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Showing posts from September, 2010

A 1999 letter by Cardinal Ratzinger on the reform of the liturgy

Last week, Fr. Matias Auge CMF, a veteran professor of liturgy in Rome, former consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and disciple of the reformers of the 1960's, published an exchange of letters that he had with then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the topic of the reform of the sacred liturgy.
Upon Rorate's request, Natasja Hoven, who works with the Swedish Catholic website Katolsk Observator, made the following translation of these very important letters.

(Commentary to follow shortly.)

Letter from Fr. Matias Auge to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

Rome, 16 November 1998

Most Reverend Eminence,

I beg you to excuse me for venturing to write this letter. I do it in humble simplicity and also with great sincerity. I am a professor of liturgy at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant’ Anselmo and at the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical Lateran as well as Consultant of the Congregation for Divine Worship. I have read the conference that you gave some time ago on the occas…
An update on the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society ...

Just 24 hours ago we announced the new Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (see previous post below). I would like to personally thank everyone who has wished us well on this new apostolate and offered prayers for its success. In terms of the response, we have already received names to be enrolled by nearly 40 people, most of whom each sent numerous names of passed loved ones.Possibly even more remarkable is that we also have already secured three holy priests to offer weekly Traditional Latin Masses for all the souls enrolled in the Society! I will make two of the priests' names known on Friday when the first listing of souls is posted (one of the priests must remain anonymous for now). The first TLM will take place this Friday, October 1, at 11 a.m. CST for those here who would like to unite themselves spiritually to the Mass. If there are other priests who would like to do the same, please email me. Also, for our readers, please…
Announcement: Rorate Caeli to begin New Purgatorial Society

Last week, my aunt lost her battle with cancer, and went to her eternal reward. When I received the sudden news, I prayed to Our Lady that her reward be Heaven, and then I quickly took to Twitter and Facebook to ask friends and family to pray for the repose of her soul.
When I was finished, I thought about how difficult it is to get people to pray for deceased loved ones, especially in today's society when even most Catholics wrongly believe everyone outside of murderers and rapists are automatically going to Heaven and thus are not in need of prayers. And I thought how wonderful it would be if there was a Purgatorial Society to turn to -- a free one as well.
I am now happy to announce the official launch of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society!
This is where traditionals get to show we're traditional by more than just driving a couple of hours to the closest TLM -- we get to prove our traditional chops the old-fashioned …

Filipino Archbishop denounces the "terrorist proclivities" of some liturgists

UCANews has published the following text by Archbishop Jesus Dosado of Ozamiz, Philippines (who has been featured in previous articles on Rorate -- see this and this.) The liturgical renewal I would like to see Looking back, some of the culprits for me for the gradual loss of the true reform of the liturgy were the so-called “liturgists” who were more like technicians and choreographers rather than pure students of liturgy.

They had a peculiar affinity for refined liturgical celebrations coupled with disdain for the old rites and devotions. Unfortunately, some bishops, not pure students of liturgy either, gave in to their terrorist proclivities.

A search for creativity and community were dominant projects in “reform-minded” Catholic circles in the 1960s and beyond. In itself, this might not have been bad. But the philosophy that the community was god, and that “God” was not fully “God” without the community was the source of ideas that have done most damage to the Church.

This secular noti…

Eastern Catholic Varia

1. From the website of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church comes news of the consecration to the episcopacy of the bishop-designate for the Syro-Malankara Exarchate of USA, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Dr. Naickamparambil Thomas, who took the name Thomas Mor Eusebius. A picture gallery can be found here.

The all-lace alb (see above) of the new bishop is intriguing. I've noticed from numerous pictures that in the Chaldean, Syrian and Malankar Eastern Catholic Churches, the lace alb (sometimes more "lacy" than baroque-style Roman Catholic ones) continues to be in use.

Other interesting photogalleries can be found in the website, such as the photos for the 78th and 79th anniversaries of the reunion with Rome of the first Malankara Catholics. (In true Indian style, these events were extremely colorful.) 2. The Nazrani, a Syro-Malabar Catholic website dedicated to the revival of the Chaldeo-Malabar liturgical tradition (East Syrian in provenance, in contrast to the West Syrian provenance of th…

Sermon on Blessed John Henry Newman

Mass in Honour of Blessed John Henry Newman, 20th September 2010Catholic University Church, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Preacher: The V. Rev. Gerard Deighan, Adm.

There are 14 steps leading up to this pulpit, and I assure you that with every one of them the preacher’s sense of unworthiness increases. Because this is Blessed John Henry Newman’s pulpit, designed by him, and built by him, and from which he preached – he who was – who is – one of the greatest teachers and preachers of the faith who ever lived. But my sense of inadequacy is matched by a sense of privilege to be here this evening, in Newman’s own church, the day after his beatification.
It is well known that there are very few first class relics of our new Blessed. How appropriate, considering the self-effacing man he was, that practically all trace of his remains has vanished from this world! Now it can, of course, be said that the best relic of Newman we have is the large body of writings which he left us, writings of such …

On the reported blessing of the Quran: The rector of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament speaks

A few days ago, Rorate picked up a story that had been making the rounds of some Catholic and secular (and at least one Muslim) websites: the report that a ceremony had been organized in front of the very doors of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Sacramento, where flowers were offered to the Quran and which reportedly involved no less than the rector of the Cathedral, Fr. Michael Kiernan, thus giving the impression that the alleged ceremony had the sanction of the cathedral authorities.
Rorate, however, has received -- via a reader -- the following letter from Fr. Kiernan himself to clarify the story:

...I am always sorry when people are disturbed by actions of the church. There are a number of things it might be helpful to clarify in this situation. While I was not part of the planning and did not participate in the event, I’m happy to share with you some information.

First of all, the “Qu’ran blessed at California cathedral” was misconstrued and of course the event was not in the Cathed…
The Australian lay sex abuse scandal

In an ongoing partnership with the traditional newspaper The Remnant comes a timely yet unfortunate account of a lay sex abuse scandal in Australia.

The author, R.J. Stove of Melbourne, was kind enough provide this linked PDF for Rorate Caeli readers, free of charge.

To view this important piece, please clickHERE.

To subscribe to this critical fortnightly, clickHERE.

And please remember to follow @RorateCaelion Twitter.

Romanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic priests concelebrate Divine Liturgy in Romania

Vassula Ryden, a visionary known for her "private revelations" that promote indifferentism, and who continues to be enthusiastically supported by many Catholic and Orthodox clergy and hierarchs despite occasional warnings from the Vatican (and a few from the Orthodox Churches), enthusiastically relates in the latest report on her website that as part of her Mission in Romania on May 2010, a Romanian Orthodox priest invited a Roman Catholic priest to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost.
The Romanian priest is Fr. Daniel Crecan, who is also identified in the report as a Romanian ORTHODOX (not Greek Catholic) parish priest in Bocsa Mantana of the Orthodox Eparchy of Caransebes. The Roman Catholic priest is named as Fr. Rolf Philip Schoenenberg.

The report further states that communion was given to the Catholics present, and alleges that Vassula's mission trip had the support of the Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, who made headlines in 2008 when he receive…

Inter-faith Quran blessing in a Catholic Cathedral

Abbot Joseph of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Monastery of the Transfiguration in California reports on the following event in his blog, Word Incarnate:

On September 11, 2001, an Islamic jihad murdered at least 3000 American citizens on our own soil, causing immense human sorrow, economic loss, and national humiliation. Now how do you think that event was commemorated in the Catholic cathedral in Sacramento, CA, in 2010? By holding a service to bless the Koran, of course—even though the ones who perpetrated those evil deeds believed the inspiration for them was found therein.

It seems that insanity is reaching new levels in certain places. Here is a portion of the story: “Representatives of different religions, including members of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, and Druid [yes, California has everything] communities, took part in an interfaith blessing of the Qu’ran at Sacramento’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on September 11. During the ceremony, Father Michael …


In the Evensong service with Anglicans at Westminster Abbey, Pope Benedict XVI wore a stole first worn and which first belonged to Pope Leo XIII.

[Tip: Cantuale Antonianum, via Le Forum Catholique]

Filipino liturgists call for more liturgical liberalization

The website of the Archdiocese of Manila has posted the following statementmade on September 16, 2010 by the assembled diocesan directors of liturgy of the Philippines. Take note of the references to the "Tridentine" Mass, which is clearly seen as a threat.
It can scarcely be a coincidence that this statement came out on the website of the Archdiocese of Manila around the third anniversary of Summorum Pontificum.

The annual national meetings of diocesan directors of liturgy in the Philippines are led by the Chairman and Executive Secretary of the Commission on Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. The current Chairman is Archbishop Romulo Valles of Zamboanga, the Executive Secretary is Fr. Genaro Diwa, all under the influence of the long-time Executive Secretary of the same Commission, Fr. Anscar Chupungco OSB. 

September 13-16, 2010


We, the delegates to the 25…

Blessed John Henry Newman

England has a long tradition of martyr saints, whose courageous witness has sustained and inspired the Catholic community here for centuries. Yet it is right and fitting that we should recognize today the holiness of a confessor, a son of this nation who, while not called to shed his blood for the Lord, nevertheless bore eloquent witness to him in the course of a long life devoted to the priestly ministry, and especially to preaching, teaching, and writing. He is worthy to take his place in a long line of saints and scholars from these islands, Saint Bede, Saint Hilda, Saint Aelred, Blessed Duns Scotus, to name but a few. In Blessed John Henry, that tradition of gentle scholarship, deep human wisdom and profound love for the Lord has borne rich fruit, as a sign of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit deep within the heart of God’s people, bringing forth abundant gifts of holiness.Cardinal Newman’s motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, or "Heart speaks unto heart", gives us an insig…

Yes, that is just what the Church in Belgium needs: more Liberalism

From the successor of self-confessed pedophile Vangheluwe:
Jozef De Kesel, the new Bishop of Bruges, has placed celibacy and the status of women within the church under debate. In addition, he sees the church as blind to the suffering of abused victims.
According to De Kesel, celibacy should no longer be required [for a person] to be a priest. "One could say that there should be celibate priests, but, for people to whom celibacy is humanly impossible, the opportunity should be given of becoming a priest," he told Radio 1.
The bishop is also open to the possibility of women priests. "That is certainly negotiable and I hope for it, but it is still more sensitive than the issue of celibacy. I think that the discussion about celibacy can proceed much faster than the debate on the admission of women to the priesthood." [Source:, tip: C. Gillibrand; see also, in Dutch, De Standaard, De Morgen,, Nederlands Dagblad; in French, Le Vif, Le Figaro]

Newman, Tyburn, and our own time

This is an evening of joy, of immense spiritual joy, for all of us. We are gathered here in prayerful vigil to prepare for tomorrow’s Mass, during which a great son of this nation, Cardinal John Henry Newman, will be declared Blessed. How many people, in England and throughout the world, have longed for this moment! It is also a great joy for me, personally, to share this experience with you. As you know, Newman has long been an important influence in my own life and thought, as he has been for so many people beyond these isles. The drama of Newman’s life invites us to examine our lives, to see them against the vast horizon of God’s plan, and to grow in communion with the Church of every time and place: the Church of the apostles, the Church of the martyrs, the Church of the saints, the Church which Newman loved and to whose mission he devoted his entire life. ... Let me begin by recalling that Newman, by his own account, traced the course of his whole life back to a powerful experience…

Cross, Blood, Martyrs, and the Church in agony

The visitor to this Cathedral cannot fail to be struck by the great crucifix dominating the nave, which portrays Christ’s body, crushed by suffering, overwhelmed by sorrow, the innocent victim whose death has reconciled us with the Father and given us a share in the very life of God. The Lord’s outstretched arms seem to embrace this entire church, lifting up to the Father all the ranks of the faithful who gather around the altar of the Eucharistic sacrifice and share in its fruits. The crucified Lord stands above and before us as the source of our life and salvation, "the high priest of the good things to come", as the author of the Letter to the Hebrews calls him in today’s first reading (Heb 9:11).
It is in the shadow, so to speak, of this striking image, that I would like to consider the word of God which has been proclaimed in our midst and reflect on the mystery of the Precious Blood. For that mystery leads us to see the unity between Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, the…