Rorate Caeli

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 112 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.

What Next for the FSSP & Co?

Michael Charlier
February 22, 2022

The February 11 papal decree granting the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter the continued use of liturgical books according to the traditional rite is a pleasant surprise.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s New Book on the Mass — A Masterful Doctrinal and Devotional Synthesis

Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The Catholic Mass: Steps to Restore the Centrality of God in the Liturgy. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Hardcover $21.95. Ebook $9.99. Available from or directly from publisher.

Francis as “the synthesis of extreme ultramontane centralization with progressive revolutionary content”: Chessman Replies to Ureta

A Response to José A. Ureta
Stuart Chessman 
February 16, 2022

José A. Ureta responded here on Rorate Caeli to my “Ultramontanism: Its Life and Death.” What follows are my comments on his response.

On the Meeting with the Pope - Interview granted 2/21/22 to Anne le Pape by Fr. Paul-Joseph, Superior of the FSSP district of France

Father, what is the backstory of your recent meeting with the Holy Father?

Fr Ribeton, rector of the European seminary of our Fraternity, and I wrote directly to the Pope on December 28 to express our dismay and our incomprehension following the publication of Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa. We confidently appealed to his solicitude. He answered us by hand the next day (everything was done by scan, but yes, the letter was in his hand), reassuring us and inviting us to come and meet him to talk things over. So we contacted his secretariat and the date of February 4, 2022 was set; that is the day when Father Ribeton and I went to Rome.

Canon Lawyer Fr. Gerald Murray: The content of the Responsa “goes beyond what is canonically possible”

Recently two canon law evaluations of the Responsa ad dubia of the Congregation for Divine Worship have been published.

The Council and the Eclipse of God by Don Pietro Leone – SECTION II – CHAPTER VI - MAN– second part– Man’s Choice of Life – The Priesthood


In addressing  the  Council’s teaching on the priesthood, Don Pietro examines the Council documents PRESBYTERORUM ORDINIS, SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, INTER MIRIFICA and OPTATAM TOTIUS, exposing how they have gradually led to a demeaning  of the priesthood,  by subtly emptying this sacred calling of its divine nature as Alter Christus, and the priest as a man set apart principally to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and forgive sins in the Sacrament of Confession. The Council teaching  emphasizes the role of teacher and brother as the focus of his ministry, in this way overshadowing his traditional role as a  Father who feeds his children the divine food of the Sacraments.  In this installment, Don Pietro also highlights how the teaching of Philosophy in seminaries has been debased by being put on the same level as the modern human sciences of sociology and psychology, always in flux, in contrast to traditional Thomist philosophy which focuses on objective truth and falsehood.                F.R.


B.   The Priesthood


In this section we shall consider:


IMPORTANT II - Decree of Pope Francis confirming the use of the 1962 liturgical books

[First post on the matter: Meeting with FSSP superiors.]

[Original: Latin and Spanish]

The Holy Father Francis, grants to each and every member of the Society of Apostolic Life “Fraternity of Saint Peter”, founded on July 18, 1988 and declared of “Pontifical Right” by the Holy See, the faculty to celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass, and to carry out the sacraments and other sacred rites, as well as to fulfill the Divine Office, according to the typical editions of the liturgical books, namely the Missal, the Ritual, the Pontifical and the Roman Breviary, in force in the year 1962.

IMPORTANT - Pope meets FSSP superiors - Official communiqué of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter


Fribourg, February 21, 2022

On Friday, February 4, 2022, two members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Benoît Paul-Joseph, Superior of the District of France, and Fr. Vincent Ribeton, Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary in Wigratzbad, were received in private audience by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for nearly an hour.

“Obviously knitted with a hot needle”: Pope Francis’s rush of legal changes

Canon Law and Crisis of Faith
Michael Charlier
February 18, 2022

As if sensing the end of the pontificate approaching, Pope Francis and his whisperers are currently showering the astonished people of the Church with a plethora of decrees and legal amendments.

New Book Tells the Dramatic Story of Traditionalist Movement in the USA

In many conversations online and in person about the situation in which we traditional Catholics find ourselves in 2022, one thing I have seen again and again is a temptation to discouragement or despair on account of the threat—or the reality—of that which we love being torn out of our churches, our towns, our families.

A Book in Time for Lent: Fr Armand de Malleray's "Meditations on the Stabat Mater"

CTS (Catholic Truth Society) has released a new booklet by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, just in time for Lent. You can listen to a short podcast with the author about the great Marian hymn here. The booklet itself may be ordered here. Below are some reactions of readers.

Ukraine: roots and consequences of the crisis -- by Roberto de Mattei

Will the media “show” between Biden and Putin result in a real war between Russia and Ukraine, destined to involve Europe as well? Everything is possible, in the era of the unforeseeable. In this case it would be a matter not of a civil war within Ukraine but of an international conflict that would see Russia face off against the West. However, the two contenders have no interest in a military confrontation of this kind, unless the overdone bluster gives way to an unexpected event that changes strategies on the ground.

The name Ukraine (Ukraïna) is etymologically related to the Slavic term «kraj» (limit, border), which indicates a «borderland.» Ukraine is in fact a vast plain with uncertain borders, densely populated, rich in agricultural and mineral resources. The historical origins of this land are ancient: it was called Scythia by the Greeks and Sarmatia by the Romans. From the Middle Ages until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire it was known in the West as Ruthenia, while in Russia it was called “Little Russia,” to convey its inclusion in the Empire of the Tsars.

A Traditional Catholic Father’s Responses to a Diocesan Synod Questionnaire

Everyone knows that the “Synodal Process” has begun, for better or (much more likely) for worse. Dioceses around the world are sending out questionnaires and setting up meetings to “listen to the voice of the People of God.” Quite apart from the ecclesiologically dubious democratic methodology and (even if that were not an issue) the improbability of receiving anything like a representative sample, savvy Catholics are aware that the process has been rigged from the start—as has occurred (let’s not forget) with all of the Synods under Pope Francis—to yield predetermined progressivist results that can then be fobbed off as “the will of God speaking through His Church.” More recently we saw that Pope Francis was more than willing to lie about the survey of bishops on Summorum Pontificum in order to find a prext for his extermination campaign against the Mass of the Ages.

So, it’s not surprising that most traditional Catholics want to have nothing to do with this Synodal Process. On the other hand, some traditionalists have recommended participating in order to bear witness to the truth for conscience’s sake and just in case somewhere among the Archons of the Process there might be a believing Catholic who could be positively influenced by such testimonies. In that spirit, I now share with Rorate readers the following responses submitted to a diocesan questionnaire by a Midwestern father of a large family whose boys eagerly serve at a local Traditional Latin Mass.

1) How do you see your specific apostolic work in relation to the universal call to holiness?

Holy Scripture presents the universal call to holiness as a call to be like the all-holy God (Lev 11:44; 1 Pet 1:16) by walking humbly with (Gen 3:8, Mic 6:8) or being together with God in his dwelling place (Psalm 27:4), the temple, which is the body of Christ (John 2:21). Hence, in a special way, serving at the altar of the Church gathered around the body of Christ in the sacred liturgy is an essential apostolate at the service of the universal call to holiness.

Solemn Requiem Mass for Cardinal Kung in D.C.

In the Archdiocese of Washington there has been a growing number of traditional Latin Masses in recent years, including seven (public) TLMs offered every Sunday. Near the Catholic University of America in Northeast is the parish of Saint Anthony of Padua, which has graciously accommodated dozens -- hundreds -- of CUA students who desire the old Mass on Sundays, holy days and occasional feasts.

Saint Anthony's, with guest clergy, will host a traditional Latin Requiem High Mass on Saturday, February 26th, at 11 a.m. for Ignatius Cardinal Kung. The celebrant of the Mass, a priest of the Diocese of Hong Kong, has shared the following for our readers:

There will be a Solemn High Requiem Mass for Ignatius Cardinal Kung, in solidarity with the persecuted Church in China on Saturday, February 26th at 11:00 AM at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Ignatius Cardinal Kung was consecrated Bishop of Shanghai in 1950 and in 1955 was imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party for 33 years as punishment for refusing to join the Patriotic Association. In 1986 he was named a cardinal in secret by St. John Paul II. In 1986 he was released from prison and settled in America. 

Francis received SSPX superior general Fr. Pagliarani

In recent days, according to Le Salon Beige, confirming other sources.

It makes sense. 

SEPTUAGESIMA: In The Beginning

Septuagesimatide begins today, at First Vespers of the Sunday in Septuagesima. The lessons for Matins introduce the theme of the penitential pre-lenten season of Septuagesima: Creation and Fall, and Original Sin; and God's intervention in History to purify mankind through a remnant in an ark (Sexagesima week) and to choose a People for himself; and the will of the unfathomable Divinity to reveal himself through his chosen people of Israel; and the Mystery of the Incarnation, through which the promise to Abraham ("in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed", First Lesson in the Matins for Quinquagesima Sunday) would be fulfilled by the Divine Son of the Blessed Virgin ("I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel", Third Lesson in the Matins for Wednesday in Septuagesima week).

The reality of Original Sin ("I am the Immaculate Conception") and the great need for penitence in our times ("Penance! Penance! Penance!") were also the messages of the memorable events which began on February 11, 1858:

Meditations for Septuagesima


'Exodus 90' is a very rigorous programme of fasting and prayer some people have adopted; here is something a bit different based on the Church's penitential season.


Heard Of Exodus90? Here is Septuagesima70!

Papolatry and Ultramontanism are not the same: Why I am proud to be an ultramontane - by Roberto de Mattei

In recent months, a debate on ultramontanism has opened on Rorate Caeli and elsewhere, with interesting interventions by Stuart Chessman (here), Peter Kwanieswski (here), and José Antonio Ureta (here and here).

I know these authors personally and I have esteem and friendship for them, but to be faithful to the Latin adage Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas (Plato is my friend, but truth is a greater friend), I stick to what seems to me to be the truth.

The Mass That Was Never Forbidden: Key Dates in the Old Missal’s Rehabilitation

The Mass Was Never Forbidden
Paix Liturgique Newsletter
Letter 122 (9 February 2022)

The following presentation follows Abbé Claude Barthe’s book, La messe de Vatican II. Dossier historique (Via Romana, 2018).

Chicago’s Fight for the Mass of the Ages

The following article was written by a laywoman from Midwestern America. This "first Sunday of the month" event featured here is part of a weekly series of Rosary rallies that started in early January, taking place every Sunday at 11 a.m. outside of Holy Name Cathedral. The next weekly event will be on February 13. The next "first Sunday of the month" event will take place on March 6.

Bagpipes sounded on State Street, and a truck with flashing images of the Mass of the Ages rolled by. We stood shoulder to shoulder or knelt on the sidewalk and prayed the Rosary with Holy Name Cathedral looming large behind us. Men held signs aloft for the traffic to read: “Cardinal Cupich: Why are you punishing faithful Catholics?” It was the First Sunday of February.

Francis Equates the Traditional Liturgy with “Abuse” While Continuing to Tolerate an Abusive Rite— Crucial article by French priest

Traditionis Custodies Relegates the Traditional Liturgy to an “Abuse”
Abbé Jean-Marie Perrot
February 1, 2022

The Woke Pope Epitomizes Liberal Illiberalism

The woke Pope epitomises liberal illiberalism 
 The ‘merciful’ leader of the Catholic Church is persecuting a harmless minority: traditionalists 

 Tim Stanley 
The Daily Telegraph 
February 7, 2022 

 The Pope, you have probably read, is ever-smiling, merciful and tolerant. Towards some, that might be true; for others, it’s a cruel joke. His treatment of traditional Catholics, to give just one example, is a case study in liberal hypocrisy.

Confirmations, the SSPX, and Alessandro Manzoni

Photo by John Aron

One of the greatest Catholic works of literature, of any age and language, is Alessandro Manzoni's novel I Promessi Sposi: the Betrothed. Among the characters is Frederick, Cardinal Borromeo, of Milan, the nephew of St Charles Borromeo; the simple village parish priest, Don Abbondio, and the engaged couple, Renzo and Lucy.

In the opening pages of the book a powerful local landowner threatens Don Abbondio with death should he marry the young couple; he has designs on Lucy. The couple attempt to force the issue, by contracting marriage before the priest as an unwilling witness. This would be recognised by the Church, under the canon law of the day, as valid but illicit.

Eventually, Cardinal Borromeo hears of the case and confronts Don Abbondio. The latter protests:

“But these persons who have told your lordship these things, have they not also told you that they introduced themselves treacherously into my house, for the purpose of compelling me to perform the marriage ceremony, in a manner unauthorised by the church?”

“They have told me, my son; but what afflicts and depresses me, is to see you still seeking excuses; still excusing yourself by accusing others; still accusing others of that which should have formed a part of your own confession. Who placed these unfortunates, I do not say under the necessity, but under the temptation, to do what they have? Would they have sought this irregular method, if the legitimate way had not been closed to them?”

The strategy of slow strangulation: Will the new Mass be required of old-rite priests and communities?

“Hit It, Hit It Dead!”
Michael Charlier
February 3, 2022

Meanwhile, observers of the Roman scene are seeing a bit more clearly how the imposition of Pope Paul VI’s missal as the “sole lex orandi” of the Roman Rite is to be accomplished.

The promulgation phase of TC in 2021 was very much characterized by the grobian nature of the Pope and his advisors from Sant’Anselmo, who would have preferred to complete the transition to the Novus Ordo by yesterday and then to have excluded the (according to their expectation only a few) recalcitrants from the flock by a word of power. So much for the topics mercy and dialogue.

But things can’t happen quite as quick as one might have thought. In the choice of means, some now seem, occasionally, to take the advice of experienced members of the curia, whose long experience has taught them that “hit it, hit it dead!” is not really the most effective strategy for achieving ecclesiastical goals.

ARTICLE: Saint John Bosco, the Educator -- by Fr. Konrad zu Loewenstein

Saint John Bosco, the Educator

St. John Bosco was one of the most celebrated pedagogues and educators that has ever lived. What was his method? Apart from a brief disquisition on the 'Preventive and Repressive Systems' which we shall consider later, he did not set forth his principles of education in any detail. However, in a sermon on St. Philip Neri to a gathering of priests in May 1868, he describes an ideal of apostolate to the young, which to any-one acquainted with the life of Don Bosco and to the audience that day manifestly represents his own personal ideal. In view of this fact let us quote from this sermon at some length: -  

NON POSSUMUS! - Enough is Enough: "We Reject the New Mass because it is not Traditional" -- by Yves Daoudal

Non Possumus

Yves Daoudal
January 31, 2022

Thanks to Traditionis custodes, we have seen a resurgence of the discourse according to which, on the one hand, the Pope had to crack down because there are Trads who reject the new Mass, and on the other hand, the protests of Trads who affirm that of course they do not reject the new Mass, but only ask that they be allowed to keep the old Mass as well, for reasons of... of what? personal preference? sensitivity? Of "nostalgia"?

Let us be clear. No, we do not "prefer" the traditional Mass for reasons of "sensitivity," aesthetics, or "nostalgia" (a very large majority of us were not adults at the time of the liturgical revolution). We reject the new Mass because it is not traditional, because it is no longer the full expression of the Catholic liturgy.