Rorate Caeli

'The Council and The Eclipse of God' by Don Pietro Leone - PART XVI - 'The Right to Propagate Error'


In this installment, Don Pietro focuses further on the origins of the concept of ‘Religious Liberty’ which has wormed its way into the Church and minds and hearts of countless Catholics,  contradicting centuries of Church teaching.  We shall see in more detail how this notion of religious liberty reflects the concepts of the American Constitution and the French Revolution’s ‘Declaration on the Rights of Man’, emanating from the Freemasonic ideals and philosophy of the likes of Jean-Jacque Rousseau,  an opposer  of the order of natural morality, and one who believed in the concept of  ‘The Sovereign People’ and their right to ‘self-determination.’  Don Pietro emphasizes that the Council’s obsession about religious liberty contradicts centuries of papal documents in which they denounce it as: ‘insanity’;  ‘a monstrous error’;  ‘most pernicious to the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls’; ‘the liberty of perdition’ ; ‘the pest of indifference’ ; ‘a public crime’ ; and ‘atheism, however it may differ in name’ (See the sources for these quotes in the footnotes of this installment).






Don Pietro Leone



Part 2 of Chapter 4 on Religious Liberty

The Holder of the Keys to True Religious Liberty 

4.     The Right to Propagate Error


i) ‘… within due limits, no men are forced to act against their convictions nor are any persons to be restrained from acting in accordance with their convictions in religious matters in private or public, alone or in association with others’ (DH 2);


ii) ‘… to deny the free exercise of religion in society, when the just requirements of public order are observed, is to do an injustice to the human person and to the very order established by God for human beings’ (DH 3);


iii) ‘… if it [the civil authority] presumes to control or restrict religious activity it must be judged to have exceeded the limits of its power’ (DH 3);


iv) ‘… provided the just requirements of public order are not violated, these groups [religious communities]… must be allowed to honor the supreme Godhead (supremum numen) in public worship, help their members to practice their religion and strengthen them with religious instruction, and promote institutions in which members may work together to organize their own lives according to their religious principles… [they have] the right… not to be prevented from freely demonstrating the special value of their teaching for the organization of society and the inspiration of human activity in general’ (DH 4).

The Question of Continuity of the 1962 Missal and the 1970 Missal: The Sunday Gospels

The question of the continuity of the 1962 Roman Missal with the Missal promulgated by Pope St. Paul VI in 1970 is important to discuss for an understanding of the liturgical life of the Church today.  That St. Paul VI assumed such a continuity is clear in the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum that promulgated the Missale Romanum of 1970 as a “restoration of the Missale Romanum”. In that same document Paul VI refers several times to the Missale Romanum promulgated in 1570 by St. Pius V and makes a parallel between the “many and wonderful fruits” of the Roman Missal of 1570 and the fruits anticipated in the use of 1970 Roman Missal.

Paul VI claims as a basis for the new Lectionary for Mass, the 1989 Ordo Lectionum Missae,  the prescription of the Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium that “over the course of a prescribed number of years a more representative portion of Holy Scripture be read to the people”.  As to the new ordering of the Lectionary, the Pope continues: “All these things have been arranged in this way so as to arouse more and more among Christ’s faithful that hunger for the Word of God by which under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the people of the New Covenant can be seen, as it were, to be impelled towards the perfect unity of the Church.”

Una Voce International: new edition of Gregorius Magnus magazine

Cross-posted from the blog of the FIUV, Una Voce International.

I am pleased to announce the Winter 2021 issue of Gregorius Magnus is available.

Gregorius Magnus 12, Winter 2021, is now available as a PDF, and on ISSUU, optimised for mobile devices.

In this edition:

Reactions to Traditionis Custodes

Fontgombault Sermon for the Dedication of the Abbey Church: "The Church is buffeted by all the waves, but she doesn’t founder."

Dedication of the Abbey Church

Homily of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, October 12, 2021

Ecce nova facio omnia.

Behold, I make all things new.

(Ap 21:5)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My dearly beloved Sons,

The feast of the Dedication in the liturgical year belongs neither to the temporal cycle, which goes through the mysteries in Christ’s life, the times of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost, nor to the Sanctoral cycle, in which the Church invites her children, through a public worship, to imitate the life of those who have lived their lives listening to grace, and according to God’s law, and whom she has proclaimed saints.

COLUMBUS IS OURS -- Let us rejoice!

A Happy Columbus Day for All our Readers! 
¡Feliz Día de la Hispanidad!

Monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, near Barcelona,
where the Catholic Monarchs welcomed Columbus back from the Indies in 1493
Now that four centuries have sped since a Ligurian first, under God's guidance, touched shores unknown beyond the Atlantic, the whole world is eager to celebrate the memory of the event, and glorify its author. Nor could a worthier reason be found where through zeal should be kindled. For the exploit is in itself the highest and grandest which any age has ever seen accomplished by man; and he who achieved it, for the greatness of his mind and heart, can be compared to but few in the history of humanity.

The Feast of St. John Henry Newman: The Smile of Sadness and Hope for the Future

 Even though the feast of St. John Henry Newman is officially only on the calendar of England and Wales, how could not one celebrate his feast on October 9 wherever one is given  the state of the Church in which we find ourselves?  Newman is one of the great Catholic intellects and saints of the 19th century and a man of deep and thoughtful faith. 

BOMBSHELL—New internal CDF information shows Pope Francis flagrantly lying about bishops’ TLM survey

The full transcript of Diane Montagna's revelatory lecture at the Catholic Identity Conference 2021, held in Pittsburgh this past weekend, has just been published at The Remnant, enriched with additional material. "Traditionis Custodes: Separating Fact from Fiction" includes extensive quotations from the internal CDF document in which the bishops who responded predominantly spoke favorably of Summorum Pontificum and the TLM in their dioceses (some even requested help with establishing the Mass). It also includes inside information about the crooked path by which Traditionis Custodes was pre-designed, with the survey used as a convenient screen for a foreordained decision.


"Sometimes things are not as they seem. And sometimes, there are two 'realities': one that is officially given by those in power, and one that we then discover to be the truth....

"According to Pope Francis, the consultation of bishops played a fundamental role in his decision to severely restrict the traditional Mass. As he said himself, the results so 'preoccupied and saddened' him, that they 'persuaded' him to 'intervene.' And he ordered that the decree take immediate effect. Following the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes, considerable speculation was therefore swirling about the survey, but the Vatican has not published its results....

"But does Traditionis Custodes truly reflect what the real situation is? Was the survey on which Pope Francis said he based his decision a fair consultation of the world’s bishops? Would this consultation be considered fair if some of the content of Traditionis Custodes had already been suggested during a plenary meeting of the CDF, at the end of January 2020, that gave way to a consultation that was meant to justify the decisions reached in Traditionis Custodes? Could it be called fair if it came to light that there was a second, parallel report created within the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which was completed before all the responses from bishops had been received by the CDF? And could it be called fair if Traditionis Custodes did not accurately represent the main, detailed report prepared for Pope Francis by the CDF’s fourth section, i.e., the former Ecclesia Dei? Many people, in fact, knew that this report was being prepared.

"Let’s examine what has now come to light about each of these three questions."

Thank you, Diane Montagna, for your tireless work in uncovering the truth, unsavory as it too often is, of what is really going on in the Vatican. (Read the whole exposé here.)

Now a word to Diane and any Vaticanistas who have access to the CDF internal report: please, for the love of God and the love of Holy Mother Church, find a way to publish this report IN FULL, so that all the world can see the lies exposed, and with them, the mettle of the people who are assaulting the tradition of the Roman Church. Its full publication would be as great a moment of clarity as Archbishop Viganò's McCarrick revelations in August 2018. This is an urgent duty of conscience: the pontifical secret cannot be invoked for hiding malice and mendacity.

Pope Pius V and the Mass

Traditional High Mass of Requiem in Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, in London

 Reproduced with permission from the Voice of the Family Digest. To subscribe to this weekly newsletter, scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address.


In 1570 Pope St Pius V promulgated a new edition of the Missale Romanum, the Roman Missal, as mandated by the Council of Trent (1545-1563). The event was an important one, but it has often been misunderstood. At a moment of liturgical crisis, it would be good to remind ourselves of its real significance.

Superficially, there is a strong parallel with what happened in 1969, when the Novus Ordo Missae was published following the Second Vatican Council. Each General Council mandated a revision of the liturgical books, without going into great detail about what this revision would involve. The reigning Pontiff in each case appointed a commission to carry out the necessary work, and promulgated the result.

However, there are three important areas in which the parallel breaks down: indeed, assuming the parallel holds true has created myths which often attach to the 1570 Missal.

Myth 1. In 1570, the Tridentine Mass was new.

Roberto de Mattei: Speech on the 450th Anniversary of the Victory of Lepanto, in the Church of St. Ignatius, Rome - "A moment engraved in golden letters in the history of the Christian West."

Rome, Church of Saint Ignatius
October 7 2021

On October 7 2021, on the occasion 
of the 450th anniversary of the battle of Lepanto, 
the Roman Philharmonic Choir, 
conducted by Maestro Mons. Pablo Colino,
 performed in Rome, in the church of Saint Ignatius, 
a celebratory concert dedicated to 
Mary Most Holy. St. Pius V. The Holy Rosary.
Professor Roberto de Mattei, president 
of the Lepanto Foundation, 
spoke the words presented here.

  We are here to remember and celebrate an event and its protagonists.
The event is the victory of Lepanto on October 7 1571, the 450th anniversary of which occurs today.
Who were the protagonists and the architects of the victory to which we dedicate this concert today?
To understand this we must go back in time, to that day of October 7, which is engraved in golden letters in the history of the Christian West.

Pontifical High Mass in California

Some bishops just talk.  Some demonstrate pure evil or hatred.  Some -- even typically good ones -- panic when the going gets tough.  But the best ones lead by example.

Fontgombault Sermon for the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary: "Mary, Eternal Fountain of Love"

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, October 7, 2021

Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Be it done to me according to thy word. (Lk 1:38) 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

My dearly beloved Sons, 

The richness of the feast of the Holy Rosary, which unfolds both in the texts of the Mass and in those of the office, leads us to ponder all the mysteries of the Lord’s life through Mary’s eyes and heart. Pius XII wrote on August 7th, 1947, to the members of a congress which took place in Paris, and then in Lisieux between September 23rd and 30th, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus: 

Whereas in the order of nature a child, as he grows, should learn to become self-sufficient, in the order of grace, the child of God, as he grows, understands ever better that he will never be able to be self-sufficient, and that he should live in a superior docility and dependence. 

Who might forget that if Mary gave birth without pain to Jesus in the Bethlehem stable, the all-sorrowful Virgin received all of us as her children and gave birth to us at the foot of the Cross: “Woman, behold thy son… behold thy mother.” (Jn 19:26-27) John the Evangelist, to whom these words were addressed, adds consequently: “And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” 

450 Years of LEPANTO!
"The highest moment that the centuries ever witnessed."
All Hail the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

"The highest moment that the centuries ever witnessed." (Cervantes)

We cannot but recall that four great Roman Pontiffs came from the Dominican ranks. Of these, the last, St. Pius V, won undying gratitude from Christianity and civil society. He joined together, after unceasing efforts, the arms of the Catholic princes, and under the patronage of the Virgin Mother of God, whom, therefore, he ordered to be saluted in future as Help to Christians, destroyed forever at Lepanto the power of the Turks.

A Meditation on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi


Each age has its own distortion of God, what people imagine Him to be.  This present age, at least in these United States among Catholics, is tempted to romanticize God, make Him warm and fuzzy, and in that way really neutralize His presence in one’s personal life.  It is almost a Catholic way of secularizing God.  God has become the product of the community, a predictable pet—yes, still a powerful pet, someone beyond the sunset, but still in His box, and that box we keep Him in is called "the community".  Those many passages in the Old Testament that speak of the wildness of God, of the unpredictability of God, of the God who is a jealous God, the God who is the judge of all, the God who displays wrath: any of these attributes of God that we find unpleasant or threatening to our religious complacency and happiness are denied, and we say:  Oh, that is not MY God!” Or, “We have out-grown that picture of God.  All that stuff is the God of the Old Testament. The New Testament God is very different, much more likable, more lovable. Jesus’ God is quite different: a God of mercy, of compassion, of love.”

"All the Elements of the Roman Rite"?

Dispelling the Myths of the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms

Over the last decade in particular, the figure of 17% has been quoted as the proportion of prayers that survived intact from the traditional Roman Missal into the novus ordo of Paul VI. [1] However, in the wake of Traditionis custodes, with renewed attention being given to the comparison of ‘forms’ of the Roman Rite as well as the canonical and theological controversy over what counts as its lex orandi[2] it seemed opportune to build on some of my previous efforts and revisit this percentage through a careful and exhaustive analysis of all the orations. By doing this, not only can we arrive at a definitive number, but we can also now have all the relevant data freely and easily accessible in the public domain, so that everyone can see which prayers were preserved, edited or discarded. [3]

The result of this work not only vindicates the labours of those such as the late Rev Fr Anthony Cekada, but it also shows the figure to be too generous. For the actual number, unbelievably, is only 13%.

Yes, a mere 13% (165) of the 1,273 prayers of the usus antiquior [4] found their way unchanged into the reformed Missal of Paul VI. Another 24.1% (307) were edited in some way before their inclusion. A further 16.2% (206) were centonised with other prayers - effectively combining parts of multiple prayers together into a new oration. Fully 52.6% (669) of the prayers in the traditional Roman Rite have been excised from the modern liturgy, memory-holed by the Consilium ad exsequendam[5] How has this happened? And how did so few notice at the time?

Figure 1: Orations of the 1951/1962 Missal in the 1970/2008 Missal
(duplicates excluded)

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.

11th Anniversary of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Soceity

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. With 110 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the millions of souls enrolled, it is good to look back with thanksgiving to the success God has granted to our important mission. But we also must double down on our efforts! So many poor souls need relief and we must continue our work with more zeal than ever.

** 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.

Courage and Virtue: St. Michael the Archangel

 From the Alleluia for the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel:

Holy Archangel Michael, defend us in battle: that we may not perish in the dreadful judgment. Alleluia. 

Michaelmass;  just the sound of the word evokes images, thoughts, echoes.  The first time I ever heard the term was when I arrived in Oxford as a student now many years ago and was told that in a few days the Michaelmas Term would begin.  I was charmed and delighted to think that a university would name its terms in specifically Christian terms:  Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity, the three terms of the academic year. But this was part of the paradox of a place like Oxford where the cloud of secularism has penetrated the very stones of which the colleges are built and still the term Michaelmas is used, a term that evokes a time, a time when Catholic culture and faith infused the life of a university.  And there are Michaelmas daisies, something like our mums, flowers that herald the time of autumn, of falling leaves, but also of the fall towards winter, the time of quiet and cold, of remembering, of hoping, the time when the light fades fast, but also the time when the celebration of the true Light that came into the world is taken up with such fervor in a world that denies the Light.  One could go on further about what Michaelmas meant in the time of Catholic culture.  But this would not be good to do, for nostalgia is deadly to true religion.

We must remember, or rather call to remembrance, on this Solemnity, the feast of the warrior angel, “he who is like God”, he who leads the charge against the forces of evil, he, who with the heavenly host still fight that war, even if silently, silently at least from our point of view. This is the time to remember that there is a war—no, not the wars that constantly rage in the world and have no end.  We live in the time of in -between, the time of the Church on earth, of the not -yet, of the incomplete, the time when the real effects of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ are transforming the creation bit by bit, inevitably, but whose consummation is not yet, not yet. And even if we do not see the angels waging this war in our behalf. we do see around us the signs of what this war is about.  The war is against those real and powerful forces in the world that not only deny the truth of the living God but also militate against that truth in so many ways.  This is surely a religious war but it is a spiritual war. It is not a matter of jihad. It is much more subtle and dangerous.  For the forces of the religion of secularism, a secularism that tolerates religious faith only in a closed off individualistic way, does not so much as  to deny the existence of God but rather to banish Him from the discourse of the world.  These forces are determined to conquer, and if one looks with realistic eyes, they have won important cultural battles that have weakened the real presence of the Christian faith in today’s culture.

All this image of war. Can this be congruent with the religion of peace?  Of course it can and it must. Jesus said:  “ I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”  Conflict is part of being a follower of Jesus Christ, part of what it means to be a Christian.  To deny this is to deny the Gospel and Church history.  Charles Williams, a strange literary figure, Anglican by persuasion, says something in his idiosyncratic history of the Church to the effect that when the dogma of infallibility of the Pope was defined in that famous thunderstorm in Rome in 1870 by Blessed Pio Nono: he says that the Church regained her manhood.  A wonderful phrase: her manhood. For what we are talking about here is virtus, a Latin word that is often translated only as “virtue” and thereby made harmless by the virus of moralism.  But the root meaning of this word virtus is vir, the man as hero.  On the feast of the Warrior Angel, the Prince of the heavenly host, we remember, or we should remember, that we are all called as Christians to show courage, which is the second meaning of virtus, that we are all called to be men and women of virtue, which is the third meaning of virtus:  all three meanings bound to each other, all necessary for the task of the evangelization of the world. 

To be a Christian is not for wimps, is not for religious couch potatoes who confuse Christian faith with Brady Bunch Catholicism. No.  What is called for today is manly men who are faithful husbands and fathers. What is called for today are manly men who are faithful priests who have the courage to make the Cross of Christ as the center of their lives.  What is called for today are women who have the true virtus of Mary, the Mother of God, of St. Catherine of Siena, of St. Teresa of Avila, of St. Birgitta, of Mother Cabrini.  

Oxford spires are beautiful. Daises are lovely. But they have little to do with the saint we celebrate at this Mass today, Saint Michael, the Archangel, who is fighting the battle against the prince of darkness on our behalf.  And for this we are grateful and for this we sing his praises. But we must remember that it is we, you and I, who must also join this battle, a battle that will be won by the love of God for us shone in the Cross of Jesus Christ.  And the first step is what we do here today. In this Mass we remember and commemorate and there is made present that event that is the sign of the sure outcome of the triumph of God: the battle that was fought on the Tree of Life.  And every time Mass is offered we strike a blow in the words:  Hoc est enim corpus meum.  These words make the powers of the world tremble, for these words do what they say, are what they say, and by their transformative power advance the battle for goodness, truth and beauty every time they are said.  For they make present from eternity in this our time the love of the infinite God who loved us so much that he gave his only begotten Son to die so that we may live. 

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla

Solemn Mass at St. Peter's Basilica for the Feast of the Dedication of Saint Michael the Archangel

 At the Altar of Saint Michael the Archangel - 4 images (click to enlarge):

September 29th 1946: Pope Pius XII addresses the Italian Worker Associations



'Sala dello Swizzero' Pontifical Palace, Castel Gandolfo, 

Sunday, September 29, 1946

Pope Pius XII with the women participants at the first congress for Italian Catholic workers, 1946 

With paternal affection We warmly welcome you, beloved sons and daughters - and through you, we greet the thousands of Catholic workers you represent  and for whose greatest good you have assembled here over the last few days, at your first Italian Congress. You know that it is always a pleasure for us to see you gathered round us here at the home of the Vicar of Christ. 

You have come here from many regions under the beautiful, blue Italian sky to beseech the blessing of your common Father - on you and your deliberations. We shall gladly give it to you.  May this Blessing be a sign and source of strength for a threefold solemn promise of fidelity, with which you are closing your Roman Congress: a promise of fidelity to God, to the Church and to your Patria. 

Be faithful to God! In these dark times of spiritual and moral degradation, you must first of all prostrate yourself everyday before Our Almighty Creator and Lord, in humilty and prayer, and conscientiously fulfill your religious duties. Have the courage to refuse support and collaboration where the laws of God, sound principles and human dignity are despised and trampled upon.  You will see how fidelity to God will render you candid in your proceedings, fearless in the face of dangers, immovable when confronted with threats, strong in suffering, unsurpassable in the fight to defend justice and undeterred in not succumbing to enticements in private and public life, to ruses and fads, which a Catholic of sound faith cannot assent to. Rather, you can and must be the incentive permeating the great mass of workers, transforming and vivifying them in keeping with Christian thought and virtue. 

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.


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:


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 (

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

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



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 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.