Rorate Caeli

For the record: "Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development" established.

Since 2014 (see this report) the merging of four Pontifical Councils --  Justice and Peace, “Cor Unum”, Health Care Workers, and Migrants and Itinerant Peoples -- into a "super-Congregation" had been widely expected. The super-Congregation was initially expected to be named the "Congregation for Charity and Justice". 

Today (August 31) the new body was formally established through the Apostolic Letter Humanam Progressionem. It was named, not after "Charity and Justice" (which at least are the names of virtues), but as the "Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development" -- a name that can only be described as unmistakably secular.

The first paragraph of Humanam Progressionem duly mentions the Gospel, but is marked by this secularized, "NGO" tone:

In all her being and actions, the Church is called to promote the integral development of the human person in the light of the Gospel. This development takes place by attending to the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation. The Successor of the Apostle Peter, in his work of affirming these values, is continuously adapting the institutions which collaborate with him, so that they may better meet the needs of the men and women whom they are called to serve.

Various news sources name Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson --  current President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and known for the enthusiasm with which he has promoted Laudato Si (which he recently called the "Rerum novarum of the 21st century") -- as the head of the new body. He will turn 68 in October of this year. The last President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (Archbishop Zimowski) died last month at the age of 67, the Presidency of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" has been vacant since Cardinal Sarah was transferred to CDW, and the President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Cardinal Veglio, is already 78 years old.

Sermon for the Feast of St. Augustine

Sermon for the Feast of Saint Augustine

by Father Richard Cipolla
Parish of St. Mary
Norwalk, Connecticut

Today we keep the feast of St. Augustine in the Traditional calendar, because St. Augustine is the patron saint of this diocese and therefore takes precedence over the Sunday.  At the end of the Mass we will venerate the relic of St. Augustine that brings grace to this parish church.

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi: The Foundations of Existence

August 30, 2016

“We have no need of announcers of the word who want to change the Gospel with the excuse of adapting it to our times, but of announcers who endeavour each day, even with little results, to change themselves everyday ever more conformed to the Gospel which does not change”.

“In the plan predisposed by God for the salvation of men, there are three pillars which sustain the entire edifice of our existence. If they give way, the collapse of all values is inevitable. They are also the truths we are bound to accept if we want to call ourselves Christians.

"These truths are: God, our Father and Friend; Jesus Christ, the Envoy and Son of God: the Church, as a redeemed people and a community of those who are awaiting the Kingdom of God.  These three truths are so linked to each other that if one is lost, sooner or later the others will be lost too.  The history of the last few centuries has demonstrated this. 

Pope Leo XIII on the Most Holy Eucharist: The chief means whereby men are engrafted on the divine nature

Excerpts from


Given at Rome, at St. Peter's on the 28th day of May, being the Vigil of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, in the year 1902, of Our Pontificate the five and twentieth. 

To Our Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, 
Archbishops, Bishops, and other Local Ordinaries, 
having Peace and Communion with the Holy See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

To examine into the nature and to promote the effects of those manifestations of His wondrous love which, like rays of light, stream forth from Jesus Christ - this, as befits Our sacred office, has ever been, and this, with His help, to the last breath of Our life will ever be Our earnest aim and endeavor. For, whereas Our lot has been cast in an age that is bitterly hostile to justice and truth, we have not failed, as you have been reminded by the Apostolic letter which we recently addressed to you, to do what in us lay, by Our instructions and admonitions, and by such practical measures as seemed best suited for their purpose, to dissipate the contagion of error in its many shapes, and to strengthen the sinews of the Christian life. 

Solemn High Mass: Requiem on the 100th Anniversary of the Death of John Lancaster Spalding

On Thursday evening, 24 Aug. 2016, a Solemn High Requiem Mass in the traditional Roman Rite was offered at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois, for the repose of the soul of Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding, first bishop of Peoria. Those who attended report that the Mass, the first traditional Latin Mass at the cathedral since the liturgical revolutions and disorders of the 1960s (Latin "Novus Ordo" Masses have been celebrated at the cathedral in recent years), was exquisitely celebrated and well attended, with a good number of diocesan priests in choir besides the priests, deacons, and seminarians conducting the liturgy in the sanctuary. The cathedral schola chanted the propers and the Sequence Dies Irae. Communion was received at the communion rails before the side altars of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph.

The Mass inaugurated a weekend of "Founder's Day" celebrations to mark the completion of  recent renovations at the cathedral (already an architectural treasure before the renovations, now even more lovely).  Peoria's first bishop, John L. Spalding (nephew of Archbishop Martin Spalding of Baltimore, Maryland) built the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in 1898.  He fell asleep in the Lord 100 years ago this month.

Dr. John Rao lecture: “Even Now the Devastation Is Begun"

Dr. John Rao (shown in the video above reading the Lake Garda Statement) will be delivering the customary Roman Forum Lecture Series in New York this year. The Program will be as follows:

Norcia Quake! - Updated

Praying for our many friends and acquaintances in Norcia (Nursia), Umbria, Italy, following the devastating earthquake there a few hours ago. More news as soon as possible.

Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo:
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Italian broadcasters speak of at least 38 dead at the moment, including in hamlets devastated by the quake.

First and second updates from the monks of Norcia below:

You Report: a Traditional double first in Dundee, Scotland

From a Scottish reader:

On Sunday 21st August the royal and ancient Diocese of Dunkeld in Scotland celebrated a double first. His Excellency Bishop Robson, the Ordinary of the diocese, conferred Confirmation on three children in the Traditional Rite. Confirmations were followed by a First Solemn High Mass in the presence of an Ordinary by Fr Ninian Doohan who was raised to the sacred priesthood by Bishop Robson on the Solemnity of the Feast of the Assumption in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee.

The Prophetic Words of Pope St. Pius X

Excerpts from:

Notre Charge Apostolique

"Our Apostolic Mandate"

Given by Pope Pius X to the French Bishops
August 15, 1910

“We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men to become brothers and comrades at last in the ‘Kingdom of God’. We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind. 

UPDATED: Official video of Ars Celebrandi 2016

Congratulations to the most intensive workshop dedicated to the Traditional Mass in the world, the Polish Ars Celebrandi.

Rorate was an official partner this year, and from the video below with English subtitles) you can see it was a gorgeous event.

Note: We have updated this video, now with English subtitles:

You Report: Ah, August in Italy! A time for small towns, rural tours, and ... pornography in churches?!?...

Ah, August in Italy! Italians run out of the cities to spend their vacations in beautiful rural areas and small towns under the scorching sun. In most small towns, the main attraction is the local church, filled with art and beauty -- and pornographic images???...

So it was with our reader below, shocked beyond measure:

Last week, while walking the Cammino di San Benedetto, I visited the church of San Francesco in the centre of Cascia, famous worldwide for its daughter Saint Rita. The church was recently deconsecrated and for the town’s summer festival an exhibition was shown in the 12th century church, famous for its beautiful frescoes.

Sermon for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2016

Father Richard G. Cipolla
St. Mary's, Norwalk, Connecticut
August 15, 2016
The Assumption of the Virgin, by Leonard Porter (2013)
St. Mary's, Norwalk, Connecticut (Source)

“When the corruptible frame takes on incorruptibility and the mortal immortality, then will the saying of Scripture be fulfilled: death is swallowed up in victory.”  I Cor. 15:53

When I am asked what Christianity is basically about, and this question arises more and more in the post-Christian culture we live in, I answer:  it is about death.  This comes as a surprise to non-Christians and to an increasing number of Christians as well.  But it should not be so, since it is the question of the meaning of death and the event of the death of Jesus Christ that are at the heart of this faith.  A religion that does not squarely face death and does not have an answer to the fundamental question of death can have no relevance to anyone’s life.  But if someone asked me what today’s feast is all about, I would respond that this feast is the commemoration of an event that is the response to death, or this is what we understand as the fruit of Christ’s death, namely eternal life with God, the source and giver of all life, and we join all the angels in heaven and sing:  Mary is assumed into heaven; today she was raised above choirs of angels to lasting glory with Christ.

Seven ways the Rosary and the Traditional Latin Mass are alike

Francesco Granacci, The Assumption of the Virgin, c. 1517-9
In honor of my heavenly Mother, I present this small bouquet to her on the great feast of her exaltation, body and soul, into everlasting glory.

1. Useful repetition. As all normal human beings know, and as apparently the liturgical reformers did not know, repetition is exceedingly useful and important in human discourse—as demonstrated in the rhythmic lines of poets, the intimate conversations of lovers, the lofty visions of mystics, the arias of opera composers, and the frequent requests of little children to hear the same story over again. We repeat that which is lovely to those who are beloved to us. The Rosary exemplifies this practice, but so does the traditional liturgy, whether the Mass or the Divine Office. The many repetitions here reinforce, amplify, and give expression to the thoughts and feelings of the heart. 

It was a cruel exercise of rationalism to slice out supposedly “useless” repetitions like the many kissings of the altar, the many utterances of “Dominus vobiscum,” the double Confiteor, the ninefold Kyrie, the signs of the Cross, the multiple prayers before communion, and the twice-repeated threefold “Domine, non sum dignus.” I wonder if those responsible for this deformation had the sorry lot to be neglected children who did not hear poetry or stories repeated often enough.

The only kind of repetition our Lord forbids is mindless or manipulative repetition, when one repeats vocables without mindfully intending anything thereby, or repeats words as incantations that can exercise power over some other object (including the gods, in the silly way that some pagans thought of them). Traditional Catholic piety uses repetition in an entirely different way, for the honor of God and the benefit of the soul.

Ars Celebrandi 2016 ends with magnificent Mass

From the Ars Celebrandi 2016 press release:

The faithful are asking the Pope for clarity against the attacks of evil -- where is he?...

The faithful are asking the Pope for clarity against the attacks of evil

Roberto de Mattei
Il Tempo
August 14, 2016

During the month of August, ‘Casa Santa Marta’ in the Vatican is emptied of its guests, but Pope Francis will spend the entire month in the Vatican, just like the past three years.

Francis has announced he will forego a traditional papal appointment - the National Eucharistic Congress to take place this year in Genoa from the 15th to the 18th of August, while on the 19th of August the Pope will go to Assisi to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the encounter among religions, organized by the Community of St. Egidio. The Vatican Press Office did not communicate this however, but the ‘Imam’ from Perugia, Abdel Moh’d in an interview to TV 2000 (The Italian Bishops Conference TV).

Spaemann: "The Greatest Liturgical Problem is the Direction of Celebration of the Mass."

Robert Spaemann: “The biggest problem is the direction of the altar”

A native of Berlin and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Munich, Robert Spaemann is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. A specialist in the thought of Fénelon and author of a well-known critique of political utopia, as well as numerous moral works (including Happiness and Benevolence, PUF, 1997), he is a great friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He received recent attention on account of some very critical comments on Amoris Laetitia. We are taking advantage of the holidays to present you with the reflections on the liturgy which he gave to Fr. Claude Barthe for the work Reconstruire la liturgie, published by Éditions Francois-Xavier de Guibert in 1997, that is, 10 years before the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Here, he explores the direction of the celebration, a question which has recently been the subject of a strong and clear intervention on the part of Cardinal Sarah, who was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship by Pope Francis, and to which we will return in subsequent letters.


Fr. Claude Barthe – You have often echoed the profound dissatisfaction of Catholics who are unhappy with the new forms of worship. You have contributed to a certain number of them rediscovering the traditional liturgical practice in Germany today.

Catholic Identity Conference 2016

For American traditionalists, the Catholic Identity Conference has been an informative gathering of diocesan, Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King, Society of Saint Pius X and other traditional Latin Mass Catholics, assembled under one roof for a weekend.

We have been happy to cover the annual conference in recent years, including when Rorate was a featured speaker (which we pledge to do again when travel time permits).

Diocesan, Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King and Society of Saint Pius X priests
Catholic Identity Conference 2015

This year's conference will be held from September 9 through 11, 2016.

NEW: St. Robert Bellarmine's long Catechism in English -- and a Rorate reader discount

We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Catholic author and publisher Ryan Grant for a few years. And we are pleased to bring to you his latest work, a translation: "Christian Doctrine: The Timeless Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine."

Rorate readers can now purchase this book by clicking here to receive a 20% discount ($16). Also, for our readers to consider, is the foreword to the book written by another friend of this blog, His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, posted below. 

By His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider

“THERE is nothing more effective than catechetical instruction to spread the glory of God and to secure the salvation of souls” (Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolic Constitution, Etsi minime). Saint Pius X said, that the great loss of souls is due to ignorance of divine things (cf. Encyclical Acerbo nimis).

Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome (Oct. 27-30, 2016) - Interview with Chaplain: “Just as there is a liturgical battle, there is also a doctrinal battle”

“Just as there is a liturgical battle, there is also a doctrinal battle”

Interview with Fr.  Claude Barthe, 
chaplain of the Populus Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage to Rome.

1. Father, this fifth international pilgrimage of the Summorum Pontificum faithful will begin in Norcia: why such a choice?

First of all, because of St. Benedict, who was a native of Norcia and is a symbol of the Christian roots of Europe. While the Roman Empire was slowly but inexorably collapsing, St. Benedict chose to break away from the world, its corruption, its noise and its insignificance, in order to give himself completely to God. In an era which, in many respects, is like a new decline of Rome, St. Benedict calls us to a radical conversion.

Norcia is also a symbol of the Summorum Pontificum world, as the monks who operate there were commissioned by Cardinal Castrillon in 2009 to celebrate in utroque usu, in both forms of the Roman rite. Since then, Norcia has been packed with faithful and the town has seen a genuine economic revival thanks to the liturgical revival accomplished by the Benedictines.

A First in English: Cardinal Bacci's Address to the Council on Latin and the Vernacular in the Liturgy

The following is the speech Cardinal Bacci gave at the Council in October 1962 on Latin the use of the vernacular in the Sacred Liturgy of the Latin Church. Bacci's name has, of course, been linked with one of the most important liturgical documents in the post-Conciliar years, the so-called Ottaviani Intervention or Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass, delivered in 1969 under his and Cardinal Ottaviani's name to Paul VI.

The speech is available in Volume 1 of the "Acta Synodalia”, bk. 1, 409-10. As far as we know, it has never been translated into English in its entirety.

The Most Eminent P. D. Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Venerable Council Fathers,

Event: Solemn High Mass, feast of St. Louis IX, in New York

“The Christian Liturgy as ‘Sacrifice of Praise’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews” — Dr. Kwasniewski’s Lecture at Norcia

This lecture was delivered on July 18, 2016, for the summer theology program in Norcia, put on by the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies and dedicated to the Epistle to the Hebrews. The lecture discusses Holy Mass as the most perfect sacrificium laudis and the Divine Office as central to the Church's life of prayer. The text is reproduced below in full.

Where the monks of Norcia offer up the sacrificium laudis

The Christian Liturgy as ‘Sacrifice of Praise’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews

Peter Kwasniewski

Where is the Christian liturgy in the Epistle to the Hebrews, or, to put the question more sharply, where is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham, England

This weekend sees the first 'Two Shrines' Pilgrimage in Scotland; please say a prayer for them.

Coming up next is the Latin Mass Society's Walsingham Pilgrimage, another walking pilgrimage, to the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, walking the 55 miles from Ely.

There is a deadline: Monday 15th August. This is necessary for the caterers and other aspects of the pilgrimage.

"Deaconesses": Pope establishes "Special Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women"

[For background on decision, see previous post.]

From the Holy See Press Office Bollettino:

On May 12, 2016, the Holy Father, in the course of the meeting -- in the format of dialogue in the Paul VI Hall -- with the participants at the Plenary Assembly of Superiors-General, expressed his intention of "establishing an official commission that can study the question" of the Diaconate of women, "especially regarding the first years of the Church".

After intense prayer and mature reflection, His Holiness has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women, calling to take part in it the following:

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 76 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. We added two new priests last month -- one wonderful European, and a newly-ordained great young priest. 

NEW! Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free. 

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

Denial is a river in Buenos Aires - and a 1999 address by a Bishop in Turkey warning against Islam

Denial is a river in Buenos Aires:

"I don't think it is right to equate Islam with violence," he told journalists during his return from a trip to Poland [on July 31].

Pope Francis defended his decision not to name Islam when condemning the brutal jihadist murder of a Catholic priest in France in the latest of a string of recent attacks in Europe claimed by Islamic State (or Isil).

"In almost every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. We have them too," he said.

"If I have to talk about Islamic violence I have to talk about Christian violence. Every day in the newspapers I see violence in Italy, someone kills his girlfriend, another kills his mother in law, and these are baptised Catholics." [Source]

That's right... Common crime by Catholics is the same as an Islamic Human Sacrifice of a Catholic Priest during Mass... Exactly... This is more than being merely disingenuous, this is outright deception.


In the meantime, today Muslims were invited to churches all over Italy in "solidarity" with the martyrdom of Fr. Jacques Hamel. In 1999, the Catholic Archbishop of Smyrna, Giuseppe Germano Bernardini, explained in a forceful letter to the Pope and the Cardinals why Muslims cannot be invited to pray at churches: there are legal consequences in the Muslim mind to such an action.