Rorate Caeli

Editorial note: Assisi Ignored

It is apparently true: as one commentator noticed in his own country, other than in some Italian dailies (and RAI, the Italian State network, that helped film it), the Assisi meeting generated only generic notes by news agencies reproduced by national or local papers. In most mainstream sources, it was ignored.

Should this be viewed:

(1) as something good, and perhaps the result of a successful effort to downplay the event?

or (2) as something not particularly good, in the way it feeds the ongoing notion that the Papacy (and all it represents) is becoming increasingly irrelevant (as in the repeated meme that the Vatican now feels as inconsequential as the Republic of Venice right before its fall to Napoleonic troops)?

Regardless of anything said or done in Assisi yesterday, events such as the one that took place there tend to be portrayed or seen in the secularized world as confirming what they see as the irrelevance and empty self-importance of faith in general - for many adult men and women, an assembly of religious leaders may look more purposelessly pathetic or pity-inducing than inspiring or scandalous. Perhaps the time has come for the ecclesiastical hierarchy to leave behind some frivolous notions of the second half of the 20th century, including the promotion of an amorphous "peace movement".

[Image: Ludovico Manin, last Doge of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.]


  1. Call me Ishmael8:47 AM

    As a former atheist I can tell you that the whole "(old men) standing together and holding hands while singing and / or talking about peace, peace, peace" made me puke back then. It's just pathetic. Of course, it makes my convulsions even worse these days when I see the Vicar of the Christ being part of it.

    I didn't want to be flattered and have my *beep* kissed, I wanted to be slapped in the face hard by some truth (that doesn't mean shouted like a televangelist, but calmly and without a doubt), by someone who, with NO excuses, proclaimed the gospel to me (and the rational arguments for Gods' existence). A large part was because of beauty. I believe in the beautiful and the ugly, I believe that it is an objective value. Art, or music are examples. Which is that objective value? God. God who is Christ. Shame that beauty is nowhere to be found in modern churches. But this is not the subject of this post.

    I did not convert because of sing-songs. I converted because of the examples of the saints and martyrs, because of their sacrifice and witness of the faith. Because of its strength and boldness in standing in opposition to the world. Then I discovered the modern church... Assisi and all other modernist outbursts scandalize me something terrible and I daily have to fight the my want of claiming the see is vacant which would, seemingly, "solve all problems."

  2. Ferraiuolo9:35 AM

    It felt as if the Holy Father was just calling those individual leaders to have a commitment to peace. The impression was not that His Holiness was calling to them to profess this to the faithful or anything.

    In all, it was a useless thing and on the verge of scandalous.

  3. GQRep9:51 AM

    Towards the end of his reign, much of what John Paul II said and did-including trips-was ignored by the world press. It had become so commomplace as to be not worth the effort to cover it. Too boring to mention. The only big news John Paul II got during the last 4-5 years of his reign was his final illness and death. Towards the end of his reign, no one cared about his foreign trips.

    That's why no one covered the Papal event in Assisi. It's 3x now. Maybe if it had been the first, there would have been some coverage. At #3, it's too boring to cover.

    JP II performed the same scripted routine on every one of his foreign trips, met the same groups, etc. So by the end, no one cared.

    Same with this Assisi.

    Photo wise at least, it was as bad as traditional Catholics thought it would be.

  4. Prof. Basto10:23 AM

    Hypothesis number 2 is indeed possible. And, although the Church universal and the See of Peter are covered by the Lord's promise that they will endure until the end of time, the gates of hell not prevailing against them, the apparatus of authority surrounding and protecting the Holy See from harrasment can indeed diminush greatly: as we know, the Church existed in many different situations in the course of history. It existed when it was forced to preach in the catacombs, and it may be forced into a similar situation again in the future, without that being a break of the Lord's promise.

    The Papal States have gone, from 1870 to 1929 no Pontifical state existed, and one day the State of Vatican City can cease to exist, too, and that would put the Papacy under terrible conditions and under a grave risk of constant harrasment, but still it would not mean the end of the See of Peter.

    The more general question that could be asked is: why is the Lord allowing all this to happen? Why the permission for a Pontificate as disastrous as that of Paul VI? In several respects and in several quarers, the Church indeed seems like the "oak tree that is becoming an acorn again", as was mentioned here in Rorate Caeli in a recent article about the horror of the Church's current praxis towards the Most Holy Eucharist. In several fields of ecclesiastical life, there is indeed a regression, like the regression of an oak tree back into an acorn.

    In the Eucharistic field, the most important of all, this phenomenon is the of Church's own doing: it was She who removed the genuflections; who published a Missal without a section on defects; who prescribed standing as a posture for the Canon and for reception of Holy Communion instead of kneeling; it was She who allowed laymen to touch the Sacred Vessels and even the Sacred Host; it was She who stopped worrying about crumbs of the Sacred Species when several practices of care surrounding the distribution of the Eucharist were removed; it was She who did away with altar rails and traditional pews with kneelers, replacing them with normal chairs even in the papal basilicas; it was she who removed the tabernacle to side chapels, so that the Lord is no longer front and center, and so that people now forget Him even when in a church, and talk aloud in churches, contrary to centuries of devout silence.

    In like fashion, to what extent the current "diplomatic irrelevance" of the Holy See, and even the whole phenomenon of secularization in the West, is not a consequence of the Church's own actions and omissions, since the Second Vatican Council?

    To what extent the "irrelevance" of the Church is not a direct consequence of Her abandonment of a solemn and clear teaching mode? Of a paralysis of the Teaching Church?

    (to be continued)

  5. Prof. Basto10:24 AM


    If the "aggiornamento" of the Church was meant to bring the Church into harmony with the times, with the "modern world", then secularization is the ultimate proof that this goal was attained: the values of the saeculum now prevail over the values of the Church.

    By adopting a teaching language that is now very nuanced and unclear, and that fails to condemn errors in a straightforward way, a teaching language that differs from centuries of tradition, and by changing its liturgical praxis in a way that downplayed fundamental tenets of our faith (the trend of protestantization of Catholic liturgy), the Church now seems indeed irrelevant to the world: She seems to have no unique and unchanging message, but a changing message that can be dictated by policy. She is no longer a respected bastion, but instead the world now constantly pressures her into denying or downplaying certain Truths. Nowadays, even when in timid and sporadic displays of solemn teacing, She says that certain things are irreformable, she is not given credit.

    The question then becomes: after the last 40 to 50 years, can the Church avoid this trend of irrelevance? What must She do to become a relevant voice again, a voice that is heard in awe even by her enemies? Surely not pathetic spectacles such as Assisi III. Surely not the promulgation of pathetic documents such as the recent one on finance, or the "Then commandments of the road". Even the Papal Magisterium now has irrelevant documents, such as Porta Fidei, an Apostolic Letter that contains a paragraph (number 5, if I recall correcly), that is so aburd in its praise of the "fruits" of the Council of the Debalce that it invites the reader to ignore that paragraph and perhaps the whole document as the product of internal political rivalries between liberals and nonliberals.

    A revival of the splendour of the Church depends on Her embracing Sacred Tradition once again. Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI before 1929 and Pius IX after 1870. They were Sovereigns neither of the Papal States, nor of Vatican City State. But they were giants, they were respected, they were heard.

  6. Prof. Bastro,
    I would add that we Catholics can not go along with these 'changes' in the name of obedience. No. The current Pope allows abuse but that does not let us off the hook. We have a duty to uphold the truth even if we pay the ultimate price.

  7. Anonymous11:55 AM

    Probably more number 2.

  8. William Phelan11:56 AM

    Congratulations to you NC, Prof. Bastro and all the contributors. We have been living through the Third Secret of Fatima which was to be released, as you recall, no later than 1960, BEFORE Vatican II. It is important to recall that apologetics and scholastic philosophy have been dropped from the curriculum of our schools. There is NO CORRECT ANSWER! The question always comes down to: HOW DO YOU FEEL about this or that. We have been in an FSSP chapel for a dozen years and I can assure you, there is no other Church. You did not see the SSPX, FSSP, or the Institute of Christ the King at Assisi, did you? Take heart! Christ and His Mother reward those who are faithful to them.

  9. Athanasius12:05 PM

    I think its good for people of good will to come together to discuss differences and dispell misunderstandings. After all, that's how we build respect. For example, yesterday I had an interesting discussion with a Pentecostal co-worker who accused Catholics of worshipping Mary. The conversation that we had helped him understand the true Catholic position on the Blessed Virgin Mary. That reasoned and polite discussion helped him understand the orthodox position, and it helped me understand his reservations about veneration of Our Lady (and gave me insights into how to reach him and other like minded people). I think he also left with a deeper respect for Catholics...the beginning of conversion. So, dialogue and discussion is not a bad thing.

    That being said, these public events seems motivated by spectacle, political correctness and a desire to appear relevant. I watched some of it on EWTN and I have to say it was horrible to watch. It was boring and the participants looked bored to tears. The "liturgy" looked decidely pagan as it seemed to worship humanistic concepts of "peace" and "harmony" over the living God...the source of all true peace and goodwill among men.

    Living Catholic orthodoxy in a radical, authentic, kind and reasoned way will bring more peace to the world than a million conferences. Lets pray the smaller meetings among the participants will bear some fruit.

    One final note on relevancy. Who cares if we are relevant to a world that rejects the Gospel. Authenticity is far more important. The moment we want to be relevant to the secular world is the moment we let them determine the standard of truth and reality. No, brothers. The truth is always relevant and Christian souls and men of goodwill will always recognise that. We should worry about what God thinks, not the world. In short, I don't care what the press thinks about the Vatican.

  10. Margaret12:20 PM

    If they truly want peace . . . consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart as our Lady requested in Fatima . . . is it really that hard to connect the dots? Things like Assisi will bring God's judgement and condemnation. What blindness, what arrogance to think peace will come from man! Viva Cristo Rey, Margaret

  11. In view of the torrent of scandals attached to this and the previous papacy it is scarcely surprising that many people have had enough of The New Catholic Church.
    The post-conciliar papacies have done their utmost to nullify the traditional teaching that The Roman Catholic Church is the sole means for salvation; all other religions have their merits and are possible media for truth; it is fine to attend the services of most religions since this propagates ecumenical and inter-religious "dialogue" and "understanding", while it is possible to cover up all type of criminal behaviour of priests and bishops for as long as possible because it serves personal and corporate interests.
    If the modernist church of the post-conciliar papacies is to sink much lower than it has already liturgically, pastorally and in its chief indicators then one shudders as to what is still to transpire. They have brought this situation upon themselves and make themselves increasingly irrelevant thereby.

  12. Thanks to all those who have commented so far - great insights. Frankly, the more Assisi is ignored, the better. When it is remembered, it should be with reparations, as the SSPX have done.

  13. It was both! 1 and 2, for the very reasons mentioned by different people here already. I too was an atheist once, and I too found all this sort of nonsense to be proof that religion would disappear off the face of the earth soon, leaving us to finally get some good, secular work done in the world. Thank God I also found beauty and truth. Probably this will be the last Assisi with a pope present. He has a good excuse not to go now. One other thing: it is also perhaps a sign that the old generation of creative VII fogies are dying out, retiring out, and leaving the scene. In a sense, Assisi got more publicity from protesting Trads than anywhere else.

  14. CredoUtIntelligam2:02 PM

    I live in the United States and so I can speak only concerning media coverage here, so I would be interested in other readers' reaction to the following observation:

    There is a striking contrast in the media coverage of Assisi III (almost none) and that given to the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice's document endorsing a world government and world central bank. I had an otherwise anti-Catholic "progressive" acquaintance ecstatically post the "Vatican" endorsement of global authority on her Facebook page.

    I think this disparity of coverage supports New Catholic's second interpretation of the silence on Assisi III--the Church is irrelevant. The Church is always seen as "catching up" to the modern progressive agenda. Assisi I was relevant at the time because it showed the Church was "making progress" in acknowledging other religions. It's old news now.

    Endorsing a (secular) global political and financial authority is new and relevant because it shows the Church is "making progress" on yet another issue.

    But all of this shows the Church is irrelevant because it makes "positive" news only when it ratifies something secular, progressive societies already acknowledge.

  15. Athanasius, you are right, Christians must not care about what the world thinks about them.

    However, being ignored is probably not the aim of hundreds of religious "leaders" assembled in a meeting.

    To be ignored and considered absolutely irrelevant is, moreover, not a very good sign for the Church in her mission of saving souls. On the contrary, the Church has actually been a thorn on the side of the world, because, in preaching her mission, her word is folly and is scandal.

  16. M. A.2:09 PM

    Looking at pictures of the participants, they, indeed, looked to be without purpose and pity-inducing.

    The Apostles of Jesus Christ, however, did have a purpose - that of transmitting the entire, uncorrupted deposit of the Faith to all souls.

    St. John states it this way:

    “Whatsoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God – If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, and say not to him, God speed you; for he that saith to him, God speed you, communicate with his wicked works, “ 2 John 1:9-11."

    As Ishmael says, slap 'em hard with the Truth as did the Apostles. It's the most charitable thing to do.

  17. Ignoring the whole thing is for the best.

  18. J. G. Ratkaj2:23 PM

    To be fair, even in the horrendous times of the abducted but heroic pontificates of Pius VI Braschi and Pius VII Chiaramonti of blessed memory, the papacy enjoyed more esteem and regard across europe. But it is not the world or secular media to be blamed for the ongoing decline of catholic christendom. The postconciliar papacies have de facto deprived the significance and high dignity of the apostolic office given to them by themselves. Yesterday's pictures of His Holiness on a par with pagans and this chief druid in Albion in his violet masquerade habit speaks volumes.

  19. Henry2:31 PM

    Prof. Basto,

    Thanks for an extraordinary summary of what the Church has done to herself in the past forty years.

    "The more general question that could be asked is: why is the Lord allowing all this to happen? Why the permission for a Pontificate as disastrous as that of Paul VI?"

    But what could be a serious answer to this question? (Other than some evasion like ... Why did God allow Hitler and Stalin?)

  20. SkinnyBaldGuy3:11 PM

    If the Church must indeed mystically suffer in the footsteps of Christ, then may this Assisi event be the third and final public denial of Peter so that he may repent. The Apostles have already fled the garden, Christ has been betrayed, the jews have interrogated Christ, Pilate has spoken (the heathen world)or soon will - it is time for the scourging.

    Watch and pray.

  21. SolExsolitaEst3:12 PM

    it's just not news anymore. It's old and tired.

  22. Oh, I don't know.

    This Pope has shown an ability to generate lots of headlines on more than one occasion.

    I'm not displeased that *this* occasion ended up low profile. The next best thing to having it not take place at all, I suppose.

  23. LoganE3:30 PM

    The angels' song to the shephers on the fields of Bethlehem . . . "Peace on earth to men of good will" . . . could have been the theme proposed for the inter-religious gathering at Assisi and might have attenuated the scandal of indifferentism.

    The peace that the angels sang belonged uniquely to the earth as a result of the birth of Christ and therefore is not a generic, world wide peace (nor a political peace as was suggested by HH Benedict XVI in reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s), but rather a peace limited only to those who obtain favor with God by believing in His Son Jesus + Christ (Romans 5:l).

    Since the vast number of those officially present at the Assisi III gathering representing various religious persuasions does not and continues to refuse to acknowledge and profess publically Christ to be the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father, then it follows that God's good pleaseure cannot collectively rest upon them.

    Assisi III only served to highlight the decline of apostolic zeal & missionary spirit that once characterized the Catholic Church.

  24. Patrick3:52 PM

    What to say? I suppose it is undestandable that the whole extravaganza had a distinctly Italian flavor to it with the saccarine music, silly oil lamps being paraded around, stiff masters of ceremonies and World Youth Day thralls. What I don't understand is why all the time and expense went to this vacuous, trite, solemn enshrinement of platitudes unless the Franciscan Order lobbied for it again. I did find the ending visit to the tomb of St. Francis humorously reminiscent of a scene from Versailles where Louis XIV was followed by the stampede of the whole court bumping into each other jockying for a favored location near the Sun King. On the other hand it also looked liked rush hour in the NYC subway. At least that was entertaining as all the exotics rushed by. It was noteworthy that the "Representative of the Yaruba Religion" (i.e., Voodoo) was seated one down from His Holiness. I still don't know who or what the gentleman in white with the tall chef's hat with a green band was. A Dervish? A Shaman? Any guesses?

  25. Delphina4:25 PM

    Call Me Ishmael

    I fight the same temptation on a daily basis. You are not alone.


  26. George4:41 PM

    I attended recently the "celebration of life" funeral of a man who had been raised in the pre-Vatican II Church.

    He had ceased assisting at Mass long ago.

    His children, who range in age from 35 to 50, abandonded the Church years ago.

    The man's nieces and nephews, who were raised as Catholics, adandonded the Church years ago.

    Nobody in the man's once Catholic family has any use for Holy Mother Church.

    The situation in regard to their abandonment of the Church is unbelievable.

    But the Catholic Religion ceased to mean anything to them.

    We known that the dropout rate among Catholics from the Church is staggering.

    In light of that, one would have thought that Pope Benedict XVI would have conducted a dramatic event — a train ride with Churchmen to Assisi to offer the TLM.

    That event would have received tremendous media coverage.

    The great signal from the Pope that it was time to return to the TLM would have been sent to the world.

    Instead, we were given silly, boring, inconsequential Assisi III.

    Well, there was one moment of consequence — dire consequence — at Assisi III.


    "Standing on the altar of St. Mary of the Angels basilica, Wande Abimbola of Nigeria, representing Africa's traditional Yoruba religion, sang a prayer and shook a percussion instrument as he told the delegates that peace can only come with greater respect for indigenous religions.

    "We must always remember that our own religion, along with the religions practiced by other people, are valid and precious in the eyes of the Almighty, who created all of us with such plural and different ways of life and belief systems," he said.

  27. I believe there is an additional vector to this gathering being ignored than simply whether the Papacy and Church in general have lost influence.

    It is clear that the Church has lost influence globally even over the past 8 years since Assisi 2, largely due to the proliferating cases of sxl abuse. Ireland is a case in point. The legalization of divorce in the most Catholic of nations, Malta, earlier this year is symptomatic of this also.

    However, the media would typically jump on any event that would re-inforce their freemasonic view of religious indifferentism and the question therefore must cause us to consider a different cause for their ignoring this event.

    Of course, we're all fairly insignificant commentators on big world events, and I have no illusions that my theory has to be the single and only correct one.

    But I have a sense that the big religion news of the year and next year, the one that the media is dead set against is any potential reunion between the Vatican and the SSPX - or perhaps more high level - the general tranding of the Vatican towards its ancient tradition and away from the novelties of post-Vatican 2 Catholicism which endeared Pope John Paul 2 to paparazzi the world over.

    I believe that the reaction to lifting of the excommunications against the SSPX bishops gave us a preview of the venom that lurks in the media, and in their allies within the episcopacy in general. Bishops openly came and condemned Pope Benedict XVI for his act towards the SSPX even before Bp Williamson expressed his Holocaust-denial views. Of course, the latter fed fuel to the fire but the very move to reconcile with Tradition is what had the media up in arms. At that time On CBC radio in Canada, I listened to O'Brien and 2 other pseudo-Catholic heretics spew all kinds of stuff against the notion of restoring the Traditional Mass and reunion with the SSPX - I remember the disdain of these pseudo-Catholics that "Traditionalists are stuck in the 19th century". And we know the misguided concerns of Judaism in general with regads to the Traditional Good Friday prayers.

    My view here is that the media is ignoring Assisi because they do not want to promote any image of the Pope as a "liberal", "open minded" and "religiously tolerant or indifferent" because it works against their plan to maul him once the expected SSPX-Vatican reconciliation actually takes place. When that happens, my prediction is that the Pope himself will be labelled as anti-semitic and all the old calumnies about his enrollment (albeit forced) in the Hitler youth will take centre stage. The media, and I venture, many liberal bishops are waiting for that moment and they will be merciless towards Benedict.

    I take this lack of media attention on Assisi as a kind of empirical evidence that the sharks smell blood which for traditionalists may be a positive - the sense that the reconciliation is expected soon by our enemies. Add this to the levels of desperation among liberal prelates that has reached new abysses in recent months - the "declaration of disobedience" by 400 Austrian priests, the refusal of several German bishops to shake the Pope's hand during his recent visit to Germany, the active disobedience against SP of several bishops globally, the betrayal of the Anglican-cum-Catholic community that has just returned at the hands of Toronto's Archbishop etc etc.

    So in sum my conclusion is that media's ignoring of this event is a sign that they do not want to present the Pope in any positive light (positive by the world's standards), and that in itself - at least to me- is a blessing because it tells me that perhaps underlying this is a knowledge by our enemies of something truly good that may be afoot.

  28. Pope Benedict XVI declared in 2009 that "in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel."

    As the Catholic Church continues to collapse throughout the world, the void left by the Church will, at best, be filled by false religions, which would mean the relatively slow death of society and at worst, by God-hating secularists, which would mean the rapid death of society.

    The rise of false religions would, at best, cover society with the veneer of morality.

    But beneath the surface, false teachings would lead eventually to the collapse of society.

    That is why I'm shocked that Pope Benedict XVI believes strongly that the false religions at Assisi III could possibly help to bring peace to the world.

    The Church is dying, but we stop to promote Rowan Williams and Wande Abimbola, a native African medicine man and pagan priest who shook a rattle carved from an animal as he chanted a hymn to the deity of Olokun.



  29. The Peace of the World, and the Peace of Christ are two very different things. The two are not equivalent, and the former depends completely on the latter. What about that is so very difficult for clerics to understand?

  30. Edward6:08 PM

    "...the refusal of several German bishops to shake the Pope's hand during his recent visit to Germany..."

    For what it's worth, Father Zulhsdorf offered the following explanation of that incident:

    "The Pope is NOT being snubbed. He may be introducing people to the German President.

    "Some shake the Pope’s hand, others don’t. It isn’t a snub.

    "The men who don’t shake the Pope’s hand are close collaborators and his friends.

    "For example, you see Card. Brandmüller, a good friend of the Pope.

    "There is Bp. Josef Clemens, the Pope’s former personal secretary and now Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Laity.

    "There is Msgr. Guido Marini and the rest of the papal MCs.

    "On the other hand, Card. Kasper did move to shake the Pope’s robotically outstretched hand.

    "So does the Archbp. Woelki of Berlin, who doesn’t see the Pope all the time and who hasn’t been a close collaborator.

    Poor Pope Benedict. Imagine how much of this he must endure. His collaborators spare his sore hand.

    "Also, many people think that a handshake is NOT the best way to honor the Vicar of Christ."


  31. Delphina7:09 PM

    Tom, you're shocked? I'm not shocked at all. The Church has made Herself irrelevant. She traded her rich Tradition for tinsel in hopes that the world would smile upon Her.

    The Church created the mess She is in.

    I feel the void also and sometimes am at a loss as to how to fill it, since Heaven seems to have a deaf ear to my cries.

    God have mercy on us all! Am I the only one who wonders how much more of the nonsense she can take?


  32. Delphina7:12 PM

    Peace Peace Peace Peace

    How can we have any peace when humanity is basically flawed? There will never be that kind of peace in this world no matter how many Assisi's occur. How utopian! Doesn't the Vicar of Christ know this?


  33. I think MKT makes a very good point. Besides, Benedict's speech was quite good. Especially, if looked from the point of Tradition. :) Just think, If one is to purify ones religion and to seek the truth, he eventually should come to the one true religion, which is, as we all know on this blog, the Catholic Faith. Ergo, ... :)

  34. Besides, it is really good from the point of view of downlaying this and the like events. Because the teams with Focolare or Saint Egidio and similar backgrounds are still imagining the the Evangelization should be made via the "big" events, the ones that were made during the pontificate of blessed John Paull II. They had there significance, but it is over. Besides, to proclaim the word of Christ, one should speak from heart to heart, to open heart to the Holy Spirit. That is, something, that hardly can be present in "big" events. These guys don't want to get it, therefore, such ignorances does really make quite a good job to put on the ground those "over-optimistical" "professional" catholics. However, I am afraid, that more downplays will be necessary until they wake up, if the do ever, of course :)

  35. Melchior Cano7:49 PM

    Firstly, it seems the great trouble really boils down to this: There is no true peace without the Prince of Peace. As Pope Pius XI stated (and I'm paraphrasing) peace, in the Christian sense, it not merely the absence of violence and hatred; it is truly a positive thing; not a mere negation.

    To those of you daily tempted to become sedevacantists: Grow up. Things are bad, things are worse than they've ever been before, and yes, Churchmen in the highest offices give scandal to the Faith and impede conversions. That being said, this isn't cause for a temptation to sedevacantism, and sometimes it seems that those who claim that temptation are simply trying to find words to express their outrage, scandal, and weariness with Vatican II and the post-conciliar weirdness. Let's try to be more precise rather than finding the most extreme thing to say.

  36. P.KT.P.8:06 PM

    Two news items for Rorate Cœli to consider:

    First, this morning, Cardinal Levada had an audience with the Pope. While I hope the subject was how to get the Cardinal out of the C.D.F. yesterday (even sooner), the more likely subject was the S.S.P.X, which has apparently refused the Preamble and called for public reparation for the Assisi abomination of yesterday. I'm guessing that the carrot in Rome's document was a juridical structure, meaning something other than the rightly-hated personal prelature. Now cometh the stick. But it might be a cardboard stick: made to look bad to appease the whining liberal brats but actually a gift in disguise. We shall see.

    The other item is posted over at The Anglo-Catholic site. Bishops Mercer and Moyer have finally decided to begin the process of bringing the English TAC (T.T.A.C.) into the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. They are meeting with Bishop Alan Hopes and Msgr. Newton to arrange matters. But according to Msgr. Burnham of that Ordinariate, the Mass text FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS will be the noxious Novus Ordo lemon, that killer of church attendance and vocations, a 'liturgy' that is Protestant in implication and Protestant in spirit. How ironic: they have rejected the Protestantism of Cranmer only to embrace the more virulent Protestantism of Annibale Bugnini. Let us pray that the TAC men will be given full permission to use the 1962 Missal in Latin or the Sarum Use or the text they submitted to Rome at Pentecost of 2010. They'd be much better off using the Armenian Divine Liturgy and saying it in Chinese than adopting the balloon Mass of 1970, complete with the Star Wars 'vestments' for the servers.


  37. Delphina8:09 PM

    Wow! Melchior!

    You're a real soul winner for the Church! Very warm and charitable!

    Please don't make assumptions. You know nothing about me and what I have been through for the Church.


  38. John McFarland8:51 PM

    Those who say the the Church has made herself irrelevant are, of course, 100% right.

    All the world is prepared to offer her is an occasional derisive smile.

    After Communism collapsed and Pope John Paul ceased to be useful as a conduit for American anti-Communist money, the Church no longer had any usefulness for the world.

    It has been kicked to the side of the road, and receives no more than the occasional derisive smile.

    The current Holy Father is so irrelevant that even the irrelevancies of the German hierarchy feel free to abuse him.

    We have been brought very low.

    But as in the times of Elias, the Lord has kept to himself seven thousand who have not bent the knee to Ba'al. Since we live in times as bad as those of any of the prophets, we must believe and think and act like the prophets of the worst times, and like Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth.

  39. People that are ignoring the great entertainment put on by the Vatican at Assisi:


  40. I hate to say it but sometimes I cannot help wondering if the Holy Father is trying to emulate John Paul II's theatrics in hopes of sparking the same "sainthood now" cries when it's his time to pass the torch.

  41. While the Sovereign Pontiff was in Assisi, more than 200 Catholics have been arrested in Paris this week, defending Christ and His honour.

  42. "...may look more purposelessly pathetic or pity-inducing than inspiring..."

    That is very astute.

    Vatican II, in trying to make the Church more appealing to the modern world, actually made the Church less relevant. The world, if inclined by Grace and the free acceptance of Grace, only loves strength, beauty and love.

    Vatican II made the Church seem flimsy and accommodating by seeming to embrace every false religion as part of the True Religion.

    This gave the impression that every religion is salvific. Feeney is to be praised for his resistance to this, whether you agree with his strict interpretation of extra ecclesiam or not...

  43. Peterman11:46 PM

    You can't make the Church one with the World, it just isn't going to work. Fight the world, go against the grain and every newspaper on the planet would have the story front page.

  44. Delphina said:

    "I feel the void also and sometimes am at a loss as to how to fill it, since Heaven seems to have a deaf ear to my cries."

    I just went and sat for an hour with Jesus in the Tabernacle yesterday to pray and make reparation for the bad examples of our Hierarchy.

  45. Vincent Segni1:36 AM

    This is exactly right:

    “...the irrelevance and empty self-importance of faith in general - for many adult men and women, an assembly of religious leaders may look more purposelessly pathetic or pity-inducing than inspiring or scandalous.”

    There is an existential emptiness, a been-there, done-that feeling. What was shocking, risky and trendy in the 60s, 70s and 1986 is, in our post-modern era, worthy only of a shrug.

    The world seems to say, ‘So you are throwing away your heritage? What else is new?’

  46. Barbara6:18 AM

    Dear Mr. Mc Farland,

    Your wrote: " It (the Church) has been kicked to the side of the road, and receives no more than the occasional derisive smile.

    The current Holy Father is so irrelevant that even the irrelevancies of the German hierarchy feel free to abuse him."

    With all due respect (for I like many of your posts) these statements are too drastic, sweeping and misleading and that Pope Benedict ,(especially The Divine Person he represents), still disturbs a lot of people - here in Italy, at least. I should have to back up what I have written, but I have to go to work now...

    Buona giornata!

    p.s. I agree that the Assisi event has done nothing for the Faith, and is embarrassing - and worse...

  47. barbara6:35 AM

    The Church , The Mystical Body of Christ, is not and cannot, by Her very nature, be irrelevant. Neither will Our Lord's Vicar ever be so.....


  48. I really don't get the whole purpose of these events.

    Ironically, the only people who seem to be paying great attention are the traditionalists. LOL.

    Meanwhile the world goes on...

  49. The question has been asked; "Why does God permit such foolishness?" since it appears to fly in the face of the First Commandment: "I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before me."

    Far be it for me to try and understand why God sometimes writes straight with crooked lines but may I suggest that it is because He knows that until and unless we give up the ways of the world and turn to Him, we shall continue in our wicked ways.

  50. Delphina5:09 PM


    You are to be commended. Some of us, however, do not have either the means to do so, or, if we do, cannot find a Church that is open. So, we do what we can within the confines of our own home.


  51. Delphina said:

    "You are to be commended."

    Not me but the Priests who have sacrifced their lives to gives us Our Lord in the Tabernacle even where they are not welcomed in dioceses.

    "Some of us, however, do not have either the means to do so, or, if we do, cannot find a Church that is open. So, we do what we can within the confines of our own home."

    That's wonderful, Delpina, but remember you can always send your guardian angel to make a Holy Hour before Jesus in the Tabernacle at the Catholic Church of your choice while you pray at home. Everything is possible with God!

  52. Dear New Catholic. I was physically in Yosemite for A3 but mentally, I was crossing The Ponte dei Sospiri whenever I thought of A3.

    Since 1965, I think I am forever crossing over The Ponte dei Sospiri to be chained in the prison of modernism.


    Yeah. But melodrama forever intrudes into the soul of anyone Blessed to visit Venice

  53. Patrick8:23 PM

    "That's wonderful, Delpina, but remember you can always send your guardian angel to make a Holy Hour before Jesus in the Tabernacle at the Catholic Church of your choice while you pray at home. Everything is possible with God!"
    Oh really? And all this time I only thought my Guardian Angel had one duty to guard me,not do my errands. Presumably the angels worship God at his throne in heaven when not accompanying us to Church.

  54. Delphina9:44 PM


    Many diocesan priests suffer in ways you cannot imagine.

    Our Lord is in our Tabernacle too.

  55. Patrick said...

    "Oh really? And all this time I only thought my Guardian Angel had one duty to guard me,not do my errands."

    Worshipping God is not an errand it's a great joy!

    " Presumably the angels worship God at his throne in heaven when not accompanying us to Church."

    Ummm....Patrick, our guardian angels ARE worshipping God in the Tabernacle if we ask them to when we can't make it to a Church and

    then Delphina said:

    "Many diocesan priests suffer in ways you cannot imagine.
    Our Lord is in our Tabernacle too."

    Delphina you had said earlier that you couldn't get to a Church that was even open so you could go before the Tabernacle and that is why I was trying to comfort you by saying that one CAN send their guardian angel to do a Holy Hour and adore God in the Tabernacle for you while you pray at home. I said NOTHING about "your" church not having a Tabernacle. And yes, I have no doubt many priests are suffering in ways I CAN imagine because when one part of the Body of Christ suffers we ALL suffer.

  56. Delphina4:34 PM

    Skirts, thank you for clarifying your post!

    God bless you!!


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