Rorate Caeli

Three New Books in English by Roberto de Mattei

The year 2019 has turned out to be a special year for English readers of the fine historical work of Roberto de Mattei. Before now, his only book in our language was The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story (Fitzwilliam: Loreto, 2012). Now, however, three new books have appeared almost simultaneously from three different publishers (Angelus, Angelico, and PCP).

Each of these books deserves a review unto itself, but for now, I would simply like to announce all three, with their publisher's descriptions, and the links to where they may be purchased. 

I have had a chance to read in its entirety the one from Angelico, Love for the Papacy and Filial Resistance to the Pope, which mostly consists of pieces that first appeared at Rorate Caeli over the course of several years. I can give the warmest recommend of this one: it is the most practical, realistic, and hopeful book for Catholics to read at this moment in Church history.

"Apologia for Tradition is a powerful, well-documented defense of sacred Tradition as a solution for the modern crisis in the Church. This book demonstrates how the Catholics of history and today are united in a timeless battle to defend Tradition. A battle that stretches from the sands of the Colosseum to the cultural arena of today's post-Christian era. The book shows:

-- The triumph of Tradition over persecution and heresy
-- Historical examples of the Church's method of adherence to Tradition
-- How in every era, Christ raised up saints to defend the Tradition of Holy Mother Church
-- How evil has attempted to eradicate Tradition, especially today"

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira: Prophet of the Reign of Mary

Beginning in Part I with an analysis of “The Philosophical School,” Prof. De Mattei shows Dr. Plinio not only as a faithful disciple of St. Thomas Aquinas, but also as one who uniquely applied St. Thomas’s principles to the crisis confronting the Church in our time.  Those principles are rooted in a realism that opposes the modern ideologies, in the hierarchical order of creation that constitutes its sacrality, and which is therefore the opposite of the egalitarian anti-metaphysics characterizing the Revolution against Christian Civilization.

Part II of this study analyzes the spirituality that is the foundation of Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira’s life and work.  It is a spirituality that contemplates the hierarchy and sacrality of creation leading ultimately to God Himself.  Rooted in the love of God as the ultimate Good, it is therefore opposed to all evil, and therefore inspires a spirit of combat that historically found its expression in Chivalry. Finally, this spirituality is Marian, for it is Our Lady who manifests this hierarchy, this sacrality and combativity to a supreme degree.

With these foundational principles, Prof. De Mattei analyzes in Part III the philosophy and theology of history to which the thought and spirituality of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira logically lead. Describing the historical revolt against Christian Civilization, Dr. Plinio gave it the name by which Catholics in the past had already called it – the Revolution.  Initially analyzing the Three Revolutions against the Church and Christian society, Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira ultimately showed how these led to the Fourth and Fifth Revolutions and ultimately to the cult of the devil.

Finally, in Part IV, Prof. De Mattei shows that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, promised by Our Lady of Fatima, inspired the lifelong work of Dr. Plinio, and he explains why it merits giving Dr. Plinio the name suggested by the subtitle of this work – Prophet of the Reign of Mary.  His doctrinal and historical arguments, deeply rooted in Catholic Tradition, amply justify the recommendation given to this book by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in His Excellency’s Preface to the book.

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Love for the Papacy and Filial Resistance to the Pope in the History of the Church

In this book, Roberto de Mattei steers us perceptively through centuries of Church history concerning both the wise, and the disastrous, decisions of popes and councils: from the role of Pope Liberius in the Arian crisis to the troubled Vatican compromises with the French Third Republic; from the Ostpolitik and liturgical rupture of Paul VI to the erosion of dogmatic truths and moral absolutes under Pope Francis. In these and in many more examples de Mattei’s judgment rings true: popes have been mistaken in their political, pastoral, and even magisterial acts, and the resistance of the faithful to such acts is a duty and a cause of benefit.

Along the way we are offered an illuminating catechism in ecclesiology, the nature of the Magisterium, and the limits of papal authority. Especially helpful are de Mattei’s discussion of the hypothesis of a heretical pope, his clear explanation of the difference between filial resistance and disobedience to the Successors of the Apostles when they make heterodox pronouncements, and his ample treatment of the significance and profound implications of recent public remonstrations with the current pontificate on behalf of orthodoxy. The author’s rich historical narratives, deftly intertwined with dogmatic, moral, and canonical principles, make this work a potent resource for grappling with the current crises of the Church.

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