Rorate Caeli

Special Series on the Traditional Mass on EWTN - starts April 14

Alex Begin of Extraordinary Faith sends us the news of this special new series dedicated to the Traditional Mass and Traditional Catholic life - it is being broadcast by EWTN, but it is an independent production.

The first of (so far) eight episodes will be broadcast on April 14.

Extraordinary Faith is pleased to announce the debut of a new, self-titled, 30-minute television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) that showcases the beauty of classic Catholic sacred art, architecture, liturgy, and music. Special emphasis is given to the Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Extraordinary Form or Tridentine Mass. This historic form of Catholic worship has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, especially among the young, and is a rich source of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Extraordinary Faith is an independently-produced and funded effort to introduce the world of Sacred Tradition to Catholics and non-Catholics who have little or no experience of it. It combines a rich visual travelogue format with human interest stories taken from burgeoning traditional Catholic communities around the world. Each episode of Extraordinary Faith will visit a different locale, to tour historic churches and interview clergy and laypeople behind the restoration of classic Catholicism. The program avoids heavy theology and seeks to show how Catholic tradition is relevant to modern life.

Over two years in the making, Extraordinary Faith was co-founded by two veteran promoters of traditional liturgy: Executive Producer, Writer, and Host Alex Begin, a long-time organizer of Latin Masses in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan and the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada; and London, England-based journalist Mary O’Regan, who served as Writer, Producer, and Co-Host on the first two episodes.

To ensure that the message reverberates with contemporary audiences, the founders committed to the highest possible production standards. A team of experienced Los Angeles-based television professionals has been assembled to oversee the technical aspects of the production. Key personnel include veteran film and television producer James Brooke, Emmy-nominated cinematographer Jim Whitney, editor Andy Charlton, who worked on Hawaii Five-O and Pushing Daisies, and Edd Kalehoff, composer of the theme music for The Price Is Right and ABC World News Tonight. Volunteers from the St. Benedict Tridentine Community at Assumption Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada ( are assisting with numerous background details on the project.

At 5:00 PM U.S. Eastern time on Monday, April 7, a web site supporting the program will go live at A preview video for the series and for each episode will be posted there. A Facebook page will offer a discussion forum for subjects pertinent to the program and for those who have questions about Catholic tradition in general, at

The web site will include a list of resources for those interested in learning more about traditional liturgy. Each episode will have its own page, with links to provide more information about the people and places visited.

To further help promote Sacred Tradition, members of the Extraordinary Faith team will also offer on-site training for priests, servers, and musicians who wish to learn the Tridentine Mass. No fee will be charged for the instruction or travel costs involved, but parishes who take advantage of this service will be required to commit to offering the Extraordinary Form at least once per month. Details about this service will be posted on the web site.

Eight episodes have been shot thus far. Episode 1, filmed at California’s historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, will debut on EWTN on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 4:30 AM U.S. Eastern time. It will be repeated on Good Friday, April 18, at 2:00 AM U.S. Eastern time. Further re-runs are possible, according to the network. One month after each episode debuts on EWTN, it will be viewable on the Extraordinary Faith web site. Episode 1 will be posted on-line beginning on Wednesday, May 14.

For further information, please contact Executive Producer Alex Begin at (248) 952-8190 or e-mail:

Images: Pontifical Laetare Sunday in Rome with Auxiliary Bishop Matteo Zuppi

An event that should be ordinary, but was extraordinary, and we are all grateful for it: as we had announced twice here in Rorate, for the first time in decades, a bishop of the Diocese of Rome (Auxiliary Bishop Matteo Zuppi, in charge of the city center) celebrated a Pontifical Mass yesterday in the Parish Church assisted by the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini.

Some images below:

[Image source: Don Camillo. Tip: Messa in latino]

Event: FSSP-led Clergy retreat with Mary, 5-9 May 2014, BAVARIA

Fr. de Malleray sends us the following event notice for a FSSP-led clergy retreat in Bavaria in the month of May.


The Blessed Virgin Mary
and the priest.

In reference to Pope Francis’ consecration of the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, we will strive as priests to deepen our relationship to God through Mary.

I will preach this silent retreat at the Marian Shrine of Wigratzbad in Bavaria in just 2 months, from Monday 5 May to Friday 9 May 2014(third week after Easter). Happily, this retreat will take place in Wigratzbad where the Immaculate Heart of Mary is especially venerated; in Bavaria, of which Mary is officially the Queen; and in the month of May dedicated to Her.

We were 15 last year from the UK. This year, 11 UK priests have booked already, but more are welcomeOur local Ordinary Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth kindly advertised those retreats in his Ad Clerum.

One conference preached in English in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Eucharistic adoration at the shrine (with optional Rosary). Private Masses using whichever Missal you prefer. Latin Compline (on option: EF Divine Office and Community Mass with the 85 seminarians). Meals in silence with Marian table readings (Church Magisterium, Sts Maximilian Kolbe, Alphonsus Liguori, Louis de Montfort and more). Optional private meeting with Retreat Master. Several English-speaking confessors.

Getting there:
The simplest is to book your Ryanair flight return from London Stansted to Memmingen airport. I will organise the transfer to and from Wigratzbad by hired coach for our group. Nearest railway station (1 mile): HERGATZ.

Friedrichshafen airport is 40mn drive, Zurich airport is 1h40 drive, and Munich airport 1h50 drive. By train from either airport: Zurich (Swiss rail:; Munich (German rail:

Pilgrims hostel where we will be staying:
Pilgerheim St. Josef, Kirchstrasse 18-20,
D-88145, Wigratzbad, Germany. Website:
Single bedrooms are booked for us at the Pilgerheim. En-suite shower and WC. Bed sheets and towels will be provided.
Full board (breakfast, lunch and supper provided).

Arrival: Monday 5 May afternoon: landing at Memmingen Airport and 40-minute drive to Wigratzbad. (Earlier arrival possible).
DepartureFriday 9 May after lunch; landing in the UK in the afternoon.
On option: stay on with us for one day of tourism: Lindau peninsula on Lake Constance, dinner in local ‘Gasthaus’ (restaurant) and colossal Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren – with take off from Memmingen on Saturday afternoon.

Cost: £270 (all inclusive for 4 x 24h full board in modern single room with en-suite bathroom + conference room + organisation fees + transportation from the airport and back).
Optional tourism day: add £80 extra, i.e. £350 in total.
Not included: return journey from your parish to Memmingen airport: for convenience, each priest will book his own flight (estimated cost of return flight with Ryanair: £110).

Info – Contact: Please contact me if you have any queries:           Tel.:  +44 (0)118  966  5284.

Pope's Latin Twitter account translator celebrates Low TLM in Michigan

The Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week:

Some 230,000 people follow Spanish-speaking Pope Francis’ Twitter feed in Latin, a language that draws more users than German, Polish or Arabic. And one of the Vatican-based authors who translates Francis’ 140-character pronouncements into Latin is Msgr. Daniel Gallagher, a Catholic priest who graduated from then-Traverse City High School and the University of Michigan.

Gallagher, on loan to the Vatican from the Diocese of Gaylord, is the only American among seven specialists in the Office of Latin Letters at the Vatican Secretary of State. Gallagher and his colleagues help the pope conduct business in Latin, the official language of the Roman Catholic Church.

“The opportunity to compose in Latin as a job and day after day is very unique,” said Gallagher. “Most people who are involved in Latin at higher levels are there because they’re studying it. That’s a different ballgame than writing Latin, which is very unique. We’re the only place in the world ... that it’s an official requirement.”

Gallagher, 44, returns to Michigan today to be a featured speaker at a University of Michigan gathering Friday and Saturday of Latin enthusiasts — from high school Latin teachers to armchair Latinists who are coming from across the country for classical discourse. Gallagher majored in microbiology at U-M while pondering a medical career and didn’t intensively study Latin until he studied for the priesthood.

Gallagher will talk about his work, which involves feeding posts at least four times a week to Francis’ Twitter page and translating papal decrees, announcements and letters of commendation into the language of ancient Rome. There’s usually a Latin tweet every Sunday and Wednesday following the pope’s public addresses.

The popularity of the pope’s Latin Twitter account shows that Latin is far from dead, said Gallagher.

Msgr. Gallagher celebrated a Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite yesterday at St. Thomas, Ann Arbor, MI, as recorded above (image by Juventutem Michigan). Congratulations to him and to all involved!

"Married Lesbian couple" to have daughter baptized -
and first the "two mothers" will be confirmed in the Cathedral

Where else? In Argentina, ¡naturalmente!

From La Voz:

Daughter of two mothers will be baptized in the Cathedral
Next Saturday, April 5, Umma Azul will be baptized in the Cathedral [of Córdoba, Province of Córdoba, Argentina] and president Cristina Fernández [de Kirchner] could be the godmother.

She is the daughter of Karina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz, the two Cordoba women who contracted matrimony a little over a year ago, and regarding whom a controversy came about due to the request for leave [for matrimonial reasons] in the Provincial Police by the first one. [The civil "marriage" of same-sex couples has been legal in Argentina since 2010.]
Karina and Soledad had to demand the authorization of the Archdiocese. "I had an audience with Archbishop Carlos Ñáñez so that he would give the order, and he confirmed to me that there will be no problem in the Cathedral," she explained. [The Cathedral] Parish priest Carlos Varas will preside at er the ceremony

The two ladies will receive Confirmation on the same day and, at 10:30 the baptism of Umma Azul will take place, with a godfather who is a friend of the family and two godmothers, the President and a friend.
Meanwhile, Karina, who belongs to the police force of the Province, is still struggling for the recognition of a legal demand of a 180-day maternity leave, even though she was not the pregnant mother. ... The Police assured that the woman abandoned the job.

La Nación adds that "this will be, acccording to Church sources, 'the first baptism of the child of a homoparental [sic] family' to be celebrated in a Catholic building in the country."

Now, we are all in favor of early baptism - but is not there something in baptism related to the probability of the child being raised in the Catholic faith... faithfully? Canon 868, §1, n. 2, of the Code of Canon Law is clear:

Can. 868 §1. For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.

The Córdoba Archdiocese told La Nación that "the prelate asked Varas [the pastor] to inform the couple, made up of two women, to place 'special attention' in the election of the sponsors, so that the child 'may grow in the' Catholic 'faith'." [sic!]

Speaking to news agency "DyN, Church sources recognized that the procedure to authorize a baptism with such characteristics 'would have been more complicated if Jorge Bergoglio were not the Pope."

[For picture of couple and artwork in the home where "their" daughter will "grow in the faith," see here. Tip: readers]

Laetare Sunday Events, in Rome and in Virginia.

1. As we had already announced here, on the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday), March 30, 2014 at 11am, a Solemn Pontifical Mass will be celebrated at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, the Parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in Rome, by his Excellency, the Most Reverend Matteo Zuppi, Titular Bishop of Villanova and Auxiliary Bishop for Diocese of Rome (in charge of the City Center).

It is a very important occasion because this time it is the auxiliary bishop responsible for the sector himself who will celebrate this Pontifical Mass, a first for a bishop of the Diocese of Rome in the past decades. A strong, loving and heartfelt presence of the faithful is to be desired.


2. On Sunday afternoon, Second Vespers of Laetare Sunday, in Alexandria, Virginia:

Click for larger readable view
The event consists of Solemn Vespers and Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament and will be led by Fr. Paul Scalia, accompanied by Chorus Sine Nomine. It is scheduled for Sunday, March 30th at 7:00PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA.

The Church of Vatican II: Going, going, gone
German Edition

Before the post-conciliar changes

The Parish Church of Saint Matthias, in Meiderich, Duisburg (North Rhine Westphalia), was founded in 1898 and was a functioning church with reasonable attendance.

After the post-conciliar changes
The Diocese of Essen decided to close it down in 2008/2009, and sold it to a land developer. On February 26, 2014, after years of protests and hesitations, the new owners finally had the building demolished.

A symbol of a post-conciliar Europe: in the site of what once was a vibrant large church, the corporation will build a complex of six buildings with "barrier-free apartments accessible to the elderly."

(Source of last image and quote; tip: Le forum catholique.)

Very Relevant: Exclusive for La Stampa:
- What exactly happened in the February Consistory, anyway?
Majority of Cardinals against Kasper Doctrine
- And Müller's strong words on "public opinion"

The Kasper controversy (with the attempt by Cardinal Kasper, invited by the Pope as the keynote speaker, to undermine and destroy the Catholic dogma of the indissolubility of the matrimonial bond) dominated the consistory discussions of February. Some had given the impression that all were quite pleased with the views presented by Cardinal Kasper - Cardinal Müller (see notes at the end) had been quite clear about the issue since the second half of 2013, but the first member of the College of Cardinals to speak up clearly in public following the consistory was Cardinal Caffarra, followed by Cardinal Burke.

Marco Tosatti explains, however, that from day one the College of Cardinals was in its majority against the "Kasper Doctrine", whose practical effect would be the complete destruction of the edifice of the Sacramental Theology of Matrimony and Penitence, a disregard for the Most Holy Sacrament, and a frontal assault to the words of Christ Himself, maintained by the Catholic Church without interruption and even in grave adversities (e.g. the Henry VIII schism or the ongoing struggle against polygamy in Africa) for 2000 years.

The Secret Consistory: what happened

In the Secret Consistory where the divorced/remarried and the Eucharist were discussed, “Kasper’s theorem” received little consensus and a lot of criticism. Here is a reconstruction of some of the most significant and important statements. “It would be a fatal mistake” someone said, to follow the pastoral approach without referring to doctrine.

Marco Tosatti, for LA STAMPA

The Consistory on the 22nd February to discuss the family, was supposed to be secret. Instead a decision came from the top that it was opportune to publish Cardinal Kasper’s long report on the theme of the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried. In all probability [this] to open the way in prospect of the October Synod on the Family. However half of the Consistory remained secret: [that half] concerned observations from Cardinals. And maybe not by chance, as, after Cardinal Kasper had presented his long report (and as it seems it was not very light when given ,) rather a lot of voices were raised in criticizing it. So much so, that in the afternoon when the Pope gave him the job of responding, the German Cardinal’s tone appeared piqued, even angry to the many [present].

The current opinion is that “Kasper’s theorem” tends to allow permission in general for the divorced and remarried to receive communion, without the previous marriage being recognized as null. At present this does not happen, based on Jesus’ words which were very severe and explicit on divorce. People who live a full matrimonial life without the first union being regarded as invalid by the Church, find themselves in a situation of permanent sin, according to present doctrine.

In this sense, Cardinal Caffarra of Bologna as well as German Cardinal Mueller (Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith) spoke clearly. Equally explicit was Cardinal Walter Brandmuller (“ Neither human nature nor the Commandments nor the Gospel have an expiry date[…]Courage is needed to enunciate the truth even against current customs. Whoever speaks on behalf of the Church must possess courage if he does not want his vocation to be a failure.[…] The desire to obtain approval and applause is a temptation which is always present in the transmission of religious teaching.” Afterwards he made his words public). Also the President of the Italian Bishops, Cardinal Bagnasco expressed himself in a critical manner with regard to “Kasper’s theorem”; the same went for the African Cardinal Robert Sarah, Head of “Cor Unum” who at the end of his comments, recalled that in the course of the centuries even on dramatic questions controversies and divergences had existed inside the Church, but that the role of the Papacy had always been the one of defending doctrine.

Cardinal Re who was one of Bergoglio’s greatest electors, gave a very short statement, which can be summarized thus: “I will speak for just a moment, because there are future new cardinals here and perhaps some of them do not have the courage to say it, so I will: I am completely against this report.” Also the Prefect of the Penitentiary, Cardinal Piacenza said he was against it and more or less said: “we are here now and we will be here again in October for a Synod on the Family, and so since we want to have a positive Synod, I don’t see why we have to touch only on the matter of Communion for divorcees.” He added: “Since we want to have a debate on pastoral care it seems to me that we should have to take note of a widespread pan-sexualism and the attack of the “ideology of gender” which tend to demolish the family as we have always known it. It would be providential if we were lumen gentium so as clarify the situation we find ourselves in, as well as the things that can destroy the family.” He concluded by exhorting a re-reading of the catecheses by John Paul II on corporeity, since they contain many positive elements about sex, being a man and a woman, procreation and love.

Cardinal Tauran, (of Inter-Religious Dialogue) returned again to the attack on the family, also in light of relations with Islam. Likewise Cardinal Scola of Milan raised theological and doctrinal perplexities .

Cardinal Ruini was also very critical. He [also]added: “I don’t know if I understood well, but at this moment, about 85% of the Cardinals have expressed opinions apparently contrary to the layout of the report.” He added that among those who did not say anything - therefore could not be classified - he took from their silence that: “I believe they are embarrassed”.

Cardinal Ruini then cited the Good Pope. In essence saying: “when John XXIII gave his opening speech at the Second Vatican Council, he said a pastoral council could be held as fortunately doctrine was accepted peacefully by everyone and there were no controversies; so a pastoral approach could be presented without fear of misunderstandings because doctrine remained very clear. If John XXIII had been right then, the Cardinal commented, God alone knew, but apparently it was true to a large extent. This could absolutely not be said anymore today, because doctrine is not only not shared, but it is contested. “It would be a fatal mistake” to follow the pastoral approach without referring to doctrine.

So it is understandable that Cardinal Kasper seemed a little piqued in the afternoon when Pope Bergoglio allowed him to respond, without permitting, however, the start of a real debate: only Kasper spoke. To add to the criticisms aired about “Kasper’s theorem” during the Consistory, these are also building up - in a private way - towards the Pope [along with ] other public criticisms by cardinals from all over the world.

German Cardinals who know Kasper well, say that he has had a passion for this subject since the 1970s. The problem raised by many critics is that on this point the Gospel is very clear. And by not taking this into account – which is the fear – any other point of doctrine based on the Gospel would be rendered very instable, and modifiable at will.

(Source: LA STAMPA, March 24, 2014. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana.)



- 1. Cardinal Müller was clear, in an interview posted by Vatican Radio on Monday, that when he speaks on the marriage debate (as he has done forcefully and clearly since 2013), he is the one who speaks for the Church and her doctrine, as the man named by the Pope to do this job: "I am not involved [in the Kasper debate] as a private theologian, but in the function of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is indeed the only one of the Roman Congregations which has the duty to inform, wihout mediation, the Magisterium of the Pope, while others who take part, even if they have the cardinalatial rank, speak personally, only for themselves, and do not make official statements."

"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," the Cardinal adds, "has a clear mandate to promote the Catholic faith, but also to protect it. But that includes no other task than the one the Pope himself received from Jesus Christ, and here I must mention that I do not just sit back in comfort and ease to flirt with public opinion. It is quite fine when you have the wind on your back and are then inflated perhaps excessively. But I believe that this temptation must be resisted by every bishop and by every priest, whether one wants to hear it or not." (In German.)

- 2. Abp. Georg Gänswein said on Sunday to Cologne's diocesan Domradio that indeed the German Church puts a lot of "pressure" on the Vatican, and that German Catholics must understand that their obsessions are not necessarily pressing concerns in Rome: "Whether this is felt as a pressure in Rome, I cannot say. You have to see that, for us Germans, Germany is the most important country in the world for the Vatican. [But] For the Vatican, Germany is one important country out of many important countries. And currently things are much, much more pressing, politically and pastorally, in other countries. And it is urgent to focus there. This does not mean treating the German concern in a secondary fashion." (In German.)

For the record: Full translation of Cardinal Caffarra's interview
On the indissolubility of marriage, "Compromise is unworthy of the Lord"

We provided, on the day of publication, a translation of the only available excerpt of the interview granted by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Bologna, Carlo Caffarra, to Matteo Matzuzzi in Il Foglio. Yesterday, Zenit published a translation of the full text which we transcribe below for the record of events related to the 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops. (Tip: Edward Pentin)

John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio is at the centre of a heated controversy. Some claiming it is the foundation stone of the Gospel of the Family, others claim it is simply out of date. Is it possible to update the Church’s teaching in this area?

If we are talking about gender issues and so called homosexual marriage, then it is true that at the time of Familiaris Consortio‘s publication these things were not in discussion. But the document does speak about all the other problems. In particular it speaks a great length about the problem of the divorced and remarried. I can testify to this personally because I was one of the consultors for the 1980 Synod. It is simply not true to say that Familiaris Consortio comes out of a historical context that is completely alien to ours today. That said, I think, above all, Familiaris Consortio taught us an approach to the questions of marriage and the family. Using this approach we arrive at a teaching that, even today, remains a reference point that cannot be disregarded. What is this approach? When Jesus was asked in what circumstances divorce might be allowed – a theme that was not discussed at that time- he did not enter into the casuistic issues which gave rise to this question, instead he indicated in which direction we should look in order to understand what marriage is and consequently why marriage is indissoluble. It is as if Jesus is saying “Look, you’ve got to get out of this casuistic logic and look in another direction altogether, you’ve got to look at how it was ‘in the beginning’. You’ve got to look at that moment when man and woman coming into existence and in the full truth of their identity as man and woman are called to become ‘one flesh.’” In one of his Wednesday audiences, Blessed John Paul II said, “ When man is placed in front of woman for the first time, the human person in its dimension of mutual self-giving, comes into being, The expression of this self-giving (which is also the expression of human personhood) is the human body in the whole original truth of its masculinity and femininity.” That is the approach of Familiaris Consortio.

What in your opinion is the most fundamental meaning of Familiaris Consortio? And what is its message for us today?

Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society: Eighty-first posting of Souls

Below, please find the eighty-first posting of enrolled Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. It's another large list this month with over 1,000 Souls. And we are very pleased to see so many come in from Pope Francis' homeland of Argentina. We have also added yet another priest in the services of the Souls enrolled in the Society.

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."
How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well. And please follow this formatting strictly. 

Please consider forwarding this Society to your family and friends, announcing from the pulpit during Holy Mass or listing in your church bulletin. We need to spread the word and relieve more suffering souls.

Please pray for the enrolled Souls and the 39 holy priests saying Traditional Masses for the Society:

The Reception of Communion: kneeling and on the tongue
The video

The FIUV Position Paper on this subject - how we receive kneeling and on the tongue in the Extraordinary Form, and why - I published a while ago here on Rorate Caeli. Like all the position papers, excluding the footnotes I kept it down to less than 1,600 words. Here's a 4 minute video on the subject.

You have to be selective with these strict limits on time and on words. In the video I primarily address the historical argument: that in distant times past people stood and received in the hand. My point is that this proves nothing about what we should be doing now. For one thing they didn't do what is generally done today in the Novus Ordo: they took reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament far more seriously. For another thing, we have had more than a thousand years of reception (in the West) kneeling and on the tongue, and they had not. That makes a difference in the cultural significance of the choice of how to receive. That thousand years cannot be wished away.


An achievement and a mission:
The legacy of Abp. Lefebvre and Romanitas

"Archbishop Lefebvre, this great man of the universal Church."

Benedict XVI
Audience to Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X
August 28, 2005


[Our founders] had received everything from Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, and ... they loved him like a father. For the very fidelity to the entire tradition of the Church that this prelate had taught them, which calls for fidelity to the successor of Peter, faith on the promises of Christ to his Church: Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my Church; and also for this spirit of Romanitas learned from Abp. Lefebvre ... .

By celebrating this morning this thanksgiving Mass, I invite you, my very dear faithful, to share a particular intention for our brother priests of the Society of Saint Pius X. We know that the hand of the Pope is always extended to them, and we know them to be hesitant, torn. Let us pray that they may have the courage to make the choice of Peter. Even in his decision to consecrate four bishops, Abp. Lefebvre always refused to be considered the head of an autocephalous church. He judged that the bishops that he consecrated should one day deliver their episcopate in the hands of Peter. Let us pray that they do not delay further, so that the best of what they received may be in the service of the welfare of the whole Church, and that the truth be preached in the unity of charity. That is even more urgent because the present situation forbids division. That is even more imperative because it is shoulder to shoulder [lit. coude à coude] that we must act against the culture of death in a secularized society.
Fr. Vincent Ribeton 
Superior of the French District
of the Fraternity of Saint Peter
Mass for the 25th anniversary of the FSSP (Saint-Sulpice, Paris)
November 16, 2013
23 years ago, Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre died in Martigny, Switzerland, on Lady Day, 1991. Regardless of one's opinion of some events of his life, or of some of his decisions, or of some of his stronger words, it would be wrong not to acknowledge that without him the struggle for the preservation of much of what we cherish would probably have been lost. The fact that his name is still mentioned among the words included in some of the gravest decisions of the Supreme Authority of the Church (cf. Letter to Bishops regarding the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum), and that the universal Church experiences in our age the implementation, not without very significant hurdles, of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum show that the global movement for the advancement of the Traditional Roman Rite is inseparably linked to the life of this passionate man, whose name still causes passionate discussions.

Abortion must end

We generally avoid dwelling on matters covered at length in regular media or in secular blogs - but things are at times just so brutally perverted we cannot avoid speaking up.

Never has the comparison between the worst genocides of the 20th century and the horror of abortion been more appropriate than in the news that several units of the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom have been using the remains of aborted and miscarried babies as fuel. May these tiny brothers and sisters of ours, whose remains were burned for production of electricity and heat, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

This is an opportunity also to speak to your more reticent friends and family members, acquaintances and coworkers about abortion. The brutality of this is just so great that it opens a door to the hearts of many, who can then begin to understand how horrid the abortion industry is, how it is against all that is good and beautiful and promising in mankind. Do not shirk from it: conversion is at hand also when we force others to understand the full truth of what the culture of death really entails.

On the eve of the celebration of the conception of Our Lord upon the Annunciation to Our Lady, may God have mercy on us:

Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo:
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.

The Church of Vatican II: Going, going, gone

In France, due to the multiple anti-Catholic measures taken from the Revolution up to the early 20th century, most church buildings belong not to the Church but to public institutions, usually the central State for great monuments or the local communes for smaller parish churches. A good number of them are still used by the Church (affectés, dedicated to Catholic use), but, as public buildings, are to be kept with public resources.

Many local administrators take advantage of the slightest raise in maintenance costs for the religious buildings to propose their demolition - it is what happened in Saint-Aubin-du-Pavoil, in the Anjou. Church authorities can prevent this, but hardly do, despite protests of locals. Who wants to keep up what is ancient and beautiful?

In the image on top, what the village looked like, with the church, as it happens throughout old Christendom, as the center and soul of the community; in the middle, the demolition (begun in January 2013) and in the bottom the new church, a much smaller modern structure built inside the extremity of the lower apse of the ancient church (the trace of the nave can be seen as a new square). Bp. Emmanuel Delmas, of Angers, was quite glad to open up the new structure in his visit to the village in November 2013. A small portion of the old apse is obviously all that is needed for the post-conciliar remains of a once-vibrant Church.

"Who am I to judge" forces Nigerian Bishops' Conference President to explain himself

Archbishop Kaigama, once again (see here and here) you and your fellow Bishops of the Martyr-Church of Nigeria stand with the Catholic saints and prophets of all times and places, with the firm and unswerving moral teaching of the Church of all ages: thank you for your witness.

The universal Church cannot hinder but instead must help the Church in Nigeria in its struggle to present and teach the unchanging truth of the Catholic Magisterium.

“It is a mischievous and faulty generalization to reason that because we resist same-sex ‘marriage’ we differ from our Pope who said: ‘If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?’ The Archbishop continued: “Our compassion for the weak, the marginalized and those who suffer discrimination is unwavering and uncompromising. We minister to all.”

The Metropolitan of Jos Province further explained: “We stand for the promotion and protection of human rights which are consistent with our religious and cultural values. Legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ will open the flood gates to so many moral issues that can seriously compromise our African culture and becloud our evangelization efforts in Nigeria.

“Nigerian Catholics do not hate men and women who are of biologically gay orientation, but strongly affirm that gay unions or ‘marriages’ are simply not in conformity with our Christian theology or traditional Nigerian morality.

The explanation of Archbishop Kaigama became necessary following the attack from some quarters on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for commending President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the Anti-same –sex Bill into Law. ... “When the CBCN sent a letter commending President Goodluck Jonathan on the stand against same-sex union or ‘marriage’, we did so to uphold the age-long biblical and traditional morality of our people that marriage has always been a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex unions or so-called ‘marriages’ are alien to us and we resist the idea but we will always extend compassion of Christ to men and women with biological orientation that is gay or lesbian and defend their rights just as we have constantly defended the rights of all persons discriminated against.”

Archbishop Kaigama therefore called on “individuals, pressure groups and governments from abroad who are very anxious to fight for the rights of gays in Nigeria” to “first help us deal with the menacing activities of terrorists who claim that it is their right to kill and destroy, and have caused so many deaths of innocent Nigerians.”

[Source: Catholic News Service of Nigeria]

Tradition and the Young: Christ makes all things new

A beautiful video (press on CC or captions for subtitles in English) produced by the German District of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX): the wine of Tradition is always permanent and always new, it is always ready to fill new wineskins with love for Christ and His Church.

May Christ bring all traditional-minded Catholics together: the true Way of the Cross (Kreuzweg)* is filled with joy and hope.
*The video is a response to a newly-released anti-Catholic German motion picture with this title (Kreuzweg).

ROME, March 30: Pontifical Laetare Sunday with Auxiliary Bishop Matteo Zuppi

On the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday), March 30, 2014 at 11am, a Solemn Pontifical Mass will be celebrated at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, the Parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in Rome, by his Excellency, the Most Reverend Matteo Zuppi, Titular Bishop of Villanova and Auxiliary Bishop for Diocese of Rome (in charge of the City Center).

We ask all our readers in or near the City on March 30 to please go to this special Mass.

Card. Burke: "There are many difficulties with the text of Card. Kasper," it's an "error"

"I trust that the error of his approach will become ever clearer."

Cardinal Burke, the Prefect of Apostolic Signatura, is as clear as he can be regarding the egregious errors of Cardinal Kasper's consistory lecture to the College of Cardinals (main excerpts here), errors that undermine the entire dogma of the indissolubility of marriage, as already explained by Cardinal Caffarra.

Tip and link: Twitter follower.

P.S. Cardinal Burke will be in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 5, 2014, for the priestly ordination of deacons of the Institute of Christ the King (ICK). [Source, via St. Louis Catholic]

New Archbishop of Liverpool: "How on earth can you say no [to the Traditional Mass]?"

Liverpool is the largest diocese in the whole island of Great Britain by number of nominal Catholics - at least according to the Annuario Pontificio (source) - so it certainly is a source of great joy that its new archbishop, Abp. Malcolm Patrick McMahon, O.P., appointed today by the Pope, is so open to the Traditional Mass. He is not only the first ordinary who celebrated a pontifical mass openly in England after the advent of the Mass of Paul VI (source), he is also very open to it in general:

Press Conference, March 21, 2014

I had the pleasure, today, of interviewing His Lordship at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool. I discussed only the matter of the Extraordinary Form of Mass. I faithfully reproduce here verbatim the Archbishop-elect’s quotes, which are illuminating, although I stress that it was necessary for him to speak while walking and needing to attend to passing and ongoing briefings whilst developing his responses.

Although conscious that, due to circumstances, he couldn’t devote full concentration to the subject, the Archbishop-elect said he was nonetheless happy for me to convey his thoughts publicly. Please, therefore, feel completely free to disseminate these quotes with confidence.
+Malcolm on whether those attached to the Extraordinary Form of Mass in the Archdiocese of Liverpool need have any concerns:

"There is no need [for anyone] to feel nervous.”

+Malcolm on how much he foresees that the Extraordinary Form may in time become a general and unremarkable part of the liturgical life of the archdiocese

"I think it’s hard to predict. I will certainly be open to any requests that come my way. I’ve always listened to what people have wanted, and tried to do my utmost to satisfy their needs – and that applies to liturgy, forms of liturgy, as well as other aspects of my ministry.”

+Malcolm on whether he foresees himself personally celebrating the Extraordinary Form:

"It depends how it is used. I mean, I’ve celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form when required and when I’ve been asked to. But the Mass always has to be a source of unity in the Church, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be used, and the Extraordinary Form to be used, to divide the Church. That would be my [only] concern. But there are plenty of pictures of me on the Internet [celebrating the Extraordinary Form] with [laughing] mitres that don’t fit me and all that!

"But yes, of course I would be agreeable. How can you not be when the Mass has been such a … well some like to call it the ‘Traditional Rite’ … but (when) the Extraordinary Form has been a source of holiness to people for hundreds of years. So how on earth can you say no?” [Source: Telegraph Blogs]

You Suggest: New Triduum Missal

The following short note comes from Fr. Carl Gismondi, FSSP, pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church in San Diego:

I wanted to inform you of a new 1962 Triduum Missal that is available from Laudamus Press.
A sample copy was received here at the parish, last week.  Laudamus Press is the publisher who, as you might recall, publishes Laudamus Te magazine.  The illustrations are by Daniel Mitsui, and the whole missal is well done.  Below is the write up on their website.
This is a paperback missal for use during the Triddum. It includes the Latin and English for the entire Palm Sunday, Triduum, and Easter Sunday Masses and liturgy according to the 1962 Missale Romanum. 
We offer a discount for bulk purchases for parishes, so please contact us directly for pricing and shipping information:
It is $7.95 per copy, but bulk orders get a 30% discount.  Click here to go to their order page.

I have to admit that two of my parishioners from my old parish were among the founders of Laudamus Press.  I really like Laudamus Te and pray that they will be able to restart the print version someday.

May God Bless you,

Fr.  Gismondi FSSP
Pastor, St. Anne Church
San Diego, CA 92113

- Must-read: Mario Palmaro's last interview -
The Message to Traditionalists: “Spread the Faith in the World”
- SSPX missed opportunity, Criticizing the Pope, thoughts on death

We present below Francesca Romana's translation of the interview granted by the late Mario Palmaro to the weekly newsmagazine of the Dehonians in Italy, Settimana. In it, he deals with the Society of Saint Pius X and the "missed opportunity", Pope Francis, criticism of Popes in general (when, how, and why a Pope can or even must be criticized), why many traditional Catholics behave in a certain way, the persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and he also speaks about his approaching death.


An Interview with Professor Mario Palmaro
by Lorenzo Prezzi

The Message to Traditionalists: 
“Spread the Faith in the World”


Professsor Palmaro, you (and the ecclesial world you in some way interpret) rightly supported Pope Benedict’s attempt to bring into [full] communion the “schismatic” Lefebvrian movement. But in July 2012 when their General Chapter refused the invitation from the Holy See, what was your view on the matter? What do you think now of that attitude?

Even though I have never been part of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius (FSSPX) founded by Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, I had the fortune of getting to know them firsthand a few years ago. Together with the journalist Alessandro Gnocchi, we decided to go and see this world with our own eyes, and to describe it in two books and some articles. I must say that many prejudices that I had held turned out to be unfounded; I met very good priests, nuns and brothers dedicated to a serious experience of Catholic life, graced with openness and cordiality. I was struck very favorably by the figure of Bishop Bernard Fellay, the Bishop who leads the FSSPX - a good man of great faith. We discovered a world of lay faithful and priests who pray every day for the Pope, even if they have placed themselves in a definitive position of being critical especially with regard to the liturgy, religious liberty and ecumenism. We saw many young people, many religious vocations, many “normal” Catholic families who frequent the Fraternity. Priests in their cassocks, while walking the streets of Paris or Rome, were stopped by people asking them for comfort and hope.

We are well-acquainted with the polymorphism of the contemporary Church in the world, which is to say that nowadays calling yourself Catholic is not the same as following the same doctrine; heterodoxy is greatly diffused and there are nuns, priests and theologians who openly contest or deny portions of Catholic doctrine. For this reason, we asked ourselves: how is it possible that there is room for everyone in the Church except these brothers and sisters who are Catholic in every way and are absolutely faithful to 20 of all the 21 councils which have taken place in the course of Catholic history?

While we were writing the first book, news arrived about the revocation of the excommunications through Pope Benedict XVI’s historical decision. What remained at that point was the canonical regularization of the Fraternity. Pope Benedict held this reconciliation dearly and it has yet to be concretized. I maintain that Benedict’s pontificate was a historical opportunity for full reconciliation, and it was a real shame to let this train pass. I have always sustained that the FSSPX must do all that is possible for their canonical regularization, but I would add that Rome has to offer Monsignor Fellay and his faithful the guarantee of respect and freedom, above all in the celebration of the Vetus Ordo and in the doctrine that is normally taught within the Fraternity’s seminaries, the perennial one.


The full support towards Pope Benedict XVI does not seem to be carried out now with Pope Francis. Are popes accepted or are they “chosen”? What does the papacy represent today?

The fact that a pope is “liked” by people is completely irrelevant to the two-thousand-year logic of the Church: the pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth and he has to please Our Lord. This means that the exercise of his power is not absolute, but is subordinate to the teaching of Christ, which is found in the Catholic Church, in Her Tradition and fostered by the life of Grace through the Sacraments.

Now, this means that the pope himself can be judged and criticized by the [ordinary] Catholic, on the condition that this happens in the perspective of love for the truth, and that as a criteria of reference, Tradition and the Magisterium are used. A pope contradicting a predecessor in matters of faith and morals has to, without question, be criticized. 

We must distrust both the worldly logic where the pope is judged by democratic criteria which satisfies the majority, and the temptation to “papolatry” according to which “the pope is always right.” Furthermore, for decades now we have become used to criticizing many popes from the past in a destructive manner, exhibiting scarce historiographic seriousness; well then, we don’t see why reigning popes or the most recent ones are spared in any way from any type of criticism. If Boniface VII or Pius V are judged why not also judge Paul VI or Francis?


In the world of the sites (internet) and magazines on Tradition, of late, a frequent display of strong aggressiveness has been noted. Is it true? What are the causes? What do you think of this?

The behavior-problems in some tradition-associated people or entities is serious and cannot be denied. A truth presented or proposed without charity is a truth betrayed. Christ is our way, truth and life and therefore we must always take our example from Him, Who was always steadfast in the truth and invincible in charity. I believe the world of Tradition is sometimes sharp and polemical for three reasons: the first, is a certain syndrome of isolation, which renders [them] suspicious and vindictive, and manifests itself through personality problems; the second, is the genuine scandal that certain directions in contemporary Catholicism stir up in those who know the doctrinal teaching of the popes and the Church prior to Vatican II; the third, for the lack of charity that official Catholicism has shown to these brothers, who are apostrophized with contempt as “traditionalists” or “Lefebvrians” forgetting that, anyway they are nearer the Church than the members of any other Christian confession ever could be or even any other religion. The official Catholic press does not even dedicate a line to this reality – which includes hundreds of priests and seminarians – and yet they might offer pages to thinkers that have nothing even vaguely Catholic about them.

Commenting on the Vatican instruction with regard to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, you invoked conscientious objection for the religious as to the liturgical indications. In what way [then] must the religious obey their spiritual family? How do you place conscientious objection in the tradition of the Syllabus?

The issue of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is in my view very sad. It concerns provisions made by an external commissioner and decided upon by Rome in unusual haste and with equally unexplainable severity. Since I know this religious family very well, I find this decision to be completely unjustifiable and [so] along with other three scholars I presented a sort of appeal to the Vatican.

In synthesis, I remind you, that the provisions “remove” the founder, and forbid the celebration of the Old Rite to all of the priests in the Congregation, [this] in manifest contradiction to what was established by Benedict XVI in his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. You are right: the resistance to an order from legitimate authority always poses problems for the Christian, even more so if he is a member of a religious family. Nonetheless, in this case there are some aspects clearly unacceptable, and I maintain that the priests of the Franciscans of the Immaculate should continue to celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Vetus Ordo, securing that bi-ritualism which I know was the normal practice for the Friars. I would add, in a Church shaken by thousands of problems and rebellions where glorious congregations are dying out for lack of vocations, it is not good to see the Franciscans of the Immaculate being hit like this as they instead, have abundant vocations all over the world.

In your opinion, what are the most evident limits of the “conciliar” (or “liberal” if you wish) Catholic sensibility? What are its most obvious weaknesses?

In my view, the fundamental problem is its relationship with the world, marked by an attitude of subjection and dependency, almost as if the Church must adapt Herself to the whims of men, when instead we know that it is man who needs to adapt to the will of Christ, the King of history and the universe. When Pius X harshly attacked Modernism, he wanted to ward off this mortal temptation to Catholicism: the changing of doctrine to go along with the spirit of the world. Given that humanity has been prey to the process of dissolution which began with the French Revolution (followed by modernity and post-modernity) the Church is more than ever called to resist that spirit of the world. Many choices made by the Church in the last 50 years are instead the symptom of giving in [to it]: the liturgical reform, which constructed a Mass for contemporary sensibilities by destroying a Rite in force for centuries, orienting everything towards the word, the assembly, participation, [while] mortifying the centrality of the Sacrifice; the insistence on the universal priesthood, which has devalued the ministerial priesthood, disheartening generations of priests and bringing on an unprecedented crisis in vocations; “sacred” architecture which built anti-liturgical monsters; the de facto abolition of the Four Last Things, when the theme of the salvation of souls (and the risk of eternal damnation) is the only supernatural subject matter which differentiates the Church from a philanthropic agency; and so forth.


Believers are united on the essential and are divided on controversial issues. Everyone, however, is called to respect and accompany those who are burdened by suffering and the fatigues of life. How does one’s spiritual sensibilities change when suffering passes through the days with violence, as is happening to you?

The first thing that shakes you up about sickness is that it hits us without any warning and at a time we do not decide. We are at the mercy of events, and we can do nothing but accept them. Grave illness obliges one to become aware that we are truly mortal; even if death is the most certain thing in the world, modern man tends to live as if he should never die.

In sickness you understand for the first time that life on earth is but a breath, you recognize with bitterness that you have not made it that masterpiece of holiness God had wanted. You experience a profound nostalgia for the good that you could have done and for the bad that you could have avoided. You look at the Crucifix and you understand that this is the heart of the Faith; without sacrifice Catholicism wouldn’t exist. Then you thank God for having made you a Catholic, a “little ” Catholic, a sinner, but who has an attentive Mother in the Church. So, grave sickness is a time of grace, but often the vices and miseries that have accompanied us in life remain, or even increase [during it]. It is as if the agony has already begun, and there is a battle going on for the destiny of my soul, because nobody can be sure of their own salvation.

On the other hand, this sickness has allowed me to discover a remarkable amount of people who love and pray for me; families who recite the rosary in the evening with their children for my recovery. I have no words to describe the beauty of this experience which is an anticipation of the love of God and eternity itself. The greatest suffering I experience is the idea of having to leave this world which I am so fond of and is so beautiful even if also so tragic; of having to leave many friends and relatives; but most of all, of having to leave my wife and children who are still at a tender age.

Sometimes I imagine my home, my empty study, and the life that will continue there even if I am no longer present. It is a scene that hurts, but it is extremely realistic: it makes me realize what a useless servant I have been, and that all the books I have written, the conferences and articles, are nothing but straw. But my hope is in the mercy of the Lord, and in the fact that others will pick up part of my aspirations and battles and will continue on in “the ancient duel”.

[Source: Settimana (Ed. Dehoniane), October 27, 2013, issue n. 38/2013, p. 12-13. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana.]