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Showing posts from November, 2008

The Faith of the Demons

In response to a question regarding the post "True Faith" (Friday, November 28):

St. Thomas gives one of his main expositions on the virtue and act of faith in the initial questions of the Second Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae.

As regards the faith of the demons mentioned by the Epistle of St. James, we can say the following: the faith of viatores (those still on the way to the beatific vision, or at least their particular judgment if they are not among the elect) is an infused supernatural habit of the intellect inclining it to believe what God reveals on the authority of God revealing, but under the influence of the will moved by at least actual grace. If one is in the state of sanctifying grace and infused charity, then faith is said to be “formed,” and one’s good works done out of love for God known by faith are fruitful, living and meritorious of heaven. If one has lost charity through mortal sin, then the virtue of faith which remains is called “unformed…

Notes from the Iberian Peninsula

1. Our friends at "Missa Tridentina em Portugal" publish pictures of the "Seminar on Traditional Liturgy", held by the Fraternidad de Cristo Sacerdote y Santa María Reina, in collaboration with the Institute of the Good Shepherd (*Updated), for priests of Spain, Portugal, and other European nations, in the city of Pontevedra, Spain.

2. Reader Hugo Abreu informs us that the Traditional Latin Mass in Fátima (earlier post) is still a "private" (though open to the public). The chapel is too small to receive laity, they will ask the Bishop a larger Church. On the other hand, there is now, at last, a Diocesan Latin Mass open to the public in Portugal (although in the Ordinary Form), which is on a major Church of Lisbon, the Basílica dos Mártires (Our Lady of the Martyrs), which is very central, right in front of most famous cafe in the country, "A Brasileira".

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

SSPX Consecrates a New Church in Mexico DICI reports that on Saturday November 8, 2008, His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, consecrated the new church of Leon in the land of the Cristeros. Leon, an industrial city in the heart of Mexico with just over one million inhabitants, is the 6th largest city in the country and the largest city in the state of Guanajuato. The new church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. Its construction started in 2002-2003 and was funded entirely by the district of Mexico without any help from abroad.

A new friend of the Traditional Mass in the French hierarchy

Today, November 28, Friday, the Vatican Information Service announced this:


VATICAN CITY, 28 NOV 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

Fr. Jean-Pierre Batut of the clergy of the archdiocese of Paris, France, pastor of "Saint-Eugene et Sainte-Cecile", as auxiliary of Lyon (area 5,087, population 1,745,000, Catholics 1,207,000, priests 523, permanent deacons 59, religious 2,201), France . The bishop-elect was born in Paris in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1984.

Saint-Eugene et Sainte Cecile parish in Paris happens to offer both the Novus Ordo and the Gregorian Rite on Sunday and from Tuesday to Friday. On Mondays there is a Traditional Mass while on Saturdays there is a Novus Ordo Mass in Latin.
“True Faith”Bonetus (contributor)

In his most recent catechesis on St. Paul, the Holy Father said: “[F]aith, if it is true and real, becomes love, charity—is expressed in charity.Faith without this fruit, without charity, would not be true faith.It would be a dead faith”.(, Nov. 26). But there is a sense in which it cannotbe said that “faith . . . without charity would not be true faith,” for the Church anathematizesanyone who would say that “when grace has been lost through sin, faith too is always lost at the same time, or that the faith which remains is not true faith even though it is not living, or that he who has faith without charity is not a Christian” (Council of Trent, Decree on Justification, canon 28, emphasis added). This does not mean that Pope Benedict has taught heresy.From the full context of the talk it is clear that when he says “true faith” he is referring to what St. Thomas and theology call fides formata.Fides formata is the virtue of supernatural faith…

Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral

A report and pictures from our friends at The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales:

24 November 2008

Latin Mass Society Celebrates Its Annual Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral

Father Antony Conlon, National Chaplain of the Latin Mass Society, celebrated a High Mass of Requiem in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 22 November for the repose of the souls of all deceased members and supporters of the LMS. Father Tim Finigan was Deacon and the Sub-deacon was Fr Patrick Hayward. Gordon Dimon of the LMS was MC.

A congregation of about 600 heard the men of the Cathedral Choir sing traditional plainchant.

For the first time in many years, the Mass was followed by the traditional ceremonies of Absolutions at the Catafalque. Many in the congregation said afterwards how pleased they were that this ceremony had been reinstated.

Before Mass, a wreath was laid by Julian Chadwick, Chairman of the LMS, and other LMS Committee members on the grave of Cardin…

Australian Ordinations: Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

Last Saturday, 22nd November, the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, the Most Rev'd Mark Colleridge celebrated Pontifical Solemn Mass in his Cathedral and ordained to the Sacred Priesthood two deacons of the Fraternity of Saint Peter, the Rev'd Messrs Marco Rehak and Dominic Popplewell. Both deacons had been residents of Canberra, Australia's capital.

This wonderful occasion, attended by several hundred of the faithful was enhanced by splendid singing of the chant and polyphony of Durufle, as well as by the Archbishop's excellent command of the ceremonial and sacred chant.

We are pleased to include some photographic highlights here, captured by the indefatigable photographer of Australian Catholic Tradition, Tom Kwok of Sydney. Further photos can be seen here.

Synod Retrospective: Proposition 12 on Inspiration and truth in the Bible

Looking back to last month's Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church, it was right that alarm and concern was raised by the controversial Proposition 17, that for the first time in the Church's history the ministry of lector be granted to women. But the Synod offered another proposal that is of especial interest:

Proposition 12: Inspiration and truth in the Bible

The synod proposes that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarify the concepts of “inspiration” and “truth” in the Bible, along with their reciprocal relationship, in order to better understand the teaching of Dei Verbum 11. In particular, it’s necessary to emphasize the specific character of Catholic Biblical hermeneutics in this area.

Unlike Proposition 17, which is not in any way desirable and nor needed for the life and health of the Church (quite the contrary), Proposition 12 is both desirable and necessary, on account of the confusion and erroneous interpretations of t…

Conservative Trappist Abbey becomes exclusively "Old Rite"

[UPDATE:] Official communique of the Pontifical Commission ¨Ecclesia Dei¨.

A translation by Chris Gillibrand, at Catholic Church Conservation.
Cathcon translation of Zurück zum Glauben der Väter-Back to the Faith of the Father

In the Trappist Monastery of Mariawald in the Eifel an unexpected event has taken place which is unique in the world. On the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple - 21st November - the German Trappist abbey of Mariawald gained from Rome the permission to return to the Old Rite and their original religious discipline.

According to observers, this is a unique event in church history.

The Trappist were founded as a reform order of the Cistercians. Their day was marked by lengthy prayers, hard work and strict fasting and silence. In the wake of the Second Vatican, the religious discipline almost totally broke down.

The Abbey of Mariawald is located near the town of Heimbach in the Eifel in the district of Cologne. It is located in the Diocese of Aachen.

Rome upholds the excommunication of the "Pidhirtsi Fathers"

The Apostolic Signatura has refused to review the excommunication of the four Ukrainian priests who had been consecrated as bishops -- without being proposed as bishops by the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and without the requisite papal blessing -- last March. According to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine, the Apostolic Signatura's response to the four bishops stated that “…Having seen your instances to the Holy Father and the Major Archiepiscopal Tribunal enclosed with your letter, this Apostolic Signatura does not see any reason for it to intervene in this matter.”

The four priests -- Basilian hieromonks Elijah A. Dohnal, Methodius R. Shpirzhyk, Markian V. Hitiuk, and the priest Robert Oberhauser -- had been consecrated as bishops shortly before March 23 of this year. They are popularly called the "Pidhirtsi Fathers". As reported on this blog, the consecration of the four had been denounced on March 23 by Lubomyr Cardinal Husar of the …

Italian rumors

As first reported here in July, Andrea Tornielli confirmed yesterday the post-November (early December) nomination of Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, of Toledo, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The current Prefect, Cardinal Arinze, confirmed today the Pope's acceptance of the new ¨alternatives¨ to ¨Ite, missa est¨ and is pondering, after having consulted the bishops around the world, a change in the position of the ¨sign of peace¨ in the Mass of Paul VI (farewell interview to L´Osservatore Romano).

The future position of Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith is unknown at the moment, though, as also reported here last April, his return to his native Sri Lanka is quite probable.

SSPX Builds a New Church in the Heart of Rouen

The solemn consecration of the Church of Saint-François-de-Sales by His Excellency, Mgr. Tissier de Mallerais will take place on Saturday November 22, 2008 at 9:30 am in Rouen.
“The construction of a brand new church in the central district of Rouen is an extraordinary event in this ominous period in the life of the Catholic Church in France where all around us there are churches closing and steeples falling to the wrecking ball.”... La Porte Latine (Petit merci à Ennemond)

Maria, Virgo perpetua, templum Domini: ora pro nobis

Benedicta es cælorum ReginaEt mundi totius Domina,
Et ægris medicina;
Tu præclara Maris Stella vocaris,
Quæ Solem Iustitiæ paris,
A quo illuminaris.

Te Deus Pater,
Ut Dei Mater
Fieres, et ipse frater
Cuius eras filia,
Sanctam servavit,
Et mittens sic salutavit:
"Ave, plena gratia."

Per illud Ave prolatum
Et tuum responsum datum
Est ex te Verbum incarnatum
Quo salvantur omnia.

Nunc Mater, exora natum,
Ut nostrum tollat reatum
Et regnum det nobis paratum
In cælesti patria.

Amen. __________
(Recess for a few days. Important news may be posted at any time.)

"Illustrious for his learning and sanctity . . ."

Today the Church celebrates the birth into eternal life of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, whose life on earth extended from about A.D. 213 to A.D. 275:

Neocæsaréæ, in Ponto, natális sancti Gregórii, Epíscopi et Confessóris, doctrína et sanctitáte illústris, qui propter signa atque mirácula, quæ cum multa Ecclesiárum glória perpetrávit, Thaumatúrgus est appellátus.

"At Neocaesarea in Pontus, the birthday of St. Gregory, bishop and confessor, illustrious for his learning and sanctity. The signs and miracles which he wrought to the great glory of the Church gained for him the surname Wonderworker."

In addition to the many miracles God worked through him, St. Gregory also was renowned for his sublime explication of the Church's Trinitarian faith. Taking a leading role in the local council of Antioch (A.D. 269) that condemned the heresies and moral lapses of Paul of Samosata, St. Gregory issued a creed or confession of faith. According to a very early tradition handed down by those w…

For the Record: "Progressive" paper mentions possible Vatican-SSPX development

The French "Progressive Catholic" weekly Golias reports the following:
"According to our sources, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos and Mgr Perl, in charge of the Vatican 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, responsible for the dialogue with the Integrists [sic], would have drafted, along with an Italian prelate, Mgr Mario Marini [adjoint secretary of the Commission] a text of reconciliation in this direction [of pacification]."
The document, according to Golias, "would not mean a full and complete recognition of the Fraternity", but it would "recognize the good faith and the ecclesial sense of the Integrists, while a full agreement is not reached".

Tip: Le Forum Catholique

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - XIV

A friend informs us that the Traditional Latin Mass is now being celebrated regularly in the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, in Portugal. The weekly celebration takes place in the Chapel of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, in Fatima.

More pictures here.

Orthodox Bishop comments on the recent change of the 1962 Prayer for the Jews

Russian Orthodox theologian and bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna's lecture on "Theological Education in the 21st Century" is concerned, among other things, with the relationship between lex orandi and lex credendi. The entire lecture is worth reading; an excerpt can also be found on Interfax. However, our interest lies in his brief but unambiguous assessment of the recent changing of the 1962 Missal's Good Friday Prayer for the Jews.

This is being posted on Rorate not in order to reopen the wars on the change of the 1962 prayer for the Jews, but to cast greater light on the very real theological issues involved in that change.

From Hilarion of Vienna's lecture:

"Another divorce which needs to be mentioned is that between theology and liturgy. For an Orthodox theologian, liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theolo…

Fr. Frank Pavone, other pro-life leaders receive post-election death threats

From LifeSiteNews.Com

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life Receives Post-Election Death Threat

Commentary by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2008 ( - I received the following message on my blog ( ) the day after the elections:


I am predicting that there will be more anti-abortion terror because of this election. I AM ALSO PREDICTING THAT THIS TIME IT WILL BE ANSWERED IN KIND BY PRO-CHOICE COUNTERTERRORISTS, who will mount similar terrorist attacks against well-known right-to-lifers. FATHER FRANK will be a natural target for pro-choice counterterrorists.

I therefore advise you, Fr Frank, if you read that there has been another abortion-clinic shooting or bombing, get out of town immediately. Take a vacation abroad. Go visit the Vatican. If there is another act of anti-abortion terror, your life will not be safe in the USA.

Good luck.

Some other pro-life le…

Place your all in Him who lacks nothing

You must guard your understanding from daydreams and thoughts of earthly things. You must completely free the inclination of your will from worldly cares and cling with all your being to the supreme true good with fervent love. You must keep your memory always lifted up and firmly anchored in that same true supreme good and only uncreated reality. In just this way your whole mind gathered up with all its powers and faculties in God, may become one spirit with him, in whom the supreme perfection of life is known to consist. This is the true union of spirit and love by which a man is made compliant to all the impulses of the supreme and eternal will, so that he becomes by grace what God is by nature.

At the same time it should be noted that in the very moment in which one is able, by God’s help, to overcome one’s own will, that is to cast away from oneself inordinate love or strong feeling, in other words so as to dare simply to trust God completely in all one’s needs, by this very fact …

The “Dark Ecumenism”

Episcopal Bishop moves to undermine Catholic teaching in the dark of night
The Southern Voice has reported that Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly “gay” bishop in the Episcopal Church and world Anglican Communion admitted to leading a clandestine retreat a few years ago for “gay” Roman Catholic priests at their invitation. The retreat which was held at an undisclosed location was attended by about 75 Catholic clergy from around the U.S. who participated without notifying their bishops or provincial leaders according to Robinson. Apparently Robinson used the occasion to torpedo the Church hierarchy. He was quoted as saying, “I had said to them, ‘It’s too dangerous for you to come out as gay to your superiors, but I believe that if you work for the ordination of women in your church, you will go a long way toward opening the door for the acceptance of gay priests.”

As the world Anglican Communion continues to collapse under the weight of the folly of relativism, let us pray …

* Traditional Mass Can be Celebrated on Traditional Feast Days, Says Rome

Important news from our friends at The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales: 10 November 2008 Transferred Holydays of Obligation: an Important Clarification From the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei In April 2008, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales sought a ruling from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei aimed at harmonising the celebration of certain Holy Days of Obligation in the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. The bishops had, in the case of the Epiphany, the Ascension and Corpus Christi, transferred these to specific Sundays and in the case of all other Holy Days of Obligation that are kept in England and Wales, with the exception of Christmas, transferred them also to specific Sundays, whenever they fall on a Saturday or a Monday. They wished to ensure that these Holy Days were also kept on Sundays by those attached to the Extraordinary Form. Consequently, the Bishops’ Conference submitted a dubium to Rome but declined to relea…

Editorial note: Pro-death from day one

The reversal of the "Mexico City Policy" will be among the first measures of the future President of the United States. This was fully expected, of course, and it will mean that American taxpayers' money will be used to fund abortions worldwide, as well as to promote abortion throughout the world, particularly in Catholic nations in Latin America.

It is true that the power of the President of the United States is actually more limited than it seems. Yet, while judicial appointments are complex decisions and involve individuals who are ultimately beyond the control of any politician, the reversal of the Mexico City Policy is a clear example of an act of raw presidential power.

Public funding will be restored. Taxpayers' revenue will be spent. Babies will be killed around the world with the help of funding provided by all American taxpayers. Elections do have consequences.

"Quia adulteratæ sunt,
et sanguis in manibus earum,
et cum idolis suis fornicatæ sunt:
insuper e…

The inspiration of Pope Pius XII

All recognize in Pius XII an intelligence out of the ordinary, a memory of iron, a singular aptitude for foreign languages, and a notable sensibility. It has been said that he was an accomplished diplomat, an eminent jurist, a great theologian. This is all true, but it does not explain it all. There was also within him a continuous effort and a firm will to give himself to God, selflessly and with no concern for his own poor health.

The true motivation for his behavior was this: all originated out of love for his Lord Jesus Christ, an out of love for the Church and for mankind. He was in fact, above all, the priest in constant and intimate union with God, the priest who found the strength for his incalculable labor in long periods of prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament, in silent conversation with his Creator and Redeemer. Whence his Magisterium, as well as all his other activities, derive their source and impulse. Benedict XVI
November 8, 2008

For the Record: the influence of the "Extraordinary Form"

This excerpt of Archbishop Burke's interview to Inside the Vatican has been posted elsewhere, but we post it here for our ongoing record on the influence of the Extraordinary Form on the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, an influence which Burke believes will take place in an actual reform of the Sacred Liturgy:

[Inside the Vatican:] You were also very supportive of groups in St Louis, wishing to make use of Summorum Pontificum. With the looser restrictions in the celebration of the Old Mass, is the movement for tradition likely to grow, and what effect is this likely to have on the liturgical reform?

[Burke:] Pope Benedict XVI has made clear his reasons for the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, among which is the enrichment of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite through the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Such enrichment will be natural, since the Ordinary Form developed organically from what is now the Extraordinary Form. The more that the faithful come to appreciate the…

Decree for the removal of excommunications on the Pope's desk?

From Spanish blog La Cigüeña de la Torre:

On the Holy Father's bureau stands a prepared decree which will lift that of excommunion, of 1988, which applied to the consecrating [Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer] and consecrated bishops [Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Alfonso de Galarreta, and Richard Williamson]. I mean removing the decree, and not absolving of the excommunication.

The thesis of the subjective element, extenuating or mitigating of fault, and, therefore, of the penalty, according to Canons 1323, 4 and 7, and 1324, 1, 8, and 3, has prevailed.

The information sounds highly credible, it matches recent events (including the Rosary Crusade), and Spanish conservative Catholic lawyer Francisco José Fernández de la Cigoña usually only posts on future events (such as the nomination of Bishops) when he is truly certain of the matter. Nonetheless, even if the information is accurate, there is no way of knowing when the Holy Fathe…

Blessed are those who die in the Lord

Nolite mirari, hoc, quia venit hora, in qua omnes, qui in monumentis sunt, audient vocem Filii Dei: et procedent, qui bona fecerunt, in resurrectionem vitæ; qui vero mala egerunt, in resurrectionem judicii. (From the Gospel for the first Mass for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, transferred to the following Monday in 2008: John v, 28-29: "Wonder not at this, for the hour cometh wherein all that are in the grave shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.")

In the ... book of Ecclesiasticus we read that God hears the prayer of the poor man, especially at the time when this man has to die, and that He punishes hearts that are without pity. "The Lord is judge, and there is not with Him respect of person; the Lord will not accept any person against a poor man; He will hear the prayer of him that is wronged . . . [and …