Fresh from the recent publication of two pastoral messages, in which he clearly reiterated Catholic teaching on a number of points currently under the spotlight of the synod, Strickland is set to address similar matters in Rome.
Taking place October 31 and November 1, the Rome Life Forum is an event at which Catholics – clerical and lay – can strategize with one another on how to best safeguard the faith. Its timing is deliberate: taking place days after the synod’s 2023 meeting comes to a close, so that faithful Catholics might analyze and prudentially respond to the events of the synod.
Pope Francis recently declared that the synod – despite being open in the entire process to hearing input from non-Catholics – will not be open to observers or journalists during the month-long meeting in October. Consequently, all news will be channeled through the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and the Holy See Press Office.
However, even with such a moratorium on transparency for a key event of a synod which has consistently spoken about transparency and “dialogue,” the Vatican has given some indication as to what might be discussed.
The working document for the October meetings of the synod promote and question numerous aspects that run in contradiction to the Catholic faith. Women’s diaconal “ordination” is raised, as is the subject of married priests and a need to “welcome” the “remarried divorcees, people in polygamous marriages, LGBTQ+ people.”
The document also appears to present the controversial, Pope Francis-approved interpretation of Amoris Laetitia as admitting the divorced and “re-married” to Holy Communion as an already finalized issue.
It was in light of this, that Bishop Strickland issued a pastoral letter some weeks ago, warning Catholics that adhering to the truths of the faith was not “schismatic,” regardless of what those who “innovate” Catholic truths might suggest.
He stated that “any attempts to pervert the true Gospel message must be categorically rejected as injurious to the Bride of Christ and her individual members.”
While the Bishop of Tyler did not directly suggest that the synod might change, or attempt to change, such teaching, he warned Catholics to “hold fast to these truths and be wary of any attempts to present an alternative to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or to push for a faith that speaks of dialogue and brotherhood, while attempting to remove the fatherhood of God.”
The bishop more recently issued a second pastoral letter, re-iterating Catholic teaching on the diaconate and the prohibition of female “deacons.” Pronouncing clearly on the authentic nature of the Catholic Church as the true Church of Christ, Strickland added:
Another topic that I want to discuss because it will reportedly be a topic of discussion at the upcoming Synod on Synodality is the divinely-instituted structure of the Church as it applies to ordination of women. As Sacred Scripture tells us, Christ ordained only men as apostles. Sacred Tradition and the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church have affirmed throughout the ages that the Church has no authority whatsoever to ordain women to the priesthood.
This cannot be changed because Christ instituted a male priesthood in order to image Himself as the bridegroom with the Church as His bride. As St. John Paul II solemnly stated in his apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: ‘I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.’
With his history of standing in the public sphere in defense of Catholic teaching, Strickland’s insights into resisting confusion in the Catholic Church will be a key proponent of the Rome Life Forum.
Attendees of the Rome Life Forum will thus have the opportunity to actively participate in all forum strategy sessions with our guest speakers. Guest speakers include Cardinal Müller, freedom activist Reggie Littlejohn, the president of the pro-life Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, and LifeSite’s own John-Henry Westen, among others.
The conference will take place on October 31 and November 1 in the four-star A.Roma LifeStyle Hotel. Off the beaten track, the hotel is nevertheless just a 30-minute bus ride from St. Peter’s Square. In addition, October and November are well-known to be part of Rome’s “off-season,” providing visitors with more space – and cooler temperatures – in which to make pilgrimages to the city’s spiritual and cultural treasures.
Buy tickets to the Rome Life Forum HERE.