Rorate Caeli

Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family (ongoing series)

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God.

To view all of these stories, click the "The joy of big families" tag at the end of this post. For those who have sent in stories, we will post soon:

Written by Mark Andrew:

While the stories of large families will encourage newly weds, they are likely to be nervous about the coming responsibilities and aware of their lack of knowledge.

An anchor in my life as a father of a large family was the Penny Catechism learnt as a child. 

The first two questions are:  Who made you?  - God made me;  Why did God make you? - To know, love and serve Him in this life and to be forever happy with Him in the next. Then, we learnt we are made in the image and likeness of God because we have an immortal soul.  We must take more care of the soul than the body for,“What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?”

Each person is created by God for love.  Each child is a sublime prayer and gift to God who, guided by parents co-operating with the graces of their calling, will forever give love and praise to Almighty God.  

It is no wonder that families obedient to God’s will are so blessed.  At times it is hard, exhausting and calls for many sacrifices, but then, He sacrificed His life that we might be blessed. Parents follow in His footsteps that their children be blessed.

IMPORTANT: Pope Francis severely restricts the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass, imposes the Novus Ordo on all their priests
UPDATE: FULL TEXT OF THE DECREE that abrogates Summorum for the FFI

8/6/13: For our follow-up article see: For the record: Franciscans of the Immaculate - three official responses to Vatican Insider and other official statements - IMPORTANT: Pope Benedict XVI did not order the FFI visitation, PCED supported FFI norms on use of Vetus Ordo in 2012 - Texts and commentary from Rorate


***

Rorate note: A clear attempt to minimize the importance of this decree is taking place here and there in the blogosphere, as expected. We are being told that this isn't really something to worry about; that this is just a particular situation, limited to a particular religious institution, and has nothing to do with how Pope Francis views Summorum

Against these manifestations of the spirit of denial that we have come to know so well since February 28 of this year, we raise the following points. 

1) First, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are not just a small religious Order or congregation occupying a tiny niche of the Traditional Catholic world; with more than 200 priests, 360 brothers and 400 nuns, they are the second largest canonically-regular religious congregation or society among those that primarily or de facto exclusively offer the Traditional Latin Mass. (The FSSP is the largest.) The family of female monasteries and convents under the spiritual care of the FFI have no other parallel in the Traditional Catholic world outside the SSPX. Anything that restricts the ability  of the FFI to offer the Traditional Latin Mass will of necessity be deeply felt by the Traditional Catholic world. 

2) One justification now being raised is that the FFI's application of Summorum Pontificum had caused discord in many communities and that the Traditional Latin Mass was "imposed" brutally on priests who did not want it. On the contrary, we in Rorate, who have been closely observing the FFI since 2008, can affirm that the opposite is the case: Summorum was applied in a very gradual manner by the FFI, the Novus Ordo was never forbidden in their houses and sanctuaries, and in many parts of the world the FFI continued to offer the Novus Ordo predominantly. It ought to be noted as well that the FFI, in their promotion of the "Forma Extraordinaria", have been remarkably free of polemics and public attacks on the Novus Ordo. 

3) Yet another justification now being used is that this action is acceptable because the FFI were not founded with the TLM as an essential part of their charism. This excuse is incomprehensible as it completely ignores the rights given by Summorum Pontificum to religious priests. Furthermore, if the dissatisfaction of a few is enough to get a whole religious congregation or Order restricted from making use of Summorum Pontificum, this opens an easy way by which the opponents of the old Mass can eventually expel the TLM from all non-"Ecclesia Dei" institutes. 

4) Lastly, and most importantly, the decree -- by specifically restricting the Traditional Latin Mass -- is a clear indication that it is seen as something problematic, something that must be excised from the life of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. If this whole crisis in the FFI is not really about the Traditional Latin Mass, then why is it the target of exclusion and of restrictions, and why does the decree devote so much space to it, and why does the decree take the trouble of noting that this restriction was personally commanded by the Holy Father himself? If the crisis in the FFI is due to the misbehavior of some, then why is the deprivation of the Traditional Latin Mass extended to all?


***

Sandro Magister's latest column (For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict) has the details. The emphases in the quote below are by Rorate. In our update, the full text of the decree.

The importance of this decree -- exquisitely dated July 11, the feast of St. Benedict in the calendar of the Novus Ordo -- is difficult to overstate. In the aftermath of Summorum Pontificum the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate -- the largest "strict observance" movement to be established in the Franciscan family of religious Orders and congregations after the general relaxation of observance in the post Conciliar era -- became far and away the largest religious congregation to adopt the Traditional Latin Mass as their favored form of the Roman Rite, albeit without completely abandoning the Novus Ordo. The FFI soon came to occupy an important place in the "canonically regular" Traditionalist Catholic world, being involved in numerous important conferences promoting Tradition and playing an important part in organizing many Pontifical Masses especially in Rome.

Many Traditional Latin Mass sites are open only because of the ministry of FFI priests; it remains to be seen how many of these Masses will have to be ended because of this decree. As of today we have already been informed that some of nuns under the spiritual care of the FFI are looking for priests to continue celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass for them after the August 11 ban comes into force. 

In addition, the decree virtually ousts from his position the founder and superior of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Fr. Stefano Manelli FFI, who is in his eighties, whose writings are known for their intense Marian devotion and fidelity to the traditions of Catholic asceticism and mysticism, and who is venerated by not a few as a living model of holiness.



The decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, the protocol number 52741/2012, and the signatures of the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a focolarino, and of the secretary of the same congregation, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, a Franciscan.

Braz de Aviz is the only high-ranking official in the curia of Brazilian nationality, and because of this he has accompanied Francis on his voyage to Rio de Janeiro. He has a reputation as a progressive, although that of a scatterbrain fits him better. And he will probably be one of the first to go when the reform of the curia announced by Francis takes shape. 

Rodríguez Carballo instead enjoys the pope's complete trust. His promotion as second-in-command of the congregation was backed by Francis himself at the beginning of his pontificate.

It is difficult, therefore, to think that pope Bergoglio was unaware of what he was approving when he was presented with the decree before its publication.

The decree installs an apostolic commissioner - in the person of the Capuchin Fidenzio Volpi - at the head of all the communities of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

And this in itself is cause for astonishment. Because the Franciscans of the Immaculate are one of the most flourishing religious communities born in the Catholic Church in recent decades, with male and female branches, with many young vocations, spread over several continents and with a mission in Argentina as well.

They want to be faithful to tradition, in full respect for the magisterium of the Church. So much so that in their communities they celebrate Masses both in the ancient rite and in the modern rite, as moreover do hundreds of religious communities around the world - the Benedictines of Norcia, to give just one example - applying the spirit and the letter of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum" of Benedict XVI.

But precisely this was contested by a core group of internal dissidents, who appealed to the Vatican authorities complaining of the excessive propensity of their congregation to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite, with the effect of creating exclusion and opposition within the communities, of undermining internal unity and, worse, of weakening the more general "sentire cum Ecclesia."

The Vatican authorities responded by sending an apostolic visitor one year ago. And now comes the appointment of the commissioner.

But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11:

"In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”

The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite “sine populo" demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever:

"Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui" (1).

While for Masses "cum populo" they set out a few conditions, but always guaranteeing the freedom to celebrate.

In general, against a decree of a Vatican congregation it is possible to have recourse to the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, today headed by a cardinal, the American Raymond Leo Burke, considered a friend by the traditionalists.

But if the decree is the object of approval in a specific form on the part of the pope, as it seems to be in this case, recourse is not admitted.

The Franciscans of the Immaculate will have to comply with the prohibition on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite beginning Sunday, August 11.

And now what will happen, not only among them but in the whole Church?

Rorate has learned from its own sources that the "internal dissidents" were led by an American member of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who was notable for his opposition and hostility to the any criticism of Vatican II, in direct contrast to the Italian friars of the FFI, many of whom adhered to the "Gherardini line" of loyal but unflinching criticism of at least some elements of the Conciliar documents.

_________________________________

UPDATE - TEXT OF THE DECREE

The text of the decree in Italian is transcribed below. The last paragraph, with the specific papal order abrogating Summorum Pontificum for the priests of the FFI, is exactly as reported by Magister.

Full text (Italian - source Messa in Latino):


CONGREGATIO
PRO INSTITUTIS VITAE CONSECRATAE
ET SOCIETATIBUS VIATE APOSTOLICAE

PROT. N. 52741/2012

DECRETO

Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family (ongoing series)

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God.

To view all of these stories, click the "The joy of big families" tag at the end of this post. For those who have sent in stories, we will post soon:

Written by anonymous:

We have 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls, who range in age from 16 down to 1.  The last two pregnancies were very hard on my wife and she feels overwhelmed most of the time.  We homeschool them (5-6 of them this year) but we've turned to a few online classes to help with the older ones.

Their behavior is average at home (we think), but we always get compliments on their behavior when we are out and about.

We aren't good about doing family projects like gardening or farming or some awesome business, but partly that's because I help with quite a bit of the education of the older ones.

There's only so many hours in the day ...

Pope Francis against the "Pelagianism" of "restorationism": this time, it's official.

When the Pope's private remarks to the presiding board of the Confederación Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosos y Religiosas about the "pelagianism" of "restorationist" groups were first reported here on Rorate and some other blogs and websites, one of the reactions, especially from some of those who adhere to the new orthodoxy that little or nothing has changed since March 13 of this year, was that the remarks were probably fabricated in the imagination of the CLAR presiding board members. 

Today, after the Mass at Copacobana, Pope Francis gave a speech to the leadership of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean or CELAM. In the course of his speech he spoke of three temptations against "missionary discipleship", one of which is that of "making the Gospel message an ideology". He then mentions four ways by which the Gospel message is made an ideology, one of which is -- "The Pelagian solution". 

It may be of interest to our readers, especially those conversant with the history of the debates over the Council Documents, that the only passage from Vatican Council II that is cited here is the opening sentence of Gaudium et Spes, a passage that Pope Francis describes in this address as "the basis (of the Church's) dialogue with the contemporary world".

It cannot be denied that some passages in this speech will also make liberals uncomfortable. Our concern here, in this Traditional Catholic blog, is on what might adversely impact Traditional Catholicism, especially in Latin America where it is far more beleaguered and persecuted than in many other parts of the Catholic Church. 

From the Vatican Radio translation of the full text of the prepared address: Pope Francis: address to CELAM leadership. There were many off-the-cuff remarks which Radio Vaticana has promised to also post soon. (He did pronounce the passage on Pelagianism as already prepared, with the addition of exageradas before a la “seguridad” doctrinal o disciplinaria.)

Some temptations against missionary discipleship

The decision for missionary discipleship will encounter temptation. It is important to know where the evil spirit is afoot in order to aid our discernment. It is not a matter of chasing after demons, but simply one of clear-sightedness and evangelical astuteness. I will mention only a few attitudes which are evidence of a Church which is “tempted”. It has to do with recognizing certain contemporary proposals which can parody the process of missionary discipleship and hold back, even bring to a halt, the process of Pastoral Conversion.

1. Making the Gospel message an ideology. This is a temptation which has been present in the Church from the beginning: the attempt to interpret the Gospel apart from the Gospel itself and apart from the Church. An example: Aparecida, at one particular moment, felt this temptation. It employed, and rightly so, the method of “see, judge and act” (cf. No. 19). The temptation, though, was to opt for a way of “seeing” which was completely “antiseptic”, detached and unengaged, which is impossible. The way we “see” is always affected by the way we direct our gaze. There is no such thing as an “antiseptic” hermeneutics. The question was, rather: How are we going to look at reality in order to see it? Aparecida replied: With the eyes of discipleship. This is the way Nos. 20-32 are to be understood. There are other ways of making the message an ideology, and at present proposals of this sort are appearing in Latin America and the Caribbean. I mention only a few:

a) Sociological reductionism. This is the most readily available means of making the message an ideology. At certain times it has proved extremely influential. It involves an interpretative claim based on a hermeneutics drawn from the social sciences. It extends to the most varied fields, from market liberalism to Marxist categorization.

b) Psychologizing. Here we have to do with an elitist hermeneutics which ultimately reduces the “encounter with Jesus Christ” and its development to a process of growing self- awareness. It is ordinarily to be found in spirituality courses, spiritual retreats, etc. It ends up being an immanent, self-centred approach. It has nothing to do with transcendence and consequently, with missionary spirit.

c) The Gnostic solution. Closely linked to the previous temptation, it is ordinarily found in elite groups offering a higher spirituality, generally disembodied, which ends up in a preoccupation with certain pastoral “quaestiones disputatae”. It was the first deviation in the early community and it reappears throughout the Church’s history in ever new and revised versions. Generally its adherents are known as “enlightened Catholics” (since they are in fact rooted in the culture of the Enlightenment).

d) The Pelagian solution. This basically appears as a form of restorationism. In dealing with the Church’s problems, a purely disciplinary solution is sought, through the restoration of outdated manners and forms which, even on the cultural level, are no longer meaningful. In Latin America it is usually to be found in small groups, in some new religious congregations, in (exaggerated) tendencies to doctrinal or disciplinary “safety”. Basically it is static, although it is capable of inversion, in a process of regression. It seeks to “recover” the lost past.

(Rorate: The original Spanish text of this paragraph is: d) La propuesta pelagiana. Aparece fundamentalmente bajo la forma de restauracionismo. Ante los males de la Iglesia se busca una solución sólo en la disciplina, en la restauración de conductas y formas superadas que, incluso culturalmente, no tienen capacidad significativa. En América Latina suele darse en pequeños grupos, en algunas nuevas Congregaciones Religiosas, en tendencias exageradas a la “seguridad” doctrinal o disciplinaria. Fundamentalmente es estática, si bien puede prometerse una dinámica hacia adentro: involuciona. Busca “recuperar” el pasado perdido. The Pope added "exageradas" during actual delivery.)

2. Functionalism. Its effect on the Church is paralyzing. More than being interested in the road itself, it is concerned with fixing holes in the road. A functionalist approach has no room for mystery; it aims at efficiency. It reduces the reality of the Church to the structure of an NGO. What counts are quantifiable results and statistics. The Church ends up being run like any other business organization. It applies a sort of “theology of prosperity” to the organization of pastoral work.

3. Clericalism is also a temptation very present in Latin America. Curiously, in the majority of cases, it has to do with a sinful complicity: the priest clericalizes the lay person and the lay person kindly asks to be clericalized, because deep down it is easier. The phenomenon of clericalism explains, in great part, the lack of maturity and Christian freedom in a good part of the Latin American laity. Either they simply do not grow (the majority), or else they take refuge in forms of ideology like those we have just seen, or in partial and limited ways of belonging. Yet in our countries there does exist a form of freedom of the laity which finds expression in communal experiences: Catholic as community. Here one sees a greater autonomy, which on the whole is a healthy thing, basically expressed through popular piety. The chapter of the Aparecida document on popular piety describes this dimension in detail. The spread of bible study groups, of ecclesial basic communities and of Pastoral Councils is in fact helping to overcome clericalism and to increase lay responsibility.

We could continue by describing other temptations against missionary discipleship, but I consider these to be the most important and influential at present for Latin America and the Caribbean.


FSSP in Europe reunion and images


The website of the General House of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter has kept since 2011 a nice page (its format is that of a blog...) called "Au fil des mois", or "Through the year". Its latest addition is of the events that preceded this year's European ordinations, including a reunion of the FSSP priests serving in Europe, with many moving and/or interesting images. Our European friends will certainly find many familiar faces in the images.

The FSSP is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year: October 18 will be the official day of this Silver Jubilee.

From June 27-29 the priests in Europe of the Fraternity of St. Peter met at their Mother House in Wigratzbad Germany to begin the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of FSSP. The days began with Vespers at the country church of Mywiller. They continued the next day with a solemn Mass at the church in Maria Than offered by Fr. Frederique Roseau and assisted by Fr. Jacques Olivier and Fr. Quentin Sauvonnet as deacon and subdeacon; These three priests were also celebrating their 10th anniversary of priestly ordinations. The First Assistant of the Fraternity, Fr. José Calvin-Torralbo preached in Latin on the life and epistles of our Patron St. Peter to exhort us in our respective duties as members and underline what unifies us as a Fraternity.

In the afternoon, His Excellency Vitus Huonder, Bishop of Chur, Switzerland, gave a spiritual conference to all of the priests on the essential elements which a priest must keep in mind when carrying out his duties. The day concluded with solemn First Vespers of Ss. Peter and Paul sung at the church in Opfenbach and a visit to the grave of Fr. Pierre Gaudray; long time spiritual director of many of our priests in Wigratzbad, who died this past year.

The festivities ended fittingly on the Feast of St. Peter and Paul with the ordination of five new priests for the Fraternity at the church of Ss. Peter and Paul in Lindenberg. The ordinations were conferred by Bishop Huonder.

Bishops dance to a new tune



World Youth Day 2013, Bishops practicing for event
Rio de Janeiro

You report: Saint Anne


Reader C. Lauer sends us the following report:
The 4th-Annual Missa Solemnis for the Feast of St. Anne was held at St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina on the feastday of the church's patron saint.

The Mass was offered by Father Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., Benedictine Superior and Founder of Monastero di San Benedetto, Norcia, Italy. Father Jason Christian and Seminarian Santiago Mariani, served as Deacon and Subdeacon respectively.

Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis was in choir.

More images here.

The most important address

Fr. Lombardi, SI, Holy See spokesman, called the long address of Pope Francis to the Bishops of Brazil today the "most important", so far, of his pontificate.

Here is the working translation of the text, originally delivered in Spanish.

Dear Brothers,

How good it is to be here with you, the Bishops of Brazil!

Thank you for coming, and please allow me to speak with you as one among friends. That’s why I prefer to speak to you in Spanish, so as to express better what I carry in my heart. I ask you to forgive me.

Pope: "have the courage to go against the tide"

It is not pastoral creativity, or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness, but our being faithful to Jesus, who says insistently: “Abide in me and I in you” (Jn 15:4). And we know well what that means: to contemplate him, to worship him, to embrace him, especially through our faithfulness to a life of prayer, and in our daily encounter with him, present in the Eucharist and in those most in need.
...
Unfortunately, in many places, generally in this economic humanism that prevails in the world, the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading. There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the street. At times, it seems that for some people, human relations are regulated by two modern “dogmas”: efficiency and pragmatism. Dear Bishops, priests, religious and you, seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide. Let us not reject this gift of God which is the one family of his children. Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity... this is a word that in this culture is being hidden away, as if it was a swear word... solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human.
Franciscus
Holy Mass with Bishops, Rio de Janeiro
July 27, 2013

Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family (ongoing series)

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God.

To view all of these stories, click the "The joy of big families" tag at the end of this post. For those who have sent in stories, we will post soon:

Written by anonymous:

A wise parent of a large family once said, "It is only the person with one child that goes around giving advice.  Once you have more kids, you see that no child is the same and everyone is just trying to do their best."  I am not here trying to give advice.  Rather as one who has been there, I wanted to write a word of encouragement to the parents in the trenches.

Like so many big families we know, my husband and I have found peace and joy in our home on account of our many children, not despite them.  For those who don't know Christ no explanation will suffice, and for those who do know Christ no explanation is necessary.  Thus, I don't think it is helpful to enumerate all the non-essential particulars of what our day looks like or what rules we enforce.  The tips and tricks we use to make our life easier don't create a happy home.  Happiness comes from God alone.

Gratitude


After his meeting with his countrymen, in the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Sebastian, in Rio de Janeiro, on Thursday, Pope Francis gladly took pictures with the motorized team of the local military police that are helping to protect him.

Liberalization of drugs? Not the solution
And all the Pope's addresses


There are so many situations in Brazil, and throughout the world, that require attention, care and love, like the fight against chemical dependency. Often, instead, it is selfishness that prevails in our society. How many “dealers of death” there are that follow the logic of power and money at any cost! The scourge of drug-trafficking, that favours violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage. A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America. Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future. We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, in order to show our closeness, affection and love.
Franciscus
July 24, 2013

By the way, all the pope's addresses in his first international journey are available here.

Ireland to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Bishops to lead Marian consecration of Ireland

Ireland will be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 15. The hierarchy has announced plans to travel to the Marian shrine in Knock, Co. Mayo on that date to perform the ceremony entrusting the wellbeing of the Irish to the Blessed Virgin.

The consecration comes after major letter-writing and lobbying campaigns by Catholic lay groups for such a move.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh will be the principal celebrant of the Mass on that day with Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland leading the consecration.

According to a statement from the Catholic Communications Office: “The consecration will ask Our Lady to intercede for the people of Ireland and to take their needs to her Son.” The statement added that in the Year of Faith, “it is fitting that the act of consecrating Ireland takes place since it calls to mind the woman of faith par excellence and asks for her prayers for the people of this country”.

Responding to news of the consecration, the Steering Committee for the National Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (SCNCI), which led a 13.5 million rosary campaign seeking consecration said in a statement: “This is truly a momentous day as the two-year mission of the SCNCI comes to a successful conclusion. The waiting is over!”

Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family (ongoing series)

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God.

To view all of these stories, click the "The joy of big families" tag at the end of this post. For those who have sent in stories, we will post soon:

Written by Dr. Rory Donnellan (Australia):

We only have 6 children at the moment – ages 7 months to 9 years – so may not be the best placed to give advice on the benefits of a big family. However, we have found frequenting the traditional Latin Mass and the Sacrament of Penance to be very beneficial to fostering peace and joy in the home. We go to the traditional Latin Mass as a family every day and partake of the Sacrament of Penance once a week. Like the Mass and Holy Communion, Penance helps overcome venial sins, and should not be seen as unnecessary if you don’t have any mortal sins to confess.

We also pray the family rosary every night sans the luminous mysteries/chaplet of Pope John Paul 2.  All our children have been born at home and the older ones are all homeschooled using the Our Lady ofVictory program [Adfero note: we use this program as well, and highly recommend it].

Pope Francis praises Pius XII on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Rome


Pope Francis sent a letter to the Cardinal Vicar of Rome in remembrance of the tragic event which occurred 70 years ago, on July 19, 1943: the devastating bombardment of Rome in the district of San Lorenzo, which would, days later, lead to the fall of the Mussolini government.

Pope Pacelli rushed to the scene, regardless of any security concerns: Rome was his city, the victims were his flock, he had to be with them. The Pastor Angelicus was a shepherd who smelled of his sheep.

Message of Holy Father Francis

to Cardinal-Vicar Agostino Vallini
on the LXX Anniversary of the Bombing of Rome
[San Lorenzo, July 19, 1943]

To Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome

I am spiritually united with you, with the community of the Capuchin Friars and with all those who are gathered in the Basilica of St Lawrence Outside-the-Walls to commemorate the violent bombing on 19 July 1943, which caused severe damage to the sacred building and to the whole district, as well as to other areas of the City, sowing death and destruction. Seventy years later the commemoration of that particularly dramatic event serves as an opportunity to pray for all those who died, as well as for a renewed reflection on the terrible scourge of war, and likewise as an expression of gratitude to one who was a caring and provident father.

I am referring to Venerable Pope Pius XII. In those terrible hours he made himself close to his fellow-citizens, so severely hit. Pope Pacelli did not hesitate a moment before rushing to the still smoking rubble in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood, with no escort, to bring help and comfort to the distressed people. On that occasion too he showed himself to be a caring Pastor among his flock, especially in the hour of trial, who was ready to share in the suffering of his people. Along with him, I would like to remember all those who in such a tragic moment, cooperated by offering moral and material help to soothe the wounds of body and soul, and by bringing help to the homeless. I would like to mention Msgr Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, then Substitute of the Secretariat of State, who accompanied Pius XII on his visit to the district which had just been laid waste by bombs.

Pope Pacelli’s action was a sign of the ceaseless efforts of the Holy See and of the Church through her various structures — parishes, religious institutes, residential colleges — to bring relief to the people. A great many bishops, priests and men and women religious in Rome and throughout Italy resembled the Good Samaritan of the Gospel parable, bending over their suffering brother, to help him and bring him comfort and hope. This was a demonstration of charity that was extended to every human being in danger and in need of acceptance and support.

May remembrance of the bombardment on that dramatic day make Pope Pius XII’s words ring out: “Nothing is lost with peace, everything can be lost with war” (Radio Message, 24 August 1939). Peace is a gift of God which today too must find hearts willing to receive it and to toil to be builders of reconciliation and peace.

I entrust all the inhabitants of the San Lorenzo district, especially the elderly, the sick, and people who are lonely or in difficulty to the motherly intercession of Mary, Salus Populi Romani. May she, the Virgin of tenderness and consolation, strengthen faith, hope and charity, in order to radiate God’s love and mercy throughout the world.

With these sentiments, I assure you of my prayers and I warmly impart to you the Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, July 19, 2013
Francis
[Source]

Superman Altar-Stage abandoned


After a few days of unusually strong winter rain in Rio, the "Campus Fidei" bizarre altar-stage-area prepared in the Guaratiba neighborhood (previous post) has become a muddy, flooded, affair - and, after millions spent, it will not be used. Only the much more regular-looking stage on Copacabana beach (below), used for the other World Youth Day events, will be used for both the papal vigil and the papal mass.



Why were two huge stages in two different parts of the city necessary anyway?

Juventutem: Images of Pontifical Mass in the Ancient Cathedral of Rio

As we had announced here, Traditional Masses and activities are taking place in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel of the Ancient See, the former Cathedral of Rio. Reader Luis Augusto Rodrigues Domingues has posted several images of the beautiful chuch completely filled with young people during the Pontifical Mass celebrated yesterday by Bishop Fernando Rifan, apostolic administrator of the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney, in Campos, Brazil. 

Entrance procession
(Click here for further images)

Humanæ Vitæ at 45 - I
"Never Lawful"



Salomon de Bray (1597 - 1664) was a Dutch painter. He was also an architect, urban planner, poet, and designer of silverware. He was, above all, a Catholic father of ten children, three of whom also became successful painters (Jan, Joseph, and Dirck).

The tenderness with which S. de Bray pictures his nephew's twin babies, Clara and Aelbert de Bray, is remarkable: how much love De Bray must have dedicated to his large family in the city of Haarlem, amidst the generally harsh conditions imposed upon Catholics in the newly-independent United Provinces.

A strong Catholic identity, a love for life and family in a hostile environment: as most Catholics of most ages, De Bray probably understood intimately what Popes of the twentieth century would have to write explicitly - that "it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it" (Humanæ Vitæ, 14), precisely because "no difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil" (Pius XI, Casti Connubii)

Pope Paul VI is described by most historians as a kind of tragic figure, trying to control the whirlwind of events surrounding him, but unable to do much. It is probably because of this, because it seemed that Montini often bent to the opinions of the world, because it seemed that he frequently accepted the fabricated notions and texts which committees of false sages delivered to him (with very small modifications), that the moments in which he did not bend shine so clearly with the simple brightness of Peter. The Nota Prævia to Lumen Gentium, the vigorous defense of the traditional Eucharistic doctrines (in Mysterium Fidei) and of the teachings on Indulgences (in Indulgentiarum Doctrina), the Credo of the People of God are pillars which remain standing in a crumbling edifice, signs of supernatural protection.

Amidst the moral collapse of the 1960s, and against the commission set up by his predecessor to reexamine the matter, Peter spoke though Paul in Humanæ Vitæ, signed on July 25, 1968, exactly 45 years ago today: "it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it".

It is thus never lawful "to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general." NUNQUAM - never. Therefore, "it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong ".

[Reposted]

Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family (ongoing series)

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God.

To view all of these stories, click the "The joy of big families" tag at the end of this post. For those who have sent in stories, we will post soon:

My husband and I were married on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in 2002.  We selected this day for a number of reasons, mostly because this was when all our siblings' children were out of school and could be present at the wedding, but as the years have gone by I believe it was Divine Providence.  I was homeschooled myself, my husband attended Catholic grade school and all-boys Catholic high school.  I was raised in the SSPX, my husband was raised in the Novus Ordo, finding the indult Mass while in college.  We met unconventionally on St. Raphael Singles website, straphael.net, when it was in its beginning stages.  

We have six children born in the first ten years, four sons and two daughters, ranging in age from ten years to sixteen months.  We have homeschooled from the beginning, the four oldest are all in piano or violin lessons, our oldest son is in a boys choir to which the second son also aspires to join later this year.  Our oldest son began serving Mass two months before his eighth birthday, and serves pretty much every Mass (both Sundays and weekdays) that we attend. The second son, who just received his First Holy Communion, is "in training", currently serving as a torchbearer at High Masses.  My husband has been at the forefront of all this, as he is the primary catechism instructor in the home and also drills them on their altar boy responses.  He comes home from work and often goes right out again, with the older children in tow, taking them to a daily Mass.  

Event: Pontifical Mass in Chicago

Earlier this year, Quo Vadis - the young adult group at St. John Cantius - applied for and received affiliation with Fœderatio Internationalis Juventutem.  The FIJ chartered Quo Vadis as Juventutem Chicago.

This month, on Wednesday the 24th, at 7:30 p.m., Bishop Joseph Perry will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at St. John Cantius in celebration of the affiliation with the FIJ.  Afterward there will be a reception for young adults in the parish basement.

As Rorate previously reported, Bishop Perry last celebrated a Mass for Juventutem Michigan and other young adults in Washington, D.C., in January 2013.  Many pictures over at Juventutem Michigan.


Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family (ongoing series)

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God.

To view all of these stories, click the "The joy of big families" tag at the end of this post. For those who have sent in stories, we will post soon:

Written by Long-Skirts:

“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”… but sometimes I thought He had me mixed up with a cow in a field somewhere!

The husband and I have six boys, no lamps (the boys broke them all) and four girls.

A Stunning Mea Culpa Regarding the SSPX

We recently brought you the not-so-ecumenical words (post here) of the Diocese of Richmond in regards to the status of the SSPX -- a society the diocese declared "schismatic."

Now, a clarification from the diocese:

Diocesan statement regarding article on the Society of St. Pius X

A
recent article in the Catholic Virginian on the Society of St. Pius X and the seminary it is constructing in Buckingham County contained inaccuracies.The article correctly stated that the society was founded in 1970 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary is one of several seminaries operated by the society. The society is not in regular communion with the Holy See (or the Bishop of Richmond).

These points need to be clarified:

  • • The seminary is currently located in Winona, Minnesota and is relocating to Buckingham County. Mass is not regularly offered at the Buckingham location at present. 
  • • Our former Holy Father, Benedict XVI, never personally declared that doctrinal differences stand in the way of regularizing the canonical status of the society; nonetheless, the regularization has yet to take place.
  • • The Masses offered by priests of the society are valid. Other Sacraments celebrated in the chapels of the society are considered valid, with the exception of Penance and Matrimony, which are, at best, doubtfully valid.
  • • It is not clear that the society is in schism, and it is not properly called a “sect.” In recent years the Holy See has recognized the society’s expressed desire for regular communion with the Roman Pontiff and the Church he shepherds, and the Holy See’s dialogue with the society since 2009 demonstrates the Church’s commitment to unity.

Several additional points should be made when discussing the Society of St. Pius X:

  • • It is necessary to distinguish between the priests, brothers, and sisters of the society, on the one hand; and the lay faithful who attend Mass at society chapels, on the other hand. The former are clearly in an irregular status. In regard to the lay faithful who attend Mass at society chapels, there has never been a statement by the Holy See that these people are in schism. In fact, the Holy See acts toward them as it does toward all the Catholic lay faithful.
  • • It’s also necessary to distinguish between acts that are invalid and those that are illicit. Acts are illicit when they go against the Church’s law. Still, acts that are canonically illicit may be valid, and, in the case of the society, the ministerial acts of their priests may be illicit and still be considered valid by the Church.
  • • Finally, a comment should be made regarding the Sunday Mass obligation of Catholics. The faithful do not properly fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation in chapels of the society, as the celebration of the Eucharist presupposes not only communion with the Lord, but also communion with the Church He founded, and the hierarchy who govern the Church by Divine mandate. [Rorate note: the Vatican, especially the PCED, has been nothing less than schizophrenic on this issue over the years, with letters answering questions on whether the obligation is met with "affirmative," other letters answering "negative" (for "Friends of the SSPX" chapels) and yet other letters completely punting on this issue. Then there's that pesky Canon 1248.] 

The Church’s unity is best served when the whole truth is communicated. We regret the errors in the article. Let us pray for restoration of the unity of all Christians in Christ, and that the Society of St. Pius X will be reconciled with ecclesiastical authority.

Stat crux dum volvitur orbis

Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.
Saint Peter
c. A.D. 33

Silver and gold I have none; but I bring what I was given that is most precious: Jesus Christ!
Successor of Saint Peter
July 22, 2013

World Youth Day Program -- and Vanishing Latin

The Latin in Latin America is becoming harder and harder to find, and the "World Youth Day" liturgical events over the next few days will be no exception.

The Vatican's Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has released this week's World Youth Day program in Rio de Janeiro here.  As you can see, Latin has been almost entirely removed from the novus ordo celebrations by Pope Francis.

Compare this week's program with the one from the last International World Youth Day trip, to Madrid in 2011, by Pope Benedict XVI, here. Latin was said or sung for the heart of the novus ordo liturgies, especially during the preface and canon.  The liturgies were far from traditional Masses, but the week of Latin at the core at least offered a teachable moment for the million-plus youth assembled there.



Has the "Gay Lobby" shrunk?

As we noted last week, Sandro Magister publicly stated L'Espresso has evidence proving their story on Msgr. Ricca, and his involvement in the "Gay Lobby." 

Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See spokesman, at the time called the accusation "untrustworthy" (non attendibile). Journalist Matteo Matzuzzi later noted that Lombardi also said "the Pope has had the chance to verify whether the accusations against Msgr. Ricca were consistent or not," and that "Pope Francis is aware of the accusations made against Msgr. Ricca but has decided to keep him in his position."

I.MEDIA is now reporting that Ricca offered his resignation to Pope Francis on Saturday. 

Looks like the ball is back in Lombardi's court. We await word from Rio.

Guidance for young parents: how to raise a big, holy Catholic family

After posting a video of a Catholic family with 15 children -- that boasted eight religious vocations -- we asked our readers (see here) to write into us and share their stories on what it's like to raise a big family, and what they did or are still doing to make their family holy, happy and peaceful. Here is one of those stories.

Please consider sending your story to Rorate (see here for very flexible instructions) to post in this on-going series to help inspire young Catholic couples to forgo the abuses of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and simply go fourth and multiply with faith and confidence in a loving and all-knowing God: 

By Maeana Cragg

Some people may think we’re crazy.  Others may think that we are just foolish.  Few have ever said that directly to us. 

In fact, after asking the obligatory, “Are they all yours?” most people are kind enough to tell us what a beautiful family we have.

There was a time when a Catholic family with at least seven sweet little stair steps was not extraordinary at all, but quite typical.  Somewhere, we seem to have lost that beautiful part of our Catholic identity.  Honestly, I’m not sure how, as the Church’s teachings on family, on contraception, and on the blessings of children have not changed. 

Events: Bishop Parkes to attend TLM in Pensacola

From Fr. Pérez, pastor:

His Excellency, Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, D.D., J.C.L. of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, will attend the High Mass at St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Pensacola on Sunday, September 8th at 10:30 AM (Central). This will be the first time a Bishop of this Diocese ever has attended this Rite of the Mass since the foundation of this Diocese. There will be a reception in his honor as well as the Blessed Mothe Birthday in the parish Hall following the Mass.

A call for volunteers: inspire us!

The post below on the Prado family sparked many emails, and discussions in my own home, about what it takes to be like them. While we don't know what they're really like with the cameras off, all evidence points to their holiness, and their happiness

As the father of four very young children, many people see photos of my family in social media, or see us for an hour or two in public, and ask us how we're so happy and have so much fun. My wife and I always laugh later, as these people aren't privy to the stress that hides at home, when no one's around, and it's just you and the children. Yes, there is fun, and there is happiness. But there's also yelling, stress and many prayers to Our Lady for peace in our home.

What I'm often told by families we know that are bigger than ours with older children is that "it gets easier." Once the children can help at home, do their schooling without complaint, take care of each other, etc., it gets easier. 

We believe our readers, many whom homeschool and have many children or know they will most likely have many children, may be facing the same issues. And, in this Catholic desert many of us suffer in, there isn't always a lot of good examples around us. Many, unfortunately, can only turn to the internet for support.

Volunteer: We are looking for a mother or father (or both) of large families who have peace in their homes and have found joy with their many children to submit their stories to Rorate. Our readers need your expertise and your guidance -- they need you to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel! 

A couple of prerequisites: One, we need to hear from parents of truly large families. We don't want to set an arbitrary number, but let's say six or more children. Also, we want to hear from families whom homeschool. While having a large family with children who go to school is in no way easy or not meritorious, it's a whole other thing to homeschool those children, and we need to hear from you. And, last, we need to hear from traditional families. That isn't to say we don't want to hear from families who attend the Novus Ordo. But we would expect those families to live fully traditional lives at home and explain how that brings peace and joy. 

If you've had that peace and joy at home from your first child on, tell us how! If you struggled at first then found that peace and joy, tell us what you did to find it. Tell us about your religious lives at home, your discipline methods, whatever you believe brought Christ's peace upon your families.

If you have the time to write us, send in your stories to athanasiuscatholic@yahoo.com. Don't worry about the grammar, the length, etc. Just jot your stories down and send them in. And tell us if you want to stay anonymous or not. Pictures are welcome as well as links to family blogs.

If you don't have the time but can comment, please do so in the comments box of this post. 

Just for inspiration: the beauty of the big family

[h/t priestly reader]



Rorate note: this post is ONLY intended to show the beauty of the big family, and in no way is it an endorsement of IVE. Read here for our post on this order.

Summer Book Suggestions - 2nd Post:
What book was important for your conversion or discovery of Tradition?

Many of those interested in or involved with Catholic Traditional rites, doctrine, and practices are converts - and many more are cradle Catholics who discovered Tradition. In both cases, texts have usually played a large role in the conversion or discovery of Tradition.

In the case of this particular convert, two books were foremost.
Fr. Alberto Colunga, O.P.

One, before any other, was discovered by accident, long ago. 

One day, while conducting research in a very large and very secular library, I came upon a different book. The strange thing was that it was a tome in a foreign language about a matter to which I had not given greater consideration: it was volume 6 of the 16-volume bilingual edition of the Summa prepared by the Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (BAC) in the 1950s. The texts that attracted me and which I could not stop reading were the introductions to the Treaty on the Law (I-II, q. 90-97), and the introductions to each question, all written by Fr. Carlos Soria, O.P.; and the introductions to the text and questions to the Treaty on the Ancient Law (I-II, q. 99-108), all written by Fr. Alberto Colunga, O.P. (Colunga, by the way, would be a name that would appear again when discovering the Vulgate, in the famous Colunga-Turrado edition, also published by BAC and the base text of the Clementine Vulgate to which we have linked since the early days of the blog.) I was fascinated by their description of a moral order that seemed to make perfect sense, and presented a whole version of the moral order superior to anything ever proposed by Protestantism. Colunga's introductions also showed how biblical Catholicism could be, which can be quite a surprise for a Protestant raised to believe the opposite. There are few things more beautiful than Order and no faith presents and teaches it like Catholicism 

The second one was... Dom Gaspar Lefebvre's "St. Andrew Daily Missal". It still is my favorite hand missal simply because it was the book that introduced me to the Traditional Latin Mass, even before I had ever been to one.

So, what were the books that first made you consider conversion or, if you already were a Catholic, made you see Traditional rites, practices, customs in a new light? Please,  feel free to suggest books in any language and from any time period.