Andrea Grillo: The (Lack of) Brains Behind…Who Inspired, If Not Wrote…Traditionis Custodes

Andrea Grillo: The (Lack of) Brains Behind…Who Inspired, If Not Wrote…Traditionis Custodes

Andrea Grillo (born 1961) is a professor of Sacramental Theology and Philosophy of Religion at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome (Sant’Anselmo) and of Liturgy in Padua at the Abbey of Santa Giustina. With the promulgation of Pope Francis’s motu proprio of July 16th, 2021, Traditionis Custodes, he has become a more important figure in Catholic thought. Many indications point to Professor Grillo as an author or at least inspirer of the document, serving as the Pontiff’s “house” liturgist and theologian, as he is often called in Rome. He joins many others from Sant’Anselmo who have exercised a disproportionate progressive influence.

The Foundations of the Motu Proprio

For years now, Professor Grillo has espoused avant la lettre the tenets of Traditionis Custodes, maintaining that the Mass of Paul VI represents the exclusive rite of the Roman Church and that the Traditional Latin Mass should be legislated in such a way that its disappearance is assured…  Read more here

Editor writes…

On a personal note, and for your prayers, please note that the author of the above article is named as a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College.  Assuming it is the same college, my Great-Nephew, Christopher, is now a student at the New England campus, having arrived yesterday. Christopher’s mother (and rest of the family) is naturally sad at having waved him off at the airport, and would be grateful for your prayers for his future.

The college  provides a TLM which, thankfully, not being a parish, is not affected by Traditionis Custodes.

Comments (24)

  • Athanasius


    First of all I wish Christopher all the very best as he sets out on his academic studies, though not without some trepidation. I have never been a fan of young men and women leaving home to live on University campuses since I cannot think of one young Catholic who has not lost the faith as a result. The hopeful difference with this university that Christopher has chosen is that it does provide a TLM. He will have to maintain a very strong grip on his prayer life if he is to avoid the dangers of a mixed-sex university and the peer pressure that comes with it. I hope for his sake that there is still a strong Catholic moral ethos at that University as opposed to the utterly pagan ethos most of the so-called Catholic Universities now engender. He’ll certainly be in my prayers, both for his educational success and the strength to stand tall in the faith and be a great example to his friends.

    As for the Motu Proprio that this clown professor Grillo is alleged to have influenced, that has less to do with his days at St. Thomas Aquinas University, I suspect, than with his own failure as a Catholic to keep the faith. The document was never intended to be historically or theologically accurate, it was intended as a hit piece on the Mass of thw Saints and martyrs. Francis is a despotic Modernist Pope aided by despotic Modernist prelates and intellectuals. They have no care, much less love, for truth. Their sole ambition is to eradicate all that is supernatural and holy from the Church.

    August 20, 2021 at 1:26 pm
    • editor


      Some confusion… Dr. Peter Kwasniewski is the graduate of Thomas Aquinas College not Grillo. Dr K is the author of the article about (the clown) Grillo. 😀

      I appreciate your concerns about life at University, which I share. In this case, the induction papers given to students have a great deal of content on the importance of purity, and there are fairly strict rules in place. I was impressed when Christopher told me the rules, which I now can’t remember, and again, yesterday, when I discovered that there is much detail about the importance of purity and chastity in the induction papers.

      However, that does not mean to say there are no concerns. Judas, remember, was in the actual Real Presence of Our Lord for an extended period of time and look what happened to him, so thank you for your promise of prayers for Christopher.

      August 20, 2021 at 2:14 pm
      • Athanasius


        Not “confusion”, idiocy on my part. I should have followed the link and read the entire article, in which case I would have recognised that Dr. K was the author. Anyway, it’s certainly heartening to learn that Dr. K rather than Grillo is the graducate of St. Thomas Aquinas.

        I am also delighted to read your comments about the University rules on purity, which are super essential on a Catholic campus. This is all very encouraging and certainly an indication that Christopher will be far less exposed to the temptations of youth than at any of the other so-called Catholic universities. Of course they can’t be wrapped up in cotton wool, they must be allowed to experience life. At least we know that Christopher has had a solid Catholic upbringing and hopefully that will stand him in good stead as he sets out on his journey in life. None of us is without temptations in this life and there is always the dreaded fear of a fall regardless of the availablity of grace, as you rightly point out in regard to Judas. Let’s just hope everything works out for him and that Our Lady keeps a firm grip on his soul. Let’s hope she does that for us as well!

        One concern, though. What about COVID vaccination? I notice that a lot of these Universities in America are beginning to insist on vaccination for those living on campus. How will that play out with this University, I wonder, if the bishops decide to back the federal government on forcing even Catholic students against their conscience. I sincerely hope the University will resist any pressure from outside to force vaccinate their students.

        August 20, 2021 at 2:53 pm
      • editor


        We waited in trepidation to see what was going to be said about the vaccine. Nothing. Deo gratias. Christopher has been adamant that he won’t take any Covid vaccine… well, to describe Christopher as “adamant” about anything is to say that Joe Biden is over-bothered about Afghanistan 😀 Like Joe, Christopher is a tad easy-going in his ways, but he’s been well informed about the vaccine so I would be genuinely surprised if he caved in on that. He did have to take a Covid test (at home) so we were pretty certain that it would show negative. Which it did… 😀 See, this is a very clever virus, it knew better than to break and enter into that house!

        August 20, 2021 at 3:31 pm
      • Lily

        That’s amazing that they have Catholic universities in America. Can you imagine if we had them here, the Orange Order would have a field day on 12 July, LOL!

        August 20, 2021 at 4:43 pm
      • gabriel syme


        I wish Christopher all the best with his studies – what an adventure, to study abroad

        (I studied at the comparatively unglamorous University of Strathclyde! 20 mins on the train!).

        He is obviously a very sensible young man with a deep faith and so I think he will flourish and succeed at such a Catholic institution. I will say a prayer to this end.

        I only regret I did not realise he was going so soon, or I would have wished him good luck! (Please pass on my regards, if you are able). How long is his course?


        You likely know the Church founded the first 3 Universities in Scotland – Glasgow, St Andrews and one of the institutions which merged to form the modern Aberdeen University.

        Of course, they all treat their origins like a dirty secret these days!

        As I always say – anything good about Scotland came from the Catholic Church.

        August 20, 2021 at 9:34 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        I laughed at your “20 minutes on the train” journey to Strathclyde University – it took Christopher the entire day to get to the USA!

        I believe it’s a four years course and yes, I’ll make sure your regards are passed on, probably via his mother since he’s unlikely to be the only teenager in the world who has an ancient Great-Aunt on his speed-dial 😀

        August 21, 2021 at 12:26 am
  • RCAVictor

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book re-written, every picture has been re-painted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered, and the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped, nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
    – George Orwell, 1984

    That’s what these Communist/Freemason scum hiding in clerical robes are trying to do to the Church. Except they call it “cleansing.”

    Gives new meaning to the term “party animals”….

    August 20, 2021 at 2:32 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Well – absolutely – said! We are definitely living in George Orwell’s future. The (terrifying) thought!

      August 20, 2021 at 3:34 pm
  • RCAVictor

    PS: Looks like Sant’Anselmo is just another rat’s nest that needs to be cleaned out after the Consecration. To borrow one of Francis’ infamous sayings, these heretics and apostates breed like rabbits.

    August 20, 2021 at 2:41 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I’ve just read that Sant’ Anselmo article and highlight this:

      Among other things, Grillo has campaigned in favor of imposing an institutional silence on the pope emeritus, and attacked repeatedly the four cardinals who presented the dubia about Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

      Try as I do, I can’t bring myself to feel any sympathy for “emeritus” Benedict. He should not have fled from the wolves (to use his own admission) so if he’s being marginalised and silenced, tough.

      August 20, 2021 at 3:39 pm
  • Lily

    That was a really interesting read. Naïve people like me think the Pope writes his own documents. Just goes to show.

    Will pray for Christopher. Hope he does well at the uni, but more importantly, that he keeps and grows in the faith.

    August 20, 2021 at 4:41 pm
  • Josephine

    I thought 1P5 had closed down, so that was a surprise. This was even more of a surprise, LOL – quoting Grillo:

    “In an open letter dated March 27, 2020, a full sixteen months prior to the motu proprio, Professor Grillo (along with some 180 signatories) boldly described the Traditional Latin Mass as “closed in the historical past, inert and crystallized, lifeless and without vigor…there can be no resuscitation for it.”[2] “Continuing to nourish a ‘state of liturgical exception’—one that was born to unite but does nothing but divide—only leads to the shattering, privatization, and distortion of the worship of the Church.”

    It’s unbelievable that after 2000 years, he thinks the TLM is causing division and he goes on to say that the abuses in the NOM are no big deal because it should be creative.

    He’s not the full shilling, as we say in Glasgow – or we did before they changed the currency, LOL!

    August 20, 2021 at 8:19 pm
  • Bernie

    Grillo has some nerve but so does Pope Francis allowing people like him to be an influencer.


    I will pray for your Great Nephew. I took a whirl round that college (link!) and it looks great.

    I notice they also have a novus ordo Mass, so that is a bit disappointing. I was assuming it was a fully traditional college. However, it might be like Father Morris’s over in Balornock – he always says his novus ordo in Latin, which I know isn’t great, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    I hope he has a successful college career and is never tempted to vote for Joe Biden LOL!

    August 20, 2021 at 9:30 pm
    • editor


      Yes, Grillo has some nerve – just like Papa Francis, as you say.

      About the College and Mass. Yes, it is not a full blown traditional Catholic college, which is a pity. Having said that, Christopher’s mother tells me that she is deeply impressed with the paperwork being given out to students, which spells out the importance of chastity and purity. She says she has not seen that anywhere else.

      I would have to disagree with you, though, that it’s a good thing that Father Morris in Balornock says his novus ordo in Latin. That this somehow improves the novus ordo is a common misperception.

      As I have said on here a million-plus times, there is only ONE reason not to attend the novus ordo (in fact, to avoid it) and that is because it is displeasing to God.

      Irrespective of the language, it is a Mass which is, to quote Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, a “banal, fabricated on-the-spot production” – here is a link to one of our many conversations on the subject of the concoction of the new Mass, created, specifically, to please Protestants. No Catholic, aware of its genesis, could possibly attend it in good conscience.

      I was assured by Christopher that he will definitely not attend the novus ordo. I believe that – should there be a problem on Sundays for any reason – the College is within reach of an SSPX church so he would attend Mass there.

      Thank you for your good wishes and prayers for Christopher. Much appreciated.

      August 20, 2021 at 9:53 pm
    • Athanasius


      The good thing for Christopher is that the American Traditional Catholics certainly know how to build churches worthy of the Traditonal liturgy. All the SSPX chapels I’ve seen online in America are beautiful buildings like the ones we used to have in Scotland before the Council. Sadly, there’s been a huge drift towards presbyterian plainness in our country to the great detriment of devotional beauty in the House of God. Maybe I’m just an old romantic but cold, dull and shabby just doesn’t scream holy zeal to me.

      August 20, 2021 at 11:48 pm
  • gabriel syme

    This Andres Grillo character sounds completely deranged and about as Catholic as the Taliban.

    Small wonder then, that he is a prominent and influential figure in the modern Church.

    August 20, 2021 at 9:35 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      Well said. Maybe you don’t know, but Catholic Truth was described as the Catholic Taliban by an MP (I think – more than one person has used the description!)

      August 20, 2021 at 9:38 pm
  • Catherine

    I grew up in the novus ordo and didn’t know it wasn’t pleasing to God but when I found out there was a problem with it, I decided to look into it. The following research helped me to realise that the Novus ordo Mass was not pleasing to God. It case this helps anyone else:

    Open Letter to Confused Catholics

    Most Asked Questions about the Society of Saint Pius X

    62 Reasons Why we cannot attend the new mass :

    I hope this helps others get started on their journey to know clearly why the novus ordo is not pleasing to God even if it is done in Latin

    I pray that one day soon people everywhere will come to realise the importance of the Traditional Latin Mass in all Its Glory.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

    August 20, 2021 at 10:25 pm
    • editor


      Brilliant comment from you – those are terrific links, so thank you for that.

      August 21, 2021 at 12:27 am
  • Victor

    It boggles the mind how Grillo who supposedly denies or doubts the Real Presence is influencing the hierarchy and the pope in any way. That’s a diabolical disorientation!

    Editor, if the following is off-topic, feel free not to post, as this is your website and I am a guest here, I don’t want to bump a six year old discussion linked earlier in this posting. I wouldn’t have known about the SSPX without this blog and for someone growing up in the novus ordo in a church named after the Sacred Heart I paid attention in school and we were never taught who was St. Margaret Mary or why we were going to (novus ordo) mass on Fridays, in reparation to the Sacred Heart, that was also learned from my research on this blog and other places.

    I am still confused on this point. If the novus ordo invented rite contains the Real Presence? That is, a true priest of Our Lord and Savior validly performs the consecration?

    The above article of 62 reasons supplied by the SSPX on why not to attend novus ordo, along with the other sources I have read, suggest that the novus ordo is an evil rite – evil being the absence of the good present in the true Tridentine Mass and lost in the novus ordo which somehow propagated after an evil council, as warned by Our Lady. Is the novus ordo evil, and by consequence displeasing to God, and therefore to be avoided by us, because the Real Presence is no longer there at all, or because the Real Presence is diminished, or worse, desecrated, such as laity dispensing the Blessed Sacrament, Communion in the hand etc.? It’s clear to me from this blog that we should avoid the novus ordo because it is displeasing to God, and in contrast that the novus ordo invention is to be distinguished from the various other rites of the Catholic Church, such as the eastern rites, that we may attend these other rites of the Church which are not displeasing to God? Perhaps it would be better if I didn’t know the answer, as I have failed in my Sunday obligation and in my faith, if I am trying to please myself instead of God. I’ve only been to one Traditional Latin Mass so far and we weren’t taught that in school, either, but ignorance cannot be an excuse. Everything I’ve learned so far is that the TLM should be brought back in the Latin Rite, and it never should have stopped, and novus ordo should be stopped now. I could go on and on but I’ve always felt the best part of the novus ordo was the recessional when priest pauses before altar (albeit not tabernacle!) with congregation facing same way. For if the novus ordo is evil, it is signified by the priest turning his back on the tabernacle at the altar (if the tabernacle is even situated behind the altar).

    This article seems to say that in principle, the Real Presence is there in novus ordo rite, is that the correct interpretation?

    August 22, 2021 at 4:17 am
    • Athanasius


      Since Editor is sometimes tied up all day on a Sunday, I thought I might just jump in with my understanding of the situation concerning the Novus Ordo.

      It is called “evil” because it (quite deliberately) suppresses the sacrificial nature of the Mass, as well as inciting the faithful to irreverence, even sacrilege, in respect to the Blessed Sacrament through dangerous novelties like lay people administering Holy Communion and people taking the Sacred Host in their hands.

      Is it then valid? Well yes, it remains a valid rite so long as the celebrant consecrates with the correct matter and form, intending to do what the Church intends, which is to confect Transubstantiation. The problem here is that with the loss of faith in the Real Presence, caused by the aforementioned abuses of the Blessed Sacrament over many decades, how many priests now intend to do confect Transubstantiation? If, for example, you see a priest celebrating a Novus Ordo Mass using vessels like clay cups and/or holding up a host the size of a dinner plate, then you can be fairly sure that no Transubstantiation is taking place at that Mass.

      If we consider that the very heart of the Mass is the consecration then it’s easier to understand how the Novus Ordo can still be valid with a sound consecration while at the same time repesenting a very grave danger to faith by reason of all the Protestant ritual surrounding it. It was all very deviously constructed so that no one could claim that it is invalid per se, but by being enshrined in Protestant theology it gradually weakens the faith specifically in the Mass as a sacrifice and the Blessed Sacrament as Our Lord’s Real Presence. Hence, over time, priests and faithful alike begin to lose the idea of the Mass as sacrificial and start to view it as a celebratory meal. Same with the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, which is no longer considered to be so holy that only the annointed hands of the priest can touch it. They now distribute Holy Communion in a manner that speaks of the Protestant belief that it’s just a piece of bread – and anyone can handle a piece of bread. You see the evil? That’s why we say that the Novus Ordo is “evil”, because it diminishes the Catholic faith and leads ultimately to Protestantism, which is what we see now in many parishes.

      It was with this intention that the author of the New Mass, one Fr. Annibale Bugnini, declared in L’Osservatore Romano in 1965: “we must remove from our Catholic Mass and prayers all that represents the least stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants”. In other words, he was going to remove all reference to Sacrifice and Transubstantiation from the Mass, which is precisely what he did. Later, around 1973, Bugnini exultantly proclaimed: “the Novus Ordo represents a conquest of the Catholic Church”. It was clear from these words what he had achieved.

      If you have ever read the “Ottaviani Intervention” you will see clearly therein the words of many prelates and Catholic theologians confirming that Bugnini had changed the Catholic liturgy to a Protestant liturgy. The most salient part of that document says: “This new rite represents in whole and in part a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as codified in Session XXII of the Council of Trent…” in other words, it’s Protestant in nature. This is why it’s evil!

      Now, did you know that Communion in the hand is an abused indult and not the established discipline of the Church? The established discipline remains that of kneeling to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, it has never altered. How many Catholics know that? This gives some insight into the deception that’s going on in the Church, and from the highest levels down through the ranks. So the apostasy is from the top down!

      All I would say to my fellow Catholics who still have a modicum of the old faith left in them is that they should move heaven and earth to get to a Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. I know that’s often easier said than done but we are called in these times to suffer, as did the martyrs, for the sacredness and truths of our holy religion. I know for some it is impossible to get to a TLM but there are others who could do it, even if it costs them dearly. The Mass is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven and essential for our salvation. If Our Lord was content to suffer and die for us on the Cross then we should be more than willing to suffer whatever it takes to benefit from the saving grace He won for us on Calvary.

      No priests should celebrate the Novus Ordo and no Catholic lay person should attend it. I know this sounds a bit extreme but when we come to understand fully what Bugnini has done – so obvious today in the global apostasy from the faith we now witness as a result – then it is incumbent upon all who claim fidelity to Our Lord and His holy Church to sever themselves from this dangerous liturgical rite and cleave entirely to the rite that sanctified the saints and martyrs. The good of the Church and our own eternal salvation depend on it.

      August 22, 2021 at 12:27 pm
    • Lily


      I recommend you read the writings of Michael Davies, RIP. He wrote about the liturgical revolution in three volumes, Pope Paul’s New Mass. I checked at Amazon just now but they only have volume three

      It’s really very helpful because he doesn’t just make wild statements, he gives solid proof for everything he says.

      August 22, 2021 at 3:22 pm
    • editor


      Your post has made my day. To think you have learned about the SSPX, the Masses and the Sacred Heart Devotion here – I am truly humbled as, I have no doubt, will be the effect of your comment on the rest of the bloggers here. There are so few of us on this site, and some of us do wonder, at times, it there is any point – you have answered that question. God bless you.

      As for your question – I cannot remotely improve on the responses given to you by Athanasius and Lily – they’ve covered everything, really. I will offer just two thoughts; firstly, a quote which an elderly (now deceased) priest in the Diocese of Middlesbrough once wrote in a little note to me on a card, which I’ve never forgotten. He wrote: “The prayers in the old Mass are like hedges around the doctrine (teachings) of the Faith.” That’s one key difference – the new Mass is deliberately designed to allow the priest room for “creativity”. Hence the “Hi, folks, I’m Father X, Y Z… Nice to be here” And then it’s downhill from there 😀 The old prayers are, largely, gone, and as Athanasius has explained, with them, the Faith.

      Secondly, you may find this article helpful – it was written for us, and published in our December 2010 newsletter, written by an American where he details the differences between the two Masses in his article entitled Words That Count…

      If you still have questions for us, feel free to say so. And don’t think of yourself as a “guest” – you are, obviously, one of us, seeking nothing more than that knowledge of the Faith (including the Liturgy) which is God’s will for us in order to save our souls.

      August 22, 2021 at 4:18 pm

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