Rorate Caeli

30 years of Inter Insigniores

Cardinal Šeper had a difficult job at the helm of the former Holy Office -- he had to try his best to balance the demands of Pope Paul VI and the wild waves of dissent which ravaged the Church in the most terrible of decades for orthodoxy in modern times, the 1970s.

Questions which would never have even been considered as admissible were asked, and the Holy See was forced to answer them, if only for ecumenical purposes. And, in October 1976, the Church of Rome had to make clear the only possible position regarding the possibility of the priestly ordination of women:

"The Church's tradition in the matter has thus been so firm in the course of the centuries that the Magisterium has not felt the need to intervene in order to formulate a principle which was not attacked, or to defend a law which was not challenged. But each time that this tradition had the occasion to manifest itself, it witnessed to the Church's desire to conform to the model left her by the Lord."
And this model was only one: an all-male priesthood, solemnly confirmed by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.


  1. The period of 1966 - 1980 was probably the worst 15-year period in the history of the Church. It must have been a true martyrdom for such warhorses like Frank Duff, Archbishop Sheen, Frank J Sheed, Dietrich Von Hildebrand, Cardinal Ottaviani, etc -- who knew and contributed so fabulously to the Church in her glorious expansion of the early 20th century -- to see the Church ripped and torn apart by both dissent from within and dreadful ecclesiastical decisions. A priest I knew who retired recently to Ireland told me that he was at Catholic University during the late 60's and that it was the worst possible time to be there. Countless priests were deserting there vocations and the old school superiors in the Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians were stunned by the lack of obedience and abandonment of vocations. He said priests would one day be wearing their cassocks and a week later would be wearing suits saying they were "finally with their people". This should be no surprise when one considers the "Washington Case" where Paul VI scandalously failed to back Cardinal O'Boyle in his suspension of the 19 priests who publicily dissented from Humanae Vitae. This case epitomizes the Church for the past 40+ years.

  2. Yes, people have forgotten that up to the election of JPII thousands of priests were leaving the church, at a level unseen in the history of the church, not because of liberalism but because the church was dissentigrating herself. The great accomplishment of JPII was that he was able to stop this bleeding to death of the church. AMDG.

  3. Also we had the scandal of priests,usuall pro-abortion,running for and in some notorious cases actually winning seats in government.We saw Pope Paul VI after too long of a wait valiantly issue Humanae Vitae.Then we saw the official who made the presentation of the encyclical at the Vatican,Arcgbishop Lambruschini,publicly state that it was not infallible.He was not corrected.Then the national conferences of bishops issued polite dissents (usually by creating conscience as an escape clause.Then Pope Paul tried to reign in the Dutch hierarchy with no effect.Cardinal Wright appointed to clergy criticizes the liberal spanish hierarchy and then Pope Paul appoints as the secretary of his congregation a liberal Spanish bishop.Pope Paul issued a beutiful encyclical on celibacy but the push for married priests went on.Then there was New Ways Ministry in D.C. headed bu a priest and a nun who advocated acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.Not only were they not silenced they were invited into dioceses!A diocesan director of religious education said he went to a national conference of diocesan directors and he was the only one at his table who believed in the divinity of Christ! Then there were those who wrote and taught the "vanishing sacraments"i.e. that married coupls might at some time fall out of love and the sacrament would disappear!And priests could commit themselves to a term of service. A priest (forgive me for saying this) in Mount Vernon Virginia (then Diocese of Richmond) could refer to the corporal as a "sanitary napkin" and remain pastor,and also dress up as a match stick girl and hand out contraceptives at a womens'club cristmas party. I could go on and on.Then came JPII.Certainly JP could have been tougher and use more discipline (even he says so in his last aautobiography) but he brought these and so many more to an end .He at least brought them to a halt and now Benedict can take it from there are proceed with the restoration.

  4. sacerdos15, indeed a litany of sins unheard in the Catholic Church. God have mercy on the souls of those involved. AMDG

  5. I can add one thing, I am sure that there was a lot of money behind those sinners. The same of type of "prostitution" that H.H. Benedict XVI warned the I.T.C. about. AMDG.

  6. I think it would be just to raise our prayers to our Father in heaven, asking for forgiveness and atonement for the crimes of those evil catholic priests who have behaved worst than Judas, but at the same let's pray asking that the Divine Justice manifests in these troubled times.

    Let's pray asking for the coming of the Holy Spirit, to regenerate what is evil in the Catholic Church.

    I use the words of the Psalm "De Profundis" to invoke God's forgiveness for the crimes of deed and omission, against God and Man, committed by evil catholic priests:

    "1 Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: 2 Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. 3 If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. 4 For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word: 5 My soul hath hoped in the Lord.

    6 From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. 7 Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption. 8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."



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