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 Catholic Leadership Conference in Italy

Michael J. Matt POSTED: 7/4/11
Editor, The Remnant  

"Welcome to Gardone!" ...Dr. John Rao


About fifty professors, writers, priests, and noted Catholic leaders from Europe and the United States met in Gardone Riviera back in July for the Roman Forum's 2011 Summer Institute. Headed up by the president of the Roman Forum, Dr. John Rao, the theme was New Beginnings and False Starts Catholics, Change, Tradition, and Customs. 

Of course, says Rao, the Catholic Church recognizes the reality of individual human freedom and the new situations that its proper and improper use must continually create.  "But fallible Catholics are not themselves the Catholic Church. They have been tempted either enthusiastically to accept fraudulent and manipulative changes as unquestionable goods or to deny the reality of the twists and turns of history, confuse the Tradition with merely familiar custom, and thereby hinder the advance of the Faith."

Catholic leaders met in Italy to address these issues and to answer pressing questions such as: What are the real as opposed to the contrived changes of our age? How are Catholics loyal to Tradition to respond to them? What are the merely customary, conservative chains hindering proper response to the strange new world around us?

RemnantOnline posted updates on the Symposium throughout the week.  We also offered video snippets from the lectures on the same day they are delivered. All the lectures are available for sale through The Remnant.

Best Buy!

The complete Symposium is now available on one MP3 CD for just $25.

(Playable on any computer, DVD player or MP3 CD player.) 

Order your set today:

Dr Rao delivered four lectures.  Each is available for $8 (p&h included), and the entire set of 4 is available on 2 CDs for $20.  (Please allow 2 weeks for delivery).

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Lecture 4

Entire Set of 4 on 2 CDs

Prof. Patrick Brennan Speaks


On Day 4 of The Roman Forum here in Italy, Prof. Patrick McKinley Brennan delivered an address on competing  theories of law, ranging from sheer legal positivism the law is (whatever the sovereign  promulgates and backs by post modern theory of law) as rules with some sort of ontological basis, to the classical conception defended by St. Thomas of positive law being rooted in the natural law which is mass participation in the eternal law of God. Brennan gave practical indications of how the Thomistic conception of law might find an application in the present juridical environment.

Brennan has been a professor  at Villanova University since 2004 as the inaugural holder of the John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies and now also serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Professor Brennan works in the tradition of reflection on natural law and natural rights to examine a wide range of questions in jurisprudence and public law, including sovereignty, equality authority, the rule of law, constitutionalism, the family, and punishment and forgiveness, as well as topics in administrative law, constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, religious liberty and the liberty of the church, and criminal law.  He regularly teaches constitutional law, administrative law, federal courts, criminal law, and a range of courses in jurisprudence.

Professor Brennan has published some fifty articles and book chapters.  His most recent book, The Sovereignty of the Good: An Essay on Law, Authority, and the Church, will be published by Oxford University Press.  He has also published By Nature Equal: The Anatomy of a Western Insight (Princeton University Press 1999) (with John Coons), Civilizing Authority: Society, State, and Church (Lexington 2007), and the Vocation of the Child (W.B. Eeerdmans 2008).  He currently co-authoring Christian Perspectives on Law: Cases and Materials (with William Brewbaker III).

Christopher A. Ferrara Speaks


Video Snippet:

Christopher Ferrara

On this the third day of the Roman Forum's Summer Institute here in Gardone Riviera, pro-life lawyer and leading traditional Catholic commentator Christopher Ferrara delivered a powerful address on the futility of modern democracy which separates itself from Almighty God and His Church. His lecture included a stunning presentation of primary source historical material from the proceedings of the National Reform Association (NRA), a movement of conservative Protestant jurists, theologians, lawyers and politicians that attempted in vain during the 1860s to have the Preamble of the Constitution amended to acknowledge the "Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, His revealed will as the supreme law of the land..." Ferrara quoted explicit prophecies of national apostasy by NRA members on account of what their proceedings described as "the original sin of the nation" in adopting a Constitution devoid of any mention of God or the divine and natural law.

The presentation was a preview of Ferrara's new book, Liberty: the God That Failed (available from Remnant Press September 15). The book, said Ferrara, employs "the admission against interest method," proving the Catholic "counter-narrative of the history of Liberty" entirely from non-Catholic sources, "bringing in the Catholic perspective once its opponents themselves have provided the grounds for its acceptance."  

This lecture is available on CD.  Please allow 3 weeks for delivery.

European Roundtable

A speakers' roundtable took place today at The Roman Forum's leadership conference here in Italy. Representing Spain was Dr. Miguel Ayuso-Torres, (University of Madrid), France was Bernard Dumont (editor, Catholica), Italy Dr. Danilo Castellano (University of Udine),  and Austria Dr. Thomas Stark, (Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule). The discussion included a wide range of commentary on the political situation here in Europe, especially over the past century.

The Catholic Church is suffering a great deal in Europe, of course.  And yet the Church is Europe's only hope, both temporally and spiritually. Representing Catholic movements in four of Europe's most important Catholic countries, this roundtable revealed a great deal about the state of affairs in the EU and especially the extent to which a Catholic resistance to the forces of Godlessness may still have some chance of bringing about if not actual political change, at least survival of the Christian people in a ruthless secularist regime.

This lecture is available on CD.  Please allow 3 weeks for delivery.

Dr. Thomas Stark Speaks

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