Rorate Caeli

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.


Msgr. Barreiro also said that the expected timing of the Traditional Latin Mass document’s promulgation is consistent with an opinion he heard from several other sources several months ago. He emphasized it would be important to carefully study Sacramentum Caritatis to determine if it holds any keys to understanding the expected motu proprio.


  1. I agree with Mr. Mershon's observation, at the end of the article, to the effect that Bishop Fellay's expression of a "will to collaborate" is perhaps the humblest and most deferential statement toward Rome we have heard from the SSPX in a long time.

  2. Before Easter ... of what year ? 2200 ?

    We heard reliable sources about a before
    - the end of October ... 2005
    - then for Easter ... 2006
    - then "imminent" in September 2006
    - then "soon to be released" in October 2006
    - then before Christmas 2006
    - then "imminent" in January 2007

    Now how many in here are still playing at that game ?
    Personally I gave up any hope when the pope appointed cardinal Hummes and obviously surrendered (again) in front of the pitiful French mitred turmoil.

    I recall this story from the Gospel when a young man, named Jesus, is throwing the merchants out of the Temple with a whip. Is the Vicar of Christ paralyzed today by a handful of mitred merchants ?
    Like Shakespeare so eloquently taught us, to be or not to be, that is the question, ultimately.

  3. Ah, such pessimism and biliousness - surely this is the answer to the Church's troubles!

    Obviously there have been numerous delays in the release of the motu proprio, a document which everyone here greatly anticipates. Holy Mother Church has been around for 2,000 years and change has always come slowly - especially (alas) with changes back in the direction of orthodoxy. Comparing members of the hierarchy to the merchants in the temple is simply too much of a stretch. If you are making a commentary on the necessity for righteous anger, perhaps I can see a slight point to your comment.

    Even so, God has chosen only one man, out of the millions of Catholics on Earth, to act as the supreme head of His Universal Church. We must all have trust in the Divine Plan and merely pray for a speedy release of the much-needed motu proprio!

  4. Anonymous4:41 PM

    justin, actually your posting is not enterirely true, because the Novus Ordo rite was swiftly imposed.

  5. Anonymous - you make a valid point. As I posted my comment, I thought about qualifying my sentiments with a brief commentary on the institution of the Novus Ordo, which was undeniably one of the quickest changes Holy Mother Church has seen these many centuries. We desperately need the motu proprio to counteract those swift changes which I believe were implemented so swiftly because of the state of society at the time. The modernist world was very eager to take any laxity and use it to spread massive and devastating changes as soon as possible. All the more reason that the reception of the motu proprio will be slow for a time. Let us pray that reversion to orthodoxy comes swifter than the modernists would like, but at the time when God chooses it to occur - His will, not ours.

  6. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Justin, you write wisely, and well.

  7. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Justin, I understand your sentiments of restraint. I've arrived at the conclusion, however, (perhaps after extensively reading Conrad Baars) that the emotion of anger are not only appropriate but necessary given the "Rome fiddles while the Faith burns" situation in the Church. In the face of this awful universal situation, "quietism" is increasingly repugnant.

    Thank you for listening.

  8. I'm of the opinion that the delay and resulting intense "buzz" about this document are entirely purposeful. The motu proprio Ecclesia Dei was quickly buried in the controversy surrounding the illicit consecrations. But given its intense build-up, this motu proprio will not be easily ignored.

  9. Perhaps the Holy Father has been smoking "them" out. Perhaps he has been wise to count the neutrals, the ayes and the nays. Perhaps in installing his own men in various offices...perhaps.

    The presumption is that the Holy Father knows what he is doing: it is rebuttable, but the burden is pretty darn high IMHO.

  10. Simon-Peter, I think you are correct. The Holy Father is playing a careful game of chess here. It is not for us to kibbitz over his shoulder.

    This Check Mate must be seen as inevitable before it comes.

  11. Anonymous8:13 PM

    Anonymous 16:41,

    Your comment on the "rapid" imposition of the "Novus Ordo" suggests to me that you never lived through the period from 1962 to 1980, which I did.

    From the pews where I sat, the changes were slow but continuous and, for the most part, the change to the 1969 Missal was not the great change.

    Changes in the canon already happened by 1962, English appeared for the readings and collects over a three year period from 1964 to 1967. English for everything in the 1968-1968-69 period. Altar facing the people, along the way, usually about 1967. There were from the pews far greater than the missal change in 1970-71: nine years after change started.

    Communion in the hand and moving the tabernacle didn't happen till the late 1970s. Common under both species happened in the 1980s. Flocks of EMs and altar girls were even later. Systematic relegation of the tabernacle to a closet came along in the 1975-1990s period, depending on where you live. In short, the decried "Novus Ordo" (which I would critique too) too over 30 years to reach its current state.

    I expect that fixing the issues that bother most of us are going to take at least that long, Motu proprio or no Motu proprio. And they the work will alienate just as many or more than were alienated by the imposition of the new liturgical regime. And I say that with regret.

    Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

  12. The Pew Sitter makes an outstanding point. The changes described, or, more likely, approved only after the horses had bolted, were discussed in the three post-Conciliar instructions on the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium: Inter Oecumenici, Liturgicae Instaurationes and Tres Abhinc Annos. These are truly schizophrenic documents, if that isn't too insensitive a way of putting it. They decry abuses and then permit them in almost equal measure. This was the last desparate gasp of the old Roman legislative voice. The superstructure of the liturgy was stripped and prepared for demolition between 1964-1969, that calamity took place in 1970. The faithful had been dazed by that time.

  13. Anonymous9:16 PM


  14. The superstructure of the liturgy was stripped and prepared for demolition between 1964-1969, that calamity took place in 1970. The faithful had been dazed by that time.

    True enough as far as it goes. The groundplan for the NO was fully laid out by the early to mid-fifties though; the opportunity to implement it was the last piece in the jigsaw. On this conspectus it took the activists the best part of a generation to get from the drawing board (Lugano, Maria Laach)to the altar. They don't see the thing as having been "rushed" at all, but carefully, meticulously planned and implemented over a quarter-century.

    For my part, I'm increasingly exasperated by airy reassurances that "the Church thinks in centuries" and that it'll do me no harm to eat my spinach in the mean time. I have a soul to save and little children to attach to their patrimony. They're growing up awful quick.

  15. Michael Davies makes essentially all the same points in his work "Pope Paul's New Mass" where he analyzes the various liturgical documents from Inter Oecumenici to Tres Abhinc Annos, and demonstrates the systematic changes so that when the Novus Ordo finally came out, various priests just chalked up the differences to translation difficulties. The most dramatic changes occurred immediately after the council, one at a time, so that people could have some time to adjust. Others saw what was going on, like Archbishop Lafebvre who went back to the 1962 rubrics after a few celebrations of the 65 changes.

    As far as the date I still recall exactly 7 years ago that it was said by some Vatican prelates that the SSPX would be reconciled and back in the Church with a personal prelature by Easter. Well it is 7 years later however, and though I have a prayer on my blog for the liberation of Tradition, I don't expect it will happen. I pray that I am wrong but I am already expecting that Easter will come and go with no universal indult.

  16. Dear Alsaticus, welcome back!

    As always, I am extremely skeptical of any specific date or date range...

  17. Anonymous1:13 AM

    Of course I have no idea when the Motu Proprio will be issued, but for what it's worth (which is not much, if anything) all the reports and rumors we keep hearing lead me to be confident that it will be issued, and probably before this year is more than halfway done. The post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation will be released Tuesday, and I would expect at least a few weeks more before the Motu Proprio is issued.

    But we'll see.

  18. Anonymous1:34 AM

    poeta said...
    I agree with Mr. Mershon's observation, at the end of the article, to the effect that Bishop Fellay's expression of a "will to collaborate" is perhaps the humblest and most deferential statement toward Rome we have heard from the SSPX in a long time.


    Poeta, I think this is encouraging, however, we must also place it in the context of Bishop Fellay's recent letter. The SSPX certainly has no "will to collaborate" with the so-called "Conciliar Church" that has lost the truth and its sacred Tradition. I think we can only understand this "will to collaborate" in the sense of a hopeful wish that "Rome" will soon "convert" to Tradition.


  19. "And they the work will alienate just as many or more than were alienated by the imposition of the new liturgical regime. And I say that with regret."

    Too bad.

    Apocalypse 13: "He that shall lead into captivity, shall go into captivity."

    Rehabilitation of the TLM is less an imposition of a "new liturgical regime" than a restoration of the birthright of all Roman Catholics.

    If people are threatened by an organic liturgy that developed over the course of centuries, they should move on.

  20. Anonymous3:15 PM

    My friends, MP or no MP, it's going to get worse, much worse, before it gets better. I nearly gagged during Mass yesterday, as the Gospel was performed in the style of a theatrical reading by the deacon and several of the laity. Later the priest slipped a bit of crypto-heresy into the Mass via subtle and strategic uses of "we" and "our" during the Eucharistic Prayer (thus blurring the distinction between priest and people). As usual, I left Mass in a state of utter agitation. Then this morning I came across the following passage by St. Therese:

    'To think ourselves imperfect, and others perfect -- that is happiness. That creatures recognize we are without virtue takes nothing from us, makes us no poorer; it is they who by this lose interior joy; for there is nothing sweeter than to think well of our neighbor.'

    I don't know, I really don't know. Is Therese right? Am I supposed to think well of people who play games with the Mass? Perhaps what Therese means is that we must always think of ourselves as WORSE. I can do that, no problem. Wonder what others think of this.

  21. I think you're right. Cardinal Merry del Val's "Litany of Humility" contains similar ideas.
    Obviously, you're not supposed to think well of tampering with the liturgy in itself, because that is objectively sinful.

    However, it's perfectly possible for an orthodox person to witness a priest doing so and be appalled, and yet still be in a worse spiritual state than that priest. Recognizing someone else's outward sin, doesn't make us holy.

    Rather, the idea is that we must refrain from conclusions about the personal culpability of other people, and cultivate a healthy awareness of the gravity of our own sins. Obviously, this ought not to prevent us from publicly opposing those who commit sinful acts, irrespective of the state of their consciences.

  22. Anonymous5:13 PM


    If the offense was merely against you, bring on the humility. But if the offense involves an offense against God and His Church, outrage is an appropriate reaction and response.

  23. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Cerimoniere and Anonymous, both of your comments are helpful, thank you. I think that if little Therese cculd see the lack of reverence with which Jesus is treated these days, she would have some sharp and reproving things to say, all the while acknowledging that she is the worst of sinners.

  24. brideshead: Any chance you were at the the parish mentioned on Domus Dei (link below)? The post talks about "The “musical chairs” Gospel reading".

  25. Anonymous4:33 AM

    Fortunately, no, I was not at the infamous St. Brendan's. Sounds like things are even worse there. Yet it is all a difference in degree, not in kind. Pray, pray, pray for the Pope, that he musters the courage to command that things change.


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