Rorate Caeli

L'Osservatore Romano: Good priests holding faithful back from Francis' revolution

A long piece from the failing Vatican newspaper, but the key portion is below, translated by Rorate's Francesca Romana. Francis' war on good priests -- and on all faithful Catholics -- continues: 

HABIT IS NOT FAITHFULNESS: The Conversion asked for by Pope Francis
The greatest obstacle that hampers conversion -- which Pope Francis wants the Church to do -- is  constituted in some measure, by the behavior of a good part of the clergy, both high and low [ranked]. Behavior, at times, of non-communication if not hostility. Like the disciples in the Garden of Olives, His disciples are still asleep. The fact is disconcerting. For this reason the phenomenon ought to be examined deeply, in its causes and modalities. The clergy drags the community behind them, which, on the contrary, should be accompanied in this extraordinary moment in time. A great part of the faithful have understood this favorable time, despite everything, this kairós, the Lord is giving to His community. A great part of the faithful are celebrating. Yet, the portion closest to somewhat unenlightened priests are kept inside old horizons, the horizon of habitual practices, of outmoded language, of repetitive thought of no vitality. Deep down, the Sanhedrin was always faithful to itself, rich in devout obedience to the past, mistaken for faithfulness to tradition, poor in prophecy. What are the reasons for all this?
First place on the list has probably got to be the modest cultural level of a part of the clergy, be they high or low- ranked. We cannot generalize and therefore, we have no difficulty in admitting that there are many exceptions in this state of things, fortunately. In many priests, unfortunately, theological culture is scant and even less so is their Biblical preparation. The cause of this deplorable state of things is easily identifiable. When a course of studies at the university level, just to give an example, does not leave the student with the desire to think, to continue studying, to exercise a minimum critical sense (of things), it means that it has failed in its task. The approach of a great number of seminaries does not favor the forming of a mentality of work and commitment. The years of preparation for the priesthood should foster the awareness about the necessity of the office as a true and proper job. Like any other person the priest also works to earn his bread.

Sermon for the 8th Sunday After Pentecost: Protestantism in the Church has failed -- Let's try Catholic Tradition

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
St Mary's Norwalk, Connecticut
July 30, 2017

How the hammer of the whole earth has been cut off and broken! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations! "I set a snare for you and you were also caught, O Babylon, While you yourself were not aware; You have been found and also seized Because you have engaged in conflict with the LORD." Jeremiah 50:23-24

Brokenness. That is the only word, a neologism I am sure, that describes our current situation, our plight.  Last evening before dinner I read the New York Times, skimming as I always do. I had no hope of objectivity in the reporting of the news. Objective reporting went several years ago.  But I was deeply saddened to see in an article on yet again another personal debacle within the Trump administration of revolving doors and twitter invective the reporting of the ipsissima verba of an off hand conversation of someone who is working at a high level in the administration and who worked to get someone high up fired and succeeded.  The Times reported his language in the very words he used, which included four letter words that are now common in the artistic media and in everyday talk among so many of our young people but still never until this time have been printed in a newspaper that is read by many people indeed, including young people.  For me this was a powerful sign of where this society is.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Times did this on purpose to make clear the grossness of these people who are close to the president.  But printing those words is crossing a line that needed not to be crossed, because we all know the low level to which discourse has descended among the majority of people.  When the terrible earthquake destroyed the town of Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict and destroyed the monastery of Benedictine monks there, I said that this was the sign of the end of Western civilization as we knew it, that is, a civilization founded on the Christian faith, not perfect, but yet with a grounding in faith in the person of Jesus Christ and all that that means.  What is going on not only in this country but also in the whole Western world provides incontrovertible evidence that we are living not only in a post-Christian time but also in a real way in an anti-Christian time.

You suggest: 14th annual Marie Reine du Canada pilgrimage

The 14th annual Marie Reine du Canada pilgrimage from Lanoraie, Quebec to the miraculous shrine of Notre Dame du Cap, will take place September 2-4, 2017. It is an arduous 100KM (62 miles) walk along the St. Lawrence River in the footsteps of the North American martyrs. Pilgrims from Ontario, Quebec and the United States are served en route by priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). Mass is celebrated daily in Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Paul Claudel at Le Figaro (1955): Mass facing the people means there's no longer an Altar (full translation)

By one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, Paul Claudel, writing for the most important French daily, as the proponents of the "Liturgical Upheaval" that would lead up to the post-Vatican II disasters, especially the New Mass, started to abuse the Traditional Mass with the illicit posture "facing the people".

Paul Claudel
Le Figaro
January 23, 1955

I wish to protest with all my strength against the growing practise in France of saying Mass facing the people.

The most basic principle of religion is that God holds first place and that the good of man is merely a consequence of the recognition and the practical application of this essential dogma.

The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [Victims and prayers]. It is not God presenting Himself to us for our convenience to make us indifferent witnesses of the mystery about to be accomplished.

The novel liturgy deprives the Christian people of their dignity and their rights. It is no longer they who say the Mass with the priest, by “following” it, as the saying very rightly goes, and to whom the priest turns from time to time to assure them of his presence, participation and cooperation, in the work which he undertakes in their name. All that remains is a curious audience watching him do his job. Small wonder that the impious compare him to a magician performing his act before a politely admiring crowd.

Fake News fever in the Catholic world: No, Pope won't abolish Summorum

There seems to be a Fake News epidemic in traditional Catholic websites -- the latest of which are repeated reports of "rumors" (there are true and untrue rumors...) according to which Pope Francis wants to "abolish" the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The rumors recur periodically, with variations. Most often, it is said that Francis will do so as soon as there is a "deal" with the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) for the establishment of a worldwide Personal Prelature.

These rumors are not true.

Event: Bishop Rifan Pontifical High Mass and conference in São Paulo celebrating Summorum Pontificum 10th anniversary

From a reader in Brazil:

You report: Priest in drag on national TV says his 'talent' is God's gift

The following report is from a reader in Ireland who feels compelled to share this story with the rest of the Catholic world. Every time you think it can't get worse in Ireland ...

On Irish National TV (RTE 1) last Sunday night, we saw an Irish parish priest from the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore, perform a drag act as "Shirley Bassey." It was the third show in a series of "Francis Brennan's Tour of Vietnam" with 12 travellers including Fr. Richard Geoghegan, P.P. (Ballyneale, Tipperary).

Father Geoghegan says he is following the parable Jesus preached about not hiding your talents under a bushel but to go out and use them. He is saying that he has a talent for drag and he is using the drag talent that God gave him.

Titus Brandsma, O.Carm. (July 26, 1942)
- 75th Anniversary

Father Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite friar and prominent Dutch scholar, was one of the over 1,000 Catholic priests who perished in the concentration camp of Dachau, near Munich (Bavaria, Germany). It is thought that Brandsma, who had been interned in Dachau for several months, was executed exactly 75 years ago today, on July 26, 1942. 

On that Sunday, Brandsma's sacrifice was united to the holy One he had celebrated so many times at Holy Mass. On that Sunday, the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, new waves of persecution would be launched in his native Netherlands due to the reading from pulpits across the nation of the Pastoral Letter of the national episcopate (see previous post). 

Why had Brandsma been detained and sent to Dachau? He had been under strict surveillance by the German forces of occupation and their local National Socialist collaborators for some time. He was a great master of Carmelite spirituality, but that was not the problem for the occupation forces - the problem was the influence the former Rector of the Catholic University of Nijmegen had with Abp. de Jong, Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht. 

Catholic periodicals had always blocked the publication of Socialist and Communist propaganda - they should not, and could not, print National-Socialist propaganda either. Abp. de Jong published the following note, drafted by Brandsma:

Circular of the Archbishop of Utrecht in the name of the Episcopate to the directors and editors-in-chief of Catholic periodicals

16 January 1942

Carmelites get FSSP chaplain in Philadelphia

Coming from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, this is very big news for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. It follows the news we broke here that the FSSP are now in thr Archdiocese of Baltimore:

Dear Friends, I’m sharing some joyful news. Today, our Archdiocese welcomed six nuns from the Carmelite Monastery of Valparaiso, Nebraska, and four nuns from the Carmelite Monastery of Elysburg, Pennsylvania. They are transferring to the Carmelite Monastery of Saint Joseph and Saint Anne here in Philadelphia (The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia).As a result of these transfers, there is now a community of twelve nuns in the Philadelphia Carmel, which was founded in 1902. Since that time it has been home to generations of Discalced Carmelite nuns who have dedicated themselves to a cloistered life of contemplation and prayer for the good of us all. The Carmel is also welcoming a new chaplain, Father William Allen, FSSP. 

Extensive Interview with Cardinal Müller: "I'm loyal to the Pope, not an adulator"

IL FOGLIO interviews Cardinal Müller: the Church cannot be sustained by the applause of the world

Matteo Matuzzi, the Vatican reporter for Il Foglio, in an exclusive interview with the now former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith. “I am loyal to the Pope, but not an adulator”, declares the German prelate. He also says what he thinks about the Dubia: “I don’t understand why serene discussion can’t be started on the Dubia.  I’ve only heard insults so far.”

Matteo Matzuzzi
Il Foglio
July 21st 2017

Rome.  The truth about the last audience between the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Pope Francis; the divisions in the Church after the Synod. “The Magisterium  does not have the authority to correct Jesus Christ, if anything it’s the opposite”.

Your Eminence, do you have any idea why the Pope decided to remove you as Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? “No, I don’t know, because the Pope didn’t tell me. He just informed me that my mandate would not be renewed. There have been many speculations in the mass-media recently, and I would say that the nomination of the new Secretary of the Congregation (Monsignor Giacomo Morandi) made public last Tuesday, is a key in understanding these maneuvers. 

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller is serene;  German theologian and Prefect for five years of what was once the Holy Office, nominated by Benedict XVI, confirmed by Francis, who, even so, told him of his decision to release him of his office last June 10th.  With Il Foglio he retraces once again the stages that led to his removal: from the controversies on the interpretation of the post-Synod Exhortation Amoris laetitia and,  more in general, he reflects on the (bad) state of religion in Europe.  Yet there was talk of his discharge for some time, so much so, that there were even speculations from the media of eventual diocesan relocations for the editor of Joseph Ratzinger’s opera omnia.

A common calendar and lectionary for the Novus Ordo and TLM?

A committee already tried, and failed: 

Cardinal Sarah's La Nef article marking the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum has awakened the debate over the possibility (and desirability) of a "common rite" derived from the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo. (Dr. Joseph Shaw has responded to the cardinal's proposals on this blog.) One of Cardinal Sarah's main proposals is that of common calendar and lectionary for the TLM and the NOM. The proposal does not come out of the blue; versions of it have been floated by some proponents of the reform of the reform since the 1990's. Furthermore, from 1991 to 2007 the use of the Novus Ordo lectionary was theoretically permitted in celebrations of the 1962 Missal, and was actually imposed on such celebrations in a handful of dioceses.

Right after the article came out, the Claretian liturgist Fr. Matías Augé -- an old liberal but very well-informed -- noted on his blog that a common calendar and lectionary was already attempted in the previous pontificate:

Important clarification from PCED on Sung Masses offered by Bishops

In recent years it has become more common for bishops to celebrate Sung Mass more sacerdotali, that is, just as priests do and without the sacred ministers (subdeacon, deacon and assistant priest) and ceremonies peculiar to a Solemn Pontifical Mass. This has to do with the difficulty in most places of having enough sacred ministers, and the desire to have something like a Solemn Pontifical Mass whenever there is a bishop available to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Unfortunately, the "Pontifical Sung Mass" was not foreseen in the rubrics of the liturgical books in force by the end of 1962, raising endless questions about the licitness of the practice. In response to a dubium from a Traditional Catholic choir in the Philippines, the PCED has now responded with a clarification on Pontifical Sung Masses.

In summary: bishops who wish to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal are to choose between Low and Solemn Pontifical Mass. The "Pontifical Sung Mass" is not among the choices.

Guest Op-Ed - Bishop Schneider: The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church

Once again, we are honored to post this guest op-ed, submitted to us by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider. We not only allow but encourage all media and blogs to reprint this as well. 

By Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Special to Rorate Caeli
July 21, 2017

The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church

The current situation of the unprecedented crisis of the Church is comparable with the general crisis in the 4th century, when the Arianism had contaminated the overwhelming majority of the episcopacy, taking a dominant position in the life of the Church. We must seek to address this current situation on the one hand with realism and, on the other hand, with a supernatural spirit – with a profound love for the Church, our mother, who is suffering the Passion of Christ because of this tremendous and general doctrinal, liturgical and pastoral confusion.

We must renew our faith in believing that the Church is in the safe hands of Christ, and that He will always intervene to renew the Church in the moments in which the boat of the Church seems to capsize, as is the obvious case in our days. 

A reply to Cardinal Sarah on 'liturgical reconciliation'

It seems that the most trad-friendly Prelates of the Church actually want the Traditional Mass to disappear. Thus, Cardinal Burke said in 2011:

It seems to me that is what he [Pope Benedict] has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite – the 'reform of the reform,' if we may – all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent.

Cardinal Sarah has now said the same thing.

It is a priority that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can examine through prayer and study, how to return to a common reformed rite always with this goal of a reconciliation inside the Church.

Cardinal Sarah's concrete suggestions point to an intermediate state, in which the two 'Forms' have converged somewhat. I have addressed these suggestions in a post on the Catholic Herald blog here. Notably, the Novus Ordo Lectionary cannot be simply be inserted into the Vetus Ordo Missal, because it reflects a liturgical vision which is completely different from that of the ancient Mass: which is why all the other changes were made at the same time. A compromise between these two two understandings of what the liturgy is for and how it should work will not produce a perfect synthesis, but a muddle.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Daniel, prophet

While the Roman Church's traditional calendar of saints on this day bestows chief honor upon the holy virgin Praxedes, next in order after St. Praxedes the traditional Roman Martyrology also recalls her children's memory to an Old Testament saint who was blessed with the singular grace of seeing remarkably detailed visions and uttering astoundingly precise predictions of the course of the history of Israel, the Church, and the world:

This Day, the Twenty-First Day of July

At Rome, the holy virgin Praxedes, who was brought up in all chastity and in the knowledge of the divine law. Assiduously attending to watching, prayer and fasting, she rested in Christ, and was buried near her sister Pudentiana, on the Salarian road. 

At Babylon, the holy prophet Daniel.

St. Daniel, whose name in Hebrew means "God is my judge," was a heroically virtuous young Jewish man whom the Babylonians carried away from Jerusalem into captivity in 605-604 B.C.

De Mattei - Pope Francis’ new Pantheon of Saints

Roberto de Mattei
Correspondenza Romana
July 18, 2017

Among the many “work groups” created by Pope Francis is the “Mixed Commission of Croatian Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Experts for a joint rereading of the figure of  Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagabria, which met on the 12th and 13th July 2017 and held its last meeting at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in  the Vatican, under the chairmanship of Father Bernard Ardura, President of the  Pontifical Committee For Historical Sciences. The joint communiqué from the Commission, published by The Holy See Press Office on July 13th, states that “ “The study of Cardinal Stepinac’s life has taught that in history all the Churches have cruelly suffered diverse persecutions and have their martyrs and confessors for the faith.  In this regard, the members of the Commission agreed on the eventuality of future collaboration, in view of a work in common, to share the memory of the martyrs and confessors of the two Churches.” 

This statement, which synthesizes six work meetings held by the Commission, turns the Catholic conception of martyrdom upside down. Martyrdom, in fact, according to the Catholic Church, is death faced in witness to the Truth. Not any old truth, but the one Truth of the Catholic faith or morals. In the Church, for instance, the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist is celebrated, since he suffered death for having publically rebuked Herod’s adultery. St. Augustine’s saying applies here: non facit poena, sed causa (Enarrationes in Psalmos, 34, 13, col. 331). It is not death [itself] that makes a martyr, but the reason for the death, inflicted by hate of the Catholic faith or morals.

75th anniversary of the
Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the Netherlands
on the deportation of the Jewish population


Pastoral letter of the Dutch Bishops
July 20, 1942

We live in a time of great affliction, both spiritual and material. In recent times two specific afflictions have come to the fore: the persecution of the Jews and the unfortunate lot of those who are sent to work in foreign countries.

All of us must become fully aware of these troubles, and for this reason, they are now brought to our attention as a community.

These afflictions must also be brought to the attention of those who are responsible for them. To this end, the venerable Dutch Episcopate, in communion with nearly all the churches in the Netherlands, approached the authorities of the occupying forces concerning, among other things, the Jews, in a recent telegram of Saturday, July 11. The telegram stated the following:

"The undersigned Dutch churches, already deeply shocked by the actions taken against the Jews in the Netherlands that have excluded them from participating in the normal life of society, have learned with horror of the new measures by which men, women, children, and whole families will be deported to the German territory and its dependencies.

"The suffering that this measure will bring upon tens of thousands of people, the knowledge that these measures are contrary to the deepest moral sense of the Dutch people, and, above all, the hostility of these measures against the divine norms of justice and mercy urge the churches to direct to you the urgent petition not to execute these measures.

"Our urgent petition to you is also motivated by the consideration that, for the Christian Jews, these measures would make it impossible for them to participate in the life of the Church."

As a result of this telegram, one of the General Commissioners, in the name of the Reich's Commissioner [Reichskommissar], promised that Christian Jews will not be deported if they belonged to one of the Christian churches before January 1941.

Beloved faithful, when we consider the immense spiritual and physical misery that, for three years already, has threatened the entire world with destruction, then we think naturally of the situation that the Gospel of today [9th Sunday after Pentecost] paints for us:

"And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation." [St. Luke 19, 41-44]

Jesus's prediction was literally fulfilled: forty years later, God's judgment over the city of Jerusalem was accomplished. They had not, unfortunately, recognized the time of grace.

Now, too, everything around us points to a punishment from God. But, thanks be to God, it is not yet too late for us. We can still avert it if we recognize the time of grace, if we recognize what will bring us peace. And that is only the return to God, from whom for many years already a great portion of the world has turned away. All human means have failed; only God can still bring a solution.

Beloved faithful, let us first examine ourselves with a deep sense of repentance and humility. Are we not, after all, partly responsible for the disasters that affect us? Have we always fulfilled the duties of justice and charity toward our neighbor? Have we not sometimes entertained feelings of unholy hatred and bitterness? Have we always sought our refuge in God, our Heavenly Father?

When we turn to ourselves, we will have to confess that we have all failed. Peccavimus ante Dominum Deum nostrum: We have sinned before the Lord our God. [Baruch 1,17]

We also know, though, that God will not despise a contrite and humbled heart. [Psalm 50, 19] Cor contritum et humiliatum non despicies. We therefore turn to him and beg him with childlike confidence for his mercy. He himself tells us, "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you." (Luke 11,9)

In the Introit of today’s Holy Mass [9th Sunday after Pentecost], the Church calls to us with the words of the Psalmist: "For behold God is my helper: and the Lord is the protector of my soul." [Psalm 53,6] And the Epistle repeats the very comforting words of the Apostle: "Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it." [1 Cor. 10, 13]

Therefore, beloved faithful, let us implore God, through the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, that He will soon grant the world a just peace.

May He sustain the people of Israel, who are being so bitterly tested in these days, and may He bring them to true redemption in Jesus Christ.

May He protect those whose lot it is to work in foreign lands and to be separated from their loved ones. May He protect them in soul and body, protect them from becoming bitter and discouraged, keep them faithful to the Christian faith, and may God also strengthen those they left behind.

Let us implore Him for a solution for all those who are tested and oppressed, for prisoners and hostages, for so many who are threatened by death.

Pateant aures misericordiae tuae, Domine, precibus supplicantium: that the ears of your mercy, Lord, may be open to the prayers of those who cry to you.

This, our joint pastoral letter, shall be read in the usual manner next Sunday, July 26, during all scheduled Holy Masses in all the churches and chapels in our Church Province that have an appointed rector.

Given in Utrecht, the 20th day of July of the Year of Our Lord 1942.

We are very glad to provide the first online English translation (to our knowledge) of one of the most impressive Catholic documents of the 20th century: the Pastoral Letter of the Dutch Episcopate of July 20, 1942, written by and under the authority of the Archbishop of Utrecht, J. de Jong. It is a very short document, but it is filled with mercy and concern for those who were suffering most harshly under the German occupation of the Netherlands.

The myth of the Hermeneutic of Continuity

The following Rorate translation was first published by our Spanish-language partners "Adelante la Fe." 

Interview of José María Permuy, conducted by Javier Navascués

Papolatry is a widespread phenomenon in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics take as infallible everything the Pope says, failing to realize that the successor of Peter is only infallible under very specific and limited conditions and when he speaks ex cathedra, which in practice occurs only rarely. Conservative groups, together with many members of the Church, cherish an especial veneration for the Second Vatican Council and its documents. In effect, they elevate what was merely a pastoral council to the level of infallible dogma. In accordance with Benedict XVI’s thesis of the hermeneutic of continuity, they would interpret the Second Vatican Council in the light of Tradition, without rupture or break, without the least error, approving of everything. This cannot be.

José María Permuy, a professional in the field of education, a lecturer and author of many articles on the traditional teachings of the Church, explains on this occasion why it is not possible to speak of “hermeneutic of continuity” in its proper sense.

Why cannot this concept be accepted?

Because it is a half-truth, well-intentioned as it may be. It is certain that there are conciliar texts that are susceptible to two or more interpretations. There, precisely, lies the problem. If these texts were clear, there would be no room for diverse interpretations. The fundamental problem, therefore, is not the subjective interpretations that are made, but the ambiguities and the objective contradictions made in some of the affirmations of the Second Vatican Council in comparison with the Magisterium of all time.

It is true that over the years the Popes have tried to clarify doctrinal issues, such as the primacy of the Pope or the necessity of Christ and His one true Church for salvation. 

It is no less certain that on other occasions, the Popes, including Benedict XVI, have promoted, in theory or in practice, conciliar ideas contrary or alien to the Tradition of the Church, such as the separation of Church and State, ecumenical and interreligious prayer meetings, the recognition of the “martyrdom” of heretics and schismatics, the translation of the Mass into the vernacular and the progressive introduction and permission for Communion in the hand, extraordinary Eucharistic ministers, altar girls, etc… Francis is doing nothing but taking these erroneous ideas to their logical conclusions.

In God They Don't Trust: Anti-American Syllabus in Vatican journal, by Maureen Mullarkey

A view from the pew, by Maureen Mullarkey

My initial response—unbidden, unguarded—to the Civiltà Cattolica broadside against American conservatives was relief. Almost a kind of glee. The Emperor has thrown his New Clothes on the floor in a fit of pique; his courtiers bend low to pick up what is not there. The pantomime is fully in the open. Here, thankfully, is a barefaced specimen of intellectual sterility too obvious for a cosmetic gloss.
Illustration by Munro Scott Orr (1874-1955)

The Spadaro-Figueroa tirade is as nasty as it is ignorant. Writing as proxies for Francis, the pair make plain their boss’ uncomprehending distaste for America—its history, its politics, and its Christianity. They have given us an accidental exposé bereft of critical reflection and with no ear for its own cant. Of a piece with longstanding European disdain for the American character and manners, the invective suggests a crippling case of status anxiety vis-à-vis the global intellectual elite it aches to ingratiate.

Now available from Loreto Publications: Don Pietro Leone’s “The Destruction of the Roman Rite”

By Don Pietro Leone

I write this brief note to avert readers of the publication of the definitive English version of the book thus entitled by Loreto Publications, now available on ‘Amazon’. Readers may remember having read it in installments on Rorate Caeli some years ago.

"To the poorest daughter of Carmel,
honor speaks louder than fear."

Mother Marie: Sister Blanche...

First Commissary: I forbid you to continue...

Mother Marie: You have the power to force me to silence, but none to command me to it. I represent here the Reverend Mother Prioress and I shall take no orders from you.

A Commissary: Confounded old hag! She cannot be made to hold her tongue, fellow Citizen, but remind her that the Republic has a machine at its disposal that will leave her somewhat short of breath!

First Commissary: Enough! I repeat that you must behave as a true representative of the people! [He turns to Sister Blanche:] Young citizen, you have nothing to fear from us, who are your liberators! Say but one word, and you will find yourself beyond the sway of those who, to better put you in their power, have not feared to offend nature in usurping even the sacred name of "mother". Henceforth, you are under the protection of the Law.

Mother Marie: But she is first under my protection. Do you think I shall permit you to take any further advantage of the terror of a child? I shall take great care to avoid a language that you cannot understand. You know nothing of that which holds us here and keeps us united unto death - or, if once you knew it, it is now certainly forgotten. But there are still perhaps words which are common to us, and which can touch your conscience. Well, sir, you must know that to the poorest daughter of Carmel, honor speaks louder than fear.
Georges Bernanos
Dialogues des Carmélites

On the day following her feast, the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel would receive her dear French daughters, martyred for their faith in her Son and for their loyalty to His Church.

O glorious Martyrs of Compiègne, pray for us!

[Our regular July 17 homage.]
[Personal recess for several weeks]

The most extraordinary event in English history

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge - 766 years ago today, in 1251: has there been any other moment in English history whose consequences have aided so many souls throughout the world achieve and keep holiness, reaching final perseverance? Men and women, made of flesh, need material reminders of the presence of God in their lives - and what could be more profitable than the blessed physical sign that Our Lady's Mantle covers us at all times, that Her Divine Son keeps watch over us day and night?

fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium

Saint Elias, pray for us!
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us!
Queen of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

Benedict XVI: "Francis = Capsizing Boat" (Updated: Full Translation)

From the 2-page written homage (German original) by Pope Emeritus Benedict read today in Cologne for the Requiem of Cardinal Meisner:

A word of greeting from Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, on the occasion of the funeral Mass of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, on 15th July 2017

In this hour, when the Church of Cologne and believers further afield take their leave of Cardinal Joachim Meissner, I am with them in my heart and thoughts and am pleased to accede to Cardinal Woelki’s wish and address a word of reflection to them.

When I heard last Wednesday by telephone of the death of Cardinal Meissner, I could not believe it at first. We had spoken to each other the previous day. From the way he spoke he was grateful to be on holiday now, after he had taken part the Sunday before (25th June) in the beatification of Bishop Teofilius Maturlionis in Vilnius. His love for the neighbouring Churches in the East, which had suffered persecution under Communism, as well as gratitude for endurance in suffering during that time left a lifelong mark on him. So it was certainly no accident that the last visit of his life was made to a confessor of the faith.

What struck me particularly in the last conversations with the Cardinal, now gone home, was the natural cheerfulness, the inner peace and the assurance he had found. We know that it was hard for him, the passionate shepherd and pastor of souls, to leave his office, and this precisely at a time when the Church had a pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint. Yet I have been all the more impressed that in this last period of his life he learned to let go, and live increasingly from the conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck.

THE ULTIMATE INTERVIEW to Understand all About Pope Francis: Marcello Pera, Italian politician and close Ratzinger friend

Benedict XVI greeting Marcello Pera

Marcello Pera is an influential intellectual in Italy. A former president of the Italian Senate, he is a close friend of Benedict XVI, and even co-authored a book of lectures with him on the decay of the West (Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam)

In an interview with Naples newspaper Il Mattino, published on July 9, 2017, Marcello Pera presented what can reasonably be called the general view of Pope Francis by the wide moderate spectrum of Italians, and Europeans, of all classes.


"Bergoglio just wants to do politics, the Gospel does not matter at all"
Pera: "The indiscriminate welcoming [of migrants] risks exploding tensions"

Il Mattino
Naples, July 9, 2017
Interview by Corrado Ocone

Pope Francis, in a new exclusive interview granted to Eugenio Scalfari for "Repubblica" intervenes in the political debate with strong and explosive opinions that at one time would be considered "leftist". This time, the Pontiff turned to the great of the earth assembled in Hamburg for the G20, opposing as a matter of principle to every policy intending to control and limit mass immigration from poor nations to Europe. In order to better understand the ideas, and above all the political and media action of the Pope, in relation to those of his predecessor, we have posed some questions to the former President of the Senate Marcello Pera. He, a [classical] liberal and Catholic, has, as it is known, shared many ideas with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (even writing in four hands with him a book: Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, Mondadori, 2004).

Mr. President, what is the judgment you have reached regarding the continuous calls made by Pope Bergoglio on the welcoming of migrants? An indiscriminate, unconditional, total welcoming?

"Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding. It's evident to all that an indiscriminate welcoming is not possible: there is a critical point that cannot be reached. If the Pope does not make reference to this critical point, if he insists in a massive and total welcoming, I ask myself: why does he say it? What is the true end of his words? Why does he lack a minimum of realism, that very little that is requested of anyone? The answer I can give myself is only one: the Pope does it because he hates the West, he aspires to destroy it, and he does all he can to reach this end. As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition, Christianity as it has realized itself historically.

De Mattei - An example of Catholic resistance: Princess Elvina Pallavicini

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 12, 2017

Forty years ago a historical event took place: Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre held a conference on June 6th 1977 at the Pallavicini Palace in Rome, on the subject “The Church after the Council”. I  think it is worthwhile to recall that event, on the basis of notes and documents I have kept.
Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (1970), after the priestly ordinations of June 29th 1976, was suspended a divinis on July 22nd of the same year.  Informed Catholics however, had serious doubts as to the canonical legitimacy of these measures and in particular, incomprehension with regard to the behavior of Paul VI who seemed to reserve his censorships for only those who said they wanted to remain faithful to Church Tradition.  In this climate of disorientation, in April of 1977, Princess Elvina Pallavicini (1914 -2004) decided to invite Monsignor Lefebvre to her palace in the Quirinal, to hear his reasoning.

Princess Pallavicini was 63 years old at the time and the widow of Prince Guglielmo Pallavicini who had been killed on his first war mission in 1940.  For many years she had been in a wheelchair as a result of progressive paralysis, but she was a woman of indomitable spirit. She had a close group of  friends and advisors around her, among whom were Marquis Roberto Malvezzi Campeggi (1907-1979), Colonel of the Papal Noble Guard at the time of the corps’ dissolution in 1970, and Marquis Luigi Coda Nunziante di San Ferdinando (1930-2015), former Commander of the Italian Navy. Initially, news of the conference circulating during the month of May did not stir up any concern from the Vatican.  Paul VI thought it would have been easy to convince the Princess to desist from her idea and entrusted the task to one of his closest collaborators, “Don Sergio” Pignedoli (1910-1980) whom he had made a cardinal in 1973. 

For the record: The Anti-American Pope - two of Francis' closest confidantes attack US, American conservatives in Pope's own journal

The article was written in Civiltà Cattolica, the journal considered the official voice of the Vatican, and its diplomatic department (the Secretariat of State), and authored by two of the Pope's own closest confidantes, Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ (the editor) and Argentine Presbyterian Pastor Marcelo Figueroa (shockingly, the editor of the Spanish-language edition of the journal).

Due to its unprecedented nature, and the direct attack it makes on the United States, its current administration (including President Trump and Steve Bannon, one of the President's highest advisors), American Evangelicals, Conservative Catholics in the United States (and Europe and Africa, concerned with the rise of Islamism), and even on a specific website and person (Church Militant and Michael Voris), the article's overreach is nothing if not breathtaking.

The Civiltà site is down at the moment, so before any item is changed, this is what was originally published:


Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism

Antonio Spadaro S.J., Editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica
Marcelo Figueroa, Presbyterian pastor, Editor-in-chief of the Argentinean edition of L’Osservatore Romano
In God We Trust. This phrase is printed on the banknotes of the United States of America and is the current national motto. It appeared for the first time on a coin in 1864 but did not become official until Congress passed a motion in 1956. A motto is important for a nation whose foundation was rooted in religious motivations. For many it is a simple declaration of faith. For others, it is the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.

Saints of the Old Testament: Sts. Joel and Esdras, prophets

Heading the list of saints for this day in the traditional Roman Martyrology is the martyr Pope St. Anacletus, third Bishop of Rome and second Successor of St. Peter. Immediately following St. Anacletus in the Martyrology, however, are two Old Testament saints, holy men who were among those God sent to help prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah:

This Day, the Thirteenth Day of July

At Rome, St. Anacletus, Pope and martyr, who governed the Church of God after St. Clement, and shed luster on it by a glorious martyrdom. 

The same day, the holy prophets Joel and Esdras.

You report: New Sunday TLM in Connecticut

From a reader:

A brand new traditional Latin Mass has begun at Our Lady of Lourdes in Gales Ferry, CT. The Mass is offered each Sunday at 2p.m. Currently it is a Low Mass, but they hope to begin at least an occasional Missa Cantata.

Guest Op-Ed: Catholic Collapse in Australia Even Worse Than It Looks -- and Bishops are to blame

By an Australian Priest

The headlines did not exaggerate: "Christian heritage fades''; "Australia’s rapidly-changing population is more godless'' and "Atheists demand political influence as record numbers choose 'no religion on census'.''

Results of Australia's five-yearly Census, a detailed snapshot of how Australians live, where they come from, what they earn and what they believe were released this week. For those who value the nation's Christian underpinnings the picture was bleak.

The proportion of Australians who marked "no religion'' on their Census form was 29.6 per cent __ in stark contrastto 1966 when just 0.8 per cent of the population ticked that box. That year, 88 per cent of Australians identified as Christian; now it's a bare majority -- 52 per cent. Come the next Census in 2021,nominal Christians could be a minority, for the first time in the nation's history.

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: The Western Civilization is daughter of the Catholic Church | Looking forward to TLM as Ordinary Form

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
St. Mary's, Norwalk, Connecticut

Together we look forward to the time when the Traditional Roman Mass 
will once again be the Ordinary Form of the Mass

And who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you suffer anything for justice’s sake, blessed are you  So have no fear of their fear and do not be troubled; but hallow the Lord Christ in your hearts.   (I Peter 3: 14-15)

We have a president of this country who acts sometimes like a bull in a china shop.  One cannot help but wonder what he will say at the G-20 summit in Hamburg.  But he did give a speech in Poland a few days ago that caused quite a stir.  The Poles were quite stirred by the speech and liked it. The liberal press was stirred to attack what he said, especially in one part of the speech.  He asked whether the West had the courage and grit to defend Western civilization against those whose values are inimical to that civilization.  And he mentioned faith as a part of that civilization, and without being more specific he meant the Christian faith. 

I happened to be listening to NPR on my drive home through the back roads so I could avoid the eternal traffic on 95.  Late every afternoon they have a series on topical questions and choose one person from the left and another from the quasi-right, quasi because NPR seems to associate conservatives with red-neck Neanderthals who would be invited.  There was a woman from the Boston Globe as one of the participants-I need not say which side she represented.  The other was David Brooks from the New York Times, who, for that paper of record is a centrist, and does not always tow the Times line.  The woman chided Trump for his speech as being nationalistic and narrow and exclusionary, this based on his mention of Western civilization and as something worth fighting for.  David Brooks, to my pleasant surprise, said that he thought it a good speech and saw nothing wrong in Trump’s positive assessment of Western civilization that is worth fighting for.  He the civilization of Plato and Aristotle, of Rome, of the moral, teaching that was the basis for cultural and civic traditions that came from the ancients and were developed through two millennia:  this is something very real, and although far from perfect, was something Brooks is happy to be a part of.

What Brooks did not say, and probably dared not say, is that without the Christian appropriation of ancient Western culture, which deepened that culture in so many ways, the culture of which we are an integral part would not exist.  And to be more specific:  without the Catholic Church the past two thousand years would be incomprehensible and void of much meaning.  The Church’s strong influence in every facet of culture—from government to inventing the hospital, from the art and music that was inspired and supported by the Church to the development of rational thought that made possible modern science, but above all for the truly civilizing influence of the Church that turned barbarians into the English and the French.

FSSP sets own record for most ordinations in a year

The growth of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has been well known. This year, however, was a record-setter for the Fraternity as it ordained 19 young men into the priesthood -- it's most ever in a single year. 

Some key takeaways, articles and photos:

For the record: Francis first, always

We bring you, dear readers, this disturbing but not surprising anecdote simply to record it forever on this blog. But let's be honest: This pontificate, since the beginning, has put itself before Christ, before His Church's tradition, before His inerrant Word and, now, before His Mass. 

From the great Marco Tosatti, via First Things:

The first step of Müller’s Calvary was a disconcerting episode in the middle of 2013. The cardinal was celebrating Mass in the church attached to the congregation palace, for a group of German students and scholars. His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders and a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal. (This is a very delicate matter. I have sought an explanation of this incident from the official channels. Until the explanation comes, if it ever comes, I cannot give further details.) Obviously, Mūller was flabbergasted.

You Suggest: ICR seventh annual Sursum Corda Weekend

From a priestly reader: 

Sursum Corda is a nationwide initiative to foster the spiritual lives of the young adults in the apostolates of the Institute of Christ the King. For the seventh year in a row, Sursum Corda is offering a social and spiritual weekend for young people ages 18 and up, August 11-14.

The event will be held on the beautiful grounds of Mundelein Seminary just north of Chicago. Canon Commins (Vicar at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, St. Louis, Missouri) will be the chaplain for the camp, and several other canons are sure to be there as well. 

The program includes daily Mass, prayer in common and opportunity for confession, faith formation classes and discussions, and other social activities for young men and women.

The weekend begins with check-in at 3:00 PM on Friday, August 11 at Mundelein and will end on Monday, August 14 at 12:00 PM.

This year's admission fee is $250, which includes lodging and meals.  

TO REGISTER: Mail check AND registration form (CLICK HERE) to:

Institute of Christ the King
2653 Ohio Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118
To the Order of: Institute of Christ the King
For: Sursum Corda Retreat


Spaces are filling fast!

Address: University of St Mary-The Lake. 1000 E Maple Ave, Mundelein, IL 60060

For transportation possibilities, please contact your local Sursum Corda Group. You can also contact if necessary.