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Showing posts from March, 2007

Breaking news: Bertone confirms motu proprio

In an interview for the cover story (pages 56-60) of Le Figaro Magazine (weekly magazine of the French national daily Le Figaro), published today (Update-April 2: available on the newspaper's website); excerpt:

Is a Decree widening the possibility of celebrating the Latin Mass according to the rite from before Vatican II (the so-called Mass of Saint Pius V) still expected?

[Secretary of State] Cardinal Bertone: The merit of the conciliar liturgical reform is intact. But both [for reasons of] not losing the great liturgical heritage left by Saint Pius V and for granting the wish of those faithful who desire to attend Masses according to this rite, within the framework of the Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with its own calendar, there is no valid reason not to grant to priests in the entire world the right to celebrate according to this form. The authorization of the Supreme Pontiff would evidently preserve the validity of the rite of Paul VI. The publication of the motu…

For the Record: Sévillia says Bertone confirms motu proprio


Pope Benedict's Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, was interviewed by French journalist Jean Sévillia for the cover story of this week's Le Figaro Magazine (the weekly magazine of the French national daily Le Figaro).

The interview has not yet been made available on the web, but Sévillia has confirmed in an interview to Radio Courtoisie (Source: Una Voce France) that, in his interview, Cardinal Bertone said that "the recently-published Apostolic Exhortation is not a substitute for and is not additional to the Motu Proprio on the liturgy expected from the Pope".

The text has been confirmed by the Cardinal, but not any date of publication. Naturally, we will wait for the article in Le Figaro Magazine to provide the exact words of Cardinal Bertone -- who, by the way, is finally moving (around Easter) to his apartment in the Apostolic Palace, only recently vacated by Cardinal Sodano, according to L'Indipendente.

For the Record:
American Episcopal Conference (USCCB) news agency:
motu proprio "expected soon"

Article by John Thavis, Rome correspondent of the Catholic News Service, the news agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sometime soon, Pope Benedict XVI is expected to broaden permission to use the Tridentine Mass, a long-standing request of traditionalists who favor the rite used before the Second Vatican Council.

The move is aimed at ending a liturgical dispute which has simmered for more than 20 years. In the process, it could clarify how the pope intends to implement what he once described as a "liturgical reconciliation" in the modern church.

The pope will enunciate the new policy in a document to be released after more than a year of debate and discussion at the Vatican. The Roman Curia had mixed views on expanding the use of the Tridentine rite, and so did the world's cardinals and bishops -- all of which has lent a certain drama to the outcome.

From the outside, allowing the old Mass has b…

Passiontide with Lacordaire:
Jesus Christ, pursued by undying hatred,
sovereign Lord of hearts and minds

Unus autem ex ipsis, Caiphas nomine, cum esset pontifex anni illius, dixit eis: "Vos nescitis quidquam, nec cogitatis quia expedit vobis ut unus moriatur homo pro populo, et non tota gens pereat." Hoc autem a semetipso non dixit: sed cum esset pontifex anni illius, prophetavit, quod Iesus moriturus erat pro gente, et non tantum pro gente, sed ut filios Dei, qui erant dispersi, congregaret in unum. (Gospel for Friday in Passion Week, John xi, 49-52: One of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: "You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed.)

With the first shadows of age the sentiment of parenthood descends into …

"Tradition is not traditionalism"

As it is seen, Irenaeus does not limit himself to the definition of the concept of Tradition. His tradition, the uninterrupted Tradition, is not traditionalism, because this Tradition is always internally vivified by the Holy Spirit, who makes it live again, who makes it interpreted and included in the vitality of the Church. Benedict XVI
General Audience, March 28, 2007

For the Record

According to Die Welt, even a cover letter to the world's bishops, which would be sent out with the eventual motu proprio, "is ready".

Tip: Le Forum Catholique.


P.S (2350 GMT) Last paragraph:

It has been decided. This is not a systems reboot, as is due with a defunct computer. Benedict XVI returns to the Catholic Church her own standard with this liturgy, a standard which from now on can be compared to the 1969 Novus Ordo decisively. The decision has opened the way to a finger-wrestling full of surprises. After all finger wrestling is a Bavarian speciality. A translation of the entire article has been posted by Chris Gillibrand.


Oh, well... yes, the eventual motu proprio may well be "imminent" (who knows?), but, as far as we can tell, this latest rumor wave began with this "report/analysis" by the French Sedevacantist website Virgo Maria, which first mentioned the words an influent French cleric of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (SSPX/FSSPX) had supposedly spoken at a recent conference.

No mention of the conference or of its contents is available at the website of the District of France of the SSPX/FSSPX. It has not been reported by any trustworthy medium. It reached the English-speaking blogs by a translation of a post in an Italian weblog.

"Gay Masses" in the Archdiocese of Westminster: dens of lions

Exactly as predicted, of course - except by some disingenuous minds:

- Dissenting leaflets are handed out with the hymn books, making clear that the 'Soho Masses Pastoral Council' regards this as 'their' Mass;

- Sermon from Fr Shaun Middleton (4th March) endorses the dissenting theologian, ex-priest James Allison;

- Promotion of Gay Pride march;

- Bookstall in the church full of dissenting literature;

- No reference to the groups which help homosexuals live in accordance with Church teaching.The homilist at the first "authorized Gay Mass" said, "This is an encounter which cannot be contained or kept within the booths of tradition". You've got that right, Father!


Report: Catholic Action UK (with links);
tip: Catholic Church Conservation;
"dens of lions": cf. Lesson for Tuesday in Passion Week (Daniel xiv, 27-42).

Ave, Sancti Spiritus sacrarium!

Lauda, Ierusalem, Dominum!
Lauda Deum tuum, Sion!

If we examine closely [the] divine principle of life and power given by Christ, insofar as it constitutes the very source of every gift and created grace, we easily perceive that it is nothing else than the Holy spirit, the Paraclete, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and who is called in a special way, the "Spirit of Christ" or the "Spirit of the Son." For it was by this Breath of grace and truth that the Son of God anointed His soul in the immaculate womb of the Blessed Virgin...

...the only-begotten Son of God embraced us in His infinite knowledge and undying love even before the world began. And that He might give a visible and exceedingly beautiful expression to this love, He assumed our nature in hypostatic union: hence - as Maximus of Turin with a certain unaffected simplicity remarks - "in Christ our own flesh loves us."

But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the o…

There is a hell

Dear friends, concrete advices for our lives come from the Word of God which we have heard [note: in the Traditional Roman Rite, Gospel for Saturday in the Third Week of Lent, John viii, 1-11]. Jesus does not undertake a theoretical discussion with his interlocutors: it does not matter to him to win an argument on the interpretation of Mosaic Law; his goal is to save a soul and to reveal that salvation is found in God's love. For this he came to earth, for this he will die on the cross, and [for this] the Father will resurrect him on the third day. Jesus came to say that he wishes all [to be] in Heaven and that hell, which is barely spoken of in our age, exists and is eternal for all those who close their hearts to his love. Also in this episode we thus understand that our true enemy is attachment to sin, which may lead us to the ruin of our existence. Jesus dismisses the adulterous woman with this advice: "Go, and, from now on, sin no more". He grants her pardon so that…

Agnoscite Creatorem


"Abraham pater vester exsultavit ut videret diem meum: vidit, et gavisus est." Dixerunt ergo Iudæi ad eum: "Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti?" Dixit eis Iesus: "Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum."(From the Gospel for Passion Sunday, John viii, 56-58: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.")

...Abraham's Creator bears a great testimony to Abraham. "Abraham rejoiced," He says, "to see my day." He did not fear, but "rejoiced to see it." For in him there was the love that casts out fear. He says not, rejoiced because he saw; but "rejoiced that he might see." [Non ait: Exsultavit, quia vidit; sed, exsultavit ut videret.] Believin…

Europe on a road "out of History"

From a demographic viewpoint, it must unfortunately be ascertained that Europe seems headed on a road which could leave it out of History [portarla al congedo dalla storia: literally, "lead it to take its leave from History"].

If, on the occasion of the 50th [anniversary] of the Treaties of Rome, the governments of the [European] Union wish to "get close" to their citizens, how could [the former] exclude an essential element of the European identity as Christianity, with which a vast majority of [the latter] identify themselves? Is it not a reason for surprise that contemporary Europe, with an ambition of becoming a community of values, seems always and increasingly to contest that there are universal and absolute values? Does not this singular form of "apostasy" from itself, even more than from God, induce it perhaps to doubt its own identity? The conviction that the "balance of goods" is the only way for moral discernment and that common …

For the Record

From the extremely-ultra-"Progressive" French magazine Golias:

The editorial of March 23

The Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass soon available


Our informations concerning the imminent publication of the motu proprio which would allow for a much wider use of the pre-Conciliar rite make us believe that it could take place before Easter.The document will be published before the end of Lent: [or, rather,] in any event, Pope Benedict would be determined [to have it published].
This "motu proprio" should have appeared at the end of January. The opposition of a certain number of prelates was what prompted Benedict XVI to be patient. Among the opponents to this "motu proprio", Cardinals Karl Lehmann, Jean-Pierre Ricard (forced by his brothers of the French episcopate, being himself [personally] quite favorable to it), Jean-Marie Lustiger, Godfreed Danneels, Giovanni Battista Re should be particularly mentioned... The opposition to this project does not follow the …
The Pope received in separate audiences yesterday evening:

His Eminence Card. Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;

His Eminence Card. Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".

"Let none despair, but let none presume in himself"

Ait Iesus: "Tollite lapidem." Dicit ei Martha, soror eius, qui mortuus fuerat: "Domine, iam fœtet, quatriduanus est enim." Dicit ei Iesus: "Nonne dixi tibi quoniam si credideris videbis gloriam Dei?"(From the Gospel for Friday in the Fourth Week of Lent, John xi, 39-40: Jesus saith, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to Him, "Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he is now of four days." Jesus saith to her, "Did not I say to thee that if thou believe, thou shalt see the glory of God?")
If... the Lord, in the greatness of His grace and mercy, raises our souls to life, that we may not die for ever, we may well understand that those three dead persons whom He raised in the body have some figurative significance of that resurrection of the soul which is effected by faith: [1] He raised up the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, while still lying in the house; [2] He raised up the widow's you…

FSSP - Una Voce announcement

UVA Launches Priest Training Workshops

Joint Effort with FSSP to Train Priests to Celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass
PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate Distribution - March 11, 2007 Publicity flyer (PDF)
Una Voce America is pleased to announce a collaborative program with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) designed to provide training for any priest interested in learning how to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.
"This program may be the most important effort we've undertaken," said UVA director Jason King recently. "We're grateful to the Fraternity for its generous support of this project."

Training will take place in June 2007 at Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary in Denton, Nebraska, which is located in the diocese of Lincoln. The workshop will last for one week and will be repeated three times (the first, second and fourth weeks of June). Each session will begin on a Monday at noon and end Friday at noon of that week. A priest need only attend one of the …

The Encyclicals of March 1937: Divini Redemptoris - II
"....Communism is intrinsically perverse..."

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, on the 19th of March, 1937... Thus is dated the most relevant encyclical signed and issued by Pope Pius XI in 1937. As it was previously seen here, Divini Redemptoris was not an exercise in rhetorical craftsmanship, but a real response to a real problem: the severe persecution of Catholics by Communists.

Yet, it was so much more than a protest. Pope Pius had already made clear several years earlier that "no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist" (Quadragesimo Anno). He was now ready to explain to the Universal Church and to the whole of mankind why Communism must be fought, how Communists infiltrate Holy Mother Church, and how much all should be prepared to detain and reverse its advance.

Pius warns the Church and the world of the danger of Communist deceitfulness and infiltration:
[Communism] has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multi…
In Solemnitate Sancti Ioseph,
«Protector Sanctæ Ecclesiæ»,
Eum deprecemur pro Beatissimo Papa Nostro Benedicto XVI,
olim Cardinalis Iosephus Ratzinger

Ad te beate Ioseph,
in tribulatione nostra confugimus, atque, implorato Sponsæ tuæ sanctissimæ auxilio, patrocinium quoque tuum fidenter exposcimus. Per eam, quæsumus, quæ te cum immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice coniunxit, caritatem, perque paternum, quo Puerum Iesum amplexus es, amorem, supplices deprecamur, ut ad hereditatem, quam Iesus Christus acquisivit Sanguine suo, benignus respicias, ac necessitatibus nostris tua virtute et ope succurras.

Tuere, o Custos providentissime divinæ Familiæ, Iesu Christi sobolem electam; prohibe a nobis, amantissime Pater, omnem errorum ac corruptelarum luem; propitius nobis, sospitator noster fortissime, in hoc cum potestate tenebrarum certamine e cælo adesto; et sicut olim Puerum Iesum e summo eripuisti vitæ discrimine, ita nunc Ecclesiam sanctam Dei ab hostilibus insidiis atque ab omni adversitate defe…

For the Record: Accattoli

Vaticanist Luigi Accattoli joins the fray in today's Corriere della Sera:

Sezione: religione cattolica - Pagina: 013
(18 marzo, 2007) Corriere della Sera


Return of the Latin Mass. The Pontiff's text is ready.

CITTÀ DEL VATICANO — The "motu proprio" which will liberalize the use of the old Missal, that is, the "Latin Mass" from before the Council, could be published by Easter: the time "draws nigh", it is said in the Vatican, but there is still not a date. Some predict it for March 25, others for April 5, Holy Thursday, which does not seem to be an appropriate day for a legal text, destined as it is to great celebrations.

The use of the old Mass must today be authorized by the bishop, who evaluates its convenience, [but] after the reform it will not be denied when at least thirty faithful demand it. The use of the old Missal had been forbidden by Paul VI at the time of the promulgation of the new [one], in 1969, but this [gesture] ha…

For the Record - Tosatti: "Ratzinger's Motu Proprio is ready,
despite the contrary opinion of the French Church"

Published today in La Stampa (Subscribers only)


It is the go-ahead of the Pope; the Latin Mass returns

A hard blow to the opposition to the Lefebvrians [arrives] with Easter


CITTÀ DEL VATICANO - Benedict XVI "frees" the Tridentine Mass, the so-called "Latin" Mass loved - though not exclusively - by the followers of monsignor Lefebvre and, for this [reason], opposed by the "Progressives" of the Church. The "motu proprio" of the Pope, which should be published between the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and Easter, is ready.

The text is fully armored [blindatissimo]; and, according to indiscretions by excellent sources, should overrule the current situation. Currently, the Bishops have the power, also thanks to an extenuating bureaucracy, to make the celebration of the old Mass extremely difficult. With the motu proprio, their role sho…

Castrillón speaks: in the Pope's hands

Interview of the President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" with Simone Ortolani -- published on the web by Nihil Obstat:

Eminence, indiscretions regarding the publication of a Motu Proprio which would liberalize the Latin Mass of Saint Pius V have spread widely for several months...

"The Holy Father has this situation under his eyes of universal Shepherd of the Church. Naturally, [the matter] being in his hands, we do not advance any particular note regarding it, out of holy respect. The personal interest of the Holy Father regarding the liturgy is, nonetheless, known to all, [as well as] his profound knowledge of the same, his veneration for tradition and, at the same time, his clear position to put into practice all that the Holy Spirit gave the Church in the Second Vatican Council. These are the parameters through which the historical difficulties regarding [this matter] are examined."

Cardinals Alfons Maria Stickler and Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, for…


As reported here on March 9 (and then on March 11), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released today a:


Introduction 1. After a preliminary examination of the books Jesucristo liberador. Lectura histórico-teológica de Jesús de Nazaret (Jesus the Liberator) and La fe en Jesucristo. Ensayo desde las víctimas (Christ the Liberator) by Father Jon Sobrino, SJ, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, because of certain imprecisions and errors found in them, decided to proceed to a more thorough study of these works in October 2001. Given the wide distribution of these writings and their use in seminaries and other centers of study, particularly in Latin America, it was decided to employ the "urgent examination" as regulated by article…

Entre santa y santo, pared de cal y canto

There are many good commentaries on Sacramentum Caritatis available on the web -- including in most blogs to which we link.

(1) One of our favorite texts is the commentary (first part) provided by Father L. Demets, FSSP (in French).

(2) If you wish to understand the "progressive" mind, this hilarious article (the author actually means it) published in the online Italian "Leftwing daily" Aprile states that the apostolic exhortation is "a true Counter-reformist manifesto, something similar to the encyclical 'Quanta Cura', of 1864"; "it is the end of the Second Vatican Council" (in Italian).

(3) What about the title of this post? It is an old Spanish proverb which came to mind in a second reading of Sacramentum Caritatis, 29.

Keep praying

Please, keep praying for little Anita Vazquez and her parents Claudio and Soledad Vazquez. Anita is doing worse, and the family asks that we pray even harder so that the parents find fortitude and consolation in this moment of great suffering.

Note (March 13): Anita Vazquez passed away on Sunday. Please, pray for her family. Rest in peace, little angel!

First impression

The only previous post in this weblog to discuss the content of the exhortation published today was this one, a translation of an article published by Panorama in December. It stated that the exhortation had been signed (wrong information), but it mentioned three important decisions, all of which are confirmed by the official text:

(1)The Panorama article stated that "the recourse to the ordination of married priests of proven virtue ('viri probati') to face the lack of vocations is excluded." Let us remember that this was the most widely discussed issue in the Synod, which resurfaced last year -- and the Pope was quite clear on it:

In continuity with the great ecclesial tradition, with the Second Vatican Council and with my predecessors in the papacy, I reaffirm the beauty and the importance of a priestly life lived in celibacy as a sign expressing total and exclusive devotion to Christ, to the Church and to the Kingdom of God, and I therefore confirm that it remains…

The Encyclicals of March 1937: Mit brennender Sorge - I

Pius XI reaped the fruits of the principled stance of his predecessors for the liberty of the Church in many different countries.

In 1924, difficult negotiations, as well as post-Great War circumstances, induced the French Republic to accept the need to adapt the disgraceful legislation on the Associations Cultuelles to the needs and structure of the Catholic Church (Maximam Gravissimamque -- see our past article on the issue), a position which was only possible due to the holy "intransigence" of Pope Saint Pius X in defense of the rights of the Church.

A few years later, the holy "intransigence" of Pope Blessed Pius IX and his successors on the "Roman Question" also yielded good fruits in the form of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 (which did not have any kind of ideological meaning for the Vatican -- as the encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno would make clear in 1931).

The wild political winds which agitated Germany since the end of the Great War forced the Holy See …

Archbishop: Sobrino punished by CDF

Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, the archbishop of San Salvador (El Salvador), where Spanish "Liberation theologian" Jon Sobrino, SJ, resides, confirmed today that the Vatican has sanctioned him. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has notified Sobrino of the prohibition from teaching in any Catholic center "while he does not revise his conclusions; the divinity of Jesus Christ is a fundamental part of our faith, that [He] truly is the Son of God made Man".

Saénz, also a Spaniard, confirmed the information in a press conference held after Sunday Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral, adding that "his writings have been studied for a long time [in the Vatican] and that warnings were issued years ago".

"What the Holy See states," said Sáenz, "is that the conclusions of the theological studies on Christ which Father Sobrino has published are not in agreement with the doctrine of the Church and that he will not be able to teach theology in any Cat…

For the Record

1. Father Laguérie on the nature and date of the document:

I do not know anything in particular on the famous "Motu Proprio", which should, for that matter, be [released] in the form of a decree. The two Cardinals who last spoke to me about it did not absolutely know its date, even though their personal conviction was that it would certainly see the light of day.

The best [thing] to say is that nobody knows anything [about this] and that the Pope decides by himself at the moment, which corresponds quite well to his way of doing [things]. 2. From an article by Brian Mershon released by The Remnant:

Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, Rome-based consultant to Una Voce America, confirmed that his Vatican sources have said the long awaited and much-rumored motu proprio easing restrictions on the Traditional Roman rite of Mass should be issued by Easter.

“I have information from a serious high level source that it is likely the motu proprio will be published before Easter,” Msgr. Barreiro said.