Rorate Caeli

The Society of Saint Pius X recognized in Argentina: what does it mean? Much more than you may think! A guest-piece by Don Pio Pace

We are very honored to post this new article by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.

The Society of Saint Pius X recognized in Argentina: what does it mean? 
Much more than you may think!

Father Pio Pace

By way of a decision of March 13, 2015, of the Secretariat of Worship of Argentina, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX / FSSPX) was recognized in that country as a legal person, as an association of the Catholic Church "according to what is established" by Canon Law, and was registered in the Registry of Institutes of Consecrated Life. It should be known that the concordat links between Church and State in Argentina are very strong. The State grants all sorts of advantages to worship activities, so long as the organizations providing them as registered by it, either as Catholic or as non-Catholic, but nevertheless belonging to a recognized confession. This presupposes an administrative recognition, without which they are illegal and may be dissolved: in order to be legal, and juridically able to sign contracts, have assets, plead in courts, etc, they must be registered in the appropriate Registry.

Buenos Aires? Ecclesia Dei? Mauritius bishop has different take on SSPX

Bishop Maurice E. Piat

From the website of the Diocese of Port-Louis in Mauritius:

Event: TLM celebrations for the Holy Shroud

From the Associazione Cardinal Saldarini: 

Following our appeal made in January, the "Associazione Cardinal Saldarini" of Turin received communications about more than 25 masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite that will be held by various traditional groups (including ICRSP, FSSP, and a pilgrimage of the London Oratory led by Fr. Uwe Lang) in different locations in Turin for the exposition of the Holy Shroud (April 19 - June 25, 2015).

Among many celebrations, a particular mention should be made for the Pontifical Low Mass that will be celebrated in the church of the Arciconfraternita della Misericordia in Turin by Mgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the "Ecclesia Dei" Commission, on May 3, 2015, with the musical assistance of the Schola Sainte-Cécile of Paris. The Schola Sainte-Cécile will also celebrate in the same church sung Masses during their pilgrimage to the Shroud, from April 30 to May 2, with a musical program including Missa Exultate Deo of Cosset, Missa Regia of Dumont, Missa Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam of Campra and Hassler's Missa Secunda.

"Francis Effect"? - Catholic moral influence collapses in Italy as parliament approves "Quick Divorce"

1970: Communist daily Avanti celebrates the approval of divorce in Italy

The "opening up" of the Church following the Second Vatican Council had terrible consequences for the influence of Catholic moral doctrine in Italian legislation -- the most astouding examples being the legalization of divorce and of abortion under Paul VI. John Paul II had as one of his most difficult tasks that of rebuilding Catholic presence in Italian political life, which he gradually did, with the great help of Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Ruini, Vicar of Rome and influential president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), despite the intellectual sabotage of men such as the Jesuit archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Martini.

The symbol of this new rise of Catholic influence in Italian legislation was the 2005 referendum on fertility laws, in which the right and moral Catholic view prevailed, with the support of Pope Benedict XVI.

Now, the united Catholic front painstakingly formed under the Wojtyla and Ratzinger pontificates has just collapsed like a house of cards, and attacks on morality are advancing with virtually no opposition in the Italian Parliament. Could this be what is usually meant by "Francis Effect"? Sandro Magister explains it in his Italian-only blog regarding the new Express-Divorce Law -- with the help of professors of Catholic universities themselves!

Catholics and quick divorce
Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo
April 27, 2015

Greeted enthusiastically by the chorus from the mass-media, quick divorce shows itself to be a pitiless test and perhaps a definitive end of what was considered for years “the Italian exception”: i.e. this country’s ability through political Catholicism in the public forum, to go effectively against the mainstream on the key issues of life and family.

“Avvenire” the Italian Episcopal Conference’s daily newspaper, with its editorial, commenting on the law in words of unequivocal condemnation, carried the headlines “Quick divorce, an uncivilized goal. A devastating, anti-family slippery-slope”. Yet, this “wingding” in the secular news-media was indexed as “the wrath of Catholics” and immediately dismissed.

Indeed, the numbers of the votes that approved the law are eloquent in themselves: 398 voted yes, 28 voted no and there were 6 abstainers. This, in a parliament crammed with Catholics; in a government where numerous ministers and the Prime Minster are Catholics and the proposer of the new law, Alessia Morani, a lawyer specializing in marriage law, defining herself as a “mature, democratic Catholic.”

Sermon for the Third Sunday after Easter: Seeing, believing and not believing

The gospels of Eastertide all deal with faith, specifically Easter faith, but also faith in God and what that means and what it looks like.  Once again we make reference to the uniqueness of the post- Resurrection appearances of Christ, and their startling nature and the understanding on the part of each of the Gospel writers that words just cannot convey what happened, what the disciples saw.  It is as if words cannot bridge the reality of the resurrected Jesus.  And part of these appearances include Jesus’ upbraiding his disciples for their lack of faith, for their initial refusal to see what is really there:  “I am no ghost.  Look at my hands and my side.”  From Matthew’s Gospel: “But later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief.”  And from Luke on the road to Emmaus: “ Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe..!”

This has to make us ponder, this has to make us ask the question:  what is faith in the resurrected Christ, and how does one get to the point of faith in Him?  And going further with this question, we surely come to the question of belief in God, what is its nature, what does it involve with regard to the individual person.  We know the old adage: seeing is believing.  Well, obviously the disciples and Mary Magdalene did not equate seeing with believing, at least in the synoptic Gospels.  But that is why these appearances of the risen Lord seem so odd to us, a bit, forgive the term, sketchy, not clear, something that leaves us wanting something more.  We could say that the disciples were not that smart and so they had a hard time getting things.  But this is not a matter of intelligence. This is a matter of seeing and not believing.  And that doubt persists right up to the Ascension:  at the end of Matthew’s Gospel we read:  “When they saw him they worshiped him but they doubted."

We see the answer to these quasi-paradoxical statements and events when we remember John’s words when Peter and John on Easter morning look into the empty tomb:  “He saw and he believed.”  So is this a positive case of seeing and believing as opposed to the negative cases we alluded to earlier?  No.  Because they did not see the risen Lord in that tomb.  They saw the burial shroud neatly folded and placed on the stone, and they saw the tomb empty and no body.  They saw and they believed.  And here we have the essence of faith in the risen Lord. It cannot depend on appearances and visions. For if that were true, we could not believe.  Faith in Christ is not the result of a special communication, or a special spiritual event in one’s live.  Faith is believing in things visible and invisible as the Creed says.  Faith is a decision to believe, after one has considered the evidence that is there.

The German Catholic Collapse: The Priests confess once a year, if at all -- what about the Lay Faithful?

The Priests confess once a year. And the faithful?...

Saint Adelaide Catholic Church in Geldern, North Rhine-Westphalia,
Diocese of Münster - demolished in 2008 to give way to a senior center
Lorenzo Bertocchi
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana
April 24, 2015

The German laity confirm their desire for evolution in the Church: according to a document made available on the Episcopal Conference site, the answers to the questionnaire between the Synods show that the Catholics of Germany are expecting major openings from the Synod on the Family. Mainly on the thorniest issues: “they are asking for the admittance of the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist, a “development” of moral doctrine for the pastoral acceptance of homosexual people and a form of “church blessing for second civil-marriages.”

Are these requests an expression of serious discernment or, do they show a watered-down, Catholicism, about-to-be-defeated? It is a legitimate question, especially in the light of what is emerging from another survey reported last Thursday. Again on the Episcopal Conference site, there was data as well, on the results of another analysis conducted on 8,000 “pastoral workers” from all over Germany. The examples, made up of 48% of the priests, 22% of “expert parish-collaborators”, 18% of “pastoral assistants” and 12% of deacons, had to give information on the satisfaction-level regarding their life and “work.” The survey, directed by some academics from important study centers, obtained results that perhaps help us to interpret the answers to the Synod questionnaire.

It's coming! The 33rd Pentecost Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage

Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, the organizers of the Chartres Pilgrimage, the largest Traditional Catholic event of the year, have just released the names of the celebrants of the main collective events this year:

The TLM and Africa

Today I am publishing the latest FIUV Position Paper, on the Traditional Mass in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am particularly grateful to our African contacts for help in preparing this paper.

Catholics of the older generation often tell me that at the time of the introduction of the reformed liturgy, it was frequently justified as being necessary for 'the missions'. This paper points to a number of difficulties with the idea that the reformed liturgy is particularly suited to Africa.

I will mention just one in this brief introduction: the implementation of a vernacular liturgy in Africa has presented the Church with peculiarly difficult challenges, because of the vast number of languages found in Africa, and the peculiarly limited resources, of money and numbers of clergy, to address these challenges. One can fairly say that, as far as many Africans are concerned, the project has been a failure in its own terms: vast numbers of African Catholics do not have access to a liturgy in their mother tongue. If that was what the Reform was all about, it simply hasn't taken place.

I have addressed another aspect of the situation, the problem of inculturation, on my own blog here.

This paper can be downloaded as a pdf here; the whole series can be seen herethe series (not including this one) are published in hard copy: click on the button.Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


The Extraordinary Form and Sub-Saharan Africa

   The post-Conciliar Papal Magisterium[1] identify a number of challenges facing the rapidly growing Church in Africa. On the one hand, Africa’s traditional religions, culture, and tribal social structure pose both opportunities and challenges to the evangelising Church and to social stability and development. On the other hand, the rapid economic development, urbanisation, and exposure to Western culture also create challenges for the Church, as well as opportunities for Africans seeking to escape poverty.

Traditional African culture

An important theme is the importance of traditional African culture, including religious culture. Pope St John Paul II expressed this powerfully when he acknowledged, in his 1995 Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa, that
these [sc. traditional] religions are the living expression of the soul of vast groups of people.[2]
In relation to the influence of Western culture, which is frequently corrosive of any kind of spirituality, he continued by urging Africans:
look inside yourselves. Look to the riches of your own traditions; look to the faith which we are celebrating in this assembly.[3]

On the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, set in place by Turkish authorities - (plus video suggestion)

Armenians executed by Ottoman authorities in Aleppo, 1916
(Aleppo, where Christians are being exterminated once again 100 years later)
This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you. I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.

You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.

FSSP pilgrimage to Washington, D.C.

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter organizes a three-day pilgrimage each year to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., "to do penance for our sins and for the sins of our nation."

This year's pilgrimage will begin on Thursday, 4 June, in Barnesville, Maryland, with Low Mass, and conclude on Saturday, 6 June, in Washington, with a Solemn High Mass.

In the past, brief announcements have been made on the pilgrimage, which Rorate has often covered.  A new effort has been made this year to better communicate the times and locations during these three days, with a detailed website.  It is designed to give information to those who are able to make the entire pilgrimage or to those who are able to make only some of the pilgrimage and concluding Mass.  On the third and final day, there is an opportunity to join the pilgrimage in Georgetown or the cathedral before ending at the basilica shrine.

The Glory of the Low Mass - Together with the Martyrs in the Catacombs

The tiny transept had its little altar, with a Greek cross in relief against a purple disk. Overhead the enormous curve of the vaulting hung heavy, and so low that a man could touch it by stretching an arm; it was as black as the mouth of a chimney, and scorched by the fires that had consumed the cathedrals built above it.

Presently the clap-clap of sabots became audible, and then the smothered footfall of nuns; there was silence but for sneezing and nose-blowing stifled by pocket-handkerchiefs, and then all was still.

Video Suggestion: "Archbishop Lefebvre - A Documentary" online

From a reader:

Many are aware of the role of French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as the consecrator of bishops in the events that took place in Écône, Switzerland, on June 30, 1988, in a climate of extreme tension with the Holy See. What is less well known is his work as the most important character of the Church in the continent where its growth is truly explosive in our age -- Africa -- in the crucial decades of deconolization, and that he set in place around forty dioceses in the continent, before being a leading figure during the Second Vatican Council.

For the record: Bishop Robert Finn steps down (something is not right ...)

Bp. Robert Finn
The Pope today accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City - St. Joseph, presumably over his handling of the "Ratigan affair". The resignation comes after a long and sustained media campaign for the bishop's resignation, led primarily by the National Catholic Reporter (based in the diocese) and other liberal US Catholic journals, not to speak of the New York Times, which took an inordinate amount of interest in this matter.

There is no question that Bishop Finn's handling of this scandal, particularly his failure to report a suspected case of child abuse that led to his misdemeanor conviction, was truly lamentable. At the same time we ask why he has been singled out for punishment. Would matters have proceeded in the same way if he were a known "progressive" -- for instance an open defender of the Kasperite doctrines of communion to remarried divorcees?

Bishops must have an exemplary behavior. As do priests and, for that matter, religious orders. But the succession of only bishops considered "conservative" being sacked in this pontificate leaves a bitter taste behind each additional example. There is more scandal in each of several Jesuit-run universities in the United States than in all sacked conservative bishops combined. One can think of even worse cases of sexual abuse mishandling in liberal-run dioceses. But yet, no punishment for them. No sacking. No intervention. Not to mention the strange affair of Bishop Juan Barros, named by Francis himself for Osorno, in Chile.

The Pope greeting Bishop Juan Barros Madrid
Something is not right...

This is the Mass: Hanc igitur...

click for larger view
Easter Mass celebrated by the prefect of studies of the Wigratzbad Seminary (Fraternity of St. Peter), Fr. Leclère, in the Opfenbach parish church, near the Seminary. (Source)

Radicati Editorial: Protestantism halfway is Protestantism all the way

Protestantism halfway is Protestantism all the way
Editorial: Radicati nella fede, April 2015
Newsletter of the Catholic community of
Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy
The 19 Holy Martyrs of Gorkum,
hanged and mutilated by Protestants on July 9, 1572, in Brielle, Holland
Presently we are watching, resigned, at the vertiginous decline of priestly vocations and the related diminution of the priests’ presence among us. Day after day, parishes without the stable presence of a priest are increasing; undeniably, priests are becoming scarcer. More and more churches are now opened sporadically for the celebration of Holy Mass and closed for most of the year. Moreover, even when the priest is still resident in some big parish, his effective presence is progressively diminished, overloaded as he is, by having to guarantee services to innumerable small communities in the area. In many mountain valleys there isn’t even one priest left.

What is there to say? It is a sadly disheartening picture.

What it the greatest danger though? In our view, it is that the solution to all this is being dictated by those who have caused and accelerated the problem! “Protestantized” Christianity started this disaster decades ago and is now offering us the remedies!

Ten Years Ago Today: Pope Benedict's First Message

Ten years ago today, on April 20, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI delivered the first message (that is, formal address) of his pontificate, after he celebrated Mass with the Cardinals. Notably, his message was delivered in Latin -- in retrospect, a significant symbol of his intention to promote a "hermeneutic of continuity" and to restore some measure of gravitas and auctoritas to the Apostolic See and to the Roman Church in general. It is worthwhile, especially in these very different days of 2015, to ponder what he had to say on that occasion.

* * *


Wednesday, 20 April 2005

1. “Favour and peace be yours in abundance” (I Pt 1:2)! At this time, side by side in my heart I feel two contrasting emotions. On the one hand, a sense of inadequacy and human apprehension as I face the responsibility for the universal Church, entrusted to me yesterday as Successor of the Apostle Peter in this See of Rome. On the other, I have a lively feeling of profound gratitude to God who, as the liturgy makes us sing, never leaves his flock untended but leads it down the ages under the guidance of those whom he himself has chosen as the Vicars of his Son and has made shepherds of the flock (cf. Preface of Apostles I).

Abbot of Monastery that switched to Traditional Mass: "With old Mass, the Priest become more Priest, and the monk more monk."

Pontifical Mass at Mariawald (source)

In 2008, the sole Trappist Monastery in Germany, the Abbey of Mariawald, became the first (and, so far, the only) Trappist monastery to completely return to the pre-Conciliar liturgical books since the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. It was one of the few houses in the world to make use of what is stated at Art. 3 of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (allowing for whole religious houses to become exclusively traditional), and this only after, it was repeatedly reported then, the personal intervention of Pope Benedict XVI.

A couple of years ago, Father Abbot Dom Josef Vollberg granted an admirable interview to German Catholic paper Tagespost, and it had never been translated. The Rorate translation follows:

Die Tagespost
May 23, 2013

Most Reverend Father Abbot, four years ago, you changed your abbey over to the Extraordinary Form. What changes did this bring to your monastery?

We were able to celebrate the first Solemn Mass in the classical Roman Rite here in Mariawald, in January 2009. And then, one month later, we began to celebrate Conventual Mass in the Extraordinary Form. At first, not all the Brethren welcomed this change. But in the meantime, the situation has somewhat improved. Of course, as a Priest, one had to learn how to celebrate the Rite, which was demanding and far from easy. An also, one had to refamiliarize oneself with Latin. Little by little, we completed the change. The second step was to sing the office of Terce in the traditional form, on Sundays, before Holy Mass. In this way we were able to establish liturgical unity. And then, we gradually changed over the Little Hours, Sext, None and Compline. Later, we did the same with Vespers and Laudes. And then, finally, from 2009 to 2010 we did the same with Vigils. This meant giving ourselves wholly to this Liturgy, with its more intensive theocentric character, which suites our contemplative vocation in a special way.

What Kind of spiritual development have you noticed since then? What has been the effect of this change to the Extraordinary Form on your Community?

"Straw" subdeacon PCED letter

One of the challenges concerning the traditional Latin Mass in modern times is how to reconcile 1962 rubrics and disciplines with current law.  Often times it can be like fitting a square peg into a round hole, but #28 of the instruction Universae Ecclesiae establishes a general principle:  "Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962."

The role of subdeacon at a Missa Solemnis is certainly to be included in the short list of frequently asked questions by priests and organizers of Solemn High Masses.

Who can serve as subdeacon without the ritual differences required of a "straw" subdeacon?  That is an easy one -- priests, deacons and subdeacons.

Who can serve as a "straw" subdeacon?  That is a more difficult question, although it has been addressed by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) on several occasions.  The answer seems to be: 1) most seminarians; and 2) instituted acolytes (the rare case of a bishop instituting a non-seminarian layman as an acolyte).  The differences between an ordained subdeacon and a "straw" subdeacon are that the "straw" subdeacon does not wear the maniple; he does not pour the water into the chalice at the offertory, but must let the deacon do so; he must not touch the chalice infra actionem, nor cover it with the pall, nor uncover it; and after the communion he does not purify the chalice, as the celebrant must purify it, after which the "straw" subdeacon covers it with the veil and burse and carries it to the side table.

The seminarian answer was clarified in November 2012 to include any (diocesan or otherwise) seminarian who wears clerical clothing (basically, the equivalent of a tonsured seminarian).  See here for that letter.

A month after that question was answered, a follow-up to PCED was made on the issue of laymen who are not seminarians.  In a letter, the exact question was:  "May a layman who is not a seminarian serve as a subdeacon at a Solemn High Mass?"

Liturgies at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 - Program Announced - Masses in the Extraordinary Form - Registration deadline May 1

The organizers of Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 are pleased to announce the program of liturgical celebrations for the conference to be held in New York City from 1-4 June 2015. 
On Monday, June 1st, Solemn Vespers in the presence of a Greater Prelate, His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (Breviarium Romanum 1961) will be celebrated at 7.30pm.

A Solemn Mass (Missale Romanum 1962) will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 2nd at 5.15pm.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious: The Heterodox Sisters Won - but with an expiration date in sight

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Son of man, what shall be made of the wood of the vine, out of all the trees of the woods that are among the trees of the forests? Shall wood be taken of it, to do any work, or shall a pin be made of it for any vessel to hang thereon?" Behold it is cast into the fire for fuel: the fire hath consumed both ends thereof, and the midst thereof is reduced to ashes: shall it be useful for any work? Even when it was whole it was not fit for work: how much less, when the fire hath devoured and consumed it, shall any work be made of it?

Therefore thus saith the Lord God: "As the vine tree among the trees of the forests which I have given to the fire to be consumed, so will I deliver up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them: they shall go out from fire, and fire shall consume them: and you shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have set my face against them. And I shall have made their land a wilderness, and desolate, because they have been transgressors," saith the Lord God.
Ezekiel, chapter 15


The investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the confederation of mostly disappearing female religious orders in the United States, by the Holy See ended today in a huge pile of nothingness or weak measures. As the mainstream media has rightly ascertained, it was the "end" of the "Vatican takeover", with a sign of "appreciation" for the heterodox sisters:

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference on the divorced and remarried and spiritual communion

Corrispondenza Romana
April 14, 2015

“The divorced and remarried cannot make spiritual communion” , Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference affirmed in an intervention at the Convention “What God joined together…” Marriage, Family and Sexuality in the Context of the Synod of Bishops 2014-2015” which took place on April 14that the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. Archbishop Gadecki, who stood out during the Synod of Bishops in 2014 for his defense of Catholic morality, wanted to respond to those, such as Cardinal Kasper who sustain that if the divorced and remarried can receive spiritual communion, they can also receive the Sacrament. The use that is made of the term “spiritual communion” in order to justify the admittance of the divorced and remarried to the Sacraments is absolutely improper, explained Archbishop Gadecki. Spiritual communion refers, in fact, to people in a state of grace, who, on account of a physical impediment, cannot receive Communion (as happened for example, in the part of Poland occupied by the Soviets after the Second World War).

On Marriage as in everything else, no sugarcoating - Robert Spaemann: "When Jesus spoke, people were shocked and ran away."

The renowned and arguably the most famous living Catholic philosopher in Germany, Professor Robert Spaemann, gave an interview to Julia Wächter for the Diocese of Regensburg, Germany, on matters related to the upcoming Synod of Bishops. The main excerpts are translated below:

Question: Marriage cannot any more be taken for granted in certain circles today. The Church's idea of marriage is questioned more and more. How should one now act? Would you say that the Church abandons her ideal of marriage if she more and more adapts to present trends?

Spaemann: Yes. The tendency is strong to adapt to all trends, so that the people do not run away. But one always has to look into the Gospels. The masses ran after Jesus, but then he spoke about giving His Body to eat and His Blood to drink. He did not try to make it look attractively pleasant, and the people were shocked and ran away. Jesus asked the apostles: "Do you also want to run away?" But St. Peter answered: "No, Lord, even though we did not understand you, either, but you have words of eternal life, and where else should we go?" That should be the reaction of the people.

Also in the question of divorce it should not be about following the great masses and strong tendencies, but to give witness about the fact that there are other and much more beautiful ways of life. One also should not only start with it at marriage-preparation courses, but rather much earlier. Already in school one has to be taught what the Christian manner of living is. Then also such a prohibition of divorce, as it has been very clearly and unambiguously taught by Christ, would become attractive.

Father Ernest (Emmanuel) André and a Lesson for the Contemporary Church

For many years I have been receiving the excellent newsletter of the monks of Saint Joseph de Clairval Abbey. It always focuses on the life of a particular saint, often very obscure ones, and what we can learn from their life and teaching and the times in which they lived. 

The March 2015 letter features a priest of whom I had never heard: Père Ernest André (1826–1903), who later took the name Emmanuel as a Benedictine monk, the originator of the devotion to Our Lady of Holy Hope. 

What I found most striking is how tirelessly Father André worked to catechize his rural flock, which he found in a state of unbelievable ignorance, error, and apathy. Here are his own words, explaining his policy, which was to preach and teach the unadulterated Catholic faith, week in, week out:

Helder Câmara: a lifetime of working against the Church from the inside. - And they want to beatify him?...

Who was Dom Helder Câmara?

Corrispondenza Romana
April 7, 2015

There has been a lot of talk recently about Dom Helder Camara, whose process for beatification has been recently approved by the Vatican.  For the average Italian, the figure of Monsignor Helder Pessoa Camara (1909 – 1999) , auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janiero and subsequently Metropolitan Archbishop of Olinda and Recife is practically unknown.

Who was Dom Helder?

Propaganda bordering on the  ridiculous

Pontifical Low Mass and sobering words from Cardinal Burke

Tonight, at St. John the Beloved Roman Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (who was recently interviewed by Rorate, see here) celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass and visited with students from Georgetown University.

His sermon, based on today's saint, the martyred Hermenegild, was prophetic and classic Burke.

IMPORTANT: SSPX clarification on the Argentine recognitions

Argentina formally recognizes SSPX as part of the Catholic Church - at the request of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires (and Pope Francis?)

Our partners at Adelante de la Fe have broken the news that the Argentinian government has recognized the SSPX as part of the Roman Catholic Church: La FSSPX reconocida en Argentina como parte de la Iglesia Católica Romana. In the words of the official state Resolution granting this recognition:

Resolution N. 25/2015

Bs. As. [Buenos Aires], 17/3/2015

HAVING SEEN the Procedure N. 9028/2015 of the Registry of the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS AND WORSHIP, Law 24483, and its Regulation Decree N. 491, of September 21, 1995, and


That according to Protocol N. 084/15, of February 23, 2015, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Aurelio Cardinal POLI, requests that the "FRATERNITY OF THE APOSTLES OF JESUS AND MARY" (PRIESTLY FRATERNITY OF SAINT PIUS X) be held, up to the moment in which it finds its definitive juridical framing within the Church Universal, as an Association of Diocesan Right, according to what is established by canon 298 of the Code of Canon Law, being in fieri [henceforth and in the meantime] a Society of Apostolic Life, with all the benefits that correspond to it, and complying with all obligations to which the same refers, also accepting all responsibilities that belong to the diocesan Prelate. [emphasis added]

That to the aforesaid fraternity be accredited its character as a public juridical person within the ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH, according to the norms of the Code of Canon Law. [emphasis added]

Notes on Misericordiae Vultus
1. The defense of Vatican II goes into high gear.
2. Has the Church forgotten to be merciful? Francis seems to think so.
3. Urgent questions about the "Missionaries of Mercy."

The Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy was published today (April 11) at St. Peter's Basilica, just before First Vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday celebrated by Pope Francis. The full text can be found on the Vatican website:


The quintessential Jesuit devotion, the merciful and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
("have mercy on us!"), is forgotten in the indiction bull

We do not intend to post an exhaustive analysis of this document, which seems all but assured of going down in history as one of the programmatic documents of the pontificate of Francis. We will limit ourselves here to commenting on three things:

I. The defense of Vatican II goes into high gear.
II. Has the Church forgotten to be merciful? Francis seems to think so.
III. Urgent and disturbing questions about the "Missionaries of Mercy."


I. The defense of Vatican II goes into high gear.

The "punishment" of Fr. Costadoat: a slap on the wrist?
An important clarification from Chile

At the beginning of Holy Week, Rorate posted about the action of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati SDB in refusing to renew the mandatum of the liberal Jesuit theologian Jorge Costadoat SJ: For the record: Cardinal Ezzati's letter announcing the removal of a dissident Jesuit theologian from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Shortly afterwards, Rorate received the following clarification from an academic in the Pontifical University of Chile. For prudential reasons we can neither reveal his name nor his teaching position in the University. The clarification has also been slightly edited for this posting.

The situation regarding Jorge Costadoat is far more complicated than it appears. The academic authorities have declared that Costadoat is and will continue to be a member of the PUC of Chile, as researcher and in other academic capacities (including the so-called "extension", which are the activities in which we give lectures, seminars, etc., to the general public), but simply will not teach theology; and that his name can be proposed for the mandatum "in the future" (according to the Dean of Theology) or "within a year" (according to the Rector). So he has not been removed or dismissed. And this has been confirmed by the Cardinal.

Liberal World Order and Jihadists: Different Struggles, Same Victim
- History's light of hatred against the Church of God



Juan Manuel de Prada
[Spanish daily] ABC
April 6, 2015

The Jihadists, who know quite well that the New World Order is antichristical, do not direct their attacks against organizations and authorities, but against Christians.

It will not have failed to call the attention of anyone that the recent slaughter in Garissa University, Kenya, did not lead to the same lamentations among Western leaders as, for example, the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists; it did not unleash the explosion of outcries and manifestos to which the annoying intellectuals, of both left and right, have got us used to; and not even were large protests assembled with solidarity posters ("Je suis This or That"), so that the dumbed-down masses could release their little tear and go back home very proud of getting to know each other.

Cardinal Danneels (family "expert" chosen by Francis) tried to convince King Baudouin to Sign Abortion Law - and shocking news of Brussels succession

Pro-life sovereigns: Queen Fabiola, Pope John Paul II, King Baudouin (Danneels walks behind them)
Two Belgian politicians admit for the first time openly that Cardinal Godfried Danneels tried to convince King Baudouin to sign the law on abortion in 1990. Former politicians Philippe Moureau (PS, Parti Socialiste) and Mark Eyskens (CVP, Flemish Christian Democrats) said this in a documentary for the Flemish Broadcasting Corporation VTM on April 6, 2015 (, at 2:05). According to VTM, cardinal Danneels did not want to comment.

Easter 2015: In Kenya and around the world, Martyrs, Martyrs, Martyrs, and more Martyrs
- Roberto de Mattei

Names of some of the nearly 150 victims of the Garissa University massacre -
 from Faith to Jacinta, from Peter to Philomena, a constellation of Christian names
Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
April 8, 2015

The stars of 148 new martyrs are shining brightly in the firmament of the Church. The young Christian victims of Islam, last Holy Thursday in Kenya, must not be pitied, but envied as they were given the immense grace of martyrdom.

They are martyrs inasmuch as they were Christians killed by Allah’s soldiers. What makes a martyr such, is not the violent death in itself, but the fact that it was inflicted in hatred of the Christian Faith. It is not death itself that makes the martyr, says St. Augustine but that their suffering and death be ordered to the truth. Not all of the victims of a persecution may be called martyrs, [but] only those who meet death at the hands of killers who hate the Faith.

The martyrs of the University campus in Garissa, join the countless legions of witnesses to the Faith that have been massacred over the last two centuries by the persecutors of the Church. The first genocide of modern times was conducted by the French Revolution. At least 438 religious, nuns and simple lay folk are already venerated as “blessed” and for the other 591 the processes are now in course for the recognition of their martyrdom “in odium fidei”. We can add the Spanish Civil War’s holocaust to this  (1936-1939) where 1,512 were beatified and 11 canonized, but the number of victims at the hands of the anarchists and communists is in the tens of thousands.

On October 13th 2013 at Tarragona in Catalonia, 522 people killed in hatred of the Faith, before and during the religious war in Spain, were beatified. It was a ceremony with the greatest number of Beatified – 522 – and surpassed the one held in Rome, in St. Peter’s Square on October 27th 2007. Their names are added to the innumerable martyrs of communism, secularism and now by Islam, in countries all over the world.

Event: Solemn Pontifical High Mass on Low Sunday - Hong Kong

His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, S.D.B., Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong will celebrate a Pontifical High Mass for us this upcoming Sunday (12th April, Low Sunday), at 3:00pm in St. Teresa's Church, Kowloon, Hong Kong. (Additional details below.)

All are welcome!

Same Spot, Same Weather, Same Feast Day - A different pope and a much emptier St. Peter's Square

From Italian journalist and writer Antonio Socci's Facebook account, a comparison of two rainy Easter Sundays in Rome, in 2010 and in 2015:

It's worth a thousand words.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. And, please remember our new policy change, that the names of Souls you enroll will no longer be made public. And we are now at 54 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the souls.

Two New Traditional Catholic Sisterhoods in Formation

1. The Facebook page of the Institute of the Good Shepherd's (IBP) apostolate in Colombia reports on a new Traditional Catholic community in formation, the Esclavas Reparadoras de la Sagrada Familia:

The first two members received their novitiate uniform (not yet a "habit") on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2015. The community is being formed with the help of the IBP. 

2. The Catholic Exponent of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio reported last month on the launching of the Missionary Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, formed initially by three women under the guidance of the FSSP pastor of their (personal) parish, Queen of the Holy Rosary in Vienna, OH.

VIENNA – With the blessing of Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., a small group of women is preparing to launch the Missionary Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi here.The three, including superior Mother Mary Francis and two candidates, have been approved as a private association of the faithful, a group who come together for ministry and who hope to, over time, develop into a diocesan religious institute of sisters.

Fontgombault Sermons for Easter Vigil and Easter Day: "The Modern World has no reasons to hope - Christians do."


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 4, 2015)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Church invites us during this holy night to consider a great vista, that of the history of salvation. The key to this history is proffered as soon as the celebrant cuts into the wax of a candle a cross, the alpha and omega letters (first and last letter of the Greek alphabet), and the four numerals of the current year; meanwhile he says:

Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega. All time belongs to Him, and all the ages. To Him be glory and power, through every age for ever. Amen. 

The key is Christ, present to all times, present to each human story. The five grains of incense inserted into the wax are the symbol of the sweet spices that were poured into the five wounds to embalm and preserve the body of the Lord. The candle then symbolises Christ in His tomb.

- Dominica Paschæ in Resurrectione Domini
- A Meditation of Saint Alphonsus on Paradise

Osanna, Sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
superillustrans claritate tua
felices ignes horum malacoth!

L'anima d'ogne bruto e delle piante
di complession potenziata tira
lo raggio e il moto delle luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira

la Somma Beninanza, e la innamora
di sé sì che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora

vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi.*

Commedia, Paradiso (c. VII)

Salve, Festa Dies: Hail, O Festive Day!

Holy Saturday: ...descendit ad inferos...

By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.
Saint John Chrysostom
Catechetical Sermon for Easter [Sermo catecheticus in Pascha / Κατηχητικὸς εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πάσχα]

Consummatum est: "The chalice which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"

Dixit ergo Iesus Petro: "Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem didit mihi Pater, non bibam illum?" ... "Sitio." Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori eius. Cum ergo accepisset Iesus acetum, dixit: "Consummatum est." Et inclinato capite, tradidit spiritum. (From the Gospel for Good Friday, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John: "Jesus therefore said to Peter: 'Put up thy sword in the scabbard. The chalice which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?'...'I thirst.' Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to His mouth. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said: 'It is consummated.'And bowing His head, He gave up the spirit.")

Chalice - Lily. The chalice is the lily, stylized and adapted to our use, and which, born from water, is proper for us to take to our lips.

A very moving Fontgombault Sermon - Maundy Thursday: Christ in the Host asks: "Do you love me?"


SAINT PETER: "Woman, I do not know Him!"

Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 2, 2015)

Cum dilexisset eos... in finem dilexit eos.
Having loved his own… He loved them unto the end.
Jn 13:1

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the institution of which we commemorate tonight, the Paschal mystery, death and rise of Jesus: are these something that God gives us or owes us? 

At the beginning of the Triduum Paschale, which covers the period extending from the morning of Maundy Thursday to that of Easter, this is a crucial question. The actions of our Christian lives will depend on our answer as we face these mysteries that underlie our faith: “If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain.” (1 Co 15:14) 

If the Paschal mystery is my due, basically I don’t have to worry about it. It is, so to speak, in the order of things. God takes care of me, and it is normal. God carries out, as it were, His job of God. 

But if the Paschal mystery is a gift, and if its author is God, then the standpoint shifts radically. God, the Maker of the universe, gives Himself to His creature, the Almighty to him who is powerless. A new dimension opens up in our relationship with God, and consequently in our relationship with others, the dimension of freely given love. The washing of the feet, that the liturgy invites us to reenact today, is part of this viewpoint.