Rorate Caeli

Saints of the Old Testament: Samuel, prophet

Almost a year ago, this series on the Old Testament saints began with reflections on the commemorations of Sts. Josue (Joshua), Gedeon (Gideon), and Anna. Today, on the 11th Sunday After Pentecost and the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux according to the traditional calendar of the Roman Church, we now come to the conclusion of this yearly cycle with reflections upon a final Old Testament saint who is commemorated in the traditional Roman Martyrology:

This Day, the Twentieth Day of August

In the territory of Langres, the demise of St. Bernard, first abbot of Clairvaux, illustrious for virtues, learning, and miracles. He was declared Doctor of the universal Church by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VIII. 

In Judea, the holy prophet Samuel, whose sacred relics (as is related by St. Jerome), were taken to Constantinople by the emperor Arcadius, and deposited near Septimus.

The prophet St. Samuel anoints David, eighth son of Jesse, as King of Israel

Op-Ed: The Knights of Columbus want to silence and shame Catholic Converts

...actually, "in service to some" - just "cradle Catholics":
Converts need not apply, or buy insurance

The Knights of Columbus made a clear choice when the organization decided to sponsor the faltering "Crux" -- founded by the Boston Globe for liberal journalist John Allen Jr (when the Globe thought it could cash in on Francis' supposed "popularity") and then, when it came into trouble, propped up by the Knights.

The Knights' choice was to uphold the liberal and Modernist version of Catholicism in reporting news.

For a few weeks now, Knights-Crux has been on a crusade to crush the credibility of converts to Catholicism. This because the Modernist establishment currently in charge of much of the central government of the Church hates American Catholicism, hates conservative Catholics in the United States, hates the Traditional-friendly general trends of the strongest portions of English-speaking Catholicism, and hates, therefore, informed converts who are so influential in those circles.

- Tots a una veu: Visca la Mare de Déu!

Mary! She is the north of the tender youth
who, feeling in his heart the burning life,
rows forward with courage and delight.
And, in the growing glare of heaven's light,
 a voice rises from the peaceful earth:
the Virgin, shaded by a blooming rose.
Father Jacint Verdaguer

The mystery play of Elche is a sacred musical drama of the death, the passage into heaven (known as the Assumption) and the crowning of the Virgin Mary.

Review: A great new Traditional Roman Hymnal

While this blogger can't sing a lick, Mrs. Adfero has for a while wanted a great, traditional hymnal, and finally found one. But to simply call the second edition of The Traditional Roman Hymnal by our friends at Angelus Press a 'hymnal' doesn't do it justice. 

We noticed three things very quickly. First, as always with the products published by Angelus Press, you notice the quality -- and the durability, which is critical for our family, as this will be handled by the little ones while home schooling. Check out the rugged binding: 

A message of hope from Hiroshima

Chiesa e Post Concilio
August 7, 2017

The testimony of Professor Hikoka Vanamuri, survivor of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Hikoka Vanamuri, former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tokyo, was interviewed while on pilgrimage in Fatima. This is what he had to say:“I’ll never return to Japan. After years of study, after years of meditation I have understood that life under the tainted atmosphere of Buddha is an embittered historical testimony of blatant paganism. I converted to Catholicism. I made this decision after the explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I was in Hiroshima for historical research. I was in the library when the bomb exploded. I was busy consulting a Portuguese book and my eye happened to catch an image of Our Lady of Fatima.  I had the impression that this image moved, as if to say something. All of a sudden there was a blinding light, hurting my eyes intensely. I was terrified. The cataclysm had come about. The sky had darkened and a cloud of brown dust had covered the city. The library was burning. Men were burning. Children were burning. The air itself was burning.  I didn’t even have  the slightest scratch on me.   The sign of the miracle was evident.  Yet I wasn’t able to explain what had happened.  

Self-Criticism: A Most Admirable Personality Trait


--75 years--
Ad orientem
Saint Benedicta: the Cross and the Sacrifice are in the East.

August 9, 1942, the eve of Saint Lawrence, the celebrated martyr of the Church of Rome, is generally considered the last day of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross on this earth. 75 years ago, she and Rosa, her sister, who days earlier had boarded in the transit camp of Westerbork (Netherlands under German occupation) the train destined to the General Government area of occupied Poland, would be killed, along with an unknown number of other prisoners, and all trace of their physical existence would vanish.

The Cross had been her concern and her love even before she chose to enter the Church. Expiation, suffering, surrendering oneself completely, being ravaged by the world: death. Her cross expected her in the East. Hatred, brutality, and evil may have destroyed her body, but her soul was embraced by the Redeemer.

The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him that I languish with love. What manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, O thou most beautiful among women? what manner of one is thy beloved of the beloved, that thou hast so adjured us? ... such is my beloved, and he is my friend, O ye daughters of Jerusalem. (Cant. v)

Lord: Thy head is like Carmel: and the hairs of thy head as the purple of the king bound in the channels. (Cant. vii, 5)

Germany is a beautiful country. And though Germans, for some reason, tend these days to abandon their nation in droves in the warm weeks of August, it hardly looks more majestic than in the summer. A true festival of shades of green, dramatic valleys and forests, and hills that are brighter than ever, reflecting the bright sunlight of the season.

Wrocław (Breslau) in August
Germany was the homeland of Saint Benedicta. It was in the then very German city of Breslau (now in Poland) that Sr. Benedicta had been born, as Edith Stein, in October 1891. For the first time in many years, on August 6-7, 1942, she reentered Germany. Was she allowed to take the only volume of the beloved breviary she still had with her, her major consolation in those days? Was she able to see, in the trains that left the transit camp of Westerbork the green fields and intensely colorful skies and rivers of August? Was she able at least to stay in the same car as her sister Rosa? Were they able to strengthen each other through their last journey? 

From west to east, they crossed their Germany - because it was their Germany, too. They even crossed their Silesia, always going eastwards. Deported to the east: could they guess what their destination would be? Was Sr. Benedicta aware of exactly where she was being sent? Was she aware that the martyred Polish lands under German occupation would witness her own death?

From the "Testament" of Sr. Benedicta:

From this moment, I accept the death that God has prepared for me, fully and joyfully submitting myself to his most holy will. I pray the Lord that he will accept my life and my death, in his honor and glory, for all the intentions of the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and of the Holy Church; in particular, for the preservation, sanctification, and perfection of our holy Order, above all of the Carmels of Cologne and Echt, in expiation for the unbelief of the Jewish people, and so that the Lord may be welcomed by his own, and that his Kingdom will come in Glory, for the salvation of Germany and for peace in the world, and, at last, for my relatives, living and deceased, and for all those God has given to me: let not one of them be lost.

Friday in the Octave of Corpus Christi, June 9, 1939, seventh day of my spiritual exercises.

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

Sr. Teresa Benedicta a Cruce O.C.D.

Of one thing we can be certain: she had already accepted the death that one day we will all face. She accepted it, because she knew Redemption was at hand: for Catholics, "hope springs eternal" (Pope) because hope comes from the Cross.

Written soon after the beginning of the war (usually published among her autobiographical writings):

The world is on fire; the struggle between Christ and the Antichrist is now fully in place. If you decide [to fight] for Christ, this may cost you your life; therefore, consider your promises very well. ...

The Savior hangs from the Cross, right before you, for his obedience unto death, and death on the Cross. He came to the world not to do his will, but the will of the Father. ...

Your Savior hangs before you with a wounded heart. He gave the Blood of his own heart in order to have your heart. If you wish to follow him in holy purity, then your heart has to be free from all earthly desire, and Jesus, the Crucified, must be the only object of your wishes, of your desires, and of your thoughts. ... The arms of the Crucified one are open to attract you towards his heart. He wants to take your life in order to offer you his life. Ave Crux, spes unica!

The world is on fire. The fire can also affect our own house; but high above us, above all flames, the Cross will stand upright. The flames cannot destroy it. It is the path from earth to heaven, and whoever embraces it, believing, loving, hoping, moves upward towards the very bosom of the Trinity.

[W]ith the strength of the Cross, you can be in all fronts, in all places where there is affliction. Your merciful love, the love of the divine heart, will take you to all places in which his precious blood flows, soothing, sanctifying, saving.

The eyes of the Crucified stare at you, pensive, questioning. Do you wish to once again establish your covenant with the Crucified one? What will you say to him? 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou only hast the words of eternal life.'

Ave Crux, spes unica!!

September 14, 1939

Saint Benedicta, Co-patroness of Europe, pray for us.

Gorgeous Traditional Catholic Images from Poland: Ars Celebrandi

From our partners at Ars Celebrandi, one of the largest Traditional Liturgical conferences in the world:

Ars Celebrandi 2017 liturgical workshop in Licheń, summary

Ars Celebrandi, the largest workshop for traditional Liturgy in Poland and Eastern Europe, took place — for the fourth time — at the Shrine of Our Lady in Licheń on 20th-27th of July. More than 40 Polish priests working in their homeland and many countries around the world (including South Korea, U.S.A., Latvia, Germany, Austria) learned to celebrate the Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, and 10 of them had their first Tridentine Masses. More than 100 laypeople have been taught to serve as altar servers or liturgical singers (Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony).

You Suggest: Traditional Roman Mass Symposium at P.S.U.

A symposium for the traditional Roman Mass is being organized by Fr. Robert McElwee at Pittsburg University in southeastern Kansas September 15-17.

The two-and-half-day conference will be hosted at the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center and include a number of speakers:

Let’s march divided to strike united

Cordialiter Blog
July 29, 2017

Risultati immagini per images marching to the traditional mass

In recent years many blog sites have sprung up, run by members of the faithful tied to the Traditional Mass and which are making life difficult for all kinds of modernists, now in control of the various newsprints, wherein grave dogmatic and moral errors are diffused. Nobody can say that I’m exaggerating in my criticism of the modernist propaganda: the Eucharist is only a symbol of the Body of Christ; hell is not eternal; all religions are good;  divorce by law must not be hindered; pre-marital cohabitation has pre-sacramental value; there is nothing wrong if two homosexuals “get married”; also women should be ordained as priests… and many other pernicious errors of the same type.

The Old Rite is the sustaining pillar of the Traditional Movement, i.e. the spontaneous movement by the faithful of various nations, committed to defending the entire patrimony of Catholic Tradition from the attacks by the enemies of the Church.

Perhaps there are some who are asking if it wouldn’t be better for all the traditional blogs to unite so that energies are not dispersed. I don’t think that merging together all the blogs into one alone is a positive thing; it would be somewhat like wanting to re-group all the religious orders into a single order; it would a senseless thing as each order has its own characteristics to distinguish it from the others  What sense would there be in joining a contemplative order with a hospital one? Or joining a school teaching order to another dedicated to the hermetical life?

Knights of Columbus replace traditional regalia

The Knights of Columbus do a lot of good work in the United States, from pro-life and pro-family activities, to charitable endeavors, to providing honor guards for traditional Latin Masses. In fact, there are dozens of councils attached to the TLM. So, it is sad to see the organization's convention this week in Saint Louis, Missouri, turn into a fiasco due to a major change to be imposed on fourth degree Knights, who comprise the top fifth of membership.

The Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, announced: "The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a modernization of the Fourth Degree Uniform." A photo of the change, taken from page 23 of the 2017 Annual Report of the Supreme Knight:

Rorate is puzzled as to who actually made this decision, and why. While "The Board of Directors" has officially taken credit (or the blame) for it, there is skepticism within the ranks. Many still remember the decision to spend $22.7 million to bail out the $54 million modernist failure of a John Paul II museum in Washington, D.C. six years ago this week. $20 million of that bailout went to the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Adam Cardinal Maida was the mastermind behind the disaster of a building.

De Mattei: The Second Vatican Council and the Message of Fatima

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
August 2, 2017

Rorate Caeli, Corrispondenza Romana and other Catholic news-outlets, carried a valuable intervention by Monsignor Athanasius Schneider on the “Interpretation of the Second Vatican Council and its relationship with the current crisis in the Church”. According to the auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Vatican II was a pastoral Council and its texts should be read and judged in the light of the perennial teaching of the Church. In fact “From an objective point of view, the statements of the Magisterium (Popes and councils) of definitive character, have more value and more weight compared with the statements of pastoral character, which have naturally a changeable and temporary quality depending on historical circumstances or responding to pastoral situations of a certain period of time, as it is the case with the major part of the statements of Vatican II.”

Monsignor Schneider’s article was followed on July 31st by a balanced comment from Don Angel Citati of the FSSPX (, according to which the German Bishop’s position recalls very closely what was repeated constantly by Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre: “To say that we evaluate the  Council’s documents “in the light of Tradition”, means, evidently, three indissoluble things: that we accept those that are in keeping with Tradition; that we interpret those that are ambiguous according to Tradition; that we reject those that are contrary to Tradition” ( (Mons. M. Lefebvre, Vi trasmetto quello che ho ricevuto. Tradizione perenne e futuro della Chiesa, [I transmit what I have received. Perennial Tradition and the future of the Church] by Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro, Sugarco Edizioni, Milano 2010, p. 91). Having been published on the official site of the Italian District, Don Citati’s article helps us understand what might be the base of an agreement to regularize the canonical situation of the Fraternity of Pius X.

75 years: Echt, August 2, 1942 - Sr. Benedicta is arrested with her sister
Her last letter: "Send me the next volume of the Breviary"

75 years ago, the crackdown on Jewish-born Catholic converts reached deep inside the silent walls of the Carmel of Echt (Limburg, Netherlands under German occupation). The new wave of persecution had been the swift response of the occupying forces to the public reading of the Pastoral Letter of the Dutch Episcopate (see previous post). 

Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, O.C.D., (known simply as Sr. Benedicta in her Carmel) had been trying, in a brave and Christian way, to protect herself and her sister, who had joined her in Echt, from what seemed inevitable - she had already managed to secure them places in Carmelite houses in Switzerland. But the order of events overwhelmed her plans.

From the biography provided by the General House of the Discalced Carmelites:

The Cross was at the centre of Edith's whole spiritual life. But particularly as the persecution of the Jews grew daily in intensity, at the Carmel of Echt she placed herself unconditionally at the foot of the Cross. On Passion Sunday 1939 she sought permission to offer herself "to the Sacred Heart as a victim of expiation for true peace". On June 9 she wrote her Last Testament, ending with the words: "From now on I accept the death God has reserved for me, joyfully and with perfect submission to his most holy Will. I pray the Lord to accept my life and death to his honour and praise.... as expiation for the unbelief of the Jewish people". ...

What caused the sudden explosion of hate, and the plan to exterminate the Dutch Jews, was the Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Jong of Utrecht, read in all the churches of Holland on July 26, 1942. It voiced the Church's protest against the deportation of Jews. The reaction of the SS. was immediate. All baptised Jews, priests and religious sisters of Jewish origin, were arrested and sent to the concentration camp. Among them were Edith and Rosa. Two SS officials arrived at the monastery of Echt, giving Sister Benedicta only five minutes to get ready. ...

In the night of August 2-3, the sisters arrived at Amersfort dispersal camp. Then during the night of August 3-4 the Jewish prisoners with many others were moved to Westerbork camp, set in a district completely uninhabited in the north of Holland. From here Edith was able to send a note to the Prioress of Echt Carmel, through the mother of a religious sister who had arrived at the camp with luggage for her daughter. Dated August 6, the note was a brief request for woollen stocking and two blankets, and some woollen clothes for Rose. Particularly relevant was the final sentence, "Tomorrow a convoy is to leave for Silesia or Czechoslovakia??"

The last letters written by Sr. Benedicta show her concerns during the last weeks of her life, including in her days of confinement in deportation camps in the Netherlands.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Over the last 30 days we've added three new wonderful priests dedicated to bringing relief to loved ones enrolled by our readers. We now stand at 83 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.

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

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

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

Saints of the Old Testament: The Holy Maccabees, martyrs

Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabees
Antonio Ciseri, 1868

On this day, the Catholic Church calls on the intercession the Holy Maccabees -- seven Jewish brothers and their mother and a priest named Eleazar martyred in 167 B.C. by the monstrous prototype of the Antichrist known to history as Antiochus Epiphanes. As St. Paul wrote to the Hebrews, these nine "were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection" (Heb. 11:35, citing II Macc. 7:9-14). The traditional Roman Martyrology commemorates the Holy Maccabees in these words:

This Day, the First Day of August

At Rome, on Mount Esquiline, the dedication of the Church of St. Peter in Chains

At Antioch, the martyrdom of the seven holy brothers, the Machabees, and their mother, who suffered under king Antiochus Epiphanes. Their relics were transferred to Rome, and placed in the Church of St. Peter, just mentioned.

L'Osservatore Romano: Good priests holding faithful back from Francis' revolution

A long piece from the failing Vatican newspaper, but the key portion is below, translated by Rorate's Francesca Romana. Francis' war on good priests -- and on all faithful Catholics -- continues: 

HABIT IS NOT FAITHFULNESS: The Conversion asked for by Pope Francis
The greatest obstacle that hampers conversion -- which Pope Francis wants the Church to do -- is  constituted in some measure, by the behavior of a good part of the clergy, both high and low [ranked]. Behavior, at times, of non-communication if not hostility. Like the disciples in the Garden of Olives, His disciples are still asleep. The fact is disconcerting. For this reason the phenomenon ought to be examined deeply, in its causes and modalities. The clergy drags the community behind them, which, on the contrary, should be accompanied in this extraordinary moment in time. A great part of the faithful have understood this favorable time, despite everything, this kairós, the Lord is giving to His community. A great part of the faithful are celebrating. Yet, the portion closest to somewhat unenlightened priests are kept inside old horizons, the horizon of habitual practices, of outmoded language, of repetitive thought of no vitality. Deep down, the Sanhedrin was always faithful to itself, rich in devout obedience to the past, mistaken for faithfulness to tradition, poor in prophecy. What are the reasons for all this?
First place on the list has probably got to be the modest cultural level of a part of the clergy, be they high or low- ranked. We cannot generalize and therefore, we have no difficulty in admitting that there are many exceptions in this state of things, fortunately. In many priests, unfortunately, theological culture is scant and even less so is their Biblical preparation. The cause of this deplorable state of things is easily identifiable. When a course of studies at the university level, just to give an example, does not leave the student with the desire to think, to continue studying, to exercise a minimum critical sense (of things), it means that it has failed in its task. The approach of a great number of seminaries does not favor the forming of a mentality of work and commitment. The years of preparation for the priesthood should foster the awareness about the necessity of the office as a true and proper job. Like any other person the priest also works to earn his bread.

Sermon for the 8th Sunday After Pentecost: Protestantism in the Church has failed -- Let's try Catholic Tradition

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
St Mary's Norwalk, Connecticut
July 30, 2017

How the hammer of the whole earth has been cut off and broken! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations! "I set a snare for you and you were also caught, O Babylon, While you yourself were not aware; You have been found and also seized Because you have engaged in conflict with the LORD." Jeremiah 50:23-24

Brokenness. That is the only word, a neologism I am sure, that describes our current situation, our plight.  Last evening before dinner I read the New York Times, skimming as I always do. I had no hope of objectivity in the reporting of the news. Objective reporting went several years ago.  But I was deeply saddened to see in an article on yet again another personal debacle within the Trump administration of revolving doors and twitter invective the reporting of the ipsissima verba of an off hand conversation of someone who is working at a high level in the administration and who worked to get someone high up fired and succeeded.  The Times reported his language in the very words he used, which included four letter words that are now common in the artistic media and in everyday talk among so many of our young people but still never until this time have been printed in a newspaper that is read by many people indeed, including young people.  For me this was a powerful sign of where this society is.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Times did this on purpose to make clear the grossness of these people who are close to the president.  But printing those words is crossing a line that needed not to be crossed, because we all know the low level to which discourse has descended among the majority of people.  When the terrible earthquake destroyed the town of Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict and destroyed the monastery of Benedictine monks there, I said that this was the sign of the end of Western civilization as we knew it, that is, a civilization founded on the Christian faith, not perfect, but yet with a grounding in faith in the person of Jesus Christ and all that that means.  What is going on not only in this country but also in the whole Western world provides incontrovertible evidence that we are living not only in a post-Christian time but also in a real way in an anti-Christian time.

You suggest: 14th annual Marie Reine du Canada pilgrimage

The 14th annual Marie Reine du Canada pilgrimage from Lanoraie, Quebec to the miraculous shrine of Notre Dame du Cap, will take place September 2-4, 2017. It is an arduous 100KM (62 miles) walk along the St. Lawrence River in the footsteps of the North American martyrs. Pilgrims from Ontario, Quebec and the United States are served en route by priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). Mass is celebrated daily in Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Paul Claudel at Le Figaro (1955): Mass facing the people means there's no longer an Altar (full translation)

By one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, Paul Claudel, writing for the most important French daily, as the proponents of the "Liturgical Upheaval" that would lead up to the post-Vatican II disasters, especially the New Mass, started to abuse the Traditional Mass with the illicit posture "facing the people".

Paul Claudel
Le Figaro
January 23, 1955

I wish to protest with all my strength against the growing practise in France of saying Mass facing the people.

The most basic principle of religion is that God holds first place and that the good of man is merely a consequence of the recognition and the practical application of this essential dogma.

The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [Victims and prayers]. It is not God presenting Himself to us for our convenience to make us indifferent witnesses of the mystery about to be accomplished.

The novel liturgy deprives the Christian people of their dignity and their rights. It is no longer they who say the Mass with the priest, by “following” it, as the saying very rightly goes, and to whom the priest turns from time to time to assure them of his presence, participation and cooperation, in the work which he undertakes in their name. All that remains is a curious audience watching him do his job. Small wonder that the impious compare him to a magician performing his act before a politely admiring crowd.

Fake News fever in the Catholic world: No, Pope won't abolish Summorum

There seems to be a Fake News epidemic in traditional Catholic websites -- the latest of which are repeated reports of "rumors" (there are true and untrue rumors...) according to which Pope Francis wants to "abolish" the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The rumors recur periodically, with variations. Most often, it is said that Francis will do so as soon as there is a "deal" with the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) for the establishment of a worldwide Personal Prelature.

These rumors are not true.

Event: Bishop Rifan Pontifical High Mass and conference in São Paulo celebrating Summorum Pontificum 10th anniversary

From a reader in Brazil:

You report: Priest in drag on national TV says his 'talent' is God's gift

The following report is from a reader in Ireland who feels compelled to share this story with the rest of the Catholic world. Every time you think it can't get worse in Ireland ...

On Irish National TV (RTE 1) last Sunday night, we saw an Irish parish priest from the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore, perform a drag act as "Shirley Bassey." It was the third show in a series of "Francis Brennan's Tour of Vietnam" with 12 travellers including Fr. Richard Geoghegan, P.P. (Ballyneale, Tipperary).

Father Geoghegan says he is following the parable Jesus preached about not hiding your talents under a bushel but to go out and use them. He is saying that he has a talent for drag and he is using the drag talent that God gave him.

Titus Brandsma, O.Carm. (July 26, 1942)
- 75th Anniversary

Father Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite friar and prominent Dutch scholar, was one of the over 1,000 Catholic priests who perished in the concentration camp of Dachau, near Munich (Bavaria, Germany). It is thought that Brandsma, who had been interned in Dachau for several months, was executed exactly 75 years ago today, on July 26, 1942. 

On that Sunday, Brandsma's sacrifice was united to the holy One he had celebrated so many times at Holy Mass. On that Sunday, the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, new waves of persecution would be launched in his native Netherlands due to the reading from pulpits across the nation of the Pastoral Letter of the national episcopate (see previous post). 

Why had Brandsma been detained and sent to Dachau? He had been under strict surveillance by the German forces of occupation and their local National Socialist collaborators for some time. He was a great master of Carmelite spirituality, but that was not the problem for the occupation forces - the problem was the influence the former Rector of the Catholic University of Nijmegen had with Abp. de Jong, Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht. 

Catholic periodicals had always blocked the publication of Socialist and Communist propaganda - they should not, and could not, print National-Socialist propaganda either. Abp. de Jong published the following note, drafted by Brandsma:

Circular of the Archbishop of Utrecht in the name of the Episcopate to the directors and editors-in-chief of Catholic periodicals

16 January 1942

Carmelites get FSSP chaplain in Philadelphia

Coming from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, this is very big news for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the U.S. It follows the news we broke here that the FSSP are now in thr Archdiocese of Baltimore:

Dear Friends, I’m sharing some joyful news. Today, our Archdiocese welcomed six nuns from the Carmelite Monastery of Valparaiso, Nebraska, and four nuns from the Carmelite Monastery of Elysburg, Pennsylvania. They are transferring to the Carmelite Monastery of Saint Joseph and Saint Anne here in Philadelphia (The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia).As a result of these transfers, there is now a community of twelve nuns in the Philadelphia Carmel, which was founded in 1902. Since that time it has been home to generations of Discalced Carmelite nuns who have dedicated themselves to a cloistered life of contemplation and prayer for the good of us all. The Carmel is also welcoming a new chaplain, Father William Allen, FSSP. 

Extensive Interview with Cardinal Müller: "I'm loyal to the Pope, not an adulator"

IL FOGLIO interviews Cardinal Müller: the Church cannot be sustained by the applause of the world

Matteo Matuzzi, the Vatican reporter for Il Foglio, in an exclusive interview with the now former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith. “I am loyal to the Pope, but not an adulator”, declares the German prelate. He also says what he thinks about the Dubia: “I don’t understand why serene discussion can’t be started on the Dubia.  I’ve only heard insults so far.”

Matteo Matzuzzi
Il Foglio
July 21st 2017

Rome.  The truth about the last audience between the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Pope Francis; the divisions in the Church after the Synod. “The Magisterium  does not have the authority to correct Jesus Christ, if anything it’s the opposite”.

Your Eminence, do you have any idea why the Pope decided to remove you as Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? “No, I don’t know, because the Pope didn’t tell me. He just informed me that my mandate would not be renewed. There have been many speculations in the mass-media recently, and I would say that the nomination of the new Secretary of the Congregation (Monsignor Giacomo Morandi) made public last Tuesday, is a key in understanding these maneuvers. 

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller is serene;  German theologian and Prefect for five years of what was once the Holy Office, nominated by Benedict XVI, confirmed by Francis, who, even so, told him of his decision to release him of his office last June 10th.  With Il Foglio he retraces once again the stages that led to his removal: from the controversies on the interpretation of the post-Synod Exhortation Amoris laetitia and,  more in general, he reflects on the (bad) state of religion in Europe.  Yet there was talk of his discharge for some time, so much so, that there were even speculations from the media of eventual diocesan relocations for the editor of Joseph Ratzinger’s opera omnia.

A common calendar and lectionary for the Novus Ordo and TLM?

A committee already tried, and failed: 

Cardinal Sarah's La Nef article marking the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum has awakened the debate over the possibility (and desirability) of a "common rite" derived from the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo. (Dr. Joseph Shaw has responded to the cardinal's proposals on this blog.) One of Cardinal Sarah's main proposals is that of common calendar and lectionary for the TLM and the NOM. The proposal does not come out of the blue; versions of it have been floated by some proponents of the reform of the reform since the 1990's. Furthermore, from 1991 to 2007 the use of the Novus Ordo lectionary was theoretically permitted in celebrations of the 1962 Missal, and was actually imposed on such celebrations in a handful of dioceses.

Right after the article came out, the Claretian liturgist Fr. Matías Augé -- an old liberal but very well-informed -- noted on his blog that a common calendar and lectionary was already attempted in the previous pontificate:

Important clarification from PCED on Sung Masses offered by Bishops

In recent years it has become more common for bishops to celebrate Sung Mass more sacerdotali, that is, just as priests do and without the sacred ministers (subdeacon, deacon and assistant priest) and ceremonies peculiar to a Solemn Pontifical Mass. This has to do with the difficulty in most places of having enough sacred ministers, and the desire to have something like a Solemn Pontifical Mass whenever there is a bishop available to celebrate Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Unfortunately, the "Pontifical Sung Mass" was not foreseen in the rubrics of the liturgical books in force by the end of 1962, raising endless questions about the licitness of the practice. In response to a dubium from a Traditional Catholic choir in the Philippines, the PCED has now responded with a clarification on Pontifical Sung Masses.

In summary: bishops who wish to celebrate according to the 1962 Missal are to choose between Low and Solemn Pontifical Mass. The "Pontifical Sung Mass" is not among the choices.

Guest Op-Ed - Bishop Schneider: The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church

Once again, we are honored to post this guest op-ed, submitted to us by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider. We not only allow but encourage all media and blogs to reprint this as well. 

By Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Special to Rorate Caeli
July 21, 2017

The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church

The current situation of the unprecedented crisis of the Church is comparable with the general crisis in the 4th century, when the Arianism had contaminated the overwhelming majority of the episcopacy, taking a dominant position in the life of the Church. We must seek to address this current situation on the one hand with realism and, on the other hand, with a supernatural spirit – with a profound love for the Church, our mother, who is suffering the Passion of Christ because of this tremendous and general doctrinal, liturgical and pastoral confusion.

We must renew our faith in believing that the Church is in the safe hands of Christ, and that He will always intervene to renew the Church in the moments in which the boat of the Church seems to capsize, as is the obvious case in our days. 

A reply to Cardinal Sarah on 'liturgical reconciliation'

It seems that the most trad-friendly Prelates of the Church actually want the Traditional Mass to disappear. Thus, Cardinal Burke said in 2011:

It seems to me that is what he [Pope Benedict] has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite – the 'reform of the reform,' if we may – all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent.

Cardinal Sarah has now said the same thing.

It is a priority that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can examine through prayer and study, how to return to a common reformed rite always with this goal of a reconciliation inside the Church.

Cardinal Sarah's concrete suggestions point to an intermediate state, in which the two 'Forms' have converged somewhat. I have addressed these suggestions in a post on the Catholic Herald blog here. Notably, the Novus Ordo Lectionary cannot be simply be inserted into the Vetus Ordo Missal, because it reflects a liturgical vision which is completely different from that of the ancient Mass: which is why all the other changes were made at the same time. A compromise between these two two understandings of what the liturgy is for and how it should work will not produce a perfect synthesis, but a muddle.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Daniel, prophet

While the Roman Church's traditional calendar of saints on this day bestows chief honor upon the holy virgin Praxedes, next in order after St. Praxedes the traditional Roman Martyrology also recalls her children's memory to an Old Testament saint who was blessed with the singular grace of seeing remarkably detailed visions and uttering astoundingly precise predictions of the course of the history of Israel, the Church, and the world:

This Day, the Twenty-First Day of July

At Rome, the holy virgin Praxedes, who was brought up in all chastity and in the knowledge of the divine law. Assiduously attending to watching, prayer and fasting, she rested in Christ, and was buried near her sister Pudentiana, on the Salarian road. 

At Babylon, the holy prophet Daniel.

St. Daniel, whose name in Hebrew means "God is my judge," was a heroically virtuous young Jewish man whom the Babylonians carried away from Jerusalem into captivity in 605-604 B.C.

De Mattei - Pope Francis’ new Pantheon of Saints

Roberto de Mattei
Correspondenza Romana
July 18, 2017

Among the many “work groups” created by Pope Francis is the “Mixed Commission of Croatian Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Experts for a joint rereading of the figure of  Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagabria, which met on the 12th and 13th July 2017 and held its last meeting at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in  the Vatican, under the chairmanship of Father Bernard Ardura, President of the  Pontifical Committee For Historical Sciences. The joint communiqué from the Commission, published by The Holy See Press Office on July 13th, states that “ “The study of Cardinal Stepinac’s life has taught that in history all the Churches have cruelly suffered diverse persecutions and have their martyrs and confessors for the faith.  In this regard, the members of the Commission agreed on the eventuality of future collaboration, in view of a work in common, to share the memory of the martyrs and confessors of the two Churches.” 

This statement, which synthesizes six work meetings held by the Commission, turns the Catholic conception of martyrdom upside down. Martyrdom, in fact, according to the Catholic Church, is death faced in witness to the Truth. Not any old truth, but the one Truth of the Catholic faith or morals. In the Church, for instance, the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist is celebrated, since he suffered death for having publically rebuked Herod’s adultery. St. Augustine’s saying applies here: non facit poena, sed causa (Enarrationes in Psalmos, 34, 13, col. 331). It is not death [itself] that makes a martyr, but the reason for the death, inflicted by hate of the Catholic faith or morals.

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


Pastoral letter of the Dutch Bishops
July 20, 1942

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The myth of the Hermeneutic of Continuity

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

Interview of José María Permuy, conducted by Javier Navascués

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

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

Why cannot this concept be accepted?

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

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

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