On Friday, January 24, the TFP Washington Bureau invited friends and supporters to a local launching for the hard-hitting book just authored by the TFP Commission for American Issues, I Have Weathered Other Storms: A Response to the Scandals and Democratic Reforms that Threaten the Catholic Church. Speaker John Horvat of the American TFP spoke to a full and lively auditorium of nearly 100 people.
The talk at the TFP office in McLean, Va. came on the tails of the 2003 March for Life two days before. As a result, anti-abortion delegations associated with the TFP in France, Italy and Poland attended the event. The TFP especially welcomed Dr. Antoni Zieba of the Polish Association for the Protection of Human Life. While Poland still suffered under communism, Dr. Zieba started the movement that later defeated decades-old abortion laws and gained Poland the honor of being the only country in the world to reverse legislation allowing the killing of the unborn.
Fr. John Trigilio was an honored guest together with several clergy members from the Washington area. Exiled King Kigeli V of Rwanda, a devote Catholic, was also present. The audience reflected a cross section of concerned Catholics from all walks of life.
In speaking about the sexual abuse scandals and cover-up, Mr. Horvat put the issue into perspective by focusing on three problems. The first is the monumental crisis of the Faith that affects all sectors of the Church which he qualified as a veritable “scandal factory” churning out the most degrading practices including pedophilia.
Secondly, the speaker discussed the role of the process of self-destruction inside the Church as essential element to consider when looking at the present scandals. Finally, he described the deliberate attack on the Church itself by pressure groups of the Catholic left aided by the media to capitalize on the poor plight of victims to introduce democratic reforms inside the Church “What is at issue here is not the reality of the crisis,” Mr. Horvat noted. “All acknowledge that. Rather, our book is a response to the scandals and the proposed reforms that threaten our Church.”
Citing authors of the Catholic left and the secular press, the speaker showed how the consistent message of the current sexual abuse scandals is that of systemic change. Media and reform groups alike cite the clerical system and not the individual offenders as responsible for the scandals. They want changes that will alter the structure and therefore the essence of the Church.
The TFP book sustains that such changes are unacceptable. It takes the very points of Faith threatened by the sexual-abuse scandals and proclaims them loudly, clearly and succinctly.
Mr. Horvat exhorted the audience to use this book as a handbook as they weather these scandals.
“Speak out with courage and confidence, because by citing the traditional teachings of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church, we cannot err.”
The session ended with an unexpectedly lively question-and-answer session, Catholic conviviality and book signings.