The recent Jesuit-run Boston College conference on ‘Amoris Laetitia’

The recent Jesuit-run Boston College conference on the reception of Amoris Laetitia in these USA seems to have been intended as a closed workshop on how to “struggle” (in the Cultural Revolution sense) against the Four Olds (in this case, Familiaris Consortio, Veritatis splendor, Humanae vitae, and the Principle of Non-Contradiction).  As a confirmation of same, I noted at LifeSite‘s article about it:

The dissident news service National Catholic Reporter (NCR) [aka Fishwrap aka National Schismatic Reporter] appears to have been given the exclusive privilege of covering the conference. Links about the event on Boston College’s website refer to articles on NCR’s website. On its website, NCR states that a “handful of press outlets have been invited to report on the proceedings, including NCR.”

Look at the line up of cadres and commissars who spoke.  Look at the Jesuit-run location.  Look at the planned and controlled coverage.  What could go wrong?

Now we see the lib catholic equivalent of Big Letter Posters from Fishwrap.  They have received their caps and booklets. It’ll be a constant harangue now of “Down with the Cow Demons!  Down with the Snake Spirits!  Down with Dubia Askers!”  Soon we will see their version of the Four Pests Campaign rev up against, “Converts who Have Opinions, Lovers of Tradition, Signers of Filial Letters, Upholders of Law”.

Let us go Down To The Countryside of “Lived Experience”.

We must now force the legalist Cow Demons to learn the wisdom of El Pueblo and their “lived experience” which overcomes the Four Olds.

Criticize!  RECTIFY!

Then again, how many people attended this workshop?

Here is a photo from Fishwrap of “participants”.

Tens of people!

Perhaps that was just the speakers and organizers.

Wait…. that was the attendance.  According to Fishwrap: “These panel presentations were stimulating and prompted an extraordinary amount of discourse among all 40 participants”.

I suppose some will question my choice of imagery.

Get back to me after the Struggle Sessions begin.


struggle session li-zhensheng

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Michael_Haz says:

    That’s a small footprint relative to the size of the dust cloud they created.

    Ummm….perhaps it’s my odd way of seeing things, but does the padre on the front row, left side seem a little too huggy with the lady standing beside him? Ugh, okay, I’ll mention I wrote this during the next confession.

  2. george says:

    We can all agree that there were tons of people… er, I mean “tEns of people” present. However, there were a couple cardinals (Cdl. Wuerl and the president of the USCCB, if I remember correctly) who may well go back to some USCCB plenary session and tell everyone there that they are to disseminate the “unanimous consensus” of this BC meeting and that the “outcomes” are now the official USCCB position.

    Hopefully the likes of Abp. Sample, Bp. Morlino, etc. will stand up and say “NO!” loudly and publicly.

  3. Thomistica says:

    Don’t underestimate the organizational capability of these people. Or their machinations to find a successor to Pope Francis who will take the latter’s agenda to the next level.

    I recall reading that there were four funding sources for the symposium held by La Civiltà Cattolica on the eve of the synod, in October 2015. I never saw any disclosure as to what they were. Anyhow, with anything like this, follow the money.

  4. wanda says:

    It wasn’t just you, Michael H. That’s the first thing that jumped out at me in the photo. I don’t care if they are friends, that is out of line. Ok, confession for me, too.

  5. Windswept House says:

    Seems covert. Like guerilla warfare. Don’t engage the other side’s strengths of reason, Orthodoxy, Tradition.

  6. majuscule says:

    I am shocked that there are so few women in the picture! Even if you take out the men in clerical collars, women appear to be the minority!

    Michael_Haz–good observation. I will not comment further. Looking for my car keys…should head to confession also.

  7. SaintJude6 says:

    Bingo! It’s not just you. I’d never stand that close to any man, much less a priest, for a photo. It is completely inappropriate. Somebody’s grandmother must have forgotten to teach her to leave room in between them for their guardian angels.

  8. Sawyer says:

    @Michael_Haz, I agree with you. By the way, the “padre” in the front left is Cardinal Cupich.

  9. mlmc says:

    maybe you need a Leninist lens- they hope to be the vanguard- the dictatorship of the proletariat(or should I say of the schismatics)?

  10. Traductora says:

    I agree – they were definitely shaping up the “leading cadre” and sending them out with their Little Red Book under their arms.

    One thing nobody has commented on yet is that Spadaro at one point directly said “what [Pope] Francis wants” is blah, blah, blah – so in other words, this goes beyond just a wacky project of the Fishwrap crowd. Also, the fact that an article was just published in the Vatican-approved Civiltà Cattolica saying exactly the same thing means that there’s no way anybody can say this is a band of renegades trying to sabotage Francis (an argument I have actually seen).

    Will nobody in authority say something? The worst image I have seen was not the band of 40 goofballs in front of the building, but a photo of Spadaro, lounging on a chair (not wearing clericals of course) with a smug, arrogant grin on his rather malevolent face. And I thought, this insignificant and unappealing creature (and the people or person behind him) is the one who thinks that it is within his right and power to dismiss 2000 years of Christian moral law, thousands more of Jewish law and the heritage of Greco-Roman moral and ethical philosophy – for what? His sophomoric, meaningless beaurocrat babble.

  11. Kevin says:

    The least “religious” state in the country is Vermont. The Bishop of Burlington, VT was in attendance. Is there a correlation? Probably. Sigh!!

  12. rdb says:

    Is there a list of the participants? I don’t see any mention of seminary professors.

  13. RAve says:

    Rush Limbaugh used to always say that he would like to have Scalia’s brain if he didn’t have his own.
    Time and again I come here and think I would like to have Zuhlsdorf’s brain if I didn’t have my own.

    My Lord in heaven, I am truly grateful for your apostolate, dear Father Z.

    [But Father! But Father!, some of you might fleck with foamy spittle, “that’s wrong for RAve to mention that rightwing talk radio host with favor because we are not partisans, and that’s wrong for RAve to wish for someone else’s brain, because we should be happy with the brain the Almighty gave us” – to which I might reply (if I had Father’s brain, mind you): “No and No. B as in B. S as in S. …”] (A guy can dream)


  14. Father Bartoloma says:

    I note Father Spadaro in the first row. Does that mean that 20+20=5000?

  15. SenexCalvus says:

    Before we gloat over the obvious paucity of participants, take a look at the coverage of this coven at onepeter (Be sure to say a prayer to your Guardian Angel before you read the report there.) I have no qualifications whatsoever to discern whether the author’s claim that Fr. Spadaro and Pope Bergoglio’s reported comments can or should be read as an implicit reply to at least one of the dubia, but if they can — and I most certainly hope that they can’t! — the Rubicon has been crossed.

  16. iamlucky13 says:

    Mr. Winters seems thrilled about how “dialogical” the conference was, in contrast with conferences where disagreeing viewpoints devolve into hurling slogans at each other.

    He doesn’t seem to clarify what matters participants disagreed on, however.

    Based on the lack of reporting on what disagreeing viewpoints were presented and the individuals who attended, which Fr. Keenan seems to indicate was most of those invited, I have to wonder if any disagreements actually arose in the discussions. How “dialogical” is dialogue that doesn’t address differing opinions, or even more critically, if differing opinions are excluded from the discussion before it even begins?

  17. Toan says:

    Seems like an invitation-only event to me. I did a quick count…the Fishwrap wrote of at least 33 invitees who attended, and I don’t think it was trying to be exhaustive.

  18. Poor Yorek says:

    Surely Ray Repp supplied the music?

  19. Emilio says:

    I know age is only a number, but WOW, such a STRIKINGLY “YOUNG” crowd! ;-)

  20. misternaser says:

    Is there anyone in that picture under 40 years old?

    Tradition is for the young….

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  22. JabbaPapa says:

    Michael_Haz :

    Ummm….perhaps it’s my odd way of seeing things, but does the padre on the front row, left side seem a little too huggy with the lady standing beside him?

    Let’s be charitable — she may be his wife.

  23. Eugene says:

    Compare the average age in the picture with the average age of people participating in a TLM event… these aging VII people are only propagating death there is no new life here.

  24. Eugene says:

    Father split my side laughing

  25. Eugene says:

    Bernie Sanders’ state right?
    Vermont also borders the faithless once staunchly Catholic Canadian province of Quebec, so I guess the rot floated southward

  26. dahveed says:

    I know that this is a shadow of my now-distant childhood, but the first thing I thought when viewing the picture was that one good-sized grand piano could fix the (non)Cultural Revolution in a jiffy. But, better to pray for them to come to their senses and to be healed of their afflictions. ;) I will do the latter.

  27. Grumpy Beggar says:

    @Michael H , @ wanda, @majuscule : I just went to Confession yesterday – so I’m trying my best not to smile (or maybe even smirk) while reading your posts . . . so far it’s working, but it’s taking some effort. :) oops . . . I mean :|

    Thanks for the smile Fr. Z (“tens of people” *lol *)

    @Father Bartoloma: Thanks for your the smile you provided too .
    I understand your calculations, however I believe those particular 40 “participants” may beg to differ with your math :
    The whole driving unraveling pernicious force behind the theology of erosion is that if 2+2 can equal 5, then 2+2 can also equal 5000 . But please don’t let that trouble you Father Bartoloma. Be at peace with your opinion because : Moral Relativism says that if you want to believe that 20+20=5000 while everyone else believes that 2+2=5000 , that’s just fine.


  28. hwriggles4 says:

    After reading an article by Fr. Keenan, S.J. which highlighted who was invited, I wish he would of contacted these three women to speak:

    Jennifer Roback Morse
    Lisa Duffy
    Rose Sweet

    These women are what I would call culture warriors, and a large number of Catholic women can relate to them.

    [I would have paid read money to listen to Jennifer at that meeting!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  29. Knight from 13904 says:

    who’s the couple in the bottom left and why are all those other people in their picture?

  30. Scott Woltze says:

    Yeah, that’s awkward photo of Cupich in the bottom left. Yikes!

  31. The Masked Chicken says:

    Jimmy Akin has a blog post up about what it means for a doctrine to be, “received.”

    The Chicken

  32. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “Get back to me after the Struggle Sessions begin.”

    Fr. Z: How about a short story?

    Boston, October 2018, inside a beer hall named “Push.”

    The cellar of the beer hall “Push” was packed with a raucous crowd of theologians, clergy, and journalists. It was the celebratory final evening of the 2nd Annual Conclave of Engendering Togetherness Together. The help staff threaded their way between the long wooden tables, balancing trays of a zesty but amusing Pinot Noir, dolphin-friendly dolphin steaks, and fusilli in a salsa curry.

    The revellers all agreed that the Conclave was a smashing success. Even now, the Propaganda Squad was at Kinkos printing out copies of the Conclave’s 600-page manifesto that carried the satisfyingly belligerent title of “Heretics: The Saviors of the Church.”

    Suddenly, a Bus Nun stood up. Overwhelmed by it all, she raised her wineglass and cried out, “Comrades! A ’60s song!”

    With a scraping of benches, all stood and began to sing, at first softly, then building to a crescendo:

    When “Building a Bridge” is in every house
    And cyber-militias all are purged
    Then the trads will be neutralized
    And NewChurch will emerge!

    This is the dawning of the Age of the Heretics!
    Age of the Heretics!
    The Heretics!

    A cultural revolution
    Needing no absolution
    No more ad orientem cancers
    Abundant liturgical dancers
    Crystal-meth revelation
    And the Fishwrap’s liberation

    After the final chorus, all took their seats and whipped out their cell phones, and began making travel arrangements to the 2019 Conclave. The conversational tone in the cellar rose to a concerned hubbub as they realized they had not decided on next year’s location or agenda.

    Suddenly, a man with long fingernails wearing an Ankh and heavy eye-liner stood up on a bench. “Hey! I got an idea! Let’s try something else next year. How about meeting in an Aztec temple? Or a Canaanite high place?”

    The attendees looked around for a moment, then began talking all at once. Finally, as Mars would be logistically difficult, they decided on a secluded glade in a thick forest.

    Then they considered a theme for the next Conclave. Faces frowned, eyebrows furled, chins were scratched.

    The man with the Ankh and eye-liner looked around and stood up again. “How about “Do what thou will shall be the whole of the Law?””

    A great idea! Meaty fists pounded on the tables, heads tilted back to release full-throated cries of glee up to the rafters, and the men joined in too.

    Meanwhile, nearby, St. Michael the Archangel observed all this. He nudged an angel holding a notebook and pencil. “That trick has been working since that afternoon in the Garden long ago. Well, better tell Fr. Heilman to make more Combat Rosaries.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  33. RAve says:

    I spot only 8 women in this group, but 32 men. Under the Fishwrap Rules of orthodoxy, this meeting exemplifies institutional, patriarchal, misogyny and thus anything that was decided at the meeting has no moral weight and should be mocked.

  34. thomas tucker says:

    Is Spadaro overtly saying that the Pope is a neo-nominalist?

  35. maria_nj says:

    Uhhh… that woman next to Cupich is um… a little too cozy.

  36. Aquinas Gal says:

    In regard to Kevin’s post above, about Vermont, while I don’t know much about Bishop Coyne, he’s only been there for two years. The previous Bishop Matano was pretty good, I would say, based on a Mass he celebrated at a Burlington catechetical conference I attended. It was Novus Ordo but extremely reverent and almost like a traditional Mass.
    Vermont has been going secular for a long time now.

  37. majuscule says:

    “…and the men joined in too.”

    Semper Gumby you deserve double gold star!

  38. KateD says:

    They all look so…..happy.

  39. Semper Gumby says:

    majuscule: Thank you kindly, but two stars would make me the Very Model of a Modern Major General. I’d have to wear a pith helmet and grow a walrus mustache. Though I’d welcome the daily ration of gin and bully beef.

  40. KateD says:

    …And the ratio of women actually looks correct to me for an AL community…and I grew up in a predominantly AL community.

  41. jaykay says:

    SemperGumby: ” Meaty fists pounded on the tables, heads tilted back to release full-throated cries of glee up to the rafters, and the men joined in too.”

    Oooh, my brain hurts from laughing at that!! As regards the Major-General: yes, better not go there – unless you want a dozen daughters!!

  42. Semper Gumby says:

    jaykay: Glad you liked it! The “twelve daughters” I had to look up. (The song I heard overseas, a friend, a skilled tank platoon commander and one-man USO show, knew two stanzas).

    Ok, well, pirates as suitors, eh? So if I had twelve daughters I’d call to them one day (“Scholastica! Hildegard! …”), line them up, and inform them they would all be entering a convent. Mission accomplished!

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