John Rao | Remnant Columnist, New York
This Year's Theme: Half a Millennium of Total Depravity (1517-2017): A Critique of Luther’s Impact on the Eve of His “Catholic” Apotheosis
Although we already have a “full house” for this 24th annual Summer Symposium of the Roman Forum at Gardone Riviera, we can still squeeze in 6-8 young participants willing to share two rooms large enough for 3-4 people. Ideally, we would like to get one room for young men and one for young women. Doing this would lower the cost from the full fee of $2,900 to $1,200 a person for everything except airfare. Given the difficulties of putting together even that lower sum of money, donations backing these young participants would be most welcome.
A Critique of Luther’s Impact on the Eve of His “Catholic” Apotheosis
Twenty-Fourth Annual Summer Symposium, Gardone Riviera, Italy (June 27th-July 8th, 2016; 11 nights)
2017 will mark the five hundredth anniversary of Luther’s appearance on the public scene. It is absolutely certain that most of our ecclesiastical leaders, foot soldiers of the Zeitgeist that they are, will turn this date into a year long paean to the accomplishments of Luther & Company. In short, it will be the year of their “Catholic” apotheosis---and precisely at the moment when the world created through their distorted vision is actually in its death agony.
2016, the eve of this coming onslaught, must be a year of militant Catholic preparation for answering what will be a terrible travesty of the truth. It is also intellectually appropriate to use it for this purpose because in doing so one points to the fact that 1517 in and of itself was the not the original source of our woes.
As the history students among you will know, the German General Staff, following the strategic plan for conflict in the West designed by the Count Alfred von Schlieffen, deemed such a route through the Lowlands absolutely necessary to victory. But Albert's commitment to Belgium as a substantive reality and not a simple passageway to satisfaction of another nation's ends stood in the path—with four years of bitter fighting and civilian suffering being the price paid for holding firm.
St. Sylvester---New Year’s Eve Party
December 31, 2015—January 1, 2016
8:00 P.M.—1:00 A.M.
Dance in the New Year
Eat, Drink, and Make Merry
The Best Swing, Waltz, and Other Ballroom Music Ever Recorded
All 18 years or younger come for free.
All ages, including infants, are welcome.
Parents, come and enjoy yourselves for once!
Price of $25 per adult (see italics below) includes the hall rental, the music, set-ups for drinks, place settings, and magnificent breads, biscuits, cold meats, pâtés, cheeses & pastries. Bring anything else you wish, but especially your own wine, beer & liquor. Alcoholic beverages are not included and must be provided by attendees. Those who cannot afford the $25 fee, please just bring food and drink. But come!!!!
Checks made out to the Roman Forum
R.S.V.P. By December 30th, 2015
The Roman Forum
11 Carmine St., Apt. 2C
New York, New York 10014
University Parish Church of St. Joseph/371 Sixth Avenue
Church Hall Entrance on Washington Place, south of Waverly Place
A, B, C, D, E, F, V trains to West 4th Street Station
“Locke: dry, cold, languid, and wearisome, will live forever” -J. Bentham
Walking the Chartres Pilgrimage always puts me back on the straight and narrow path. It does so by the simple expedient of making me feel as though I am dying; as though I am a condemned prisoner undergoing a peculiar form of execution that will continue—slowly, torturously, and unabated—for almost three entire days.
Of course experience assures me that this particular misery will actually end in happiness, and that all I really need to do for the moment is add my bit to maintaining the joviality crucial to keeping the moveable pilgrim gibbet on the road.
Still, that part of me that really, really hurts—namely, every bone and muscle in my body—brings the reality of pain, death, and the meaning of it all to center stage in a way that nothing else I do during the year—at least up until now—has yet matched. And that honing in on the dreadful effects of Original Sin never fails to confirm commitment to the central Catholic teaching that is only through an ever deeper surrender to the knowledge, love, and service of God that the purpose of our lives, with all their pains and joys, can be clarified.
This week we are not just celebrating the octave of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is also the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Blessed Pius IX’s encyclical letter Quanta Cura and its accompanying Syllabus of Errors (December 8, 1864). This is a document that even a man as closely associated with modern experiments involving Christian Democracy as Don Luigi Sturzo (1871-1959) called a prophetic summary of an entire age of social apostasy from Christ.
Despite the libels of its opponents, the Syllabus is not merely “negative” with its eighty condemnations of modern errors. It stands tall at the head of a glorious line of march towards that more complete development of Catholic Social Doctrine that took place in subsequent pontificates—a Catholic Social Doctrine that the all too well-endowed schools of thought of Fr. John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, George Weigel, and Fr. Robert Sirico have done so much to disfigure and render impotent in our own day.
I have mentioned on a number of occasions my conversation with an Argentine friend just after the election of Pope Francis. Readers might remember that he made this rather ominous, though amusing comment: “If you try to understand him, you will lose your Reason”.
My friend uttered that phrase to underline his conviction that anyone trying to outline a heresy in the words of the pope would be barking up the wrong tree. As far as he could see, the pope’s “thought” is not “thought” in any traditional Greco-Roman-Catholic sense, and therefore cannot be held up for normal scrutiny as “orthodox” or “heterodox”. He assured me that anyone looking for orthodoxy or heresy would be able to find both, together, and even perhaps simultaneously. Take your pick.
May all you dead of the First World War rest in peace! May your death not have been in vain! Unfortunately, I fear that it was. You lived in a globe that could not accept the fact that God’s Creation is something other than a jungle ruled by the war of all against all.
November 11th marks the 96th anniversary of the end of what was simultaneously one of the most pathetic and yet most predictable conflicts in mankind’s tragic history. It was pathetic in the patent absurdity of its unfounded enthusiasms and goals, the unfathomable physical pain it inflicted, as well as its final wretched outcome. But it was all too predictable due to the logical development of a myriad of irrational principles that were Protestant in their origin, naturalist-Enlightenment in their maturation, and nationalist, racist, and class conscious in their specific emphases upon the way in which violent struggle would have a gloriously purgative and perfecting influence upon life.
Triple marriages, polygamy, homosexual unions—oh my! How horrible! Of course anyone with faith and sense would oppose them unless opposing the ideas concerned, and offending the people espousing them, might mean disturbing a pope or a bishop.
Chris Ferrara’s recent posting on Karl Keating reminded me that I wanted to weigh in on the dull, drab subject of Catholic “conservatives” just once more before the year’s end. In doing so, I would like to insist, yet again, and in all seriousness, that what we are dealing with in addressing this matter is a severe psychological problem; a particular illustration of the general mental illness from which all the varied representatives of “enlightened” modernity suffer.
I have asked Michael Matt to post this addendum to my View From Rocco’s “at the Front” due to the large number of negative emails I have received from people regarding what I said therein. Clearly, I did not get my message across. It seemed necessary, therefore, to add the following points as a footnote to my earlier report:
1) My statements regarding “awakening the pope” did not mean awakening him to the manipulations of the cabal responsible for the Synod. As I thought I had indicated, he is a willing and eager part of that cabal. Whether he or Kasper was its first creator I do not know. That he was happy with the horrible program his cabal proposed and promoted at the Synod is obvious.