Rorate Caeli

75th anniversary of the
Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the Netherlands
on the deportation of the Jewish population


Pastoral letter of the Dutch Bishops
July 20, 1942

We live in a time of great affliction, both spiritual and material. In recent times two specific afflictions have come to the fore: the persecution of the Jews and the unfortunate lot of those who are sent to work in foreign countries.

All of us must become fully aware of these troubles, and for this reason, they are now brought to our attention as a community.

These afflictions must also be brought to the attention of those who are responsible for them. To this end, the venerable Dutch Episcopate, in communion with nearly all the churches in the Netherlands, approached the authorities of the occupying forces concerning, among other things, the Jews, in a recent telegram of Saturday, July 11. The telegram stated the following:

"The undersigned Dutch churches, already deeply shocked by the actions taken against the Jews in the Netherlands that have excluded them from participating in the normal life of society, have learned with horror of the new measures by which men, women, children, and whole families will be deported to the German territory and its dependencies.

"The suffering that this measure will bring upon tens of thousands of people, the knowledge that these measures are contrary to the deepest moral sense of the Dutch people, and, above all, the hostility of these measures against the divine norms of justice and mercy urge the churches to direct to you the urgent petition not to execute these measures.

"Our urgent petition to you is also motivated by the consideration that, for the Christian Jews, these measures would make it impossible for them to participate in the life of the Church."

As a result of this telegram, one of the General Commissioners, in the name of the Reich's Commissioner [Reichskommissar], promised that Christian Jews will not be deported if they belonged to one of the Christian churches before January 1941.

Beloved faithful, when we consider the immense spiritual and physical misery that, for three years already, has threatened the entire world with destruction, then we think naturally of the situation that the Gospel of today [9th Sunday after Pentecost] paints for us:

"And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation." [St. Luke 19, 41-44]

Jesus's prediction was literally fulfilled: forty years later, God's judgment over the city of Jerusalem was accomplished. They had not, unfortunately, recognized the time of grace.

Now, too, everything around us points to a punishment from God. But, thanks be to God, it is not yet too late for us. We can still avert it if we recognize the time of grace, if we recognize what will bring us peace. And that is only the return to God, from whom for many years already a great portion of the world has turned away. All human means have failed; only God can still bring a solution.

Beloved faithful, let us first examine ourselves with a deep sense of repentance and humility. Are we not, after all, partly responsible for the disasters that affect us? Have we always fulfilled the duties of justice and charity toward our neighbor? Have we not sometimes entertained feelings of unholy hatred and bitterness? Have we always sought our refuge in God, our Heavenly Father?

When we turn to ourselves, we will have to confess that we have all failed. Peccavimus ante Dominum Deum nostrum: We have sinned before the Lord our God. [Baruch 1,17]

We also know, though, that God will not despise a contrite and humbled heart. [Psalm 50, 19] Cor contritum et humiliatum non despicies. We therefore turn to him and beg him with childlike confidence for his mercy. He himself tells us, "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you." (Luke 11,9)

In the Introit of today’s Holy Mass [9th Sunday after Pentecost], the Church calls to us with the words of the Psalmist: "For behold God is my helper: and the Lord is the protector of my soul." [Psalm 53,6] And the Epistle repeats the very comforting words of the Apostle: "Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it." [1 Cor. 10, 13]

Therefore, beloved faithful, let us implore God, through the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, that He will soon grant the world a just peace.

May He sustain the people of Israel, who are being so bitterly tested in these days, and may He bring them to true redemption in Jesus Christ.

May He protect those whose lot it is to work in foreign lands and to be separated from their loved ones. May He protect them in soul and body, protect them from becoming bitter and discouraged, keep them faithful to the Christian faith, and may God also strengthen those they left behind.

Let us implore Him for a solution for all those who are tested and oppressed, for prisoners and hostages, for so many who are threatened by death.

Pateant aures misericordiae tuae, Domine, precibus supplicantium: that the ears of your mercy, Lord, may be open to the prayers of those who cry to you.

This, our joint pastoral letter, shall be read in the usual manner next Sunday, July 26, during all scheduled Holy Masses in all the churches and chapels in our Church Province that have an appointed rector.

Given in Utrecht, the 20th day of July of the Year of Our Lord 1942.

We are very glad to provide the first online English translation (to our knowledge) of one of the most impressive Catholic documents of the 20th century: the Pastoral Letter of the Dutch Episcopate of July 20, 1942, written by and under the authority of the Archbishop of Utrecht, J. de Jong. It is a very short document, but it is filled with mercy and concern for those who were suffering most harshly under the German occupation of the Netherlands.

The myth of the Hermeneutic of Continuity

The following Rorate translation was first published by our Spanish-language partners "Adelante la Fe." 

Interview of José María Permuy, conducted by Javier Navascués

Papolatry is a widespread phenomenon in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics take as infallible everything the Pope says, failing to realize that the successor of Peter is only infallible under very specific and limited conditions and when he speaks ex cathedra, which in practice occurs only rarely. Conservative groups, together with many members of the Church, cherish an especial veneration for the Second Vatican Council and its documents. In effect, they elevate what was merely a pastoral council to the level of infallible dogma. In accordance with Benedict XVI’s thesis of the hermeneutic of continuity, they would interpret the Second Vatican Council in the light of Tradition, without rupture or break, without the least error, approving of everything. This cannot be.

José María Permuy, a professional in the field of education, a lecturer and author of many articles on the traditional teachings of the Church, explains on this occasion why it is not possible to speak of “hermeneutic of continuity” in its proper sense.

Why cannot this concept be accepted?

Because it is a half-truth, well-intentioned as it may be. It is certain that there are conciliar texts that are susceptible to two or more interpretations. There, precisely, lies the problem. If these texts were clear, there would be no room for diverse interpretations. The fundamental problem, therefore, is not the subjective interpretations that are made, but the ambiguities and the objective contradictions made in some of the affirmations of the Second Vatican Council in comparison with the Magisterium of all time.

It is true that over the years the Popes have tried to clarify doctrinal issues, such as the primacy of the Pope or the necessity of Christ and His one true Church for salvation. 

It is no less certain that on other occasions, the Popes, including Benedict XVI, have promoted, in theory or in practice, conciliar ideas contrary or alien to the Tradition of the Church, such as the separation of Church and State, ecumenical and interreligious prayer meetings, the recognition of the “martyrdom” of heretics and schismatics, the translation of the Mass into the vernacular and the progressive introduction and permission for Communion in the hand, extraordinary Eucharistic ministers, altar girls, etc… Francis is doing nothing but taking these erroneous ideas to their logical conclusions.

In God They Don't Trust: Anti-American Syllabus in Vatican journal, by Maureen Mullarkey

A view from the pew, by Maureen Mullarkey

My initial response—unbidden, unguarded—to the Civiltà Cattolica broadside against American conservatives was relief. Almost a kind of glee. The Emperor has thrown his New Clothes on the floor in a fit of pique; his courtiers bend low to pick up what is not there. The pantomime is fully in the open. Here, thankfully, is a barefaced specimen of intellectual sterility too obvious for a cosmetic gloss.
Illustration by Munro Scott Orr (1874-1955)

The Spadaro-Figueroa tirade is as nasty as it is ignorant. Writing as proxies for Francis, the pair make plain their boss’ uncomprehending distaste for America—its history, its politics, and its Christianity. They have given us an accidental exposé bereft of critical reflection and with no ear for its own cant. Of a piece with longstanding European disdain for the American character and manners, the invective suggests a crippling case of status anxiety vis-à-vis the global intellectual elite it aches to ingratiate.

Now available from Loreto Publications: Don Pietro Leone’s “The Destruction of the Roman Rite”

By Don Pietro Leone

I write this brief note to avert readers of the publication of the definitive English version of the book thus entitled by Loreto Publications, now available on ‘Amazon’. Readers may remember having read it in installments on Rorate Caeli some years ago.

"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.]
[Personal recess for several weeks]

The most extraordinary event in English history

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge - 766 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.

Benedict XVI: "Francis = Capsizing Boat" (Updated: Full Translation)

From the 2-page written homage (German original) by Pope Emeritus Benedict read today in Cologne for the Requiem of Cardinal Meisner:

A word of greeting from Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, on the occasion of the funeral Mass of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, on 15th July 2017

In this hour, when the Church of Cologne and believers further afield take their leave of Cardinal Joachim Meissner, I am with them in my heart and thoughts and am pleased to accede to Cardinal Woelki’s wish and address a word of reflection to them.

When I heard last Wednesday by telephone of the death of Cardinal Meissner, I could not believe it at first. We had spoken to each other the previous day. From the way he spoke he was grateful to be on holiday now, after he had taken part the Sunday before (25th June) in the beatification of Bishop Teofilius Maturlionis in Vilnius. His love for the neighbouring Churches in the East, which had suffered persecution under Communism, as well as gratitude for endurance in suffering during that time left a lifelong mark on him. So it was certainly no accident that the last visit of his life was made to a confessor of the faith.

What struck me particularly in the last conversations with the Cardinal, now gone home, was the natural cheerfulness, the inner peace and the assurance he had found. We know that it was hard for him, the passionate shepherd and pastor of souls, to leave his office, and this precisely at a time when the Church had a pressing need for shepherds who would oppose the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, fully resolved to act and think from a faith standpoint. Yet I have been all the more impressed that in this last period of his life he learned to let go, and live increasingly from the conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship is almost filled to the point of shipwreck.

THE ULTIMATE INTERVIEW to Understand all About Pope Francis: Marcello Pera, Italian politician and close Ratzinger friend

Benedict XVI greeting Marcello Pera

Marcello Pera is an influential intellectual in Italy. A former president of the Italian Senate, he is a close friend of Benedict XVI, and even co-authored a book of lectures with him on the decay of the West (Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam)

In an interview with Naples newspaper Il Mattino, published on July 9, 2017, Marcello Pera presented what can reasonably be called the general view of Pope Francis by the wide moderate spectrum of Italians, and Europeans, of all classes.


"Bergoglio just wants to do politics, the Gospel does not matter at all"
Pera: "The indiscriminate welcoming [of migrants] risks exploding tensions"

Il Mattino
Naples, July 9, 2017
Interview by Corrado Ocone

Pope Francis, in a new exclusive interview granted to Eugenio Scalfari for "Repubblica" intervenes in the political debate with strong and explosive opinions that at one time would be considered "leftist". This time, the Pontiff turned to the great of the earth assembled in Hamburg for the G20, opposing as a matter of principle to every policy intending to control and limit mass immigration from poor nations to Europe. In order to better understand the ideas, and above all the political and media action of the Pope, in relation to those of his predecessor, we have posed some questions to the former President of the Senate Marcello Pera. He, a [classical] liberal and Catholic, has, as it is known, shared many ideas with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (even writing in four hands with him a book: Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, Mondadori, 2004).

Mr. President, what is the judgment you have reached regarding the continuous calls made by Pope Bergoglio on the welcoming of migrants? An indiscriminate, unconditional, total welcoming?

"Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding. It's evident to all that an indiscriminate welcoming is not possible: there is a critical point that cannot be reached. If the Pope does not make reference to this critical point, if he insists in a massive and total welcoming, I ask myself: why does he say it? What is the true end of his words? Why does he lack a minimum of realism, that very little that is requested of anyone? The answer I can give myself is only one: the Pope does it because he hates the West, he aspires to destroy it, and he does all he can to reach this end. As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition, Christianity as it has realized itself historically.

De Mattei - An example of Catholic resistance: Princess Elvina Pallavicini

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 12, 2017

Forty years ago a historical event took place: Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre held a conference on June 6th 1977 at the Pallavicini Palace in Rome, on the subject “The Church after the Council”. I  think it is worthwhile to recall that event, on the basis of notes and documents I have kept.
Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (1970), after the priestly ordinations of June 29th 1976, was suspended a divinis on July 22nd of the same year.  Informed Catholics however, had serious doubts as to the canonical legitimacy of these measures and in particular, incomprehension with regard to the behavior of Paul VI who seemed to reserve his censorships for only those who said they wanted to remain faithful to Church Tradition.  In this climate of disorientation, in April of 1977, Princess Elvina Pallavicini (1914 -2004) decided to invite Monsignor Lefebvre to her palace in the Quirinal, to hear his reasoning.

Princess Pallavicini was 63 years old at the time and the widow of Prince Guglielmo Pallavicini who had been killed on his first war mission in 1940.  For many years she had been in a wheelchair as a result of progressive paralysis, but she was a woman of indomitable spirit. She had a close group of  friends and advisors around her, among whom were Marquis Roberto Malvezzi Campeggi (1907-1979), Colonel of the Papal Noble Guard at the time of the corps’ dissolution in 1970, and Marquis Luigi Coda Nunziante di San Ferdinando (1930-2015), former Commander of the Italian Navy. Initially, news of the conference circulating during the month of May did not stir up any concern from the Vatican.  Paul VI thought it would have been easy to convince the Princess to desist from her idea and entrusted the task to one of his closest collaborators, “Don Sergio” Pignedoli (1910-1980) whom he had made a cardinal in 1973. 

For the record: The Anti-American Pope - two of Francis' closest confidantes attack US, American conservatives in Pope's own journal

The article was written in Civiltà Cattolica, the journal considered the official voice of the Vatican, and its diplomatic department (the Secretariat of State), and authored by two of the Pope's own closest confidantes, Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ (the editor) and Argentine Presbyterian Pastor Marcelo Figueroa (shockingly, the editor of the Spanish-language edition of the journal).

Due to its unprecedented nature, and the direct attack it makes on the United States, its current administration (including President Trump and Steve Bannon, one of the President's highest advisors), American Evangelicals, Conservative Catholics in the United States (and Europe and Africa, concerned with the rise of Islamism), and even on a specific website and person (Church Militant and Michael Voris), the article's overreach is nothing if not breathtaking.

The Civiltà site is down at the moment, so before any item is changed, this is what was originally published:


Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism

Antonio Spadaro S.J., Editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica
Marcelo Figueroa, Presbyterian pastor, Editor-in-chief of the Argentinean edition of L’Osservatore Romano
In God We Trust. This phrase is printed on the banknotes of the United States of America and is the current national motto. It appeared for the first time on a coin in 1864 but did not become official until Congress passed a motion in 1956. A motto is important for a nation whose foundation was rooted in religious motivations. For many it is a simple declaration of faith. For others, it is the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.

Saints of the Old Testament: Sts. Joel and Esdras, prophets

Heading the list of saints for this day in the traditional Roman Martyrology is the martyr Pope St. Anacletus, third Bishop of Rome and second Successor of St. Peter. Immediately following St. Anacletus in the Martyrology, however, are two Old Testament saints, holy men who were among those God sent to help prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah:

This Day, the Thirteenth Day of July

At Rome, St. Anacletus, Pope and martyr, who governed the Church of God after St. Clement, and shed luster on it by a glorious martyrdom. 

The same day, the holy prophets Joel and Esdras.

You report: New Sunday TLM in Connecticut

From a reader:

A brand new traditional Latin Mass has begun at Our Lady of Lourdes in Gales Ferry, CT. The Mass is offered each Sunday at 2p.m. Currently it is a Low Mass, but they hope to begin at least an occasional Missa Cantata.

Guest Op-Ed: Catholic Collapse in Australia Even Worse Than It Looks -- and Bishops are to blame

By an Australian Priest

The headlines did not exaggerate: "Christian heritage fades''; "Australia’s rapidly-changing population is more godless'' and "Atheists demand political influence as record numbers choose 'no religion on census'.''

Results of Australia's five-yearly Census, a detailed snapshot of how Australians live, where they come from, what they earn and what they believe were released this week. For those who value the nation's Christian underpinnings the picture was bleak.

The proportion of Australians who marked "no religion'' on their Census form was 29.6 per cent __ in stark contrastto 1966 when just 0.8 per cent of the population ticked that box. That year, 88 per cent of Australians identified as Christian; now it's a bare majority -- 52 per cent. Come the next Census in 2021,nominal Christians could be a minority, for the first time in the nation's history.

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: The Western Civilization is daughter of the Catholic Church | Looking forward to TLM as Ordinary Form

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
St. Mary's, Norwalk, Connecticut

Together we look forward to the time when the Traditional Roman Mass 
will once again be the Ordinary Form of the Mass

And who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you suffer anything for justice’s sake, blessed are you  So have no fear of their fear and do not be troubled; but hallow the Lord Christ in your hearts.   (I Peter 3: 14-15)

We have a president of this country who acts sometimes like a bull in a china shop.  One cannot help but wonder what he will say at the G-20 summit in Hamburg.  But he did give a speech in Poland a few days ago that caused quite a stir.  The Poles were quite stirred by the speech and liked it. The liberal press was stirred to attack what he said, especially in one part of the speech.  He asked whether the West had the courage and grit to defend Western civilization against those whose values are inimical to that civilization.  And he mentioned faith as a part of that civilization, and without being more specific he meant the Christian faith. 

I happened to be listening to NPR on my drive home through the back roads so I could avoid the eternal traffic on 95.  Late every afternoon they have a series on topical questions and choose one person from the left and another from the quasi-right, quasi because NPR seems to associate conservatives with red-neck Neanderthals who would be invited.  There was a woman from the Boston Globe as one of the participants-I need not say which side she represented.  The other was David Brooks from the New York Times, who, for that paper of record is a centrist, and does not always tow the Times line.  The woman chided Trump for his speech as being nationalistic and narrow and exclusionary, this based on his mention of Western civilization and as something worth fighting for.  David Brooks, to my pleasant surprise, said that he thought it a good speech and saw nothing wrong in Trump’s positive assessment of Western civilization that is worth fighting for.  He the civilization of Plato and Aristotle, of Rome, of the moral, teaching that was the basis for cultural and civic traditions that came from the ancients and were developed through two millennia:  this is something very real, and although far from perfect, was something Brooks is happy to be a part of.

What Brooks did not say, and probably dared not say, is that without the Christian appropriation of ancient Western culture, which deepened that culture in so many ways, the culture of which we are an integral part would not exist.  And to be more specific:  without the Catholic Church the past two thousand years would be incomprehensible and void of much meaning.  The Church’s strong influence in every facet of culture—from government to inventing the hospital, from the art and music that was inspired and supported by the Church to the development of rational thought that made possible modern science, but above all for the truly civilizing influence of the Church that turned barbarians into the English and the French.

FSSP sets own record for most ordinations in a year

The growth of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has been well known. This year, however, was a record-setter for the Fraternity as it ordained 19 young men into the priesthood -- it's most ever in a single year. 

Some key takeaways, articles and photos:

For the record: Francis first, always

We bring you, dear readers, this disturbing but not surprising anecdote simply to record it forever on this blog. But let's be honest: This pontificate, since the beginning, has put itself before Christ, before His Church's tradition, before His inerrant Word and, now, before His Mass. 

From the great Marco Tosatti, via First Things:

The first step of Müller’s Calvary was a disconcerting episode in the middle of 2013. The cardinal was celebrating Mass in the church attached to the congregation palace, for a group of German students and scholars. His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders and a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal. (This is a very delicate matter. I have sought an explanation of this incident from the official channels. Until the explanation comes, if it ever comes, I cannot give further details.) Obviously, Mūller was flabbergasted.

You Suggest: ICR seventh annual Sursum Corda Weekend

From a priestly reader: 

Sursum Corda is a nationwide initiative to foster the spiritual lives of the young adults in the apostolates of the Institute of Christ the King. For the seventh year in a row, Sursum Corda is offering a social and spiritual weekend for young people ages 18 and up, August 11-14.

The event will be held on the beautiful grounds of Mundelein Seminary just north of Chicago. Canon Commins (Vicar at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, St. Louis, Missouri) will be the chaplain for the camp, and several other canons are sure to be there as well. 

The program includes daily Mass, prayer in common and opportunity for confession, faith formation classes and discussions, and other social activities for young men and women.

The weekend begins with check-in at 3:00 PM on Friday, August 11 at Mundelein and will end on Monday, August 14 at 12:00 PM.

This year's admission fee is $250, which includes lodging and meals.  

TO REGISTER: Mail check AND registration form (CLICK HERE) to:

Institute of Christ the King
2653 Ohio Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118
To the Order of: Institute of Christ the King
For: Sursum Corda Retreat


Spaces are filling fast!

Address: University of St Mary-The Lake. 1000 E Maple Ave, Mundelein, IL 60060

For transportation possibilities, please contact your local Sursum Corda Group. You can also contact if necessary.

Special Guest Op-ed: "The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum at 10" - by Dr. Tom Woods

Benedict XVI vs. the Barbarians: Summorum Pontificum Ten Years Later"

Dr. Thomas Woods

The day the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was released was an exceptionally unusual one for me: at last one of the seemingly lost causes I had championed for years had actually triumphed.

Knowing of the document's imminent release, I awoke early that morning and eagerly devoured the text itself along with its accompanying letter to the bishops.

What a delight to discover that basic Catholic truth so many of us had been called schismatics for defending: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

It called to mind one of my favorite quotations from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.

Contrary to what Roger Cardinal Mahony and other leftists had told their flocks, moreover, allowance for the traditional liturgy -- henceforth to be referred to as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite -- was not simply for older folks who couldn't adapt. According to Benedict XVI, it "has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them."

The old liturgy, Benedict further added, was "never juridically abrogated." Ah, the knots that so-called conservative Catholics tied themselves into to insist that the old Mass had indeed been abrogated. Well, they were wrong, which means they were likewise wrong to have demonized us for telling the truth.

I wound up writing a small book, Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass, for the purposes of (1) explaining and defending Pope Benedict's decision; (2) walking newcomers through the Extraordinary Form; (3) replying to common objections; and (4) explaining why features common to the Ordinary Form -- "Eucharistic ministers" and Communion in the hand, to name two -- were not to be introduced into the Extraordinary.

Despite my profound gratitude to Benedict, who expended enormous political capital on behalf of a small, despised group of the faithful, I still feel compelled to note a most unfortunate omission. We needed Benedict XVI to offer the Extraordinary Form publicly. My sources kept telling me such an act was imminent. It never occurred.

On the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum: We thank in particular...

IN PRIMIS... Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Castro Mayer: long may their memories live!

The beautiful words of that great French hero of the Traditional Mass, Jean Madiran (1920-2013: Rest in peace!), who lived to see the miracle, remembering the names of some who died in the battlefield:

On the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum: Axes of Interpretation

Ten years ago, we published the following text: we do not have reason to alter one iota of it.


Summorum Pontificum: Axes of Interpretation

1. The text must be read from "bottom to top".

Summorum contains 12 articles of law*, in its very end, the heart of the text. They recognize facts and rights, establish rights which are new or were unclear under previous law, and create new obligations.

This is extremely important: those 12 articles are the law. Naturally, other points of law apply (general principles, concepts explicitly mentioned in the articles themselves, as well as other applicable canonical aspects), but neither the introduction to the articles (the first part of Summorum), much less the cover letter sent by the Pope to the Bishops, nor any other text may be invoked to suppress or curtail the rights recognized or created by the Supreme Legislator in the 12 articles.
*There is a 13th article of law, which is the determination of a "vacatio legis" from July 7, 2007 to September 13, 2007.

2. Whose interpretation?

Thankfully, the articles of law of Summorum are mostly quite clear. And where they may not be clear, there is a Roman Dicastery ready to provide the appropriate interpretation and probably unwilling to renounce to its recent increment in power (cf. Art. 12), to be specified by the Roman Pontiff in the future, according to his will (cf. Art. 11).

The text of reference is and will be only the Latin original. (Currently, there are no "official" Vatican translations, and our own version fixes just a few problems of the Vatican Information Service unofficial translation. One might only hope that the "official" Vatican translation will be adequate.)

3. Summorum is a new "Constitution" of the Roman Rite.

The Supreme Legislator wished to create a liturgical framework for priests and faithful - particularly for priests. It is a "Constitution", not as a theological document, but in the legal sense that it is a foundational law, a law above other laws: that is very clear, for instance, in the extremely important articles 2 and 4 (Masses without the people or "private Masses", with or without attending faithful), and 9, § 3 (free use of the Roman Breviary), which are the very embodiment of the liberation.

Summorum is, then, "above" the mere liturgical dispositions of the Latin Church. It is a legal revolution in the mutual cohabitation of what are now called the two forms of the Roman Rite: that is, the Missal of Paul VI may still be the "ordinary form", but it is not the standard compulsory form, from which some priests (due to particular deference or the charism of their order or society of apostolic life) are exempted due to special favor ("indult"). The age of the "indult" is over; the age of mere "episcopal generosity" is over: Summorum is a true liturgical Bill of Rights for all the priests of the Latin Church.

Dear Priests of the entire world, cherish and make full and good use of this document: it is not the property of "estranged minorities"; it is not the domain of "nostalgic clerics"; it belongs to all of you, it is your charter of liturgical freedom.

Summorum Pontificum anniversary Mass at basilica shrine

In 2010, a pontifical High Mass was offered in the upper church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the largest traditional Latin Mass offered in the United States since the creation of the novus ordo liturgy.

Today, on the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, it has been announced there will be a second pontifical High Mass in the upper church there. It will be offered on 28 April 2018. Details are in the works, but here is the announcement from our friends at the Paulus Institute, which is organizing and funding the Mass:

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Isaias, prophet

As the Church completes her observance of the Octave of Sts. Peter and Paul today, the traditional Roman Martyrology on this day also recalls our minds the martyrdom of the Old Testament prophet who foresaw not only the marvelous saving works of the Lord Jesus Christ, but even Christ's establishment of the Petrine Office -- the holy prophet Isaias son of Amos:

This Day, the Sixth Day of July

The Octave of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

In Judea, the holy prophet Isaias. In the reign of king Manasses he was put to death by being sawed in two and was buried beneath the oak Rogel, near a running stream.

A 1315 painting of St. Isaias in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena, Italy

"An Act of Parliament, directly oppugnant
to the laws of God and his holy Church..."

All which notwithstanding the jury found him guilty, and incontinent upon the verdict the Lord Chancellor [for that matter chief commissioner] beginning in judgment against him, Sir Thomas More said to him,

"My Lord, when I was towards the law, the manner in such case was to ask the prisoner before judgment, why judgment should not be given against him."

Whereupon the Lord Chancellor staying his judgment, wherein he had partly proceeded, demanded of him what he was able to say to the contrary. Who then in this sort mildly made answer:

"Forasmuch as, my Lord, this indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament, directly oppugnant to the laws of God and his holy Church, the supreme government of which, or of any part thereof, may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Saviour himself, personally present upon the earth, to St. Peter and his successors, bishops of the same see, by special prerogative, granted, it is therefore in law amongst Christian men insufficient to charge any Christian."

Summorum at 10: "The Mass will rise again" - Remembering Tito Casini

(First posted on the blog in the period leading up to the Motu Proprio.) 10 years later, we see the first rays of sun. In the very first minutes of the sun, it seems darkness will not give in. That certainly seems to be the case now: the light of Summorum Pontificum was a delightful moonbeam in a still frightful night.

But the sun will indeed rise again, the bats will leave their hiding places. Alleluia.


So many great names of the past deserve to be remembered! So many great men and women who shaped the debate in their nations and throughout the world.

We now honor the memory of a great Italian, poet and essayist Tito Casini (1897-1987). After a lifetime dedicated to literature, his last years were filled with his concern for the crisis of the Church, particularly the liturgical crisis. In the Italian-speaking world, Casini and another layman, Romano Amerio, were the most prominent voices against the wholesale demolition of the Roman liturgy.

Already in 1967, before the full replacement of the traditional rites had taken place, his book of protest "La Tunica Stracciata", prefaced by Cardinal Bacci, stirred the Church in Italy. Nearly 10 years later, in 1976, Casini published "Nel fumo di Satana: Verso l'ultimo scontro", with scathing criticism of the post-Conciliar reformers (he was also the first to publicly denounce Bugnini for strange connections, starting the process which would cause the latter's downfall).

His criticism was, nevertheless, filled with hope, as in one of his most beautiful texts, an article published in the aforementioned 1976 volume, an ode to the resurgence of the Traditional Mass, as seen from his abode in Tuscany:

Dubia Signatory Cardinal Meisner Dies

Joachim Cardinal Meisner (1933-2017)
Of your charity, pray for the repose of Joachim Cardinal Meisner, who passed away this morning, as the Archdiocese of Cologne announced.

Saints of the Old Testament: Sts. Osee and Aggaeus, prophets

On this day, July 4, the traditional Roman Martyrology heads its roll of saints with two Old Testament prophets:

This Day, the Fourth Day of July

The prophets Osee and Aggaeus.

The holy prophets Osee and Aggaeus were the authors of two of the twelve Old Testament books of Minor Prophets.

St. Osee

Osee, or Hosea (Hebrew Hoshea, "Salvation") is identified in the introductory line of his book as "Osee the son of Beeri," to whom the word of the Lord came during the reigns of Ozias, Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam II son of Joas, king of Israel. The historical data found in Osee's book of prophecy indicate that he exercised his prophetic office from circa 750 to 725 B.C.

For the record: Cardinal Müller's letter to Bishop Fellay on the necessary conditions for "full re-establishment of communion" with the SSPX

Last weekend, as rumors swirled of Cardinal Müller's imminent dismissal from his post as Prefect of the CDF, the French website Medias-Presse.Info published what it claimed to be an excerpt from an important letter sent by the Cardinal to Bishop Bernard Fellay regarding the conditions for an accord between the Vatican and the SSPX. Today the Remnant published an English translation of this excerpt; we reproduce the entire Remnant article below, followed by a note on the 1988 Professio Fidei mentioned in it.  

Rorate's own sources have confirmed the authenticity of this text. 

Episcopal Bastards: Bishops' Conference of France celebrates country's greatest Abortion Figure

Simone Veil, who died last week in Paris, was a woman with a long and quite eventful life. After surviving the Holocaust, she thanked God for her survival by doing all that was necessary to legalize and normalize abortion in the Eldest Daughter of the Church. In very few nations of the world has abortion become a mark of almost national identity as in France, where the practice of what they like to call euphemistically "IVG" ("voluntary interruption of pregnancy") kills over 200 thousand babies every year.

When Veil was Health Minister in the 1970s, she led the campaign to legalize abortion, which only moved forward (as she herself recognized later) because of the feeble opposition of the French bishops, amidst the upheavals that followed Vatican II. Since they did not wish to appear "Constantinian" following the documents of the Council, they just mouthed milquetoast objections, and lukewarm Catholic legislators could not find anything in their conscience to stop the bill. The Loi Veil ("Veil Act") went into force on January 17, 1975, and the survivor of a hideous genocide ushered in a new kind of genocidal era.

So, as she died, what would one expect from the Bishops of France? At most, in the name of "nil nisi bonum", silence. But that's not at all what happened: the Conference of Bishops of France (Conférence des Évêques de France - CEF) made sure to honor and celebrate her memory with this tweet:

German Parliament Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage — Weak Response of German Catholics

The lower house of the German Parliament has voted to legalize homosexual pseudogamy (aka gay marriage). The German bishops voiced mild disapproval of the law, but without of course ever giving the reason why all people of good will should oppose such laws: the gravely immoral character of homosexual acts, which such laws are meant to normalize. 

De Mattei on the Müller Case: "The moral of this story is that those who do not fight experience defeat"

The Müller Case

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 2, 2017

The removal of Cardinal Ludwig Müller signifies a critical moment in the history of Pope Francis’ pontificate. In fact, Müller, named Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith on July 2nd 2012 by Benedict XVI, is only 69 years old. It has never happened that a cardinal with more than 5 years to the canonical age of retirement (75) has not had his position renewed for a further five years.

Cardinal Müller Reacts to Dismissal in Interview with German Newspaper

Photo: hbz / Stefan Sämmer / Allgemeine Zeitung
Cardinal Müller was in Mainz, Germany, today, for a reunion of his high school class, and he granted an interview to the Allgemeine Zeitung, based in Mainz. Passages from the interview have been published in an article on the Allgemeine Zeitung’s website. The main topic was of course his dismissal from the CDF (see Rorate's report). We present here an excerpt from the article in an original  Rorate translation (please credit upon replication).

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Aaron, priest

The month of July is specially dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and thus the traditional, historic calendar of the Roman Rite commences this month with the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ on July 1 (which is also the octave day of St. John the Baptist's Nativity). Our Lord shed His Precious Blood in an atoning, propitiating sacrifice for our sins, both Priest and Victim of the New Covenant -- and so it is most fitting that the Church on July 1 also commemorates the first High Priest of the Old Covenant, St. Aaron, older brother of St. Moses, for, as St. Paul teaches in his Epistle to the Hebrews (ch. 9:22), "without shedding of blood there is no remission" of sins.

The traditional Roman Martyrology lists the feasts of July 1 thus:

This Day, the First Day of July

The Octave of St. John the Baptist

Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

On Mount Hor, the demise of St. Aaron, the first priest of the Levitical Order.

BREAKING - EXCLUSIVE IN ENGLISH: Pope dismisses Cardinal Müller from CDF

Cardinal Müller has been dismissed by Pope Francis

Corrispondenza Romana & Rorate Caeli
June 30, 2017

CORRISPONDENZA ROMANA and RORATE CÆLI have just learned that His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith since July 2, 2012, has been dismissed by Pope Francis on the exact expiry date of his five-year mandate.

Cardinal Müller is one of the cardinals who sought to interpret Amoris Laetitia along the lines of a hermeneutic of continuity with Church Tradition. This was enough to put him among the critics of the new course imposed by Pope Bergoglio.

NOTE: Please, be sure to mention Rorate Caeli in all references to this exclusive breaking news.

[English text by contributor Francesca Romana]


UPDATE (July 1st, 12:00 pm Rome Time):

As we reported first yesterday, the Holy See confirmed moments ago that the Pope has declined to renew the term of Cardinal Müller. He has named as new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith its former Secretary, Spanish Jesuit Luis Maria Ladaria Ferrer.

80th priest joins the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society!

SPECIAL NOTE: The Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society has been greatly blessed since its inception seven years ago. In that time, while we stopped counting due to the incredible time constraints involved in keeping track, it's very safe to say we have enrolled around 1,000,000 souls, God be praised! 

Now, today, we announce that our 80th priest has joined the Society. In order to join, the priest agrees to say a weekly, or at bare minimum a monthly, traditional Latin Mass for the enrolled souls. 

We are so very grateful to these fine men -- the overwhelming majority of them being diocesan priests. And we call on all of our priestly readers, especially the numerous TLM-only priests who read this blog, to sign up today. We know you get a lot of Mass intentions, but surely you can spare one a week or one a month, for 1,000,000 souls! And how they will repay you, good Fathers, at your hour of judgement! 

See below for how simple it is to enroll as a priest of the Society. And, as our current priests know, this is completely anonymous unless you ask us to promote your joining. 

Last, we want to thank all of our readers! You fill our inbox with the names of souls day and night, from every continent around the world, and from countries this contributor has problems finding on a map. We thank our vast international family for making the Society a success -- especially for the readers who cannot afford to pay for Masses for the dead. Thank you, and may God reward you!

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 80 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.

** 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.

De Mattei: Francis imposes concelebration in the Priestly Colleges of Rome

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
June 282017

There is this rumour going around in the Vatican. One of Pope Francis’ collaborators asked him if it were true that a commission had been set up “to re-interpret” Humanae Vitae and he responded “It is not a commission, it’s a study group”. This is not only a linguistic ploy to hide the truth, but a play on words which reveal how the cult of contradiction is the essence of this pontificate. Monsignor Gilfredo Marengo, coordinator of the “study group”, sums up this philosophy well when he says we need to avoid the “polemical game - the pill - yes - the pill - no, just like today’s – Communion to the divorced - yes - Communion to the divorced - no” (Vatican Insider, March 23rd 2017).

We need this premise to present a new confidential document, it also, the product of another “study group”. It is the “working paper” of the Congregation for the Clergy “On Concelebration in the Colleges and Seminaries of Rome”, which is circulating in an unofficial way in the Roman colleges and seminaries.  What emerges clearly from this text is that Pope Francis wants to impose Eucharistic Concelebration in the colleges and seminaries of Rome, de facto, if not in principle, affirming that: “the celebration in community must always be preferred to individual celebration”.