Rorate Caeli

The Essential Book Suggestion: "The Liturgical Year"

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar
Full communion? Not yet, and not anytime soon. Why today's encounter was not a breakthrough.

(For the background to this article, please see Why Catholic-Orthodox reunion probably won't happen: Five recent statements from Patriarch Bartholomew, and a reminder from 2009.)

As scheduled, Pope Francis today attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Patriarch Bartholomew in honor of the Apostle Andrew, whom the Church of Constantinople claims as its founder. The Divine Liturgy was followed by speeches -- first that of the Patriarch, then of the Pope. Afterwards they signed a joint declaration; it is already their second joint declaration this year (the first one having been signed in May, in Jerusalem).

In the last several hours, some of the "usual suspects" have been running wild over one sentence in the Pope's speech. (We will also not be surprised if, in the coming days, some eminent prelates, theologians and Catholic 'talking heads' celebrate today's statements as "historic"; nowadays, ecumenical dialogue seems to need all the cheerleading it can get.) The following is the relevant portion of that speech:

Divinum Officium now with full Italian translations

Great news for this first day of the Liturgical Year.

The First Sunday in Advent: Forgetting the Divine Wormhole

    I knew that morning that I had forgotten something important. I had the idea that I misplaced something.  I checked my iPhone, my iPad, no, they were there, I who insisted that I would never have these devices, now wedded to them as if they contained my life.  My car keys, house keys, all there.  But there was this stubborn thought, this feeling that I had misplaced something important.  If I could remember what it was I needed to remember I could look for it.  But I have done this before: I have gone to the pantry to get something to add to what I was cooking and then forgot what it was I had to get.  But it always came back. 

Why Catholic-Orthodox reunion probably won't happen:
Five recent statements from Patriarch Bartholomew, and a reminder from 2009

Compared to the reign of Benedict XVI there has been less talk in the current Pontificate of the reunification of Catholicism and the Separated Eastern Christians that accept the first Seven Ecumenical Councils (the "Eastern Orthodox") being a lot nearer or even imminent, but it has not entirely died out. We saw a bit of it when Vladimir Putin met Pope Francis last year. We are also seeing a bit of it now on the media, with Pope Francis in Constantinople on a visit that has already produced surprises such as the first papal prayer inside a mosque and the first time that a reigning Pope has publicly asked an Eastern Orthodox Patriarch for his blessing. 

Do these gestures -- especially the second one -- presage an even more momentous step: the imminent reunion of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, or at least a tangible and concrete sign that such a union is imminent? We, of course, cannot predict the future, but if history is any guide what we will see tomorrow is going to be more of the same as in the last 50 years. Perhaps there will be another extravagant gesture, but by no means a declaration that the tragic division between the two is at an end. 

Never before seen - Francis bows his head and asks Separated Patriarch: "Bless me and the Church of Rome"

From Zenit:

For the "First Time in History", "silent adoration" and open prayer by a Pope in a Mosque

From Le Figaro's Vaticanist, Jean-Marie Guénois:
Pope Francis dares to pray at the Blue Mosque of Istanbul 
November 29, 2014.

On the second day of his visit to Turkey, Pope Francis went further than his predecessor Benedict XVI by praying openly in the Blue Mosque side by side with the Grand Mufti.

From our special envoy to Istanbul.

Concluding the Month of the Holy Souls and the Liturgical Year
- The Jean Gilles Requiem (Audio Suggestion)

Jean-Philippe Rameau indicated that his Requiem Mass was to be celebrated with the setting composed by Jean Gilles in 1696, and to take place at the Oratory of the Louvre. The Mass was celebrated on September 27, 1764. (Jean Gilles' setting for the messe des morts would also be used at the main funeral mass for Louis XV, ten years later.)

Unfortunately, with the Revolution, like several French churches, the Oratoire du Louvre was confiscated and given to the Reformed - and, not long afterwards, many of Congregation's priests were murdered (15 priests of the Oratory were guillotined or died in prison) or expelled. It was never returned to the Church, and it remains a publicly-owned Protestant-run building to this day.

- During the Year of the Consecrated Life


by which are established the works to be accomplished in order to obtain the gift of Indulgences on the occasion of the Year of the Consecrated Life

The Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life having requested to this Apostolic Penitentiary to have duly determined the conditions to obtain the gift of Indulgences that the Holy Father Francis, on the occasion of the imminent Year of the Consecrated Life, intends to widen for the renewal of religious institutes, always with the utmost fidelity to the charism of the Founder, and in order to offer to the faithful of the whole world a joyful occasion to confirm Faith, Hope, and Charity in communion with the Holy Roman Church, under the most special mandate of the Roman Pontiff, this Apostolic Penitentiary willingly grants Plenary Indulgence, under the usual conditions (Sacramental confession, eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father), to all the single members of the institutes of consecrated life, and to the other faithful truly contrite and moved by the spirit of charity, to be obtained from the First Sunday in Advent of the current year [November 30, 2014] up to February 2, 2016, the day on which the Year of the Consecrated Life will be solemnly concluded, that can be also applied as suffrage for the souls in Purgatory:

The Friday after Thanksgiving Day indult

A friendly and tasty annual reminder that there is a strong argument to be made that there is no required abstinence from meat this Friday for our American readers.

Happy Thanksgiving, you people in the country promoter of "State Terrorism"!

It is pretty much the only country that truly fits in our age the apparent description made by Pope Francis: the United States of America.

As much as many reasonable people may disagree (as we do) with many decisions of past and present United States administrations on foreign policy and war, especially with several mistaken decisions taken since September 11, 2001, it is still breathtaking to accuse the nation and its allies in several different operations (different allies in different operations) of being promoters of "State Terrorism", and therefore comparable to ISIS:

Andreas Englisch: Your Holiness, I have the honor of posing the question for the group of international journalists. You spoke often, in the speeches pronounced in Strasbourg, both of the terrorist threat as of the threat of slavery: there are behaviors [that are] typical also of the Islamic State, that threatens a large part of the Mediterranean, threaten also Rome, and even you, in your person. Do you believe that there may be dialogue also with these extremists, or do you believe that this is a lost cause?

The Pope doesn’t know it, but at Bose they are preparing his end

From Sandro Magister's Italian-only blog:
The article published on the 3rd of November at www.chiesa caused unsurprising irritation in the two figures mentioned.

On the 33rd Anniversary of the Appointment of Cardinal Ratzinger

Never before seen: empty streets

Tweet of the day, by the main religious correspondent of French daily Le Figaro, Jean-Marie Guénois:
"Never before seen: nobody, or almost nobody, in the streets of Strasbourg to welcome Pope Francis between the airport and the [European] Parliament..."

This could be related to another aspect of this fast visit to Strasbourg that had never been seen before in any papal trip of any kind: he is not scheduled to greet his faithful directly nor visit a single Catholic institution in the city, not even its great Cathedral, currently celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of its first foundations in 1015. This did not happen when Pope Paul VI or Pope John Paul II visited New York to speak at the United Nations, nor when John Paul II himself visited Strasbourg, in October 1988. In all cases, several religious meetings were scheduled.

The Cathedral  of Notre-Dame de Strasbourg (Straßburger Münster) is 2.9 km (1.8 mi) away from the European Parliament.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit France again in 2015 (Paris and Lourdes).


[Updates below]

[Later tweets by Jean-Marie Guénois, after the speech:]
"Strasbourg [is] empty... The Pope did not wish to see the Alsatians. The Alsatians did not wish to see the Pope. A visit [that was] as short as it was... sad."

"[I have] Over 50 papal trips of experience: I have never seen such a popular emptiness. Nothing puerile in this striking observation."

[Update: full text of the address delivered by Pope Francis to members of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday November 25, 2014 - Vatican translation]

An update on the saving of the tallest Catholic church in the U.K.

Back in April, we brought to your attention the story of the saving of St. Walburge Catholic Church in Preston, Lancashire -- the tallest Church in the United Kingdom [see here].

New Prefect of CDW: Cardinal Sarah

As reported in today's just-released Vatican bulletin:

Pope Francis has appointed Robert Card. Sarah, until now President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Cardinal Sarah had distinguished himself as one of the strongest conservative voices at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops this year. 

Also, as previously predicted on La Croix and other sources, a meeting between Pope Francis and the heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia took place today.


From a 2012 address on the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, in Lyon (France):

Op-Ed: "Obedience"? "Respect"? We tolerate no lessons from those who morally assassinated Benedict XVI!

We are very honored to post this new article by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.

The Great Fear of the Conformists:
We Take no Lessons from Those Who Morally Assassinated Benedict XVI!
by don Pio Pace

For some time now, Modernist, Liberal, or self-defined "Moderate" and even "mildly conservative" papers and blogs have railed against the "merciless war" waged by Orthodox Catholics on Pope Francis and his orientations

We are right in the middle of the parable of the mote and the beam! Didn’t they criticize, without a moment of rest, John Paul II and his attempt at a minor "restoration", these good souls now giving lessons? Didn’t they destroy Benedict XVI up to the level of what can only be called his moral assassination? Benedict XVI, about whom liberals said among themselves, on the day after his election : "This won’t last more than a couple of years!" Benedict XVI, to whose enemies Abp. Piero Marini gave openly the battle cry: "Resistere! Resistere! Resistere!" They would like then to give us lessons, those who, through their incessant and brutal attacks on Benedict XVI, by Catholic or by mainstream media, by leaks of documents, by financial pressure, by destroying him on what he did or on what he didn’t do, on what he said or on what he didn’t say, prompted him to present his resignation. They want not only to annihilate us as they did with him, but they want us to thank them for being executed, find hilarious that we are being slaughtered, and also apologize to them for the fact that our blood may be staining their spotless clothes...

Now, these good apostles have suddenly discovered the virtues of "obedience" and "humility", preaching to us about "respect" for Peter, as if, by stating the Truth – not always easy to hear, and in a much milder and more proportionate fashion than they ever did – we were lacking in this obedience and respect. Yet it is precisely due to our faith in Peter and due to our unconditional obedience to the Church and her entire Tradition that we must speak up as we do.

The truth is that they are afraid.

I see three reasons for this.

Calling former Oxford students

The Altar in the St Thomas More Chapel
set up for the EF Mass.
Any Oxford graduate, former visiting student, or current student, or current or former employee, who would like to support a petition for a Traditional Sung Requiem in the Catholic Chaplaincy for their decesaed predecessors and contemporaries, please email

with 'Oxford Chaplaincy' as the subject and your name, address, and the name of your current or former college or whatever.

Catholic Social Teaching Did Not Begin Yesterday

Considerations of Catholic Social Teaching often seem to give the impression that it began with The Second Vatican Council, or at the very earliest with Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. 

Continuing Madness:
1) Some in the Curia wanted Burke out of the College of Cardinals
2) More German Catholic weakness on homosexuality and "remarried" divorcees

1) Rome-based journalist and vaticanista Andrés Beltramo Álvarez (a native of Argentina who writes for Mexican newspapers, and also for the Spanish version of La Stampa's "Vatican Insider"), who used to be very level-headed and even conservative in previous pontificates, albeit always giving neutral coverage, is one of those who have chosen to become unofficial spokesmen of the current pontificate. Interestingly in a blog post last week  featuring an extended critique of Cardinal Burke, we can find this pearl:

2012 Rite of Canonization discarded: another reversal of the Reform of the Reform
Shortened Rite of Canonization with truncated Litany of Saints to be used tomorrow

The booklet for the canonization of six new saints tomorrow was published online on Friday, November 21. The Rite of Canonization introduced on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI and which was largely based on the Rite of Canonization before Pius XII is now gone. (This rite had been last used, with minor modifications, for the canonization this past April of John XXIII and John Paul II.) Naturally the threefold petitions are gone, and with them the formulae that emphasized the authority of canonizations, composed under the Pope Emeritus. 

Instead, the "reformed", post-Conciliar rite in use for canonizations from the time of the liturgical reforms of Paul VI until the canonizations of 2011 (called from here on as the "Paul VI rite") will mostly be brought back into use tomorrow. We say "mostly", for this shortened rite has been subjected to further simplifications that, we genuinely hope, do not betoken more truncations of the liturgy in the coming years. (For the rest of this article we will call the rite to be used tomorrow as the "2014 rite".)

La Croix: Second phase of Curia Reform to be discussed on Monday

Deckchairs in the Titanic (Promenade deck)

As reported on La Croix a few days ago and echoed on Periodista Digital the Pope has summoned the heads of Curial dicasteries to a meeting on Monday, where the second phase of Curial reform will discussed. Apparently this phase will consist of the consolidation of at least some of the Pontifical Councils. (The first phase is the reshaping of the  Holy See's economic and financial services, whose most significant chapter so far has been the establishment of the "Secretariat for the Economy" now headed by Cardinal Pell.)

In Honor of the 111th Anniversary of Tra le sollecitudini (November 22, 1903)

The greatest and most influential church document ever written on sacred music appeared this day 111 years ago, from the hand of Pope St. Pius X. So very much has been written about this document’s general principles, its advocacy of Gregorian chant and polyphony, the checkered history of its implementation, and the tragic triumph of the incorporation of the Pope’s teaching into Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium followed by an almost total contradiction in practice, that it seemed to me more interesting today to recall a certain paragraph that seldom receives the attention it deserves:

19. The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells, and the like.

Unlike the same document’s prohibition of female singers (n. 13), which was later lifted under Pius XII, the official ban on pianos in church has never been lifted. And how seriously ought we to take this fact? St. Pius X states at the start of Tra le sollecitudini:

Help fund FSSP St. Francis Xavier Mission

For the last few years, Rorate has partnered with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) to bring awareness to -- and help fund -- some of their mission trips. The FSSP has asked us to bring this set of trips to your attention.
St. Francis Xavier Mission has now opened registration for next year's mission trips.  We will have three trips: Mexico during Holy Week/Easter Week (Families and individuals 16 and up), Peru July 28-August 10, 2015 (Ages 16-21), and Peru August 14-August 24, 2015 (Ages 21 and up).
Run by priests and seminarians from the FSSP, St. Francis Xavier Mission is fully committed to the preservation and spread of the traditional Latin Mass.  Through these trips we are able to bring to the people of these countries the same Mass that their ancestors would have assisted at and in the case of the Cristeros of Mexico, the Mass they died for.  We hope that these mission trips will be the means by which a fire will be lit in the souls of the missionaries, especially the youth; a fire that will enkindle within them the desire to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of souls.  Hopefully, through their experiences on these trips they will return home with hearts full of charity and continue to have the missionary spirit in their daily lives.

So, help us continue spreading the Catholic Faith and forming more zealous soldiers of Christ for the future.  For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation please visit our all new website by clicking here or email us at
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
[a seminarian of the FSSP]

Dear Father: Answers for Troubled Times
- Gender Ideology and the Priesthood

Dear Father,

I watched Cardinal O’Malley’s interview on Sixty Minutes the other night. I like him and have every reason to believe that he is a good bishop and takes that role seriously. But he made me uneasy when he was discussing the question of whether women can become priests. The Pope himself said that this was not a question “that could be put on the table”, not up for discussion. But the Cardinal seemed to be having difficulty responding to Norah O’Donnell’s question about whether the exclusion of women in the priesthood is “immoral”. His response, when it came, seemed to be the right one to give, but it included a statement that if he were to found a church he would love to have women priests. Am I wrong in being uneasy about all of this?

Ataloss in Atlanta

Guest Op-Ed: Cupich should embrace Catholic heritage, forgo false humility

By Anatole Upart
University of Chicago Art History Doctoral student
Special for Rorate Caeli

When a leader of a polity assumes the office, the power of the office often comes in a specific architectural form: a residence, headquarters or a palace. Whether that leader personally dislikes old palaces is not important. What is important is that he or she would transition into the role, previously occupied by someone else.

The last thing the new president, king, pope can do is to refuse the symbolic trappings of the office and impose his own personal preferences. That is why Chicago's new Catholic archbishop, Blase Cupich, should move into the official residence, not into the rectory of the Holy Name Cathedral as he recently indicated. It signals the beginning of his new job in the same way the relocation to the White House starts the presidency and the move into Vatican Apartments mark the Papacy.

Benedict does not go along and deletes …

                                                                                                                                          Marco Tosatti
[Senior Religion Correspondent for Italian Daily] La Stampa
November 19, 2014
In Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s complete works, an article from 1972 by the  young theologian Father Ratzinger, has been published minus a passage referring to the possibility of Communion for the divorced and remarried.

This deletion is interesting since that passage has been quoted frequently by Cardinal Walter Kasper, who, as was noted at the Synod, is a an enthusiastic advocate of the divorced and remarried being admitted to  the Eucharist.

According to the Irish Times, Father Vincent Twomey (a theologian, who studied under Professor Ratzinger) is of the opinion that the editorial modification is important; the theologian suggests that Pope Emeritus does not want his ideas as a young theologian, never repeated as Prefect for the Congregation of Faith nor as Pope, being manipulated.

In the original text of 1972, the then Father Joseph Ratzinger, wrote that marriage was indissoluble in the eyes of the Catholic Church.  However, if “a second marriage showed evidence of having taken on a moral and ethical dimension and 'lived in the spirit of faith' with 'moral obligations' to the wife and children, then an opening toward [reception] of the Eucharist, after a period of probation, 'seems to be nothing more than fair and completely in keeping with the Church’s line of tradition.'”

According to Twomey, the omission “is an important attempt” on the part of Benedict to make sure that his words, written in another context, will not be used against him.
[Source, in Italian. Translation: contributor Francesca Romana]

Selective Approach to Listening to the Laity in Germany

The bishop of Trier in Germany has removed the parish priest of Beckingen from his parish, ostensibly for the reason provided in canon 1741 of the current Code of Canon Law, “a manner of acting which brings grave detriment or disturbance to ecclesiastical communion.” Wherein exactly the disturbance of communion consists is difficult to tell.

Cardinal Burke's High Mass in Vienna: Photos and Video

Una Voce Austria has released photographs of Cardinal Burke’s recent Pontifical High Mass in Vienna, as well as of the Requiem at which he assisted from the throne. has posted a video of the former (embedded above).

A graph is worth a thousand words

(Click for larger view)
From the blog of the admirable Father Gary Dickson, who celebrates the traditional Mass every Sunday for Catholics of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle (Northumberland and Durham, Northern England):

The Great Division
- The Bishops' Conference nails it on the family

No, not the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, nor other bishops' conferences in developed (wealthy and spoiled) nations where the Church is dying and disintegrating as she surrenders to contemporary mores -- neither in places where she has decided to become the non-religious promoter of politicized theologies... Rather, the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference sums up -- beautifully -- the issues of the day concerning the family, and what the Catholic positions are without excuses, exceptions or escape clauses.

FIUV Position Paper: The Extraordinary Form and the Eastern Churches

Today I am publishing the 21st in our series of Position Papers. This one looks at the Eastern Churches: or rather, the attitude of the Holy See to the Eastern Churches and their liturgical traditions.

This attitude has long been one of the utmost respect. This respect, however, is in clear tension with the attacks on the traditions of the West which, while not coming from the Magisterium, have become a dominating feature of liturgical discussion since the Second Vatican Council. In this context, the Position Paper argues that respect for the Vetus Ordo, a respect which is manifested in practice at every level of the Church, is necessary if Eastern Christians of all kinds are to be expected to take seriously the protestations of respect for their traditions which are made so often at the highest levels of the Church.

I have put some more commentary on my personal blog here.

High Mass glimpsed through Pugin's Rood Screen at St Edmund's College, Ware. This is
the only Pugin chapel in England not to have been 're-ordered' after the Council. (More photos)
This paper is available as a pdf here.

Comments can be sent to positio AT

I hope to publish the next paper, on head coverings in Church, in mid December.

The Great Division
- U.S. cardinal: Pope Francis, "What are you doing here?"

The Great Division
- Polish Bishops' Conference President: communion for "remarried" divorcees attacks indissolubility of marriage.

Curiously enough, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki , of Poznań, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, whose presence and firmness were so important in the October Synod, repeats the same line mentioned by Cardinal George in his interview to John Allen: the differences are becoming so wide within the Church, the division so stark, we are not talking anymore about "liberals" and "conservatives", or left and right, but about what is true and what is false, about those who are faithful or unfaithful to the Magisterium.

In the Church, this is the line being drawn: the Great Division is one between Fidelity to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His unchangeable doctrine; or Unfaithfulness to Christ, that is, adulteration of the Faith. 

The Archbishop (himself considered a "liberal" until not long ago), speaking to journalists, also explained how the Holy See Press Office tried to manipulate the press conferences during the Synod.

Abp. Gądecki: Episcopate will take a number of initiatives in the spirit of the Synod on the Family

November 14, 2014

The issue of giving Holy Communion to people who are divorced and living in new relationships cannot be resolved on theological grounds – explained Abp. Stanisław Gądecki during today's meeting with journalists at the secretariat of the [Polish] Episcopate. The president of the Polish Episcopal Conference (PEC) informed journalists that Polish bishops, who will gather for a reateat at Jasna Góra at the end of November, will take a number of initiatives following the message of the III Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops devoted to the family, which took place in Rome in October.

Under Bergoglio, Christianity Matters Less - A Contradictory Pope
- A Major Interview with Sandro Magister

The Pope is confusing many bishops

Sandro Magister, interviewed by Goffredo Pistelli
Italia Oggi
November 13, 2014

This year Sandro Magister celebrates 40 years as a Vatican journalist. His first articles in L’Espresso in fact, date back to 1974.  And today, from those columns and also from the site of the weekly magazine, he still continues to report Vatican and Church news, everything very well-documented without bowing down to anyone.
Born in 1943, a native of Busto Arsizio, with degrees in Philosophy and Theology from the “Cattolica”, Magister has followed many Roman pontiffs. His articles regarding the present Pontiff, Pope Francis, are distinct from the mainstream Vatican journalists, unhesitatingly noting contradictions.  
Question: Magister, Pope Bergoglio, has been basking in worldwide success these past months, but some of his decisions have given pause for thought. For example, he has presented himself as Bishop of Rome but at the Synod for the Family, he evoked the Codes of Canon Law confirming Petrine power.
R: It’s true. He did that in his closing speech.
Q: He outlined a shared and open vision in the governing Church, yet he appointed an outside commissioner with rather tough methods to the Franciscans of the Immaculate and also de facto put a bridle on the bishops conferences.
R: Some, like the Italian one, have effectively been destroyed.

The Great Division
- Papal Intervention on Franciscans of the Immaculate reaches insanity levels: Commissioner warns Italian bishops in person

Tosatti: "Not a very good atmosphere to breathe right now in the Church."
If one wants a reason why Synod special secretary Abp. Bruno Forte, a man currently very close to the Pope and one of his closest advisers, suffered a major defeat in this week's assembly of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) in the election for Vice-President representing Central Italy (including the Latium...), one must only look at what was going on inside the assembly halls in Assisi, as Marco Tosatti reports below. Despite John Allen's spin to the contrary as not a big deal, the most ultra-liberal of Italian Vaticanists, Marco Politi, was right to identify it as a major message to the Vatican from Italian bishops who are honestly fed up. In an organization so marked by symbols as the Catholic Church, this symbolic message by those bishops in the Bishop of Rome's own country, and own region, was a huge deal

There is a general feeling not only of great unease with the direction a strong cabal around the Pope wants to take the Church on moral doctrine, undoing the hard work of Benedict XVI and in particular of John Paul II - a cabal in which Abp. Forte has a strong presence - but also with the heavy-handedness of it all. As Cardinal George is to say in an interview to be released tomorrow, it seems as if there is a desperate rush to implement irreversible change that is hard to understand - George identifies it perhaps with an apocalyptic view of history. (It is not that, though: it is not so hard to understand it when one realizes that ultra-liberal clerics are in a race against time to refashion the Church.)  Many bishops are feeling suffocated by the authoritarian fumes, a weight of unproclaimed persecution that is getting on the nerves not only of conservative prelates, but also of very many very moderate bishops, who form the immense majority of Italian bishops. By the way, a similar interpretation of the election of the United States Conference's four representatives in the 2015 Synod is not off the mark: most U.S. Bishops are also understandably alarmed. Not to mention the Bishops of Poland, in complete resistance to the very notion of the possibility of communion for "remarried" divorcees - the same position of the Bishops of Ghana at the end of their Conference's assembly this week.

Marco Tosatti shows just one example of what was going on in the CEI meeting in Assisi - in the middle of it all, the Papal Commissioner that has been destroying the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate for over a year warning Italian bishops not to welcome those priests desperate to get out of their ordeal:

FFI: "Watch out" for the fugitives

The Trappists - a Video

Pontifical Mass at the Trappist Abbey of Mariawald, 2009 (source)

The Traditionalist: The Keeper of the Gifts

by Alessandro Gnocchi
[Italian daily] Il Foglio
November 6, 2014

[Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, June 28, 2014]


Traditionalist, yes, but not distant from the world,
as some of us would like to be in times of ruin and destruction.

Talking about the Traditionalist is a little like seventy years ago when Leo Longanesi said “Let’s talk about the elephant.” (1) The intellectual bad habits of Italy straddling between fascism and anti-fascism were always the same; anyway, Italy was a little Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, greatly resembling the Church of today, which anyway, is always a little Italian. At that time, Longanesi made mockery of the quirks and hypocrisies of an intellectual class that liked showing off in exotic discourses and loved “talking about the elephant” instead of the destruction of which it was both the victim and the perpetrator. Similarly, a great show is put on in today’s Church, by those who prefer “talking about the traditionalist”, instead of acknowledging the superficial atmosphere of self-demolition, in which, as the saying goes, “they are both singing and carrying the cross.”(2)

It’s easy to say “traditionalist” with the same levity as Longanesi said: “Gentlemen, let’s talk about the elephant” - said the ineffable gentleman - “it’s the only animal of a certain importance that we can safely talk about without risk, these days.”

Yet the traditionalist, if we really want to know him, is not an animal you talk about resorting to banality. He is not the one reviled in the sermons and tischreden [little speeches at the table] of [the papal household of Casa] Santa Marta; he is not the one of the windbags in the press reviews of the mass-media; he is not the one of the sociology-lovers hanging onto the fleeting instant of doctrines which are in continuous evolution; he is not the one of the bishops who issue pitiful decrees of excommunication against the faithful who dare to attend the Mass of Ages. He is not any of these things and others more besides.

The traditionalist is not at all what he seems. He is in ‘mysterious and inalienable intimacy’ with the thing he no longer possesses, he is a haven for the bond between heaven and earth in times of an oblivion dictated by worldly desires that infiltrated into the temple: it is his very own poverty and his very own solitude that create a place for soul and flesh to encounter greatness and wretchedness, salvation or perdition. The rock on which he can save himself or be shipwrecked is the evangelical life in the world - without being of the world.

The Current Catholic Situation: "The Betrayal of the Clerics"

Evil Hierarchs allied to the Powers of the World
persecuting and burning Holy Orthodoxy and Virginal Purity - not new!

Thank you... the people who live and/or work at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, looking after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and, in his frequent visits, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger.

A recent picture of everyone:

The Latin American Exodus: Catholics become Protestants in Droves

Four Days After Synod Closes, CDF responds officially:

Father Claude Barthe
[French Catholic periodical] L'Homme Nouveau
November 12, 2014

The Article of the Week

Gesù, Rome

November 13, 1564 - 2014 :
450th Anniversary of the Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent

Religion Overthrowing Heresy and Hatred (Gesù, Rome)

After the Synod, the Kasper party opens a second front: "Catholic Divorce"

We are very honored to post this new article by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.

After the Synod, the Kasper party opens a second front: 
"Catholic Divorce"

by Don Pio Pace

The extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops had barely ended, and the partisans of the liberalization of the Church's discipline concerning the indissolubility of marriage open a second front, that of the "simplification" of the canonical procedures of the declaration of nullity.

The demotion of Cardinal Burke from his position as Prefect of Apostolic Signatura finds in this matter its true meaning. His role in the nominations of bishops for the United States under Benedict XVI was not enough to explain his demotion, because in order to neutralize his influence, it sufficed (as it was done) to remove him from the Congregation for Bishops, where he was replaced by Cardinal Wuerl. On the other hand, in his place as "Senior Judge" of the Roman church, he was always a serious obstacle to the accomplishment of a project now under study: to turn annulment procedures into a "Catholic divorce" in all but name.

The great lines of this project, undoubtedly already relatively settled in secret, can be summarized in four points:

And he was in the Sistine Chapel in March 2013!

The Removal of a Great Cardinal - his head on a plate,
by Roberto de Mattei

Corrispondenza Romana
November 12, 2014
The Pope inasmuch as he is supreme pastor of the universal Church, has full right to remove a bishop or cardinal from his office, even a distinguished one. A well-known case was the one of Cardinal Louis Billot (1846-1931). He was one of the greatest theologians of the 20th Century, who replaced his cardinal’s hat into the hands of Pius XI, with whom he had had differences regarding Action Francaise, and ended his days, as a simple Jesuit, at the house of his order in Galloro.

Another striking case is Cardinal Josef Mindszenty, who was removed by Paul VI from his office as Archbishop of Esztergom and Primate of Hungary, as a result of his opposition to the Vatican ostpolitk.

Making papal lemonade?

Reaction to Pope Francis' demotion of Raymond Cardinal Burke has produced further criticism of the Supreme Pontiff by writers and clergy who are considered conservative, but not necessarily traditional.  The string of critiques, some even by bishops, archbishops and cardinals following the recent synod, was unthinkable a year and a half ago, when traditionalists were condemned for reporting news, direct quotes and reality.

The latest piece comes from the secular conservative American publication, National Review, whose website carries a column by the Reverend Father Benedict C. Kiely, pastor of Blessed Sacrament church in Stowe, Vermont, and director of continuing education for clergy in the Diocese of Burlington.

Here are some excerpts from Father Kiely's piece on Cardinal Burke.  Note the striking conclusion.
Burke has been viewed by many as a spokesman for the “loyal opposition” to the somewhat frenetic leadership of the media’s darling, Pope Francis. After the recent synod on the family, when backroom attempts to force through dramatic changes in Church teaching and practice, seemingly with Francis’s tacit approval, were resisted by none other than Burke and the Australian “bruiser,” Cardinal George Pell, the understanding that Burke’s days were numbered was all but confirmed. His comments a few weeks later that the Church under Francis appeared to be like a “rudderless ship” were clearly the nail in this cardinal’s coffin. 

Despite the image of Francis as a man of dialogue and compromise, he is regarded in Rome as the most authoritarian pope in decades. ...

Advent is coming: it's time to prepare
A review of "The Jesse Box"

Once in a while, Rorate reviews books, calendars and other items for our readers we believe will be beneficial to them or their families, helping them grow in the Faith. We have no agreements with any publisher and receive no compensation whatsoever.

For today's review, we think back to the Advent seasons of the past, and trying to figure out how to instill the beauty of Advent in our children by teaching the ancestry of Jesus. For our family, it means going out to the yard, finding an awkwardly-shaped branch, then trying to figure out how to stand it upright for our children to create their Jesse Tree. Then, how to keep it low enough for the older children to adorn it, yet high enough for the little ones not to destroy it!

Now, Angelus Press has sent us a much-needed solution: The Jesse Box.

Important: Save the Date - Sacra Liturgia 2015, in America

Sicut cervus ad fontes...

Who would guess?
Mormon Founder Joseph Smith was a "Kasper Catholic"!

Sign a petition thanking Cardinal Burke (updated)

For years Raymond Cardinal Burke has helped restore tradition and speak on our behalf to a Church hierarchy filled with men who would rather we all go away. Now, it's time we say thank you.

Ten tips on how to survive a calamitous Pope and remain Catholic

Italy, France, Spain... Our readers must have noticed we are quite fond of bringing you news and opinion pieces by Catholic writers from these very ancient Catholic lands, and there is a very important reason for it.

Burke is schismatic because he was nice to Traditional Catholics

O Beauty Ever-Ancient, Ever-New

First Mass of Dom Benedict of Silverstream Priory, November 2nd, 2014
Reading St. Thomas’s Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, I noticed that he makes an argument based on the Collect for Easter Sunday. I went to look at my Baronius Missal and found that, indeed, the prayer we use today in the usus antiquior is identical to the one he quoted back in the 1250s.