Rorate Caeli

The heretic Pope

Honorius I: the controversial case of a heretic Pope

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 30, 2015

The case of Pope Honorius is one of the most controversial in the history of the Church. As the Church historian, Emile Amann, rightly notes in the large entry he dedicates to the Question d’Onorius in Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique (vol. VII, coll. 96-132), the problem needs to be treated in an unbiased manner and with the serene impartiality which history owes to past events (col.96).

At the center of the pontificate of Pope Honorius who reigned from 625-638, was the question of Monothelitism, the last of the great Christological heresies.  In order to please the Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius, desirous of guaranteeing religious peace inside his kingdom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, sought to find a compromise between Catholic orthodoxy, according to which in Jesus Christ there are two natures in one person, and the Monophysite heresy, which attributed to Christ one person only and one nature only. The result of the compromise was a new heresy, Monothelitism, according to which, the double nature of Christ was moved in His action of one operation only and one will only. This is semi-Monophysitism, but truth is integral or it is not, and a moderate heresy, is always heresy. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, was among those who intervened with the greatest vigor in denouncing the new doctrine which rendered the humanity of Christ futile and led to Monophysitism , condemned by the Council of Chalcedon (451).  

Francis: "True Freedom is not personal autonomy, but serving Baby Jesus"

[The Baby Jesus] wants to be in our arms, He wants to be cared for and be able to fix his gaze on ours. What’s more, we should bring a smile to the Child Jesus to show him our love and our joy because He is in our midst. His smile is a sign of love that gives us the certainty of being loved. Children, finally, love to play. To play with a child, however, means abandoning our logic to take on theirs. If we want to have fun we need to understand what pleases them, and not to be selfish and make them do things that we like. It is a lesson for us. Before Jesus, we are called to give up our claim to autonomy - and this is the crux of the problem: our claim of autonomy – and instead to welcome the true form of freedom, which is to know who is before us and serve Him.

Catholic audio books -- listen for free!

We got word of another wonderful website, with over 450 free Catholic audio books for you to enjoy. Yes, that's right -- FREE. No credit cards, no payment. Just click, listen and get one step closer toward salvation.

BECKET - "This is the sign of the Church always: The Sign of Blood."

KNIGHTS. Where is Becket, the traitor to the King?
Where is Becket, the meddling priest?
Come down Daniel to the lions' den,
Come down Daniel for the mark of the beast.

Advent and Christmas 2015 Photo-Post

(This post will be updated as we receive more links and pictures.)

1. Messa in Latino has published the following pictures of the Solemn Pontifical Christmas Midnight Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke at the Ss. Trinitá dei Pellegrini, Rome's personal parish dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass. 

Fontgombault Christmas Day Sermon: "The World of Slaughters of Today knows Him not."

Christmas Day Mass

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, December 25, 2015

Et mundus eum non cognovit.
And the world knew Him not.
(John 1:10)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

On this Christmas morning, whereas joy is filling our hearts, the reading of the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John specifies what is the place of the little Child of the Crib in the history of salvation, and even more, in the context of eternity. 

Italian liturgical calendar from Norcia

A reader recommended we bring one last 2016 liturgical calendar to your attention:

Fontgombault Sermon: Christmas Midnight Mass: "Hearken, o my son."

Christmas Midnight Mass

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, December 25, 2015

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,

Every year, the holy night of Christmas leads us near Bethlehem, so that we may live again the birth of the Divine Child and His manifestation to the shepherds. Schedule for Christmas 2015 Christmas Broadcast Schedule

CHRISTMAS: the hour of faith in the darkness of the world

[With this text by Roberto de Mattei, we wish our readers and their loved ones a Christmas Eve, a Christmas Day, and a full Christmastide filled with the love and warmth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Blessed Mother, and the virtuous Saint Joseph. A very blessed Christmas to all!]

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 23, 2015

10th Anniversary of the Hermeneutic of Continuity Speech

Has it already been a decade since Pope Benedict XVI gave one of the most important addresses of his pontificate (and, we may say without fear of contradiction, of the past fifty years)? On December 22, 2005, not long after his election to the Chair of St. Peter, Pope Benedict set forth the fundamental principle of his pontificate: reform in continuity, rather than discontinuity and rupture.

[New Catholic: for Rorate, the Hermeneutic of Continuity address was a major game-changer. The blog, as you may recall, had been founded just two days earlier, and the Pope stunned the Catholic world with this address. We were the first venue to provide English translations of the main excerpts of the address for over a week (at that time, the Vatican seriously neglected the language, and the Curia always boycotted Pope Benedict).]

Event: Solemn Pontifical Mass in Louisiana

The Remains of the Day

"For a day can bring all mortal greatness low..."

The Horror of Surrogate Religions: cats are a substitute for children and skyscrapers for bell towers

Camillo Langone
Il Foglio
December 17, 2015

It doesn’t surprise me if St. Peter’s Square is half-empty, or not as full as expected, I would be surprised at the opposite. And I don’t believe that it’s all due to the  fear of running into a Muslim with a passion for explosives. It’s true that in recent years, Catholic movements ( apart from the Neocatechemunals) capable of bringing youth to the Square have eclipsed, being now reduced to their laughable summer rites (yes, I’m thinking mainly about the C. L. ) Further, it’s true that Catholicism at the parish level is aged and consequently trembling (the old fear death infinitely more than the young, for them death is a concrete reality, not an idea).  Still, it’s not only this. But principally this: as in nature, the heart of man abhors a vacuum. 

Following "The Liturgical Year" with Dom Prosper Guéranger:

Thankful greetings to all who have sent their congratulations to this page on its 10th anniversary. The blog was founded precisely on Rorate Sunday, and named after its magnificently beautiful Introit.

Dom Guéranger will be our guide to this fourth and last Sunday in Advent: the Lord is near.

by Dom Prosper Guéranger

We have now entered into the week which immediately precedes the birth of the Messias. That long-desired coming might be even tomorrow; and at furthest, that is, when Advent is as long as it can be, the beautiful feast is only seven days from us. So that the Church now counts the hours; she watches day and night, and since December 17 her Offices have assumed an unusual solemnity. At Lauds, she varies the antiphons each day; and at Vespers, in order to express the impatience of her desires for her Jesus, she makes use of the most vehement exclamations to the Messias, in which she each day gives Him a magnificent title, borrowed from the language of the prophets.

Rorate Cæli 10-year anniversary: your thoughts

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Rorate Cæli, founded on Rorate Sunday, 2005. 

Thank you to all our readers for your loyalty and support. As mostly anonymous bloggers, we do this out of love of our Lord, His Church, and you -- not for fame, and certainly not for money, as we have never accepted a dime.

We promised no hoopla and no big splash today. When you think about the almost unfathomable notion that the Church is in worse shape today than it was 10 years ago when we started there's no real reason for us to celebrate. We have failed Christ and His Bride and have much work to do before we break out the champagne. God willing, we'll be alive to pop those corks.

What we did do in preparation for today was to ask you, our dear readers, to share your thoughts on what this blog means to you. We were overwhelmed with the response, both in volume, and in content. Lives changed, families saved and vocations berthed. 

We cannot post all the emails we received, but here is a sampling. Thanks to all of you who wrote in. Even if you don't see yours here, it warmed our hearts, and we appreciate it.

Rorate reader responses:

I would  like you to know that it was on your website back in 2012 that we discovered the FSSP Mission trips. Our daughter X went with the good FSSP priests in 2012 (Dominican Republic) and 2013 (Peru). 

The following year, she announced her desire to become a nun. After a spiritual retreat to aid discernment, she discovered the Dominican Sisters of Wanganui: 

X is currently a postulant with the Dominicans at Rosary Convent in Australia and finishing up her teaching certificate. She will be entering as a novice this January.

Thank you for posting the FSSP mission trips on your site! As her mother, I can clearly see that Rorate was an instrument for God's calling. 

Please keep X in your prayers.

In Christ and His Blessed Mother

Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trips 2016

For the last few years we've helped promote the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter's (FSSP) mission trips. Please see below for next year's schedule.

Rorate's Caeli's 10-year anniversary: Tell us your story

Reposting once more, with some of your responses being posted this upcoming Rorate Sunday:

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, this blog will celebrate its 10th anniversary since its beginning, by our prolific, gifted and pious founder, New Catholic. It has been an amazing 10 years with Rorate Caeli now the most-read international traditional Catholic blog in the world.

Before becoming a contributor -- one of the greatest blessings, and spiritual burdens, of my life -- I was once a reader and admirer. I would email, along with news tips, my appreciation to NC. 

Rorate spiritually woke me up, in a good way. It was slavishly traditional, yet never knee-jerk. It was well researched and thought through: the kind of blog that lifted the veil from your eyes but didn't cause you to go to an untenable extreme. 

It was, without any exaggeration, a great spiritual gift to me, dropped down from Heaven. 

Over the years many of you, whether laymen, priests, religious, bishops or even princes of the Church, have conveyed your appreciation to us. And we can say doubly back to you how much we not only appreciate, but need, your words of encouragement. 

We make no money for running this blog yet, at times, it's almost like having a second full-time job. And even though we try our best, the criticisms come from all angles, from all levels, like a constant barrage. At times, when we've been at our lowest, that one email coming in telling us how much we've meant to a reader is enough to pick us back up, dust us off and get us back to work doing our small part to bring about the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass and Faith. 

Your words of encouragement -- and the graces of God bestowed on us by Our Lady -- sustain us. 

This Rorate Sunday, we will not have any hoopla, no big splash. But we will commemorate the day. 

Please send us your brief thoughts on what Rorate Caeli has meant to you. This shouldn't be long and don't worry about getting it perfect. Just send us your thoughts and we will do our best to compile them all and publish them without names attached (unless you specifically ask us to). 

You may send your thoughts to athanasiuscatholic AT yahoo . com 

A very heartfelt thank you to all of our dear readers for 10 years of loyalty and encouragement. May God grant us all another 10 years to fight for tradition and work out our salvation.

Final Report of the Synod of Bishops now Fully Available in English

Rorate was the first to provide the translation of the most important and ambiguous paragraphs on the very day of the conclusion of the assembly -- now, almost 2 months later, the full English version of the document has at last been made available at the Vatican website here.

New editor for NLM

Those who enjoy informative posts on the rubrics, history and ceremony of the traditional Latin Mass have no doubt seen well-researched pieces in recent years by Mr. Gregory DiPippo, who writes for the New Liturgical Movement blog.

Our congratulations on the news over the weekend that Gregory has been elevated from managing editor to editor of that site, following the leadership of Jeffrey Tucker and, before that, founder Shawn Tribe.

Gaudéte in Dómino semper: íterum dico, gaudéte.  We look forward to seeing many more informative articles and beautiful photos on NLM under Gregory's exemplary leadership.

"Mary is the creature who in a unique way has opened the door to her Creator": A Homily for Gaudete Sunday

(Another marvelous homily from a traditional Catholic priest who has shared many of his sermons with us in the past.)
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε: πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice! — Phil. 4:4
Gaudete Sunday
13 December 2015

Perhaps unique among all languages in the world, English distinguishes between a house and a home.  A house is “a building in which people live; a residence for human beings.”  A home, on the other hand, is: “the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.”

A house, by itself, does not a home make.  A home comes about through family life.  A family that has no family life may live in a house, but it would not live in a home.  Such a family would be, as it were, a homeless family.

Taking the extreme case for the sake of clarity, consider the family that hardly does anything together: never eats a meal together, never prays together, never engages in any common activity together.  Would we be able to point to such a family and say, “See how they love one another?”  Not really.  If the members of this family did have any love for each other, it would be difficult to discern, both for an outside observer as well as for the family members themselves.  Nor would this family be characterized by the joy that flows from being in a loving environment.  For how can joy be present when love is absent?

On the other hand, a family that did live in a home would be full of  “domestic affections”, radiating the warmth of sacrificial love, and beaming with the joy of knowing such love and being in each other’s presence, and enjoying the peace arising from family unity and order.  That’s what transforms a house into a home.

Now, just as we can, by way of analogy, extend the notion of residence beyond the confines of a building (as when we say we reside in the City of Dayton or in the State of Ohio, or in the United States of America), so too we can extend the notion of house and home   We might speak of Dayton as our hometown, Ohio as our home state, and America as our homeland. And this is understandable, since people who live in the same place enjoy a common experience of that place with many others who live there.  

But we call ourselves Americans not simply because we happen to be American citizens, but because subscribe to certain principles concerning man and society, which principles are at least implicitly contained in the Constitution.  And yet, if, as James Madison, the putative ‘father’ of the Constitution claims, these principles so promote the multiplication of faction as to undermine over time the common moral fabric of the body politic, then the citizenry would be reduced to an accidental collection of individuals seeking their own private good without any regard for their proper common good.  Accordingly, the country would correspond more to a house than to a home.  And so it would be more sensible to speak of our “house-land” than our “homeland”.

But let’s extend the analogy as far as we can: let’s include the entire cosmos, all of reality.  Is there any sense in which we might also call the universe our home?  Or is it too nothing more than a house?  The prevailing secular worldview in which we live and breathe would have us understand the universe to be no more than a house.  According to the secular worldview, the universe, together with all it contains, is nothing more than a chance product of blind forces.  Love has nothing to do with our existence or our purpose in life.  In fact, in such a universe, what would our experience of love even be other than a form of selfishness?  Accordingly, when reality is interpreted through the secular worldview, what reason could anyone have to be joyful?  If we understand reality according to the secular worldview, then the universe (if it has any order at all) is at best a house.  And if the universe is only a house, whatever sense of home we might experience ourselves in our own life experience can only be illusory.  Whatever meaning we might give to our lives is merely a projection of our selfish desire for comfort and consolation in the face of a depressing meaninglessness — a projection onto a universe bereft of any intrinsic meaning or purpose.  Such a projection is but a veil that serves to hide this fearsome and debilitating ‘truth’ from the weak and pusillanimous: the ‘truth’ that whatever we strive for amounts to nothing more than a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  So much for the secular worldview.

But the Catholic worldview, which we express every time we recite the Creed or read the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John, does not peddle in comforting constructs and illusions.  For the Catholic worldview, far from leading to depression and despair, gives us cause for joy.  When we understand that God created the world from nothing by the power of His Word; that He loved the universe into being in perfect freedom; that He created us in His own image and likeness; that the Word became flesh in Christ Jesus, and that Our Blessed Lord showed us not only what true love looks like, but also that true love is real and lies at the heart of why we are here at all; when we understand that Christ gave us His Spirit so that we too could love Him and one another with His own divine love, entering into a communion with the Holy Trinity, then of course we have reason to rejoice.  And when we come into the “domus Dei”, the “house” — or better still, the home of God — we pray to God and worship Him in and through Christ as one spiritual family; we offer to God anew the holy Sacrifice of Christ’s loving work of redemption, and we receive that same Sacrifice as our spiritual food in holy communion.  What better reminder can we have of God’s love for us?  What better “source and summit” of our joy than the Holy Eucharist?  The man who lacks such spiritual joy shall find life increasingly empty, even unbearable.  Naturally, he will seek to mitigate or mask what we might call a temporal prelude to the eternal pain of loss which the souls of the damned suffer without any relief whatsoever.  For which reason, as St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle (Nich. Ethics, x, 6), observed, such a man, bereft of spiritual joy, will “have recourse to pleasures of the body” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, q. 35, a. 4, ad 2m).

You will notice that Christian joy is so tied to Christian love that it is impossible to experience the one apart from the other.  As Boston College professor Peter Kreeft puts it, “The way to joy is sanctity, loving God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself.”

When St. Paul told the Philipians to “rejoice in the Lord always”, he wrote it in Greek: Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε.  I mention the Greek because, when you compare what St. Paul wrote to the Philippians with the Angel Gabriel’s salutation to the Virgin Mary, it turns out that Gabriel says the same thing to the Blessed Mother.  In English, we say “Hail, full of grace” from the Latin, “Ave, gratia plena”.  But St. Luke, also writing in Greek, writes, “Chairē kecharitomenē,” which also means, “Rejoice, full of grace!”

Pope Benedict XVI explains the angelic salutation as follows: “At first glance, the term chairē, “rejoice”, looks like a normal greeting, common in the Greek world, but this word, when read against the background of the biblical tradition, takes on a much deeper meaning.  This same term is present four times in the Greek version of the Old Testament, and always as a proclamation of joy at the coming of the Messiah (cf. Zeph 3:14; Joel 2:21; Zech 9:9; Lam 4:21).  The angel’s greeting to Mary is thus an invitation to joy, a deep joy, it announces the end of the sadness that there is in the world in front of the limits of life, suffering, death, wickedness, the darkness of evil that seems to obscure the light of the divine goodness.  It is a greeting that marks the beginning of the Gospel, the Good News” — the Catholic worldview.

Pope Benedict then asks, “But why is Mary invited to rejoice in this way?  The answer lies in the second part of the greeting: ‘The Lord is with you.’  Here, too, in order to understand the meaning of the expression we must turn to the Old Testament.  In the Book of Zephaniah, we find this expression: ‘Rejoice, O daughter of Zion, … the King of Israel, the Lord is in your midst … The Lord, your God, in your midst is a mighty savior’ (3:14-17).  In these words there is a double promise made to Israel, to the daughter of Zion: God will come as a savior and will dwell in the midst of his people, in the womb — as they say — of the daughter of Zion.  In the dialogue between the angel and Mary, this promise is fulfilled to the letter: Mary is identified with the people espoused to God, she is truly the daughter of Zion in person; in her is fulfilled the expectancy for the final coming of God, in her the Living God makes his dwelling.”

And so, the joy of the Gospel belongs to our Blessed Mother, the daughter of Zion, because she freely accepted the divine will: Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.  Again, in the words of Pope Benedict: “Mary is the creature who in a unique way has opened the door to her Creator, she has placed herself in his hands, without reserve.  She lives entirely from and in the relationship with the Lord; … And she submits freely to the word received, to the divine will in the obedience of faith.”

And so we can understand St. Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always” as a call to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary by continuing to accept and believe in the Gospel, and remain faithful to Christ.  For the joy of the Gospel cannot be enjoyed apart from the Gospel, or apart from Christ.  But if we make the Good News about Christ Jesus the basis of our lives and the foundation of our understanding of reality, then even should men revile and persecute us, and speak all that is evil against us for Christ’s sake, even then shall we have reason to rejoice and exult.  For our reward will be very great in heaven (Mt. 5:11-12).  “If God be for us, who is against us?”  (Rm. 8:31).  Or, as professor Kreeft puts it, “No one who ever said to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and meant it with his heart, ever failed to find joy — not just in heaven, or even down the road in the future in this world, but in this world at that very moment, here and now.

“Every time I have ever said yes to God with something even slightly approaching the whole of my soul, every time I have not only said ‘Thy will be done’ but meant it, loved it, longed for it — I have never failed to find joy and peace at that moment. In fact, to the precise extent that I have said it and meant it, to exactly that extent have I found joy.”

Let us, then, surrender to God.  Let us always strive to do His will, that He may always dwell in us and we in Him as in a home, and that we may always rejoice in the knowledge of His infinite love for us.

A Reminder on the Jubilee of Mercy

Much has been written or posted, in this blog and elsewhere, about the unsettling circumstances attending the declaration of the Jubilee of Mercy. We have every reason to expect that under the cover of this Jubilee many things will be said and done even by the highest-ranking prelates that will only worsen the climate of heterodoxy in the Church as a whole. Rorate will continue to provide coverage of the intensifying attacks on orthodoxy that, we expect, will be perpetrated in the name of "Mercy". 

At the same time, it would be a mistake to allow our indignation and anger at the crisis in the Church and its enablers to prevent us from making use of the graces of the Jubilee. In many dioceses, the Jubilee is being marked with increased opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Penance. In this Holy Year we have almost unlimited opportunities for obtaining the Jubilee indulgence that were granted by Pope Francis on the first of September: passing through any of the numerous Holy Doors that have been opened throughout the world and the performance of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, plus the special opportunities for indulgences granted to the sick, the elderly and the imprisoned. (Speaking of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, Francis said that "each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence".)

Following "The Liturgical Year" with Dom Prosper Guéranger:

From the very first days of Rorate, the great founder of Solesmes and Restorer of so many great things in the Holy Church, Dom Prosper Guéranger, has been a part of our life. One of the most widely read and shared posts of our first year was indeed dedicated to what we called "The Liturgical Creed", entirely based on a text by Guéranger on the "Anti-liturgical Heresy"  - we strongly recommend it to all those who wish to understand the current liturgical struggle of the Catholic Church, and how it is inseparably connected with the doctrinal collapse of our age, as well as our own position on all liturgical matters, which has remained the same since the beginning.

Why not, then, go back to the most famous book by Guéranger, one that has fed so many generations? In moments of ecclesial distress, the answer is never despair, but going back to the sources of our Hope - and the Holy Mass is the first one of them

So, even though these texts are widely available elsewhere, we also wish to mark the seasons with Dom Guéranger here. Let us begin with this most hopeful of Sundays of the most hopeful of seasons, the Third Sunday in Advent.

by Dom Prosper Guéranger

Today, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to lessen some what the austerity of this penitential season by the innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first, this Sunday has had the name of Gaudete given to it, from the first word of the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare.

Update: Video on new traditional seminary in the U.S.

Saint Peter's: a Basilica Desecrated - by Roberto de Mattei

St. Peter’s: a Basilica Desecrated

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
11th December 2015

The image that will remain tied to the opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is not the anti-triumphalist ceremony celebrated by Pope Francis on the morning of December 8th, but the pretentious spectacle Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home, which brought the day to a close, by inundating the façade and Dome of St. Peter’s with lights and sounds.

Upcoming event: Pontifical Midnight Mass with Cardinal Burke in Rome

On Christmas Eve, 24 december 2015, His Eminence the Most Reverend Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, will attend matins and celebrate Pontifical Midnight Mass at the Parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini.

Matins will start at 10pm, with Mass to follow at Midnight.

Bishop Schneider visits Slovenia

His Excellency, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, accepted an invitation from Juventutem Slovenia and offered the first pontifical High Mass in that country since the 1960s.

Juventutem Slovenia recently translated Bishop Schneider's book on receiving communion on the tongue, Corpus Christi. According to the blog Ad Dominum, the bishop delivered a lecture on that subject on 18 November, and celebrated pontifical Low and High Masses there last month. Some of the faithful traveled from as far as Croatia and Italy for the lecture and Masses, which were well-attended.  His Excellency was escorted by members of Juventutem Slovenia to the National Shrine of the Virgin Mary at Brezje, followed by a visit to the city of Bled and the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Ljubjana.

Additional photos of the bishop's visit can be found on Ad Dominum.

Radicati EDITORIAL: Grace not Revolution

Editorial: Radicati nella fede, December 2015
Newsletter of the Catholic community of
Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy

Christmas poses the principle of Grace. God comes down to earth, He becomes man, to take on the sins of men by paying the price of our redemption on the Cross.

The redemption is the work of Jesus Christ, God made man; it is the work of His sacrifice, of His Cross, which continues in time with the propitiatory sacrifice of the Catholic Mass. 

We cannot save ourselves on our own strength; nobody can redeem himself; nobody is able to give himself eternal life through his own efforts.  All our desire for good, even if sincere and pure, will not save us without the grace of Christ, without the grace of God. The principle of grace must not only be the source of our every consideration, but must be the criteria of judgment and the operative principle of every Christian action that is true and efficacious.

News of continuous scandals in the Vatican and the Church have followed one after the other lately, scandals that involve the Pastors of God’s flock; scandals that hurt, that create perturbation and difficulties and render [us] weak in the face of the dramatic violence of terrorism. Subject to the verification of what is propagandized, we sense it our duty to say something about all of this, something that we think is Christian, and we do this by applying precisely the principle of grace.

For the record: New Vatican document on Jewish-Christian dialogue calls for "principled rejection" of "institutional" missionary work to Jews

So pre-Vatican II! 

The Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, issued today a new document on Christian-Jewish dialogue. (Full text on Vatican Radio: The Gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable.) To our knowledge, this document contains the most explicit rejection so far by the Vatican of any attempt to convert Jews to Catholicism, even as it affirms the "universal and therefore also exclusive mediation of salvation through Jesus Christ". It also contains an extended attack on supersessionism, which is explicitly named as a target of the document.

With the surprise revival in recent days of pressure from some hierarchies against the Good Friday Prayer inserted in the 1962 Missal by Benedict XVI, this issue is certainly of interest to Traditional Catholics, and bears watching. 

The document is described early on as "not a magisterial document or doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church", but we have little doubt that it will be treated in practice as having magisterial authority. Here we post its most relevant (for us) portions, with our emphases. 

On Supersessionism:

On the part of many of the Church Fathers the so-called replacement theory or supersessionism steadily gained favour until in the Middle Ages it represented the standard theological foundation of the relationship with Judaism: the promises and commitments of God would no longer apply to Israel because it had not recognised Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God, but had been transferred to the Church of Jesus Christ which was now the true ‘new Israel’, the new chosen people of God. Arising from the same soil, Judaism and Christianity in the centuries after their separation became involved in a theological antagonism which was only to be defused at the Second Vatican Council. With its Declaration “Nostra aetate” (No.4) the Church unequivocally professes, within a new theological framework, the Jewish roots of Christianity. While affirming salvation through an explicit or even implicit faith in Christ, the Church does not question the continued love of God for the chosen people of Israel. A replacement or supersession theology which sets against one another two separate entities, a Church of the Gentiles and the rejected Synagogue whose place it takes, is deprived of its foundations. From an originally close relationship between Judaism and Christianity a long-term state of tension had developed, which has been gradually transformed after the Second Vatican Council into a constructive dialogue relationship.

On mission to the Jews:

It is easy to understand that the so-called ‘mission to the Jews’ is a very delicate and sensitive matter for Jews because, in their eyes, it involves the very existence of the Jewish people. This question also proves to be awkward for Christians, because for them the universal salvific significance of Jesus Christ and consequently the universal mission of the Church are of fundamental importance. The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelisation to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views. In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah.

Follow the saints throughout the year

We've been bringing you the best of the traditional liturgical calendars over the last couple of months. Today, we highlight the Angelus Press 2016 calendar: "The Saints Throughout The Liturgical Year."

Every year we have high standards for this particular calendar -- and they have met them once again. It's very big, durable (key in a Rorate home with many children constantly pulling at it on the refrigerator to see whose feast day it is!) and the art and pictures are superb. 

The agenda of the next Synod: Priestly Celibacy.

In mid-February Pope Francis will go to Chiapas, where hundreds of deacons with their wives are pushing to be ordained as priests. And in the Amazon as well the turning point seems to be near. It was all written down in the agenda of Cardinal Martini.

Sandro Magister, interviewed by Goffredo Pistelli

We all need traditional priests -- here's how to help

Below, please find an open letter from the mother of an Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest seminarian. The seminarians always need financial and spiritual help -- but with the fire at the Shrine this year, it's even more critical.

Even if you can't attend in person, I urge you to consider donating anyway. We all need priests! Good, traditional priests. 

And, so you know we aren't just asking you to help, this contributor supports an ICR priest on a weekly basis. Being anonymous, this obviously isn't to brag -- it's to show you we aren't asking you, our readers, to do anything we're not already doing. 

Please read this whole letter and consider calling the Shrine. Adopt a seminarian and help give God and Holy Mother Church another solid priest to save souls. 
Dear Shrine family and friends,
It is now two months since we were given the sorrowful news that a fire devastated our beautiful church known to all as the Shrine of Christ the King here in Chicago. As you know there have been many challenges and we have been asked to make many sacrifices along the way, but with the thorns come the roses, both of which inspire in us a spirit of gratitude. 

Francis Effect: Cardinal Turkson says don't breed like rabbits in order to save Mother Earth

We will avoid editorializing on whether the Church has "never been against birth control" as this type of statement is simply a symptom of the horrific state of modern religious formation. Prelates and priests preach incorrect ideas, sadly, on a daily basis. They are not infallible -- even on issues of faith and morals.

The primary issue is, once again, that Pope Francis led the way to this thinking, both in the insensitive and simple-minded way he lambasted large Catholic families  (see here) and in his fixation on climate change (see here).

Cue Peter Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Francis' lead on so-called climate issues, on why Catholics should shun accepting God's will in order to save Mother Earth:

From the BBC:

COP21: Cardinal says birth control may offer climate 'solution'

One of the Catholic Church's most senior prelates has said that birth control could "offer a solution" to the impacts of climate change.

Francis Effect: the Vatican profaned

Antonio Socci
December 8, 2015

Image of Muslim woman in burka defiles St. Peter's
The incredible show on St Peter’s Basilica: a Neo-Pagan obscenity for the Feast of the Immaculate!

The sense that St. Peter’s Basilica has been profaned is strong. The symbolic significance of the event is a Church immersed in darkness, but illuminated by the world, by the new climatist-religion-ideology (all  financed by the World Bank Group which will now have to explain to us what politics compatible with the teaching of the Church it is promoting..)

The holy place par excellence, the heart of Christianity transformed on a maxi-screen for the show of the New World Power Ideology …and the Nativity Crib was left in darkness.

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana

50th Anniversary of In Spiritu Sancto, the Brief Closing the Second Vatican Council

Procession on the Last Day of the Council
APOSTOLIC BRIEF “IN SPIRITU SANCTO’ FOR THE CLOSING OF THE COUNCIL DECEMBER 8, 1965 read at the closing ceremonies of Dec. 8 by Archbishop Pericle Felici, general secretary of the council.

Rorate note (New Catholic): There is one characteristic which all, from Traditional Catholics to the proudest "Progressives", can clearly identify in the Conciliar documents, and that is their complete lack of any sense of modesty or humility. The grandstanding is sickening. This is late 1965, the crisis is already in full view for all with eyes to see, yet the Pope has no doubt in calling it then " the richest [event]" in the history of the Church. (!!!)

50th Anniversary of the “Christian Humanism” of the Council

Paul VI at the close of the Second Vatican Council
Today is the fifthieth anniversary of an important papal address, namely, the address delivered by Pope Paul VI during the last general meeting of the Second Vatican Council on December 7, 1965. We see here the emergence of the "Christian humanism" that outlined the course the Church was to follow for the next 50 years: an emphasis on adapting to modern man, accommodating him, re-interpreting the Gospel in a new light, etc. There is much worth pondering in this true manifesto for what was to follow. We reproduce it here in full, with some emphases.

New Advent and Christmas CD

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter's apostolate in Irving, Texas -- Mater Dei parish -- has released a new CD of Advent and Christmas music.

Our friends at that parish in the Diocese of Dallas tell us: "Our new CD is 'Lumen Gentium,' which means Light of the Nations, or Light of the World, and was part of the prophecy of Simeon at the presentation in the temple, when he said Christ would be a 'light of revelation to the Gentiles.' So the music on our CD spans selections from Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Candlemas, which officially closes the Christmas season."

Father Tomas Luis de Victoria's "Missa O Magnum Mysterium" is sung on the CD, along with Gregorian chant propers from the traditional Latin Mass and several polyphonic motets.

On the parish website is a link to purchase the CD or MP3. Funds will help self-sustain the music program at the parish, which includes several choirs.

Second Sunday of Advent: “We Are Being Prepared for the Heavenly Sion”

From the always-superb commentary of Dom Johner in The Chants of the Vatican Gradual: 

On "liturgical blue" for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

At the end of last year the Filipino Traditionalist Catholic blog Dei praesidio fultus published a comprehensive article on the use of blue -- or, rather, cerulean -- vestments for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception:

The article defends the existence of the privilege while meticulously noting the restrictions placed upon it to prevent its indiscriminate dissemination. The privilege was not automatically given to every portion of the former Spanish empire, but had to be specifically petitioned by a Hispanophone diocese, ecclesiastical province or national hierarchy from the Holy See and granted by the Sacred Congregation of Rites. 

Exclusive Op-Ed - Pio Pace reveals for Rorate: "The Post-Synodal Exhortation has been ready since September"

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 Post-Synodal Exhortation has been ready since September"

by Father Pio Pace

Will there be a Post-Synodal Exhortation of the Synod of the Family, the commentators on Vatican matters ask. In fact, it was already completely ready before the Synod! Several months before the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Family, last October, the group of Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Assembly, together with men such as Abp. Bruno Forte, Special Secretary, Abp. Paglia, President of the Council for the Family, and a few others, had already established a campaign plan in four stages:

1st: Pretending to base itself on the conclusions of the Extraordinary Assembly of October 2014, the Instrumentum Laboris, the roadmap for the 2015 Assembly, was unveiled in June 2015. It was in its third part that the explosive mines were placed to destroy the bastion of traditional doctrine: regarding eucharistic access for "remarried" divorcees, the Instrumentum inserted this proposal (n. 123): "Others refer to a way of penance, meaning a process of clarifying matters after experiencing a failure and a reorientation which is to be accompanied by a priest who is appointed for this purpose. This process ought to lead the party concerned to an honest judgment of his/her situation. At the same time, the priest himself might come to a sufficient evaluation as to be able to suitably apply the power of binding and loosing to the situation."

Here's hoping Casa Santa Marta doesn't block YouTube

Liturgical calendar -- Papa Stronsay style!

Take a look at the calendar, and the video. Gotta admire the confidence in their product!

A note to you, our readers, from the F.SS.R:

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer would like to thank Rorate readers for their continued support.  

As you may have read already, the 2016 Papa Stronsay Calendar is now available, bringing so much of your Catholic year together into one place.  Have a look at the video and see what you're missing out on.  If you would like a Papa Stronsay Calendar, you can obtain one here.

"God is Father and Mother": as Jubilee of Mercy nears, Francis calls for "revolution of tenderness" and criticizes his own Church.

ZENIT has published an English translation of Pope Francis' interview with "Credere", the official magazine of the Jubilee of Mercy. We are posting the most important sections here; emphases ours. At the end of this article is our commentary on the extreme danger posed to Catholicity by the Pope's assertion that God is "Father and Mother". And then there is the, by now, depressingly familiar line about how the Church "excludes people" and is too legalistic, following a "hard line", "stressing only the moral rules." 

The Italian text of the interview was published on the Vatican website yesterday, December 2, 2015. We repeat: the original of this interview is on the VATICAN WEBSITE. 

Good Friday Prayer for the Jews: FIUV Press Release

The occasion for this Press Release is the story reported here that the Bishops of England and Wales are to petition the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei for a change to the Good Friday Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews used in the Extraordinary Form.

FIUV Press Release: on the Good Friday ‘Prayer for the Jews’

The Prayer for the Jews used in the Extraordinary Form Good Friday Liturgy continues to be a source of comment and misunderstanding, and the FIUV wishes to respond as follows.

Statement by the President of the FIUV, Felipe Alanís Suárez:

It was to avoid misunderstandings of the Prayer for the Jews that Pope Benedict XVI composed the 2008 version of the prayer, which is clearly based on what is essential to Christianity: the acceptance of Christ as the saviour of the whole world, and the desire that all persons be saved. Jews are mentioned because of their special role in the history of salvation, and the special concern we must have for our ‘elder brothers’ (as Pope St John Paul II called them). The prayer looks forward to the incorporation of the Jewish people, of which Our Lord Jesus Christ and His first disciples were all members, in the salvation won for the human race by Christ on the Cross, a reconciliation which, as St Paul teaches, will be fulfilled only towards the end of history.

The FIUV is convinced that any possible continuing misunderstanding regarding the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews can be resolved in the context of the Magisterium of the Church, without veiling the treasures of our Faith.

We, as faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, acknowledge that to ask of our Lord for the grace of sharing with all our brothers the joy of salvation in Jesus Christ, is an act of humility and selfless love, and a spiritual work of mercy.  

The FIUV entirely rejects all hatred and hostility towards the Jewish people, and all forms of unjust discrimination.

Further observations:

Pacelli: “…today everything indicates that the punishments of God are imminent…”

"Today all around us everything indicates that the punishments from God are imminent: even so – thanks be to God – it is not too late for us. We are capable of impeding them if we believe that this is also a time of grace and recognize what is necessary for our true peace. Beloved faithful! First of all let us recollect ourselves in an act of humility and repentance.  Are we not also somewhat responsible for the catastrophes besetting us? […] If we examine ourselves, every one of us has to confess that we have fallen short […] that we have sinned against the Lord […]."

From the Pastoral Letter to the Dutch Bishops, July 26th, 1942
Andrea Tornielli’s book: Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, a Man on the Throne of Peter, Milano, 2007, p. 380

Una Fides Blog | Translation, Contributor Francesca Romana

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. And, please remember our new policy change, that the names of Souls you enroll will no longer be made public. We added four new priests to the Society -- including yet another Jesuit! -- last month and now stand at 68 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the souls.

De Mattei - The Sack of Rome: a merciful chastisement

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 3, 2015

The Church is experiencing an era of doctrinal and moral disorientation. The schism has exploded in Germany, although the Pope seems to be unaware of the significance of the drama. A group of cardinals and bishops advocate the need for an agreement with the heretics. As always occurs in the darkest hours of history, events follow one after the other with extreme rapidity.

On Sunday May 5, 1527, an army descending from Lombardy reached the Janiculum. The Emperor, Charles V, enraged at Pope Clement VII’s political alliance with his adversary, the King of France, Francis I, had moved an army against the capital of Christendom.  That evening the sun set for the last time on the dazzling beauties of Renaissance Rome. About 20,000 men, Italians, Spaniards and Germans, among whom were the Landsknecht mercenaries, of the Lutheran faith, were preparing to launch an attack  on the Eternal City. Their commander had given them license to sack the city. All night long the warning bell of Campidoglio rang out calling the Romans to arms, but it was already too late to improvise an effective defense. At dawn on the 6th of May, favoured by a thick fog, the Landsknechts  launched an assault on the walls, between St. Onofrio and Santo Spirito.