Rorate Caeli
Gratias agimus tibi, Domine, pro universis donis ac beneficiis tuis, 
qui vivis ac regnas Deus per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

The Roman Synod of 1960

2010 is the fiftieth year since the Roman Synod of 1960, called by Pope John XXIII in anticipation of Vatican II. Romano Amerio speaks of this Synod as having fallen into the Erebus of oblivion, tanquam non fuerit, "as if it had never been", and indeed its 50th anniversary this year was scarcely marked or commemorated anywhere. In belated amends for this forgetfulness I would like to present the following passage (sans the footnotes) from Amerio's Iota Unum regarding this forgotten Synod, this foreshadowing of the Vatican II that had been hoped for.

The Mass that is "more directed toward God"

The canonist Urbano Navarette Cortes S.J. (1920-2010) was created Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. In 2008 he gave an interview to Bruno Volpe which was widely reported in the Spanish and Italian Catholic blogospheres. To my knowledge, this interview was never published in its entirety in English. In belated memorial for this cardinal, Rorate presents the following translation (by Fr. Charles Johnson) of this interview (underlining is by CAP):

Cardinal Navarrete remembers Pius XII and Paul VI: “Pacelli was accused unjustly of anti-Semitism but saved thousands of Jews, Montini suffered greatly after the Council by being isolated”

Today is Friday, so...

...I would like to bring to your attention the following article on "Fish on Fridays":

By Michael P. Foley
Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (thirteenth posting of souls)

Below, please find the thirteenth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.
I'm pleased to say that, in addition to another long list this week, we have also been blessed with our 12th holy priest saying Traditional Latin Masses for the relief of the enrolled souls. This priest, a young American studying in Rome, will say a weekly Mass for the souls. Please do remember to keep all of the priests of the Society in your daily prayers along with the souls.
A reminder on how to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "name, state, country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email:
"The Pancetta family, Rome, Italy". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well. PLEASE follow this format strictly, as any deviation creates a lot of extra work.
Please pray for the enrolled souls and the holy priests of the Society:

Letter of the PCED to Una Voce

From the official website of the FIUV: a letter from Monsignor Pozzo about its report for the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum:

Surprise: Belgian Marxist Gaudium et Spes commission Secretary
outed as child abuser

Father François Houtart, an 85-year-old Belgian activist priest who served as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council, has admitted twice abusing his cousin in 1970. His cousin was then an eight-year-old boy.
Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels in 1949, Houtart taught at the Catholic University of Louvain from 1958 to 1990. As a peritus at Vatican II, he assisted Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens and served as secretary of the subcommission that drafted the introduction to Gaudium et Spes, the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world.
An international petition drive calling upon the Nobel Prize committee to award Houtart the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 has attracted thousands of signatures from 74 nations. In the midst of this effort, the sister of the abuse victim lodged a complaint with Church officials in Belgium, and the priest admitted the abuse.
Houtart, long known as a "Marxist Canon" (Le Figaro), has been a living symbol of a Belgian Liberal priesthood that helped shape Vatican II in all its aspects.
Reminder: send in souls to be enrolled tomorrow ...
A friendly reminder that the 13th posting of souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society will go live tomorrow (Thursday). Please send in your souls to be enrolled today!

A reminder on how to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "name, state, country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Pancetta family, Rome, Italy". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.
And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

Interesting words

From an interview granted by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX) to the Caledonian newspaper Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes (Dec. 27, 2010):
The goal of your Fraternity is still to integrate the Catholic Church?
Yes, we have always maintained that we do not wish to go our own way. We maintain that we are Catholic and that we remain so. We wish that Rome will recognize us as true Bishops. Otherwise, the word schismatic is not used any longer regarding us. Now, if we are not schismatics, nor heretics, then we are truly Catholic. Otherwise, the Pope says that there is solely a problem of a canonical nature. An act of Rome suffices to state that it's over and that we reenter the Church. This will happen [Ça viendra.]. I am very optimistic.
[Source: Le Forum Catholique; tip: Le Salon Beige]

Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass at the Monastery of Saint Benedict in Norcia, Italy (80-min. video):

This is the sign of the Church always, the Sign of Blood

Seven years were my people without my presence;
Seven years of misery and pain.
Seven years a mendicant on foreign charity
I lingered abroad:
Seven years is no brevity.
I shall not get those seven years back again.
Never again, you must make no doubt,
Shall the sea run between the shepherd and his fold.


It is not I who insult the King,
And there is higher than I or the King.
It is not I, Becket from Cheapside,
It is not against me, Becket, that you strive.
It is not Becket who pronounces doom,
But the Law of Christ's Church, the judgement of Rome.


I am here.
No traitor to the King.
I am a priest,
A Christian, saved by the blood of Christ,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood.
Blood for blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death.
My death for His death.


For my Lord I am now ready to die,
That His Church may have peace and liberty.
T. S. Eliot
Murder in the Cathedral
Our traditional post in honor of Saint Thomas Becket.

Lord of the Flies
Found: secret ceremony of those responsible for the New Mass

"Secret Lodges of the Flies."
 "-You are now an Illuminati."
"-Cursum perficio."
Author: Liniers (Ricardo Siri)
Mr. Smith Rorate Caeli goes to Washington
Well, not really.
However, much to our surprise, our blog was mentioned this weekend in the paper of record in America's capital, the Washington Post.

Salus æterna humano generi apparuit
Merry Christmas!

Homily of His Holiness Pope  Benedict XVI (Midnight Mass)
Christmastide Recess
Urgent news may be posted at any time

Do not lose heart!

May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence. May the comforting message of the coming of Emmanuel ease the pain and bring consolation amid their trials to the beloved Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East; may it bring them comfort and hope for the future and bring the leaders of nations to show them effective solidarity...


May the birth of the Saviour strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the Church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his Church, may keep alive the flame of hope. May the love of “God-with-us” grant perseverance to all those Christian communities enduring discrimination and persecution, and inspire political and religious leaders to be committed to full respect for the religious freedom of all.

This Day Is Born To You A Savior!

The following is a Christmas reflection from the Chaplain of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society, a 27-year-old American diocesan priest:

Christmas Day is one of those few days during the liturgical year when the priest is privileged to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice three times.

Buon Natale!

Interesting interview granted by Cardinal Cañizares Llovera to Il Giornale's Andrea Tornielli (in Italian), but, honestly... not worth the time needed for translating it on Christmas Eve: no unambiguous declaration of the complete reform of all post-Conciliar liturgical books (just of the introductory texts, such as the IGMR-GIRM,  rubrics and praenotanda), the usual acknowledgment that the liturgical "renewal" had some positive fruits. Everyone is better off with a Google Translate version of the interview...

A very happy and holy Christmas to all!
Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (twelfth posting of souls)

Below, please find the twelfth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.
Someone recently asked me how many souls we have enrolled thus far, a question I couldn't answer off the top of my head, so I went back and came up with a loose count. It appears that we've enrolled anywhere from 5,000-7,000 individual souls -- and that doesn't even count the hundreds of families, societies, sodalities, etc. that have been enrolled en masse!
Let us especially help spread the word and pray for these souls during the last days of Advent. Advent is a time of penance and preparing our souls for the coming of Our Lord. What better way than to pray for those who long to see Him face-to-face? In fact, please make it your goal to get them into Heaven by Christmas. Ask Our Lady for this special request, and get names into me today or tomorrow for next week's posting.

Please pray for these souls with the prayer provided below as well as for the 11 holy priests who are praying the Mass of All Ages either weekly or monthly for the success of the Society and the repose of the enrolled souls. Most of them are also praying for those who are saying prayers for the enrolled souls. So keep up the prayers and the priests will keep praying for you!

December 23/24: Just a reminder that...

...until 1965, fasting and / or complete abstinence were prescribed by the Church for either December 23 or 24.

According to the chapter on "Feasts and Fasts throughout the Year" in The New Marian Missal for Daily Mass, compiled by Fr. Sylvester P. Juergens SM and published by Regina Press, NY, in 1963, December 24 was a day of fasting and complete abstinence in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the USA. In Canada  and the Philippines the fasting and abstinence of December 24 were moved to December 23.

Perhaps our readers could indicate in the combox the rules for fasting / abstinence in the two days prior to Christmas that obtained in other parts of the world until 1965.

Photos from recent SSPX ordinations and engagements

There aren't many things on the Internet that are both visually stimulating and positive at the same time. Today, via its new email update service, SSPX America released photos of recent ordinations and engagements as their number of priests and religious continue to grow.
Click here to view the photos.
Also, two reminders:

A question for our readers: have you spotted this too?

I don't know if you spot this too: it is uncanny how often the Pope mentions something in the Old Calendar or the traditional euchology. I'm sure that he has imposed upon himself a self-denying discipline of always using the Ordinary Form (until SSPX conform?) for his public and private masses. But he undoubtedly keeps an eye on Tradition. In his allocution to the Roman Curia, he repeated over and over again the phrase Excita Domine potentiam tuam et veni; although all those splendid old Excita collects were shifted off the Sundays of Advent by Bugnini's semi-Pelagian sidekicks. Another example: yesterday the Vatican Information Service quoted his words about S Thomas the Apostle.

It is, of course, pure chance that S Thomas the Apostle, in the Traditional Calendar, comes on December 21, just before Christmas; "Interrupting", as Dr Bugnini primly put it, "the series of the Great Ferias of Advent". My problem with the rational transference of the Apostle to July is that he seems an admirable Patron Saint of Christmas ... if you can get your minds round that rather bizarre formulation...

Pontifical Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

From The Paulus Institute:

The Paulus Institute is pleased to announce that a Pontifical Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated at the High Altar of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, on Saturday April 9, 2011. The Mass will be both glorious and liturgically quite exceptional (see below).

The Mass will celebrate the 6th anniversary of the inauguration of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, which is April 24, 2011 (Easter Sunday).

The celebrant will be His Excellency Archbishop Joseph Augustine DiNoia, O.P, who will be coming from the Vatican. Archbishop DiNoia is Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, second only to the Prefect, His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera ( who personally suggested His Excellency for this Mass).

"Only the best for the Altar"

From Paix Liturgique: an interview with the founder of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, Fr. Frank Phillips, and an article on the institute that he founded.

Fr. Frank Philipps offering Solemn Mass according to the 1962 Missal in the Basilica Shrine in Fatima. Source.)

From 8-11 September 2010, Fatima hosted a conference whose object was to promote the discovery and celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Portugal. (Rorate's post on this event can be found here; the NLM has a series of posts on the same event: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Solemn Mass in the Basilica Shrine Fatima -- CAP)

The organizers of this first meeting on the traditional liturgy held in Portugal since the release of Pope's Benedict Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum were the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius (SJC), a society of religious life founded in 1998 in the Chicago diocese.

The Canons of Saint John Cantius run two parishes in Illinois. Their motto is “Instaurare Sacra” (“Restoring the Sacred”). They celebrate both forms of the Roman Rite and pay particular attention to the liturgy and to the sacred arts, especially music, which they know well and actively promote.

We met their founder and superior, Rev. Frank Phillips—he is a music teacher himself—in late spring as he was leading some of his parishioners on pilgrimage in Rome.


On the trivilization of sexuality
Regarding certain interpretations of "Light of the World"

Following the publication of the interview-book Light of the World by Benedict XVI, a number of erroneous interpretations have emerged which have caused confusion concerning the position of the Catholic Church regarding certain questions of sexual morality. The thought of the Pope has been repeatedly manipulated for ends and interests which are entirely foreign to the meaning of his words – a meaning which is evident to anyone who reads the entire chapters in which human sexuality is treated. The intention of the Holy Father is clear: to rediscover the beauty of the divine gift of human sexuality and, in this way, to avoid the cheapening of sexuality which is common today.

Some interpretations have presented the words of the Pope as a contradiction of the traditional moral teaching of the Church. This hypothesis has been welcomed by some as a positive change and lamented by others as a cause of concern – as if his statements represented a break with the doctrine concerning contraception and with the Church’s stance in the fight against AIDS. In reality, the words of the Pope – which specifically concern a gravely disordered type of human behaviour, namely prostitution (cf. Light of the World, pp. 117-119) – do not signify a change in Catholic moral teaching or in the pastoral practice of the Church.

As is clear from an attentive reading of the pages in question, the Holy Father was talking neither about conjugal morality nor about the moral norm concerning contraception. This norm belongs to the tradition of the Church and was summarized succinctly by Pope Paul VI in paragraph 14 of his Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae, when he wrote that "also to be excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means." The idea that anyone could deduce from the words of Benedict XVI that it is somehow legitimate, in certain situations, to use condoms to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is completely arbitrary and is in no way justified either by his words or in his thought. On this issue the Pope proposes instead – and also calls the pastors of the Church to propose more often and more effectively (cf. Light of the World, p. 147) – humanly and ethically acceptable ways of behaving which respect the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meaning of every conjugal act, through the possible use of natural family planning in view of responsible procreation.

On the pages in question, the Holy Father refers to the completely different case of prostitution, a type of behaviour which Christian morality has always considered gravely immoral (cf. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2355). The response of the entire Christian tradition – and indeed not only of the Christian tradition – to the practice of prostitution can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: "Flee from fornication" (1 Cor 6:18). The practice of prostitution should be shunned, and it is the duty of the agencies of the Church, of civil society and of the State to do all they can to liberate those involved from this practice.

In this regard, it must be noted that the situation created by the spread of AIDS in many areas of the world has made the problem of prostitution even more serious. Those who know themselves to be infected with HIV and who therefore run the risk of infecting others, apart from committing a sin against the sixth commandment are also committing a sin against the fifth commandment – because they are consciously putting the lives of others at risk through behaviour which has repercussions on public health. In this situation, the Holy Father clearly affirms that the provision of condoms does not constitute "the real or moral solution" to the problem of AIDS and also that "the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality" in that it refuses to address the mistaken human behaviour which is the root cause of the spread of the virus. In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom "with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality." This affirmation is clearly compatible with the Holy Father’s previous statement that this is "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection."

Some commentators have interpreted the words of Benedict XVI according to the so-called theory of the "lesser evil". This theory is, however, susceptible to proportionalistic misinterpretation (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor, n. 75-77). An action which is objectively evil, even if a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed. The Holy Father did not say – as some people have claimed – that prostitution with the use of a condom can be chosen as a lesser evil. The Church teaches that prostitution is immoral and should be shunned. However, those involved in prostitution who are HIV positive and who seek to diminish the risk of contagion by the use of a condom may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another – even if the evil of prostitution remains in all its gravity. This understanding is in full conformity with the moral theological tradition of the Church.

In conclusion, in the battle against AIDS, the Catholic faithful and the agencies of the Catholic Church should be close to those affected, should care for the sick and should encourage all people to live abstinence before and fidelity within marriage. In this regard it is also important to condemn any behaviour which cheapens sexuality because, as the Pope says, such behaviour is the reason why so many people no longer see in sexuality an expression of their love: "This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being" (Light of the World, p. 119).

Only the truth saves

In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves. We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen. We must discover a new resoluteness in faith and in doing good. We must be capable of doing penance. We must be determined to make every possible effort in priestly formation to prevent anything of the kind from happening again. This is also the moment to offer heartfelt thanks to all those who work to help victims and to restore their trust in the Church, their capacity to believe her message. In my meetings with victims of this sin, I have also always found people who, with great dedication, stand alongside those who suffer and have been damaged. This is also the occasion to thank the many good priests who act as channels of the Lord’s goodness in humility and fidelity and, amid the devastations, bear witness to the unforfeited beauty of the priesthood.

We are well aware of the particular gravity of this sin committed by priests and of our corresponding responsibility. But neither can we remain silent regarding the context of these times in which these events have come to light. There is a market in child pornography that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society. The psychological destruction of children, in which human persons are reduced to articles of merchandise, is a terrifying sign of the times. From Bishops of developing countries I hear again and again how sexual tourism threatens an entire generation and damages its freedom and its human dignity. The Book of Revelation includes among the great sins of Babylon – the symbol of the world’s great irreligious cities – the fact that it trades with bodies and souls and treats them as commodities (cf. Rev 18:13). In this context, the problem of drugs also rears its head, and with increasing force extends its octopus tentacles around the entire world – an eloquent expression of the tyranny of mammon which perverts mankind. No pleasure is ever enough, and the excess of deceiving intoxication becomes a violence that tears whole regions apart – and all this in the name of a fatal misunderstanding of freedom which actually undermines man’s freedom and ultimately destroys it.

In order to resist these forces, we must turn our attention to their ideological foundations. In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today. Against them, Pope John Paul II, in his 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, indicated with prophetic force in the great rational tradition of Christian ethos the essential and permanent foundations of moral action. Today, attention must be focussed anew on this text as a path in the formation of conscience. It is our responsibility to make these criteria audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind.

Benedict XVI
20 December 2010

[NC:] Five years ago, the historic 2005 Christmas Address of the Holy Father to the Roman Curia (on the "Hermeneutics of Continuity") was so unexpectedly relevant that this blog was the very first English-language medium to cover it - and certainly one of the first to give it proper recognition. We called it the "Epoch-making speech" at the time.

Five years on, it is good to acknowledge that at least the Holy See now provides immediate full translations of this year's address to the Curia, which is in fact a yearly address to the world, highlighting the lessons willed by the Pope considering the events of the year that is coming to its end. We throughly suggest our readers to read and ponder the entire 2010 address (Deutsch, English, Français, Italiano, Português), a majestic text and one of the most profound of the entire pontificate.

Monsignor Bux said WHAT???

On November 21, 2010, the 3rd "Conference for Catholic Unity" was held in Versailles to mark the three years that have passed since the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum came into effect. Chretiente posted a report, translated as follows by some friends of Rorate (I have replaced the original emphases with mine):

Implementation of the Motu proprio: may the priests take courage

Last Sunday, the third conference organized by Réunicatho on the three years of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum opened before some 700 persons (in attendance). Daniel Hamiche opened the debates by putting forward the view that the Extraordinary Form ought to become the Ordinary one (by its becoming celebrated more often and everywhere), and that the Ordinary Form should become Extraordinary (following the much-talked-about Reform of the Reform). As for the numbers, the Pope's work of pacification has in three years given France 80 additional places for the celebration of this Mass. However, for Daniel Hamiche, and as everybody involved in the commercial sector knows, it is the offer that creates the demand, as there is no demand for what one does not know. Daniel Hamiche hoped for a new development in the implementation of the Motu proprio, including:

• celebration (of the Extraordinary Form) every Sunday and holy day in every diocesan area;

• at least one celebration once a year by each bishop in his cathedral;

• training in the Extraordinary Form in every seminary;

• the creation within the French Episcopal Conference (the CEF) of a commission dedicated to the application of the Motu proprio.

After this, four applicants gave voice to their experience:

• the Parish of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris, where (the Traditional) Mass has been celebrated on Mondays at noontime, but refused on Sundays at the order of the Archbishop;

• the Parish of Sainte-Madeleine at Plessis-Robinsons, where a solution has been found (to enable a celebration) every Sunday;

• in the valley of Montmorency, where a flawed solution was introduced;

• the Parish of Notre-Dame de Versailles, where the request (for an EF Mass) has been purely and simply refused.

Monsignor Nicola Bux, Consultant to the Office of Liturgical celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and member of two congregations then talked at length about the liturgy and the Pope’s desire of pacification. He began his intervention by saying that the French bishops, who like to interact with non-Christians, ought also to dialogue with Catholics and that they must not be afraid of the sheep of their own flock! They should confront reality and not the perception that they have of it. He recalled that the Extraordinary Form is for all of the People of God, and not just a minority, and that it ought to serve as a training for the better celebration of the Ordinary Form. He indicated that, in Italy, the implementation of the Motu proprio is done through priests. He therefore admonished priests to be courageous in the implementation of this text. Finally, he added that the refusal of the Extraordinary Form could be considered as a rupture of communion with the Pope.

Time for a new Syllabus?

A veritable hurricane struck at Rome yesterday, December 17, 2010, just steps away from the Basilica of St. Peter: a bishop has offered nothing less than ... the reassertion of the infallible magisterium of the Church.

Since December 16 there has been a major conference taking place in Rome entitled "Vatican II, a pastoral council: historical, philosophical, and theological analysis." Requested by the courageous Franciscans of the Immaculate, the symposium is taking place in the conference rooms of Santa Maria Bambina behind Bernini's colonnade near the Palace of the Holy Office in a virtual media silence despite the newsworthiness of the theme under the pontificate of Benedict XVI and the quality of the speakers.

Two anticipated speeches marked the first day: that of Mgr. Gherardini, author of “Vatican II: an open debate” and Professor Roberto De Mattei, Italian historian and author of a recent volume on the council called “The Second Vatican Council: A story never written” (currently available only in Italian, Lindau editions). Both responded to criticism aimed at their work, paradoxically from elsewhere in the conservative camp, wherein lie a few rare defenders of the infallibility of the Council.

Yesterday, December 17, it was Monsignor Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda who highlighted the event during his communication on the theme of the worship of God as the theological basis for the pastoral council. Offering a long anthology of very theologically orthodox quotations extracted from the conciliar texts, he somehow presented to his audience selected texts of a Vatican II, “more orthodox than Trent.” The captatio benevolentiae was particularly effective; the assembly anxiously awaited the next words to fall from the bishop’s mouth. It was then, while denouncing the misinterpretation of the council in the post-conciliar period, that the bishop concluded his remarks by suggesting...the writing of a Syllabus infallibly condemning "the misinterpretation of the Vatican Council II”.

Because, according to Bishop Schneider, only the supreme magisterium of the Church (the Pope or a new ecumenical council) may correct the abuses and errors arising from the Council and correct its understanding and its reception in the light of Catholic tradition. Responding to a request for clarification, he caused the scholarly gathering to burst out laughing by stating that it was not possible to convene a council for another 500 years. It is left therefore, to the supreme magisterium of the Pope. Hence his call for a new Syllabus that would list the condemned errors side by side with their orthodox interpretations.

Like so many other instances over the past 40 years, it is the infallible judgment of the Pope in "restating" Vatican II that is called for. Except that since the "freedom of speech" put in place by Benedict XVI, it is now up to officials to make that call.

Osservatore Vaticano

The photo is from the blog Te Deum Laudamus 

Fr. Mark Kirby on Ad Orientem and the TLM

Fr. Mark Kirby is Prior of the Diocesan Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa established the monastery in 2009 with the distinctive mission of Eucharistic Adoration for the sanctification of priests. Fr. Kirby maintains a great blog -- Vultus Christi -- on which he posted the following article on December 16, 2010:

Rorate cæli:
The silence of His coming

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Rorate cæli Sunday),
Fifth Anniversary of this web log.

Rorate, cæli, desuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem. (From the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Lent; cf. also the fourth Lesson for Ember Saturday in Advent, Isaias xlv, 6-8: "I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a savior: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him.")

I. Consider first, that this blessed earth here spoken of is, according to the strictest interpretation, no other than Our Lady, that inviolate Virgin and immaculate Earth, from which, without human agency, there sprang that Divine Bud, desired by Isaias so long before, when he exclaimed: "Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior." This being so, it will at once strike thee as strange that this form of expression should be used. For, if the Earth here spoken of was so inviolate as to remain as much closed during as before childbirth, how can the Prophet pray that it might be opened? "Let the earth be opened."

A Vatican rebuke to the "Patriotic Church" in China

May this silence those who insist that the Communist-controlled "Patriotic Church" is now fully legitimate and that the heroic "underground" Catholics of China are the ones who are in rebellion against ecclesiastical authority. CAP.


1. With profound sorrow, the Holy See laments the fact that from 7 to 9 December 2010 there was held in Beijing the Eighth Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives. This was imposed on numerous Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful. The manner in which it was convoked and its unfolding manifest a repressive attitude with regard to the exercise of religious liberty, which it was hoped had been consigned to the past in present-day China.

SSPX America starts new email update

The holy priests of the Society of St. Pius X in America have started an email update list. One can subscribe simply by entering their e-mail address in the webform on the left navigation bar at

The update list will be sent out regularly and keep readers informed of new additions to the site and announcements, as well as forthcoming features.
Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (eleventh posting of souls)

Below, please find the eleventh posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. I've been made aware that this fledgling Society is being promoted at Traditional Latin Mass centers in America, Ireland and many other places. We're receiving names posted on lists from other blogs, sodality email lists, etc. Please spread the word!

Let us especially help spread the word and pray for these souls during Advent. While many people just think Advent is the time to put up Christmas lights and go see Santa, it's really a time of penance and preparing our souls for the coming of Our Lord. What better way than to pray for those who long to see Him face-to-face? In fact, please make it your goal to get them into Heaven by Christmas. Ask Our Lady for this special request.

Please pray for these souls with the prayer provided below as well as for the 11 holy priests who are praying the Mass of All Ages either weekly or monthly for the success of the Society and the repose of the enrolled souls. Most of them are also praying for those who are saying prayers for the enrolled souls. So keep up the prayers and the priests will keep praying for you!

Benedict XVI on Religious Freedom and the Persecution of Christians

Aside from being an impassioned defense of persecuted Christians all over the world, this message is also one of the lengthiest treatments of the theme of "religious freedom" to come from a post-Vatican II pope.

From the text of the just-released papal message for the next World Day of Peace (January 1, 2011):

My thoughts turn in a special way to the beloved country of Iraq, which continues to be a theatre of violence and strife as it makes its way towards a future of stability and reconciliation. I think of the recent sufferings of the Christian community, and in particular the reprehensible attack on the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad, where on 31 October two priests and over fifty faithful were killed as they gathered for the celebration of Holy Mass. In the days that followed, other attacks ensued, even on private homes, spreading fear within the Christian community and a desire on the part of many to emigrate in search of a better life. I assure them of my own closeness and that of the entire Church, a closeness which found concrete expression in the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. The Synod encouraged the Catholic communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East to live in communion and to continue to offer a courageous witness of faith in those lands.

I offer heartfelt thanks to those Governments which are working to alleviate the sufferings of these, our brothers and sisters in the human family, and I ask all Catholics for their prayers and support for their brethren in the faith who are victims of violence and intolerance. In this context, I have felt it particularly appropriate to share some reflections on religious freedom as the path to peace. It is painful to think that in some areas of the world it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty. In other areas we see more subtle and sophisticated forms of prejudice and hostility towards believers and religious symbols. At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith. Many Christians experience daily affronts and often live in fear because of their pursuit of truth, their faith in Jesus Christ and their heartfelt plea for respect for religious freedom. This situation is unacceptable, since it represents an insult to God and to human dignity; furthermore, it is a threat to security and peace, and an obstacle to the achievement of authentic and integral human development.[1]

Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family.

For this reason, I implore all men and women of good will to renew their commitment to building a world where all are free to profess their religion or faith, and to express their love of God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind (cf. Mt 22:37). This is the sentiment which inspires and directs this Message for the XLIV World Day of Peace, devoted to the theme: Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace.

Read the rest here.

Msgr. Fellay's 2010 Angelus Press Conference and Fr. Gaudron on "Light of the World"

The conference (more than 2.5 hours in length) that Bishop Fellay gave on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Society of St. Pius X, during the Angelus Press Conference held October 15-17, 2010, in Kansas City, Missouri, can now be viewed on the website of the U.S. District of the Society of St. Pius X. (A summary can also be found on the linked page.)

The same website has also posted an English translation of the essay Light...and shadows in Light of the World written by Fr. Matthias Gaudron SSPX. This essay had been mentioned in some discussions on the Internet (including those in the Rorate comboxes) as providing a more nuanced view of the Pope's remarks on condoms compared to the official statement from Menzingen.

Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) on Wikileaks: Some Comments

A few websites and discussion forums have drawn attention to one of the leaked cables published by Wikileaks, describing a conversation between a U.S. ambassador and Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the Russian Orthodox Church. The cable, among other things, details the cozy relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the post-communist Russian State. It is possible that the cable seriously misrepresents the statements of Metropolitan Hilarion, but that seems unlikely as it merely reinforces information that can already be found elsewhere on the Internet. (Think as well of the recent dedication of icons on the Kremlin Towers -- see this and this).

Some passages in the cable should be of interest to Traditional Catholics, and I reproduce them here with a bit of commentary:

9. (C) Although the ROC has accomplished a great deal recently in its efforts to gain more social and political prominence, a significant gap remains between its teachings and the ethos of modern Russian culture. The GOR may see no problems with eroding the wall between Church and State, but that appears to be affecting the ROC’s political role more than its social one. Hilarion lamented that although 70-80 percent of Russians call themselves Orthodox, very few (about 5 percent) attend church regularly, and even fewer “have their life influenced by the Orthodox faith.” The Church’s dilemma, he explained, is that it needs to build a bridge to young people who see no role for the Church in their lives, while at the same time maintaining the original essence of the Church’s teachings. “We don’t need to update or modernize services,” Hilarion said, but “we must still overcome cultural and psychological barriers” separating religious and secular life in Russia. In his opinion, the best forum for accomplishing this is education, and he envisioned a comprehensive program that raised awareness without appearing invasive.

One of the justifications for major liturgical reform and endless innovation in the Catholic Church -- both in the Roman Rite and, in recent years in the Eastern Rites -- is that such changes are needed in order to reach out to the youth and to the unchurched. In contrast, Metropolitan Hilarion -- who is sometimes considered as one of the more liberal Russian prelates -- sees that the path to reaching out to the youth is not by changing ancient liturgical traditions, but by educating them in the faith, despite the great difficulty of this endeavor. Why can't more Catholic bishops see this as well?

2. (C) In a January 28 conversation with the Ambassador, Head of the ROC’s External Relations Division Archbishop Hilarion made the case for the Russian Orthodox Church’s (ROC) recent push to assert its influence over Russian society and politics. By turns candid and circumspect, Hilarion freely admitted that the ROC has been ramping up its public statements in favor of its interests, and has been extending its reach further into heretofore secular areas of society such as children’s education

10. (C) In the absence of a widespread, active following among most people (at least in their day-to-day activities), the ROC is clearly attempting to throw its weight around politically. For those of us accustomed to seeing a firewall between Church and State the ROC’s growing assertiveness, and open admission that they intend to pervade all aspects of public Russian society may appear alarming...

Given the difficult and often violent history of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church in schism and the Catholic Church, and the memory of the persecution of the Catholic Church in Ukraine and Russia, a persecution often carried out by the Soviet (and then the Russian) State in collaboration with elements of the Russian Orthodox Church, it is understandable that many Catholics would hesitate to criticize the negative tone of this particular cable. I, personally, have a different take on this. Notwithstanding the fact that Russia remains in a lamentable state of schism from Rome, the Russian Church continues to have a view of its own role in society that in many respects is nearer to Traditional Catholic doctrine than the uncritical championing of relativistic concepts of "religious freedom" and "pluralism" that has become accepted even among a lot of "conservative" Catholics. No traditionally-minded Catholic can possibly object to the idea that the Church must fight for its interests in the public sphere, and must influence children's education, and must seek to pervade all aspects of public society. I personally wish that more Catholic prelates would speak openly of their desire to suffuse society with the influence of the Church, instead of being content to settle for "the right to voice their opinions" in the public square.

(To those wishing to post in the combox: no conspiracy theories or politics, please. CAP)
An Advent reflection from our Chaplain ...

The following thoughts are from the Chaplain of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society -- a 27-year-old American diocesan priest who remembers the Society at every Mass he says, and will continue to do so for as long as our Good God allows him to minister to His children. That's a lot of Masses.

And don't forget to send in the names of the souls you want enrolled.

A reminder on how to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "name, state, country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Pacelli family, Rome, Italy". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

Chaplain's Reflection:

The day is at hand!

Our Advent observance invites us to rise from sleep and to prepare the ways of the Only-Begotten to prepare the path to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was the historical center of the coming of the promised Messiah. It was the place in time and space where Our Savior taught, and died, and rose to life again. But it also is a foreshadowing of the Jerusalem of the Church -- the Jerusalem in which the promise of salvation is extended to people of all nations.

All mankind is called to that new Jerusalem -- the Mystical Body -- in which we may receive the divine life in abundance. As the Church will be renewed at the end of time, we too can point to that new Jerusalem that will come to reality when Our Lord returns to judge the living and dead.

Cardinal Mercier, the late Archbishop of Mechelen, invites us to "enter into the sanctuary of our baptized souls," that inner sanctuary which is also the new Jerusalem. It is the Jerusalem of our baptized souls where our Savior wishes to dwell. In the kingdom of grace that is the Church, the wonders that Our Lord conveys to John the Baptist are still occurring.

The Lord heals those who are blind to heavenly realities, He bids us to walk in the ways of salvation, and makes the dead in sin arise to the new life of grace.

During this season of Advent, as we prepare for the Christmas mystery, let us drink from that stream of grace which the Sacrament of the Altar brings to us. As we prepare for the coming of Our Savior, we remember in prayer our deceased brothers and sisters who have traveled before us on our common pilgrimage to heaven. We pray that they too may be purified and that their path from death into eternal life may be made straight.

May Christ, coming in humility in the crib of Bethlehem, purify His Church for His coming in glory.

Regem venturum Dominum, venite, adoremus!

And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter, where we now have over 400 followers.

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (tenth posting of souls)

Below, please find the tenth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. It's another long list this week.
And thanks to those of you who not only shared your stories on how you have been troubled since either starting to pray for the enrolled souls of this Society, or in other ways, such as starting to pray at an abortion clinic. I think it's important that even traditional Catholics remind themselves that the Devil really does exist and that we must always be on watch. Thank you all for your prayers as well. My family and I need them and appreciate them more than you'll ever know.

Please also pray for these souls with the prayer provided below as well as for the 11 holy priests who are praying the Traditional Latin Mass either weekly or monthly for the success of the Society and the repose of the enrolled souls. Most of them are also praying for those who are saying prayers for the enrolled souls. So keep up the prayers and the priests will keep praying for you!

A reminder on how to enroll souls: please email me at my address found in my profile on the right and submit as follows: "name, state, country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The DiMartino family, Rome, Italy". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

Also, if you run a blog or website, please consider letting your readers know about the Society as well by posting a link or short write-up. God knows there aren't enough people praying for these souls -- let's all join together and get the word out.
Please pray for the enrolled souls and the holy priests of the Society:"For all the souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful departed rest in peace. Amen."

Then ...Eternal God,
please bless our priests,
who are selflessly saying Masses for this Society.
Make them more greatly aware of the grace
that You pour out through them
when they minister the sacraments,
and help them to fall more deeply in love with You
after each and every Mass that they celebrate.
Please strengthen our priests,
who shepherd Your flock,
when they are in doubt of their faith,
that they may be examples of Your Truth
and guide us always on the path to You.
We ask these things of You, our Eternal Priest.
A reminder: The list below shows only the souls enrolled this past week -- not all of the souls enrolled since the beginning. If you enrolled a soul once, there is no need to enroll him again.
Enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society:
Ernesto P. Pato and Teodoro Pato, Manila, Philippines
Father Joseph Conrad, Carmel, CA
Fr. Didier Bonneterre SSPX, Paris, France
Fr. Janssen SJ, Jakarta, Indonesia
Fr. Jeuken SJ, Jakarta, Indonesia
Fr. Hardjono, Bogor, Indonesia
Mgr. Leo Soekoto SJ, Jakarta, Indonesia
Melie Liauw, Bogor, Indonesia
Irianto, Bogor, Indonesia
Fr. Sewaka SJ, Jakarta, Indonesia
Lina Gomulia, Garut, Indonesia
The Walker Family, Michigan, USA
Fr. Peek, USA
Fr. P. Grienins, SA , Australia
Fr P. Becs SJ, NSW, Australia
Fr. S. Gaidelis SJ, Vic, Australia
Fr. L. Ornicans SJ, Innsbruck, Austria
Fr. J. Clark, Qld, Australia
Fr. J. O'Shea, Qld, Australia
Fr. F. Moynihan, Qld, Australia
Fr. C. Shand, Qld, Australia
Fr. D. Edwards, Qld, Australia
Fr. W. Ross, Qld, Australia
Fr. Lee, Qld, Australia
Fr. Elliott, Qld, Australia
Fr. A. Smelters, Latvia,
Sr. Columba, OP
Sr. Colmcille, OP
Sr. Finbarr,OP
Sr. Thomas, OP
Sr. Xavier, OP
All the other deceased sisters of
Dominican Convent, Cabra, SA, Australia
Henriks Svilans, SA, Australia
Helena Svilans, SA, Australia
Anna Rozitis, SA, Australia
Andrievs Dennis, ACT, Australia
Eizens Smits, SA, Australia
Veronika Smits, SA, Australia
Ojars Zalups, SA, Australia
Anna Zalups, SA, Australia
Jana Vovers, SA, Australia
Ettie Pattullo, SA, Australia
Petronilla Mesters, SA, Australia
Marija Sils, SA, Australia
Mr. Walsh, Australia
Mrs. Walsh, Australia
Betty Zagami, Qld, Australia
Pat Ryan, Qld, Australia
Rita Ryan, Qld, Australia
Doris Murray, Qld, Australia
Alvina Jaudzems, SA, Australia
Leonora Ositis, SA, Australia
Aloizs Snepsts, SA, Australia
Marta Snepsts, SA, Australia
Helena Purins, SA, Australia
Helena Grinmanis, SA, Australia
Alvine Baginskis, Qld, Australia
Des Wills, SA, Australia
Kevin Carpenter, Qld, Australia
Stanislavs Svilans, NSW, Australia
Janis Puisens, Australia
Marian Scarrabelotti, Australia
Roberts Skrebelis, SA, Australia
Peteris Kozinda, SA, Australia
Mr. & Mrs. Teivans, SA, Australia
Mr. & Mrs. Mortuzans, SA, Australia
Gio Brusasco, Sofia, Bulgaria
Theresa Piatek, Illinois, USA
Claire Michelle Burns, Washington, USA
Jerome Longawa, Tennessee, USA
Francis Wibom, Washington, USA
Gladys Payne and Corby, Massachusetts, USA
Heather Stilwell, British Columbia, Canada
Steve and Lucille Baldiga, Massachusetts, USA
Terry Duhannel, Rhode Island, USA
Walter and Edward Baldiga, Massachusetts, USA
Omer Perron, Rhode Island, USA
Ray and Bruce Robidioux, Rhode Island, USA
Susan DeVoll, Texas, USA
Raymond Reed, Louisiana, USA
DeVoll Family, Texas, USA
Thomas Dewey Dies, Texas, USA
Peter and Mary Morrell, Texas, USA
Roy Morrell, Texas, USA
Mercedita M. Labrador, Q.C., Philippines
Gloria M. Magnaye, San Pascual, Batangas, Philippines
Maxester F. Tongol, Calumpit, Bulacan, Philippines
Maximino Tongol, Calumpit, Bulacan, Philippines
Eleanor R. Labrador, Cainta, Philippines
Michelle R. Labrador, Cainta, Philippines
Irene T. Marquez, San Pascual, Batangas, Philippines
Leocadio Marquez, San Pascual, Batangas, Philippines
Adelaida Labrador, Iloilo, Philippines
Isidro Labrador, Iloilo Philippines
Carmino Labrador, Manila. Philippines
Gloria Labrador, Manila, Philippines
Romeo Mendoza, San Pascual, Batangas, Philippines
Judge Jose Castro, Q.C., Philippines
Yvonne Manalo, Iloilo, Philippines
Ariel Roque, Batangas, Philippines
F. Cordova, Manila, Philippines
Dionisio Marquez, Batangas, Philippines
Lody Mendoza, Marikina, Philippines
Norma Abuel, Marikina, Philippines
Sonny Velandria, Marikina, Philippines
Rey Perlata, Marikina, Philippines
Frank Teneza, Makati, Philippines
Cesar Mata, Antipolo, Philippines
Leslie Cruz, Makati, Philippines
Mrs. Fausto, Manila, Philippines
Ate Linda, Marikina, Philippines
Soledad Abuel, Marikina, Philippines
Francisco Mendoza, Batangas, Philippines
Marcela Mendoza, Batangas, Philippines
Al Nudas, SJ, QC, Philippines
Pedro Oliveros, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Rahma Oliveros, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Nestor Labrador, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Mr. Senga, Marikina, Philippines
Angel Abad, QC, Philippines
Fr. Robert Sullivan, SJ Massachutes, USA
Msg. George Tracey, Maine, USA
Fr. Richard Harvey, Maine, USA
Elmer William Gran, Nebraska, USA
Eva Marie Gran, Nebraska, USA
Sr. Eileen (Mary Ellen) Gran, Nebraska, USA
Carolyn Gran Holsinger, Nebraska, USA
Ronald Holsinger, Nebraska, USA
Dale Greenamyre, Kansas, USA
Glenn Shanks, Nebraska, USA
Robert Shanks, Nebraska, USA
Gladys Shanks, Nebraska, USA
Harold Shanks, Nebraska, USA
Maxine Preskorn, Colorado, USA
John Preskorn, Nebraska, USA
Merton Robert McLaughlin, Iowa, USA
Helen Kozak, Nebraska, USA
Augusta McLaughlin, Nebraska, USA
Emmett McLaughlin, Nebraska, USA
Ella Calvin, Nebraska, USA
John Calvin, Nebraska, USA
Walter Chatfield, Minnesota, USA
Myrtle Chatfield, Minnesota, USA
Gilbert Chatfield, Minnesota, USA
Vi Chatfield, Minnesota, USA
Paul Rothfusz, Iowa, USA
Richard Carson, Florida, USA
Clara Carson, Florida, USA
Carl Bergman, Georgia, USA
Linda C. Salientes, Metro Manila, Philippines
Kamilus Kamil Taufik Mulia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Maria Magdalena Nani Kadarsi, Jakarta, Indonesia
Maria Magdalena Sunarti, Jakarta, Indonesia
Kam Bok San, Jakarta, Indonesia
Agustinus Gunawan Gomulia, Garut, Indonesia
Frances McGrogan, N.J. - USA
Joan Meyer, N.J. - USA
William Ring, N.J. - USA
Erasmus Tervaportti, Helsinki, Finland
Giuseppe and Maria Becciolini, Firenze, Italy
Luigi and Sara Daddi, Firenze, Italy
Burgassi Massimo, Firenze, Italy
Arnaldo and Maria Salzano, Napoli, Italy
Vittore and Concetta Tersini, Salerno, Italy
Lewis and Dorothy Prai
Vince and Virginia Schoeneberger
William Addison and Gladys Mattox
William Addison Mattox, Jr.
The Schoeneberger family
The Zimmer family
Mr Paul Charles Matejcik, Iowa, USA
Mrs Matilda Matejcik, Michigan, USA
Mr Edward Matejcik, Michigan, USA
Mr Joseph Matejcik, Michigan, USA
Mr Frank Francis Endres, Michigan, USA
Mrs Gertrude Endres, Michigan, USA
Mrs Winnie Tarrents, Michigan, USA
Mrs Ruth Barry, Michigan, USA
The Matejcik Family, Michigan, USA
The Janacek Family, Michigan, USA
The Endres Family, Michigan, USA
The Biddle Family, Indiana, USA
Bernadine Family PA, USA
Waters Family PA, USA
Campbell Family PA, USA
Miller Family PA, USA
Hubert Family PA, USA
Frank Creel, Virginia, USA
Edwin and Mary Huber, Washington, USA
Frank and Rose Phipps, Washington, USA
Jacob and Hattie Huber, Washington, USA
Albert and Rena Sevigny, Massachusetts, USA
Harold and Mary Payne, Massachusetts, USA
Richard Sevigny, Illinois, USA
Floris Smith, Maryland, USA
Eileen Sevigny, Massachusetts, USA
Hiram and Bernice Foster, Virginia, USA
Carl and Helen Huber, Oregon, USA
Jake and Florence Huber, Oregon, USA
Walter and Verna Huber, Washington, USA
Frank and Leora Huber, Washington, USA
Josephine Giannelli, Connecticut, USA
Tomy and Lois Mary Blick, Washington, USA
Richard Taylor, New Jersey, USA
James Leith, Washington, USA
James Devine, Washington, USA
John Schaefer, California, USA
Brian Reyna, Virginia, USA
Thomas Louis Pierson, Michigan, USA
Bernice Catherine Pierson, Michigan, USA
James Patrick Pierson, Washington, USA
The Burns Family, Michigan, USA
The Lalonde Family, Michigan, USA
Sr. Alice Miller, I.H.M., Michigan, USA
Veronica Palmer, Hartlepool, England
John Palmer, Hartlepool, England
John Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Miriam Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Kenneth Tierney, Hartlepool, England
George Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Patrick Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Patrick Lancelot Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Eleanor Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Sybil Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Stephen Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Edna Tierney, Hartlepool, England
Jane Dalton, Hartlepool, England
Thomas Dalton, Hartlepool, England
Lillian Dixon, Hartlepool, England
Thomas Dixon, Hartlepool, England
Wilfred Cook, Surrey, England
Paula Cook, Surrey, England
Bill and Dorothy Grant, Livingston, Scotland
John Maxwell, Livingston, Scotland
Grogan Family, Dumbarton, Scotland
McLean family, Dumbarton, Scotland
Adrian Sison, Metro Manila, Philippines
uno Bonugli, United States
Assunta Bonugli, United States
Sam Testaguzzi, United States
Gelse Medici, Argentina
Vicente Medici, Argentina
The Medici family, Argentina
The Wooden family, United States and Ireland
And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

Reflections on the Traditional Mass
by the Archbishop of the U.S. Military Ordinariate

Rorate has obtained this interesting and never before published 2008 document of the Archbishop for the Military Services of the United States (the American Military Ordinariate) from a trusted source. (Click for larger images.)

Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis

[Fr. Claudio Monteverdi, Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, 1610]

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: These words fell from the lips of the Immaculata herself. Hence, they must tell us, in the most precise and essential manner, who she really is.

Since human words are incapable of expressing Divine realities, it follows that these words, "Immaculate" and "Conception", must be understood in a much more profound, much more beautiful and sublime meaning than usual: a meaning beyond that which human reason at its most penetrating commonly gives to them.


Who then are you, O Immaculate Conception?

Not God, of course, because He has no beginning. Not an angel, created directly out of nothing. Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth. Not Eve, molded from Adam's rib. Not the Incarnate Word, Who exists before all ages, and of Whom we should use the word "conceived" rather than "conception."

Humans do not exist before their conception, so we might call them created "conceptions." But you, O Mary, are different from all other children of Eve. They are conceptions stained by Original Sin; whereas you are the unique, Immaculate, Conception.

Everything which exists, outside of God Himself, since it is from God and depends on Him in every way, bears within itself some semblance to its Creator; there is nothing in any creature which does not betray this resemblance, because every created thing is an effect of the Primal Cause.


Who is the Father? What is His personal life like? It consists in begetting, eternally, because He begets His Son from the beginning and forever.

Who is the Son? He is the Begotten-One, because from the beginning, and for all eternity, He is begotten by the Father.

And Who is the Holy Spirit? The flowering of the love of the Father and the Son. If the fruit of what is created is a created conception, then the fruit of Divine love, that prototype of all created love, is necessarily a Divine "conception." The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the "uncreated, eternal conception," the prototype of all the conceptions that multiply life throughout the whole universe.

The Father begets; the Son is begotten; the Spirit is the "conception" that springs from their love; there we have the intimate life of the Three Persons by which They can be distinguished from one another. But They are united in the Oneness of Their Nature, of Their Divine existence. The Spirit is, then, this thrice holy "conception," this infinitely holy Immaculate Conception.


The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God Himself, was the Immaculata, who never contacted the slightest stain of sin, who never departed in the least from God's will. United to the Holy Spirit as His spouse, she is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.

What sort of Union is this? It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the "essence" of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in her; lives in her. This was true from the first instance of her existence. It was always true and it will always be true.

And in what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist? He Himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves Himself, the very love of the Most Holy Trinity. She is a fruitful Love, a "Conception." Among creatures made in God's image, the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all. In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful, from the very first instance of her existence, all during her life, and for all eternity.

This eternal "Immaculate Conception" [the Holy Spirit] produces in an immaculate manner Divine life itself in the womb or depths of Mary's soul, making her the Immaculate Conception, the human Immaculate Conception. And the virginal womb of Mary's body is kept sacred for Him; there He conceives in time the human life of the Man-God.

... [S]he, the Immaculata, grafted into the Love of the Blessed Trinity, becomes, from the first moment of her existence and forever afterwards, the "complement of the Blessed Trinity." In the Holy Spirit's union with Mary we observe more than the love of two beings... . ... in this union, Heaven and Earth are joined; all of Heaven with the Earth, the totality of eternal love with the totality of created love. It is truly the summit of love.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Our traditional post on the Immaculata.
[And celebrating the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi's Vespers of the Blessed Virgin.]
Recess for
several days; updates will probably be scarce till mid-December.