Rorate Caeli

He has other matters to attend to

Surely, many of our readers know by now of the reports that, according to Rabbi Jacob Neusner, the Pope has indicated that the upcoming Volume 2 of Jesus of Nazareth will be his last book.

“Last January, when I met the Pope in Rome,” Neusner wrote over the weekend for Milan’s Corriere della Sera, “I asked him what he would write when he finished this book. Smiling, he replied, ‘Nothing else. This is my last book. I have other matters to attend to.’”

One can only hope and pray that this is a signal for major changes and reforms in the remaining years of the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. The faithful have suffered and been scattered for far too long.


  1. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.

  2. M. A.1:54 PM

    "One can only hope and pray that this is a signal for major changes and reforms in the remaining years of the reign of Pope Benedict XVI."

    I hope so, too, Mr. Palad. The laity can do only so much. The ship needs its master helmsman to take charge of the ship once more - to regain control and put the ship on steady course by executing concise orders to his officers. May our Lady, Star of the Sea be his guide and protection!

  3. Reform is simple - The Latin Mass of All Time with a restoration of real Roman Catholic discipline throughout The Church, sound papal governance with direct hierarchical responsibility and an immediate end to liberal modernist ecumenical & inter-religious politics. In 25 to 30 years, the balance of the lex credendi will be reestablished.

  4. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Rabbi Neusner would certainly be the one to know the pope's plans.

  5. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Hey Leon I will suggest to the Holy Father to call you up to Rome so you can tell us of what to do.

  6. There is so much to be done - how much energy or time does the Holy Father have to do it?

    We all lament the lack of "direct" action - imposition of rules about liturgy, seminary education, sacraments, discipline of heterodox theologians, etc. I suspect that at least one of the Pope's concerns is that there was so little support for his agenda int he episcopates that any new rules would be like seeds on barren rocky ground - they would become dead letters, ignored. So instead he tries to create a critical mass of supportive bishops and officials. This still seems too timid and much too slow; but I can at least understand the concern.

    But it's been too slow, and enemies of tradition continue to fight back.

    The escalating resignations in Ireland, and proactive steps to put new men in place to clean up the messes in Miami and Los Angeles are encouraging - but so many more need to be replaced. Especially in Europe and Asia.

    A full reconciliation with the SSPX is needed; as is the long-delayed instruction on Summorum Pontificum - with teeth, one hopes; and aggressive implementation of the Anglican ordinariates. I am not sure how much more we can hope for. But then again, the Holy Father has surprised us with his boldness.

  7. Anonymous6:32 PM

    I am all for the Pope reconciling the SSPX, because despite everythign the SSPX and their followers claim, their example is the greatest and first objection against the restoration of the TLM throughout the world. To mention the TLM is to put you, in the minds of many ordinaries, in the camp of potential schismatics, and to mark yourself off as a Catholic who is sick and needs to be watched and shepherded away from such things.

    This is because they all conceive the TLM as existing only as a point of an agenda to promote schism in the church, since the SSPX have made the TLM and their reason for disobedience to the local ordinaries in matters of sacramental discipline one and the same thing.

    That's not how many might see it, but that's how many bishops see it.

    That is why S.P. will do a lot more for the Church in the long run that the SSPX could ever do with the means of resistence they have chosen.

    A "reconciliation" is needed, but the recognition of the authority of the local ordinaries and a practical acceptance of their pastoral authority, now, would better relations tremendously.

    The SSPX for example can start dialoging with local ordinaries about mass times and other minor matters, so as to begin a process of regularization in all that does not touch doctrine and liturgical praxis. That would go along way to helping the Holy Father push the "reconciliation" through, and would be a great sign of good will to all the bishops of the world.

  8. Anonymous8:55 PM

    "The SSPX for example can start dialoging with local ordinaries about mass times and other minor matters,..."
    I think that you make a great point here, unfortunately I do not think that many Ordinaries are open minded enough to speak with Society priests.
    I personally contacted the Vicar General in my diocese to see if he could ask the Ordinary to open lines of communication with the local FSSPX pastor, who expressed to me that he would love to contact the Bishop and talk.

    I was informed, by the Vicar General, that it would not be possible for the FSSPX pastor to even speak with the Ordinary because the Society is not "regularised"

    He would not even listen to a fellow priest!

    Old Salt.

  9. @ Anonymous 20:55:

    Isn't it amazing how "not being regularized" is a hindrance to communication with Catholics that don't meet the progressive churchfolks' agenda, but it isn't at all a hindrance to visiting Hindu temples or "dialoguing" with Jews (and crap like that)?

    I, for one, would give bishops et al. a lot more credit for their convictions if they would actually just state them... "We refuse to speak with Catholics who don't ascribe to our narrow interpretation of the faith."

    After all, it's what the SSPX has itself done. I'm not a huge fan of the SSPX but at least I have no doubts that they believe in something greater than themselves. The progressives in the Church just seem to want to keep on good terms with their buddies in high society.

  10. Anonymous10:28 AM

    If a Old Catholic, Orthodox, Nestorian, or Monothelite asked to speak to your bishop, would he agree?

    Ask your vicar, and if he says, yes, explain to him the inherent contradiction, reminding him that the Bishop's duty before God is to be the shepherd of all.

  11. Anonymous4:08 PM

    At least in regard to Liturgy, the Holy Father's MC insisted that we should not expect major changes and reforms.

  12. Anonymous4:22 PM

    Rabbi who? Never heard of him.

    I think that we do have an indication that Benedict XVI is turning already to other things. Last week, he accepted the resignations of Bishop Moriarty of Kildare & Leighlin, Bishop Vanhelugwe of Bruges, and Archbishop Fiorenza of Miami. He also received an offer of resignation from Bishop Mixa of Augsburg, which he has yet to decide. Shortly before, he appointed a coadjutor for Mahony. In all these cases, bishops are being replaced owing to their failure in the sexual abuse scandals. The Pope is starting to take action. While far more will be needed, this is a very clear signal. So is his meeting with victims in Malta.

    Several here have commented on the S.S.P.X. I pray again that he publicly recognise in law the ability of Society Masses to fulfil the Sunday obligation. That would have a crucial long-term impact. If he throws in a recognition of their faculties as well, that would be wonderful. But I cannot see how a complete regularisation is even remotely possible. Let's not dream. In some ways, I can see now that a complete regularisation would be a bad thing. As an independent group, the Society is 100% independent of the local bishops and is able to operate internationally and without restriction from concordats signed by the Holy See and various countries. During a time of widespread apostasy and revolution against truth afflicting the very clergy of the Church, this sort of independence has its advantages.


  13. Anonymous3:54 AM

    Well great. I've been looking for justification for applying to Winona at some point. You've just provided more, Mr. Perkins. Thank you.

    I mean, what you say makes so much SENSE...

    (I'm not being facetious in case anyone was wondering.)


  14. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Dear Zakhur:

    The fact that the independence of the S.S.P.X has some important advantages does not mean that one is justified in joining it. We must act from a good intent and not just by calculating consequences. So the question of supporting the S.S.P.X may involve other factors. I have not changed my position: the fact that the Pope has offered the Society freedom from the local bishops means, in my view, that the state of necessity has ended. Of course, they obviouslsy think otherwise, and I cannot judge their honesty in such a matter. Only God can.


  15. Anonymous12:34 PM

    IIRC, Rabbi Neusner is a personal friend of Joseph Ratzinger's from way back, who was quoted several times to good effect in Jesus of Nazareth.

  16. Anonymous4:00 PM


    My thoughts exactly. Which is why, despite what I would LIKE to do, I would never do it.

    My personality is not THAT bold...

    But I had a wish list when I was a kid. I've got one now too.

    And the wish here expressed is just that Rome would get moving...


  17. John McFarland8:44 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    You can (theoretically) insulate tradition from the hostility of the ordinaries.

    You cannot insulate tradition from the fact that the Vatican works from substantially the same premises as the ordinaries.

    The liturgical revolution is a corollary of the dogmatic revolution begun at Vatican II, and there is not a scintilla of evidence that the Pope has backed away from that dogmatic revolution.

    Recall Archbishop Lefebvre's famous reference to "occupied Rome."

    Rome is still occupied, and so there is still a state of necessity.

  18. John McFarland9:51 PM


    Your lack of boldness is only an issue if it leads you not to do what's right.

    Do you think it's right or wrong to resort to the SSPX?

  19. Anonymous12:30 AM

    PK comments that the state of necessity has ended.Not so...just ask the bishop that heads up the FSSP or the local ordinary.

  20. Anonymous1:37 AM

    I wish I knew, John.


  21. John McFarland2:14 PM


    The question is: is what Rome currently teaches the same doctrine as that presented in any pre-Vatican II catechism?

    The answer, to anyone with eyes to see and the courage to admit what he sees, is obvious.

    (If you're the kind of guy who is too intelligent to recognize the obvious -- I myself am somewhat like that -- read Archbishop Lefebvre's books, and the SSPX's analyses of the new Mass and ecumenism.)

    So resort to those who teach the Catholic and apostolic Faith is not merely an option; it is a necessity. Without faith -- THE Faith -- it is impossible to please God.

    This has all sorts of uncomfortable, unpleasant and downright scary implications, implications that practically no one even dreamed of as little as fifty years ago. So most people find it easier to deny the truth than face up to its implications.

    But none of those implications are as uncomforable, unpleasant or scary as hellfire -- which is what we are flirting with if we sacrifice truth to authority.

  22. The question is: is what Rome currently teaches the same doctrine as that presented in any pre-Vatican II catechism?

    The answer, to anyone with eyes to see and the courage to admit what he sees, is obvious.

    Is what Rome taught from A.D. 325 on the same doctrine as that which the Church taught during the three centuries prior to Nicaea?

    The answer, to anyone with eyes to see and the courage to admit what he sees, is not so obvious as some might think.

  23. John McFarland11:16 PM


    To put the matter as charitably as possible consistent with the truth, the conciliar magisterium does not teach the complete and unequivocal doctrine of the Church, and has not disciplined any but a tiny handful of friendless bomb throwers. The better connected bomb-throwers live and die in good standing.

    The current Holy Father has been an important figure in doctrinal and disciplinary matters for many years. The preceding description applies to him as much as to the rest of the Curia, if not more so.

    Leaving aside everything else, it is the height of imprudence to follow uncritically a trumpet as uncertain as this.

  24. John McFarland11:27 PM


    St. Paul says that faith comes by hearing, and the Church has always taught that our unity in the Faith over two millennia is the common belief in that same doctrine, as handed down over the ages.

    But the current Holy Father says that our unity in faith over two millennia is a common experience of the Risen Christ.

    But this does not seem to be true.
    Nobody experienced the risen Christ but those who saw him between the Resurrection and the Ascension -- plus St. Paul.

    And even if it were true, how do we get from that common experience to the particular doctrines of the Faith?

    I see no continuity here, and suspect that others can't see it either.

    Would you please explain to us the continuity of doctrine between St. Paul and the Holy Father? Just a rough outline will be fine. I'm a fairly smart guy; if you can show me the dots, I can probably connect them for myself

  25. Anonymous4:43 AM

    Dollinger saw no continuity between the Church pre- and post-Vatican I. Dollinger and his "Old Catholics" felt Papal Infallibility was a discontinuous innovation and were firmly convinced they were being loyal to their conception of The Church when breaking away into theological entropy and schism. And where are the "Old Catholic" 'bishops' now? Consecrating anyone for $100 a head at garage sales. A post Vatican I catechism teaching papal infallibility would seem discontinuous from a pre-Vatican I catechism absent such teaching.

    Without seeing a pupa, can you -- or anyone else -- "connect the dots" between a caterpillar and a butterfly. Both are the same organism, but one develops from the other (although they appear to be entirely different).

    Jesus Christ was not obligated to "connect the dots" for the Apostles when affirming that he was the living bread from Heaven. God as Jesus Christ spoke, and the faithful Apostles listened. Those who couldn't -- or wouldn't -- understand walked away -- just like Dollinger and Archbishop Lefebvre walked away.

  26. Anonymous1:50 PM


    This I do know: the Dollinger case is not a valid comparison to the Lefebvre case.

    Dollinger obivously wasn't very acute. The tradition of the final authority of the Roman See was sufficiently strong to be "explicated" by Vatican I in the fashion it did. Furthermore, the undercurrent of Dollinger's action were the self-preservation arguments of the Jansenist heresy, not really good questions like the ones asked by Archbishop Lefebvre of a reform that has produced nothing good whatsoever.

    Have you read Iota Unum? Comparing things like the pre-Nicea era to the post-Vatican II era are fallacious arguments if used to criticize the actions of Lefebvre. On that reasoning, the faith is insufficently clear to the intellect in any given historical period, which is just untenable.

    The lack of clarity produced by this latest council is unique in the history of the Church, as Amerio proves. Thus, we have responses to it for which it is hard to find precedents.



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