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Cardinal Raymond BurkeLifeSiteNews

ROME, April 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) —  Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and Cardinal Joseph Zen are among the key speakers at a conference in Rome this Saturday, April 7, aimed at resolving the great confusion in the Church today.

The conference will be themed “Catholic Church: Where are you heading?,” and is being organized by an Italian association called “The Friends of Cardinal Caffarra.” 

Its subtitle, “Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church,” is taken from comments Cardinal Caffarra made in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Foglio in January 2017.

A list of speakers and full program for the event were released today.

The meeting will open with prayer at 2:30 p.m. in the chapel of ‘The Church Village’ conference center in Rome.  

German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller will open the conference at 3:00 p.m. with a presentation on Blessed John Henry Newman’s 1859 essay ‘On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.’ 

Cardinal Raymond Burke will then deliver an address on ‘The limits of papal authority in the doctrine of the Church.’ Bishop Athanasius Schneider, one of three Kazakh bishops to issue a Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage in January, will discuss ‘The Apostolic See of Rome as the cathedra veritatis [seat of truth].’ 

Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, will also deliver a video-message on ‘The Church today in China.’

Lay scholars will also give presentations at the conference. Valerio Gigliotti, a professor of history and of medieval and modern law at the University of Turin, will discuss the limits of the plenitudo potestatis [fullness of power] of the Pope in the history of law and of the Church. 

Former president of the Italian Senate, Marcello Pera, who co-wrote the famous 2005 book Without Roots —The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, will also address conference participants. In a fiery interview last July, the atheist philosopher sharply criticized Pope Francis’ teaching, saying it is “not the Gospel, only politics,” and that Francis is “little or not at all interested in Christianity as doctrine, in its theological aspect.” 

Professor Renzo Puccetti, a physician and professor of bioethics at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome, will present the evolution of bioethics taught at the institute, from the time when Cardinal Caffarra was the president, to its current leadership under Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

A short video-interview on Humanae Vitae with Cardinal Carlo Caffarra will also be featured during the April 7 event. The former archbishop of Bologna, one of the signatories of the dubia — five questions sent to Pope Francis in 2016 aimed at helping to resolve the prevailing confusion, died last September. He served as the president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family from its founding in 1981 until 1995.

Shortly before his death, Cardinal Caffarra confirmed that Sr. Lucia’s prophetic words to him — that “the decisive battle” between the Lord and Satan would be over marriage and the family — “is being fulfilled today.”

The conference was one of the Cardinal’s last wishes after he had become deeply disillusioned by the crisis of confusion in the Church, most notably regarding the issue of allowing Catholics engaging in sexual relations outside marriage, such as civilly remarried Catholic divorcees and cohabiting couples, to receive the Holy Eucharist.

It will conclude with a declaration (profession of faith) on several points of doctrine and morality that are most controversial today.

No registration needed. Entrance is free of charge. Participants will be admitted as long as seats last.

The conference will be in Italian; no live English translations will be available.

‘The Church Village’ conference center is located on Via di Torre Rossa 94, 00165 Roma.