Saturday, November 23, 2013


This is big news and one more sign of the shift that is taking place with His Holiness, Pope Francis, Supreme Pontiff of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

He confirms outright his support for Pope Benedict's marvelous Christmas speech to the Cardinals in 2005 setting out His Holiness' agenda for his papacy and the reform the Church needs in terms of the proper interpretation of the Second Vatican Council very much in continuity with the Council of Trent and what preceded Trent.

This is stunning news. On top of the that the Supreme Pontiff, Francis I, uses the royal or papal "we" and "ours" in this very formal and traditional letter. Read it for yourself, rejoice and be glad!

To our Venerable Brother
Walter Cardinal Brandmüller
Deacon of St. Julian of the Flemings

As the 450th anniversary of the day on which the fortunate Council of Trent was closed approaches, it behooves the Church to recall with more prompt and attentive eagerness the most fruitful doctrine which came out of that Council convened in the Tyrolese region. Certainly not without cause, the Church has for a long time already accorded so much care to the Decrees and Canons of that Council that are to be recalled and observed, since, indeed the most grave affairs and questions having appeared at that time, the Council Fathers summoned all diligence that the Catholic Faith appear more clearly and be better understood. No doubt, with the Holy Ghost inspiring and suggesting, it especially concerned the Fathers not only to guard the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine, but also to more clearly enlighten mankind, so that the saving work of the Lord may be poured out onto the whole world and the Gospel be spread through the entire world.

Graciously hearing the very same Holy Ghost, the Holy Church of our age, even now, continues to restore and meditate upon the most abundant doctrine of Trent. As a matter of fact, the “hermeneutic of renewal” (interpretatio renovationis) which Our Predecessor Benedict XVI explained in 2005 before the Roman Curia, refers not only to the Tridentine Council but also to the Vatican Council. The mode of interpretation, certainly, places one honourable characteristic of the Church in a brighter light that is given by the Same Lord (Benedict XVI): “She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God” (Christmas Address to the Roman Curia).

Therefore, we rejoice and express gladness that, glowing with such splendor of the Church, this event is celebrated in a more solemn manner in the City of Trent. Wherefore, the Venerable Brother Luigi Bressani, Metropolitan Archbishop of Trent, requested that We assign some honourable Prelate who, on the 3rd of the following December, may pronounce the exhortatory words to all who shall attend this gladsome commemoration. Deeming this request, therefore, as just, and willing to designate You, Our Venerable Brother, who indeed have expertly investigated and have wisely carried forward the decrees of this Council. We, therefore, name You in these letters OUR EXTRAORDINARY ENVOY to the celebrations of the 450th anniversary of the day on which the Conciliar Fathers completed the works of the Council of Trent. Indeed, You will exhort all who shall participate in this event, that, souls joined together with the soul of the Most Holy Redeemer, they may be fully conscious of all the fruits derived from this Council, and that they may unite themselves in bringing these fruits to others and in propagating them in every way. You shall greet on Our behalf the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trent and all other attending holy Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and lay faithful of Christ, and You shall show them Our benevolence.

[Concluding greetings and blessing.]

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on November 19th of the year 2013, 1st of our Pontificate.


Original translation for Rorate was made by the owner of the Philippine Catholic blog Dei Praesidio Fultus. Edited by NC. 


Anonymous said...

Yes the papal "we" will go very well with his see through cassock, stema - less sash, and his black pants. He is always so classy and elegant it almost makes one forget the heresy.

Gene said...

There have really been no "bombshells." The Church is sliding along in her post-Vat II mode with no real significant developments. Benedict was, himself, a bombshell, but that is long gone. The progress of the Church actually sort of parallels the progress of the US…there was a bombshell with Ronald Reagan (as with Benedict in the Church), everybody got their hopes up, then C- R- A- S- H, back to business as usual.
All I have to do to sober myself up and face reality is to go to Mass almost anywhere besides St. Jo's…and Fr. is even conflicted about the changes he has made/thinks about making there. Most Priests walk on eggs around their Bishops, and Bishops have no desire anywhere near as great as that of hearing nothing about Liturgy, Dogma, or the EF. Move along folks…nothing to see here...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

beginning to think you need more than confession for a negative spirit, but like an exorcism!

Gene said...

Well, Fr, my head did spin all the way around while I was posting…and, I have developed a strange aversion for green pea soup!

Van said...

Do you think the 450th anniversary of Trent will get anywhere near the level of celebration as the 50th anniversary of Vatican II had?

Gene said...

Van, How many Priests or Bishops do you suppose can tell you the dates of the Council of Trent or name any of the issues dealt with there?

Imagined answers:
"Trent…isn't that in New Jersey?"

"Yeah, Trent…what's his name…wasn't he quarterback for some pro team?"

"No, Trent is in Italy."

"Hmmm…something about not liking the Reformation…you know Luther and all that."

"Council of Trent? Yeah, that was in, like, hmmm..maybe when Napolean was in power for something. They said something about the cannon, you know, like the cannon was important…like that.

Henry said...

Gene, both you and Fr. McDonald have good vision regarding different aspects in the Church. Pope Francis has the potential for much good, despite the admitted handicap of his learning curve and the question whether he's finally started moving past the flat part of it.

And you speak the unvarnished truth in your final sentence above (about current bishops). Plainly, most of them are blind the the fact that evangelization of the world will go nowhere until they realize that people's encounter with God takes place mainly in transcendent liturgy, especially now when His presence in the secular world is so intently obscured.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to see the letter Francis writes for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I wonder if he will use the papal "we" as he praises Luther.

Gene said...

Anonymous, You are just naughty…but, at least I can always plead to Fr. that you are worse than I am. LOL!

George said...

I wonder how many of the following which were decided and re-affirmed by the Council of Trent would be affirmed by the average Catholic today?

What the dispositions are that are necessary for the reception of Holy Communion and that it is not necessary to receive it under both species.

The condemnation of the doctrine of consubstantiation of the Eucharist.

The Real presence in the transubstantiated species, even outside of Mass.

Sacraments work ex opere operato, effecting what they signify, and are not mere symbols.

Someone even in serious sin ,by the actual grace of God, can cooperate with His Divine Love. Grace is not simply an external garment covering our sinfulness.

Of course there is a lot more.

Gene said...

George, How many average Catholics today have ever even been catechized about these things? I'll bet they know all about "social justice," though.