Monday, January 21, 2013

Lake Garda Conference

A plug for the Dr John Rao (who spoke at the LMS Conference last summer and has recently published an important book) and the guys at The Roman Forum. This is a wonderful and unique event: ten days of talks, liturgy and activities in the lovely setting of Lake Garda in Italy. Full details on the Roman Forum website

The Roman Forum
Twenty-First Gardone Riviera Summer Symposium
First International Catholic Christendom Congress
July 1st-July 12th, 2013 (11 nights)
The Divine Comedy Versus the Theater of the Absurd:
Navigating a Path Between Scylla and Charybdis
      Catholic Christendom is meant to be a social “stage” upon which “the drama of truth” can be performed by men and women utilizing innumerable natural and supernatural tools of both individual and communal character. Although this drama does indeed require personal commitment and action, such free involvement cannot be fully truthful or effective without the intellectual assistance of everything from theology and philosophy to history, economics, and sociology; from architecture to city planning; from literature to art and music. It also desperately requires the authoritative intervention of the Church, the State, and all other corporate institutions besides. It is only in this many-faceted environment of individual and social interaction that that happy “divine comedy”
---the working out of eternal life with God--- can most successfully be played out.
      Such a fertile Catholic setting stands in vivid contrast to the tragically impoverished stage provided man by modern civilization. Modernity cheapens and ultimately annihilates the drama of life, placing a variety of crippling and arbitrary limitations on the number of intellectual, literary, artistic, and authoritative social aids made available to the individual on his naturalist journey to nowhere. It replaces the divine comedy with what amounts to a theater of the absurd. It abandons a magnificent feast for a mess of pottage.
      A study of the nature and the effect of these two diametrically opposed civilizations is crucially important for Catholics the world over. Nevertheless, it is, perhaps, most important for American Catholics, who repeatedly commit social suicide by supporting either “liberal” or “conservative” forces that represent nothing other than two faces of the same false, naturalist, a-moral, anti-social, and highly destructive Enlightenment theme of individual freedom. Liberals focus on personal sexual libertinism, conservatives on both personal economic as well as national patriotic libertinism. They limit their debate to the choice of shipwreck on the Democratic Scylla or the Republican Charybdis.  So long as they continue to prefer one or the other piece from the anti-social repertoire of the theater of the absurd there is no hope for rebuilding Christendom. For, tragically, acceptance of one form of libertinism merely conditions men and women to open the door to the other.
      The recent election has given American Catholics more time to learn how to navigate between certain death on the rocks of Scylla and in the whirlpool of Charybdis. But grasping such navigational skills demands profound study of the full nature of the divine comedy. This involves recognition of the fact that America is not “exceptional” and that the Catholic drama of truth is one in which believers from countries throughout the world have an equal role to play. Hence, it is only through an international congress of Catholic Christendom that its divine comedy can be properly appreciated and lovingly put to use.

Faculty, Clergy, Musicians

Dr Rao at the LMS Conference
Dr. Miguel Ayuso-Torres (University of Madrid)
Rev. Mgr. Dr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula  (Human Life International)
James Bogle, Esq. (Author, A Heart for Europe)
Dr. Patrick McKinley Brennan (Villanova University)
Dr. Danilo Castellano (University of Udine)
Rev. Bernard Danber, O.S.A.
Bernard Dumont (editor, Catholica, France)
Christopher A. Ferrara, J.D. (President, ACLA)
Gregor Hochreiter (Oekonomika Institute, Vienna)
David J. Hughes (Musical Director)
James Kalb, Esq. (Author, The Tyranny of Liberalism)
Michael J. Matt (Editor, The Remnant)
Professor John Médaille (University of Dallas)
Rev. Dr. Richard Munkelt  (University of Fairfield)
Dr. John C. Rao (St. John’s University)
Hervé Rolland, President of Notre Dame de Chrétienté
Dr. Thomas Stark (Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule, Austria)
Rev. Richard Trezza, O.F.M.

Each day involves three lectures (morning and pre-dinner), and Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Rite (Tridentine Mass) at noon. There are no lectures on Sundays. Musical and theatrical entertainments take place in the garden of the Angeli and in the Piazza dei Caduti in the evenings after dinner.

The full cost of the Gardone program in a double occupancy room is 2,100 Euros.

A number of full and partial scholarships are available.

Go to the Roman Forum for more information.


  1. As long as the Roman Forum ignores Bernadino Nogara, Pope Pius XI and the continuing disaster of the Vatican's illicit financial investments, they are just spinning their wheels.

  2. It's a conference at Lake Garda. Gardone Riviera is the name of one of many towns on the lake.