Rorate Caeli

Fifty years ago:
The Gathering Storm


In an interview to Il Tempo, published today, 93-year-old Archbishop Loris Capovilla (who was secretary to Pope John XXIII) recalls the momentous day:
Let us come to January 25, 1959. Images of a historic day for the Catholic Church.
«After Mass at home, the Pope, silent and reserved, goes to Saint Paul outside the Walls. Perhaps ten people [including Cardinal Tardini] know that, after Mass [at Saint Paul's], he will remain with the Cardinals, in Consistory, in the Chapter Hall of the Benedictine Abbey. Which takes place after 1 PM ... .».
In his pronouncement to the Cardinals, the Lombard Pope intertwined the challenges of modern progress and the need to strengthen ancient order:

All of this - we mean, this progress - while distracting from the pursuit of higher gifts, weakens the energies of the spirit, leads to the softening of the structure, of the discipline, and of the good ancient order, to great detriment of that which constituted the strength of the resistance of the Church and of her sons to errors, which, in reality, always in the history of Christianity, led to fatal and pernicious divisions, to spiritual and moral decay, to the ruin of nations.

This assessment awakens in the heart of the humble priest, which the manifest choice of Divine Providence led, though most unworthy, to this highness of the Supreme Pontificate, it awakens - we say - a resolution influenced by the memory of some ancient forms of doctrinal affirmation and of wise orientations of ecclesiastical discipline which, in the history of the Church, at times of renewal, brought forth fruits of extraordinary efficacy, for the clarity of thought, for the compactness of religious unity, for the livelier fire of Christian fervor, which we continue to recognize, also in reference to the welfare of life down here, an abundant wealth «de rore caeli et de pinguedine terrae» (Gen. XXVII, 28).

Venerable Brothers and Our Dear Children! We pronounce before you, certainly trembling somewhat out of emotion, but also with humble resolve of purpose, the name and the proposal of the double celebration: of a Diocesan Synod for the City [of Rome], and that of an Ecumenical Council for the universal Church.
Blessed John XXIII
Allocution to Cardinals
Saint Paul outside the Walls - January 25, 1959

8 comments:

sacerdos in germania said...

a day that will live in infamy...

ponte said...

Horrible moment in the Church's history. I defy anyone to actually list some of the supposed "fruits" of V2 or evidence of the "new springtime". It will take decades and decades to bring the Church back to a fraction of what it was on this day 50 years ago.

Sts. Peter and Paul pray for us!
Blessed John XXIII pray for us!

Anonymous said...

"All of this - we mean, this progress - while distracting from the pursuit of higher gifts, weakens the energies of the spirit, leads to the softening of the structure, of the discipline, and of the good ancient order, to great detriment of that which constituted the strength of the resistance of the Church and of her sons to errors, which, in reality, always in the history of Christianity, led to fatal and pernicious divisions, to spiritual and moral decay, to the ruin of nations.
"

This is a wonderful statement. It is so hard-line, so positive towards Catholic tradition, and so condemnatory of "progress".
How could things have gone so wrong??

What I have read, Pope John XXIII did NOT want Vatican II to last 3 years, but only afew months...3-4 at most.
He did NOT want an all out review of every aspect of the Church's life, and a reform of everything.

The Synod for Rome, which was held I believe a year or so before Vatican II opened, was extremely hardline in its decisions. I remember one line regarding religious Orders which stated more or less that:
"monastic tonsure for religious friars is to be preserved, and where the habit or soutane has been abandoned, it is to be reinstated..."
The Roman Synod was so hardline, the progressives anticipating Vatican II were griping and hurling insults at it, and the Pope.
How could Vatican II have been so hijacked, and warped into the garbage it became, and what we have now for the last 40 years?
I do know of the clique of radicals who took control, especially when they knew the Pope was dying. Cardinal Montini was one of their heros. So were Suenens, Alfrink, Leccaro, the French Cardinals, Leger of Canada, and several USA Cardinals.

As sacerdos in germania said---this day of January 25, 1959 is a day of infamy. BUT I DON'T THINK IT WAS MEANT TO BE SO.

I don't think what we have now, is ANYTHING John XXIII would have wanted.
Paul VI, yes. John XXIII, NO.

Wolfgang Schrift said...

God bless all our holy popes, and may He strengthen our current Holy Father, Benedict XVI, as he seeks to resolve and restore the rightful place of Tradition in the life of Holy Mother Church.

Pray for him! Blessed John XXIII, pray for us!

Iosephus said...

Truly, a day that will live in infamy

Anonymous said...

A little historical note on this "inspiration" of John XXIII.

In his memoirs, the late pope's private secretary, explains and clarifies at the very beginning that John XXIII first had this idea of an ecumenical council to bring the Church into the modern world, when he was Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey.

And the secretary points to the month after Roncalli met with the Greek Patriarch who came to him to suggest this very thing.

This same Greek Patriarch, according to a history of the times, had himself a few months earlier attended the International Conference of Free Masonry which was held at Istanbul that year, and which had as it purpose to overthrow the Christian churches by getinng them to call a new Ecumenical council to bring them into the modern world.

When John XXIII called the Council, it was not a suprise therefore that the Lodges of France praised him for it. Just as they praised his successor for the path he took it down.


Br. Alexis Bugnolo

LeonG said...

"trembling somewhat out of emotion,"

Was this a foreshadowing of the protestant charismatic movement within The Church propagated by the "revolutionary rebel" Cardinal Suenens himself?

Anonymous said...

This is my third attempt to post - not sure why it is not going through.

It can be surmised that John 23 had planned to go liberal all along. His initial traditional document was never meant to be the basis of the council. It was so quickly discarded with no objections on the pope's part. In fact his interference and non-interference with various council sessions supported liberalization.

A modernists tactic has been and remains one whereby they publish traditional sounding documents and then quickly turn to innovation.

I think this idea is supported by Fr. Wiltgen and Prof. Amerio, correct me if I am wrong.

Jerry, TOSF