Rorate Caeli

Sovietization: Publisher of Book in defense of marriage accused of Conspiracy by Defenders of the Pontificate

Cantagalli, the Italian publisher that edited Remaining in the Truth of Christ (Permanere nella verità di Cristo, English version by Ignatius apparently removed from the mail of the Synod Fathers of the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family) is under quite a lot of pressure. Why? Because they dared publish the book, and Kasper's anti-Christian thesis could not be opposed, despite the call for "frank discussion" in the Synod.

Don't Shoot the Editor

Lorenzo Bertocchi
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana
February 23, 2015
Who framed Roger Rabbit?  The mystery associated with this question, which comes from a cartoon made several years ago, may be able today to be applied to a certain publishing house. 

The story begins with the publication five months ago of the book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ:  Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church. The publishing house Cantagalli publishes the book that includes essays by Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Carlo Caffara, Velasio De Paolis, Raymond Leo Burke and Gerhard Ludwig Müller, as well as four other scholars.  The book came out in the United States as well practically at the same time.

Lent and Transfiguration: "The miracle of our transfiguration is accomplished in Catholic doctrine"

Assumpsit Iesus Petrum, et Iacobum, et Ioannem fratrem eius, et duxit illos in montem excelsum seorsum: et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies eius sicut sol: vestimenta autem eius facta sunt alba sicut nix. (From the Gospel for Ember Saturday in Lent and for the Second Sunday in Lent, Matthew xvii, 1-2: "Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as snow.")

It is easy for me... to show that Catholic doctrine enjoys a superhuman moral efficacy, even as a consequence of the interaction which it keeps between man and God. Now, in virtue of what does Catholic doctrine operate this superhuman transformation in the soul? Is it directly? Is it simply because it says to us, "Be humble, be chaste, be apostles, be brethren"?

Pell as Thomas More and Cardinal Fisher: "I will not bend to the Marriage!"

Let no one be fooled: the current incessant notes and gossip about Cardinal Pell's brilliant job in reorganizing the finances of the Holy See/Vatican City State are not really about money... They are about his brave and unbending defense of the very words spoken by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself on marriage, divorce, and adultery. Even the Italian journalists make fun of the sudden "reappearance" of Vatileaks, once again involving the Secretariat of State, and now directed not against Benedict XVI (not a threat anymore since his resignation), or Cardinal Burke, duly demoted, but Pell, who must be forced out.  As Sir Thomas More and Cardinal John Fisher, Pell is in the way and must go.

Which is why the Cardinal's short note on marriage and Henry VIII needs to be published and made known as widely as possible. That is why he is being bothered: it's not about numbers and expenses at all, it's all about the "new doctrine" on marriage...

By Cardinal George Pell

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35).

German Church declares independence before the 2015 Synod: "We are not a Roman Subsidiary"/ "We will preach the Gospel on our own."

The Lutheran Spirit: "Here I stand: I can do no other."

[NOTE: This article quotes statements by Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Chairman of the German Bishops‘ Conference, and Bishop Bode, Bishop of Osnabrück, thus two of the three bishops chosen as delegates for the synod. They were made to journalists during the spring meeting of the German bishops’ conference. Below are its main excerpts, with emphases added by us. The main point seems to be the new German Bishops' attitude of moving on alone, which could indicate that they foresee that they will not be able to "guide" the Synod as easily as they had thought possible. Blackmail is in the air in the German Conference... ]

Regina Einig
Die Tagespost
February 25, 2015

... Reinhard Cardinal Marx underlined in view of the family synod in autumn the bishops' attempt to "go down new paths" and to "help that doors be opened". In the universal church there were "certain expectations" of Germany. He hoped that some questions could already be tackled before the synod, Marx told journalists in Hildesheim on Tuesday [Feb 24].

The Motu Proprio in Singapore

"The Next Synod is a Battle between Christ and the Antichrist:
- On whose side will you stand?"

Luca Signorelli
Preaching and Deeds of the Antichrist (c. 1500 - detail)
Orvieto Cathedral, Cappella Nuova

Alessandro Gnocchi continues to be one of best commentators on the present state of the Church.  The following excerpt from his column in La Riscossa Cristiana is an example of his determination to see things as they are.  Gnocchi uses strong words that provoke thought:

Ember Wednesday in Lent: The Sign of Jonah

We are in the Ember Days in Lent - the first one being this Wednesday, whose Gospel is dedicated to the signs demanded from the Lord by Scribes and Pharisees. The words of Christ on the sign of Jonah, the prophet, also bring to mind the distressing situation of so many of our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, in particular those expelled from Mosul/Nineveh and surrounding areas, still under the brutal occupation (for how long, o Lord?) of the most hideous group of bandits imaginable. May the world recognize the sign of Jonah and believe in the Resurrected Lord - Maranatha!


Fr. Nicolas Caussin, S.I., confessor to kings, is well-known as the author of "La Cour Sainte" ("The Holy Court"). In his "Entretiens" ("Entertainments") for Lent, some of his sermons for the Season are presented in a devotional format: an examination of the traditional scriptural readings for the day in the Roman Rite followed by the aspirations of the soul thirsty for Christ. 

"He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, and no sign shall be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For even as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Ninive will rise up in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.'" (From the Gospel for Ember Wednesday in Lent, St. Matthew, xii)

It is a very ill sign when we desire signs to make us believe in God. The signs which we demand to fortify our faith are often marks of our infidelity. There is not a more dangerous plague in the events of worldly affairs than to deal with the devils or to play with predictions. All these things fill men with more faults than knowledge. For divine oracles have more need to be reverenced than interpreted. He that will find God must seek him with simplicity and possess him with piety.

Homily by a Traditional Priest for the First Sunday of Lent

I am delighted to be able to present readers with the transcript of a homily that was delivered by a traditional priest at a Mass yesterday in the midwestern United States and subsequently shared with Rorate, on condition of anonymity. May the Lord reward this faithful priest and make his flock truly grateful for the solid nourishment they are receiving from him!

And after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Dominica Prima in Quadragesima
22 February 2015

Masses for the Persecuted around the World

A recent High Mass in St Mary Moorfields, London
Further to the announcement of the Una Voce Federation (FIUV) of our project to arrange Masses for persecuted Christians around the world, I can now report a number of good responses.

In London, England, four High Masses a year will be offered, in a collaboration with the Latin Mass Society and the London Juventutem group, which have High Masses on the last Friday of each month in St Mary Moorfields in the City of London. They will be for the intention of persecuted Christians, where possible with a Votive Mass, on 24th April, 26th June, 25 September, and 18th December this year. The generosity of the Latin Mass Society has enabled these to accompanied with polyphony.

In Rome, Italy, Una Voce Italia will organise a quarterly Mass.

Una Voce Puerto Rico organised a Mass which took place on 22nd February.

For the record: A new Doctor of the Church

As reported today on the Vatican Bollettino, Pope Francis has decided to elevate Gregory of Narek (c. 950 - c. 1005) perhaps the greatest of Armenian sacred writers, sometimes called "the Armenian Pindar", as Doctor of the Church. A translation of his Book of Lamentations can be found here.

Although not mentioned in the Bollettino, this act also apparently serves as an equipollent canonization of Gregory, who was already venerated as a Saint in both the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church.

It is interesting to note that Gregory lived at a time when the Armenian Church, to which he belonged, was not formally in communion with Rome and Constantinople. However, as those interested in the extremely tangled history of Christianity in the first millennium are well aware, one cannot always speak straightforwardly of "schism" and "heresy" when dealing with the theological and ecclesiastical divisions of Christendom in that era.

Dare we hope that all will be saved?

No, we dare not.
The answer to this anti-Catholic notion so popular since the advance of neo-Modernist ideas in the Conciliar and post-Conciliar years is clear from this Monday's Matins' readings of the Roman Breviary. They are from Saint Augustine's De fide et operibus liber I, excerpt chosen by the Church as a commentary to today's Gospel (St. Matthew 25:31-46).

As always, the Traditional Roman Rite has all answers to all great questions of our Faith:

Sacra Liturgia USA 2015--Schedule of Events

The organizers of Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 are very pleased to announce the schedule of events for Sacra Liturgia USA 2015. The conference features beautiful liturgies, prominent speakers on topics of interest, working session lunches lead by conference speakers on liturgy in Catholic higher education, and ample time for fellowship and prayer.

You Suggest: annual Catholic education fundraising drive

Every year, a reader sends us this annual fundraising video. And every year, we can't help but post it. The children are always just so darn adorable!

Editorial Note:
They Want to Silence Bloggers as they Silenced Benedict XVI

Year of the Consecrated Life - I: Some Statistics and Observations.
The Accelerated Decline of Women Religious

Reunion of Catalan Abbesses and Religious Superiors, Feb. 9, 2015. Source

February 2 was instituted in 1997 by Pope John Paul II as the world day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life, and it was on this day, just three weeks ago, that Pope Francis opened the "Year of Consecrated Life" (although it already started on November 30 last year). It is the latest in a long string of "special years" proclaimed by the Popes - the Year of the Rosary (2002-2003), the Year of the Eucharist (2004-2005), the Year of St. Paul (2008-2009), the Year for Priests (2009-2010), and finally, the Year of Faith (2012-2013), itself the second such year to be declared after Vatican II (the first was in 1967-1968). 

Surely we are not alone in observing that the current "Year of Consecrated Life" is low-key compared to its predecessors? There is, apparently, very little talk about it, very little excitement. Perhaps it is weariness over "special years"? Perhaps it is because of the very real barrenness and exhaustion in much of Catholic religious life, despite the propaganda in official statements and in much of the "establishment" Catholic media and blogosphere? There are many signs of hope when it comes to religious life (we hope to write more about these soon) but in the immediate term the main trend in Catholic consecrated life will continue to be that of decline. 

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (source - see "World Data over Time"), in 2012 the total number of female consecrated religious in the Catholic world was 705,529 for a reported (nominal) Catholic population of 1.229 billion. Only two years before, in 2010 there were 721,935. In 2000 there were 801,185. In 1970 there were 1,004,304 female religious for a reported Catholic population of 653.6 million. Overall, there has been a reduction by nearly a hundred thousand since the "Great Jubilee" that was meant to be the celebration of the "New Springtime" / "New Pentecost" in the Church.

IMPORTANT - Cardinal Sarah: "Detachment of doctrine and pastoral practice is Heresy."
- The African Church will firmly oppose

French publishing house Fayard is publishing a book with an interview with one of the most impressive Cardinals in the College, the recently-named Prefect for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah. "Either God or Nothing" (Dieu ou rien) has the very interesting subtitle "Entretien sur la foi" (Conversation on faith), which certainly calls to mind the groundbreaking book-interview of another Cardinal published three decades ago -- Rapporto sulla fede (Report on the Faith, published in English as... The Ratzinger Report).

From its presentation by French magazine Famille Chrétienne, we find the following remarkable extract of Cardinal Sarah's words on a concept that is absolutely central in the current debate initiated from the very top of the hierarchy that is shredding the Church in pieces:

Fontgombault Sermon for the Beginning of Lent: "Lent is the School of Jesus."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, February 18, 2015)
Memento, homo, quia pulvis es,
et in pulverem reverteris.
Remember, man, that thou art dust,
and unto dust thou shalt return.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

These words, which the priest said when he made the sign of the Cross on our forehead, seem at first sight to be words of death. What is man worth indeed if he is but dust, and if dust is to be the ultimate end of his life?

A Special Request to our Faithful Readers

If you have enjoyed in any way our efforts throughout the years, would you be so kind as to pray at least one Rosary (five decades) for this blog and its team of contributors? 

Thank you.

Obaudite me, divini fructus, et
Quasi rosa plantata super rivos aquarum fructificate: 
Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii, ora pro nobis!

IMPORTANT! Francis says "Reform of the Reform" is "mistaken".
"Traditionalist" seminarians criticized, Pope says their "imbalances" are manifested in their celebration of the liturgy

Most media attention on Pope Francis' annual meeting with the clergy of Rome (held yesterday, February 19) has been focused on his remarks on married clergy. Of equal and possibly more immediate importance were his remarks on the liturgy, which have now been published by the ZENIT news agency.

The Pope could not have been any clearer in his view of the "Reform of the Reform". He speaks of the need for a more respectful ars celebrandi but anyone who has actually followed the liturgical debates of the last 20 years will know that this is not the same as the "Reform of the Reform". We sincerely hope that the "usual suspects" in the blogging world and in the social networks will neither ignore this talk completely, nor try to explain this away by constructing elaborate explanations as to why the Pope "really meant" something else, or that this whole thing is really a hoax, a fabrication, or whatever. Anything that will allow them to keep their heads in the sand! 

Remarkably the Pope criticizes the "Reform of the Reform" outright but he did not say anything negative about Summorum Pontificum itself, quite the opposite. Nevertheless, his apparently condemning and contemptuous words about "traditionalist" diocesan seminarians cannot and should not be explained away as simply referring to the immoral behavior of some such seminarians -- behavior that can also be found, empirically much more frequently, among non-traditionalist seminarians. By specifically naming the ("Reform of the Reform"?) "liturgies" celebrated by "traditionalist" seminarians, once ordained, as the manifestation of their "moral and psychological" "imbalances", it is clear that the Pope's target is the traditional-friendly views on the sacred liturgy of many young priests and seminarians. By mentioning that the Congregation of Bishops is conducting interventions in this regard, the message is sent out loud and clear: bishops accept "traditionalist"-leaning seminarians at their peril. By declaring outright that moral and pyschological problems "happen often" in traditionalist "environments" a broad bush, apparently lacking in mercy, may now henceforth be used to tar these young men. 

The relevent passage from the Zenit report is reproduced below, with our emphases.

However, some excerpts of the Pope's discourse were released thanks in part to several priests who spoke to the press following the meeting. Some even managed to record the Pope's words. In addition to several phrases reported by a few Italian news agencies this morning, the 78 year old Pontiff touched upon the theme, for example, on the "traditional rite" with which Benedict XVI granted to celebrate Mass. Through the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum, published in 2007, the now Pope Emeritus allowed the possibility of celebrating the Mass according the liturgical books edited by John XXIII in 1962, notwithstanding that the "ordinary" form of celebration in the Catholic Church would always remain that established by Paul VI in 1970.

Pope Francis explained that this gesture by his predecessor, "a man of communion", was meant to offer "a courageous hand to Lefebvrians and traditionalists", as well as to those who wished to celebrate the Mass according to the ancient rites. The so-called "Tridentine" Mass – the Pope said – is an "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite", one that was approved following the Second Vatican Council. Thus, it is not deemed a distinct rite, but rather a "different form of the same right". (sic)

However, the Pope noted that there are priests and bishops who speak of a "reform of the reform." Some of them are "saints" and speak "in good faith." But this "is mistaken", the Holy Father said. He then referred to the case of some bishops who accepted "traditionalist" seminarians who were kicked out of other dioceses, without finding out information on them, because "they presented themselves very well, very devout." They were then ordained, but these were later revealed to have "psychological and moral problems."

Pope Francis: "The issue of married priests is in my agenda."

From Repubblica:
February 19, 2015

For the record: Letter of the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars

Fr. Volpi has issued his defense. We post it for the record, as everyone deserves the right to be heard:
Letter of the Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to All the Religious of the Institute
 Object: Clarification concerning the civil lawsuit brought against the Apostolic Commissioner and some comments published on the subject
Dear Confreres
Pax et Bonum!
I wish to address you paternally, aware of the concerns that the dissemination of news concerning me may have aroused in your minds. This information has been spread with the clear purpose of harming fraternal communion in the Institute—a communion that distinguishes our common, united effort to restore among the Franciscans of the Immaculate the original charism that has characterised the service the Institute has rendered to the Church.

"The Heroism of the Christian Martyrs" - Let's look at them in the face

How can the Church waste time with pseudo-questions, such as "communion for 'remarried' divorceed", when scores of Christians are being slaughtered every single day?
by Antonio Socci
February 18, 2015


We need to look at those 21 young Christians in the face. Rather than deny Christ they underwent martyrdom in Libya and before having their throat cut by ISIS - in reading their lips (which was done) – they were continuously pronouncing the name of Jesus. Like the martyrs of old.


Their Bishop says: “That name whispered at the last instant was akin to the sealing of their martyrdom.” Coptic Christians are strong people, tempered by 1400 centuries of Islamic persecutions. They are heirs to that St. Athanasius of Alessandria, who saved the true Catholic Faith from the Arian heresy, held by most of the bishops [at that time]. They are tough Christians, not like the spineless, tepid-Catholics we are here in the West.

Here’s what real strength is: it’s not what hates and kills the defenseless (even children) and crucifies those who have a different faith, rapes the women - waving a black flag, faces hidden.

The real strength is the one of the defenseless who accept even martyrdom rather than deny their own dignity - that is to say, their faith - giving witness to the wonders of “ the Beautiful Love” as an ancient definition of the Son of God names Him.

A wonderful testimony. These are the true martyrs: the Christians. Not those who go around slaughtering defenseless innocents.

This is the glory of Christians: to follow a God who saved the world by having Himself killed, not by killing others, like all the leaders, ringleaders and ideologues (or revolutionaries) of this world [have done] and that are so exalted in history books.


This is a great lesson to the West drunk with being “politically correct”, like the disastrous Obama who does his best not to mention even the word “Islam” and “Muslims” when speaking about the massacres In North Iraq, Paris and Libya over these past months. A nihilistic West which is ashamed of its Christian roots and never misses a chance to show contempt for them.

Cardinal Wuerl attacks "brother bishops" as "dissenters"

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Donald Cardinal Wuerl has effectively banned Raymond Cardinal Burke from entering the Archdiocese of Washington.  Several sources have confirmed this to Rorate over the years, stemming from Wuerl's disdain for any priest or bishop who opposes giving Communion to Catholics who publicly dissent from Church teachings.

Since Summorum Pontificum was issued by Benedict XVI in 2007, Cardinal Wuerl has instituted numerous obstacles to priests who wish to offer the traditional Latin Mass and sacraments using the 1962 books.  Traditional confirmations have been denied, even requests from priests offering to administer the sacrament themselves.  A letter from a one's bishop or superior detailing the liturgical skill set of a priest wishing to offer Low Mass in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is required for any celebrant there.  Traditional Latin Masses offered at parishes not designated by the Archdiocese as TLM-approved sites are prohibited from being publicized.  (Washington, D.C. is full of private Low and even High Masses not listed on church websites or bulletins.) And, of course, the second annual Mass on the anniversary of the installation of Benedict XVI was canceled at the last minute, despite months of planning and preparations made.

Donald Wuerl was the most powerful American dissenter to the restorations led by Pope Benedict.

With a more like-minded Holy Father now in power, suddenly Cardinal Wuerl has become a papal Marine, most recently with a blog post blasting "brother bishops who are less than enthusiastic about Pope Francis" as "dissenters":

Paul IV and the Heretics of His Time
- by Roberto de Mattei

 Roberto de Mattei
                                                              Corrispondenza Romana
February 18, 2015

The Conclave that opened on November 30th 1549, after the death of Paul III, was certainly one of the most dramatic in the history of the Church. The English Cardinal, Reginald Pole (1500 – 1558) was indicated by everyone as the great favourite.  The Pontifical robes were prepared for him and he had already shown someone his thanksgiving speech.  On December 5th, Pole was short of  only one vote to attain the Pontifical Tiara, when Cardinal Gian Pietro Carafa, rose to his feet, and, in front of the astonished assembly, accused him publically of heresy, rebuking him, among other things, of having supported the crypto-Lutheran double justification, rejected by the Council of Trent in 1547.  Carafa was known for his doctrinal integrity and pious life. The support for Pole collapsed, and, after lengthy disputes, on February 7th 1550 Cardinal Giovanni del Monte was elected, taking the name of Julius III (1487-1555).  

The accusation of heresy which was launched for the first time in a conclave against a cardinal, reflected the divisions among Catholics faced with Protestantism (cfr. Paolo Simoncelli, The Case of Reginald Pole. Heresy and Holiness in 16th Century Polemics, Editions of History and Literature, Rome 1977).  Between the 30s and 50s of the 16th century heretical tendencies were being spread in the Roman ecclesiastical world and the party of “Spirituali” had come into existence, represented by ambiguous figures, like Cardinals Reginald Pole, Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542) and Giovanni Morone (1509-1580). They cultivated an Irenist Christianity and intended to propose the reconciliation of Lutheranism with the institutional structure of the Roman Church.

Lent is coming: Time to prepare

Lent is coming ... soon.

In the past, you could find a traditional Lenten Mission at many parishes. Now, unless you are near a traditional parish, they are nearly extinct -- or all but worthless.

Fortunately, we are not meant to live in the past, we are meant to live in the now. And, now, we have the Internet. And, there is an abundance of good on the Internet, along with the bad.

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

As the season nears, you would do well to listen to this, to pray on it and to use it to prepare for a fruitful Lent -- and be ready for it to change you for the better.

Click on each of the five themes of the mission: Prelude to the Mission * On Death * On Judgment * On Hell * On Heaven

    You can contact and thank Fr. Isaac at the address listed on the Audio Sancto "Four Last Things" page:

    Church and State together for beauty and the good of Mankind: President of Gabon supports new Church for Traditional Roman Rite

    Communiqué of the Presidency of the Gabonese Republic - January 20, 2015 

    Libreville, January 20, 2015 - Thanks to the vision and the personal support of the President of the Republic, not only the Catholics of Libreville, but all Gabonese - known for their love of beauty and the arts - will soon enjoy a masterpiece of architecture at the STFO district: the parish church of Notre Dame de Lourdes and its façade decorated with blue tiles.

    Is the Papacy in Turmoil? - Call in the “Outsiders”
    -a guest-post by Dr. John C. Rao

    Giuseppe Antonio Petrini
    Saint Peter asleep
    Musée du Louvre
    Thirty-five years ago I gave a lecture entitled “The Papacy: Beyond Weakness and Willfulness”. Its aim was two-fold, and its conclusions perhaps even more of use under current conditions today than in 1980.

    UPDATE: Volpi must pay by March 3, and issue press release through Italian news agency

    BREAKING: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Commissioner Volpi admits guilt of defamation and lies

    Must pay 20,000 Euros, make public apology

    Will Pope Francis allow what's left of the FFI to survive?

    UPDATE: Corrispondenza Romana has a copy of the court record and is reporting that Fr. Volpi has a deadline of March 3 for paying the damages to the Manelli family and making public apologies. In addition to the numerous ways he must publicly apologize, listed in our original report below, he must also now issue a press release distributed through AGI (the Italian news agency). 

    Corrispondenza Romana also asked if Fr. Volpi will resign. We believe there is a more critical question: Why hasn't Pope Francis publicly fired him and ended this unjust and unwarranted commissioning that he himself started?

    Rorate original post: 

    The chickens have come home to roost for Pope Francis' Apostolic Commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI), Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, and possibly just in the nick of time. 
    Volpi meets Pope Francis the day the FI seminary was closed.

    Rorate Caeli contributor Francesca Romana has translated the first report from Chiesa e post concilio reporting that Fr. Volpi will pay the family of Franciscans of the Immaculate founder Fr. Manelli a large cash sum for his "defamation and lies" and make public apologies on all websites he runs and in a letter to all FI friars and nuns. 

    For regular readers of this blog, you know that Fr. Volpi was brought in for just one reason: to crush one of the fastest-growing, traditional-minded religious orders in the world -- but not on his own: as he admitted in the past, at least in his words, he was "specifically ordered by the Vicar of Christ," Pope Francis to carry out his mission.

    Our questions now are simple:

    Will Pope Francis now finally rein this man in and force his boot off the throat of an order that only wants to serve God as the saints have all served Him for two millennia?

    And will Pope Francis finally end this unjust commissioning and allow the poor friars who have had to flee the grip of this cruel man to return to their sworn vows and live out the remainder of their vocations in peace? We pray to hear in the affirmative soon. 

    From Italian blog Chiesa e post concilio:

    Is this a fruit of the Rosaries and fervent prayers at Santa Maria Maggiore?

    Islamic Genocide of Christians: The Neverending Horror
    -Update: Pope Francis speaks on the Massacre of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider visits SSPX USA seminary

    From DICI:

    On February 11, 2015, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX Superior General, and also with several priests of the Society, at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona (United States).
    This was the second visit by Bishop Schneider to one of our seminaries. On January 16, 2015, he had visited the St. Cure d’Ars Seminary in Flavigny (France). Both meetings pertained to the question of the liturgical reform of Paul VI and the doctrinal presuppositions of the Novus Ordo Missae.
    On December 5, 2014, Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, had visited Sacred Heart Seminary in Zaitzkofen (Germany), where the discussion focused on the magisterial authority of Vatican Council II.
    These meetings are a way of continuing the doctrinal discussions between the Society of St. Pius X and the Roman authorities « in a larger and less formal context than that of the preceding meetings », according to the decision made during the meeting of Bishop Fellay with Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on September 23, 2014.
    These meetings are also an opportunity for the visitors to become better acquainted with the Society of St. Pius X, and also to learn more about what has been accomplished by the works of Tradition.
    The visit in Winona coincided with the annual meeting of priests, during which 80 priests of the United States District met at the seminary for a week of studies.

    For the record: Traditional Latin Mass in the Philippines in Reparation for the Profanation of Hosts at the Papal Masses of Pope Francis in Manila

    The Traditional Latin Mass community in the Diocese of Cubao (the Philippines) and the Una Voce-affiliated Ecclesia Dei Society of Saint Joseph in the same country, organized a special Mass of Reparation on the 6th of February this year (a First Friday) for the sacrileges that occurred during the Papal Masses celebrated by Pope Francis in Manila last month. 

    The Mass was followed by a Holy Hour of Reparation.

    Photographs and an article on this event can be found on the Dei Praesidio Fultus blog.

    "Here's a photo newspapers won't show: An empty St. Peter's Square for Wednesday's General Audience"


    Antonio Socci
    Feb. 11, 2015

    Support some nuns with problems -- good problems
    Easter at Ephesus now available for preorder

    It doesn't take a genius to know that when any order of religious embrace tradition they thrive -- that is, unless, until they are no longer permitted to. And when they thrive, as the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles have, they encounter problems, such as space constraints. 

    The nuns are expecting 10 new postulants this fall and there is a steady flow of women coming to them to discern their way in life. And they need to be able to house and nourish them and their vocations. 

    Unless you've lived like a hermit these last years, you know their CDs have been worldwide hits, and their new CD, Easter at Ephesus, is available for preorder now. 

    Below is a short and beautiful video showing the life of the nuns. You can also watch them record their incredible new CD. 

    FIUV PP: Prayers for the Persecuted

    Today I can publish the FIUV's latest Position Paper, on Prayers for Persecuted Christians, and the Leonine Prayers. The purpose of the paper is to place the Leonine Prayers in a wider historical context, and, from this vantage point, to appeal for prayers, and particularly for Masses, for persecuted Christians around the world.

    Catholics attached to the Church's ancient liturgy will particularly want to see, where possible, public Votive Masses celebrated for this intention, and other Masses with the appropriate Commemorations. There are several Votive Masses which could be used, in the 1962 (and earlier) Missals, which do not exist in the reformed Missal, notably the Votive Mass 'In Defence of the Church' (Exsurge, quare obdormis) and the Commemoration 'For Holy Church against Persecutors' (Collect: Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus).

    To promote the regular celebration of these Masses, and to ensure that they do not lose momentum as other issues replace the current Middle East conflict in the media, the FIUV will be sponsoring Votive Masses in key cities around the world. We would like to hear from others who are celebrating such Masses, and will post updates on our progress in spreading this campaign of prayer.

    Prayers After Low Mass in the chapel of Wardour Castle, opened in 1776, one of the very first Catholic
    public places of worship built in England as the persecution of the Church began to recede in England.
    I have put some more commentary on the Leonine Prayers on my my personal blog here.

    There will now be a pause in the publication of these papers, although a paper on Africa is in preparation and will probably be the next to be published.

    This paper can be downloaded as a pdf here; the whole series can be seen herethe series (not including this one) are published in hard copy: click on the button.Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

    Information about Masses being said for this intention can be posted and read on the FIUV blog here.


    FIUV Position Paper 24: Prayers for the Persecuted Church, & the Leoninie Prayers

     This Position Paper responds to the heartfelt appeal of Pope Francis:

    We are witnessing a phenomenon of terrorism of previously unimaginable dimensions. So many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have had to leave their homes, even in a brutal manner. It seems that awareness of the value of human life has been lost. It seems that the person does not count and can be sacrificed for other interests. And all this, unfortunately, with the indifference of so many.

    Attacks on Cardinal Burke by old-time feminists

    Cristina Siccardi
    Corrispondenza Romana
    February 4, 2015

    In the distressing state of affairs with respect to faith in which we are compelled to live, where drinking bile seems to be a daily event, there are those who manage to pour out this bile in a public way and lash out with rancor against persons of adamantine churchmanship.  Is it possible to throw stones, without any respect, against a cardinal with the Catholic and theological caliber of Cardinal Burke?  Today it is possible.

    Gianni Gennari did precisely this last January 30 in a vitriolic article published by Vatican Insider with the title “If Burke does not want altar girls”.  Gennari was ordained a priest in 1965, held positions close to the positions held by Tonino Tatò (the founder of the “Movement of Catholic Communists” in 1943) , and of Enrico Berlinguer, whose secretary he became.  Gennari married in 1984 after having been laicized.  The strategy that Gennari contrived in his article is that of opposing the Cardinal, who holds high the banner of the perennial teachings of the Church, by a theological side-step to a secular mode and to feminist thought,  and in this way making use of an obsolete progressive line of thought that promoted the idea that the Church was the enemy of women,  understood as a category. It is well to remember that the classic examples of the hatreds disseminated by Communism involved man-woman, rich-poor.

    Event: FSSP Low Mass Workshops for priests in May

    The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) will host once again a five-day training workshop on the Traditional Latin Mass (Low Mass) for priests in their Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska, from Mary 18-22, 2015.

    Please make this known to your pastor or other priests who might be interested in learning it.

    RORATE EXCLUSIVE: Open letter by Archbishop on the crisis in the Church

    'It is difficult to believe that Pope Benedict XVI freely renounced his ministry as successor of Peter.'

    'I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard.'

    '... increasingly evident that the Vatican through the Secretariat of State has taken the course of political correctness.'

    Rorate Caeli has obtained an exclusive copy of the English version of a rare open letter from an Archbishop on the crisis of the Church. 
    The letter, written by His Excellency Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, hopefully will serve as a much-needed wake-up call to Catholics who have buried their heads in the sand for far too long.
    Let us pray more of his brother bishops will have the faith -- and the backbone -- to stand up and be heard before there's nothing left to defend.
    Reflections on some current problems of the crisis of the Catholic Church
    I had the experience of living with priests who were in Stalinist prisons and camps and who nevertheless remained faithful to the Church. During the time of persecution they fulfilled with love their priestly duty in preaching Catholic doctrine thereby leading a dignified life in the imitation of Christ, their heavenly Master.
    I completed my priestly studies in an underground Seminary in the Soviet Union. I was ordained a priest secretly during the night by a pious bishop who himself suffered for the sake of the faith. In the first year of my priesthood I had the experience of being expelled from Tadzhikistan by the KGB.
    Subsequently, during my thirty-year stay in Kazakhstan, I served 10 years as priest, caring for faithful people in 81 localities. Then I served 20 years as bishop, initially as bishop of five states in Central Asia with a total area of around four million square kilometers.
    In my ministry as a bishop I had contact with Pope Saint John Paul II, with many bishops, priests and faithful in different countries and under different circumstances. I was member of some assemblies of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican which covered themes such as “Asia” and “The Eucharist”.
    This experience as well as others give me the basis to express my opinion on the current crisis of the Catholic Church. These are my convictions and they are dictated by my love of the Church and by the desire for her authentic renewal in Christ. I am forced to resort to this public means of expression because I fear that any other method would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard. 
    I am aware of possible reactions to my open letter. But at the same time the voice of my conscience will not allow me to remain silent, while the work of God is being slandered. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and showed us in word and deed how one should fulfill the will of God. The apostles to whom He bestowed authority in the Church, fulfilled with zeal the duty entrusted to them, suffering for the sake of the truth which had to be preached, since they “obeyed God rather than men”.

    Event: Talk by Cardinal Burke on Holy Matrimony

    Priest Removed from Swiss Parish for Blessing Lesbian Couple

    According to a statement of the diocese of Chur in Switzerland Fr. Wendelin Bucheli, a priest of another diocese, who had been working as a parish priest in Chur, is to return to his home diocese. This priest had blessed a Lesbian couple in his parish Church last year. In response, the Bishop of Chur, H.E. Msgr. Vitus Huonder, has now arranged with the bishop of Lausanne-Geneva-Fribourg, H.E. Msgr. Charles Morerod, to have Fr. Bucheli called back to Fribourg. It appears that Fr. Bucheli  will face no further disciplinary measures after from being removed from his parish, and moved back to his home diocese.

    Bishop Schneider to visit U.S., speak on liturgy

    His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan, will visit Washington, D.C., this weekend to deliver a talk entitled "Some Aspects of the Renewal of the Church and Its Liturgy."

    Sermon for Sexagesima Sunday 2015: The Sower and the New Thorns

    From the Gospel for Sexagesima Sunday:  “The sower went out to sow his seed.”

    Once again in this season of Septuagesima we prepare for Lent by hearing one of Jesus’ familiar parables, the parable of the sower.  And once again we have to remind ourselves that these parables are not meant to be understood or heard like Aesop’s Fables, homely stories with a moral message.  These are all parables of the Kingdom of God and the one who speaks the parable is the Word of God himself, incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.  How wonderful it is that in the Traditional Roman Mass that the Gospel is sung and in Latin, for this helps us to understand that the readings at Mass are not meant to be didactic, they are not meant to teach per se as if they were read at a Bible study session, but they are rather part of the worship offering, they are sung to God in the context of the Holy Sacrifice, and sung in a language that is not our own but rather in a language that formed the Roman Rite and that now allows it to soar beyond what any vernacular language could do.

    (Updated: video) Full translation of Cardinal Burke's interview to
    France 2: Resisterò (I will resist)

    Source: 13h15 le dimanche, Sunday program of French public television network France 2, broadcast on Sunday, February 8, 2015 (title "N'oubliez pas de prier pour moi" - "Do not forget to pray for me"). 

    Transcript begins at 8:17 and ends at 14:55. [Updated: see video below]

    [Presenter:] Since then [the Christmas Address to the Curia dedicated to the "infirmities" of the Roman Curia], the Cardinals have receded into silence, but some remain with a heavy heart. One of the most influential of these has finally accepted to receive us. Cardinal Burke is an American, ultra-conservative, and close to former Pope Benedict XVI.

    - [Interviewer:] We are very glad to meet you, that you could grant us a little bit of your time! You are a great admirer of Benedict XVI?

    Editorial: Dogmatic but not on dogma

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

    Dogmatic but not on dogma appears to be the exact state of affairs in the Church these past decades.

    While theologians and the various pastoralists are allowed to dabble with Christian doctrine in complete freedom  dangerously reformulating the truths of the faith by transforming it into something else; while preaching is allowed to run free like a river – placing in danger the entire Catholic Creed, there is this [tendency] to become dogmatic, fixed and authoritarian on what is not essential in the Church, for example: diocesan and parochial pastoral organization.

    "THE SUCCESSOR" - Rome in Pre-Conclave mood: What will come after the Bergoglio Papacy?
    - a guest-post by Father Pio Pace

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


    The Successor

    Don Pio Pace

    What will remain when the pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio is over ? Certainly that this Pope coming from the "periphery" caused a great upheaval, but, considering the provisional results, more in style than in substance. In fact, it will all depend on what will follow this pontificate. We can ask if Papa Bergoglio is not essentially the one who is preparing the paths to a profound innovation of the Church, if he is not a Pope of transition.

    The current pontificate reminds one irresistibly of the pontificate of Pope Roncalli. John XXIII was elected by a group of zelanti electors (Ottaviani, Rufini) and progressives (Frenchmen Gerlier, Liénart), just as Francis was elevated to the throne of Peter by a very large group of Cardinals, many of whom are not embarrassed to say that they did not know the one for whom they voted in the panic of strange votes of Wednesday, March 13, 2013, and who now regret their vote.