Rorate Caeli

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