Rorate Caeli

Good news: a ban on minarets in Switzerland

Minaret ban approved by 57 per cent of voters

It's official: no more minarets will be built in Switzerland

To the great surprise of pollsters and the regret of the government, the Swiss on Sunday said yes to a ban on the construction of minarets.

According to final results, 57.5 per cent of voters and a majority of cantons backed the initiative.
Good: other European nations should follow the example. While belfries and crosses remain the main structures to rise above houses and buildings in cities and villages throughout the great Continent, there will still be hope for Europe.

Update: Official press release of the Federal Council, the supreme executive authority of the Confederation:

'Yes' to popular initiative against the construction of minarets

Bern, 29.11.2009 - A majority of the Swiss people and the cantons have adopted the popular initiative against the construction of minarets. The Federal Council respects this decision. Consequently the construction of new minarets in Switzerland is no longer permitted. The four existing minarets will remain. It will also be possible to continue to construct mosques. Muslims in Switzerland are able to practise their religion alone or in community with others, and live according to their beliefs just as before.

The Federal Council and a clear majority of Parliament came out against the initiative. For the head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the outcome of the vote reflects fears among the population of Islamic fundamentalist tendencies, which reject our national traditions and which could disregard our legal order. "These concerns have to be taken seriously. The Federal Council has always done so and will continue to do so in future. However, the Federal Council takes the view that a ban on the construction of new minarets is not a feasible means of countering extremist tendencies."

The four existing minarets are not affected by the ban. Mosques and Muslim places of worship can continue to be constructed and used. The Justice Minister stated that "Today's popular decision is only directed against the construction of new minarets. It is not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture. Of that the Federal Council gives its assurance." Freedom of religion was and is a key element of Switzerland's successful approach. The dialogue between religious and social groups and the authorities must continue and with fresh resolve. Indispensible prerequisites for an open and constructive debate are respect and openness towards those that hold different views.

40 years of Missale Romanum and the new Roman Rite - II:
a Requiem, by Paul VI

On the First Sunday of Advent (November 30), 1969, the New Missal entered into force officially (it would take a few years before it was to be completely phased in worldwide).

In his words in the General Audience which immediately preceded that date, Pope Paul VI was clear:
We may notice that pious persons will be the ones most disturbed, because, having their respectable way of listening to Mass, they will feel distracted from their customary thoughts and forced to follow those of others.
Not Latin, but the spoken language, will be the main language of the Mass. To those who know the beauty, the power, the expressive sacrality of Latin, its replacement by the vulgar language is a great sacrifice: we lose the discourse of the Christian centuries, we become almost intruders and desecrators [intrusi e profani] in the literary space of sacred expression, and we will thus lose a great portion of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual fact that is the Gregorian Chant. We will thus have, indeed, reason for being sad, and almost for feeling lost: with what will we replace this angelic language? It is a sacrifice of inestimable price.

Naturally, elsewhere he mentioned why it was a "necessary" sacrifice, an innovation that was in strict obedience to the Council...

Thank you, dear Lord and most gracious Lady, for Pope Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum (after Humanae Vitae, naming Fr. Joseph Ratzinger Archbishop of Munich will one day be seen as one of the most influential and decisive acts of the Montinian pontificate).

It had to be said

Gerald Warner (Telegraph Blogs)

... A spin is being put on the shocking revelations in the report on abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin [CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT] to implicate the “pre-Conciliar” Catholic Church in the wrongdoings of post-Vatican II pederasts. In the process, the name of a good man has been dragged into the cesspit, for political purposes.

The Most Reverend John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin (1940-1972) was a great Catholic prelate. Under his pastoral leadership, the numbers of clergy and religious increased by more than 50 per cent, he created over 60 new parishes and built over 80 new churches and 350 schools. But he was a Vatican II sceptic who implemented reform conservatively, in accordance with what would now be called the “hermeneutic of continuity”. So he is a bogey figure to radicals.

Most unjustly, his name has been dragged into this scandal. The official Commission’s Report states: “During the period under review, there were four Archbishops – Archbishops McQuaid, Ryan, McNamara and Connell.” Not so. The “period under review” is set out in the Commission’s Terms of Reference as “the period 1 January 1975 to 1 May 2004”. Archbishop McQuaid retired in 1972. The Report very misleadingly claims that by 1987 three Archbishops – McQuaid, Ryan and McNamara – had between them complaints against 17 priests.

But only one of them, the anonymous “Father Edmondus”, was suspect during McQuaid’s watch and even the report concedes that, of the 320 complaints relating to those priests, only three dated back to the McQuaid era, presumably against “Father Edmondus” and in a period prior to that covered by the Commission’s Terms of Reference. On the basis of that isolated allegation they attempt to align Archbishop McQuaid with his negligent successors.

Revealingly, the Report says: “As is shown in Chapter 4, canon law appears to have fallen into disuse and disrespect during the mid 20th century.” Yes; and we all know why – the post-Vatican II anarchic denunciations of “legalism”, of “oppressive” sexual morality and Church teaching generally, promoted by the modernists. As regards implementing canon law against abusers, the Report concedes that Archbishop McQuaid “set the processes in motion but did not complete them [difficult to do when you are dead]. Archbishops Ryan and McNamara do not seem to have ever applied the canon law.”

Well, who ever did, in the trendy, let-it-all-hang-out 1970s and 1980s? The image that has sedulously been propagated is of Irish child abuse perpetrated by priests in soutanes and birettas, cowled monks muttering Latin incantations and nuns in starched wimples and mediaeval habits.
On the contrary, the nightmare orgy of relentless mortal sin recorded in this report was committed by modern priests, with a strip of white celluloid in place of a Roman collar – if they deigned to wear clerical dress – devastating their church sanctuaries as badly as they devastated childrem’s lives, abolishing all the devotions such as Benediction, the Rosary, regular confession, devotion to saints, etc that had sustained Irish faith for centuries. One priest admitted to abusing over 100 children. For that he was indulged; but if he had celebrated the Latin Tridentine Mass his feet would not have touched the ground.

The BBC (to turn to light relief) has exploited this scandal in a style that vindicates its claim to have succeeded Pravda as the leading disseminator of disinformation. A radical priest was produced on Radio 4 to testify that an excessively strict code of sexual morality in the Church was to blame: one shudders to think what excesses would have been committed if the code had been more lax.

Was clerical celibacy the problem? prompted a BBC interviewer. Of course it was. We all know that what a priestly abuser of boys (and this is mainly a homosexual scandal – the Report records a ratio of 2.3 boy victims to 1 girl) needs is a wife – ask any of the Anglican vicars who have provided a living to the red-top tabloids for generations.

Let us set the record straight. This filthy abomination was a scandal of the post-Vatican II, open-windows, relevant, touchy-feely (often, it seems, inappropriately so) Catholic Church. So let the ecumaniacs, the liturgical animators, the Easter People take ownership of it and desist from blackening the reputation of a decent prelate and, by implication, of the unchanging Church that sustained Ireland through centuries of oppression.

Notice Board

1. The International Federation Una Voce held its XIX General Assembly in Rome on 14/15 November. Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum the pace of interest in the work of the Federation has increased quite noticeably. This year FIUV enrolled six new members; with most interest coming from Latin America. The Federation posted a report on its website.

2. San Francisco: on 13 December 2009, at 5:30 P.M., Fr. William Young will say the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Finn Barr Church. This is the second sunday of December. This may be the first Traditional Latin Mass at St. Finn Barr since the advent of the New Missal. This mass is public, with approval of the pastor. The address is 415 Edna St., San Francisco, CA 94112. Phone number of the rectory: (415) 333-3627. Fr. Young's phone number: (415) 863-6259 ext. 15.

3. After the Breviarium Romanum, Nova et Vetera has now published a new work for liturgical use: a Lectionarium of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Further TAC developments

Those who are following developments regarding the Traditional Anglican Communion's response to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus will find the following of interest. It is an excerpt from a recent pastoral letter (dated Sunday, 22 Nov. 2009) of Archbishop Louis W. Falk, former Primate of the TAC, and former metropolitan of the U.S.A. for the Anglican Church in America, which is the U.S.A. TAC body. Archbishop Falk is the TAC's founding primate, and currently is President of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America. The excerpt follows:

". . . . An initial set of Complementary Norms has been issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will be discussed in detail by representatives of that body and of the TAC College of Bishops within the near future. We are now asking members of the ACA (and other TAC provinces) to study the Norms and then pose such questions as may occur. (Some already have, such as: Question: Will we be able to continue to have married priests indefinitely? Answer: Yes. Question: Will those of us who were formerly Roman Catholics be excluded from the Anglican Ordinariates? Answer: No. Question: Will we lose control over our Church finances and property? Answer: No.) There will be more. These can be sent to your own Bishop, and he will see that they get to the appropriate TAC representatives. Your concerns, as well as your thoughts and prayers, are an essential element and a vital part of this process. . . . "

Our thanks to Mr. Peter Karl T. Perkins for bringing this to our attention.

The beatification of Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas in Nazareth

From the website of the Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land:

The complete beatification ceremony of Sr. Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas in the Church of the Annunciation in Nazarene on November 22, 2009. Blessed Marie-Alphonsine is the foundress of the all-Arab Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem.

Beatification Mass of Sr. M. Alphonsine Ghattas (Part 1) from custodia'videos on Vimeo.

Beatification Mass of Sr. Alphonsine Ghattas (Part 2) from custodia'videos on Vimeo.

Beatification Mass of Sr. Alphonsine Ghattas (Part 3) from custodia'videos on Vimeo.

It is not licit to deny communion on the tongue due to H1N1

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments responded to a lay Catholic in Britain, in a diocese in which communion on the tongue had been restricted due to concerns related to the Influenza A virus, subtype H1N1 ("Swine flu") epidemic.

It does not make any scientific sense, either, as it is better when there is just one hand involved (that of the Priest). It would seem that it would be safer to have just one man distributing Holy Communion (the Priest), no "Extraordinary ministers" of any kind, and to have all faithful receive Communion in the traditional way.

Source: Rorate Reader

In case anyone hasn't read this yet...

Read the story here.

Sancta Catharina, ora pro nobis


Official presentation of the New Roman Calendar by Father Pierre Jounel, professor of the Superior Institute of Liturgy at the Catholic Institute of Paris and one of the most active contributors to the post-Conciliar liturgical reform (Rome, Holy See Press Office, press conference, May 9, 1969):

... The revision of the list of saints inscribed in the general calendar of the Roman Church proceeds from the general principles just presented.

First, the list of saints commemorated before underwent a thorough historical investigation. Certain saints may be popular, due to legends created around their names, without one being able to ensure that they even existed, as Saint Christopher, Saint Barbara, Saint Catherine of Alexandria*. They were suppressed from the general calendar: the Christian people cannot be invited to a general prayer if not in truth. ...

Deus qui dedisti legem Moysi in summitate montis Sinai, et in eodem loco per sanctos Angelos tuos corpus beatæ Catharinæ Virginis et Martyris tuæ mirabiliter collocasti: præsta, quæsumus; ut, eius meritis et intercessione ad montem qui Christus est, perveníre valeamus. Qui tecum... (Collect for the Feast of Saint Catherine, Virgin and Martyr - November 25, Missale Romanum, 1962: "O God, Who didst give the law to Moses on the summit of Mt. Sinai and by means of Thy holy angels didst miraculously place there the body of blessed Catherine, Thy virgin and martyr, grant we beseech Thee, that, by her merits and intercession, we may be able to come unto the mountain which is Christ.Who with Thee...")

*The great martyr Saint Catherine of Alexandria would later be squeezed in as an "Optional memorial" of the Universal Calendar in the Third Typical Edition of the New Roman Missal, 2002. [Does she really exist now? What about the "thorough historical investigation"?]

- Recess continues for several days; relevant news may be posted at any moment.

The Pope

Uh... no, wait, wrong picture.

Mr. Weigel's recent note on the Holy See-SSPX dialogue is just so authoritative and peremptory that one could be forgiven for believing that the man speaks for Peter.

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

Unchanging Faith

Brethren, We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to the power of His glory, in all patience and long suffering with joy; giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through the His Blood, the remission of sins. (Epistle for the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Col. i, 9-14)

I and Francis Mancias are now living amongst the Christians of Comorin. They are very numerous, and increase largely every day. When I first came, I asked them if they knew anything about our Lord Jesus Christ; but when I came to the points of faith in detail and asked them what they thought of them, and what more they believed now than when they were Infidels, they only replied that they were Christians, but that as they are ignorant of Portuguese, they know nothing of the precepts and mysteries of our holy religion. We could not understand one another, as I spoke Castilian and they Malabar; so I picked out the most intelligent and well-read of them, and then sought out with the greatest diligence men who knew both languages. We held meetings for several days, and by our joint efforts and with infinite difficulty we translated the Catechism into the Malabar tongue. This I learnt by heart, and then I began to go through all the villages of the coast, calling around me by the sound of a bell as many as I could, children and men. I asembled them twice a day and taught them the Christian doctrine: and thus, in the space of a month, the children had it well by heart. And all the time I kept telling them to go on teaching in their turn whatever they had learnt to their parents, family, and neighbors.

Every Sunday I collected them all, men and women, boys and girls, in the church. They came with great readiness and with a great desire for instruction. Then, in the hearing of all, I began by calling on the name of the most holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and I recited aloud the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Creed in the language of the country: they all followed me in the same words, and delighted in it wonderfully. Then I repeated the Creed by myself, dwelling upon each article singly. Then I asked them as to each article, whether they believed it unhesitatingly; and all, with a loud voice and their hands crossed over their breasts, professed aloud that they truly believed it. I take care to make them repeat the Creed oftener than the other prayers; and I tell them that those who believe all that is contained therein are called Christians. After explaining the Creed I go on to the Commandments, teaching them that the Christian law is contained in those ten precepts, and that every one who observes them all faithfully is a good and true Christian and is certain of eternal salvation, and that, on the other hand, whoever neglects a single one of them is a bad Christian, and will be cast into hell unless he is truly penitent for his sin. Converts and heathen alike are astonished at all this, which shows them the holiness of the Christian law, its perfect consistency with itself, and its agreement with reason.

As to the numbers who become Christians, you may understand them from this, that it often happens to me to be hardly able to use my hands from the fatigue of baptizing: often in a single day I have baptized whole villages. Sometimes I have lost my voice and strength altogether with repeating again and again the Credo and the other forms. The fruit that is reaped by the baptism of infants, as well as by the instruction of children and others, is quite incredible. These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our holy religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry is marvellous.
Saint Francis Xavier
Letter (to Superiors in Rome)

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

Maria, Virgo perpetua, templum Domini: ora pro nobis

Benedicta es cælorum Regina
Et mundi totius Domina,
Et ægris medicina;
Tu præclara Maris Stella vocaris,
Quæ Solem Iustitiæ paris,
A quo illuminaris.

Te Deus Pater,
Ut Dei Mater
Fieres, et ipse frater
Cuius eras filia,
Sanctam servavit,
Et mittens sic salutavit:
"Ave, plena gratia."

Per illud Ave prolatum
Et tuum responsum datum
Est ex te Verbum incarnatum
Quo salvantur omnia.

Nunc Mater, exora natum,
Ut nostrum tollat reatum
Et regnum det nobis paratum
In cælesti patria.

(Recess for several days. Important news may be posted at any time.)

The Invisible is made visible

Quando la fede, in modo particolare celebrata nella liturgia, incontra l’arte, si crea una sintonia profonda, perché entrambe possono e vogliono parlare di Dio, rendendo visibile l’Invisibile.
The Gothic cathedral translates the aspirations of the soul into architectural lines, and is a synthesis between faith, art and beauty which still raises our hearts and minds to God today. When faith encounters art, in particular in the liturgy, a profound synthesis is created, making visible the Invisible, and the two great architectural styles of the Middle Ages demonstrate how beauty is a powerful means to draw us closer to the Mystery of God. May the Lord help us to rediscover that "way of beauty", surely one of the best ways to know and to love Almighty God.

Benedict XVI
November 18, 2009

New link

Our blog has always linked exclusively to other blogs run by Catholics. That is why we have not linked to even very friendly Eastern Orthodox and Anglican blogs.

An exception will be opened for a very worthy cause: The Anglo-Catholic, a blog run by a member of the "Anglican Church in America" (the American province of the "Traditional Anglican Communion") in an endeavor to introduce his fellow Anglicans in America to the great gift represented by Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Wishes Unfulfilled

About 26 years ago, Yves Congar (d. 1995), one of the most influential theologians of the last century and a luminary at Vatican II, expressed three wishes at the conclusion of a colloquium on Paul VI (Paul VI et la modernite dans l'Eglise, Rome, 1984). "Paul VI and John Paul II have pronounced words and made gestures of great significance, which call for some follow-up. When Paul VI puts his own pastoral ring on the finger of Michael Ramsay and has him bless the crowd with him, when John Paul II in the cathedral of Canterbury appears small at the side of Robert Runcie in miter and with crozier, does that leave intact Leo XIII's bull which proclaimed the nullity of Anglican ordinations? Under Pius XII, the least of my writings was submitted to Roman censure and they wanted me to say "the so-called (Anglican) bishop". How do things stand today?"
In 1983 when those lines were written, it was widely anticipated in ecumenical circles that the Catholic Church would "move beyond" the bull Apostolicae Curae of Leo XIII. But in 2009 when Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution established personal ordinariates for former Anglicans, it was said that Anglican ministers would be ordained to the priesthood absolutely (not conditionally), in accord with the bull Apostolicae Curae of Leo XIII.
Congar continued, "At the time of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, in 1967, Paul VI composed, signed and carried to Constantinople-Istanbul the admirable letter Anno ineunte. There he speaks of the Orthodox Churches and the Roman Church as "sister Churches". But if that is the case, can the Roman Church still call herself "mother and mistress, Mater et magistra"?"
26 years later, the answer to that question is, "Yes, she can." In 2000 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed a letter to the world's presidents of episcopal conferences to clarify that properly speaking the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church cannot be called "sister Churches". And since then, the use of the expression "sister Churches" to describe the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church has gradually been disappearing. (Of course, the See of Constantinople, although occupied for centuries by objective schismatics, can be called a sister to the Church of Rome, but not the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.)
Congar again: "When John Paul II came to Paris and received the representatives of the other Churches . . . he alluded to the 450th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, and he said, "I live it intensely. Someone is living it in me." And so, what consequences should be drawn?"
The consequence which Congar may have wished to draw was a Catholic "reception" of the Confession of Augsburg. One hears less talk of this in 2009. It is true that Cardinal Cassidy signed the Joint Declaration with the Lutheran World Federation in 1999 and this has been repeatedly lauded by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. However, no one can say for sure what the exact canonical status of this document is, and its Annex admits that the two dialogue partners do not use the key concept of "concupiscence" in the same sense, which inadvertently constitutes an admission that when the Catholic signer said Lutherans can, without condemnation by Trent, say "concupiscence is truly sin" even though Trent said it is not properly speaking sin, he was turning the Joint Declaration into the Joint Equivocation, at least on that point.
Congar concluded his remarks as follows, "For the anniversary of the Council of Constantinople of 381, which gave us the Creed without "Filioque", John Paul II declared three times that the text of 381 is normative. Does that not call for some measure to be taken, in no way revolutionary, and for which I have passed on to him a written suggestion of a possible formula? So there are some examples of ideas which call for translation into the concrete. That would require some tries and some time, obviously . . ."
26 years later, we are still reciting the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed with the Filioque rather than any formula of Yves Congar's devising. It is good to remind ourselves from time to time of Pope Eugene IV's definition of the Filioque, signed by dozens of Greek bishops too, at the Council of Florence in 1439: "With this sacred universal Council of Florence approving we define that this truth of faith is to be believed and received by all Christians, and that all profess together thusly: that the Holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son, and has his essence and subsisting being from the Father and at the same time from the Son, and proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and one spiration; . . . All things which are of the Father, the Father himself gave by generating to the only-begotten Son, except being Father, and this very fact that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, the Son eternally has from the Father . . ."

The PCED "Official" Guide to the Mass: Some Videos now on Youtube

In August, Rorate noted that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has made available its own 2-DVD guide to the proper celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Long excerpts have now been uploaded on Youtube:

Pars I: 01 - Praeparatio ad Missam, 02 - Orationes sub infimum gradum altaris, 03 - Pars Didattica.

Pars II: 04 - Offertorium, 05 - Canon Missae I

Pars III: 06 - Canon Missae II

Pars IV: 07 - Pater Noster, 08 - Communio, 09 - Ablutionis.

Pars V: 10 - Dimissio, 11 - Ultimum Evangelium.

FSSP Solemn Mass in Guadalajara

FSSP maintains an apostolate in Guadalajara, the Capellania de San Pedro Apostol, which is one of the two places in Mexico where weekly regular and public Traditional Latin Masses that fulfil the Sunday obligation are available under diocesan auspices (according to the list of Una Voce Mexico.) The other place is a parish in the Archdiocese of Monterrey that has an "anticipated" Sunday TLM every Saturday at five in the afternoon.

Most TLM's in Mexico continue to be offered by the SSPX.

The following video recently posted on Youtube has excerpts of the Solemn Mass offered on October 12, 2009 by Fr. John Berg FSSP.

Urgent Appeal: Signatures Needed for Tallahassee Latin Mass

Dear friends,

The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, while blessed by God with many charisms, is not exactly a model of orthodox Catholic liturgy. The better to advance the Ratzingerian reform of the liturgical reform, several of us in the Diocese's Eastern Deanery (Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla Counties) are collecting signatures for a letter we are soon to send to Rome. We take this step only having been unsuccessful in our appeal to local pastors and the bishop (whose good faith we otherwise do not disparage). For every step we have taken forward, we've taken two back, and the current situation is simply unacceptable.

It is very easy to sign on to the petition. If you reside in either of the aforementioned counties, simply send an email to esg08@fsu,edu, and include in it your 1) Name, 2) Parish, and 3) Phone # or Email. Your name will be added to the petition.

The text of the petition is as follows:

We the undersigned, practicing Catholics residing in the Eastern Deanry of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, in keeping with the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, request to have the Mass of Blessed John XXIII offered at the Co-Cathedral of St Thomas More, or at a nearby parish. We request that this extraordinary form of the Mass be offered on Sundays, feast days, and week days. We would also like to request establishment of a personal parish or the appointment of a chaplain for the extraordinary form of the Mass. Our ultimate goal is the celebration of a Missa Cantata (sung Mass) on Sundays and holy days, and by our signatures we commit to assisting at such celebrations on a regular basis, should they be offered.

If you are able and willing to sign, please do so. We need signatures ASAP. If you know others, who would be willing to sign on, please distribute this petition as widely as possible, along with the instructions on how to sign it. NOTE: In the case of families who wish to sign, every adult Catholic should sign separately. To do so, simply indicate in your email the number of persons signing on, with their names individuated.

Thank you for aiding the cause of liturgical restoration in the Florida panhandle!

In Christ,

Eric Giunta

Greek Orthodox Church calls for appeal versus Italian crucifix ruling

Read the story here.

Meeting possible between Pope and Moscow Patriarch

From Interfax:

Moscow, November 12, Interfax - Relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches are improving and a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, may be on the cards, a Russian Orthodox bishop said.

"Today it can be said that we are moving to a moment when it becomes possible to prepare a meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow," Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Department for External Church Relations, told reporters in Moscow.

"There are no specific plans for the venue or timing of such a meeting but on both sides there is a desire to prepare it," the Archbishop said.

The "Traditional Reservoir" and the French Bishops (Revised)

Valle Adurni now has a (revised) translation of the lead article of the latest issue of Paix Liturgique.

The 'Traditional Reservoir' and the French bishops

This is an article from the French Paix Liturgique, today's issue (my rough-and-ready translation).

The French bishops met in Lourdes last week under considerable psychological pressure. Even though it was not explicitly on the agenda, they were thinking of only one thing—and which the media constantly kept in the forefront of their minds—that the life of French dioceses is mortally sick from the lack of priests.

In La Croix of 5th November, the President of the Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Vingt-Trois, lost his legendary self-mastery and attacked (not by name, but the inference was obvious) his colleague, Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon. ‘One might have a bishop who believes in the New Communities: he rings the bell and calls six new communities into his diocese, and thinks that everything will now be fine! Well, it might be fine insofar as these communities are there, but what about afterwards?’ He is quite obviously talking about the pastoral strategy of Bishop Rey; in particular the welcome accorded to these communities. But he passes over in silence his principal reproach that he bears to his colleague; his generous welcome to those priests who celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form, or according to both forms: in short, his application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Because, to the Episcopal Conference, the subject remains strictly taboo.

Asphyxia on its way

1. The number of French diocesan priests working in France is fewer than 9000. For a number of dioceses, (Digne, 25 priests, Nevers, 38, Auch, Saint-Claude, Gap, Digne, Viviers, Verdun, Pamiers, Langres, etc) in ten years time the number of priests in active ministry will be ten at the most. In Bishop Gueneley’s diocese of Langres, the most liberal of French dioceses, one frequently finds one sole priest for 60 churches.

2. The number of seminarians has now fallen below the mark of 750 (740 in 2008, and this number includes a good hundred seminarians from non-diocesan communities). Pamiers, Belfort, Agen, Perpignan, &c, have no seminarians.

3. The number of ordinations remains fewer than 100 (90 in 2009—Paris, which is one of the best situated, had 10, 2 for the Emmanuel Community; 7 are predicted for 2010, and 4 for 2011)

4. 120 vocations have been declared for the class beginning in 2009.

The conclusion is dramatic: a third of French dioceses will cease to exist but will have to regroup within the coming 15 years.

Yet the majority of bishops, above all Archbishop Vingt-Trois, do not despair. Despite everything, the Church remains visible; she remains alive despite appearences. Archbishop Vingt-Trois has given a marvellous example of ‘visibility’ which was heard on Radio Notre-Dame (interview of 5th November): in a parish without a priest, the laity got themselves together to say the Rosary in a village hall: there they also had the idea of cleaning the church to recite the rosary in; so, nothing is lost; this church will live again…

A useful ‘reservoir’

The use of the ‘traditionalist reservoir’ won’t sort out every problem of the French dioceses like magic, but it might breathe some life into them, and above all, it will change the ideological tone. However it is just because of that, that for the Episcopal Conference, the subject remains rigorously taboo. For now.

Because the traditionalist world (not including the Religious) is becoming more and more difficult to ignore.

1. 3% of working priests are traditionalists (officially traditionalists, that is, not even mentioning the diocesan priests who observe the same liturgical practice). There are 260 priests equivalent to diocesan priests (140 in the SSPX and allied communities, around 120 priests in the communities under Ecclesia Dei).

2. More than 14% of ordinations are for the Extraordinary Form. (Paix Liturgique, 183, 22.06.2009): in 2009, 15 French priests were ordained for the Extraordinary Form (of whom 6 were for the SSPX).

3. Almost 20% of seminarians are destined for the Extraordinary Form (there are 160 of them, of whom about 40 were for the SSPX in 2008-9): op cit. 5.04.09. If this crossover continues as in past years, then in two years or more, a quarter of seminarians will be destined for the Extraordinary Form. Everybody knows that if the traditional priests had the assurance of a ‘normal’ apostolate in the dioceses, the number of these seminarians would be even greater.

4, Finally, 25% of vocations are inclined towards the traditional form (op cit 12.10.09). At the beginning of the academic year, September 2009, there were 41 entries (of whom 17 for the SSPX) into a traditionalist seminary.

However, the ‘Extraordinary’ clergy serve 400 Mass Centres in France, of which 184 are served by the SSPX and their allies. One should not forget in this regard that according to an important CSA poll, September 2008, that a third of practising Catholics would willingly attend a traditional Mass if it were available in their parish. It is no exaggeration to say that if we add to the fully traditionalist vocations those vocations of traditional sensibility that are found in diocesan seminaries, that a third of priestly vocations, were it permitted to them, would regard themselves as directed to the Extraordinary Form, or to Bi-Formalism.

A third of the laity, and, eventually, a third of the priests. It would only seem reasonable, then, officially to give these priests a proper freedom—no longer in ghettos, but now in the hearts of the parishes—to celebrate Mass according to their preferences (which is how they speak of the sense of the faith). Is this not the spirit (and the letter) of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum? And by this act, these priests would be able to give help by administering many other sacramental services, conduct missions, catechize…

But for the majority of the French bishops, this group of their flock, priests and faithful—who are willing, who demand nothing, but to be allowed to live and let live—simply do not exist, except as a thorn in their flesh. The dioceses are dying, but their ideology remains alive and kicking.

1. One remembers that the little diocese of Fréjus-Toulon has about 80 seminarians, destined for the Ordinary form, or the Extraordinary Form, or for both forms. The next biggest seminary (Paris, Issy-les-Moulinaux, for the Paris region) has at most 50.

2. These should have been the last to have flung mud against their confreres: there remains the scandalous fact that ‘Bishop Centène; we made him buckle. Bishop Aillet; we give him three years. Afterwards, we will see. Bishop Dominique Rey; his diocese will end up sinking.’. (Op cit. 02.11.09)

The new arbiter of what is or is not "Anglican" :

The Catholic Church.
This will certainly be clearer in a couple of centuries.




Providing for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans
entering into full communion with the Catholic Church

In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately. The Apostolic See has responded favorably to such petitions. Indeed, the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches,[1] could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.

The Church, a people gathered into the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,[2] was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, as “a sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all people.”[3] Every division among the baptized in Jesus Christ wounds that which the Church is and that for which the Church exists; in fact, “such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages that most holy cause, the preaching the Gospel to every creature.”[4] Precisely for this reason, before shedding his blood for the salvation of the world, the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father for the unity of his disciples.[5]

It is the Holy Spirit, the principle of unity, which establishes the Church as a communion.[6] He is the principle of the unity of the faithful in the teaching of the Apostles, in the breaking of the bread and in prayer.[7] The Church, however, analogous to the mystery of the Incarnate Word, is not only an invisible spiritual communion, but is also visible;[8] in fact, “the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, the visible society and the spiritual community, the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches, are not to be thought of as two realities. On the contrary, they form one complex reality formed from a two-fold element, human and divine.”[9] The communion of the baptized in the teaching of the Apostles and in the breaking of the eucharistic bread is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety, of the celebration of all of the sacraments instituted by Christ, and of the governance of the College of Bishops united with its head, the Roman Pontiff.[10]

This single Church of Christ, which we profess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic “subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside her visible confines. Since these are gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity.”[11]

In the light of these ecclesiological principles, this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner. This Constitution is completed by Complementary Norms issued by the Apostolic See.

I. §1 Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church are erected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith within the confines of the territorial boundaries of a particular Conference of Bishops in consultation with that same Conference.

§2 Within the territory of a particular Conference of Bishops, one or more Ordinariates may be erected as needed.

§3 Each Ordinariate possesses public juridic personality by the law itself (ipso iure); it is juridically comparable to a diocese.[12]

§4 The Ordinariate is composed of lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

§5 The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate.

II. The Personal Ordinariate is governed according to the norms of universal law and the present Apostolic Constitution and is subject to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia in accordance with their competencies. It is also governed by the Complementary Norms as well as any other specific Norms given for each Ordinariate.

III. Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.

IV. IV. A Personal Ordinariate is entrusted to the pastoral care of an Ordinary appointed by the Roman Pontiff.

V. V. The power (potestas) of the Ordinary is:

a. ordinary: connected by the law itself to the office entrusted to him by the Roman Pontiff, for both the internal forum and external forum;

b. vicarious: exercised in the name of the Roman Pontiff;

c. personal: exercised over all who belong to the Ordinariate;

This power is to be exercised jointly with that of the local Diocesan Bishop, in those cases provided for in the Complementary Norms.

VI. § 1. Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law[13] and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments[14] may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42[15] and in the Statement In June[16] are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1.

§ 2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.

§ 3. Incardination of clerics will be regulated according to the norms of canon law.

§ 4. Priests incardinated into an Ordinariate, who constitute the presbyterate of the Ordinariate, are also to cultivate bonds of unity with the presbyterate of the Diocese in which they exercise their ministry. They should promote common pastoral and charitable initiatives and activities, which can be the object of agreements between the Ordinary and the local Diocesan Bishop.

§ 5. Candidates for Holy Orders in an Ordinariate should be prepared alongside other seminarians, especially in the areas of doctrinal and pastoral formation. In order to address the particular needs of seminarians of the Ordinariate and formation in Anglican patrimony, the Ordinary may also establish seminary programs or houses of formation which would relate to existing Catholic faculties of theology.

VII. The Ordinary, with the approval of the Holy See, can erect new Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, with the right to call their members to Holy Orders, according to the norms of canon law. Institutes of Consecrated Life originating in the Anglican Communion and entering into full communion with the Catholic Church may also be placed under his jurisdiction by mutual consent.

VIII. § 1. The Ordinary, according to the norm of law, after having heard the opinion of the Diocesan Bishop of the place, may erect, with the consent of the Holy See, personal parishes for the faithful who belong to the Ordinariate.

§ 2. Pastors of the Ordinariate enjoy all the rights and are held to all the obligations established in the Code of Canon Law and, in cases established by the Complementary Norms, such rights and obligations are to be exercised in mutual pastoral assistance together with the pastors of the local Diocese where the personal parish of the Ordinariate has been established.

IX. Both the lay faithful as well as members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally part of the Anglican Communion, who wish to enter the Personal Ordinariate, must manifest this desire in writing.

X. § 1. The Ordinary is aided in his governance by a Governing Council with its own statutes approved by the Ordinary and confirmed by the Holy See.[17]

§ 2. The Governing Council, presided over by the Ordinary, is composed of at least six priests. It exercises the functions specified in the Code of Canon Law for the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors, as well as those areas specified in the Complementary Norms.

§ 3. The Ordinary is to establish a Finance Council according to the norms established by the Code of Canon Law which will exercise the duties specified therein.[18]

§ 4. In order to provide for the consultation of the faithful, a Pastoral Council is to be constituted in the Ordinariate.[19]

XI. Every five years the Ordinary is required to come to Rome for an ad limina Apostolorum visit and present to the Roman Pontiff, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in consultation with the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a report on the status of the Ordinariate.

XII. For judicial cases, the competent tribunal is that of the Diocese in which one of the parties is domiciled, unless the Ordinariate has constituted its own tribunal, in which case the tribunal of second instance is the one designated by the Ordinariate and approved by the Holy See.

XIII. The Decree establishing an Ordinariate will determine the location of the See and, if appropriate, the principal church.

We desire that our dispositions and norms be valid and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, should it be necessary, the Apostolic Constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors, or any other prescriptions, even those requiring special mention or derogation.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, on November 4, 2009, the Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo.

[1] Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 23; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter Communionis notio, 12; 13.
[2] Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 4; Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 2.
[3] Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 1.
[5] Cf. Jn 17:20-21; Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 2.
[6] Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 13.
[7] Cf. ibid; Acts 2:42.
[8] Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8; Letter Communionis notio, 4.
[9] Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.
[10] Cf. CIC, can. 205; Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 13; 14; 21; 22; Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 2; 3; 4; 15; 20; Decree Christus Dominus, 4; Decree Ad gentes, 22.
[11] Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.
[12] Cf. John Paul II, Ap. Const. Spirituali militium curae, 21 April 1986, I § 1.
[13] Cf. CIC, cann. 1026-1032.
[14] Cf. CIC, cann. 1040-1049.
[15] Cf. AAS 59 (1967) 674.
[16] Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Statement of 1 April 1981, in Enchiridion Vaticanum 7, 1213.
[17] Cf. CIC, cann. 495-502.
[18] Cf. CIC, cann. 492-494.
[19] Cf. CIC, can. 511.