Rorate Caeli

Ten Points in Favor of Communion on the Tongue—and the Sordid History of Communion in the Hand

Rorate is pleased to publish this comprehensive study of a most urgent question that has everything to do with authentic (as opposed to glitzy or bureaucratic) Eucharistic revival. The author shows, among other key points, that the conditions established by Rome for the granting or retention of an indult for communion in the hand were never and are not now met in the USA, which means this practice's introduction was duplicitous and its continuation illicit.—PAK

Ten Points in Favor of Communion on the Tongue—and the Sordid History of Communion in the Hand

Scott Bien

May 3 - A Major Dedication: the Church of the Immaculata, in St. Marys, Kansas (First Post)

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) will host the consecration of the new Immaculata church on May 3, 2023, on the grounds of the historic St. Mary’s Academy & College. Seating over 1,500 people, this will be the largest Catholic church in Kansas and the largest of the Society in the world. 

Bishop Bernard Fellay, an auxiliary bishop of the SSPX, will be the celebrant. More information on the live ceremony of the consecration of this gorgeous Neo-Romanesque gem built in the middle of America, a declaration of belief in this age of unbelief, will be posted by Rorate soon, as well as many pictures of the church and celebration.

Anglican service at the Lateran: a grave episode - by Roberto de Mattei

I would like to comment on an episode that seems to me to be grave and significant. We learned of this from an official statement of the venerable Chapter of St John Lateran, released on 20 April 2023. The statement reads:

“The Lateran Chapter, in the person of His Excellency Guerino Di Tora, Chapter Vicar, expresses deep regret for what happened last Tuesday, 18 April, within the Basilica of St John in Rome. In fact, a group of about 50 priests, accompanied by their bishop, all belonging to the Anglican communion, celebrated at the main altar of the cathedral of Rome, contravening the canonical norms. Bishop Di Tora has also explained that the regrettable episode was caused by a lapse in communication.”


Bishop Di Tora is the Vicar of the Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, who is in turn Vicar General of Pope Francis for the Diocese of Rome. Bishop Di Tora has attributed the occurrence to a “lapse in communication”. 

A Catastrophic Pontificate, Undermining the Structural Elements of the Church - by Father Benoît de Jorna

 A Church Shaken to the Core

Fr. Benoît de Jorna, FSSPX
Superior of the District of France (SSPX)
Letter to Brother Priests, March 2023

The pontificate of Pope Francis has just passed the ten-year mark, which is already an honorable length of time. It is therefore possible to take a first look back, as we did last time on the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. To begin with, to clarify our position, we have no personal animosity towards Pope Francis. On the contrary, he has made several significant gestures toward the Society of St. Pius X, which are important to us.

Everyone recognizes that Pope Francis has a very personal, somewhat authoritarian mode of government, that he acts at will and often unpredictably. The number of Motu Proprios he has already promulgated is an unmistakable sign of this. In absolute terms, of course, one could argue about this way of doing things, but he is certainly not the first Pope to act in this way. In any case, it is not his method of leadership that we will discuss today.

The President of the Pontifical Academy for Life: "Personally I would not practice assisted suicide, but..."

It is pretty safe to say that, since its "reform" in late 2016, the Pontifical Academy for Life has become a withered husk of its former self, embroiled in controversy after controversy under its current president, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia - from damaging statements on abortion, to suggestions that the Church's teaching on contraception in Humanae vitae is "reformable", to some of its members (even the 'Catholic' ones!) being openly against Church teaching on life issues

Perhaps, then, it should not come as too much of a surprise that the Academy's president is in favour of the liberalisation of euthanasia laws. Archbishop Paglia, in a speech to the International Festival of Journalism in Perugia, Italy, said on April 19 that: 

[I]t cannot be excluded that in our society a legal mediation is feasible which allows assisted suicide in the conditions specified by the [Italian] Constitutional Court's Judgment 242/2019... The bill approved by the Chamber of Deputies (but not by the Senate) basically followed this line. Personally I would not practice assisted suicide, but I understand that legal mediation can constitute the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves. (Italian textvideo)

The Francis Way: Freemason Anglican “Bishop” Celebrates in Mother of Churches — while community in formation is banned from celebrating the Latin Mass in Parish

 In the same week in which a large group of Anglican “clerics”, led by a Freemason and divorced “bishop” celebrated what onlookers and those present thought was a Catholic (Novus Ordo) Mass in the most important Cathedral in the world — Saint John Lateran Basilica, the “Mother and Teacher of all Churches in the City and the World” — this news arrives.

The burgeoning community of the Oratory (in formation), in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, which celebrated both the Novus Ordo and the TLM, have had severe restrictions imposed on their Latin Masses:

Vindicating the Allegorical Interpretation of the Mass: Abbé Claude Barthe’s “Forest of Symbols” Finally in English

The name of Fr. Claude Barthe is well known to lovers of the Latin liturgical heritage. Ordained in 1979 by Marcel Lefebvre and incardinated in 2005 into the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon in France, he has taught for the seminary of the Institute of the Good Shepherd and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and has published numerous liturgical studies and essays on current affairs (you can read some of his work at Res Novae). He also serves as chaplain of the annual Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome. I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time this past October in Rome.

"My Lord and my God!" - This Faith Continues because the Risen Lord dies no more

From the Gospel for the Sunday in Albis: "My Lord and my God!"

“My Lord and my God!” We too renew that profession of faith of Thomas. I have chosen these words for my Easter greetings this year, because humanity today expects from Christians a renewed witness to the resurrection of Christ; it needs to encounter him and to know him as true God and true man. If we can recognize in this Apostle the doubts and uncertainties of so many Christians today, the fears and disappointments of many of our contemporaries, with him we can also rediscover with renewed conviction, faith in Christ dead and risen for us. This faith, handed down through the centuries by the successors of the Apostles, continues on because the Risen Lord dies no more. He lives in the Church and guides it firmly towards the fulfilment of his eternal design of salvation.

Announcing “Tradition & Sanity”

On April 13th, I launched my Substack “Tradition & Sanity,” with a post entitled “Why Here, and Why Now?

Here’s a brief excerpt that will show the direction and content I anticipate for it.

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese: Lazy, or Liar?

Religion News Service, the center-left media agency that now dominates secular newspaper coverage of religion, carries a column by Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, called Signs of the Times. It is almost always predictable viewpoints from the Jesuit who is so liberal that he was forced to resign as editor-in-chief of America Magazine thanks to Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. One column by Reese called for a ban on young Catholics attending the traditional Latin Mass.

Thomas Reese, SJ, in the center of his DC Jesuit community

In his latest column Reese decided to travel back to April 2007 and make up a story that traditional and conservative Catholics looked the other way when Pope Benedict XVI did something liberal, using Benedict's opinion that Limbo may not exist. According to Reese, had Francis done the same thing as Benedict (which was to agree with the Vatican's International Theological Commission's report dismissing Limbo) the right would have criticized him.

His first paragraph stated: "Many conservative Catholics are upset with Pope Francis, who they complain is changing church doctrine, but they hardly blinked when Pope Benedict got rid of Limbo, a Catholic doctrine that had been taught for centuries."

The problem with Reese's narrative is he is either very lazy, or he lied on this one.

In fact, one of the most widely published articles on the April 2007 issue concerning Benedict and Limbo, written by two Los Angeles Times reporters and syndicated in many other publications in print and online, quoted Reese himself, who praised Benedict as "not afraid to look at something that has been taught in the church for centuries and say it is not at the core of Catholic belief." Yet there was more to the same article.

Four paragraphs after Reese's quotes contained a section titled "Conservatives skeptical." It stated: 

Warning to Traditional Orders, Parishes, and Traditional-minded dioceses: don’t answer this e-mail

 There’s a bizarre e-mail being sent to Traditional communities and Tradition-friendly dioceses, coming from a supposed Italian doctoral student or professor in a semi-abandoned Pontifical Theological Institute in Italy, and asking all kinds of curious details about liturgical practices and a long list of similar questions, supposedly for “research” purposes. We have seen the e-mail messages.

Our sources believe this is a trap: some in Rome want to gather “evidence” of “disobedience” and manufacture disinformation to set the basis for even more illegitimate restrictions on the Traditional Liturgy.

So… this is a very important heads-up. Let anyone trustworthy in positions of authority in these institutions become aware of this and NOT answer this “research” trap. Thank you!

Traditional Silent Retreats for Men and Women at New Center in Indiana

I frequently hear people asking "Where can I go for a traditional Catholic retreat? Where there will be good, solid preaching, and most importantly, the TLM?"

Cardinals Roche and Cantalamessa: The Mass of Paul VI Corresponds to a New Theology

Cardinals Roche and Cantalamessa: 
The Mass of Paul VI Corresponds to a New Theology

Guest article by José Antonio Ureta

Cardinals Arthur Roche and Raniero Cantalamessa indirectly acknowledged (perhaps unintentionally) what critics of Paul VI’s Novus Ordo Missae have said for over fifty years: the new rite corresponds to a new theology that “represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent.”[1]

"It is not the traditionalists, but Roche who ignores the Council": Luisella Scrosati's latest column

The prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship, Cardinal Arthur Roche, just cannot seem to show that he has at least some familiarity with the role he has been wretchedly entrusted with. Or rather, to give the appearance of it he should systematically keep quiet. But, how does one do that? A Dicastery prefect sooner or later has to say something if someone asks him questions....

The fact is that it took less than thirty seconds (here from minute 10:37) of response to a report on the war on the ancient Mass to show the whole world that Roche has no idea where the liturgy belongs. And to make it blatant that it is he who is against the Second Vatican Council, not those who attend the Ancient Rite.

"The theology of the Church has changed. Whereas before the priest represented, at a distance, all the people who were channeled through this person who alone celebrated the Mass," now "it is not only the priest who celebrates the liturgy, but also those who are baptized with him, and this is a huge statement to make." This is the judgment of the former bishop of Leeds.

Good. Now let's ask the cardinal two sets of questions, the answers to which, for a prefect of Divine Worship, should be easy peasy. Let's start with the first set: was the encyclical Mediator Dei written before or after the Second Vatican Council? Are Sacrosanctum Concilium and Lumen Gentium Vatican II documents or earlier? Roche will surely have answered correctly: Mediator Dei predates Vatican II, having been written in 1947 by Pius XII, while Sacrosanctum Concilium is the liturgical constitution of the same Council and Lumen Gentium a dogmatic constitution.

So, according to the theological shift advocated by Roche, we should find significant differences between the three magisterial documents. In particular, we should expect Mediator Dei to affirm the exclusivity of the priest in the celebration of the Divine Mysteries, while Sacrosanctum Concilium and Lumen Gentium teach that faithful and priests offer the divine victim together, indistinctly.

Instead, unfortunately for Roche, Mediator Dei expresses it this way, "In this way private action and ascetic effort [...] dispose [the faithful] to participate with better dispositions in the august sacrifice of the altar, to receive the sacraments with greater fruit, to celebrate the sacred rites." The faithful were participating and celebrating the sacred rites even before the Council.

Even more explicitly, Mediator Dei teaches that "the faithful also offer the divine victim, under a different aspect" than ordained ministers. And, just to complicate Roche's position even more, Pius XII thinks to call to the rescue no less than Innocent III to teach that the faithful are not replaced by the priest who does everything: "Not only do priests offer, but also all the faithful: for what in particular is accomplished by the ministry of priests, is universally accomplished by the vow of the faithful."

A little further on, Pius XII links this action of offering proper to the faithful to their baptismal priesthood, a workhorse of the "conciliarists": "Nor is it any wonder that the faithful are elevated to such a dignity. By the washing of Baptism, in fact, Christians become, in a common capacity, members of the Mystical Body of Christ the Priest, and, by means of the 'character' which is imprinted on their souls, they are deputed to divine worship, participating, thus, suitably to their state, in the priesthood of Christ."

On the other hand, we find that it is precisely Sacrosanctum Concilium that teaches that this common action of the whole Church, head and members provides for a hierarchical distinction in liturgical action: "such actions belong to the whole body of the Church, they manifest it and imply it; but the individual members are concerned with it in different ways, according to the diversity of their states, offices and effective participation" (No. 26).

The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium shows that this distinction is not merely practical or honorable; in fact, "the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood" differ "essentially and not only in degree: the ministerial priesthood, by virtue of the sacred character that is imprinted with sacramental ordination, is especially associated with the priesthood of Christ-head and therefore "forms and governs the priestly people, performs the Eucharistic sacrifice in the role of Christ and offers it to God on behalf of the whole people." on the other hand, "the faithful, by virtue of their royal priesthood, concur in the offering of the Eucharist and exercise their priesthood" in their own proper way, namely "by receiving the sacraments, by prayer and thanksgiving, by the witness of a holy life, by self-denial and industrious charity" (no. 11).

One could go on and on with the texts, but it is more than enough to understand how the "theological change" attributed to Vatican II is actually a heterodox theological current that draws on the "spirit" of the Council and not its texts. Roche must evidently be possessed by this "spirit."

The second group of questions we address to Roche concerns some expressions in the missal. Is the formula "Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father Almighty" present in the old missal or in the new one? The expression "Remember all those gathered here, whose faith and devotion you know: for them we offer you and they too offer you this sacrifice of praise" belongs to which Missal?

To both questions the Cardinal will have no difficulty answering that both the Missal he pursues and the one approved by Paul VI and then John Paul II contain these words. The first is part of the Offertory rites and emphasizes that the sacrifice is both the priest's and the faithful's, but not indistinctly-as those who, of their own free will, evidently think they can simplify it with a nice "ours"; to the exhortation, the faithful respond (even in the new rite!), "May the Lord receive this sacrifice from your hands...." They basically "channel," as Roche puts it, their offering to the priest so that he may offer it to God.

The second is taken from the Roman Canon-Eucharistic Prayer I. It does not state at all that the priest is the only one to offer, but that the faithful themselves offer. A little later this very ancient Eucharistic prayer asks the Lord to accept "this offering which we your ministers and all your family present to you," a double offering reiterated after the consecration: "we your ministers and your holy people."

And so, just to conclude, Roche should know that the current Code of Canon Law -- also post-conciliar -- provides that the priest can celebrate Mass even in the absence of the people. Check it out. Indeed, canon 904 recommends daily celebration for priests, "which, even when the presence of the faithful cannot be had, is always an act of Christ and of the Church." However, canon 906 explains that the celebration without any faithful can take place only "for just and reasonable cause." But it can happen: the priest can celebrate alone, without this involving a distortion of sound liturgical theology. It will astonish the prefect that the new canon, the one after the Council, is even more permissive than the corresponding canon 813 of the 1917 Code, the one before the Council, which required instead a "grave reason" for celebrating "alone."

If the faithful who attend the ancient Mass are to be persecuted because they do not welcome the Council, then the prefect of Divine Worship must be kicked out. For the same reason.

Luisella Scrosati
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana
April 6, 2023

RESURRECTION: I the Lord have spoken, and done it, saith the Lord God

From the Traditional Easter Vigil.

A Reading from Ezekiel Prophet (Chapter 37):

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me forth in the spirit of the Lord: and set me down in the midst of a plain that was full of bones. And he led me about through them on every side: now they were very many upon the face of the plain, and they were exceeding dry. And he said to me: Son of man, dost thou think these bones shall live? And I answered: O Lord God, thou knowest. And he said to me: Prophesy concerning these bones; and say to them: Ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will send spirit into you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to grow over you, and will cover you with skin: and I will give you spirit and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord. And I prophesied as he had commanded me: and as I prophesied there was a noise, and behold a commotion: and the bones came together, each one to its joint. And I saw, and behold the sinews, and the flesh came up upon them: and the skin was stretched out over them, but there was no spirit in them. And he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, O son of man, and say to the spirit: Thus saith the Lord God: Come, spirit, from the four winds, and blow upon these slain, and let them live again. And I prophesied as he had commanded me: and the spirit came into them, and they lived: and they stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. And he said to me: Son of man: All these bones are the house of Israel: they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost, and we are cut off. Therefore prophesy, and say to them: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will open your graves, and will bring you out of your sepulchres, O my people: and will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have opened your sepulchres, and shall have brought you out of your graves, O my people: And shall have put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall make you rest upon your own land: and you shall know that I the Lord have spoken, and done it, saith the Lord God.”

PLEASE DONATE - PLEASE HELP the oldest continuing Traditional Catholic Community in South America through Friends of Campos (Holy Week and Easter Appeal)

Traditional Sister guiding a class of young students in a chapel of the Campos Apostolic Administration

In Corde Iesu

Keeping tradition alive in the country hills of rural Brazil in the region of Campos dos Goytacazes and its surrounding area is a blessing or a miracle. In fact, the Traditional Latin Mass has always persevered in the region and the Personal Apostolic Administration has brought the people to holiness of life!

It is with renewed faith in the Lord as we approach the time of our Paschal Feast that we reach out for support in our project. If you are considering a special offering during Holy Week and the Easter season, please include Campos in your generosity.

In this unique place in the world, your donation will help with maintenance for the priests and seminarians and for the sisters in their devout work with children and elderly disabled. Every dollar you donate goes very far in the Brazilian currency!

Friends of Campos wishes you and your family a holy and blessed Easter!

Click here to donate!

[Our website donations page (at accepts Stripe or Paypal; there's also information for sending bank transfers.]


Traditional Sisters provide elderly care -- the Sacraments in the Traditional Form are
all administered by the priests of the Campos Apostolic Administration

Revised (post-Rescript) edition of Fr. Rivoire's canonical critique of 'Traditionis Custodes' now available

Fr. Réginald Marie-Rivoire, F.S.V.F., an esteemed canon lawyer, wrote a masterful tract in 2022 entitled Does ‘Traditionis Custodes’ Pass the Juridical Rationality Test?. (Read about the original French version here.)

Papal Liturgies and the Missing Crucifix

Piece by piece, Benedict XVI's "reform" has been dismantled. At least for a long time the crucifix on the altar seemed to resist, but from today's images (Palm Sunday) it appears to be "disappeared." Effectively it was also absent at Ash Wednesday. The last sighting seems to date back to January 22 in the basilica.

(P.S. It is true that according to the rubrics it is enough to be there at the side... but you don't want to be rubricists, do you?)

"Among the truly absurd phenomena of recent decades I count the fact that the cross is placed on one side to leave the priest's gaze free. But does the cross, during the Eucharist, represent a disturbance? Is the priest more important than the Lord?" (Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to The Spirit of the Liturgy)

April 2, 2023

Rorate comment:

The Vatican website, which never seems to lose anything (if you search hard enough for it), contains an interview with former papal MC Guido Marini, from 2011, in which we find the following question and answer:

Q: The officiator’s being turned to the crucifix and turning his back on the congregation, the faithful’ s taking the communion on their tongue and on their knees, the moments of silence are all liturgical changes introduced by Benedict XVI which many people see as a return to the past, without understanding their historical or theological meaning. Could you please illustrate the meaning of these changes in a few words?

A: Actually, our office receives declarations from many people who receive the above changes with favour and see them in line with an authentic renewal of the liturgy. As for the meaning of some of these changes, the following remarks could be made. The priest’s being turned to the cross is meant to emphasize the correct direction of liturgical prayer, which is addressed to the Lord; when praying, the faithful are supposed not to look at each other, but all together, towards the Saviour. The faithful’ s taking the communion on their knees is meant to rediscover the aspect of Eucharistic adoration, both as an essential part of the celebration and as an attitude towards the mystery of the Lord’s real presence in the Eucharist. The moments of silence are intended to remind the faithful that during the liturgical celebration prayer can be expressed in many ways: through words, song, gestures, music... Among the ways of expressing prayer, however, there is also silence, which has the power to foster authentic religious participation in the celebration, hence to animate all other forms of prayer from within.

Even more comments like this may be found on the Vatican website here.

Let's recall how things looked at an outdoor Mass under Benedict XVI: