Rorate Caeli


From a conference of Bishop Richard Williamson (one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and co-consecrated by Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer in 1988) in Warsaw, on November 19, 2006 (mp3 file).

I heard two days ago in Paris that the Motu Proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass should soon appear. I also heard, the same source said, that the lifting, that the decree of excommunication of the four bishops should also be soon lifted. In other words, the two conditions that the Society of Saint Pius X asked for in 2001, it looks as though they may be granted.


He may not succeed with the Motu Proprio against the opposition of all the French bishops. ... So the well-meaning pope may or may not succeed in establishing his Motu Proprio.



  1. In fact, one can almost feel the weight of episcopal opposition in France to any intention The Holy Father has of a traditio-favouring motu proprio

  2. I´m sure the Holy Father will liberalize the Tridentine Mass and will lift the excommunications as Paul VI did with regard to the Orthodox. Then, the Holy Father will be fiercely attacked by the left-wing, liberal Bishops, and will face different degrees of rebellion/lack of cooperation, from the French Episcopate.

    I just hope that in that hour of great vulnerability for the Holy Father, who will be acting with the fulness of his authority and yet acting alone, against the advice of dozens, perhaps, hundreds of Bishops, the representatives of the SSPX start to act in a more filial manner towards the Sweet Christ on Earth, offering Him their support and submission, with meaningful steps on their part also, towars a speedy and full reconciliation.

  3. Dear Sir,

    I am not a traditionalist by any stretch of the imagination; however, speaking as one who entered the Church post Vatican II and with only the Novus Ordo and its English translation for my entire Catholic Experience, I find it difficult to understand why one would oppose the reinstatement of the older form. By this reinstatement we are not proposing the immediate abolishment of the present form of Mass (although that may become a very natural outcome). It seems to me that to fear what may be actually sets a bad example for the populace.

    Frankly, I don't much care what transpires, with regard to the replacement. I don't understand the motives for the initial suppression and I don't fully understand the reason for the opposition. It is my fervent prayer that the will of Our Father in Heaven be realized in the actions of the Holy Father on Earth. If that means the reinstatement, then so be it. If otherwise, then I accept that as well. However, I don't see the opposition of French Bishops as being particularly exemplary of the movement of the Holy Spirit in this matter.

    I guess I just don't really understand from whence the complication. It was a standard for four hundred years. How did it suddenly become "bad?"



  4. Prof.,

    The SSPX do already have a filial devotion to the pope, more so that many Novus Ordonarians.

  5. I think this statement is promising. It's quite factual, and unless some of the content that is not provided here is different, it seems to not involve any polemic or suggestion that the actions (if accomplished) would not be pleasing to Bp. Williamson.


  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. A much smaller version of the audio clip (17.8 MB versus 44.5 MB) is available here:

  8. What was the conference that Bishop Williamson was attending in Warsaw?

  9. I agree with Matt that the tone of the bishop's remarks is hopeful, assuming that the rest of his address do not undercut what is quoted here. Certainly, if there were to be any resistance from elements of the Society to being regularized, one would expect that he would express their view. The fact that he explicity recognizes the Holy Father's good will is very welcome.

    As to the points raised by Mr. La Rosa and Tribus Candelis: there is no doubt that the SSPX has a deep commitment to the Papacy. However, in refusing obedience to the late Pope's commands, especially regarding the episcopal consecrations, the Archbishop relied on a particular view of obedience combined with his own assessment of the extremity of the ecclesiastical situation, in a way that was at least somewhat perilous. I do not say that he was clearly wrong, but it is also not clear that he was right about this matter.

    It is easy to imagine extreme examples of papal commands that one would be obviously justified in disobeying. This was not such a situation. It is therefore understandable that many good people consider that he was not objectively justified in acting contrary to the Pope's order, given the presumption of legitimacy that must attach to the Pope's exercises of his jurisdiction.

  10. As I said before, the primary obstacle at the moment to the promulgation of the Motu Proprio is the upcoming perilous journey to Istanbul. He must return safely, which is more uncertain in regards to this trip than probably any other previous Papal journey of modern times.

    Has anyone thought that he might be planning on promulgating the Motu Proprio from Constantinople, ancient seat of imperial Christianity?

    Orate, fratres et sorores, orate!

  11. Magnificent a gesture as that would be, I don't think the Orthodox would appreciate the Roman Pontiff performing a public act exercising his jurisdiction while paying a courtesy call on them. However richly they might deserve it, I doubt the Holy Father would think it constructive...

    If I'm wrong about this, I don't think I'll ever have been so pleased to look a fool in my life!

  12. Let's just hope he doesn't get assassinated by the Turks before he can do it.

  13. Believe me, I do realise how "unorthodox" such a proclamation would be, but we live in an unlikely age. I'm only offering grist for speculation. And I'd happily be made a Fool for Christ over this one as well.

    I guess another way to go about it would be to...well, pray. Just...keep praying ;-)

    The Genoese "notification" is an interesting one, is it not. At the very least there's alot of admitting and backtracking going on, even if nothing ever happened with the Motu Proprio.

  14. "performing a public act exercising his jurisdiction while paying a courtesy call".

    Is what Rowan Williams was doing in Santa Sabina at the weekend when he performed a celebration of the Anglican communion service at a Catholic altar, with a Catholic bishop and priest present (see discussion over at the New Liturgical Movement)?

  15. Apparently, that was at the invitation of his Catholic hosts. I doubt the Pope's Orthodox hosts in Constantinople would be so hospitable.

    As to the substantive point, I must confess I am deeply shocked. I had hoped that this sort of scandalous and sacrilegious nonsense would have ceased. This must surely count as prohibited communicatio in sacris even by the standards of the present lax law.

  16. tony la rosa

    I gave a very long written reply to a modern catholic friend the other day who said to me that the traditionalists were disobedient to the pope. In it I demonstrated objectively that it is modern catholics who manifest the very worst of disobedience & lack of resect to The Holy Father. From the hierarchy down, we have witnessed, over the years, mass disobedience over artificial birth control by modern catholics (over 90% of American catholic couples, for example). There has been mass disrespect towards successive popes' wishes over The Holy Eucharist and abuses against The Blessed Sacrament. For instance, JP (RIP) II 's three encyclicals on this subject were watered down and ultimately ignored. Further, there has been mass disregard of the same pope's Apostolic Letter" on the generous permission to celebrate The Latin Mass. Do you want me to continue? There are several other subjects which could be used to illustrate further a wholesale lack of sincere filial devotion to The Holy Father on a mass scale in the modern church: support for women quasi-presbyters and frequent calls for married priests are other examples of this modernist tendancy,among others. This arguement you mention is exploited against traditionalists and is completely vacuous, without substance. I laugh at it.


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