Rorate Caeli

You Report: Card. Burke and the rise of tradition in Slovakia

Note: The following report is from a reader, however we can report ourselves that we hear tradition, and the Mass, are rising in Slovakia. Be sure to look at all of the amazing photos in the link and a video of the full Mass below. 

CLICK HERE for more wonderful photos.

From a reader:

Card. Burke visited Trnava, a city in Western Slovakia, between November 15 and 18, 2019 during the famous Trnava novena in honor of a miraculous image of Our Lady venerated in the Basilica of St. Nicholas. The picture wept blood in 1663 when Trnava was threatened by the Turks, and again in
1710 when Our Lady saved the city from the plague.

New edition of the FIUV magazine

Readers of Rorate Caeli may not even know that there is such a thing as Una Voce International, the FIUV (Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce), let alone that it has a magazine.

But a new edition is available as a pdf download, and is worth a look, with news and photographs from literally all over the world. It can be downloaded here.

Anyone can join the mailing list for receipt of Gregorius Magnus: sign up here  to receive mailings like this one.

With best wishes for Advent and Christmas!

Appeal! Please Help a Group of Traditional Monks in France acquire their permanent Home

Readers may know of the Monastère Saint-Benoît, a small Benedictine monastery in Provence in the South East of France in the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon founded in 2011, of traditional, classic monastic observance which celebrates the older forms of the Roman and monastic rites – including, with permission, the pre-1955 Holy Week rites. Later this month Bishop Rey will confer the minor orders of Exorcist and Acolyte on one on the junior monks in formation.

The monastery is an international English-speaking community and with a good number of vocation enquiries from young men around the world and is the home of the Sacra Liturgia initiatives. In recent years its annual liturgical summer school has welcomed Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schnieder, Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, etc. As its latest newsletter details, Cardinal Sarah visited the monastery for a weekend last September and celebrated a beautiful pontifical Mass according to the traditional rites.

Pontifical High Mass with Cardinal Burke and Christkindlmarkt in La Crosse, December 14-15

We are very pleased to announce two very special things happening on this upcoming weekend at the magnificent Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin:

Back in Print: Cardinal Billot’s Liberalism: A Critique of Its Basic Principles and Its Various Forms in a Newly Revised Translation

Exciting news from our friends at Arouca Press!

This new edition of Billot's classic work on liberalism features an introduction and a newly revised translation by Thomas Storck. It also includes a foreword by Fr. Thomas Crean, OP.

Fontgombault Sermon for the Immaculate Conception: "Rorate cæli desuper" in our Troubled Times!


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Antoine Forgeot
Abbot Emeritus of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, December 8, 2019)

Deus caritas est.
God is love.
(1 Jn 4:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dearly beloved Sons of the absent Abbot,

From the outset, wrote the pious and learned Cardinal Journet, God has loved the human race “with a mad love, to the point that He wanted to give Himself to us in the heavenly vision” (1). We know how this plan was thwarted, yet not fully destroyed, by the sin of our first parents, a sin the scars of which we are still bearing. The redeeming Incarnation of the Word of God, the second Person in the Holy Trinity, is the greatest manifestation of the love of God for us men:

For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son: […] that the world may be saved by Him. (Jn 3:16-17)

The whole history of the chosen people is marked by an expectation for the salvation that God had, in His mercy, foretold. He had even, in a mysterious way, involved in this salvation “the woman”, who was none other than She whose Immaculate Conception we are celebrating today, Mary, the All-Holy Mother of God.

Marco Tosatti: Does Pope Francis think that his Pontificate is about to come to an end?

December 8, 2019

The appointment of Tagle as Prefect for Propaganda Fide is an important signal for many reasons. But most of all because it gives grounds to suppose that Pope Bergoglio believes the end of his pontificate is nigh. An intuition, obviously; nonetheless, justifiable, if you consider another decision  taken - for no apparent reason - some weeks ago. 

We are referring here to  the end of Fabiàn Pedacchio’s service as special Secretary to the Pontiff over the last six years; a position commenced shortly after the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio on March 13, 2013. Fabián Pedacchio, all this time, has maintained his position in the Congregation for Bishops,  acting in support of his very close friend, Ilson de Jesùs Montanari, appointed by Pope Francis as Secretary of that same Congregation, resulting in an absolutely extraordinary leap in career; he divested de facto the Prefect, Marc Ouellet, by being, repeatedly, the leading voice in the choosing of bishops. 

The Immaculate Conception

“Some people are so foolish they think they can go through life without the help  of the Blessed Virgin. ” St. Padre Pio

Immaculate Conception, Sunday

The feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is this Sunday, 8 December 2019.  Of course, the feast is observed on the actual feast day using the 1962 missal, unlike the novus ordo (which transfers the day to Monday with no obligation to attend, even in the U.S. -- patronal feast day be darned).

When this feast last occurred on a Sunday -- in 2013 -- we wrote about it here.  The two important points to make are: 1) there is zero wiggle room to transfer the feast from Sunday to Monday using the 1962 missal; and 2) a commemoration must be made for the Second Sunday of Advent, even at High Masses.

On the first point, both the Immaculate Conception and the 2nd Sunday of Advent are first class feasts on the 1962 calendar.  As NLM has noted, this was not always the case.  The 2nd Sunday of Advent was second class until 1955 reforms promoted it to first class.  The rubrics of 1960, which govern the 1962 missal, explicitly broke the first class tie between the Immaculate Conception and the Second Sunday of Advent:  

Dominica I classis, in occurrentia, festis quibuslibet præfertur. Festum tamen Immaculatæ Conceptionis B. Mariæ Virg. præfertur occurrenti dominicæ Adventus.

Sunday I class takes precedence over all feasts in occurrence.  The feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, however, takes precedence over the Sunday of Advent on which it falls.

New SoundCloud Page for Audio of Dr Kwasniewski’s Lectures and Interviews

For a number of years, readers have been asking me to make available video and audio files of my lectures and interviews. This is indeed something I have wanted to do, but there are two limitations: one is my technological ineptitude, and the other is the need for planning in advance to have recordings made at events, which doesn’t always happen. 

Nevertheless, over the past couple of years a good many such recordings have in fact been made, and I finally created a dedicated SoundCloud page on to which most of them have now been uploaded (and more will be added). Below I have listed the content currently available. I encourage you to explore and to recommend the site to others who appreciate audio content. All files are freely downloadable.

Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2020 Now Available! - Support the Great Project of Papa Stronsay

The Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2020, produced by the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, can now be purchased from their website.HERE.

From their website:

As always, our Calendar is jam-packed full of all kinds of Liturgical, religious and secular information, that will leave you wondering how you ever managed without it! There is really no other Extraordinary Form liturgical wall-calendar like it.
It features a photo from the life of the Congregation for each month.

On Sheen Beatification, it's Good to Err on the Side of Caution

In 2018, following the tragic report of abuses by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania (our post on that report: "The Pennsylvania Truth: John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II were no saints"), the Office of the Attorney-General of the State of New York launched its own thorough investigation of what may have taken place in the state's dioceses. The Diocese of Rochester was subpoenaed in September 2018. Fulton Sheen was the local ordinary in the most critical period of the crisis in America, the second half of the 1960s. His beatification, planned for Peoria on December 21, was postponed sine die a couple of days ago.

Breaking News: Optional commemoration of seven new Saints addded to "Extraordinary Form" Calendar?

Our  usually well-informed friends at Messa in Latino have just posted the information that their highly placed sources in the Vatican have informed them that, "in early January," a document of the Congregation for Divine Worship will be published making known a list of seven saints whose optional commemoration would be added to the Universal Calendar of the 1962 Roman Missal (the "Extraordinary Form" of the Roman Rite).

De Mattei: Who was the worst Pope in the history of the Church?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 4, 2019
Who was the worst Pope in the history of the Church? Many maintain that it was Alexander VI, a Pope excessively criticized. According to St. Robert Bellarmine it was John XII (937-964), whom he defines “omnium pontificum fere deterrimus”, “practically the worst of all pontiffs” (De Romano Pontifice, l. II, cap. XIX, in De controversiis christianae fidei, Apud Societatem Minimam, Venetii 1599, p. 689).

Alberic II of the Counts of Tusculum (the Roman princeps from 932 to 954) some days before dying, asked to be taken to St. Peter’s and on the Apostle’s tomb, in the presence of Pope Agapetus, had the Roman nobles swear, that at the death of the Pope in office, they would elect to the Papal Throne, his son, to whom he had given the auspicious name of Octavian. When the Pope died, in December 955, Octavian was elected under the name of John XII, even if he hadn’t reached the canonical age to become pope, being only eighteen years old. According to an unanimous description of the sources, the young Pope was a dissolute pontiff, who didn’t interrupt his life of reckless abandon in unbridled pleasures, even with his election to the Papal Throne.

Video of Ordinations at Clear Creek Abbey (a Fontgombault foundation)

Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, in Oklahoma, is the only Fontgombault foundation outside of France. Fontgombault, as our readers know well, is a monastery at the heart of Rorate's love for the Church.

On Sunday, November 17, 2019, Bishop David Konderla, of the Diocese of Tulsa, ordained two monks of the Abbey, one into the diaconate and one into the priesthood, in a Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The happy occasion was recorded in this video:

Reply to Rusty Reno Part 2: the TLM and Community

Conclusion of the Latin Mass Society's walking pilgrimage to Walsingham,
at the site of the Holy House in the ruins of Walsingham Priory.
As I have noted in the pair to this article, Rusty Reno, Editor of First Things, has declared, in a long editorial, his measured appreciation of the Traditional Latin Mass. In my other article on this I challenged his assertion, against the TLM, that it fails to convey the content of the Gospel to the Faithful. In this article I want to address another claim on his part. He writes:

Its more horizontal orientation encourages a sense of Christian community, as the liturgical reformers intended. The reduced emphasis on ritual precision shifts attention to the central gospel truths announced in the readings and reiterated in a liturgy readily heard in the language of the people. All these elements enrich the ­Catholic Church.

On the other hand, Reno also says this:

Reply to Rusty Reno: Part 1: the TLM and Catechesis

Latin Mass Society pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Bedford, England
(Edit: part 2 of this two-part series is here.)

The Editor of the online journal First Things, has taken to attending the Traditional Latin Mass. In the final part of a long editorial, he explains what he sees as the pros and cons of the two forms of Mass. The article is interesting and perceptive, but I would like to take up a couple of his observations, with which I disagree—while agreeing with much else. These are the things he says about the capacity of each form to convey the message of the gospel, which I will deal with in this article, and their potential to act as centers of community, which deserves separate treatment.

On the first issue Reno says, of the older form:

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent

From the Gospel:  “Men fainting for fear and for the expectations of the things that are coming on the world.  For the powers of heaven will be shaken.”  (Luke 21:26)

What do Catholic people think when they hear these words of our Lord on this first Sunday in Advent?  “Signs in the sun and moon and stars, distress of nations.”  Some might think about Black Friday, a day that looms large in our consciousness at this time of year, which may, if we think about it, may signal the end of our civilization and the ushering in the of the end times.  But perhaps there are those who are more pious and think about the frequent natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados and tsunamis that kill hundreds if not thousands of people.  But also violent human conflicts like the rioting in the streets of Hong Kong and Iraq.  Or the violent and seemingly unending mass murders in schools, in shopping malls, at concerts, and other public places where one assumes safety. All this gives pious folk some pause and wonder whether these words of Jesus may have some relevance to us at this time.  But just a small pause, for most of us were not brought up on the presence of the Dies Irae that was sung at every funeral for well over a thousand years. We have become unfamiliar with the very thought of the end of all things and the Second Coming.  And so we have become complacent and spiritually lazy, and if we have any slight queasiness about what is to come, it is only about our own death. But that queasiness is easily dispelled by a dose of the “everyone goes-to-heaven” pill dispensed by Father Feelgood.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Last month, we gained another wonderful priest for the ranks, and the Society now stands at 97 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.