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Showing posts from March, 2006

Freedom for the Traditional Latin Mass

The rumors regarding this have been steadily growing all week. Since Sunday, we have increasingly heard that something was imminent. Yesterday, ACIPrensa published in Spanish that the Holy Father would grant freedom to the Traditional Latin Mass. And today, our dear friends at the extremely trustworthy Archivum have published that His Holiness actually signed yesterday the papal act granting (or recognizing) this freedom (Archivum reminds its readers that this has always been one of the negotiating conditions for the Society of Saint Pius X).

We had been shy to report this (which is why we suggested the "grain of salt") because some extremely important details, regarding the exact nature of the act itself and of the amplitude given (or recognized) to priests, are still missing. When we have the details (and when we can confirm the date of signing), we will post them as soon as possible.

P.S. We are still somewhat doubtful -- not because we do not trust these sources, but beca…

How liberals see the Truth: backwards

John Allen's "Word from Rome":

The pope has also shown caution about moving forward with swift reconciliation with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, the grouped founded by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefevbre, in part because of concerns among bishops about the group's attitude toward the teaching of the Vatican on religious freedom, ecumenism, and inter-religious dialogue. Those concerns were most recently voiced during the meeting of the cardinals last week. The pope has shown "caution" about a "swift" reconciliation? Was it really the Pope? Do you believe Pope Ratzinger had not already heard for two decades all these "concerns"? Is any of this truly new to him?

The Pope has acted as a clear strategist, as he had set out to act. Period. Since we despise misinformation here at Rorate Cæli, we must warn our readers that much of what they read should be read with a pinch of skepticism.

Universal "indult" for the Traditional Missal?

We translate below the relevant portions of the ACIPrensa [Catholic News Agency - Alejandro Bermúdez] report. It should be read with a (huge) grain of salt...

VATICAN - March 30, 2006 (ACI) - The Missal of Saint Pius V, which the Catholic Church used up to 1962 and which was replaced by the "Novus Ordo" (New Order) liturgy approved as a consequence of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council, could be approved for universal use, according to sources close to the Vatican.

The decision, regarding which Pope Benedict XVI consulted with the cardinals and with the heads of the Vatican dicasteries, could be announced after the April 7 meeting of the Pontiff with the "capidicasterio" [Heads of dicasteries].
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The universal approval would mean that the old rite Mass may be freely celebrated throughout the world by the priests who wish to do so.

The measure is not directly related to the problem of the Lefebvrist schism, for, as a theologian, the Pontiff always expr…

The anguish of a Traditional priest

Q. Many Catholics believe that many self-styled traditional Catholic laymen and priestly fraternities do not pay proper reverence, respect, and obedience to the Pope. Your Fraternity was founded by a sitting Pope, and has a specific unavoidable attachment to St. Peter in your actual name. How do you react to those who accuse traditional Catholics of lacking respect for the Pope?

Fr. Gabet: We had all the benefits of Pope John Paul II and his 25 years. I was in Rome at his 25th anniversary, and was blessed to be able to offer the Traditional Latin Mass on top of the altar of where Pope St. Pius X is entombed in St. Peter's Basilica. It was really such an honor.

Our tour guide really didn't have the permission. The night before, he mentioned that [it was going to be at St. Pius' tomb], and I asked him, "Do they know it is going to be the Latin Mass?" Because I had heard that with a certain cardinal who had been the prefect there — he just would not allow it at all [i…

Quando uberior vitiorum copia?

"When were vices more rampant?", asked Juvenal 1900 years ago, as the faith of the Nazarenes struggled to survive under persecution in a world gone mad. Juvenal lamented the fall of the strong, harsh, Latin spirit of old, mollified by wealth and moral decay such as had never been seen before.

This year, the coincidences between the calendar and the Proper of Time were very interesting: the week which led to Laetare Sunday was filled with joyous Christmas spirit, from Saint Joseph to Lady Day. The last, most solemn part of Lent, Passiontide, begins next Sunday. The first week of Passiontide will coincide with that Traditional devotion to the Sacred Heart, the First Thursday and First Friday, a wonderful opportunity to prepare one's spirit to the following week, the holiest of weeks -- and to meditate on our own disgraceful responsibility for the vices of our age, when the Christian Latin spirit which created and strengthened the West for so long has deteriorated beyond r…

The spirit of the Third Reich resurrects in the Netherlands

Dr. Eduard Verhagen, butcher of Groningen: where is his Nuremberg?

With the death of its favorite culprit, the (former?) Communist Slobodan Milosevic, the ex post facto court for Yugoslavia in The Hague once again displays the irrelevance of the United Nations -- which is, nonetheless VERY relevant in its attempts to impose abortion and other "rights" on unwilling countries. One should not fall for this false Manichaeism - are there innocent and guilty sides in the Balkanic Wars of the 1990s? Then, which one of them has destroyed most churches and has accomplished to eradicate Christianity in Kosovo since 1999?

Were there crimes against humanity committed in the Balkans? Probably, by all sides, but is the UN, the main abortion-promoter in the world, in any position of moral superiority to judge that? For Heaven's sake, there are handicapped babies being euthanized at the present time in the Netherlands, a few dozens of miles away from this useless Court!

Where is the Uni…

Journalists are not canon lawyers - Fellay speaks once again

When we presented Andrea Tornielli's article in Il Giornale, in which he mentioned a project for a "prelature", we immediately remarked:

We do not know exactly who was Tornielli's source, but we believe that the canonical structure of the "Prelature" (or, in this case, the "Personal prelature") is not exactly what the decision-makers have in mind. After receiving a couple of e-mail messages regarding this, we wish to add a few obscure comments. Sometimes, we cannot be too clear -- and Father Gabet's warning in his interview to Brian Mershon holds true: "Those who really know, don't say anything; and those who say, don't really know". Andrea Tornielli is not a canon lawyer, so he used the word which was forwarded to him.

In the second report, published by La Stampa the same day, the picture of the possible plans of Cardinals Castrillón and Herranz was much clearer and consistent. We knew then as we know now and as we mentioned a …

Lætare, Ierusalem

conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum lætitia, quia in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestræ. Ps. Lætatus sum in his, quæ dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.

[Gospel for the Sunday: St. John, vi, 1-15] v. 15: "Jesus therefore, when He knew that they would come to take Him by force and make Him king, fled again into the mountain, Himself alone."

Wonderful! How great is the tyranny of gluttony, how great the fickleness of men's minds! No longer do they vindicate the Law, no longer do they care for the violation of the Sabbath, no longer are they zealous for God; all such considerations are thrown aside, when their bellies have been filled; He was a prophet in their eyes, and they were about to choose Him for a king. But Christ fleeth. "Wherefore?" To teach us to despise worldly dignities, and to show us that He needed nothing on earth. For He who chose all things mean, both mother and house and city and…

...in omnibus caritas

The concluding words of the Supreme Pontiff's homily today, which should be deeply meditated and taken to heart by all who love and seek to restore the faith and traditions of our Holy Church:

'Everything in this world will pass away. In eternity only Love will remain. For this reason, my Brothers, taking the opportunity offered by this favourable time of Lent, let us commit ourselves to ensure that everything in our personal lives, and in the ecclesial activity in which we are engaged, is inspired by charity and leads to charity. In this respect too, we are enlightened by the mystery that we are celebrating today. Indeed, the first thing that Mary did after receiving the Angel’s message was to go "in haste" to the house of her cousin Elizabeth in order to be of service to her (cf. Lk 1:39). The Virgin’s initiative was one of genuine charity, it was humble and courageous, motivated by faith in God’s word and the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. Those who love fo…

The Liturgical Stake

I was invited in Naples, Florida, this past week by a group of Una Voce, in order to give some lectures. I spoke about the Liturgy. Here is the first lecture I gave, about the history of liturgical deviations.

God bless you and give us the strenght and the courage to persevere in our battle for the restoration of a true Catholic Liturgy in the Church!

Father Laurent Demets, FSSP



Introduction – Historical overview

The liturgical question is at the core of the current crisis in the Church. The XX century was the century of the liturgical movement. Paradoxically, it was also the century that brought a great many errors and abuses in liturgical matters. But let us not limit this liturgical problem to the only XX century. The History of the Church shows us that this is not the first liturgical crisis we have struggled through. The Church and the faithful didn’t wait for the XX century to take an interest in liturgy. As a matter of fact, the entire History of the Church, back to the very beginn…

A man worthy of remembrance

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15 years ago, Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre died in Martigny, Switzerland, on the anniversary of the most blessed Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and of the Incarnation of God. Regardless of one's opinion of some events of his life, or of some of his decisions, or of some of his stronger words, it would be wrong not to acknowledge that without him the struggle for the preservation of much of what we cherish would probably have been lost. That 15 years after his death "the question of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre" is still discussed in the highest halls of the Church shows that the global movement for the advancement of the Traditional Roman Rite is inseparably linked to this passionate man, whose name still causes passionate discussions.
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Incarnation Week - Et habitavit in nobis
The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Final Day - Et habitavit in nobis ("And dwelt among us"). Et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit: Ave gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus. (St. Luke, i, 28: "And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.") Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis: et vidimus gloriam ejus, gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre plenum gratiæ et veritatis. (St. John, i, 14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.")

He saw the reasonable race, the race of men that, like Himself, expressed the Father's Mind, wasting out of existence, and death reigning over all in corruption. He saw that corruption held us all the closer, because it was the penalty for the Transgression; He saw, too, how unthinkable it would be for the law to be repealed before it was fulfilled.

He saw how u…

Incarnation Week - Et Verbum caro factum est

Fifth day - Et Verbum caro factum est. ("And the Word was made flesh") Et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua: et hic mensis sextus est illi, quæ vocatur sterilis: quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. (St. Luke, i, 36-37: "And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God.") In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum. ... Et Verbum caro factum est... (St. John, i, 1; 14: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... And the Word was made flesh...")


...as man's sin and the cause of our condemnation sprung from a woman, so the cure of sin and the source of our salvation should also be found in a woman. And that women may not despair of attaining the inheritance of the blessed, because that so dire an evil arose …

The Traditionalist canonical package - Important

La Stampa also offers a few interesting notes on yesterday's meeting. We will translate the pertinent passage as soon as possible.
The essential information is that the pope's resoluteness prevailed over the small opposition of a few cardinals, historical opponents of the FSSPX. The result of the discussion was that, in general terms, the Pope was given "carte blanche" to pursue what he deems necessary to integrate the Traditionalists who are in irregular communion . The outline of a possible structure was introduced as part of a "canonical package" to be presented.

Source and translation of the relevant passage (5:30 PM GMT):

On the Lefebvrists, meanwhile, Benedict XVI has obtained a free way [via libera, the go-ahead] from the porporati [the Cardinals], even if some resistance from some cardinals, historical opponents of the Fraternity Saint Pius X, was noticed. Cardinal Kasper noticed the fact: "There are different approaches," he said. But the …

Pre-consistory discussion on "the question of Abp. Lefebvre"

By Andrea Tornielli, in Il Giornale:


Cardinal Dario Castrillón, who introduced the first theme, describing the state of the negotiations with the followers of Lefebvre -- the Traditionalists who criticize the Council and its reforms -- spoke of the possibility of making them re-enter into full communion with Rome through the concession of a structure of "prelature", dependent on the Pope.

The debate was lively: French cardinals Lustiger and Ricard and the Swiss Cottier discarded the idea of a prelature, preferring less compromising formulas which make reference to the associations of laypeople. Cardinal Bertone, former number two [Secretary] of the former Holy Office, recalled the past debates with the Lefebvrist Fraternity and emphasized the need to define well the doctrinal bases of an agreement.

All said that the re-pacification is promising, many reminded that the acceptance, by the Lefebvrists, of the Second Vatican Council is needed. Cardinal Francis Arinze then introduce…

Incarnation Week - Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum

Fourth Day - Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum ("Be it done unto me according to Thy word.") Dixit autem Maria:... fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Et discessit ab illa angelus. (St. Luke i, 38: "And Mary said: ... be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.")

The adorable Heart of Jesus Christ began to beat with a love at once human and divine after the Virgin Mary generously pronounced Her "Fiat" Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas

...just as Christ, because He redeemed us, is our Lord and king by a special title, so the Blessed Virgin also (is our queen), on account of the unique manner in which she assisted in our redemption, by giving of her own substance, by freely offering Him for us, by her singular desire and petition for, and active interest in, our salvation.

From these considerations, the proof develops on these lines: if Mary, in taking an active part in the work of salvation, was, by God's design, associated with Jesus Christ,…

"The Question of Abp. Lefebvre and of the liturgical reform willed by the Second Vatican Council"

As we first mentioned here, more than one month ago, March 23 has been a very important day for Catholics attached to the Traditional form of the Roman Rite. At the time, we knew there would be a meeting on March 23, but not exactly that it would include all members of the College of Cardinals (the consistory predicted by most analysts would only be announced a few days later). The report in the Bollettino, which at first had been very brief, but has now been updated, says it all. After being addressed by the Dean of the College (see order of the meeting here), the Holy Father introduced three key subjects to be presented to the College:
- (1)"the condition of the emeritus bishops", "introduced by Cardinal Re";
- (2)"the Question of Abp. Lefebvre and of the liturgical reform willed by the Second Vatican Council" and "the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre", "introduced by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos";
- (3)"the questions related to the di…

La Croix: "A doctrinal abyss separates Rome and the SSPX"

The French [Liberal ] Catholic daily La Croix published a very interesting article yesterday on the prospects of reconciliation between the Holy See and Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX/SSPX). The article is filled with editorialized commentary, so we have chosen (for this and for copyright reasons) to reproduce the actual words pronounced by the Superior-General of the Fraternity, Archbishop Ricard, an unnamed cardinal (of Paris?... the paper does not say), and the rector of the Ecône Seminary.

1. An unnamed cardinal: "We cannot at all go to the extreme of accepting two different rites in the Latin Church."

"The agreement should not be done irrespective of the cost. And one of the great principles affirmed by Vatican II -- religious liberty, ecumenism - would not be put aside."
2. Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the French Episcopal Conference, member of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and who will be created cardinal to…

The pre-consistory meeting of March 23: what to expect

Pope Benedict XVI will create 15 cardinals on Friday, eve of the Annunciation, and tomorrow will host a meeting with all 178 cardinals (or 193, if the quasi-cardinals, whose presence is not clear, attend). The meeting will probably have the following format: after being addressed by the dean of the College of Cardinals (Sodano), the Holy Father will make a welcoming speech and then the floor will be open to all sorts of questions, comments, speeches, or suggestions -- and the Pope will listen, though he will probably order the possible debates.

Will the Traditionalist issue be discussed? La Croix reports that it may be, as we had already anticipated here, but probably any serious issue brought up by any of the cardinals could be discussed. The main issue seems to be the reform of the Roman Curia. More concrete gestures are to be expected from the meeting with the heads of the dicasteries next April 7 (and managing a discussion among a couple dozen people is easier than a little parlia…

Incarnation Week - Ecce ancilla Domini

Third Day - Ecce ancilla Domini ("Behold the handmaid of the Lord"): Et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua, et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua: et hic mensis sextus est illi, quæ vocatur sterilis: quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. Dixit autem Maria: Ecce ancilla Domini (St. Luke, i, 36-38: "And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord").

In the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is in an agony; in the judgment-hall, where He is scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death, not there do we find Mary. But she knew beforehand all these agonies; she knew and saw them.

When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother's office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her Child Jesus -- then and thereafter she took her pa…

"Patriarch of the West" - The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity explains

You can find the explanation here, in Italian. In this case, we will wait for the official translation by the Vatican Information Service, to be released in a few hours. The main point is that the term was "obsolete" and did not properly reflect the structure of the Latin Church or the current meaning of "West".

Update - Vatican report:

VATICAN CITY, MAR 22, 2006 (VIS) - In the wake of media comments concerning one of the Pope's titles - that of "Patriarch of the West" - which did not appear among the list of papal titles at the beginning of this year's edition of the "Annuario Pontificio" (pontifical yearbook), the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has issued a communique clarifying the reasons for the omission.
"From a historical perspective," the communique reads, "the ancient Patriarchates of the East, defined by the Councils of Constantinople (381) and of Chalcedon (451), covered a fairly clea…

Incarnation Week - Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto

Second Day - Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto ("And she conceived of the Holy Ghost"): Christi autem generatio sic erat: cum esset desponsata mater ejus Maria Joseph, antequam convenirent inventa est in utero habens de Spiritu Sancto. (St. Matthew, i, 18: "Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost."). Et respondens angelus dixit ei : Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei. (St. Luke, i, 35: "And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.")

..to be born of a woman indeed was our lot, but "to be born not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of man," but of the Holy G…

Marini speaks - Outside the Liturgical Reform, there is no Church

Earlier today, we remembered the Holy Father's plea to his flock: "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves."
Now, we publish the translation of a most enlightening interview of Archbishop Piero Marini, Papal master of ceremonies, to the Italian website Affari Italiani. The occasion for the interview was the presentation of Marini's new book "Liturgy and Beauty" in the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan (the famous "Cattolica"). This interview should be read for what it is: a warning, by certain areas of the Curia.


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Archbishop Marini, after the Council, the liturgical reform cost a schism, that of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. What do you make of it?

"After every Council, there has always been a period of tension. There is always someone who does not agree or who does not approve that which has been done. Well, the fact is that we do not have policemen to order the faithful to accept that which the Second Vatican C…

News from Rome? Ne timeas

The archangel discloses the news. The Blessed Virgin trusts the Lord, but does not understand how it all may happen. In the superb scupture by Donatello (at the Cavalcanti Chapel, in the Church of the Holy Cross, Florence), this exact moment is portrayed: the Lady assumes a position of trusting frightfulness.

Ne timeas, says Gabriel: fear not.

And that is the news we can forward to you now. When, how, what will happen? Fear not: it will probably happen sooner rather than later -- but we do not wish to be accused of reckless gossip.

Remember the words of the First Vatican Council: "...by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium. ... like a standard lifted up for the nations, [the Church] both invites to herself tho…

Incarnation Week - Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ

This is a very special week: starting with Saint Joseph (whose day was yesterday, with liturgical celebration transferred to this Monday) and ending with one of the most special days of the year, the Annunciation of Our Lady, anniversary of the most important event in History: the Incarnation of God. And this year, the Saturday (which ordinarily is already Our Lady's day, though not during the Sabbatical ferias of Lent) of Lady Day will be followed by the happiest Sunday in Lent, Lætare Sunday.

This very joyful week, filled with Christmas joy (appropriate for a blog called Rorate Cæli), in the midst of the most solemn season of the year, will also be very agitated in the Eternal City, culminating with the Friday consistory. During this special "Incarnation" week, it is appropriate to meditate on the greatest mysteries of our salvation story - using as our guide that most beautiful Catholic devotion, the Angelus.

First Day - Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ ("The Angel o…

Roman Rite, A.D. 2006

In the Second Vatican Council Memorial Church, Vienna (a very appropriate name). More pictures at Catholic Church Conservation.

Thankfully, not everything is lost in Austria. Just look at this "Sound of Music" Tyrolese Mass in Virgen: now, that is a successful example of inculturation!