Rorate Caeli

New Book by Dr Joseph Shaw: An Irrefutable Apologia for the Traditional Liturgy

In a time like ours, when ignorance, half-truths, and outright lies seem to dominate the airwaves, classrooms, halls of power, and even church pulpits, Catholics need access to the unvarnished truth of the Faith as it powerfully confronts the errors and misdirections of the modern age. But where are we to find such help?

Dr. Joseph Shaw, president of the International Federation Una Voce and Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales, has distinguished himself as one of the finest writers today on a host of difficult and controversial questions. Os Justi Press is pleased to announce the release of Dr. Shaw's latest book: The Liturgy, the Family, and the Crisis of Modernity.

The book divides into three parts, as suggested by the title.

The first part examines the place of the ancient Catholic liturgy in modernity, defending it, against the misunderstandings of modernists, as something supremely suited to engage our deepest instincts towards the worship of God. Chapter 1 tells what Shaw discovered about the Church along the path of discovering the ancient Roman rite; chapter 2 looks at the purpose of liturgy; chapter 3 gives an account of the history of liturgy, explaining how it is conceptually and practically possible for a heritage to be both received as a "changeless given" and also enhanced and developed over time; chapter 4 develops the role of Latin in fostering participation (yes, you read that correctly!); and chapters 5 and 6 delve into the ways in which rituality, contrary to a standard narrative, is a cause of freedom rather than of confinement.

"The clique of Saint Anselm conducts the war against ancient Mass": Luisella Scrosati

(Published at "Daily Compass" of La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana on February 27; source)

From secretary Viola to the undersecretaries García Macías and Marcjanowicz, including Ravelli and Midili who lead the pontifical celebrations: they all come from the same Sant'Anselmo University and all only act animated by ideological shortsightedness and blindness to reality. That's who is waging war on the ancient Mass.

Any person, even those less intellectually endowed, is capable of understanding that the crusade waged against the ancient rite, from Traditionis Custodes to the recent Rescriptum, is nothing more than a desire for revenge, a blind fury full of animosity. It is a matter of simple observation: the Catholic Church finds itself almost bloodless, with bishops hailing homosexuality, 'pampered' priests abusing nuns and being protected by the highest echelons, convents forcibly closed, churches and seminaries increasingly empty, Catholics fleeing the Church.

Fasting: Denial of the Flesh and Joy of the Spirit

“Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.”

The suffering of physical privation in our Lent fasting and other means of self-denial has the purpose of securing for ourselves the higher spiritual goods. The grace of inner gladness, that of the spirit which endures beyond the limits of the flesh, is one of these.

Pre-55 Holy Week Congregational Book — Revised and Expanded Edition Now Available

I’m pleased to announce the second revised and expanded edition of Roman-Seraphic Books’ Pre-1955 Hebdomada Sancta (Holy Week) congregational book, containing all the ceremonies and texts, in parallel Latin & English, with spiritual and historical commentary. The book also contains the pre-55 Vigil of Pentecost as well.

A Beautiful New Latin Edition of the “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis

The new edition

(by Fr. Paolo D’Angona, priest of the Diocese of Roermond; translated from German here)

Christophe Dickès: "Why take away from traditionalists what John Paul II and Benedict XVI had granted?"

(From Le Figaro, February 22, 2023) -- While Pope Francis drastically reduces the freedom of traditionalists, historian Christophe Dickès recalls the richness and fruitfulness of these minorities within the Catholic Church. Author of numerous works, Christophe Dickès has notably published "Saint Pierre" (Perrin, 2021), which received the François Millepierres prize of the French Academy 2022.

The Lenten season for traditional Catholics begins with sorrow. The one in charge of liturgical matters at the Vatican, Cardinal Roche, who has never hidden his opposition to the work of Benedict XVI, has just published a new text validated by Pope Francis on the practice of the ancient rite. Contrary to the very spirit that the Pope wished to give to his pontificate, it drastically reduces the freedom of the bishops and their autonomy in this matter.

But who are these traditionalist Catholics?

Traditional Catholics Received by French Bishops' Conference

 It seems even the French bishops (no particular friends of the Traditional Latin Mass for the most part) have decided to deal directly with the Traditionalist faithful -- considering that all that is coming from Rome in this pontificate is anti-dialogue and hateful irrationality.

From Renaissance Catholique (via Le Salon Beige):

In the name of some faithful active in communities celebrating according to the Vetus Ordo, Mr. PHILIPPE DARANTIERE and Ms. MARIE-AMELIE BROCARD were received by Bishop VINCENT JORDY, vice-president of the French Bishops' Conference, Bishop DOMINIQUE LEBRUN, member of the Permanent Council, as well as by Ms. BERNADETTE MELOIS, director of the National Service for Liturgical and Sacramental Pastoral Care at the CEF [French Episcopal Conference] headquarters on Tuesday, February 21, 2003. They were able to express their suffering and their incomprehension regarding the decisions of the Holy Father while recognizing the attention brought by the bishops to the various situations.

‘THE COUNCIL AND THE ECLIPSE OF GOD’ by Don Pietro Leone - CHAPTER 12: The Conclusion of The Book & Epilogue


It was a privilege and a pleasure to have posted in installments this exceptional book over the last two years, for which Rorate Caeli had exclusive right, prior to its official publication in a corrected and expanded version which Don Pietro hopes to publish soon. He wishes all readers a Holy Lententide in preparation for a Holy Celebration of the Resurrection of Our Thrice Blessed Lord, and imparts to them all his priestly blessing.                                                         




Chapter 12



We here offer:


A.   The Conclusions to the Individual Chapters

B.   The Conclusion to the Book as a Whole


“Mediocre Roche came in for an Apostolic Constitution, and came out with a Rescriptum — a great defeat. Francis doesn’t want to mess with the Traditional Mass anymore.”

Caminante Wanderer
Argentina, Feb. 21, 2023

Today a brief rescriptum ex audiencia Sanctissimi became known. This type of document is a decision of the Roman Pontiff communicated orally to some ecclesiastic of the Roman Curia received in audience, who then leaves a written record of that oral resolution (the so-called oraculum vivae vocis), so that it is considered valid for evidentiary purposes and is also effective before third parties. In short, it is the document of least hierarchy within the complex arsenal at the disposal of the Roman Pontiff, and which can be modified tomorrow by himself or by whoever succeeds him. 

“War on the ancient Mass reveals the bluff of synodality” — Article by Stefano Chiappalone

While there is chit-chat and jibber-jabber everywhere about synodality, leaving everyone to choose the path they prefer, whether alla francese (“the French way”) or alla tedesca (“the German way”) or in salsa amazzonica (“in Amazonian sauce”), the Holy See on one point does not compromise: that Mass is not to be done.

"A Formal Canonical Analysis of the Rescriptum" - Circular Logic and the Grandfathering of Existing Parish Masses

by Father Pierre Laliberté, JCL

Upon reading the rescriptum ex audientia of +Arthur Cardinal Roche dated 21 February 2023, several brief reflections come to mind:


1) Despite the Curial reforms issued in Praedicate Evangelium, the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments still does not possess legislative authority. To "exercise the authority of the Holy See" in these matters, as described in Traditionis Custodes art. 7, is unclear. Therefore, the very notion that this rescript is a legal text is highly questionable, as it only rests on the authority of the prefect of this dicastery who signed it. Some have even remarked that such tactics are tantamount to "canonical gaslighting", as this is merely a weaponization of hierarchical authority against a perennially-valid, never abrogated liturgical rite which expresses the perennial faith of the Roman Catholic Church.


2) Those parish churches already offering the Traditional Latin Mass should be guided by the perennial principle of the law: "pacta servanda sunt", that agreements are to be kept. As a matter of justice, they should be understood as being "grandfathered" in. The power of the bishop to dispense is ordinary executive power. Those matters that the Holy See reserves to itself must be interpreted strictly, while the diocesan bishop's power to dispense is to be interpreted broadly.

The Rescript: Press Release from the LMS and FIUV

On Tuesday 21st February the Holy See Press Office published a Rescript confirming, for the Dicastery for Divine Worship, certain legal points in relation to the interpretation of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes.

The key point is that from now on permission for the use of a parish church for celebrations of the 1962 Missal may only be granted by the Dicastery. The Rescript makes reference to Canon 87.1 which states that bishops may lift the obligations of universal law for the good of souls in their diocese: this no longer applies, as the matter is ‘reserved to the Holy See’.

The effect of this ruling will depend on the degree to which current provision for the celebration of the 1962 Missal depends on the use of parish churches in a particular locality; the willingness of bishops to seek permission from the Dicastery for celebrations in such churches to continue; and the response of the Dicastery to these requests.

If bishops all over the world seek permission for all the celebrations of the 1962 Mass taking place in parish churches in their dioceses, the Dicastery will be faced with many hundreds of cases to consider, raising the question of the practicability of them discharging their role.

The Latin Mass Society and the FIUV would like to express its dismay that authority over a matter of such pastoral sensitivity has been centralised in this way.

Serious pastoral harm will follow if permission is not granted where alternative places of worship are not readily available for the use of communities attached to the older form of the Mass.

Instead of integrating them into parish life, the restriction on the use of parish churches will marginalise and push to the peripheries faithful Catholics who wish only to worship, in communion with their bishops, with a form of the liturgy permitted by the Church. This desire was described as a ‘rightful aspiration’ by Pope John Paul II, and this liturgy was described as representing ‘riches’ by Pope Benedict XVI.

We call upon all Catholics of good will to offer prayer and penances this Lent for the resolution of this issue and the liberty of the ancient Latin Mass.

Fontgombault Ash Wednesday Sermon: "We still have a path of conversion to tread, strengthened by the reception of sacraments."

Ash Wednesday 

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, February 22, 2023

Miserere mei, Deus. 
Have mercy on me, O God. 
(Ps 56:2) 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
My dearly beloved Sons, 

Mankind’s moral decadence, and as a consequence the weakening, and even the disappearance, of the respect due to each human life, scandals endlessly shaking the most respectable institutions, all kinds of diseases and viruses, all of these make a major contribution to a diffuse feeling of deep desperation and disquiet. Is human condition today enviable? Can man be loved? Can he love himself? Would his only outlet be to join those whose sole religion is the protection of nature, and the absolute preservation of animals until their natural death? Indeed, can man still be loved? 

No more loopholes from TC: Are Bismarck's worst fears confirmed?

A commentary by Clemens Victor Oldendorf

(published in German here)

When in 2013 Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022) announced his intention to resign from office, it was "Rosenmontag," and many at first thought the news report was a tasteless or mistaken carnival joke. Ten years later, it is again a Rose Monday to which is dated a document that appeared yesterday, Shrove Tuesday, in the Bolletino Vaticano. One might have thought it a bad joke but it is obviously serious.

Missae pro Missa: Join the worldwide spiritual bouquet for preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass!

Missae pro Missa
Join the worldwide spiritual bouquet for preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass!

  1. Request Masses to be said for the preservation of the Latin Mass (or if you're a priest, celebrate Masses for this intention).
  1. Offer your own hearings of Mass for this intention.
  1. Pray rosaries for this intention.

Missae pro Missa ("Masses for the Mass") is a worldwide effort to preserve the Traditional Latin Mass by means of the most powerful prayer on Earth: the Catholic Mass. Launched for Lent 2023, we hope to have at least one million Masses offered or heard for this intention by Pentecost Sunday.

How does it work? It's simple. If you want to see the Traditional Latin Mass preserved in the life of the Church, join our worldwide spiritual bouquet. You can participate in three ways:

TRANSLATION - Rescriptum ex Audientia - From Yesterday’s Audience of Francis with Card. Roche regarding details of implementation of Traditionis Custodes


The Holy Father, at the Audience granted on Feb. 20 to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, confirmed the following about the implementation of his Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes of July 16, 2021.

These are dispensations reserved in a special way to the Apostolic See (cf. C.I.C. can. 87 §1):

- the use of a parish church or the erection of a personal parish for the celebration of the Eucharist using the Missale Romanum of 1962 (cf. Traditionis custodes art. 3 §2);

- the granting of license to presbyters ordained after the publication of Motu proprio Traditionis custodes to celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962 (cf. Traditionis custodes art. 4).

As stipulated in Article 7 of Motu proprio Traditionis custodes, the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments exercises the authority of the Holy See in the above-mentioned cases, supervising the observance of the provisions.

Should a diocesan bishop grant dispensations in the two cases mentioned above, he is obliged to inform the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which will evaluate the individual cases.

Moreover, the Holy Father, confirms - having already expressed his assent in the audience of November 18, 2021 - what was established in the Responsa ad dubia with the attached Explanatory Notes of December 4, 2021.

The Holy Father also ordered that this Rescript be published in L'Osservatore Romano and subsequently in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

From the Vatican, February 20, 2023

Arthur Card. Roche



[Our comment? The whole logic of Traditionis custodes is that the bishops are supposedly the “guardians of Tradition,” and, therefore, of all things related to the Sacred Liturgy. Except when they deviate from the current Vatican radical liberal ideology, in which case they have no rights. It’s a clown document, from a clown cardinal, in a clown pontificate. Nothing serious, it’s all a sick joke -- and one day it will come to an end. | Our struggle is for eternity, and for centuries and generations to come.]


[Original Italian text:]

Today, Francis received Cardinal Arthur Roche in audience


This morning, the Holy Father Francis received in audience:

- His Eminence Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

"Vatican II: Still Waiting to be Implemented?... -- A Comparison with the Reception of the Council of Trent" - by Côme de Prévigny

Vatican II: Fruits that will germinate, or spoiled fruits?

Côme de Prévigny
Rennaisance Catholique
Feb. 7, 2023

John XXIII wanted to "bring a little fresh air into the Church" and, sixty years ago, the most heated minds promised the Catholic world a real "springtime", an unhoped-for renewal that would undoubtedly give hope and youth back to the venerable institution. The crowds were to fill the sanctuaries while the workers were to find their way back to the baptisteries. Obviously, the decades have passed and the promises have not been kept. In the great naves, one can only breathe the odors of pigeon droppings and the mold of fungi favored by humidity. Churches have been deserted, seminaries have closed and dreams have been dashed. With the passage of time, the prophets of good omen have bent their foreheads terribly, and they mask their wrinkles to suggest every day that we wait another year to see a new dawn shine on Christendom. Until a few years ago, some well-informed observers ventured to tell us that it would take fifty years to expect to receive the fruits of the famous Council. Now we have to wait a hundred years. "It is true that it takes a century for a Council to take root. We still have forty years to make it take root", Pope Francis warned without being discouraged. What is the truth of this? Should we be patient or has the essential message of the aggiornamento been received?

The comparison with the Council of Trent

Historical Considerations on the Moscow Patriarchate - by Roberto de Mattei

Roberto de Mattei

February 16, 2023

The attraction in Italy and abroad of some political and religious circles to the Moscow Patriarchate is accompanied by a profound ignorance of its history. We aim to briefly fill this gap.

The fundamental starting point is the 17th Ecumenical Council of the Church, which took place in Florence in 1439 under Pope Eugene IV. The large assembly was attended by a large group of about 700 people from Constantinople, under the leadership of Emperor John VIII Palaeologus and Patriarch Joseph II with his clergy. Also with them was the Greek monk Isidore (1385-1463), metropolitan of Kyiv and all of Rus' (Russia). The metropolitan of Kyiv, who did not have the title of Patriarch, was appointed by Constantinople and on him depended the city of Moscow, which, until the 15th century, had no relevant part in Russian religious history.

The Council and the Eclipse of God by Don Pietro Leone – CHAPTER 11 (part 4) : The Effects of Council Teaching in terms of Chastisement


B.     The Effects of Council Teaching in terms of Chastisement


In this section we consider the effect of antirealist subjectivism in its theological form of self-deifying atheism. Clearly the most notable effect of this sacrilege consists in chastisement. We consequently here investigate:

Pray for the TLM this Lent

 Appeal for prayers and penances

for the Liberty of the Traditional Mass in Lent

From Una Voce International and others

Una Voce International and other organisations, groups and individuals concerned with the Traditional Latin Mass would like to appeal to all Catholics of good will to offer prayers and penances during the season of Lent, particularly for the intention: the liberty of the Traditional Mass.

We do not know how credible rumours of further documents from the Holy See on this subject may be, but the rumours themselves point to a situation of doubt, conflict, and apprehension, which is severely harmful to the mission of the Church. We appeal to our Lord, through His Blessed Mother, to restore to all Catholics the right and opportunity to worship according to the Church’s own venerable liturgical traditions, in perfect unity with the Holy Father and the bishops of the whole Church.

Una Voce International (Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, FIUV,)

This initiative has the support of The Remnant newspaper, Preserve the Latin Mass, the many member associations of Una Voce International, and others.

Other language versions: French

'The Council and The Eclipse’ of God by Don Pietro Leone: CHAPTER 11 - The Effects of Council Teaching (part 3) regarding: The Holy Mass, Man, Anti-Realist Subjectivism, The Council’s Subjectivism


‘[…]subjectivism has additionally been seen in the fantasy at play in the Council’s entire construct of a brave, new Catholic Church, Faith, and Religion.

6.    The Holy Mass

The "Lex Orandi" of the Feast St Cyril of Alexandria

According to Cardinal Roche, the Missal of Paul VI is “the richest Missal that the Church has ever produced” (source).

Interesting. We often find it is quite otherwise, simply by assisting at daily Mass.

Let's take a representative example, one of hundreds: the orations for today's feast in the Roman calendar, namely, St. Cyril of Alexandria, with a commemoration of St. Apollonia taken from the common of virgin martyrs. (On the modern calendar St. Cyril is a "memorial" on June 27, and St. Apollonia, age-old patron of dentists and toothache sufferers, has disappeared -- pulled out, in fact, like a rotten tooth.)

Francis intervenes in pro-Traditional Diocese in France

 Because the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon is too pro-Traditional, of course...

[EWTN] The Vatican is investigating the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon in France for its adherence to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and its support of the traditional Latin Mass. The investigation, which will begin on February 13 and be led by Archbishop Antoine Hérouard with the assistance of Bishop Joël Mercier, is part of the Vatican's efforts to ensure that the teachings of the Council are upheld across the Catholic Church. 

A communiqué from the Apostolic Nunciature of France, published by the Diocese on its website, states that the apostolic visitation is "by mandate of Pope Francis" and comes after "a certain number of difficulties encountered in the diocese."...

Bishop Rey is known for supporting the traditional Latin Mass and has used the 1962 Roman Missal to preside at ordinations. The Fraternity of St. Joseph the Custos, the Monastery of St. Benedict, and the Institute of the Good Shepherd are in his Diocese. 

SEPTUAGESIMA: In The Beginning


Septuagesimatide begins today. 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:

Resources: Servers' pronunciation guide for the TLM

The Latin Mass Society is pleased to present this set of short videos giving the texts with which those learning to serve the Traditional Mass need to familiarise themselves, setting the written text alongside an audio recording. This is presented in the context of the Latin Mass Society's sodality for Altar Servers, the Society of St Tarcisius.

The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel used are taken from the Votive Mass of Our Lady used 'per annum.' 

In these videos the texts are said as slowly and distinctively as possible, to assist servers and others unsure of the principles of Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation. In Mass these texts should be said in a more flowing way. 

The texts are taken from parts of the Mass where the server has to make responses; there are separate videos for different parts of the Mass. Links to all the videos can be found under the Resources tab here.

We would like to thank Fr John Saward, Priest in Charge of SS Gregory & Augustine's for his assistance with these. The responses were made by Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society.