DEERFIELD, IL, April 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Approximately 100 Catholics from the United States, Latin America, and Europe attended the 2018 Catholic Family News conference in northern Illinois last weekend.
Advertised as “The Weapons of Our Warfare,” the three-day long gathering at a Hyatt Regency hotel just outside Chicago featured talks by some of the most knowledgeable laymen and clergy engaged in the battle for and preservation of the Catholic faith, including renowned Church historian Roberto de Mattei.
The conference, which focused on Pope Francis and the family, was the first hosted by Catholic Family News, a Traditional Catholic newspaper, since 2016. John Vennari, the paper’s longtime editor who managed the organization since its founding in 1994, passed away after a long battle with cancer in April of 2017.
The crisis in the family
In his opening address, editor Matt Gaspers paid homage to his predecessor, assuring his audience that the fight for Tradition will continue. Gaspers then delivered a well-sourced, detailed speech, quoting Sr. Lucia and Our Lady in an effort to contextualize attacks presently being waged against the family.
“Although it is painful to witness this terrible crisis in the Church and the family, the fact that it is occurring should come as no surprise. Our Lady told us it would happen.” The “crisis in the Church and the family share the same root cause, namely, a crisis of fatherhood.”
Gaspers made special mention of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who in March said it is “dangerous” to speak of the family as “the domestic church.”
Archbishop Paglia’s credibility is “next to nothing,” Gaspers said. He has “thoroughly dismantled the Pontifical Academy for Life and has commissioned homoerotic paintings.” The family is a patriarchal hierarchy of baptized persons whose head fills the role of teaching, governing, and sanctifying. As such, it is a reflection and microcosm of the universal Church, he said.
Gaspers also detailed how marriage and the family are “powerful weapons” that must be used in the restoration of Holy Mother Church.
True and false mercy
Traditional Franciscan priest Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea spoke about Confession, a timely topic given the implementation of Amoris Laetitia across the world and Pope Francis’ constant invocation of mercy.
Extensively quoting St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), the patron saint of confessors, Fr. Relyea argued that there is a false sense of mercy being promoted in Rome. This sense of mercy is “twisted” and “disgusting,” he said.
Priests are “obliged to inform consciences” and to withhold absolution if the person confessing isn’t amending their life. You are “crazy” if you think you are being merciful by telling someone cohabitating in an adulterous union that they are pleasing to God, the priest said in a Brooklyn accent.
Fr. Relyea incorporated the Four Last Things — Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell — into his remarks as well, recalling that although God shows mercy to those who fear Him, for those who abuse His mercy, He exercises justice.
The New York-born priest described the Pope’s 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia as “wicked.”
Attendee Elizabeth Yore told LifeSiteNews she went to the conference because “It is incumbent upon the laity to mount a resistance, and to continue to mount a resistance to what is going on in the Vatican, especially now given that so few Bishops and Cardinals are willing to do so.”
Internet-based Catholic radio station Magnificat Media broadcast live from the hotel as well.
Prayer cards and literature on Freemasonry and Our Lady of Good Success were given to everyone who came.
Despite heresy, the Pope is still the Pope
Three speeches at the “Weapons of Our Warfare” conference focused on the papacy.
Church historian Roberto de Mattei said “true devotion” to the Chair of St. Peter requires Catholics to speak out against “the heresies” being promoted by Pope Francis, who, despite propagating heresy, remains the pope.
Canadian Dominican priest Fr. Albert Kallio O.P. echoed de Mattei’s words. “Even if the pope is a heretic…that does not at all mean that by that very fact, ipso facto as we say in English, he would cease being pope.”
Rejecting the claim that Pope Francis has lost his office, Fr. Kallio said, “Even those who hold that a pope who is manifestly a heretic loses automatically his office [believe] that the manifestation required before the pope would lose his office takes place by a declaration declared by the authority of the Church, namely the bishops.”
It seems God is allowing “a sort of eclipse” of the Church for the moment, he concluded.
Christopher Ferrara, a lawyer and prolific Catholic writer, delivered a strongly worded speech emphatically urging Catholics not only to put forth the Church’s perennial teachings but to expose the problematic teachings coming from Pope Francis.
Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Ferrara said “the most effective opposition to what has to be seen now as the most wayward pontificate in the history of the papacy will have to come from the upper hierarchy.”
Such an opposition would come in the form of a public statement made by a significant number of Cardinals that would declare Pope Francis is “in error, that he’s attempting to impose error upon the Church, that his effort to pass off these errors as ‘authentic magisterium’ is a fraud…and that the faithful cannot follow this pope in his errors,” Ferrara said.
Young Catholics need Tradition
Another talk particularly relevant to events taking place in the Church was that which was given by 21-year-old Alexandra Reis, Catholic Family News’ youth correspondent.
“What can the youth do to fight the devil?” Reis rhetorically asked. Not staying updated with every piece of world news and constantly attending protests, she argued. Rather, they can fight the devil by fulfilling their daily duties of state.
If you want “real penance” and if you want to truly change the world, she said, try doing dirty dishes, try “getting out of bed right when your alarm goes off in the morning. Offer that up to Our Lady. Mary wants us to offer sacrifices to her heart.”
Reis told LifeSiteNews that today’s youth aren’t being taught about the virtues of purity and modesty. Millenials view religion “as a cross” and rebel against “simple acts.” In truth, “it is through the little things that we convert the world.”
Other weapons of our warfare
Louis Tofari, owner of Romanitas Press, a publishing company that helps Catholics learn about the Roman Mass, delivered a talk on the liturgy.
Tofari told LifeSiteNews that the Roman Mass “needs to be used to convert souls to Christianity and to restore the Social Reign of Christ the King.”
Another fascinating topic covered at the conference was the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton, a former slave born in the mid 1800s who was ordained a priest in Rome because no seminary in the United States would accept him due to being African American.
Catholic Family News’ web editor Brendan Young pleaded with Catholics to consecrate themselves to the Blessed Mother during a thoughtful address about St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Militia Immaculata.
Dr. Andrew Childs from St. Mary’s Academy and College in St. Mary’s, Kansas gave an insightful lecture on music while Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X discussed the Traditional Latin Mass. Source (Ed: visit the Catholic Family News website if you are interested in purchasing any of the talks in CD-format.)
If – in your opinion – Pope Francis is not the worst ever pope in the history of the Church, tell us who you would nominate for that title.
Marta Rodriguez got a new job in May of 2017, perhaps a job she never expected to have, in a place she never expected to work.
Marta, a consecrated women in Regnum Christi, is the new (actually, the first) director of the office of women’s issues in the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. It is a new dicastery, created by Pope Francis in 2016, and its prefect is Cardinal Kevin Farrell.
And all Marta has to do is help the Church understand women and their appropriate contribution to the world, what it means to be a woman in the world today, and where women are going in the future…
“This assignment indicates a call from the Church, which for me is a call from God,” Marta said. “I feel very small for this mission, but I sense an interior certainty that God has prepared my heart for this new service he has called me to. Since 2000, I’ve worked continually on women’s issues, both in studies and in action on various projects, one of the most important of which was to help in the founding of the Institute for Higher Women’s Studies in 2003. This institute was born in order to promote the feminine genius, which John Paul II asked for.
“I believe that one of the great challenges for modern women is to discover what it means to be a woman. Once a woman discovers who she is, she ends up discovering the feminine richness; she can contribute to the cultural world and the ecclesial world with much more dedication, much more bravery, much more freedom.”
Is this another example of the Church being led by the world? What is meant by “women’s issues”? Notice the mention of women contributing to the “cultural” and “ecclesial” world – what about the “home”?
A friend rang me last night to say he’d attended a Summorum Pontificum Traditional Mass and found himself chatting afterwards with a couple who were not husband and wife, but “partners” … My friend was downhearted, dispirited that even the better priests seem to be willing to tolerate such scandals.
Then this from The American Conservative: “The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has declared that, in his view, Catholic priests can conduct blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples.”
The list of scandalous words and actions from this current shocking pope, or tolerated by him, grows day and daily. Too much to list here – and anyway, would, more likely than not, be out of date before I press the “publish” button on this page.
There is no lack of evidence that Pope Francis is a danger to Catholic Faith and Morals. Quite the reverse – there’s an abundance of evidence. Even as I type this, a report has come in questioning the pope’s integrity – would he blatantly impart falsehoods, we have to ask? Click here to answer that for yourself.
The question is, why are the supposedly concerned bishops who allegedly oppose him remaining silent – such as Cardinal Burke and the Captain and Crew of the Lifeboat SSPX? Why no sense of urgency? Why have they all gone to ground?
It’s one thing to pick one’s fights, but not to fight at all? Take a few minutes to view the short video in the News section of the Dici website here. Who, on this earth, would ever imagine that the Church is suffering the worst crisis ever in its entire history, watching that broadcast? Lovely reports, sure, but there’s been nothing about any attempt to fight as members of the Church Militant, under our banner as Soldiers of Christ, in any of the recent videos posted on Dici in January, which I’ve viewed with surprise and disappointment. This latest one, linked above, dated 2nd February, is no different. Plenty of devotional content, suggesting the danger of becoming so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly use.
What should the supposed opponents of this dreadful pontificate be doing, in addition to prayer. Concrete action, surely – but what, precisely?
As the proud pro-abortion, pro-LGBT rights leader of a country with, as I keep reminding everyone, the values of a progressive, liberal democracy, I’m stunned delighted to be asked to mark the Centenary of the Catholic Education Scotland Act 1918 and the partnership between the Catholic Church and the State in Scotland in the provision of education to our young people in Catholic schools.
And this partnership is working very successfully, with Catholic schools in Scotland now providing safe spaces for LGBT pupils. Of course, we’ve a way to go. I believe Catholic schools in England are now allowing gender neutral uniforms, with one pupil making “their” First Communion in a white trouser suit because that child now wishes to identify as a boy. I’ve not heard of any similar cases in Scotland but maybe Scottish Catholic schools will, er, follow suit, to so speak, soon, not to fall behind in the progressive, liberal stakes.
Abortion is still a bit of a hot potato in the Church, I know. Still, now that the truly wonderfully progressive and liberal Pope Francis has given a pontifical honour to the internationally acclaimed Dutch abortion activist, Liliane Ploumen, it’s only a matter of time before we can get those pro-abortion, pro-contraception posters into every Catholic classroom.
And, of course, we’ll have our spies Named Persons in place by that time, supervising parents and dealing with those reactionaries who don’t like living in a progressive, liberal Church. So, thank you for inviting me to give this prestigious lecture. I knew we were making progress but I’d no idea you were already so stupid enlightened as to invite someone who is not a Catholic and who is, in fact, completely committed to progressive, secular, liberal values to speak on the subject of Catholic education. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to congratulate the Catholic sector on your excellent exam results. The pupils DO learn arithmetic, reading and writing and that is absolutely praiseworthy. Well done!
Thank you, all especially Bishop Keenan for his support for my invitation to address you all here today. Oh and, er, if there IS a God, may he (or she) go with you!
Obviously, the above “leak” is no such thing. It’s our satirical take on the disgraceful invitation from those running Catholic Education in Scotland to a wholly “liberal” politician, who has not a scintilla of interest in supporting Catholic schools. The fact is, if Catholic schools were doing their job, the First Minister would have made her excuses to decline the invite. It’s only because they are failing as Catholic schools that (a) she would be invited in the first place and (2) she could agree to give the Cardinal Winning Lecture. At least one bishop – John Keenan of Paisley – supports this year’s choice of speaker. Click here to read more, vote in the poll below, and then share your thoughts…
THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.
Today’s news includes clips from the new army advertisement designed to encourage people to join the UK army irrespective of faith, sexual orientation, or “genders”.
Got me thinking. When the Catholic MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, known to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, was quizzed about his views on “gay marriage” and abortion, he was at pains to assure the interviewer (and thus the wider public) that he would certainly accept an invitation to a “gay wedding” (“and probably enjoy it”) and that, while opposed to abortion at all stages and in all circumstances himself, he would not seek to change the law. Abortion would remain legal. Yet, neither these flexible moral principles, nor his unwavering support for Brexit, where in every interview he has shown himself to be thoroughly well informed, were enough to see him brought into the Cabinet in this week’s reshuffle.
No vision. There’s simply no vision. No suggestion that, if elected to lead the nations of the UK, he would order a health campaign to educate the public on the health implications of both homosexual activity and abortion, in the spirit of the public health campaigns on smoking (which led to a successful ban on smoking in public places) and no suggestion that, thus, perhaps with more information, the public would be perfectly happy to see a pro-life Prime Minister in office. No such suggestions because there is simply no such vision.
And – in the case of a weak Catholic – there’s no real faith: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these other things [power, political office, for example] will be given to you.” (Matt 6:33) Put simply, if Jacob Rees-Mogg puts God and His Moral Law first, ahead of peer and public opinion, God will take care of his career.
Surely, too, a politician confident of the truth of his position on such important moral matters who genuinely seeks the well-being of the countries of the UK, would win over public opinion, based on the facts, the objective health data.
That Jacob Rees -Mogg was, yet again, passed over for promotion in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle should bring home to him that fact that his flexible principles have not paid off. If he has any ambition for higher office – and surely, as a pro-life Catholic in politics, he ought to have ambitions for the highest office, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding – he ought to openly oppose the evils of abortion and homosexuality and openly resolve to educate the public on the health issues involved with a view to restoring national good health – physically and morally – under his premiership.
I believe that such openness and honesty would see him brought into the Cabinet and ultimately at home in No. 10 Downing Street – what do you think?
From time to time, I find myself in the role of Agony Aunt, asked my opinion about matters romantic (believe it or not) by young people who are single, would like to be married, but every time they think they’ve found Mr or Miss Right, turns out their first name is Always. Or, in some other way, they are just not suited. There is a particular difficulty, too, in finding a sound Catholic spouse. More than once, I’ve found myself suggesting that while it’s all well and good leaving everything to Divine Providence, and it’s especially beneficial to pray to St Joseph, it doesn’t do any harm to help things along by – say, for argument’s sake – signing up to a Catholic dating site online. Like, for example, this one
Nothing is to be lost, and possibly, a husband/wife gained. I’ve known happily married couples who met in precisely this way. Thing is, I’m wondering if it’s wrong to suggest that route to young people – IS it morally acceptable for young Catholics to use such sites? Should I stick to my day job (which is washing the dishes, vacuuming and keeping this blog afloat) or should I make a permanent move to Marriage Counselling? 😀
Whenever I’ve suggested this possibility to young people, I’ve nearly always met with the shock-horror question: but, if I meet someone, how will I say we met? I know how I answer that – but what about you?
In summary, a serious subject, yes, but it also gives us the opportunity for some light relief before we close down for the last week of Advent, on Sunday next. So, your advice and thoughts welcome, but also some jokes and fun on the topic and related subjects, if you wish.