Rorate Caeli

U.S. Ordinariate: Traditional Mass "not integral to the Anglican Patrimony", "not properly used in our communities"

Editorial Note: The whole matter, in fact, revolves around the tastes of the U.S. Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson, and what he views as the Anglican Patrimony. 

Why "tastes"? Because unless one interprets such "Patrimony" exclusively as one limited to a period that began, in the official books, around two decades after the separation of the majority of English episcopate from Rome - and excludes the whole history of Latin Christianity in England before the schism, the period of Queen Mary I, the sacrifice of thousands and thousands of men and women who believed one could be English and worship along with the Bishop of Rome, the countless converts who knew only the Traditional Mass, and the also countless Anglicans who, not having the courage or the will to take the final step, still reintroduced almost all elements of traditional Latin worship in the Anglican services - then the words of the American Ordinary do not make sense. Which they do not. 

It is obvious that the purpose of the Ordinariate is also to protect some kind of "Anglican Patrimony", but it is wrong and historically inaccurate to say that the "Extraordinary Form is not an integral part of the Anglican Patrimony". On the contrary, the Extraordinary Form, or rather, the Latin Mass understood in its, to use his words, "integral" sense, which includes all manners of traditional worship in Latin (not only of the post-1570 Roman variety, but almost identical to it, and identical in the Canon) that spread throughout Europe, and that Saint Augustine established firmly in England, and that English missionaries, such as Boniface and Willibrord, spread even more widely in Europe - this traditional  Latin Mass, in its several traditional rites and forms, including in the vernacular forms introduced in  Anglican settings in the 19th Century, is much more an integral part of the Anglican Patrimony than a Missal approved in 1970, and the Book of Divine Worship approved following all the general lines of the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer, and the guidelines of the Congregation for Divine Worship in the strong Bugninist composition of the early 1980s. 

Since the U.S. Ordinariate is also a part of the Latin Church, it is also absurd, and offensive, for its Ordinary to claim that the "Roman Missal [of Paul VI] 3rd edition could be used", while the Traditional Mass, that under Summorum Pontificum can be celebrated by any priest in the Latin Church freely, is "not properly used in our communities". Its history, as said above, makes it clear that it is proper in all senses of the word, and that it is proper to Ordinariate Catholics as it is to all Catholics of the Latin Church. 

Therefore, of both main points mentioned by the U.S. Ordinary, one is simply untrue (that the Latin Mass is not "integral to the Anglican Patrimony"), the other (that it is not "properly used" in "our communities") is an overstretching of his powers. Both are offensive to history, justice, and common sense. In either case, what is clearly shown is the Ordinary's personal antipathy towards the Latin Mass and to those people, traditional Catholics. Perhaps that is also part of the "Anglican patrimony": personal vicissitudes become law, it was like this with Henry VIII, right?


The Liturgy of the Ordinariate and the Latin Mass

In response to certain questions that have been asked about the use of the Latin Mass in its Extraordinary Form in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary, issued this statement:

"We rejoice in the liturgical richness of the Catholic Church. We in the Anglican tradition certainly welcome the Holy Father's concern that the Mass be understood as a living, continuous tradition. The communio sanctorum compels us to read and engage with the Church's tradition with a hermeneutic of continuity.

"The particular mission of the Ordinariate is to bring into the fuller life of the Catholic Church those enduring elements of the Anglican liturgical patrimony which are oriented to Catholic truth. This liturgical identity seeks to balance two historic principles -- that Christian prayer and proclamation should be offered in the vernacular and that the language of worship should be sacral. This is what Anglicans understand when they speak of the prayer book tradition.

"The liturgy of the Ordinariate is superintended by an inter-dicasterial working group (of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW)). At the time the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established, the CDW provided important guidance for our liturgical use: The Book of Divine Worship Rite I should be amended to bring it into conformity with the Roman Missal 3rd edition, particularly the words of Consecration. For those congregations that prefer a contemporary idiom, the Roman Missal 3rd edition could be used.

"We have therefore asked that the congregations of the Ordinariate follow this direction. Some of our clergy want to learn also how to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They are certainly encouraged to do so, under the provisions ofSummorum Pontificum and under the supervision of the local bishop, to assist in those stable communities that use the Extraordinary Form. But as the Extrordinary Form is not integral to the Anglican patrimony, it is not properly used in our communities. The Ordinariate will remain focused on bringing Christians in the Anglican tradition into full communion with the Catholic Church. We also are pleased that the Church has provided for the continuing use of the Extraordinary Form, particularly as a pastoral response to traditional Catholics, and regard all of this as a well-ordered symphony of praise to the Blessed Trinity." 

[Source: U.S. Ordinariate; tip: New Liturgical Movement (sidebar)]


From the very moderate and most trustworthy blogger on the Ordinariates, Christian Campbell at The Anglo-Catholic, we also have the following:

I have it on unimpeachable authority that there is on ongoing crackdown on those AU/Ordinariate priests who would dare to learn or celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on the part of Steenson, Hurd, and Chalmers. The affected priests are naturally frightened, and unwilling to go on record, but make no mistake, the leadership of the U.S. Ordinariate at present has set itself against both Summorum Pontificum and Anglicanorum coetibus. I have it on good authority that this intimidation, an abuse of power, is being report[ed] directly to the Roman Authorities. And the contention that the traditional Latin Mass has no bearing on the Anglican Patrimony — this simply has me flabbergasted. Is there just a shortsightedness on the part of the Ordinary, or is he ignorant of the history of English Catholicism?

We love very much our brothers and sisters in the Ordinariate, or who wish to join the Ordinariate, and, curiously enough, we believe many of them disagree with the personal inclinations of their Ordinary. They should make their position and disagreement, and their grievances, known to him, as provided by Canon Law, and publicly, if necessary.

P.S. Final notes, by contributor Augustinus:

(1) One of the flagship parishes of the American Ordinariate has a scheduled Traditional Mass: Mount Calvary, in Baltimore, has it at least every Friday (officially), and reportedly more often than that.

(2) Celebrating the Traditional Mass -- even in Latin, -- has not been unknown in Anglo-Catholic circles. It was also often the norm as a translation in the ancient English commonly used in worship.

"High Mass" in Saint-Jude-on-the-Hill, parish church of the Church of England
(Hampstead Garden Suburb, Greater London), 1939
(3) The history of the Anglo-Catholic movement simply cannot be understood without the pivotal position of the Traditional Mass.

In a religious wasteland
- and words of encouragement from St. Maximilian Kolbe

The fact that the Church is of God and exists because of supernatural life, is today made to correspond  to an absolute prohibition of worrying about Her future in the world.

Nowadays, whoever dares express in public their disquiet about the destiny of the Bride of Christ in the world, is immediately assaulted by a mighty chorus of judging voices that cry: “How dare you be so pessimistic, the Church belongs to the Lord, it is not right for you to speak like this, She is never  going to be abandoned by God.”

In Catholic environments, you can hardly express anymore a realistic judgment about the situation in the Church.  Recently, for example, an inquiry by Cesnur*  [the Italian Center for Studies on New Religions] reveals that 70% of Italians are “a long way away from religion” and go to Church only for weddings and funerals.

We would like to add, that the majority of these occasional frequenters to the Church find themselves at weddings and funerals where God or Grace are not spoken of anymore, because the men and women who are marrying or have died are souls that are too busy being celebrated (by the community), with the result that not even at these sporadic events, Christianity is being presented.

So, if a man dares express great concern about the stability of Christianity in our lands, he is immediately branded with the label of pessimist and  a man of little faith.

We do not go along with this way of reasoning and of action (rather non-action) because the disaster is visible for all of us to see!

For sure, they will tell you that the few Christians that remain are infinitely more mature, more “adult” in the faith than those of the past. We have some doubt about this, seeing that the Christians in the past made society Christian, (whereas) the Christians of today do not produce anything, apart from giving moralistic support to a liberal, tired world which is not in the least Christian under any aspect whatsoever. The hour has come to say “stop” to this seeming tranquility, which denies the evident collapse of the presence of the Church in our lands.

This is a crisis without precedent:  no more believers and no more priests: it is a wasteland of Religion backslidden into neo-paganism smattered with a dash of natural religion which tranquilizes consciences at particular moments in life – and nothing more.

Is it against the virtue of Hope to speak thus? No, we do not think so!

Suffering because of the pitiful situation in the Church does not mean we do not believe in the  intervention of God, Who from the wreckage of our sin is able to resurrect Christianity. On the contrary, it is the  responsibility of the Christian, first the priests and then the faithful, to record  the unhappy moment and invoke the mercy of the Lord upon His Church – and all of  us.

Every serious amendment to life starts with this realism: look at where you have ended up  forgetting God, and then with His Grace, convert!  This is true for the life of an individual, but it is also true for the entire life of the Church.

 All  of the souls who have loved God and the Church, His Bride, have done so. The saints have done so. We would also like to do so: uniting and not dividing, facing up to the dramatic state of affairs in the Church, with unshakeable faith in the Power of God’s Grace, Who will not abandon humble penitents.

In this bulletin, we would like to offer some short passages about the history of the Church, published in the 1920s in “ The Knight of the Immaculata” by Father Maximilian Kolbe – a true saint, a Franciscan in love with the Immaculata. Here he writes about the History of the Church confronted dramatically with the evil which besieges Her, but in writing this, he expresses unshakable trust in Her perennity through the Grace of God.

This is the only truly Catholic way of proceeding with the present situation in the life of the Church, taking to heart Her destiny in a responsible way. Even if She is in the hands of God, She is also entrusted to our Christian responsibility  –  first the priests and then the faithful.


The Church of Christ confronted with Her enemies
From the writings of Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

Traditional Catholic soccer professional gets serious

It is a rare thing to read about a major league sports figure who talks openly about Catholicism in a positive light.  New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira did so a couple months ago in the National Catholic Register.

Even more enjoyable is to see a major league sports figure talk openly about the traditional Latin Mass in a positive light.  In the same publication, Eddie Gaven, who played this week in the Major League Soccer all-star game, said the following:

I grew up with the Novus Ordo Mass, unaware of the Latin Mass. However, when I started looking into the faith more seriously, I came across the Latin Mass, which was quite an experience to see for the first time. It was beyond anything I’d ever dreamed of. There’s so much reverence in the Latin Mass, which I attend regularly now.

I’m very thankful to Pope Benedict for making the “extraordinary form” more widely available through his motu proprio five years ago. I enjoy sharing the Latin Mass with others and often invite teammates to attend with me. It truly is, as many have said before, the most beautiful thing outside of heaven.

Events: Join the FSSP in Fatima, Monks of Norcia in Italy

Event: From Sept. 17 - 27, a Confraternity of St. Peter pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal, Santiago de Compostela & Madeira Island with Fr. James Fryar, FSSP & Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP, will take place -- IF enough souls sign up.

Highlighting the great peacemakers of the early 20th Century, Our Lady of Fatima and Blessed Emperor Karl I, the Last Hapsburg, the journey will take you to Madeira. This is where the holy monarch was exiled to in 1921, medieval Santiago de Compostela, Spain & Fatima, Portugal; the land chosen by Heaven to reveal to the world a goldmine of peace & hope.

For more information contact: Syversen Touring
Phone: 1-800-334-5425

Also ...

We are delighted to announce a pilgrimage "In the Footsteps of St. Benedict" with the Very Rev. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., at the end of October 2012.

For more information, visit our site here.

Lionheart: After several decades, a worthy bishop for the city of Saint Francis
Plus: great Carmelite news

The Pope moved today Salvatore Cordileone, former auxiliary of San Diego and up to now Bp. of Oakland, to the other side of the Bay - he is the new Archbishop of San Francisco.

Archbishop Cordileone, who will face  the gruesome task of trying to fix one of the most problematic dioceses in all of North America, head Metropolis of a province that extends from Salt Lake City to Honolulu, has celebrated or been present at Traditional Masses several times after his consecration.

You report: Happy news from the... Society of Jesus!

A reader sends us the following report and images:

Fr. William V. Blazek, S.J., newly ordained for the Jesuit Chicago-Detroit province, celebrated his first Solemn High Mass (Traditional Mass) on June 24 (Nativity of St. John the Baptist) at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton, MA.  Serving as deacon was Fr. Charles J. Higgins of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.  Serving as sub-deacon was Fr. John Rizzo, FSSP, visiting from his assignment in Australia.

The music for the Mass included Mozart's Missa Brevis in C KV 220 ("Spatzenmesse") and full Gregorian chant propers.
The parish of Mary Immaculate has been blessed with then Deacon Blazek's service since last fall and now Fr. Blazek's service until he embarks for a longer-term assignment in the coming fall. The Traditional Mass is celebrated daily at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, including a Solemn High Mass every Sunday at 10:30am.

More images here.


Personal recess for several weeks continues. Contact newcatholic AT gmail DOT com for urgent news items only, including the word URGENT in the message subject. Thank you.

Titus Brandsma, O.Carm. (July 26, 1942)

Father Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite friar and prominent Dutch scholar, was one of the over 1,000 Catholic priests who perished in the concentration camp of Dachau, near Munich (Bavaria, Germany). It is thought that Brandsma, who had been interned in Dachau for several months, was executed exactly 70 years ago today, on July 26, 1942. 

On that Sunday, Brandsma's sacrifice was united to the holy One he had celebrated so many times at Holy Mass. On that Sunday, the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, new waves of persecution would be launched in his native Netherlands due to the reading from pulpits across the nation of the Pastoral Letter of the national episcopate (see previous post). 

Why had Brandsma been detained and sent to Dachau? He had been under strict surveillance by the German forces of occupation and their local National Socialist collaborators for some time. He was a great master of Carmelite spirituality, but that was not the problem for the occupation forces - the problem was the influence the former Rector of the Catholic University of Nijmegen had with Abp. de Jong, Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht. 

Catholic periodicals had always blocked the publication of Socialist and Communist propaganda - they should not, and could not, print National-Socialist propaganda either. Abp. de Jong published the following note, drafted by Brandsma:

Circular of the Archbishop of Utrecht in the name of the Episcopate to the directors and editors-in-chief of Catholic periodicals

16 January 1942

You share: The lynching of the Traditional Mass
Share your liturgical memories of the Novus Ordo

Bishop Robert Lynch, of St. Petersburg, Florida, still thinks he owns the Traditional Mass - he has become known for time and again prohibiting it, or for making it impossible for his priests to implement Summorum Pontificum in the largest city within his jurisdiction: Tampa, in Hillsborough County. Yes, thanks to  Bp. Lynch, the Republican National Convention will take place in a Summorum-Free county, one of the largest Summorum-free counties in America (the Catholic version of Dry Counties). But he feels he is doing a huge favor by "allowing" a priest to celebrate a Sunday TLM in a chapel in his diocesan Cathedral - whose main nave is about to be "renovated"...

He is currently on vacation, but he took no vacation from his hideous pseudo-hip blogging. From the Traditional Mass to the "Benedictine Arrangement" favored by the reform-of-the-reformers, to the firm liturgical vision proposed by Mgr. Andrew Wadsworth, nothing of worth escapes his verbal lynching:

My personal memory of the liturgy prior to Vatican II is an awful one. I remember the daily Requiem Masses screeched by the eighth grade girls of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Peru, Indiana, mandatory prior to the start of every school day, and even with their screeching, the Mass gratefully only lasted about twenty minutes. Communion distributed to the kneeling at the altar rail was more comic than reverent (remember hearing the words “Corpus Domini. . .as the priest started at one end and then eternam” as he reached the thirtieth person kneeling?). Also strong in my memory remain Masses on Holy Days of Obligation when at the beginning of Mass, during the Offertory and at the Pater Noster, the assistant priests would come out and give communion to anyone who needed to “duck out” and get back to work (this was especially true at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York even when the Cardinal was the celebrant). Adult choirs attempting Mozart were only slightly better in most churches than the eighth grade girls at St. Charles. My grandparents and parents taught us to distract ourselves during Mass by following their example and either praying the Rosary continuously throughout Mass or attempting to follow along using a Missal which had Latin on one side of the fold and the English translation on the other. It was mystery, for sure, but not the kind of mystery which is reverentially spoken of now for the past. Monsignor Wadsworth calls in his talk for more attention to be paid by celebrants to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal which guides the liturgical celebration. I agree but he had better be careful for the growing practice of shielding the celebrants from congregants with candles and crosses of such size as to block the vision of many at Mass is explicitly forbidden in the same GIRM.

Since our readers are on average much younger than Bp. Lynch and the dying breed he represents (at least in the American episcopate), we would invite you to share your own personal liturgical memories of the New Mass. Those memories often explain why so many of us do our utmost to seek refuge from the Ordinary Rite of Paul VI. Please, share all your best (worst) experiences with the New Mass.

Bishop Lynch is 71. More about him in this Renew America article by Matt Abott.

For the record: "Lefebvrians: a decision after summer"

The month in which Europe stops is about to begin - and soon after that, the Pope is supposed to be in Lebanon (yes, the great small nation surrounded by Syria and Israel) in September. According to La Stampa's vaticanist Andrea Tornielli, a decision on the relations betweeen the Society of Saint Pius X and the Holy See should come only after summer:

Lefebvrians, a decision after summer
Fellay's response has not yet arrived. ...
Andrea Tornielli
Città del Vaticano
The response of the Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X to the doctrinal preamble delivered to him on June 13 has not yet arrived in Rome. And even if it arrives in the coming weeks, it will not be examined because the Prefect of the Congregation, Gerhard Müller, leaves for his vacation, as do the vice-president and the secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Although the general chapter of the Lefebvrians is over, it is possible that Fellay will take some more time before sending his response. ...
Even the request for the freedom to criticize, even publicly, the "proponents of errors or novelties of Modernism, of Liberalism, of the Second Vatican Council, and of their consequences" could in the end be interpreted in a way that is less harsh than it seems. "It will all depend - it is repeated in the Vatican - on the response Bp. Fellay will send to Rome."

Vatican Insider mistake

From the July 23 report by Andrea Tornielli on the latest leaked document of the Society of Saint Pius X:

In the letter sent to bishops after the Williamson case in 2009, Ratzinger wrote: “The Church’s magisterial authority cannot be frozen back in time in 1962 – the Fraternity should get this clear. But those Lefebvrians who put themselves across as great defenders of the Council should recall that the Second Vatican Council encapsulates the Church’s entire doctrinal history. Whoever wants to obey the Council must accept the faith professed over the centuries and cannot sever the roots which give the tree life.” This is the essence of reform according to the Second Vatican Council presented by Benedict XVI straight after he was elected Pope. But his proposal has so far fallen on deaf ears.

The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.

Update: Regarding the translation problem above referred to in the previous post, now unavailable, Mr. Tornielli informed us in the comments that the translation will be fixed. We thank him for that. 

The Life and Thoughts of Cardinal Merry del Val - VII
Sarto and Merry del Val, communion of thoughts and ideals
- and a long recess

"Silence and solitude make up the atmosphere of the cross: and we cannot live without the cross: it is the gift of Our Lord for those who love Him." 
Card. Merry del Val


Though different in culture, language and nationality, there was such a communion of thought and of ideals between Pope Sarto and Merry del Val that the famous French writer Renè Bazin could write that St. Pius X “in naming Cardinal Merry del Val as his Secretary of State, showed that he possessed one of the primary qualities of a Prince, which is to know men and to choose his ministers for the good of the kingdom. To suddenly place the young prelate in such a high position, required courage: but Pius X had recognized in Rafael  Merry del Val an extraordinary character and a superior intelligence.” Upon the death of the Cardinal in the year 1930, an influential German daily newspaper wrote: “It is not possible to state precisely to what point the extraordinarily fruitful Pontificate of Pius X was the work of that pontiff and which was the part of his Secretary of State.”

The Cardinal lent his service to the Holy Father with such rectitude, that neither the common desire of praises nor servile fear nor temptations of popularity could influence him in the least. St. Pius X usually referred to Merry del Val as “his” Cardinal and every time he spoke of him, he could not hide the joy of having him at his side, saying on several occasions that “he knew not how to thank Our Lord enough for giving him such a precious collaborator.” That is why the writer Cammillo Bellaigue,  Chamberlain to His Holiness, could rightly witness: “During the whole of the pontificate of the saintly Pope Pius X, there were occasions when I had dealings with Cardinal Merry del Val. His intelligence was equal to his soul. I served as best I could this great servant of the greatest of masters. I can still hear St. Pius X saying to me: ” To separate myself from Cardinal del Val? I would rather be separated from my head.”

These two great souls lived united for eleven long years in the guidance of the Church of God, according to the principles of the Gospel which know no compromises. They worked, battled and suffered together, to the point that in a signed note to his Secretary, the Pope wrote: “…I have asked Our Lord, that as long as He desires to have me down here, He grant me the grace of always having you by my side.” And the young Cardinal loved his Pope with  a disinterested love, wholly aimed at the good of the Church and the salvation of souls.

These two great men of the Church cannot be separated in the story of that blessed Pontificate – one of the most glorious on record. Even before their government of the Church, they were kindred spirits in the spiritual life, which left a deep impression on the world due to their holiness of life and unconditional love for the truth.

Providence had disposed that Pius X and Merry del Val would work together, battle and suffer together to the point that, after the death of Pius X, Merry del Val would remain in the eyes of the world as the depositary and representative of the thought of St. Pius X. It is not by chance that on the death of the Cardinal someone wrote: “It seems that twice over we have lost the admirable and holy Pope.”


“Let us have faith. God will guide all things for the best. We see only one page in the great book that he has written for us. He sees everything and can do everything.  He loves us.  Fiat!"

“The beautiful virtue of humility seems to be so little understood. God, in as much as He is God could not practice humility, but used condescension. He lowered Himself to come to us…let us strive to descend; to lower ourselves in order to imitate Him.”

Cardinal Merry del Val 
To be continued

[Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy. Translation: contributor Francesca Romana]

New episodes in the Peruvian telenovela "La universidad del diablo"
In historic move, Vatican slams Episcopal Conference

The historic action of the Vatican to bring some order to the ex-Pontifical ex-Catholic University of Peru (the former PUCP - see first post) is a gift that keeps on giving. La Stampa's Andrés Beltramo Álvarez reports that, when the Vatican decree removing the titles from the name of the University was handed by the local Nuncio (Pennsylvanian Archbishop James Green) to several authorities on Friday, the document was accompanied by a specific letter to the University rector and, which is more impressive, by a specific letter to the President of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, to be forwarded to each bishop in the country.

Because in fact the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Cipriani Thorne, had spent the last few years almost isolated by his own peers and undermined by most members of the Episcopal Conference in his efforts to rein in and put under control the rebellious university. As Beltramo reports:

The Peruvian Episcopal Conference must not be manipulated by the "rebellious university". On the contrary, [the Conference] is called to lend "determined and clear" support to the determinations of the Holy See in the dispute for the legitimate property of the institution, until yesterday Pontifical and Catholic. This is the center of a letter sent by the Vatican to the President of the South American country's bishops, Salvador Piñeiro. A harsh wake-up call, in order to cease with the ambiguities and the foul play.

... Green ordered that all three documents, including the letter to Piñeiro, be sent to all the bishops in the country. He received the authorities of the PUCP later in the Nunciature, and delivered to them the decree and the letter.

The message from Rome to the Archbishop of Ayacucho-Huamanga [Abp. Piñeiro] left little room for doubts: "For the good of the University and for the responsibility of the Church in the educational field, this Episcopal Conference must support the position of the Holy See and of the Archbishop of Lima, disavowing vigorously any opposing intervention and inviting the country's episcopate to a loyal collegial action. In case of eventual doubts, you and the other bishops please be kind enough to consult with the Rev. Nuncio in Lima."

And it added: "The Holy Father expects that, in the future, the Episcopal Conference will render determined and clear support to the decisions taken by the Holy See regarding the situation of the PUCP, and that new misunderstandings and divisions be avoided."

The severity of the words left clear that, instead of keeping an institutional position, the direction of the bishops sided with the center of studies during the disputed. Even when the rebellion of its authorities was open and manifest.

This was made clear on April 17, when the Conference published a public note in the name of its five delegate bishops of the University Assembly of the PUCP. ... This episode was called "regrettable" by the Vatican letter to Piñeiro, which was blunt: "I ask you to take care that this Episcopal Conference avoid being manipulated by the rectorate of the university."

Today, in declarations to the local press, the Rector of the Universidad del Diablo was defiant:

The rector of the PUCP, Marcial Rubio, called the decision of the Vatican of stripping the center of studies of the titles of "pontifical" and "Catholic" regrettable ... . ...

"This is our official name, and we are recognized nationally and internationally by it. We have the full right to keep using it for as long as we consider it convenient. Any decision that is taken about it is of the responsibility of the ruling bodies of the university itself," he added.

The former PUCP is the academic alma mater of Liberation Theology (the expression itself was coined by its most famous theology professor, Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez).

Events - FSSP training for priests
Solemn High Mass in Charlotte, NC


2. On Thursday, July 26, 2012, at 7:00pm, there will be a Solemn High Mass in honor of the Feast of St. Ann, the patroness of St. Ann Roman Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. His Excellency, Bishop Peter Jugis will be in attendance in choir. 

Address: Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church
3635 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209
Phone: 704-523-4641

Universidad Ni-Ni: ni Pontificia ni Católica
The non-Pontifical non-Catholic University of Peru
Updated: full text of the decree

Peruvian daily El Comercio publishes this Saturday the Decree of the Secretary of State, under the mandate received from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, removing the titles of "Pontifical" and "Catholic" from the name of the disobedient and dissenting "Pontifical Catholic University of Peru" (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú - PUCP).



N. 3168/12/RS


The Secretary of State, fulfilling the mandate of His Holiness Benedict XVI, sent a letter to the Honorable Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru on February 21, 2012, reiterating the demand of adapting the Statutes of said University to the prescriptions of the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, of August 15, 1990 (AAS 82, [1990] 1481-1490), also establishing April 8, 2012, as the final date for the fulfillment of such obligation. This petition was in addition to several others made to the same University in the same sense for the past twenty years.

The deadline initially established was extended repeatedly by petition of the Rectorate of the University up to April 18, 2012, with no fulfillment of the order of the Holy See.

Afterwards, by way of two letters of the Honorable Rector addressed to the Emin. Cardinal Secretary of State, one dated April 13, 2012, the other being an "open letter" dated May 9, 2012, and published by the same Rectorate as a "Warning" [Aviso] in the Lima daily "La República" on May 11, 2012, the notice was delivered of not being able to accede to the required fulfillment of the law.

For all this:

- considering that the aforementioned University was founded on March 1, 1917, with ecclesiastical approval of the Archbishop of Lima, Abp. Pedro Manuel García y Naranjo; recognized by the Peruvian State on the 24th of the same month and year as the Catholic University; erected by Pope Pius XII on September 30, 1942, as a canonical juridical person, subjected as such to the canonical legislation in matters of centers of Higher Education and whose property thus holds the nature of ecclesiastical assets, in the manner established of the can. 1257 § 1, in force;

-considering that art. 1 § 3, of the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, of August 15, 1990, establishes that all Universities subjected to the canonical legislation must adapt its Statutes to the aforementioned Constitution, which was not done up to this moment by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, despite repeated requests;

-considering that the fulfillment of the canonical legislation is compatible with the applicable Peruvian legislation, in the manner established in articles I and XIX of the Agreement celebrated between the Holy See and the Republic of Peru on July 19, 1980 (AAS 72, [1980] 807-812);

-considering that the aforementioned University persists in guiding its institutional initiatives according to criteria that are incompatible with the discipline and morals of the Church;

-considering that no University, even if effectively Catholic and framed according to the Church legislation, may use in its name the title "Catholic" if not with the consent of the corresponding ecclesiastical authority, as established by can. 808 (cf. Canons 803, 216 of the Code of Canon Law);

-considering that the express consent of the Holy See is similarly necessary for the use the name of "Pontifical" ["Ponticio" o "Pontificia"], (Declaratio ad Summi Pontificis dignitatem tuendam, in AAS 102 [2010] 59);

Consequently, in virtue of the mandate
received from His Holiness, Benedict XVI

by the present


1. It is forbidden to the aforementioned University the use of the title of "Pontifical" in its name, suppressing the concession that had been previously granted to it.

2. It is forbidden likewise that the aforementioned University use in its name the title of "Catholic", with the removal of the consent that had been previously granted to it in such sense, in the sense of the current can. 808 of the Code of Canon Law.

3. It is declared at the same time that the aforementioned University, as a public juridical person of the Church, remains subjected to the canonical legislation in the matters to which it is currently bound, even if, for the aforementioned reasons, it has been deprived of the right to use in its name the titles of "Pontifical" and "Catholic", and that the Holy See will continue to insist in the full respect of the canonical discipline.

Notice is to be given of the present Decree to the Congregation for Catholic Education for its effective fulfillment. 

Given in Vatican City, July 11, 2012

Tarcisio Card Bertone


Congratulations to Cardinal Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima, and the Holy See for their firmness. They were too patient, at least since 2006-2007, but the dissenters of this university, completely subverted by Liberation Theologians, were on the shining path to secularism. Considering that almost all the assets and property of the university were awarded decades ago by faithful Catholics to  specifically house a Catholic University, and that the University is still juridically/canonically Catholic, one hopes that the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Lima will be able to recover all of them and expel the deceivers.

[Tip: Infocatólica, via La Cigüeña. Update: also at In the image: Abp. Müller, current Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the "Pontifical Catholic" University of Peru, already under the investigation of Cardinal Cipriani Thorne, in Nov. 28, 2008. Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez is to his right, and the University Rector whose actions were condemned by the Holy See this July, Marcial Rubio Correa, is to his left. Cardinal Cipriani Thorne was not present.]


Aniello Falcone - Expulsion from the Temple (detail)
One day after the declaration was issued, and another leak of internal documents of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), a letter sent to the District Superiors in the name of the Secretary General of the Society. It was first a PDF file, with an English file name, generated in the exact same kind of machine identified by Angelqueen in this post, that was then placed in a Mexican forum; then, the images of its pages were posted in an Argentine blog. The Anglophone connection did not disappear because of this, naturally.

This is just too much, and we will not post its contents, that included a summary of the General Chapter and some self-imposed conditions for a canonical regularization of the SSPX, nothing spectacularly different from what is already known, just listed in a structured fashion. Someone else may post it, but we in Rorate are just tired of this, we do not want to be a part of it. Enough.

It is disheartening to see once again that a society of traditional priests cannot keep a secret for more than 48 hours. May God have mercy on us.

24 Reflections and observations on the current situation in Syria

His Beatitude Patriarch Gregory III (Laham), of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Syria, has imparted these reflections and observations as a vademecum to throw light on the attitudes of the local Church towards the dramatic events in Syria and on certain moral contortions in relation to these events.
Dear friends,
  • 1. The greatest danger in Syria at present is anarchy, lack of security and the massive influx of weapons from all sides. Violence is, alas, the dominant language today and violence begets violence. In Syria, this danger is ensnaring and affecting all citizens, regardless of race, religion or political persuasion.
  • 2. Christians, too, are exposed to this same danger, but they are the weak link. Defenceless, they are the group most liable to exploitation, extortion, kidnapping, torture and even elimination. But they are also the peace-making, unarmed group, calling for dialogue, reconciliation, peace and unity among all the sons and daughters of the same homeland. This is the rarest kind of talk that many do not wish to hear. We Christians, to whom was entrusted the Gospel of Peace, feel ourselves called to further it.
  • 3. Nevertheless, there is no Muslim-Christian conflict. Christians are not targeted as such, but can be reckoned among the victims of chaos and lack of security.
  • 4. The greatest danger is interference from Arab or Western foreign elements. This interference takes the form of weapons, money and one-sided, programmed, subversive means of communication.

70th anniversary of the
Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the Netherlands
on the deportation of the Jewish population


Pastoral letter of the Dutch Bishops
July 20, 1942

We live in a time of great affliction, both spiritual and material. In recent times two specific afflictions have come to the fore: the persecution of the Jews and the unfortunate lot of those who are sent to work in foreign countries.

All of us must become fully aware of these troubles, and for this reason, they are now brought to our attention as a community.

These afflictions must also be brought to the attention of those who are responsible for them. To this end, the venerable Dutch Episcopate, in communion with nearly all the churches in the Netherlands, approached the authorities of the occupying forces concerning, among other things, the Jews, in a recent telegram of Saturday, July 11. The telegram stated the following:

"The undersigned Dutch churches, already deeply shocked by the actions taken against the Jews in the Netherlands that have excluded them from participating in the normal life of society, have learned with horror of the new measures by which men, women, children, and whole families will be deported to the German territory and its dependencies.

"The suffering that this measure will bring upon tens of thousands of people, the knowledge that these measures are contrary to the deepest moral sense of the Dutch people, and, above all, the hostility of these measures against the divine norms of justice and mercy urge the churches to direct to you the urgent petition not to execute these measures.

"Our urgent petition to you is also motivated by the consideration that, for the Christian Jews, these measures would make it impossible for them to participate in the life of the Church."

As a result of this telegram, one of the General Commissioners, in the name of the Reich's Commissioner [Reichskommissar], promised that Christian Jews will not be deported if they belonged to one of the Christian churches before January 1941.

Beloved faithful, when we consider the immense spiritual and physical misery that, for three years already, has threatened the entire world with destruction, then we think naturally of the situation that the Gospel of today [9th Sunday after Pentecost] paints for us:

"And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation." [St. Luke 19, 41-44]

Jesus's prediction was literally fulfilled: forty years later, God's judgment over the city of Jerusalem was accomplished. They had not, unfortunately, recognized the time of grace.

Now, too, everything around us points to a punishment from God. But, thanks be to God, it is not yet too late for us. We can still avert it if we recognize the time of grace, if we recognize what will bring us peace. And that is only the return to God, from whom for many years already a great portion of the world has turned away. All human means have failed; only God can still bring a solution.

Beloved faithful, let us first examine ourselves with a deep sense of repentance and humility. Are we not, after all, partly responsible for the disasters that affect us? Have we always fulfilled the duties of justice and charity toward our neighbor? Have we not sometimes entertained feelings of unholy hatred and bitterness? Have we always sought our refuge in God, our Heavenly Father?

When we turn to ourselves, we will have to confess that we have all failed. Peccavimus ante Dominum Deum nostrum: We have sinned before the Lord our God. [Baruch 1,17]

We also know, though, that God will not despise a contrite and humbled heart. [Psalm 50, 19] Cor contritum et humiliatum non despicies. We therefore turn to him and beg him with childlike confidence for his mercy. He himself tells us, "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you." (Luke 11,9)

In the Introit of today’s Holy Mass [9th Sunday after Pentecost], the Church calls to us with the words of the Psalmist: "For behold God is my helper: and the Lord is the protector of my soul." [Psalm 53,6] And the Epistle repeats the very comforting words of the Apostle: "Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it." [1 Cor. 10, 13]

Therefore, beloved faithful, let us implore God, through the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, that He will soon grant the world a just peace.

May He sustain the people of Israel, who are being so bitterly tested in these days, and may He bring them to true redemption in Jesus Christ.

May He protect those whose lot it is to work in foreign lands and to be separated from their loved ones. May He protect them in soul and body, protect them from becoming bitter and discouraged, keep them faithful to the Christian faith, and may God also strengthen those they left behind.

Let us implore Him for a solution for all those who are tested and oppressed, for prisoners and hostages, for so many who are threatened by death.

Pateant aures misericordiae tuae, Domine, precibus supplicantium: that the ears of your mercy, Lord, may be open to the prayers of those who cry to you.

This, our joint pastoral letter, shall be read in the usual manner next Sunday, July 26, during all scheduled Holy Masses in all the churches and chapels in our Church Province that have an appointed rector.

Given in Utrecht, the 20th day of July of the Year of Our Lord 1942.

We are very glad to provide the first online English translation (to our knowledge) of one of the most impressive Catholic documents of the 20th century: the Pastoral Letter of the Dutch Episcopate of July 20, 1942, written by and under the authority of the Archbishop of Utrecht, J. de Jong. It is a very short document, but it is filled with mercy and concern for those who were suffering most harshly under the German occupation of the Netherlands.

Rome-SSPX: Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office

The recently concluded General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X has addressed a Declaration regarding the possibility of a canonical normalization in the relationship of the Fraternity and the Holy See. While it has been made public, the Declaration remains primarily an internal document for study and discussion among the members of the Fraternity.

The Holy See has taken note of this Declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official Communication of the Priestly Fraternity as their dialogue with the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" continues.

[Bollettino. Comments on the SSPX Declaration post]

Rome-SSPX: Declaration of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X sent to the Holy See

As announced in the press communiqué of the Society of St. Pius X’s General House on July 14, 2012, the members of the General Chapter sent a common statement to Rome. It has been published today.

During the interview published at DICI on July 16, Bishop Bernard Fellay stated that this document was “the occasion to specify the (SSPX’s) road map insisting upon the conservation of the Society’s identity, the only efficacious means to help the Church to restore Christendom”. “For,” he said, “doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy”, which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.”

At the conclusion of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X, gathered at the tomb of its revered founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and united with its Superior General, we, the participants, bishops, superiors and elders of this Society, wish to send up to heaven our most fervent thanks for the forty-two years of such marvelous divine protection of our work in the midst of a Church in crisis and of a world that strays farther each day from God and His law.  

We express our profound gratitude to all the members of this Society, priests, brothers, sisters, tertiaries, the affiliated religious communities as well as the dear faithful for their daily devotion and their fervent prayers on the occasion of this Chapter, which was a time of frank exchanges and very productive work.  All the sacrifices, all the troubles generously accepted have certainly contributed toward overcoming the difficulties that the Society has met with in recent months.  We have regained our profound union in its essential mission:  to keep and defend the Catholic faith, to form good priests and to work for the restoration of Christendom.  We have defined and approved the conditions necessary for a possible canonical normalization.  It has been established that, in that case, an extraordinary deliberative chapter would be convoked beforehand.  But let us never forget that the sanctification of souls always starts with ourselves.  It is the work of a faith enlivened and working by charity, as Saint Paul says:  “For we can do nothing against the truth, but [only] for the truth” (2 Cor 13:8), and again, “Christ loved the Church and delivered Himself up for it … that it should be holy and without blemish” (cf. Eph 5:25 f.).  

The Chapter deems that the Society’s first duty in the service that it means to render to the Church is to continue, with God’s help, to profess the Catholic faith in all its purity and integrity, with a determination proportionate to the attacks which this same faith unceasingly undergoes today.  

This is why its seems to us opportune to reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the only Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation and no possibility of finding the means that lead to it;  in its monarchical constitution, willed by Our Lord, which means that the supreme power of governance over the whole Church belongs to the pope alone, the Vicar of Christ on earth;  in the universal kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of the natural and supernatural order, to whom every human being and all society must submit.  

As for all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council that remain tainted with errors, and as for the reforms that have resulted from them, the Society can only continue to abide by the statements and teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church;  it finds its guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its act of teaching, transmits the revealed deposit in perfect harmony with all that the whole Church has always believed, in every place.  

Likewise the Society finds it guide in the constant Tradition of the Church which transmits and will transmit until the end of time the totality of the teachings necessary for the preservation of the faith and for salvation, while expecting that an open, serious debate aimed at a return of the ecclesiastical authorities to Tradition might become possible.  

We join with the persecuted Christians in the various countries of the world who are suffering for the Catholic faith, very often to the point of martyrdom.  Their blood spilled in union with the Victim on our altars is the pledge of the renewal of the Church in capite et membris, according to the old maxim, “sanguis martyrum semen christianorum”.  

“Finally we turn to the Virgin Mary:  she too is filled with zeal for the privileges of her Divine Son, zeal for His glory, for His Reign on earth as in Heaven.  How many times she has intervened for the defense, even armed defense, of Christendom against the enemies of Our Lord’s reign!  We beg her to intervene today to drive away the internal enemies who are trying to destroy the Church more radically than the external enemies.  May she deign to keep in integrity of the faith, in their love of the Church, in their devotion to the successor of Peter, all the members of the Society of Saint Pius X and all the priests and faithful who work with these same sentiments, so that she may guard and preserve us both from schism and from heresy.  

“May Saint Michael the Archangel impart to us his zeal for the glory of God and his strength to fight the devil.  

“May Saint Pius X give us a share of his wisdom, his knowledge, and his sanctity to distinguish truth from falsehood and good from evil, in these times of confusion and lies.”  (Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, Albano, October 19, 1983).

Ecône, July 14, 2012
[Declaration of the Holy See Press Office] 
[Version originale en langue française:]

FSSP: Communiqué on the closing of the 2012 General Chapter

End of the 2012 Chapter: Communiqué of the Superior General

Denton, Wednesday July 18, 2012

The final session of the fifth General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter took place on July 17, 2012.  The Capitulants carried out their work, united together through charity, with a great zeal and dedication.  They were able to approve a number of texts and directories which will be of long lasting service to the sanctification of its members.  More importantly, the days of discussion were a testimony to the fundamental attachment of its members to the direction given to the Fraternity at the moment of its foundation.

Today, on this 24th anniversary of the foundation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Walthard Zimmer, youngest among the founders of the FSSP, preached at the votive Mass of Ss. Peter and Paul to close the General Chapter. He pointed out how the prayer for this week reminds us of the debt of gratitude we have to the hand of Providence throughout these 24 years:  Deus, cuius providentia in sui dispositione non fállitur: te súpplices exorámus; ut nóxia cunta submoveas, et ómnia nobis profutúra concédas. (God, whose providence in its plan is not circumvented, humbly we implore You, that you clear away every fault and grant us all benefits.)

May God’s Providence continue to guide us in these next six years!

Following the General Chapter and the first meetings of the newly elected General Council, the elections and a number of nominations can be announced:

The General Chapter has elected the following:

The missionary vocation of the Centre Saint-Paul in Paris

The following is Paix Liturgique's latest monthly English newsletter:

The Centre Saint-Paul: How Tradition Helps with the New Evangelization

Centre Saint-Paul. 

Since 2005 a "Sentier" workshop* serves as an improbable yet fruitful venue for the experiment of tradition at the service of evangelization--or more precisely, of what Benedict XVI himself defines as the "New Evangelization," which aims at reviving the faith of historically Catholic nations. The originator of this project is an atypical priest, formerly of the Society of Saint Pius X: Father Guillaume de Tanoüarn. He and one of his faithful gave us a tour of the Centre Saint-Paul, a place where liturgical tradition, cultural innovation, and intellectual effervescence are in full harmony for the love of Christ. The vitality of the place, however, continues to be studiously ignored by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris.

I – A Portrait of the Centre Saint-Paul

It's a weekday, across from the Café du Croissant in Paris, the very place where Jean Jaurès was assassinated.** We meet up with Father de Tanoüarn after his morning Mass; one of his faithful is there too. Naturally we know Fr. de Tanoüarn and have been following his unusual theological as well as philosophical trajectory. Yet we never have paid much attention to the apostolate he has been heading up at the Centre Saint-Paul ('CSP') for close to seven years now, ever since he left the Society of Saint Pius X.

Vatican II at 50:
Archbishop Peruzzo, the Prophet - and the anti-liturgical revolution that was to come

Giovanni Battista Peruzzo, the Passionist* Archbishop of Agrigento (Sicily), had been a bishop since 1924, and was admired deeply by the poor people of his diocese as the "vescovo dei contadini", the "peasants's bishop". Abp. Peruzzo, who had been the victim of a serious attempt on his life in 1945, shortly after the end of the War in Europe, would die before the second session of the Second Vatican Council, but, when faced with the concepts proposed in the schema of the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy and on the wild liturgical ideas being openly discussed in the aula during the first session (1962), he could not remain silent. 

The words of his short address to the Council Fathers, as reported by Prof. Roberto di Mattei, based on Dom Guéranger's principles of the Anti-Liturgical heresy (first translated by us in 2006), are nothing short of impressive in their prophetic depth, and on what aspects are really necessary for the sanctification of souls - anti-liturgical revolution not being one of them.

[…] On October 29, [1962,] the Bishop of Agrigento, Abp. Giovanni Battista Peruzzo, recalled the initial stages of the anti-liturgical movement in the historical setting of pagan humanism [260], between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th.   Abp. Peruzzo’s speech, which was ridiculed by the progressives, deserves to be reported in its entirety because of the wisdom and foresight it displays.

In his speech, resound the admonitions of Dom Guéranger, who, in the 14th chapter of his Institutions Liturgiques, vigorously denounced the principles that were behind the anti-liturgical heresy, in which the first characteristic: “is the hatred for tradition, of formulas, of divine worship.” [261]

“I am the last one [to speak] but I am old, the oldest among you, and perhaps I have understood little; therefore, forgive me if some of my statements should be displeasing to you. I have listened to many comments and proposals against Holy Tradition, which has to be maintained regarding the use of the Latin language in the Sacred Liturgy, and many words have been a cause of fear and anxiety to me, so now I will explain these to you briefly, not from a theological perspective but from a historical one. I do not like the anti-liturgical movement because of its origins. It is always of great importance to pay attention to the origins of families, of institutions, of realities, of doctrines, to determine who the father is, who the mother is, who the guide is. If the original source was sound at the beginning, it will easily remain sound throughout the course of time. If the source is  contaminated, it will hardly become pure. Based on these principles, I have before me the origins of the anti-liturgical movement – and exactly who the fathers and guides were. 

“This movement began at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. The first anti-liturgists were the Humanists, [who were] true and authentic pagans in Italy and were only a little better in France and the northern lands under the guidance of Erasmus, but all of them wavering in the Faith.     Many of our brothers followed them in their path, and consequently  separated from the Catholic Church. From there the Jansenists came into being, in Italy the followers of the Synod of Pistoia, and finally the Modernists: this is the company to which many have conformed their speech.

“Instead, I cannot find a single holy bishop promoting this movement. From the likes of Charles Borromeo to St. Anthony Mary Claret, from St. Francis de Sales to St. Alphonsus, ancient and modern, all of them have adhered to the Latin Tradition. This fact must make us cautious about proposing novelties. The 'old ways' which are sure are easily abandoned; but who knows what bottomless pits the new paths might prepare and cause for us!

“Erasmus wrote thus in his preface to the Gospel of St. Mathew: 'It seems so indecorous and ridiculous, that the common people and silly women, repeat, mumbling like parrots, the Psalms and Sunday prayers, while they themselves do not understand a thing as to what they mean.' The University of Paris condemned this view, which seems straightforward and right, as: impious, erroneous, and the promoter of new errors; read Duplessy.

“This judgment appears to be excessive to us, but it  proved prophetic. All of those who have asked at least for a reduction of Latin in the Liturgy, in the past, as in the present, always express the same reasons; to instruct the people better and urge them onto greater faith and love of God.

“In the Augustana [Augsburg Confession], nothing other than a request for singing in the vernacular by the people during the celebration of the Mass was made – but what happened? The replacement of the language in the Mass by the vernacular, was in general, the first act of separation from Holy Mother Church. This strong affirmation is not mine, but from Dom Guéranger, who is the true father of the liturgical renewal.  Here are his words: 'the separation of the liturgical language for unexplainable reasons, that we do not know of, almost always, even if the dispensation was obtained from the Supreme Pontiff, has led to schism and  full separation from the Catholic Church.’ He proves this affirmation, as you will be able to read in the third volume of his Institutions Liturgiques. These words, these facts must make us extremely cautious in a matter of such importance.

“I will briefly explain a third reason: the loyalty that bishops, more than any others, must always have towards the Supreme Pontiff, obviously.  For almost five centuries the Supreme Pontiffs have strongly resisted pleadings, solicitations, and threats, in defense of the Latin language in the Sacred Liturgy. In recent times, from Pope Leo XIII until the reigning pontiff,  they have unanimously recommended the necessity of the Latin language in the Sacred Liturgy through various Apostolic Letters. 

“Dear Brothers, are these instructions mere guidance or do they give an order? Discussions to the contrary are open; but to me it seems right that they be made in low voice in humble submission and obedience to the Supreme Pontiff. Everyone asks the Christians of today to become better. Let all of us commit ourselves to this goal; history, in fact teaches us that the sanctification of souls can be bound to the Liturgy, but it demands, above all, our holiness, the strength of our faith, heroism in the  apostolate, the spirit of prayer, of penitence, and also that great outward devotion that leads the people to God. Forgive my boldness and also pray for me.” [262]