Rorate Caeli

You suggest: Palm Sunday procession & traditional Mass in Peru, Indiana

Event: Mass of the Seven Sorrows of Mary in Brooklyn

This church does not have a regular TLM, so please consider attending Friday night, and show support:

Pope Francis' modus operandi

Five years into the Bergoglio pontificate, Rorate is (finally!) far from alone in our reporting and analysis of Pope Francis. Several books exposing the behavior and methods used by Jorge Bergoglio have been, or are in the process of being, published.  Ross Douthat, the lone conservative columnist at the New York Times, has one such book in the works, which will be released next week.

Mr. Douthat had a column in the Sunday New York Times (largely an excerpt from his forthcoming book) exposing the myth that Francis would grow the Church (Mass attendance has been down under this pontificate), and examining how calling for a "truce" on hot-button issues has been part of a stealth agenda of incremental liberalization.

This paragraph is perhaps the most eloquent we have seen in a while, unmasking the tactics of Bergoglio:

Socci: Do the hierarchies in the Church still have the Catholic Faith?

Antonio Socci
     March 10, 2018

The parish priest of Cisterna in Latina,  Don Livio Fabiani caused a bit of sensation with his words at the funeral of the two children killed by their father.
Yet perhaps – for Catholics – the homily of Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, at the funeral of the Fiorentina’s Captain, Davide Astori, who died two Sundays ago of a heart attack, ought to be a source of more amazement.
These two tragedies have made us face sudden death, the eruption of evil and the suffering of the innocents. We are all dumbstruck.  The words “waste and void” repeated by Thomas S. Eliot in his poem describe our hearts in these situations.

Easter Triduum in London; Lassus Tenebrae

The Holy Fire is lit outside the church's back door, from which it is a short procession
through the streets of the City of London to the church's front door.

This Holy Week in London, a rare opportunity to experience one of the oldest services in the Catholic Church along with a feast of sacred music rarely sung in its proper context.

Beginning on ‘Spy Wednesday’ with the ancient office of Tenebrae, The Latin Mass Society will be celebrating Holy Week with a wealth of traditional Latin liturgy at St. Mary Moorfields in the heart of the City of London.This year’s Triduum celebration will be directed by professional musician and classical pianist, Matthew Schellhorn with his group ‘Cantus Magnus.’

Matthew Schellhorn, the LMS Director of Music for London, said:

“It is once again a great pleasure to be making the musical preparations for the Latin Mass Society’s flagship celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

“Music by Franco-Flemish renaissance Orlande de Lassus (1532–94) will enhance the Office of Tenebrae, which will be particularly special with not only the haunting four-part Responseries but also the great five-part Lamentations of Jeremiah. These glorious masterpieces, date from the 1580s.

Sermon for Passion Sunday: "Before Abraham was, I AM"

by Fr. Richard Cipolla

They therefore picked up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself and went out from the temple.  (John:  8:58-59)

Where did he go?  Jesus hid himself.  Hide and go seek?  That children’s game that has its roots in the mysterious state of hiddenness and the triumph of “I found you!”  It is in that statement of triumph that the mystery has been solved. I know where you are .  The unknown has been conquered, the gnarly mystery of not knowing where you are has been solved. The mystery is evaporated.

The truth:  “before Abraham was, I am”.  

Guest Op-Ed: The Six Principles of Penance according to St. Thomas Aquinas

By Veronica A. Arntz

In Summa Theologiae III, q. 85, a. 5, St. Thomas Aquinas writes that there are six principles of penance. These principles of penance, according to Aquinas, are the “acts whereby in penance we co-operate with God operating” (III, q. 85, a. 5, corpus). Reflecting on these principles during the season of Lent can be helpful for us as we prepare for the Holy Triduum.

How have we been using our time during this Lent? Have we been truly sorry for our sins, or are we wasting our time idly pursuing worldly ends and goals? How diligently have we been purging ourselves of earthly attachments, bad habits, and sinful behaviors? Have we been striving to become closer to God in prayer? These are the questions to ask ourselves as we read and reflect upon the six principles offered by Aquinas.

First, a note on penance in general: in I-II, q. 113, a. 5, Thomas writes that sadness is a sign of love. Penance is sadness over our sins; we repent over the wrong that we have committed, and we resolve not to commit the same sins again. Thus, when we are sad over our sins, we should ultimately be sad because of offending God who is Love, who loved us so much that He suffered and died for us on the Cross.

Event: ICR Solemn Mass for St. Patrick's Patronal Feast in Kansas City

Fraudulent Vatican: After AP report, Vatican admits photo of Benedict's praise of Francis was doctored

From ambiguous to grotesque to fraudulent, the current occupants of the Vatican go from worse to worse:

Vatican doctors photo of Benedict's praise for Francis

By The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Mar 14, 2018, 3:20 PM ET
The Vatican admitted Thursday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.

Guest Op-Ed - Musings from the Chinese Underground: "The Vatican is forcing us to obey perverted bishops!"

By Guest-contributor 小鱼儿

I recently read Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo's interview in the National Catholic Register. I initially wanted to ignore his statements, like I did with other Chinese "experts". However, these past few months, the Church in China received "seismic tremors" too strong to ignore.

Considering the gravity of the matter, I thought I would share my humble musings with Rorate Caeli readers.

Surprise surprise! We have another Chinese "expert" talking about the Church in China. Mind you, an "expert" who doesn't speak Chinese, doesn't understand Chinese culture, and whose experience of China is visiting government-approved places. (What I like to call "tourist traps".) How absurd is that? It's like an Argentinian saying he's an expert on the United States because he once visited Jacksonville, Florida!

Why don't we have REAL Chinese people and experts at the diplomacy table? Why did they get rid of 2 high-ranking prelates (Cardinal Zen and Archbishop Hon), and replace them with "prelate-tourists" who praise Communism? Why did an 86-year-old retired Cardinal need to fly to Rome in order to hand-deliver a letter to the Holy Father? Mind you, it's a 14-hour flight!

These professional diplomats, who AREN'T Chinese and who know little about China, are making grave decisions affecting the lives of millions of Catholics. And I for one am afraid... afraid of their foolishness and naïveté!

They wish to help us regularize our situations and aid in our evangelization efforts, yet they're taking away our moral authority. They're forcing us to follow and obey hypocritical bishops who have mistresses and fathered children, who pervert the teachings of Jesus Christ, and who kowtow to the Golden Calf.

Who may chant the Passion?

Six years ago Rorate posted on who is allowed to sing the Passion during Holy Week. The answer, we thought, was pretty clear, but apparently not everyone agreed.  Some traditional Latin Masses employed laymen to chant entire parts of the Passion, as performed via the novus ordo.

To that end, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" was consulted on this issue.  Here is the response:

To summarize, the privilege to chant the Passion begins at the diaconate level for all three parts of the Passion (except for the turba portion of the synagoga).

Pre-1955 Holy Week resource available in English and Italian for clergy and laymen

We are very pleased to first announce the publication of a new English/Italian website:

This new site is a comprehensive introductory resource for those interested in the celebration of the pre-1955 Holy Week liturgies. The website features free downloadable booklets, in the vernacular and Latin, with the complete ceremonies for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. These include running commentaries and historical notes throughout by Blessed Adolph Schuster. There are also Tenebrae booklets and an introductory explanation of Holy Week by Adrian Fortescue from the “Holy Week Book”.

Interested clergy will find everything they need to get started, including a full Cantus Passionis download, audio aid with accompanied notation for the Passiontide Gospel tone particular only to this traditional Holy Week, and the Fortescue ceremonial. There are also links to some articles about the 1955 reform of Holy Week.

FIUV quarterly magazine, Gregorius Magnus

I have pleasure in presenting the new edition of the quarterly magazine of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (Una Voce International), Gregorius Magnus: the 4th edition.

It can be downloaded as a pdf here:

The 4th issue of Gregorius Magnus (February 2018) is 24 pages about:

• Position Paper 32: The Extraordinary Form and Islam
• UV General Assembly in Rome, Nov 2017
• Book Review: History of the FIUV
• Irish Abortion Referendum
• Una Voce in England, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria

This is a re-launch for Gregorius Magnus, which was published briefly in 2012. We hope that it will provide a truly international space for news and discussions important to the Traditional Movement, as well as an attractive platform for the FIUV.

EVENT: Traditional Laetare Sunday Vespers, in Alexandria, Virginia

The Institute of Catholic Culture will be hosting the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem at the Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria, Va. this Sunday for Laetare Sunday Vespers. Vespers will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form.

More information below (click to enlarge):

Book review: History of the FIUV by Leo Darroch

Una Voce: the History of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce 1964-2003, by Leo Darroch (Gracewing; 467pp)

Review by Joseph Shaw

Buy it from the LMS bookshop,, or Gracewing

Leo Darroch has produced a substantial and fascinating volume on the FIUV, commonly known as Una Voce International, from its beginnings up to the end of the presidency of the late Michael Davies. Davies’ predecessor, Eric de Savanthem, was President for 30 years, from the early days of the organisation, so the book revolves around these two remarkable men.

Because of the nature of the material, the book is episodic in character. Some of these episodes are very revealing about the state of the Church at the time they took place, so I will devote this review to three of them.

A Letter to a Seminarian thinking of leaving the Seminary -- from his Parish Priest

 A Letter to A Seminarian thinking of leaving the Seminary, from his Parish Priest

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla

Note: The following is an article in epistolary form. 

Henri Cartier-BressonSeminarians outside Burgos, Spain1953

Dear James:

I received your letter, and I must admit that it saddened me.  I shall be sure to pray for you when I celebrate Mass.  I am happy that you have not made a definite decision about whether to leave seminary.  When you made the decision to enter Seminary from our parish I was—as you remember—deeply happy.  I read your letter several times carefully.  Some of your perceived problems are a normal part of adjusting to seminary life.  But one part of your letter struck me deeply, and I quote it back to you:   

I cannot be myself here in the seminary.  I am always pretending to be someone else.  I feel like I am playing a game with the rector and the other priests here, putting on a façade in order to please them, or so I do not get into ‘trouble’.  This exhausts me especially spiritually but also physically.  I came to seminary, as you know, because for me I cannot conceive of anything else I want to do except being a priest for the rest of my life.  And also as you know, at the very center of that desire is my love for the Traditional Mass.  It was in your parish I discovered this treasure and it was serving that Mass for two years that deepened my understanding of the priesthood and what the Mass is all about.  It is that love that I cannot show here.  I have to suppress my love for the Traditional Mass and never let it show, for the faculty would see that in a negative way and that would affect my future in the diocese and may even prevent me from being ordained.  The other guys here who have the same love for the Traditional Mass have the common attitude to go with the current flow, keep your heard down, smile, never let them know what you are thinking until you are ordained.  Then it is safe to come out of the liturgical closet so to speak.  Even writing that last sentence dismays me that I should say such a thing.  So I ask myself:  Do I want to spend three more years not being honest about who I am and what drives me?  Will not this have a bad effect on me personally and if I am ordained will not this way of living, this self-denial in a deep sense, will this not continue and make my priesthood a sham? 

New Video on the Traditional Office of Tenebrae

Readers may be interested in this short video that explains the traditional Office of Tenebrae and why it is so powerful a way of entering into the Passion of the Lord. 

A Case Study of Rupture in the Lex Orandi: The Epistles of Lenten Sundays

One of the most striking areas of rupture and discontinuity between the traditional Latin Mass and the Mass of Paul VI is to be found in the passages of Scripture read on Sundays. The annual cycle of the old Missal, embodying the practice of well over a millennium, puts before the Christian people year after year essential truths of the spiritual life and fundamentals of morality to which we must always return. The three-year cycle of the new Mass, an unprecedented novelty against the backdrop of all historic liturgical rites, brings in a greater quantity and variety of texts but, as a result, diffuses the impact and substance of the message.

It is as if the canvas on which the painting is being executed is so large and the subjects so numerous that one cannot quite make out what the painting is of. There is not enough “useful repetition” to allow the words to sink in deeply and remain in the heart, rather than passing in one ear and out the other. As a friend of mine likes to say, education involves cutting the groove many times until a lasting mark is left. The enormous contrast between the two is appreciated perhaps only by those who have regularly attended both forms of the Roman Rite over a long stretch of time.

Guest Op-Ed: Remaining faithful to Christ

By Veronica A. Arntz

Highlights from Cardinal Sarah and Fr. Thomas Weinandy

This past week, there were two announcements about pieces of literature that left the liberals quaking (and complaining loudly). The first is a preface, written by Cardinal Robert Sarah, for a new book on Communion, who called for a return to receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling, rather than in the hands while standing. While many readers of this blog already follow this request, we should rejoice at this call for greater reverence.

The second is an address, which was given by Fr. Thomas Weinandy, whose open letter to Pope Francis critiquing Amoris Laetita caused him to lose his position at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This address, given at the University of Notre Dame in Australia, questioned whether the current papacy is properly following the four marks of the Church.

Looking at highlights from these two addresses will be a good reminder for us that Christ is the Head of His Church, and all of us within the Church owe Him our complete and utter obedience: as St. Paul writes in the letter to the Colossians, “He is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent” (Col 1:18, RSV2CE).

De Mattei: Opponents of Ostpolitik – Part 2: Father Alessio Ulisse (1920-1986)

Roberto de Mattei

Corrispondenza Romana
February 28, 2018

Paul VI receives Andrei Gromyko

Among the staunchest opponents of the Vatican Ostopolik, a figure of remarkable cultural and moral stature should be remembered: Father Alessio Ulisse Floridi (1930-1986).

A member of the Company of Jesus at a very young age, Father Floridi studied at the Pontifical Russian College, where he learned Russian perfectly and, in 1949, he was ordained a priest in the Byzantine Rite  His hope was to be part of an underground apostolate in Russia, just like some of his confreres, but his superiors wanted him at La Civiltà Cattolica, the journal which was the pride and joy of the Company.  Father Floridi became the sovietologist par excellence of this journal,  collaborating with articles written from first-hand reading of newspapers, journals and documents coming [directly] from the Soviet Union.  His articles rich in notes and personal comments, were read and appreciated for their accuracy by the Communists themselves, both in Italy and abroad.

FIUV Position Paper: the Sanctoral Cycle


Today I am publishing the last of the series of FIUV Position Papers. Further ones may be published as the need arises. Although we have no exhausted the possible topics for these papers, we have done enough to make clear a number of important general principles. Bringing the series to a close will also enable us to publish them as a group.

This paper is about the Sanctoral Cycle: saints days. There are some striking contrasts between the Traditional and the Novus Ordo calendars in relation to saints days, both in detail (dates being changes) and in the fundamental principles behind them. 

These differences both suggest, and render problematic, attempts to make the two calendars converge, wholly or partially. This paper seeks to set out and defend the rationale of the Sanctoral Cycle of the Traditional Roman Missal.

It can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 85 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! 

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

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

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