Rorate Caeli

You Report: a Traditional double first in Dundee, Scotland

From a Scottish reader:

On Sunday 21st August the royal and ancient Diocese of Dunkeld in Scotland celebrated a double first. His Excellency Bishop Robson, the Ordinary of the diocese, conferred Confirmation on three children in the Traditional Rite. Confirmations were followed by a First Solemn High Mass in the presence of an Ordinary by Fr Ninian Doohan who was raised to the sacred priesthood by Bishop Robson on the Solemnity of the Feast of the Assumption in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee.

The Prophetic Words of Pope St. Pius X

Excerpts from:

Notre Charge Apostolique

"Our Apostolic Mandate"

Given by Pope Pius X to the French Bishops
August 15, 1910

“We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men to become brothers and comrades at last in the ‘Kingdom of God’. We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind. 

Socci: Is the “God” of “Avvenire” and Communion and Liberation now Allah?

                                                                                                                       Antonio Socci’s Blog
Lo Straniero
August 20, 2016

Yesterday ‘Avvenire’ published an editorial (an editorial expresses the official line of a newspaper) and at the heart of this editorial is such rubbish, undeniably extraneous to the Catholic faith.

Unfortunately, this editorial bears the signature of a friend of mine from Communion and Liberation, but we need to be friends first and foremost of the truth, thus – with regret – I must point out that if the Bishop’s Conference newspaper proposes such an idea in its editorial, we are a step away from the abyss (and also the ridiculous). Here are the sentences upon which ‘Avvenire’ builds all its Bergoglian theorem:

‘In fact, for those who believe – Christian or Muslim or Jew – God is one, great, omnipotent, merciful. The difference, if any, regards the ‘I’.’

As you can now see ‘the Bergoglio effect’ is running wild.  We are now at “parole in libertà”* Reading the CEI’s newspaper editorial, in fact, the faith of Catholics and Muslims would seem to be the same and their conception of God would seem to be identical.

Has the director of ‘Avvenire’ Tarquinio, a onetime Ratzingerian, ever heard of the Most Holy Trinity which is the heart of the Christian Faith and which Muslims consider to be the worst kind of blasphemy? 

UPDATED: Official video of Ars Celebrandi 2016

Congratulations to the most intensive workshop dedicated to the Traditional Mass in the world, the Polish Ars Celebrandi.

Rorate was an official partner this year, and from the video below with English subtitles) you can see it was a gorgeous event.

Note: We have updated this video, now with English subtitles:

You Report: Ah, August in Italy! A time for small towns, rural tours, and ... pornography in churches?!?...

Ah, August in Italy! Italians run out of the cities to spend their vacations in beautiful rural areas and small towns under the scorching sun. In most small towns, the main attraction is the local church, filled with art and beauty -- and pornographic images???...

So it was with our reader below, shocked beyond measure:

Last week, while walking the Cammino di San Benedetto, I visited the church of San Francesco in the centre of Cascia, famous worldwide for its daughter Saint Rita. The church was recently deconsecrated and for the town’s summer festival an exhibition was shown in the 12th century church, famous for its beautiful frescoes.

New Mass Novena: Help the Benedictines of Mary build a new church!

Whenever they ask, Rorate helps raise money for some of the greatest nuns God's blessed us with, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. And, every time, our dear readers have responded in incredible ways, enrolling in their Novena of Masses, purchasing their now-famous CDs, and more.

This time is more critical than ever, as the sisters are finally building their own church, as their temporary chapel cannot keep up with the great demand for vocations.

The Novena Mass Cards you'll receive in the mail are truly stunning: 

Sermon for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2016

Father Richard G. Cipolla
St. Mary's, Norwalk, Connecticut
August 15, 2016
The Assumption of the Virgin, by Leonard Porter (2013)
St. Mary's, Norwalk, Connecticut (Source)

“When the corruptible frame takes on incorruptibility and the mortal immortality, then will the saying of Scripture be fulfilled: death is swallowed up in victory.”  I Cor. 15:53

When I am asked what Christianity is basically about, and this question arises more and more in the post-Christian culture we live in, I answer:  it is about death.  This comes as a surprise to non-Christians and to an increasing number of Christians as well.  But it should not be so, since it is the question of the meaning of death and the event of the death of Jesus Christ that are at the heart of this faith.  A religion that does not squarely face death and does not have an answer to the fundamental question of death can have no relevance to anyone’s life.  But if someone asked me what today’s feast is all about, I would respond that this feast is the commemoration of an event that is the response to death, or this is what we understand as the fruit of Christ’s death, namely eternal life with God, the source and giver of all life, and we join all the angels in heaven and sing:  Mary is assumed into heaven; today she was raised above choirs of angels to lasting glory with Christ.

Seven ways the Rosary and the Traditional Latin Mass are alike

Francesco Granacci, The Assumption of the Virgin, c. 1517-9
In honor of my heavenly Mother, I present this small bouquet to her on the great feast of her exaltation, body and soul, into everlasting glory.

1. Useful repetition. As all normal human beings know, and as apparently the liturgical reformers did not know, repetition is exceedingly useful and important in human discourse—as demonstrated in the rhythmic lines of poets, the intimate conversations of lovers, the lofty visions of mystics, the arias of opera composers, and the frequent requests of little children to hear the same story over again. We repeat that which is lovely to those who are beloved to us. The Rosary exemplifies this practice, but so does the traditional liturgy, whether the Mass or the Divine Office. The many repetitions here reinforce, amplify, and give expression to the thoughts and feelings of the heart. 

It was a cruel exercise of rationalism to slice out supposedly “useless” repetitions like the many kissings of the altar, the many utterances of “Dominus vobiscum,” the double Confiteor, the ninefold Kyrie, the signs of the Cross, the multiple prayers before communion, and the twice-repeated threefold “Domine, non sum dignus.” I wonder if those responsible for this deformation had the sorry lot to be neglected children who did not hear poetry or stories repeated often enough.

The only kind of repetition our Lord forbids is mindless or manipulative repetition, when one repeats vocables without mindfully intending anything thereby, or repeats words as incantations that can exercise power over some other object (including the gods, in the silly way that some pagans thought of them). Traditional Catholic piety uses repetition in an entirely different way, for the honor of God and the benefit of the soul.

Ars Celebrandi 2016 ends with magnificent Mass

From the Ars Celebrandi 2016 press release:

The faithful are asking the Pope for clarity against the attacks of evil -- where is he?...

The faithful are asking the Pope for clarity against the attacks of evil

Roberto de Mattei
Il Tempo
August 14, 2016

During the month of August, ‘Casa Santa Marta’ in the Vatican is emptied of its guests, but Pope Francis will spend the entire month in the Vatican, just like the past three years.

Francis has announced he will forego a traditional papal appointment - the National Eucharistic Congress to take place this year in Genoa from the 15th to the 18th of August, while on the 19th of August the Pope will go to Assisi to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the encounter among religions, organized by the Community of St. Egidio. The Vatican Press Office did not communicate this however, but the ‘Imam’ from Perugia, Abdel Moh’d in an interview to TV 2000 (The Italian Bishops Conference TV).

Spaemann: "The Greatest Liturgical Problem is the Direction of Celebration of the Mass."

Robert Spaemann: “The biggest problem is the direction of the altar”

A native of Berlin and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Munich, Robert Spaemann is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. A specialist in the thought of Fénelon and author of a well-known critique of political utopia, as well as numerous moral works (including Happiness and Benevolence, PUF, 1997), he is a great friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He received recent attention on account of some very critical comments on Amoris Laetitia. We are taking advantage of the holidays to present you with the reflections on the liturgy which he gave to Fr. Claude Barthe for the work Reconstruire la liturgie, published by Éditions Francois-Xavier de Guibert in 1997, that is, 10 years before the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Here, he explores the direction of the celebration, a question which has recently been the subject of a strong and clear intervention on the part of Cardinal Sarah, who was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship by Pope Francis, and to which we will return in subsequent letters.


Fr. Claude Barthe – You have often echoed the profound dissatisfaction of Catholics who are unhappy with the new forms of worship. You have contributed to a certain number of them rediscovering the traditional liturgical practice in Germany today.

Catholic Identity Conference 2016

For American traditionalists, the Catholic Identity Conference has been an informative gathering of diocesan, Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King, Society of Saint Pius X and other traditional Latin Mass Catholics, assembled under one roof for a weekend.

We have been happy to cover the annual conference in recent years, including when Rorate was a featured speaker (which we pledge to do again when travel time permits).

Diocesan, Fraternity of Saint Peter, Institute of Christ the King and Society of Saint Pius X priests
Catholic Identity Conference 2015

This year's conference will be held from September 9 through 11, 2016.

NEW: St. Robert Bellarmine's long Catechism in English -- and a Rorate reader discount

We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Catholic author and publisher Ryan Grant for a few years. And we are pleased to bring to you his latest work, a translation: "Christian Doctrine: The Timeless Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine."

Rorate readers can now purchase this book by clicking here to receive a 20% discount ($16). Also, for our readers to consider, is the foreword to the book written by another friend of this blog, His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, posted below. 

By His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider

“THERE is nothing more effective than catechetical instruction to spread the glory of God and to secure the salvation of souls” (Pope Benedict XIV, Apostolic Constitution, Etsi minime). Saint Pius X said, that the great loss of souls is due to ignorance of divine things (cf. Encyclical Acerbo nimis).

Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome (Oct. 27-30, 2016) - Interview with Chaplain: “Just as there is a liturgical battle, there is also a doctrinal battle”

“Just as there is a liturgical battle, there is also a doctrinal battle”

Interview with Fr.  Claude Barthe, 
chaplain of the Populus Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage to Rome.

1. Father, this fifth international pilgrimage of the Summorum Pontificum faithful will begin in Norcia: why such a choice?

First of all, because of St. Benedict, who was a native of Norcia and is a symbol of the Christian roots of Europe. While the Roman Empire was slowly but inexorably collapsing, St. Benedict chose to break away from the world, its corruption, its noise and its insignificance, in order to give himself completely to God. In an era which, in many respects, is like a new decline of Rome, St. Benedict calls us to a radical conversion.

Norcia is also a symbol of the Summorum Pontificum world, as the monks who operate there were commissioned by Cardinal Castrillon in 2009 to celebrate in utroque usu, in both forms of the Roman rite. Since then, Norcia has been packed with faithful and the town has seen a genuine economic revival thanks to the liturgical revival accomplished by the Benedictines.

A First in English: Cardinal Bacci's Address to the Council on Latin and the Vernacular in the Liturgy

The following is the speech Cardinal Bacci gave at the Council in October 1962 on Latin the use of the vernacular in the Sacred Liturgy of the Latin Church. Bacci's name has, of course, been linked with one of the most important liturgical documents in the post-Conciliar years, the so-called Ottaviani Intervention or Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass, delivered in 1969 under his and Cardinal Ottaviani's name to Paul VI.

The speech is available in Volume 1 of the "Acta Synodalia”, bk. 1, 409-10. As far as we know, it has never been translated into English in its entirety.

The Most Eminent P. D. Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Venerable Council Fathers,

Event: Solemn High Mass, feast of St. Louis IX, in New York

“The Christian Liturgy as ‘Sacrifice of Praise’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews” — Dr. Kwasniewski’s Lecture at Norcia

This lecture was delivered on July 18, 2016, for the summer theology program in Norcia, put on by the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies and dedicated to the Epistle to the Hebrews. The lecture discusses Holy Mass as the most perfect sacrificium laudis and the Divine Office as central to the Church's life of prayer. The text is reproduced below in full.

Where the monks of Norcia offer up the sacrificium laudis

The Christian Liturgy as ‘Sacrifice of Praise’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews

Peter Kwasniewski

Where is the Christian liturgy in the Epistle to the Hebrews, or, to put the question more sharply, where is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham, England

This weekend sees the first 'Two Shrines' Pilgrimage in Scotland; please say a prayer for them.

Coming up next is the Latin Mass Society's Walsingham Pilgrimage, another walking pilgrimage, to the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, walking the 55 miles from Ely.

There is a deadline: Monday 15th August. This is necessary for the caterers and other aspects of the pilgrimage.

Guest Op-Ed: Amoris Laetitia and the new church of Francis

By Veronica A. Arntz

Rejecting False Teachings on Marriage:
An Analysis of Rocco Buttiglione’s Article

In 1997, Rocco Buttiglione wrote a book entitled Karol Wojtyła: The Thought of the Man Who Became Pope John Paul II, which is a beautiful and faithful interpretation of the Pope’s philosophical thought, particularly of his early works of Love and Responsibility and The Acting Person. If Buttiglione has such a deep understanding of the Pope’s philosophy and theology, it is surprising that, in a recent article in L’Osservatore Romano entitled “The Joy of Love and the Consternation of Theologians,” he argues that the much-debated post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia has the same end in mind as Pope John Paul II’s own theological vision. This article appeared at an unfortunate time, coming about a week prior to the release of censures against the document from theologians and scholars around the world. The common mistakes made in Buttiglione’s article (with all due respect to its author) regarding Amoris Laetitia are worth describing, for they are the most confusing for the faithful.

De Mattei - Imams in church: A grave offence against faith and reason

Roberto de Mattei
Il Tempo
August 3, 2016

The President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Angelo Bagnasco criticized those Catholics who were disconcerted and in many cases indignant at the invitation made to Muslims to pray in Italian churches on Sunday 31st July: “Really, I don’t understand the reason – he said – there doesn’t seem to me to be any real reason.” In his view, the adhesion of thousands of Muslims to pray at the altar would be “an expression of condemnation and absolute disassociation on the part of those – Muslims, but not only – who are unaccepting of any form of violence.”  

"Deaconesses": Pope establishes "Special Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women"

[For background on decision, see previous post.]

From the Holy See Press Office Bollettino:

On May 12, 2016, the Holy Father, in the course of the meeting -- in the format of dialogue in the Paul VI Hall -- with the participants at the Plenary Assembly of Superiors-General, expressed his intention of "establishing an official commission that can study the question" of the Diaconate of women, "especially regarding the first years of the Church".

After intense prayer and mature reflection, His Holiness has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women, calling to take part in it the following:

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 76 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. We added two new priests last month -- one wonderful European, and a newly-ordained great young priest. 

NEW! Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free. 

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." 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.

Denial is a river in Buenos Aires - and a 1999 address by a Bishop in Turkey warning against Islam

Denial is a river in Buenos Aires:

"I don't think it is right to equate Islam with violence," he told journalists during his return from a trip to Poland [on July 31].

Pope Francis defended his decision not to name Islam when condemning the brutal jihadist murder of a Catholic priest in France in the latest of a string of recent attacks in Europe claimed by Islamic State (or Isil).

"In almost every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. We have them too," he said.

"If I have to talk about Islamic violence I have to talk about Christian violence. Every day in the newspapers I see violence in Italy, someone kills his girlfriend, another kills his mother in law, and these are baptised Catholics." [Source]

That's right... Common crime by Catholics is the same as an Islamic Human Sacrifice of a Catholic Priest during Mass... Exactly... This is more than being merely disingenuous, this is outright deception.


In the meantime, today Muslims were invited to churches all over Italy in "solidarity" with the martyrdom of Fr. Jacques Hamel. In 1999, the Catholic Archbishop of Smyrna, Giuseppe Germano Bernardini, explained in a forceful letter to the Pope and the Cardinals why Muslims cannot be invited to pray at churches: there are legal consequences in the Muslim mind to such an action.


Sermon for the 11th Sunday After Pentecost, 2016: Tradition is not Magic, the power of the Pope is very limited

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
Parish of Saint Mary
Norwalk, Connecticut

Brethren, I make known unto you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received and wherein you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received. (I Cor. 15: 1-2)

To receive and to pass on. That is the essence of what the Catholic Church means by Tradition with a capital T. We are not a people of the Book, like Islam, the basis of which faith is entirely the Koran. And there are Protestant Christians who are also people of the Book, but their book is the Bible. And for them the whole faith is contained in the Bible and the purpose of study is to constantly read and examine and analyze the text of the Bible. That this foundation is shaky should be obvious: for the original languages of the Bible are Hebrew and Greek, and therefore every translation is subject to that fundamental dictum that translation always involves in a sense a betrayal, for every translation bears the marks and prejudices of particular people and of a particular culture. There is no total objectivity in translation and in a faith like Christianity that insists that the ultimate truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ whose words are recorded in the gospels this problem is acute. But we Catholics have always believed from the very beginning that what has been handed down, the Tradition, is not merely what is recorded faithfully in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, but also includes the oral tradition handed down from Jesus to the Apostles and to the Church.

But it goes deeper than this. For the Catholic, the Tradition is a living entity. It grows and develops under the power and protection of the Holy Spirit. If this were not true, then the Church could never confront in a real and faithful way the new challenges of every age. And it is the magisterium of the Church, the Pope and the bishops, who are entrusted with the authentic passing down of the Tradition. But this is not magic. It is not the case that the bishops and the Pope can be personally inspired apart from the authentic Tradition and declare things that claim to be true that are obviously in contradiction with what has been handed down organically for two thousand years. In accordance with the narrow definition of papal infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council, the Pope can define only what has been believed and is believed by the Church. He can never define anything as true and to be believed that does not have its roots and basis in the Tradition of the Church that always precedes him.

Public Mass of reparation: If you can't be there, unite your prayers

Another SSPX public Mass of reparation in Oklahoma
From the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX):

Public Mass of reparation
August 15
Bicentennial Park
12:00 p.m.

In reparation for the blasphemies to be committed in the Civic Center later that day

Bethany, OK – St. Michael’s Chapel of Bethany, OK and the Society of St. Pius X announce a public Mass of Reparation at 12: p.m., noon, on August 15, 2016. As has been widely reported in public media, a group of Satanists will be permitted to perform a black mass and a blasphemous ritual they call the consumption of Mary in the public building of the Civic Center. 

“The Sacrifice of Praise and the Ecstatic Orientation of Man” — Dr. Kwasniewski's Lecture at Silverstream Priory

This conference was delivered to local clergy and religious at Silverstream Priory on Thursday, July 28, 2016. The text is reproduced below in full (for those who prefer it, here is an audio link). Among other topics, Dr. Kwasniewski addresses the importance and necessity of ad orientem worship.

The Sacrifice of Praise and the Ecstatic Orientation of Man

Peter Kwasniewski

Appeal to Cardinals: text revealed

In light of the appearance of the signatories and the text of the Appeal to the Cardinals online, the organisers of the appeal are issuing a press release, below.
The appeal and its covering letter can conveniently be seen here:
I will be continuing to act as spokesman for the group, and will be happy to answer questions.
Dr Joseph Shaw
Press release – Publication of theological critique and accompanying letter sent to the cardinals and patriarchs
The ‘National Catholic Reporter’ of Kansas City, Missouri, recently published, without authorisation, the names of the signatories of a letter to the College of Cardinals and Eastern Patriarchs; equally without authorisation, The Australian, an Australia-based newspaper, has recently published the full text of the letter and the accompanying document. The latter is a theological critique of the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, and requested that the cardinals and patriarchs petition Pope Francis to definitively and finally condemn certain propositions. In order to protect the signatories and the critique from misrepresentation, the organisers of these documents wish to offer some further comment and explanation of them.

All Saints of God, Pray for Us! - Video of Litany of Saints during Priestly Ordination

Priestly Ordinations of five deacons of the Institute of the Good Shepherd (IBP), in Bordeaux, on June 25, 2016.

De Mattei: “Legitimate defense may also be a grave duty for those responsible for the lives of others”

Roberto de Mattei
July 27, 2016

Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto

The first martyr in European territory at the hands of Islam, Father Jacques Hamel, was murdered while celebrating Holy Mass on July 26th in the parish church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. Two Muslims praising Islam, burst into the church, and after taking some of the faithful hostage, cut the priest’s throat, at the same time critically wounding another faithful present. There are no doubts about the identity of the aggressors and the anti-Christian hatred that motivated them. Through the press agency Amaq, the Islamic State called the assailants “our soldiers”.

First Priest-martyr of the 21st Century in France

During the 9 am Mass this morning in the parish church of Saint Stephen (Saint-Etienne), in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, in the outskirts of Rouen, Normandy, France, two assailants invaded the church, held most of those inside -- including the priest and two nuns -- hostage, and, before being killed by special operations forces, slit the throat of the priest.

Martyr! The martyred priest was Father Jacques Hamel, 84 years old -- may he pray for us in heaven!

So many Christians have been martyred in recent years outside Europe, also victims of Islam: It is fitting that the first priest-martyr of Western Europe in many years comes from the Eldest Daughter.

Help a new TLM community -- and build a grotto for Our Lady

We at Rorate have been honored to know the good priests of the relatively new Missionaries of Saint John the Baptist and to spend time with them. The MSJB is a small congregation of traditional Latin Mass religious priests whose spirituality stems from the spiritual legacy of the 17th Century Congregation of the Priests of Mercy in France. They also travel the country giving compelling, traditional mission talks for Catholics who request them.

Now, fully established in the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, they have purchased a protestant church and need help turning it into an oasis of tradition -- and to build a grotto for Our Lady that should prove a destination for Catholics from all over and to serve as "a cave of refreshment in dark times" (go here to see the church they've purchased and the renovations already made).

Please see below for a note by the good Fathers, written directly to you, our dear readers:

Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - "The contemporary world not only denies the Fall, but the very concept of Sin."

by Father Richard G. Cipolla

From the 7th chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate…So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me….I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.”

Modern science depends on experimentation to explain physical reality. The scientific method: observe, propose a theory to explain your observations, perform experiments that will test the theory. If the results of the experiments match what the theory predicts, then the theory has a grounding in the truth of the nature of physical reality. If not, then you propose a new theory, think up and perform experiments, match with theory and so forth. 

Radicati Editorial: ‘Mercyism’ is moralism

Editorial: Radicati nella fede, July 2016
Newsletter of the Catholic community of
Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy

This ‘mercyism’ which is so much in fashion is nothing other than moralism.

We can all see that it’s very much the fashion today to present the Catholic Church as always forgiving, welcoming and not judging. Those wishing to stay inside the new course of the modernized Church have to be like that. There are many priests in the Church who don’t dare make even one condemnation on sin – unless this condemnation follows the dictates of the dominant secular culture.  They then reprogram themselves as the silent merciful types and so seem to be blessing the most horrendous sins that become civil liberties under this 'mercyism'.

This 'mercyism' is nothing other than gloomy moralism: That 'Catholic deviation' which makes the Church concerned only about morality, almost completely neglecting the truths of the faith.

Fifty years of the other "Ottaviani intervention", Cum oecumenicum concilium: a final appeal to the world's bishops to eradicate heresies

Ottaviani in 1966
Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the first doctrinal documents to be released by the old Holy Office under the new appellation "Doctrine of the Faith", the circular letter Cum Oecumenicum Concilium. The Latin text can be found in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 58 (1966), pp. 659-661.

Signed only 7 months after the end of Vatican II by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the last Secretary of the Holy Office (1959 - 1965) and Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1965 until January 1968, it demonstrates the rapidity with which open heresy spread even more in the Church in the immediate aftermath of the Council. This is the last document from the Holy See to speak of heresies as "pernicious errors", and one of the last to bluntly call upon the bishops to "eradicate" these.  

Archbishop: Muslims have come to occupy Europe (and some advice for Pope Francis)

An Interview with Gyula Màrfi, Archbishop of Veszprém, Hungary

By Andras Kovacs
Riscossa Cristiana
July 21, 2016

Archbishop Gyula Màrfi: “We love wolves inasmuch as they are God’s creation, but not for this would we let them loose among the sheep. The Holy Father ought not state certain things in a strong manner as then the Muslims may take revenge on the Christians of the Middle East."
It is not accidental that there is this enormous pressure on Europe regarding immigration; the motivation to conquer on the part of Muslims may play a part, but the great powers also support it – so says Gyula Màrfi, Archbishop of Veszprém, in an interview where we discussed the need to rediscover the Christian faith. It is a fundamental task to contemplate anew the Christian faith seriously.

Haec Sancta (1415): A conciliar document condemned by the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 20, 2016

The Council of Constance (1414-1418) is numbered among the 21 Councils of the Church, but one of its decrees, Haec Sancta of April 6th 1415 is considered heretical, as it asserts the supremacy of the Council over the Roman Pontiff.

At Constance, Haec Sancta was applied in the decree Frequens, (October 9th 1417,) which prescribed a Council for five years later, another after seven years and then one every ten years. With this, it attributed de facto to the Council the function of a permanent collegial body which collaborated with the Pope and de facto was superior.

Encouragement for homeschoolers

For those who homeschool, especially for those either just starting or with all fairly young children in their early educational years, we don't have to tell you -- it's hard. It's really hard. 

If you read some of the homeschooling blogs, while they mean well, they often leave you with the feeling that homeschooling should always be this wonderful, permanent joy. It should always feel like that painting of mother in her chair with the perfectly behaved little ones at her knees listening to each and every word emanating from her mouth.

Then there's reality. 

The reality is, for many, homeschooling isn't just an option, it's the only option. It's a spiritual life or death situation for your children. You know you can't send them to public school, where they'll lose their souls. You know you can't send them to the local "Catholic" school, where they'll lose their faith. Yet, that doesn't make your day to day any easier. 

A traditional priest has recorded a short but very inspirational reminder of why you homeschool and why you must keep at it. 

Thank God for Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux

On this Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, Penitent, we thank God for her patronage of the great work accomplished by Dom Gérard Calvet and his followers in the Abbey of Saint Mary Magdalene, in Le Barroux, France, in the same Provence where it is believed that she spent the last years of her life and where her relics have been venerated since immemorial times.

If you wish to listen to the chants of the office on their great feastday, just visit their website (also available recorded at the wonderful

The Church as communio: Revisiting Joseph Ratzinger's ecclesiology

By Veronica A. Arntz

In Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mystici Corporis from 1943, we are given a beautiful description of the Church as Christ’s Mystical Body here on earth, born out of love from his sufferings on the Cross. Toward the end of the encyclical, the Pope offers a heartfelt exhortation to love the Church:

Let this be the supreme law of our love: to love the Spouse of Christ as Christ wished her to be and as He purchased her with His blood. Hence not only should we cherish the sacraments with which Holy Mother Church sustains our life, the solemn ceremonies she offers for our solace and our joy, the sacred chant and liturgy by which she lifts our souls up to heaven, but the sacramentals too and all those exercises of piety which she uses to console the hearts of the faithful and gently to imbue them with the Spirit of Christ (art. 102).

For Pius XII, the Church is deeply sacramental and liturgical, for, by her very being, she is turned toward the Lord, anticipating with hope Christ’s second coming. In loving the Church, we love her liturgies and her sacramental life, for these things are part of her very being and essence. How much these words are needed for the Church in our own time! In a time when the sacraments are frequented less and less, piety is disregarded as being “individualistic,” and, most especially, the liturgy is viewed as a theatrical act by the priest rather than the eternal sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, we are in desperate need of a reminder of the true nature of the Church. In our time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has helped us to understand the true nature of the Church as Eucharistic and liturgical, oriented toward communion with God. To understand Ratzinger’s ecclesiological vision, let us first understand what the Church is not. 

De Mattei - Nice: The war of religion continues

 Roberto de Mattei
Il Tempo
July 16, 2016

Pope Francis was right when he said more than a year ago that “a third world war was already in progress", fought “bit by bit”, but it’s necessary to add that it’s a war of religion, given that the motives are religious by those who have declared it, and even the homicides perpetrated in its name are ritualistic.

Francis called the Nice massacre an act of “blind violence” but the homicidal fury that pushed the driver of a truck to disseminate death along the Nice promenade isn’t an act of irrational madness: it is born of a religion which incites hate and instigates violence. The same religious motives caused the massacres at the Bataclan in Paris, at the airport in Brussels and Istanbul and in the restaurant in Dacca. All of these acts, however barbarous, are not “blind” but are part of a plan lucidly exposed by ISIS in its documents.

Does the USCCB letter on ad orientem establish a virtual "indult" regime?

Over the weekend, the liturgical website Corpus Christi Watershed posted the following letter from the USCCB's Committee on Divine Worship regarding the recent discussions on the celebration of the Novus Ordo ad orientem.

So far, there have been few posts and discussions online about this letter. (Perhaps this will change in the coming days.) Discussions touching on this letter have focused on 1) the continued misinterpretation of GIRM 299, based on the misleading official English translation; 2) the letter's acknowledgment of the rubrical status quo as far as the Novus Ordo is concerned, which means that ad orientem will not be mandated but definitely remains an option, many would even say the norm; and 3) Bishop Anthony Taylor's letter that de facto forbids the celebration of the Novus Ordo ad orientem, citing this same letter from the USCCB. 

We understand that many liturgy bloggers (many of whom we consider as friends, even if we sometimes vehemently disagree with them) are intent on presenting this letter in a way that can be spun positively. Nevertheless it seems strange to us that little to no direct reference seems to have been made so far to the biggest problem in this letter, contained in its last two sentences (with our emphases):

The Passion of Spain - 80th Anniversary

Exactly 80 years ago, the tensions within the Spanish Republic reached unbearable levels and the alzamiento of July 18 began. The greatest persecution of Catholics since late Antiquity was about to begin in the territory retained by the Communist-inspired forces, and would be particularly brutal in the first six months of the conflict - giving the Church thousands of martyrs (including 13 bishops), of which around 1,000 have already been beatified.

Ten years ago, we began a special series of posts on the story of this relentless persecution, reverted only after Catholics joined the struggle for the faith: read it all in The Passion of Spain series. We also ask our readers to please share on our Twitter feed their favorite books, videos, online sources on this event, in any language - for instance, the Collective Letter of the Spanish Bishops (July 1, 1937); the response of several national episcopates, including the Bishops of Ireland; or the chilling images in the first and second annex on religious persecution of the Causa General.

(In the first image, Republican militiamen fire at the Monument to the Sacred Heart, in the Cerro de los Ángeles, province of Madrid -- the monument would be completely destroyed in the first months of the persecution. It would be rebuilt following the war. In the image below, a Russian Orthodox chaplain of the White Russian volunteers assembled by General Evgeny Miller, exiled in France, who would be kidnapped in French soil during the war, tortured and killed in his homeland - source. And in a Mass celebrated  near the Sierra Nevada, in Andalusia, for the Tercio Isabel la Católica, of Granada, one of the many Catholic groups fighting against the attempted extermination of the Church - source.)


As a final reminder of who represented what in that conflict, we once again recall the words of Pope Pius XII when victory was declared, in 1939:


(April 14, 1939)

With great joy We address you, most dear children of Catholic Spain, to express to you our fatherly congratulations for the gift of peace and of victory, with which God has deemed worthy to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity, tried in so many and so generous sufferings. Our Predecessor, of venerable memory, expected, with longing and trust, this Providential peace, which is undoubtedly the fruit of that copious blessing which he sent, in the very beginning of the struggle, "to all those who had devoted themselves to the difficult and dangerous task of defending and restoring the rights and the honor of God and Religion" [1]; and We do not doubt that this peace shall be the one that he himself foretold since then, "the sign of a future of tranquility in order, and of honor in prosperity" [2].

The future of the Freedom of the Church in America

This blog has purposely stayed out of the 2016 political fray, especially during the Republican primary season (even on Twitter, where you really should be following us if you're not).

Also throughout this year, on Twitter, we have been warning bishops and priests that, after the Supreme Court ruling on fake "marriages," prudence would demand they begin to plan for the loss of their tax-exempt status once the state dictates they perform the fake "marriages" or pay taxes. 

Now, enter Donald J. Trump. To be clear, we are not, have not and will not support any candidacy, but it is important to explain where the freedom of the Catholic Church will be better protected.

"To the poorest daughter of Carmel,
honor speaks louder than fear."

Mother Marie: Sister Blanche...

First Commissary: I forbid you to continue...

Mother Marie: You have the power to force me to silence, but none to command me to it. I represent here the Reverend Mother Prioress and I shall take no orders from you.

A Commissary: Confounded old hag! She cannot be made to hold her tongue, fellow Citizen, but remind her that the Republic has a machine at its disposal that will leave her somewhat short of breath!

First Commissary: Enough! I repeat that you must behave as a true representative of the people! [He turns to Sister Blanche:] Young citizen, you have nothing to fear from us, who are your liberators! Say but one word, and you will find yourself beyond the sway of those who, to better put you in their power, have not feared to offend nature in usurping even the sacred name of "mother". Henceforth, you are under the protection of the Law.

Mother Marie: But she is first under my protection. Do you think I shall permit you to take any further advantage of the terror of a child? I shall take great care to avoid a language that you cannot understand. You know nothing of that which holds us here and keeps us united unto death - or, if once you knew it, it is now certainly forgotten. But there are still perhaps words which are common to us, and which can touch your conscience. Well, sir, you must know that to the poorest daughter of Carmel, honor speaks louder than fear.
Georges Bernanos
Dialogues des Carmélites

On the day following her feast, the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel would receive her dear French daughters, martyred for their faith in her Son and for their loyalty to His Church.

O glorious Martyrs of Compiègne, pray for us!

[Our regular July 17 homage.]

The most extraordinary event in English history

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge - 765 years ago today, in 1251: has there been any other moment in English history whose consequences have aided so many souls throughout the world achieve and keep holiness, reaching final perseverance? Men and women, made of flesh, need material reminders of the presence of God in their lives - and what could be more profitable than the blessed physical sign that Our Lady's Mantle covers us at all times, that Her Divine Son keeps watch over us day and night?
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
Saint Elias, pray for us!
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us!
Queen of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

Statement of SSPX Superior-general Bp. Fellay -- To be read between the lines

Communiqué from the Superior General to All Members of the Society of Saint Pius X at the conclusion of the meeting of major superiors in Anzère (Valais), June 28 2016

[Made public on July 16]

For the glory of God,
for the honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Holy Mother,
for our salvation.

In the present grave state of necessity in the Church, which gives it the right to administer spiritual aid to the souls that turn to it, the Society of Saint Pius X does not seek above all a canonical recognition, to which it has a right because it is Catholic. The solution is not simply juridical. It depends on a doctrinal position that it is imperative to express.