Rorate Caeli

"1789 within the SSPX?"

Le serment du jeu de paume (The Tennis Court Oath) - sketch by J.-L. David

FSSP gets Notre-Dame Basilica in Fribourg

The Swiss Catholic news agency APIC reported yesterday that Bishop Charles Morerod OP of the Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg has decided to entrust the pastoral care of the Basilica of Our Lady (Basilique de Notre-Dame) in Fribourg to the FSSP, starting September 2012. 

According to the APIC report, the Traditional Latin Masses now celebrated by the FSSP in the church of the College Saint-Michel and other parts of the city of Fribourg, and their pastoral activities in that city, will all be transferred to the Basilica.

[NC] The central administration of the FSSP is in Fribourg, home of the recently-restored Basilica: congratulations to their wonderful priests, and to their new priests being ordained today in Wigratzbad.

Photo source: Eglise catholique dans le canton de Fribourg

Schmidberger: some "people in the Vatican" have attempted to derail reconciliation

From Thursday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung:

The district superior of Germany [of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX)], [Father Franz] Schmidberger, says to this newspaper that he knows that there are "people in the Vatican" that, against the will of the Pope, have thrown a wrench in the works. 

Yet, Schmidberger described the nomination of the American Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia last Tuesday as vice-president of the Ecclesia Dei commission as a "good sign". This commission operates under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and is responsible for the dialogue with the SSPX. Schmidberger assumes that Di Noia will advance the case according to the will of the Pope. 

The Vatican spokesman Lombardi, however, told this newspaper that the Pope is indeed "in favour of reunion, but only under clear theological conditions". These conditions had not changed. The Dominican Di Noia was until recently secretary of the Congregation for the Sacraments. Thouvenot claims in his letter that circulates the internet that the pope approves of the version of the doctrinal preamble as presented by Bp. Fellay in April. 

(...) While the Pope had approved of Fellay's version, Cardinal Levada would have proposed a version to Bp. Fellay mid-June that was "rolled back a couple of months". Accepting this version is "clearly unacceptable", according to Thouvenot [in the leaked internal correspondence]. Fellay would have reported this to Levada immediately. 

(...) The Vatican demands from the Society the recognition of the doctrinal positions of the bishops and the Pope since Vatican II. This requirement retained in the (unpublished) "doctrinal preamble", which was formulated by the CDF last September as a fundament for a possible reconciliation. The Vatican has rejected the first two responses of the Traditionalists for being "insufficient". The Society does not want to profess religious freedom or ecumenism.

Skandalon: the drama of the history of the papacy

In the passage from Saint Matthew’s Gospel that we have just heard, Peter makes his own confession of faith in Jesus, acknowledging him as Messiah and Son of God. He does so in the name of the other Apostles too. In reply, the Lord reveals to him the mission that he intends to assign to him, that of being the "rock", the visible foundation on which the entire spiritual edifice of the Church is built (cf. Mt 16:16-19). But in what sense is Peter the rock? How is he to exercise this prerogative, which naturally he did not receive for his own sake? The account given by the evangelist Matthew tells us first of all that the acknowledgment of Jesus’ identity made by Simon in the name of the Twelve did not come "through flesh and blood", that is, through his human capacities, but through a particular revelation from God the Father. By contrast, immediately afterwards, as Jesus foretells his passion, death and resurrection, Simon Peter reacts on the basis of "flesh and blood": he "began to rebuke him, saying, this shall never happen to you" (16:22). And Jesus in turn replied: "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me ..." (16:23).

Fellay: "We are at the point of departure"

The Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, ordained priests and deacons this morning in Écône, Switzerland. In his sermon, he included some comments on the current situation in Rome-SSPX relations:

And when we celebrate this Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, we cannot not think of Rome. And we cannot forget this love that our founder had for Rome, and that he wished and that he wanted to inculcate in his children. We are Roman! And this we cannot put behind us! Even if we live in difficult times, even if we have to suffer from the Rome of today, this cannot at all weaken this true, effective and affectionate love for Rome, because it was the good God the one who chose this City to be the head of the Church. This does not mean that we will love the errors, certainly not, we suffer them. But one cannot let oneself, we can say, be put off by what is happening, at the point of giving up. No, it is necessary to maintain, which is what we try to do.

Feed the sheep whom I bought with my Blood

Saint Peter appears to Saint Peter Nolasco

Historic Masses in Mexico and Dominican Republic

1. From Mexico: as previously announced, His Eminence Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Emeritus Archbishop of Guadalajara, offered Solemn Mass and confirmed some of the faithful according to the old rite in the Nuestra Señora del Pilar church in Guadalajara on June 27, 2012.

The following pictures come from a photogallery in the Facebook page of FSSP in Mexico via Catholicvs and Secretum Meum Mihi

Fr. John Hunwicke

As announced previously, John Hunwicke was ordained to the Catholic priesthood on June 27 and celebrated his first Mass as a Catholic priest on June 28, using the pre-Conciliar rites.

Photos of the First Mass
Photos of Ordination

Audio and video suggestions - Summer edition

On Midsummer Day 1944, Allied troops fought in Normandy and Soviet forces continued their unstoppable westward march. In Vienna, with death, misery and unspeakable crime all around a Reich that was about to crumble, Hans Knappertsbusch conducted the Philharmonic - including an inspiring performance of one of the most well-loved sets ever composed, the Brandenburg Concertos (here a recording of the 3zo, III-Allegro)

Six years later, Robert Bresson would direct his version of Georges Bernanos's most famous novel, Diary of a Country Priest (Journal d'un curé de campagne), released in 1951 - and fully available online (with English subtitles):


What about you: what are your audio and video suggestions for this summer (winter, for our readers in the Southern Hemisphere) - concerts, presentations, motion pictures that can delight and improve our Catholic life?

[We will have a book suggestions thread next week.]

Di Noia to CNS: "Possible to have theological disagreements and be in communion" - "Can't read Vatican II texts from the viewpoint of liberals who were in the Council"

From an interview granted to the Catholic News Service of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (CNS) today:

Vatican II: Fathers and experts (periti) in the aula
Archbishop Di Noia [new Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei] told Catholic News Service June 26 the Vatican needed to help people who have strong objections to the council see "that these disagreements don't have to be dividing or keep us from the same Communion table."

"It is possible to have theological disagreements while remaining in communion with the see of Peter," he said.

"Part of what we're saying is that when you read the documents (of Vatican II), you can't read them from the point of view of some liberal bishops who may have been participants (at the council), you have to read them at face value," Archbishop Di Noia told CNS. "Given that the Holy Spirit is guiding the church, the documents cannot be in discontinuity with tradition."

Op-Ed (English - français)
SSPX: Last-minute hurdles?
FSSPX: obstacles de dernière heure?

a guest-post by Côme de Prévigny

On April 18, Andrea Tornielli titled on his blog Sacri Palazzi: "Fellay's response is positive". For him, the agreement had been made. Always well informed by the Romans responsible for the dossier, he deemed himself authorized to write: "the text of the preamble delivered by Bp. Fellay proposes some minor modifications of the version sent by the Vatican authorities." And, every day that followed it, the most optimistic rumors spread out. In support of what was known within the Vatican, from the very prelates in charge of the affair, Jean-Marie Guénois, always well informed, said from his corner: "It is a matter of days, and not of weeks anymore [...]. These last few weeks, the final points have been settled between Rome and Écône in order to better respond to the demands of 'clarifications' asked for by the Vatican on March 16." 

Yet, two months later, a thick fog descends upon the religious landscape. While all observers thought that they saw the Roman Pontiff decide once and for all the matter to which he had dedicated a good part of his pontificate upon the delivery of a new document to Bishop Fellay on June 13, the communiqué of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of June 14 foresaw an "additional moment of reflection". The one from the Society of Saint Pius X, of the same day, gave rise to the same uncertainty by evoking a "new phase of discussions". Even if it is known that this kind of rebound is usual in the end of difficult negotiations, one can only speculate, particularly since the number of Roman prelates who thought that the agreement would be formalized is quite larger than than those who seemed to want this new postponement. It is as if those who accused Bp. Fellay of never being able to decide suddenly found themselves with a beam in their eyes. 

Already within the Society, those spirits for whom an agreement with the Apostolic See is unthinkable began to delude themselves by imagining that their action had dealt a fatal blow to this fateful process which intended, in their view, to destroy them. If their reasoning were to be followed, it should rather be imagined that Rome would have taken advantage of the division of the four bishops to deal a fatal blow to the work of Abp. Lefebvre by moving on with the process until the end. The rebound of June 13 makes them look mistaken in every scenario. 

What was it then that happened between April and June? In the month of May, according to several agreeing sources, the feria quarta [Wednesday] meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, aware that they acted according to the will of the Pope, endorsed the final draft proposed by Bp. Fellay, following several movements of the text between Rome and Menzingen. The Pope imagined it - the Cardinals accomplished it. Despite a certain number of absentees and of some restriction of placet iusta modum, the text had finally had the consent of their Eminences, probably aware that they would not have to meet forever. On that day, the agreement was virtually concluded. On the basis of clearly defined positions on the occasion of the doctrinal discussions that had delineated the differences, Pope Benedict XVI was ready to grant to the Society that which Abp. Lefebvre had tirelessly asked from Cardinal Ratzinger: the assurance of a traditional episcopate independent from the pressures of the local conferences. 

If the internet offers a magnifying effect to the fiery sermons of some Traditionalist priests who think  they can undermine their hierarchy by having their words propagated by Sedevacantist websites, the web does not say anything of the real issues afflicting the Church. Bp. Fellay reached in mid-April the limits of the line granted to the Society by Abp. Lefebvre, at the very risk of causing dismay to some of his colleagues who increased the manifestations of their fears. Those Roman interlocutors who have provoked this rebound have probably not really perceived this. It is also likely that they feared the increase of the silent opposition of the German episcopate, who presented their own ultimatums to the Successor of Peter. The extreme reluctance of Bp. Fellay seemed to suggest that they hid themselves behind formulas that created an impasse upon several months of clarifications and discussions, thus risking their own disavowal.

Paradoxically, they have rendered a great service to Bp. Fellay, by allowing him to show that, while doing his utmost for the canonical recognition of the eminently Roman work of Abp. Lefebvre, his firmness remained intact, as is shown by the way by a letter of Father Thouvenot fraudulently released on the internet. The fact remains that  only the Pope has the power to bind and loose. Faced with all opposition - the strongest of which being that of those closes to him -, it is to him that belongs, in fine, the right to decide. After twelve years of discussions, at the end of seven years of pontificate, this man, who a few weeks ago said that enough injustices had been committed against the Society, will set in place the endpoint which he alone, as head of the Church, has the right to set in place.

[French version:]

New nominations in the Holy See [Updated]

-Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, OP, former Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, named Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

- Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds (now Archbishop), a representative of the fine post-conciliar liturgical establishment in Britain, named new Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Congratulations to all involved!

-Vincenzo Paglia, Bishop of Terni (now Archbishop), a grand master of the Sant'Egidio movement, named new President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Jean-Louis Bruguès OP, Archbishop, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, named new Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church

- The Pope has also accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina, Bishop Fernando Bargalló (previous post on the matter).

Source: Bollettino.


Vatican City, 26 June 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of an English-language note issued today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Fatih concerning the appointment of Archbishop Augustine Di Noia as vice president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei": 

"Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P., to the post of vice president of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'. The appointment of a high-ranking prelate to this position is a sign of the Holy Father’s pastoral solicitude for traditionalist Catholics in communion with the Holy See and his strong desire for the reconciliation of those traditionalist communities not in union with the See of Peter. The president of the commission is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William J. Levada.

"The Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' was established in 1988 by Blessed John Paul II to facilitate 'full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre' and to promote the pastoral care of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition of the Catholic Church. In 2009, the Pontifical Commission was structurally linked to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to address the doctrinal issues in the ongoing dialogue between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.

"As a respected Dominican theologian, Archbishop Di Noia has devoted much attention to these doctrinal issues, as well as to the priority of the hermeneutic of continuity and reform in the right interpretation of Vatican Council II - a critically important area in the dialogue between the Holy See and the Priestly Fraternity. Under the guidance of Cardinal Levada, with the assistance of Msgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission, this dialogue has been ongoing over the past three years.

"Previously, Archbishop Di Noia served as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments where, together with the prefect, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, he oversaw the reorganisation of the dicastery and the preparation of a new 'Regolamento' following the directions of Pope Benedict’s 'motu proprio' of 30 August 2011, 'Quaerit Semper'. Archbishop Di Noia’s experience and continued association with the Congregation for Divine Worship will facilitate the development of certain desired liturgical provisions in the celebration of the 1962 'Missale Romanum'.

"In addition, the broad respect that Archbishop Di Noia enjoys in the Jewish community will help in addressing some issues that have arisen in the area of Catholic-Jewish relations as the journey towards the reconciliation of traditionalist communities has progressed". [See also: Di Noia's interview to CNS today.]

For the record
Confidentiality: like water through a sieve

Note: When this web log was started, with the aim of, among other things, providing Traditional Catholic news and views, there was a goal of staying on top of things. This goal still exists, but, in the past few months, it has been affected twice by the revolutionary behavior of leakers of private or confidential documents and the problems of conscience such behavior causes.

It must be said that we expected all kinds of things when we began this work, but not this kind of attitude. It is discouraging that the Traditional Catholic world has generated this kind of behavior: we are dealing here with some of the lowest forms of the human character. In governments, businesses, universities, courts we find more honorable and loyal people in positions in which confidentiality must be kept than in the Vatican (as the "Vatileaks" scandal reveals) or, for instance, in the Society of Saint Pius X. Below them flow sewers of lack of conscience and of disloyalty. And naturally there are priests involved... It is sickening and disgusting. It is unworthy of the Catholic name.

Like water through a sieve: that seems to be the value of "confidentiality" inside the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX). Last time important internal documents were leaked, they were about one month old by the time they were made public by the leaker(s). This time, it took only a few minutes, or hours, for a very relevant confidential internal document to appear in the usual Sedevacantist, crypto-Sedevacantist, or Sedeprivationist forums and venues. 

Anyway, once again we were aware of the leak minutes after it took place in one of those venues. We are now on the following day, almost 24 hours after the leak, and the document and contents have been made public also in more respectable sources, including Tornielli's page in Vatican Insider and Le Forum Catholique. At this point, we will not be helping the leak effort, but simply recording what is known, as part of our "for the record" policy.

Our translation of the leaked circular letter follows. (The original document in French can be found here, in Vatican Insider.)

FSSP news: Ordinations and General Chapter

Following the priestly ordinations in America last month, four deacons of their European seminary will be ordained to the priesthood in Germany on Saturday, by H.E. Wolfgang Haas, Archbishop of Vaduz (Liechtenstein): the Rev. Deacons Loïc Courtois de Lourmel, Bernward van der Linden, Arnaud Moura, and Francesco Riegger. 

The General Chapter of the Fraternity of Saint Peter for this 6-year period will take place in their North American seminary in July. The Superior General, Father John Berg, sent the following letter on the General Chapter to the members of the Confraternity of Saint Peter, who offer prayers and sacrifices for the Fraternity (see our sidebar):

Dear Members of the Confraternity of St. Peter,

The Remnant en español

The Remnant newspaper is launching an attempt to get the Latin back into Latin America.  Mike Matt, editor of the paper, announces here that articles will be translated into Spanish.

For younger readers of this blog who may not subscribe to or read print editions, the Remnant (full disclosure, I also occasionally write for it) is a traditional Catholic fortnightly founded in 1967.  The Wanderer newspaper (run by the Matt family) supported the post-Vatican II changes to the Mass, so Walter Matt created the Remnant to support the traditional Latin Mass and sacraments.  Perhaps its most famous correspondent was Michael Davies, who wrote dozens of articles for the paper.  Many other writers -- including several priests -- still write high-quality pieces focusing on liturgy, music, culture and tradition.

Like handmissals for Spanish-speaking traditional Catholics, this is a significant step in reaching out to the largest language group in the Roman Catholic Church.

Renewal or wreckovation? The renovation of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, FL

The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida was closed earlier this month for renovations until next year. The reasons given for the renovations are both practical (relating to much-needed repairs, replacements and space requirements) and liturgical (the need to make the cathedral 'effectively serve the requirements of contemporary worship', in the words of the cathedral website -- see here.)

The interior of the cathedral as it stood in May, 2012:

And the planned appearance of the cathedral after the renovation:

The altar rail will be removed with parts of it being relocated to the area behind the altar (in front of the tabernacle) while the pillars holding up the sanctuary corona and surrounding the altar will also be removed to enable the congregation to "see everything". 

The diocese's official explanations of the renovations can be found in the following articles:

A cathedral worthy of the "New Evangelization" or an echo of the era of giant malls? What do you think, dear readers?

Summorum Pontificum at 5
June 2012: Some recent and upcoming liturgical events (Expanded post)

1. Three new priests and two new deacons are set to be ordained for the Institute of the Good Shepherd on June 29 in the famed St. Eloi church in Bordeaux. The ordaining prelate will be Bishop Fernando Monteiro Guimarães, Bishop of Garanhuns, Brazil. (Announcement.)

Vatican Hires New Communications Adviser ...

Rorate congratulates both the Vatican and Fox News Channel's Greg Burke on his hiring as a senior communications adviser reporting to the Secretary of State.

God knows there is a need for talent in this position. We welcome Mr. Burke's hiring and for a fruitful and productive working relationship.

Muslim Brotherhood grabs the Egyptian presidency... long before the Copts are forced out of their homeland? 

Let us pray for ALL of the Christians of Egypt. 

50 years of the 1962 Missal
The actual Mass of the Council

The Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites establishing the 1962 edition of the Missale Romanum was promulgated exactly 50 years ago today: June 23, 1962, a few months before the opening of the Second Vatican Council and with all rubrics and classifications fully aligned with the Codex Rubricarum promulgated along with the motu proprio Rubricarum Instructum of 1960. 

It is the edition used by traditional Catholics all over the world, as defined by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum - the "Missal of John XXIII". Or is it? As you will see in our series dedicated to the Missal of 1962 in the upcoming weeks and months, even the recognition of the definitive edition of the 1962 Missal is tricky - several details would still be added, including the famous addition of Saint Joseph to the Canon, to reach the text we have today in most sacristies. A text that, despite being quinquagenarian, has indeed been "free", following a short period in force and decades of persecution and offensive limitations, for a very short time, under five years. We know it has never been abrogated: let us get to know it better. (And if you wish to contribute your own articles, texts, and artwork to this series, please send them to us.)

For the record: today's papal meetings with cardinals and heads of Roman dicasteries

From the Vatican's daily bulletin for today, June 23, 2012


The Life and Thoughts of Cardinal Merry del Val - VI
Merry del Val was "HIS Cardinal"

On the 18th of October 1903, by the firm and decisive will of the Holy Father, St. Pius X, Abp. Merry del Val was nominated Secretary of State. In this delicate decision, the Holy Father was (as was the case for all the decisions he made) neither constrained by external pressure nor by the humility of the young prelate who would rather exempt himself from such a duty. From that moment forth, the young Cardinal was always at the side of the Holy Father with whom he shared joys and sorrows in order to “instaurare omnia in Christo.”


Nominated pro-Secretary of State by St. Pius X, Mgr. Merry del Val carried out his delicate task with extreme diligence, an admirable spirit of sacrifice, and to the great satisfaction of the  Pope. Meanwhile, the name of the new Secretary of State was expected. The voices began to circulate, but St. Pius, a great scrutinizer of souls, did not reveal his thoughts.

LMS Pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham 24-26 August

I would like to draw readers' attention to the Latin Mass Society's annual walking pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham24 to 26 August 2012. The distance is about 55 miles. Ely, the seat of the medieval diocese which included Walsingham (it is now in the Diocese of Easter Anglia), is a traditional setting-off place for pilgrims. Ely is accessible easily by road and train from London and elsewhere.

500 years of Wittenberg: 'We cannot celebrate a sin'

From the news agency of the German dioceses (KNA), via the news website of the Diocese of Münster:

Kurt Koch for commemoration and acknowledgment of guilt
Ecumenism Cardinal: Reformation is no reason to celebrate

A kleptomaniac I consider a Saint

Shea's Rainbow dahlia, a symbol of the
Catholic Kleptomaniac "lifestyle"

One of the people I admire most in the world, who I regard as an inspiration and, very likely, as a saint was a kleptomaniac guy who lived here in NCVille named Barry Vincenzo. You could get something of a sense of the man if he had a blog. Dunno if he actually stole things or not and, frankly, regard it as none of my business. All I know is that the guy was clearly a man who loved Jesus, loved his Catholic faith, and taught a huge number of people about it, both kleptomaniacs and not, in a way that was immensely attractive and uplifting for everybody who encountered him. He was also one of the most learned people I have ever met and a profoundly humble man. He was, for many years, the director of education for the NCVille Symphony. Had a brilliant knack for speaking the Catholic tradition to the cultured despisers of tradition here in NCVille. His funeral, which he planned himself as he was dying, was one of the most beautiful and Christ-centered liturgical celebrations I’ve ever been part of. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if half the congregation was not Catholic: a testament to his greatness.

No Vatican II in sight

Antonis Samaras swears his oath of office and becomes the new Greek Prime Minister
Athens, June 2012

For the record: Year of Faith website

Following the press conference on the events of the Year of Faith this morning, the website of the Year of Faith 2012-2013 was presented:

Another 401 § 2?...

The Holy See really should consider clearly separating the two causes for early resignation foreseen in can 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law - disease or "other grave reason" (and here, other grave reason should be further classified in personal or doctrinal reasons), as a matter of justice, so that those who do resign for health reasons are not tainted by association with those who resign for other reasons...

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has accepted the resignation to pastoral government of the diocese of Liepāja (Latvia), presented by H.E. Bp. Wilhelms [Vilhelms] Lapelis, O.P., in conformity with can. 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law. [Bollettino]

In his own letter to his Diocese, the Bishop Emeritus, who is 50 years old, does not at all imply a disease, but says he is "pleased" with the Papal decision because he sees in it "the will of God". So we are just left wondering...

FIUV Position Paper: Prefaces

Today I can publish the FIUV Position Paper on the subject of Prefaces. Apologies for the delay of a few days from our usual schedule.

The possibility of adding 'new Prefaces' to the 1962 Missal is mentioned in the Letter to Bishops accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. There have been ultramontanist voices telling us, since then, that any suggestion that Papal desires may incline in a particular direction should be taken an iron law for all subsequent time, and that even discussion of this question is therefore illegitimate. But the Holy Father does not agree with such an analysis himself. For in that letter, which is not, of course, a legislative text like the Motu Proprio itself, he calls for 'study of the possibilities', and consultation with 'bodies devoted to the usus antiquior'. Far from it being presumptuous of the FIUV, therefore, to express an opinion on this subject, we would contradicting the expressed will of the Holy Father if we failed to do so.

We offer the following paper, therefore, as a contribution to the study and consultation mandated by the Holy Father, conscious of our scholarly limitations, but not wishing false humility to prevent us from carrying out our obligation to give what assistance we can to the PCED, and the Church as a whole. To adapt  the recent phraeseology of a Prince of the Church:

We express these thoughts with all due respect for the wisdom of the Holy Father on the subject. Nevertheless, because of the responsibility that rests with us, as an international body representing those attached to the Extraordinary Form, in the context of the Holy Father's desire that our views be taken into consideration, we have had to express ourselves in the fullest and highest way, on something so important to the life of the Church.

This paper is available as a pdf here; the full set can be dowloaded from here.

Comments can be sent to positio AT

The next paper, on silence in the liturgy, will be published on or around 1st July.


FIUV Position Paper 8: Prefaces

       In the Letter to Bishops accompanying the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007), the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI refers to study of the ‘practical possibilities’ of adding Prefaces to the Extraordinary Form, and to consultation of ‘bodies devoted to the usus antiquior’ on this question.[1] This paper is a response to that call for study and consultation. The discussion needs, first, to be informed by the history of the question, and secondly by an understanding of the criteria of organic development.

The Crisis of the Church is a Crisis of Bishops:
Bishop and President of Caritas-Latin America Surfin' Safari

Doctrinal preambles, declarations, professions of faith, discussions without end: it can be quite difficult for a Catholic bishop to prove that he is Catholic.


Caritas in Rio

That is, not if he is the General Secretary of Caritas for Latin America and the Caribbean and President of Caritas Argentina, Bishop Fernando María Bargalló, of the Diocese of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina, responsible for the general administration of resources donated to the charitable activities of Caritas in a vast region filled with grave problems. He was recently seen in one of those endless useless meetings that characterize the post-Conciliar reality, with nothing to show for them - in this case, a meeting of the Latin-American and Caribbean Secretariat of Caritas Social Pastoral Ministry (Secretariado Latinoamericano y Caribeño de Pastoral Social Caritas - SELACC), preparing for some declaration on a current United Nations environmentalist meeting, in which the Caritas group is also present (image on the right, with Bishop Bargalló marked).

He was also recently in Mexico. Doing what? This is how he appeared today in several Argentine newspapers, joined by a representative of the fairer sex:

Future Events: Pilgrimage for Restoration

The 17th Pilgrimage for Restoration in the footsteps of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha to the Shrine of Our Lady’s Martyrs at Auriesville, N.Y., will take place Sept. 28-30.

Journey through majestic Adirondack forests sanctified by the blood of martyrs. Traditional Roman Liturgy every day. Confession, counsel and teaching from priests of solid faith. Fellowship & fun. Shuttles & TLC for the weary.

Not sure you can make it? PRE-register to hold your place.

Register online at, or send contact info with $80 check to NCCL, 621 Jordan Cir, Whitehall PA 18052.

A different kind of 'reform of the reform'

India: the country that has more Catholic seminarians than any other country (mostly belonging to the Roman Rite); the country that has the most bishops, priests, religious and missionaries in all of Asia, and yet does not have a single 'canonically-regular' every-Sunday Traditional Latin Mass among its more than 120 Roman Rite dioceses and archdioceses. (The SSPX does have a small presence, though.) It is a country that cannot be ignored in any predictions of future trends in the Catholic Church, given its rapidly increasing ecclesiastical influence not just in Asia but in the universal Church -- but, liturgically, where is it headed?

For the record: Rome-SSPX: Against the Rumors. Part 3 of Angelus Press Interview with Fr. Arnaud Rostand

Part 1
Part 2

Part 3 reviews the personal prelature, the Rosary Crusade, this year’s General Chapter of the SSPX, as well as appeals to the faithful.

Wisdom from the Founders:
II - "Kindness should be observed towards all on all occasions and at all times"

Love, kindness, gentleness, meekness: may the Sacred Heart of Jesus help us discern the spirit of holiness.

You know not of what spirit you are.” Such were the words of Jesus Christ to His disciples James and John, when they would have brought down chastisements on the Samaritans for expelling them from their country. Ah, said the Lord to them, and what spirit is this? -- this is not my spirit, which is sweet and gentle; for I am come not to destroy but to save souls: “The Son of Man came not to destroy souls, but to save.” And would you induce me to destroy them? Oh, hush! and never make the like request to Me, for such is not according to My spirit. And, in fact, with what meekness did Jesus Christ treat the adulteress! “Woman, said He, hath no man condemned thee? Neither will I condemn thee! Go, and now sin no more.” He was satisfied with merely warning her not to sin again, and sent her away in peace. With what meekness, again, did He seek the conversion of the Samaritan woman, and so, in fact, converted her! He first asked her to give Him to drink; then He said to her: If thou didst know who He is that saith to thee, Give me to drink! And then He revealed to her that he was the expected Messiah. And, again, with what meekness did He strive to convert the impious Judas, admitting him to eat of the same dish with Him, washing his feet and admonishing him in the very act of his betrayal: “Judas, and dost thou thus betray Me with a kiss? Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss? And see how He converted Peter after his denial of Him! “And the Lord turning, looked on Peter.” On leaving the house of the High Priest, without making him a single reproach, He cast on him a look of tenderness, and thus converted him; and so effectually did He convert him, that during his whole life long Peter never ceased to bewail the injury he had done to his Master.

Oh, how much more is to be gained by meekness than by harshness! St. Francis de Sales said there was nothing more bitter than the bitter almond, but if made into a preserve, it becomes sweet and agreeable: thus corrections, though in their nature very unpleasant, are rendered pleasant by love and meekness, and so are attended with more beneficial results. St. Vincent of Paul said of himself that in the government of his own congregation he had never corrected anyone with severity, except on three occasions, when he supposed there was reason to do so, but that he regretted it ever afterwards, because he found it turned out badly; whereas he had always admirably succeeded by gentle correction. 

St. Francis de Sales obtained from others whatever he wished by his meek behavior; and by this means he managed to gain the most hardened sinners to God. It was the same with St. Vincent of Paul, who taught his disciples this maxim: "Affability, love, and humility have a wonderful efficacy in winning the hearts of men, and in prevailing on them to undertake things most repugnant to nature." He once gave a great sinner to the care of one of his Fathers, to bring him to sentiments of true repentance; but that Father, in spite of all his endeavors, found his labor fruitless, so that he begged the Saint to speak a word to him. The Saint accordingly spoke with him, and converted him. That sinner subsequently declared that the singular sweetness of Father Vincent had worked upon his heart. Wherefore it was that the Saint could not bear his missionaries to treat sinners with severity; and he told them that the infernal spirit took advantage of the strictness of some to work the greater ruin of souls.

Kindness should be observed towards all on all occasions and at all times. St. Bernard remarks that certain persons are gentle as long as things proceed to their taste; but scarcely do they experience some opposition or contradiction than they are instantly on fire, like Mount Vesuvius itself. Such as these may be called burning coals, but hidden under the embers. Whoever would become a Saint must, during this life, resemble the lily among thorns, which, however much it may be pricked by them, never ceases to be a lily; that is, it is always equally sweet and serene. The soul that loves God maintains an imperturbable peace of heart; and he shows this in her very countenance, being ever mistress of herself, alike in prosperity and adversity, according to the lines of Cardinal Petrucci:

Of outward things he views the varying guise,
While in his soul's most inmost depth 
Undimmed God's image lies.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori 
The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ
[Personal recess for several days.]

Giving the Green Vestments a Rest

Several first class feasts are coming up on the traditional Latin Mass calendar, and a couple of them will displace the next two Sunday Mass propers.

16 killed in Nigerian Catholic Cathedral [Updated]

More attaks by Islamic terrorists today claimed the lives of scores of Christians in the state of Kaduna, Nigeria, including 10 killed and 50 injured in an attack to the Cathedral of Christ the King, of the Diocese of Zaria. [Update: the number of Catholics killed in the attack in the Cathedral has risen to 16.]

From the local paper Daily Trust:

Breaking News: Kaduna confirmed death toll now 34, ...156 wounded

... From the blast at the Christ the King Cathedral at No. 80 Yoruba street Daily Trust confirmed 10 dead and over 50 injured. .

...  Three churches were attacked this morning by suicide bombers in Kaduna. One went off at the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) church, Wusasa and another at the Christ the King Cathedral Catholic church at No. 80, Yoruba Street, Sabon Gari, Zaria, just behind the Army Depot, Zaria where all Nigerian soldiers receive their basic training. The third church, Shalom Church at Trikania close to Abuja Fly over and Textile Labour house, was hit by multiple explosions around 10:17am.

Message of the Holy Father at the end of the International Eucharistic Congress

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With great affection in the Lord, I greet all of you who have gathered in Dublin for the Fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress, especially Cardinal Brady, Archbishop Martin, the clergy, religious and faithful of Ireland, and all of you who have come from afar to support the Irish Church with your presence and prayers.

The theme of the Congress – Communion with Christ and with One Another – leads us to reflect upon the Church as a mystery of fellowship with the Lord and with all the members of his body. From the earliest times the notion of koinonia or communio has been at the core of the Church’s understanding of herself, her relationship to Christ her founder, and the sacraments she celebrates, above all the Eucharist. Through our Baptism, we are incorporated into Christ’s death, reborn into the great family of the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ; through Confirmation we receive the seal of the Holy Spirit; and by our sharing in the Eucharist, we come into communion with Christ and each other visibly here on earth. We also receive the pledge of eternal life to come.

The Congress also occurs at a time when the Church throughout the world is preparing to celebrate the Year of Faith to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council, an event which launched the most extensive renewal of the Roman Rite ever known. Based upon a deepening appreciation of the sources of the liturgy, the Council promoted the full and active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic sacrifice. At our distance today from the Council Fathers’ expressed desires regarding liturgical renewal, and in the light of the universal Church’s experience in the intervening period, it is clear that a great deal has been achieved; but it is equally clear that there have been many misunderstandings and irregularities. The renewal of external forms, desired by the Council Fathers, was intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery. Its true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and thus with the living God, so that through this contact with Christ’s love, the love of his brothers and sisters for one another might also grow. Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and "active participation" has been confused with external activity. Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal. In a changed world, increasingly fixated on material things, we must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our life. 

Love for Peter - I
Affection for the Pope is in truth given to Saint Peter

Fr. Peter Philips
Tu es Petrus

In the month of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, love for the Successors of Saint Peter and the Church of Rome sanctified by their blood.

"You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" (Mt 16:18) are the weighty, great and solemn words that Jesus speaks to Simon, son of John, after his profession of faith. This profession of faith was not the product of the Bethsaida fisherman's human logic or the expression of any special insight of his or the effect of some psychological impulse; it was rather the mysterious and singular result of a real revelation of the Father in heaven. Jesus changes Simon's name to Peter, thus signifying the conferring of a special mission. He promises to build on him his Church, which will not be overthrown by the forces of evil or death. He grants him the keys of the kingdom of God, thus appointing him the highest official of his Church, and gives him the power to interpret authentically the law of God. In view of these privileges, or rather these superhuman tasks entrusted to Peter, Saint Augustine points out to us: "Peter was by nature simply a man, by grace a Christian, by still more abundant grace one of the Apostles and at the same time the first of the Apostles" (Saint Augustine, In Ioannis Evang. tract., 124, 5: PL 35, 1973).

We seem to hear as addressed to us the words that Saint Ephraem represents Christ as speaking to Peter: "Simon, my apostle, I have made you the foundation of the Holy Church. I have already called you Peter because you will support all the edifices. You are the superintendent of those who will build the Church on earth . . . You are the source of the fountain from which my doctrine is drawn. You are the head of my apostles . . . I have given you the keys of my kingdom" (Saint Ephraem, Sermones in hebdomadam sanctam, 4,1: Lamy T.J., S. Ephraem Syri hymni et sermones, 1,412).

... Our mind re-echoes spontaneously the emotion-filled words that our great saintly Predecessor, Saint Leo the Great, addressed to the faithful of Rome: "Blessed Peter does not cease to preside over his See. He is bound to the eternal Priest in an unbroken unity . . . Recognize therefore that all the demonstrations of affection that you have given me because of fraternal amiability or filial devotion have with greater devotedness and truth been given by you and me to him whose See we rejoice to serve rather than preside over it" (Saint Leo the Great, Sermo V, 4-5: PL 54, 155-156).
John Paul I 
September 3, 1978

SSPX-Rome divinations

From Jean-Marie Guénois for Le Figaro (June 15, main excerpt, with our emphases):

Bp. Fellay, Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, will consult his General Chapter in July before responding to the Pope. Between Rome and Écône, things get more detailed but more complicated at the same time. Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, came back to Menzingen (Switzerland), its admistrative center, on Thursday, with a Roman dossier that is heavier than what had been foreseen. From which, the first information: the signature of an agreement with the Holy See is not for tomorrow. Both in the proper and in the figurative sense. It is now certain that Bp. Fellay will not be able to give a response to these last Roman proposals before the end of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X, that will take place in [Écône,] Switzerland on July 7-14. 

Contrary to certain rumors, this meeting will not see the calling into question of Bp. Fellay from his position of Superior: he is in the middle of a twelve-year term. But capital decisions will certainly be taken: to continue negotiations? To suspend them? To discontinue them? Or to continue [reaching out to] this outstretched hand of Benedict XVI, who wishes to see the disciples of Abp. Marcel Lefebvre reintegrate into the Catholic Church? In expectation, as seen from Rome, the ball is on the Lefebvrists's field. And they are divided on the subject. 

From an article by Summorum Pontificum Observatus, whose handling of the initial publication of the correspondence of the SSPX bishops partly sparked the current mess (June 15, main excerpt, with our emphases):

When everything seemed ready for a final agreement between the Holy See and the Fraternity of St. Pius X, Bp. Fellay, its Superior General, returned to Menzingen this Thursday with a new document in hand. According to several sources, it is assured that this document does not correspond to the one that had been expected, and that several important modifications had been added to it. From the Roman side, three people met with the Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Pozzo, secretary of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, and Abp. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who would have played a part that one day will have to be taken into consideration. In this state, Bishop Fellay could not sign the "doctrinally modified" document, leading to the postponement announced in both communiqués, that of the Holy See followed by one of the Society of Saint Pius X for an external [audience].

Several serious vaticanists had announced the final agreement as certain [before the June 13 meeting] and, for this time perhaps, there was no exaggeration on their part. But it might be that there was a crisis at the very heart of the Curia, even if at present there is no evidence to seriously confirm this. From his side, faithful to the line he has chosen, determined to abdicate nothing doctrinally (and it would seem that the difficulties of a doctrinal order have been added at the last moment), Bp. Fellay will continue his reflection and his consultation, within the frame of the General Chapter and certainly more widely. It is currently clear that the response will take time and that time, either in a positive or in a negative sense, will also play its part. 

Both articles should be taken with a large amount of salt. We in Rorate, in the analysis of all aspects of the situation, somewhat agree, though, that something happened in the Curia. Is the will of the Pope being distorted? Did he himself change his mind from a specific moment in the recent past to the present? This is the key to what may have happened within the Palace of the Holy Office in the days that led to the June 13 meeting. The influence and eventual pressure of the Cardinals and Bishops who attended the crucial Wednesday (Feria IV) meeting of May 16, or the action of some episcopal conferences, should not be discounted either.


Cardinal Burke: "with the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI and Bp. Fellay this reconciliation can take place"

Speaking to the Catholic News Service of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (CNS) in an interview recorded a few hours ago, Cardinal Burke has remarkable words on the ongoing process:

It is to be hoped that Cardinal Burke will personally intervene in this matter. Once again, as it happened in the case of the almost-full-approval of the Neocatechumenal liturgy, dark and hidden agents in the Curia could perhaps be trying to distort the will and words of the Holy Father, and good men like His Eminence may have to act forcefully.

The Comfy Chair treatment and the LCWR

Much has been written in recent weeks about the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's "crackdown" (as the secular media calls it) on the LCWR. The way the media tells this story, one would think that stakes are being prepared, convent libraries are being burned en masse, and the Spanish Inquisition is being brought back to life as Cardinal Levada is finding his inner Torquemada.

The reality is obviously very different. Our question here in Rorate is very simple: how will the CDF and the American bishops actually go about overhauling the LCWR in order to bring it nearer to orthodoxy and to genuine Catholic religious life? Stern episcopal and cardinalitial words against the heterodoxy of liberal nuns are hard but not impossible to find amidst the ecclesiastical verbiage of the past five decades. What we truly hope for are solid disciplinary actions, combined with unambiguous teaching. 

If Cardinal Levada's statements to John Allen (in an exclusive interviewthe full text of which was published today, to a periodical still fully using the adjective "Catholic" in its name, without being bothered by any bishop for doing so) are any indication, it would seem that comfy chairs, not hot seats, are being prepared for the LCWR leadership, despite the "blunt" language that earlier reports indicated. The following passages sure look scaaaary! (Emphases ours):

Rome-SSPX: Against the Rumors. Part 2 of Angelus Press Interview with Fr. Arnaud Rostand

Part 1 can be watched here.

Ordinariate for Australia officially established

As reporte here since December 2011, the Holy See established today the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, for former Anglicans in Australia. From the Bollettino:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, erected the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, in the territory of the Australian Episcopal Conference.
The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has named as the first Ordinary of Our Lady of the Southern Cross the Rev. Fr. Harry Entwistle.

The Anglican-Catholic Personal Ordinariates can, of course, establish quasi-parishes anywhere in their assigned area without a binding permission of the local bishops, but merely hearing their opinion. That was granted to the Ordinariates by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Complementary Norms to Anglicanorum coetibus:

Article 14 ...  §3. For the pastoral care of the faithful who live within the boundaries of a Diocese in which no personal parish has been erected, the Ordinary, having heard the opinion of the local Diocesan Bishop, can make provisions for quasi-parishes (cf. CIC, can. 516, §1).