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By Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M.
Theme: What Do 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' Mean?
In his opening remarks introducing the attendees to the theme of this year’s conference, the question “What Do 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' Mean?”, Brother André Marie delivered a stimulating overview of how these terms have shifted meanings in their usage in the political arena and how the word “conservative” in pluralistic America can mean the exact opposite when applied to what exactly is being conserved. For a Catholic the context of these terms must always be weighed in the light of the natural law God imprinted on the heart and, more than that, on the dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church. It is good to be involved in fighting for just causes such as the pro-life movement, he said, but he said that we should be “obsessed” with the Faith and our supernatural mission to bring Jesus Christ and His sacraments to those outside the Church. He reminded those in the audience who have been loyal to the doctrinal crusade of Saint Benedict Center of Father Feeney’s repeated warning, given as early as the 1940s, that if a Catholic denies the dogma of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, he thereby puts a false liberal notion of “choice” in people’s minds, as if one were free to choose one’s own religion.
2013 Opening Remarks
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