Rorate Caeli

Wait, what?!?
Msgr. absolved in court

In order to avoid saying anything ourselves, we pass the word to Catholic Culture's Phil Lawler:

The troubling rise of 'Msgr. CB'
By Phil Lawler | November 30, 2011 3:02 PM

Lawler links to this announcement published on Nov. 21, to which we had paid no attention:

The Holy Father: ...
- Appointed Msgr. [C.B.], official of the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, as bureau chief of the same section.

This could seem very worrisome - yet, thanks to a commentator, we post here the following as a matter of justice:

Brazilian Bishops to faithful: avoid communicatio in sacris

A highly surprising and encouraging note of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, the largest Conference in the world, in a nation where the Church has been under the siege of wealthy Evangelical sects and strange pseudo-Catholic groups for decades (source and tip: Fratres in Unum).

Pastoral Note of the Presidency of the CNBB [Brazilian National Bishops' Conference] on certain questions related to the improper use of the words "Catholic", "Catholic Church", "Clergy", and others

Marmion - Charity for neighbor: avoid judging others

Lessons from the letters of spiritual direction of Blessed Columba Marmion

The love of God bears within it the love of neighbor. The first commandment is to love God with our whole soul, with our whole mind,  with our whole heart and with our whole strength. The second commandment is similar to the first: “You are to love your neighbor as yourself.” Therefore, the life of union with God implies , as a necessary consequence, love toward our neighbor.

In Dom Marmion’s correspondence, few pages are to be found relating to fraternal charity, but these deserve to be borne in mind; we come across more than one characterized by that  by that fine psychology full of truth and of that luminous clearness which are part of the charms of his teaching: 

Translations make all the difference

Indeed, they do. For the past forty years, though there have certainly been some disputes in the French translation of the New Mass (regarding some words in the Creed and in the Pater, for instance), the main points of contention of the English translations have never been an issue in Francophone countries; for instance, there have never been any problems with:

-Et avec votre esprit (And with Your spirit - the plural your); or
-Pour la multitude...  (pro multis..., not for all).

And we should be glad for this: as it is well known, the liturgical crisis never occurred in France, French Belgium, Quebec, or other French-speaking communities.

Abp. Nichols praises "Civil partnerships" for "people of the same sex"

A Vatican II moment in England.

True, all men are not alike from the point of view of varying physical power and the diversity of intellectual and moral resources. Nevertheless, with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent.
Gaudium et Spes, 29

The Archbishop of Westminster, leading cleric in England and Wales, said the following words at a recent press conference following the Bishops' meeting:

'We would want to emphasise that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship [and] a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision,
'As a Church we are very committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life. The Church holds great store by the value of commitment in relationships and undertakings that people give. Stability in society depends upon the reliability of commitments that people give. That might be in offering to do a job but especially in their relationships with one another. Equality and commitment are both very important and we fully support them.' 

OK, then. As long as the politicians don't call it marriage!
(Source and tip: Father Blake; image: recently-unveiled coat of arms of the Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.)

Paracuellos - 75th anniversary

[On the 70th anniversary of the Passion of Spain, in 2006, our special series included as one of its most relevants texts the list of the Martyrs of Paracuellos de Jarama. Since then, several others have been beatified - and 22 will be beatified on December 17. Blogger Francisco Cigüeña, who was present there on Sunday- with only a few hundred others - rightly calls Paracuellos the largest reliquary in the world. These are our martyrs, this is our glorious Church: dear Martyrs of Paracuellos, you who are so dear to Almighty God, pray for Holy Mother Church, pray for Spain! Queen of Martyrs, intercede for us!]

Exactly 75 years ago, on November 7 and November 8 (and from November 28 to November 30), 1936, the largest isolated massacre of Catholics in modern times happened in the outskirts of Madrid, near the foot of a hill called Cerro San Miguel (Saint Michael Hill), in Paracuellos de Jarama.

Many thousands of Catholics were martyred by the forces which defended the Spanish Republic (including Communists, Socialists, and Anarchists), in the most brutal and despicable ways, before and especially during the nearly three years of the Spanish Civil War -- yet no place was as soaked with the blood of martyrs in so short a time as the fields of Paracuellos.

IMPORTANT: Reform of the Code of Canon Law
Since someone else mentioned it...

In his interview released today, the Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) mentioned the following:

"...the corrections that are currently being studied for the Code of Canon Law… "

Rorate can confirm, through independent Roman sources, that studies on the reform of at least one of the books of the Code of Canon Law (CIC) of 1983 are very well advanced. [In response to a comment: yes, it is Book VI, and, yes, "studies" in the sense of a final draft that is being studied by institutions outside the City.]

Interview with the SSPX Superior General:
The Doctrinal Preamble

Interview granted by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) to its institutional news agency, DICI. The interview was released just moments ago.

Why is the Doctrinal Preamble that Cardinal Levada delivered to you on September 14 still surrounded by so much secrecy, both on the part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and by the Society of St. Pius X?  What is this silence hiding from the priests and faithful of Tradition?
This discretion is normal for any important proceeding;  it ensures the seriousness of it.  It so happens that the Doctrinal Preamble that was delivered to us is a document which can be clarified and modified, as the accompanying note points out.  It is not a definitive text.  In a little while we will draw up a response to this document, noting frankly the doctrinal positions that we regard as indispensable.  Our constant concern since the start of our talks with the Holy See—as our interlocutors know very well—has been to present the traditional position with complete loyalty.
Discretion is required on Rome’s part also, because this document—even in its present state which needs many clarifications—runs a great risk of arousing opposition from the progressives, who do not accept the very idea of a discussion about the Council, because they consider that this pastoral council is indisputable or “non-negotiable”, as though it were a dogmatic council.
Despite all these precautions, the conclusions of the meeting of the superiors of the Society of St. Pius X in Albano on October 7 have been divulged on the Internet by various yet consistent sources.
There is no lack of indiscretions on the Internet! 

Grace of state or bargaining?

A guest-post by Côme de Prévigny
In recent times, some have bet, some have wagered, some have speculated. Will they sign? Will they not sign? Will they refuse? Some "Progressive" or Sedevacantist commentators, with graying hair, filled with animosity, believe they can whip up a rupture, and even surmise to image the reactions of the priests of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X regarding the preamble presented by Cardinal Levada on September 14. They go even to the lengths of presenting - with conditional clauses, naturally - estimates, in percentages, of what would have been the result of a hypothetical internal referendum, on the acceptance or non-acceptance of the Roman text.

The first problem with this is that this form of polling does not exist in this kind of religious society. It belongs to the Superior-General - who certainly takes into account opinions, advices, and the situation, but who is above all endowed with the graces of state for it - to undertake every important decision related to the life of the Fraternity. He was legitimately placed as head of the work founded by Abp. Lefebvre by the statutes put in place by the latter. The second problem with their scenario is that the Preamble, known by so few people, is modifiable, according to the words of both parties. What is there to sign when the text can change? What is there to refuse when the terms have not been fixed?

Outside commentators are often daydreamers. On the one hand, some cannot help but pretend to find within the Fraternity priests who would refuse the very principle of a regularization of their society, which would thus reveal itself as filled with Sedevacantists to the brim. On the other, their kindred find no limits to exaggerate the proportion of tired members, begging them to reach an agreement regardless of the price. The work founded by Abp. Lefebvre has been sufficiently swept, in its sides, by the winds of agreement at any cost and by those of despair so that both classes of men have already found the occasion to leave it in years past.

Those who have resisted both temptations  - and that is the totality of those whom we know - find themselves, consequently, in the state of mind that animated Abp. Lefebvre. They all ardently wish for a regularization of their society. This would make their daily chores easier! At the same time, they do not agree with obtaining it regardless of the price. The ability to profess the faith, without fears of unpleasant repercussions on the apostolate, poses a problem. Indeed, the confidence expected of the Fraternity cannot but be compromised every time one hears of a recently-named bishop who blesses remarried divorcees or who establishes a parish specifically for homosexuals. Prudence thus demands that the work should enjoy complete independence from a clergy that would allow their flock to pasture amidst thorns and nettles.

Rebellion in Flanders

The Dutch Catholic blog In caelo et in terra has the story:

The disobedient actions of priests in Austria (there most visibly, but similar feelings are also present among clergy in other countries), who call for married priests, ordination of women and lay people ‘celebrating’ the Eucharist (a sheer impossibility, equal to, say, having fish wait tables), has also spread to Belgium. From the Diocese of Bruges, to be exact. A manifest titled “Faithful have their say” (‘Gelovigen nemen het woord’) has by now been signed by several hundred people, among them 155 priests. (The number now stands at 211 - Pascal) The full text, along with the names of the priests who signed it, is available, in Dutch, here.

The full list of signatories (5,459 and counting, including 211 priests so far) is located here. The manifesto's signatories call themselves "Flemish believers" and claim to have come up with this manifesto "in solidarity with fellow believers in Austria, Ireland and other countries who also insist on reforms".

The epicenter of this movement, the Diocese of Bruges, happens to be led by Bishop Jozef De Kesel.

The propositions of the Belgian manifesto are as follows:

A question for our readers: Advent customs

We invite our readers to write in the comment box about the Advent customs in their homes, communities and parishes.

Do you have "Jesse Trees"? How about "Advent Calendars" or "Advent Houses"? (Do you have chocolates in them? Just asking!). Perhaps the more practically-inclined can share their know-how on how to make these things with, for instance, the simplest of materials or with tiny budgets.

Information about little-known Advent traditions would be most welcome.

(Photo source.)

That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet

"A reading from the First Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians." Corinthians?...

The Church has preserved for us so many homilies of the Latin Fathers of the Church - and we know that, almost since there were written records of the Scripture read in Mass, the exact same Epistle had been used in the City of Rome since time immemorial, and for all centuries thereafter, for the same Sunday, i.e., Romans, chapter xiii: the Epistle Scientes, as it can be seen in countless books and illuminations from so many centuries ago. Not A, not B, and not C.

This is in fact one of the many reasons for which we love the Mass, the Traditional Mass, so much: that Epistle, read over fifteen centuries ago in the City of Rome is the exact same one we will hear this Sunday.


Can a "better", "more accurate" translation improve something that was made up under false pretense, based on false assumptions, built on misread or misunderstood historical pseudo-discoveries, and even with hidden malicious and destructive intentions? The New Order of the Liturgy is all that the Roman Liturgy is not: the new one is verbose, the Traditional one is terse; the new is artificial, the Traditional is organic; the new is frivolous, the Traditional is sober; the new is disjointed, the Traditional is fluid; the new is multiform and multifarious, the Traditional is uniform and universal; the new is a kaleidoscope, varying according to language, country, diocese, parish, priest, and congregation (represented in the rubrics of the new rite by the endless litany of or...or...or...or...or); the Traditional is stable and trustworthy: stat crux dum volvitur orbis.

So what will essentially change in the English-speaking world with the new-new translation of the new-new-new-Missal? Nothing. Not a single one of the new problems is lost in translation, for they are not translation problems. Those (very) few communities where there was a solemn celebration will keep having them. The rest will remain with whatever they have. The multiplicity of everything, including the heart of the Sacrifice, the "Eucharistic Prayers"? They are there. Anthropocentric behavior and showmanship? They are there. Communion in the hand? It is there. A crowded sanctuary? There. "Extraordinary Ministers"? There.

Cataclysmic? Disastrous? Calamitous? The Novus Ordo may be described in many ways. We have another word for its translations: irrelevant.

Advent: time of faithfulness.
Faithfulness: proof of love

In order not to run the risk of being illusory, love must be transformed into works and generously command all the activity of the soul. 

Recalling the words of Jesus: If you love me, observe my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). Dom Marmion affirms that “Faithfulness is the only touchstone of true love.”

First Vespers of the First Sunday in Advent

The very first canonical hour of the new liturgical year is a wonderful moment ... to begin praying the Office, the Roman Breviary (or the traditional Breviaries of different orders and uses of the Latin Church).

Do you have a Breviarium Romanum published between 1912 and 1960, but are not sure of how to use it according to the 1960 rubrics? The Variationes, published together with the 1960 Codex Rubricarum, make your life quite easy: we make them available to you in  a printable version of the original Latin text (provided by Mr. Laszlo Kiss, R.I.P.). The changes are available in English from page 118 of the excellent translation and commentary by Fr. Patrick Murphy, made public by the FSSP Sydney Latin Mass Community. And do not forget this particular source: Divinum Officium, which may be of great help.

Good Queen Isabella

Elisabeth Catholica
Castellae Regina
Serva Dei
†  26 Nov. MDIV

From her Last Will and Testament, Codicil, Chapter XII:

When the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, discovered or yet to be discovered, were given to us by the Holy Apostolic See..., that granted us this concession, our main intention was to make an effort to procure and to draw their people and convert them to our Holy Catholic Faith, and to send to those Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea prelates, and religious, and clerics, and other people with knowledge and fear of God, to instruct their residents and inhabitants in the Catholic Faith, and to teach and guide them with good manners, and to put in it due diligence, according to what is broadly established in the Letters of said grant, for which I request the King, my Lord, with great affection, and I charge the Princess and said Prince her husband that they thus do it and fulfill it, and that this be their main end, and that in this they may place great diligence, and that they do not consent or permit that the Indians living in and inhabiting those said Indies and mainland be persecuted in their persons and in their properties; but instead I order that they be treated well and justly. And if they have received any distress, that it be remedied and corrected, so that in nothing may the Apostolic Letters of such grant be exceeded in what it is placed upon us and established.

Notes: 1. Image: Eduardo Rosales (1864), Doña Isabel la Católica dictando su testamento, Museo Nacional del Prado.

Desacralization - II. The Augustinian church in Würzburg, Germany

The Augustinerkirche before World War II:

Post- WWII reconstruction
with further changes after 1970:


The Augustinian church of Würzburg after a 15-month renovation which cost 1.7 million euros. Mass is now celebrated on the table in the middle. That table, the "ambo" and the chairs around these are all moveable. The restructuring of the church allows for "the celebration of the Holy Supper at eye-level".

Desacralization - I. Saint Catherine's church, Brussels

St. Catherine's - Said to be the largest church in the center of Brussels

The article is from the latest newsletter of DICI:

Belgium: A church soon to be turned into a fruit and vegetable market

Because it serves too few of the faithful, St. Catherine’s Church in the heart of the Belgian capital may soon be desecrated and turned into a fruit and vegetable market.

Do you have what it takes to rule over one million Catholics?

Vatican Information Service, on Nov. 25, 2011:

VATICAN CITY, 25 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father: 

 - Appointed Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba Villota S.J., auxiliary of Bucaramanga, Colombia, as bishop of Fontibon (area 80, population 1,536,000, Catholics 1,228,000, priests 84, permanent deacons 20, religious 178), Colombia. He succeeds Bishop Enrique Sarmiento Angulo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

The Missal for the new liturgical year


Events: Harvard TLM on the Feast of St. Andrew

Mass in the Extraordinary Form
Traditional Latin Mass
Wednesday, November 30th

Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. Andrew
St. Paul Church in Harvard Square

Clear and to the point

From the revised guidelines on women seeking induced abortion, by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (United Kingdom), made public today:

6.7 Feticide


Feticide should be performed before medical abortion after 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation to ensure that there is no risk of a live birth.

Evidence supporting recommendation 6.21

Inducing fetal death before medical abortion may have beneficial emotional, ethical and legal consequences.

Collapse of Catholic weddings in Spain

The statistical agency of the Spanish region of Catalonia, Idescat (in Catalan), published today a report on weddings in that autonomous community. The most startling number? The proportion of Catholic marriages, 66.6% of all weddings celebrated in 2000, collapsed to only 21.6% of all weddings just 10 years later - in absolute numbers, from 21079 Catholic weddings in 2000 to merely 5879 celebrations in 2010. (Tip: La voz de Barcelona - in Spanish)

Catalonia, the land of Saint Peter Claver and Saint Raymond Nonnatus, and of so many other holy men and women, was, as is well known, one of the most intensely Catholic regions in all of Europe just a few decades ago - the very literary rebirth of its language, the movement known as the Renaixença catalana, was Catholic in its origins. Following the Council, and together with the other furnace of Catholic identity in the peninsula, the Basque Country, it led that nation on the road to Secularism and perdition. Its bishops and most of its priests became mere promoters of "progressive politics" and regional separatism. Catholic Catalonia is dead.

Note: since some have tried to downplay what are simply numbers (we thought the clear collapse in absolute numbers would have been enough), here is a clarification provided by the statistical institute itself: of all marriages by a single man and a single woman (27269 in 2000, 18737 in 2010, a decline of about one third), and without considering other occasions in which a Catholic marriage would have been possible, but cannot be separated from other situations, this means that approx. 77.9% of all first marriages were Catholic in 2000, but only 31.3% of first marriages were in 2010. This in only one decade; let us repeat ourselves: in one decade.

Images from the Traditionalist Catholic Chaplaincy of the Archdiocese of Wroclaw, Poland

This chaplaincy (erected in 2010) has its roots in the indult Mass granted in 1999 by the then-Archbishop of Wroclaw, Henryk Cardinal Gulbinowicz.

H/t Orbis Catholicus Secundus

Santa Maria Maggiore

For those who have neither read nor heard about this piece of news yet: Cardinal Law, who turned 80 on the 4th of November of this year, was replaced on November 21 as Archpriest of Santa Maria Maggiore by Archbishop Santos Abril y Castelló, Vice-Chamberlain of the Apostolic Chamber and former Apostolic Nuncio to the former Yugoslav republics of Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Resistance pays off

A tiny church in a tiny village - but just a couple of miles southwest of his old parish church. Father Francis Michel, the hero of Thiberville, will become the rector of the smallest church in his diocese, in Le Planquay (5 km from Thiberville, Eure/27, Normandy). His resistance paid off - though it was far from a perfect solution, the direct intervention of the Congregation for the Clergy, through its designated mediator (Bp. Boulanger, of Bayeux/Lisieux), assured that the local ordinary, Bp. Nourrichard, would not be able to keep Father Michel more than a short distance away from his dear flock. 

It is easier said than done, we know it, but we still believe that priests who have nothing to hide should not fear reprisals for standing up for Tradition - there is only so much harm that a hostile bishop can do. (Source: Perepiscopus.)


Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli reports for La Stampa's Vatican Insider that the newly-revamped Congregation for Divine Worship (following the motu proprio Quaerit semper) will institute an ambitious new " 'Liturgical art and sacred music commission' ... over the coming weeks", that "will not be just any office, but a true and proper team, whose task will be to collaborate with the commissions in charge of evaluating construction projects for churches of [the] various dioceses."

Limbo of the Infants - dedicated thread

We ask all who wish to discuss the Limbo of the Infants to do so in this comment thread exclusively.

Our previous posts on this matter were the following:
The Roman Church teaches [...] that the souls of those who depart in mortal sin or with only original sin descend immediately to hell, nevertheless to be punished with different punishments and in disparate locations...
Nequaquam sine dolore
November 21, 1321 [690 years ago today]

...the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains.
Decree for the Greeks (Laetentur Caeli)
Ecumenical Council of Florence
July 6, 1439

[Errors of the Synod of Pistoia.] The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of limbo of the children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire [...] is false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools.
Auctorem Fidei
Pius VI
August 28, 1794

"The Remnant" report on new SSPX American seminary

The following excertps come from the account of Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant:

On October 13, 2011, it was our pleasure to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas in Buckingham, Virginia. Located just down the road from historic Appomattox, ... this new seminary will stand for years to come as a stone marker of the civil war that has been raging inside the Catholic Church for well over a half century.

Another traditional funeral Mass denied by a diocese

52 months after the publication of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, and the denial of the Traditional Mass is still common throughout the world - but it can reach levels of cruelty when it is denied to the families of deceased traditional Catholics. We reported such an occasion in September, when the Mass was denied to a family in France, who simply wished to fulfill the last wish of a dear mother. Now, a well-known Italian Catholic writer, Alessandro Gnocchi (whose book with Alessadro Palmaro was recently reviewed by Roberto de Mattei, in an article also published here), describes how the diocese of Bergamo (Lombardy, Italy) denied a funeral Traditional Mass to his family on the occasion of the death of his own father. Please, read the following report carefully.


 Alessandro Gnocchi e Mario Palmaro
The diocese  of Bergamo forbids the celebration of Holy Mass in the Gregorian Rite for the funeral of Alessandro Gnocchi’s father.

Rio de Janeiro: Conference on Summorum Pontificum for Priests and Solemn Pontifical Mass

The "Second Summorum Pontificum Priestly Meeting" organized by the Coetus Sacerdotalis Summorum Pontificum, and promoted by both the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney in Campos, was held in Rio de Janeiro from November 15 to 18, 2011. (The first meeting took place in 2010, as reported by Rorate at the time.)

The meeting opened on the evening of November 15 with a "Prelatical Mass" by Bishop Fernando Areas Rifan, followed by dinner. The 16th and 17th saw a series of talks on topics such as the theological aspect of the liturgy (given by Bishop Rifan), liturgical practice, Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae in the light of canon law, Gregorian chant, the relationship between Summorum Pontificum and the Reform of the Reform, and the mystagogy of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Rorate has been informed that in the course of the conference, a Mass according to the Old Carmelite Rite was said by the prior of the Brazilian Traditional Carmelites.

The press gets religion

An Orange County bankruptcy judge ruled Thursday that the Crystal Cathedral, a monument to modernism in faith and architecture, will be sold for $57.5 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which plans to consecrate it as a Catholic cathedral. (Los Angeles Times)

Yes, that is exactly right.

"[L]et Professors remember that they cannot set St. Thomas aside, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave detriment. On this philosophical foundation the theological edifice is to be solidly raised. Promote the study of theology, Venerable Brethren, by all means in your power, so that your clerics on leaving the seminaries may admire and love it, and always find their delight in it. 'For in the vast and varied abundance of studies opening before the mind desirous of truth, everybody knows how the old maxim describes theology as so far in front of all others that every science and art should serve it and be to it as handmaidens' (Leo XIII., Lett. ap. In Magna, Dec. 10, 1889)." [Saint Pius X, Pascendi]

(Tip: RomanCatholicBlog)

Yes, even here

Father Ray Blake, who will now celebrate the Traditional Mass every Sunday, says:

One of my parishioners has written a song. I don't know if it will be heard on Chant Cafe or appear on New Liturgical Movements or even Rorate Caeli. It raises lots of questions, why do intelligent young men, even with guitars, love the "Mass of Ages"? Why do they sit round a talk about vocations to the priesthood or living according to the Church's teaching? Why are the[y] eager to share their faith?

Father, votre désir est votre ordre! Dear readers, by a parishioner of Father Blake, The Ballad of Summorum Pontificum.

Africae Munus


« You are the salt of the earth ...
You are the light of the world »
(Mt. 5: 13-14)


1. Africa’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ is a precious treasure which I entrust at the beginning of this third millennium to the bishops, priests, permanent deacons, consecrated persons, catechists and lay faithful of that beloved continent and its neighbouring islands. Through this mission, Africa is led to explore its Christian vocation more deeply; it is called, in the name of Jesus, to live reconciliation between individuals and communities and to promote peace and justice in truth for all.

Reaching the end of the Liturgical Year:
The liturgy of the last day

By Dom Paul Delatte (1848-1937)
Abbot of Solesmes

The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, expounded by St. Paul to the faithful of Corinth, has as its setting the grandiose liturgical ceremony which will follow the terrible day of  Judgment. “Eternity, in fact, will begin with a liturgical ceremony of infinite greatness” and the beatific vision will be, for all eternity, the yearned-for reward of the elect.

We will rise again because Christ arose. This doctrine summarizes, in a certain way, the whole of Christianity.

Crisis? What crisis?

Orange, Calif., Nov 18, 2011 / 12:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An bankruptcy judge on Nov. 17 ruled in favor of the Diocese of Orange’s $57.5 million offer for the iconic Crystal Cathedral over a bid from Chapman University.

Bishop Tod D. Brown vowed on Thursday that the diocese will “protect this wonderful structure as a place of worship and will soon provide our Catholic community with a new cathedral, pastoral center, parish school and more.”

The Crystal Cathedral will meet the needs of the 1.2 million Catholics in Orange County, the 10th largest diocese in the nation.

(Tip & image: Fr. Gonzales)

Perhaps we should start a poll in our comment box: what should be the Catholic name of this Cathedral? Hagia Eisoptrophobia?

Update: The Ordinary, who turned 75 three days ago, says in his statement that, "Dr. Schuller has been a key figure both in Orange County and around the globe for many years; I wish Crystal Cathedral Ministries success with their reorganized finances." Dr. Schuller is the "founder" of the Evangelical organization that built this glorified greenhouse: Rorate wishes that "Crystal Cathedral Ministries" be abolished and that its members come to the Catholic Church.

Quaerere Deum

The following is the official trailer for a new documentary on the Benedictine monks of Norcia. The documentary itself due to be released this coming December.

The Monastery of San Benedetto in Norcia now has 19 members, of whom 8 are solemnly professed monks (see this). The community has five priests. The average age of the community? 28 years old.

Photos of FSSP Minor Order Ordinations & Mass

A couple of weeks ago we reported the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) seminarians would be ordained to the minor orders of Exorcist and Acolyte by His Excellency Archbishop Pendergast of Ottawa. Another five seminarians were ordained Porter and Lector. We are now pleased to provide a couple of wonderful photos of the ordinations and Mass.

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (forty-ninth posting of souls)

Below, please find the forty-ninth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society, which has 16 holy priests saying regular Traditional Latin Masses for the souls.

This week is our biggest week ever, with over 1,500 souls enrolled. Last week was our second largest, with 1,000 souls enrolled. We never crossed 400 in one week previously, so not sure what has caused the enormous uptick, but praise God nonetheless.

A special thank-you to those communities that have added all the enrolled souls on their altar and to their Mass intentions in November.

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.

NB: I do not wish to complain, but with the size of the lists now, I implore you to follow the guidelines for how to submit names. Please do not add hyphens where there should be commas, add cities, put crosses next to the names, explain how they died, add music to the emails, etc. Formatting these is now taking hours so please follow strictly.

Please 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.

Please pray for the enrolled souls and the 16 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:

Good Queen Mary

Procl.: 19 Iulii MDLIII
† 17 Nov. MDLVIII

A Queen filled with love

The use of the rod can actually be a service of love. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love ... if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented. As if it were no longer God’s gift, the precious pearl which we cannot let be taken from us.
Benedict XVI
June 11, 2010

[Our regular feature in honor of Mary, Queen of England and Ireland, Queen Consort of Spain and its possessions: May she rest in peace.]

Cardinal Schonborn and Medjugorje: the Umpteenth Chapter (UPDATED)

In a repeat of last year's scandal, a 'seer' of Medjugorje has been invited once more to the Stephansdom of Vienna to give his 'testimony'. The whole-evening event (which will be live-streamed on the Internet) will culminate in a live 'apparition' followed by a Mass celebrated by Christoph Cardinal Schonborn. This event is in line with Schonborn's repeated gestures of support for this strange phenomenon, which is supposedly under investigation by the "Ruini Commission".

The Divine Office is for everyone

From the VIS blog's summary of the Pope's Wednesday audience catechetical address earlier today (the full text is not yet on the Vatican website):

The Psalm invites us to "look to Christ to understand the meaning of true regality which is to be lived as service and the giving of self, following a path of obedience and love 'to the end'. Praying this Psalm, we therefore ask the Lord to enable us to proceed along this same journey, following Christ, the Messiah, willing to ascend with Him on the hill of the cross to accompany Him in glory, and to look to Him seated at the right hand of the Father, the victorious king and merciful priest Who gives forgiveness and salvation to all mankind".

Finally, the Pope explained that, in the course of his catechesis dedicated to the Psalms, he had sought to focus on those "that reflect the different situations in life and the various attitudes we may have towards God. I would like to renew my call to everyone to pray the Psalms, to become accustomed to using the Liturgy of the Hours, Lauds, Vespers, and Compline. Our relationship with God can only be enriched by our journeying towards Him day after day".

H/t Fr. Zuhlsdorf.

Photo: Illuminated 15th-century Book of Hours from Valencia

The enlightened one

The new President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of the Italian Republic, an unelected man handpicked for the job by international institutions (this is not meant necessarily as any kind of support for his predecessor), named as new Minister for International Cooperation a very famous Italian Catholic: Andrea Riccardi, the founder and leader of the greatest and most influential community dedicated to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, the Community of Sant'Egidio

More on the mysterious Sant'Egidio sect, the main organization behind the Assisi meetings, from this 1998 article in English by Sandro Magister (who says, in this note in Italian, that Riccardi, also unelected, is somewhat disappointed because he modestly thought he should have been named head of the Farnesina, the Italian Foreign Office):

Anglican Catholic Personal Ordinariate in the United States...

... will be established and named on January 1, 2012, as announced by Cardinal Wuerl today in the ongoing meeting of the USCCB (the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). A Q&A on the new Ordinariate has been made available at the conference website. Congratulations to those who have been so patient!

The first Anglican Catholic Personal Ordinariate, dedicated to Our Lady of Walsingham, was created for the faithful of England and Wales in January 2011.

Summorum Pontificum for pilgrims to the Holy Land; TLM forbidden in the regular parishes of the Latin Patriarchate

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem made public today a decree (original text: French) on the application of Summorum Pontificum in its jurisdiction:

DECREE No. 49/2011

On the use of the Liturgy
in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

To the Rev. Rectors of the Basilicas and Sanctuaries,

In the parishes and chaplaincies of the diocese of the Latin Patriarchate, the Eucharist is always celebrated according to the ordinary form of the Roman Missal approved by the servant of God Pope Paul VI (1970) and promulgated in its third edition by the Blessed Pope John Paul II (2000).

Considering the consistent number of basilicas and sanctuaries built on the holy places and open to the reception of pilgrims coming from the entire world, the celebration of the Eucharist according to the extraordinary form remains always exceptional. It is only allowed to the groups of pilgrims already used to its usage in their country. It is subjected to the norms contained in the Instruction of the application of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum (April 30, 2011), published by the Pontifical Commision Ecclesia Dei.

For the spiritual good of these pilgrims,

The Patriarch, FOUAD TWAL,

Diocesan Ordinary,

with the consent of his Episcopal Council,

orders that,

in the Basilicas and sanctuaries,

the norms contained in the instruction be observed, along with the following:

It is time for the heresy of formlessness to be anathematized

From Chant Cafe comes the following essay (emphases mine):

Revd Fr Christopher Smith

Reports are coming in that Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix has promulgated a policy on Communion under both species much less restrictive than a document released earlier. It will be interesting to see if the Diocese of Madison will follow suit. “There has been much needless hurt over this issue,” Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares has stated.

But should this episode not lead us to ask the question, “What is the ultimate origin of this hurt?” Many were quick to blame Bishop Olmstead for the hurt because of enacting a policy, which, although it has now been retracted, is entirely permissible according to the Church’s liturgical law.

Una Voce reports on its General Assembly


XXth General Assembly of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce.
Rome, 5th/6th November 2011.

On the weekend of 5th and 6th November, delegates from around the world gathered in Rome for the XXth biennial General Assembly of the International Federation Una Voce ( For more than 40 years the members of the International Federation have travelled to Rome to plead the cause for the restoration of the traditional liturgy. For most of these years our presence has been acknowledged, rather than welcomed, but since the publication of Summorum Pontificum in July 2007 the atmosphere has improved noticeably.

IF this is true, one cannot help but think...

...that a bit of research on the Internet might actually have averted this appointment.

From Sandro Magister's latest column: The school of Bologna gets its own Cardinal.

But let's get back to Archbishop Tagle, who, as soon as he was appointed to Manila, was immediately honored with the title of "new papal contender" by vaticanista John L. Allen of the progressive American weekly "National Catholic Reporter."

It was Allen himself who emphasized how Tagle, after being a student of the theologian Joseph Komonchak of the Catholic University of America, joined the team of scholars put to work by Alberto Melloni and his mentor, Giuseppe Alberigo – both disciples and successors of Fr. Giuseppe Dossetti – on their controversial history of the Council. In the fourth volume of this history, published in 1999 and dedicated to the turbulent conciliar period of the autumn of 1964, it is Tagle who signs the key chapter, the one dedicated to the "storm in November: the black week."

Si, there is life beyond the financial crisis - and beyond the Euro.

Contributor Francesca Romana translates and sends us this text by Paolo Deotto, of Riscossa Cristiana.

Your Eminence,

The recent developments in the Italian political situation bring to light great confusion and general disorientation. The excessive emphasis on economic problems, even if important, could cause us to lose sight of the great dangers impending over our nation, which, given the disconcerting international panorama, still manages to maintain considerable fidelity to its Christian roots. The European Union, established for economic purposes, has, over the years, become clearly anti-Catholic, which in diverse nations has translated into legislation that distorts the foundations of the family and of society, legalizing behaviours absolutely incompatible with Catholic morality and foreboding only disaster.

A Filipino Archdiocese to the SSPX: "You remain excommunicated in conscience because of doctrinal error"

The Archdiocese of Davao, one of the largest dioceses of the Philippines, has been involved in an acrimonious public debate with the Society of St. Pius X in the past several weeks -- a story that will be told in full in the next few days here on Rorate. For now, we present to our readers the latest open letter of the Archbishop of Davao to the SSPX. (Click on the images to be able to read them. A transcription of the letter has been added to this post, below the images.)

Upcoming event: Abp. Thomas Wenski to offer Pontifical Mass

From the blog of Eric Giunta:

In case there was any doubt that the Catholic Reformation is proceeding apace in South Florida, look no further than the fact that, less than a year-and-a-half after his installation to the See of Miami, Archbishop Thomas Wenski has announced that he will be celebrating a Pontifical High Mass at Miami’s Church of the Epiphany (7:30pm) on 2 February 2012, Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

Is the Church collapsing under its "business model"?...

A post by Father Ray Blake which is worth re-posting in its entirety; in this month of the Holy Souls of Purgatory, it is worth remembering that justice transcends this earthly life (if only those who should act as overseeing fathers above all act as mere administrators - and are not very good at that, either - understood that).

All Christians should be concerned about Justice, about living justly, about doing what is right. It is truly scandalous when the Church of the Living God is seen to be less than just.

Recently I was shown a ranting mad letter from a Bishop to one of his priests, which basically said, "I cannot be bothered to read what you have written or to listen to what you have to say or to investigate what you are accused of but whatever it was it was wrong and hate filled", it actually wasn't, it was a gentle argument trying to explain the faith.