Rorate Caeli


We are trying to improve the general tone of the comments in this web log. One of the points noticed in our poll on Mass attendance (whose final results we will publish soon) was that a very large proportion of our readers do not attent the Traditional Mass regularly. This probably means that they are not familiar with several terms used in our comment threads - and are not used to the tone not unfamiliar to those who are in Traditional communities. 

One of the main purposes of this web log has always been to show that we, Traditional-minded Catholics, can be equally firm and balanced in our views. If you are a regular commentator and wish to help us, please do not post again comments that were obviously blocked or deleted. If they were blocked or deleted, there was a reason for it - and two of the main reasons are to avoid scandal to other readers and to improve the tone. A general rule to follow is this: would you say these things in public to someone you barely know? If not, then perhaps you should not do it here. Help us, please, we are all volunteers doing this with great pleasure, but with no financial gain. Please, do not add more work to our pile.

Another general rule? Respect His Holiness and his venerable person. We are Roman after all.

Traditional Catholic news roundup

2. A partial translation of the stern letter of the Bishop of Albenga-Imperia (Liguria, Italy), Mario Oliveri, ordering his priests, under pain of disobedience, to implement the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum faithfully. (The New Liturgical Movement)

Bishop Oliveri stands out in the Italian episcopate for his respect for Tradition: he wrote the preface for Msgr. Brunero Gherardini's The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much-Needed Discussion, spoke out repeatedly in favor of Summorum Pontificum (in addition to offering Pontifical Mass according to the 1962 Missal a number of times) and welcomed the Benedictines of the Immaculate to his diocese. Rorate wrote about him in 2009: An Oasis for the 1962 Missal in Italy

3.  (Update) The content of the third external news item  to which we had linked was incorrect in several of its most important details. From the SSPX we have received the following note: "The affirmation according to which the abjuration was received from the hands of Bp. Fellay and approved by Cardinal Levada is incorrect."

The New Patriarch of Venice

As predicted earlier, the Pope today appointed Bishop Francesco Moraglia of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato, Italy, as Patriarch of Venice.

Cardinal Koch on the Pope's intentions regarding the liturgy

(Previous posts on Cardinal Koch's various statements on the 'Reform of the Reform' can be found here and here.)

From the Sancrucensis blog (with a slight correction):

What follows is a quick translation of a Vatican Radio report. Cardinal Koch’s words are given a special edge by the fact that he was speaking at the theological faculty of the University of Freiburg, a stronghold of “progressive” theology: 

Revisions of the 1962 Missal coming soon?
The International Federation Una Voce presents its objections

The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV) has learned that modifications of the 1962 Missale Romanum could be proposed by competent authority in the near future. It therefore presents its objections and concerns on a reform of the Traditional Missal to competent authority, also making its 2008 letter on the matter public.

The Revision of the Missal of 1962.

The Concerns of the International Federation Una Voce,

It is known that work has commenced in Rome on the revision of the Missal of 1962. As has been the norm in recent years, these matters are being conducted discreetly and only made public when the relevant document is promulgated, viz: Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae. The very narrow remit given by the Holy Father to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in his Letter to Accompany Summorum Pontificum [7 July, 2007] was that: “ Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal.”  No other changes were sanctioned. Pope Benedict also stated that “The Ecclesia Dei Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the possibilities in this regard.”

Those who are “devoted to the usus antiquior” must continually and carefully ensure that this specific and narrow remit is not exceeded by those in Rome and elsewhere who desire to undermine the integrity of the Missal of 1962 by demanding the inclusion of some of the novelties which were introduced into the liturgy post-1962.  The International Federation Una Voce was founded in early 1965, even before the Second Vatican Council had ended, and is by far the oldest organisation, lay or clerical, which is devoted to the usus antiquior. While other organisations and societies, clerical and lay, may also be devoted to the ‘usus antiquior’, none can match the 46 year history of the Una Voce Federation in its unswerving devotion to this cause. The Federation has played a unique role in being the first, and the continuous voice of the lay faithful in seeking adherence to the expressed wishes of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council as declared in Sacrosanctum Concilium n.4:
“Finally, in faithful obedience to tradition, the Sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognised rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.”

The members of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, being ever mindful of this decree of the Council Fathers, have been faithfully obedient to tradition, have consistently upheld the equal right and dignity of the Mass of Antiquity, and have striven since 1965 to preserve and foster this lawfully recognised rite. In his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, confirmed what the International Federation has always claimed, that the Missal of 1962 ‘was never juridically abrogated’. The Holy Father also confirmed in his letter that his decision was to bring about “an interior reconciliation in the heart of the church.”

Liturgical innovation and creativity is unwanted by the faithful and has consistently disturbed, angered and alienated them in the years following the Second Vatican Council. This must not happen again with the adulteration of the Missal of 1962. The International Federation accepts organic development but emphatically rejects liturgical innovation which is alien to the character, spirit, and integrity of the usus antiquior.  The inestimable treasure of the ancient liturgy must not be undermined by novelty, reductionism, and destructive modernisation. Nothing describes the attraction of the usus antiquior more powerfully than the growing number of young Catholics world-wide, including many seminarians and young priests, who are discovering this ancient and deeply spiritual liturgy and are being captivated by it.   

Nations, sovereignty, sacrifices, rights

The Nations, particularly the middle-sized and small ones, ask that their fate be placed in their own hands. They might be led to contract, with their full assent, in the interest of common progress, bonds that modify their sovereign rights. But, after having sustained their share, their great share, of sacrifices for the destruction of the system of brutal violence, they have the right of not accepting that a new political or social system be imposed upon them that the vast majority of their populations flatly rejects.
Pius XII
Allocution "Nell'accogliere",
on the end of the War in Europe
June 2, 1945

What now?

[The SSPX and the Holy See: what now?]

by Alessandro Gnocchi & Mario Palmaro

[Il Foglio, January 27, 2012]

Will the agreement be made or not? The dialogue between the Holy See and the Fraternity of Saint Pius X [FSSPX / SSPX], founded by Mons, Marcel Lefebvre, has entered a decisive phase. The outcome of this dialogue is, above all, of great concern to Pope Benedict XVI, who has personally encouraged and nurtured it; it is also of great concern to all the priests, religious and lay faithful who are with the Fraternity; it is of great concern to all of that vast part of the Catholic world which is not of the SSPX, but which is set on the part of Tradition. For different reasons, progressive Catholicism and the secular world are observing (the situation) with great attention and some nervousness.

In other words: the match that is being played is important and difficult, but an agreement is not impossible. A lot of the resistance might fall away though, if one considers that when discussing the doctrinal questions, it is done through diplomatic means, also because the Fraternity’s canonical resolution is in question. We are moving here on mixed ground where it is fundamental to distinguish the levels, a process, which objectively, is not always so easy.

This is the shaky ground on which the case proceeds. If you can understand the disorientation of Rome with regard to the hesitations of the FSSPX, you also have to understand the perplexity of the Fraternity when it complains that Rome asks of them something that has not been asked of any other in order for them to adorn that tricky ecclesial category called “full communion”.

On A Mission -- For Souls ...

This June, the FSSP St. John Bosco Youth Group (Lincoln, NE) is heading to the Dominican Republic joining a mission trip to not only help the local people, but spread the Traditional Latin Mass and Faith. And they need your help.

The mission hosts numerous groups of young people and they do various types of work: building houses, digging latrines, etc. While they perform their corporal works, they'll tackle the spiritual as well.

Fr. Keith O’Hare invited the FSSP because he wants them to teach him the Traditional Mass so he can start offering it regularly at his parish. The Fraternity will be running workshops with him and with his altar boys to get them prepared. At the end of their stay they hope to have a Solemn High Mass in his nearly 500-year-old church in Banica and then another one in an historic church in colonial Santo Domingo.

Friends of Rorate inside the Fraternity tell us this could be "big time" because that city of 8 million people, mostly Catholics, only has one old priest who occasionally says the Mass. This could be the spark that starts the restoration in a critical Catholic area.

You can help the FSSP mission trip in a number of ways: Pray for the success of this venture; Make a tax-deductible donation (checks can be made payable to St. Francis of Assisi Chapel); Buy Mystic Monk Coffee from them or through the Mystic Monk Coffee Drive at (select “St. John Bosco Youth Group” from the pull down menu. 40% of coffee sales benefit our trip and the remaining proceeds benefit the Carmelite Monks of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery; Sponsor specific items such as missals, vestments, and other necessities for the Traditional Mass; Sponsor a priest or seminarian at $1000; Sponsor a volunteer youth who may not otherwise be able to make the trip: $1400; Any gift you are able to make.

Please consider helping this worthy cause either on your own or by organizing a fundraising effort for the group. Contact StJohnBoscoYouthGroup AT for more information (additional contact info on the poster above).

A relevant address:
The Pope on Tradition, Ecumenism, and Vatican II

As we know, in vast areas of the earth, faith is in danger of being put out, as a flame that finds no more fuel. We find ourselves before a profound crisis of faith, before a loss of the religious sense that is the greatest challenge for today's Church. The renewal of the faith must thus be the priority in the effort of the entire Church in our day. I hope that the Year of Faith may contribute, with the cordial collaboration of all components of the People of God, to make God present in this world and may open to man acess to the faith, that he may entrust himself to that God who has loved us to the end (cf. John 13,1), in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.

The coherence of the ecumenical effort with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and with the entire Tradition has been one of the areas to which the Congregation, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, has always paid attention. We can see today not a few good fruits born of the ecumenical dialogues, but we must also recognize that the risk of a false irenicism and of an indifferentism, completely separated from the mind of the Second Vatican Council, demands our vigilance. This indifferentism is caused by the ever more common opinion that truth would not be accessible to man; it would thus be necessary to limit oneself to search for rules for a praxis which would improve the world. And, therefore, faith would be replaced by a moralism with no profound meaning. The center of true ecumenism is, instead, the faith in which man finds truth, that reveals itself in the Word of God. Without faith, the entire ecumenical movement would be reduced to a kind of "social contract" to be joined for a common interest, a "praxeology" for creating a better world. The logic of the Second Vatican Council is completely different: the sincere search for full unity of all Christians is a movement animated by the Word of God, by divine Truth that is spoken to us in this Word.

The crucial problem, that marks in a transversal way the ecumenical dialogues, is, for this reason, the question of the structure of revelation - the relationship between Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in Holy Church, and the Ministry of the successors of the Apostles as a testimony to the true faith. And here the problematic of ecclesiology, which is part of this problem, is implied: in what way the truth of God reaches us. It is fundamental here, among other things, to distinguish between Tradition, with a capital letter, and traditions. I do not wish to enter in details, but just to make an observation. An important step in this distinction was accomplished in the preparation and application of the provisions for the groups of faithful coming from Anglicanism, who wish to join the full communion of the Church, in the unity of the common and essential divine Tradition, preserving their own spriritual traditions, liturgical and pastoral, that are consistent withh the Catholic Faith (cf. Cost. Anglicanorum coetibus, art. III). There is, in fact, a spiritual wealth in the various Christian confessions that is the expression of the one faith and gift to be shared and to be found together in the Tradition of the Church.

Today, therefore, one of the fundamental questions consists of the problematic of the methods to be adopted in the various ecumenical dialogues. These also must reflect the priority of faith. To know the truth is the right of the interlocutor in every true dialogue. It is the very demand of charity for brother. In this sense, it is necessary to face with courage also the controversial questions, always in the spirit of fraternity and reciprocal respect. It is important to offer a correct interpretation of that "order or 'hierarchy' of truth in Catholic doctrine," mentioned in the Decree Unitatis redintegratio (n. 11), which does not mean in any way to reduce the deposit of faith, but to make emerge the internal structure, the organicity of this one structure. Also the study documents produced by the various ecumenical dialogues have great relevance. Such texts cannot be ignored, because they are an important, though temporary, fruit of the common reflection matured throughout the years. Nevertheless, they are to be recognized in their adequate significance as contributions offered to the competent Authority of the Church, who alone is called to judge them in a definitive way. To ascribe to such texts a binding or almost conclusive weight for the ecclesial Authority would not, in a final analysis, help on the path to a full unity in the faith.

One last question that I would finally wish to mention is the problem of morals, which is a new challenge for the ecumenical path. In the dialogues, we must not forget the great moral questions related to human life, family, sexuality, bioethics, liberty, justice, and peace. It will be important to speak on these matters with only one voice, drawing the foundation on Scripture and on the living tradition of the Church. This tradition helps us understand the language of the Creator in his creation. By defending the fundamental values of the great tradition of the Church, we defend man, we defend creation.
Benedict XVI
January 27, 2012
[Rorate translation]

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (fifty-second posting of souls)

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

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 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:

Moraglia heading to Venice?

Who will head the Patriarchate following the unprecedented move of Cardinal Scola from Venice to Milan? All signs seem to indicate that the Bishop of La Spezia, Francesco Moraglia, might well be one chosen by the Pope to fill the place once held by Sarto, Roncalli, Luciani - and Scola...

Bp. Francesco Moraglia, a Genoan, was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Siri in 1977. 

50th International Eucharistic Congress to have a unique level of ecumenical involvement

From the official website of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Dublin from June 10 to 17, 2012:

IEC2012 launches Ecumenical Programme 
Thursday January 19, 2012  

IEC2012 launched the ecumenical programme, a unique element of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress which takes place in June 2012.  

At the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18th-25 January) the organising committee of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress launched the ecumenical programme of the Congress. The ecumenical programme will take place on the first day of the Congress, Monday 11th June.  

The Congress will celebrate and reflect on the relationship of Communion into which Christians are drawn through baptism.  

Most Rev. Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin will celebrate a Liturgy of Word and Water. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of the Russian Orthodox Church will preach the homily. Brother Alois Löser, Prior of Taizé, will give a catechesis on Baptism. 

Speaking at the launch of the ecumenical programme, Father Kevin Doran, Secretary General in IEC2012 said: "These concrete expressions of our communion can help to place more focus on the unity which we already have as Christians". 

The above-linked document on the ecumenical programme for this year's International Eucharistic Congress notes that the level of ecumenical involvement in it is unique compared to those of previous International Eucharistic Congresses:

While previous Congresses have sometimes included an ecumenical workshop or prayer, the extensive involvement of Christians of other traditions in so many elements of this Congress (preparation of pastoral resources; Congress week programme; youth programme) is quite unique...

Fr. Doran expressed his hope that “these concrete expressions of our communion can help to place more focus on the unity which we already have as Christians”.

The document further notes that the "Liturgy of Word and Water" to be celebrated by the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin will be the International Eucharistic Congress' principal liturgy on its first full day (June 11). A number of Protestants will also make presentations in the course of the Congress.

CLARIFICATION: As stated in the post, the ecumenical "Liturgy of Word and Water" will be the principal liturgy of the first full day (the 11th of June) of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. However, it is not the opening liturgy. The opening liturgy will be a Mass to be offered by the papal legate on the previous day, the 10th of June. The full schedule of the Congress can be found here.

[Thanks to the National Review's Corner for linking to us.]

Time after the Epiphany, Epistles of Kindness:
Put them in practice online and in your Latin Mass community

Second Sunday after the Epiphany [Jan. 15]:

Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Romans [Romans xii, 6-16]

Brethren, Having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith;
Or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine;
He that exhorteth, in exhorting; he that giveth, with simplicity; he that ruleth, with carefulness; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good,
Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honour preventing one another.
In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord.
Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer.
Communicating to the necessities of the saints. Pursuing hospitality.
Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rejoice with them that rejoice: weep with them that weep.
Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Third Sunday after the Epiphany [Jan. 22]:

Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Romans [Romans xii, 16-21]

Brethren, Be not wise in your own conceits.
To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God but also in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men.
Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
But if the enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.
Be not overcome by evil: but overcome evil by good.

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany [Jan. 29]:

Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Romans [Romans xiii, 8-10]

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another. For he that loveth his neighbour hath fulfilled the law.
For: Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet. And if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The love of our neighbour worketh no evil.
Love therefore is the fulfilling of the law.

They have no idea of what they are talking about

In his comment filled with platitudes on the meeting today (the "Feria Quarta", or Wednesday-centered, periodical meeting of the full composition of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - which was supposed to deal, among other matters, with the latest responses of the Society of Saint Pius X/SSPX to the Doctrinal Preamble presented to them by Cardinal Levada last September, as we had mentioned some days ago), Paolo Rodari, Vaticanist for Italian daily Il Foglio, had this nugget:

There is a paradox inside the current Pontificate: the Pope who pleads respect for tradition loudly strives to find an agreement with "the extreme right" of the Catholic world. It is easier for him to sort things with the Anglicans, that part of Christianity mostly keeping Liberal positions.

There is no "paradox" at all, because there was no agreement with people keeping "Liberal positions". Quite the opposite, the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans were created precisely because Anglo-Catholics are in general so far from the Liberal (doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and liturgical) positions maintained by most in the Anglican Communion. The Pope did not go after simply any Anglicans, but those who wished to become truly Roman, giving them the structure that they needed and for which they had longed for generations. Which is why most Traditional-minded Catholics were and are thrilled with Anglicanorum Coetibus and rejoice in every occasion in which former Anglicans are welcomed into the Church - as we did last Sunday with Mount Calvary, in Maryland. We know most of them are our allies and our friends. They wish us well, and we wish them well.

If only Traditional-minded Catholics were given the canonical structures that they need! Then, Rodari, Tornielli et al. would see clearly that there is much more convergence than "paradox" in all of this. At the moment, it clearly seems they have no idea what they are talking - and writing - about (not a surprise, really).

[Image: Christmas at Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio, Texas]

Event: Solemn Pontifical Mass on Candlemas - Miami, FL

We announced this a while ago, but now we have learned the event's full details:

On the Feast of Candlemas, February 2, 2012, His Excellency, Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The mass is scheduled for 7:30pm at the Church of the Epiphany in South Miami, and will be preceded by the traditional blessing of the candles and a procession.

Epiphany Catholic Church [Address on Google Maps]

The Liturgy will include the distribution of candles for the Feast, as well as a procession of the clerics around the interior of the church.

The assistant clerics will include the Very Rev. Msgr. J. O'Doherty (Archdiocese of Miami), the Rev. Fr. Guy Nicholls (Birmingham Oratory), the Rev. Fr. C. Saenz (Society of Jesus) - as well as the Rev. Frs. J. Fryar, J. Nolan, and B. Austin, of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

The Florida Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Edward Schaefer will sing Wadsworth's Missa Brevis, and the Women's Schola Cantorum will sing the Gregorian Chant propers for the Mass and Terce, under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Donelson.

The Pontifical Mass will be broadcast by Live Mass [in Rorate's sidebar links], and also by iMass (app for iOS devices), starting at 1930 EST on Feb. 2 (0030 GMT +1d). The Rev. Fr. C. Goodwin FSSP will be joining Live Mass as commentator for this Liturgy.

Additional details (click for larger image):

[Source: FSSP North America]

Prayer and Meditation, in the words of Saint Peter of Alcantara

Seraphic Lights                          Treatise on Prayer and Meditation                St Peter of Alcantara

The Fruit that is derived from Prayer and Meditation

Prayer is a spiritual reflection, a refreshment, dew from Heaven, a breath of the Holy Spirit and a supernatural affection, which regulates, strengthens and transforms the heart of man. According to St. Lawrence Justiniani, “before it, Heaven is opened, secret things are made manifest and to it, the ears of God are ever attentive.”

It is a well-known fact that one of the greatest hindrances we have in attaining our final happiness and blessedness, is the evil inclination of our hearts, the difficulty and dullness of spirit we have in respect to good rules; if this were not in the way, it would be the easiest thing possible to run on the path of virtues, and attain the end for which we have been created.

For this reason the Apostle says, “ I delight in the Law of God, according to the inward man: but I see another law in me” (Rom. 7:23).

This, then, is the universal cause of all our evil. One of the most efficacious means in overcoming this dullness and difficulty, and for facilitating this matter, is devotion. As St. Thomas says, devotion is nothing other than a certain readiness and aptitude for doing good. It takes our mind away from all that difficulty and dullness and makes us quick and ready for good.  It is a spiritual reflection, a refreshment, like the dew of Heaven, a breath and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a supernatural affection. It so orders, strengthens and transforms a man’s heart, that it imparts a new taste for spiritual things, a new distaste and abhorrence for sensible things. 

The experience of every day shows us this. For when a spiritually-minded person rises from deep devout prayer, then straightaway all his good resolutions are renewed, together with fervor and determination to do good; the desire then to please and love a Lord so good and kind as He has shown Himself to be, a willingness to endure fresh troubles and chastenings, even to shedding blood for His sake, then finally all the freshness of soul is renewed and blooms again.

From his own mouth: how the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way interpreted the January 20 "approval"

Exactly as our blog predicted a few days ago: the NCW will interpret the January 20 decree of the Pontifical Council of the Laity regarding their catechetical celebrations as a blanket approval of their doctrinal teachings and liturgical practices. (See Neocatechumenal Rite approved? Let's call it the New Liturgical Way.)

By the way, our East Asian and Eastern Orthodox readers might be interested in what Kiko Argüello says near the end of the interview. 

Emphases mine. 

From Zenit:

Kiko Argüello Shares Impressions of Papal Audience 
By Salvatore Cernuzio  
ROME, JAN. 20, 2012 ( Joy is still sparkling in Kiko Argüello's eyes a few moments after the Neocatechumenal Way founder leaves this morning's audience with Benedict XVI. With good reason: After a decade and a half of study, the Vatican announced today that the celebrations used by the Way along the journey of Christian initiation have the Church's approval. After speaking with Argüello shortly before the audience, ZENIT caught up with him again right afterward.  

ZENIT: Kiko, let's start with a simple question: how did the meeting this morning go?  

Argüello: Fantastic! It was really wonderful that the celebrations that mark all the stages of Christian gestation that the Way has created, have been confirmed. We were waiting for this moment, and finally the Church has confirmed the Neocatechumenal Way as a Christian initiation, in its doctrine, liturgy and its stages. (In the original Italian: Aspettavamo questo momento, e finalmente la Chiesa ha confermato il Cammino Neocatecumenale come iniziazione cristiana, nella sua dottrina, nelle liturgie e nelle tappe -- Augustinus) What is important, above all, is the fact that the Pope has reiterated that the communities can celebrate the Sunday Mass as a community. It is a sociological fact of immense importance, which means that the small community is the salvation for the New Evangelization. The Eucharist, in fact, creates and forms the Christian community, it makes it stable, unites it. 

ZENIT: And with regard to the missio ad gentes (the family groups sent on mission by the Pope)? 

Argüello: The missio ad gentes is also a small community in the midst of persons who are completely pagan or far away from the Church. What we see is that these people are attracted to the "small community" represented by the mission families; they are surprised by the love they show to others and among one another. They agree to be catechized in their homes and become, thus, a small community themselves. 

ZENIT: What richness does all this bring to the Church? 

Argüello: We can say that we are writing a new page in history: the new evangelization, in the midst of an epochal crisis affecting all of society, called secularization. A lot of people, we don't know why, "harass" the churches; in some countries, especially European ones, they have arrived at the point of selling or closing them. For this reason, I am happy and surprised when, with these missions ad gentes, in fact, there are people who say "thank you, because otherwise I'd never have entered a church" or give thanks for the "the love and acceptance" they breathe in the houses of these brothers who welcome them. In fact, there are many people who come to catechesis, and who don't want to go away: eleven o'clock at night and they still haven't left. This happens because the people in our society feel very lonely ... 

ZENIT: By now it's been 40 years that the Neocatechumenal Way has continued to bear fruit; just think of the large number of vocations. What do you think of these gifts that the Lord is giving the Way and above all to the Church? 

Argüello: What do I think? ... that the Lord is very good to us. I really thank God, because although we had and we have many difficulties and sufferings, he has has never abandoned us, but always supported and sustained us. The meeting today is a testimony of that. 

ZENIT: In what direction is the Way moving now? 

Argüello: Toward the start-up of a new evangelization all over the world. We are looking toward new horizons; for example, even the Orthodox Church has lately shown interest in our journey of faith. Above all, I believe, however, that we must prepare for China, Vietnam, throughout Asia in short, and in fact we have several families ready to go on mission into the Eastern part of the world.

ZENIT: And besides that, five new seminaries have been created to prepare young people to leave for China? 

Argüello: Exactly! We asked for 20,000 young people who feel called to become priests and evangelize in China, and 5,000 stood up. 
Now these boys will be screened, trained, we have to see who will complete their studies and so on. In short, China, Asia! 

ZENIT: Finally, Kiko, is there anything you would like to say to all those who are part of the Neocatechumenal Way, but also to all Christians? 
Argüello: Yes, I want to express a simple wish for them: to find Christ and find, therefore, the true life that leads to eternal life. I hope that all can really meet with Jesus Christ, because he gives you his nature and his eternal life and changes your existence completely, he helps you and prepares you. [Translation by Peter Waymel]

Traditional Benedictine Monastery plans move to Ireland

From the homepage of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle:

THE Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle is a community of men dedicated to the traditional monastic life according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, and to intercession for the sanctification of priests, in adoration and reparation before the Eucharistic Face of Christ.  

We were established during the Year of the Priest (2009-2010) in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma, by His Excellency, Most Reverend Edward J. Slattery.  

By the grace of God, we have been invited by His Lordship, the Most Reverend Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, to move our fledgling community to County Meath, Ireland. God willing, we will complete this move in February-March 2012.

The founder, prior, and currently the sole priest of the Monastery is Dom Mark Kirby OSB (best known for his blog, Vultus Christi). As he explained in December 2010, he exclusively celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass in his monastery. Fr. Mark's page on vocations also describes the monastery's liturgical life as:

• Holy Mass (Usus Antiquior) and the Divine Office celebrated in Latin and Gregorian Chant.  
• bringing to the forms of the liturgy a diligence and beauty worthy of the holy mysteries.

According to their newsletter, Fr. Mark and his monks will be moving into the former Visitation monastery in Stamullen, County Meath. 

H/t Lux Occulta

Canon Law, justice, and the hermeneutic of continuity

Another path exists in which a proper comprehension of canon law gives way to a process of interpretation that is part of the search for truth regarding law and justice in the Church. As I pointed out to the Federal Parliament of my country, in the Reichstag in Berlin, true law is inseparable from justice. This principle obviously also applies to canon law, in the sense that it can not be locked within a merely human system legal, but must be connected to a just order of the Church, in which there is a higher law. In this context, positive human law loses the primacy attributed to it, since law is no longer identified with it alone; in this, however, human law is valued as an expression of justice, primarily for what it declares regarding divine law, but also for what it introduces regarding self-determination as a human right.
It follows that the interpretation of Canon Law must take place within the Church. ... The sentire cum Ecclesia has a meaning also in discipline, motivated by the doctrinal foundations that are always present and operative in the legal norms of the Church. In this sense, also to Canon Law must be applied that hermeneutic of renewal in continuity of which I have spoken regarding the Second Vatican Council, so closely related to the current canonical legislation. Christian maturity leads to loving the law ever more and to wishing to understand and apply it faithfully.
Benedict XVI
January 21, 2012

The most beautiful poster in January

Welcome home!

From the local archdiocesan newspaper:

Baltimore Episcopal parish, priests to be received into Catholic Church
By Catholic Review Staff

You report: Great news from South Carolina

No, it is not related to primaries or elections, but to the salvation of souls and eternal life. Report from a reader:

Thanks to the generosity of Bishop Robert Guglielmone, Diocese of Charleston (S.C.), Prince of Peace church in Taylors (Greenville), S.C. is now staffed with two priests who offer both forms of the Roman rite. In addition to the regular Mass schedule for the 1,000-plus parish family who attend the Ordinary form, the Extraordinary form is now available DAILY for those who wish to attend.

Beginning on Epiphany (Jan. 6), Prince of Peace began hosting a Noon Traditional Latin Mass Sunday (High) through Friday (Low during weekdays and Sat.) and an 8 a.m. TLM every Saturday.

It is believed that this parish--staffed by diocesan priests--is among the only diocesan parish regularly offering the Traditional Latin Mass on a daily basis east of the Mississippi.

A heartfelt thanks also to Rev. Father Christopher Smith and Rev. Father Richard Tomlinson for making this possible for the growing flock in the buckle of the Bible Belt and for dutifully following Pope Benedict XVI's desires for liturgical renewal in the heart of parish life!

Daily Traditional Mass: Summorum Pontificum works when there is generosity of spirit and good will.

Taming the Action - II
The Decree

[Taming the Action - I]

85 years ago, in December 1926, following his first explicit words of reprobation for  the Maurrasian movement, L'Action Française, Pope Pius XI, by way of a decree of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, officially condemned that work and their periodical. The action of Pope Saint Pius X, which had been in a kind of suspended state since 1914, in view of various considerations, finally reached its logical conclusion.

Decree of the Holy Office
condemning certain works of Charles Maurras
and the periodical L'Action française

January 29, 1914, and December 29, 1926.

Since many have asked that a diligent inquiry be taken on the thinking and intention of this Apostolic See, and especially those of Pius X, of blessed memory, regarding the works and writings of Charles Maurras and of the periodical named L'Action française, H.H. Pope Pius XI ordered me, the undersigned, assessor to the Holy Office, to research with care the acts and files of the Sacred Congregation of the Index - which, as all know, was joined and incorporated to the Holy Office - and to present him a report.

Because it is a Friday in January

Bohemian Master (?) [c. 1400]
January [detail]
Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trent, Italy

Bedřich Smetana
Má vlast (Vltava)

Neocatechumenal Rite approved?
Let us call it the New Liturgical Way

Pope Benedict XVI, in his meeting this morning with thousands of members of the Neocatechumenal Way, made public the decree of approval of the liturgical particularities of that group:
A moment ago, the Decree was read with the approval of the celebrations present in the "Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way", which are not strictly liturgical, but are part of the itinerary of growth in the faith. It is another element that shows to you how the Church follows you with attention in a pacient discernment, that she understands your richness, but also takes care for communion and harmony in the whole Corpus Ecclesiae.

The Pope then made references to his views on the liturgy as part of the life of the Church:

The celebration in the small communities, regulated by the Liturgical Books, that are to be followed faithfully, and with the specificities approved in the Statutes of the Way, has the goal of helping those who walk on the neocatechumenal itinerary realize the grace of being inserted in the salvific mystery of Christ, who makes possible a Christian testimony capable of also assuming signs of radicalness.

 A "Third Form" of the Roman Rite?

[Update 1400 GMT] The Vatican Information Service [VIS] has the main text of the approval decree:

VATICAN CITY, 20 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Laity today published a decree approving the celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. The decree is dated 8 January, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and bears the signatures of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko and Bishop Josef Clemens, respectively president and secretary of the council.

The text published today reads: "By a decree of 11 May 2008 the Pontifical Council for the Laity gave definitive approval to the Statutes of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. Subsequently, following due consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by a decree of 26 December 2010, the council gave approval to the publication of the Catechetical Directory as a valid and binding instrument for the catechesis of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

"Now, pursuant to articles 131 and 133 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' on the Roman Curia, the Pontifical Council forthe Laity, having received the 'nulla osta' of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, grants approval to those celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way which are not, by their nature, already regulated by the liturgical books of the Church".

Editorial Note [1500 GMT]: Some have wished to say that it is not exactly an approval, that it is not an actual liturgical rite, that only the several "phases" or "steps" of the "Way" itself have been approved - which is true, even though the Holy Father himself also mentions the "specificities" of the liturgical rites when in "small groups", with papal praise and confirmation of the full 2008 approval of the liturgical practices foreseen in the Statutes. Fine, let us not call it a new liturgical rite, then - but only a "New Liturgical Way"...

What we think, what we consider right, even what is in mere speeches... all this is irrelevant: as in all post-Conciliar radical experiments, they merely wanted a seal of approval, even if the approval is not, in law, complete and wide; and, with this seal of approval, first in 2008, now supremely approved in all details in 2012, everything is possible for the Way. The Neocatechumenal Way is at last out of the box; who will put them back inside?

The sole purpose of a "Reform of the reform"

From the interview granted by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, author of Il Concilio Vaticano II: una storia mai scritta (The Second Vatican Council – a never before written history), to Austrian Catholic website

[]There is no renewal of the Church without a true liturgical renewal. What is the meaning, in your view, of the liturgy in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite which, with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, once again enjoys full right of citizenship in the Church? Is it truly "a twofold use of the save and only Rite" (Benedict XVI, Letter on the publication of "Summorum Pontificum", July 7, 2007) or should the "form" that today is "ordinary" be considered a "phase" of that return to the origins in which the true future is found?

[De Mattei] The Holy Sacrifice is truly one, but the "Novus ordo" of Paul VI is, it seems to me, profoundly different, in spirit and in form, from the ancient Roman Rite. In this last Rite, I see not the past, but the future of the Church. Traditional liturgy is in fact the most efficacious response to the challenge of secularism, that attacks us.

Benedict XVI gave full citizenship back to the ancient Roman Rite. I am certain that it will go through a new development and a new splendor in the Church and in society. The "Reform of the Reform" which is mentioned makes sense and is worthy only as a "transition" of the "novus ordo" towards the traditional rite, and not as a pretext for the abandonment of the latter, that must be kept in its integrity and purity.

The essential question seems to me, though, that of recovering a thelogical and ecclesiological vision founded upon the dimension of transcendent and the holy. This means that it is necessary to reconquer the fundamental principles of Catholic theology, beginning with a precise view of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

It is further necessary that the idea of sacrifice shall permeate society in the shape, quite forgotten today, of a spirit of sacrifice and penance. This, and not anything else, is the "experience of sacredness" of which our society has urgent need. Without it, it is hard to imagine a return to an authentic Liturgy that has at its center the adoration owed to the one true God.

Novus Ordo poll

We wish to know our readers a little better, so, please, if at all possible, pick an option in the poll on the right column.

How often do I go to the Novus Ordo (the mass of Paul VI)? (Do not pick this - the question would not show up otherwise in this poll):
- Novus what??? (that is, I NEVER go to the NO)
- I rarely go to the NO (rarely means rarely - once, twice a year, funerals, etc)
- I go sometimes to the NO (less than half of the Masses I attend)
- I often go the NO (half or more of the Masses I attend)
- I only go to the NO - because I HAVE to (I go to the NO exclusively, I can't help it - if possible, tell us why in the comments below)
- I only go to the NO - because I WANT to (I go to the NO exclusively, period)
- I only go to Eastern Rite liturgies

You may change your vote at any moment before the poll closes. Thank you!
P.S., in response to a priestly reader: Reverend Fathers, you may and should vote in this poll; choose the option that suits how often you celebrate the new Mass of Paul VI.

The crisis of the church is a crisis of Bishops:
Sì, è vero, the bishop defends homosexual partnerships

A reader read this in another blog and asked us if it was true.

Yes, it is true! Is it not wonderful?
Favorable to homosexual couples, but with the appropriate distinctions. It is what the Bishop of Ragusa, Bp. Paolo Urso, confirms after his declarations appeared on the internet following an interview given to Quotidiano Nazionale and mentioned by the website [three-letter-word].it and by several online blogs. Urso explained that the Government must recognize this de facto situation, even if the union of [three-letter-word] couples should be called by a different name than "matrimony", because, he explains, "otherwise we will not understand each other".

He then adds, "A secular State, as ours, cannot ignore the phenomenon of partnerships, it must move forward and define rights and duties for the partners. The moral evaluation belongs to others." [Source: Ragusa News - Jan. 14 - in Italian; in the image, Bp. Urso in an ecumenical meeting.]

The matter has been so tiresomely explained by the Church... - for instance, in the 2003 Considerations regarding Proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, of the Congregation for the Doctrinal of the Faith. Just last week, by the way, in his yearly address to the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, the Holy Father recalled that, "pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself." It is a matter that is thus not merely "moral" (as "morality" is understood by the Bishop, that is, as having no relevance to the State and to the Law), but that is not-negotiable even to politicians - much less to Bishops!

The crisis of leadership must end: it humiliates the faithful, it destroys morale, and it devastates the Church from the inside out and from the top down. 

[Note: Paolo Urso was named bishop of Ragusa, Sicily, by Pope John Paul II in 2002.]

Emerging slowly from secrecy: the Traditional Latin Mass in Spain

The following interview was first published in French by Paix Liturgique on November 30, 2011. The English translation (posted below) was published on the same website very recently. The interviewee, Fr.Manuel María de Jesús, is the founder of the Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa María Reina, a biritual association with a clerical branch, the Hermanos de la Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa María Reina, that currently has care of the Iglesia de Salvador in Toledo, the sole church in that archdiocese where Mass is said every Sunday (and every weekday as well) according to the 1962 Missal.  The Santa María Reina blog of the Fraternidad chronicles the liturgical life in that church.

(Paix Liturgique English Letter 24)

A few months ago in Spain the superior of the Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa María Reina, Padre Manuel María de Jesús, published a little book titled "Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Problem or Asset?" This work was soon translated into Portuguese, showing the interest it has garnered in the Iberian peninsula. 

This self-published book goes straight to the crux of the issue and is actually breaking the silence surrounding Benedict XVI's liberation of the traditional Mass in Spain as in Portugal. This great silence has been quantified in the survey polls conducted in those countries: in Portugal, according to the 2010 Harris Interactive survey, 74% of Catholics had never heard of the Motu Proprio; in Spain, according to the 2011 Ipsos survey, the proportion reaches 81.7%. 

Can we get Gregorio de Falco named a Bishop?

And created a Cardinal? Right now? Subito? Command Master Chief de Falco, of the Italian Coast Guard command in Leghorn, Italy: this is the kind of leadership we must have in the Church - not a boatful of Schettinos, abandoning the damaged Barque of Peter and the faithful to the freezing waters of January.

Who is a Traditionalist?

See below for one religious brother's answer.

What do you think, dear readers?

The tiny village of Villatalla in the Italian diocese of Albenga-Imperia, where the Benedictines of the Immaculate live and where the little bell tower still summons people to attend the Traditional Latin Mass.

Traditionalism is an Affirmation 
by Brother André Marie January 17th, 2012 

One of the most important things for a person to have is an identity. This is why names are so important to us. Adam was given power to name things in the Garden of Eden, showing that he had dominion over the rest of creation, including Eve, whom he named. When a child finds out that a large, strange-looking animal has a name, he finds comfort in the fact, knowing that, if it has a name, and if Daddy can identify it, the thing must not be all that terrifying. It is known

Traditional Catholics, or traditionalists, name themselves thus because of their embrace of the traditions of the Church. That they do so in the face of large-scale abandonment of those traditions by hierarchy, clergy, and faithful alike is why the name “Catholic” is not always adequate, though it should be. Beyond that very generic concept of what traditionalism is, there are manifold and disparate understandings of what exactly defines the identity of the traditionalist. Avoiding a rigid dogmatism where the Church has given us no dogmatic definition — we must be willing to die for Catholic dogma, but not for our own opinions — I would like to consider what traditionalism is in its essence. 

A second response from the SSPX?

Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli's source in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith provides him the following information (published in today's La Stampa - translation by Vatican Insider, corrected according to the Italian original):

The actual and proper response of the superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bernard Fellay, formulated according to the requests of the Holy See, arrived at the Vatican only last week. The first reply, received by the Vatican on December 21, was not considered adequate by Vatican authorities, who asked the head of the Lefebvrians [sic] to redraft it, considering the first delivery as more of a “documentation” than a reply. Thus Bishop Fellay prepared a second text, more concise, related to the doctrinal preamble that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered to him last September. This second text is now being carefully examined by consultants of the Commission "Ecclesia Dei", who follow the Lefebrvian dossier, and this could require some time.

Next week, the plenary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will meet in the palace of the Holy Office. On the agenda is a possible communication regarding relations with the Society of St. Pius X, but it is unlikely that the meeting will be decisive, because Fellay’s second response - which accepts some parts of the doctrinal preamble while questioning others - requires time to be examined. It is likely that a more accurate decision on what to do will not be made now, but in February, during a “Feria IV”, as the ordinary congregations of the former Holy Office are called. [Note: Because they take place on a Wednesday, Feria Quarta...]

In delivering the preamble, the Vatican authorities indicated that this text was not made public because it was not yet final - that is, subject to change (though not substantive) or possible additions. From September to December, rumors of dissent within the Fraternity were spread by those who do not believe an agreement with Rome is possible. Fellay himself had spoken several times on the matter. At first, he had said that the preamble represented a great step forward. Then, after an important meeting with the heads of the districts of the Fraternity, while reiterating the importance of engaging in dialogue, he said he could not accept the preamble as it is, adding: “If Rome tells us to accept in any case, we cannot do it.” Thus Fellay sent the first response, which was not considered as such by the Vatican. And now he has sent a second one.

It is still too soon to speculate about what will be the final outcome of this dialogue, which, at this stage, goes on with distance and in writing. But no final word has yet been spoken: the Pope wants to do everything that is possible to heal the rift that was created with the Lefebvrians, and Fellay knows this well.
[See also our previous post: The Rumor Mill]

Tenth Anniversary
of the Personal Apostolic Administration
of Saint John Mary Vianney - Campos, Brazil

On January 18, 2002, the Holy See made public the autograph letter signed by Pope John Paul II on the preceding Christmas Day, in response to a letter sent to him months earlier by the Bishop and Priests of what was then called "Priestly Union of Saint John Mary Vianney", the followers of the bravest of all residential bishops in the world, Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, assured them he would establish, in the course of the following months, a canonical structure in which they would be free to celebrate, and all the Catholic faithful would be free to attend, the Traditional Latin Mass and all sacraments of the traditional Roman Rite exclusively. On the same day, the decree Animarum Bonum of the Congregation for Bishops was promulgated, with the canonical foundation of the Personal Apostolic Administration "Saint John Mary Vianney" [AAS 94 (2002), 305-308].

Ten years later, in the new world of Summorum Pontificum, the Apostolic Administration of Campos remains the only one in the world with a canonical structure and a bishop dedicated to the Traditional Mass, living side by side and peacefully with the existing Diocese, its Ordinary and clergy. We thank God for this gift - but pray that more similar structures will be available, sooner rather than later, around the world.

[Image: faithful fill the Main Church (Cathedral) of the Apostolic Administration in the ordination of its two most recent priests - December 18, 2011.]



To my Venerable Brother Licinio Rangel
and the beloved Sons of the Union of St John Mary Vianney of Campos, Brazil