Rorate Caeli

Card. Koch: SSPX decision on consecrating new bishops coming "soon"

From the Austrian newspaper, Nachrichten:

The first part of the interview, in which the following passage is situated, deals with ecumenism. First there are some questions about the dialogue with the Protestants, as well as a question about progressive and conservative tendencies within the church, and if inner-church ecumenism is required. Then the interviewer asks the Cardinal:

But doesn't this [inner-church dialogue and reconciliation] take place in a very unequal way? Rome does talk with the extremely conservative and difficult Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. There is no such thing with the progressives.

Card. Koch: "There is a fundamental difference here: On the one hand there are movements and initiatives, on the other hand, there is the Fraternity, which has clear ecclesiastical structures. The Fraternity is faced with the difficult decision of soon consecrating new Bishops [without a mandate from Rome, note from the original author of the article]. If that happens, the end of any form of dialogue has come. This is why it was a concern to Pope Benedict XVI to prevent a schism. In his opinion the church had not, in the past, done everything it could have done to prevent schisms. That is a completely different situation from the one with the reform movements. Needless to say that there must be talks with them, too."

[h/t: reader]

Rorate note. We believe the eminent Cardinal is, with all due respect, mistaken: any such decision by the Society of Saint Pius X is not at all forthcoming, or soon, or any similar term that is preferred.

For the record: Parolin new Secretary of State

As speculated for months, and confirmed by leaks for several days, the Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela, Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin, was named by Pope Francis new Secretary of State, effective October 15. Abp. Parolin is considered very close to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Secretary of State.

In a sign of English as a second language of communications of the Holy See with the world, all major announcements today were made available in English directly by the Holy See Press Office together with the Italian original.

The Holy Father has accepted, in keeping with Can. 354 of the Code of Canon Law, the resignation of His Eminence, Card. Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, asking him, however, to remain in office until 15 October, 2013, with all the faculties proper to the office.

At the same time, the Holy Father has nominated Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela, as the new Secretary of State. He shall take possession of his office on 15 October, 2013.

On that occasion, His Holiness shall receive in audience Superiors and Officials of the Secretariat of State, in order publically to thank Cardinal Bertone for his faithful and generous service to the Holy See, and to introduce them to the new Secretary of State. [Source]


At this moment, in which my appointment as Secretary of State is made public, I desire to express deep and affectionate gratitude to the Holy Father, Francis, for the unmerited trust he is showing me, and to make known to him once again my willingness and complete availability to work with him and under his guidance for the greater glory of God, the good of the Holy Church, and the progress and peace of humanity, that humanity might find reasons to live and to hope.

I feel very strongly the grace of this call, which is yet another and the latest of God’s surprises in my life. Above all, I feel the full weight of the responsibility placed upon me: this call entrusts to me a difficult and challenging mission, before which my powers are weak and my abilities poor. For this reason, I entrust myself to the merciful love of the Lord, from whom nothing and no one can ever separate me, and to the prayers of all. I thank all those who have shown and who, starting now, will show me understanding, as well as for any and all manner of help that anyone might desire to offer me in my new undertaking.

My thoughts go to my family and to all the persons who have been part of my life: in the parishes into which I was born and in which I served; in the dear Diocese of Vicenza; at Rome; in the countries in which I have worked – from Nigeria, to Mexico, and most recently in Venezuela, which I am sorry to leave. I think also of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, who ordained me bishop, I think of the Secretariat of State, which was my home for many years, of His Eminence, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, of the other Superiors, colleagues and collaborators and of the whole Roman Curia, as well as of all those who represent the Holy Father and the Holy See diplomatically around the world. I owe a great debt to them all.

It is with trepidation that I place myself in this new service to the Gospel, to the Church and to Pope Francis, but also with trust and serenity – disposed – as the Holy Father has asked us from the beginning – to walk, to build and to profess.

May our Lady, whom I like to invoke under her titles as Our Lady of Monte Berico, Guadalupe and Coromoto, give us, "The courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward." And, as they say in Venezuela, "¡Que Dios les bendiga!". [May God bless you!"]

Caracas, 31 agosto 2013

Beatification and Canonization of Saints

The Catholic Church canonizes or beatifies only those whose lives have been marked by the exercise of heroic virtue, and only after this has been proved by common repute for sanctity and by conclusive arguments. The chief difference, however, lies in the meaning of the term canonization, the Church seeing in the saints nothing more than friends and servants of God whose holy lives have made them worthy of His special love. She does not pretend to make gods (cf. Eusebius Emisenus, Serm. de S. Rom. M.; Augustine, City of God XXII.10; Cyrill. Alexandr., Contra Jul., lib. VI; Cyprian, De Exhortat. martyr.; Conc. Nic., II, act. 3).

The true origin of canonization and beatification must be sought in the Catholic doctrine of the worship (cultus), invocation, and intercession of the saints. As was taught by St. Augustine (Quaest. in Heptateuch., lib. II, n. 94; Reply to Faustus XX.21), Catholics, while giving to God alone adoration strictly so-called, honour the saints because of the Divine supernatural gifts which have earned them eternal life, and through which they reign with God in the heavenly fatherland as His chosen friends and faithful servants. In other words, Catholics honour God in His saints as the loving distributor of supernatural gifts.

The worship of latria (latreia), or strict adoration, is given to God alone; the worship of dulia (douleia), or honour and humble reverence, is paid the saints; the worship of hyperdulia (hyperdouleia), a higher form of dulia, belongs, on account of her greater excellence, to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church (Augustine, Reply to Faustus XX.21; cf. City of God XXII.10) erects her altars to God alone, though in honour and memory of the saints and martyrs. There is Scriptural warrant for such worship in the passages where we are bidden to venerate angels (Exodus 23:20 sqq.; Joshua 5:13 sqq.; Daniel 8:15 sqq.; 10:4 sqq.; Luke 2:9 sqq.; Acts 12:7 sqq.; Revelation 5:11 sqq.; 7:1 sqq.; Matthew 18:10; etc.), whom holy men are not unlike, as sharers of the friendship of God. And if St. Paul beseeches the brethren (Romans 15:30; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Colossians 4:3; Ephesians 6:18-19) to help him by their prayers for him to God, we must with even greater reason maintain that we can be helped by the prayers of the saints, and ask their intercession with humility. If we may beseech those who still live on earth, why not those who live in heaven?

Beatification of John Bosco A. D. 1929:

Your Report: 2nd Annual FSSP Mission Trip to Peru

By the FSSP, exclusive to Rorate:

The second annual St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter began in Miami airport on August 1st, 2013 and prepared to set out to work in the city of Piura in northern Peru. The group was nearly twice as large as last year and came from more diverse locations across the US and Canada. After an overnight flight, we arrived exhausted. Our spirits, however, were quickly revived by the warm welcome given by the people of Santisimo Sacramento Parish, which proved an accurate overture for our stay in Piura.

Santisimo Sacramento is a parish of over 40,000 souls comprising 26 chapels in outlying villages extending eastward from the city of Piura. The pastor is Fr. Joseph Uhen, who hails from Oklahoma, but has spent his entire priesthood in Peru. After spending time with the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, he decided to be ordained for the archdiocese of Piura where he has worked for 20 years. The extent of his labors caring for the souls and bodies of the people entrusted to him is immense. He is aided by an able staff of lay workers and a near constant stream of missionaries from the United States and elsewhere. (Visit the parish website He graciously welcomed our group and put us to work in a great variety of activities.

Each morning and afternoon a list of jobs would be posted to which the missionaries were assigned. Some built houses, some worked in the free clinic at the parish, others assisted with hospice care. Still others delivered food and other goods to the poor. We spent time visiting the three orphanages cared for by the parish. There is also a parish school, a senior citizen home, a drug rehab center, a women’s shelter, and much more.

The two FSSP priests who were part of the trip spent much of their time making sick calls and blessing houses. Several young missionaries accompanied the priests on each of the visits, and many them related afterwards that these were among the most memorable experiences of the trip as they witnessed the great faith of these simple people as Our Lord visited them in Holy Communion. Though these encounters were brief, there was a profound realization that great distances and cultural differences were instantly bridged through the mystery of the Sacrament before which all bent theirs knees in adoration.

Of course the objective of the FSSP making this trip was not merely to give the young people the opportunity to be glorified social workers for two weeks. The goal was to give them the chance to deepen their relationship with Christ through the performance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The grace to do this derives principally from their daily participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Having ourselves benefited tremendously from this daily offering of our Lord’s sacrifice in the extraordinary form, the St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip strives to share this treasure with those to whom we minister, remembering that Pope Benedict XVI taught in Summorum Pontificum that the traditional liturgy is the common heritage of the whole Church.

Legionaries: apparently no longer anathema ...

From CWN:

Pope Francis has named Father Fernando Vergez Alzaga, the current head of the Vatican telecommunications office, to become secretary of the Vatican governorate.

Father Alzaga, a Spanish-born member of the Legion of Christ, has worked at various Vatican posts since 1972. At the governorate-- the office that handles the practical affairs of theVatican city-state—he will be the second-ranking official, under Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello.

As secretary of the governorate, Father Vergez replaces Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, who was named earlier this week to become adjunct secretary of the Apostolic Signatura.

The Vatican announcement of the appointment did not indicate that Father Vergez would be ordained as a bishop, as would customarily be the case for the secretary of the governorate.

This could signal a desire to downgrade the role of the governorate, an office that was at the center of corruption accusations in the “Vatileaks” scandal.

Rorate book review: The Remnants

"The crisis is over; we have lost. This is no longer just a prediction, it is a simple observation: Rome has been desecrated. We are in the age of darkness. Triumphalist reactions are in vain. The modern world and the Church deserve the punishment that God is raining down on us." -- John Senior.

When we received a copy in the mail last week of this book, we knew two things from the start: those who have been traditional Catholics pre-Summorum have at least heard the name John Senior. And, we guessed, those younger traditionals or older ones who came to tradition post-Summorum may have never heard of him. 

For those who have, and for those who experienced the pre-Summorum years after the Council and know what faithful Catholics who love tradition have endured for 50 years, the quote at the top of this post will not come as a surprise, sadly. For those new to tradition, who have never had to drive multiple hours one way to the nearest Traditional Latin Mass, the quote may come as a shock, and seem excessive. 

More than a decade following his death, Remnant Press has compiled some of Senior's writings in an easy-to-read book titled "The Remnants: The Final Essays of John Senior." 

We found this short book has something for everyone, regardless of how long they've been traditional, or if they're even traditional at all. Any serious Catholic would benefit from the wisdom and history it contains. 

Senior takes readers through the minds of thinkers like Newman, Virgil and Aristotle. He gives a blueprint on how to recapture Catholic life in the home and how to form young minds. And, because he lived it along with other traditional Catholic warriors like his friend Michael Davies and the late Walter Matt, readers get a glimpse into the dark days following the Council, and decisions many traditional Catholics faced with the Écône consecrations, the early days of Ecclesia Dei and the perhaps presumed choice between love of tradition and "obedience" to the current actions of those at the top of the Church. 

Click here to order this book. "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

Contemporary studies on the Papal Liturgy

Summary: It may first seem that history, theology, ceremonies and the customs of the Papal liturgy, and their impact on sacred rites celebrated everywhere in the world over the centuries of the Church have not been researched by scientists. This is but misbelief.

Extremely important research has been conducted for the past decades (with the special mention deserved by Professor M. Dykmans; the publications of the contemporary Papal Office of Liturgical Celebrations are also important), which is undoubtedly owed to the development of liturgical sciences initiated by the liturgical movement.

Sadly, Polish bibliography is very modest indeed – besides works of Archbishop A. J. Nowowiejski (Wykład liturgii Kościoła katolickiego) and articles written by Fr Professor Jerzy Stefański PhD hab., we seem to have no noteworthy publications. Since 2010, there have been attempts to bring in new air (publications or audiovisual aids), which has been initiated by a new website ( Caeremoniale Romanum – Liturgia et mores Curiae Romanae.

In order to explain the subject to Polish readers, we feature some introductory publications for research on the Papal liturgy. The available sources may comprise four main categories: 1. Liturgical books; 2. Publications; 3. Articles; 4. Diaries of Papal Masters of Ceremonies. The above categories may be split into subcategories, depending on topics touched, e.g. into language or thematic.

The Papal liturgy is to be further explained in Polish liturgical writings, all the more that the late 1990s and early 2000s have been marked by the reign of the Great Pole — blessed Pope John Paul II. Let the article be the incentive to further study.

You Report: Not Your Typical Hollywood Premier!

[h/t reader]

This is a picture from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church at 6610 W. Sunset Blvd., in the heart of Hollywood, where last night I attended a memorial Requiem Mass for the soul of Mr. Guy Coulombe, father of writer Charles Coulombe. It was the first traditional Mass held in this church since the Council, a fact which was commented upon by the celebrant, Fr. Robert Bishop, who has provided the traditional Mass for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on a peripatetic basis for more than twenty years. The Deacon was from among the Norbertines of St. Michael's Abbey, and the sub-deacon was Fr. Andrew Bartus of the Ordinariate church of Bl. John Henry Newman in Orange County.

The congregation numbered in excess of one hundred persons. Blessed Sacrament Church was the actor's church in Hollywood. Originally formed in 1904, the present church was built in 1953, and is a combination of Spanish baroque with "other-modern." Afterward, Charles Coulomb addressed the fathers, parish administrator, and congregants with words of enthusiasm and gratitude. It was a memorable Hollywood "premier," the significance of which is far greater than mere shadows on celluloid.

Rorate note: Don't forget to enroll the Souls of your family and friends in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society, where 33 holy priests say regular TLMs for the enrolled Souls.

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. And please follow this formatting strictly. 

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 Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society."

Event: Pontifical Mass in Detroit

Sent by reader P. Schultz:

On Friday evening, August 30th, at 7:00 p.m. at Detroit's Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Donald Hanchon, episcopal vicar for the Central Region, will celebrate his first Traditional Latin Mass for members of Juventutem. Clerics and faithful of all ages are welcome to attend this Mass.

Mass will be preceded by a 6:30 Rosary, at which members will pray for an increased acceptance of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. After Mass, clerics and young adults (18-35 years old), singles and families, will gather for dinner, fine conversation, in the cathedral dining hall.

The Mass is, of course, open to all ages and it is hoped that many of all ages will come. Further information here.

Franciscans of the Immaculate as Lorenzo Ricci's Jesuits: "let them be as they are, or not at all"

Sint ut sunt aut non sint

Roberto de Mattei

Sint ut sunt aut non sint” (let them be as they are, or not at all) is a sentence that according to some historians was pronounced by the General of the Jesuits, Lorenzo Ricci, when faced with the plan of “reforming” the Company of Jesus, to adapt itself to the demands of the world. It was in the second half of the XVIII century and the Jesuits represented the bulwark against the attacks from enemies both inside and outside who were crushed. The enemies outside were led by the enlightened “parti philosophique”, and those inside which were indented by heretical currents (Gallicanism, Jurisdictionalism, Royalism and Febronianism) thought they were capable of bending the Church to the will of the absolute States.

The Jesuits, founded by St Ignatius of Loyola, vigorously defended the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, to whom they were bound by a fourth vow of obedience. The absolute sovereigns, influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, had begun to expel the Jesuits from their kingdoms, accusing them of perverting the social order. This nonetheless was not enough. It was necessary to transform the Society from the inside, but since the General of the Jesuits opposed this, all that could be done was to suppress it, and only a Pope was able to do that.

The opportunity presented itself at the death of Clement XIII, on February 2, 1769. The historian Ludwig von Pastor, in volume XVI of his History of the Popes ( Desclée, Rome 1943), describes lavishly in his documentation, the maneuvers that took place before, during and after the Conclave, which, after 3 months and 179 votings, saw the election on the 14th May of the Franciscan, Lorenzo Ganangelli, who took the name of Clement XIV. The new Pope was elected on the condition that he would abolish the Society of Jesus. Although he did not put down a formal promise in writing, which would have implied simony, Cardinal Ganganelli made this commitment with the ambassadors of the Bourbon Court.

The Holy Ghost did not fail in assisting the Conclave, but the cardinals’ correspondence with grace was surely not adequate, if their choice had been pinned on a prelate that Pastor defines as “a weak and ambitious character, who aspired to the Tiara” (op. cit. p.66).

On July 21, 1773, with the Papal Letter Dominus ac Redemptor, Pope Clement XIV, suppressed the Society of Jesus, which at the time counted about 23,000 members in 42 provinces. “This Papal Letter of the 21st of July 1773, - writes Pastor – represents the most manifest victory of the Enlightenment and of royal absolutism over the Church and Her Head.” (p.223).

Father Lorenzo Ricci was imprisoned in Castel Sant’Angelo, where he died on November 24, 1775. Clement XIV preceded him into the tomb on September 22, 1774, a year after the dissolution of the order. The Society was dispersed, but survived in Russia, where the Czarina Catherine II, refused to give the exequatur to the letter of suppression. The Jesuits from White Russia were accused of disobedience and rebellion against the Pope, but they guaranteed the historical continuity of the order, while in other nations ex-Jesuits promoted new religious congregations, in the spirit of Ignatius.

In 1789 the French Revolution broke out and a dramatic era opened up for the Church, which saw the invasion of Rome and the deportation of the two successors of Clement XVI: Pius VI and Pius VII. Resistance to the Revolution was assured in this period, above all, by a secret society, the “Amicizie cristiane” (Christian Friendships), founded in Turin by the Swiss former Jesuit Nikolaus von Diessbach.

Finally, after forty years, with the constitution Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum, of August 7, 1814, Pius VII revoked the Papal Letter of July 21, 1773, and disposed the complete reconstitution of the Society of Jesus all over the world “appearing to him a grave fault before God, if at such a calamitous time, those valid oarsmen had been taken away from the barque of the Church.” (Pastor, op.cit., p.421).

A Franciscan Pope, Clement XIV, suppressed the Jesuits in 1773. Will it be a Jesuit Pope, Francis to suppress or still worse, “reform” a Franciscan Institute in 2013?

The Franciscans of the Immaculate do not have the glorious past of the Jesuits, but in their case some analogy is present with that of the Society of St. Ignatius, and above all [the situation] represents a symptomatic expression of the deep crisis in the Catholic Church which is under discussion today:

Founded by Father Stefano Maria Manelli in 1970, the Franciscans of the Immaculate lead an evangelical and penitential life, and have distinguished themselves, from the beginning, by their attachment to traditional morality and faith. The Motu Proprio with which Benedict XVI restituted full citizenship to the Old Roman Rite, represented for them the possibility of living, on a liturgical level, this love for Tradition. Father Manelli never imposed the Vetus Ordo, but suggested it to his Friars and the ordinations to the priesthood in recent years have been done [in this Rite] by eminent Princes of the Church along the lines of Benedict XVI’s “the reform in continuity.”

The Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, at present presided by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, is responsible for congregations of both men and women, who have abandoned all or in part their religious habit, who live in moral laxity and doctrinal relativism without any recall whatsoever on the part of the competent authorities. The Franciscans of the Immaculate represent a mark of contradiction, which explains the Congregation’s desire to “normalize them” that is, to realign their religious life to the current standard. The presence of a small nucleus of “dissident” Friars offered the Congregation the opportunity to intervene with the dispatching of a Visitor, Monsignor Vito Angelo Todisco. So without visiting them personally, the Congregation, disposed on  July 21, 2013, an external commissioner upon the Institute, in a Decree which contained the (absolutely illegitimate) prohibition of celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass.

In the subsequent days and weeks we will know more about the plan of the Commissioner, Fidenzio Volpi, of which, however, the broad lines can already be guessed: isolate the Founder, Father Manelli; decapitate the Council faithful to him; transfer the “traditional” Friars to the periphery and assign the central government of the Institute to the dissidents; entrust the house of formation to the Fathers not suspected of “traditionalist” sympathies; sterilize the publications by the Franciscans that deal with “controversies; in particular, avoid Mariological “maximalism”, excessive “rigidity” in the moral sphere, and above all, avoid every criticism, even if respectful, of the Second Vatican Council; open the Institute to “ecumenical dialogue” with the other religions; limit the celebration of the Vetus Ordo to exceptional situations; in short, distort the identity of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, which is worse than suppressing them.

If this has to be the reform, let us hope for a separation between the two “spirits” that at present live together inside the Franciscans of the Immaculate: on the one side the Friars who interpret the Second Vatican Council in the light of the Church’s Tradition, and in which spirit they discovered the Old Roman Rite, with all its truth and beauty; on the other, those who reinterpret the charism of their Institute in the light of post-conciliar progressivism.

The worst thing is the confusion and the crisis of identity. Today, the guarantor of the Franciscans of the Immaculate’s identity is none other than their founder, Father Stefano Maria Manelli, on whose shoulders the responsibility of the recent decisions lies. He is the only one who can repeat, as it has already happened in history: Sint ut sunt aut non sint.

[Source: Corrispondenza Romana; tip and translation: contributor Francesca Romana]

Syria: let us pray for our Christian brethren

July 26, 1914
Seeing the unfolding events in the Syrian crisis is like watching the July 1914 Crisis, which will be widely discussed next year. We are not affirming that it is the beginning of a new continental or world war, not at all. However, as in the Balkan interventions of the early 20th century, it is clear that there is an interest of some Powers to pursue an armed intervention in an area where multiple, complex and deeply historical interests are at stake, it is absolutely clear that it cannot end well, and it is reasonably safe to predict that it may end with results that are opposed to the core interests of those same Powers. It is like witnessing a car crash and not being able to do anything.

Let us pray for those who will lose the most in any intervention, the weakest link in the Middle East: Christians.

From L'Osservatore Romano and the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, S.J. (The Tablet):

A Syrian Chaldean Catholic bishop yesterday warned that armed intervention in Syria could unleash a "world war".

Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio: "If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war. That risk has returned."

The Syrian prelate was speaking as Britain and the US discussed plans for military action in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria last week, plans strongly opposed by Russia and Iran.

"We hope that the Pope's call for real dialogue between the warring parties to find a solution can be a first step to stop the fighting," he said.

The Vatican's semi-official daily, L'Osservatore Romano, meanwhile criticised Western powers in an editorial and called for greater "prudence".

"The drumbeat of an armed intervention by Western powers is becoming ever more insistent and ever less restrained by prudence," it said.
From the Moscow Patriarchate (AsiaNews):

Moscow Patriarchate: acting as "international executioners," the US is sacrificing Muslims and Christians in Syria

Speaking to AsiaNews, Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, condemns threats of NATO intervention without a UN mandate. More victims will be "sacrificed on the altar of an imaginary democracy".

Moscow (AsiaNews) - As a Western military intervention against the regime of Bashar al-Assad appears increasingly likely, the Russian Orthodox Church expresses "strong concern" about possible developments of the crisis, this following US charges that the regime used chemical weapons against civilians.

"Once again, as was the case in Iraq, the United States is acting as an international executioner", said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church strongly criticised the US position, which is "completely one-sided."

"Without the endorsement of the United Nations, they want to decide the fate of a whole country of millions of inhabitants."

"Once again," Hilarion warned, "thousands of lives will be sacrificed on the altar of an imaginary democracy;" among them, according to the Metropolitan, there are, first of all, "Christians, about whose fate no one cares."

They are at "risk of becoming hostages to the situation and the main victims of radical extremist forces, who, with the help of the United States, will come to power."

"The international community," he concluded, "must do everything to avoid that events develop in this direction." (M.A.)

Franciscans of the Immaculate - Intervention is interested in only one matter: the Traditional Mass

From the questionnaire sent by the Apostolic Visitator designated by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (the Congregation for Religious), it is clear that only one concern was in the mind of Cardinal-Prefect João Braz de Aviz: the "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite", both the Traditional Mass and the Traditional Breviary. And, obviously, trying to find somewhere excuses to revert the legitimate decisions that, while fully preserving the "Ordinary Form" (the Paul VI Mass and Divine Office), favored the Extraordinary Form inside the community. Which is what finally led to the current Intervention.

The questionnaire, in Italian, was made available by the blog Franciscan Truth, indicated to us by a commentator in one of our comment boxes. The translation was made by Rorate, as usual.

We report, you decide:

The Franciscans of the Immaculate Commission

(With regard to the following questions, besides the space reserved for these on this sheet, you may attach and/or send me all of your considerations in other ways also (e-mail – letters).

  1. What is your opinion of the Superior General’s style of government?
  2. What is your opinion of the Superior General’s decisions in liturgical matters?
  3. What is your opinion about the Superior General’s decisions regarding the formation of the young religious and the candidates to the priesthood?
  4. What is your opinion on the relations between the Superior General and the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate?
  5. What is your opinion on the relations between the Superior General and the General Council?
  6. What is your opinion regarding the collaboration in the governing of  the Institute between the Superior General and the General Council?
  7. How often are you in contact with the Superior General and the members of the General Council?
  8. Do you consider that the introduction of the Extraordinary Form in the Institute: is a  good thing?
  • YES  (because….
  • NO (because…
              it helps communion among the members:
    • YES (because….
    • NO ( because….
              it meets the needs of evangelization:
    • YES (because….
    • NO (because….
              it meets the spiritual needs of contemporary man:
    • YES ( because….
    • NO (because…
               it satisfies the desires of the Superior General:
    • YES (because….
    • NO (because…
               it is requested by the Second Vatican Council:
    • YES (because….
    • NO (because….
               it responds to the “mens” of the Holy Father:

  1. Do you think the introduction of the Extraordinary Form is desired
   by the Pope?
    • YES (because…
    • NO (because…
               by the General Chapter?
    • YES (because…
    • NO (because…
               by the Superior General?
    • YES (because…
    • NO (because….
              by the General Council?
    • YES (because…
    • NO (because…
              by the Chapter of your Community?
    • YES (because…
    • NO (because…

10)  Do you think that the introduction of the Extraordinary Form in the Institute suits your spirituality?
    • YES (because…
    • NO (because….

11)  If you had to choose between the two forms (Ordinary and extraordinary) for all the        members of the Institute, which one would you choose and why?

12)  In your view, what is the Body of Government put in charge by the Constitution of the F.I for the introduction of the Extraordinary form in the Institute?


With regard to the introduction of the extraordinary form in the Institute, the book of Minutes  of the General Chapter on pages 49-50 (see below at the end of the questionnaire)  affirms what follows:
“[…] It was asked if the application of the “Motu Proprio” by  Benedict XVI on the Tridentine Mass would appear in the Directory and how frequent  the celebration would it have to be in the week.  Father Stefano responded that  stability, wherever possible, should be arrived at on a daily basis. Then it was asked how to proceed in the parishes and dioceses  where there was no sensitivity to this rite and how to resolve its transmission  on the radio as it foresaw many silent prayers.  The capitularies agreed on the superability of these problems and Padre Stefano stressed the importance, above all, of the conventual  Mass wherever  possible.  Finally, on the differences  of the liturgical calendars, a new document is expected from the Pope.  Regarding the directives  of internal order, the General Council would draw up an applicative protocol in function of this pontifical document.”
13)  In your view, did the Superior General  in unison with the General Council on the 21st of November 2011,with the “LITURGICAL NORMATIVE FOR THE “VETUS ORDO” (attached to this questionnaire) act by going beyond the decisions of the General Chapter in 2008, and [thus] creating some discontent in the Institute or did they actuate in the Institute, that which was foreseen , and by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum («Si communitates Institutorum vitae consecratae atque Societatum vitae apostolicae iuris sivpontificii sive dioecesani quae in celebratione conventuali seu “communitatis” in oratoriis propriis celebrationem sanctae Missae iuxta editionem Missalis Romani anno 1962 promulgatam habere cupiunt, id eis licet. Si singula communitas aut totum Institutum vel Societas tales celebrations saepe vel plerumque vel permanenter perficere vult, res a Superioribus maioribus ad normam iuris et secundum leges et statuta particularia decernatur.»),by the Instruction of the Pontifical Commision, Ecclesia Dei, Universae Ecclesia on the application of the Apostolic Letter, Motu Proprio given by Summorum Pontificum by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and by the directives given by the General Chapter?

14) If the Superior General and the General Council, with the “LITURGICAL NORMATIVE FOR THE “ VETUS ORDO” of the 21st Novemeber 2011 had gone beyond  what was established by the General Chapter in 2008, in your view, what should the response of the members of the Institute be ?

Obey blindly, because……..

Disobey, because………

Retain the Normative not binding, because…….

Request the extraordinary convocation of a General Chapter, because…….


Everything goes fundamentally well.
Problems exist resolvable by the Ordinary General Chapter.
Serious problems exist resolvable by a Extraordinary General Chapter.
Very serious problems exist that require an external Commissioner of the Institute.

Everything goes fundamentally well.
Problems exist resolvable by the Ordinary General Chapter.
Serious problems exist resolvable by an Extraordinary General Chapter.
Very serious problems exist that require an external Commissioner of the Institute.

Everything goes fundamentally well.
Problems exist resolvable by the Ordinary General Chapter.
Serious problems exist resolvable by an Extraordinary General Chapter.
Very serious problems exist that require an external Commissioner of the Institute.

Everything goes fundamentally well.
Problems exist resolvable by the Ordinary General Chapter.
Serious problems exist resolvable by an Extraordinary General Chapter.
Very serious problems exist that require an external Commissioner of the Institute.

Date and place of compilation………………………………………….
(after having sworn tacto pectore of having answered according to conscience and truth)


P.S. Put your signature on every sheet of paper of this questionnaire