Rorate Caeli

Guest Op-Ed: A vision of the Church in 1 Timothy, through Aquinas

By Veronica A. Arntz

“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Great, indeed, we confess, is the mystery of your religion” (1 Timothy 3:14-16, RSV-CE).

These verses of St. Paul, in addition to the previous passages, reveal very succinctly the nature and soul of the Church. Paul first outlines the different roles within the Body of Christ—men and women, bishops, and deacons—and then describes the source of the Church’s unity, namely, the Incarnate Word of God. Reflecting on these passages of Paul, with the trustworthy guide of St. Thomas Aquinas, will shed light on how we should respond to the current situation in our Church. The Church today is indeed in need of a reminder of how she should act as the “household of God,” given how easily we fall into sin, which divides the Church and prevents her from being truly unified as the Body of Christ.

In this letter, St. Paul first talks about men and women, or the laity, in the Church. St. Paul writes, “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling” (1 Tim 2:8). St. Paul thus desires that all the men should pray, and this prayer, according to Thomas, is marked by three characteristics: “that it be assiduous, pure, and quiet” (71). Mental prayer can occur anywhere, which is why men are no longer required to pray only in Jerusalem. Moreover, the prayer ought to be pure, which means that by our external signs, we are giving glory to God.

As Thomas explains, “For genuflections and the like are not of themselves pleasing to God, but only because by them, as by signs of humility, a man is internally humble” (72). Man’s actions in prayer are a sign of his humility and thereby purity before God. Finally, prayer should be quiet, or without anger, both toward God and toward neighbor; thus, real prayer is guided by charity. A man cannot truly pray unless he deeply possesses the virtue of charity, which is expressed in the twofold commandment of love of God and love of neighbor. Thus, we can see from the beginning that, for Paul, prayer is at the center of the Church. The Church must pray to God in humility, begging for his grace and his mercy to transcend our weak human nature.

Mariawald Trappist Abbey Closed Down -- Summorum Undone by Current Vatican Regime

The Trappist Monastery of Mariawald, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, was one of the very few monastic houses in the world to make use of the provision present in Article 3 of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum that allowed for the whole conversion of such a house to the exclusive use of the Traditional Rite.

We covered this momentous news in 2008 (see our 2012 post), and in 2015 we published the translation of a great interview granted by the abbot responsible for this change, Dom Josef Vollberg.

The traditional turn at Mariawald was too much for the current vindictive regime installed in Rome, and they forced the abbot out in 2016, as we also covered at the time.

Now, the inevitable outcome arrived: as GloriaTV reports, the old abbey is being closed and completely dismantled. What two world wars could not destroy, Bergoglianism could:

De Mattei: Minimalism: the present-day sickness of Catholicism

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 17, 2018

In Italy recently, two videos have been circulating online which give pause for thought. The first replicates the words of Don Fredo Olivero, Rector of the Church of San Rocco in Turin, uttered during Midnight Mass. “Do you know why I’m not going to say the Creed? Because I don’t believe it!” Amidst the laughter of the faithful, the priest continues: “As if anyone understands it – but as for myself after many years I’ve  realized that it was something I didn’t understand and couldn’t accept.  Let’s sing something else that presents the essential things of the faith.” The priest then substituted the Creed with the song “Dolce Sentire” from the film “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”.

Aldo Maria Valli interviews Pope Gregory the Great

January 16, 2018

Francisco de Zurbarán 040.jpg  

Good day Your Holiness.

Good day to you too.

Might I disturb your Holiness for a moment?

Of course.

Your are Pope Gregory, aren’t you? Gregory The First, called Gregory The Great?

In person.

Please pardon my boldness, but I’d like to interview Your Holiness.


Yes, just ask you a few questions.

Go ahead, I’ll be happy to answer them if I’m able.

Thank you, Your Holiness.  I don’t know if you’ve heard that the Equestrian Order carrying your Holiness’ name was given to a Dutch lady….

Newest U.S. basilica offers the TLM

His Excellency Michael Burbidge, bishop of Arlington, Virginia, in the U.S. announced this morning minor basilica status has been approved for the parish of Saint Mary in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

The parish offers the traditional Latin Mass once a month, in a diocese where 15 of the 70 diocesan parishes offer a TLM, the highest percentage in the world (up from zero parishes as recently as 2006).

Rorate attended the announcement today, the culmination of an effort aided by supporters of the TLM at the first Catholic parish in the Commonwealth of Virginia. One of the many justifications for minor basilica status was George Washington's financial contribution of $1,200 (in 2018 dollars) at a 1788 fundraiser for the construction of the church, hosted by his former aide-de-camp, Colonel John Fitzgerald.

De Mattei: Is “deep sedation” a masked form of assisted suicide?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 10, 2017

Marina Ripa di Meana, the provocative exponent of the Italian jet-set who died in Rome on January 6, 2018, chose to die through deep palliative sedation, manifesting her last will and testament in a video: “After Christmas my health conditions precipitated. Breathing, speaking, eating and getting up: everything now is difficult for me, and causes me unbearable pain: the tumour has now taken complete possession of my body. Not of my mind though, or my conscience. I telephoned Maria Antonietta Farina Coscioni, a person I trust and esteem because of her personal story, to tell her that the end indeed had arrived.  I told her of my interest in assisted suicide in Switzerland. She told me that I could go the Italian way of palliative treatment through deep sedation. I, who have travelled with my mind and my body all my life, didn’t know about this way. I want to launch this message to say that even here at home or in hospital, with a tumor, people have to know that they can choose to return to the earth without [having to go through] ulterior and useless suffering. “Let it be known. Let it be known.”

Benedicite, glacies et nives, Domino . . .

Father Brian Hess offers Holy Mass ad orientem amidst the beauty of God's Creation upon an altar made of snow in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, during this week's winter expedition for the freshman class of Wyoming Catholic College.

Post title from the Benedicite, the Canticle of the Three Hebrew Children (Daniel chapter 3) -- "Bless ye the Lord, ice and snow . . . ."

Photo reposted from Diocese of Cheyenne's Facebook page to which it was supplied by Father Hess.

Basking in the glow of Epiphany: The wedding feast at Cana

In the giant new lectionary, poster-child of the liturgical reform, we find very strange things if we take pains to scratch beneath the surface. One of the most surprising, to me, was the discovery that the passage from the second chapter of the Gospel of St. John about the wedding feast at Cana—among the most picturesque, moving, and theologically profound passages in all the Gospels—is read only once every three years in the Novus Ordo (in “Year C”). In contrast, it is read every year in the old Mass, on the Second Sunday after Epiphany, where it has appeared for centuries without interruption.

March for Life TLMs in Washington, D.C.

Friday, 19 January 2018, will be the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Pro-life speeches begin on the National Mall at 12 Street, NW, at 12 noon, followed by the peaceful walk up Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year Vice President Mike Pence addressed the March for Life in person -- the first time any of America's top two leaders has done so in person. It is expected there will again be very high-level officials speaking in person at the March for Life at noon. (Get there early.)

UPDATE; 17 Jan.: President Trump will address the March for Life via satellite.  Speaker Paul Ryan will address the March for Life in person.

Many, many American Catholics who attend the traditional Latin Mass will be at the March for Life. To that end, Saint Mary, Mother of God church at 5th and H streets, NW, becomes the de facto hub for the day (and Sunday morning at 9 a.m. for a Missa Cantata). Several visiting priests each year offer traditional Latin Masses at the four altars in the church on the day of the March for Life.

There will be at least four traditional Latin Masses at Saint Mary's on Friday, 19 January:

1st Latin Mass in Dallas Cathedral in decades -- PLUS: Help build new FSSP church for its largest apostolate

On December 30, 2017, the Rev. Fr. Thomas Longua, FSSP, offered the first traditional Latin Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, Texas. Fr. Longua is the pastor of Mater Dei in Irving, Texas, an apostolate of the Fraternity of St. Peter under the diocese of Dallas.

Dubia answered: Warning for priests treating afflicted souls, guidance on blessings by deacons

The following responses to dubia by the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" (PCED) was provided to Rorate by a source with a deep concern for the spiritual welfare of priests. We post the responses below, with an explanatory note following it, written by our source. There's also an interesting response from the PCED to whether deacons can bless using the traditional Rituale. We have edited the document only to protect the privacy of the priest who submitted the dubia:

Note from our source:

Priests that pray over afflicted souls should be aware of a potential open door.

Sermon for the Epiphany: A King of Orient tells us what the journey to Bethlehem was like

by Fr. Richard Cipolla

From the Gospel: “And they fell down and worshipped Him.”

It was one of the worst trips I had ever taken.  The snow, the cold, and then rain as soon as we got out of the mountains.  They robbed us at one of the inns; in some towns the food was not even edible. But we went on, somehow we did not give this all up, for it was still there, that star that we had seen that night many week ago now.  We searched our charts, we consulted others, and that star—there was nothing like it we had ever seen.  And so we set out, we set out in some sort of faith, looking for something, for surely that star was meant to announce something great.  We were not even sure what we were looking for.  Some said a king was to be born in the land of the Jews.  That is what one of my companions had heard, and it was this king that we set out to find.  Or was it? 

Mass for Vocations at the Pantheon

Mass will be offered in Rome at the Basilica of St. Mary and All Martyrs on the Feast of St. Polycarp, January 26, at 6:00 pm. The Basilica is housed in the historic Pantheon - a temple erected by the ancient Romans to venerate all pagan gods. It has been a Catholic church since A.D. 609 when Byzantine emperor Phocas donated it to Pope Boniface IV who had it consecrated. The Mass will be offered by Fr. Matthieu Raffray of the Institute of the Good Shepherd. Those who will be in Rome at the time are urged to show their support for this worthy intention by assisting at the Mass.

Archbishop Sample to offer TLM at basilica shrine in D.C.

A few months ago we shared the news on a pontifical High Mass to be celebrated on 28 April 2018 in the upper church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  We are pleased to now be able to make public the celebrant, His Excellency Alexander Sample, the archbishop of Portland, Oregon.

[UPDATE]: A new Mass -- and an amazing story

Rorate disclaimer: as it has happened in such occasions in the past, our readers know that we post information we consider useful even if we deeply disagree, in fundamental and non-negotiable principles, with their authors. That is the case, for instance, when we post encouraging news from the Eastern Orthodox. Or Sedevacantists.


By Rev. Anthony Cekada

In an August 31, 2017 article on Rorate, I told the rather amazing story of how at age 15 our young organist, Andrew Richesson, had composed an impressive and stirring musical setting of the Ordinary of Mass.

At the time the article appeared, only two sections of the Mass, the Kyrie and the Sanctus, had been recorded by a choir. For the rest of the work, Rorate readers were provided with a computer-generated audio of the score on Andrew’s YouTube channel.

I am happy to report that our choir at St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, has now recorded the entire work. We premiered it at Midnight Mass on Christmas 2017, and sang it again the following Sunday, December 31. 

[UPDATE]: IMPORTANT: Bishop Athanasius Schneider interview with Rorate Caeli on "Profession of the Immutable Truths", communion for "divorced and remarried"

SECOND UPDATE 1/6/18: His Excellency Andreas Laun, former Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg, has now signed on.

UPDATE 1/5/18: Bishop Schneider tells us that Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop Metropolitan of Riga/Latvia, added his signature to the text of the "Profession of Immutable Truths." Good Bishops and Princes of the Church, stand up up for the truth. Stand up for Christ and sign on!

Bishop Athanasius Schneider -- auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, and one of the original three drafters of this week's Profession of the Immutable Truths in response to Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis' official approval granting Holy Communion to some "divorced and remarried" Catholics -- participated in an interview with Rorate Caeli after the document's release.

You can read more on the original document here. We urge all Catholic media and blogs to run this interview in full -- but please reference Rorate Caeli as the source. 

RORATE CAELI (RC): Your Excellency has personally been out in front in terms of restoration of the traditional liturgy for many years. Now Your Excellency, Archbishop Peta and Archbishop Lenga have come out publicly, and forcibly, in defense of marriage in the aftermath of Amoris Laetitia. Why did the three of you decide now was the time to respond? 

BISHOP ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER (BAS): After the publication of Amoris Laetitia, several bishops and Bishops’ Conferences started to issue “pastoral” norms regarding the so-called “divorced and remarried”. One has to say that, for a Catholic, there is no divorce because a valid sacramental bond of a ratified and consumed marriage is absolutely indissoluble and even the bond of a natural marriage is per se indissoluble as well. Furthermore, for a Catholic, there is only one valid marriage being his legitimate spouse still alive. Therefore, one cannot speak of a “re-marriage” in this case.

The expression “divorced and remarried” is consequently deceptive and misleading. Since this expression is commonly known, we use it only in quotation marks and with the previous remark “so-called”. The mentioned pastoral norms regarding the so- called “divorced and remarried” -- norms masked with a rhetoric bordering on sophism -- foresee ultimately the admittance of the “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion without the requirement of the indispensable and Divinely established condition that they may not violate their sacred marriage bond through their habitual sexual relationship with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. A certain peak has reached in this process of implicit recognition of divorce in the life of the Church, when Pope Francis ordered to publish in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, his letter of approval of similar norms which issued the bishops of the Pastoral Region of Buenos Aires.

This act was followed by a declaration that this papal approval would belong to the authentic Magisterium of the Church. In view of such pastoral norms which contradict Divine Revelation with its absolute disapproval of divorce and contradict also the teaching and sacramental practice of the infallible Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church, we were forced by our conscience, as successors of the Apostles, to raise our voice and to reiterate the immutable doctrine and practice of the Church regarding the indissolubility of the sacramental marriage.

Guest Op-Ed: Epiphany reflections on the Christian vocation

By Veronica A. Arntz

The Gospels tell us very little about the wise men, or the Magi, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, who came from the East to worship the newborn Christ Child. While tradition says that there were three of them, named Balthasar, Melchior, and Jaspar, we do not even have knowledge of that from the Scriptures.[1] What we do know is that these wise men, who were Gentiles, followed a star in the heavens so that they could come to Bethlehem to worship Christ, the King of Israel. In reflecting on the event of the Magi, we can learn something about our own vocation, namely, that God calls us out of our comfort to pursue him in a radical way, following the royal road of the Cross. 

EVENT: Pontifical High Mass with Bishop Libasci for the Epiphany

The first pontifical Mass in the U.S. Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, since the creation of the novus ordo will be offered tomorrow on the feast of the Epiphany of our Lord.

His Excellency Peter A. Libasci, the local ordinary, has been a great friend of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter there, inviting them into his diocese in 2016 and visiting the newly established personal parish of Saint Stanislaus in Nashua, New Hampshire, several times, even sitting in choir on Good Friday last year.

EVENT: Solemn High Mass with Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Kansas City

EVENT: Pontifical Mass with Card. Burke for the Epiphany - Tomorrow, in Rome

On the Feast of the Epiphany, Saturday 6 January 2018 at 11 a.m., His Eminence the Most Reverend Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the Parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini.

#TBT: Lex orandi, lex credendi

On "Throw Back Thursday," a gentle reminder that none of what's happening during this pontificate should come as a surprise to you, as it has never been a surprise to us. 

Pope Francis and the Perplexed Secularists

Bergoglio has been criticized by traditionalists for his Christmas homily, but over the years some [noted] secularists have raised some perplexity about the Pontiff’s actions

Francesco Boezi

Pope Francis is at the center of controversy because of his Christmas homily. His combination of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem for the Birth of Jesus and the theme of immigrants has been questioned by traditionalists.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Over the last 30 days we've added one new wonderful priest dedicated to bringing relief to loved ones enrolled by our readers. We now stand at 86 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! 

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. **

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.

For the Record: Full translation of Benedict XVI letter of support to Müller after dismissal by Francis -- plus: Ratzinger explains the liturgical revolution

A happy 2018 to all our readers!

Full translation below:

Your Eminence, dear Confrere

Your seventieth birthday is approaching and even if I’m no longer able to write a true scientific contribution to the miscellany that will be dedicated to you on this occasion, I’d like nonetheless to participate with some words of greeting and gratitude.

Plenary Indulgence reminders:
Te Deum on Dec. 31
Veni Creator on Jan. 1

§ 1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a church or in an oratory, are present in a recitation or solemn chant of: ...

BECKET - "This is the sign of the Church always: The Sign of Blood."

KNIGHTS. Where is Becket, the traitor to the King?
Where is Becket, the meddling priest?
Come down Daniel to the lions' den,
Come down Daniel for the mark of the beast.

Free 2018 traditional liturgical calendar for priests

We were alerted to a worthwhile project to give priests -- especially those not currently saying the traditional Latin Mass -- a free 2018 liturgical calendar according to the 1962 rubrics. 

Note: If you're a priest you can get one for free, and if you're a layman, you can send one to a priest for free as well. 

Please consider sending one to your local parish pastor. You never know -- you may get a new, local TLM option out of it. Sometimes it only takes a small spark to light a fire! 

A Christmas meditation

 Given by Father Konrad zu Loewenstein FSSP at Midnight Mass, 2017

St. Mary’s Church, Warrington, England

(based on the Biblical Commentary of Fr. Cornelius a Lapide)

We read that Our Blessed Lady in the Christmas scene 'meditated all these things in her heart'. The Latin word 'conferens' suggests the making of comparisons, that is of the human and the Divine: the human in the birth of a human child of a human mother in the poorest and meanest of conditions; the Divine in the birth of God predicted by an Archangel, heralded by the conception and the exultation in the womb of St. John the Baptist, by the prophecies of St. Elisabeth and Zachariah, by the host of angels and the star.

And amongst the signs of Divine action we can include the character of the birth itself and the presence of ministering angels.  

A Very Blessed Christmas!

At ubi venit plenitudo temporis,
misit Deus Filium suum factum ex muliere, factum sub lege,
ut eos, qui sub lege erant, redimeret,
ut adoptionem filiorum reciperemus.
"In the Fullness of Time" - the Birth of Our Lord ends the Pagan World
(Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Age of Augustus and the Birth of Jesus Christ, 1855)
A Catholic treasure which we can enjoy especially this night and into the morning is the musical work known as the “Christmas Concerto”, an evolution of the myriad of non-liturgical Christmas-based plays, "Pastorales", and musical settings that were so popular in all Catholic nations.

Sermon for the Vigil of Christmas

“And she shall bring forth a Son and thou shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

How wonderful to be able to celebrate the Vigil of Christmas today in a Solemn Mass on this Sunday!  The Novus Ordo calendar keeps this as the Fourth Sunday in Advent and the focus of the readings is on the Blessed Virgin Mary.  But the Traditional Roman rite insists on continuing with the theme of expectancy that is at the heart of Advent. The introit, the gradual and alleluia, the opening Collect:  the focus is on tomorrow both in a literal and profoundly religious sense.  The Introit sings:  “This day you will know that the Lord will come and save us; you will see his glory.”  

This verse is from the book of Exodus where Moses speaks to his people who are starving in the wilderness of the heavenly manna that will save them from death.  The Liturgy applies this to the birth of the One who is the bread from heaven who will give eternal life to those who eat of this bread.  St Paul, in the Epistle reading from Romans speaks of God’s promises to the Jews that have been fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ:  his birth, his teaching and above all the power of his Resurrection and its promise of eternal life to those with faith in Him.  The Gradual repeats the words of the Introit and the Alleluia sings:  “Tomorrow shall the iniquity of the earth be abolished; and the Savior of the world shall reign over us”.  And tomorrow is indeed when we celebrate the conquering of sin and death in the birth of Christ. 

Rorate cæli: The silence of Christ's coming

Rorate, cæli, desuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem. (cf. also the fourth Lesson for Ember Saturday in Advent, Isaias xlv, 6-8: "I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a savior: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him.")

Giovanni Battista Trotti, called Il Malosso
Virgin Mary Architect of the Universe (1603)

This Sunday (RORATE Sunday, the 4th Sunday in Advent, superseded this year by the Vigil of the Nativity) marks the 12th anniversary of this blog: thank you for your readership, and a very blessed Christmastide to you and yours!


I. Consider first, that this blessed earth here spoken of is, according to the strictest interpretation, no other than Our Lady, that inviolate Virgin and immaculate Earth, from which, without human agency, there sprang that Divine Bud, desired by Isaias so long before, when he exclaimed: "Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior." This being so, it will at once strike thee as strange that this form of expression should be used. For, if the Earth here spoken of was so inviolate as to remain as much closed during as before childbirth, how can the Prophet pray that it might be opened? "Let the earth be opened."

Op-Ed: End sexual harassment by ending the Sexual Revolution

The #metoo movement has firmly taken hold, and good for it. No one, women or men, should be subject to sexual harrassement in the workplace or anywhere else. Until we get to the crux of the problem, however, we will continue to spawn and nurture sexual predators and the harassment and assault will only get worse. 

Ever since the near collapse of the Church and Faith post-Vatican II, the Sexual Revolution has raged. Society tells men and women that partaking in the marital act outside of marriage is good. Self-pleasure, once a mortal sin, is good. And watching hours upon hours of pornography, where women are conquered and used as pleasure toys, is good. It’s all healthy! 

And what does the Church do? Do the men running it begin a holy counter campaign? No. 

Humanae Vitae is delayed so long it’s nearly useless at the time; Catholic schools start teaching sexual education; Theology of the Body; Amoris Laetitia; “Who am I to judge?”; unnatural orgies in the Vatican and a pope who separates procreation from the marital act by mocking couples who “breed like rabbits.” 

Both society and the Church have equally caused this mess. They’ve bred and fed the beast, and turned many men into monsters who see women not for their feminity and majesty, but as easy outlets to release their sexual frustrations, built up from years of unrealistic expectations and objectification. 

Want to stop this epidemic? Change society by starting at home, and cleanse the Church of the perverts who have run it for the last half century. Want to end sexual harassment by teaching, once again, authentic Christian sexual morality? #metoo

So, What About Maradiaga? -- The Answers Can Be Found in the Events of 2012 and 2013

Latin America has a recurring corruption problem, which has most recently reached vast proportions. Just this past couple of weeks, a vice-president was sentenced to a 6-year jail sentence (in Ecuador), a former president had an arrest warrant standing against her (in Argentina), and a standing president barely escaped an impeachment procedure (in Peru) -- all cases linked to endemic corrupt practices.

So naturally it is no surprise that local Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the most powerful Cardinal in the Francis entourage, who had been known to -- shall we use a safe word? -- "facilitate" the election of Cardinal Bergoglio to the papacy in 2013, and who led the world federation of Catholic charities (Caritas Internationalis), and who was also chancellor of the local Catholic university with lots of access to lots of funding would find himself entangled with explosive accusations of financial malfeasance. It's how things work for many in power in the region.

Unfortunately, we cannot say anything else here. The pieces of the puzzle are all in the open, and all elements that need to be investigated by a serious journalist are mentioned in the previous paragraph. Who will find out what happened in 2012 and 2013?

De Mattei - Forty years against life: from abortion to euthanasia (1978-2017)

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 20, 2017


The Renzi-Gentiloni governments will go down in history as those that imposed two of the most wicked laws in the Italian Republic: pseudo-homosexual-marriage, called “Civil Unions” (May 20th 2016) and euthanasia, under the name of the “living will" or DAT (Dichiarazione anticipata di trattamento [Declaration Advance of Treatment]), approved definitively by the Senate on December 14th 2017. This law will be registered in the Official Journal on the fortieth anniversary of the legalization of abortion, which  passed on May 221978 with Law 194.  Thus the circle closes.

12th Anniversary You Report, from a Convert from Islam:
Rorate Mass in Smyrna, Anatolia

The Traditional Mass can be a powerful instrument for the conversion of non-Christians. It inspires, in its great mysteries, awe and respect, it shows how great are the things in which we Catholics believe by how deeply we cherish what we celebrate. (On this matter, please see the FIUV paper on Islam below.)

This particular You Report post has filled us with great emotion: a convert from Islam who has fought with his friends for a Traditional Mass in the most unexpected of places, the once immensely Christian city of Smyrna (İzmir, in Turkey). And now they can celebrate the advent of Baby Jesus with the Traditional Mass of the Latin Church. What great Christmas gift, what great gift for our little blog on its 12th anniversary!

I am a Turkish Catholic, a convert to the faith from Islam. Ever since I joined the Church, I wanted the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated in our diocese. After much prayer and constant petition for 3 years, we have finally started to celebrate it on Fridays.

FIUV Position Paper: Islam

Jesus, a minature in 17th century Ottoman manuscript.
Today I am able to publish the latest of the 'Position Papers' of the Una Voce Federation (FIUV), on the subject of Islam. These papers have not only sought to defend aspects of the Traditional liturgy which have been criticised, but also to point out the usefulness to the Church of this liturgy in making the Faith vivid, attractive, or comprehensible, to particular groups inside and outside the Church: in Africa, in China, in relation to the Oriental Churches, to children, to men, to people influenced by the New Age, and now to Muslims.

I have put some additional commentary on my own blog here.

The paper can be downloaded as a pdf here. All the papers can be dowloaded as pdfs from the FIUV website here.

Guest Op-Ed: On the nature of schism

NOTE: As easy as it is to do, please do not read into this piece, and assign a verdict to any one group, especially a group that is traditional. Rather, look at it through the lens of the current chastisement of the Church, through God's will, either permissive or express, and what could happen soon, through the actions of the current pontificate. 

By Veronica A. Arntz

“The Church, though certainly achieving full historical actuality only with the association of Christian believers, was already in existence, fundamentally and in germ, and in that sense is a divine creation. For she is the unity of redeemed humanity, a unity made possibly by the Incarnation of the Son of God; she is the kosmos of men, mankind as a whole, the many as one” (Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism).[i]

Karl Adam gives us expressive words for understanding the heart of the truth about the Catholic Church. She is the source of unity for the redeemed, and indeed, for all mankind, who long to be united to the Savior, Jesus Christ. It is through the Church that we receive the grace of salvation, not purely in an individualistic way, as understood by the Protestants, but particularly in a communal way, with the other baptized members and through the intercession of the Communion of Saints in Heaven.

Unity in charity, which is the pinnacle of the spiritual life, is an essential characteristic of the Church, and it is vital, for the sake of salvation and for the good of the Church, that we remain in communion with her. While schism is an infrequent occurrence, it is important for us to reflect on the gravity of its nature, so that we can be encouraged to remain in the Church and to pray for unity of all individuals through her. To this end, we shall first give two definitions, one of the Church, as described by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Mystici Corporis, and second of schism according to St. Thomas Aquinas. We will then review several texts from St. Cyprian of Carthage, Charles Cardinal Journet, St. Augustine, and Joseph Ratzinger on the scourge of schism to the communal nature of the Church.

Proceedings of Dialogos Conference on Dignitatis Humanae published

In 2015 the Dialogos Institute held an important conference in Norcia, Italy on the interpretation of the controversial Declaration of the Second Vatican Council on Religious Liberty Dignitatis Humanae Rorate Caeli reported at the time (here and here). Now the Dialogos Institute has published a volume containing the interventions held at the conference.

Sacred music and more from the Benedictines of Mary

Today Rorate received this note from the prioress of the Benedictines of Mary in Gower, Missouri, whom we have featured many times for their wonderful music and their growing community. Please support them if you can. The new church they are building is magnificent, and the monastery is bursting with sisters.

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we make final preparations in our homes and in our hearts for the coming of our Savior, we want to send our love and prayers to all of you. We thank you for your past support, knowing that we couldn't live our lives of prayer without your generous assistance.

If you are still in need of Christmas gifts, we have all of our CDs in stock, and are offering them right now for just $12 each! Any orders placed before 9am(CST) today [Dec. 16] will be shipped today, and orders placed by 9am Monday will be shipped on Monday.

[NB:] Amazon inexplicably stopped selling our Caroling at Ephesus CD early last week, so we unfortunately lost a tremendous number of sales. So we reach out to you now, hoping that through your kindness, we might make up for this loss, which will help us to raise the last $150,000 needed to make our final construction payment of the year. 

We would be most grateful if you could spread the word by any means, near and far! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your goodness and continued support!

What time can Midnight Mass begin?

As we mentioned previously, 24 December is the Vigil of Christmas, which takes precedence over the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  Thus, the Fourth Sunday of Advent is not commemorated this year using the 1962 missal.

The following day is, of course, the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, the first day of Christmas, on 25 December. A popular question in novus ordo circles is: What time does Midnight Mass begin? The novus ordo is not our concern, but if the question is about the traditional Latin Mass, the answer is clear: no earlier than midnight on 25 December. There is no permission to use the next calendar day's propers for the traditional Latin Mass on the evening before a Sunday or holy day, even at 11 p.m.

The liturgical law specifying the calendar day timeline for the use of TLM propers is found in the very beginning of the rubrics governing the 1962 liturgy, under part one, chapter two, number four:

4. Dies liturgicus est dies sanctificatus actionibus liturgicis, praesertim Sacrificio eucharistico et publica Ecclesiae prece, id est Officio divino; et decurrit a media nocte ad mediam noctem.