Rorate Caeli
Whom does this benefit? Not the Church. So, I am taking this down for a few days. Thank you for the comments.

Two Blessed Popes and a Holy Inquisitor

God willing, John Paul II will be beatified on May 1, 2011.

The servant of God John Paul II himself beatified Pope Pius IX.

Blessed Pius IX gave the Church a model of heroic virtue in the person of the inquisitor of Aragon, St. Pedro Arbues, martyred by conspirators in 1485 while he was praying before Matins in church. St. Peter’s defenders say that no death sentence was ever pronounced by him, and that he was a model of clemency and zeal to obtain conversion of heretics, not their death; in this he was like other servants of the Inquisition, including St. Peter Martyr (13th century) and St. Pius V. However it is said that he did employ the coercive means available to him as an inquisitor to arrest and imprison heretics. Needless to say he is a controversial figure, as a quick glance at the Google pages will show, just like the venerable and beloved Pontiff who canonized him.

Known already before his martyrdom for his holiness, he was canonized by Blessed Pius IX on June 29, 1867. The prayer assigned to his feast by Pius IX mentions God raising up the saint to combat “Jewish unbelief” and “Mohammedan superstition”. Lex orandi, lex credendi. The law of belief will be expressed again tomorrow by the prayer assigned for Blessed John Paul II—it mentions Our Lord as the only Redeemer of mankind.

John Paul II - Best lines

Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. ...

John Paul II

Beyond his many beautiful and profound words, beyond his symbolic gestures that scandalized many, beyond acts which have affected the very life of the Church and will still create an enormous problem in the future (such as the permission for "altar girls", considered by a Cardinal one of the highest points of his Pontificate), one action (or rather, omission) is still haunting: why did he not act upon the express advice of his Cardinals in the Holy Office regarding the broad juridical rights of the Traditional Mass? This is not a matter for which it can be said - as it is said regarding several others - that he most probably could not have known, of which others might not have made him aware. They discussed the matter upon his request and, in 1982 (1982!), made clear what would only be made public in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, in 2007. He knew; he was aware; he remained silent.

So much pain, so many tears, so many died expecting it, so many may have been lost forever waiting for what he himself knew was lawful, right, and just. So many problems caused, so much injustice, so much persecution, in a way that sheds new lights on the dramatic events of 1988 - which themselves led to Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, a document more focused on the sentiment of some faithful than on the legitimate right of priests and laity.

Thanks to the Lord, who, through Paul VI, gave us Cardinal Ratzinger, and, through John Paul II, gave us Benedict XVI. Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino!

Sweet Christ on Earth

On the feast of the maiden of Siena (this year, not liturgically commemorated - Easter Octave), let us pray for the Holy Father.

And do not look at the ignorance and pride of your little children; but with the enticement of your love and of your benignity, granting them that sweet discipline and benign reprehension which may please your Holiness, render peace to us, your miserable children who have offended you.
I tell you, o sweet Christ on earth, from Christ in heaven, that, doing thus, that is, without quarrel and uproar, they will all see with pain the offense they have done, and will place their heads in their hands.

Saint Catherine of Siena
Letter CXCVI to Gregory XI

News from the Church in Belgium:
Silent apostasy is episcopal apostasy

European culture gives the impression of “silent apostasy” on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist.
John Paul II
Ecclesia in Europa
1. In Belgium (actually, it is not clear where he is), the emeritus ultra-"Progressive" Bishop of Bruges, Roger "Runaway" Vangheluwe, declares in an interview that the abuse of his nephew was no big deal.
A Belgian former bishop has disappeared from his French religious community three days after he admitted to sexually abusing two of his nephews, its leader told AFP on Sunday.

"The service made me...just for a split-second – wish I was an Anglican"

Since the masterwork of Pope Montini and Annibale destroyed all previous "pageantry" of the Latin Church - the "pageantry" Anglicans copied in the two previous centuries, since they could not copy Apostolic Succession and valid orders, and added to the traditions, including the choral tradition, that had remained from the pre-Protestant centuries -, these comparisons are really moot. Most Catholics today simply do not know what full traditional Papal and Pontifical liturgies look like or did look like.

As for the "Church of England", the best we can say about it is what is said of her illustrious daughter, the "Episcopal Church": it is neither Episcopal, nor a Church. It is of England, not like Stock, More, and Byrd, but like binge-drinking or association football.

Now, could the usurped buildings be returned, please?

Note: Yes, there is a very legitimate English spiritual heritage that is to be recovered by the Ordinariates in what promises to be a bright future. All that now seems empty (Non est hic) pageantry and, hence, necessarily vulgar, as Fr. Blake points out, can be gloriously transformed: Ecce nova facio omnia.

Fellay: let's wait

From an interview granted by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, to the March-April newsletter of Una Voce France (source: DICI):

May we know if the doctrinal discussions that are held by some of your representatives with Roman authorities are satisfactory? 
[Fellay:] What do we understand by satisfactory? This seems too subjective. Do these discussions correspond to our expectations or to those of the Roman authorities? Considering the divergences with which they were considered, it seems premature for me to give an answer, considering that they are not yet over. [Rorate note: the interview was granted in late Feb., early Mar.] I believe that there are elements that disappoint us, and, at the same time, others that give us a certain hope for the future. I do not believe that I can clearly answer your question with a yes or with a no. It seems to me that one cannot expect immediate fruits from such discussions, but there is a change of thinking, of a thinking that is yet to mature. We do have hope that these contacts will contribute to certain corrections, but I do not believe that this will happen in the near future.

Dignitatis Humanae: religious liberty and continuity

Sandro Magister has a post in Chiesa today (on Traditionalists, following a January post on the "Dossettians"), on the matter of Dignitatis Humanae and the concept of religious liberty as proposed by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council in that declaration. The basis of his articles is the Pope's epoch-making "Hermeneutics of Continuity" speech of December 2005.

As we mentioned in January 2006, in those days when we were the first English-speaking venue to discuss that address, and though Magister overlooks it in what could perhaps be considered a deliberate oversight, it is not very relevant to discuss the deeper theological aspects of Dignitatis Humanae as mentioned in the "Hermeneutics of Continuity" address because the Holy Father, in his address, made it clear that the notion of religious freedom as discussed in the Council was simply not a primarily theological proposition - it was a pragmatic solution for a practical consideration of the age (... hac nostra aetate...). Which is why it should not be incompatible with the specifically theological aspects of the matter as presented in earlier documents. [Image: repository.]

A question for our readers: the Miserere during Asperges

According to Sancta Missa, the former requirement for a priest to quietly say the Miserere (or the Confitemini during the Easter season) while sprinkling the people during the Asperges / Vidi Aquam was abolished in 1961. However, just as some rubrics that were effaced between 1955 and 1962 continue to be widely observed in celebrations of Mass according to the 1962 Missal, I've been wondering to what extent this particular custom continues to be observed in Traditional Latin Mass communities. I would like to ask our readers if they are aware if this continues to be practiced in the Masses according to the 1962 Missal that they attend.

Melbourne's Pontifical Holy Week rites in photographs

The website of the Catholic Community of Blessed John Henry Newman in the Archdiocese of Melbourne now has complete photo-galleries of last week's Pontifical Holy Week rites that were solemnly celebrated in their church according to the 1962 Missal:

Youth and Tradition Conference in Rome - May 13-15

[A reminder of the 3rd Motu Proprio conference in Rome - We will be discreetly present in this conference, in 'Roaming Catholic' form...]

Full program in English:

The Association Youth and Tradition
And the Sodality Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum
Rome, 13-15 May 2011


Pope apparently not initiator of Assisi-III

In a personal note of the Pope to Prof. Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, he apparently hints at not having been the initiator - hence, responsible for - of the religious meeting in Assisi later this year.

Palm Sunday in Africa

Next time someone tells you that few Africans will either appreciate or attend a Traditional Latin Mass, do direct them to this photo gallery of the Palm Sunday procession and Solemn Mass officiated this year by Msgr. Gilles Wach in Libreville, Gabon.

According to the ICRSS, some 500 joined the procession and attended Mass.

1962 Missal Triduum in Madrid

The rites of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday were offered last week in the parish church of San Ildefonso in Madrid, thanks to the clergy of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. This parish church hosts Mass according to the 1962 Missal every Monday at 8:00 p.m., while two other churches in Madrid have this Mass every Sunday. (The full list of regular Masses according to the 1962 Missal in Spain can be found HERE.)

Una Voce Malaga posted the following photographs:

Good Friday - Commemoration of the Passion and Death of Our Lord

Maundy Thursday Solemn Mass:

Easter Monday Pontifical Mass in the Philippines

Bishop Antonio Tobias offered a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd on Easter Monday, April 25, 2011, marking the first time since the liturgical reform that a Filipino bishop offered Mass according to the pre-Conciliar rites in his own cathedral. A post on the event and more pictures can be found in The Pinoy Catholic.

He was assisted by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

Sacred Triduum in Poznan, Poland

Pictures of the Sacred Triduum offered by a priest of the Institute of the Good Shepherd in Poznan, Poland can now be seen in this blog post.

A Vatican II Moment:
The "Cups Mass"

The rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, may be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.

For this purpose the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance; elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage, are now to be discarded; other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the vigor which they had in the days of the holy Fathers, as may seem useful or necessary.
Sacrosanctum Concilium, 50

Ordinary Mass celebrated by Father Miguel Ángel Sastre, a diocesan priest who celebrates at the Madrid novitiate of the Lasallian Brothers (Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain). "Every Tuesday, since the beginning of the novitiate, we celebrate the eucharist as a community in our house. It is a very special celebration, because it is the moment in which we may live the eucharist with greater depth and meaning."
(Source and tip: La Cigüeña)

A question for our readers: on keeping vigil before the "Sepulcher"

In your parish or oratory, was there a vigil before the Blessed Sacrament not only during the night of Maundy Thursday (before the Altar of Repose), but also through Good Friday and Black Saturday (before a "Sepulcher")?

Since the 1950's, it has become common to limit this adoration to the night of Maundy Tursday in observance of the rubrics in the more modern liturgical books. Nevertheless the older tradition continues to be observed in Poland and Germany (see this post in Te Igitur) and, I've been told, in Hungary. Perhaps it has survived elsewhere.

(The round-the-clock vigil before the Sepulcher from Good Friday to the morning of Easter Sunday was also practiced in pre-Reformation England, as detailed in the following post on the blog Supremacy and Survival: Holy Saturday and the Easter Sepulchre.)

The Liturgical Creed and the Principles of the Anti-Liturgical Heresy revisited

[A "radical" blog? Well, this must have always been one. This post in another blog reminded us of the following post written in April 2006. It seems that the essence of this "creed" would be confirmed by the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and its accompanying letter, issued some 15 months later.]

I believe
that the Traditional Rites of East and West contain within themselves so many elements of Apostolic origin that it is impossible to separate these from the elements added by post-Apostolic ecclesiastical tradition.

I believe no man here on earth (Pastor Aeternus, IV, 6) can rightfully determine the complete abrogation, full substitution, or substantial derogation of any received Traditional Rite, of East and West, which contains inextricable Apostolic elements.

I believe Ecclesiastical History continuously proves that the rights of the liturgical rites "established by long and immemorial prescription" have always been respected by the Holy Roman Church, even in ages of great liturgical crises and heresies (Quo Primum; Quod a Nobis).

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

The Redemption of History

The resurrection of Christ is not the fruit of speculation or mystical experience: it is an event which, while it surpasses history, nevertheless happens at a precise moment in history and leaves an indelible mark upon it. The light which dazzled the guards keeping watch over Jesus’ tomb has traversed time and space. It is a different kind of light, a divine light, that has rent asunder the darkness of death and has brought to the world the splendour of God, the splendour of Truth and Goodness. 
Just as the sun’s rays in springtime cause the buds on the branches of the trees to sprout and open up, so the radiance that streams forth from Christ’s resurrection gives strength and meaning to every human hope, to every expectation, wish and plan. Hence the entire cosmos is rejoicing today, caught up in the springtime of humanity, which gives voice to creation’s silent hymn of praise. The Easter Alleluia, resounding in the Church as she makes her pilgrim way through the world, expresses the silent exultation of the universe and above all the longing of every human soul that is sincerely open to God, giving thanks to him for his infinite goodness, beauty and truth. 
"In your resurrection, O Christ, let heaven and earth rejoice." To this summons to praise, which arises today from the heart of the Church, the "heavens" respond fully: the hosts of angels, saints and blessed souls join with one voice in our exultant song. In heaven all is peace and gladness. But alas, it is not so on earth! Here, in this world of ours, the Easter alleluia still contrasts with the cries and laments that arise from so many painful situations: deprivation, hunger, disease, war, violence. Yet it was for this that Christ died and rose again! He died on account of sin, including ours today, he rose for the redemption of history, including our own.
Benedict XVI
Easter Sunday, 2011


Nice panoramic views of the building complex of the International Seminary of Saint Pius X (Écône) and surrounding areas, made available by the German district of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX). (Tip: DICI.)


Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e 'l moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.

Commedia, Paradiso (c. VII)
Hosanna holy God of Sabaoth,/ abundantly illumining with thy brightness/ the blessed fires of these kingdoms ... The soul of every brute and of each plant,/ The ray and motion of the sacred lights,/ Draw from complexion with meet power endued./ But this our life the Eternal Good inspires/ Immediate, and enamours of itself;/ So that our wishes rest forever here./ And hence thou mayst by inference conclude/ Our resurrection certain, if thy mind/ Consider how the human flesh was framed,/ When both our parents at the first were made. (Transl. H.F.Cary) - ...Our regular Paschal feature...
Homily of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, for the Mass of Easter Vigil

Benedict XVI on the Creation Account in Genesis

From Benedict XVI's Easter Vigil Homily (to which our regular Easter post also links):

At the Easter Vigil, the journey along the paths of sacred Scripture begins with the account of creation. This is the liturgy’s way of telling us that the creation story is itself a prophecy. It is not information about the external processes by which the cosmos and man himself came into being. The Fathers of the Church were well aware of this. They did not interpret the story as an account of the process of the origins of things, but rather as a pointer towards the essential, towards the true beginning and end of our being. Now, one might ask: is it really important to speak also of creation during the Easter Vigil? Could we not begin with the events in which God calls man, forms a people for himself and creates his history with men upon the earth? The answer has to be: no. To omit the creation would be to misunderstand the very history of God with men, to diminish it, to lose sight of its true order of greatness. The sweep of history established by God reaches back to the origins, back to creation.


The central message of the creation account can be defined more precisely still. In the opening words of his Gospel, Saint John sums up the essential meaning of that account in this single statement: “In the beginning was the Word”. In effect, the creation account that we listened to earlier is characterized by the regularly recurring phrase: “And God said ...” The world is a product of the Word, of the Logos, as Saint John expresses it, using a key term from the Greek language. “Logos” means “reason”, “sense”, “word”. It is not reason pure and simple, but creative Reason, that speaks and communicates itself. It is Reason that both is and creates sense. The creation account tells us, then, that the world is a product of creative Reason. Hence it tells us that, far from there being an absence of reason and freedom at the origin of all things, the source of everything is creative Reason, love, and freedom. Here we are faced with the ultimate alternative that is at stake in the dispute between faith and unbelief: are irrationality, lack of freedom and pure chance the origin of everything, or are reason, freedom and love at the origin of being? Does the primacy belong to unreason or to reason? This is what everything hinges upon in the final analysis. As believers we answer, with the creation account and with John, that in the beginning is reason. In the beginning is freedom. Hence it is good to be a human person. It is not the case that in the expanding universe, at a late stage, in some tiny corner of the cosmos, there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it. If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature. But no, Reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine Reason. And because it is Reason, it also created freedom; and because freedom can be abused, there also exist forces harmful to creation. Hence a thick black line, so to speak, has been drawn across the structure of the universe and across the nature of man. But despite this contradiction, creation itself remains good, life remains good, because at the beginning is good Reason, God’s creative love. Hence the world can be saved. Hence we can and must place ourselves on the side of reason, freedom and love – on the side of God who loves us so much that he suffered for us, that from his death there might emerge a new, definitive and healed life.

Photo from Daylife
Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (twenty-ninth posting of souls)

Please see below for the twenty-ninth posting of souls in the Rorate Caeli Purgatory Society.

Please remember, especially on this Holy Saturday and through Easter Sunday, to keep the souls in your prayers and to send in as many as you can. We should all try to pray the entire enrolled Society into Heaven by Easter Sunday.

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 Jones family, Ohio, USA". 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 also consider forwarding this Society to your family and friends, announcing from the pulpit during Holy Mass or listing in your church bulletin. We need to spread the word and relieve more suffering souls.

To be converted like Peter

Jesus desires us, he awaits us. But what about ourselves? Do we really desire him? Are we anxious to meet him? Do we desire to encounter him, to become one with him, to receive the gifts he offers us in the Holy Eucharist? Or are we indifferent, distracted, busy about other things? From Jesus’ banquet parables we realize that he knows all about empty places at table, invitations refused, lack of interest in him and his closeness. For us, the empty places at the table of the Lord’s wedding feast, whether excusable or not, are no longer a parable but a reality, in those very countries to which he had revealed his closeness in a special way. Jesus also knew about guests who come to the banquet without being robed in the wedding garment – they come not to rejoice in his presence but merely out of habit, since their hearts are elsewhere. In one of his homilies Saint Gregory the Great asks: Who are these people who enter without the wedding garment? What is this garment and how does one acquire it? He replies that those who are invited and enter do in some way have faith. It is faith which opens the door to them. But they lack the wedding garment of love. Those who do not live their faith as love are not ready for the banquet and are cast out. Eucharistic communion requires faith, but faith requires love; otherwise, even as faith, it is dead.
We too, all of us, need to learn again to accept God and Jesus Christ as he is, and not the way we want him to be. We too find it hard to accept that he bound himself to the limitations of his Church and her ministers. We too do not want to accept that he is powerless in this world. We too find excuses when being his disciples starts becoming too costly, too dangerous. All of us need the conversion which enables us to accept Jesus in his reality as God and man. We need the humility of the disciple who follows the will of his Master. Tonight we want to ask Jesus to look to us, as with kindly eyes he looked to Peter when the time was right, and to convert us.

After Peter was converted, he was called to strengthen his brethren. It is not irrelevant that this task was entrusted to him in the Upper Room. The ministry of unity has its visible place in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Dear friends, it is a great consolation for the Pope to know that at each Eucharistic celebration everyone prays for him, and that our prayer is joined to the Lord’s prayer for Peter. Only by the prayer of the Lord and of the Church can the Pope fulfil his task of strengthening his brethren – of feeding the flock of Christ and of becoming the guarantor of that unity which becomes a visible witness to the mission which Jesus received from the Father.

Benedict XVI
April 21, 2011

Lost Treasures of Holy Week - 2: Commemorating Christ's Descent into Hell

From the (old) Catholic Encyclopedia's article on Easter:

The greater part of the ceremonies was transferred to the morning hours of Holy Saturday. This change, however, did not produce a new liturgical creation adapted to the new order of things. The old baptismal ceremonies were left untouched and have now, apparently, no other reason for preservation than their antiquity. The gap left in the liturgical services after the solemnities of the night had been transferred to the morning of Holy Saturday was filled in France, Germany, and in some other countries by a twofold new ceremony, which, however, was never adopted in Rome.

First, there was the commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ. At midnight, before Matins, the clergy in silence entered the dark church and removed the cross from the sepulchre to the high altar. Then the candles were lit, the doors opened, and a solemn procession was held with the cross through the church, the cloister, or cemetery. Whilst the procession moved from the altar to the door, the beautiful old antiphon, "Cum Rex gloriae", was sung, the first part softly (humili ac depressâ voce), to symbolize the sadness of the souls in limbo; from Advenisti desiderabilis the singers raised their voices in jubilation whilst the acolytes rang small bells which they carried. The full text of this antiphon, which has disappeared from the liturgy, follows:

Cum rex gloriae Christus infernum debellaturus intraret, et chorus angelicus ante faciem ejus protas principum tolli praeciperet, sanctorum populus, qui tenebatur in morte captivus, voce lacrimabili clamabat dicens: Advenisti desiderabilis, quem expectabamus in tenebris, ut educered hac nocte vinculatos de claustris. Te nostra vocabant suspiria, te large requirebant lamenta, tu factus est spes desperatis, magna consolatio in tormentis. Alleluja.

When the procession returned, in many churches the "Attollite portas" (Ps. xxiii) was sung at the door, in order to symbolize the victorious entry of Christ into limbo and hell. After the procession Matins were sung. In later centuries the Blessed Sacrament took the place of the cross in the procession. This ceremony is, with the approval of the Holy See, still held in Germany on the eve of Easter with simpler ceremonies, in the form of a popular devotion.

(Interestingly, in the Midnight Paschal liturgy as observed by certain Churches of the Byzantine Rite, the "Atollite portas" is also sung in dialogue form in front of the closed church doors. -- Pascal)

Sacred Triduum according to the 1962 Missal in Ireland

Christ on the Cross, Southampton Psalter (Medieval Irish origin)

1) The schedule of the Sacred Triduum in Dublin can be found here: Calendar of the Dublin Latin Mass Chaplaincy

2) Traditional Sacred Triduum at SS.Peter & Paul's Cork (Diocese of Cork & Ross)

Holy Thursday: 6.00 p.m. Mass of the Lord's Supper in Extraordinary Form
Good Friday: 5.00 p.m. Commemoration of the Passion
: 8.00 p.m. The Office of Tenebrae
Holy Saturday: 8.00 p.m. Vigil of Easter
Easter Sunday: 12.00 Latin Mass

3) Part of the Triduum will be held at the ICRSS apostolate in Limerick, in St Patrick's Church, Dublin Road at the following times:

Maundy Thursday : 5pm
Good Friday: 1 pm
Easter Sunday: 10:30 am

Thanks to Peadar Laighleis for the information.

(Photo source: LINK)

For the Record: new SSPX "Rosary Crusade"

In pictures: Palm Sunday according to the older Roman Missals

1. As previously announced on Rorate, the Melbourne community for the 1962 Missal, the Catholic Community of Bl. John Henry Newman, had a Solemn Pontifical Mass for Palm Sunday this week. Pictures are now available of the Blessing of Palms and Procession, Solemn Pontifical Mass, and Simple Benediction with a Relic of the True Cross.

2. Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Blackfen. The Palm Sunday ceremonies were offered by Fr. Tim Finigan according to the pre-1955 form. More pictures here. (H/t Mulier Fortis)

Lost Treasures of Holy Week - 1: Holy Saturday Ordinations

In recent years, interest in the Holy Week rites according to the pre-1955 liturgical books has become more evident in the Internet, with the publication of books and articles that favorably compare these to the Holy Week rites as reformed between 1955 and 1960. Examples include some of the writings of Laszlo Dobszay, Gregory Di Pippo, Fr. Stefano Carusi IBP, and an ongoing series by Henri Adam de Villiers. This interest has all too often been identified (and dismissed out of hand) with sedevacantism and "independent chapels", although it is no secret that some "indult" churches and chapels have quietly observed Holy Week according to the pre-1955 books, while elements of the "unreformed" Holy Week have crept into not a few "1962 Missal" Holy Week celebrations.

One of the reforms that have rarely been discussed is the termination in 1957 [see #22 in the decree "Ordinationes et Declarationes circa Ordinem Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratum" issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on February 1, 1957 -- AAS 49 (1957) pp. 91-96] of the ancient custom of conferring tonsure and subdiaconal, diaconal and sacerdotal ordinations during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday morning. Among those who were ordained as priests on a Holy Saturday include St. John Baptist de la Salle, Bl. Pius IX, the Servant of God Augustine ("Augustus") Tolton, and the late Corrado Cardinal Bafile.

"The Vatican responds"

The Disappointed Have Spoken. The Vatican responds

Inos Biffi and Agostino Marchetto reply in "L'Osservatore Romano" to the traditionalists Brunero Gherardini and Roberto de Mattei, who criticize the current pope for not having corrected the "errors" of Vatican Council II

by Sandro Magister

Holy Week and Easter Sunday (1962 Missal) in England and Wales

Just like last year, the Sacred Triduum according to the 1962 Missal will be offered in eight churches in England, although some of the locations have changed. (There is also the difference that in 2010, one of churches had no EF liturgy on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, while this year the liturgies of Holy Thursday evening, Good Friday and Holy Saturday night will be available in all the 8 churches.)

Easter Vigil, Reading. Holy Week 2010. More pictures here.

The 8 churches where the 1962 Missal Triduum will be offered are listed here. The Conventual Church of St. John of Jerusalem will also have significant portions of the Divine Office according to the 1961 edition. (H/t for this to NLM.) A ninth church -- Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen -- will have its Holy Thursday Mass according to the 1962 Missal.

The full list of Easter Sunday (Mass during the Day) Extraordinary Form Masses in England and Wales can be found here.

As with the post on the Pontifical Holy Week in Melbourne, the readers of our blog are invited to post in the combox on the Holy Week services that they would like to promote.

The Drama of Thiberville

(NB: The link has just been been fixed! My apologies to those who read this post in the last several hours. - Pascal.)

(For the background story to this tragedy, please read Rorate's post of April 15, 2011: No more oasis in the desert of Evreux)

A video (with Spanish subtitles) from Pagina Catolica: Después del padre Michel

The contrast between the situation in the church before and after Fr. Michel's removal is striking indeed, as is the massive walk-out of the parishioners (beginning at 1:47) when his replacement tries to offer Mass without a chasuble. (The same scene is repeated at 5:24 when the faithful -- who are praying the rosary -- walk out when a priest comes in to offer Mass, again without a chasuble.) Most pathetic is the botched "TLM" that Fr. Michel's replacement tries to offer (shown beginning 5:49).

Noteworthy as well is the presence of acolytes in copes and tunicles at Fr. Michel's TLM and of various liturgical peculiarities that many of our readers will readily identify.

Pontifical Holy Week in Melbourne

From the website of the Catholic Community of Bl. John Henry Newman, the chaplaincy for the "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite" in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, which worships at St. Aloysius Church (233 Balaclava Road Caulfield North, 3161, Melbourne):

His Lordship, Most Rev Basil Meeking, Bishop Emeritus of Christchurch, New Zealand returns to Melbourne to celebrate all the traditional Latin ceremonies of Holy Week.

More problems with YouCat?

Fr. Finigan explains:

OK so the Italian translation of YouCat 420 is to be corrected to make it clear that the Church does not teach that a Catholic couple can and should use contraception. That is a relief, I suppose. Ignatius Press, for whom I have the highest respect, have posted a loyal and serious defence of YouCat in this area.

Unfortunately, the quotation given from YouCat 421 gives further cause for concern. It reads:

421 Why are all methods of preventing the conception of a child not equally good?

The Church recommends the refined methods of self-observation and natural family planning (NFP) as methods of deliberately regulating conception. These are in keeping with the dignity of man and woman; they respect the innate laws of the female body; they demand mutual affection and consideration and therefore are a school of love. [2370–2372, 2399]

Both the question and the answer fly in the face of everything that loyal Catholics have done to promote the teaching of Humanae Vitae.

The Church does not say that contraception and natural family planning are "not equally good." It teaches that contraception is a sin (not a lesser good), while NFP may be a morally acceptable means of limiting the size of a family if there are serious reasons for doing so.

The Church does not "recommend" NFP as though artificial contraception were a less perfect option. Nor, in fact does it consider NFP and contraception to be the same kind of moral action. This is one of the basic elements of apologetics in support of the moral teaching of the Church: contraception is definitively closed to the gift of new life, while NFP recognises that new life may be less likely at certain times.

The composers of YouCat have made a classic mistake in their attempt to appeal to young people. A question and answer such as 421 above, looks like an attempt to put things diplomatically: to water down the teaching of the Church in case it is too difficult.

In fact, the young people who are still willing to listen to the Church want clear, unambiguous answers. On sexual ethics, they may fail to live the natural law as clarified by the Catholic Church but they will be willing to repent and come back to Christ in humility. As a priest working in perhaps the most secular corner of the planet, I am only too well aware of the import of the modern translation of Psalm 118 "How shall the young remain sinless?" The answer is "by obeying your law", not by waffling around in timid appeasement. (As I highlighted the other day, Waffle should only be served with syrup.) The last thing young people need is for priests to fudge what are crucial questions for their everyday lives.

YouCat has already earned the nickname LolCat. If the stuff on contraception is so muddled, what will it be like in other areas of theology? I await the published edition (released today) with some trepidation.

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (twenty-eighth posting of souls)

Please see below for the twenty-eighth posting of souls in the Rorate Caeli Purgatory Society.

Please remember, especially during Lent, to keep the souls in your prayers and to send in as many as you can. We should all try to pray the entire enrolled Society into Heaven by Easter Sunday.

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 Jones family, Ohio, USA". 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.

No more oasis in the desert of Evreux

Msgr. Nourrichard (to the right, and yes, he's wearing cope and miter) standing with an Anglican bishop and a Lutheran bishop at the ordination of Anglican priestesses in Salisbury Cathedral in July 2010. More on this here, here, here (with more photos) and here.

Paix Liturgique's English-language Letter # 15, dated April 14, 2011:

Thiberville: a French scandal!

First Bishop Nourrichard of Évreux gave the parish priest of Thiberville the boot after a two-year long cabal. Now he has just excommunicated him on the simple grounds that. . . he is still living in his rectory. A rectory in which Father Michel lives legitimately, actually, since the township of Thiberville, which has been supporting its pastor since the very beginning of the polemic, is the one that granted him its use.

The story of Thiberville is a simple one: a progressive bishop, whose diocese is fast becoming dechristianized, wished to dismantle the last remaining parish that was fully living out its Catholicism. The local parish priest for the past twenty years refused this decision; he had the support of the faithful as well as that of the town's elected officials. So the bishop tried to come down and impose his decision. He was literally driven out by the parishioners early in 2010, however.

Nevertheless the bishop persisted in his will to incorporate the parish of Thiberville into a new grouping. He ended up obtaining satisfaction from the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, to which Father Michel had appealed this decision.

Introducing "Te Igitur"

A new blog (begun only last month) that does for the glories of Catholic Bavaria what Orbis Catholicus does for Rome:

Te Igitur.

Cardinal Pell on the SSPX and on the post-conciliar era

Cardinal Pell's forthright response to the heretic Eric Hodgens has been circulating among the blogs since its publication on the website "The Swag" a few days ago. Amidst all the praise that the Cardinal has received for his frank response to this heretic, few in the Traditionalist world seem to have noticed the Cardinal's remarks regarding the SSPX:
The charges against the Holy Father do not amount to too much e.g. instituting a special year to honour priests (which was well received by priests and people), continuing with a new translation of the Roman Missal, and encouraging the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated. He did not receive back the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, but only lifted their excommunication. They are still in schism.

Cardinal Pell also speaks about the unexpected aftermath of the post-conciliar era:

Pope Paul VI appointed no bishops who were opposed to the ethos of Vatican II, and for various reasons the good bishops appointed in Holland were overwhelmed, tossed aside by the liberal gales. This brings me to another contemporary fact, which I never anticipated as a young seminarian in Rome during the Council or as a young priest. The now aged liberal wing of the Church, which dominated discussion after the Council and often the bishops and the emerging Church bureaucracies, has no following among young practising Catholics, priests or religious. This is not only true in Australia, but everywhere in the Western world. In these different countries dominated by a secular media and intelligentsia, liberalism has no young Catholic progeny.

On reflection we should not find this surprising, as growth is tied to Gospel fidelity, to faith, love and sacrifice. After Vatican II many of us overestimated our cultural strengths and underestimated the virulence of anti-Christian forces. You need strong Christian foundations to participate productively in “open dialogue”. Without these roots the end of the road is agnosticism.

Father Pfleger to (officially) leave the Church?

The infamous Father Michael Pfleger, whose public scandals are too many to list, may actually make his apostasy official and leave the Church. (h/t Curt Jester)

"The embattled pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church told radio show hosts Tavis Smiley and Cornel West this weekend that he would look outside the Catholic Church if offered no other choice but to work at a Catholic high school.

"The Rev. Michael Pfleger also said on the 'Smiley & West' public radio program that he had been banned from speaking at events in the archdiocese and blamed pressure from conservative Catholics and the National Rifle Association for his most recent clash with Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George.

“'I want to try to stay in the Catholic Church,'” Pfleger said. “'If they say ‘You either take this principalship of [Leo High School] or pastorship there or leave,’ then I’ll have to look outside the church. I believe my calling is to be a pastor. I believe my calling is to be a voice for justice. I believe my calling is to preach the Gospel. In or out of the church, I’m going to continue to do that.'”

"Youcat"? They should rename it Lolcat:
cute and unfunny

After the "contraceptive" debacle, an even greater mess in "Youcat" - and what else could be expected from the Cardinal of Vienna? He is just so bad in defending the faith that he actually makes us side with Totò Rino Fisichella...

The Italian edition contained another translation error in its treatment of end-of-life treatment. While the German original said that a family may accept the inevitability of death of a loved one, the Italian translation used a term meaning "passive euthanasia," thus appearing to provide justification for the removal of food and water from a dying patient--a practice that the Church condemns.

As Sandro Magister notices, it is not merely another Italian translation problem:

Slowly but surely

Brazilian blog Salvem a Liturgia reports that a Benedictine Monastery in Pouso Alegre (state of Minas Gerais) now hosts a monthly Traditional Mass - and is reintroducing Traditional readings, in Latin, in the Divine Office. The Prior himself, Dom Bento Albertin, O.S.B., is responsible for this slow improvement in the monastery's liturgy. The post includes pictures of the last TLM, on Laetare Sunday, as well as a report by Dom Bento.

Establishment of the Priory of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Charles Town, WV




Schedule of Principal Events (Go to TLM in MD)

Aidan Nichols on Benedict XVI and his "Noah's Ark"

Over the past weekend, the Ordinariate Portal published Fr. Aidan Nichols' lengthy address to the Anglicanorum Coetibus conference in Canada (March 24-26, 2011): The Ordinariates, the Pope, and the Liturgy. Part 1 and Part 2.

Nichols characterizes the Pope's reach-out to four specific groups -- conservative "Catholic" Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, the Society of St. Pius X, and Anglo-Catholics -- as an invitation to them to board the "Noah's Ark" that is the Catholic Church in the face of the flood of relativism, secularism and militant Islam:

When will heads start rolling?

From LSN:


VATICAN, April 11, 2011 ( – The Italian-language version of a new Catechism designed for youth and to be distributed at this year’s World Youth Day in August incorrectly states the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception, reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA). The English version of YOUCAT– short for “Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church” - does not contain the error.

CNA and EWTN News reported this morning that question 420 in the Italian, Q&A-format YOUCAT, slated for release on April 13, states:

“Q. Puo una coppia christiana fare ricorso ai metodi anticoncezionali?” (Can a Christian couple have recourse to contraceptive methods?)

“A. Si, una coppia cristiana puo e deve essere responsabile nella sua facolta di poter donare la vita.” (Yes, a Christian couple can and should be responsible in its faculty of being able to give life).

In the English version, however, question 420 reads:

Q. May a Christian married couple regulate the number of children they have?

A. Yes, a Christian married couple may and should be responsible in using the gift and privilege of transmitting life. [2368–2369, 2399]

MDCCCLXI + + + 150 + + + MDCCCLXV

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

Requiescant in pace.

Rome Blognic for "Taliban" Catholics

Read about this upcoming event on the Hermeneutic of Continuity blog.

Text of the Vatican Decree on the Reform of Philosophy Studies in Seminaries

(For the earlier Rorate Caeli report, see this.)




I. The Current Situation

1. In her work of evangelizing the world, the Church follows attentively and discerningly the rapid cultural changes at work, which influence both her and society as a whole. Among the changes of the predominant culture, some particularly profound ones regard the concept of truth. In fact, there is often mistrust in the capacity of human intelligence to arrive at objective and universal truth – a truth by which people can give direction to their lives. Furthermore, the force of the human sciences, as well as the consequences of scientific and technological developments, stimulate new challenges for the Church.

2. With his Encyclical Letter Fides et ratio, Pope John Paul II wished to emphasize the need for philosophy, so as to advance in the knowledge of the truth and to render earthly existence ever more human. In fact, philosophy “is directly concerned with asking the question of life’s meaning and sketching an answer to it.”[1] This question arises both from the wonder that man experiences in his encounter with others and with the cosmos, and from the painful and tragic experiences that assail his life. Philosophical knowledge, therefore, is seen as being “one of the noblest of human tasks.”[2]

II. The “Original Vocation” of Philosophy

3. Philosophical trends have multiplied in the course of history, showing the richness of the various rigorous, sapiential searches for truth. While ancient wisdom contemplated being from the perspective of the cosmos, patristic and medieval thought offered a deeper, purified vision, identifying the cosmos as the free creation of a God who is wise and good (cf. Wis 13,1-9; Acts 17, 24-28). Modern philosophies have particularly emphasized human freedom, the spontaneity of reason, and its capacity to measure and dominate the universe. Recently, a certain number of contemporary schools of thought, being more sensitive to the vulnerability of our knowledge and our humanity, have focused their reflection on the mediating roles of language[3] and culture. Finally, moving beyond Western thought, how could one forget the numerous and sometimes remarkable efforts to understand man, the world and the Absolute made by different cultures, for example Asian and African cultures? This generous exploration of thought and language, however, must never forget that it is rooted in being. “The metaphysical element is the path to be taken in order to move beyond the crisis pervading large sectors of philosophy at the moment, and thus to correct certain mistaken modes of behaviour now widespread in our society.”[4] From this perspective, philosophers are invited energetically to reclaim philosophy’s “original vocation”:[5] the search for truth, and its sapiential and metaphysical characteristic.

4. Wisdom considers the first and fundamental principles of reality, and seeks the ultimate and fullest meaning of life, thus allowing it to be “the decisive critical factor which determines the foundations and limits of the different fields of scientific learning”, as well as “the ultimate framework of the unity of human knowledge and action, leading them to converge towards a final goal and meaning.”[6] The sapiential characteristic of philosophy implies its “genuinely metaphysical range, capable, that is, of transcending empirical data in order to attain something absolute, ultimate and foundational in its search for truth”,[7] even if only gradually known through the course of history. In fact, metaphysics, i.e. first philosophy, deals with being and its attributes, and, in this way, raises itself up to the knowledge of spiritual realities, seeking the First Cause of all.[8] Nevertheless, to emphasize its sapiential and metaphysical characteristic must not be understood as concentrating exclusively on the philosophy of being, inasmuch as all the different areas of philosophy are necessary for a knowledge of reality. Indeed, for each area, the proper field of study and the specific method must be respected, in the name of consonance with reality and the variety of human ways of knowing.

(Continue reading HERE)

Hispanohablantes y la Misa tradicional en los Estados Unidos:
¿Qué hacer?

Hay numerosos blogs, portales y páginas destinados a católicos tradicionales de lengua española en Internet. Pero su presencia en los Estados Unidos no parece ser tan intensa como la que se podría esperar en una nación con  más de 50 millones de hispanohablantes, muchos de ellos católicos practicantes. ¿Qué hacer para despertar el interés de los católicos de habla hispana en los Estados Unidos por la Misa tradicional?  ¿Cómo enseñar las comunidades tradicionales en los Estados Unidos a acoger dignamente a estos hermanos, especialmente a los inmigrantes? 

Si Ud. tiene ideas, enlaces interesantes en la red o cualquier otra sugestión para la expansión de la Misa tradicional en las numerosas comunidades hispanohablantes en los Estados Unidos, añádalos a nuestros comentarios.


On baptizing with beer

A Catholic DISSENT from the Pope’s prohibition of beer baptism: on exegetical, historical-critical, theological, pastoral, missiological, ecclesiological, epidemiological, semio-linguistic, scientific, phenomenological, anthropological, gender-egalitarian, epistemological, and faith-based grounds.


"Abraham pater vester exsultavit ut videret diem meum: vidit, et gavisus est." Dixerunt ergo Iudæi ad eum: "Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti?" Dixit eis Iesus: "Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum."
(From the Gospel for Passion Sunday, John viii, 56-58: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.")

...Abraham's Creator bears a great testimony to Abraham. "Abraham rejoiced," He says, "to see my day." He did not fear, but "rejoiced to see it." For in him there was the love that casts out fear. He says not, rejoiced because he saw; but "rejoiced that he might see." [Non ait: Exsultavit, quia vidit; sed, exsultavit ut videret.] Believing, at all events, he rejoiced in hope to see with the understanding. "And he saw." And what more could the Lord Jesus Christ say, or what more ought He to have said? "And he saw," He says, "and was glad." Who can unfold this joy...? If those rejoiced whose bodily eyes were opened by the Lord, what joy was his who saw with the eyes of his soul the light ineffable, the abiding Word, the brilliance that dazzles the minds of the pious, the unfailing Wisdom, God abiding with the Father, and at some time come in the flesh and yet not to withdraw from the bosom of the Father?

All this did Abraham see. For in saying "my day," it may be uncertain of what He spoke; whether the day of the Lord in time, when He should come the flesh, or that day of the Lord which knows not a dawn, and knows no decline. But for my part I doubt not that father Abraham knew it all. And where shall I find it out? Ought the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ to satisfy us? Let us suppose that we cannot find it out, for perhaps it is difficult to say in what sense it is clear that Abraham "rejoiced to see the day" of Christ, "and saw it, and was glad."


"Before Abraham was made, I am." Weigh the words, and get a knowledge of the mystery. "Before Abraham was made." Understand, that "was made" refers to human formation; but "am" to the Divine essence. "He was made," because Abraham was a creature. He did not say, Before Abraham was, I was; but, "Before Abraham was made," who was not made save by me, "I am." Nor did He say this, Before Abraham was made I was made; for "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth;" Genesis 1:1 and "in the beginning was the Word." "Before Abraham was made, I am."

Recognize the Creator—distinguish the creature. [Agnoscite Creatorem, discernite creaturam.] He who spoke was made the seed of Abraham; and that Abraham might be made, He Himself was before Abraham.
Saint Augustine
In Evangelium Ioannis - Tractatus XLIII

...Passiontide recess...