Rorate Caeli

Roman Forum 2017: Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down

We are pleased to announce the program of the 2017 Roman Forum Summer Symposium. This annual  symposium on the shores of Lake Garda is an important gathering of traditionalist intellectuals that has recently produced notable statements On the Ecclesial and Civilizational Crisis and Regarding the “Catholic” Apotheosis of Luther. We urge our readers to attend the symposium, or, if they are unable to attend, at least to support it through prayers and donations.

The Roman Forum
Twenty-Fifth Annual Summer Symposium
Gardone Riviera, Italy
(July 3rd-July 14th, 2017; 11 nights)

Setting Right a World Turned Upside Down:
Transformation in Christ Versus a Sickness Unto Death

Two commemorations will provide an extremely joyful framework for the Roman Forum’s next Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera. 2017 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of this annual spiritual, academic, fraternal, and strategy-planning program of indispensable importance to the traditionalist world internationally. It will also be the tenth anniversary of Summorum pontificum, with all that that motu proprio has contributed to the advance of the cause of the “Mass of the Ages”.
But these joyful commemorations are also calls to a two-fold meditation. One of these involves an honest assessment of present realities in comparison with the hopes placed in the project and document in question. The second concerns a serious appraisal of what we have done and have yet to do in order to fulfill the goals specified by them.

Unfortunately and in all too many respects, 2017 threatens to be a much more troubled moment in Catholic time than twenty-five or ten years ago. The erratic character of the current pontificate---and fears for what may follow it---are proving to be extraordinarily disturbing not just to the cause of the Faith but to that of human Reason as well. One has the sense of a “free fall”, with the “salt” having lost its savor and churchmen happily encouraging an international political and social world suffering from a “sickness unto death” to continue smiling as it dies. Gardone, 2017 will address this problem thoroughly.

It would be foolhardy for the Roman Forum to insist that it has done everything that it possibly could have done on behalf of the truth. Nevertheless, it is absolutely convinced that the path that it has taken since its foundation in 1968 and that of the Symposium twenty-five years ago provides the best means for serving both Faith and Reason.

That path was laid out for us by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand through his concern for rooting all of our work in an ever-deeper study of the theology of the Mystical Body and the exalted understanding of “transformation in Christ” that this probing of the full significance of the Incarnation yields. It is that Christological approach, closely connected with devotion to the Sacred Heart, that has made the Roman Forum so eager to work to cure our world’s “sickness unto death” by insisting upon the need to infuse all aspects of natural life---philosophical, political, economic, familial, fraternal, artistic, sportive, culinary; the serious and the festive together---with that Catholic teaching and grace that correct their flaws and raise them up in a hymn of praise to God. It is this approach that caused von Hildebrand already in 1970 to insist that the Roman Forum fight for the restoration of a liturgy that does not turn its back against the God who alone can save us all. And Gardone, 2017 will insist upon the validity of this Christological path, in all realms of human activity, as the sole, infallible guide to choosing the fullness of life instead of naturalist, secularist death. Come choose life with us!

Accommodations, Setting, and Daily Program

Accommodation and lectures are at the Locanda agli Angeli and the Hotel Villa Sofia in Gardone Sopra, on Lake Garda, in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy. Both hotels, with swimming pools of their own, are only a ten-minute walk from the lakefront, where free, clean beaches with a number of amenities can be found. Meals are taken at the Angeli and at other trattorie several minutes walk away. Mass is in the parish church, also within walking distance. Gardone is within easy traveling distance of the opera season in Verona, Venice, Trent, Brescia, Milan, Ravenna, Pavia and Padua. The region offers opportunities not only for swimming, but for hiking, biking, boating, and scenic walks as well. Each day involves two lectures with discussion (morning and pre-dinner), and Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Rite (Tridentine Mass) at noon. Other masses, both Tridentine and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, are offered throughout the day. 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.

Application, Cost, and Payment

First time applicants only must include name, address, telephone number, e-mail, date of birth, occupation, academic degrees attained or pending, and the names and phone numbers of two references. Application should be made as soon as possible as there are only sixty places available. The full cost of the Gardone program in a double occupancy room is $2,900 (based on an exchange rate no higher than $1.25 to the Euro). This includes tuition, room and board (very ample breakfast and dinner with cocktails, wine, beer, and other beverages at will; all gratuities also), transportation to and from Malpensa Airport in Milan, and a boat excursion on the lake. Single rooms are extra, their price depending upon the room concerned. A number of full and partial scholarships are available. Preference for scholarships will be given to professors, students, clergy, and seminarians. Nevertheless, anyone who genuinely cannot afford the full tuition and believes himself to be a worthy candidate for assistance may apply. Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to support the attendance of a speaker, a member of the clergy, a seminarian, or a student. We need $50,000 in total to provide for our sixteen speakers, musical director, and scholarships. Send all applications, deposits, payments, and donations either through PayPal or directly to:

Dr. John C. Rao, Director
The Roman Forum
11 Carmine Street, # 2C
New York, NY 10014

The Roman Forum

“Even if the wounds of this shattered world enmesh you, and the sea in turmoil bears you along in but one surviving ship, it would still befit you to maintain your enthusiasm for studies unimpaired. Why should lasting values tremble if transient things fall?”

(Prosper of Aquitaine)