Rorate Caeli

What does a Catholic bishop do when government orders the end of gatherings in times of Coronavirus? This:

Northern Italy is in a state of semi-lockdown due to the spread of the current most dangerous strain of the Coronavirus, as large public gatherings have been forbidden for several days in most of the regions -- including Lombardy, Veneto, Liguria, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna.

Since some of the local "ordinanze" (decrees) include the prohibition of "religious" gatherings, and getting ahead of the public authorities, several dioceses in the region have suspended religious activities.

Now, as the very high death toll in a few days (over 50 so far, in only a week) in the Islamic Shia center of Qom, in Iran, has shown, religious gatherings can indeed lead to widespread infection and high mortality rates. But what if there is a way to keep the worship of God while complying with public demands to avoid contagion?

The Bishop of Pavia, in Lombardy, Corrado Sanguineti, shows that is possible. His pastoral letter on the matter is a lesson in common sense, and in particular we call your attention to this paragraph:

"Meditations on Death"
A Lenten Guest Series by Father Konrad zu Loewenstein
- I: Introduction


A Lenten Guest-Series by 
Father Konrad zu Loewenstein

Now that we have entered the liturgical season of Septuagesima, and are about to enter the great penitential season of Lent, it is appropriate to recall to mind the perennial Catholic teaching on death.

To this end I offer readers a synthesis of the respective material to be found in the book Preparation  for Death by St. Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori.

Proficiat ad vitam aeternam! Amen.


MEDITATIONS ON DEATH

after the ‘Preparation for Death’, by St. Alphonsus Maria de’Liguori

Introduction

De Mattei: Gregory and the Coronavirus of his time


Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana
February 19, 2020

An aura of mystery surrounds the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, as we don’t know either its origins or the real data of its diffusion, nor of its possible consequences. What we do know however, is that pandemics have always been considered as Divine chastisements in history and the sole remedy the Church took against them was prayer and penance.    

This happened in Rome in the year 590, when Gregory of the Anicia (gens) senatorial family, was elected Pope taking the name Gregory I(540-604).

Italy was devastated by diseases, famines, social disorders and the destructive wave of the Lombards. Between 589 and 590, a violent outbreak of plague, the terrible lues inguinaria, after  devastating the Byzantine territory in the East and the Frankish land in the West, had sown death and terror in the peninsula and had struck the city of Rome. The Roman citizens saw this epidemic as a Divine punishment for the corruption in the city.

The first victim the plague claimed in Rome was Pope Pelagius II, who died on February 5th, 590 and buried in St. Peter’s. The clergy and the Roman Senate elected Gregory as his successor, who, after being praefectus urbis lived in his monk’s cell on Montecelio.  After his consecration on October 3rd 590, the new Pope tackled the plight of the plague immediately. Gregory of Tours (538-594), who was a contemporary and chronicler of those events, recounts that in a memorable sermon delivered in the Church of Santa Sabina, Gregory invited  the Romans to follow - contrite and penitent - the example of the inhabitants of Nineveh: “ Look around you: behold God’s sword of wrath brandished over the entire population. Sudden death snatches us from the world, scarcely giving us a second of time. At this precise moment, oh – how many are taken up by evil  - here all around us –   unable even to think about penitence.”

“The effect of this temper of innovation”: New anthology brings together best of Newman on worship, reverence, and ritual

We all known John Henry Newman was a rare genius, a brilliant preacher, a man of great earnestness and prayer. His sanctity has been formally recognized. But are people as familiar as they should be with his wisdom on matters liturgical, devotional, sacramental?

Some have suggested that there isn’t a whole lot of attention to liturgy in Newman. But the new 524-page anthology, John Henry Newman on Worship, Reverence, and Ritual (Os Justi Press, 2019), which I prepared in the months leading up to the canonization, gives us a treasure-trove to explore.

The anthology draws on the full sweep of Newman’s career, from young Anglican preacher in Oxford to the Meditations and Devotions published posthumously in 1893. All of the substantial discussions of divine worship, liturgical rites, and the various attitudes, feelings, mindsets, practices, that could come under the heading of “reverence” are found in this volume.

It is astonishing to see how relevant even the Oxford Newman of the 1830s remains to the issues that most plague the Catholic Church in 2020. He was dealing with the same urges of “tinkeritis” and “optionitis” in the liturgy, with the plague of casualness and indifference, with the loss of a correct attitude of veneration for inherited practices. We can see this in so many passages. Here are some samples.

Baptizing Miscarried and Stillborn Babies: The Other Unborn

Rorate note: The following comes to us from a friend and mother with a law degree from a Catholic law school who has a calling to help parents baptize miscarried and stillborn children. We encourage our readers to share, re-post and translate this important article into other languages. We also encourage our bishops and priestly readers to take the time to read this carefully and with an open heart. 


Baptizing Miscarried and Stillborn Babies: The Other Unborn

By Anonymous Mother

"Care should be taken that every fetus born prematurely, no matter at what stage of pregnancy, be baptized absolutely, if life is certain, but conditionally if life is doubtful. ... [U]nusual forms of fetus [miscarriage or stillbirth] should always be baptized, at least conditionally; when in doubt if the fetus is one being or several, one should be baptized absolutely, the others conditionally." -- Code of Canon Law, 1917

***

Abortion is the utmost tragedy of humanity.  God-willing we will see the end of this travesty during our lifetimes.  It is so wonderful that there has been a surge of awareness and many brave pro-lifers are willing fight for the dignity of life for these babies.  Numerous organizations and resources for those who have had abortions or whose lives have been affected by abortion have been created.  Evangelicum Vitae affirmed the humanity of purposely aborted babies from the moment of conception and these babies are getting the recognition they deserve by virtue of the sanctity of their lives.     

In stark contrast to the 1917 Code of Canon Law and the traditional Catholic Encyclopedia, the modern Church has eliminated the guidance on baptizing miscarried and stillborn babies.  While the traditional Church teaching was to require that these babies be baptized at any stage in the pregnancy, the modern Church has moved away from that teaching.  However, the Church’s stance on abortion and the fact that life begins at conception has remained firm. The 1983 Code of Canon Law only mentions baptizing if an “aborted fetus” is born alive, and the new Catechism says to only “entrust them to the mercy of God” without encouraging conditional Baptism.  The Vatican later tried to bury Limbo.  But the question still remains, if children are not baptized to be received into Heaven, then where do their souls go?

The miscarried and stillborn are the other aborted babies, the spontaneously aborted (to use a medical term), the ones whose grieving parents and family members suffer in silence.  Many do not have a variety of resources to reach out to, a good priest who is prepared to counsel them through their loss, or anywhere to bury their baby’s tiny body. 

The aim of this article is to change that and bring to light the clear teachings of the Church, prior to the current crisis, that miscarried and stillborn babies are entitled to the sacrament of Baptism.

An Important Document of Anti-Modernism: The Program of the Sodalitium Pianum


In his prophetic 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Pope St. Pius X warned against the grave 
Caricature of Msgr. Benigni
danger to the Church represented by the modernist heresy. This “synthesis of all heresies,” which by attacking the objectivity of dogmatic truth effectively denies all doctrine (while claiming to uphold it) was promoted by many persons in the “very bosom and heart” of the Church. St. Pius knew that there were many modernists even in the Court of the Roman Pontiff, and that many high-ranking ecclesiastics, who were not themselves modernists, did not understand the gravity of the modernist problem. In fact, after Pascendi was published, many otherwise loyal bishops and curial officials thought that the Pope was exaggerating the problem. One of the few curial officials who truly understood the problem and fully agreed with the Pope on it was Msgr. Umberto Benigni, a minor official in the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. Benigni started various initiatives to combat modernism, including the news agency La Corrispondenza di Roma, which gathered information on the modernists, and above all the Sodalitum Pianum, the Pian Sodality. This was a semi-secret organization (secret that is to the outside world, but fully transparent to the Pope and the Secretary of State), which was devoted to foiling the modernist plot. In France it came to be known as the La Sapinière. It was much reviled and calumniated by modernists and semi-modernists, and its memory still suffers from those calumnies. But it was supported by St. Pius X himself (who financed it), as well as by the Cardinals Merry del Val and De Lai. After the death of Pope St. Pius X, Pope Benedict XV, who thought that his predecessor had exaggerated the modernist threat, suppressed the Sodalitium.

We offer below a translation (by an anonymous writer) of Msgr. Benigni’s Program for the Sodalitium Pianum. Certain expressions have an unfortunate ring to them today, but on the whole it is admirable in its devotion to the integral truth of the Catholic Faith, its loyalty to the Pope and the bishops in union with him, and its clear-sighted opposition to all forms of modernism.
*** 
Program of the Sodalitium Pianum


1. We are integral Roman Catholics. As these words indicate, the integral Roman Catholic accepts, integrally, the doctrine, the discipline, and the direction of the Holy See, and all their legitimate consequences for the individual and for society. This is "papist", "clerical", antimodernist, antiliberal, antisectarian. It is thus integrally counter-revolutionary, because it is adversarial not only towards the Jacobin Revolution and sectarian Radicalism, but equally so towards religious and social liberalism. It must thus be absolutely understood that, by our saying "integral Roman Catholic", this should not be understood as modifying, in any way, the authentic and glorious title of Roman Catholic. The word "integral" solely means "integrally Roman Catholic", namely, fully and simply Roman Catholic without any corresponding additions or restrictions (even beyond the intention of the one using it), such as the expressions "liberal Catholic", "social Catholic", and whatever other sort, insofar as these tend in theory or in practice to restrict the application of the law of the Church and the duties of the Catholic in religious or social life.

The Only Priest to receive the death penalty in U.S. history: Mass murder, Homicide, Abortion.

On February 18, 1916, exactly 104 years ago, a Catholic priest was executed by the state of New York at the Sing Sing prison -- the only priest in America to receive the death penalty for a crime. The New York Daily News did a look back at the story from a century ago.

Father Hans Schmidt was convicted of murder, following an affair he had with a woman. Before he killed her, he also paid for their baby to be aborted.


What was especially interesting was this passage from today's article:

LEPANTO III: Don John of Austria has set his people free!

“ Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them….. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt.28-18-20)


In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

The Church of Dialogue humiliates Cardinal Burke: Mass behind closed doors


Andrea Zambrano

La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana

February 16, 2020



Behold the Church of bridges and mercy, open and outreaching! Cardinal Burke is forced to annul  a Mass in Ostuni: the parish priest had demanded the celebration be held behind closed doors as his arrival in Brindisi displeased the high levels of the diocese.  The newspapers attacked him as an enemy of the Pope. The Bishop of Ostuni however, will tomorrow meet with the Waldensians in church to talk about immigration. 



Here we see the Church of mercy, the Church of open ports and the Church of out-reach.  So open, so merciful and so out-reaching, that clandestine Masses are reserved for troublesome Cardinals.  It is happening in Ostuni, Puglia as in China, where, according to the Vatican Chancellor, Sorondo,  the Social Doctrine of the Church is applied.

The latest Brindisian newspapers present us with a very disturbing sign concerning Cardinal Leo Burke, who was politely shown the door in that sordid and humiliating way only the prevailing clericalism is capable of. “The conservative Cardinal is not welcomed by the priests”,  were yesterday’s headlines in the Quotidiano di Puglia: Annulled the American high-prelate’s Mass scheduled in the Cathedral. The parish-priests had expressed embarrassment after his position against Pope Francis.
[…]

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

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

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

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

De Mattei: Querida Amazonia: the consequences of the ‘turning point’ that never was

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
February 13, 2020

A temporary halt on “viri probati”;  the flop of the Amazon Synod; open conflict with the Amazonian-Germanic bishops.  These three points are contained in the dynamic initiated by Pope Francis’ Post-Synod Exhortation Querida Amazonua, presented on February 12th 2020.* There has been a great deal of suspenseful buildup around this Papal Exhortation, which put the final seal on the Amazon Synod, held in Rome from October 6th to 27th , 2019.** Both the Instrumentum Laboris (June 17th 2019) *** and the final document of October 26th proposed a new pantheistic cosmology expressed in the statue of the Pachamama, venerated in the Vatican Gardens and carried in procession into St. Peter’s, before being thrown into the Tiber by Alexander Tschugguel.  

This cosmological vision is the most scandalous aspect of the Pan-Amazon Synod, which, though, proposed other ambitious objectives, such as the introduction of viri probati: namely the admittance of married men to the priesthood, after John Paul II and Benedict XVI had categorically excluded this hypothesis, but had been pushed by the most progressive sectors in the Church since the time of the Second Vatican Council.  Paragraph 111 of the Final Document approved by the Synod had taken on a strong symbolic value over the last few months. This paragraph proposed “ to ordain as priests suitable and respected men of the community with a legitimately constituted and stable family, who have had a fruitful permanent diaconate and receive an adequate formation for the priesthood.”

Analysis: "Querida Amazonia, a Blueprint for a Lay Church" - by Fr. Pio Pace, Roman Curia Insider

It has been a while, but Father Pio Pace, our pseudonymous very influential insider in the Roman Curia, was at last able to send us a special comment on the new post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Querida Amazonia.

***


Querida Amazonia: a document for a kind of "Lay Church"?

Father Pio Pace

Will married viri probati be ordained to the priesthood? This question was the focus of all the attention, before, during, and after the assembly of the Amazon Synod, and the bishops of the German 'Synodal Way' were mounting an ambush, getting ready to seize the issue to force the institutional transformation of the Church.

For all sorts of political and tactical reasons, the long-expected apostolic exhortation does not mention it. It does not reject the possibility (as it has been hastily claimed): it simply does not mention it. In fact, the exhortation goes much further, in the direction of a Laicized Church, in which the common priesthood of the baptized largely absorbs the priestly ministry, being mixed up with it.

Because this text, under a modest appearance, is actually very ambitious. One should read with great attention the beginning of the Exhortation: it is presented as a, "framework of reflection," which is an invitation to read the final document of the Synod (which speaks of priestly ordination of married deacons), but rises up to more fundamental, and certainly more radical, considerations. The central passage deals with the "Inculturation of ministry" (paragraphs 85-90), followed by thoughts on the communities (91-98), then on the role of women (99-103).

Apostolic Exhortation “Querida Amazonia” — full text
Full Text of the papal document following the Amazon Synod

Notes: Regarding the priesthood and the Eucharist, we call your attention in particular to Paragraphs 82-98.

No opening whatsoever was made for the ordination of married men/viri probati to the Priesthood. On the contrary, in the spirit of making clear clericalism is not central, there is an emphasis on the lay ministry as "distinctively lay" (cf. paragraph 94).

The paragraphs on women (99-103) also do not have any revolutionary content.

Paragraphs 104-105 make clear that the path forward should not be an either/or, but solutions beyond conflicts of the past.

One particular good point is the one of Paragraph 18, with extensive historical references in footnote 17,  making clear the permanent solicitude of the Church, through various pontificates, and since the earliest days of Christian presence in the New World, for the welfare of the indigenous peoples. Specific reference is made even to the Laws of the Indies (Leyes de las Indias), promulgated by the Spanish Crown with specific protections for the indigenous populations. The 1909 text of one of the first bishops of Amazonas (Manaus), Brazil, Frederico Benicio, named by Saint Pius X to that extensive territory, is expressly quoted.

Despite all problems (the downsides are numerous), we can rightly say that this is the best possible document we could have hoped for in the current pontificate and in the current age. It is not the best document (that would be impossible in the current moment in time), but it is, in a Leibnizian way, the best possible text...

Full text below:




BREAKING — On the Amazon Synod document, let’s remain positive

Rorate has learned that, at the current state of the text, Catholics should remain positive regarding the most controversial points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Querida Amazonia”, to be published tomorrow.

We cannot say anything, unfortunately, but we refer readers to the first paragraph of this post we published last week:


La Fede Quotidiana has learned of an important fact relating to the coming papal document on the subject of the Amazon. And this fact, unless modified at the last moment, contradicts what has been recently reported concerning a text in which a yes is given to viri probati and the married priesthood. Those who saw this text two days ago (it will almost certainly be presented on February 12) said that the two hotly debated categories are not mentioned in the document and thus there is no official opening up [to them].

We also point readers to the following excerpt of a piece published yesterday by the US bishops’ official news website. We can affirm that it is an exact reference to  the text as it stands:


Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops that people focused on the possibility of ordaining some married men and women deacons for service in the Amazon will be disappointed in his apostolic exhortation.

Penance! Penance! Penance! — She came to Bernadette | Reject the "Cult of the Body" | Priests have the duty to form consciences



In many ways the nineteenth century was to become, after the turmoil of the Revolution, a century of Marian favors. To mention but a single instance, everyone is familiar today with the "miraculous medal." This medal, with its image of "Mary conceived without sin," was revealed to a humble daughter of Saint Vincent de Paul... .

A few years later, from February 11 to July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary was pleased, as a new favor, to manifest herself in the territory of the Pyrenees to a pious and pure child of a poor, hardworking, Christian family. "She came to Bernadette," We once said. "She made her her confidante, her collaboratrix, the instrument of her maternal tenderness and of the merciful power of her Son, to restore the world in Christ through a new and incomparable outpouring of the Redemption."

New Book: Pearl of Great Price — Revolutionary France and the Papacy


Arouca Press publishes (Amazon) this very interesting history of the Revolutionary sack of Rome.
From the book’s presentation:

In 1797, Revolutionary France, with the dynamic young General Bonaparte in command of its armies, set upon the conquest of Europe, both by taking territory and by spreading the new ideology. Pope Pius VI, though firmly opposed to the Revolution, nonetheless thought he had spared Rome from its march by granting Napoleon control over the papal lands in Tuscany, where the popes had reigned for a millennium. But the accidental death of a French general, living in Rome at the residence of the French ambassador, Napoleon’s own brother, gave the Revolutionary government at Paris the excuse it needed to invade the Eternal City.

This is the story of the sack of Rome, and the actual and figurative siege of the Church at the hands of the Revolution, which sought to make Pius VI the last of his line—the Last Pope.

Legitimate Donations - I - Consider donating to the construction of the Regina Caeli Parish church in Houston (FSSP)



Years ago, we had the honor of first announcing the new FSSP church in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

Once again, we would like to ask you to consider contributing to a worthwhile cause, which is their construction project: HERE you can find lots of information on how to contribute to their capital campaign.

Please, consider helping this great work of God, especially if you are in Texas.

Enroll Those Most in Need for 40 Masses and 40 Days of Prayer and Penance by the Carmelite Hermits

Rorate has received this announcement from the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (whom we announced in 2018).
In the face of the crisis in the world today, the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be offering 40 Masses and 40 days of prayers, vigils, fasting, and penances for all those enrolled during the sacred season of Lent. All are invited to enroll those most in need of the graces from these many Masses, prayers and sacrifices, including family, friends, clergy, and those in positions of leadership.

“Here in Carmel, there is nothing, nothing but God. He is all, He suffices, and one lives for Him alone and for His glory... in this life of prayer and contemplation, interceding always for His people before the Face of God.” - St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Enroll yourself or your loved ones at:

Septuagesima: In the beginning


Septuagesimatide begins today, in the First Vespers for the Sunday in Septuagesima.

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

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

You Suggest: FSSP Spanish immersion program for priests and seminarians



From a reader:

The St. Junipero Serra Spanish Institute is pleased to announce that registration is open for its fifth year of Spanish immersion for priests and seminarians in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. This year the program will run from June 15th – August 14th.

Participants in the St. Junipero Serra Institute stay at Casa Cristo Rey of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter where in addition to 4 hours of class daily, they live in a pastoral environment that immerses them in Spanish and nourishes them spiritually. Each day begins with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the singing of the divine office. Seminarians have a wide range of opportunities to put the Spanish they learn in practice through interaction with local families and participation in pastoral activities of the FSSP’s parish in Guadalajara.

Some of the highlights of the programs:

'Exclusive: Francis “is not opening up” to viri probati and the priesthood for married men'

Bruno Volpe
La Fede Quotidiana
February 2, 2020


La Fede Quotidiana has learned of an important fact relating to the coming papal document on the subject of the Amazon. And this fact, unless modified at the last moment, contradicts what has been recently reported concerning a text in which a yes is given to viri probati and the married priesthood. Those who saw this text two days ago (it will almost certainly be presented on February 12) said that the two hotly debated categories are not mentioned in the document and thus there is no official opening up [to them].

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (who will become the 100th priest?!)


This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Last month, we gained another wonderful priest for the ranks, and the Society now stands at 99 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, who is going to become the 100th priest?!

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

Fontgombault Sermon for Candlemas 2020: "Every child is a gift from God."

Candlemas


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, February 2, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and of the Purification of our Blessed Lady occurs this year on a Sunday. As a feast of the Lord, it supersedes the Sunday, and we are therefore able to celebrate together this feast. It bears a special relationship with consecrated life, and Pope St. John Paul II wanted to emphasize this fact with a day of prayer.

According to our Bishop’s wishes, throughout the various parishes of our diocese, priests will mention this special answer to God’s calling: forsaking everything so as to follow Him, namely, consecrated life. This calling is lived by the male and female contemplatives in a life withdrawn from the world, inside an enclosure, or by the religious, as well as consecrated lay men and women, through an apostolic activity. We willingly unite ourselves to the thanksgiving of the whole Christian people for the gift of consecrated life God has given the Church, and we especially keep in our prayer so many young people the Lord is still calling to follow Him. May the call of the Lord of the harvest strike a responsive chord in them, and receive a generous, persevering and radical answer.

Gregorian Chant: Perfect Music for the Sacred Liturgy

I am pleased to publish here at Rorate Caeli the full text and video of the lecture I gave on Gregorian chant as the supreme model of sacred music—a reservoir of faith and a wellspring of devotion—at the Sacred Liturgy Conference in Spokane, Washington, in May of 2019. The organizers of the Sacred Liturgy Conference gave me permission to post the video, which I recommend for its slides and musical examples. However, the text may be of value to those who prefer to print it out and read it. There are slight discrepancies between text and video that make no difference to the meaning. PAK


Gregorian Chant: Perfect Music for the Sacred Liturgy

Peter A. Kwasniewski

One might think that something called “plainchant” or “plainsong” would not furnish much to talk about; after all, its very name says it’s plain and it’s chant. In reality, Gregorian chant it is anything but plain, except in the sense that its beautiful melodies are meant to be sung unaccompanied and unharmonized, as befits the ancient monastic culture out of which they sprang. What we call “Gregorian chant” is one of the richest and most subtle art forms in Western music—indeed, in the music of any culture. In my presentation today, I will first give a rapid sketch of the history of chant, then address why we sing our liturgy rather than merely speaking it, and finally delve into the characteristics that make Gregorian chant uniquely suited to the Catholic liturgy.

De Mattei: The Simony of the German Bishops

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 29, 2020


 “How I would like a poor Church for the poor” exclaimed Pope Francis (L’Osservatore Romano, March 17, 2013). The antithesis of his ideal however, is embodied precisely by the church closest to him – the German one. The German Episcopal Conference, which sponsored ideologically and economically last October’s Synod on the Amazon, is in fact the wealthiest and most privileged enterprise in all of Germany. This wealth comes from the Kirchensteuer, a tax that the State devolves to the Church, by retaining a figure amounting to 8-9% of  the overall tax burden of German Catholics. The taxation though is obligatory, unlike other countries, where Churches are financed through the generosity of the faithful, freely choosing to pay out a part of their income.

In Germany, those who want to be exempt from the Kirchensteuer must sign a statement showing their abandonment of the Church (Kirchenaustritt), which, as a result, deprives them of the Sacraments. On September 20, 2012, the German Bishops decreed that those who asked no longer  to be registered in order to avoid paying the ecclesiastical tax, can no longer confess, receive Communion or Confirmation and, at their death, cannot have a Catholic funeral; they will not even be able to do voluntary work in a Catholic association, let alone work in a Church institution, such as a school or hospital.

In an interview published in Schwäbische Zeitung of July 17, 2016, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, denounced this glaring contradiction in these terms: “How does the Catholic Church in Germany react with those who don’t pay the Church tax? With automatic exclusion from the ecclesial community, which means excommunication. This is excessive – incomprehensible. Dogmas can be questioned and no one is thrown out. Is perhaps the non-payment of the Kirchensteuer a graver infraction than the transgressions against the truths of the Faith? The impression is, that, as long as what’s at stake is the Faith, it isn’t so tragic, but when money comes into play, then it is not to be trifled with”.

“La Verità” Newspaper interviews Professor Roberto de Mattei


“La Verita

January 27, 2020


Last January 18, in Munich, Bavaria, a unique event took place: more than a hundred people lined-up in a square, where, for an hour, they remained standing,, reciting the Rosary in silence, in defense of orthodoxy in the Catholic Church. The promoters call it Acies ordinate. Among them was professor Roberto de Mattei, historian and President of the Fondazione Lepanto

How did this Bavarian initiative come about? 
It is the third Acies ordinata demonstration, the first outside Italy. The previous ones took place in Rome last year: on February 19th ,before the conference on  sexual abuse organized by Pope Francis in the Vatican and then on September 28th , the day before the opening of the Amazon Synod.     
Why the trip to Germany?
Munich is the Archiepiscopal See of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, President of the German Episcopal Conference, which last December 4th officially launched the Synodalerweg, an “ongoing” synod, de facto permanent, that aims at transforming the Church in Germany and thus the universal Church.      
Isn’t the influence of the German Bishops overrated?
There is a strong theological culture in Germany. The main theologian of Vatican II and the Post-Council, was a German, Karl Rahner. Some days after his election, the first theologian quoted by Pope Francis, actually displaying his book, was another German, Cardinal Walter Kasper, a disciple of Rahner. The German Episcopal Conference financed the Pan-Amazonian Synod and directed it theologically.  A Brazilian Cardinal of German origins, Claudio Hummes, was the general rapporteur of the last Synod and the author of a “secret letter” sent to the Bishops of the entire world to prepare them for the soon to be released Post-Synod Exhortation from Pope Francis, to whom he is very attached.

March for Life and TLM photos

On Friday, 24 January, thousands of traditional Catholics attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., from the Fraternity of Saint Peter to the Institute of Christ the King to diocesan parishes that offer the traditional Latin Mass.

Rorate was there and took a few photos:

President Donald Trump, speaking in-person at the March for Life

Congressman Chris Smith, co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus

Nellie Gray Mass 2020; Saint Mary Mother of God church in Washington, D.C.

March for Life: First U.S. president in-person, and plenty of TLMs around

The announcement that President Donald Trump will speak in-person at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., tomorrow (Friday) at 12 noon is a game-changer for the annual commemoration of the Roe versus Wade court decision overturning pro-life state laws in the U.S.


Ronald Reagan was the first president to address the March for Life, in 1985, but via telephone from the Oval Office. He did so again in 1986, 1987 and 1988.  This was a big deal for America, as both Republican and Democrat presidents avoided the significant gathering on the National Mall each January 22nd until the second term of President Reagan. Both President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush spoke to the March for Life via audio, the latter usually from an out-of-town trip scheduled for January 22nd.

Mike Pence made history as the first vice president to address the March for Life in-person in 2017, the only time Secret Service was employed for security screening. He spoke again last year, unannounced (no screening) -- a bold move. For this year's March for Life, tomorrow (as the March for Life is now held on the Friday closest to January 22nd), Vice President Pence (baptized Catholic, no longer practicing) will be at the Vatican.

President Trump, who previously spoke to the March for Life via video/audio, will speak in-person for at least 15 minutes as early as 12 noon on Friday, January 24th.  The speeches, which will also include House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Congressman Chris Smith, Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards and Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson, will be at 12th Street on the National Mall.

It is highly recommended visitors plan ahead for extreme traffic and extensive security screening (the Secret Service prohibits even pieces of fruit).  Buses should depart earlier than they think if the goal is to see and hear the president inside the secure National Mall perimeter.  Expect the unexpected, such as the closure of the nearest Metro station (Smithsonian) and other hassles that result in delays to the main event.

It goes without saying many traditional Catholics come to the nation's capital for the March for Life.  To that end, there are numerous traditional Latin Masses offered in the District that day.  Saint Mary Mother of God church at 5th and H streets, NW, will have several visiting priests offer Low Masses at side altars starting as early as 7 a.m. Here are four scheduled Mass options in walking/Metro distance from the March for Life.

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade


On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade





Today I offered, as did many other priests, a Votive Mass for Peace, with a commemoration, of course, of SS. Vincent and Anastasius. I did so on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.  The Collect and the readings make it quite clear that the Peace of which we are speaking and for which we are asking has little to do with peace as understood by the world.  The Collect says it best: “O God, from Whom are holy desires, right counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts being devoted to the keeping of Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies removed, our times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.” The peace we are asking for in this Mass is not freedom from anxiety and the tempests of this world, nor from the obligations of the Catholic in this world, a world that denies and opposes the moral law of Christ founded on love of God. We are not asking for “peace in the world”, per se.  We are asking for that peace that only God can give, that peace that is aninner glimpse of the peace of heaven.

Notes for 2020 - Louis XVI, Saintly King, true Martyr: a Catholic going to death and His Last Will and Testament


Procession to eternity

On January 20, 1793, the National Convention condemned Louis XVI to death, his execution scheduled for the next day. Louis spent that evening saying goodbye to his wife and children. The following day, January 21, dawned cold and wet. Louis arose at five. At eight o'clock a guard of 1,200 horsemen arrived to escort the former king on a two-hour carriage ride to his place of execution. Accompanying Louis, at his invitation, was a priest, Henry Essex Edgeworth, an Englishman living in France. Edgeworth recorded the event and we join his narrative as he and the fated King enter the carriage to begin their journey:

"The King, finding himself seated in the carriage, where he could neither speak to me nor be spoken to without witness, kept a profound silence. I presented him with my breviary, the only book I had with me, and he seemed to accept it with pleasure: he appeared anxious that I should point out to him the psalms that were most suited to his situation, and he recited them attentively with me. The gendarmes, without speaking, seemed astonished and confounded at the tranquil piety of their monarch, to whom they doubtless never had before approached so near.


The procession lasted almost two hours; the streets were lined with citizens, all armed, some with pikes and some with guns, and the carriage was surrounded by a body of troops, formed of the most desperate people of Paris. As another precaution, they had placed before the horses a number of drums, intended to drown any noise or murmur in favour of the King; but how could they be heard? Nobody appeared either at the doors or windows, and in the street nothing was to be seen, but armed citizens - citizens, all rushing towards the commission of a crime, which perhaps they detested in their hearts.

The carriage proceeded thus in silence to the Place de Louis XV, and stopped in the middle of a large space that had been left round the scaffold: this space was surrounded with cannon, and beyond, an armed multitude extended as far as the eye could reach. As soon as the King perceived that the carriage stopped, he turned and whispered to me, 'We are arrived, if I mistake not.' My silence answered that we were. One of the guards came to open the carriage door, and the gendarmes would have jumped out, but the King stopped them, and leaning his arm on my knee, 'Gentlemen,' said he, with the tone of majesty, 'I recommend to you this good man; take care that after my death no insult be offered to him - I charge you to prevent it.'… As soon as the King had left the carriage, three guards surrounded him, and would have taken off his clothes, but he repulsed them with haughtiness- he undressed himself, untied his neckcloth, opened his shirt, and arranged it himself. The guards, whom the determined countenance of the King had for a moment disconcerted, seemed to recover their audacity. They surrounded him again, and would have seized his hands. 'What are you attempting?' said the King, drawing back his hands. 'To bind you,' answered the wretches. 'To bind me,' said the King, with an indignant air. 'No! I shall never consent to that: do what you have been ordered, but you shall never bind me. . .'

The path leading to the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to pass; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and from the slowness with which he proceeded, I feared for a moment that his courage might fail; but what was my astonishment, when arrived at the last step, I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole scaffold; silence, by his look alone, fifteen or twenty drums that were placed opposite to me; and in a voice so loud, that it must have been heard it the Pont Tournant, I heard him pronounce distinctly these memorable words: 'I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.'

He was proceeding, when a man on horseback, in the national uniform, and with a ferocious cry, ordered the drums to beat. Many voices were at the same time heard encouraging the executioners. They seemed reanimated themselves, in seizing with violence the most virtuous of Kings, they dragged him under the axe of the guillotine, which with one stroke severed his head from his body. All this passed in a moment. The youngest of the guards, who seemed about eighteen, immediately seized the head, and showed it to the people as he walked round the scaffold; he accompanied this monstrous ceremony with the most atrocious and indecent gestures. At first an awful silence prevailed; at length some cries of 'Vive la Republique!' were heard. By degrees the voices multiplied and in less than ten minutes this cry, a thousand times repeated became the universal shout of the multitude, and every hat was in the air."

[References: Cronin, Vincent, Louis and Antoinete (1975); Edgeworth, Henry in Thompson, J.M., English Witnesses of the French Revolution (1938, Memoirs originally published 1815).]


***

LAST TESTAMENT OF LOUIS XVI

In the name of the Very holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.