Rorate Caeli

Third Time's the Charm - Tosatti: "SSPX and Vatican just one step from final agreement" - The future Roman headquarters

1988: Society of Saint Pius X leader Abp. Lefebvre signs, the following day he changes his mind when John Paul II and Card. Ratzinger are not clear on the matter of bishops.

2012: Just as SSPX Superior-general is called to Rome to what he thinks is the final signing, Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, has one of the greatest about-faces of his Pontificate and, pressured by some Cardinals, asks for another doctrinal statement. The deal falls.

2017: All signs point to an imminent agreement between the ultra-liberal Pontiff from Argentina, Francis, and the ultra-conservative Traditionalist Society.

This Monday evening in Rome, religious correspondent Marco Tosatti (with Sandro Magister, the best reader of the current Pontificate) confirms that just one set of signatures separates the Society from full integration within the Church.

Not only that, he confirms news that Rorate had: Unlike the fake news spread out last month about the Church of Saint Mary on the Esquiline Hill (that belongs to the Vicariate of the City of Time and is not for sale), the building being negotiated for the Roman headquarters of the Society is this:

Event: ++Burke Solemn Pontifical Mass in Connecticut

Event: Traditional Latin Mass in for Annunciation in Florence, Mass.

While we normally don't bring you one-off announcements of traditional Latin Masses, a reader asked us to alert our readers to this, as it's the first diocesan Latin Mass they know of in the area for years. 

It will take place this Saturday, March 25, at 8:30a.m. in the Annunciation Chapel located at 85 Beacon Street in Florence, Mass. Click here for the parish website

For those new to the traditional Mass, a discussion will take place before the Mass, explaining the differences between the traditional and new rite. 

Book review: Nothing Superfluous

A reader graciously sent us a book -- a while ago -- that we know through reputation of both the book itself and the priestly author is well worth the read: "Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great." Due to personal commitments we have not been able to read the book. In order to not delay us bringing this book to you, our readers, we provide you a review by one of our contributors, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, originally written for New Liturgical Movement. 

While you can buy this book online from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (click here), you can also call Fr. Jackson's (FSSP) parish in Colorado, pay them and they will mail you a copy. This latter method will ensure the proceeds go towards Father's parish restoration fund (click here for parish contact details). 

Nothing Superfluous — A Masterful Spiritual Guide to the Traditional Mass

Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great [i.e., the traditional Latin Mass]. By the Rev. James W. Jackson, FSSP. Lincoln, NE: Redbrush, 2016. $17.95.

This is a book whose publication I have been eagerly awaiting, ever since I saw the manuscript a couple of years ago and, subsequently, the tantalizing excerpts that have appeared each month in the newsletter of the North American district of the Fraternity of St. Peter.

Mitigating our way to Perdition

A month out from Easter Sunday, there is still time to double down on our Lenten penance and sacrifices, making the most of this beneficial time. 

Below is a short, powerful sermon, which we hope will both help you understand what the Church has lost since her downward spiral began in the 20th Century, and yet motivate you to strive even harder to become great saints. 

Click here to listen to the sermon.

[Originally posted in 2015]

Exactly! First Things compares Novus Ordo to the Protestant Revolt

For those paying attention, First Things has had a lot to say lately, so much of it timely and important. In the following piece, that we find fitting to bring to our readers' attention, not only do they rightly compare the Novus Ordo to the Protestant Revolt, but credit the saving of the Roman Rite to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. 



The times in which a new form is born are extremely rare in the history of mankind. Great forms are characterized by their ability to outlive the age in which they emerge and to pursue their path through all history’s hiatuses and upheavals. The Greek column with its Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian capitals is such a form, as is the Greek tragedy with its invention of dialogue that still lives on in the silliest soap opera. The Greeks regarded tradition itself as a precious object; it was tradition that created legitimacy. Among the Greeks, tradition stood under collective protection. The violation of tradition was called tyrannis—tyranny is the act of violence that damages a traditional form that has been handed down.One form that has effortlessly overleaped the constraints of the ages is the Holy Mass of the Roman Church, the parts of which grew organically over centuries and were finally united at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. It was then that the missal of the Roman pope, which since late antiquity had never succumbed to heretical attack, was prescribed for universal use by Catholic Christendom throughout the West. If one considers the course of human history, it is nothing short of remarkable that the Roman Rite has survived the most violent catastrophes unaltered.

Intervention against a disastrous Pope: When Emperor Otto the Great saved the Church

A guest post by James Bogle. I've put a comment on my own blog.
Later representation of the Emperor Otto I “the Great”.

To most Americans, heavily influenced by Hollywood film productions, anything calling itself an “Empire” is seen to be bad, and good governments are obliged to style themselves by names such as “the Federation”.

However, for Catholic Christians, “Empire” was never a dirty word but referred to the Christianised Roman Empire that was the political bedrock of Christendom, not only in Europe but throughout the whole world.

Its leading figure, the Holy Roman Emperor, was, like the Roman Pontiff, elected.

The Holy Roman Emperor was not a dictator, still less a despot, but a focus of loyalty and Christian symbolism, the first among the Christian sovereigns.

Few states were ruled directly by the Emperor and those that were so ruled regarded it as a high honour to be unmittelbar - “unmediated” - answering directly to the Emperor and not to some intermediate ruler.

The Emperor also had the right – and duty – to call, and to preside over, all Ecumenical General Councils of the Church. He, in fact, did so for the first 1100 years of Christian history.

Why we should go to Fatima in 2017

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
March 8, 2017

Those who go on pilgrimage to Lourdes do so in order to immerse themselves in the supernatural atmosphere of the place. The Grotto in which Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858 and the pools where the sick continue to be immersed in the miraculous water, are fringes of a blessed land in a now ungodly society. Those who go to Fatima, do so, on the other hand, to gain spiritual refreshment not from a place, but from a heavenly Message: the so-called “secret” Our Lady entrusted to the three little shepherds a hundred years ago, between May and October in 1917.  Lourdes chiefly heals bodies, Fatima offers spiritual direction to disorientated souls.

On May 13th 1917, at the Cova de Iria – an isolated place of rocks and olive trees, near the village of Fatima in Portugal “a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant then the sun, shedding rays of light, clear and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun"* appeared to three children who were watching over their sheep, Francesco, Jacinta and their little cousin Lucia dos Santos. This Lady revealed Herself as the Mother of God, who was entrusted with a message for mankind and who gave an appointment to the three shepherd-children for the 13th  of every subsequent month until October. The last apparition ended with  a great atmospheric miracle, named “the dance of the sun”, seen even from 40 kilometres away, by tens of thousands of people. 

Ember Wednesday in Lent: The Sign for an Evil and Adulterous Generation

We are in the Ember Days in Lent - the first one being this Wednesday, whose Gospel is dedicated to the signs demanded from the Lord by Scribes and Pharisees. The words of Christ on the sign of Jonah, the prophet, also bring to mind the distressing situation of so many of our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, in particular those expelled from Mosul/Nineveh and surrounding areas, still under the brutal occupation (for how long, o Lord?) of the most hideous group of bandits imaginable. May the world recognize the sign of Jonah and believe in the Resurrected Lord - Maranatha!


Fr. Nicolas Caussin, S.I., confessor to kings, is well-known as the author of "La Cour Sainte" ("The Holy Court"). In his "Entretiens" ("Entertainments") for Lent, some of his sermons for the Season are presented in a devotional format: an examination of the traditional scriptural readings for the day in the Roman Rite followed by the aspirations of the soul thirsty for Christ. 

"He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, and no sign shall be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For even as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Ninive will rise up in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.'" (From the Gospel for Ember Wednesday in Lent, St. Matthew, xii)

It is a very ill sign when we desire signs to make us believe in God. The signs which we demand to fortify our faith are often marks of our infidelity. There is not a more dangerous plague in the events of worldly affairs than to deal with the devils or to play with predictions. All these things fill men with more faults than knowledge. For divine oracles have more need to be reverenced than interpreted. He that will find God must seek him with simplicity and possess him with piety.

Phil Lawler: This disastrous papacy "needs an intervention"

From Phil Lawler's groundbreaking Op-Ed for Catholic Culture:

For over 20 years now, writing daily about the news from the Vatican, I have tried to be honest in my assessment of papal statements and gestures. I sometimes criticized St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, when I thought that their actions were imprudent. But never did it cross my mind that either of those Popes posed any danger to the integrity of the Catholic faith. Looking back much further across Church history, I realize that there have been bad Popes: men whose personal actions were motivated by greed and jealousy and lust for power and just plain lust. But has there ever before been a Roman Pontiff who showed such disdain for what the Church has always taught and believed and practiced—on such bedrock issues as the nature of marriage and of the Eucharist?

Pope Francis has sparked controversy from the day he was elected as St. Peter’s successor. But in the past several months the controversy has become so intense, confusion among the faithful so widespread, administration at the Vatican so arbitrary—and the Pope’s diatribes against his (real or imagined) foes so manic—that today the universal Church is rushing toward a crisis.

In a large family, how should a son behave when he realizes that his father’s pathological behavior threatens the welfare of the whole household? He should certainly continue to show respect for his father, but he cannot indefinitely deny the danger. Eventually, a dysfunctional family needs an intervention.[source]

Enroll in a special Novena of traditional Latin Masses today

While we try to keep our fundraising appeals here limited, we do have a special place in our hearts for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Finding a more holy -- and traditional -- order of nuns would be a difficult task. And we feel obliged to help, even when they tell us we don't have to, as they did once again. This is one time we feel comfortable disobeying!

Their latest Novena of traditional Latin Masses will be offered March 19-27 in honor of the Pure Heart of St. Joseph for all families and persons, both living and deceased, enrolled in the Novena.

But you should act now -- the sisters need time to mail your enrollment card. If you enroll today or the next couple of days, they'll have plenty of time to send them. 

We personally contribute to these wonderful sisters often and ask you to do the same.

International Declaration on Sacred Music

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Instruction Musicam Sacram (promulgated March 5, 1967), a Declaration on Sacred Music Cantate Domino, signed by over 200 musicians, pastors, and scholars from around the world, is published today in six languages (English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German). This declaration argues for the continued relevance and importance of traditional sacred music, critiques the numerous serious deviations from it that have plagued the Catholic Church for the past half-century, and makes practical suggestions for improving the situation.

Readers are encouraged to read the text (reproduced below in full) and to disseminate it far and wide as a rallying-point for Roman Catholics who love their great heritage, and for all men and women who value high culture and the fine arts as expressions of the spiritual nobility of the human person made in God's image.


A Statement on the Current Situation of Sacred Music

We, the undersigned — musicians, pastors, teachers, scholars, and lovers of sacred music — humbly offer this statement to the Catholic community around the world, expressing our great love for the Church’s treasury of sacred music and our deep concerns about its current plight.


Cantate Domino canticum novum, cantate Domino omnis terra (Psalm 96): this singing to God’s glory has resonated for the whole history of Christianity, from the very beginning to the present day. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition alike bear witness to a great love for the beauty and power of music in the worship of Almighty God. The treasury of sacred music has always been cherished in the Catholic Church by her saints, theologians, popes, and laypeople.

Francis' falsified footnotes: He mangles the Church Fathers, too

By this stage of Francis' pontificate, faithful Catholics have become all too familiar with the Pope's tendency to misquote and wrest the words of the Holy Gospel and of previous Magisterial documents not only in his "off the cuff" allocutions, homilies, and interviews, but even in his formal, prepared documents. It only makes sense that, as we shall see below, the Pope shows the same disrespect for the Church Fathers.

To cite one of the most egregious manglings of the Church's previous Magisterium:  While all the faithful are rightly outraged or troubled by his apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia's infamous Footnote 351 granting permission for unrepentant adulterers to commit sacrilege at Mass, we cannot forget that the Pope in Amoris laetitia conveniently failed to quote St. John Paul's Familiaris consortio no. 84 which explicitly upholds Christ's commandment forbidding Communion for purportedly remarried adulterers, while Amoris laetitia's Footnote 329 rips the Second Vatican Council's Gaudium et spes no. 51 (concerning temporary abstinence from marital relations) completely out of context in order to argue that "doing it for the children" might mitigate the mortal sin of adultery. (We reported and commented on these things the lamentable day Amoris laetitia was issued.)

Rorate Caeli 'Saints' Special Offer

We love bringing our readers special discounts on items that they can't get anywhere else. And today, we have a great one, from Romanitas Press. In fact, you can't even get this on the Romanitas website -- only here, at Rorate

“…John, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia…”

We invoke these saintly names at every Mass during the Roman Canon -- as well as others throughout the Ordinary -- but who are they? And why is it important to pray for their intercession during the Holy Sacrifice?

Just in time for Lent is a wonderful little gem, The Saints Who Pray with Us in the Mass, that Romanitas Press has reprinted that explains these theological and spiritual points, while providing a brief sketch about each saint named.

                                               CLICK HERE FOR A QUICK PURCHASE

Written by Archbishop Amleto Cicognani (America’s longest-serving Apostolic Delegate) and published only once in 1958, this new reprint has been produced as an enlarged edition to include:

Announcing Una Voce Wyoming

Sometimes I hear people say that we've grown tired and a bit lazy after the exciting days of the 1990s and 2000s, when there were so many people in so many places laboring and fighting to establish the traditional Latin Mass. The more optimistic believe it is due to the remarkable success of Summorum Pontificum and the ever more widespread availability of the usus antiquior, which makes it less necessary to be vocal and active about introducing it. The more pessimistic believe it is due to weariness and discouragement: after having had doors slammed in their faces too many times, or unreturned phone calls, Catholics have given up. The more realistic would say the situation is more complicated, and that both sides are pointing to phenomena one can see and verify. This much seems true: the implementation of Summorum Pontificum is exceedingly inconsistent, variable, evolving. It makes all the difference in the world what diocese you live in and whether your local clergy are sympathetic or not. The motu proprio continues to make inroads wherever youth and orthodoxy combine.

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 78 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Special Lenten note to Priests: Fathers, looking to do something more this Lent? Want to grow in holiness and fill some of your free time by freeing souls to be with Our Lord? Then sign up for the Purgatorial Society! It's easy. See below for details. 

** 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.