Rorate Caeli

"The Church cannot silence the Spirit of Truth"

The Holy See Press Office is providing English translations of all major papal pronouncements of the papal visit to Poland. In Pope Ratzinger's homily for today's Mass at Piłsudski Square, in Warsaw, pronounced partly in Polish and partly in Italian, the voice and concept of Sacred Tradition were once more heard. Tradition is clearly a theme which is very dear to this Pontiff's heart:
"He will give you another Counsellor – the Spirit of truth." Faith, as knowledge and profession of the truth about God and about man, "comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ", as Saint Paul says (Rom 10:17). Throughout the history of the Church, the Apostles preached the word of Christ, taking care to hand it on intact to their successors, who in their turn transmitted it to subsequent generations until our own day. Many preachers of the Gospel gave their lives specifically because of their faithfulness to the truth of the word of Christ. And so solicitude for the truth gave birth to the Church’s Tradition. As in past centuries, so also today there are people or groups who obscure this centuries-old Tradition, seeking to falsify the Word of Christ and to remove from the Gospel those truths which in their view are too uncomfortable for modern man. They try to give the impression that everything is relative: even the truths of faith would depend on the historical situation and on human evaluation. Yet the Church cannot silence the Spirit of Truth. The successors of the Apostles, together with the Pope, are responsible for the truth of the Gospel, and all Christians are called to share in this responsibility, accepting its authoritative indications. Every Christian is bound to confront his own convictions continually with the teachings of the Gospel and of the Church’s Tradition in the effort to remain faithful to the word of Christ, even when it is demanding and, humanly speaking, hard to understand. We must not yield to the temptation of relativism or of a subjectivist and selective interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Only the whole [integra] truth can open us to adherence to Christ, dead and risen for our salvation.


  1. The verb goes at the end, Verba cta sunt.

  2. I really like this speech, as it condemns modernism (which believes "truths of faith", that is: dogma, are dependent on the historical situation and human evaluation - see Pascendi dominici gregis of 1907). God bless him for saying this. But does he know, that he for a while adhered to false philosophy and theology too? Or were those juvenile wild storms, and not pertinacious heresies?

    Ut domnum apostolicum in sancta fide conservare dignéris, te rogamus audi nos.

  3. "But does he know, that he for a while adhered to false philosophy and theology too?"

    Thank goodness for the Magisterium of the Know-Nothings!

    The text in question (if it's the same one that was inveighed against by a certain "floating" auxiliary bishop recently) was republished in 2002 with a new introduction by Joseph Ratzinger. I think he knows what he wrote. But instead of modestly confessing themselves confused or puzzled, there are always a few dunderheads ready to assume that he doesn't or else that it's "heresy."

  4. The Arbiter Elegentiæ is in:

    The winner of the Latin contest is al trovato, although all are fine.

    I'd have come up with something as plebeian as ignes fatui.

    Speaking of swamp gas, neither can I leave alone "But does he know, that he for a while adhered to false philosophy and theology too?" I guess Amem's favorite song is "It only hurts for a little while" and he raises spotless leopards.

    Jeff, your peroration constitutes a false dichotomy. Lapses of memory (dare I assume convenience) and heresy are hardly mutually exclusive.

  5. What do trads, conservatives, and liberals have in common? Nobody knows Latin.

  6. Bedwere:

    Sad to say, you are right as concerns yours truly.

    I had the chance to learn Latin when in school (both High School and University), but was too intimidated by the difficulty. I could now kick that young coward's posterior parts.

    I do resort once in a while to a Latin word or phrase, but not unless it comes from a), a dictionary; b) a book of Latin phrases by a Professor of Latin at MIT; or c), an Internet free translator (often terrible at conjugation).

    As for the others, I always give the benefit of the doubt, but perhaps they are in the same situation I'm in.

    I do have a Latin/Engish-English/Latin Ultralingua translator I paid $30.00 for, but it is virtually useless inasmuch as it only does single words and does not conjugate.

    Have pity on we poor underlings.

  7. Hebdomadary,

    The verb does not have to go at the end in Ecclesiastical Latin. Read some St. Thomas, or St. Bonaventure, for example. While it often goes at the end, it just as often goes in the middle, sometimes even at the beginning or first half of the sentence.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!