Rorate Caeli

Plenary Indulgence reminder: Te Deum

§ 1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a church or in an oratory, are present [take part] in a recitation or solemn chant of: ... 
2° the Te Deum hymn, on the last day of the year, in thanksgiving to God for the favors received in the course of the entire year.
(Reference: Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, 4th edition, al. concessiones.)


Gratias agimus tibi, omnipotens Deus,
pro universis beneficiis tuis,
qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

A happy new year to our readers and their families!

SSPX-Rome: Écône theology professor responds to Opus Dei vicar general

In a response to the article of Mgr. Ocáriz "On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council", published in L'Osservatore Romano, Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, professor of theology in the International Seminary of Saint Pius X in Écône, Switzerland, and who also took part in the doctrinal discussions between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), wrote the following text, published at Courrier de Rome, and made available by DICI shortly before Christmas. We post the excerpt here now for the record of current events.


 “A Crucial Question”.
(…)  No doubt we could congratulate ourselves that we are finally seeing a theologian of the Holy See introduce all these nuances and thus deny quite formally, albeit implicitly, all the unilateral presentations which until now have presented the Second Vatican Council in a maximalist perspective, as an absolutely untouchable dogma that is “even more important than that of Nicaea”.  However, as seductive as it may be in the nuances and distinctions that it offers, such an analysis radically conveys a postulate that is far from being self-evident.  Msgr. Ocariz’ study thus avoids responding to the crucial question, which is still pending between the Society of Saint Pius X and the Holy See.  More precisely, the answer to this question seems to go without saying in the view of the Opus Dei prelate, so much so that everything happens as though it had never been necessary to address it.  Or as though the debate would never have to take place.

Six years of Pontificate and the Sacred Liturgy:
So this is it?

The evangelization of Latin America was made with the traditional rites of one Church: the Latin Church. One Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, or very slight variations of it. We must start with this note because so much today is justified with the need for "inculturation"... But what "inculturation" is necessary in Latin America when each of the countries in the vast region was evangelized with all kinds of instruments (catechisms in native languages, the holy examples and martyrdom of thousands of priests and religious, the careful evangelization of the new arrivals - those coming from Catholic Europe or those enslaved and brought by force from Africa), but with only one liturgy?

Joan of Arc
A bishop in great peril

Jeanne d'Arc was born in Domrémy, a village divided, at the time of her birth, between the Royal domain of Barrois and the Crown territories of the County of Champagne - a fully French town. Her birth took place on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1412, exactly six centuries ago.

This special centennial will be celebrated by us in a series of posts, including special contributions by Côme de Prévigny - and it also explains our header image. And we begin with the first days of the proceedings against the nineteen-year-old Maid, in 1431.
[Wednesday, February 21st. The First Public Session]


As it is our office to keep and exalt the Catholic faith, we did first, with the gentle succor of Jesus Christ (whose issue this is), charitably admonish and require the said Jeanne, then seated before us, that to the quicker ending of the present trial and the unburdening of her own conscience, she should answer the whole truth to the questions put to her upon these matters of faith, eschewing subterfuge and shift which hinder truthful confession.

Moreover, according to our office, we lawfully required the said Jeanne to take proper oath, with her hands on the holy gospels, to speak the truth in answer to such questions put to her, as beforesaid.

The crisis of the Church is a crisis of Bishops 3 - the Bishop of Antwerp on celibacy and the ordination of women

In an interview published very recently on, the Bishop of Antwerp Johan Bonny made the following statement regarding the movement that produced the heretical Gelovigen nemen het woord manifesto (Rorate posted about that movement here):

I fully understand it. The Church can not avoid the debate about the criteria for ordination. Personally, I strongly believe in the value of the unmarried priesthood and a full availability for Christ and the Church community. But I also think that the ordination of a number of married men or deacons to the priesthood can be an enrichment for the Church. In the eastern Catholic Churches married priests are more the rule than the exception. That fact is therefore not unfamiliar for the Catholic Church. The ordination of women to priests is theologically far more difficult. In the west that concern is present in broad layers of society, but worldwide the support is extremely small. But I do think that there needs to be more discussion about the place and role of the woman in the Church. Women must be allowed to take on responsible duties in the Church, on all levels. 

(Translation by In Caelo.)

Many of our readers will certainly recall that another recently-appointed Belgian bishop, Jozef De Kesel of Bruges, expressed similar sentiments last year albeit more bluntly. Although the Bishop of Antwerp is careful not to openly question the teaching of the Church against the ordination of women, his lack of any reference to the definitive status of this teaching combined with the manner that he segues from the question of women's ordination to the need for women to take "responsible duties in the Church, on all levels", is extremely telling.

In the same interview, the bishop notes that the average age of active priests in his diocese ranges from 75 to 80 years. 

Bishop Johan Bonny (b. 1955) served as an official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 1997 to 2008, the relationship with the dissident Eastern Churches being one of his main responsibilities. He was elevated to the episcopate and appointed Bishop of Antwerp by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. 

This is the sign of the Church always, the Sign of Blood

Seven years were my people without my presence;
Seven years of misery and pain.
Seven years a mendicant on foreign charity
I lingered abroad:
Seven years is no brevity.
I shall not get those seven years back again.
Never again, you must make no doubt,
Shall the sea run between the shepherd and his fold.


It is not I who insult the King,
And there is higher than I or the King.
It is not I, Becket from Cheapside,
It is not against me, Becket, that you strive.
It is not Becket who pronounces doom,
But the Law of Christ's Church, the judgement of Rome.


I am here.
No traitor to the King.
I am a priest,
A Christian, saved by the blood of Christ,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood.
Blood for blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death.
My death for His death.


For my Lord I am now ready to die,
That His Church may have peace and liberty.
T. S. Eliot
Murder in the Cathedral
Our yearly post in honor of Saint Thomas Becket.

Christmastide recess continues!

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (fifty-first posting of souls)

Below, please find the fifty-first posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society, which has 16 holy priests saying regular Traditional Latin Masses for the souls.

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

Please consider forwarding this Society to your family and friends, announcing from the pulpit during Holy Mass or listing in your church bulletin. We need to spread the word and relieve more suffering souls.

Please pray for the enrolled souls and the 16 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:

Keeping the Rite

The Traditional Latin Mass is well known, loved and cherished throughout the great land of China. Unfortunately, public records of it in the mainland are not as common as we would like them to be - which is why these images of Christmas Day Mass in Shanghai published by our friend Shawn Tribe of The New Liturgical Movement are so moving.

Congratulations and thanks to those countless priests and lay faithful in that glorious nation who are keeping the liturgical traditions received from their forefathers in the faith. The peoples of China have always loved beauty and appreciated tradition - that we can find in the Traditional Mass of the Lord of Heaven more than in almost anything else on this Earth.

Adventures in the ordinary form: the wheat-free host

From Dom Mark Kirby's blog, Vultus Christi:

Our local Church Goods store is supplying Catholic parishes with gluten free "Communion Wafers" made by Ener-G Foods Inc. Here are the ingredients:

Filtered Water, Sweet Rice Flour, Potato Flour, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Potato Starch, Methylcellulose, Sunflower Lecithin.
One can no more confect the Body of Christ using such "wafers" than one can use cider or orange juice for the confection of the Precious Blood. It is appalling that this product has found its way into the sacristies of Catholic churches across the country.

Canon Law is explicit:

Can. 924 §1. The most holy eucharistic sacrifice must be offered with bread and with wine in which a little water must be mixed. §2. The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling. §3. The wine must be natural from the fruit of the vine and not spoiled.
Catholics with celiac disease, receiving such "wafers" are not receiving the Body of Christ. The consecration of such wafers is invalid, and the use of them is a grave abuse, given that it concerns the matter of the Sacrament.

We were going to call them "Pringles-wafers", but, after taking a look at this ingredient list (which includes "Wheat starch"), it is clear that Pringles has more wheat than the non-wheat wafers being sold by  a Catholic supplier to Catholic parishes (no, we are not saying that this snack food item is, or is not, valid matter). There is only one good side to this: no worries about all that handling of Consecrated particles in New Masses. When extremely serious matters are treated lightly, things ultimately reach their logical end, right?

A feast of the heart

Il presepe di Greccio, Chiesa di San Francesco, Montefalco
by Bennozzo Gozzoli. SOURCE.
God has appeared – as a child. It is in this guise that he pits himself against all violence and brings a message that is peace. At this hour, when the world is continually threatened by violence in so many places and in so many different ways, when over and over again there are oppressors’ rods and bloodstained cloaks, we cry out to the Lord: O mighty God, you have appeared as a child and you have revealed yourself to us as the One who loves us, the One through whom love will triumph. And you have shown us that we must be peacemakers with you. We love your childish estate, your powerlessness, but we suffer from the continuing presence of violence in the world, and so we also ask you: manifest your power, O God. In this time of ours, in this world of ours, cause the oppressors’ rods, the cloaks rolled in blood and the footgear of battle to be burned, so that your peace may triumph in this world of ours. 

Regem Martyrum Dominum, venite adoremus

Thank you, dear Muslims, for more martyrs who will intercede for us in heaven, where they are with God Incarnate.

From The Wall Street Journal (and other sources), in the spirit of the Child Jesus, who was natus ad hoc, that is, to die for us:
DECEMBER 25, 2011
LAGOS, Nigeria — An explosion ripped through a Catholic church during Christmas Mass near Nigeria's capital Sunday, killing at least 25 people, officials said. A radical Muslim sect waging an increasingly sophisticated sectarian fight claimed the attack and another bombing in the restive city of Jos, as explosions also struck the nation's northeast.

The Christmas Day attacks show the growing national ambition of the sect known as Boko Haram, which is responsible for at least 491 killings this year alone, according to an Associated Press count. The assaults come a year after a series of Christmas Eve bombings ... .

Let us pray for the wounded and for the families of the deceased: Omnes sancti martyres, orate pro nobis.

Is this what this Anglican Patrimony thing is all about?

As it is known by now, it is foreseen that the Holy Father will establish the Personal Ordinariates for Catholics of Anglican Patrimony in the United States and Australia on the first days of the year of Our Lord 2012. Our best wishes for these brethren in their structures - may they one day be shining lights of what is right and proper and beautiful, for gloriam plebis tuae Israel...

Our Christmas gift:
Little Collection of Devout Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary, by John XXIII

Fifty years ago, on September 29, 1961, Pope Blessed John XXIII signed the Apostolic Letter "Il Religioso Convegno", on the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary. As a complement to this Apostolic Letter, John XXIII published his own personal devotions on each of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary - available on the Vatican website in Italian and in Spanish.

All English translations currently available on the web are very incomplete, and filled with mistranslations. We used this version as our draft for a correct and complete translation of this beautiful devotional exercise of the Pope.

This Sunday marks the exact fiftieth anniversary of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council, by the Apostolic Constitution Humanae Salutis - which explains the prayers asked for the Council in the meditation of the third Glorious Mystery. Our readers surely know our skepticism regarding the last Ecumenical Council - many of its problems were the result of a naïve enthusiasm which, events would soon make clear, was unjustified.

But the time is long past for us to reclaim Pope John XXIII: in the Sacred Liturgy, in liturgical practices, in traditional devotion, few recent Popes were as traditional as the Good Pope. This can be readily noticed in this Collection, in which the Missale Romanum and the Breviarium Romanum are quoted several times. We can easily see how the documents of the Council would have turned out if he had been able to lead it with all his intellectual faculties by the beautiful decisions of the Roman Synod of 1960 and the very traditional original schemata (drafts) of the Conciliar documents. As his predecessors in the 20th century, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, he was a good Pope. But he was our Good Pope. He was also a man of his age, marked by the optimism and regrets of the post-war generation, but always a son of Our Lady.

We now make our translation available to you in this special PDF booklet format as our own Christmas gift - if you wish to, you may open it only tomorrow...

NOTE: the host website will ask you for an encryption password: ignore it, just click on the FILE tab and then on DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL and download the file.

May you all have a very happy and blessed Christmastide!

A question for our readers: Rorate Masses

Rorate Mass according to the 1962 Missal at the Oxford Oratory on December 17, 2011. SOURCE.

Dear readers: did your community have at least one Rorate Mass this Advent? 

"Simbang Gabi" (Rorate Mass) according to the 1962 Missal at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy, Quezon City, Philippines on December 23, 2011. SOURCE.

Information regarding Rorate Mass and Christmas novena customs from all over the world are also welcome. (I'm aware of  many of these traditions, but I don't claim to know all of them. Hopefully the combox discussion will yield some surprises.)

I also invite you to write about the various ways that you, your families and your parishes prepared for Christmas. 

Events: North and South

Two events worthy of your attention and patronage:

Up North:
In the Detroit area we are blessed to have Father Perrone and his parish Assumption Grotto. Put as briefly as possible Father Perrone is kind of good and pious priest that traditional Catholics pray for. And he is a composer and conductor!

His orchestral mass is debuting this Christmas season. The following is a quote from Fr. Perrone on it:

"Let me say first that composing an orchestral Mass is a daunting project in view of the illustrious composers who have written in this form. I decided to have a hand at it for two reasons: from the encouragement given by some people and by my desire to give something to honor the Mother of God, like the offering made by the juggler before the image of Notre Dame. It’s my belief that the Virgin Mary is the most beautiful of all God’s creatures in view of the fact that God chose Her for the Incarnation of His Son. All created beauty, in my view, must then be a participation in Her unparalleled beauty which is reflected in the many great works of art which Her beauty has inspired. I wanted therefore to make my own contribution, however small, to this vast cultural treasure. For this reason I dedicated it to Her under the title Fountain of Beauty."

Story on Orchestral Mass

Down South:
Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Taylors, S.C., will be host to a Solemn High Midnight Mass Dec. 25. The celebrant will be Fr. Richard Tomlinson with Fr. Christopher Smith as deacon and seminarian Renaurd West serving as subdeacon.

This will be the first Solemn High Mass in the Piedmont Deanery and the entire Upstate of South Carolina in more than 50 years.

The Child Jesus is God: neglecting this is the whole problem

From the "Letter to Friends and Benefactors" of the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX).
The King of peace, Rex pacificus. Here we would like to elaborate somewhat on this truth, which is so to speak at the heart of the crisis that is shaking the Church and affects the relations of the Society of St. Pius X with the Holy See.

Indeed, it seems to us that the basis for the current problem can be summed up as a loss of faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh! Of course many people protest that they believe that Jesus is God, but very few are ready to draw the practical consequences of that truth which will manifest itself in the sight of the whole world at the end of time.

Our Lord is the Head of the Church. But since He willed that His Church should be visible, after His ascension into heaven, He gave her a visible head, who is His Vicar on earth, Peter and his successors…. To him alone did Our Lord give the power to feed the sheep and the lambs, he alone has full, sovereign, and immediate authority over each and every member of the Church. That is why the Church has always proclaimed herself to be a monarchy, governed by one man. Certainly, the human character of government makes it quite understandable to seek counsel and the advice of wise persons, but a form of democracy imported into the Church by collegiality and by the parliamentary parody of bishops’ conferences allows all sorts of abuses and subjects to group pressure the decrees of Divine Law that declare that each diocese has only one head, the bishop of the locality.

Authority today is seriously shaken, not only outside, through the litigation of secular leaders who claim a share in government, but also within the Church, through the addition of a number of councils and commissions which, in today’s atmosphere, prevent the just exercise of the authority delegated by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

[Source: La Porte Latine/ translation: SSPX United States District]

Intolerable - 3: Burning Baby Jesus

Ten years ago, Argentina went through a severe sovereign debt crisis not unlike the one being witnessed now elsewhere. This week, in protests to mark that occasion, what did protesters attack? A Christmas tree and... the nativity scene next to it.

This is it, burning, in the iconic Plaza de Mayo of Buenos Aires, right in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, on Dec. 20, 2011 - months after similar destructions of images in Europe, including in Rome itself

Baby Jesus in flames: the symbol of our age. Who will make reparation for this?

[Tip: La Cigüeña; image source]

Anticipating Christmas Eve fasting & abstinence to December 23

As contributor Augustinus remarked, and as it is well known, the obligation of fasting and abstinence on Christmas Eve has been legally (canonically) void for many decades - and this was made even clearer by the regimen of fasting and abstinence established by the current Code of Canon Law.

However, since the very first days of this blog, there has been curiosity from some readers, who for reasons of personal devotion wanted to keep this practice, on the historical legal precedent for anticipating the fasting and abstinence of Christmas Eve from December 24 to December 23. There were indults and permissions for this practice in different occasions, but the general permission dates from 1959, when Pope Blessed John XXIII extended it to "all faithful of the entire Catholic world". The decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Council, once somewhat hard to find, is now widely available thanks to the great act of the current Pontificate of making all editions of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis available online:

Reminder: the one-day pre-Christmas fast

It may be a far cry from the Advent fasts of old, but it is better than nothing!

Read more here.

This day of fasting has, of course, been entirely optional since 1966. However, I am certain that many of those committed to the liturgy as it existed before 1966 would also be interested in observing at least some of the disciplinary regulations of the same era.

[Image: Francisco Collantes, Winter landscape with Adoration of the Shepherds - detail]

Really, Tornielli?....

No needless discussions until after Christmas - and no ridiculous rumors, ever.

Joan Gascó


SSPX update: response to Doctrinal Preamble delivered

The response of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) to the Doctrinal Preamble presented by Cardinal Levada on September 14 was officially delivered on December 10. This information was recently made known to the District Superiors of that fraternity.

The Doctrinal Preamble was a "temporary" proposal; the Superior General of the SSPX made known in his interview of late November and in his sermon of December 8 his views on the Preamble.

(Source: Fecit Forum.)

Ordinations - II. Two new priests for the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney in Campos

Last year, Rorate Caeli reported the ordination of two new deacons for the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney in Campos dos Goytacazes. This past Sunday (December 18) these two deacons were ordained to the priesthood by their bishop, Msgr. Fernando Arêas Rifan. The website of the Apostolic Administration has a full gallery of photographs from the ceremony, many of which are reproduced on the Subsídios Litúrgicos blog.

In some recent combox discussions, a number of Rorate readers asked about the growth of the P.A.A. If it is any indication, the new priests, Fr. Renan Menezes and Fr. Bruce Júdice, are the first priests to be ordained for the P.A.A. since 2009. All in all, the P.A.A has had 8 new priests in the 7 years beginning with 2005, when Fr. Silvano Salvatte Zanon was ordained. (Rorate dedicated one of its first posts to his ordination.) The photo galleries for the ordinations of these eight priests can be found here.

Considering that the P.A.A. in Campos had 29,512 faithful in 2010 (according to the Annuario Pontificio), its rate of priestly ordinations is actually better than that of most Catholic dioceses in the West. Let us be patient, and let us pray!

Ordinations - I: a new Russian Greek Catholic priest

November 8 of this year witnessed an extremely rare event: the priestly ordination, in Russia and according to the Byzantine Rite, of a Russian Orthodox convert to Catholicism. On this day, Fr. Deacon Pavel (Paul) Gladkov was ordained by Bishop Milan Šášik of the Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo in the Latin-Rite Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Novosibirsk (in Siberia).

Now, live Divine Office from Le Barroux

The great Abbey of Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux, France, dedicated exclusively to the Traditional Mass and Office (Breviarium Monasticum), announced today that it will broadcast some hours of the Divine Office every single day - live on its website (all hours local - GMT+1 in winter/GMT+2 in summer):

• Prime: 745 or 800 (depending on the day - see calendar in the page)
• Sext: 1215.
• Vespers: 1730.
• Compline: 1945.

Lacordaire in Advent: The Messiah

Ecce servus meus, suscipiam eum; electus meus, complacuit sibi in illo anima mea: dedi spiritum meum super eum: iudicium gentibus proferet. (Matins, First Reading, Tuesday in the Fourth Week in Advent. "Behold my servant, I will uphold him: my elect, my soul delighteth in him: I have given my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Is., xlii, 1)

Let us pray

For those in areas affected by the typhoon, severe storms and floods in the Philippines - for the souls of the hundreds of deceased, for their living kindred, for all those so deeply affected so close to one of the most joyful seasons of the Catholic world.

They also speak aggresively of the Pope

From the Q&A session of Pope Benedict XVI in the Rebbibia correctional facility, Rome:

Q. My name is Federico. ... What can sick and HIV-positive prisoners ask of the Pope? ... We are barely mentioned, but only in aggressive terms, as if seeking to have us eliminated from society. This makes us feel subhuman.

A. "We have to endure the fact that people speak about us 'aggressively'. They also speak 'aggressively' about the Pope, yet nonetheless we move on. I think it is important to encourage everyone to think positively, to understand your sufferings, to understand the need to help you rise again. I will do my part, inviting everyone to think in the right way, not abusively but humanly, understanding that anyone can fall, but God wants everyone to reach Him. We must cooperate in a spirit of fraternity recognising our own fragility so that people can truly rise up and move forward with dignity, so that they may grow and thus find happiness in life, because life is granted to us by the Lord ... . The Lord will help you and we are close to you."


The comments of the post on the death of Vaclav Havel are not available anymore. It is disastrous to have to hide them thanks to the unbridled hatred of some people regarding a deceased man baptized in the Catholic Church in a post in which all that was mentioned was the need to pray for his soul (and the very interesting revival of a venerable Catholic practice of tolling the bells of all churches in a moment of national relevance). This repulsive, unforgiving, judgmental and self-righteous pseudo-zeal is anything but Traditional - in fact, few attitudes were more often criticized by Our Lord on this earth than this one. If your heart is filled with this kind of sentiment, please refrain from posting comments here; we do not need the aggravation in the week leading up to Christmas.

The Immortal Temple


Fr. Juan de Anchieta
Doncella Madre de Dios

All things rising, all things sizing        
Mary sees, sympathising
    With that world of good,
    Nature’s motherhood.
Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind        
    How she did in her stored
    Magnify the Lord.
This ecstasy all through mothering earth

Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
    To remember and exultation
    In God who was her salvation.
Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins

The 20th Century is fading away...

In his words in our last meeting, "I am not well, but we know that He IS."
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine.

In his memory, the bells of all churches and chapels in the country are to be tolled at 1800 today.

In Prague, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2011
+ Dominik Duka O.P.
Archbishop of Prague
[Source: Czech Episcopal Conference]

Note: the comments in this post are not available anymore - it is disastrous to have to hide them thanks to the unbridled hatred of some people regarding a deceased Catholic in a post in which all that was mentioned was the need to pray for his soul (and the very interesting revival of a venerable Catholic practice of tolling the bells of all churches in a moment of national relevance). This repulsive, unforgiving, judgmental and self-righteous post mortem pseudo-zeal is anything but Traditional. If your heart is filled with this kind of hatred, you are not welcome here.

The Roman Rite: Old and New - X
& 6 years of RORATE CÆLI

Introit - Fourth Sunday in Advent

Today is Rorate Sunday, the Fourth Sunday in Advent, and a very special day for us: it is the sixth anniversary of this web log, founded on this same Sunday, 2005, and named after its introit - recurrent words throughout Advent, from its very first liturgical moment (First vespers of the First Sunday). It is a perfect day, then, to present the concluding remarks of the remarkable booklet of Don Pietro Leone on the Traditional Roman Rite and the Pauline Rite.

In his final words, Don Pietro Leone presents the shortcomings and consequences of the dreadful modern rite, the artifice created by committee in the late 1960s: God is abandoned in favor of the cult of man; the notion of sacrifice is abandoned in favor of the celebration of the individual, beginning with the celebration of the "presider" himself; the theology of the Ancient Rite, which is Catholic, is replaced by the theology of the Modern Rite, which is... something else entirely. Something which no translation, as accurate as it may be, can alter.

We thank Father deeply for his work - and we also thank you, our readers, for the faithful readership in the past six years. And thanks also to our many followers on Twitter (@RorateCaeli).

And, now, a late-Advent recess, wishing you all a very fruitful fourth week of Advent and a happy Christmastide!


The conclusion of this essay is twofold: one, that the theology of the Old Rite is Catholic, and the theology of the New Rite is Protestant; two, that the theology of the Old Rite is that of the cult of God, and the theology of the New Rite is that of the cult of man.

Shortcomings and Consequences of the Novus Ordo Missae

 A. Shortcomings

Cardinal Ratzinger himself, in his preface to Mgr. Gamber’s ‘Reform of the Roman Liturgy’, called the new rite a ‘fabrication’[1], and in the next sentence a ‘falsification’[2]. Mgr. Gamber called it a ‘cancerous growth’[3].  The gravity of these allegations will justify a brief summary of the shortcomings of the New Rite that have been uncovered in the course of this study. In view of these, it is clearly impossible for us to ascribe an equal worth to both rites, that is in an unqualified sense. We may ascribe an equal worth to them in fact only inasmuch as both[4] render present the Sacrifice of Mount Calvary.

1. The Faith is Misrepresented

We have shown how the Mass is represented as a meal; how the Person and Divinity of Jesus Christ is obscured; how sin, Judgment, Hell, the Devil, the imitation of Christ, and the ascetic life are minimalized. Faith is no longer presented as the ultimate Truth[5], and the life of Faith as a spiritual battle with the powers of darkness, as a question of eternal life and eternal death.
Rather, Faith is presented as a collection of edifying stories, and the life of Faith as a commitment to some undefined, future goal. Nebulous terms such as “the people of God”, “community”[6], and “solidarity” replace those of the Church and Charity, and even the Person of God the Father and that of Jesus Christ Himself become transformed into abstract and vague concepts.

2. The Cult of God is Compromised

Lacordaire in Advent: A Hidden God

Itaque nolite ante tempus iudicare, quoadusque veniat Dominus: qui et illuminabit abscondita tenebrarum, et manifestabit consilia cordium: et tunc laus erit unicuique a Deo. (From the Epistle for the Fourth Sunday in Advent - I Cor. iv, 5: "Therefore judge not before the time; until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise from God.")

God is the fullness of substance, the fullness of force, the fulness of law; he is infinite substance, absolute force, eternal law. He is yet more, he is the center of all substances, their creator and preserver; the center of all forces, their beginning and their end; the center of all laws, their principle, their sanction, and their majesty. 
As beings are thus formed, from the atom even to God, every being is able to manifest itself in a three-fold manner, namely, by its substance, by its force, or by its law. By its substance, thus bodies appear to us; by its force, thus the soul reveals itself to us; by its law, thus the heavenly bodies, even when invisible, are anticipated by the astronomer through the general movement that governs them, withholding or bearing them away from our view. And consequently God may manifest himself as substance, as force, and as law; as the center of all substances, of all forces, and of all laws. For if an atom possesses the magnificent power of disclosing itself, if from its very dust and nothingness it imposes itself upon our vision, enters our academies, provokes discussion, exhausts our learning for ages, how much more should God possess the right and power to disclose himself! A being that does not do this, is not. For the vocation of every being, without exception, is to appear, to take a field of action and to act in it: and as there is no action without manifestation, to appear is to live. And as God is life, his sole work is evidently his appearing, radiating, conquering; in a word, being in all what he is, namely, the king of substances, the king of forces, the king of laws.

It is true, he now hides his substance from us men, and we may exclaim with the prophet: "Verily, thou art a hidden God!" But if he withholds from us that direct vision of himself, it is not from weakness or from envy, it is from respect for our liberty and for the very relationship which he would have with us. Had we at once seen his substance, the overwhelming splendor of that manifestation would have taken from our soul all its freedom of action; we should have adored God in spite of ourselves, whilst the adoration which God claims from us, and which he has a right to claim, is an adoration of choice and love, springing from our soul and reaching to his own.

It was needful then that God should manifest himself without dazzling our vision and making us the slaves of his beauty; it was needful that we should see him without seeing him, that we should be sure of his presence without being oppressed by it; and this is why he has hidden his substance from us whilst he leaves to us his light, as the sun sometimes gathers clouds to lessen his splendor, remaining still visible in the midst of heaven.

Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
Conférences de Notre-Dame de Paris (1846)

Purgatorial Society Priest Featured on EWTN

You may recall a story we posted on Rev. Father David Smith RAChD [Royal Army Chaplains' Department] a couple of months ago. Fr. Smith is one of 16 holy priests saying the Traditional Latin Mass regularly for the souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society while he's stationed in Afghanistan. See below for a feature story on about Father's good work (and notice the vestments he's wearing most likely after a traditional Latin Requiem Mass for the Society):

Kabul, Afghanistan
The only Catholic chaplain at the United Kingdom’s Camp Bastion in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province reports that the troops show “a real hunger to know more about the Catholic religion.”

British Army chaplain Fr. David Smith, with the help of the charity Aid to the Church in Need, has provided books about the Catholic faith and prayer cards to help with the pastoral care of 400 service personnel in the Second Battalion of the Mercian Regiment, stationed in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

New Secretary General of International Theological Commission
Saint Thomas and the historical method

Named today by the Holy Father to fill the spot left by the new Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg (Bp. Charles Morerod, O.P.), Fr. Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P., of the Institut Catholique de Toulouse, France, and director of the venerable Revue Thomiste. The region of Toulouse is, of course, the site of the first Dominican foundations - and the city itself is where the relics of the Angelic Doctor are located.

In the year 2000, Fr. Bonino gave the following interview to a Dutch Thomist institute:

What are you doing at this moment?

Since 1990 I teach at the faculty of philosophy of the Catholic University of Toulouse where I was recently elected as dean (June 1999). My regular teaching is on the history of medieval doctrines - from Saint Augustine to Nicholas of Cusa ! - and also on themes that revolve around the philosophical theology of Saint Thomas. 

Just in time for Kerstmis: The Church that led the Vatican II "Rhine reforms" was rotten

Now we know in great detail just what much of the hierarchy of the Dutch Church - one of the national Churches that led the Universal Church in the run-up to Vatican II and in the implementation of the Conciliar reforms  - was up to in the decades following World War II, before the Council, and after it: systematic abuse, cover-up in an almost unbelievable scale, spiritual death.

This was the Church of "The Dutch Catechism", the "Church of the future", the Church that introduced Communion in the hand, wild liturgies, the newly-invented "Eucharistic prayers" that were not the Canon that the Roman Rite had always known: it was the avant-garde Church that led the Council Fathers to the glorious springtime that would follow.

1. Dutch RC Church knew about abuse [Radio Netherlands] December 16:
Roman Catholic orders, congregations and dioceses knew about the abuse of minors in Catholic institutions, but failed to help the victims or take action against the abusers.

This is the conclusion of the Deetman Inquiry which on Friday published its final report on abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands.

The report points to the inadequate organisation, and the closed culture of the Dutch church province as the main reason for its inadequate response to the widespread abuse. The church also sought to avoid a scandal.

Inquiry Chair Wim Deetman, a former education minister, estimates that between 10,000 and 20,000 minors were abused in Catholic boarding schools, children’s homes and orphanages. In several thousand cases the abuse could be characterised as very serious.

For the record: SSPX-Rome - where matters currently stand, as viewed by the SSPX

From the sermon delivered by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. These are the latest words of that Fraternity on the ongoing discussions with the Apostolic See.
You have all heard that there was a proposal from Rome, a proposal that said, “We are ready to recognize you [canonically].” The problem is that there is always a condition. This condition may have varied a bit in its formulation, but basically it is always the same. This condition is: you must accept the Council. One could sum up the current situation by saying: “Yes, you can criticize the Council, but on one condition: it is necessary to accept it first.” Which leaves us saying, “What can we criticize afterwards?”

I think that this is an honest summary of the present situation. And it is not difficult to describe for you our response.

Obviously, the formulas are more and more interesting, closer and closer to what we say. We have arrived by now at a point that clearly shows the depth of the problem. In that famous proposal this is what they tell us: “You commit yourselves to acknowledging that with regard to points from the Council that cause difficulties, the only way to understand those points is to understand them in light of the continuous, perpetual Tradition, in light of the preceding Magisterium.” The light of Tradition is the only way by which one can understand the dubious points. They even go further: “Any proposition and any interpretation of the dubious texts that was opposed to that perpetual Magisterium, that continual Magisterium of the Church must be rejected.” That is what we have always said. But there is a tiny little incidental clause that adds, “as the New Catechism says”. Now the New Catechism adopts the Council.

New Doctor of the Church?

According to Andrea Tornielli in this Thursday's La Stampa, all documentation is being readied up in order for Pope Benedict XVI to proclaim Blessed Hildegard the new Doctor of the Church in October 2012, that is, during the "Year of the Faith".

Since she is still, at least officially and for the Universal Church, considered a Blessed, it is possible that there be something similar to what happened to Saint Albert the Great in 1931: a nearly simultaneous instant-canonization and proclamation as Doctor of the Church.

You report: Pontifical Mass in Kentucky

A reader sends us the following report from the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky:

On Gaudete Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Lexington, Kentucky, offered a Pontifical Low Mass with Some Solemnity at St. Peter's Church in downtown Lexington. The Mass was offered for Regina Pacis Chaplaincy, the apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in the diocese. Bishop Gainer was assisted by Fr. John Rickert, FSSP, the chaplain of the apostolate, and Fr. Noel Zamora of the diocese of Lexington. Over 140 people attended, including the Bishop's mother, and Bishop Gainer generously met and spoke with many people at the dinner held after the Mass. This was the second time the Bishop has offered Mass for the chaplaincy, the previous occasion being for the conferring of Confirmation about two years ago.

Excommunicating Gherardini?

A guest-post by Côme de Prévigny

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), said it in his sermon of December 8: the Roman proposals are at each time more interesting, but in their formulations there remains a point with a bitter taste, that demands before everything else the concession that Vatican II is consistent with the Tradition of the Church.

Following the declarations of His Swiss Excellency, pressure mounts, minds are enkindled. Now that the familiar sirens wave anew the red flag of definitive schism, that vaticanist Tornielli lets himself be taken by feeling - by imagining what Abp. Lefebvre would do in similar circumstances (by saying he thinks he would "say yes"), the Roman demands seem to receive, at the very heart of the Eternal City, a serious blow. For 25 years, the Holy See has not budged on the famous conciliar texts, and, at the very moment in which the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X delivers his note to the Vatican, one of the best students, among the most faithful and most learned, rises up to say that the demands of the master do not hold up.

Monsignor Gherardini is the dean of the theologians of the Lateran University, one of the most venerable Roman institutions. For half a century, he has formed hundreds of bishops and priests by attempting to present them Vatican II in continuity with the teaching of the Church. At the end of a long and serious career, he makes this terrible confession: the tireless attempt does not work. Speaking of the Council, he describes its continuity with Tradition as "problematic": "not because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the declaration has remained unproven."

In other words, the theologian says that all displays attempting to make Vatican II the continuation of the teaching of the Church are to his eyes nothing but weakly convincing arguments.

At the moment in which one of the most distinguished living theologians declares serious doubts on the merits of the conciliar texts, at the moment in which he asks for a "critical examination" of these texts, how can the Holy See demand that their prior recognition be an indispensable condition for the regularization of the Society? How can the hope of thousands of faithful around the world be played with by making them believe that the ball is on Écône's side? The competent congregation has every ability to recognize, at the end of thorough doctrinal discussions, the perfect catholicity of the Society and to grant it the regularization that every work that is done faithfully with its zeal for souls deserves. While Sacred Liturgy and even the most elementary truths (the Ressurrection of Christ, the Real Presence, the salvific universality of Jesus Christ) are disregarded by a good number of bishops who need not sign any condition to be named and kept in place, would such recognition really prove to be a high-stakes bet?

If affirming that the texts of the Council are disconnected from Tradition makes the Society worthy of being considered outside the Church, is it to be thought that Monsignor Gherardini deserves excommunication for having dared to publicly affirm that which others will never have the boldness of saying?