Rorate Caeli

Another question for our readers: When was this Mass celebrated?


One of my ongoing projects is that of listing all Pontifical Masses according to the 1962 Missal (or earlier Missals) that have been publicly celebrated by those abbots and bishops considered by Rome as “canonically regular” from 1988 to the present, under the provisions of Ecclesia Dei and Summorum Pontificum. I would like to ask if some of our readers could further enumerate the various Pontifical Masses offered by Cardinal Stickler. I already know about the following: 1) the 1992 Pontifical Mass in St. Agnes, Manhattan; 2) the May 12, 1996 Pontifical Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC, 3) the Nov. 11, 1995 Pontifical Requiem Mass for Plinio Correa do Oliveira in Santo Spirito in Sassia, 4) the October 25, 1998 Pontifical Mass in Sant’ Ignazio in Rome, 5) the December 2000 Rorate Mass with the ICRSS and 6) the 1998 and 2000 sacerdotal ordinations for the ICRSS in Gricigliano. (I know that Cardinal Stickler ordained subdeacons, deacons and priests for ICRSS on other occasions, but I don’t know the exact dates.)

Information on Pontifical TLM’s by Cardinals other than Stickler and Ratzinger between 1988 and 2000 will also be appreciated.


  1. John McFarland5:44 PM

    Mr. Palad,

    My computer is not bringing up the picture that you posted, but I presume that it's another example of liturgical innovation from well before Vatican II.

    I am myself interested in both the ideology and the history of the liturgical revolution, but I think that the primary focus should be prospective rather than retrospective. Where do the Roman authorities propose to take the Church liturgically?

    I think that the answer is: nowhere.

    It looks to me as if there is no momentum at all behind further innovations, in large part because the innovators got almost everything they wanted a generation ago. The attitude of their spiritual sons is that of all second-generation revolutionaries. What they have, they keep; not because of principle, but because it's theirs.

    As regards the "reform of the reform," that can best be understood by analogy with secular politics: the "conservatives" nibble at the edges of the Revolution, the "liberals" stoutly defend against the nibbling, the liberals generally win, and the conservative victories are by the nature of the case marginal. Properly translating "pro multis" is not much of a victory when must of those hearing it don't believe in the Real Presence.

    The Holy Father clearly would like a classier liturgy, and would welcome the return of traditional elements -- to the extent that it doesn't ruffle too many feathers. But I see no evidence that his theology of redemption and hence his theology of the Mass is anything different from that of the great figures of the Revolution. His theology is not the theology of Trent, and so the Mass of his heart's desire is not the Tridentine Mass.

    An old American conservative intellectual used to say that the only real question was: if it comes to war, whose side of the barricades will you be on?

    In case of the Holy Father as regards the liturgical wars, the answer is: on Bugnini's side of the barricades.

  2. Anonymous10:19 PM


  3. My computer is not bringing up the picture that you posted, but I presume that it's another example of liturgical innovation from well before Vatican II.

    No, it's a video montage in memory of the late Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler, consisting of a slideshow of still photos from a beautiful traditional Latin Mass that Cardinal Stickler had celebrated well after Vatican II.

  4. And the beloved Abbe Quoex. RIP.

  5. Anonymous11:18 PM

    There seem to be pictures from two Masses here, albeit apparently celebrated at the same altar. In one pictures, the Cardinal and ministers are wearing very different Mass vestments from

    As to when, I couldn't say, but since the Abbe Quoex was the ceremoniar, it must have been before his final illness. That would surely put it no later than the first half of 2006, and probably earlier.

  6. Anonymous12:35 AM

    Mr. McFarland:
    Maybe you should hold your tirades to yourself until you know what you are even commenting about.

  7. Tiago Veloso, cp12:56 AM

    I still not believe in this.
    How could be the church going to the past? The Catholic Hierarchy must get closer to the People and it will not get it with these clothes.
    Tiago Veloso, cp

  8. I love the photos of the mass, but as a professional musician I really do deplore the tasteless and heavy-footed reworking of the rhythms of Schubert's Ave Maria. It's just terrible...but perhaps the singer has never seen the music.

  9. How could be the church going to the past?

    The Church can work miracles by God's grace, but I'm pretty sure time travel to the past is not one of the gifts of the Spirit.

    The Catholic Hierarchy must get closer to the People and it will not get it with these clothes.

    John 7:24

    The hierarchy is already too close to the laity. It needs to get closer to God, not to the laity.

  10. Anonymous5:07 AM

    It's just terrible...but perhaps the singer has never seen the music.

    To be fair, Schubert's original music was composed as a setting for entirely different words (beyond the first two) in a different language - a section from the German translation of Scott's "The Lady of the Lake." It was never intended by him as Church music nor to be used as a setting for the Angelic Salutation. As such, I've always found most every arrangement I've heard for liturgical use to seem a bit forced, but I'm not a musician.

  11. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Cardinal Alfons M. Stickler celebrated several times (1995-2000) a Pontifical Mass for the Feast of 12th September in Vienna, in the Church of St. Charles (Karlskirche).

  12. Fratellino: The singer is one Andrea Bocelli. Whatever his merits or limitations, he has quite a following. The recording was, I am almost certain, made a decade or more ago. There is rather less plush on Bocelli's voice nowadays.

    The reworking of rhythms to which you refer is not confined to this arrangement of Schubert's song. Any performance in Latin of the "Ave Maria" is an arrangement, and though the version sung here is not the one most often heard, at least in England and the USA, I have heard several others and know of others still. Each attempts, with more or less success, to conform the words of the prayer to music that sets a strophic poem half of whose largely four-stress lines have masculine endings (whereas the endings of the prayer's phrases are all feminine). The present adaptation, as you can hear, besides making modest adjustments to Schubert's phrase endings to accommodate the character of the Latin words, is one of several that attempt to incorporate the latter half of the prayer. The best-known version, on the other hand, sagely throws in the towel at the end of the angelic salutation. Even that version, at least as it is usually sung, simplifies some of the turns and other ornaments in Schubert's original vocal line and omits others. The present version admittedly goes a few steps farther in the simplification direction.

    Since you are, as you say, a musician, you may know that the words Schubert actually set are from a German translation of Walter Scott's epic-length poem The Lady of the Lake. Early in this once widely popular and highly esteemed poem, the heroine, Ellen Douglas, sings two songs, also set by Schubert. Later, hiding in a cave with her father, she begs the Blessed Mother to protect them from what she fears will be an attack by the king of Scotland's forces. Though few prayers we Catholics pray incorporate rhyme—I can think only of the bedtime and guardian angel prayers—Ellen's prayer displays as much piety as art: "Maiden, see a maiden's woes; / Mother, hear a suppliant child!" Given the music's surpassing beauty and genuinely devotional quality, it is hardly surprising that Mother Church quickly smiled upon efforts to assimilate it to sacred ends.

  13. Anonymous3:28 PM

    1998 at The Karlskirche, or St. Charles Church,on the south side of Karlsplatz.
    ( Cardinal Stickler was born near here.)

  14. "[The Tridentine Mass is] the effective renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross. It is essentially an
    adoration of God, offered only to Him."

    Cardinal Alfons Stickler

    The Attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass

  15. "And if someone passed through that door to introduce into the Church a Liturgy subversive to the very nature and primary end of the Sacred Liturgy...the responsibility for this, in the final analysis, is none other than the conciliar text itself."

    Msgr. Gherardini

  16. John McFarland7:58 PM

    Anonymous 00:35,

    I can't apologize for my tirade as such, but I do apologize abjectly for interrupting those who were talking about other things.

    But as long as I'm here, let me express my doubts about what might be called aesthetic traditionalism.

    I have no quarrel with the study of liturgical music, liturgical vestments, etc., even from a purely artistic perspective. It can't hurt, and it can supply knowledge that can aid in devotion.

    But watching videos of actual liturgical celebrations can harldy avoid being done primarily for their production values; and that focus strikes me as something that can readily skew one's whole approach to the liturgy, and even lead one actually to attend actual liturgical celebrations in that spirit.

    Better an aesthetically dog ugly Mass assisted at in the proper spirit, than ten thousand beautiful Masses attended as if a concert or a spectator sport.

  17. I would agree with "Uber Ultramontanist" as to the year this mass was celebrated...

    Abbé Quoex was still with the ICRSP when this mass was celebrated and he was serving in the Institute's foundation in Germany and I believe I recognize the subdeacon for these masses...also a memeber of the ICRSP... he would have been ordained subdeacon in that year. Although I'm not 100% sure...but fairly sure that the mass was from 1998 or latest 1999.

  18. Anon said:

    "Cardinal Alfons M. Stickler celebrated several times (1995-2000)"

    SEVERAL times?!! We had the unbloody Sacrifice of the Holy Mass confected by the SSPX Priests EVERYDAY from 1995 - 2000 and EVERYDAY since. Yesterday, Today AND Tomorrow! and BTW Mr. John McFaland you are SPOT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Jordanes said in part: "The hierarchy is already too close to the laity. It needs to get closer to God, not to the laity."

    Here, here, Jordanes, good show.

  20. Anonymous1:23 PM

    "Cardinal Alfons M. Stickler celebrated several times (1995-2000)"
    For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Cardinal Stickler, he quite readily told us he celebrated the ancient rite daily in his private chapel, and had never stopped doing so.

  21. John McFarland3:12 PM

    Jordanes and Mr. Haley,

    The notion that the conciliar revolution was somehow lay-oriented in theory or practice is propaganda, not reality.

    If you can think of one lay figure that had a significant influence in the revolutionary cabal before, during or after V2, that's one more than I can think of.

    The novelties were accepted in the pews with no great enthusiasm, and sometimes with outright resistance. A generation later, all they have on their side is the ignorance and inertia of those who still show up. Even the lectors and Eucharistic ministers, in my experience, are as likely to serve from a sense of duty as from a sense of self-importance.

    The lay functionaries in a parish can certainly intimidate conservative-minded priests; but the average time-serving priest soon figures out how to get them to do all the work for nothing or for peanuts. It's the same at the chancery office, or whatever it's called these days. The bishop and the clerical bureaucracy call the shots about anything important.

    It's a pretty sweet deal, and it's hard to conceive that the entirely male bosses are going to give it up by admitting their almost entirely female subordinates to the priesthood. It is no accident involvement in a supposed ordination of a woman is about the last thing that will get you excommunicated in very short order.

    In brief, the current decadence hasn't made the Church are less top-down.

    Sure, there's lip service to lay participation. But North Korea's calling itself a People's Republic doesn't make it a people's republic.

    The clergy (and the rest of us, for all that) need to get closer to God. But the opposite of that is not excessive concern with the laity; the opposite of that is well-nigh exclusive concern with themselves.

  22. I don't disagree, Mr. McFarland. My point was not that Vatican II was lay-driven or lay-empowering, yadda yadda blech . . . . It was merely that bishops and priests have been trying too hard to be (seem) all chummy and "aw shucks folks" when it's the Lord to whom they ought to be drawing closer, and to whom so many evidently have not been drawing closer.

  23. Anonymous5:14 PM

    John McFarland

    You keep your "tirades" up! I always read them.


  24. The montage definitely seems to be from more than one Holy Mass, as clergy from the Institute of Christ the King seem to appear in some images, but priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in another (e.g., Fr. Martin Lugmayr).

    Judging from the style of the church(es), I would suppose it or them to be in Austria, probably Vienna, but it does not look like the Karlskirche to me.

    The blue vestments certainly belong to the FSSP, as I saw them many times when I was over there.

    By the way, 12. September (Feast of the Holy Name of Mary) was Cardinal Stickler's birthday.

  25. Card. Stickler's birthday is August 23.

  26. Anonymous2:11 AM

    I am sorry but as a midwesterner here in the United States but one who still loves the Tridentine rite, I still have to say that the umpteen foot cape and white clown shoes are off- putting and seemingly excessive in appearance. He looks like he's forgotten to take off his tennis shoes and where some decent black shoes. Sorry but that's what strikes me the most in the early photos. Perhaps someone can explain this to me in a way that makes sense.

  27. John McFarland2:55 AM


    So we seem to be in proverbial violent agreement.

    The process started long ago. In retrospect, I can remember the progressive hollowing out of piety and devotion -- in myself among other places -- as the 1950s wore on. I recall reading a Catholic Book Club advertisement for Fr. Leo Trese's "Vessel of Clay," a book of meditations for priests. At the age of 11 or 12, I was amazed at the notion of priestly humility reflected in some of the quotes. For me, priests were just functionaries. So were bishops, and backroom functionaries at that. As a boy, I literally never met one who struck me as pious; and with a priest uncle and two nun aunts, and an altar boy for good measure in a very Catholic environment, I met plenty. The same was true of the sisters and brothers who taught me, and the literal scores of my aunts' consoeurs that I met in the convent parlors of the Sundays of my youth. The conciliar revolution went like a hot knife through butter because above all, it adjusted principle to fit practice -- moved the goal posts, as Bishop Williamson recently put it.

    So now the average priest is, as one wag has put it, a professional nice guy; and the average bishop a professional nice guy with a pectoral cross. It is completely pointless to complain; it will take a miracle, or at least holy converters of priests, to improve things. For either or both, let us pray.

  28. Anonymous1:13 PM

    I find Mr. McFarland's final comment about priests and bishops being "professional nice guys" very interesting. However, unfortunatley as I am (for now, until I can find a better way of making a living) a church musician, I have found that priests and bishops are not all that nice. In fact, nowadays if you try to be faithful, and do not work to their agenda, they can be quite cruel.

    It amazes me, so many people are trying to really pinpoint what exactly went wrong, and when, in the church that it is such an incredible disaster. There are many conspiracy theories ranging from freemasons, to black popes (not meaning their color), to the illuminati, to communist infiltration to imposter popes, etc. Many people really detect the presence of evil which is so corrupting in the church. There is great dissapointment with Pope Benedict, because, based on some of his writings, more was expected of him.

    Even Summorum Pontificum seems to be to little, too late (especially because it still gives the local ordinaries power to supress the Holy Mass, as still is evident in Dioceses like Greensburg)

    It seems apparent that the church continues to decay. The faithful are struggling to keep their faith, but every day, as the church continues it its corruption, more people lose their faith. It is a very difficult time right now.

  29. John McFarland3:13 PM

    Anonymous 13:13,

    I certainly didn't mean to suggest that they necessarily ARE nice guys.

    The cause of all this is our fallen nature, which did plenty of damage to the Church in the Ages of Faith; and in recent centuries the capture of all aspects of earthly life by a line of thought that is premised on the worldliness that is the antithesis of the Catholic faith. This generated the subversion of the Church by the enemy, and the selling out to the enemy by many of many in the hierarchy and among the Church's scholars. The slogan was Aggiornamento, and its symbol was the white flag.

    It's really just more -- much more -- of the same. To be sure, the difference is a horrific one -- at least the practical abandonment of the complete and unadulterated Faith by those in authority. But it arises from the same causes as the Christological heresies and lay investiture and the Reformation, and must be met with the same weapons: the true Faith, and lives and institutions based on that Faith.

    Nothing will change until we have saints. For his reasons, God so far has withheld them, and we are brought very low.

    Nor will anything change until a successor of Peter, like Josiah king of Judah, has presented to him the Book of the Law and tears his garments. The SSPX is in the process of presenting the Book of the Law; we must pray that by God's grace this Holy Father, or some successor, realizes what he is looking at.

  30. Anyone who thinks that I believe the laity were responsible for the post Vatican II disaster is climbing up the wrong tree. Bugnini and his cohorts were all clerics, so far as I know, and they were primarily responsible for instituting their agenda, otherwise know as modernism in the Latin rite. They were helped, of course, by popes who failed to see the incredible impact of the "changes" on the everyday life of loyal Catholics in the pews.

    These Catholics were used to obeying priests and bishops and many were unwilling to challenge the clerics as they pursued their agenda. Some, however, were imbued with courage to confront these clerical impostors with the Truth and, to this day, they are ridiculed and ostracized for having done so. Once again, I refer to the Last Judgment before Our Lord and Savior. Does anyone really believe that the impostors will be welcomed and the faithful traditionalists consigned to hell-fire? Not this dude!

  31. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Anon 13:13

    Many thanks for what you wrote.


  32. Dear Anonymous at (Aug 10) 13:13:
    I realize this is not the main thrust of your comment, but do you happen to be located anywhere near the Chicago area? I am always interested in making the acquaintance of good, traditional church musicians. All the best (wherever you are located)!

  33. Anonymous6:23 PM "So zelebrierte er auch in Wien (1995 und 1996) in der Karlskirche die (tridentinische) Messe zu Mariae Namen (siehe Bild)"

  34. Anonymous10:46 PM

    I was attending, when Cardinal Stickler celebrated the good Friday liturgy in an ancient church (his titular?) in Rome in spring 1998.


  35. Il Cardinale ALFONS MARIA STICKLER ha celebrato una Santa Messa Pontificale con il Ven. Rito di San Pio V nella Collegiata di San Giovanni Battista nella Città di Ceccano (Prov. di Frosinone) in occasione della traslazione delle spoglie mortali del Cardinale TOMMASO PASQUALE GIZZI (Ceccano 1787-Lenola 1849) Nunzio Apostolico di Papa Gregorio XVI e Segretario di Stato di Papa Pio IX.
    Erano presenti circa 400 persone.
    Della grandiosa cerimonia abbiamo fotografie ed un filmato.

    Sempre a Ceccano, il 26 giugno 1993 ha celebrato una Santa Messa Bassa nella Chiesa della Madonna de Loco, con il Ven. Rito di San Pio V, in occasione della presentazione del libro sulla Vita del Cardinale Tommaso Pasquale Gizzi.
    Anche di questa Santa Messa abbiamo numerose foto ed un breve filmato.

    Avv. Stefano Gizzi, Ceccano

  36. "I would like to ask if some of our readers could further enumerate the various Pontifical Masses offered by Cardinal Stickler." Truer words were never uttered. There's a really fascinating debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at


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