Rorate Caeli

First Novel by Fr. Armand de Malleray


Vermeer’s Angel (Arouca Press)

He survived Hiroshima. 

He escaped East-Germany. 

Will he elude the Church? 

Mexican Bishops Conference Submits 'Indigenous Liturgical Adaptations' for Approval; Holy See 'Favorable'

The Mexican bishops' conference has submitted, for Vatican approval, "a series of Indigenous liturgical adaptations for the celebration of Holy Mass for the 'original peoples' of the country." The Vatican has reportedly received the adaptations 'favorably.' They include a layperson who will incense the altar in place of the priest; a "senior layperson" who will "lead community prayer," and ritual dancing. 

Beautiful 16th-century Gothic church, used only for the TLM, in need of restoration: Can you help?

The following text was translated and adapted from a post at the Fondation du Patrimoine website.

Overlooking the Thouet valley, this tufa stone vessel was built in the early 16th century to house the remains of the de la Trémoille family - to whose château it is attached - as well as a choir of canons. A sumptuous example of Renaissance Gothic, the collegiate church is a privileged architectural witness to the history of the viscount family and the great periods of history it has lived through.

Archbp. Hector Aguer: The position of Francis and Fernandez is "absolutely contrary to the historical depth of the ecclesial care of the Faith"

Former heads of the DDF / CDF / Inquisition

Argentines in Rome

+ Hector Aguer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata
July 28, 2023

What a paradox! A country like Argentina, without currency, with an inclusive language imposed by the grammatical ignorance of politicians, and with unarmed forces -- that is, almost a non-country, according to the characterization of country offered by General De Gaulle -- has colonized papal Rome. The Supreme Pontiff is Argentine, and now so will be the Prefect of the most important Dicastery, that of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The letter from the Successor of Peter to his chosen one implicitly intends to redo the history of the former Holy Office. Fernández, the addressee, stated in declarations that "that name, or that of the Inquisition -- as it was also called -- is a bit scary, because it was a place of persecution of heretics; Pope Francis says that at times immoral methods were used, as a sort of intelligence and control and even at some point torture."

The first thing that comes to mind is that this very distant allusion forgets centuries of ecclesial history, and it halts before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- later Benedict XVI -- during two decades of John Paul II's pontificate. Ratzinger is the author of monumental theological work, in the process of being published in full, and not a few books on spirituality. This work combines theological knowledge, philosophical penetration, asceticism and mysticism and a very broad culture. This reference to Ratzinger's personal work is appropriate, since it contains the genuine criteria for his performance as Prefect. The office includes the examination of the ideas disseminated, and the need to weigh what is disseminated in the Church in the light of her authoritative Tradition.

Archbishop Fernandez -- who until now was Archbishop of La Plata -- continues to transmit what Francis told him, which "is very clear. You have to take care of the teaching of the Church but not by controlling or persecuting, but by making it grow, deepening the reflections, trying to go to the depth of the subject. That makes us all grow. If there is a problem or someone is accused of having said something out of place, we talk about it and we talk about it."

The new Prefect also points out that the Pope's insistence that he accept the position "shows his enormous delicacy and the respect he has for people's consciences." According to these references, they ponder the "very great novelty," which would also be reflected in the next synod, in which "a multitude of themes will emerge because it is planned with an openness never seen before; it is a unique space where the Pope sits, not to lower the line, but to listen to the diversity of opinions and to try to reach some consensus." He continued: "There is a mission, and it is that I have to make sure that the things that are said are coherent with what Francis has taught us. He gave us a look, a broader understanding, and we cannot respond today the same way we responded 40 years ago."

I translate: there is absolute freedom for all the inventions and machinations; you just have to beware of the "backwardists" who stubbornly follow the ecclesial Tradition. To those with good understanding, this explains the meaning of the current pontifical ideology, according to which the papal monarchy persecutes and liquidates those who do not keep up with the doctrinal relativism professed by the Latin American (Argentinian, we should say) officialdom.

The position that I have outlined -- based on actual statements, which have been collected by the newspapers -- is absolutely contrary to the historical depth of the ecclesial care of the Faith, since the time of the Apostles. Even in times when the pontifical power was exercised by cretins, womanizers, worldly men, or victims of imperial meddling, it always took care that the Truth that Christ has entrusted to the Church not be sullied.

Let us review the apostolic teaching recorded in the New Testament. I limit myself to a single quotation: "I adjure you before God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in the name of his Manifestation and his Kingdom: proclaim the Word of God, insist with occasion or without occasion, argue, reprove, exhort, with untiring patience and with eagerness to teach. For the time will come when men will no longer endure sound doctrine; on the contrary, carried away by their inclinations, they will seek out a multitude of teachers to flatter their ears, and will turn away from the truth to listen to fanciful things [the Greek text says myths]. You, on the other hand, watch carefully....." Thus wrote the Apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy (2 Tim 4:1-5).

The Fathers of the Church also fought against errors; in the first six centuries the catalogs of heresies multiplied, reproving them. Let us recall, for example, the Adversus haereses by St. Irenaeus of Lyons, the De haeresibus by St. Augustine, and other works of the same name by various authors. The Councils included in their decisions the condemnation of people who spread errors. It is a constant attitude. The duty is not only to deepen, enlighten, and spread the Truth; the Truth must be vindicated when it is undermined. This has always been done. And doing it requires vigilance. In the quotation from 2 Tm 4, 5 it is said, in Greek: sy de nēphe en pasin; it is a laborious and all-embracing occupation.

As an aside, I refer to a non-Catholic case. The philosopher of existence Soeren Kierkegaard, a Lutheran in continuous search of authentic Christianity, in his Diary, which occupies 19 volumes of his work, takes up this vigilance against the modern world and its errors, which imply the abolition of Christianity.

Argentines in Rome. In a recent commentary on the situation of our country, Francis has said that "we Argentines are the problem." Yes, but today we have colonized papal Rome! One last piece of news: the Supreme Pontiff has summoned a young Argentine priest to help him as his personal secretary.

“Complexities and paradoxes in the history of the Church”: Vatican II, John XXIII, Ottaviani, and the Tucho Fernández challenge- by Roberto de Mattei

July 26, 2023
Cardinal Ottaviani

The appointment of Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández as prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has a symbolic weight of great import. In a certain sense, it represents the culmination of the pontificate of Pope Francis, who has meant to send a clear sign to those he referred to, at his meeting on 24 November 2022 with the members of the International Theological Commission, as the “backward-looking” of the Church.

Traditional Mass Banned in Ars


“The Church’s reform disaster: No one wants to see the causes of the abuse scandal. Yet they can be clearly identified”: Martin Mosebach

This article by Martin Mosebach was published on February 10, 2022 in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. As far as I am aware, it was not translated into English at the time—but its message is more relevant than ever, with the elevation, as prefect of Doctrine of the Faith, of a bishop widely regarded as guilty of mishandling abuse cases.—PAK

The Church’s reform disaster: No one wants to see the causes of the abuse scandal. Yet they can be clearly identified

Martin Mosebach
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
February 10, 2022

No stone was left unturned: the Second Vatican Council also redefined the priests’ understanding of their ministry.

Francis Has Systematically Dismantled John Paul II's Legacy


If there was ever a pope whose legacy within the Church seemed irreversible, it was Pope St. John Paul II. At his funeral Mass on April 8, 2005, which set records for crowd size and number of heads of state in attendance, the crowds shouted, "Santo Subito!" ("Make him a Saint Immediately!") After his death, a number of clergy and laymen proclaimed him "John Paul the Great." He was duly beatified only six years after his death. 

The Last Italian Bishop Present at Vatican II Dies

Articles by Borgo Pio from La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, (18 July 2023 and 19 July 2023, originals in Italian)

The funeral of Bishop Emeritus Msgr. Luigi Bettazzi, who died last Sunday at age 99, will be held today in Ivrea Cathedral, celebrated by his current successor Msgr. Edoardo Cerrato. Born in 1923, Msgr. Bettazzi was the only Italian bishop still alive to have participated in the Second Vatican Council (he was consecrated bishop in 1963, as auxiliary of Bologna, later becoming ordinary of Ivrea in 1966).

Latin and Liturgical Participation


By James Baresel

When told his movie The Producers was vulgar, Mel Brooks quipped “It rises beneath vulgarity.” That anecdote came to mind in reference to one of the most telling attempts to defend the restrictions placed on the Tridentine Mass over the past two years—an attempt which rose beneath ignorance to reveal that the foundation of the anti-Tridentine position is incompatible with Catholic dogma.

The Dam Burst!


Interview with Peter Seewald originally in (July 20, 2023, original in German)

"The latest developments (in the Vatican), however, point to a real breach of the dam" - "This flood could destroy what has still withstood" - interview with Pope biographer Peter Seewald about break of Francis with Benedict XVI.

Francis Unveiled: An Analysis of His Latest Appointments


Article by Sandro Magister, taken from L'Espresso (July 18, 2023)

The death of his predecessor Benedict XVI, at the end of 2022, was for Pope Francis like the passing of the “katéchon,” of the restraint that held him back from fully revealing himself.

Three Upcoming DC-Area Traditional Catholic Events


In the next few weeks, we are blessed to have several events in the Washington, D.C. area of interest to traditional Catholics.

Pope Francis's Latin Mass Restrictions Confirm the Link Between Liturgy and Orthodoxy


Today is the second anniversary of Traditionis Custodes. Having fallen in love with the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass a year or so before, I remember the feeling of shock and confusion at the unveiling of the cruel, angry document that seemed targeted at destroying the celebration of the ancient liturgy for all time. At a time of such confusion and crisis, both in the Church and the world, to target the relatively small number of Catholics who had found refuge in the timeless beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass seemed outrageously perverse. 

In Blessing CCP Bishop, Francis Surrenders to the Spirit of the World


Today, Pope Francis blessed the appointment of Joseph Shen Bin, who had been installed as Bishop of Shanghai by the Chinese Communist Party in April without the Vatican's consent. The unauthorized appointment violated the Vatican's agreement with the Chinese Communist Party, which calls for the Vatican to reach consensus with the CCP on bishop choices. Indeed, this the second unauthorized appointment in the past year. But the Vatican remains unfazed: it is "determined" to continue an "open dialogue" with the CCP. This approach, of course, contrasts with the  "steely determination" Francis has shown in trying to eliminate the Traditional Latin Mass.

In new interview, Fernandez says Bible teaching on homosexuality should not be taken too literally, otherwise women might have to wear veils

The following interview with Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández appeared today in Spanish at, under journalist Ale Villegas (source).

French traditional Dominican nuns being forced to embrace Novus Ordo; community suffering losses

The organization Paix Liturgique has been following the drama in France concerning this community of traditional Dominican nuns, who, it appears, are being forced to embrace the Novus Ordo and who, as a result of community instability, are faltering and suffering. Translation of Letter 946bis
(source) by Dr. John Pepino. - PAK

Evelyn Waugh and "The Bitter Trial" of the Council: What is Old Is New

In reading A Bitter Trial, the collection of letters by Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Second Vatican Council, what is striking is how similar our present day is to the tumultuous mid-1960s. In 2011, when the new edition of the new "Roman Missal" was released, it may have seemed as though the Church had recovered from the shocks of the Vatican II and the difficult decades that followed. But events of the last few years-- Traditionis Custodes, attempting to suppress the Traditional Latin Mass, and the Synod on Synodality, with its hints of sweeping changes to Catholic doctrine-- mean that our era is eerily similar to the days of 1962-1966. "The Church has survived many dark periods. It is our misfortunate to live in one of them," wrote Waugh just before his death. 

Michael Charlier: "Francis Secures His Legacy"

Michael Charlier
July 10, 2023

"Francis Secures His Legacy"

Or at least that's what he thinks. The increasingly hectic succession of decisions of the pope, who is in his 86th year and severely affected by illness, gives the impression that the big boss is using all the tricks and threats to shuffle and prepare the cards for the next round in the great church game so that nothing else can come out but his will. The Church, however, and the Vatican too, are not a poker game. The Lord is and remains Christ, who died for us on the Cross -- and he together with the Holy Spirit will end the tragedy when He sees the time has come.

Nico Spuntoni: "Bergoglio's 'revenge' on Ratzinger: what's behind the appointment of 'Tucho' Fernández"

Nico Spuntoni
Il Giornale
July 9, 2023
(source in Italian)

Although the Roman Curia was not essential for him, Monsignor Víctor Manuel Fernández will lead its most important dicastery. Less than twenty years ago the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was in the hands of Joseph Ratzinger, until six years ago in those of the trusted Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Now the former Holy Office will pass from the hands of moderate Jesuit Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer to those of the 60-year-old Argentine of the man whom they call in his homeland "beloved disciple" and "major interpreter" of Francis.

"We Don't Want to Convert Young People to Christ or the Catholic Church": Francis's New Cardinal Denies The Great Commission


"Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Known as "the Great Commission," spreading the Gospel and making converts is a basic duty of all Christians, as set forth by Our Lord in sacred scripture. At the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis reiterated this call in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

"The Church in the swamp of nihilism" by Dorothea Schmidt

"The Church in the quagmire of nihilism"
Dorothea Schmidt
July 7, 2023

Why are we actually still surprised by the many people who are leaving the Church today? For the Catholic Church itself has been hard at work on this outcome for years. First, it failed to do a good faith-formation. Theology little by little moved away from core teaching and deprived believers of a relationship with Christ. Now it is about to dissolve in a cocktail of ideological sentimentalism. By rejecting morality and ethics, it indulges in paganism and offers itself willingly to the State.

Happy 16th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum!

Sixteen years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI liberated the traditional Latin Mass and made clear that this treasure of the Church must be open to all, priests or laity, without any special permissions, and could never be restricted: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.  It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place." In other words, access to the traditional Mass and sacraments are a permanent, "juridicial right" of the faithful, never a privilege. 

"My friends, do not be gaslighted into thinking you are unloving and rigid because you hold to the Truth"

Independence Day Reflection (July 4, 2023) by Fr. Anthony Bus, C.R., Pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Revealing interview with Archbishop Fernández: "Francis wants to give a different meaning to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith"

Giuseppe Nardi
July 5, 2023

Msgr. Victor Manuel Fernández, the newly appointed Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church, flirts with the media while discrediting his new office and his predecessors in office. The Dicastery of the Faith had been the old Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy Office, in other words, the Inquisition, an institution that investigated all kinds of people -- including himself, the new Prefect of the Faith!

What does "irreversible" mean here? Michael Charlier on the latest moves at the Vatican

Michael Charlier
July 5, 2023
(source in German)

Since taking office, Pope Francis has repeatedly affirmed his desire to make the "reforms" he has decreed irreversible.

The appointment of the new prefect of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — by Roberto de Mattei

Roberto de Mattei

July 5, 2023

The appointment of Víctor Manuel Fernández, archbishop of La Plata, as head of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is one of the most disturbing acts of the pontificate of Pope Francis, not only for the choice of the questionable figure, but also for the unusual letter that accompanied his appointment. To Archbishop Fernández, known for his positions that often diverge from the Magisterium of the Church, especially in the field of morality, Francis wrote on 1 July 2023: «The Dicastery over which you will preside in other times came to use immoral methods. Those were times when, rather than promoting theological knowledge, possible doctrinal errors were pursued. What I expect from you is certainly something very different.».

A Rocky Beginning for Tucho Fernandez: Erotic Poetry, "Youth Ministry," and Covering Up for Predators

The appointment of Tucho Fernandez as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has met with  disapproval across the Catholic world-- even from unlikely sources.

"What an aggressive, paradoxical imitation of Christ!": Archbishop Hector Aguer

"Stupor" is the word that rises to my lips upon learning the contents of the 50 pages of the Instrumentum laboris, for the Synod that has been "democratically" programmed since 2021. La Prensa of Buenos Aires headlines the news as follows:

“Catholic” with a Capital C: the interesting history of the word "Catholic" to describe the Church.

 As we celebrated the great feast of Sts. Peter and Paul this past week, we can look at the interesting history of the word "Catholic" to describe the Church.

Father John Rickert


St. Ignatius of Antioch was a Father of the Church taught directly by St. John the Apostle, and he was martyred in the early 2nd century.  Here is what St. Ignatius of Antioch says in his letter to the church in Smyrna, 8:

Analysis of motives behind Francis appointing Victor Manuel Fernandez to the Doctrine of the Faith

Caminante - Wanderer
Buenos Aires 
July 3, 2023

A few weeks ago, when we learned of the appointment of Archbishop García Cuerva as the new Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I commented in this blog that Pope Francis had already let go of Bishop Tucho Fernández's hand.

Poetry inspired by the Synod on Synodality: "Our monotonous talk" asked for people to compose poetry inspired by the synodal process. The following, with apologies to and admiration for T.S. Eliot, was submitted by James Baresel, author of many excellent articles on the traditional Mass. -- PAK

Francis's Efforts to Remake the Church in His Image Are Doomed to Failure


The appointment of Tucho Fernandez as head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, in connection with the Synod on Synodality, augurs big changes in the Catholic Church. Soon-to-be Cardinal Fernandez, along with Cardinals McElroy and Cupich, hope to succeed in their project of undoing St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI's moral theology from the ground up, abolishing the notion of intrinsic evil and thereby opening the door for the Church to provide communion (and perhaps even blessings) indifferently to all. At the same time, Cardinal Roche works diligently to permanently abolish the Traditional Latin Mass, the great vehicle for transmitting Catholic faith throughout the ages. This comes in connection with high-profile new episcopal appointments in Toronto, Brussels, and Madrid-- modern bishops, men who subscribe to Francis's radical vision for the Church. The present moment is, in the ungainly phrase of one journalist, "an ecclesial earthquake." The changes, we are told, are irreversible and permanent. It will be Francis's Church, Francis's magisterium, from here on out.

Fabulous Tucho Fernandez named Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith: Like a Modern "Artist", "Piss Christ Pope" considers his job to shock

 Modern "Art": after a century of so much nonsense in the name of art, we are still bombarded daily by bad "creations" whose only justification is the need to "shock" the public.

Just last week, Francis himself shocked the Catholic world once again by honoring and greeting one of the causes célèbres of American art: Andres Serrano, the New York "artist" photographer whose 1987 work "Piss Christ" (a photograph of a Crucifix submerged in his own urine) led to an actual cut of federal funding of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Francis is the "Piss Christ pope": in order to shock and cause mayhem for this and future generations, irrespective of merit and good sense, he will humiliate the Lord repeatedly. His "art" is to shock.

And he did shock the Catholic world once again today by naming his confidante, ghost-writer, and Argentine theologian Victor Manuel "Tucho" Fernández new prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith. We published a samizdat version of fabulous Tucho's most famous work here in Rorate in 2017: Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing.