Rorate Caeli

Catholic Publishers Freely Passing on the Traditions of the Church in Sale on October 4th

Rorate has received this news of a major buy-one-get-one-free sale at a number of Catholic publishers for October 4th, in honor of St. Francis.

When the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes was released on July 16 of this year, many Catholics were perplexed and dismayed. After all, Pope Benedict XVI had officially opened up the celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Missal in his 2007 motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. He even stated then that this “form of the Roman rite” was “never juridically abrogated,” indicating that it had been unofficially open prior to his motu proprio. Pope Benedict’s action resulted in many more Catholics participating in the same rituals that had sanctified Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and nearly every other holy man and woman in the Western Church. Even modern saints, such as John Paul II and Mother Teresa, had a traditional sacramental foundation long before any new forms of rites became widespread.

To emphasize this point, Pope Benedict stated forthrightly in his letter to the bishops of the world about Summorum Pontificum, that “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.” While Cardinal Sarah, Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Müller have shown their support of Pope Benedict’s liturgical ideals, Traditionis Custodes appears to completely reject them.

TAN Books’ editor, Patrick O’Hearn, wonders, regarding Traditionis Custodes: “If the Stations and the Rosary are centuries-old, tried-and-true sacramentals that have brought so much good to the Church, how much more can this be said, then, of the traditional Roman rite, which, in its essentials, predates both practices and which, being a sacrifice and a sacrament, is even more powerful than they are?”

This unequaled salutary strength is explained in more depth in one of TAN’s BOGO offerings: The Incredible Catholic Mass by Venerable Martin von Cochem, a German Capuchin Franciscan who lived mostly in the 17th century. He writes of how the Mass (which in Germany at his time was in the traditional Roman rite) is the most perfect adoration, thanksgiving, petition, and expiation the Church possesses. This is because it is a continuation of the very life of Christ, manifested not only by its essential elements but by the ceremonies and prayers that have been added over the centuries.

The Beads That Satisfy Many Needs

Father Donald Calloway has written a large book on the great power of the Rosary in the lives of Catholics. Filled with stories of saints and other souls on the way to sainthood, Champions of the Rosary is one of the October 4 BOGO items for Marian Press.

Another of their items is the highly popular Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Although in her day she would have been known simply as a Roman Catholic, in today’s terms, Saint Faustina would be considered a “traditional Catholic.” She was sanctified by God entirely through older rites, even as she was in the process of introducing a “new” devotion. Attention to, and acceptance of, the incomparable blessings flowing from the Passion of Jesus Christ is a devotion as old as the Church herself. However, Saint Faustina was instrumental in the relatively recent development of the Church’s understanding of Divine Mercy.

Similarly, the practical implications of the Passion of Jesus Christ were expanded by a 20th century Catholic, Venerable Fulton Sheen. Sophia Institute Press is offering a Sheen anthology as BOGO on October 4 called Cries of Jesus from the Cross. The book covers diverse aspects of the faith, including anger, meekness, suffering, fortitude, envy, hope, pride and prudence.

The Right to the Roman Rite

John Parrot, co-founder of Preserving Christian Publications, believes, as Cardinal Burke indicated, that the traditional Roman rite of the Mass can never be legitimately suppressed. It goes back, not only to the Council of Trent, but many centuries before that, almost as the liturgical equivalent of the Bible (whose canon has been set by the Church since the late 4th century).

Parrot has chosen The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy by Father Adrian Fortescue as one of Preserving Christian Publication’s BOGO items. In this classic, originally printed in 1921, it is stated that the Roman rite predates, not only Pope Saint Pius V, who standardized it in the mid-1500s, but even Pope Saint Gregory the Great (who served as the Vicar of Christ from 590 - 604) and “goes back, without essential change, to the age when it was first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy…”

This respect for tradition is also found in the 2018 expanded edition of Holy Communion, the contemporary classic by the late Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise, O.F.M. Cap. As an Argentinian member of the episcopate, Laise had geographical and vocational commonalities with Pope Francis, but had disagreements when it came to some liturgical and moral matters. Laise uses a historical, methodical, and balanced approach to describe the proper spiritual and physical dispositions for the salutary reception of the Sacrament of sacraments, the very Author of all good. Holy Communion contains great surprises for the average Catholic.

Also surprising to the average Catholic is the Church’s continued endorsement of Gregorian chant. This is what makes the album Inclina Domine, sung by Cantores in Ecclesia, one of the most remarkable recordings of Catholic music available today. 

The CMAA’s offering for the BOGO sale specifically is Father Robert Hayburn’s Papal Legislation on Sacred Music. This large volume, covering almost 1900 years of directives on Church music, was printed by Roman Catholic Books, but the CMAA has many copies of it in stock to share.

Loving and Living Tradition

Ancilla Press, a small publisher specializing in small devotional booklets, is giving all of its booklets BOGO status on October 4. Ancilla collects and reprints devotions from traditional sources. Examples include  their All Hallows Eve Prayers and Devotions, Advent Prayers and Devotions and Christmas Prayers and Devotions booklets.

A booklet that Louis Tofari, owner of Romanitas Press is including in his BOGO selection is St. Francis and the Eucharist. Originally written by Fr. Albert Nimeth, O.F.M. in 1955, it is a mini-precursor of sorts to Father Michael Lang’s forthcoming book. Also set to be available as BOGO from Romanitas Press are The Saints Who Pray with Us in the Mass by Archbishop Amleto Cicognani and The Mass Up Close in Pictures. Originally published in the 1940s as separate instruction cards, The Mass Up-Close and in Pictures is the collection of those large cards in book format. They provide clear indications of how the priest is to offer a “Low Mass,” in images corresponding to the rubrics of the Missal.

One of the practical supporters, Patrick O’Hearn of TAN Books, pointed out, with an editor’s attention to detail, that the common BOGO abbreviation leaves out the “F” in buy-one, get-one-free. However, he thinks that this is appropriate “because we can see that liturgical freedom is vanishing.” He continued: “Why not just ban Gothic architecture or even parts of the Bible, like Luther did? No, now is not the time for becoming less Catholic; it is the time for an even deeper appreciation of the fullness of the faith.” That is what this “BOGOLIO” sale is all about: looking more deeply into the Church’s liturgical and devotional practices, which are supposed to reflect its doctrinal teachings. Every time one soul benefits from a Catholic book, download, or CD, another soul can benefit from the same product as well—and at no extra cost.