Rorate Caeli

Confirming the news

I have known for many days and am able to confirm the news published by Novus Ordo Watch - USA, Sedevacantist, CSI-Diffusion - France, Sedevacantist, and Whispers in the Loggia - USA, Ultraliberal (a very eclectic team) regarding the possible future settlement of the two prerequisites for further discussions between the Apostolic See and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X: the lifting (the wording may not be exact) of excommunications and the recognition of the right of every priest in the Latin Church to celebrate the Traditional Mass, at least in private.

I would add the most important information that reports of a division among the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer in 1988 are wrong -- there is no such division.

Marriage, "Divorce", Annulment - The Pope speaks

Papal speeches to the courts of the Roman Curia are among the most important addresses a Pope may give, because they have immediate consequence: they are to be considered as interpretative guides to the Law as applied by the judges of these Superior Tribunals.

If one would have only read the secular news regarding Pope Benedict's speech to the Roman Rota last Saturday, one might have thought that his message was: "Speed up the annulments!". Which has already been denied by an attentive and modest Vatican insider.

The most important part of the speech in my opinion, though, was not exactly related to the speed of annulments, but to communion to divorced Catholics living in sin (in civil "marriage", in "common law marriage, or other form of "companionship", all of which are not important in the eyes of the Magisterium). Here are the Pope's words:

As you well know, the attention given to the procedures of matrimonial annulment always greatly transcend the field of the experts. The ecclesiastical sentences in this matter, in fact, define the possibility or not of the reception of eucharistic Communion by not a few faithful.

Annulments, that is, the ecclesiastical decisions that a previous "marriage" actually was not a true marriage and therefore never existed, are a condition for the reception of eucharistic communion by those who are "remarried": that is, those whose previous marriage to a still living person is presumed valid and who live with someone else, even if after a civil "divorce" and "remarriage", live in sin and objectively are not allowed to receive communion.

This, of course, is pretty obvious and has always been the Catholic position, but it had been undermined by not a few prelates in the past few months.

Meditation on the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

At that time, when Jesus entered into the boat, His disciples followed Him: and behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but He was asleep. And His disciples came to Him and awaked Him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye a little faith? Then rising up, He commanded the winds and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey Him? (St. Matthew, viii, 23-27)

Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink,
a boat taking in water on every side.

In your field we see more weeds than wheat.

The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion.

Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them!
It is we who betray you time and time again,
after all our lofty words and grand gestures.

Have mercy on your Church;
within her too, Adam continues to fall.

When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs,
for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall;
he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church,
you will remain prostrate and overpowered.

But you will rise again.
You stood up, you arose
and you can also raise us up.

Save and sanctify your Church.

Save and sanctify us all.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 2005 (Source)

The Mozarabic Rite - Renovation or Destruction?

This very interesting website includes many relevant texts on the old and revised (1990) forms of the Hispanic Rite, also known as Gothic, Hispano-Mozarabic, or simply Mozarabic Rite, in Latin and in Spanish (it was exclusively in Latin in its pre-revision texts).

The new texts of the Mozarabic Missal were published by Cardinal González Martín, in 1990, "so that the faithful may participate, fully, actively and consciously in the liturgical celebrations (Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 14) [...] extensively to the other non-Roman rites, which, if necessary, are to be revised according to sound tradition to acquire new vigor." (Preface to the new Hispano-Mozarabic Missal). Well, that does not sound very promising.

The changes in the Gothic Canon (now called "Prex Eucharistica"...) were significant, but not extensive. Compare the pre-revision and post-revision consecration formulas below:

Adesto adesto Jesu bone Pontifex in medio nostri: sicut fuisti in medio discipulorum tuorum: et sancti fica hanc oblationem ut sanctificata sumamus per manus sancti angeli tui sancte Domine et redemptor eterne.

Dominus noster Jesus Christus in qua (abstergit digitos) nocte tradebatur accepit panem (accipit Hostiam) et gratias agens (inclinet caput) benedixit ac fregit: deditque discipulis suis dicens. Accipite et manducate HOC EST CORPUS MEUM QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR. Hic elevetur Corpus. Quotiescumque manducaveritis: hoc facite (alta voce omnibus diebus preter festivis) in meam commemorationem.
R\. Amen

Hic elevetur calix coopertus cum filiola.
Quotiescumque biberitis: hoc facite (alta voce omnibus diebus preter festivis) in meam commemorationem.
R\. Amen

Quotiescumque manducaveritis panem hunc et calicem istum biberitis: mortem Domini annunciabitis: donec veniat; (alta voce omnibus diebus preter festivis) in claritatem de celis.
R\. Amen.


Qui prídie quam paterétur,accépit panem (Sacerdos accipit patenam cum pane et elevans oculos prosequitur): et grátias agens,benedíxit ac fregit, dedítque discípulis suis, dicens: Accípite et manducáte:Hoc est Corpus meum quod pro vobis tradétur. Quotiescúmque manducavéritis, hoc fácite in meam commemoratiónem.

Omnes respondent:


Sacerdos patenam in altare deponit. Accipiens calicem, sacerdos prosequitur: Simíliter et cálicem postquam cenávit dicens. Hic est calix novi testaménti in meo Sánguine qui pro vobis et pro multis effundétur in remissiónem peccatórum. Quotiescúmque bibéritis, hoc fácite in meam commemoratiónem.

Omnes respondent:


Sacerdos calicem in altare deponit. Extensis manibus dicit:

Quotiescúmque manducavéritis panem hunc et cálicem istum bibéritis, mortem Dómini annuntiábitis donec véniat in claritáte de cælis.

Omnes acclamant:

Sic crédimus, Dómine Iesu.


The consecration formulas themselves have thankfully been preserved (and there is not a flood of different "Eucharistic Prayers", as it happened in the New Roman Mass), but several parts have been altered.

There are several changes in the Calendar (end of Septuagesima), in the Lectionary (years I and II), and so forth... Quite a splendid way to preserve their ancestors' heritage! The Mass may (must?) be wholly celebrated in the vernacular (poor people of old, who could not understand what the Mass was!), and may be ordinarily "concelebrated".

The website is quite interesting and full of up-to-date information (in Latin and Spanish), including some audio files, on the old and new forms of the Mozarabic Rite. More information on the unrevised Mozarabic Rite may be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia (and, offline, in extensive comments by Fr. Adrian Fortescue in several of his works and particularly in Dom Prosper Guéranger's Institutions Liturgiques).

Finally, is the new form celebrated versus Deum, as it had always been done? It has been difficult to find further information on this; the picture of this outdoor New Mozarabic Mass does not look promising (see here, last image). When will the liturgical revolution end?

Deus Caritas Est : Liberation Theology dead and buried - I

There are some interesting aspects to comment in the Pope's first encyclical, the first papal encyclical since 2002 . I have already presented a few grave translation problems (read here), which clearly disrespect the literalness of the Latin typical text (more observations here); I have also made clear my opinion that "the most sublime portions had already been explored by previous pontiffs (and this is all very good, the last thing the Church needs now is more innovation)"(source). The letter contains, however, words which make clear that "Liberation Theology" may finally be considered as gone for good.

The movement known as "Liberation Theology" exploded in Latin America (and in several niche spots around the world) in the late 1960s, and it can be said that defeating it was one of the greatest doctrinal achievements of Pope John Paul II, who inherited, in this as in every other field, a disastrous legacy from Paul VI -- a theological hemorrhage which, one must admit, John Paul succeeded in stopping. But, though defeated, Liberation Theology has survived and it still thrives in many diocesan and religious seminaries in Latin American and Asia (and North America?...).

Cardinal Ratzinger was in the forefront of the movement to stop the spread of this theological ailment -- and the first significant steps were the Instruction "Libertatis Nuntius" on certain aspects of the 'Theology of Liberation' (1984) and the process which led to the "Notification to Father Leonardo Boff" (1985).

The second significant step was the highly regarded centennial encyclical of Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus (1991). Let us remember its significant comments on the market economy:

...can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress? The answer is obviously complex. If by "capitalism" is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a "business economy", "market economy" or simply "free economy".

This is poison to the worldview of "liberationists", which is essentially Marxist.It destroys what they view must be the unified position of the "People of God" in economic matters: some kind of socialist struggle (or non-interventionism, but inevitable conflictual evolution, for the Teilhardian "liberationists") which will establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. As Pope John Paul made clear in Centesimus Annus, however:

When people think they possess the secret of a perfect social organization which makes evil impossible, they also think that they can use any means, including violence and deceit, in order to bring that organization into being. Politics then becomes a "secular religion" which operates under the illusion of creating paradise in this world. But no political society — which possesses its own autonomy and laws — can ever be confused with the Kingdom of God.

Explaining Centesimus Annus in plain words, Rocco Buttiglione (by the way, after 2004, the most famous victim of European religious persecution) wrote in 1991 that the liberty celebrated in that encyclical (true liberty, not political "liberation" with Marxist overtones) is not a value which is good in itself; rather:

Freedom is given to man in order to make possible the free obedience to truth and the free gift of oneself in love. Truth and love are the measure of freedom and of the rules of the self-realization of freedom, in the field of economics as well as in all others.
Dr. Buttiglione's words provide a clear bridge to the death of Liberation Theology in Deus Caritas Est, a death caused by Charity (as shall be seen in the second part of this series).

Doing what is proper

What does one do about a most interesting piece of news that, nevertheless, one feels as not appropriate to reveal? This has pressed my mind for the past couple of days, regarding news which is not exactly new (describing events of decades ago), published in a foreign language, but whose general tone sounds improper or unseemly for what is, after all, not a site for Catholic gossip or disrespect (there are already "Catholic" bloggers who are experts in gossip, slime, and disrespect, and who see the Church as simply an immense succession of power plays -- enough of those).

The report is extremely important, it is remarkably credible, and it explains personal causes of many aspects of the problems Holy Mother Church still faces today.

This news will possibly be available in English in the next few days or weeks, but you will not hear it from this blog first -- this is a reminder that we knew about it first, but decided against spreading it.

Exsultate, Iubilate, o vos animae beatae! Mozart 250

250 years ago today, the seventh and last child (and only the second to survive infancy) of Leopold Mozart, Vice-Kapellmeister to the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, and Anna Maria Mozart was born in Salzburg. He was named after the saint of the day, in the Traditional Roman Calendar, Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church: Johannes Chrysostomus [Johann Chrysostom] Wolfgang Theophilus [Gotlieb, Amadeus] Mozart. Our frequent readers may have noticed in the past few days the seal in the sidebar which links to the BBC Radio 3 page with lots of interesting music options for this week (it is not a commercial link, since this blog has no ads). The city and Land of Salzburg also have an interesting Mozart 250 page.

My personal admiration for Mozart's music -- especially his sacred music -- knows no boundaries. I am glad that his talent has also touched the heart and soul of so many Catholics -- today as well as in his lifetime. From the Vatican Secret Archives:

On the 10th April 1770, [Mozart] arrived in Rome together with his father and, as guest of many noble and ecclesiastic salons, the “infant prodigy” showed his mastery. He also went to a liturgical celebration in the Sistine Chapel, where he could listen to the Miserere by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652) for two nine-part choirs; already knowing that he could not get the music score because it was strictly prohibited, he transcribed the piece by heart at the end of the liturgy, almost without any mistakes. Mozart so highly impressed the scholars of the Curia that Pope Clement XIV decided to honour the artistic talent of the this boy from Saltsburg by granting him a private audience (together with father Giovanni Battista Martini, another famous musician who Mozart had already met in Bologna), thus conferring him the high honour of the golden army or the “Golden Spur”. ... In the brief it is also possible to read a praise of the young musician (f. 24r: te, quem in suavissimo cymbali sonitu a prima adolescentia tua excellentem esse intelleximus).

Many deride Mozart's shorter Masses, including the Coronation Mass and the several Missae Breves, but it is my modest opinion that they are among the crowning achievements of non-Gregorian sacred music. They were the result of a most favorable encounter of two strong-minded souls: Mozart and the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Count Colloredo von Wallsee und Mels. And this same tempestuous soul would, when nearing his own death, near the completion of the most glorious Requiem ever written for non-Gregorian Church music.



That is the percentage of Flemish Catholics who go to church on Sundays. So, in order to uphold Catholic doctrine in Flanders, the bishop of once gloriously-Catholic Antwerp (Anvers) calls all his diocesan faithful to return to the Church, the Mother of Europe; he sends a letter asking the faithful to protest against the slaughter of the new generations of Belgians in the abortion clinics; he publishes a manifesto defending the traditional family. Right? No, not when what is left in Catholic Flanders is another product of the marvelous post-Conciliar age.

...the Catholic bishop of Antwerp, Paul Van den Berghe, today sent a letter to all 127 Catholic primary and high schools in his diocese, allowing them to let their pupils (between 6 and 18 years of age) participate in a protest demonstration which will be held on 15 February in favour of illegal immigrants. The authorities recently arrested a number of illegal immigrants and intends to send them back to the countries they came from. Leftist activists want to prevent this. They have the support of Monsignor Van den Berghe. The latter is an elderly fool who likes protest demonstrations. In the late 1980s the Antwerp Catholics could see their bishop march in support of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas.

The bishop’s letter was sent on the very day that the results were published of a survey which showed that in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking and traditionally Catholic northern half, only 3,7 percent of the population still goes to church on Sundays. This is one of the lowest rates in Europe. Belgium has ceased to be a religious country in spite of the fact that over 70 percent of all children attend (government subsidized) Catholic schools that are run by the bishops.

From The Brussels Journal. At least the Cathedral was meticulously preserved, we'll grant that to the Bishop.

Quas Primas, 80 years on: Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat

What was the most influential encyclical of all time? The most hated by the world was probably Quanta Cura ( or Pascendi Dominici Gregis); the most rejected by nominal Catholics was certainly Humanae Vitae. But which ones were so influential that they changed the face of the Catholic world? As mentioned earlier this week, Rerum Novarum was unbelievably influential -- but so was another text very often forgotten in these post-"triumphalist" years, Quas Primas, the encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the kingship of Christ.If you carefully read our series on "God is Love, in past papal documents", you will notice that there is not much in the recently-released Deus caritas est© that has a Church-restoring potential. Some interesting, deep, words, but the most sublime portions had already been explored by previous pontiffs (and this is all very good, the last thing the Church needs now is more innovation).

But it is impossible to deny that certain papal documents, though not innovative in their doctrine, are brilliant in the way they invite Catholics to change their lives and the life of their societies. Both Rerum Novarum and Quas Primas succeeded because they answered the needs of the Catholic faithful.

Quas Primas was signed and published exactly 80 years ago, on December 11, 1925. In France, a violently anti-Catholic Republic had been forced to (in a limited sense) capitulate to the minimal demands of the Church (see Maximam Gravissimamque, January 18, 1924); the wager of Pope Saint Pius X against the Republic had paid off and a poor Church had now almost complete freedom. In Italy, the temporal problems of the Church were near their end and the complete liberty of the Apostolic See would soon be guaranteed by the Lateran Treaties.

But if there ever was a Pontiff with a prophetic voice, that was Pius XI (see our piece on Casti Connubii). He could see the dark clouds of the future, he could see that secularism was about to wage the most terrible wars against the Church. In Russia, the Atheistic regime threatened the very soul of civilization. In faraway Mexico, the desperation of persecuted Catholics was on the eve of worse trials. Throughout Europe, a virulent anti-Catholicism was ready to prepare terrible battles, including the greatest and most brutal mass persecution of Catholics recorded in modern times, in Spain (1931-1939). And inside the Church, the enemy within was about to show its head, unfortunately intact despite all the efforts of Saint Pius X.

So many seemingly indestructible thrones had fallen! The mighty Sultan of the Sublime Porte, the Hohenzollerns of the Reich, the invincible Habsburgs, the Tsar of all the Russias... Amidst this scenery of a clear end of civilization, was there any throne which would stand up? Was any institution, as venerable at it might be, which could withstand the mighty winds of change and decay?

With Quas Primas, Pius raised his voice: Yes, there is. There is a throne which shall never fall, there is a King who shall reign forever, there is an Empire which brings peace, not war; justice, not confusion; eternal beatitude, not ephemeral ecstasy. This King is Christ:

(1) [He reigns] "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind
(2) He reigns [...] in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors.

(3) He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his "charity which exceedeth all knowledge."

Which is why Pope Pius established the feast of His Kingship. An innovation? Hardly: there is no innovation in Tradition, there is no innovation when permanent liturgical Tradition is the basis of doctrine:

It was surely right, then, in view of the common teaching of the sacred books, that the Catholic Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, destined to be spread among all men and all nations, should with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings. And, in fact, she used these titles, giving expression with wonderful variety of language to one and the same concept, both in ancient psalmody and in the Sacramentaries. She uses them daily now in the prayers publicly offered to God, and in offering the Immaculate Victim. The perfect harmony of the Eastern liturgies with our own in this continual praise of Christ the King shows once more the truth of the axiom: Legem credendi lex statuit supplicandi. The rule of faith is indicated by the law of our worship.

His Lordship over us and over all Creation is threefold. He is a "law-giver, to whom obedience is due"; His kingdom is spiritual, " not of this world" and men can enter it only "by penance, and cannot actually enter except by faith and by baptism, which, though an external rite, signifies and produces an interior regeneration"; His kingdom is sacerdotal, for "Christ as our Redeemer purchased the Church at the price of his own blood; as priest he offered himself, and continues to offer himself as a victim for our sins".

It is a "grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power" and He "embraces all men". There is no "difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society".

It is absolutely true, thus, that "once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony".

The call of Pope Pius for the glorification of the Lord as Christ the King was heeded throughout the Catholic world. How many martyrs of the bloody 20th century died with the words "Vivat Christus Rex" in their lips in their respective languages? How many Christians gained eternal happiness by listening to Pope Pius? Oh, blessed encyclical who called so many men to the everlasting Kingdom above!

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! Amen.

A Traditionalist Parish in Buffalo?

The vocations “crisis” has hit the Buffalo, NY, diocese hard. Many churches, most of them beautiful old churches in the city, may have to close. Because his predecessor, Archbishop Henry Mansell, now of the Hartford, CT, diocese, studiously avoided this issue, current Bishop Edward Kmiec, not one to revel in controversy, has no choice but to face it. Given the paltry number of available priests, many of them well over fifty years old already, the established policy of whistling past the graveyard is no longer an option.

The Buffalo chapter of Una Voce, a traditionalist group dedicated to restoring access to the tridentine Mass, is offering to help out Bishop Kmiec. They have asked him for a permanent parish for an indult which was granted the diocese in 1985, and in twenty years has been kicked around from one parish to another. If one were of a cynical turn of mind, one might hazard a guess that diocesan officials were trying to ignore it to death, so to speak. Is that possible? Before you say yes or no, consider the following.

I recently spoke to one of the folks involved in the current effort (a member of Una Voce, as I am not) about the1985 indult. It was granted, one of the first in the country, by Bishop Edward Head, our bishop during the 70’s and early 80’s. Not that Bishop Head wanted to do it. He had originally refused, and relented only when pressure was brought to bear by an influential “friend” [I don’t know more than that] in the Vatican. Head had little sympathy for the people involved, and dismissed priests performing the tridentine rite as “elitists”.

Kmiec appears to share Head’s opinions. He is considered by many a throwback to bishops of the Paul VI era: personally orthodox, but ineffectual in the face of controversy. In my opinion, he deals with friction from the left by turning a blind eye; he deals with friction from the right by ignoring it publicly, then surreptitiously taking it off life support, so to speak, if he can.
The indult has been ignored by three bishops, but not ignored to death. In fact, the number of people following it on its bumpy ride throughout the diocese has grown, slowly but steadily, to over two hundred, including young families. What might happen if it were given a permanent home?

Kmiec has no real excuses not to give it a try. The diocese has an ample number of priests trained in the tridentine rite. The usual excuse, that of the extravagance of taking a priest from another parish where he is needed to say Mass for a handful of “elitists”, simply doesn’t hold water: for one thing, it's not a mere "handful" anymore; for another, priests are always pitching in to say Mass outside of their parishes – how could it be otherwise in a diocese as understaffed as this one? Additionally, priests outside of the diocese have expressed an interest in serving as pastor of a traditionalist parish. According to the Buffalo News article, one of them is Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro Carambula, “a native of Uruguay who serves as director of the Rome office of Human Life International, a worldwide pro-life advocacy organization based in Virginia”. With that background, Msgr Carambula would be a huge asset to the diocese – unless of course, the bishop were one of those middle management-minded fellows who loathes controversy, and treats apologetics and pastoralism almost as antithetical concepts.

In public statements, Bishop Kmiec lards his boilerplate rhetoric with references to “family”. We’re all just one big happy family in the diocese of Buffalo -- except that certain family members are routinely ignored in pursuing that to which they are entitled: a parish in which to worship God according to approved rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Who is “elitist”? The group which humbly asks for acceptance within the larger community – an acceptance which two popes have agreed that it is entitled to – or the side that dismisses diversity while claiming to nurture it?

Pray for Bishop Kmiec. He does not have an easy time coming up. Nor do the rest of us here in the dysfunctional family diocese of Buffalo.
Note: the article referred to above has been removed to the Buffalo News library, where it may be viewed for a price. If interested, see Also, has a pictorial essay on the beautiful churches of my diocese. I attempted to link to it above, but it doesn't always work. To view it, go to the Una Voce home page, click on churches, and locate the article, "Catholic Splendor: the Churches of Buffalo, New York, USA", in the table of contents. It is definitely worth a look.

Deus caritas est - a few important mistranslations

The first Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI was released today, thankfully with the typical Latin edition also available. In a very fast reading of three of the translations, I caught at least two serious mistranslations.

The first one is seen in the English-language translation (9):

The Prophets, particularly Hosea and Ezekiel, described God's passion for his people using boldly erotic images.

But the Latin text does not say "erotic", it says love. Considering that the whole text is very technical in the uses of agape, eros, philia, and amor (love), the passage should have read "bold love images" or "boldly amorous images" ("audaces amatorias imagines").

The second one is seen in the Spanish-language translation (28):

El Estado no puede imponer la religión, pero tiene que garantizar su libertad y la paz entre los seguidores de las diversas religiones.

The English translation of this portion is correct ("The State may not impose religion"), while the Spanish words mean CANNOT (or also "must not"), a clear mistranslation of the Latin "non DEBET", which should have been translated as "no debe" ("may not" or "should not"). This grave mistranslation is also repeated in other languages, including Italian (should be "non deve"), French (should be "ne doit" or "ne doit pas"), and Portuguese.

Please, report any other mistranslation you may see in the comments below. Is it a case of bad translators? Do they translate from the Italian and only occasionally take a look at the Latin typical text?

So what about the Copyright dispute? Who is right?

Were the English-language reports on the Vatican's strict new guidelines on the copyright of pontifical texts (of the pope himself and of his Curia) "accurate"? CWN would seem to say that they were not:

Some English-language reports on the dispute in Italy have suggested-- inaccurately-- that the Vatican would forbid quotations from the encyclical, or charge fees to journals that reproduced passages from the work.

Vatican officials explain that their goal is not to limit access to the Pope's words, but to prevent "premature" publication of leaked documents, and to guard against exploitation of the Pope's name.

Actually, all English-language reports I have read, including this very blog's report and translations on the matter are absolutely and completely accurate. Maybe the Italian newspapers themselves were inaccurate, but why would they misrepresent the percentage fees, for instance? Why would Vittorio Messori, not exactly an enemy of Popes John Paul and Benedict, confirm the fact and criticize the absurd 15% profit-rate for some of the texts?

The fact is: the Italian media has NOT misrepresented the facts. Marco Tosatti, La Stampa's Vaticanist, quoted extensively from some copyright guidelines which have not (apparently) been made publicly available; and in today's edition of Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, the great Vaticanist, explains the problem and, in a very rare sight, tells a personal story on this:

"The copyright of the Vatican Publishing House on the production of Popes has, in reality, always existed and has been renewed at every new pontificate. In the past, though, the Holy See did not demand the payment of the rights, considering a good thing that the public words of the Pontiffs were published, quoted, studied, and diffused on books and newspapers with the widest possible circulation. ...

"Lately, though, the care for authors' rights in the Holy Palaces has become an absolute priority and every publication is carefully examined for this purpose, with a precise count of [the number of] pages eventually transcribed. ...

"In July 2005, I [Andrea Tornielli] published a book titled 'The miracles of Pope Wojtyla', [released]by Piemme Editions, dedicated to the [...] graces received by those who came into contact with John Paul II. In an appendix, I published the will of Karol Wojtyla, which covers 9 of the 136 pages of the book. the meantime, with the decree of His Emminence Cardinal Sodano, the copyright 'ax' came into place... It so happened, thus, that, through lawyers, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (which is an agency of the Holy See) summoned my editors to pay an immediate and extremely high fee of 5 thousand Euros, completely beyond market prices, for the rights on those nine pages already published in an unabridged version by newspapers. ... A book which -- as those who know me may well imagine -- certainly did not contain defamation or calumny in its depiction of John Paul II, but rather described the gratitude of so many simple people for him. I believe this is an episode which speaks for itself."

The reporters and bloggers who have accurately reported on this are not to blame for the greed that the whole episode makes apparent. The very fact that this has shocked so many shows that it is not a light matter. As in all copyrighted texts, only a very limited "fair use" is exempted. So, in a large Encyclical, a few paragraphs may be considered "fair use". But how much? 5% of the text? 10% of the text? 20% of the text? I have surely quoted more than half of the Pope's epoch-making speech to the Roman Curia on December 22, in the many posts I did on the document -- is that fair use?

And what about smaller texts? I personally consider that the two most important documents of the Wojtyla pontificate are two of it smallest texts: Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and Dominus Iesus. In the case of former, a few paragraphs are the whole text: why should the media, printed or otherwise, be worried about how much is fair use for a text which proclaims Magisterial Truth? Integrity was never a good reason for copyright of Vatican documents, precisely because the official recent texts are available in the Vatican website itself (well, almost always*) and may be easily compared with what is eventually published by a newspaper or a blog.

And what if newspapers wish to publish whole pontifical documents? As Vittorio Messori pointed out in the previous post on this issue, shouldn't it be a reason of pride for Catholics? The major encyclicals of the past few popes have always been published in supplements in many different newspapers and were thus made widely known. Would the most influential encyclicals of the past, such as Rerum Novarum and Quas Primas, have been anywhere as influential if they had been subjected to copyright laws?

I stand by what I reported and translated on this issue. If the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV) and Catholic World News wish to clarify things, may they make available the LEV's guidelines on the percentages, fees, and other details of the copyright of pontifical texts, excerpts of which were made available by La Stampa and reported here earlier. The very fact that there are such guidelines is sickening and "reeks of simony" (words widely used in the past few days by the Italian media).

Il Foglio, a secular conservative Italian newspaper which frequently publishes whole pontifical documents or large excerpts for the general public, published yesterday a cartoon with the words: "In the beginning, it was the Word; then, it was copyright". This would have been considered a terrible joke in the past, now it is a sad truth. While most governments of the world make their texts available for free (no copyright), the government of the Church limits its publication or use. What sad days are these in which we see a "Magisterium Cartel".


*This copyright-mania is already threatening souls: the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church should already have been made widely available in all languages under no copyright, and on the Vatican website for comparison. But the official translations have taken so long that the text will not have the intended impact -- and even where the Compendium has been made available, there have been disputes, as in France. The "Catholic" publishing houses (you know, those which publish heresy and immorality, but suddenly become the favorite daughters of the Church when they publish official documents -- in the case of France, that means especially Bayard, but also Cerf) fought for the right of exclusive publication of the Compendium in the French Republic -- against some African Episcopal Conferences which were publishing the exact same French text. Because of this "Magisterium Cartel", the French "Catholic" publishing houses have been able to sell the Compendium for 18 Euros (11 Euros more than the Benin Episcopal Conference Edition in French, and 9 Euros more than the Italian edition). More details in Dieu n'est pas a vendre (God is not for sale).

Can one see this happening with the small Catechism of Saint Pius X, the most influential small Catholic catechism in history?

God is Love, in past papal documents. V - Pius XII - Charity and the Mystical Body

"God is charity and he that abideth in charity abideth in God and God in him."[I John, IV, 16.] The effect of this charity - such would seem to be God's law - is to compel Him to enter into our loving hearts to return love for love, as He said: "If anyone love me..., my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him."[John, XIV, 28.] Charity then, more than any other virtue binds us closely to Christ. How many children of the Church, on fire with this heavenly flame, have rejoiced to suffer insults for Him, and to face and overcome the hardest trials, even at the cost of their lives and the shedding of their blood. For this reason our Divine Savior earnestly exhorts us in these words: "Abide in my love." And as charity, if it does not issue effectively in good works, is something altogether empty and unprofitable, He added immediately: "If you keep my commandments you shall abide in my love; as I have also kept my Father's commandments and do abide in His love."[John, XV, 9-10]

"Deus caritas est": the mysterious words of Saint John define the unrelenting Love of Christ for his Church, his own Mystical Body, as explained by Pope Pius XII in his majestic encyclical on the Church, Mystici Corporis Christi. In this fifth and final installment of the series of Divine Charity (parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) in past papal documents, the Mysterious nature of the Church as an instrument and object of the Love of the Christ, her Head, is made clear in the words of Pope Pius. First, it must express itself through the members of the Mystical Body:

...corresponding to this love of God and of Christ, there must be love of the neighbor. How can we claim to love the Divine Redeemer, if we hate those whom He has redeemed with His precious blood, so that He might make them members of His Mystical Body? For that reason the beloved disciple warns us: "If any man say: 'I love God' and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he seeth, how can he love God whom he seeth not? And this commandment we have from God, that he who loveth God loveth his brother also."[ I John, IV, 20-21] Rather it should be said that the more we become "members one of another"[Rom., XII, 5.] "mutually careful, one for another,"[ I Cor., XII, 25] the closer we shall be united with God and with Christ; as, on the other hand, the more ardent the love that binds us to God and to our divine Head, the closer we shall be united to each other in the bonds of charity.

The Love of the Lord for us precedes Creation itself and is present on the Crib as well as on the Cross:

Now the only-begotten Son of God embraced us in His infinite knowledge and undying love even before the world began. And that He might give a visible and exceedingly beautiful expression to this love, He assumed our nature in hypostatic union: hence - as Maximus of Turin with a certain unaffected simplicity remarks - "in Christ our own flesh loves us."[Serm. XXIX: Migne, P.L., LVII, 594] But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condescension of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity! In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself.

A Love that is so powerful that it transcends our human limitations and is a gift of the Mystical Body to mankind -- a gift which flows only from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church:

...the Church, the Bride of Christ, is one; and yet so vast is the love of the divine Spouse that it embraces in His Bride the whole human race without exception. Our Savior shed His Blood precisely in order that He might reconcile men to God through the Cross, and might constrain them to unite in one body, however widely they may differ in nationality and race. True love of the Church, therefore, requires not only that we should be mutually solicitous one for another [Cf. Rom., XII, 5; I Cor., XII, 25] as members and sharing in their suffering [Cf. I Cor., XII, 26] but likewise that we should recognize in other men, although they are not yet joined to us in the body of the Church, our brothers in Christ according to the flesh, called, together with us, to the same eternal salvation. It is true, unfortunately, especially today, that there are are some who extol enmity, hatred and spite as if they enhanced the dignity and the worth of man. Let us, however, while we look with sorrow on the disastrous consequences of this teaching, follow our peaceful King who taught us to love not only those who are of a different nation or race,[Cf. Luke, X, 33-37] but even our enemies.[Cf. Luke, VI, 27-35; Matth.,V, 44-48] While Our heart overflows with the sweetness of the teaching of the Apostle of the Gentiles, We extol with him the length, and the breadth, and the height, and the depth of the charity of Christ,[Cf. Eph., III, 18] which neither diversity of race or customs can diminish, nor trackless wastes of the ocean weaken, nor wars, whether just or unjust, destroy.

This only increases our duty to love Holy Mother Church, now and forever:

As the vastness of the charity with which Christ loved His Church is equalled by its constant activity, we all, with the same assiduous and zealous charity must love the Mystical Body of Christ. Now from the moment of His Incarnation, when he laid the first foundations of the Church, even to His last mortal breath, our Redeemer never ceased for an instant, though He was the Son of God, to labor unto weariness in order to establish and strengthen His Church, whether by giving us the shining example of His holiness, or by preaching, or conversing, or gathering and instructing disciples. And so We desire that all who claim the Church as their mother, should seriously consider that not only the clergy and those who have consecrated themselves to God in the religious life, but the other members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ as well have, each in his degree, the obligation of working hard and constantly for the building up and increase of this Body.

And may all who refuse the Charity which flows forth from the One Fold of the Church reunite themselves to the Vicar of Christ, the Vicar of Divine Charity.

We must earnestly desire that this united prayer may embrace in the same ardent charity both those who, not yet enlightened by the truth of the Gospel, are still outside the fold of the Church, and those who, on account of regrettable schism, are separated from Us, who though unworthy, represent the person of Jesus Christ on earth. Let us then re-echo that divine prayer of our Savior to the heavenly Father: "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." [John, XVII, 21]

As the words of the first encyclical of the current pontificate are made known today, Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, let us not forget, in true spirit of continuity, that they are preceded by generations of Successors of Peter who transmitted the Faith they received. The words of Benedict must not be read according to modern theologians, but according to what the Popes have always taught. Then, and only then, will his words have been read profitably.

The Saintly Career Woman

It has come to my knowledge recently that many Catholic women (as well as those desiring to be Catholic) have the perception that there is a limited number of models for them to follow in their pursuit of holiness. In their walk with the Lord Jesus, they get the impression that, in order to be a saint, they must be home-schooling mothers of at least nine children, never leave the house, and wear nothing but oversized shirts and ankle-length skirts. Basically, their impression of the pious Catholic woman is one who is, at all times, pregnant, nursing, and cleaning the house. Although it is certainly laudable and necessary for a woman to realize and fulfill her domestic role, it is a shame that some women have the idea that the Church is telling them it is impossible to achieve sanctity while still being in the workplace, and keeping up with modern culture.

This topic comes to mind because of a conversation I had recently with a couple of female friends, one a Catholic, and the other in RCIA. I do not regularly attend the RCIA meetings at my home parish, but the friend in RCIA told me that all of the women who had spoken to class about living as a Catholic woman fit the above description. She seemed discouraged because she received the impression that, in order to live the life of a saint, a woman must be a housewife and not much of a socialite. My other friend (the Catholic) knew that that impression was false, but still expressed the same concerns that not enough is said by the Church or those in the Church about the many different ways in which women can be fervent disciples of the Lord Jesus.

I have only one thing to say to women in this situation: Trust in Jesus and do His will. Every Christian must go through periods of discernment throughout his or her life. The Lord knows our particular situations better than we ever could, and as long as a Catholic man or woman remains united to His Mystical Body, practicing the virtues, and fulfilling the duties of his or her state in life, why should there be any reason for concern?

Obviously, the duties of the Christian woman are always present. She must be modest in her dress, action, and speech. She must live chastely according to her state in life. If she is married, she must, as St. Paul says, submit to her husband, because he is her head as Christ is the head of the Church. His Holiness Pius XI explains this submission in his 1931 encyclical Casti Connubii:

"This subjection does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife... But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love."

It is for this reason that it is the natural role of the Christian woman to care for the home and to raise and educate children. It is not that a woman cannot or should not have a career or a social life, but her duties of first sanctifying herself and her husband, and then raising Catholic children, must come before all else. Otherwise, she is not living as a disciple of the Lord Jesus, and is endangering her own soul as well as those of her family.

If a woman wants a career, she must be sure that her children are receiving that Christian formation which is the bedrock of the domestic Church. They must be ready to face many challenges posed to them by modern society and popular culture that many young people fall prey to in public, private, and parochial schools. If a woman wants to remain stylish and continue in social scenes with those who do not share her values, she must use caution, lest she fall prey to the pride and self-indulgence which are the twin pillars of our culture. Most importantly, she must never be afraid to fulfill her baptismal call to preach the gospel in and out of season.

There is no need for any new official Church document concerning these issues. She has always taught that when Catholics engage the secular culture through work, school, or in any forum, they must proceed with caution for the occasion of sin, and with fortitude in being disciples of the Lord Jesus. No, it is not necessary for every Catholic woman to fit some cookie-cutter image, but there is a reason why these customs were so firmly established for so many years, and perhaps that should be kept in mind. St. Therese the Little Flower said that it is not what we do that sanctifies us, but the love with which we do it. Ultimately, as I stated previously, each person must discern the will of God in his or her life. This can be difficult at times, but that is why we have the Church and her priests for direction. To women struggling with this, I say: Be strong and realize your feminine dignity, but always be humble and ready to give up anything to follow the Lord Jesus.

Anti-Traditism - and what happens when vanity runs out of control

Ah, the "Pennsylvania Papal Blogger"... Never one to shy from the sin of anti-traditism. Isn't it ironic that while Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (you know, the Prefect of Clergy AND President of Ecclesia Dei) insists, regarding those traditionalist Catholics with whom the Vatican is in close talks, that "it was not a formal schism", the ultra-"progressives" try to create news ex nihilo where there is not news?

And worse, now the "Pennsylvania Papal blogger" is inspired by a Tablet editorial which PRAISES the "Judas rehabilitation" story... The Tablet and the "Papal blogger" WISHED the Judas "rehabilitation" were true, but those who read this blog know that it is not. And to cap the irony, the "Papal blogger" praises those who are truly out of communion and asks if it would not be "something, if a commitment to eradicating anti-Semitism were the thing that brought Moscow and Rome together at last". This reveals such ignorance about the Moscow Patriarchate as to defy belief! Not that we would mind a strong Moscow Patriarchate in full communion with the Apostolic See: the Church could certainly relearn many correct practices from the East, such as demolishing churches where "gay marriages" take place (which would certainly not please the friends of "Papal Blogger").

So, what is the problem of the "Pennsylvania Papal Blogger"? An excess of vanity. Perhaps Cardinal Kasper (in charge of talks with those who are "out of communion" with Rome, which excludes the Traditionalists so hated by the "Papal Blogger") can teach him something about true ecumenism? The irrational hatred called "anti-Traditism" is not good for the soul!

As Pope Saint Pius X said in his Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique:

The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.
Quite true, yesterday, today, and forever.

God is Love, in past papal documents. IV - Pius XII

After reading about the meaning of the Love of Christ (Saint Pius X), its action through the Church (Leo XIII), its exercise through Christian charity (Pius XI), the mind is elevated to a sublime level by the words of the Pastor Angelicus, Pius XII, in one of his most beautiful texts, Haurietis Aquas, the great encyclical on Divine Love and the Sacred Heart whose golden jubilee shall be celebrated this year. Since this most Catholic and most powerful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a devotion to Divine Love itself, one may safely say that Haurietis Aquas is an encyclical completely dedicated to adoration of the Charity who is God.

God is Love, Pius XII explains, and He has deigned to reveal His love throughout Sacred History. First, to the People of the Old Covenant:

God declares that His love for the chosen people, combining justice and a holy anxiety, is like the love of a merciful and loving father or of a husband whose honor is offended. This love is not diminished or withdrawn in the face of the perfidy or the horrible crimes of those who betray it. If it inflicts just chastisements on the guilty, it is not for the purpose of rejecting them or of abandoning them to themselves; but rather to bring about the repentance and the purification of the unfaithful spouse and ungrateful children, and to bind them once more to itself with renewed and yet stronger bonds of love. ...

This most tender, forgiving and patient love of God, though it deems unworthy the people of Israel as they add sin to sin, nevertheless at no time casts them off entirely. And though it seems strong and exalted indeed, yet it was only an advance symbol of that burning charity which mankind' s promised Redeemer, from His most loving Heart, was destined to open to all and which was to be the type of His love for us and the foundation of the new covenant.

Divine Love unfolds itself in the fulness of time, for the story of Salvation is a story of Divine Love; and of a Love which is completely Trinitarian, because the Most Holy Trinity is Mutual Love:

The mystery of the divine redemption is primarily and by its very nature a mystery of love, that is, of the perfect love of Christ for His heavenly Father to Whom the sacrifice of the Cross, offered in a spirit of love and obedience, presents the most abundant and infinite satisfaction due for the sins of the human race; "By suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race." [Sum. Theol. III, q. 48, a. 2: ed. Leon., vol. XI, 1903, p. 464.]

It is also a mystery of the love of the Most Holy Trinity and of the divine Redeemer towards all men. Because they were entirely unable to make adequate satisfaction for their sins [Cfr. Encl. "Miserentissimus Redemptor": A.A.S. XX, 1928, p. 170], Christ, through the infinite treasure of His merits acquired for us by the shedding of His precious Blood, was able to restore completely that pact of friendship between God and man which had been broken, first by the grievous fall of Adam in the earthly paradise and then by the countless sins of the chosen people.


The holy Fathers, true witnesses of the divinely revealed doctrine, wonderfully understood what St. Paul the Apostle had quite clearly declared; namely, that the mystery of love was, as it were, both the foundation and the culmination of the Incarnation and the Redemption.... St. Augustine, in a special manner, notices the connections that exist between the sentiments of the Incarnate Word and their purpose, man's redemption. "These affections of human infirmity, even as the human body itself and death, the Lord Jesus put on not out of necessity, but freely out of compassion so that He might transform in Himself His Body, which is the Church of which He deigned to be the Head, that is, His members who are among the faithful and the saints, so that if any of them in the trials of this life should be saddened and afflicted they should not therefore think that they are deprived of His grace. Nor should they consider this sorrow a sin, but a sign of human weakness. Like a choir singing in harmony with the note that has been sounded, so should His Body learn from its Head." [Enarr. in Ps. LXXXVII, 3: P. L. XXXVII, 1111.]

And the depth of Divine Love for mankind can only be understood when one allows oneself to understand that Divine Love found a human abode of flesh, in the Sacred Heart of the Savior, majestic symbol of the threefold love of the God-Man:

...the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.

[1] It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since "in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily."[Col. 2:9.]

[2] It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.[Cfr. Sum Theol. III, q. 9 aa. 1-3: ed. Leon., vol. XI, 1903, p. 142.]

[3] And finally - and this in a more natural and direct way - it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.[Cfr. Ibid. Ill, q. 33, a. 2, ad 3m; q. 46, a: ed. Leon., vol. XI, 1903, pp. 342, 433.]

A Love who emptied itself in Sacrifice for mankind, a Sacrifice of Love in the unbloody Sacrifice of the Altar and on the bloody Sacrifice of Calvary:

...who can worthily depict those beatings of the divine Heart, the signs of His infinite love, of those moments when He granted men His greatest gifts: Himself in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, His most holy Mother, and the office of the priesthood shared with us?

To the unbloody gift of Himself under the appearance of bread and wine our Savior Jesus Christ wished to join, as the chief proof of His deep and infinite love, the bloody sacrifice of the Cross. By this manner of acting He gave an example of His supreme charity, which He had proposed to His disciples as the highest point of love in these words: "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends."[Jn. 15:13.] ... For, as the Angelic Doctor teaches, the love of the most Holy Trinity is the origin of man's redempion; it overflowed into the human will of Jesus Christ and into His adorable Heart with full efficacy and led Him, under the impulse of that love, to pour forth His blood to redeem us from the captivity of sin [Rom. 8:32.]...

Cor Iesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis!

Curial Revolution closer by the day

Last December, this blog reported on the very important changes planned by the Pope for the Roman Curia, what the Italian weekly Panorama called "the Holy Revolution" (see here).

Today, Panorama has answered one of the most important questions left from that article: who will be the next Secretary of State. For copyright reasons, the whole article cannot be translated, but its most important points are:

-[1]Attilio Cardinal Nicora, the "financial headplanner" of the restructuring of the "new Roman Curia", could be chosen as the new Secretary of State (read more on Nicora here);

-[2]Nicora's plans are for a "new... view for the functional management ... of the Holy See", which may be close to being announced. This may probably end the "incomprehensions" which have been blocking communications between the "apartment" (that is, the Papal staff) and State.

The article still mentions the translation problems (read more here) and its main focus is the refusal, by China, of the right of the Holy See to freely choose the Catholic bishops in mainland China.

Love under copyright - What would Jesus do?

The days which precede the release of the new papal encyclical have been dominated in the Italian press by many articles (mostly quite critical) of the new copyright system set up for pontifical texts -- quite a way to introduce an encyclical called "God is Love"... When the decree on copyright was issued by the Secretary of State last May, most comments were related to the pope's texts as a private author. But its most far-reaching effects are those related to the official pontifical texts.

No Encyclical, Angelus speech, or actually any official document of any kind, by the pope or any congregation, may be published without the authorization of the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (the LEV, the official Vatican Publishing House).

La Stampa explains the major points of the new copyright rules:

"The 'written' magisterium of Benedict XVI will be administered by the [Libreria Editrice] Vaticana. If another editor wishes to publish an encyclical, an apostolic exhortation, or a speech, he must present a project of edition to the LEV. 'The text of the encyclical-comment ratio shall be 1 to 2 (1/3 of the book used by the document and 2/3 by the theological-philosophical commentary'. The LEV shall grant approval and shall determine the time of use for the commented encyclical' But the editor must pay: 'The agreement, in economical terms, shall vary between 3 and 5% of the cover price, with anticipated [payment] to be agreed on according to the published volumes (for example: encyclicals 5%, other documents 4%, anthologies of speeches 3%)' And it will be necessary to ask for authorization even for the publication of small excerpts, in commentaries, guides, or anthologies."

The copyright is claimed also retroactively, to all texts of the past 50 years.

Now, I could theoretically understand the need of copyright to protect the integrity of texts, but this goes way too far. If the Index was abolished in part because the Church agreed it would be impossible to have any kind of knowledge of the sheer volume of works published in the 1960s, to try to control the diffusion of pontifical texts in the age of the internet is pathetic. So, the integrity of texts is not the issue here; the issue is MONEY.

Which is why Vittorio Messori, interviewed yesterday by La Stampa, is quite harsh in his criticism of this copyright plan:

"It seems to me a negative affair. Once again, the odor of money is felt around the priests.. ... the interest of lay journalists to allow their readers to have access to the message of the Pope should not be a reason for pride for Catholics? Do we wish to stop the diffusion of the message of the Pope, who speaks Urbi et Orbi, and put it under an economical cover ...I am surprised. As an image operation, it is disastrous."

I could not agree more. It looks disastrous and it is disastrous. It is shameful and embarrassing to all Catholics and a blot on the image of the Church, which is shocking for an Apostolic See which, since the Council, has been so self-conscious about its image to the world.

More information here (in Italian); The Times [of London] has accurately (believe it or not) described the facts in today's edition.

Et intravit Jesus in templum Dei, et ejiciebat omnes vendentes et ementes in templo, et mensas numulariorum, et cathedras vendentium columbas evertit: et dicit eis : "Scriptum est: Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur; vos autem fecistis illam speluncam latronum." (St. Matthew, XXI, 12-13)

Celebrating an Ecumenical Week

Father Gotthold Hasenhüttl thought he could have it all: be a Catholic theologian, a Catholic professor, a Catholic priest, and occasionally celebrate joint services (Mass? Eucharist? What?) with Protestant ministers, as he famously did during an ecumenical gathering in Berlin, in the summer of 2003 (read details here, fifth item).

It is wonderful that he has finally received the "Küng treatment". No, not a five-hour dinner, but the previous suspension (ordered in 2003) of his license to teach Catholic theology (the LICENSE; we are unaware of his ever teaching actual CATHOLIC theology) has been made permanent and has been followed by a dire warning that any students taught by him would not have their degrees recognized by the diocese of Trier (and, therefore, by the formal educational system, according to the German legal framework for theological education).

The news was buried in the past few days and it has been difficult to find more than one source in English. Excerpts (read whole article here):

A German priest suspended for celebrating a high-profile Mass where he invited non-Catholics to partake of the Eucharist has had his right to teach theology withdrawn by his bishop. Father Gotthold Hasenhüttl released a letter dated Jan. 2 from Bishop Reinhard Marx of Trier, who said that Father Hasenhüttl's recent writings "have made it clear that you are not prepared to give way, that you consider your view to be correct and that you see no reason to bow to the ecclesiatical discipline on the issue which led to your suspension."

(...) The diocese has made it clear that it will not give them the right to teach if Father Hasenhüttl supervises their exams, in spite of an appeal by the state ministry of education. A spokesman for the diocese told CNS that it expects the faculty [the college] to find alternative examiners. [See also Catholic News Service]

This French source informs that the decision was taken after the matter was discussed with the Pope himself by bishop Marx:

The [diocesan] decree was signed last January 2 by Reinhard Marx, bishop of Trier, after the latter was received, in the previous weeks, by pope Benedict XVI.
We have not been able to find the exact day of the audience, but it is widely known that not all papal audiences are made public.

Father Hasenhüttl had tried to write a "theology" of his ecumenical abuses, but he gladly found a bishop who was willing to confront him. His permanent exclusion from teaching Catholic theology is a good sign, especially considering the doctrinally confusing emotionally-based Catholic-Protestant dialogue in Germany, but who knows how many students he contaminated during his long years as a Theology professor?