Rorate Caeli

Majestic Lecture by Prof. Roberto de Mattei:
"Resistance and Fidelity to the Church in times of crisis"

"Resistance and Fidelity to the Church in times of crisis"
Prof. Roberto de Mattei

From a conference given in Florence - October 2, 2016

            1.The infallibility and indefectibility of the Church

The Church has been through the gravest crises in the course of Her history: external persecutions like those which characterized the first three centuries of Her life and since then have always accompanied Her; internal crises, such as Arianism in the fourth century and the Great Western Schism. However, the process of the Church’s “self-demolition” “struck by those who belong to Her” which Paul VI spoke of as far back as 1968[1], appears to be a crisis without precedent because of the extent and depth of it.

We say this in a spirit of deep love for the Papacy, rejecting every form of anti-infallibility, Gallicanism and conciliarism; in a word, every error that would diminish the role and mission of the Papacy. We profess with the entire Church, that there is no higher authority on earth than that of the Pope, since there is no mission or office more elevated than his. Jesus Christ, in the person of Peter and his successors conferred to the Roman Pontiff, the mission to be the visible head of the Church and His Vicar[2]. The dogmatic constitution Pastor aeternus of the First Vatican Council defined the dogmas of the Roman Primacy and papal infallibility[3]. The first asserts that the Pope has supreme power of jurisdiction, both ordinary and immediate, over individual Churches, individual pastors and all the faithful. The second dogma teaches that the Pope is infallible when he speaks “ex cathedra”, which is to say when in his function as Supreme Pastor, he defines that a doctrine in matters of faith or morals must be held by the entire Church.

The authority of the Pope has precise limits however, which cannot be ignored. Javier Hervada in his well-known manual on Constitutional Canon Law, writes: “The power of the pope is not unlimited: it is circumscribed within determined limits. The limits may regard the validity or lawfulness in his exercise of power. The limits regarding validity are given as: a) of the natural law: b) of the positive Divine law; c) of the nature and the ends of the Church”[4].

"Silence" = the antithesis of "A Man for All Seasons"

In 1966 the movie "A Man for All Seasons" was released in the U.S., the same year Japanese author Shūsaku Endō wrote the historical fiction novel "Silence."

Last night, the Vatican hosted the world premiere of the movie version of "Silence," which will be released next month. Shown at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, administered by the Jesuits, approximately 400 priests and others attended. Rorate's invitation to the screening may have been lost in the mail, so we have not seen the movie.  But based on the novel, the endings for the two 1966 works could not be more opposite. One concludes with heroism and martyrdom, the other with indifference and apostasy.

The adaption of "Silence" for the big screen was done by Mr. Martin Scorsese, a former seminarian (Cathedral College minor seminary in New York) who is now a self-proclaimed "lapsed Catholic."  One may remember his scandalous and sacrilegious 1988 movie, "The Last Temptation of Christ."

For the record - In latest interview, Pope attacks "rigidity" in seminaries and in priestly formation. Are seminaries soon to be targeted for "reform" by Francis?

 St. Francis Seraphic Seminary, Andover, MA. Closed as a seminary in the 1970's, finally demolished in October 2016.

It is extremely difficult to keep up with the unending barrage of words from Pope Francis. One interview after another, press conferences, speeches, letters, phone calls, off-the-cuff remarks, daily homilies... the endless flow of words results in people knowing not so much what the Pope has exactly said on this or that topic, but rather the general run of this Pope's thinking and the main themes of his stated policies. Rather than being a sign of Francis' sloppiness, a case can be made that this is an excellent strategy. Liberal would-be reformers, who tend not to bother with exactitude, make use of the very strong impressions left by Francis without being tied down by his exact words. Meanwhile some "conservatives" still remain hesitant to call out Francis precisely because they are obsessed with nailing down exactly what Francis said on each particular occasion, and in trying to find excuses for these while dismissing as "misinterpretations" nearly anything that would force them to face the facts.

For the record - Pope Francis' "sorrow" at Fidel Castro's passing, and a look back at his 2015 visit to Cuba

As the secular media has widely reported, Pope Francis expressed his "sentiments of sorrow" at the passing of Fidel Castro in a telegram to the latter's brother Raul. The following English translation is from Vatican Radio:

On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country.

Francisco, PP.

Please consider helping a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate -- and sanctify your family

The following note is from a priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI). We here at Rorate chronicled the brutal treatment of these priests under the current pontificate for the last few years. So those of you who have read this blog for a while know what they've gone through. This good priest's request is a win-win for him, his new mission and you. By helping him you are helping sanctify your family and/or other families you enroll. What a great Christmas present this would make for your family or a family you care about! Please see Father's note below: 

Photo of Fr. Maximilian Mary offering Low Mass on 1st Saturday, November 5th, on the high altar of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg, PA.  
Dear Rorate Caeli:

The First Sunday of Advent: "God alone can be our ideal, our goal"

On this First Sunday of Advent, let us join our prayers to those of all our forefathers in the Latin rites of the Church who have gone before us, praying in the Introit of the Mass: "To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul."

EXCLUSIVE: Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in defense of the Four Cardinals

NB: The following post was submitted to Rorate Caeli today by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider. We not only allow but encourage all traditional media and blogs to reprint this post and carry his critical message far and wide. Also: We know for a fact there are other prelates possessing both the true Faith and real backbone. You cardinals and bishops may also take advantage of our global readership by submitting your defense of the Four Cardinals here on Rorate. We urge you to do so.
By Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Special to Rorate Caeli
November 23, 2016

“We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor. 13: 8)

A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church

Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany), His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of  Bologna (Italy), His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, have published on November 14, 2016, the text of five questions, called dubia (Latin for “doubts”), which previously on September 19, 2016, they sent to the Holy Father and to Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, along with an accompanying letter. The Cardinals ask Pope Francis to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” concerning the interpretation and practical application, particularly of chapter VIII, of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and its passages relating to admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments and the Church’s moral teaching.

In their statement entitled “Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in Amoris Laetitia,” the Cardinals say that to “many — bishops, priests, faithful — these paragraphs allude to or even explicitly teach a change in the discipline of the Church with respect to the divorced who are living in a new union.” Speaking so, the Cardinals have merely stated real facts in the life of the Church. These facts are demonstrated by pastoral orientations on behalf of several dioceses and by public statements of some bishops and cardinals, who affirm that in some cases divorced and remarried Catholics can be admitted to Holy Communion even though they continue to use the rights reserved by Divine law to validly married spouses.

The Friday after Thanksgiving Day indult

A friendly and tasty annual reminder that there is a strong argument to be made that there is no required abstinence from meat this Friday for our American readers.

While always a topic of great discussion, it is widely known by those alive in the 1950s, that Venerable Pope Pius XII granted Americans a dispensation from their Friday abstinence, so that they could enjoy turkey the Friday after Thanksgiving.

De Mattei: Contradictions at the closing of the Jubilee

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November, 22 2016

Among the keys that interpret Pope Francis’ pontificate is certainly his love of contradiction. This inclination of mind is made evident by the Apostolic Letter ‘Misercordia et misera’, signed at the end of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. In this letter Pope Bergoglio, establishes that those who attend the churches officiated by the priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, can receive validly and lawfully, sacramental absolution. The  Pope thus rectifies that which constituted the main factor of “irregularity” in the Fraternity founded by Monsignor Lefebvre: the validity of their confessions. It would be contradictory to imagine that once confessions are recognized as valid and lawful, that the Masses celebrated by the priests of the Fraternity not be considered just as lawful, which are valid in any case. At this point it is not understood why an agreement is necessary between Rome and the Fraternity founded by Monsignor Lefebvre, seeing as the position of these priests is de facto regularized and that the doctrinal problems up for discussion - for the Pope - as is well-known - are of little interest.

A remarkable book from and for Eucharistic Adoration

Imagine a combination of St. Gertrude the Great, St. Therese of Lisieux, and Bd. Columba Marmion. Imagine a book that was born in the silence of the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, in the luminous shadow of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Imagine a book that draws one ever more deeply into the glorious mysteries of this greatest of all miracles — the Most Holy Eucharist, Bread of Angels, food of wayfarers, sweet incense of oblation, price of the world's redemption.

Such a book — In Sinu Jesu. When Heart Speaks to Heart: The Journal of a Priest at Prayer — has just been published by Angelico Press. As an avid reader, I can say with complete honesty that, of works appearing in print during my lifetime, I have seen nothing like it. I shall offer some excerpts:

Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera merely extends SSPX confessions' provision

From the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera, 12 -- exactly as we had predicted in our last update yesterday:

For the Jubilee Year I had also granted that those faithful who, for various reasons, attend churches officiated by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, can validly and licitly receive the sacramental absolution of their sins.[15] For the pastoral benefit of these faithful, and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone ever be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon.

Attention priests, acolyte trainers and liturgists: Your new resource is online

Many of our readers are already acquainted with our dear friend, Louis Tofari, and his work for the traditional Mass, via Romanitas Press. Recently, he has launched a redesigned website, offering many new features we are pleased to bring to you, our readers.

Apostolic Letter "Misericordia et Misera" and the SSPX

(Update - 2030 GMT: The SSPX mention tomorrow, our sources say, will not mention structure - only an extension on confessions. - To be verified.)

Last Friday, the Holy See announced that the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera would be published on Monday -- the Pope signed it today, last day of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Now, many had the intuition, considering the timeframe of the authorization for confessions for SSPX priests (granted last year and ending, supposedly, today), that the Letter would contain something on the SSPX. We can confirm that, at least if no last-minute surprise cones along, that it will indeed contain something regarding the Society of Saint Pius X.

Let us pray, wait, and see.

It's official: Christ, the King of Poland!

By Fr. Paul McDonald
Special to Rorate Caeli

The Lord Jesus Christ Recognized as the King of Poland

Radio Maryja (@RadioMaryja) reports that the Bishops of Poland have enthroned, or, to use the bishops' more sober expression, "recognized" Christ as the King of Poland. This was done in the official presence of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda. Many pilgrims were present in Poland for this event. Today the act will be repeated in all the Polish cathedrals and parishes. This took place yesterday, Saturday, at the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow .

The providential and proximate origin of the act is to be found in revelations received, or said to be received, by the Servant of God Rosalia Zelkova. The Lord -- she said -- demanded that He be enthroned as King by the Polish Nation as such, and not just in the hearts of the Poles, in a particular manner, and this would have saved Poland in the war that was coming.

At first, especially after Vatican II, the idea did not find much support among the bishops. One may think that the shadow of Dignitatis Humanae was a factor, especially since the theme of the social right to religious liberty was so strong in the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II. Another factor would have been the proximate origin, spoken of above. The same factor afflicts the Fatima Message. Under the diffused influence of theological modernism there is a diffidence even about the possibility of communications from Heaven.

But the social kingship of our Divine Lord is absolutely founded in necessary and dogmatic truths about Christ. It is not merely an element of private revelation. St. Gregory the Great said that they were heretics who denied that Christ is the King of and over everything.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Abdias, prophet

Today, the traditional Roman Martyrology's roll of saints commences with the heavenly birthdays of three Christian saints. The fourth name in this day's roll of holy witnesses, however, is that of another saint of the Old Testament, as we see here:

This Day, the Nineteenth Day of November

At Marburg, in Germany, the demise of St. Elizabeth, widow, daughter of Andrew, king of Hungary, of the Third Order of St. Francis. After a life passed in the performance of pious works, she went to Heaven, having a reputation for miracles.

The same day, the birthday of St. Pontian, Pope and martyr, who, with the priest Hippolytus, was transported to Sardinia, by the emperor Alexander, and there, being scourged to death with rods, consummated his martyrdom. His body was conveyed to Rome by the blessed Pope Fabian, and buried in the cemetery of Callistus. 

At Samaria, the holy prophet Abdias.


Ecclesia Dei 2017 Ordo now available

The Secretariat of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei informs the following:

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei wishes to inform that at the main bookshops is available the "ORDO DIVINI OFFICII RECITANDI SACRIQUE PERAGENDI SECUNDUM ANTIQUAM VEL EXTRAORDINARIAM RITUS ROMANI FORMAM PRO ANNO DOMINI 2017", edited by this Pontifical Commission and published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Copies of this publication can be bought directly from Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Thoughts on "Who am I to judge?" from Neil McCaffrey (December 1977)

(Of course, the title of this post is deliberately anachronistic, but it is remarkable how similar the problems of today are to those of 1977. This memorandum by noted conservative publisher Neil McCaffrey strikes right at a central issue of our own day. He sent it to a number of his closest friends.)

December 12, 1977

Memo to: All Concerned

From: Neil McCaffrey

I am trying to work out some ideas about charity. If you have any comments on what follows, whether agreeing or disagreeing, I’d be grateful for them.

False charity, it seems to me, is pandemic, and encouraged in the highest places. But if current excesses are travesties of travesties, the travesties were always there. Which is why modern Catholics, even the orthodox fragment, are helpless when confronted with this solvent of all

Cardinal Burke: If Pope persists in errors on Marriage, Cardinals could take a "Formal Act of Correction of a Serious Error"

"When Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." (Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians)

The powers of the Pope are not absolute -- quite the contrary: the most important and most recent dogmatic modern Ecumenical Council, Vatican I, makes clear that, "the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles." (Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus).

The 4 Cardinals who made their names public in the dubia (questions) on the apparent errors on Marriage and cohabitation present in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia are following stardard procedure. If the Pope (out of some personal sentiment) refuses to respond, he fails to live up to his obligation to confirm his brethren in the Faith handed down by the Apostles. This has consequences. The interview granted by Cardinal Burke (one of the signatories of the dubia, along with Cardinals Caffarra, Brandmuller, and Meisner) to the National Catholic Register makes clear what these consequences might be.

The most important passage is the following:

Guest Op-Ed: Thoughts on Pope Francis’s recent interview and traditional Catholics

By Veronica A. Arntz

For the Kingdom of God:

Some Thoughts on Pope Francis’s Recent Interview and Traditional Catholics

With Pope Francis’s most recent interview with Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SI, there has been much discontent, especially among traditional Catholics. In just a few sentences, Pope Francis seemingly denied the validity and importance of everything they hold dear: traditional liturgy, adhering to the traditions of the Church, and even the essential role of Summorum Pontificum. He has even alluded to the belief that young people who are interested in traditional liturgy are too “rigid” (more on that later).

Displeasure at these remarks is a natural response, yet they should not really surprise us. Pope Francis has already disregarded Cardinal Sarah’s remarks on the importance of ad orientem worship (which he reiterates in this interview), and he has swept clean the Office of Divine Worship of its more traditional cardinals, who supported movements such as ad orientem worship. We should not be surprised that this pope, who has already disregarded liturgical tradition in many instances, should say these things about those who are interested in traditional liturgy.
The more difficult part about these statements, however, is that they could not be further from the truth. Whether he is simply ignorant, has little regard for traditional Catholics, or truly means these things, it is difficult to reconcile them with the reality of traditional Catholicism. 

Incredible - Sandro Magister reveals: A Banana-Republic Gestapo for Francis: Either Defend Amoris Laetitia, or You're In Trouble

You will not believe the ridiculousness of it all, but Bergoglioland has finally reached full Banana Republic status. Pope Francis, the Anastasio Somoza of Adultery, the Papa Doc of Sinful Cohabitation, has under him now a Secret "Police", the Osservatorio per l'Attuazione della Riforma della Chiesa di Papa Francesco (OARCPF - Observatory for the Implementation of the Church Reform of Pope Francis) sending our e-mail letters of official tone to professors in Roman institutions demanding them to teach Amoris Laetitia according to the mind of the Pope (that is, Holy Communion to public adulterers and fornicators) -- or (the threat is obviously implied) to face expulsion.

The Omission of “Difficult” Psalms and the Spreading-Thin of the Psalter

The Jefferson Bible, from which the arch-rationalist clipped what he disliked

(This article is being republished by popular demand, in revised form.)

PART OF THE WORK of reassessing the liturgical reform and correcting or rejecting its mistakes consists in making known, as widely as possible, the damage and destruction that was visited upon the unbroken liturgical tradition of the Catholic Church. It has been my experience that far too many Catholics today have simply no idea how much violence was done to the liturgy in the 1960s and 1970s — and that, when they do find out about it, they are rightly and properly scandalized, stirred up with a righteous indignation, and conscious of a new desire to know how they can reconnect with the great tradition that was and is ours as Catholics.

EXPLOSIVE! 4 Cardinals OFFICIALLY ask Pope Francis to Clarify Amoris Laetitia - Updated

A Pope has never been publicly questioned for clarification on a most sensitive matter (his own teaching office) of a more sensitive content (his own major document) by his own Cardinals at any moment since the Counter-Reformation. It is astounding: certainly unheard-of in modern times.

The letter containing 5 clarification questions ("dubia")  was signed by four Cardinals on September 18 --  Italian Carlo Caffarra, emeritus of Bologna, American Raymond Burke, emeritus of St Louis and former president of the tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and Germans Walter Brandmüller, eminent historian and emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, and Joachim Meisner, emeritus of Cologne. They were sent with an accompanying letter.

[Update - Our Roman Correspondent Fr. Pio Pace sends us the following: "Following Amoris Laetitia, the reaction of the Cardinals who had spoken against the new made-up moral doctrine at the time of the Synods had been expected. Here it is: four among them have chosen to make public the dubia that they had presented, formally, to the Pope a couple of months ago. It's a true earthquake -- of a moral nature. Four members of the Pope's own Senate (I've been told indeed that those who presented, but did not wish to go public, were more numerous) present him questions on Faith and Morals, according to the procedure of the dubia, which must be answered: either positive (yes) or negative (no) -- with modulations, if necessary, but must be answered. And the Pope made known to the Cardinals that HE WOULD NOT ANSWER THEM. In all truth, it's this silence that makes the earth tremble."]

[Second Update (Nov. 16): A formal correction of the Pope may have to be issued.]


The full text is provided below (several sources, including Edward Pentin and Sandro Magister). 

Seeking Clarity: A Plea to Untie the Knots in "Amoris Laetitia"

1. A Necessary Foreword

The sending of the letter to His Holiness Pope Francis by four cardinals derives from a deep pastoral concern.

Sermon for the 26th Sunday after Pentecost: "An Earthquake has destroyed the American Post-Modern Liberal Order"

Sermon of the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, 2016

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
Parish of St. Mary
Norwalk, Connecticut

From St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians:  “For freedom Christ has set us free.” (5:1)

An earthquake hit this country with a magnitude at least as strong as the one that destroyed the Basilica and Monastery of St. Benedict a few weeks ago. It was not a natural earthquake.  It did not bring down buildings.  But it severely damaged the structure of what we can call post-modern American civilization, a civilization based on the self and money and the denial of objective morality.  And the irony of it all—natural earthquakes are never ironical, they just are—and the irony of it all is that the prime mover of the earthquake is a product of that selfish amoral society.

Op-Ed: "With Democrats' loss in the US, Francis becomes the leader of the Global Left."

After Trump’s victory, has Pope Francis become the leader of the international left?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November 11, 2016

The Cardinal Secretary of State, Parolin sent the Holy See’s congratulations to Donald Trump, expressing its hopes that the new president would work in service to his country and for peace in the world. Also Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and President of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference, congratulated the newly-elected President, urging him to govern for the common good of all citizens. The position of the Vatican diplomacy appears to be correcting, or tempering, that of Pope Francis, who has never concealed his intolerance with the candidate for the American presidency.

IMPORTANT: In interview, Pope Francis questions Traditional Catholics and their motives | Ends "Reform of the Reform" for good

The excerpt is translated by Rorate from the interview published in the past few days in Italy -- the interview was conducted by the editor of the official journal of the Holy See (Civiltà Cattolica), Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SI, as part of a book containing homilies of the Pope when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires:

The simplicity of children makes me also think of adults, with a rite that is direct, participated intensely [translator's note: reference to notion of 'actuosa participatio'], of parish masses experienced with so much piety. What comes to mind are proposals that encourage priests to turn their backs to the faithful, to rethink Vatican II, to use Latin. I ask the Pope what he thinks of this. The Pope answers:

[Pope:] "Pope Benedict accomplished a just and magnanimous gesture [translator's note: the motu proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'] to reach out to a certain mindset of some groups and persons who felt nostalgia and were distancing themselves. But it is an exception. That is why one speaks of an 'extraordinary' rite. The ordinary in the Church is not this. It is necessary to approach with magnanimity those attached to a certain form of prayer. But the ordinary is not this. Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium must go on as they are. To speak of a 'reform of the reform' is an error."

Traditional Requiem in Westminster Cathedral with the Latin Mass Society


Last weekend the Latin Mass Society held its annual Requiem in Westminster Cathedral. Solemn Mass was followed by Pontifical absolutions at the catafalque led by Bishop Mark Jabale, the retired bishop of Menevia in Wales. Photos were taken by John Aron.

Rorate Exclusive: Letter Exchange between Msgr. Eugene Clark and Neil McCaffrey in 1977 on the Old Mass

[Rorate thanks Roger McCaffrey for sharing with us these letters from his father's archives from January 1977 and for providing the following introduction.]

The letters below are part of an epistolary exchange between Neil McCaffrey, Jr. and one of his oldest friends from minor-seminary days in New York, Msgr. Eugene Clark, both protégés of Msgr. Florence Cohalan, noted New York archdiocesan historian and pastor. Both men rather quickly succeeded in their chosen paths, Neil as an executive at Doubleday and Macmillan publishers before founding his own companies; Gene Clark as secretary to Cardinal Spellman and then communications director and aide de camp for Cardinal Cooke. Vatican II liturgical changes were embraced by neither man at first, but Clark eventually took up the party line, and the two old friends quarreled, eventually committing their thoughts to a letter exchange that had several back-and-forths, of which we publish below a pair. The reference to The Wanderer was to the way that newspaper leveled criticism at traditional Mass partisans like Michael Davies while not, McCaffrey complained, giving equal time for responses. The full exchange between Neil and Msgr. Clark will be published in the next print edition of The Traditionalist magazine, in Spring 2017. For the current edition of The Traditionalist, visit -- Roger McCaffrey

January 19, 1977

Dear Neil:

Back to the question of Pope Pius V and the Tridentine Mass.

Event: Patronal Solemn Mass of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Queens, New York

For the Record: Donald Trump wins presidency: defeats pro-abort Clinton - Plus: Pro-Life campaign promises

From LifeSiteNews, on the most expected political news of the year, for the record of current events:

In a stunning victory, Donald Trump has won over 270 electoral votes, beating pro-abortion Hillary Clinton and becoming the 45th president of the United States. Trump's victory became obvious as he won the key states of Ohio, Florida, and Iowa, and now Pennsylvania. He continues to lead in Michigan and Arizona.

Yes, Natural Disasters can be Divine Punishment for Human Iniquity - Roberto de Mattei

Earthquakes and Divine Chastisement

A view of the facade of the Basilica of St. Benedict, in his birthplace of Norcia (Nursia), central Italy, after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck the region Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November 5, 2016
Since August 24th this year, Italy has been struck by a series of violent earthquakes, and after two months they show no signs of diminishing. According to the seismologists, there have been thousands of aftershocks, different in their intensity and magnitude. Up until now, there have been a limited number of victims, but there has been severe damage to the churches and public and private buildings, depriving tens of thousands of Italians of their material goods and homes.

SSPX Exclusive - Bp. Fellay speaks to Rorate on Rome negotiations as world's largest traditional seminary is blessed in Virginia

A Conversation with Bishop Fellay

By Father Kevin M. Cusick*
Rorate correspondent for the
opening of the SSPX Seminary
in Virginia

The faithful gather from far and wide

Dozens of cars from many states and Canada lined the gravel drive that connects the blacktop country road in the small town of Dillwyn, Virginia, with the new seminary of the Society of Saint Pius X on a knoll in the heart of the property. I found an unclaimed spot along a side trail and began to walk myself, joining the faithful young and old on their way to the holy Mass at the head of the day’s events planned to inaugurate the new US headquarters for the mission of forming the priests of the apostolate.

Fr. Rutler: In this presidential election, we cannot be indifferent - one side is flawed, but the other is EVIL

The following column was published via email by Father George W. Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City. To subscribe to Father Rutler’s weekly column, click here.

October 30, 2016
by Fr. George W. Rutler

On the Election

Exactly eight years ago I wrote a column titled “The One We Were Waiting For” in which I referred to a book by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, The Lord of the World. That dystopian novel has been cited by Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis said he has read it several times. The protagonist, if one can apply that term to an Anti-Christ, imposed a new world religion with Man himself as god. His one foe was Christianity, which he thwarted in part by using “compromised Catholics” and compliant priests to persuade timid Catholics.

Since then, that program has been realized in our time, to an extent beyond the warnings of the most dire pessimists. Our federal government has intimidated religious orders and churches, challenging religious freedom. The institution of the family has been re-defined, and sexual identity has been Gnosticized to the point of mocking biology. Assisted suicide is spreading, abortions since 1973 have reached a total equal to the population of Italy, and sexually transmitted diseases are at a record high. Objective journalism has died, justice has been corrupted, racial bitterness ruins cities, entertainment is degraded, knowledge of the liberal arts spirals downwards, and authentically Catholic universities have all but vanished. A weak and confused foreign policy has encouraged aggressor nations and terrorism, while metastasized immigration is destroying remnant western cultures, and genocide is slaughtering Christian populations. The cynical promise of economic prosperity is mocked by the lowest rate of labor participation in forty years, an unprecedented number of people on food stamps and welfare assistance, and the largest disparity in wealth in over a century.

In his own grim days, Saint Augustine warned against nostalgia: “The past times that you think were good, are good because they are not yours here and now.” The present time, however, might try even his confidence. Sands blow over the ruins of churches he knew in North Africa where the Cross is virtually forbidden. By a blessed irony, a new church is opened every day in formerly Communist Russia, while churches in our own formerly Christian nation are being closed daily. For those who bought into the seductions of politicians’ false hopes, there is the counsel of Walt Kelly’s character Pogo: “It’s always darkest before it goes pitch black.”

It is incorrect to say that the coming election poses a choice between two evils. For ethical and aesthetic reasons, there may be some bad in certain candidates, but badness consists in doing bad things. Evil is different: it is the deliberate destruction of truth, virtue and holiness.

While one may pragmatically vote for a flawed candidate, one may not vote for anyone who advocates and enables unmitigatedly evil acts, and that includes abortion. “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it'” (Evangelium Vitae, 73).

At one party’s convention, the name of God was excluded from its platform and a woman who boasted of having aborted her child was applauded. It is a grave sin, requiring sacramental confession and penance, to become an accomplice in objective evil by voting for anyone who encourages it, for that imperils the nation and destroys the soul.

It is also the duty of the clergy to make this clear and not to shrink, under the pretense of charity, from explaining the Church’s censures. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are dangerous, but worse are wolves in shepherd’s clothing. While the evils foreseen eight years ago were realized, worse would come if those affronts to human dignity were endorsed again. In the most adverse prospect, God forbid, there might not be another free election, and soon Catholics would arrive at shuttered churches and vacant altars. The illusion of indifference cannot long be perpetuated by lame jokes and synthetic laughter at banquets, for there is handwriting on the wall.

Op-Ed: "Kneeling Before Luther", by Roberto de Mattei

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November 2nd 2016

It is with deep sorrow we say this.

Event: The Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer (Traditional Dominicans) in New York and New Jersey

From the 15th to 22nd of November 2016, the Founder of the Fraternity Saint-Vincent-Ferrier, father Louis-Marie de Blignières (Ph.D.), accompanied by two fathers of his Community, father Réginald-Marie Rivoire (J.C.D.) and Ambroise-Marie Pellaumail (Sc.D.), will be in New York.
Thursday 17th: Holy Innocents Church (128 W 37th St). 18:00 : Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite, followed by a conference.
Sunday 20th : Pequannock, New Jersey, Our Lady of Fatima Chapel (32, W. Franklin Ave.) Masses and Homily: 9:00 ; 11:00 (Solemn Mass followed by a refreshment in the parish and a conference ; 17:00.
Monday 21st : Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish, run by the Dominican Fathers, (869 Lexington Avenue). 19:00 : Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite, followed by a conference
.More information on the Fraternity available at

Event: First TLM in St. Patrick's Cathedral (NYC) since the 1990's

The Traditional Catholicism blog announced a few days ago that a Solemn Mass (1962 Missal) will be celebrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral on November 14, the first since Summorum Pontificum took effect and the first in nearly 20 years:

The (traditional) Councils of the Knights of Columbus – the Regina Coeli Council that meets at Holy Innocents & the Agnus Dei Council – received a generous permission from Cardinal Dolan to have a pilgrimage and a (traditional) Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral before the end of the Year of Mercy.

This will be the first time since Summorum Pontificum that a traditional Mass will be publicly celebrated at the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of New York!

Claudio Pierantoni on the parallels between the Arian crisis and the current controversy about Amoris Laetitia

AEMAET, an international journal for philosophy and theology, has published a notable article by Claudio Pierantoni on parallels between the Arian crisis, and the current controversies over Amoris Laetitia. The parallels that he draws are chilling. Here is one example:

The Third Mass for All Souls' Day

As the white vestment feast of All Saints draws to a close, we now prepare for the black vestment All Souls' Day.  We are pleased to publish a guest post by a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, Father Peter Mottola, on a little-known fact concerning the third of the three Masses offered on 2 November:
by Rev. Peter Mottola, J.C.L.

Both the traditional Latin Mass missal and the novus ordo missal make mention of the ability of any priest to celebrate three Masses on All Souls' Day, citing an apostolic constitution by Pope Benedict XV, Incruentum Altaris sacrificium.

In this 1915 constitution, the pope extended a privilege previously granted to the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal to the entire Church.  However, the specific intentions for which these three Masses are to be celebrated are often described incompletely or inaccurately.  According to the constitution, the first Mass can be applied for whomever the priest wishes, the second is to be applied for all the faithful departed, and the third “ad mentem Summi Pontificis, quam satis superque declaravimus.”  One popular Ordo reports that the third Mass is to be celebrated “for the intention of the Pope.”  But the constitution states that the third Mass is to be applied, not for the intention of the reigning pontiff, but “according to the mind” or “according to the thinking” of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XV, “which we have sufficiently declared above,” i.e., which he outlined in the text of his constitution.

All Souls' Day: Plenary indulgence reminder and the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

Please, we beg you, don't forget the poor Souls on All Souls Day tomorrow (Wednesday). Besides getting Masses said for them, as we do here, the best way you can help them tomorrow is this: Plenary Indulgence for each day of the First Full Week in November.

But remember:

    • * Make a sacramental confession within a week of All Souls Day

    • * For a plenary indulgence be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).

    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."

    The overwhelming majority of our priests are diocesan with all the time crunches that parish life brings. So we are making a special plea today for you traditional order priests -- join the Society! Our traditional Mass-only priests must lead by example. This is a great way to do just that. We are only asking for one TLM a week or a month. Nothing more. 

    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.