Rorate Caeli

De Mattei: To which Church does Pope Bergoglio belong to?

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
October 19, 2016

Two anniversaries overlap each other in 2017: the 100 years of the Fatima apparitions, occurring between May 13th  and October 13th 1917, and the 500 years of Luther’s revolt, beginning in Wittenberg, Germany, October 31st 1517. However, there are two other much less discussed anniversaries which also fall next year: the 300 years of the official foundation of Freemasonry (London, June 24th 1717) and the 100 years of the Russian Revolution of October 26th 1917 (the Julian calendar  in use in the Russian Empire: November 8th according to the Gregorian calendar). Yet, between the Protestant Revolution and the Communist Revolution through to the French Revolution, the daughter of Freemasonry, there runs an indissoluble red thread which Pius XII, in his famous discourse Nel contemplare of October 12th 1952, summed up in three historic phrases, corresponding to Protestantism, the Age of Enlightenment and Marxist atheism: Christ – yes, Church – no. God – yes, Christ – no. Finally the impious cry: God is dead; in fact: God has never been”.

Dear Fathers: An Advent challenge for you

A note and call to action for our priestly readers (and for our lay readers, send this post to your local parish priests):

We often hear from diocesan priests who either pray a private traditional Latin Mass but whose public Masses are Novus Ordo, or priests who say one TLM a week, with the rest of their Masses being the Novus Ordo. What they tell us is that they either have no room in their schedule to add the TLM, or that one TLM a week is all they can do, due to the ignorance of their Novus Ordo parishioners which would not support any or additional traditional Masses. 

Looking at this situation dispassionately (and without the blue hairs complaining vociferously in our ears, as we know you dear Fathers deal with), it all seems to boil down to fear of the unknown: Your parishioners don't know what they're missing, your schedule is already full even if the pews aren't and you don't know how to introduce them to the traditional Mass. 

Bold idea and challenge for priests: Whether you have a weekly TLM already or not, choose your highest attended Novus Ordo Sunday Mass and, the first week of Advent, make it a TLM.

This would preferably be a Sung Mass. If you can't pull together polyphony or chant, your typical choir will work. And if they can't pull off a full Missa Cantata, a "four-hymn sandwich" Low Mass will do. If you don't have servers trained in the TLM, just ask the nearest parish that offers it. They will surely part with two servers for one Sunday to spread tradition. And don't worry about the fine details. If you're missing certain things, most won't notice anyway.

EXCLUSIVE - The Marxist Revolutionary: New Jesuit Superior-General revealed by those who knew him in Venezuela

Hours after Cardinal Bergoglio was elected Pope, Rorate was the first to bring you inside information from Argentina on what to expect (The Horror: A Buenos Aires Journalist describes Bergoglio).

Now, Rorate, surrounded by friends around the globe, has been contacted by a Venezuelan source, eager to tell the world what exactly to expect of the new Superior-General of the Society of Jesus (the Pope's own religious society), Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, based on his experience in his native land, now wrecked by the Socialism brought on, in great measure, by Marxist "Catholics".

In reality, the current situation in Venezuela, of widespread hunger and desperation, is exactly what Liberation Theology looks in practice. And Sosa was a big part of this.

Now to our guest-piece.

A brief note on Father Arturo Sosa

Antonio Francés (nom-de-plume)

Dear friend,

I have known Father Arturo Sosa Abascal for a long time. Unfortunately, what I have seen in him is not in line with the teaching of Christ.

Audio: On the Sixth Generation - Generational spirits of the Lost Generation to the one currently being born

The great Father Chad Ripperger has delivered a powerful talk on the demonic, how demons attack certain generations, how they are passed from parent to child and generation to generation, and what we can do to prevent this. It's well worth a listen. 

We would even recommend sending it to lukewarm Catholics who you know are history buffs as it could prove interesting to them from a historical perspective and wake them up to their faith -- and the dangers that lie ahead. 

Also: Click here to visit the main website of Sensus Traditionis. It's a stock pile of wonderful sermons, conferences, audio and video. And the written text documents mentioned in the above conference on generations is housed on the site as well. 

Last, please pray for Fr. Ripperger and his work.

THE NEW RELIGION - | free online booklet by Don Pietro Leone | SECOND PART

[First part here]


We said that Gnosis was seen amongst men for the first time in Original Sin.

Before continuing however, we wish to observe that it was manifest even before, in the Fall of the Angels. For since the essence of a thing is determined by its ultimate end, we may identify the essence of Gnosis as the attempt on the part of the creature to deify himself. This, however, had already occurred with the rebellion of the angels. Lucifer and the other angels wanted to make themselves God, that is to say without God: by their own unaided and natural efforts. The consequence was their fall and their transformation from angels into devils.

King Kigeli V, RIP

The last king of Rwanda has died, Kigeli V Ndahindurwa.  As the BBC reported today: "Born Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa, King Kigeli V came to power in 1959 but was only king of Rwanda until 1961, when the monarchy was abolished and he was forced into exile."

He moved to the Washington, D.C., area after leaving Africa. Several of our readers in the eastern United States have likely encountered him over the last several decades, as he was a regular at traditional Latin Masses, lectures and events.

Event: Solemn High Mass for All Souls Day in New Orleans (by a Jesuit, praise God!)

Archbishop of Granada Adopts Buenos Aires Implementation of Amoris Laetitia

Archbishop Javier Martínez

The Archbishop of Granada, Spain, H.E. Msgr. Francisco Javier Martínez Fernández, has released a note to all the faithful of his archdiocese in which he adopts for his own archdiocese the highly objectionable directive on the implementation of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia, issued by the bishops of the pastoral region of Buenos Aires. This is especially discouraging as Archbishop Martínez has in the past been known for his courage and orthodoxy (cf. Rorate's 2006 report on his decision to remove his seminarians from the Granada theological college).

Socci: Scandal in the Vatican

Antonio Socci
Lo Straniero
October 14, 2016

Last Thursday, the 13th of October,  marked the beginning of the 100-year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, yet Bergoglio, instead of honouring Our Lady, honoured Martin Luther by taking part in an audience (in the Vatican) where a statue of the German heretic and schismatic was exposed as if he were one of the saints.

For that matter, Bergoglio is the Pope who, for the first time in two thousand years, has wanted the profanation of the Sacraments! 

IMPORTANT: SSPX Superior-general Bp. Fellay met Pope and CDF yesterday

Bp. Fellay, the Superior-general of the Society of St. Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) met Pope Francis yesterday, October 13, in Casa Santa Marta.

Afterwards, he held a meeting with the highest authorities of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Card. Müller, Prefect, and Abp. Ladaria Ferrer, Secretary. Bp. Fellay was joined by his two assistants, Fr. Nély and Fr. Pfluger.

According to the SSPX General House, the CDF meeting, "foreseen for a long time," "is the second one since September 13, 2014", and "is part of the framework of relations that the Society of Saint Pius X has always had with the Roman authorities, in particular in these past few years, by the doctrinal visitations that took place in the several seminaries of the Society, and that will continue in the upcoming months."

[Source: DICI, via La Porte Latine (District of France) - en français]

Dr. Kwasniewski’s Upcoming Lectures in Prague, Olomouc, and Krakow

For the launch of the Czech and Polish editions of my book Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church, I will be giving lectures in the cities of Prague, Olomouc, and Krakow on Friday, Sunday, and Monday. Each lecture is special for its occasion, as indicated below. As noted earlier on Rorate, Cardinal Burke will participate in the book launch in Prague, while the abbot of Tyniec Abbey will participate in the book launch in Krakow.

All events are free and open to the public. Lectures will be given in English, with accompanying translations in Czech or Polish. Signed copies of the book will be on sale. I look forward to meeting in person everyone who comes. To Rorate’s Eastern European readers: please tell your friends!

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

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

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

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


Monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Murtra, near Barcelona,
where the Catholic Monarchs welcomed Columbus back from the Indies in 1493
Now that four centuries have sped since a Ligurian first, under God's guidance, touched shores unknown beyond the Atlantic, the whole world is eager to celebrate the memory of the event, and glorify its author. Nor could a worthier reason be found where through zeal should be kindled. For the exploit is in itself the highest and grandest which any age has ever seen accomplished by man; and he who achieved it, for the greatness of his mind and heart, can be compared to but few in the history of humanity.

Vatican II: An anniversary worth forgetting, but numbers that cannot be forgotten

Today is the 54th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. There's really not much left to be written about this -- all you need to know, frankly, is easily found by visiting a local parish. But it is a good opportunity to look at the numbers since the Council's close in 1965. It's also very interesting to look at them in comparison to Pope Venerable Pius XII, which we provide below.

The following statistics via CARA:

Event: Rosary Pilgrimage and Solemn High Mass in NYC

Guest Op-Ed: Discovering the Lord in the Silence of the Liturgy

By Veronica A. Arntz

Reflections on Cardinal Robert Sarah’s Interview

Yet again, Cardinal Robert Sarah has blessed the faithful with another interview, available in English from Catholic World Report, about the beauty, sacrality, and perennial importance of the sacred liturgy. The faithful would do wise to listen carefully to what Sarah has said concerning the liturgy, for it cannot be emphasized enough that we must change our current liturgical praxis, putting properly celebrated liturgy back into the center of our Christian life, if we wish to see any other mission within the Church succeed.

As a Church, we talk about the New Evangelization, social justice endeavors, and attempts at peace—but these initiatives never seem to get very far. While all of these activities depend solely on God’s grace, it is safe to say that the sacred liturgy is necessary to receive God’s grace, which will assist us in bringing the Gospel to others. Thus, above all else, we should be attentive to Cardinal Sarah’s words—as they are an echo of our previous pontiff, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s own thought on the liturgy—so that we can reflect on our own experience of the liturgy and the way that we celebrate it today. Specifically, I would like to highlight three key points from Cardinal Sarah’s interview: the centrality of Christ, the importance of silence, and the role of the faithful in the liturgy.

New Cardinals created by Francis
UPDATE: Initial notes on the Cardinals-elect and their leanings

(Scroll down this post to see the full list of Cardinals-elect.)

Our initial notes on the Cardinals-elect:

Liberals, Bergoglians, and a Climate Change Warrior

Three of the new Cardinal electors are prominent liberals: Cupich of Chicago, De Kesel of Mechlin-Brussels, and Tobin of Indianapolis. Two of the three are from the U.S., signalling the Pope's clear intention to move the U.S. Church sharply leftward. 

Enough has been written about Cupich (67) and we will not devote more space to him here. 

Abp. Joseph Tobin (64) was Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) from 2010 to 2012 and is widely credited with using his position to greatly weaken the "visitation" launched by CICLSAL into U.S women's religious congregations. As Archbishop of Indianapolis he was outspoken in calling for the USCCB to "reflect" the "newness that Pope Francis is bringing to the church universal" in its agenda. Only this weekend -- literally hours before the announcement of his elevation to the cardinalate -- he reportedly expressed his support for women deacons and women preaching at Mass. 

Abp. Jozef De Kesel (69), protege of Cardinal Danneels and prominent Kasperite, was appointed less than a year ago as Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels. In that short period he has made himself notorious for his suppression of the flourishing -- and conservative -- Fraternity of the Holy Apostles, which was founded by no less than his more orthodox predecessor, Archbishop Leonard, whose marginalization is now complete. 

As for Cardinal-elect Farrell (69), the following tweet -- which he has not deleted -- should give us an idea as to where the "Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life" is headed under him:

Abp. John Ribat (59) of Port Moresby is known for his advocacy of a low-carbon lifestyle and his outspoken opposition to the death penalty. Since 2014 he has been the President of the Federation of Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania. (CathNews has various articles about him.)


Abp. Dieudonné Nzapalainga (49) was one of the Synod Fathers in the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in 2014. Although not particularly outspoken or prominent, he was part of the African bloc of prelates that resolutely resisted innovations in moral doctrine. He was appointed apostolic administrator of Bangui in 2009 in the midst of the rebellion of the Central African Republic's clergy over the Holy See's attempts to enforce the law on clerical celibacy. After three years as apostolic administrator, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Bangui in 2012. 

The Cardinals elect and the Traditional Latin Mass.

Of the 13 future Cardinal electors, three have either attended or presided at at least one liturgical ceremony celebrated according to the Traditional Latin Rite in the post-Summorum era. These are Bp. Farrell, who blessed the Mater Dei (Irving, TX) parish church of the FSSP in 2010; Abp. Tobin, who celebrated Confirmation (followed by Benediction) according to the Traditional form in Holy Rosary Church in Indianapolis in 2013, and again earlier this year; and Bp. Maurice Piat (75), who attended a Traditional Latin Mass in choro last month. 

Among the 13, in addition to Bp. Piat (who invited the Institute of Christ the King to set up a presence in his diocese this year), three others provided for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in their sees: Kevin Farrell during his time as Bishop of Dallas; Abp. Osoro Sierra (71), who, as Archbishop of Valencia in 2014, designated a church for regular celebrations of the TLM; and Abp. Sergio da Rocha (56), who in 2014 granted  the establishment of large IBP-run, fully traditional Catholic chapel in Brasilia. 

A special mention goes to Cardinal-elect Ernest Simoni (88), who was imprisoned by the Albanian communists for 27 years (1963 - 1990). He continued to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass from memory and to give communion in secret during his long incarceration.  

Another "special mention" -- for all the wrong reasons -- goes to Cardinal-elect Renato Corti (80), emeritus of Novara. Our long-time readers might remember him for his role in the "Novara affair" of 2007-2008 (see this and this) that directly led to the formation of the Traditional Catholic community in Vocogno. He was close to the late Cardinal Martini. 

Original post (Oct. 9, 2016, 10:34 AM GMT):

Titles in Italian, but perfectly understandable, including three Americans:

1- Mons. Mario Zenari, che rimane Nunzio Apostolico nell’amata e martoriata Siria (Italia)
2- Mons. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp., Arcivescovo di Bangui (Repubblica Centrafricana)
3- Mons. Carlos Osoro Sierra, Arcivescovo di Madrid (Spagna)
4- Mons. Sérgio da Rocha, Arcivescovo di Brasilia (Brasile)
5- Mons. Blase J. Cupich, Arcivescovo di Chicago (U.S.A.)
6- Mons. Patrick D’Rozario, C.S.C., Arcivescovo di Dhaka (Bangladesh)
7- Mons. Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, Arcivescovo di Mérida (Venezuela)
8- Mons. Jozef De Kesel, Arcivescovo di Malines-Bruxelles (Belgio)
9- Mons. Maurice Piat, Arcivescovo di Port-Louis (Isola Maurizio)
10- Mons. Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefetto del Dicastero per i Laici, la Famiglia e la Vita (U.S.A.)
11- Mons. Carlos Aguiar Retes, Arcivescovo di Tlalnepantla (Messico)
12- Mons. John Ribat, M.S.C., Arcivescovo di Port Moresby (Papua Nuova Guinea)
13- Mons. Joseph William Tobin, C.SS.R., Arcivescovo di Indianapolis (U.S.A.).


Plus 4 non-voting Cardinals:

1 - Mons. Anthony Soter Fernandez, Arcivescovo Emerito di Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
2- Mons. Renato Corti, Arcivescovo Emerito di Novara (Italia)
3- Mons. Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I, Vescovo Emerito di Mohale’s Hoek (Lesotho)
4- Reverendo Ernest Simoni, Presbitero dell’Arcidiocesi di Shkodrë-Pult (Scutari – Albania).

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Abraham, patriarch

On this day the traditional Roman Martyrology commemorates the preeminent saint of the Old Testament. Heading the Martyrology on "This Day, the Ninth Day of October" is the feast of the holy martyrs St. Denis of Paris, bishop, and his companions, the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius. But immediately after them, the Martyrology lists:

"The same day, the commemoration of the holy patriarch Abraham, father of all believers."

De Mattei: From a migratory invasion to civil war

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
October 5, 2016

By now even the most reluctant are beginning to open their eyes.  An organized plan exists to destabilize Europe through migratory invasion. This project hails from the distant past.  In my  book from the nineties, 1900-2000 Two dreams follow one another: the construction, the destruction. (Fiducia, Rome 1990), I described this plan through the words of some of its disciples, such as Umberto Eco the writer and Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.

Eco wrote: “In Europe today we are not faced with a phenomenon of immigration. We are faced with a migratory phenomenon [...] and like all of the great migrations it will have as its final outcome an ethnic readjustment in the lands of destination, an inexorable change in customs, unstoppable interbreeding which will statistically change the skin, hair and eye colour of populations.” Cardinal Martini, on his part, considered “a prophetic choice” necessary: in order to understand that “the migratory process in act from the increasingly poor South towards the increasingly rich North is a great ethical and civil opportunity for renewal, to reverse the course of decadent consumerism in act in Western Europe.

WikkiMissa now back online as MesseMonde

WikkiMissa was the indispensable guide to Traditional Latin Masses throughout the world in the years immediately after Summorum Pontificum. Here at Rorate we used to post periodic appeals to our readers to help update it; it was important not only as a reference for travelers who wanted to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, but also as a resource for measuring the growth of the TLM celebrations from one end of the world to another. Unfortunately it went offline late last year. 

We are happy to inform our readers that WikkiMissa is now back online as MesseMonde. It seems that the website is still being rebuilt, and understandably the Mass listings are far from complete. Just like the old WikkiMissa, MesseMonde can be edited by readers, and we encourage our readers to go there and update the Mass listings as accurately as possible. 

THE NEW RELIGION - Gnosis and the Corruption of the Faith | the new free online booklet by Don Pietro Leone

In 2011, we published an extensive online book by Don Pietro Leone Monselice, "The Roman Rite: Old and New", as a gift to all our readers.

Five years later, we are honored to publish exclusively another master work by Don Pietro Leone, a bright priest celebrating the Traditional Mass exclusively in an Italian diocese.

The book deals with gnosis, and its influence on the formation a the new religious mindset in the Catholic Church. Appropriately, the book cover is a detail of Luca Signorelli's masterpiece in the Duomo of Orvietto, "The Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist" (Predica e fatti dell'Anticristo). We hope you enjoy the reading. 

The first part is published today, and the additional chapters will be published shortly.



A new, friendly bishop in Virginia -- and a loss of influence for Cardinal Wuerl?

For over a year, our readers in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, where the traditional Latin Mass has flourished under Summorum Pontificum, have anxiously awaited the replacement of their current ordinary, Bishop Paul Loverde. Loverde is no lover of tradition, but he did, after 2007, finally get with the program, facing an onslaught of young, traditional-minded priests who were taking matters into their own hands. 

The anxiety came from the pervasive conventional wisdom that Cardinal Donald Wuerl would handpick the next bishop in the diocese that neighbors the Archdiocese of Washington. But with the announcement this morning that the bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge will be installed in Arlington, the question is: Has Wuerl lost his influence? 

Our readers may know that Bishop Burbidge has, by most standards, embraced Summorum Pontificum in his diocese. 

Bishop Burbidge confirms youth in the traditional Latin rite.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 76 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. 

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

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

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

The Francis Effect discussed in the New York Times

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the papacy of Pope Francis is his unification of traditional Catholics and conservative Catholics.  What started as an uncivil war in March 2013 -- when traditional Catholic sources such as Rorate (which was intimately familiar with Cardinal Bergoglio's work in Argentina) predicted a massive shift to the left, only to be harshly criticized by many Catholic conservatives who blindly defended Bergoglio as one who would continue the incremental restoration of Pope Benedict XVI -- has grown to a point where both camps are now singing from the same Liber.

We have written of the Francis Effect a few times, using data such as Pew Research Center's statistics on Mass attendance. Examples from the first year of this papacy are here and here.

Interview with Peter Kwasniewski in Czech Newspaper RC Monitor, on Liturgy, Music, Philosophy, Traditionalism

Mr. Andrej Kutarna, a writer, publisher, and photographer who lives near the city of Prague, asked me to give an interview in anticipation of the upcoming launch of the Czech edition of my book Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church. (See here for more details about the book launch on Friday, October 14, at which Cardinal Burke has graciously agreed to be present.) A Czech translation of the interview, slightly abridged, was published in this week's issue of Res Claritas Monitor 13 (2016), n. 18 (PDF link here; see pp. 11-14). The full Czech version may be viewed here at Mr. Kutarna's site.

Rorate Caeli has received exclusive permission to publish the original English interview in full:

Aristotle, Aquinas, Plato
Mr. Kutarna: How did you come to the TLM? How was your first encounter with the “Mass of the Ages”?

Dr. Kwasniewski: My journey into the traditional liturgy was gentle and gradual. I grew up in a very typical suburban American parish and sang in its children’s choir and, later, adult choir. The liturgy was very “contemporary” in style, but I didn’t know that at the time.

In high school two things happened: I got involved in a charismatic prayer group, which re-animated my faith, and I took a course in philosophy that brought me into contact with Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. After a couple of years, my interest in the charismatic prayer group waned, but my intellectual life soared. I began to study theology, too, and had a vague longing for a form of prayer and liturgy that would correspond to the depth and breadth of philosophy and theology. Without knowing it, I was searching for the traditional worship of the Church, which was born of the ancient Fathers, developed by the medievals, and faithfully handed down to us from Trent onwards. 

IMPORTANT: International Declaration of Fidelity to the Church's Unchangeable Doctrine and Uninterrupted Discipline on Marriage (Sign it as well !)

80 Catholic personalities reaffirm their loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church on the family and Catholic morals

A Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline was disclosed today by a group of 78 Catholic personalities, including cardinals, bishops, priests, eminent scholars, leaders of pro-family and pro-life organizations and influential figures of civil society.

The statement was disclosed by the association Supplica Filiale [Filial Appeal], the same organization that collected, between the two Synods on the family, nearly 900,000 signatures of Catholic faithful (including 211 prelates) in support of a petition asking Pope Francis a word of clarification to dissipate the confusion disseminated in the Church on key issues of natural and Christian morality since the consistory of February 2014.

Noting that the confusion has only grown in the faithful after the two Synods on the family and the subsequent publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (with its more or less official adjacent interpretations), the signatories of the Declaration of Fidelity feel the urgent moral duty to reaffirm the immemorial teaching of the Catholic magisterium on marriage and family and the pastoral discipline practiced for centuries with regard to these basic institutions of a Christian civilization. This grave duty, according to the signatories, becomes even more urgent in view of the growing attack that secularist forces are unleashing against marriage and the family; an attack that does not seem to find any more the accustomed barrier in Catholic doctrine and practice, at least in the way they are now generally presented to public opinion.

Solidly supported by a crystalline and indisputable teaching, confirmed by the Church in recent years, the Declaration is concatenated around 27 statements upholding those truths explicitly or implicitly denied or rendered ambiguous in the present ecclesial language. According to the signatories, what is at stake are unchangeable doctrines and practices concerning, for example, faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the respect due to this Sacrament, the impossibility of receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin, the conditions of true repentance that enable to receive sacramental absolution, the observance of the Sixth Commandment of the Law of God, the most serious obligation not to give public scandal and not lead the people of God to sin or to relativize good and evil; the objective limits of consciousness when taking personal decisions, etc.

The Declaration of Fidelity is already available in English and Italian and it will soon be available also in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Whoever wants to adhere to it can do so by signing at the address 

(* For more information contact


"Let marriage be honored among all" (Heb. 13: 4)

Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline

(Full text of the Declaration after list of Signatories at the end of this post)

Errors about true marriage and family are widespread today in Catholic circles, particularly after the Extraordinary and Ordinary Synods on the family and the publication of Amoris Laetitia.

Sermon for the Feast of San Gennaro (St. Januarius): Preserve Catholic Culture!

by Fr. Richard Gennaro Cipolla

September 25, 2016
Church of the Most Precious Blood
and National Shrine of San Gennaro
New York City

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was sitting at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.  Luke 7:37

What a wonderful thing to come to this church of the Most Precious Blood and the shrine of San Gennaro to celebrate this Solemn Votive Mass of San Gennaro!  This church is redolent with a century’s worth of religious and cultural memories centered around the feast of San Gennaro.  We know little about the saint’s life, but the most important information comes from St. Paulinus of Nola, who said:  he was bishop as well as martyr, an illustrious member of the Neapolitan church.”.  San Gennaro was martyred in the Diocletian persecutions, together with Festus, his deacon, and others from the Naples area.  But what everyone knows about him is that his blood, put into 2 vials by a pious woman after his beheading, liquefies on his feast day and two other times in the year.  So we can imagine what went on in Naples this past Monday, as the crowds gathered at the Cathedral to witness the liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood.  The Church blesses this celebration but has no official statement on this phenomenon.

Visit of Cardinal Burke to the Czech Republic -- FULL SCHEDULE

Rorate Caeli has been asked us to make known the schedule of Cardinal Burke's upcoming visit to the Czech Republic, particularly for our central European readers who may wish to attend the Pontifical Masses and the Cardinal's lectures. 

(I am happy to say, too, that the launch of the Czech edition of my book Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis will take place in the midst of these events. I will be present and will give a lecture.)

Visit of His Eminence Raymond Leo Card. Burke in the Czech Republic

Program of public events:

Rorate on the Road ... in Irving, Texas

Rorate was on the road today and, this time, we were in Texas at Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish in Irving (just outside Dallas). The church is run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).

While we travel the globe and go to many traditional Latin Mass sites, we normally do not post pictures of the historic churches we visit in the major cities, and focus rather on the little-mentioned yet wonderful experiences we have in smaller towns.

The Francis Effect: "Catholic" schools and sexual education

NB: As if Catholic parents needed yet another reason to homeschool their kids and keep them out of the typical Catholic schools tied to a Novus Ordo church, news comes from Tennessee where the local ordinary has denied the parents' role as primary educators, and forced their sons into perverted sex education. Don't forget that it was Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia that called for "educational institutions" to provide already-condemned sexual education to our children.

Bishop Choby, sans collar and cassock.

U.S. bishop makes ‘erotic’ sex-ed mandatory, cites Vatican sex-ed to parents wanting opt-out

A U.S. Catholic bishop has explicitly refused to allow parents to opt their kids out of a diocesan-run school’s sex-ed program deemed by parents to be “erotic” and “salacious,” calling the program a “legitimate requirement” for graduation.
Instead of listening to the parents’ concerns, the bishop has cited the Vatican’s newly minted and problematic sex-ed curriculum as a way to evaluate the school’s program.

Guest Op-Ed: Ecclesiological problems with communion for adulterers

By Veronica A. Arntz

The Church as a Liturgical Community:

Ecclesiological Problems with Communion for the Divorced and Remarried

As the drama of Communion for the divorced and remarried continues to unfold, especially with the recent papal letter to the Argentinian bishops, Robert Royal made a stunning yet accurate remark in his recent article, “A Bizarre Papal Move”: “Indeed, Catholics have a new teaching now, not only on divorce and remarriage. We have a new vision of the Eucharist.” If we say that certain individuals who are divorced and remarried, and thus living in an adulterous union, can receive Communion, then we have indeed changed our understanding of the Eucharist. No longer is it a matter of discerning the Body and Blood of our Lord (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-29), but rather, the Eucharist becomes “a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (Evangelii Gaudium, art. 47).

Rather than recognizing our infinite failings and sins and refraining from receiving the Lord, if the condition of our soul necessitates such an action, the Eucharist has now become a mere remedy for anyone who would wish to receive him. This offense to the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord would be enough to lead us to condemnation. However, this change in our perception of the Eucharist extends to how we understand the Church—thus, in changing the way we approach the Eucharist, we inevitably change the nature of the Church as a whole.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Jonas, prophet

While many of the faithful today observe the fast of Ember Wednesday with works of penance and mortification, and the Church Universal celebrates the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, many other heroes of faith and sanctity are also commemorated this day. Among them is yet another of the Old Testament saints whom the Church annually venerates. Standing immediately after St. Matthew in the list of saints for "This Day, the Twenty-First Day of September," we find the following notice of a heavenly birthday  in the traditional Roman Martyrology:

In the land of Saar, the holy prophet Jonas, who was buried in Geth.

The account of "Jonah and the whale" is one of the best known stories in the Bible, teaching us of the importance of humble obedience to God's calling, the holy justice of God, the salvific power of penance, and God's triumphant mercy and forgiveness of sinners whether Jew or Gentile. On two separate occasions, when the Jewish people sought a miraculous "sign" from the Lord Jesus, He directed their attention to the wondrous works that God accomplished in and through St. Jonas:

Thomas Merton on post-Vatican II liturgy

Many of us know priests who love the traditional Latin Mass some days while celebrating a novus ordo liturgy with Vatican II novelties such as Gospel bands and altar girls other days. This liturgical schizophrenia -- truly nothing short of a bi-polar approach to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass -- was apparently exemplified by the prominent Trappist Father Louis, OCSO (born Thomas Merton).

For Father Louis (his religious name that appears on his tombstone, above), his liturgical sensibilities began in quite the traditional manner.  In his 1948 autobiography "The Seven Storey Mountain", he wrote of his love of "the warmth of Gregorian chant" and noted his first attendance at Mass (before converting) was an August 1938 Low Mass at Corpus Christi church in New York, where he was impressed by even a music-free liturgy.

In that famous book, he also described walking into "old Zion church", his parents' house of worship in Douglaston, Long Island, New York.  Note the implicit connection between congregational singing, Americanism and Protestantism:

"Then there was a lectern, shaped like an eagle with outspread wings, on which rested a huge Bible. Nearby was an American flag, and above that was one of those little boards they have in Protestant churches, on which the numbers of the hymns to be sung are indicated by black and white cards."

In the 1960s, Father Louis would get caught up in the spirit of Vatican II, but he also showed some misgiving.  A recent article by Gregory K. Hillis, an associate professor of theology at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, highlighted some of these quotes in the context of embracing "really groovy" Mass insanity in 1967, while writing numerous letters in the same decade opposing the reforms that led to the novus ordo (which he did not live to see). From the article:

An update from Norcia

The monks have asked us to share this with you:

Sermon for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost: the Dark Night of the Soul

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
Parish of St. Mary
Norwalk, Connecticut
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy

From the Gospel of St. Matthew:  “ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”.
From the Gospel of St. John:  “I thirst”.

Many years ago I tried to read The Story of a Soul by St Thérèse of Lisieux.  I was about to enter the Catholic Church and thought I should read this because of St Thérèse’s great popularity in the Church, the Little Flower.  I could not get through it.  I found it saccharine and too much late nineteenth century French piety.  While I was teaching in New York City and just after I was received into the Catholic Church,  I used to go to Mass early in the morning at Corpus Christi Church on the Upper West Side.  I liked the pastor very much, a very intelligent man and somewhat of a curmudgeon. One morning he gave a brief homily on St Thérèse’s feast day, and he described her as a woman of steel.  I was quite taken aback. A woman of steel.  Coming from him this was high praise, so I went back to the Story of a Soul and read it through.  The best part for me was toward the end, when she describes in veiled but real terms her struggle with her faith.  This spurred me on to read her Last Conversations, where that struggle is more apparent.  A few months before her death she said to Mother Agnes:  “Look! Do you see the black hole where we can see nothing: it’s in a similar hole that I am as far as body and soul are concerned.  Ah! What darkness!  But I am at peace.”  She did not receive Holy Communion for the last few months of her life.  On her deathbed she heard voices telling her that heaven was just a figment of her imagination Her Sisters thought she refused to receive Communion out of fear that she would desecrate it in a coughing spell  But that was not it at all.  It was the darkness that she knew as an absence of faith.  It was that book that made me understand her as a woman of steel, and she became a real spiritual force in my priesthood.

Op-Ed: "Adultery as a venial sin" -- and other absurdities of trying to defend the indefensible Francis Doctrine

Nathan rebukes King David for his Adultery (Eugène Siberdt)

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus on marriage and the Eucharist

by Dr. John Lamont

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus has recently published an article entitled ‘Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages’*. The object of this article is to argue that Pope Francis has not asserted or endorsed heresy in approving of a recent document issued by some Argentinian bishops concerning the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. To justify this conclusion, Dr. Mirus makes a number of claims about moral behaviour and the discipline of the sacraments. 

These claims urgently need to be addressed.

This discussion of Mirus’s assertions will not consider the rights and wrongs of the Argentinian bishops’ document itself and the Pope’s endorsement of it. Nonetheless it should be noted that Dr. Mirus’s article is somewhat misleading on this subject, because it gives the impression that the only objectionable part of this document is the permission it gives for the divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist. In fact the document in its paragraph 6 extends this permission to both absolution and reception of the Eucharist, and states that the divorced and remarried persons it refers to can grow in grace through these sacraments. This contents of this paragraph have been addressed by a group of Catholic scholars, who have drawn up theological censures of heretical and erroneous propositions that could be attributed to Amoris Laetitia and have asked the college of cardinals and the patriarchs of the Church to petition the Pope to condemn these propositions. These censures were sent privately, but were leaked to the media and are now publicly available. Paragraph 6 of the Argentinian bishops’ document endorses the propositions condemned in censures 6, 7, 11, 15, and 16 of the document sent to the cardinals, which are accessible here. The bishops’ statement thus has a broader scope than the issues addressed by Dr. Mirus, a scope whose extent can be grasped by considering their statement and the censures referred to above.

Final results of SSPX-Vatican Prelature Poll

Thank you to all who took part in our poll on the Vatican-proposed prelature for the Society of St. Pius X, details of which were presented by the SSPX Superior-General in recent talks, including one last month in New Zealand.

Of those readers who chose to take part in the poll, 77% said that the Prelature should be accepted, while 23% disagreed:

Once again, thank you for your participation!

The Real Source of Division in the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
September 14, 2016


Information, disinformation, truths, half-truths and lies all seem to be jumbled up in the communication strategy of the Holy See. The history of the Church is being written through interviews, improvised discourses, articles on semi-official blogs and media-rumours, leaving the field wide open to all interpretations possible and giving rise to the suspicion that the confusion is deliberate.  

Two recent examples. 

The Francis Doctrine: On Communion to "Divorced and Remarried", one is either with Christ or with Lucifer

St. Ignatius under the Standard of Christ

From the very beginning of this ill-fated pontificate, this page was maligned for stating the obvious about Cardinal Bergoglio, and the prospects his positions brought to the papacy. 

For example, from the very beginning it was clear to us Francis wanted to impose on the Church the new doctrine of communion to the "divorced and remarried" (that is, those living in permanent state of sin, without the desire to end their sinful situation), the new German Doctrine. Other commentators tried to hide for as long as possible, even up to a few days ago, that the Pope wanted to personally impose upon the Church a doctrine that is absolutely and irrevocably opposed to the very words of Our Lord. 

Why so keen to impose it? Because that is what the wealthiest church, the German Church, the Church that was behind his very election as Pope, the Church that financed what the rebel Cardinals themselves called the "Mafia" that worked tirelessly for the overthrow of past moral positions and the election of Cardinal Bergoglio, wanted as well. One thing that cannot be said of Francis is that he is a man who does not keep his campaign promises!...

And why did the German Church want it so much? Because of the income derived from the "remarried" faithful by way of the "Church Tax", certainly. But also because liberal theologians who dominate the Church in Germany need this apparently small change in doctrine since it undermines at least three Sacraments at once: the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, Penance, and, last but certainly not least, Matrimony. And this is necessary because each reduction of meaning of the Sacraments makes the Church less "supernatural", less "divine", and a vehicle of merely human ideas -- as Pope St. Pius X recalled in Pascendi: "for the Modernists the Sacraments are mere symbols or signs, though not devoid of a certain efficacy - an efficacy, they tell us, like that of certain phrases vulgarly described as having 'caught on,' inasmuch as they have become the vehicle for the diffusion of certain great ideas which strike the public mind." (Pascendi, 21). In their view, therefore, an undermining of the divine demands of the Sacraments makes them more "human" and more "meaningful" for the secular understanding of the world and make the Church seem less "absurd" in the eyes of the world.