Steve Jalsevac

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Some of the main organizers of the Rome Life Forum with Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Vigano. John-Henry Westen and Steve Jalsevac are at the far right. Doug Mainwaring/LifeSite

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May 2018 LifeSite Rome Life Forum provided incredible depth of teaching on conscience

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

June 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSite co-founder John-Henry Westen and I, and often one other person from the LifeSite team, have been making at least twice per year trips to Rome for the past 9 years. Each of these trips has been a whirlwind working experience of numerous meetings and conferences and first-hand reporting of crucial Vatican events as well as the annual Rome Marches for Life. On site coverage of the entire two Vatican Synods on the Family was our most intense and influential Vatican reporting project during those years. 

Because of all of this, Rome and Vatican City have become like a second home to us with many exceptional friendships that we have developed there during these trips. The memories of what we have experienced from this unique facet of LifeSite’s work seem at times to be overwhelming. We would previously never have dreamed that LifeSite could ever have had such a presence and impact in the Eternal City.

During most of those years we have had a LifeSite Vatican reporter based in Rome which has been an enormous benefit to LifeSite and especially to our readers. Our first Rome-based reporter was Hilary White who was later followed by Jan Bentz. LifeSite is currently blessed to have former Aleteia reporter and former Vatican official translator Diane Montagna as our Rome correspondent.

The Rome conferences that we were a part of, starting with the Human Life International conference of 2010 at which John-Henry spoke, and continuing with The Rome Life Forums which LifeSite first started in 2014, have taken head-on many serious problems within the Church and the world on the life and family and related faith issues. 

In 2015 LifeSite co-founded Voice of the Family, a coalition of dozens of pro-life and pro-family groups, including, SPUC (Britain’s Society for the Protection of Human Life), Human Life International, Family Life International of New Zealand. This new organization ran the annual Rome Life Forum (RLF) conferences from 2015 onwards. 

An added new item this year, a few days following the Rome Life Forum and Rome March for Life, was the establishment and first annual meeting and first conference of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. This lay-founded organization has been formed to continue the work of the original St. Pope John Paul II founded Pontifical Academy for Life which has been gutted and radically changed by the Francis papacy.

Five of the members appointed to the original Academy for Life by John Paul II are founding members of the new John Paul II Academy for Life. LifeSite co-founder John-Henry Westen and myself, among many other notable pro-life leaders are also members of the new Academy which will undertake two meetings each year, one in Rome and then one in another nation. 

2018 Rome Life Forum was the best ever

This year’s Rome Life Forum was the most impressive and productive Forum to date.  The theme of the forum was “True and false conscience” and the talks on the issue of conscience were all of an exceptionally high caliber. Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Athanasius Schneider, both of whom have become regular speakers at the RLF conferences, presented dynamic talks again this year. They and we were also joined with the very gracious presence this year of the former apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

This year’s forum was held at a new location, the prestigious Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas or, as it is often referred to, the Angelicum. The distinguished rector of the Angelicum, Fr. Michael Paluch, gave a brief but warm and inspiring welcome to the Forum participants that was greatly appreciated, especially given that the talks to be presented were going to address some serious problems within the Church at this time. See the talk by Fr. Paluch below. 

During a question and answer session at the end of the conference, Archbishop Vigano, who clearly very much enjoyed participating in all the conference events, had some words of high praise for the conference and its participants. He stated,

“I have been one of you, during these two days, listening attentively and certainly I have been struck by the great quality of bold intervention and the witnesses” (at the Forum).

“And certainly the thing that I realize [while] being with you is the great desire to have a strong leadership in the Church that can unite all of us – from the different conferences of different continents of the world.”

“I can say that I found [in] those who come in particular from the Anglo-Saxon [world] – the United States, Australia, and Britain – a great desire to be witness of the truth that has been preached by the Church all along the centuries.”

See Vigano’s full comments in the video below, starting at 5:49.

All the talks were video-recorded by yours truly and would be quite useful to show to high school or University classes or other groups studying the issue of conscience. 

One of the most popular talks was a very dynamic and blunt one given by professor Stephane Mercier that we strongly recommend for viewing. 

See below a complete list of all 17 articles (most with accompanying video) that LifeSite produced as a result of this one conference. Below that is a report on the March for Life that took place the day after the Rome Life Forum. After that we list the three reports and videos on three of the talks given during the John Paul II Academy for life and the Family conference.

As you can see, from all of this material, this most recent trip to Rome by the LifeSite team was extremely full and productive.

Rome Life Forum articles and talks

1. Bishop Schneider: Here’s how we remain loyal to Peter when Peter seems to betray Christ (Q&A)

2. Bishop Schneider explains how Catholics should handle a ‘heretic pastor’ (Q&A)

3. Priest explains why adultery is always ‘mortal sin,’ even when done in ‘good conscience’ – Fr. Crean Talk

4. Bishop Schneider: Catholics are called to combat heresy inside Church

5. Priest: Marian solar miracles are God’s warning we have violated natural law – Fr. Clovis talk

6. Cardinal Burke warns upcoming youth synod may release ‘new storm in the Church  (Q&A)

7. Cardinal Burke: Catholics must let Christ reign as King in face of ‘apostasy’ within Church

8. Unpublished letter from Cardinal Caffarra explains what ‘conscience’ actually means - Monsignor Livio Melina talk in Italian

9. Prof fired for pro-life lecture: Defend truth even if ‘spineless shepherds’ won’t - Professor Stéphane Mercier talk

10. Catholics can ‘resist’ erring Pope in good conscience: pro-family leader - Matthew McCusker talk

11. Becoming a saint today means ‘resisting’ erring religious leaders: Catholic historian - Roberto de Mattei talk

12. Cardinal Burke: False religions that permit abortion should be suppressed – Cardinal Burke Q&A

13. Saint JP II warned against ‘creative conscience’ that rejects God’s laws: Angelicum prof - Professor Isobel Camp talk

14. Pro-life leader explains how Catholic bishops destroyed the Irish conscience - John Smeaton talk

15. Former president of Rome’s John Paul II Institute corrects today’s errors on conscience - Monsignor Livio Melina Q&A (Italian)

16. Head of Pontifical university Angelicum asks pro-life leaders to protect life and evangelize - Fr. Michal Paluch welcome to Forum

17. Former U.S. Apostolic Nuncio: Our Lady is the ‘real frontline fighter against the devil’ - Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò during Q&A with Cardinal Burke and Msgr Livino


Rome March for Life

Italian March for Life pays beautiful tribute to Alfie Evans

John Paul II Academy for life and the Familytalk reports

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today - Professor Roberto de Mattei talk

World renowned expert: ‘Homo-tyranny is upon us’ in the Catholic Church

Catholic dad of 6: ‘Sacrificial love’ within family is the gateway to heaven

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Steve Jalsevac

Steve is the co-founder and managing director of LifeSiteNews.com.