Rorate Caeli

Abbot of Monastery that switched to Traditional Mass: "With old Mass, the Priest become more Priest, and the monk more monk."

Pontifical Mass at Mariawald (source)

In 2008, the sole Trappist Monastery in Germany, the Abbey of Mariawald, became the first (and, so far, the only) Trappist monastery to completely return to the pre-Conciliar liturgical books since the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. It was one of the few houses in the world to make use of what is stated at Art. 3 of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (allowing for whole religious houses to become exclusively traditional), and this only after, it was repeatedly reported then, the personal intervention of Pope Benedict XVI.

A couple of years ago, Father Abbot Dom Josef Vollberg granted an admirable interview to German Catholic paper Tagespost, and it had never been translated. The Rorate translation follows:

Die Tagespost
May 23, 2013

Most Reverend Father Abbot, four years ago, you changed your abbey over to the Extraordinary Form. What changes did this bring to your monastery?

We were able to celebrate the first Solemn Mass in the classical Roman Rite here in Mariawald, in January 2009. And then, one month later, we began to celebrate Conventual Mass in the Extraordinary Form. At first, not all the Brethren welcomed this change. But in the meantime, the situation has somewhat improved. Of course, as a Priest, one had to learn how to celebrate the Rite, which was demanding and far from easy. An also, one had to refamiliarize oneself with Latin. Little by little, we completed the change. The second step was to sing the office of Terce in the traditional form, on Sundays, before Holy Mass. In this way we were able to establish liturgical unity. And then, we gradually changed over the Little Hours, Sext, None and Compline. Later, we did the same with Vespers and Laudes. And then, finally, from 2009 to 2010 we did the same with Vigils. This meant giving ourselves wholly to this Liturgy, with its more intensive theocentric character, which suites our contemplative vocation in a special way.

What Kind of spiritual development have you noticed since then? What has been the effect of this change to the Extraordinary Form on your Community?

"Straw" subdeacon PCED letter

One of the challenges concerning the traditional Latin Mass in modern times is how to reconcile 1962 rubrics and disciplines with current law.  Often times it can be like fitting a square peg into a round hole, but #28 of the instruction Universae Ecclesiae establishes a general principle:  "Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962."

The role of subdeacon at a Missa Solemnis is certainly to be included in the short list of frequently asked questions by priests and organizers of Solemn High Masses.

Who can serve as subdeacon without the ritual differences required of a "straw" subdeacon?  That is an easy one -- priests, deacons and subdeacons.

Who can serve as a "straw" subdeacon?  That is a more difficult question, although it has been addressed by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) on several occasions.  The answer seems to be: 1) most seminarians; and 2) instituted acolytes (the rare case of a bishop instituting a non-seminarian layman as an acolyte).  The differences between an ordained subdeacon and a "straw" subdeacon are that the "straw" subdeacon does not wear the maniple; he does not pour the water into the chalice at the offertory, but must let the deacon do so; he must not touch the chalice infra actionem, nor cover it with the pall, nor uncover it; and after the communion he does not purify the chalice, as the celebrant must purify it, after which the "straw" subdeacon covers it with the veil and burse and carries it to the side table.

The seminarian answer was clarified in November 2012 to include any (diocesan or otherwise) seminarian who wears clerical clothing (basically, the equivalent of a tonsured seminarian).  See here for that letter.

A month after that question was answered, a follow-up to PCED was made on the issue of laymen who are not seminarians.  In a letter, the exact question was:  "May a layman who is not a seminarian serve as a subdeacon at a Solemn High Mass?"

Liturgies at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 - Program Announced - Masses in the Extraordinary Form - Registration deadline May 1

The organizers of Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 are pleased to announce the program of liturgical celebrations for the conference to be held in New York City from 1-4 June 2015. 
On Monday, June 1st, Solemn Vespers in the presence of a Greater Prelate, His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (Breviarium Romanum 1961) will be celebrated at 7.30pm.

A Solemn Mass (Missale Romanum 1962) will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 2nd at 5.15pm.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious: The Heterodox Sisters Won - but with an expiration date in sight

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Son of man, what shall be made of the wood of the vine, out of all the trees of the woods that are among the trees of the forests? Shall wood be taken of it, to do any work, or shall a pin be made of it for any vessel to hang thereon?" Behold it is cast into the fire for fuel: the fire hath consumed both ends thereof, and the midst thereof is reduced to ashes: shall it be useful for any work? Even when it was whole it was not fit for work: how much less, when the fire hath devoured and consumed it, shall any work be made of it?

Therefore thus saith the Lord God: "As the vine tree among the trees of the forests which I have given to the fire to be consumed, so will I deliver up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them: they shall go out from fire, and fire shall consume them: and you shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have set my face against them. And I shall have made their land a wilderness, and desolate, because they have been transgressors," saith the Lord God.
Ezekiel, chapter 15


The investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the confederation of mostly disappearing female religious orders in the United States, by the Holy See ended today in a huge pile of nothingness or weak measures. As the mainstream media has rightly ascertained, it was the "end" of the "Vatican takeover", with a sign of "appreciation" for the heterodox sisters:

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference on the divorced and remarried and spiritual communion

Corrispondenza Romana
April 14, 2015

“The divorced and remarried cannot make spiritual communion” , Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference affirmed in an intervention at the Convention “What God joined together…” Marriage, Family and Sexuality in the Context of the Synod of Bishops 2014-2015” which took place on April 14that the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. Archbishop Gadecki, who stood out during the Synod of Bishops in 2014 for his defense of Catholic morality, wanted to respond to those, such as Cardinal Kasper who sustain that if the divorced and remarried can receive spiritual communion, they can also receive the Sacrament. The use that is made of the term “spiritual communion” in order to justify the admittance of the divorced and remarried to the Sacraments is absolutely improper, explained Archbishop Gadecki. Spiritual communion refers, in fact, to people in a state of grace, who, on account of a physical impediment, cannot receive Communion (as happened for example, in the part of Poland occupied by the Soviets after the Second World War).

On Marriage as in everything else, no sugarcoating - Robert Spaemann: "When Jesus spoke, people were shocked and ran away."

The renowned and arguably the most famous living Catholic philosopher in Germany, Professor Robert Spaemann, gave an interview to Julia Wächter for the Diocese of Regensburg, Germany, on matters related to the upcoming Synod of Bishops. The main excerpts are translated below:

Question: Marriage cannot any more be taken for granted in certain circles today. The Church's idea of marriage is questioned more and more. How should one now act? Would you say that the Church abandons her ideal of marriage if she more and more adapts to present trends?

Spaemann: Yes. The tendency is strong to adapt to all trends, so that the people do not run away. But one always has to look into the Gospels. The masses ran after Jesus, but then he spoke about giving His Body to eat and His Blood to drink. He did not try to make it look attractively pleasant, and the people were shocked and ran away. Jesus asked the apostles: "Do you also want to run away?" But St. Peter answered: "No, Lord, even though we did not understand you, either, but you have words of eternal life, and where else should we go?" That should be the reaction of the people.

Also in the question of divorce it should not be about following the great masses and strong tendencies, but to give witness about the fact that there are other and much more beautiful ways of life. One also should not only start with it at marriage-preparation courses, but rather much earlier. Already in school one has to be taught what the Christian manner of living is. Then also such a prohibition of divorce, as it has been very clearly and unambiguously taught by Christ, would become attractive.

Father Ernest (Emmanuel) André and a Lesson for the Contemporary Church

For many years I have been receiving the excellent newsletter of the monks of Saint Joseph de Clairval Abbey. It always focuses on the life of a particular saint, often very obscure ones, and what we can learn from their life and teaching and the times in which they lived. 

The March 2015 letter features a priest of whom I had never heard: Père Ernest André (1826–1903), who later took the name Emmanuel as a Benedictine monk, the originator of the devotion to Our Lady of Holy Hope. 

What I found most striking is how tirelessly Father André worked to catechize his rural flock, which he found in a state of unbelievable ignorance, error, and apathy. Here are his own words, explaining his policy, which was to preach and teach the unadulterated Catholic faith, week in, week out:

Helder Câmara: a lifetime of working against the Church from the inside. - And they want to beatify him?...

Who was Dom Helder Câmara?

Corrispondenza Romana
April 7, 2015

There has been a lot of talk recently about Dom Helder Camara, whose process for beatification has been recently approved by the Vatican.  For the average Italian, the figure of Monsignor Helder Pessoa Camara (1909 – 1999) , auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janiero and subsequently Metropolitan Archbishop of Olinda and Recife is practically unknown.

Who was Dom Helder?

Propaganda bordering on the  ridiculous

Pontifical Low Mass and sobering words from Cardinal Burke

Tonight, at St. John the Beloved Roman Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (who was recently interviewed by Rorate, see here) celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass and visited with students from Georgetown University.

His sermon, based on today's saint, the martyred Hermenegild, was prophetic and classic Burke.

IMPORTANT: SSPX clarification on the Argentine recognitions

Argentina formally recognizes SSPX as part of the Catholic Church - at the request of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires (and Pope Francis?)

{UPDATE 4/14/15: IMPORTANT: SSPX clarification on the Argentine recognitions}

Our partners at Adelante de la Fe have broken the news that the Argentinian government has recognized the SSPX as part of the Roman Catholic Church: La FSSPX reconocida en Argentina como parte de la Iglesia Católica Romana. In the words of the official state Resolution granting this recognition:

Resolution N. 25/2015

Bs. As. [Buenos Aires], 17/3/2015

HAVING SEEN the Procedure N. 9028/2015 of the Registry of the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS AND WORSHIP, Law 24483, and its Regulation Decree N. 491, of September 21, 1995, and


That according to Protocol N. 084/15, of February 23, 2015, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Aurelio Cardinal POLI, requests that the "FRATERNITY OF THE APOSTLES OF JESUS AND MARY" (PRIESTLY FRATERNITY OF SAINT PIUS X) be held, up to the moment in which it finds its definitive juridical framing within the Church Universal, as an Association of Diocesan Right, according to what is established by canon 298 of the Code of Canon Law, being in fieri [henceforth and in the meantime] a Society of Apostolic Life, with all the benefits that correspond to it, and complying with all obligations to which the same refers, also accepting all responsibilities that belong to the diocesan Prelate. [emphasis added]

That to the aforesaid fraternity be accredited its character as a public juridical person within the ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH, according to the norms of the Code of Canon Law. [emphasis added]

Notes on Misericordiae Vultus
1. The defense of Vatican II goes into high gear.
2. Has the Church forgotten to be merciful? Francis seems to think so.
3. Urgent questions about the "Missionaries of Mercy."

The Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy was published today (April 11) at St. Peter's Basilica, just before First Vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday celebrated by Pope Francis. The full text can be found on the Vatican website:


The quintessential Jesuit devotion, the merciful and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
("have mercy on us!"), is forgotten in the indiction bull

We do not intend to post an exhaustive analysis of this document, which seems all but assured of going down in history as one of the programmatic documents of the pontificate of Francis. We will limit ourselves here to commenting on three things:

I. The defense of Vatican II goes into high gear.
II. Has the Church forgotten to be merciful? Francis seems to think so.
III. Urgent and disturbing questions about the "Missionaries of Mercy."


I. The defense of Vatican II goes into high gear.

The "punishment" of Fr. Costadoat: a slap on the wrist?
An important clarification from Chile

At the beginning of Holy Week, Rorate posted about the action of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati SDB in refusing to renew the mandatum of the liberal Jesuit theologian Jorge Costadoat SJ: For the record: Cardinal Ezzati's letter announcing the removal of a dissident Jesuit theologian from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Shortly afterwards, Rorate received the following clarification from an academic in the Pontifical University of Chile. For prudential reasons we can neither reveal his name nor his teaching position in the University. The clarification has also been slightly edited for this posting.

The situation regarding Jorge Costadoat is far more complicated than it appears. The academic authorities have declared that Costadoat is and will continue to be a member of the PUC of Chile, as researcher and in other academic capacities (including the so-called "extension", which are the activities in which we give lectures, seminars, etc., to the general public), but simply will not teach theology; and that his name can be proposed for the mandatum "in the future" (according to the Dean of Theology) or "within a year" (according to the Rector). So he has not been removed or dismissed. And this has been confirmed by the Cardinal.

Liberal World Order and Jihadists: Different Struggles, Same Victim
- History's light of hatred against the Church of God



Juan Manuel de Prada
[Spanish daily] ABC
April 6, 2015

The Jihadists, who know quite well that the New World Order is antichristical, do not direct their attacks against organizations and authorities, but against Christians.

It will not have failed to call the attention of anyone that the recent slaughter in Garissa University, Kenya, did not lead to the same lamentations among Western leaders as, for example, the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists; it did not unleash the explosion of outcries and manifestos to which the annoying intellectuals, of both left and right, have got us used to; and not even were large protests assembled with solidarity posters ("Je suis This or That"), so that the dumbed-down masses could release their little tear and go back home very proud of getting to know each other.

Cardinal Danneels (family "expert" chosen by Francis) tried to convince King Baudouin to Sign Abortion Law - and shocking news of Brussels succession

Pro-life sovereigns: Queen Fabiola, Pope John Paul II, King Baudouin (Danneels walks behind them)
Two Belgian politicians admit for the first time openly that Cardinal Godfried Danneels tried to convince King Baudouin to sign the law on abortion in 1990. Former politicians Philippe Moureau (PS, Parti Socialiste) and Mark Eyskens (CVP, Flemish Christian Democrats) said this in a documentary for the Flemish Broadcasting Corporation VTM on April 6, 2015 (, at 2:05). According to VTM, cardinal Danneels did not want to comment.

Easter 2015: In Kenya and around the world, Martyrs, Martyrs, Martyrs, and more Martyrs
- Roberto de Mattei

Names of some of the nearly 150 victims of the Garissa University massacre -
 from Faith to Jacinta, from Peter to Philomena, a constellation of Christian names
Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
April 8, 2015

The stars of 148 new martyrs are shining brightly in the firmament of the Church. The young Christian victims of Islam, last Holy Thursday in Kenya, must not be pitied, but envied as they were given the immense grace of martyrdom.

They are martyrs inasmuch as they were Christians killed by Allah’s soldiers. What makes a martyr such, is not the violent death in itself, but the fact that it was inflicted in hatred of the Christian Faith. It is not death itself that makes the martyr, says St. Augustine but that their suffering and death be ordered to the truth. Not all of the victims of a persecution may be called martyrs, [but] only those who meet death at the hands of killers who hate the Faith.

The martyrs of the University campus in Garissa, join the countless legions of witnesses to the Faith that have been massacred over the last two centuries by the persecutors of the Church. The first genocide of modern times was conducted by the French Revolution. At least 438 religious, nuns and simple lay folk are already venerated as “blessed” and for the other 591 the processes are now in course for the recognition of their martyrdom “in odium fidei”. We can add the Spanish Civil War’s holocaust to this  (1936-1939) where 1,512 were beatified and 11 canonized, but the number of victims at the hands of the anarchists and communists is in the tens of thousands.

On October 13th 2013 at Tarragona in Catalonia, 522 people killed in hatred of the Faith, before and during the religious war in Spain, were beatified. It was a ceremony with the greatest number of Beatified – 522 – and surpassed the one held in Rome, in St. Peter’s Square on October 27th 2007. Their names are added to the innumerable martyrs of communism, secularism and now by Islam, in countries all over the world.

Event: Solemn Pontifical High Mass on Low Sunday - Hong Kong

His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, S.D.B., Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong will celebrate a Pontifical High Mass for us this upcoming Sunday (12th April, Low Sunday), at 3:00pm in St. Teresa's Church, Kowloon, Hong Kong. (Additional details below.)

All are welcome!

Same Spot, Same Weather, Same Feast Day - A different pope and a much emptier St. Peter's Square

From Italian journalist and writer Antonio Socci's Facebook account, a comparison of two rainy Easter Sundays in Rome, in 2010 and in 2015:

It's worth a thousand words.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

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. And we are now at 54 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the souls.

Two New Traditional Catholic Sisterhoods in Formation

1. The Facebook page of the Institute of the Good Shepherd's (IBP) apostolate in Colombia reports on a new Traditional Catholic community in formation, the Esclavas Reparadoras de la Sagrada Familia:

The first two members received their novitiate uniform (not yet a "habit") on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2015. The community is being formed with the help of the IBP. 

2. The Catholic Exponent of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio reported last month on the launching of the Missionary Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, formed initially by three women under the guidance of the FSSP pastor of their (personal) parish, Queen of the Holy Rosary in Vienna, OH.

VIENNA – With the blessing of Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., a small group of women is preparing to launch the Missionary Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi here.The three, including superior Mother Mary Francis and two candidates, have been approved as a private association of the faithful, a group who come together for ministry and who hope to, over time, develop into a diocesan religious institute of sisters.

Fontgombault Sermons for Easter Vigil and Easter Day: "The Modern World has no reasons to hope - Christians do."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 4, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Church invites us during this holy night to consider a great vista, that of the history of salvation. The key to this history is proffered as soon as the celebrant cuts into the wax of a candle a cross, the alpha and omega letters (first and last letter of the Greek alphabet), and the four numerals of the current year; meanwhile he says:

Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega. All time belongs to Him, and all the ages. To Him be glory and power, through every age for ever. Amen. 

The key is Christ, present to all times, present to each human story. The five grains of incense inserted into the wax are the symbol of the sweet spices that were poured into the five wounds to embalm and preserve the body of the Lord. The candle then symbolises Christ in His tomb.

- Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini
- A Meditation of Saint Alphonsus on Paradise

Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e il moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira

la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora

vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.*

Commedia, Paradiso (c. VII)

Salve, Festa Dies: Hail, O Festive Day!

Holy Saturday: ...descendit ad inferos...

By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.
Saint John Chrysostom
Catechetical Sermon for Easter [Sermo catecheticus in Pascha / Κατηχητικὸς εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πάσχα]

Consummatum est: "The chalice which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"

Dixit ergo Iesus Petro: "Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem didit mihi Pater, non bibam illum?" ... "Sitio." Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori eius. Cum ergo accepisset Iesus acetum, dixit: "Consummatum est." Et inclinato capite, tradidit spiritum. (From the Gospel for Good Friday, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John: "Jesus therefore said to Peter: 'Put up thy sword in the scabbard. The chalice which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?'...'I thirst.' Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to His mouth. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said: 'It is consummated.'And bowing His head, He gave up the spirit.")

Chalice - Lily. The chalice is the lily, stylized and adapted to our use, and which, born from water, is proper for us to take to our lips.

A very moving Fontgombault Sermon - Maundy Thursday: Christ in the Host asks: "Do you love me?"


SAINT PETER: "Woman, I do not know Him!"

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 2, 2015)

Cum dilexisset eos... in finem dilexit eos.
Having loved his own… He loved them unto the end.
Jn 13:1

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the institution of which we commemorate tonight, the Paschal mystery, death and rise of Jesus: are these something that God gives us or owes us? 

At the beginning of the Triduum Paschale, which covers the period extending from the morning of Maundy Thursday to that of Easter, this is a crucial question. The actions of our Christian lives will depend on our answer as we face these mysteries that underlie our faith: “If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain.” (1 Co 15:14) 

If the Paschal mystery is my due, basically I don’t have to worry about it. It is, so to speak, in the order of things. God takes care of me, and it is normal. God carries out, as it were, His job of God. 

But if the Paschal mystery is a gift, and if its author is God, then the standpoint shifts radically. God, the Maker of the universe, gives Himself to His creature, the Almighty to him who is powerless. A new dimension opens up in our relationship with God, and consequently in our relationship with others, the dimension of freely given love. The washing of the feet, that the liturgy invites us to reenact today, is part of this viewpoint.

The Reform of Holy Week in the Years 1951-1956

Rorate Caeli first presented the following translation of Fr. Stefano Carusi's work on the reform of Holy Week under Pope Pius XII five years ago. As our readership has grown dramatically over that time we are compelled to bring it back and share with new readers. This translation is the work of Fr. Charles W. Johnson, a U.S. military chaplain, and one of the first priests in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society:

From Disputationes Theologicae:


by Stefano Carusi

"It was felt necessary to revise and enrich the formulae of the Roman Missal. The first stage of such a reform was the work of Our Predecessor Pius XII with the reform of the Easter Vigil and the rites of Holy Week (1), which constituted the first step in the adaptation of the Roman Missal to the contemporary way of thinking"

(Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, April 3, 1969)

In the course of recent years, the publication of numerous studies concerning the history of the theological and liturgical debate of the 1950's has cast new light on the formation and the intentions (which were not always openly declared at the time) of those who were the actual composers of certain texts.

For the record: Cardinal Ezzati's letter announcing the removal of a dissident Jesuit theologian from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

{UPDATE 04/11/15: The "punishment" of Fr. Costadoat: a slap on the wrist? An important clarification from Chile}

The Salesian Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, made waves last week in the Hispanic Catholic world when he refused to renew the mandatum of one of South America's most high-profile and liberal theological dissidents, Fr. Jorge Costadoat SJ - yes, a Jesuit, like the Pope. The decision effectively bars the Jesuit from continuing to teach theology in the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, of which Cardinal Ezzati is also the Grand Chancellor. The Cardinal communicated his reasons for taking action against Costodoat in a letter to the University's Superior Council:

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Office of the Grand Chancellor

Santiago, March 24, 2015

Esteemed members of the Honorable Superior Council,

The Faculty of Theology has a central role within the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (cf. ECE [Statutes] 19), placed under the foremost and direct guardianship of the Grand Chancellor -- as is the case in the other schools of Catholic theology in the world --, among other reasons because the future consecrated persons are formed in it and because it carries out a fundamental task at the service of the entire academic community. The right to confer the canonical mandatum belongs exclusively to the Grand Chancellor and is an indispensable requirement for the teaching of theology in our Faculty.

EVENT: Chrism Mass - Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

If you are nearby, in Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Northeastern Italy, this is a rare event which you are able to attend: for the third time (as in 2013 and 2014), Archbishop Wolfgang Haas, of Vaduz (Liechtenstein) will celebrate in 2015 the Chrism Mass of Maundy Thursday in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, aided by the priests of his own diocese and by priests and seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, whose European seminary in Wigratzbad is not far from Liechtenstein.

(Other images from last year's celebration here, via the Wigratzbad blog.)
(Tip: Riposte Catholique)

Damned Lies: On the Destiny of Judas Iscariot

From the traditional Collect for Holy Thursday (Missale Romanum 1962), it is clear past all doubt that the centuries-old lex orandi of the Church teaches that Judas is lost, condemned forever to the fires of hell: 

O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency; that even as in His Passion our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each retribution according to his merits, so having cleared away our former guilt, he may bestow on us the grace of His resurrection: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth…

This conclusion was once taken for granted by everyone. Why, then, do so many people nowadays say that we “do not know” about Judas’s final destiny? To show that I am not exaggerating, take the former Father Thomas Williams of the Legionaires of Christ, in a ZENIT interview:

Historically, many have thought that Judas is probably in hell, because of Jesus’ severe indictment of Judas: “It would be better for that man if he had never been born,” as he says in Matthew 26:24. But even these words do not offer conclusive evidence regarding his fate. In his 1994 book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II wrote that Jesus’ words “do not allude for certain to eternal damnation.”

The Witness of Scripture

Fontgombault Sermon - Palm Sunday: "Obedience is at the core of the Incarnation and Passion"


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, March 29, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

St. Paul asks the Philippians in the Epistle to have between them the same mind as Christ had. At the beginning of the Holy Week, the Church reminds us of this duty.

Events: Holy Week Schedules (constantly updated) - Louisiana, New Jersey, Madrid, Ontario, California, Preston, Melbourne, New York City, Montreal, Vancouver, Washington, Amsterdam, Rhode Island, Hong Kong, Baltimore, Miami, Illinois, Nebraska, Philippines, Mexico (DF, Jalisco, Coahuila), Alabama, etc...

If you wish us to post the Holy Week Schedule of your community, anywhere in the world, just send it to us.

A very blessed Holy Week to all our readers!



Albenga-Imperia Update:
Bishop Oliveri stripped of all authority, will remain bishop of the diocese in name only; Coadjutor appointment "begins a Copernican revolution" in the diocese

What was predicted by Italian media in October last year, as reported by Rorate at the time, has taken place exactly as foretold: Msgr. Mario Oliveri, 71, the exceptionally Traditionalist-friendly Bishop of Albenga-Imperia, has been stripped of all powers and is now Ordinary of the diocese in name only.

On the 5th Centenary of the Birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Catholic Reformer - Guest-post by Don Pietro Leone

I - The Life

St. Teresa was born in Gotarrendura, Avila, Castile, of Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Beatrice (Beatriz) de Ahumada on 28th March, 1515, 500 years ago. As a child she ran away from home in search of martyrdom at the hands of the Moslems Her desire was 'to see God', which was later to be realized in her exercise of mental prayer, which particularly in the form of contemplation, is of course nothing else than the knowledge and love of the Most Blessed Trinity as a foretaste of the Beatific Vision.

After a period of a certain levity and frivolity, although in innocence, she was entrusted by her father to the educative care of the Augustinian nuns of Avila, whence she later entered in the order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Rapprochement between Rome & the SSPX close? Depends on who you ask

We post this for the record, from the FSSPX:

In response to some interview answers made by Archbishop Pozzo of the Ecclesia Dei Commission about the SSPX's relations with the Holy See, DICI has offered the commentary below to clarify the reality of the situation.

The SSPX’s relations with Rome, according to Archbishop Pozzo

After the consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure by Bishop Richard Williamsonon March 19, 2015, at the monastery of Santa Cruz de Nova Friburgo (Brazil), the Roman press agency I.Media questioned Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. The latter took advantage of the opportunity to make a statement on the state of the relations between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome, declaring that beyond the doctrinal difficulties that exist, the problems are “within the Society”.

According to the Roman prelate quoted by I.Media: “The pope expects the Society of St. Pius X to decide to enter [the Church—Ed.], and we are ready at any time with a canonical plan that is already known,” namely the creation of a personal prelature. It will take a little time for things to be clarified internally and for Bishop Fellay to be able to obtain a broad enough consensus before making this step.”—It is we who put this claim in bold.

At the Society of St. Pius X’s General House, they are wondering about Archbishop Pozzo’s intention in the last statement, which does not correspond to reality: Is this his view of the situation? A personal wish? Or an attempt to introduce division within the Society?

For the Record: The 2015 British Priests' Letter in Defense of Marriage
- Plus, divorce is not the issue, marriage is the issue

This historic letter, sent to the editor of the Catholic Herald, will once again bring great honor to the Church in those islands. 

For the record of historic events related to the 2015 Extraordinary Synod on the Family, it is reproduced below, followed by the comment of one of its signatories on why the Synod is focusing on the wrong problem entirely, and why this needs to be avoided, and why Parish Priests know better:

SIR – Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.

On Marriage and Bishops' Conferences, Cardinal Müller teaches Cardinal Marx the true Catholic lesson

Excerpt of interview granted by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, to French Catholic weekly Famille Chrétienne.

[FC:] In a book of conversations on the family [The Hope of the Family, Ignatius Press; La speranza della famiglia, Edizioni Ares], recently published in Italy and in the United States, you encourage Christians to, "choose the prophetic boldness of martyrdom." Why?

[Müller:] The Church is not a philanthopic organization. To say that we respect the opinions of all, that we wish for the good of all, is not enough. To present the Gospel as a simple therapeutic message is not very hard, but it does not respond to the demands of Jesus. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me," Jesus says. The first apostles, the Fathers of the Church, the great bishops in the History of the Church very often sailed against opposing winds. How could it be any different for us?

[FC:] Could certain doctrinal or disciplinary decisions on marriage and family be delegated to the episcopal conferences? 

The Traditional Mass re-enters the regular life of the Church

Sunday, March 8, 2015
It seemed a regular unsurprising event for the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris (and not the first time for him, either). In the historic parish church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, in the heart of Paris (right across the street from the cour carrée of the Louvre), where the traditional Mass is celebrated every Sunday, Cardinal Vingt-Trois celebrated the Traditional Mass (Mass in the Extraordinary Form) for the faithful in his visit to the parish. The Church in France will rise again - one day, it will rise again.

Slowly, but surely, the Traditional Mass re-enters the regular life of the Latin Church, from which it should never have been banished. May all Cardinals and Bishops follow the Cardinal's example.

Exclusive translation: newest papal controversial declarations to Scalfari
- Did Pope defend the annihilation of souls?

What Pope Francis may say to Europe's Nonbelievers

Eugenio Scalfari
La Repubblica
March 15, 2015

“We must avoid that the good [souls] be lost and we must do everything possible to save the lost ones”

The mercy to which Pope Francis is dedicating the upcoming Jubilee Year has this objective: the prodigal son of the parable whom the father welcomes [home] as a celebration of life, forgiveness among men and the infinite forgiveness of God towards His creatures. Repentance is the condition [necessary] for mercy to fall upon that soul and illuminate it with its light.

Pope Bergoglio did not pick the name Francis (unusual for the Church of Rome) by chance: the Saint from Assisi saw and loved all of God’s creatures because they all carry a spark of the divinity in them; the good shepherd is that spark which must discover and cancel with his love the dross accumulated in life itself and which has banished it into the depths, suffocating its light.

However, the theme of sin and repentance remain. And if repentance does not come? If the spark has gone out or has never existed? Pope Francis never considered that that spark could go out or that some natures could have even been deprived of it from birth; so the care for souls must never stop nor be interrupted and this is the task of the missionary work of the Church. At one of our meetings he spoke to me of that mission which concerned also unbelievers. “The missionary Church” – he said to me – does not proselytize, but strives to awaken the search for good in their souls.”

“Your Holiness, – I replied – I don’t believe in the existence of the soul.”

Marx's comments "belong in the village pub": Cardinal Josef Cordes' letter to Tagespost publicly rebuking German Bishops' Chairman

Poverty and Humility: Cardinal Marx some years ago in Fulda enjoying
one of his great pleasures: Church Tax-funded luxury cigars
The German-language Catholic news website provided a few days ago an authorized summary of the letter sent by Cardinal Cordes to Tagespost on Cardinal Marx's most recent controversial statements, in effect declaring the independence of the German Church. Translation by reader "K":

Vatican City. Authorised summary of a letter to the editor of the “Tagespost” from March 7, 2015, in which Paul Josef Cardinal Cordes, former president of the papal work COR UNUM, publicly refutes some statements made by Reinhard Cardinal Marx and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück at the plenary meeting of the German bishops in Hildesheim:

At the last plenary meeting of the German bishops, statements of their president were made public which were neither officially published nor denied by the conference’s secretariat. Since words of the most prominent representative of German Catholics give directions and [since these statements] furthermore caused a stir in the media, it makes sense to publicly contradict some of the positions expressed, also in order to limit the confusion they have caused in several places.

In these statements, the president [Marx] noted that in the universal Church ‘certain expectations’ are directed towards Germany. This is astonishing. A poll of the ‘Bertelsmann foundation’ showed that only 16.2 percent of the West-German Catholics believe in almighty God as a person they can encounter, all other Catholics equate ‘God’ with a faceless providence, anonymous fate, or a primordial power – or they simply deny His existence. Therefore we have little reason to boast against churches in other countries about our faith.

Moreover, it is not only astonishing that the German Church supposedly enjoys such great respect within Catholicism. More irritating still are the theological blurs and statements, in which the President of the Bishops’ Conference plainly declared that “We are no local branches of Rome. Each Conference is responsible for the pastoral care in its cultural environment and, as it most proper task, has to proclaim the Gospel in its own way.” As a social ethicist Cardinal Marx may know much about the dependency of branches of large corporations. In an ecclesiastical context, such statements should rather be rather left to the village pub.

Details of Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage confirmed

The 4th Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage will take place from 22-25th October this year (Thursday to Sunday). On the Saturday and Sunday, 24-25th, the FIUV General Assembly will also take place, and the events are being coordinated.

Sunday 25th October will also see the conclusion of the Synod of the Family.

This could be an interesting time to be in Rome! Do join us.

Abp Luigi Negri: Western Civilization is at an end

Among the bishops of Italy currently serving as Ordinaries, Archbishop Luigi Negri stands out for his trenchant commentary and prolific writings (including a multitude of articles and around 30 books) on a wide variety of topics, always with the object of defending a conservative Catholic world view and its presence in the public square and the world of culture. A close student and collaborator of Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Comunione e Liberazione, he was appointed Bishop of the small diocese of San Marino - Montefeltro in 2005 and then Archbishop of the small Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio in 2012. He is already well-known to Traditional Catholics for his interventions in favor of the Traditional Latin Mass: his telegram to Pope Benedict XVI thanking him for Summorum Pontificum, his denunciation of episcopal opposition to the same, and his 2013 homily to Traditional Catholics with its precious words of encouragement and praise. 

A friend and reader of Rorate has kindly presented us with this translation of an article written last month by the Archbishop and published by La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. This is a bishop who knows how to fight, who knows how to denounce the French Revolution (and its Catholic apologists) in the same breath as the Islamist menace that he does not fear to name either. 

By Luigi Negri, Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio

Ancient Statues and bas-reliefs were toppled down by bearded men who then proceeded to destroy them by using jackhammers. This is the latest video released by ISIS in Mosul.  It is the continuation of a campaign against remnants of the past. Islamic State militants have been blowing up places of worship, feeding flames with books taken from libraries, and destroying a part of Nineveh’s city walls, the ancient Assyrian capital in the outskirts of present-day Mosul. These images, spread by a Twitter account used by the Caliphate, show the methodical destruction perpetrated in the rooms of what looks like a museum in Mosul. During the five-minute long video, we notice museum labels in Arabic and English describing exhibited artefacts. It is because of this that we have recorded the comments of Mons. Luigi Negri, the Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio.

I hope that the technological means which our society uses – and oftentimes abuses – can vividly preserve for future generations the images of such terrible scenes of barbarism which we have been able to see “live” in different parts of the world. This is rage, much more demented than barbaric, against the artistic expressions of one of the greatest ages of world culture, which have been handed down with devotion and respect from one generation to another, from one culture to another, from one civilization to another. And so culture and civilization are not exclusive, unlike the case of this horrendous ideology, even if it is religious. Culture and Civilization are inclusive and even know how to incorporate cultural and historical realities not born from the limitations of their proper milieu; thereby becoming all the more enriched. 

Colloquium on Religious Liberty in Norcia

We are pleased to share the following announcement of a conference to be held in Norcia,* the birthplace of St. Benedict, later this year. It is being organized by the Dominican theologian, Fr. Thomas Crean OP, who has written on the topic.

Passiontide Begins + EGO SUM

"Abraham pater vester exsultavit ut videret diem meum: vidit, et gavisus est." Dixerunt ergo Iudæi ad eum: "Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti?" Dixit eis Iesus: "Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum." (From the Gospel for Passion Sunday, John viii, 56-58: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.")

...Abraham's Creator bears a great testimony to Abraham. "Abraham rejoiced," He says, "to see my day." He did not fear, but "rejoiced to see it." For in him there was the love that casts out fear. He says not, rejoiced because he saw; but "rejoiced that he might see." [Non ait: Exsultavit, quia vidit; sed, exsultavit ut videret.] Believing, at all events, he rejoiced in hope to see with the understanding. "And he saw." And what more could the Lord Jesus Christ say, or what more ought He to have said? "And he saw," He says, "and was glad." Who can unfold this joy...? If those rejoiced whose bodily eyes were opened by the Lord, what joy was his who saw with the eyes of his soul the light ineffable, the abiding Word, the brilliance that dazzles the minds of the pious, the unfailing Wisdom, God abiding with the Father, and at some time come in the flesh and yet not to withdraw from the bosom of the Father?

All this did Abraham see. For in saying "my day," it may be uncertain of what He spoke; whether the day of the Lord in time, when He should come the flesh, or that day of the Lord which knows not a dawn, and knows no decline. But for my part I doubt not that father Abraham knew it all. And where shall I find it out? Ought the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ to satisfy us? Let us suppose that we cannot find it out, for perhaps it is difficult to say in what sense it is clear that Abraham "rejoiced to see the day" of Christ, "and saw it, and was glad." ...

Fontgombault Sermon - Feast of Saint Benedict: "The Foundations of European Civilization are being destroyed by the liberally-minded."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
and Administrator of St. Paul of Wisques
(Wisques, March 21, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

We celebrate today the day on which our Blessed Father St. Benedict was called to God, and we give thanks for the blessings that this life has brought, and for the gift that through him and his sons has been granted, and is still granted, to mankind.

St. Benedict’s undertaking has by far gone beyond the limits of the houses that he founded and of the times in which he lived. By the network of monasteries that were sown on our Old World countries, St. Benedict has made a major contribution to the foundation of Europe on the rock of Christian values. Come hell or high water, the Old World has stood fast and has even spread this civilisation,
especially in the African and American worlds.

St. Benedict does indeed deserve the title of “great confessor”. We have just sung: Blessed is the man that fears the Lord, that delights greatly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed. (Ps 111:1-2)

How can we explain such an influence? The sequence of the Mass calls him magni ducis, a great chief. Monks call him their Blessed Father. More than a chief, St. Benedict has been a Father. If he is the Father of Europe, it is because he has been first Father of his monks.

What is then this fatherhood that is not derived from the bonds of the flesh, and yet seems to hold fruitfulness, as can be seen in the monastic Order? The Apostles have forsaken all to follow Jesus. The same applies to monks. Monastic fatherhood is a living relationship, which conversely entails a living “sonship”. If St. Benedict has become the Father of Europe, it is because he had sons who passed on the heritage that they had received from their Father.

- Support the Monks of Norcia - Fundraising Gala in Darien, Connecticut

The Monastery of Saint Benedict in Norcia (Nursia, Umbria, Italy) is hosting the annual Norcia Gala in Connecticut this year, on April 18. Last year Cardinal Burke was the speaker, this year the Bishop of Bridgeport, the Most Rev. Frank Caggiano, will speak. 

Fr. Cassian Folsom, Prior, and Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, Subprior, will also be present.

Today, March 21, on this Feast of the great patriarch Saint Benedict, born in the very town where these his sons are keeping his rule, please consider taking part in this Eastertide fundraising event to support the formation of monks and other needs of the Monastery.

For reservations, invitations, and additional information, visit the 2015 Norcia Gala website.

The Great Division: End-of-Life measures, French-style -- “L’Osservatore Romano” in favor of France's "camouflaged Euthanasia"

Now, even regarding such a delicate (and yet clear-cut) issue as euthanasia, lack of clarity leads to division, even in Rome itself. Regarding the new French euthanasia bill, the Italian Bishops' Conference daily, Avvenire, says one thing (condemning it), and the official paper of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano, says another.

From Sandro Magister's Italian-only blog:

"Taking care does not mean killing": anti-euthanasia protest by pro-life activists in Paris

The End of Life, French-Style: “Avvenire” votes against it. “L’Osservatore Romano”, in favor.
Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo*
March 19, 2015

“A balanced response” . With this title. in large bold letters, “L’Osservatore Romano” [edition] of March 19th positively acknowledged the approval by the French National Assembly (with 436 votes against 34) of the bill on the end of life, which took the name of the two senators who presented it: Jean Leonetti and Alain Claeys.

Illicit Consecration revealed by Rorate going on in Brazil at this moment
- Updated (SSPX Communiqué)

French blog Riposte Catholique mentions today that the Consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure (a former member of the Society of Saint Pius X) by Bishop Richard Williamson (expelled from the same Society in 2012) was to have been kept secret - until Rorate revealed it to the world in a worldwide exclusive text, forcing the hand of those involved who had to admit it would take place.

Why was it kept secret? Probably because those involved wished to present the event as a fait accompli. As Riposte Catholique also informs, the Nunciature in Brazil informed those involved of the canonical penalties that will be applied as a consequence of the act.


The act is taking place right now in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, exactly as Rorate had revealed (thanks to our very reliable sources, as our readers can now verify by themselves).