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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Francis Effect discussed in the New York Times

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

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

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

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

Rorate Caeli has received exclusive permission to publish the original English interview in full:
Mr. Kutarna: How did you come to the TLM? How was your first encounter with the “Mass of the Ages”?
Dr. Kwasniewski: My journey into the traditional liturgy was gentle and gradual. I grew up in a very typical suburban American parish…

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

80 Catholic personalities reaffirm their loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church on the family and Catholic morals
A Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline was disclosed today by a group of 78 Catholic personalities, including cardinals, bishops, priests, eminent scholars, leaders of pro-family and pro-life organizations and influential figures of civil society.
The statement was disclosed by the association Supplica Filiale [Filial Appeal], the same organization that collected, between the two Synods on the family, nearly 900,000 signatures of Catholic faithful (including 211 prelates) in support of a petition asking Pope Francis a word of clarification to dissipate the confusion disseminated in the Church on key issues of natural and Christian morality since the consistory of February 2014.
Noting that the confusion has only grown in the faithful after the two Synods on the family and the subsequent publication …

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

by Fr. Richard Gennaro Cipolla
September 25, 2016 Church of the Most Precious Blood and National Shrine of San Gennaro New York City
And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was sitting at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.Luke 7:37
What a wonderful thing to come to this church of the Most Precious Blood and the shrine of San Gennaro to celebrate this Solemn Votive Mass of San Gennaro!This church is redolent with a century’s worth of religious and cultural memories centered around the feast of San Gennaro.We know little about the saint’s life, but the most important information comes from St. Paulinus of Nola, who said:he was bishop as well as martyr, an illustrious member of the Neapolitan church.”.San Gennaro was martyred in the Dio…

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

Rorate Caeli has been asked us to make known the schedule of Cardinal Burke's upcoming visit to the Czech Republic, particularly for our central European readers who may wish to attend the Pontifical Masses and the Cardinal's lectures. 
(I am happy to say, too, that the launch of the Czech edition of my book Resurgent in the Midst of Crisiswill take place in the midst of these events. I will be present and will give a lecture.)
Visit of His Eminence Raymond Leo Card. Burke in the Czech Republic
Program of public events:

Rorate on the Road ... in Irving, Texas

Rorate was on the road today and, this time, we were in Texas at Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish in Irving (just outside Dallas). The church is run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).
While we travel the globe and go to many traditional Latin Mass sites, we normally do not post pictures of the historic churches we visit in the major cities, and focus rather on the little-mentioned yet wonderful experiences we have in smaller towns.

Event: Traditional Solemn Mass in NYC

The Francis Effect: "Catholic" schools and sexual education

NB: As if Catholic parents needed yet another reason to homeschool their kids and keep them out of the typical Catholic schools tied to a Novus Ordo church, news comes from Tennessee where the local ordinary has denied the parents' role as primary educators, and forced their sons into perverted sex education. Don't forget that it was Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia that called for "educational institutions" to provide already-condemned sexual education to our children.
U.S. bishop makes ‘erotic’ sex-ed mandatory, cites Vatican sex-ed to parents wanting opt-outA U.S. Catholic bishop has explicitly refused to allow parents to opt their kids out of a diocesan-run school’s sex-ed program deemed by parents to be “erotic” and “salacious,” calling the program a “legitimate requirement” for graduation. Instead of listening to the parents’ concerns, the bishop has cited the Vatican’s newly minted and problematic sex-ed curriculum as a way to evaluate the school’s program.

Guest Op-Ed: Ecclesiological problems with communion for adulterers

By Veronica A. Arntz

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

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Jonas, prophet

While many of the faithful today observe the fast of Ember Wednesday with works of penance and mortification, and the Church Universal celebrates the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, many other heroes of faith and sanctity are also commemorated this day. Among them is yet another of the Old Testament saints whom the Church annually venerates. Standing immediately after St. Matthew in the list of saints for "This Day, the Twenty-First Day of September," we find the following notice of a heavenly birthday  in the traditional Roman Martyrology:
In the land of Saar, the holy prophet Jonas, who was buried in Geth.
The account of "Jonah and the whale" is one of the best known stories in the Bible, teaching us of the importance of humble obedience to God's calling, the holy justice of God, the salvific power of penance, and God's triumphant mercy and forgiveness of sinners whether Jew or Gentile. On two separate occasions, when the Jewish people sou…

Thomas Merton on post-Vatican II liturgy

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

For Father Louis (his religious name that appears on his tombstone, above), his liturgical sensibilities began in quite the traditional manner.  In his 1948 autobiography "The Seven Storey Mountain", he wrote of his love of "the warmth of Gregorian chant" and noted his first attendance at Mass (before converting) was an August 1938 Low Mass at Corpus Christi church in New York, where he was impressed by even a music-free liturgy.
In that famous book, he also described walking into "old Zion church", his parents' house of worship in Douglaston, Long Island, New York.  N…

An update from Norcia

The monks have asked us to share this with you:

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

by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla Parish of St. Mary Norwalk, Connecticut
From the Gospel of St. Matthew:“ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”.
From the Gospel of St. John:“I thirst”.

Many years ago I tried to read The Story of a Soul by St Thérèse of Lisieux.I was about to enter the Catholic Church and thought I should read this because of St Thérèse’s great popularity in the Church, the Little Flower.I could not get through it.I found it saccharine and too much late nineteenth century French piety.While I was teaching in New York City and just after I was received into the Catholic Church, I used to go to Mass early in the morning at Corpus Christi Church on the Upper West Side.I liked the pastor very much, a very intelligent man and somewhat of a curmudgeon. One morning he gave a brief homily on St Thérèse’s feast day, and he described her as a woman of steel.I was quite taken aback. A woman of steel.Coming from him this was high praise, so I went back to the Story of a Soul and read…

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

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus on marriage and the Eucharist
by Dr. John Lamont

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus has recently published an article entitled ‘Not heretical: Pope Francis’ approval of the Argentine bishops’ policy on invalid marriages’*. The object of this article is to argue that Pope Francis has not asserted or endorsed heresy in approving of a recent document issued by some Argentinian bishops concerning the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. To justify this conclusion, Dr. Mirus makes a number of claims about moral behaviour and the discipline of the sacraments. 
These claims urgently need to be addressed.
This discussion of Mirus’s assertions will not consider the rights and wrongs of the Argentinian bishops’ document itself and the Pope’s endorsement of it. Nonetheless it should be noted that Dr. Mirus’s article is somewhat misleading on this subject, because it gives the impression that the only objectionable part of this document is the permission it gives for the divorced and remarried…

Final results of SSPX-Vatican Prelature Poll

Thank you to all who took part in our poll on the Vatican-proposed prelature for the Society of St. Pius X, details of which were presented by the SSPX Superior-General in recent talks, including one last month in New Zealand.
Of those readers who chose to take part in the poll, 77% said that the Prelature should be accepted, while 23% disagreed:
Poll open for 7 days:
- If Francis offers a Prelature to Society of St Pius X (SSPX), should they accept it? — Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) September 7, 2016

Once again, thank you for your participation!

The Real Source of Division in the Church

Roberto de Mattei Corrispondenza Romana September 14, 2016

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

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

From the very beginning of this ill-fated pontificate, this page was maligned for stating the obvious about Cardinal Bergoglio, and the prospects his positions brought to the papacy. 
For example, from the very beginning it was clear to us Francis wanted to impose on the Church the new doctrine of communion to the "divorced and remarried" (that is, those living in permanent state of sin, without the desire to end their sinful situation), the new German Doctrine. Other commentators tried to hide for as long as possible, even up to a few days ago, that the Pope wanted to personally impose upon the Church a doctrine that is absolutely and irrevocably opposed to the very words of Our Lord. 
Why so keen to impose it? Because that is what the wealthiest church, the German Church, the Church that was behind his very election as Pope, the Church that financed what the rebel Cardinals themselves called the "Mafia" that worked tirelessly for the overthrow of past moral posi…

Event: Sung High Mass for feast of the Exaltation of the Cross in Washington, D.C.

The Pope and the Vatican mocked at the Venice Film Festival

Cristina Siccardi Corrispondenza Romana September 7, 2016

The figure of the Pope landed at the Venice Film Festival this year in the worst possible way imaginable. It was mocked at, sneered at and vilified by raconteurs of contemporary thought, covered up by artistic and intellectual skills. The first two episodes (out of ten) of the TV series ‘The Young Pope’ were presented at the Venice Festival, directed by award-winning Paolo Sorrentino and produced by Sky, HBO and Canal+: a substantial investment for a product which, along with the Francis Pontificate, eliminates in toto the aura of sacredness around the  Pontiff.

Saint Augustine: Hope! The victory is going on without end

"...the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: 'What think you of Christ, whose son is He?' They say to Him: 'David's.' He saith to them: 'How then doth David , in spirit, call Him Lord, saying: The Lord saith to My Lord: Sit on my right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?' If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask Him any more questions." (Gospel for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, St. Matthew xxii)

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit on My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool" We ought, therefore, thoroughly to consider this question proposed to the Jews by the Lord ... . For if what the Jews answered be asked of us, whether we confess or deny it; God forbid that we should deny it. If it be said to us, 'Is Christ the Son of David, or not?'; If we reply, 'No', we contradict …

For the record: Pope Francis confirms Amoris Laetitia allows communion for adulterers

Note: As Rorate has argued since day one of the first Synod -- Francis is leading the destruction of the family and the defiance of the words of Jesus Christ Himself. We've been told, also since day one, that we would be proved wrong, by laymen, priests and prelates. This is one time we wish they were right and we were wrong, but alas ...

September 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In a letter reportedly leaked by a priest in Argentina, Pope Francis writes that there is “no other interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia other than one admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion in some cases. The letter, dated September 5, comes in response to a confidential document by the bishops of the Buenos Aires pastoral region to priests instructing them on the application of the Pope’s controversial apostolic exhortation. LifeSite has acquired copies of both original documents and has provided professional side-by-side translation. The Spanish original of the letter from the Pope is here T…

Extensive Article on the problems of Amoris Laetitia -- English translation of the French original

In No. 136 of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer’s quarterly review Sedes Sapientiæ, there is a commentary on Chapter 8 of Amoris Lætitia, written by Father Louis-Marie de Blignières (one of the 45 signatories of the Critique on Amoris Laetitia). This article, before its publication was sent to several bishops and cardinals who expressed their gratitude and agreement to the author. In particular, it received warm support from Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna and the first President of the John Paul II Institute on the Family: “It is an excellent text, which I endorse completely.” “It is one of the best studies I have read [on the matter].”

Take part in our poll! - Should SSPX accept Prelature offer made by Francis?

A few days ago, we posted the videos of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, explaining to faithful in New Zealand what the offer of a Personal Prelature to the SSPX by the Vatican looks like.

So our Twitter poll this month (open for 7 days) asks you your opinion on the offer. Please, have a say!

Poll open for 7 days:
- If Francis offers a Prelature to Society of St Pius X (SSPX), should they accept it?— Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) September 7, 2016

New Mass Novena: Help the Benedictines of Mary build a new church!

UPDATE: The sisters need $1.5 million to break ground his Autumn. We're reposting this as we know many are away in the summer. Please open your hearts, and your wallets. May God reward you for helping: 

Whenever they ask, Rorate helps raise money for some of the greatest nuns God's blessed us with, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. And, every time, our dear readers have responded in incredible ways, enrolling in their Novena of Masses, purchasing their now-famous CDs, and more.
This time is more critical than ever, as the sisters are finally building their own church, as their temporary chapel cannot keep up with the great demand for vocations.

The Novena Mass Cards you'll receive in the mail are truly stunning: 

Guest Op-Ed - Maturity in the Faith: Avoiding the anonymous Christian theory in evangelization

By Veronica A. Arntz
In his Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul writes that we must grow into the maturity of our faith. We read that members of the Church are given different gifts for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
These gifts are meant to be used until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles (Ephesians 4:13-14).
There are a few things to note here. First, attaining the full measure of the faith in Christ is not an autonomous process; rather, the Church as a whole is meant to strive for maturity in the faith. Second, as members of the Church, we are designed…

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Zacharias, prophet

In the traditional Roman Martyrology, the month of September has more commemorations of Old Testament saints than any other month. Today, only two days after the commemoration of Moses, through whom God inaugurated the Old Covenant with the Israelite people, we remember St. Zacharias the Prophet, through whom God announced that He would "make void my covenant, which I had made with all the people" (Zach. 11:10).  He heads today's martyrology, in fact:

This Day, the Sixth Day of September
The prophet Zachary, who returned in his old age from Chaldea to his own country, and lies buried near the prophet Aggeus.

Sermon for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost: What is True Humility?

by Father Richard G. Cipolla Parish of St. Mary Norwalk, Connecticut
From the Gospel:“For he who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
Is it not a non sequitur? The first part of the gospel is about Jesus’ eating with the Pharisees, the pious Jews who knew the Law.Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees react:is it lawful to heal a man on the Sabbath, since one cannot work on the Sabbath? So Jesus heals the man.And then he tells a parable about humility.Is this a nonsequitur?The first part of the gospel is about the relationship between the Law and the demands of love.The healing of the paralytic is an act of love on Jesus’ part.We remember how the Pharisees asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment. And Jesus’ answer is swift:You shall love the Lord your God with all you mind, heart, body and your neighbor as yourself. Then there comes the parable about humility in the form of the man invited to dinner.You say:this is Jesus’ c…

What Muslims are doing in our churches: Thousands of raids every year

Libero Quotidiano August 31, 2016

There have also been recent cases (mainly reported in local newspapers but occasionally even in national newspapers) of Muslims going into churches, shouting, cursing and smashing sacred objects. 
However this alarm is not limited only to Italy.

Saints of the Old Testament: St. Moses, lawgiver and prophet

It has been only three days since the traditional Roman Martyrology marked the deaths of the Old Testament saints Josue and Gedeon, as well as the death of St. Anna the Prophetess who lived to see the birth of the promised Messiah of Israel.  Yet another Old Testament saint -- in fact, the greatest and most significant of ancient Israel's saints -- is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology today. In recognition of his glorious memory, his name heads the list of today's martyrs and saints: "This Day, the Fourth Day of September"
"On Mount Nebo, in the land of Moab, the holy lawgiver and prophet Moses."

Roman Forum 2017: Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down

We are pleased to announce the program of the 2017 Roman Forum Summer Symposium. This annual  symposium on the shores of Lake Garda is an important gathering of traditionalist intellectuals that has recently produced notable statements On the Ecclesial and Civilizational Crisis and Regarding the “Catholic” Apotheosis of Luther. We urge our readers to attend the symposium, or, if they are unable to attend, at least to support it through prayers and donations.

The Roman Forum Twenty-Fifth Annual Summer Symposium Gardone Riviera, Italy (July 3rd-July 14th, 2017; 11 nights)

Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down: Transformation in Christ Versus a Sickness Unto Death

Two commemorations will provide an extremely joyful framework for the Roman Forum’s next Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera. 2017 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of this annual spiritual, academic, fraternal, and strategy-planning program of indispensable importance to the traditionalist world internationally. It will als…

For the Record: Bishop Fellay explains what has been offered to SSPX by Rome and what Prelature will look like

The videos were recorded in a conference on August 24, 2016. The main points are in the two videos below, especially the last one. We do not add comments, but let the declarations stand as they are.

[Note: The conference was held by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X ( FSSPX/ SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, in St. Anthony's, Wanganui, New Zealand.]

Thanks to Reader PD

Pope Benedict XVI on the Life and Accomplishments of Saint Pius X

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today I would like to reflect on my Predecessor, St Pius X whose liturgical Memorial we shall be celebrating next Saturday and to underline certain features that may be useful to both Pastors and faithful also in our time.
Giuseppe Sarto, that was his name, was born into a peasant family in Riese, Treviso, in 1835. After studying at the Seminary in Padua he was ordained a priest when he was 23 years old. He was first curate in Tombolo, then parish priest at Salzano and then canon of the Cathedral of Treviso with the offices of episcopal chancellor and spiritual director of the Diocesan Seminary. In these years of rich and generous pastoral experience, the future Pontiff showed that deep love for Christ and for the Church, that humility and simplicity and great charity to the needy which characterized his entire life. In 1884 he was appointed Bishop of Mantua, and in 1893, Patriarch of Venice. On 4 August 1903, he was elected Pope, a ministry he hesitated to…

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. We now stand at 76 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. 
NEW! Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free. 
Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 
How to enroll souls:please email me at and submit as follows:"Name, State, Country."If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forwa…

Help the Norcia Monks - an appeal

We have all read about and seen pictures of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in central Italy.Although the damage was not as severe as in Amatrice and other hamlets, the town of Norcia suffered in a real way from the earthquake.What most saddened me was the damage suffered by the Basilica of S. Benedetto and the adjoining monastery.Readers of this blog know of my great love for the Benedictine monks in Norcia.What they have done there in the past decade is quite remarkable. They brought back a living monastery to the birthplace of Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica.And they have been among the leaders in the monastic world of the return to and the promulgation of the Traditional Latin Mass.To see the Mass celebrated there each day with such simple beauty is to look into the future.

"Mercy" for conservatives: Bishop Oliveri resignation "accepted", Bishop Lafitte out of the Curia, Cardinal Rylko and Bishop Clemens in "limbo" with the disappearance of their Pontifical Council.

1. Today (September 1, 2016) the statutes of the new "Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life" come into force. The new Dicastery is led by Bishop Kevin Farrell (formerly of Dallas) as Prefect; it has as yet no Secretary (a position that can be filled by a layman). The same statutes decree that as of today, the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family are deemed suppressed.
The former President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Kasperite-leaning Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (71), was appointed President of the Pontifical Academy for Life only two weeks ago -- for some initial analyses on the implications of this appointment, read thisandthis. The appointment ensured that Paglia remains within the Roman Curia. In contrast, the Secretary (since 2009) of the Pont. Council for the Family, Bishop Jean Lafitte (64) was appointed Prelate of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in July last year. Bishop Lafitte had openly opposed the Kasper …

De Mattei: Earthquakes of a spiritual nature are graver

Roberto de Mattei Il Tempo August 31, 2016

During the Angelus of August 28th Pope Francis announced that he would go to visit the earthquake victims in Lazio, Umbria and delle Marche "as soon as possible", to bring them in person "the comfort of the faith, a fatherly and brotherly embrace and the support of Christian hope."
That "as soon as possible" is not connected to the Pope’s agenda, which would be to go there immediately, as much as to avoid his presence being an obstacle to the work of the firemen, the civil defense and the police force.  As Andrea Tornielli recalls, John Paul II’s blitz 48 hours after the quake which hit Campania and Basilicata on November 23rd 1980, resulted in heated polemics. There were those who said that John Paul II had obstructed the rescue work and distracted the police force from other more urgent tasks.  Benedict XVI, in contrast, waited 22 days before visiting Aquila devastated by the quake of April 6th 2009, and 36 days be…

Saints of the Old Testament: Sts. Josue, Gedeon, and Anna

The sun and moon stand still at St. Josue's command at the Battle of Aijalon

In the great Legenda Aurea ("The Golden Legend," though correctly translated "The Golden Readings") which Blessed Jacobus de Voragine, OP, Archbishop of Genoa, compiled about the year 1260, we find the following commentary regarding the liturgical celebration of the feasts of the saints of the Old Testament period:

"It is worthy of note that the Eastern Church celebrates the feasts of saints of both the Old and the New Testaments. The Western Church, on the other hand, does not celebrate feasts of saints of the Old Testament, on the ground that they descended into hell -- exceptions being made for the Holy Innocents, in each of whom Christ was put to death, and for the Maccabees. . . . the Church observes no feasts for them -- both because they descended into limbo and because of the great multitude of new saints has slipped into their places . . ." (Jacobus de Voragine: The Go…