Rorate Caeli

Young man, I say to thee: Arise!

Jesus went into a city called Naim: and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and much people of the city were with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said to her: Weep not. And He came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it, stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, Arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. (from the Gospel for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost)

One of the greatest Italian writers of the 20th Century was Tito Casini, a firm Catholic, who suffered so much for the near-destruction of the Traditional Mass, and whose memory has been so neglected. It is impossible to read the Gospel of the past Sunday without recalling the words of one of Casini's most powerful texts in those tragic days of the 1970s, when all seemed lost:

It will rise again!... The Mass...will rise again! ...

The bier -- and shall we renounce thus to believe and to act, to cry hopelessly about that which we loved so? It was thus, next to the bier, that the Naimite widow cried for her only son who was dead. But Jesus saw her and those tears moved Him, He got close to it, He touched the bier, and the dead man arose and sat up; and then he began to speak and [Jesus] restored him to his mother.

Thus Jesus -- for Whom there are no irremovable nails -- will restore to our Mother, the Church, the object of so much of His and our love: the Mass... for which the martyrs died... .


  1. How did you hear of him?

  2. I hope this good man has lived long enough to see the corpse begin to stir.

    Is he still with us?

  3. Who is this fellow? I had not heard of him before.

  4. I believe Tito Casini (1897-1987) had few books translated into English: "The Torn Tunic" is probably the one which became better known in English-speaking countries.

    The text itself was translated by me from his book "Nel fumo di Satana" ("In the smoke of Satan"), published exactly 30 years ago, and which caused great commotion in Italy and in Traditionalist circles throughout the world.

    His writings (all of them, not only the ones written after the sad days of 1969 liturgical disaster, as the great "Il Pane sotto la neve", written in the 1930s) deserve to be known in our days, the days of new hope.

    Casini's biography is available in Italian here: .

  5. Casini played a big role in painting the picture of Annibale Bugnini as an implanted freemason, the villainous mastermind of the liturgical reform, who played poor trusting Paul VI like a piano. I say this as a point of fact neither in support for nor in defense against Casini’s accusation. I’d rather not open that can of worms.

  6. ...of THE 1969 liturgical disaster...

  7. New Catholic, do you have conclusive evidence that Bugnini was in fact a freemason? Or do you think this accusation amounts to unfounded hearsay?

    My own opinion is that he was not a mastermind, but a somewhat bumbling bureaucrat who was not fully aware of the implications of his work. I also think he was a bit smug, frequently pretending to know more than he actually did and writing off opposing opinions without giving the full consideration that these opinions merited.

    I don't take special issue with your calling the implementation of the Missal a disaster, but the jingoistic way you said it seems unworthy of you, New Catholic. Let me ask you openly and honestly: Do you think Casini sometimes went to far in the acidity of his rhetoric?

  8. Didn't Casini also coin the term "smoke of Satan"?

    New Catholic, do you have a copy of the speech in which Paul VI is supposed to have used the phrase? I've never been able to find one and have thought that this is a "Michael Davies (RIP) myth," but I thought you might have better resources than I.

  9. Jingoistic? What?...

    It is not unworthy of me, With Peter, it was unworthy of Holy Mother Church...

    I certainly do not wish the great Casini to be identified with this one pathetic event, since he was not even the only one to mention it.

  10. Actually, the year is 1972....

    Another interesting "myth" from Paul VI is the speech of December 7, 1968: the self demolition of the Church after the Council.

  11. Yes, "the smoke of Satan" is a Traditionalist myth, like the Sasquatch...

    Paul VI knew why he dismissed Bugnini and sent him to Tehran.

    Paul VI knew why he identified "the smoke of Satan entering the temple of God" (Homily of June 29, 1972, easily available in the Holy See website).

    With Peter, please, do not make me erase all your impertinent remarks.

  12. New Catholic, I certainly don't mind you erasing my remarks if you deem them inappropriate, but I do appreciate if you could explain it to me. If you have knowledge of which you find me ignorant, I ask you to instruct me as you rebuke me.

    My understanding of Casini was that his criticisms were often inflammatory, exaggerated and conspiracy oriented. Have I been misinformed?

    I must admit that my Italian is very weak, but it seems that the "smoke of Satan" mentioned in the homily that you directed me to (thank you, btw) was describing those who have abused the Church's magnanimity in order to criticise and dissent to her teaching and practices, undermining her authority.

    Certainly Paul VI knew what he was doing when he dismissed Bugnini and sent him to Tehran, just as Benedict XVI knew what he was doing when he sacked Fitzgerald, but this doesn't mean that either of these bishops were freemasons implanted to destroy the Church. It doesn't represent a nullification of the validity of magisterial acts carried out by their curial agencies.

    My knowledge of Casini is limited. I am telling you what I thought I knew about him in order for it to be confirmed, challenged or corrected by someone who knows quite a bit more about him than I. Is this impertinent?

    Am I to understand that you believe that in lieu of the situation of the late 60s and early 70s, Casini may have sometimes gone too far in his rhetoric, but this shouldn't be held against him? That it doesn't detract from his greatness? Is this a correct interpretation of your opinion?

  13. I believe my opinion is simple, it does not demand complex interpretations: Tito Casini was a great man in an age of many mediocre Catholics.

  14. I respect what you are saying, and I think I might be able to agree with you, but do you think he sometimes went too far in the acidity of his criticism of the liturgical acts of Paul VI?

    Maybe you just want to give a "no comment" to that one?

    This might be too big a favor to ask of you New Catholic, but I don't suppose you could translate and post that homily from 1972? I think you'd be doing a great service to traditionalism by providing the complete context of a text that usually gets quoted only for its sound-byte value. I'd do it myself, but my Italian is terrible.

  15. I just wanted to say, in clarification, that given the problems of the late 60s and early 70s, I think it'd be pretty hard to come out spotless. If Casini said a few vicious things, I don't think it should be held too harshly against him. His most significant book--"The Torn Tunic"--had a preface written by the great Cardinal Antonio Bacci.

    Ironically, a part of this preface is quoted by Bugnini in his own memoirs. Bugnini quotes Bacci speaking about Casini's book: "In my opinion, these pages, which remind us of the even more fearless writings of St. Catherine of Sienna, may lead to the correction of some ideas and thus do good."


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