Rorate Caeli

For the record: two Papal Documents change competencies in the Curia

Two significant Apostolic Letters of Pope Benedict XVI, given motu proprio, were published today in L'Osservatore Romano, changing the competencies of organs of the Roman Curia:

- Fides per doctrinam: alters the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus in order to transfer the competency on Catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization;

- Ministrorum institutio, relieving the Congregation for Catholic Education of one of its most significant competencies, that of caring for Seminaries - that is transferred to the Congregation for the Clergy. 


  1. GQ Rep9:59 PM

    I'm not so sure the first move is a good one, but the second definitly is.

  2. W L Weber10:22 PM

    Er....Jolly good and hooray God Bless Our Pope and everything; but what do these changes actually indicate to The Man on the Catholic Bus?
    William Weber

  3. Will this involve greater oversight or just rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic?

  4. John Gerardi10:48 PM

    The more things Cardinal Piacenza (Cong. Clergy) is in charge of, the better. The more things Archbishop Fisichella (New Evang.) is in charge of, the worse.

  5. Muckemdanno11:14 PM

    I don't understand...isn't "Catechesis" a different word for "Catholic education"?


  6. Alphege1:09 AM

    So if the congregation for Catholic Education no longer administrates catechesis or seminaries... what is it for?

  7. Donnacha1:09 AM

    Matt said...
    Will this involve greater oversight or just rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic?

    Simple answer to that:

    ... "And the band played on" as the Titanic went down.

  8. Though I understand the doubts that many have here let me give some perspective.

    The second move makes the first move irrelevant.

    The council for the new evangelisation is mainly a technocratic position. In other words its more hardware (organizational) rather than software (theological)

    As long as the priests coming out of Seminary are well educated in the Faith they will in turn make sure their congregations are well educated in the Faith.

  9. Alphege said, So if the congregation for Catholic Education no longer administrates catechesis or seminaries... what is it for?

    I think it's still for overseeing the worthless "Catholic" colleges most of them have become. It's unfortunate because I think JP2 moved seminaries into the CCE and seminaries were treated just like the average college. In that it's no wonder they are the way they are.

    Donnacha said, Simple answer to that:

    ... "And the band played on" as the Titanic went down.

    Sad but so true. I don't see any end in sight with the present chaos, and merely moving entities around can't possibly solve the matter.

  10. Gratias7:49 AM

    I hope the new authorities on Seminaries will force the teaching of Latin. Without strict enforcement of this there will be no progress in the liturgy.

    In times past priests were the most educated members of society. With the vulgarization of everything, teaching Latin would retain a special skill in the universal Church.

  11. Very interesting !!

    Taking the responsibility for Catechesis away from some people who have done such a spectacularly poor job with it over the last 60-70 years can only be an improvement ; that the Seminaries should be directed by the Congregation for the Clergy only makes sense -- indeed, it's surprising to learn that it wasn't already the case -- and again, hopefully the "bad seminaries" that are out there will be getting what's coming to them...

  12. These moves indicate that our Holy Father is continuing to take a close interest in the working of all Vatican departments. Clearly, he has not been satisfied with the perfofmance of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

    One concern has surely been that standards in some seminaries havebeen falling. The Congregation for Catholic Education has tended to react to developments, rather than set the agenda.

    This has been quite evident in seminaries serving England and Wales which have been in decline over the past 40 years, with three closing and another converted to alternative use.

    This is another action that will eventually prove that Benedict XVI will eventually be regarded as one of the greatest Pope of all time.

  13. If I was the Prefect for the Congregation for Catholic Education, I think I would the ecclesiastical equivalent of updating my resume.

  14. Truth Seeker4:48 PM

    Matt, as long as Christ is on the throne, the Church cannot be compared with the Titanic. Jesus is NOT asleep in the Barque of Peter. "He Who watches over Israel neither slumbers no sleeps."

    If the Church is indeed going to sink, as you seem to think, in just what ship do you propose to travel to Heaven?

  15. jon pressley5:59 PM

    Only offering a comparison between a boat and Holy Mother Church is a bit out of kilter. the Titanic sank due to it being a fallible man-made boat. The Church can't sink, or Christ lied to the world. The band is playing on... and on and on and on. We may not like the tune right now, but that's how it goes sometimes. if this is your view of the Church, consider a deck chair on the prot boat, the Minnow as it surely will be lost.

  16. Alsaticus2:23 AM

    The Congregation for Education is non significantly reduced to a symbolic dicastery.

    To have seminaries under cardinal Piacenza is a very good thing indeed although cardinal Grocholewski has never been a liberal at all.

    Education will keep Catholic schools and above all Catholic Academic institutions. However these schools and Colleges/Universities are largely independent and used to ignore anything coming from Rome.
    So it leaves the Congregation with limited impact. Maybe the 1979 old constitution Sapientia Christiana will be revised especially with the Bologna process ?

    Maybe the remnant of the Congregation will try to implement the 1990 constitution on Catholic superior institutions ?

    But indeed to have catechesis under Abp Fisichella is rather worrying. We know how he was in 2009 opening liberal interpretations of the Catholic doctrine in an effort of "appeasement" policy by the Secretary of State.


  17. Truth Seeker4:57 AM

    However tempest tossed the visible part of the Church might be in this world, she will not fail in her divinely appointed mission of ferrying souls to heaven.

    Therefore, the "Titanic" metaphor is not only offensive, but heretical, because the Church is indefectable, and cannot fail in her salvific work.

  18. Truth Seeker said, If the Church is indeed going to sink, as you seem to think, in just what ship do you propose to travel to Heaven?"

    What's going in the Church is predicated upon the free-will behavior of Her members. No matter how lofty, pious, etc., you view it, this crisis could not have happened unless they chose to make it happen. Until they or the next generation of Clergy reverses or repairs what has transpired over the past fifty years in the Church, this mess will continue unabated.

    Your question is silly and non-sequitur. None of that has been part of the discussion but those do not have a true grasp of ecclesial precedent and the actual mess going because of the choices of the Clergy who have done this, of course, will miss the mark every time.

    Man still has the ability to foul up the Will of God and adding to the burden of men and the Church as a whole while good souls try pro-actively to clean up the mess created.

    Is this how you would view vaccines? Hey, why bother? The Black Death eventually petered out, right?

  19. Common Sense8:06 AM

    I have good reason to be skeptical about whatever comes out of Rome these days, and yet over 25 years I defended the Papacy and even the Popes on at least a dozen occasions. Some of those opponents were not only vulgar and obscene, but also potentially violent. We Trads are no Pope-o-phobes.

    Still, while I have a great appreciation for well-structured and lofty language, at the same time I have no time for modern theology, which is quite often no more than rambling verbeage. "As snow in the summer and rain during the harvest, are likewise the words of a fool." -Prov.

    It is worthwhile to examine what Holy Scripture says about defective conduct and how it equates such behaviour to the vices and propensities of fools. Yes, Holy Scripture considers repeated folly both sinful and criminal. It appears as if it were just another uneventful affair.

  20. Francis2:20 PM

    "jon pressley said...The Church can't sink...."

    Very true Jon. Yet we must differentiate between the Catholic Church established by Our Lord on St. Peter and His successors, along with Her two-thousand years of de-fide dogmas which come from Sacred tradition and Holy Scripture guided and protected from error by the Holy Ghost with 1960's hippie Vatican II modernism and relativism which created man made worldly liberal novelties which, in many cases, go against pre-Vatican II Catholic dogma. Again, you're right when you say the Catholic Church can't sink, but man made conciliar novelties can and will sink sometime in the future.

  21. Fidus et Audax2:35 PM

    Hey Jon,

    Comparing the church (little c) as it unfortunately exists in many places today is a great comparison to the Titanic because both display the failure of man and both are indeed going down. Example, today my wife attended a NO mass and heard a deacon give a homily about Jedi's and our Lord reading the Torah. I'm sorry if the comparison may offend but from what I see in many cases (and I'm out in churches all over my city) it's fairly accurate.

    We know of course that The Church herself shall never fail or be overcome but a lot of the tomfoolery of men around her definitely will.

    1. jon pressley11:42 PM

      Wow. Jedis eh? I can't sit through a NO unless I have no other choice, and at that I can't stomach it without a cilice to keep me from snapping on whatever idiocy is going on

  22. Gratias4:37 PM

    Vatican II created bishops conferences. This took power away from the Papacy. We complain that the Pope is not obeyed but this was by design by that terrible council. The Papacy is like a monarchy and we would like power to return to Rome in this corrupt world. But the defect is there. And the bishops do not want to relinquish power.

  23. Truth Seeker4:56 PM

    Francis, you are distinguishing between "eternal Rome" and "conciliar Rome."

    I've seen this line before.

    It's nothing more than the Protestant heresy of the "visible church" versus the "true, spiritual church", with different terminology.

    If one is wrong, so is the other.

  24. Francis7:01 PM

    Truth Seeker,

    I'll let this DOGMATIC statement from the First Vatican Council answer your rebuttal to my first post. This dogmatic statement is the difference between, as you say "eternal Rome" and pastoral Vatican II "conciliar Rome."

    From the First Vatican Council:
    "Wherefore, by divine and catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.... For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.... If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema."

  25. @Gratias: Im pretty sure bishop conferences came about under the reign of Pius XII, could be wrong but pretty sure it was so

  26. The Pope takes action.

    Traditionalists then argue as to whether said action is akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    "Yes." "No." "Yes." "No."

    Yes, the action will hasten the end to the Vatican II Era crisis of faith.

    No, the action is just more deck chair nonsense.

    The real question is whether Pope Benedict XVI believes that he will lift Holy Mother Church from Her crisis of Faith.


    In recent years, His Holiness declared that in vast areas of the world, the Catholic Faith may experience death.

    We know that decades ago, Father/Cardinal Ratzinger (His Holiness) insisted that Holy Mother Church would experience a tremendous worldwide collapse.

    His Holiness isn't under the illusion that his decisions will end the collapse of the Church, at least the Latin Church.


  27. Common Sense9:52 PM

    Dear Truthseeker,

    Happy to oblige.

    "All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables he did not speak to them." - Matthew 13:34

    Our Divine Lord used striking parables in teaching His audience. He didn't resort to fanciful language, for one reason only: that truth is simple, albeit not simplistic. Expounding on truth is called theology. Embellishment of folly is called sophistry.

    The point which I'm trying to put across is that not only does error not have the right to exist, but also, in equal measure, seriously defective behaviour. A Catholic priest once said, "To err seriously is human, but not to correct it is demonic." I wish I could read the modern Popes' writings with the same trust with which I would read St Pius X's Pascendi.

    Rest assured, I don't specialise in criticising the modern Popes - in fact, I pray for them.

  28. Fidus et Audax10:01 PM

    "Ive seen this line before.

    It's nothing more than the Protestant heresy of the "visible church" versus the "true, spiritual church", with different terminology."

    Not quite a correct analogy IMO Truthseeker. First off the protestants were outside the Church trying to justify their existence. That's simply not the case with the modernists this time around. Wasn't it Hans Kung or one of his ilk who said something along the lines of "they left the Church last time but we're not leaving this time, we're going to have to have the revolution from within." The prostestant "visible Church" hoo-ha says that there was a underground Church during the entire 1500 years before the protestant reformation thus their protestant revolution was just the invisible church becoming visible. They even have whole fantasy children's cartoons based on this falsehood called "the Storykeepers". I've watched them, they're entertaining and also complete poppycock.

    When I see recent events like St Stanislaus Church in Detroit sold for $2,500. or 132 year old Saint James in Chicago about to go to the wrecking ball, I don't know what else you can call it but Titanic.

  29. Peter A.1:01 AM

    Truth Seeker said: "If one is wrong, so is the other".

    So it is impossible for the Conciliar Church to be wrong in the non-infallible arena?

    "It's nothing more than the Protestant heresy of the "visible church" versus the "true, spiritual church", with different terminology."

    As a fellow truth seeker, I certainly don't believe that! The teachings of eternal Rome ARE brilliantly visible! Is the syllabus of errors merely spiritual?

  30. Veritas4:11 AM

    I frequently read this blog, in fact almost every day. I find it most interesting. However, i am oft disappointed by the comments which by far do more damage to the cause of Tradition than good. I am a missionary working in a Protestant land: only 2% are Catholic. I celebrate mass in both forms. Yet, my heart is disheartened almost every time I read the comments. They lack sometimes even common courtesy. If I were married and I had children giving these kinds of comments, I would strongly reprimand them. Please, Friends and promoters of Tradition, do not let immoderate zeal make you lose track of who you are: baptised Catholics with an inestimabile dignity. Let us treat each other as such and do away, as the Apostle says, "with every kind of bitterness". Promote the cause of Tradition, but in a virtuous way. God bless the authors of the Blog

  31. GQ Rep12:31 PM

    "JabbaPapa said...
    Very interesting !!

    Taking the responsibility for Catechesis away from some people who have done such a spectacularly poor job with it over the last 60-70 years can only be an improvement "


    To JabbaPapa:

    Try the last 45-50 years...not 60-70 years. Remember, sixty years ago in 1953, we still had the great Pope Pius XII reigning as Pope, and would be for another 5 years after that.

    The rot in seminaries and colleges (particularly seminaries) occured only after Vatican II and it's wholesale destruction began. How else do you explain that in 1965 in the USA, there were almost 50,000 seminarians...and ten years later less than 20,000? In Europe and other countries it was far worse. The declines continue (even though perhaps at a snails pace, instead of like a locomotive as it was in the beginning.)

    This move by the Pope will accomplish little, if anything. Fischiella is the typical "Vatican II" cheerleader, whereas Piacenza has taken a more critical eye towards the "reforms of the Council" while still praising Vatican II as a whole.

    Nothing will change until the strongly traditional/traditionalist priests in their 20's and 30's today become leaders of the Church tomorrow.

    Unfortunatly, give Vatican II another 30 years until it's run it's course!!!

  32. Truth Seeker3:51 PM

    "The teachings of eternal Rome ARE brilliantly visible!"

    Eternal Rome and the Rome that now is are exactly the same. So are their teachings.

    It's the attempt to separate and oppose the two that is the Protestant heresy.

  33. Picard5:03 PM


    I followed this discussion here and I did not see insults or immoderate zeal, neither on the pro-Titanic nor contra-Titanic fraction.

    For contrary, it seemed to me a very scholarly and respectfull discussion from BOTH sides (and for this time I will not say on which side I stand myselfe).

    GOD bless!

  34. When the Titanic sank weren't there some life boats? I think the pope and his cohorts are actually trying to sink the ship (many of late have been quoting Ratz to that effect). Like the communists, they don't care how many people (souls) die or are slaughtered (the unborn, sick & elderly) as they pursue the goals of their revolution. Unfortunately, many of these life boats that they are empowering w/church property (as they close parishes (augsburg, vienna boston)) are no better and maybe worse than protestants when reformation began (i.e. pro abortion and homosexuals & Kiki "masses" worse than Luther) - also empowering laity to perform sacraments (like conduct funerals etc.), bringing back female diaconate (even "conservative" Fr. "Z" is reading up on it!), and through the ordinairiate w/Anglicans married priesthood.

    I would be very careful about defending them. First Pope John XXIII was an anti-pope (1 among 42) & during his "reign" there were 3 contenders to the papacy.

  35. Barbara5:50 AM

    Whereas I agreed with Picard that there were not any insults and bad tones in the in the discussion, I changed my mind upon reading LIMY's comment!

    What a hateful comment!

    Disgraceful for a Catholic to write such things on a public forum!

    Or perhaps you are not well, LIMY?

  36. can u pls let me know the reasons behind these change of competence...?Fr.Merlin Rengith Ambrose


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