Rorate Caeli

Solemn Pontifical Mass to be celebrated by Bishop
at the Copenhagen Cathedral

Vox clamantis in deserto!
The St. Charles Borromeo Group in Copenhagen, Denmark, is pleased to announce that a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Throne will take place in St. Ansgar's Catholic Cathedral in Copenhagen at 16:30 hrs on Sunday, January 10th, 2010 (the Feast of the Holy Family according to the 1962 calendar).

The Celebrant will be the Bishop of Copenhagen, His Excellency Czeslaw Kozon. He will be assisted by clergy of the diocese and of the FSSP.

This will be the first Solemn Pontifical Mass according to the older liturgical books celebrated in Scandinavia since the liturgical reform of 1969. The event is rendered all the more significant by the fact that it will be celebrated by the Ordinary in his own cathedral.

The past weeks have seen a couple of priests of the Diocese of Copenhagen launch vicious attacks against the Traditional Latin Mass, which Bishop Kozon have publicly refuted. The Latin Mass community in Copenhagen wishes to express its sincerest gratitude to Bishop Kozon for this defence of Catholic liturgical tradition and for his pastoral generosity towards those of his subjects who wish to have their spiritual lives nurtured by this form of the Mass.

At present, the Mass of 1962 is offered twice monthly in the Diocese of Copenhagen, on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at Jesu Hjerte Kirke (Church of the Sacred Heart) in Copenhagen by priests of the diocese. We kindly ask for prayers for Bishop Kozon, and for the flowering of the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia.

In particular, we encourage all our Catholic friends from Scandinavia to join us for this momentous event and testify to the desire that is present in our societies for the ancient form of Mass.
Recess for several days; updates will probably be scarce till mid-December.


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    This is the sort of news I like to hear first thing in the morning! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous2:29 PM

    This is indeed excellent news for Scandinavia as Catholics in this part of the world have been especially ill treaten by their pastors when requesting the traditional mass.

    However, not wishing to criticise bishop Kozon, I find some aspects of his "public refutal" of the two priests attack (indeed vicious and scandalous so as to be undworthy of repeating here) on the mass unnecessary and even wrong.

    His Excellency of Copenhagen is saying:

    - that the NOM will remain normative in the diocese

    - that Catholics wishing to attend the old mass have to be engaged in normal parish life and their adherence to the Church can "under no circumstances depend on the availability of the old mass

    - that NOM has to accepted

    - that no one will be able to live the "life of the Church" without the NOM

    - that all Catholics will have access to the NOM

    Now, why all these conditions? Is there a particular doctrinal or disciplinary issue that has to adressed so severely against traditional Catholics? Why not impose the same conditions on the modernist clergy that, it would clearly seem, should be of greater concern to His Excellency of Copenhagen.


  3. Anonymous4:20 PM

    As long as we're talking Denmark, see this great site:


  4. Norwegian Anon,

    As for Bishop Kozon stating that the NOM remaining normative in the diocese, well - you can't really criticize him for that as it is also the position of the Holy Father and anyway a fact of life in today's Church no matter where you are.

    And of course, with the TLM at the time being available on only 40% of holy days of obligation, Catholics will have to avail themselves of NO Masses if they are to fulfill their religious obligations.

    Now you may ask why Bishop Kozon doesn't just erect a personal parish and designate a priest to celebrate the TLM, but the fact is that there is no diocesan priest in Denmark who is willing to take up such a task permanently and no traditional orders have the resources to man a permanent mission in Copenhagen.

    On another note, there are signs that the TLM will be celebrated more frequently in Lund in Sweden, only a good hour's drive from Copenhagen, so it seems things are not bad for the Øresund region. I hope you will very soon get regularly scheduled Masses in Norway soon as well; the near-complete absence of the TLM in Norway is a disgrace.

  5. Anonymous9:49 PM

    There is a Danish priest from the FSSP ministring in Amsterdam. Why doesn't Bishop Kozon call upon him?

    I am sorry, but I cannot accept the argument of the shortage of priest any more. The bishops have had so many years to resolve the matter (not just two!) Have they even tried to encourage traditional vocations? Have they promoted traditional clergy in their dioceses? Have they accepted foreign help when it was offered? However an important virtue humility is, we mustn't allow ourselves to be taken for fools.

    "no traditional orders have the resources to man a permanent mission in Copenhagen"

    Not true. I don't know your age, but you may know that such an initiative by the FSSP for Scandinavia as a hole was already expressely hindered by the Nordic bishops and some others, about ten years ago. Just ask around, this is common knowledge among informed traditionalists in Scandinavia.

    Just imagine what the result of a decade of such an apostolate would have meant for the Church in this region. They turned it down!

    I am afraid the simple reason is they don't want to. That is my opinion, based upon years of experience in the matter.

    In my opinion, this also renders the Scandinavian mission of the FSSPX to the much deprived faithful legitimate. SOS State of necessity.

    However, let's pray and hope that the TLM transforms bishop Kozon, that he may inspire his Nordic colleagues to allow the FSSP to be established within the realm of the NBC. After all, I hear he is a good shepheard.

    Oremus pro invicem!


  6. Anonymous11:37 AM

    If Danish diocesan priests can offer the T.L.M. on alternate Sundays, why not every Sunday? Would it mean that they'd have to cancel their meetings at the Rotary Club?

    On the other side, I suppose that we tend to be thankful for any Mass in Scandinavia. After all, there are so few faithful there and we have no Latin Masses for huge Catholic cities in Latin America and even India, not to mention the dearth in the Philippines, Spain, especially Portugal


  7. Why don't people just not comment on things they know nothing about?

    It is true that there was talk about an FSSP apostolate in the Nordic countries many years ago, and it is deeply regrettable that the offer was turned down, but things have moved on since then and at the moment the FSSP are much overstretched. Fr. John Berg stated this when he visited Denmark some months ago. As for Fr. Martin Knudsen, he is sorely needed in Amsterdam as he is the only FSSP priest who speaks Dutch.

    "If Danish diocesan priests can offer the T.L.M. on alternate Sundays, why not every Sunday?"

    Of the three priests that have agreed to celebrate the TLM in Copenhagen, one is the Vicar General who is also Pastor for the Faroe Islands, one has pastoral responsibilities in Greenland from time to time, and as for the third, well you'll have to ask him why but he simply does not want to celebrate it more than once a month and there is really no way to force him to.

    I am not saying you are not both right to criticize the Nordic Bishops. They could certainly be more friendly towards Catholic tradition (though they are by no means the worst of the lot), they are not doing a very good job of ensuring solid education for their seminarians, their public statements on faith and morals are frequently ambiguous or even wrong, and catechesis is downright dismal. But things have to be seen in proportion. As long as only 40 faithful attend the TLM in Copenhagen it is difficult to argue that investing arguably disproportionate amounts of time and money in that community will pay off, no matter how much you and I know it will.

    Remember also that the Bishops are constantly under pressure from the secular establishment and the Liberals in the Church. They need our support, even if they do not always merit it.

  8. Anonymous3:11 PM

    "I suppose that we tend to be thankful for any Mass in Scandinavia"

    This is spot on, the dilemma facing Catholics deprived of the TLM. It seems that in some dioceses, the hierarchy is playing the old carrot and stick game.

    Yes, one mass is better than no mass at all.

    Yes, 40 % of the Sundays is better than 10 % or 20 %.

    But the fundamental problem is how the TLM is regarded. The statement of this bishop is assuring regarding the NOM and speaks of legitimate diversity regarding the TLM. Something like "Don't worry folks, access to the NOM is still guaranteed everywhere but we have to do something about the faithful who long for the TLM. It is after all legitimate. So they will have the mass every now and then. Ok?"


  9. Anonymous4:37 PM

    New to this site, but I did attend Mass in St. Angsar's Cathedral in 1996. If you've never been, go early because it can be hard to find and is not large. It is in fact the former chapel of the Imperial Austrian Embassy and the old Habsburg arms can be found in several placed toward the rear.

    Tom in California

  10. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Gideon Ertner wrote:
    "As for Fr. Martin Knudsen, he is sorely needed in Amsterdam as he is the only FSSP priest who speaks Dutch."
    It is not true. In Amsterdam works also Fr. Andrzej Komorowski FSSP who speaks Dutch fluently. I've read also that last summer one FSSPX Dutch priest moved to FSSP.


  11. Anonymous10:41 PM

    Dear Mr Ertner,

    Sure, it is good news as this will be the first pontifical mass at the throne in entire Scandinavia since the introduction of the NOM. But His Excellency should do it at a regular mass hour when most of the faithful attend, in order to manifest clearly that the latin mass is legitimate and for everyone.

    The mistake is to have the TLM being just another group mass seemingly to satisfy the liturgical aficionados attached to the smells and bells of the liturgy (they tend to admire the blue biretta of the ICK rather than the plain black of the FSSP).

    This, I have gathered is of some concern in Sweden. When left unchecked this can hinder the florishing of a traditional community, tending more towards a museum of history or an antique shop than a vibrant and attractive Church militant. How is it in Denmark regarding this particular issue?

    Unhealthy archeologism exists also among traditionalists. The ennemy is clever.


  12. Anonymous11:22 PM

    A newly ordained Swedish priest of the SSPX will be celebrating eight masses in the TLM in Sweden in the month of December alone. He will also be travelling to Norway and denmark in the New year from his base in London Uk.

  13. Robin,

    As far as I know the tendency in Sweden to have Mass on weekdays has rather more to do with necessity than with a 'museum' attitude towards the liturgy. I think that the ICRSS simply don't have the resources to send priests up for weekends. Anyway the Swedes are trying hard to get Swedish priests to include the TLM in the normal Sunday 'repertoire'.

    I don't know enough Swedish trads to comment on whether they are beholden to excessive aestheticism. As for Denmark, we are very much FSSP country...

  14. Being one the organizers, I happen to have personal insight into the ICKSP's visits to the diocese of Stockholm. Hopefully, the following will help giving a clearer picture.

    The reason for the current schedule of weekday masses during the Institute's visit is indeed one of priest shortage. Quite simply. However, in both Stockholm and Lund, we still manage to have Sunday Mass. (As do they in Gothenburg and Jonsered.) I might add that the Bishop of Stockholm is most favorable to the the Gregorian rite, although not everyone in his entourage is. The imprimatur he gave to a small missal for the classical liturgy and the foreword that he wrote for it prove this amply.

    The reason why the FSSP was not asked to keep visiting Sweden after a somewhat short trial period, several years ago, was largely one of mentality and psychology, I'd say. Perhaps one of timing, too. Of course, there is no denying the reality of the opposition met by the traditional liturgy here as elsewhere in the Church. However, that was not the main reason in this case. Nor does the Bishop look upon the old Roman rite as a museum artifact. In fact, he has stated the opposite quite publicly.

    Hopefully, given the Institute's current and rapid growth, the ICKSP will before long be asked to establish itself in Sweden. The Bishop is very happy with its presence and has stated so officially. He has also visited Institute houses on several occasions and will shortly be meeting with one of its Superiors anew.

    Sometimes, patience, dedication, kindness and prayer simply is the best medicine.

  15. Anonymous1:09 PM

    "As for Denmark, we are very much FSSP country..."

    Great! A friendly advice, don't let the ICK in or you'll soon start wearing blue.

    The so called canons of the ICK are not real canons (see their statutes), their leader is not a regular Monsignor (se Annuario Pontifico).



  16. Anonymous2:52 PM

    "that was not the main reason in this case"

    So, which was the main reason the FSSP was hindered to be established then?


  17. Anonymous5:15 PM

    "As far as I know the tendency in Sweden to have Mass on weekdays has rather more to do with necessity than with a 'museum' attitude towards the liturgy."

    Sure, this is correct. However, my concern was more about the excessive concern about the aesthetics that tend to ridicule the traditional movement into something of a parvenu.

    Needless to say, this doesn't come from any of the Scandinavian bishops but is something that can come be observed amongst the 'aficionados' in Sweden. Let's just say the prefer the blue biretta over the black.


  18. Jon K5:24 PM

    To Ed, one might charitably point out the following:

    - Canon Raphaël Ueda from the ICKSP will be in Denmark to celebrate Mass this Dec. 27th;

    - we, the Swedish Friends of the Institute, have excellent relations with our Danish friends;

    - superficial criticism of hard-working priests mostly reflects on him from whom such criticism comes;

    - uniformity never was the Catholic way.

  19. Jon K5:26 PM

    I suggest that "Robin" read what the Holy Father recently said about truth and beauty. Or must the Pope count among the "aficionados"?

  20. Anonymous5:35 PM


    if you accuse hard-working people of an "excessive concern about the aesthetics that tend to ridicule the traditional movement into something of a parvenu", it's up to you to provide some solid evidence thereof. Failing to do so could qualify as calumny.

    I leave it to the readers of RC to decide who is obsessed with the blue tuft on the Institute biretta.

  21. Anonymous1:37 AM

    This is just so typical of admirers of the ICK, not to confront the issue raised by the critics, the excessive concern, not normal but excessive, the rubricism and the aestheticism.

    I've heard people complain about what shoes the priest is wearing and how he holds his hands while celebrating mass. It is well known that some traditionalists, they are known as rubricists, are mainly concerned with the priest observing every rubric rather than accepting the normal pastoral and liturgical evolution in the Church.

    To me this is just silly and makes the traditional movement look ridiculous. I much prefer the sane aesthetics combined with doctrine, of the FSSP or even the SSPX for that matter. Sorry, I am not in to 18th century nostalgia.

    I have also heard that the ICK celebrates the NOM when they are asked to. Perhaps also in latin?
    Maybe this is why a very renowned liturgist (of holy memory) left the ICK several years ago? Can anyone confirm this?

    Hamburg, Deutschland

    ps. I also don't understand why one would claim a title of Monsignor when one isn't one. (Thanks, "Ed" for the link)

  22. Anonymous10:10 AM

    "- superficial criticism of hard-working priests mostly reflects on him from whom such criticism comes;

    - uniformity never was the Catholic way."

    That's true especially in the case of hordes of amateur ceremoniaries yelling at the SSPX for bishop de Mallerais' lack of tunicle.

    Aesthetics and celebration of liturgy are the main charisms of the ICKSP. One may argue if they can be charisms when they are an obligation for everybody, actually...

  23. Jon K8:21 PM


    You obviously know very little about the Institute and its work. And even less about its apostolate in Scandinavia. I suggest you learn. "Veritas liberabit vos."


    Allow me two simple reflexions:

    1. I fear no answer in the world could possibly satisfy you.

    2. I sincerely hope that your mindset is not representative of the FSSPX - which you mention for no apparent reason.

  24. FranzzJosf4:51 AM

    Frankly, I'm an SSPXer all the way, and not particularly fond, though not hostile to, the Institute, but I must defend the 'monsignor'. (Why this bothers people, I do not understand.) Over the centuries the church developed the custom of allowing clerics to retain official titles even though they no longer hold the office. For instance, a Cathedral Rector or Chancellor is 'The Very Reverend X' After he retires he is usually entitled to continue to use the title, especially in europe. Somes egalitarianism gets the better of the more dictatorial bishops in the US (Imagaine that?) and they don't allow it, but it has been very much the custom in Europe for years.

  25. Anonymous11:14 AM

    My humble remarks to the discussion above, would be the following.

    In itself it's a good thing that the Institute has adopted the TLM.

    I think the reason they raise certain questions among traditionalists is simply their bi-ritualism, which I understand they adopt for political reason to gain favors from the local hierarchy. Their Superior General stated, not long ago, something like them being intelligent in the matter. This diminishes their legitimacy in Catholic Tradition, whose main ambition is to contribute to the restoration of the Church and thus resist the NOM. If such favors are obtained at the expense of other traditional orders, this especially harms the relations and unity among traditionalists.

    The issue is sensitive in Catholic Tradition. A traditionalist priest thus loses legitimacy if he celebrates the NOM. But a Novus Ordo priest who begins to offer the TLM gains legitimacy, although if still a bi-ritualist.

    On the aestheticism, the charge has often been made at traditionalists to caricaturize their nostalgia of the past as liturgical snobbery. Of course, a serious traditionalist would amply refute this as an offense to his sincerity in the Faith. He wouldn't indulge in it.

    That seems to be the two major issues at hand with the Institute, regardless of the question if their Superior General abusively makes use of a title or not or if they are real canons or not. Their statutes would indeed indicate the contrary, as well as the Church history of canons.

    Maybe Rome could one day clarify this authoritatively, as these issues resurfaces from time to time. I think it would be beneficiary for all, wouldn't you agree?


  26. Anonymous3:14 PM

    "Maybe Rome could one day clarify this authoritatively"

    From time immemorial it incumbs upon a person claiming a title to produce the appropriate evidence of it, not the other way around.

    If in doubt, one should then ask the noble Institute to produce their letters of nobility. The Vatican having suffered no revolution with burned archives the last twenty years, this shouldn't prove to difficult.

    Meanwhile Rome has already answered by not having father Wach included in the list of Monsignors in the Annuario Pontificio, doubled by an official answer from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in 2005, only stating the obvious.

    It is to be expected that a simular response would be made regarding their claimed status of canons. Their statutes say "ad instar. A nobleman is not "like a nobleman", he is a nobleman

    Mgr Schmitz, however is a real Monsignor.

    //The 9th

  27. From time immemorial it incumbs upon a person claiming a title to produce the appropriate evidence of it, not the other way around.

    On the contrary, the person making any kind of assertion is bound to produce evidence to support it. You have made assertions and you are just as obligated to provide evidence of your claims as Msgr. (?) Wach and the ICR is.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!