Rorate Caeli

"Prigozhin, Putin, and Western Christendom: The West is Currently Sick, but it is not Evil, and it can Recover" -- by Roberto de Mattei

Roberto de Mattei

August 30, 2023

The crash of the plane on which Wagner Brigade leader Yevgeni Prigozhin was traveling on August 23 caused no less uproar in the world's media than his attempted rebellion against Putin that occurred exactly two months earlier, on June 24, 2023. In both the first case and the second, the most cerebral hypotheses have been put forward to explain the event. There are those who attribute the bombing not to the Russians but to Ukrainians or the Americans; there are those who are convinced that there was a double on the plane and Prigozhin is still in Africa; and there are those who deny the bombing, claiming that it was all a set-up to allow Prigozhin to disappear and, at the same time, Putin to demonstrate his strength. The hypothesis that Prigozhin was made to be assassinated in revenge by Putin seems all too obvious and normal in a world where narratives are superimposed on reality, creating a climate of dark uncertainty in which nothing can be stated categorically and clearly. We are so accustomed to "abnormality" that a "normal" reading of events seems trivial to us, not least because these events present themselves to us in an often contradictory and confusing manner. 

“Wokeism and cancel culture: where are they taking us?” - by Roberto de Mattei

 Roberto de Mattei
August 2023

Since the time of the French Revolution, the destruction of historical memory has been part of the war unleashed against Christian civilisation. One need think only of the devastation of churches and monuments that took place between 1789 and 1795, along with the profanation of the basilica of Saint-Denis, when the tombs of the French sovereigns were opened and their mortal remains exhumed and scattered, with an evident symbolic meaning: every trace of the past had to be physically erased, in compliance with the Convention’s decree of 1 August 1793. Damnatio memoriae has characterised the history of the European left wing ever since — down to the “cancel culture” and “woke” ideology of our day.

Pope Francis and the "Clericalized Laity": a Confused Critique


Pope Francis has issued an attack on American Catholics, denouncing them as "backwards" and  "reactionary" in an interview released Monday. Francis has made similar comments against his perceived "conservative" critics on other occasions. This particular denunciation received much more press coverage not because it was nastier (Francis last summer accused traditionalists of having a "dead faith"), but because of his specification that the Catholics he is targeting are Americans.

Head of Ukrainian Catholics: "It is with great pain that we learned of Pope Francis' words" praising Russian despotism

Pope Francis spoke with the Catholic youth of Russia online on August 25, 2023, as part of the 10th All-Russian Meeting of Catholic Youth held in St. Petersburg.

 Statement of the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on the discussion around some of the statements of Pope Francis at a meeting with Catholic youth in Russia

It was with great pain and concern that we learned of the words attributed to His Holiness Pope Francis at an online meeting with Russian Catholic youth on August 25, 2023 in St. Petersburg.

Francis' understanding of history: Russian killers of Catholics - good; American defenders of Catholicism - bad.


Yes, the Cold War still plays inside the tiny little head of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. And, as in his youth, the KGB Regime and Imperial Russia play the good part, while Evil America plays the bad part.

Two examples - first, a statement that has been causing huge scandal among the Catholic faithful in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries where Russian persecution led to thousands upon thousands of martyrs. From the Wall Street Journal:

Contemporary Catholic Art: The Remarkable New Paintings by Clemens Fuchs for the Remodeling of the Chapel of the True Cross (Heiligenkreuz, Austria) - Video

From the website of the Holy Cross Abbey, Austria:

TRENT, Italy, June, 1979, Address by Abp. Lefebvre: “The Second Vatican Council: what would the Fathers of the Council of Trent have to say about it?” An exclusive translation.


Introductory remarks from the translator

This is an excerpt from a long article in “La Tradizione Cattolica”( Year XXXIV – n°2 (124) – 2023).  It is the transcript of an address the Archbishop gave in Trent on June 17th  1979.  It was difficult to translate because as the Archbishop himself says in his introductory remarks: ‘First of all, please excuse my Italian, as I do not have complete command of the language,  but I think it will be easier to speak [ directly] to you myself – even if I make mistakes -  rather than have someone translate  for me.’

I believe this is one of the reasons that this particular speech has not been translated into English [ it may be in a book in English – but I couldn’t find a trace of it online]– as the Archbishop is not speaking from a prepared speech – but speaks from the heart - ‘off the cuff.’  So the Italian is repetitive, colloquial and delightfully to the point, without a trace of malice.  The Archbishop speaks with the piercing sincerity of a man of God who loves Holy Mother Church – and is not afraid to call ‘a spade a spade’ when he speaks of how the Church [i.e. the administration of the visible institution] has been taken over by men who are devoid of the Catholic Faith.  (‘They are really not good Catholics.  They are really not true Churchmen’).  He even names the men bent on the demolition of the Church (as a visible institution).  And this is in 1979 – who  knows what he’d say now. 


Gregorian Chant: The One True Liturgical Chant of the West

 Fr. Hubert Bizard, FSSP
Aug. 20, 2023

There are many ways to sing at Mass, but only one way to sing Mass: Gregorian chant.

To talk about the traditional liturgy, or even to just think about it, almost automatically brings us back to Gregorian chant, which is one with it.

The inseparable liturgical chant

Why is it so? Because our liturgy is meant to be sung. And sung... in Gregorian chant, since this is the only chant to be found in the official liturgical books.

Father Paul Doncoeur, military chaplain during the First World War and apostle of scouting, rightly asserted: "the liturgy is created solemn, and the pieces of the Divine Office can only be fully understood in the melodic context that rightly accompanies them".

This melodic context is, once again, Gregorian chant: a chant that is not something to be listened to or performed in the course of a liturgical action, but which is truly "liturgical sung action."

It's one thing to hear hymns or canticles during mass - however beautiful they may be - it's quite another to "sing mass"; in other words, to sing the Mass proper (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion) or the Kyriale (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei). Not to mention the Epistle and Gospel, for which the Church also provides us with the Gregorian melody.

Interpreting texts through melody

Dom Jean Claire, a disciple of Dom Gajard (famous choirmaster at Solesmes Abbey for 57 years) said of his illustrious master:

Doubling Down on Stupid: Legalistic takes on the Society of Saint Pius X... this moment in time? When even Francis himself seems happy to let them be as they are?

Has papolatry really reached a level in which one can be more papolatrous than the pope?...

The ridiculousness really has to end. Rorate has, since its very beginning, in 2005, adopted a Trad-Ecumenical position. We have never regretted taking this position, trying to make all Traditional Catholics, and Traditional-friendly Catholics, see that what we have in common is basically everything -- and that our divisions are legalistic and nonsensical. This is even more true now than 18 years ago.

This isn't about protecting a kind of market share of Traditionalism. Please, let us end this near-blasphemous bickering at this most abominable of times. God's Truth is forever.

Event: 12th Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage & 8th Pax Liturgica Meeting - Rome, October 27-29, 2023

We will be pleased to welcome you to the 8th Pax Liturgica Meeting which will take place in Rome on Friday 27 October 2023. Participants will be welcomed from 9:00 am and the meeting will begin at 9:45 am to end with the opening of the pilgrimage, with the singing of vespers at Santa Maria dei Martiri (Pantheon) at 5.30pm. For more information on the full programme of the pilgrimage

The 8th meeting will be held at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, located opposite the Holy Office, on the edge of St Peter's Square (via Paolo VI, 25).


Schedule of the Pilgrimage

"The New Pope": What Will Be the Tasks of the Next Pope? - by Archbishop Héctor Agüer


Archbishop Héctor Agüer
Abp. Emeritus of La Plata, Argentina
August 24, 2023

The College of Cardinals has acquired an unusual breadth. How far we are from some pontifical elections, decided by a handful of members of this traditional protagonist of the high point of ecclesial life! History is more than eloquent. It is not possible to dwell too much on the search for models. Just one example: in the conclave of 1458, Enea Silvio Piccolomini -an expert in Latin verses-, thwarted the arrangements of an ambitious Frenchman, and without wanting or looking for it, he himself was elected: Pius II; there were 18 cardinals. Today, the exorbitant number of red hats makes it impossible to foresee a name as the future Successor of Peter. Several friends ask me to outline what the pontificate that succeeds the languishing Francis should be like, taking into account the very serious situation of the Church, disguised by Vatican propaganda.

Here is the attempt. 

Spiazzi, Verona: Second World Day against Abortion (Mass, Procession, Conference)

The Miraculous Sanctuary of the  'Madonna della Corona' , Monte Baldo, Spiazzi, Verona 
(destination of the processsion programmed for Saturday 9th September)


The Confederazione dei Triarii is chaired by Prof. Massimo Viglione, who founded it together with other friends in 2018. It has now spread throughout the Italian territory through local presidia. It is a Catholic association linked to the traditional faith, doctrine, and liturgy. It defends and promotes the principles of the Natural Law, the identity of peoples and Counter-Revolution. Its  programme is condensed into 25  points, which can be found on the website

St. Pius X and the Imponderable of what lies ahead: A Lesson for Our Time - by Roberto de Mattei

Corrispondenza Romana

On the morning of Sunday, August 2, 1903, the third ballot to elect Pope Leo XIII's successor began in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, the late pontiff's former secretary of state, could count on a majority of the votes and was about to be elected, when Cardinal Ian Puzyna, archbishop of Krakow, asked for the floor and, on behalf of His Apostolic Majesty Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, declared an exclusionary veto against his candidacy. The exclusion veto, which was abolished after this conclave, was an ancient privilege granted not only to the Austrian Empire but also to the Catholic kingdoms of France and Spain. Rampolla's election foundered, and on the evening of Monday, August 3, on the seventh ballot, Patriarch Giuseppe Sarto of Venice was elected Pope with the name Pius X. The new pontiff begged the conclave's secretary Msgr. Rafael Merry del Val to remain at his side as secretary of state. Under their leadership, for eleven years, the Catholic Church experienced one of the most fruitful eras in its history, interrupted by another unpredictable event: the assassination of the Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914.

Monks and Nuns: Contemplatives are light and oxygen for the "outside" world

[Monks at Our Lady of Fontgombault, France]

Stefano Chiappalone
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana
Aug. 17, 2023

The era of the monks is not over: far from the legacy of a distant past, cloisters and hermitages take today's man out of the frenzy by restoring him to a renewed relationship with space, time, creation and the Creator.


If the common mindset recognizes some merit to the religious who runs the oratory or cures the ills of the body, it struggles, however, to understand the one who withdraws to devote himself totally to prayer and worship.

North American Martyrs' Pilgrimage - Auriesville, NY - Sep. 16, 2023

Pilgrimage of Tradition to North American Martyrs Shrine

(Click for larger view)

Fontgombault Sermon for the Assumption: “Blessed” - Beata, Mary’s Second Name

 Sermon of the Father Abbot
The Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Fontgombault, August 15, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

My dearly beloved Sons,

The Gospel has just revealed us the second name of Mary. On Annunciation day in Nazareth, the young virgin had heard from the angel’s lips her first name, a name received from God: “Full of grace.” In Zachary’s house, she receives from Elizabeth’s lips her second name: “Blessed art thou who hast believed that the words spoken to thee from the Lord would be fulfilled.”

“Third Rome” Update: KGB Moscow “Patriarchate” Priest Blesses Statue of Stalin

Moscow is not the “Third Rome”, as some quite misguided Catholics (!!!) say — it is just the third Moscow. The first was the czarist anti-Catholic one; the second, the Soviet anti-Christian one; and the third, the current, also anti-Catholic one. In all three versions, the Catholics of Ukraine (and Poland/Lithuania, whenever occupied) were the greatest victims.

For decades, the Moscow “Patriarchate” has been just a religious arm of the KGB (“FSB”), as it became clear once again this week in the bizarre event in which an “Orthodox” priest blessed a huge statue of… Stalin, 

The religious justification for him was that Stalin’s persecution was great because it led to so many millions of martyrs — not a joke:

Francis Names Most Pro-Abortion and Pro-Drugs Lawyer in Latin America to Vatican Position

He’s the former Justice of the Argentine Supreme Court, Eugenio Zaffaroni — certainly the most influential liberal lawyers and legal thinkers in Latin America in the past few decades. 

One can certainly attribute to Zaffaroni both the legal basis for the abortion legalization wave that swept through the region in the post-Francis years, and the anti-law and order and pro-drug legalization message that placed criminals on the street and led the region to its current historic records of criminal activity and murder. And the greatest legal force for homosexual “marriage” in the region.

So, a lawyer with blood in his hands — blood, and serious accusations that his apartments in Buenos Aires were used for… unusual paid sexual activities by prostitutes. And how was he rewarded by Francis?

A New Rorate Caeli — Preparing for the Next Pontificate - Will they change the Conclave Rules?

 It may not feel like it, but the next Pontificate is around the corner. Francis is acting like a man in a hurry, which he certainly is. Yes, we are all mortal, but, when you are 87, mortality makes its presence felt every hour of every day.

So, what will the new Rorate look like? Well, much like the old Rorate — mostly posts by myself, anonymously making my views and positions clear, very often through translations of texts posted in Europe and throughout the Europe. It will also resemble even more its old self in the unabated freedom of expression regarding the Church and her problems. We will  be even stronger against false accusations against Traditional Catholics. Our freedom may have seemed to be curtailed against our will for a time, to defend the Traditional Mass, but this obviously cannot go on.

It will also feel more hopeful. It is true: the darkest and coldest winter comes before the most luminous spring. We Traditional Catholics have been hoping for a spring for so long, and this can come in two ways: in each of our lives, and, gradually, in the Church at large.

What is a Traditionalist?

A Traditional Catholic in the Roman Rite is a Catholic who attends the Traditional Mass exclusively, or makes every possible effort to do so.

A Traditional Catholic priest in the Roman Rite is one whose only sources of Divine worship are the Traditional prayer books of the Latin Church: the Roman Breviary, and, for the Mass, the Traditional Roman Missal. More often than not, he attended a Traditional Catholic seminary, where he was formed, both liturgically and doctrinally, in the Traditions of the Latin Church.

Why is this important? Because identity is important. We are what we are, we believe and act as Latin Catholics before the Council always believed and acted. We have suffered a lot to defend our position, our views, and the way we pray and worship, and we are prepared to do so because we believe it is the best option for Divine worship, and the most surely proven path to a saintly life, as the lives of centuries of saints made clear.

Traditional Catholic priests and laity have caused, and will cause, scandal -- they are merely fallen human beings. We have our own share of misfits, God knows well...

But, please, do not impute to us the failings of others, including priests whose whole lives and formation were undertaken in the Novus Ordo, according to the practices of liberal seminaries of a post-Conciliar style. To each his own: that is a simple matter of justice.

New TLM Shrine in Cleveland Shows that the Growth of the TLM Remains Unstoppable, Even Under Traditionis


Established in 1892, St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Cleveland, OH was the first parish specifically for Hungarians in the United States. It continues to be a center of Hungarian culture in Cleveland. The physical beauty of the stunning church, completed in 1922, "rightly inspires the Christian faithful to worship," in the words of Cleveland's current Bishop. Edward Malesic.

Feast of the Assumption - Solemn Mass and Procession in Bridgeport, Connecticut


"Veritatis Splendor": The 30th Anniversary of a Forgotten Encyclical - by Stefano Fontana

"The Thirtieth Anniversary of a Forgotten Encyclical"
Stefano Fontana
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana
August 8, 2023

On August 6, 30 years ago, John Paul II published the encyclical Veritatis splendor "on some fundamental questions of the Church's moral teaching." L'Osservatore Romano did not commemorate the anniversary. Vatican News did not mention it. Avvenire did not either.

Financial Times on the Catholic Counterrevolution

The salmon-pink-colored pages of the Financial Times are usually not a place to find anything mentioning the traditional Latin Mass and -- gasp -- a Catholic counterrevolution. So it is well worth the read from today's paper to see a columnist touch this point.

Excerpt below.

RORATE CHURCH DRIVE - PLEASE GIVE - Ordinariate Church Destroyed by Fire in Florida


The beautiful Church of the Incarnation, an Ordinariate Church located in Orlando, Florida, was destroyed by fire on the anniversary of the Dobbs decision that reversed Roe. It may have been a coincidence — or not, as the parish had always been vocal in their pro-life advocacy.

THIS FIRST RORATE CHURCH DRIVE is dedicated to the rebuilding of their Church, so loved for its faithful and beautiful rites. Their donation page is here. Please donate often and as much as you can.

Thank you!

Happy Feast of St. Dominic!


Today is the feast day of St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order (officially the Ordo Praedicatorum, or "Order of Preachers" (O.P.)). The patron saint of astronomers and natural scientists, St. Dominic is venerated for his intellectual rigor and clear teaching against heresy. 

Announcing the Next DC-Arlington Pilgrimage in Support of the Traditional Latin Mass on September 9!


Before 2021, the Diocese of Arlington and Archdiocese of Washington demonstrated precisely how Summorum Pontificum-- allowing the widespread celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass-- injected life and energy into the Catholic Church. The TLM was regularly celebrated at nearly 30 parishes across the two dioceses. It attracted growing numbers of faithful Catholics, supported the reverent celebration of the Novus Ordo, and nurtured vocations. 

The Liturgists and the Fascists

By James Baresel

In a 1964 letter to the editor of the Catholic Herald, Evelyn Waugh concluded: “Finally, a word about liturgy. It is natural to the Germans to make a row. The torchlit, vociferous assemblies of the Hitler Youth expressed a national passion. It is well that it should be canalized into the life of the Church. But it is essentially un-English…We pray in silence. ‘Participation’ in the Mass does not mean hearing our own voice. It means God hearing our voices. Only He knows who is ‘participating’ at Mass…Anyone who has taken part in a play knows that he can rant on stage with his mind elsewhere. If the Germans want to be noisy, let them. But why should they disturb our devotions?” 

New opera by Father Munkelt

Anyone who attends the traditional Latin Mass in the northeast states of the U.S. has likely encountered Father Richard Munkelt, who has been in-residence at Saint Anthony of Padua (run by the Institute of Christ the King) in West Orange, New Jersey, for many years. He is a gifted philosopher, professor and priest -- and, now, a librettist.

Father Richard Munkelt; photo credit: Gregory A. Shemitz of CNS

Father Munkelt has written the lyrics to a new opera, "Gracchus," which will be performed this month in Connecticut. If you or anyone you know will be in the tri-state area on Saturday, August 19, please consider attending the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut, at 4 p.m. with tickets in hand. I have not yet heard the opera but, if the words are anything like the dozens of sermons I have heard in person by Father Munkelt, the guest is in for a treat.

Details can be found here.

Traditional Catholic Primers on Scripture, Grace, and the TLM

Os Justi Press is pleased to announce the publication of three important works by traditionalist authors. Each is a handy and compact introduction to its subject, accessible but not dumbed-down. 

Two World Premieres by Traditional Catholic Composers at August 12th Concert in Chicago

On Saturday, August 12, 2023, at 7:30pm, the critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble His Majesty's Men (website, Facebook) will once again perform at the historic and beautiful St. John Cantius Church in downtown Chicago.

Their program, "The Flower of Beauty," will feature two newly-commissioned works on Marian themes, composed by two traditionalist Catholics: a setting of the Ave Maris Stella by HMM's composer-in-residence Mark Nowakowski, and a setting of the Stabat Mater by Peter Kwasniewski. Both composers will be present at this concert.