Voice of the Family is pleased to offer the addresses given at the Rome Life Forum and at the seminar preceding it in Rome earlier this month. All talks focused on certain aspects of the Family Synod in 2014 and 2015.
The first in this series of talks is an important historic overview by Professor de Mattei entitled: “Family from the II Vatican Council to the Synod on the Family”.
Roberto de Mattei is a Professor in the European University of Rome. He has founded and oversees the Lepanto Foundation; directs the magazine Radici Cristiane and the News Agency Corrispondenza Romana.
In his talk delivered to pro-life leaders from all over the world, who had travelled to Rome for the Rome Life Forum and March for Life, he outlined the development of the idea of a new pastoral approach that can be brought up to date and adapted to the individual circumstances. He argues that proposals similar to Cardinal Kasper’s, “according to which doctrine could be adapted to practices which are common among Christians in matters of sexual morality, rather than rectifying their behaviour according the immutable natural and divine law”, were noticeable during the time preceding the II Vatican Council.
Professor de Mattei explains:
The past helps us to understand the present. If we want to understand the causes of the current cultural and moral crisis, we need to go back at least half a century to the beginning of the 1960s.
In his talk he masterfully explains, how sexual liberation was the weapon designed and used to destroy the family. One of the most important schemes of Vatican II had been a “Draft of a Dogmatic Constitution on Chastity, Marriage, the Family and Virginity”, whose authors believed rightly that it was not possible to discuss marriage without discussing chastity. However, this as well as many other drafts were essentially discarded in the process of the three-year-long council.
Professor de Mattei’s is a strong call to “illuminate the truth”:
The greater our revulsion against evil, the greater will be our love for the good. This good needs to be illustrated by speaking of the value of virginity, chastity and continence.
A Synod devoted to family which attacks natural law, which pays no attention to the primary end of marriage, which draws a veil of silence over sin, and which does not promote the value of chastity both within and outside of marriage, is condemned to pastoral failure. Above all, it risks disowning the principles of Catholic morals.
Professor de Mattei clearly articulates the expectations of the faithful lay people in this year between the two family synods:
We expect that the rules of Catholic morality will be recalled in such a way as to direct our behaviour. We expect that errors will be condemned, and that their catastrophic consequences for souls and society will be demonstrated.
Please find the full text of Professor de Mattei’s address here.