The Rome Life Forum was held on May 17 and 18, 2018, at the Ponticifal Angelicum University, on the theme of the conscience.
The speeches by Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and Stéphane Mercier particularly interested the audience.
The bishop spoke on May 17, the first day of the Forum. He developed the idea that the Church is not just the Roman pontiff, but a “vaster” reality. The pope therefore has “the same duties as any regular Catholic: to renounce Satan and profess the Catholic faith,” declared the prelate.
For the auxiliary bishop of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, if the pope no longer fully professes the Faith, Catholics “must help, not attack” him. “Answer to a heretic pastor,” concluded the prelate, “with respect”, “with the constant, unchanging teaching of the Church.”
On the second day of the Forum, Cardinal Raymond Burke’s speech drew particular attention. The high-ranking prelate recalled that Catholics must resolutely place themselves “under the banner of the Social Kingship of Christ” in order to counterattack against the enemies of the Church who try to “infiltrate and corrupt the Spouse of Christ with apostasy,” he declared. “The conscience,” explained the cardinal, “does not consist in the sum of an individual’s thoughts and desires; it is rooted in the Truth that alone can purify our aspirations and make them comply with the divine commandment to love God and neighbor.”
On the same day, Professor Stéphane Mercier – who lost his position at the Catholic University of Louvain for defending life against abortion – shared his thoughts on the compromise with the spirit of the world that is taking over in the Church. “The reign of the ‘politically correct’, the Gender ideology and the liberal lobbies has infected universities throughout the entire world with its gangrene, banishing positions based on natural reason,” he explained. Stéphane Mercier also lamented the fact that “even Catholic institutions are abandoning their principles in order look good in the eyes of the world.”
In this context, it is scarcely surprising to see “ecclesiastic leaders and pastors follow suit, sacrificing uncompromising Faith on the altar of worldliness and sentimentality,” added the professor, before concluding, “Standing tall for Truth with a capital ‘T’ has its price, but it is more important than ever to remain strong, for ‘if the salt loses its savor, wherewith will it be salted’?”