Rorate Caeli

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

First Sunday in Advent

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

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

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

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

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

The most terrible conspiracy: that of silence

Roberto de Mattei

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

Liturgical Polarisation: a Reply to Fr Ruff

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

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

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

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


 Dear readers,

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you can see, this post is currently empty. But you can help us make it the most complete online list of Traditional Catholic schools in America.

The Council and Eclipse of God- by Don Pietro Leone: Installment XX - Chapter V: The ‘Church and the World.’


This last chapter of Part I deals with the Church's relations with the World. Don Pietro shows how the Council teaching here combines the errors of Ecumenism and Religious Liberty, and has the net result of constructing a sort of notional 'Church-World', an aberrant fantasy condemned By St. Pius X over a century ago, and now being re-proposed by the contemporary global powers as the Masonic 'One World-Order.'  F.R.



The example of Madame Elisabeth of France: "Adorable Heart of Jesus, in recognition of Your infinite charity, I give you my heart."

Prayer of Madame Elisabeth of France at the Temple prison:

I do not know what will happen to me today, o my God. All I know is that nothing will happen to me but what You have foreseen from Eternity. That is sufficient, o my God, to keep me in peace. I adore Your infinite designs. I submit to them with all of my heart. I desire them all: I accept them all. I make the sacrifice to You of everything. I unite this sacrifice to that of your dear Son my Savior, begging You by His Sacred Heart and by His infinite merits for the patience in my troubles and the perfect submission which is due to You in all that You wish and permit. Amen.

Prayer of Madame Elisabeth of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, sent to Madame de Raigecourt:

Adorable Heart of Jesus, in recognition of Your infinite charity, I give you my heart, and, with it, all that I have in this world, all that I am, all that I will do, all that I will suffer. But, finally, my God, I pray you, may this heart not be unworthy of you; make it like unto yours, surround it with your thorns, closing it to all wrong affections; establish Your Cross within it; may it feel its price, may it savor its delights; fill it with Your Divine flames.

Approved prayer to ask for the intercession of the Servant of God Elisabeth of France:

Book Launches with Dr. Peter Kwasniewski in Warsaw and Krakow, November 25 and 26

When the Polish Ministry of Education invited me to attend a conference on classical liberal education in Warsaw on Tuesday, November 24 and to give there a lecture on the “American experiment” with the Great Books (especially at Thomas Aquinas College, the Pearson Integrated Humanities Program, and Wyoming Catholic College), it so happened that the trip coincided with the release of the Polish editions of two of my books in defense of the Traditional Latin Mass: Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness and Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright.

Friends of Campos: Advent Fundraiser

We are happy to share the Advent Fundraiser appeal from the Friends of Campos.

Please click on the link here and consider a contribution.

The Mass of Paul VI “Well Celebrated”—a Myth! (Guest Article by Cyril Farret d’Astiès)

Rorate Caeli is pleased to offer a translation of Paix Liturgique newsletter 833 of November 15, 2021, with permission of the editor Christian Marquant. Cyril Farret d’Astiès’s article is preceded and succeeded by remarks from Paix Liturgique.


A few weeks ago, a group of priests, religious and lay people, led by our friend Denis Crouan of the association “Pro Liturgia,” seized the opportunity of the publication by Francis of his motu proprio Traditionis custodes to launch a plea to our pastors to “finally” implement the Novus Ordo according to its liturgical rules and to abandon all the initiatives which, according to them, distort it and constitute one of the motives for which the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy distance themselves from the Novus Ordo.

“At variance with Conciliar reform,” or the anachronisms of Archbishop Arthur Roche

Archbishop Roche ecumenicalizing

Rorate thanks professor of religion Dr. Tomasz Dekert for his contribution. The original Polish may be found here; the author also prepared the English translation.

One element that makes being a member of the Catholic Church a desperately exciting experience today is the fact that it is relatively often accompanied by a feeling of embarrassment or disbelief in what the so-called Church’s authorities say or do. A person reads or listens and thinks to himself: No, it just cannot be serious! And here it turns out that maybe. And what? And nothing. As a cloakroom attendant in the Polish comedy by Stanisław Bareja says:

‘The Council and the Eclipse of God’ Installment XIX: The Council’s Failure to Condemn the Moral Evil of Communism - by Don Pietro Leone


A.   The Council’s Failure to Condemn the Moral Evil of Communism [1]



John XXIII with Vitalij Borovoj and Vladimir Kotjarov. the two observers of the Russian Orthodox Church who partcipated at the Second Vatican Council.

Historical Sketch

Fr. Hunwicke: "How can I get an invitation?"

[SSPX-led Christ the King Pilgrimage at Lourdes -- Oct. 2021]

by Fr. John Hunwicke

  Not exactly for the first time in this pontificate, PF [Pope Francis], in September, talked about how concern for Law can so easily "lead to a rigid religiosity".

In fact, he went a bit further this time. He assured his suffering and bewildered flock that "Rigidity is a sin against the patience of God".

In the light of that, I have had another look at the text of Traditionis custodes.

2022 liturgical calendar season begins

We know that we say this every year, but it's hard to believe it's time to start thinking about your 2022 liturgical calendar! Here at Rorate, we may review several calendars for the upcoming year. Once again this year, the first calendar we received to review comes to us from the Servants of the Holy Family. 



Cruel. Mean. Wicked. A bully. A gossiper. A hypocrite. A paranoid tyrant. A dictator. Ambiguous. Heterodox. An enabler of paganism. An enabler of atheism. Perverse. Perverted. Intolerant. A liar. An abuser of consciences. A philistine. A barbarian. A phony. Brutish. Boorish. Coarse. Vulgar. An all-around really bad, bad, bad person. 

Open letter by Dominican theologian Fr. Wojciech Gołaski: “I must bear witness to the treasure of the holy rites of the Church”

The following open letter to Pope Francis was composed by Fr. Wojciech Gołaski O.P. and has been published already in Polish. Below is the English translation that was provided to Rorate Caeli by the author. Regardless of where one stands on the question of the SSPX, it deserves an attentive reading for its formidable critique of “Traditionis Custodes.”   
Fr. Wojciech Gołaski O.P.

Jamna, August 17, 2021

Response to the Letter of the Vicariate of Rome

Another document has come into the public domain, on Rorate Caeli, this time a letter from the Vicar General of Rome, Angelo, Cardinal de Donatis, implementing Traditionis Custodes, sent to the priests of Rome.

Much of it simply confirms the churches in Rome where the Traditional Mass can be celebrated. The strange bit is the third paragraph.

The motu proprio establishes that the “liturgical books promulgated by the Holy Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, are the sole expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” (art. 1, Traditionis Custodes) and that therefore it is no longer possible to use the Roman Ritual and the other liturgical books of the “ancient rite” for the celebration of sacraments and sacramentals (e.g., the Ritual for the reconciliation of penitents according to the ancient form). The use of the other Ordines, therefore, is currently expressly forbidden and only the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962 remains permitted.

There is no further explanation or argumentative support for this assertion in the letter.

IMPORTANT - Diocese of Rome issues severe implementation of Traditionis Custodes: outlaws all sacramental rites except Mass, outlaws Triduum

The Cardinal Vicar of the diocese of Rome has just released his norms for the implementation of Traditionis Custodes within the diocese. First the English translation; the original document is below.


Rome, October 7, 2021 [released to the public November 9, 2021]

- To all the priests involved in the pastoral care of the Diocese of Rome
- To all the faithful of the Diocese

Dear All,

“Given a Choice, Why Should I Consistently Attend the Traditional Latin Mass?” — Full Text of Dr. Kwasniewski’s Charlotte Lecture

The following lecture, sponsored by the Charlotte Latin Mass Community, responds to a question many Catholics have today: “Why should I go to the extra trouble of attending the Latin Mass consistently or exclusively, when it’s so much more convenient to go to a closer church that has a decently reverent Novus Ordo? And after July 16th’s motu proprio, Church leaders are making it more difficult than ever to make the Latin Mass our liturgical home. What reasons should motivate us to stay faithful to it, despite those challenges?” Along the way, I furnish arguments in favor of the content and form of the TLM and respond to some of the usual objections made by Bergoglianity against tradition. A video of the lecture has also been posted at YouTube.

Given a Choice, Why Should I Consistently Attend the Traditional Latin Mass?

Lecture by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Charlotte, North Carolina
Saturday, November 6, 2021

Dear Cardinal Cupich: The implementation of Traditionis Custodes in the Archdiocese of Chicago

 Dear Cardinal Cupich:

I read, with obvious interest as a Catholic priest, your recent letter outlining how you propose to implement in your Archdiocese of Chicago Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes.  In your letter you seem to have espoused a less than critical-- that term not in a negative sense—understanding of the latest Motu Proprio.  It seems like almost a puppet like reaction that shows no attempt to analyze, in a serious way, how the Motu Proprio relates to the reality of the liturgical state of the Church in the United States.  Surely one must be a thinking and discerning bishop to be faithful to the Tradition of the Church. Your own diocese contains flourishing communities in which the Traditional Roman Mass is celebrated regularly with great joy and faithfulness and with no animosity to those who celebrate Mass according to the Missal of Saint Pope Paul VI. 

There is no doubt, or there should be no doubt, as to the validity of the Order of Mass promulgated in 1970 and amended by Popes to the present day.  But as a bishop of the Church you are surely aware that there has been a rediscovery of the Traditional Roman Mass by at least two generation, which rediscovery has not--pace some sexa- and septa- and octagenerians in the hierarchy—been the cause of dissension and negativity within the Church.  If you talked to the many seminarians in many of our seminaries you would hear of their happiness in their discovery of the Traditional Roman Mass and their sincere hope of incorporating what they have discovered and using it in their priesthood without in any way disparaging the liturgy of the Mass of St. Paul VI. And if you spoke to the many families who have discovered faith and beauty in the Traditional Roman Mass, you would hear of the deepening of their Catholic faith and the joy that they experience at Sunday Mass. 

You claim without any discussion that the Traditional Roman Mass and the Mass of St. Paul VI are continuous.  What is your basis for this claim?  Perhaps this claim is advanced to ensure the validity of the Mass of Saint Pope Paul VI.  There can be no question of the validity of the Mass form of the Missal of St. Pope Paul VI that is used in the overwhelming majority of parishes throughout the world.  The Holy Spirit’s real and constant presence in the Church confirms this validity.   But if you were to study the two forms of the Mass thoroughly, you would find that it is indeed difficult if not impossible to claim a continuity between the two forms of Mass, the Traditional Roman Mass and the Mass of St. Pope Paul VI.  I celebrate both forms of the Mass, and to assert a continuity in any real sense between the two forms has no basis in reality.  I hope you investigate the many studies of the two forms used today in the Roman rite that use real data to show that the two forms are indeed not all continuous in any real sense.  

I have used the following analogy a number of times. It is not “scientific” nor “theological”. But yet it lays bare in lay terms the question of continuity of the Traditional Roman Mass and the Mass of St. Pope Paul VI. If one published a new version of David Copperfield, the novel by Charles Dickens, and removed half of the chapters and added several new chapters, could one really say that that this new version is the novel, David Copperfield? The answer is obvious. The same holds true for the Roman Missal of 1962 and the Roman Missal of 1970

Cardinal Cupich: perhaps you personally know nothing about the Traditional Roman Mass and have never celebrated Mass according to the many missals through fifteen hundred years that have embodied this Rite.  If this is the case, you should learn the Traditional Roman Mass and celebrate it, and then come to a conclusion as to the continuity of the two Rites of Mass.  

Much depends on what you decide to do in the Archdiocese of Chicago in the implementation of Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes.  You have the opportunity to be a true bridge that will allow the Liturgy of the Catholic Church to not only flourish in a true openness to the past, the present and the future, but also to reverse that parlous decline of the real presence of the Catholic faith in a world that needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Truth, Goodness and Beauty.

Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla

An Unwanted “Gift” from Cardinal Cupich

The blog PrayTell has recently published an article from Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, in which His Eminence makes some rather strange and bizarre claims in order to justify what he sees as the "The Gift of Traditionis Custodes". Firstly, the Cardinal makes the following rather odd analogy:

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.

Newly published: From Benedict's Peace to Francis's War: Catholics Respond to the Motu Proprio "Traditionis Custodes" on the Latin Mass

On this feast of All Saints, and basking in the afterglow of the feast of Christ our King, I am very pleased to announce the publication by Angelico Press of a major collection of essays and articles by prelates and pastors, theologians and canonists, philosophers and cultural figures, in response to the pope’s July 16th motu proprio: From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War. And  a potent anthology it is: 70 responses to Traditionis Custodes from 45 authors in 12 countries—5 cardinals, 5 bishops, 8 priests, 2 religious, and 27 laymen. It is, you might say, the literary equivalent of the large bands of pilgrims of many nations, ranks, and states in life who gathered in Rome this past weekend to remind the Vatican that the usus antiquior is never going to disappear from the Church, ever.

The contributors, by category:

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Cardinal Joseph Zen

Archbishop Héctor Aguer, Archbishop Thomas E. Gullickson, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Bishop Rob Mutsaerts, Bishop Athanasius Schneider

A Catholic Priest, Abbé Claude Barthe, Abbé Christian Gouyaud, Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz, Dr. Martin Grichting, Fr. John Hunwicke, Msgr. Charles Pope, Dr. Gero P. Weishaupt

Dom Alcuin Reid, Cristiana de Magistris (pen name)

Christopher Altieri, Phillip Campbell, David Deavel, Tomasz Dekert, Pietro de Marco, Juan Manuel de Prada, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Ross Douthat, Douglas Farrow, Edward Feser, Christophe Geffroy, Peter Kwasniewski, Phil Lawler, Jean-Pierre Maugendre, Daniel McGlone, Leila Miller, John A. Monaco, Sebastian Morello, Martin Mosebach, George Neumayr, Michel Onfray, Rubén Peretó Rivas, Matthew Schmitz, Joseph Shaw, Tim Stanley, José Antonio Ureta, Massimo Viglione

Most of these pieces were published already in dozens of places online between July 16 and September 20. The primary purpose of the book is to gather them all conveniently into one volume, with errata corrected, some editorial notes added, and the whole beautifully typeset. (N.B. The book does, however, contain several pieces that have not appeared anywhere else yet, either simply, or in English translation: Jean-Pierre Maugendre’s “Francis: The Pope of Exclusion” and “Divide and Conquer?”; Juan Manuel de Prada’s “Substance and Form”; two substantial lectures by Joseph Shaw, “Is the Missal of Paul VI the Unum Necessarium?” and “We Will Persevere, and with God’s Help We Will Prevail”; Christophe Geffroy and Abbé Christian Gouyaud’s “After the Shock, the Analysis.” It also has fresh and better translations of Michel Onfray’s “Ite Missa Est” and Abbé Claude Barthe’s “The Council's Last Stand?”)

The table of contents may be viewed in this composite and cropped image (click to enlarge):

Some interior photos to give a sense of the layout:

Publisher’s Description:

Already on July 16, 2021, the reactions to Pope Francis’s severe restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass in Traditionis Custodes were like a river in full flood: articles, essays, interviews, podcasts—everywhere and from every point of view. An emotional, spiritual, intellectual dam had broken and the waters of discourse poured forth across the world. The sheer volume of writing occasioned by Traditionis Custodes is unlike anything seen in the history of papal documents—testimony to a neuralgic subject on which arguments proliferate and passions run high.

The two-month period following the release of the motu proprio gave proof that the traditionalist movement was no fringe phenomenon, but something that had gained significant strength and sympathy during the relatively peaceful years from 2007 to 2021 (the “Pax Benedictina” to which the book’s title refers). The purpose of this volume is to gather in one convenient place some of the finest and most appreciated essays and articles published in the period from mid-July through September of this fateful year, 2021—not only from America and England (although these predominate), but also from other nations: France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Poland, Kazakhstan, and China.

This book is not, and makes no pretense of being, a presentation of “both sides of the argument.” It offers a variety of critiques of this profoundly unwise and unpastoral decree, which suffers from incoherent doctrinal foundations, grave moral and juridical defects, and impossible ecclesiological implications.

Angelico Press is profoundly grateful for the many prominent authors the world over who have permitted us to publish their contributions. We wish to underline that the inclusion of any contribution does not imply the author’s approval of the opinions of others published in the book, or of the editorial decisions made by Angelico Press, including the title, which remain the responsibility of Angelico Press alone.

To Order:

From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War: Catholics Respond to the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes on the Latin Mass. Edited by Peter A. Kwasniewski. Brooklyn, NY: Angelico Press, 2021. 406 pp.  |  Paperback: $22.95  |  Hardcover: $32  |  (Kindle forthcoming)

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble—or request it from your local bookseller.