Rorate Caeli

"An Act of Parliament, directly oppugnant
to the laws of God and his holy Church..."

All which notwithstanding the jury found him guilty, and incontinent upon the verdict the Lord Chancellor [for that matter chief commissioner] beginning in judgment against him, Sir Thomas More said to him,
"My Lord, when I was towards the law, the manner in such case was to ask the prisoner before judgment, why judgment should not be given against him."
Whereupon the Lord Chancellor staying his judgment, wherein he had partly proceeded, demanded of him what he was able to say to the contrary. Who then in this sort mildly made answer:
"Forasmuch as, my Lord, this indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament, directly oppugnant to the laws of God and his holy Church, the supreme government of which, or of any part thereof, may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Saviour himself, personally present upon the earth, to St. Peter and his successors, bishops of the same see, by special prerogative, granted, it is therefore in law amongst Christian men insufficient to charge any Christian."...
Then was it thereunto by the Lord Chancellor answered, that seeing all the bishops, universities, and best learned men of the Realm had to this Act agreed, it was much marvelled that he alone against them all would so stiffly stick and vehemently argue there against. To that Sir Thomas More replied saying,
"If the number of bishops and universities be so material, as your Lordships seemeth to take it, then see I little cause [my Lords] why that thing in my conscience should make any change. For I nothing doubt, but that though not in this Realm, yet in Christendom about they be not the least part, that be of my mind therein. But if I should speak of those that be already dead, of whom many be now saints in heaven, I am very sure it is the far greater part of them, that all the while they lived, thought in this case that way that I think now. And therefore am I not bound [my Lords] to conform my conscience to the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom."...
After which ended, the commissioners yet courteously offered him, if he had anything else to allege for his defence to grant him favourable audience, who answered,
"More have I not to say [my Lords] but like as the blessed Apostle St. Paul, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, was present, and consented to the death of St. Stephen, and kept their clothes that stoned him to death, and yet be they now both twain holy saints in heaven, and shall continue there friends for ever, so I verily trust and shall therefore right heartily pray, that though your Lordships have now in earth been judges to my condemnation, we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to our everlasting salvation."
William Roper
The Life of Sir Thomas More
Our regular feature on the Feast of Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More - Martyrs. "Deus, qui beatos Martyres tuos Ioannem et Thomam veræ fidei et Romanæ Ecclesiæ principatus propugnatores inter Anglos suscitasti: eorum meritis ac precibus concede; ut eiusdem fidei professione, unum omnes in Christo efficiamur et simus. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen."


  1. Anonymous5:33 PM

    May St John Fisher and St Thomas More, who like the Holy Forerunner, opposed the public and manifest impiety of their monarch, and loving not their own lives as much as the law of God and Church - pray for our bishops, clergy and politicians, who apparently bent on rushing into the fiery pits - that they may be graced with conversion.

  2. Anonymous10:54 PM


  3. Anonymous11:58 AM

    The newchurch types seem to be unaware that many Saints' feastdays have been rearranged or, when told, react with some poor explanation for the "new" calendar. Another devisive fruit of VatII. St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher's feastday will always be July 6th in Heaven.

  4. Anon. said:

    " loving not their own lives as much as the law of God and Church"

    ...and don't forget St. Margaret!!!


    A girl a lady
    Wife a mother
    From church of England
    She saw the other.

    The other where
    Her church came from.
    The other where
    The fruit was plumb.

    The other where
    Her church beat down
    And looted jewels
    For earthly crown.

    And watching she
    Was irritated
    And slowly grew

    Sitting silent
    In her shell
    Her home a place
    Where priests could dwell

    Confect the Mass
    Many saved
    For this their limbs
    And lives were braved.

    Because a woman
    Kept her shell
    A jealous fortress
    Barring hell.

    And then the weak
    Pried open wide
    Exposing truth
    The shell’s inside

    Where mother wife
    Lady girl
    Had turned into
    York’s royalist pearl.


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!