Rome Life Forum Edition! (Your Catholic Week in Review)

Your Catholic Week in Review (Rome Life Forum Edition!)

Michael Hichborn – 5/19/18

Greetings from the Eternal City!

That’s right — this week your intrepid Lepanto president is attending the Rome Life Forum discussing the current state of affairs in the Catholic Church today.  More than this, I have made you a very big part of my travel.

Each time I travel to Rome, I treat it like a pilgrimage.

…and on this and every pilgrimage, I carry your intentions with me to every cathedral and monastery I visit — placing your intentions before the Lord and before each altar for the remission of sin and the redemption of souls.

As you can see, the beauty and majesty of the Faith is still reflected and alive in Italy, despite the current trend of “wreckovations” that seem to have installed what has been dubbed a “people’s altar” inside the old Pantheon (today’s St. Mary and the Martyrs).

Two of the most notable remarks from the Rome Life Forum come from Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Cardinal Raymond Burke.  Bishop Schneider counsels us as laity to be faithful to the papacy in a manner that advises and assists, rather than merely criticizes:

“As members of the Church militant, we wish to defend the Church’s moral and theological teachings from all who attack them,” began a question submitted to the bishop, which he read and answered. “However, such attacks [are] now seeming to come from the very top. As a bishop once said to me, ‘how do we remain loyal to Peter when Peter is not loyal to Christ?’ So, how do we comport ourselves as members of the Church militant, and with regard to the current situation in Rome?”

Schneider reminds us that the pope — though he holds a place of pre-eminence — is not beyond or outside of the Church, but rather a part of it just as you or I am a part of the Mystical Body of Christ.

Not only this, Schneider equally reminds us that it is Christ who is the Head of the Church.  Families, Schneider reminds us, are not dictatorships, and our task as Catholics remains to strengthen one another as Catholics in our faith.

In a separate talk, Cardinal Burke reminded the conference that while conscience is important, obedience to a properly formed conscience is critical:

“The conscience, therefore, is not, as is often falsely understood and stated today, formed by the thoughts and desires of the individual but by the truth which ever purifies individual thoughts and desires, and directs them in conformity with the law of love of God and neighbor. Obedience to the Kingship of Christ is expressed by the resolve and effort to conform all of one’s thinking and speaking and acting to Christ alive for us in the living Apostolic Tradition,” he said.

This is a particularly raw point to be made, especially as many of us in the English-speaking world have come to lionize St. Thomas More and his stand on conscience against the rapacious lust of King Henry VIII.

Conscience is worthless without obedience to Christ.  Unless our own wills are anchored in Christ, then our own concupiscence is bound to take over.

This is all the more reason why a properly formed conscience attuned to Christ is so very critical in tackling the problems of a postmodern crisis of faith.  Our desires for an impartial (and easy) good is the precise reason why our own efforts can never achieve salvation, no matter how well intended we are.  Surely we can use words such as “conscience” in order to excuse our failings, but it is only with Christ, thru Christ, and in Christ that we can ever hope to see salvation.

I cannot tell you how very pleased I am to be travelling to Rome with your thoughts and intentions in mind.  Please feel free to respond to me with any additional intentions as I wrap up my next few days in and around the Vatican.  While I may not be able to respond to your e-mail while I am here, please know that I receive and read every single one of them.

I have one additional talk that I want to share with you, if for no other reason than it had a tremendous impact on me.

Fr. Linus Clovis of Human Life International gave a marvelous talk on Our Lady of Fatima and Tre Fontaine, reflecting how the Blessed Mother communicates God’s displeasure with signs from the heavens:

“According to Cornelius a Lapide’s Scripture commentary ‘Sun, moon and stars are dimmed when leaders of the Church or world depart from justice and holiness to embrace depravity and wickedness.’  In light of this, the repeated solar phenomenon in a Roman shrine strongly suggests that religious, rather than secular, leaders have departed from justice and holiness.  In fact, Our Lady had told Bruno ‘many of my Son’s priests have lost the dignity of the order, no longer live in honesty, in love, no longer catechise souls … they have no faith and do not believe,” he said.

The good folks at LifeSiteNews were able to obtain a transcript of his speech, which you can read by clicking here.

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