Rorate Caeli

Call for Masses for Ireland's abortion referendum

A previous Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham, outside Reading, England. This year's Pilgriamge,
whose Mass will be offered for this intention, takes place this Saturday at 11:30am.
Latin Mass /  Una Voce groups throughout Britain and Ireland call for Masses to be offered for the Irish abortion referendum

The Canonization of Vatican II: The case for Pacelli, revisited

Today, it was reported that Pope Bergoglio announced last week in his annual Lenten meeting with priests in Rome, that Paul VI will be canonized a saint this year.

As terrifying as this is, it should come as no shock. No matter how much damage they did, no matter how many souls they lost to Hell, no matter how much they destroyed the liturgy and, with it, the Faith, one thing is clear: Vatican II is being canonized via these failed pontiffs.

Since 1983, and the dissolution of the Devil's Advocate, Catholics of good will can honestly question these canonizations. What cannot be questioned, however, is the tragedy that is the case for sainthood for Pope Pius XII.

While the post-Concilliar popes (yes, all of them), left nothing but destruction, or at best the slowing of destruction in their wakes, the Church under Pope Pacelli flourished in every category.

And so we bring you this post, from 2014, as a reminder of what the last, saintly, Pre-Concilliar Pontificate accomplished in the United States:

Event: Lecture by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski in Naples, Florida, February 24

To Rorate's friends in Florida, I am happy to announce that I will be in Naples next weekend to give a lecture on “Reconnecting with Tradition: The Church’s Hope for the Future.” 

The lecture will be held at 4:00 pm in the Great Room at the St. Laurent Condominium, 6849 Grenadier Blvd., Naples, FL, 34108. All are welcome to attend. I will be signing copies of both of my books, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis and Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness, for any who might be interested. Following the lecture there will be an information sesson about Wyoming Catholic College as well. I would certainly enjoy meeting fellow lovers of Catholic tradition, including Rorate readers.

On Sunday I will be singing with the Schola at the 8:45 am High Mass at the FSSP apostolate Corpus Christi Chapel (located at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, FL 34120), and again, I'd be delighted to meet anyone afterwards.

Guest Op-Ed: Penance for the sake of Heaven -- Reflections for Ash Wednesday

By Veronica A. Arntz

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. The Church, in the wisdom of the old liturgical calendar, gave us the past few Sundays to prepare ourselves for this season of fasting, prayer, and penance. Lent is the time of the liturgical year in which we pause and recognize our weak human nature, our inclination to sin, and our mortality. Some will look at our rigorous sacrifices and fasting as foolishness, given how our society is wont to pursue instant gratification. What is it that motivates our penances? Perhaps reflecting on that question will help us to choose penances that will deepen our spiritual lives and our love for God.

In Question 12 of the Prima Pars of his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas considers the knowability of God; in other words, how does man know God, both in this life and in the next, when he is able to see His Divine essence? In Article 6, Thomas asks whether some will see the Divine essence more perfectly than others will. He argues in the affirmative, stating that it is based on the intellect’s greater capacity that will allow some to behold the vision of God more perfectly. The object—the vision of God—will remain the same, since God does not change, but the more perfectly an intellect shares in the light of glory, the more perfectly He will be seen. Thomas explains:

Lent is coming: Time to prepare

Lent starts tomorrow. We're running out of time to prepare.

In the past, you could find a traditional Lenten Mission at many parishes. Now, unless you are near a traditional parish, they are nearly extinct -- or worthless.

Fortunately, we are not meant to live in the past, we are meant to live in the now. And, now, we have the Internet. And there is an abundance of good on the Internet, along with the bad.

As we do every year, we bring to your attention this wonderful, traditional, five-part Lenten Mission by the holy and learned Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea. While it is not short, it does go by very quickly, and is easy to follow and understand. It's clear, concise and bold.

As the season nears, you would do well to listen to this, to pray on it and to use it to prepare for a fruitful Lent -- and be ready for it to change you for the better.

Click on each of the five themes of the mission: Prelude to the Mission * On Death * On Judgment * On Hell * On Heaven * (download all MP3 files in one here)

Fine new edition of Bouyer's Christian Initiation

Our friends at Cluny Media continue to impress with their reprints of old out-of-print Catholic classics. Whatever you may think about this or that element of Louis Bouyer's writings, he was a major theologian of the 20th century, of a stature that almost no one can compare to today; he had a commitment to traditional theological principles, on the basis of which he eventually came to regret some of the progressive ideas he espoused as a younger scholar; and he did penance for his involvement with the Consilium by telling the world in his Memoirs about the mendacity of its leader and the incompetence of many of its members. 

This book, Christian Initiation, is an eloquent and penetrating little book, an interesting combination of apologetics and mystagogy. Here is a summary , courtesy of the publisher.

*       *       *

Louis Bouyer (1913–2004) was a member of the French Oratory and one of the most respected and visionary Catholic scholars and theologians of his time. Formerly a Lutheran minister, Bouyer entered the Catholic Church in 1939. A visionary Catholic scholar and theologian, Bouyer was peer and friend of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger as well as T. S. Eliot and J. R. R. Tolkien.

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam: Lent Is coming...

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia quæ scripta sunt per prophetas de Filio hominis. (From the Gospel for the Sunday in Quinquagesima, Luke xviii, 31: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man.)

Christianity is as old as the world; for it consists, essentially, in the idea of a God -- Creator, Legislator, and Savior -- and in a life conformable to that idea. Now, God manifested himself to the human race from the beginning under the threefold relation of Creator, Legislator, and Savior, and from the beginning, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, from Moses to Jesus Christ, there have been men who lived conformably with this idea of God.

Three times before Jesus Christ, God manifested himself to men in this threefold character: by Adam, the first father of the human race; by Noah, the second father of the human race; and by Moses, the lawgiver of a People whose influence and existence have mixed them up with all the destinies of mankind.

Two Collects Most Appropriate for Our Times

St. John of Matha offering Holy Mass
The old liturgy continues to show how its relevance never fades, and even grows in intensity, in ways that may be surprising to us but were always foreknown to God in His Providence.

In the nineteenth century in the Western world, who would have thought that the Moslems were a particularly great threat? At that time, they were not. But today? That's a different story, as we all know. Similarly, while sin has always been dogging our steps in every era, one could not have spoken prior to the Sexual Revolution of a veritable plague of vices against the sixth commandment, including the systematic and ever-earlier loss of innocence inflicted by Satan and his busy disciples on the children of our time. If ever an age needed a saint who models innocence of life and urges us to preserve it in chastity or recover it in penance and self-control, that age would be ours.

The idea that the old liturgy was getting to be "irrelevant" and the new one is "relevant" is one of those superficial sayings that quickly withers under examination. In reality, it is quite otherwise: the old has such a rich content and durable structure that it weathers every storm and emerges with new brightness as the needs of the times shift. Well might the words of the Psalmist be applied to the usus antiquior: "Thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's." The new liturgy, in contrast, is so tethered to the narrow time-bound theories of its academic fashioners that it meets the needs of an ever-shrinking category of modern people who are not young enough to be post-modern or wise enough to be pre-modern.

De Mattei: The spirit of resistance and love for the Church

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
February 7, 2018

As the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ election draws near, we hear repeatedly that we are facing a dramatic and absolutely unprecedented ‘page’ in the history of the Church. This is only partly true. The Church has always experienced tragic times which have seen the laceration of the Mystical Body since its very beginnings on Calvary right up to the present day.

Global scandal: Francis exposed as a liar by own advisers on abuse victim

From the Associated Press, in what is turning out to be the greatest scandal of a sorry Pontificate:

AP exclusive: despite denial, Pope got abuse victim’s letter


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis received a victim’s letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.

The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has “zero tolerance” for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.

Sermon for Candlemas: And then there was silence

Fr. Richard Cipolla

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.   For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”  (Luke 2: 29-30)

He waited in the gathering darkness as he had every day for so long now.  He tried to think back how long he had been doing this, but his mind seemed not to work well in thinking about the past.  He remembered the fasting, giving to the poor, how no one was ever rejected who came to his house, he remembered saying the prayers, keeping the faith.  What else did he remember?  He remembered the longing and the dread.  The longing for an end to this waiting, he remembered the words of the prophet Malachi: the Lord will suddenly come into his temple. Into his temple--those words, those words which he had taken as a sign that he was meant to wait, and to wait here, not sure what he was waiting for, but he knew that his life was to wait against that dread that would envelop him especially at night when he could not sleep, that dread, almost a vision of a future of blackness and death. In these hours he feared for his children and his children’s children, what would they know when faith was gone, what would they know when the obligations of love were denied, feeling a hovering over a birth season of darkness.

Guest Op-Ed: Reflections on obedience for the Feast of Candlemas

 By Veronica A. Arntz

The feast of Candlemas is a rich tradition in the Church; it is a day that we celebrate many events, including the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, and the Nunc Dimittis of Simeon. In reflecting on this beautiful feast day, one common theme that we find present is obedience. Obedience is the proper response of an individual to God’s invitation and call; it is the fitting response to God’s commandments and law. We too should strive in obedience to follow the commandments of God, just as we find in the Holy Family and the aged Simeon.

The first example of obedience is Mary who, even though she was conceived without original sin, went to be purified in the Temple in accordance with the Mosaic Law. As we read, “And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’)” (Luke 2:22-23, RSV-CE).

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 86 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! 

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

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

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

Aldo Maria Valli and The Faith Evaluation Service

I’m in church. I  start reciting the Rosary in Latin and a man approaches me.
He says:
-          If I were you I’d steer clear of that.
Looking at him, I ask:

The Franciscans of the Immaculate: A courageous voice speaks out

Father Paolo M. Siano
Corrispondenza Romana
January 24, 2018

A few days ago, on January 20th there was an important anniversary in the history of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI). On that date six years ago (2012), in our Roman convent on Via Boccea, a meeting took place between the then General Council of the FI and five friars (two Americans and three Italians) opponents of Father Stefano Manelli, founder and Minster General [of the Order].

Along with other professors of the then FI Seminary and those in charge of formation, I was invited by Father Manelli to take part in the event. The meeting, which lasted the entire day in two sessions, was shocking for the amount of vehemence and malicious attacks made against Father Manelli.

Rorate on the Road: Mater Dei (FSSP) in Texas

Once in a while when we’re on the road, we like to highlight churches that don’t get much attention, at least with our global audience. Today, we had the pleasure of assisting at a Sung Mass at Mater Dei Catholic Church, run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), in Irving, Texas. 

The beginning (Septuagesima) of this year’s early Easter cycle was on full display as the Christmas decorations were joined by the purple tabernacle veil and vestments. 

There are five Sunday Masses at Mater Dei and we’re told they’re all packed. The 9 a.m. today was standing room only. To accommodate the demand, they are now raising money to expand the church. If you will to contribute, check out this page and contact the parish (CLICK HERE).

See below for a rendering of the new church:

Quid est Veritas?

 Section on Catechesis 
Radio Roma Libera


Quid est Veritas? What is Truth? The question, addressed to Our Lord Jesus Christ by the Procurator Pontius Pilate in the praetorium of Jerusalem, resounds down through the centuries and calls every man to come out of himself and question the nature of Reality, on that which is the proper object of his intelligence and of the very reason for his existence.

‘Radioromalibera’: First Italian Catholic online radio launches

The first Italian Catholic news bulletin radio on-line has been started up.  Audio and video news broadcasts everyday in addition to in-depth study in Catechesis, Spirituality and Catholic Culture. presents a new way of ‘forming and informing’ by making the most of all the potentials of a multi-media platform: a click is all you need on your smart-phone, tablet or computer to gain access to texts, articles, comments, audios. Podcasts, bulletins, videos and lots of news, news that you might not be able to find elsewhere. The content is sound and analyzes and interprets our modern times in the light of the faith with articles and programmes on catechism, spirituality and liturgy, all of which are no longer taught in our parishes.  is always and everywhere present, all over the world…

Septuagesima: In the beginning

The lessons for Matins introduce the theme of the penitential pre-lenten season of Septuagesima: Creation and Fall, and Original Sin; and God's intervention in human History to purify mankind through a remnant in an ark (Sexagesima week) and to choose a People for himself; and the will of the unfathomable Divinity to reveal himself through his chosen people of Israel; and the Mystery of the Incarnation, through which the promise to Abraham ("in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed", First Lesson in the Matins for Quinquagesima Sunday) would be fulfilled by the Divine Son of the Blessed Virgin ("I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel", Third Lesson in the Matins for Wednesday in Septuagesima week).

The reality of Original Sin ("I am the Immaculate Conception") and the great need for penitence in our times ("Penance! Penance! Penance!") were also the messages of the memorable events which began on February 11, 1858:

Norcia summer theology program, June 17-28

From June 17–28, 2018, the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, in partnership with the Monks of Norcia, will hold its seventh summer theology program in Norcia, Italy.

This summer’s program will be “Human Suffering and Divine Providence: Thomas’s Commentary on the Book of Job.” We will read and discuss St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Job, considered one of the saint’s finest Biblical commentaries, dedicated to a close analysis of an Old Testament book that has always been a favorite with preachers, moralists, and artists.

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

By Veronica A. Arntz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 17, 2018

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

Aldo Maria Valli interviews Pope Gregory the Great

January 16, 2018

Francisco de Zurbarán 040.jpg  

Good day Your Holiness.

Good day to you too.

Might I disturb your Holiness for a moment?

Of course.

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

In person.

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


Yes, just ask you a few questions.

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

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

Newest U.S. basilica offers the TLM

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

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

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

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

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
January 10, 2017

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

Benedicite, glacies et nives, Domino . . .

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

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

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

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

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

March for Life TLMs in Washington, D.C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from our source:

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

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

by Fr. Richard Cipolla

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

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

Mass for Vocations at the Pantheon

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

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

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

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

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


By Rev. Anthony Cekada

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Op-Ed: Epiphany reflections on the Christian vocation

By Veronica A. Arntz

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

EVENT: Pontifical High Mass with Bishop Libasci for the Epiphany

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

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