Rorate Caeli

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.  

This is also a time for open letters to the Pope, from all concerned Catholic intellectuals, in Italy, in France, in Germany, in Britain, in America, and elsewhere. We must make our voices heard BEFORE the storm hits, and it may hit us very soon.


  1. Anonymous10:43 AM


  2. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Who do the Rorate editors recommend we write to?

    Presumably, the Secretariat of State, but not the top man, Card. Bertone? Should we (even email?) ++Fernando Filoni, Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. Or perhaps an English speaker would be better, the Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, Monsignor Peter Brian Wells?

    Perhaps emails are pointless? Letters maybe? Do we have the time?


  3. Although I should probably know better by now, it is hard for me to believe that this could happen. I suspect most bishops in the USA have already forgotten about Summorum Pontificum.

  4. Yes, we have the time, if it is done urgently. You may send respectful letters to all those whom you think you should address, even three letters to different people in the same Dicastery, if you believe your point will be made.


  5. What of other rumours such as the closing of the doctrinal discussions with the SSPX, the use of a common calendar etc?

  6. We know of no such rumors, TC...

  7. In response to a blocked comment:

    It should be added that Messa in Latino has confirmed from completely different and independent sources that the latest draft of the clarification document distorts the meaning of the motu proprio beyond recognition. When have we been "alarmist" before?... We are alarmist now, that is for sure, and we have good reasont to be so.

    When we were almost alone in 2005 and 2006 saying that, yes, indeed, there would be a motu proprio, we were ridiculed for our "rumors" almost unceasingly...

    Enough said.


  8. Anonymous11:35 AM

    New Catholic,

    Could you please be more specific? How is the new document rumored to "empty the motu proprio of it's content?" Especially if the Holy Father has already composed it?

    This sounds very worrisome, but as I, and most of your readers, don't read Italian, it would be a great favor if you could have the Messa Latina post translated for us asap, or at least clarify exactly what is possibly happening.

    My family and I have attended an FSSP personal parish for many years now thanks to SP, and will gladly write a letter even this morning if that's what it takes.

    ~ Belloc

  9. Anonymous11:55 AM

    along with prayer someone savvy needs to organise a letter effort online on facebook etc immediately. I would but I don't know how.

  10. Anonymous12:56 PM

    If this is a credible threat to the Motu Proprio surely the Holy Father would have to sign this document off and would therefore reject it? Also can this document really modify a law given to us by the Supreme Pontiff?

  11. Lautensack12:59 PM

    Even if some 1970s nostalgists in Rome could successfully bully the Holy Father into emasculating 'Summorum Pontificum' - by now so many young priests and seminarians have been exposed to the beauty of the Extraordinary Form that it would be impossible to put the ginny back into the bottle and to return to a Pre-2007 state.

  12. writer of six1:21 PM

    I'm struck by how devoid of detail the Messa in Latino post is. It's claimed that the letter will drive traditionalists back into the ghetto by characterising SP as a mere concession to traditionalist groups who have this particular liturgical sensibility, but nowhere is any indication given of an actual change to the terms of SP (e.g. the lack of need for episcopal permission). I don't see how people can write effective letters - still less organise open letters - without knowing more about the nature of the alleged threat.

    Whether we like it or not, the Holy Father has himself painted SP as a concession to a small number of traditionalists (French-language video). Responding to journalists asking whether the Motu Proprio constitutes a turning back of the clock to pre-conciliar times (my translation):

    This is an absolutely unfounded fear, because the Motu Proprio is simply a good shepherd's act of tolerance towards a few people who were formed in this liturgy, who know it, love it, and wish to live with this liturgy. It is a small group because it presupposes a formation in Latin, a certain culture...

    He goes on to explain how those attached to the Latin Mass cannot reject the new, and points out the potential for "reciprocal enrichment". Much as we might wish otherwise, these are the Pope's own words - not those of curial plotters.

  13. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Reports without fundament, says Paolo Rodari:

  14. Anonymous1:30 PM

    To Lautensack at 12:59:

    How could a few thousand clergy exposed to the EF make any difference when the whole Church couldn't stop it being ripped from our hands in the first place? I take this is threat to be real.

  15. Anonymous2:02 PM

    This seems odd. As someone else mentioned, the Holy Father is sure to read through the instruction before signing it. He's a smart man and won't have the wool pulled over his eyes. Any morphing of the instruction will not pass muster but will only show him who not to trust. Therefore I think the panic is overrated.

  16. Henry2:19 PM

    I can imagine one Vatican official who opposes the TLM inserting a statement that Summorum Pontificum is merely “a concession to the traditionalists" in recognition of their particular sensitivity” with ulterior motive, and another who favors it inserting the same statement to mollify or disarm those who are opposed to the TLM.

    However, the genie is now out of the bottle, and I don’t see this making much difference either way. Not in areas like mine, where the dynamism in our parish TLM communities is provided not by older “traditionalists” but by young families who attend also the OF. Where our faithful young TLM priests celebrate the OF also with a renewed precision and reverence stemming from their EF experience.

    This “mutual enrichment” from the EF to the OF in ordinary parishes being both the Pope’s principal intent in SP, and its principal beneficial effect, both to date and for the long term benefit of the Church, by restoring proper liturgy to both forms in parishes everywhere.

    In short, the handwriting for the future is already being inscribed on the wall by these young TLM priests and young TLM families. “Be not afraid.”

  17. Summorum Pontificum is the Trojan Horse. Some years ago, Msgr. Perl sent a clarificaion to UV Venezia. He went into detail discussing the externals of what he termed the Classical Order of Mass. It was nothing more that NOM with bells, smells and chant. SP was given to llessen the pressure for a universal canonical structure for the adherents of TrueMass. Rome gave permission for more widespread use of TrueMass. The motu proprio has been ignored in most cases. The important thing is that the Permission was given. Rome can now wash her hands much like that Roman guy in Jerusalem 2000 yrs. ago. There is a model for this behavior. FSSP & ICK were erected to counter SSPX. Da nobis conformatio regula, Papa.

  18. Ilona2:50 PM

    New Catholic is right to say that he is not being overalarmist. Not only Messa in latino but also, which is usually well informed, says that its Roman source has confirmed the reality of this threat:

  19. I'm all for contacting, but there weren't any links, contacts, addresses or anything listed, just a general list.

    I'm a faithful Catholic who is *swamped*. Can I beg a mercy and ask someone to research and list so that we can then mobilize?

    Peace. +

  20. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Perhaps one day soon good and faithful Catholics will wake up and see the wool being pulled over their eyes. As some one mentioned earlier, the Holy Father has "allowed" the True Mass as a "concession" to keep True Catholics quiet and still attending Masses in the dioceses. The "new" Church has ZERO desire to return to Tradition. It would mean that the mess since VII was illicit. Who wants to admit that? Who will admit that? ONE document from the Pope would recognize the SSPX as "legal" and this whole garbage will end. The small chapel that our family attends would be overflowing next Sunday. But as long as there is ambiguity about SSPX "status", faithful Catholics will keep going to FSSP until they are shut down completely. Then where will you go?? Be brave, faithful Catholics. No matter what happens with Rome, SSPX will still be here offering the Mass and the Sacraments.

  21. writer of six4:12 PM

    The partisans of the SSPX who are trying to turn this to the Society's advantage might like to bear in mind that, as persons claiming to be Catholic, they have as much invested in the indefectibility of Rome as any other Catholic. "No matter what happens with Rome" is not a Catholic sentiment.

    They might also like to meditate on why Bishop Fellay called Summorum Pontificum an answer to the Society's prayers and a "courageous act" - rather than attempting to paint it as a "Trojan horse" devised by a Pope acting in bad faith.

  22. True, Ilona.

    May I be cryptic here? Information is often leaked so that the reaction can be informed back into the system. The eventual fact that the final act does not include a threat does not mean that intermediate phases never included that threat - and leaks help assess this.

    I hope this was clear. Our reaction is still very much necessary.


  23. Anonymous5:02 PM

    "Writer of Six" the second part of your post at 13:21 is a very concise summary of the attitude that the Pope and Vatican have towards the Traditional Mass. Could you tell me where I could find the full text of this interview please?

    I am tired of hearing the false optimism of those who say "brick by brick", and about the conservative priests who occasionally offer the traditional Mass and yet call themselves traditionalists, while for the most part celebrating the Novus Ordo and distributing Holy Communion in the hand with the help of lay ministers.

    If a few more of those priests had the courage to refuse to say the new Mass, then the Pope and the Vatican would have an issue to contend with. Obviously the conservative priests who like to dress up in lace and Roman vestments and have a choir sing a Mass for them once a month in an obscure church at an unsuitable time are of little threat to the status quo - especially when they distribute Holy Communion in the hand at these liturgies.

    Ask any priest who has made the decision to only offer the Traditional Mass (and they are hard to find outside the FSSP) about their difficulties in trying to functon within the "mainstream" Church - I think the response would be: great suffering, loneliness and misunderstanding.

    I believe the issue now lies with the stand that our priests take. After Vatican II just about every priest gave in to celebrating the Novus Ordo, and so ushered in our current mess. It will only change when a substantial number of priests make a clear decision to only celebrate the Traditonal Mass.

  24. Pope Benedict XVI5:25 PM

    I meant to post this her:

    Let us continue to pray that in those diocese's where most, if not all priests do not want to learn the TLM[and there are diocese's like this] that these clarifications will mandate that this be changed.

    This is not only a problem of Bishops preventing the implementation of SP, but also of priests.
    Until that time the faithful, that have access to them, will be in FSSPX, FSSP, ICRSS, IBP, parishes.

  25. On the contrary, let us defend the immense work of the Tridentine Councils and Pope St Pius V against the subversive work of the liberal modernists in The Vatican who intend to hybridise the No and the Latin Mass of All Times. Our guarantees lie with Pope St Gregory The Great and with Pope St Pius V. These do not compromise with vernacular anthropocentric liturgical rite.

  26. Martin5:52 PM

    We also must thank the Holy Father for the permission he has given Catholics to fulfill their Sunday and Holy Day obligation at Mass's offered by the FSSPX.
    Since for many, FSSPX Mass's offer the only liturgically and doctrinally sound recourse to the Mass in this real and unimagined time of widespread critical emergency in the time of the Church Militant.

    There are legion diocese's where the faithful have no access to regularised Mass's and the state of liturgy has become,in all practicality, a state of near occasions of sin for indidual faithful, in many diocesan parishes.
    Leaving only the FSSPX, in many cases, as the only available TLM and sound Catholic doctrine taught as the sole recourse to many.

  27. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Can precise names and addresses be provided on this blog and others (e-mail and physical) so the faithful can immediately start writing without having to hunt for who and where to send our messages?

  28. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Father Gommar de Pauw, labourer from the first hour, pray for us!

  29. Anonymous7:46 PM

    I find it impossible to believe these rumours.

    Why? It is because the reverse has proved to be true. The liberal bishops don't need to destroy S.P., as they have already found a way around it. They have now realised that they cannot examine celebrants' abilities to use Latin; nor can they define 'groups' to their advantage: all the monkeying with Article 5 is long past. They no longer much try to stop us on those finer points. Instead, they simply say that they support the Pope's initiative in principle but lack the resources to provide Latin Masses, especially the manpower. When their own priests try to offer the T.L.M., they tell them that they are needed instead to offer more New Masses, given the pastoral need in each diocese. 'Sadly, dear Father, I must tell you to stop offering the T.L.M. becasue the few Masses each priest is canonically allowed to say per day must be used to meet a greater pastoral demand for the Novus Ordo'.

    So there is no need to derail S.P. On the contrary, without a fortification of S.P., it is already a dead letter. That is why nearly the advances under S.P. came in its first eleven months and only in a few countries (esp. England, Germany, New Zealand and the U.S.A.).

    What liberals in the curia might want to do is to derail a planned fortification of S.P. in the coming clarification. But I don't see how they can manage this: they no longer have control of the curia. This is just more nonsense.


  30. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I'm not sending letters to anyone. I'm tired of sending letters that get ignored anyway. By sending letters, suddenly we became defendants of rights that are presently obvious, and that puts those rights in question.

    Something tells me that the liberals in the curia hope to re-cast us as defenders. It is a way to weaken our position. The best thing to do is to ignore them.


  31. Anonymous7:55 PM

    His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
    Palazzo Apostolico
    Via del Pellegrino
    00120 Città del Vaticano

    His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
    Segretetia di Stato
    Palazzo Apostolico
    00120 Città del Vaticano

    His Eminence Cardinal William J. Levada.
    Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede
    Piazza del S. Uffizio 11
    00l20 Città del Vaticano

    Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"
    Piazza del S. Uffizio 11
    00l20 Città del Vaticano

    His Excellency The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi
    Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
    3339 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20008-3687

  32. Anon, your comment on the supposed "dismissal" of the report was blocked, because we had already mentioned it, cf. post below (1340), we were actually the first to mention it. We obviously stand by this, and it is our duty to do so. We wish we could say more at this moment, but we cannot.

  33. chiapet8:13 PM

    They're already finding ways around SP anyhow. One guy had a campaign to get our local bishop to 'allow' (like it's some horrible thing that needs to be restrained) another Tridentine Mass in a rapidly-expanding part of the city, and no go.

    All sorts of excuses, one being that it could harm the existing TLM community. It's like economic protectionism applied to the liturgy. Well, I know my household wants choices beyond the one we're 'allowed' to have. I'm sick of playing this game.

    I really don't see much difference between this situation and the old Indult. A few more Masses popped up here and there, the neocats are slightly friendlier (but still stuck in their ridiculous Via Media), but that's about it. Pretty much a non-event in my eyes.

  34. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Mr. Perkins said:

    "I'm not sending letters to anyone. I'm tired of sending letters that get ignored anyway. By sending letters, suddenly we became defendants of rights that are presently obvious, and that puts those rights in question."


    Sending letters will not get you anywhere.

    By the way, how did you Rorate Coeli foks manage to get Pope Benedict XVI to post here? I'm impressed.

    Hello Holy Father from Delphina!

  35. Why should the Tradentine fight for its existance with the Novus Ordus?
    The Latin Mass is the Mass of Always, let's stop being surprise by this nonesense.
    Benedict XVI is the one who can stop all of this and he wont.
    One word from him and the Traditional Latin Mass could be install in all the Catholic Churches in the world.
    For once I will agree with the article posted from the SSPX
    "Naming the "false brethren", the "mute dogs" and the "untrustworthy leaders".
    We waste our time discussing the the obvious the main problem here is that the Pope is not willing to stand up to the liberal clergy.

  36. Delphina's and PKTP's comments on sending letters are plain hokum. Must I remind you that, in the very paragraph of Summorum in which the Pope mentions his reasons for issuing the motu proprio (the one immediately preceding the first article), he explicitly mentions the petitions of the faithful?...


  37. Anonymous8:41 PM

    Dear N.C.:

    The petitions of the faithful were requested after the close of the three-year period which ended on Holy Cross Day last. Those petitons were sent. What they indicated, on the whole, was a very mild and gradual implementation of the apostolic letter. Some, such as mine, took a different line and argued that the m.p. resulted in a noticeable improvement for the first eleven months after its publication and then very little.

    Rome has these letters. The Pope does not expect us to petition him every time some twerp circulated unsubstantiated rumours. That is NOT what he was referring to in S.P.


  38. xavier rynne8:45 PM

    This will never be fixed until their is a pontiff strong enough to stand up to the bishops. Presently the well worn routine is for the pope to order something, then most of the bishops ignore it, undermine it, or outright oppose it. And nothing happens. This never would have been tolerated under a Pius XII.

  39. PKTP, you obviously did NOT understand my references. I do not mean the letters asked of BISHOPS on the third anniversary of Summorum; but the petitions sent for decades regarding the Mass, and not in any specific period, which are certainly referenced by the Pope in the mentioned paragraph of Summorum.

    As for letters regarding "rumors", we obviously do not suggest anyone sending any. Which is why we suggested "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."

    I am sorry to say that you have no idea what you are talking about in both instances (the petitions mentioned in SUMMORUM and the current problems in the clarification draft), and you are not helping with your language or your manners.


  40. Anonymous9:01 PM

    Henry said...
    "In short, the handwriting for the future is already being inscribed on the wall by these young TLM priests and young TLM families. “Be not afraid.”

    From your lips to God's ears, brother! AMEN!!!

    Anon @ 15:42 said...
    "as long as there is ambiguity about SSPX "status", faithful Catholics will keep going to FSSP until they are shut down completely. Then where will you go??... SSPX will still be here offering the Mass and the Sacraments."

    Until they are "shut down"? Who/what would shut them down? And why? I have been attending an FSSP Mass/parish for > 17 years. It has grown like wildfire. Children have been raised with the TLM and the full culture of Tradition that surrounds it. They will never be happy with anything but the TLM in it's entirety. I admire the SSPX and the work they do, but please don't tell me they alone hold the solution to this problem!


  41. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Dear New Catholic,

    Thank you for the post. While I have also experienced what Delphina and PKTP ascribe to modern prelates, having written respectfully to my Bishop pre-SP for just one traditional mass in my end of the city (with 1 million population) and having been scolded in writing for not being faithful, I also see that the devil will not rest.

    SP was praised by the SSPX. It created an atmosphere where serious minded NO prelates and laity began to look with respect upon the Mass of Ages they had been trained to view with suspicion previously. I don't think we can deny the reports of the increases in EF Masses being offered in the US, and to a much lesser extent elsewhere.

    If this addendum is an opportunity for us to let Vatican officials and the Pope himself know that we exist in large numbers, why wouldn't we send them such letters?

    Look at what Muslims can do simply by showing their large numbers. Why wouldn't we show our numbers? It isn't going to kill us to show our numbers, and for many prelates under the gun in the Vatican seeing such numbers might encourage them to keep up the good fight on the other front as well (discussions with SSPX).

    So I would second NC's call and urge PKTP and Delphina with their God-given gifts of articulation to join in the chorus whether the letters matter or not, they'll add to the numbers.

    One favour from NC or other qualified individuals though:

    It would be most helpful for unqualified people such as myself to see a draft template for letters to the officials mentioned earlier in the post, as well as email addresses (I see someone has posted s-mail addresses already). Putting this letter in a web page allowing each subscriber to go in and add their name to the list can also help us speed this up.

    Sincerely, Neophyte

  42. Anonymous10:02 PM

    'a lower-ranking interpretive text so modifies the clear letter of the law that renders the latter ineffectual.'

    A subsequent document can override a previous one, in certain defined circumstances (I shall spare you detailed explanations)- BUT can a 'LOW-RANKING' interpretive text validly do the same thing, from the point of view of canon law ? I have my doubts. But let us pray for the Holy Father and for the full implementation of SP. Fr. A.M.

  43. I sent my letter off today to the Holy Father and whether it bears fruit or not, I have at least expressed my concern that we will be moving backwards rather than forwards if we allow the MP to be minimized. I have in mind the words: "the only thing necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

  44. Thank you for posting this!

    We certainly could write our own letters. In order, however, to facilitate the ease of doing so and to encourage others in a timely manner, maybe a form letter could be made (including the address) and posted on this site to print out.

    Thanks again and may God bless you all and this website.

  45. Anonymous10:39 PM

    This is a very interesting development in which it is quite disappointing although no longer shocking. For such a document to be that decimated by the lower hacks in the Magisterium and the Holy Father not reviewing before its released is pretty pathetic. This is like signing blank checks and have others fill them out later on. How smart is this? Is not the Holy Father in control of his own circumstances?


  46. Anonymous10:52 PM

    New Catholic,

    I am an old Catholic and quite tired of penning letters and signing petitions. Since the sixties, this has been the norm for supposedly getting the Vatican to "do something".

    If you, and others who think like you, are convinced it will do some good, be my guest, and I hope for your sake that it does.


  47. I don't believe Pope Benedict XVI would be party to a 'watering down' of his first directive on the
    Extraordinary Mass and its accessibility to the Universal Church as required by his original Motu Propoio.
    The Tridentine Rite is a visible connection to the roots of our love and worship of Jesus Christ from the earliest times of Christianity. This fact motivates the Pope to preserve and spread its authenticity to remind All Catholics who we are and came from. The Roman Rite in Latin is central to his Reform of the Reform. The Mass 'for the ages' adds purpose and meaning to The Reform of the Reform.

    Michael F Brennan
    St Petersburg Forida

  48. Anonymous1:34 AM

    Not that I want to take away from the actions necessary to stop this evil from occuring, let us also remember that, for the last 20 weeks, we have enrolled thousands of souls in the Purgatorial Society.

    We can turn to those souls, whom may now be in heaven, and ask for their intercession. We can also turn to those we continue to pray for still in Purgatory.

    Last, if Pope JP II is truly in Heaven, then who better to turn to for something like this? He certainly knows the liturgical errors he helped bring on throughout his pontificate and I'm certain will do all he can to help us end this evil on the way.

  49. Anonymous1:51 AM

    "to defend the clear letter of the motu proprio that gave us freedom"

    According to that clear letter, we already had the freedom. Anything that purports to take it away is a nullity.

  50. Anonymous2:14 AM

    This will be short.

    I'm tired of begging for scraps.

    I'm opposed to this petition campaign which turns the Church into an association of lobbyists -- aping its secular governmental counterparts.

    If the motu proprio is watered down, it permits a degree of clarity which is needed: either Rome will turn the Church back from it's post-conciliar Modernist drift, or Catholics of tradition will need to embrace any raft available -- including full-fledged support of the SSPX.

    I've been at this petition game for 40 years. That is NOT the Church that Our Lord founded to articulate His Truth to a fallen world.


    P.S. I should say that I personally do not think these reports are credible. I cannot conceive that the Holy Father would contemplate a U turn here.

  51. Prof. Basto2:53 AM

    For what it is worth, Paolo Rodari, il Foglio's vaticanist, published a post on his blog claiming that the rumors (according to which the Instruction will water down the force of the Motu Proprio) are false.

    Be that as it may, I'll pray over this and will increase my prayers for the Pope, as suggested by Fr. Zuhlsdorf.

    As for writting letters, what purpose will they serve if several people in the Curia who will read them ignore them. The President ex officio of the Ecclesia Dei Commission has never said a TLM!

    Because this is a Curial document and not a Papal one, and because the Pope is no lawyer, those who are against the TLM may have included well disguised provisions that will damage the force of the original TLM. But if the pope has approved the text and it is not good, then our cause is lost at least for the time being.

    If the rumors are correct, then I would hope the Pope would deny his approval to the curial document, and demand a re-write.

    Blessed Mother, pray for the Holy Father to your Son!

  52. The burning questions in my mind:

    Why would ecclesiastical authorities act so as to completely derail the process of reconciliation with the SSPX?

    Why would ecclesiastical authorities act in such a way that would potentially--no, definitely--drive a portion of Catholics into the camp of the SSPX?

    A document that would restrict the EF or empty SP of its liturgical legislation would run entirely counter to the good of the Church.

    So why?

  53. Jack O'Malley3:04 AM

    I agree with Delphina.

    Sending letters is useless. They are read and disposed of by homosexual careerists whose gullets are filled on the dime of novus ordure cretins in the pews. I attended such a service this past Sunday on account of a memorial of a family member.

    Rest assured, nothing will change. Altar girls (hence no vocations), liturgical ladies (lectoresses), women passing out the wafer, an off-key narcissistic vestal warbling incessantly, a mockery of the Eleusinian mysteries never mind the True Mass. If I had not been born a Catholic raised in the old rite and were searching for a religion, I would not give Catholicism a second look.

    Nothing will change. It is over. The pope's statement on the plane was proof positive. He might have at least worn his V2 civvy tie when making it.

    My one letter to the pope was to request that his alleged wish that the TLM be celebrated in every parish in the world be reinforced with a papal decree. That wish had been enunciated by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. I never received a reply. Perhaps the Secretariat of State confused the Latin with an obscure Sardinian dialect.

    There is no Trojan horse. Troy was doomed by its defence of a perfidious son's treachery. St. Peter's will be the next Hagia Sophia.

  54. 'a lower-ranking interpretive text so modifies the clear letter of the law that renders the latter ineffectual.'

    lets pray they eventually do this for much of Vatican II...

  55. We could also pray,
    Make a prayer pledge here

  56. Anonymous4:06 AM

    And just when Latin was making progress again.

  57. Anonymous5:19 AM

    If this is true - it's very sad, but it's not suprising. It's simply more of the same. The mainstream church is not at all with tradition. I'm more suprised at how this has taken everyone by suprise.

  58. I think it might be wise to address a few concerns:

    1. I have been to Mass in both forms since 2007. I prefer my home parish OF over the available EF one mile south. Ironically, while we provide Chant, polyphony, and a fairly traditional outlook for Sunday Mass, the parish south of us only offers the EF on weekday mornings and doesn't do any Chant or polyphony. They're manned by FSSP, but Sunday Mass seems to be the same old NO that I loathe. Why would I choose a weekday EF Mass in Latin that I can barely hear over a Sunday morning OF partly in Latin, partly in English?

    2. I've been rather appalled by the lack of charity coming from both traditional AND modern factions for some time. Both seem to behave as though the other had abandoned the love of God. Both sides need to practice their faith MUCH more genuinely.

    3a. Most parishes I've visited and priests I've met have little or no real capability for the Extraordinary Form currently. Too many don't know Latin, have altars that're almost wholly incompatible with Ad Orientem posture, do not have free-standing tabernacles readily available for use, do not have several other items needed, and to top it off, don't have the money, time, or knowledge to change any of the above. Most likely have no clue what "schola cantorum" might mean.

    3b. Most priests seem heavily tasked with running the parish. Even those with the best of intentions regarding the Extraordinary Form likely must subordinate those interests in an effort to handle their parish's needs. Requests for EF Masses likely come across as unfunded mandates that have no backing.

    3c. This situation could be changed, but the faithful must have the interest in changing it. Not long ago, Fr Zuhlsdorf over at WDTPRS suggested that parishioners could help the EF to grow by taking initiative to help solve problems.
    Discern how to move the altar, if needed; create plans to fund a stand-alone tabernacle and the other needed implements; volunteer to lead an appropriate schola contorum; HELP THE PRIEST FIND A MENTOR who can provide help with learning the traditional Mass.

    If you really want to see the Extraordinary Form in it's glory, perhaps we all ought to spend less time grousing on the 'net and more time making Summorum Pontificum happen.
    Bishops too might be much more accommodating if the faithful would DO something besides whine about Fr Somebody's abuses....

  59. Anonymous6:07 AM

    Jack O'Malley wrote:

    "If I had not been born a Catholic raised in the old rite and were searching for a religion, I would not give Catholicism a second look."

    I was not born a Catholic, nor raised in the old rite. Even so, I found Catholicism after running after many other religions first. Nothing out there, no other religion even comes close to the Catholic faith. Not even close! You do not appreciate what you have been given. There is more to Our Lord than the Latin Mass, as beautiful as it is. Do you not understand the Cross and what it means?

  60. The talking points for destroying S.P. were already in place before or shortly after S.P. was issued. I live in a mostly rural diocese and our local N.O. priest replied to my interest in having the traditional mass (right after S.P. was issued) by using these arguments: "S.P. is only an attempt by the Pope to bring back traditionalists that have left "Our Church"(?!)(I thought the Catholic Church belonged to Jesus)", It is common after a council (V II) for people to want to go back to the "experience of Church" that they remember (I especially liked that one as I am only 33), S.P. only encourages Bishops to be patient and understanding with those that prefer the Latin Mass," to which he had to add that "no one really understands Latin and therefore people would not be able to "experience" active participation at Mass."
    If these points had already made it into our little backwater I assume the counter S.P. agenda was in place long before July 2007.
    P.S. What is up with this notion of "experience"? I rarely attend a N.O. mass but when I do I hear that word all the time.

  61. Hi Bill,
    Can you offer an example of the "experience" you keep hearing about?

    I don't have the slightest idea what you mean.

  62. To the blog moderator: please delete the blasphemous comment about the Blessed Sacrament, made on 17 Feb. 3:04 (which comes right after the reference to "lectoresses")

  63. Jack O'Malley1:04 PM

    Anonymous 17 February, 2011 06:07: Do you not understand the Cross and what it means?

    I do, though probably not as much as some would like. And I think you are wrong when you say, Nothing out there, no other religion even comes close to the Catholic faith. Orthodoxy comes very close indeed. I tried it in my younger days. But the Greeks were a bit xenophobic and I'm not Greek. The Russians were very welcoming but the Russian church here is now OCA and the Russians have been replaced by former Episcopalians, disgruntled Catholics, and Evangelicals. But beyond that, I'm not interested in being lectured why the Filioque is heretical or the Immaculate Conception is an unfounded and unnecessary dogma. Particularly by former Piskies.


    Reference to the "wafer" is not blasphemous. It's in common parlance today. Though I probably should have written "Host". But unconsecrated hands profaning the Body and Blood of our Lord is sacrilege. That's where your ire should be directed. Get a grip.

  64. Anonymous1:12 PM

    "If you really want to see the Extraordinary Form in it's glory, perhaps we all ought to spend less time grousing on the 'net and more time making Summorum Pontificum happen.
    Bishops too might be much more accommodating if the faithful would DO something besides whine about Fr Somebody's abuses...."

    That's about where I am...I'm tired of the lack of charity on both the Tradtionalist and Modernist sides. I'm a simple Catholic who discovered the Old Mass through Summorum Pontificum (so it's not a dead letter as I'm convinced many others have had the same experience.) However the internet is important for information and gathering forces especially this site, which I find one of the best and clearest.

    Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us!


  65. Anonymous1:23 PM

    John wrote:

    "Why would I choose a weekday EF Mass in Latin that I can barely hear over a Sunday morning OF partly in Latin, partly in English?"

    This comment shows just how little you understand the difference between the EF and NO Masses. It's not simply a matter of personal preference, music, or language--it's about fundamental theology. If both the NO and EF Masses were said with the same purity of intention by the same priest, there is no doubt the latter is far more efficacious for the salvation of souls.

    If you don't understand this, I suggest you read Michael Davies's "Pope Paul's New Mass" for an understanding of just how utterly different both Masses are. I do believe the NO Mass is valid. But there is no question that it is less efficacious and theologically sound than the EF Mass.


  66. Anonymous1:26 PM

    To Max and others who attend FSSP...You are truly blessed to have the FSSP in your diocese. However, be aware that they are there only as long as your bishop allows it. When the bishop decides, for whatever reason, that he needs those same FSSP to offer Masses at the NO, one or more of your Masses will be closed. Considering the restructuring of dioceses and a shortage of priests, it is not hard to recognize that this is a likely scenario. It has already happened in my diocese. However, the local bishop can make no demands of an SSPX priest and Masses will continue to be offered there. The FSSP was started as a counter response to SSPX. I am not a "supporter" or "hack" for SSPX. We attend Masses there because our access to the Traditional Mass was restricted. It isn't about the language for us. It is about the Mass itself, the sermons, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Saints. I am a convert to the NO Church over 20 years ago. I had NEVER heard the prayer to St. Michael until I went to SSPX. (Just an example of all that has been stripped from the New Mass and lost to Catholics0

  67. Grousing accomplishes nothing but perhaps a letter to the Vicar of Christ might do some good. Prayers are definitely necessary and appropriate in this instance. Either Pope Benedict XVI is on our side or he is not. The reaction to our letters, or the lack of any response, will tell us the answer. Those of us fortunate to have the TLM available to us nearly every day of the year will continue to pray for its restoration throughout the entire Latin Rite. Check out if you're interested in knowing more. Better still, become on online member at and reap the benefits of having access to the true Faith and catechesis whenever you desire.

  68. Anonymous3:39 PM

    The FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, and Good Shepherd, aren't going anywhere, no matter how much the SSPX would like them to.

  69. Christine,
    I never said that the Mass came down to personal preference. As for one form being more efficacious than the other, I'd caution you against statements like this that reek of personal bias.

    Beings I don't currently have time to read the book you mentioned--I'm working on Pope Benedict's "Spirit of the Liturgy"--you'd be very wise to offer concrete reason for your claim.
    I have read various commentaries before regarding one form being more theologically useful than the other. It's possible. I must warn you though, if you don't catechize people to understand the differences, the traditional form can be actually LESS efficacious, precisely because we don't all understand everything that's happening.

    In other words, it's not enough to insist that everything will be OK if we'd simply eject the Novus Ordo. Many of us will gain nothing from attending a Mass that we don't understand, but which has been imposed upon us.

    Let's not repeat 1969, OK?

  70. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Anonymous 15:39 - With regards to the FSSP, etc., there was an article in Osservatore this week which called for them to be transferred to the Congregation for Religious and made subject to a thorough doctrinal examination. Perhaps the editors of Rorate can post a translation.

  71. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Anon @ 17:58

    Why should we be concerned that the FSSP, etc, be subject to a full doctrinal investigation? Do you think that they do not somehow follow doctrine and Catholic teaching properly?

    Personally, I think that it could be a good thing, in the long run, though perhaps a bit unpleasant initially.

  72. Anonymous6:38 PM


    It seems that you are making the fundamental error that "what we get out of it" is primary when considering the two forms. I think Christine is implying that the TLM is more efficacious IN ITSELF, i.e. in the completeness of the prayers of the sacrifice to God. What the "people" derive from it or think they derive from it is secondary... the Mass is about God, not us. Not that this means an overnight rejection of the NO, but the comparison is legitimate.

  73. "Many of us will gain nothing from attending a Mass that we don't understand, but which has been imposed upon us."

    I personally don't understand the Novus Ordo Mass and I assisted at it for 39 years.
    I have been assisting at the TLM for only 5 years yet understand it very well.
    Its not about what "we get out of the Mass" or how much we understand the rubrics or words, but rather if it is theologically solid and orthodox in keeping with the immemorial teaching of Holy Mother Church

  74. Anonymous6:47 PM

    I have posted on my blog a list of emails to contact the Vatican.

  75. Could you substantiate your fear more? Is Pope Benedict or someone else high up really going to issue another document completely nullifying Summorum Pontificum? Summorum Pontificum is crucial and appealing to our separated brethren like the Traditional Anglican Communion. Pope Benedict would cease to be the Pope of Christian Unity if he reneges on Summorum Pontificum. I am certain he will not.

  76. Tom the Milkman2:29 AM

    "I must warn you though, if you don't catechize people to understand the differences, the traditional form can be actually LESS efficacious, precisely because we don't all understand everything that's happening."

    It's interesting that the novus ordo Mass, filled with constant audible narrative in one's native tongue, fails to provide the catechesis that the ancient Roman mass has always provided. The new rite clearly fails in teaching the Holy Mass as a sacred ACTION, first last and always. Narrative is not required to express the sacred Action. The alter Christus expresses that by standing at the altar and offering the Sacrifice of Calvary. Centuries of illiterate peoples have understood precisely what the Mass is, and lived it in their lives, often to the point of martyrdom for Its sake. Catholics brought up on the novus ordo tend to seek understanding in terms of words, not the sacred ACTION that IS the Mass. The ancient Roman Mass is the purest catechism possible. The reduction of sacrificial emphasis plagues the novus ordo to a point of unintelligibility. while claiming the precise opposite effect. The deficiency of much of the modern Catholic's understanding of what takes place in the Mass speaks vehemently of the inherent deficiency of the new rite, and proves the lie that the sacred Action which is the Mass is understood better when embodied in a rite of mistaken emphases offered in a pedestrian vernacular tongue.

  77. Anonymous2:32 AM

    for those who may be in the know, do e-mails actually make a difference - it's not like we're contacting our senators here?

    Or another idea, perhaps it would be better to make appeals to FSSP and the SSPX superiors to make a public statement or outcry -- God knows that they have a better chance of being heard.

  78. "It's interesting that the novus ordo Mass, filled with constant audible narrative in one's native tongue, fails to provide the catechesis that the ancient Roman mass has always provided...."

    Given the nature of this site, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people will insist on this view.

    This comes across to me as an insistence that attending the Extraordinary Form, in and of itself, inherently catechizes the flock more effectively than does the Novus Ordo. Well, again, I've attended Mass in both forms. For all the research I've done into either, I still don't see terribly much more than comparatively superficial differences.

    So I must ask: In what way do you believe that the Extraordinary Form catechizes that the Ordinary Form does not?

    Keep in mind, I've attended numerous Masses in the Novus Ordo that were far from what the rubrics would've required. I've learned a great deal regarding the Mass and the faith anyway because I had the curiousity to find out more.

    What aspect of the Mass do you see different that causes people to understand their faith more effectively in the one than the other?

  79. Anonymous3:48 PM

    John asked:

    "What aspect of the Mass do you see different that causes people to understand their faith more effectively in the one than the other?"

    I would refer you to an article by Father Chad Ripperger (F.S.S.P.)entitled, "The Merit of a Mass."

    If a Catholic is rightly disposed, because the ancient Mass is a more authentic and complete expression of the Faith, than the catechesis must be superior as well.


  80. Anonymous5:16 PM

    I would strongly advise against signing the latest petition proposed here On Rorate Caeli. No doubt it was drawn up by the SSPX, and the SSPX does NOT support SP.

    In fact, the SSPX, by the obvious denigration of those in the Church who believe in and support SP by offering the TLM within the Church, would like nothing better than to see SP go away.

    The extreme denigration of the SSPX toward the FSSP, ICK, Good Shepherd and others proves that they want to get rid of the competition in regards to others who offer the TLM within the Church. The SSPX will never admit to this, of course, and will continue to give other reasons for their animosity toward those who use SP in the Church. Simple-minded trads will fall for their propoganda.

    Of course you will not post this, but I had to write it anyway.

  81. Anonymous6:19 PM

    I will be writing to the Vatican to ask that they please consider investigating about who it is that owns the '' website.

  82. Oh, next-to-last anon, I had to post your comment, since it was so hilarious. Ha-ha.


  83. Last anon., that is a great idea. It is probably a Freemasonry-Illuminati-Glitterati thing.


  84. During the summer I was asked to complete a questionnaire in connection with the publication of the 2010 Harvard alumni directory. The Divinity School, we were told, was hoping its graduates would identify their religious persuasions. "Roman Catholic" alone did not appear, but was accompanied by three other choices: "Catholic," "American Catholic." "Catholic (other)." So Harvard, at least, knows what the state of American Catholicism is.
    The Holy Father has his work cut out for him. This latest brouhaha is symptomatic and was to be expected.


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