Rorate Caeli

Pontifical High Mass in D.C.: photos, video and recap

The solemn pontifical Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception this past Saturday in Washington, D.C., was a major success.  The massive upper church was full, and the traditional Latin Mass was absolutely gorgeous, with thousands of laity in the nave and dozens of priests, deacons, brothers and seminarians in the sanctuary. 

His Excellency Alexander Sample, of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, was very well received for the 2 1/4 hour Mass, and offered a magnificent liturgy on Saturday afternoon after rehearsing for two hours with all of the clergy, servers and schola on Friday evening. His sermon was a fitting tribute to traditional liturgy and Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledging the dedicated young adults (including a Juventutem shout-out) driving the TLM movement (while paying homage to TLM elders) and the continued grass-roots momentum following ten years of Summorum Pontificum.  And he met hundreds upon hundreds of people after the Mass, taking photos with them, hearing their stories and sharing his perspective as a young archbishop who was raised 100 percent a product of Vatican II, yet came to learn and love the TLM as a result of Summorum.

German Liberalism is a Cancer in the Church

Cancer: a terrible disease, with which we are, as many of you, terribly familiar. Therefore, we do not make use of it as a metaphor unadvisedly.

Since the age of the Council, and before it, Liberal Catholicism of the German extraction has been a life-threatening cancer metastasizing throughout Holy Mother Church. A Pole and a good German tried to reverse the disease, but the deep pockets of the German Bishops who funded the "St. Gallen Mafia" got what they paid for in 2013: increasing confusion throughout the Church.

Their first Trojan Horse was the non-issue of Communion for lifelong adulterers, rammed through in two Synods, followed by the outrageous liberal paragraphs and footnotes in "Amoris Laetitia".

Now, their new Horse also involves the Most Blessed Sacrament: that the Prince of Darkness is their instigator cannot be doubted because they only attack the holiest thing in the Church, the Sacred Eucharist.

Antidote to the denial of Hell

How should a faithful Catholic respond to last month's scandalous declaration on Holy Thursday -- ". . . those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls" -- that Pope Francis is reported to have spoken to Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari? (As many have noted, this is not the first time Scalfari has reported the pope making such a statement, and Pope Francis has not yet specifically or categorically denied Scalfari's reports on this  matter)

In response to so lamentable a report, it is the first duty of the faithful to reaffirm their belief in the Catholic doctrine of the hell of the damned.

SATURDAY: Solemn pontifical Mass in D.C.; final details

Tomorrow's solemn pontifical Mass at the basilica shrine in Washington, D.C., will be either the most attended, or second-most attended, traditional Latin Mass in the United States in the last 50 years.

Until now, the 2010 Mass in the same location, the upper church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, has held the top honor, with "more than 3,500 people," according to the Washington, D.C. archdiocesan newspaper.  Can it be topped?

The celebrant for the 1 p.m. Mass will be His Excellency Alexander K. Sample, who issued the following "tweet" yesterday:

De Mattei: The religious war of the IV Century and of our times

Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana
April 25, 2018

The Church advances through history forever victorious, in accordance with the marvelous plans of God. The first three centuries reached their peak under Emperor Diocletian (284-305). All appeared to be lost. Discouragement was a temptation for many Christians and among them there were those who lost the faith. But those who persevered had the immense joy, not many years later, of seeing the Cross of Christ blazing on the banners of Constantine at the Battle of Saxa Rubra (312). This victory changed the course of history. The Milan-Nicomedia Edict of 313, granting liberty to Christians, overturned Nero’s senatus consultum, which had proclaimed Christianity a “superstitio illicita”.  The public Christianization of society had its beginnings in a climate of enthusiasm and fervor.

Appeal: Help keep the Roman Forum going

Many of our readers are aware of the critical work our friend, Dr. John Rao, and The Roman Forum  do every year on behalf of the Church and traditional Catholics everywhere. Their work is more important today than ever before, for obvious reasons.

The last time we implored you, our reader, to help, we helped raise over $10,000 to keep the Forum going. We are asking now once again. Please read below, and please click here to donate whatever you can.

The Roman Forum
11 Carmine St., Apt. 2C
New York, NY 10014
Dear Friends of the Roman Forum
Funds continue to be needed for Gardone because we have eleven scholarship candidates from among the eighty Summer Symposium participants--future seminarians, and students---none of whom has sufficient means for attending. Each of them needs $1,500 to be able to attend. Allow me to summarize why I think attendance is so important.

Event: Pilgrimage to ICKSP shrine in Preston, England, 5th May

The Latin Mass Society with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is organizing a pilgrimage to the magnificent historic church of the English Martyrs in Preston, Lancashire, on Saturday 5th May. (The national feast of the Martyrs of England and Wales falls on 4th May.)

Don't whitewash history: Paul VI was front and center the creator of the New Mass of Paul VI

Sandro Magister, the great Vaticanist of our age, has an article today with important excerpts from a biography of Paul VI in which it is claimed that he was almost a victim of the liturgical revolution, a bystander who had almost no control over what Bugnini did at the Consilium for the application of the liturgical reform.

Sorry, we don't buy that.

Saying Paul VI had little responsibility for the New Mass of Paul VI is like saying Louis XIV had no responsibility for Versailles, since he was not a mason and didn't actually build it with his hands.

Give us a break! Paul VI was the driving force of the liturgical reform. He was front and center the man responsible for it. Of course he was queasy about it: He was the executioner responsible for taking the traditional Roman liturgy to the scaffold, and even executioners feel queasy about doing their job.

All this whitewashing of history is taking place just because of the absurd canonization of Paul VI, which has been steamrolled against the sentiment of the faithful, who never had any devotion for this lousy pope and his disastrous pontificate. In order to implement his liturgical revolution, he led the persecution of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who only wanted to preserve the minimum of Tradition.

It is Lefebvre who should be canonized, not his persecutor.

Event: The FSSP at 30

The Very Reverend Josef Bisig, FSSP, is the co-founder and first superior of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, currently serving as the rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska, in the U.S.

Father Bisig will be in Washington, D.C., later this month to serve as a deacon at the throne for the solemn pontifical Mass at the basilica shrine on 28 April. [Coverage here, here and here.]  While in the region, he will offer a Missa Solemnis in northern Virginia on 29 April followed by delivering a talk on the former indult Mass, the creation of the Fraternity and the TLM events that led up to these historic benchmarks.

Event: Upcoming Concerts in Denver (April 21-22 and 29) to Feature Premiere of New Polyphonic Mass

The Vittoria Ensemble, under the direction of Rick Wheeler, is proud to announce the upcoming premiere, at three concerts in the Denver, Colorado area, of a new polyphonic Mass: the Missa Honorificentia Populi Nostri, composed in 2017 by Rorate contributor Dr Peter Kwasniewski.

Guest Op-Ed: Carrying the joys of Easter into daily life

By Veronica A. Arntz

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui paschalia festa peregimus; haec, te largiente, moribus et vita teneamus. Per Dominum nostrum.—Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who have celebrated the Paschal Feast, may, be Thy bounty, retain its fruits in our daily habits and behavior. Through our Lord.

After the glories of Easter week, these words of the collect of Low Sunday, or Domenica in albis, give us the direction for the rest of the liturgical year. Through the grace of God, we are meant to carry the fruits of the time we spent praising and thanking God during Easter week into our daily habits and lives.

Pontifical High Mass at D.C. basilica shrine, new details

In just two and a half weeks, a solemn pontifical Mass at the throne will be offered in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  This will be only the second such Mass there since 1969.  The first one was in the upper church of the basilica shrine in 2010, with over 3,500 people filling the largest church in North America.

Rorate announced the basics about the planned 28 April 2018 Mass back in July and announced the celebrant (Archbishop Sample) earlier this year. The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy -- the sponsors and organizers of the Mass -- have now shared several new details, including the planned music (Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, including Father Victoria's "Missa Salve Regina") and sacred ministers (Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King and diocesan clergy).  Dozens of priests and seminarians will be in choir, and women religious will be in the front pews. The organization's latest news release is here.  The event page for the Mass is here.

Cardinal Burke to give speech in Bratislava

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will be giving a lecture on the indissolubility of marriage on April 27th at 6 P.M. in the Malá Scéna Theater in Bratislava, Slovakia (Dostojevskeho rad 7), as part of the Bratislavské Hanusove Dni. The lecture will be held in English, with a simultaneous translation into Slovak. The Italian philosopher and defender of Amoris Laetitia, Rocco Buttiglione will also be speaking at this year’s Bratislavské Hanusove Dni. 

Event: Pro Missa Tridentina Annual General Meeting, Bamberg, Germany, April 21, with Dom Josef Vollberg and Dr Peter Kwasniewski

St Jakob, one of the oldest churches in Bamberg
Pro Missa Tridentina, a group of Catholics in Germany dedicated to preserving and fostering the liturgical heritage of the Church, is pleased to announce its annual general meeting on April 21, 2018. Dom Josef Vollberg, abbot of Mariawald, will be the celebrant of the Pontifical High Mass. Dr. Peter Kwasniewski will be the featured speaker. Information below, in German and in English. All events are open to the public except for the lunch on Saturday, which requires registration with PMT.

De Mattei - Tu es Petrus: True devotion to the Chair of Saint Peter

On Saturday April 8th 2018, at Deerfield (Illinois) at the invitation of Catholic Family News, and on Monday April 10th at Norwalk in Connecticut, as a guest of The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny, Professor Roberto de Mattei,  delivered addresses on the theme: Tu es Petrus: true devotion to the Chair of  St. Peter.   Here is the text of his conferences.

Tu es Petrus: True devotion to the Chair of Saint Peter

We find ourselves before one of the most critical moments that the Church has ever experienced in her history, but I am convinced that true devotion to the Chair of Saint Peter can offer us the weapons to come out of this crisis, victorious.

True devotion. Because there is false devotion to the Chair of Peter, just as – according to Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort – there is a true and false devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

The promise of Our Lord to Simon Peter in the city of Caesarea Philippi is clear: Tu es Petruset super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam (Matt. 16: 15-19).

“Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The primacy of Peter constitutes the bedrock on which Jesus Christ instituted His Church, and on which She will remain solid until the end of time. The promise of the Church’s victory, however, is also the announcement of a war. A war, which, until the end of time, will be waged by hell against the Church. At the center of this fierce war is the Papacy. The enemies of the Church, throughout the course of history, have always sought to destroy the Primacy of Peter, because they have understood that it comprises the visible foundation of the Mystical Body. The visible foundation, because the Church has a primary and invisible foundation which is Jesus Christ, of Whom, Peter is the Vicar.

True devotion to the Chair of Peter is, under this aspect, devotion to the visibility of the Church, and constitutes, as Father Faber observers, an essential part of the Christian spiritual life. [1]

Sermon for Quasimodo Sunday: My Lord and My God!

by Father Richard Cipolla

And Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!.” (John 20:28)
He arrived late on purpose, about five minutes, but he was not the only one that was late.  He found a seat in the back of the church so he could leave right way before Communion, not that he cared if anyone saw him leave. It made no difference to him.  He was there only out of a sense of obligation to his mother and father.  This was the once a year church visit.  It was usually on Easter, but he had heard that there was still great snow in Colorado, so he made a deal with his mother that instead of Easter he would go on the Sunday after Easter, and so here he was.

A homily from Silverstream Priory for Low Sunday — Ireland's Eleventh Hour

(Our thanks to Dom Mark Kirby, O.S.B., for his permission to share this homily with our readers.)

Hæc est victória, quæ vincit mundum, fides nostra.
This is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. (1 John 5:4)

The Primate of All Ireland, His Grace, the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, enjoins all priests today to address the great question that very soon will be put to the people of Ireland. By God’s liturgical providence, a number of things converge in today’s Holy Mass to offer us, at this crossroads in Irish history, both light and truth.

EVENT: Roberto de Mattei in Norwalk, Connecticut - Monday, April 9

The Society of St Hugh of Cluny and the parish of St Mary, Norwalk will be sponsoring a lecture by Prof. Roberto de Mattei at the church of St Mary, Norwalk, CT. The title of Prof. de Mattei’s presentation is:
Tu es Petrus: True Devotion to the Chair of St. Peter
The lecture will follow a festive orchestral Mass in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation.
Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation: 6:00 PM

Lecture by Prof. de Mattei: 7:30 PM
A Reception will follow.
All are welcome – no charge!

In this presentation  Prof. de Mattei will discuss  the Papacy as established by Christ, the real "authentic magisterium," the Pope's authority, the errors of Papalotry, and what must be our reception and reaction to the present Pontificate.

De Mattei: Pope Francis and the Eternal Destiny of Souls

Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana
April 4, 2018


The purpose of the Church is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Salvation from what? Eternal damnation, which is the destiny awaiting those who die in mortal sin. For the salvation of men Our Lord offered His Redeeming Passion. Our Lady reminded us of this at Fatima: the first secret, conveyed to the three little shepherds on July 13th 1917,  began with the terrifying vision of a sea of hell-fires. If it hadn’t been for Our Lady’s promise to take them to Heaven - writes Sister Lucy -  the visionaries would have died of shock and fright. Our Lady’s words are upsetting and severe: “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” A year before, the Angel of Fatima had taught the three little shepherds this prayer: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls into Heaven especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”

A Rare Moment of Clarity from Cardinal Lehmann

Cardinal Lehmann

H.E. Karl Cardinal Lehmann, who went to his eternal reward on March 11, was one of the most influential German prelates of the past few decades. A former assistant to Karl Rahner, Lehmann’s interpretation of the “spirit” of Vatican II was largely implemented in Germany. As president of the German Bishops’ Conference from 1987–2008, Lehmann accelerated the pace of the development of the German Church towards ever greater conformity to the spirit of the age. From a traditionalist point of view, his attempts at reconciling the German Church to the modern world were an unequivocal disaster, and a betrayal of his sacred duty as a successor of the Apostles. Remarkably, Lehmann’s last will and testament, written in 2009, but not published till after his death last month, can almost be read as admitting as much. Lehmann writes:

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 85 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Special Easter Week Request to Priests: 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.

EX ORIENTE LUX -- Happy Easter!

Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e il moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.

c. VII
Hosanna holy God of Sabaoth,/ abundantly illumining with thy brightness/ the blessed fires of these kingdoms ... 
The soul of every brute and of each plant,/ The ray and motion of the sacred lights,/ Draw from complexion with meet power endued.
But this our life the Supreme Good inspires/ Immediate, and enamours of itself;/ So that our wishes rest forever here. 
And hence thou mayst by inference conclude/ Our resurrection certain, if thy mind/ Consider how the human flesh was framed,/ When both our parents at the first were made. 
(Transl. H.F.Cary, adap.) - ...Our regular Paschal feature...