Rorate Caeli


We are trying to improve the general tone of the comments in this web log. One of the points noticed in our poll on Mass attendance (whose final results we will publish soon) was that a very large proportion of our readers do not attent the Traditional Mass regularly. This probably means that they are not familiar with several terms used in our comment threads - and are not used to the tone not unfamiliar to those who are in Traditional communities. 

One of the main purposes of this web log has always been to show that we, Traditional-minded Catholics, can be equally firm and balanced in our views. If you are a regular commentator and wish to help us, please do not post again comments that were obviously blocked or deleted. If they were blocked or deleted, there was a reason for it - and two of the main reasons are to avoid scandal to other readers and to improve the tone. A general rule to follow is this: would you say these things in public to someone you barely know? If not, then perhaps you should not do it here. Help us, please, we are all volunteers doing this with great pleasure, but with no financial gain. Please, do not add more work to our pile.

Another general rule? Respect His Holiness and his venerable person. We are Roman after all.


  1. Of course this is not for publication but I understand this comment was directed at me and others so I will simply bow-out and stop trying to comment here.

    Good Luck.

    Pax tecum

  2. No, this was not directed at any particular person. When we mean to contact a particular commentator, we do so directly.


  3. Great advice,
    Thank you with your patience with all of us and I am sorry you had to delete/block some of my posts.

    I will try harder in the future to be more the way you want us to be.
    God bless.

  4. LOL. No, we do not want you or anyone else to be anything in particular. A very firm and critical opinion can be expressed in surprisingly civil and positive terms.

  5. Thanks for this post. I always have always liked Rorate's news but always skip over the comment section because it is usually quite bitter. Keep up the good work. I just posted one of your articles today:

    Do you use trackback links?

  6. Petrus Radii10:21 PM

    Please define what you mean by: "Respect His Holiness and his venerable person."

    Respect for the Vicar of Christ does not and cannot exclude valid criticism of wrong, stupid, or imprudent actions on his part. "Hate the sin but love the sinner."

    It is certainly necessary that we try to maintain a charitable tone towards persons, where possible, but if the directive is intended to squelch criticims of matters of significance which are wrong or harmful, then the restriction on criticism makes those imposing the restriction a party to the wrongdoing.

    Consequently, I would like to hope that the directive quoted above is not intended to stifle the intellectual thought and discussion which ought to occur. The Pope is not indefectible and should not be treated as though he were.

  7. Confusius10:25 PM

    Well said New Catholic

  8. Would you say those things to his face, Petrus Radii?... Even "stupid"?...

    The context is clear: of course a commentator may say that he disagrees with one action of the Pope, or with a certain fallible opinion. We said "person" - how could it be any clearer?

  9. Gregorian Chant10:39 PM

    Ugh, the comments on here are the typical comments of humility.

    Just take this post as the great post that it was and let's move on.

    Jon Haines - I agree.

    Thank you Rorate :) Thank you New Catholic

  10. Phil_NL10:44 PM

    Thanks for this initiative. This site has great news, and sometimes great insights too.

    The comment section however tends to be a battleground where all too often piled up bitterness of the past 50 years finds a way out. While much of it is understandable, it can be counterproductive.

    Especially towards those, like me, who were born long after VII, and rather than re-fighting old battles, prefer to move forward together with HH Benedict XVI - long may he reign!

    We'll have our crosses to bear along the way, certainly, but Peter's way we're bound to follow. In that understanding, differences of opinion may at least be less cause for a souring of the atmosphere, and that's worth something too.

  11. Ligusticus11:15 PM

    Can I post this : ? :-)

  12. Thank you New Catholic and fellow blog commentators, in my opinion, the great majority of comments on this site are quite charitable and infomative, and that is one reason I come to here first for my Traditional Catholic news. Keep up the good blogging and comments!

  13. I have much respect for this, New Catholic! This blog has more potential for a broader audience, than as the place to go to see what dyspeptic SSPX-atttendee commenters think about something. Not that I want any to go away, oh no, this blog is nothing without the poetry of Long-Skirts and everyone knows it. And I actually like the ones from New Catholic, exhorting a blocked commenter, that begin something like, "Confidential to FuriousTrad: (etc)" I'm not kidding, I am probably weird but I find Rorate and its combox loveable. (I am a Sunday EF, weekday OF attendee)

  14. Everything I post here I'm willing to say to anyone in person, just ask my protestant relatives (all of whom are protestant except my wife and five kids)!

    But it is quite true that dialogue/debate does not mean being demeaning.

    Any good debater, like Aquinas, will start with the positive of the dissenter's argument, and then move, respectfully to what is wrong with it.

    I sometimes post stuff that shouldn't be published, am blocked, and I move-on (just as I move-on when my wife ignores my sundry nonsense). But I agree I shouldn't waste the time of blog-owners with useless aggrandizement. It's not about me, it's about the important work this blog is doing!

    But I love this blog! Isn't it the American way to stand on the soap-box and pontificate (pun intended) opinions?

    But it is not my blog, I have no First Amendment right to scream Freemasonry nonsense here as I could on the soapbox in the public square. So, Sirs, I will respectfully try to debate/dialogue in the spirit that this blog was intended to debate.

    If I want to extol the virtues of the Novus Ordo, I will go to the com-box of the National Catholic Reporter (though never would)!

    1. Anonymous1:26 AM

      You can yell about freemasonry. That we will always blindly approve ;)

  15. I hope this doesnt mean this blog is going to get more 'PC' nor more 'mainstream' but it is true I should perhaps tone down what I say at times.

  16. Mike Ortiz12:14 AM

    Thank you for this post. I will follow it, and pray for your intentions.

  17. Good Modus Operandi, and will follow the guidelines.

    St Petersburg, Fl

  18. St. Als 195512:20 AM

    I have been a follower of RC for a number of years. I have never signed on to engage in the discourse as my experiences with other traditional venues eventually became unpleasant. (I never realized how narrow minded and stiff some traditionalists could be in the name of the Faith). I do not find Rorate's comment section bitter; I find the tone of the posters on RC to be quite civil. I especially appreciate the broad spectrum of views contained in the discussions.

  19. Thank you. I hope your request is respected and followed. In general, I enjoy the articles but found some (perhaps many) comments at best un-charitable and at worst inflammatory. Comments that state many or most NO priests deliberately and intentionally invalidate the consectation I found reprehensible. I came near to deleting your site from my favorites folder and moving on to a less informed site but with a more charitable tone

  20. Cranky Old Man12:32 AM

    Your blog, your rules.

    Sorry you have chosen the route of being an ostrich with its head in the sand. Eventually God will sort all of this out.

    God bless and good bye!

  21. WELL! I've been called a lot of things, but never anything like dyspeptic. That takes the cake.

    I wonder if I should be ashamed of myself.

  22. Former Participant1:25 AM

    For some time now I've been considering abandoning this blog as too watered-down. You've cemented my decision. Good riddance.

  23. Brian1:38 AM

    Novus Ordo congregations, of course, dominate the current Church. Because of disinterest in our home parishes, many of us are forced to travel several hours each Sunday to attend the Traditional Mass. We, therefore, are denied the opportunity to participate in parish life. For the past few years, this website has been my Catholic community.

    I cannot recall ever having a comment blocked until this week, when four out of five of my comments were not posted. I do not understand the sudden change. I hope that I am not about to lose my Traditional Catholic community. If so, it is a sad day.

  24. There is nothing to understand, really, Brian. Try to see things through the eyes of a newcomer: as hosts, we must try our best to make all feel welcome, particularly the shy and silent ones in the corner. Otherwise, how will they ever join the conversation?


  25. Brian1:51 AM

    After years of commenting regularly, when, suddenly four out of five of my comments were not posted, I feel unwelcome.

  26. You may rest assured that there is nothing personal against you or anyone else. At least, now you can say "four out of seven"...

  27. Thank you for this! The tone of the comments here have sometimes been unbearably uncharitable, so this if great news. God bless!

  28. whats this about?2:23 AM

    whats this about? Fair enough being more reasonable about comments but it does seem like you're abandoning your regulars in order to attract others. Others who would perhaps be better served at Fr Z's blog...

  29. This is not a business venture for us, friend.

  30. whats this about?2:55 AM

    then why the sudden change? if I may be so bold as to ask

  31. Thank you. Many newcomers I've directed to this blog have been scandalized in the past by the lack of fraternal charity that can appear in the comments.

    Civility is not about obfuscating or a lack of zeal for the faith and the traditions of the Church. Rather, civility can help people better understand the goodness and therefore the truth of the faith.

    The best rule to govern ones tongue (or keyboard in this case) is through what may be called the "Aquinas doctrine" for debate. It is simple. Assume the good.

    Aquinas exhorts us to even strengthen the argument of an opponent if it was not presented well. If we give the most charitable read possible of another's words, we will always act virtuously.

  32. Brian3:47 AM

    Although I personally feel saddened, I fully understand that the change is not "personal against" me.

    I have been posting here for years. I respect His Holiness and his venerable person. Although Tradtional Catholics, like myself, do not feel safe speaking the Truth in public to someone we barely know, (and thus post more or less anonymously) I have never intended to give scandal to other readers.

    After years of commenting regularly without being blocked, suddenly 80% of my posts are judged to either be "a scandal to other readers" or worsen the tone and add work to your pile? It is not me, personally, but my perspective that is no longer welcome here.

    I do not understand. Why did you suddenly post the poll? Why the sudden change in editorial policy?

    After years of seeking after Tradition, I am accustomed to being accused of being uncharitable, scandalous, and lacking in humility.

    I did not expect to be so criticized here. It is a sad day.

  33. As a priest, I would just like to personally express my agreement with New Catholic on this issue. The bond of our unity as members of the Corpus Mysticum is indeed charity - the love of God. It is my prayer that all of us who utilize this blog as a source of news, conversation, and (please God) edification will bear this in mind. We are united in love for Christ and His Bride, the Church, and this must always remain paramount.

    I believe it is with good reason that the Church, in her wisdom, reminds us that "Deus Caritas Est" in the capitulum of Sunday Terce, the canonical hour customarily preceding the Sunday celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which ought to be the "culmination and center" (Pius XII, Mediator Dei) of our Christian life.

    The Divinum Officium Project

  34. lucas4:11 AM

    I wonder would you care to share the results of the poll?

  35. Ted Maysfield5:04 AM

    Thank you for your Catholic attitude which assists the Church and fellow Catholics by refusing to exploit or pander to the violations of charity and good sense that are unfortunately common among some traditional Catholics. (I attend the Novus Ordo mostly; Tridentine on occasion. I respect both rites and respect the people who attend either one of them).

    Your quote from St. Ignatius in the post after this one, on returning good for evil, is a spirit missing from some traditional Catholic blog comments. In humility we should speak to one another, rather than hurling anathemas, as if each of us was a pope issuing an encyclical.

    I don’t think we will banish hatred and arrogance until we banish the spirit of schism.

  36. Gratias6:43 AM

    Divinum Officium Chaplain:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your service to us. We use your Missale Romanum link when we attend the Traditional Mass. It is much easier to use than the also wonderful Daily Missal of Angelus press.

    Perhaps it is not so much that there are uncharitable posters here. The readership is at the interface of NO, EF and SSPX. We are living a decisive moment right now for tradition. It is great for all of us to be able to communicate.

    Speaking of our SSPX correligionists, I too find the poems of Long-Skirts indispensable.

  37. Fr. Sanchez7:26 AM

    As a regular reader of RC I commend this blog for its current attempt to pursue virtue in discourse, especially in regard to the Holy Father. Petrus said, "Respect for the Vicar of Christ does not and cannot exclude valid criticism of wrong, stupid, or imprudent actions on his part. "Hate the sin but love the sinner."' But, it is exactly in using the term "stupid" that would be an attack on the character of our Holy Father. Whereas, calling a decision wrong because of some objective standard or judging it imprudent for some foreseeable reason would not be an attack on his person, but a help in the on going discussions about the Church today.

  38. "Ugh, the comments on here are the typical comments of traditionalists … no humility."

    "This blog has more potential for a broader audience, than as the place to go to see what dyspeptic SSPX-attendee commenters think about something."

    "I don’t think we will banish hatred and arrogance until we banish the spirit of schism."

    Sad to say, the above comments and others suggest that slander, detraction, careless generalizing, and even the odd patch of sanctimony will be banned only selectively.

  39. Father Ignotus9:42 AM

    Thank you, New Catholic.

    Another criterion that one might consider would be: If I weren't hiding behind a "handle", but had to post my real name, would I say this?

    Matthew 12, 36

  40. Urkatholik9:49 AM

    So we are all papalators now?

    No thanks!

  41. I love how a call for charity in the 'accidents' of our comments is being interpreted as selling out!

  42. RobertK, it is not about you or your comment - that was a coincidence.

  43. Fr. M.11:46 AM

    I am a traditional priest who has said only the old Mass for over 20 years. I consider this site to be the best news and most balanced presentation in what we fondly call "Traditon". There are two sides though. The posts bear the news which is reliable although sometimes, only sometimes, it seems to be a little affected by editorial comment. (My preference is for the news to be the news, just the facts. I like the editorial comment to be very separate which I think is more traditional. Still, that is a small matter of taste.)

    The darker side of Rorate lives in the comments section. Some comments are simply too shameful for open Catholic participation; it is an area that is certainly not safe. We are responsible for everything we write. I fear for the writers of those comments and I fear for the readers even more.

    Please note that what may be expressed in private to a strong Catholic could be without sin; however to publish the same thing in the media would be reckless, meaning indifferent to the consequences. If a mouth is like a gun? You may safely shoot your mouth off at home or on a firing range but you will be held responsible for every reckless bullet you fire off in the city. The Internet is down-town-big-time.

    Some months ago I was sincerely sorry to hear several traditionalists say: "I don't go to Rorate Caeli anymore". Reasons: the tone of bitterness and insufficient support of the Holy Father when he made an appointment or decision we didn't understand.

    I look to Rorate for the news. It is the only Internet site that I go to regularly that is why I was so sorry to learn that friends had stopped reading it. I find it too difficult to find my way around Fr.Z's good blog so I wait for someone to tell me anything newsworthy form there. I found when it began and stay with it. I will sing an Alleluia even during Lent if the site loses its bitterness and shows greater support for our common Father.

    Fr. M.

  44. Barbara12:52 PM

    At the first impact fraternal correction is not always a welcome thing when one is on the receiving end of it. It is good for me to be ticked off sometimes even though my ego may rebel for a bit. I understand why a couple of my comments weren't posted. I know they weren't spiteful or anything like that - they were just not wise. Besides , I am a guest here why should I presume every word that I write should be considered like a priceless pearl? I'm just a very ordinary Catholic trying to make sense of what's happening in the Church at present. So, thanks NC and sorry for giving you more work.

    This is the best traditionally-minded site on the net - I have learned so much from it and feel less isolated in the traditional path that I have chosen in our Holy Church. Love for The Traditional Latin Mass and all that goes with it are at the heart of this blog and that's why I am here.

    You have my full support and gratitude.


    P.S. To Spartacus:I always enjoyed your posts - and your sense of humour...

  45. Kathleen1:06 PM

    Thank you New Catholic and Rorate Caeli for what you put up with, even here.

    If it's any consolation, I have always felt the discussions here adhere to the highest standards of conduct and content of any internet trad discussions.

    That said, forum moderation is a wretched job and discussions here do degenerate at times, especially on certain topics. And I know I can certainly use a reminder to cultivate charity, meekness, patience, and humility -- I fail far too often on those fronts. I forget too easily that I have a duty to set an example by how I treat others and that when I fail to do so I may even give scandal, so I appreciate the reminder. I find that at times the best thing I can do is fore go commenting, at least for a time, to avoid the sort of rash decisions I'm prone to make.

    Here's hoping we can all strive to follow the excellent advice of St. Paul to the Romans that you kindly reminded us of just recently.

  46. FORTY EIGHT COMMENTS... over a brief line saying, hey, please try to be courteous. Holy smoke! There is that line, "One million monkeys banging on a million typewriters..." LOL.

  47. Gregorian Chant3:04 PM

    Brain - if what you say is true "After years of seeking after Tradition, I am accustomed to being accused of being uncharitable, scandalous, and lacking in humility"...

    Then you need some reprimanding, and if this blog has that effect on you then praise God!

    St Francis de Sales had the same goal, in more difficult times, and is the gentle humble Saint... we can all look to him in how we comment, please, people, READ HIS BOOKS!

  48. My take in the comments on this blog, and I have been coming here for over 6 years, is that the most offensive ones are not that bad.

    Look at the comments on Fish and compare.

  49. Gregorian Chant3:11 PM

    pclaudel - how can one not think the comments re: this new post, are "typical comments of humility" ...if the only site one comes on for Traditional Catholic news is this one, and majority of the comments are lacking humility and everyone is whining about a post on charity and talking about themselves and their feelings, some even leaving.

    I thought tradition was not about feelings? At least I read that here allllll the time.

  50. As a daily reader and not that frequent commentator I commend and thank New Catholic and other bloggers of RC for standing for our Holy Father’s honor and for trying to remove the very common negativity, bitterness and aggressiveness that many times is found in Traditional blogs and sites that the anonymity of the internet allows. Please keep us the excellent work and be sure to count on my prayers and support.

  51. I resolutely support Rorate's new editorial stance.

    I was received into the Church as the result, I believe, of graces received at the TLM.

    For years, I have been involved in various explicit efforts to expand traditional sensibilities and the availability of the TLM in the Diocese of Lansing (a diocese that is pretty blessed in that regard, by the way; particularly with tomorrow night's (re-)inaugural TLM at St. Anthony, Hillsdale).

    In addition - as one of those persons that Prof. Rao would describe as "[people who get things done]" - I occasionally find myself serving in "regular" Catholic apostolates that are drawing some Catholics toward greater holiness (even if those apostolates do not really speak to our sensibilities, here at Rorate).

    In the course of my workings, there have been plenty of times that I would have liked to have helped someone along the way towards greater knowledge of the Church, by forwarding a link from Rorate, but have decided against doing so, due to the tone and manner of expression of many commenters (if there had been a way to send a direct link, but without the comments at the bottom, I would have done it).

    Well done.

  52. Delphina6:09 PM

    Sad day indeed. I've been here for years, but I am leaving too. Not that you will be sorry, NC, as you post less and less of my comments.

    God bless you all, especially my old friend Jordanes.

  53. Actually, though, I must say I've never read anything here nearly as bad as some of the stuff that came out of St. Jerome's mouth!

    "For Jerome, making friends was difficult, making enemies all too easy. There is little doubt that as far the ascetic life is concerned, he practised what he preached; unfortunately, his way of life was not accompanied by any noticeable degree of humility. He had a large ego, and did not suffer fools (or anyone that disagreed with him) gladly. He was forthright in his promotion of chastity, but when this lead to remarks such as 'a widow who remarries is like a dog returning to its own vomit', one can see that tact was not his strong point.
    In later years a feud developed between Jerome and an old friend from his student days, Rufinus. It started with a disagreement over interpretations of writings by Origen, an early Christian scholar from Alexandria that Jerome was quite keen on at first, then rejected when everyone else did. All very nit-picking and arcane. Jerome's language to Rufinus was, well, to the point: 'that dumb but poisonous animal . . . destined to perish in his own pus.' (this because Rufinus had the temerity to criticise his commentary on the Book of Daniel.) 'You distil from the dunghill of your breast at once the scent of roses and the stench of rotting corpses . . .' Jerome also called him a 'grunting pig' and told the world how pleased he was when he heard he was dead."

  54. Connie Summers7:40 PM

    I just want to add my "Thank You" for this very welcome change.

  55. Thanks to all those, especially the Priests (unanimously!), who have shown their support.

    To those who disagree: please, pray for us.


  56. This is a good posting to have from time to time.

    The problem with a blog site naturally is that avatars of people are writing to each other, and hiding behind that face makes it easier for one's baser instincts to come out rather than a spirit of Catholic charity.

    I am certainly not perfect but find that an effective way to remind myself of proper conduct on a blog is as follows:

    1. Each of us will be held accountable on the final judgement for every word that we have spoken, written and conceived in thought.

    2. We may strongly and vehemently differ with someone on a blog, but are bound by an uncomprising call to Christian virtue

    3. Confessing one's sins regularly, those by commission even in writing, is an important thing for any Christian to do well in order to labour in fear and trembling for our salvation.

    Let us articulate our beliefs and thoughts and disagreements with true Catholic charity. In the process, we may convert the most hardened of souls.

    Thanks to NC for this post.

  57. Petrus Radii et al:

    "Please define what you mean by: 'Respect His Holiness and his venerable person.'"

    This can be done easily by oneself. Pretend you are His Holiness. How would you want your person to be addressed? In contemplating this, try to confine your answer to just that question, as opposed to what you would do about this or that. And consider the counsel of one of our brethren, Malta: "Any good debater, like Aquinas, will start with the positive of the dissenter's argument, and then move, respectfully to what is wrong with it."

    It is in the Dominican spirit of "Disputatio" to see debate as a mutual search for the truth, as opposed to simply proving the other side wrong. Those who appreciate Tradition for what it is, learn to see it as more than merely a preference for one set of books over another. It is a way of pursuing our ultimate cause, to win the prize of Heaven.

    Let us pursue that cause with Joy.

  58. Dear NC,

    This is your blog and you make the rules, and of course that is to be respected. You do a wonderful job keeping this blog going - without material recompense. Thank you most kindly for taking the time and putting in the effort. Other moderators assist, but you do the lion's share.

    Your blog has what I like to think of as an 'aesthetic and cultural niche' that I particularly enjoy. In this way you highlight a very important aspect of catholicism,
    and one that has little currency in the present day mainstream Church; not with the simple devout, not with the well-read learned, not with 'orthodox and faithful movements'.

    Of course, catholic courtesy is most important. Yes, we must exercise filial piety. One must refer to the Holy Father respectfully at all times. Even when the things that he does and what he fails to do cause enormous bewilderment, distress and disappointment - to the point of weeping, to the edge of despair, even.

    That is the most difficult part for me. I want to love the Holy Father as a father - unconditionally - and to obey him and to be faithful to him - unconditionally. Yes, I am attracted by his attractive person and personality. As a woman, I am aware of being influenced by such things in a way that differs from the way a man is influenced. I would just like to go with that 'feel' and not bother about being 'rational', as a baby in the arms of a strong and caring father does not need to be 'rational'.

    And yet I have to remind myself continuously that if I love the Holy Father I love Jesus more, and that as much as I like seeing the person of the Holy Father my goal
    is to finally see Jesus face to face. And that Jesus wants me to exercise filial piety, but not unconditionally - no, only in all that is not sinful. And that Jesus wants me to be faithful to the Holy Father, but not at the cost of being unfaithful to Him.

    I am at a loss to unravel this conundrum. I wish I didn't have to be bothered with it, but there it is. It truly is a matter of life and death - at the deepest level, that is, the life and death of the soul. Although there are very strong indications that the time is close at hand when it will increasingly involve the life and death of the body too.

    So why am I saddened by the way this most recent development on Rorate Caeli appears to be going? For me RC was a teensy, weensy place on the face of this Earth - a tiny and exquisite garden - where one could find some truly 'catholic' growths - manifestations that today are rare commodities indeed, such as authentic intellectual rigour - that is to say, the catholic kind; expressions of militant zeal as befits the Church Militant; salt that has not lost its savour; leaven that still raises the lump; and so forth.

    And if these manifestations sometimes were 'over the top' I would see them in terms of St. Peter cutting off the ear of Malchus when he got carried away by his love and zeal for Jesus. Misguided, yes, but definitely hot and not lukewarm.

    At the present time a certain kind of politically correct 'courtesy' and 'lurv' which is bland and saccharine continues to infect the Church and the results are disastrous.

    We don't need more of these latter manifestations; on the contrary, they are spoiling to be 'vomited out'.

    Exsúrge, Dómine, ádiuva nos: et líbera nos propter nomen tuum.

  59. I do wish the request could have been phrased in terms of 'good communication,' rather than 'charity.' To call someone stupid without details is bad communication. To fail to call someone stupid (or wrong, or liberal) whose actions or teachings are jeopardizing the souls of millions is--not charity, but cowardice. I had an unforgettable conversation once in the vestibule of my old novus ordo church; four of us senior women were quietly discussing the recent discovery of one of us that our youngest priest was visiting gay bars in the evening and spending unsupervised time alone with some of our young men (in the priest's capacity as sponsor of the youth group). Her information was reliable, from a first-hand source. We were discussing was to do. What we did was -- nothing. In the name of charity. And that's what thousands of people did and absolutely are still doing, not only in the matter of those kinds of behaviors, but in the matters of the shocking doctrinal and liturgical deviations being permitted in our Church. We looked the other way, and we did it explicitly in the name of 'charity.' In parish after parish people did the same. People knew, and were silent. If you were to approach the com box situation from the angle of effective argument, and criticize that, you would not invite us into the trap of passivity, or indifference, or cowardice, or denial, and those responses to discord are far, far more dangerous than the occasional tart word or hurt feeling. We want to be 'charitable,' *and* comfortable; that's our default through original sin. Let us follow the Baptist's example, instead, and call a whore a whore, please. These are those times. We need to stand up more, not shut up more. I write under my own name. I never know if anything I have written has ever been rejected, and not a computer error of my own, but I do try to use arguments and not personal attacks.

  60. inkstain2:30 PM

    I would like to add my thanks and appreciation for this step, as well as to add that I hope that the people who seem to be taking offense by it reconsider their reactions and not too hastily slam the door. It would be a loss to all to leave over an imagined slight to you personally when this is just a simple (in my opinion, long awaited) effort to restore some charity in the tone of the comments and I don't mean by this a stab in any particular direction, I know all too well I sometimes "jump the gun" in my reactions to people or opinions. Any reminder of a call for charity is a good thing and one to be thankful for.

  61. Thank-you Rorate! Comboxes on the internet - sadly - can become an occasion of sin.

  62. Jan Baker, I am sorry to hear about the situation in your diocese that you described, but I don't understand how you equate charity with indifference and silence. Isn't there a middle road? Is it possible to speak truth with charity?

    Regarding John the Baptist, he did speak the harsh truth, and for this he was put to death.
    But isn't it true that he also wore a sackcloth and lived on locusts and honey? If we want to imitate what he spoke, shouldn't we also seek our own sanctification first, as he did, through prayer and sacrifice? After we see to our own sanctification, we will know then if God intends for us to rebuke others, and we will know if it comes from God, or just our own pride. I myself have been guilty many times of lack of charity, but I'm trying to be better about this.
    I don't think anymore that others are won over, most of the time, to the truth by harshness.

  63. cyrillist6:01 PM

    I'd like to add my voice to Mar's and Jan Baker's recent comments. Looking over the posts on this thread, I see many complaints regarding "uncharitable" behavior in the combox. I would rather characterize much of this behavior as mostly impolite, off-putting, and easily misunderstood, and I appreciate Rorate's concern that newb trads (if you will) could be offended and even scandalized by it. However, while deliberate, blatant rudeness and discourtesy is certainly to be deplored, it must not be forgotten that "charity" is hardly synonymous with "niceness." Just because someone doesn't like what's being said doesn’t necessarily mean that it's uncharitable.

    The conservative site Free Republic has a separate posting area called The Smoky Backroom, intended for saltier discussions by site veterans that might startle newcomers. I don't imagine that Rorate has the wherewithal to branch out in such a manner, but something along those lines might be an effective means of meeting the two legitimate concerns of (1) not alienating first-time visitors to the site, and (2) allowing free expression between posters with enough "history" to understand and appreciate what lies behind each others' sometimes strong (but still genuinely charitable) language. If this is not possible, then yes, Rorate obviously has the right to make its own rules, and such a "smoky backroom" would have to be created elsewhere by those who find the new policy too restrictive. I would consider this to be a shame, since I've always found Rorate to be an excellent forum to view (and very occasionally contribute to) frank, free-wheeling discussion of Church matters from a thoroughly traditional viewpoint. (But then I don't get to view the suppressed commentary, and probably just as well!) In any case, God bless NC and the other Roraters – it's been a great ride thus far.

  64. thomas tucker8:08 PM

    Thank you for this.

  65. Dear Jan Baker,

    We did not mention "charity" in our post. Your comment is therefore mistaken from the very beginning - and all the words that follow it.

    We are quite confident in our decision, and we think the fruits are already showing up. The fact that every single priest (here and in private) who has spoken up about it has praised it fills us with absolute certainty about it. They, the traditional Priests, know us, intimately, more than anyone else.


  66. Nauseated Former Reader2:29 AM

    "We are quite confident in our decision...."

    Your sanctimony is nauseating. Good riddance, sell-outs.

  67. Yes, please, all "good riddance" people, please, please, leave our home never to return. Now, please, do not return here every single day using a different nickname and repeating "good riddance", as it has been the case with the gentleman (or gentlewoman) above, who first said "good riddance" as "Former Participant" and now as "Former something else". One can be a bore and very rude, but one should keep one's word nonetheless, right? Just go, "Former". Please.

    Thank you,


  68. JeanSkirts7:44 PM

    I agree that all Catholics should think about what they are saying. This is a public site that anyone can read...even the pope. So Rorate does have a point. In standing for the truth we will do it no service by alienating others by our bitter attitude. It's a long fight, but venting frustration will give Tradition a bad reputation.

    That said, it seems that many traditional Catholics are getting the impression of a double standard here.
    Often Rorate will allow comments about the SSPX that are slanderous and completely incorrect.People against the SSPX can say anything they want.

    On the other hand, it appears that if one wants to defend the SSPX, they must do so without mentioning anything negative about the current Church hierarchy.

    How can one show the position of the SSPX to be valid if one is not allowed to demonstrate that the official position of the Vatican is in contradiction to the former magisterium of the Church?

    This seems to be the position of Rorate now, since a comment to that
    effect (no stinging personal remarks) was not allowed on the site.

    It's a difficult job, Rorate, to try to avoid giving scandal, but please remember that bitter comments go both ways.

  69. Jean,

    LOL. I am truly amused by your comment: you say we let the SSPX be freely criticized, others say we are too close to the SSPX, other still say we are spokesmen for the SSPX... Well... I guess we are on the right path, then, right?


  70. Brian5:28 AM

    Having read recent posts that were accepted above under the topic "Holy See-SSPX: Reading comprehension skills urgently needed," I can see that I mistakenly jumped to conclusions about what perspective might be acceptable or unacceptable here at Rorate Coeli.

    Although, after years of never having a post blocked, I remain bewildered by the recent block of four out of five of my posts, I am deeply grateful, New Catholic, for the work you have done here and I will trust that the change you are implementing is for the best.

    I agree that our Holy Father's person and place in the Church, having been established by the very Son of God, is worthy of the highest respect. I also agree that those who are new to Tradition need to feel welcomed and invited to participate, as I have felt here for these many years.

    I am still not certain why my recently blocked posts would be considered to be offensive to our Holy Father, scandalous to other readers, or reflective of a bitter or negative tone.

    After years of near-daily following your blog, however, I do appreciate the wisdom that you bring to the current crisis in our Church and will trust your judgment about the need to soften the tone of your website.

    If you do not mind, with apologies in advance for adding to your work pile, it may take me being blocked a few more times before I finally figure this thing out.

    In Christ,


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!