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Showing posts from February, 2008
on the validity of Baptism conferred with the formulas
«I baptize you in the name of the Creator,
and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier»
and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator,
and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer»

First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?

Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?


To the first question: Negative.

To the second question: Affirmative.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these Responses, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered th…

The Pope's third encyclical

Ignacio Ingrao, Vatican affairs journalist for Italian weekly Panorama, reports:

Six months after Spe Salvi, the Pope publishes his third encyclical. The document should bear the date of May 1st, feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. It will be a social encyclical ... .

The document is divided in two parts. In the first one, the Pope recalls the encyclicals Populorum progressio, of Paul VI, and Centesimus annus, of John Paul II; in the second part, [he] assesses the great challenges of our time.

Tip and source: Papa Ratzinger Blog
Dom Gérard Calvet, O.S.B.
Fondateur - Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux

Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace.

Styles and Tradition
in the chasuble of the Roman Rite

An article by Michael Sternbeck of the Saint Bede Studio
New South Wales, Australia

If Saint Charles Borromeo (Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan 1560-1584), were alive today I suspect he would be regarded as hero to those who cherish the traditions of the Church. An important figure at the Council of Trent and confidant of Popes, he was anxious to preserve traditions and not allow fashion, false doctrine or laxity to push Tradition to one side. As Archbishop of Milan he wrote and legislated in minute detail about the Sacred Liturgy and everything associated with it.

Saint Charles laid down regulations about the dimensions of vestments for the Sacred Liturgy because, it would seem, he was concerned that the form of the vestments, which had been handed down for centuries, was being cast aside in favour of something convenient and “fashionable”. The chasuble, derived from the Latin word for “a little house” had been for centuries an ample garment. In the 15th and 16th centuries, there had been s…

No "Reform of the Reform" in sight

The Italian daily La Stampa suggested today that there could be a vast Vatican plan to reform some practices in the new Mass (according to the Missal of Paul VI). It seems, however, that no new norms and regulations for the Missal of Paul VI are foreseen, as Vatican Radio reports:

Abp. Ranjith denies an article of the daily La Stampa: there will be no new pronouncements on the matter of the celebration of the Mass

The secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Abp. Malcolm Ranjith, has denied today what is contained in an article published with today's date on the daily La Stampa.

The article mentions a supposed "turning point in the Vatican against - it is written - the 'extravagances' in Mass and to review some recent practices such as communion in the hand."

Abp. Ranjith notices that there is in the article a collage of sentences pronounced by him in different contexts which have given rise to out-of-place construction.


Traditional Diaconal Ordinations at the Lateran

J.P.Sonnen of Orbis Catholicus took several pictures (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) of the Diaconal Ordinations of Seminarians of the Institute of the Good Shepherd (IBP), which took place yesterday, at the Basilica of 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: Terribilis est locus iste: hic domus Dei est, et porta cæli!

In the picture above, Father Philippe Laguérie, Superior General of the Institute, and Archbishop Luigi de Magistris.

SSPX news agency: we deeply regret this change

The official news agency of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), DICI, published today an article on the reform of the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews, and adds this unsigned comment, the first on the matter in an official SSPX publication:

Our Comment:

Following pressures foreign to the Catholic Church, the Pope considered himself forced to change the very venerable Prayer for the Jews which is a full part of the Good Friday liturgy. This prayer is one of the most ancient; it dates from around the 3rd century, and has thus been recited, throughout the history of the Church, as the full expression of the Catholic faith.

It must be mentioned that the comments by Cardinal Kasper - which we may consider as authorized - give this amputation the aspect of a true transformation, expressing a new theology of the relations with the Jewish people. It is part of the liturgical upheaval which is the characteristic mark of the Council and of the reforms it entailed.

Even though the…

Pope: "Our world is the stage of a battle between good and evil"

Main excerpts of the Pope's powerful address to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, yesterday:

As you well know from having made the meditation "on the Two Standards" under the direction of Saint Ignatius, our world is the stage of a battle between good and evil, and there are powerful negative forces at work, causing those tragic situations of material and spiritual enslavement of our contemporaries, a situation against which you repeatedly declared your intention to fight, striving for the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

These forces occur today in many ways, but particularly clearly through cultural trends that often become dominant, such as subjectivism, relativism, hedonism, practical Materialism. That is why I have asked [in the letter to the Congregation] for your renewed commitment to promote and defend Catholic doctrine "particularly on the focal points today strongly attacked by secular culture"... . The issues today…

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - XI
Permanent TLM in EWTN-LAND

We've got mail:

Bishop Robert Baker, of the diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, has authorized the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in the diocese. I have been charged by the bishop to offer the Mass in Birmingham and Huntsville. As evidenced by the turnout in Huntsville, there is a large demand for the Mass.

God Bless you,
Fr. Alan Mackey The first weekly Mass offered in order to gauge popular interest in a regular celebration of the Traditional Mass had taken place at the church of St.Mary of the Visitation, in Huntsville, on January 27.

Congratulations to Bishop Baker, to Father Mackey, and to the persistent Traditional Catholics in Alabama. The fruits of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum are becoming clear throughout the Deep South.

Original post (Feb. 18); updated with picture.

Stuck in the 1960s

The New York Times reported on September 9, 1967, a few months after the publication of the mighty encyclical in defense of priestly celibacy, Sacerdotalis Caelibatus:

One hundred fifty Roman Catholic priests today called upon American delegates to the forthcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome to place on the synod agenda the question of whether priests may marry. On February 21, 2008, months after the strong defense of priestly celibacy by Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, several news agencies report:

Brazilian priests have spoken directly to Pope Benedict XVI to ask him for a revision of the canonical law obliging celibacy for those carrying out priestly functions. The decision appeared in the final document of the 12th National Meeting of Priests, which ended on Tuesday in the Itaici monastery in the Indaiatuba municipality (in the state of Sao Paulo). Therequest will be sent to the Holy Congregation for the Clergy under the direction of Claudio Hummes, former archbishop of Sao …

Newman, the Prophet

On the birthday of Venerable John Henry Newman.

For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of Liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; and on this great occasion, when it is natural for one who is in my place to look out upon the world, and upon Holy Church as in it, and upon her future, it will not, I hope, be considered out of place, if I renew the protest against it which I have made so often.

Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; a…

Poor Germany

After the arid years in which the German Episcopal Conference was headed by one of the worst prelates in contemporary Catholicism, Cardinal Lehmann, the new President of the German Episcopal Conference, Robert Zollitsch, Archbishop of Freiburg, shows that he is ready to battle his fellow countryman, the Bishop of Rome - who only last year solemnly confirmed that, in "continuity with the great ecclesial tradition", priestly celibacy "remains obligatory in the Latin tradition" (Sacramentum Caritatis, 24).

The German Church remains in the hands of a rebellious prelate, as Zollitsch confirms in an interview to the German weekly Der Spiegel (translation by Chris Gillibrand, of Catholic Church Conservation):

Head of German Catholics considers celibacy "not necessary"

For Catholics, it would be a revolution: Robert Zollitsch, the new chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, is considering an end to the celibacy. For priests to live without marrying, was &quo…

Declarations in support of the Pope

After the several reactions to the publication of the altered Prayer for the Jews in the Good Friday Liturgy, the editors of The Remnant wrote an International Declaration of Support for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and are inviting "bishops, priests, journalists, lawyers, professors, editors, authors, Catholic spokesmen, homeschool co-op organizers, teachers, chapel coordinators or any other persons of influence (no matter how local) from any and all of the various traditional Catholic camps" to add their "name, position (if applicable), city and country" to the Declaration by sending an e-mail message to the paper (

The Declaration will be sent next Monday and we ask all our readers who fit the description above to join this noble effort.


The statement below, also in support of the Holy Father, was released by the President of the International Una Voce Federation, Mr. Leo Darroch.

Good Frid…

Benedict in America - I
What will Peter find?

It is hard to define Catholicism in a country or region in broad strokes (even though some journalists and spin doctors often speak about the "Global South" with daring condescension), but probably in no place more so than in America. All the major trends in the Catholic Church are to be found in the United States, home to the second largest number of priests and cardinals and to the third largest episcopate in the world: a Church in crisis, and in bloom; in disarray, but with growing influence.

Could it be mostly doom and gloom in American Catholicism? Yes, and quite probably. But, amazingly enough, in no other nation on earth there are so many islands of orthodox resistance, of love for Tradition, of strengthened passionately and unapologetically Catholic families. Traditional Catholicism, though still a very small minority, has found in America a great vitality, and it is almost certain that the nation of so many deviated priests and nuns has become the home of the largest…

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - X

Our reader Nathan Blosser reports from the Diocese of Biloxi, in the United States:

On Saturday, February 9, 2008, at 6 P.M. Father John Noone celebrated the Mass according to the extraordinary form at Annunciation Catholic Church in Kiln, Mississippi. This was the first public Tridentine Mass in the entire state of Mississippi for about the last 8 years. A little over 100 people were in attendance with some driving well over an hour to attend.

Father Noone will celebrate the Extraordinary form throughout Lent and then determine if there is a genuine interest.
Congratulations to Father Noone and to the local Una Voce chapter. We encourage all readers in southern Mississippi and nearby areas in Louisiana to show their interest in the permanent celebration of the Traditional Mass in Kiln.

Please, keep sending us your reports.

Lourdes + 150: She came to Bernadette

In many ways the nineteenth century was to become, after the turmoil of the Revolution, a century of Marian favors. To mention but a single instance, everyone is familiar today with the "miraculous medal." This medal, with its image of "Mary conceived without sin," was revealed to a humble daughter of Saint Vincent de Paul... .

A few years later, from February 11 to July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary was pleased, as a new favor, to manifest herself in the territory of the Pyrenees to a pious and pure child of a poor, hardworking, Christian family. "She came to Bernadette," We once said. "She made her her confidante, her collaboratrix, the instrument of her maternal tenderness and of the merciful power of her Son, to restore the world in Christ through a new and incomparable outpouring of the Redemption."

In a society which is barely conscious of the ills which assail it, which conceals its miseries and injustices beneath a prosperous, glitt…

Justice for all: but "not all will be equal"

We all desire a fair world. But we cannot repair all the destructions of the past, all the people unjustly tormented and killed. Only God himself can create justice, which must be justice for all, even for the dead. And, as Adorno, a great Marxist, says, only the resurrection of the flesh, which he considers unreal, could create justice.

We believe in this resurrection of the flesh, in which not all will be equal. It is common to think today: whatever is sin, God is magnificent, he knows us, therefore sin does not matter, in the end God will be nice with everyone. It is a beautiful hope. Yet, there is justice, and there is true guilt. Those who have destroyed man and earth cannot suddenly sit beside their victims at the table of God. God creates justice. We must have this present.

It seemed thus important for me to write also this text [Spe Salvi] on purgatory, which for me is such an obvious truth, so clear and also so necessary and comforting that is cannot be forgotten. I tried to sa…

"...obey with submission"

No official reaction yet from the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) on the alteration of the Prayer for the Jews in the Good Friday liturgy according to the Missale Romanum of 1962. However, it should be noted that the Transalpine Redemptorists, a religious order which has always been closely linked with the SSPX, have made their official position known:

In what concerns the Solemn Prayers of the Good Friday Liturgy, the Transalpine Redemptorists will obey with submission the newly promulgated Prayer for the Jews as ordered by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on February 4th 2008.

Fr. Michael Mary, C.SS.R.
Vicar General
8 February, 2007 ___________
Tip: reader

Italian Rabbinical Assembly: suspension of dialogue

From the Italian daily Corriere della Sera:

Italian Rabbinical Assembly: "Pause for reflection in the dialogue" with Catholics

The opinion on the change of the Good Friday prayer: "An abandonment of the very conditions for dialogue"

ROME - And now, a rupture. The Italian Rabbinical Asseembly considers necessary a "pause for reflection in the dialogue" with Catholics after the modification of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews.

And it underlines that the modification decided by Pope Ratzinger is "an abandonment of the very conditions for dialogue". The Assembly states so in a note signed by its president, Rabbi Giuseppe Laras.
The Bishop of Rome in a Roman Chasuble (Borromeo style) for the first time in his pontificate (Ash Wednesday procession and Mass at Saint Sabina - more pictures at Fotografia Felici)


Note of the Secretariat of State

In reference to the dispositions contained in the Motu proprio «Summorum Pontificum», of July 7, 2007, on the possibility of using the last edition of the Missale Romanum prior to the Vatican II Council, published in 1962 with the authority of Blessed John XXIII, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has ordered that the Oremus et pro Iudaeis of the Liturgy of Good Friday in the aforesaid Missale Romanum be replaced with the following text:
Oremus et pro Iudaeis. Ut Deus et Dominus noster illuminet corda eorum, ut agnoscant Iesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum.

Flectamus genua.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vis ut omnes homines salvi fiant et ad agnitionem veritatis veniant, concede propitius, ut plenitudine gentium in Ecclesiam Tuam intrante omnis Israel salvus fiat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Such text is to be used, beginning in the current year, in all Celebrations of the Liturgy of Good Friday with the aforementioned Missale Romanu…

Declaration on the Anaphora of Addai and Mari
FOLLOW-UP: It was once condemned

Did the Roman Curia ever condemn the fact that one of the "Eastern Anaphoras" did not contain the Institution Narrative? A new portion of the article "Historical and Theological Argumentation in Favour Of Anaphoras without Institution Narrative: A Critical Appraisal" - of which we had posted just a few excerpts due to possible copyright restrictions - may help clarify the very interesting debate:

A bishop from the Church of the East arrived in Rome in the 16th century; he asked for and obtained ecclesiastical communion from the Pope, who recognized him as Patriarch. This was the return of a part of the Church of the East to full communion with the See of Peter; it would come to be called the Chaldean Church, inheritor of the catholicity of the pre-Council of Ephesus Church of the East. One Cardinal Amulius made a report to the Council of Trent about the “Chaldeans’” faith and sacraments, and his outline of their Mass specifically mentions the Narrative of the Instit…

Catholics and Politics:
Papal Reminders

Other matters may be relevant, but a present-day Catholic citizen should never place issues of lesser importance at the same level of "the three non-negotiables":

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable.

Among these the following emerge clearly today:


- protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;


- recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family - as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage - and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;


Lourdes + 150
Plenary Indulgence Reminder

As the Pope reminded all Catholics today, we are amidst a blessed season of Plenary Indulgences in celebration of the Jubilee of the 150th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes, France.
Each and every member of the Christian faithful who, truly repentant, is purified through sacramental confession, restored through the Most Holy Eucharist and offers prayers for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, will be able to gain a Plenary Indulgence daily, which may also be applied, by way of suffrage, to the souls of the faithful in Purgatory:
B) If, from the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord on 2 February 2008 until the end of the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes on 11 February 2008, which is also the 150th Anniversary of the Apparition, they devoutly visit a blessed image of the Holy Virgin Mary of Lourdes in any church, chapel, grotto or other suitable place in which it is solemnly displayed, and in the presence of that image perform some pious act of Mar…

Declaration on the Anaphora of Addai and Mari
Not an act of the Supreme Magisterium

Considering a recent discussion on this blog, a reader sent us these very interesting excerpts of an article included in the book Die Anaphora von Addai und Mari – Studien zu Eucharistie und Einsetzungsworten (The Anaphora of Addai and Mari - Studies on the Eucharist and the Institution Narrative), organized by Father U.M.Lang.

Historical and Theological Argumentation
in Favour Of Anaphoras without Institution Narrative:
A Critical Appraisal

Ansgar Santogrossi OSB,

In 2001 the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity wrote a letter to the Chaldean Catholic bishops expressing its judgment that Chaldean Catholics could, if necessary, receive the Eucharist consecrated by Assyrian Church of the East clergy using the Addai and Mari Anaphora which does not contain the Narrative of the Institution with its words “This is my body, this is my blood”. The Christian Unity Council indicated it had received approval of this judgment from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith…