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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Pope’s homily of February 28, 2014
and communion for "remarried" divorcees:
A Trial Balloon, Multiple Ironies, Unanswered Questions

The Pope’s homily for Friday, February 28, surely is a trial balloon that has been launched with the Synod on the Family in mind.The past weeks have seen a number of statements and conversations about the debated issue of whether a divorced and remarried person can receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.It would seem that the recent statements made by Cardinal Müller about the indissolubility of marriage and the impossibility of a change in pastoral practice concerning divorced and remarried Catholics  would put the question to rest (cf. the recent post on Rorate Caeli).But the voice of the Prefect of the CDF and the Catechism of the Catholic Church seem no longer to put an end to much of anything.Where there is a will, there is a way.
The Pope’s homily this morning was based on the text from the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, where the Pharisees ask Jesus a pointed question about divorce. There follows the ensuing conversation, ending with Jesus’ clear condemn…

Abp. Gänswein: "Yes, Francis' and Benedict's liturgical sensibilities are different, it's not an offense to say so."

On the first anniversary of the renunciation of Benedict XVI as Bishop of Rome, the Prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who still assists the Pope Emeritus in his new life at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, granted an interview to the daily owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), Avvenire. The most interesting excerpt is the following:
Do the Pope and the Pope emeritus interact frequently?
There is an excellent relationship. The ways in which they interact are various. They telephone, they write, they meet, they eat together. Pope Francis has been a guest for lunch in the monastery several times. Once, after Christmas, the Pope emeritus was also in Santa Marta.
The are some who contrast them.
It is a favorite game, especially for some journalists. Which does not please me. I have the grace of living with one and working with the other. And I can thus allow myself to say that I know both very well. I do not see them as opposed, but as complementary. It is ob…

Clear Creek Abbot on EWTN

Dom Philip Anderson, OSB, first and current Abbot of Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, in Oklahoma, was on EWTN for an hour-long presentation of the life and times of the abbey and their monks. Below the more interesting first half-hour:
Broadcast on Feb 26, 2014
So, yes, EWTN can be very traditional-friendly when they want to. And when they do so, they are following the lead of their founder, Mother Angelica, who loves the Traditional Mass profoundly.

Pope Francis: "Bishops, Enough with Congresses, Conferences and Travels! The Decrees of Trent must be obeyed: a Bishop must truly reside in his diocese."

From the address of the Holy Father to the full composition and staff of the Congregation for Bishops this morning:
The Second Vatican Council states that to the Bishops "is fully entrusted the pastoral office, that is the habitual and daily care of their flock" (Lumen Gentium, 27). We must dwell more on these two descriptions of the care of the flock: habitual and daily. In our time assiduity and habituality are often associated with daily routine and boredom. So often we try to escape to a permanent "elsewhere". This is a temptation for Shepherds, for all pastors! The spiritual fathers must explain it well, so that we understand it and will not fall. Even in the Church, unfortunately, we are not exempt from this risk. Therefore, it is important to reiterate that the mission of the Bishop requires habituality and daily dedication. I think that in this age of meetings and conferences the decree of the Council of Trent on residency is so up-to-date: it is so up-to-d…

The Mass of 1965: back to the future?
Why it is not an option

One reason why many good-hearted people wanted a 'Reform of the Reform' is that some kind of reform was called for by the Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium ('SC'). Now that some of them have given up on the project of tinkering with the Novus Ordo, an alternative would seem to be going back to the 1962 Missal and using the Council's criteria to make the reform again. To undertake the Reform We Should Have Had. Fr Somerville-Knapmann suggests it might look like the transitional Missal of 1965. Fr Mark Kirby says very much the same thing with more detail.
The first thing to note is that this wasn't a new edition of the Missal, but just a set of provisional revisions made by the Instruction Inter Oecumenici. There was another lot in 1967, and then the new Missa Normativa came out in 1969. Inter Oecumenici says about itself that it authorizes or mandates that those measures that are practicable before revision of the liturgical books go into effect im…

The opinion of the most radical Council Father:
Complete Coexistence of Traditional Mass and a New Mass

Among those Council Fathers who publicly expressed their opinion on Sacred Liturgy during the debates (First and Second Sessions) on the schema De Sacra Liturgia which led to Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), none was more radical than German-born bishop Wilhelm Josef Duschak, S.V.D., Vicar Apostolic of Calapan, in the Philippines.

He was the only bishop ever to propose, in the official Council discussions, an actual reform of the Canon of the Mass, a matter which was considered unthinkable for most Council Fathers -- even though it would be effected "ad experimentum" in many countries as soon as the Council ended, and, permanently, with the creation of the new Ordinary of the Mass, in 1969. Duschak was, thus, in the avant-garde of the most radical liturgical reformers -- the only bishop to voice openly what other bishops and especially many periti said and wrote in the Conciliar underworld:

Bishop Duschak* from Mindoro was the first to suggest…

Masterpost of Sources: Sources for Research on the Solemn Papal Mass

Below there is a collection of items being a basis for a historical and liturgical study of the Book on Pontifical Ceremonies, with particular emphasis on the course, structure, rites and traditions related to the celebration of the Solemn Mass by the Bishop of Rome.

The Synod on the Family, Kasper and the Rebels:
the “Call for Mercy in Concrete Situations.”

The Church’s teaching on divorce is a hot topic from which no one can escape.A good starting point to understand what is going on is a well-balanced article that appeared at the end of last year on La Bussola Quotidiana (The Daily Compass) by Matteo Matzuzzi that sketches and frames the essential terms of a debate that is unfolding.This debate was stirred up by a paper written by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising at the beginning of last November that was a real attack against the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Msgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller.There is a paradox in all of this, since the latter, whose position anchors him to first principles, is well known for his allergic reaction to Tradition.
Someone else who is involved in this debate is Cardinal Kasper, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians, who in the past few days opened, as the Pope wished, the Extraordinary Consistory on the Fam…

Nixon goes to China:
"Pope Francis, you are the man to regularize the SSPX"
Update: National Catholic Register's Intolerance

Or so thinks Patrick Archbold, writing for the National Catholic Register.*

His concluding paragraphs:
With the breakdown of discussion between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X at the end of the previous pontificate, the public mood during this first year of the current pontificate, and other internal events, traditional Catholics, both inside and outside the Church, have felt increasingly marginalized. Whether fair or true, I say without fear of contradiction that this is a prevailing sentiment.
This perception of marginalization has manifested itself in increasingly strident and frankly disrespectful rhetoric on the part of some traditionalists and their leaders.
I have great concern that without the all the generosity that faith allows by the leaders of the Church, that this separation, this wound on the Church, will become permanent. In fact, without such generosity, I fully expect it. Such permanent separation and feeling of marginalization will likely separate more sou…

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society: Eightieth posting of Souls

Below, please find the eightieth posting of enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. It's another large list this month with nearly 1,500 Souls.
Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." How to enroll souls:please email me at and submit as follows:"Name, State, Country."If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well. And please follow this formatting strictly.
Please consider forwarding this Society to your family and friends, announcing from the pulpit during Holy Mass or listing in your church bulletin. We ne…

This is the Mass

Ottobeuren Abbey February 22, 2014
The seminarians of the European seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), in Wigratzbad, Bavaria, visited one of the most glorious abbatial churches in the world, in Ottobeuren (click image for larger view), for the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Several images of the visit are available here, courtesy of the seminary blog. Ottobeuren Abbey, which is celebrating the 1250th anniversary of its foundation this year, unfortunately does not host regular celebrations of the Traditional Mass it was built to house.
But the Traditional Roman Rite is not a privilege of beautiful churches, it is a common heritage of all of us everywhere, all Catholics in the Latin Church. This is our Mass, thanks be to God. As a sign of this, we also recommend the pages of recent photographs of the permanent mission of the Institute of Christ the King (ICRSS) in Mouilla, Gabon, currently staffed by Canon Fragelli, and his enthusiastic parishioners as well as …

Upcoming Events:
-ROME, Ash Wednesday, Pontifical Mass at Trinità dei Pellegrini
-Solemn Requiem in North Carolina

1. In Rome, Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at 6:30pm, Archbishop François Bacqué,  Apostolic Nuncio and Titular Archbishop of Gradisca, will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass, preceded by the blessing and imposition of ashes, at the Parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini
Archbishop Bacqué was in the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was pro-nuncio in Sri Lanka and Nuncio in the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.
We call upon all our many readers who will be in the City or nearby that day to go to Trinità dei Pellegrini, with hearts and souls prepared, to receive the sacramental of the ashes and, afterwards, the Body of Christ on the first day of the holy season of Lent.
2. A reader sends us the following notice:

On Friday, February 28, 2014, at 7:00pm, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salisbury, North Carolina (Diocese of Charlotte), will be celebrating a Solemn High Requiem Masspro populo. T…

First great change in Roman Curia:
Pope establishes Secretariat of Economic Affairs
Cardinal Pell to head Secretariat
Text of Motu Proprio Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens

The first major change made by Pope Francis in the permanent structure of the Roman Curia is the establishment of a Segreteria per l'Economia (Secretariat for the Economy) to oversee and assemble all financial and economic operations of all administrative affairs of the Holy See - details to be known shortly in a motu proprio published this afternoon in the Tuesday edition of L'Osservatore Romano.
This Economy Secretariat, under an overseeing Council (8 prelates, 7 laymen), will be headed by a PrefectCardinal George Pell, up to now Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, and one of the eight members of the Council of Cardinals. [Update: Pell will leave his position in Sydney in March.]

Updates throughout the day.

First Update (1300 GMT): Press release of the Holy See Press Office:

Francis: "Jesus did not have to come to teach us good manners"

My brother Cardinals, Jesus did not come to teach us good manners, how to behave well at the table! To do that, he would not have had to come down from heaven and die on the Cross. Christ came to save us, to show us the way, the only way out of the quicksand of sin, and this way of holiness is mercy, that mercy which he has shown, and daily continues to show, to us. To be a saint is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world. This is what the Lord is asking of us.
Dear brother Cardinals, the Lord Jesus and mother Church ask us to witness with greater zeal and ardour to these ways of being holy. It is exactly in this greater self-gift, freely offered, that the holiness of a Cardinal consists. We love, therefore, those who are hostile to us; we bless those who speak ill of us; we greet with a smile those who may not deserve it. We do not aim to assert ourselves; we oppose arrogance with meekness; we forget the humiliations that we have endured. May we always allow ourse…

The End of the "Reform of the Reform":
"I could have better spent my time with the Traditional Roman Liturgy"

Friends, readers, especially young priests, listen to the voice of experience, do not waste your "energy" trying to square the circle of the 1960s "fabrication" [copyright: RATZINGER Joseph]. Listen to Dom Mark Kirby (first post here):
After having devoted nearly forty years to a worthy “reform of the reform”; after having taught and defended the Novus Ordo Missae to the best of my ability; after having composed — to a certain acclaim, even from a dean of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Liturgy — an entire monastic antiphonal in modal plainchant for the French liturgical texts; after having composed hundreds of plainchant settings for the Proper of the Mass in the vernacular; after having fought mightily for the restoration of the Proper Chants of the Mass; after having argued to the point of exhaustion for an intelligent obedience to the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani; after having poured myself out in lectures and in preaching to priests, seminarians, an…

Event: one-time TLM in a Philadelphia parish

From the organizer: This is a one-time TLM being offered by a young resident priest at a parish in a once strong Catholic neighborhood made up of Polish, Italian and German immigrants. The “three churches” along the short stretch of Allegheny Avenue (known as “Church Alley”), St. Adalbert’s (Polish), Our Lady Help of Christians (German) and Nativity BVM have all seen sharp decreases in parish membership. 
Each parish at one time had large rectories and convents filled with religious, and each with their own parish school. Now a mere 4 priests and 2 nuns remain at the 3 parishes. The 3 parish schools were combined into 1 in 2006 and student enrollment continues to decline. In 2015, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will evaluate this cluster of parishes to determine which and how many churches to close, which is the new annual tradition in Philadelphia. The TLM being offered at Nativity BVM is likely the first one open to the public since the post conciliar changes, and ther…

Rorate Twitter feed now embedded

Our Twitter feed is now embedded in our sidebar to the right. Those who wish to follow us can just click on the "Follow" button. Those who do not want to or are not able to follow us on Twitter can now see our tweets directly here. 
This is useful in particular for those links, images, audio and video suggestions that we do not deem relevant or interesting enough to warrant a post - or that we simply do not have the time to publish as an individual post.
It is also an easier way to contact us, by tweeting an information to us at the bottom. Thank you for following us and giving us your feedback.

Wisconsin, circa 1973

Deacon Sandy "Good Shepherd Catholic Church"  Parish Church of the Good Shepherd, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin Archdiocese of Milwaukee Circa 1973*

What does it mean to be a traditional Catholic?It means something quite unlike what is meant by "catholic" above.
[Tip: Creative Minority Report. *Actual date of video: Dec. 18, 2013.] [Feb. 23 Update: the original video, located at this URL, was removed. Copy made available by Mr. Patrick Archbold.]
[Feb. 25 Update: the first copy having also been removed, we embedded this exact second copy, which is now available above, courtesy of GloriaTV. We believe this video is a historical document of the highest value for future students of the evolution of the liturgy of the Latin Church that indicates the way the liturgy of the Rite of Paul VI is lived and practiced by a portion of the faithful of the Latin Church in this day and age throughout the world. As a historical document we feel it must be kno…

What does it mean to be a "traditional Catholic"?
Aren't all Catholics traditional?

a guest-post by Peter Kwasniewski PhD

It is sometimes asserted that traditional Catholicism is bound up with a prideful attitude—that it is impossible to profess traditionalism without being pharisaical. Some even object to the phrase “traditional Catholic,” as if it were redundant: Aren’t Catholics by definition adherents of Catholic tradition—and thus, any Roman Catholic has as much right to be called “traditional” as he has to be called “Roman”?
How nice it would be if this were true, but alas, it is far from being the case.
First, the psychology of the issue. There is a danger of pride or pharisaism in any possible true description of oneself: Christian, Catholic, Roman Catholic, traditionalist. To say “I am a Christian” is a genuine boast for St. Paul and for every martyr who has died for Jesus Christ, including the God-fearing victims of Islamic extremism in Syria and elsewhere. Are we to say that because someone might revel too much in the title of Christian and think himself …

Lent is coming: Time to prepare

Lent is coming ... soon.
In the past, you could find a traditional Lenten Mission at many parishes. Now, unless you are near a traditional parish, they are nearly extinct -- or all but worthless.
Fortunately, we are not meant to live in the past, we are meant to live in the now. And, now, we have the Internet. And, there is an abundance of good on the Internet, along with the bad.

Through our partnership with Audio Sancto, we bring to your attention this wonderful, traditional, five-part Lenten Mission by the holy and learned Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea. While it is not short, it does go by very quickly, and is easy to follow and understand. It's clear, concise and bold.

"Abortion? Homo marriage?"
"They're legal now, let's move on, OK?"

The small nation of Uruguay, across the Río de la Plata from the native Buenos Aires of Pope Francis, shares with the Porteños next door the same different Spanish accent and the same secularized society.
After the Council, a once militant Church began to accept everything, and there were even bishops embroiled in grave scandals (see this 2009 post, for instance). In the past year the Socialist government approved two laws in a row, legalizing abortion on demand (the first for a South American country) and homosexual marriage.
Uruguay actually had approved abortion on demand once in the 1930s, but the strong reaction of the Church and Catholics led by the hierarchy then forced the Secularist government to back down a few years later, as this "progressive" paper recalls:

In Uruguay the liberalization of abortion lasted for a very short time, because it came into force in October 1934 and in December 1935 a decree of the Ministry of Public Health forbade it in public hospitals…

The End of the "Reform of the Reform":
"I too came to see the futility of trying to repair
what is, at bottom, structurally unsound"

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, now prior of Silverstream Priory, in County Meath, Ireland, has always been one of our favorite reads on the web with his Vultus Christi blog. Since his position on the "Reform of the Reform"is now fully public, I believe I may now speak of one of our e-mail conversations many years ago when I repeated my permanent opinion, from since even before I joined the Catholic Church, that the "Reform of the Reform" was impossible in practice and throughout the width of the Latin Church (even if made with the best of intentions) because the Novus Ordo is liturgically "unsalvageable" — he said, in kinder words, he had at the time reached the same conclusion. Like most of the Brutalist buildings that ruined so many beautiful English towns and cities at the same time it was being put in place, the Novus Ordo is an unsound artificial accretion to a venerable organically developing being.

This does not mean that the Novus Ordo is not valid, or t…

Peace — and a quiet life

Levavi oculos meos in montes, unde veniet auxilium mihi.
Auxilium meum a Domino,
qui fecit cælum et terram.

Abbey of Our Lady of Randol Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, France
[Personal recess for several days.]

P.S. Speaking of the daughter-houses of Fontgombault, Juventutem Michigan is promoting a spring trip to the Our Lady of Clear Creek, Oklahoma, on March 1-9. Details and application here.

Terminology: What is the "official" name of the Traditional Latin Mass?
Is it "Extraordinary Form"?

We never thought it would be necessary to write this, since both aspects we will treat seem to be obvious, and have seemed so since 2007. Yet, there have been so many misunderstandings regarding the expression "Extraordinary Form" that we feel constrained to make two points clear.

(1) Why was the name "Extraordinary Form" introduced by Benedict XVI in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum? Answer: in order to solve a liturgical law conumdrum.
Traditionally, throughout the history of the Church - at least since the differentiation of rites became clear and attached to specific patriarchies and geographical areas - bi-ritual priests have been exceptional. They still are an exception. Additionally, Benedict XVI felt the need to finally undo the injustice that had been kept - and defended by most canonists - since the advent of the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, of Paul VI (1969), that had created the Novus Ordo Missae: had it, and the previous…