Rorate Caeli

"Tradition stands above the pope. The old Mass is as a matter of principle beyond the pope’s authority to prohibit." (Martin Mosebach)

Martin Mosebach
First Things (Excerpts)


In Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis has given a command. He does this at a time when papal authority is unraveling as never before. The Church has long since advanced to an ungovernable stage. But the pope battles on. He abandons his dearest principles—“listening,” “tenderness,” “mercy”—that refuse to judge or give orders. Pope Francis is roused by something that troubles him: the tradition of the Church. ...

Italian Bishops and Cardinals were the origin and moving force behind Traditionis Custodes (an Interview with Fr. Claude Barthe)

 Fr. Claude Barthe is a seasoned veteran of the pre-Summorum "liturgical wars", now rekindled by Francis in his edict "Traditionis custodes". Living in Paris, Fr. Barthe was also the main chaplain for the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimages that took thousands of Traditional Catholics to pray and attend the Holy Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite in Saint Peter's Basilica during the past decade.

Fr. Barthe knows, therefore, all involved with the decision that led to the papal edict against the Traditional Mass. As he reveals (corroborated by several sources), the Italian bishops, and a couple of Italian cardinals in the Curia, were at the origin and the moving force behind this document.

Let us pray.


Interview with Fr. Claude Barthe

Traditionis custodes: A New Liturgical War”

With the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes published on July 16, Pope Francis "unravels" his predecessor Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007 by drastically limiting the celebration of the traditional Mass.

Father, rumors about this motu proprio, which practically cancels Benedict XVI’s motu proprio of July 7, 2007, have been floating around for some time. Did you expect it to be published so soon, on July 16?

None of us were quite sure. There had been various rumors. In Rome there was talk of an August publication, while others warned of an imminent publication. The latter version turned out to be true. The Secretariat of State, which led all this, was extremely discreet, it must be admitted.

Recent events seemed to point towards the possibility of an appeasement - such as the words of Cardinal Gambetti, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, who appealed to Summorum Pontificum in a recent interview on Vatican News. Were these hopes unfounded?

I don't know what Cardinal Gambetti did or said to the Pope, but it is certain that requests were made to postpone this document so as not to start a new liturgical war in the Church. Notably, some say that Cardinal Ladaria, president of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, held it back as long as he could, as did others. In the end, the decision was made by the Pope and by those who lobbied him to take it, especially the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, the substitute, Cardinal Peña Parra, Cardinal Versaldi, and others who were involved, that is, who participated in these inter-dicastery meetings (meetings between the prefects of the congregations concerned: Divine Worship, Clergy, Bishops, and the Secretariat of State) and who have been working on this document for a long time.

Cardinal Brandmüller on the Motu Proprio: “A law must be accepted to be valid”

Cardinal Brandmüller on the Motu Proprio: “A law must be accepted to be valid”

July 29, 2021

With his motu proprio Traditionis custodes, Pope Francis has practically unleashed a hurricane that has upset those Catholics who feel attached to the “Tridentine” rite of Mass revived by Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum. From now on—according to the essential declaration of Traditionis custodes—Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum will be in large measure suspended and the celebration of Holy Mass, with some exceptions, will be allowed only according to the Missal of Paul VI. A look at the blogger scene and other media outlets reveals how a global protest has erupted against this document, which is unusual in form and content.

In contrast to the protests relating to the content of the Traditionis custodes, it is necessary now to make some reflections here that refer to fundamental principles of ecclesiastical legislation—in regard to Traditionis custodes. If the discussion about Traditionis custodes has so far concerned the legislative content of the motu proprio, here the text will be considered from a formal point of view as a legal text.

VERY IMPORTANT! - 15 August 2021 – World-wide Consecration to the Immaculate Heart by all TLM communities

 As endorsed by several fellow Catholic blogs and pages, we urge you to get your Traditional Latin Mass community to join this global effort. This is very important! We can only win this generational battle through prayer and through the intercession of the Victorious Mother.

The Holy Catholic Church is in an unprecedented worldwide crisis. The only hope for the Faithful is a Divine intervention, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Two priests who wish to remain anonymous - one a Diocesan, the other a Religious, both of whom offer exclusively the Traditional Mass - propose a world wide consecration to the Immaculate Heart by all TLM communities on 15 August, 2021, the feast of Our Lady’s Assumption.


They hope that many Cardinals and Bishops will also associate
themselves with this entrustment.


May the Immaculate Heart of Mary triumph and reign!

(The formula is available here)

Replying to JD Flynn (Pillar): Traditionis Custodes and the Authority of the Pope

Cardinal Burke celebrates Mass for the Latin Mass Society in London,
Corpus Christi Maiden Lane, 2019 (photograph by John Aron)

In the Pillar, JD Flynn criticises ‘the siren voices calling for disobedience, or casting into doubt the authority of the Vicar of Christ’. He has earlier quoted Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and Bishop Robertus Mutsaerts, but he leaves it to his readers to connect what he quotes them as saying with ‘calls for disobedience’ and ‘casting into doubt the authority of the Vicar of Christ’. This seems on the face of it a serious injustice, and a failure to give these individuals the respect due to their office and indeed to every Catholic, who has a right to his good name: see Canon 220.

For readers such as myself to be expected to examine the quoted remarks and look for possible support of these serious allegations is ridiculous and an invitation to uncharity. Flynn does not even give us a clue which of the three is implicated in these two alleged offences. Indeed, it might even be that Flynn would, if challenged, refer us instead to the unnamed others he vaguely refers to in the course of the article. However, the insinuation remains, it is serious, and it should be withdrawn.

DC Pontifical Mass: CANCELED

A pontifical high Mass had been planned for 14 August in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  It was actually supposed to be offered a year ago, but was postponed due to COVID restrictions.  The music was all set.  The clergy were all lined up.  EWTN was going to air it live.

Following Pope Francis' motu proprio attacking the traditional Latin Mass and placing massive restrictions on Catholics who worship using the old books, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, demanded the celebrant of the planned 14 August Mass -- Archbishop Thomas Gullickson -- submit a formal request for permission.  Mind you, all permissions had already been attained prior to the motu proprio.  The organizers and funders of the Mass, the Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy, had been working with shrine and chancery staff, even in the past few days, on liturgical and logistical details, including rehearsal times.

Today, Archbishop Gullickson received a reply from Cardinal Gregory.  Permission:  denied.

Father de Tanoüarn, IBP: "It is Francis who contradicts communion. We are witnessing a rare case where the pope destroys communion."

 Father Guillaume de Tanoüarn, one of the priests who involved in the foundation of the Institute of the Good Shepherd (IBP), established by pontifical authority in the days of Pope Benedict XVI, is a well-known figure in conservative circles in France, and in Paris in particular, where his apostolate has been located for over a decade. He spoke to French website L'Incorrect on Francis' edict against the Latin Mass.

Were you surprised by the suddenness and severity of the measures enacted in the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes?

Yes, I didn't expect Pope Francis to hit so hard. Basically, this motu proprio is purely disciplinary, not doctrinal. It is a question of Pope Francis destroying the fruitfulness of the Ecclesia Dei institutes and derailing the movement that is going through the Church at the moment toward a coexistence of rites. It is now widely understood that the old rite can bring sacredness, transcendence and adoration, while the new rite has brought participation and proximity. Since 1988 and the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei of John Paul II, the Church has gradually become aware of the two rites’ complementarity.

I think that many young priests in parishes have practiced a mixture of the two, bringing their faithful a part of the verticality of the traditional rite. For my part, I insist that participation in the traditional rite is essential, and I believe it is very important for the future of the traditional rite to develop this reality.

We were in a peaceful situation, nothing like the conflicts of the 70s, 80s or even 90s. And suddenly, Pope Francis decides to dig up the old hatchet. His motu proprio is clearly written to achieve the extinction of the traditional rite. The most striking example - besides the fact that he refuses the erection of any new communities - is that priests ordained after this motu proprio will only be able to say the traditional Mass by asking permission from their bishop, who will himself have to ask Rome if it is appropriate. In other words, in the mind of the Pope, it will never be appropriate. It is in fact a disguised ban, and not very well disguised at that.

Do you understand the pontiff's grievance with traditionalists, that the traditional liturgy is being used to reject the Second Vatican Council?

"Latin Mass Hysteria"? A reply to a hysterical Jesuit-sponsored piece

On the website of Sapientia, a Jesuit-sponsored website of the Jesuit-run Fordham University, which claims to be 'exploring Faith, Culture, and Society', a 'film-maker' (yes) called David Gibson has written to debunk what he calls the 'hysteria' about Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes.

Here is a brief response to his main points, which he lists as three 'misconceptions': 

First, the pope has not prohibited priests from saying Mass in Latin

Unlike under the other points, Gibson is unable to illustrate this with any quotations or links to people saying what he alleges supporters of the Traditional Mass are saying. Perhaps someone should point out to him that these Catholics are actually acutely aware of the difference between 'banning the Traditional Mass' and 'banning the Latin Novus Ordo': rather more sensitive than he is, in fact.

His debunking of what no-one is saying is backed up by an unintentionally amusing quotation:

“If you like the Latin Mass, you can keep the Latin Mass, because the Missal of Paul VI is the Latin Mass,” Adam Rasmussen, an adjunct professor of theology, wrote at the blog Where Peter Is

“Liturgy is not a toy of popes; it is the heritage of the Church” — Very strong statement on Traditionis Custodes by Bp. Rob Mutsaerts (Den Bosch, Netherlands)

Rob Mutsaerts, Auxiliary Bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, published this strong statement on his blog. The pope has asked frequently for parrhesia, and now he's getting a good dose of it from around the world. Translation prepared for Rorate Caeli.—PAK

An Evil Edict from Pope Francis

Bp. Rob Mutsaerts
Auxiliary Bishop of ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Pope Francis promotes synodality: everyone should be able to talk, everyone should be heard. This was hardly the case with his recently published motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, an ukase [imperial edict] that must put an immediate termination on the traditional Latin Mass. In so doing, Francis puts a big bold line through Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict’s motu proprio that gave ample scope to the old Mass.

The fact that Francis here uses the word of power without any consultation indicates that he is losing authority. This was already evident earlier when the German Bishops’ Conference took no notice of the Pope’s advice regarding the synodality process. The same occurred in the United States when Pope Francis called on the Bishops’ Conference not to prepare a document on worthy Communion. The pope must have thought that it would be better [in this case] not to give advice any more, but rather a writ of execution, now that we’re talking about the traditional Mass!

Sermon for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost: "There is remarkable continuity between the Temple Worship of the Old Testament and the Traditional Mass: We rightly mourn these attacks on our beloved Roman Rite"."

IX Sunday After Pentecost

Father Albert Marcello
Providence (RI), July 25, 2021

There is a remarkable synchronicity between the ancient Jewish and the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. Almost always, on or about the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, the Jewish observance of Tish B’Av takes place – this year, about 6 days ago. This is the day when the Jewish people recall the twofold destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and is considered one of the saddest days in their calendar, along with other tragedies such as the forty-year wandering in the desert in Numbers 14. For us Catholics, the Gospel this Sunday is always that of Our Lord weeping over Jerusalem. We recall Our Lord excoriating and cleansing the Temple of those who have made it a den of thieves, and prophesying that the enemies of the Chosen People would surround them, and dash them to the ground. All of this sounds a bit too painfully familiar over the past week or so.

Sermon for the Feast of St. James, 2021: "We will not abandon the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated in the traditional form that we have received from our fathers in the faith!"

by a Benedictine Monk
July 25, 2021

“Potestis bibere calicem quem ego bibiturus sum? Dicunt ei: Possumus.”

Mt. 20,20-23

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Today for the feast of St. James we read a passage from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew in which the mother of James and John asks Jesus to command that her sons sit with Him in His kingdom. Notice that Jesus does not rebuke her for this request, but instead, addressing himself to both the mother and her sons, only responds: “You know not what you ask.” Neither the mother nor the sons understand the profound suffering and true martyrdom that following Jesus entails, and they don’t even grasp the enormous honor they are asking of Him.  Jesus continues “Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?” as if to say ‘Can you do whatever it takes to follow me in my glory? The only way to glory and my kingdom is my sorrowful passion. Can you remain with me in my suffering?  Or will you abandon me?’ They respond “We can.” This is certainly the right response, and also true, insofar as they both will suffer for Christ, and Saint James will be the first apostle to be martyred, and Jesus affirms this “My chalice indeed you shall drink.”

“A call to obedience loses its power when the aim is to suppress the traditional form of the liturgy” — Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider

The following extensive interview appeared at The Remnant on Friday, July 23, and is reprinted here with permission, and with thanks to Almighty God for raising up orthodox Catholic shepherds like Bishop Schneider.

Interview with Bishop Schneider on Traditionis Custodes

Diane Montagna, The Remnant, July 23, 2021


Your Excellency, Pope Francis’ new apostolic letter, issued motu proprio on July 16, 2021, is called “Traditionis Custodes” (Guardians of Tradition). What was your initial impression of the choice of this title?

My initial impression was of a shepherd who instead of having the smell of his sheep, is angrily beating them with a stick.

What are your general impressions of the Motu Proprio and of Pope Francis’ accompanying Letter to the bishops of the world, in which he explains his rationale for restricting the Traditional Latin Mass?

Latin Mass Society -- Canonical Notes on the Application of Traditiones Custodes (Guide for Priests and Faithful)

In this document we wish to give some brief indications of what the Apostolic Letter does and does not do in terms of the canonical obligations of bishops and priests, in light of the advice we have received from more than one canonist.

The Authority of the Bishop

The Apostolic Letter emphasises the authority of the bishop in each diocese over the liturgy.

“Francis: The Pope of Rupture” — Article by Jean-Pierre Maugendre

Rorate is pleased to present this translation by Zachary Thomas of an article that appeared at Boulevard Voltaire on July 20. Its author, Jean-Pierre Maugendre, is the founder and executive director of this lay movement, which works to promote the establishment of the Social Kingship of Christ. For thirty years, under the patronage of St. John of Arc, the association has been engaged in the pressing task of intellectual and moral reform. Jean-Pierre has recently been in the news for his brave defense of the Church’s moral teaching.

Francis: The Pope of Rupture

by Jean-Pierre Maugendre 

With the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, Pope Francis has decided that the missal reformed by Paul VI in 1969 is “the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” Concretely, the celebration of the traditional Mass will once again be subject to multiple authorizations compounded by vexations: proscription against celebration in a parish church, the authorization of the Holy See required for a newly-ordained priest to be able to celebrate it, etc.

“It is to be hoped that bishops will generously exhaust the legal possibilities of dispensation”—Canon Lawyer Fr. Gero Weishaupt

The following interview was conducted in German by Petra Lorleberg for Dr. Gero P. Weishaupt is a priest and canon lawyer. He was Judicial Vicar/Official of the Diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) 2008–2013, and is Judge of the Interdiocesan Criminal Court of the Dutch Ecclesiastical Province since 2012, Diocesan Judge at the Archdiocesan Office of the Archdiocese of Cologne since 2013, and Lecturer in Canon Law and Ecclesiastical Documents at the Theological Institute of the Diocese of Roermond since 2015. He has published several books and canonical articles. This translation was prepared for Rorate Caeli. It goes without saying that Rorate does not necessarily agree with all of what he says, but his perspective on canonical dispensation is particularly helpful at this time.—PAK

Traditionis custodes seems like a cannon with which the pope shoots at sparrows”—
Interview with Canon Lawyer Fr. Gero Weishaupt

KATH.NET: Dr. Weishaupt, how urgent would you have considered a motu proprio in the sense of Traditionis custodes in this early summer?

WEISHAUPT: In my opinion, Traditionis custodes oversteps the mark. This motu proprio is disproportionate and seems like a cannon with which the Pope shoots at sparrows.

I do not want to deny that here and there that after Summorum Pontificum there have been undesirable developments that were not the intention of Pope Benedict XVI. For example, Summorum Pontificum was misunderstood when groups of faithful formed in parishes or were joined by faithful who celebrated Mass in the Tridentine form exclusively but avoided Mass in the “Pauline” form. If Summorum Pontificum and the explanatory instruction Universae Ecclesiae had been consistently implemented, such groupings would not have occurred in one parish or another, and Pope Francis’s most recent motu proprio would have been superfluous. But such undesirable developments stayed within limits. The motu proprio Traditionis custodes and its accompanying letter, however, generalize, fail to distinguish, and ignore the many tradition-loving faithful who have found their spiritual home in both forms. Instead of a word of appreciation, the Pope kicks them and drives them back into the ghetto. And the traditional, classical liturgy ends up in the museum.

SSPX Superior-General: We offer all "the certitude that the Traditional Mass will never disappear from the face of the earth."

Letter from the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, in light of the publication of the motu proprio “Traditionis custodes”


Dear members and friends of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X,

The motu proprio Traditionis custodes and the letter that accompanied it have caused a profound upheaval in the so-called traditionalist movement. We can point out, quite logically, that the era of the hermeneutics of continuity, with its equivocations, illusions and impossible efforts, is radically over – swept aside with a wave of a sleeve. These clear-cut measures do not directly affect the Society of Saint Pius X. However, they must be an occasion for us to reflect deeply on the situation. To do so, it is necessary to step back and ask ourselves a question that is both old and new: Why is the Tridentine Mass still the apple of discord after fifty years?

Hatred for the Mass of the Ages and the Question of Obedience

Rorate is pleased to share the English version of an article by an important Italian writer, first published at Aldo Maria Valli’s site Duc in altum and then published in English by Robert Moynihan; reproduced here with permission.—PAK

Note by Aldo Maria Valli: “Dear friends of Duc in altum, Massimo Viglione has written this article after the publication of Traditionis Custodes. It is one of the most complete and lucid analyses that we have read commenting on the papal provision against the Mass of the Ages. In addition to a comprehensive analysis (in which the liturgical problem is joined to that of the imposition of the New World Order), I would like to draw your attention to his reflection on the question of obedience.”

Mariotto Albertinelli, The Sacrifice of Cain and Abel 

“They Will Throw You out of the Synagogues” (Jn 16:2):
The Hermeneutic of Cain’s Envy against Abel

by Massimo Viglione 

(Published at Duc in altum, July 21, 2021)

There have been many comments, one after the other, in these days following the official declaration of war—a war made by Francis himself—of the ecclesiastical hierarchy against the Holy Mass of the Ages. And more than one comment has revealed the not-at-all concealed contempt and the simultaneous absolute clarity of content and form that marks the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, written in a style and formality that is political more than theological or spiritual. It is, in effect, a declaration of war.

It is noteworthy that there is a formal difference and also a difference in tone found in the various documents with which Paul VI, beginning in 1964, announced, planned, and implemented his liturgical reform, which was finally made official with the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum issued on 3 April 1969, by which the ancient Roman Rite was de facto replaced (this is the most appropriate term both from the point of view of intentions as well as facts) with the new vulgar Rite. In the Montinian documents we find, on several occasions, hypocritical but evident pain, regret, and remorse, and paradoxically the beauty and sacredness of the ancient Rite are celebrated. In short, it is as if Montini had said: “Dear Rite of all time, I am sending you away, but you were so beautiful!” In contrast, in the Bergoglian document, as many have noted, sarcasm and hatred for the ancient Rite shine through. A hatred such that it cannot be contained.

Naturally, Francis is not the initiator of this war, which was begun by the modernist liturgical movement (or, if you like, with Protestantism), but rather, on the official and operative level, it was Paul VI himself. Bergoglio has only—to use the strong and popular metaphor—“shot madly” in an effort to kill once and for all a mortally wounded thing that in the course of the post-conciliar decades not only did not die but returned to life, dragging along with it, with an exponential crescendo in the last fourteen years, an incalculable number of faithful all over the world.

And this is the crux of the whole matter.

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke's Masterful "Statement on the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes"

Many faithful – laity, ordained and consecrated – have expressed to me the profound distress which the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes» has brought them. Those who are attached to the Usus Antiquior (More Ancient Usage) [UA], what Pope Benedict XVI called the Extraordinary Form, of the Roman Rite are deeply disheartened by the severity of the discipline which the Motu Proprio imposes and offended by the language it employs to describe them, their attitudes and their conduct. As a member of the faithful, who also has an intense bond with the UA, I fully share in their sentiments of profound sorrow.

As a Bishop of the Church and as a Cardinal, in communion with the Roman Pontiff and with a particular responsibility to assist him in his pastoral care and governance of the universal Church, I offer the following observations:

1.  In a preliminary way, it must be asked why the Latin or official text of the Motu Proprio has not yet been published. As far as I know, the Holy See promulgated the text in Italian and English versions, and, afterwards, in German and Spanish translations. Since the English version is called a translation, it must be assumed that the original text is in Italian. If such be the case, there are translations of significant texts in the English version which are not coherent with the Italian version. In Article 1, the important Italian adjective, “unica”, is translated into English as “unique”, instead of “only.” In Article 4, the important Italian verb, “devono”, is translated into English as “should”, instead of “must.”

“The Old Mass is Good for Catholic Social Teaching”—Article by Stefano Fontana

The Old Mass is Good for Catholic Social Teaching

by Stefano Fontana

La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, July 21
translated by Zachary Thomas

Summorum pontificum gave hope to many who are committed to Catholic Social Teaching [CST] who nevertheless continue to regularly attend the Mass of Paul VI. CST is not unrelated to the liturgy. The old Mass stresses the centrality of God, including his social kingship, more than the Novus Ordo does. Francis’ latest motu proprio moves us in the direction of a “new” CST where the divine recedes and the primacy of the Church over the world is obscured.

Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis custodes has many aspects that can be considered imprudent. Some are still emerging, others will only become clear with time. Meanwhile, I would like to point out one that relates to Catholic Social Teaching.

Op-Ed: "I am a Catholic, but I cannot be irrational. Bergoglio’s motu proprio asks me to be irrational, and I cannot do that." (Juan Manuel de Prada)

 The great Spanish writer Juan Manuel de Prada (the best living columnist in the Spanish language in our opinion) wrote demolishing words on Francis' illegitimate motu proprio for Spanish daily ABC. Catholics are not under an obligation to obey unreason.

The Hat and the Head

Juan Manuel de Prada
July 18, 2021

Chesterton asserted that “the church asks us to take off our hats, not our heads when entering it.” Taking off one’s hat can, however, can be an act of mortification when the church lacks a roof or if its roof is leaky, not to mention when [defecating] pigeons nest therein. But through mortification a Catholic completes the Passion of Christ in his flesh, as St. Paul asked of us. In order to mortify myself, I have humbly endured masses that violently assault my artistic sensibility and devotional preferences: masses with revolting little ditties based on Simon & Garfunkel tunes, masses with empowered laywomen who read the epistles stumbling over every phrase, masses with thick-headed priests who stuff the liturgy with a tacky filling of improvisation till it overflows, masses with sermons that stink of forgettable politicking. And I have endured all these mortifications because I believe that a Catholic should go to mass in his parish, even if the masses he slurps leave him disgusted and sodden with their hideousness. This painful awareness of their hideousness stings even more when I compare them with the awareness of beauty I have felt in the few traditional masses I have participated in. There I have recognized myself as another link in the chain of a living tradition that has inspired the most eminent artists.

What are they saying about us? A fisk of Fr Thomas Reese on Traditionis Custodes

Fr Reese's column is here. My comments in red.

Despite the recent decision of Pope Francis to curtail celebration of the Latin Mass, we are not going to see it disappear anytime soon for a simple reason: Local bishops can and will still permit it.

This is true

Can a document based on falsehoods have juridical standing? Can a doubtful law bind?

Given Its Foundational Falsehoods, Does Traditionis Custodes Lack Juridical Standing?

Peter A. Kwasniewski

ARTICLE 1 of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes reads: “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

The pope here claims that the Novus Ordo is the only law of prayer for the Roman Rite. It is impossible to see how this is compatible with the history of the Church and with her reverence for the venerable rites of antiquity and the Middle Ages, epitomized in the Missale Romanum of 1570 and its subsequent integral editions. They, too, are the lex orandi and cannot be otherwise. Instead, the motu proprio fumblingly makes “lex orandi” do duty as a juridical, canonical term, able to be applied ad libitum, as if it were an extrinsic label. In reality, the lex orandi is the whole complex of historical prayer texts, ceremonies, and music that make up the Roman Rite.

The only way to sustain the fiction of Article 1 is to claim that there is so great a continuity between the old missal and the new missal that the new one is simply an updated version of the old one—that the Novus Ordo is substantially the same as the traditional Roman Rite that preceded it is. Francis’s letter to the bishops makes just this move:

It must therefore be considered that the Roman Rite, adapted several times over the centuries to the needs of the times, has not only been preserved but also renewed “in faithful obedience to Tradition.” Those who wish to celebrate with devotion according to the previous liturgical form will not find it difficult to find in the Roman Missal, reformed according to the mind of the Second Vatican Council, all the elements of the Roman Rite, especially the Roman Canon, which is one of its most characteristic features.

One can only stare in amazement at the flagrant falsehood of this pair of sentences.

A RORATE CÆLI Editorial: Bishops should dispense priests and faithful from the horrors of Traditionis Custodes immediately

*Approved by a Doctor of Canon Law.

We at Rorate Caeli are gratified and edified by the generous paternal and pastoral approach that many bishops, particularly those in the Anglo-French sphere, have taken as a response to the horror that is “Traditionis Custodes”. To those good shepherds who read this we express, from the depths of our souls, our heartfelt gratitude. 

In a time when anger and sadness try to push their way into our hearts and disturb our peace your actions, correct and courageous, calm the waters and keep the enemy from taking hold. 

That said, these actions have been few and far apart. More action is needed post-haste. 

We plead with all prelates of good will, all shepherds who love and care for their flock, for the spiritual good of all the faithful – clergy and laity – who have benefited now for years from the immense spiritual, euchological, and theological treasury of the 1962 Missale Romanum,  to dispense us from the draconian provisions found in Traditionis Custodes.


The canonical institution of dispensation has always had a robust usage in the history of canon law, and is currently expressed in the words of canon 87, §1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law[1]. The law predicates itself on the judgment of the diocesan bishop for the spiritual good of his territory or his subjects. In connection with the notion of dispensation, Hans-Jurgen Guth has, in recent years, written in canonical literature about the bishop’s right in law to protest against decisions of the Pontiff, also known as the ius remonstrandi.[2] 

Given that the right to the traditional Mass from Quo Primum is firmly established in the canonical tradition as never abrogated, bishops could -- and should -- immediately exercise their canonical right of remonstration against such an overreach.


Healthy spiritual fruits, as illustrated by Matthew 7:16, are present in all groups of faithful attached to the Missal of Quo Primum – loving, caring families who faithfully attend Mass and frequently receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion; seminarians dedicated to prayer, study, and service of the Church; priests dedicated to the care of souls; and religious consecrated to single-hearted devotion to the Lamb of God.


The Church, they say, never moves quickly. That cannot be said, however, of the original promulgation of the Novus Ordo (and banning of the traditional Latin Mass) or in the harsh, whiplash-inducing release of Traditionis Custodes. And the response must be just as swift. 

We believe there are many prelates out there waiting for a leader. They are waiting for a brother bishop near them to take the first step and fully dispense priests and laity from Traditionis Custodes so those under their care may continue on their path to salvation in peace and without disturbance. 

We ask, in all sincerity and all fidelity: Use your legitimate power and dispense all of us. This is in your power and is your option. 

Please, we pray and plead, exercise it today.

[1]Can. 87 §1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.

[2]Guth, Hans-Jurgen. "Ius Remonstrandi: A Bishop's Right in Law to Protest". Revue de droit canonique 2002, Volume 52, Number 1, pp. 153-65.

Archbishop Broglio (Military Archbishop for the US): "What is Truly Pastoral Always Begins With the Truth"

"The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be Commander over His people." (1 Sm 13:14)

Demanding the Impossible: Traditionis custodes and Vernacular Readings

Among its many, many unjust prescriptions, Traditionis custodes says that the readings at the usus antiquior are now to be “proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for liturgical use by the respective Episcopal Conferences” (n. 3, § 3). Quite aside from what this actually means in practice (e.g., would chanting the lections in Latin, then reading them in the vernacular before the homily suffice?), it is clear that this demand has, like the rest of the document, been drafted by someone totally unfamiliar with the traditional Latin Mass.

Strong Communiqué of the Chartres Pilgrimage: "Clericalism-Caudillism never works well, motu proprio will be difficult to apply in a Church which is in a catastrophic situation."

Traditional-minded Catholics from all over the world are familiar with the largest of all current Catholic pilgrimages, the Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage that takes place each year (when pandemics allow it...) in the weekend of Pentecost. It assembles in particular thousands and thousands of young pilgrims, attached to the Traditional liturgy.

The Chartres Pilgrimage was famous in the Middle Ages, and made famous once again by Charles Péguy in the early 20th century -- it was recreated by Traditional Catholics eager to proclaim their Faith and their liturgical heritage in 1983. 

Many organizations around the world have made their view and dismay regarding Francis anti-Summorum motu proprio since Friday. They are all available online. But this one by the Pilgrimage organizers (Association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté / Our Lady of Christendom Association) is particularly poignant, and expresses the general feeling of most Traditional Catholics well. [Emphases added by us.]

Communiqué of Notre-Dame de Chrétienté


Notre-Dame de Chrétienté expresses its great sadness before the motu proprio Traditionis custodes of pope Francis, who displays nothing but disdain for so-called Traditionalist Catholics. We will pray very particularly for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who, while he still lives, sees his work for reconciliation swept aside.


The traditional Pilgrimage of Christendom, created in 1983, had believed in the promises of St. John Paul II and of Cardinal Ratzinger in 1988: "You have your place in the Church, just as you are." Obviously, the situation has changed and the urgency now is to rekindle the liturgical wars. The argument put forward leaves one speechless: to place under control the young diocesan priests attracted by the Traditional Mass! The intention of the Pope is to erect a wall to prevent the discovery of the wealth of spirituality of the Tridentine Mass! 

"A pope would be schismatic... 'if he if he were to change all the liturgical rites of the Church that have been upheld by apostolic tradition'." (Francisco Suárez / Klaus Gamber)

Only four years had passed since the publication of the new Missal when Pope Paul VI surprised the Catholic world with a new Ordo Missæ, dated April 6, 1969. The revision made in 1965 did not touch the traditional liturgical rite. In accordance with the mandate of Article 50 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, it had been primarily concerned with removing some later additions to the Order of the Mass. The publication of the Ordo Missæ of 1969, however, created a new liturgical rite. In other words, the traditional liturgical rite had not simply been revised as the Council had intended. Rather, it had been completely abolished, and a couple of years later, the traditional liturgical rite was, in fact, forbidden. All this leads to the question: Does such a radical reform follow the tradition of the Church?

Op-Ed by Top French Philosopher Michel Onfray: "I'm an Atheist, but the Latin Mass is Our Patrimony: Francis is Destroying It; He is Doing What He Was Elected to Do."

Michel Onfray is, by far, the most popular philosopher in France in our days. Take note: we are not saying he is the best or the most reliable, but he is indeed by far the most popular, the one who sells most books, the most influential, and probably the top intellectual figure in the society that practically invented the notion of the "public intellectual.""

An atheist (and formerly a rabid anticlerical), Onfray has, with age, become visibly more concerned with the collapse of Western Civilization. So, when Francis published his document with the intent to ultimately abolish the Latin Mass, Onfray was scandalized, and moved to write the following article for the greatest French daily, Le Figaro:


Michel Onfray: "The Latin Mass, a Liturgical Patrimony"

Le Figaro
July 19, 2021

OPINION - The writer and philosopher, despite being an atheist, sees in the Catholic Church and her rites the heartbeat of our Civilization. He explains why the decision of pope Francis to restrict the Latin Mass disturbs him.

I am an atheist, as is known, but the life of the Catholic Church interests me because she sets the heartbeat of our Judeo-Christian civilization, in very bad shape. Because, if God is not of my world, my world is one that was made possible by the God of Christians. Whatever may say those who think France started with the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which is as stupid as believing that Russia was born in October 1917, Christianity has shaped a civilization that is my own, and which I believe I can love and defend, without guilt, without apologizing for its errors, without waiting for a redemption after confession, contrition, and kneeling. It is mad how those who despise Christianity acting as if it didn't happen are as impregnated with it as a baba [au rhum] is with rum!


Benedict XVI was a philosopher pope, trained in German hermeneutics and phenomenology. He also read French Catholic authors in the original language. His Jesus of Nazareth (2012) is inserted in the history of German idealism, notably the Hegelianism that we call "of the right", to distinguish it of the "left", that led to a young Marx.


Pope Francis does not have this theological level, far from it. But he is not deprived of the jesuitical cunning that made him, coming from the Society of Jesus, choose as pontifical name the one that is as opposed as possible to the intrigues and vestibules of power where the Jesuits love to be, that is, that of Francis of Assisi. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a chemist by training, comes from Peronism; Joseph Ratzinger, a trained theologian, from anti-Nazism.

Op-Ed: "Francis Has Unleashed a War: It Will End With the Full Triumph of Tradition." (Roberto de Mattei)

Traditionis custodes: a war on the brink of the abyss

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 19, 2021

              The intent of Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis custodes, of July 16, 2021, is to repress any expression of fidelity to the traditional liturgy, but the result will be to spark a war that will inevitably end with the triumph of the Tradition of the Church.

              When, on April 3,1969, Paul VI promulgated the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM), his basic idea was that within a few years the traditional Mass would be only a memory. The encounter of the Church with the modern world, which Paul VI was aiming for in the name of an “integral humanism,” envisaged the disappearance of all the heirlooms of the “Constantinian” Church. And the ancient Roman Rite, which Saint Pius V had restored in 1570, after the Protestant liturgical devastation, seemed destined to disappear.

              Never has a prediction shown itself more mistaken. Today the seminaries are devoid of vocations and the parishes are emptying, sometimes abandoned by priests who announce their marriage and return to civic life. On the contrary, the places where the traditional liturgy is celebrated and the faith and morals of all time are preached are crowded with the faithful and are incubators of vocations. The traditional Mass is celebrated regularly in 90 countries on all the continents, and the number of faithful who participate in it has been growing year by year, bolstering both the Fraternity of Saint Pius X and the Ecclesia Dei institutes set up after 1988. The coronavirus contributed to this growth after, following the imposition of communion in the hand, many faithful disgusted by the desecration left their parishes to go to receive the Holy Eucharist in places where it continues to be administered on the tongue.

Skandalon: the drama of the history of the papacy

In the passage from Saint Matthew’s Gospel that we have just heard, Peter makes his own confession of faith in Jesus, acknowledging him as Messiah and Son of God. He does so in the name of the other Apostles too. In reply, the Lord reveals to him the mission that he intends to assign to him, that of being the "rock", the visible foundation on which the entire spiritual edifice of the Church is built (cf. Mt 16:16-19). But in what sense is Peter the rock? How is he to exercise this prerogative, which naturally he did not receive for his own sake? The account given by the evangelist Matthew tells us first of all that the acknowledgment of Jesus’ identity made by Simon in the name of the Twelve did not come "through flesh and blood", that is, through his human capacities, but through a particular revelation from God the Father. 

Guest Op-Ed: A Lie About John Paul II's Words Underpins Francis' motu proprio

 by Leo Darroch

The publication of this document, although expected, is much more despotic and cruel than anyone could have imagined. Canonists and liturgical experts have already started to offer opinions and their contributions will be welcomed by those who are looking for an intelligent and coherent response. There is one small phrase in this document that is particularly troubling. In the second paragraph Pope Francis states:

In this way they [John Paul II and Benedict XVI] intended to “facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier liturgical forms” and not to others [4]. [my emphasis]

A RORATE CÆLI Editorial: The Attack of Hatred and Vengeance Against the Latin Mass Should be Ignored

As confident as we were in our sources forecasting today as the day of reckoning for Summorum Pontificum and the traditional Latin Mass as we know it, in the back of our minds we had hoped it was merely an unfounded rumor.  After all, Pope Benedict XVI is not only alive, but fully cognizant, dressed in a white cassock while living in the Vatican gardens.  To that end, would a sitting pope be so arrogant as to publicly humiliate the 94 year old pope emeritus?

Alas, the answer is yes.  Jorge Mario Bergoglio is without a doubt the most arrogant pope in the history of the Catholic Church.  From day one, if not before, it has always been about him -- whatever the subject.  Labeled "humble" by the mainstream media due to token stunts such as carrying a bag and wearing polyester vestments, Bergoglio is in reality a man of vengeance.  A pope of vengeance.  An angry bitter Jesuit settling scores through vengeance.

What ought traditional Catholics to do in response to the latest attack on the Mass and all those who love tradition?  Simply put:  ignore it.  Ignore its message.  Ignore its motivation caused by pure hatred and vengeance. Keep calm and keep on going as if it does not even exist.

Article: "Legal Considerations on the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes" - Restrictions demand strict interpretation

  by Fr. Pierre Laliberté, J.C.L.*

1. Principles

The motu proprio “Traditionis Custodes” was issued by Pope Francis on 16 July 2021, along with an accompanying letter.

As a restrictive decree, this present motu proprio of Pope Francis should be interpreted strictly, in accord with the legal maxim Regula Juris 15 (odiosa restringenda, favorabilia amplificanda). Interestingly, there is no vacatio legis on the document either.

Pope Francis indicates in the first paragraph that the bishops constitute the principle of unity of the particular churches and govern them through the proclamation of the Gospel. As the specified end of the document is the “constant search for ecclesial communion”, it would also appear that hermeneutically, this document should be interpreted in a way which genuinely fosters ecclesiastical communion between the faithful, priests, and bishops, and does not promote negative feeling and ill-will amongst any members of the Christian faithful who are attached to the traditional liturgical forms.

It is worthwhile to indicate what this motu proprio does not place restrictions upon. No mention whatsoever is made of the pre-conciliar Breviarium Romanum, Pontificale Romanum and Rituale Romanum. No express abrogation is made of any notable document concerning the traditional Roman Missal, and such abrogation should not therefore be implied. The traditional Missal remains, as it always was, never abrogated. The rights established by Quo Primum, by the theological and liturgical tradition of the Western rites, and immemorial custom remain intact. No mention is made of the traditional rites of the various religious communities (Dominican, Carmelite, Praemonstratensian, etc.) nor those of the ancient sees (Ambrosian, Lyonnais, etc.). There is no indication that the right of a priest to celebrate privately according to the 1962 missal is in any way infringed.


Note: Accompanying Letter below Motu Proprio:





Guardians of the tradition, the bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome constitute the visible principle and foundation of the unity of their particular Churches.[1] Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel and by means of the celebration of the Eucharist, they govern the particular Churches entrusted to them.[2]

In order to promote the concord and unity of the Church, with paternal solicitude towards those who in any region adhere to liturgical forms antecedent to the reform willed by the Vatican Council II, my Venerable Predecessors, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, granted and regulated the faculty to use the Roman Missal edited by John XXIII in 1962.[3] In this way they intended “to facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier liturgical forms” and not to others.[4]

In line with the initiative of my Venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI to invite the bishops to assess the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum three years after its publication, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith carried out a detailed consultation of the bishops in 2020. The results have been carefully considered in the light of experience that has matured during these years.

At this time, having considered the wishes expressed by the episcopate and having heard the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I now desire, with this Apostolic Letter, to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to establish the following:

Art. 1. The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

Op-Ed:” What Would The Re-dimensioning of Summorum Pontificum mean to the Question of Pontifical Authority?”


by  don Marco Begato

From Aldo Maria Valli's Blog

July 15, 2021


Breaking news from the liturgical world suggests that the publication of a document that would abolish, or at least re-dimension, the scope of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum is close.  This rumour has given rise to something more than apprehension, most of all in those dioceses ( and therefore - in most Italian dioceses) where the defense of the celebration of the Vetus Ordo is protected only by Summorum Pontificum and certainly not in dialogue with the Shepherds.


Even two princes of the Church, among others, have spoken out in defense of the status quo: Cardinal  Müller and Cardinal Zen.


My comment however today focuses attention on the question of authority.


My thesis is that a move to harm Summorum Pontificum - especially if initiated while Benedict XVI is still alive - would be a cheap shot against the Liturgy, but would most of all be a traumatizing  blow to authority.


“The right to celebrate the perennial Mass of the Roman Church is based on immemorial tradition and not on legal positivism” — Homily by Traditional Catholic Priest

A recently-ordained priest's first Mass

Rorate Caeli has been given a copy of a homily preached this past Sunday, the Seventh after Pentecost, by a traditional priest serving in a major metropolitan parish, with whose permission we publish it for the benefit of our readers as we prepare to return to the bunkers and trenches of the 1970s.

Everyone knows that the centrepiece of the Catholic religion is the holy Mass. The Mass is a proper sacrifice in which the true Body and Blood of the Lord are offered to God under the outward appearances of bread and wine through the ministry of an ordained priest. The holy Mass renews—you could say it prolongs and perpetuates—the sacrifice Our Lord offered once and for all on the cross. In fact, it is the self-same sacrifice; only the outward manner of the offering differs.


This holy sacrifice, moreover, does not exist in a void but it is encased in a sublime sequence of prayers and ceremonies called the rite or the liturgy of the Mass. The ancient axiom of the Church Fathers lex orandi, lex credendi—“the law of praying is the law of believing”—reminds us that our liturgical prayers must be an accurate expression of our faith and must inculcate true reverence for God. That is why, especially at the time of the Protestant Reformation, the faith of the people was changed precisely by disrupting the ancient forms of Catholic worship. For example, John Calvin, a radical reformer who denied the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, once wrote, “God has given us a table at which to feast, not an altar on which to offer sacrifice” (Institutes; IV, xviii, 12, col. 1059), and so by removing the old high altars and replacing them with a common table, the faith of the people in the sacrifice of the Mass was undermined and soon destroyed.


I mention these things because today [July 11] falls right between two important anniversaries related to the sacred liturgy: the papal letter Summorum pontificum from Pope Benedict XVI on July 7, 2007 and the papal bull Quo primum from Pope Saint Pius V on July 14, 1570. The Council of Trent had met from 1545 to 1563 to address the challenges of the Protestant Reformation, above all by clearly defining the Catholic dogmas denied by the heretics [1] and by promoting sound reforms in the life of the Church to root out the abuses which had first sparked the Reformation—things like the poor training and immorality of some of the clergy and the shoddy manner of celebrating Mass in many places.