DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Faithful Catholics in Ireland are having their own conference alongside the World Meeting of Families — to defend Church teaching on sexuality.
The World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is a Vatican-approved international event that takes place every three years. The WMOF's location is in a different country every time, and the last meeting in 2015 was in Philadelphia.
The 2018 WMOF is scheduled for August 21–26 in Dublin, Ireland. Among the speakers at this year's WMOF will be pro-gay Jesuit celebrity priest Fr. James Martin.
Dismayed by the WMOF's embrace of the gay agenda, some committed Catholics in Ireland are organizing a two-day alternative conference. Called "A Conference of Catholic Families," it is scheduled for August 22–23 and will also be in Dublin.
The alternate conference is sponsored by the Lumen Fidei Institute, a lay apostolate. Anthony Murphy, director of the Institute, shared a press release which stated, "We hope to proclaim anew the constant, unchanging and unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and family life, at a time in our history when the attacks on the traditional understanding of Marriage are unprecedented."
It notes the specific crisis in the Church over the question of homosexuality, saying, "Never before in the history of mankind have governments and States sought to pretend that men can marry men and that women can marry women. Never before in the history of mankind, have governments passed legislation aimed at promoting and upholding this pretense."
"Even within the Catholic Church," it notes, "there are cardinals, bishops and priests who are calling into question matters of settled Catholic doctrine in the name of a false pastoral care."
The press release also states:
Our conference gathers together a host of Catholic professionals, authors and other speakers to proclaim loudly and clearly that the Catholic Church's teaching on Marriage and Family life still holds true, that it still presents married men and women and their children with the best possible opportunity for happiness both in this life and the next and that the practicing Catholic family is the greatest pro-life place on this earth, it is the safest place for children to grow up and it is the only foundation upon which a just society can be built.
The list of speakers at the two-day conference includes Bp. Athanasius Schneider, Fr. Thomas Weinandy, Dr. Robert Royal and pro-life philosopher Stéphane Mercier.
Cardinal Raymond Burke will address the Conference of Catholic Families via live video feed.
Murphy told Catholic weekly The Tablet, "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."
He referred to the Conference of Catholic Families as "our contribution to and in support for the World Meeting of Families."
Murphy said, "We wanted to run a Catholic event with Catholic experts on the family who have contributed over the years to pro-family apostolates."
He criticized the decision to host Fr. Martin as a speaker at the WMOF, saying, "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."
The title of Fr. Martin's upcoming speech at the WMOF is "Exploring how parishes can support those families with members who identify as LGBTI+."
Instead of Fr. Martin, Murphy argued, the WMOF organizers should have invited someone from Courage, an apostolate that helps those who have same-sex attraction but want to live in accord with the Church's teachings.
Heading the planning for WMOF 2018 is Abp. Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. Murphy claimed that, instead of the notorious Fr. James Martin, the archbishop should have invited "an apostolate like Courage, which has been around far longer than this publicity-seeking priest."
He added, "I've spoken to many clergy in Ireland, America and in England who cannot believe that such a man would be invited with Vatican approval."
Even before it was known that Fr. Martin would be at 2018 WMOF, the advertising campaign leading up to the event has promoted the pro-LGBT agenda in defiance of Church teaching.
In February, Church Militant reported on a 13-minute promotional video for WMOF 2018 called "God's Mercy: No One Excluded." The video features several Irish people reflecting on important life experiences. Shockingly, the video highlights the experience of gay Catholics in Ireland.
One person in the video, identified as Alison, describes her "coming out" experience: "The fact that I'm gay has never been a huge problem in my family situation."
Another person, named Gemma, talks about her son "coming out" as gay and how she despises Church teaching on homosexuality. She recalls, "I got involved with a group of parents [with gay children] in the north of Ireland and spent quite a lot of time with them. And those very words — 'intrinsically evil' and 'disordered' — really upset us."