Rorate Caeli

No one will ever replace priests!
Nothing will ever replace Holy Mass!

'Shun the worship of idols!', (1 Cor. 10:14), [Saint Paul] writes to a community deeply marked by paganism and divided between the observance of adherence to the novelty of the Gospel and the observance of old practiced inherited from their ancestors. ...

The word 'idol' comes from the Greek and means 'image', 'figure', 'representation', but also 'ghost', 'phantom', 'vain appearance'. An idol is a delusion, for it turns its worshiper away from reality and places him in the kingdom of mere appearances. Now, is this not a temptation in our own day – the only one we can act upon effectively? The temptation to idolize a past that no longer exists, forgetting its shortcomings; the temptation to idolize a future which does not yet exist, in the belief that, by his efforts alone, man can bring about the kingdom of eternal joy on earth! ...

Christ has willed that His Sacrifice be renewed, in a bloodless manner, every time that a priest repeats the words of the Consecration over the bread and over the wine. ... Millions of times over the last two thousand years, in the humblest chapels and in the most magnificent basilicas and cathedrals, the risen Lord has given himself to his people, thus becoming, in the famous expression of Saint Augustine, 'more intimate to us than we are to ourselves' (cf. Confessions, III, 6, 11). ... The Mass invites us to discern what, in ourselves, is obedient to the Spirit of God and what, in ourselves, is attuned to the spirit of evil. ... [Christ] alone teaches us to shun idols, the illusions of our minds. ...

Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid to give your life to Christ! Nothing will ever replace the ministry of priests at the heart of the Church! Nothing will ever replace a Mass for the salvation of the world! Dear young people, and those not so young who are listening to me, do not leave Christ’s call unanswered!

Benedict XVI
Mass at the Esplanade des Invalides, Paris
September 13, 2008


  1. Anonymous2:18 AM

    Viva il Papa!
    Viva Cristo Rey!
    Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, we adore thee!

  2. Anonymous7:39 AM

    Your first bold highlight seems misplaced. The pope, great and balanced as ever, spoke of two popular idolizations of time. You highlighted the second, but not the first - shouldn't it be the other way around?

    As usual, virtue is the golden mean between two vices. Pointing out one vice in other people, while indulging in the other, is the usual mote-beam trap. I suggest that for the regulars on this blog, you would better switch the highlighting and point out that the pope warned of idolizing the past. It surely is the more likely danger here.

  3. Anonymous8:34 AM

    The best part of the homily is what is not underlined by our host : the catechesis of the Mass as Sacrifice. Rorate Caeli readers are all aware of that but among the Novus Ordo people, it is far from being common sense. One TV channel, the most important, was telling the Mass is nothing but a gathering to commemorate Jesus ... and there was a French bishop among the team of commentators.
    This whole Mass was a rebuke of what 80% of French NO faithful are exposed to in their parishes/communities : some faithful have been refused communion if they knelt in the past ... receiving in your hands is largely the common way to receive and the true way as shown in this Mass was constantly turned into a mockery in the past 30 years.
    So the major point was : what is the Mass, what does it mean ? The pope used the words that Novus Ordo people very rarely hear in their parishes : "sacrifice", "Real Presence".
    The Creed was, alas, the usual Apostles Symbol and the assembly was reduced to sing "yes we believe" which is very dangerous : NO people have been thus trained to ignore the words, especially Nicea-Constantinople creed, and to say "yes" to whatever foolishness the priest or the litnik team can utter.

    But this being set aside, there was also a stress on a few minutes of silence : 220.000 people staying silent for 2 or 3 minutes, it is deeply impressing. Silence is as we know the ennemy of litniks.

    So this conforting Ordinary Form made the plane interview with the "act of tolerance" even more devastating for TLMers. What we can do in our Extraordinary Form communities every week, it needs a pope in person to do a third of it in France ... so the only chance for NOers to move on from their present miserable status is to have more and more and more TLMs. That has nothing to do with a mere "act of tolerance", and certainly not going back to the 1984 indult regime with trad-hating bishops in charge !

  4. Your suggestions were great, and duly accepted. Thank you!

  5. St Pio of Pietrelcina said that it would be easier for the Earth to exist without the sun than it would be for it to exist without the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass - but, of course, he had the Latin Mass of All Times in mind.

    However, the pope is right about priests and The Holy mass being indispensable. Nonetheless, he would receive more vocations if they ditched the protestantised "fabricated" NO service of Bugnini and replaced it with The Holy Mass said everyday by St Pio of Pietrelcina. Who wants to be the presider of an assembly while every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing your job for you? The Latin Mass allows the priest to be the priest.

  6. Leong,

    There is nothing to stop a priest celebrating the NOM from acting as a priest, not a mere presider.

    Case in point: Papa Benedict XVI.

  7. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Any idea why it is so difficult to find pictures of the pope celebrating Mass in Paris and Lourdes? I am suprised there are no discussions on how he celebrated and administered communion. Not wanting to raise any conspiracy theories, but help ...

  8. "There is nothing to stop a priest celebrating the NOM from acting as a priest, not a mere presider"

    Indeed there is since it is a protestantised liturgy that was "fabricated" to encourage audience participation and that is exactly what the church got out of it with the community music to match. Pope Benedict XVI is attempting to recreate something more Catholic out of a faulty tool. If he wants it better translated; more reverent; a new offertory structure; Latin added; no infernalkiss of peace; Communion kneeling and on the tongue and other significant particularly musical alterations then it is time to abandon this charade of a liturgy which is most obviously un-Catholic in many respects and restore the authentic liturgical "non-vernacular only" expression of the church. Pope Gregory the Great and Pope St Pius V knew better. All the other popes between them and up to Pope Pius XI agreed with them.


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