Rorate Caeli

Ordination of FSSP priests

Rorate is happy to be in the U.S. state of Nebraska today for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter's priestly ordinations.  The three-hour solemn pontifical Mass was offered by the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada.

Congratulations to Fathers James Smith, Joseph Favole-Mihm, Caleb Kick, Jonathan Heinricy, Adrian Debow, Anthony Dorsa and Matthew Vierno.

All hail Poland!
- Son of Prime-Minister to celebrate his First Traditional Mass on June 4

The son of the Polish Prime-Minister, Mrs. Beata Szydło, will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood of the Catholic Church tomorrow, May 27.

Father Tymoteusz Szydło, a diocesan priest, will celebrate his first Traditional Mass (with indulgences attached to it) in the Church of the Holy Cross in Krakow, served by the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) in Poland, on the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday, June 4, 2017), at 7:15 pm.

Congratulations to Prime-Minister Szydło, her husband, the new Priest, his extended family, and to all of Blessed Poland: beatus populus cuius Dominus Deus eius!

[Source: FSSP Poland; tip: Twitter follower Sarmaticus.]

Fontgombault Sermon for the Ascension

Sermon for the Feast of the Ascension

Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, May 25, 2017

The abbey in late spring

It is expedient to you that I go. (John 16:7) 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The feast of the Ascension of the Lord is a feast of faith and joy. St. Mark tells us that before He sent His apostles to preach the Gospel throughout the world, and was taken up into heaven, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart, for they had not believed in His resurrection.

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Easter - Love and Friendship

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla

You are my friends if you do what I have commanded you to do.  Love one another.
(John 15:14)

For me those chapters of the gospel of St John that we call the Farewell Discourse, parts of which are read before Pentecost, are remarkable in their teaching about love with respect to Christ, and for me, defines what friendship really means.  We live in an age in which the word friend has become debased.  In the world of Facebook the word friend has become a verb: to friend someone, to establish a cyberworld relationship that has nothing to do with friendship as classically conceived and deepened in Christian thought, ultimately grounded in the love between two persons that is a gift from God and that finds its completion in the person of Jesus Christ.

When I taught the advanced Latin class in my former life as a Latin teacher, a vocation graced in so many ways, I always chose Cicero’s treatise on friendship as one of the works we read.  Cicero’s difficult and elevated style and syntax is a challenge for even the brightest students, but invariably De Amicitia, (On Friendship), and Augustine’s Confessions were the two works that the students seemed most interested in.  This is how Cicero defines friendship:  “Friendship is agreement in things human and divine, with good will and charity”.  Based on that definition of friendship he claims that friendship is the greatest gift of the gods to man.  And it is that definition of friendship, quite good in itself, that became the basis of the Christian understanding on friendship, from St. Augustine to the medieval mystics to St. Francis DeSales and St Jeanne de Chantal to St. John of the Cross to Pope Benedict XVI.

TLM training for priests and transitional deacons in Rehoboth Beach

Fr. Cusick saying Mass at his home parish in Maryland.
Priests and transitional deacons in good standing are invited to take part in training to offer the low traditional Latin Mass in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, from September 4-8, 2017.  The house the training will take place in is on an ocean block. Meals on your own but there is a kitchen available. Limit 13 priests or transitional deacons. Low Mass celebrated mornings daily followed by a period of training. Email Father Kevin Cusick to reserve a spot or for more information at

Ratzinger to Fumone. Burke to Campo De' Fiori. Someone is 'getting bent out of shape'

By Marco Tosatti
May 20, 2017
Reading three news articles yesterday makes me think that someone is really “getting bent out of shape” and we are entering now a perilous phase of decline: those who don’t agree with the boss – off with their heads! An unprecedented populist degeneration in the life of the modern Church. I sincerely hope I’m wrong: I’m not just saying this, I really hope so. However we have signs that are anything but comforting.
The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is once again the Pope’s non-response (a year has now gone by) to the five questions asked by the four Cardinals on the controversial points of the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Questions made in a spirit of obedience, following the classical procedure of the Church, i.e. asking the Pontiff and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a clarification. Two months after the questions had been made, when the Cardinals discovered that the Pontiff had no intention of responding, they made the questions public. These regard everyone and in substance can be reduced to one only: is it licit, in mortal sin and with no change to one’s life habits, to receive Holy Communion?
We don’t know the reason for the Pope’s non-response. We seem to recall that a certain Jesuit close to him had said that the reason was the fact that the questions were of an ideological nature. Forgive me, but this sounds a bit weak. It is the task of authorities to clarify their thoughts: and in doing so it will make clear whether a question is useless or has some point.  In the Church, especially, is an authority which doesn’t respond fulfilling its duties?

Stacking the Deck: Francis creates 5 new Cardinals

He announced it today, the consistory will be on June 28. The deck is getting stacked:

They are Archbishop Omella of Barcelona, Spain; Bishop Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden; Archbishop Zerbo, of Bamako, Mali; Apostolic Vicar Bp. Ling, of Pakse, Laos; and, bizarrely enough, from the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador, it's Auxiliary Bishop, Bp. Rosa Chavez (the Archbishop, named by Benedict XVI in 2008, is not a Cardinal).

Pope Francis condemns Catholic "Fanatics" about doctrinal clarity

Below are excerpts from Pope Francis' Homily at Casa Santa Marta on Friday, May 19, 2017, on the same day as the speeches of the dubia signatories, Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Caffarra, at the Rome Life Forum. Is this Pope Francis' answer to the 'dubia' of the four cardinals?: 

“So we are faced with two groups of people. The group of the apostles who want to discuss the problem, and the others who go and create problems. They divide, they divide the Church, they say that what the Apostles preached is not what Jesus said, that it is not the truth.”

"There were many [councils], up until Vatican II, which clarified doctrine: for example, when we recite the Creed, it is the result of councils that have defined doctrine… It is a duty of the Church to clarify doctrine so that what Jesus said in the Gospels is better understood, what is the Spirit of the Gospels…. "

"But there were always those people who, without any commission, go about disturbing the Christian community with speeches that upset souls: "Eh, no, someone who says that is a heretic, you can’t say this, or that; this is the doctrine of the Church.’ And they are fanatics about things that are not clear, such as these fanatics who go about there, sowing discord in order to divide the Christian community. And this is the problem: when the doctrine of the Church, that which comes from the Gospel, that which the Holy Spirit inspires – because Jesus said, 'He will teach us and remind you of all that I have taught’ –  that doctrine becomes an ideology. And this is the great error of these people."

For the record: Rome has given SSPX right to ordain priests without permission of local ordinary

It started with absolution and moved recently to marriage. Now Pope Francis has given the three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) the right to ordain priests without the permission of the local ordinary.

Starting at the 15:25 mark in the video below, His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, states: "Last year, I received a letter from Rome, telling me you can freely ordain your priests without the permission of the local ordinary. So if I can freely ordain that means the ordination is recognized by the Church not just as valid but in order. ... So this is one more step in this acceptance that we are, let me call it, 'normal Catholics.'"

Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage - September 2017 - Important Information

14-17 September 2017
Rome awaits the People of Summorum Pontificum

The complete program of the Roman ceremonies for the 10th anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum will be announced on 31 May.

In the meantime, the organizers have asked us to remind interested groups that they may contact Convenire Pilgrimages to organize their stay in Rome.

New Reprint of a Classic Work of Thomistic Theology

A Manual of Catholic Theology, Based on Scheeben's "Dogmatik." By Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., Ph.D., and Thomas B. Scannell, B.D., with a Preface by Henry Edward Cardinal Manning. Volume I: The Sources of Theological Knowledge; God; Creation and the Supernatural Order. liii + 508 pp. $24.95. (CreateSpace; Amazon) Volume II: The Fall; Redemption; Grace; The Church and the Sacraments; The Last Things. x + 566 pp. $24.95. (CreateSpace; Amazon)

One of the greatest theologians of modern times, Matthias Joseph Scheeben (1835-1888), brought out his Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik in 7 parts from 1873 to 1887. At the end of the 19th century, this tour de force of a refined, lofty, intensely religious scholasticism was conveniently distilled by Dr. Joseph Wilhelm and Fr. Thomas Scannell into a 2-volume English handbook entitled A Manual of Catholic Theology. I am happy to announce a new reprinting of this handbook, which was prepared using freshly-scanned pages of an original copy of the work, printed on cream-colored paper with a simple red cover.

As a Thomist, theologian, and teacher, I find this manual invaluable: it is arguably the single most successful presentation of traditional scholastic theology available, if one is looking not for a mere historical overview of one set of opinions after another (the typical approach in scholarship nowadays) but an actual theological exposition, where the focus is on articulating and defending the rei veritas, the truth of things. Scheeben is thoroughly steeped in Aquinas's works as well as in the Scriptures, the Fathers, the Councils, and the wealth of scholasticism across the centuries, and writes his account in a measured, precise, and fervent manner, logical and yet poetic, satisfying to the intellect but always open to the ineffable divine mystery that lies behind and beyond the truths to which God, in His mercy, has granted us access.

Latest statistics: seminarians down in the USA and the world, priests worldwide in decline, catastrophic decline in women religious
Will vocations survive the new Bergoglian priestly formation document?

I. World Statistics 

Last month, the Vatican website published a report on the Pontifical Yearbook 2016 and Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2015, with a detailed summary of the statistics contained in the latter. Compared to the Vatican's summaries of the information in the Annuarium Statisticum published in previous years (see this for 2014, published in 2016; read here for 2013, published in 2015), last month's summary has much more detail, and for this we are very grateful.

The summary notes that "In 2015 there is decline in the number of priests from the previous year, thus reversing the upward trend that characterized the years from 2000 to 2014." To be exact, there were 415,656 priests in 2015, compared to 415,792 in 2014. (Looking into reports from previous years we find that there were 405,178 priests in 2000 -- when the upward trend began again -- 406,411 in 2005, 408,024 in 2007, 412,236 in 2010, and 414,313 in 2012.) Tellingly the decline from 2014 to 2015, while slight, is attributed to the decrease in the number of priests in Europe (less 2,502) outweighing the increases in the rest of the world (up by 2,366). Although the Vatican report does not mention it, it is no secret that very large numbers of European and North American clergy are in the age range of late 70's to 90's, which explains why the official statistics for priests in Europe and North America have little to do with the actual (and much reduced) number of priests available for, or capable of, pastoral duties on the ground. As these priests -- the last of those ordained in the period between 1945 and 1965 --continue to die off in even greater numbers due to illness and extreme old age within the next decade or so, we expect that the negative effect on worldwide priesthood numbers will become even more pronounced. (According to the summary, priests in Europe account for 43% of priests worldwide.)

As for major seminarians, the downward trend is confirmed: there are "in 2015 there was a total of 116,843 major seminarians, up (sic) from 116,939 in 2014; 118,251 in 2013; 120,051 in 2012; 120,616 in 2011 and 118,990 in 2010". We already noted the beginnings of this decline in a post last year. This trend towards decline seems set to continue, with the number of major seminarians now declining continuously in Europe, "in all areas of America" (which would include Latin America), in the Middle East, and in South East Asia, where, it is noted, "the initial growth ended in 2012 (+ 4.5% compared to 2010), and was followed by a marked decline which brought the number of major seminarians in 2015 at a level 1.6% less than the maximum of 2012". The same phenomenon is noted regarding Oceania: "the highest figure was recorded in 2012, followed by continuous decline – the number of seminarians in 2015 was 6.9% lower than in 2012". Only Africa is bucking the trend with an increase of 7.7% for major seminarians between 2010 and 2015.

For the record, the Centurio blog published a short study in 2014 which already forecast that there will be 323,000 priests worldwide by 2050, based on the trends of 2012 (when there were 414,313 priests) continuing. 

De Mattei: Fatima 2017

Roberto de Mattei
“Il Tempo”
May 14, 2017

Five hundred people were in the square outside the Sanctuary at Fatima waiting for Pope Francis and the canonization of the two little shepherd Francesco (10) and Jacinta (9), who, along with their cousin Lucia dos Santos saw Our Lady and heard Her words between May 13th and October 13th 1917. The canonization took place and the Church has the youngest children not martyrs in Her history, written in the book of saints. The process for the beatification of their cousin Lucia who died in 2005, is also underway.

What Fatima devotees from all around the world expected from the Pope was not only the canonization of the visionaries, but also the fulfillment  of some of Our Lady’s requests, until now gone unheeded. 

Pius XII's Condemnation of Situation Ethics: "Accusations of rigidity first attack the adorable person of Christ"

"Taking, therefore, the words of Christ and of the Apostle [Paul] as the strict rule, should not one say that the Church of today is rather inclined more to indulgence than to severity? It so happens that the accusation of oppressive rigidity made against the Church by the ‘new morality,’ in reality, attacks, in the first place, the adorable Person of Christ Himself."

These words, uttered 65 years ago in 1952 by Pope Ven. Pius XII against so-called 'situation ethics' ring true today now over one year since the publication of Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia. Despite Pius XII being the reigning pope when the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio entered the Jesuit seminary as a novice, Pius' condemnations of this "new morality" seem to have had little effect on him. Besides his daily homilies that frequently criticize "rigid" faithful Catholics, Pope Francis even told his fellow Jesuits he thought charges of "situation morality" are "boogey man" accusations, while endorsing Bernard Häring, a pro-contraception dissenting theologian

Francis closes door on Medjugorje: "This is not the Mother of Jesus"

In the same papal interview that gave us the important SSPX update (previous post), Francis also produced what will most likely be as close to a final ruling on the Medjugorje hoax as we'll ever get, with the Pontiff proclaiming "This is not the Mother of Jesus." 

Francis, in a mocking way only he can deliver, further -- and rightly -- ridicules the hoax, comparing the fake woman in the fake apparition to a "head of a telegraphic office" who shows up at the same time every day. 

Let this be the final death knell that took far too long to toll.

Pope Francis: ... The apparitions, the presumed current apparitions: the report [Ruini] has its doubts. I personally am more nasty, I prefer the Madonna as Mother, our Mother, and not a woman who’s the head of a telegraphic office, who everyday sends a message at such hour. This is not the Mother of Jesus. And these presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion. But, it’s clear. Who thinks that the Madonna says, ‘come tomorrow at this time, and at such time I will say a message to that seer?’ No. 

Click here for a full transcript. 

VERY IMPORTANT: Pope speaks on relations with the Society of Saint Pius X

It was on his airplane interview during the flight back from Portugal to Rome:

"I would toss out any form of triumphalism. None. Some days ago, the Feria Quarta of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, their meeting - the call it the Feria Quarta, because it’s the fourth Wednesday - studied a document and the document still hasn’t reached me, the study of the document. This is the first. Secondly, the current relations are fraternal. Last year, I gave a license for confession to all of them, also a form of jurisdiction for marriages, but even before the problems, the cases they had, for example, had to be resolved by the Doctrine of the Faith. The Doctrine of the Faith carries them forward. For example, abuses. The cases of abuse, they brought them to us, also to the Penitentiary. Also the reduction to the lay state of a priest, they bring to us. The relations are fraternal. With Msgr. Fellay I have a good rapport. I’ve spoken many times… I don’t like to hurry things. Walk. Walk. Walk. And then we’ll see. For me, it’s not an issue of winners and losers, it’s an issue of brothers who must walk together, looking for a formula to make steps forward."

Cova da Iria: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."

Exactly 100 years ago, after some preparatory celestial manifestations in the preceding years, Our Lady appeared to Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto near a tiny village in central Portugal, the very western end of Europe, not very far from Lisbon, a village named after the common Muslim female name "Fatima".

There is so much to be said about the message of Fatima! But why not let Our Lady speak? Her voice is in her words to the little children of Fatima from May 13 to October 13, 1917. October 1917 would also be the month in which, in the opposite end of Europe, in Russia, supernatural forces would bring hell to earth in the work of the Bolsheviks. We are still living in the world of October 1917, of Our Lady and Christ the Sun on one side, and devilish Cultural Marxism on the other. But, fear not: her "Immaculate Heart will triumph".


13 May 1917

Francis in Fatima: "I am the bishop dressed in white."

Well, it's quite a claim Pope Francis will make officially in his visit to Fatima, Portugal, that starts today.

Let us first recall the reference to the "Bishop in white" made in the "third part of the secret", made public on May 13, 2000:


The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

Reminder: Summer Theology Program in Norcia, Accepting Applications

As announced here on February 21, the sixth annual Summer Theology Program of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, held in Norcia, Italy, is accepting applications from prospective students. With the program running from July 2-14, now is the time to apply!

In addition to our usual heady round of prayer, study, conversation, quiet walks, and ample Italian meals, this year's program is going to be special in two ways.

Cardinal Burke: The dignity of the office does not alter the humility of the man

One does not have to dumb down and create liturgical monstrosities in order to demonstrate humility -- indeed, one must not do so.

Humility and kindness are in one's daily routine, in charity unfeigned (II Cor., 6:6) -- not in corruption of Truth and Beauty.

(Both images from the Institute of Christ the King; photomontage by anonymous source.)

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Job, prophet

St. Job and the pre-incarnate Logos

Listed third in order on this day in the traditional Roman Martyrology is an Old Testament saint who is remembered for excelling in the virtue of patience:

This Day, the Tenth Day of May

. . . In the land of Hus, the holy prophet Job, a man of wonderful patience.

Sermon for the Third Sunday after Easter: "Beauty must not be divorced from truth"

Chiesa del Gesù (Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - ceiling), Rome

Father Richard G. Cipolla

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

From the Confessions of St. Augustine:  “Lately have I loved you, beauty so ancient and ever new; late have I loved you. And see you were within, and I was in the external world and sought for you there.” And from Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot:  “Is it true, prince, that once you declared that ‘beauty would save the world’”

The un-demonization of the SSPX II: Bishop Rey makes his move

Last week we reported on the decision of Bishop Alain Planet of the French diocese of Carcassonne to give full privileges to priests of the SSPX to celebrate marriages within that diocese. This week we received similar news from the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon. There is nothing surprising about this as the diocese is shepherded by Bishop Dominique Rey who has shown himself to be a strong supporter of tradition. His Excellency welcomes men into his seminary who prefer to offer the traditional rite of Mass and he regularly ordains those men according to that rite.

Below is His Excellency’s decree:

Prophetic Speech of Pope Ven. Pius XII Warns of "a Church which Weakens the Law of God"

In this time of new persecutions against Christians by Islamicists, secularists, and sexual anarchists, and of a pope who so openly emboldens and gives comfort to these and other enemies of Holy Mother Church, while shirking his duty to confirm his brethren in the faith, we publish in English translation (below) the prophetic words of the Venerable Pope Pius XII in his address Ancora una volta given on February 20, 1949 to the people of Rome, condemning the persecution of Christians in Eastern Europe by the socialist and communist dictatorships. 

Pius XII warns of "a Church which weakens the law of God, adapting it to the taste of human desires, when she should loudly proclaim and defend it" and which would give herself over to "the shifting sands of the opinions of the day."  He asks: "Would you recognize in such a Church the features of your Mother’s face? Can you imagine a Successor of the first Peter, who would bow to similar demands?" Can anyone now deny that we live in just such a time as this?

Pope Decides to let Tradition-Friendly Bishop in Switzerland Stay in Office for Another Two Years

His Excellency Bishop Vitus Huonder
When the tradition-friendly bishop of Chur in Switzerland, His Excellency Vitus Huonder, turned 75, the liberal, Swiss Church establishment expected the Holy Father to accept his resignation at once. But, to their surprise, Pope Francis only accepted his resignation nunc pro tuncthat is, he is to stay on for another two years. 

Bishop Huonder has supported the traditional Mass in his diocese, and has been criticized by more liberal elements in the Swiss Church — including a fellow bishop — for his uncompromising defense of Catholic morality. He has been opposed by the same rebellious elements of the diocese of Chur that were successful in ousting one of his predecessors (His Excellency Wolgang Haas, now Archbishop of Liechtenstein). A source within the diocese of Chur has told Rorate Caeli that it was Bishop Huonder who asked Pope Francis to grant the priests of the SSPX faculties for confession. In an interview with the Luzerner Zeitung, Bishop Huonder says that he has a good rapport with Pope Francis.

We present some further passages from the Luzerner Zeitung interview in a Rorate translation:

Our prediction realized: Trump protects the Catholic Church

This is not a pat ourselves on the back moment: It's simply a realization of the carnage that could have ensued if Hillary Clinton had been sworn into office back in January and not Donald Trump. That realization should be accompanied with a Te Deum especially today.

Back in July of last year, while not endorsing the soon-to-be-president, we explained what the "Johnson Amendment" was, and how a President Trump could fix it -- and with that fix, protect the Catholic Church. 

Today, not only did President Trump sign an executive order addressing the Johnson Amendment by easing restrictions on political speech from the pulpit, he also brought long-sought relief to the Litter Sisters of the Poor, telling them "Your long ordeal is over."

Thank you, President Trump, and may God continue to bless your presidency. 

See below for our original post on this matter:

[July 17, 2016]

This blog has purposely stayed out of the 2016 political fray, especially during the Republican primary season (even on Twitter, where you really should be following us if you're not).

Also throughout this year, on Twitter, we have been warning bishops and priests that, after the Supreme Court ruling on fake "marriages," prudence would demand they begin to plan for the loss of their tax-exempt status once the state dictates they perform the fake "marriages" or pay taxes. 

Now, enter Donald J. Trump. To be clear, we are not, have not and will not support any candidacy, but it is important to explain where the freedom of the Catholic Church will be better protected.

You Suggest: New book presented by Bishop Rifan on the TLM

From a reader:

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the “Cultor de Livro” publishing house has just released the third book of the collection “Introibo ad Altare Dei” (in Portuguese “Entrarei no Altar de Deus”). This book is written in Portuguese.

Bishop Schneider interview in Polish Catholic daily mainstream paper

By Piotr Falkowski  
Nasz Dziennik


Interview of His Excellency Mons. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda (Kazakhstan)

You and two other Bishops have written a letter calling to pray for the Pope related to “Amoris laetitia” exhortation in order to encourage Him to explain the doubts around it.

– In these circumstances the only indispensable act of the Pope consists in unambiguously confirming the Divine truth of the indissolubility of marriage not only regarding doctrine, but also regarding the practice, as it did Jesus Christ and according to His example all of His Vicars on earth, the Roman Pontiffs. The central task of a Pope is precisely this: to confirm his brethren in the faith. This task is not optional, but commanded by Christ Himself (cf. Lc 23, 32).

How may we as the Catholics express our doubts and confusions with respecting due love and obedience to the successor of Peter?

– That there are doubts and a huge amount of confusion regarding the Apostolic and unchangeable discipline of the Church in the issue of marriage and divorce, is a fact that does not need any demonstrations. When important truths of our faith such as the indissolubility of marriage, the universal validity of the moral law - and especially of the Sixth Commandment - are questioned, obscured and distorted by specific so-called pastoral guidelines in many local churches, Catholics cannot be indifferent, because this represents an attack on the common spiritual good of the entire Church, because this concerns and affects all of us. When a father of family is negligent in giving to his children adequate food, they have to require it from him with insistence and at the same time with filial respect. A father is indeed not an absolute king or a dictator.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 79 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. **

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.



Jesus, Lily of the Valleys
Mary, Queen of May
Joseph, Patron of Laborers

Orate pro nobis!


Chalice - Lily. The chalice is the lily, stylized and adapted to our use, and which, born from water, is proper for us to take to our lips.

The lily, and especially the water-lily, also called lotus or nenuphar, has always had a peculiar place in the symbolism of all religions. It projects its roots to substantial and deep regions, separated from our sight by these fluid, contemplative, mirror-like layers which are the domain of that which is contingent, unstable, of illusion and of this "time", of this reflection which relates to several circumstances.

Saints of the Old Testament: Jeremias, prophet and martyr

Michelangelo's Sistine Jeremias the Prophet

Throughout her history, the Catholic Church has adorned the first day of May -- Our Lady's month -- with a wealth of holy feasts and commemorations. Since 1955, May 1 has been the Feast of St. Joseph the Workman, Pope Pius XII having moved the feast to that day from the Wednesday of the second week after Easter in order to challenge the demonic ideologies of socialism and communism which had adopted May Day for their own celebrations. Before 1955, however, May 1 in Roman Catholic tradition was the ancient commemoration of the martyrdoms of the Apostles Philip and James (their feast for several years being moved to May 11 to make way for St. Joseph the Workman before being moved again to May 3), and many traditional Catholics continue to celebrate the Feast of Sts. Philip and James on May 1.

Besides Philip, James, and Joseph, the traditional Roman Martyrology reminds us of the martyrdom of a yet another great saint who is venerated on "This Day, the First Day of May" -- one of the greatest of the Old Testament prophets:

In Egypt, St. Jeremias, prophet, who was stoned to death by the people at Taphnas, where he was interred. St. Epiphanius relates that the faithful were wont to pray at his grave, and to take away from it dust to heal those who were stung by serpents.

The un-demonization of the SSPX: Exemplary decision by Bishop Planet

It is well known that a letter from the Ecclesia Dei Commission of March 27, 2017 informed the bishops of the world that the Pope had approved provisions to ensure the validity of marriages celebrated by priests of the Society of St. Pius X.

His Excellency, Alain Planet, bishop of Carcassonne, through a soon-to-be published decree, gives the most generous interpretation of the terms of this letter and provides unrestricted delagation to all the priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X throughout the territory of his diocese to receive matrimonial consents in all the chapels of the Fraternity. The marriages they celebrate will be recorded in the registers of the diocesan chancellery.

Furthermore, if marriages are celebrated by these priests in parish churches, pastors are invited to delegate their ordinary powers to receive vows as they would do for all Catholic priests.

[Source and tip: Riposte Catholique]

Saint Catherine of Siena to the Pope: "Don't believe in the counsels of the devil!

Alas, sweet my father, with this sweet hand I pray you, and tell you to come to discomfit our enemies.

On behalf of Christ crucified I tell it you: refuse to believe the counsels of the devil, who would hinder your holy and good resolution. Be manly in my sight, and not timorous. Answer God, who calls you to hold and possess the seat of the glorious Shepherd Saint Peter, whose vicar you have been. And raise the standard of the holy Cross; for as we were freed by the Cross--so Paul says--thus raising this standard, which seems to me the refreshment of Christians, we shall be freed -- we from our wars and divisions and many sins, the infidel people from their infidelity. In this way you will come and attain the reformation, giving good priests to Holy Church. Fill her heart with the ardent love that she has lost; for she has been so drained of blood by the iniquitous men who have devoured her that she is wholly wan. But comfort you, and come, father, and no longer make to wait the servants of God, who afflict themselves in desire.

And I, poor, miserable woman, can wait no more; living, I seem to die in my pain, seeing God thus reviled.

Saint Catherine of Siena
Letter to Pope Gregory XI

Papolatria Maxima: Francis' statue given veneration in Brazilian cathedral

A video from the Associated Press -- Easter mass of Paul VI at the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara, in Petropolis, Brazil (tip: Messa in Latino):

Guest-Post: George Weigel and the SSPX

George Weigel and the SPPX

by P.J. Smith

George Weigel, in his most recent column, has decided that the Holy See should not offer the Society of St. Pius X a personal prelature. It appears from statements by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society, that a personal prelature is the current offer. More than that, it seems that the Holy See is not insisting on the Society’s submission to every jot and tittle of every document of the Second Vatican Council. This is wonderful news.

Many informed commentators noted that the 2012 negotiations between Rome and the Society were torpedoed at the last moment by the sudden insistence of the Roman authorities on such submission. Archbishop Pozzo has conceded in public interviews that there are levels of authority in the documents of that “pastoral council,” and that total assent may not be necessary. And Weigel is positively hysterical at the prospect.

As Francis heads to Egypt, Benedict reiterates Regensburg

Official logo for Pope Francis' visit to Egypt
including the Islamic crescent moon
It can hardly be called a coincidence that as Pope Francis heads to Egypt, no doubt to promote "dialogue" with Islam, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has several days ago published a short letter to a Polish conference on his thought on Church-State relations, in which he echoes his thesis from his famous Regensburg address, that Islam and violence are inherently linked because of its detachment from reason itself.

Order of Malta latest

The election of a new Grand Master of the Order of Malta in Rome on Saturday - tomorrow - has precipitated an avalanche of news stories, many containing intriguing claims about the root causes of the shock resignation of the last Grand Master, Fra Matthew Festing.

The most interesting aspect, which has been revealed already in part by past postings by Steve Skojek at One Peter Five, is the role of money in the saga of the Knights. The claim is that because Order was a beneficiary of a shadowy trust based in Switzerland, the attempts by Fra Matthew Festing to get to the bottom of this trust and ensure that the law was followed threatened to precipitate revelations which would be embarassing to people in positions of considerable influence in the Vatican. Festing had to be removed in order to remove this threat. The interim leadership of the Order has, at any rate, rapidly come to an amicable agreement with the trustees of this trust and we may now hear no more about it.


ALL women in Austria forced to wear Muslim headscarf?

In 15 years, Austria has lost 15% of it's population identifying as Catholics, dropping the overall Catholic population to just over half the country. That's a 1% loss per year. Do that scary math in your head. 

Those Catholic women who are left may soon have to -- at least in public -- identify as Muslim, according to President Alexander Van der Bellen.

Not a joke, watch below:

Review: The Benedict Option

One might not be inclined to read a formal schismatic’s thoughts on how Christian’s should comport themselves in the secular world. But two things might persuade one to make an exception for Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: first, a favorable mention of the book by the Rt. Rev. Abbot Philip Anderson of the traditionalist Benedictine monastery at Clear Creek; and second, the bitter dismissal of the book by many mainstream Catholic pundits. And one would not be disappointed. While the criticisms of some reviewers of the book as gimmicky and inconsistent have some justification, Dreher’s overall analysis of the current situation in Western Europe and North America is accurate, and his suggestions for a practical response to the situation are sensible. In fact, Dreher’s insights can very easily be developed into an argument for Catholic Traditionalism and against the anti-traditionalism of the Catholic mainstream since Vatican II.

Monks of Norcia to Move Permanently Outside the City Walls

Since moving to Norcia from Rome in the year 2000, the traditional community of Benedictines in the birthplace of St. Benedict had been living in the middle of the town in the old diocesan chancellory, and praying the office in the basilica built over the house of SS. Benedict and Scholastica. Since the destruction of the basilica by the recent Umbrian earthquakes, however, they have been living at an old monastic grange on a hill above the city. Now they have announced on their website that the move is to be permanent:

Conference on Amoris Laetitia: The Need for Consistency between Magisterium and Tradition

On April 22, 2017 at the Hotel Columbus in Rome, a block from Saint Peter’s Square, six internationally renowned lay scholars spoke at a landmark conference: "Seeking Clarity: One year after Amoris Laetitia," calling on Pope Francis to answer the dubia of the four cardinals over the passages in Amoris Laetitia that purport to justify acts of adultery, against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue, and to allow the reception of Holy Communion by those living in permanent and public adultery more uxorio

We invite you to read the important interventions from this conference in English by Dr. Anna M. Silvas, "A Year After Amoris Laetitia. A Timely Word" , and by Dr. Douglas Farrow, "The Roots of the Present Crisis" (video).

Additionally, the following is an English translation of the full intervention of Professor Claudio Pierantoni, for the benefit of Rorate's readers:

The Need for Consistency between Magisterium and Tradition: Examples from History

For the first time in nearly 50 years, only the traditional Latin Mass to be offered in Irish Diocese

The pathetic tale of the Catholic Church in Ireland continues to unfold. The latest chapter is that, because of a priest shortage, there will be "no Masses" said on Tuesday in the entire Diocese of Limerick -- something that hasn't happened in almost two centuries. 

The diocese and the media tell us there will only be "lay-led liturgies of the Word" (God be praised, this Catholic has no idea what that even is, and will die happy never knowing).

Normally, we wouldn't really care that all the Novus Ordos dried up in a Diocese. Why would we? We pray they all die on the vine around the world. But we did find this a good time to correct the Diocese of Limerick and the media.

There will indeed be Masses said there Tuesday. Two of them, in fact, by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (click here for Mass times and location).

You can read the full -- yet incomplete -- story, for the record here by the Irish Times.

So history truly is being made Tuesday in Limerick. This will be the first time in nearly 50 years, the first time since Paul VI invented and imposed his committee-made new Mass, on the First Sunday of Advent, 1969, that the only Mass a Catholic can attend in an entire Irish diocese will be the traditional Latin Mass. Deo gratias, alleluia, alleluia.

Auguri, Roma!

Congratulations to the Eternal City, sanctified by the blood of Sts. Peter and Paul, and countless martyrs, on her 2770th anniversary!

This age, too, shall pass.

Tempora bona veniant!
Pax Christi veniat!
Regnum Christi veniat!

Easter Friday and the discipline of abstinence

Every year at this time, Catholics who attend the traditional Latin Mass ask if Easter Friday is a day of abstinence or not.

Well, it depends what discipline you follow.  In 1962, the year of the Roman missal used by Catholics faithful to the traditional Latin Mass under Summorum Pontificum, the discipline (law, in fact) was abstinence was still required on Easter Friday.  The 1917 Code of Canon Law in force at the time mandated abstinence from meat on all Fridays of the year except for days of precept (that is, holy days of obligation).

Easter Friday was not, in 1962, a holy day of obligation, even though it remains a first class feast day in the octave of Easter. This is similar to the Ember Days during the octave of Pentecost (which are, with fasting, even stricter than Easter Friday during an otherwise joyous week).

A glorious wave of canonizations: Jacinta & Francisco Marto; Mexican and Brazilian Protomartyrs

Today, Pope Francis presided a Public Ordinary Consistory for the canonization of several blesseds.

Considering the year of the Fatima Centenary, the canonization of Jacinta and Francisco Marto (the Fatima seers, along with Sister Lucia, their cousin) is obviously the greatest news. The canonization will take place in Fatima on May 13.

But the consistory also approved the canonizations, and set the dates for the respective ceremonies, of two very special sets of saints: the Protomartyrs (First Martyrs) of the two nations with the largest nominally Catholic populations, Mexico and Brazil.

Who knew? Pope can forbid foreigner from visiting Rome

Ever since the Porta Pia fell, in 1870, and Rome became the capital of a newly united Italy, no Pope has ever again claimed the right to forbid anyone from coming to Rome. The city is not owned by the Pope, after all, and the temporal power of the papacy has, since 1929, been reduced to the very small limits of Vatican City and a few additional buildings in the region.

Alas, that was before Caudillismo had reached the City! If only John Paul II and Benedict XVI had known about this extra-muros absolute power of the Pope. El Caudillo Jorge knows better: who cares about law and rights, if he hates you, he can just order you out, muchacho!

Exclusive Text by Benedict XVI: The Crisis that has subverted the Church is a Crisis of Liturgy Above All

The Russian edition of volume XI of the Opera Omnia of Benedict XVI Ratzinger was published this Easter (a common date this year for East and West) and Pope Benedict XVI had been asked at the beginning of the project, in 2015, to write a preface -- which he did.

Corriere della Sera provided the Italian version of the Russian publication, which we now present in English:

Benedict XVI
[Corriere della Sera, April 15, 2017]

Nihil Operi Dei praeponatur - "Let nothing be set before the Divine Worship." With these words, Saint Benedict, in his Rule (43,3), established the absolute priority of Divine Worship in relation with any other task of monastic life. This, even in monastic life, was not necessarily obvious, because for monks the work in agriculture and in knowledge was also an essential task.


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

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

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

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

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.

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

What We May Learn from Christ's Descent into Hell (St. Thomas)

From the descent of Christ to hell we may learn, for our instruction, four things:

Tenebræ factæ sunt: The Crucifixion of Our Lord

Tenebræ factæ sunt,
dum crucifixissent Iesum iudæi:
et circa horam nonam exclamavit Iesus voce magna:
"Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti?"

Alejo de Vahía
Cristo Crucificado (c. 1500)
Church of Saint Francis, Palencia
by Fr. A.-Joseph Chauvin S.S.S.

They crucified Him…Jesus has reached Calvary. The cross is driven into the ground, the hammers, the nails are prepared; the ladders are straightened, the ropes stretched… The executioners are at the point of beginning the death sentence… The soldiers brutally seize Jesus, loosen the chains, tear off His garments and leave almost naked Him, “Who clothed the sky with stars and the earth with flowers.” They tie the Saviour to the ropes which are thrown over the two arms of the Cross and raise Him up. They then stretch the arms and tie them to the horizontal crossbar, then each of them taking a nail and a hammer, the barbarians nail His hands and feet to the wood of the Cross. The meek Lamb offers Himself to the executioners of this unjust sentence, without putting up any resistance!

Good Friday - Crucified Lord, give thy Bishops knowledge, discernment, prudence, and love

Considerabam ad dexteram, et videbam, et non erat qui cognosceret me

  O Lord, who art called the Branch, the Orient, the Splendour of the eternal light, and the Sun of Justice, who art that Tree, of whom Thy beloved disciple speaks as the Tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, and its leaves for the healing of the nations, give Thy grace and blessing on all those various states and conditions in Thy Holy Church, which have sprung from Thee and live in Thy Life.

Give to all Bishops the gifts of knowledge, discernment, prudence, and love.

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, Rest in Peace
- Tu es Sacerdos in aeternum! -

22 Oct. MCMXLVII - 13 Apr. MMXVII
Requiescat in pace

A Priest Forever, According to the Order of Melchizedek

Dr. John C. Rao
for The Remnant

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula, the chaplain of the Roman Forum, long time head of the Rome Bureau of Human Life International, and dear, dear friend ended his earthly pilgrimage to God at 2:00 A.M. today. His soul follows that of another dear friend, John Vennari, into Purgatory and---God willing---as swiftly as possible into Heaven. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cannot but deal as mercifully as possible with both of these good, good men.

What we've lost -- Maundy Thursday and Pius XII

It's remarkable what we've lost in under 60 years. Below, a photo of Pope Venerable Pius XII, on Maundy Thursday in the Sistine Chapel. Santo Subito.