15 June 2018, The Tablet

Irish Conservative Catholics to hold alternative conference on marriage and family in August

'They have betrayed Christ because we cannot give platforms to people like Fr James Martin where he spreads confusion'

Irish Conservative Catholics to hold alternative conference on marriage and family in August

The conference will focus on Pope Pius XI’s encyclical which anticipated Humanae Vitae through its teaching on marriage, procreation and contraception

Conservative Catholics are to hold a two-day ‘Conference of Catholic Families’ in Dublin as the Vatican backed World Meeting of Families is taking place in the RDS in August.

The Lumen Fidei Institute is hosting the conference and will focus on Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii which anticipated Humanae Vitae through its teaching on marriage, procreation and contraception.

Preparation programmes for the World Meeting of Families congress in Dublin and many of the talks at the three-day event in the RDS (22-24 August) have taken Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, as their theme.

The Director of the Lumen Fidei Institute told The Tablet that the more conservative alternative to the WMOFM2018 pastoral congress is “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.

“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,” Anthony Murphy said.

A venue has been chosen very close to the World Meeting of Families in order to facilitate those who wish to go from the RDS to the Lumen Fidei conference in Ballsbridge. There they will hear from Cardinal Raymond Burke via video and Kazakhstani Bishop Athanasius Schneider, both prominent critics of Pope Francis.

Other speakers include Fr Thomas Weinandy, Dr Robert Royal, Dr Gerard van den Aardweg, Professor Stephane Mercier and John Smeaton.

“We wanted to run a catholic event with catholic experts on the family who have contributed over the years to pro family apostolates,” Murphy said.

In relation to the invitation to Jesuit Fr James Martin to speak at WMOF2018 on how parishes can reach out to LGBT Catholics, Anthony Murphy said that if the Church in Ireland wanted to reach out to “homosexual – same-sex attracted people in a genuine way”, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who is president of the event, should have invited “an apostolate like Courage which has been around far longer than this publicity seeking priest”.

Courage International is an approved apostolate of the Catholic Church that counsels men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love. Based on a treatment model for drug and alcohol addictions used in programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Courage runs a 12-step programme aimed at helping gay people remain abstinent from sex.

“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,” Anthony Murphy said of Fr James Martin’s efforts to build a bridge between the institutional church and the gay community.

“I’ve spoken to many clergy in Ireland, America and in England who cannot believe that such a man would invited with Vatican approval. 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.”

In an interview with America magazine, Fr James Martin has said that the invitation to him to speak at WMOF2018 is a message to LGBT Catholics, “you’re an important part of the Church.”

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