Tomorrow, Thursday 18 May, and Friday 19 May, the Rome Life Forum will gather in Rome in order to discuss the current crisis in the Catholic Church. On 25 April, Claire Chretien reported on this gathering for LifeSiteNews, as follows:
SPUC [Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children], along with Human Life International, LifeSiteNews, Associazione Famiglia Domani (Italy), and Family Life International New Zealand, is a sponsor of the conference. The Rome Life Forum is May 18 and 19, followed by the Rome March for Life on May 20.
Chretien quoted John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews, who explains the significance of the message of Our Lady of Fatima with regard to the upcoming Rome Life Forum conference:
“The 2017 Rome Life Forum comes at a critical time in the life of the Church: 100 years after the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima calling for repentance and conversion, and just over a year after the publication of Amoris Laetitia,” said John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief and co-founder of LifeSiteNews. “The pro-life and pro-family movement faces increasing persecution inside and outside the Church. Our Lady showed three little children in Portugal a clear path to renewing humanity and saving souls. We must listen to her as disorder reigns in the Church and the world.”
Chretien also quotes Maria Madise, of Voice of the Family and the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children, as saying:
The Rome Life Forum “this year focuses on the protection of parental rights, a necessary foundation for defending and rebuilding our Christian civilization,” Madise explained. “The imposition of damaging anti-life and anti-family sex education in schools, including Catholic schools, worldwide is bringing many parents to a renewed realization that upholding their rights as primary educators is necessary if they are to bring up their children to lead healthy and virtuous lives.”
The event may well have a world-wide significance, inasmuch as many of the major papal critics will also be speakers at this gathering. Among the speakers are: Cardinal Raymond Burke; Cardinal Carlo Caffarra; and Bishop Athanasius Schneider; as well as Professor Roberto de Mattei and John-Henry Westen himself. As announced, Bishop Schneider will speak on “The family: the first encounter with the beauty of the Catholic Faith”; Professor de Mattei will speak about the “History of revolutions and their effects on the family”; Cardinal Burke’s topic will be “The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization,” while Cardinal Caffarra’s topic has not yet been announced, although he is scheduled to speak for an hour.
Thus it is to be hoped that this gathering in Rome will actually turn out to become one of the major events in the recent history of the Church where, in charity, truth will be spoken in public which might likewise become a proper fraternal correction for Pope Francis who, after all, is a major source for the current moral and doctrinal confusion and disorientation in the Catholic Church. This hope is especially fostered by the presence of some of the major papal critics in the world.
The two-day event starts each day with a Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Important to note is also the fact that, on the day of the March for Life in Rome itself – 20 May – Bishop Athanasius Schneider will preach a homily just before the March for Life in Rome; and the Holy Mass will be offered especially for the repose of the soul of Mario Palmaro. The voluntary collection from that Mass will be given, in its entirety, to the San Giuseppe Association, which has been set up in order to support the family of Mario Palmaro who left behind his wife and four young children.
Mario Palmaro was one of the earliest and strongest papal critics to whom we owe so much. He left us much too early. May he rest in peace now and may he thereby be permitted to intercede for our cause from Heaven now. May he also be better able then to protect his own family from above.
May we always remember his poignantly moving words, written not long before he died:
In some small isolated church there will always be a priest, who celebrates the holy sacrifice of the Mass, in some small apartment there will always be a lonely old woman who prays the rosary with unwavering faith, and in some hidden corner there will always be a nun, who provides for a child whose life is regarded by all as worthless. Even when everything seems to be lost, the Church, the city of God continues to exude its light on those human beings. [emphasis added]
In this spirit, under Grace, may we ourselves never lose Faith or Hope, and may we pray for this Rome Life Forum and its speakers. May they do much good for the Church in her time of conspicuous distress.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.