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Showing posts from May, 2017

The last day
of the merry month of May

Josquin des Prez Benedicta es Caelorum Regina

Rogamus te, Domina nostra, Mater Dei inclita,
super choros angelorum exaltata, ut cordis nostri vas caelestis gratiae impleas, auro sapientiae effulgere facias, tuae virtutis potentia consolides, lapide virtutum pretioso adornes, oleum misericordiae tuae, tu oliva benedicta, super nos effundas, quo peccatorum nostrorum multitudinem operias, qua ad caelestis gloriae altitudinem sublevari et cum beatis beatificari mereamur, praestante Iesu Christo, Filio tuo, qui te hodierna die super choros angelorum exaltavit, diademate regni coronavit et in solio aeterni luminis collocavit, cui est honor et gloria per aeterna saecula.  Dicat omnis Ecclesia: Amen. Alleluia.
S. Antonius Patav. Sermo in Assumptione B.M.V.

The Era of Tenderness

             Strepsiades: First tell me, I beseech thee, what thou art doing?               Socrates: Walking in the air and speculating on the sun. -- Aristophanes, The Clouds
A work of fiction, by Fr. René Tiepolino (nom de plume)
The Pope inaugurated the Era of Tenderness yesterday by knocking out a traditionalist priest in St. Peter’s Square.  Anna Maria Giraffa reports: ‘We were passing the Papal balcony on a pilgrimage, when the window was torn open and the Holy Father flung out a ‘fresh air’ canister in our direction, felling don Massimo like a tree.  My mother, quick-thinking as ever despite her 97 years, gave his Reverence a quick squirt with the contents, without any visible effects. Nuns watching from a near-by convent dragged him inside and laid him to rest in the front parlour.  The infirmarian Suor Tachipirina, after administering certain secret herbal remedies, later reported his condition as ‘stable’.
Webnews: It seems that the Era of Tenderness got off to a rather shaky …

(UPDATED) TLM training for priests and transitional deacons in Rehoboth Beach

UPDATE: A benefactor has come forward to offer help with expenses for men interested in this TLM training. Contact Fr. Cusick to inquire about having your airfare or other travel expenses covered:
Priests and transitional deacons in good standing are invited to take part in training to offer the low traditional Latin Mass in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, from September 4-8, 2017.  The house the training will take place in is on an ocean block. Meals on your own but there is a kitchen available. Limit 13 priests or transitional deacons. Low Mass celebrated mornings daily followed by a period of training. Email Father Kevin Cusick to reserve a spot or for more information at

FSSP to gain major apostolate

Saint Alphonsus church in Baltimore is one of the gems of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. A magnificent shrine where Saint John Neumann and Blessed Francis Seelos were once pastors, it has been home to the revived traditional Latin Mass since 1992.
Today it has been announced that the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter will administer the parish, with Father Joel Kiefer, FSSP, to be installed as pastor.

First Mass of Father James Smith, FSSP

It is truly amazing to witness firsthand how much devotion, planning and organization goes into the ordination of seven FSSP priests in Nebraska, followed by their first Masses in the region. Here is one example -- the first Mass of the newly-ordained Father James M. Smith, FSSP, a longtime friend of this writer.
Father Smith, assisted by numerous priests and seminarians, offered a Solemn High Mass on 27 May 2017, for the feast of Saint Bede. The church, two hours south of the Fraternity seminary, is the beautiful Saint Mary's in Saint Benedict, Kansas. Rorate snapped a photo for readers to enjoy:

Ordination of FSSP priests

Rorate is happy to be in the U.S. state of Nebraska today for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter's priestly ordinations.  The three-hour solemn pontifical Mass was offered by the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada.

Congratulations to Fathers James Smith, Joseph Favole-Mihm, Caleb Kick, Jonathan Heinricy, Adrian Debow, Anthony Dorsa and Matthew Vierno.

All hail Poland!
- Son of Prime-Minister to celebrate his First Traditional Mass on June 4

UPDATE: Some great pics of the new priest are now available here
The son of the Polish Prime-Minister, Mrs. Beata Szydło, will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood of the Catholic Church tomorrow, May 27.
Father Tymoteusz Szydło, a diocesan priest, will celebrate his first Traditional Mass (with indulgences attached to it) in the Church of the Holy Cross in Krakow, served by the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) in Poland, on the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday, June 4, 2017), at 7:15 pm.
Congratulations to Prime-Minister Szydło, her husband, the new Priest, his extended family, and to all of Blessed Poland: beatus populus cuius Dominus Deus eius!

[Source: FSSP Poland; tip: Twitter follower Sarmaticus.]

Fontgombault Sermon for the Ascension

Sermon for the Feast of the Ascension
Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault Fontgombault, May 25, 2017

It is expedient to you that I go. (John 16:7) 
Dear Brothers and Sisters, My dearly beloved Sons,
The feast of the Ascension of the Lord is a feast of faith and joy. St. Mark tells us that before He sent His apostles to preach the Gospel throughout the world, and was taken up into heaven, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart, for they had not believed in His resurrection.

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Easter - Love and Friendship

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
You are my friends if you do what I have commanded you to do.Love one another.
(John 15:14)
For me those chapters of the gospel of St John that we call the Farewell Discourse, parts of which are read before Pentecost, are remarkable in their teaching about love with respect to Christ, and for me, defines what friendship really means.We live in an age in which the word friend has become debased.In the world of Facebook the word friend has become a verb: to friend someone, to establish a cyberworld relationship that has nothing to do with friendship as classically conceived and deepened in Christian thought, ultimately grounded in the love between two persons that is a gift from God and that finds its completion in the person of Jesus Christ.
When I taught the advanced Latin class in my former life as a Latin teacher, a vocation graced in so many ways, I always chose Cicero’s treatise on friendship as one of the works we read.Cicero’s difficult and elevated st…

Ratzinger to Fumone. Burke to Campo De' Fiori. Someone is 'getting bent out of shape'

By Marco Tosatti May 20, 2017 Reading three news articles yesterday makes me think that someone is really “getting bent out of shape” and we are entering now a perilous phase of decline: those who don’t agree with the boss – off with their heads! An unprecedented populist degeneration in the life of the modern Church. I sincerely hope I’m wrong: I’m not just saying this, I really hope so. However we have signs that are anything but comforting. The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is once again the Pope’s non-response (a year has now gone by) to the five questions asked by the four Cardinals on the controversial points of the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Questions made in a spirit of obedience, following the classical procedure of the Church, i.e. asking the Pontiff and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a clarification. Two months after the questions had been made, when the Cardinals discovered that the Pontiff had no intention of responding, they made the…

Stacking the Deck: Francis creates 5 new Cardinals

He announced it today, the consistory will be on June 28. The deck is getting stacked:

They are Archbishop Omella of Barcelona, Spain; Bishop Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden; Archbishop Zerbo, of Bamako, Mali; Apostolic Vicar Bp. Ling, of Pakse, Laos; and, bizarrely enough, from the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador, it's Auxiliary Bishop, Bp. Rosa Chavez (the Archbishop, named by Benedict XVI in 2008, is not a Cardinal).

Pope Francis condemns Catholic "Fanatics" about doctrinal clarity

Below are excerpts from Pope Francis' Homily at Casa Santa Marta on Friday, May 19, 2017, on the same day as the speeches of the dubia signatories, Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Caffarra, at the Rome Life Forum. Is this Pope Francis' answer to the 'dubia' of the four cardinals?: 
“So we are faced with two groups of people. The group of the apostles who want to discuss the problem, and the others who go and create problems. They divide, they divide the Church, they say that what the Apostles preached is not what Jesus said, that it is not the truth.”
"There were many [councils], up until Vatican II, which clarified doctrine: for example, when we recite the Creed, it is the result of councils that have defined doctrine… It is a duty of the Church to clarify doctrine so that what Jesus said in the Gospels is better understood, what is the Spirit of the Gospels…. "
"But there were always those people who, without any commission, go about disturbing the Christia…

For the record: Rome has given SSPX right to ordain priests without permission of local ordinary

It started with absolution and moved recently to marriage. Now Pope Francis has given the three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) the right to ordain priests without the permission of the local ordinary.
Starting at the 15:25 mark in the video below, His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, states: "Last year, I received a letter from Rome, telling me you can freely ordain your priests without the permission of the local ordinary. So if I can freely ordain that means the ordination is recognized by the Church not just as valid but in order. ... So this is one more step in this acceptance that we are, let me call it, 'normal Catholics.'"

Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage - September 2017 - Important Information

14-17 September 2017 Rome awaits the People of Summorum Pontificum
The complete program of the Roman ceremonies for the 10th anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum will be announced on 31 May.
In the meantime, the organizers have asked us to remind interested groups that they may contact Convenire Pilgrimages to organize their stay in Rome.

Event: First Solemn High Mass of new FSSP priest

New Reprint of a Classic Work of Thomistic Theology

A Manual of Catholic Theology, Based on Scheeben's "Dogmatik." By Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., Ph.D., and Thomas B. Scannell, B.D., with a Preface by Henry Edward Cardinal Manning. Volume I: The Sources of Theological Knowledge; God; Creation and the Supernatural Order. liii + 508 pp. $24.95. (CreateSpace; Amazon) Volume II: The Fall; Redemption; Grace; The Church and the Sacraments; The Last Things. x + 566 pp. $24.95. (CreateSpace; Amazon)
One of the greatest theologians of modern times, Matthias Joseph Scheeben (1835-1888), brought out his Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik in 7 parts from 1873 to 1887. At the end of the 19th century, this tour de force of a refined, lofty, intensely religious scholasticism was conveniently distilled by Dr. Joseph Wilhelm and Fr. Thomas Scannell into a 2-volume English handbook entitled A Manual of Catholic Theology. I am happy to announce a new reprinting of this handbook, which was prepared using freshly-scanned pages of an original copy o…

Latest statistics: seminarians down in the USA and the world, priests worldwide in decline, catastrophic decline in women religious
Will vocations survive the new Bergoglian priestly formation document?

I. World Statistics 

Last month, the Vatican website published a report on the Pontifical Yearbook 2016 and Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2015, with a detailed summary of the statistics contained in the latter. Compared to the Vatican's summaries of the information in the Annuarium Statisticum published in previous years (see this for 2014, published in 2016; read here for 2013, published in 2015), last month's summary has much more detail, and for this we are very grateful.

The summary notes that "In 2015 there is decline in the number of priests from the previous year, thus reversing the upward trend that characterized the years from 2000 to 2014." To be exact, there were 415,656 priests in 2015, compared to 415,792 in 2014. (Looking into reports from previous years we find that there were 405,178 priests in 2000 -- when the upward trend began again -- 406,411 in 2005, 408,024 in 2007, 412,236 in 2010, and 414,313 in 2012.) Tellingly the decline from 2014 to 20…

De Mattei: Fatima 2017

Roberto de Mattei “Il Tempo” May 14, 2017

Five hundred people were in the square outside the Sanctuary at Fatima waiting for Pope Francis and the canonization of the two little shepherd Francesco (10) and Jacinta (9), who, along with their cousin Lucia dos Santos saw Our Lady and heard Her words between May 13th and October 13th 1917. The canonization took place and the Church has the youngest children not martyrs in Her history, written in the book of saints. The process for the beatification of their cousin Lucia who died in 2005, is also underway.
What Fatima devotees from all around the world expected from the Pope was not only the canonization of the visionaries, but also the fulfillment  of some of Our Lady’s requests, until now gone unheeded.

Pius XII's Condemnation of Situation Ethics: "Accusations of rigidity first attack the adorable person of Christ"

"Taking, therefore, the words of Christ and of the Apostle [Paul] as the strict rule, should not one say that the Church of today is rather inclined more to indulgence than to severity? It so happens that the accusation of oppressive rigidity made against the Church by the ‘new morality,’ in reality, attacks, in the first place, the adorable Person of Christ Himself."
These words, uttered 65 years ago in 1952 by Pope Ven. Pius XII against so-called 'situation ethics' ring true today now over one year since the publication of Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia. Despite Pius XII being the reigning pope when the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio entered the Jesuit seminary as a novice, Pius' condemnations of this "new morality" seem to have had little effect on him. Besides his daily homilies that frequently criticize "rigid" faithful Catholics, Pope Francis even told his fellow Jesuits he thought charges of "situation morality" are "booge…

Francis closes door on Medjugorje: "This is not the Mother of Jesus"

In the same papal interview that gave us the important SSPX update (previous post), Francis also produced what will most likely be as close to a final ruling on the Medjugorje hoax as we'll ever get, with the Pontiff proclaiming "This is not the Mother of Jesus." 
Francis, in a mocking way only he can deliver, further -- and rightly -- ridicules the hoax, comparing the fake woman in the fake apparition to a "head of a telegraphic office" who shows up at the same time every day. 
Let this be the final death knell that took far too long to toll.
Pope Francis: ... The apparitions, the presumed current apparitions: the report [Ruini] has its doubts. I personally am more nasty, I prefer the Madonna as Mother, our Mother, and not a woman who’s the head of a telegraphic office, who everyday sends a message at such hour. This is not the Mother of Jesus. And these presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion. But, it’s clear. Who thi…

VERY IMPORTANT: Pope speaks on relations with the Society of Saint Pius X

It was on his airplane interview during the flight back from Portugal to Rome:
"I would toss out any form of triumphalism. None. Some days ago, the Feria Quarta of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, their meeting - the call it the Feria Quarta, because it’s the fourth Wednesday - studied a document and the document still hasn’t reached me, the study of the document. This is the first. Secondly, the current relations are fraternal. Last year, I gave a license for confession to all of them, also a form of jurisdiction for marriages, but even before the problems, the cases they had, for example, had to be resolved by the Doctrine of the Faith. The Doctrine of the Faith carries them forward. For example, abuses. The cases of abuse, they brought them to us, also to the Penitentiary. Also the reduction to the lay state of a priest, they bring to us. The relations are fraternal. With Msgr. Fellay I have a good rapport. I’ve spoken many times… I don’t like to hurry things. …

Cova da Iria: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."

Exactly 100 years ago, after some preparatory celestial manifestations in the preceding years, Our Lady appeared to Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto near a tiny village in central Portugal, the very western end of Europe, not very far from Lisbon, a village named after the common Muslim female name "Fatima".
There is so much to be said about the message of Fatima! But why not let Our Lady speak? Her voice is in her words to the little children of Fatima from May 13 to October 13, 1917. October 1917 would also be the month in which, in the opposite end of Europe, in Russia, supernatural forces would bring hell to earth in the work of the Bolsheviks. We are still living in the world of October 1917, of Our Lady and Christ the Sun on one side, and devilish Cultural Marxism on the other. But, fear not: her "Immaculate Heart will triumph".
13 May 1917

Francis in Fatima: "I am the bishop dressed in white."

Well, it's quite a claim Pope Francis will make officially in his visit to Fatima, Portugal, that starts today.
Let us first recall the reference to the "Bishop in white" made in the "third part of the secret", made public on May 13, 2000:
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

Reminder: Summer Theology Program in Norcia, Accepting Applications

As announced here on February 21, the sixth annual Summer Theology Program of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, held in Norcia, Italy, is accepting applications from prospective students. With the program running from July 2-14, now is the time to apply!
In addition to our usual heady round of prayer, study, conversation, quiet walks, and ample Italian meals, this year's program is going to be special in two ways.

Cardinal Burke: The dignity of the office does not alter the humility of the man

One does not have to dumb down and create liturgical monstrosities in order to demonstrate humility -- indeed, one must not do so.
Humility and kindness are in one's daily routine, in charity unfeigned (II Cor., 6:6) -- not in corruption of Truth and Beauty.

(Both images from the Institute of Christ the King; photomontage by anonymous source.)

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Job, prophet

St. Job and the pre-incarnate Logos

Listed third in order on this day in the traditional Roman Martyrology is an Old Testament saint who is remembered for excelling in the virtue of patience:

This Day, the Tenth Day of May

. . . In the land of Hus, the holy prophet Job, a man of wonderful patience.

Sermon for the Third Sunday after Easter: "Beauty must not be divorced from truth"

Father Richard G. Cipolla
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)
From the Confessions of St. Augustine:“Lately have I loved you, beauty so ancient and ever new; late have I loved you. And see you were within, and I was in the external world and sought for you there.” And from Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot:“Is it true, prince, that once you declared that ‘beauty would save the world’”

The un-demonization of the SSPX II: Bishop Rey makes his move

Last week we reported on the decision of Bishop Alain Planet of the French diocese of Carcassonne to give full privileges to priests of the SSPX to celebrate marriages within that diocese. This week we received similar news from the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon. There is nothing surprising about this as the diocese is shepherded by Bishop Dominique Rey who has shown himself to be a strong supporter of tradition. His Excellency welcomes men into his seminary who prefer to offer the traditional rite of Mass and he regularly ordains those men according to that rite.
Below is His Excellency’s decree:

Prophetic Speech of Pope Ven. Pius XII Warns of "a Church which Weakens the Law of God"

In this time of new persecutions against Christians by Islamicists, secularists, and sexual anarchists, and of a pope who so openly emboldens and gives comfort to these and other enemies of Holy Mother Church, while shirking his duty to confirm his brethren in the faith, we publish in English translation (below) the prophetic words of the Venerable Pope Pius XII in his address Ancora una volta given on February 20, 1949 to the people of Rome, condemning the persecution of Christians in Eastern Europe by the socialist and communist dictatorships. 

Pius XII warns of "a Church which weakens the law of God, adapting it to the taste of human desires, when she should loudly proclaim and defend it" and which would give herself over to "the shifting sands of the opinions of the day." He asks: "Would you recognize in such a Church the features of your Mother’s face? Can you imagine a Successor of the first Peter, who would bow to similar demands?" Can anyone now de…

Pope Decides to let Tradition-Friendly Bishop in Switzerland Stay in Office for Another Two Years

When the tradition-friendly bishop of Chur in Switzerland, His Excellency Vitus Huonder, turned 75, the liberal, Swiss Church establishment expected the Holy Father to accept his resignation at once. But, to their surprise, Pope Francis only accepted his resignation nunc pro tuncthat is, he is to stay on for another two years. 
Bishop Huonder has supported the traditional Mass in his diocese, and has been criticized by more liberal elements in the Swiss Church — including a fellow bishop — for his uncompromising defense of Catholic morality. He has been opposed by the same rebellious elements of the diocese of Chur that were successful in ousting one of his predecessors (His Excellency Wolgang Haas, now Archbishop of Liechtenstein). A source within the diocese of Chur has told Rorate Caeli that it was Bishop Huonder who asked Pope Francis to grant the priests of the SSPX faculties for confession. In an interview with the Luzerner Zeitung, Bishop Huonder says that he has a good rapp…

Our prediction realized: Trump protects the Catholic Church

This is not a pat ourselves on the back moment: It's simply a realization of the carnage that could have ensued if Hillary Clinton had been sworn into office back in January and not Donald Trump. That realization should be accompanied with a Te Deum especially today.
Back in July of last year, while not endorsing the soon-to-be-president, we explained what the "Johnson Amendment" was, and how a President Trump could fix it -- and with that fix, protect the Catholic Church. 
Today, not only did President Trump sign an executive order addressing the Johnson Amendment by easing restrictions on political speech from the pulpit, he also brought long-sought relief to the Litter Sisters of the Poor, telling them "Your long ordeal is over."
Thank you, President Trump, and may God continue to bless your presidency. 

See below for our original post on this matter:
[July 17, 2016]

This blog has purposely stayed out of the 2016 political fray, especially during the Republi…

You Suggest: New book presented by Bishop Rifan on the TLM

From a reader:
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the “Cultor de Livro” publishing house has just released the third book of the collection “Introibo ad Altare Dei” (in Portuguese “Entrarei no Altar de Deus”). This book is written in Portuguese.

Bishop Schneider interview in Polish Catholic daily mainstream paper

By Piotr Falkowski   Nasz Dziennik
Interview of His Excellency Mons. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda (Kazakhstan)
You and two other Bishops have written a letter calling to pray for the Pope related to “Amoris laetitia” exhortation in order to encourage Him to explain the doubts around it.
– In these circumstances the only indispensable act of the Pope consists in unambiguously confirming the Divine truth of the indissolubility of marriage not only regarding doctrine, but also regarding the practice, as it did Jesus Christ and according to His example all of His Vicars on earth, the Roman Pontiffs. The central task of a Pope is precisely this: to confirm his brethren in the faith. This task is not optional, but commanded by Christ Himself (cf. Lc 23, 32).
How may we as the Catholics express our doubts and confusions with respecting due love and obedience to the successor of Peter?
– That there are doubts and a huge amount of confusion regarding t…

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 79 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.
** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. **
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 y…


Jesus, Lily of the Valleys Mary, Queen of May Joseph, Patron of Laborers
Orate pro nobis!
Chalice - Lily. The chalice is the lily, stylized and adapted to our use, and which, born from water, is proper for us to take to our lips.
The lily, and especially the water-lily, also called lotus or nenuphar, has always had a peculiar place in the symbolism of all religions. It projects its roots to substantial and deep regions, separated from our sight by these fluid, contemplative, mirror-like layers which are the domain of that which is contingent, unstable, of illusion and of this "time", of this reflection which relates to several circumstances.

Saints of the Old Testament: Jeremias, prophet and martyr

Michelangelo's Sistine Jeremias the Prophet
Throughout her history, the Catholic Church has adorned the first day of May -- Our Lady's month -- with a wealth of holy feasts and commemorations. Since 1955, May 1 has been the Feast of St. Joseph the Workman, Pope Pius XII having moved the feast to that day from the Wednesday of the second week after Easter in order to challenge the demonic ideologies of socialism and communism which had adopted May Day for their own celebrations. Before 1955, however, May 1 in Roman Catholic tradition was the ancient commemoration of the martyrdoms of the Apostles Philip and James (their feast for several years being moved to May 11 to make way for St. Joseph the Workman before being moved again to May 3), and many traditional Catholics continue to celebrate the Feast of Sts. Philip and James on May 1.

Besides Philip, James, and Joseph, the traditional Roman Martyrology reminds us of the martyrdom of a yet another great saint who is venerated on…