Rorate Caeli

As first revealed by Rorate, Bishop of major Swiss diocese retiring to SSPX house

In January, Rorate was the first English language venue to reveal (and confirm) that the bishop of Church, the major Swiss diocese that includes the financial center of the country, Zurich, was planning on spending his retirement in a house belonging to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).

Today, the Holy See announced the retirement of Bishop Huonder, and a joint communique by the Bishop and the SSPX confim it.

Salvini: “Personally, I entrust Italy, my life and your lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let’s entrust ourselves to the six Patrons of Europe.”

H/T Messainlatino blog

Yesterday, the leader of an Italian political party, at a packed rally in Piazza Duomo, Milan, invoked the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and the Holy Patrons of Europe “for the peace and prosperity of our peoples”: words that immediately stirred the hearts of Catholics who love Jesus and His Church "usque ad effusionem sanguinis".

SSPX on 'Heresy Open Letter': "A Radical Approach Doomed to Failure"

The General House of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) has published an extensive analysis of the open letter accusing the current Pope of heresy and published a couple of weeks ago.

We post it here for the record of events of this tumultuous pontificate.

Regarding the Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church

MAY 17, 2019

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, twenty or so Catholic theologians and university professors published an Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church, inviting them to intervene with Pope Francis, to ask him to renounce the heresies of which he is accused. In case he persists, the canonical crime of heresy would be established, and the pope would then be “subject to the canonical consequences.” The summary published by the authors explains this last point: if Francis obstinately refuses to renounce his heresies, the bishop will then be asked to declare “that he is freely divested of the papacy.”

Event: Another diocesan priest to offer TLM as first Mass

From a reader:

Mass of Thanksgiving offered by soon-to-be-ordained Rev. Deacon Brian O'Hanlon, seminarians of the Archdiocese of Boston. Deacon O’Hanlon will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston by Cardinal Sean O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on Saturday, May 18, at 11a.m.

On Sunday, May 19 at 10:30a.m., at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes parish in Newton, Ma, newly ordained Father O'Hanlon, assisted by Rev. Juan Carlos Rivera, SJ, will offer a Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving as his first Mass. 

All are invited to attend. 270 Elliot st Newton, Ma., 02464.

De Mattei: Cardinal Krajevski’s “proletariat expropriation”

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
May 15, 2019

On May 12th, Cardinal Konrad Krajevski, Pope Francis’s Almoner, reactivated the electricity in an illegally occupied building on Via Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, in the centre of Rome.  In order to do this, he had to break the seals put there by the Public Electricity Corporation (ACEA) which had disconnected the electricity because of  the occupants’ unpaid bills (more than 300.00 Euros) over the last five years,  

Maradiaga, the Leader of the Mafia

On May 1st, Crisis magazine published an article by Julia Meloni on the open letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy.

We believe in it is gathered some important information regarding Cardinal Maradiaga, the man, one could say, who did most Mammon could do to elect Cardinal Bergoglio pope in 2013. For the record of future events, we reprint below the portions of that article dealing specifically with Maradiaga's activities. As the man behind the curtain in this Pontificate, it is useful to know what he does and what he did:

On the eve of the 2013 conclave, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga busily phoned cardinal voters from the Honduran embassy in Rome. He was one of the conclave’s key kingmakers—and he was vigorously promoting then-Cardinal Bergoglio for pope.
That same day, Maradiaga attended a private meeting of Bergoglio supporters, including key revolutionaries from the St. Gallen mafia. Together, they tallied at least twenty-five votes for Bergoglio—who later opened, notably, with twenty-six. On the conclave’s second day, Maradiaga was back at work, shooting down a rival group’s lunchtime rumor that Bergoglio had only one lung. Four days later, the newly elected Pope Francis asked Maradiaga to head his powerful new Council of Cardinals.

Recent Profane Novelties: A Dialogue on the Death Penalty

The papal apologists who have been so vocal in recent weeks about "how dare you criticize the pope and accuse him of heresy" have fallen eerily silent in the face of his explanation of "development of doctrine" when speaking last Friday, May 10, to the International Union of Superiors General of Women Religious:

The Church is not only Denzinger, that is, the collection of dogmatic passages, of historical things. This is true, but the Church develops on her journey in fidelity to Revelation. We cannot change Revelation. It’s true the Revelation develops. The word is “development” — it develops with time. And we with time understand the faith better and better. The way to understand the faith today, after Vatican II, is different than the way of understanding the faith before Vatican II. Why? Because there is a development of knowledge. You are right. And this isn’t something new, because the very nature — the very nature — of Revelation is in continual movement to clarify itself.

Also the very nature of the moral conscience. For example, today I said clearly that the death penalty is not acceptable — it’s immoral. But, fifty years ago, no. Did the Church change? No. Moral conscience has developed. A development. And the Fathers [of the Church] understood this. In the 800s [actually 400s] there was a French Father, Vincent of Lerins, who coined a nice expression. He says that the knowledge of faith — I’ll say it in Latin, and then I’ll translate it — ut annis consolidetur, dilaetur tempore, sublimeture aetate. That is, it grows with the years. It is continually growing. It doesn’t change, it grows. It expands with time. It is better understood. And with the years it is sublimated. 

Event: Diocesan priest's FIRST Mass to be TLM (and newest member of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society)

Two great things to report out of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. This Saturday, May 18, Rev. Deacon Michael Rocha will be ordained a priest by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The very next day, Sunday, May 19, he will offer his first Mass -- a Solemn High traditional Latin Mass. We are told this will be the first time in decades that a diocesan priest's first Mass will be traditional in the Archdiocese. 

Also of note, on this wonderful day, he will become the 91st priest of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. 

CLICK HERE for details on the Mass, time and location. 

CHECK BACK HERE next week and video of his first Mass should be uploaded for your viewing. 

God bless soon-to-be Father Rocha and thank you Archbishop Cordileone for not only allowing, but fostering, tradition in your priests. 

Event: FSSP Superior-General celebrates Solemn Mass in Colombia

The Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) will be in the village of Anolaima, Cundinamarca (near the Colombian capital Bogota), where the FSSP has had a mission for years. A Solemn Mass will be celebrated on May 26:

(Source: local faithful)

“Of What Use Is a Changing Catechism?”: Dr Kwasniewski in Chicago, June 14

I have been invited to give a talk by the Catholic Citizens of Illinois at their monthly Forum Luncheon on June 14, 2019. The event is held at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, and begins at 11:45 am. Tickets are $40; the Club requires business attire. To register, call Maureen at 708-352-5834 or use this link.

Op-Ed: Happy Birthday to Dog?

Paulus Potter, A farmer with his herd (1648) - Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel

The days are getting warmer and, in a green square of a midsize town, tables are laid. A large cake, numerous snacks, "Happy Birthday to You" is sung enthusiastically -- and no child in sight.

There are sixteen adults and seven dogs.

It seems birthday parties for pets are quite common these days. It truly takes a suspension of reason to have it in such a grand form and in such a public setting. There is something inherently childish in almost every birthday party: children enjoy the small fantasy and playfulness of each of these events, it makes "sense" to them. It makes absolutely no sense to animals.

Yet, with no children around to partake of these festivities, the very absurdity of the situation is made manifest, though ignored by those present: this really is the new normal... Every month, there are growing signs that everywhere in the West children are disappearing, as pets are even more anthropomorphized by their owners than they already were.

It was not supposed to be like this.

May, Mary's Month - III: Whoever finds the Immaculata, finds Jesus | Zieleński | Kolbe

Mikołaj Zieleński 
Magnificat (1611)
We cannot take rest as long as there is in the world one soul in danger, who does not yet know the Immaculata. Our human frailty, limited resources or any other worldly difficulty must not restrain us; let us confide in the Immaculata, let us place ourselves truly in Her hands and She will continue to win the battles of God, as at Lepanto, as at Vienna. We must place our Lady in every soul so that from every soul sin be expelled and Jesus introduced. Whoever finds the Immaculata, finds Jesus.

New book: The Case for Liturgical Restoration

Long-term readers of Rorate Caeli will remember the series of short 'Position Papers' I published on behalf of the FIUV--Una Voce International--on a variety of subjects about the ancient Mass, both aspects of it which need to be explained to those unfamiliar with it, and ways in which it can assist the Church in evangelisation.

These papers, gathered together and thoroughly revised, are now available as a book from Angelico Press, with a Preface by Cardinal Burke.

I will be organising book launch events in Oxford, London, and Rome.

You can buy them from the Latin Mass Society in England, from Angelico Press in the USA, and from Amazon.

the-case-for-liturgical-restoration cover

The Case for Liturgical Restoration

Una Voce Studies on the Traditional Latin Mass


Preface by Raymond Cardinal Burke

432 pages
Paper (ISBN 978-1-62138-440-3): $19.95 / £16.50
Cloth (ISBN 978-1-62138-441-0): $30.00 / £24.00

Vatican II Springtime: the Collapse of Female Religious in Latin America

The number of female professed religious in Latin America:

(1) 1980: 120,016 (89,936 in South, 30,080 in Central America and Mexico)

Note: In 1980, the population of Latin America was of approximately 364,000,000,including approximately 92,000,000 in Central America and Mexico

(2) 2016: 102,953 (69,552 in South, 33,401 in Central America)

May, Mary's Month - II: The Immaculata, the Exterminatrix of all heresies

Peter Philips
Gaude Maria Virgo
[I]f it becomes children not to omit the imitation of any of the virtues of this most Blessed Mother, we yet wish that the faithful apply themselves by preference to the principal virtues which are, as it were, the nerves and joints of the Christian life - we mean faith, hope, and charity towards God and our neighbor. Of these virtues the life of Mary bears in all its phases the brilliant character; but they attained their highest degree of splendor at the time when she stood by her dying Son. Jesus is nailed to the cross, and the malediction is hurled against Him that "He made Himself the Son of God" (John xix., 7). But she unceasingly recognized and adored the divinity in Him. She bore His dead body to the tomb, but never for a moment doubted that He would rise again. Then the love of God with which she burned made her a partaker in the sufferings of Christ and the associate in His passion; with him moreover, as if forgetful of her own sorrow, she prayed for the pardon of the executioners although they in their hate cried out: "His blood be upon us and upon our children" (Matth. xxvii., 25).

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Sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday, by Saint Vincent Ferrer - "Nowadays the dogs provided by Christ to keep the sheep make peace with the wolves of hell."

Sermon for the Second Sunday after Easter - Good Shepherd Sunday

Saint Vincent Ferrer, O.P.

"But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd." (St. John, 10:12-16)

Our sermon shall be from the holy gospel of this Sunday. And we shall have many good teachings for the illumination of the mind and reformation of life. But first let the Blessed Virgin be saluted.

The proposed word for a theme and the basis of our sermon is the world of our Lord Jesus Christ speaking of himself saying: "I am the good shepherd". The goodness of this Blessed shepherd toward his sheep, namely of the Christian faithful, is shown in today's holy Gospel in four ways:

-First reason, because he buys the sheep dearly;
-Second, because he keeps them carefully;
-Third, because he feeds them abundantly; and
-Fourth, because he guards them safely.

First Reason: Christ buys his sheep dearly 

May, Mary's Month
- I- Mary, the foundation, the noblest after Christ

Giovanni Gabrieli
Sancta et Immaculata Virginitas
quibus te laudibus efferam, nescio:
quia, quem caeli capere non poterant,
tuo gremio contulisti.
Genuisti qui te fecit,
et in aeternum permanes Virgo.
[C]an anyone fail to see that there is no surer or more direct road than by Mary for uniting all mankind in Christ and obtaining through Him the perfect adoption of sons, that we may be holy and immaculate in the sight of God? For if to Mary it was truly said: "Blessed art thou who hast believed because in thee shall be fulfilled the things that have been told thee by the Lord" (Luke i., 45); or in other words, that she would conceive and bring forth the Son of God and if she did receive in her breast Him who is by nature Truth itself in order that "He, generated in a new order and with a new nativity, though invisible in Himself, might become visible in our flesh" (St. Leo the Great, Ser. 2, De Nativ. Dom.): the Son of God made man, being the "author and consummator of our faith"; it surely follows that His Mother most holy should be recognized as participating in the divine mysteries and as being in a manner the guardian of them, and that upon her as upon a foundation, the noblest after Christ, rises the edifice of the faith of all centuries.

Vatican walls

A congressional hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives this week featured El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz discussing illegal immigration and border security.

A keen ear by a reporter at the Washington Examiner highlighted an exchange between the bishop and the ranking minority (Republican) member of the border security subcommittee: 

"Regarding the sovereignty of the church and as it relates and compares with the sovereignty of our nation, the church has been a light for the world for 2,000 years — a place of refuge, a place where a child of God could seek spiritual prosperity," said [Congressman Clay] Higgins, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations.

"But the sovereignty of the church has been protected by the security of the church. One of the most famous walls in history is the wall around the Vatican. I would ask you, bishop, in the area that you serve, do your churches lock their doors after hours?" he asked.

"Many of them do," replied Bishop Mark Seitz, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops representative for the Catholic Diocese in El Paso, Texas. "I would point out that that wall you refer to at the Vatican also has arms embracing and opening to the world, if you've been to the ... "

De Mattei: “The most terrible schism the world has ever seen”

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispomdenza Romana
May 1, 2019

On February 4, 2019, at Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al- Tayyeb, signed the document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”. The declaration opens in the name of a God, who, if he has to be a God common to all, cannot be anything other than the Allah of Muslims.  The God of Christians, in fact, is one in nature, but Triune in persons, equal and distinct, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since the time of Arius and thereafter, the Church has been battling the anti-Trinitarians and the Deists who deny, or set aside this mystery, which is Christianity’s greatest.  Islam, on the contrary, rejects it in horror, as the Sura “of authentic worship” proclaims: “He, God, is one! God, the Eternal One! He will not generate, nor was he generated, and none is equal to him!” (Koran, 112, 2,4).  

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. The Society now stands at 90 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 in English to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. CLICK HERE to download in Latin and CLICK HERE to download in Spanish

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.

May, a Very Special Month:


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.

Saint Catherine of Siena to the Pope: "Don't believe in the counsels of the devil!

(In Festo S. Catharinae Senensis)

Alas, sweet my father, with this sweet hand I pray you, and tell you to come to discomfit our enemies.

On behalf of Christ crucified I tell it you: refuse to believe the counsels of the devil, who would hinder your holy and good resolution. Be manly in my sight, and not timorous. Answer God, who calls you to hold and possess the seat of the glorious Shepherd Saint Peter, whose vicar you have been. And raise the standard of the holy Cross; for as we were freed by the Cross--so Paul says--thus raising this standard, which seems to me the refreshment of Christians, we shall be freed -- we from our wars and divisions and many sins, the infidel people from their infidelity. In this way you will come and attain the reformation, giving good priests to Holy Church. Fill her heart with the ardent love that she has lost; for she has been so drained of blood by the iniquitous men who have devoured her that she is wholly wan. But comfort you, and come, father, and no longer make to wait the servants of God, who afflict themselves in desire.

And I, poor, miserable woman, can wait no more; living, I seem to die in my pain, seeing God thus reviled.

Saint Catherine of Siena
Letter to Pope Gregory XI

"The Beatification of Satanelli" - Patron of Communist Terrorists and Road Accidents

Angelelli next to a symbol of  extreme Marxist violence

Something unbelievable happened today in Argentina: along with three other locals, Enrique Angelelli, Bishop of La Rioja, who died in a car crash in 1976, was "beatified as a martyr"...

Well-known Spanish Catholic pundit Luis Fernando Pérez Bustamante, made the following comment:

An infamous day in the history of the Church. A bishop close to the terrorist 'Montonero' movement will be 'beatified' as a martyr.

Such an insult to the memory of true Martyrs cannot and must not remain unpunished.

It is hard for a Pope to fall this low.

In fact, this Pontificate is summed up perfectly with this beatification. It is the absolute opposite of true holiness, true Tradition, to the Catholic ethos, to moral, doctrinal, and spiritual decency.

Last year, when the incredible news first surfaced, we posted the following text and editorial, which we repeat on this day of infamy.


There were many radical bishops in the wild years following the Second Vatican Council. But Enrique Angelelli, bishop of La Rioja, Argentina, was probably the most radical. He was a Communist in all but name and stridently supported the terrorist organization "Montoneros", the leftist terrorist branch of the Peronist movement. It can be undoubtedly said that the horrid military dictatorship that governed Argentina from 1976 until the Falklands War was brought about as a brutal overreaction to the terrorist attacks coordinated by Montoneros in favor of a Socialist-Peronist revolution.

Angelelli was so leftist, so radically leftist and so political, that the shocked practicing faithful of his own diocese used to call him in life "Satanelli". He died in a car accident in 1976. Yet Francis has decided to beatify Satanelli as a "martyr"! (It is all very ironic because, even though it is claimed, now, that Fr. Bergoglio opposed the dictatorship, at the time he was considered an ally of the military, and even close to the most brutal of the Junta's members, Admiral Emilio Massera.)

La Nación, the oldest and most respected daily in Argentina (the only major newspaper that supported the pro-life position in their recent victory against abortion in the national Senate), ran the following editorial on this startling piece of news. La Nación is also, by the way, an ally of Francis, and its Rome correspondent, Elisabetta Piqué, is the journalist who is probably closest to Francis -- so this is obviously not moved by any animus against the Bishop of Rome.


A Political-Ideological Beatification
Bishop Angelelli does not, in any way, represent the model of Christian exemplariness that the Church demands to start a canonization procedure
July 30, 2018

On August 4, 1976, Bishop Enrique Angelelli died, after the rollover of the vehicle in which he was travelling in National Route 38, in La Rioja, along with Father Arturo Pinto, who survived. In the report made immediately after, following comprehensive search for evidence -- autopsy, accident expert summary, photos of the place of the accident, and the testimony of Pinto, who alleged memory loss and being in a state of shock -- the procedure was archived under the name "Angelelli, bishop Enrique A. rep./death."

Albertus Magnus Center Summer Program in Norcia

The St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies will be holding its 8th annual summer theology session June 16th – 28th in Norcia, Italy, in partnership with the Monastero San Benedetto in Monte.

This summer’s program will be focused on St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the first eight chapters of the Gospel of John. Faculty include the Rev. Dr. Thomas Crean, O.P., Dr. Alan Fimister, and the Rev. Dr. Yosyp Veresh.

Summer Study Program on Galatians with Daily Traditional Mass

Overview: Each summer brings with it a number of opportunities for further education in congenial Catholic settings. This August 12-16, the Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine and the Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies are partnering with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to offer a five-day theology program studying the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians with the aid of St. Thomas Aquinas's superb commentary.

Fontgombault Easter Day Sermon -The Lessons of the Benedict XVI text: Atheistic Globalism enslaves, but Christ Lives!

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 21st, 2019)

Do not be afraid.
Mk 16:6

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Fontgombault Easter Vigil Sermon: The Resurrection and what is the meaning of the Notre-Dame de Paris Fire

Notre-Dame de Fontgombault

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 21st, 2019)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Sri Lanka Easter Martyrs: Sine sanguinis effusione non fit remissio.

When Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (Hebrews, 9)

The image above is the powerful witness of an age: our own time, in which God wished us to live. It is a statue of the Risen Lord, sprinkled with the blood of Martyrs killed on this Easter Sunday by terrorist explosions against Catholic churches in Sri Lanka. Over 150 dead so far, and scores of injured, in these churches filled with Catholics joyfully celebrating the greatest of Feasts, and in other targets in the country.

- Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini
- A Meditation of Saint Alphonsus on Paradise

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.*

Commedia, Paradiso (c. VII)

Salve, Festa Dies: Hail, O Festive Day!

Fr. Cipolla's Sermon for Good Friday 2019: The Death of God destroys the Absoluteness of Death

Ecce lignum Crucis!


My son sent me a text: Notre Dame is on fire. I was doing something else and did not immediately check on the news. Then I did. I watched what was happening in Paris, the flames, the silent observers, the media, commentators who had no idea of what Notre Dame means or what is its deep significance and who tried to fudge things with platitudes. I sat there mesmerized. And then an image I will never forget. The fleche, the spire of the cathedral, aflame, collapsed and fell out of sight. And the flames continued to roar. Suddenly the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, is seen arriving with an entourage. Next to him is a cleric in a grey shirt and plastic tab collar. They both look serious. Notre Dame is burning. But they do not join the hundreds of Catholics standing there singing hymns, most of them young people, singing, above all, the Salve Regina.

Fontgombault Sermon for Maundy Thursday 2019: “You could not keep watch with me for one hour!”

Giotto, The Kiss of Judas, Scrovegni Chapel

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 18th, 2019)

You could not keep watch with me for one hour.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Today, the Church does not spare liturgical splendors, as she commemorates the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and the holy Orders. Today, the celebration uniting all the members of the presbyterium manifests very opportunely the communion of all priests with Christ, the one Priest of the New Covenant.

We have just heard St. John’s narrative of the washing of the feet, as a prelude to the institution of the two sacraments, and to the long discourse after the Last Supper. Jesus knows His hour has now come, when He must pass from this world to His Father. It is the hour when He must say His last words, and give His last examples.

Among the latter, the washing of the feet holds a special place. It takes place during the supper, and it is unexpected, for it disrupts the supper’s order. Whereas this act is normally reserved for servants, Jesus makes a point of carrying it out Himself, in favor of disciples who do not understand its meaning. Peter protests. The Lord’s answer is irrevocable: “If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with Me.” (Jn 13:8)

Jesus will begin to unveil this part in a few moments, when He gives His disciples His flesh to eat and His blood to drink. In the humble sharing of His life, the Lord makes Himself the servant of His own life within His disciple. Let us remember that the true disciple of the Lord is he who allows himself to be served by the Lord, he who receives His merciful visit. The true disciple is not first and foremost he who proclaims the Gospel, but rather he who, conscious of his deep own destitution, begins, in an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus, by receiving Him in truth into his own life, and allows himself to be guided by Him.

Ierusalem, Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum: The Lord hath delivered me into my enemies' hands.

How doth the City sit solitary, that was full of people how is she become as a widow she that was was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary

She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.

The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.

Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.

Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.

Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.

All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and consider; for I am become vile.

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.

The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.

Holy Thursday
(Lam., i, 1-14)


Thou didst hear his words out of the midst of the fire” (Deuteronomy 4, 36)

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
April 17, 2019

Why did the fire of Notre Dame Cathedral generate such enormous shock all over the world? Because apart from the intrinsic value of the monument, Notre Dame is a symbol. It was written everywhere: a symbol of Christianity, a symbol of Western conscience, a symbol of a collective cultural patrimony, a symbol of European identity, a symbol of French national history.

We live in a world that has lost the value of logic, but the power of symbols is still extraordinary, given that symbols are used by the mass-media system to create emotional-reactions, often replacing the role of reason. There are in fact two ways of arriving at the truth: one through reason, the other through symbols. But the two ways are complementary, not alternative. Jesus, for example, uses the language of symbols, but also convincing logic. Rational language is founded on the principal of non-contradiction, whereas symbolic language is based on images and visible signs referring to an invisible reality. A symbol renders immediately comprehensible that which is veiled to the eyes of reason. Logic helps to decipher the language of symbols. Everything our senses experience has a significance and leads to the invisible, of which it is a reflex and imitation.
In the case of the Notre Dame fire, everyone perceived the symbolic value of the wounded cathedral, but few have sought to understand the symbolic significance of what happened. Notre Dame, like all cathedrals, represents the Catholic Church in its architectural impetus towards Heaven. How not to see in the smoke and flames that enveloped it on April 15th, the image of the smoke and flames enveloping the Church of Christ? As far back as 1972, Paul VI spoke of the “smoke of Satan” penetrating the Temple of God. This smoke today is the result of a fire that ravaged  the Church, until it carbonized the very top.  Might it not be possible to see in the collapse of the fleche - Notre Dame’s tall spire - the fall of the pinnacle of the Church?

Notre-Dame de Paris: A Supernatural Intervention of the Mother of God for France?

Night of Fire

This night was not made for sleeping. At the sight of Notre-Dame in flames, emotion was too strong, sadness too intense, prayer too needed. And to think that just on the previous day I was still preaching under these millenary vaults where I had been ordained almost thirty years ago! I cannot express the sorrow that fills me when thinking of this archive of so many of our joyful memories disappearing in smoke...

Would you believe, however, that my consternation gave way quickly within me to a kind of enthralled gratefulness? Words that I have always wanted to hear seemed to spring miraculously from this deadly event. During these anguished hours, I seemed, in fact, to feel the old Gaul rooster wake up from his torpor.

Stat Crux dum volvitur orbis

Notre-Dame de Paris
Lundi Saint - Holy Monday, 2019

Crux fidelis, inter omnes
Arbor una nobilis!
Nulla silva talem profert,
Fronde, flore, germine,
Dulce lignum, dulces clavos,
Dulce pondus sustinet!

Notre Dame de Paris up in flames!

Live feed

Works of restoration were ongoing under the "flèche" (spire) above the transept of one of the greatest churches in Christendom, Notre Dame de Paris, where the great Relic of the Crown of Thorns is kept. All signs seem to point to something gone wrong in the restoration that led to this tragic event.

Update: the spire has collapsed and the roof has been already completely consumed by the flames.


Our note:

Notre-Dame de Paris will rise again! That is a certainty! The Revolution desecrated it, and yet Viollet-le-Duc made it more beautiful than ever in the 19th century.

It will rise again, through the intercession of Our Lady of Paris!

Events: Traditional Catholic Retreats Offered by Dom Pius Mary Noonan, OSB

Recently I was blessed with an opportunity to meet Dom Pius Mary Noonan, OSB, founder of the Notre Dame Priory in Tasmanian, Australia, and to spend some days with his burgeoning community of Benedictine monks. Like Norcia and Silverstream, this monastery follows the traditional monastic Office and Holy Mass.

Fontgombault Sermon for Palm Sunday 2019: The Meaning of the Passover of Flowers

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 14th, 2019)

Pascha Floridum

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

It is with a suggestive name that our forefathers called this day: “Palm Sunday,” or also “Hosanna Sunday,” and “Pascha Floridum”, that is to say “Flowery Passover.” There are now only eight days left separating us from the solemnity of solemnities, the Lord’s Passover. 

Don Bosco’s most ferocious enemy

From the writings of Don Giuseppe Tomaselli
H/T Cordialiter Blog

The Devil gets furious with those striving for their own spiritual perfection and so everyday he engages in a fight with them, tempting them towards evil; if he doesn’t manage today, he hopes to do so tomorrow; he knows the weaknesses of everyone and also how to exploit them, by driving people to impurity, hate or the abuse of God’s mercy.   

But if he behaves like this with devout people, imagine how his furor is roused against those who bring souls to God. Don Bosco was a fisher of souls; the Demon, as a consequence, enraged against him, in the foolish hope of hampering his apostolate. The diabolical vexations began with loud, nocturnal noises on the roof of his home; sudden and terrifying shaking at the door and windows occurred; while he was resting, the covers on his bed were pulled back by an invisible hand…

Petition in support of Fr Nicholas Rynne

Fr Nicholas Rynne, a young priest newly installed in a parish in Tasmania, Australia, was spat on and villified for wearing clerical dress and introducing the Traditional Mass.

Inevitably, he has now been removed from his post. You can read more about it here; he has a Facebook support page here. Sign the petition in his support here.

Leave the Valley of Death -- with the help of the Mater Dolorosa

Ma poi ch’i’ fui al piè d’un colle giunto,
là dove terminava quella valle
che m’avea di paura il cor compunto,

guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle
vestite già de’ raggi del pianeta
che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
(Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I)


Right in the beginning of the greatest poem ever written by a Christian, Dante's "Commedia", the reader is faced with a terrifying scene: a blighted valley, a wild and suffocating jungle so deep and impenetrable that the very rays of the Sun cannot reach within. We are, "nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita" ("halfway through the journey of our life"), so deep in sin we cannot even see our own selves, Light being nowhere.

Events: Dr Kwasniewski Lecturing in Detroit area on May 10–12, 2019

On the weekend of May 10–12, 2019, I will be giving four lectures in the larger Detroit area: one in Detroit proper at Old St. Mary's Church; two in Jackson at St. Mary Star of the Sea; and one in Windsor at St. Alphonsus. Each lecture will be followed by a Q&A period. Happily, all three events start off with traditional Latin High Masses: a new springtime, indeed! 

"The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse" - by Pope Benedict XVI (Full Text)


by Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus

On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical abuse perpetrated against minors.

The extent and gravity of the reported incidents has deeply distressed priests as well as laity, and has caused more than a few to call into question the very Faith of the Church. It was necessary to send out a strong message, and seek out a new beginning, so to make the Church again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in service against the powers of destruction.

Since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis, and during the run-up to it, I had to ask myself - even though, as emeritus, I am no longer directly responsible - what I could contribute to a new beginning.

Thus, after the meeting of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences was announced, I compiled some notes by which I might contribute one or two remarks to assist in this difficult hour.

Having contacted the Secretary of State, Cardinal [Pietro] Parolin and the Holy Father [Pope Francis] himself, it seemed appropriate to publish this text in the Klerusblatt [a monthly periodical for clergy in mostly Bavarian dioceses].

My work is divided into three parts.

In the first part, I aim to present briefly the wider social context of the question, without which the problem cannot be understood. I try to show that in the 1960s an egregious event occurred, on a scale unprecedented in history. It could be said that in the 20 years from 1960 to 1980, the previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely, and a new normalcy arose that has by now been the subject of laborious attempts at disruption.

In the second part, I aim to point out the effects of this situation on the formation of priests and on the lives of priests.

Finally, in the third part, I would like to develop some perspectives for a proper response on the part of the Church.


(1) The matter begins with the state-prescribed and supported introduction of children and youths into the nature of sexuality. In Germany, the then-Minister of Health, Ms. [Käte] Strobel, had a film made in which everything that had previously not been allowed to be shown publicly, including sexual intercourse, was now shown for the purpose of education. What at first was only intended for the sexual education of young people consequently was widely accepted as a feasible option.