Rorate Caeli

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 have been a considerable advance even by itself.

We all know, however, that there is something essentially different about Summorum Pontificum: it is not a broader "indult"... As we wrote three days after its promulgation:

[Summorum Pontificum] is a legal revolution in the mutual cohabitation of what are now called the two forms of the Roman Rite: that is, the Missal of Paul VI may still be the "ordinary form", but it is not the standard compulsory form, from which some priests (due to particular deference or the charism of their order or society of apostolic life) are exempted due to special favor ("indult"). The age of the "indult" is over; the age of mere "episcopal generosity" is over: Summorum is a true liturgical Bill of Rights for all the priests of the Latin Church.

It is the end of indults, and exceptions, and personal permits: the Traditional Missal was "never abrogated" (editionem typicam...nunquam abrogatam - SP, Art 1). Indeed, the Holy Father went one step further; to the question which has always remained implicit ("Does any Ecclesiastical authority have the power to completely abrogate a sacred rite of immemorial origin?"), he gave a clear answer, though not a juridical one: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful" (Letter to Bishops regarding the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum).

We enter our third year, thus, filled with hope. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom! Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!" (Spe Salvi, 50)

We would once again like to thank our many visitors for their kindness towards this work, which we try to accomplish purely out of love for Holy Mother Church, with no wish for any material benefit whatsoever. We also thank all our friends in other blogs and online publications. To all, we earnestly wish:

May you all have a blessed Christmastide and a holy new Year of the Lord!