Rorate Caeli

You Report: Catholic Identity Conference in WV

From our friends at the Knights of Columbus, Woodlawn Council 2161, Traditional Latin Mass Guild: 

The Catholic Identity Conference 2012 was held in Weirton, West Virginia, September 28-30. The Conference brought together speakers from various aspects of the Catholic traditionalist movement and opened with a reception on Friday evening at which those attending had an opportunity to meet the speakers in an informal setting. On Saturday morning, Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP, offered a low mass for the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel at St. Joseph Church in Weirton. Following mass, the following speakers addressed the conference: Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant; John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News; Christopher Ferrara, president of the American Catholic Lawyers Association; Dr. John Rao, director of the Roman Forum; and James Vogel, editor of The Angelus. Each spoke regarding the essence of Catholic identity during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI.  

During the Saturday evening dinner, Christ Schulte made a presentation regarding the traditional Knights of Columbus initiative and Fr. Pendergraft addressed the gathering. People traveled from as far as California, Texas, and Florida to attend the conference. On Sunday morning, Fr. Pendergraft offered a Missa Cantata at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Weirton. It was the first traditional mass ever offered in that church, which was dedicated in 1967, after changes to the mass had already been implemented. A small schola of students from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, did a magnificent job of singing for the mass.


Ted Maysfield said...

Can someone give us some idea of what was said? Any substantial issues analyzed or discussed? How about a synopsis of each speaker’s main points?

Frog said...

I have a great love for the FSSP so this isn't a jab but I'm REALLY surprised to see them there at a conference w/ Matt,Venari et al. I hope this is a sign of future collaborations and sharing of the podium.

NotRocketScience said...

What I cannot understand, is why the emphasis is still placed by this group on the consecration of Russia. What we know for sure about the Third Secret of Fatima, is that it pertains only to our Catholic faith. After the vision of Hell on July 13, 1917, Our Lady of the Rosary told the children, "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world, devotion to My Immaculate Heart." Why this key request has been replaced with an obsession with Russia, is really hard to understand.

CI-12 said...

Dear Mr. Maysfield,

Brief summaries of the talks are available here:

Kenneth J. Wolfe said...

Here is a brief summary of the speakers' topics and a link to how to order the audio CDs to hear the talks:

Aged parent said...

Dear NotRocketScience:

Your questions vis-a-vis the conversion of Russia would be well answered by our reading of The Liturgical Year by the great Dom Gueranger. I most heartily recommend you read this wonderful work.

I am not trying to keep you in suspense by not giving you chapter and verse but I believe that by reading it in full over the course of the year will give you many insights into this as in many other areas of Catholicism, and is the best way of forming a sensible opinion on the matter. You will find the books most edifying.

One tantalizing bit, however. It was Gueranger's solid belief that the conversion of Russia to Catholicism (which he ardently prayed for) would eventually cause the conversion of the Muslims.

It is a great book.

Conference Goer said...

We attended the conference. It was an excellent conference. The talks were very good. Although no surprise there since the speaker line up was one of the best anyone could hope for.

There were people from a number of areas - including CA, NY, IL, VA, KY, etc. Lots of great conversation with so many interesting people.

The cost of this conference was very, very reasonable compared to most conferences.

I hope they are able to continue the conference again next year.

If you have never attended one of these conferences, I highly recommend it. You really don't know how much you need them - even if it is only one a year. They really give you a boost.

This year seems to have been the year for conferences with the CFN conference, the Restoring Christendom Conference (I think that was the name), the Catholic Identity Conference, and the Angelus Conference coming up. I hope we see more of the same next year so that everyone will have the opportunity to attend at least one conference.

Red said...


When the Mother of God comes and tells us something we listen as good children should. If the consecration of Russia is not important Our Lady would not have asked for it. Our Lord explained the parallel between the consecration of Russia and the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart and had that consecration been performed there probably would have never been a French revolution and the world, as a result, would be a very different place than it is today - Christendom would still be the order of the day.

Thomas said...

Wasn't Gueranger dead forty years before Fatima? What am I missing here?

Gratias said...

These conferences on traditional Catholicism fortify the Faith. We have attended two. One was from the Latin Mass Magazine Conference. This is held in a beach front hotel in beautiful Monterey California, this year it will be held November 17 and 18. The second was from Una Voce Ventura and held at beautiful Thomas Aquinas College. It will be repeated next Summer.

These conferences help us focus the mind. Go to one if you can.

Thank you for this report.

NotRocketScience said...

Red, it's been ninety-five years since Fatima and Russia isn't a factor when it comes to the turmoil in the Church. Imagine what would happen if the Holy Father were to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the world. Catholics would be urged to pray the Rosary daily, make Communions of reparation to Our Lady and go to confession on five consecutive first saturdays. When the problems with the Church are mainly spiritual in nature, don't we need a spiritual solution?

Ted Maysfield said...

The anti-Russian thing is a factor with the SSPX because of their interpretation of Fatima. Russia must be converted, as they say. I can think of several other countries where conversion is urgently needed ahead of Russia. The USA would be one of them. I believe in the original miracle of Fatima but some of the subsequent “prophetic statements” do raise questions in my mind, such as, “In Portugal the Faith will always be preserved.”

The New World Order hates Putin's Russia (just read the regular attack-a-week in the New York Times). The way Putin handled the female rock band blasphemy at Christ the Savior Cathedral was excellent, and his support for the welfare of Christians in Syria, so they won’t be decimated as in Iraq, is also inspiring.

The Fatima message it seems to me, has been captured by one vocal faction which is not necessarily representative of the meaning and significance of the original miracle.

Our Lady of Fatima is important in the life of the Church but I can’t go along with the insinuation that Russia in 2012 is the country above all other nations that needs conversion the most. No way can I assent to that in good conscience; or that Portugal has always kept the Faith since 1917; that is patently false.

ImmaculateHeartTriumph said...

Ted Maysfield,

Certainly Devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the Salvation of Souls is the primary end, and the principle though which the rest of her Great Secret (1 secret with 3 parts) should be understood. She said "If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace." She asked for the consecration of Russia simply because though the conversion of Russia many souls will be saved and there will be peace. It is not that Russia needs conversion more than any other nation, but it is the means through which God wills to accomplish His plan. Our Lord Himself told Sr. Lucy why he wanted Russia consecrated by the Pope and the Bishops: "Because I want My Church to recognize it as a triumph of her Immaculate Heart and place devotion to her heart next to Mine.

Regarding the SSPX, their "interpretation" of Fatima is irrelevant. I am not a member or an attender of SSPX. As for the beginning of the third part of the Secret (from Sr. Lucy's 4th memoir), it is impossible to interpret it without the context of the rest of Our Lady's words. Let us pray and sacrifice and do what we can to bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

MKT said...

TO Red and NotRocketScience,

If the call for a collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart were simply the interpretation of an apparition by a splinter group of Traditionalists, one would be forgiven for yawning it off and moving on.

The problem with that thesis is that Our Lady Herself commanded the consecration to be done, and Our Lord confirmed this directly to Sr Lucia Dos Santos the key visionary of Our Lady of Fatima's apparitions.

The statement of Our Lady was that Russia had been chosen as God's instrument of judgment upon the sinful world and that only a consecration of Russia by all the bishops in communion with the Pope would achieve Russia's conversion, and only by this means - Russia's conversion - would Our Lady grant the world an era of peace.

Moreover, the Lord admonished Sr Lucia as such "If the Holy Father does not fulfill the consecration, He will suffer the same fate as the King of France" a direct reference to the beheading of the King of France in 1789 when after 100 years of his predecessors not fulfilling the call of St Margaret Mary Alacoque to consecrate France to the Sacred heart, he lost his head.

The above facts are not really disputed in the Church. What is disputed is whether Pope John Paul's consecration of the world in 1982 and 1984 fulfilled the demands of this heavenly request, or not.

The SSPX generally, along with many other traditionalists, believe that this was not the case, because Russia itself was not consecrated in that prayer. Nor were all the bishops of the world engaged in it with the Pope.

The Vatican's official line in an AD 2000 declaration, apparently released by Cardinal Ratzinger, was that the consecration was a thing of the past.

And yet Pope Benedict XVI said in 2006 that Fatima spoke of future events in the Church ... so go figure!

I would certainly recommend reading up Our Lady's words to Sr Lucia on the matter. 100 years from the date the command was issued will be 2025 - the Fatima apparitions in 1917 left the visionaries with a promise that Our Lady would come to give a command to consecrate Russia - the command was actually given 8 years later at Tuys, to Sr Lucia in her convent.

This would mean that without the consecration, the Holy Father would face execution.

Russia's conversion is the key to the end of this. As another poster commented, there is a pious belief (expressed both by Dom Gueringer and Bp Fulton Sheen) that there might likely be a miraculous conversion of a great number of Muslims by this act - Fatima being the name of the Islamic Prophet's favourite daughter and the name of a Muslim princess in Portugal, who falling in love with a Catholic prince, married him and converted to the Catholic faith. has an excellent compilation of the documented Fatima apparitions with regards to the Divine command to the Pope to order a consecration that would be collegial - all the bishops of the world on the same day - of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We can debate Russia's geopolitical influence in today's world - but Our Lady would have known what God saw and perhaps there is more than meets the eye - Russia is still under the control of ex-KGBers, has 6000 nuclear warheads pointed at the West, has the EU in its clutches with regards to gas and natural gas pipelines, and likely has hundreds of billions of dollars stashed from its natural resource industries which it does not pass down to its people leaving the world to feel that it is poor, whereas it is not.

MKT said...

@ Ted Maysfield

"or that Portugal has kept the Faith since 1917 - that is patently false"

Our Lady's actual words were "In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved"

This is rather different than what you state that "Portugal will keep the faith".

As a nation one cannot dispute that Portugal has gone the way of the secular west - it is post-Catholic.

That does not mean that a remnant of those who keep the Faith in Portugal does not remain.

One might see that as a banal view of Our Lady's words, since one could argue in favor of a believing remnant in many post-Catholic countries. But until we see the complete text of our Lady's 3rd secret, we cannot put the words in their proper context.

The implications from many exterior evidences provided from those who have read the secret, including Cardinal Ratzinger in a 1984 interview he provided, it appears that a global catastrophe of diluvian proportions, coupled with world wide apostasy, may be the context. In such a context, saying that a remnant in Portugal would always keep the Faith would be a kind of relieving revelation to Sr Lucia at the time and would imply that other nations will not be so blessed.

OUr Lady of Fatima has been so dead accurate on so many prophecies, I would not jump to any conclusions that minimize what She has foretold.