Rorate Caeli

Foundations Restored, a DVD series from the Kolbe Center for Creation Studies -- A guest-review, by Fr. Thomas Crean OP

Fr. Thomas Crean, OP

Atheism is not natural to man. St Thomas Aquinas writes: “Natural reason shows man that he is subject to some superior, because of the defects he experiences in himself, which mean that he must be helped and directed by a superior – and whatever this superior is, it is what everyone calls God” (Summa theologiae 2a 2ae 85, 1). Yet atheism has been spreading among mankind from the 19th century on.

Likewise, before the 19th century, and absent bloody persecution, baptised peoples did not en masse give up the practice of some form of the Christian religion.  Since then, they have done so throughout the West.

How can we explain these phenomena?  The Kolbe Center for Creation Studies believes, first, that they are caused in large part by a general acceptance of the claim that the first human beings, and the main categories of living things, derive their existence from natural causes rather than from a miraculous act of the Creator; and secondly, that this claim is incorrect and contrary to divine revelation.  I think that the Kolbe Center is correct in both regards.

I welcome, therefore, the appearance of Foundations Restored, a DVD series in 17 episodes which offers theological and empirical arguments against the ‘Darwinian mentality’ which for the moment still prevails among the human race, including among many Catholics.  The series is aimed at adults and young adults at secondary schools, college and seminaries, and the average length of an episode is just over one hour.

Museum of 17th-Century Hidden Catholic Church in Amsterdam to be closed? -- considered "too Western"

Sent by a Polish friend of Rorate Caeli (Polish original here):


World-famous museum in Amsterdam is to be closed, because for the leftist city authorities its staff is too "white" and "Western"

The hidden church "Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder", hidden in the attic of a 17th-century Amsterdam tenement house, is one of the city's oldest museums, as well as one of the most famous after Anne Frank family home, Van Gogh and the national museums ( Rijksmuseum). Since I have already presented it quite extensively in the text "Fleeting exhibition in the church hidden in the attic", here I will only remind you of the most important facts.

From the moment of the victory of the Protestant revolution in the second half of the 16th century in the lands of today's Netherlands, Catholicism was banned, and Catholics trying to profess their faith were persecuted (although fortunately less bloody than, for example, in England). Consequently, secret chapels, hidden in private houses, were built in many cities, where the faithful gathered silently. There were over a dozen of them in Amsterdam. This state of affairs lasted until the nineteenth century, when the ban on Catholic worship was lifted. While many anti-Catholic restrictions were still in force (the ban on Catholic processions in this leading "libertarian" country in the European Union was in force until 1983!), churches were allowed to be built. Secret chapels were no longer needed and they were liquidated, but the purely baroque hidden church "Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder" ("Our beloved Lord in the attic") in the heart of Amsterdam's old town, at Oudezijds Voorburgwal, 38, was left as a trace of those times and turned into a museum.

Why Did “Prayer and Penance” Go Missing on the Feast of St John Vianney?

Today on the 1960 general Roman calendar is the feast of St John Mary Vianney. When he was canonized in 1925, his feast was set for August 9, but in 1960 he was bumped back a day to August 8. His dies natalis, August 4, had been occupied by St. Dominic for so many centuries that no one thought of moving him. As Gregory DiPippo pointed out at New Liturgical Movement, St. John Vianney would himself have celebrated Mass in honor of St. Dominic on August 4th.

What struck me this morning as I assisted at Mass is the Collect, which is the only proper item (the rest of the Mass is from the Common of Confessors “Os Justi”). Here is how it reads:

Back in Print after Nearly a Century: Cardinal Schuster’s The Sacramentary

Traditional Catholic publisher Arouca Press, based in Ontario, has just released an affordable reprint of Cardinal Ildefons Schuster's classic commentary on the Roman rite, The Sacramentary, in both paperback and hardcover, with discount rates for buying the entire 5-volume set directly from Arouca (US $100 for the complete paperback set, and $140 for the hardcover set).

Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Baptism done with the formula "We baptize you" is invalid

on the validity of Baptism conferred with the formula
«We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit»



First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formula «We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit» is valid?


Second question: Whether those persons for whom baptism was celebrated with this formula must be baptized in forma absoluta?


To the first questionNegative.

To the second question: Affirmative.

The Supreme Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On June 8, 2020, approved these Responses and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 24, 2020, on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.

Luis F. Card. Ladaria, S.I.

✠ Giacomo Morandi
Titular Archbishop of Cerveteri

* * *

on the modification of the sacramental formula of Baptism

De Mattei: An eminent Cardinal, but not very prudent

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
August 5, 2020

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun is an eminent prelate who sincerely loves his country and the Church. Born in Shanghai in 1932, ordained to the priesthood in the Salesian Order in 1961, he was appointed Bishop by John Paul II in 1996 and created Cardinal by Benedict XVI in 2006. Between 1996 and 2009 he was coadjutor and subsequently Archbishop of the diocese of Hong Kong, No one knows better than he does the complexity of the political and religious situation in China.

On January 9, 2016, Cardinal Zen, today Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, voiced severe criticism of the Vatican policy towards China which has evolved during the pontificate of Pope Francis. The Vatican reporter, Sandro Magister sums up the situation in these terms: “Since it has been in power, in fact, the Chinese Communist Party has wanted to set up a Church submissive to itself and separate from Rome, with bishops appointed by its own exclusive warrant and ordained without the approval of the Pope, subjugated to a “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association” that Benedict XVI called “irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine. An “official” Church, therefore, on the brink of schism. Interwoven with an “underground” Church led by bishops not recognized by Beijing and absolutely faithful to the Pope, who however, pay the full price of clandestinity: oppression, surveillance, arrest, abduction.”1.

Cardinal Zen is the voice today that best represents this “subterranean” Church.  “I am the voice of the voiceless not only to protest against the Communist Authorities, but also to put certain questions to our Roman Authorities. All these years actions were posited which offend the doctrine and the discipline of our Church: illegitimate and excommunicated bishops perform pontifical rites and sacred ordinations, legitimate bishops take part in illegitimate Episcopal ordinations up to four times; almost the total participation of the bishops of the official community at the National Assembly of Catholic representatives. No word came from Rome! Don’t our brothers  in China have the right to be confused and pose questions?”2

Guest Article: “The Seven Steps of the Altar”

Rorate Caeli is grateful to Canon Heitor Matheus, ICRSS, for sharing with us this beautiful homily he preached some time ago at St. Mary's in Wausau, Wisconsin. It is fitting to share it this week as we recall the dies natalis of St. John Vianney on August 4th (with his Mass in the usus antiquior on August 8th). We are reminded that the minor and major orders are very much alive in the Church today, continuing immemorial tradition. Young men responding to the Lord's call desire and deserve to have these rites for their strengthening and sanctification.

The Seven Steps of the Altar: Ascending to the Priesthood

Canon Heitor Matheus, ICRSS

THIS YEAR on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (July 2), our Institute had the great joy to give nine more priests to the Church—nine more men who were ordained to continue the work of Redemption of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So I wish to speak today about this beautiful adventure that we call vocation and how a man becomes a priest.

As in a great puzzle, God has a place for each one of us, and we have the duty to try to find out where our place is. And I tell you that we are only going to be happy, truly happy, in the vocation God has for us. Our vocation is the most important decision we have to make in this life: it will decide the course of our life here below, and also bear upon our eternity.

But how do we find out our vocation? First of all, we have to know that the word “vocation” means “calling.” A vocation is a calling from God. We don’t hear this calling with the ears of our body, but we can perceive it by the affections of our heart. For example, when a young man enjoys coming to church, serving at the Altar, learning about the Faith, spending time in prayer… when it is as if he is drawn by a secret force to the things of God. Such things are signs of a vocation.

"If any man have an ear, let him hear": The Mark of the Beast

If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The Apocalypse of Saint John (Revelation), 13:9-18


Related news item: Singapore to make travellers wear electronic tags to enforce quarantine (Reuters)

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Last month, we added a new priest, and the Society now stands at 108 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. 

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card in English to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll (you send these to the family and/or friends of the dead, not to us). It's free for anyone to use. CLICK HERE to download in Latin and CLICK HERE to download in Spanish

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 repose of the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

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

Sermon for the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost: Lead us not into temptation

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla


From the gospel of St. Matthew:  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  

And from today’s epistle from Paul to the Corinthians:  

Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it. 



Another difficult passage to deal with on the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.  Last Sunday we had to deal with the dishonest steward and Jesus’ commendation of him. Today we have to deal with St. Paul’s teaching on temptation.  But we must deal with this, for this passage points to one of the most best known phrases in the Lord’s Prayer. “ Lead us not into temptation.”  

A Religious Superior Reflects on Wimples—and on the Current Masquerade

Rorate Caeli received the following text from a religious superior who gave permission to publish it anonymously. The substance is taken from a chapter talk in the community.

Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1430-1435, by Robert Campin

Although the veil is historically more ancient than the wimple, the recent order from the civil government, requiring the wearing of a mask in public places, has made me reflect on our wimple.

The wimple came into fashion during the Middle Ages, from about the 13th century onward. All women of good breeding wore a wimple, and, later on it was retained for some time (through the 15th century) for married women. The wimple was always worn with a veil. The idea for the wimple is that the woman’s face is visible, but her neck and her head are covered. Even if it seems that lay women sometimes showed some of their hair when they wore a wimple or veil, the hair seen was dressed or braided, not hair flowing freely (which is an important difference with regard to its attractiveness).

One reason for the wearing of a wimple is the same as the reason for wearing a veil: that of reserving one’s beauty for one’s spouse. This is the reason that married women, above all, wore the wimple (and the veil). As we read in the Song of Songs, even a woman’s neck can be beautiful to a man: “Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men” (4:4). A woman who is not “available,” that is, one who is married or given in religion, does not wish, in any way, to draw attention to her physical beauty, and so it became customary for such women to wear wimples and veils.

Fashions changed, but women religious retained the custom of wearing wimples and veils.

The wimple always leaves the face uncovered. What does the leaving of the face uncovered mean? First, it means that a woman who wears a wimple is not seeking to hide herself totally; she is not seeking to exclude or separate herself from others. She is not excluding communication with other persons. Her face is left free; in fact, the wearing of the wimple draws more attention to the face, since there is nothing else to draw our eye.

The wimple “forces” someone who meets us to focus on our face, not on our body. In a real sense, our face most fully expresses who we are. Our face reveals who we are more than our body does. Consider that we learn so much more about a person by looking at his or her face than we do by looking at his or her hands or feet. The eyes are called the “windows of the soul,” and these eyes are almost highlighted by the wimple. 

The wimple, then, helps us to relate to other human persons in a way that harmonizes very well with our vocation. The wimple draws attention to the “inner man” which finds expression in our face. Our wimple helps others to look at us in that way.

Last week, the civil government ordered that everyone must wear masks in public places. The mask covers half of the face: the nose and the mouth. It is hard to recognize people when they wear masks; this is why burglars wear masks (the same kind, where only the eyes are visible). We can look from our convent to see people walking the streets who wear masks, but who are otherwise dressed indecently. The symbolic message such people convey is almost an exact inversion of the message we convey. One cannot “see” the “inner man” because of the mask, but one’s eyes are drawn, instead, to the body.

The mask is a barrier to truly human communication, for communication is so much more than the exchange of words. We speak with our face, with our expressions. When we add the wearing of masks to the other regulations, especially that of so-called “social distancing,” and to the increase in “virtual meetings” and “on-line classrooms,” we can see the mask as just one element in the dehumanizing tendency of our society.

Even though people may think it “dehumanizing” that we sisters wear all the coverings we do as part of our religious habit, the truth is that the layers we wear can be aids to make our relationship with other human persons “more human,” more personal. Because the use of masks is an element that frustrates truly human relationships, we have an instinctive aversion to wearing masks. The mask hides the human person; the wimple reveals the human person. 

Let us thank God for the gift of our wimples!

Nicolas de Largillière, Elizabeth Throckmorton, ca. 1729

Infallible canonisations: another problem

St Mary Magdalen, St John the Evangelist, Our Lady and the Christ Child,
St John the Baptist, and St Martha. From the All Saints Convent, Oxford.

(Cross posted from the LMSChairman blog.)

Dr John Lamont made the theological case against the infallible nature of decrees of canonisation here on Rorate Caeli a couple of years ago: here's the first post, and here is a follow-up. The other day I stirred up Twitter by repeating some of his arguments and it didn't surprise me at all to see a fair amount of resistence to this idea from traditionally-inclined Catholics.

This follows very naturally from the fact that a lot of old books and old authorities say that canonisations are infallible. What one has to remember is that St Alphonsus and the rest used the term 'infallible' in a far looser way than Vatican I's definition, and when the term is used today it is that definition which tends to uppermost in our minds. Again, the process of determining the sanctity of individuals has been vastly, well, 'speeded up' would be a polite term. Saints generally needed four miracles to be canonised in the past, now they need two. And so on.

But I'm not going into all that again: Dr Lamont lays it all out. No one outside Twitter has ever seriously suggested that the infallibility of canonisations was itself a doctrine of the Church which requires the assent of Catholics. So we can agree to differ, as theologians in fact always have.

I want to point out something else which is of huge importance. The process of canonisation has always required money - the researchers have to be paid - and many of those canonised have well-funded supporters. Having rich chums does not in itself show that a person is not holy - even Christ had some rich friends, after all. But joined to a, ahem, streamlined process, there is a potential problem.

The Holy Maccabees, martyrs: Defenders of Tradition

On this day, the Catholic Church calls on the intercession the Holy Maccabees -- seven Jewish brothers and their mother and a priest named Eleazar martyred in 167 B.C. by the monstrous prototype of the Antichrist known to history as Antiochus Epiphanes. As St. Paul wrote to the Hebrews, these nine "were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection" (Heb. 11:35, citing II Macc. 7:9-14). The traditional Roman Martyrology commemorates the Holy Maccabees in these words:

This Day, the First Day of August

At Rome, on Mount Esquiline, the dedication of the Church of St. Peter in Chains

At Antioch, the martyrdom of the seven holy brothers, the Machabees, and their mother, who suffered under king Antiochus Epiphanes. Their relics were transferred to Rome, and placed in the Church of St. Peter, just mentioned.

A Musical Gem: Initium sapientiae timor Domini by Nicola Fago

Initium sapientiae timor Domini (from Psalm-setting Confitebor Tibi , Psalm 110 ) was composed around the year 1706 by Nicola Fago, primo maestro at the Conservatorio di Sant’ Onofrio a Capuana, from 1704 to 1708.

Initium sapientiae timor Domini” [as part of Vulgate, Psalm 110, Confitebor] was a setting commonly used for Vespers accompanied with other liturgical pieces in Neapolitan churches.
Nicola Fago was the first Neapolitan composer of comical operas, but it is his sacred music that brought him fame. Five settings of Psalm 110 which Fago composed, required usually 4 to 5 voices in total, using  the standard texts contained in the biblical Book of Psalms.

Sacred music was required, at least occasionally, in literally hundreds of Neapolitan churches, as well as in oratorios, congregations, and academies, and for many public and private functions. Fago’s long engagement with the churches and chapels of Naples is attested to by his enormous output of sacred music, the surviving scores of which include a Requiem, eleven settings of the Mass, eighteen psalm-settings including this “Initium sapientiae timor Domini”, seven Magnificats, four liturgies and dozens of smaller settings of sacred texts.

TURN TO TRADITION -- a response to George Weigel

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla

Recently George Weigel offered an Op-Ed titled  “A Paradox for the Next Pope” as part of the Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship series.  He quite rightly calls attention to several issues that will confront the successor of Pope Francis:  confronting and ending the terrible scandal of sexual abuse by clergy; reform of the financial structure and administration of the Church; and the challenge of supporting the vitality of the Catholic faith in those disparate places in which it found and at the same time embark on a program of renewal in those parts of the world, mostly Europe, where the Catholic faith is less than robust.

Weigel says:  “The past fifty years should have taught the Catholic Church that the only Catholicism with a future is Catholicism in full.”  And what Catholic with faith could disagree with that?  But Weigel, while correctly seeing that “aggressive secularism” is antithetical to the Catholic faith and is part of the reason for the parlous state of Catholicism in the West does not see that the root problems of the Catholic Church today lie in the deliberate ambiguities of the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the post-Conciliar radical assault, in the name of aggiornamento, on the heart of the Catholic worship that is the Mass.  The Catholic Church decided in the 1960s to become “modern” at the same time that Western culture turned its back on Modernism and embraced, with all of its ambiguities, Post-modernism.  The obvious increasingly irrelevant state of the Catholic Church in the West is not due mainly to secularism but rather to the failure of the Church to be true to herself and her founder, Jesus Christ, and instead trying to become relevant to a society that was already then and is even more now post-Christian.

An Apologia for the Underground: Objections and Replies on the Subject of “Underground” Masses during COVID-19

The following article was submitted to Rorate from a writer in the American Midwest.

The unprecedented suspension of public Masses during COVID-19 left many lay Catholics with the question: “During suspension of public Masses ordered by the bishops of the Church in response to COVID-19, could members of the lay faithful assist with clear consciences at Masses where priests ignored their bishops’ rulings and did not lock the doors?” In the following objections and replies, I develop an answer to this question. I am not a canon lawyer; I claim to have no authority in matters of Church law. With Saint Teresa of Jesus, I simply say,

If these writings contain error, it is through my ignorance; I submit in all things to the teachings of the holy Catholic Roman Church, of which I am now a member, as I protest and promise I will be both in life and death. May our Lord God be forever praised and blessed! Amen, Amen. [1]

Objection 1: 

The lay faithful don’t necessarily have a right to be present at Holy Mass. Therefore, their concern at being barred from Mass by their bishops during the COVID-19 pandemic is not warranted.

“The heathens have defiled Thy holy temple... Revenge the blood of Thy saints!”: On the Thymotic Realism of the Traditional Latin Mass

Titian, Averoldi Polyptych (1520-22)
SS. Nazarius & Celsus are the standing figures in the lower left

“Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy saints, which hath been shed. Ps. O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit. Glory be to the Father... Let the sighing...”

This virile Introit for today’s TLM—in honor of the martyrs Nazarius, the boy Celsus, and Pope Victor I, and the confessor Pope Innocent I (cf. Dom Guéranger’s commentary on them)—is taken from Psalm 78, verses 10–12. Verse 12, a “cursing” verse, was removed from both the Lectionary and the Liturgy of the Hours, so it is nowhere prayed in the Novus Ordo. These saints, too, were given the axe, in spite of being called upon by the Church for well over a thousand years.

In general, the spirited or thymotic psalms have been minimized or excised, which corresponds to the generally effeminate presentation of Christianity in recent times. Think of the doe-eyed Sacred Heart images from the 19th and 20th centuries, where Our Lord is depicted as a saccharine, fragile, androgynous figure, as if He would flinch at a passing softball, or deflate when poked with a needle.

Is the All-Holy and Ever Virgin Mary truly the Mother of God -- and are therefore her parents truly Jesus' Grandparents? Francis isn't sure

That at least -- that he isn't very sure -- is the most charitable or at least the most reasonable explanation of the use of scare quotes (" ") in his official tweet on the Feast of St. Anne:

Yet, as defined by the Council of Ephesus, Our Blessed Lady truly is the Mother of God -- so obviously her parents truly are the Grandparents of Our Lord Jesus Christ, not His "grandparents"...


News and Beautiful Images of the 7th Annual Ars Celebrandi TLM Workshop in Poland

The Ars Celebrandi Latin Mass Workshop is the largest TLM workshop in the world -- and it took place this year as well! Naturally, under the circumstances of the current pandemic, a much smaller number of people were able to come and the churches remained almost empty due to restrictions.
However, its continuity was assured.

Here we are praying that in 2021 there will be more people than ever, Deo volente!


The 7th liturgical workshops "Ars Celebrandi" ended in Licheń (Poland).  

The liturgy workshops "Ars Celebrandi" took place at the Marian shrine in Licheń for the seventh time. Throughout the week, from 9 to 16 July 2020, almost 150 people from all over Poland, and several other countries, learned all the skills needed to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The coronavirus pandemic caused the number of participants to be limited to 150 (compared to 230 in previous years) and required strict sanitary rules (regular disinfection, wearing masks - in accordance with regulations, social distance), but the nature and program of the workshop were not reduced. Despite restrictions on travel, some participants from other countries (Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania) arrived, although there were fewer than in previous years. 

His Excellency Bishop Wiesław Mering, ordinary of the Włocławek diocese, sent his blessing to the participants, expressing his joy that the workshops are once again taking place in his diocese. Bishop Wiesław Mering gives his honorary patronage to the workshops "Ars Celebrandi" since the very beginning.

What’s Wrong with Personalism and ‘Theology of the Body’? An Interview with Don Pietro Leone by Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M

I would like to thank New Catholic for publishing the following analysis of Personalism and Theology of the Body.  My thanks also to Brother André Marie for his permission for it, as well as providing the occasion the interview gave to offer readers a more structured synthesis of the two systems. I send my priestly blessing to all readers, wishing them every Grace and happiness in the Lord.
Don Pietro Leone

What’s Wrong with Personalism and ‘Theology of the Body’?
An Interview with Don Pietro Leone
 by Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M

Bro André Marie
Catholicism Org
May 13, 2020

It was my great pleasure to interview the esteemed priest-theologian, Don Pietro Leone, on the subject of Personalism and the “Theology of the Body” (TOB). The interview was carried out via email and was kindly made possible by his English-language publisher, Loreto Publications.
I became interested in interviewing Don Pietro while reading his wonderful book, The Family Under Attack, which he mentions in this interview.
That both the Personalism of Pope John Paul II and his TOB are fully open to criticism and refutation as non-infallible philosophical and theological constructions is beyond dispute. Still, the fact is that some people may take scandal at these criticisms, which, as Don Pietro points out, are carried out “solely in the light of Faith and Reason: in the light of Truth, supernatural and natural.” The personal theology and even the “authentic Magisterium” of any pope are indeed subject to such a critique; inasmuch as the critique is carried out according to tradition and the analogy of Faith, these per se non-infallible works are just as open to criticism as are the excogitations of any other theologians or philosophers. Those confused on this point are invited to read Amoris Laetitia and the ‘Authentic Magisterium’. *
Aside from his book, which I’ve already linked to, my Reverend interlocutor also mentions in his replies a five-part essay that was published by Rorate Caeli. See below for the links to the following parts:

Here is the interview. 

Event: “Soul of the Apostolate 2020” Conference, July 24–26

Rorate is pleased to announce an upcoming online conference with a superb line-up of speakers, many of whom will be familiar to Rorate readers. 

Soul of the Apostolate 2020: For every 1 convert, 6.5 leave the Church. The world is in chaos. What is the solution? Catholic Apostolic leaders unite to emphatically declare: the “one thing necessary”... the spiritual life.

Soul of the Apostolate 2020 Conference and Formation Repository FREE Sign-up.

Beyond a mere motivational talk or retreat high, Soul of the Apostolate 2020 is designed to help you engage in the war for souls through practical and lifelong spiritual formation. The launch is this coming July 24-26.

Some of the participating formators are...

Bishop Schneider Launches Crusade of Eucharistic Reparation

Originally published by our friends at The Remnant, it would be good to spread this story -- and original prayer -- far and wide:

By Diane Montagna

ROME, July 20, 2020 (Remnant) — Bishop Athanasius Schneider is calling on Catholic clergy and laity around the world to unite in a crusade of reparation for sins against Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

The call comes as instances of profanation and sacrilege against the Most Blessed Sacrament have skyrocketed due to responses to the coronavirus, and after five decades of what the bishop terms unprecedented abuse against the Eucharistic Lord.

In a statement released today through the Remnant (see full text below), Bishop Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, says such abuse includes the widespread practice of “Communion in the hand,” reception of the Eucharist “by those who have not received the sacrament of Penance for many years,” and “the admittance to Holy Communion of couples who are living in a public and objective state of adultery,” i.e. divorced and remarried Catholics.

“In the current so-called ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency,’ horrible abuses of the Most Blessed Sacrament have increased still more,” he adds. “Many dioceses around the world mandated Communion in the hand, and in those places the clergy, in an often-humiliating manner, deny the faithful the possibility to receive the Lord kneeling and on the tongue, thus demonstrating a deplorable clericalism and exhibiting the behavior of rigid neo-Pelagians.”

On Submission to Forms: On the Putative Equality of the “Two Forms” of the Roman Rite

Rorate is pleased to publish this guest article by a senior at a Catholic college.

On Submission to Forms: On the Putative Equality of the “Two Forms” of the Roman Rite

Anthony Jones

In recent days, both Bishop Strickland and Bishop Barron have seen fit to address the Liturgical Question, namely, the uneasy coexistence of “Ordinary” and “Extraordinary” forms of the Roman rite. Bishop Strickland praises the traditional Mass, which he learned in order to offer it for the first time on the feast of Corpus Christi, while Bishop Barron seems to say “it’s fine if you like it, but let’s remember that John Paul II and Mother Teresa got holy from the Novus Ordo”—as if to say, it’s not a big deal, like a preference for chocolate over vanilla ice cream.

Washington, DC, pontifical high Mass postponed

In November of last year we announced details for a pontifical High Mass that was to be celebrated next month at the basilica shrine in Washington, D.C.  Alas, things have changed a bit in the world since then.

The Mass, sponsored by the Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy, will be postponed. Instead of 22 August 2020, the pontifical Mass to be offered by Archbishop Thomas Gullickson will be celebrated on 14 August 2021, in the upper church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  Although the basilica shrine, the largest church in North America, holds several thousand people, current coronavirus restrictions in place by the mayor of Washington limit occupancy to 100 people, making any major liturgical planning a great challenge this year.

Sermon for the 7th Sunday After Pentecost: “Beware of False Prophets!”

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla 

“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves”  (Matthew 7:15)

These words of Jesus come at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus teaches us what it means to live a life centered on the will of God.  These words are preceded by our Lord’s description of the narrow gate:  “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and whose who find it are few.”  It is a shame that this gospel passage was eliminated in the 1970 Lectionary for Mass.  For Jesus’ words in this passage are exactly what we need to hear in these times.

A Saint—and a Mass—for Our Times: St. Camillus de Lellis (July 18)

This morning I had the privilege of singing the chant for a Solemn High Mass in the cathedral of Lincoln, Nebraska. It was a feast for which I had never sung before: that of St. Camillus de Lellis (1500–1614). The texts of the Mass itself made me want to learn more about him.

A soldier and a gambler, Camillus experienced a profound religious conversion that led him to attempt to join the Capuchins. Refused admission due to an incurable leg wound, he moved to Rome, took as his spiritual director St. Philip Neri, and dedicated himself to the unstinting care of the sick, whose wretched abandonment he witnessed firsthand. He was eventually ordained to the priesthood by the last surviving Catholic bishop of Great Britain, Lord Thomas Goldwell, in 1584. 

Camillus established a religious congregation, the Order of Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Infirm (also known as Camillians), devoted to the care of the sick—above all, the dying. Like so many other Counter-Reformation saints, he ministered tirelessly to plague victims. In 1591, the Order adopted a fourth religious vow: “to serve the sick, even with danger to one’s own life.”

150th Anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution PASTOR ÆTERNUS (Vatican I): Petrine Primacy, Infallibility, and the Strict Limits of Papal Authority

Exactly 150 years ago, on July 18, 1870, as war and social convulsion were about to ravage France (and as the flight of the French forces in the Papal States to defend their country was about to allow for the Fall of Rome to the armies allied with the House of Savoy), the Fathers of the Vatican Council, under the guidance of Pope Pius IX, approved the last major dogmatic Conciliar document in the history of the Catholic Church -- the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, known by its first words "Pastor aeternus".

This major document concentrated on four aspects of the life of the Church of Rome as Mother and Teacher of the Universal Church: the Apostolic Primacy conferred by Our Lord Jesus Christ on Saint Peter -- a primacy above the other Apostles; the perpetuity of this same Petrine Primacy in the Bishops of Rome, the final See of the Prince of the Apostles; the meaning and latitude of the primatial power of the Apostolic See; and last, but certainly not least, the dogmatic definition of the limits of the infallible teaching authority of the papal Magisterium.

Properly read, Pastor aeternus is not the charter of an absolute monarch, but quite the opposite -- it is the reminder of the very limited teaching authority of the Pope. As the Constitution says in one of its central passages,

For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Celebrating a great anniversary of a great document, we post below the abridged version including its most important parts.


First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ


Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record.

Deacon Nick Donnelly's new book: A Catholic Survival Guide For Times of Emergency (TAN)

Based on his important posts for Rorate on guides for Catholics in times of emergencies, TAN Books invited Deacon Nick Donnelly to turn his important suggestions into a full book: A Catholic Survival Guide For Times of Emergency.

This practical and devotional guide is a very important reading for Catholics facing the emergencies that life brings and is particularly relevant for times of pandemic. Deacon Nick Donnelly clearly outlines how God in His providence never abandons His people. Drawing on sacred doctrine and traditional devotions of the Church, he guides the reader to the strength and consolation God offers us in difficult times. Definitely a book to keep ready to hand!

The book is now available on TAN Books online and physical bookstores, and we'll bring more news about it once it's released.

Compiègne: "To the poorest daughter of Carmel,
honor speaks louder than fear."

Mother Marie: Sister Blanche...

First Commissary: I forbid you to continue...

Mother Marie: You have the power to force me to silence, but none to command me to it. I represent here the Reverend Mother Prioress and I shall take no orders from you.

A Commissary: Confounded old hag! She cannot be made to hold her tongue, fellow Citizen, but remind her that the Republic has a machine at its disposal that will leave her somewhat short of breath!

First Commissary: Enough! I repeat that you must behave as a true representative of the people! [He turns to Sister Blanche:] Young citizen, you have nothing to fear from us, who are your liberators! Say but one word, and you will find yourself beyond the sway of those who, to better put you in their power, have not feared to offend nature in usurping even the sacred name of "mother". Henceforth, you are under the protection of the Law.

Mother Marie: But she is first under my protection. Do you think I shall permit you to take any further advantage of the terror of a child? I shall take great care to avoid a language that you cannot understand. You know nothing of that which holds us here and keeps us united unto death - or, if once you knew it, it is now certainly forgotten. But there are still perhaps words which are common to us, and which can touch your conscience. Well, sir, you must know that to the poorest daughter of Carmel, honor speaks louder than fear.
Georges Bernanos
Dialogues des Carmélites

On the day following her feast, the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel would receive her dear French daughters, martyred for their faith in her Son and for their loyalty to His Church.

O glorious Martyrs of Compiègne, pray for us!

[Our regular July 17 homage.]
[Personal recess for several days]

Our Lady and the Scapular: In 1251, the most extraordinary event in English history

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge -- 769 years ago today, in 1251: has there been any other moment in English history whose consequences have aided so many souls throughout the world achieve and keep holiness, reaching final perseverance? Men and women, made of flesh, need material reminders of the presence of God in their lives -- and what could be more profitable than the blessed physical sign that Our Lady's Mantle covers us at all times, that Her Divine Son keeps watch over us day and night?

fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium

Saint Elias, pray for us!
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us!
Queen of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

(Our regular feature for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Recent Interviews on the Undeniably Resurgent Latin Mass

Documentary filmmaker Cameron O'Hearn interviewed me at the end of June in a far-ranging conversation about various aspects of Catholic liturgical tradition. The conversation first appeared live on Facebook, and afterwards was published on YouTube:

Topics covered:

Online conference this Saturday from the Latin mass Society

A real-world conference organised by the LMS in pre-covid days

An online conference “Catholicism in a Covid-19 World” will be hosted by the Latin Mass Society this Saturday, 18th July, from 12 noon (GMT + 1) until 4.45 pm (GMT + 1) featuring speakers Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Fr Tim Finigan, Fr John Zuhlsdorf, Dr Joseph Shaw, Archbishop Thomas Gullickson and Mgr Gordon Read. The event will be hosted by Dr Shaw and Sebastian Morello and will begin with Live High Mass in the Traditional Rite from St Mary’s Warrington.

A Collect Fit for a King (or Rather, an Emperor): St. Henry II

Today, on the traditional Roman calendar, is the feast of the Emperor St. Henry "the Exuberant" (d. 1024), husband of St. Cunegund. Both are buried, side by side, in the cathedral of Bamberg, which Henry had built. I had the privilege of visiting their tomb in 2018 when I gave a lecture "auf Deutsch" for Pro Missa Tridentina in Germany. Here are a few photos:

The imperial pair
Henry's traditional Collect is magnificent:

O God, who on this day didst translate blessed Henry, Thy confessor, from the summit of earthly empire to an eternal kingdom: we humbly beseech Thee, that even as Thou didst protect him with the fullness of Thy grace, and dist give him victory over the enticements of this life, so Thou wouldst enable us after his example to shun the blandishments of this world and to come to Thee with clean hearts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ...

We should celebrate St. Henry for many reasons. Here are three.

De Mattei: Fake news? No, historical truth

Roberto de Mattei 
Duc in Altum 
Aldo Maria Valli Blog
July 14, 2020

The Council of Constance  (1414-1418)

On his blog Settimo Cielo of July 13, the Vatican reporter Sandro Magister was highly critical of Bishops Carlo Maria Viganò and Athanasius Schneider, hurling an accusation at them for spreading “fake news”. *

The term “fake news” was used also in reference to Monsignor Schneider’s theses, whereby the Church, in Her history, has corrected doctrinal errors committed by precedent ecumenical councils, without, in this manner, “undermining the foundations of the Catholic faith.” Magister accuses Schneider of historical incompetence, citing, as evidence, a brief intervention by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller on the Council of Constance, which in reality refutes nothing of what was affirmed by Monsignor Schneider.   

The facts are these. On April 6, 1415, the Council of Constance issued a decree known as Haec Sancta 1, wherein it was stated solemnly that the Council, assisted by the Holy Spirit, received its power directly from God: hence every Christian, including the Pope, was required to obey it. Haec Sancta is a revolutionary document which raised many questions as it was first interpreted in continuity with Tradition and, subsequently, reprobated by the Pontifical Magisterium.  It had its coherent application in the decree Frequens, of October 9, 1417, which called for a Council five years later, after seven years another one and then one every ten years, de facto attributing to the Council the function of a permanent collegial body, alongside the Pope and de facto superior to him.