CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Note for the presentation of the Decree Cum sanctissima
on the liturgical celebration in honour of Saints
in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite
With the Decree Cum sanctissima of 22 February 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which since January 2019 deals with those matters formerly assigned to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, completed the work initiated several years earlier by that Commission in order to fulfill the mandate given by Pope Benedict XVI to facilitate the celebration of more recently canonized Saints according to the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite. Indeed, since the Sanctoral of the forma extraordinaria is determined by the liturgical books in force in 1962, Saints canonized thereafter were not included therein.
The studies carried out in order to develop a practical solution for the liturgical celebration of more recent Saints in the Usus Antiquior provided an opportunity to address the many issues that this matter raises, such as the density of the existing calendar (particularly as regards III class feasts), the consideration of all the repercussions of any potential changes, the always preferable consistency between Mass and the Divine Office, and the matter of the liturgical texts to be used.
In this context, it appeared that rather than dealing with this or that more recent Saint, it would be more appropriate to lay down a general principle that would enable, within the general rubrical context of the forma extraordinaria, and when the liturgical day permits, the celebration of any Saint canonized after the 1960s, on the date of their proper feast.
Specifically, the Decree broadens the scope of missæ festivæ latiore sensu referred to in n. 302-c of the Rubricæ Generales Missalis Romani (which hitherto only applied to IV class days), to a number of III class feasts and to III class vigils (cf. Decree, n. 1). It is therefore clear that the new provisions will not in any way affect other celebrations, and in particular those of the I or II classes. In addition, the Decree specifies that missæ festivæ latiore sensu may be celebrated in honour of Saints canonized after 26 July 1960 (which is the date of the last amendment to the Martyrology of the forma extraordinaria), on their respective liturgical feast day (n. 2).
With this principle in mind, the other provisions of the Decree give the necessary indications that derive therefrom, such as the applicability to the Divine Office, which in such a case is to be celebrated in full in honour of the Saint (n. 3), the requirement to make a commemoration of potentially occurring III class feasts, as the case may be (n. 4), and the rules relating to the selection of the liturgical texts to be used (n. 5). Regarding this particular point, one should note the three successive sources from which texts are to be drawn, namely in the first place the Proprium Sanctorum pro aliquibus locis which already exists in the Missal of the forma extraordinaria, secondly a special Supplement to be published by the Holy See in the future, and finally, should the two former sources be lacking, the existing Commune Sanctorum.
It is noteworthy that the celebration of more recent Saints pursuant to the new provisions is a mere possibility, and therefore it remains optional. Accordingly, those who wish to continue to celebrate the Saints according to the existing calendar of the forma extraordinaria as it appears in the liturgical books, remain free to do so. In relation to this, one should be reminded that the existence of optional feasts in honour of the Saints is not a complete novelty in the Roman Rite, given that throughout the post-tridentine period, and up till the rubrical reform carried out by Pope St. Pius X, the calendar included no less that twenty-five such so-called ad libitum feasts.
The new Decree also opens a further possibility for cases in which whilst following the existing calendar, one wishes at the same time to honour eventual other occurring Saints. Specifically, according to n. 6 of the Decree, an ad libitum commemoration of an occurring Saint may be made, if said Saint appears in the Proprium pro aliquibus locis or in the future special Supplement.
In choosing whether or not to make use of the provisions of the Decree in liturgical celebrations in honour of the Saints, the celebrant is expected to make use of good pastoral common sense. As regards the particular case of celebrations in Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life, n. 7 of the Decree provides some useful clarification.
The Decree concludes (n. 8) with reference to a list of seventy III class feasts that may never be impeded by its provisions. This list, which is provided as an annex, reflects the particular importance of the feasts in question, on the basis of precise criteria, e.g. the importance of these respective Saints in the Plan of Salvation or in the history of the Church, their importance in terms of either the devotion they have generated or their writings, or the antiquity of their worship in Rome.
 Cf. Francis, Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio on the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, 17 January 2019.
 “New Saints (…) can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the Usus Antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard”: Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio Data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, AAS 99 (2007) 798. This mandate was further confirmed and completed in 2011 by the Instruction Universæ Ecclesiæ of the same Pontifical Commission: cf. Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, Instruction on the Application of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of His Holiness Benedict XVI given Motu Proprio, n. 25, AAS 103 (2011) 418.
 In fact there is only one such III class vigil in the calendar of the forma extraordinaria, namely that of St. Lawrence on 9 August. On this subject one may be reminded that from 1568 until the Codex Rubricarum of 1960, non-privileged vigils such as that of St. Lawrence were of the simplex rite, and accordingly, when they fell in occurrence with a semiduplex or duplex feast of a Saint, that feast would prevail over the vigil. With the reform enacted under St. Pius X in 1911-1914, in non-conventual Masses the celebrant could, in certain cases, choose between the Mass of the occurring Saint or the Mass of the vigil (cr. Additiones et variationes in rubricis Missalis, n. 1).
Friday, May 1, 2020
Press Release: CDF Decrees on new Prefaces and Saints for the Extraordinary Form - From the President and Officers of the FIUV
26th March 2020
Yesterday the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), now exercising the functions of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has issued two decrees, one on Prefaces to be added to the 1962 Missal (), and the other on the possibility of saints, canonised since 1962 to have Masses celebrated in their honour (). (English summary here.)
The Federation was consulted on both issues, and we would like to thank the CDF for taking the views of our members into account in developing these decrees.
The Federation welcomes in particular the possibility of making a liturgical commemoration of saints canonised since 1962, without excessive disruption to the Sanctoral Calendar as it has come down to us. We wish, however, to issue some notes of caution.
On Prefaces, we note that the Note presenting the decree explains that while three of the seven newly permitted Prefaces are of the ‘Neo-Gallican’ tradition (of 18th century French origin), the other four are Prefaces used in the Ordinary Form, though not composed from scratch for the reformed Mass: ‘their central section(s), known as the “embolism”, appear in ancient liturgical sources’.
This implies that these ancient Prefaces have been adapted for use in the Ordinary Form, a process which makes them conform less, rather than more, with the spirit of the Extraordinary Form. If the value of these Prefaces lies in their antiquity, it is not clear what is to be gained by their being used in the Extraordinary Form in a redaction designed to make them conform to the themes and preferences of the Ordinary Form.
Further, we would like to appeal to priests celebrating the Extraordinary Form to bear in mind the great antiquity, theological importance, and centrality to the ancient Roman liturgical tradition, of the Preface of Trinity Sunday, and the Common Preface, whose use would become less frequent if the newly optional Prefaces were systematically employed. These two Prefaces have been of such centrality to the celebration of ancient Mass up to this point, that to downgrade them to mere options among others would be to make a fundamental change in the balance of texts and theological ideas which the Missal presents to the Faithful over the course of the year.
On the Saints, we note the list of saints celebrated as 3rd Class feasts, whose celebration remains obligatory. We recognise that in order to make possible the celebration of the new saints room must somehow be made for them, and we endorse the method proposed. We have reservations, however, about the composition of this list.
We note with particular dismay that the only male lay saints on the list are SS Cosmas and Damian: this seems an omission in need of correction, particularly as the excluded category include men central to the development of their countries: St Louis of France, St Stephen of Hungary, St Henry the Emperor of Germany, St Edward the Confessor of England, and St Wenceslas of Bohemia, outstanding examples of the vocation of the laity to ‘to penetrate and perfect the temporal order with the spirit of the Gospel’.
Also completely absent are female founders of religious orders, such as St Angela Merici, St Juliana of Falconieri, and St Jane Francis de Chantal.
Although we are pleased to see two widows on the list—St Monica and St Francis of Rome— it would seem in general that non-clerical vocations, of the active or the religious life, which are richly represented in the ancient sanctoral calendar, have been set aside as of marginal importance.
Another category poorly represented on the list are Doctors of the Church. Some of the highest importance have been excluded: St Isidore, St John Damascene, St Bede, and St Irenaeus.
The imbalance represented by the list of obligatory saints appears to have been inherited from the list of non-optional Memorials found in the sanctoral cycle of the Ordinary Form, which it closely resembles. The lack of interest in the lay vocation and in the Doctors of the Church shown by the reformers of the 1960s should not be allowed to distort the presentation of the Church’s great patrimony of saints in celebrations of the Extraordinary Form today.
In choosing when to avail themselves of the option to celebrate newly canonised saints, we would like to appeal to priests celebrating the Extraordinary Form to consider carefully the balance of the categories of the saints, the importance of maintaining the connection to the distant past represented by the most ancient saints, and the value of the Marian devotional feasts also now rendered optional, such as Our Lady of Lourdes and the Presentation of Mary.
As an indication of feasts which we regard as particularly worthy of continued celebration, we give the following, non-exhaustive, list.
14/01 St Hilary
10/02 St Scholastica
11/02 Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (of Lourdes)
17/03 St Patrick
18/03 St Cyril of Jerusalem
27/03 St John Damascene
4/04 St Isidore
27/05 St Bede
3/07 St Irenaeus
15/07 St Henry, Emperor
25/08 St Louis, King
30/08 St Rose of Lima
2/09 St Stephen, King
28/09 St Wenceslas, Duke and Martyr
8/10 St Bridget, Widow
13/10 St Edward, King
24/10 St Rafael the Archangel
15/11 St Albert the Great
21/11 Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
25/11 St Catherine of Alexandria
 Second Vatican Council Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam actuositatem 5
We will start the first part of these articles with the latest developments concerning the Tridentine Mass.
Pope Francis has now taken a major new step concerning the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass and the motu proprio Summorum pontificum issued by Benedict XVI. Pope Francis has sent two letters to all the Bishops of the world pertaining to Summorum Pontificum to ask a number of questions. The bishops are directed to respond to the questionnaire of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith by 31 July 2020.
The worrying issue is related to the fact that many bishops are hostile to the traditional Latin Mass. Therefore their responses are expected to be almost universally hostile to the Tridentine Mass. If one looks at the Maltese dioceses, the situation is that the Tridentine Mass is only allowed in one small church in Malta every Sunday. This has meant that other priests in Malta are de facto prohibited from celebrating the Tridentine Mass in public. Even though in some occasions more than 100 persons attended Tridentine Masses organised by Pro Tridentina (Malta) when a fully functioning committee was in place. In Gozo, the situation is even worse, because the Tridentine Mass is not allowed at all!
This could provide a pretext for the Pope to come to the conclusion that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass has not been widely or well received and that, therefore, Summorum Pontificum and its permissions will be abolished.
Such a development may come into effect this Advent or the Advent of 2021. Presumably the Tridentine Mass will revert to the status given to it in 1984 and 1988 by Saint Pope John Paul II.
Having said that, it's the opinion of this Blog that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum will be retained as the second and third parts will show.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Guidelines on how to practice your faith during the coronavirus pandemic:
1. Practice the habit of trying to elicit Perfect Contrition and of partaking in Spiritual Communion until you have the opportunity to receive the true Sacrament of Penance.
2. Say the Rosary together with your family.
3. Read spiritual works.
4. Study the Propers of the Roman Missal.
Unless there are important notifications this Blog will remain inactive till daily life returns to normal.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Now that last month's conflicting stories about the genesis of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah’s new book on priestly celibacy have calmed down (to a certain extent), it seems the right time to publish the correspondence from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to Cardinal Sarah. We leave our readers to reach their own conclusions. We however dismiss that this book opposes the millennial Church teachings, that Benedict XVI has no right to express his views, that the Pope Emeritus was “manipulated,” and that Cardinal Sarah has shown contempt for married priests in the Eastern Rite.
Statement by His Eminence Cardinal Robert Sarah
14 January 2020
Last 5 September, after a visit to the monastery Mater Ecclesiae where Benedict XVI lives, I wrote to the Pope Emeritus to ask him if it was possible for him to compose a text on the Catholic priesthood, with special attention to celibacy. I explained to him that I myself had begun a reflection in prayer. I added: “I imagine that you will think that your reflections might not be opportune because of the polemics they might provoke in the media, but I am convinced that the whole Church needs this gift, which could be published at Christmas or at the beginning of the year 2020.”
On 20 September, the Pope Emeritus thanked me by writing to me that he too, on his part, even before receiving my letter, had begun to write a text on this subject, but that his strength no longer allowed him to edit a theological text. However, my letter had encouraged him to resume this long work. He added that he would transmit it to me when the translation into Italian was completed.
On 12 October, during the synod of bishops on the Amazon, the Pope emeritus gave me a long text in a confidential envelope, the fruit of his work over the past months. Seeing the extent of this writing, both in substance and in form, I immediately thought that it would not be possible to propose it to a newspaper or magazine, given its volume and quality. So, I immediately proposed to the Pope Emeritus the publication of a book that would be an immense good for the Church, integrating his own text into mine. After various exchanges in view of the development of the book, on 19 November, I finally sent a manuscript, the cover, a common introduction and conclusion, the text of Benedict XVI and my own text. On 25 November, the Pope Emeritus expressed his great satisfaction with the texts written in common, and he added the following: “For my part, I agree that the text should be published in the form you have foreseen.”
On 3 December, I went to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery to thank the Pope Emeritus once again for placing his trust in me. I explained to him that our book would be printed during the Christmas holidays, that it would be published on Wednesday 15 January, and that I would come to bring it to him at the beginning of January on my return from a trip to my native country.
The polemic that has sought to smear me for several hours now, by insinuating that Benedict XVI was not informed of the publication of the book ‘From the Depths of our Hearts’ is deeply abject. I sincerely forgive all those who slander me or who want to oppose me to Pope Francis. My attachment to Benedict XVI remains intact and my filial obeisance to Pope Francis remains absolute.
LETTERS FROM BENEDICT XVI TO CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH
20 September 2019
To His Eminence the Most Rev.
Cardinal Robert SARAH
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments
00120 Vatican City
Thank you for your letter of September 5 and for your prayers for the priesthood in these difficult times!
Prior to your letter, I had already begun to write down some reflections on the priesthood. But in writing I always felt that my forces no longer allow me to edit a theological text.
Then your letter came with the unexpected question of a text on the priesthood, with particular attention to celibacy. So, I resumed by work and will pass on to you the text, once it is translated from German into Italian. I leave it to you [to determine] if these notes, whose insufficiency I feel strongly, can be of any use.
Following your question, I impart my apostolic blessing to you, to your collaborators, and to all your loved ones.
Yours in the Lord,
12 October 2019
To His Eminence the Most Rev.
Cardinal Robert SARAH
Prefect of the Congregation forDivine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments
00120 Vatican City
Finally, I may pass on my Thoughts on the Priesthood. I shall leave it to you if you find any use in my poor thoughts.
I greet you cordially, thankful for your service to the Holy Church.
Yours in the Lord,
25 November 2019
To His Eminence the Most Rev.
Cardinal Robert SARAH
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments
00120 Vatican City
With all my heart I would like to say thank you for the text added to my contribution and for all the work you have done. It touched me deeply that you understood my last intentions: I had actually written 7 pages clarifying the methodology of my text and I am truly happy to say that you were able to say the essential in half a page. So, I do not see a need to send you the 7 pages, since you have expressed the essentials in half a page.
For my part, the text can be published in the form that you have foreseen.
I am happy to see you before your departure for your homeland and to express my best wishes for your double jubilee.
Thank you also for the three volumes of your dialogue with Monsieur Diat!
In communion of prayer,
Yours in the Lord,
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
“The future looks dark for you. Your interior struggle for true perception and the way to take in the confusion is known to me. And so I shall enlighten you. My faithful son Marcel (Archbishop Lefebvre), who suffers a great deal for the faith, is going on the right path. He is like a light and pillar of truth, which many ordained priests of mine are betraying. Faith is greater than obedience. Therefore it is my will that the work of theological education for priests continues in the spirit and will of my son Marcel, for the salvation and great help of my one and true Church.
“The spirit of the world has infiltrated the Church, and the Spirit of God has abandoned many hearts who were called to proclaim His Spirit. They talk about other things and lose themselves in the tricks and snares of Satan. And thus they corrupt the people and even the children ( . . . ) This spirit has penetrated the ecclesiastics and monasteries and convents, because the monks and nuns have lost and deserted the spirit of the Founders of their Orders. They have become a scandal for the people and the world. They have lost not only love towards My most holy Mother, but also reverence towards My sacramental presence. Instead the monks preach about things of the world, of luxury, of a life of pleasure, and the nuns do not talk about the holy angels, and many not even about the most holy Virgin and Mother Mary. Still, places do exist of quiet and of prayer, special shrines in which Mary, My Mother and the Mother of grace, is honoured.”
The quote above refers to the message of 5 March 1976, from Our Lord. From 1922, Jesus appeared with a message on every First Friday of the month to Fr. Albert Drexel (1889–1977), a prestigious professor of philology from the Vorarlberg in Austria and a devout Catholic priest. WARNING: No Catholic is obliged to believe that these are the words of Our Lord Himself.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
It's a sad end to the year 2019, with the death of Cardinal Prospero Grech OSA that was announced yesterday. Some years ago, this Blog had posted an article about this eminent son of Malta. Today, we post his meditation to the Cardinals delivered before the election of Francis as Pope. As far as we know, this is the first time that this meditation is being published on a Maltese website. We thank the former President of Pro Tridentina (Malta), Godwin Xuereb, who corresponded with the late Cardinal,who found this meditation for this Blog. This meditation remains valid, perhaps even more, than when it was delivered to the Cardinals.
Meditation of Cardinal Prospero Grech OSA to Cardinals Gathered in Conclave
At the venerable age of 87 I am one of the oldest members of the College of Cardinals, but as regards my nomination I am just a newborn; and since my life was always given to study, my knowledge of the affairs of the Curia do not exceed the third grade level. Only thus do I dare present this simple meditation in nomine Domini. What you are about to do in this Sistine Chapel is a kairos, an important moment of grace, in the history of salvation, which continues in the Church until the end of time. You are aware that this moment asks of you the greatest accountability. It does not matter if the Pontiff whom you will elect is of one nationality or another, of one race or another, what is important is only whether, when the Lord asks him the question “Peter, do you love me?” he can respond with utmost sincerity: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you”: (1)
Then the sheep entrusted to him by Jesus will be safe and sound, and Peter will follow Christ, the supreme Pastor, wherever he goes. Here I have no intention of presenting an identikit of the new pope, and much less present a work chart for the future pontiff. This delicate task is up to the Holy Spirit, who in recent decades has given us a number of great saintly popes. My intent is to draw some reflections from Scripture to help us understand what Christ wants of his Church, reflections that may help you in your discussions. During his life, Jesus sent the disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God (2) The Kingdom has many facets, but we can summarize its essence as the moment of grace and reconciliation that the Father gives the world in the person and work of Christ. Kingdom and Church are not the same. The Kingdom is the fatherly sovereignty of God which encompasses all the recipients of his grace. After his resurrection, Jesus sent the apostles into the world to make disciples of all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (3) The Church does this by presenting the Gospel without compromise, without diluting the word. In the words of Paul: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, for Jew first and then for Greek “. (4) When we descend to making compromises with the Gospel it is emptied of its dynamis, as if the dynamite contained in a hand grenade were removed from it. We should not give in to the temptation even to think that, since the Second Vatican Council has resolved the question of salvation even for those who are outside the Church, the need for baptism has been relativized. Today we add the neglect of so many indifferent Catholics who forget or refuse to baptize their children. The proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is expressed in the announcement of “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (5) Both the divine sonship of Christ and his crucifixion are the scandalum crucis, “foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are saved, to us, the power of God.” (6) It is precisely this scandal of the cross, which humbles the pride of the human mind and elevates it to accept a wisdom that comes from above. Even in this case, relativizing the person of Christ, placing him next to other “saviours”, means emptying Christianity itself of its substance. It is precisely the preaching of the absurdity of the cross, which in less than three hundred years, reduced to a minimum the religions of the Roman Empire, and opened the minds of men to a new vision of hope and resurrection. Today’s world is thirsty for the very same hope, for it suffers from an existential depression. The crucified Christ, however, is intimately linked to the crucified Church. It is the Church of the martyrs, those of the first centuries up to the many faithful who, in certain countries, expose themselves to death simply by going to Sunday mass. But the crucified Church is not limited to its martyrs. When she reveals the person, teaching and behavior of Christ, she does no more than present the Truth, which is Christ Himself. (7) The Church, therefore, asks men to see themselves in the mirror of Christ and of herself. Everyone wants to know the truth, but when it reveals our faults it is then hated and persecuted: “Oculis aegris odiosa lux, quae sanis amabilis”, (8) Augustine says. And Jesus predicts: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” (9) So then, persecution is a quid constitutivum of the Church, as is the weakness of her members, from which she cannot be separated without losing her individuality, it is a cross that must be embraced. Persecution, however, is not always physical, there is also the persecution of lies: “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all manner of evil against You because of me.” (10)
You have experienced that recently from some of the media who do not like the Church. When allegations are false it is not necessary to give them attention, even if they cause immense pain. It is another thing when truth is spoken to us, as happened in many of the accusations regarding pedophilia. Then one must humble himself before God and men and try to eradicate the evil at all costs, as Benedict XVI did with great remorse. It is only thus that one regains credibility before the world and gives an example of sincerity. Today many people do not come to believe in Christ because his face is obscured or hidden behind an institution that lacks transparency. But if we have recently lamented so many unpleasant events that took place among clergy and laity, even in the papal household, we must think that these evils, as serious as they are, when compared with certain evils of the past history of the Church, are no more than a cold. As, with God’s help, these evils of the past have been overcome, so will the present crisis. But even a cold must be treated well so that it does not develop into pneumonia. The evil spirit of the world, the mysterium iniquitatis, (11) is continually striving to infiltrate the Church. Also, let us not forget the admonition of the prophets of ancient Israel to not seek alliances with either Babylon or with Egypt, but to follow a pure policy ex fide trusting only in God (12) and his covenant. Take courage! Christ raises our spirits when he exclaims: “Have confidence, I have overcome the world.” (13)
Let us now take a step forward in our question concerning the will of God in regard to the Church. There is no doubt that the unity of his body is the summum desideratum of Christ, as evidenced by his priestly prayer at the Last Supper. (14) Unfortunately, Christianity is still divided, both in faith and in love. The first attempts at ecumenism immediately after the Second World War are bearing fruit (I remember being present in some meetings with Romano Guardini at Burg Rothenfels), as well as the commitment that came from Unitatis redintegratio. But there is still a long way to go. Prejudices die very slowly and to reach a theological accord is not easy. We are tempted to grow weary along this road that often seems a one-way street. But to stop the dialogue would go explicitly against God’s will. Of greater service than discussions or ecumenical meetings, however, is confident and intense prayer on all sides and a common path towards holiness and the spirit of Jesus. No less easy for the next pontiff will be the responsibility for maintaining unity in the Catholic Church itself. Between ultra-traditionalist and ultra-progressive extremists, between priests rebelling against obedience and those who do not recognize the signs of the times, there is always the danger of minor schisms which not only damage the Church, but which go against the will of God: unity at all costs. Unity, however, does not mean uniformity. It is clear that this does not close the door to intra-ecclesial discussion, present throughout the history of the Church. All are free to express their thoughts about the task of the Church, but they should be put forward in keeping with the deposit of faith, which the Pope, together with all the bishops, have the task of guarding. Peter will fulfill his task more easily the more he shares it with the other apostles. Unfortunately, today, theology suffers from post-modern thought that reigns in the philosophical sphere, and we need a good philosophical foundation to be able to develop teaching with a valid hermeneutic that speaks an intelligible language to the contemporary world.
It often happens, however, that the proposals of so many faithful for progress in the Church are based on the kind of freedom that is found in the sexual realm. Certainly laws and traditions that are purely ecclesiastical can be changed, but not every change indicates progress; we must discern whether these changes serve to increase the holiness of the Church or to obscure it. Let us now turn to an even more serious chapter. In the West, at least in Europe, Christianity itself is in crisis. Europe did not even want to take into consideration its own historical Christian traditions. There is a rampant secularism and agnosticism that has various causes, to mention a few: the relativization of truth, the result of the aforementioned post-modern thought, a theme often emphasized by Benedict XVI, a materialism that measures everything in economic terms, the legacy of governments and parties that had the intention of removing God from society, the explosion of sexual freedom and that rapid advancement of science that knows no moral and humanitarian restraints.
Besides, there reigns a carelessness and ignorance not only of Catholic doctrine, but of the very ABCs of Christianity. Therefore there is felt to be an urgency for the new evangelization, which begins with the pure and simple kerygma announced to non-believers, followed by a continuous catechesis nourished by prayer. However, the Lord, is never crushed by human carelessness. It seems that, while in Europe, doors are being closed to him, they are opening elsewhere, especially in Asia. And even in the West, God will not fail to preserve a remnant of Israel that does not kneel before Baal, a remnant which we find principally in so many lay movements equipped with different charisms that are making a strong contribution to the new evangelization. These movements are full of young people, so loved by the last two popes. They are the seed that, well cared for, will grow into a new tree full of fruit. We must watch carefully, however, lest specific movements believe that the Church is contained only in them. In short, God cannot be defeated by our carelessness. The Church is his, the gates of hell can wound the heel, but they can never undo her. So far we have spoken of popes, cardinals, bishops and priests, but there is another factor of hope in the Church that we must not neglect, the sensus fidelium. Augustine calls it “the interior Master” in every believer, and St. John “the anointing” that teaches us all things. (15) It creates in the depths of the heart that criterion of discernment between truth and falsehood, it lets us distinguish instinctively that which is secundum Deum from that which comes from the world and from the evil one. (16)
According to Dei Verbum 8, the sensus fidelium is also a locus theologicus that must be taken into account by the pastors of the Church. The embers of devout faith are kept alive by millions of simple believers who are far from being theologians, but who, from the intimacy of their prayers, reflections and devotions, can give profound advice to their pastors. They are those who “will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will make void the understanding of the clever.” (17) This means that when the world, with all its knowledge and intelligence De conclavi ad eligendum Summum Catholicae Ecclesiae Pontificem 357, abandons the logos of human reason, the Logos of God will shine in simple hearts, which form the substance from which the backbone of the Church is nourished. But why am I telling you all this? It is because, while professing the common belief that the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, we do not always take it into consideration in our designs on the Church. He transcends all sociological analysis and historical prediction. He surpasses the scandals, internal politics, careerism and social problems, which, in their complexity obscure the face of Christ which must shine through thick clouds. Let us listen to Augustine: “The apostles saw Christ and believed in the Church they did not see; we see the Church and must believe in Christ whom we do not see. Adhering firmly to what we see, we will come to see him whom we do not now see. ” (18)
And you, why are you here? In 1961, John XXIII received in audience the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See in this Sistine Chapel. He pointed out the dominant figure of Christ the Judge in the fresco of Michelangelo, and told them that Christ will judge even the work of individual nations in history. You find yourself in this same chapel, under the figure of that Christ, with his hand raised, not to crush, but to illuminate your vote, which is to be secundum Spiritum, not secundum carnem, that is, “Non in sinistrum nos ignorantia trahat, non favor inflectat, non acceptio muneris vel personae corrumpat.” In this way the one elected will not only be yours, but essentially His. I would like to close on a lighter note. This is not the first conclave in which I have been present. I was also in the conclave of Paul VI, as a simple sacristan who prepared the altars. One day Cardinal Montini came to me and asked me to hear his confession, two hours later he was pope. When he died, the conclave was readied, and there were with us at the College of Saint Monica three cardinals, among them Cardinal Luciani. Being the oldest present, it fell to me to give them a farewell greeting before their departure for the Sistine Chapel. I remember saying: “To wish you good luck is not tasteful, to say goodbye is even worse. I say only: God bless you. ” I am a bird of good omen! The same greeting I offer to you: The Lord be with you and bless you.
1 Cfr Gv 21, 17-19.
2 Lc 9, 2. De Conclavi ad eligendum Summum Catholicae Ecclesiae Pontificem 353
3 Mt 29, 19.
4 Rm 1, 16.
5 1 Cor 2, 2.
6 1 Cor 1, 18.
7 Gv 14, 6.
8 Conf. VII, 22. 354 Acta Apostolicae Sedis – Commentarium Officiale
9 Gv 15, 20.
10 Mt 5, 11.
11 2 Ts 2, 7.
12 Cfr Is 30, 1; 31, 1-3; Os 12, 2.
13 Gv 16, 33.
14 Gv 17.
15 Cfr Ger 31, 34.
16 1 G v2, 20. 27; 4, 1-6.
17 1 Cor 1, 19.
18 Sermo 328, 3.
Source: Acta Apostolicae Sedis – 5 Aprilis – 3 Maii 2013.
Monday, December 9, 2019
Cardinal Robert Sarah's retirement as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has been postponed. This has been interpreted by sources close to this Blog as implying that next month the first in a series of liturgical changes that this Blog had mentioned more than 2 years ago will start being implemented.
Seven Saints will be added to the Tridentine Mass of 1962. The typical practice is to add new saints to the calendar and then incorporate them into the next edition of the Missal. This practice implies that a new version of the 1962 Missal is coming soon, with possibly additional changes.
Rorate Coeli has given credit to this news to an Italian website Messa in Latino. We are happy that they have given positive feedback to this Italian website. However, lest we forget, when we had published the afore-mentioned breaking news, which was widely reported, Rorate Coeli tried to denigrate this Blog as this and this articles amply show.
A year after, we published another article showing that the changes had been merely postponed. All of the above shows that this Blog disseminates facts and not fiction. Maybe, in due course, Rorate Coeli will acknowledge that this Blog was right after all.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
“A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins."
Pope Francis' letter on the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Vatican City, 1 September 2015
Monday, November 25, 2019
We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth.
We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.
All these reforms, indeed, have contributed and are still contributing to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, to a naturalist and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries and catechists; a teaching derived from Liberalism and Protestantism, many times condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.
No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries.
“But though we,” says St. Paul, “or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).
Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church.
It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.
This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever.
The only attitude of faithfulness to the Church and Catholic doctrine, in view of our salvation, is a categorical refusal to accept this Reformation.
That is why, without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity.
That is why we hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome.
By doing this, with the grace of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of St. Joseph and St. Pius X, we are assured of remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being the fideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto. Amen.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
21 November, 1974