Tuesday 3 June 2014

The Roman Forum 2014 Summer Symposium - still a few places left!


Founder: Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand

Summer Symposium

The Roman Forum 2014 Summer Symposium
Gardone Riviera, Italy
Twenty-Second Gardone Riviera Summer Symposium
Second International Catholic Christendom Congress

Have We Learned Anything
From This “Hundred Years’ War”?

30 June – 11 July 2014
(11 nights)

Summer 2014 marks a tragic centennial: that of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being the “War to End All Wars” and the “War to Make the World Safe for Democracy”, this terrible conflict proved to be the precursor to another worldwide conflagration, the torments of the Cold War in Europe and Asia, and the evils afflicting the contemporary Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Not only did it serve as the vehicle through which every possible form of ideology stemming from modern naturalism was finally given the opportunity to wreak its havoc throughout the globe. It also seems to have led to the worldwide triumph of the hedonistic, “freedom-loving” culture of the so-called “Moderate Enlightenment”, as well as the oligarchies that define what “liberty” is allowed to mean by John Locke and his ilk.

Historians have done yeoman service indicating all the many particular causes responsible for igniting the “Guns of August”. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church, whose teaching authority and greatest thinkers had warned about the coming disaster for many decades before 1914, understood best of all what the underlying intellectual and spiritual reasons for the senseless slaughter ultimately were. These fundamental grounds of the cataclysm were nothing other than that understanding of life as a jungle “warfare of all against all”, arising out of the heterodox vision of fallen mankind as a “totally depraved” species. By the twentieth century, this twisted vision had translated into all manner of political, economic, and even biological ideologies based upon the need for “struggle”, open and masked, as the key to Progress. In short, the Church understood that war came because modern man was “spoiling for a fight” in a myriad of different ways.

The Church had a clear idea of what was wrong in 1914. Does she still have such a lucid judgment in 2014, or has she herself been influenced by the evils against which she once so brilliantly fought? Have her children proven to be capable of passing on her wisdom to the world at large? Is the secular world in any way more receptive to her message as this “Hundred Years’ War” moves into its second century? It is to these basic questions that the faculty of the Twenty-Second Annual Gardone Summer Symposium and the Second International Catholic Christendom Congress will turn its attention. The cost is 2,100 Euros (£Stg 1,708.95 at the present exchange).

More precise information regarding application and potential scholarships should email the Roman Forum as soon as possible (drjcrao@aol.com).

Participation is limited. There are only fifty places available.

Academic Schema for Sixteen Lecture Program

I. Huis Clos: The Unchanging Character of the Modern “Dead End”
“Enlightened” Modernity and the Triumph of the Will; One Hundred Years of Appeal to “Vital Energy”, “Action”, and “Success” as the Guide to Individual and Social Life; The Systematizing of Original Sin and Conflict as Fundamental Pillars of Political, Social, and Economic Order.

II. Repetitive Catholic Temptations
Co-Option of the Church by the “Energizers” of Philosophy and Theology; Co-Option by the Liberal Capitalists and the “Party of Order”; Co-Option by the Radical Left; Co-Option by the Secular Right; Co-Option by the Nationalists and Globalists.

III. The Catholic “Fifth Columnists”
The Siren Call of the “Catholic Party”; Conservatives and the Stifling “Catholic Clubhouse Mentality”; “Worker Priests” and their Manifold Heirs; Clericalism: Voila l’Ennemi?

IV. Journey to the End of the Night: Predictable Consequences
Modernism Triumphant — Willful Theologians and a Willful Clergy; A “Willful Church in a Willful State”; The Savaging of Education; The Victory of the Esoteric; A Complexio Oppositorum?; Let the Strongest Faction Triumph! The Varied Forms of Dictatorship of a So-Called Free World; Cannon Fodder: From ‘Democratic’ Army to Praetorian Guard; Death on the Installment Plan: Pluralist Materialism and the Progressive, Unperceived Growth of Indifference to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

V. Have Catholics Learned Anything From the Conflict?
Returning to the Roots to Learn How to Fight Another Day; Saving Sacred Scriptures, Philosophy, and Theology From Mindlessness and Modernism; The Difficult Battle for the Liturgy From the Age of St. Pius X to that of Evangelii Gaudium; Politique d’abord? Taking Practical Arms Against a Sea of Troubles — Without Being Seduced by Our own Weapons; Saving the Real Nation From Ideological Nationalism and Militarism; From Nation-State to Commonwealth: Political Possibilities of the 21st Century; The Reality of Global Migration and the Future of the Catholic Church: Can Christendom’s Revival Come From ‘the Outside’? Flight From the Catholic Clubhouse Into the Fullness of Catholic Culture; The Continued Importance of Catholic Devotional Life; What to think of Radical Orthodoxy and its Variants; Neo-Catholics: Are they a Machiavellian or a Psychiatric Problem?

Faculty, Clergy, Musicians

Dr. Miguel Ayuso Torres (University of Madrid)
Rev. Mgr. Dr. Ignacio Barreiro Carámbula (Human Life International)
James Bogle, Esq. (President of Una Voce International; Author, A Heart for Europe)
Andrew Cichy (Musical Director, Merton College, Oxford)
Dr. Danilo Castellano (University of Udine)
Rev. Bernard Danber, O.S.A.
Professor Roberto de Mattei (European University, Rome)
Bernard Dumont (editor, Catholica, France)
Christopher A. Ferrara, J.D. (President, A.C.L.A.)
Rev. John Hunwicke (Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham)
Michael J. Matt (Editor, The Remnant)
Professor John Médaille (University of Dallas)
Rev. Dr. Richard Munkelt (University of Fairfield)
Dr. John C. Rao (St. John’s University)
Dr. Thomas Stark (Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule, Austria)

Daily Program

Each day involves two lectures (morning and pre-dinner), and Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine Mass) at noon. There are no lectures on Sundays. Musical and theatrical entertainments take place in the garden of the Angeli and in the Piazza dei Caduti in the evenings after dinner. Specific schedule of lectures to come.


The full cost of the Gardone program in a double occupancy room is €2,100 (euros) or £Stg 1,708.95. This includes: tuition, room and board (very ample breakfast and dinner with wine, beer, and other beverages at will; all gratuities also); transportation from and back to Malpensa Airport in Milan; and a boat excursion on Lake Garda. Single rooms are extra, their price depending upon the room concerned. A number of full and partial scholarships are available. Preference for scholarships will be given to professors, students, clergy, and seminarians.

Nevertheless, anyone who genuinely cannot afford the full tuition and believes himself to be a worthy candidate for assistance may apply.

Accommodations and the Setting

Accommodation and lectures for the Gardone program are at the Locanda agli Angeli and the Hotel Villa Sofia on Lake Garda, in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy. Rooms are mostly doubles, with bath. A limited number of singles is also available. Both hotels are located in Gardone Sopra, a ten-minute walk from the lakefront, where free, clean beaches with a number of amenities can be found. They offer beautiful swimming pools and gardens on their premises. Meals are taken at the Angeli and at other trattorie several minutes walk away. Mass is in the parish church, also within walking distance. Arrangements to arrive earlier or stay later, at additional cost, may be made through the director.

Gardone is within easy traveling distance of Verona, Venice, Trent, Brescia, Milan, Ravenna, Pavia and Padua. In years past, participants have rented cars to tour the area, taken private and more extensive boat trips on the lake, attended the opera in Verona, and even ventured as far away as Florence. The region offers opportunities not only for swimming, but for hiking, biking, boating and scenic walks as well. The lectures are scheduled in such a way as to allow time for recreation and sightseeing.


Transportation to Italy must be arranged privately. Two shuttles (morning and afternoon) to Gardone will be provided from Malpensa airport only on June 30th, and one back to Malpensa on July 11th.

Participants arriving and leaving at different times or arriving at and leaving from different airports are responsible for making their own arrangements for getting to Gardone.

Gardone can be reached by shuttle from the airport to Milano Centrale (50 minutes), train to Brescia (50 minutes) and bus to Gardone Riviera (50 minutes), or by taxi from the airport (which can be very expensive and is best arranged through the Forum).


Applications can be e-mailed (drjcrao@aol.com) or sent by post. First time applicants only must include name, address, telephone number, e-mail, date of birth, occupation, academic degrees attained or pending, and the names and phone numbers of two references. Application should be made as soon as possible as there are only fifty places available.


A non-refundable deposit of £Stg300 will secure one’s reservation. Once again, space is limited, so it is advisable to send this in as soon as possible after acceptance. Payment of the remaining fee, equivalent to 2,100 euros as of May 15th, 2014, must be made no later than June 1st, 2014. After that date, payment must be made in cash in Gardone. We have no means of handling checks in Italy. Deposits and all other payments must be made out to the Roman Forum and mailed to Dr. John C. Rao, 11 Carmine St. Apt. 2C, New York, NY 10014.

Final Notes

Seminar participants must eventually send us both their arrival and departure information. It is also important to let us know if you wish to arrive earlier or stay later than the scheduled symposium dates (at extra cost). We would appreciate this information by June 20th, by e-mail. A representative of the Roman Forum will meet participants at their arrival gates. Should the contact person not be found, please look for the bus driver holding a sign saying Molinari Agency, Gardone Riviera. His cell phone number will be sent to you by e-mail just before the departure date. In case of trouble, telephone the Locanda agli Angeli (from the USA, 011-39-0365-20991; from Italy, 0365-20991).

Barring the unpredictable, the weather should be sunny and quite warm/hot. We are in the foothills of the Alps, however, so one may need a sweater or light jacket for dining and sitting outside in the evening. Please also bring a light poncho or some other form of protection from a shower. If you do enjoy swimming and hiking, do not forget a bathing suit and good walking shoes. Tennis courts are available for use nearby. Access to the internet is available from the Angeli, the Villa Sofia and the café-restaurant La Taverna (the latter in the main square at Gardone Sopra, two minutes away from the Angeli). There at ATM machines just outside the Angeli, and at the Banco di Brescia, a short distance away from the Villa Sofia.
Gardone’s greatest difficulty is laundry. There is no laundromat in the village. Someone does stop by every day to pick up any laundry that needs to be done, to be returned the next day. Under normal circumstances, laundry costs are expensive in Italy. With the dollar-euro exchange what it now is, it may be the greatest expenditure of your trip. There will be a general orientation at cocktail hour on Monday, June 30th at the Angeli. A schedule of masses, as well as information about the Sunday boat trip and excursions during the week will be handed out at that time.

Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to support the attendance of a speaker, a member of the clergy, a seminarian, or a student. A special thanks for support of this conference to the health care professionals at I-DOhC.

Mail all applications and send donations to:
Dr. John C. Rao, Director
The Roman Forum
11 Carmine Street, # 2C
New York, NY 10014
Or e-mail to drjcrao@aol.com.

Whitsunday - Veni Sancte Spiritus



and the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Church

"And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…"
[Acts 2:1-4]

Pentecost (from the Greek Pentecoste meaning the 50th day i.e. after Easter) was also called White Sunday (or Whitsunday) because the neophytes again put on their Easter baptismal robes of white and - until the great destroyer, Archbishop Bugnini, abolished the ceremonies in 1955 - a second but slightly smaller version of the Easter Vigil occurred on Whitsun Eve. In Christendom it was for this reason that Pentecost was often called Pascha Rosatum or, in Italian, Pasqua Rossa, meaning Rose-Easter for the flames that descended like roses, for the red vestments and for the recalling of the mystery of Easter.

It is a highly Biblical feast and the Jews themselves had their own pre-figuring Pentecost which occurred 50 days after the Feast of the Passover. They still celebrate it with solemnity to this day.

This was the importance given by our ancestors to the Feast of Pentecost. But modern Catholics have had that privilege curtailed by the destructive work of Archbishop Bugnini, a prelate who was dismissed for Freemasonry by Pope Paul VI, as Bugnini himself admits in his own autobiography.

With a most shameful disregard for hallowed tradition which cannot escape the charge of impiety, Bugnini destroyed these centuries-old traditions and ceremonies.

Pentecost represents the fullness of God’s gift to men. He gave us His only-begotten Son at Christmas; in Holy Week, by the Passion of Christ, He atoned for us purifying and sanctifying us in His own Precious Blood. At Easter, at His Resurrection, and after, at His Ascension, God gloriifes us in His own Son and makes a place for us in Heaven.

Then, having ascended into heaven, God sends us the Holy Ghost to be our Advocate and Comforter in our earthly sojourn. Descending upon the Apostles as tongues of fire, the Spirit of love comes to us to inform our lives with charity, to create the Church as a bark of salvation and to lead us into all truth and holiness.

During Whit week every day at Mass is sung that most beautiful of hymns, the Veni Sancte Spiritus. It is known to tradition as the Golden Sequence, so greatly has it been revered by Catholic tradition. But how often do you hear it sung?

VENI, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.

Come Holy Ghost send down those beams
which sweetly flow in silent streams
from Thy bright throne above.

At Vespers is sung also the better-known Veni Creátor Spíritus:

Veni Creátor Spíritus,
Mentes tuórum vísita:
Imple supérna grátia,
Quæ tu creásti pécora.

Come, O Creator, Spirit blest,
And in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

Veni Sancte is particularly beautiful and it is a great sadness that so few now know it.

Here is a recording of each by French monks so that the difference can readily be seen. Veni Creator is followed by the sublime Veni Sancte:

Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

[Adapted from Psalm 103:30]


Ascension Day and the beating of the bounds

Rogation days are days set apart for solemn processions to invoke the mercy of God. The word comes from the Latin rogare “to say or ask” meaning, in this context, to pray to God for good things.

They come at this time because of the Gospel reading for the previous Sunday (the 5th Sunday after Easter, sometimes for that reason called Rogation Sunday) which includes the text from the Gospel of St John 16:24 “Ask and ye shall receive”.

The Rogation days are:

(1) St Mark’s Day on 25 April (the Major Rogation)
(2) The 3 days before the Ascension Day (the Minor Rogations)

The first Rogation, which includes the Greater Litanies, was originally a christianisation of the old Roman pagan feast day of Robigalia, on 25 April, a day to pray for good crops.

The minor Rogations, including the Lesser Litanies, were introduced in 470 by Bishop Mamertus of Vienne and then spread to the rest of the Roman Church. They became a preparation also for the Feast of the Ascension.

These days coincided also with the ceremony of the “Beating of the Bounds” during which a procession led by ministers and choir would proceed round the boundaries of the parish, partly to re-affirm the boundaries but also to pray for the protection of the parish over the forthcoming year. Choir boys and servers would carry canes to "beat" the boundaries at each stopping point.

Absurdly, the Rogation days are yet further ancient and beautiful ceremonies that were done away with by the liturgical wreckers after 1970. They have, of course, come back with the return of the traditional rites.

The ceremony of the Beating of the Bounds can still be seen in the City of London and processions continue to go round the boundaries to the various churches of the City, often escorted by a marching group of one or more of the City TA Regiments.

What diabolical spirit came over the liturgical consilium of Archbishop Bugnini that he even thought to try and get rid of this beautiful, scriptural, ancient liturgical devotion? Yet further evidence, if it were still needed, that a dark and sinister spirit has, these 40 years past, been suffered by weak, vain and worldly prelates to invade parts of the Church.

"Beating the bounds"

"22 So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you. 23 And in that day you shall not ask me any thing. Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full. 25 These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh, when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father."

[John 16.22-25]

Peccatores, Te rogamus audi nos
We sinners, beseech Thee, hear us!


Quasimodo Sunday, the Feast of Divine Mercy and the canonisations of Popes St John XXIII and St John Paul II

Dominica in Albis Deponendis
(Sunday when the newly baptised finally put off their white garments of Easter)

also called

Quasimodo Sunday


Low Sunday



the Feast of Divine Mercy

"Quasimodo geniti infantes, alleluia, rationabile sine dolo lac concupiscite. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."
"As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia" 
[1 Peter 2:2; Introit for the Mass of Low Sunday]

"Deinde dicit Thomae: infer digitum tuum huc et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam et mitte in latus meum et noli esse incredulus sed fidelis. Respondit Thomas et dixit ei: Dominus meus et Deus meus!"
"Then He said to Thomas 'Put in thy fingers hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing'. Thomas answered and said to him 'My Lord and my God!' " 
[John 20:27-28; Gospel of Low Sunday]

Caravaggio. Doubting Thomas. 1602-1603.

"Dearly beloved, laying away all malice and all guile and dissimulations and envies and all detractions as newborn babes desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation, if so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet...for you are a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people that you may declare His virtues who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
[1 Peter 2:2-3, 9]

"Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed."
[John 20:19-29]

"In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. (1588)

It's a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. (848)

Before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the doors of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the doors of My mercy must pass through the doors of My justice... (1146)"
[Diary of Divine Mercy, Revelation of our Lord to St Maria Faustina (Kowalska) of the Blessed Sacrament]

St Faustina Kowalska, messenger of Divine Mercy

"Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis" [Latin]
"Hagios Theos, hagios ischyros, hagios athanatos, eleison imas" [Greek]
"Elohim hakadosh, Elohim hakol yakhol, rakhem aleinu, veal kol haolam" [Hebrew]
"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us"

[The ancient prayer of the Trisagion from the Improperia or "Reproaches" of the Good Friday liturgy in Latin, Greek, Aramaic and English, dating back to at least the 5th century. They form part of the Divine Mercy prayers requested of St Faustina by our Lord.]

"Feed my sheep".
Rafaello Sanzio. The gift of the keys to Peter.