Rorate Caeli

IMPORTANT STUDY—“From Traditionis Custodes to the Responsa ad Dubia: On the Hermeneutics of Our Holy Father Francis’s Legislation”

The following article by Padre Federico, first published on December 21 by
InfoCatholica, represents a unique approach to the situation presented by the motu proprio and the CDW responses: namely, the author advocates consistently employing, for their interpretation and application, the principles repeatedly enunciated by Pope Francis himself. We express our thanks to Gerhard Eger for the translation. The article is slightly abridged from its original.


A CHRISTMASTIDE MEDITATION - by Fr. Konrad Loewenstein: "Christ, the very Uncreated Light of God."

In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

  We Catholics do not want to fill our minds and hearts with darkness, but with light: not with the darkness of ignorance and sin, which were never more dense than in our days, neither in the World nor in the Church, but with the light of Faith and Charity; not with non-being but with being; not with the false but with the true, not with evil but with good, with goodness, and with holiness. We desire to lift our hearts and turn our eyes to the Eternal Light that is about to rise for us in the arc of the Heavens, the Light that shines in the darkness: and the darkness has not overcome it.

   In this Light, in this Sun, God has placed His tabernacle (Psalm 19): posuit in sole tabernaculum suum: that is in the Sun of His Divinity He has placed the tabernacle of His Humanity: the tabernacle in which He came to dwell among us on earth - habitavit in nobis - the original Greek term meaning dwelling in a tabernacle, in a tent.

Dear Cardinal Cupich: At least obey the rubrics of the Novus Ordo Mass

 Dear Cardinal Cupich:

I write to you as a Catholic priest on the feast of St. Thomas Becket, who is commemorated in the Octave of Christmas.  St. Thomas Becket was certainly a complex man, but in the end—and the end is ultimately important to us all-- how he died so violently in the Cathedral at Canterbury at the hands of assassins driven to that terrible deed by King Henry II,   made him a saint, not by a proclamation from Rome, but rather because of the “common” Catholics who understood that he was a martyr for the Catholic faith. 

An Open Letter to Novus Ordo Priests of Good Will from a Young Layman Who Cares

Rorate received this submission from a layman organist and music director.

Dear Fathers,

“If the officials do not give sound advice, and if priests live without fear of the Lord, it is no wonder that the entire community can become immoderate and coarse”: Counter-Reformation preaching

In keeping with recent developments in the ongoing attack on the Traditional Latin Mass and its adherents, it seems fitting to mention a new book just released by the admirable Arouca Press: The Christian Year, volume 1: Sermons for Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany, by Joseph Rivius, O.Praem., in a translation by Fr. Martin Roestenburg, O.Praem.

Who is Fr. Joseph Rivius? Well might you ask! Not a household name, Fr. Rivius was an admirable priest and a compelling preacher whose work deserves renewed attention in our day, for reasons that will become apparent. Born in 1607 during the final years of the Reformation, he entered the Norbertine abbey of Tongerlo abbey in Flanders. After his death in 1660, his bundle of sermons came to be published posthumously in 1668.

“What if Rome no longer wants to be Roman?”: Interview with Martin Mosebach

The following interview appeared in the German newspaper
Welt am Sonntag in its December 26, 2021 issue. It has been translated for Rorate Caeli.—PAK

Since Pope Francis issued a decree in July consistently scaling back the celebration of the old Latin Mass, all hell has broken loose on the international scene of Catholic traditionalists (or “trads”). The writer Martin Mosebach is an icon of the movement, not least thanks to his trad pamphlet Heresy of Formlessness (2002). He receives us for a talk in his Frankfurt apartment, less than a ten-minute walk from the old Opera.

When was the last time you were at Mass?

MARTIN MOSEBACH: Last Sunday, on the third [Sunday] of Advent. Here in Frankfurt there is the Deutschordenskirche, where the so-called Tridentine—or better, Gregorian—Mass is regularly celebrated according to the preconciliar liturgical books. Sundays, feast days, and also on some weekdays.

Francis Has Already Lost

Although this article appeared prior to the CDW responses, the content remains incisive and hopeful. It was published in German at the website Summorum-Pontificum.

Francis Has Already Lost
Michael Charlier
December 16, 2021

With which particular measures Francis wants to force the end of the traditional liturgy and when these steps will take place is still uncertain in the details—there is no doubt that he is pursuing this goal with all his might. But we also have no doubt that he will fail miserably in doing so.

Cardinal Cupich’s Chicago Template: The Vatican-endorsed Litmus Test

No doubt many readers have seen the article from Vatican News featuring the latest directives from the current occupant of the See of Chicago. It should surprise no one that he goes even further than the infamous Responsa ad Dubia from the CDW, which in turn went further in key respects than the Vicariate of Rome’s document, which in turn went further than Traditionis Custodes. At this point we are seeing a third layer of unwarranted and indefensible extrapolation, with increasingly obvious violations of canon law and liturgical rubrics (to say the very least).

Interestingly enough, the Chicago policy (the full text may be found here, courtesy of Fr. Zuhlsdorf) was issued only two days after Christmas, and only nine days after the CDW Responsa. It seems fairly clear that the course of action was determined well in advance, and perhaps even that Cupich himself helped to shape the CDW document, since it’s clear he has a special Vatican connection. For what really grabs one’s attention is the simple fact of this article appearing at Vatican News. Since when do the local directives of individual dioceses/bishops get coverage in the Vatican’s press organ? This isn’t just because Blaise Cupich is currently a favorite among the proponents of Bergoglianity in Rome (though he surely is). Rather, this article is a signal: the Vatican is telling the bishops what it approves of and expects from them. This is like Pravda and Izvestyia in the old Soviet Union: the Politburo signals to all the party hacks what the approved policy will be, and what the propaganda line will be.

We are no longer governed by shepherds. We are ruled by apparatchiks of the Party Line.

“Very Instructive Paradoxes”: Fr. Laurent-Marie Pocquet du Haut Jussé, SJM

Paix Liturgique (Letter n°840 of December 24) opened its columns to Reverend Fr. Laurent-Marie Pocquet du Haut Jussé, former superior of the Servants of Jesus and Mary (SJM), who gives us an enlightening testimony. English translation for Rorate Caeli.

The responses made by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as well as the liturgical crisis provoked by the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, bring to light a certain number of very instructive paradoxes for pastors, theologians, and canonists.

At St Germain (France), Catholics celebrate Christmas before the closed doors of a church because of the obstinate will of Pope Francis

“Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock…” – St Luke.

“Never before has the Church seen such a malicious treatment of a movement within it”: Christophe Geffroy

A translation of “Les Responsa de Rome: une sévérité insoutenable” from the conservative La Nef, which takes the line of Cardinal Sarah and the “reform of the reform.” It is a good representation of those who take the Ratzinger line, with its strengths and weaknesses.—PAK

The Responsa of Rome: An Unbearable Severity
Christophe Geffroy
La Nef, December 21, 2021

Just a few days before Christmas—what could be more urgent in these times of pandemic and the drama of sexual abuse of minors? On December 18, the Congregation for Divine Worship published Responsa ad dubia (responses to doubts) “on certain provisions” of Traditionis custodes. In line with the Pope’s motu proprio and his accompanying letter to the bishops, the tone is blunt, with no concern to spare the people concerned. And the substance is no less so, which prohibits roughly all the sacraments according to the old rituals, except for the Mass.

Fontgombault Sermons for Christmas (Christmas Day Mass): "Let us pray for the Church, ...crossing through darkness."

Day Mass 

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, December 25, 2021 

Et lux in tenebris lucet. 
And the light shineth in darkness. 
(Jn 1:5) 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
My dearly beloved Sons, 

After gathering at midnight, and again at dawn, to sing the holy mysteries of our Savior’s birth, the Church invites her children to take part a third time in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. During these hours, she invited us to meditate on the threefold birth of Christ: His eternal birth from the Father’s bosom, for instance when we sang in the midnight Mass introit, “The Lord said to me: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee” (Ps 2:7); His birth according to the flesh from the Blessed Virgin Mary’s womb, the proper object of today’s feast; and lastly, His birth in the souls, by which Christ “arises in our hearts as the morning star” (2 P 1:19), as we sing in the dawn Mass introit, “A light shall shine upon us this day” (Is 9:2). 

Fontgombault Sermons for Christmas (Midnight Mass): War is raging everywhere, but Christ brings peace.


Midnight Mass 

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, December 25th, 2021 

Apparuit gratia Dei. 
The grace of God hath appeared. 
(Titus 2:11) 
Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
My dearly beloved Sons, 

In communion with millions of Christians spread all over the earth, we are gathered in the dead of winter and in the middle of the night to remember a birth. We have not learned this birth by a registrar’s office; it is another book that bears witness to this birth, a book called the Gospel, the Evangelion, a Greek word meaning Good News. 

As a matter of fact, every birth is a good news. But it is in a very special way that this birth is such, since it is the birth of a savior. The good news the Gospel tells us is that today is born He who is going to operate the reconciliation of man with God: God made man, so that man may become God, namely, may live with God’s own life, may live in communion with God. The good news of the Gospel is not merely the news of a birth, but the news that the time of the fulfillment of mankind’s salvation, the time of victory of good over evil, has now opened. A virgin just gave birth to a son. She gave him the name of Jesus, namely, Savior. 

Important Declaration of the Superior of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer: "The Supreme Authority of the Church cannot go back on its word given to the members of the Ecclesia Dei communities: it is impossible for the members of our institutes to abandon our liturgical customs."

The Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer, dedicated to the preservation of the traditional practices (including liturgical ones) of the Dominicans, is one of the oldest of the so-called "Ecclesia Dei" communities founded under John Paul II with the solemn contractual commitment by the Holy See that they could dedicate themselves entirely to the Traditional liturgical books of the Roman Rite.

Their founder and current superior-general, Father Louis-Marie de Blignières, does not forget that these solemn commitment by the Holy See was made, and that thousands of men and women gave up their lives in the world because of this promise. It is not something that can simply be taken back from one day to the other. It is a not a joke. It is not a whim. It is a legal obligation that cannot be changed from one pope to the other, as it was made by the Holy See, not by Pope X, Y, or Z.

Their Christmas letter to the faithful is a most important declaration:


A Christmas Message from the Prior: 

On the Subject of the Motu Proprio

O Emmanuel!

December 23, 2021

Christmas Message

Dear friends,

In fervent expectation of the Savior, I feel the need to speak to you about a subject that concerns us all. I will do so with words that come from the heart of a priest who has celebrated the traditional Mass with deep joy for more than forty-four years.

The Motu proprio Traditionis custodes of July 16, 2021, and the Responsa ad dubia of the Congregation for Divine Worship of December 18, 2021, raises a question for us: should the Institutes of Ecclesia Dei adopt, as they are invited to do, the celebration of the Mass and the sacraments according to the missal and rituals of Paul VI? In other words, should these Institutes begin a process of abandoning the liturgical books that predate the 1969 reform?

What is behind the papal strangulation of the old Mass?

The author celebrating Mass in the Shrine of St Augustine, Ramsgate, England

By Fr Christopher Basden, Parish Priest of Ramsgate, England.

Since the Pope’s recent brutal and unmerciful constriction of the traditional Latin Mass, many have been shocked by its unusual severity and questioned what motivates it. Liberal Catholic friends respond that it lacks the inclusivity that a broad Church demands. Friends from beyond the confines of Catholicism scratch their heads; this is the classic Roman ritual which for 1 ½ millennia was the inspiration of countless works of music, literature and art.

One of the loveliest personal memories I have was the infectiously charming and bubbly founder of the famous monastery of Le Barroux, Abbot Gerard Calvet OSB. Out of the chaos of the disintegration of religious life in the 1960s he had left his community and become a hermit. Sought out by young disciples he was urged to re-initiate traditional monastic life centred on the classical liturgy. This he accomplished with his foundation nestled beneath the majesty of Mt Ventoux (of Tour de France fame) in Provence. In 1988, feeling the Episcopal consecrations were a step too far, he sought canonical recognition from the Vatican. Despite the warm welcome of Pope John Paul this was not shared by the monastic establishment who excluded him from their associations. I found this shocking and sad and after a while I was relieved to hear he had at last been invited to the worldwide conference of Abbots in Rome. I hoped, I remarked to him, that they were welcoming. His response:

“Pomposity cannot stand ridicule”: A canon lawyer draws lessons from Communist history

My last semester in college, I took a seminar class on Eastern Europe since the Second World War, led by a strong apologist for the communist government in power at that time (but soon to collapse). I took the class a bit unwillingly—it was the most palatable seminar that fit into my schedule. I endured the class, which largely entailed 1980’s yuppie students arguing with our boomer prof about the strength and weakness of capitalism vs. communism.

Motus in fine velocior (2) - "With a Divisive, Useless, and Unjust Persecution, the Francis Crisis is Gathering Even More Speed" - by Roberto de Mattei

by Roberto de Mattei

On February 11, 2014, one year after the day on which Benedict XVI made known his decision to resign from the pontificate, I published an article entitled Motus in fine velocior to signal the beginning of a dizzying acceleration of time’s pace, starting with the resignation of Benedict and the election of Pope Francis on March 13, 2013. 

Benedict XVI reigned from April 19, 2005, to February 28, 2013, seven years and ten months. From the election of Pope Francis to the approach of Christmas 2021 eight years and nine months of pontificate have passed. Benedict XVI’s post-pontificate is therefore longer than his pontificate: a paradoxical fact, which makes his resignation even more inexplicable, if the only or primary reason for it was the burden of advancing age. Had he not abdicated, Benedict XVI might have died earlier, due to the natural physical and moral strain that the government of the Church entails, but he would have been forced to face what, in his view, was the most serious problem of the contemporary Church: the loss of faith.

“When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the flock must defend itself”: Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz

The following essay by the eminent patrologist and scholar of the Roman liturgy, Michael Fiedrowicz, discusses classical theologians on the right of resistance to the abuse of ecclesiastical authority. It was written prior to the release of the CDW document but in anticipation of it. First published in IK-Nachrichten of Pro Santa Ecclesia, December 2021/January 2022, the translation appears exclusively at Rorate Caeli.—PAK

Saints Athanasius & Cyril

“When the Shepherd Becomes a Wolf, the Flock Must Defend Itself”
Prof. Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz

Expect the worst

The Latin Mass Society’s Canonical Notes on the Responsa ad dubia

Rorate Mass last Saturday, Holy Rood, Oxford

You can read the Latin Mass Society's discussion of the Congregation for Divine Worship's Responsa ad dubia, point by point, here.

Many canonists on the internet and off it have noticed that the Responsa issued by the CDW seem to be making demands on bishops and priests which go beyond the authority of a Roman Congregation to make. In some cases they seem to be taking away prerogatives from bishops which they are explicitly given by Canon Law, and even by the Second Vatican Council. The Supreme Legislator, the Holy Father, can of course change Canon Law, but it would be ludicrous to suggest that the Congregation for Divine Worship can do so. Since the Holy Father has—presumably, deliberately—given the Responsa only generic, not ‘specific’, approval, it is the Congregation’s authority which is at issue.

In the same way, the Responsa presents itself as an interpretation of Traditionis Custodes. There has been much discussion online about how exactly, and to whom, this interpretation is binding. The key point, however, is that an interpretation of a legal document at best borrows its force from the document it is interpreting. The Responsa cannot add to the obligations set out by Traditionis Custodes, and if it attempted to do so, it would fail. This kind of document falls under the category noted in Canon 33.1:

IMPORTANT ARTICLE: LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE RESPONSA ON TRADITIONIS CUSTODES - "Congregation cannot make authoritative interpretations. Juridical status of document highly questionable, does not have legally binding force."

by Father Pierre Laliberté, JCL* 

On 18 December 2021, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) issued a peculiar document, a "Responsa ad dubia" regarding the 16 July 2021 motu proprio of Pope Francis, Traditionis Custodes
At the outset, some formal considerations on this document must be stressed. The main lines of the competencies of the CDWDS can be found as sketched in Pastor Bonus, the 28 June 1988 Apostolic Constitution of John Paul II. Articles 62-70 discuss the role of this congregation, which is to "foster and safeguards the regulation of the administration of the Sacraments, especially regarding their valid and licit celebration." (art. 63) The CDWDS, it must be mentioned, does not possess legislative power. 
As a consequence, this Congregation cannot make authoritative interpretations. Responses, in particular this document, are neither general decrees nor instructions (canons 29-34). Such responses to dubia are not binding executive decisions. While the CDWDS has noted that their responses are official and represent the mens Congregationis, they should be seen as just that - an expression of the mind of the Congregation. Since these Responsa do not appear to have been approved "in forma specifica" by the Holy Father, they would not have binding force, and would only bind those who posed the dubia. Despite this document being "consented to" by the Holy Father, the juridical status of this document is highly questionable, and thus cannot be considered as having legally binding force. Some have even stated that the document is "vox et praeterea nihil."

Assertions without reasons: A Statement in Protest of the CDW Responses from Pro Missa Tridentina

Veni, veni, Emmanuel! 

Statement of the Lay Association "Pro Missa Tridentina" on the implementation of the regulations of the Motu proprio Traditionis Custodes (of 7/16/21) published on 12/18/21: The form and content of these restrictions cannot be accepted by traditional Catholics. 

Dear Archbishop Roche: The Attempt to Cancel Tradition is doomed to failure

Venite, adoremus!

Dear Archbishop Roche:

Very early yesterday morning a “Rorate” Mass was celebrated in a local parish church in a New England town here in the United States with the kind and generous permission of the local bishop.   It is not a “Traditional” parish per se. 

“The Mask Has Fallen”: Interview with Dr. Kwasniewski in Inside the Vatican

The following interview appears in the January-February 2022 issue of Inside the Vatican magazine (reprinted here with publisher’s permission). The issue also features ITV’s annual “Top Ten People” of 2021, plus former Anglican archbishop and Catholic convert Gavin Ashenden on his embrace of Rome; Darrick Taylor reviewing Julia Meloni’s The St. Gallen Mafia; and Tad Wojcik on the prospects for ethical vaccines. Go to for information on subscribing.

Inside the Vatican: You have edited a substantial new book called From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War. Tell us what this book is all about, and how the idea came to you.

Suppression Has Consequences

When Church authorities start talking about banning traditional Latin books, including the Roman Ritual for diocesan priests, they are effectively jeopardizing the soul and spiritual well-being of Catholics around the world. The following story, provided to Rorate for publication by a tradition-minded priest (and friend) who serves at a diocesan parish that offers only the novus ordo liturgy, illustrates this point. Bishops, please read it as you prepare to make extremely important decisions that affect your flock. Before prohibiting the use of any traditional Latin books, remember this person's story.


Adversus Fatuitates

My life can be divided into a starkly different “before” and “after”, with an exorcism in between. The old rites and sacraments of the Catholic Church have power, as my personal experience bears out. This should not be a surprise to anyone; the Missale and Rituale Romanum were cultivated, tested, and refined over centuries of spiritual warfare, and their efficacy does not vanish overnight. If the hierarchs of the Church truly desire to journey together with their people, then let them consider my journey.
I was a Protestant by birth, an agnostic by choice, and I am now at last Catholic by grace. Over the course of my life, I accrued a lengthy list of mysterious symptoms which I initially attributed to the usual causes — depression, paranoia, or coincidence.

The trouble began early: an oppressive weight settled on my shoulders practically before I could walk, accompanied by intrusive thoughts and a strong urge to take my life. I sought various treatments over the years, including cognitive behavioral therapy, Stoicism, Buddhist meditation, rigorous lifestyle management, and more. I read self-help books, journaled, sought the counsel of friends and therapists, and kept my distance from sharp knives, steep cliffs, and alcohol. I accepted my lot and tried to manage it, with varying degrees of success from year to year.

A small difficulty with the Responsa

Rorate Mass at the Oxford Oratory, England

Update: it has been pointed out to me that the Rite of the Communion of the Faithful is described (not quite the same as being set out for liturgical use) in the front matter of the 1962 Missal, in a section called Ritus Servandus, X 6. It is not in the main text of the Missal. Also found between the Missal's covers, as a matter of fact, is the Rite of Confirmation: in Appendix II. This is set out for liturgical use.


No doubt more and better analyses will be published about yesterday's Responsa from the Congregation for Divine Worship, but working through its implications I was struck but something others may not notice, which can serve to illustrate some features of the document as a whole.

An Eastern Catholic Priest on the Recent Vatican Document

The following message was sent to me by an Eastern Catholic priest. I post it here with his permission.

I grew up in the Latin Church, although, like many faithful within it, my ancestral heritage was Eastern Catholic.

On December 17, 1936, the birthday of Jorge Mario Bergoglio

 From the Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska:

Traditional Catholics: Exceptions to "Synodality"

Argentina, December 18, 2021

The Synodal Church, which has unleashed the revolution of tenderness, has today given another evident sign of the direction its synodalities and tendernesses are taking, with the resolution of some dubia raised by the bishops to the Congregation for Divine Worship about the application of Traditiones custodes. Of course, the answers to these dubia that were quickly resolved and not like others that are still waiting to be responded, are all ordered to further stifle the traditional liturgy in the Catholic Church. Synodality, Pope Francis explains to us, demands that the Church listen to all men, and he insists on "all", without any kind of exception. But the facts, which are more eloquent than words, tell us that there is a "collective" that should not be listened to but rather, should be massacred: it is the "collective" of traditionalist Catholics.

They are a hindrance that one must get rid of as soon as possible. 

Father Claude Barthe: We Must Resist the Illegitimate Norms on the Traditional Rite - "Vatican hardliners have started a war they can only lose."

Resisting an unjust liturgical law

Michel Janva
Le Salon Beige
December 18, 2021

[Rorate: Father Barthe is well known by our readers. One of the greatest experts in the history of the Traditional movement, and the chaplain of the pilgrimage to Rome, he knows what he talks about.] This morning, the Congregation for Divine Worship published responses to certain provisions of the Apostolic Letter in the form of a "Motu Proprio" Traditionis Custodes. We interviewed Father Claude Barthe.

Father, the offensive against the traditional liturgy seems to be intensifying considerably, judging by the publication on December 18 of responsa, answers to questions asked or supposed to have been asked to the Congregation for Divine Worship.

A "Revolution of Tenderness", or "The Roche Christmas Massacre": A Farce in Eleven Dubia

As reported by this blog a few days ago, the "clarifications" of Traditionis custodes from the CDWDS, which the Pope has given his assent to, have been published today - relentlessly appalling in their attempted suppression of the traditional rites, yet comically absurd in their claim to be "preserving the gift of ecclesial communion by walking together, with conviction of mind and heart". In this current joke of a pontificate, war truly is peace. 

The summary of what the Pope and the CDWDS are attempting to do is as follows:

Urgent - Roche Christmas Massacre - CDW Instruction on Latin Mass in the form of Responses to Dubia

RORATE: As we first published here, the Francis iteration of the Vatican came out today with an instruction in the form of answered "dubia" by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The summary of the responses: all Sacraments in the Pontificale Romanum are banned (Ordinations, confirmations); Sacraments according to the Rituale (Baptism, Matrimony, Extreme Unction) only in the setting of Personal Parishes. "Bination" (celebrating both the Traditional Mass and the new order on the same day) is forbidden. There are other points.

Our opinion: in the midst of the gigantic crisis afflicting the Church in the West, including the crisis of attendance following the pandemic, that this violence is the priority of the Vatican is very revealing. It is revealing of the false mercy of this Evil Shepherd elected by irresponsible Cardinals in 2013. It is revealing of the spirit of spite that reigns in this totalitarian pontificate. It is revealing of the disgusting presence of Satan in the middle of the Church.

Benedict XVI had brought liturgical peace to the Church. An end to the liturgical wars. The current pope has chosen to reignite them. There is no logical reason for that. Just an underlying desire for division and violence.

Despite it all, this shall pass. This grotesque spectacle of a pontificate will come to an end. The Traditional Rite has not seen its last chapter, certainly not under this charade of a ruler, a caricature of a comical Latin American caudillo! No, no, if Paul VI in all his power and the great power of the Council in the 1970s was not able to crush us, this clique of geriatric marauders will certainly not succeed. Just hang on. Time is on our side. 

Ignore this nonsense as much as you can. Support the clergymen who resist this illegitimate action. We’ll muddle through. Time is on our side.



 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments


on certain provisions of the

Apostolic Letter


issued “Motu Proprio” by the Supreme Pontiff




Your Eminence / Your Excellency,

'The Council and the Eclipse of God' by Don Pietro Leone - Section II - Man - Chapter VI - MAN'S CHOICE OF LIFE

Part II




‘O youth, youth, you have no cares, all the riches of the world are thine, even misfortune comforts thee, even sorrow rests easy on thy brow. Thou art arrogant and proud, and thou sayest: Look at me! Look! I alone exist! - even as thy days race by and vanish without trace and without number, and everything in thee dissolves and melts away like wax in the sun, like the snow…’


                                                                                                                         Turgenev, First Love [1]



Having seen how the Council has attempted to amalgamate the Church and the World, we shall now see more closely how it informs this construct not with the spirit of the Church, the Spirit of Truth and Sanctification which is in effect the Holy Spirit, Her Soul; but with the spirit of the World, which is the spirit of fallen man. This latter spirit, as we said in the Preface, we consider the key to understanding the Council. We shall consequently proceed to present Council teaching on man: in the first chapter, man in the two forms of life in which he may realize himself on this earth: the married and the consecrated life, whether that of the priest or that of the religious; in the second chapter, man in his relation to God; in the third chapter, man in himself.


In this second part of the book we shall witness the work of destruction of Catholic doctrine, which we have seen above in regard to the Faith and the Church, continue in regard to the sacraments of marriage and the Holy Eucharist, and in regard to the priesthood and religious life.

URGENT - EXCLUSIVE - “The Roche Christmas Massacre”: CDW Instruction on Traditionis Custodes to be issued next week

RORATE has learned, and can confirm, that the instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship (Prefect: Archbishop Arthur Roche) on the application of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes is to be published next week. (Unless some extraordinary measure prevents the publication of the already approved text.)

The instruction will try (among other things) to impose over the global Church, by violent and illegitimate will of the legislator, the blueprint established for the Diocese of Rome by its Cardinal Vicar months ago regarding all Sacraments other than the Holy Eucharist. 

If we gather more details before publication, we will let you know.


Is a Vatican Plan Under Way to Prohibit Traditional Ordinations?

Rorate offers its readers a translation of the latest newsletter from Paix Liturgique.

Could Traditional Ordinations Be Banned?

Since the publication of the motu proprio Traditionis custodes on July 16, we know that, after a first assault on the liturgy as a whole, the Ecclesia Dei communities are to be targeted, and especially their seminaries.

In our Letter 816, dated August 20, 2021, we said, in effect, that, since Rome’s avowed intention is to stop the development of the traditional Mass and ultimately to suffocate its existence, the bringing to heel of the houses of formation of future priests should be a primary objective for the destroyers of liturgical peace.

An attack by the Congregation of Religious?

“Death Comes for the Cathedrals”: Proust's Masterful Essay Now Published as a Deluxe Hardcover

In keeping with recent news about Notre Dame Cathedral, it's worth mentioning a beautiful new title just released by the Catholic publisher Wiseblood Books: Death Comes for the Cathedrals.

The heart of this book is a translation of Marcel Proust's influential 1904 essay in Le Figaro that brilliantly argued, from a cultural and philosophical viewpoint, against the total secularization of churches in France, and led to less extreme measures being taken by the French anticlerical government. This eloquent translation by John Pepino made its first appearance here at Rorate Caeli on January 13, 2015.

“A New Threat Looms over Notre Dame de Paris: What the Fire Spared, the Diocese Wants to Destroy”: Manifesto Signed by 105 French Cultural Figures

The following manifesto appeared at
La Tribune de l'Art and in the web and print editions of Le Figaro on December 7, in response to revelations that the archdiocese of Paris was pushing for a totally modernized, multi-media, Disney-like renovation of the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral.

On April 15, 2019, the world discovered, stunned and shocked, images of Notre-Dame on fire. While the rubble was still smoking, millions of people, of all nationalities, spontaneously mobilized to collect the money needed to restore the monument. Nearly one billion euros were raised. These donations were declarations of love for Notre-Dame Cathedral. They testified to our confidence in our ability to revive this sublime artistic and spiritual patrimony.

Mexican Cardinal restores rights of Traditional Latin Mass community


December 6, 2021

Press release

Children and adults pray for more parishioners to be heard.

Guadalajara, Jalisco. - The days of uncertainty lived by the parishioners of San Pedro en Cadenas quasi-parish are now gone. His Eminence Francisco Cardinal Robles, Archbishop of Guadalajara, decided to reverse his decree of suppressing this quasi-parish.

In a recent visit to Casa Cristo Rey (the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter’s parsonage), the Cardinal stated that the next step will now be an adequate evaluation on the usefulness of the quasi-parish for the spiritual good of the faithful, as instructed by Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Traditiones Custodes. 

Major interview by Henry Sire (author of the Dictator Pope): "Essentially the problem is that Bergoglio has no real principles, like the typical Peronist that he is."

Henry Sire, the historian and former member of the Order of Malta (illegally expelled for his research work on Francis) is well known and well regarded by orthodox Catholics worldwide for his great book on Jorge Mario Bergoglio, "The Dictator Pope."

He granted a long interview to The first long part is about the Order of Malta, and it is available on the original site -- the second part is one dealing with both the current Bishop of Rome and the future conclave, and is of great interest to all people, Catholics and non-Catholics, interested in the present and future of the Church.

Second part below:


The Dictator Pope came out in 2017 making considerable waves. What is the specific contribution of this book?
For the most part The Dictator Pope was little more than a round-up of the work that many journalists had already done analysing the abuses and blunders of Francis's rule. My main contribution was that I was able to use the insights of Argentinians who knew exactly what Bergoglio was like, insights which, owing to the language barrier, had not been made known in the English-speaking world.

Event: Rorate Mass in Philadelphia


Event in New York City: Sacred Art Conference for Young Adults


On Saturday, December 11th, Juventutem NYC will host a Sacred Art Conference at the Shrine Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City. The event will begin at 1:00pm with Holy Mass in the traditional Roman Rite, followed by talks on topics such as “Sanctifying Grace and Sacred Beauty” and “Churches as sacred spaces that consecrate and defend the consecrated.” The conference is held in honor of St Nicholas, and seven notable Italian Baroque paintings of the Miracles of Saint Nicholas from the private Papenhoek Collection will be presented for private devotion. The afternoon will round off with a young adult social with refreshments. Register by December 10th at Admission is $20 to help defray some of the costs and additional donations are gratefully appreciated. The Shrine of the Holy Innocents is located at 128 West 37th Street (at Broadway) in Manhattan. The parish is readily accessible by regional transit and is at walking distance from Penn Station.

In the Darkness of Advent: The Light of Tradition that cannot be quenched

It is indeed difficult in these times in the Catholic Church for those of us who love the Tradition of the Catholic Church to have joy at the center of our lives.  The mean-spirited and dishonest attack on Tradition in the publication of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes has been followed by statements by the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Roche, that make it clear that these relics of the 1960s who are now in power in Rome are determined to erase from the Church’s memory the Roman Mass of Catholic Tradition. There are those of us who believe that the crisis of the Church today is no less severe than the crisis the Church faced when the “world woke up to find itself Arian”.  The Arian crisis was overcome not only because of the constant witness of great bishops like St. Athanasius to the Catholic faith but also because of the laity who continued to sing the liturgical hymns at Mass that proclaimed the full divinity of Christ as true God and true man.

New Book Defends All-Male Liturgical Ministry, Subdiaconate/Minor Orders, and the Proper Roles of Clergy and Laity

I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest book, Ministers of Christ: Recovering the Roles of Clergy and Laity in an Age of Confusion (Crisis Publications).

When this project was first conceived over a year ago, my initial idea was to write a critique of Paul VI’s attempted suppression of the subdiaconate and minor orders, of John Paul II’s permission of altar girls, and of Francis’s innovation of female “acolytes” and “lectors.” During its writing, however, the scope of the book considerably broadened to include a full-scale presentation and defense of the traditional sevenfold manifestation of Orders — priest, deacon, subdeacon, lector, acolyte, exorcist, and porter — together with an explanation of the distinct but mutually supporting roles of clergy and laity. In order to accomplish this, I stepped back further to look at the distinction and complementarity of the sexes in the order of creation and the order of redemption, a perspective that provides the ultimate foundation for the Church’s entire teaching on states of life, roles, and ministries. In this way the book serves as a response to the “gender madness” that has afflicted the world and has increasingly infected the Church.

Important Advent Donation Reminder: Donate to the Only Traditional Diocese in the World, in Campos


This is an important reminder for your Christmas donation: please, consider helping the only Traditional Catholic local church in the world, the Apostolic Administration of Campos, Brazil.

For more on how to help in their Advent Drive, click here. Don’t let this work of Tradition without the means to attend to the needs of their large but poor congregations.

Re-education Decrees for “Second Class Catholics”: The Effects of Traditionis Custodes in France

The following article was published in German on December 2 at It was written “von einer Katholikin,” a Catholic woman who remains anonymous. We can see in the information she provides a particular application of the general scenario Michael Charlier spoke about in his article published here two days ago, which would be the method “on the ground” for pursing Archbishop Roche’s goal, which is the Triumph of Bugnini’s Will.—PAK

Faithful gathered outside the Parish archbishop's residence

Re-education Decrees for “Second Class Catholics”: The Effects of Traditionis Custodes in France
by a Catholic Woman

Paris, Le Havre, Strasbourg, Nantes, Grenoble. The bishops are showing themselves “creative.” The list of decrees for the implementation of Traditionis custodes is growing. So is the resistance. France’s tradition-bound faithful remain visible. They pray, they write, they petition, and they demonstrate.

The Diocese of Paris and its Archbishop Aupetit’s restrictive treatment of the old Mass remain at the center of attention. But it is not only there that believers in the tradition feel pressured by their bishop.

A New Printed Edition of Traditional Roman Compline (Latin/English)

Those who have sung traditional Compline may remember a blue booklet with tiny print, prepared by the Fraternity of St. Peter ages ago, and published by Saint Austin Press in England. The booklets have been out of print for so long that extant copies fetch exorbitant prices. Angelus Press has an edition of its own. Now we have another option as well. After a year of painstaking development, it is here at last.

The Roadmap of Archbishop Roche: Liquidate the Traditional Liturgy!

Rorate is pleased to present a translation of the Paix Liturgique Letter 837, with permission of Christian Marquant.

The Roadmap of Archbishop Roche: Liquidate the Traditional Liturgy!
(Paix Liturgique Letter 837 in French)

The future Cardinal Arthur Roche is a key figure in the project to destroy the traditional liturgy. This man, who likes his ease and his tranquility, does not have the stature of a historical figure, nor does he seek to be one: Auream quisquis mediocritatem diligit, said Horace, Whoever loves golden mediocrity...

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 110 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. 

** 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.

Ex-Ecclesia Dei Communities Facing a Decision

Rorate Caeli is pleased to present a translation of this November 30, 2021 article from the excellent German website Motu proprio: Summorum Pontificum.

Ex-Ecclesia Dei Communities Facing a Decision
Michael Charlier

Back in June, we had been able to give a relatively accurate account of the contents of [the forthcoming document] Traditionis Custodes based on circulating rumors.

Fontgombault Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent: "What can be feared of a Child?"

First Sunday in Advent

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, November 28, 2021

Appropinquat redemptio vestra.
Your redemption draweth nigh.
(Lk 21:28)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

Aren’t we quite astonished to hear, on the morning of this first Sunday in Advent, the opening day in the liturgical year, the reading of the end of St. Luke’s gospel? Why doesn’t rather the Church meditate on the gospel texts narrating the expectation of the Divine Child? Why doesn’t she draw from the numerous texts in the Old Testament announcing a Messiah?

The very theme of the chosen passage is surprising, too.

The most serious conspiracy is not against human rights, but against the supreme rights of God -- by Roberto de Mattei

The most terrible conspiracy: that of silence

Roberto de Mattei

Since the eruption on the world stage of the coronavirus in January of 2020, the daily life of Western man has changed in unexpected ways. These changes in our lives are as radical as they are confusing and are raising disturbing questions about the ongoing pandemic.

Liturgical Polarisation: a Reply to Fr Ruff

Mass celebrated Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, London, on the feast of St Cecelia.
The Mass was offered for the good estate of Vladimir Ashkenazy and his family:
he is the sole survivor of the signatories of the 1971 Petition which prompted Pope
Paul VI to grant the first of the 'Indults' allowing public celebrations.

Fr Anthony Ruff at the Pray, Tell blog tells us that the basic picture, in the debate about liturgy, is that

either one supports Vatican II and the reformed liturgy to the exclusion of the preconciliar liturgy, or one shows greater or lesser openness to the preconciliar liturgy, which seems to be equated with opposition to Vatican II.

He does not pause to explain what "opposition to Vatican II" might mean, but admits that not everyone falls into these two strictly opposed camps: