Rorate Caeli

De Mattei: The Unknowns at the End of a Pontificate

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana 
July 1, 2020

The demission of Benedict XVI will be remembered as one of the most catastrophic events of our century, as it opened the door, not only to a destructive pontificate, but above all to a situation of increasing chaos in the Church.  After seven years since that disastrous February 11, 2013, the life of Benedict XVI and the pontificate of Pope Francis are drawing inexorably to a close. We don’t know which of the two events will precede the other, but in both cases, the “smoke of Satan”” risks enveloping the Mystical Body of Christ as perhaps has never happened in history


The Bergoglian pontificate has reached its end, perhaps not from a chronological point of view, but most certainly from the point of view of its revolutionary impact. The Post -Amazonian Synod has been a failure and the Exhortation Querida Amazonia of last February 2, was the tombstone placed on the many hopes of the progressive world, mainly in the German zone. The Coronavirus, or Covid 19, has definitively brought to an end the ambitious pontifical projects for 2020, presenting us with a historical image of a solitary and defeated Pope, immersed in the emptiness of a spectral St. Peter’s Square. On the other hand, Divine Providence, which always regulates all human events, allowed Benedict XVI to witness the debacle following his abdication.  But the worst is probably still to come.


It was logical to envision that with the cohabitation of “two Popes” in the Vatican, a part of the conservative world disgusted with Francis would have looked to Benedict, considering him the “true Pope”, set against “the false prophet”. Whilst convinced of Pope Francis’s errors, these conservatives  didn’t want to follow the open way of the Correctio filialis delivered to Pope Francis on August 11, 2016. The real reason for their reluctance is probably due to the fact that the Correctio accentuates how the roots of the Bergoglian deviations go back to the Papacies of  Benedict XVI and John Paul II, and even before, to  the Second Vatican Council.


For many conservatives, instead, the hermeneutic of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, won’t admit any rupture, and since the Bergoglian papacy seems to embody the negation of this hermeneutic, the only solution to the problem is for Francis to be out of the picture.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Last month we added two new priests, and the Society now stands at 107 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. We also heard from a wonderful new group out of Quito, the Asociación de Oración por los Difuntos, who sent us a list of 12,000 Souls to be enrolled!

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card in English to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll (you send these to the family and/or friends of the dead, not to us). It's free for anyone to use. CLICK HERE to download in Latin and CLICK HERE to download in Spanish

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the repose of the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, Rest in Peace

Georg Ratzinger
15. I. 1924
1.VII. 2020

In paradisum deducant te Angeli;
in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
æternam habeas requiem.

A Victory for the Liberty of the Church in the Courts -- But When You Need to Count on the Bishops, Don't (John Rao)

Snatching Defeat From Victory

by Dr. John C. Rao

Chris Ferrara’s victory in the case he represented against the City and State of New York was the first really happy moment I have experienced in these three and one half months of medico-media mayhem. I could not wait to enjoy that victory with my fellow traditionalists at mass the Sunday after the judge’s decision.

But once again I was, as a friend frequently chastises me, “surprised by the obvious”. Why, in heaven’s name should I have thought that the bishops of the State of New York would be thrilled by Chris’s victory and make proper use of it? Sure enough, they were not, and did not. Twenty-four hours had not gone by before the following announcement was published: "The New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops of the state, told CNA on Friday that churches would probably continue to follow state health guidelines for reopening, even though they are no longer bound by law to do so." The only thing that seems not to have been accurate in that statement was the word “probably”. It was definitely true. Our noble prelates had snatched defeat from victory.
There seem to be only two reasons for this craven episcopal sell-out, both of them rooted in a fear that does no honor to their noble position. The first is fear of lawsuits on the part of unscrupulous fortune hunters claiming that the church authorities, allowing bigger crowds than the State deems suitable, created a situation where they fell ill with the Plague. The second is a deeper fear: that of offending the Zeitgeist and the Cuomos and Di Blasios that administer its ever more willful, ignorant, perilous, and anti-Catholic demands. Supermarkets do not seem to be terrified by the lawsuits in question; the Successors of the Apostles in the United States are. Quite frankly, there is not a single opportunity for secular bootlicking that the bishops seem capable of resisting and which the grotesquely materialist and legalist world in which we live can provide some “practical” explanation for justifying.

Why the Latin Mass Matters in the Real World: A Review of Dr. Kwasniewski’s Powerful New Book

(A guest review by Fr. William Slattery)
Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright: The Genius and Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass (Angelico, 2020) is not about “liturgy” in some kind of remote or abstract sense. Rather, it’s about why the concrete reality of the Traditional Mass matters to living and lifestyle, for you and for your children. Why the Latin Mass is a matter of Catholic identity.

In writing this review, I am seeking to pay off a debt I owe to Dr. Kwasniewski. It was largely due to his first Angelico book, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (2014), that I converted to the Traditional Latin Mass.

Memoirs of Cardinal Bacci released in English: "With Latin in the Service of the Popes"

Cardinal Antonio Bacci is a name familiar to all Catholics who love the Roman Tradition -- his name figures prominently with that of Cardinal Ottaviani in the famous 1969 "Intervention" in favor of the Traditional Latin Mass and against the hideous liturgical novelty introduced in that year.

But that is just one tiny aspect of his great life of love for the Holy Roman Church.

His memoirs, "WITH LATIN IN THE SERVICE OF THE POPES", have now been released in English by Arouca Press -- and we highly recommend the book. You can find it here.

Below, Bishop Athanasius Schneider's words on the book:
Antonio Bacci was rector of the archdiocesan seminary of Florence when his exceptional knowledge of Latin caused him to be summoned to Rome in 1922 to join the office of the Secretary of State as an assistant, first to Aurelio Galli and then to Nicola Sebastiani, the chief Latinists of the Holy See. Bacci succeeded Sebastiani as Secretary of Briefs to Princes upon the latter’s death in 1931. In the first half of the memoirs here translated, Bacci discusses his relationship with Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, and Paul VI during the period 1931‒1964. After these reminiscences, the Cardinal explains, in the second half of the book, the reasons why the Catholic Church must maintain the Latin language as its official language, addressing all the while the objections that were being raised at that time, when the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council was in full swing. He poses and answers the question whether it is at all possible that even the Church should now repudiate or abandon Latin, which, together with Greek, is the natural womb of our civilization and of our literatures and is still the sole linguistic bond among cultured people amidst such a variety of tongues.

Pius XII: "Disturbances, riots and revolts are organized and fomented" by Atheism, when Religion is taken away.

That which seems to Us not only the greatest evil but the root of all evil is this: often the lie is substituted for the truth, and is then used as an instrument of dispute. On the part of not a few religion is passed by as a thing of no importance, and elsewhere absolutely prohibited in family and social life as a remnant of ancient superstitions; public and private atheism is exalted in such a way that God and His law are being abolished, and morals no longer have any foundation. The Press also too often vulgarly reviles religious feeling, while it does not hesitate to spread the most shameful obscenities, agitating and with incalculable harm leading into vice tender childhood and betrayed youth.

By means of false promises a people is deceived and provoked to hatred, rivalry and rebellion, especially when the hereditary faith, the only relief in this earthly exile, is successfully torn from its heart. Disturbances, riots and revolts are organized and fomented in continuing series, which prepare for the ruin of the economy and cause irreparable harm to the common good.

Draw the living waters of the Sacred Heart - Haurietis Aquas

100 years after Pope Blessed Pius IX had extended the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the Universal Church, Pope Pius XII, of most glorious memory, decided to celebrate the occasion with one of the brightest lights of his pontificate, the Encyclical Letter Haurietis Aquas, signed on May 15, 1956.

Adventures in the Lex Orandi #2: Old and New Versions of St. Ephrem the Syrian

The Mass in honor of St. Ephrem the Syrian—observed in the traditional Roman calendar on June 18 (his dies natalis of June 9 being already occupied by Saints Primus and Felician, who have been venerated since time immemorial)—displays, as usual, a magnificent Collect. As is often the case, the traditional liturgy does not merely “shred” other saints who fall on the same day but commemorates them. Accordingly, the feast of two great ancient saints and blood brothers is not forgotten.

Collects (MR 1962) 
O God, Who hast willed to illuminate Thy Church by the wondrous learning and excellent merits of the life of blessed Ephrem, Thy Confessor and Doctor: we humbly beseech Thee that through his intercession Thou mayest defend her by Thine everlasting power against the snares of error and wickedness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of Thy holy martyrs Mark and Marcellian, may through their intercession be delivered from all threatening evils. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Note that these prayers make no bones about acknowledging what we are up against—“snares of error and wickedness” and “threatening evils”—nor do they hesitate to call “humbly” on the “excellent merits” of the saints and on their “intercession.”

The Transalpine Pope (Emeritus): Benedict XVI Back in Germany

An Italian Air Force plane took Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI from Rome to Munich earlier today. He will be staying in Regensburg close to his older brother, Mgr. Georg Ratzinger, who is gravely ill.

There is no date for his return (the return flight track is seen in the image above -- the airplane that took him to Germany returned to Rome immediately), and he will be staying in Bavaria for the foreseeable future.

We pray for Mgr. Georg Ratzinger and for our dear Pope (Emeritus).

(Source: several Vaticanist Twitter accounts, incl. @edwardpentin and @nicolasseneze)

De Mattei: “Columbus noster est!”

Roberto de Mattei 
Corrispondenza Romana
June 17, 2020

 “Columbus noster est!” “Christopher Columbus is ours!” These words of Leo XIII, in his encyclical Quarto Abeunte Saeculo, issued July 16, 1892, on the IV Centenary of the discovery of America, are like a distant echo to us, at a time when iconoclastic fury in the United States of America is destroying the figure of the Italian navigator.

Leo XIII states in this encyclical that Christopher Columbus’s venture: «is in itself the highest and grandest which any age has ever seen accomplished by man; and he who achieved it, for the greatness of his mind and heart, can be compared to but few in the history of humanity. By his toil another world emerged from the unsearched bosom of the ocean: hundreds of thousands of mortals have, from a state of blindness, been raised to the common level of the human race, reclaimed from savagery to gentleness and humanity; and, greatest of all, by the acquisition of those blessings of which Jesus Christ is the author, they have been recalled from destruction to eternal life. (…) For Columbus is ours; since if a little consideration be given to the particular reason of his design in exploring the mare tenebrosum, and also the manner in which he endeavored to execute the design, it is indubitable that the Catholic faith was the strongest motive for the inception and prosecution of the design; so that for this reason also the whole human race owes not a little to the Church. (…) This view and aim is known to have possessed his mind above all; namely, to open a way for the Gospel over new lands and seas. (…) Columbus certainly had joined to the study of nature the study of religion, and had trained his mind on the teachings that well up from the most intimate depths of the Catholic faith. For this reason, when he learned from the lessons of astronomy and the record of the ancients, that there were great tracts of land lying towards the West, beyond the limits of the known world, lands hitherto explored by no man, he saw in spirit a mighty multitude, cloaked in miserable darkness, given over to evil rites, and the superstitious worship of vain gods. Miserable it is to live in a barbarous state and with savage manners: but more miserable to lack the knowledge of that which is highest, and to dwell in ignorance of the one true God. Considering these things, therefore, in his mind, he sought first of all to extend the Christian name and the benefits of Christian charity to the West, as is abundantly proved by the history of the whole undertaking”».  

Hence, Christopher Columbus belongs to the Church, and any affront to him is directed at the Church, which has the duty to defend his memory. This spirit inspired Count Antoine-François-Félix Roselly de Lorgues (1805-1898) who dedicated his life to promoting the cause for Christopher Columbus’s canonization. Encouraged by Pius IX, in 1856, in Paris, Roselly de Lorgues published a two-volume work entitled: Cristophe Colomb. Histoire de sa vie et de ses voyages; d’après des documents authentiques tirés d’Espagne et d’Italie, which achieved world-wide success. In this work, Roselly de Lorgues, for the first time, offers his thesis for the canonization of the “Admiral of the Ocean”.  He writes in a subsequent work: “…he was the ambassador of God to unknown nations that the ancient world were unaware of”  and “ the natural legate of the Holy See in those new regions”. (Della vita di Cristoforo Colombo e delle ragioni per chiederne la beatificazione, tr. it., per Ranieri Guasti, Prato 1876, p. 83)

USCCB President Abp. Gómez: The U.S. Supreme Court and the Injustice of the Redefinition of Sex

A heartfelt statement by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Abp. José H. Gomez, following the disastrous decision of the United States Supreme Court earlier today:

WASHINGTON — The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, provided a statement on the decision issued today by the Supreme Court of the United States – combining Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., Altitude Express v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Opportunity Employment Comm’n. The justices ruled that the prohibition on “sex” discrimination in employment in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 now prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “transgender” status.

Archbishop Gomez’s statement follows:

I am deeply concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively redefined the legal meaning of ‘sex’ in our nation’s civil rights law. This is an injustice that will have implications in many areas of life.

SAINT ANTHONY warns negligent superiors and prelates of the dire personal consequences of their omission

Exsulta, Lusitania felix! O felix Padua, gaude! -- with these words, Pope Pius XII, of most glorious memory, started his Apostolic Brief naming Saint Anthony of Padua Doctor of the Church. The Doctor Evangelicus was a fiery preacher, filled with the righteous indignation of a true saint -- not at all like the emasculated simpleton some seem to believe him to have been.

We present below two excerpts of his "Sermon on the justice of hypocrites and of true penitents", commonly included, in the "Sermones Dominicales", in the sermons for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. Saint Anthony warns negligent superiors and prelates of the dire personal consequences of their omission -- and the danger of ambition, particularly of superiors ("In superiori gradu præferuntur, ut lapsu graviore ruant.")


If the ox was wont to push with his horn yesterday and the day before, and they warned his master, and he did not shut him up, and he shall kill a man or a woman: then the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. [Exodus xxi, 29] The ox that pushes with his horn is the carnal appetite, which with the horn of pride kills a man or a woman: that is to say, his reason or his good will. Because his owner, the spirit, does not shut him up, he is killed along with the ox: body and soul will be eternally punished together. Hear this, you abbots and priors! If you have an ox that pushes with his horn, a monk or canon who is proud, a lover of wine and pleasure, and you will not shut him up, so that men and women are not scandalized by his bad example: the ox shall be stoned to death, and die in his sin, and the abbot or prior who would not restrain him will be punished eternally.

FONTGOMBAULT - Sermon for Corpus Christi: "The mystery of the Eucharist is a mystery of life. It is the life of God wanting to become the life of man."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, June 11, 2020

Hic est panis, qui de cælo descendit.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
(Jn 6:58)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

What a contrast! At dawn of mankind, an apple in the hands of man became the cause of his sentence. When the times had reached their fulfillment, a little portion of bread and wine in the hands of God became, and still remain, instruments of salvation. Such is the great mystery of this Bread, a living and lifegiving Bread, that the Church invites us to meditate, so as better to adore.

As the living Father hath sent Me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live forever. (Jn 6:57-58)

The mystery of the Eucharist is a mystery of life. It is the life of God wanting to become the life of man. The same holds for all sacraments, which are the admirable means used by God to touch the heart of man, the precious manifestations of an unfathomable and boundless love for our poor humanity. In the case of the Eucharist, it is God Himself, the Author of every gift, Who is present and makes Himself a gift.

A Special Article for the Feast of Corpus Christi:

by Father Konrad zu Loewenstein

[A booklet with the basic doctrine on the Blessed Sacrament - reposted.]

Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas,
Quae sub his figuris vere latitas:
Tibi se cor meum totum subicit,
Quia, Te contemplans, totum deficit...

Devoutly I adore Thee, O Hidden Deity,
Who beneath these figures truly liest hidden:
My heart subjects itself entirely to Thee,
because in contemplating Thee it fails entirely...

St. Thomas Aquinas


We have considered it important to re-state clearly and concisely the sublime doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church in regard to the Holy Eucharist, in an age when notable sectors of the Catholic laity, clergy, and even of the hierarchy, trapped in a bland and merely human way of thinking, and\or seduced by a resurgence of Protestant Eucharistic heresies, manifest the most lamentable ignorance or heterodoxy in its regard, together with a conduct entirely unbecoming to such solemn realities.  

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the diocesan
authorities for having verified the conformity of this text with
Catholic Doctrine, and to the translator of the original into English

The Holy Eucharist is one of the seven Sacraments of the Church. The term ‘Holy Eucharist’has two senses: The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and the Holy Mass. In the first sense the Holy Eucharist is considered in Itself, in the second sense It is considered in so far as It is offered.


     As a Sacrament, the Most Blessed Sacrament:
     1) is a sign of Grace;
     2) confers Grace on us;
     3) was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ.

     In particular:

Vigano mentions TLM, gets presidential tweet

To be candid, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano was not known to many traditional Catholics a few years ago, as he never publicly took an interest in the traditional Latin Mass or the problems with the Second Vatican Council.  Then Jorge Bergoglio, after a couple years of blind obedience from the Catholic center-right beginning in 2013, finally had the effect of separating the Wuerls from the men.  A strong coalition was formed, uniting conservative and traditional Catholics to defend the Church's teachings against someone who clearly opposes them.  The Francis Effect -- it keeps on giving.

Archbishop Vigano's latest letter -- responding to a recent piece by Bishop Athanasius Schneider -- is perhaps his most traditional to date, ranging from criticism of Vatican II to the many traditions discarded in recent years.  Notable, however, is his strong entry into liturgy, which has not been a focus from the archbishop until now:

If we have a liturgy that is Protestantized and at times even paganized, we owe it to the revolutionary action of Msgr. Annibale Bugnini and to the post-conciliar reforms.


The greatest affront of that Pontificate [Benedict XVI] was liberally permitting the celebration of the venerated Tridentine Liturgy, the legitimacy of which was finally recognized, disproving fifty years of its illegitimate ostracization. It is no accident that Bergoglio’s supporters are the same people who saw the Council as the first event of a new church, prior to which there was an old religion with an old liturgy.

Toward the end of the piece Archbishop Vigano even implies liturgical reforms in place by 1962 were too liberal (a growing sentiment among traditional Catholics, with which we strongly agree).  Whomever the archbishop has been working with lately, we hope it continues.

Looking for Summer Wisdom (and Sanity)? Albertus Magnus Center Offers July Course in Madison, Wisconsin

As per custom, the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies is offering a summer study program, this time in Madison, Wisconsin on St. Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on Faith from the Secunda Secundae of the Summa Theologiae. The dates are July 27-31, 2020. In this Covid-19 world, it is a relief to know that some worthwhile social and ecclesial activities are getting underway again. The course will be accompanied by Traditional Latin Masses.
“Without Faith It Is Impossible To Please God” (Hebrews 11:6)
St. Thomas’ Treatise on Faith

The St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies will hold one of its annual summer theology sessions for the first time this year in Madison, Wisconsin, at the St. Paul University Catholic Center on the Campus of the University of Wisconsin. This program will be focused on a close reading of St. Thomas Aquinas’s treatise on the virtue of faith in his Summa Theologiae II-II.

The daily academic schedule will include lectures and discussion-style seminars. The seminars focus on a detailed reading of the great texts of the theological tradition, the aim of which is to arrive at a deeper knowledge of truth through a collaborative work of reasoned dialogue. The lectures provide an opportunity for certain topics that arise out of the reading to be explored in greater depth. One of the highlights of the course is the formal scholastic disputation to be held at the conclusion of the program.

In addition to the academic program, there will also be ample opportunity to participate in the rich liturgical life of St. Paul’s. Daily Mass will be available in the usus antiquior (‘extraordinary form’) of the Roman Rite. For our aim is not merely to study the sacred Scriptures but to contemplate the divine mysteries of the faith. Taking St. Thomas as our model both in study and in prayer, our studies draw their life from the sacred liturgy of the Church.

More details, including the profiles of the five faculty members, may be found here

FIUV Statement on Covid Communion on the Tongue

A press release from the FIUV. PDF version here.

Foederatio Internationalis 
Una Voce

Quae patronum invocat sanctum Gregorium Magnum Papam.

Press Release: Communion in the Hand and Epidemic

In light of the recent statement (and here) by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, in the United States of America, on social distancing during the reception of Holy Communion, and related issues surrounding the reception of Holy Communion around the world in the context of the Coronavirus epidemic, the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (FIUV) would like to make the following observations.

1. In the Ordinary Form, the universal law of the Church gives every Catholic the right to receive on the tongue. This was reaffirmed by the Congregation of Divine Worship in the context of earlier public health concerns, the so-called ‘Swine flu’ epidemic of 2009. (See for example RedemptionisSacramentum (2004) 92; Letter of the Congregation of Divine Worship 24th July 2009, Prot. N. 655/09/L.)

2. In the Extraordinary Form, the universal law of the Church allows for the reception of Holy Communion only on the tongue. (See UniversaeEcclesiae (2011) 28; MemorialeDomini (1969).)

3. In neither case can the law of the Church be set aside by the Ordinary.

42 Years Ago Today: Solzhenitsyn's Harvard Speech, a Prophecy for our Troubled Age

The western world is in upheaval, a devilish revolutionary fever brought about by an extreme "progressivism" gone awry, the culture of "wokeness", that erupts in rage at the end of the illegitimate lockdowns imposed by various governments.

Exactly 42 years ago today, on June 8, 1978, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn traveled the New England roads from his place of refuge in Vermont to the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, Harvard University, where he delivered the keynote Commencement Address for that year. It was his first major public address in America since taking refuge in the country three years earlier.

It has justifiably become perhaps the most famous commencement speech ever delivered. It was also a haunting prophecy of the age in which we are currently living.

We call your attention in particular to these very important prophetic observations delivered on that day:


[On Lack of Moral Courage:]

Maybe the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course there are many courageous individuals but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and weak countries, not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?

[On the Dangers of Permanent Satisfaction:]

When the modern Western States were created, the following principle was proclaimed: governments are meant to serve man, and man lives to be free to pursue happiness. (See, for example, the American Declaration). Now at last during past decades technical and social progress has permitted the realization of such aspirations: the welfare state. Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness, in the morally inferior sense which has come into being during those same decades. In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. ...

Even biology knows that habitual extreme safety and well-being are not advantageous for a living organism. Today, well-being in the life of Western society has begun to reveal its pernicious mask.

[On the Acceptance of Evil due to a wrongheaded notion of unlimited freedom:]

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people's right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.

De Mattei: Gregory XVI and the epidemic of his time

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Ronana
June 3, 2020

The cholera that flagellated Europe in the 1800s, started off on the shores of the Ganges, India, in 1817. The passage of the disease was slow but relentless.  The pandemic made its way into China and Japan, then Russia and thus spread to the Scandinavian countries, England and Ireland. From there, during the 1830s, it reached America with the immigrant-ships, striking Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Peru and Chile. In 1832 it arrived in Paris, then Spain and finally in July 1835, it passed through the northern Italian borders at Nice, Genoa and Turin.
The historian, Gaetano Moroni (1802-1883), in his famous Dictionary of Erudition, when addressing the “destructive and desolating scourge of the Indian or Asian Cholera morbus ” calls it “pestilence” and presents it in these terms: “pestilence signifies every sort of scourge, a divine chastisement which incites salutary dread and fright in everyone, by jolting obstinate sinners into true repentance, effecting wonderful results, sins being the perennial cause of all kinds of adversity.”  (Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica, Tipografia Emiliana, Venezia 1840-1861, vol. 52, p. 219). 

Archbishop Gregory bashes Knights of Columbus, President

Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, DC, has essentially been missing for about three months.  March 8 was the last Sunday of public Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington, with a ban announced by Gregory on March 12.  The government of Washington, DC, has limited church congregations to a whopping ten people -- even in the first COVID-19 phase of reopening.  Considering all of the other large public gatherings in Washington, an outrage.  Not a public word from Wilton Gregory.

No public Masses are being offered in the nation's capital -- not even at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest church in North America.  The DC government limit of ten people applies to that church, which seats thousands. Not a public word from Wilton Gregory.

Today, though, Wilton Gregory woke up and spoke up.  Not on public Masses, or confessions, or any sacraments.  He chose to make his most public statement of the year to condemn the Knights of Columbus and the U.S. president for a visit to the John Paul II shrine in DC for an event on international religious freedom. Today marks the anniversary of JPII's famous nine day pilgrimage that started with a liturgy in Warsaw on June 2, 1979. 

Wilton Gregory, doing who knows what

The JPII shrine, owned by the Knights of Columbus, issued a response to Gregory's attack.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Last month we added two new priests, including one from Africa praise God, and the Society now stands at 105 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card in English to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll (you send these to the family and/or friends of the dead, not to us). It's free for anyone to use. CLICK HERE to download in Latin and CLICK HERE to download in Spanish

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the repose of the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

IMPORTANT: Donate and Help the Oldest Continuous Traditional Catholic group: the Traditional Catholics of Campos (New Non-Profit for Donations)


New non-profit to support traditional Catholic community in Brazil


Friends of Campos, Inc. is a new US-based not-for-profit providing grants to support the seminary and the social and educational projects of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, located in Campos de Goytacazes, Brazil. The region, under the bold guidance of Dom Antônio Castro-Mayer, was a great preserve of traditional Catholic life during the tumultuous period following the Second Vatican Council. Thanks to his encouragement at that time, the region continues to be one in which traditional Catholic life and liturgy flourish.

The Personal Apostolic Administration was formally erected in 2002 by the Holy See by the decree Animarum Bonum to conserve the liturgical, doctrinal and cultural traditions of the Catholic Church, in full communion with the Magisterium. The community as a whole has thirteen parishes, six rectories, fifteen private Catholic schools, four homes for the aged, and eight associations of women religious. Some 35 priests serve in a community of over 30,000 active parishioners. The seminary takes up to 40 young men for formation, and is expanding to accept up to 80, as demand consistently exceeds the available space.

While the focus of Friends of Campos is on supporting the Seminary, which is the spiritual and cultural heart of the community, grants are also offered for projects at social and educational institutions run by the Personal Apostolic Administration around the diocese. Friends of Campos works with a local board of clergy to evaluate and select proposed projects and administer grants.

Although the area is rich in traditional Catholic culture, it is very poor materially, and even modest donations go a long way towards the needs of the community. The Coronavirus epidemic which has hit even developed countries hard, brings more difficulties to Campos which has few of the resources needed to fight the health problems and economic devastation. The unbroken Tradition of faith acts as a bulwark in troubled times, but material support - even the basics of food and hygiene - are always needed.

PENTECOST - Fontgombault Sermon: "Nine months are necessary for a child to be begotten in its mother’s womb. A whole life is necessary to earn Heaven."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Father Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, May 31, 2020

Illumina cor hominum.
Illuminate the hearts of men.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

During this time of pandemic, the feast of Pentecost call for a new outpouring of the Spirit of God upon us, upon all the faithful, all men. May God renew our so desolate earth, may He illuminate and give peace to so many men ensnared by disease, poverty, rebellion, or murmuring against the virus, and the measures taken by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities to limit its spreading.

Our joy is great in these days when many Christians can at last go back to church and receive again, after long weeks of deprivation, the sacraments of the Eucharist and penance.

Yet, many questions are left unanswered. Why this disease, inexorably roaming through cities, countries and continents? Who is responsible? Is it Nature and its chances, or man’s imprudence or wickedness, is it God’s wrath? 

Whatever the answer may be, it is a harsh lesson for man, who has been for many decades now pushing back, apparently without any hindrance, the frontiers of what is considered possible in almost all known domains. Ever faster, ever farther, ever stronger... But many are left over, forgotten, wretchedly remaining on the roadside, and contenting themselves with watching through the media the world and its achievements. In this wild and crazy race, the sacred domain of life hasn’t been forgotten: human enhancement, children conceived in a test-tube, then available for self-service... we might draw a long list, witnessing to a freedom that was hoped to be limitless.

And, now, a tiny virus calls all this into question! No one is spared. The whistle signal has been blown in the world of the first creation, turned into a playground for re-creation. The return to reality is rough. “God always forgives, man seldom, Nature never.” Family and home become shelters when everything is crumbling away. Shall we be humble enough to keep remembering, when these days have gone away?

Leo XIII: "There are not a few who are imbued with evil principles and eager for revolutionary change."

Once again, in this tumultuous period started by the Communist Party of China and its actions, we have the opportunity of recalling the words of that wise Pontiff, Leo XIII, as relevant today as they were in his age.

Weeks ago, in the beginning of the perilous lockdowns, we quoted his words on the natural right that every man has to work, to provide for himself and for his family, an institution that precedes the State.

Now, we feel the need to remember more of his words from Rerum Novarum:

Rights must be religiously respected wherever they exist, and it is the duty of the public authority to prevent and to punish injury, and to protect every one in the possession of his own. Still, when there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badly off have a claim to especial consideration.

Adventures in the Lex Orandi: Comparing Traditional and Modern Orations for St Augustine of Canterbury

Icon by Aidan Hart

In the traditional Latin Mass, St. Augustine of Canterbury, missionary to the English (feastday: May 28th), has his own orations—and what magnificent orations they are!

Collect (TLM):

O God, Who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, Thy Confessor and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to illumine the English people with the light of the true faith: grant that, through his intercession, the hearts of those who have gone astray may return to the unity of Thy truth and that we may be of one mind in doing Thy will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

“‘Don’t Call Me Hero’: The Catholic Attitude”: Guest Article by Fr. William Slattery

The following article illustrates historically what the recent Rorate Caeli article entitled “A theologian analyzes the morality of the cancellation of public Masses and the closure of churches by the State” documented theologically: the attitude priests must have in administering the sacraments. The author is Fr. William J. Slattery, Ph.D, S.T.L., author of The Logic of Truth (Leonardo da Vinci, 2016) and Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build – and can help Rebuild – Western Civilization (Ignatius Press, 2017).

St. Cajetan Strengthens a Dying Man

“Don’t Call Me Hero”: The Catholic Attitude

Fr William Slattery

The most recent well-documented account of the attitudes and actions of priests during an epidemic occurred during the most devastating famine to hit Europe since the fifteenth century: the “Great Famine” in Ireland between 1845–1850. According to Amartya Sen, the Harvard historian of famines, “[in] no other famine in the world [was] the proportion of people killed as large as in the Irish famines of the 1840s.”[i] The cause was a blight that destroyed the potato crop—the staple food for three million of the nation’s 8.5 million people—killing one million persons by starvation and related diseases of fever, diphtheria, cholera, smallpox, dysentery and influenza and forcing another million into exile.

Letter from a Catholic Medical Doctor to His Bishop: "I beg you, open wide the doors of our churches, and may they never be closed again"

Rorate was given a copy of this moving letter, written by a Catholic medical doctor to his bishop, who has continued to uphold severe restrictions on Mass attendance and sacramental reception.

The Ascension of Our Lord
May 21st, 2020

Your Excellency,

Last Monday, I received a copy of the diocese’s letter regarding the opening of our churches as we enter the “yellow phase.” After being denied access to the Sacraments for two months, I cannot begin to tell you how absolutely heartbreaking the letter was to read.

Fontgombault Sermon for the Ascension: "We feel a deep sorrow when we read that the experience of virtual Masses seems to satisfy a not inconsiderable number of Christians."

Ascension of the Lord

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
Fontgombault, May 21, 2020

Eritis mihi testes... usque ad ultimum terræ.
You shall be witnesses unto Me... even to the uttermost part of the earth.
(Acts 1:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The event of the Ascension comes and closes the time when the Lord was present with His disciples. After His resurrection, Christ had appeared again many times to His friends. But contrary to the three years of His public life, already He was no longer with them in a way that could be felt and seen. Now, the Ascension deprives them even of this presence.

The time is now come for the last words, the ultimate sending on mission. Three of the evangelists, Matthew, Mark and Luke, will remember that. As to St. John, he doesn’t evoke the moment of the Ascension, since the others had already told it before him, but he concludes his Gospel with the episode of the miraculous catch of fish, near the shore of the Sea of Tiberias.

Whereas the night had already elapsed, and they still had caught nothing, the Apostles see a man on the shore. They don’t recognize him. He invites them to cast again their nets, which get full of fish. “It is the Lord!” (Jn 21:7) exclaims St. John. After a meal of bread and fish taken around a fire of coals, Jesus asks Peter three times this question, “Lovest thou me?” Then He adds, “Feed my lambs... Look after my sheep... Feed my sheep.” (Jn 21:15-18)

Traditional Catholics get French Highest Court for Administrative Matters to Act for the Liberty of the Church when Bishops didn't

Note: The following is an article published in the French daily Le Monde, not known for Catholic sympathy.  The remarkable fact referred to in this article is that a group of Traditional Catholic priests and laity brought a suit to what is the French equivalent to the Supreme Court on administrative and governmental matters to celebrate Mass within the situation of the Covid-19 crisis.  The French Bishops Conference protested against the situation but did not follow up with an appeal to the Court.  This shows where the power lies in the battle that will be engaged in the future between a secular state that is inimical to the Christian faith and its practice and those Catholics who believe and will fight for their rights against a secular and anti-religious State.  

The original decisions of the Conseil d'État are available here (the main one is number 440366)

 Conseil d’Etat lifts the "disproportionate" ban on religious celebrations in France

By Cécile Chambraud for Le Monde 

May 19, 2020

The government has eight days to relax the ban on public religious ceremonies in places of worship, in effect since March 15. The Conseil d’Etat ruled Monday, May 18, that the general and absolute ban on all gatherings in churches, temples, synagogues and mosques, if it could be admitted in the first phase of the fight against the epidemic Covid-19, is “disproportionate” during this period of post-confinement.

Aldo Maria Valli on the Church and the Pandemic: "The Masks have fallen! The Masks have fallen!"

by Aldo Maria Valli of Duc in Altum

Translated by Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla

The pandemic of the coronavirus has brought us suffering and uneasiness, but has contributed to the ripping off of many masks.

One mask that has been ripped off is a consequence of how the government has acted in the pandemic, just as we have been accustomed to see how the government has acted in the last few years: the politics of superficial declarations, of disputes that are continual and meaningless. of continual electoral campaigns, of the quasi- theater only good for talk shows but in the end all fatuous and empty.

When confronted with an alarming situation, for each individual and for society as a whole, the apparatus of the government has shown it itself to be what it is: A debased theatrical event, or more to the point, a backdrop of papier-mâché, before which dull and dreary figures of actors recite the lines of the farce that is the struggle for power that totally ignores the authentic functions of government, that is, the management of the res publica.  

What should a government do if it does not operate to guarantee the safety of its citizens?  And what should it do to guarantee the safety of its citizens if it does not recognize that reality, to do what has to be done to give to the country a solid foundation and to confront in a timely fashion crises that arise?

Rao: "Follow-up on the Pandemic: Committing Suicide in the War of All Against All"

Committing Suicide in the War of All Against All:
Addendum to My Previous Remarks

John Rao

“Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served the Zeitgeist,
He would not in my age have left me naked to mine enemies.”

I. An Addendum

A commentator on my recent letter regarding the pandaemonium now diabolically disorienting almost every nook and cranny of our Global Fatherland wondered whether it might not be more accurate to categorize the planetary imprisonment as a Thomas Hobbes-down rather than a John Locke-down. He definitely has a point with respect to the roots and the historical chronology of the problem, but not in terms of marketing what is indeed at base a Hobbesian weapon of mass destruction. Here, Locke beats the author of Leviathan as an arms dealer hands-down. 

Still, the point is well taken, and serves the purpose of addressing something weighing heavily on my mind: the need for a brief, three-fold and admittedly somewhat disjointed addendum to my initial words on the Hospital of Earthly Delights that the Medico-Moonshine Complex has brought into being with a panache that Hieronymus Bosch could never have matched. This tripartite addendum concerns 1) the War of All Against All in and of itself; 2) the appropriateness of our chaplain, Fr. Richard Munkelt, baptizing that conflict in its current manifestation with Johnny Pluralist’s name; and, 3) the utterly astounding fact that the Church has decided to “do herself in” just when there is an elegant sufficiency of external warriors ready to administer the coup de grace more honorably.