Rorate Caeli

Young Traditional Catholics deserve answers, not scorn

Pilgrims walking 'Holy Mile' of the Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Sunday.
Many of them had walked all the way from Ely, 58 miles in three days.
Recent days have seen one of those waves of attacks on Traditional Catholics on social media. I have responded to one aspect of it, that of simple charity, with a Twitter-thread you can see here. Here I want to look at another aspect of it: the kinds of things the supposedly hateful traddies are talking about.

St. Augustine: "All Catholics know: Divorce is of the devil!"

On the Feast of Saint Augustine, his words on the wedding at Cana:

Even setting aside any mystical interpretation, the fact that the Lord was pleased to be asked, and to go to a marriage, showeth plainly enough that He is the Author and Blesser of marriage. There were yet to be those of whom the Apostle hath warned us as forbidding to marry; who say that marriage is a bad thing in itself, and a work of the devil. Yet we read in the Gospel that when the Lord was asked, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? He answered that it was not lawful, except it were for fornication. In which answer ye will remember that He used these words: What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.They who are well instructed in the Catholic religion know that God is the Author and Blesser of marriage; and that, whereas joining together in marriage is of God, divorce is of the devil.

Saint Augustine
In Evangelium Ioannis, tract. IX

De Mattei: The 'Assisted Suicide' of the Church and Society

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
August 21, 2019

All attention in Italy at the moment is focussed on the political crisis. Yet there is another much graver and vaster crisis, which constitutes the background for the political crisis: the religious and moral crisis of the West. The political crisis is visible; it enters our homes through the mass-media and even a distracted eye or ear perceives it. The religious and moral crisis can be perceived only by those who have a developed, spiritual sensitivity. Those immersed in the materialism of modern life, have a refined capacity in appreciating the pleasures of the senses, but are spiritually darkened, if not completely blinded. The religious and moral crisis is a crisis that happens when man loses sight of his ultimate end and the criteria that must guide his actions. A society that is immersed in agnosticism, dissolves and dies.

In Italy, for example, the government crisis has made us forget an important date. A hearing is scheduled for September 24th with the Constitutional Court, to judge the legitimacy of Article 580 of the Penal Code, which punishes the crime of instigating or aiding suicide. The highest juridical authority of the Italian State invited Parliament to promulgate a new law before this date, otherwise it will be the Court itself that will determine the route to take. But the Court has already affirmed that in certain cases, suicide may be permitted (and thus “assisted” on the medical and administrative level) given that: “the absolute prohibition of assisted suicide ends up, in limiting the sick person’s freedom of self-determination, in his choice of treatment, including that aimed at liberating him from suffering.” (Ordinance  n.2017 of November 16th, 2019). The self-determination of the individual is the supreme rule of a society which ignores the existence of a moral law written in the heart of every man and to which men and societies must comply if they want to avoid self-destruction.

Pell Conviction Upheld on Appeal -- Vatican Statement

A panel of three judges of the Supreme Court of Victoria decided by majority today to uphold Cardinal George Pell's conviction for sexual abuse of a minor.

The Holy See has just released this statement:

DC basilica shrine rector under investigation

Another high-profile cleric in the Archdiocese of Washington is under investigation.  To no one's surprise (except the Washington Post and other mainstream media) Monsignor Walter Rossi, the current rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, is the subject of a "full forensic investigation" by the Diocese of Scranton (Rossi's home diocese) and the Archdiocese of Washington (where Rossi works at the basilica shrine).

The issue of the affairs of Walter Rossi has been pushed for at least a year by investigative reporter George Neumayr.  This week a question was asked directly -- and in public -- about Rossi to the new DC Archbishop, Wilton Gregory, at a "Theology on Tap" event. The next day an investigation was announced.

[Ah, such memories of the news about high-ranking clergy that can be made at DC Theology on Tap events.]

So far, former DC cardinal-archbishop (Mr.) Theodore McCarrick has been defrocked after years of bishops, dioceses and the mainstream media covering for him. His successor, Donald Wuerl, was forced into retirement as a result of years of scandal. The former rector of the basilica shrine in DC, Michael Bransfield, was removed as bishop of Wheeling-Charleston due to scandal, and his basilica shrine successor, Walter Rossi, is now under investigation by two dioceses. And then there's this mess stemming from DC, starring Rossi's close priest-friend, co-featuring the bishop of Trenton who formerly headed Catholic University in, of course, Washington.

Fontgombault Sermons for the Assumption: Vow of Louis XIII; and Mass of the Day - "All want to question the Dogmas of the Church, but no one is in doubt about the dogmas of democracy."

The Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
August 14-15, 2019

Sermon at Vespers, before the procession of the Vow of Louis XIII

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

On the evening of this day, we are going on a procession in the honor of Mary, to abide by the vow of Louis XIII.

Let us pray for our country, which is in such a perilous situation, and especially for the young people whose education and training, both of affection, ethical, and moral, is with each passing day more and more difficult.

If all of us should be the children of Mary, how much more our country, France, should enter the Mother of Jesus’ school, Mary, who has always answered “Yes” to the plan of God, and is therefore the perfect teacher for nations and hearts!

In the Book of Genesis we find the reflection of the plan of God: man and woman, created in the image of God, are meant to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, making it bear through their work beautiful fruits. Today, man arrogates to himself the rights of his Maker, while feigning to ignore the consequences of his errors: human relationships are marked by violence, enslavement, bondage, possession of the other one, unto the most sacred domain, which is human love, a place of fecundity.

Whereas it is good form to cast doubt on the dogmas of the Catholic Church, which are founded on the witness of the Scripture and have been preciously kept by centuries of Christendom, no one seems to be in any doubt concerning the dogma of democracy: establishing as the source of the executive and legislative powers the person or persons who will have been approved by the will of the majority, is guaranteed to save the nation and ensure its happiness. 

Yet, casting an honest glance on the recent history of the Western world and on the state of today’s society is not that reassuring.

In his Message to the Youth of the World for the 21st World Youth Day (April 9th, 2006), Benedict XVI wrote:

It is not easy to recognize and find authentic happiness in this world in which we live, where people are often held captive by the current ways of thinking. They may think they are “free”, but they are being led astray and become lost amid the errors or illusions of aberrant ideologies. “Freedom itself needs to be set free” (Veritatis splendor, n. 86), and the darkness in which mankind is groping needs
to be illuminated.

Setting free freedom, such is the key of happiness: setting free freedom, so that it may be responsible, fair, and true. Today, children are conditioned from the very first years in their lives by the contact with death-bringing ideologies, which refuse the human condition such as it was willed by his Maker.

O Our Lady, look after the youth, defend and protect the purity of their hearts and bodies, threatened from all sides by the Evil One and the ideas of the world. Lead their hearts towards all that is good and holy, and pour out in them a living and trustful faith in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, King and Lord, as well as a deep love for thy maternal Heart. Amen.


Sermon for the Mass on the Feast of the Assumption

Beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
All generations shall call me blessed.
(Lk 1:48)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Feast of the Assumption 2019: The Eternal Magnificat




Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Help of Christians, Refuge of the human race, Victress in all the battles for God! Supplicant, we prostrate before Thy throne, beseeching mercy and certain of receiving graces, opportune aid and defense in the present calamities; not by any merit of our own, which we do not presume, but solely because of the immense goodness of Thy Maternal Heart.

To Thee, to Thy Immaculate Heart, in this tragic hour of human history, we entrust and consecrate ourselves - not only in union with the Holy Church, Mystical Body of Thy Jesus, which is suffering and bleeding in many parts and in many ways afflicted - but with the entire world harrowed by ferocious discords, parched in a fire of hatred, victim of its own iniquity.

May your heart be moved by so much material and moral ruin; so much pain;  of so many fathers, mothers, spouses, siblings and innocent children in anguish; so many young  lives cut short; so many bodies lacerated in the horrendous slaughter; so many tortured souls in agony that many risk being lost for all eternity. 

Guest Op-ed by a Priest: How a tiny minority of heterodox lay people can ruin Catholic restoration in a parish

It only takes a "Dirty Half Dozen."

By the Rev. Fr. Donald Kloster
St. Mary
Norwalk, Connecticut

About 10 years ago now, I was reading an article by a Protestant Minister who was chronicling the inordinate power of a few, 5-6 individuals, to get rid of (fired or reassigned) any clergy member or parish employee. Time and again, he said he'd witnessed even the pastor removed at the hands of certain well motivated members of the Church in question.

These small groups tend to stick together through the process of ousting their target even though previously they may have never been very close or even known one another. They have a common goal and they know that if they stay focused, the vast majority of the church membership will not get involved. Even worse, the small group knows they just need to invest more time into their ouster plans than the average parishioner plans to spend in a limited and/or short lived defense.

Rorate on the Road ... in Weston, West Virginia

Rorate was on the road yesterday with a stop in Weston, West Virginia. Who would have thought that surrounded by hundreds of miles of mountains we'd find St. Patrick's, a gem of a church, offering the traditional Latin Mass every Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

While everyone hears about hardship in small towns in West Virginia, this church, run by the great Fr. James DeViese, has been wonderfully maintained and preserved since 1914. 

Rorate readers: Special Discount for New Romanitas Press Books about Mary and Sacramentals

Romanitas Press has just republished two classics of the 1950s from the late American-priest, Fr. Arthur Tonne: Feasts of Our Lady (1951) and Talks on the Sacramentals (1950).

In celebration of this publishing event, Romanitas Press is offering exclusively to Rorate Caeli readers a special discount price ($2 off) for each book until midnight of August 31, 2019.

Fr. Tonne tended to be homiletic aids for priests. His writing-style is both engaging and instructive, ingeniously employing short stories to prove a spiritual point.

In Feasts of Our Lady, Father (later Msgr.) Tonne addresses 50 Marian feasts from the traditional Roman Missal, some of which are particular to a local or religious calender (e.g., the Franciscan Order), and 2 talks for Mother's Day. The importance of being acquainted with the feasts of the Blessed Mother is explained thus by the author:

"When we realize how good Mary has been to us and to the world, when we realize that she is a merciful, powerful and effective Advocate at the throne of God, we will pledge anew our loyalty to her."

This 162-page book can be yours for $11.50 (plus tax & shipping)BUY HERE.

Talks on the Sacramentals explains 59 sacramentals of the Roman Catholic Church, from the Sign of the Cross, to Holy Water, to even obscure ones such as the Blessing of Silkworms!

Catholics often overlook the important role that the Church's sacramentals play in their sanctification, but as Fr. Tonne stresses:

"Do we have to use sacramentals? Does a Catholic have to wear a scapular, or use holy water, or pray the Rosary? Strictly speaking, no. The sacraments are necessary for salvation; the sacramentals are not necessary. Nevertheless, the prayers, pious objects, sacred signs and ceremonies of Mother Church are means to salvation."

This incredible 194-page resource on Catholic sacramentals can be yours for $12.50 (plus tax & shipping). BUY HERE

The Pope praises Greta and Ursula von der Leyen but forgets Christ

The interview by the Pontiff to La Stampa is a unique occasion for getting involved in politics

Camillo Langone
August 10, 2019
Feast of St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence martyr, the stars are falling*, governments are falling**, superstars are falling (Alain Delon’s stroke) and the Holy Father is falling yet again.

Interviewed by La Stampa, he praises Ursula von der Leyen, patroness of Sodom, homosexual unions and adoptions. And once again he praises Greta the Papessa of a pagan religion. In such a shamelessly, political interview, the one ending up on the gridiron is Christ - not mentioned even once, not even out of good Jesuit decency. 

Pope grants extensive interview -- God left unmentioned

The Bishop of Rome granted today an extensive interview to Italian daily La Stampa, aligned with his policies due to the influence of its former columnist and current papal journalistic czar Andrea Tornielli.

The interview deals mainly with two issues: the European Union and the dangers of "sovereignism"; and the "Amazon Synod". The Pope says a woman (Ursula von der Leyen, upcoming European Commission President) will bring the EU back to the spirit of its "Founding Fathers"; and he says the priestly ordination of married men ("viri probati") is a minor issue in the Amazon Synod, because it is just "one paragraph" of the synodal document.

Marie Reine du Canada Traditional Pilgrimage: August 31-Seprember 2, 2019

The 16th annual Marie Reine du Canada pilgrimage from Lanoraie, Quebec to the miraculous shrine of Notre Dame du Cap will take place Aug 31-Sept 2, 2019.

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 Fraternity of Saint Peter. Mass is celebrated daily in the traditional Roman Rite. This year's theme is Heroes of the Counter Reformation.

Registration: Marie Reine du Canada is a lay-led apostolate of St Clement Parish, Ottawa (FSSP).

De Mattei: The John Paul II Institute has fallen. But has it fallen with honour?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
August 7, 2019

In the momentous battle presently going on inside the Church a tower has fallen: The Institute of John Paul II.  So as to contextualize the event, the article by George Weigel which carries the title - The Vandals sack Rome again”* is helpful.  According to Weigel, after the Second Vatican Council  a “War of the Conciliar Succession” opened between “two groups of previously-allied reformist theologians”, identified by two periodicals, Concilium and Communio: the former ultra-progressive, the latter moderate. At stake was the battle “for the control of faculty slots in theology departments around the world”.

The election of John Paul II, who appointed Joseph Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, marked the predominance of the moderates over the extremists. The latter, from 1978 onwards, found themselves “on the outs in the great game of ecclesiastical politics – even though they continued to maintain an iron grip on most theological faculty appointments and on a lot of theological publishing”. John Paul II – the American writer explains – did not purge the ecclesiastic universities of progressive professors, but instead promoted the foundation of new institutes like the Ateneo di Santa Croce dell’Opus Dei (and we’d add: Regina Apostolorum  of  the Legions of Christ). Pope Wojtyla was in fact “quietly confident that good coinage – good theology – would eventually drive out bad ethical coinage”.

Transfiguration: "The miracle of our transfiguration is accomplished in Catholic doctrine"

Assumpsit Iesus Petrum, et Iacobum, et Ioannem fratrem eius, et duxit illos in montem excelsum seorsum: et transfiguratus est ante eos. Et resplenduit facies eius sicut sol: vestimenta autem eius facta sunt alba sicut nix. (Matthew xvii, 1-2: "Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as snow.")

It is easy for me... to show that Catholic doctrine enjoys a superhuman moral efficacy, even as a consequence of the interaction which it keeps between man and God. Now, in virtue of what does Catholic doctrine operate this superhuman transformation in the soul? Is it directly? Is it simply because it says to us, "Be humble, be chaste, be apostles, be brethren"?

Ah..., but everyone says this to us more or less earnestly: there is not a man steeped in pride who has not invoked the humility of others; not a man drowned in sensuality who was not invoked the purity of his victims; not a man who has not invoked apostleship to propagate his ideas, and fraternity to establish his empire! But the ear of man remains closed to those invitations of selfishness, or to those dreams of reason; it listens to them without hearing; it hears, without obeying.

First-time retreats in the USA given by the Benedictine monks of Notre Dame Priory (Australia)

It is rare enough to find a good retreat master, and rarer still one who will offer Mass, hear Confessions, and lead hours of the Divine Office in their traditional forms. That is why these upcoming men’s and women’s 5-day retreats are such a great opportunity for Catholics in the USA.

An Experience of Horror: "My car broke down, and I went to the nearest Novus Ordo..."

The following is a cri de coeur from Bill Riccio, a man who has been so instrumental in keeping alive the Traditional Roman Mass since the Indult granted by Pope John Paul II and then within the freedom of Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum. Bill has taught so very many priests, including myself, especially in the Northeast states of the U.S., the Traditional Roman Mass. He has traveled to all parts of the United States to teach priests the Traditional Mass. Bill's car broke down this morning, and he could not get to St. Mary's in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he functions as MC at the Solemn Mass. And so he went to his local parish church. And the following is what he experienced. It is a most sobering and realistic experience of the state of Catholic worship today.

It’s been said that, “God has a great sense of humor.” That, I hope was the reason a series of events happened this past Sunday morning. That way, I could have some semblance of understanding. You see, I had to attend my local parish church and it made me realize the liturgical bubble I’m in. It also made me realize, I want my bubble, and I like my bubble.

Francis is Inspiring Many Good Priests and Bishops

Je te montrerai le chemin du ciel

Today, the Holy See released Francis' "Letter to Priests", on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the death of Saint John Vianney, patron of Parish Priests.

And this week, we witnessed in person the testimony of many priests, and the occasional bishop, who have been deeply inspired by Francis. Yes, indeed! The great grief and confusion coming from Rome is inspiring many good priests, and even the occasional bishop, to discover and cherish the deepest roots of Catholic thought and devotion.

For the Record: "Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to Priests"

Dear Brothers,

A hundred and sixty years have passed since the death of the holy Curé of Ars, whom Pope Pius XI proposed as the patron of parish priests throughout the world.[1] On this, his feast day, I write this letter not only to parish priests but to all of you, my brother priests, who have quietly “left all behind” in order to immerse yourselves in the daily life of your communities. Like the Curé of Ars, you serve “in the trenches”, bearing the burden of the day and the heat (cf. Mt 20:12), confronting an endless variety of situations in your effort to care for and accompany God’s people. I want to say a word to each of you who, often without fanfare and at personal cost, amid weariness, infirmity and sorrow, carry out your mission of service to God and to your people. Despite the hardships of the journey, you are writing the finest pages of the priestly life.

Some time ago, I shared with the Italian bishops my worry that, in more than a few places, our priests feel themselves attacked and blamed for crimes they did not commit. I mentioned that priests need to find in their bishop an older brother and a father who reassures them in these difficult times, encouraging and supporting them along the way.[2]

As an older brother and a father, I too would like in this letter to thank you in the name of the holy and faithful People of God for all that you do for them, and to encourage you never to forget the words that the Lord spoke with great love to us on the day of our ordination. Those words are the source of our joy: “I no longer call you servants… I call you friends” (Jn 15:15).[3]


“I have seen the suffering of my people” (Ex 3:7)

Event: Special Solemn High Mass in Minnesota

On August 15th @ 7.30 p.m., in honor of the Feast of the Assumption, and commemorating the Anniversary of the church's Consecration, the parish of St. Mary, Help of Christians, in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, will be offering a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Celebrant for the Mass will be the Pastor of St. Mary's, Msgr. Eugene Lozinski. The Deacon will be the Rev. Mr. John Hayes, a transitional deacon of the Diocese of New Ulm; serving as Sub-deacon will be the Rev. Aaron Johanneck, Director of the Diocesan Office of Worship.

The Ordinary for the Mass will be Mozart's 'Coronation' Mass in C, K.317, sung by the Sleepy Eye Mozart Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by guest conductor Mr. Kevin Allen, newly-appointed Director of Sacred Music at St. John Cantius in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Allen will also serve as one of the musical directors for the EF Sacred Music Retreat being held in Sleepy Eye from August 16-20. In addition to the complete Gregorian Propers sung by a Men's Schola, other musical offerings will include the "Tota Pulchra Es" of Fr. Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia, a Brazilian composer and contemporary of Mozart's, and the famous "Ave Verum Corpus" of Mozart.

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 95 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 repose of 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.

Guest Op-Ed - Resisting the Temptation to Change the Our Father: "A heretical spirit enters the Church when man makes himself the measure of God’s Word"

Deacon Nick Donnelly

A heretical spirit enters the Church when man makes himself the measure of Gods word, rather than Gods word being the measure of mans thoughts. This hubristic reversal is the definition of modernism. Pope St Pius X identified what is at the heart of this modernist mentality towards sacred Scripture, a philosophy borrowed from the negation of God, and a criterion which consists of themselves. (Pascendi dominici gregis, 34.)

One of the better parts of Vatican II warned that the authenticity of interpreting the word of God depends on strictly observing the threefold union of sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magisterium, which are so linked together that one cannot stand without the others. (Dei verbum, 10.) Any interpretation that ignores this threefold union, for example, by stressing one strand to the point of excluding or even contradicting the two others is immediately suspect of coming from a heretical spirit. With the above understanding, I will examine Franciss change to the Our Father.

Franciss change to the Our Father

Both the French and Italian BishopsConferences have changed the sixth petition of the Our Father with the encouragement of this pontificate. Francis gave an interview in 2017 explaining his support for changes to lead us not into temptation: