Rorate Caeli

2-Ton "Woke" Addition to Saint Peter's Square: Saint Migrants and Saint Virtue-Signalling

Piazza San Pietro -- Saint Peter's Square: one of the architectural jewels of mankind, the centerpiece of baroque Rome, and one of the masterpieces of the long and productive life of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

While there have been significant changes outside and leading to the square (done by the Italian state after the Lateran agreements), the magnificent square itself has been left virtually unchanged since Bernini added the second fountain in 1675 to make the whole space perfectly symmetrical. Not even the upheavals that followed the unfortunate Second Vatican Council were enough for the post-conciliar popes to feel entitled to make changes to this central spot of Catholicism and Romanitas. On the square itself, many temporary structures are often added for events or security, but only two images were to be found on the ground, in the space in front of the basilica: the patron saints of the City, Saints Peter and Paul.

That is, until today:

Michaelmas Sermon: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Editor's  Note: From Rorate,  a wish of a very happy Michaelmas to all our readers!

Sermon for the Feast of
Saint Michael the Archangel

It was just after time was created from eternity, when even before the earth was created, in fact long before that, that heaven was created, as that place to receive those in time into eternity, Come ye blessed of my Father and inherit the Kingdom. But to create something out of nothing, this act must  entail a risk, a risk that what has been created as good, what has been created from Love itself, may turn away from love and exult in its own being as being created.  And there were only the created spirits, those later called angels, who were created to give glory to God, these were the inhabitants of this created heaven, whose purpose was the eternal praise and worship of God. And one of these created beings, one of these angels, discovered his freedom, his freedom given by God his creator, but he realized that this freedom gave him the power to say No. And so this is what he said to God: Non serviam. I will not serve you. To serve is to be a slave and I will not be the slave of God. Non serviam.  The ultimate words against the creation by Love for Love.  

Another great 2020 liturgical calendar: Angelus Press

As we continue highlighting traditional Catholic calendars that are sent to us, we are always excited to open our mail and find one of our favorites each year, the Angelus Press liturgical calendar. The 2020 theme for their calendar is The Life of the Holy Family. 

Swiss Bishop Allows the SSPX to Use Churches After All

The Church of St. Maurice, Fribourg

In 2013 we reported that the Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, Mons. Charles Morerod, OP, had issued a decree allowing Catholic churches in his diocese to be lent to Orthodox churches and Protestant ecclesial communities for ‘pastoral’ reasons, but not to clergy of the SSPX (see here and here). Now an official website of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference reports that Bishop Morerod has allowed the SSPX to use the Chapel of Bourguillon and the Church of St. Maurice (both in Fribourg) for the celebration of their 50th anniversary. 

Event: An Act of Witness to and Thanksgiving for the Catholic Tradition

An Act of Witness to and Thanksgiving for the
Catholic Tradition

October 9, 2019
Corpus Christi Church
New York City

And, I rejoice to say, to one great mischief I have from the first opposed myself. For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; and on this great occasion, when it is natural for one who is in my place to look out upon the world, and upon Holy Church as in it, and upon her future, it will not, I hope, be considered out of place, if I renew the protest against it which I have made so often.

Those words of Cardinal Newman from his Bigletto Speech when he received his red hat from Pope Leo XIII are remarkable to read today in a Church that has been infected with the Liberalism that Newman defined and fought against to a depth that Newman could not have imagined.  There is some irony in the fact that Pope Francis will officially canonize Newman on October 13.  We should presume that very few if at all of those who have embraced that Liberalism that Newman saw as a real danger to the Church in the future have actually read anything he wrote.  They may, in a cynical way, try to co-opt Newman by referring to his great work, The Development of Doctrine, as if it is a blueprint for destroying the Tradition that lies at the heart of the Catholic Church.  Some of those who are entrusted with Catholic Tradition at the highest levels today seem to have adopted the world of fake news  and fake facts in their drive to refashion the Catholic Faith in their own “liberal” image.  The fact (real fact) is that Newman gives them no comfort in what they are trying to do.  One hopes that they will not read the Bigletto Speech or The Development of Doctrine before the canonization ceremony.  If they should do so, they might call the whole thing off.

The Society of Saint Hugh of Cluny is sponsoring a Solemn Traditional Mass on October 9 at 7 p.m. at Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan adjacent to the Columbia University campus.  This is fitting in many ways.  First, one of Newman’s great works is The Idea of the University.  Secondly, October 9 is his feast day, set when he was made “Blessed”.  Most importantly, this Mass is being offered in Thanksgiving for the Canonization of this remarkable man of the Church on October 13 in Rome.

I urge strongly all of the readers of Rorate Caeli who live near New York City to come to this Mass as witnesses to the Truth for which John Henry Newman testified through his whole life.  The presence of both clergy and laity are important in this act of worship and witness.  Please spread the word to family and friends about this Mass.  Thanksgiving and witness is vital to the living Tradition of the Catholic Church.  

Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla

Cardinal Sarah, Head of Divine Worship: Traditional Mass Prohibition inspired by "Demon who desires our spiritual death"

Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has granted an extensive interview to Edward Pentin, of the National Catholic Register.

We call your attention to his strong words concerning the movement to prohibit the Traditional Latin Mass or cast suspicion on it:

Why do you think more and more young people are attracted to traditional liturgy / the extraordinary form?

I do not think so. I see it; I am a witness to it. And young people have entrusted me with their absolute preference for the extraordinary form, more educative and more insistent on the primacy and centrality of God, silence and on the meaning of the sacred and divine transcendence. But, above all, how can we understand, how can we not be surprised and deeply shocked that what was the rule yesterday is prohibited today? Is it not true that prohibiting or suspecting the extraordinary form can only be inspired by the demon who desires our suffocation and spiritual death?

Socci: Shakespeare, the Great Voice of Catholic Resistance Against the Tyranny of Elizabeth and Co.

Contributor’s note
I heartily endorse every word of Antonio Socci’s review on Elisabetta Sala’s first novel “The Execution of Justice” published below and which I read this past summer – all 465 pages. It is truly a page-turner written by an exceptionally talented author. She is the only Italian scholar that I know, who has addressed “The Enigma of Shakespeare”. I will be sure to inform our readers at Rorate Caeli when the “The Execution of Justice” is published in English, as I have heard that it is a work in progress.   F.R.
Antonio Socci
Libero Quotidiano
September 22, 2019

It’s the finest, most exciting, most poignant novel I have read in a long time. A real surprise. It captures the reader’s attention from the very first page. 

It is a historical novel, easy to read, set in the London of the year 1605, amid the alleys, taverns, palaces, shops and theatres on the banks of the Thames.

We become deeply immersed in the London of the early 17th century -  so much so - that you don’t want this story (also of love) to end, full as it is of intrigues, heroic martyrdoms, plots, cowardly betrayals, spies and power-struggles. 

Historical events with consequences, for that matter, that were hugely dramatic for Europe and the entire world. It may be said that you cannot understand modern History, whether it be European or American (and even Italian), if you don’t know about this English historical period. 

The title – to tell the truth – may appear somewhat off-putting: “The Execution of Justice” (D’Ettoris Editori). It would seem more suitable for a treatise on criminal procedure. But in reality, as you progress in the reading of the novel, you discover its “dramatic” origin.
The writer, Elisabetta Sala, professor of History and English Literature, reveals absolutely extraordinary narrative skills. 

"Vatican News"? No, Freemasonry News

Paranoia? Conspiracy theory?

Well, you tell us what this official Vatican News headline looks like:

2020 liturgical calendar season begins

We seem to say this every year -- but it really is hard to believe summer is almost over and it's time to start thinking about your 2020 liturgical calendar! Here at Rorate, we will review several calendars for the upcoming year, each and every year. And once again this year, the first calendar we received to review comes to us from the Servants of the Holy Family. 

The Church in Self-Imposed Exile: Where is Ezra?

The second reading for the Mass of Ember Wednesday in September:  “And the people wept when they heard Ezra reading the Law”.

Ember Wednesday.  Most Catholics have never heard of an Ember Day, this despite the fact that the Ember Days, the Quattuor Tempora in Latin, the four seasons, are among the oldest of liturgical celebrations, at least back to Leo the Great in the fifth century.  They have their roots in the four seasons of the year, and hence before each season of the year—Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer—the liturgy provides three days, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday that are a call to prayer in anticipation of the seasons and what they mean for man in nature, but more deeply each Ember Day calls us to fasting and prayer to remind ourselves of the goodness of the Lord in all aspects of our life, especially our Catholic faith.  Ordinations became associated with these days, and one can understand why, for these days in a sense join the natural and supernatural in a liturgical way.

The Ember Wednesday in September has the wonderful reading from Ezra describing him reading the Law to the people of Israel.  Ezra the scribe and priest, joined by Nehemiah, have returned from exile in Babylon, that exile bereft of the sacrifices of the Temple, that exile in which there was a forgetting by the Jews of what it meant to be a Jew in the religious sense.  When the exiles returned the Jerusalem, the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt, the first step in re-understanding the city of Jerusalem as the center of their homeland and faith.  In the reading for this Ember Day, Ezra calls an assembly of all the Jews who had returned from exile. And he does so with one purpose:  to read to them the Law, the Law given by God to the Jewish people that was not only central to their identity as a people but also the source of what it meant to live as a Chosen People.

So Ezra stands on a podium and reads (chants?) the Law to the assembly of people. He does so from sunrise to noon.  And the people weep. They weep.  For they realize how far they have strayed from the mark of the great Covenant between God and his Chosen People.  They weep.  But Ezra tells them not to weep, for this day is a day of great rejoicing.  The exile is over and they now know again who they are and how they are to live.  Ezra tells them to rejoice, to go home and eat fine food, drink fine wine, for they have regained their identity, they know again who they are in the deepest sense.

When I read this passage every September Ember Wednesday I cannot help but relate this to the current state of the Catholic Church.  The past fifty years in many ways has been a time of exile, but this time no potentate from afar came and subjected the Catholic people.  This exile was a self-imposed exile brought about by those within who with itching ears and glib tongues, who lusted after the Hanging Gardens of Secular Modernity, and as a product of that lust, like all lust that obliterates the reality of humanity, they forgot who they were.

What is going on with the Amazon Synod, the German bishops hell bent to form their own synodal government, the fact that so few Catholics go to Mass regularly on Sunday, the continuous decline in vocations to the priesthood and religious life: these are symptoms of people in exile. But again, this is a self-imposed exile.

Vittorio Messori: “The Church does not belong to Bergoglio”

Bruno Volpe
La Fede Quotidiana
September 17, 2019

The Church doesn’t belong to Bergoglio but to Christ. Certainly, I’m worried” says the well-known Catholic journalist, Vittorio Messori, fine intellectual, author of a historic, John Paul II interview, at the time when interviewing a pope was not the done thing by newspapers.

“I have seen many people worried, even desperately. As a believer, nonetheless, I keep in mind that  the Church is not a business, a multinational or a state. In a word, it cannot fail. Certainly, there are plenty of reasons for alarm. I’m thinking, for instance, of the upcoming Synod on the Amazon and its related equivocations; I don’t know what they want to attain – probably the married priesthood.   So, I’m worried, but not desperate because the Church does not belong to Bergoglio or the bishops, but to Christ alone and He governs it with wisdom. The forces of evil will not prevail,”

Pope admits: Traditional Latin Mass is the Future

Ok, he did not say that exactly...

What he did say on September 12, however, would certainly lead to that logical conclusion:

"To be modern, some believe that it is necessary to break away from the roots. And this is their ruin, because the roots, the tradition, are the guarantee of the future,” Pope Francis said Sept. 12 ...[i]n an a audience with nearly 200 members of the General Chapter of the Discalced Augustinians, the pope explained that “true tradition” is like the roots that bring a tree sap that allows it to grow, flourish, and bear fruit. “Never break away from your roots to be modern, that's suicide,” Francis told the Augustinians. [CNA]

Aldo Maria Valli: For Future Reference -- The Church and Freemasonry in Our Days

On The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 2019

The following are some quotations suggested by a dear friend, which I would like to share with you today, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. United in prayer.                                                                                                 

'They are the principles written in our Constitution and which – in my many public interventions – I have often referred to, summarizing them with the formula “new humanism”. '
Giuseppe Conte, Italian House of Parliament, September 9th 2019.
'We need a global educational pact which teaches universal solidarity towards a “new humanism...”'
Pope Francis, video-message for the launching of the Educational Pact, September 12, 2019. 

Solemn Pontifical Mass and dinner reception with Bishop Schneider in Winchester, Virginia

De Mattei: A Schismatic Synod on the Amazon?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
September  11, 2019

On September 6th and 7th the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and the ecclesial Pan-Amazon Network (REPAM), held a meeting in the city of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, to discuss the upcoming Synod of Bishops which will take place in the Vatican from Sunday, October 6th to Sunday, October 27th 2019, on the topic “The Amazon: new paths for the Church and integral ecology.”

In the final communiqué of the meeting, the President of CELAM, Monsignor Miguel Cabrejos, and the President of REPAM, Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, after expressing their “joy at the convening of the Synod by Pope Francis”, reaffirm “the hope of continuing to promote a Church with an indigenous, Amazonian face and of continuing the process of its implementation.” On the sidelines of the Bogotá meeting, the newly-elected Cardinal Michael Czerny, special secretary for the Amazon Synod, declared: “Amazon is the first word in the title of this Synod. You could say that the Amazon, with its people, its reality, its territory and inhabitants, is the subject of the Synod; you could say that it is its focus. Therefore, as its first or rather I’d say its very first concern, is the people, the people and in particular the indigenous people.”

Sermon for the Requiem Mass for the 9/11 New York Purgatorial Society

Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
September 11, 2019

One of the greatest pieces in Western literature is the Confessions of St Augustine.  For Catholics this work is more than literature.  It is the testament of faith of one of the most important writers of the Western tradition.  It is the testament of faith of one of the most important figures in the Catholic tradition, tradition here with a capital T.   What most people know about and have read in the Confessions is the history of Augustine’s conversion and the role of his mother Monica in that conversion.  But equally as compelling in this seminal work of Western literature is Augustine’s thought on memory.  We take memory for granted and often in an objective way, but if we pause to think about memory, its essence and its essential part of who each of us as a person, then we are faced with mystery.  This is how Augustine begins the section of the Confession on memory:

Guest Op-Ed: "Discerning the false prophets at the Amazonian Synod" - by Nick Donnelly

 by the Rev. Deacon Nick Donnelly

As we await the Amazonian Synod we would do well to pay special heed to one of sacred Scriptures and sacred Traditions insistent warnings we must be on our guard against individuals who seek to pass off their own words as the word of God. The history of the ecclesia dei includes dark periods when false prophets and heretics sought to deceive the faithful that they spoke the word of God.  However, darkness does not have the final say the history of the Church also contains glorious moments when such deceptions were resisted, exposed and defeated, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1:5.)

Old Testament warnings against false prophets

The Lord God warned Jeremiah about the egotistical deceptions of false prophets:

The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. (Jer 14:14).

The significance of Cardinal Brandmüller's latest condemnation of the Amazon Synod: "A situation never before seen in the Church's history"

By now (6th September 2019), many media outlets (among them Catholic Herald and Catholic News Agency) have reported on the latest broadside against the upcoming Amazon Synod (and its Instrumentum Laboris) by Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter 

This is not the first time that either Cardinal has denounced this horrid document. What is new is Brandmüller's declaration that the current crisis surpasses even the Arian Crisis in severity: 

"'We must face serious challenges to the integrity of the Deposit of the Faith, the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church and its Apostolic Tradition. With all this has been created a situation never before seen in the Church’s history, not even during the Arian crisis of the fourth and fifth century,' Brandmüller added.

It really is true: Francis Hates Americans

Catholic: Universal.
Pope: the Universal Father.
A Pope who
loved Americans

One would think that the Pope would not resort to generalizations about one national people or another. One would think so...and yet earlier today he went out of his way to criticize the people of the United States.

Edward Pentin has the story:

A throwaway remark by Pope Francis aboard the papal plane this morning raised a few eyebrows among those traveling with him — and sent his press handlers scrambling.

For the Record: Public Statement regarding the destruction, by Holy See representatives, of the John Paul II Institute for the Family

Public Statement Concerning the Turmoil Surrounding the Pope John Paul II Institute for the Family in Rome

Addressed to:
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, Great Chancellor of the Institute
Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, President of the Institute
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Education
Archbishop Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Education

Due to the vast coverage in the media (Tagespost,, CNA, and many others in foreign countries) and due to the publication of the letter written by representatives of the Institute's student body with now more than 1,500 signatures from students and alumni, as well as of an extensive interview with the Vice President [of the Institute], Prof. Granados, and of the interview with Professors Melina, Grygiel, and Prof. Pesci of the State University La Sapienza/ Rome, the facts and the current situation of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family at the Lateran University – as founded by Pope John Paul II in 1981 – are generally known. Therefore, we assume in the following that our readers are informed about them.

Since 1981, when Pope John Paul II called me (Prof. Martin) to be the first sociologist at the Institute, I was for approximately two decades intimately involved, with the help of the Institute's first President – the later Cardinal Prof. Carlo Caffarra – in its establishment and growth. In several meetings with the entire international academic staff, together with Pope John Paul II, there took place intensive consultations about the vision of the Pope and his objectives. The Pope (and after him in a similar fashion Pope Benedict XVI) hoped that, with the help of the founding of this new Institution, there would take place a far-reaching renewal of the Catholic theology and pastoral care for marriage and the family. We all were and still are convinced that Divine Providence gave the Church and the world, through Pope John Paul, a charismatic new beginning in the field of the Church's teaching on marriage (anthropological explanation of Humanae Vitae, Personalism, expansion of the Sacrament of Matrimony, etc.), which was at the same time a bulwark against the anti-family ideologies that in the meantime had sprung up.

Review: Little Latin Readers -- a wonderful tool for Catholic students (and 15% off!)

As a father of many homeschooled children, due to a demanding job, I only have a 30,000-foot understanding of how they actually learn, as my wife carries that burden. However, I do know that, while Mrs. Adfero has always tried to keep up with the kids' Latin courses, it was never a core subject that must be completed every day. 

Then, we were sent the Little Latin Readers

At first, Mrs. Adfero was hesitant to even look at a new product, with the start of a new school year just a few weeks away. But she did, as the creators sent us a package, and she felt obligated. But that hesitancy quickly turned to excitement. So much so that she changed course at the last minute and now a number of our children will be using these Readers exclusively for their Latin studies this year. 

While I am not qualified to go deeply into this tool, here are some key features to know:

(Keep reading to get 15% off in an exclusive Rorate reader discount!)

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We added another fine priest to the roster in the last month and the Society now stands at 96 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 (you send these to the family and/or friends of the dead, not to us). 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.

A Vatican II Moment in the New York Times today: “Priest weds Nun"

In today’s Sunday New York Times, this is the title—“When ‘Priest Marries Nun’”--  for an Op-Ed piece written by a man who is the son of a Catholic priest and a Catholic nun who were married fifty years ago.  In this piece the son describes their decision to get married. His mother had already left her teaching Order. But his father was still a priest, on leave from his parish.  His father decided to marry his mother as a Catholic priest without receiving a dispensation from the obligations of his ordination. His father said: “We believe in the goals of the church and love the church deeply…and we believe we are doing this for the good of the church.. I really felt that in order to be true to the Gospel I should enter into the deepest relationship possible for the church.”  His son comments that by this his father meant marriage, not the celibate priesthood.

Towards the end of the article the son comments:

As a historian of American religion and no longer a practicing Catholic, I have developed some distance on my parents’ story.  I have far less of a stake than they do in the future of vocations they left behind.  Whether the ranks of priests and nuns continue to decline or somehow return again to the kind of flourishing that made them the significant cultural markers they remain, I will watch with interest, comparing their rise and fall with that of other religious groups that have experienced similar trajectories.

Those of us who lived through those times—this was 1969—remember all too well the turmoil of those days, both in the secular world and in the Catholic Church.  

Francis Announces Creation of 13 new Cardinals -- 10 New Electors, Most Liberal Group Ever Assembled

In the end of the Angelus today, Francis announced a Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals, set for October 5, 2019.

The Cardinal Electors (under 80) are:

  1. - Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, mccj – President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious dialogue
  2. - José Tolentino Medonça – Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church
  3. - Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo – Archbishop of Jakarta
  4. - Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez – Archbishop of Havana
  5. - Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, o.f.m. cap – Archbishop of Kinshasa
  6. - Jean-Claude Höllerich, sj – Archbishop of Luxembourg
  7. - Alvaro L. Ramazzini Imeri – Bishop of Huehuetenamgo, Guatemala
  8. - Matteo Zuppi – Archbishop of Bologna.
  9. -  Cristóbal Lopez Romero, sdb – Archbishop of Rabat.
  10. -  Michael Czerny, sj – Undersecretary for Migrants (Holy See)

They are, without a doubt, the most liberal group of Cardinal-Electors ever assembled. At least two of them are widely known in Roman Circles for their "gay" preferences (and the word "gay" is used here advisedly, to include the whole homosexual "gay culture" mentioned by Benedict XVI in his 2005 document on seminarians to be avoided), as well as 2 liberal Jesuits. Even those explicitly non-liberal, as the Abp. of Kinshasa, were chosen probably due to their extreme proximity with the German Church and the concerns of the German bishops.

As for Michael Fitzgerald, chosen as one of 3 non-voting Cardinals, we recall this 2006 post, on why Benedict XVI sent him far away from the Vatican.

The passion of the Church will last for many decades more. And Francis will never resign. Not only that, the Puppeteers will leave him in a coma "creating cardinals" for years, if that is what it takes to completely remake the College of Cardinals.