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ROME, Italy, April 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Next month, pro-life and pro-family leaders from around the world will gather for two days before the Rome March for Life to strategize on overcoming the crisis in the Catholic Church and international threats to life and family.

“The 2017 Rome Life Forum comes at a critical time in the life of the Church: 100 years after the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima calling for repentance and conversion, and just over a year after the publication of Amoris Laetitia,” said John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief and co-founder of LifeSiteNews. “The pro-life and pro-family movement faces increasing persecution inside and outside the Church. Our Lady showed three little children in Portugal a clear path to renewing humanity and saving souls. We must listen to her as disorder reigns in the Church and the world.”

“Faithful Catholics must not lose hope despite the rampant confusion coming from the highest levels of the Church,” continued Westen. “The Rome Life Forum is an opportunity to share that hope and encourage each other to remain true to the Church’s timeless teachings.”

“One hundred years ago, Our Lady warned us of the tragic errors that threatened to ravage the world,” Maria Madise of Voice of the Family and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) told LifeSiteNews via email. 

These errors have manifested themselves in various ways, she said.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is the strongest protector of children both born and unborn,” said Madise. “The artificial separation of the procreative and unitive ends of marriage is the root of the contraceptive mentality that destroys life through abortifacients, IVF, and other reproductive technologies. Attacks on parents’ rights result in corrupting children through anti-life, anti-family sex education, dehumanizing and desensitizing their minds as young adults and future parents.”

The Rome Life Forum “this year focuses on the protection of parental rights, a necessary foundation for defending and rebuilding our Christian civilization,” Madise explained. “The imposition of damaging anti-life and anti-family sex education in schools, including Catholic schools, worldwide is bringing many parents to a renewed realization that upholding their rights as primary educators is necessary if they are to bring up their children to lead healthy and virtuous lives.”

SPUC, along with Human Life International, LifeSiteNews, Associazione Famiglia Domani (Italy), and Family Life International New Zealand, is a sponsor of the conference. The Rome Life Forum is May 18 and 19, followed by the Rome March for Life on May 20.

Cardinals Raymond Burke and Carlo Caffarra, who both signed the dubia asking Pope Francis for moral clarity on Amoris Laetitia, will speak. So will Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, who is known around the world for his outspoken defense of Catholic orthodoxy. Schneider is one of the strongest critics of various theological errors that have spread throughout the Catholic Church, especially in the wake of Amoris Laetitia.

Duke Paul Von Oldenburg of Federation Pro Europa Cristiana and Italian Professor Roberto de Mattei of the Lepanto Foundation will also speak.

“The attempt to impose so-called 'comprehensive sexuality education' programmes through the United Nations and other international institutions promotes, by its very nature, virtually all other attacks against life and the family, such as contraception, abortion, gender ideology, reproductive technologies, and homosexuality,” continued Madise. “Sadly, we are also confronted with language, both direct and ambiguous, from Vatican departments that causes us grave concern. Most notably the Vatican's recent release of its sexuality education programme ‘The Meeting Point’ and the statements made by Vatican representatives concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

“The Meeting Point” is a sex-ed program the Pontifical Council for the Family released at World Youth Day in 2016. It didn’t mention sexual sin, although it contained sexually explicit images. It also left out parents, which the Catholic Church teaches are to be their children’s primary educators on sexuality.

The Rome Life Forum addresses the connectivity of various bioethics and moral issues, uniquely equipping those present to defeat the entire culture of death.

“There is no more necessary time than now for the pro-life leaders who love the teaching of Christ about marriage, life, and family to gather in the capital of Christendom, show their support for one another, and forge relationships that will carry forward their work on a global scale,” said Madise.

The Rome Life Forum is at Hotel Columbus, via Della Conciliazione 33 on May 18 and 19, 2017. Those interested in participating should contact Maria Madise [email protected] for more information. The €120 registration fee includes meals. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.