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Showing posts from December, 2007

80 years of Mortalium Animos - I
True unity of Christians: "the return to the one true Church of Christ"

Erat Ioseph et Maria mater Iesu, mirantes super his quæ dicebantur de illo. Et benedixit illis Simeon, et dixit ad Mariam matrem eius: "Ecce positus est hic in ruinam, et in resurrectionem multorum in Israël: et in signum cui contradicetur..." (From the Gospel for the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord, St.Luke ii, 33-34: "Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His Mother: 'Behold, this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel: and for a sign which shall be contradicted...'.")


On the feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, 1928, in the very center of the period between the two great conflicts of the 20th Century, the Successor of Peter clearly exposed the perennial doctrine of the only Church of Christ "on fostering true religious unity". Pope Pius concluded his brief and solid en…

Bertone: Instruction to correct "wrong positions" on the motu proprio

From an interview granted by Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State, to the largest Italian Catholic weekly, Famiglia Cristiana (excerpts: Apcom and A. Tornielli):

"It is predicted that an Instruction which clearly determines the criteria of application of the motu proprio will be made available... There have been confused reactions. Some have accused the Pope of having disowned the Conciliar teaching. On the other hand, there have been those who have interpreted the motu proprio as an authorization for the return of the pre-Conciliar rite only. Both [are] wrong positions, exaggerated episodes which do not correspond to the intentions of the Pope.."

Ecce sacerdos magnus

We know that at the tribunal of the last day, the great Judge will not pass over offences; and the wounded and suffering Church is daily crying out to Him, "Lord, I suffer violence, answer thou for me." In her cry do we join, and for her behalf. Though meanwhile we clasp this shadow of reconciliation which is held out to us, until the day shall dawn and the shadows shall flit away and disappear. We will hold fast to the favour of this man [the King]as much as is possible, consistently with the liberties and honour of the Church, and will make trial by experiment whether he can be brought back to tranquility. is our wish to remove every occasion of schism in these our days, and by your bounty to restore perpetual peace to the English Church. We say this to you before Him, who is the Judge of both of us, and to whom we must give account for all things. May He inspire you and show you what you ought to do. You have heard our anguish, but according to a proverb of our count…

An Instruction for a stable group of Exorcists in each diocese?

Maybe, according to the Italian religious news website Petrus:
...Benedict XVI ... would intend to providentially deal [with the problem of diabolic forces] with an instruction, which could be published in the first months of the next year, that would determine that Diocesan Bishops... all over the world confer the mandate to perform exorcisms on a stable number of their priests. There have not been official confimations by the Vatican, being just a rumor for the moment.

We know that his testimony is true

Dixit Iesus Petro: Sequere me. Conversus Petrus vidit illum discipulum, quem diligebat Iesus, sequentem, qui et recubuit in cena super pectus eius, ... Hic est discipulus ille, qui testimonium perhibet de his, et scripsit hæc: et scimus, quia verum est testimonium eius. (From the Gospel for the Mass of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, St. John xxi, 19-20,24: "Jesus said to Peter: 'Follow me'. Peter turning about, saw that disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on his breast at supper, ... This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.")

The school of faith is not a triumphal march but a journey marked daily by suffering and love, trials and faithfulness. Peter, who promised absolute fidelity, knew the bitterness and humiliation of denial: the arrogant man learns the costly lesson of humility. Peter, too, must learn that he is weak and in need of forgiveness.

Once his a…

Lux fulgebit hodie super nos

Sancta Maria, sperare nos tecum doce.

This Sunday marks the second anniversary of this blog, founded on the Fourth Sunday in Advent and named after its Introit - which contains the most familiar verse of Advent (Isaias xlv, 8).

What a difference a year makes! It is hard not to notice the tinge of pessimism in our first anniversary post:
"For Traditionalists ..., the year [of 2006] 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 ..."The motu proprio for the liberalization of the Traditional Mass and Sacraments, Summorum Pontificum, has certainly changed this equation. The persecution has not decreased in numerous places, but now the persecutors are seen as the true rebels against the authority of the Supreme Pontiff. And the number of new Traditional Masses has grown enormously around the world in the past few months: this consequence would ha…

Clarifying Note on Summorum Pontificum "a few days away"

Excerpt of the article written by Vaticanist Paolo Luigi Rodari for this Saturday's issue of Il Riformista:

Yesterday, in the speech which the Pontiff traditionally addresses to the Roman Curia, Benedict XVI did not mention the signing of Summorum Pontificum among the events which took place in the course of the last few months.

A few days before the publication of the expected clarifying note written by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei so that the Motu Proprio is applied without ifs and buts, it was probably not the moment to insist upon a topic which a part of the Church still has difficulties to digest as it must.

Aperiatur terra

Ego Dominus, et non est alter; formans lucem, et creans tenebras; faciens pacem, et creans malum: ego Dominus faciens omnia hæc. Rorate, cæli, desuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem: et iustitia oriatur simul: ego Dominus creavi eum.(From the fourth Lesson for Ember Saturday in Advent, Isaias xlv, 6-8: "I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a savior: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him.")

...Mary is in very truth full of the riches of a good life. Of this plenitude we can truly say: "The earth is the Lord's." By the earth is signified Mary, of whom we read in Isaias: "Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a savior!"

What more lowly than the earth? What more useful? We all tre…

Natus ad hoc

Hæc dicit Dominus Deus: Egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet. (From the Lesson for Ember Friday in Advent, Isaias xi,1: "Thus saith the Lord God: There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.")

[T]he Messianic idea assumed in Isaias a clearness and an abundance of expression which it is impossible to render to you, since I should weary you by the number and length of the passages I should have to cite.

It is he who sees the Messiah springing from the race of Jesse, the father of David, and who at the same time describes, as if from Calvary or the Vatican, the glory of the sufferings and triumphs of Jesus Christ. "Arise, arise, put on thy strength, O Sion; put on the garments of thy glory, O Jerusalem, the city of the Holy One: for henceforth the uncircumcised and unclean shall no more pass through thee"; "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidi…

A Faithful Bishop

The small diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro, which includes the Republic of San Marino and surrounding Italian areas in the Marche, has a Bishop who could not remain silent regarding the correct reception of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

15 December 2007

"Our Bishop Luigi sent to the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, the telegram we report below to serve as a sign of the gratitude of our Particular Church of San Marino-Montefeltro for the promulgation of the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum Cura", reconfirming, at the same time, fidelity to the Person and to the Magisterium of the Pope".

Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”

Telegram sent by our Bishop Luigi to the Holy Father Benedict XVI

Most Blessed Father,

The Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro, together with its Pastor, has received with gratitude and responsibility the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", recognizing in yhe directives proposed by Your Holiness a wider possibility for the education of the Ch…


Fratres: Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil soliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione, et obsecratione, cum gratiarum actione, petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. Et pax Dei, quæ exsuperat omnem sensum, custodiat corda vestra et intelligentias vestras, in Christo Iesu Domino nostro.(Epistle for the Third Sunday in Advent, Philippians iv, 4-7: Brethren, Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.)

"Blessed they that mourn," and "woe unto them that laugh" (Matt. v. 4; Luke vi. 25), says Christ. How then does Paul say, "Rejoice in the Lord always"? "Woe to them that laugh,&…

The environmentalist Bishop
who wants to starve himself to death for a river

What does this bizarre affair better exemplify? The lack of credibility of Church leaders who refuse to face up to the pro-death organizations, but want Catholics to take a stand in a matter of environmental policy which is perfectly debatable? The unstoppable powers of Episcopal Conferences and their out-of control bureaucrats?

The upper echelons of the Brazilian Catholic Church have decided to lend their support to Bishop Luiz Cappio, who is on hunger strike against the diversion of water from the Sao Francisco river, after the government confirmed it would go ahead with the project.

The authorities argue that the work is essential to provide water for millions of poor people in the semi-arid northeast, the country’s poorest region.

The decision by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) was announced after a meeting between high-ranking Church representatives and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who told them that the project would continue, and that it was the Church’…


New winds in Savona-Noli

News regarding the Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Savona-Noli, whose Diocesan Administrator prohibited the celebration of the Traditional Mass in the entire diocesan territory (Source: local news website):

Monsignor Lupi: A day in the Vatican to solemnly profess fidelity to the Church.

The Bishop-elect of Savona Noli swore, yesterday morning, an oath of fidelity to the Church before the Vatican Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", in the hands of the Eminent Cardinal Dario Hoyos Castrillon [sic]. The oath solemnly confirmed the recognition of the Primacy of the Supreme Pontiff, the commitment to proclaim the Word [of God], to exercise the government over the People of God entrusted to him, inviting the Bishop-elect to follow the path towards Holiness.

Pope repeals "secret vows" of the Legion of Christ

Excerpt of an article published yesterday by the Mexican daily La Jornada:

The derogation of the secret vows of the Legionaries.

The Pope has derogated the private vows of the Legionaries of Christ, precisely those which were used by the superiors of this religious congregation to protect themselves from possible complaints. The sources of news agencies indicate that these are "parallel measures" to the disciplinary penalty imposed on Marcial Maciel for sexual abuses in 2006.

Pope Benedict XVI had personally asked for the repeal of the private vows professed by the seminarians and priests of the Legionaries of Christ. These were oaths, related to the internal life of the order, which assured its secrecy and impermeability: the first [oath of "charity"] prevented any kind of criticism of superiors and their decisions by members, while the second [oath of "humility"] forbade the religious men from aspiring to positions within it.
Cardinal Stickler
Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Requiescat in pace.

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - VII

A wonderful report from the largest Diocese in Ireland:

On the 2nd December 2007 the Dublin Latin Mass Chaplaincy held its inaugural Sunday Mass in its new home, St Kevin's, Harrington St.

There had been a regular Sunday Mass in the more ancient form in Dublin ever since the Ecclesia Dei indult, but in response to Summorum Pontificum (Art. 10) the Archbishop decided to establish a dedicated Chaplaincy, to provide daily Mass and the other sacraments.

The new location, St Kevin's, is a splendid neo-Gothic building designed by Pugin and Ashlin. It is located not far from the city centre, just a ten-minute walk from St Stephen's Green. Thankfully this church was spared the worst destruction of recent decades, and has its altars, pulpit and most of its altar rails intact.

The first Sunday of Advent saw the church packed with a congregation of about 600. High Mass was celebrated by the Chaplain, Fr Deighan, and his two assistants, Frs Nevin and Richardson. All are diocesan priests.…

Note on Evangelization

The 19-page "Doctrinal Note on some Aspects of Evangelization" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will be made public next Friday, was signed last December 3, Feast of Saint Francis Xavier.

Some excerpts of the note were reported by Andrea Tornielli in today's edition of Il Giornale. Some excerpts (Petrus):

Mentioning the Council, the Note recalls that truth "cannot be imposed except by the force of truth itself", but explains that to honestly stimulate the intelligence and freedom of a person "towards an encounter with Christ" cannot be considered an undeserved interference: the incorporation of new members to the Church is not, in fact, the extension of a group of power, but the "admission to a web of friendhip" with Jesus.

Regarding ecumenism, the Note explains that the simple fact that a non-Catholic Christian decides to enter into the communion of the Church of Rome is not be considered negative "proselytism&…

Castrillón visits France

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos was in France on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for a special Pontifical Mass in Versailles, on the occasion of the Journée de Chrétienté, celebrating 25 years of the Chartres Pilgrimage. Report by Collectif pour la Paix Liturgique à Reims:

On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Cardinal Hoyos, president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, received representatives of a dozen associations of Faithful calling for the implementation of the Motu proprio in their respective dioceses.

It is with great joy that a member of the Collectif pour la Paix Liturgique à Reims was able to present the local situation to the Cardinal and in return hear the recommendations of His Eminence:

Prayer is always necessary but even more so in our time when progressivism has wreaked havoc in the heart of the Church. He cited the lack of piety and respect for things holy and the difficulty of attempting to make these things meet contemporary taste on account of bad habi…

The Virgin, preparing the final victory

From the homily of Cardinal Dias, legate of the Holy Father for the opening of the celebrations of the beginning of the Jubilee of the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions of Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes, delivered yesterday (December 8, 2007):

As pilgrims assembled in the love of Christ, we wish to remember with gratitude and affection the apparitions which took place here in Lourdes in 1858. Together, we try to feel the palpitations of the maternal heart of our dear celestial Mom, to recall her words, and to listen to the message which she presents to us still today. ...

The message of the Virgin today

It may be asked: what significance may the message of Our Lady of Lourdes have for us today? ...

After her apparitions at Lourdes, the Holy Virgin has not ceased to manifest her great maternal concerns for the fate of mankind in her several apparitions worldwide. She has everywhere asked for prayers and penance for the conversion of sinners, for she predicted the spiritual ruin of certa…

Mediator Dei - 60th Anniversary - IV

“The Liturgy, the Church in total relationship with Jesus Christ”
Fr Nicola Bux and Fr Salvatore Vitiello

Mediator Dei, as it is known, is the incipit of the Encyclical of the Servant of God Pope Pius XII: the most organic pronouncement of the Magisterium of the Church on the Liturgy which has ever been produced. The Constitution on the Liturgy of Vatican II itself is founded on the Encyclical's doctrinal principles, following and developing its structure. What is so surprising when one reads a document written sixty years ago is to realize its relevance still for today: it stems from pastoral intention and opens the path for ‘liturgical pastoral’, as demonstrated by the “instaurationes” or reforms which followed in the following decade, the most famous was the Order of Holy Week (1955), inaugurated in 1951 with the restoration of the Easter Vigil and its original character.

Pastoral concern is also documented in the method: it does not suddenly impose an arrangement which upsets the…

Ab æterno ordinata sum

Dominus possedit me in initio viarum suarum, antequam quidquam faceret a principio. Ab æterno ordinata sum, et ex antiquis, antequam terra fieret. (From the Lesson for the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Proverbs viii, 22-23: The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.)

The Morning Star is about to rise upon the night which overspreads the fallen world with its deep shadows. The East already warms, and the glorious Sun of Justice sends His rays before His coming. That beautiful Star precedes Him on His way. It is full of His light, and is the reflection of His purity.

Oh, Lucifer - no longer art thou the bringer of the light, but the prince and ruler of the darkness. And now thy kingdom is invaded by the dawning day, and Mary is the bringer of the light. The instant is come for that elected creature to appear, who, of a daughter of Eve, …

Congregation for the Clergy
on Perpetual Adoration
for the Sanctification of Priests and Holy Vocations

A great letter by Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, to all Bishops of the world.
Your Excellency,

there are really many things to be done for the true good of the Clergy and for the fecundity of the pastoral ministry in today’s circumstances, but precisely because of this - though with the firm determination to face such challenges without avoiding difficulties and efforts, with the awareness that action follows being and that the soul of every apostolate is divine intimacy - we intend to start from a spiritual movement that, leading to an increasing awareness of the ontological link between Eucharist and Priesthood, and of the special maternity of Mary towards all Priests, may give life to a “roped party” of perpetual adoration for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests. as well as for the prompting of a commitment on the part of consecrated feminine souls, so that - on the typology of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the High and Ete…

150th anniversary of the Apparition at Lourdes
Plenary Indulgence

Decree of the Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, His Eminence Cardinal Stafford, made public today:



On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the manifestation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Massabielle, near Lourdes, a plenary indulgence is awarded daily to the faithful who, from December 8, 2007, to December 8, 2008, visit piously and according to established conditions, visit the Grotto of Massabielle, and, from February 2-11 2008, to those who visit, in any temple, oratory, grotto, or decorous place, the blessed image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes solemnly exposed to public veneration.


So that growing fruits of renewed holiness derive from this pious memory, the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has determined to widely grant the gift of plenary indulgence, in the manner explained below:

All and every single faithful, truly repented, and duly purified through the sacrament of Confession, and restored with Holy Commu…

Poor Portugal

In his address to the Bishops of Portugal last month, Pope Benedict was severe in his criticisms of the many problems caused in that nation by a wrongheaded reading of the Council:

This ecclesiology of communion is a path opened by the Council to which the Portuguese Church has particularly felt called in the wake of the Great Jubilee. It is, my beloved Brothers, the sure route to follow, without losing sight of possible pitfalls, such as horizontalism at its source, democratic attribution of sacramental ministries, the balance between the Orders conferred and future service, the debate concerning which members of the community are first (a futile debate since the Lord Jesus has already decided it is the last). ...

The growing sea of non-practicing Christians in your Dioceses perhaps merits examining: "the effectiveness of current approaches to Christian initiation,..." Naturally, what is considered the worst episcopate in Western Europe - due to its intellectual indigence and…


Russian news agency Interfax reports from Moscow:
The Russian Orthodox Church would never recognize the current status of Catholic dioceses in Russia, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolenk and Kaliningrad stated.

‘We shall never recognize them and will always dispute the presence of ordinary Catholic dioceses in the territory of Russia and consider it a challenge to our common idea of sticking to a territorial principle of Church administration’, the hierarch said at a church and scientific conference in Moscow.

The Vatican decided to increase the status of its apostolic administrations in Russia up to the level of dioceses in 2002 thus causing a protest of the Russian Orthodox Church.

‘We consider it a mistake, which indeed damages the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue and puts off a possibility of achieving our common aims’, Metropolitan Kirill stated commenting on the 2002 events.

He said that arguments of the Moscow P…

Latin America, land of the Latin Mass
Mass in Mexico Cathedral

The news from Primate Archdiocese of Mexico is by now well-known around the world, but no less significant.

The News System of Archdiocese of México (Siame) reported last Thursday on Masses celebrated in the Mexican capital:
Visiting Mexico, Mons. Rudolf Michael Schmitz, ... Superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereing Priest in the United States, celebrated four Masses in Mexico City according to the liturgical canon of the Council of Trent, of the time of Saint Pius V. The first was in La Profesa, in the Historical City Center; two in the Guadalupe Township (in El Pocito and in a small chapel of the Basilica), and the last one in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church. _________
Tip: reader.

Thank you, Virgin of Coromoto!

Congratulations to the small majority of the Venezuelan people who rejected the Constitutional reform proposed in August which would have established an official Socialist State in that nation - a development which had been quite predictable. Despite all the pressure of an almost-omnipotent government and the severe limitations of free speech in the Chávez regime, Venezuelans listened, among others, to the wise words of their Bishops, who repeatedly warned the people of the dangers of such a change - and were insulted and humiliated for it.

Pope Benedict reminded Catholics of the dangers of the Marxist State and of the fundamental error of Marxist "hopes" in his latest encyclical letter:

...Marx had spoken of the interim phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessity which in time would automatically become redundant. This “intermediate phase” we know all too well, and we also know how it then developed, not ushering in a perfect world, but leaving behind a trail …