The Roman Forum
11 Carmine St., Apt. 2C
New York, New York 10014
December 22, 2016
The Roman Forum is once again seeking $50,000 in tax-deductible donations in support of its Twenty-Fifth Annual Summer Symposium. This program will be held from July 3rd through July 14th, 2017 (11 nights) on the topic: Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down—Transformation in Christ Versus a Sickness Unto Death. We need this sum to provide travel, room, and board for our international faculty of sixteen speakers and our musical director. The funds are also used to aid the many priests, seminarians, college students, and others from across the globe who, without at least some help, would be unable to attend.
You may remember that the Twenty-Fourth Annual Summer Symposium, Half a Millennium of Total Depravity (1517-2017): A Critique of Luther’s Impact in the Year of His ‘Catholic’ Apotheosis”, was dedicated to the consequences of the first “reformer’s” thought and action. This was done so as to prepare a “truth serum” to work against the distorted adulation of the founder of Protestantism that will most certainly characterize the entire commemorative year of 2017. The working title for the book that this “truth serum” takes is Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Tragic Consequences for Church, State, and Society. Angelico Press will be releasing the text sometime in the next few months, and I am attaching a brief description of its contents. Very importantly, however, this book, and the program on which it is based, could not have become a reality without your generous donations.
Two commemorations will provide an extremely joyful framework for the Roman Forum’s next Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera. 2017 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of this annual spiritual, academic, fraternal, and strategy-planning program of indispensable importance to the traditionalist world internationally. It will also be the tenth anniversary of Summorum pontificum, with all that that motu proprio has contributed to the advance of the cause of the “Mass of the Ages”.
Unfortunately and in all too many respects, 2017 threatens to be a much more troubled moment in Catholic time than twenty-five or even ten years ago. The erratic character of the current pontificate—and fears for what may follow it—are proving to be extraordinarily disturbing not just to the cause of the Faith but to that of human Reason as well. One has the sense of a “free fall”, with the “salt” having lost its savor. Too many Catholics, clerical and lay, happily support a global political and social order suffering from a “sickness unto death”; smiling as that order commits suicide and works to bring the Church down with it. Gardone, 2017 will address this problem thoroughly—with another book to follow from its labors.
The ethos for that second book will, as always, be the one laid out for us by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand through his concern for rooting all of our work in an ever-deeper study of the theology of the Mystical Body and the exalted understanding of “transformation in Christ” that this probing of the full significance of the Incarnation yields. It is that Christological approach, closely connected with devotion to the Sacred Heart, that has made the Roman Forum so eager to work to cure our world’s “sickness unto death” by insisting upon the need to infuse all aspects of natural life—philosophical, political, economic, familial, fraternal, artistic, sportive, culinary; the serious and the festive together—with that Catholic teaching and grace that correct their flaws and raise them up in a hymn of praise to God. It is this approach that caused von Hildebrand already in 1970 to insist that the Roman Forum fight for the full restoration of “a liturgy that does not turn its back against God”. And Gardone 2017 will insist upon the validity of this Christological path, in all realms of human activity, as the sole, infallible guide to choosing the fullness of life instead of naturalist, secularist death. A second attachment describes the program and application process in detail. Come choose life with us if you can do so!
Please do give a tax-deductible donation to support the attendance of a speaker, a member of the clergy, a seminarian, or a student and make this twenty-fifth anniversary session possible. Send all donations, made out to the “Roman Forum”, either through PayPal (on our website) or directly to me at the address indicated above.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
John C. Rao (D.Phil., Oxford)
Chairman, Roman Forum
Associate Professor of History, St. John’s University
“Even if the wounds of this shattered world enmesh you, and the sea in turmoil bears you along in but one surviving ship, it would still befit you to maintain your enthusiasm for studies unimpaired. Why should lasting values tremble if transient things fall?” (Prosper of Aquitai