Rorate Caeli

Italian Protestants: "a spirit of Counter-Reformation" has returned...

News from the Synod of the Valdensians and Methodists in Italy, assembled in Torre Pellice (Piedmont), on Summorum Pontificum and the recent Responses of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. From the text of the "order of the day" (motion), approved yesterday, which shows that the Italian Protestants understand the full meaning of the Traditional Mass:

"-considering the ecumenical situation created following the recent motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, of Benedict XVI, which has restored the position of the Latin Mass according to the Roman Missal of Pius V (1570), characterized by the denial of all that the Reformation had affirmed on the matter of the renewal of public Christian worship, and the document entitled Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church...of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , in which, among other things, it is affirmed that the only Church of Christ 'subsists exclusively in the one Catholic Church' of Rome and that the churches born out of the Reformation of the 16th century 'cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called 'Churches' in the proper sense'."...

"-We thank God for having liberated us, for eight centuries as Valdensians and for five centuries as Protestants, from submission to the Roman Pontiff, whom we recognize as a brother in Christ, but not as a teacher of the faith, realizing additionally, once again, that the Papacy and the Roman Curia are today, as in the 16th century, an obstacle to Christian unit;"...

Écrasez l'Infâme, chapter # 92,901,437

While mosques, Muslim "cultural centers", and Muslim "social services organizations" expand with the help of oil revenues throughout Europe, this is what really concerns the European Commission (International Herald Tribune):

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Commission has asked the Italian government to explain a tax break for Catholic Church clinics or hostels that may break EU rules on state subsidies by giving an unfair advantage over rivals, officials said Tuesday.

In 2005, then Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi extended a property tax exemption for the Church to cover buildings where it runs businesses such as private health clinics or convents that host pilgrims.

EU regulators said they had received complaints about the tax breaks from people it would not name and had written to Italy to ask for more information on how they work.

"Once a body has economic activities attached to it, then there can be a distortion of competition and it wouldn't be the first time we look at advantages given to the Church in various member states," EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said.

Fellay speaks: "Turmoil" in the Church

The most respectable daily in Argentina, La Nación, published this Monday two articles based on interviews granted to its reporters by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay.

The most relevant excerpts of the first article, including Fellay's actual words:

"We have never moved away from the Church. We have always been and are Catholics, and we have always worked with the intent of remaining so. There are difficulties with the authority, but that does not mean that we deny it [the authority]."

..."There are men in the Vatican Curia who do not work for the Pope."

"The only problem which remains now is [of a] political [nature]. There is a part of the Church which does not love us, which considers us as dinosaurs, and Rome does not know how to manage this dialectic between the conservatives, as we are, and the progressives who do not want [to follow on] the same path. If [they] give us too much, the others would react."

He [Fellay] explained that, "until things improve", the links to the Catholic bishops and priests are very scarse. They do not maintain a dialogue, for instance, with Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio [S.J.], Archbishop of Buenos Aires and president of the Argentinian Episcopate. "Father Bouchacourt [head of the Latin American District of the FSSPX, whose headquarters are in Martínez, in the Greater Buenos Aires area] sent two letters to Cardinal Bergoglio, and did not receive an answer. That is, the silence comes more from him than from us," said Fellay.

"We have never intended to build a parallel Church or authority"..."The official Church has put us aside. We have been marginalized. That is true. Yet, they cannot say or prove that we are on the outside. It is interesting that in the motu proprio which rehabilitated the ancient Mass of the Tridentine Rite [Summorum Pontificum], the Pope says that the reason for his action is to work towards internal reconciliation in the Church. He is speaking about us. We have thus here the declaration of the Pope himself that we are not schismatics," he affirmed.

[On the current situation of the Church:]

"It is very complex," he answers. And he adds: "There are many currents which produce turmoils when they meet, and the authority has lost control over some of these currents. One example is the situation of a de facto schism which is noticed in North America, even though Rome wishes to prevent it from becoming a formal schism".

Part of the actual interview was published in the second article, whose questions and answers are available below:

To the question on whether a real opening [towards the FSSPX] or a state of confusion prevails in Rome, Bishop Bernard Fellay states that "it may be both".

"The Pope - he explains - wishes that all the body of the Church be in peace and he thus pursues the true union of all her members. The Church desires unity with all those who are outside her. But to effect this ecumenical movement without pursuing the internal union would undermine her credibility. There is a task [needed in order] to reorder things, and this takes time. It is very hard to reintroduce discipline. There is a fear of punishing. The Pope wants discipline with order, but I ask myself if he can accomplish it"

-[La Nación] Why would he not be able to do it if he wanted to?

-"Because there are men in the Vatican Curia who do not work for the Pope, but for others."

-[La Nación] For instance?

-"[They work] For groups. One of them is the mafia looking for money in dealings with the Church. There are terrible scandals in this area. Another group, more dangerous, are the Freemasons; there are three of four lodges specific for Vatican Bishops and priests which seek to use the Church to reach the union of all peoples and religions. The current Pope is against this [the current state of affairs] and works to clean it. He has done a part of this work in silence up to now, charging small faithful groups with studying a theme, as, for instance, the motu proprio on the Latin Mass."

-[La Nación] On what other theme?

-"The recently released review of the manner of electing a Pope. This corrects a rule by John Paul II which [had been] done under the direction of the Secretariat of State."

-[La Nación] Do you foresee the future extinction of the current Mass?

-"The Latin Mass appears now [to be] an extraneous body because it was said to be forbidden for 50 years. But one will take the place of the other. This motu proprio which rehabilitates the ancient rite will generate a movement which, at first, will be slow. It will demand time, but it will grow slowly. I am certain [of this]."

-[La Nación] But if so few understand Latin...

-"It is not necessary to know Latin to take part in the Traditional Mass. What is important is that the readings and the sermon be understood by the faithful."

-[La Nación] Is the new Mass valid?

-"It can be. But this is not important. What is important is that we see in it a danger which may lead to an erroneous thought. We say that this Mass has a Protestant flavor. Benedict XVI said that he regrets the excesses in the liturgy, but while we attack it, he defends it. The definition of the Mass which was given had three errors which are heresies. But it was so grave that they changed this definition." [Rorate note: Reference to the first version (1969) of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, number 7, altered in the official text of the 1970 Roman Missal (first Editio Typica).]

Why do "progressives" want this Lombard
in the College of Cardinals so much?...

It has been decades since the name of a priest has last been advanced with such forcefulness by the Italian "progressive" elite for a position in the Curia. For almost two years, Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, Prefect of the great Ambrosian Library of the Archdiocese of Milan and a biblical academic of the Martinian school, has had his named promoted by the Italian nomenklatura close to the "progressives" in the Church. Month after month, his name resurfaces, as if he were an ecclesiastical pet project of the Italian Socialist and Post-Socialist forces. The project? A curial position, a cardinalatial hat, and whatever may result from Ravasi's presence (as leader, popemaker, Great Elector, or...else) in a future conclave, perhaps...

It is true that the name of Montini was widely proposed for a cardinalatial nomination to John XXIII by the more "progressive" forces in Italian politics - but, even though Pius XII did not create him a Cardinal (for chronological reasons, since Montini was named to Milan in 1954, one year after Pacelli's last consistory for the creation of cardinals), he had named him Archbishop of the largest diocese in Italy and his appointment to the College would only be a matter of time.

The Ravasi-mania in the Italian "Catholic progressive" circles is thus unprecedented in recent memory: several reports in the past few weeks assure that the heavy lobbying is finally working and that Ravasi (chosen by Benedict for the Via Crucis readings of 2007) will be named President of the Pontifical Council for Culture (currently occupied by Cardinal Poupard, who will be 77 at the end of the week), a cardinalatial chair - the last paper to present this as a certainty, in a long list of similar articles, was Il Riformista (transcript in Paolo Rodari's weblog).

My heart is inditing of a good matter

Qui audit me non confundetur, et qui operantur in me non peccabunt. Qui elucidant me vitam æternam habebunt. (from the Lesson for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Ecclesiasticus xxiv, 30-31: "He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.")

Mary is the Virgin most faithful who by her fidelity to God makes good the losses caused by Eve's unfaithfulness. She obtains fidelity to God and final perseverance for those who commit themselves to her. ... It was to Mary that the saints who attained salvation most firmly anchored themselves as did others who wanted to ensure their perseverance in holiness.

Blessed, indeed, are those Christians who bind themselves faithfully and completely to her as to a secure anchor! The violent storms of the world will not make them founder or carry away their heavenly riches. Blessed are those who enter into her as into another Noah's ark! The flood waters of sin which engulf so many will not harm them because, as the Church makes Mary say in the words of divine Wisdom, "Those who work by me" -for their salvation - "shall not sin." Blessed are the unfaithful children of unhappy Eve who commit themselves to Mary, the ever-faithful Virgin and Mother who never wavers in her fidelity and never goes back on her trust. She always loves those who love her, not only with deep affection, but with a love that is active and generous. By an abundant outpouring of grace she keeps them from relaxing their effort in the practice of virtue or falling by the wayside through loss of divine grace.

Moved by pure love, this good Mother always accepts whatever is given her in trust, and, once she accepts something, she binds herself in justice by a contract of trusteeship to keep it safe. Is not someone to whom I entrust the sum of a thousand francs obliged to keep it safe for me so that if it were lost through his negligence he would be responsible for it in strict justice? But nothing we entrust to the faithful Virgin will ever be lost through her negligence. Heaven and earth would pass away sooner than Mary would neglect or betray those who trusted in her.


Do not leave your gold and silver in your own safes which have already been broken into and rifled many times by the evil one. They are too small, too flimsy and too old to contain such great and priceless possessions. Do not put pure and clear water from the spring into vessels fouled and infected by sin. ... Chosen souls, although you may already understand me, I shall express myself still more clearly. Do not commit the gold of your charity, the silver of your purity to a threadbare sack or a battered old chest, or the waters of heavenly grace or the wines of your merits and virtues to a tainted and fetid cask, such as you are. Otherwise you will be robbed by thieving devils who are on the look-out day and night waiting for a favourable opportunity to plunder. If you do so all those pure gifts from God will be spoiled by the unwholesome presence of self-love, inordinate self-reliance, and self-will.

Pour into the bosom and heart of Mary all your precious possessions, all your graces and virtues. She is a spiritual vessel, a vessel of honor, a singular vessel of devotion. Ever since God personally hid himself with all his perfections in this vessel, it has become completely spiritual, and the spiritual abode of all spiritual souls. It has become honorable and has been the throne of honor for the greatest saints in heaven. It has become outstanding in devotion and the home of those renowned for gentleness, grace and virtue. Moreover, it has become as rich as a house of gold, as strong as a tower of David and as pure as a tower of ivory.

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

Recess for a few days; relevant news may be posted at any time.

Help Peru

Tens of thousands of our Catholic brothers and sisters, the true heirs of the Christian West, are suffering in Peru.





Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Donations (from the website of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference/Caritas del Perú):

Bank: Banco de Crédito del Perú - Miami Agency
Account # 201030010003521
ABA # 067015355

Picture selection: Creer en México

The true peace of Christ

...the peace which [Jesus Christ] came to bring is not synonymous with the absence of conflicts. On the contrary, the peace of Jesus is the fruit of a constant struggle against evil. The fight which Jesus decided to wage is not against men or human powers, but against the enemy of God and man, Satan.

Whoever wishes to resist this enemy by remaining faithful to God and goodness must necessarily face incomprehensions, and, at times, true and actual persecutions. Therefore, those who intend to follow Jesus and devote themselves to truth without compromises must know that they will face oppositions and shall become, despite of themselves, a sign of division among others, even within their own families. Love for parents is in fact a holy commandment, but, for it to be lived in an authentic way, it may never be placed before the love of God and of Christ.

In such a way, on the steps of the Lord Jesus, Christians become "instruments of his peace", according to the famous expression of Saint Francis of Assisi. Not of an inconsistent and superficial peace, but of a real [peace], sought with courage and tenacity in the daily struggle to overcome evil by good [cf. Romans xii, 21] and paying in the flesh the price which this entails.

Benedict XVI
August 19, 2007

Memento Abraham, Isaac et Iacob

Precatus est Moyses in conspectu Domini, Dei sui, et dixit: Quare, Domine, irasceris in populo tuo? Parce iræ animæ tuæ: memento Abraham, Isaac et Iacob, quibus iurasti dare terram fluentem lac et mel. (Offertory for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost - cf. Exodus xxxii: "Moses prayed in the sight of the Lord his God, and said: 'Why, O Lord, is thine indignation enkindled against thy people? Let the anger of thy mind cease; remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom thou didst swear to give a land flowing with milk and honey'.")

It might be assigned as a reason for the Law being given to the Jews rather than to other peoples, that the Jewish people alone remained faithful to the worship of one God, while the others turned away to idolatry; wherefore the latter were unworthy to receive the Law, lest a holy thing should be given to dogs.

But this reason does not seem fitting: because that people turned to idolatry, even after the Law had been made, which was more grievous, as is clear from Exodus xxxii and from Amos v, 25-26: "Did you offer victims and sacrifices to Me in the desert for forty years, O house of Israel? But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves." Moreover it is stated expressly: "Know therefore that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this excellent land in possession for thy justices, for thou art a very stiff-necked people": but the real reason is given in the preceding verse: "That the Lord might accomplish His word, which He promised by oath to thy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

What this promise was is shown by the Apostle, who says that "to Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, 'And to his seeds,' as of many: but as of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ." And so God vouchsafed both the Law and other special honors to that people, on account of the promises made to their Fathers that Christ should be born of them. For it was fitting that the people, of whom Christ was to be born, should be marked by a special sanctification, according to the words of Leviticus xix, 2: "Be ye holy, because I . . . am holy." Nor again was it on account of the merit of Abraham himself that this promise was made to him, that is, that Christ should be born of his seed: but of gratuitous election and vocation. Hence it is written: "Who hath raised up the just one form the east, hath called him to follow him?"

It is therefore evident that it was merely from gratuitous election that the patriarchs received the promise, and that the people sprung from them received the law; according to Deuteronomy iv, 36-37: "Thou didst hear His words out of the midst of the fire, because He loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them."
Saint Thomas Aquinas
S.Theol. I-II, 98, iv

It is estimated that at least one hundred Catholics died in the church of San Clemente, in Pisco, Peru, when it collapsed as a result of the massive earthquake which hit the Andean nation last Wednesday, feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

There are tens of thousands of refugees in Ica, Pisco, San Vicente de Cañete, and surrounding areas. Donations in the United States (Information from the website of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference/Caritas del Perú):

Bank: Banco de Crédito del Perú - Miami Agency
Account # 201030010003521
ABA # 067015355

Traditional Latin Mass Live on EWTN

EWTN to Televise Live Tridentine Mass Celebrated by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter

DENTON, Nebraska [FSSP] - AUGUST 17, 2007 - For the first time in its 26 year history, Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will be broadcasting a live Solemn High Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on September 14, 2007 at 8:00AM EST. EWTN has asked for the assistance of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, to help celebrate this "extraordinary" form.

This past July 7th, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the beauty and importance of the Tridentine Mass by issuing Summorum Pontificum, a papal document encouraging and confirming the right of all Latin Rite priests to use this more ancient use of the Mass starting September 14th. The Tridentine Mass was the normative liturgy experienced by Latin Rite Catholics prior to the Second Vatican Council.

"Most Catholics have not seen this heavenly celebration in over 40 years," said Father Calvin Goodwin, a professor at the Society's international English-speaking seminary located in Denton, Nebraska. "We are very excited to help EWTN and to support the Holy Father's call for a wider presence of this form of the Mass. This is a cause for great joy."

Priests and seminarians from Denton, Nebraska will travel to Alabama and provide the celebrant, deacon, subdeacon, preacher, master of ceremonies and altar servers.

Introibo ad altare Dei!

Thanks to the Holy Father, now every priest of the Latin Rite can offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Missal of 1962. Many priests desire to celebrate the venerable and ancient liturgy of the Church, but this supposes that they know the rubrics of the Mass and its spirit. The Fraternity of Saint Peter would like to help them in this task. For that, we offer another training workshop in our Seminary of Denton, Nebraska. Please, spread the word!

Communiqué of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in collaboration with Una Voce America will be offering another training workshop for priests interested in learning how to celebrate the “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite. The workshop will take place the first week of September 2007 from the 3rd (Monday) through 7th (Friday) hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Lincoln, Nebraska. All the fundamentals involved in learning the Traditional Latin Mass will be covered. Priests will receive a complete explanation with hands-on practice of the rubrics of the 1962 Missale Romanum as well as an introduction to Latin, traditional liturgical principles, and Gregorian Chant. A comprehensive materials packet will also be provided.The course will follow the same method used successfully in the workshops conducted this past June when the Fraternity trained diocesan and religious priests in the Older Use during three different sessions.Further workshops are being planned for the late fall.

Interested priests should contact Fr. Calvin Goodwin,FSSP at 402-797-7700.

It does not matter what the Pope says
I am the Bishop, I know better

One of our very favorite inactive websites, Seattle Catholic, has been updated with the letter of the Archbishop of Seattle (HTML; also in PDF) on the "implementation" of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The link has been added to our collection of episcopal reactions, but the letter displays so many of the mistakes of the average authoritarian episcopal response to the papal document that it deserves its own post.

"Moderator" does not mean dictator, Your Excellency.

In other news - for those in or near New York and Connecticut in early September: Martin Mosebach and Father U.M.Lang will be speaking at three separate locations in the area (St. Mary Church Hall, in New Haven, on Sep. 7; New Canaan Public Library, in New Canaan, CT, on Sept. 8; and in the Church of Our Savior on Park Avenue, on Sept. 9, with Solemn High Mass). Further details here.

Assumpta est Maria ad æthereum thalamum

"The Lord is with thee." With thee, certainly, as the sun is with the dawn going before it, and preceding its rise, and beginning the day by its light. Truly, indeed, Mary, the dawn of the world, prepared in a most singular manner by the Eternal Sun, being thus marvelously irradiated, prepares herself the rising of this Sun, has wonderfully inaugurated for the world the day of grace of such a Sun, as Saint Bernard says: "Like the dawn exceedingly resplendent hast thou come into the world, O Mary, when thou didst foreshow the splendor of the true Sun by such a wonderful radiance of sanctity that truly the day of salvation, the day of propitiation, the day which the Lord hath made, was worthy to be begun by thy bright light."

...note that Mary is, as it were, a happy dawn because of her place in glory; and according to this Job well says of the dawn: "Didst thou ... show the dawning of the day its place ?" (Job xxxviii, 12.) Now, certainly our dawn, Mary, elevated high in Heaven, holds the place nearest to the Eternal Sun.

We may consider that the throne of Mary in Heaven has a threefold greatness. The first is that she received Our Lord spiritually; the second, that she received Him corporeally; the third, that she received Him eternally. Behold the threefold place of Mary.

I say that the first place in which Mary received Our Lord, spiritually, is her mind, tranquil and peaceful, according to the Psalmist: "His place is in peace, and His dwelling in Zion," which, interpreted, means a mirror or contemplation. Whoever wishes to contemplate God, or to behold Him with the eyes of the mind, must make Him a place in peace in his mind; for without peace of mind no one can arrive at the knowledge of contemplation. Therefore the Apostle saith: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see God" (Hebrews xii, 14.) Oh, who shall relate, or who can even imagine, in what contemplations daily that Sion, that holy mind of Mary, was employed, while she fervently revolved in her mind all those mysteries known to herself above all mortals? Of this, Saint Jerome well says: "If there are in you any bowels of piety or mercy, consider with what love was crucified, with what desire this virgin burned, while she revolved in her soul all that she had heard and seen, all that she had known; with what emotions she was moved, being filled with the Holy Ghost, with the thrilling knowledge of heavenly secrets."

The place in which Mary conceived, corporeally, was her holy womb, to which may be applied the word of Genesis: "The river which came forth from the paradise of pleasure (Jesus Christ from the Virgin's womb) was to water the garden" (Genesis ii, 10.) The special paradise is Mary; the universal paradise is the Church. Happy is the watering of both these gardens by the mystic river from the womb of Mary, Jesus Christ, who has said: "I will water my garden of plants" (Ecclesiasticus xxiv, 42.)

Well, therefore, doth Saint Jerome say, commenting on these words: "I saw her coming up beautiful from the banks of the water." Well is it said, "above the rivers of water," because the Lord had nourished her on the waters of refreshment, and brought her up on them; from whom many rivers emerge, water all the land of delights, and flow over the garden of pleasure." Again, the place wherein Mary received the Lord when she was about to dwell forever in Heaven is the place of glory, of which the Lord said to Job: "Hast thou shown the dawn its place?" (xxxviii, 12), as if he said, "Not thou, but I." -- it does not belong to thee to show Mary, the dawn, her place in Heaven, but to Me. Well doth He say, her place, as it were, appropriating it to her, and discriminating it from all the other places of the Saints.

Hence we read: "The priests brought in the ark of the covenant into its place" (3 Kings viii, 6). This place is most certainly above all the choirs of angels. Finally, this place is the most worthy in Heaven, as Saint Bernard testifies saying: "Neither was there in the world a more worthy place than the bridal chamber of the virginal womb, in which Mary received the Son of God, nor in the heavens one more worthy than the royal throne to which the Son of Mary raised her."

Mary is compared to the dawn; first, because she put an end to the night of guilt, in her most full holiness; secondly, because of the advance of the light of grace in her most bright conversation; thirdly, because of the bringing forth of the Sun of justice in her wonderful generation of her Son; fourthly, because of her taking possession of her place in glory in her most glorious Assumption.
Conrad of Saxony
Speculum Beatæ Mariæ Virginis

Recess continues for a few days;
relevant news may be posted at any moment.

New bishop in EWTNland

Yes, it is highly unusual for a Bishop to be transferred to a new diocese with a smaller population and an even smaller number of nominal Catholics. Yet, Birmingham, the new diocese of Robert Baker, the former Bishop of Charleston, includes one specific Catholic institution, which deserves special treatment (for better or for worse).

In a letter to priests of the Diocese of Charleston, SC, Bishop Robert J Baker takes a warm and positive position. Among the many good things he says are the following, "Let us use this time of reflection on the rich liturgical heritage of the Catholic Church to renew our commitment as priests, deacons, Religous, and lay faithful to ensure that our parish liturgies are celebrated well, whether in the 'ordinary form' or the 'extraordinary form' of the Roman Missal." Bishop Baker also addresses the issue of training and knowledge of Latin in a much more genuinely supportive way than do several other Bishops of recent note. "I would further request that any priest who may wish to celebrate Holy Mass according to the Missal of 1962 be certain that he has mastered the rubrics of the ancient Roman Missal and has a suitable grasp of the Latin language." He goes on to note that there are priests who have "graciously agreed to train others in the proper manner in which the traditional Mass is celebrated".

Recess continues for a few days; relevant news may be posted at any time.

Tradidi quod et accepi

"Fratres, notum vobis facio Evangelium, quod prædicavi vobis, quod et accepistis ... Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi: quoniam Christus mortuus est pro peccatis nostris secundum Scripturas: et quia sepultus est, et quia resurrexit tertia die secundum Scripturas: et quia visus est Cephæ, et post hoc undecim..."

"Now I make known unto you, brethren, the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received ... For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and that He was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven..." (I Cor. xv, 1, 3-5, from the Epistle for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost) to the common faith of all people; therefore, he says: which you received, all of you. But Augustine says that this pertains to the evidence of this faith, using this argument: For believing things of faith, miracles are either performed or not.

If miracles are performed, I have my point: that they are most worthy and most certain. If none is performed, this is the greatest of all miracles: that by a certain few an infinite multitude of men were converted to the faith, rich men by poor men preaching poverty; by men of one language preaching things that surpass reason, wise men and philosophers have been converted: "Their voice goes out through all the earth"

If it is objected that even the law of Mohammed has been received by many, the answer is that the cases are not alike, because he subjugated them by oppressing them and by force of arms, while the apostles, by dying and by working signs and prodigies, brought others to the Faith.

For he [Mohammed] proposed things which pertain to pleasure and lasciviousness, while Christ and the apostles [proposed] contempt for earthly things...

Saint Thomas Aquinas
On the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

The "greatest of all miracles": Christ said "Ephphetha" to the whole world through his Apostles... [see Gospel for the Sunday, Mark vii, 31-37; and the Baptismal rite: "Ephphetha, quod est, adaperire. In odorem suavitatis..."]

Reposted for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, 2007.
Recess continues for a few days; urgent news may be posted at any time.

Sancte Laurenti,
ora pro nobis!

Recess for a few days; urgent news may be posted at any time. Dei altare se verteret...

If it is obviously true that a priest receives his priesthood so as to serve at the altar and that he enters upon this office by offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice, then it is equally true that for as long as he lives as God's minister, the Eucharistic Sacrifice will be the source and origin of the holiness that he attains and of the apostolic activity to which he devotes himself. All of these things came to pass in the fullest possible way in the case of St. John Vianney.

For, if you give careful consideration to all of the activity of a priest, what is the main point of his apostolate if not seeing to it that wherever the Church lives, a people who are joined by the bonds of faith, regenerated by holy Baptism and cleansed of their faults will be gathered together around the sacred altar? It is then that the priest, using the sacred power he has received, offers the divine Sacrifice in which Jesus Christ renews the unique immolation which He completed on Calvary for the redemption of mankind and for the glory of His heavenly Father. It is then that the Christians who have gathered together, acting through the ministry of the priest, present the divine Victim and offer themselves to the supreme and eternal God as a "sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God." There it is that the people of God are taught the doctrines and precepts of faith and are nourished with the Body of Christ, and there it is that they find a means to gain supernatural life, to grow in it, and if need be to regain unity. And there besides, the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, grows with spiritual increase throughout the world down to the end of time.

It is only right and fitting to call the life of St. John Vianney a priestly and pastoral one in an outstanding way, because he spent more and more time in preaching the truths of religion and cleansing souls of the stain of sin as the years went by, and because he was mindful of the altar of God in each and every act of his sacred ministry!

It is true of course that the holy Curé's fame made great crowds of sinners flock to Ars, while many priests experience great difficulty in getting the people committed to their care to come to them at all, and then find that they have to teach them the most elementary truths of Christian doctrine just as if they were working in a missionary land.

But as important and sometimes as trying as these apostolic labors may be, they should never be permitted to make men of God forget the great importance of the goal which they must always keep in view and which St. John Vianney attained through dedicating himself completely to the main works of the apostolic life in a tiny country church. This should be kept in mind, in particular: whatever a priest may plan, resolve, or do to become holy, he will have to draw, for example and for heavenly strength, upon the Eucharistic Sacrifice which he offers, just as the Roman Pontifical urges: "Be aware of what you are doing; imitate what you hold in your hands."

Pope Blessed John XXIII
Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia

Etchegaray visits Moscow

According to the Bollettino, Cardinal Etchegaray "handed to the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church a cordial message from Pope Benedict XVI, accompanied by a personal gift". The Patriarch, "who particularly thanked the Pope's gesture" wrote a "personal response" to the Pontiff.

Interfax reports that:

"A meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II is becoming evermore likely, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, President [Emeritus] of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals said after a meeting with the Patriarch.

"The sides are progressing towards this goal, and the pace is accelerating, but the Roman Catholic Church cannot make it happen quicker, he said."

1. Brian Mershon returns with an outstanding article: SSPX in schism? You can believe Fr. Newman... or you can believe the Church

2. Are there still reactions of Catholic authorities to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum worth recording? Add them to our large collection here.

Castrillón's interview to 30 Giorni - in English

The extensive interview granted by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos to the Italian monthly 30 Giorni (see our previous post of July 24) is now available in the magazine's official English website ("Nova et Vetera" - © 30 Days).

Useful resource

The Chicago-based Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius have launched the special portal Sancta Missa, full of resources related to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, including a special video tutorial of the Traditional Mass.

"Lift up your eyes now:
behold Jesus Christ!"

Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt nisi solum Iesum. (From the Gospel for the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew xvii, 8: And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus.)

Vice is so incompatible with the Christian faith, that that faith grows weak and languishes in those who will no longer combat their passions[...]. Neither the Muslim nor the heathen need to apostatize in order to be calm in the ignominy of their senses: the Christian alone has a God who forces him to blush.

And yet this God became man, He bore a flesh like our own; He was similar in His body to the idols of nations, and differing from all who had preceded Him, and from all who should follow him, He has exercised upon earth a regenerating power. In Him as their source, in His form as their center, are reflected all the characters which have made of Christianity an incomparable monument. Lift up your eyes now: behold Jesus Christ!

Who among you will blaspheme against Him without a certain fear that you may err? On emerging from infancy, perhaps, at an age when the eyes measure nothing because they as yet have compared nothing, you may pass before Him without halting or bowing your head; but wait a little.

The shadows of life will increase behind you; you will know man, and returning from man to Christ with regards more humble, because they will have seen more, you will begin to discover in that face signs which will trouble you. A day will come when you will say to yourselves: Is God really there? Whatever may be the answer, your conscience will have asked the question. And what a question! What a man must he be who constrains another man to propose to himself the question of his divinity!

And even should you not feel the foreboding of that doubt, think that for eighteen centuries it has moved and divided mankind. Now more than ever it is the great question of the world. Behind the political quarrels which resound so loudly, there is another which is the true and the last one: it is whether the nations civilized by Christianity will abandon the principle which has made them what they are, whether they will reach the point of apostasy, and what will be their lot. To be or not to be Christian, such is the enigma of the modern world.

And, however you may solve it in your minds, it exists, and I leave it there. It exists, Jesus Christ reigns by that doubt suspended over our destinies, as much as by the faith of those who have given Him their whole soul. His divinity is the riddle of the future, as it was of the past [...].
Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
Conférences de Notre-Dame de Paris (1846)

Gospel for the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ: see also Lent with Lacordaire: Catholic doctrine cannot speak "to man only of man".

Complete dossier on Summorum Pontificum

The news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), Fides, provides a complete historical-documentary dossier (DOC) on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, edited by Don Nicola Bux and Don Salvatore Vitiello.



  • Sacrosanctum Concilium
  • The Constitution Missale Romanum of Pope Paul VI (1969)
  • The Indult Quattuor Abhinc Annos of Pope John Paul II (1984)
  • The Commissio Cardinalitia of 1986
  • The Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta of Pope John Paul II (1988)
  • Cardinal Medina on the Third Editio Typica of the Missal of Paul VI (2002)
  • Bibliography by Uwe Michael lang


A Holy Meeting

Quasi stella matutina in medio nebulæ, et quasi luna plena in diebus suis, et quasi sol refulgens, sic iste effulsit in templo Dei
(Capitulum for First Vespers, Lauds, Terce for the Feast of Saint Dominic, Breviarium iuxta Ritum Ordinis Prædicatorum - cf. Ecclesiasticus, l, 6-7: As the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full, and as the sun when it shineth, so did he shine in the temple of God.)

While the life-giving stream of God’s Word welled forth from the pure and saintly depths of Dominic’s heart, another man had been called of God to revive in His Church, amid the soul-destroying luxury of the age, the love and observance of Poverty. This sublime lover of Jesus Christ was born in the town of Assisi, at the foot of the Umbrian hills, and was the son of a rich, but miserly, merchant. Having learnt French in the interests of his father’s business, they called him Francis, although it was neither his baptismal nor family name. Returning from Rome at the age of twenty-four, he, often solicited by the Spirit of God, was now wholly taken possession of by the same. Being led by his father into the presence of the Bishop of Assisi in order that he might renounce all his family rights, the heroic young man, stripping himself of all his clothes, lad them at the Bishop’s feet, saying, “Now I can say with more truth than ever, ‘Our Father who art in heaven.’” A little later on, being present at the Holy Sacrifice, he heard that part of the Gospel read where Jesus Christ tells His Apostles to take nothing for their journey, neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money, neither to have two coats. On hearing these words, he was filled with an inexpressible joy; he took off his shoes, cast aside his staff, with horror threw away the little money he possessed, and during the remainder of his life wore no other garment than an under one, a tunic, and a cord. Even these appeared too great riches, and before his death he had himself laid on the pavement in the presence of his brethren, nude as in the day when, on his final conversion, he had placed his garments at the Bishop’s feet.

Whilst these events were occurring, Dominic, at peril of his life, was evangelizing Languedoc, and crushing heresy by his apostolic labors. Unknown to themselves, a wondrous harmony had been established between these two men, and the similarity of their career extended even to the events which followed their death. Dominic was the senior by two years; and having been trained in a more learned manner for his mission, was in due time joined by this young brother, who needed no universities to teach him the science of poverty and love. Almost at the same instant that Dominic was laying the foundation of his Order at Our Lady of Prouille, at the foot of the Pyrenees, Francis was laying the foundation of his at Our Lady of the Angels, at the foot of the Apennines. An ancient sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, was the sweet and lowly corner-stone of both these edifices. Our Lady of Prouille was Dominic’s cherished spot; while Our Lady of the Angels was the one spot of ground for which Francis had reserved a place in the immensity of a heart detached from all things visible. Both had commenced their public life by a pilgrimage to Rome, whither they returned to solicit for their Orders the approbation of the Holy Father. At first Innocent III refused their appeal, but was afterwards constrained by the same vision to give a verbal and conditional approval to both. As Francis, so Dominic, embraced within the flexible austerity of his Rule, men, women, and people of the world, making three Orders on single power combating for Jesus Christ with the arms of nature and grace; the only difference was, that while the first members of Dominic’s Order were women, those of St. Francis’ were men. The same Sovereign Pontiff, Honorious III, confirmed their institutions by apostolic Bulls, and the same Pope, Gregory IX, canonized them both. Also the two greatest doctors of all ages arose from their ashes; St Thomas from those of Dominic, and St. Bonaventure from those of Francis. Yet these two men, whose destinies were so harmonious in the sight of heaven and earth, were strangers to one another, and although both were in Rome during the fourth Lateran Council, it does not appear that they ever heard of each other.

One night, when Dominic was praying, he beheld Jesus Christ filled with wrath against the world, and His blessed Mother presenting to Him two men, in order to appease Him. He recognized himself as one, but did not know the other, whom he regarded so attentively that the face was ever present to him. On the morrow, in a church, we know not which, he beheld, in the dress of a mendicant, the face seen by him the preceding night, and running to the poor man, embraced him with holy effusion, uttering these words, “You are my companion; you will walk with me; let us keep together and none shall prevail against us.” He then related his vision, and thus were their hearts blended into one.
Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
Vie de Saint Dominique

A Vatican II Moment
brought to you by Greek Catholics in Poland

The Eastern Churches in communion with the Apostolic See of Rome have a special duty of promoting the unity of all Christians, especially Eastern Christians, ... by prayer in the first place, and by the example of their lives, by religious fidelity to the ancient Eastern traditions, by a greater knowledge of each other, by collaboration and a brotherly regard for objects and feelings.
Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 24

Meanwhile, in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Wrocław-Gdańsk...

It was reported that the Bishop said that "he [wa]s not aware of any permission for female servers in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church" - and suggested "direct contact with the organizers" of the "Sarepta Youth Camp" [though it is located in his eparchy and though the youth retreats are led by members of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Poland].


O Gloriosa Domina!

Attendite, popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei. (From the Introit for the Mass of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor - cf. Psalm lxxvii, 1: Attend, o my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.)

[I]t is one thing to say that God cannot, and another that he will not, grant graces without the intercession of Mary. We willingly admit that God is the source of every good, and the absolute master of all graces; and that Mary is only a pure creature, who receives whatever she obtains as a pure favor from God. But who can ever deny that it is most reasonable and proper to assert that God, in order to exalt this great creature, who more than all others honored and loved him during her life, and whom, moreover, he had chosen to be the Mother of his Son, our common Redeemer, wills that all graces that are granted to those whom he has redeemed should pass through and be dispensed by the hands of Mary?

We most readily admit that Jesus Christ is the only Mediator of justice, according to the distinction just made, and that by his merits he obtains us all graces and salvation; but we say that Mary is the mediatrix of grace; and that receiving all she obtains through Jesus Christ, and because she prays and asks for it in the name of Jesus Christ, yet whatever graces we receive, they come to us through her intercession.
There is certainly nothing contrary to faith in this, but the reverse. It is quite in accordance with the sentiments of the Church, which, in its public and approved prayers, teaches us continually to have recourse to this divine Mother, and to invoke her as the "health of the weak, the refuge of sinners, the help of Christians, and as our life and hope" ("Salus infirmorum, Refugium peccatorum, Auxilium Christianorum, Vita, Spes nostra"). In the Office appointed to be said on the feasts of Mary, this same holy Church, applying the words of Ecclesiasticus to this Blessed Virgin, gives us to understand that in her we find all hope. In me is all hope of life and of virtue! ("In me omnis spes vitae et virtutis"—Ecclus. xxiv, 25) in Mary is every grace, In me is all grace of the way and of the truth ("In me gratia omnis viae et veritatis"). In Mary, finally, we shall find life and eternal salvation: Who finds me finds life, and draws salvation from the Lord ("Qui me invenerit, inveniet vitam, et hauriet salutem a Domino"—Prov. viii, 35). And elsewhere: They that work by me shall not sin; they that explain me shall have everlasting life ("Qui operantur in me, non peccabunt. Qui elucidant me, vitam aeternam habebunt"—Ecclus. xxiv, 30-31). And surely such expressions as these sufficiently prove that we require the intercession of Mary.
Moreover, we are confirmed in this opinion by so many theologians and Fathers, of whom it is certainly incorrect to say ... that, in exalting Mary, they spoke hyperbolically and allowed great exaggerations to fall from their lips. To exaggerate and speak hyperbolically is to exceed the limits of truth; and surely we cannot say that saints who were animated by the Spirit of God, which is truth itself, spoke thus.

If I may be allowed to make a short digression, and give my own sentiment, it is, that when an opinion tends in any way to the honor of the most Blessed Virgin, when it has some foundation, and is not repugnant to the faith, nor to the decrees of the Church, nor to truth, the refusal to hold it ... shows little devotion to the Mother of God. Of the number of such as these I do not choose to be, nor do I wish my reader to be so, but rather of the number of those who fully and firmly believe all that can without error be believed of the greatness of Mary [...].

Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Le Glorie di Maria