Rorate Caeli

De Mattei: The Simony of the German Bishops

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 29, 2020

 “How I would like a poor Church for the poor” exclaimed Pope Francis (L’Osservatore Romano, March 17, 2013). The antithesis of his ideal however, is embodied precisely by the church closest to him – the German one. The German Episcopal Conference, which sponsored ideologically and economically last October’s Synod on the Amazon, is in fact the wealthiest and most privileged enterprise in all of Germany. This wealth comes from the Kirchensteuer, a tax that the State devolves to the Church, by retaining a figure amounting to 8-9% of  the overall tax burden of German Catholics. The taxation though is obligatory, unlike other countries, where Churches are financed through the generosity of the faithful, freely choosing to pay out a part of their income.

In Germany, those who want to be exempt from the Kirchensteuer must sign a statement showing their abandonment of the Church (Kirchenaustritt), which, as a result, deprives them of the Sacraments. On September 20, 2012, the German Bishops decreed that those who asked no longer  to be registered in order to avoid paying the ecclesiastical tax, can no longer confess, receive Communion or Confirmation and, at their death, cannot have a Catholic funeral; they will not even be able to do voluntary work in a Catholic association, let alone work in a Church institution, such as a school or hospital.

In an interview published in Schwäbische Zeitung of July 17, 2016, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, denounced this glaring contradiction in these terms: “How does the Catholic Church in Germany react with those who don’t pay the Church tax? With automatic exclusion from the ecclesial community, which means excommunication. This is excessive – incomprehensible. Dogmas can be questioned and no one is thrown out. Is perhaps the non-payment of the Kirchensteuer a graver infraction than the transgressions against the truths of the Faith? The impression is, that, as long as what’s at stake is the Faith, it isn’t so tragic, but when money comes into play, then it is not to be trifled with”.

“La Verità” Newspaper interviews Professor Roberto de Mattei

“La Verita

January 27, 2020

Last January 18, in Munich, Bavaria, a unique event took place: more than a hundred people lined-up in a square, where, for an hour, they remained standing,, reciting the Rosary in silence, in defense of orthodoxy in the Catholic Church. The promoters call it Acies ordinate. Among them was professor Roberto de Mattei, historian and President of the Fondazione Lepanto

How did this Bavarian initiative come about? 
It is the third Acies ordinata demonstration, the first outside Italy. The previous ones took place in Rome last year: on February 19th ,before the conference on  sexual abuse organized by Pope Francis in the Vatican and then on September 28th , the day before the opening of the Amazon Synod.     
Why the trip to Germany?
Munich is the Archiepiscopal See of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, President of the German Episcopal Conference, which last December 4th officially launched the Synodalerweg, an “ongoing” synod, de facto permanent, that aims at transforming the Church in Germany and thus the universal Church.      
Isn’t the influence of the German Bishops overrated?
There is a strong theological culture in Germany. The main theologian of Vatican II and the Post-Council, was a German, Karl Rahner. Some days after his election, the first theologian quoted by Pope Francis, actually displaying his book, was another German, Cardinal Walter Kasper, a disciple of Rahner. The German Episcopal Conference financed the Pan-Amazonian Synod and directed it theologically.  A Brazilian Cardinal of German origins, Claudio Hummes, was the general rapporteur of the last Synod and the author of a “secret letter” sent to the Bishops of the entire world to prepare them for the soon to be released Post-Synod Exhortation from Pope Francis, to whom he is very attached.

March for Life and TLM photos

On Friday, 24 January, thousands of traditional Catholics attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., from the Fraternity of Saint Peter to the Institute of Christ the King to diocesan parishes that offer the traditional Latin Mass.

Rorate was there and took a few photos:

President Donald Trump, speaking in-person at the March for Life

Congressman Chris Smith, co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus

Nellie Gray Mass 2020; Saint Mary Mother of God church in Washington, D.C.

March for Life: First U.S. president in-person, and plenty of TLMs around

The announcement that President Donald Trump will speak in-person at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., tomorrow (Friday) at 12 noon is a game-changer for the annual commemoration of the Roe versus Wade court decision overturning pro-life state laws in the U.S.

Ronald Reagan was the first president to address the March for Life, in 1985, but via telephone from the Oval Office. He did so again in 1986, 1987 and 1988.  This was a big deal for America, as both Republican and Democrat presidents avoided the significant gathering on the National Mall each January 22nd until the second term of President Reagan. Both President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush spoke to the March for Life via audio, the latter usually from an out-of-town trip scheduled for January 22nd.

Mike Pence made history as the first vice president to address the March for Life in-person in 2017, the only time Secret Service was employed for security screening. He spoke again last year, unannounced (no screening) -- a bold move. For this year's March for Life, tomorrow (as the March for Life is now held on the Friday closest to January 22nd), Vice President Pence (baptized Catholic, no longer practicing) will be at the Vatican.

President Trump, who previously spoke to the March for Life via video/audio, will speak in-person for at least 15 minutes as early as 12 noon on Friday, January 24th.  The speeches, which will also include House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Congressman Chris Smith, Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards and Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson, will be at 12th Street on the National Mall.

It is highly recommended visitors plan ahead for extreme traffic and extensive security screening (the Secret Service prohibits even pieces of fruit).  Buses should depart earlier than they think if the goal is to see and hear the president inside the secure National Mall perimeter.  Expect the unexpected, such as the closure of the nearest Metro station (Smithsonian) and other hassles that result in delays to the main event.

It goes without saying many traditional Catholics come to the nation's capital for the March for Life.  To that end, there are numerous traditional Latin Masses offered in the District that day.  Saint Mary Mother of God church at 5th and H streets, NW, will have several visiting priests offer Low Masses at side altars starting as early as 7 a.m. Here are four scheduled Mass options in walking/Metro distance from the March for Life.

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Today I offered, as did many other priests, a Votive Mass for Peace, with a commemoration, of course, of SS. Vincent and Anastasius. I did so on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.  The Collect and the readings make it quite clear that the Peace of which we are speaking and for which we are asking has little to do with peace as understood by the world.  The Collect says it best: “O God, from Whom are holy desires, right counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts being devoted to the keeping of Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies removed, our times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.” The peace we are asking for in this Mass is not freedom from anxiety and the tempests of this world, nor from the obligations of the Catholic in this world, a world that denies and opposes the moral law of Christ founded on love of God. We are not asking for “peace in the world”, per se.  We are asking for that peace that only God can give, that peace that is aninner glimpse of the peace of heaven.

Notes for 2020 - Louis XVI, Saintly King, true Martyr: a Catholic going to death and His Last Will and Testament

Procession to eternity

On January 20, 1793, the National Convention condemned Louis XVI to death, his execution scheduled for the next day. Louis spent that evening saying goodbye to his wife and children. The following day, January 21, dawned cold and wet. Louis arose at five. At eight o'clock a guard of 1,200 horsemen arrived to escort the former king on a two-hour carriage ride to his place of execution. Accompanying Louis, at his invitation, was a priest, Henry Essex Edgeworth, an Englishman living in France. Edgeworth recorded the event and we join his narrative as he and the fated King enter the carriage to begin their journey:

"The King, finding himself seated in the carriage, where he could neither speak to me nor be spoken to without witness, kept a profound silence. I presented him with my breviary, the only book I had with me, and he seemed to accept it with pleasure: he appeared anxious that I should point out to him the psalms that were most suited to his situation, and he recited them attentively with me. The gendarmes, without speaking, seemed astonished and confounded at the tranquil piety of their monarch, to whom they doubtless never had before approached so near.

The procession lasted almost two hours; the streets were lined with citizens, all armed, some with pikes and some with guns, and the carriage was surrounded by a body of troops, formed of the most desperate people of Paris. As another precaution, they had placed before the horses a number of drums, intended to drown any noise or murmur in favour of the King; but how could they be heard? Nobody appeared either at the doors or windows, and in the street nothing was to be seen, but armed citizens - citizens, all rushing towards the commission of a crime, which perhaps they detested in their hearts.

The carriage proceeded thus in silence to the Place de Louis XV, and stopped in the middle of a large space that had been left round the scaffold: this space was surrounded with cannon, and beyond, an armed multitude extended as far as the eye could reach. As soon as the King perceived that the carriage stopped, he turned and whispered to me, 'We are arrived, if I mistake not.' My silence answered that we were. One of the guards came to open the carriage door, and the gendarmes would have jumped out, but the King stopped them, and leaning his arm on my knee, 'Gentlemen,' said he, with the tone of majesty, 'I recommend to you this good man; take care that after my death no insult be offered to him - I charge you to prevent it.'… As soon as the King had left the carriage, three guards surrounded him, and would have taken off his clothes, but he repulsed them with haughtiness- he undressed himself, untied his neckcloth, opened his shirt, and arranged it himself. The guards, whom the determined countenance of the King had for a moment disconcerted, seemed to recover their audacity. They surrounded him again, and would have seized his hands. 'What are you attempting?' said the King, drawing back his hands. 'To bind you,' answered the wretches. 'To bind me,' said the King, with an indignant air. 'No! I shall never consent to that: do what you have been ordered, but you shall never bind me. . .'

The path leading to the scaffold was extremely rough and difficult to pass; the King was obliged to lean on my arm, and from the slowness with which he proceeded, I feared for a moment that his courage might fail; but what was my astonishment, when arrived at the last step, I felt that he suddenly let go my arm, and I saw him cross with a firm foot the breadth of the whole scaffold; silence, by his look alone, fifteen or twenty drums that were placed opposite to me; and in a voice so loud, that it must have been heard it the Pont Tournant, I heard him pronounce distinctly these memorable words: 'I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.'

He was proceeding, when a man on horseback, in the national uniform, and with a ferocious cry, ordered the drums to beat. Many voices were at the same time heard encouraging the executioners. They seemed reanimated themselves, in seizing with violence the most virtuous of Kings, they dragged him under the axe of the guillotine, which with one stroke severed his head from his body. All this passed in a moment. The youngest of the guards, who seemed about eighteen, immediately seized the head, and showed it to the people as he walked round the scaffold; he accompanied this monstrous ceremony with the most atrocious and indecent gestures. At first an awful silence prevailed; at length some cries of 'Vive la Republique!' were heard. By degrees the voices multiplied and in less than ten minutes this cry, a thousand times repeated became the universal shout of the multitude, and every hat was in the air."

[References: Cronin, Vincent, Louis and Antoinete (1975); Edgeworth, Henry in Thompson, J.M., English Witnesses of the French Revolution (1938, Memoirs originally published 1815).]



In the name of the Very holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

De Mattei: The real mess is the cohabitation of 2 Popes

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 15, 2020

The latest controversy, erupting just after the publication of the book on the priesthood by Cardinal Sarah and Benedict XVI, makes plain the pitiful confusion the Church is facing today.

On January 12th , the news of a text written by the Pope emeritus and Cardinal Sarah exploded like a bomb. The book, edited by Nicholas Diat, Cardinal Sarah’s right-hand man, was published by Fayard with the title Des profondeurs des nos coeurs From the Depth of Our Hearts) and carries a strong defense of ecclesiastic celibacy.  The media of the  progressive lobby immediately went on the offensive by denying that the Pope emeritus had ever written a book with Cardinal Sarah and accused the latter of having engaged in an “editorial operation” against Pope Francis. Cardinal Sarah, for his part, reacted in the strongest possible terms: “I declare solemnly that Benedict XVI knew that our project would have been made into a book (…). Certain attacks seem to be insinuating that I am lying. These defamations are exceedingly grave. “

On January 14, however, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Joseph Ratzinger’s secretary and Prefect of the Papal Household, partially contradicted Cardinal Sarah, requesting that the Pope emeritus’ signature as co-author be removed from the book: “The Pope emeritus knew that the Cardinal was preparing a book and had sent his text on the priesthood authorizing him to use it as he wished. But he had not approved any project for a co-authored book, nor had he seen and authorized the cover.  This was a misunderstanding that doesn’t call into question Cardinal Sarah’s good faith.” 

TLMs before and after the March for Life in D.C.

The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., will be held on Friday, 24 January 2020.  Several speakers will address the thousands upon thousands of attendees on the National Mall at 12 noon.  During the current U.S. presidential administration the March for Life has featured Vice President Mike Pence speaking in person (announced) in 2017 and (unannounced) in 2019, and President Donald Trump has addressed the March via video/audio.  After the speakers the March goes to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Saint Mary Mother of God church at 727 5th Street, NW

Many traditional Catholics come to the nation's capital for the March for Life.  To that end, there are numerous traditional Latin Masses offered in the District that day.  Here is a running list based on various sources for TLMs to be offered in churches in Washington, D.C. -- publicly or privately via public announcement, at main or side altars -- on Friday 24 January:

8 a.m. Low Mass, Saint Mary Mother of God church at 5th and H streets, NW.  The pastor of the parish, Father Vincent De Rosa, will offer this Mass on the feast of Saint Timothy.

8:30 a.m. Low Mass, Saint Mary Mother of God church church at 5th and H streets, NW.  Father John Zuhlsdorf will offer this Mass.

8:45 a.m. Low Mass, Saint Mary Mother of God church at 5th and H streets, NW. Father Ron Floyd of the Diocese of Fall River will offer this Mass.

9 a.m. pontifical Low Mass, Holy Comforter church at 1357 East Capitol Street, SE.  Raymond Cardinal Burke will offer this Mass assisted by the Institute of Christ the King. [ N.B. this is quite a welcome development in the Archdiocese of Washington compared to the Mr. McCarrick and Cardinal Wuerl years.]

The Gentle Traditionalist Returns — Roger Buck on the “New Ageification” of Ireland and the West

by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

The Gentle Traditionalist Returns by Roger Buck. Brooklyn: Angelico Press, 2019. 262 pp. Paperback $17.95; cloth $34.35. Order here.

MANY CATHOLICS, many Christians, even many “non-religious” people who have retained shreds of sanity (like the recently deceased Roger Scruton), are trying to answer the question: How did the West get to this point of dissolution in its social and cultural life? How did it come about that the Catholic Church itself, which had once seemed an impregnable bastion of order, decency, beauty, and meaning, succumb enthusiastically to the suicidal secularism and irrationalism characteristic of our postmodern times?

Humanly speaking, there will not be a single source that can give a complete answer to this question. We piece together our answers as we are able and as the Lord grants us opportunities for insight. But I think we have all had the experience that certain books stand out for opening up fruitful avenues of thought, connecting more dots, or bringing in new elements of which one had been unaware. This has been my experience over the years with key books, such as Martin Mosebach’s  Heresy of Formlessness and Henry Sire’s masterpiece Phoenix from the Ashes, and I imagine it is happening for a lot of readers today with Bishop Schneider’s Christus Vincit.

Roger Buck, a former New Age enthusiast, indeed apologist and campaigner, who experienced a double conversion, first to Christianity and then to traditional Catholicism, is making unique contributions to this effort to understand our current situation in the West and in the Church, which has come to a head in the panreligious, syncretistic, humanistic, one-world-government Age of Abu Dhabi. He speaks authoritatively, with detailed academic and personal knowledge, about the influence of the New Age movement behind the scenes and diffusively throughout society in its popular media spin-offs, which can nevertheless be traced back to purer origins.

The last two works by Buck — his winsome novel The Gentle Traditionalist (Angelico, 2015) and his more wide-ranging, philosophical, autobiographical Cor Jesu Sacratissimum: From Secularism and the New Age to Christendom Renewed (Angelico, 2016) — are now joined by a third book: The Gentle Traditionalist Returns (Angelico, 2019). As one who hugely enjoyed the first novel when appeared four years ago and ended up distributing many copies of it to friends and family, I was overjoyed to see a sequel, although also a bit apprehensive, because sequels can sometimes be disappointing (certainly with movies, as often as not: with the endless Star Wars series, pretty soon we’ll be peering into Luke’s first trimester).

HAPPILY, Buck’s latest foray is a grand success. The book opens with the narrator discussing his journey to Catholicism and how he is slowly awakening to the magnitude of the spiritual combat around him, something his more sensitive wife has long perceived. There are moving reminiscences of the Ireland of yesterday and today, together with expressions of affectionate concern for their relative Brigid, whom we learn has fallen prey to a New Age activist and slickster, Gareth LightShadow. In the central part of the story, GT (Gilbert Tracey or the Gentle Traditionalist) skewers LightShadow, though the latter is too besotted with himself to realize he’s been made a fool of. In the process, GT exposes political and cultural connections most Christians have never heard of, much less reckoned with. In particular, Buck wants to explain how a twin force, which he names the New Secular Religion (or Secular Materialism) and the New Age Religion (or Secular Spiritualism), work together to undermine Christianity and, in fact, basic human dignity and reason.

The story features the same singular combination of whimsy and surprise, keen social commentary, and deft argumentation as the first Gentle Traditionalist. (Note that it is not necessary to have read the first in order to follow the second; they are written as stand-alone books.) The new book, however, has more pathos, paints its characters more fully, and sustains a more serious tone throughout, without descending into preachiness. The tragedy of an Ireland implosively denaturing itself, the plight of the unborn sold to the Me-market, and the self-disembowelment of the Church are prominent themes.

In a lengthy Afterword, “Occultism and the Easternization of the Anglosphere” (pp. 193–242) that is worth the price of the book all by itself, Buck drops the story genre and simply expounds the penetration of Eastern esotericism into the West. He wants to explain how “Eastern Occultism Without Christ” has penetrated so far and so wide that it is nowadays to be found in bestselling novels, popular magazines, television shows, UN and EU programs — and, we might add, in homilies and sermons too, not to mention utterances from Rome. There is a great deal of connecting-the-dots in these pages that helps in tuning one’s ear and sharpening one’s eye. Already thanks to the novel and its Afterword, I am able to perceive new layers of intelligibility in pieces of world news and Vatican news.

The novel part of the book is shot through with a combination of melancholy and hopefulness that reminds me of the best poetry and folk music, while the Afterword offers a painstaking analysis of figures we neglect to our disadvantage. The Gentle Traditionalist Returns appeals to what is best and deepest in us, so that we will reengage with that which ultimately matters while there is yet time. 

Thank you, Roger Buck, for another brilliant tale of spiritual awakening and discovery.

To order in paperback or hardcover, visit the publisher's page, which has links to various Amazon sites. Interested readers may wish to visit the author's blog Cor Jesu Sacratissimum and especially his YouTube channel, which features many video discussions on a variety of subjects.

“Vatican’s dear citadel / Besieged of hell?”: A Poem Written by Pope Leo XIII

Although educated Catholics know Leo XIII as a prolific author of encyclicals, especially on Catholic social doctrine and on the Rosary, fewer are aware that he wrote a considerable body of poetry, including liturgical hymns, sonnets, ballads, and other popular forms. What follows is a (poetic) English translation of one of the poems, copied out of an old volume that I have long since lost the title of. The poignancy of certain lines struck me, in light of the events of recent days and years. (UPDATE: A kind reader sent in the exact reference! The book is called Poems, Charades, Inscriptions of Pope Leo XIII: Including the Revised Compositions of His Early Life in Chronological Order, published in 1902.
Lines written on New Year’s Eve, 1900
Pope Leo XIII

A noble nurse of all the arts,
The Age departs:
Let who will sing the truths it taught,
The marvels wrought.

Me rather shall its sinful years
But move to tears,
As in a backward glance I see
Its infamy.

Shall blood of men be my lament,
Or scepters rent,
Or Vatican’s dear citadel
Besieged of hell?

Socci: The Backstory: here is what went on behind the scenes. The rage of the despot against the Catholic Pope

Reliable sources inside the Vatican have pieced together what happened. The book “From the Depths of Our Hearts” is clearly by Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah (as indeed the letters between the two of them -  made public by Cardinal Sarah -  demonstrate unequivocally). Everything had been decided and agreed upon from the very start. The other day – when the part defending celibacy was published -  pandemonium broke out in the Vatican because Bergoglio was fuming with rage. In fact, that authoritative  pronouncement by Benedict, stops him from tearing apart ecclesiastic celibacy, as he had intended to do in the upcoming Post-Synod Exhortation. So, he personally summoned Monsignor Gaenswein, Benedict’s secretary, but also Prefect of Bergoglio’s Papal Household and, furious, ordered him to have Benedict XVI’s name removed from the cover of the book (being unable to demand the changing of the texts therein).
Bergoglio demanded a full and total disclaimer. For this reason the first filtered report spoke of sources “close to Benedict XVI” who said Benedict had not written the book with Cardinal Sarah, nor had he approved the cover (that is, his signature on the volume).
This however, was not true and Benedict XVI was unable to accept speaking falsely by implicitly accusing Cardinal Sarah of having involved him without his consent. Neither did Pope Benedict have any intention of taking back what he had written in defense of celibacy in the book. In fact Cardinal Sarah immediately made the letters exchanged between them public, which showed the book had been decided upon by both of them, and without doubt he made them public with Benedict’s permission. To re-establish the truth.   
On the other hand, Benedict also found himself needing to protect his secretary from the South American’s “vengeance”, seeing as he had received a peremptory order from Bergoglio. So this solution of compromise was adopted: in  successive book editions the author will be Cardinal Sarah “with the contribution of Benedict XVI”.  The text of the book, nevertheless, remains the same.
With this messy compromise, the Bergoglian court can say to the mass-media that “Benedict XVI removed his signature from the book” (even if it’s not true) but in actual fact the book remains just as it is, with Sarah’s signature and Benedict’s name as author of the parts agreed upon.
A very ugly story of clerical bullying, which, in the end, aims at muzzling Benedict XVI.  
The fundamental question remains however: If Bergoglio – in his Exhortation -  hits out at celibacy (with the ordination of “viri probati”), he places himself de facto in direct contrast with the  doctrine of the Church, reaffirmed in recent days by Pope Benedict XVI. Thus, he becomes  responsible for a very grave rift, fraught with consequences.

Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana

Source: Antonio Socci’s Facebook

Vatican - Bishops, Get Ready: The Amazon Fake-Synod Bomb is Coming Up! (Confidential Letter)

"...with the guidance of the Holy Spirit..."
Vatican City, 13 January 2020

Your Eminence, Your Grace, Your Excellency:

The Holy Father is preparing a new Apostolic Exhortation to present the New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology as developed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit during the Synod on the Amazon in October last year.

The draft is currently being reviewed and corrected and then needs to be translated. Pope Francis hopes to promulgate it by the end of this month or in early February.

Announcing And Rightly So—Selected Letters and Articles of Neil McCaffrey

The name of Neil McCaffrey (1925–1994) will be familiar to those who have followed the fortunes and trials of the conservative movement in the United States, as well as to long-time readers of Rorate Caeli, which has featured a number of his outstanding occasional writings: his ever-relevant “Memorandum on Papal Cheerleaders” from February 1976; his incisive essay “Archbishop Lefebvre, Pope Paul VI, and Catholic Tradition” from 1977; a couple of his personal letters (1, 2) on the meaning of true charity and how it coexists with right judgment; and a letter exchange with Msgr. Eugene Clark on the superiority and insuppressibility of the old Mass.

Born in Rye, NY and a lifetime resident of Pelham, Neil McCaffrey was the founder of Conservative Book Club and Arlington House Publishers, which he ran for decades, and a respected behind-the-scenes political organizer who knew everyone, collaborating especially with William F. Buckley, Jr., and others at National Review. Neil was also a knowledgeable enthusiast of old films and the music of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, an enthusiasm reflected in his founding of the Nostalgia Book Club in 1968 and his leading of the Movie Entertainment Book Club from 1978. Above all, Neil was a faithful and well-educated Catholic who saw what was happening to the Church because of the Vatican II revolution, and who spoke with unusual eloquence in defense of the orthodox Faith.

Anno Domini MMXX - Notes for the Year: Benedict XVI Speaks Up in Defense of Priestly Celibacy - Could this be why Amazon Synod document is late?

Wasn't the final papal document (post-synodal exhortation) of the Amazon Synod supposed to be released before Christmas 2019? And yet, nothing came out. Could it be a last-minute intervention regarding one of the pet projects of the Francis pontificate, the ordinary ordination of married men in the Amazon region?

One can suspect this with the upcoming publication of a Book jointly written by Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah. A scoop revealed by Jean-Marie Guenois, of conservative French daily Le Figaro, as we note below in excerpts from the Associated Press report (book excerpts in bold):

Pope Benedict XVI breaks silence to reaffirm priest celibacy

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has broken his silence to reaffirm the value of priestly celibacy, co-authoring a bombshell book at the precise moment that Pope Francis is weighing whether to allow married men to be ordained to address the Catholic priest shortage.

Benedict wrote the book, “From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church,” along with his fellow conservative, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s liturgy office and has been a quiet critic of Francis.

Events: Third Annual Lepanto Conference, New York City, February 15, with Cardinal Zen

This is major news indeed!

The third annual Lepanto Conference will take place in New York City on Saturday, February 15, 2020, beginning with a Pontifical Mass in the traditional rite at the great Dominican church of St Vincent Ferrer (869 Lexington Avenue).

The Mass will be celebrated by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, beginning at 11 a.m., and followed by followed by lectures and a procession. Lectures will be given by Cardinal Zen, Dr. Michael P. Foley, and Rev. George Rutler. Confessions will be heard at the Church of St Vincent Ferrer beginning at 10:00 AM.

Last year’s conference was a massive success, boasting 700+ in attendance. For more information, see the event's Facebook page.

De Mattei: In Memoriam: The French Historian and the Italian Philosopher

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 8, 2020

Roberto de Mattei, Augusto Del Noce, Jean de Viguerie

The French historian, Jean de Viguerie departed this life on December 15th 2019. Two weeks later, on December 30th , there was the 30th anniversary of the death of the Italian philosopher Augusto del Noce. What did these two figures of 20th century Catholic culture have in common?

Jean de Viguerie, born in Rome in 1935, followed a brilliant academic career, becoming Professor emeritus at the University of Lille-III, without ever making compromises to the dominant culture. «La foi irriguait toute la vie de Jean de Viguerie et nourrissait sa vie de professeur» wrote his disciple, Philippe Pichot Bravard.

Viguerie had a thorough, deep knowledge of the 20th century. In my opinion, his fundamental work is Christianisme et Révolution. Cinq leçons d’Histoire de la Révolution française (Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1986). The reading of this book, alongside La Révolution française by Pierre Gaxotte (Edition by Jean Tulard, Complexe, 1988) offers us a synthetic, but illuminating picture of what happened in France between 1789 and 1795. His most original work though, is Les deux patries. Essai historique sur l’idée de patrie en France (Dominique Martin Morin, 1998). The French historian demonstrates how in the 19th century, a new concept of « patria » superimposed itself on the traditional one, rooted in a concrete place and a precise historical memory. It was in the name of this ideology that France went into the First World War. The Union Sacrée of 1914, between nationalists of the left and the right, was a continuation of the call to arms launched in 1792, when the National Assembly declared “La Patrie en danger!” [The Homeland is in danger!].

The Priest Who Led Believers into the Temple of the Roman Liturgy

The following article was published in German on November 21st for the 50th Anniversary of the death of Father Sylvester Juergens, the ultimate source of the Angelus Missal, still in use today after eight reprints. It is offered here to Rorate readers in an English translation.

Fr. Sylvester Juergens (1894–1969):
The Priest Who Led Believers into the Temple of the Roman Liturgy

By Clemens Victor Oldendorf

2019 was a year in which many golden anniversaries or fiftieth anniversaries lined up for the Catholic Church, bearing on extolling the liturgical reform of Paul VI or defending the preservation of the liturgical tradition.

On April 3, 1969 Paul VI promulgated his Novus Ordo Missae, which came into force in most countries on November 30, the first Sunday of Advent in 1969. June 5, in that year the feast of Corpus Christi, was the date of the Short Critical Investigation of this new Ordo, addressed with a cover letter by the Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to Paul VI on September 25, 1969. On October 13, 1969, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre opened his theological study-centre for priestly formation in Friborg, Switzerland, which was, so to speak, the seed from which the tender plant of the Society of St. Pius X was to spring forth.

The Papal slap

A lot of people have weighed in on Pope Francis repeatedly slapping the hand of a pilgrim in St Peter’s Square. Reactions have not divided simply along ideological lines. Austin Ruse suggested, on Twitter, that Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II would have reacted even more fiercely to a pilgrim grabbing their hands and not letting go. I was undecided myself at first. The pilgrim’s action did seem a little aggressive. On the other hand, there she is, in the video, a rather small Chinese lady, making a sign of the cross to steel herself to take the hand of the much larger Pope, surrounded by body guards. From what one can see of the timing of the incident, the Pope reacts as he does not to the surprise of the physical aspect of the gesture, but to what she is saying. She is saying something about Hong Kong…

Fontgombault Sermon for the Epiphany - "The Church is necessary for Salvation: The storms rocking Peter’s ship invite us to get closer to Christ."

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, January 6, 2020

Vidimus stellam eius.
We have seen His star in the East.
(Mt 2:2)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

During Advent, we appropriated the expectation of the men and women of the Old Testament, and we yearned for the coming of the promised Messiah. This found an echo in the liturgy, with its many repetitions of the call, “Veni, Come”.

This expectation for a Comforter is not something proper to Christians exclusively. Every man who wonders, even just a little, what the meaning of his life may be, yearns for a light, for a pointer on the path towards happiness, for an answer to the painful questions included in each human life. Unfortunately, many go astray, following stars leading to dead-ends, to unfulfillable hopes. The multiplication of sects, the revival of mystery religions, the development of Masonic lodges, bear witness to that fact. Man is often an anonymous person, lost in a crowd of anonymous persons. Everyone follows his own path, towards manifold directions, without a guide, on his own.

Anno Domini MMXX - The Epiphany of the Lord: Let us celebrate Kings' Feast with great joy!

Omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes, et laudem Domino annuntiantes.
All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.
Isaiah, 60
Gradual for the Mass of the Feast

Theodosius, Charlemagne, our own Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor, Stephen of Hungary, the Emperor Henry 2nd, Ferdinand of Castile, Louis 9th of France, are examples of Kings who had a special devotion to the Feast of the Epiphany. Their ambition was to go, in company with the Magi, to the feet of the Divine Infant, and offer him their gifts. At the English Court, the custom is still retained, and the reigning Sovereign offers an ingot of Gold as a tribute of homage to Jesus the King of kings: the ingot is afterwards redeemed by a certain sum of money.

Anno Domini MMXX - Notes for the Year
- January 5th: The Most Holy Name of Jesus in St. Therese's most ardent desires

At the Name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians 2:10 
Introit for the Mass for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus


To be Thy Spouse, O my Jesus, to be a daughter of Carmel, and by my union with Thee to be the mother of souls, should not all this content me? And yet other vocations make themselves felt—I feel called to the Priesthood and to the Apostolate—I would be a Martyr, a Doctor of the Church. I should like to accomplish the most heroic deeds—the spirit of the Crusader burns within me, and I long to die on the field of battle in defense of Holy Church.

Anno Domini MMXX - Notes for the Year - January 3rd: Roe should be overruled

"For while I was yet little I pleased the Most High, and from my womb have I brought forth God and man."
Roman Breviary
Responsory for the First Lesson for Matins, January 3rd


'Roe’s jurisprudence has been haphazard from the beginning. Roe did not actually hold that abortion was a “fundamental” constitutional right, but only implied it. ... Roe’s jurisprudence has been characterized by Delphic confusion and protean change.'
'[We] respectfully suggest that the court’s struggle—similar to dozens of other courts’ herculean struggles in this area—illustrates the unworkability of the “right to abortion” found in Roe and the need for the Court to take up the issue of whether Roe and Casey should be reconsidered and, if appropriate, overruled.'

From the Amicus Curiae brief signed by over 200 members
of the United States Congress
to the Supreme Court of the United States
in the pending case June Medical Services LLC v. Gee

Free traditional liturgical calendar for bishops and priests

As they have done the last couple of years, the Servants of the Holy Family have asked us to alert the prelates and priests who read our blog that they can obtain a free traditional liturgical calendar! We have already reviewed this calendar and included that review with pictures below.

We are told that many priests, and several bishops, have requested free calendars over the last two years so this project has been successful.

For any priests or bishops who want a free calendar -- and for any layman who wants to send a calendar to a priest or bishop -- just click on the "CLICK HERE" below and fill out the form. Be sure to have the name and title of the cleric it should be sent to as well as the address.

Original post 9/20/2019:
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. 

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 98 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.

Anno Domini MMXX - Notes for the Year: January 1st with 5th-Century Mosaics at Saint Mary Major

The divine plan for the world’s salvation included the existence of a Mother of God: and as heresy sought to deny the mystery of the Incarnation, it equally sought to deny the glorious prerogative of Mary. Nestorius asserted that Jesus was only man; Mary consequently was not Mother of God, but merely Mother of a Man called Jesus. This impious doctrine roused the indignation of the Catholic world. The East and West united in proclaiming that Jesus was God and Man, in unity of Person; and that Mary, being his Mother, was, in strict truth, Mother of God.’