Rorate Caeli

Sexagesima: The Most Beautiful Epistle of the Year, Explained by St Pius X - "The Lord will never abandon His heritage"

From the Epistle for the Sunday in Sexagesima: "For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or anything he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, and angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. And He said to me: my grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (II Cor. xii, 6-9)

When [St. Anselm] was torn from the solitude of the studious life of the cloister, to be raised to a lofty dignity in most difficult times, he found himself a prey to the most tormenting solicitude and anxiety, and chief of all the fear that he might not do enough for the salvation of his own soul and the souls of his people, for the honor of God and of His Church. But amid all these anxieties and in the grief he felt at seeing himself abandoned culpably by many, even including his brethren in the episcopate, his one great comfort was his trust in God and in the Apostolic See. Threatened with shipwreck, and while the storm raged round him, he took refuge in the bosom of the Church, his Mother, invoking from the Roman Pontiff pitiful and prompt aid and comfort; God, perhaps, permitted that this great man, full of wisdom and sanctity as he was, should suffer such heavy tribulation, in order that he might be a comfort and an example to us in the greatest difficulties and trials of the pastoral ministry, and that the sentence of Paul might be realized in each one of us: "Gladly will I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities . . . for when I am weak then am I powerful" (2 Cor. xii. 9, 10).

Such indeed are the sentiments which Anselm expressed to Urban II.: "Holy Father, I am grieved that I am not what I was, grieved to be a bishop, because by reason of my sins I do not perform the office of a bishop. While I was in a lowly position, I seemed to be doing something; set in a lofty place, burdened by an immense weight, I gain no fruit for myself, and am of no use to anybody. I give way beneath the burden because I am incredibly poor in the strength, virtue, zeal, and knowledge necessary for so great an office. I would fain flee from the insupportable anxiety and leave the burden behind me, but, on the other hand, I fear to offend God. The fear of God obliged me to accept it, the same fear of God constrains me to retain the same burden. Now, since God's will is hidden from me, and I know not what to do, I wander about in sighs, and know not how to put an end to it all".

Sermon for the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter 2019: "The person of the Pope apart from the Chair of St Peter becomes just another CEO"

Father Richard G. Cipolla

 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)



To say that the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is monumental and deeply impressive is an understatement.  I have described several times the role this church had in my own conversion to the Catholic Church.  But so many people who visit St Peter’s miss one of the greatest of the gems in this church: the Chair of St Peter as encased in a most remarkable Baroque confection by the genius architect and sculptor, Gianlorenzo Bernini.  The remarkable sculpture is at the liturgical East of the massive church. Gold is the fundamental color, a gold that contrasts with the bronze of the covering of the chair and the figures of Four Doctors of the Church. Above there is a stained glass window, the center of which is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the dove, that is surrounded by a super Baroque sunburst that seems to connect to heaven itself.  All this from a time when the Church and those artists who worked for the Church understood the power of beauty and symbolism in the Catholic faith.   

What is the chair that is the center of this triumphant artistic confection?  It is known as the Chair of St. Peter.   The wooden chair, with ivory arms, that is enclosed by Bernini’s splendid chair in bronze and gold, was venerated as a relic for centuries.  Whether this was the actual chair on which St Peter sat as Bishop of Rome, or whether it is dated from the third or sixth century is not ultimately important.  The chair that is venerated at St. Peter’s today is the symbol of the Christ-given role of St Peter and his successors within the Catholic Church. “You are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” 

For the Record: Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller demand "A Decisive Act" to end the crisis of the Church

This letter was made public yesterday through many online sources.

We quote it in full below, calling your attention to the last paragraph: "a decisive act".

Open Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops

Dear Brothers, Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops,

De Mattei: The Catholic Resistance has made itself heard

Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana
February 20, 2019


According to the traditional calendar, the first Tuesday after Septuagesima - this year falling on February 19 - is dedicated to the Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is perhaps the most painful [moment] of His Passion, of spiritual not physical suffering, culminating in the sweating of His blood. (Luke, 22, 43-44).

One of the principal reasons for His sufferings was His vision of unfaithfulness - not only in The Chosen People -  but  in all those during the centuries to come, who would guide the Church, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Quae utilitas in sanguine meo? (Psalm,29,10). This agonizing question penetrated His Heart and needs to penetrate ours, like a sharp sword. God responded that every act of unfaithfulness, every apostasy, every sacrilege which passed through the centuries, was permitted so that the purity of doctrine and life would shine with even greater splendor in those, who, throughout the course of  the centuries had picked up and held high the blood-stained-banner of the Cross, opposing that of the followers of Lucifer. 

Protest in Rome, February 19, 2019 : Acies Ordinata

Acies Ordinata: a protest in silence to draw attention and destroy the wall of silence on the scandal of homosexuality, the root cause of the clerical sexual abuse crisis in the Church, subject of the summit to be held in the Vatican 21-24 February, 2019.  


The Benefits and Beauties of Liturgical Repetition

(Delivered at St. Mary’s parish, Norwalk, Connecticut, on Thursday, February 14, 2019, sponsored by the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny.)

Poets, Lovers, Children, Madmen—and Worshipers:
Why We Repeat Ourselves in the Liturgy

Peter A. Kwasniewski

Repetition in the liturgy is a profound topic, and I am under no illusions that I will be able to offer a comprehensive or definitive account of it. Rather, I would like to suggest some ways of thinking about repetition that may help us to appreciate its positive value, over against the assumptions that stood behind the far-reaching simplification of liturgical rites in the 20th century.

Op-Ed: "So, Uncle Ted has been defrocked: Will the Big Tent Abuse Summit Turn Out to be a Circus?"

Will the Big Tent Summit turn out to be a Circus?

Father Richard G. Cipolla

Georges Seurat, The Circus (1891), Musée d'Orsay

So Uncle Ted has been defrocked.  One wonders how many times he wore the clerical frock as a symbol of his priesthood.  Pray for him.   The question that must be asked about this declaration /move:  is McCarrick to be the sacrificial lamb of the upcoming meeting in Rome called by the Pope to discuss the crisis in sexual abuse by clergy, including bishops, which meeting will be led by mostly bishops?  Will burning McCarrick at an imaginary stake be enough to slake the thirst of the liberal press? Will it be enough to placate the minority of bishops who take the sexual abuse seriously? Will it be enough to stifle discussion about the factual data that the majority of this abuse was with young boys and young men?  Will it be enough for those  who have suffered at the hands of these men for so many years, not in that terrible physical way, but in being suppressed and kept down because of refusing to deny that one of the greatest problems in the Catholic Church since the end of the Second Vatican Council has been not only the terrible predatory behavior of priests and bishops with respect to boys and seminarians and prostitutes, but also the silent complicity of those in the hierarchy who have deliberately turned a blind eye to the egregious destruction of Catholic faith, worship and morality of the past fifty years.

That these people have no shame and are tone-deaf to reality is recently proven by the naming of Cardinal Kevin Farrell as the Camerlengo of the Papal Household, a most important position indeed.  That this man, who lived with McCarrick while the latter was Archbishop of Washington, D.C. and Farrell was an Auxiliary Bishop, and who claims that he did not know anything about the then Cardinal’s history on the Jersey Shore and beyond, would be named by the Pope to this sensitive and central office shows either the total insensitivity of this Pontiff to reality, or a terrible blindness, possibly deliberate,  to the cause of the deep corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, beginning with its center in Rome.  The sexual corruption of the Curial clergy is a major cause of the parlous situation of the Church today.  But this does not get at the heart of the matter.  The heart of the matter is the deliberate attack on the doctrinal and liturgical Tradition (the two go hand in hand) of the Catholic Church.  There is no end to the silly statements of the German bishops who want to out-Zwingli Zwingli but without his moral fiber.  The fact is that without the church tax in Germany these poseurs would be figuring out how to pay for their next meal.  One wishes that the Lutherans in Germany would chastise the Catholic bishops for their deep misunderstanding of the Christian faith and their deep silliness in their statements about the faith. But classical Protestantism is moribund, and how could it not be, for it is the source of the grey secularism that has destroyed the Christian heart of Europe.

The irony of ironies is that Pope Francis just approved the canonization of John Henry Newman. We should take care that Pope Francis does not read any of Newman’s important writings, especially those on the Development of Doctrine.  Newman would not be a support of the footnotes in Amoris Laetitianor of the Pope’s attempt to change the Church’s clear teaching on the authority of the State to inflict capital punishment.  But one must keep the Pope above all from reading Newman’s Biglietto Speech that he gave upon the receiving of his Cardinal’s biretta in Rome.  For it is there, in clear terms, that Newman predicts the terrible debacle of the post-Vatican II Church.  I have quoted this before and will continue to do so, because its prescience is clear and relates directly to what has happened in the Catholic Church this past half century.

You Suggest, video: 24 Men take the Cassock at SSPX's St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Virginia

From our friends in the new photography department of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Dillwyn, Virginia:

Lepanto Conference: "I will not cease from Spiritual Fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, till we have restored the worship of God"



The Second annual Lepanto conference took place Saturday amid the Gothic splendor of St Vincent Ferrer church in New York. There were 700 people in the congregation for the Pontifical Mass; some 315 attended the conference itself. Thanks are due to Fr Walter C. Wagner OP, the pastor of St Vincent’s and to the Dominican order for hosting the conference.

The Most Reverend James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, celebrated Solemn Pontifical mass for St Pius V – the codifier of the Traditional Roman liturgy. Our dear contributor, Fr Richard Cipolla, of the Bridgeport diocese, was assistant priest. Rev. Mr Roger Kwan (Archdiocese of New York) served as deacon; Fr. Sean Connelly (Archdiocese of New York) was the subdeacon. William Riccio and Steve Quatela were the masters of ceremonies.

The following is the magnificent talk given by Father Cipolla during the Conference:


“Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurtling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion, feasts for the dogs and birds.”So begins, in the English translation by Robert Fagles, one of the seminal epic poems of Western civilization, The Iliad.  The first  book is called The Rage of Achilles, Achilles, the son of a goddess, fierce, the ultimate war hero and  yet, in Fagles’ words in his introduction to the Iliad, “imprisoned in a godlike, lonely, heroic fury from which all the rest of the world is excluded.”  Achilles sits out most of the Iliad in rage against Agamemnon for taking his concubine, Briseis. He returns to action, so to speak, only when his friend, Patroclus, whom he loves so deeply, is killed and despoiled by the Trojan Hector. And it is then that Achilles becomes the killing machine not so much for the cause of the Greeks against the Trojans but rather because of his rage against Hector, a hero in in his own right, for killing and despoiling Patroclus.  And in that terrible scene we know so well, he kills Hector and drags his body around the walls of Troy three times in uncontrollable fury.  He rises as a hero to avenge the death of his beloved Patroclus, and he is godlike in his single mindedness to punish at all costs the one and those who have taken away someone that he loved deeply.  Heroism as singlemindedness, as physical prowess in war, as exhibiting passionate emotion, and heroism as knowing as well that one is doomed to death by the botched attempt of a god to make him immortal.

Around 4,500-5,000 Priests Currently Celebrate the Traditional Mass Around the World


The number is an estimation, of course, made by Christian Marquant for the French liturgical association "Paix liturgique".

This number is reached with the following subgroups.

(1) Around 760 priests who belong to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) and religious communities friendly to it.

(2) Around 600 priests from those communities previously called "Ecclesia Dei" (that is, those established regularly following the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei).

(3) Around 130 priests from religious communities that were never under the authority of the now-defunct "Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei" (for instance, the priests belonging to Fontgombault and its daughter-houses, or Norcia, etc).

(4) At least 3,000 diocesan priests (maybe up to 5,000, if one includes those who are very cautious because of their local bishops) who celebrate it regularly, even if not exclusively, including 1,000 at least in the United States: this is the Summorum Pontificum group, by far the largest.

Marquant adds: "Our 4,500 priests attached to the Traditional Mass (1500 "Trad" priests to which are added 3,000 diocesan or regular priests) represent at least 1.1% of the global Catholic clergy (or more, if we consider only the Latin Church priests, since it is a Latin liturgy, and if we would consider only active priests) who have remained or become Tridentine, which is far from being a ridiculous number if we consider that this identity was forbidden for a long time and remains widely persecuted. And, despite this, it is growing..."


(Paix Liturgique, via Le Salon Beige)

Septuagesima: In the beginning


The lessons for Matins introduce the theme of the penitential pre-lenten season of Septuagesima: Creation and Fall, and Original Sin; and God's intervention in History to purify mankind through a remnant in an ark (Sexagesima week) and to choose a People for himself; and the will of the unfathomable Divinity to reveal himself through his chosen people of Israel; and the Mystery of the Incarnation, through which the promise to Abraham ("in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed", First Lesson in the Matins for Quinquagesima Sunday) would be fulfilled by the Divine Son of the Blessed Virgin ("I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel", Third Lesson in the Matins for Wednesday in Septuagesima week).

The reality of Original Sin ("I am the Immaculate Conception") and the great need for penitence in our times ("Penance! Penance! Penance!") were also the messages of the memorable events which began on February 11, 1858:

Faithful Mocked: McCarrick Laicized -- While His Closest Friend and Confidant Will Run Next Conclave Setting

Ted McCarrick congratulates his friend Kevin Farrell on his creation as Cardinal

Cardinal Farrell, the closest friend, confidant, auxiliary bishop, and roommate of Ted McCarrick, was named this week Camerlengo. He will run the show when Francis is gone. That is his prize for being the ultimate McCarrick Man.

This all puts in perspective the decision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released today, condemning the abuser McCarrick to the loss of the clerical state. Basically, it means justice delayed and, with the Farrell nomination, justice mocked.

The CDF communique is below:

On 11 January 2019, the Congresso of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the conclusion of a penal process, issued a decree finding Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power. The Congresso imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state. On 13 February 2019, the Ordinary Session (Feria IV) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith considered the recourse he presented against this decision. Having examined the arguments in the recourse, the Ordinary Session confirmed the decree of the Congresso. This decision was notified to Theodore McCarrick on 15 February 2019. The Holy Father has recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accord with law, rendering it a res iudicata (i.e., admitting of no further recourse).

De Mattei: An LGBT Pamphlet against the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
February 14, 2019
An LGBT pamphlet against the Church. The title is “Sodom” and the author a well-known French LGBT activist. The book however, was hatched in Italy, during a conversation between the author and the publisher, Carlo Fetrinelli, son of Gian Giacomo, the publisher-terrorist who died in 1972, while placing a bomb on an Enel (Italian Electric Company) pylon in Segrate.  Sodom” will be presented within the next few days in eight languages and in about twenty countries.
The official launching of the book will take place on February 21, in conjunction with the Vatican conference dedicated to the sexual abuse of minors. What we are dealing here with then, is a powerful media operation, which has the Catholic Church as its target.  The author of the book, Frédéric Martel, presented in the press at times with different titles  i.e.  sociologist,  researcher and  historian, has achieved a certain amount of fame for his last paper, Global Gay, translated into various languages, (published  in Italy by Feltrinelli) dedicated to the current triumphant march of the homosexual movement all over the world. 

John Henry Newman, Saint - "I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion."

Today, the Holy See announced that Francis has recognized the second miracle currently demanded for the canonization of the most famous convert in modern times, Cardinal Blessed John Henry Newman.

As our contributor Father Richard Cipolla wrote years ago:

We cannot let the celebration of the memory of Blessed John Henry Newman is particularly remembered go by without recalling his remarkable prescience about the current condition of Western culture and the current situation in the Church, a situation that is itself a continuation of the troubled years since the Second Vatican Council. The great irony—and Newman always understood irony—is that he has been invoked as the “absent Father” of that Council with respect to the role of the laity in the Church, religious freedom, and collegiality. Those who invoke him in this way have obviously never read much Newman, for he would understand that the Church today is in the parlous state in which she finds herself precisely because those to whom her ministry has been entrusted have swallowed and digested that noxious weed decried by Newman and are patting their stomachs in self-congratulation, having succumbed to that “liberalism in religion” whose heart is what Newman called the “anti-dogmatic principle”.

What is the current attempt to reduce doctrine to praxis if not an example of that liberalism against which Newman fought so strenuously in his own day? What is the gobble-de-gook of prelates pontificating about mercy and the "law of graduality", and the lack of true virile fatherhood among the shepherds, if not examples of that sentimentality that Newman detested and that is the acid of religion?

One can never read Newman’s Bigletto Speech too many times. This was in a sense his last will and testament, for he who had been shunned in so many ways by the Catholic hierarchy throughout his Catholic life was given the honor of a Cardinal’s hat in the twilight of his life, and what he said in his acceptance of that honor from Pope Leo XIII, is chillingly prescient. And this not only with reference to the current situation of the Church. Newman knew as few today understand that the creeping papalism of the past century has been and is being enabled not by traditionalism but rather by liberalism. Here is the voice of the prophet for our times from his Bigletto speech:

In a long course of years I have made many mistakes.

Special Series: "1919—2019 A Centenary Meditation on the Church"
- Part IV: “Catholic” Purification and "Worker-Priests"


1919—2019
A Centenary Meditation on the Church and a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad

A Series by Professor John C. Rao, DPhil

A "Worker Priest" celebrates Mass turned to the people in the 1940s

Part III: Purification and Doctrine in the Interwar Era

IV. "Catholic" Purification and the "Worker-Priests"


          Many personalists looked, greeted the early fascist victories of the Second World War hopefully. A number of them, long convinced of the innate weaknesses of the liberal bourgeois “established disorder,” expressed little surprise over the conquests of Nazi Germany. What really concerned them was whether Catholicism could find some way to turn a potentially apocalyptic “purification” down the proper pathway. For fascism was seen to be a “monstrous prefiguration” of the new personalist humanity waiting to be born. It clearly revealed the presence of strong will, virile manliness, self-sacrifice to the community, and even, in the context of the war effort, a commitment to the construction of that European-wide super society which many thought to be crucial to a better New World Order.

         Pétain’s so-called National Revolution was appreciated by French personalists both because of its anti-liberal bourgeois character and its freedom from the more gross “materialist” aspects of Nazism. They hoped to make Vichy France a wartime laboratory for educational and evangelical schemes designed to reshape the world in a spiritual way. One major example of educational experimentation incorporating both contemporary Catholic ideas as well as features of the fascist Ordensburgen—the castle training centers for the new elite of German youth—was the École Nationale des Cadres at the Château Bayard above the village of Uriage, near Grenôble. Founded in the waning months of 1940, this institution became especially significant by June of 1941, when the Vichy regime determined to require a session at the Ecole for all future high government functionaries.

Guest Article: "Francis and the Joint Declaration on Human Fraternity: A Public Repudiation of the Catholic Faith"


Dr. John Lamont

On February 4th 2019, Pope Francis and Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, signed a 'Document on Human Fraternity'. The document and its signing were public acts. It contains the following passage:

'Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives.'

Taken in its normal meaning, the statement that the pluralism and diversity of religions is willed by God in his wisdom is directly contrary to the Catholic faith. The pluralism and diversity of religions is an evil, and as such cannot be willed by God. These religions contradict each other on doctrinal and moral issues. It must therefore be the case that at least some of these religions are in error where they disagree; and it is a grave evil to hold false dogmatic and moral beliefs. Moreover, the Christian teaching is that there is only one true religion, the religion that worships the Most Holy Trinity. Religions that do not worship the Holy Trinity are false religions, that in themselves cause harm to their worshipers. As such, they are evils.

+Schneider for Rorate - The Christian Faith: The only valid and the only God-willed religion

Rorate note: Earlier this week, Pope Bergoglio signed the problematic “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.” If you haven't read the full document, please do, then read the piece below which actually doesn't contradict the Church's teachings or mock the countless Christians martyred over the last 2,000 years.

Once again, we are honored to post this guest op-ed, submitted to us by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider. We not only allow but encourage all media and blogs to reprint this as well. 


***


By Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Special to Rorate Caeli
February 8, 2019

The Gift of Filial Adoption
The Christian Faith: the only valid and the only God-willed religion

The Truth of the filial adoption in Christ, which is intrinsically supernatural, constitutes the synthesis of the entire Divine Revelation. Being adopted by God as sons is always a gratuitous gift of grace, the most sublime gift of God to mankind. One obtains it, however, only through a personal faith in Christ and through the reception of baptism, as the Lord himself taught: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.” (John 3: 5-7).

In the past decades one often heard - even from the mouth of some representatives of the Church’s hierarchy - statements about the theory of “anonymous Christians.” This theory says the following: The mission of the Church in the world would consist ultimately in raising the awareness that all men must have of their salvation in Christ and consequently of their filial adoption in Christ. Since, according to the same theory, every human being possesses already the sonship of God in the depth of his personality. Yet, such a theory contradicts directly Divine Revelation, as Christ taught it and His Apostles and the Church over two thousand years always transmitted it unchangingly and without a shadow of a doubt.

Special Series: "1919—2019 A Centenary Meditation on the Church"
- Part III: Doctrine and Great Catholic Names in the Interwar Era


1919—2019
A Centenary Meditation on the Church and a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad



III. Purification and Doctrine in the Interwar Era

Insistence on a purification achieved through submission of the natural to the supernatural world, taught by the nineteenth century Catholic revival movement and vigorously supported by the Papacy since the time of Pius IX (1846-1878), very clearly still characterized the teaching, in encyclicals, allocutions, and letters to individual bishops and episcopacies, of the two quite different popes of the bulk of the interwar period: Benedict XV (1914-1922) and Pius XI (1922-1939). Both placed emphasis upon doctrines and devotions that well illustrated how nature was purified through connection with the supernatural, perhaps most significantly with reference to those concerning the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as in Pius XI's Miserentissimus Redemptor (1928) and Caritate Christi compulsi (1932). A lasting postwar purification, this same pontiff declared in Ubi arcano dei consiglio(1922), was only possibleby ensuring the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ.

Purification, in the minds of the nineteenth century protagonists of Catholic revival, was intellectually very much dependent upon a deeper ecclesiology, one that truly understood the Roman Catholic Church as the Mystical Body and the fullness of her role as such in transforming the world in Christ. The earlier historical development of Catholic ecclesiology had been interrupted because of the politicization of the Papacy and the influence of an anti-speculative, philosophical and theological Nominalism from the thirteenth century onwards. Serious progress was only begun again at Trent, but here, too, had still been severely hampered due to the opposition of regalist States demanding firm control of their “national” churches. First Vatican Council’s much more serious labors in the ecclesiological realm were also halted in the face of numerous factors, theological and political, so that what was accomplished under its aegis proved tragically incomplete.

Albert the Great Summer School in Wisconsin, August 12-16, 2019: Study St. Thomas on Galatians, with Daily Latin Mass

"No Longer I Who Live, But Christ In Me"
St. Thomas's Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians
Albert the Great Summer Program 2019 – USA
August 12 – 16, in Wausau, Wisconsin

The Angelic Doctor
The Albert the Great Center, which has held summer programs in Norcia, Italy, for several years, is expanding its offerings by holding a summer theology program in the USA for the first time, in collaboration with The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine. The primary focus of this week-long intensive course will be St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, supported by St. Thomas Aquinas's superb commentary on the same.

According to St. Thomas, Galatians is about the grace of Christ as it exists in his Mystical Body, which is the Church, and in particular, as it exists in the sacraments of Church, for "in the letter ... superfluous sacraments are rejected against certain men who wanted to join the old sacraments to the new ones." Galatians and the commentary on it bring forward important considerations on the unchangeableness of sacred doctrine ("even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be anathema"), on the mystical identification of the Christian with Christ, on the setting-aside of the Old Covenant in consequence of its messianic fulfillment, and on the confrontation of Church hierarchs by their subjects -- all subjects under considerable discussion in our day.

Homily for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany: “There are Pirates in the Boat”

A traditional Catholic priest sent us his homily from last Sunday to publish for our readers.

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany


At that time, Jesus got into a boat, and His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but He was asleep. So they came and woke Him, saying: Lord, save us! We are perishing! But He said to them: Why are you fearful, o you of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there came a great calm. And the men marveled, saying: what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? (From the Gospel of the day: Matthew VIII, 23-27)

Dear Brethren,

The words of the Holy Gospel that we just heard tell us of what happened when the boat where Jesus was with his disciples was faced with a terrible storm. The waves were so big that it seemed that the boat would sink. So the disciples cried out to the Lord and the storm disappeared.

No, Francis, God did not "will a plurality and diversity of religions": saying so is "altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion."

Point:

The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.

Counterpoint:

Never perhaps in the past have we seen, as we see in these our own times, the minds of men so occupied by the desire both of strengthening and of extending to the common welfare of human society that fraternal relationship which binds and unites us together, and which is a consequence of our common origin and nature. For since the nations do not yet fully enjoy the fruits of peace - indeed rather do old and new disagreements in various places break forth into sedition and civic strife - and since on the other hand many disputes which concern the tranquility and prosperity of nations cannot be settled without the active concurrence and help of those who rule the States and promote their interests, it is easily understood, and the more so because none now dispute the unity of the human race, why many desire that the various nations, inspired by this universal kinship, should daily be more closely united one to another.

A similar object is aimed at by some, in those matters which concern the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission.

Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.

Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.

Pius XI
Mortalium Animos

The Mystery of Suffering: Why do innocent little children suffer? - Editorial by the Abbot of St. Mary Magdalene of Le Barroux

This editorial opens the monastery letter for December 2018, but it seems to appropriate now, when infanticide is celebrated by so many in public life.

***

Suffering and its mystery

December 8, 2018
Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin

On September 27, Father Robert of our foundation Sainte-Marie de la Garde defended his doctoral thesis in theology at the Dominican convent in Toulouse. A strenuous two and a half hour exercise during which he presented the product of three years’ work on “Suffering in Saint Thomas Aquinas”. A very delicate subject! Saint John Paul II wrote in his apostolic letter Salvifici doloris that “Man, in suffering, remains an inaccessible mystery”. Nevertheless, theology can explore this great mystery, provided one looks at the divine purpose. For God has a plan, and suffering is one of them, but according to a line that remains to be clarified. Suffering, whether experienced or perceived, seems absurd, and it can be the cause of revolt against God, loss of faith or indulging in answers that are simplistic, and sometimes downright incompatible with faith and reason. Some theologians have spoken of God’s suffering in his divinity in order to maintain a bond of solidarity between the Creator and the creature. However, this is not the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the great doctor of the Church.

Special Series: "1919—2019 A Centenary Meditation on the Church and a Quest for Purification Gone Mad"
- Part II: Dangers on the "Catholic Purification" Front


1919—2019
A Centenary Meditation on the Church and a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad

A Series by Professor John C. Rao, DPhil





Part II: Dangers on the "Catholic Purification" Front 

Unfortunately for Catholics, the Church’s quest for purification of the spaces of public life in 1918 was a hotly contested one, with her Gnostic, Nominalist, Reformation, and Enlightenment shaped opponents either potentially or immediately wielding more power than she might ever hope to command on her own. Dangers on the purification front were international, national,and broadly cultural in character, with most of the threats in question ultimately perilous on all these levels.La Civiltà Cattolica continued to apply and develop the conclusions reached by the revival movement of the previous century to understand and parry them. Therefore, much of what I have to say below is fit into the broad framework that this journal’s interwar analysis provided.

One of the two newer, but historically rooted perils of the interwar period emerged from the United States. Due to her entry into the European conflict, and President Woodrow Wilson’s statement of allied goals in his Fourteen Points, his response to Pope Benedict XV’s peace proposals, and his popularization of the worldwide struggle as “the war to end all wars”, America loomed large as a potential purifying influence on November 11th, 1918 and in the months thereafter. Although the rejection of the Treaty of Versailles by the United States Senate and her consequent failure to participate in the League of Nations removed the imminent threat of New World competition for the political control of spaces in the Old, America’s “isolationism” in the interwar years was never truly complete. Latin America and East Asia remained public American concerns and fields of action, and New World cultural impact---the American way of life ---also continued to grow unabated in much of Europe as well. Cultural “Americanism” eased the way to American political domination of the European world in the wake of the second global conflagration. By 1945, mobilization of the American Way---what then came to be called pluralism---as a weapon for coaxing the reawakened Catholic Faith of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries back into its eighteenth century dogmatic slumber was complete.

A second new force competing with the Church for the occupation and purification of social spaces came out of Russia, which, although it played no role as a nation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, was nevertheless “present” in everyone’s mind at that gathering. For the seizure of power in Russia by Lenin’s Bolsheviks---formally known as the Communist Party from March, 1918 onwards---and the impact that Marxism-Leninism immediately exercised outside that troubled country’s fluctuating borders gave grave significance the world over to what was happening therein.This was certainly true in the defeated nations, Germany’s Communist movement sparking the Sparticist uprising of the weeks preceding the opening of the Peace Conference, and Hungary experiencing a Soviet style government briefly thereafter. But the spirit of the Revolution was not unknown to the victors either, with Red Guards seizing factories and agricultural estates and dreaming of an Italian imitation of the distant Russian model.

Fontgombault Sermon for Candlemas 2019: "Christ's Light has a price: the Cross"

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, February 2, 2019




Dear brothers and sisters,
My dearly beloved sons,

The Presentation of Jesus ends the first part of the liturgical cycle, that began with the first Sunday in Advent, and developed with the mystery of Jesus’ birth. The framework of the Presentation in the Temple is the Holy Family’s carrying out two commandments prescribed by the Law. A woman giving birth to a boy was considered as unclean, and therefore precluded from taking part in the liturgical ceremonies, for forty days. Once this period had elapsed, she was to offer a sacrifice for her purification: a lamb as a burnt offering, and a turtledove for the sin. Those who were poorer were entitled to give only two young pigeons or two turtledoves. In the case of a first-born, who according to the Law belonged to God, they had to add the price to redeem him, five shekels, which could be paid to any priest.

Benedict XVI remarks that St. Luke, after he has recalled the commandments prescribed by the Law, no longer evokes Jesus’ redemption, but a third event, the object of our feast, the Presentation:

Obviously, what he means is that this child doesn’t have to be redeemed, and is no longer belonging to his parents, but quite the reverse, he has been personally entrusted to God in the Temple, he has been given to God as His full property. (Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, The Infancy Narratives, ch. 3, § The Presentation)

None of the acts prescribed by the Law required that the Holy Family should go to the Temple. What could then be the motive for going up to Jerusalem, if not to offer the Child to God? Yet, Jerusalem and the Temple are also the place of priesthood and sacrifice. Concerning Jesus, Pierre de Bérulle writes in his comment on the mystery of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple:

Praise be to Jesus Christ! Aldo Maria Valli on the importance of a forgotten salutation


Aldo Maria Valli
H/T Riscossa Cristiana

February 1, 2019
Quite frankly, I think a priest should always – and I underline always – greet by  using the formula: “Praise be to Jesus Christ”, and the interlocutor should necessarily reply “May He always be praised”. I think this greeting is very beautiful and in a simple and immediate way renders praise to Jesus by putting Him in first place with regard to everything else.  I’d go further: for me even lay Catholics ought to greet each other like this.
And instead...

Virginia infanticide's Catholic support

The following is a guest post from a longtime Virginia resident:

***

The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, made news this week when he spoke in support of infanticide (not to be confused with his latest news).

This followed the action of the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who signed into law a bill that removed what little legal protections for unborn children existed in that state, now allowing abortion until the moment of birth.  Cuomo and many of the state legislators who supported the measure identify as Roman Catholic.  No one has been excommunicated by any of the bishops in New York. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who claimed President Donald Trump's effort to enforce immigration laws "is not Christian", went public opposing excommunication for Governor Cuomo.

In Virginia, the infanticide legislation was sponsored by Delegate Kathy Tran, and vocally supported by many Democrats, including Governor Northam.  Tran has not publicly listed a religious affiliation, and Northam reportedly (and ironically) "attends a Baptist church with a largely black congregation."

Several lawmakers in Virginia who identify as Catholic gave vocal support to the infanticide legislation.  Only one, however, actually voted in support of the measure when given the opportunity.  Not only does Delegate Michael P. Mullin list himself as a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Newport News, Va., he also claims membership in the Knights of Columbus and its Walter Pollard Council #5480.

Virginia's infanticide bill was killed in a subcommittee vote in the state House of Delegates, controlled by Republicans.  (Both chambers in the Virginia legislature have a one-vote Republican majority; the House of Delegates majority was determined by a drawing after a dead heat.)

The subcommittee vote to kill the infanticide bill passed by a vote of 5-3.  Of the three delegates, all Democrat, who voted for infanticide, only Delegate Mullin identifies as Catholic.  His bishop, Barry Knestout of Richmond (formerly the hand-picked consigliere to Don Wuerl in D.C.), issued a statement today, calling the legislation: "Horrific. Outrageous. Vicious."  He made reference to the governor and sponsor of the bill, although not by name.  Missing, though, was any reference to the delegates who actually voted on the legislation.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society


This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 89 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100!

** 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 athanasiuscatholic@yahoo.com 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.

Special Series: "1919—2019 A Centenary Meditation on the Church and a Quest for Purification Gone Mad"
- Part I: The Peace, the War, and the Longing for Purification


1919—2019
A Centenary Meditation on the Church and a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad

A Series by Professor John C. Rao, DPhil

***



Part I: The Peace, the War, and the Longing for Purification 

Despite its claims of openness to everyone and anything, friendliness to time gone by is sorely lacking in our pluralist society, and this for very good reason indeed. Pluralism needs to destroy knowledge of the past in order to survive. Historical wisdom makes the depth and longevity of the intellectual, spiritual, and practical divisions in our daily life all too clear to those seeking to learn its lessons. Such wisdom diverts attention away from the only acceptable pluralist solution to human problems: the satisfaction of those material passions to whose endless permutations, monotonous as they ultimately really are, fallen man in his dullness seems ceaselessly attracted.

Unfortunately, we Catholics living in an all-encompassing pluralist society are ourselves subject to its soporific effects. We also have a tendency to don an historical blindfold, to focus on immediate material concerns and their time-bound explanations of current events, and, thus, to replace real intellectual judgments with shallow, pluralist-approved mantras. The result is that our own appreciation of the causes of our present ecclesiastical debacle is both too mundane as well as much too limited historically in its scope.And, sadly, this prevents us from dealing with its horrors effectively.

Two Events in Norcia this Summer

Two important events take place in Norcia this summer:

Francis' Pearls of Wisdom - "Abortion? Your child is in heaven!"; "We need sex education for children!"

From the interview granted by Francis to reporters on his flight back from Panama to Rome:

Lena Klimkeit, DPA: Holy Father, during the Stations of the Cross on Friday a young man spoke very strong words about abortion. I want to repeat them for a moment. ‘There is a tomb that cries out to heaven and denounces the terrible cruelty of humanity. It is the tomb that opens in the womb of the mothers from which innocent life is plucked. May God grant us to truly humanize ourselves, to defend life fervently, to make the laws that kill life not feel erased forever.’ This is a very radical position, in my opinion. I wonder and would like to ask you if this position also respects the suffering of women in this situation and if it corresponds to your message of mercy.

Pope Francis: The message of mercy is for everyone. Also for the human person who is in gestation. It is for everyone. After this failure, there is mercy as well. But a difficult mercy because the problem is not in giving forgiveness. The problem is to accompany a woman who has become aware of an abortion.

The Doctrine of Papal Infallibility

In the following lecture Prof. John Rao lectures on Vatican I, and gives a lucid explanation of the true meaning of papal infallibility.


Events: Upcoming Lectures in Norwalk and New York City

The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny is sponsoring two February events in the NYC area. The first is a lecture at St. Mary's in Norwalk by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski on Thursday, February 14th at 6:30 pm, preceded by Vespers at 5:30 pm. The second is the Second Annual Lepanto Conference on Saturday, February 16th, opening with a Pontifical Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer's and continuing with lectures by Fr. Gerald Murray, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, and Fr. Richard Cipolla. 

Full details may be found in the posters below.

Op-Ed: A French Historian muses about the "Anglicanization" of the Catholic Church: A Priest Responds

Paul VI is paid a "solemn visit" by the high Anglican minister of Canterbury, March 23, 1966 

French historian Luc Perrin, a Professor at the University of Strasbourg, and a well-known commentator of Catholic matters, published a long comment at the French Traditional Catholic page "Le Forum Catholique", in which he asked if the Catholic Church is going through a process of "Anglicanization".

Our Contributor Fr. Richard Cipolla, DPhil, thought this was an interesting exercise and penned a response.

First, Professor Perrin's dubium:

I am submitting this reflection to the wisdom of the reader: this idea has been running around in my head since the annus terribilus of 2018 at least.

There were various theological elements of Catholicism that were the subject of discussion before 2013, but it seems to me—some will disagree on this point, but this is not what I am talking about—that in these discussions the magisterium of Vatican II and the post-conciliar developments until 2013 defended a hermeneutic of reform within a search for continuity, rejecting the hermeneutics of rupture in a direct and recurring manner (this is true for Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, in whose allocution of December 22, 2005 was the last to formalize this insistence on continuity.)