Dear Friends of the Roman Forum,
It is always immensely embarrassing to have to write a fundraising letter, but I am very, very preoccupied for the survival of the Roman Forum. Our situation has not been this grave for a good number of years.
Although we have reserved the dates of July 9th-20th, 2024 for the Thirty-First Annual Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, and very much hope to have a 2023-2024 New York program as well, we are now quite seriously in imminent danger of not even being able to handle our next credit card bill. Our disposal income has fallen to a mere $200: the sole donation that we received after my last letter of July 22nd.
With this, we have to pay off the $3,500 deficit from the 2023 Symposium by September 12th. Shortly afterwards, a $5,500 (5,000 Euro) deposit for the hotels in Gardone for rooms for the 2024 program will fall due. $11,000 is needed during the course of the entire coming year for the steeply rising cost of the rental of a small space for our library and records, for which we have no other means of storing, as well as for the room that we use for the eighteen sessions of the New York City lecture program.
To make matters worse, in January we will have to begin raising $60,000 more to meet the expenditures for next summer’s Symposium. The obstacles posed to that Symposium’s existence by the powerful machinations of the monstrous alliance of globalists and health/climate change ideologues eager to end international travel are bad enough, but galloping inflation in Europe is plaguing us as well.
We are desperately trying to keep the price for those participating as low as possible. The sum noted above covers the outlays for housing and feeding our sixteen speakers from three continents (none of whom receives any stipendium for his or her labors), travel costs for those among them who could otherwise not attend, and as many scholarships for students, seminarians, and priests as we can manage to offer.
One might ask us why, given such financial problems, we do not end this Italian program? For the simple reason that there is nothing comparable to it that could take its place, as everyone who has attended it can readily attest. The growing fraternal union of our international network of Catholic Traditionalist speakers and participants would suffer irreparable damage in consequence: once again, to the great delight of our anti-Christian, utterly irrational, and ever more threatening intellectual opponents, all of them eager to shut down the life of the spirit and of the mind as never before in the history of our civilization.
As we have said many times before, our gratitude to all of you who in these difficult times may still be capable of offering us tax-deductible donations—which can be made either through PayPal on our website or by checks made out to the Roman Forum and mailed to the address indicated above—can only be matched by our sense of responsibility to use those funds properly and efficaciously, always for the greater glory of God. All donors are remembered in the monthly Traditional Mass said on their behalf, offered by our chaplain, Rev. Dr. Richard A. Munkelt. And all of you are unfailingly in our daily prayers.
Viva Cristo Rey!
John C. Rao (D.Phil., Oxford)
Chairman, The Roman Forum
Dr. John C. Rao obtained his doctorate in Modern European History from Oxford University in 1977. His dissertation concerned nineteenth century Catholic reactions to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. He worked in 1978-1979 as Eastern Director of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and was Associate Professor of European History at St. John’s University in New York City from 1979 until 2021. Dr. Rao is also director of the Roman Forum, a Catholic cultural organization (www.romanforum.org) founded by the late Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand in 1968, which works in both New York City and Italy. He writes for numerous French, German, Spanish, and Italian journals. Many of his writings dealing with the relationship between Church and society throughout history can be found on a website entitled For the Whole Christ (jcrao.freeshell.org)–a name taken from the writings of St. Augustine to describe the character of the Mystical Body and its consequences for human life as a whole. Perhaps the most important of his works are Removing the Blindfold (Remnant Press, 1999; second, revised edition, The Angelus Press, 2014)), which discusses Catholic rediscovery of their own heritage in the post-French revolutionary era, and Americanism and the Collapse of the Church in the United States (Roman Forum Press, 1995). Black Legends and the Light of the World (Remnant Press) was published in 2012. Dr. Rao is also editor of Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Consequences for Church, State, and Society (Angelico Press, 2017). A Centenary Meditation on a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad was published by Arouca Press in 2018. Arouca Press is in the process of publishing seven volumes of his collected works, of which two volumes are in print (see here and here). He is married and lives in Manhattan with his wife. He has three grown children.