Rorate Caeli

Another traditional funeral Mass denied by a diocese

52 months after the publication of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, and the denial of the Traditional Mass is still common throughout the world - but it can reach levels of cruelty when it is denied to the families of deceased traditional Catholics. We reported such an occasion in September, when the Mass was denied to a family in France, who simply wished to fulfill the last wish of a dear mother. Now, a well-known Italian Catholic writer, Alessandro Gnocchi (whose book with Alessadro Palmaro was recently reviewed by Roberto de Mattei, in an article also published here), describes how the diocese of Bergamo (Lombardy, Italy) denied a funeral Traditional Mass to his family on the occasion of the death of his own father. Please, read the following report carefully.


 Alessandro Gnocchi e Mario Palmaro
The diocese  of Bergamo forbids the celebration of Holy Mass in the Gregorian Rite for the funeral of Alessandro Gnocchi’s father.

What we present here is of a personal nature, but the reader need not fear waves of emotion. The advantage of writing with a partner is that one of us tells what happened and the other gives his opinion on the matter, so that necessary professional detachment is maintained.

The facts
If Guareschi’s Peppone had been here, my father would have completed his last journey with his Mass, the one in Latin embellished by the age-old and splendid Oremus, Dominus vobiscum and Kyrie eleison.  Peppone  was exactly what was needed here, when, ignoring the entire town-hall council, at the very beginning of the Republic, and, as leader of the communists, ordered that the old “maestra”of the town be taken to the cemetery in a coffin covered by the flag which was embroidered with the King’s coat of arms (her last wishes).
Unfortunately, my father was not so lucky to die under the communist administration of Giuseppe Bottazzi. My father died in the “white”1. and Catholic territory of Bergamo in the parish of Sant’Andrea in Villa’Adda. And so he met up with a certain Don Diego, who had no idea what to do when faced with the last wishes of a deceased (parishioner) and his family. That the deceased’s last wishes were legitimate and sustained by a Motu Proprio from the Holy Father counted for less than nothing.  Yet, the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” which is now as well-known as its non-application, in article 5, paragraph 3, is very clear:  

“For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.”
          To be honest, it should be said, that the parish priest could not have been touched by the Holy Father’s document, given that he candidly confessed that he had no knowledge of it.  Furthermore, he was not only unaware of the applicatory text of the Motu Proprio, but also of the instructions in “Universae Ecclesiae” which states that in similar cases the parish priest is invited to let himself be “motivated by pastoral zeal and a spirit of generous welcome.”
           It was all in vain: “They told me in the curia…” was the recurring theme of the discussions with Don Diego. These priests fill their heads and mouths with words such as “freedom” and “autonomy”, and they are not even capable of opposing the manifest abuse of power coming from the top, because: “they told me in the curia.” They fill their heads and mouths with words like “freedom” and “autonomy”, disparaging a past, according to them, which was too domineering and clerical.  They, then, lend themselves to trampling on the last wishes of a dead man and his family which are also those of the Church and the Holy Father, all because of:  “they told me in the curia…”
          For too long in the diocese of Bergamo, as it is in the majority of the dioceses of the Catholic World, it is the nearest authority that commands, despotically, threatening to intervene directly on people and thus scaring them. Rome, which is the ultimate authority, counts for nothing. From Bergamo to St. Peter’s Square it takes an hour by air and half an hour by taxi, but it seems like Rome is on another planet. Bishop Francesco, or whoever, on his behalf, dictates their desires in open contrast to the Holy Father’s and do not fear (any repercussions).
So, also in this “white” territory of Bergamo, the parish priest receives a request from some of his parishioners, he refers it to the Vicar General, who then confers with who he considers appropriate, then in the name of and on behalf of the Bishop decides what action to take and the parish priest carries it out. And if you point out the evident injustice of what the said executor is doing, the usual explanation surfaces again: “But they told me in the Curia…”
The opposite would have been too much of a miracle. And yet, Don Diego, at our first meeting, had expressed considerations of absolute common sense and natural humanity: “I think that in the case of death and a funeral there shouldn’t be any problems.” But when the problems arose in all their clarity, he attempted to clothe the abuse of power with the theological notions that were put into his head in the seminary, sustaining verbatim the following thesis: “ If it had been the request, for example, for the Byzantine Rite, in virtue of ecumenism, it would have been alright. For in that case, you with your rite, would have encountered my rite which would have been mutually enriching. But you are asking for a rite of the Catholic Church and because it does not concord with the celebrative form in the community, we can say no.” Regarding this it should be said that the “celebrative form” in the community in question, a propos funerals, reaches its highest heights with the execution  of “There is a green meadow, where hope is born..” accompanied by guitars.  
Naturally, in all of our conversations with the parish priest, the spirit of Vatican II was hovering above us along with the order to defend it to the bitter end, which has been instilled in the souls of poor priests who have been formed in the past decades: “Because you have to know that Vatican II…” “You wouldn’t want to cast doubts on Vatican II…”, “You must understand that the Church since Vatican II…”, etc., etc.,
All that we understood from the rambling speech on Vatican II, was, that my father, in the name of that aforesaid Council, would not have obtained what was his sacred right to have. Poor father was too Catholic to profit from the extenuating generic foresights of ecumenism, of which, at any rate, he would have wanted no part of - and rightly so.
The true  pastoral motive for the prohibition was explained very well by Don Diego: “If that Mass is permitted here, we would then need to allow it in other places.”  In other words, contagion must be avoided.  My father, even if he did not make his last journey  with his Mass, continues to be contagious: his name is Vittorino Gnocchi and I am proud of him.

The opinions
To go against the last wishes of a deceased person is an act that requires very strong arguments. It can be done if the dead person has asked for impossible or odd things, or improper things or things against the law.  An objective reason is always required to betray the deceased’s expectations, a reason that is a shield against suspicions of implementing an irreversible and particularly odious abuse of power:  that of the living taking advantage of the dead. In fact, the de cuius cannot defend himself, cannot resort to appeal, cannot ask for help. This is enough to explain why usually last wishes are carried out with meticulous faithfulness: they are sacred.
Now, this is about trying to understand if a Catholic who requests a funeral in the Old Rite, is expecting something which is impossible, or odd, or improper or against the law. The answer is very simple: the Pope happily and laboriously reigning, wrote of his own initiative, in total freedom and in full possession of his mental faculties, that a Catholic can indeed, request and obtain a funeral rite that is still fully legitimate in the Church and has been used to accompany millions of the faithful to holy ground for hundreds of years. The Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, leaves no room for any interpretation to the contrary. From the point of view of Catholic canon law, it is difficult to understand how it is possible  to refuse such a request, above all, when it is perfectly possible to fulfill it. In this specific case, the priest experienced in offering  the Old Rite – and the family members had not expressed even the minimum reserve about the matter, rather they shared in the deceased’s petition.
In this extremely sad story there is a grotesque and paradoxical aspect, which is the contempt shown by the clergy towards the autonomy of the individual. Since 2008, the Italian Episcopal Conference "has opened the door” – through the voice of its president – to the so-called “Dichiarazione Anticipate di Trattamento”  now the famous DAT: a written document in which a person says which medical treatment they intend or do not intend to receive should they fall into a state of unconsciousness. Neither we nor the director of this newspaper like DAT, because it offers a comfortable slippery-slope to the culture of euthanasia. However , the “turnabout” of the Cei on DAT aids us in our reasoning here. It shows that in contemporary culture, everyone - including the Church – recognize a very important value in the last wishes expressed by every single person. These last wishes cannot be arbitrary, but if they are in conformity with the good, they have to be complied with.
          The  paradox of the “Gnocchi case” rests in this fact: if a member of the faithful, asks through his son, for a funeral according to the Tridentine Rite, it is not granted. Instead, if  he draws up the DAT, perhaps refusing certain medical treatments, he acts in conformity with The Italian Episcopal Conference. What must a Catholic do, then, to obtain what the Pope has established as his (sacred) right? Maybe he has to ask for a funeral in the Old Rite by drafting a DAT and delivering it to the parish priest while he is still able to do so.
In the “Gnocchi case” there was an abuse of power. But, for what reason? Nothing personal: there was no intention of harming the person deceased and his family. The point is another: resisting the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, obstructing the Old Rite in every way. In this, as in many other cases, you hit one, to teach a hundred. What frightens many in a certain Catholic environment, is not the sporadic celebration of  the Mass of Pius V. In the end, it could be tolerated as a folkloristic manifestation of slightly snobbish impoverished nobles and old ladies veiled in black. The concern is of a different nature:  by allowing one individual case, the practice would spread. And at that point, not Signor Vittorino Gnocchi from Villa d’Adda, but tens, hundreds, would put their wishes down in clear letters in their "DAF" ("Dichiariazione Anticipate di Funerali" - Declaration of Funeral Wishes), and parishes and dioceses, out of respect for the faithful departed and to pay homage to the present Pontiff, would be forced to allow the celebration. At this point the contagion would be uncontrollable: other faithful participating at funerals both beautiful and dignified would be struck favourably and would say “I want this too”.  Other faithful, curious about the original liturgical style, would discover the Mass of Pius V and some, perhaps, would begin to attend it. It would be the fulfillment on a planetary scale, of that “democracy of the dead” which G.K. Chesterton referred to, on the grounds that, they, the dead, have also the right to vote when something extremely important must be decided. In other words: a real disaster. A disaster, we mean, from the point of view of those who want to bury the Old Rite forever.
What we have just written does not belong to the literary genre of conspiracy hunting and plots, but springs from the contestations that exist in the Catholic Church from a wide front that has never digested the decisions made by Pope Benedict XVI on the Liturgy. And he does not make a mystery out of it. The Pope always  celebrates the New Rite with a Crucifix and a row of candles. He distributes Holy Communion on the tongue to the faithful kneeling, assisted by altar-servers holding the paten. Well, in almost all of the churches in the world the clergy do exactly the opposite, altars (and churches) without Crucifixes, hosts in the hands of the faithful, kneelers sent to the stake and patens closed away in cupboards. And goodbye to the Supremacy of Peter.
On the Old Mass front, the barricades are even higher and “the friendly fire”- so to speak- is intense and merciless. So much so, that, not a few dioceses feel authorized to act with contempt towards the indications that come from Rome. In the “Gnocchi case” the parish priest received a phone call in good time from Ecclesia Dei, an organism in the Vatican which deals with thorny issues. Once upon a time, they use to say: Roma locuta, causa soluta. But instead, the telephone call from the Vatican was not sufficient to clear away the field of obstacles opposing the celebration of the funeral in the old style: the pastoral reasons, the will of the Episcopal vicar, and on and on with the nit-picking reaching a crescendo much more intricate than the latinorum of Don Abbondio.2. This is where you can see another paradox in  the post –conciliar Church: the dioceses act in a sort of doctrinal and hierarchal semi-federalism where Rome no longer commands and where any priest from the provinces counts more than the Papal Commission Ecclesia Dei.
Consequently it can happen, as it did in Naples a few days before the “Gnocchi case”, that a member of the faithful requested a funeral in the Old Rite and was told that they could not have it because they did not frequent that parish. With that  you could deduce that now the Church is about to exclude all the Catholics from funerals, who in Her unquestionable judgment, She retains to be tepid and non-practicing:  in reality, thanks be to God, this is not the case. Rather, today, the door which welcomes anyone who requests religious funeral rites is opened very wide, in the name of dialogue and tolerance. The only Catholics who appear not to merit such attention are “the Catholics of Pacelli”, those, in short, who love Tradition and would like a funeral in the Mass of All Time.  That is it in a nutshell.

From: Riscossa Cristiana – 17th November 2011 [Contribution and translation: Francesca Romana]

1. “white” here refers to the “white whale” (“balena Bianca” – Christian Democrats)
2. Don Abbondio – character from Manzoni’s “The Bethrothed”


  1. Like good socialists, they suppress that which honors God, and support only that which honors man.

  2. Although, much less severe than a dying wish for a EF funeral Mass. I was denied Confirmation according to the older rite. Not by my pastor, but the bishop. I got over it soon enough. Rightly or wrongly, I came to believe I didn't merit the extra preperation it would take. At least, that is what I told myself to put it out of my mind. The resistance during my RCIA formation to anything having to do with Tradition was great. To the point where my references to the Fathers during discussions were scorned and I was made to feel like an outcast. I havent given up on my parrish because I am young, and I stand as a witness to how the EF has changed my life. Our parrish priest is a good man, and he has been making incremental improvements to the OF and he offers the EF. So, I have hope. I think a lot of the resistance may be fear and lack of training when it comes to things like the funeral Mass. Like being on a stage with a script and no prior rehearsals or without trained servers and schola. But when it comes down to it.... it's easier to intimidate people out of their rights, than to have the courage to allow them to exercise them.

  3. What a bloody disgrace. My sympathies with Alessandro Gnocchi.

  4. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott8:07 PM

    Those who oppose the Mass of All Time should be desposed of forthwith and as for Episcopal Conferences, they should be ignored and fought against with an absolute religious zeal for they are heralds of secularism and thus evil. Any Bishop that refuses the Old Mass but yet consorts with heretics and allows questionable practices that spit on the HOLY FAITH shall have my hatred until their heretical and heterodox views are gone from them. Just gets me so annoyed !!!!

  5. Peterman8:09 PM

    The chastisements just ahead, man made and heaven sent will resolve this. Those that deny Catholics their rights would be wise to repent should they desire to make it through these tough times ahead.

  6. Never Give In8:46 PM

    Recently I had to arrange a funeral for my brother. My parish priest was quite amenable that I brought in a priest to celebate the Requiem but if I had been refused - by whoever - I would have marched up to their door and demanded face-to-face why my request was being refused. I woulddn't have cared who it was, or their rank; I would have been obliged to carry out the instructions given me. Most bullies back down when faced with absolute determination.

  7. Ivan Kamenski9:08 PM

    I still don't understand how traditionalists are expected to trust mainstream bishops, who are so obsessed with the elimination of traditionalism. It's no wonder the SSPX are reluctant to give up autonomy.

  8. Gratias9:32 PM

    Of course Modernist priests fear thousands of traditional Requiem Masses. Even a few will be an important advance. We had two at our Dioscesan TLM community, so we are indeed lucky. The situation in the USA might be better than in Italy.

  9. It is up to the Apostolic See to promote the Traditional Roman Liturgy as mainstream.

    To accomplish the above, the Bishop of Rome must offer the Traditional Roman Liturgy regularly.

    The Pope has not done so.


  10. Scandalous to all Catholics. I will just continue to pray that the Pope takes notice of this and stiffens the penalties for those who disobey the Moto Proprio. All we can continue to do is to pray and continue to request the 62 Form. The 62 Missal and Sacraments have to be more widespread for the people in order to gain the spiritual benefits of attending this Form of Mass. And that has to be fostered and insisited upon by Rome. I am deeply sorry for the family of the deceased as well as the gentleman. What insult has been thrust upon them. It is easy to see how the "soft" language of UE is being brushed aside as non applicable. That being that BOTH forms of the Roman Rite "should" be taught in Seminary Formation. Should...The word "will" is what was necessary for the document to take hold and for families to avoid this sort of nightmare in the future. I can't imagine this family stress. The Holy See has done much, but it is time to do more. And to the Bishops who continually obstruct, just know that you have lost the prayers of many. That is why your Diocease are often in a shambles.

  11. Ligusticus11:14 PM


    "Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the third of thirteen children, was born on November 25, 1881 at Sotto il Monte (Bergamo) of a family of sharecroppers. He attended elementary school in the town, was tutored by a priest of Carvico, and at the age of twelve entered the seminary at Bergamo. A scholarship from the Cerasoli Foundation (1901) enabled him to go on to the Apollinaris in Rome where he studied under (among others) Umberto Benigni, the Church historian. He interrupted his studies for service in the Italian Army but returned to the seminary, completed his work for a doctorate in theology, and was ordained in 1904. Continuing his studies in canon law he was appointed secretary to the new bishop of Bergamo..."

  12. Prof. Basto12:22 AM

    This is indeed a disgrace. The Holy Father should be personnally told of this specific case.

    In an utopian world, justice in this case would be restablished in the following manner: a Funeral for Alessandro Gnocci's father in the Usus Antiquor, celebrated by a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church in the presence of the Holy Father, in the Altar of the Confession of St. Peter's Basilica, with CTV broadcast; the entire Papal Chapel summoned to witness the Mass Coram Summo Pontifice; a formal Notification about the Mass published beforehand in the Daily Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, including the clarification that the Holy Father is having this Mass celebrated at the Vatican as a measure of reparation for the abusive action of a certain priest Don Diego, of the Diocesan Curia of Bergamo and of its Bishop, Mons. Francesco.

    That is it: the rights of this family and of the deceased have been violated in a grotesque manner and in an hour of severe pain and grief, adding to their torment. So, there must be a remedy, and a great remedy. The remedy I propose in the utopian scenario above is one that would send shockwaves across Italy and the World.

    The Don Diegos and the Diocesan Curias would know that they better allow for Extraordinary Form funerals if they do not want to be the reason for a public papal remedial action.

  13. Prof. Basto12:34 AM

    That the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei was involved and that their "advice" or instructions were ignored in indeed one extra revolting aspect of this episode.

    And a sign of the times that we live within the Church: times when the authority of the Holy See is simply ignored by Bishops, local Curias and priests, all in the name of a "pastoral autonomy" that they do not actually have: not when Rome speaks.

  14. My heart goes out to the family.

    A few years ago, my friend was dying of cancer and asked me to arrange a Requiem Mass for her. We hadn't had one in our town for over 40 years! However, I told her not to worry; I would take care of it.

    As her illness quickly progressed, I asked the local priest and he said that it would not be possible, since he didn't want the Christmas decorations disturbed in front of their altar, which looked more like a small forest.

    I cried. I was hurt that her death had to be convenient. I could not tell my dear friend this sad news. After all, she was an advocate for the Tridentine Mass and now she would not have this beautiful Mass for herself.

    All I could do was trust in God's mercy. As Providence would have it, my friend suffered 3 weeks longer and died after the Christmas decorations were taken down. We were then given permission to have a Requiem Mass for her. Deo Gratias!

    Please pray for my dear friend's soul - May she rest in peace.

  15. Alsaticus12:59 AM

    Ironically speaking, I thought the so-awaited Instruction Universae Ecclesiae 2011 was supposed to magically turn neo-modernist, anti-Roman bishops into real episcopi.

    Oh big surprise ... there is no magic, just a forgotten Instruction to be added on the huge pile of Roman Instructions calamitous bishops, appointed under calamitous Curian decisions and procedures under Benedict XVI just as much as under his predecessors, left ignored or openly mocked.

    Once again the key to begin to restore the Church and fight the dereliction is to appoint good, sane Roman-minded bishops. So far the present pope has been avoiding to do so in Europe mainly and so we reap what the Curia has sown.

    We have in France one archbishop and one bishop endorsing and praising a play where the face of Christ is smeared with feces, bombarded with rocks and mocked "you are not my shepherd". BOTH were appointed by pope Benedict XVI.

  16. Dirk M.2:16 AM

    The Holy Father must indeed be informed about this case. This is a real disgrace.

    We have to do something so that these things never happen again. Cant we send a petition to the Holy Father? Then we will be sure it will reach him...

  17. OutsideObserver3:17 AM

    "The situation in the USA might be better than in Italy."

    The situation of the TLM in the USA is far better than anywhere else in the world, if the number of regular Masses and of supportive bishops is the measure. In terms of the proportion of regular Masses to the number of Catholics the best situation is in England and Wales.

  18. OREOMAN4:39 AM

    I asked the local parrish priest when my aunt die, not too wear white vestment (FORGET A TLM). He looked at me as I had TWO HEADS. His only remark to me was, "I DO THAT FOR NO ONE".These modernest clowns will have a lot to answer for, ON their judgement Day.

  19. GQ Rep10:07 AM

    These groups of Catholic Faithful are going about this all wrong.

    According to the statutes of the Motu Proprio, the local Bishop does not need to be requested to allow for the celebration of the Tridentine Latin mass. Obviously, these loser bishops will universally deny the request anyway.

    According to the statutes, faithful need only to ask a priest able and educated the the rubrics to celebrate the Mass for them....end of discussion.

    Going hru the formality of asking the bishop is ridiculous. Most will deny the request.

    It is time for faithful Catholics to repudiate the bishops, bypass them completely, and celebrate the Tridentine Latin Mass with priests able and willing to do so.

    And it would not be rebellious or disobedient, because they would be following the letter of the Motu priorio, not being obedient to the local predjudices of the Bishop.

  20. Bartholomew10:32 AM

    Catholics of tradition simply need to erase any hope that they will be able to live in peace within the post-conciliar Church. Even the so-called "conservative" priests are material Modernists. This is true especially of the younger clergy. It's not entirely their fault: they've grown up in a historical situation where the distinction between Modernism and the everyday life of the Church has been eliminated. Neither are they taught the True Faith in their seminaries.

    The only solution is a separate canonical structure which will permit us to live the liturgical and spiritual life of authentic Catholicism.

  21. GQ Rep1:00 PM

    I;ve been to Mexico, where there are close to a dozen tiny (and a few not so tiny) Catholic towns in the hills were it is almost as if we were back in the 17th century. (Not clothes wise or modern convenience wise, but Spiritually).
    In some of the larger villages, there are at least 2 Churches, and 1-2 monasteries or convents or cloisters of nuns. Also perhaps a school or two. The priests dress in soutanes all the time, friars of many different Orders (little Franciscan branches, a Dominican community, and some habits I never saw before), are constant witnesses to Catholic Faith and tradition. And there are nuns full habit.
    Everyone in each town shares the same deep Catholic Faith and the Tridentine Latin Mass. There are no "conservative vs liberal" Catholic fights in parishes like we have in the USA. These people are fully modern in that they have TV, cars, jobs, appliances...but the difference is they all live together in the community. Everyone believes the same. And there are no other religions there but Catholic. They have their own Bishops too, which is a deeper issue.

    I'm not suggesting that traditional Catholics seperate themselves from the rest of society like these people have done (or be like the Amish in the USA...who are abit too extreme), but perhaps it would not be a bad idea for there to be Traditionalist Catholic "towns" like in Mexico where everyone shares the same Faith, and then goes out into the larger world for their job, shopping, etc.

  22. che vergona2:53 PM

    Sig. Gnocchi:

    Mi dispiace per te e tua famiglia. Gli sacerdoti e vescovi sono proprio ignoranti. Che pecatta che hanno fatti. Preghiamo per l'anima di tuo padre.

  23. The situation literally cries for intervention by the Holy See. Yet, Rome simply ignores the problem with disobedient clergy and bishops while at the same time claiming the SSPX and many independents do not have "canonical status and faculties". One stroke of the pen by BenedictXVI granting full autonomy to the SSXP and like groups would do the trick but, alas, it does not happen.

    But, dear friends, there is a Higher Power who will at His own time render Justice to those who are faithful to Him and at the same time give due recompense to their enemies. The irony of it all is that many of the enemies have canonical status and faculties. This is the diabolical disorientation spoken of by Sr. Lucy. It is the result of the "smoke of Satan" entering the hallowed halls of the Church and the seeming reluctance of the Holy See to get rid of it.

  24. Tempus Fugit3:12 PM

    I had the same problem when my mother passed away 2 years ago. When I was making her funeral arrangements I requested an Extraordinary Form Requiem Mass from my pastor (at a parish in the Archdiocese of NY)I submitted to the pastor the names of 3 priest willing to come to offer the funeral ( so he can personally check their status) the Choir Director , I had altar boys who were trained in the Traditional Mass who would serve, and the local Una Voce would supply the liturgical books , altar cards, and vestments. The pastors answer was "NO"- " That mass is not a good thing to have" but things turned out good for I found a pastor at a parish about 10 miles from my home who said it would be OK to have a requiem at his church.

  25. On All Souls Day 2 years ago, a priest in the diocese of Kansas City, KS needed some servers because no one would serve his Requiem. I was sent down there to help, and there was nobody there besides some old people and two large families. He said, "You know you're doing something right when no one comes to your Mass". He kicked the girls out of the sanctuary, I later heard.
    So it is happening, but not to the extent it should.
    GQ Rep,
    I harldy ever agree with the bishops on the liturgy, but if a bishop forbids something liturgical, to my understanding it stands. But now with Universae Ecclesiae, that shouldn't be happening. I can't tell you what to do if a bishop does ban a Requiem, but the reason Catholics are not respected is because of comments like: "It is time for faithful Catholics to repudiate the bishops, bypass them completely..." Isn't that revolt? How is that faithful? Take away the bishops, and what is the Church?
    My condolences to the family. Requiascat in pace.

  26. Francesca Romana4:10 PM

    An oversight on my part. The orginal article was first published in the newspaper "Il Foglio" of Giuliano Ferrara. This is the newspaper editor that Mr.Palmaro was referring to regarding the DAT from the Italian Episcopal Conference.

    I found the text on Riscossa Cristiana's newsletter,which very happily gave me permission to translate their articles.

    My deepest sympathies go to Mr. Gnocchi and his family - this is a nightmare that no Catholic should have to endure. Totally unacceptable.

    Francesca Romana

  27. Last month a parishioner died and his last wish was to have a Funeral Mass in EF. I told the family that since I don't know how to celebrate Funeral Mass in EF, I asked one of my brother priest in my Archdiocese if he can celebrate the Funeral Mass. When he told me that he is willing to celebrate in EF, I prepared the altar for the EF Mass, also I don't have to ask permission to my bishop.

  28. Dear Fortiter Pugnam:

    I would only remind you that an "unjust law is no law at all." One can carry this "obedience to the Bishop" business only so far. If he is acting with manifest injustice, as in the case we are discussing, then it is perfectly within our rights as Catholics to go over his head.

    And in any case, the recent Instruction, as another responder pointed out, trumps these kinds of actions of disobediant (yes, you read that right) Bishops.

    If a Bishop tells me I am not allowed to do something manifestly against the Faith then I will praise him and obey him; if he refuses me my right to a proper liturgical Rite he can go jump in the lake.

  29. About 7 years ago, we traveled from Colorado to New London, Connecticut for the funeral Mass for my wife's mother who died at age 93. As TLM attendees, we were pleased to hear that the Traditional Requiem Mass would be said for the deceased and that our grandson, the great-grandson of the deceased would be allowed to serve at that Mass (he had been serving the TLM for several years at a so-called "indult Mass" in San Antonio).

    To make a long story short, the Mass was not the TLM but a NO Mass of Resurrection and when I entered the sacristy to give the pastor the stipend for what I though would be the TLM (he actually asked what the stipend was for), it was only then that I found out it would be the NO with our grandson and the deceased's great-grandson relegated to watching from the side with altar girls doing "their thing" and trying to flirt with our grandson at the same time. Our grandson would have no part of their shenanigans. He has been thoroughly trained in the TLM and kept his cool throughout.

    We were flabbergasted and my wife was crushed that her mother was denied the Traditional Requiem Mass. We did the best we could to maintain our composure and not start a family feud but, I'll tell you, it was not easy. I can really emphasize with Alessandro in this matter. When we got back to Colorado and our "sanctuary" from the NO, we realized just how blessed we were to have our little Chapel with five traditional priests fighting the fight for the Traditional Faith and all that it implies. If you're interested, you can find out about them at and actually take a video tour.

  30. "The situation literally cries for intervention by the Holy See. Yet, Rome simply ignores the problem"

    R O F L O L. Just WHEN has Rome intervened in the last decades? Essentially never. A rare theologian has been upbraided and that is it. When people cry, "The Holy Father must be made aware!" they are living in a dreamland. Do you honestly think he does not know this sort of stuff happens?! If they overlook an abuser here and there, do you think they give a rip about one lone unkown's funeral. Really?! The days of ROme intervening died with Vatican II. The Church no longer proclaims or acts, it proposes and pleads. It has for all extents and purposes been emasculated.

  31. Dan,
    I totally agree with you! However, my point was not to go around talking about disobeying one bishop, in case it causes scandal (no, not shock, but bad example) to fellow Catholics and Protestants. But you are right on- once a bishop starts disobeying Church authority, it is hard to trust him on any level. I am very sorry if I was unclear.
    God Bless!

  32. Mortimer7:27 PM

    Why is it that whenever someone violates one's civil rights, no one hesitates to hire a civil attorney, but that when it comes to protecting the rights of the deceased to an EF Mass, no one takes that step?

    There are ways to challenge successfully such gross and unfathomable violations at Canon Law... The first thing to do is to file directly, using a process server, a Remonstratio with the local Bishop, copying by fax the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese and by fax the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, and by fax the Ecclesia Dei Commission...because it is only by using canonical means leading up to hierarchical recourse in Rome that offenders can be punished.

    Whining and crying online does nothing for the cause, or for the deceased...

  33. What Mortimer wrote.

    Rome is not our enemy and the CDW doesn't read minds. I think.

  34. David6:16 AM

    Dan, here's the rub. Who are you to make the judgment that the law is unjust in the first place? The diocesan Curia's directive may well contradict the higher law of the Pope, but, then, who are you to make that judgment? Who gets to interpret the law here? It seems obvious enough to us that the curial directive contradicts the express letter of Universae, but is a parish priest authorized to make that judgment himself?

  35. I will make a special memento for Mr Gnocchi's soul when I offer the TLM for the Rorate Purgatorial Society on Friday. Requiescat in pace.

  36. Anonymous1:47 PM

    Thanks Father!

  37. Picard2:43 PM

    So one more reason why there is need for SSPX, independent of the bishops....

    They should have burried the man and said the requiem - without permission of the bishop/parish/diocese...


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