Rorate Caeli

Good Shepherd Sunday Sermon: "When you want to go to a given place, the difficulty of the road cannot divert from this desire." (St. Gregory the Great)

Sermon of Gregory, Bishop of Rome
Saint Peter's Basilica
February 7, 591*

John 10: 11-16

You have heard, dear brothers, the instruction which is addressed to you by the reading of the Gospel; you have also heard the danger that we run. Here indeed is he who is good, not by accidental grace, but by essence, declares, "I am the Good Shepherd." And giving us the pattern of goodness that we must imitate, he adds: "The Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep. "He did what he taught us; he showed what he commanded us. The Good Shepherd gave his life for his sheep to the point of changing his body and blood into a sacrament for us, and to satiate with the food of his flesh the sheep he had redeemed.

He has traced us the path of contempt for death, so that we may follow it; he has set before us the model to which we must conform: first to spend our external goods in all charity for the sheep of the Lord, and if necessary, to give even in the end our life for them. The first form of generosity, which is less, leads to the latter, which is higher. But since the soul, by which we live, is incomparably superior to the earthly goods we possess abroad, how can one who does not give his goods to his sheep be willing to give his life for them?

Don Pietro Leone: The COVID 19 Vaccination Debate: Chains of Evil

Today, Rorate would have been posting the next installment of the series from the book “The Council and the Eclipse of God” had Don Pietro not sent us his contribution to the ongoing debate on the CoronaVirus vaccination. It’s not too short and not too long and as usual beautifully written from the perspective of moral theology. Don Pietro’s love for God, Souls and Truth are paramount, as is evident in this article,  a 'must read' for those seeking guidance in this important matter of  the Covid 19 vaccines.   Devastating  is his list  of the 10 evils behind the production of these vaccines.           

"THE ROMAN SPIRIT: This is what we need!" - by Roberto de Mattei

Lateran Basilica

The Roman Spirit is something that one breaths in only in Rome.  The “sacred city” par excellence, the center of Christianity, the eternal fatherland of every Catholic, who is able to repeat with Cicero, “civis romanus sum”, claiming a spiritual citizenship that has as its geographical boundaries not that of a city but that of an Empire:  not the Empire of the Caesars, but that of the Church, Catholic, apostolic, and Roman.

Jesuit calls for ban on young Catholics at Latin Mass

It is always an eye-opener to read the latest thoughts from the Catholic left, who are often pro-choice as a matter of principle unless the choice runs contrary to their ideology.

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, former editor-in-chief of America magazine (until Pope Benedict helped resolve the situation) has remained an often-quoted source for (dare I say, lazy) mainstream media reporters, and has written a column for Religion News Service. He is pictured below with the rest of the Jesuit community at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. (yes, this is actually their website's group photo) seated, second from the left.

In his latest manifesto, Reese not only calls for overturning Summorum Pontificum, he states:

Thomas Sunday: "The mouth of the devil's evil persuasion devours, day after day, those whose bad lives are in disagreement with the faith they confess."

Saint Gregory the Great 
on the Gospel of the Sunday in Albis (John 20:19-31)
Paschaltide, 591

When reading this gospel, a first question agitates our mind: how did the body of the Lord, once resurrected, remain a real body, while he was able to enter the disciples despite the closed doors? But we must know that the divine action would have nothing more admirable if it were understood by reason, and that faith would have no merit if human reason furnishes it with experimental proofs. Such works of our Redeemer, which can in no way be understood by themselves, must be meditated in the light of his other actions, so that we may be led to believe these wonderful facts by others who are more again. For this body of the Lord who introduced himself to his disciples despite the closed doors is the same as his Nativity brought out in the eyes of men the closed breast of the Virgin. It is not surprising, therefore, that our Redeemer, having risen to live forever, entered despite the closed doors, since coming [into this world] to die, he came out of the Virgin's womb without opening it.

As the faith of those who looked upon this visible body remained hesitant, the Lord immediately showed them his hands and his side; he presented them with touching the flesh he had just introduced, despite the closed doors. In this, he manifested two astonishing and very contradictory things to each other in the light of human reason, since after his Resurrection his body revealed itself to be both incorruptible and tangible. Now, what touches is necessarily corruptible, and what is not corrupted can not be touched. But in a way that forces amazement and beyond comprehension, our Redeemer gave us to see after his resurrection a body that was both incorruptible and tangible: by showing him incorruptible, he invited us to reward; in giving him to touch, he confirmed us in the faith. He showed himself at the same time incorruptible and tangible, to show clearly that after his Resurrection, his body remained of the same nature, but that he was raised to a very different glory.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Debate: Professor De Mattei responds to Critics with 10 Questions

 Roberto de Mattei: 10 questions to all those holding the “anti-vax” position


            My position in defence of the moral liceity of the currently available anti-Covid vaccines has attracted the approval of some cardinals, theologians and priests, whom I thank here, but also the predictable disapproval of many who hold an "anti-vax" position. Having recently published a study on the moral liceity of vaccination examining the question more broadly ( On the moral liceity of the vaccination), I limit myself here to putting some questions to those who hold the “anti-vax” position. I would ask them to answer these in a precise and, if possible, polite manner.


1)    The “livre de chevet” for the anti-vax position is Vaccination: a Catholic perspective by Pamela Acker, published by the Kolbe Center in 2020. In this book, the author argues that the risks of any vaccination are greater than the possible benefits (on pp. 80-81 she gives the example of rabies and tetanus). Those who consider this book as a reference text should also reject the so-called ethical vaccines because they are considered harmful to health. Beyond the vaccines against Covid, is it licit for a Catholic to get vaccinated?

Easter Friday: The Great Commission

 Friday in the Easter Octave is defined by one of the most influential texts in the history of the world: a simple order that transformed a band of eleven outcasts in Galilee into the marvelous Christendom:

The eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing Him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Amen, amen, amen. What are you doing to put the Great Commission into practice in our newly-paganized age? We learn how to act from the teachings of Saint Jerome, remembered in today's Matins:

The COVID-19 Vaccination Debate: We cannibals and the children of Medea*


The following commentary regarding recent articles on Rorate Caeli  by Professor Roberto de Mattei and Father Richard Cipolla on vaccines, was written in response to my own conscience in disagreement with them on this extremely important issue and alters nothing of the high esteem and respect I have for both of them in their respective roles as Catholic priest and Catholic historian. I am fully aware that their scholarship and intellectual qualifications are light years ahead of mine – yet I still believe I have something to say about this matter as a reasonably informed and most concerned Traditional Catholic. I have no hard feelings because we differ in our stances on this subject:  just surprise and bewilderment.                                                                                                         F. R.


I oppose the position on the so-called licit use of Covid 19 vaccines for Catholics, that Professor De Mattei and Father Cipolla have proposed in their articles on Rorate Caeli over the past 2 weeks .

IMPORTANT: Traditional Priests in Paris arrested for not having masked servants in sanctuary during Easter Vigil - The French Republic persecutes Catholics once more (Updated)

Update: after many hours of detention by the Police, the priests were set free. But they can still undergo a full criminal procedure, depending on what the courts decide.

The parish of St-Eugène-Ste-Cécile is the greatest jewel of the Paris archdiocese. There are churches that are grander, more historic, more beautiful than this building, a wrought-iron lattice marvel from the industrial age and an example that 19th-century architecture could build beautiful churches in record time.

But it is the greatest jewel not because of the building, but because of what goes on inside it: for decades now, it has been the most lively parish* in the city, due to its promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass. Its group of musicians, the Schola Sainte-Cécile, is responsible for some of the best sacred Music in Europe today. The parish celebrations can be seen freely at their Youtube channel.

Last Saturday evening, on the celebration of the Easter Vigil, the parish once again put on the most dignified liturgy possible. It was also an occasion of additional joy due to the adults baptized into the faith in this most solemn of all Vigils.

Alas, the anonymous brother of one of the newly baptized was "horrified" with what he saw. Some kind of sacrilege? Blasphemy? No, there was nothing against the Catholic faith, but there was what he thought were sins against the Covidist faith: the priest and his servers in the sanctuary were maskless. And, worse, people who went to take Communion received it maskless and, l'horreur, on the tongue!...

Those anti-Catholic "accusations" were published by the daily Le Parisien, and then led to two procedures against the pastor of the church, Father Marc Guelfucci, and one of his vicars, Father Gabriel Godziski: one of them criminal (some kind of "crime" against "public health"); and, since honor is not his forte, the archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit (petit both in name and in dignity), decided to open today canonical proceedings against the pastor.

Now, this Thursday, the two priests were placed under "garde à vue" (a kind of administrative, not court-ordered, arrest typical of French law) and are now under arrest.

For the Record: US Conference of Bishops' Doctrine Chairman on Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine

[On the ongoing Catholic debate on the various Covid-19 vaccines:]
On March 2, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the United States. 

“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.

Aldo Maria Valli: How Amoris Lætitia Opened my Eyes About Francis and the Council


 Vaticanist Aldo Maria Valli (Rorate note: Valli used to be the Vaticanist for one of the main channels of Italian public broadcasting corporation RAI) was interviewed on Radio Spada on February 27, 2021. 

During the interview, he explained how he discovered Tradition and the effects of the Second Vatican Council on the life of the Church. Here are the most significant excerpts from this courageous testimony.

 Radio Spada: If you had to summarize in a few lines your position on this historic event that Vatican II was for the Church and its consequences, what would you tell us? 

 Aldo Maria Valli: I have nurtured admiration for many actors of the conciliar sessions, and Providence has allowed me to know some of them personally. I have always appreciated their passion and love for the Church.Having grown up in the post-conciliar Church (in my case, in Milan), for a long time I did not even suspect that the Council could carry within it the seeds of a theological and pastoral evolution and, even worse, of a deviation in relation to Tradition and the deposit of the faith. During the years that I followed the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI as a Vaticanist, I embraced the vision of what is called “the hermeneutics of continuity.” 

The COVID-19 Vaccination Debate - The Threat to the Traditional Movement: A Response to Comments on deMattei's Article on the Vaccines

 The Traditional Catholic blog, OnePeterFive,  recently published my translation of Roberto deMattei’s article on the moral liceity of receiving the Covid-19 vaccines.  This translation was published first on Rorate Caeli. 

Fontgombault Sermon for Easter Day 2021: "The tomb is empty. Will the same happen to the tombs of our lives, of our miseries?"


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, April 4, 2021


Rich and poor, exult together. You who have abstained, and you who were neglectful, honor this day. You who have fasted, and you who have not fasted, rejoice today… All of you, enjoy the feast of faith… Let no one bewail his misery, for our Kingdom has appeared. Let no one weep on his sins, for forgiveness has risen from the tomb. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. Death held Him, and He has smothered death; He descended into hell, and He has despoiled it… Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and the devils are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
 My dearly beloved Sons, 

 By these words, taken from the Byzantine rite of the Easter Vigil, St. John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, addressed his people “on this holy and radiant day of Christ our God’s glorious and salutary resurrection.” Whoever we may be, whatever our lives may be, let us implore the forgiveness Christ offers us through His victory over evil, and over death. Let us rise with Him and enjoy the feast of faith. These words divide mankind into two parts. Every man who acknowledges he needs a savior receives them for his salvation. Every man who is self-sufficient rejects them for his ruin. 

 On this holy Easter day, let us remember the parable of the prodigal son, also called the parable of the merciful father. Among the two sons, the younger first demands his share of the estate, then leave his father’s home to live his own life. He squanders all his goods, and then conceives the wish to go back to his father, not as a son, but as a hired servant. From afar, his father catches sight of him. He goes and meets him, forgives him, and orders his homecoming to be celebrated. The elder son comes back from the field, and having been informed of the reason for the celebration, is greatly angered and refuses to join the feast. Neither the elder son nor the younger had understood the secret of their father’s heart, mercy. The elder, out of a narrow-minded fidelity to his education, was expecting from his father nothing but justice. He was righteous, and deemed himself not to need mercy. The younger son had squandered away his goods, his inheritance, and above all, his education. Aware of his own misery and responsibility, he could only claim to be condemned. As to the father, he was eager to share his secret, his mercy, with both of his children. 

Saint Gregory the Great's Sermon for Easter Sunday, 591: "Let us pass over from evildoing to virtue, that we may merit to see our Redeemer in Galilee."

Sermon by Gregory, Bishop of Rome
Basilica of Saint Mary Major
April 15, 591

Sermon on the Holy Day of the Resurrection

Gospel for the Mass of the Day (Mk 16:1-7)

It has been my custom, beloved brethren, to speak to you on many of the Gospel readings, by means of a sermon I had already dictated for you. But since I have been unable, because of the weakness of my throat, to read to you myself what I had prepared, I notice that some among you listen somewhat indifferently. So, contrary to my usual practice, I shall for the future make the effort during the sacred solemnities of the Mass to explain the Gospel, not through a sermon I have dictated, but by speaking directly to you myself.

So for the future it shall be the rule for me to speak to you in this way. For the words which are spoken directly to sluggish souls awaken them more readily than a sermon that is read to them; moving them by that touch as it were of authority, so that they listen with more attention. I am not, as I well know, competent to fulfill this office: but let your charity make good what my ignorance denies me. For I have in mind Him Who has said: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it (Ps. lxxx. ii). We all have in mind a good work , and it will be perfected by His divine assistance (II Tim. iii. 17). And also, this great solemnity of the Sunday of the Resurrection gives us a fitting occasion for speaking to you: for it would indeed be unfitting that the tongue of our body should be silent in the praises that are clue this day; that day on which the Body of our Author rose again from the dead.



Sine sanguinis effusione non fit remissio.
Heb. 9:22

+Schneider: Abortion-tainted vaccines and the culture of death

                                                   By Bishop Athanasius Schneider


The blood of murdered unborn children cries to God from abortion-tainted vaccines and medicines

Anti-Christian world powers that promote the culture of death are seeking to impose on the world’s population an implicit — though remote and passive — collaboration with abortion. Such remote collaboration, in itself, is also an evil because of the extraordinary historical circumstances in which these same world powers are promoting the murder of unborn children and the exploitation of their remains. When we use vaccines or medicines which utilize cell lines originating from aborted babies, we physically benefit from the “fruits” of one of the greatest evils of mankind — the cruel genocide of the unborn. For if one innocent child had not been cruelly murdered, we would not have these concrete vaccines or medicines. We should not be so naive as not to see that these vaccines and medicines not only offer a health benefit but also promise to promote the culture of death.

Fontgombault Sermon for Maundy Thursday 2021: "Sacraments and Prayer are our sole strength against the apostasy of our times."

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, April 1, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

At the end of Lent, the Church seems to break with the austerity and bareness to which she has accustomed us since Ash Wednesday, and even since Septuagesima Sunday. 

The Chrism Mass and the Mass in Cœna Domini, or Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper, are liturgically very rich. The former was traditionally celebrated around the bishop in the cathedral churches, on the morning of Maundy Thursday. During this Mass, the oil of the infirm and the oil of catechumens are blessed, and the sacred chrism is consecrated. These holy oils are then taken to each parish, where they are normally kept in a small cavity closed by a door in the wall of the church. The oil of the infirm is used for the sacrament of extreme unction, which gives a special grace to bear a state of disease. The oil of catechumens grants to those who will be baptized the strength of the Holy Spirit for the fight of spiritual life. Lastly, the holy chrism, oil mixed with perfume, is used for the consecration anointing during baptism and confirmation, after episcopal and priestly ordinations, and during the dedication of churches and altars.

Gregorius Magnus, magazine of the FIUV: Spring edition

Cross-posted from the FIUV blog.

The latest edition of Gregorius Magnus is now available, for Spring 2021.

Gregorius Magnus 11 pdf download

It includes a report on the events in Rome last October, in place of the usual Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage.

It also includes a key passage from the French Bishops' summary report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, in an English translation published for the first time.

As usual it also includes translations of articles from the quarterly magazines of Una Voce France and Pro Missa Tridentina of Germany, as well as an article from the Latin Mass Society's Mass of Ages, and news and reflections first published here, from Croatia, Romania, and Poland.

It is free to download as a pdf, or to view on the ISSUU website and app for mobile devices.

Requiem High Mass funeral for Officer Talley

There is a large, secular memorial service today in Colorado for Boulder Officer Eric Talley, however yesterday was his traditional Latin High Requiem Mass funeral.

Officer Talley attended the traditional Latin Mass at the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter's parish in Littleton, Colorado -- Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Priests from that parish were given permission to use the cathedral basilica in Denver for the Requiem High Mass in the presence of a greater prelate, with Archbishop Samuel Aquila attending in choir and delivering remarks.

The Mass, stunning in its beauty and reverence, contained all of the funeral ceremonies from the 1962 books, complete with lovely Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony throughout. The cathedral basilica is not extremely large, but hosted family, friends and fellow police officers, livestreamed by the Archdiocese of Denver. We strongly recommend watching and listening to it if you can, including such well-chosen words to the congregation by Father James Jackson, FSSP.  And a reminder there is a way to donate to the Talley family here.

Op-Ed by Roberto de Mattei: Questions and Answers on the Pandemic and the Vaccines


Some Questions and Answers on the Pandemic and the Vaccines.

We live in a time of confusion, and what is even more dramatic, this confusion prevails even among the most faithful Catholics, who adhere to the Tradition of the Church.

Among these Catholics, during this time of the Pandemic, two questions recur:  1) Is it morally licit to use vaccines against Covd-19 that use cellular lines coming from aborted fetuses? 2) Quite apart from the liceity of these vaccines, is it advisable to receive them, at this time when all the risks to one’s health that they pose are not yet known?

In a study just published by Edizione Fiducia, I have tried to respond in an articulate manner to the first question.  This text is meant  above all for those who want to learn more about the problem of the anti-Covid vaccines in the light of theology and moral philosophy. There is, however, a reply that is more easily accessible for the Catholic with good sense, and this is it:  it is licit to be vaccinated because the Church assures of this, through its most authoritative doctrinal body, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On December 21 2020 the Congregation expressed itself with a concise document that refers back to another document that is more comprehensive:  On the Dignity of the Person, dated from September 8, 2008.

The pronouncements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are the voice of the teaching Church, in the face of which laity and priests can legitimately express doubts, but always with filial respect, lest they run the risk of justifying every type of dissent, such as that which we see happening at this time against the prohibition, on the part of the same Congregation, to bless homosexual unions. 

Don Pietro Leone re: The Council and the Eclipse of God

 A Note 

At the suggestion of Don Pietro, Rorate is suspending the installments of his book on the Council for 2 weeks, so that readers may better devote themselves to the meditation and the celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord.   He assures you all of his heartfelt prayers in this holy and grace-filled liturgical season.              F.R.

Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783) - I pellegrini al sepolcro di Nostro Signore

Event: Priestly Ordination and Conference on the Sacred Heart in Guadalajara, Mexico, June 10-13, 2021

We are pleased to announce on behalf of the FSSP in Mexico the following Summorum Pontificum Congress, to be held from June 10-13, 2021, and including a priestly ordination at the hands of Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.

Summorum Pontificum [Congress] is an event for Catholics who want to learn more about the richness of their liturgical, artistic, theological, and spiritual traditions. This year the keynote address will be given by His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, member of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, who will also celebrate a traditional priestly ordination – the first in Mexico in many years. There will be three pontifical Masses and the sacrament of Confirmation, outstanding conferences, and much more. The Summorum Pontificum Congress will bring together faithful Catholics from all over Mexico and abroad to participate in this historic event. Translation services will be available in English and Spanish.

For more details and for registration, visit the bilingual website

Fontgombault Sermon for Palm Sunday 2021: Follow Jesus on the Days of Joy, as well as on the Days of Sorrow

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, March 28, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My dearly beloved Sons,

After Lent, the time of spiritual preparation, to which was added a part of penance, after our entry last Sunday into the time of Passion, we are now beginning with Palm Sunday the Holy Week.

This week is called holy, for the events we commemorate are holy: the institution of the Eucharist and of the sacrament of Holy Orders, the death and resurrection of Our Lord. This week is holy, for these events, holy in themselves, are also sanctifying for those who accept to follow Christ.

The Prophet Jeremias Shown the Door: Too Violent!

St Peter & St Jeremias

Whenever I have the opportunity to attend the daily traditional Mass during Passiontide, I am struck by the choice of readings and the tenor of the prayers and antiphons: so different from what we find in the Novus Ordo!

In particular, the readings from the Prophet Jeremiah for Friday and Saturday of Passion Week (yesterday and today), even though they have been read for well over 1,000 years, were OMITTED ENTIRELY from the revised lectionary. Pourquoi, one asks? Well, have a look and see what you think.

Announcing the Publication of Defending the Faith Against Present Heresies

Paperback on the left, hardcover with dustjacket on the right

Arouca Press, rapidly establishing itself as the most interesting and valuable Catholic publisher in Canada, is much to be commended for its latest release, a 450-page volume entitled Defending the Faith Against Present Heresies: Letters and Statements Addressed to Pope Francis, the Cardinals, and the Bishops, with a Collection of Related Articles and Interviews.

Officer Eric Talley: We take care of our own

Sorry to be behind on this, but personal life can sometimes get in the way of doing other things, such as rallying our readers around supporting the family of former Officer Eric Talley who was recently murdered by a terrorist.

For those who don't know, Officer Talley was one of many in Boulder, Colorado, recently killed by Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. But he was also a traditional Catholic and attended the traditional Latin Mass with his family. 

And we take care of our own. 

This act of terrorism has left Mrs. Talley and her seven children without their husband, father and bread winner. I'm hoping our community will rally around them and put some food on their table now that Eric can't. 



2) PRIESTS: Please say a TLM for Eric's soul. Especially the 110 Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society priests, this is an official request for each of you: Say a TLM for the repose of the soul of Eric Talley soon. 

Let's  all do what we can for today for the soul of Eric Talley and for his family. He already laid his life down as so many officers have done for us. Time to take a tiny step towards returning the favor. 

No donation is too small.

That is the Catholic Church!”: Cardinal Ratzinger’s Reaction to Private Masses at Fontgombault

In his recently published book Le grand bonheur (Fayard, 2020), Nicolas Diat relates a singular—and now, in light of the tragic suppression of private Masses in St. Peter’s, highly topical—anecdote about the then Cardinal Ratzinger’s reaction to witnessing the early morning private Masses simultaneously celebrated by some twenty monks at various side altars at Fontgombault Abbey in 2001. Diat had related the same story in an earlier book entitled L’homme qui ne voulait pas être pape (Albin Michel, 2014).

On July 22nd to 24th, 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger attended an international liturgical conference at Fontgombault Abbey where he delivered a lecture and gave a further impromptu lecture when he was asked to provide closing remarks on the Monday evening of July 24th. The next morning as the cardinal is preparing to depart back to Rome Diat relates the following story, as recounted to him by the then Abbot of Fontgombault, Dom Forgeot:

The Fate of Passiontide in the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms


by Matthew Hazell

If there be any time in the Year, when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should excite the heart of the Christian to devotion, it is Passiontide. [1]

The last two weeks of Lent in the Roman Rite are kept as Passiontide, when the Church intensifies her preparations for the Triduum and Easter celebrations. Crucifixes and images of our Lord and the Saints are covered; Iudica me is heard as the introit of Passion Sunday for the last time until Easter; the Gloria Patri is omitted at the Asperges, the introit, and the lavabo; the Lenten preface changes to that of the Holy Cross; the readings focus more and more upon the Passion and Death of the Lord. 

Mental prayer video: Christ on fasting

Over the past year I have come to love, and grow, in mental prayer. This was something that eluded me because I am a deeply visual person and always had a difficult time reading a book on mental prayer then actually visualizing how to do it, until Fr. David Nix, a diocesan hermit, created his "VLX" series. 

If you want to start from the beginning and learn how to do the two forms of mental prayer, CLICK HERE. Fr. Nix posts about one new video per week. He also has a catechism course you'll see called "CPX". 

For today, I went back to a pre-Lent video, to refresh myself on what Jesus taught on fasting to keep it front and center during the home stretch leading up to Easter. And I've embedded that below. 

I encourage everyone, even children, to utilize this amazing video tool Father offers, especially if metal prayer is not currently a regular part of your prayer life. If you find it as deeply helpful to you as I do, please also consider donating to Fr. Nix, and help him continue his good work.

Academic Online Survey: On the Use of Latin at Mass

If you are able to, please consider giving your view in the survey below.

Note: All survey responses will be anonymous, and the survey program will not collect any identifying information nor IP addresses. Link below is for survey and more information about the project:

Fontgombault Sermon for the Feast of Saint Benedict: "God embraces the whole universe. Nothing escapes His Providence."

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, March 21, 2021

Centuplum accipiet. 
He shall receive an hundredfold. 
Mt 19:29 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
My dearly beloved Sons, 

Saint Gregory, in his Life of St. Benedict, evokes an astonishing event: the vision of the whole world under a single ray of light that was granted to the Father of the Western monks. Servandus, a deacon and the abbot of a nearby monastery, had come to pay a visit to the patriarch. As Benedict himself, he was a man of God. 

As a sort of current flowing from one another, they gave to each other the sweet words of life, and, yearning with sighs and longing desires, tasted of that delightful food of the celestial country, the perfect fruition of which they were not as yet permitted to enjoy. 

Once the time for rest come, the two monks parted. Yet, Benedict prayed, standing before his window, whereas the brothers were resting. Suddenly, in the deep of night, he saw a light glancing from above, driving away the darkness of night, and shining with a splendor far beyond the light of day. In this light, Benedict saw “the whole world, compacted, as it were, under a single ray of sun.” 

Wishing someone to witness his vision, St. Benedict called Servandus, who “saw a little remainder of the light.” 

Mourning the End of a 1500-year-old Tradition: Private Masses in Saint Peter's Basilica

 There's nothing to add to this:

Nothing, except this: this order was by FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio). He ordered it. He may have used an irrelevant machine cog in the wrong dicastery to initial the document, but it all came from him. Seeing those throngs of young priests celebrating Mass after Mass in the many altars of the Vatican Basilica, a tradition that dated from the very first ages of side altars in the Old Basilica built by Constantine, was obviously something that rattled him.

Fine: there are hundreds of churches and thousands of Altars in Rome, and there's nothing he can do about it.

Don Pietro Leone: PART VI - The Council and the Eclipse of God: THE CHURCH - part 2

In this installment, Don Pietro examines how the Council through its establishment of collegiality, set the Church on the slippery slope of diminishing the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, diminishing the monarchial authority of the Bishops in favour of Episcopal conferences and reduced the priest from the status of  alter Christus thus placing him on the same level as the laity.  As a consequence, the hierarchy of the Church is replaced by a bland, democratic egalitarianism.          F.R.                                                

The Council and the Eclipse of God-Part VI


THE CHURCH  - part 2 

The Church teaches infallibly that: ‘If any-one says that in the Catholic Church there is no hierarchy instituted by Divine ordinance that consist of bishops, priests, and ministers, Anathema Sit1 The Council, by contrast, calls into doubt that there is a hierarchy consisting of the Pope, who enjoys the primacy, and consisting of the Bishops and the Priests.

An illustration of Pius IX opening the First Vatican Council during which papal supremacy was proclaimed a dogma.

1.       The Pope


          Historical Sketch 2.


The theory opposed to the dogma of the primacy of the Pope is known as ‘collegiality’. The theory ascribes excessive importance to the ‘College of Bishops’ by claiming that it can enjoy authority more or less independently of the Pope, with or without the Pope being member of the College. The Liberals envisaged this form of independent, democratic authority as a legacy of the ‘Apostolic College of the Twelve’.


The driving forces behind this movement were three in number. The first was ecumenical 3, the primacy of Peter constituting, of course, the principal obstacle to ecumenical dialogue. The term ‘collegiality 4’ first made its appearance in 1951 in the journal of the Monastery of Chevetogne ‘Irenikon’ in an article penned by Father Yves Congar OP. In 1960 the Orthodox Institute St. Sergius in Paris proposed the idea of a ‘collegial’ ecclesiology based on the primacy of ‘love’, as against the Catholic ecclesiology based on the juridical notion of ‘power.’ Dom Olivier Rousseau of Chevetogne , close both to the Parisian Institute as also to Monsignor Charue, Vice President of the conciliar Theological Commission, did much to promote such ideas.


The second driving force behind the collegialist movement was theological, deriving from the Anti-infallibilism of the 19th century, from the Febronianism of the 18th century, and the Conciliarism of the 15th century. The third theory was expressed in the heterodox document Haec Sancta of the Council of Constance (1418) in the claim that that Council ‘derives its power immediately from God, and all, including the Pope, are obliged to obey it…’ Despite the fact that this claim was later repeatedly condemned as heretical 5, it re-emerged, albeit in a mitigated form, in a series of essays written by a certain Dom Paul de Vooght in 1959.

Dom Paul de Vooght

Should Sacred Ministers Mask? Observations and Analysis from a Woman in the Pews

The author of the following essay wishes to remain anonymous.

Should Sacred Ministers Mask? Observations and Analysis from a Woman in the Pews

In almost every Catholic church around the world, one can now find priests wearing masks. Most priests who offer the Traditional Latin Mass have adopted the mask only very reluctantly. Something within them protests against masking during liturgies, but then they dismiss this as imprudence, or aestheticism, or misguided zeal. They conclude that they must “mask up” and bear this cross for the good of their flock.

Ought they, though? Does this really help the flock?

Roberto de Mattei: Is the COVID vaccine morally licit for Catholics?

 [Translator's note: The following is a translation of a review by Veronica Rasponi that appeared on Corrispondenza Romana of Professor Roberto de Mattei’s just published book (in Italian)  called “On the Moral Liceity of the Vaccine”. As many Catholics who know and love the Catholic Tradition and the Traditional Mass know, Professor de Mattei is one of the most important leaders of the Traditional Movement not only in Italy but throughout Europe.  His conclusions are very important for those who are weighing a decision whether to receive one of the Covid-19 vaccines.  He concludes, after a rigorous discussion using the methodology of some of the greatest moral theologians of the Church, that the vaccine is morally licit.  In that conclusion he is in agreement with the recent statements of the Pontifical Academy for Life and of the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith. The review below offers highlights of what Professor de Mattei writes in his book. All the quotes are from de Mattei himself unless noted. - Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla]


Is the anti-Covid vaccine licit?  A response from Roberto de Mattei.

IMPORTANT -- CDF Responsum ad Dubium: Church lacks power to bless same-sex unions; a blessing would also be illicit

 Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium

regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex

Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?


Explanatory Note

In some ecclesial contexts, plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced. Such projects are not infrequently motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons, to whom are proposed paths of growth in faith, “so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives”[1].

On such paths, listening to the word of God, prayer, participation in ecclesial liturgical actions and the exercise of charity can play an important role in sustaining the commitment to read one's own history and to adhere with freedom and responsibility to one's baptismal call, because “God loves every person and the Church does the same”[2], rejecting all unjust discrimination.

Among the liturgical actions of the Church, the sacramentals have a singular importance: “These are sacred signs that resemble the sacraments: they signify effects, particularly of a spiritual kind, which are obtained through the Church’s intercession. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions of life are sanctified”[3]. The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifies, then, that “sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it” (#1670).

Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the Church “calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life”[4]. In addition, they “have been established as a kind of imitation of the sacraments, blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession”[5].

Consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.

For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex[6]. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.

Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit. This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing[7] invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”[8].

The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.

The Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness. At the same time, they should recognize the genuine nearness of the Church – which prays for them, accompanies them and shares their journey of Christian faith[9] – and receive the teachings with sincere openness.

The answer to the proposed dubium does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations[10], who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching. Rather, it declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such. In this case, in fact, the blessing would manifest not the intention to entrust such individual persons to the protection and help of God, in the sense mentioned above, but to approve and encourage a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God[11].

At the same time, the Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him “we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit”[12]. But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact “takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are”[13].

For the above mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above.

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of this Congregation, was informed and gave his assent to the publication of the above-mentioned Responsum ad dubium, with the annexed Explanatory Note.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the 22nd of February 2021, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle.

Luis F. Card. Ladaria, S.I.



✠ Giacomo Morandi

Archbishop tit. of Cerveteri


The Ultimate Selfie: Sermon for Laetare Sunday (Father Cipolla)

From the Gospel:  “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.”

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded by all four of the Gospels.  This sign, this miracle, is considered as central within the kerygma, for it has always been understood as prefiguring the Holy Eucharist: the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish as pointing to the miraculous reality of the true bread of heaven who is Jesus Christ given to the Church as his Real Presence among us until the end of time.  And in this way this gospel has always been associated with the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Laetare Sunday, with its introit:  “Rejoice O Jerusalem”, pointing to the Easter Sacrament by which the people are fed with the true Bread of Life.

But we must also remember that this miracle begins the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, the great discourse on the Eucharist, whose climax is Jesus’ words: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”.  It is those words that cause a number of Jesus’ followers to leave him. It is those words that anger the scribes and the Pharisees.  It is those words that help set off those events that lead to the Cross.  It is those words that lie at the heart of the Church’s understanding of and faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. 

When the people who were fed by the miracle of the loaves and fishes were looking for Jesus later, he had no illusions about what they were looking for.  He said to them:  “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”  I love the clarity of this.  The people were seeking him to see what he could give them next.  The miracle as a sign is a two edged sword; it proves nothing in the end.  Taken at face value it may be part of a mysterious magic show instead of the sign that points to a deeper reality  And we can imagine the people reacting like the townspeople in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel singing:  

IMPORTANT! -- Francis Effect: The End of the Traditional Latin Mass in St. Peter's Basilica

The Traditional Mass used to be celebrated hidden, out of sight, in the crypt of the Vatican Basilica (the Hungarian Chapel) from the days of the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei to Summorum.

Since the 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which recognized that the Traditional Mass had never been abrogated (and in fact could never be so), many priests who have celebrated in the several side altars of St. Peter's have done so by using the 1962 Missal. And it was celebrated daily in two of the Basilica's major altars, especially the Altar of Blessed Pope Innocent XI.

Alas, the new order (see below) that has come to the Vatican Basilica has abolished all privately celebrated masses in the upper body of the Basilica (including Novus Ordo masses, which used to be very numerous as well), and has determined that all masses celebrated in the Basilica will have to be (naturally Novus Ordo) concelebrations, liturgically "animated" by "readers" and "singers"...

(Order from the Secretariat of State below:)

Don Pietro Leone: The Council and the Eclipse of God – PART V


                  THE CHURCH


                            I   THE CHURCH CONSIDERED IN HERSELF


Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate 1

The Church, Militant, Suffering and Triumphant by Andrea Buonaiuto (1365)