we remember John’s words when Peter and John on Easter morning look into the empty tomb:  “He saw and he believed.”  So is this a positive case of seeing and believing as opposed to the negative cases we alluded to earlier?  No.  Because they did not see the risen Lord in that tomb.  They saw the burial shroud neatly folded and placed on the stone, and they saw the tomb empty and no body.  They saw and they believed.  And here we have the essence of faith in the risen Lord. It cannot depend on appearances and visions. For if that were true, we could not believe.  Faith in Christ is not the result of a special communication, or a special spiritual event in one’s live.  Faith is believing in things visible and invisible as the Creed says.  Faith is a decision to believe, after one has considered the evidence that is there.

The German Catholic Collapse: The Priests confess once a year, if at all -- what about the Lay Faithful?

The Priests confess once a year. And the faithful?...

Saint Adelaide Catholic Church in Geldern, North Rhine-Westphalia,
Diocese of Münster - demolished in 2008 to give way to a senior center
Lorenzo Bertocchi
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana
April 24, 2015

The German laity confirm their desire for evolution in the Church: according to a document made available on the Episcopal Conference site, the answers to the questionnaire between the Synods show that the Catholics of Germany are expecting major openings from the Synod on the Family. Mainly on the thorniest issues: “they are asking for the admittance of the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist, a “development” of moral doctrine for the pastoral acceptance of homosexual people and a form of “church blessing for second civil-marriages.”

Are these requests an expression of serious discernment or, do they show a watered-down, Catholicism, about-to-be-defeated? It is a legitimate question, especially in the light of what is emerging from another survey reported last Thursday. Again on the Episcopal Conference site, there was data as well, on the results of another analysis conducted on 8,000 “pastoral workers” from all over Germany. The examples, made up of 48% of the priests, 22% of “expert parish-collaborators”, 18% of “pastoral assistants” and 12% of deacons, had to give information on the satisfaction-level regarding their life and “work.” The survey, directed by some academics from important study centers, obtained results that perhaps help us to interpret the answers to the Synod questionnaire.

It's coming! The 33rd Pentecost Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage

Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, the organizers of the Chartres Pilgrimage, the largest Traditional Catholic event of the year, have just released the names of the celebrants of the main collective events this year:

The TLM and Africa

Today I am publishing the latest FIUV Position Paper, on the Traditional Mass in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am particularly grateful to our African contacts for help in preparing this paper.

Catholics of the older generation often tell me that at the time of the introduction of the reformed liturgy, it was frequently justified as being necessary for 'the missions'. This paper points to a number of difficulties with the idea that the reformed liturgy is particularly suited to Africa.

I will mention just one in this brief introduction: the implementation of a vernacular liturgy in Africa has presented the Church with peculiarly difficult challenges, because of the vast number of languages found in Africa, and the peculiarly limited resources, of money and numbers of clergy, to address these challenges. One can fairly say that, as far as many Africans are concerned, the project has been a failure in its own terms: vast numbers of African Catholics do not have access to a liturgy in their mother tongue. If that was what the Reform was all about, it simply hasn't taken place.

I have addressed another aspect of the situation, the problem of inculturation, on my own blog here.

This paper can be downloaded as a pdf here; the whole series can be seen herethe series (not including this one) are published in hard copy: click on the button.Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


The Extraordinary Form and Sub-Saharan Africa

   The post-Conciliar Papal Magisterium[1] identify a number of challenges facing the rapidly growing Church in Africa. On the one hand, Africa’s traditional religions, culture, and tribal social structure pose both opportunities and challenges to the evangelising Church and to social stability and development. On the other hand, the rapid economic development, urbanisation, and exposure to Western culture also create challenges for the Church, as well as opportunities for Africans seeking to escape poverty.

Traditional African culture

An important theme is the importance of traditional African culture, including religious culture. Pope St John Paul II expressed this powerfully when he acknowledged, in his 1995 Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa, that
these [sc. traditional] religions are the living expression of the soul of vast groups of people.[2]
In relation to the influence of Western culture, which is frequently corrosive of any kind of spirituality, he continued by urging Africans:
look inside yourselves. Look to the riches of your own traditions; look to the faith which we are celebrating in this assembly.[3]