Rorate Caeli

Septuagesimatide recess

Josquin des Prés
De Profundis (Ps. CXXIX)

Relevant news and items may be posted at any time.

Vatican to Caritas: a Catholic institution must be Catholic

Quite a feud between the Apostolic See (through its Secretariat of State) and the supposedly Catholic international organization known as "Caritas" (its main American affiliate is Catholic Charities, and its main British affiliate is CAFOD). Since the position of Caritas International has been dubiously Catholic in the past few decades, the Holy See has at last intervened in what had become a scandalous situation.

The Vatican has indicated that it blocked Lesley-Anne Knight from a second term at the helm of the Church’s largest development organisation because it wants a new leader who can strengthen its Catholic identity and forge more cordial working relations with the Holy See.

Rome’s reasons for failing to allow the re-appointment of Dr Knight as secretary general of the Rome-based Caritas Internationalis (CI) are given in a letter sent by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB, to all the world’s episcopal conferences and seen this week by The Tablet.

“During the next four years particular attention will have to be given to harmonising the theological dimension of Caritas Internationalis … with its role as an organisation operating on the international stage,” says the three-page letter, dated 15 February. It adds that the next CI secretary general will also need to improve communication with other ecclesial bodies and with the dicasteries of the Roman Curia that have an “interest” in CI activities.

The letter, which was also sent to bishops responsible for the 165 member charities that make up the Caritas confederation, further indicates that the advocacy work that Caritas carries out must be better coordinated “in strict cooperation with the Holy See, which is specifically competent in this regard”.
Mrs. Knight's predecessor as secretary-general of Caritas International, Duncan MacLaren, had already been quite vocal defending his predecessor and attacking the Roman See in an article published in Australian Jesuit (what a shock!) website Eureka Street:

In an extraordinary move, Lesley-Anne Knight, my successor as Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis (CI, the Church's international relief agency), has not been granted the nihil obstat (basically, official approval) by the Vatican's Secretariat of State to stand for another four-year term.

There is outrage in the Confederation.

According to the statutes, a list of candidates must be presented timeously to the Holy See which then rings the secretary of the applicant's bishops' conference to ascertain whether the candidate is 'in good standing' with the Church.
What an outrage! The Roman and Apostolic See wants her main charitable institution to be Catholic and act in a clearly Catholic way? How dare they!?

Too bad for Mrs. Knight because, since the Pope's informal and indirect references to condoms last year, she was aching for some official policy allowing for a "change" in Caritas International regarding condoms... Is it too much to wonder, by the way, if Caritas workers do not already recommend or even distribute contraceptives in some places around the world?...

Merci au Forum Catholique!

Infirmities, weakness, and the glory of the Apostolic See

From the Epistle for the Sunday in Sexagesima: "For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or anything he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, and angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. And He said to me: my grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (II Cor. xii, 6-9)
When [St. Anselm] was torn from the solitude of the studious life of the cloister, to be raised to a lofty dignity in most difficult times, he found himself a prey to the most tormenting solicitude and anxiety, and chief of all the fear that he might not do enough for the salvation of his own soul and the souls of his people, for the honor of God and of His Church. But amid all these anxieties and in the grief he felt at seeing himself abandoned culpably by many, even including his brethren in the episcopate, his one great comfort was his trust in God and in the Apostolic See. Threatened with shipwreck, and while the storm raged round him, he took refuge in the bosom of the Church, his Mother, invoking from the Roman Pontiff pitiful and prompt aid and comfort; God, perhaps, permitted that this great man, full of wisdom and sanctity as he was, should suffer such heavy tribulation, in order that he might be a comfort and an example to us in the greatest difficulties and trials of the pastoral ministry, and that the sentence of Paul might be realized in each one of us: "Gladly will I glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities . . . for when I am weak then am I powerful" (2 Cor. xii. 9, 10).

Such indeed are the sentiments which Anselm expressed to Urban II.: "Holy Father, I am grieved that I am not what I was, grieved to be a bishop, because by reason of my sins I do not perform the office of a bishop. While I was in a lowly position, I seemed to be doing something; set in a lofty place, burdened by an immense weight, I gain no fruit for myself, and am of no use to anybody. I give way beneath the burden because I am incredibly poor in the strength, virtue, zeal, and knowledge necessary for so great an office. I would fain flee from the insupportable anxiety and leave the burden behind me, but, on the other hand, I fear to offend God. The fear of God obliged me to accept it, the same fear of God constrains me to retain the same burden. Now, since God's will is hidden from me, and I know not what to do, I wander about in sighs, and know not how to put an end to it all".

Thus does God bring home even to saintly men their natural weakness, in order the better to make manifest in them the power of strength from above, and, by a humble and real sense of their individual insufficiency, to preserve with greater force their obedience to the authority of the Church. We see it in the case of Anselm and of other contemporaries of his who fought for the liberty and doctrine of the Church under the guidance of the Apostolic See. The fruit of their obedience was victory in the strife, and their example confirmed the Divine sentence that "the obedient man will sing victory" (Prov. xxi. 28). The hope of the same reward shines out for all those who obey Christ in His Vicar in all that concerns the guidance of souls, or the government of the Church, or that is in any way connected with these objects: since "upon the authority of the Holy See depend the directions and the counsels of the sons of the Church". ...

But in his letters to the Pontiff he does not content himself with imploring pitiful aid and comfort; he also promises assiduous prayers, in most tender words of filial affection and unswerving faith, as when, while still Abbot of Bec, he wrote to Urban II: "For your tribulation and that of the Roman Church, which is our tribulation and that of all the true faithful, we never cease praying God assiduously to mitigate your evil days, till the pit be dug for the sinner. And although He seems to delay, we are certain that the Lord will not leave the scepter of sinners over the heritage of the just, that He will never abandon His heritage and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".
Pope Saint Pius X
April 21, 1909

More than 10,000 signatures: have you signed the International Appeal?

UPDATE: Rorate Caeli can now confirm that Norma Jean Coon is now attending the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Anne's Catholic Church in San Diego -- a flourishing FSSP parish. She is not yet receiving the sacraments.
American "woman deacon" formally renounces her error ...

Most people saw the reports that, in 2007, Norma Jean Coon pretended to be ordained to the Catholic diaconate as part of a group called Roman Catholic Women Priests.

What you most likely haven't seen thus far, since coverage of part two of the story has been nonexistent, is that Coon has renounced her phony ordination, separated herself from the heretical group, apologized for the scandal she caused and publicly begged the forgiveness of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.

Read more here.

And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (twenty-first posting of souls)
Urgent, Continued Prayers for Summorum Pontificum
Turn to the Church Suffering and Triumphant

By now you most likely have read our numerous reports on the current state of Summorum Pontificum and the Trojan Horse possibly coming within the "Instruction." Also, if you have not yet signed the petition to defend our Holy Father and the Traditional Latin Mass, please do so by clicking here. Please also urge your friends and family to do the same, and soon.
While action is absolutely necessary, and all should be writing to the Vicar of Christ, the PCED and others, we must also pray.

Over the last 21 weeks we have enrolled thousands of souls into this Society and, by the grace of God, we must have hope that many are now in Heaven.

Let us turn to the newly Church Triumphant to intercede for us to strengthen the Holy Father and protect him from the wolves that are circling -- some very close to him. And let us also turn to the Church Suffering, especially those still enrolled in the Society, to pray that the Instruction strengthens Summorum Pontificum and doesn't lessen it. And, if it is to lessen it, that it never sees the light of day.
We have many souls grateful to us for our prayers and Masses. They want to help -- we just need to ask.
A reminder on 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 follow this format strictly, as any deviation creates a lot of extra work.
Please also 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 14 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:

RORATE CÆLI 5th anniversary Virtual Kermesse
Help us with our new look
and win a special selection of wonderful Catholic books

The Fourth Sunday in Advent marks the fifth anniversary of our blog. A partnership with one of the most serious Catholic publishers in the English language, Angelus Press, has allowed us to offer you a special selection of some of their best works: 8 of the best titles in the Angelus Press catalogue made available to the winner of the website contest of our virtual kermesse.

What is the object of the contest? An update of our blog template, to make it beautiful and slim, a website that remains fully committed to the liturgical tradition of the Church while attractive to all kinds of readers and visitors.

The springtime of nations

The murder of a Coptic Christian priest in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut angered the roughly 3000 Copts who turned out for his funeral on Wednesday to demand that the killers be punished.

According to the slain priest's neighbors, four people had killed the Coptic cleric in his home while "chanting Islamic slogans." ... Coptic marchers also smashed the windshield of a police car that attempted to bar their way.

They delivered the body of Father Dawood Ghobrial, who had been a pastor at Assiut's Bishop Taudros Monastery, to the Assiut University Hospital morgue.
Local police claims Father Dawood Boutros Ghobrial was the victim of robbers... (Not necessarily untrue, since Egypt has been "robbed" from its native Christians for 14 centuries. Muslims will not stop until they manage to do to Egypt's Christians what they did to Anatolia's.)

Le nouveau primat du Canada

The new Metropolitan Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada, Abp. Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, is a member of the I.S.P.X. The I.S.P.X. (the Pius X Secular Institute), do not let that letter get you confused... Félicitations, Monseigneur!

Below, the current Director-General of the I.S.P.X., Father Christian Beaulieu.

Let us pray

For those in affected areas in Canterbury (New Zealand), hit by the second intense earthquake in six months. We hope all our readers in the South Island and their families are safe.

(Image: Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch - other heartbreaking images provided by the Transalpine Redemptorists.)
Latest information on the Instruction, from Messa in Latino:
Great concern was raised in the Traditional world (and in Roman dicasteries...) by the leak of news of which we have been the co-authors, along with Rorate Caeli, regarding the contents of the Instruction on the motu proprio; for which we have spoken openly of the watering down of the motu proprio and have promoted, along with the New Liturgical Movement, an international appeal. How much the latter may influence matters is unknown; but we do know with certainty that what was set in motion, thanks to our sources (honestly concerned with the fate of the Church and of Tradition), has indeed made the Holy Father discreetly receive requests of the very highest levels regarding this famous Instruction. The Instruction is ready and Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and President of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'), discussed its final details in his audience with the Pope last Friday; but some amendments are perhaps still possible.

Joining God in penance and suffering

Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis, dolores inferni circumdederunt me: et in tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum, et exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam. (From the Introit for the Sunday in Septuagesima: "The sorrows of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me; and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice from His holy temple.")

[W]hen someone desires to suffer, it is not merely a pious reminder of the suffering of the Lord. Voluntary expiatory suffering is what truly and really unites one to the Lord intimately. When it arises, it comes from an already existing relationship with Christ. For, by nature, a person flees from suffering. And the mania for suffering caused by a perverse lust for pain differs completely from the desire to suffer in expiation. Such lust is not a spiritual striving, but a sensory longing, no better than other sensory desires, in fact worse, because it is contrary to nature. Only someone whose spiritual eyes have been opened to the supernatural correlations of worldly events can desire suffering in expiation, and this is only possible for people in whom the spirit of Christ dwells, who as members are given life by the Head, receive his power, his meaning, and his direction. Conversely, works of expiation bind one closer to Christ, as every community that works together on one task becomes more and more closely knit and as the limbs of a body, working together organically, continually become more strongly one.

But because being one with Christ is our sanctity, and progressively becoming one with him our happiness on earth, the love of the cross in no way contradicts being a joyful child of God. Helping Christ carry his cross fills one with a strong and pure joy, and those who may and can do so, the builders of God’s kingdom, are the most authentic children of God. And so those who have a predilection for the way of the cross by no means deny that Good Friday is past and that the work of salvation has been accomplished. Only those who are saved, only children of grace, can in fact be bearers of Christ’s cross. Only in union with the divine Head does human suffering take on expiatory power.

To suffer and to be happy although suffering, to have one’s feet on the earth, to walk on the dirty and rough paths of this earth and yet to be enthroned with Christ at the Father’s right hand, to laugh and cry with the children of this world and ceaselessly to sing the praises of God with the choirs of angels this is the life of the Christian until the morning of eternity breaks forth.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

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Sancta Teresia Benedicta,
Patrona totius Europæ,
ora pro nobis!

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Debate on points of the Instruction

The New Liturgical Movement has a very interesting post and debate regarding a point of the current text of the Instruction of application of Summorum Pontificum. Please, do read it and comment there (and/or here).

And so it begins

From several news sources:
The body of Polish missionary priest Fr Marek Rybinski was found this morning shoved in a closet with his throat slit in the Salesian school of Manouba, Tunisia.

Fellay: the doctrinal discussions with Rome are "coming to a conclusion." has just posted the first three parts of a lengthy (54-question) interview with Bishop Fellay. In this latest interview the head of the SSPX strikes a more cautious and pessimistic tone than in previous interviews.

The Instruction - II
Ghettoization must start in Ordination

Very few points of the current draft of the Instruction for the Application of Summorum Pontificum seem to be  available to us. The first we mentioned, on blocking the application of the liberality of the motu proprio to all non-Roman Western rites and uses may seem minor - yet it is quite significant in what it reveals: an interpretation of the rights recognized by Summorum as privileges or "indults" that can be curtailed.

Our revelation today, made jointly with Messa in Latino, could seem even more limited in its extension - but it certainly is much, much, more serious and insidious in the extent it shows that the anti-Summorum field has infiltrated the composition of the Instruction. In short, the Instruction, in its current draft, will explicitly prevent Bishops from using the Traditional Rite of Holy Orders.

There will be two exceptions. One, dedicated to the those institutes (the 'Ecclesia Dei' institutes) and particular Churches dedicated exclusively to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The other exception is that the Bishop that desires to ordain a certain seminarian in the ancient Rite will have to ask prior permission to Rome (to the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'), which will then evaluate if said permission should be granted or not.

While the motu proprio is unclear on the use of the Traditional liturgical rites of the Roman Pontifical for Holy Orders (Baptism, Matrimony, Penance, Extreme Unction, and Confirmation are expressly mentioned in art. 9, and the Holy Eucharist throughout the text), this is no loophole. While it might make sense to clarify some points regarding other Sacraments, as directed by the "Pastor" (art. 9 § 1), it would obviously be unnecessary to "allow" these same Pastors to do what they can always do: ordain priests of the Roman Rite using the books of the Roman Rite, including the rite of Holy Orders that was used in the Latin Church for well over a millennium.

What is to be achieved by this odious restrictive interpretation? Why should Bishops be forbidden to choose with which Rite to ordain their own deacons and priests? Since the advent of Summorum, in a few privileged places, Bishops have furthered the establishment of a biritual mentality in their seminaries, and have indeed celebrated Holy Orders in the Extraordinary Form; it seems clear that, if a Bishop so desires, for an unlimited number of pastoral and spiritual reasons, he should be able to do so freely.

The intention is, among others, to ghettoize the Traditional Rite of this most pivotal of all Sacraments, Holy Orders; and, further, to identify "problematic" Bishops and future priests, with all consequences that could entail (including for their careers). It is an alarming sign that the thrust of the Instruction is once again to make, even in law, all Catholics attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite or those who merely appreciate it (and, in this case, even Bishops and poor hopeful seminarians) second-class Catholics.
As a note, the current draft of the Instruction bears indeed the date of Feb. 22. This date is, naturally and as it is common with many Roman documents, symbolic and fictitious- in the sense that alterations may take place between the date indicated in the text and its publication.

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (twentieth posting of souls)
Urgent Prayers for Summorum Pontificum
Turn to the Church Suffering and Triumphant
By now you most likely have read our reports on the current state of Summorum Pontificum and the Trojan Horse possibly coming within the "Instruction" (see here and here).
While action is absolutely necessary, and all should be writing to the Vicar of Christ, the PCED and others, we must also pray.

The Instruction - I
Non-Roman rites and uses: a small sample of things to come,
the risk of a return to the "indult" mentality

The day before yesterday, in a post long gone, and yesterday, we were (unjustly) accused of being alarmist because we tried to warn our readers that the clarification instruction on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (henceforth, "the instruction") has been, at least in its latest draft, rewritten in a way that is unexpectedly and unjustifiably restrictive. Unexpectedly, because since the very first reports on the intruction, in August-October 2007, it had always been seen, and presented by several Vatican sources, as an instrument to make the application of Summorum Pontificum wider and to destroy the ridiculous roadblocks placed by several bishops regarding the wide rights recognized by that text. Unjustifiably, because, if anything, what Summorum needs is a firmer assurance of its application, and not increasing difficulties.

"Where are the texts of this instruction draft?", some have asked. "This is all rather vague," others have affirmed. And at least one report has simply denied any such intentions in the intruction. We can only thank those friends who, though discreetly, confirmed by other means what our sources had told us.

The text of the draft may still be altered; the general restrictive intentions, however, cannot be denied. Together with Messa in Latino, we can add the following:
We have learned, up to the present moment, at least two relevant points of the Instruction. Both points should not be seen as minor, since they are indicative of the generally restrictive tone of the text. For several reasons, and because time is necessary to digest unseemly news, only the first point will be discussed in this post.

And that is: in its current draft, the Instruction definitely "clarifies" that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum is applied exclusively to the Roman Rite, in the strictest interpretation of the word. Therefore, not to the non-Roman Latin Rites: the clearly minoritarian or even forgotten Mozarabic, Braga, or Sarum rites. But the rule would apply also to the not few religious who have tried to rediscover their Traditional rites or uses: Dominicans and Carmelites, in particular, but also Carthusians, Norbertines... What is surprising is that the extension of the spirit of the motu proprio to other Western rites and uses had always been assumed, and the official response that it would not apply to religious uses, demanding a proper clarification, had indeed been one of the very causes of the instruction.

This restrictive rule would in particular (and would seem thus planned, considering the complications of the Italian Church) exclude the application of the motu proprio to the Traditional Liturgy of the largest diocese in the Old World, and third with most Catholics in the world: Milan. Excluding the enclaves of Roman Rite, the motu proprio would be void in the Archdiocese and in the Ambrosian zones of the Diocese of Lugano, Switzerland.

For over five million Catholics in that area, and for religious priests dedicated to their rites or uses, the rules to be applied would not be those of Summorum (the Traditional Liturgy as a right of priests and groups of faithful), but only Ecclesia-Dei-like privileges and concessions, granted by the liturgical authorities of the Archdiocese (in the case of Milan) or the Superiors (in the case of the orders).

Why such a restriction? In legal terms, nothing seems to demand it: the text of Summorum is sufficiently ambiguous that it can be interpreted in both ways, even though it makes reference to the Roman Missal, Breviary, and Rite, and restrictive rules are, in general, applied in a limited way (odiosa limitanda, favorabilia amplianda). Moreover, such a rule would openly contradict the official response of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' (in the case of open application of Summorum to the Ambrosian Rite, cf. here).

This first major point of the instruction has, thus, a clear repressive and punitive intention. Its sense would be extremely dangerous: that the Traditional liturgies of the West, rather than being encouraged (as the letter of the motu proprio makes clear), must be contained, regulated, oppressed. Not a clear declaration of rights, but a bureaucratic web of limited privileges and concessions: this small example seems to set the general new tone regarding the Traditional Liturgy.

Let us defend Summorum Pontificum against the Trojan Horse

[Update: We will keep this up; all signs from different sources are aligning, and unexpected sources have confirmed our fears; the matter is too relevant to be kept in silence.]

[1014 GMT] Strange, violent, and dark forces wish to derail the application of Summorum Pontificum. Lawyers (and those who know lawyers...) and legislators are quite aware how this goes: a lower-ranking interpretive text so modifies the clear letter of the law that renders the latter ineffectual.

Reports from different sources suggest that ill-intentioned people within the highest ranks of the Holy See wish to use the clarification document on Summorum Pontificum as a Trojan Horse, emptying the motu proprio of all its content, especially regarding Parish Priests and other members of the diocesan clergy (see e.g. Messa in Latino). This is a dangerous, clear, and credible threat. We must pray, indeed, but all priests and lay faithful must act. All Catholic faithful must send urgent and respectful letters to the Holy Father, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Secretariat of State, the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', and other authorities, asking the Holy Father and curial authorities to defend the clear letter of the motu proprio that gave us freedom and thanking once again the Holy Father for the gift that was Summorum Pontificum, including references to the personal improvement brought to one's Catholic life and family by the wider availability of the Traditional liturgy.  


By Michael A. Beauregard 

I have taught in Catholic schools for many years. For the past ten, I have had the pleasure of teaching sixth-grade religion classes in a school that is unwaveringly faithful to the Magisterium. The religious curriculum in the sixth grade includes the sacraments, the theology of the Mass, and Church history. In previous grades, the students thoroughly study the faith with the help of textbooks that are faithful to the Church, and teachers who are devout, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable.

Nevertheless, year after year I am surprised by what my students know — and do not know — at the beginning of their sixth-grade year. Students are typically baffled and sometimes even stunned to learn that the Blessed Sacrament is Christ physically present in His body, blood, soul, and divinity, and not just in a spiritual or symbolic sense. More often than not, these students have incorrectly acquired the notion that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is just a Communion service memorializing the Last Supper with the priest acting as presider. They are fascinated to learn about the sacrificial aspects of the Mass and the priesthood, and the tremendous graces received from the Mass. Why are all these students, who have no less than five years of solid catechetical training, entering the sixth grade with an almost Protestant view of Catholic liturgy and the sacraments? (Read entire article at Musings of a Pertinacious Papist.)

For the Record...or
Notizia smentita è data due volte...

P. L. Rodari says that reports that the clarification document may "water down" the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum are, according to his verifications, "completely deprived of foundation". The document is "ready" and is being "translated", and the publication should take place "before Easter".

Maybe. Maybe not. We should all be praying that the clarification document, which we have been expecting for almost four years, be an instrument for the implementation of the motu proprio, not of its denial. Just a few words may lead from a document of liberation to a document of "Ecclesia-Dei-style ghettoization", from a "right" to a "privilege" - with all the consequences that may entail. As a note, notice that, had we been expecting the official translations of the motu proprio as a condition for its publication, it would never have seen the light of day - except, perhaps, in Hungary... The game is not over until the signing of the final draft and publication of the document: the enemy is extremely smart and never sleeps. Let us wait and see...


The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales is organising a pilgrimage in homour of St Margaret Clitherow, one of its patron saints. It will be held in York on Saturday 26th March 2011.
The pilgrimage will begin at 1.30pm with a Missa Cantata at the High Altar of York Minster. This will be followed by a procession from the minster, via The Shambles and Ouse Bridge to the Church of the English Martyrs in Dalton Terrace, where Benediction and veneration of the relic of St Margaret Clitherow will take place at 4pm.
Use of York Minster is by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter.
It was originally intended that Benediction would be at the Bar Convent, but because of the numbers that are expected to attend, this has been transferred to the English Martyrs’ Church.
Because of the parking restrictions in force in York, visitors travelling by car are advised to use the Park and Ride facilities. The Askham Bar car park, on the Tadcaster Road near to the A64 to the south-west of York, will be the most convenient as the buses from there pass near to both the Minster and English Martyrs’ Church. It would be wise to allow half an hour to get from the car park to the Minster by bus.

Paix Liturgique interviews Leo Darroch

5 Questions to Leo Darroch, President of Una Voce

1/ You are the President of the oldest organization supporting the TLM: could you give us a brief introduction to Una Voce and to its work?

Leo Darroch: Towards the end of the Second Vatican Council, there was growing concern among the laity for the continuity of the Church's liturgical heritage. As a result, in late 1964 and early 1965, a number of national associations were formed. Delegates from six European associations met in Rome early in 1965 and the International Federation Una Voce was formally erected in Zurich on January 8th, 1967 when delegates from 20 associations approved the draft statutes and elected the first Council.

Magister on the church architecture wars in Italy

From Sandro Magister:

Naming the "false brethren", the "mute dogs" and the "untrustworthy leaders".

From "The Pastor's Corner" of the website of the United States District of the SSPX:

“1,000 soldiers fall to the left, 10,000 to the right”. This Scripture quote from Psalm 90 reminds us that false brethren (those on the right) are more dangerous than true enemies (those on the left)...
After the betrayal of the cowards and the weak, there came the defection of the sedevacantists who tended to divide themselves indefinitely. Then came that of the children of Archbishop Lefebvre, their own spiritual father, who left him for the mirages of the roses and lilies of modernist Rome. These are as so many tombstones strewn in the cemetery of the “War Veterans of Tradition”; tombstones of mute dogs, forever forbidden to bark at the madness of our poor Church authorities for the sake of a meager place in the sun and a piece of paper proving them to be “inside” the Catholic Church. Their name is legion: The monastery of Le Barroux, the Fraternity of St. Peter, Bishop Rifan and Campos , the Institute of Christ the King, the Institute of the Good Shepherd...

Then, to complete the picture, you have half-traditional priests, operating under the Pope’s gracious motu proprio liberating the Mass of all time. These priests are unfortunately halfway between the old and the new in more things than liturgy, and this reality does not make them so palatable to us. Can we really entrust our souls to someone who is meant to be our father, when the first condition is that he truly be a father and an example for us and our children? Woe to those souls who give themselves entirely or even halfway to unclear and untrustworthy leaders. Who would let his daughter jump in a car driven by a madman? Is this not what many of our friends are doing when, for mysterious reasons, they decide to pick-and-choose which traditional church they want to go to?

Diaconal Ordinations for the ICRSS

H.E. Raymond Cardinal Burke ordained three new deacons for the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest on January 30, 2011 in the ICRSS Seminary in Gricigliano. (For those curious about the numbers in the most recent years: in 2010, the ICRSS had one new deacon and three new priests. In 2009, they had 6 new deacons and 5 new priests.)

A magnificent photo gallery of the ceremony can be found here

The day before the ordinations, on January 29 (Feast of St. Francis de Sales), Cardinal Burke offered a Solemn Pontifical Mass in Treviso. The pictures can be found here.

An Anglican Ordinariate for Ex-Catholics?

From the Church of England's "Church Times":

AN “Ordinariate of Postulants” has been set up by the diocese of Peru in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone to host a growing number of Roman Catholic priests who are keen to join the Anglican Church.

In contrast to the situa­tion in England, where three former bishops recently joined the Ordinariate for former Anglicans established by Rome, clerics are making the reverse journey in South America.

The Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd William God­frey, said that, so far, about ten RC priests had joined the new group to explore the possibility of switching denominations. Some may bring con­gregations with them.

About half of them are from churches that have become indepen­dent from the RC Church, often because the priests have got married.

Bishop Godfrey said that he had also received requests from RC clergy in Uruguay, Ecuador, and Ar­gentina, to join the Anglican Church.

He said that it was not entirely new for Roman Catholics to make this journey, as “the Anglican Church in Latin America would not exist if it wasn’t for ex-Roman Catholics”, but priests were now leaving on a larger scale.

He said that many of these priests were looking for stability in their ministry, and that the Postulate was “some sort of body where these people can draw close to the An­glican Church and experience its liturgical and pastoral tradition and theology, before taking the final step of being received. It provides a buffer zone in which we can prepare to receive them.”

Bishop Godfrey believes that some priests may have been en­couraged by Pope Benedict XVI’s positive words about Anglicanism when setting up the Or­dinar­iate, when he was “extra­ordinarily pos­itive” about the An­glican tradition.

He said that the new body was not meant to be “provocative” towards Roman Catholicism; there was in fact “a lot of respect towards the Pope” in the region. There is no financial motivation for clerics to move to the An­glican Church, as there is no guarantee of a stipend when they join the diocese of Peru.

The diocese currently has 35 clerics, an increase from just four in the late 1990s. It has two seminaries in Lima and Arequipa. RC orders are recog­nised by Anglicans.

The diocese is currently working out how it will deal with bishops from indepen­dent RC churches who wish to become Anglicans.

TLM Public Service

A reader asks us if there is any Traditional Mass in the beautiful Republic of Costa Rica. WikiMissa does not mention any... Yet, if any of our readers has any positive response, it may be included in the comment box or, if discretion is advised for some reason, may be sent to newcatholic AT gmail DOT com.

In praise of Bach

Bach is a colossus; his music contains a universal element that is all-embracing. In his monumental works he manages to unite magnificent and unsurpassed compositional skill with rare diversity, melodic beauty and a truly profound spirituality. Even Bach’s secular music is permeated by a sense of love for God, of standing in God’s presence, of awe before Him.

Thoughts on wheat and tares

"Pure Rome", "Immaculate Rome" -- this Rome, in fact, has never existed in the History of the Church, at least not in such form as imagined by many today, for the Bishop of Rome and his Curia are men, men touched by Original Sin and who have many personal defects. If Rome has fallen to heresy, then the promise of the Lord to the first Bishop of Rome, that "upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it", has failed -- and one can take from there the full consequences of a God whose most solemn promises do not turn out to be true.

If, however, Rome's infallibility is preserved, but its human circumstances are filled with difficulties and bad fruits, one sees nothing less than the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Lord. The Gospel for last Sunday, the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, offers important lessons regarding the difficulties of the Church Militant:

At that time Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the goodman of the house coming, said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence then hath it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? and he said: No, lest perhaps, gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn. (St. Matthew, xiii, 24-30)

Has the situation in Rome ever been better? Certainly. You will not read here any praises of the inexistent good fruits of the Council. However, even in the most unfavorable times, it would not be apt to confuse the severe human problems of the Church with a Rome which "must return to Tradition"; one does not return except to that which one has completely left... "The danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church": this is what Pope Saint Pius X said -- not today, but one hundred years ago. Does this seem to describe the "Pure Rome" of "ancient" lore?

If one should wait for the Apostolic See to "return", unanimously and with no human problems whatsoever, to a mythical view of "Tradition", one would forget the lesson of last Sunday's Gospel: the enemy sows cockle (or tares, as it has entered English literature through the "Authorized Version") throughout the field, even in the highest and most august settings. It is extremely difficult for the Apostolic See, at times, to "eliminate all bad principles" without the risk of eliminating good souls.
If at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the Shepherds no less than of the flocks, and that all may increase the merit of their Christian faith. For, as We said above, Christ did not wish to exclude sinners from His Church; hence if some of her members are suffering from spiritual maladies, that is no reason why we should lessen our love for the Church, but rather a reason why we should increase our devotion to her members. (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, 66)

Canon Léon Cristiani (famous for Evidence of Satan in the Modern World, for his Brief History of Heresies, and for several hagiographies) offers simple yet powerful reflections on last Sunday's Gospel in one of his most popular books:
"The Kingdom of God in the world will never be perfect, and that should not surprise us. God allows it. The separation of the elements shall be done at the end of the harvest... God does not wish to transform the earth in a kingdom in which his will governs unopposed. The earth is a place of struggle, a field of experimentation and combat, but not of permanent victory. The presence of the evil ones is useful for the development of the just. ... Goodness shall not be defeated on earth; in eternity, it will triumph forever." (in Jésus-Christ: Fils de Dieu, Sauveur. v. 1, 1934)
No serious Catholic may deny the enormous crisis faced by the Church today -- but no serious Catholic may reject the good efforts, even the most timid, of the wheat of a deeply hurt Rome filled with tares. [Reposted.]

Vote for the Al-Irsyad Mosque...

Why vote for an ugly Catholic building in Mexico (San Josemaría Escrivá) or for a horrible Catholic parish church in Croatia (Saint Luke) when you may just as well vote for a nice mosque? The least we can do is to prompt contemporary architects to focus all their religious creativity into building mosques...
Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (nineteenth posting of souls)

Below, please find the nineteenth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.

While this week's list is shorter than usual, it's interesting to see how the nation's represented have grown, with new countries such as Poland, Sri Lanka, Colombia and others now represented.

And, while I do not have an official count, I believe we have enrolled between 8,000 and 9,000 individual souls -- not counting all the families as a whole, parishes, religious orders, etc. enrolled en mass.

A reminder on 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 follow this format strictly, as any deviation creates a lot of extra work -- and there's been a great deal of deviation lately.

Please also 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 14 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:
"For all the souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful departed rest in peace. Amen."
Then ...
Eternal God,
please bless our priests,
who are selflessly saying Masses for this Society.
Make them more greatly aware of the grace
that You pour out through them
when they minister the sacraments,
and help them to fall more deeply in love with You
after each and every Mass that they celebrate.
Please strengthen our priests,
who shepherd Your flock,
when they are in doubt of their faith,
that they may be examples of Your Truth
and guide us always on the path to You.
We ask these things of You, our Eternal Priest.

Enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society:

Let us pray

For Christians in the land of Egypt, the land of servitude and house of bondage hallowed by the presence of the Lord, His Mother and Saint Joseph - and Saint Mark and countless martyrs and confessors. They have often been the first victims in moments of upheaval since their land was invaded by the Muslims 1400 years ago. [Reposted.]

The only lasting renewal

Preparing for Septuagesimatide:
[T]he world, which today affords so many justifiable reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible temptation to materialism ...

This materialism is not confined to that condemned philosophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions which weigh heavy on the life of the people. It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of life. It encourages scorn for human life, even for life which is destroyed before seeing the light of day. ...

May priests be attentive to [the Blessed Virgin's] appeal and have the courage to preach the great truths of salvation fearlessly. The only lasting renewal, in fact, will be one based on the changeless principles of faith, and it is the duty of priests to form the consciences of Christian people.
Pius XII
The future of the restoration in America?

We recently brought to our readers' attention the news that -- and subsequent pictures of -- the FSSP would be ordaining seminarians in the minor orders. (See the pictures here. -- CAP) On Candlemas, the SSPX Superior General, Bishop Fellay, visited his United States seminary in Winona, Minn.

Archbishop of Dublin: "The liturgy is not a performance"

From the Feb. 5, 2011 homily of Msgr. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, at the 2011 Spring Seminar of the Dublin Diocesan Liturgical Resource Centre (emphases mine):
On the basis of annual head-counts in the Churches of the Archdiocese, it would appear that on any normal Sunday about 20% of the Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Dublin is present at Mass. That is significantly lower than in any other diocese in Ireland. In more than one parish the Sunday practice rate is about 3%. The very low level of practice is not primarily, as some have said, in the somewhat depopulated areas of the inner city but in poorer parishes on the outskirts of the city. Attendance is highest in middle class parishes.

Saying that does not mean that only 20% of Catholics practice regularly. Some may attend on one or more occasion each month. Some may wish to attend weekly but for various reasons do not manage to do so. Taken all in all, however, these statistics are to say the least a cause of great concern.

Even more alarming is the fact that these statistics take no account of the age profile of those who attend Mass regularly. The presence of young people is clearly much lower, despite the fact that family Masses account for a not insignificant proportion of Mass attendance in some parishes.

More and more we encounter people who say that they are Catholic but that going to Mass is not very high on their agenda. There is a feeling that going to Church is not a significant dimension of being a Christian.


You do not simply go to Mass. The liturgy is not a performance but an action in which God’s people actively participate. The liturgy is however in the first place the action of God. Active participation is not just about us saying and doing things. There is an active participation which is fostered through silence and reflection and interiorly identifying ourselves with what is taking place. In today’s world there is anyway a superabundance of words and a fear of silence. The liturgy must always lead people beyond the superficial and fleeting character of much of contemporary culture.

Where the liturgy becomes performance we can very easily end up with banalities and with what some have called the "disneyisation" of the liturgy. Such banality is often linked also with a sense of personal protagonism, at times by the priest or of a musical group or even of guest speakers. Our reading this morning reminds us that “we have nothing to boast about to God”. The liturgy is not our work.

UPDATE: Lombardi somewhat denies Tornielli's report

Update below.

UPDATED: yes, but not really.
Relevant development - Tornielli: new Motu Proprio
preparing the CDW for the Reform of the Reform

UPDATE (regarding this matter, 1300 GMT): In a response to jounalists, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, stated the following:
"It is true that a motu proprio has long been under study to lay down the transferral of a technical legal competence - as, for instance, that of the dispensation for the 'ratum sed non consummatum' matrimony from the Congregation for Divine Worship to the tribunal of the Sacred [Roman] Rota. But there are no grounds nor reason to see in this an intent to promote a control, of a 'restrictive' kind, by the Congregation, of the fostering of the liturgical renewal willed by the Second Vatican Council."

The vaticanist for Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, reports the following today in his blog and in an article for his paper:

A document of Benedict XVI that reorganizes the competences of the Congregation for Divine Worship - granting it the goal of promoting a liturgy that is more faithful to the original intentions of the Second Vatican Council, with less space for arbitrary changes, and for the recovery of a dimension of greater sacrality - is to be published in the next few weeks.

The document, which will be published as a motu proprio, is the result of a long development - it has been reviewed by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts and by the offices of the Secretariat of State - and is mainly motivated by the transferral of competences on matrimonial matters to the Roman Rota. ... Foregoing this [competence], which will be passed on to the Rota, the Congregation for Divine Worship will not occupy itself, in fact, with the sacraments, and will keep solely its competence in liturgical matters.

According to some authoritative rumors, a passage of the motu proprio of Benedict XVI could expressly mention that "new liturgical movement" of which Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera has spoken in recent times, when intervening in last November's consistory.  ...
The Congregation for Divine Worship - which some would wish to rechristen as "of the Sacred Liturgy" or "of the Divine Liturgy" - will henceforth busy itself with this new liturgical movement, including the creation of a new section of the dicastery dedicated to sacred art and music.

Honesty and ecumenical dialogue

 Two articles worth reading:

1) Regarding the futility of Anglican-Catholic dialogue: And now, ARCIC III: isn’t it time to bring this ecumenical farce to an end? (H/t The Anglo-Catholic)

New translations of the Paul VI Missal

The Irish Association of Catholic Priests offers a lengthy critique of the new translation of the Paul VI Missal in English.

This is our position on this controversial matter:

The Church: communion of all places and times.
Communion and collegiality must first and foremost
link bishops to Christ through the Apostles

The Pastor should not be like chaff driven by the wind, a servant of the spirit of the time. Being intrepid, having the courage to oppose the trends of the time, is essential to the task of the Pastor. He must not be chaff, but ... he must be like a tree that has deep roots, upon which it is solid and well grounded. This has nothing to do with the rigidity or inflexibility. Only where there is stability there is also growth. Cardinal Newman, whose path was marked by three conversions, says that living means transforming oneself. But his three conversions and the transformations that took place in them are, however, one consistent journey: the journey of obedience to the truth, to God, the true journey of continuity which in this way brings about progress. ...

"[The second pillar of the life of the Church is called communion by Saint Luke.] ...

Head of SSPX US District interview on Doctrinal Talks

The head of the District of the United States of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) shares what he can say of the history and current status of the discussions between the Holy See and the FSSPX.
J Vennari: Our readers are most interested in the Doctrinal Discussions now going on between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome. I understand these discussions are taking place in a kind of secrecy. Why is this?

Father Rostand: From the beginning of the Doctrinal Discussions between Rome and the Society of Saint Pius X, it was clearly stated that these discussions would remain private. It was the wish of Rome and of the Society. Firstly, it is important to remember the circumstances in which these discussions started – At the same time that the Pope lifted the invalid excommunications of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a media campaign attacked the Pope himself and the Society of Saint Pius X, putting heavy pressure on all concerned.

It is not always easy to understand the power that the media has on people’s minds, especially here in the United States; but as a matter of fact, the pressure was intense. Rome wants to avoid this type of strain and tension, particularly during these crucial discussions.

More decisively, it is a normal and common practice of the Church to maintain privacy, even secrecy, over these types of questions or affairs. An example would be the election of the Pope, which is done in absolute secrecy with no contact with the world in order to avoid any outside influence. Many questions are discussed by the Pope and cardinals in a similar manner. There is nothing disturbing or alarming about this custom; it is actually normal procedure. I would even add that it is also a question of respect for the Pope, because there we are talking with the Bishop of Rome, the highest authority in the world, the successor of Saint Peter, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The pressure, however, is not solely from the world, from outside the Church; it comes also from within. There is an implacable fight going on within the Church. Most “modernists” do not want any discussions with the Society of Saint Pius X, they do not want any discussions about Vatican II, for no one may question Vatican II. They have long since switched from the “pastoral council” they originally pushed for in order to obtain their objectives, to a “doctrinal” one, a council that must be accepted as doctrinal, one which in fact has become even more important that all the former councils.

Nonetheless, today Rome has agreed to listen to our objections and protestations regarding Vatican II and what has happened to the Church over the past several decades; this in itself is a miracle. Bishop Fellay, in a conference he gave in Paris on January 9th, 2011, expressed how astonishing these discussions are! It is remarkable that Rome, the Supreme Magisterium of the Catholic Church, accepts to discuss Her own doctrine. Still, that is exactly what is going on in Rome with these discussions. It is very unusual.

On this question, it might be necessary to point out that although privacy is kept while these discussions are going on, it most likely will not be the case when they are over. Everything that is said is recorded, both audio and video, and everything is transcribed, with these documents being given to the Pope and to Bishop Fellay.
(Interview granted to John Vennari; tip: reader). Full text of the interview

Below, an open comment thread on the interview.

New ICRSP mission in Brussels

Just a few months after granting a permanent home to the FSSP in his Archdiocese of Mechlin-Brussels, Archbishop Léonard has now established a permanent place for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICRSP). It is in the old Conventual Church of Saint Anne, in Léopold Wienerlaan 26, Watermaal-Bosvoorde (Watermael-Boitsfort), in the Brussels Capital Region. Canon W. Hudson was appointed Rector.

The IKEA altar

The High Altar of the Cathedral of Saint Vincent, in Viviers (Ardèche):

A playlist of traditional Celtic and English folk music

One of Rorate Caeli's contributors, noticing that my Blogger profile listed "Traditional Celtic" and "European and American folk" among my favorite music, and desirous to immerse his children in good music, recently asked me just what folk music I listen to with my children. In response to his request for the names of singers and albums of English and Irish folk music, I prepared the following playlist.
Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (eighteenth posting of souls)

Below, please find the eighteenth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.

A reminder on 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 follow this format strictly, as any deviation creates a lot of extra work -- and there's been a great deal of deviation lately.

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 14 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:
"For all the souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful departed rest in peace. Amen."
Then ...
Eternal God,
please bless our priests,
who are selflessly saying Masses for this Society.
Make them more greatly aware of the grace
that You pour out through them
when they minister the sacraments,
and help them to fall more deeply in love with You
after each and every Mass that they celebrate.
Please strengthen our priests,
who shepherd Your flock,
when they are in doubt of their faith,
that they may be examples of Your Truth
and guide us always on the path to You.
We ask these things of You, our Eternal Priest.

Enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society:

It's wartime.
Archbishop of Tokyo: "It is necessary for the Way
to suspend its activities in Japan"

A message from the Archbishop of Tokyo regarding the Neocatechumenal Way (Feb. 2, 2011):

The Neocatechumenal Way in Japan
By Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo
Over about the past 20 years, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ) has expended great time and energy on problems concerning the Neocatechumenal Way (which I refer to hereafter as simply ‘the Way’). To our extreme disappointment, these efforts have not improved the situation.
Of the passion and good intentions of the people of the Way, I have not the slightest doubt. Nevertheless, the Way’s activities over the past 30 years can in no way be called a success. The fact is that the character and conduct of the Way have not adapted well to the Church or society of Japan.
It is perhaps necessary for the Way in Japan to suspend its activities for a period of consideration and reflection which could pave the way for dialog with the Church in Japan.