Rorate Caeli

You report: Pontifical Mass in Pennsylvania;
Mass in San Miguel de los Banos, Cuba - Sunday TLM in Cuba

1. A reader sends us this report from a Pontifical Mass celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in Elysburg (Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania):

This was the first Pontifical Mass offered at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg, PA since its founding in 2009. The Carmelites came from Valparaiso, Nebraska, where their monastery had grown beyond its limits and was in need of founding a daughter house. Bishop William Waltersheid, the celebrant of the Mass, was at that time the Vicar for Clergy and Religious in the Diocese of Harrisburg and played an instrumental role in bringing the sisters to Elysburg, where a Carmelite monastery stood empty after it was closed a few years earlier due to lack of vocations. Recently appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburg, he returned to celebrate his first Pontifical Mass for their patronal feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Living the traditional Carmelite rule and praying the traditional Mass and Office, the sisters have continued to flourish in their new house, attracting many young vocations from around the country. His Excellency Bishop Joseph McFadden, Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg in which the Carmel is located, assisted at the Mass from the Throne. Many Diocesan Priests and seminarians came to fulfill the roles of Sacred Ministers and servers for the Mass.

2. A dear reader sends us a touching Una Voce report and images of a Mass celebrated in late June in the Parish Church of San Miguel Arcángel (San Miguel de los Banos, in the Diocese of Matanzas), in the beloved Republic of Cuba. The celebrating priest was 26-year-old Father Darovis Caballero Sosa, of that diocese. The following news is added:
By common agreement with the Parish priest of [the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora del] Carmen, in Matanzas, Fr. F. Severino Ramírez, OCD, the Traditional Mass will be celebrated every Sunday, as 12 PM, at the high altar of that church, for all the faithful in the city.

The Sunday Mass at the Carmen of Matanzas is the first regular traditional Mass in the entire island. These are the fruits of Summorum Pontificum, good priests, and persevering lay faithful - and the intercession of Our Lady of la Caridad del Cobre.

A Vatican II moment:
Sunday brunch in church with Annette

Father Marcel Gravet will celebrate his 85th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination tomorrow at Rochefort (Namur, Wallonia, Belgium) with a very touching ceremony, which will take place in his own Parish church of Buissonville (Saint-Laurent/Diocese of Namur); in his own words:

"Out of concern for the unity of Christians, the Lord's Supper will be celebrated by Annette Ruby, who is a Protestant pastor in Alsace [France]. The priests who so desire will be able to concelebrate. It is an event which will not fail to provoke reactions which I expect to be numerous. I hope to obtain, afterwards, numerous responses to questions such as: what did you feel about the celebration of the Supper by a married woman, and mother of several children? What do you expect from a priest or a pastor? What questions do you wish to pose to the highest authorities of the Church? By gathering all these testimonies, we expect to establish a deep reflection on these matters and to assemble a document to be made public somewhere in the next year or two in the most appropriate way."

Sacrilege in the Heartland (Diocese of Youngstown, OH)

Rorate Caeli, in Northern Ohio visiting family, was going to attend the annual Italian Festival in Youngstown today. What should have been a time of good food, music and fun for our children is now not an option, since taking our children would most certainly scandalize them.

From the main stage today, at 4p.m. eastern, a "Polka Mass" will take place.

Ireland, Quebec, Portugal, Spain:
not "modern enough" to take Vatican II

For someone who actually thinks that the solution for the Irish Church is to be found in Canadian bishops, well... this article ("Erin go bonkers", George Weigel) is not that surprising. And the lumping of what were essentially liberal representative governments (Quebec, Ireland) with one peculiar regime that came about almost peacefully and came down in flames (Portugal) and another one that was forged in war and peacefully transitioned to constitutional monarchy (Spain) is absurd; not only that, but, as critical as we have been of the Portuguese situation (and, less so, of the Spanish situation, whose prelates are in general better than those of their smaller neighbor), there has surely been no child abuse "crisis" in these two nations.

Now, it is quite good to see walking (and writing) contradictions such as Weigel admit that the Second Vatican Council was a "deluge".

Appeal: Kolbe and Victoria

In August, we will celebrate two anniversaries here in Rorate: the 70th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, on August 14, and the 400th anniversary of the death of Father Tomás Luis de Victoria, on August 27. If you wish to help us with contributions for posts on these anniversaries, please send them to newcatholic AT gmail DOT com. Thank you!


What is afoot? This crescendo of open dissent, unseen in years in this magnitude, this shameful silence of most in the Curia and in the hierarchy, these attacks coming from governments and media, are these a coincidence? Be it for material or supernatural reasons (or both), the Vicar of Christ is under attack. One would think that an 84-year-old man would be spared all of this if only out of respect for his age, if not for his office. We must stand with Peter, we must pray for him now more than ever.

The Mass ends with the Last Gospel...
Oops, no, sorry, we mean The Last Surah

From French daily Ouest-France, on its July 19 edition, as reported by La Porte Latine:

"Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, Primate of the Gauls, will take part on Sunday, July 24, in the 11 o'clock mass of the 57th Islamic-Christian pilgrimage of Le Vieux-Marché. Presided by Bishop Denis Mouteel, bishop of Saint-Brieuc et Tréguier, this celebration will take place in the chapel of the Seven Saints [Le Vieux-Marché, Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany]. It will be followed by the reading of the 18th Surah of the Koran, at the Stiffel fountain, 600 m away. This text evokes the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, which is also told in a gwerz [Breton folk song]." [This is an image of the actual event.]


After the Pfarrer-Initiative (300 Austrian priests and counting) in favor of all that is wrong, lukewarmly condemned by the Cardinal of Vienna (who took the very strong and decisive measure of declaring: "I'm shocked!"), 157 American priests (and counting) support Maryknoll priest-activist Roy Bourgeois. From "Call to Action":
In an unprecedented move, 157 Catholic priests have signed on to a letter in support of their fellow embattled priest, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who has been told to recant his support for women’s ordination or be removed from the priesthood. The letter that supports Roy’s priesthood and his right to conscience was delivered, Friday, July 22nd, to Fr. Edward Dougherty, Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Maryknoll, NY.

“We can no longer remain silent while priests and even bishops are removed from their posts
simply because they choose to speak their truth,” said Fr. Fred Daley, a spokesperson of the effort and a priest of the Syracuse Diocese. “Together, we are standing up for our brother priest, Roy, and for all clergy who have felt afraid to speak up on matters of conscience.

“We hope that our support as ordained priests in good standing will help give Fr. Dougherty the support he needs to make a decision that is fair and just.”

[Tip: Catholic Culture; picture: excommunicated-laywoman and priest-impersonator Janice Sevre-Duszynska, at whose pseudo-ordination Bourgeois was present -  image source.]

You report: first diocesan Solemn High Mass in Charlotte since the liturgical revolution

Reader Chris Lauer of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, sends us the following report:

I am overjoyed to report that yesterday evening (July 26th) the Most Reverend Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte graced with his presence in Choir, a Solemn High Mass at the Parish of Saint Ann's in honor of the Feast of Saint Anne.

The Solemn High Mass was celebrated according to the 1962 Missale Romanum and was celebrated by Father Timothy Reid, pastor of St. Ann’s. Father Matthew Kauth served as deacon; and Jason Christian, Seminarian of the Diocese of Charlotte, served as sub-deacon. Jason Barone, also a Seminarian of the Diocese of Charlotte, served as Master of Ceremonies; and the schola was directed by Terese Rowe.

This was the first Diocesan Solemn High Mass in Charlotte since the introduction of the new Mass.

Remember: keep sending us your reports of significant events that took place in your area, wherever you may be in the world. Our label "You report" includes dozens of reports provided by our readers since  the publication of Summorum Pontificum.

Roberto de Mattei and "The Lefebvre affair"

This translation of some interesting pages of Roberto de Mattei's great history of Vatican II was sent to us by a kind reader - it is a book we truly recommend to all Italian-speaking readers, and it would seem that translations should be published in French and English soon.

The following brief excerpt is a good introduction for those unaware of how many things began

[The early years of] The “Lefebvre Affair” 
Ten years after the conclusion of the Council the so called “Lefebvre affair” exploded. From 1974 onwards, the French Archbishop Lefebvre entered into open contrast with the Holy See in matters regarding the New Mass and the Council’s reforms. 

No breakdown in doctrinal talks; canonical solution must come from "the hierarchy"

A very interesting interview (in Italian) with the Superior of the Italian district of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX), Fr. Davide Pagliarani, was posted yesterday. It includes no groundbreaking news, but he makes clear that the doctrinal talks did not "fail", and that an eventual canonical solution would have to come from "the hierarchy":

"I can only repeat that which has been clearly and always explained by my superiors: the canonical situation in which the Fraternity is currently placed is a consequence of its resistance to the errors that infest the Church; consequently, the possibility for the Fraternity to reach a regular canonical situation does not depend on us, but on the acceptance by the hierarchy of the contribution that Tradition can give for the restoration of the Church.

"If a canonical regularization is not reached, it simply means that the hierarchy is not yet convinced enough of the necessity and the urgency of this contribution. In this case, it would be necessary to wait for still some years, expecting an increase of this awareness, that could be related and parallel to the acceleration of the process of self-destruction of the Church."

The interview is quite extensive, but I unfortunately do not have the time for a proper translation at the moment. If you wish to have a rough but not superficial understanding of it, the Google Translate version is not good, but not so bad, either - and if our Italian-speaking readers wish to translate parts of it in the comments, we would be most grateful.

In praise of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

It is quite an experience to witness the daily routine of dedication to God and souls of a member of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP): Beatus vir qui timet Dominum! It often seems that these priests are fighting a hopeless cause in a Church still so deep in a crisis apparently with no end in sight - but every penitent absolved, every Communion handed with reverence is a victory that brings the real Victory, the ultimate one over death and sin, across the ages to our own time. Support them; pray for them; tell them, at least occasionally, how much you appreciate their work for Christ and for your soul. They deserve our most sincere love and respect.

Priest beaten up in front of his mother for celebrating the Traditional Mass (updated)

Priest attacked, guilty of celebrating the Latin Mass
Tue, 26/07/2011 - 15:24

"You have been tough, but we will smash your head. Signed, Your friend Satan". That was one of several threatening messages sent to Father Hernán García Pardo, parish priest of San Michele, in Ronta [Mugello region of the Province of Florence, Tuscany]. His fault [was] that of celebrating the Latin Mass, liberalized by Benedict XVI in September 2007.

The warnings, which had been recurrent for some time, had not made the priest, who despite everything has continued to say Mass according to the ancient rite, give up. The last chapter [took place] last Wednesday, when he was beaten up by a 'faithful' in the town's rectory in the presence of his aged mother. The beating led to bruising on his back; having been sent to the emergency room of Borgo San Lorenzo, he was medicated.

The news item was published today in the Giornale della Toscana; the accusations made against Father Hernán are those of scattering the flock; above all, he is not forgiven for distributing communion in the mouth [to the] kneeling [faithful], instead of on the hand, in the same manner as Benedict XVI. For others, the Italian-Argentine priest has only brought back some sacred austerity to the parish, excluding guitars from the functions and bringing back to within the walls of the church the ancient Gregorian chant. ...
[Source: Il sito di Firenze]
[Other sources: Libero News, La Nazione; tip: Secretum meum mihi.]

UPDATE: full original article published in Il Giornale della Toscana, giving the detailed account of the event (in Italian: click for larger image).

Open thread -
Back from recess: ...

... we may post news or relevant items at any time.

If you have any news or announcements from the Traditional Catholic world (including your community) which you want to share with us (even, or especially, good news), tell us as a comment below.

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (fortieth posting of souls)

Below, please find the fortieth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We're proud to see our first-ever submission of souls from Malta.

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 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.

And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

What goes around comes around

Published in the Belfast Telegraph:

Knives will be out for the Irish government soon enough
By David Quinn
Friday, 22 July 2011

The reaction of the Irish government to the Vatican's 1997 letter to the Irish bishops as outlined in the Cloyne Report has been one of almost complete hysteria.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's statement to the Dail on Wednesday was delivered against this background.

In the sort of language normally associated with a Richard Dawkins or Ian Paisley, he accused the Vatican of "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism . . . narcissism" and effectively of not caring about the "rape and torture of children".

Among other things, Kenny's speechwriters included a wildly out-of-context quote from the then Cardinal Ratzinger.

There is a difference between necessary and valid criticism of the church on the one hand, and unrestrained church-bashing on the other.

In a similar vein, Kenny added his voice last week to those who believe the breaking of the seal of confession should be required by law.

Kenny is obviously no anti-Catholic, but he needs to realise that, historically, only the most anti-Catholic societies have ever done such a thing.

The Consecrated touch what is Consecrated

Postquam autem venerunt ad aream Nachon, extendit Oza manum ad arcam Dei, et tenuit eam: quoniam calcitrabant boves, et declinaverunt eam. Iratusque est indignatione Dominus contra Ozam, et percussit eum super temeritate: qui mortuus est ibi iuxta arcam Dei. (From the Roman Breviary, 2nd-3rd readings of Matins for Thursday within the fifth week after the Pentecost Octave, II Kings/II Samuel vi, 6-7: "And when they came to the floor of Nachon, Oza [Uzzah] put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it: because the oxen kicked and made it lean aside. And the indignation of the Lord was enkindled against Oza, and he struck him for his rashness: and he died there before the ark of God.")

Now as to the use of this holy sacrament [the Most Holy Eucharist], our Fathers have rightly and wisely distinguished three ways of receiving it. For they have taught that some receive it sacramentally only, to wit sinners: others spiritually only, those to wit who eating in desire that heavenly bread which is set before them, are, by a lively faith which worketh by charity, made sensible of the fruit and usefulness thereof: whereas the third (class) receive it both sacramentally and spiritually, and these are they who so prove and prepare themselves beforehand, as to approach to this divine table clothed with the wedding garment. Now as to the reception of the sacrament, it was always the custom in the Church of God, that laymen should receive the communion from priests; but that priests when celebrating should communicate themselves; which custom, as coming down from an apostolical tradition, ought with justice and reason to be retained.
Sacred and Ecumenical Council of Trent
Session XIII (October 11, 1551)
Chapter VIII

A Vatican II moment:
Church up in smoke

What message does the Church send the world when a successor to the Apostles is cremated? (source; tip: Fr. Blake). 

We really are speechless: may he rest in peace; there is nothing else to add.

A Bishop who is not open to intellectual prostitution

It is curious to witness, in real time, the "Progressive Catholic" media trying to be "nice" to Archbishop Charles Chaput, new Archbishop of Philadelphia, as if this were going to change him, as if they could buy his conscience - after decades of covering up the lukewarm direction of the Philadelphian Church.

In order that there may be no doubt about the Archbishop's character, how about remembering his words on a most significant event, in all the symbolism it carried with it, of the Catholic Church in America in recent years? This does not look like a bishop whose conscience is for sale. (Emphases added.)

May 18, 2009
Archbishop Chaput on Notre Dame and the issues that remain
"I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world." ~ Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., May 17, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life. The best have humor. Some genuinely inspire. But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability. This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.
Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man. The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life. We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good -- insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.
We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness. Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade.

... There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it. ... (Rest of the text: source)

Are you wearing yours?

Along with the Brown Scapular, another significant item Catholics should wear is the Miraculous Medal. From the Catholic encyclopedia:

"The devotion commonly known as that of the Miraculous Medal owes its origin to Zoe Labouré, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, known in religion as Sister Catherine [Note: She was subsequently canonized], to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared three separate times in the year 1830, at the mother-house of the community at Paris. The first of these apparitions occurred 18 July, the second 27 November, and the third a short time later."

The Passion of Spain - 75 years

Exactly 75 years ago, the tensions within the Spanish Republic reached unbearable levels and the alzamiento of July 18 began. The greatest persecution of Catholics since late Antiquity was about to begin in the territory retained by the Communist-inspired forces, and would be particularly brutal in the first six months of the conflict - giving the Church thousands of martyrs (including 13 bishops), of which around 1,000 have already been beatified.

Five years ago, we began a special series of posts on the story of this relentless persecution, reverted only after Catholics joined the struggle for the faith: read it all in The Passion of Spain series. We also ask our readers to please share in the comments their favorite books, videos, online sources on this event, in any language - for instance, the Collective Letter of the Spanish Bishops (July 1, 1937); the response of several national episcopates, including the Bishops of Ireland; or the chilling images in the first and second annex on religious persecution of the Causa General.

(In the first image, Republican militiamen fire at the Monument to the Sacred Heart, in the Cerro de los Ángeles, province of Madrid -- the monument would be completely destroyed in the first months of the persecution. It would be rebuilt following the war. In the image below, a Russian Orthodox chaplain of the White Russian volunteers assembled by General Evgeny Miller, exiled in France, who would be kidnapped in French soil during the war, tortured and killed in his homeland - source. And in our header above, a Mass celebrated  near the Sierra Nevada, in Andalusia, for the Tercio Isabel la Católica, of Granada, one of the many Catholic groups fighting against the attempted extermination of the Church - source.)


As a final reminder of who represented what in that conflict, we once again recall the words of Pope Pius XII when victory was declared, in 1939:


(April 14, 1939)

With great joy We address you, most dear children of Catholic Spain, to express to you our fatherly congratulations for the gift of peace and of victory, with which God has deemed worthy to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity, tried in so many and so generous sufferings. Our Predecessor, of venerable memory, expected, with longing and trust, this Providential peace, which is undoubtedly the fruit of that copious blessing which he sent, in the very beginning of the struggle, "to all those who had devoted themselves to the difficult and dangerous task of defending and restoring the rights and the honor of God and Religion" [1]; and We do not doubt that this peace shall be the one that he himself foretold since then, "the sign of a future of tranquility in order, and of honor in prosperity" [2].

Love for the Invisible

Deus, qui diligentibus te bona invisibilia præparasti: infunde cordibus nostris tui amoris affectum; ut te in omnibus et super omnia diligentes, promissiones tuas, quæ omne desiderium superant, consequamur. (Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: "O God, who hast prepared invisible good things for those that love Thee: pour forth into our hearts an affectionate love for Thee: that loving Thee in all things, and above all things, we may come to the enjoyment of thy promises, which are above whatever we can desire.")

[I]t is the Church's Divinity that accounts for her passion for God. To her as to none else on earth is the very face of God revealed as the Absolute and Final Beauty that lies beyond the limits of all Creation. She in her Divinity enjoys it may be said, even in her sojourn on earth, that very Beatific Vision that enraptured always the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ. With all the company of heaven then, with Mary Immaculate, with the Seraphim and with the glorified saints of God, she endures, seeing Him Who is invisible. Even while the eyes of her humanity are held, while her human members walk by faith and not by sight, she, in her Divinity, which is the guaranteed Presence of Jesus Christ in her midst, already dwells in heavenly places and is already come to Mount Zion and the City of the living God and to God Himself, Who is the Light in which all fair things are seen to be fair.

Is it any wonder then that, now and again, some chosen child of hers catches a mirrored glimpse of what she herself beholds with unveiled face; that some Catholic soul, now and again, chosen and called by God to this amazing privilege, should suddenly perceive, as never before, that God is the one and only Absolute Beauty, and that, compared with the contemplation of this Beauty—which contemplation is, after all, the final life of Eternity to which every redeemed soul shall come—all the activities of earthly life are nothing; and that, in her passion for this adorable God, she should run into a secret room and shut the door and pray to her Father Who is in secret, and so remain praying, a hidden channel of life to the whole of that Body of which she is a member, an intercessor for the whole of that Society of which she is one unit? There in silence, then, she sits at Jesus' feet and listens to the Voice which is as the sound of many waters; in the whiteness of her cell watches Him Whose Face is as a Flame of Fire, and in austerity and fasting tastes and finds that the Lord is gracious.

Of course this is but madness and folly to those who know God only in His Creation, who imagine Him merely as the Soul of the World and the Vitality of Created Life. To such as these earth is His highest Heaven and the beauty of the world the noblest vision that can be conceived. Yet to that soul that is Catholic, who understands that the Eternal Throne is indeed above the stars and that the Transcendence of God is as fully a truth as His Immanence—that God in Himself, apart from all that He has made, is all-fair and all-sufficient in His own Beauty—to such a soul as this, if called to such a life, there is no need that the Church should declare explicitly that the Contemplative Life is the highest. She knows it already.

The most extraordinary event in English history

Tomás Luis de Victoria
Ave Maria (8 v.)

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge - 760 years ago today: has there been any other moment in English history whose consequences have aided so many souls throughout the world achieve and keep holiness, reaching final perseverance? Men and women, made of flesh, need material reminders of the presence of God in their lives - and what could be more profitable than the blessed physical sign that Our Lady's Mantle covers us at all times, that Her Divine Son keeps watch over us day and night?
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
Saint Elias, pray for us!
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us!
Queen of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

[Recess continues.]

Why is this Bishop smiling?

While bishops are forced by the government of the People's Republic of China to take part in illicit consecrations, and others have to be protected by their clergy from the threat of kidnapping by government agents (see report by AsiaNews), the Brazilian Episcopal Conference (CNBB) actually welcomes a delegation of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the same regime. They were invited to Brazil by the (Protestant-run) Brazilian Bible Society and were received by the Secretary of the Episcopal Conference, Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner: "Led by the vice-minister for Religious Affairs, Jiang Jianyong, and 11 other civil servants of the Chinese government, the delegation visited the CNBB [on July 14] with the goal of knowing the work accomplished by the Catholic Church in Brazil and to propose an exchange between both Episcopal Conferences[sic]." (Source: Brazilian Episcopal Conference; tip: Fratres in Unum)

So, while the Holy See is theoretically in charge of excruciatingly difficult negotiations with the Beijing regime under terrible circumstances, the Brazilian Bishops are conducting a parallel Ostpolitik with the persecutors of the Church in China, amidst smiles? Good grief...

[Note (1610 GMT): The news item has now been removed from both the Conference website and its blog. Thanks to Fratres in Unum for saving this indelible picture, which we ask our many readers in the Eternal City to make known to the appropriate authorities of the Holy See: the image of a Church out of control.]

[Note (1900 GMT): Fratres in Unum also managed to save a screenshot of the Conference blog, with even more smiles and laughter, while faithful priests and bishops remain under arrest or under watch in the People's Republic (click to enlarge).]

Badmouthing Traditional Catholics

A "Catholic Truth Society" booklet harshly criticizes and misrepresents Traditional-minded Catholics - one would expect better from the CTS. 

The Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales explains the many problems with this publication. The problems begin, we would say, by treating all who love the Tradition and traditions of the Latin Church as a kind of "tribe" that ought to be "explained"... Cardinal Vaughan, who founded the CTS, and James Britten, who spearheaded it, would be surprised to know that the people who wish to carry on the only Catholic practices and beliefs that they ever knew and cherished somehow needed to be "explained". They are Catholics, that is all, as Vaughan and Britten were.

[Recess continues.]

Essentially satanical

May I be permitted to repeat that the French revolution is not like anything that was ever witnessed in the world in bygone times. It is essentially satanical. Never will it be wholly extinguished except by the contrary principle, and never will the French people resume their place until they have acknowledged this truth. ...

Special event: TLM for Priests and Seminarians in Guadalajara, Mexico

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) and Una Voce México are organizing a special course this month: the Traditional Latin Mass taught to Priests and Deacons.

Where: Guadalajara, Mexico
When: July 25-29
For whom: Priests and Seminarians (preferably Deacons) who want to learn the TLM
Cost: 1,600 Mexican pesos (aprox $140), with accommodations and all meals included.
Instructors: Fr. James Fryar FSSP, Fr. Kenneth Fryar FSSP, Fr. Jonathan Romanoski FSSP
For more information please contact: Mr. Edgar Fernandez at

David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone

Praevaluitque David adversum Philisthaeum in funda et lapide, percussumque Philisthaeum interfecit. Cumque gladium non haberet in manu David, cucurrit, et stetit super Philisthaeum, et tulit gladium eius, et eduxit eum de vagina sua: et interfecit eum, praeciditque caput eius. (From the Second-Third Lessons for Tuesday in the IV Week after the Pentecost Octave, Roman Breviary - I Kings/I Samuel xvii, 50-51: "And David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine. And as David had no sword in his hand, he ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And the Philistines seeing that their champion was dead, fled away.")

Summer of Prayer - Winter of Prayer

Things really do slow down in the Old Continent during summer... Even in the middle of a considerably complex monetary crisis, Europeans keep some habits of the past: for instance, after an "emergency meeting" today in Brussels, it was announced that "the ministers [and leaders of the Eurozone] will start their summer recess, meaning that the outlines of the Greek rescue won't be clear until September at the earliest" (Der Spiegel). Quite an emergency! 

The Holy Father has been at Castel Gandolfo since July 7, and the Vatican is in its annual season-long vacanze, going full-stop in August. The leaders of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) will be received in the Vatican in September.

It is not resting time everywhere, though, and we chose to mark the Catholicity of this blog by using the image of the Andes in winter (seen behind the Church of the Sacramentines, in Santiago, Chile) in our header above. At the very least, we please ask our readers to pray for peace and unity in the Church in these summer/winter months. Please, do not take a riposo from this intention.

Could we at least get some consistency?

Yes, we know, Father Lombardi confirmed: the Fraternity's (FSSPX/SSPX - Society's) ordinations are "illegitimate", its priests "do not exercise legitimate ministry". Yes, we know that loving and caring ambiguities, long used in any reference to non-Catholics or non-Christians suddenly disappear when certain "groups" are mentioned - one cannot but cheer the sudden and temporary return to "pre-Conciliar" terseness, certainty, and proclamation of authority.

Which is why we are absolutely certain that, in the past 50 years, absolutely no act of anyone who cannot exercise "legitimate ministry" within the Catholic Church, including Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, or Old-Catholic "ministers", has been allowed in any property in the possession of the Diocese of Ghent, Flanders (Belgium) - the Diocese would not act so inconsistently when first allowing, out of common courtesy, then denying the celebration of a First Mass/New Mass by a new priest of the  Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Father Matthias De Clercq, in the parish church of Merelbeke, in his native region (source: Mysterium Fidei - in Dutch).

Further south, in the Diocese of Clermont-Ferrand, in the Auvergne (France), in a ceremony at the brand new Grand Mosque of Clermont-Ferrand, "the Muslim community returned the keys to the Chapel located at rue Sainte Claire, facing the church of Saint-Eutrope, that had been placed at their disposal since 1977 by Bishop Dardel and the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. ... The Muslims expressed their gratitude for having been given a place of worship in the city, not having at the time the means to finance one. The Grand Mosque of Clermont was built afterwards... and has been open to the faithful since early 2010." [Source: Diocese, via Perepiscopus.]

Questions for our readers: on rubrics, customs and hybrid Masses

Yesterday I watched the webcast of one of the handful of diocesan / "Summorum Pontificum" TLM's in Mexico. The readings (including the Gospel), the "Orate Fratres" and the "Ecce Agnus Dei" were said, not in Latin, but in Spanish only. The Gloria and Credo were sung by the celebrant himself in alternation with the congregation. The Secret and the first part of the Canon (until the Consecration) were said aloud, too loud to have merely been the celebrant's "inaudible" voice being picked up by a microphone. Finally, Spanish hymns were sung during this Missa Cantata (vernacular hymns are supposed to be allowed only for Low Mass) and the priest himself led the faithful in a Spanish-language devotional exercise in honor of Saint Joseph, after the communion rites and before singing the post-communion (in Latin). [I'm aware of the "Prone" and of vernacular devotions that were prayed between the Gospel and the Creed, but not in any other part of the Mass.]

I advocate strict fidelity to the rubrics, in the spirit of reverence for liturgical tradition. At the same time I'm aware that in the years leading up to Vatican II some indults (for particular countries) were handed down by the Congregation for Rites in favor of the vernacular, while many other countries had their own long-standing customs which may or may not have been consonant with the rubrics. (Regarding the vernacular: Poland, for instance, received an indult on July 7, 1961 allowing the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei to be sung in Polish at a Sung Mass, and the Deutsche Singmesse and Betsingmesse need no introduction.) Here are my questions:

1) Were any (or even all) of the peculiarities that I described above, considered as legitimate customs in the liturgy (in Mexico or anywhere else) prior to Vatican II? I'd be very surprised to learn that saying the Secret and part of the Canon audibly was ever allowed anywhere.

2) Does anyone here have any idea how widespread the singing of vernacular hymns at a Sung Mass has been, either in the era prior to 1964, or in TLM's post-1984?

Feel free as well to post in the combox on "hybrid Masses" and peculiar customs (whether legitimate or not) that have entered into TLM celebrations anywhere in the world.

[Moderator NOTE: Do NOT feel free to criticize at will; this is NOT A DEBATE, but a descriptive post, for comments that include descriptions of events or knowledge of exceptions, but not the unbridled criticism of a regular forum. Thank you.]

We Report: Surprise Pontifical Mass in Washington, D.C.

We at Old St. Mary's were pleasantly surprised this morning as what was supposed to be a typical summer Low Mass turned into a Pontifical Low Mass -- celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen.

In town for an event at the National Basilica, he was long scheduled to say the 11:30a.m. Novus Ordo in Chinese but, upon request, accepted the invitation to say the 9a.m. Traditional Latin Low Mass at Old St. Mary's in Chinatown.

His sermon, of course, focused on the dire situation in China. He called the national church bishops "illegitimate" and said the entire national church "has no courage" and do not understand how great martyrdom is. He said they are selling out to the government now that it is flush with cash. As refreshingly hard he was on the above-ground church in China, he was equally praising of Pope Benedict XVI, and his efforts to stop the persecution of Catholics in China.

After the Mass, Card. Zen spent over an hour in the basement of Old St. Mary's with all the trads for our Sunday coffee and donuts, spending time with each and every person who approached him.

Now if only we could get our own Cardinal Wuerl to Old St. Mary's. It shouldn't be too hard for him, since this is still the only Sunday TLM in the city, even four years after Summorum Pontificum. At least there was one Pontifical Mass he couldn't cancel this year.

And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

Traditional Mass rubrics are nothing...

...compared to the different versions of the New Mass's "General Instruction of the Roman Missal", and additional documents. It seems there is not only one version per language, or even one per country, but one for each publishing house, and one for each missalette. Perhaps this is what is meant by active participation in the "Ordinary form": things are just so different, from country to country, from diocese to diocese, from parish to parish, between priests in the same parish, or even between masses of the same priest (depending on the "audience"), that one is forced to participate even if only to grasp what local "rite" is actually being celebrated... And this only in English!

They should just leave the name Roman to the "Extraordinary people", and call it the Babel Missal.

250 years of In Dominico Agro
The faithful need the basic, simple, uncorrupted Truth

As he struggled against the trends that, in the very heart of Catholic Europe, did all they could to "destroy the Infâme" and plant the seeds of the Revolution that was about to come, Pope Clement XIII knew that the hearts of the faithful had to filled with true, basic, simple, essential Catholic doctrine, to be found in the Roman Catechism - which should be once again made widely available to all priests. In Dominico Agro, signed on June 14, 1761, is thus a strong charter for the catechization of the faithful - and, at the same time, a dramatic reminder of what the failure to properly do so has allowed: the loss of entire nations and of uncountable souls.

Particularly interesting is the warning of Pope Clement XIII on the teachings of Catholic writers. It is not only with heterodox writings that Bishops should be concerned. Scholarly discussions should not be introduced to the faithful - and the post-Conciliar period seems to prove this true.

The faithful -- especially those who are simple or uncultivated -- should be kept away from dangerous and narrow paths upon which they can hardly set foot without faltering. The sheep should not be led to pasture through trackless places. Nor should peculiar ideas -- even those of Catholic scholars -- be proposed to them. Rather, only those ideas should be communicated which are definitely marked as Catholic truth by their universality, antiquity, and harmony. ... The faithful should obey the apostolic advice not to know more than is necessary, but to know in moderation.

"The Unity of Christians"

Our friends of Fratres in Unum send us this translation of a piece authored by a Brazilian priest who wishes to remain anonymous. They also ask you to pray for him, who, as a Traditional-minded cleric, is under great distress in his diocese.


What do we ask of God when we pray for the unity of Christians?
A Brazilian Priest

Image: Ecumenical Meeting at the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference (CNBB) in the City of Aparecida
For some unwary Catholics, the so-called “Prayer Week for the Unity of Christians”, which is annually celebrated in Brazil in the week from Ascension "Sunday" to Pentecost, purports to offer prayers so that all acknowledge the Truth taught by the Catholic Church and return to Communion with the Pope. These are the optimistic of all times - incapable of seeing the obvious before them. These meetings do not aim at converting anyone. Rather, they intend to place at the same level all religions and to minimize the importance of complete adhesion to Christian dogma, especially on matters such as the Eucharist, the Priesthood, the Papacy, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Brother Roger of Taizé, Rad-Trad?

From a 2008 post by Father Guillaume de Tanoüarn, IBP, on Yves Chiron's book "Frère Roger" [tip: Fecit-Forum]:

Roger loved the Church of Pius XII, even if he took public distance from it at the moment of the promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, leaving it to his colleague Max Thurian to speak, in good Protestant [language], of "Papalism" in this regard.

Then came the election of John XXIII. They were both received [by the Pope]. The new pope has all [that is needed] to attract them. And, nevertheless, the surprise: Brother Roger would tell Father [Yves] Congar: this pope is not far from being "quite formally heretical". What does he reproach him for? For having declared, during their meeting, that the Church did not possede the entire truth, and that it was necessary to "search together". Curious episode. That was in 1959.
A passage in Roberto de Mattei's "The Second Vatican Council: a history never before written" (Turin, Lindau, 2010):

Among the Protestant observers, there were two brothers from Taizé, Roger Schutz and Max Thurian. When these, during a dinner, asked Hans Küng what they should do in that historic moment [the first session of the Council], the Tübingen theologian answered them: "it is quite well to remain Protestant". A response, [Küng] recalls, that did not please them completely. [p. 227; n. 156]

"An Act of Parliament, directly oppugnant
to the laws of God and his holy Church..."

All which notwithstanding the jury found him guilty, and incontinent upon the verdict the Lord Chancellor [for that matter chief commissioner] beginning in judgment against him, Sir Thomas More said to him,
"My Lord, when I was towards the law, the manner in such case was to ask the prisoner before judgment, why judgment should not be given against him."
Whereupon the Lord Chancellor staying his judgment, wherein he had partly proceeded, demanded of him what he was able to say to the contrary. Who then in this sort mildly made answer:
"Forasmuch as, my Lord, this indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament, directly oppugnant to the laws of God and his holy Church, the supreme government of which, or of any part thereof, may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Saviour himself, personally present upon the earth, to St. Peter and his successors, bishops of the same see, by special prerogative, granted, it is therefore in law amongst Christian men insufficient to charge any Christian."...
Then was it thereunto by the Lord Chancellor answered, that seeing all the bishops, universities, and best learned men of the Realm had to this Act agreed, it was much marvelled that he alone against them all would so stiffly stick and vehemently argue there against. To that Sir Thomas More replied saying,
"If the number of bishops and universities be so material, as your Lordships seemeth to take it, then see I little cause why that thing in my conscience should make any change. For I nothing doubt, but that though not in this Realm, yet in Christendom about they be not the least part, that be of my mind therein. But if I should speak of those that be already dead, of whom many be now saints in heaven, I am very sure it is the far greater part of them, that all the while they lived, thought in this case that way that I think now. And therefore am I not bound to conform my conscience to the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom."...
After which ended, the commissioners yet courteously offered him, if he had anything else to allege for his defence to grant him favourable audience, who answered,
"More have I not to say but like as the blessed Apostle St. Paul, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, was present, and consented to the death of St. Stephen, and kept their clothes that stoned him to death, and yet be they now both twain holy saints in heaven, and shall continue there friends for ever, so I verily trust and shall therefore right heartily pray, that though your Lordships have now in earth been judges to my condemnation, we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to our everlasting salvation."
William Roper
The Life of Sir Thomas More
Our regular feature on the Feast of Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More - Martyrs. "Deus, qui beatos Martyres tuos Ioannem et Thomam veræ fidei et Romanæ Ecclesiæ principatus propugnatores inter Anglos suscitasti: eorum meritis ac precibus concede; ut eiusdem fidei professione, unum omnes in Christo efficiamur et simus. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen." Saints John Fisher and Thomas More: through your intercession and in the profession of the same Faith and of the Supremacy of the Holy Roman Church, may all be and remain one in Christ!

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (thirty-ninth posting of souls)

The above photo is of our Society's chaplain, a young American priest who, at every Mass, remembers the Society in a memento. A Mass last week was specifically said for the enrolled souls of this Society.

Below, please find the thirty-ninth posting of enrolled souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. It's a rather large list this week with over 300 enrolled souls.

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "name, state, country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well. PLEASE follow this format strictly, as any deviation creates a lot of extra work.

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.

And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

A beautiful Cathedral rises in Europe

Yes, it is still possible. 

Thanks to Francesco Colafemmina of Fides et Forma for providing several inspiring images of the future cathedral of Pristina (Kosovo/Serbia), located in the main city within the current Apostolic Administration of Prizren. 

The author of this beautiful work, dedicated to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, is Italian architect Livio Sterlicchio.

A humbling clarification

A few years ago, a Bishop who said something scandalous in his native language to the press of his native country would never have to issue any clarification (while, quite true, a few decades ago, the same Bishop would probably not have publicly said anything scandalous in the first place).

Now, the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, José Policarpo, was forced to issue a clarification regarding his disastrous declaration on "female ordination", thanks to the fast action of the "new media" - and, certainly, of someone in Rome; from the website of the Patriarchate [tip: a reverend reader]:


"1. ... The reactions to this interview have forced me to look into this theme with greater care, and I have ascertained that, mostly for not having taken into appropriate consideration the latest declarations of the Magisterium on the matter, I gave rise to those reactions. I feel, therefore, under the obligation of clearly expressing my thinking, in communion with the Holy Father and with the Magisterium of the Church, my obligation as a Bishop and Pastor of the People of God (cf. LG. nº 25).

Events: "Cults" examined in Arlington

KINGDOM OF THE CULTS: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists

Arlington, VA (July 7, 2011)— Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo, M.A. and Subdeacon Sebastian Carnazzo, Ph.D., will present a three-part study on Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Seventh Day Adventists, exposing the true history of these organizations and their flawed theology. The sessions occur on Tuesday, July 12, 19, and 26.

Four years:
Memento etiam, Domine...

The beautiful words of that great French hero of the Traditional Mass, Jean Madiran, who has lived to see the miracle, remembering the names of some who died in the battlefield:

"For thirty seven years, a whole generation of militant Catholics, religious or lay members of the Militant Church (a generation reaching from 7 to 97 years of age) suffered, without giving in, openly defying the arbitrary interdict on the Traditional Mass. We think of our dead: Cardinal Ottaviani, Father Calmel, Father Raymond Dulac, Monsignor Renato Pozzi, Monsignor Lefebvre, Father Guérard. And, among the laymen: Cristina Campo, Luce Quenette, Louis Salleron, Eric de Saventhem. The pontifical goodwill is for them as a light breeze, which sweetly brings peace to their tombs. Wherever they are now, they do not need it anymore. But it is their memory amongst us which is appeased and elevated."

And also: Bishop Castro Mayer, Father Gamber, Michael Davies, Tito Casini, and so many, many others (priests, laymen and laywomen- God knows their names!), each of whom placed his own brick, large or small, in the great dam built for decades against the tumultuous tides of the late twentieth century. Thank you, thank you, thank you dearly! The heat of the battle has caused so much personal attrition, exaggerations, and misunderstandings... Yet, justice cannot be denied: gratitude is owed to those who did not live to see, on this earth, the glorious date of July 7, 2007.

[2011 note: it was impossible not to think of the miracle of Summorum Pontificum when considering the text of the first lesson for this Thursday's Matins, in the Roman Breviary, used as the verses of our header above. As Jonathan prepares to fight, in a sort of guerrilla and with no previous knowledge of his father (King Saul), the Philistines encamped around Machmas (Michmash), near Gabaa (Geba), where the Hebrew encampment was, he tells his armor-bearer: "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be the Lord will do for us, because it is not difficult for the Lord to save, either by many, or by few" (I Kings/I Samuel xiv, 9). So very few were left, and so many great things did they do - they saved the Traditional Roman Rite and Sacraments, in the most difficult of times, when, as the Pope himself said last week, "the boat of the Lord seemed filled with water, almost near collapse". They did so out of pure love for God and His Church, when almost all stood by or had joined the Philistines, preserving these treasures for us, and for our posterity: may their names and struggles never be forgotten. Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.]