Rorate Caeli

Traditional Diaconal ordination at the Lateran

The Basilica of the Most Holy Savior in Rome (Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in the Lateran), Mother and head of all the Churches in the City and in the World, will host a Traditional ceremony of Holy Orders (Diaconal Ordination) on February 23. Four seminarians of the Institute of the Good Shepherd (IBP) will be ordained to the Diaconate by Archbishop Luigi de Magistris during the ceremony, authorized by the Archpriest of the Basilica, Cardinal Ruini, Cardinal Vicar of Rome.

Source: Abbé Laguérie, Superior General of the IBP. The entire text by Father Laguérie has been translated by our dear reader Mornac:


It is true that I do not take enough time to relate all of the news about our young institute and since you have reminded me so aptly and kindly, I beg your pardon and I thank you….It isn’t that nothing, or at least not enough, ever happens that makes us shy about giving a report, but rather that so many things happen that we simply don’t have enough time. So, where to begin?

First of all, I invite you to the ordinations on Saturday, February 16 in the parish church of Courtalain (9:30am) which his Excellency, Mgr. Pansard has so kindly put at our disposal for the occasion. Already this valiant Bishop (of Chartres) lends us the church every Sunday and Holy Day by an agreement signed between him and the director of the seminary, our renowned Fr. Christophe Héry. Many thanks to the bishop of Chartres for his understanding and kindness.

On that day, it will be his Excellency, Mgr. Madec, Archbishop Emeritus of Toulon, who will confer the tonsure, the minor orders and 6 sub-diaconates to 23 of our seminarians. What a joy in perspective. Congratulations to all of my colleagues in the seminary who carry out this enormous work and demonstrate the grace that God has bestowed upon our Institute which, I should remind you, is only a year and a half old! Thanks to Frs. Héry, Forestier, Krolikowsky, and Vella. Thanks to all the teachers who work tirelessly, first and foremost our brilliant young doctor of Sorbonne, the abbot of Tanoüarn, in charge of theologians.

But that is not all, dear madam. Eight days later, on February 23, 4 of our seminarians will receive the diaconate at the hands of his Excellency, Mgr. de Magistris, and will in turn be incardinated in the Good Shepherd Institute. Where will this take place? In Rome thank you. Which church? Would you believe it? In the Cathedral of the Pope, Mother and Mistress of all churches, the first and most venerable of all Christendom: St. John Lateran! Thanks to our brave Fr. Fournié, our representative in the Eternal City; thanks to Cardinal Ruini, the Pope's vicar, for granting the permission. Thanks to all those involved in this highly symbolic gesture and the height of benevolence of the Roman Pontiff for our modest Institute…

In France, things are progressing regardless of what people say. We’ve been granted two churches by their respective ordinaries: Courtalain church in the diocese of Chartres and Rolleboise church in that of Versailles. Thanks again to the two bishops who have given us their confidence: Mgr. Pansard, bishop of Chartres and Mgr. Aûmonier, bishop of Versailles. It is our priests of the seminary who serve Courtalain and Fr. Aulagnier who takes care of Rolleboise. These two achievements greatly demonstrate, after the success of Saint Eloi, that cooperation is possible, desirable and fruitful. What a decisive pledge for the peace of the Church in France!

Fr. Roch Perrel is on the verge of embarking for Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he will assume the direction of our seminary in South America. It is easy to understand that our dear Fr. Navas, superior of the district of South America can no longer manage our four houses there while providing long distance direction of this promising seminary.

We need new sources of energy and residents. And what better energy than that of Fr. Roch Perrel, whose laugh alone suffices to show the apostolic zeal that he is likely to deploy. A mixture of prudence, fairness and seriousness, joy and continuous communication: it is not lightheartedness that we see from a distance. But the stakes are also considerable: tens if not hundreds of vocations are there which, lacking Tradition and its doctrinal and liturgical treasures, are often given over to ever-tenacious ideological whims. It is up to the Good Shepherd Institute to gather these scattered sheep and never has a priest worn the colors of the institute so well as this outstanding colleague…… A gift will is being prepared for him and you are invited to send your donations to Mr. Father Julien. (1 rue Saint Eloi, 33000 Bordeaux).

The aforementioned Fr. Julien has been appointed, on my presentation, as official vicar of St Eloi by his Eminence Cardinal Ricard replacing the abbot Héry. Our thanks to the Cardinal, who also gives faculties to confess to 5 priests ordained in Bordeaux this past September 22 and who retains our prestigious Fr. Héry at the helm of our seminary.

We still have other very positive contacts with some Bishops of France, with an occasional act of goodwill. But you can understand, dear madam, that it would be very unpleasant to those prelates (with whom I can sympathize) to find here the public display of private negotiations… This will be for another day.

Be aware, however, that the Good Shepherd has 19 incardinated priests, another dozen associate priests, 35 seminarians (they arrive every week, especially at this time) of which, if it pleases God, at least 4 will become priests this year.

Peter speaks

Excerpts of Pope Benedict's impressive address this morning to the Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

..the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published in the past year two important Documents, which offered some doctrinal details on essential aspects of the doctrine on the Church and on Evangelization. They are necessary details for the correct development of the ecumenical dialogue and of the dialogue with the religions and cultures of the world.

The first Document carries the title "Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church" and also reproposes, in the formulations and in the language, the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, in full continuity with the doctrine of Catholic Tradition. It is thus confirmed that the one and only Church of Christ has its subsistence, its permanence and its stability in the Catholic Church and that, therefore, the unity, indivisibility, and indestructibility of the Church of Christ are not invalidated by the separations and divisions of Christians.

Besides these fundamental doctrinal specifications, the Document reproposed the correct linguistic use of certain ecclesiological expressions, which risk being misunderstood, and calls to attention to that end the difference which still remains, among the diverse Christian Confessions, in the understanding of being Church, in a properly theological sense.


The affirmation of the Second Vatican Council that the true Church of Christ "subsists in the Catholic Church" (Dogm. Const. Lumen gentium, 8) does not refer solely to the relations with Christian Churches and ecclesial communities, but it extends also to the definition of the relations with the religions and cultures of the world. The same Second Vatican Council, in the Declaration Dignitatis humanae on religious liberty, affirms that "this one true religion subsists in the Catholic Church [sic], to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men".

Rumor on reform of Prayer for the Jews:
still a rumor

The rumor regarding a possible alteration of the Prayer for the Jewish people in the Great Intercessions of the Good Friday liturgy according to the Missale Romanum of John XXIII has up to now only one journalistic source: the piece by Andrea Tornielli in Il Giornale.

In his latest article in Chiesa, Sandro Magister comments on several moves by Pope Benedict and includes the following:

Moreover, there will soon be published a new formulation of the prayer for the Jews contained in the rite for Good Friday in the 1962 "Tridentine" missal liberalized by the motu proprio. The references to the condition of "darkness" and "blindness" of the Jewish people will disappear, while the prayer for their conversion will remain. "Because in the liturgy we are always praying for conversion, of ourselves in the first place and then of all Christians and non-Christians," explained archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, in an interview with "Avvenire."
It is a strange paragraph. First, because there does not seem to be any other source for the comment than Tornielli's report and the Vatican source, presumably in the Congregation for Divine Worship, who leaked the information to him. Second, because the words of the interview of the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Angelo Amato, would seem to corroborate the rumor, but they do not, for they were extracted, by way of Tornielli's article of January 2008, from an interview granted by Amato to the semi-official daily of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Avvenire, on July 11, 2007, shortly after the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

This is the entire quote:

Your Excellency, there are those who accuse the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of being anti-Conciliar because it offers full citizenship to a Missal in which the conversion of the Jews is prayed for. Is it truly contrary to the letter and to the spirit of the Council to formulate this prayer?

[Amato:] "Certainly not. At Mass, we Catholics are always praying, and first of all, for our own conversion. And we strike our breast for our sins. And then we pray for the conversion of all Christians and of all non-Christians. The Gospel is for all." [Transcript in Italian]

The rumor on the alteration of the prayer may well turn out to be true, perhaps sooner rather than later, but nothing has been officially published up to now, just one week before Lent begins. In any event, Amato's words in July 2007 cannot be used to corroborate the rumor, since their meaning is actually contrary to any prospect of alteration.

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - IX
Diocese of Baker, in the United States

Jesse Daggett reports from the Diocese of Baker, in central Oregon:

For the first time in 39 years, St. Francis of Assisi Church in Central Oregon was graced by the traditional Latin Mass. Shortly after Saturday's Mass we received this note, "The beautiful singing voices along with the incense, gold paten, cassocks and surplices... it was very sacred and heavenly." With 48 hours notice, more than 50 faithful attended with calls and e-mails coming in daily from others lamenting the fact they could not attend.

"When is the next Mass?" is the common question. We were all pleasantly surprised, that in an area known for its aversion to tradition, there is a continued growth in interest for the Mass of Blessed Pope John XXIII. I ask your readers to say a prayer for us here in Central Oregon.

Thank you for the report, Mr. Daggett. Let us all pray for those Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass in central Oregon.

Please, keep sending us your reports.

The Summorum Effect

Mrs. Monika Rheinschmitt, president of Una Voce Germany ("Pro Missa Tridentina") reports for on the explosion of regularly scheduled diocesan Traditional Masses in Germany, Austria, and German Switzerland:

The expansion in the availability of diocesan Traditional Masses in these German-speaking regions is quite impressive: a consistent improvement in the number of regular diocesan Traditional Masses in the Ecclesia Dei period elevated the number from under 20 to under 80 masses in the 1993-2007 period (first column) -- though only the 1993-1995 period was one of very large proportional growth (over 100%).

The post-Summorum Pontificum period included a growth of over 50% in the number of regularly celebrated Masses in the second semester of 2007 (second column), from less than 80 masses before the motu proprio of July 7, 2007 to over 120 after its publication.

Catholics and Politics

[I]t is in general fitting and salutary that Catholics should extend their efforts beyond this restricted sphere, and give their attention to national politics. We say "in general" because these Our precepts are addressed to all nations. However, it may in some places be true that, for most urgent and just reasons, it is by no means expedient for Catholics to engage in public affairs or to take an active part in politics.

Nevertheless, as We have laid down, to take no share in public matters would be as wrong as to have no concern for, or to bestow no labor upon, the common good, and the more so because Catholics are admonished, by the very doctrines which they profess, to be upright and faithful in the discharge of duty, while, if they hold aloof, men whose principles offer but small guarantee for the welfare of the State will the more readily seize the reins of government. This would tend also to the injury of the Christian religion, forasmuch as those would come into power who are badly disposed toward the Church, and those who are willing to befriend her would be deprived of all influence.

It follows clearly, therefore, that Catholics have just reasons for taking part in the conduct of public affairs. For in so doing they assume not nor should they assume the responsibility of approving what is blameworthy in the actual methods of government, but seek to turn these very methods, so far as is possible, to the genuine and true public good, and to use their best endeavors at the same time to infuse, as it were, into all the veins of the State the healthy sap and blood of Christian wisdom and virtue.
Immortale Dei

Recess for a few days
Relevant news may be posted at any moment

20 years on: Reliving the Events of 1988
Part I

The agitation in the Vatican halls had begun in early July, 1987, as reports arrived of the clear words of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in his sermon in the Mass of priestly ordinations celebrated in Ecône on July 29, 1987. The first reference was to the Assisi meeting of religious leaders a few months earlier - a event which to this day still mesmerizes Traditional Catholics. Lefebvre declared:

Never has history seen the Pope turning himself into some kind of guardian of the pantheon of all religions, as I have brought it to mind, making himself the pontiff of liberalism.

Let anyone tell me whether such a situation has ever existed in the Church. What should we do in the face of such a reality? Weep, without a doubt. Oh, we mourn and our heart is broken and sorrowful. We would give our life, our blood, for the situation to change. But the situation is such, the work which the Good Lord has put into our hands is such, that in face of this darkness of Rome, this stubbornness of the Roman authorities in their error, this refusal to return to the Truth and to Tradition, it seems to me that the Good Lord is asking that the Church continue. This is why it is likely that I should, before rendering an account of my life to the Good Lord, perform some episcopal consecrations.

Secret negotiations ensued. The October 18, 1987 edition of the New York Times included the great piece of Vatican news of the previous day:

The Vatican announced plans today to restore legal standing to a rebel French Archbishop and his outlawed following of traditionalist priests, in a move to mend fences with one of its most vociferous critics. The French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejects the changes of the Second Vatican Council and who has accused Pope John Paul II of ''blasphemy,'' spent an hour this morning with the Pope's primary exponent of orthodoxy, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Afterwards the Vatican issued a statement saying John Paul would appoint a personal representative to investigate the Archbishop's priestly order and establish new regulations for it.
A senior Vatican official said: ''I do not think that anyone is going to ask the Archbishop to sign a piece of paper saying he accepts all the documents of the Vatican Council, but if things proceed, it is because he is not out there saying what he has been saying until now.''
Before full acceptance and a new legal status can be granted to the Archbishop's priests, the Vatican must determine whether they fully understand and accept church teachings as defined in Rome, the official said. This in turn may depend on the Archbishop's willingness to call on his flock to obey the Vatican, an institution he has described as dominated by a ''liberal-Masonic mafia.''

The personal representative chosen by Pope John Paul was Cardinal Édouard Gagnon. This Apostolic Visitation to the houses of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X ( FSSPX/SSPX ) started on November 11, 1987, and lasted a whole month. The SSPX reported at the time:

The visit started on November 11, at Ecône, and lasted for a whole month. Then Msgr. Perl went to our school in Eguelshardt, our priory in Saarbrucken, the Carmel in Quiévrain. On Saturday, November 21, he came to St. Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris, and the Cardinal arrived the next day, though intentionally after the Mass; then together they visited the French Youth Group, (MJCF), our University (Institut Universitaire Saint Pie X), and met a large group of traditional priests of the region in Paris. On November 24, they arrived at our school in St. Michel of Niherne, then the Mother House of our Sisters at St. Michel en Brenne, and the nearby Carmel at Ruffec, the Fraternity of the Transfiguration of Fr. Lecareux. At Poitiers, he took part in a meeting with many traditional priests of the area, including Fr. Reynaud (the first chaplain of the MJCF), Fr. André (of the Association Noël Pinot), Fr. Coache, the Dominican foundation of Avrillé, the Benedictine foundation of nuns at Le Rafflay, the Little Sisters of St. Francis, etc. After this, they visited our retreat house at Le Pointet, our priory and school at Unieux, the Benedictine Monastery of Le Barroux, the Dominican school at St. Pré (Brignoles), and the other Dominican novitiate and school at Fanjeaux, our school at St. Joseph des Carmes, our church at Marseilles, our priory at Lyons and our main European publishing house (Fideliter). Then another priestly meeting at Dijon, the Dominican school of Pouilly, the seminary of the Holy Curé of Ars, and returned to Ecône for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1987, as the visit drew to a close, Cardinal Gagnon could relate his positive impressions to the then-Superior General, Father Schmidberger:

...I want to say that we have been struck everywhere by and keep a great admiration for the piety of the persons, for the relevance and importance of the works, especially with regards to catechesis, education, and the administration of the sacraments. We certainly have in hand all that is necessary to make a very positive report.

Father Schmidberger addressed the entire Society with a letter filled with hope signed on that day:

According to his [Cardinal Gagnon's] own words, he has gathered an excellent impression of the seminaries, schools, priories, and friendly religious communities, as well as of the faithful who gather themselves around all these houses. We must now, in the weeks and months to come, accompany his efforts with our fervent prayers.

Rome did not respond officially for months. Exactly 20 years ago, in January 1988, Pope John Paul received Gagnon's report. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, one of the priests who would be consecrated in June, recalls the rapid succession of events in his biography of Marcel Lefebvre:

By January 5, 1988, his Eminence's report was on the desk of the Pope, who read it immediately. (...) [Lefebvre] had already indicated to Cardinal Gagnon his three "demands": to guarantee independence from the diocesan bishops, the Society should have the Superior General as its Ordinary; there should be a Roman commission chaired by a Cardinal but all its members, including the Archbishop-Secretary General, must be nominated by the Superior General; finally, there should be three bishops including the Superior General himself [Proposal for regularization, annex to a letter to Cardinal Gagnon, dated Nov. 21, 1987.]

After one month of official Roman silence, on February 2, 1988, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre would once again raise the issue which had caused the Vatican to act in the previous year. In an interview to the French paper Le Figaro (published on February 4, 1988), Lefebvre would state that, if things remained the same, he would be forced to consecrate Bishops to ensure apostolic succession to the Priestly Fraternity.

In the interview, Lefebvre established a date (the following June 30) and a number of priests who would be made bishops (three).

To be continued.

Liberalization of the Latin Mass:
A valuable aspect of the current papacy, says Moscow Patriarch

Excerpt of the actual interview granted by the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexis II, to Giovanni Cubeddu and Fabio Petito for the current edition of the Italian monthly 30 Giorni (30 Days):

What has the recent text of Pope Benedict on Latin in the liturgy meant to you? Does you Church also find itself today facing delicate liturgical questions? Besides, have you read the recent letter of the Pope to the Chinese Catholics? For the eightieth birthday of the Pope, you wrote, among other things, that "that which renders your position convincing is that you, as a theologian, is not merely a scholar of theoretical thought, but above all a sincere and deeply devout Christian who speaks from the bountifulness of your heart (cf. Mt 12, 34)". In what [aspect] do you find yourself today in greater agreement with pope Benedict?

Alexis II: "I believe that the question of the liturgical language and the relations among the various components of the Roman Catholic Church are internal matters. As for us, who are a Church for which the concept of Tradition has great meaning, the tension to find efficacious forms of harmonization between the centuries-old experience and the objective present-day reality and demands is nevertheless quite understandable and familiar. I see in this one of the most valuable aspects of the work of the current Pope of Rome, Benedict XVI."

Prodi government falls

Italian coalition governments can be quite tricky... even for a Dossettian "grown-up Catholic" (cattolico adulto) such as Romano Prodi. The fact that he could not control the anticlerical radicals within his coalition in the last few months certainly did not help him in the pacification of the restless slim majority he had in the upper house of the Italian Parliament thanks to small Catholic-oriented parties.

(No, this has not become a political blog: we posted this mostly for the very Italian picture.)

You are a vessel of election, o holy apostle Paul

Tu es vas electionis, sancte Paule Apostole: vere digne es glorificandus. (from the Tract for the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul: "You are a vessel of election, O holy apostle Paul: you are truly worthy to be glorified.")

Et [Dominus] dixit mihi: Sufficit tibi gratia mea: nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi. (From the Epistle for the Sunday in Sexagesima, II Corinthians, xii, 9: "And He said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.")

Sexagesima Sunday, which this year falls only two days after the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, is an ode to the Apostle of the Gentiles, whose intercession is asked in the very Collect of the Day. The readings of the Sunday include some of the most beautiful words written by Saint Paul (II Corinthians, xi, 19-33; xii,1-9) - wonderfully explained by Saint John Chrysostom:


He endured shipwreck that he might stay the shipwreck of the world; "a day and a night he passed in the deep," that he might draw it up from the deep of error; he was "in weariness" that he might refresh the weary; he endured smiting that he might heal those that had been smitten of the devil; he passed his time in prisons that he might lead forth to the light those that were sitting in prison and in darkness; he was "in deaths oft" that he might deliver from grievous deaths; "five times he received forty stripes save one" that he might free those that inflicted them from the scourge of the devil; he was "beaten with rods" that he might bring them under "the rod and the staff" of Christ; he "was stoned," that he might deliver them from the senseless stones; he "was in the wilderness, that he might take them out of the wilderness; "in journeying," to stay their wanderings and open the way that leadeth to heaven; he "was in perils in the cities," that he might show the city which is above; "in hunger and thirst," to deliver from a more grievous hunger; "in nakedness," to clothe their unseemliness with the robe of Christ; set upon by the mob, to extricate them from the besetment of fiends; he burned, that he might quench the burning darts of the devil: "through a window was let down from the wall," to send up from below those that lay prostrate upon the ground.

Shall we then talk any more, seeing we do not so much as know what Paul suffered? Shall we make mention any more of goods, or even of wife, or city, or freedom, when we have seen him ten thousand times despising even life itself? The martyr dies once for all: but that blessed saint in his one body and one soul endured so many perils as were enough to disturb even a soul of adamant; and what things all the saints together have suffered in so many bodies, those all he himself endured in one: he entered into the world as if a race-course, and stripped himself of all, and so made a noble stand. For he knew the fiends that were wrestling with him. Wherefore also he shone forth brightly at once from the beginning, from the very starting-post, and even to the end he continued the same; yea, rather he even increased the intensity of his pursuit as he drew nearer to the prize.

And what surely is wonderful is that though suffering and doing such great things, he knew how to maintain an exceeding modesty. For when he was driven upon the necessity of relating his own good deeds, he ran quickly over them all; although he might have filled books without number, had he wished to unfold in detail every thing he mentioned; if he had specified the Churches he was in care for, if his prisons and his achievements in them, if of the other things one by one, the besetments, the assaults. But he would not. Knowing then these things, let us also learn to be modest and not to glory at any time in wealth or other worldly things, but in the reproaches we suffer for Christ's sake, and in these, only when need compels; for if there be nothing urging it, let us not mention these even, lest we be puffed up, but our sins only. For so shall we both easily be released from them and shall have God propitious to us, and shall attain the life to come; where unto may we all attain through the grace and love towards men of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and for ever, and world without end. Amen.

Saint John Crysostom
Homilies on the Second Epistle of
Saint Paul to the Corinthians,
Homily XXV

Conversi ad Dominum

Speaking on the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity during his General Audience this Wednesday, Pope Benedict made a liturgical observation:
In the liturgy of the ancient Church, after the homily, the Bishop or the presider of the celebration, the main celebrant, said, "Conversi ad Dominum". Then he and all [others] stood up and turned towards the East. All wished to face towards Christ. Only if converted, only if in this conversion towards Christ, in this common facing of Christ, we may find the gift of unity.
Monsignor Klaus Gamber explained in detail how that ancient liturgical setting worked in his study "Conversi ad Dominum: The Turning Towards the East by the Priest and Faithful During the Celebration of the Mass During the 4th and 5th Centuries", and also in his classical work on the Reform of the Roman Rite:
What in the early Church and during the Middle Ages determined the position of the altar was that it faced East. To quote St. Augustine: "When we rise to pray, we turn East, where heaven begins. And we do this not because God is there, as if He had moved away from the other directions on earth..., but rather to help us remember to turn our mind towards a higher order, that is, to God." This quotation shows that the Christians of those early days, after listening to the homily, would rise for the prayer which followed, and turn towards the East. St. Augustine always refers to this turning to the East in prayer at the end of his homilies, using a set formula, Conversi ad Dominum ("turn to face the Lord")
As we have already observed, in this type of setting, the liturgy was celebrated from behind the altar in order to face East when offering the Sacrifice. But this did not represent, as might be implied, a celebration versus populum, since the faithful were facing East in prayer as well. Thus, even in the basilicas just described, the celebration of the Eucharist did not entail the priest and the faithful facing one another. During Mass, the faithful, men separated from women, were assembled in the two side naves, with curtains normally hanging between the columns. The center nave was used for the solemn entrance procession of the celebrant and his assistants to the altar, and the choir was situated there as well. Even if we take the hypothetical case that the early Christians in the old Roman basilicas did not face the entrance—that is, the East—during the Offertory prayer—i.e., that they really faced the altar—this still would not have meant that the priest and the faithful faced one another, because during the Eucharistic Prayer the altar was hidden behind curtains. (...)

... many are under the impression that this [from versus Dominum to versus populum] change simply represents the revival of an early Christian practice. But we can show with certainty that there has never been, neither in the Eastern nor the Western Church, a celebration versus populum (facing the people); rather, the direction of prayer has always been towards the East, conversi ad Dominum (turned toward the Lord).

The idea that the priest is to face the people during Mass has its origins with Martin Luther, in his little book, The German Mass and Order of Worship (1526).

Klaus Gamber
The Reform of the Roman Liturgy
(Die Reform der römischen Liturgie: Vorgeschichte und Problematik)
For devotions for the Chair of Unity Octave, see here.

Sweet Christ on earth

Regarding two events of the past week, the Holy Father surely followed the advice of the maiden of Siena:

And do not look at the ignorance and pride of your little children; but with the enticement of your love and of your benignity, granting them that sweet discipline and benign reprehension which may please your Holiness, render peace to us, your miserable children who have offended you. I tell you, o sweet Christ on earth, from Christ in heaven, that, doing thus, that is, without quarrel and uproar, they will all see with pain the offense they have done, and will place their heads in their hands.

Saint Catherine of Siena
Letter CXCVI
to Gregory XI

See also:
Wonderful brief interview granted by the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies, Mons. Guido Marini, to Radio Vaticana (nothing particularly new: an explanation of the Mass versus Deum in the Sistine Chapel and on continuity within Tradition in the liturgy; currently only in Italian).

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - VIII
Cubao, in the Philippines

A reader reports from the diocese of Cubao, in the Manila Metropolitan Area, in the Philippines:

I'd like to share with you the following photographs shot in the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy in the Diocese of Cubao, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Manila, Philippines celebrated by the parish priest, Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo .

Prior to Summorum Pontificum, the community was granted an indult by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin to have TLMs [Traditional Latin Masses] every Sunday. After the jurisdiction of the indult church, the Most Holy Redeemer Parish, was transferred to the newly formed Diocese of Cubao in June 23, 2003, the bishop of the new diocese, Bishop Honesto Ongtionco, continued permitting the TLMs.

In early 2007, the community was transferred to the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy and after Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI took effect, the Sunday TLMs continued and Fr. Zerrudo has now been celebrating private TLMs daily every since. Around 70 to 100 people assist the Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday and has continued to attract young people.

The community, Ecclesia Dei of St. Joseph, is now in the process of forming a more regular and formal choir and altar servers. Another activity of the community is the weekly Apologetics Round Table discussions by the Defensores Fidei Foundation that started last January 12, 2008.

Thank you, Gerald, and congratulations to Fr Zerrudo.

Please, keep sending us your reports.

You report: SCANDAL
Pro-death supporter in Episcopal Conference video

Congratulations to the Catholic Church in Brazil for another scandal. As our older readers surely remember, the Brazilian headquarters of the radical pro-abortion organization "Catholics" for a Free Choice are located in a Church-owned building in São Paulo, next to the local branch of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference (CNBB). They are still there, we have been informed. (First and second post on the matter)

Now, a new and shocking scandal, as reported by a Brazilian reader*:

In Brazil, pro-abortionists are making history! They even can infiltrate a campaign against abortion!

Dear sir, I bring you shocking facts... These facts demonstrate the extent of the influence of Liberation Theology in the Catholic Church in South America, especially in Brazil.

Every year, the Brazilian Episcopal Conference (CNBB - Conferencia Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil) organizes a campaign called "Fraternity Campaign" (Campanha da Fraternidade), with a specific "social" theme . In 2008, after popular pressure, finally the theme is "Dignity of Life". The intention is to fight against the push for the liberalization of abortion, against the "Culture of Death".

In Brazil, abortion is a crime. It is not punished in two cases: when the mother's life is in danger or when a woman is pregnant due to rape.

In recent years, under the government of Luis Inacio da Silva (Lula), the pro-abortion movement push forward as never before. Lula, the favorite politician of many priests and bishops linked to Liberation Theology, gave voice to the so called "social movements", including feminists. Well... We all know what these feminists want: ABORTIONS FREE FOR ALL. And what is the main voice of Brazilian feminists? The Brazilian branch of the CFFC ("Catholics" For a Free Choice): the CDD (Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir).

This is nothing new. But the shocking fact is documented evidence of people profoundly connected to the Church helping the Brazilian arm of the CFFC.

On this blog, one can see the e-mail messages between one representative of the video producing company, Verbo Filmes (, Nelson Tyski, and Dulce Xavier, one of the leaders of CFFC-Brazil. In those messages, Nelson Tyski, sent Dulce Xavier the preliminary text of the 2008 Fraternity Campaign. That text was not available even to pro-life Brazilians!!

The messages were discovered in the Yahoo!Group of CFFC-Brazil, which was erroneously configured and inadvertently left the exchange of messages open to the general public: (image) (image) (image)

Sorry, all that only in Portuguese.

Every year, Verbo Filmes is responsible for producing a DVD about the Fraternity Campaign. In those messages, Nelson Tyski invited Dulce Xavier to record a statement about her point of view about abortion for the 2008 video! Yes... The Episcopal Conference finally organizes a nationwide campaign against abortion and the DVD producer invites a well known pro-abortionist to record a statement!

The DVD was produced and commercialized with the declaration of Dulce Xavier in it! But Brazilian pro-lifers finally discovered that after the DVDs had been printed and distributed, and put pressure on the Episcopal Conference; Verbo Filmes was forced to make another edition of DVD, without Dulce Xavier's point of view.

Now for something different: what is Verbo Filmes? It is a video producing company and it is owned by "The Society of the Divine Word" (the Verbites) , a Catholic order!

And who is Nelson Tyski, responsible for the leak of the text of Fraternity Campaign to Dulce Xavier and also for the invitation to the official video? He is a former priest. A priest who left his duties to get married, but was later called by the Society of the Divine Word missionaries to work on their video producing company. The beautiful story of the man who left the priesthood and was later called to produce videos for the Verbites is on the front page of the Society of the Divine Word in Brazil, as a testimony (in Portuguese)

Well... That is the story. The Fraternity Campaign against abortion and euthanasia, which was so much expected by Brazilians pro-lifers, starts with a scandal. A scandal produced inside the Church, a scandal to the unborn.

By the way, the video is not good even without Dulce Xavier's statement... Most statements are from people connected to Liberation Theology.

*Revised text. Our thanks to this Brazilian anonymous reader.

El nuevo Arrupe

A Spaniard who has lived most of his religious life in Japan (just like Arrupe...) is the new Superior General of the Society of Jesus: Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, former Moderator of the Jesuit Conference of East Asia and Oceania.

(Sources: Apcom/El Mundo)

First alteration in the Traditional Missal after the Motu Proprio

Andrea Tornielli reports today in Il Giornale that the prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the 1962 edition of the Missale Romanum will likely be changed "in the next few days", by decision of Benedict XVI - the opposite of what the secretary of "Ecclesia Dei" said just one week ago ("not an urgent problem"), but somewhat confirming the words of Cardinal Bertone shortly after the publication of the motu proprio.

Main excerpts:

Benedict XVI has decided to reformulate the text of the prayer for the Jews contained in the Tridentine Missal liberalized by the recent Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum: the publication of the new text, entirely reformulated, should take place in a few days. The reference to the "blinding" of the Jewish people should disappear. The new version will enter into effect already in the celebrations of the faithful who follow the ancient rite in the next Holy Week.
Benedict XVI has prepared a draft version of the new prayer, which should be published in the next few days by the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments [sic]. According to some rumors, in the new version, though the passages considered offensive by the Jews have been omitted, the reference to the old aim of the prayer, that of conversion, would nevertheless remain.

The prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the Great Intercessions in the liturgy of Good Friday in the 1962 Editio Typica of the Missale Romanum is the following.
Let us pray: and also for the Jews, may our God and Lord remove the veil from their hearts; so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Almighty and everlasting God, who drivest not away from Thy mercy even the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people: that, acknowledging the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness.

The text of the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (3:12-16), upon which the prayer is mostly based, is the following (Douay-Rheims):

Having therefore such hope, we use much confidence: And not as Moses put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel might not steadfastly look on the face of that which is made void. But their senses were made dull. For, until this present day, the selfsame veil, in the reading of the old testament, remaineth not taken away (because in Christ it is made void). But even until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. But when they shall be converted to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.

May the Society of Jesus
"reaffirm...its own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine"

An English translation of the Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the former Superior-General of the Society of Jesus and to all members of the 35th General Congregation is available at the website of Creighton University's ongoing coverage of the event. Its main point is the following:

...really so as to offer the entire Society of Jesus a clear orientation which might be a support for generous and faithful apostolic dedication, it could prove extremely useful that the General Congregation reaffirm, in the spirit of Saint Ignatius, its own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine, in particular on those neuralgic points which today are strongly attacked by secular culture, as for example the relationship between Christ and religions; some aspects of the theology of liberation; and various points of sexual morality, especially as regards the indissolubility of marriage and the pastoral care of homosexual persons.

The situation of the Church affects all of mankind

From the address personally written by Pope Benedict for his previously scheduled visit to the University of Rome - la Sapienza (partial translation by AsiaNews):

The pope is, first of all, the bishop of Rome, and as such, in virtue of apostolic succession from the Apostle Peter, he has episcopal responsibility in regard to the entire Catholic Church. The word "bishop" - episkopos, which in its immediate meaning refers to "supervision", already in the New Testament was fused together with the biblical concept of the shepherd: he is the one who, from an elevated point of observation, surveys the whole landscape, making sure to keep the flock together and on the right path. This description of the bishop's role directs the view first of all to within the community of believers.

The bishop - the shepherd - is the man who takes care of this community, the one who keeps it united by keeping it on the path toward God, which Jesus points out through the Christian faith - and He does not only point this out: He himself is the way for us. But this community that the bishop cares for - as large or small as it may be - lives in the world; its conditions, its journey, its example, and its words inevitably influence the rest of the human community in its entirety. The larger it is, the more its good condition or eventual decline will impact all of humanity. Today we see very clearly how the situation of the religions and the situation of the Church - its crises and renewals - act upon the whole of humanity. Thus the pope, precisely as the shepherd of his community, has increasingly become a voice of the ethical reasoning of humanity.


The purpose of knowing the truth is to know what is good. This is also the sense of Socrates’ way of questioning: What good thing makes us true? Truth makes us good and goodness is true. This optimism dwells in the Christian faith because it was allowed to see the Logos, the creative Reason that, in God’s incarnation, revealed itself as that which is Good, as Goodness itself.
If ...reason, concerned about its supposed purity, fails to hear the great message that comes from the Christian faith and the understanding it brings, it will dry up like a tree with roots cut off from the water that gives it life. It will lose the courage needed to find the truth and thus become small rather than great. Applied to our European culture this means that if it wants to constitute itself on the basis of its arguments and whatever appears to it to be convincing, with concerns about its own secular nature, it will cut itself off from its life-sustaining roots, and in doing so will not become more reasonable and pure but will instead become undone and fragmented.
What does the Pope have to do or say in a university? He certainly should not try to impose in an authoritarian manner his faith on others, which can only be freely offered. Beyond his ministry as Pastor of the Church and on the basis of the intrinsic nature of this pastoral ministry, it is his task to keep alive man’s responsiveness to the truth. Similarly he must again and always invite reason to seek out truth, goodness and God, and on this path urge it to see the useful lights that emerged during the history of the Christian faith and perceive Jesus Christ as the light that illuminates history and helps find the way towards the future.

All behind you, Peter

1968 is back...

Congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger for his decision, due to anticlerical protests, to cancel his visit to the largest Roman University, the University of Rome-la Sapienza - founded by his predecessor, Boniface VIII Caetani (the Pope of Unam Sanctam), in 1303, and later occupied by the Kingdom of Italy after the invasion of Rome, in 1870.

No eighty-year-old man deserves this aggravation, much less so the Vicar of Christ.

I saw a new spirit creeping in... there was an instrumentalization by ideologies that were tyrannical, brutal, and cruel.
(J. Ratzinger
remembering 1968 in
Salz der Erde- Salt of the Earth)

What the enemy is saying

Ultra-"progressive" religious journalist Marco Politi in today's edition of La Repubblica:

Three years after his election, the Pope has accomplished his historic dream: to celebrate Mass while turned towards the altar, showing his back to the faithful, as the shepherd who guides his flock towards the Christ. The place is symbolic: the Sistine Chapel, there where Benedict XVI was elected. It is from there that the German Pope sends the signal for his Counter-Reformation. It is certainly only a gesture, there is nothing compulsory about it, and those who wish to do so will keep celebrating Mass around the world as it has been for forty years.

Yet the centuries-old history of the Church is made of gestures, of signs, of symbols, and when Joseph Ratzinger ... solemnly elevated the host and the chalice in the direction of the crucifix situated on top of the ancient marble altar, not looking at the faithful, but staring at the Christ of the Universal Judgment on the wall, all understood. The pontiff will not deviate from the chosen path: to review the application of Vatican II.

For he does not believe in the "spirit of the Council", as the most coherent reformers do. He said it from the beginning: the Council was not "rupture", but reform within "tradition", and even as a Cardinal he professed that arranging the post-conciliar rite with the celebrant turned towards the faithful is a betrayal. Because everyone - faithful and priests - must face the East, towards the Resurrection.

And therefore the thirteen couples who, on this January Sunday, took their newborns to have them baptized by the Pope witnessed a grandiloquent return to the past. With the post-conciliar altar eliminated, Benedict XVI did not make the turn around the post-conciliar table anymore, but, slowly entering the Sistine, knelt before the marble altar, leaving to the faithful only a view of the back of his vestments.
The Lord is the point of reference.
He is the rising sun of history.

J. Ratzinger
The Spirit of the Liturgy

IMPORTANT: Pope to celebrate versus Deum this Sunday

Tomorrow, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass (according to the Missal of Paul VI) facing the Altar of the Sistine Chapel, versus Deum*, according to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, headed by Monsignor Guido Marini (Apcom reports):

"This year, the wooden platform on which an altar was placed for the occasion will not be set up, but the actual altar of the Sistine Chapel will be used.

"A decision was made to celebrate on the ancient altar to avoid altering he beauty and harmony of this architectural jewel - the Vatican note explains - preserving its structure, in a celebratory viewpoint, and making use of a possibility foreseen by liturgical legislation. This means that, at some moments, the Pope will be with his back turned to the faithful and facing the Cross, thus guiding the demeanor and the disposition of the entire assembly"

*We avoid the use of the expression "Ad Orientem" here due to some problems which have occurred in at least one place in which the local Bishop has been forcing the celebration of the Traditional Mass "versus populum" because the Altar is located on the western wall of the church building (more regarding this absurd situation in a future post); the celebration literally ad orientem and, at the same time and incidentally, versus populum was always limited to only a few special main altars in a handful of churches, mostly in the city of Rome itself, due to very specific historical reasons.

The Altar of the Sistine Chapel itself is also on the western wall of that building, which means that the Pope will be celebrating literally "ad occidentem" - but actually facing the Lord, with the entire congregation.

Ecclesia Dei Secretary:
Instruction on the Motu Proprio to be released "shortly"

Monsignor Camille Perl, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", in a brief interview to religious news website Petrus, dismissed changes in the Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews ("It is not an urgent problem," according to Perl, for whom the whole debate is a "contrived problem", regarding which "for the moment, nothing has been done and, probably, nothing ever will").

The instruction on the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was also mentioned:

Monsignor Perl also explains that the upcoming "Instruction", announced by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, for the clarification of some aspects of the Motu Proprio [Summorum Pontificum], will not mention the matter of the prayer for the Jews. The "Instruction" will be released "shortly" [prossimamente], even though the exact date has not yet been chosen.

Zielinski at L'Osservatore Romano

Published in this afternoon's edition (January 10) of L'Osservatore Romano: an excellent article on Gregorian Chant, written by Dom Michael Zielinski, O.S.B. Oliv., the Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (and also of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology).

Excerpt of "The Universality of Gregorian Chant" (full text in Italian):

Despite the pronouncements of the Vatican II Council and of the papal magisterium, Church music is in crisis; it is affected by the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture, of which Benedict XVI spoke in his Address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005.

To recover the great treasure which the Tradition of the Church gave to us, it is necessary to begin with Gregorian Chant, which is capable of communicating to the People of God the sense of Catholicity and to guide it towards a correct inculturation.

German writer Martin Mosebach recalls that this music was peculiar also to the ears of Charlemagne, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of Monteverdi, or of Haydn. And it was as strange in their age as it is in our age. Today, however, one is more inclined towards the music of other cultures than the Christians of many centuries ago. Besides, the melodies of the various local traditions, even of those of cultures different from ours, are close relatives of Gregorian chant and, even in this sense, Gregorian Chant is truly universal.
Recess for a few days
(Relevant news may be published at any moment)

Rodé warns the Jesuits

Excerpts of the homily pronounced by Cardinal Rodé, Prefect of Religious ("Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life"), in the opening Mass of the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, this morning in the Gesù:

Consecration to service to Christ cannot be separated from consecration to service to the Church. Ignatius and his first companions considered it thus when they wrote the Formula of your Institute in which the essence of your charism is spelled out: “To serve the Lord and his Spouse the Church under the Roman Pontiff” (Julio III, Formula I). It is with sorrow and anxiety that I see that the sentire cum ecclesia of which your founder frequently spoke is diminishing even in some members of religious families. The Church is waiting for a light from you to restore the sensus Ecclesiae.
Love for the Church in every sense of the word, – be it Church people of God be it hierarchical Church – is not a human sentiment which comes and goes according to the people who make it up or according to our conformity with the dispositions emanating from those whom the Lord has placed to direct the Church. Love for the Church is a love based on faith, a gift of the Lord which, precisely because he loves us, he gives us faith in him and in his Spouse, which is the Church. Without the gift of faith in the Church there can be no love for the Church.

I join in your prayer asking the Lord to grant you the grace to grow in your belief in and love for this holy, catholic and apostolic Church which we profess.

With sadness and anxiety I also see a growing distancing from the Hierarchy. The Ignatian spirituality of apostolic service “under the Roman Pontiff” does not allow for this separation. In the Constitutions which he left you, Ignatius wanted to truly shape your mind and in the book of the Exercises (n 353) he wrote” we must always keep our mind prepared and quick to obey the true Spouse of Christ and our Holy Mother, the Hierarchical Church”. Religious obedience can be understood only as obedience in love. The fundamental nucleus of Ignatian spirituality consists in uniting the love for God with love for the hierarchical Church.
Ignatius placed himself under the orders of the Roman Pontiff “in order to not err in via Domini” (Const 605) in the distribution of his religious throughout the world and to be present wherever the needs of the Church were greater.

Times have changed and the Church must today confront new and urgent necessities, I will mention one, which in my judgment is urgent today and is at the same time complex and I propose it for your consideration. It is the need to present to the faithful and to the world the authentic truth revealed in Scripture and Tradition. The doctrinal diversity of those who at all levels, by vocation and mission are called to announce the Kingdom of truth and love, disorients the faithful and leads to a relativism without limits. There is one truth, even though it can always be more deeply known.

It is the “living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (DV 10) which is the voucher for revealed truth. ... May those who, according to your legislation, have to oversee the doctrine of your magazines and publications do so in the light of and according to the “rules for sentire cum ecclesia”, with love and respect.

The Fellay Report - II
The Pope himself recognized the
possibility of a state of necessity

An important exchange from the book "Report on Tradition - In conversation with the successor of Monsignor Lefebvre", an interview with the Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay.

[Fellay:] ... We have been told, more than once, to ask the Pope for the sanctions against us to be removed. Therefore, it is Rome itself that does not see the reason for this measure [of excommunication] to subsist and that tells us that the door to suppress it is open.

[Interviewers:] But you, in the meantime, how do you feel regarding the Church?

We feel completely inside the Church, and we work solely for the good of the Church. We certainly wish to discuss openly with the Roman authority, and, to this purpose, we have used a somewhat superficial argument: dialogue – but we have done so to try to progress towards the solution of the problem. After the Council, to facilitate dialogue, Pope Paul VI abolished the excommunication of the Orthodox. In return, the Orthodox abolished their excommunication against the Vatican. I do not think that also we have first to excommunicate the Vatican and, afterwards, attain a reciprocal removal of the excommunications. Regardless of the pleasantries, the fact remains that the argument of dialogue is a truly weak one.

We have given Rome another argument to attain the removal of the sanctions against us, a much more substantial argument, derived from Canon Law itself: the state of necessity. When someone fulfills an act which goes against the ordinary norms of Canon Law, for the necessity of the good of the Church, as monsignor Lefebvre did [when] consecrating four bishops, he does not incur in the penalty of excommunication. This is the well-known case – may it serve as an example – of the episcopal consecrations accomplished in secret, backstage, under the Communist regimes.

[Interviewers:] The Congregation [sic] for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts has opposed an objection, sustaining that the state of necessity is not comparable... [sic]

We, in our turn, can bring with us an opinion of greater weight on this argument. Pope Benedict XVI directly provided it, during the audience which he granted to us on August 29, 2005. At a certain point [during the audience], the Pontiff himself put the matter on the table: pondering on the state of the Church in countries such as France and Germany, Benedict XVI recognized as perfectly well-grounded the question of the subsistence of the state of necessity in such countries... [sic] The Pope said this, not we.
(Rapporto sulla Tradizione
Cantagalli, Siena, 2007
pages 34-35)

80 years of Mortalium Animos - II
A study guide

Exactly eighty years ago, on the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord of 1928, Pope Pius XI, of most glorious memory, signed one of his landmark encyclicals: Mortalium Animos, "on fostering true religious unity". A present-day reader of that document is amazed at the intellectual power and mastery of this relatively short letter. All the pitfalls, all the contradictions, all the doctrinal problems, all the practical pitfalls of interreligious dialogue and of the "Ecumenical movement" are presented in a clear and close to irrefutable way.

What else could be be expected from the Pope who had firmly established the devotion to Christ the King and created His Feast (on the last Sunday in October), in Quas Primas (1925)? From the Pontiff who would, two years later, expose the intellectual fraud of the Anglican decision allowing for the practice of contraception (in Casti Connubii, 1930), the pathetic claims of superiority of race and nation (Mit brennender Sorge, 1937), the intrinsic perversity of Communism (Divini Redemptoris, 1937)?

In a few paragraphs, Pope Ratti dismantled the ignominy of the "pan-Christian" ecumenical mentality - in such a strong way that Mortalium Animos has remained firmly unrebuked and its main points have been ignored in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath.

Below, a guide to Mortalium Animos.


(1)Interreligious gatherings lead to Relativism; they must be avoided by Catholics.

[S]ince they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission.

Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.
(2) The danger of Ecumenism; the misinterpretation of Christ's prayer that His disciples might be "one."

[S]ome are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians. Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be "one."[John xvii, 21] And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another"?[John xiii, 35] All Christians, they add, should be as "one": for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength.

These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; .... This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.

Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil ...
(3) Principles "from which Catholics" must learn regarding the union of "all who call themselves Christians"

(A) There is only one true religion: the religion revealed by God.

A.1 The One True Religion

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days, hath spoken to us by his Son."[Hebrews i, I, seq] From which it follows that there can be no true religion other than that which is founded on the revealed word of God: which revelation, begun from the beginning and continued under the Old Law, Christ Jesus Himself under the New Law perfected.

Now, if God has spoken (and it is historically certain that He has truly spoken), all must see that it is man's duty to believe absolutely God's revelation and to obey implicitly His commands; that we might rightly do both, for the glory of God and our own salvation, the Only-begotten Son of God founded His Church on earth.
A.2 Christ founded one Church, not a federation of Churches

Further, We believe that those who call themselves Christians can do no other than believe that a Church, and that Church one, was established by Christ; but if it is further inquired of what nature according to the will of its Author it must be, then all do not agree.

A good number of them, for example, deny that the Church of Christ must be visible and apparent, ... ; but, on the contrary, they understand a visible Church as nothing else than a Federation, composed of various communities of Christians, even though they adhere to different doctrines, which may even be incompatible one with another.
A.3 The Church is a perfect society, under the leadership of one head.

Christ our Lord instituted His Church as a perfect society, external of its nature and perceptible to the senses, which should carry on in the future the work of the salvation of the human race, under the leadership of one head, with an authority teaching by word of mouth, and by the ministry of the sacraments, the founts of heavenly grace; for which reason He attested by comparison the similarity of the Church to a kingdom, to a house, to a sheepfold, and to a flock.
A.4 The Church was not extinguished after the death of the Apostles

This Church, after being so wonderfully instituted, could not, on the removal by death of its Founder and of the Apostles ..., be entirely extinguished and cease to be... . In the continual carrying out of this task, will any element of strength and efficiency be wanting to the Church, when Christ Himself is perpetually present to it, according to His solemn promise: "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world?"[Matt. xxviii, 20]

It follows then that the Church of Christ not only exists today and always, but is also exactly the same as it was in the time of the Apostles, unless we were to say, which God forbid, either that Christ our Lord could not effect His purpose, or that He erred when He asserted that the gates of hell should never prevail against it.
A.5 Grave error: "That all may be one"
seen as a desire which lacks fulfillment

[I]t seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends. For authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: "That they all may be one.... And there shall be one fold and one shepherd,"[John xvii, 21; x, 16] with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment.
They add that the Church in itself, or of its nature, is divided into sections; that is to say, that it is made up of several churches or distinct communities, which still remain separate ...

...although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor.

Meanwhile, they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act. It does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ.
A.6 Catholics cannot support or work for a false Christianity

This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it any way lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ.
(B) Truth cannot be compromised.

Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth.
B.1 The Church cannot err

[T]he Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by "witnesses preordained by God,"[Acts x,41] and also confirmed His command with this sanction: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned."[Mark xvi, 16]

These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring.
B.2 Charity in Truth

These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? ... John himself, the Apostle of love ...who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you."[II John 10]
B.3 One Church: one Teaching Authority

[C]an men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful?... How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians.
B.4 One step from Ecumenism to
Indifferentism and Relativism

We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life.
B.5 There are no "non-fundamental"
doctrines which may be discarded

[I]t is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction.

For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff... Has not God revealed them all? ... in the use of [the] extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
(C) The Unity of Christians: the "return to the one true Church of Christ"

[T]he union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.
C.1 The Catholic Church is what it has always been

[T] he one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. ... the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly."
C.2 Whosoever is not united with the Body is no member of it

[S]ince the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.
C.3 The Church remains with Peter

[I]n this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. ...

[I]f, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, "the Mother and mistress of all Christ's faithful"?
(4) Final Invitation: Come and submit to the Apostolic See, which will receive you with fatherly love.

Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is "the root and womb whence the Church of God springs," not with the intention and the hope that "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth"[I Tim. iii, 15] will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government.

Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail.

...We desire that Our children should also know, not only those who belong to the Catholic community, but also those who are separated from Us: if these latter humbly beg light from heaven, there is no doubt but that they will recognize the one true Church of Jesus Christ and will, at last, enter it, being united with us in perfect charity.