Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Ranjith's reforms in his archdiocese, and more from Adoratio 2011

Fr. Simon Henry of Offerimus Tibi was present at the Adoratio 2011 conference in Rome and wrote three posts on the conference as it unfolded:

Pope Benedict's intention - BEYOND INDULTS AND PERMISSIONS - that kneeling for Communion remains universal (This post says of Mauro Cardinal Piacenza that at a concelebrated Mass during the conference at which he was the main celebrant, "at the canon of the Mass he dropped his voice considerably (even though microphones were used) and so the canon was not actually silent but sotto voce.")

The final post reports, among other things, the statements of Cardinal Ranjith during the conference:

In his address to the Conference he spoke of the lack of faith in many parts of the Church itself, a lack of faith in the objective presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
He thought there was often a lack of wonder and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, quoting St Augustine saying, "We would sin if we did not adore Him before receiving Him."

The Cardinal spoke ot the meaningless and tasteless (in many senses) experience of the Eucharist in many parishes because of a noisy and frenetic atmosphere that was no longer devout, adoring and contemplative. These aspects are not of choice but essential to a celebration of the Mass - an experience much more usual in the "Tridentine" Mass.

Of the priest facing the people instead of the Lord, he said that it promoted an attitude of showmanship, a silent body language of entertainment inevitaby enters into the Mass. It is an innovation never advocated by the Second Vatican Council and is not respectful of the awesome mystery of the Holy Eucharist. (There was here an extended interruption for as applause ehoed around the auditorium.)

He re-iterated the view that active participation does not mean outward activity but interior adoration, which takes a great deal of effort and spiritual activity.

Later over dinner he was also telling us of some of the changes he has made in his own diocese:

Each and every church has altar rails once again for the reception of Holy Communion, which is to be received kneeling.

The allowance to deviate from the universal norm of Holy Comunion on the tongue has been withdrawn. So Communion is always on the tongue.

Priests must dress in the proper vestments for Mass.

Priests are forbidden to bring elements or styles of worship from other religions into the sacred liturgy.


  1. Gratias4:54 AM

    HCardinal Ranjth has rebuilt the altar rails and revoked the indult to receive communion in the hand. Deo Gratias!!

  2. Bob Kovacs5:53 AM

    Can he make him the next Archbishop of Philadelphia please!.

  3. "..the lack of faith in many parts of the Church itself, a lack of faith in the objective presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist...."

    This is particularly striking amongst the hierarchy and prebyterate of the post-conciliar church. It is utterly scandalous meeting such people who have no belief in Real Presence especially at Holy Communion.

    France could do with Cardinal Ranjith replacing the current incumbent Vingt-Trois who is the chief advocate of modernist NO services that flout the rubrics of the NO liturgy on a routine and weekly basis.

  4. The "New Evangelaisation" will not work unless it places the Traditional Latin Mass at its centre. Padre Pio meant that when he explained the world could function better without the sun than without The Holy Mass and, of course, he meant the TLM.

  5. Anonymous7:38 AM

    Sorry to ruin the party but Cardinal Ranjith has been back in Ceylon for soem years now. Where are the Traditional Latin Masses. To my knowledge, there is not even one in the entire country.

    Let there be JUST ONE T.L.M. and not 'once a month', like some sick joke, but on the every-Sunday basis. Just one. One. One Mass each Sunday. Just one.

    Then we can celebrate what he is doing.


  6. Anonymous said: Ranjith is not really committed to this at all but traditionalising the NO. Let us make no mistake.

  7. ""at the canon of the Mass he dropped his voice considerably (even though microphones were used) and so the canon was not actually silent but sotto voce."

    I have observed this practice in young priests who have learned the TLM since being ordained. Gravitational attraction?

  8. Regarding Cardinal Ranjith and the TLM: According to the Father Schmidberger, former Superior General of the SSPX, the Cardinal says the TLM in private.

  9. Anonymous2:54 PM

    A genuine, deep return to Tradition for NOers in Sri Lnka is a far bigger achievement than recording a new monthly TLM over the whole island.

    So I am as enthusiastic as I was before with cardinal Ranjith. Plus every one knows he has no grudge against TLMers and I would be utterly surprised if he was actively blocking the implementation of S.P.
    Maybe there isn't a big TLM movement in the archdiocese of Colombo and that would not be a big surprise.

    In France or other countries, we have petitions, groups of faithful etc. so we can say for sure when these requests are left unanswered on purpose.
    Before expressing bitter feelings at a notoriously trad-friendly Cardinal, it would be wiser to have more infos on these local groups - if they exist ...


  10. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Would the clowns that have leveled unjust criticisms against Cardinal Ranjith please educate themselves. None of the priests of his archdiocese knew how to offer Mass in the extraordinary form, so he sent two of them to learn the rubrics last year. You people live in a fantasy world, where things happen instantaneously. I immediately thought of the hypercritical and childish commentary found here when I read this article:

  11. Cardinal Ranjith is a great prelate - no need for this line of defense, Anon. ...

  12. Ranjith is only 62 years old, and I believe he is fluent in several languages...Papabile, I hope.

    Let's pray for his health and longevity.

  13. 1. This is truly wonderful news - but not really surprising coming from Cardinal Ranjith, whose liturgical instincts are becoming pretty well known around here. Can anyone imagine any American bishop doing likewise?

    If (say) Burke or Finn had tried, there would be blood in the streets. And they didn't try.

    2. I share Mr. Perkins' disappointment in the lack of any regular TLM in Colombo. It is certainly true that Cardinal Ranjith is a "reform of the reform" prelate, not an actual traditionalist, but I do wonder if he has made any attempt to try.

    If he did, he would likely have to do so by training his own priests in the TLM, since any traditional societies brought in would need reasonable fluency in Singhalese to be pastorally effective. So resources and situation make this more difficult in Sri Lanka certainly than in western Europe or North America), but not impossible if he really is of a mind to institute it. And it wouold certainly make sense if he really wants a "gravitational effect" to transform the novus ordo there.

  14. Henry5:31 PM

    "A genuine, deep return to Tradition for NOers in Sri Lnka is a far bigger achievement than recording a new monthly TLM over the whole island."

    Certainly so. Surely, a few TLMs sprinkled around for the hundreds who might attend them would pale in significance, compared with deeply reverent worship of God for the hundreds of thousands who attend Novus Ordo Masses in the Archdiocese of Columbo. So Cardinal Ranjith should be commended for his priority in targeting all his hundreds of Novus Ordo priests, while sending a few off for TLM instruction.

    And could not the same statement be made about almost any diocese? The problem in too many dioceses, however, is that for "deeply reverent worship of God" one has little recourse but to find a TLM (or perhaps a Novus Ordo celebrated by a priest who also celebrates the TLM).

  15. Anonymous5:33 PM

    I may be slammed for this but as someone who grew up NO, and now prefers the TLM (nothing against NO, I know it is valid, I occasionly go as it is across the street from me), the sotto voice is indeed a help to those of us trying with God's help to follow and pray the Mass. With so many different Priests celebrating the Tridentine Form and them not being the same every week it is difficult to follow their pace and get to know where we are at certain points during Mass. Sitting further back in a Church you can not always see the gestures. So even with the Missal unless you know very well an individual Priests' mode or speed, it is easy to be way off in regards to the place in the Missal. I think a permission to pray the Mass audibly, perhaps with a sotto consecration with the understanding that it is a temporary ruling to foster learning which will at some point expire and revert to silent, perhaps a generation would be helpful. I brought 2 people to the TLM last week for Corpus Christi and their only complaint, and it was not the Latin itself which surprised me, but was the fact that they could not follow in the Missal because they could not hear it. One was completely lost and felt he might not go again for this sole reason. It echoes my sentiments, however I have chosen to endure it because I still prefer this Form and feel it very Holy and full of distinctly Catholic ethoes. But the inaudible parts still stumble me after several years. Folks new to this Form need as much help as possible to foster understanding and should be able to follow in their Missals.

  16. Anonymous8:23 PM

    The battle outside the Church pits the Church vs Modernists/Liberals/Communists/Atheists/and the Perverts. The battle within has moved into a 3 part battle Traditionalists/Conservatives/and a remnant group of dying off liberals. Most younger liberals are out of the church today. The Conservatives are trying to prop up the Novus Ordo when from the beginning it was an invention of the Liberals. Aren't Conservatives wonderful, they are now trying to conserve the Liberal destruction which itself has died. Oh Brother!

  17. Anonymous10:08 PM

    "Can anyone imagine any American bishop doing likewise?"

    In my dreams.

    God reward Cardinal Ranjith! It is on account of prelates like him that stop me from going to the sedecavantists.


  18. I only hope that other cardinals and archbishops will make these necessary correctionsQ

  19. Susan5:29 AM


    Yeah, I know, I know.....but maybe, just, one little exception?

  20. John L10:25 AM

    Presumably Cardinal Ranjith could say the TLM himself, so the criticism of him for not having traditional masses in his diocese has some force.

  21. John L, might not the same be said of the Holy Father? Perhaps they have the same reason for placing greatest priority on improvement of the liturgy for the preponderant majority who will have to attend the new Mass so long as very few priests can celebrate the old Latin Mass.

  22. J. G. Ratkaj1:20 PM

    "The battle within has moved into a 3 part battle Traditionalists/Conservatives/and a remnant group of dying off liberals."

    Do not forget the pick and choose tradionalists, subsidiaries of the neo-cons.

  23. Anonymous3:52 PM

    John L.

    A bishop is responsible for all of his flock. Unless you are aware of a large group of people clamoring for the TLM in Sri Lanka, I think the more immediate and larger concern for the good Cardinal is elevating the dignity of the liturgy for the overwhelming majority (if not entirety) of his flock. The situation could more accurately be described as Cardinal Ranjith introducing the TLM to the archdiocese rather than failing to respond to some great outcry from the people.

  24. John L12:20 AM

    Of course, the Holy Father should celebrate the TLM, but for somewhat different reasons than Cardinal Ranjith. Whether or not there are people clamouring for the TLM in Cardinal Ranjith's diocese has absolutely nothing to do with his duty to say it. The mass exists to honour and worship God, not to satisfy the wishes of the faithful, so what the faithful - and the clergy - want or do not want is quite irrelevant. Because the TLM does this better than the novus ordo (vide Cardinal Ratzinger on banal, fabricated liturgies), the bishop has a duty to see that it is said, and if there is no-one else to say it, that means that he has a duty to say it himself. If there is no demand from the faithful for it, that makes his duty to say it more pressing, because it means that the faithful are sorely misinformed about the liturgy and need to be educated by being exposed to the old rite.

  25. "The mass exists to honour and worship God, not to satisfy the wishes of the faithful, so what the faithful - and the clergy - want or do not want is quite irrelevant."

    It is very relevant indeed, as dissatisfied faithful and clergy can make life hard for their bishop, sabotaging his efforts and ultimately making things so difficult that Rome will be forced to replace him. This has happened before and can happen again.

    To place things in perspective: only a year ago, Sri Lankan priests and bishops often wore their stoles outside their chasubles (and these didn't even always have the same color), veiling and communion kneeling and on the tongue were practiced by a minority, and altar rails had disappeared. Things are going forward in Sri Lanka at the speed of light compared to the rest of the universal Church, and this in a country where there wasn't even ANY "Traditionalist" or "Reform of the Reform" movement to speak of before Cardinal Ranjith came around.

    Cardinal Ranjith already said last year that he intends to offer Solemn Pontifical Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Give the man time.

  26. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Look, ladies and gentlemen, you are living in a dreamworld. The N.O. is a seriously defective Mass regardless of how reverently it is celebrated. I read the story about the two priests and the plan for them to start was not one year ago. It was much longer ago than that. The fact remains that there are zero Traditional Latin Masses in the entire Island-nation of Ceylon. Zero on any regular basis at all. At this rate, the Cardinal will die of old age long before he can make a significant difference. Can it be that hard for ONE PRIEST, perhaps an older priest who knows the old Mass) to be encouraged to start offering it while the others are being trained?

    There are ZERO approved T.L.M.s in India. Not one. But we have one in Estonia, where the celebrant is almost the only Catholic in the country. And we have one in Belarus. And we have one in Sweden. There is one on Guam. New Zealand, which has a very low Catholic population, has them in all but one of it seven dioceses.

    Everyone here is so determined--all the neo-cons here--to defend this Cardinal just because he is sympathetic to us. Well, yes, he is sympathetic but stop deluding yourselves. No priest needs any persmission to offer the T.L.M. now and can do so without being asked by a cœtus or even one laic (read Article 5 of S.P. together with Article 1 and Canon 837). The good Cardinal need only encourage a priest. There are celebrants in Indonesia but they are being discouraged, even threatened. So where are the willing celebrants in Ceylon? THey are likely waiting for a positive signal. And waiting. And waiting.

    No lay support? Rubbish. The S.S.P.X now offers Mass in about seven dioceses in India. But not one Indian diocese has one--not even Bombay.


  27. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Pascal writes:

    "Cardinal Ranjith already said last year that he intends to offer Solemn Pontifical Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Give the man time."

    Perhaps he can't find a maniple. He'll get around to it any decade now.


  28. Anonymous10:16 AM

    John L. seems to think that the arranging of reverent N.O. Masses and the celebration of just one T.L.M. are mutually exclusive activities for a group of priests. Even Liechtenstein and Monaco now have the T.L.M. every Sunday but there is not one priest in all of Ceylon and not one in all of India who can say this Mass?

    Be patient? S.P. was published FOUR YEARS AGO. Should not the faithful of Africa and Asia have access to this "ancient and venerable use" which has been hallowed for countless centuries? Is the Mass of all time only for Europeans and Americans? That is a sickening attitude. I would expect better from the bishops in those continents. How can it be too much to have just one T.L.M. every Sunday in all of India and Ceylon when there are over 200 every Sunday in France?


  29. Anonymous10:20 AM


    I'd rather clone men like Cardinal Ottaviani--and Archbishop Lefebvre. If we had had more bishops like them, this revolution in the Age of Aquarius would never have infected Holy Church.


  30. Henry3:26 PM

    It's sad to see counterproductive comments about the Church's very best cardinals (and sometimes even about our Holy Father or his intentions). Not because the opinions of readers like me (or most of us) make any difference, but because Rorate Caeli might possibly be followed by someone whose views are important, and with whom such negative stuff can do our cause no good whatever.

    Why not offer positive support for worthy worship in every form by everyone everywhere? And our warm support for bishops like Cardinals Burke and Ranjith, who offer our best hope for the restoration of Holy Mother Church. (Surely unworthy or irrelevant references to figures who, however great, represent the past rather than present or future, ought to be omitted.)

    In regard to the present issue, I think of Father Z's application of "rising tides raise all boats" to the possibility that reform of the Novus Ordo can help the TLM also. Who knows but what the best thing Cardinal Ranjith--whose personal devotion to the TLM is well known--can do to prepare the way for it in Columbo may be precisely what he is now doing to re-sacralize the ordinary liturgy there now. I myself have no personal knowledge of his archdiocese on which to argue the matter, and I doubt that any self-proclaimed experts ten thousand miles away have anything useful to contribute either.