Rorate Caeli

The heretics of the first centuries and the Roman spirit (Roberto de Mattei)

The heretics of the first centuries and the Roman spirit


Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana


Over the centuries the Catholic Church has always fought the deformations of its moral doctrine on both extremes. On the one hand laxism, meaning the negation of moral absolutes in the name of the primacy of conscience, and on the other rigorism, meaning the tendency to create laws and precepts that Catholic morality does not provide. Today laxism results in modernist “situational morality,” while rigorism constitutes a sectarian temptation for traditionalism. It is against this latter danger that I want to caution, recalling what happened in the first centuries of the Church, with the heresies of the Montanists, the Novatians, and the Donatists.

"The Council and the Eclipse of God" by Don Pietro Leone - Part XV:The Church and the State: Religious Liberty - part 2 of Chapter 4


The present installment concerns the Council's doctrine on Religious Liberty, which represents one of its most important departures from Tradition. The Church has always taught that Religious Liberty is the liberty of a Catholic to profess the one true religion; whereas the Council teaches that it is the liberty of any-one to profess and practice the religion he chooses. The Council bases its teaching on the excellence of man's freedom to which it ascribes some sort of god-like quality; it insinuates that God respects man's use of freedom, even to the extent of acquiescing in its misuse. It claims moreover to justify this doctrine in Revelation. Don Pietro here seeks to unravel the threads of its tortuous argumentation with the same subtlety with which it tangled them together.      F.R.

Can a Catholic Have “Doubts” about Vatican II? — Article by Jean-Pierre Maugendre


Can a Catholic Have “Doubts” about Vatican II?
Jean-Pierre Maugendre
Renaissance Catholique
September 20, 2021


“To doubt the Council is to doubt the intentions of those very Fathers who exercised their collegial power in a solemn manner cum Petro et sub Petro in an ecumenical council, and, in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.” This is the fundamental reason Pope Francis gives in the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes for the ultimate abolition of the celebration of the Mass according to the traditional form of the Roman Rite. The supporters of these celebrations supposedly doubt the Council and thus call into question the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Church.

To doubt, according to Larousse, is both “to be uncertain about the reality of a fact” and “not to have confidence in.” It seems difficult to question the very existence of the Second Vatican Council. The question of trust is more delicate and could be formulated as follows: Is it permissible to question whether it was indeed the Holy Spirit who directed the Council? First of all, it is surprising to note that the Holy Father seems to think that the opponents of the Council are questioning the intentions of the Council Fathers. However, it is clear that the objections or reservations about the Council expressed by Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Schneider, Msgr. Gherardini, Jean Madiran, Roberto de Mattei, etc., concern texts and facts, not intentions, which, as we know, even if they are good, can pave the way to hell, and remain the secret of consciences.

More Francis on "Traditionis custodes": To a new visiting group of French bishops, Francis says, "Yes, I did it thinking about the USA." (And additional important information.)

 To the first group of French bishops in the periodical "ad limina" visit to Rome, Francis said, "Basta!" -- enough.


This morning, Francis met a new group of French Bishops, including the Archbishops of Paris, Abp. Michel Aupetit, and of Lyon, Abp. Olivier de Germay. Famille Chrétienne reveals the details:


Several French bishops were received for a particularly long audience - two hours and twenty minutes - and were able to have a frank exchange with Pope Francis on September 23. They were from the provinces of Paris, Lyon and Clermont-Ferrand, who came to Rome for the ad limina visits ...

 

"What interested the Pope was to discuss with us informally," Archbishop Aupetit of Paris told reporters a few hours after the exchange. "It was our questions that fueled this dialogue, in a very simple and fraternal way." ...

 

The thorny motu proprio Traditionis Custodes

Washington Post: Front page Latin Mass article

Last Sunday the Washington Post printed a front page article on the traditional Latin Mass, complete with a beautiful photo of High Mass at a Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter parish.   The second such major mainstream media feature on the TLM -- following the Wall Street Journal earlier this month -- the coverage has featured Catholics who attend the Latin Mass and their reasons for doing so.



Both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal pieces were written by the papers' Rome/Vatican reporters.  This is an important detail, as reporters based in Rome who cover the Vatican closely are often more knowledgeable about Catholic news and issues than U.S.-based religion reporters (although there are exceptions to this rule) at mainstream newspapers, who are usually obsessed with social issues from their leftist point of view.  In this case it meant the D.C.-based religion reporters at the Washington Post were not at all involved -- definitely a good thing considering their previous articles and bias concerning just about anything traditional or religious.  


Chico Harlan, of the Washington Post's Rome bureau was the sole writer for the article.  He spent time in Lincoln, Nebraska, to get a sense of how TLM communicants worship.  How they socialize.  How they communicate.  And it turned out well.  He reported, pretty fairly, what he saw.


Harlan spent a considerable amount of time in Lincoln with Rorate Caeli contributor Peter Kwasniewski, who is featured prominently in the article.


Moreover, the Washington Post hired a freelance photographer, Madeline Cass, to take numerous photos during Mass and of various scenes in Lincoln.  Her work is simply amazing, adding beautiful images to Harlan's piece.  In addition to the photo of the Mass on the front page, several other photos ran inside the paper and online.


This is not to say the article is perfect -- remember, we are talking about a major mainstream newspaper.  But for a front page Sunday story, this is a positive snapshot of a TLM community.


The Washington Post article, like the Wall Street Journal's, is behind a paywall, so we cannot copy and paste the entire piece.  But here are some excerpts:


Op-Ed: "Traditionis Custodes: Vatican II at the Throes of Death"

Father Claude Barthe
September 2021


The non-reception of the Second Vatican Council has focused in a concrete way on the refusal of the liturgical reform, even if a certain number of practitioners of the old Mass affirm their adherence to the "well interpreted" conciliar intuitions. In any case, the existence of the traditional liturgy is a persistent and even growing phenomenon of non-reception. Marginal? Pope Bergoglio, who wants to be the pope of the full realization of Vatican II, has come to be convinced that the phenomenon is sufficiently important that he must work to eradicate it. With the consequence that the possibly marginal has certainly become central: the Tridentine Mass is elevated as the evil to be destroyed; the seminaries training priests to say it, as cankers to be eliminated. And this is business as usual.


A return to the original violence of the liturgical reform

Time for Worldwide Sacrifice: Ember Week in September

We all need it -- the Church needs it.


May you all have a fruitful week of sacrifice.

___________________________________________________________


THE GLOW
OF THE EMBER DAYS
By Michael P. Foley



A potential danger of traditionalism is the stubborn defense of something about which one knows little. I once asked a priest who had just finished beautifully celebrating an Ember Saturday Mass about the meaning of the Ember days. He replied (with an impish twinkle in his eye) that he hadn’t a clue, but he was furious they had been suppressed.

Traditionalists, however, are not entirely to blame for their unfamiliarity with this important part of their patrimony. Most only have the privilege of assisting at a Sunday Tridentine Mass, and hence the Ember days—which occur on a weekday or Saturday—slip by unnoticed. And long before the opening session of the Second Vatican Council, the popularity of these observances had atrophied.

So why care about them now? To answer this question, we must first determine what they are.


The Four Seasons

A Center of Catholic resistance: the great "Minoritenkirche" in Vienna now belongs to the SSPX -- by Roberto de Mattei


A center of Catholic resistance:

the Minoritenkirche in Vienna


The SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X) has announced that it has become the owner of the Minoritenkirche, in Vienna's inner city. The Society will be able to take possession of this church, officially named Italienische Nationalkirche Maria Schnee (Italian National Church of Mary of the Snows) on June 3, 2022, the anniversary of its donation to the Italian congregation by Emperor Joseph II on June 3, 1784.

The significance of this news does not escape a Catholic historian. The Minoritenkirche is not only one of the most beautiful and oldest churches in Vienna, but, between 1780 and 1815, it represented the heart of Catholic resistance against revolutionary ideas. At that time, Jansenism, Gallicanism, the Enlightenment, different and heterogeneous forces, but united by their hatred of the Church of Rome, intertwined their efforts, in the shadow of the Masonic lodges, to destroy the Christian religious and social order. Father Nikolaus Albert von Diessbach (1732-1798), a former Swiss officer who had belonged to the Society of Jesus before its suppression (1773), between 1779 and 1780 founded in Turin, under the name of Amicizia Cristiana, an organization that aimed to resist this subversive project by fighting it with its own weapons: the dissemination of books and the secrecy that surrounded the members of the association (see Roberto de Mattei, La Biblioteca delle "Amicizie" : repertorio critico della cultura cattolica  1770-1830, Bibliopolis 2005). 

Adventures in the Lex Orandi #3: Comparing the Old and New Orations for Our Lady of Sorrows

The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is a relatively late addition to the Church’s universal calendar (as far as liturgical history goes): it was celebrated locally in the Middle Ages, growing in popularity in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. A feast of the Compassion of Our Lady entered the Roman Missal in 1482. The commemoration has been celebrated on the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (17th century), the Friday of Passion week (18th century), and September 15 (19th century). However much it may have moved around, this feast, like the devotion on which it is based, was always greatly loved. It was destined to survive even the otherwise ruthless scissors and paste of the Consilium in charge of the postconciliar liturgical reform. Nevertheless, as in nearly every case, the experts could not resist rewriting the orations of the day, and in this case they rewrote them completely.

First, let’s look at the old orations:

COLLECT

O God, at Whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the most sweet soul of the glorious Virgin and Mother Mary: mercifully grant, that we who with veneration ponder her sorrows may obtain the happy fruit of Thy Passion: Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end, Amen.

The Living Center of Catholic Tradition: Sermon for Pentecost XVI

 

He said:  Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him up on the Sabbath?  And they could give Him no answer to these things.  (Luke 14:5)


In my fantasy, what is needed at precisely this point in the scene in today’s gospel is for Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof to bring down the house with his rendition of Tradition.  Tradishuun! Tradishuun!  How many bad  but endearing productions have we seen of this endearing musical in high school performances where a blond blue eyed lacrosse player takes the part of a peasant Russian Jew and belts out “Tradition”?  But there is a conflict between Tevye and his children: and the basis of the conflict is Tradition with a capital T.  


And that is the conflict in today’s gospel between Jesus and the Pharisees. That Jesus chooses to eat with the Pharisees, he goes to their houses and invites himself to dinner to me is a striking  example of his authenticity, because it is so unreligious, so unpietistical to do so. 


The clash here, which is a foretaste of the ultimate clash that leads to the Cross, is between the understanding of Tradition, again, with a capital T.  We all know that this clash has nothing to do with Christmas trees and turkey on Thanksgiving and something borrowed, something blue—all traditions—not to be scoffed at, but in the end, just traditions.  The Pharisees have a corner on the Tradition of Judaism, or so they think.  For they identify the Tradition with the Law, especially the complex everyday application of the Law. And Jesus comes into this situation, not as an outsider, but as a Jew who has invited himself to this dinner, and by his very person and presence challenges the Pharisees’ understanding of Tradition.

Compiling a list of Suppressed Traditional Latin Masses

 Dear readers,


If your mass (Sunday or weekday) has been suppressed following the advent of the new letter by Francis that reverted Summorum Pontificum, please let us know -- either by direct message on Twitter or by e-mail (newcatholic@gmail.com).


Thank you, and God have mercy!


[Update: Many readers have sent us news: we are updating them in this Twitter thread that starts with the tweet below (click for more updates). Please, keep sending us your information of suppression in your area, thank you!]






[Second Update: Originally published July 18, 2021, 6 p.m. UTC; the latest inclusions of suppressions and limitations were made today, Sep. 11, 2021: Atlanta and Paris. Regarding the very first item in the Twitter thread, we have learned that all TLMs previously taking place in the Melbourne Archdiocese have been restored, after Aug. 28.] 

Francis to Bishops of France in "Ad Limina" visit, regarding Traditionis Custodes: "They must accept Vatican II, and BASTA!"

 Basta! - Enough!


That was the tone of Francis to the bishops of France -- the first group to proceed to the periodical Ad Limina Visit to Rome met with him earlier today (it was the group of the bishops of the South of France and Eastern Catholics).


French Catholic weekly Famille Chrétienne has a summary of the visit, including this paragraph on Traditionis custodes:


Motu proprio: "It is necessary to establish a limit, and basta."

Regarding the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes, the pope, "insisted on the fact that it must be avoided that the celebration of the ancient rite be a pretext to refuse Vatican II." "A limit must be established, and basta," he insisted before the French prelates, so that a liturgical attachment will not be the façade for an ideological position. At the same time, the successor of Peter encouraged them to adopt a "paternal attitude" towards the faithful. 

***

A short video of the visit below, from the Twitter account of the French Episcopal Conference:

For the record: highlights from an Interview by La Verità newspaper to Aldo Maria Valli re: the Pope’s illness, rumours of a conclave and the war against the Old Mass

 

The interview was conducted by Alessandro Rico and published in La Verità on September 6, 2021.


Aldo Maria Valli

Aldo Maria Valli, historian and highly-esteemed Vatican expert for the RAI (Italian Radio and TV),  runs the blog Duc in Altum from which he has been courageously criticizing the ambiguity and the confusion of  Pope Francis’ papacy for years now.  We ask his informed opinion on the recent rumours  about Pope Francis’s’ possible  imminent abdication. Pope Francis has denied  this (“I have no intention of resigning”), but declared  that as soon as the health of a Pope deteriorates, there is feeling  “that a conclave is in the air”. 

Wall Street Journal: "The Power of the Latin Mass"

The Wall Street Journal's Rome reporter, Francis X. Rocca, published a piece online today that will run in Saturday's paper, looking at what the traditional Latin Mass means to those who attend it.


It is an honest, opinion-free report of Catholics, young and old, who prefer the TLM.  Rocca has consistently written articles for the WSJ that feature a diversity of views and people -- the opposite of other mainstream media, such as the New York Times or Reuters, which rely on the same tired sources.  Seriously, look at most other mainstream news articles on Catholic issues and you will likely find John Carr, Thomas Reese, John Gehring, Massimo Faggioli or James Martin in just about every article.  Mainstream media are notorious for either an obvious slant or one-sided perspective from this small group of men who feed lazy reporters by completing their preconstructed narrative concerning traditional Catholics.


Those in Lincoln, Nebraska, know the Washington Post was on the ground there recently for an upcoming article.  Hopefully the Post matches the WSJ's fair treatment of Catholics who attend and love the traditional Latin Mass.



The Wall Street Journal has a pretty firm paywall, so we are not at liberty to copy and paste the entire piece by Rocca.  But here are a few excerpts from it, highlighting those who were interviewed:

The Statement of the Superiors General (and Taylor Marshall)

Cross-posted on LMSChairman.org


The Superiors General of the Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Institute of the Good Shepherd, and a number of other Superiors General of priestly institutes and religious communities attached to the Traditional Mass (including three communities of women), have issued a joint letter in response to Traditionis Custodes. Here it is, on the FSSP website. It is addressed to the Bishops of France, not, as some have assumed, to the Holy See.


As befits such a document, it is carefully worded. In principle, Traditionis Custodes creates an impossible situation for the signatories. They are founded on the charism of the Traditional liturgy, and the Letter accompanying Traditionis Custodes tells us that it is the intention of the document that in the longer term this liturgy should entirely disappear. Furthermore, the justification for this given in the Letter is that the clergy and faithful (who are not distinguished) are detached in some sense from the unity of the Church.

Fontgombault Sermon for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "Mary, Mother of Him Who is the Wisdom, offers Him to the world."

Nativity of Our Lady & Perpetual Promise of an Oblate


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, September 8, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,
And most especially you, who are going to pronounce your perpetual promise of regular oblate,


On this day dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady, the readings taken from the Book of Proverbs and the Gospel according to St. Matthew are somewhat surprising. The texts give us two outlooks, one on the genesis of the universe, the other one on Jesus’ genealogy, and yet Mary, the subject of the feast, is barely present, just as a passing mention.

We would have expected her genealogy from St. Matthew, and especially from St. Luke. Nothing of the sort. Beginning with Abraham, the Father of all believers, the Evangelist lists in fact the genealogy of Jesus, the Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. He bears witness to God’s faithfulness to the promise made so long ago to the Father of all believers: not only will his seed be as numerous as the sand on the seashore, but from it will be born the Messiah.

After this long list, Joseph is acknowledged as begotten by Jacob, but also as “the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” In this last link in the chain running through the centuries of the chosen people’s history, there is a break. Jesus is begotten of Mary, not of Joseph. The Messiah is son of Joseph by adoption only, receiving from his adoptive father the Davidic and kingly sonship. This break emphasizes Mary’s very special role. The Virgin of Nazareth is pregnant with the Word of God according to human nature. She conceives not by the means of a human seed, but by the action of the Holy Spirit. 

This special place in the work of Redemption invites us to remember Mary’s Immaculate Conception, through which God built for Himself a most fitting place for Him to put on a body. Conceived nine months ago, we marvel today before the one-day old Virgin, who is already the bearer of the whole mankind’s hope.

The London Eucharistic Octave: Christ in the Blessed Sacrament on the move in London (Sep. 11-19, 2021)


Several of the Masses will be in the Traditional Rite or the Ordinariate use: please support this display of love and devotion for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and His Kingship. (More information here -- and here for the programme of events.)

Open Letter of Traditional Lay Faithful to the Catholic Faithful of the Whole World - Francis, time to revoke Traditionis Custodes: WE WILL NOT DEPRIVE OUR CHILDREN

LETTER OF THE FAITHFUL ATTACHED TO THE TRADITIONAL MASS

TO THE CATHOLICS OF THE WHOLE WORLD

What father, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (Mt 7, 9)


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


It is with great sadness that we learned of Pope Francis' decision to abrogate the main provisions of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI on July 7, 2007. After decades of divisions and quarrels, that Motu Proprio was, for all the Catholic faithful, a work of peace and reconciliation.


Rome violates the word given by Pope Benedict XVI with brutality and intransigence, far from the much vaunted fraternal welcoming.

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 athanasiuscatholic@yahoo.com 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.

In Defense of Preserving Readings in Latin

In light of Pope Francis’s frivolous and offensive remark about how doing the readings at Mass in Latin would be “like laughing at the Word of God,” it seemed opportune to republish here at Rorate an article first published eight years ago in The Latin Mass magazine (Summer 2013), with slight revisions. Although my thinking on all of these points has developed and deepened, it has done so in precisely the same direction. Those who, moreover, think that Francis’s July 16 motu proprio requires replacing Latin readings with vernacular ones should read two articles that argue the contrary, here and here.—PAK

In Defense of Preserving Readings in Latin


Peter A. Kwasniewski

COMMUNIQUÉ of the Superiors-General of the "Ecclesia Dei" Communities [on Traditionis Custodes]

"The mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh."

(Sirach 18, 13)


The signatory Institutes want, above all, to reiterate their love for the Church and their fidelity to the Holy Father. This filial love is tinged with great suffering today. We feel suspected, marginalized, banished. However, we do not recognize ourselves in the description given in the accompanying letter of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, of July 16, 2021.


"If we say we have no sin ..." (I John 1, 8)


We do not see ourselves as the "true Church" in any way. On the contrary, we see in the Catholic Church our Mother in whom we find salvation and faith. We are loyally subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff and that of the diocesan bishops, as demonstrated by the good relations in the dioceses (and the functions of Presbyteral Councillor, Archivist, Chancellor, or Official which have been entrusted to our members), and the result of canonical or apostolic visits of recent years. We reaffirm our adherence to the magisterium (including that of Vatican II and what follows), according to the Catholic doctrine of the assent due to it (cf. in particular Lumen Gentium, n ° 25, and Catechism of the Catholic Church , n ° 891 and 892), as evidenced by the numerous studies and doctoral theses carried out by several of us over the past 33 years.


Have any mistakes been made? We are ready, as every Christian is, to ask forgiveness if some excess of language or mistrust of authority may have crept into any of our members. We are ready to convert if party spirit or pride has polluted our hearts.


"Fulfill your vows unto the Most High" (Psalm 49:14)


We beg for a humane, personal, trusting dialogue, far from ideologies or the coldness of administrative decrees. We would like to be able to meet a person who will be for us the face of the Motherhood of the Church. We would like to be able to tell him about the suffering, the tragedies, the sadness of so many lay faithful around the world, but also of priests, men and women religious who gave their lives trusting on the word of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Houston, We Have A Problem: The Latin Mass

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas is the fifth largest diocese in the U.S., a result of the explosive growth around the City of Houston -- the fourth largest city in the U.S. -- and its surrounding counties.  It has a massive priest shortage, with just 150 active archdiocesan priests of the 435 priests serving, retired or residing in the 146-parish archdiocese.  There are 411 "permanent deacons" in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Why we should pray to St. Joseph Freinademetz and for the Church in China - by Roberto de Mattei


Few know about and pray to St. Joseph Freinademetz, a missionary saint who deserves our devotion in the present hour.

Joseph was born in Oies, in Val Badia, a village in the meadows and woods at the foot of high mountains, on April 15 1852, into a family of peasants of deep faith. He was a Tyrolean, or more precisely a Ladin, a subject of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary. The Ladins are a linguistic community spread through several valleys of the Dolomites and served by the diocese of Bressanone. It was in this small town in South Tyrol that Joseph was ordained a priest on July 25 1875. He made the choice to become a missionary and entered the Society of the Divine Word founded a few years earlier by Saint Arnold Janssen (1837-1909).

“Tradition Devoured by the Magisterium”

This essay appeared at the Spanish site Caminante Wanderer on August 14, under the title “La Tradición devorada por el Magisterio.” This translation has been prepared for Rorate Caeli.—PAK



Tradition Devoured by the Magisterium

(from the Spanish blog Caminante Wanderer)

Francis, in interview: Actually, the Traditional Mass was not abolished, I just wanted a “constructive reordering” of Summorum Pontificum…

 From an interview granted by Francis to Spanish Catholic radio COPE:


[Q.] I don’t know if Pope Francis is a man who likes to bang his fist on the table. Would it be possible that the last blow on the table has been the pontifical document limiting the celebration of the ‘Tridentine Masses’? And I also ask you to explain to my audience what the ‘Tridentine Mass’ is, what is it about the Tridentine Mass that is not mandatory.