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Maria Madise at the 'Handing on the Deposit of the Faith' conference, Sept., 2019, Cardiff, UK. John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews

ROME, Italy, February 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Prominent Catholics will champion “authentic purity” at the seventh annual Rome Life Forum in May because it is the “antidote against every evil we are up against in the pro-life and pro-family movement – abortion, gender ideology, attacks on marriage, IVF technology, pornography, and sex education,” an organizer of the event told LifeSiteNews. 

Maria Madise, international director at the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), is convinced that purity “is one of the most important and also one of the most beautiful themes we have chosen for the Rome Life Forum in its seven-year history.”

Taking place in Rome on May 20-21, the event will bring together speakers and participants from a number of countries ahead of the March for Life in the Eternal City on May 23. Among the speakers at the Rome Life Forum are Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Wim Eijk, the archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands. Other clergy members that will be speaking include Msgr. Rudolf Michael Schmitz, vicar general of the Institute of Christ the King; Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, founder of the Benedictine monastery in Norcia, Italy; and Fr. Linus Clovis, spiritual director of the Population Research Institute and Family Life International.

Other speakers will be John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews, historian Roberto de Mattei; John Smeaton, director of SPUC; and Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society in the United Kingdom.

Madise explained to LifeSiteNews that purity has the capacity to mobilize “the soldiers of the Church militant to fight for her children.” This mobilization, she added, takes place “under the winning banner” of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “We have the promise of Our Lady that her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Purity wins,” Madise said.

Madise, who hails from Estonia, emphasized the important role of the laity in the battles currently being fought in Church and society.

“As laity, we are only foot soldiers in the Church militant,” she said, “but it is the foot, the heel of the Immaculate that will crush the enemy. Only if we share in the fight can we share in the joy of her triumph.”

Earlier, Smeaton told LifeSiteNews, “The Church must recover her teaching authority to save her children. And at this time of trial, the faithful at all levels of the Church militant must mobilize to fight for her.”

Lamenting the situation in many countries, Madise spoke of “sins against purity are state policy in many of the most powerful nations in the world,” and even in the Church, some voices favor “exceptions that violate Christian purity and God’s law.”

In Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima in 1917, she presented a “terrifying vision” of hell. “She revealed that it was sins against purity that lead most souls to hell. So it is a crucial and most relevant topic,” Madise elaborated.

Madise, who is involved in the organization of the Rome Life Forum 2020, continued, “We will deal with the chosen topic from a variety of perspectives – in this case, purity in faith and doctrine, holy orders, monastic life, personal and family life.”

The theme is taken from the encyclical Divini Illius Magistri on Christian education. In 1929, Pope Pius XI spoke of “opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.”

“Such is our misery and inclination to sin, that often in the very things considered to be remedies against sin, we find occasions for and inducements to sin itself. Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details, nor refer to the various ways in which this infernal hydra destroys with its poison so large a portion of the world; otherwise it may happen that instead of extinguishing this fire, he unwittingly stirs or kindles it in the simple and tender heart of the child. Speaking generally, during the period of childhood it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice,” the Holy Father wrote, quoting from a book by Silvio Antonio on Christian education.

For Madise, this shows “the true wisdom of the Church in nurturing souls, especially young souls, and their love for purity, which is in such tragic contrast with what is happening in countless classrooms today.”

Shaw indicated the importance of the Rome Life Forum by pointing out that Catholics need to “rediscover our love of the truth, and a true commitment to it, because it is in the truth that we find God, who is Truth, and not in some sordid intellectual compromise.”

Participants in the Rome Life Forum 2020 will not only get the chance to listen to academic and thought-provoking presentations by the speakers, but they have a unique opportunity to network with leaders and representatives of pro-life and pro-family movements from over the world.

The full price of the Rome Life Forum registration is £110/€130 (approx. $143 US). A one-day ticket is £65/€75 (approx. $84 US). To register and see the complete schedule, please visit