Rorate Caeli

The Game: What Now For the Traditional Mass Under Francis? - Op-Ed

 Guest Op-Ed by Kevin Tierney

During the pontificate of Pope Francis, we have seen a careful game being played by the Vatican and their allies when it comes to dealing with Catholics drawn to the Traditional Latin Mass.  When they attempt to downplay traditionalists, they are an irrelevant sect, with numbers so insignificant none should take them seriously.  After this approach, they then flip, treating traditionalists as a threat to the unity of the Church, a threat so severe the ordinary rights of clerics and the faithful must be curtailed.  

Accept or Reject the New Mass?


By James Baresel

Just days after Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, Italy’s Bishop Luca Brandolini—who had been a close collaborator of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini—stated, “This day is for me a day of grief. I have a lump in my throat and I do not manage to hold back my tears…Today, a reform for which so many labored, at the cost of great sacrifices…has been canceled.”

Frontline report: New rounds in the war against tradition

Otto van Veen, Valentinus Taken Prisoner 
Can we speak of a “report from the front” when it comes to the current dispute over the traditional liturgy of the (no longer) Latin Church? We are afraid so: Yes!—and judging by the unspeakable outbursts of the papal court theologian Grillo, one not only may speak of “war”, one must.

George Galloway comes out in favour of the Traditional Mass

George Galloway:
Official photo from the UK Parliament
George Galloway, the radical left-wing politician vying for Muslim votes in Britain's current general election, who was too hot to handle for the British Labour Party and so created his own--first, the Respect Party, now the Workers' Party of Britain -- yes, that George Galloway -- loves the Traditional Mass and has advised the Pope not to restrict it.

A University Student Reflects on His Discovery of and Love for the TLM

Submitted to Rorate by a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville who has just completed his Masters degree.

Institute of Christ the King’s Superior received by Pope in Audience today (Updated with communiqué: no news is good news)

 [June 24 original post:] Details to be released by the Institute (ICKSP) soon. (This will be updated then.)

[June 25, 2024: UPDATE - Communiqué below:]

On the 24th June 2024, the 45th anniversary of his Priestly Ordination by Saint John Paul II, Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of our Institute, was received in private audience by His Holiness Pope Francis, accompanied by Monsignor Rudolf Michael Schmitz, vicar general of the Institute, and by Canon Louis Valadier, provincial of France.

Fontgombault Sermon for the Feast of Saint John the Baptist: Saint John, "the first Monk of the New Testament."

St. John the Baptist

(and Simple Profession of Monk)

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

Quis... puer iste erit?

What then will this child be?

(Lk 1:66)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My dearly beloved Sons,

and most especially you, who are going

to take your vows of religion,

This question sounds trite, commonplace, as the still virgin leaf of a new life has just received its first lines. Yet, if the people from the nearby country ask themselves this question, it is because the events surrounding the Precursor’s birth are a token of God’s special benevolence towards this child: “For the hand of the Lord was with him.” (Lk 1:66.) 

If the Traditional Latin Mass is Banned, Many Attendees Will Simply Leave the Church


In discussions of the suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass, it is typically assumed that those who lose the TLM will simply move elsewhere-- to the Novus Ordo first and foremost, but perhaps also to the SSPX or the Eastern Churches.

“Before the Egghead Fell Off the High Wall and Shattered into a Thousand Pieces”: Charlier on Grillo

The devotional map of the late 19th century depicts the Holy Mass as the center of the unity of the triumphant, struggling and suffering Church. As in heaven, so also on earth.

If Andrea Grillo were a professor at a German theological faculty, we could confidently put his interview to one side—irrelevant drivel, like most of what is produced by theology professors. But although he would fit very well into the German environment, his position as a liturgy teacher at a papal university and a well-networked organizer of the fight against the liturgical tradition gives him an importance that should not be underestimated. On the one hand, he is the mouthpiece and, on the other, the cue for the three or four men at the head of the Bergoglian pontificate, who for years have had no other goal than to adapt the liturgy and—one must always see this together—the teaching of the Church to the demands of the anti-Christian zeitgeist. Further and further away from Christ and the apostolic tradition.

Sermon for the “Final” Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne – 19th June, 2024 - The Prophetic Words of Cardinal Pell in 1992


Feast of Sts. Gervase & Protase

If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honour, glory, and power of God, and that which is His Spirit, rests upon you.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May it please Your Grace. Very Rev’d Monsignor, the Dean, Dear Fathers, dear brethren,  

Tonight my mind goes back to Saturday, 13th June, 1992, when I was present in this Cathedral. On that day, at the request of a group of lay people, then Bishop George Pell, as an auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, celebrated the traditional Roman Rite (the Mass we are celebrating tonight). It was the first traditional Mass celebrated by a Bishop in an Australian Cathedral since 1970. From 1970 to 1985, the old Mass had been under a putative ban, until the more enlightened and tolerant approach of John Paul II began to reverse this.   

First Public Acknowledgement of the Consecration of New Bishops for the SSPX - Letter by SSPX France Superior: Get Ready

Last September, Rorate Caeli first published the rumors of a Consecration of new bishops for the traditional Catholic Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). The SSPX last consecrated bishops in June 1988, and currently has three of those then consecrated still performing duties for the Society. As is to be expected, those three bishops are now much older, and considerably overstretched. 

As is well remembered, those 1988 consecrations were deeply controversial, unleashing forces throughout the Church -- including the regularization and foundation of several religious institutes (including the FSSP and Le Barroux), and leading to the second major document on the "liberalization" of the Traditional Mass, the motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei".

Now, the Superior of the Society for France (the second largest, after the US, and still most influential District of the SSPX), Father Benoît de Jorna, is the first leader of the SSPX to publicly acknowledge the reality that consecrations will be needed soon, if only for realistic reasons of human affairs. [Our translation.]


Letter to friends and benefactors n. 95: let us be strong!

Father Benoît de Jorna

June 19, 2024

The virtue of strength will be sorely needed on a crucial occasion: the announcement of new consecrations to continue the "operation-survival" of Catholic Tradition.

Dear friends and benefactors,

Thirty-six years ago, on June 30, 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre performed "operation-survival" on Catholic Tradition by consecrating four auxiliary bishops for the Society of St. Pius X.

EXCLUSIVE: Dom Alcuin Reid’s Response to Prof. Grillo’s Interview

Wrong, Professor Grillo—Think Again!

Dom Alcuin Reid

Amidst the ‘liturgy wars’ of over a decade ago, Father John Baldovin SJ published an article: “Idols and Icons: Reflections on the Current State of Liturgical Reform.” (Worship 2010, n. 5) He argued that some were given to the idolisation of certain ritual forms, complaining that he found “a paradoxical kind of narcissism in certain attitudes towards the liturgy in which people think they are arguing for more transcendence at the same time as they are promoting an idolatrous attitude toward the liturgy itself.” Borrowing from the French phenomenologist Jean-Luc Marion, Baldovin argues that the liturgy should, instead, be iconic whereby (in Marion’s words) “the icon does not result from a vision, but provokes one…[it] summons sight in letting the visible be saturated little by little with the invisible.” Baldovin quotes further: “In the idol the gaze of man is frozen in its mirror; in the icon the gaze of man is lost in the invisible gaze that visibly envisages him.” (p. 389)

2nd Worldwide Campaign for the Preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass

Amid swirling rumors of another Vatican crackdown, the organizers of Missae pro Missa ("Masses for the Mass") have announced a second worldwide spiritual bouquet for the preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass. Similar to the first campaign launched for Lent 2023, there are four ways to participate:

  1. Request Masses to be said (e.g., through a parish, religious order, or another group) for the preservation of the Traditional Latin Mass (or if you're a priest, celebrate Masses for this intention)
  2. Offer your own hearings of Mass for this intention
  3. Pray rosaries for this intention
  4. Share the Missae pro Missa initiative with others

Pope’s Anti-TLM Theologian Shows His Pro-Contraception Cards

Pope Francis is fond of saying “everything is connected.” Traditionalists have been saying the same thing for the past six decades. We have long emphasized that those who transformed the Catholic liturgy on paper and in practice were also entertaining doctrinal novelties, oddities, and, at times, even heresies. Conversely, a radically changed liturgy has led to the weakening, and occasioned the loss of faith in, any number of central doctrines of Catholicism, or that the loss of reverence for God is bound up with moral drift in every sphere of life. It is not hard, after all, to see that the lex orandi, the lex credendi, and the lex vivendi stand and fall together.

Andrea Grillo: An astonishing interview of the main lay ideologue behind Traditionis Custodes and the desire to ban the Traditional Mass

(Chartres Pilgrimage)

While Archbishop Viola, Secretary of the Dicastery for Divine Worship, is the main clerical ideologue interested in the ultimate ban of the Traditional Latin Mass, the main lay ideologue is Italian lay theologian Andrea Grillo, whose ideas and words are the very essence of the first partial ban instituted as "Traditionis custodes".

Italian blog Messa in latino has just released an interview with him, from which it can be gleaned how exactly the Francis pontificate sees faithful attached to Tradition and the traditional rites of the Latin Church. It is nothing short of an astonishing interview: the hatred and disgust for his fellow Catholics expressed in his words (for instance, calling the multitudes of young people attending the Chartres Pilgrimage in France, "little more than a sect that experiences infidelity as salvation") are not reserved even for the worst enemies of the Church.

From Messainlatino, English translation by Diane Montagna:

1. Messainlatino: Why, as it appears at least to us, does it seem that at all costs there is no desire to give free space in the Catholic Church to traditionalists who are faithful to Rome (like so many other lay movements), and that they are only regarded as faithful to be re-educated?

Archbishop Viola, the violator of Tradition -- the dangerous secretary of Divine Worship and the man behind the attempts to ban the Traditional Mass. His letter to the Melbourne Archbishop

 Who is Archbishop Vittorio Francesco Viola, OFM? The Secretary of the Dicastery for Divine Worship is said to be proud to wear the episcopal ring of none other than the devious creator of the Novus Ordo, Archbishop Annibale Bugnini (cf. here, in Italian). 

(Archbishop Viola, celebrating something - image: Silere non possum)

We can affirm today that he is the main dangerous ideologically motivated cleric whose final intent is to completely ban the Traditional Latin Mass. We could add much more, in much more detail, but instead will present the translation of the post just published by the Italian religious blog Silere non possum (a centrist, non-traditionalist blog) on the appalling ban Viola imposed on the continuation of the celebration of the Traditional Mass in the Cathedral of Melbourne, Australia -- as if the Metropolitan Archbishop of Melbourne were some kind of naughty altar boy who is not in charge even of the liturgy in his OWN cathedral! The absolute opposite of the deceitful allegations contained in Traditionis custodes. 

URGENT - URGENT - Growing Rumors of a “Final Solution” for the Traditional Latin Mass - TLM

("Unconditional Tradition": parade against restrictions to the TLM,
in Quimper, Brittany, France, on Sunday, June 16, 2024)

Dear readers,

Once again, as at least twice in the past (before the crackdown on the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and in the twelve months leading up to Traditionis Custodes), Rorate Caeli is sad to be the first bearer of grave, heavy, and persistent rumors coming from the circles close to Cardinal Roche and to the liturgical warriors close to Casa Santa Marta in Rome.

"Depart from me": the Father comes ever closer to us in Christ

Dominica IV Post Pentecosten 

 Luke 5:1-11

Today, Father's Day, we encounter in our Gospel God the Father – also in the 16 new priests ordained yesterday for the Archdiocese, along with thousands more during this season around the world.

Learn Latin this Summer!

Among the many Latin-learning options available, I would like to draw attention to these, for which the Latin Mass Society offers big discounts for clergy and seminarians.


The Latin Mass Society offers 80% discounts to clerics, seminarians, and those about to enter seminary (trainee permanent deacons too!), if they are based in or come from England and Wales, to learn Latin either online or at our in-person course in August. Lay people are also welcome of course! 

“The Bishop of Rome”: new Vatican document on papal primacy and “ecumenism”

 From the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity:

The Dicastery Promoting Christian Unity is pleased to publish with the approval of Pope Francis its new document The Bishop of Rome. Primacy and synodality in ecumenical dialogues and responses to the encyclical Ut unum sint.

The document is available in English here. 

Don Pietro Leone: Is Pope Francis Pope, and If Not, What Then?

[Rorate editor - Just to be clear: Rorate's editoral position is that Francis is indeed the Pope -- his election was obviously valid, as Don Pietro Leone explains below - and a new one will be elected by an upcoming conclave. NC]

Don Pietro Leone, who has contributed many articles for Rorate Caeli for more than 13 years, offers our readers the following essay on the much discussed and delicate  matter of the validity of Pope Benedict's demission and the validity of Pope Francis' election. His primary motive for writing this essay  'is to rebut false theories, offer the faithful an understanding of the status quo according to the Catholic Faith' and define the competent authority through which this contentious issue must be judged.     F.R.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Part I

Holy Hatred and Perfect Love: A Lesson from the Sacred Heart

Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew OP
The impossibility of progressing to a destination without withdrawing from some origin is obvious. No one can go somewhere without leaving some other “where.” But the impossibility of increasing our love for God without simultaneously hating the world is less obvious. We tend to think that we can love the world and love God too, that we can enjoy our earthly lives and enjoy God too.

Odd Cancellation: Peronism has reached the Tiber -- by Abp. Héctor Agüer

Archbishop Héctor Agüer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata
Buenos Aires, June 5, 2024

I write to deal once again with the case of Abp. Gabriel Mestre, fleeting Archbishop of La Plata. [See first article here] In only eight and a half months he had attracted the attention of the local clergy, free at last from the persecutory ideology of “Tucho” Fernandez. In view of the regrettable fact of the Franciscan request for the resignation of Monsignor Mestre, it would be opportune for the priests of La Plata to make a public pronouncement, discreetly and without fear. I do not believe that his interim replacement, Bishop Bochatey will react against the exercise of a qualified democracy that corresponds, after all, to the polyhedral ecclesiology of Pope Bergoglio.

Corpus Christi: When the Train Stopped for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament - A Sermon by Fr. Richard Cipolla

 by Fr. Richard Cipolla

I celebrated the great feast of Corpus Christi last Thursday with the priests and people of the parish of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  At the end of the Solemn Mass there weas the customary procession with the Blessed Sacrament.  As we processed outdoors around the church, a wonderful thing happened. This church is literally next to the railroad tracks that serve both Amtrak and Metro North.  The roar of trains is heard during Mass. As the procession turned the bend and came up the street facing the tracks, directly before us was a Metro North train that had stopped on the tracks.  It remained stopped for about two minutes as we approached. When we turned the corner, the train went on to its destination.  This could have been a mere coincidence, but I knew that whoever was running that train saw,  and then  knew that he had to stop.

A Conspicuous Omission in the New DDF Document on Private Revelation - Guest Article

The following article is by Gene Zannetti.

How often have we heard, concerning supernatural phenomena: “The faithful are not obliged to give an assent of faith to them,” or concerning a private revelation: “Its use is not obligatory”?

"Ecclesiastical Oddities": Héctor Agüer, Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata, tries to understand what is going on in the Argentine episcopate under Francis


by Archbishop Héctor Agüer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata, Argentina
 Buenos Aires, June 1, 2024

[La Plata, Argentina: Immaculate Conception Cathedral in central Moreno Square]

The corresponding adjective is "odd" ("rare"), which has several meanings in the dictionary; I choose one: odd is that which has little density and consistency. Although it also refers to extraordinary and extravagant things. I mean: it is an oddity that the Pope is Argentinian, what is also odd is the fact that in over a decade he has not had the concern to visit his homeland. John Paul II (Wojtyla) and Benedict XVI (Ratzinger), as soon as they were elected, the first trip they made took them to their homeland, respectively Poland and Germany. I read in “La Prensa”, a Buenos Aires newspaper: “Francis revealed that he would like to come in November or at the beginning of 2025”. Under this title, the newspaper says that the Pope “commented that it is in his plans to travel to Argentina either at the end of November or at the beginning of 2025”. According to the old saying, “think wrong and you will be right,” I dare to think that he will not come, and I outline a reason: he knows that he is not going to do very well. I may be wrong, of course, but this opinion of mine responds to a 46-year-old knowledge of Jorge Bergoglio.

Does the Church Still Believe in the Supernatural? - From Fiducia supplicans to the norms on the discernment of supernatural phenomena (Roberto de Mattei)

From Fiducia supplicans to the norms on the discernment of supernatural phenomena

by Roberto de Mattei

The declaration Fiducia supplicans, issued on Dec. 18, 2023 by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Pope Francis, has been one of the most controversial points of this pontificate, but it has also marked a turning point thanks to the vast reaction of cardinals, bishops, and entire episcopal conferences, starting with those “peripheries” that the Pope has so often invoked as bearers of authentic religious and human values (