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Cardinal Burke at the Rome March for Life 2017LifeSite

DUBLIN, June 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A laity-led “Conference of Catholic Families” taking place at the same time as the Vatican-organized “World Meeting of Families” will feature some of the most outspoken prelates who defend the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage and family. 

The list of speakers at the August 22-23 conference organized by the Lumen Fidei Institute includes Cardinal Raymond Burke (via live video feed), Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Fr. Thomas Weinandy, Dr. Robert Royal, Edward Pentin, to name a few. Both conferences will take place in Dublin. 

The Catholic Families conference was organized in response to a not-so-subtle push of LGBT issues at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF). 

“Never before in the history of mankind have governments and States sought to pretend that men can marry men and that women can marry women. Never before in the history of mankind, have governments passed legislation aimed at promoting and upholding this pretence. Even within the Catholic Church there are cardinals, bishops and priests who are calling into question matters of settled Catholic doctrine in the name of a false pastoral care,” stated a press release about the event.

Earlier this year, organizers of the event were pressured to remove images of same-sex couples as well as pro-homosexual texts from a booklet meant to prepare Catholic families for the WMOF.

Last month, in what is viewed as a gesture towards the LGBT movement, WMOF organizers began specifically soliciting volunteers from varied “communities and backgrounds” to participate.  Critics say the move signals LGBT advocacy. 

More recently, it was announced that Father James Martin, the Jesuit priest who uses his large social media following to advocate for the Catholic Church to embrace homosexuality, had accepted the Vatican’s invitation to speak at WMOF.

Fr. Martin’s presentation, titled “Exploring how Parishes can support those families with members who identify as LGBTI+,” is perhaps the first instance of the Vatican seemingly denying the reality that there are only two genders. Pope Francis is expected to attend the conference. 

Anthony Murphy, director of the Lumen Fidei Institute and organizer of the parallel  conference, said that the laity-led conference was “our contribution to and in support for the World Meeting of Families” at a time when “there is so much confusion in the Church” over the teachings on marriage and the family, reported the UK’s The Tablet.

“We think that the best service we can give is to try and explain the beautiful teachings of the Church in a clear and open and direct way,” Murphy added.

Murphy commented on having Fr. James Martin giving a pro-LGBT talk at the WMOF. 

“I think any faithful Catholic would be deeply disappointed to have someone who has caused so much confusion with his various interventions and so much harm to the body of the Church by this confusion,” he said, according to The Tablet report.

“I’ve spoken to many clergy in Ireland, America and in England who cannot believe that such a man would [be] invited with Vatican approval,” continued Murphy. “All we can say is that this man doesn’t represent the teaching of the Church and he is heavily influenced by the anti-Catholic homosexualist lobby.”

While the theme of the WMOF is based on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, presentations at the alternative Conference of Catholic Families will be grounded in the great encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii,’ published after the Lambeth Conference attack on marriage from 1930. The Lambeth conference permitted the use of contraceptives contrary to the traditional and perennial teachings of all of Christendom. In response, Pope Pius XI rose to the defense of Catholic Marriage and Family life.

“Catholic Marriage and Family Life is under attack as never before in the history of humankind,” reads a statement on the sponsoring organization’s website.  “The Lumen Fidei Institute, like the Maccabees of old, calls Catholics to rise up and defend traditional Catholic Marriage and Family Life.”

The Conference of Catholic Families will feature noted orthodox Catholics, including: 

  • Kazakhstani Bishop Athanasius Schneider, has said that Catholics must combat the evils of today, including the evil of heresy within the Church.
  • Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop-emeritus of St. Louis and a member of the Apostolic Signatura, is one of the four Dubia signatories, has observed that Pope Francis is “increasing the confusion” in the Church (via live video feed).
  • Fr. Thomas Weinandy, a member, Vatican International Theological Commission who wrote to Pope Francis, saying his papacy is marked by “chronic confusion,” and that he teaches with “a seemingly intentional lack of clarity.”
  • Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, Dutch psychologist and psychoanalyst, who is one of the world’s foremost experts on homosexuality, pedophilia, and gays within the Catholic priesthood.
  • Professor Stéphane Mercier; dismissed from Belgium’s Catholic University of Louvain for his stance against abortion and gender ideology.
  • John Smeaton, director of Britain's Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), with a 40-plus year history in pro-life work.
  • Dr. Robert Royal, founder and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, DC and publisher of The Catholic Thing.
  • John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews and cofounder of Voice of the Family.
  • Edward Pentin, Rome correspondent for National Catholic Register.

The Conference of Catholic Families will take place at Dublin’s Ballsbridge Hotel, from Wednesday 22nd to Thursday 23rd August 2018.  Advance registration is available online