Rorate Caeli

A personal letter to the readers of Rorate Caeli on the Feast of Saint Cecilia.

A Personal Letter to the Readers of Rorate Caeli on the Feast of Saint Cecilia

Fr Richard G. Cipolla

I am writing this as a personal letter to the readers of Rorate Caeli for a special reason, which I will address in the third paragraph below. Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr.  We know little about her life and even her martyrdom in the third century from contemporary sources.  But we know the strong and early devotion of Christians to this young woman, and the basilica raised in honor of Saint Cecilia by Pope Urban I in the third century in Rome.  Many of the popular stories about her come from the Acta of her life written much later, probably in the sixth century.  Scholars seem to say that the details of her life and martyrdom as depicted in this work may have little real historical detail. We’ll leave that for the experts in hagiography to work out.  No experts are needed to tell us that the antiphons at Lauds and Vespers come from the Acta, and they are beautiful indeed.

Another Collect Bites the Dust

Traditional Catholics who attend Mass or recite the Office today for the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary will pray this beautiful Collect:

For the record: Fr. Minutella threatened with "double excommunication"

There's no point in even comparing the good Don Minutella with every wretched heretical priest -- even some speaking on behalf of the Vatican -- who bring countless souls to Hell through their preaching and television appearances. Not only do these priests not not face excommunication, but are widely praised, and are empowered by Pope Francis himself. But the names are too endless to even start comparing. So we simply bring you this sad video, dubbed over in English. Welcome to the Church of Francis:

FIUV Position Paper: The EF and the New Age

Ceiling painting from the Church of St Nicholas, Gardone
Riviera, Italy

Today I am publishing, after a bit of a break, another in the series of Position Papers which have been produced by the FIUV (Una Voce International). This one addresses the challenge to the Church of the New Age movement, and the role the Traditional Mass could have in meeting that challenge.

Relevant to this is the review I wrote on this blog of Roger Buck Cor Iesu Sacratissimum, on his journey from the New Age to Catholic Tradition, here.

I have written some further reflections on the paper on my own blog here.

Download the pdf here.

See all the papers in the series here.

Newly published Reader in Catholic Social Teaching emphasizes traditional doctrine [UPDATED]

I am glad to announce the publication of a book that may, with truth, be said to have been under development for over 20 years. This collection has three points of origin. First, there was my exposure as a student at Thomas Aquinas College to the powerful anti-liberal encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII (not, mind you, as part of the regular curriculum, but due to an extracurricular reading group run by traditionally-minded Catholics). This awakened my mind to the perspective of the Syllabus of Errors, the gauntlet thrown down to the supposed triumph of enlightened modernity. 

Second, when I began to teach at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria (now in Trumau), we needed a Catholic Social Teaching course, and in keeping with our “Great Books” approach, decided to make the course consist entirely of magisterial documents. That gave birth to the first draft of the book announced below. 

Third, when Wyoming Catholic College opened its doors in 2007, there was agreement that we should require of the students at least one semester of moral theology and social doctrine. Using materials from ITI, WCC created a course that begins with the foundations of moral theology, moves to marriage and family, and ends with political, economic, and cultural issues. The readings for this course, duly edited, arranged, and introduced, have become A Reader in Catholic Social Teaching.

Bishop Li, semper fidelis, dies at 97

Bishop Li in 2013
Bishop Luke Li Jingfeng of Fenghsiang, an 'underground' bishop consectrated secretly, died this morning (11:20pm GMT) at 97. Please pray for him.

Bp. Li was a pillar of traditionalism, as well as of true fidelity to the See, in the Chinese speaking Church. 

In his nineties he translated the 1962 missal into Chinese, to aid Chinese speaking clergy in the understanding of the prayers. This massive project will continue to be of great significance for Chinese Catholics far into the future.

On a more personal level, he and some of the priests in his diocese gave the old Mass movement much support.

The Novus Ordo Missae was not introduced into China until the 1980s, so there remains a generation of priests who were taught the the ancient Mass in seminary. See the FIUV Position Paper on the Extraordinary Form and China.

De Mattei: Friendly Criticism of Rocco Buttiglione’s Theses

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November 15, 2017

I have known Rocco Buttiglione for more than forty years. Both of us were assistants to Professor Augusto Del Noce (1910-1989) at the Faculty of Political Science at La Sapienza University in Rome, but since then our positions have diverged, mainly regarding our judgment on modernity. Buttiglione believed that the historical process inaugurated by the French Revolution was compatible  with Christianity, but I believed it incompatible.  Despite these differences, I appreciated Buttiglione’s work as Minster of National Cultural Heritage in Berlusconi’s government (2005-2006) and expressed my solidarity with him in 2004 when he didn’t attain the nomination as European Commissioner as a result of having called homosexuality “a sin”.  I refer to all this in order to show my sincerity in my “friendly criticism” of his theses, just as Buttiglione is truly sincere when he argues with Professor Seifert, his “life-long friend” in his most recent book (Friendly Responses to the Critics of Amoris Laetitia, which included an essay introduction by Cardinal Gerard Ludwig Müller, Ares, Milan 2017, p. 41).

Warning about ordaining married priests -- by a married priest

Once again we hear from the highest circles of power in the Church of the possibility of ordaining married men to the priesthood.  But this time, what is being talked about is not men in “special circumstances” but in general.  I was able and gratuitously blessed to be ordained a Catholic priest while married because of a special Pastoral Provision instituted by Saint John Paul II in 1982 that gave permission for married Episcopal priests who had left the Episcopal Church because of reasons of conscience to be considered for the Catholic priesthood.   For me these reasons for leaving Anglicanism included the ordination of women priests and women bishops and the rapidly accelerating cutting of ties to Christian orthodoxy.  The recent formation of the Anglican Ordinariate is the result of a similar situation where Anglican priests who want to be in full Communion with the Catholic Church are given this special privilege and grace.

Archbishop Naumann beats Cardinal Cupich

Surprising liberals and the social justice wing of the American Church at today's U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops general assembly, Archbishop Joseph Naumann beat Cardinal Blase Cupich in an election for the chairmanship of the committee on pro-life activities.

FSSP Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip now open for registration

Mission Tradition of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) is pleased to announce that registrations are now open for two different programs this summer.

The Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip is now in its 6th year. This year there will be trips to Mexico, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. These mission trips give young people and families the chance to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and be enriched by daily Traditional Mass by FSSP chaplains. Please visit our new site website (here) and view the promotional video (here).

De Mattei: Pope Francis and his “Lutheran turning point”

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November 8, 2017

100 years later, the Lessons of the October Revolution

In the post-Christian West, this is seen over and over again: in the end of the 20th century, and first decades of the new one, the same mistake that paved the way in the mighty Russian Empire in the end of the 19th century, and first decades of the new one: a rejection of good CONSERVATISM, a "slavery to Progressive quirks."

Hill of Crosses, Šiauliai, Lithuania 

Dostoevsky's DEVILS - apparently a provincial nightmare fantasy of the last century - are crawling across the whole world in front of our very eyes, infesting countries where they could not have been dreamed of; and by means of the hijackings, kidnappings, explosions and fires of recent years they are announcing their determination to shake and destroy civilization! And they may well succeed.

The young, at an age when they have not yet any experience other than sexual, when they do not yet have years of personal suffering and personal understanding behind them, are jubilantly repeating our depraved Russian blunders of the Nineteenth Century, under the impression that they are discovering something new. They acclaim the latest wretched degradation on the part of the Chinese Red Guards as a joyous example. In shallow lack of understanding of the age-old essence of mankind, in the naive confidence of inexperienced hearts they cry: let us drive away THOSE cruel, greedy oppressors, governments, and the new ones (we!), having laid aside grenades and rifles, will be just and understanding.

IL FOGLIO: A prayer to St. Charles Borromeo - bless the artists who stand firm where priests are giving in

Camillo Langone
   Il Foglio
November 4, 2017

Oggi, festa di San Carlo, flagellatore dei protestanti, Gasparro sta dando le ultime pennellate a questo clamoroso soggetto. Giovanni Gasparro, San Pio V e San Carlo Borromeo difendono il Cattolicesimo dall'islam e dall'eresia protestante. Olio su...
St. Pius V and St. Charles Borromeo defending Catholicism against Islam and the Protestant Heresy
By Giovanni Gasparro

St. Charles Borromeo, flagellator of Protestants, I entreat you on this your feast day, concerning the infatuation many priests have for Martin Luther, witnessed recently in Milanese exhibitions and Vatican stamps. Yet, where priests are surrendering, painters are resisting. In Imola, Sergio Padovani at present is exhibiting a portrait fittingly entitled "Martin Luther, the Heretic" while in Aldefia Giovanni Gasparro is busy putting the final brushstrokes to his work of the following sensational title: "St Pius V and St. Charles Borromeo defending Catholicism against Islam and the Protestant Heresy." Commissioned, naturally, not by an ecclesiastic, but a member of the laity. He who was called “a blind heresiarch” by St. John Bosco and by St. Peter Canisio  “an impious blasphemer” is depicted alongside a pig and with swinish eyes: inclined to evil, to guzzling and nuns, [in fact] his contemporaries used to call him Porcus Saxioniae.

Event: SSPX reconciliation of the stunning St. Willibrord Church in the Netherlands

On Sunday, November 12th, His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, will perform the reconciliation of the St. Willibrord church in Utrecht, the Netherlands. A Pontifical Mass will be celebrated afterwards. A reconciliation is the ritual restoration of the dedication of an unholy church. The public is invited and a reception will follow.


10:30 a.m. Reconciliation and Pontifical Mass

1:30 p.m. Reception

6.00 p.m. Adoration with Rosary

Address of the church: Minrebroederstraat 21, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Reception Address: Restaurant Zindering (City Theater), Lucasbolwerk 24

Utrecht, the Netherlands (max 10 minutes on foot from the church)

For the record: San Antonio archdiocesan firearms policy

The archbishop of San Antonio, Texas -- Gustavo Garcia-Siller -- issued a statement following yesterday's massacre in a Protestant church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, saying: "These Baptist brethren are our family, friends and neighbors who live among us in the archdiocese; just minutes away from our Wilson County parishes of Sacred Heart in Floresville, St. Ann in La Vernia, and St. Mary in Stockdale."

Yet, if the mass shooting had indeed been at a nearby Catholic parish, we are sad to say law-abiding citizens would be forced to merely watch the massacre, despite anyone in the pews having a state-issued license to carry a firearm. Although firearms can be carried in a church in Texas with a license, the church owner has the right to object.

Sign on door of Saint John Neumann church in San Antonio

From the 1 February 2016 memo to all pastors in the Archdiocese of San Antonio:

Update from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

Below is a nice update of the construction progress for the new church for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. These great sisters have a special place in our hearts. St. Joseph is keeping up his end of the deal -- now they need your help as well! 

Communion handling: the gravest problem

Inspired by recent debates on the matter, we repost this 2011 item.


Translation problems? Mass celebrated towards the people? Altar girls? Postures?

No, the greatest and gravest problem of the liturgy of the Latin Church - that is, of the "Ordinary form", or Mass of Paul VI - is one that transcends all this, even it is related to all of them: it is the way the Body of Christ is treated.

All Souls' Day and First Week in November: Plenary indulgence reminder and the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

Last month, we added two good priests to the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society, and now have 85 saying monthly and weekly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls.

Also, please, we beg you, don't forget the poor Souls on All Souls Day tomorrow (Thursday). Besides getting Masses said for them, as we do here, the best way you can help them tomorrow is this: Plenary Indulgence for each day of the First Full Week in November.

But remember:

    • * Make a sacramental confession within a week of All Souls Day

      • * For a plenary indulgence be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).

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

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

      Interview with Dr. Kwasniewski about Discovering the Old Mass, Progressive Liturgists, Common Objections, Ad Orientem, Optionitis, Antiquarianism, and More

      The Croatian Catholic page has just published a substantial interview with our fellow contributor Dr. Peter Kwasniewski. The interview was recorded in Norcia (Nursia, Umbria, Italy) this past July, then transcribed and translated into Croatian by the journalist (which explains the conversational tone at times). His story is that of so many of us: how discovering the Traditional Mass changed his life forever, and how it all evolved from there.

      The English transcript was offered to Rorate Caeli for publication. The photos are as they appear at the Croatian site.


      Before we get into our questions today, Dr. Kwasniewski, tell our readers about yourself. Where did you study and where do you teach?

      ICR Sister Adorers come to England

      Socci: Luther and Melanchthon at the foot of the Cross

      Antonio Socci:“The Vatican in a complete mess with its celebration of Luther the Heretic in the place of Our Lady.  Never-ending shame in the dark age of Bergoglio.

      November 1, 2017

      Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own”. (John 19,25-27).

      This is one of the most fundamental moments in the Life of Jesus, the very apex of His redeeming mission. Mary is there and right next to Her is John. From that moment on Mary is the Mother of all those who are to come into the Church: Mater Ecclesiæ, as Paul VI called Her at the closure of the Second Vatican Council.

      De Mattei - Increasing confusion: Cardinal Müller and Professor Buttiglione

      Roberto de Mattei
      Corrispondenza Romana
      November 2, 2017

      Professor Rocco Buttiglione has been fighting for months against the critics of Amoris Laetitia in an attempt to justify the contents of Pope Francis’ Post-Synod Exhortation. Now he has gathered his articles in a book entitled: Friendly Answers to the Critics of Amoris laetitia, published by Ares, with a preface unexpectedly written by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller.  

      Andrea Tornielli reports in Vaticaninsider a large extract of this introduction which adds to the present reigning confusion. The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, unlike Prof. Buttiglione, has always manifested a certain sympathy for the four “dubia” cardinals, but retains that to “neutralize” Amoris laetitia it would be better to interpret it in continuity with the teaching of the Church, rather than criticize it openly.

      To explain the apparent contradiction between Amoris laetitia and the definite dogma of the Church on the Sacraments of Matrimony, Penance and the Eucharist, the Cardinal makes Rocco Buttiglione’s thesis the basis of his own, which is summed up in these two lines: “That which is in question is an objective situation of sin, which, because of attenuating circumstances, is not imputed subjectively”.

      USCCB official challenges Francis, fired immediately -- U.S. bishops prove his point

      The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a house more divided than one could possibly imagine. The pro-life office on the second floor may as well be in the catacombs. Employees from throughout the USCCB proudly display their Obama for President and other pro-abortion politician bumper stickers in the parking lot. The international justice and peace branch sets the tone for the building, aligned with the far-left wing of the Church. This month's big issue is the annual collection for the Campaign for Human Development.

      Although some offices within the USCCB have miraculously been staffed in recent years with right-leaning clergy and laymen (the USCCB's government relations director position is currently open to applicants...) leadership will always side with the center-left in the organization.

      Father Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap., was the executive director of the USCCB's Committee on Doctrine from 2005 until 2013. Since then, the theologian has been a consultant to that office. Awarded the Pro Pontifice et Ecclesiae medal by Pope Benedict XVI, and appointed a member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, Father Weinandy is arguably one of the most respected theologians in the United States.

      But he dared to challenge Pope Francis, resulting in his forced resignation from the USCCB the same day his concerns were made public.

      Sermon for All Souls' Day, 2017 - "The Catholic religion is the one the takes death most seriously." - by Father Cipolla


      Fr. Richard Cipolla
      St. Mary's
      Norwalk, Connecticut
      He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:55)

      What we come here to do this evening used to be normal, something that many people did, in another time.  We come to celebrate the third Mass of All Souls Day in Solemn form, to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the faithful departed, for those we have loved and see no more, for those who have died, for those who in our faith and in their faith make sense of what we do here in this church this evening.  And yet, and yet, to offer a Requiem Mass, to come together in this church as an annual event that is on the Church calendar and therefore we presume that something happens here and that this is truly an event. But those who come here to this Mass do so as a distinct minority in this present age in the Church and in the world.  For those who come here take death seriously, take Kafka’s words: “he died like a dog” seriously as a real alternative to what we believe as Catholics.

      Celebrating 500 years of the Lutheran Heresy, Italian Catholic Churchmen and Lutherans sign agreement towards fake unity

      NOTE: Dear Readers, in all my years of translating religious documents for Rorate Caeli, I have never translated one so devoid of any real content, so forgive me if it’s not a “good” read -- superficiality is not easy to translate. F.R.

      To be reconciled in order to proclaim the Gospel
      Declaration of the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Italian Lutheran Evangelical Church for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation [sic, Revolt]
      “Rather than past conflicts, the divine gift of unity among us will guide collaboration and deepen our solidarity. Closely united in our faith in Christ, praying together, listening to one another, experiencing the love of Christ in our relationships, we, Catholics and Lutherans, are open to the power of the One Triune God. Rooted in Christ and rendering witness to Him, we renew our determination to be faithful heralds of the infinite love of God for all of mankind” (Joint Declaration on occasion of the Catholic-Lutheran  Commemoration of the Reformation, Lund, October 31, 2016).  These words have guided the path of reconciliation and sharing which has involved Catholics and Lutherans in many places throughout this year,  [so as]to experience  a mutual commemoration of the 500th anniversary of  the commencement of the Reformation, along the lines indicated in the document: From Conflict to Communion of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission for Unity.
      There have been numerous initiatives in Italy, at various levels, in which Christians have taken part in commemorating the Reformation of the XVI century, in a spirit which, even if it cannot be considered a novelty in the light of steps made over the past few decades, it has surely opened up a new season on the path to constructing a visible unity of the Church through which the scandal of divisions can be brought to an end.

      Guest Article: Martin Luther 500 Years later: prophet or revolutionary? Key-points of a thought surprisingly current

      Martin Luther 500 Years later: prophet or revolutionary? 
      Key-points of a thought surprisingly current

      By Fr Serafino M. Lanzetta

      This day marks the quincentenary of Martin Luther’s protest with his 95 theses in Wittenberg. It is common to trace back to that 31st October 1517 – supposedly the day when Luther nailed his theses to the door of the Cathedral – the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, although not all historians share this view. In fact, the real Lutheran turning point is not to be found in Luther’s protest against indulgences, but rather in his “Tower experience” (or of “the latrine”, as Luther also puts it, cf. Table Talks, 3232c), which will represent the Durchbruch, the ‘compelling passage’ to the Reformation and will be ‘official’ with the year 1520, when Luther composed his De captivitate babilonica Ecclesiae, offering his new doctrine about sacraments in relation to grace.

      The event of this anniversary has been greeted with unexpected emotion and enthusiasm in the Catholic world. For example, Cardinal Kasper, in a recent little book on Luther from an ecumenical prospective, has encouraged us to look at the former Augustinian monk as a new St. Francis of Assisi who wanted simply to live the Gospel with his brethren; Luther should be enumerated “in the long tradition of Catholics reformers that have preceded him”. Very recently, Msgr. Galantino, the secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, said that “the [Lutheran] Reform was an event of the Holy Spirit”.

      The Church triumphs over Luther

      Cast out by Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Devil, false religion, and the heresiarch Martin Luther fall from heaven while an angel of God burns Luther's heretical writings and mistranslated German Bible -- from the fresco that Johann Michael Rottmayr (1656 –1730) painted within the dome of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI's Karlskirche in Vienna, Austria.

      While the Vatican officially celebrates heresy, schism, blasphemy, sacrilege and iconoclasm [that is to say, Protestantism], let faithful Catholics instead join with the saints and angels in celebrating the Church's eternal triumph over Protestantism's assaults on the Faith which she achieved through Leo X's bull Exsurge Domine and the decrees of the Council of Trent, which infallibly and irreformably anathematise the false teachings of the Protestants.

      Bergoglio Vatican celebrates Protestant Revolt with a stamp

      This is just revolting. They do not even pretend it is not a true celebration of Luther, as the reproduction of the hagiographic
      image of Luther and Melanchton makes clear.

      This is the same hierarchy that expels its precious few young people from Brussels Cathedral for praying the Holy Rosary in front of a Lutheran pastor -- the beads are probably a "microagression" that "offends" heretics.

      What truly happened on October 31, 1517?

      On All Hallows' Eve, a perverted monk in Upper Saxony, possessed by the prince of darkness, divided Christendom forever, and deprived billions of souls of Sacramental life.

      500 years of Protestant Revolution: Must-read account of the Life and Errors of Luther (by Bp. William Adrian)

      Fifty years ago, on the 450th anniversary of the Protestant revolt, The Wanderer published Bp. William Adrian's detailed account of the life of German heresiarch Martin Luther. In a few words: Luther was a pervert obsessed with his own sins and temptations, who thought it impossible to try to be a better person: from there arise all his issues.

      We have received special permission from The Wanderer to reprint this piece, which should be read by everyone interested in the history of the past five centuries.


      450th Anniversary of Luther

      Bishop William Adrian (Nashville, Tennessee)
      The Wanderer
      September 21, 1967

      In presenting the picture of Martin Luther I want to be completely objective, and rely on the authority of some of the most reputable scholars available, many of whom are non-Catholics.

      Luther on his deathbed
      During the last century, especially since 1883, the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Luther, there have been two Luthers – one of panegyric, romance and fiction, and the other the Luther of fact. Since the 450th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation is being commemorated this year, these TWO Luthers are still being presented. Only recently an ardent clerical Catholic ecumenist wrote that the Catholic Church now admits that it has been wrong all along about Martin Luther, and that he really deserves to be canonized as a saint. On the other hand, most historians presenting facts give quite a different account. These facts about Luther I will briefly present, and let you be the judge.

      Dr. Guilday, former history professor at the Catholic University, summed up the work of Luther’s life this way: “The cleavage of Luther from the Catholic Church was not caused by opposition to the Papacy, but by the false idea, which seems to have haunted him unto obsession – his total impotency under temptation. It was this negation of the moral value of human action – this denial of man’s ability to overcome sin – which led to his famous doctrine of the worthlessness of good works. The only hope he had was a blind reliance on God, whose Son, Jesus Christ, had thrown around him the cloak of his own merits. From this starting point it was facilis descensus Averni. Opposition to all good works, and particularly to Monastic regulations and to Indulgences, led to opposition to authority – Episcopal and Papal.”

      The facts of Luther’s life bear out the truth of this statement.

      Catholics praying Hail Mary removed by Police from Brussels Cathedral during "Reformation Celebration"

      It must be one of the most shameful episodes of our shameful hierarchy of atrocious bishops. 

      In Brussels Cathedral, the 500 years of the hideous acts of heresiarch Luther were celebrated. What did a small group of serious Catholics do? They pleaded Our Lord for forgiveness, by invoking the aid of Our Lady in the Ave Maria.

      The result? These brave Catholics were forcibly removed from the Cathedral by the Police, certainly called by Cathedral staff

      Removed. By the Police. For praying to Our Lady. In a Catholic church. Video below:

      Sermon for Christ the King: Catholic Paralysis following Vatican II Threatens Very Foundation of the Church

      by Fr. Richard Cipolla
      St. Mary's
      Norwalk, Connecticut

      Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.”
      (John 18:37-38)

      The Feast of Christ the King was added to the Roman Calendar in Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical Quas Primas  on December 11, 1925.   This was the time of a most troubling interlude between the two World  Wars that devastated two generations.  It was also a troubled time for the Catholic Church.  This time was the beginning of the rise of the understanding of an ideal government as purely secular.  This was also the time when the so called Roman question had not been resolved, the question being the dispute regarding the temporal power of the popes as rulers of a civil territory in the context of the Italian Risorgimento. It ended with the Lateran Pacts between King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Pope Pius XI in 1929.

      The Pope was quite explicit in why he thought it necessary and salutary to institute this feast for the whole Church. The date, the last Sunday in October, was chosen because it was the Sunday before All Saints Day, when the manifestation of the kingdom of Christ is seen in the glorious holiness of the saints in heaven; also because it was near the end of the liturgical year, and finally,  because that Sunday had been traditionally observed as Reformation Sunday by Protestants.

      Event: All Souls Day sung Mass in Philadelphia

      From a reader: 

      500 years of Protestant Revolution: CHRIST THE KING is the Anti-Luther

      Why did Pope Pius XI, when he established the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ with his encyclical Quas Primas un 1925, not choose for it the last Sunday of the liturgical year (as Paul VI did later for his new mass), but rather the Last Sunday in October?

      The short answer is simple: Christ the King is the Anti-Luther. The Lord is not the king of this or that German princedom, changing doctrines according to the whim of the moment. He's the King of the Universe, unchanging and unchangeable. As a counter-feast of the "Reformation Sunday" Protestants celebrate on the last Sunday in October, Pius XI proposed Our Lord, King.

      - For a longer and more detailed explanation, please read this 2014 post by our contributor Dr. Peter Kwasniewski.

      Event: All Souls high Mass in Colorado with Victoria 4-part Requiem

      On the Feast of All Souls, thanks to a generous donation from a sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous, the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Choir will sing the 4-part Requiem mass written by Tomas Luis da Victoria more than 400 years ago. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

      This work represents a simple beauty in the style of Renaissance Polyphony. Victoria, a dedicated Catholic and devout priest, wrote this Mass after returning from Rome in exercising the duties of his new post as chaplain to the Dowager Empress Maria at the convent of Las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. 

      Most likely, he had been studying with the famous Vatican composer Giovanni Palestrina while in Rome. He gave us in his own music some of the most beautiful and mystical sacred art known in the Catholic Church.

      The choir will also be singing the 15th-century Spanish versions of the chant that is associated with Victoria's music. The OLMC choir will be joined by the professional voices of the Vittoria Ensemble and singers from the area.

      Built for This: Pontifical Mass in Sant'Apollinare, Ravenna

      Consecrated on May 9, 549 (yes, A.D. 549, no number missing) by Bishop Maximian, in a Ravenna that was the most important Italian outpost of the Roman Empire led by Justinian, the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe is one of the most important and truly beautiful religious buildings in the world.

      Editorial: Catalan has always meant Spaniard

      Vestments, Images, Pious Objects: the "Republican Left of Catalonia" (ERC), then as
      now a hardline anti-Catholic party and current backbone of Catalan secessionism, was behind thousands of deaths of Catholic martyrs in Catalonia, and scenes such as the one above -- piles of objects ready to be burned in a bonfire in the main square of Vich, Barcelona Province, Spain (1936)

      It was 2006, our first full year. And, as we commemorated the grievous massacres of Catholics in 1936-1939 in our first special series, "The Passion of Spain", the then-Socialist central Spanish government negotiated with the Catalan regional government a new Charter of Autonomy, the "Estatut".

      The seeds of the problem that ecloded this Friday, the pseudo-independence of the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia, were all present in that Estatut, whose most radical ideas would end up being declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. What is interesting to recall is that the Leftism already present in that text is the central axis of the Catalonian secessionist movement today, whose backbone is formed by the extreme-left ERC (that martyred thousands of Catholics in 1936-38) and the ever more extreme and Anarchist CUP.

      Is Catalonia a "nation"? Not exactly. It is a part of a regional nationality, in a sense, but if it's defined by a language, then many people in other Spanish regions and in the French Roussillon also speak it. What is most important, though, is that what we now call Catalonia was never an independent nation. Its earliest version, after the first waves of the Reconquista, was the County of Barcelona, which very soon merged with the domains of the Kingdom of Aragon, the lord of Northeastern Iberia, to form the larger Kingdom of Aragon. As the same dynasty, the Trastámaras, reigned over both Aragon and the Western Iberian kingdom of Castile, the stage was set for one of the most succesful political matches in History, the founding moment of Spain: the wedding of Ferdinand of Aragon and his second cousin Isabella of Castile in 1469.

      The territories of northeastern Spain were, therefore, since the very beginning, constituent and leading regions of Spain. And Catholicism was, long before any language, the cement that kept it together.

      We pray for a united Spain, all languages and peoples around the Immaculate Virgin. Only the faith in the Immaculata will preserve the Unity of Spain. It seems impossible now, as disintegration seems sure, as we foresaw in 2006 ("ready to be partitioned"), if not now then not far into the future. But how much more impossible did the Spanish epic that transformed the world after 1492 seem before Covadonga?

      As it happened after Luther's revolt, and in the Kingdom's firm promotion of Trent, we pray that Spain will once again be a bulwark of Catholicism.  "For with God nothing will be impossible."


      Our editorial from 2006:

      500 Years of Protestant Revolution - (2) Luther Prince of Heresy: Why Luther is the heresiarch par excellence

      In solemn and mournful remembrance of the events surrounding the grievous actions of Martin Luther, that split Europe and deprived hundreds of millions of souls of the benefits of sacramental life, we will post again important articles on the matter.


      From 2011:

      Pierre Le Gros
      Religion Overthrowing Heresy and Hatred
      Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di GESÙ all'Argentina, Rome

      This is a special two-part series for this month of the Protestant revolt based on a conference delivered by Don Pietro Leone Monselice* on the theological work of the man who caused so much hurt and pain to Holy Mother Church, the "prince of the heresiarchs", as Don Pietro appropriately calls him.

      [FIRST PART]

      In Nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti. Amen

              In these times of great ignorance and radical confusion, and when even Catholics of the highest levels of the hierarchy are pleased to praise Martin Luther, we would like briefly to present and evaluate his theology.

      I The theology of Martin Luther

      Event tomorrow: Bishop Schneider to visit North Carolina

      The Charlotte Latin Mass community and Saint Ann parish in Charlotte, North Carolina, will host His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider on Thursday 26 October at 7 p.m. for the 2nd annual commemoration to Blessed Karl of Austria and Christ the King.
       According to our friends in Charlotte:

      Another personal parish for New England

      Last year it was announced the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter was given permission by the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, to establish the first personal parish in New England in the United States, offering the traditional Latin Mass and sacraments in Nashua, New Hampshire. Rorate visited that parish -- Saint Stanislaus -- last month, and the growth is quite impressive.

      This month the Institute of Christ the King announced it has been invited into the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to start an oratory at Saints Cyril and Methodius parish. 

      Francis v. Sarah

      Responses and comments -- or not -- by a pope are rarely accidental.  When four cardinals asked Pope Francis to clarify the pro-divorce language in Amoris Laetitia the questions have been ignored for so long that half of the cardinals have since died. The remaining two still look forward to an answer.

      Yet when Francis has a mission, anything (or anyone) standing in its way gets dealt with by the most humble, charitable and non-judgmental pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

      The most recent example is Magnum Principium, his motu proprio to toss translations of the novus ordo into the hands of bishops conferences instead of under the authority of the Apostolic See. Apparently "and with your spirit" is too difficult for the average Catholic to comprehend, and "in order that the renewal of the whole liturgical life might continue" translations of the novus ordo will vary country to country, without concern someone at the Vatican could veto "and also with you" as an English translation of "et cum spiritu tuo". Back to the 1970s goeth the novus ordo.