Rorate Caeli

New church for those in Milan attached to traditional Ambrosian rite

It is with great joy that the Milan faithful attached to traditional Ambrosian rite welcomed the announcement that His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Scola, archbishop of Milan, has given them a new church more suited to the needs of their liturgy and of their community.

Plenary Indulgence reminders:
Te Deum on Dec. 31
Veni Creator on Jan. 1

Vittorio Messori: Doubts on the twists and turns of Pope Francis

The following article by the most influential religious analyst in Italy, Vittorio Messori (main editor, among others, of the Ratzinger Report and of John Paul II's Crossing the Threshold of Hope), has caused great sensation in the country since its publication in the Italian paper of record, Corriere della Sera, on Christmas Eve. The reactions from "Progressive" authors have been violent and aggressive - in response to a text that is actually very mild and terse, and regarding an author who was from the very beginning a huge supporter of the papal election of Cardinal Bergoglio. We translate, you decide why the reaction has been so.


Doubts on the twists and turns of Pope Francis
Vittorio Messori
Corriere della Sera
December 24, 2014

All Concerned Catholics Together in 2015
- beginning with George Weigel

Traditional Catholics have had their disagreements with George Weigel over the years - and will continue to do so. But first things first: and in the January 2015 issue of First Things, despite minor divergences on other matters (including some aspects of the history of Vatican II), George Weigel presents an accurate portrayal of the immense dangers of the October 2014 Synod on the Family and the immense matters at stake in the 2015 Synod. Just as in the unbelievably barbaric ongoing crisis in Syria and Iraq, it is a time for union before anything else.

The only important aspect missing in Weigel's article is one treated elsewhere: the "man crisis", discussed by Nick Alexander, with some startling statistics:

"I must confess I was wrong about Pope Francis"

Alfredo Rostgaard
Christ guerrilla
I confess my mistakes about Pope Francis

Breno Altman
Opera Mundi /Carta Maior [Brazil]
Dec. 24, 2014

I come from a Jewish family hardwired to Socialist ideas and to atheism for four generations.

The last one in my lineage to believe in God must have died in the beginning of the last century.

Christmas is to me a date with no special significance, even though I have learned to respect those who celebrate the birth of Jesus.

But I wish to take the opportunity of this Christmas Eve to make a confession.

A year and a half ago, I wrote for Opera Mundi one of the most flawed articles of my journalistic career. The title says it all ... : "Pope Francis is the modern counter-revolution."

Sermon for the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas:
- The Birth, Time and a Loaf of Ciabatta

Georges de la Tour
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Musée du Louvre
From the Introit of the Mass: Dum medium silentium tenerent omnia, et nox in suo cursu medium iter haberet, omnipotens sermo tuus, Domine, de caelis a regalibus sedibus venit.

While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thine almighty Word leaped down from thy royal Throne.

Bishop of Antwerp wants ecclesiastical recognition of homosexual relationships

On Saturday the Bishop of Antwerp, Johan Bonny, called for ecclesiastical recognition of bi- and homosexual relationships, thereby challenging the dogma of the Catholic Church that recognizes only male/female unions.

The Church of Vatican II: Collapse in Mass Attendance and the Biological Solution in France

It is a well known historical fact that France, the most populous nation in Europe for many centuries, was also the first in the continent to experience demographic stagnation - demographers have usually ascribed that national curiosity to an early secularization, dating from before the Revolution. The Revolution itself could not have happened in an environment that had not already been secularized to some extent.

That means mass attendance statistics in France before the Council were already comparatively quite lower than in most nations - though statistics related to important life events, such as baptisms and marriages, were still quite high.

But nothing could have prepared secularized France for the Vatican II storm. And no statistics show this better than the collapse in the number of priests and weekly Mass attendance.

[1. Practicing Catholics by department/ 2. Number of total Catholics (64% in 2010), and of those going to Sunday Mass (27% in 1952, 4.5% in 2006). 3. Bars show baptisms, orange line shows percentage of Catholic marriages among all marriages. 4. Total number of diocesan priests.]

From a Christmas special on French public news radio France Info:

Fontgombault Sermon: Christmas Midnight Mass
- Why do Nativity Scenes cause such scandal and hatred?

Christmas Midnight Mass

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, December 25, 2014

Natus est vobis hodie Salvator.
For unto you is born this day a Saviour. (Lk 2:11)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

On this holy night, let us greet anew the divine Child Who has come to bring on our earth the fire of uncreated Love. Let us hasten towards the Crib where the Word of God, the Almighty Word, is born to us from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A Christmas Special on Traditional Catholic History in Italy
- by Roberto de Mattei

Let us remember those who, around the world and against all odds and a mostly hostile hierarchy, worked to preserve the Traditional Mass and Rites of the Latin Church. Let us cherish their memory, let us pray for their souls.

Once again, a blessed Christmas to you and yours!


An Anti-Modern Triptych: Elvina Pallavicini, Fr. Francesco Putti, Giovanni Volpe

by Roberto de Mattei
Il Foglio
December 18, 2014

In our lives we have all known personalities, who, even if not enjoying the limelight, can with full rights be part of history, at least minor history. 2014 is the anniversary of the death of three such personalities. 10 years ago Princess Elvina Pallavcini passed away and thirty years before her, Don Francesco Putti and the engineer, Giovanni Volpe. Their lives were connected and as I was a friend to each of them, I would like now to honor their memories together

A Blessed Christmas!

At ubi venit plenitudo temporis,
misit Deus Filium suum factum ex muliere, factum sub lege,
ut eos, qui sub lege erant, redimeret,
ut adoptionem filiorum reciperemus.
"In the Fullness of Time" - the Birth of Our Lord ends the Pagan World
(Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Age of Augustus and the Birth of Jesus Christ, 1855)
A Catholic treasure which we can enjoy especially this night and into the morning is the musical work known as the “Christmas Concerto”, an evolution of the myriad of non-liturgical Christmas-based plays, "Pastorales", and musical settings that were so popular in all Catholic nations.

A Must-Read for Parents: Restoring Tradition in Christmas

Reposting this from 2012, but still timeless:

From our friends at The Remnant comes a blueprint for Catholic parents as only Michael Matt can explain it -- a how-to guide to eliminate both the extremes of commercialism and Puritanism from Christmas and raise a generation of traditional Catholics who truly put Christ back in Christmas.

"I can still see the cast of Bethlehem bathed in a warm, peaceful glow, seeming as real to me as if I were a shepherd boy looking down from that hillside over Bethlehem. I can hear my father and mother’s hushed voices as they prayed and sang to the same royal Baby that shepherds and angels had adored centuries ago. That sacred moment was like a porthole in time, where traveling back to the city of David just then seemed not only possible to a child, but imminent.

"Those long ago Christmas Eves remain vivid in my memory, some thirty-five years later. And the gifts under the tree? I don’t remember many of them. There was no question what Christmas was about — we could feel it in the depths of our souls; we could see it in the tears that formed in our father’s eyes as he prayed aloud; we could hear it in our mother’s voice as she sang softly — silent night, holy night, all is calm."

Take a moment and read the full story, and start to plan now.

The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate: Serene and Ever-Faithful to Christ and His Church

Official Notification From The Institute

20th December 2014

We prefer prayerful listening to The Word of God Incarnate, the only True and Eternal Word of the Father, to the voices that pass through the mass-media.

With regard to an article that concerns us, published in the magazine “Rogate ergo” (no. 11/2014) – an article which we take the liberty to place in doubt the complete trustworthiness – as well as other news circulated by the mass-media about our Institute


The commissioning of our Institute has never been notified, inasmuch as the Apostolic Visit which began on the 19th of May 2014 has still to be concluded. An appeal is still open, which in part has revealed the reason for our request, so that the General Council at present can set in motion acts of government without prior approval of the Apostolic Visitor, as the Decree of the Visit provided.

Our compactness with regard to liturgical choices – documented in detail by an official survey and by Chapter votes in every single community of the Institute with an unanimous result of predilection for the Liturgy according to the Vetus Ordo – by some is considered a veil under which to hide a desire for seclusion equal to not “sentire cum Ecclesia” which would even reach heretical and schismatic positions of opposition to the Magisterium of the Church and disunity with the Holy Father.

Guest Book Review: Magisterial Authority, by Fr. Chad Ripperger

Magisterial Authority 
Fr. Chad Ripperger
$ 9.95 on Amazon

Guest Book Review, by Ryan Grant

For many years, the faithful have been confused, bewildered, scandalized and have even lost their faith on account of the verbal bombs and trendy verbiage emanating from various members of the magisterium, even and including the Pope himself irrespective of whether they identify as Traditional Catholics or Conservative Catholics. This has been even more so under the current Pontificate, where absurd statements are made almost for their shock value. The difficulty is, that many people attempting to come to grips with the implications of odd statements of members of the magisterium, often lack the theological training and seriousness to do so. Everyone thinks they are a theologian, and begin misapplying theological arguments, or even argue themselves headlong over the edge, into sedevacantism. The solution to this state of affairs, however, is not to lob the equivalent of bombs with respect to theological arguments, but rather to do theology properly. In his many years of writing, the greatest assistance to the Traditionalist argument along solid theological—rather than polemical—grounds has been given by Fr. Chad Ripperger, Ph. D.

Fr. Ripperger offers well grounded arguments based on principles, and arms the laymen with the well grounded principles necessary to discern what is and is not authentic teaching to which a Catholic is bound. We noted this in our review of the work The Binding Force of Tradition, and it is again the case with his latest work, Magisterial Authority.

Submit names of Souls by Christmas Eve

It's been a long-held popular belief that Christmas is the day when the most souls are released from Purgatory. 

While they won't be posted online until January, please send the names of your deceased loved ones before Christmas Day. As long as they're in our inbox they're enrolled in the Society. Get them in just in time for Christmas then consider making your Christmas Mass offertory intention for all the souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." Please follow this formatting strictly. 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.

Priests: We now have 50 priests in the Society -- why aren't you? Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing labor intensive involved: all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly traditional Latin Mass with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." This does not need to be a Requiem Mass.

Congratulations to Pope Francis on his exercise in self-criticism
- It was Benedict XVI who had a huge relationship problem with the Roman Curia

Let us be honest: it was Benedict XVI who was hated by most of the Roman Curia. Francis is as loved there as he is in the wide secular world -- hence, no Vatileaks... and no sign whatsoever of a future abdication.

So his criticism of the Curia is and should also be understood, almost 2 years after his election, as a kind of self-criticism. The Papacy, the Curia, and the Church at large have gained considerably from a Pope who admits himself to be not a superior outside analyst, but as someone who is as responsible and involved with the Curia as the "sick" Curials themselves (2014 Christmas Address to the Roman Curia). We are quite sure Francis would be glad to be seen, with this address, not as someone hovering over the lesser people, but as a beacon of humility and strong self-criticism -- as the essential gear of the Roman Curia and robust representative of all its characteristics that he has quickly become.

A Study in Contrasts: Francis, Benedict, Augustine

In the speech delivered at the end of the Synod, Pope Francis said something puzzling. It was another one of those invocations of “the God of surprises,” this time in the midst of a stark opposition between “the letter” and “the spirit”:

One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called—today—“traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.

When I read this, I scratched my head, recalling the quite different way in which the Pope’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, had spoken of the spirit and the letter of the Second Vatican Council, in the address he delivered only nine years ago today, December 22, 2005:

The Glory of the Rorate Mass

Holy Family Parish, Diocese of Cubao, Philippines, Dec. 2014. 

Ninth Anniversary of Rorate Cæli

This blog was launched nine years ago today. We thank Almighty God for the countless graces He has showered upon this apostolate, for the many souls that have been nourished by Catholic truth, encouraged by signs of hope, challenged by the demands of tradition, driven to prayer and fasting by the need to exorcise the demons of our time -- and, above all, moved to greater love and fidelity to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

How often have we felt like crying out, with the Prophet Isaiah, with the people of Israel, with all God-fearing souls throughout the centuries: "O that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence -- as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil -- to make thy name known to thy adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at thy presence!" (Isa 64:1-2). Now, more than ever, O Lord, rend the heavens and come down to save Thy People, in captivity, in exile, wandering in the desert of modernity!

Le Figaro on the Vatican "Secret War"
- Cardinal Burke's interview to Le Figaro

The weekly magazine of major French daily Le Figaro dedicates this week's issue to what it calls the "Secret War in the Vatican: How Pope Francis shakes up the Church". The general theme is that already mentioned elsewhere, of an authoritarian pope, his strong decisions, and individuals who are dissatisfied or merely puzzled with his procedures and ideas - and are therefore eliminated one by one.

There are interesting passages such as the following:

Did not this pope, who feels himself to be first of all the bishop of Rome - the word 'pope' rarely comes out of his lips - reproach one of these days the cassock of a prelate whom he received for a work meeting? A sober suit and a clerical collar suffice.

We will have more on the article shortly. The special also includes the following interview granted by Cardinal Burke.

Cardinal Burke: "I'm very worried."

Jean-Marie Guénois
Le Figaro Magazine
December 19, 2014

Named by Benedict XVI prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a dicastery of the Roman Curia, American cardinal Raymond Burke was discharged from this mission by Francis, and named chaplain of the Order of Malta. An extremely rare event in the history of the Church, he dared to criticize publicly the method followed by the Pope during the Synod on the Family.

Le Figaro Magazine - Can a cardinal be in disagreement with the pope?

"Dear Families, Thank you!" - an Editorial of the FSSP in England

Editorial: Beloved Families!
Fritz von Uhde
Christ with a Farmer's Family (1887-8)
Musée d'Orsay

Dear families! Dear beloved Christian homes! Most honourable and precious domestic churches! Let your due praises be sung, though with insufficient words!

May we start by thanking all faithfully married spouses (or formerly married if they are widowed). We include whoever may be separated or has been abandoned and still remains faithful, if we know any. And also, wherever they may be, any estranged spouses who have come back to God. Dear faithful spouses, thank you for mirroring Christ’s enduring love for the Church and, by extension, God’s indefectible love for every soul. Thank you for forgiving each other whenever needed, and for starting afresh every day. In the darkness of this selfish and despairing world, thank you for radiating God’s tenderness, in your own particular fashion. Thank you for demonstrating that God’s grace purifies and elevates our human affections. God gives and does not take back. When on your glorious wedding day, standing before His altar, you imitated God’s irrevocable promise, trusting in His word and assistance, you did well: “I, Robert, take you, Philomena, for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. – I, Philomena, take you, Robert, for my lawful husband...” We are all so proud of you! Your commitment makes us stronger too.

For the Record: Cardinal Brandmüller visits SSPX Seminary

As reported days ago by some French language sources, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) confirmed today that, as a first consequence of the September 23, 2014, meeting between Cardinal Müller and the superiors of the SSPX, Cardinal Brandmüller held a meeting with the SSPX Superior-General, Bp. Bernard Fellay, at the society's German seminary, at Zaitzkofen, Bavaria. Two additional seminary visits are foreseen in the upcoming months:

Franciscan Minister General to Order: We're broke, due to questionable financial activities of the recent past

From the letter of the Franciscan Minister General, Brother Michael Perry, OFM:

In an effort to live as children of the light, the General Definitorium and I wish to bring to light a grave situation in which the General Curia of the Order now finds itself. The matter involves our financial stability and the patrimony of the Order. While our first concern has and remains verifying the nature, extent, and impact of what has occurred, we also recognize the significant role that external actors, people who are not members of the Order, have played in creating this grave situation.

Natus ad hoc

Hæc dicit Dominus Deus: Egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet. (From the Lesson for Ember Friday in Advent, Isaias xi,1: "Thus saith the Lord God: There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.")

[T]he Messianic idea assumed in Isaias a clearness and an abundance of expression which it is impossible to render to you, since I should weary you by the number and length of the passages I should have to cite.

It is he who sees the Messiah springing from the race of Jesse, the father of David, and who at the same time describes, as if from Calvary or the Vatican, the glory of the sufferings and triumphs of Jesus Christ. "Arise, arise, put on thy strength, O Sion; put on the garments of thy glory, O Jerusalem, the city of the Holy One: for henceforth the uncircumcised and unclean shall no more pass through thee"; "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace: of him that showeth forth good, that preacheth salvation, that saith to Sion: Thy God shall reign". "The Lord hath prepared His holy arm in the sight of all the Gentiles, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." "Behold my servant shall understand, he shall be exalted and extolled, and he shall be exceeding high. As many have been astonished at thee so shall his visage be inglorious among men, and his form among the sons of men. He shall sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouth at him: for they to whom it was not told of him have seen, and they that heard not have beheld."

Dec. 22, 23, 24 - Let us join the special pre-Christmas Fast of the Catholics of Iraq

Christian refugees in a Chaldean Catholic church in Erbil
The Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad Raphael Louis Sako calls on Iraqi Christians to fast on Christmas Eve in order to implore the Lord for the return of refugees in Mosul and the Nineveh plains. At the same time, he asks the faithful not to organise "any worldly celebration" for Christmas and New Year as "a sign of solidarity with their displaced brothers and sisters, who are going through indescribable suffering."
For this reason, he urges them to fast from Monday 22 December until night on 24 December, not touching food or drink until noon, as "in the days of Ba'utha". The Fast of Ba'utha commemorates what the prophet Jonah brought to the people of Nineveh for their conversion.

BOLD: Pastor Encourages A Public Affirmation of Faith on Marriage and Family

Rorate received the text of a letter that was placed in all bulletins -- for both the Novus Ordo and traditional Latin Masses -- by the Pastor and Parochial Vicar of St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, Virginia. Over the ages Catholics have turned to those willing to speak up for the Catholic Faith in difficult times for this kind of clarity and leadership, even when many shepherds seemed to turn elsewhere (think, for instance, of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More). Now, hopefully, some can turn to a good and courageous priest like this pastor.

May God move the hearts of so many thousands and thousands of good priests in the upcoming months so that they will lead their flocks to the affirmation of the Catholic Faith in these extremely troubled times:

Affirmation of Faith Concerning Marriage and the Family
We, the Pastor and the Parochial Vicar, in union with the parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal, Virginia, have signed the following Affirmation of Faith concerning Marriage and the Family as a sign of our fidelity to Christ and His Holy, Catholic Church. 

Issues were raised and discussed during the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome (October 5-79,2074), touching upon essential elements of the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Magisterium, resulting in much confusion amidst the laity, and distortion by the secular media, so that we find ourselves deeply stirred to manifest our fidelity to Our Lord and His Church by publicly reaffirming those parts of Catholic Doctrine that seem to have been put in doubt.

We thereby reaffirm our submission to the One, True Church, and plead with Pope Francis, Christ's Vicar on earth, to proclaim and defend the authentic teaching of the Magisterium against those within and without the Church who seek to misrepresent, dilute or contradict the truths relating to marriage and family life,

1. We believe that the Sacrament of Matrimony, as established by Jesus Christ Himself, which images His own union with His Church, is indissoluble. Marriage is a holy and irrevocable vow and promise, made to God, between one man and one woman which is to be open to the children, which He may want to send them, and commits the couple to lifelong fidelity. As a consequence of this vow, and the sacramental grace it effects, many wonderful families have been established and exist among us. Also the many flourishing families in our parish are outstanding witnesses of the Grace of God who enables them to be able to keep their promise to each other and to Him.

Christmas Beauty: Traditional Latin Mass with Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major setting in Jersey City, New Jersey

We are sent the following special event notice:

Final report on American women religious issued

The "Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States of America" has been issued by the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and apparently American sisters and nuns are in perfect communion with the Catholic Church and her permanent Magisterium.  Nothing to see here, folks.

There was no mention of social issues, no mention of habits, no mention of open dissonance, and, in fact, the tone of the report seemed to apologize to dissident women religious who obstructed during the process and refused to participate in the apostolic visitation.  One would never know why the apostolic visitation was called for in the first place under Pope Benedict.

Contrast that to the Franciscans of the Immaculate under this papacy.

Saying and Unsaying: The Synod’s Orwellian Atmosphere

It surprises me how often Catholics grasp at straws when it comes to the situation in Rome and in much of the Church’s episcopacy these days. It’s as if they are working as hard as they can to deny the evidence of their senses and to find absurdly far-fetched explanations that will prevent them from having to draw the obvious conclusions.

Let’s consider three facts.

1. To leave something unsaid is often to unsay it.

Many commentators on the interim relatio and the final relatio noted that these documents were rather inadequate (in varying degrees) when it came to articulating the beauty and blessings of marriage as instituted by God and elevated by Christ and defending its truth and goodness. The documents included this or that true statement, but they did not give the lion’s share of attention to the sacrament of marriage itself and its nobility, permanent validity, and abundant graces for the world, nor did they condemn the sins and structures of sin aligned against Christian marriage.

Deadline: Enroll yourself and family in Christmas Novena of Masses


A reader suggested we bring this again to your attention. The deadline to enroll is December 17th.

A Christmas Novena of Traditional Latin Masses according to the 1962 Roman Missal (extraordinary form) will be offered for THE SANCTIFICATION OF ALL FAMILIES (or persons) enrolled in the Novena. The nine Masses will begin with the Christmas Midnight Mass on Dec. 24th and will conclude on New Year’s day, Jan. 1st, Solemnity of Our Lord’s Circumcision.

 The suggested donation is $20 for each enrollment which includes an enrollment card and the album Excitabo Auroram which will be sent to each family (or person) enrolled. The Masses for this year’s Christmas Novena will be celebrated by Fr. Lawrence Carney, the Chaplain for the Benedictines of Mary.

Event: Learn about the TLM in New York

“Salesianizing” the Traditional Catholic Movement:
The Honey of Humility and Kindness

Saint Francis de Sales

To attract souls to Catholic Tradition it is necessary that those soldiers within the “traditional movement”  increase their efforts to imitate the apostolic style of Saint Francis de Sales based on humility towards God and on kindness towards one’s neighbor.

Prof. di Marco for Magister:
- The Francis Effect and the new Catholic Climate:
“Democratic Tyranny” against dissenters

Teniente-General Juan Domingo Perón

Rorate Mass at the FSSP European Seminary

Wigratzbad, Bavaria, Saturday, December 12, 2014

A Sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent - Gaudete

From the Epistle reading, St. Paul to the Philippians: 
Rejoice in the Lord always, rejoice, and I say again, rejoice.
Giotto - St. John the Baptist (Peruzzi Altarpiece - detail) - 1315

The Ecclesial Age of False Dichotomies
- Point and Counterpoint: Jesus Christ and Cardinal Maradiaga

Rejoice? Really?...

Fratres: Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil soliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione, et obsecratione, cum gratiarum actione, petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. Et pax Dei, quæ exsuperat omnem sensum, custodiat corda vestra et intelligentias vestras, in Christo Iesu Domino nostro. (Epistle for the Third Sunday in Advent, Philippians iv, 4-7: Brethren, Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.)

"Blessed they that mourn," and "woe unto them that laugh" (Matt. v. 4; Luke vi. 25), says Christ. How then does Paul say, "Rejoice in the Lord always"? "Woe to them that laugh," said Christ, the laughter of this world which arises from the things which are present. He blessed also those that mourn, not simply for the loss of relatives, but those who are pricked at heart, who mourn their own faults, and take count of their own sins, or even those of others.

Dear Father: V - Could there be a Puppy Heaven? (And the monstrosity in the 2015 Synod Lineamenta on Orthodoxy and Pastoral Praxis)

Dear Father:
I am perplexed by the recent talk about dogs going to heaven.  I watch the morning shows from New York while drinking my coffee, and everyone this morning  seemed happy and excited by what the Pope had apparently said, whether it was accurately reported or not. I must confess that I am getting exhausted trying to keep up with all the new things coming out of Rome.  Can you help me understand what is going on?  Can I tell my daughter that her goldfish will go to heaven and be with her?
Dog-tired in Dodge City

Dear Dog-tired in Dodge City,

I will try my best to answer your questions and help relieve your tired state of mind.  I, too, was surprised to see an article on the Pope’s supposed statement about dogs going to heaven on the front page of the New York Times, a newspaper certainly of record and influence but not known to care too much about papal statements. 

"Consecrated Life" - the Pope's Apostolic Letter, viewed by a French commentator

Rogation procession at the Pierre-qui-vire Abbey in the pre-conciliar years.
I ended up deciding to read up the "Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis to all consecrated people on the occasion of the Year of the Consecrated Life," that started on the first Sunday in Advent.

St. Fido?
Pope Francis says our pets will follow us to Heaven

[Update: is this story accurate? Probably not: but, as Fr. Cipolla explains, it's the "praxis of mercy" that it implies and the actual use of the latter in the 2015 Synod's Lineamenta that is the real news.]

Via USA TODAY's Newser:

Pope Francis continues to show he's anything but traditional. During a recent public appearance, Francis comforted a boy whose dog had died, noting, "One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures."
Theologians say Francis—who took his papal name from the patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi—was only speaking conversationally.

Calendar review: Monastero di San Benedetto di Norcia

With less than three weeks until the new calendar year, and less than two weeks until Christmas Day, it is an ideal time to give 2015 wall calendars to priests, religious, family and friends.

Several beautiful products for 2015 using the 1962 liturgical calendar are available, including one by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, another by Angelus Press and another by the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

As we posted in October, the 2015 wall calendar by the Monks of Norcia brings a Benedictine focus to the year, along with absolutely stunning photography.  Taken at their monastery, the photos range from one in January of their restored sanctuary, to March with the monastic schola, to June with the monks' famous beer, to the singing of the Divine Office in December.

Dominican Rite TLM for the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

Every once in a while we share photos of the actual priests saying Mass for the tens of  thousands of enrolled Souls in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society.
These photos are from an Immaculate Conception TLM Monday. The Mass was said by Fr. Thomas Crean, OP -- who last week became our 50th priest saying the TLM for the enrolled Souls. The Mass location was the Schlosskapelle at Schloss Trumau (near Vienna) where the International Theological Institute is located.
The man behind the lens of these beautiful photos is Chris Owens. You can see 17 photos of this Mass by clicking here.
Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services.
There's nothing labor intensive 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."

The Synod and the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
10th December 2014
As the 2015 Synod looms ahead laden with the unknown and [many] problems, a prime question is up for discussion.  What is the authority of ecclesiastical documents which may be produced by the ordinary Magisterium of a Pope or Synod?

The progressives, or better the neo-modernists, attach an infallible character to all the acts of the present Pontiff and to the results of the next Synod, whatever they may be.  They say – we need to obey these acts, since,  as in the case of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope or the bishops united to him, cannot fall into error. On the other hand, the progressives themselves deny infallible value to the teachings of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Paul VI, and affirm that traditional morality in the marital field  needs to be up-dated, adapting to the “experienced convictions” of those Catholics that practice contraception, artificial insemination and non–marital cohabitation.

New cardinals coming in February

From Vatican Information Service:

A press conference was held today during which the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced the Holy Father's wish to convene a Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on 14 and 15 February 2015. He also announced two other important appointments: a meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Roman Curia (9 to 11 February) and a meeting of the College of Cardinals (12 to 13 February) to discuss matters relating to the reorganisation of the Holy See.

Francis: No one questioned truths of marriage & no bishops fought at Synod

There was the latest papal interview, where the Pope says he didn't demote Card. Burke; and now, this address, where he explains that no prelates were fighting during the Synod and no truths of marriage where ever questioned.

All right, then...


From Father Richard G. Cipolla:  As one of the Co-ordinators, I am so pleased to announce the official press release for the Sacra Liturgia Conference 2015.  I know that our many readers will be interested in attending this Conference and will support it with their prayers. 

From June 1-4, 2015, an international conference on liturgical formation in light of the new evangelization will be held in New York, under the title:

For the record: Top French Commentator in Radio-Editorial: "Francis, the Anti-Benedict XVI, is leading serious Christians to desperation."

Éric Zemmour is probably the most famous and influential journalist and commentator in contemporary France. Though not a Catholic (he has Jewish-Algerian origins, from a family that was granted French citizenship with the historic Crémieux Decree, of 1870), he is considered "controversial" in France since he is an unabashed old-style conservative in a strongly "Progressive" environment - and he is not afraid, as a conservative thinker, to defend the great history of France, including its Catholic roots. (More about him, and his recent book, "Le suicide français", on how extreme "progressivism" is destroying France, in this recent extensive article of the Weekly Standard.)

He made the following comment in his radio editorial in the most popular news radio in France, RTL, on Pope Francis' visit to Strasbourg. We post it mostly for the record of historic events on how "mainstream conservative" commentators in Europe are beginning to view the pontificate.

Éric Zemmour: "Pope Francis goes to Strasbourg and ignores the Cathedral"

The 150th Anniversary of Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors

One hundred and fifty years ago today, December 8, 1864, Blessed Pope Pius IX issued his encyclical Quanta Cura, to which was attached the famous Syllabus of Errors. The encyclical begins with fierce clarity and lofty zeal for the integrity of the Catholic Faith, in words that may be taken as a standing reproach of wishy-washy shepherds today, who ambiguate and compromise articles of faith and morals:

With how great care and pastoral vigilance the Roman Pontiffs, our predecessors, fulfilling the duty and office committed to them by the Lord Christ Himself in the person of most Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, of feeding the lambs and the sheep, have never ceased sedulously to nourish the Lord’s whole flock with words of faith and with salutary doctrine, and to guard it from poisoned pastures, is thoroughly known to all, and especially to you, Venerable Brethren. And truly the same, Our Predecessors, asserters of justice, being especially anxious for the salvation of souls, had nothing ever more at heart than by their most wise Letters and Constitutions to unveil and condemn all those heresies and errors which, being adverse to our Divine Faith, to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, to purity of morals, and to the eternal salvation of men, have frequently excited violent tempests, and have miserably afflicted both Church and State. For which cause the same Our Predecessors, have, with Apostolic fortitude, constantly resisted the nefarious enterprises of wicked men, who, like raging waves of the sea foaming out their own confusion, and promising liberty whereas they are the slaves of corruption, have striven by their deceptive opinions and most pernicious writings to raze the foundations of the Catholic religion and of civil society, to remove from among men all virtue and justice, to deprave persons, and especially inexperienced youth, to lead it into the snares of error, and at length to tear it from the bosom of the Catholic Church.

Fontgombault Sermon - Immaculate Conception: "She is younger than sin"

(Abbey of Our Lady of Fontgombault - sights and sounds)

Immaculate Conception

Homily of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(St. Peter of Wisques Abbey, December 8, 2014)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Among the feasts of the liturgical year, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary holds a special place, insofar as its object is a gift granted to a human creature and far exceeding what anybody might have imagined. In the long series of human beings tainted by original sin, Mary is the exception. Blessed Pope Pius IX defined on December 8th, 1854:

On the 160th Anniversary of the Dogmatic Definition of the
Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX

Dominus possedit me in initio viarum suarum, antequam quidquam faceret a principio. Ab æterno ordinata sum, et ex antiquis, antequam terra fieret. (From the Lesson for the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Proverbs viii, 22-23: The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.)

The Morning Star is about to rise upon the night which overspreads the fallen world with its deep shadows. The East already warms, and the glorious Sun of Justice sends His rays before His coming. That beautiful Star precedes Him on His way. It is full of His light, and is the reflection of His purity.

You Report: Mass, in pictures

A reader has passed along incredible, professional photos of a recent Mass. Please read account of the Mass below and check out numerous photos we link to at the end.

For the record: The new papal interview [Updated]

The full article, with comments and circumstances, is available at La Nación, Argentina's oldest daily. Below, just the excerpt containing the published portion of the interview itself:
-The first Latin American Pope, that is a great honour for all Latin America. What do you expect from Latin America?

Editorial: Reinventing God

Editorial: Radicati nella fede, December 2014
Newsletter of the Catholic community of
Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy

A God that no longer asks anything of men is one that doesn’t exist. Yet this has been the tragic consequence of the Post-Conciliar Church, which by espousing a secular vision of mercy has arrived at practical agnosticism. If it is true that practical atheism exists i.e. those who live as if God doesn’t exist, even if they don’t deny His existence explicitly, so then real agnosticism exists i.e. those who talk of an unknown God Who doesn’t speak clearly to men, from whom man gets what he wants according to the circumstances; a God Who is essentially there to validate without asking much in return.

This appears typically to be the situation in a great part of today’s Catholicism and lived concretely by the majority of the baptized.

Sacred beauty in the 21st Century - it is possible

From the Fall-Winter Appeal of the Monks of Norcia (Nursia), Italy:

Event: Go to Mass where the movie stars go

Well, not really. But it is great to see the traditional Latin Mass gaining a stronger foothold in Hollywood. As you recall, Rorate was the first venue to announce the arrival, after so many decades of prayers, of a traditional Institute (the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter) in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at the invitation of Archbishop Gómez. Things have moved fast since then - info below, and very short video clip, from friend and choir director Jeff Ostrowski:

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) is in the process of establishing a parish in Los Angeles.  During Advent, Mass will be offered in the Extraordinary Form at 7:00pm each Sunday.  The Pastor of Saint Victor Catholic Church has graciously granted permission for this, since the FSSP does not yet have its own permanent location.  Saint Victor is located at 8634 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069.  Please come and support this FSSP effort at its inception1  About 250 lovers of the ancient Missal bravely drove through the rain last Sunday.
For more information and pics, click here.