Rorate Caeli

The Francis Effect discussed in the New York Times

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the papacy of Pope Francis is his unification of traditional Catholics and conservative Catholics.  What started as an uncivil war in March 2013 -- when traditional Catholic sources such as Rorate (which was intimately familiar with Cardinal Bergoglio's work in Argentina) predicted a massive shift to the left, only to be harshly criticized by many Catholic conservatives who blindly defended Bergoglio as one who would continue the incremental restoration of Pope Benedict XVI -- has grown to a point where both camps are now singing from the same Liber.

We have written of the Francis Effect a few times, using data such as Pew Research Center's statistics on Mass attendance. Examples from the first year of this papacy are here and here.

Interview with Peter Kwasniewski in Czech Newspaper RC Monitor, on Liturgy, Music, Philosophy, Traditionalism

Mr. Andrej Kutarna, a writer, publisher, and photographer who lives near the city of Prague, asked me to give an interview in anticipation of the upcoming launch of the Czech edition of my book Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church. (See here for more details about the book launch on Friday, October 14, at which Cardinal Burke has graciously agreed to be present.) A Czech translation of the interview, slightly abridged, was published in this week's issue of Res Claritas Monitor 13 (2016), n. 18 (PDF link here; see pp. 11-14). The full Czech version may be viewed here at Mr. Kutarna's site.

Rorate Caeli has received exclusive permission to publish the original English interview in full:

Aristotle, Aquinas, Plato
Mr. Kutarna: How did you come to the TLM? How was your first encounter with the “Mass of the Ages”?

Dr. Kwasniewski: My journey into the traditional liturgy was gentle and gradual. I grew up in a very typical suburban American parish and sang in its children’s choir and, later, adult choir. The liturgy was very “contemporary” in style, but I didn’t know that at the time.

In high school two things happened: I got involved in a charismatic prayer group, which re-animated my faith, and I took a course in philosophy that brought me into contact with Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. After a couple of years, my interest in the charismatic prayer group waned, but my intellectual life soared. I began to study theology, too, and had a vague longing for a form of prayer and liturgy that would correspond to the depth and breadth of philosophy and theology. Without knowing it, I was searching for the traditional worship of the Church, which was born of the ancient Fathers, developed by the medievals, and faithfully handed down to us from Trent onwards. 

IMPORTANT: International Declaration of Fidelity to the Church's Unchangeable Doctrine and Uninterrupted Discipline on Marriage (Sign it as well !)

80 Catholic personalities reaffirm their loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church on the family and Catholic morals

A Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline was disclosed today by a group of 78 Catholic personalities, including cardinals, bishops, priests, eminent scholars, leaders of pro-family and pro-life organizations and influential figures of civil society.

The statement was disclosed by the association Supplica Filiale [Filial Appeal], the same organization that collected, between the two Synods on the family, nearly 900,000 signatures of Catholic faithful (including 211 prelates) in support of a petition asking Pope Francis a word of clarification to dissipate the confusion disseminated in the Church on key issues of natural and Christian morality since the consistory of February 2014.

Noting that the confusion has only grown in the faithful after the two Synods on the family and the subsequent publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (with its more or less official adjacent interpretations), the signatories of the Declaration of Fidelity feel the urgent moral duty to reaffirm the immemorial teaching of the Catholic magisterium on marriage and family and the pastoral discipline practiced for centuries with regard to these basic institutions of a Christian civilization. This grave duty, according to the signatories, becomes even more urgent in view of the growing attack that secularist forces are unleashing against marriage and the family; an attack that does not seem to find any more the accustomed barrier in Catholic doctrine and practice, at least in the way they are now generally presented to public opinion.

Solidly supported by a crystalline and indisputable teaching, confirmed by the Church in recent years, the Declaration is concatenated around 27 statements upholding those truths explicitly or implicitly denied or rendered ambiguous in the present ecclesial language. According to the signatories, what is at stake are unchangeable doctrines and practices concerning, for example, faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the respect due to this Sacrament, the impossibility of receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin, the conditions of true repentance that enable to receive sacramental absolution, the observance of the Sixth Commandment of the Law of God, the most serious obligation not to give public scandal and not lead the people of God to sin or to relativize good and evil; the objective limits of consciousness when taking personal decisions, etc.

The Declaration of Fidelity is already available in English and Italian and it will soon be available also in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Whoever wants to adhere to it can do so by signing at the address 

(* For more information contact


"Let marriage be honored among all" (Heb. 13: 4)

Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline

(Full text of the Declaration after list of Signatories at the end of this post)

Errors about true marriage and family are widespread today in Catholic circles, particularly after the Extraordinary and Ordinary Synods on the family and the publication of Amoris Laetitia.

Sermon for the Feast of San Gennaro (St. Januarius): Preserve Catholic Culture!

by Fr. Richard Gennaro Cipolla

September 25, 2016
Church of the Most Precious Blood
and National Shrine of San Gennaro
New York City

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was sitting at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.  Luke 7:37

What a wonderful thing to come to this church of the Most Precious Blood and the shrine of San Gennaro to celebrate this Solemn Votive Mass of San Gennaro!  This church is redolent with a century’s worth of religious and cultural memories centered around the feast of San Gennaro.  We know little about the saint’s life, but the most important information comes from St. Paulinus of Nola, who said:  he was bishop as well as martyr, an illustrious member of the Neapolitan church.”.  San Gennaro was martyred in the Diocletian persecutions, together with Festus, his deacon, and others from the Naples area.  But what everyone knows about him is that his blood, put into 2 vials by a pious woman after his beheading, liquefies on his feast day and two other times in the year.  So we can imagine what went on in Naples this past Monday, as the crowds gathered at the Cathedral to witness the liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood.  The Church blesses this celebration but has no official statement on this phenomenon.

Visit of Cardinal Burke to the Czech Republic -- FULL SCHEDULE

Rorate Caeli has been asked us to make known the schedule of Cardinal Burke's upcoming visit to the Czech Republic, particularly for our central European readers who may wish to attend the Pontifical Masses and the Cardinal's lectures. 

(I am happy to say, too, that the launch of the Czech edition of my book Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis will take place in the midst of these events. I will be present and will give a lecture.)

Visit of His Eminence Raymond Leo Card. Burke in the Czech Republic

Program of public events:

Rorate on the Road ... in Irving, Texas

Rorate was on the road today and, this time, we were in Texas at Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish in Irving (just outside Dallas). The church is run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).

While we travel the globe and go to many traditional Latin Mass sites, we normally do not post pictures of the historic churches we visit in the major cities, and focus rather on the little-mentioned yet wonderful experiences we have in smaller towns.

Guest Op-Ed: Ecclesiological problems with communion for adulterers

By Veronica A. Arntz

The Church as a Liturgical Community:

Ecclesiological Problems with Communion for the Divorced and Remarried

As the drama of Communion for the divorced and remarried continues to unfold, especially with the recent papal letter to the Argentinian bishops, Robert Royal made a stunning yet accurate remark in his recent article, “A Bizarre Papal Move”: “Indeed, Catholics have a new teaching now, not only on divorce and remarriage. We have a new vision of the Eucharist.” If we say that certain individuals who are divorced and remarried, and thus living in an adulterous union, can receive Communion, then we have indeed changed our understanding of the Eucharist. No longer is it a matter of discerning the Body and Blood of our Lord (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-29), but rather, the Eucharist becomes “a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (Evangelii Gaudium, art. 47).

Rather than recognizing our infinite failings and sins and refraining from receiving the Lord, if the condition of our soul necessitates such an action, the Eucharist has now become a mere remedy for anyone who would wish to receive him. This offense to the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord would be enough to lead us to condemnation. However, this change in our perception of the Eucharist extends to how we understand the Church—thus, in changing the way we approach the Eucharist, we inevitably change the nature of the Church as a whole.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Jonas, prophet

While many of the faithful today observe the fast of Ember Wednesday with works of penance and mortification, and the Church Universal celebrates the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, many other heroes of faith and sanctity are also commemorated this day. Among them is yet another of the Old Testament saints whom the Church annually venerates. Standing immediately after St. Matthew in the list of saints for "This Day, the Twenty-First Day of September," we find the following notice of a heavenly birthday  in the traditional Roman Martyrology:

In the land of Saar, the holy prophet Jonas, who was buried in Geth.

The account of "Jonah and the whale" is one of the best known stories in the Bible, teaching us of the importance of humble obedience to God's calling, the holy justice of God, the salvific power of penance, and God's triumphant mercy and forgiveness of sinners whether Jew or Gentile. On two separate occasions, when the Jewish people sought a miraculous "sign" from the Lord Jesus, He directed their attention to the wondrous works that God accomplished in and through St. Jonas:

Thomas Merton on post-Vatican II liturgy

Many of us know priests who love the traditional Latin Mass some days while celebrating a novus ordo liturgy with Vatican II novelties such as Gospel bands and altar girls other days. This liturgical schizophrenia -- truly nothing short of a bi-polar approach to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass -- was apparently exemplified by the prominent Trappist Father Louis, OCSO (born Thomas Merton).

For Father Louis (his religious name that appears on his tombstone, above), his liturgical sensibilities began in quite the traditional manner.  In his 1948 autobiography "The Seven Storey Mountain", he wrote of his love of "the warmth of Gregorian chant" and noted his first attendance at Mass (before converting) was an August 1938 Low Mass at Corpus Christi church in New York, where he was impressed by even a music-free liturgy.

In that famous book, he also described walking into "old Zion church", his parents' house of worship in Douglaston, Long Island, New York.  Note the implicit connection between congregational singing, Americanism and Protestantism:

"Then there was a lectern, shaped like an eagle with outspread wings, on which rested a huge Bible. Nearby was an American flag, and above that was one of those little boards they have in Protestant churches, on which the numbers of the hymns to be sung are indicated by black and white cards."

In the 1960s, Father Louis would get caught up in the spirit of Vatican II, but he also showed some misgiving.  A recent article by Gregory K. Hillis, an associate professor of theology at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, highlighted some of these quotes in the context of embracing "really groovy" Mass insanity in 1967, while writing numerous letters in the same decade opposing the reforms that led to the novus ordo (which he did not live to see). From the article:

An update from Norcia

The monks have asked us to share this with you:

Sermon for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost: the Dark Night of the Soul

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
Parish of St. Mary
Norwalk, Connecticut
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy

From the Gospel of St. Matthew:  “ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”.
From the Gospel of St. John:  “I thirst”.

Many years ago I tried to read The Story of a Soul by St Thérèse of Lisieux.  I was about to enter the Catholic Church and thought I should read this because of St Thérèse’s great popularity in the Church, the Little Flower.  I could not get through it.  I found it saccharine and too much late nineteenth century French piety.  While I was teaching in New York City and just after I was received into the Catholic Church,  I used to go to Mass early in the morning at Corpus Christi Church on the Upper West Side.  I liked the pastor very much, a very intelligent man and somewhat of a curmudgeon. One morning he gave a brief homily on St Thérèse’s feast day, and he described her as a woman of steel.  I was quite taken aback. A woman of steel.  Coming from him this was high praise, so I went back to the Story of a Soul and read it through.  The best part for me was toward the end, when she describes in veiled but real terms her struggle with her faith.  This spurred me on to read her Last Conversations, where that struggle is more apparent.  A few months before her death she said to Mother Agnes:  “Look! Do you see the black hole where we can see nothing: it’s in a similar hole that I am as far as body and soul are concerned.  Ah! What darkness!  But I am at peace.”  She did not receive Holy Communion for the last few months of her life.  On her deathbed she heard voices telling her that heaven was just a figment of her imagination Her Sisters thought she refused to receive Communion out of fear that she would desecrate it in a coughing spell  But that was not it at all.  It was the darkness that she knew as an absence of faith.  It was that book that made me understand her as a woman of steel, and she became a real spiritual force in my priesthood.

Op-Ed: "Adultery as a venial sin" -- and other absurdities of trying to defend the indefensible Francis Doctrine

Nathan rebukes King David for his Adultery (Eugène Siberdt)

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus on marriage and the Eucharist

by Dr. John Lamont

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus has recently published an article entitled ‘Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages’*. The object of this article is to argue that Pope Francis has not asserted or endorsed heresy in approving of a recent document issued by some Argentinian bishops concerning the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. To justify this conclusion, Dr. Mirus makes a number of claims about moral behaviour and the discipline of the sacraments. 

These claims urgently need to be addressed.

This discussion of Mirus’s assertions will not consider the rights and wrongs of the Argentinian bishops’ document itself and the Pope’s endorsement of it. Nonetheless it should be noted that Dr. Mirus’s article is somewhat misleading on this subject, because it gives the impression that the only objectionable part of this document is the permission it gives for the divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist. In fact the document in its paragraph 6 extends this permission to both absolution and reception of the Eucharist, and states that the divorced and remarried persons it refers to can grow in grace through these sacraments. This contents of this paragraph have been addressed by a group of Catholic scholars, who have drawn up theological censures of heretical and erroneous propositions that could be attributed to Amoris Laetitia and have asked the college of cardinals and the patriarchs of the Church to petition the Pope to condemn these propositions. These censures were sent privately, but were leaked to the media and are now publicly available. Paragraph 6 of the Argentinian bishops’ document endorses the propositions condemned in censures 6, 7, 11, 15, and 16 of the document sent to the cardinals, which are accessible here. The bishops’ statement thus has a broader scope than the issues addressed by Dr. Mirus, a scope whose extent can be grasped by considering their statement and the censures referred to above.

Final results of SSPX-Vatican Prelature Poll

Thank you to all who took part in our poll on the Vatican-proposed prelature for the Society of St. Pius X, details of which were presented by the SSPX Superior-General in recent talks, including one last month in New Zealand.

Of those readers who chose to take part in the poll, 77% said that the Prelature should be accepted, while 23% disagreed:

Once again, thank you for your participation!

The Francis Doctrine: On Communion to "Divorced and Remarried", one is either with Christ or with Lucifer

St. Ignatius under the Standard of Christ

From the very beginning of this ill-fated pontificate, this page was maligned for stating the obvious about Cardinal Bergoglio, and the prospects his positions brought to the papacy. 

For example, from the very beginning it was clear to us Francis wanted to impose on the Church the new doctrine of communion to the "divorced and remarried" (that is, those living in permanent state of sin, without the desire to end their sinful situation), the new German Doctrine. Other commentators tried to hide for as long as possible, even up to a few days ago, that the Pope wanted to personally impose upon the Church a doctrine that is absolutely and irrevocably opposed to the very words of Our Lord. 

Why so keen to impose it? Because that is what the wealthiest church, the German Church, the Church that was behind his very election as Pope, the Church that financed what the rebel Cardinals themselves called the "Mafia" that worked tirelessly for the overthrow of past moral positions and the election of Cardinal Bergoglio, wanted as well. One thing that cannot be said of Francis is that he is a man who does not keep his campaign promises!...

And why did the German Church want it so much? Because of the income derived from the "remarried" faithful by way of the "Church Tax", certainly. But also because liberal theologians who dominate the Church in Germany need this apparently small change in doctrine since it undermines at least three Sacraments at once: the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, Penance, and, last but certainly not least, Matrimony. And this is necessary because each reduction of meaning of the Sacraments makes the Church less "supernatural", less "divine", and a vehicle of merely human ideas -- as Pope St. Pius X recalled in Pascendi: "for the Modernists the Sacraments are mere symbols or signs, though not devoid of a certain efficacy - an efficacy, they tell us, like that of certain phrases vulgarly described as having 'caught on,' inasmuch as they have become the vehicle for the diffusion of certain great ideas which strike the public mind." (Pascendi, 21). In their view, therefore, an undermining of the divine demands of the Sacraments makes them more "human" and more "meaningful" for the secular understanding of the world and make the Church seem less "absurd" in the eyes of the world.

The Pope and the Vatican mocked at the Venice Film Festival

 Cristina Siccardi
Corrispondenza Romana
September 7, 2016

The figure of the Pope landed at the Venice Film Festival this year in the worst possible way imaginable. It was mocked at, sneered at and vilified by raconteurs of contemporary thought, covered up by artistic and intellectual skills.
The first two episodes (out of ten) of the TV series ‘The Young Pope’ were presented at the Venice Festival, directed by award-winning Paolo Sorrentino and produced by Sky, HBO and Canal+: a substantial investment for a product which, along with the Francis Pontificate, eliminates in toto the aura of sacredness around the  Pontiff.

Saint Augustine: Hope! The victory is going on without end

"...the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: 'What think you of Christ, whose son is He?' They say to Him: 'David's.' He saith to them: 'How then doth David , in spirit, call Him Lord, saying: The Lord saith to My Lord: Sit on my right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?' If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask Him any more questions." (Gospel for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, St. Matthew xxii)

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit on My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool" We ought, therefore, thoroughly to consider this question proposed to the Jews by the Lord ... . For if what the Jews answered be asked of us, whether we confess or deny it; God forbid that we should deny it. If it be said to us, 'Is Christ the Son of David, or not?'; If we reply, 'No', we contradict the Gospel ... . ...

Extensive Article on the problems of Amoris Laetitia -- English translation of the French original

In No. 136 of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer’s quarterly review Sedes Sapientiæ, there is a commentary on Chapter 8 of Amoris Lætitia, written by Father Louis-Marie de Blignières (one of the 45 signatories of the Critique on Amoris Laetitia). This article, before its publication was sent to several bishops and cardinals who expressed their gratitude and agreement to the author. In particular, it received warm support from Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna and the first President of the John Paul II Institute on the Family: “It is an excellent text, which I endorse completely.” “It is one of the best studies I have read [on the matter].”

Take part in our poll! - Should SSPX accept Prelature offer made by Francis?

A few days ago, we posted the videos of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, explaining to faithful in New Zealand what the offer of a Personal Prelature to the SSPX by the Vatican looks like.

So our Twitter poll this month (open for 7 days) asks you your opinion on the offer. Please, have a say!

New Mass Novena: Help the Benedictines of Mary build a new church!

UPDATE: The sisters need $1.5 million to break ground his Autumn. We're reposting this as we know many are away in the summer. Please open your hearts, and your wallets. May God reward you for helping: 

Whenever they ask, Rorate helps raise money for some of the greatest nuns God's blessed us with, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. And, every time, our dear readers have responded in incredible ways, enrolling in their Novena of Masses, purchasing their now-famous CDs, and more.

This time is more critical than ever, as the sisters are finally building their own church, as their temporary chapel cannot keep up with the great demand for vocations.

The Novena Mass Cards you'll receive in the mail are truly stunning: 

Guest Op-Ed - Maturity in the Faith: Avoiding the anonymous Christian theory in evangelization

                                                                                                                                By Veronica A. Arntz

In his Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul writes that we must grow into the maturity of our faith. We read that members of the Church are given different gifts for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).

These gifts are meant to be used until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles (Ephesians 4:13-14).

There are a few things to note here. First, attaining the full measure of the faith in Christ is not an autonomous process; rather, the Church as a whole is meant to strive for maturity in the faith. Second, as members of the Church, we are designed to attain a fullness of the faith not found in childish understanding. We cannot merely rely on simplistic doctrines or teachings; rather, we must fully embrace Christ’s call to pick up the cross and follow Him, which is a manifest teaching in all the Church’s doctrines. If we embrace the cross of Christ in His teachings and in our lives by attaining the “mature manhood” in Christ, we will be able to avoid those false doctrines, which can easily confuse those who are immature in the faith.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Zacharias, prophet

In the traditional Roman Martyrology, the month of September has more commemorations of Old Testament saints than any other month. Today, only two days after the commemoration of Moses, through whom God inaugurated the Old Covenant with the Israelite people, we remember St. Zacharias the Prophet, through whom God announced that He would "make void my covenant, which I had made with all the people" (Zach. 11:10).  He heads today's martyrology, in fact:

This Day, the Sixth Day of September

The prophet Zachary, who returned in his old age from Chaldea to his own country, and lies buried near the prophet Aggeus.

Sermon for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost: What is True Humility?

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

From the Gospel:  “For he who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Is it not a non sequitur? The first part of the gospel is about Jesus’ eating with the Pharisees, the pious Jews who knew the Law.  Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees react:  is it lawful to heal a man on the Sabbath, since one cannot work on the Sabbath? So Jesus heals the man.  And then he tells a parable about humility.  Is this a nonsequitur?  The first part of the gospel is about the relationship between the Law and the demands of love.  The healing of the paralytic is an act of love on Jesus’ part.  We remember how the Pharisees asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment. And Jesus’ answer is swift:  You shall love the Lord your God with all you mind, heart, body and your neighbor as yourself. Then there comes the parable about humility in the form of the man invited to dinner.  You say:  this is Jesus’ commentary on what he saw at the Pharisees dinner, elbowing themselves to get the best seat.  Perhaps.  But I suggest that our Lord told this parable about humility for a deeper reason.

Another Latin term like virtus. This time it is humilitas.  The root of this word is the Latin word for ground, earth, humus.  This is humus with one m, no chick peas involved here. No.  Humilitas is the quality of living close to the ground. Now there are those who fake humility, those who pretend that the live close to the ground and have no aspirations to rise higher, no aspirations to get the best seats at the banquet. Literature is full of these phony people, from Dickens’ Uriah Heep to Moliere’s Tartuffe.  Frauds, But Jesus says:  blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth, one of Newman’s favorite saying of our Lord.  The man who is truly humble knows himself so deeply that he assumes naturally that he has no business sitting at the head of the table anywhere and anytime.  And this has nothing to do with accepting the natural pecking order of things.  The man who is humble genuinely rejoices that someone else is chosen to sit in the place of honor, that others are held in great esteem, that others have worldly success, makes him happy. The humble man is a happy man. 

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Moses, lawgiver and prophet

It has been only three days since the traditional Roman Martyrology marked the deaths of the Old Testament saints Josue and Gedeon, as well as the death of St. Anna the Prophetess who lived to see the birth of the promised Messiah of Israel.  Yet another Old Testament saint -- in fact, the greatest and most significant of ancient Israel's saints -- is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology today. In recognition of his glorious memory, his name heads the list of today's martyrs and saints:
"This Day, the Fourth Day of September"

"On Mount Nebo, in the land of Moab, the holy lawgiver and prophet Moses."

Roman Forum 2017: Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down

We are pleased to announce the program of the 2017 Roman Forum Summer Symposium. This annual  symposium on the shores of Lake Garda is an important gathering of traditionalist intellectuals that has recently produced notable statements On the Ecclesial and Civilizational Crisis and Regarding the “Catholic” Apotheosis of Luther. We urge our readers to attend the symposium, or, if they are unable to attend, at least to support it through prayers and donations.

The Roman Forum
Twenty-Fifth Annual Summer Symposium
Gardone Riviera, Italy
(July 3rd-July 14th, 2017; 11 nights)

Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down:
Transformation in Christ Versus a Sickness Unto Death

Two commemorations will provide an extremely joyful framework for the Roman Forum’s next Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera. 2017 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of this annual spiritual, academic, fraternal, and strategy-planning program of indispensable importance to the traditionalist world internationally. It will also be the tenth anniversary of Summorum pontificum, with all that that motu proprio has contributed to the advance of the cause of the “Mass of the Ages”.

For the Record: Bishop Fellay explains what has been offered to SSPX by Rome and what Prelature will look like

The videos were recorded in a conference on August 24, 2016. The main points are in the two videos below, especially the last one. We do not add comments, but let the declarations stand as they are.

[Note: The conference was held by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X ( FSSPX/ SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, in St. Anthony's, Wanganui, New Zealand.]

Thanks to Reader PD

Pope Benedict XVI on the Life and Accomplishments of Saint Pius X

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today I would like to reflect on my Predecessor, St Pius X whose liturgical Memorial we shall be celebrating next Saturday and to underline certain features that may be useful to both Pastors and faithful also in our time.

Giuseppe Sarto, that was his name, was born into a peasant family in Riese, Treviso, in 1835. After studying at the Seminary in Padua he was ordained a priest when he was 23 years old. He was first curate in Tombolo, then parish priest at Salzano and then canon of the Cathedral of Treviso with the offices of episcopal chancellor and spiritual director of the Diocesan Seminary. In these years of rich and generous pastoral experience, the future Pontiff showed that deep love for Christ and for the Church, that humility and simplicity and great charity to the needy which characterized his entire life. In 1884 he was appointed Bishop of Mantua, and in 1893, Patriarch of Venice. On 4 August 1903, he was elected Pope, a ministry he hesitated to accept since he did not consider himself worthy of such a lofty office.

Pius X's Pontificate left an indelible mark on the Church's history and was distinguished by a considerable effort for reform that is summed up in his motto: Instaurare Omnia in Christo, "To renew all things in Christ".

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. 

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.

Help the Norcia Monks - an appeal

We have all read about and seen pictures of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in central Italy.  Although the damage was not as severe as in Amatrice and other hamlets, the town of Norcia suffered in a real way from the earthquake.  What most saddened me was the damage suffered by the Basilica of S. Benedetto and the adjoining monastery.  Readers of this blog know of my great love for the Benedictine monks in Norcia.  What they have done there in the past decade is quite remarkable. They brought back a living monastery to the birthplace of Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica.  And they have been among the leaders in the monastic world of the return to and the promulgation of the Traditional Latin Mass.  To see the Mass celebrated there each day with such simple beauty is to look into the future.

"Mercy" for conservatives: Bishop Oliveri resignation "accepted", Bishop Lafitte out of the Curia, Cardinal Rylko and Bishop Clemens in "limbo" with the disappearance of their Pontifical Council.

1. Today (September 1, 2016) the statutes of the new "Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life" come into force. The new Dicastery is led by Bishop Kevin Farrell (formerly of Dallas) as Prefect; it has as yet no Secretary (a position that can be filled by a layman). The same statutes decree that as of today, the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family are deemed suppressed.

The former President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Kasperite-leaning Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (71), was appointed President of the Pontifical Academy for Life only two weeks ago -- for some initial analyses on the implications of this appointment, read this and this. The appointment ensured that Paglia remains within the Roman Curia. In contrast, the Secretary (since 2009) of the Pont. Council for the Family, Bishop Jean Lafitte (64) was appointed Prelate of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in July last year. Bishop Lafitte had openly opposed the Kasper proposal in the aftermath of the Synod of 2014, reiterating this opposition and his firm defense of traditional Catholic views on the family in a book of interviews published last year as "The Choice of the Family". With the disappearance of the body of which he was Secretary until yesterday, Bishop Lafitte is now effectively out of the Curia as well.

Unlike the top two officials of the Pontifical Council for the Family, it is not yet clear what positions (if any) will next be assigned to the last President and the last Secretary of the now-defunct Pontifical Council for the Laity. The former President of this Council was Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko (71), and the Secretary was Bishop Josef Clemens (69). Both were appointed to their positions by John Paul II in 2003, and since last year Rylko had been the longest-serving head of a Curial dicastery. Meanwhile, Clemens had been one of the longest-serving Bishop-Secretaries in the Curia.

Rylko had been a diocesan priest of Krakow and was ordained to the priesthood in March 1969 by then-Cardinal Wojtyla. Clemens, on the other hand, was then-Cardinal Ratzinger's personal secretary from 1984 to 2003. Neither is outspoken, but both are considered to be reliably "conservative" in their views on doctrine and morals.

De Mattei: Earthquakes of a spiritual nature are graver

Roberto de Mattei
Il Tempo
August 31, 2016

During the Angelus of August 28th Pope Francis announced that he would go to visit the earthquake victims in Lazio, Umbria and delle Marche "as soon as possible", to bring them in person "the comfort of the faith, a fatherly and brotherly embrace and the support of Christian hope."

That "as soon as possible" is not connected to the Pope’s agenda, which would be to go there immediately, as much as to avoid his presence being an obstacle to the work of the firemen, the civil defense and the police force.  As Andrea Tornielli recalls, John Paul II’s blitz 48 hours after the quake which hit Campania and Basilicata on November 23rd 1980, resulted in heated polemics. There were those who said that John Paul II had obstructed the rescue work and distracted the police force from other more urgent tasks.  Benedict XVI, in contrast, waited 22 days before visiting Aquila devastated by the quake of April 6th 2009, and 36 days before going to Emilia, after the earthquake of May 20th 2012.

The choice to put off the visit appears therefore opportune for various reasons.  In the first weeks immediately after the catastrophe, the earthquake victims need material help most of all.  It is in the following months, when their situation doesn’t make the news headlines anymore, that they feel abandoned and need spiritual and moral support.  And nobody, more than the Pope, can bring this help which consists mainly in remembering that everything in the Christian life has significance, even the worst catastrophes.

Saints of the Old Testament: Sts. Josue, Gedeon, and Anna

The sun and moon stand still at St. Josue's command at the Battle of Aijalon

In the great Legenda Aurea ("The Golden Legend," though correctly translated "The Golden Readings") which Blessed Jacobus de Voragine, OP, Archbishop of Genoa, compiled about the year 1260, we find the following commentary regarding the liturgical celebration of the feasts of the saints of the Old Testament period:

"It is worthy of note that the Eastern Church celebrates the feasts of saints of both the Old and the New Testaments. The Western Church, on the other hand, does not celebrate feasts of saints of the Old Testament, on the ground that they descended into hell -- exceptions being made for the Holy Innocents, in each of whom Christ was put to death, and for the Maccabees. . . . the Church observes no feasts for them -- both because they descended into limbo and because of the great multitude of new saints has slipped into their places . . ." (Jacobus de Voragine: The Golden Legend -- Readings on the Saints, Princeton University Press, 1993, translated by William Granger Ryan, vol. II, p.33)