Who Will Save the Church? Roman Forum in Gardone Riviera, Italy

Religion overthrowing Heresy & Hatred, by the Baroque master Pierre Le Gros "the Younger" (1666-1719) from the tomb of St Ignatius Loyola at The Gesu in Rome.

The almost amusing attempts to pretend that there's no problem with the Church at the moment I spoke about yesterday look even more ridiculous in the context of these two excellent interviews from The Remnant. Granted, The Remnant is not best known for balanced and impartial reporting, it unreservedly has a traditionalist perspective, but these interviews with laymen familiar to English Catholics are very well conducted, gentle and balanced.

It is certainly my experience that we all appear much more partisan in print than we might actually be in real life. Actual conversations always reveal much more of a person that the printed word where you are trying to convey a message often influenced by your passion and commitment. As Chesterton said, "You cannot love a thing without wanting to defend it" and so we all probably stray into hyperbole on occasion in an attempt to emphasise a point. I remember studying how this was true of St Augustine in his polemic with Pelagius, and also St Paul, on occasion, perhaps especially in his letter to the Galatians.

What comes across in these videos is intelligent contributors with a real desire to follow Christ and a devotion to His Church. As one of my most beloved clergy friends commented to me on this "Lovely: measured, calm interviews, intelligent Catholic's gathering because they care."

The Roman Forum has used a ten day Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, on Lake Garda, in northern Italy, to introduce participants to a full sense of the Catholic life since 1993. I think I might have to go with my family next year!

Here Michael Matt interviews Oxford fellow and chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, Joseph Shaw. I found this conversation genial, intelligent and full of light and hope about the future. Also fascinating background on how the LMS managed to get permission to retain the Traditional Mass and the growth of Traditional Orders in the UK.

In this one, Michael Matt interviews Vatican journalist and premier Rome correspondent, Edward Pentin, as well as King's College's renowned professor of philosophy, Dr. Thomas Pink.

Edward explains that events like the conference at Gardone contribute to the Church by providing an intellectual forum for the exchange of information and strategy. Edward suggests that widening the discussion can avoid problems of division often focused on what he terms "liturgy wars". As I've discussed before, this sometimes seems to elicit the strongest reactions from our Church leaders!

He states that senior curial officials are saying the college of Cardinals is seriously concerned about the way things are going and, if this continues, we will begin to hear more vocal criticism.

Dr Pink discusses the crisis in the Church at the moment and affirms as Edward says earlier, how it is born of an inadequate theological understanding. He explains how there's a lot of non-magisterial theological material "official theology" which exists and can become problematic. He says it is absolutely proper that this is studied and critiqued.

A very interesting part of the discussion is about the way the Church approaches non-catholics. Part of what is going on is that the Church has developed a modern official theology that sees herself as living in harmony with an unconverted world. It sees living in harmony with the unconverted world as not only possible but actually required. This is different from the historic approach of the Church, so what is right and true? Is harmony possible? Despite the Church's attempts to assuage the issues, we don't see much harmony between the Church and the world!


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