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Friday, February 22, 2019
"I should like also that Rome should in fact give a good example of Liturgy celebrated devoutly and without ill-placed 'creativity'. Certain abuses in liturgical matters have succeeded, through reaction, in favouring attitudes that have led to a taking up of positions that in themselves cannot be upheld and are in contrast with the Gospel. In appealing with affection and with hope to the sense of responsibility of everyone, before God and the Church, I should like to be able to give an assurance that every liturgical irregularity will be diligently avoided."
Extract from the homily of Pope John Paul I at the Patriarchal Archbasilica of St John Lateran - Saturday, 23 September 1978 on the occasion of taking possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome.
Monday, February 11, 2019
|Jack Oostveen, author of this letter, with Pope Benedict XVI|
Open letter to the diocesan Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church
This letter has been sent by e-mail to about 3100 Bishops (Diocesan and Auxiliary ).
Your Excellency,For the good of the Church I respectfully request some of your valuable time in bringing the following matter to your attention and with a request to present this to the Holy Father.
It is a fact that the most of you were ordained after the Second Vatican Council. At the opening of the Council, only the eldest among you were about 19 years old and maybe young seminarians, while others were still in their childhood or even among the growing population of “not-yet-born”. Therefore, the Council is becoming more and more a historical event of which one has only second hand knowledge, which confronts us with contradictory ways of understanding the underlying hermeneutics: ‘continuity’ and ‘discontinuity’ being the main problems.
Herewith, it appears that lethal fruits are more and more manifestly apparent in the Church, namely “confusion, bitterness in human relations and fratricidal wars”. I maintain that these are direct consequences of the fact that a majority of Council Fathers and their theologians had acted in free will, contrary to a “gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit” even on the first working day of the Council [Ref. 1]. And I also provide evidence that false portrayals of Pope John XXIII and the Council’s objectives have been deliberately created [Ref. 2]. This has led in subsequent years to a deliberate and deceitful referencing of the so-called ‘Spirit of the Council’ for interpreting the Council’s documents, in a manner contradictory to the hermeneutic law as set by Pope John XXIII in his Opening Address.
Pope John XXIII stated this as being: a renewal, not in a vague kind of continuity or a discontinuity, but explicitly in unity and in accordance with the Doctrine taught by the Fathers, never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers” [Ref. 3].
Consequently, referring to the ‘Spirit of the Council’ has led to a departure “from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers”, by which more and more faithful have lost their Faith. Others wandering as sheep found themselves focussing on Sacred Tradition (i.e. “the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers”) as their anchorage of Faith. While some others who consider that the false portrayals were true, have reached the ultimate conclusion and accused Pope John XXIII for what was laid down in these false portrayals. Therefore, those who have created and cherished these false portrayals or who have continually proclaimed them, bear a great responsibility for the consequences.
Evidently, with the words of Pope John XXIII in his Opening Address we find here a clear and prophetical explanation why these lethal fruits exist since the years of Vatican II:
‘Men are either with Him and His Church, and then they enjoy light, goodness, order, and peace. Or else they are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars’
Nevertheless, one must acknowledge that by allowing these irregular acts and their lethal fruits, the Holy Spirit always respect the free will of man, even that of each individual Council Father and their theological advisors individually. Just like Jesus respected the free will of Peter, when he three times denied knowing Jesus. Whereas, at the same time and above all in a wonderful way, the Holy Spirit also protected the Pastoral Council against creating full heresies. This by leaving open the possibility of interpreting the Council’s documents by free will in accordance with the rule set by the lawmaker of the Council, Pope John XXIII when he stated: “a renewal in unity and in accordance with the Doctrine taught by the Fathers”. Thereby, given that the Council was set up as “Pastoral”, the full Doctrine of the Church is the leading guide and has to be maintained “pure and integral” and undoubtedly “without attenuations or distortion” [Ref. 4].
Please, I humbly beg you for your heartfelt and sincere prayers for the Holy Father. While Pope Francis has been drowned in, and as such betrayed for more than 55 years, by the dissident liberal spirit of the Jesuits, he certainly needs and deserves our spiritual support. So that, as St. Peter initially denied to know Jesus thrice, similarly, he may have a change of heart, following which he can also confirm his brethren.
With my heartfelt gratitude for your kind and generous consideration, I offer you the assurance of my filial support and prayers, I hope for a speedy reply, and I humbly ask for the grace of your blessing.
Faithfully in Christo
Additionally to this letter:
To whom, who has some difficulties regarding the conservative understanding of Pope John XXIII, please, consider the Opening Address of the Council by Pope John XXIII as well as the following contributions of Peter Kwasnewski published at the New Liturgical Movenent:
- The Opening Address by Pope John XXIII on the on the Vatican website only in Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese. The English translation can be found outside the Vatican website here.
- Remembering the Real John XXIII
- A New Series: Pope John XXIII in His Own Words
- John XXIII in His Own Words (2): The Mass and the Priesthood
- John XXIII in His Own Words (3): Devotion to Saint Pius X and Blessed Pius IX
- John XXIII in His Own Words (4): The Defense of Catholic Truth
- St John XXIII Asks the Faithful Not to Applaud in Church
This concerns a chain of irregular acts on October 13th, 1962, the first working day of the Council, that were deliberately initiated by Father Yves Congar O.P. and had been discussed by the French Bishops on the previous evening, October 12th. These irregular acts are enumerated as follows:
- Cardinal Liénart, a member of the Presidium, reading a paper prepared by Mgr. Garonne. This was doubly irregular, firstly the intervention itself, and secondly by addressing the request for changing the Council’s rule for that specific day to the Council Fathers instead of towards the Holy Father.
- An intervention by Cardinal Frings, also a member of the Presidium, confirming the intervention by Cardinal Liénart. He also did this in the name of Cardinal König, who did not belong to the Presidium. Evidently, this meant that these German Cardinals were informed by the French, prior to this first session.
- The applause that was started by a few Council Fathers, but which grew to include the majority. This occurred despite the fact that it was officially forbidden to applaud.
- The change of the Council’s rule by the Presidium.
- The lie by Cardinal Liénart to convince the Pope that his intervention, which was deliberate, premediated and prepared at the evening before was a spontaneous, charismatically inspired act.
All these successive irregularities broke the council’s legal framework, putting Pope John XXIII in a situation of ‘a fait accompli’ and demonstrating a lack of ‘a humble and gracious collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit’. Surely, it is obvious that these acts have had direct consequences regarding the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for each individual Council Father involved.
Among others, these false portrayals become clear by referring to the quote from the Opening Address of Pope John XXIII about the “prophets of doom”. Even during the Council, by using the pseudonym ‘Xavier Rynne’, a Redemptorist priest and theology professor had anonymously made such a false portrayals in his book “Letters from Vatican City”, which was internationally published in several languages. He wrote that regarding this quotation, Pope John XXIII especially mentioned here the conservative Curial Cardinals, and that he would agree with the objectives of the dissident liberal Council Fathers. With this he made a statement that still is hugely cherished by the liberal wing, as it was recently referred to in that way by Pope Francis in his Opening Address to the Synod of Youth.
For a good understanding to whom Pope John XXIII had referred as the “prophets of doom”, please first consider the full context of this quotation. He stated:
“In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, we sometimes have to listen, much to our regret, to voices of persons who, though burning with zeal, are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure. In these modern times they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. They say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, and they behave as though they had learned nothing from history, which is, none the less, the teacher of life. They behave as though at the time of former Councils everything was a full triumph for the Christian idea and life and for proper religious liberty. We feel we must disagree with those prophets of doom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand”
So, to which of the following groups among the Council Fathers did Pope John XXIII refer to?
1. Was it the conservative wing, who accepted to discuss the preparatory documents, which were called by Pope John XXIII in his Opening Address as the “initial gift of celestial grace”? At the time of the Opening Address, they had nothing to fear from this Council, and in what way would they have been motivated to predict “doom” scenarios for the Church and the world, by seeking to prevent the Council? Moreover, they had encouraged Pope John XXIII to call this Council.
2. Or was it the liberal wing, who disagreed with this “initial gift of celestial grace” and worked on its replacement? They had at the time of the opening address, to fear for a full condemnation of their liberal thoughts by the Council, as this was clearly present in the preparatory documents and even mentioned in the Opening Address itself. Herein Pope John XXIII condemned the ‘uncertain opinions of men’ and the ‘new-born errors’, as well as he acknowledged that there certainly were ‘fallacious teachings, opinions, and concepts to be guarded against’.
Isn’t it obvious that it must be the liberal wing? Because of their knowledge of the progress of the preparatory work, they had to fear most the outcome of the Council and therefore had every motive to come up with “doom” scenarios for the Church and the world to prevent the Council proceeding as originally planned. At the start of the Council, it was the liberal wing that confronted Pope John XXIII with “a fait accompli” by deliberately breaking the Council’s rule on the first working day of the Council, creating a conditional situation to reject and replace the preparatory documents. Wasn’t it the liberal wing which after the Council made efforts to replace the hermeneutic rule as set by Pope John XXIII’s objectives for the Council? Even despite Pope Paul VI repeated the original hermeneutic rule in his closure address to the Council: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers”, they changed this rule for a vague and ambiguous terminology “spirit of the council”. In this way they were able to eliminate all undesired conservative influences, including the interventions by Pope Paul VI and the original hermeneutic rule of Pope John XXIII. (Return to letter)
To further explain and clearly illustrate these false portrayals, I beg you to consider the following quotes taken from the Opening Address of Pope John XXIII on October 11th, 1962. These were the stated goals and objectives of the Second Vatican Council, were they not?
- The sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously;
- The Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers;
- Men, without the assistance of the whole of revealed doctrine, cannot reach a complete and firm unity of minds with which are associated true peace and eternal salvation.
- The truth of the Lord will remain forever;
- Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against and dissipated. But these are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits that by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a wellbeing based exclusively on the comforts of life;
- Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries;
- The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all;
- The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character;
- To transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men. It is a patrimony not well received by all, but always a rich treasure available to men of good will.
Clearly, these quotations from Pope John XXIII are fully in accordance with his Encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram, 1959, in which he condemned in harsh terms anyone who denies the revealed Truth or interferes by the spread of lies or indifferences. It is very obvious from these citations that Pope John XXIII showed absolutely no desire to change one iota of Doctrine. From this Opening Address one can only conclude that he sought the traditional teaching of the Fathers, his ‘recent and not-so-recent predecessors’, so that the primary rule of the Council should be understood as: a renewal in unity and in accordance with the Doctrine taught by the Fathers: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers”?. And evidently a “renewal” clearly meant how ‘to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion’. Thereby it appears that, as a ‘conditio sine qua none’, the use of the term ‘medicine of mercy’ may never be decoupled from the need to explain 'the validity of its doctrine more fully’ as he said: ‘pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion'. He did not abrogate any condemnations made by his predecessors, rather he spoke about ‘uncertain opinions of men’, ‘newborn errors’, and ‘fallacious teaching, opinions, and concepts to be guarded against’ in a way he confirmed the condemnation by Pius XII in his Encyclical Humani Generis, of the main principles of the New Theology.
Isn’t it obvious that the Council’s documents with their deliberate ambiguities, contradictory texts and one-sided use of the doctrine cannot be interpreted well, without the correct application of the hermeneutic that considered the full use of the Church’s doctrine: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers”? This should be the hermeneutic rule for interpreting and referring to the Second Vatican Council.(Retour to letter)
To provide you with more factual information on this statement, please, find here the additional document: Vatican II, a Council in threefold?. This document is the extended summary of two other reports. Report 1 is an observational analysis of the evaluation of male religious memberships since 1950 that can be found here , while Report 2 concerns a substantial analysis concerning the general process behind the observations in Report 1 (here ).
(Return to letter)
(Return to letter)
Thursday, February 7, 2019
As had been stated in previous posts and by several traditional Catholic websites, Pope Francis decreed that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei - founded by Pope St. John Paul II - is to be abolished. Its work will now continue in a “special section” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Vatican has said that this decision has been taken because ‘conditions and circumstances change,’ but insisted that dialogue towards regularization of the SSPX ‘continues.’
Salient points in the PCED's history:
- Pope St. John Paul II set up the Pontifical Commission in 1988 in response to Archbishop Lefebvre’s decision that year to consecrate four bishops without papal permission, a schismatic decision according to the Vatican which led to Archbishop Lefebvre’s excommunication along with those of the four bishops.
- Its role was originally to care for Archbishop Lefebvre’s followers who wished to remain united with the successor of Peter, the Fraternity of Saint Peter being the first immediate result.
- It also had the task of regularizing canonical situations of religious communities of a traditionalist nature, giving them a canonical form corresponding to their charism.
- The Commission had the responsibility of working with bishops to facilitate the Tridentine Mass (according to the 1962 Missal) for those faithful who request it.
- Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum gives wider accessibility to the Tridentine Mass.
- Benedict XVI lifted the four SSPX bishops' excommunications in 2009.
- The 2009 motu proprio Ecclesiae unitatem, “organically linked” the commission with the CDF.
- Officials request Pope Francis, in November 2017, that the CDF directly handle dialogue between the Holy See and the SSPX. He consented to their request in January 2018, recognizing that the “questions being dealt with” are “of a doctrinal nature.”
Monday, January 21, 2019
Lettera Apostolica in forma di Motu proprio circa la Pontificia Commissione “Ecclesia Dei”, 19.01.2019
Da oltre trent’anni la Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei, istituita con il Motu proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta, del 2 luglio 1988, ha assolto con sincera sollecitudine e lodevole premura al compito di collaborare coi Vescovi e coi Dicasteri della Curia Romana, nel facilitare la piena comunione ecclesiale dei sacerdoti, seminaristi, comunità o singoli religiosi e religiose, legati alla Fraternità fondata da Mons. Marcel Lefebvre, che desideravano rimanere uniti al Successore di Pietro nella Chiesa Cattolica, conservando le proprie tradizioni spirituali e liturgiche.1
In tal modo, essa ha potuto esercitare la propria autorità e competenza a nome della Santa Sede su dette società e associazioni, fino a quando non si fosse diversamente provveduto.2
Successivamente, in forza del Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, del 7 luglio 2007, la Pontificia Commissione ha esteso l’autorità della Santa Sede su quegli Istituti e Comunità religiose, che avevano aderito alla forma straordinaria del Rito romano e avevano assunto le precedenti tradizioni della vita religiosa, vigilando sull’osservanza e sull’applicazione delle disposizioni stabilite.3
Due anni dopo, il mio Venerato Predecessore Benedetto XVI, col Motu proprio Ecclesiae unitatem, del 2 luglio 2009, ha riorganizzato la struttura della Pontificia Commissione, al fine di renderla più adatta alla nuova situazione venutasi a creare con la remissione della scomunica dei quattro Vescovi consacrati senza mandato pontificio. E, inoltre, ritenendo, che, dopo tale atto di grazia, le questioni trattate dalla medesima Pontificia Commissione fossero di natura primariamente dottrinale, Egli l’ha più organicamente legata alla Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, conservandone comunque le iniziali finalità, ma modificandone la struttura.4
Ora, poiché la Feria IV della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede del 15 novembre 2017 ha formulato la richiesta che il dialogo tra la Santa Sede e la Fraternità Sacerdotale San Pio X venga condotto direttamente dalla menzionata Congregazione, essendo le questioni trattate di carattere dottrinale, alla quale richiesta ho dato la mia approvazione in Audientia al Prefetto il 24 successivo e tale proposta ha avuto l’accoglienza della Sessione Plenaria della medesima Congregazione celebratasi dal 23 al 26 gennaio 2018, sono giunto, dopo ampia riflessione, alla seguente Decisione.
Considerando mutate oggi le condizioni che avevano portato il santo Pontefice Giovanni Paolo II alla istituzione della Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei;
constatando che gli Istituti e le Comunità religiose che celebrano abitualmente nella forma straordinaria, hanno trovato oggi una propria stabilità di numero e di vita;
prendendo atto che le finalità e le questioni trattate dalla Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei, sono di ordine prevalentemente dottrinale;
desiderando che tali finalità si rendano sempre più evidenti alla coscienza delle comunità ecclesiali,
colla presente Lettera Apostolica ‘Motu proprio data’,
1. E’soppressa la Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei, istituita il 2 luglio 1988 col Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta.
2. I compiti della Commissione in parola sono assegnati integralmente alla Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, in seno alla quale verrà istituita una apposita Sezione impegnata a continuare l’opera di vigilanza, di promozione e di tutela fin qui condotta dalla soppressa Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei.
3. Il bilancio della Pontificia Commissione rientra nella contabilità ordinaria della menzionata Congregazione.
Stabilisco, inoltre, che il presente Motu proprio, da osservarsi nonostante qualsiasi cosa contraria, anche se degna di particolare menzione, venga promulgato mediante pubblicazione sul quotidiano L’Osservatore Romano uscente il 19 gennaio 2019, entrando in immediato vigore, e che successivamente sia inserito nel Commentario ufficiale della Santa Sede, Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Dato a Roma, presso San Pietro, il 17 Gennaio 2019, VI del Nostro Pontificato.
1Cf. Joannes Paulus PP. II, Litterae Apostolicae ‘Motu proprio datae’, Ecclesia Dei adflicta’, 2 Iulii 1988, AAS, LXXX (1988), 12 (15 Nov. 1988), 1495-1498, 6a.
2 Cf. Rescriptum ex Audientia Sanctissimi, 18 Oct. 1988, AAS, LXXXII (1990), 5 (3 Maii 1990), 533-534, 6.
3 Cf. Benedictus PP. XVI, Litterae Apostolicae ‘Motu proprio datae’, Summorum Pontificum, 7 Iulii 2007, AAS, XCIX (2007), 9 (7 Sept. 2007), 777-781, 12.
4 Cf. Benedictus PP. XVI, Litterae Apostolicae ‘Motu proprio datae’, Ecclesiae unitatem, 2 Iulii 2009, AAS, CI (2009),
8 (7 Aug. 2009), 710-711, 5.
Monday, January 14, 2019
"They (the Modernists) exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of Tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those “who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind.... or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church”; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: “We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by every one of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.” Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: “I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church” - St. Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi Dominci Gregis, 8 September 1907
Friday, January 11, 2019
Much has been written in the past weeks that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED), the Vatican body in charge of matters related to the Tridentine Mass and of negotiations with traditional Catholic groups (especially the SSPX), is set to be abolished shortly. Its functions would be completely amalgamated and absorbed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Notwithstanding its limitations, the PCED had proven extremely beneficial to the integrity of the Tridentine Mass, especially since 2007.
Last November, this Blog had hinted that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was not going to be abrogated for the time being, but changes were going to occur in that direction. This looks likely to be one of the steps being taken.
We also warned about the risks of an agreement between the SSPX and the Vatican. A personal prelature will be in due course subjected to Canon 297, under which the SPX would need the local Bishop's permission to add new apostolates.
In the meantime the Congregation for Divine Worship is planning to introduce the Novus Ordo Propers of 1970 in the Roman Missal of 1962.
Traditional Catholics should look carefully and fight back as these steps remind us of previous bad experiences, such as:
- the partial suppression of the FSSP by Protocol 1411-99;
- the total suppression of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the Trappist Monks of Aachen, the Little Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Transalpine Redemptorists.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
|Screenshot sent by one of our readers with the ad appearing on the right.|
A reader of this Blog has alerted us to nasty ads appearing on our Blog Pro Tridentina (Malta).
We would appreciate if anyone can tell us how to block and remove such ads which only serve to harm our work.
Comments can be posted beneath this post or sent by e-mail.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
|Count Neri Capponi, second from the left, photo dated 2001 (Source: Controrivoluzione)|
Count Neri Capponi, a prominent Florentine legal scholar and canonist, and one of the great traditional Catholic personalities, died on 13 December 2018 in Florence, Italy. Count Capponi taught for many decades at the University of Florence. He also served on the marriage tribunal of the Archdiocese of the same city and was recognized as a canon lawyer with the credentials to speak before the Roman Rota. Neri Capponi was also a Vice-President of the FIUV and was also Honorary President of the same Federation for many years. He also corresponded with the former President of Pro Tridentina (Malta).
Capponi was known for having defended the right of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to continue his apostolate without being labelled schismatic.
“You cannot apply the standards of the new code of canon law and the mentality of the old code. According to the new code, Lefebvre could do what he did with a Catholic intention, and he did what he did in ‘sincerity’ and invoked the ‘state of emergency’ argument, which the new code permits. You might not like the new code, but it’s what governs the Church.”
Neri Capponi was also very much in favour of Summorum Pontificum. He considered the post-Vatican II period as a time of crisis:
"When asked why I believe the crisis we now face is worse than Arianism, I give these reasons: (a) The principal vehicle of the faith, the liturgy, was untouched by the Arian crisis; (b) whereas the Arian crisis was precipitated and sustained by the intervention of secular power, the post Vatican II crisis comes from within the Church and is therefore more difficult to fight; (c) in the fourth century, Pope Liberius finally signed the excommunication of St. Athanasius under duress—in the twentieth century Pope Paul VI was admittedly taken in and hoodwinked by his misguided optimism, but there was no duress; (d) the present crisis is not only one of faith but of morals as well. In addition, today not only one dogma, albeit a very important one, is denied as with Arianism, but all dogmas, be it even the existence of a personal God!" Times of Crisis, Times for Faith, lecture delivered in 1995.
Friday, December 14, 2018
Pro Tridentina (Malta) looks forward to co-operate in this laudable initiative.
DAY 1 – Monday, September 2, 2019: Depart North America
Depart on overnight flight to Europe, connecting to Malta. Please note: flights are additional cost. (Meals on flights).
DAY 2 – Tuesday, September 3, 2019: Birkirkara
Arrival in Malta – Transfer to hotel and enjoy the afternoon relaxing by the pool in the Mediterranean sun or an optional bus tour which brings you straight to the heart of Malta, through a visit to one of our villages, boasting an imposing baroque basilica, followed by a welcome Mass together experiencing life in a local parish. Welcome dinner in a historic 17th century palazzo followed by a casual evening stroll through the old medieval capital city of Malta, Mdina, known as the Silent city, beautifully illuminated at night time. Included: D
DAY 3 – Wednesday, September 4, 2019: Mdina, Rabat
We start our day in Mdina with Mass at the lovely Carmelite Church, followed by a visit to the baroque cathedral of Saint Paul. Having also visited the Diocesan Museum, we will pass to the adjacent archives of the Metropolitan Chapter, for an exclusive visit that will allow us to see the records of the intriguing Roman Inquisition in Malta. After lunch in an outdoor terrazza overlooking the bastions, we will walk through Mdina and Rabat’s winding streets, making a special visit to Saint Paul’s Grotto, the birthplace of Christianity in Malta, together with the Wignacourt Museum, named after the Grand Master who founded the conventual chaplains who originally cared for this place. Next we visit Saint Paul’s catacombs, the largest catacomb complex in Malta. Leaving Rabat, we will transfer to Malta’s exceptional wine country to visit a winery estate for tasting local wines. Following dinner, an optional relaxing walk through Valletta, the city built by the Knights. Included: B, D
DAY 4 – Thursday, September 5, 2019: Paola, Birgu
Our day will start with Mass in Paola, which bears the name of the Grand Master who founded it, in a church dedicated to one of the greatest saints of the Order of Malta. After Mass, we will move to the Grand Harbor area to enjoy the sea breeze. We will visit the Three Cities, specifically Vittoriosa, the city which withstood victorious the onslaught of the Ottomans during the Great Siege of 1565. We start our visit, as is due, at the Collegiate church of Saint Lawrence, the original conventual church of the Order in Malta. In an adjacent oratory, we will venerate a medieval icon brought over from Rhodes, and we will see the sword and cap used by Grand Master La Vallette during the Great Siege. Following lunch at the Vittoriosa waterfront, we will visit Castel Sant’Angelo, originally the medieval Castrum Maris, and now the Maltese seat of the Order in Malta. This fortification allows for breath-taking views of the surrounding Grand Harbor. We end the tour in Vittoriosa, or Birgu, as it is locally known, by a visit to the Inquisitor’s Palace, unique among such palaces in Europe, for having withstood not only the ravages of time, but also spared from destruction by the Napoleonic forces. Following dinner, we end our night with a relaxing walk through Saint Julian’s and a drink by the sea. Included: B, D
DAY 5 – Friday, September 6, 2019: VallettaWe will start our day in one of Valletta’s oldest churches, Saint Augustine’s, followed by a short walk to the Monastery Church of Saint Ursula, home to a female branch of the Order of Malta. Here will venerate the relic of the head of Blessed Gerard, the founder of the Knights of Malta. From there we move to the Order’s Conventual Church, now Saint John’s Co-Cathedral. Hidden behind its austere facade, lies Malta’s most precious architectural gem, from the ornate marble tombstones of the Knights, hailed as being the most beautiful floor in Europe, to the rich vault decorated by the Knight-Artist, Mattia Preti. At the adjacent museum, we will see Malta’s two very rare Caravaggio paintings, the Beheading of the Baptist, the only one to bear his signature, as well as his Saint Jerome. After lunch, we will be able to visit the National Library, which holds the Order’s archives, followed by a tour of a 16th century palace, still home to a Maltese noble family. The Knight Don Pietro La Rocca built the palace. We will end our evening with a traditional dinner, where one can taste a selection of local cuisine. Included: B, D
DAY 6 – Saturday, September 7, 2019: Gozo, Rabat
We move today to Gozo – the island of Calypso, mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. Enjoy the boat ride, passing the picturesque St Paul’s Bay and the magnificent view of Saint Paul’s Islands, traditionally held to be the place of Paul’s shipwreck. After a short trip across the channel, we will start our day in Gozo by Mass at the famous Ta’ Pinu Basilica, Malta’s most venerated Marian shrine. Saint John Paul II came here as a pilgrim during his pastoral visit to the Maltese islands in 1990. Mass will be followed by a walk through Gozo’s imposing Cittadella, a fortified city, as well as a visit to the nearby Saint George’s Basilica. A walk through Victoria, named in honor of the Empress, Queen Victoria, on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, will allow us to see the famous lace-making craft in Gozo. Following a relaxing lunch in one of the most beautiful bays of the island, we will continue for the afternoon to Xagħra. Here will visit Ġgantija, a prehistoric complex which is said to be about 5,500 years old, making it the world’s second oldest standing religious structure. Xagħra will be celebrating its feast day, which will allow us to end the day by attending Solemn Vespers at the local basilica dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin. Included: B
DAY 7 – Sunday, September 8, 2019: Valletta Celebration Our Lady of Victories, SengleaWe will start this special day when Malta celebrates its annual il-Vitorja, the celebration of the victory over the Turks in 1565, with Mass at the Chapel of Fort Saint Elmo, a place made sacred by the blood of the martyrs of the Great Siege of 1565. This will be followed by time to visit this fort as well as the interesting War Museum. We will then walk up the hill to visit the Grand Master’s Palace and Armory. Following lunch, we will transfer for a relaxing afternoon at Malta’s most beautiful beach. We will end our day by immersing ourselves into a local festa street celebration in honor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at Senglea, which bears the name of the Grand Master who built it. Included: B
Day 8 – Monday, September 9, 2018: Marsaxlokk, Birkirkara
A relaxing Sunday morning, enjoying Malta’s coastline and the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. Visit a traditional fishing village in a rural area on a sleepy Sunday morning. Experience life on the sea as you catch a rare glimpse of the locals, fisherman for centuries, amid palms, sun and surf. Boat ride to the Blue Grotto. Lunch on the seashore. Visit St. Peter’s Pool, an enchanting bay on the sea with natural rock formations. Sung Mass at St. Paul’s church in Birkirkara, home of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Malta. Included: B, D
Day 9 – Tuesday, September 10, 2019: Free Day
Free day for exploration, shopping, rest or leisure. Morning Mass at St. Juliana’s old parish church. Enjoy an afternoon at the hotel pool. Or re-visit some favorite sites. Final farewell dinner. Included: B, D
Day 10 – Wednesday, September 11, 2019: Depart Malta
Return flights home to North America. Included: B
N.B. Itinerary is tentative and subject to change.
To add to our joy for the Christmas season, Pro Tridentina (Malta) is announcing that it is studying the possibility of forming a Confraternity of the laity and priests involved in the traditional Latin Mass.
What will be the function and purpose of the Confraternity? It will enable and support priests who wish to offer the Tridentine Mass, it will provide a formal structure of financial, spiritual and organisational aid with the aim of establishing a network of places where the Mass will be offered.
This will be in line with the wish of Pope Benedict XVI when he expressed a desire to see more priests crossing parish boundaries to share their vocation in a broader sense and to draw strength from working not in isolation but together.
- The initial plan is to begin setting up a network of "host" parishes that will offer the Tridentine Mass;
- It will then provide "Mass kits" in each of the host parishes. Vestments, altar missals, altar cards and so on that are urgently needed.
Anyone interested to be part of this project, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help in any way.
Monday, November 26, 2018
In the past days, several traditional Catholic websites have stated that a number of Italian Bishops have attacked Summorum Pontificum, and want the Tridentine Mass abrogated. This Blog would like to state the following, thanks to our sources inside the Holy See:
- It is true that this attack on the motu proprio has taken place, BUT;
- Pope Francis, as was advised and posted here, will not dare to abrogate the Tridentine Mass, at least NOT YET;
- The current upheaval inside the Vatican has postponed the massive liturgical changes that were to occur this year;
So, what is the real strategy? It is based on the following steps:
- Start the liturgical changes as was envisaged initially, but only after the waters have calmed down;
- Reach the agreement with the SSPX, i.e. creating a personal prelature so that the biggest traditional Catholic group is harnessed and silenced;
- If Benedict XVI dies (let's pray this will be in the distant future), there will be no problem for the current Pope to abrogate the motu proprio. This seems to be taken from 2 perspectives - Francis genuinely has respect for Benedict XVI, whilst at the same time the accusation that Francis isn't Pope because Benedict XVI was forced to abdicate, will die a natural death.
This Blog will continue to follow developments in this area. In the meantime, it is hoped that traditional Catholic groups, in particular the FIUV, start piling up pressure on the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Omelia sull’altare contenente le spoglie mortali di Santa Caterina da Siena.
Carissimi sacerdoti, seminaristi, religiosi, fratelli e sorelle in Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo,permettetemi per cominciare di dare un saluto e ringraziare i padri domenicani di questa basilica per la loro accoglienza. Questa Santa Messa pontificale solenne celebra la fine del pellegrinaggio “Summorum Pontificum” dei cattolici legati alla forma tradizionale del rito romano, concessa finalmente a tutti dal Santo Padre Benedetto XVI con il Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum”.
Siamo nell’Anno della Fede proclamato da Benedetto XVI e proseguito da Papa Francesco.
La nostra fede, com’è ben espresso nella lettera apostolica Porta Fidei, deve essere “professata, celebrata, vissuta e pregata”.
La Santa Messa, la celebrazione del sacrificio eucaristico, è una delle più importati professioni di fede. E se noi amiamo, se preferiamo, se conserviamo la Santa Messa nella forma tradizionale del rito romano, è perché questa è una vera e propria professione di fede dei dogmi eucaristici: il dogma della Messa come sacrificio, rinnovo incruento del sacrificio della Croce; il dogma della presenza reale; quello della transustanziazione dovuto alle parole del sacerdote che agisce in persona Christi capitis e non alla fede del popolo; e quello del sacerdozio “ministeriale” dei presbiteri e dei vescovi, distinto da quello comune dei fedeli. La nostra fedeltà alla Santa Messa nella forma tradizionale del rito romano è dettata dalla nostra fede. E’ questa professione di fede, professata e celebrata attraverso la Messa tradizionale, che noi offriamo al Santo Padre come prova della nostra fedeltà alla Santa Chiesa.
Inoltre, la Santa Messa tradizionale è un importantissimo contributo per la Nuova Evangelizzazione. Perché è una chiara espressione liturgica dei dogmi eucaristici; perché manifesta perfettamente la dignità del sacro attraverso la ricchezza, la nobiltà e la solennità delle sue cerimonie; per il senso del mistero che comunica; ed infine, perché è uno dei tesori liturgici cattolici attraverso il quale affermiamo il nostro amore per la Santa Chiesa e la nostra comunione con essa.
Che il Santo Padre riconosca, nella nostra forma liturgica, l’espressione della nostra piena comunione con lui e con la Chiesa.
Oggi celebriamo la bellissima festa del Cristo Re. Questa festa fu istituita dal papa Pio XI in risposta al laicismo che regnava all’epoca e che fa tanti danni oggi. “…Mentre indagavamo le cause precipue di quelle calamità da cui vedevamo oppresso e angustiato il genere umano — ricordiamo d’aver chiaramente espresso non solo che tanta colluvie di mali imperversava nel mondo perché la maggior parte degli uomini avevano allontanato Gesù Cristo e la sua santa legge dalla pratica della loro vita, dalla famiglia e dalla società, ma altresì che mai poteva esservi speranza di pace duratura fra i popoli, finché gli individui e le nazioni avessero negato e da loro rigettato l’impero di Cristo Salvatore. ” (Enciclica Quas Primas, 1)
E’ per combattere questi mali che il papa istituì una festa speciale di Gesù Cristo Re.
“Ora, se comandiamo che Cristo Re venga venerato da tutti i cattolici del mondo, con ciò Noi provvederemo alle necessità dei tempi presenti, apportando un rimedio efficacissimo a quella peste che pervade l’umana società.” “La peste della età nostra è il così detto laicismo coi suoi errori e i suoi empi incentivi; e voi sapete, o Venerabili Fratelli, che tale empietà non maturò in un solo giorno ma da gran tempo covava nelle viscere della società. Infatti si cominciò a negare l’impero di Cristo su tutte le genti; si negò alla Chiesa il diritto — che scaturisce dal diritto di Gesù Cristo — di ammaestrare, cioè, le genti, di far leggi, di governare i popoli per condurli alla eterna felicità. E a poco a poco la religione cristiana fu uguagliata con altre religioni false e indecorosamente abbassata al livello di queste; quindi la si sottomise al potere civile e fu lasciata quasi all’arbitrio dei principi e dei magistrati. Si andò più innanzi ancora: vi furono di quelli che pensarono di sostituire alla religione di Cristo un certo sentimento religioso naturale. Né mancarono Stati i quali opinarono di poter fare a meno di Dio, riposero la loro religione nell’irreligione e nel disprezzo di Dio stesso .” (Enciclica Quas Primas, 18)
Per ben comprendere chi sia l’attuale nemico della civilizzazione cristiana, ci sono queste parole di Pio XII: “Oh, non chiedeteCi qual è il « nemico », né quali vesti indossi. Esso si trova dappertutto e in mezzo a tutti; sa essere violento e subdolo. In questi ultimi secoli ha tentato di operare la disgregazione intellettuale, morale, sociale dell’unità nell’organismo misterioso di Cristo. Ha voluto la natura senza la grazia; la ragione senza la fede; la libertà senza l’autorità; talvolta l’autorità senza la libertà. È un « nemico » divenuto sempre più concreto, con una spregiudicatezza che lascia ancora attoniti: Cristo sì, Chiesa no. Poi: Dio sì, Cristo no. Finalmente il grido empio : Dio è morto; anzi : Dio non è mai stato. Ed ecco il tentativo di edificare la struttura del mondo sopra fondamenti che Noi non esitiamo ad additare come principali responsabili della minaccia che incombe sulla umanità: un’economia senza Dio, un diritto senza Dio, una politica senza Dio. Il « nemico » si è adoperato e si adopera perché Cristo sia un estraneo nelle Università, nella scuola, nella famiglia, nell’amministrazione della giustizia, nell’attività legislativa, nel consesso delle nazioni, là ove si determina la pace o la guerra.” (Discorso agli uomini dell’Azione Cattolica, 12 ottobre 1952)
Ma, coraggio! La vittoria del Bene è certa, la vittoria di Cristo e della Chiesa.
Ma, coraggio! La vittoria del Bene è certa, la vittoria di Cristo e della Chiesa.
A Piazza San Pietro c’è un obelisco egizio che anticamente era collocato sulla spina del circo di Nerone ed era simbolo della vittoria sui cristiani perseguitati e morti in quel luogo, a cominciare da San Pietro. Oggi il circo di Nerone non esiste più. Al suo posto si eleva la magnifica basilica di San Pietro, e, se l’obelisco si trova ancora lì, esso reca ormai l’iscrizione “Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!”. Cristo vince, Cristo regna, Cristo impera. La vittoria finale!
E questo è vero anche per la Chiesa. Celebriamo questa Messa nella bellissima basilica di Santa Maria sopra la Minerva, che vuol dire che qui, sotto di noi, si trova il tempio della dea Minerva. Oggi questa basilica è dedicata alla Madonna. E’ la vittoria della Santa Vergine Maria su Minerva, di Cristo e della Chiesa sul paganesimo.
Fiduciosi nella protezione della nostra Santissima Madre, continuiamo a combattere. La vittoria è certa. Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! Così sia!"
Monsignor Fernando Arêas Rifan, ordinario dell’Amministrazione apostolica personale di San Giovanni Maria Vianney di Campos (Brasile), 27 ottobre 2013, Festa del Cristo Re.
Born in 1969, Xuereb obtained a Diploma in Italian Language and Culture (University of Perugia) and graduated B.A. (Hons.) in European Studies and M.A. International Relations from the University of Malta. For the latter degree, he undertook research in the Vatican Secret Archives in 2011.
He was involved in several Catholic organisations, in particular one can mention his serving as an altar boy in St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican) in 1981. He is a member of 3 Confraternities: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Saint Michael and Saint Peter.
Xuereb was one of the main promoters of the Tridentine Mass started since 2002. Thanks to contacts with the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), a number of Maltese got to know each other and in 2007 founded Pro Tridentina (Malta). Xuereb was its first President until 2012. He later served as its interim President (2012-2013) and Co-ordinator (2014-2015).
Xuereb was elected to the FIUV Council in 2009, the same year when Pro Tridentina (Malta) became a member. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2013. In 2015, he informed the Council that he was not going to submit his candidature on behalf of Pro Tridentina (Malta). During his Council period, Xuereb was the moderator of the Communications sub-committee for some time and also Assistant Treasurer.
Due to health reasons, Xuereb stopped being active in the traditional Catholic movement in 2015, although he still promotes the Tridentine Mass informally.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
That the Church in Malta has - and continues to - hamper diffusion of Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is demonstrated by statistics:
- In Malta and Gozo, which are two separate dioceses, there are a total of 78 parishes (63 in Malta and 15 in Gozo) and 6 national parishes. There is only one Tridentine Mass, once a week on Sunday evening, in the whole of this country, i.e. a mere 0.013% (Tridentine Mass / parish)!
- On the other hand, in France, where the Catholic Church in France is organised into 98 dioceses and 4300 parishes, there are 488 parishes that have regular Tridentine Masses, i.e. more than 10% of the total!
Monday, October 8, 2018
Last year, this Blog broke the news that massive liturgical changes were expected later this year. Soon afterwards, unexpectedly, controversy with traditional groups followed (read here, here and here), notwithstanding the fact that Pope Francis himself had invoked ‘magisterial authority’ to declare liturgy changes ‘irreversible’.
However, following Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's revelations in the past weeks, sources in the Holy See indicated that pressure was mounted on Pope Francis to delay the liturgical changes to sometime in 2019, or even later, in order to avoid more controversy within the Vatican. There is a real fear that if liturgical changes are introduced in the coming weeks, they could lead to a schism that would hit the heart of the Church. The names of two Cardinals, both deemed to be close to Pope Francis, were mentioned. Allegedly, Pope Francis has agreed to this postponement. Since this Blog has been unable to contact any of the Cardinals, we prudently are avoiding to mention them.
Still, this Blog will continue to update its readers whenever news on this matter close to our hearts is made available to us.