Rorate Caeli

The Canonization of Vatican II: The case for Pacelli, revisited

Today, it was reported that Pope Bergoglio announced last week in his annual Lenten meeting with priests in Rome, that Paul VI will be canonized a saint this year.

As terrifying as this is, it should come as no shock. No matter how much damage they did, no matter how many souls they lost to Hell, no matter how much they destroyed the liturgy and, with it, the Faith, one thing is clear: Vatican II is being canonized via these failed pontiffs.

Since 1983, and the dissolution of the Devil's Advocate, Catholics of good will can honestly question these canonizations. What cannot be questioned, however, is the tragedy that is the case for sainthood for Pope Pius XII.

While the post-Concilliar popes (yes, all of them), left nothing but destruction, or at best the slowing of destruction in their wakes, the Church under Pope Pacelli flourished in every category.

And so we bring you this post, from 2014, as a reminder of what the last, saintly, Pre-Concilliar Pontificate accomplished in the United States:

Event: Lecture by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski in Naples, Florida, February 24

To Rorate's friends in Florida, I am happy to announce that I will be in Naples next weekend to give a lecture on “Reconnecting with Tradition: The Church’s Hope for the Future.” 

The lecture will be held at 4:00 pm in the Great Room at the St. Laurent Condominium, 6849 Grenadier Blvd., Naples, FL, 34108. All are welcome to attend. I will be signing copies of both of my books, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis and Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness, for any who might be interested. Following the lecture there will be an information sesson about Wyoming Catholic College as well. I would certainly enjoy meeting fellow lovers of Catholic tradition, including Rorate readers.

On Sunday I will be singing with the Schola at the 8:45 am High Mass at the FSSP apostolate Corpus Christi Chapel (located at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, FL 34120), and again, I'd be delighted to meet anyone afterwards.

Guest Op-Ed: Penance for the sake of Heaven -- Reflections for Ash Wednesday

By Veronica A. Arntz

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. The Church, in the wisdom of the old liturgical calendar, gave us the past few Sundays to prepare ourselves for this season of fasting, prayer, and penance. Lent is the time of the liturgical year in which we pause and recognize our weak human nature, our inclination to sin, and our mortality. Some will look at our rigorous sacrifices and fasting as foolishness, given how our society is wont to pursue instant gratification. What is it that motivates our penances? Perhaps reflecting on that question will help us to choose penances that will deepen our spiritual lives and our love for God.

In Question 12 of the Prima Pars of his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas considers the knowability of God; in other words, how does man know God, both in this life and in the next, when he is able to see His Divine essence? In Article 6, Thomas asks whether some will see the Divine essence more perfectly than others will. He argues in the affirmative, stating that it is based on the intellect’s greater capacity that will allow some to behold the vision of God more perfectly. The object—the vision of God—will remain the same, since God does not change, but the more perfectly an intellect shares in the light of glory, the more perfectly He will be seen. Thomas explains:

Lent is coming: Time to prepare

Lent starts tomorrow. We're running out of time to prepare.

In the past, you could find a traditional Lenten Mission at many parishes. Now, unless you are near a traditional parish, they are nearly extinct -- or worthless.

Fortunately, we are not meant to live in the past, we are meant to live in the now. And, now, we have the Internet. And there is an abundance of good on the Internet, along with the bad.

As we do every year, we bring to your attention this wonderful, traditional, five-part Lenten Mission by the holy and learned Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea. While it is not short, it does go by very quickly, and is easy to follow and understand. It's clear, concise and bold.

As the season nears, you would do well to listen to this, to pray on it and to use it to prepare for a fruitful Lent -- and be ready for it to change you for the better.

Click on each of the five themes of the mission: Prelude to the Mission * On Death * On Judgment * On Hell * On Heaven * (download all MP3 files in one here)

Fine new edition of Bouyer's Christian Initiation

Our friends at Cluny Media continue to impress with their reprints of old out-of-print Catholic classics. Whatever you may think about this or that element of Louis Bouyer's writings, he was a major theologian of the 20th century, of a stature that almost no one can compare to today; he had a commitment to traditional theological principles, on the basis of which he eventually came to regret some of the progressive ideas he espoused as a younger scholar; and he did penance for his involvement with the Consilium by telling the world in his Memoirs about the mendacity of its leader and the incompetence of many of its members. 

This book, Christian Initiation, is an eloquent and penetrating little book, an interesting combination of apologetics and mystagogy. Here is a summary , courtesy of the publisher.

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Louis Bouyer (1913–2004) was a member of the French Oratory and one of the most respected and visionary Catholic scholars and theologians of his time. Formerly a Lutheran minister, Bouyer entered the Catholic Church in 1939. A visionary Catholic scholar and theologian, Bouyer was peer and friend of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger as well as T. S. Eliot and J. R. R. Tolkien.

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam: Lent Is coming...

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia quæ scripta sunt per prophetas de Filio hominis. (From the Gospel for the Sunday in Quinquagesima, Luke xviii, 31: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man.)

Christianity is as old as the world; for it consists, essentially, in the idea of a God -- Creator, Legislator, and Savior -- and in a life conformable to that idea. Now, God manifested himself to the human race from the beginning under the threefold relation of Creator, Legislator, and Savior, and from the beginning, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, from Moses to Jesus Christ, there have been men who lived conformably with this idea of God.

Three times before Jesus Christ, God manifested himself to men in this threefold character: by Adam, the first father of the human race; by Noah, the second father of the human race; and by Moses, the lawgiver of a People whose influence and existence have mixed them up with all the destinies of mankind.

Two Collects Most Appropriate for Our Times

St. John of Matha offering Holy Mass
The old liturgy continues to show how its relevance never fades, and even grows in intensity, in ways that may be surprising to us but were always foreknown to God in His Providence.

In the nineteenth century in the Western world, who would have thought that the Moslems were a particularly great threat? At that time, they were not. But today? That's a different story, as we all know. Similarly, while sin has always been dogging our steps in every era, one could not have spoken prior to the Sexual Revolution of a veritable plague of vices against the sixth commandment, including the systematic and ever-earlier loss of innocence inflicted by Satan and his busy disciples on the children of our time. If ever an age needed a saint who models innocence of life and urges us to preserve it in chastity or recover it in penance and self-control, that age would be ours.

The idea that the old liturgy was getting to be "irrelevant" and the new one is "relevant" is one of those superficial sayings that quickly withers under examination. In reality, it is quite otherwise: the old has such a rich content and durable structure that it weathers every storm and emerges with new brightness as the needs of the times shift. Well might the words of the Psalmist be applied to the usus antiquior: "Thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's." The new liturgy, in contrast, is so tethered to the narrow time-bound theories of its academic fashioners that it meets the needs of an ever-shrinking category of modern people who are not young enough to be post-modern or wise enough to be pre-modern.

De Mattei: The spirit of resistance and love for the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
February 7, 2018

As the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ election draws near, we hear repeatedly that we are facing a dramatic and absolutely unprecedented ‘page’ in the history of the Church. This is only partly true. The Church has always experienced tragic times which have seen the laceration of the Mystical Body since its very beginnings on Calvary right up to the present day.

Global scandal: Francis exposed as a liar by own advisers on abuse victim

From the Associated Press, in what is turning out to be the greatest scandal of a sorry Pontificate:

AP exclusive: despite denial, Pope got abuse victim’s letter


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis received a victim’s letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.

The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has “zero tolerance” for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.

Sermon for Candlemas: And then there was silence

Fr. Richard Cipolla

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.   For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”  (Luke 2: 29-30)

He waited in the gathering darkness as he had every day for so long now.  He tried to think back how long he had been doing this, but his mind seemed not to work well in thinking about the past.  He remembered the fasting, giving to the poor, how no one was ever rejected who came to his house, he remembered saying the prayers, keeping the faith.  What else did he remember?  He remembered the longing and the dread.  The longing for an end to this waiting, he remembered the words of the prophet Malachi: the Lord will suddenly come into his temple. Into his temple--those words, those words which he had taken as a sign that he was meant to wait, and to wait here, not sure what he was waiting for, but he knew that his life was to wait against that dread that would envelop him especially at night when he could not sleep, that dread, almost a vision of a future of blackness and death. In these hours he feared for his children and his children’s children, what would they know when faith was gone, what would they know when the obligations of love were denied, feeling a hovering over a birth season of darkness.

Guest Op-Ed: Reflections on obedience for the Feast of Candlemas

 By Veronica A. Arntz

The feast of Candlemas is a rich tradition in the Church; it is a day that we celebrate many events, including the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, and the Nunc Dimittis of Simeon. In reflecting on this beautiful feast day, one common theme that we find present is obedience. Obedience is the proper response of an individual to God’s invitation and call; it is the fitting response to God’s commandments and law. We too should strive in obedience to follow the commandments of God, just as we find in the Holy Family and the aged Simeon.

The first example of obedience is Mary who, even though she was conceived without original sin, went to be purified in the Temple in accordance with the Mosaic Law. As we read, “And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’)” (Luke 2:22-23, RSV-CE).

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 86 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! 

** 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 you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.