Rorate Caeli

For the record: Cardinal Ezzati's letter announcing the removal of a dissident Jesuit theologian from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

{UPDATE 04/11/15: The "punishment" of Fr. Costadoat: a slap on the wrist? An important clarification from Chile}

The Salesian Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, made waves last week in the Hispanic Catholic world when he refused to renew the mandatum of one of South America's most high-profile and liberal theological dissidents, Fr. Jorge Costadoat SJ - yes, a Jesuit, like the Pope. The decision effectively bars the Jesuit from continuing to teach theology in the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, of which Cardinal Ezzati is also the Grand Chancellor. The Cardinal communicated his reasons for taking action against Costodoat in a letter to the University's Superior Council:

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Office of the Grand Chancellor

Santiago, March 24, 2015

Esteemed members of the Honorable Superior Council,

The Faculty of Theology has a central role within the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (cf. ECE [Statutes] 19), placed under the foremost and direct guardianship of the Grand Chancellor -- as is the case in the other schools of Catholic theology in the world --, among other reasons because the future consecrated persons are formed in it and because it carries out a fundamental task at the service of the entire academic community. The right to confer the canonical mandatum belongs exclusively to the Grand Chancellor and is an indispensable requirement for the teaching of theology in our Faculty.

EVENT: Chrism Mass - Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

If you are nearby, in Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Northeastern Italy, this is a rare event which you are able to attend: for the third time (as in 2013 and 2014), Archbishop Wolfgang Haas, of Vaduz (Liechtenstein) will celebrate in 2015 the Chrism Mass of Maundy Thursday in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, aided by the priests of his own diocese and by priests and seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, whose European seminary in Wigratzbad is not far from Liechtenstein.

(Other images from last year's celebration here, via the Wigratzbad blog.)
(Tip: Riposte Catholique)

Damned Lies: On the Destiny of Judas Iscariot

From the traditional Collect for Holy Thursday (Missale Romanum 1962), it is clear past all doubt that the centuries-old lex orandi of the Church teaches that Judas is lost, condemned forever to the fires of hell: 

O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency; that even as in His Passion our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each retribution according to his merits, so having cleared away our former guilt, he may bestow on us the grace of His resurrection: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth…

This conclusion was once taken for granted by everyone. Why, then, do so many people nowadays say that we “do not know” about Judas’s final destiny? To show that I am not exaggerating, take the former Father Thomas Williams of the Legionaires of Christ, in a ZENIT interview:

Historically, many have thought that Judas is probably in hell, because of Jesus’ severe indictment of Judas: “It would be better for that man if he had never been born,” as he says in Matthew 26:24. But even these words do not offer conclusive evidence regarding his fate. In his 1994 book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II wrote that Jesus’ words “do not allude for certain to eternal damnation.”

The Witness of Scripture

Fontgombault Sermon - Palm Sunday: "Obedience is at the core of the Incarnation and Passion"


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, March 29, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

St. Paul asks the Philippians in the Epistle to have between them the same mind as Christ had. At the beginning of the Holy Week, the Church reminds us of this duty.

Events: Holy Week Schedules (constantly updated) - Louisiana, New Jersey, Madrid, Ontario, California, Preston, Melbourne, New York City, Montreal, Vancouver, Washington, Amsterdam, Rhode Island, Hong Kong, Baltimore, Miami, Illinois, Nebraska, Philippines, Mexico (DF, Jalisco, Coahuila), Alabama, etc...

If you wish us to post the Holy Week Schedule of your community, anywhere in the world, just send it to us.

A very blessed Holy Week to all our readers!



Albenga-Imperia Update:
Bishop Oliveri stripped of all authority, will remain bishop of the diocese in name only; Coadjutor appointment "begins a Copernican revolution" in the diocese

What was predicted by Italian media in October last year, as reported by Rorate at the time, has taken place exactly as foretold: Msgr. Mario Oliveri, 71, the exceptionally Traditionalist-friendly Bishop of Albenga-Imperia, has been stripped of all powers and is now Ordinary of the diocese in name only.

On the 5th Centenary of the Birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Catholic Reformer - Guest-post by Don Pietro Leone

I - The Life

St. Teresa was born in Gotarrendura, Avila, Castile, of Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Beatrice (Beatriz) de Ahumada on 28th March, 1515, 500 years ago. As a child she ran away from home in search of martyrdom at the hands of the Moslems Her desire was 'to see God', which was later to be realized in her exercise of mental prayer, which particularly in the form of contemplation, is of course nothing else than the knowledge and love of the Most Blessed Trinity as a foretaste of the Beatific Vision.

After a period of a certain levity and frivolity, although in innocence, she was entrusted by her father to the educative care of the Augustinian nuns of Avila, whence she later entered in the order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Rapprochement between Rome & the SSPX close? Depends on who you ask

We post this for the record, from the FSSPX:

In response to some interview answers made by Archbishop Pozzo of the Ecclesia Dei Commission about the SSPX's relations with the Holy See, DICI has offered the commentary below to clarify the reality of the situation.

The SSPX’s relations with Rome, according to Archbishop Pozzo

After the consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure by Bishop Richard Williamsonon March 19, 2015, at the monastery of Santa Cruz de Nova Friburgo (Brazil), the Roman press agency I.Media questioned Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. The latter took advantage of the opportunity to make a statement on the state of the relations between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome, declaring that beyond the doctrinal difficulties that exist, the problems are “within the Society”.

According to the Roman prelate quoted by I.Media: “The pope expects the Society of St. Pius X to decide to enter [the Church—Ed.], and we are ready at any time with a canonical plan that is already known,” namely the creation of a personal prelature. It will take a little time for things to be clarified internally and for Bishop Fellay to be able to obtain a broad enough consensus before making this step.”—It is we who put this claim in bold.

At the Society of St. Pius X’s General House, they are wondering about Archbishop Pozzo’s intention in the last statement, which does not correspond to reality: Is this his view of the situation? A personal wish? Or an attempt to introduce division within the Society?

For the Record: The 2015 British Priests' Letter in Defense of Marriage
- Plus, divorce is not the issue, marriage is the issue

This historic letter, sent to the editor of the Catholic Herald, will once again bring great honor to the Church in those islands. 

For the record of historic events related to the 2015 Extraordinary Synod on the Family, it is reproduced below, followed by the comment of one of its signatories on why the Synod is focusing on the wrong problem entirely, and why this needs to be avoided, and why Parish Priests know better:

SIR – Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.

On Marriage and Bishops' Conferences, Cardinal Müller teaches Cardinal Marx the true Catholic lesson

Excerpt of interview granted by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, to French Catholic weekly Famille Chrétienne.

[FC:] In a book of conversations on the family [The Hope of the Family, Ignatius Press; La speranza della famiglia, Edizioni Ares], recently published in Italy and in the United States, you encourage Christians to, "choose the prophetic boldness of martyrdom." Why?

[Müller:] The Church is not a philanthopic organization. To say that we respect the opinions of all, that we wish for the good of all, is not enough. To present the Gospel as a simple therapeutic message is not very hard, but it does not respond to the demands of Jesus. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me," Jesus says. The first apostles, the Fathers of the Church, the great bishops in the History of the Church very often sailed against opposing winds. How could it be any different for us?

[FC:] Could certain doctrinal or disciplinary decisions on marriage and family be delegated to the episcopal conferences? 

The Traditional Mass re-enters the regular life of the Church

Sunday, March 8, 2015
It seemed a regular unsurprising event for the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris (and not the first time for him, either). In the historic parish church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, in the heart of Paris (right across the street from the cour carrée of the Louvre), where the traditional Mass is celebrated every Sunday, Cardinal Vingt-Trois celebrated the Traditional Mass (Mass in the Extraordinary Form) for the faithful in his visit to the parish. The Church in France will rise again - one day, it will rise again.

Slowly, but surely, the Traditional Mass re-enters the regular life of the Latin Church, from which it should never have been banished. May all Cardinals and Bishops follow the Cardinal's example.

Exclusive translation: newest papal controversial declarations to Scalfari
- Did Pope defend the annihilation of souls?

What Pope Francis may say to Europe's Nonbelievers

Eugenio Scalfari
La Repubblica
March 15, 2015

“We must avoid that the good [souls] be lost and we must do everything possible to save the lost ones”

The mercy to which Pope Francis is dedicating the upcoming Jubilee Year has this objective: the prodigal son of the parable whom the father welcomes [home] as a celebration of life, forgiveness among men and the infinite forgiveness of God towards His creatures. Repentance is the condition [necessary] for mercy to fall upon that soul and illuminate it with its light.

Pope Bergoglio did not pick the name Francis (unusual for the Church of Rome) by chance: the Saint from Assisi saw and loved all of God’s creatures because they all carry a spark of the divinity in them; the good shepherd is that spark which must discover and cancel with his love the dross accumulated in life itself and which has banished it into the depths, suffocating its light.

However, the theme of sin and repentance remain. And if repentance does not come? If the spark has gone out or has never existed? Pope Francis never considered that that spark could go out or that some natures could have even been deprived of it from birth; so the care for souls must never stop nor be interrupted and this is the task of the missionary work of the Church. At one of our meetings he spoke to me of that mission which concerned also unbelievers. “The missionary Church” – he said to me – does not proselytize, but strives to awaken the search for good in their souls.”

“Your Holiness, – I replied – I don’t believe in the existence of the soul.”

Marx's comments "belong in the village pub": Cardinal Josef Cordes' letter to Tagespost publicly rebuking German Bishops' Chairman

Poverty and Humility: Cardinal Marx some years ago in Fulda enjoying
one of his great pleasures: Church Tax-funded luxury cigars
The German-language Catholic news website provided a few days ago an authorized summary of the letter sent by Cardinal Cordes to Tagespost on Cardinal Marx's most recent controversial statements, in effect declaring the independence of the German Church. Translation by reader "K":

Vatican City. Authorised summary of a letter to the editor of the “Tagespost” from March 7, 2015, in which Paul Josef Cardinal Cordes, former president of the papal work COR UNUM, publicly refutes some statements made by Reinhard Cardinal Marx and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück at the plenary meeting of the German bishops in Hildesheim:

At the last plenary meeting of the German bishops, statements of their president were made public which were neither officially published nor denied by the conference’s secretariat. Since words of the most prominent representative of German Catholics give directions and [since these statements] furthermore caused a stir in the media, it makes sense to publicly contradict some of the positions expressed, also in order to limit the confusion they have caused in several places.

In these statements, the president [Marx] noted that in the universal Church ‘certain expectations’ are directed towards Germany. This is astonishing. A poll of the ‘Bertelsmann foundation’ showed that only 16.2 percent of the West-German Catholics believe in almighty God as a person they can encounter, all other Catholics equate ‘God’ with a faceless providence, anonymous fate, or a primordial power – or they simply deny His existence. Therefore we have little reason to boast against churches in other countries about our faith.

Moreover, it is not only astonishing that the German Church supposedly enjoys such great respect within Catholicism. More irritating still are the theological blurs and statements, in which the President of the Bishops’ Conference plainly declared that “We are no local branches of Rome. Each Conference is responsible for the pastoral care in its cultural environment and, as it most proper task, has to proclaim the Gospel in its own way.” As a social ethicist Cardinal Marx may know much about the dependency of branches of large corporations. In an ecclesiastical context, such statements should rather be rather left to the village pub.

Details of Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage confirmed

The 4th Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage will take place from 22-25th October this year (Thursday to Sunday). On the Saturday and Sunday, 24-25th, the FIUV General Assembly will also take place, and the events are being coordinated.

Sunday 25th October will also see the conclusion of the Synod of the Family.

This could be an interesting time to be in Rome! Do join us.

Abp Luigi Negri: Western Civilization is at an end

Among the bishops of Italy currently serving as Ordinaries, Archbishop Luigi Negri stands out for his trenchant commentary and prolific writings (including a multitude of articles and around 30 books) on a wide variety of topics, always with the object of defending a conservative Catholic world view and its presence in the public square and the world of culture. A close student and collaborator of Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Comunione e Liberazione, he was appointed Bishop of the small diocese of San Marino - Montefeltro in 2005 and then Archbishop of the small Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio in 2012. He is already well-known to Traditional Catholics for his interventions in favor of the Traditional Latin Mass: his telegram to Pope Benedict XVI thanking him for Summorum Pontificum, his denunciation of episcopal opposition to the same, and his 2013 homily to Traditional Catholics with its precious words of encouragement and praise. 

A friend and reader of Rorate has kindly presented us with this translation of an article written last month by the Archbishop and published by La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. This is a bishop who knows how to fight, who knows how to denounce the French Revolution (and its Catholic apologists) in the same breath as the Islamist menace that he does not fear to name either. 

By Luigi Negri, Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio

Ancient Statues and bas-reliefs were toppled down by bearded men who then proceeded to destroy them by using jackhammers. This is the latest video released by ISIS in Mosul.  It is the continuation of a campaign against remnants of the past. Islamic State militants have been blowing up places of worship, feeding flames with books taken from libraries, and destroying a part of Nineveh’s city walls, the ancient Assyrian capital in the outskirts of present-day Mosul. These images, spread by a Twitter account used by the Caliphate, show the methodical destruction perpetrated in the rooms of what looks like a museum in Mosul. During the five-minute long video, we notice museum labels in Arabic and English describing exhibited artefacts. It is because of this that we have recorded the comments of Mons. Luigi Negri, the Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio.

I hope that the technological means which our society uses – and oftentimes abuses – can vividly preserve for future generations the images of such terrible scenes of barbarism which we have been able to see “live” in different parts of the world. This is rage, much more demented than barbaric, against the artistic expressions of one of the greatest ages of world culture, which have been handed down with devotion and respect from one generation to another, from one culture to another, from one civilization to another. And so culture and civilization are not exclusive, unlike the case of this horrendous ideology, even if it is religious. Culture and Civilization are inclusive and even know how to incorporate cultural and historical realities not born from the limitations of their proper milieu; thereby becoming all the more enriched. 

Colloquium on Religious Liberty in Norcia

We are pleased to share the following announcement of a conference to be held in Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, later this year. It is being organized by the Dominican theologian, Fr. Thomas Crean OP, who has written on the topic.

Passiontide Begins + EGO SUM

"Abraham pater vester exsultavit ut videret diem meum: vidit, et gavisus est." Dixerunt ergo Iudæi ad eum: "Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti?" Dixit eis Iesus: "Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum." (From the Gospel for Passion Sunday, John viii, 56-58: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.")

...Abraham's Creator bears a great testimony to Abraham. "Abraham rejoiced," He says, "to see my day." He did not fear, but "rejoiced to see it." For in him there was the love that casts out fear. He says not, rejoiced because he saw; but "rejoiced that he might see." [Non ait: Exsultavit, quia vidit; sed, exsultavit ut videret.] Believing, at all events, he rejoiced in hope to see with the understanding. "And he saw." And what more could the Lord Jesus Christ say, or what more ought He to have said? "And he saw," He says, "and was glad." Who can unfold this joy...? If those rejoiced whose bodily eyes were opened by the Lord, what joy was his who saw with the eyes of his soul the light ineffable, the abiding Word, the brilliance that dazzles the minds of the pious, the unfailing Wisdom, God abiding with the Father, and at some time come in the flesh and yet not to withdraw from the bosom of the Father?

All this did Abraham see. For in saying "my day," it may be uncertain of what He spoke; whether the day of the Lord in time, when He should come the flesh, or that day of the Lord which knows not a dawn, and knows no decline. But for my part I doubt not that father Abraham knew it all. And where shall I find it out? Ought the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ to satisfy us? Let us suppose that we cannot find it out, for perhaps it is difficult to say in what sense it is clear that Abraham "rejoiced to see the day" of Christ, "and saw it, and was glad." ...

Fontgombault Sermon - Feast of Saint Benedict: "The Foundations of European Civilization are being destroyed by the liberally-minded."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
and Administrator of St. Paul of Wisques
(Wisques, March 21, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

We celebrate today the day on which our Blessed Father St. Benedict was called to God, and we give thanks for the blessings that this life has brought, and for the gift that through him and his sons has been granted, and is still granted, to mankind.

St. Benedict’s undertaking has by far gone beyond the limits of the houses that he founded and of the times in which he lived. By the network of monasteries that were sown on our Old World countries, St. Benedict has made a major contribution to the foundation of Europe on the rock of Christian values. Come hell or high water, the Old World has stood fast and has even spread this civilisation,
especially in the African and American worlds.

St. Benedict does indeed deserve the title of “great confessor”. We have just sung: Blessed is the man that fears the Lord, that delights greatly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed. (Ps 111:1-2)

How can we explain such an influence? The sequence of the Mass calls him magni ducis, a great chief. Monks call him their Blessed Father. More than a chief, St. Benedict has been a Father. If he is the Father of Europe, it is because he has been first Father of his monks.

What is then this fatherhood that is not derived from the bonds of the flesh, and yet seems to hold fruitfulness, as can be seen in the monastic Order? The Apostles have forsaken all to follow Jesus. The same applies to monks. Monastic fatherhood is a living relationship, which conversely entails a living “sonship”. If St. Benedict has become the Father of Europe, it is because he had sons who passed on the heritage that they had received from their Father.

- Support the Monks of Norcia - Fundraising Gala in Darien, Connecticut

The Monastery of Saint Benedict in Norcia (Nursia, Umbria, Italy) is hosting the annual Norcia Gala in Connecticut this year, on April 18. Last year Cardinal Burke was the speaker, this year the Bishop of Bridgeport, the Most Rev. Frank Caggiano, will speak. 

Fr. Cassian Folsom, Prior, and Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, Subprior, will also be present.

Today, March 21, on this Feast of the great patriarch Saint Benedict, born in the very town where these his sons are keeping his rule, please consider taking part in this Eastertide fundraising event to support the formation of monks and other needs of the Monastery.

For reservations, invitations, and additional information, visit the 2015 Norcia Gala website.

The Great Division: End-of-Life measures, French-style -- “L’Osservatore Romano” in favor of France's "camouflaged Euthanasia"

Now, even regarding such a delicate (and yet clear-cut) issue as euthanasia, lack of clarity leads to division, even in Rome itself. Regarding the new French euthanasia bill, the Italian Bishops' Conference daily, Avvenire, says one thing (condemning it), and the official paper of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano, says another.

From Sandro Magister's Italian-only blog:

"Taking care does not mean killing": anti-euthanasia protest by pro-life activists in Paris

The End of Life, French-Style: “Avvenire” votes against it. “L’Osservatore Romano”, in favor.
Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo*
March 19, 2015

“A balanced response” . With this title. in large bold letters, “L’Osservatore Romano” [edition] of March 19th positively acknowledged the approval by the French National Assembly (with 436 votes against 34) of the bill on the end of life, which took the name of the two senators who presented it: Jean Leonetti and Alain Claeys.

Illicit Consecration revealed by Rorate going on in Brazil at this moment
- Updated (SSPX Communiqué)

French blog Riposte Catholique mentions today that the Consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure (a former member of the Society of Saint Pius X) by Bishop Richard Williamson (expelled from the same Society in 2012) was to have been kept secret - until Rorate revealed it to the world in a worldwide exclusive text, forcing the hand of those involved who had to admit it would take place.

Why was it kept secret? Probably because those involved wished to present the event as a fait accompli. As Riposte Catholique also informs, the Nunciature in Brazil informed those involved of the canonical penalties that will be applied as a consequence of the act.


The act is taking place right now in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, exactly as Rorate had revealed (thanks to our very reliable sources, as our readers can now verify by themselves).

The Great Division is here: Point (the Bishops of Poland) and Counterpoint (Pope Francis)

The Bishops of Poland concluded their plenary meeting a week ago, and the central paragraph of their final communiqué was a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage and its consequences for the sacramental life of the Church faithful:
Statement of the plenary meeting of the Polish Bishops' Conference

Warsaw, March 12, 2015.

"The ralliement of Leo XIII: a pastoral experience that moved away from doctrine" - by Roberto de Mattei

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
March 18, 2015

The 1905 Separation, the complete failure of Leo XIII's policy of ralliement:
"The Separation: 'Let us separate - I will keep your assets.' "

Leo XIII(1878-1903) was certainly one of the most important Popes in modern times, not only for the length of his pontificate, second only to  Blessed Pius IX’s, but above all for the extent and richness of his Magisterium. His teaching includes encyclicals of fundamental importance, such as Aeterni Patris (1879) on the restoration of Thomist philosophy, Arcanum (1880) on the indissolubility of marriage, Humanum genus (1884) against Masonry, L’Immortale Dei (1885) on the Christian constitution of the States and Rerum Novarum (1891) on the question of work and social life.

The Magisterium of Pope Gioacchino Pecci appears as an organic corpus, in continuation with the teachings of his predecessor Pius IX as well as his successor Pius X. The real turning point and novelty of the Leonine pontificate, by contrast, is in regard to his ecclesiastical politics and pastoral approach to modernity. Leo XIII’s government was characterized in fact, by the ambitious project of reaffirming the Primate of the Apostolic See through a redefinition of its relationship with the European States and the reconciliation of the Church with the modern world. The politics of ralliement, that is, of reconciliation with the French, secular, Masonic Third Republic, formed its basis.  

Associated Press picks up Rorate Caeli report on Bp. Williamson consecrating new bishop tomorrow

The following report, by the largest wire service in the world, ensures this action occurring tomorrow doesn't start and stop only within traditional circles. In fact, it's already the top news story on Yahoo! News:

Holocaust-denying bishop makes waves again with consecration

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Holocaust-denying Catholic bishop who made headlines in 2009 when Pope Benedict XVI rehabilitated him and members of his breakaway traditionalist society is heading for new trouble with the Vatican.
Bishop Richard Williamson is planning to consecrate a new bishop Thursday in Brazil without Pope Francis' consent — a church crime punishable by excommunication.
The Rev. Rene Miguel Trincado Cvjetkovic confirmed the planned consecration of the Rev. Christian Jean-Michel Faure in an email to The Associated Press. The consecration was first reported by the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli.

You Report: New Bishop, Ancient Mass, in Dundee, Scotland

Reader G. sends us the following report:

Saint Patrick: "He rooted up infidelity, and planted catholicity in this country"

by the Rev. Fr. William Gahan, O.S.A. (1732-1804)

Mementote praepositorum Vestrorum, qui vobis locuti sunt Verbum Dei— imitamini fidem — doctrinis variis et peregrinis nolite abduci.
Heb. c. xiii. v. 7 et 9.
Remember your Prelates, who have spoken to you the word of God—whose faith follow—and be not led away by various and strange doctrines.
Heb. c. xiii. v. 7. 9.

When the Almighty singles out men to be the extraordinary messengers of his councils, oracles of his wisdom, instruments of his grace and channels of his boundless mercies, he confers on them those wonderful gifts, talents and virtues, that are requisite to qualify them for the execution of his orders, and for the accomplishment of the grand designs of his all ruling providence. Thus he qualified Moses, Aaron and the Prophets in the old Law, and the twelve Apostles in the new Law, for the solemn embassy and the heavenly commission on which he was pleased to send them. He invested them with every power they stood in need of, in order to discharge the duties of their ministry with success; he communicated to them all the eminent gifts and talents that were necessary, to enable them to encounter the difficulties and surmount all the obstacles which stood in their way, and which attended the due execution of the high commission they were charged with.

Among many other renowned characters and remarkable instances of this truth, we may justly rank St. Patrick, the glorious Apostle and Patron of Ireland, whose feast the Church solemnizes this day, and honours with the privilege of a plenary indulgence, extended to the faithful of the whole kingdom on every day of the ensuing octave. When the Lord in his great goodness singled him out, for the grand work of the conversion of this remote corner of the then known world to the Christian and Catholic religion, when he sent him as an instrument of his divine mercy to announce the mystery of the cross to our ancestors, and to enlighten a people, who, as the Scripture phrase expresses it, were sitting in darkness and in the gloomy shades of death, he qualified him in every respect for the arduous enterprise, and made him at once a most zealous Apostle and an illustrious Saint, that he might diffuse the light of the Gospel all over this island by his indefatigable zeal, and establish the spirit of the Gospel by his eminent sanctity. It is under these two considerations that I intend to represent St. Patrick to you at present, as a precious vessel of election and model of Christian perfection. He rooted up infidelity, and planted catholicity in this country; he banished vice and immorality, and promoted the practice of true piety and solid virtue both by his word and example. Behold the plan of the following discourse and the subject of your favourable attention. Let us previously invoke the aid of the Holy Ghost, through the intercession of the blessed Virgin, greeting her with the words of the Angel, [Ave Maria....]


FORMER SSPX Bishop Williamson to consecrate bishop(s)

Update (Mar. 17, 4 PM GMT): the blog of the followers of Bp. Williamson in Spanish, Non Possumus, confirmed the news of the consecration of Fr. Faure shortly after our post came up. So does today the semi-official daily of the Church in France, La Croix . The rumor of the second consecration (Fr. Innocent-Marie), which was never certain, is not confirmed.


[All may reprint/repost or make use of this breaking news -- but you must credit Rorate Caeli, whatever is the medium you choose to use, online or offline. Thank you.]

It was only a matter of time. Ever since Bishop Richard Williamson eventually caused the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) to force his own expulsion from that Society in 2012, the watch has been on for him to consecrate one or more bishops. This became even more inevitable as he has failed to recruit any significant number of clergy or faithful away from the SSPX in a so-called "Resistance" attempt.

Rorate can now report at least one consecration will occur on March 19 (Feast of St. Joseph).

[Monastery of the Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, in Nova Friburgo, Brazil]
According to our sources, Bishop Williamson plans to consecrate Fr. Jean-Michel Faure at the monastery of Santa Cruz (that also broke with the SSPX in 2012) in Nova Friburgo, a city in the state of  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

- For historian Roberto de Mattei, if things go on like this, there will be schism.

Giovanni Panetterie
[Daily newspapers] Il Giorno, La Nazione, Il Resto del Carlino 
March 9, 2015

“A revolution in family pastoral care regarding Communion for the divorced and remarried and homosexual unions is materializing. Like this, the Pope is disorienting the Church, from the cardinals right down to the parishes.” Two years on, since the start of Bergoglio’s ministry, the historian Roberto de Mattei, author of the famous Vatican II, A History Never Written, defines the Latino's Pontificate as “enigmatic” and “filled with paradoxes”, and highlights the distance between Francis’ wishes and the sentiments of the Catholic world. According to “the finest intellectual of Italian Traditionalism” (copyright Alberto Melloni, who is on the opposing side) “with this Pope the Church is risking a schism brought on by those progressive bishops, like the Germans [for instance], who want to go ahead with the apertures even if the Synod in October rejected them.

[Panettiere:] Also the ultra-conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke has promised to resist at all costs.

The Ultimate Selfie - Sermon for Laetare Sunday 2015

From the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John:  “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.”

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded by all four of the Gospels.  This sign, this miracle, is considered as central within the kerygma, for it has always been understood as prefiguring the Holy Eucharist: the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish as pointing to the miraculous reality of the true bread of heaven who is Jesus Christ given to the Church as his Real Presence among us until the end of time.  And in this way this gospel has always been associated with the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Laetare Sunday with its introit:  “Rejoice O Jerusalem”, pointing to the Easter Sacrament by which the people are fed with the true Bread of Life.

But we must also remember that this miracle begins the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, the great discourse on the Eucharist, whose climax is Jesus’ words: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”.  It is those words that cause a number of Jesus’ followers to leave him. It is those words that anger the scribes and the Pharisees.  It is those words that help set off those events that lead to the Cross.  It is those words that lie at the heart of the Church’s understanding of and faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

USA Today article on the traditional Latin Mass

With a larger circulation than even the New York Times, the American newspaper USA Today sometimes publishes interesting op-eds or articles concerning Catholic issues of the day.

On page 6A of today's print edition of the paper, which is also online, the headline "Latin Mass makes a comeback" is above this article by special correspondent Eric J. Lyman, with Rorate contributor Joseph Shaw quoted:

Fifty years after the traditional Latin Mass was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church, it is making a comeback.

The Second Vatican Council ruled a half-century ago this month that the Mass could be said in local languages while the priest faced the congregation. The longer Latin Mass involved elaborate choreography, and the priest's back was toward the pews.

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI formally allowed the majestic Latin Mass to be more accessible to congregations. Since then, participation has mushroomed.

"Interested Catholics now realize it's not some peculiar thing tucked away in an embarrassed corner," said Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society based in the United Kingdom. "Once they're in the door, the Mass speaks for itself."

Saint Teresa of Jesus - 500
- I - I was born for Thee

It is quite hard to translate and keep both a reasonable identity of meaning between the original version and the translated text. With poetry, this is much harder. With devotional poetry, even more. And it is almost unimaginably difficult to do all that while remaining under the obligation to prevent any doctrinal error from creeping into the translation of a thoroughly orthodox text.

So all our gratitude to the nuns of the former Stanbrook Abbey for the great effort they put over 100 years ago in the translation of some of the deepest works of Saint Teresa of Avila, her poems, the greatest jewel of the Golden Age of Spanish Arts and Literature (el Siglo de Oro), that cultural apotheosis of Catholic civilization. As we approach the 500th anniversary of her birthday (March 28, 1515), let us get nearer to the Lord this Lent in her own words.

Vuestra soy, para Vos nací
I am Thine, I was born for Thee

The Bergoglio Pontificate: The Second Anniversary
- NYT columnist: "Who Are Pope Francis's Critics?"

The New York Times, for better or for worse, is considered the newspaper of record in America.  Its editorials nearly always oppose the Catholic Church's teachings and its articles usually favor the Church only when a pope or another prominent Catholic breaks with tradition.  Every so often there is a rare exception.

The paper's lone conservative, full-time columnist, Ross Douthat, is a welcome exception to the op-ed page's stale predictability.  He has written pieces that have been controversial even in conservative Catholic circles and has observed trends such as, "France is also a country with a very strong traditionalist Catholic presence -- there might be as many French priests in various Latin Mass orders, separated and not, by 2040 as there are priests in the diocesan clergy and non-traditionalist orders -- which has its own interesting implications for the future of the much-reduced Catholic presence."

The newest post by Mr. Douthat takes a look at Pope Francis and his critics.  He divides them (us, actually) into three camps -- traditionalists; Catholic economic conservatives and libertarians; and doctrinal conservatives:

1. Traditionalists. These are Catholics defined by their preference/zeal for the Tridentine Rite Mass and their rejection of (or at least doubts about) various reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Some attend mainstream parishes that offer the mass in Latin, others are affiliated with orders specifically organized around the old rite, others are connected to parishes run by the (arguably; it’s a long argument) schismatic Society of Saint Pius X. There’s lots of variation within traditionalist ranks (my friend Michael Brendan Dougherty, ... is a “trad” of a different sort than, say, this fellow), but the important things to emphasize are first, that their numbers (in the American context and otherwise) are quite small; second, that their concerns are not usually the same as those of the typical John Paul II-admiring conservative Catholic (traditionalists were often not admirers of the Polish pope); and third, that their skepticism of Pope Francis was probably inevitable and pretty clearly mutual. 

For instance, [The New Republic magazine's Elizabeth] Bruenig notes that Rorate Caeli, a traditionalist site, greeted Jorge Bergoglio’s election by describing him as “a sworn enemy of the traditional Mass.” But what she doesn’t mention is that as Francis, he has often vindicated those fears: He has demoted the traditional mass’s most prominent champion within the Vatican, cracked down on a prominent traditionalist order, and frequently singled out traditionalist tendencies and practices for criticism in his remarks. Traditionalism has, it’s fair to say, a paranoid streak and then some, but even paranoids have enemies, and since the Tridentine mass was essentially suppressed in much of the church for a generation and more, Francis’s moves have not exactly been calculated to reassure Catholics of this persuasion about their place within the church.

Radicati Editorial: Modernized Catholicism offers Modernity to Muslims - and they understandably reject it

It won't be a Liberal religion that will save us from Islam

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

We must pray a lot to St. Joseph during this month dedicated to him: for us, for Holy Church and for the work that God asks of Her in the world.

Protector Sanctae Ecclesiae, is the last title of invocation in St. Joseph’s litany - Protector of Holy Church.

The Holy Church must be protected from all Her enemies, who are the same enemies of Our Lord - enemies inside and outside the Church. Perhaps, during these really difficult times, we have to pray to St. Joseph, in particular, to protect the Church from the enemies inside who are certainly the most dangerous.

Media continues to observe hermeneutic of rupture

As we mark the 20th weekday of Lent today, the vigil of the second anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, mainstream media have been observing the shift in tone, actions and substance since March 2013.

Today's Los Angeles Times, the fifth largest newspaper in the U.S., carries an article headlined "Pope Francis disappoints fans of Latin Mass."  There is really nothing new to us here, as Rorate predicted the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture moments after the election on 13 March 2013, but it is interesting nonetheless to see how reporters have made simple observations over the last two years.

The article begins:

The perception that Pope Francis is more “liberal” than Pope Benedict XVI has been shaped mostly by his seemingly softer approach to hot-button issues such as homosexuality -- “Who am I to judge?” -- and his humble personal style. But not much attention has been paid to an issue that is a sore subject for a subset of Catholic traditionalists: the pope’s views about public worship.

Abortion becomes not only a right but a State Ideology. But where's Francis?

Il Foglio
Giuliano Ferrara
March 10, 2015

An Italo-Belgian parliamentarian..., someone called Tarabella, has submitted a motion to the European Parliament for the approval of a statute of women’s rights, with the right of abortion on demand at its center. A crushing majority (with a tiny hair-splitting difference from shrewd, adult Catholics), approves it; and so, a conservative minority of the people is crushed as well as the bodies of both the women and the children yet unborn.

Cardinal Müller: foundations for a return to the Magisterium - and the limits of Papal power
- 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.


Cardinal Müller: laying the foundations for a return to the Magisterium

Don Pio Pace

God only allows evil so as greater good may be accomplished. The immense disorder of the assemblies of the Synod on the Family prompts beautiful professions of faith by high-placed prelates of the Church, who are signs of hope for the future of the Church.

The extreme-progressive French magazine Golias moreover notes with disquiet the "danger" that men such as Cañizares, Burke, Müller, Ranjith, Ouellet, Sarah, and other "young" Cardinals  (around 65 years old) represent to their viewpoint, that is, in the perspective of a further liberalization of the Church's constitution, adding to them some over seventy-year-olds, such as Scola, Caffarra, Pell, among others.

Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the Cardinals who took part in the authorship of the book "Remaining in the Truth of Christ", along with his brothers Brandmüller, Burke, Caffara and De Paolis, has, for example, just made public a conference that he presented on the past January 13, in Esztergom, Hungary, on the "Theological nature of the Doctrinal Commissions [of the Episcopal Conferences] and the role of Bishops as Doctors of the Faith". 

Event: Laetare Sunday Solemn Vespers (March 15), followed by Conference - "How Catholicism Converted the World"

Details below:

Pope Francis on liturgical reform and Vatican II: no turning back

Avanti! ¡Adelante! Forward! And no going back!

The Pope has once again made his mind on the liturgical reform of the 1960's and Vatican II clear, and not without taking the opportunity to criticize the easiest of targets: the very few who still say the rosary at Mass (by the way, not a problem - cf. Mediator Dei, 181-184). He could not resist doing so at his homily on March 7 at the Ognissanti parish in Rome where he commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first Italian Mass of Paul VI:

The liturgy is not something strange, there, distant, and while it is being celebrated I am thinking of many things, or I pray the Rosary. No, no. There is a correspondence between the liturgical celebration, which I then carry into my life; and on this more progress must be made, there is such a long way yet to go.

After the Mass and just before leaving the parish, the Pope addressed the faithful gathered outside the Church, and touched upon the liturgical reform: 

Thank you so much, thank you so much for your hospitality, for the prayer with me in the Mass; and we thank the Lord for what He has done in the Church in these 50 years of liturgical reform. It was in fact a courageous gesture of the Church to draw close to the People of God, so that they could understand well what she does, and this is important for us, to follow the Mass in this way. And we cannot go back; we must always go forward, always forward and whoever goes back is mistaken. We go forward on this way.

A Priest Responds to the 2015 "Family Synod" Preparatory Document:
- "Vague, secular, naive, sentimental, discouraging."

A response to the [Lineamenta, the preparatory] document on the Synod of the Family, submitted to the Very Rev. Michael Pavlakovich, V.F. at the request of the Archbishop of Denver.

1. In the Preface the desire is expressed to "find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront." I suggest concentrating on one or two difficulties, and trying to solve those.

For example, if the Universal Church tried to stop cohabitation of couples, and was at all successful, then many other problems would improve. This would mean a united effort, with at least the Pope and the bishops working together. But trying to address all the numerous problems outlined in the Relatio at the same, time is not realistic.

2. The language of sin and redemption was missing from the documents.

The 50th Anniversary of Paul VI's First Italian Mass
Some hard truths about the "1965 Missal" and the Liturgical Reform

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first "Mass in Italian" to be ever celebrated, an event deemed important enough to be celebrated by the current Pope with a special commemorative Mass at the same church in Rome (Parrocchia di Ognissanti, Via Appia Nuova, 244) where it took place. The original Mass was celebrated by Paul VI on March 7, 1965 which happened to be that year's First Sunday of Lent. The repeatedly vandalized plaque now marking the event (see above) goes so far as to say that it was this event that inaugurated the liturgical reform decreed by Vatican II. (The text of the plaque says, "On March 7, 1965, His Holiness Paul VI, inaugurating the liturgical reform decreed by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, deigned to celebrate in this temple the first mass in Italian language, amidst the emotion and joy of an entire people, forever faithful and grateful.")

The rite used by Paul VI was the so-called "1965 Missal", essentially the 1962 Missal but with the modernizations and simplifications laid out in 1964 by Inter oecumenici, which document came into force on the same day as the Pope's Italian Mass. (We use inverted commas because there never was an editio typica for the entire Roman Missal as reformed in 1964-1965.) The actual Mass celebrated by Paul VI itself served as the inauguration of the "1965 Missal". It would not have been entirely in Italian because Inter oecumenici mandated that the Orations, Preface, and the silent priestly prayers including the Roman Canon (which continued to be said inaudibly) were to remain in Latin. It also ordered that "Missals to be used in the liturgy, however, shall contain besides the vernacular version the Latin text". Messa in Latino recently published a few pages from a 1965 Italian-Latin Missal showing the bilingual Ordo Missae. (In the USA, vernacularization was already being implemented as early as 1964. The US Bishops' November 1964 document with rules for the use of Latin and the vernacular can be read here.)

Nevertheless it is not true, as is sometimes implied in blogs oriented to the "Reform of the Reform", that the 1965 Missal only allowed a modest use of the vernacular. The permission for the use of the vernacular in Inter oecumenici is sweeping and includes all the parts said or sung by the congregation: