Rorate Caeli

After 14 Years, Pontifical North American College (Rome) cancels all Traditional Latin Masses, and all TLM training

Announced today to the NAC community -- the PNAC is the National College of the United States in Rome, and the most influential American seminary in the world. It is under the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

This is a very important piece of the puzzle of the systemic cultural genocide Francis is imposing on Traditional Catholics. Our only options are to resist or to die and disappear.

Please, mention Rorate when reporting this piece of news.

Jewish Feasts in the Propers of the Traditional Roman Rite

by Alisa Kunitz-Dick


Christ unrolls the scroll at the Synagogue at Nazareth [Lk. 4]
James Tissot (c. 1890), Brooklyn Museum

Several weeks ago, Fr Albert Marcello wrote of the commemoration (in the nontechnical sense of the word) of Tisha B'Av within the propers at Mass.  What Fr Marcello noticed is not an isolated incident.  There are a number of commemorations of holidays from the Jewish calendar in the propers of the ancient Latin liturgy, which do not appear in the Novus Ordo.   

I have complied a list of all of the ones that I have noticed, and explain in bold how they correspond to the holiday, if it is not obvious.  Altogether there are commemorations of all the major Jewish Holy Days and feasts, roughly at the same time they occur in the Jewish calendar, with the exception of Chanukkah.  I do not know, from an historical perspective, when each of these entered the Roman rite, but perhaps there is a liturgical historian out there who would be able to explain [1]. 

The feasts are, as follows:

1.  Rosh Hashanah [The New Year]

Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz on Traditionis Custodes: “Frighteningly reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984

We publish today an English translation of a powerful piece written by Prof. Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz (b. 1957), an expert on church history and liturgy, and author of the best scholarly book on the TLM: “The Traditional Mass: History, Form, and Theology of the Classical Roman Rite” (Angelico Press, 2020). This piece appeared first in the “IK-Nachrichten” of the association Pro Sancta Ecclesia and then on August 30 at CNA-Deutsch. Professor Fiedrowicz teaches at the Faculty of Theology in Trier at the Chair of Ancient Church History, Patrology and Christian Archaeology. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Berlin.

“They Do Not Even Know What Has Been Taken from Them”

Prof. Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz

Lex orandi–lex credendi

On July 16, 2021, the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Apostolic Exhortation in the form of a Motu proprio Traditionis custodes on the use of the Roman Liturgy before the 1970 reform was promulgated. Article 1 reads, “The liturgical books promulgated by Popes St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council are the sole expression (l’unica espressione) of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

Guido Marini - new Bishop of Tortona

As anticipated by Messa in Latino yesterday, Msgr. Guido Marini's appointment as Bishop of Tortona was included today, August 29, in the Vatican Bollettino

The same announcement was made at the Santuario della Madonna della Guardia by the Archbishop of Genoa, Marco Tasca OFMConv. Msgr. Marini was present and Tasca placed the purple zucchetto on the new Bishop-elect right after.

Please this Sunday PRAY for Traditional Institutes and Societies and for Traditional Seminaries

Cancelling Pope Benedict: Reflections on a recent article and the “hermeneutic of rupture”

Rorate has received this excellent essay by “A Concerned Priest” and is pleased to share it with our readers. It is one of the best analyses to date of the impossible theological premises on which Pope Francis has enacted his campaign against the survival of the traditional rites of the Church.

PRAY - For Traditional Institutes and Traditional Seminaries

Saint Pius V prays before the Dead Christ (Michele Parrasio, 1572)

'The Council and The Eclipse of God' by Don Pietro Leone - Part XIV: The Church and The State


In Chapter 4,  Don Pietro turns to consider the Council’s teaching on the Church and State. He explains how the Church has a duty not only to Her members, but also to the entire world. Her role in regard to the State is to guide Kings and governors to promote the best interests of their citizens, i.e. in the final analysis the attainment of eternal life in Heaven, such as has been the constant teaching of Holy Mother Church.   Readers will be amazed to learn that an entirely new political vision was to supplant this teaching, a vision which originates in Freemasonry and of which the most notable  fruits are the Declarations of the French Revolution and the American Constitution, namely, the total separation of Church and State. The genius behind this devastating work of destruction was the American Jesuit, Father John Courtney Murray, who, unbelievably, was the author of all the speeches of the five bishops calling for these changes.   F.R.

Traditionalist Publishing Renaissance (3): Angelico releases definitive book on Medjugorje, among other new titles

As Rorate has before featured announcements of new books from St. Augustine Academy Press and Arouca Press, so too we have mentioned the premiere traditionalist publisher in English, Angelico Press. The “Catholic Traditionalist Classics” series, for example, includes Fr. Bryan Houghton’s Mitre and Crook and Judith’s Marriage as well as Tito Casini’s The Torn Tunic. With many new titles having been released by Angelico in recent months, it is high time for a brief presentation of ten of them. Some of the following short reviews are in my own words and some are publisher descriptions (I will indicate which is which).

Will the Real Lex Orandi of the Roman Rite Please Stand Up? A Comparison of the Old and New Feasts of St. Louis

Today is the feast of the greatest of Christian kings, St. Louis IX (1214-1270). In light of the attempt of some to declare the Novus Ordo the sole lex orandi of the Roman Rite, it seems worthwhile to do a simple comparison between the traditional Propers for this feastday and those of its modern replacement in 1969. Pay close attention, as usual, to the shifts in political theology, in the concept of merit, the primacy of the supernatural, the relation between nature and grace, and the recognition of the existence of enemies. Not to mention whether the Propers "fit" the saint or not...

Op-Ed: With 'Traditionis custodes', Francis Promotes Disunity (by Archbishop Aguer, Emeritus of La Plata, Argentina)

 A Regrettable Step Backwards

Archbishop Héctor Aguer*
Emeritus of La Plata, Argentina
for Infocatólica

The current Pontiff declares that he wishes to pursue even further the constant search for ecclesial communion and to make this purpose effective, he eliminates the work of his predecessors by placing arbitrary limits and obstacles to what they established with intra-ecclesial ecumenical intention and respect for the freedom of priests and faithful! It promotes ecclesial communion in reverse. The new measures are a regrettable step backwards.

I was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on November 25, 1972; I celebrated my first Mass the following day in the parish of San Isidro Labrador (Saavedra neighborhood), where I resided all that year, exercising the diaconate. Obviously I celebrated according to the Novus Ordo promulgated in 1970. I have never celebrated "the ancient Mass," not even after the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum; I would have to study the rite, of which I have distant memories, having served as an altar boy. Recently, while attending the Divine Liturgy of the Syrian Orthodox Church, I seemed to notice a certain resemblance to the Latin Solemn Mass, with deacon and subdeacon, in which I often assisted, especially at funerals, which in my parish were often celebrated with special solemnity. I insist: I have always celebrated, with the greatest devotion I can muster, the rite in force in the Universal Church. When I was Archbishop of La Plata, I used to sing the Eucharistic prayer in Latin every Saturday at the "St. Joseph" Major Seminary, using the precious Missal published by the Holy See. We had formed, according to the recommendation of the Second Vatican Council in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 114, a schola cantorum, which has been eliminated at my retirement. In Traditionis custodes (Art. 3§ 4) it speaks of a priest delegated by the bishop to be in charge of the celebrations of the Mass and the pastoral care of the faithful of the groups authorized to use the Missal prior to the reform of 1970. It is stated there that he "should have a knowledge of the Latin language". It should be remembered that it is possible to celebrate the Mass currently in force in the whole Church in Latin. The Council affirmed in Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 § 1, "The use of the Latin language in the Latin rites is to be preserved, except by special law." Unfortunately, the "particular right" seems to be to prohibit Latin, as in fact it is done (this is not a boutade). If someone dares to propose to celebrate in Latin, he is looked upon as a misguided, unforgivable troglodyte.

Latin was for centuries the bond of unity and communication in the Western Church. Today it is not only abandoned, but hated. In the seminaries its study is neglected, precisely because it is not useful. They do not realize that this closes off direct access to the Fathers of the Western Church, who are very important for theological studies: I am thinking, for example, of St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great, and of medieval authors such as St. Anselm and St. Bernard. This situation seems to me to be a sign of cultural poverty and willful ignorance.

Socci: "A Buzz in the Vatican: A Conclave is in the Air"


Antonio Socci
August 23, 2021

In the Vatican, there is an ever greater mention of a new Conclave. Pope Francis would in fact have expressed his intention to leave.

This December, among other things, he will turn 85, which is the same age as that of Benedict XVI at the time of his resignation. But the reason for Bergoglio's resignation would not primarily be his age, but the state of health that came under the spotlight in a sudden and unexpected way with his surgery, last July 4, at the Gemelli Hospital.

Is Traditionis Custodes calling for more Latin?

High Mass in Westminster Cathedral for the Latin Mass Society.
Photo by John Aron

 Cross-posted from LMSChairman.

A number of American writers claim that Traditionis Custodes should spur priests to make their celebration of Mass more reflective of the liturgical tradition. Others commentators, including a number of bishops implementing it, apparently think the opposite.

Those in favor of the first interpretation can cite a couple of passages from the Letter to Bishops which accompanied Traditionis Custodes. Pope Francis quotes Pope Benedict complaining about liturgical abuses—“unbearable distortions”; later he remarks:

Whoever wishes to celebrate with devotion according to earlier forms of the liturgy can find in the reformed Roman Missal according to Vatican Council II all the elements of the Roman Rite, in particular the Roman Canon which constitutes one of its more distinctive elements.

The Roman Canon being Eucharistic Prayer I in the reformed Missal.

Traditionalist Publishing Renaissance (2): The Meteoric Rise of Arouca Press

Rorate has mentioned Arouca Press of Waterloo, Ontario, several times before. They brought back into print Cardinal Schuster’s work The Sacramentary, published Fr. Armand de Malleray’s short stories and X-Ray of the Priest, the collection Defending the Faith Against Present Heresies, Cardinal Bacci’s memoirs and meditations, a new edition of Billot’s critique of liberalism, an historical play about Pope Pius VI, a commentary on the Epistles of the traditional Mass, the collection of essays on the question of Are Canonizations Infallible?, and so forth.

Francis' Cruelty - Costa Rica: Fr. Varela, the First Priest Suspended for Celebrating the Traditional Mass (and the New Mass in Latin!) Following the new Motu Proprio


 by Augustine Aksala*

I feel the need to write this chronicle due to the concern expressed in different parts of the world to know clearly what is happening in Costa Rica after the promulgation of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.

On July 7, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI published his apostolic letter in the form of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. With this document, the Pope established that it was licit to celebrate the sacraments with the liturgical books prior to the post-conciliar liturgical reform. Thus, in the Roman Rite there was an ordinary form and an extraordinary form, and no priest needed any permission to celebrate Holy Mass with the 1962 missal, edited by St. John XXIII. Moreover, the faithful who requested it were to be admitted to such celebrations.

The little boy whose existence is a threat to the new kind of Church desired by Francis

 A young boy. A symbol of a wide open future ahead of us.

In the Pontifical Mass celebrated in Philadelphia's Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul on the Feast of the Assumption, a very small boy was photographed at the Communion Rail. His eyes are bright with expectation: he has certainly been taught enough about Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

Andrea Grillo: The Mind Behind the Motu Proprio

Andrea Grillo: The Mind Behind the Motu Proprio

by Peter Kwasniewski*

Andrea Grillo (born 1961) is a professor of Sacramental Theology and Philosophy of Religion at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome (Sant’Anselmo) and of Liturgy in Padua at the Abbey of Santa Giustina. With the promulgation of Pope Francis’s motu proprio of July 16th, 2021, Traditionis Custodes, he has become a more important figure in Catholic thought. Many indications point to Professor Grillo as an author or at least inspirer of the document, serving as the Pontiff’s “house” liturgist and theologian, as he is often called in Rome. He joins many others from Sant’Anselmo who have exercised a disproportionate progressive influence.

The Foundations of the Motu Proprio

For years now, Professor Grillo has espoused avant la lettre the tenets of Traditionis Custodes, maintaining that the Mass of Paul VI represents the exclusive rite of the Roman Church and that the Traditional Latin Mass should be legislated in such a way that its disappearance is assured.[1]

Liberal attacks the Traditional Mass: NCR v. Michael Brandon Dougherty

High Mass in Westminster Cathedral for the Latin Mass Society Sat 14th August

(Cross-posted from LMSChairman blog.)

Michael Sean Winters has written an attack, mainly on an article by  Michael Brendan Dougherty (MBD), and it is interest to contrast MBD's sometimes artless sincerity and distress with Winters' manipulation of the facts and instrumentalisation of Pope Francis. For Winters Traditionis Custodes is not about the liturgy at all: it is an instrument of political power. This is what theology and spirituality has come down to for Winters and his little gang.

Winters' words in black, my comments in red and indented.

EVENT: Festival of St. Louis on August 24-25, 2021: Solemn Mass, Divine Office, Adoration, Benediction, Public Rosary Procession

For those of our readers who live in or near St. Louis, Missouri, you will not want to miss this truly magnificent festival of Catholic devotion to the patron saint of the city. Details in the poster. All are welcome.

MASS OF THE AGES - First episode of the documentary trilogy on the Traditional Mass

With a goal of reaching 10 million Catholics, an incredible new documentary on the traditional Latin Mass premiered on YouTube last night, and can now be watched any time with the entire family. 

Executive produced by Harrison Butker, one of the best (and current) NFL kickers who part times as a TLM server, Mass of the Ages exceeded expectations in both production and content. 

With the horrors of Traditionis Custodes closing in on many traditional Catholics around the world, the need to both educate, and inspire, as many Catholics as possible is critical and urgent. 

You may watch episode 1, below. 

To help fund the project and ensure they can market it to as many people as possible, CLICK HERE

The Two Women: Sermon for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary


And Mary said:  ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth in God my savior.’”  (Luke 1:46)

Two women:  so different, yet women, these two women whose role in the destiny of the human race have been pivotal. Their importance transcends that of any mere man who has paraded across the pages of history.  Compared to these two women, pharaohs, emperors, kings, Wall Street whizzes, tech giants:  whatever the power on the stage of history, nothing compares with these two women.  Secular feminism is blind to all of this, for whatever is purely secular is blind to the reality of the spiritual, is blind to that Spirit that blows through humankind from the beginning, that Spirit that brooded over the waters, that Spirit that gave the amorphous lump of clay life and called him Adam.

Cardinal Sarah: A Church that Claims a Reversal of Her Liturgy is a Church with no Credibility

Cardinal Robert Sarah
Le Figaro
August 13, 2021

[Main excerpts:]

Doubt has taken hold of Western thought. Intellectuals and politicians alike describe the same impression of collapse. Faced with the breakdown of solidarity and the disintegration of identities, some turn to the Catholic Church. ...  But is the Church capable of responding to these calls? Certainly, she has already played this role of guardian and transmitter of civilization. ...

[Cardinal Sarah at the Abbey of Saint Mary of Lagrasse]

Without a sacred foundation, every bond becomes fragile and fickle. Some ask the Catholic Church to play this solid foundation role. They would like to see her assume a social function, namely to be a coherent system of values, a cultural and aesthetic matrix. But the Church has no other sacred reality to offer than her faith in Jesus, God made man. Her sole goal is to make possible the encounter of men with the person of Jesus. Moral and dogmatic teaching, as well as mystical and liturgical patrimony, are the setting and the means of this fundamental and sacred encounter. Christian civilization is born of this encounter. Beauty and culture are its fruits. ...


What is sacred for the Church, then, is the unbroken chain that links her with certainty to Jesus. A chain of faith without rupture or contradiction, a chain of prayer and liturgy without breakage or disavowal. Without this radical continuity, what credibility could the Church still claim? ... 

Tradition and Traitors: How to tell the difference


Brethren, I make known unto you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received and wherein you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; and that He was seen by Cephas, and after that by the eleven. Then was He seen by more than five hundred brethren at once; of whom many remain until this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. (I Corinthians, 1-4.)

The opening line of the recent Motu Proprio from Pope Francis begins with two Latin words:  Traditionis Custodes.  This refers to the bishops of the Church, including the Bishop of Rome with his special role in the Church.  What these words mean in English is “guardians of the Tradition.”  The bishops are the guardians of Catholic Tradition.  We all know what a guardian is, someone who takes careful care of something or someone given to him to make sure that what he has been entrusted with is not damaged but rather is nourished and preserved in an authentic way.  But many Catholics do not fully understand what the Tradition of the Catholic faith is.  One cannot be a guardian of something that one does not understand.  

Catholics in and around Philadelphia -- don't miss the Pontifical Mass on Sunday


All Catholics who are able to attend should do so. Traditional-minded Catholics are the Church: our right of Catholic citizenship can never be taken away, much less by unjust rules and regulations.

Are Canonizations Infallible? — An important new book from Arouca Press

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book: Are Canonizations Infallible? Revisiting a Disputed Question, from Arouca Press. 

It is a 276-page collection of fifteen essays written by twelve authors: Phillip Campbell, Fr Thomas Crean, Roberto de Mattei, William Matthew Diem, Christopher Ferrara, Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, Fr John Hunwicke, Peter Kwasniewski, John Lamont, Joseph Shaw, Fr. Jean-François Thomas, and José Antonio Ureta. I served as the volume’s editor. The book includes not only sources in English but also translations from French, Italian, and Portuguese. Several of the chapters are published in it for the first time.

All the arguments you’ve ever seen in favor of the infallibility of canonizations or against it—and some you probably haven’t seen—are found in the pages of this book. Authors line up behind both sides. It is a fair and full presentation, which does not shy away from toppling “certainties” that are sometimes mindlessly repeated. The book also serves as an introduction to the history of canonization (including changes made to the process over time) and to the nature and objects of papal infallibility, with Msgr. Gherardini’s mini-treatise especially impressive in that regard. The authors go into what the papal act of canonization means or entails, the conditions it may have for moral certainty on the part of the faithful, and what it concretely demands of members of the Church.

The Prayers for the Feast of St Lawrence in the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms

The martyrdom of St Lawrence, from the late 13th-century frescoes
on the walls of San Lorenzo ‘in Palatio’ at the Lateran

Today's feast of St Lawrence gives us yet another example of the differences, both great and small, between the prayers of the traditional and reformed Roman Rites. [1] The collect in the 1962 Missale Romanum (CO 960) reads as follows:

CO 960: Da nobis, quǽsumus, omnípotens Deus: vitiórum nostrórum flammas exstínguere; qui beáto Lauréntio tribuísti tormentórum suórum incéndia superáre.


(Grant us, we pray, almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our sins, just as you granted Saint Lawrence to overcome the fires of his tortures.)

This collect, well attested in forty-nine extant manuscripts from the eight century onwards, is universally used for St Lawrence, and almost always on his feast day itself (a handful of manuscripts use this oration on the vigil or octave). The only textual variation in this prayer is the addition of martyri after Laurentio, in five manuscripts.

On the other hand, the collect in the post-Vatican II Missale Romanum is a new composition, centonised from three pre-existing sources (two collects and one preface):


 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)

All to Rome in Late October! "Summorum Pontificum" Pilgrimage Will Take Place

Paris, July 29, 2021

Dear Friends,

As scheduled, we shall be undertaking our Pilgrimage of the Traditional Mass in Rome October 29-31. From its very beginning it has been about giving thanks for the acknowledgement by the Apostolic See of rights of the usus antiquior. Furthermore, it has always also been about begging God each year to sustain us throughout the world in our efforts to promote the flourishing and spread of this liturgy, which has been the lifeblood of Rome for at least a millennium.

These intentions are still important today, and more so than ever.

A Public Letter from Italian Laity: Francis, enough! Stop the ideological Civil War in the Church

This heartfelt letter by several Italian lay people was published today in Italian daily IL FOGLIO. The laity are exhausted after 8 years of war conducted from on top: we want peace. Stop, Francis, just stop.

Holy Father,

The latest book by Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant'Egidio and a well-known voice of the progressive Catholic world is entitled "The Church is Burning: Crisis and the Future of Christianity ”.

We have not written any books, we have not conducted any detailed analysis, but we see every day the slow fire that devours and destroys the Catholic Church in Italy and around the world.

The resignation of Benedict XVI, eight years ago, left many in desolation and others in hope. For some time there was talk of the "Bergoglio effect", alluding to a rebirth that unfortunately never took place. On the contrary! The "Church that goes forth" has remained a slogan with no real application. On the contrary, the holy city of Christianity [Rome], in the age of covid, was the first to barricade its churches, giving the world a sign of total desertion.

The Witness of the Laity to the Traditional Roman Mass:The Heart of the Matter

I received a copy of the letter which follows from a parishioner at the diocesan Parish of St. Pius X, in Fairfield, Connecticut.  The letter was written to the pastor of the parish to express his thanksgiving for the presence of the Traditional Roman Mass in his life and that of his whole family. The letter touched me deeply for its understanding of faith, of Tradition, and the genuine expression of joy in having discovered a pearl of great price in the parish celebrations of the Traditional Roman Mass.  This letter is the best antidote to the harsh and crude Motu Proprio, Traditionis Custodes that was recently published with Pope Francis’ signature. Mr. Li is putting into practice St. John Henry Newman’s understanding of the “heart of the matter” role of the laity in the Church.  The clergy have their role to play in the struggle to be faithful to Catholic Tradition, at whose heart is the Roman Mass of that Tradition.  But it is the faithful laity who will form the backbone of the effort to shape the future of the Church by regaining an understanding of and love for the Tradition of the Catholic faith.  I hope each of you who reads this letter will send it along to family and friends, especially those who do not know the Beauty that lies at the heart of the Mass of Catholic Tradition.

Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla


Dear Father Sam,

I am a parishioner of St. Pius X in Fairfield.  My wife and I received our Confirmations here at SPX, before which we were not Catholic, and our three children were all baptized here. We are young and still growing in our faith. We attend the 9am Sunday Mass regularly with our children, and I make effort to attend daily Mass near work, wherever that might be—most frequently at St. John’s Basilica in Stamford. Lisa and I both grew up far removed from the Catholic faith, and we continue to be alone in this faith without our parents’ blessing or extended family’s participation.   


When I saw the Solemn High Mass at St. Pius three years ago, I witnessed for the first time our priests in a different light, not just as scholars, teachers, or administrators but as God’s priests offering properly-ordered prayers and sacrifices on the altar. It was a moving moment in my faith journey. When I heard the Credo III chanted with such reverence, the mysteries of the faith came alive, not in the sense that they became any clearer or more understandable or more articulate, but in the sense that they became more vivid, more intimate, while still remaining a mystery… beyond what words can describe. That, in turn, made all the other Masses I attend daily and weekly take on more weight and meaning. In a paradoxical way, having witnessed the Extraordinary Form only increased and intensified my experience with other forms of prayer and Mass, whether it is at Sunday Mass with screaming children or at a 15-minute morning Mass before work. Knowing and studying the Extraordinary Form draws me closer to all other aspects of the faith, not exclusively the Latin Mass itself. 


Speaking to the Masses

Pope Francis' recent attack on the traditional Latin Mass and those who attend and offer it has produced quite the outcry around the world.  Yet another example of the unintended Francis Effect, slapping around faithful Catholics has blown up in the face of the Vatican.  When the Jesuit, left-wing America magazine and normally anti-TLM neoconservative George Weigel both voice public criticism of restricting the freedom to offer and attend Latin Masses, clearly the Vatican roll-out of Francis' hit-job can be considered a massive communications failure based on bad policy and poor planning.

To that end, we all have likely had family or friends with almost no interest in the traditional Latin Mass ask us what on earth is going on recently.  It is a terrific moment to educate -- the ideal time to further grow the TLM movement.  Very few people have publicly defended Francis' recent attack on the TLM.

There are usually two kinds of Catholics with respect to news and current events: those who pay close attention to daily updates, and those who scan headlines or get their news from someone else.  Rorate readers likely fall into the former category; and we commend you for staying educated.  At the same time, while even the mainstream media is interested in the traditional Latin Mass -- an opportunity that does not come often -- we have the chance to speak to the masses (pun intended).

“The Pope’s Boundedness to Tradition as a Legislative Limit: Replying to Ultramontanist Apologetics”—Full Text of Dr. Kwasniewski’s Denver Lecture

The following lecture was given at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Littleton, Colorado, on July 31, 2021. The video has been posted at YouTube; however, the text below features extensive endnotes that contain much important material. My goal, especially in the wake of Traditionis Custodes, is to refute the all-too-plentiful Catholic apologists who—proof-texting magisterial documents the way their Protestant counterparts proof-text St. Paul—maintain that the pope has absolute executive, legislative, and judicial power over the liturgy. I argue, in contrast, that papal power exists within an historical, ecclesial context that conditions and limits its legitimate exercise, and therefore also grounds the right of the faithful to resist egregious violations of immemorial custom and venerable tradition. In short, this is a defense of the very foundations of the traditionalist movement in the Catholic Church.

The Pope’s Boundedness to Tradition as a Legislative Limit:
Replying to Ultramontanist Apologetics

Peter A. Kwasniewski


Catholic apologists have done a lot of great work over the decades. They have refuted many a Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, or the like oddity, and have helped Jews, Moslems, atheists, agnostics, neo-pagans, and members of all manner of false religions to find Christ and to enter His Church. For this, we are all grateful, and long may their work in this vein continue.

But the same apologists do not perform so well when they turn their sights to intraecclesial affairs, particularly when it comes to explaining the nature, purpose, and limits of papal infallibility. Even there, the apologists do well when they are justifying wonderful things like Humanae Vitae, for its teaching is in accord with natural and divine law and the tradition of the Church, and the pope’s job is to uphold all that, regardless of pressures against it. Yet when popes make spectacularly bad decisions or teach that which is ambiguous or male sonans (evil-sounding) or materially erroneous, these apologists are caught flat-footed and empty-handed. They are tempted either to ignore the problem as an embarrassing exception or to appeal bravely to an unthinking ultramontanism, as if sheer bluster will somehow paper it over.

We have seen a great deal of the latter problem ever since the release of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. Most commentators, it is true, fall into two more obvious categories: the progressives who gloat shamelessly over the defeat of the nasty trads, and nearly everyone else who sees Pope Francis’s move as unwarranted, malicious, inflammatory, bellicose, unworkable, and—the worst sin after Vatican II—thoroughly unpastoral. But there is a coetus of self-styled apologists who have rushed to make podcasts defending the pope’s supposed right to create, abolish, and modify liturgy nearly any way he pleases.

This lecture will not be an extensive critique of Traditionis Custodes—that can be found in many other places at this point.[1] Rather, I want to explain how we reached a point of such absurdity that a Roman Pontiff can dare, with the stroke of a pen, to consign to the margins and to eventual oblivion an unbroken liturgical patrimony of millennia and to claim that the new rites created by committee under Paul VI are the “only” (unica) lex orandi or law of prayer of the Catholic Church—and the even greater absurdity that there are Catholic apologists defending him and his purported “right” to do so.

On the moves against the Traditional Mass, “It’s all about the Violence”: “Why would anyone pretending to be of Christ’s Church lash out at the lambs?” (by Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson)

The then Nuncio to Switzerland,Abp. Thomas Edward Gullickson,
ordaining new priests for the FSSP in Bavaria (2020)

In the wake of the cancellation of the Pontifical Mass in the National Shrine of the United States that he was going to celebrate on August 14, 2021, Archbishop Thomas Edward Gullickson, former ambassador (Nuncio) of the Holy See before several nations— most recently, Switzerland, until last year — wrote the following two notes in his personal blog:

July 28:

The Paulus Institute made a measured declaration about their disappointment over the DC Cardinal's prohibition of our Vigil Mass of the Assumption planned for our Country's National Shrine. They did well to do so and their statement fits the bill. My own disappointment over this bureaucratic dismissal of good people's best efforts has no real importance. I do not see myself as a man on a mission somehow stymied by whomever. I would have loved to enjoy this gathering of good and believing people in Mary's "house" in Washington. It was not to be. For me personally, that sort of sums it up. 

As such, I have nothing to say beyond the statement of the Paulus Institute, but as I ponder this picture from the Corpus Christi procession at the Sacred Theology Conference back in June in Spokane, I wonder why some are so taken up with trying to "scatter the sheep": Quare fremuerunt gentes... Why would anyone pretending to be of Christ's Church lash out at the lambs?

Two Views on Liturgical Reform: Joseph Shaw (Latin Mass Society) and Anthony Ruff (Pray Tell)

This is being posted simultaneously here at Rorate and on PrayTell. I comment on it here.

Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, and Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB, moderator of the Pray Tell blog, respond to nine questions on liturgical reform and the recent motu proprio Traditionis custodes of Pope Francis.


Does a pope such as Paul VI have the authority to replace the Church’s historic liturgy with a reformed one?

Reality and the Fall of Man: Sermon for Pentecost X

Father Richard G. Cipolla

From the 7th chapter of St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans:  “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate…So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me…I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.”

Modern science for the most part still depends on experimentation to explain physical reality.  The scientific method:  observe, propose a theory to explain your observations, then perform experiments that will test the theory. If the results of the experiments match what the theory predicts, then the theory has a grounding in the truth of the nature of physical reality.  If the results are not congruent with the theory, then you propose a new theory, think up and perform experiments, and see if the results are predicted by the theory.

Help an original TLM church repair its ceiling

While most of our readers have not been there, St. Francis de Sales in Benedict, Md. (Archdiocese of Washington), led by the great Fr. Kevin Cusick, has been offering the traditional Latin Mass since the 1980s. In fact, since the first days of Summorum, Fr. Cusick has offered the Mass on a daily basis. He has also restored the historic church and brought it back to its original glory. 

Now, in the midst of both Covid and a pandemic of its own kind infecting the Church, the parish needs a sizable fund to fix the 100-year-old ceiling which has driven the Mass to the parish hall. 

Please see Father's post below and linked here


Support our TLM parish as we restore, repair and repaint our church ceiling and interior plaster

Our parish has offered the traditional Latin Mass since 1989 under Ecclesia Dei. We have grown into a de facto “personal” parish with traditional Mass offered every day following Summorum Pontificum in 2007.

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.