Rorate Caeli

"One must then bear in mind the living tradition of the whole Church"

In the November 2009 edition of Living Tradition, Msgr. John F. McCarthy reflects upon Pope Benedict XVI's address of 14 Oct. 2008, to the constituents of the Fourteenth General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops. The Holy Father's words, criticising Modernist interpretation of Sacred Scripture, anticipated in part that month Synod Proposition 12, requesting clarification of the Church's beliefs regarding the inspiration and truth of the Bible. Following the Oct. 2008 meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, the Pope instructed the Pontifical Biblical Commission to prepare a study on the subject of Proposition 12, and the PBC had already prepared an early draft of the study by April 2009. Although this is certainly "old news," still the Pope's words of 14 Oct. 2008 illustrate his thinking on authentic and fruitful Catholic exegesis of Scripture, and on the relationship between the so-called historico-critical methodology and Catholic exegesis and theology, and could indicate in part what the final draft of the PBC study on the Bible's divine inspiration and truth will have to say. The Pope's address, from an unofficial English version provided by the Vatican website, is as follows (emphasis added):
Dear Brothers and Sisters, the work for my book on Jesus offers ample occasion to see all the good that can come from modern exegesis, but also to recognize the problems and risks in it. Dei Verbum 12 offers two methodological indications for suitable exegetic work. In the first place, it confirms the need to use the historical-critical method, briefly describing the essential elements. This need is the consequence of the Christian principle formulated in John 1:14, Verbum caro factum est [the Word was made flesh]. The historical fact is a constitutive dimension of Christian faith. The history of salvation is not a myth, but a true story and therefore to be studied with the same methods as serious historical research.

However, this history has another dimension, that of divine action. Because of this Dei Verbum mentions a second methodological level necessary for the correct interpretation of the words, which are at the same time human words and divine Word. The Council says, following a fundamental rule for any interpretation of a literary text, that Scripture must be interpreted in the same spirit in which it was written and thereby indicates three fundamental methodological elements to bear in mind the divine dimension, the pneumatology of the Bible: one must, that is, 1) interpret the text bearing in mind the unity of the entire Scripture; today this is called canonical exegesis; at the time of the Council this term had not been created, but the Council says the same thing: one must bear in mind the unity of all of Scripture; 2) one must then bear in mind the living tradition of the whole Church, and finally 3) observe the analogy of faith.
Only where the two methodological levels, the historical-critical and the theological one, are observed, can one speak about theological exegesis — of an exegesis suitable for this Book. While at the first level, today’s academic exegesis works on a very high level and truly gives us help, the same cannot be said about the other level. Often this second level, the level constituted of the three theological elements indicated by Dei Verbum seems to be almost absent. And this has rather serious consequences.

The first consequence of the absence of this second methodological level is that the Bible becomes a book only about the past. Moral consequences can be drawn from it, one can learn about history, but the Book only speaks about the past and its exegesis is no longer truly theological, becoming historiography, the history of literature. This is the first consequence: the Bible remains in the past, speaks only of the past.

There is also a second even more serious consequence: where the hermeneutics of faith, indicated by Dei Verbum, disappear, another type of hermeneutics appears of necessity, a secularized, positivistic hermeneutics, whose fundamental key is the certitude that the Divine does not appear in human history. According to this hermeneutic, when there seems to be a divine element, one must explain where it came from and bring it to the human element completely. Because of this, interpretations that deny the historicity of divine elements emerge. Today, the so-called “mainstream” of exegesis in Germany denies, for example, that the Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist and says that Jesus’ corpse stayed in the tomb. The Resurrection would not be an historical event, but a theological vision. This occurs because the hermeneutic of faith is missing: therefore a profane philosophical hermeneutic is stated, which denies the possibility both of the entrance and the real presence of the Divine in history. The consequence of the absence of the second methodological level is that a deep chasm was created between scientific exegesis and lectio divina. This, at times, gives rise to a form of perplexity even in the preparation of homilies.

Where exegesis is not theology, Scripture cannot be the soul of theology and, vice versa, when theology is not essentially the interpretation of the Scripture in the Church, this theology has no foundation anymore.

Therefore for the life and the mission of the Church, for the future of faith, this dualism between exegesis and theology must be overcome. Biblical theology and systematic theology are two dimensions of the one reality, what we call Theology.

Due to this, I would hope that in one of the propositions the need to bear in mind the two methodological levels indicated in Dei Verbum 12 be mentioned, where the need to develop an exegesis not only on the historical level, but also on the theological level is needed. Therefore, widening the formation of future exegetes in this sense is necessary, to truly open the treasures of the Scripture to today’s world and to all of us.

Previous posts on this subject:

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

Pope addresses PBC on the Divine Inspiration and Truth of Scripture

Veni Praecelsa Domina

Come, o Supreme Lady,
O Mary, do thou visit us,
enlighten our sickly souls
by the example of thy life.

Come, O Salvatrix of the world,
take away the filth of sin;
by visiting thy people,
remove their peril.

Come, O Queen of nations,
extinguish the flames of guilt,
rectify what is wrong,
give us to live innocently.

Come, and visit the sick,
O Mary, fortify the strong
with thy holy vigor,
so that the brave fail not.

Come, O thou Star, and Light of Seas,
shed thy ray of peace on us;
let the heart of John exult
with joy before the Lord.
Veni Praecelsa Domina
(an ancient Sequence for the Traditional Feast of the Visitation,
in honor of the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen)

Una Voce consultation:
Help Una Voce compile a worldwide report by the lay faithful
while the episcopal letters are being written

Our friend Mr. Leo Darroch, President of the International Federation Una Voce, wrote this as a comment in our last thread, and we believe it deserves a post of its own:
Readers of Rorate Caeli may be interested to know that the International Federation Una Voce has just started a consultation exercise; the third since the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was promulgated.

In September 2008 all member associations were asked to provide information about the implementation of the motu proprio in their countries during the first year. This first report was presented in Rome to the PCED and a copy for the Holy Father was entrusted to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. Subsequently, I received a letter from the Substitute at the Secretariat of State thanking me for the report and advising me to contact the Prefect of the Papal Household for a brief audience with the Holy Father.

The Una Voce Federation then conducted a second consultation exercise in September 2009 to monitor developments during the second year of the motu proprio and I was able to place this report directly into the hands of the Holy Father on 28th October 2009 (see our website for report and photographs). I was accompanied by Vice President Jack Oostveen, Secretary Rodolfo Vargas Rubio, and Treasurer Mrs Monika Rheinschmitt. We were able to spend several minutes explaining the contents of our report and present other documentation. During that visit to Rome we also presented copies of our report to all the Prefects and Secretaries of all the major dicasteries and also to l’Osservatore Romano.

I believe this forthcoming Una Voce report on the third anniversary of the motu proprio, which coincides with the accounts being produced by our bishops, will be of vital importance in the safeguarding of the traditional Mass and liturgy. It is no secret that many bishops are against Summorum Pontificum and their reports may well reflect this antipathy. It is for this reason that I have asked our members for comprehensive reports and documentation that truly reflects the situation in their countries so that Rome will be in no doubt about the reality of the implementation of the motu proprio. Despite the lack of episcopal enthusiasm in many parts there is a real growth in interest in the traditional liturgy; the International Federation Una Voce is receiving requests from many parts of the world for information and help, and none more so than in Central and South America – and from young people. Anyone who is not a member of any group and would like more information may I suggest that you check out our website and contact the member association in your country or area. Although it is right and proper for the Pope to consult his bishops it is quite clear from the motu proprio that the Holy Father's concern is for priests and the laity. Therefore, it is perfectly in order for the laity to make their feelings known to Rome about how it is being implemented.

Leo Darroch,
President - Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce

By the way: if you can help the great work accomplished by the International Federation, consider their latest appeal. Donations can be made by PayPal.

The letters are arriving
What can you tell us?

Do you remember this portion of the Papal letter to Bishops which accompanied the publication of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum?
Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.
A reader in America informs us that his archdiocese received a letter from the Vatican on the application of Summorum Pontificum two weeks ago (just in time for its third anniversary) and is close to sending its response back.

Could you tell us anything, from wherever you are in the world? You may also send us any relevant information on the matter: newcatholic AT gmail DOT com.

Cardinal Cañizares to visit IBP in Bordeaux

On Saturday, July 10 at 9:30 am we will have the great pleasure of welcoming to Saint-Eloi in Bordeaux, His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is a great honor to have this prelate at the Institut du Bon-Pasteur, which he has always held in high esteem. He will perform the ordinations of a priest, Father Jean-Francois Billot, a deacon, Father Remy Balthazard, and a sub-deacon, Father Stephen Lecarme.

I therefore have the pleasure of inviting you all to this moving ceremony to see and hear the head of the liturgy for the Universal Church. His commitment to the extraordinary form is well known and he is a master of its use.

I also have the pleasure of inviting you all to the first Mass to be celebrated by Fr. Billot the following day, July 11 at 10:30 am in the same parish….

I look forward to seeing you for this great event in the Church!

Abbé Philippe Laguérie

Past and future events

1. The first pictures of one the French Pentecost Pilgrimages are now available: the Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage (Le Forum Catholique); many other pictures available here.

2. The Prefect of Divine Worship, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, will visit the main church of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, the Parish Church of Saint-Eloi (Bordeaux), on July 10, where he will take part in the ordinationof a new priest, a new deacon, and a sub-deacon.

¡Feliz bicentenario!

As the news of the almost complete domination of Napoleon Bonaparte's troops in Spain arrived in the Indias, cries for autonomy started to be heard throughout the crumbling Spanish Empire.

Catholic would fight against Catholic (there were many Catholics, and, yes, there were several Freemasons, but on both sides) until the dust settled in Ayacucho, Peru, in 1824. But the autonomy claimed by the vecinos of City of the Most Holy Trinity in the Port of Saint Mary of Buenos Aires on May 25 1810 would never be reverted.

On this Argentine Bicentennial, we salute all Catholic patriots in the Americas in this "Bicentennial Year" for many of their nations, remembering the words of a Catholic, General Manuel Belgrano, in his will signed on May 25, 1820:

"In the name of God, and with his holy grace, Amen. Let it be known that I, Manuel Belgrano, a native of this city, brigadier of the armies of the United Provinces of South America, legitimate son of Domingo Belgrano y Peri and of María Josefa González, both deceased; being infirm with what Our Lord God has deigned to give me, but by his infinite mercy in possession of my complete judgment, fearful of the death which infallibly comes to every creature and of the uncertainty of its time, in order that it will not come without the things related to my conscience and to the welfare of my soul are not ordered, I have decided to established my will, believing, before everything else, as I firmly do, in the great mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one only true God, and in the other mysteries and sacraments which are possessed, believed, and taught by our Holy Mother the Roman Apostolic and Catholic Church, under whose true faith and belief I have lived and profess to live and die, as a Catholic and faithful Christian that I am, taking as my intercessor and advocate the Most Serene Queen of the Angels, Mary Most Holy, Mother of God, Our Lady and devotion [and Lady] of the Heavenly Host, under whose protection and help I order my will in the following manner:

"1st. I first deliver my soul to God Our Lord, who created it from nothing, and I deliver my body to the earth from which it was formed, and, when His Divine Majesty decides to take my soul from the present life to the eternal one, I order that my body, wrapped in the habit of the patriarch of Saint Dominic, be buried in the pantheon that my family holds in said convent [Dominican Convent of Buenos Aires]..."
Picture: Belgrano delivers his command baton to the Virgin of Mercy, naming her General of the Argentine Army (1812).

In need of a revolution?

I'm supposed to be on blogging recess until May 30, but the following passage in a recent speech by Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem on the upcoming Middle Eastern Synod in Rome (October 10-24, 2010) caught my attention. I think it deserves to be discussed on this blog:

The Synod sets forth two main goals:

1 - Confirm and strengthen Christians in their identity through the Word of God and the Sacraments.

2 - Giving new life to the ecclesial communion between the sui iuris Churches so that they might provide an authentic witness of joyful and attractive Christian life.

One peculiarity of the Middle East is the large number of sui iuris Eastern Churches that have taken root here: the Melkites, Syrians, Maronites, Copts, Armenians and Chaldeans. These churches need to live their liturgical and linguistic particularity on the one hand, and a greater communion among themselves on the other. Currently, this communion leaves something to be desired. They also need pastoral and liturgical renewal. The Latin Church went through this change at the Second Vatican Council, which revolutionized its liturgy and ecclesiology and gave it a new openness to the world. The Eastern Churches are in need of a similar revolution so that they might be able to adapt and modernize and thus better meet the needs of their congregations today.

Incidentally, the Lineamenta for the upcoming Synod states that:

60. The Liturgy promises to be an area of regular collaboration between Catholics and Orthodox. Many desire a liturgical renewal which is grounded in Tradition and cognisant of modern sensitivities and current spiritual and pastoral needs. As far as possible, such work needs to be collaborative undertaking.

No one denies that the Eastern Catholic Churches are facing serious challenges, but one wonders how the move to renew these Churches will impact on the sacred liturgy.

Day of Prayer for the Church in China

Dear Pastors and all the faithful, the date 24 May could in the future become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China. This day is dedicated to the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.

I would like that date to be kept by you as a day of prayer for the Church in China...

On that same day, the Catholics of the whole world – in particular those who are of Chinese origin – will demonstrate their fraternal solidarity and solicitude for you, asking the Lord of history for the gift of perseverance in witness, in the certainty that your sufferings past and present for the Holy Name of Jesus and your intrepid loyalty to his Vicar on earth will be rewarded, even if at times everything can seem a failure.

Pope Benedict XVI
Letter to the Catholics of China
May 27, 2007

"The unity of the Spirit is manifested in the plurality of understanding"

The Spirit triggers a process of reunification of the divided and dispersed parts of the human family; persons, often reduced to individuals in competition or in conflict with each other, reached by the Spirit of Christ, open themselves to the experience of communion, can involve them to such an extent as to make of them a new organism, a new subject: the Church. This is the effect of God’s work: unity; thus unity is the sign of recognition, the “business card” of the Church in the course of her universal history. From the very beginning, from the day of Pentecost, she speaks all languages. The universal Church precedes the particular Churches, and the latter must always conform to the former according to a criterion of unity and universality. The Church never remains a prisoner within political, racial and cultural confines; she cannot be confused with states not with federations of states, because her unity is of a different type and aspires to transcend every human frontier.

From this, dear brothers, there derives a practical criterion of discernment for Christian life: When a person or a community, limits itself to its own way of thinking and acting, it is a sign that it has distanced itself from the Holy Spirit. The path of Christians and of the particular Churches must always confront itself with the path of the one and catholic Church, and harmonize with it. This does not mean that the unity created by the Holy Spirit is a kind of homogenization. On the contrary, that is rather the model of Babel, that is, the imposition of a culture of unity that we could call “technological.” The Bible, in fact, tells us (cf. Genesis 11:1-9) that in Babel everyone spoke the same language. At Pentecost, however, the Apostles speak different languages in such a way that everyone understands the message in his own tongue. The unity of the Spirit is manifested in the plurality of understanding. The Church is one and multiple by her nature, destined as she is to live among all nations, all peoples, and in the most diverse social contexts. She responds to her vocation to be a sign and instrument of unity of the human race (cf. “Lumen Gentium,” 1) only if she remains free from every state and every particular culture. Always and in every place the Church must truly be catholic and universal, the house of all in which each one can find a place.

Pope Benedict XVI

Homily for Pentecost

May 23, 2010

The Prophet - II
The "Moderns" and their high-sounding words
creeping into the very veins of the Church

Celebrating 100 years of
Editae Saepe,
the encyclical of Pope St.Pius X on St. Charles Borromeo

In those days [the 16th Century] passions ran riot and knowledge of the truth was almost completely twisted and confused. A continual battle was being waged against errors. Human society, going from bad to worse, was rushing headlong into the abyss. Then those proud and rebellious men came on the scene who are "enemies of the cross of Christ . . .Their god is the belly...they mind the things of earth."

These men were not concerned with correcting morals, but only with denying dogmas. Thus they increased the chaos. They dropped the reins of law, and unbridled licentiousness ran wild. They despised the authoritative guidance of the church and pandered to the whims of the dissolute princes and people. They tried to destroy the Church's doctrine, constitution and discipline. they were similar to those sinners who were warned long ago: "Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil."

They called this rebellious riot and perversion of faith and morals a reformation, and themselves reformers. In reality, they were corrupters. In undermining the strength of Europe through wars and dissensions, they paved the way for those modern rebellions and apostasy. This modern warfare has united and renewed in one attack the three kinds of attack which have up until now been separated; namely, the bloody conflicts of the first ages, the internal pests of heresies, and finally, in the name of evangelical liberty, the vicious corruption and perversion of discipline such as was unknown, perhaps, even in medieval times. Yet in each of these combats the Church has always emerged victorious.

God, however, brought forth real reformers and holy men to arrest the onrushing current, to extinguish the conflagration, and to repair the harm caused by this crowd of seducers. Their many-sided zealous work of reforming discipline was especially consoling to the Church since the tribulation afflicting her was so great.
The true son of the Church and reformer never thinks he has attained his goal. Rather, with the Apostle, he acknowledges that he is only striving for it: "Forgetting what is behind, I strain forward to what is before, I press on towards the goal, to the prize of God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus."

The reformers that Borromeo opposed ... tried to reform faith and discipline according to their own whims. Venerable Brethren, it is no better understood by those whom We must withstand today. These moderns, forever prattling about culture and civilization, are undermining the Church's doctrine, laws, and practices. They are not concerned very much about culture and civilization. By using such high-sounding words they think they can conceal the wickedness of their schemes.

All of you know their purpose, subterfuges, and methods. On Our part We have denounced and condemned their scheming.

They are proposing a universal apostasy even worse than the one that threatened the age of Charles. It is worse, We say, because it stealthily creeps into the very veins of the Church, hides there, and cunningly pushes erroneous principles to their ultimate conclusions.

Both these heresies are fathered by the "enemy" who "sowed weeds among the wheat" in order to bring about the downfall of mankind. Both revolts go about in the hidden ways of darkness, develop along the same line, and come to an end in the same fatal way. In the past the first apostasy turned where fortune seemed to smile. It set rulers against people or people against rulers only to lead both classes to destruction.

Today this modern apostasy stirs up hatred between the poor and the rich until, dissatisfied with their station, they gradually fall into such wretched ways that they must pay the fine imposed on those who, absorbed in worldly, temporal things, forget "the kingdom of God and His justice." As a matter of fact, this present conflict is even more serious than the others. Although the wild innovators of former times generally preserved some fragments of the treasury of revealed doctrine, these moderns act as if they will not rest until they completely destroy it.

When the foundations of religion are overthrown, the restraints of civil society are also necessarily shattered. Behold the sad spectacle of our times! Behold the impending danger of the future! However, it is no danger to the Church, for the divine promise leaves no room for doubt. Rather, this revolution threatens the family and nations, especially those who actively stir up or indifferently tolerate this unhealthy atmosphere of irreligion.

St. Pius X
May 26, 1910

New sodality for servers - and training course for servers

From our friends at The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales:


On Saturday 15th May 2010, at Blackfriars, Oxford, the Society of St Tarcisius, a sodality of servers of the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form), was founded during a training day for altar servers, arranged by the Latin Mass Society. Thirty servers were present, with the training being delivered by Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, Br Lawrence Lew OP, Mr David Forster, and Mr Richard Hawker. The day began with an address from Fr de Malleray on the importance of the service of the altar. The servers were divided into two groups of the less and more experienced for training. Some people travelled long distances to attend - one as far as Preston, Lancashire.
The two groups each had an experienced MC and a cleric to guide them: the less experienced group was led by Fr de Malleray and David Forster; the more experienced group by Br Lawrence Lew and Mr Richard Hawker. The day was interspersed with prayers and ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Society of St Tarcisius has been founded to encourage servers of the Traditional Mass in their work on the altar, to provide training for new servers and the more experienced, to promote a high standard of reverence and accuracy, and to form a network through which servers can stay in touch and share resources.

The Society of St Tarcisius is sponsored by the Latin Mass Society, though membership is open to all who wish to serve the Traditional Mass. Saint Tarcisius was a Roman acolyte who was martyred while defending the Holy Eucharist from profanation during the fierce persecutions of the third century. The sodality has taken “Fidelis usque ad mortem” – Faithful even unto death – as its motto, and seeks to inculcate in servers an intense devotion and reverence for Our Lord in the Eucharist, as well as a precise attention to the ceremonies of the Mass.

The society’s website is Servers wishing to join the sodality should contact the Secretary, Mr David Forster.

Photographs of the training event on Saturday 15th May can be seen here.

The Latin Mass Society and the Society of St Tarcisius will be holding a residential training course for lay servers at Downside Abbey, Somerset, from Tuesday 10 August to Friday 13 August. This will run alongside the LMS’s Downside training conference for priests to learn the Extraordinary Form. Full details are available from the LMS.

Solemn Mass in the Brazilian Capital

Wonderful images of the Solemn Mass celebrated on May 15 by Bishop Fernando Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the A.A. Saint John Mary Vianney in the Parish Church Santo Cura D'Ars, as part of the National Eucharistic Congress, which took place in the national capital, Brasília.

Eight Bishops were present at the Mass.

(Source: Missa Tridentina em Brasília, via Fratres in Unum)

The Prophet - I
The miracle of the Church
amidst the flood of corruption of her members

Celebrating 100 years of
Editae Saepe,
the encyclical of Pope St.Pius X on St. Charles Borromeo

The Pope reminds all the faithful of our age of the miracle that is the Church, unblemished by the errors and sins of those who are within her ranks:

...God's goodness bears witness to the divinity of the Church. He makes her victorious in that painful battle against the errors and sins that creep into her ranks. Through this victory He verifies the words of Christ: "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." In her day-to-day living He fulfills the promise, "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world." Finally, He is the witness of that mysterious power of the other Paraclete (Who Christ promised would come immediately after His ascension into heaven), who continually lavishes His gifts upon her and serves as her defender and consoler in all her sorrows.
This is the Spirit Who will "dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him...he will dwell with you and be in you." The life and strength of the Church flows forth from this font. As the ecumenical Vatican Council teaches, this divine power sets the Church above every other society by those obvious notes which mark her "as a banner raised up among the nations."

In fact, only a miracle of that divine power could preserve the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, from blemish in the holiness of Her doctrine, law, and end in the midst of the flood of corruption and lapses of her members. Her doctrine, law and end have produced an abundant harvest. The faith and holiness of her children have brought forth the most salutary fruits. Here is another proof of her divine life: in spite of a great number of pernicious opinions and great variety of errors (as well as the vast army of rebels) the Church remains immutable and constant, "as the pillar and foundation of truth," in professing one identical doctrine, in receiving the same Sacraments, in her divine constitution, government, and morality.
This is all the more marvelous when one considers that the Church not only resists evil but even "conquers evil by doing good." She is constantly blessing friends and enemies alike. She is continually striving and ardently desiring to bring about the social and individual Christian restoration which is her particular mission in the world. Moreover, even her enemies benefit from it.
St. Pius X
May 26, 1910


Dear friends,

It remains in fact very easy for any of you to comment here: the registration makes the debate easier to follow and makes the job of the moderators lighter and easier.

Google registration does not even ask you for any personal information, just an email address, see

Daily TLM live on the Internet

For those who have no access to a daily (or even an every-Sunday) Traditional Latin Mass, the Christ the King Catholic Church in Sarasota (staffed by the FSSP) now broadcasts its daily and Sunday Traditional Latin Masses at this website: LiveMass.Net. Check the homepage for the schedule.

Our readers are invited to post in the combox about other websites where the TLM is simulcast on a regular basis. (For those who want to see the pre-1951 rubrics in action and who won't mind watching a sedevacantist Mass, the website of Saint Gertrude the Great also has a live simulcast of its daily Missa Cantata.)

Cría cuervos... - I

From the website of RTL (Belgium):

"For the past three weeks, a beautiful example of openness of spirit and tolerance has been displayed in Jumet [Charleroi]. The Church of Saint-Lambert welcomes the Muslim community of Gilly, deprived of a worship space due to administrative problems."
Video below (as Father Henry Remy, 89, explains his enlightened decision).

Events: Tuscany

Third All Tuscany Pilgrimage

Saturday May 29, 2010
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montenero
Leghorn (Livorno)
11.30 A.M. Tridentine Pontifical Mass, celebrated by His Excellency Most Reverend Mons. Ennio Appignanesi ,Archbishop emeritus of Potenza, hosted by His Excellency Mons. Simone Giusti, bishop of Livorno. The liturgical service will be performed by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception. Faithful from outside Tuscany are welcome.

“In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved”

Once again Paix Liturgique has commissioned a Harris poll to gauge interest in the Traditional Mass – this time in Portugal in anticipation of the Popes visit. The poll was taken from April 29 to May 6 from a sample of 1433 people over the age of 18 living in Portugal. 950 of these considered themselves Catholic. Here are the results:

Question 1: Do you attend Mass?

Weekly: 11.7%
Once a month: 7.6%
On major feast days: 12%
Occasionally (weddings, etc.): 68.7%

Question No. 2: In July 2007 Pope Benedict XVI said that the Mass could be celebrated both in its modern form known as "ordinary" or "Paul VI" - in Portuguese, with the priest facing the faithful and Communion being received standing – as well as in its traditional form known as "extraordinary" or "John XXIII" - in Latin with Gregorian chant, the priest turned toward the altar and Communion received kneeling. Were you aware of this?

Yes: 26%
No: 74%

Question 3: Would you consider it normal or abnormal if the two liturgical forms were to be celebrated regularly in YOUR parish?

Normal: 44.7%
Abnormal: 40%
No opinion: 15.3%

Question 4: If Mass were to be celebrated in Latin with Gregorian chant in its extraordinary form in YOUR parish, without replacing the "ordinary" in Portuguese, would you attend?

Responses only from regular attendees (weekly and monthly)
- 29.5% would attend weekly
- 24% once a month
- 14.2% for major feasts
- 23.5% occasionally
- 8.8% never

Paix Litrurgique notes that there are currently only two regularly scheduled traditional Masses in the entire country. One extra-parochial Mass at Fatima and another offered by the SSPX at Lisbon.

An update from the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer

From the Papa Stronsay blog:

Last night I was surprised to be alerted to the article of Damian Thompson in The Telegraph blog. We had not been asked about this project as I am sure the organisers would state. It is true that our faculties for celebrating the Mass in public are restricted to the islands of Papa Stronsay and Stronsay.

I would like to give our friends and families an update on our process of canonical erection. To be as clear as possible I limit myself to saying that things are not at all easy for us.

Our seminarians, two of whom could be ordained to the priesthood, finish their studies this month and are not able to be ordained because we have not been canonically erected as yet. We ask for your prayers.

For the rest, let me invoke St. Arsenius as quoted by St. Alphonsus. I am thankful for their wisdom particularly in a time when one would like to speak from the heart; and loudly.

Restraint and silence are the better roads.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
Rome, 15 May, 2010

The update comes on the heels of the Catholic bishop of Aberdeen blocking a Traditional Latin Mass that was to be celebrated in St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall. The cathedral is now held by the Church of Scotland, which had given permission for the Mass to be offered.

The Cost of Father Maciel

From the June / July 2010 edition of First Things:

Cardinal Sodano has to go. The dean of the College of Cardinals, he has been found too often on the edges of scandal. Never quite charged, never quite blamed, he has had his name in too long a series of depositions and court records and news accounts—an ongoing embarrassment to the Church he serves. The Vatican has been responding in a disorganized way to the frenzy of recent press stories about often thirty-year-old abuse cases. What it should do is put its own house in order, moving out the unhelpful remnants of the bureaucracy that allowed those scandals to fester for so long.


...The deeper point is the lack of consequences— visible consequences—for failures and missteps and wrong associations in the Vatican. The real problem is that heads haven’t rolled, penalties haven’t been exacted, for Fr. Maciel’s deceptions.

For many years, Cardinal Sodano received money and benefits for his projects from the Legion of Christ, and in 1998 he halted investigations into sexual abuse by the Legion’s founder. That apparent quid pro quo ought to have a price.

It ought to have a price precisely because the scandal of Fr. Maciel is so deadly. The child-abuse cases were a corruption in the Church. What Fr. Maciel attempted is a corruption of the Church...

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto

From Italian news agency ADNKronos:

Italy: Deported Moroccans 'plotted to kill Pope'

Rome, 13 May (AKI) - Two Moroccan terrorist suspects deported from Italy last month were allegedly plotting to kill Pope Benedict XVI, Italian weekly Panorama claims in its latest issue to be released on Friday. Mohammed Hlal and Errahmouni Ahmed were students at the University of Perugia until their repatriation to Morocco on 29 April.

"Hlal wanted to kill the Vatican's head of state (the pope), saying he was ready to assassinate him and gain his place in paradise," Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni wrote in the expulsion order authorising Hlal and Ahmed's deportations, cited by Panorama.

Anti-terror police in Perugia intercepted Hlal discussing his plans to carry out attacks and readiness to obtain explosives for the attacks during a series of tapped telephone conversations, according to Panorama.

Moroccan authorities on 6 May released Hlal and Ahmed, who had been receiving legal assistance from a local human rights association.

The pair have denied any wrongdoing and said they intend to challenge their expulsions in the administrative tribunal in Italy's Lazio region surrounding Rome.

In a media statement issued at the time of their expulsion, the Italian interior ministry described the men as "dangerous" and a "threat to national security".

The interior ministry claimed they had links to an international network of Islamist miliists and were prepared to carry out "extremist acts".

Hlal and Ahmed's deportation followed a probe begun by anti-terrorism police in October 2009 into a group of radical Muslim foreign students in Italy, most of whom came from the Moroccan city of Fez. Several were studying at Perugia.

The interior ministry said Hlal and Ahmed belonged to this group.

I chose you

We must overcome the temptation to restrict ourselves to what we already have, or think we have, safely in our possession: it would be sure death in terms of the Church’s presence in the world; the Church, for that matter, can only be missionary, in the outward movement of the Spirit. From its origins, the Christian people has clearly recognized the importance of communicating the Good News of Jesus to those who did not yet know him. In recent years the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed; today the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, in the search for ways of building, along with all people of good will, the peaceful coexistence of peoples. The field of the mission ad gentes appears much broader today, and no longer to be defined on the basis of geographic considerations alone; in effect, not only non-Christian peoples and those who are far distant await us, but so do social and cultural milieux, and above all human hearts, which are the real goal of the missionary activity of the People of God.

This is the mandate whose faithful fulfilment “must follow the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and of self-sacrifice even unto death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection” (Ad Gentes, 5). Yes! We are called to serve the humanity of our own time, trusting in Jesus alone, letting ourselves be enlightened by his word: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15:16). How much time we have lost, how must work has been set back, on account of our lack of attention to this point! Everything is to be defined starting with Christ, as far as the origins and effectiveness of mission is concerned: we receive mission always from Christ, who has made known to us what he has heard from his Father, and we are appointed to mission through the Spirit, in the Church. Like the Church herself, which is the work of Christ and his Spirit, it is a question of renewing the face of the earth starting from God, God always and alone.
Benedict XVI
Oporto, May 14, 2010

Florida Alert

The parish priest of Saint Anthony's, in San Antonio, Florida (Tampa Bay Area), is under fire from the anti-Catholic liberals in his parish who cannot get over the fact that he is a priest obedient to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Among the myriad of Masses in the "Ordinary Form" that he celebrates every week, Father Palka offers a public Sunday Traditional Mass, and a private one on Mondays.

That is it - but that and a few moments of dignity introduced in the activity of the Parish have been enough to induce a group of rabid dissidents to get a hearing with the Bishop of Saint Petersburg today.

We and our thousands of readers (including those oltre Tevere) are aware of what is happening, and we will not keep silent.

The Pope and the Cross

The strength the Lord on high has granted to this old man placed by Him as Successor of Peter is unbelievable, while the Judases of the episcopate betray the Bishop of Rome every single day, in words and deeds, from Austria to Australia.

Address in full:
Dear Brother Bishops,

I thank God for giving me this occasion to meet all of you here at the Shrine of Fatima, the spiritual heart of Portugal, where multitudes of pilgrims from all over the world come looking to discover or to reinforce their certainty in the truths of Heaven. Among them has come from Rome the Successor of Peter, accepting the oft-repeated invitations and moved by a debt of gratitude to the Virgin Mary, who herself transmitted to her seers and pilgrims an intense love for the Holy Father which has borne fruit in a great multitude which prays, with Jesus as its guide: Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

[The Papal Ministry]

As you see, the Pope needs to open himself ever more fully to the mystery of the Cross, embracing it as the one hope and the supreme way to gain and to gather in the Crucified One all his brothers and sisters in humanity.

Obeying the word of God, he is called to live not for himself but for the presence of God in the world. I am comforted by the determination with which you too follow me closely, fearing nothing except the loss of eternal salvation for your people, as was clearly expressed in the words of greeting spoken by Archbishop Jorge Ortiga upon my arrival in your midst, and which testify to the unconditional fidelity of the Bishops of Portugal to the Successor of Peter. From my heart I thank you. I thank you as well for all the attention that you have given to organizing my Visit. May God reward you, and pour out the Holy Spirit in abundance upon you and your Dioceses so that, with one heart and with one soul, you may bring to completion the pastoral work which you have begun, that is, offering each member of the faithful an exacting and attractive Christian initiation, one which communicates the integrity of the faith and genuine spirituality, rooted in the Gospel, and capable of forming free and generous labourers in the midst of public life.

[Lay Witness]

In truth, the times in which we live demand a new missionary vigour on the part of Christians, who are called to form a mature laity, identified with the Church and sensitive to the complex transformations taking place in our world. Authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ are needed, above all in those human situations where the silence of the faith is most widely and deeply felt: among politicians, intellectuals, communications professionals who profess and who promote a monocultural ideal, with disdain for the religious and contemplative dimension of life. In such circles are found some believers who are ashamed of their beliefs and who even give a helping hand to this type of secularism, which builds barriers before Christian inspiration. And yet, dear brothers, may all those who defend the faith in these situations, with courage, with a vigorous Catholic outlook and in fidelity to the magisterium, continue to receive your help and your insightful encouragement in order to live out, as faithful lay men and women, their Christian freedom.

[Bishops and silence]

You maintain a strong prophetic dimension, without allowing yourselves to be silenced, in the present social context, for “the word of God is not fettered” (2 Tim 2:9). People cry out for the Good News of Jesus Christ, which gives meaning to their lives and protects their dignity. In your role as first evangelizers, it will be useful for you to know and to understand the diverse social and cultural factors, to evaluate their spiritual deficiencies and to utilize effectively your pastoral resources; what is decisive, however, is the ability to inculcate in all those engaged in the work of evangelization a true desire for holiness, in the awareness that the results derive above all from our union with Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit.

[Faith: the 'movements']

In fact, when, in the view of many people, the Catholic faith is no longer the common patrimony of society and, often, seen as seed threatened and obscured by the “gods” and masters of this world, only with great difficulty can the faith touch the hearts of people by means simple speeches or moral appeals, and even less by a general appeal to Christian values. The courageous and integral appeal to principles is essential and indispensable; yet simply proclaiming the message does not penetrate to the depths of people’s hearts, it does not touch their freedom, it does not change their lives. What attracts is, above all, the encounter with believing persons who, through their faith, draw others to the grace of Christ by bearing witness to him. The words of Pope John Paul II come to mind: “The Church needs above all great currents, movements and witnesses of holiness among the ‘Christifideles’ because it is from holiness that is born every authentic renewal of the Church, all intelligent enrichment of the faith and of the Christian life, the vital and fecund reactualization of Christianity with the needs of man, a renewed form of presence in the heart of human existence and of the culture of nations (Address for the XX Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Conciliar Decree “Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 18 November 1985). One could say, “the Church has need of these great currents, movements and witnesses of holiness…, but there are none!”

In this regard, I confess to you the pleasant surprise that I had in making contact with the movements and the new ecclesial communities. Watching them, I had the joy and the grace to see how, at a moment of weariness in the Church, at a time when we were hearing about “the winter of the Church”, the Holy Spirit was creating a new springtime, awakening in young people and adults alike the joy of being Christian, of living in the Church, which is the living Body of Christ. Thanks to their charisms, the radicality of the Gospel, the objective contents of the faith, the living flow of her tradition, are all being communicated in a persuasive way and welcomed as a personal experience, as adherence in freedom to the present event of Christ.

The necessary condition, naturally, is that these new realities desire to live in the one Church, albeit with spaces in some way set aside for their own life, in such a way that this life becomes fruitful for all the others. The bearers of a particular charism must feel themselves fundamentally responsible for communion, for the common faith of the Church, and submit themselves to the leadership of their Bishops. It is they who must ensure the ecclesial nature of the movements.

[The responsibility of Bishops]

Bishops are not only those who hold an office, but those who themselves are bearers of charisms, and responsible for the openness of the Church to the working of the Holy Spirit. We, Bishops, in the sacrament of Holy Orders, are anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus the sacrament ensures that we too are open to his gifts. Thus, on the one hand, we must feel responsibility for welcoming these impulses which are gifts for the Church and which give her new vitality, but, on the other hand, we must also help the movements to find the right way, making some corrections with understanding – with the spiritual and human understanding that is able to combine guidance, gratitude and a certain openness and a willingness to learn.

[Bishops as Fathers]

This is precisely what you must foster or confirm in your priests. In this Year for Priests now drawing to a close, rediscover, dear brothers, the role of the Bishop as father, especially with regard to your priests. For all too long the responsibility of authority as a service aimed at the growth of others and in the first place of priests, has been given second place. Priests are called to serve, in their pastoral ministry, and to be part of a pastoral activity of communion or oneness, as the Conciliar Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis reminds us, “No priest is sufficiently equipped to carry out his mission alone and as it were single-handed. He can only do so by joining forces with other priests, under the leadership of those who govern the Church” (No. 7). This is not a matter of turning back to the past, nor of a simple return to our origins, but rather of a recovery of the fervour of the origins, of the joy of the initial Christian experience, and of walking beside Christ like the disciples of Emmaus on the day of Easter, allowing his word to warm our hearts and his “broken bread” to open our eyes to the contemplation of his face. Only in this way will the fire of charity blaze strongly enough to impel every Christian to become a source of light and life in the Church and among all men and women.

[Bishops and service]

Before concluding, I would like to ask you, in your role as leaders and ministers of charity in the Church, to rekindle, in yourselves as individuals and as a group, a sense of mercy and of compassion, in order to respond to grave social needs. New organizations must be established, and those already existing perfected, so that they can be capable of responding creatively to every form of poverty, including those experienced as a lack of the meaningfulness in life and the absence of hope. The efforts you are making to assist the Dioceses most in need, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries, is praiseworthy. May difficulties, which today are more deeply felt, not make you shrink from the logic of self-giving. Let there continue and flourish in this country, your witness as prophets of justice and peace, and defenders of the inalienable rights of the person. Join your voice to the voices of the least powerful, whom you have wisely helped to gain a voice of their own, without ever being afraid of raising your voice on behalf of the oppressed, the downtrodden and those who have been mistreated.

I entrust all of you to Our Lady of Fatima, and I ask her to sustain you with her maternal care amid the challenges which you face, so that you will be promoters of a culture and a spirituality of charity, peace, hope and justice, faith and service. To you, to the members of your families and to your diocesan communities I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
Benedict XVI
Address to the Bishops of Portugal
Fatima, May 13, 2010

Cañizares on Summorum

From a letter (in Spanish) sent by the Prefect of Divine Worship, Cardinal Cañizares, to those who took part in the 1st Summorum Pontificum Liturgy Congress, which took place in Madrid in the end of April:

The Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" is to be understood within this complete view of the teaching and actions of the Holy Father, never as something [that is] isolated or anecdotical, destined solely for the interest of a few and in places with specific problems. Facilitating the access to the official liturgical form of the Roman Rite before the reform caused by the Second Vatican Council is not a concession to nostalgia or to Integrism, it is [rather] a step to favor Ecclesial Communion and an aid to guide and understand the current "ordinary form" of celebrating the Roman Liturgy, within a "hermeneutic of continuity".

The prophetic mission of Fatima is not complete

Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, I too have come as a pilgrim to Fatima, to this “home” from which Mary chose to speak to us in modern times. I have come to Fatima to rejoice in Mary’s presence and maternal protection. I have come to Fatima, because today the pilgrim Church, willed by her Son as the instrument of evangelization and the sacrament of salvation, converges upon this place. I have come to Fatima to pray, in union with Mary and so many pilgrims, for our human family, afflicted as it is by various ills and sufferings. Finally, I have come to Fatima with the same sentiments as those of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, and the Servant of God Lúcia, in order to entrust to Our Lady the intimate confession that “I love” Jesus, that the Church and priests “love” him and desire to keep their gaze fixed upon him as this Year for Priests comes to its end, and in order to entrust to Mary’s maternal protection priests, consecrated men and women, missionaries and all those who by their good works make the House of God a place of welcome and charitable outreach.

These are the “people whom the Lord has blessed”. The people whom the Lord has blessed are you, the beloved Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, with your pastor, Bishop Antonio Marto. I thank him for his words of greeting at the beginning of Mass, and for the gracious hospitality shown particularly by his collaborators at this Shrine. I greet the President of the Republic and the other authorities who serve this glorious Nation. I spiritually embrace all the Dioceses of Portugal, represented here by their Bishops, and I entrust to Heaven all the nations and peoples of the earth. In God I embrace all their sons and daughters, particularly the afflicted or outcast, with the desire of bringing them that great hope which burns in my own heart, and which here, in Fatima, can be palpably felt. May our great hope sink roots in the lives of each of you, dear pilgrims, and of all those who join us through the communications media.

Yes! The Lord, our great hope, is with us. In his merciful love, he offers a future to his people: a future of communion with himself. After experiencing the mercy and consolation of God who did not forsake them along their wearisome return from the Babylonian Exile, the people of God cried out: “I greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being exults in my God” (Is 61:10). The resplendent daughter of this people is the Virgin Mary of Nazareth who, clothed with grace and sweetly marvelling at God’s presence in her womb, made this joy and hope her own in the canticle of the Magnificat: “My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”. She did not view herself as a fortunate individual in the midst of a barren people, but prophecied for them the sweet joys of a wondrous maternity of God, for “his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Lk 1:47, 50).

This holy place is the proof of it. In seven years you will return here to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by the Lady “come from heaven”, the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savour God himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence. This experience of grace made them fall in love with God in Jesus, so much so that Jacinta could cry out: “How much I delight in telling Jesus that I love him! When I tell him this often, I feel as if I have a fire in my breast, yet it does not burn me”. And Francisco could say: “What I liked most of all was seeing Our Lord in that light which Our Mother put into our hearts. I love God so much!” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 42 and 126).

Brothers and sisters, in listening to these innocent and profound mystical confidences of the shepherd children, one might look at them with a touch of envy for what they were able to see, or with the disappointed resignation of someone who was not so fortunate, yet still demands to see. To such persons, the Pope says, as does Jesus: “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mk 12:24). The Scriptures invite us to believe: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (Jn 20:29), but God, who is more deeply present to me than I am to myself (cf. Saint Augustine, Confessions, III, 6, 11) – has the power to come to us, particularly through our inner senses, so that the soul can receive the gentle touch of a reality which is beyond the senses and which enables us to reach what is not accessible or visible to the senses. For this to happen, we must cultivate an interior watchfulness of the heart which, for most of the time, we do not possess on account of the powerful pressure exerted by outside realities and the images and concerns which fill our soul (cf. Theological Commentary on The Message of Fatima, 2000). Yes! God can come to us, and show himself to the eyes of our heart.

Moreover, that Light deep within the shepherd children, which comes from the future of God, is the same Light which was manifested in the fullness of time and came for us all: the Son of God made man. He has the power to inflame the coldest and saddest of hearts, as we see in the case of the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:32). Henceforth our hope has a real foundation, it is based on an event which belongs to history and at the same time transcends history: Jesus of Nazareth. The enthusiasm roused by his wisdom and his saving power among the people of that time was such that a woman in the midst of the crowd – as we heard in the Gospel – cried out: “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that nursed you!”. And Jesus said: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” (Lk 11:27-28). But who finds time to hear God’s word and to let themselves be attracted by his love? Who keeps watch, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart vigilant in prayer? Who awaits the dawn of the new day, fanning the flame of faith? Faith in God opens before us the horizon of a sure hope, one which does not disappoint; it indicates a solid foundation on which to base one’s life without fear; it demands a faith-filled surrender into the hands of the Love which sustains the world.
“Their descendants shall be known among the nations, […] they are a people whom the Lord has blessed” (Is 61:9) with an unshakable hope which bears fruit in a love which sacrifices for others, yet does not sacrifice others. Rather, as we heard in the second reading, this love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7). An example and encouragement is to be found in the shepherd children, who offered their whole lives to God and shared them fully with others for love of God. Our Lady helped them to open their hearts to universal love. Blessed Jacinta, in particular, proved tireless in sharing with the needy and in making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Only with this fraternal and generous love will we succeed in building the civilization of love and peace.

We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
Benedict XVI
Fatima, May 13, 2010