Rorate Caeli

“The Motu Proprio cut off the head of Benedict's line, and Desiderio buries its corpse” — Article by Luisella Scrosati

In the city of Rome they seem not to have digested the mounting criticism that has been rising for months against the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes. The Apostolic Letter Desiderio Desideravi that Pope Francis signed yesterday, on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, dedicated to the liturgical formation of the people of God, returns to the fundamental point of the Motu Proprio of almost a year ago, namely, the desire to put a tombstone over the Ancient Rite. In the letter's closing, the pope shows that he has taken the brunt of the mounting criticism, but instead of retracing his steps, he tries to throw water on the fire by urging us to abandon polemics "in order to listen together to what the Spirit is saying to the Church" (No. 65) and guard communion.

Apostolic Letter Desiderio desideravi: An Admission of Failure

Contemporary results of liturgical formation in the Novus Ordo, February 2022 (Holy Family, Inverness, Archdiocese of Chicago, USA) 


I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium... (Desiderio desideravi, 31)

So writes Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter Desiderio desideravi, released today, on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, which acts as yet another indicator - if any more were needed! - that the generous, forward-looking vision of Benedict XVI has been replaced with a miserly and insular ignorance masquerading as "listening, dialogue and participation." Remarkably, on the same day he reaffirms Traditionis custodes, the Pope had this to say in his morning homily

Fontgombault Sermon for Sts. Peter & Paul: “The Church becomes younger not when she compromises with the world, but when she receives the truth from the Spirit”

 Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, June 29, 2022

In a same solemnity the Church unites St. Peter, a fisherman from Galilee, chosen by the Lord as the chief of the Apostles, and as the fundamental cornerstone of the Church; and St. Paul, a Roman citizen born in Tarsus, in Cilicia, who, from a persecutor of the first Christians, was to turn into the fearless preacher of the Gospel.

Francis publishes the Anti-Ratzinger Liturgical Manifesto: Apostolic Letter Desiderio Desideravi

Francis throws his hat fully on the “hermeneutic of rupture” view on the liturgy in his Apostolic Letter Desiderio desideravi — Ratzinger’s life work on liturgy and this, as far apart as day and night. The full text in English is here.

Traditionalist publishing renaissance (5): The newly-established Cenacle Press

Many readers will already be familiar with the wonderful online giftshop of the traditional Benedictine monastery of Silverstream Priory in Ireland. The same monastery has recently launched Cenacle Press, with six classic reprints, all newly typeset -- four by Robert Hugh Benson and two by Dom Hubert van Zeller -- along with biography of a remarkable Polish nun, Sr. Maria Bernadette of the Cross, and a collection of new poetic works and poetic translations from Latin by the monks of Silverstream.

All titles are available from the online giftshop (ships to anywhere) and also at online retailers such as Amazon. Happy reading!

Washington Post Op-Ed: “Let the Latin Mass Remain in D.C.”

 Our contributor Ken Wolfe has penned a heartfelt article for The Washington Post (today’s edition) on the impending archdiocesan decision regarding the Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Here it is, take a look.

The Council and the Eclipse of God – by Don Pietro Leone - Chapter 8 – ‘The Council’s Anthropology in its Ideological Context.’


Dear Readers,

My apologies. In Chapter 8, which addressed the Council’s deification of man, the following paragraphs towards the end were meant to be prior to the one on the Emperor Claudius’ arrival at heaven’s gate, but were inadvertently left out.  Too precious this excellent, short read.   Not to be missed.                                                           


Painting of 'Homer Among the Greeks' by Gustav Jäger. 1808

‘Even the pagan religions offer a deeper and more serious vision of life and death than the Council.’  Don Pietro Leone.


The Council’s Anthropology in its Ideological Context

LIFE WINS - Roe is Overturned!

 The Dobbs decision is here.

Gratitude to God Almighty, the Blessed Virgin, and scores of faithful Christians, including so many Catholics, who have prayed, fought, canvassed, voted, waited patiently for this moment.

This is not the end, but it is the beginning of the end.

Fr Gwilym Evans FSSP: First Mass, photos


Cross-posted between Rorate Caeli and LMS Chairman. Photos by me.

Fr Gwilym Evans FSSP celebrated his First Mass on Sunday 18th, the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi. Although Corpus Christi is a public holiday in Bavaria, and a public procession had taken place on the day in Munich, on the Sunday another procession took place, organised by one of the parishes, the Peterskirche. After his Mass, Fr Evans and his congregation joined this procession.

The Feast of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – June 24, 2022


How good and pleasant it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus! Who is there who does not love a heart so wounded?  Who can refuse  a return of love to a Heart so loving? 
St. Bernard

FSSP Ordinations in Bavaria: photos

Photo by Monika Rheinschmitt

Cross-posted between Rorate Caeli and LMS Chairman.

On Saturday 18th June, Archbishop Wolfgang Haas of Vaduz (Liechtenstein) ordained two members of the Fraternity of St Peter to the priesthood. They stand either side of the Archbishop in the above photograph: Daniel Bruckwilder, left, and Gwilym Evans, right. Fr Bruckwilder is from Germany; I and many others from the UK attended this event because Fr Evans is from Wales. He has attended many traditional events in England over the years, particularly the Latin Mass Society's walking pilgrimage to Walsingham: and will do so again this year, as a chaplain.

An iconographic project worthy of the Middle Ages — the traditionalist Fraternity of St Vincent Ferrer’s monumental altar in progress

The 1/10 scale model of the future high altar of Our Lady of the Rosary (with wings closed)

The Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer, which has just finished building its conventual church, Our Lady of the Rosary, in Chéméré-le-Roi (Mayenne, France), has decided to construct a monumental historiated high altar. How did this project develop? What will it look like? Richard de Seze interviewed the Father Jordan-Mary, responsible for the project.

Event: Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Philadelphia


On Friday, June 24 a Missa Solemnis (Solemn High Mass) will be offered at 7PM at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 


All are invited to attend this special celebration in Honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Presuming Confession and Holy Communion, a plenary indulgence may be gained as the Act of Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Litany of the Sacred Heart will be solemnly prayed before the exposed Most Blessed Sacrament. 

Near Bridgeport, Connecticut: Solemn Latin Mass and Procession for Corpus Christi

 Our friends at the Bridgeport, CT, oratory of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest asked us to post this notice. We are always glad to see the feast being kept on its proper day, as it will be at hundreds of Latin Mass locations around the world on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

"Synodal" Pope Changes Canon Law to Prevent Bishops from Establishing New Traditional Priestly or Religious Communities in Their Dioceses

Again: motus in fine velocior.

According to a document released today (June 15) in the Bolletino, Pope Francis in an audience on February 7 with Braz de Aviz and José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M., the Cardinal Prefect and Secretary Archbishop of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, approved a provision that effectively changes Canon Law concerning the diocesan bishop's right to erect a Public Association of the Faithful that wishes eventually to become an institute of consecrated life or a society of apostolic life (i.e., in colloquial terms, a religious community or an order of priests).

Prior to today, the rule was given in Can. 312: "§1. The authority competent to erect public associations is: 1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations; 2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those which from their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation; 3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesan associations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has been reserved to others by apostolic privilege." And: 

Can. 313. "Through the same decree by which the competent ecclesiastical authority according to the norm of can. 312 erects it, a public association and even a confederation of public associations is constituted a juridic person and, to the extent it is required, receives a mission for the purposes which it proposes to pursue in the name of the Church."

The new language specifically approved by the pope is as follows:

"The diocesan bishop, before erecting — by decree — a public association of the faithful with a view to becoming an Institute of Consecrated Life or a Society of Apostolic life of diocesan right, must obtain the written permission of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life."

This rescript is primarily aimed against the formation of new traditional communities and orders, which are springing up all over the place. That, as we know from the pope's obsessive comments, is what keeps him and his collaborators wide awake at night in fear — fear that the spirit of Vatican II is threatened by the "restorers."

Given that this Dicastery is currently run by two progressivist thugs, the chances of receiving permission for such Public Associations if they have even a remotely Catholic sensibility are worse than null. 

Patience. Time is on our side. Even if for some aspiring communities this will mean the catacombs, the underground, the Mass rock, our time will come. Meanwhile let us remain faithful to life-giving tradition, with or without the dignity of official recognition.

ADDENDUM: Gregory DiPippo pointed out the following passage from Lumen Gentium (n. 27): “The pastoral office, or the habitual and daily care of their sheep, is entrusted to [the local bishops] completely, nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them.... In virtue of this power, bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.”

How the ironies multiply...

Read more at Fr. Z
Good take at The Pillar.

A look at a parish Cardinal Wilton Gregory wants to destroy

Wilton Cardinal Gregory is preparing to announce that every traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington will be suppressed. This includes seven public Masses at archdiocesan parishes each Sunday, numerous holy day and weekday TLMs and several parishes that offer private Masses. All told there are about 20 priests residing in the archdiocese that offer the traditional Latin Mass. A non-parish location, such as the Franciscan Monastery, would be used for a merged traditional ghetto to replace all of the other TLMs.

Traditionalist publishing renaissance (4): Sophia Institute Press releases book-length interview with Bishop Schneider, and more

Sophia Institute Press continues to bring out books of great interest to traditionalists. Today I would like to comment on three recent releases.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The Springtime that Never Came. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Hardcover $21.95. eBook $9.99.

Having had the privilege of reading the manuscript prior to publication, I eagerly awaited the release of The Springtime that Never Came, the most recent work by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, champion and defender of the faith. Written in conversation with eminent Polish journalist Paweł Lisicki, this authoritative book challenges an array of dominant narratives in the Church, many which are lamentably leading the faithful astray.

Growing up in the 1960s in the former Soviet Union, Bishop Athanasius Schneider experienced the horrors of totalitarianism which are beginning to sprout again in the secularized West. In The Springtime that Never Came, he tackles some of the most pivotal, controversial issues of our time. We hear the truth about Church closings and God’s intervention during Covid-19, and a dizzying host of moral issues on which most bishops remain silent, from the “gender agenda” and homosexuality to priestly celibacy and the abuse scandals. With charity, wisdom, and occasional humor, Bishop Schneider provides straightforward answers to questions on ecumenism, ecology, liberation theology, liberalism, papal primacy, the collegiality of bishops, and the immutability of faith. Bishop Schneider calls for a new and more realistic form of apologetics that recognizes the constitutive role of tradition. He lays out how to avoid the “mental gymnastics” caused by theological confusion and shares stories of his own journey to a robustly traditional Catholicism.

Readers will be both inspired and comforted as Bishop Schneider testifies his experience of souls returning to the Church through the reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, and the Holy Rosary. Following Our Lord, he speaks authoritatively on heaven, hell, purgatory, sin, and mercy. Readers will also learn about Mass reforms, the history of priestly celibacy, roles of women in the Church, and why a return to the traditional liturgy is absolutely necessary. He underscores God’s “appeal for a true Eucharistic conversion of the whole Church.”

I was happy to see, among other endorsements, that of Edward Pentin, author of The Next Pope, who enthused: “Exemplifying the bishop’s acuity and wisdom, The Springtime that Never Came provides an authoritative and much-needed spiritual corrective to our deeply troubled and rudderless post-conciliar era.” And Dr. Janet Smith, American philosopher and author, who stated: “Bishop Athanasius Schneider provides a dazzling display of knowledge of theology, the liturgy, Church history and the problems of the modern world and the Church all in service of explaining complicated issues with a rare and wonderful clarity.”

One could sum it up best by saying that this book is in every way the worthy successor of the same bishop’s deservedly popular Christus Vincit, which has nearly 1,000 reviews at Amazon. Those who have savored the riches of that first book-length interview will definitely want to get a copy of this one, which so far from being redundant has the character of a sequel.

Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP.
Ego Eimi: It Is I. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Paperback $17.95. Ebook $9.99.

Since the time I promoted a first edition of Ego Eimi: It Is I in 2018, I have considered it one of the more original books on its subject, a fresh look at a mystery the Church has venerated for two thousand years. This is why it is great news that Sophia has released a new edition of it. Fr. Armand de Malleray FSSP aims to restore love of the Holy Eucharist through the Traditional Latin Mass. A renowned member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. de Malleray explains the meaning behind the sacred mysteries and stirs up devotion to our Lord.

It’s no secret that belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist has declined drastically. Fr. de Malleray challenges us with the question: for the love of our Lord and the good of souls, how can we help reverse this trend? In these pages, the author explores Church teachings on the Holy Eucharist through the lens of Scripture and philosophy, with the time-tested Latin Mass as a backdrop. Replete with real-life stories, modern-day references, and cultural and historical reflections, this book orients readers to the invisible realities occurring at Mass.

Fr. de Malleray explains the significance of each precious detail of the traditional Eucharistic liturgy, from the opening words of the Preparatory Prayers, “Judge me, O God,” to the importance of how the words of Consecration are punctuated, to the meaning of the celebrant’s genuflections before and after the elevation. Readers will learn to treasure the Holy Eucharist more deeply as they gain knowledge about essential doctrines, such as transubstantiation, the concomitant presence of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under each species, and the nature of the Eucharistic fragments. Readers discover how the Real Presence surpasses other forms of God’s presence and how to make our worship conform to our belief in the sacred mysteries. Moreover, Fr. de Malleray reveals how the Holy Eucharist manifests God’s divine mercy, trains us in contrition, and prepares us for a favorable eternal judgment—as reflected in the prayers of the traditional Mass.

The Holy Eucharist is the central mystery of our faith: how can we better adore Our Lord and how can we share this Eucharistic Fire with others? Ego Eimi: It Is I will deepen your love for the Holy Eucharist so that each time you worship will be like your first, last, and only Mass.

Fr. de Malleray further elaborates on why he wrote the book and on Eucharistic devotion in a recent Catholic Family News interview.  

Jeffrey M. Ostrowski, editor.
Saint Jean de Brebeuf Hymnal Pew Edition. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Hardcover $29.99. 

Sophia Press is issuing several traditional hymnals this spring by editor Jeffrey M. Ostrowski. This traditional hymnal is unique since it was designed by and for priests and musicians serving in parishes worldwide, and contains three times as many hymns as its competitors. The series also features a Choral Supplement and an Organ Accompaniment.

Mr. Ostrowski’s scholarship has focused on the historical performance of plainsong and polyphony of the High Renaissance, resulting in several early music CDs and an internationally broadcast television, including the Sacred Music Colloquium “Sacred, Beautiful, and Universal” (CMAA) documentary. Additionally, Mr. Ostrowski has been frequently chosen as presenter for national Musica Sacra gatherings. He founded—and still oversees—the Sacred Music Symposium, which promotes authentic church music at the grass roots level.

The Brébeuf Hymnal continues the tradition of books such as the New Westminster Hymnal, the New Saint Basil Hymnal, and the Saint Gregory Choirbook. Drawn exclusively from the authentic Catholic treasury, the Saint Jean de Brebeuf Hymnal stands alone among church hymn books by neither mimicking nor building upon popular Protestant versions. So unlike other Catholic hymnals which simply strive to avoid heresy and eliminate undignified melodies, the Saint Jean de Brebeuf Hymnal is Catholic to the core, containing countless traditional hymns steeped in deep theology. This elegant hardcover pew edition contains more Catholic metrical hymns than any other collection. The melodies are beautiful and dignified; its hymns are timeless and eminently choral for the congregation. 

The dazzling array of melodies—some of which are unusually rare—have been carefully sorted according to meter. The Pew edition offers exceptional translations of the authentic Catholic hymns, painstakingly wedded to simple-yet-sublime melodies. A member of the Catholic Organist Group wrote: “I have never encountered such a prolific and astoundingly interesting hymnal; I just read it for an hour and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m hanging on every word. It’s just as much a lesson in theology, Christian tradition, the history of sacred hymnody, and inspiring Christian bio-epic of the North American martyrs as it is a hymnal.” A Sensus Fidelium interview with Mr. Ostrowski relates more about his inspiration in editing the hymnal.

Corpus Christi Watershed’s site includes a resources section with rehearsal videos to help volunteer choirs learn to sing in parts: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass. Too many Catholic choirs refrain from singing hymns in parts! These clips make it easy to learn. Priests who don’t read music can sample the YouTube files and see for themselves how the Saint Jean de Brebeuf Hymnal melodies are well within reach of their congregations—especially because these YouTube videos were not produced by professional singers.

It is worth pointing out that while the cover describes the hymnal as useful for "both forms" of the Roman rite, there is in fact nothing in it that is specific to the Novus Ordo; all of the content is much older and suits the traditional liturgy perfectly, since that was the origin of the texts (often by way of the divine office) and melodies. Now that Francis has put aside the legal fiction of "two forms," we can all get back to the real work of restoring the one and only Roman Rite there is, namely, the traditional one. This hymnal does not contain Gregorian chant, and therefore has to be supplemented by other books like The Parish Book of Chant; but on the side of hymnody it has no parallel and not even any close competitor.

[ADDENDUM 6/13/22: I should note that this hymnal, as wide-ranging and groundbreaking as it is, does not contain some of the more familiar melodies and texts that Catholics have grown accustomed to, and for this purpose I recommend consulting another recent publication, A Catholic Book of Hymns, part of the Sacred Music Library, Augusta, Kentucky. Read more here.]

Pope Mocks Roman Liturgical Art and Humiliates Sicilian Priests

 Sicily is almost a nation in itself, and Sacred Art and liturgical beauty have always flourished in that island, in times of Christian freedom. Much of the liturgical beauty of vestments has been preserved in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy since the invention of the 1969 New Mass, and it is still used.

The Cruel Pope: The End

 Damian Thompson has a very interesting piece on Unheard on the cruelty of the Francis pontificate, a cruelty that is a reflection of the man himself. Even many of his liberal supporters are hoping for a new pope, as liberal as him but that is at least a kind man.

This horror was foreseen by a few on the day of his election, and is summarized by Thompson thus:

The Council and the Eclipse of God by Don Pietro Leone: CHAPTER VIII – part 3 : THE DEIFICATION OF MAN


The Deification of Man

The Deification of Aeneas - The French School

“Many ‘on the one hands’ and ‘on the other’ around a Francis resignation” — Michael Charlier on the end of a pontificate

In Catholic media, but also to some extent in the secular press, there was a lot of speculation at Pentecost about a possible resignation of Pope Francis before the end of this August. The trigger—in addition to pictures of Francis in a wheelchair—was the announcement of a trip to L’Aquila immediately after the consistory planned for Aug. 27, at which Francis plans to explain his curia reform to the cardinals. L’Aquila is the site of the tomb of Coelestine V, the only pope to resign under semi-regular circumstances before Benedict XVI. And Benedict, who had taken office asking for the strength not to flee from wolves, had also traveled to L’Aquila, admittedly four years before his resignation.

We do not want to take part in the speculations that broke out thereupon; for a list of counter-arguments we refer to an article of the sometimes very sharp and sometimes rather esoteric Mundabor’s Blog. Instead, here are some general reflections on the position and weight of the papal office after almost ten years of Francis, the “dictator pope” as historian Henry Sire described him in his sensational 2017 book.

Francis has influenced the status of his office in two opposing directions.

On the one hand, his overall actions—in his openly displayed contempt for all traditions, in the texts he has written or commissioned, in his personnel policies, in the manner of his public appearances, and in often despotic and inhumane actions behind the scenes—have painted a picture of the papacy that many would not have believed possible today: even in the 21st century a pope can appear as an unrestrained ruler whose will is law and whose subjects, like the courtiers of an absolutist ruler, must follow the arbitrariness of the potentate or go off to the desert.

On the other hand, through precisely this style of government, he has spectacularly weakened the papacy in general as well as his own legacy. Pope Francis today, outside the Church, is not much more and not much else than one of countless players in world politics and global value management. One listens to him and applauds him whenever he is pleasing to the spirit of the times—everything else is ignored or, where that seems useful, also attacked in the media. In the Church, he is surrounded by people, congregations, and communities who eagerly await the end of his government—admittedly for different and partly contradictory reasons. He can really rely only on a group of opportunists, however strong in Rome, who have risen to high positions despite hair-raising moral, theological, or human shortcomings and can hold them only as long as they enjoy the goodwill of their promoter and accomplice. And as long as the latter is alive and in office.

It is this faction that is probably working hardest toward a future Francis II, but it is uncertain what support it enjoys in the college of papal electors. The majority of cardinal-electors are indeed appointed by Francis—but according to unclear and sometimes contradictory criteria. It is entirely uncertain whether a cardinal elevated by Francis because of his episcopal seat on the margins shares Francis’s aberrant theological and ecclesiastical ideas—or whether he does not locate his and the church’s interests in an entirely different direction. It is idle to speculate about this. There are a hundred individual cases here.

On the other hand, it can be considered certain that a large part of the personnel decisions already made by Francis or imminent will become invalid with the departure of the dictator pope from his office, which is also expected soon (resignation or not), partly because some top offices automatically expire with the death of a pope and can be filled anew by the successor according to his own wishes, partly because there is nothing—at least from a legal point of view—that could prevent a successor from proceeding as arbitrarily in the allocation of offices as Francis has practiced. On the contrary, Francis’s arbitrariness has cleared away all the barriers that previously practically limited the theoretical freedom of popes in their exercise of government.

In what direction a successor to Francis would exercise this new freedom is again a matter of speculation. Only one thing is certain: even without a change from or violation of Francis’s new laws and regulations, the election of a new pope will reshuffle all the cards. No dignitary appointed today by Francis for a maximum renewable term of five years knows whether he will not lose this office again after the next sede vacante—or whether the successor will tacitly disregard the term limit imposed by Francis and leave him in office permanently. No dicastery, whose officials, hand-picked by Francis, may hope to soon have a woman “cardinal prefect” at its head, can be sure that this wish will be fulfilled in the lifetime of its younger members. Nowhere does it say that women must be appointed—and even if it were, it would not bind the successor.

The inconsistency and, in many cases, explicit (un)bindingness of Francis’ legislation at the pontiff’s discretion, as well as the complete lack of anchoring in tradition in many cases, make it easy for any successor who wishes to do so to disregard what has been established. No modern pope has had such latitude. But even that is only true in the narrower sphere, that is, for the Roman Curia and the circle of sycophants and water carriers, which is scattered around the world but not very reliable.

One of the positive consequences of this pontificate is this: the ultramontanism and hyperpapalism that have plagued the Church since the mid-19th century have been disavowed in a way that can hardly be reversed. Never before have local churches and communities been so spiritually independent as at the end of this pontificate. On the one hand, this entails risks of disintegration and schism, as can be seen in the Synodal Way of the Germans. On the other hand, however, it also opens up to all those who want to hold on to the traditions of the Church and the revealed faith possibilities for action that previously seemed unthinkable. The enormous differences with which the bishops are reacting to the attempt to abolish tradition once and for all, a campaign started with Traditionis Custodes, indicate the kind of situation the Church will have to face in the future.

Michael Charlier
June 7, 2022

“Why Latin Is the Right Language for Roman Catholic Worship” — Full Text of Dr. Kwasniewski’s Cleveland Lecture

The following talk was given on June 4, 2022, in Independence, OH (a suburb of Cleveland) at the invitation of Una Voce Greater Cleveland. As the talk fell on the Vigil of Pentecost, it includes frequent reference to the great mystery celebrated by this feast. The video of the lecture, with Q&A, is included at the end of the post.

Why Latin Is the Right Language for Roman Catholic Worship

Peter A. Kwasniewski
Cleveland, Ohio
June 4, 2022

Book Review: Christian Fashion in the Teaching of the Church, by Virginia Coda Nunziante

Christian Fashion in the Teaching of the Church, by Virginia Coda Nunziante (Calx Mariae
Publishing, 2022) pp108.

This book is being launched in London, in the St Wilfrid Hall of the London Oratory, on Thursday 9th June, and I have been asked by the publishers, Calx Mariae Publications, to review it in advance of this event. Please click here for more details.

“The Pneumonia of the Church”: Archbishop Aguer on the Sickness and Its Remedy

Archbishop Emeritus Hector Aguer

The title of this note comes from an eloquent image used by the African Cardinal Robert Sarah, who was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments—and who was “mercifully” retired from the Roman Curia, as soon as was possible without causing too much of a scandal. His Eminence, author of books of rare theological depth and spiritual dimension, compared the current disastrous situation of the Catholic Church with that which Pius X had to face: modernism, which Pope Sarto described and condemned in the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis and the decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu. Compared to the current remains of the post-conciliar period, that was a mere cold. I dare to project this image: the Church today is suffering from severe pneumonia. I turn to an analysis of the symptoms.


At present—at least according to what is determined ex auctoritate superiori—there is neither kerygma nor didache in the Church. There remain, undoubtedly, survivors of better times, the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. But in the “official” line, those who are outside the Church are no longer called to conversion, nor are the faithful who need and wish to grow in the Faith. Fundamental themes of the Creed and Catholic catechesis have disappeared from ordinary preaching: God in his Unity and Trinity; Jesus Christ, true God and true man; Redemption; sin and grace; the Commandments (the sixth, especially, is a thing of the past); hope in eternal life; the devil and his wiles; the danger and threat of eternal damnation; and, in general, the content happily expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


We can expect and find these truths in the preaching of Protestant evangelical pastors, who are not ashamed to show that they are Christians and zealously propose the way of following the Lord. We must excuse them for a certain fundamentalism in the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, which they know inside-out, and, in some cases, for a charismatic exultation that is a bit overwhelming. But, thanks be to God, these Christian brothers and sisters do proclaim something of the message of the Kingdom (what a pity that they have neither the Eucharist nor the Virgin Mary!). They exercise their ministry through programs in the media, which the Catholic Church in many places totally lacks. I do not know if there are many Catholics who actually turn to Protestant evangelicalism; what is certain is that the dimensions of the Church are shrinking in many countries, particularly in Argentina.


What, instead, is the dominant interest of Catholic preaching today, according to official guidelines? The “new paradigms”: improving people’s lives in this world; the care of Mother Earth; social injustices; “climate change”; the deforestation of the Amazon. In broad terms, we can say: the criteria of a New World Order, financed by the international imperialism of money. The Holy See yields; in February 2019 it adhered to the document on Universal Fraternity, signed in Abu Dhabi. Freemasonry rejoices.


Another symptom of pneumonia: the devastation of the liturgy that has followed the postconciliar debacle. The sensible recommendations contained in the constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium were not heeded. The itinerary followed by the reforms imposed by the Holy See—especially the creation of a new Mass, which is not usually called the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but rather “Eucharistic celebration”—has failed to recognize that true reform is always a restoration. The eminent liturgist Klaus Gamber has shown how the rites of the Church developed organically, without ever breaking with Tradition. The recent pretension (it has been going on for half a century) implies a “creative pride,” with painful effects. If we wish to refer to the Roman Rite, we must recognize that it was substantially constituted at the end of the fourth century, by the work of Pope St. Damasus; it received additions by St. Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century, and was defined after the Council of Trent by the Bull Quo Primum of St. Pius V. This is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the latest version of which is from 1962, the Missal of John XXIII. True reform is the recovery of the original forms, as St. Pius X did with the Gregorian Chant.


Benedict XVI knew very well that the traditional Latin Mass had never been abolished, and he reinstated it as an “extraordinary form” of the Roman Rite, in order to respect, with authentic pastoral sense, the priests who celebrated it and the faithful who participated in it with undeniable spiritual fruits. It was a very wise decision, as could be expected from a great theologian who is at the same time a man of God. This work was demolished by a draconian, despotic measure, the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. This document was a lousy, arbitrary, and ideological ukase, alien to the organic development of the Church. Bishop Rob Mutsaerts has rightly written that “the Liturgy is not a plaything of the popes, but the heritage of the Church.”


The liturgical devastation is not acknowledged by the Holy See, which has embraced a flat, poorly-disguised progressivism. St. Vincent of Lérins, in his Commonitory, pointed out how doctrine, discipline, and in general all ecclesial realities develop homogeneously. This is how the truth can be expressed nove, with new, updated terms, but it cannot be replaced by nova, new things. In other words, the same dogma remains, with the same meaning, and the identity of the content of the Faith.


Relativism has almost officially imposed itself; we can no longer expect a clear definition of what to believe, and of the errors from which we must guard ourselves. We know this because, thanks be to God, we have the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a point of reference that frees us from the contradictions incurred by a “higher authority” on which the security of the faithful, especially the simplest, the poor, should be able to rest. Moreover, God, Christ, the Mystery of Redemption, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, seem to be trapped in the jaws of Kantian Practical Reason. Moralism takes the place of the dogma of Faith. There is much to be said about this aspect of the current problem, especially because it is a reductive morality that ignores the breadth of the Law of God.


Another symptom of the pneumonia is the change produced in the last nine years in the method of discernment. Two weights and two measures are used. All is granted for the partisans of progressivism, in its various variants (I say “partisans” because it is about a partial vision of the Christian reality), but not even justice is given to those who love the great Ecclesial Tradition and decide to abide by it in their personal life, and in the participation or in the leadership of the Christian community. The method of “discernment” evoked here is brutally expressed by General Juan Domingo Perón, three times president of Argentina: “For friends, everything; for enemies, not even justice.”


This is how we discover why there are “cancelled priests” (this phrase is already widely in circulation), eliminated from the list by the bishops who are clinging to the new Roman orientations. The episcopal conferences are the instrument to impose a uniformity according to which “fraternity” is, simply, a beautiful word to show off. Bishops who are consistent with all that the Apostolic Succession implies are ignored and abandoned to their fate. Episcopates are often instruments of ecclesial politicization. We can call “cancelled bishops” those who are liquidated before their time, without waiting for the guillotine of 75 years to arrive. It does not matter if the dioceses over which they preside are flourishing and they enjoy the love of the faithful; many times disloyalty, denunciations, internal conflicts, play a role in their downfall. And sincere objectivity is lacking for the correct judgment of such situations.


The habit of murmuring has often been attributed to women, but in reality it is a typically clerical vice. The bishops of Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) and San Luis (Argentina), among others, have been cancelled. Daniel Fernandez Torres, Bishop of Arecibo (Puerto Rico), was deposed because, with all dignity, he refused to resign as requested by the Apostolic Delegate. Three years ago I preached there the Spiritual Exercises to the clergy of the diocese; and I was able to verify, personally, what a well-conducted particular Church looks like. Will Bishop Dominique Rey, bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, who has just been ordered by Rome to suspend the ordinations of six deacons and four priests only three weeks before the scheduled date, be one of the next to be cancelled?


Faced with the panorama I have tried to describe, one can ask oneself what to do, what medicine to take, in order to cure this pneumonia. I answer: we have to cry out—not content ourselves with complaining to ecclesial officialdom, even if errors and injustices are noticed and suffered, but rather, cry out to God! In Sacred Scripture, especially in the prophetic books, we find numerous cases in which the people of Israel cried out to the Lord—their cry reached the ears of the Almighty and Merciful God, and He responded to those who prayed to Him with humility and trust in times of great distress. Many psalms contain such cries of the heart, especially individual and collective lamentations.


In the face of the persistent pneumonia affecting the Church, let us cry out to the heavenly Physician. Prayer becomes a cry whenever we fail to see any relief in the development of the disease; this cry must be sustained by an unwavering Faith. We believe that the divine answer can grant us a new stage of health and freshness, of gratitude and joy, to better fulfill the Lord’s command. In Isaiah 30:19, we read: “Yes, O people of Zion who dwell in Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will have mercy when he hears your cry; as soon as he hears you, he will answer you.”


A popular saying assures us that “no evil lasts a hundred years”; and in bad times it is not only necessary to bear with patience and serenity what the Lord allows for our good, but also to look to the future with hope. I am referring to theological virtue of hope, by which we “hang” on the Will of God, as we do when we pray the Our Father: Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.


+ Hector Aguer

Emeritus Archbishop of La Plata

Buenos Aires, Pentecost Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Fontgombault Sermon for Pentecost 2022: Let us all become Preachers of the Gospel

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, June 5, 2022

Audivimus eos loquentes nostris linguis magnalia Dei. We have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. (Acts 2:11)

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

My dearly beloved Sons,

St. Benedict completes the very short chapter 19 in his Rule, dedicated to how to sing the Psalms, by a wish: “May our mind be in harmony with our voice.”

After reminding us, together with the Psalmist, that the duty of the monks is to sing the Lord in the sight of the angels and with fear, his conclusion is:

Therefore, let us consider how it becomes us to behave in the sight of God and His angels, and let us so stand to sing, that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.

“Casuistry or prudence?”—Article by Archbishop Aguer

Argentina’s political and social problems are multiplying and causing concern and anguish; they would provide an argument for a long exposition. However, I prefer to deal with an ecclesiastical issue, which I consider must be clarified in no uncertain terms.

The Council and the Eclipse of God by Don Pietro Leone : CHAPTER VIII – part 2 – THE DIGNITY OF MAN


“The novel doctrines  that Our Lord joined Himself to every man in the Incarnation, and redeemed him by His Death and Resurrection, offer the logical justification for Ecumenism and for treating members of other religions in a similar, friendly way: Every-one is redeemed so there is no need to convert them to the Catholic Faith. Once again we see an implicit denial of two further dogmas: that there is no salvation outside the Church, and that the Church’s final end is the salvation of the whole of mankind.” (Don Pietro Leone)