Italian atheist philosopher Marcello Pera, who co-authored the 2005 book Without Roots —The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam with the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, will be among those addressing the conference this Saturday.

The event, entitled Catholic Church: Where are you heading? Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church, will deal with highly sensitive themes related to what some see as the Church undergoing one of the greatest crises in her two millennia history.

Other speakers will include Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, who will briefly discuss his concerns about the Church in China; Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura, who will talk about the limits of papal authority in the doctrine of the Church; and Kazakh Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider who will discuss papal infallibility.

The conference was one of the last wishes of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the archbishop emeritus of Bologna, who had become deeply dismayed by the extent of doctrinal confusion in the Church.  

The mainly Italian event is the work of a group calling themselves the “Friends of Cardinal Caffarra” who have organized it in close conformity with the cardinal’s wishes.

At the end of the conference, a declaration will be issued that will amount to a profession of faith on points of doctrine and morality that are most controversial in the Church today.

The declaration will be proposed for the whole Church and be issued as coming from the voice of “baptized and confirmed members of the People of God.”

Here below is the full program for the event which will begin at 3pm and be introduced and moderated by Francesca Romana Poleggi, editorial director of the Italian pro-life publication, Notizie ProVita.

* Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, former president Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences: Newman's "On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine" — 30 mins

* Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Order of Malta: The limits of papal authority in the doctrine of the Church — 30 mins

* Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan: The Apostolic See of Rome as cathedra veritatis (seat of truth) — 20 mins

* Professor Valerio Gigliotti, professor of history and of medieval and modern law at the University of Turin: The limits to the plenitudo potestatis of the Pope in the history of law and the Church — 15 mins


* Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: The Church today in China — 10 mins

* Marcello Pera, former president of the Italian Senate: Two words about Bergoglio and immigration 

* Professor Renzo Puccetti, physician and professor of bioethics at the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute: From Caffarra to Paglia: the revolution in bioethics — 15 mins

* Short video interview with Carlo Caffarra on Humane vitae — 4 mins

* Speech given by a separated husband — 5 mins

* Reading of the Declaration — 10 mins


Free admission while seats last.

The conference will be in Italian; no live English translations will be available.

Venue: The Church Village (La Rambla hall), Via di Torre Rossa 94, 00165, Rome