Rorate Caeli

Back from Rome

[In Rome for his ad limina visit,] Bishop Hofmann, of Würzburg [Germany], made clear that the Motu proprio for an eventual liberalization of the celebration of the Mass according to the Ordo called "of Saint Pius V" was still under preparation.

Bishop Hofmann emphasized that the bishops [of Germany] had been pleased to be able to freely and constructively discuss this liturgical question with those in charge of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Source (via Le Forum Catholique)

Original Source: Die Tagespost (interview, via - "We do not want a biritual Church")


  1. Good to know the motu proprio is still in the works, but does the "we" of the title "We do not want a biritual Church" include me, or only bishops? Do these fellows even care about our, the laity's, opinion?

  2. One wonders what the "free and constructive" side of the discussion looked like from the perspective of Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Ranjith...

    On another random tangent, I read elsewhere that the "pro multis" is finally to be rendered accurately in the English translation of the New Mass. I think I might go very occasionally, just to enjoy the sight of modernist priests choking on "for many."

  3. Well, if they don't want a biritual church, they should be very happy to promote the Mass of St. Pius V. After all, we already have a multiplicity of rites, far more than two, including variations on the Roman Rite. One more rite couldn't hurt, could it?

  4. How refresing it would be to read something like, "The mass is too Catholic" said Bishop Henri Legion of the Bishops Committee for Doctrinal Obfuscation. "Many of us hate Catholic things and have devoted our lives to stamping them out and this mass is the symbol and the source of all that we abominate! We ask all rotters and wrong thinking men to join us in opposing any spread of it. Everything we have gained since the Council is at stake!" he concluded.

    Oh how jolly it would be if for just one day every bishop had to tell the absolute truth!

  5. As a Byzantine Catholic, I resent the implication that a multiplicity of rites cannot exist within a single Church. I've often thought that these modernist bishops must despise the traditional Eastern liturgies almost as much as they despise the traditional Latin Mass, which I attend, as well. This desire for ever increasing liturgical uniformity (an oxymoron in the context of the NO) is not only unhistorical, but highly uncharitable.

  6. Steve Mahowald, founder of Roman Catholic Sacramentals Foundation, has made freely available via YouTube his 90-minute documentary video:

    Reform or Revolt? The Mass of Paul VI
    Part 1, Part 2

    It seems, to me, a rather impressive effort on the part of an obviously motivated layman and lover of the Traditional Latin Mass.

    I would be curious to know other Rorate Caeli readers' thoughts on its accuracy (I noted a few factual foibles, but not many) and reflections on whether and how worthwhile it might be to point Catholics toward it who are seeking to understand the present crisis in Catholic liturgy.

    Steve has also made freely available one of his Low Mass videos. (See the "more from this user" tab for more of his videos.)

  7. servitiumdulce, thank you for posting these video links of the Tridentine Mass. AMDG

  8. The inculturated NO rite is multiritual of itself. The evidence is incontrovertible. If it had been so successful and become universally accepted, led to swelling seminary applications, superabundant religious vocations, greater reverence during The Mass and improved knowledge and understanding of The Roman Catholic Faith, then we could have been discussing the "springtime" renaissance of The Church. However, all we see is abomination and desolation in the holy places. Ezechiel, Daniel, St Matthew and St Paul's Epistle to Timothy have plenty to tell us about novelties and false teachings. The appropriate authorities should read them.

    At the same time, it is noticeable that Cardinal Ricard's archdiocese of Bordeaux could only raise a miserable 1,600 signatures for its "open" letter protesting the Institute of The Good Shepherd. Calling it "open" is a rather self-contradictory term, since all it wants to do is close the door.

    Judging by polls in the newspapers there does not seem to be much support against the reestablishment of the Latin Mass. The french & belgian hierarchy are afraid of a return to The Roman Catholic Faith. They may have to dress properly in public then. How embarrassing for them!

  9. I have viewed the videos posted by Mr. Steve Mahowald. I am glad I saw the videos, specially the ones about the liturgical movement "Reform or Revolt? The Mass of Paul VI". I have found confirmation to my feelings that the problem with the liturgy was not created during the II Vatican Council. However, he does not offer enough information that would shed the light on why were Popes as orthodox as Pius X, given indults to say the mass in vernacular language, nor why Paul VI opted for a protestantization of the liturgy. Why did he choose this option, in view of the condemnation of his predecessors, in view of the rejection for the NO of the bishops at the time? Why did he do it? Was for the money in the coming age of TV? I think that there is a lot European money behind the movement for the unification of the Christian churches. Even the future Pope John Paul I, acknowledged that Paul VI had flaws, and this coming from a cardinal, Albino Luciani, in a time when it was not common for a cardinal to criticize a Pope. The NO certainly is much more fit for TV and cinema, than the tridentine mass. However, the truth the author brigs out places a huge question mark on the Catholic Church. Did the European Catholic Church lost the faith? Is it possible to be a better Christian in the Catholic Church, than in other Christian denominations, this without questioning that the Catholic Church was the one founded by Jesus Christ, and without questioning that there is an apostolic succession from the apostles to the present Pope? These later facts do not represent a certification of freedom from error of the Catholic Church. Indeed one could come to believe that the Catholic Church is in a state of apostasy, or that indeed is not in communion with Jesus Christ. Clearly there is much more that need to be known about Paul VI that remains in the dark. I don’t know if it will be ever be known. What I know is that Jesus is the son of God, and my only savior. Scary movies. AMDG.

  10. I disagree that the NO is much more fit for tv or movies.The TLM is made for Hollywood.When they filmed the movie True Confessions starring Robert DeNiro the director looked for and found a LA church that had not been "renovated according to VII" (because it was too poor to do it.Blessed are the poor).The openeningscene was a solemn High mass coram episcopo and DeNiro,being a method actor,insisted that they perform a full TLM (a straw one of course)with him as celebrant,then take portions out for the movie.DeNiro had everything down even the intricacies of the incensations at the Offertory.It was glorious. An editor for US Catholic (Ugh) was technical director for these scenes and he says when they were finished the Catholics (mostly if not all fallen away)were crying and the non-catholics were asking him,"Why did you change the Mass?"Hollywood loves catholic symbols.Practically every nun is in habit and the churches always seem to have all the candles in the church lit no matter what time of day.

  11. Those details about True Confessions are fascinating. I have always wondered about that film, and what liturgical resources were used to make it. And you're absolutely right, in media, nothing exceeds like excess, or succeeds either, and the maximalist approach of tridentine liturgy is consumately theatrical. Nor is any apology needed for its theatricality, there is a didactic value to theatre as a communal and socially bonding exercise. People still pay to go to plays, to costumed dramas, to concerts, to art openings, to ballets, and the artistic eclecticism of traditional Catholic liturgy draws all these strands together into an artistic, media friendly action which is certainly dramatic. But it a true sacred-drama which Wagner's Parsifal can only look up at wishfully, since the dramatic re-enactment of the Last Supper and Sacrifice of Calvary also happens to be 100% real, and TRUE. But I'm preaching to the choir. Just thought it was worth saying inso many words.

  12. Yes, I remember the movie, and actually Hollywood is very inclined to represent catholic mass in the tridentine rite. The same happened in the film "The Godfather I". However, one must recognize that the NO has been "enriched" by more and more non-catholic Hollywood, e.g. like the types of the movies depicting ancient middle east cultures. As for TV, the NO is much more pliable to produce mass effect. I also think that Paul VI imposed the NO on his own, even going against the prescriptions of the II Vatican Council in the area of liturgy renovation. After all that is what Joseph Ratzinger claimed; that the liturgy renovation was ill implemented; although I am not sure that now as Benedict XVI he continues to share those beliefs. We'll see. All in all the Catholic Church clergy, is a very secretive world, one which we are only starting to know, but there still a lot that is shed away from public light.

  13. sacerdos15, you mentioned that the mass that recreated DeNiro was the one using a straw. I have seen pictures of masses celebrated by Pius XII in which he used a straw to drink from the chalice. Please, do you know when was this changed?

    I have also seen a video from a 1941 High Mass. Is this any different from the High Mass of the 1962 Missal?

  14. The Latin Mass has featured in foreground and background of many films. It adds grace and dignity.

    In 1960 , in the archdiocese of Bordeaux, there were 593 active parishes each with its own parish priest and replacements on the way. Imagine every Sunday with such a wonderful number of Masses being celebrated throughout. Imagine too this being replicated in the entire country every week and on weekdays also.

    Not so today. There are now 3 "pastoral" zones of 66 "pastoral sectors" serviced by 218 priests who have retired; 63 who are close to retirement and 79 presbyters and permanent deacons who are between 25 and 54 years of age with precious few replacements coming up behind. The word "pastoral" has a familiar and euphemistic sense about it. Also, I was informed some time ago by a French correspondent, none of these "sectors" has its own parish priest as such.

    The population of this archdiocese is about 1,362,000 (2004) which means about 1,184,000 "nominal" Catholics at pro-rata national rates (87%). Thus, 1,600 signatories of an "open" letter protesting against The Institute of The Good Shepherd represents about 0.135% of the Catholic population.

    Therefore, amidst all the brouhaha about no "biritualism" and protests against The Latin Mass of All Times, and frenzied visits to The Vatican to protest - to argue "one voice" as hierarchs seem to be doing in that place, just who in reality do they represent? Statistics suggest not very many active NO faithful.

    Perhaps if we were able to analyse the entire situation in a similar manner we would probably find similar realities of bishops who sit on dioceses of like desolation and waste who cry foul against Tradition but who represent a modern church in evident & rapid decline. Little wonder elderly priests' prophecy extinction of the modern species,soon.

    How much the "daughter" of The Church needs the beauty, mystery, grace and dignity of The Latin Mass of All Times. How much it is in desperate need of all the divine blessings this liturgy transports with it.

    Let us continue to pray, to make sacrifices and to invoke The Sacred Heart of Our Blessed Saviour to inspire The Holy Father to necessary & positive action.

  15. I was not clear.I did not mean DeNiro used a straw,but celebrated a "straw mass".The term "straw mass" means a fake or not real mass,like the term "straw subdeacon" means a subdeacon who is a lay man and not a real subdeacon. I beleieve the custom of the Pope drinking out of a straw was in the Papal mass which probably was last celebrated by Paul VI at his coronation.The NO allowed for a straw at mass but that has been dropped with the new NO missal.Coincidently I notice Pope Benedict sometimes uses the Greek and Latin deacons to proclaim the gospel which is part of the papal mass but he has stopped (or I have not seen him do it)turning in a circle at the elevation which JPII did which was also in the rite of the papal mass.

  16. It is very sad to know of Christians full of hate complaining against their brothers in the faith, just because they don't like the NO. The Tridentine movement is not asking for the NO to be abolished. Why their hate? Evidently, France and Europe is not Christian any more.

  17. Humboldt, in all fairness, we must admit that there are Some devotees of the Tridentine Mass (extremists,) who DO wish for the Novus Ordo to be abolished.


  18. CromAbu, I know that and I don't agree with them, even though I do agree with the criticism that they make to the Novus Ordo Liturgy. They are wrong in this, but they are not wrong in the criticism that they make of it because the Novus Ordo is a complete chaos. I was raised in the Novus Ordo, but now that I know of the Tridentine Mass, and in the way that the Tridentine Mass has been treated by the Novus Ordo, and of having seen many of the bad fruits of the Novus Ordo liturgy, I can see why those are so bitter. The responsible for this state of affairs is Paul VI who imposed the Novus Ordo and broke with the prescriptions of the II Vatican Council on liturgical reform. They are right in the criticism, but they are not right is asking for the total abolition of the Novus Ordo. That is not the answer, besides the Catholic Church in all of its history has never abolished a rite, up until Paul VI who practically decreed the abolishment of the Tridentine rite.

    Perhaps the only solution to the mess is to create a new rite, the Tridentine Rite and leave the Novus Ordo as the Roman Rite.

  19. Bp Hofman, Bp of Würzburg (Germany), made the most violent declaration I have read for weeks. But the violence is basically against the Mystical Body of the Church : this man should repent publicly for such a public sin.
    It is a sinful statement not because of his despise of trads, a sin indeed for a Christian, but above all the bishop is taking the place of his Lord and ours. "We dont want a bi-ritual Church" ! how preposterous is this "we", a handful of German bishops, "they" are the Head of The Church ???
    We have here an appalling example of "hybris" (as said by the ancient Greeks) : self-pride has become so huge, the bishop has completely forgotten he is to SERVE the Church not to make it according to His whims and fantasies.

    Once again, this public sinner should be sent B XVI homily at S. John Lateran may 2005 when the Bp of Rome explained what a bishop is and is not.
    Nein mein Herrn Doktor Bischof Hofman, your "Führerprinzip" is not Christian, you are not creating the Tradition, you should serve it.
    I'm kindly advising a visit to your spiritual director and confessor.

    A journalistic interview is not an excuse for such a monstrous statement. I guess our brethren the Eastern Catholics and the Eastern Christians will certainly appreciate your sinful statement by the way.

    These sectarian modernists are the true Plague of the Church.

  20. Servitiumdulce - I've seen the video. You mentioned a few "factual foibles" in the video. Which ones?

  21. alsaticus, yes, it seems a joke, but it is not, many European bishops, do behave according to the principle that you mention: "Führer", it seems preposterous that today, after everything that has happened there could be still people like that, specially a catholic bishop. It seems that for many catholic bishops they yearn for the days of totalitarianism and autocracy. The just don't know how to function in the age of transparency and service. They yearn either for Nazism or for Communism.

  22. Ah, Humboldt, the fact is that anything is suitable for TV, as it can get close enough to make even the smallest and simplest of actions look sizable and more substantial than they actually are. But you touch upon an interesting subject in Paul VI and the imposition of the new liturgy. Personally, I think he did impose it, but not because he wanted to. Rather because he feared for his life should he go against the revolutionaries. That makes him a coward, rather than a martyr. No sin in cowardice, but no virtue either. After all he was only human...but he was also the Pope, and it was his duty to stand up to those who would vandalise the church from within, and he signally FAILED. After what happened to JPII in St. Peter's square, can anyone rationally call that a conspiracy theory? It's Power Politics 101.

  23. I believe that the most disturbing aspect of the words of this German bishop is that his words do not reflect Christian charity. I wonder what kind of leadership does he provide to his flock. ¡Poor people! There is one thing that is very clear to me, only the Pope has the authority to legislate in matters of liturgy. This is the faith of the Church, even proclaimed by the II Vatican Council. We must only hope that Benedict XVI has all the relevant information to make a just decision regarding the place of the Tridentine liturgy in the Catholic Church. All in all, the responsibility, before God’s eyes and history, for the decision made in this matter falls completely on the shoulders of Pope Benedict XVI, if he decides to make a decision about this matter during his pontificate; just as the sole responsibility for the enactment of the Novus Ordo and the situation thereafter, fell upon the shoulders of Pope Paul VI, and just as JPII is responsible for the Missal of 2000 and the consequences brought by it.

    So in this sense all the opinions of the world bishops, of the members of the Roman Curia, and of all others involved in this matter, do not carry compulsion or responsibility to the eyes of God. Only the Pope’s actions will be judged by God, in the areas prescribed by him for the Pope. For Pope Benedict XVI the situation is much more problematic because he has been involved in the plights of the Tridentine liturgy in the Catholic Church for a long time. So he is no newcomer to this problem, and he has, with authority and in public, spoken about this problem on many occasions, so he cannot present himself as an outsider in this matter.

    We must hope that he will act, if he decides to act, with Christian justice in this matter, since this should be the sole motive for action for the Pope. If he does so, as a Pope should do, many clerics will not be pleased, but the Pope would have done his duty before God and his people. Let’s pray for our Pope Benedict XVI, that he will be up to the times in which God has placed him to govern his people. AMDG.

    Hebdomadary, yes indeed I agree with you. Paul VI failed, he was weak or perhaps naive, although I doubt it because he was warned that he was making a mistake, and he choose the wrong way, rather than Jesus' way: crucifixion. Paul VI's soul is in my prayers and I hope that after he finishes his time in purgatory, he will go and receive peace and eternal happiness in the house of our Father. Indeed the work of Pope, as Pius XII said, is a "crown of thorns".

    I wouldn't like to be in the Pope's shoes for having to make decisions that carry so much weight, affect the lives of so many people around the world, and that have as supreme judge: Our Heavenly Father. The Pope is at the service of God, so he will have to render accountability for his actions and no actions.

    As for the TV, I would say that the NO is much more friendly to the TV, since the face of the priest is right up to be seen by everyone, so for the camera is easier to act, than with the Tridentine Mass. As we have seen, the NO is bound to introduce theater in the mass, which is not possible with the Tridentine. So the NO is definetly the Mass of the theater, the mass of the actors, the mass of the Coliseum. AMDG.


  24. In my mind the TLM,at least the Solemn High Mass (which Father Faber called 'The most beautiful thing this side of heaven',not the TLM itself) is liturgical theatre.It has also been termed a ballet because of the rubrical movements of the sacred ministers.I apologize for any disrespect,but the NO is more a nightclub act.

  25. Nice try, Humboldt, but the direction of the face is irrelevant, as there is no place the camera cannot go, and no angle it cannot get. Even before the era of the micro camera, the Latin Mass Society video of Solemn High Mass from St. Mary of the Angels, Bayswater, recorded in about 1987 features some of the most gorgeous camera-work with an invisibly mounted camera hidden amongst the foliage between the Big Six candlestix, looking right into the face of the celebrant, the paten and chalice in full view, and the congregation over his shoulders. Tridentine camera-work is just as intimate as NO, to argue otherwise is specious, and demonstrably...not the case. But keep trying, I'm listening! ;-)

  26. Hebdomadary, well at least you have to agree that for the camera, the NO is much easier to film and the Tridentine Mass. If you compare the projections of Tridentine vs a NO, the NO is always more easier to film, not mention the endless posibilities that the NO offers in terms of coreography, the Tridentine does not offer this. Not to mention that in the NO celebrants really take the central stage, not the sacrifice, as in the Tridentine. AMDG.

  27. sacerdos15, the NO sometimes is really a "disco dance" AMDG.

  28. Mais non, mon amis, j'admitte nossing! Ze messe traditionelle cest plus facile to televise. Quel deficil eez eet to place le webcam dans les gradines? Et voila! L'argument eez mine, et le victoire! I should be appointed episcopal administrateur of ze French trads, non?

  29. The comment about liturgical theatre is not disrespectful, it's true. That is why the Holy Mass has been the single greatest sourse of artistic inspiration in the whole of western civilization. And stylized dance is part of it. What some call rubrics, others call choreography! The Tridentine liturgy is to ballet what the Novus Ordo is to punk "slam dancing." Remember 1978-83? Yes, I was there, so I know whereof I speak, for good or ill.

  30. The comment about liturgical theatre is not disrespectful, it's true. That is why the Holy Mass has been the single greatest sourse of artistic inspiration in the whole of western civilization. And stylized dance is part of it. What some call rubrics, others call choreography! The Tridentine liturgy is to ballet what the Novus Ordo is to punk "slam dancing." Remember 1978-83? Yes, I was there, so I know whereof I speak, for good or ill.

  31. One also has to recognize that the so called "choreography" of the Tridentine Mass is essentialy different to the "choreography" of the NO. The NO's is completely anarchic, while the Tridentine's is strict. The consequences for the faith are enormous. AMDG.

  32. Anonymous3:06 AM

    The Movie True Confessions Staring Robert DiNiro had a Latin Mass scene mentioned in these comments. That Movie clip can be found here:


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!