Roman Forum 2014 Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy
Second International Congress of Catholic Christendom
June 30-July 11, 2014
Have We Learned Anything From This ‘Hundred Years’ War’?
Summer, 2014, marks a tragic centennial: that of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being the “War to End All Wars”, and the “War to Make the World Safe for Democracy”, this terrible conflict proved to be the precursor to another worldwide conflagration, the torments of the Cold War in Europe and Asia, and the evils afflicting the contemporary Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Not only did it serve as the vehicle through which every possible form of ideology stemming from modern naturalism was finally given the opportunity to wreak its havoc throughout the globe; it also seems to have led to the worldwide triumph of the hedonistic, “freedom-loving” culture of the so-called “Moderate Enlightenment”, as well as the oligarchies that define what “liberty” is allowed to mean by John Locke & Company.
Historians have done yeoman service indicating all the many particular causes responsible for igniting the “Guns of August”. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church, whose teaching authority and greatest thinkers had warned about the coming disaster for many decades before 1914, understood best of all what the underlying intellectual and spiritual reasons for the senseless slaughter ultimately were. These fundamental grounds of the cataclysm were nothing other than that understanding of life as a jungle “warfare of all against all”, arising out of the heterodox vision of fallen mankind as a “totally depraved” species. By the twentieth century, this twisted vision had translated into all manner of political, economic, and even biological ideologies based upon the need for “struggle”, open and masked, as the key to Progress. In short, the Church understood that war came because modern man was “spoiling for a fight” in a myriad of different ways.
The Church had a clear idea of what was wrong in 1914. Does she still have such a lucid judgment in 2014, or has she herself been influenced by the evils against which she once so brilliantly fought? Have her children proven to be capable of passing on her wisdom to the world at large? Is the secular world in any way more receptive to her message as this “Hundred Years’ War” moves into its second century? It is to these basic questions that the faculty of the Twenty-Second Annual Gardone Summer Symposium and the Second International Catholic Christendom Congress will turn its attention. The cost is 2,100 Euros ($2,900 at the present exchange; some partial scholarships available). Participation is limited. There are only fifty places available.
May 1, 2014