Rorate Caeli

The liturgy under Benedict
One year of Rorate Cæli

This blog was started in December 2005, on Rorate Sunday (the Fourth Sunday of Advent, after whose Introit, Rorate cæli desuper, the blog was named). Since we follow the liturgical year of the Roman Rite as our own calendar, today, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (which will not be commemorated this year, since it falls on December 24, the Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ), marks our first anniversary.

We would like to thank our many visitors for their kindness to this work, which we try to accomplish purely out of love for Holy Mother Church, with no wish for any material benefit whatsoever. We apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused to any reader.

As we begin this new liturgical year, approaching Christmastide, it seems appropriate to remember what the year has brought, recalling the first text published here in 2006: "Will the Liturgical Mess go on in 2006?". In that text, we made some references to scandalous liturgical practices in a Brazilian Jesuit Youth House.

As we once again peruse their website, from which we have taken these pictures, the answer to that question is clear: the mess did go on; nothing has changed in the Liturgy of the Latin Church under Benedict. "Nothing so far", some would say. Others would point to the relevant admonition by the Congregation for Divine Worship on the correct translation of the words of consecration in the new rite -- which was more doctrinal necessity than actual liturgical action. In the liturgical lives of Roman Catholics who attend the New Mass, nothing has improved -- and "Contra factum non datur argumentum". Could this stark reality be clearer than these painful images?

For Traditionalists ("the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists", Notre Charge Apostolique), the year was full of unfulfilled hope. Especially for those who go to Mass at churches and chapels run by Ecclesia Dei or diocesan priests, it was a bitter year: so many of these places of worship have been shut down and persecuted, especially in the two largest "Traditionalist Nations", France and the United States.

From Lyon and Bordeaux (where even the nascent Institute of the Good Shepherd is still despised by diocesan authorities) to Cleveland and Los Angeles, from Germany to the Philippines, from the smallest hamlet to the Eternal City, Traditionalists have been ignored, antagonized, harassed, persecuted, and expelled in the Year of the Lord of 2006. In the Eldest Daughter of the Church, so many bishops of dioceses in collapse tried (and are still trying) to deter any improvement of the "Traditionalist Question"...

The foundation of a small new society of priests (hated by so many prelates) could not offset this rosary of misfortunes. How could any advance in negotiations with groups not in regular communion with the Holy See be expected when there is so much ill-treatment?

The burden on the Supreme Pontiff in our age is unbelievable; there is, in fact, so much that he cannot do; there is so much he cannot say plainly, lest he jeopardizes the lives of Christians all over the world.

Yet, there is so much he can do, especially in the field of the liturgy. And there is so little time to do it. Precious little time.

Merry Christmas. Iacta alea est.