Rorate Caeli

The Hours at the Abbey - 1: MATINS

It is still quite dark, even though we are in June. Summer is around the corner, but the air is very cold and very damp. The roosters are quiet.

We open the gate, and the temperature inside the vast nave is even colder. Flickering candles are the only sign of human presence. Moments later, the first noises are the ruffling of dozens of habits as the choir stalls fill one by one.

The Great Silence is finally broken: words, not very audible from the nave, and then a chant: VENITE, EXSULTEMUS DOMINO...

Full Text of Dr. Kwasniewski’s Talk on the Superiority of the Old Lectionary over the New

The following lecture, sponsored by the Coalition for Canceled Priests, was given at Velocity All Sports in Mokena, Illinois, on March 7, 2022. The video also includes an extensive Q&A.—PAK 

Mythbusting: Why the TLM’s Lectionary Is Superior to the New Lectionary

Peter A. Kwasniewski

While almost every other aspect of the liturgical reform following Vatican II has been the target of serious and sustained criticism, the revamped multi-year lectionary is the one element consistently put forward as a notable success, an instance of genuine progress. A popular Catholic author writes: 

85 Years of The Encyclicals of March 1937: Divini Redemptoris
and the ever-present dangers of Communism

(2022 Reminder: When Pope Pius XI published this encyclical, the population of Ukraine had just suffered, under the Moscow secret police, the second genocide of the 20th Century, the Holodomor. The Cheka is the NKVD, which is the KGB, which is the current FSB, which still controls Moscow, where old and new Russian errors still dominate. The same Moscow, under new ideological veneer, whose genocidal intents in Ukraine would lead, if allowed to succeed, to the end of Catholics in that martyred nation.)


Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, on the 19th of March, 1937... 

This is a (Lenten) month of celebration for us, with the 85th anniversary of three encyclicals of one of the greatest pontiffs in living memory, Pius XI: in their order of publication, Mit brennender Sorge (March 14); Divini Redemptoris (March 19); and Nos es muy conocida (March 28). In very different ways, the three encyclicals deal with the same matter: how do the Church and the Catholic faithful deal with a Totalitarian regime, run by National-Socialist pagan nation-worshippers, Communist Atheists, or "Fraternal" Mexican post-Revolutionary lords?

The Consecration

Major Archbishop of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church: "The Consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart, in unity of all bishops under the successor of Peter, will be the highlight of the victory over evil."

From the Sermon of the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Abp. Sviatoslav Shevchuk, in the Moleben (Prayer Service) in Time of War:

[The Oranta of Kyiv - The Indestructible Wall]

Ukraine's victory is the victory of good over evil, the power of God over the meanness and lust of the invader. The Victory is already beginning, and we can feel it, experience it, even during this prayer.

A special tradition of such prayer is preserved in Kyiv. Apparently, everyone knows the ancient princely belief about the Kyiv Oranta, which is also called the Indestructible Wall. Our Lady Oranta is an ancient mosaic of the 11th century, which depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary in full length with her hands raised in prayer. It is an icon of the prayer of intercession. As long as the Kyiv Oranta stands, as long as the Indestructible Wall is among us, God is amidst his city, as it is written in the apse of St. Sophia Cathedral, as long as the city, the people, and Ukraine stand.

What Ukrainian Catholics Think: "At this point, it is impossible to continue not noticing the satanic nature of the Kremlin regime," and "the blatant paganism of the statements of the Moscow patriarch." (Open Letter)

 The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is the largest individual Eastern Church -- that is, the largest after our own Latin Church. And it is truly a Martyr-Church: Russia has tried to destroy it once and again, under Tsarism and under Communism, but it has remained truthful to Catholicity.

For Ukrainian Greek-Catholics, it would be "easy" to become "Orthodox": there is no difference of rite. But what they do have is an indissoluble loyalty to the Roman See: each martyr of the bloody history of the Church, millions of them, had the same spine as Saint Thomas More or Saint John Fisher -- loyalty to the Catholic Faith and to idea and reality of Rome, Mother of all Churches.

This Wednesday, the University founded and supported by the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) released a formal document of its Senate and Rectorate explaining to Christians all over the world what is going on. And they do represent faithfully the view of all Ukrainian Catholics, at home and in the diaspora.


To Reject The Deeds Of Darkness

Open letter of the Senate and the Rectorate of Ukrainian Catholic University to the Christian Communities of the World


With the beginning of a new phase of the latest Russian-Ukrainian war, Ukrainians invariably recognize themselves in the pages of Scripture in the twists and turns of biblical history. Under the Putin regime, they recognize: “for they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty” (Revelation 16:14), and they find hope in David’s victory over Goliath. (1 Samuel 17: 1–52).

For the Record: The Fastest Change in a Vatican Legal Text Ever — “Extraordinary Form” No More

 On Saturday, the name “Extraordinary Form” was resurrected, as we covered here. Today, it is no more.

The new text of the Apostolic Constitution “Praedicate Evangelium”, on the organization of the Roman Curia, regarding the attributes of the Congregation for Divine Worship regarding the Traditional liturgy is this:

Art. 93:

Text of the Act of Consecration of Russia & Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 [Click for larger view]

Lacordaire: : A Protestant is his own unity

You will perhaps ask why God has left so many questions open to discussion. You might as well ask why God has not revealed everything. 

"Putin's Attack on Ukraine" - by Dr. John Lamont

St. Andrew's ("Bernardine Monastery"), Lviv, Ukraine

Although wars are a temporal phenomenon, they often have religious repercussions or arouse religious passions and disputes. The Russian attack on Ukraine is no exception. One of its religious effects has been to provoke divisions among Catholics. Most of them have backed the Ukrainians in their self-defence against invasion. Some vocal Catholic traditionalists have however taken the Russian side to a greater or lesser extent – certainly to the extent of arguing that the Ukrainians should not be given assistance by other countries in their fight against the Russians, a step that would doom them to defeat. This argument is not framed in purely political terms. The pro-Russian side sees the Ukrainians as aligned with the anti-Christian order that dominates the West, and the Russians as defenders of Christianity and traditional values. This makes it important to get at the truth of the nature of this conflict, in its temporal aspects as well as in its inevitable religious dimensions. This essay will attempt to do so.

For the Record: The "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite" is still the official name of the Traditional Roman Rite for the Vatican

 [Update: not anymore…]

When Traditionis Custodes was promulgated last year, that disturbing document had as its central theoretical point the following definition, in article 1: that the Paul VI liturgical books, "are the sole expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite." 

The document simply abolished the notion created by Benedict XVI (rejected even by many Traditionalists, but very useful legally) that there are two forms of the Roman Rite: the most prevalent one now (the Novus Ordo), called Ordinary Form, and the Traditional one, called Extraordinary Form.

So, it came as a surprise that the document expected since the beginning of the pontificate, regarding the reorganization of the Roman Curia, the Apostolic Constitution named "Praedicate Evangelium", was released yesterday -- Italian text only -- with the following attributes among those granted to the Congregation for Divine Worship:

Art. 93

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States: All Bishops Invited to Join Pope in Consecration of Russia and Ukraine

The Holy Father invited each bishop, or equivalent in law, to consecrate Russia and Ukraine with him on March 25  — official letter of the Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

 Communication to each bishop in the world and prayer forthcoming.


"As a Historian, I Believe That the Traditional Latin Liturgy Will Not Disappear" - Catholic Historian Yves Chiron presents his "History of the Traditionalists"

French journal La Nef published an interview with Yves Chiron on the occasion of the publication of his book dedicated to the Traditionalists (Histoire des traditionalistes, Tallandier). Below are the main excerpts published at Le Forum Catholique.

Where do traditionalists come from, who are they, and what do they defend?

Yves Chiron - The term "traditionalists" appears in the Magisterium with the Letter on the Sillon of Saint Pius X, in 1910 [Notre charge apostolique]. The Pope affirmed: "the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators but traditionalists. The term had already existed for several decades. Émile Poulat drew attention to a specific current: the Catholic counter-revolution, that is to say, Catholics (priests, bishops or laity) who, throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century, were hostile to the Revolution and its aftermath, not primarily out of nostalgia for the king, but out of a rejection of the principles of 1789. The Catholic counter-revolutionaries were hostile to intellectual and moral liberalism, so naturally they became anti-modernist, anti-progressive, etc. (...)

Saint Joseph and the Holy Eucharist — by Fr. Serafino Lanzetta


Let me introduce this topic with a question: did Jesus reveal to St Joseph his desire to institute the Holy Eucharist? Perhaps during the years of his hidden life in Nazareth? Or before the beginning of his public life,e.g., before Joseph fell asleep in God? It is not easy to answer this question, nor is it easy to get some clues from the Gospel accounts. Let us try, however, to investigate the issue with a reason that is open to the central  theological element of fittingness. It was certainly fitting for Jesus to reveal to the one who after Mary his Mother was closest to him the secret of secrets, the love of his Heart, the desire of all desires: the Holy Eucharist. Jesus will say in the Gospel of Luke (22,15) with a truly singular and paradigmatic construct: Desiderio desideravi hoc pascha manducare vobiscum antequam patiar. Literally, recalling also the original Greek form that follows the same construction,where the verb "to desire" and the noun "desire" are linked to reinforce each other, we have: "I have desired with great desire to eat this passover with you before suffering.

Announcing True Obedience in the Church: A Guide for Discernment in Challenging Times

I am happy to announce the release of my tract True Obedience in the Church: A Guide for Discernment in Challenging Times (Sophia Institute Press). Originating as a talk for the October 2021 Catholic Identity Conference, the text was then developed into a longer essay with ample notes. A special website has been set up for it (, where visitors will find articles, reviews, videos, excerpts, endorsements, and a special offer for clergy and seminarians.

A Message to “Cancelled” Priests by Archbishop Héctor Aguer

To “Cancelled” Priests
Archbishop Héctor Aguer

IMPORTANT: The Pope Will Consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 “On Friday March 25 [Feast of the Annunciation], during the Celebration of Penance at which he will preside at 17.00 in Saint Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The same act, on the same day, will be carried out in Fatima by His Eminence Cardinal Krajewski, Apostolic Almoner, as envoy of the Holy Father.” (Vatican Press Office)

Russia's War and the Message of Fatima (by Roberto de Mattei)

The Fatima message, interpretive key for our time
  The message of Fatima is the key to interpreting the dramatic events of the last two years, and in particular what is happening in Ukraine.
  It is understandable that this perspective should be foreign to the contemporary man immersed in relativism, but what is most striking is the blindness of so many Catholics, incapable of rising to those heights which are the only ones that allow us to understand events in the dramatic hours of history. And we, after the Covid pandemic, are experiencing the dramatic hour of war.

The collaborationist front

  The facts are these: on February 21 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin, in a speech to the nation, announced the recognition of the independence of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, and then ordered that troops be sent to the Donbas region with the aim of “ensuring peace.” On February 24 Putin declared in another speech that he had authorized a “special military operation” not only in Donbas but also in eastern Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine soon turned out to be much broader and more tragic than expected, causing throughout the world a climate of profound apprehension.
What has been the reaction of Italy and the West in the face of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine? On the one hand there has been an explosion of sentiments of indignation and of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. On the other hand, however, a sentiment of affinity for Putin’s initiative has developed, which has led to the creation of a front that I call “collaborationist.”

Man’s Choice of Life – The Religious Life -'The Council and the Eclipse of God' by Don Pietro Leone – SECTION II – CHAPTER VI continued.


The Council and the Eclipse of God by

 Don Pietro Leone

 ‘Man’s choice of Life’

 A.   The Religious Life

Ember Days in the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms: An Accidental Elimination?

This week in the traditional Roman Rite, we have one of its most ancient celebrations, the Ember Days. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of the first week of Lent are one of the four times during the liturgical year (hence the Latin title Quattuor Temporum) specially set apart by the Church for fasting and abstinence, as well as prayer for farming and harvests. The Ember Days also have a traditional association with the conferral of Holy Orders. Their antiquity is attested by Pope St Leo the Great in, among other places, one of his Pentecost sermons:

To the present solemnity, dearly beloved, we must also add that devotion, so that we might celebrate with holy observance the fast which conforms to the apostolic tradition. This ought to be numbered among the great gifts of the Holy Spirit, that, against the desires of the flesh and the snares of the devil, the protection of the fasts has been set up for us. By these we may overcome all temptations with the help of God. Let us fast on Wednesday and Friday. On Saturday, however, let us celebrate the vigil with the blessed apostle Peter as advocate for our prayers, that we might deserve to obtain the mercy of God in all things through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. (Sermon 76)

Francis Removes a 57-year-old American Bishop Named by Benedict XVI with no Explanation

For a bishop named in 2010, and now very healthy and still only 57, to be removed, there must be a serious reason. Abuse? Cover-up? Embezzling?

Yet the bishop of Arecibo (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, United States), Chicago native Daniel Fernández Torres, was simply removed by Francis today, after being ordered by the Vatican to resign.

You will find several explanations online -- that he was supportive of religious objections to COVID vaccines; that he was "conservative"; that he was not very well liked by his fellow bishops in the island. 

We asked around for information before saying anything -- sometimes, there is a deeper surprise, often unpleasant. But there really does not seem to be one this time. So, unless a very clear answer from the Vatican comes about, this seems a clear case of Franciscan tyrannical injustice. When an abuser, such as his friend Zanchetta, was in trouble, Francis promoted him to protect him; when a bishop does nothing serious, and is simply disliked, he's called upon to resign; and, when he refuses, he's simply removed.

That of course cannot stand. It is not how the Church is constituted. The episcopal office is not a subsidiary of a petty Roman dictator.


Below, the bishop's explanation, in English:

Communications Office 
Diocese of Arecibo 


 Statement by Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres 

 When you receive the news of my replacement as bishop at the head of the Diocese of Arecibo, I want you to know that it is not up to me to explain to you a decision that I cannot explain to myself, although I accept it with the patience of Christ for the good of the Church. Nor is it up to you to judge what only God and history will do at the proper time. 

Fairfield Carmelites - Watch Full Documentary Online: “The Enclosed Garden: The Joyful Mystery of a Traditional Carmelite Monastery.”


The Next Aims of Putin’s War: The roots of Christian Europe and the threat to the Baltic countries (by Roberto de Mattei)

Do the plans of Vladimir Putin include an operation to separate the three Baltic republics (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) from the European Union? 

Carlo Maria Viganò is Not a Traditionalist

He was never a Traditionalist. He was never known to have any particular feelings for the Traditional Mass and Liturgy before he retired as Nuncio. He was never known for any specific pronouncements favoring Tradition during his long career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

He made a good contribution on the McCarrick affair, but decidedly after he had left his position as Nuncio to the United States.

We do not know what he represents, who he speaks for, who writes his works, and what he intends to accomplish. We do not know why Rome has let him say whatever he wants, if he still (apparently) receives a Vatican pension, which he does not need, coming, as he does, from a very wealthy Northern Italian family: it looks weird both for Rome and for him. We would not say he is a conspiracy theorist: there doesn't seem to be a theory anywhere there.

Tradition is in need of good families, good bishops, holy priests; holy young men and women, in families, seminaries, and religious life; Tradition is in great need of constancy, predictability, and stability. It is not in need of gurus.

Support Fr Michael Rowe of Perth, Australia


Fr Michael Rowe is diocesan priest in the Archdiocese of Perth in Australia, who for many years has celebrated the Traditional Mass for the 'quasi-parish' of St Anne's in the city of Perth. Since 2018 Archbishop Costelloe has been trying to eradicate this community, which had been established by his predecessor. Having exhausted the Church's own procedures of appeal, Fr Rowe and his community has taken the matter to the civil courts. 

Review of “The Door of Faith “, by Fr. Serafino Lanzetta: Saving the True Faith from Utter Oblivion


The Door of Faith by Fr Serafino Lanzetta, a timely and timeless remedy to our Church’s woes

By Karen Darantiere

Having read Father Serafino Lanzetta’s new book, The Door of Faith, against the backdrop of Pope Francis’s recent words regarding the Communion of Saints, I cannot help penning my praise of this book without making reference to the pope’s troubling teaching. For the two are linked.  One is a sign of the apostasy in which the Church is submerged, the other a diagnosis of our ailing faith as well as a remedy so it may shine anew in all its truth and beauty.

In honor of Ukraine and of Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, at the 130th anniversary of his birth (1892-2022) — by Roberto de Mattei

 There are men who embody the deepest virtues and values of a people. Such was Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, major archbishop of Halych and Lviv of the Ukrainians, the 130th anniversary of whose birth is being celebrated just as his homeland is experiencing an enormous new tragedy. 

Born on February 17 1892 in Zazdrist, western Ukraine, at the age of nineteen Josyf Slipyj entered the seminary of Lviv, where he was ordained a priest on September 30 1917 and then sent to Rome to complete his studies at the Oriental Institute and the Gregorian University.

Ukrainian Priest: ‘Why Do We Have to Suffer So Much?’

[Letter of Cardinal Pell to the
Major Archbishop of the
Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church]


Rorate: How many Catholics will have to die in Ukraine before many Catholics in the West stop parroting Russian lines? We are embarrassed by so many misguided brethren who've fallen for the façade of "conservatism" built up by the KGB/FSB and the Kremlin. Don't be fooled: this is the same KGB, the same Cheka, the same NKVD as ever.


This Lent, please offer up your personal sacrifices for our Catholic brothers and sisters in the Martyr-Church of Ukraine -- few churches have suffered and bled for the Faith as much as her, especially under Stalin -- as well as for all Ukrainians, and for peace in Europe.


 Andreas Thonhauser 
 National Catholic Register/EWTN Vatican 
March 1, 2022 

 Why? This is the one question our friends and affiliates in Ukraine confronted me with today. In EWTN News’ Vatican Bureau, we have been in touch with our colleagues in Kyiv since the Russian attack began. 

But an email our Ukraine office sent over the weekend touched me especially deeply: “People who want and love to live, enjoy, do art, play sports, grow their careers,” says Father Roman Syrotych, the director of Caritas Kyiv. “Why do they have to suffer so much today?”