Rorate Caeli

Fontgombault Sermon for Easter Sunday 2024: Our Mission is to belie Ecclesiastes: No, all is not in vain. After the darkness, Christ comes glorious, victor of the tomb

Easter Day 

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, March 28, 2024

Salve… Dies prima. 

Hail… O first day. 

(Sequence, Adam of St. Victor) 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

My dearly beloved Sons, 

“Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity. […] What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun,” wails Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes 1:2-9) André Chouraqui translates it in a vivid way, “Smoke, says Qoheleth, smoke of smokes, and all is smoke.” 

Mankind’s history would thus be nothing but void, nothingness, an endless maze ineluctably going back to square one. From our first parents Adam and Eve’s disobedience, and the murder of Abel, to the last victim of the fratricidal conflicts that ceaselessly bloody the earth, all seems to be nothingness. All seems to be hatred. 

Fontgombault Sermon for Easter Vigil 2024: Easter and the Sacred Heart

Easter Vigil

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau 
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault 
Fontgombault, March 28, 2024


I believe. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

My dearly beloved Sons, 

“Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For He is risen, as He said.” (Mt 28:5-6). Such are the words addressed by the Resurrection angel to the women coming early to the tomb. What the Lord had promised has been accomplished. The dark and grim outlook in the heart of the women who had come to embalm their Master suddenly blazes with light. After the doubts comes a certainty. He is truly risen. Such is the core of our faith, the cornerstone of our hope. 

An Easter of War -- and the Dying West | by Roberto de Mattei

An Easter of War -- and the Dying West

by Roberto de Mattei

The flames of war, violence, and terror blaze across the world on this Easter of 2024. While Russia attacks Ukrainian cities with its hypersonic missiles, an attack strikes the heart of Moscow: the massacre is claimed by ISIS and is consumed with the same heinousness with which Hamas attacked the State of Israel on October 7. Europe, lapped by war on its borders, at the March 20-21 European Council in Brussels, reveals its inability to arm itself to defend itself. Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, questioned by journalist Nicola Porro, admits that, faced with an attack like the one on Ukraine, Italy would capitulate immediately ("Fourth Republic," March 25, 2024).

Saint Dismas: the Good Thief -- by Roberto de Mattei

Saint Dismas the Good Thief

The Church's Latin liturgy remembers on March 25 Saint Dismas, the Good Thief, to whom Jesus said on Calvary, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." The choice of March 25 is not accidental. This date is not only that of the Annunciation and Incarnation of the Word but according to an ancient tradition it is also the day on which the Savior of Humanity consummated his supreme sacrifice. The Gospel tells us that on Calvary they crucified Jesus with two Thieves, placing one on his right and one on his left (Lk. 23:39-42). We know their names from the apocryphal Gospels: Dismas, the good Thief,and Gismas, or Gesta, the bad Thief.

The word Thief should not mislead. The term Latrones denoted street robbers, not just thieves but murderers and robbers, punished by death among all peoples of antiquity. The most dastardly of the many who filled Pilate's prisons were chosen to humiliate Jesus. Dismas was a brigand leader, probably Egyptian, who lived and grew old amid the gravest crimes, including that of fratricide. On his cross was written, Hic est Dismas latronum Dux.

Fontgombault Sermon for Palm Sunday: The Temptation to Despair is Great

Palm Sunday

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, March 24, 2024

Faciem tuam, Domine, requiram.

Thy face, O Lord, do I seek.

(Ps 26 [27]:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My dearly beloved Sons,

On Palm Sunday, let us enter into the heart of the liturgical year. Let us live once again the days, the hours in which the mystery of our redemption has been carried out, through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. It is an opportunity to renew our presence during our communions, which are so frequent, and yet so often too material, to Christ’s redeeming Body and Blood.

More than ever, the world and men need to draw from this mystery of mercy and reconciliation. Yet, more than ever, the world and men seem to emancipate themselves from God, from His laws and His plan of salvation. Is it still worthwhile talking to a society that congratulates itself on having been able to enshrine in the marble of its Constitution the deliberate murder of the innocent child still inside the protective and nurturing precinct of the maternal womb, a society that considers this as a huge step towards freedom?

LENIN: 100 Years of the Death of one of the Greatest Criminals in History - by Roberto de Mattei

Lenin on the centenary of his death (1924-2024)

An atmosphere of penumbra enveloped the centenary of the death of Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, known by the pseudonym Lenin, one of the most criminal figures in history. He died on Jan. 21, 1924, in Moscow, of paresis; he had been born 54 years earlier in Simbirsk, on the west bank of the Volga River. The son of a school inspector, Vladimir Ulyanov was a typical product of that turn-of-the-century Russia in which, as Curzio Malaparte wrote, "petty-bourgeois fanaticism ranged from Marxist liberalism to Tolstoy's rotten Christianity" (The Good Man Lenin, Adelphi, 2018, pp. 22-23). 

Closing Remarks in My Debate with Dr. John Lamont - by José A. Ureta

Closing Remarks in My Debate with Dr. John Lamont
José A. Ureta

Much of what Dr. John Lamont includes in his response[1] to my previous replies[2] repeats what has already been seen. Thus, I will limit myself to some brief remarks.

1. For Dr. Lamont, the fact that bishops have a power of ordinary jurisdiction is incompatible with the fact that this power was granted to them directly by the pope. As he sees it, if bishops were to receive their jurisdiction from the pope it would turn them into papal delegates. Grounded in this perspective of supposed incompatibility, Dr. Lamont then attributes to the defenders of the traditional theological position (from St. Thomas Aquinas to pre-conciliar theologians) a position they do not hold, namely, that bishops do not enjoy an ordinary power of jurisdiction and are mere delegates of the pope. He calls this mischaracterization of traditional thought “the strong view of papal jurisdiction.” To build up this misrepresentation, he reinterprets what defenders of the traditional position state and he also forces a translation. But he does this in good faith, declaring it candidly.

The Paulists, on life support

Ten years ago Rorate shared the news that the Paulist Fathers were selling their seminary. As we noted, according to the order's website, "The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle, known as the Paulist Fathers, is the first community of Catholic priests founded in the United States."

Fast forward a decade and "is" will soon be "was".

The Paulists announced a massive downsizing, including leaving colleges, closing offices and cutting priests at remaining Paulist locations -- including their infamous Paulist Center in Boston.

Good Friday Buses for D.C. and Fredericksburg Area Trads


Traditional Holy Week is the highlight of the Catholic liturgical year. Unfortunately, there will be no traditional Triduum liturgies in the Washington, D.C. or Fredericksburg area this year. 

Mass of the Ages Showings in D.C. (April 9) and Front Royal (April 10), Including live Q&A with Dr. Joseph Shaw


Mass of the Ages Part III is showing at the Miracle Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 9 at 7:00 PM. There will be a live Q&A afterwards with Dr. Joseph Shaw of the UK Latin Mass Society, one of the most insightful speakers and writers on traditional Catholicism active now, along with Mass of the Ages producer Cameron O'Hearn. 

Bishop Burbidge Visits the St. Rita TLM


For Laetare Sunday, Bishop Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington sat in choir for the 9:15 AM Traditional Latin Mass at St. Rita in Alexandria, VA, next door to Washington, D.C. As reflected in the pictures above and below, he was eager to learn, generous with his time, and gave wonderful homily. He met with TLM parishioners for over an hour after Mass.

In Defense of the Moderate Position on Papal Jurisdiction: John Lamont Replies to José Ureta

In Defense of the Moderate Position on Papal Jurisdiction: A Reply to José Ureta
John Lamont

My article “On the Papal Deposition of Bishops,” published at Rorate Caeli, was occasioned by Mr. José A. Ureta’s article at OnePeterFive, “Why a Good Bishop Should Not Ignore but Obey his Unjust Deposition by the Pope.” There, Ureta advanced an historically standard view among Catholic theologians to the effect that because all bishops receive their jurisdiction immediately from the pope, they can be removed from their diocese at the will of the pope, regardless of the justice of this removal. His argument was a topical one, because it was applied by him to Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who was first asked to resign from his diocese by Pope Francis and then, having refused to do so, was removed from the diocese without a just cause. I had argued that this theological position was wrong in itself and was no longer an option for Catholic theologians, because of its rejection by the Second Vatican Council. Mr Ureta endeavored to refute me in two responses, also published at Rorate Caeli (here and here).

Because of the importance of the subject, an answer to Mr. Ureta seems to be called for. At the same time, many of the arguments he advances in his response are in fact addressed in my original article; when this is the case, the reader is best advised to compare this article and Mr. Ureta’s response and decide for himself. This answer will limit itself to new questions that arise from Mr. Ureta’s response, while referring the reader to the original article to complete the exposition of the position being argued for here. The reader may find some of the necessary but detailed rebuttals of Mr. Ureta’s claims to be less than enthralling, but it is hoped that some substantial contribution to this important issue will be achieved.

Not only “blessings”: Now Francis voices approval of the need of “legal recognition” of same-sex “unions”

 In yet another set of declarations, included in his “autobiography” to be published in a few days by HarperCollins.

From the excerpt made available by Italian daily “Corriere della Sera”:

A Neverending Talker and Expert on All Subjects: Pope Francis calls on Ukraine to surrender - by Roberto de Mattei

Catholic Church: Pope Francis calls on Ukraine to surrender?

In an interview with Swiss Radio & Television, anticipated by agencies on March 9, Pope Francis called on Ukraine to have the courage to raise the white flag and negotiate. "I believe," he said, "that it is stronger of who sees the situation, who thinks of the people, who has the courage of the white flag, to negotiate. And today you can negotiate with the help of international powers. The word negotiate is a brave word. When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going forward, it is necessary to have the courage to negotiate. You are ashamed, but how many deaths will it end with? Negotiate in time, look for some countries to mediate. Today, for example in the war in Ukraine, there are many who want to mediate. Turkey has offered to do that. And others. Don't be ashamed to negotiate before it gets worse." 

The Pope's statement provoked immediate critical reactions, to the point that on the same day the director of the Holy See's Press Office, Matteo Bruni, intervened to explain that the Pontiff used the term "white flag" only because the interviewer had suggested it and that in reality Francis, with this image, only meant to say "negotiate." But negotiate on what basis? If words have meaning, the expression "white flag" is unequivocal: it evokes unconditional surrender, a negotiation, if one wants to call it such, on the terms of the adversary. 


"So he came with the king's mandate, bringing nothing worthy of the high priesthood, but having the fury of a cruel tyrant, and the rage of a savage beast." 


 2 Maccabees 4:25


Bad news. We knew from the instant of the announcement of the name of the elected cardinal in the 2013 Conclave that we were in for very, very bad news. For some bizarre reason, the inexplicable decision of Benedict XVI to resign the papacy (a resignation he thought he could somehow manage by having his chosen successor elected) backfired stupendously. 

Never had the Jesuits been this heretical: yet, now they managed to get one of them elected pope. Never had the Latin American church been this problematic: yet, now the cardinals thought it was a good time to elect a first Latin American pope, and from the most secularized nation in that continent.

At the very moment of the announcement of the name in the loggia, we asked an Argentine friend for his comment. "The Horror" was our most read post up to that time, and it caused us immense grief, for people simply didn't want to believe the evidence. If anything, it sounds almost too positive today, when Traditional Catholics are under intense official persecution, while the greatest heretics and perverts are free to roam about to destroy souls: but, in any event, it was a highly prophetic text.

Time to recall it:


The Horror! A Buenos Aires journalist describes Bergoglio

Rorate Caeli
March 13, 2013

We have many friends around the world, including in the dear Argentine Republic. And we asked a cherished friend, Marcelo González, of Panorama Católico Internacional, who knows the Church of Argentina as well as the palm of his hand to send us a report on the new pope. Here it goes:

The Archbishop of Buenos Aires kneels down to receive the "blessing"
of Protestant ministers and Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa - Buenos Aires, 2006


The Horror!


Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst. Not because he openly professes doctrines against the faith and morals, but because, judging from his work as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, faith and morals seem to have been irrelevant to him.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Statement on Francis: “ Ukrainians will continue to defend themselves. They feel they have no choice.” - Synodality in Action

Statement of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church In light of the interview of Pope Francis Conducted by Radio Télévision Suisse

We do not yet have a full version of the interview given by Pope Francis to the RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse) that apparently will be published only on March 20. According to the Holy See Press Office, the reference to a “white flag” in the interview is a summons to negotiations not to a surrender by Ukraine. In the conversation, the Holy Father speaks not only about the Russian war against Ukraine but also the war between Israel and Hamas. As he has done repeatedly, Pope Francis calls for negotiated settlements of armed conflicts.

The 750th birthday of St Thomas Aquinas into eternal life

Today, 750 years ago, Friar Thomas d'Aquino of the Order of Preachers breathed his last, at a Cistercian monastery in Fossanova, en route to an ecumenical council (Lyon II) that his friend and colleague, the Franciscan Bonaventure, would reach but where he, too, would die.

Before dying, Thomas received the Viaticum with tremendous devotion and submitted all his writings, especially on the Blessed Sacrament, to the judgment of the Church. The Church's judgment has been clear: for over 700 years, the magisterium has held up St Thomas Aquinas's writings as the norm and measure of studies in the Catholic Church. At the Council of Trent, alongside the Bible was placed the Summa theologiae as a trustworthy reference. And why? As the early biographers relate, Thomas heard one day the voice of Christ saying to him: "You have written well of me, Thomas. What reward would you have?" To which the friar replied: "Only yourself, Lord." This was the reward he always sought, and it was the reward given to him.

“On the Papal Deposition of Bishops” — Second Reply to Dr. Lamont’s Study José Antonio Ureta

“On the Papal Deposition of Bishops”—
Second Reply to Dr. Lamont’s Study
José Antonio Ureta

Audience with Pope Francis -- Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP)

Audience with Pope Francis

Published 1 March 2024

Official communiqué of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter – Fribourg, March 1st, 2024.

Following a request from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Pope Francis invited Fr. Andrzej Komorowski, Superior General of the FSSP, to meet with him. He received him in private audience at the Vatican on Thursday, February 29, 2024, accompanied by Fr. Benoît Paul-Joseph, Superior of the District of France, and Fr. Vincent Ribeton, Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary in Wigratzbad.