Rorate Caeli

Apostolic Letter Abolishing the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei

Following a historical introduction, the norms of the new Motu proprio published today abolish the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) and transfer all its powers and assets to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which shall establish a new specific internal section to deal with the former PCED's competencies. (Only Italian text available.)

One very positive aspect of the motu proprio, in its specific reasons given for the text, is the papal acknowledgement that, "the Institutes and Religious Communities that celebrate regularly in the Extraordinary Form have reached today a proper stability of numbers and life..."


For over thirty years, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established by the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta, of July 2, 1988, has acquitted with sincere and praiseworthy solicitude the task of collaborating with the Bishops and the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, in facilitating the full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, communities or individual religious men and women once attached to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who wished to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church, while preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions.

In this way, the Commission was able to exercise its authority and competence over said Societies and Associations in the name of the Holy See, until otherwise provided.

Subsequently, under the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 7 July 2007, the Pontifical Commission extended the authority of the Holy See over those Institutes and religious communities, which adhere to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and earlier traditions of religious life, maintaining vigilance over the observance and application of established dispositions.

Two years later, my Venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI, with the motu proprio Ecclesiae Unitatem, of 2 July 2009, reorganized the structure of the Pontifical Commission, in order to make it more suitable for the new situation created with the remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated without pontifical mandate. Moreover, considering that, after such an act of grace, the matters handled by the same Pontifical Commission were primarily doctrinal, my predecessor linked the Commission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith more organically, conserving its initial ends, but modifying its structure.

Now, since the Feria IV [the regular Wednesday meeting] of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of November 15, 2017 had formulated the request that the dialogue between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X [SSPX] be conducted directly by the aforementioned Congregation, and since the issues treated are of a doctrinal nature, to which request I gave my approval in Audientia to the Cardinal Prefect [Cardinal Luis Ladaria,SJ] the following 24 November, and [since] this proposal was welcomed by the Plenary Session of the same Congregation celebrated from 23 to 26 January 2018, I have come, after ample reflection, to the following Decision.

Considering today the conditions that had led the holy Pontiff, John Paul II, to the establishment of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei; noting that the Institutes and religious communities that usually celebrate in extraordinary form have today found their own stability of number and life; noting that the aims and issues dealt with by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei are of a predominantly doctrinal nature; wishing that these aims be ever more visible to the conscience of the ecclesial communities, with the present Apostolic Letter motu proprio data;

I establish (Delibero):

Op-Ed - Anglican Nightmare in Rome: "Ordained" Female Deacons, First Step Towards "Women Priests"

Father Richard G. Cipolla, DPhil (Oxon)


“Consecrated women already work so much with the poor and the marginalized: teaching the catechism, accompanying the sick and the moribund, distributing communion, [and] in many countries conducting the common prayers in absence of priests and in those circumstances pronouncing the homily. In the church there is the office of the permanent diaconate, but it is open only to married and non-married men. What impedes the church from including women among permanent deacons, just as it happened in the early church? Why not construct an official commission that might study the question?"

The above quote was one of the questions asked of Pope Francis at the meeting of the International Union of Superior General of Women’s Orders in the Church in May 2016. The Pope’s response included a statement of his personal interest in the question and he promised to set up a Commission to investigate the question. Four members of the Commission were part of a panel discussion on “The Future of Women Deacons: Views from the Papal Commission and the American Pews” at Fordham University’s Center for Religion and Culture”. Panelists included 4 members of the Commission: Phyllis Zagano, a long time advocate for ordaining women to the diaconate, Jesuit Father Bernard Pottier, and Sister Donna Ciangio, O.P., the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Newark and principal and founder of Church Leadership Consultation. The moderator of the discussion was Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of Salt and Light. Fr Rosica is the priest who in a fit of enthusiasm for the pontificate of Pope Francis declared: “Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is “free from disordered attachments” Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”. That quote sets the mise en scene of this panel discussion.

Ten-hut! First Solemn High Mass at West Point for cadets in six decades

We received a short report from a reader on one of the more unusual places to see a Solemn High Mass take place: 


There was a Solemn High Mass at West Point Academy on Friday, January 11, 2019. Captain Randy Shed asked Fr. Donald Kloster if he could organize the first Solemn High Mass at Holy Trinity Chapel in at least 57 years. Captain Shed then asked his pastor about the possibility of a Solemn High Mass at West Point. Rev. Fr. Major Sean Magnuson was very gracious to us and gave us the needed permission. 

About 120 faithful attended in the pews. About half were from West Point Academy and the other half were civilians from New York and Connecticut.

Lepanto conference and solemn pontifical Mass in NYC

Next month there will be a conference and solemn pontifical Mass at one of New York City's most beautiful churches.

The Most Reverend James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn (and pastor of a parish in Park Slope, and vicar for education), will offer the Mass.  The assistant priest will be the Reverend Father Richard Cipolla.

Two of the three speakers at the conference are Rorate contributors:  Father Cipolla and Dr. Peter Kwasniewski.

The day is being organized by the Society of Saint Hugh of Cluny, which has details here.


Archbishop Viganò Writes Public Letter to McCarrick: REPENT!

Dear Archbishop McCarrick,

As has been reported as a news by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the accusations against you for crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians are going to be examined and judged very soon with an administrative procedure.

Influential Editorial declares Francis Pontificate a "failure": Hope for an end to Hyper-Papalism


The very recent publication of the editorial by R.R. Reno, the editor of First Things, declaring the pontificate of Pope Francis a “failure” ("A Failing Papacy", Feb. 2019 issue), is both newsworthy and more importantly the beginning, we hope, of an intellectual examination of the present papacy that will result in an honest assessment of the present papacy and, one further hopes, a call for an end to the hyper-papalism of the past years—perhaps even over a century--, and a theological reassessment, based on the Tradition of the Church, of the nature and role of the papacy.

That the editor of First Things, which became for some years, in my personal assessment, an organ for the Neo-Conservative agenda, has written this editorial may not catch the attention of the New York Times, but certainly is significant among those Catholics who understand the Tradition of the Church and who have been and are greatly disturbed by the failure of this pontificate to articulate clearly and unambiguously the Catholic Faith in a time of political and cultural mass confusion.

Not Just More Scripture, But Different Scripture — Comparing the Old and New Lectionaries

The following study was completed in March 2016 and subsequently published as the Foreword to Matthew Hazell's remarkable reference work "Index Lectionum: A Comparative Table of Readings for the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite." The passage of time under the reign of Pope Francis has meanwhile witnessed the welcome development of a large number of Catholics of good will beginning to wake up to the magnitude of the rupture effected by the liturgical reform. Because not everyone has this volume or expects to have it, I've been encouraged to share the Foreword with a wider audience. Nevertheless, I encourage serious students of liturgy to purchase the Index Lectionum itself, because it is a formidable research tool.


Not Just More Scripture, But Different Scripture


by Peter A. Kwasniewski

As Matthew Hazell notes in his “Introduction and User’s Guide” below, this Index Lectionum may be used by any student of the Roman Rite, whether in its classical form or its modern form, who wishes to see exactly how the books, chapters, and verses of Sacred Scripture end up being utilized (or not utilized) in the readings given at Mass. For that function alone, this volume is a tool of obvious and immense value. But this Index also facilitates, in fact for the first time, fruitful scholarly comparisons between the old and new lectionaries. In this foreword, I will outline the kind of results that such comparisons yield, in the hopes that others, too, will be inspired to take up this important research.

Socci: The Church is collapsing, but the Vatican has launched a crusade against Salvini

Antonio Socci
Libero
January 6, 2019
What is going on in the Catholic Church? The situation is not only catastrophic - it’s absurd.  We hear of churches emptying dramatically in the West and Christians being cruelly persecuted in the East. We hear of the disappearance of traditional Catholic movements, of internal clashes in the Curia, of continuous scandals, of immense confusion among the faithful as a result of Pope Francis’ revolutionary feats ( recently he even “forgot” about the dogma of the Immaculate Conception).
Yet the churchmen are not addressing any of this. They are not worried at all. The shepherds are not interested in the sheep going astray and being scattered.
The hierarchical class is completely taken up by politics. It’s a real fever. That in itself is already surreal, but  not sufficiently. The fact is, they don’t want to bring the “social doctrine” of the Church into politics nor the “non-negotiable principals”,  as one might like to believe they would.  Following the “Bergoglian teaching” they have only one theological-political theme to insist upon and in fundamentalist tones:  migrants.

Francis - Towards a Masonic Fraternal Future?

"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity":
Placed by the French Republic in front of the Saint Pancras church, in Aups (Provence)

In his Christmas message, Francis used the word "fraternity" not less than 12 times. It is, as is well known, one of the ideals of the French Revolution, and chosen by the Revolutionaries precisely due to the influence of the secret societies that bred that disastrous event.

[M]y wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity.

Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture.

Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another.

Fraternity among persons of different religions. Jesus came to reveal the face of God to all those who seek him.

But do not believe for a moment we are being conspiratorial -- in fact, to be honest, we had not even paid attention to the Urbi et Orbi message before the great Spanish association of Freemasons, the Grand Lodge of Spain, posted this on Monday:

Roman Forum 2019


The annual Roman Forum on the shores of Lake Garda in Northern Italy is one of the most important institutions in Catholic traditionalism, bringing together some of the best traditionalist minds to reflect on where we are, how we got here, and how to move forward. The chairman, Dr. John Rao, has sent us the following information about this year's symposium as well as the lectures on Church history that he will be giving in New York City. We urge our readers to consider attending the symposium and the lectures.

We also urge our readers to support the Gardone Summer Symposium through donations. The Roman Forum has now collected $25,000 of the $75,000 needed to provide for the attendance of the nineteen speakers and the musical director, as well as for the cost of the hall rental, a donation for the use of the parish church, and assistance for twenty scholarship candidates. $50,000 more is needed.  Please do consider giving a tax-deductible donation to support the attendance at the symposium of a speaker, a member of the clergy, a seminarian, or a student. Send all applications, deposit,  payments, and donations for the Summer Symposium either through the PayPal link on the Roman Forum Website or directly to: Dr. John C. Rao, The Roman Forum, 11 Carmine Street, # 2C, New York, NY 10014. 


De Mattei: Dare, Monsignore!


An Appeal from the Lepanto Foundation



TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER...

Twenty-five years ago, on 8 February 1994, the European Parliament voted on a resolution that invited the nations of Europe to promote and give legal protection to homosexuality. In his Angelus address on 20 February 1994, the Holy Father Pope John Paul II appealed to public opinion worldwide, affirming that “the legal approbation of active homosexuality is not morally admissible [...]. The Resolution of the European Parliament has called for the legitimization of a moral disorder.The Parliament has unduly given institutional value to deviant behaviors, which do not conform to God’s plan”.

In May of that same year, the Lepanto Cultural Center [Centro Culturale Lepanto] handed out a manifesto in Strasbourg to parliamentary representatives, called “Europe at Strasbourg: Represented or Betrayed?”. The manifesto made an indignant protest against the promotion of a vice condemned by both Christian and Western conscience, and asked the European bishops “to unite their voices to that of the Supreme Pastor [John Paul II] in order to multiply it in their dioceses, by publicly denouncing the moral fault with which the European Assembly has stained itself and warning the flock entrusted to their care of the growing attacks of anti-Christian forces in the world”.

Today, one after another, the principal European nations, including many of those with the most ancient Catholic tradition, have elevated sodomy to a legal right by recognizing, under different forms, so-called “same-sex marriage” and introducing the concept of the crime of “homophobia.” The Pastors of the Church, who should have formed an unbreakable dam of opposition against the homosexualization of society promoted by the political class and by the media-financial oligarchies, have in fact fostered it by their silence. Even at the highest levels of the Church, the practice of homosexuality and of a so-called “gay-friendly” culture that justifies and encourages homosexual vice has spread like a cancer.

Sermon for the Epiphany: A King of Orient tells us what the journey to Bethlehem was like

by Fr. Richard Cipolla


From the Gospel: “And they fell down and worshipped Him.”

It was one of the worst trips I had ever taken.  The snow, the cold, and then rain as soon as we got out of the mountains.  They robbed us at one of the inns; in some towns the food was not even edible. But we went on, somehow we did not give this all up, for it was still there, that star that we had seen that night many week ago now.  We searched our charts, we consulted others, and that star—there was nothing like it we had ever seen.  And so we set out, we set out in some sort of faith, looking for something, for surely that star was meant to announce something great.  We were not even sure what we were looking for.  Some said a king was to be born in the land of the Jews.  That is what one of my companions had heard, and it was this king that we set out to find.  Or was it? 

Event: Dominican Rite Mass in Lafayette, Indiana, January 5th

Una Voce Lafayette invites you to the last Mass celebrated in the historic Saint Elizabeth chapel before the commencement of renovation of the Franciscan Central Health hospital complex. Celebrated by Fr. Timothy Combs, OP, the music featured will be Dominican chant and a Mass setting by Hildegard of Bingen, along with baroque organ music by Miss Jessica Earle, organist of St. Joseph's, Chelsea (Australia). For those wanting to do so, please bring water for blessing by Father.

One day an atheist walked into a church

" I had been but a few moments in the church when I was suddenly seized with an unutterable agitation of mind. I raised my eyes, the building had disappeared from before me ; one single chapel had, so to speak, gathered and concentrated all the light ; and in the midst of this radiance I saw standing on the altar lofty, clothed with splendours, full of majesty and of sweetness, the Virgin Mary, just as she is represented on my medal. An irresistible force drew me towards her; the Virgin made me a sign with her hand that I should kneel down ; and then she seemed to say, That will do! She spoke not a word, but I understood all." 
Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne

Event: Dr. Kwasniewski's Upcoming Lectures in Minneapolis, January 9 & 10

Next week, on Wednesday and Thursday, I will be in Minneapolis giving talks, as follows.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society


This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Wed now stand at 89 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! Make a resolution for 2019 to help the Souls through the Society. 

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

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

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

Plenary Indulgence reminders:
Te Deum on Dec. 31
Veni Creator on Jan. 1

26
§ 1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a church or in an oratory, are present in a recitation or solemn chant of: ...

De Mattei: Martyrs and Violators of the Confessional Seal

Roberto de Mattei
  Corrispondenza Romana
December 29, 2018 


The inviolability of the secrecy of the confessional is one of the pillars of Catholic morality. The new Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents' lives. This secret, which admits of no exceptions, is called the "sacramental seal," because what the penitent has made known to the priest remains "sealed" by the sacrament.” (n.1467) The New Code of Canon Law, inflicts latae sententiae excommunication on the priest who violates the sacramental seal (Canon 1388 - §1). For the Church no reason whatsoever can justify the violability of the seal of the confessional, since, as St. Thomas explains “the priest has knowledge of those sins, not as a man, but as God knows them”. (Summa Theologiae, Suppl., 11,1ad2).

The Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X: Prospects for 2019 (Guest Post)

by Côme de Prévigny



The visit this past November of Father Davide Pagliarani, new Superior-General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), to the Ecclesia Dei Commission in Rome has revived the everlasting matter of the relations between the Holy See and the society founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, raising speculations on the possibility of having this body officially recognized by the Vatican. Inquiring minds wonder if a tendency that wants regularization or not has assumed command of the SSPX. Here and there, a commentator strives to know if doctrinal agreements should be reached before considering a practical agreement, reaching back to a configuration that resembles the situation of 15 years ago. But where, concretely, should these discussions lead? Should they wait until Rome has finally condemned Vatican II, or rather are mere safeguards enough? This point remains to be clarified.

Follow-up Article - Paul VI: The Infallibility of Canonizations and the Morals of the Faithful

Last August, Rorate posted an original article by Dr. John Lamont on the infallibility of canonizations.

The article generated considerable debate, which prompted Dr. Lamont to write the following piece on canonizations and the morals of the faithful. Scrupulosity has never been a Catholic virtue.

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The infallibility of canonisations and the morals of the faithful

John Lamont

A number of discussions of the infallibility of canonisations have appeared recently in connection with the canonisation of Paul VI. Some of these, including a discussion of my own,[1] have argued that the act of canonisation is not necessarily an infallible pronouncement, and therefore that the canonisation of Paul VI does not require Catholics to believe that he is a saint in heaven if they have serious reasons for holding that he was not a saint. This conclusion has been rejected by many Catholics who consider themselves to be conservatives or even traditionalists. The basis for this rejection has not been a conclusive proof of the heroic virtue of Paul VI, but rather the assertion that canonisations are always infallible. This rejection is not theologically well-informed, but it is presented with an air of authority that can take in Catholics who are not familiar with the theological issues involved. It is thus worthwhile to provide in more detail the theological reasons that establish that not all canonisations are infallible, and that Catholics are not required to accept that canonisation is necessarily an infallible act of the magisterium.

We should begin by explaining the scope of the infallible teaching authority of the Church. This authority extends to all divinely revealed truths that form part of the deposit of faith, and also to all those truths whose acceptance is necessary in order that the deposit of faith can be effectively defended or proposed with sufficient authority. The latter category of truths are termed the secondary object of the infallibility of the Church.

Next, we should define the question being addressed. It is beyond question that the  sanctity of some individuals is infallibly taught. It is divinely revealed, for example, that the good thief is a saint in heaven. Other canonisations can undoubtedly be judged to belong to the secondary object of infallibility. The teaching that St. Paul lived a life of heroic virtue after his conversion and is now a saint in heaven is necessary for the credibility of the inspired teaching that the Church has received from him, and hence forms part of the secondary object of infallibility.

URGENT: Ecclesia Dei Commission for the Latin Mass to be extinguished?

Messa in Latino reports (and the information is also relayed by Vaticanist Marco Tosatti) that the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" (PCED), the Vatican body in charge of matters related to the Traditional Latin Mass and of negotiations with traditional groups (in particular the Society of Saint Pius X), is set to be abolished shortly, according to highly credible sources

Its functions would be completely amalgamated and absorbed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to which it has been closely linked since the beginning, and in particular since July 2008, when the Prefect of CDF was made head "ex officio" of Ecclesia Dei.

Despite the close links, the limited structural autonomy of PCED had proven extremely beneficial to the integrity of the Traditional Latin Mass, especially since the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, of July 7, 2007, had given PCED important functions regarding the Traditional Roman Rite.

Is it a first step in the dismantlement of Summorum Pontificum?

Bishop of Largest Portuguese Diocese on Christmas: Our Lady not really a Virgin

UPDATE: Observador has published a denial by the bishop. Click here to read it
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Original post below:
Francis meets Manuel Linda, current bishop of Oporto (Porto), Portugal

The Portuguese website "Observador", one of the most important news and opinion websites in the country, published a special Christmas interview with the Bishop of the most populous diocese in Portugal, Oporto (Porto), Manuel Linda, and another theologian, a priest called Anselmo Borges. [Update: the wicked bishop has tried to hide his declarations by adding "clarifications" to the original piece; therefore, in order to preserve historical record, the original piece has been posted in our Repository.]

In it, they dismantle all "myths" related to Christmas, including its December date ("probably September"...), but the greatest scandal of all is the direct attack on several Dogmas related to the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the purity of His Immaculate Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The main passages are translated below (tip: local reader):

"He [Christ] was conceived by Mary and Joseph as any other person... Virginity is only associated with Mary as a metaphor to prove that Jesus was a very special person." ...

Fontgombault Sermon for Christmas Day: "On Christmas, a mystery of love beyond measure is fulfilled."

Christmas Day Mass

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, December 25th, 2018

Et Verbum caro factum est.
And the Word was made flesh.
(Jn 1:14)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The birth of the Child Jesus in Bethlehem, its near and far context, have been abundantly retailed by the two evangelists St. Matthew and St. Luke. St. Mark, on the other hand, doesn’t evoke this period in the life of Jesus, and begins his Gospel with the preaching of John the Baptist. As to St. John, if he doesn’t actually mention the events related to the Savior’s birth, he prefaces his Gospel with the Prologue we have just heard.

In the Gospel of St. Luke, the birth of Jesus isn’t the first one to be told. Six months before, John the Baptist, the Precursor, was born from Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth. Near the child’s cradle, a question was asked:“What then is this child going to be?” Not so at the Crib. The shepherds were informed by the angel’s words:

For, this day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. (Lk 2:11)

What do the evangelists tell us concerning the origin of Jesus? During this night, at the end of Matins, we have heard the long genealogy taken from the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Beginning with Abraham, the Father of all believers, it ends with Jacob, who “begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ." (Mt 1:16) So as to dispel any misunderstanding concerning the mode of this generation, the evangelist specifies:

Christmas Eve 2018: Two Short Meditations

“Let’s  be joyful and courageous at least in the higher part of our souls, in the midst of the trials the Lord gives us, as The Angel who foretold the Birth of Our Little Savior and Lord, proclaims it singing and sings proclaiming joy, peace and happiness to men of good-will, so that nobody can say they don’t know that to receive this Child, you only need some good will.”  
- St. Padre Pio  

RORATE SUNDAY: Thirteenth Anniversary of Rorate Caeli


This blog was launched thirteen years ago today. We thank Almighty God for the countless graces He has showered upon this apostolate, for the many souls that have been nourished by Catholic truth, encouraged by signs of hope, challenged by the demands of tradition, driven to prayer and fasting by the need to exorcise the demons of our time -- and, above all, moved to greater love and fidelity to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

How often have we felt like crying out, with the Prophet Isaiah, with the people of Israel, with all God-fearing souls throughout the centuries: "O that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence -- as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil -- to make thy name known to thy adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at thy presence!" (Isa 64:1-2). Now, more than ever, O Lord, rend the heavens and come down to save Thy People, in captivity, in exile, wandering in the desert of modernity!

This, indeed, is what the magnificent, evocative, and pleading melody of the Introit at today's Mass conveys to us: "O heavens, let the Just One rain down like the dew, let Him descend from the clouds like rain: let the earth be opened and give birth to the Savior."

Dom Dominic Johner, O.S.B., offers us this wonderful meditation on the Introit in his classic work The Chants of the Vatican Gradual:

De Mattei: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 19, 2018


Risultati immagini per images for things fall apart the centre cannot hold



In December 1918, Europe celebrated the first Christmas of peace after four years of non-stop bloodshed. The world that was born, however, was no longer that of yesterday.


On November 3rd, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire had signed the armistice of Villa Giusti with the Allied Armed Forces in Padua. On November 7th,  the German Chancellor received an ultimatum from the German Socialists, who imposed the abdication of Kaiser William II for Friday November 8th.  The Grand Duke of Baden, notified the Sovereign, who was at his General Quarters in Spa, that he could no longer rely on the army and that a civil war was looming. Right up until the morning of November 8th, the Sovereign manifested his intention of reestablishing order and taming the Revolution at the head of his troops. But during the night between the 8th and 9th everything collapsed. The Emperor’s military and civil advisors, gathered together in Spa, insisted that the Kaiser abdicate and leave for Holland.  On November 9th  he announced his abdication as Emperor of Germany, not as King of Prussia, and entrusted the Command of the Army to Field Marshal von Hindenburg, appointing him to negotiate the armistice.  That same day the Emperor left Germany, never to return. 

What time can Midnight Mass begin? Updated with PCED guidance.

Last year we addressed the question "What time can Midnight Mass begin?," which is usually a novus ordo concern, but can sometimes find its way into traditional Latin Mass parishes.


The answer, using the 1962 calendar and its rubrics/liturgical law, is of course no earlier than Midnight.  The liturgical law specifying the calendar day timeline for the use of traditional Latin Mass propers is found in the very beginning of the rubrics governing the 1962 liturgy, under part one ("General Rubrics"), chapter two, number four:

4. Dies liturgicus est dies sanctificatus actionibus liturgicis, praesertim Sacrificio eucharistico et publica Ecclesiae prece, id est Officio divino; et decurrit a media nocte ad mediam noctem.

4. The liturgical day is the day sanctified by the liturgical rites, especially the eucharistic Sacrifice and the public prayer of the Church, that is the divine Office; it runs from midnight to midnight.

The rubrics go on to explain more solemn days have an Office that starts the evening before.  But it is very clear the rubric is talking about the Divine Office -- that is, First Vespers -- not the celebration of Mass.

More recently, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" (PCED) was asked by a priest about anticipating the Mass propers (that is, using the propers of a day of precept that has not yet started).  Rorate covered the answer here.  The priest used an example of a Saturday evening traditional Latin Mass, asking if it was licit to use Sunday's Mass propers, to which the Vatican responded "the Mass formulary used should be that permitted on a Saturday."

Is the Church Crisis Driving the Faithful to the Latin Mass? An Interview with Dr. Kwasniewski

Recently, Judy Roberts interviewed me for an article she was working on for the National Catholic Register. Parts of the interview appeared at the Register on December 16th, but the full interview is presented exclusively here at Rorate.


Judy Roberts: In your experience, are more Catholics indeed seeking out Mass in the extraordinary form during this time of turmoil in the Church? What are they telling you as to why? 

Peter Kwasniewski: Statistics, to the extent that they are available, the creation of new traditional Mass apostolates, and anecdotal evidence shared via social media point to a steadily growing base of faithful who are attending this form of the Roman liturgy. 

I’m not sure if it’s growing more owing to the current crisis, but what I have noticed is an interesting trend. The “progressives” or “liberals” are emboldened under this pontificate to show their true colors more and more openly; the “conservatives,” that is, those who would have been classified as “John Paul II Catholics” or “Ratzingerians,” are diminishing; and the “traditionalists,” who once seemed a negligible minority, have not only shown themselves more numerous than hitherto imagined, but are now occupying the intellectual and moral high ground. The serious work of Catholic restoration is happening in large part due to their efforts.

Who are these people? Are they merely older Catholics who grew up with the traditional Mass and are nostalgic for the way things used to be or does this group also include younger people and converts? 

A Letter to Archbishop Viganò: TEMPUS ADEST -- The Time has Come

ARCHBISHOP VIGANÒ:  TEMPUS ADEST!  THE TIME HAS COME!


Dear Archbishop Viganò:

I, as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. write this letter to you during the season of Advent, this time of waiting, of expectation, this time of violet that asks us to ponder the meaning of the coming of Jesus Christ into this world of sin and death, to ponder these things in the darkest part of the year when the darkness seems to overwhelm the light.  This is the liturgical season in which John the Baptist assumes so powerfully his role as the forerunner of Christ.  It is John the Baptist who prepares himself for this role by going into the silence and wilderness of the desert to prepare himself in that silence in which God dwells and then comes blazing out of the desert with his words demanding repentance and a return to the Lord and finally an identification of who this Lord is in the person of Jesus Christ.

I write this letter to you to ask you to end your self imposed exile and to come out of the desert of silence and speak directly to those who willfully ignore the reality of corruption in the Church and to expose their profane use of silence that cynically mimics Christ’s silence before Pontius Pilate.  The reaction of Rome has been to ignore your letters or to attack you personally and finally to adopt a response of silence. Their silence has been deafening, and their bluff of silence has succeeded in blocking all discussion of not only your three letters but also any discussion of the terrible malaise within the Church herself.  The emasculating order of silence imposed on the bishops of the United States at their recent meeting in Baltimore had the desired effect.  The bishops could not even agree on sending an innocuous request to the Pope to make available the material Rome has regarding the McCarrick scandal. Debolezza triste, mancanza di coraggio.

Book Announcement: “Ego Eimi: It Is I — Falling in Eucharistic Love” by a Priest of the FSSP

Rorate is pleased to announce the publication of a new and beautiful book on the Most Holy Eucharist, written by Fr Armand de Malleray, rector of St. Mary’s Shrine in Warrington, England, and superior of the English apostolate of the FSSP. The book, with a foreword by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, is entitled “Ego Eimi: It Is I — Falling in Eucharistic Love.” I had the privilege of reading an earlier draft of the book and found it not only uncompromisingly traditional in doctrine but refreshing and (in the best sense) provocative in its approach. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially to catechizers and religion teachers. 

From the Foreword by Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

For the record: Benedict abandoned us — Francis is Pope

There seems to be a need for us to repeat somethings we’ve said often. We do not believe our years-long readers suffer from this syndrome, but there are more than a few people who seem confused, especially those whom Francis has recently driven toward tradition. 

Let us then repeat what we’ve said repeatedly for five years (and well beyond, for the first point):

     * Sedevacantism is an untenable position.
     * Benedict, whom we thank so deeply for Summorum, resigned his post, abandoned us and left us for the wolves, and is no more Pope than the man in the moon.
     * Pope Bergoglio is indeed the Pope — God help us. 

Now let’s get back to saving our souls and leaving this utter disaster for God to figure out.

Socci: Horror!

From Antonio Socci's Facebook
December 14, 2018



Questioned by journalists, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin (Bergoglio’s right-hand man) declared that presently there is no diplomatic activity involving the Holy See to bring Asia Bibi and her family to safety.  He said verbatim: “It’s an internal question that regards Pakistan, I hope it will be resolved in the best ways possible”.

An internal question that regards Pakistan? The cynicism of the Bergoglians towards persecuted Christians is horrifying!                                                                                                            
Antonio Socci

Count Neri Capponi, Defender of the Traditional Mass, Requiescat in pace

Count Neri Capponi (left) with Michael Davies at a FIUV meeting

A dear friend and reader of Rorate Caeli alerted us to the fact that a great traditionalist of the 20th century, Count Neri Capponi, died yesterday, on the feast of St. Lucy. Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.

You suggest: Help restore the Shrine of Christ the King Novena starting December 17

From our friends at the Institute of Christ the King:

Emmanuel :  God is with us.

As we approach the great feast of Christmas, join the Institute of Christ the King in the Infant King Novena to prepare for the birthday of our God, the Eternal Word made flesh.  Venite adoremus!

Join us during these final days of Advent in the Infant King Novena as we prepare to celebrate the mystery of our redemption, the Mystery of the Incarnation.  From December 17 through Christmas Day, let us meditate and reflect on the greatest gift the world has ever received and our appreciation of this Eternal Gift in our daily lives.

A priest on his knees amid the “gilet jaunes”


    H/T Chiesa e Post Concilio


An image that has no need of comments and which represents all the priests, and men and women of good will, who, in these tremendously grave times continue to pray for Italy, France, Europe and the entire world…

De Mattei: The Two Souls of the Yellow Gilets

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondeza Romana
December 12, 2018



Risultati immagini per images of the gilets jaunes in france


The “reverse turn” of Emmanuel Macron’s République en Marche,  confronted by the advance of the “gilets jaunes”, reveals the significance of the protests which have erupted in France over the last few weeks. 

The prime target of the protest was the arrogant French President, who, in his discourse to the nation on December 10th had to admit the failure of his policies. But Macron is the embodiment of the European technocratic powers and his failure, moreover, is the economic and social muzzle imposed on France by the Eurocrats. The political winners of this arm wrestling, for the moment, are the defeated political parties of the 2016 presidential elections. The  Rassemblement National of Marine Le Pen and La France insoumise of Jean-Luc Mélenchon ( which had obtained 47% of the votes in the first ballot against Macron’s 24% and were defeated in the second ballot) have now been vindicated.

You suggest: Rorate Mass Saturday, December 15, in Birmingham, Alabama


Free 2019 traditional liturgical calendar for priests and bishops

We first brought our priest and bishop readers this offer of a free traditional Latin Mass liturgical calendar last year, with no real idea of how well it would be received. Well ...

We were thrilled to learned that many, many priests, and several bishops, took us up on the offer and received their free calendars! May them taking this first step lead to many good fruits in the future. 

Note: If you're a priest or bishop you can get one for free and, if you're a layman, you can send one to a priest for free as well. 

Please consider sending one to your local parish pastor. You never know -- you may get a new, local TLM option out of it. Sometimes it only takes a small spark to light a fire! 

Just fill out the contact information and instructions on the website and they'll take care of the rest. 



100 Years of Solzhenitsyn: Lessons on the October Revolution for our time

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born exactly years ago, on December 11, 1918, one year after the October Revolution, in a nation in civil war.

In the end of the 20th century, and first decades of the new one, the same mistake that paved the way in the mighty Russian Empire in the end of the 19th century, and first decades of the new one: a rejection of good CONSERVATISM, a "slavery to Progressive quirks." Solzhenitsyn was a prophet for our times.

Hill of Crosses, Šiauliai, Lithuania 

Dostoevsky's DEVILS - apparently a provincial nightmare fantasy of the last century - are crawling across the whole world in front of our very eyes, infesting countries where they could not have been dreamed of; and by means of the hijackings, kidnappings, explosions and fires of recent years they are announcing their determination to shake and destroy civilization! And they may well succeed.

The young, at an age when they have not yet any experience other than sexual, when they do not yet have years of personal suffering and personal understanding behind them, are jubilantly repeating our depraved Russian blunders of the Nineteenth Century, under the impression that they are discovering something new. They acclaim the latest wretched degradation on the part of the Chinese Red Guards as a joyous example. In shallow lack of understanding of the age-old essence of mankind, in the naive confidence of inexperienced hearts they cry: let us drive away THOSE cruel, greedy oppressors, governments, and the new ones (we!), having laid aside grenades and rifles, will be just and understanding.