Rorate Caeli

A Map of Episcopal Ineptitude

This is not a map of the dioceses of Québec. This is a map of the foremost sign of the post-Conciliar age: the complete ineptitude of bishops.

Last Sunday, the most influential newspaper in the French-speaking province, once the most Traditional area of North America, La Presse, published a letter signed by 19 priests, titled "Enough is enough", denouncing the Church's teaching on the disordered condition of homosexuality. These are the names of the priests:

Archdiocese of Montréal:

1. Fr. André Anctil
2. Fr. José V. Arruda
3. Fr. Jean-Pierre Langlois
4. Fr. Claude Lefebvre
5. Fr. Claude Lussier.

Diocese of Joliette:

6. Fr. Raymond Gravel (leader of the group)
7. Fr. Eric Généreux
8. Fr. Bernard Houle
9. Fr. Pierre-Gervais Majeau
10. Fr. Guylain Prince
11.Fr. Claude Ritchie

Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil:

12. Fr. Jean-Yves Cedilot
13. Fr. Jocelyn Jobin
14. Fr. Alain Léonard
15. Fr. Lucien Lemieux (professor at the University of Montréal and also a Regional Vicar for the Diocese; one of the most influential priests in Québec)

Archdiocese of Gatineau:

16. Fr. Benoît Fortin
17. Fr. Michel Lacroix
18. Fr. Claude St-Laurent

Diocese of Gaspé:

19. Fr. Jacques Pelletier

The letter affirms that the Church does not possess "the truth on human beings". "We wish that Christians listen to the life experience of their homosexual brothers and sisters". Regarding the bishops' opposition to the iniquitous "same-sex marriage" legislation approved last year in Canada, the priests asked: "Was there any trace of the compassion that marked Jesus's passage on Earth? Not a paragraph, not a sentence in your brief that takes into account the historical discrimination against homosexuals and the tragedy of their social and ecclesial exclusion."

All 19 priests were immediate suspended from their positions, right? Well, not exactly:

On Sunday, no official response was forthcoming from the Vatican or the Canadian Conference of Bishops. The Montreal diocese office was similarly quiet. Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte is out of the country, in Peru.

At Montreal's Cathedral Mary Queen of the World, however, worshippers were instructed to inform themselves and to make up their own minds on the issue.

During the 5 p.m. mass, Rev. Michel de la Chevrotiere mentioned the letter and told people it is up to them to make up their own minds. (Source)

Since the bishops won't, can you do something about it? A lay canon lawyer believes so. Read more here.

Remembering 1988

Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus has a welcome and balanced reminder of the issues involved in the dramatic events of 1988 which led to the consecration, by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, of the four bishops of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX), including the similarities and differences regarding the current developments.

The history of the Rome-SSPX negotiations of late 1987-early 1988 which, in the end, led to the consecrations, is quite complex and it involves many passionate views from all sides. It is important, though, to remember that even after the traumatic Assisi events of 1986, Archbishop Lefebvre never gave up talking to Rome, reaching the point of actually signing with then-Cardinal Ratzinger the famous protocol of May 5, 1988.

Strange things happened on both sides immediately thereafter -- including tremendous pressure on Pope John Paul himself, which prevented Cardinal Ratzinger from presenting the details (implied in the Protocol) which he had promised the Archbishop.

"Gay Church" holds service in Catholic chapel during WCC Meeting

"In the 9th assembly of the World Council of Churches, a gay Church celebrates service in the Chapel of PUCRS [Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul]." Feb. 21, 2006 - News from the newspaper Zero Hora (Porto Alegre, Brazil)

by Itamar Melo

A church [sic] whose bishops [sic] , ministers, and faithful are homosexual celebrated a service yesterday [February 20, 2006] in Porto Alegre [Brazil] during the 9th assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Founded in 1968 in the United States and with a parish [sic] in Rio since 2004, the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) plans to open a church in the Capital [Porto Alegre].

The service happened in the morning in the chapel of the PUCRS [the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, a Catholic university of Pontifical right and status, owned by the Marists], where the religious forum takes place. Three foreign female bishops [sic] as well as Gelson Piber, the minister responsible for the Brazilian parish [sic], participated in the celebration. The homosexual aspect of the service was visible in some details: the lilac color of the altar cloth, the rainbow-colored stole of one of the female bishops [sic], and in the prayers for the memory of gays and lesbians.

-Our message is that God does not discriminate anyone. Prejudice against homosexuality is based in equivocal interpretations of the Bible -- said bishop [sic] Darlene Garner, MCC's woman in charge for Latin America.

The institution was founded by Troy Perry, a minister who was expelled from a Pentecostal church when his homosexuality was discovered. Today, the MCC is present in 26 countries, 20 of them in Latin America. The church's delegation at the WCC assembly, where it participates as an observer, is composed of 15 people. Its members are usually people who went through discrimination, healing attempts, and guilt crises in other denominations. In the MCC churches, gays are baptized, receive the eucharist [sic] , and may get married [sic].
Links to the WCC Assembly, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, its Chapel (actually, the "University Church Christ the Master" of the "Pastoral Center" -- where one may check that it is the exact same place), the Marists, and the original report (which is available for free only today, with a complex registration, but which we have saved just in case). The Catholic Church was an observer in the WCC Assembly.

Saint Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist School Brothers, would be proud of this, right?

Thanks to our South American reader who sent us this.

A RORATE CÆLI Editorial: Holy See - SSPX.

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia quæ scripta sunt per prophetas de Filio hominis: tradetur enim gentibus, et illudetur, et flagellabitur, et conspuetur: et postquam flagellaverint, occident eum, et tertia die resurget. (Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall by accomplished which were written by the Prophets concerning the Son of Man. For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and scourged and spit upon: and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death, and the third day He shall rise again. - from the Gospel for the Sunday of Quinquagesima.)

ONCE AGAIN, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX) is at the center of Catholic concerns. Its priests and faithful form a tiny portion of nominal Catholics, but they are a thorn in the flesh of those who praise the so-called fruits of the Council.

This is the time for negotiations

Some within the Society believe that there should never be talks with Rome, not until "Rome returns to Tradition" (e.g.). One of the bitterest fruits of the struggle for Tradition, one of the darkest indirect fruits of the Council has been this spirit of permanent judgement of the Holy See. Prima sedes a nemine iudicatur is one of those venerable maxims of Catholicism.

Some only wish to talk to a "Pure Rome", an "Immaculate Rome" -- a Rome, in fact, which has never existed in such form in the History of the Church, for the Bishop of Rome and his Curia are men, sinful men full of personal defects. "The danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church" -- this is what Pope Saint Pius X said 100 years ago. Does this seem to describe the "Pure Rome" of ancient lore?

True, the crisis is enormous in the current age: huge, seemingly insurmountable in human terms. This is why this is the time to enter into serious, determined dialogue with the only man chosen by Divine Providence to rule the Universal Church, the Bishop of Rome. To disagree with him is possible, often even laudable; to refuse the extended hand of the universal Pastor is irresponsible.

This is the time for responsibility

The Pope has summoned the Society to come to full and unlimited communion with him. This has caused serious misgivings inside those groups which already are in full communion: "Why should 'they' be the ones to receive all the attention?". This is what has been aptly named by some "the older-brother-of-the-Prodigal-Son syndrome"...

For historical and demographic reasons, the Pope wishes to reach out to the Society. It must be painful for a man like him to see that the Council assembled to promote the unity of Christians has actually led to abysmal divisions among Catholics themselves. For him, the birth and growth of the SSPX are understandable reactions to the "Hermeneutics of Discontinuity" which has dominated the Church since at least the first session of Vatican II.

The Pope needs friends in full and unlimited communion with him to wage the fight against discontinuity with Tradition inside the Church. It is important to understand that the Pope might need the SSPX in ways that even he may not understand or appreciate yet and that Traditionalists cannot foresee. This is a moment of grave responsibility for the Society. The Church at large needs those valiant faithful who are willing to say things as they are in order to preserve the most ancient liturgical and catechetical traditions of the Roman heritage.

This may be the final opportunity

For some unfathomable reason, many believe that there will be many chances for negotiations in the future and in future pontificates. Those who believe this are wrong and deluded. How would these critics know that there will be other and better opportunities? In fact, all the signs point to the fact that the great historical window of opportunity is nearing its end and has reached its optimal moment.

The SSPX should not take this choice of being a "privileged partner of dialogue" for granted; the time may come, and it could be sooner than many believe, when this dialogue will not be possible at all.

The Society has become a positive influence in the Church, but its influence would be further amplified if upon it did not hang -- even if unjustly -- the title of "schismatic". Many voices inside the SSPX seem to prefer to wait for another "fulness of time"; others steer dangerously close to a kind of "practical sedevacantism". Whatever reasons those voices may have for their misgivings, they should better be absolutely certain that, together with all its very good fruits, the Society has also obtained the mark of indefectability in order to survive an emergency situation that may last another couple hundred years.

For Catholics, Rome is not an ideal, but the geographic seat of the Successors of St. Peter. It is curious, but it is true: the center of the one true Faith, the Cathedra of Saint Peter, has an actual postal address -- Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano, Piazza San Pietro, Città del Vaticano 00120-Roma.

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam: trials may come, but redemption is at hand.

This is the time.

No news? Good news.

Dear readers who visit our blog in search of news of the talks between the Holy See and the FSSPX, what we can tell you is that there is nothing to report, at least nothing minimally credible -- unless one wishes to give credence to the leading French Sedevacantist news website, which alleges bishop Williamson has recently met the French Sedevacantist priest responsible for the articles in the site and has confirmed the so-called division inside the Society. If this news is true, the division inside the Society truly exists and is abysmal, but we are not completely convinced of the veracity of the piece.

This lack of news is good news as things currently stand. As we warned in this piece (please read it all, if you have not done it already): "In any case, do not get anxious with any apparent lack of news: it means the machinery is working properly".

It is providential that this is all happening during Septuagesima and Lent. We can offer up our prayers and penance to the Most Holy Trinity so that all is done for His greater glory and for the unity, liberty, and exaltation of Holy Mother Church. And, if you notice some reduced blogging during Lent, it will have been because of penitential shorter hours at the computer: but we will always try to convey with the greatest urgency those pieces of news or even credible "rumors" which seem true.

The Reformation: Moneygrubbing and Mayhem - 470 years

In late February and early March, 1536, the houses of the English Parliament passed the measure which would become the Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries, 1536. The visitation ordered by king Henry VIII in 1535 (the year of the martyrdom of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher) had defined with great precision, with the evil efficiency which characterized Thomas Cromwell, the property and all belongings of all religious houses in the realm.

March 1, 1536 was the date in which all belongings of the "lesser monasteries", that is, "every such monastery, priory, or other religious house, not having ... above the ... yearly value [yearly income] of two hundred pounds" automatically became personal royal property. His Majesty received "all and singular the manors, lands, tenements, rents, services, reversions, tithes, pensions, portions, churches, chapels, advowsons, patronages, rights, entries, conditions, and all other interests and hereditaments to the same monasteries, abbeys, and priories, or to any of them appertaining or belonging". The act made clear that "all and singular premises, with all their rights, profits, jurisdictions, and commodities" belonged to "the king ... and to his heirs and assigns for ever, to do and use therewith his and their own wills, to the pleasure of Almighty God, and to the honour and profit of this realm." (text of the Act here)

The great English expropriation was about to begin -- and so many in the higher classes were eager to be the beneficiaries of the property transferrals. The Suppression, which would be completed in 1539, also meant the destruction of the Catholic culture which had given birth to England:

The destruction of books was almost incredibly enormous. Bale describes the use of them by bookbinders and by grocers and merchants for the packing of their goods. Maskell calculates the loss of liturgical books alone to have approached the total of a quarter of a million. An eye-witness describes the leaves of Duns Scotus as blown about by the wind even in the courts of Oxford, and their use for sporting and other purposes. Libraries that had been collected through centuries, such as those of Christ Church and St. Albans, both classical and theological, vanished in a moment. ... A second destruction was that of the homes of study which the religious houses, especially those of the Benedictines, provided for all who leaned that way. (source)

One wonders if there is any way to "calculate the loss of liturgical books", which was enormous, after the demolition of the traditional Breviary and rites of Sacraments of the Latin Church in the 1968-1973 period... The spirit of destruction and rupture in the West has always been marked by a hatred of the Church and of her most solemn and ancient traditions, in recent times as well as 470 years ago.

History : King Louis XVI, a Catholic going to death

First, since it is my first intervention, I would like to introduce myself. I am Father Laurent Demets, a priest of the Fraternity of Saint Peter. I am from France and now I serve at Saint Francis de Sales parish, Mableton GA.

I am glad to participate in this blog, as much as I can and I already ask for your forgiveness for my English, certainly imperfect.

My first text here is from my personal Blog :

I asked a question on this blog about priests and priesthood. You are very welcome to visit it and to give your answer.

Thank you and God bless you.


In the name of the Very holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

To-day, the 25th day of December, 1792, I, Louis XVI King of France, being for more than four months imprisoned with my family in the tower of the Temple at Paris, by those who were my subjects, and deprived of all communication whatsoever, even with my family, since the eleventh instant; moreover, involved in a trial the end of which it is impossible to foresee, on account of the passions of men, and for which one can find neither pretext nor means in any existing law, and having no other witnesses, for my thoughts than God to whom I can address myself, I hereby declare, in His presence, my last wishes and feelings.

I leave my soul to God, my creator; I pray Him to receive it in His mercy, not to judge it according to its merits but according to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has offered Himself as a sacrifice to God His Father for us other men, no matter how hardened, and for me first.

I die in communion with our Holy Mother, the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church, which holds authority by an uninterrupted succession, from St. Peter, to whom Jesus Christ entrusted it; I believe firmly and I confess all that is contained in the creed and the commandments of God and the Church, the sacraments and the mysteries, those which the Catholic Church teaches and has always taught. I never pretend to set myself up as a judge of the various way of expounding the dogma which rend the church of Jesus Christ, but I agree and will always agree, if God grant me life the decisions which the ecclesiastical superiors of the Holy Catholic Church give and will always give, in conformity with the disciplines which the Church has followed since Jesus Christ.

I pity with all my heart our brothers who may be in error but I do not claim to judge them, and I do not love them less in Christ, as our Christian charity teaches us, and I pray to God to pardon all my sins. I have sought scrupulously to know them, to detest them and to humiliate myself in His presence. Not being able to obtain the ministration of a Catholic priest, I pray God to receive the confession which I feel in having put my name (although this was against my will) to acts which might be contrary to the discipline and the belief of the Catholic Church, to which I have always remained sincerely attached. I pray God to receive my firm resolution, if He grants me life, to have the ministrations of a Catholic priest, as soon as I can, in order to confess my sins and to receive the sacrament of penance.

I beg all those whom I might have offended inadvertently (for I do not recall having knowingly offended any one), or those whom I may have given bad examples or scandals, to pardon the evil which they believe I could have done them.

I beseech those who have the kindness to join their prayers to mine, to obtain pardon from God for my sins.

I pardon with all my heart those who made themselves my enemies, without my have given them any cause, and I pray God to pardon them, as well as those who, through false or misunderstood zeal, did me much harm.

I commend to God my wife and my children, my sister, my aunts, my brothers, and all those who are attached to me by ties of blood or by whatever other means. I pray God particularly to cast eyes of compassion upon my wife, my children, and my sister, who suffered with me for so long a time, to sustain them with His mercy if they shall lose me, and as long as they remain in his mortal world.

I commend my children to my wife; I have never doubted her maternal tenderness for them. I enjoin her above all to make them good Christians and honest individuals; to make them view the grandeurs of this world (if they are condemned to experience them) as very dangerous and transient goods, and turn their attention towards the one solid and enduring glory, eternity. I beseech my sister to kindly continue her tenderness for my children and to take the place of a mother, should they have the misfortune of losing theirs.

I beg my wife to forgive all the pain which she suffered for me, and the sorrows which I may have caused her in the course of our union; and she may feel sure that I hold nothing against her, if she has anything with which to reproach herself.

I most warmly enjoin my children that, after what they owe to God, which should come first, they should remain forever united among themselves, submissive and obedient to their mother, and grateful for all the care and trouble which she has taken with them, as well as in memory of me. I beg them to regard my sister as their second mother.

I exhort my son, should he have the misfortune of becoming king, to remember he owes himself wholly to the happiness of his fellow citizens; that he should forget all hates and all grudges, particularly those connected with the misfortunes and sorrows which I am experiencing; that he can make the people happy only by ruling according to laws: but at the same time to remember that a king cannot make himself respected and do the good that is in his heart unless he has the necessary authority, and that otherwise, being tangled up in his activities and not inspiring respect, he is more harmful than useful.

I exhort my son to care for all the persons who are attached to me, as much as his circumstances will allow, to remember that it is a sacred debt which I have contracted towards the children and relatives of those who have perished for me and also those who are wretched for my sake. I know that there are many persons, among those who were near me, who did not conduct themselves towards me as they should have and who have even shown ingratitude, but I pardon them (often in moments of trouble and turmoil one is not master of oneself), and I beg my son that, if he finds an occasion, he should think only of their misfortunes.

I should have wanted here to show my gratitude to those who have given me a true and disinterested affection; if, on the one hand, I was keenly hurt by the ingratitude and disloyalty of those to whom I have always, shown kindness, as well as to their relatives and friends, on the other hand I have had the consolation of seeing the affection and voluntary interest which many persons have shown me. I beg them to receive my thanks.

In the situation in which matters still are, I fear to compromise them if I should speak more explicitly, but I especially enjoin my son to seek occasion to recognize them.

I should, nevertheless, consider it a calumny on the nation if I did not openly recommend to my son MM. De Chamilly and Hue, whose genuine attachment for me led them to imprison themselves with me in this sad abode. I also recommend Clery, for whose attentiveness I have nothing but praise ever since he has been with me. Since it is he who has remained with me until the end, I beg the gentlemen of the commune to hand over to him my clothes, my books, my watch, my purse, and all other small effects which have been deposited with the council of the commune.

I pardon again very readily those who guard me, the ill treatment and the vexations which they thought it necessary to impose upon me. I found a few sensitive and compassionate souls among them - may they in their hearts enjoy the tranquility which their way of thinking gives them.

I beg MM. De Malesherbes, Tronchet and De Seze to receive all my thanks and the expressions of my feelings for all the cares and troubles they took for me.

I finish by declaring before God, and ready to appear before Him, that I do not reproach myself with any of the crimes with which I am charged.

Made in duplicate in the Tower of the Temple, the 25th of December 1792.


(Archives Nationales, Paris, dated 25 Dec 1792; given by the King to M. Baudrais, a municipal officer, on 21 Jan 1793, a few moments for he left for his place of execution. Baudrais immediately signed his name to authenticate it and deposited it with the commune, where it was signed and certified by Coulomneau, the secretary, and Drouel, the vice-president).

Procession to eternity

On January 20, 1793, the National Convention condemned Louis XVI to death, his execution scheduled for the next day. Louis spent that evening saying goodbye to his wife and children. The following day dawned cold and wet. Louis arose at five. At eight o'clock a guard of 1,200 horsemen arrived to escort the former king on a two-hour carriage ride to his place of execution. Accompanying Louis, at his invitation, was a priest, Henry Essex Edgeworth, an Englishman living in France. Edgeworth recorded the event and we join his narrative as he and the fated King enter the carriage to begin their journey:

"The King, finding himself seated in the carriage, where he could neither speak to me nor be spoken to without witness, kept a profound silence. I presented him with my breviary, the only book I had with me, and he seemed to accept it with pleasure: he appeared anxious that I should point out to him the psalms that were most suited to his situation, and he recited them attentively with me. The gendarmes, without speaking, seemed astonished and confounded at the tranquil piety of their monarch, to whom they doubtless never had before approached so near.

The procession lasted almost two hours; the streets were lined with citizens, all armed, some with pikes and some with guns, and the carriage was surrounded by a body of troops, formed of the most desperate people of Paris. As another precaution, they had placed before the horses a number of drums, intended to drown any noise or murmur in favour of the King; but how could they be heard? Nobody appeared either at the doors or windows, and in the street nothing was to be seen, but armed citizens - citizens, all rushing towards the commission of a crime, which perhaps they detested in their hearts.

The carriage proceeded thus in silence to the Place de Louis XV, and stopped in the middle of a large space that had been left round the scaffold: this space was surrounded with cannon, and beyond, an armed multitude extended as far as the eye could reach. As soon as the King perceived that the carriage stopped, he turned and whispered to me, 'We are arrived, if I mistake not.' My silence answered that we were. One of the guards came to open the carriage door, and the gendarmes would have jumped out, but the King stopped them, and leaning his arm on my knee, 'Gentlemen,' said he, with the tone of majesty, 'I recommend to you this good man; take care that after my death no insult be offered to him - I charge you to prevent it.'… As soon as the King had left the carriage, three guards surrounded him, and would have taken off his clothes, but he repulsed them with haughtiness- he undressed himself, untied his neckcloth, opened his shirt, and arranged it himself. The guards, whom the determined countenance of the King had for a moment disconcerted, seemed to recover their audacity. They surrounded him again, and would have seized his hands. 'What are you attempting?' said the King, drawing back his hands. 'To bind you,' answered the wretches. 'To bind me,' said the King, with an indignant air. 'No! I shall never consent to that: do what you have been ordered, but you shall never bind me. . .'

The path leading to the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to pass; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and from the slowness with which he proceeded, I feared for a moment that his courage might fail; but what was my astonishment, when arrived at the last step, I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole scaffold; silence, by his look alone, fifteen or twenty drums that were placed opposite to me; and in a voice so loud, that it must have been heard it the Pont Tournant, I heard him pronounce distinctly these memorable words: 'I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.'

He was proceeding, when a man on horseback, in the national uniform, and with a ferocious cry, ordered the drums to beat. Many voices were at the same time heard encouraging the executioners. They seemed reanimated themselves, in seizing with violence the most virtuous of Kings, they dragged him under the axe of the guillotine, which with one stroke severed his head from his body. All this passed in a moment. The youngest of the guards, who seemed about eighteen, immediately seized the head, and showed it to the people as he walked round the scaffold; he accompanied this monstrous ceremony with the most atrocious and indecent gestures. At first an awful silence prevailed; at length some cries of 'Vive la Republique!' were heard. By degrees the voices multiplied and in less than ten minutes this cry, a thousand times repeated became the universal shout of the multitude, and every hat was in the air."

References: Cronin, Vincent, Louis and Antoinete (1975); Edgeworth, Henry in Thompson, J.M., English Witnesses of the French Revolution (1938, Memoirs originally published 1815).

Argentina and a problematic episcopate - sources, sources, sources...

A bishop has to resign in an emergency situation after being caught on video in intimate relations with another man. Another is detained by the police after being accused by a woman, who did not know he was a bishop, of groping her in a bus. Bishops defend the government. Bishops criticize the government. America? No, this is the deeply divided episcopate in Argentina.

Regardless of that, even if one considers the Argentinian episcopate as "solidly united", what does this have to do with the fact that there was great uneasiness in vast areas of the Argentinian episcopate with the appointment of two bishops in late 2005 who had not been included in the lists sent by the nuncio in Buenos Aires to Rome?

This uneasiness, which was reported in English here (parts 1 and 2), had been widely reported in the Argentinian press, and was repeatedly mentioned as recently as yesterday (when the indication of Eduardo Martín as bishop of Río Cuarto was mentioned as a sign of the Vatican to placate the episcopate), is "a complete lie", according to Alejandro Bermudez. And what is his source for this decisive declaration? He says his Roman sources tell him that nothing happene­d..., probably the same sources who told him there would be no consistory announcement yesterday...

Now, why would the entire Argentinian press (all of it) make up this story out of thin air? Why would Clarín, the largest Argentinian newspaper; Página 12, the most important weekly; and dozens of news sources (check here), which have been extremely precise in many of their religion news in the past, publish pages and pages on this crisis between the Argentinian episcopate and the Holy See if it was all a "complete lie"?

A "complete lie" was what Clarin was accused of by many when it first published the troubling news of the video of bishop Maccarone and a young man in intimate relations. But it was confirmed later, by Maccarone himself.

With his comment that the relationship between the Argentinian Episcopal Conference and the nuncio is "symbiotic", Bermudez actually confirms the core of the dispute in the Argentinian episcopate. He is right! It is! Which is why this issue matters to the whole Catholic world. It exposes the sick way in which the choice of new bishops, which should be a free papal choice, suffers so many great pressures, even greater than in the age of emperors and absolute monarchs. How, after centuries of temporal pressures, now the Holy See, which was supposed to be so "free" and "unencumbered", especially after the great Council, is a victim of these mammoth bureaucracies called episcopal conferences, whose members have to "agree" with the names of the nominees, as the most recent nominee, "endorsed by the authorities the national episcopate" -- a clear self-perpetuation of mediocrity and fear, which is the Trahison des Clercs inside Holy Mother Church.

In other words, the nuncio in Buenos Aires, who should be the Pope's faithful representative and who ought to be completely free from outside influence, is submissive to the Argentinian Episcopal Conference. This is why the Holy Father's choices of Sigampa (not exactly a "conservative"), Mollaghan (not much of a "conservative,", either), and the very young Oscar Sarlinga...were so badly received, not because they were truly "conservative", but because they had not been the "most voted", the highest-placed candidates in the ternas (the lists of three names sent by the local nuncio to Rome). If Cardinal Bergoglio is considered a "conservative" in Argentina, one can only guess what an Argentinian "progressive" is like (Bergoglio's perceived "conservatism" is a result of his difficult days in the Society of Jesus in the 1970s, when even Luther and Calvin would have been considered "ultraconservative Catholics"). After returning from Rome, Bergoglio said that there were no divisions in the Argentinian episcopate -- and what else could he say?

This while the resigning bishop of Zárate-Campana publicly states that he was forced to resign -- and the same article reports that one of the few truly conservative bishops in Argentina, Antonio Baseotto, a champion of the culture of life, is being talked into resigning.

Which is why one of the experts on the history of the Church in contemporary Argentina, Juan Cruz Esquivel, wrote in Página 12 on the serious divisions in the Episcopate (its "progressive" majority and its "conservative" minority... or vice-versa) and why this has affected the relations between the Episcopal Conference, whose dominion over the episcopal nominations has been almost complete in the past decades, and the current pontificate.

Notable absences in the new consistory

My greatest surprise in this morning's announcement, by His Holiness, of the new consistory long predicted for March 24 (see list here in the Bulletin) was the absence of the Archbishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois (the emeritus, Cardinal Lustiger, will turn 80 next September). The French choice fell on the Archbishop of Bordeaux and president of the French Episcopal Conference, Jean-Pierre Ricard. The Pope decided, as it had been rumored in the Italian Press, for a small consistory -- and it is probable that there will be yearly small consistories during his pontificate.

By region of the world, these are the choices of voting cardinals:

Europe: Franc Rodé (C. Religious), Agostino Vallini (Apostolic Signatura), Jean-Pierre Ricard (Bordeaux), Antonio Cañizares Llovera (Toledo), Stanislaw Dziwisz (Krakow), Carlo Caffarra (Bologna).

North America: William Levada (C. Doctrine of the Faith), Sean O'Malley (Boston)

Latin America: Jorge Urosa Savino (Caracas)

Asia: Gaudencio Rosales (Manila), Nicolas Cheong-Jin-Suk (Seoul), Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun (Hong Kong, China)

Note 1: Cardinal Zen Ze-Kiun is the first prelate from the People's Republic of China (true, Hong Kong, but the People's Republic, nonetheless) to be made Cardinal since Cardinal Kung, in 1979. Note 2: Only one cardinal from Latin America.

Rumors, CHECKED!

This is kind of confusing... We hope to comment more later this week on the conference of the Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, Bp. Bernard Fellay, in Denver last Sunday, but it is very hard to depend on reports of what may have been said. If there is an audio file available somewhere, please link to it in the comments below.

There are a few important points in the report so far available here, upon which we intend to comment later. But there are a couple of curiosities which must be highlighted:

Thus, the 15th of September was the last time that there was communication between H.L. [Fellay] and Cardinal [Castrillón] Hoyos, or anyone officially associated with Rome for that matter. It was a 2-day meeting, lasting 5 hours in toto.

[The conference reporter inserts this comment:] This crushed numerous rumors of “secret phone calls” and “meetings” that have allegedly been happening between September 2005 and now, February 2006.

H.L. [Fellay] did mention that before the meeting of Cardinals the week prior Cardinal [Castrillón] Hoyos had called Menzingen (the SSPX world headquarters) to ask for “prayers” for the meeting.

This is curious. If there were no "secret" meetings, then why this mention of the September meeting, which had been unknown to all Catholic watchers (my guess is that this is a reference to the November 15 meeting)? And further, if there were no secret meetings, why did the Superior-General himself say in his Candlemas sermon in Flavigny that he had indeed met Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in his apartment in November 15, 2005 (perhaps the reporter of the Denver conference heard "September" instead of November)? We count at least two previously "secret" meetings, "ridiculous rumors", unknown or dismissed as "mere rumors" confirmed by the Superior-General himself, at Candlemas (November meeting) and Denver (a previous September meeting, if the report is accurate) -- or, if the Denver report is inaccurate, at least one two-day-long meeting in November.

Then, though the reporter dismisses as absurd the "secret phone calls", what was the character of the phone call made by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos to the Superior-General? Wasn't it a call of an "extremely discrete" nature, as reported last Friday? It is true that in his article Tommaso Debenedetti mentioned rumors of possible calls between the Pope and Fellay, but (1) he made it clear that they were weak rumors; (2) he made it clear that what mattered was the spirit of great closeness of those in the Holy See who are responsible for these talks and the Fraternity (the Pope himself and his personal representative for all Traditionalist issues, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos), closeness reflected in this personal rapport between the Cardinal and the Superior-General. Or does anyone doubt that any direct calls of Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos' to the Superior-General are made with the Pope's full knowledge and approval?

The rumors may have not been entirely confirmed, but anyone who usually follows this news must be amazed at how many rumors have been confirmed so far (this degree of "rumor-confirmation" is unparalleled for any kind of Catholic news). The August meeting, the November meeting, the talks of an Apostolic Administration, the talks of phone calls between the Vatican and the FSSPX, some kind of petition for the lifting of the censures (or excommunications, whatever one wishes to call the action -- see here), the Papal-Curial meeting of February 13 (of which there had been rumors at least since early January)-- each and every one of these were first "rumors", absurd rumors even, before being confirmed. Is there a pattern here? We report, you decide...

There are clearer and clearer indications that there will be no "reconciliation" in the near future (the last letter of the District Superior of France for the FSSPX is a surer sign of this than all conferences of the Superior-General put together), if anyone cares for this blogger's opinion. But if one wishes to dismiss all "rumors" as implausible, then one denies the very fact that so many of these rumors have ultimately been proven to be true.

*Thank you, Stephen Heiner, for this timely report.

The Marginalization of Confession

It’s a fact. Do you doubt it? Consider these simple observations, which I derive from over four decades’ residence as a Catholic in the diocese of Buffalo, NY:
Most parish priests schedule confession times about a half hour before the Saturday Mass.
It is rare that more than one priest is available for confession in the same parish at the same time (admittedly, this is largely because most parishes don’t have more than one priest on staff anymore).
It is also rare that confession times are scheduled during the week.
Even with these abbreviated hours, priests spend much of their time sitting in their comfy reconciliation rooms, staring at the wall. Parishioners arriving early apparently prefer to sit in the pews, chatting up one another in fellowshippy ways.
How many parishioners attend confession weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Do you need both hands to do a finger count?
If a bar chart of total number of parishioners vs. total number of parishioners attending Confession the previous Saturday were included in the church bulletin, would the latter bar be larger than, say, a pencil line? Would it even be visible?
How many priests give more than a rare passing remark about this phenomenon in their homilies?
How many priests deliver that rare passing remark in a context and a tone suggesting that (a) sin is a deadly serious matter, and (b) confession of sins is positively crucial to the saving of your immortal soul?

When was the last time you heard a priest say from the pulpit in even a vaguely imperative way that the reception of Holy Communion knowingly with a mortal sin upon one’s soul is itself a mortal sin?

Ralph's Idle Mind

Let’s say, just for a moment, that you are the Chief Executive Officer of the Worldwide Sin Corporation. You are desperate to expand your market outreach. Although the market for sin and depravity has been growing by leaps and bounds, your success only makes you more ravenous. There must be a way! So, you call a top level conference beside the executive sulphur pit. All of your best and brightest minds are there, blue-skying like mad. Suddenly, Smithers, an especially devious junior executive whom you’ve had your eye on, snaps his elongated fingers, and shouts, “I’ve got it! Let’s marginalize confession!!”, and the following dialogue ensues:
CEO: Hmmm . . . interesting. How would you do that?
Smithers: Well, you might start by renaming it.
CEO: Yee-essss. The very act of renaming suggests a break with the past, perhaps a relativization . . . . What name?
Smithers: Well, of course they chose "reconciliation" Not bad! Confession implies that one party has been at fault, and has, through grace, summoned the humility to admit his fault, and to seek the forgiveness of the other party. Reconciliation, however, obscures the notion of fault: let’s just give each other a big hug and be pals again! If the notion of fault is obscured, so are the concomitant notions of responsibility and redress. In fact, temporal punishment is at odds with the whole idea of reconciliation. After all, if we are two former buddies seeking to restore our good relationship without clear reference – a tacit one at best -- to who was at fault for the rupture in that relationship, how does the idea of temporal punishment apply?
CEO: So, "reconciliation" is in. What else?
Smithers: Next, you might try to undercut the uniqueness of the sacrament of Confession by emphasizing the ability of other sacraments to forgive sin. Baptism, the most powerful of the sacraments, is, of course, is a special case. And the Church has long taught that the Eucharist cleanses the souls of recipients of venial sin. That isn’t enough – we want people to think of all sin as essentially venial -- you know, pecadillos, mere bagatelles, even emblems of a bold, sassy, totally outrageous lifestyle.
CEO: Yes, oh indeed yes, I do like "sassy"!
Smithers: However, we have been monitoring an extremely promising recent development regarding another sacrament, Extreme Unction, now called the Sacrament of the Sick. Certain priests are becoming rather liberal in their distribution of that sacrament. In fact, some simply invite anyone who feels he needs healing of some sort, to step up, be anointed, and receive the sacrament and all of its graces, including the forgiveness of sins (We find it deliciously ironic that those for whom the sacrament was originally intended -- the mortally ill -- usually cannot manage this!) .
Of course, if a priest offers this sacrament, say, every week, and one is partaking of it every week, what need has that person, one might well ask, of the sacrament of Confession?
CEO: Pit one sacrament against another! That’s brilliant, Smithers! That, plus the usual saturation-bombing of secularist ridicule, should have Confession up there with the sixth commandment in no time! This catechetical disinformation project that we’ve been pushing the last century or so is reaping handsome rewards, gentlemen! A tribute to my brilliant long term planning, of course. . . .

ALL: Yes, SIR!!

Martyrs of the "Cartoon Crisis"

Father Michael Gajere, of the Diocese of Maiduguri, was among the victims of the terrible Muslim persecutions unleashed in Nigeria as a result of the artificial "crisis" of the cartoons.


Saint James, pray for us.
(¡Santiago y cierra España!)

Hell on earth

What have the barbarians done to the Catholic Church?

The seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside are they that hear: then the devil cometh and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. (Semen est verbum Dei. Qui autem secus viam, hi sunt qui audiunt: deinde venit diabolus, et tollit verbum de corde eorum, ne credentes salvi fiant.) [From the Gospel of the Sunday of Sexagesima]

The wicked Thomas Cranmer was more respectful of the Tradition of the Church than these perverted men and their shepherds, of hearts on which the Devil comes to eat the seeds thrown on barren land.

Interesting note: William Cobbett's famous History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland is now fully available (and searchable) at Google Books, in one of its first editions (a current version is published by TAN).

Offered Without Laugh Track

While on the road this morning, I tuned in to the Catholic radio station, and heard this tender gem of ecumenism on "The Doctor Is In", a call-in show.

It seems that a lady who volunteers with the Pre-Cana conferences in her parish is disturbed by the approach of two of her co-volunteers. The latter are a married couple, one Catholic and one Lutheran. In their conferences, they give witness to the joys of inter-religious marriage. They go to each other's churches on alternate Sundays. They teach their children both faiths, so that the darling little tykes make "informed decisions" when they are good and ready.

And, just to be clear, this is what they say to young, predominantly Catholic couples, about to be married in the Catholic Church, and soon to be raising children in the Catholic faith.

And the pastor? Well, he's either oblivious, or down wid it, bro.

Scandal in the Pews!

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine Altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united to Thee, behold, each one of us this day freely dedicates himself to Thy Most Sacred Heart. Many, indeed, have never known Thee; many, too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal sons who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they perish of wretchedness and hunger. Be Thou King of those whom heresy holds in error or discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one fold and one Shepherd. Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom. Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, which was for so long a time Thy chosen people; and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life. Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; unto all nations give an ordered tranquillity; bring it to pass that from pole to pole the earth may resound with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

From The Raccolta, #271, indulgence 5 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on condition of confession, Communion and a visit to a church or public oratory for the daily recitation of this prayer.

Just don't let your bishop find out.

Rome, FSSPX, and the Traditional Roman Rite - What to expect in the near future

So, what should we expect in the next few weeks regarding the ongoing talks between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X?

First: do not expect big news.

There may be all sorts of rumors from Rome and elsewhere up to the meeting of late March. We will publish those which are trustworthy or credible, but as they are rumors they should not be used to raise expectations. In any case, both from the Holy See and from the FSSPX there will not be official news regarding anything, perhaps well into Eastertide.

Rumors are quite necessary to understand the steps of the process (by "process" we mean the discussions and decisions which eventually lead to some kind of stable position for the Traditional rites of the Roman Mass and Sacraments and for the priests and faithful attached to them in the Church at large, which may -- or may not -- include some kind of "reconciliation" of the FSSPX). For instance, in strictly "official" terms, there has been no official note on the topics discussed in the Papal-Curial meeting of February 13, but we know from credible "rumors" what kind of discussion took place. In any case, do not get anxious with any apparent lack of news: it means the machinery is working properly.

Second: do not expect a "magic" date.

Catholics who follow these events know that it is common that rumors regarding a "certain" date for a "certain event" are spread. But readers should be wary of these "magic" dates. For instance, it was wrongly interpreted by some that the news we last published meant that something great will "officially" happen in the next meeting, scheduled for March 23. It is certain that important decisions will be taken then, but the results may take a few weeks or even months to be divulged.

The most important aspect of our recent piece was to present what we consider to be the overwhelming evidence that this process is being led, by the part of the Holy See, by the direct will of His Holiness -- there can be no doubt about it. Petty legalisms and collective threats, which weighed heavily on the mind of his predecessor on this matter, will have no such influence on the lord Pope Benedict, the sixteenth of that name...

Third: do not overinterpret, understand the details.

Many people in all sides wish to overplay their influence and pretend they can determine the outcome; they cannot. As we have warned here before, be careful with interviews and rumors from some sources who are not as knowledgeable on the matter as one would be led to believe from their titles

Regarding those who have a say in the process: in the current stage, even the texts which seem most clear are actually full of interesting details. Do not overinterpret them -- but do not simply take them at face value.

Some things will never change

At least 15 die in Nigeria cartoon protest
Associated Press - February 19, 2006

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Nigerian Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches on Saturday, killing at least 15 people in the deadliest confrontation yet in the whirlwind of Muslim anger over the drawings.

11 killed in Libya cartoon riot
Associated Press - February 18, 2006

In deadliest demonstration yet against Prophet Muhammad caricatures, Libyans riot at Italian consulate Friday, setting building on fire; 29 people killed altogether in cartoon riots throughout Muslim world.

40pc of UK Muslims want sharia law brought in
The Sunday Telegraph - February 19, 2006

Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, a new survey has revealed. A fifth also have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of suicide bombers.

In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the "Infidel". Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

"The end of the schism" - Turning Point in Rome-FSSPX talks

The Italian daily L'Indipendente publishes today a powerful article (PDF file), written by Tommaso Debenedetti, with extremely important information on the Papal meeting of February 13, the considerably deep rapport between the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X and the Pope himself, and the prospects of what may happen at the second Papal-Curial meeting of March 23.

These are the most important parts of the article:

1. The heads of the dicasteries [capi dicastero], in fact, were called to evaluate, together with the pope, the fastest and the most legally valid ways to arrive at what Benedict XVI wishes with all his strength: that is, the end of every disagreement with the Fraternity of Saint Pius X (the official name of that organization which assembles the followers of Lefebvre, that is, the four bishops, almost 500 priests and hundreds of thousands of faithful in the five continents). Actually, Ratzinger did not need consultants: he had been put in charge by John Paul II to look after this very delicate question for more than a decade. It is known, in fact, that Wojtila suffered immensely for having to impose the excommunications which signaled the birth of the only schism of contemporary times.

2. Benedict XVI, who, once elected pope, quickly decided to carry the matter forward to solve it in a short time, has chosen instead to assure a broad consensus and the input of legal-technical advice in taking the decision which he had always considered an absolute priority.

3. A document will be drafted to be presented to the Pope in another meeting, scheduled for March 23, which -- according to the news collected by us -- will signal not only the lifting of the excommunications, but the end of the schism

4. "The Holy Father", says one of his collaborators, "is so interested in finding a solution in a very short time that he is ready to find any legal way which pleases him. Naturally without disregarding the fundamental principles of the Church, of her history, and of the dispositions which concern her today."

5. Therefore, a compromise? "In such matters", responds the Pope's collaborator, "there are no compromises, at least not in the current and easily misleading sense of the word, but there are fruitful mediations, especially when both parts have the will to arrive at an objective".

6. Asked if March 23 will be the true date, it is answered: "For us, it will be."

7. Nobody in the Vatican admits it in clear terms, but the often recurrent news according to which Benedict XVI himself has, at least with a certain frequency, direct contacts with the Fraternity of Saint Pius X seems well founded. Repeated (extremely discrete) telephone conversations between Ratzinger and the Lefebvrian bishop Fellay are mentioned, from which has matured a disposition, from the part of Traditionalists, which is quite superior [more positive] than that which is expressed by the official communiqués.

8. Actually, the truly encouraging results of these contacts have induced Ratzinger to call the two meetings of [past] Monday and of March 23 and to bring the news to the outside, which would have been avoided if there had not been a feeling of justified optimism.

Holy See - Rome - SSPX - Fellay - talks - reconciliation

Update (March 1, 2006): If you are visiting us from Hugh Hewitt, please visit the rest of our blog. You may also enjoy the following recent articles:

Rome, FSSPX, and the Traditional Roman Rite - What to expect in the near future

Rumors, CHECKED!

No news? Good news.

A RORATE CÆLI Editorial: Holy See - SSPX.

The Passion of Spain - 70 years later

Near the Spanish border with France there is a small Aragonese town called Bielsa. During the terrible days of the 1936-1939 war, the parish church was ransacked and destroyed, as so many thousands of churches throughout Spain, and the Crucifix (pictured above) was burned.

So many thousands of Catholics were killed during those terrible days of unimaginable bloodshed, for the simple profession of their faith. At least 10,000 martyrs: 13 bishops, 4,184 diocesan priests and seminarians, 2,365 men religious, 285 nuns, and so many thousands of lay faithful!

Yet, it is hard to define exactly the day when it all began. Was it with the fall of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and, with it, the monarchy and the establishment of the Second Republic in 1931? Was it with the anticlerical Constitution of December 9, 1931? Was it with the Anarchist-Communist revolts in Asturias in 1934 (which gave the Spanish land its first bright group of martyrs of the 20th century, canonized in 1999)?

In January 1936, the economical crisis and social turmoil caused the downfall of the conservative government. All leftist parties, even those movements which rejected democracy at all costs and whose only aim was to install the "dictatorship of proletariat", against the "Vaticanist reaction", united under the banner of the Popular Front. On February 16, 1936, the upheaval which had dominated the Spanish Republic since its beginning, caused in no small part by the agitations of Communist and Communist-friendly groups (which had culminated in the Asturian revolts of 1934) assured the election of a leftist majority to the Cortes, under the leadership of Manuel Azaña.

The left wing Spanish parties were bitterly divided among themselves, but one thing united them all: a deep, incontrollable, and hateful anticlericalism. Not since the French Revolution had such a clear hatred of the Catholic Church been so prominent in any Western nation: the passion of Spain was about to begin, 70 years ago today.

The Love Bout

I recently posted this comment on the Pertinacious Papist. Most of the folks there were having an argument about beer and did not appreciate the interruption (at this point I should import one of those smiley things, but I can't bring myself to do it). So, I thought I'd run it up our flag:
Neo-con fainthearts! Be the first on your block to discover:
No puns! No personalized love goop mixing with theological cotton-candy spinning! No Catholic Narnimaniacal fantasizing passing as theology! No youthful burbling! No youthful adulation of youthful burbling! No theologipalooza book-signing tours!
No stones -- just bread!
Yes, it's Romano Amerio, safely dead and buried, but whose magnum opus still packs more punch [Look, mom! It even has an INDEX!!] than do the collected works of all of the male cheerleaders who have followed him.
Read Iota Unum TODAY!! Benedict has.

Bermudez, Arinze and the Novus Ordo

(A picture is worth...)

Yesterday I posted a comment about something that Alejandro Bermudez had said. Mr. Bermudez had this to say about my nosy comment:
"Wait a minute Al: Are you saying we should ALL go back to the old Missal? Look, I am supportive of having a freer chance to celebrate it, but at the same time I know many places in which decent priests celebrate the real Sacrifice. I personally attend many of those Masses with great spiritual fruit. And thereare much more than what you can count. It seems you have been only attending Gumbleton’s masses… Drive around pal!"
Of course I just could not let go, and so I went on to say this :
Mr. Bermudez,

No, I don’t think the Traditional Roman Mass should be forced upon anyone, that would be just as uncharitable and agressive as what Paul VI did to the poor old ladies who had to get used to the “polka masses”.

As for driving around, I have. I had to leave my country, my job and everything else to be close to a decent Mass. I’m serious, you have no idea of what is happening outside Rome!

This whole “driving around” argument makes my point: Which of the masses are right? The EWTN mass, the “Adoremus” mass, Fr. Ruttler’s mass, or BISHOP Gumbleton’s mass, Steubenville Mass, Thomas Aquinas College’s mass, Neo-Catechumenal Way mass, Opus Dei mass? What is the standard? Are they all right? Or are you saying that BISHOP Gumblenton doesn’t know how to say a mass?

Maybe someone should say: The King is Naked! The New liturgy is unworkable!

The rebirth of Tradition

What is more moving in this picture? The huge building still under construction in a humble and remote area of South America? The considerable multitude of Traditional Catholics?

Hic domus Dei est, et porta caeli, et vocabitur aula Dei.

This multitude which fills the Personal Parish Church of the Good Crucified Lord, in the small city of Bom Jesus do Itabapoana, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, witnesses one of those incomprehensible moments in History: an unworthy man becomes a priest of God, forever, secundum ordinem Melchisedech. See more pictures of the ordination and of the first Mass of the newest priest of the Apostolic Administration Saint John Mary Vianney (in Campos, Brazil), Fr. Raphael Gomes Paes Leme Lobo here.

Motives behind a promotion

So why was Michael Fitzgerald promoted from the chairmanship of a Roman dicastery to the nunciature in Cairo? Was it simply the beginning of the streamlining of the Curia (see here)? Korazym offers this set of opinions:

"'The Pope' -- says the Vaticanist [of Italian news agency AGI] -- has not shown himself as able to compromise on aspects regarding the personal life of the members of the Curia.' The same concept is also published by ANSA [another Italian news agency], according to which 'among [Vatican] watchers it is asked if other considerations may not have weighed down on Ratzinger's decision, regarding, particularly, personal lifestyles.' It is impossible to understand to what those allusions refer: the agencies do not say it and turn a gossip into news presumed [as widely known]."
Both Korazym and Andrea Tornielli in today's edition of Il Giornale remind their readers that Fitzgerald was the highest authority in that scandalous interreligious meeting in Fatima, in 2003, whose star was none other than Jacques Dupuis, SJ, highly praised by Fitzgerald at the time as the man who had provided the "theological basis" for interreligious dialogue. Dupuis, as is well remembered, was condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2001) and was the most important individual theologian who forced the same Congregation to issue one of the most important documents of the previous pontificate, the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000). Il Foglio also regards this as the overwhelming motive for the promotion of Fitzgerald.

P.S. Levada, Rodè, Rylko, and Vallini are the names mentioned by these three sources as the Curial cardinals for the upcoming consistory.