Rorate Caeli

Fraternity of Saint Peter - 2015 Ordinations - Video and images (US, Canada, Germany)

We take the occasion of the week of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul to gather in one post the images of the three ceremonies of priestly ordinations for the FSSP in 2015, in the Nebraska, Quebec, and Bavaria.


1. United States, May 30, 2015:

Sermon on the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: MARRIAGE AND THE TRUTH OF CHRIST

From the First Epistle of St. Peter:  “But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”.

Yesterday I witnessed the marriage of a wonderful young couple.  The Nuptial Mass was a Solemn Mass in the Traditional Roman rite. And as I listened to the epistle which is from the sixth chapter of the Epistle of St Paul to the Ephesians, where Paul uses the analogy of the relationship of the man and woman in  marriage to the relationship of Christ and his Church, and then listened to the gospel from St. Matthew that relates the discussion between Jesus and the Pharisess on marriage: “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."(Mt. 19:3-9): once again the clarity of our Lord's teaching struck me. The teaching is clear: marriage as a human institution is ordained by God, and the bond of marriage is formed by God and is unbreakable. 

2015 Synod Instrumentum Laboris: Sandro Magister's take.
Passage # 123: a drop of poison

For the record: Sandro Magister's Chiesa website has published its own translations of selected passages, plus analysis, from the 2015 Synod's Instrumentum Laboris, including Nos. 102, 115, 121, 123 and 129, for which we also provided our own translations in our analysis of this document on June 25 (see Instrumentum Laboris for 2015 Synod published: Translation of Selected Passages and Commentary). 

RORATE EDITORIAL: It's time for Catholic prelates to speak as true Catholics

Rosso Fiorentino
The Marriage of the Virgin
Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence

Since the promulgation of Obergefell v. Hodges, the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States on the definition of State-defined marriage, a growing number of U.S. Catholic prelates have been issuing their own statements about this abominable decision by five justices of the Court (two of whom are baptized Catholics, including the majority opinion's author himself). Some forthrightly condemned the decision's injustice and immorality. Others restated Catholic doctrine clearly, but without the forcefulness clearly warranted by the situation. Others offered decidedly lukewarm, limp-wristed statements that repeated a minimum of orthodox doctrine in as inoffensive and unconvincing a manner as possible, while tacitly accepting elements of the new secular orthodoxy and undermining what resistance towards it is left among Catholics.

The most symbolic statement was that of the new Archbishop of Chicago, Blase J. Cupich, as lukewarm and limp-wristed as can be imagined. Let no one be fooled: behind the façade of equanimity, this statement represents capitulation, pure and simple: 

Fontgombault Sermon - Sts Peter and Paul: "The Successor of Peter must be obedient to the word of God"


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
and Administrator of St. Paul of Wisques
(Wisques, June 29, 2015)

Vos autem, quem me esse dicitis?
But you, who do you say I am?
(Mt 16:15)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Church has honoured the Saints whom we celebrate today with the name of “pillars”. St. Peter and St. Paul are the pillars of the Church.

The Gospel tells of a surprising episode. Jesus enquires what men think of Him: “Who do people say that the Son of man is?” (Mt 16:13) The Apostles are eager to answer; they gladly inform their Master of the remarks that they have gleaned hither and thither, maybe also they take advantage of it to expound discreetly their own questionings… their own doubts. There are various answers: “Some say John the Baptist, and other Elijah, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” (v. 14) These answers reflect a world tossed about by its fashions and opinions, a world proud to have cast away any reference to truth. Jesus speaks again: “But whom do you say that I am?” (v. 15) This second question shows that He makes a difference between His disciples and the world. Faced with the conflicting answers previously heard, one might expect to hear a unanimous and almost solemn proclamation of faith by all the disciples. Peter alone answers: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” (v. 16)

Why does Peter alone speak? Why do the other disciples keep silent? Are they torn between what people think, and the truth that, they know it, comes from God? The answer of people is credible, whereas Peter’s answer, whereas the Word of God is foolish. Jesus then addresses Peter and praises him: “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father who is in Heaven.” (v. 17) Peter is praised because the Father has deigned to enlighten him, and because he has heard this Word and made it his own.

SSPX Superior-General after Vatican visits of their Seminaries: "Francis has kept his promises to us, he sees us as Catholic"

On Saturday, June 27, French conservative daily Présent published an interview Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, on the surprisingly positive developments for the Society under Francis, and what they mean for the future.

On the occasion of the blessing of the bells for the chapel of the Saint-Michel de La Martinerie school in Chateauroux, Bishop Fellay gave Presentan update on the situation of the Society of St. Pius X, of which he is the Superior General.
In an interview with Fideliter in 2001, you mentioned the "movement of profound sympathy from the young clergy for the Society." Has this movement grown, especially with the motu proprio in 2007?
"Without a doubt! The motu proprio gave this movement a new impetus. And it is important to insist upon Benedict XVI's interest for the liturgy in general. He truly wished to put the entire traditional liturgy, not only the Mass, at the disposition of the priests and the faithful; this did not happen because there was too much opposition. But the young priests identify with this liturgy, precisely because it is timeless. The Church lives in eternity. The liturgy does also too, which is why it is always young. Close to God, it is outside of time. So it is no surprise that the baptismal character makes this harmony resound even in souls that have never known the liturgy. And the way the young priests react when they discover this liturgy is moving: they have the impression a treasure has been hidden from them."
The Society was officially recognized as Catholic by the State of Argentina, with the help of Cardinal Bergoglio, who has since become Pope Francis. Does this have a purely administrative importance or is it more revealing?

Online Exclusive: Cardinal Siri's 1963 interview on the ongoing Council -- and the shortcomings of its "pastoral" tone

Fr. Walter Abbot, S.J. interviewed Cardinal Siri after the first (1962) session of the Second Vatican Council as part of a larger work of 12 interviews with Council Fathers, that was published in 1963, before the second session. As far as we are aware, this is the first online transcript of the exchange.


   Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, Archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, was grave and thoughtful the day I visited him. The day before, he told me, he had been surprised to discover in an Italian newspaper an account of a speech he had delivered during the first session of the Council. “I did not give out that text,” the cardinal said, “but obviously the writer had a copy of it. Someone violated the secrecy of the Council in giving it to him.” In making judgments about the speech, the cardinal added, the writer acted in a singularly improper manner, in view of the fact that the Fathers of the Council themselves do not pass judgments on one another’s speeches.”

   The cardinal looks like one of the nobles in the many paintings that hang on the walls of his palace next to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa, and the incident of the pirated speech showed that he had the manner of a noble, although he is actually the son of working-class parents.

   Slim, bespectacled, still dark-haired at the age of fifty-seven, the cardinal gives an impression of vitality, keen intelligence and intense seriousness. I knew that he had become a priest at the unusually early age of twenty-two, and had won a doctorate in theology the following year at the Gregorian University, the only member of the class to do it with full points. He was a theology professor at twenty-four, a bishop at thirty-seven and a cardinal at forty-six. He has written books about social problems, as well as theology textbooks, and I have heard it said that he has settled more labor disputes, as an arbitrator, than any other man in Italy. Cardinal Siri served as a member of the Central Preparatory Commission of the Second Vatican Council.

   lt was good to learn that this brilliant and forceful molder of opinion in the Italian Church had a sense of humor. It came out when he told me how much he relished something that Cardinal Léger, Archbishop of Montreal, whispered to him  as they walked together in procession on December 9 at the beginning of that day’s canonization ceremonies. It was the day after the first session of the Council ended. Many of the bishops had gone home. Those in attendance were up at the front near the altar of St. Peter’s, and the rest of the tiers of Council Father’s seats had been given to seminarians. As they passed the seminarians, Cardinal Léger whispered to Cardinal Siri: “Look – the Third Vatican Council!” Cardinal Siri’s smile grew wider as he recalled how he noticed that the seminarians Cardinal Léger was pointing to were from his own seminary of Geenoa; they were there because one of the day’s three new saints came from Genoa.

The days I visited Cardinal Siri was the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Pietro Cardinal Boetto, his predecessor as Archbishop of Genoa and Cardinal Bea’s predecessor as a Jesuit member of the Sacred College. There was a picture of Cardinal Boetto on the table beside Cardinal Siri. He told me what a great and lovable man the cardinal had been. In this, and in everything else he said, it was obvious that Cardinal Siri was a man of great loyalty and devotion to men he esteems and to causes in which he believes.


In an overall view of the Second Vatican Council’s first session, what does Your Eminence see as its achievements?

Photos from FSSP pilgrimage to Washington, D.C.

Earlier this month a newly-ordained priest and about a dozen seminarians from the North American District of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter led a pilgrimage from Barnesville, Maryland, to Washington, D.C.  Details were announced here.

Instrumentum Laboris for 2015 Synod published:
Translation of Selected Passages and Commentary.
Plus: Will the "Kasper hypothesis" be smuggled into official Church discipline under the cover of extremely vague and clever language?

Blazing the trail for those who want to judge the validity of their own marriage...

The Instrumentum Laboris for the 2015 Synod, an enormous and extremely long-winded document, was published on June 23 but only in Italian. This will be the guiding document for the Synod discussions, guaranteeing that this year's Synod will be at least as contentious as last year's Extraordinary Synod. The portions in italics are taken verbatim from the Lineamenta published last year that served as the guiding document for the consultations that formed the Instrumentum Laboris. In this post we provide extensive extracts from it, mostly taken from its third section. Our commentary will focus mostly on how some passages in this document secure a path for the "Kasper proposal" in favor of remarried divorcees to be accepted by the Synod.

The first two parts of the document deals with the challenges and issues of pastoral care facing families and naturally take up topics on which there is little disagreement among Catholics. It is the third part where the explosive topics that characterized last year' Synod are yet again proposed for discussion. It is clear, in particular, that the "Kasper hypothesis" or "Kasper proposal" in favor of giving communion to some civilly-remarried divorcees whose sacramental marriages have not yet been declared null by the Church, without requiring them to renounce their existing cohabitation arrangements with their second "spouses", is not yet dead. Most of our select translations are taken from this part of the document.

No. 115 claims that there is a widespread agreement in favor of dispensing with the "second instance" or the confirming sentence in cases of nullity. (Canon Law presently requires that a declaration of nullity by the diocesan or local tribunal -- the "first instance" -- must be confirmed by a higher court -- the "second instance".) Cardinal Burke has spoken (see this) about the devastating effect this has on marriages as demonstrated in the United States from 1971 to 1983, when the absence of the requirement for a confirming sentence resulted in a flood of declarations of nullity.

CDF reportedly confirms Medjugorje to be what we already knew it was

UPDATE: Numerous Italian journalists are reporting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has concluded there is nothing supernatural happening at Medjugorje and will pass along their conclusion to Pope Francis. The reports also say, while the CDF will "recommend" pastors do not take the faithful to Medjugorje claiming that the visions of the fake "seers" are real, they will recognize it as a "special place of prayer" and will not ban pilgrimages as long as they don't claim something supernatural is happening. 

Videos show two very different views of role of Church in the world

Two videos caught our eye recently.

The first video is a new seminary project update from the Society of St. Pius X (which serves more as a traditional explanation of the priesthood) and the second a video with the head of the Franciscans explaining Laudato Si.

WARNING: The Minister General sings Laudato Si and it may be nearly impossible to get it out of your head once you've heard it.

Hope amidst ruins: The Church of Christ will live forever

Report sent by a reader in Scotland:
On 20th June, Holy Mass was said at the remains of Crossraguel Abbey, Ayrshire, Scotland. The celebrant was Fr Mark Morris of the Archdiocese of Glasgow. The Abbey was founded in the mid 13th century and was later sacked by an English Army. Rebuilt, its religious life was eventually brought to an end by the Scottish Reformation.

Kiko Argüello and the Neocatechumenal Way: defenders of the family - but at what cost to Catholic doctrine?

{For the background to this post see our article: Rome's immense pro-family rally - a victory for marriage and for children in the face of secular and Bishops' hostility}

Kiko’s sombrero casts its shade on the demonstration in Rome of June 20th

 Corrispondenza Romana,
Roberto de Mattei

The success of the demonstration against the ideology of Gender, on June 20th in Rome, was such that it almost overshadowed the echo of the media on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si, presented two days before in the Vatican.  The two events, which coincided, gave the opportunity to the sociologist Marco Marzano, of the university of Bergamo, to address “the challenge between two churches” : the first: applauded the Pope’s encyclical dedicated to social and ecological issues with a massive standing ovation; the second: took to the squares in Rome, to defend the traditional family  and  to reject equality between genders and any concession to the rights of homosexual couples”. (“Il Fatto Quotidiano” June 21st 2015).

Registration Open for Religious Liberty Conference in Norcia

Registration is now open for the Colloquium on Dignitatis Humanæ to be held in Norcia, October 30th—November 1st. As  we reported in March, Cardinal Burke will be in attendance. The Colloquium is being organized by the newly formed Dialogos Institute, for the study of the patristic heritage in the spirit of Latin and Byzantine Thomism. The Institute describes the purpose of the Colloquium as follows:

Urgent: An Appeal to Prayer for Italy

Louis Duveau
A Mass at Sea in 1793 (1864)
Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes
Don Pietro Leone is a priest who has written numerous relevant pieces for Rorate, including the remarkable series "The Roman Rite - Old and New".

In view of the current legislative situation in the nation where the seat of Saint Peter presides to the Catholic Church, a situation that led to the massive rally in favor of Natural Law and the Family last Saturday in Rome, he sends us the following appeal to prayer.

Dear Brothers in the Holy Priesthood and Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Italian government is on the verge of passing a law to impose on the schools from the kindergarten level upwards the so called “Gender Ideology” , characterized by its peculiar intellectual and moral baseness which promotes natural and unnatural fornication within a purely hedonistic conception of sexuality.

This shameful and entirely despicable initiative in the very heart-land of Catholic Christendom certainly represents one of the focal points of this the gravest and most profound crisis that the Church and the world has ever known. It will result not only in the corruption and perversion of all our children but will also provoke the avenging fire of Divine wrath on the entire nation.

Rome's immense pro-family rally - a victory for marriage and for children in the face of secular and Bishops' hostility

Piazza San Giovanni, Rome. June 21, 2015

Zenit in Italiano and various Catholic media sources proclaim that there were a million marchers. Breitbart counts attendance at half a million, while secular liberal outlets put it at 300,000. Nevertheless there can be no doubt that Saturday's rally at the Piazza San Giovanni (in front of the St. John Lateran Basilica) was a resounding success. The rally was formally described by its organizers as a "National Mobilization" against the imposition of gender ideology in schools and the "Cirinnà bill" that has been introduced at the Italian Parliament. This bill proposes to give same-sex "couples" many of the same rights as married couples, effectively entrenching homosexual "civil unions" in Italian law.

Eminently Forgettable

Edgar Degas
The Ironing Ladies (1886)/ (detail)
Musée d'Orsay
Four days on, and no one is speaking of the most important and revolutionary encyclical in the history of mankind and all creation anymore...

No Rerum Novarum...

Quebec: accelerated closure of churches and parishes

Saint John the Baptist Church, Quebec

From Catholic News Service (via The Catholic Register). Emphases are Rorate's.

Historic Quebec churches no longer untouchable

QUEBEC CITY - With the decision to close one of its largest and most important churches, the Archdiocese of Quebec is sending a clear message: The future of even the most majestic churches cannot be guaranteed any more. 

Summorum Pontificum Conference in Rome - June 13-14 - Signs of Hope for the future

Sunday, June 14, at the Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament, in the Vatican Basilica, Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, one of the Cardinals who authored the book Remaining in the Truth of Christ, celebrated Pontifical Mass for the pariticipants of the Summorum Pontificum conference, which we advertised here in Rorate a few months ago. The Pontifical Mass was the closing act of the conference organized at the Angelicum (the 4th Summorum Pontificum Conference), organized by Father Vincenzo Nuara, OP, of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, with the assistance of Father Marino Neri.

300 people were present at the various panels, given by Cardinal Burke (on Tradition as a foundation of Catholic liturgy), Prof. Giovanni Turco, of the Universiy of Udine (the Virtue of Religion and True Worship in Saint Thomas), Bp. Athanasius Schneider (pictured below, on Communion and Sacrifice), Msgr. Marco Agostini, Pontifical Ceremoniere (on the Altar in the History of Worship), among others. The conference of Dom Cassian Folsom was particularly helpful in explaining the history of how Benedict XVI had to untie the knot that led to the recognition of both forms, a brilliant tour de force of liturgical law.

Also remarkable was the short intervention of Cardinal Müller on "Tradition as the proper principle of Catholic theology". It contained allusions to the current pre-synodal situation ("it is not the number of bishops favorable to an opinion that matters, but their doctrinal quality.")

(Based on the report of the correspondent of our fellow bloggers at Riposte Catholique, present at the event.)

50 Years Ago: Dietrich von Hildebrand Confronts Pope Paul VI

The following excerpts are taken from a fascinating 2001 interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand (the full text is available here) that is required reading for every Catholic who wants to understand what has happened in the Church since the mid-20th century. I found myself thinking once again about this interview because Alice mentions a private meeting that her husband had with Pope Paul VI on June 21, 1965, 50 years ago this Sunday (right before the very last, October-December session of the Second Vatican Council), which was followed up with a manuscript that really ought to be published someday. Read on…

*          *          *

TLM: Dr. von Hildebrand, at the time that Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council, did you perceive a need for a reform within the Church?

AVH: Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.

TLM: In terms of the present crisis, when did you first perceive something was terribly wrong?

AVH: It was in February 1965. I was taking a sabbatical year in Florence. My husband was reading a theological journal, and suddenly I heard him burst into tears. I ran to him, fearful that his heart condition had suddenly caused him pain. I asked him if he was all right. He told me that the article that he had been reading had provided him with the certain insight that the devil had entered the Church. Remember, my husband was the first prominent German to speak out publicly against Hitler and the Nazis. His insights were always prescient.


TLM: Did your husband think that the decline in a sense of the supernatural began around that time, and if so, how did he explain it?

AVH: No, he believed that after Pius X’s condemnation of the heresy of Modernism, its proponents merely went underground. He would say that they then took a much more subtle and practical approach. They spread doubt simply by raising questions about the great supernatural interventions throughout salvation history, such as the Virgin Birth and Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, as well as the Resurrection, and the Holy Eucharist. They knew that once faith – the foundation – totters, the liturgy and the moral teachings of the Church would follow suit. My husband entitled one of his books The Devastated Vineyard. After Vatican II, a tornado seemed to have hit the Church. … The aversion to sacrifice and redemption has assisted the secularization of the Church from within. We have been hearing for many years from priests and bishops about the need for the Church to adapt herself to the world. Great popes like St. Pius X said just the opposite: the world must adapt itself to the Church. …

There have been two books published in Italy in recent years that confirm what my husband had been suspecting for some time; namely, that there has been a systematic infiltration of the Church by diabolical enemies for much of this century. My husband was a very sanguine man and optimistic by nature. During the last ten years of his life, however, I witnessed him many times in moments of great sorrow, and frequently repeating, “They have desecrated the Holy Bride of Christ.” He was referring to the “abomination of desolation” of which the prophet Daniel speaks.

TLM: This is a critical admission, Dr. von Hildebrand. Your husband had been called a twentieth-century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. If he felt so strongly, didn’t he have access to the Vatican to tell Pope Paul VI of his fears?

The "Super Encyclical" is here

The welcome graphic for the Encyclical on the Vatican website. 
Not very subtle about its target. 







1. “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.[1]

2. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.


Update: Word Cloud of the Encyclical: Not exactly "He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn 3:30). The red arrow at the very bottom towards the right side points to the nominal use of Our Lord's name in the Encyclical. 
"He that cometh from above, is above all. He that is of the earth, of the earth he is, and of the earth he speaketh. He that cometh from heaven, is above all." (Jn. 3:31)

Event: Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving by new priest in KY

The Encyclical and the Synod: A Miscellany

On the Encyclical:

1) Towards the end of yesterday's General Audience, Pope Francis declared that this upcoming Encyclical "places itself in the line of the Church's social doctrine." (Source.)

Op-Ed: "Rome: the Age of Emptiness"

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



Father Pio Pace

The entire world was able to see on their screens, when of the recent papal voyage to Sarajevo, that the pontifical cross, that had broken, was taped back with surgical tape: "A complete symbol!" said with irony the prelates of the pontifical entourage. Yes, a complete symbol. The Church of Peter, in the 21st century, awaits an encyclical...on the environment. It is bad for one or two persons to be alone in a car because that increases the greenhouse-effect gases, so saith the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church...

Walter Kasper and Hegelian Philosophy
Catholic World Report has published a translation of an important lecture by German, Catholic philosopher Thomas Stark on the philosophical foundations of Cardinal Kasper’s theology. In our recent post on Schockenhoff we claimed that the key to the neo-modernist crises through which we are going today is an erroneous theology of revelation. Stark shows, with the example of Cardinal Kasper, how this erroneous theology of revelation is founded on an philosophical errors. Kasper’s adopts from Hegelian philosophy a false understanding of the relation of truth and history. Stark quotes many passages from Kasper to illustrate this, including the following:

Cardinal: "What Sister Lucia told me: Final Confrontation between the Lord and Satan will be over Family and Marriage."

A Cardinal tells: Sister Lucia wrote me…

On Feburary 16, 2008, Cardinal Carlo Caffara (Archbishop of Bologna), after a Mass celebrated at the tomb of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, granted an interview to Tele Radio Padre Pio, which was subsequently reported in the monthly magazine “Voce di Padre Pio” March, 2008 . Here are some significant excerpts.

Luca Signorelli
Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist (detail)
Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto
Q. Your Eminence, recently in Corriere della Sera you said that you had always had a great devotion to Padre Pio. Please tell us why.

I have had great devotion to him since the beginning of my priesthood as a result of a rather unique experience. I had been a priest for some months and a brother-priest came to see me. He was quite a bit older than me and was going through a serious crisis of faith. It is difficult to describe what a crisis of faith is for a priest: a terrible thing! I told him “Brother, I’m too little, and sense that I can’t carry such a burden. Go to Padre Pio.” So he went, and while he was talking to Padre he had a great mystical experience, touched profoundly by the mercy of God. Now he is one of the best priests I know. There you have it, it all began like that.

Q. Did you ever meet Padre Pio personally?

Reflections from Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani: "We do not fear death: we fear only sin."

- It is fashionable today[…] to judge, criticize and get rid of everything that doesn’t sound modern, novel, or subversive. […] And the poor Catholic is bewildered hearing so much bitterness from the mouths of little sacristy-communists, hearing in many ways, how everything is outmoded. […].

- […]The only effect of their social action in the end, is to break up, throw out , destroy and raze to the ground to make way - for whom? We need only look at who is holding the cord of this devastation. We say and we fear no contradiction - [it is]for the Antichrist. The Antichrist for us, is anyone who stands for a society in opposition to God or even one simply without Him. And whoever aligns with these people, or lends a hand and obeys them, makes way for the Antichrist, even if unwittingly.

- When a priest is corrupted, he becomes the worst and the speediest agent for social decay.

Full contents of Pope's Encyclical Laudato Si now available

Someone leaked (or broke the embargo) of the full contents of the Pope's new encyclical Laudato Si to Italian periodical L'Espresso. Sandro Magister has also made it available.

The whole document, in Italian (pdf file), is available here.

Update: According to Vatican sources, the leaked Espresso text, despite all appearances of a final text, is not the final version... and the final text is still under embargo until Thursday. It is doubtful that the published text will be much different (it is indeed quite likely it will be nearly identical), so the version above is kept at least for the historical record of events.

Archbishop John Nienstedt steps down

The Vatican Bollettino has announced Pope Francis's acceptance of the resignation of Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He has no replacement yet; Newark's Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard Hebda has been appointed Apostolic Administrator during the sede vacante in the archdiocese. 

Auxiliary bishop Lee Anthony Piché, who is only 57, has also had his resignation accepted.

As our readers know well, Abp. Nienstedt has been the subject of renewed accusations of "mishandling" allegations of sexual abuse committed by a priest of the Archdiocese, only the latest in a series of accusations that have been hurled against him by his mostly-liberal critics. 

As one conservative bishop after another is speedily removed over allegations of mishandling accusations of immorality and / or sexual abuse against the clergy subject to them, we await the day when liberal bishops and cardinals who are guilty of far greater offenses will experience the same treatment.

Exclusive Rorate translation: Cardinal Sarah's article for L'Osservatore Romano on the Traditional Missal and the Paul VI Missal

Is Cardinal Sarah, the recently-appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, singlehandedly trying to restore the so-called movement of the "Reform of the Reform" of the new mass of Paul VI, derailed after (actually, even before) the abdication of Benedict XVI? That is the impression given by his groundbreaking article published in the official daily of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano, on June 12, and translated by us below. It deals mostly with the rite of Paul VI, but the respectful attitude towards the Traditional Roman Rite (the "usus antiquior" or extraordinary form...) is noteworthy. Alas, not even his idea of integrating the offertory of the Traditional Rite as an optional in the new missal is quite new: Cardinal Medina Estévez, his predecessor in the same position from 1998 to 2002, was said to have tried to include the Old Offertory in the 3rd edition of the Paul VI missal (2002), a move blocked by what was mentioned as strong opposition at the time.

Nonetheless, the mere fact that some (not all...) of the ideas in this article are being published by the current Prefect at the current time is good news, hopeful news.



Cardinal Robert Sarah
L'Osservatore Romano
June 12, 2015
[Exclusive Rorate translation by Contributor Francesca Romana]

Fifty years after its promulgation by Pope Paul VI will the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council be read? “Sacrosanctum concilium “ is not de facto a simple catalogue of reform “recipes” but a real “magna carta” of every liturgical action.

With it, the ecumenical council gives us a magisterial lesson in method. Indeed, far from being content with a disciplinary and exterior approach, the council wants to make us reflect on what the liturgy is in its essence. The practice of the Church always comes from what She receives and contemplates in Revelation. Pastoral care cannot be disconnected from doctrine.

Lazarus Redivivus: the Ratzingerian ideas for the new mass brought back by Cardinal Sarah? (Sandro Magister)

Liturgical deformation goes on.  But Cardinal Sarah takes the helm.

Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo
June 13, 2015

“We are running the real risk of leaving no place for God in our celebrations.  We are heading for the temptation of the Hebrews in the desert.  They tried to create for themselves worship according to their own measure and their own depth, and let us not forget that they ended up prostrate before the golden calf. “  So writes Cardinal Robert Sarah, named last November by Pope Francis as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.  This article appeared in the June 12 issue of L’Osservatore Romano and was buried on page 6 and was quoted only in small part on the Vatican website.  And yet the article exhibited a profundity and incisiveness that has not been in evidence in recent memory, and the author of the article is the man who is in the role of the primary guide of the Catholic liturgy.  To say the least, the article was at the level of a Joseph Ratzinger type of great liturgist.  

The whole article, which is a must read, can be accessed at the following web page:

Bl. Pope Pius IX’s Maxima Quidem

With every passing year the prescience and wisdom of Bl. Pope Pius IX’s famous Syllabus of Errors becomes more apparent. He identified so many errors in their early stages, which have since plagued the world for so long. The Syllabus is composed of quotations from various allocutions and writings of the pope. And it is of great interest to read those passages in their original contexts with all the Pope’s own comments on them, which were omitted in the Syllabus. Unfortunately, very few of those documents have been translated into English. One of the main sources of the Syllabus, however, the Allocution Maxima Quidem, has recently been posted as part of a new translation project at The Josias, a website devoted to Thomist political philosophy and traditional Catholic social doctrine. Reading Maxima Quidem one is struck by the vehemence of Bl. Pius IX’s horror at the modern errors to which we have now sadly become so accustomed. A few quotations:

Traditional Latin Confirmations in Moscow, Russia

The Facebook page of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce reports that on June 12, 2015, Feast of the Sacred Heart, Msgr. Paolo Pezzi, Latin Archbishop for the Archdiocese of the Mother of God of Moscow, confirmed two teenagers according to the Traditional Roman Rite. The report states that these are most likely the first Traditional Roman Rite Confirmations to be celebrated by an Ordinary Bishop in Moscow since 1936. 

The Rite of Confirmation took place in the basement chapel of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Moscow, where the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated every Sunday morning. It is currently the only place in the entire Russian Federation where Mass according to the 1962 Missal is celebrated every Sunday, although there is also a celebration (one Sunday a month) in St. Petersburg and occasional celebrations in various places. 

More pictures can be found over there

The Neo-Modernist Theology of Eberhard Schockenhoff

The Rev. Fr. Eberhard Schockenhoff

According to Edward Pentin, “the ‘mastermind’ behind much of the challenge to settled Church teachings among the German episcopate,” and “the leading adviser of the German bishops in the run-up to the synod” is Fr. Eberhard  Schockenhoff, professor of moral theology at the University of Freiburg, about whom we have had occasion to report in the past. It is a sign of the state of theology in the German speaking world that Fr. Schockenhoff is considered a theological “moderate.” He is careful to quote the Fathers and Doctors of the Church to support his positions, and always makes a show of respect for magisterial teaching. This is probably the reason why the German bishops have chosen him, and not one of his more extreme colleagues to help them make the case for changing the unchangeable teachings of the Church on sexual morality.

Reminder for the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - Plenary indulgence reminder

Pope Pius XI, in the encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor (May 7, 1928), gave the following command:

"...we decree and command that every year on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, -- which feast indeed on this occasion we have ordered to be raised to the degree of a double of the first class with an octave -- in all churches throughout the whole world, the same expiatory prayer or protestation as it is called, to Our most loving Savior, set forth in the same words according to the copy subjoined to this letter shall be solemnly recited, so that all our faults may be washed away with tears, and reparation may be made for the violated rights of Christ the supreme King and Our most loving Lord."

The Holy See then proposed the following formula for the act of reparation, which is also covered by a plenary indulgence in the usual conditions (Ench. ind. 4. ed, aliae concessiones, 3):

Cardinal Burke's Letter of Welcome to Participants in this Year's Roman Forum

In a previous post we published Cardinal Pell's letter of support for this year's Roman Forum (June 29th to July 10th). We are pleased now to be able to publish a similar letter from Raymond Cardinal Burke:

Event: Mass for Christians persecuted in the Middle East, Bishop-elect James Massa celebrant - Brooklyn, NYC

Almost a year ago, the terrorists of the so-called "Islamic State" occupied one of the largest cities in Iraq, Mosul, and the nearby territory inhabited by Christians since late Antiquity (the Nineveh Plains), and it seemed just like a brief nightmare. Not so: the powers of the decadent post-modern civilization seem quite happy to have this monstrous entity consolidate its grip on Iraq and Syria, even if that has entailed the complete disappearance of some of the oldest Christian communities in the world.

All we have left is prayer: including the following Solemn High Mass Offered for Christians Persecuted in the Middle East that will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Brooklyn on Friday, June 19th. (Details below.)

Note: Monsignor (Bishop-designate) James Massa, the celebrant, was named Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn by Pope Francis in May.

Sermon for Corpus Christi 2015, by Fr. Richard Cipolla

From the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John:  “At this the Jews quarreled among themselves saying:’ How can he give us his flesh to eat’”?

Who are these Jews?  These are the co-religionists of Jesus’ time, those who could not bear to hear Jesus’ words about his flesh and blood as real food and real drink.  But “the Jews” are also those who at any time and any place cannot bear to hear these words of Jesus.  They are those who murmur in opposition, they who ask “What is the point of this feast of Corpus Christi?  We have Holy Thursday to celebrate the institution of the Eucharist. That is a logical feast.  Why this other feast, what is the point, and what does this tell us, what does this teach us, what difference does this feast make in my life?”

For Pope's Environment Encyclical, an unusual line-up of presenters for official Vatican press conference, including climate change radical.

The Vatican has just revealed in today's Bollettino the line-up of speakers for the official presentation of the "Environment Encyclical", Laudato Si, on June 18 at the New Synod Hall.

- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace;

- His Eminence Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church;

- Prof. John Schellnhuber, Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Metropolitan John, 84 years old, is the Patriarchate of Constantinople's leading figure in ecumenical discussions and has long been close to the Catholic ecumenical establishment. However this is the first time that an Orthodox metropolitan would be officially co-presenting a papal Encyclical. There are reports that the Encyclical will draw upon the teaching of Patriarch Bartholomew (whose interest in environmental issues is well known) and that there was even a proposal -- which proved to be "not possible" -- that the Encyclical be jointly promulgated by both the Pope and the Patriarch. 

Perhaps of far greater interest to most of our readership would be the presence of Prof. Schellnhuber on the panel. The father of the "two-degree target" to stave off global warming, he is the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany (which is funded by the German government), Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was one of the experts (alongside Jeffrey Sachs) tapped by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences to write their joint statement on climate change published in April of this year, titled "Climate change and the common good: a statement of the problem and the demand for transformative solutions". A description of the final document's call for a "zero-carbon world" can be found here; the final published version seems to have been removed from the official website Pontifical Academy of Sciences, but to our knowledge has never been retracted.