Rome Comference Program 2022 PDF

Rome Conference Program 2022 [PDF]

Humanae Vitae piu avanti della nuova morale PAV

  • 3-12-2022

Un convegno per riaffermare l’antropologia cristiana e il diritto naturale in materia di vita e famiglia, in risposta al volume Pav “Etica teologica della vita” e alle parole d’ordine solo apparentemente innovatrici. Ne parla Jane Adolphe, organizzatrice del convegno che si potrà seguire anche sul nostro Daily Compass.

Here’s What I’d Like to Ask Archbishop Paglia of the Pontifical Academy for Life

Isn’t dialogue supposed to be in defense of the truths expressed in the natural law, revealed in Scripture and Tradition and taught by the magisterium?

Pope Francis Is Right: Pornography Consumption Opens a Gate to the Demonic

COMMENTARY: Father Hermann Backhaus’ promotion of pornography consumption as something benign is refuted by Scripture, Tradition, the magisterium, scholars and exorcists.

20220926-New Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.mp4 from Paul Robert Burton on Vimeo.

Date: June 27, 2022
Media contact:

Jane F. Adolphe
Professor of Law

International Meeting of Catholic Scholars and Lawyers on COVID-19 Measures Wraps up in Rome

Aquinas, Law & Politics in Times of COVID, 24-25 June 2022

(Rome, Italy)—June 27, 2022. After two years of COVID-19 policies, an International group of Catholic scholars and lawyers gathered under the auspices of the International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF) to study the theme “Aquinas, Law & Politics in Times of COVID,” 24-25 June 2022. They reflected upon how society managed the crisis in the fields of law, politics, and religion with a view to publishing their findings.

Based on the Catholic intellectual tradition, the purpose of the meeting was to underline what needs to be done in the future to better safeguard the rule of subsidiarity, fundamental human rights, especially the freedom of religion and conscience, expression, assembly, and movement as well as democratic processes per se and unity of family life.

To this end, the group discussed how the pandemic affected the functioning of Western political systems, how it changed our thinking about democracy, and how it influenced the life of the Church, when rights to exercise religious freedom and freedom of conscience were restricted. Issues regarding Church leadership during times of COVID-19 were also discussed.

NOTE: Institutional affiliations are given for identification only. Statements made are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the institutions.

Professor Iain Benson, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame, School of Law, Sydney, Australia, said:

“This conference was superbly conceived and highly useful. Involving scholars and practitioners from many countries, the differences in relation to Covid and conscience experienced globally were outweighed by the remarkable commonality of threats, coercion, manufactured fear, compulsory vaccine mandates and exaggerated “emergencies” which unduly restricted the freedoms of citizens around the world causing untold hardship and ongoing damage.

What was learned at the international meeting was not only what happened around the world between 2020 and 2022 but what must not be allowed to happen again. Wide-spread reforms are needed both with respect to what constitutes “emergencies” but what restrictions must be placed in order that appropriate democratic and judicial reviews exist to protect necessary freedoms in future.”

Reverend Piotr Mazurkiewicz, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute of Political Science, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland; Author, “Religious Freedom in Time of the Pandemic”(2021), stated:

“There is a real question about the extent to which the pandemic has changed the way Western democracies function. Theoretically, there is a possibility of transforming liberal democracy into totalitarian democracy (J.L. Talmon). The essence of totalitarianism is when a government takes complete control, not only over the external behaviors of citizens, but also over their inner life – the way they think and evaluate the world. Through technology, the means to achieve total control over society no longer rests with ‘naked violence.’ Governments can take control over communication and educational systems with the possibility of excluding dissenting voices from public debate. Some Western governments have attempted to achieve just that through an informational monopoly over health policy. The fact that citizens often value security more than freedom makes it easier for them to succumb to health security propaganda.”

Charles LiMandri, Esq., LiMandri & Jonna, LLP emphasized that:

“The governments’ shuttering of the churches during the COVID pandemic taught us that we can no longer take for granted the precious freedom to practice our faith. Too many of us, including our religious leaders, placed blind and undeserved trust in politicians and their so-called experts, who told us they knew what was best for us. In the United States, we took the fight to reopen the churches to the courts, and eventually won back our right to worship over the restrictive government mandates. The United States Supreme Court agreed with us that the freedom to attend church services is at least as “essential” as any secular activity that the government favored to remain open. Let us never again willingly surrender our religious liberty to government bureaucrats who would place secular interests over our freedom to worship together in church.”

Christopher Ferrara, Esq., Thomas More Society, USA said:

“COVID regimes are examples of the “state of exception” (Giorgio Agamben) that has become a technique of government in Western democracies.  The idea of a good citizen as an active person, who works responsibly in the public square with others for the common good and the promotion of virtue as the end of law, has been replaced by a passive person, whose mere biological existence (‘bare life’) is the ground of politics. In the ‘state of exception’ where rights are merely conventions that can be easily suspended, Agamben’s ‘hidden paradigm’ of the new democracy as a ‘concentration camp,’ in various disguises, has been manifested in the COVID detention facilities in Australia and Canada.”

Dr. Fulvio Di Blasi, Di Blasi Law Firm, Italy; Editor, “Pandemia: Invito al Confronto” (Phronesis: 2022); Author, The Death of the Phronimos: Faith and Truth about Anti Covid Vaccines (2021), “Vaccino Come Atto D’Amore? Epistemologia della Scelta Etica in Tempi di Pandemia” (2022), stated:

“Italian management of the pandemic, both before and after the advent of so-called anti-COVID-19 vaccines, was in defiance of the most basic principles of the Italian Constitution. Something similar, has occurred in other Western states. There are many reasons for the contention that we, as a society, are facing a turning point in the history of fundamental rights and freedoms. In democratic regimes there is a real question whether fundamental human rights can be protected effectively in the face of unchecked unconstitutional processes.”

Dr. Janet Smith, Former Professor of Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan; Author, Morality of the Covid-19 Vaccines, NCR (2020); and Fake Theology Behind the Vaccine Mandates, Crisis Magazine (2021), said:

“Given the trajectory of what has been happening to our democratic processes and the freedom of religion. It is worth considering the definition of a ‘lie’ within the Catholic tradition, not only to properly evaluate certain government health policies, but in anticipation of the health police at our doorsteps investigating whether we are hiding unvaccinated Christians.”

Dr. Grégor Puppinck underlined, and Dr. Jane Adolphe, Professor of Law, Ave Maria School of Law, Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame, School of Law, Sydney, Australia, Founder & Executive Director, International Catholic Jurists Forum, Naples, Florida, concurred:

“It is essential that the Church fight to defend the freedom of ‘God’s children’ in the face of increasingly empowered financial, technological, and political actors in the field of global governance. The Church, even when weak, is the only true counter-power to the world.”

Dr. Douglas Farrow, Professor of Theology and Ethics, School of Religious Studies, McGill University, Montreal; Author of many articles on COVID published in Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, Convivium, First Things etc. underlined that:

“Many churches in the West have failed their spiritual covid test. They carried a high viral load of fear—fear of sickness, fear of man, fear of death—and displayed low levels of spiritual antibodies. The gospel of freedom from fear was rarely preached in a way that challenged secular powers or popular sentiment.”

Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan, highlighted that:

“The meeting was important, especially due to some of the measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic that failed to respect the consciences of those, who for a variety of reasons, did not desire to be vaccinated. The question is not about being opposed to vaccinations per se, but about being in full agreement with the ‘Note on the Morality of Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines’ (12.21.2020) penned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that receipt of vaccines should be voluntary.”

Michael Vacca, Director of Ministry, Bioethics, and Membership Experience for Christ Medicus Foundation CURO, Michigan, Director, International Catholic Jurists Forum, Naples, Florida said:

“For many citizens, COVID policies provoked issues of conscience, which were largely ignored by governments, as they strong-armed blind obedience to certain irrational and unjust health policies. The situation was aggravated for Catholics, who, while grappling with these issues, turned to certain Church leaders only to receive more of the same. We need to pray for Our Shepherds to develop a fundamental Catholic response, rooted in the cultivation of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the ‘Divine Physician,’ access to the sacraments as well as knowledge of Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.”

Date: May 21, 2022
Media contact:

Jane F. Adolphe
Professor of Law


May 22-29, 2022

(Naples, Florida) May 21, 2022. The International Catholic Jurists Forum supports the second annual week of Global Prayer for China, May 22-29, 2022.

We pray for the Church and peoples in China, who are suffering oppression, persecution, and even genocide. We pray for the government of China to govern with respect for inherent human dignity and freedom of conscience and religion. We are committed to working collaboratively to promote freedom ordered to truth, charity, peace, and justice, in China.

The Global Week of Prayer was initiated in 2021 in response to the call of Cardinal Charles Bo, President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). Pope Francis also called for prayer, saying: “I invite you, therefore, to accompany with fervent prayer the Christian faithful in China, our dear brothers and sisters, whom I hold in the depths of my heart. May the Holy Spirit, the protagonist of the Church’s mission in the world, guide and help them to be bearers of the good news, witnesses of goodness and charity, and builders of justice and peace in their homeland.”

In 2022, following the arrest of Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, Cardinal Bo has renewed and strengthened his call, writing “I urge Christians of all traditions everywhere to pray for Hong Kong especially, and the Church in China, as well as the Uyghurs, Tibetans and others facing persecution in China, during that Week of prayer.”

Please visit for more information on all aspects of the prayer campaign and the situation in China.

As The Year Of Saint Joseph Nears End, Experts Study The Crisis Of Fatherhood

International Catholic Jurists Forum Hosts International Discussion of the Relevance of Saint Joseph for Our Times

NAPLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / December 9, 2021 / Catholic experts gathered to study the challenges of fatherhood in the Catholic Church and society and to explore the model of St. Joseph as a response, in light of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.

The International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF), headquartered at Ave Maria School of Law, in Naples, Florida, held the online seminar, on December 3, 2021, in light of the Year of St. Joseph declared by Pope Francis in Apostolic Letter Patris Corde on the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. The year concluded on 8 December 2021, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which celebrates the moment of conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin.

Recognizing the breakdown of fatherhood in various areas of the culture, experts from North America discussed the nature and meaning of fatherhood in the Church and society from multiple perspectives. The Catholic panel also explored the role of St. Joseph in God’s plan of Salvation, in the Holy Family, the earthly Trinity, and the Church and society, as a model of Christian manhood.

Panelists and topics included:

  • Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., Research Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America said: “Unlike mothers, fathers lack a strong bodily connection to their children, so most human societies have developed some form of marriage, that is, a social arrangement that binds fathers to children by means of law and custom. In this context, a father is successively drawn out of self-centeredness into living for another, sacrificing for another, living for a world beyond his death, and finally, living for eternity. Empirical research confirms that the absence of a father, in particular, impedes child flourishing.” “The Case for Mom and Dad” (Linacre Quarterly, 2021).
  • Sean Lynn, President of God Squad Canadahusband and father of eight children, with 30 years as a police officer of the City of Calgary, discussed his work with fatherless youth at risk (falling into gang life), and the vision of his non-profit organization. He said: “Through the guidance of St Joseph, God Squad Canada forms and strengthens men, inspiring them to embrace God’s vocation in their lives through annual mens’ conferences, motorcycle evangelization tours, barbeque outreach and faith filled conversations through the “Dram with Friends” podcast and other activities.”
  • Elizabeth Kirk, research associate and lecturer at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, gave an overview of American family law, with a focus on the legal rights of fathers. She concluded: “The social science data continues to affirm the importance of fathers to the well-being of children, while demographic data reveals the experience of fatherhood is in decline. Contemporary family law scholarship, with its emphasis on an expansive notion of gender and intent-based determinations of parentage, poses special challenges for understanding and protecting fatherhood.”
  • Jane F. Adolphe, Esq., Professor of international law and human rights at Ave Maria School of Law, Founder & Executor Director of ICJF, and former legal expert in Vatican City State for the Secretariat of State, Section for Relations with States, discussed the notion of fatherhood with reflections on the life and death of her own father, her work for the Holy See on the rights/duties of children, and the problem of unholy fatherhood addressed in a book she co-edited “Clerical Sexual Misconduct: An Interdisciplinary Analysis” (Cluny: 2020). The notion of fatherhood deepened in significance, when the Holy Father issued the McCarrick Report on the death of her father, the feast day of St. Leo the Great.
  • Msgr. Arthur B. Calkins, STD, a former official of the Holy See’s Ecclesia Dei Commission, discussed the role of St. Joseph in God’s plan of salvation as centered on the “order of the hypostatic union” –a term used by the Jesuit Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) to refer to the order of the Incarnation. St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother were truly married, and Jesus was the fruit of their marriage. Although Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, he was a true father to him in that he provided the model of fatherhood and manhood that helped form the human nature of Jesus in terms of acquired knowledge. Because of the exalted role of St. Joseph as “Guardian of the Redeemer,” he received special graces that elevate him to a rank of human sanctity second only to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Fr. Neil J. Roy, STL, Ph.D.of the Diocese of Peterborough, Canada, quondam lecturer at the Catholic University of America and the University of Notre Dame, and lecturer at International Catholic University, drew upon the painting of the Holy Family by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) to explain that the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was the ‘earthly’ or ‘second’ Trinity, reflecting on earth the eternal or heavenly Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He discussed the Holy Family as the Church in embryo and the model of the domestic Church. He further indicated that, since the Middle Ages, the Church has emerged from each major challenge (Lay Investiture crisis of the 11th-century, Great Western Schism, 16th-century Reformation, Italian Risorgimento) with a clearer, more ample Josephology. He pointed to devotion to St Joseph and the Holy Family as the inspiration for the founding in 1642 of the Island and City of Montréal, Canada, especially its Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, and, later, St. Joseph’s Oratory, the largest shrine of St Joseph in the world.
  • Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D.Professor of dogmatic theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI discussed St. Joseph as a model of Christian manhood. He said: “St. Joseph is described as a “just man” in Matthew 1:19, and Carmelite friar, Jerónimo Gracián de la Madre de Dios (1545-1582), considered these two words, “man” and “just” as indications of Joseph’s virtues of fortitude, confidence in God, magnanimity, perseverance, fidelity, charity, and justice.” Drawing upon Papal magisterium, Fastiggi said: “Joseph’s great dignity is grounded in his marriage to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his role as ‘the guardian of the Son of God.’ Joseph made a true gift of himself in serving Mary and Jesus according to God’s plan. He is a model of faithful fatherhood, a true father who manifests courage and mature love.”


Experts Form an International “Coalition to End Sexual Enslavement and Religious Persecution (CEaSE RP)”

Friday, November 5, 2021 10:00 AM

Ethno-religious extremists and complicit government officials have engaged in religious persecution through sexual violence targeting women and children, most notably in Nigeria, but in other countries as well, session concludes.

NAPLES, FL — Experts gathered to address the persecution of religious groups through “forced marriage” and “forced conversion.” To discuss how best to respond, the International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF) gathered twenty-one leading experts in the fields of international religious freedom and social communications in a three-day on-line strategy session, October 28-30, 2021.

At the meeting, experts resolved to form a new international network, the international Coalition to End Sexual Enslavement and Religious Persecution (CEaSE RP). It will press for the end to religious persecution through sexual slavery while promoting accountability, victim rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration, international involvement, and humanitarian aid. That the group is focusing on “sexual enslavement” is an important development.

Jane Adolphe, Founder & Executive Director, International Catholic Jurists Forum, and Professor of Law, Ave Maria School of Law said: “The terms themselves (forced marriage and forced conversion) are problematic for a number of reasons. Above all, they fail to articulate the vicious nature of the crimes, whereby victims, as young as twelve, are often abducted, raped, forced to cohabitate with the rapist and to renounce their religion and religious beliefs, while remaining in a perpetual condition of sexual enslavement subject to continuous inhumane treatment by the rapist and his family. The fortunate ones who have escaped or have been rescued are often confined to safe houses because they are hunted down like dogs because they are considered apostates, the penalty for which is death.”

The meeting heard eye-witness testimony of Nigerians to the sexual enslavement of Christian women and girls at the hands of Islamic terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and ISWAP as well as members of the Fulani, an ethnic-religious group. They have been calling on the international community to intervene due to the unwillingness of the Buhari government to effectively act, and protect its own citizens from sexual enslavement, and Christian communities from destruction.

Gloria Puldu, President of the Leah Foundation said: “The Nigerian Government has failed to protect its own citizens, namely girls abducted from government owned schools, over 20 of them have been attacked this year (2021).” She continues: “The Nigerian Government has failed to prioritize the rescue and return of sexually enslaved girls like Leah Sharibu, a Christian who refused to convert to Islam, as well as the 110 remaining Chibok girls, in addition to many more kidnapped and enslaved women and children.”

Joseph Fidelis, a Nigerian priest of the Maiduguri Catholic diocese, operates a trauma unit in the epicenter of the persecution and genocide of Christians through sexual violence and other means. He stated: “Our approach is survivor-centered. We bring healing to the victims, while creating a safe environment to administer trauma healing and psychosocial support programs. International efforts are needed to strengthen weak government agencies and institutions as well as challenge the silence of the central government and its inaction to criminalize and prosecute perpetrators of such violence. Yet, our efforts must go beyond current regimes. We must seek lasting solutions.”

Sexual enslavement is happening in other countries, as well.

Tabassum Yousaf, legal advocate at the High Court, in Pakistan, explained the close link between forced conversion certificates and forced marriage. She said: “In Pakistan there are age limits for marriage but not for conversion to Islam. Once a girl is forced to sign a conversion certificate under duress by her abductor and rapist, she can no longer abandon Islam or else face her own death. That is why it is important to underline the religious component of these crimes. Victims are taken from minorities that are more often ignored by the administration of justice. And even when we win their cases in Court, it can happen again and again, because there is no minimum age under the law for conversions to be approved by the government”.

A related issue concerns the plight of children born of rape. Some advocates are lobbying for the development of a United Nations resolution that would provide these children with immediate assistance

Susan Yoshihara of the American Council on Women, Peace & Security said that Western nations should not tie the fate of Ezidi (also called Yazidi) children born of sexual slavery by ISIS to the fraught question of what to do with former ISIS fighters and their families. The Ezidi children born of war, Dr. Yoshihara said, “do not constitute a threat of importing extremist ideology to third countries, in fact they bring the opposite influence.” Furthermore: “Hundreds of thousands of children born of sexual violence around the world have never received identity documents, gone to school, traveled freely, or even practices their mother’s religion.”

A few participants involved in facilitating and supporting efforts for the extraction and resettlement of persons stranded in Afghanistan (2021), offered their insights. The abandoned have included: Americans, Afghan converts to Christianity, and Afghan allies of the West.

“A successful approach has been public-private partnership to rescue kidnapped and enslaved girls and women in the Islamic world. In Afghanistan, we are witnessing a historic 21st century underground railroad. Maybe it can continue and extend to other places. We need to discover how this could work in Nigeria and Pakistan,” said Nina Shea, Esq., Director of the Hudson Institutes Religious Freedom Center.

The group also discussed policy and legal initiatives promoted by private citizens, non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental entities, ecclesiastical advisors, and governmental officials.

“Rescuing trafficking victims and holding perpetrators to account for trafficking in minors go hand in hand. We must do both to advance the cause of justice. The Global Liberty Alliance looks forward to working with fellow liberty warriors in the U.S., Latin America, and beyond on this important effort,” said Jason Poblete, Esq., President, Global Liberty Alliance, and ICJF Advisor.

“There should be collaborative casework and support of law enforcement by civil society to work cases of trafficking or violence to ensure there is a multidisciplinary approach (social workers, lawyers, investigators),” said International Human Rights Lawyer, Shawn F. Kohl.

Paul Diamond, Barrister in the United Kingdom, who discussed child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, and other towns across the United Kingdom, said: “Sexual enslavement on religious grounds is not limited to non-Western countries.  It is (conservatively) estimated that 1400 girls alone in Rotherham, some as young as 11, were multiply raped, by multiple men at multiple locations. The perpetrations were mainly Muslim men of Pakistani origin, whilst the victims were mainly white British children. The authorities repeatedly blocked inquiries, both downplaying and minimizing the problem by asserting that the relationships were consensual or that the girls were provocative, while the media remained silent in 2002 only exposing the ring in 2011. In two instances, fathers who had tracked down their daughters to houses where they were being sexual abused were subsequently arrested by the police.”

Tireless advocates for the protection of these women and girls view this international “Coalition to End Sexual Enslavement and Religious Persecution” (CEaSE RP) as an important step forward. Consider the comments from the Aid to the Church in Need, a Pontifical Foundation and Catholic aid organization, whose mission is to support Christians in need. It has been fighting the problem for years covering the crimes in its annual report.

Marcela Symanski, Editor of ACN “Religious Freedom in the World” (RFW) report said: “Over the last six years as Editor of the RFW report, I have noticed a steady increase in the use of sexual violence against women and children, as a long-term strategy to eliminate religious groups. Transnational organizations of Islamist extremists are notorious users of this tactic. The Islamic State departed Iraq and Syria only to resurge in sub-Saharan Africa. Clearly, other power-hungry groups are learning from the extremists, and even governments are permitting the violence, reaping certain political benefits from the disappearance of a particular religious group. This has to stop now.”

Buttressing the above efforts are those of Laura Bramon Hassan, Director of the Philomena Project, which advances human dignity at the intersection of child marriage, canon law, and Catholic culture. She stated: “Canon 1083’s minimum age of marriage – 14 for girls and 16 for boys – needs to be reconsidered in light of girls’ health, and the credibility of local church engagement on issues such as sexual consent, statutory rape, sexual offender registries and other civil provisions addressing sex acts between adults and children.”

The group agreed that stigmatization related to sexual violence and the children born of rape compounds the damage. Many rescued victims and their babies are viewed with suspicion when they return to their families and communities and for this reason others choose never to return home, after their escape or release.

Helene Fisher, Global Gender Persecution Specialist, Open Doors International, gave a good synopsis of the type of religious persecution:

“World Watch annual research shows that globally across 50 countries, sexual violence is the most frequent form of violence used against women and girls to either punish or coerce them because of their Christian identity. This is especially visible in the high rates of so called ‘forced marriage’, and it overlaps with the rising levels of abduction and human trafficking. Addressing the sexual enslavement of women and girls as a form of religious persecution is an extremely urgent need.”

Coalition Chair Jason Poblete, Esq., Global Liberty Alliance, will be steering the effort with Co-Chairs Dr. Jane Adolphe, Esq., Founder & Executive Director, ICJF & Professor of Law, Ave Maria School of Law, and Helen Fisher, Global Gender Persecution Specialist, Open Doors International.

The on-line international meeting was organized and moderated by the International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF), headquartered at Ave Maria School of Law, in Naples, Florida. It gathered experts from Belgium, France, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

It is the fourth major initiative organized by ICJF on the persecution and genocide of Christians. The first one was held in 2016, which led to the book edited by Ronald J. Rychlak, Jane F. Adolphe, The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, & Prosecution (Angelico Press: 2017); The second international expert meeting on the persecution and genocide of Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa created The Strategy Coalition to Protect Christians and Religious Pluralism in Sub-Sahara. This coalition held meetings in Washington that resulted in successful outcomes in the areas of humanitarian aid and policy initiatives. The third event involved the creation of a series of videos by ICJF to support the Global Prayer for China Campaign launched in May 2021 by a coalition of lay Christians responding to Cardinal Bo’s call for prayer for the Church and Peoples of China.



Coalition of Lay Christians Responds to Cardinal’s Call for Prayer for the Church and Peoples of China

(Friday, May 7, 2021) A new campaign to support a global prayer effort focusing on the persecuted and repressed in China, between May 23-30, is being launched by an informal coalition of lay Christians from six continents.

This campaign formed in response to a “Call for Prayer for the “Church and Peoples of China,” in March, by Cardinal Charles Bo, the president of the Federation of Catholic Asian Bishops Conferences.

Coalition members include American Congressman Chris Smith, the UK’s Lord David Alton, Canadian Parliamentarian Garnett Genuis, Australian Parliamentarian Kevin Andrews, Irish entrepreneur Declan Ganley, Canada’s former religious freedom envoy Andrew Bennett, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Nina Shea, CSW’s expert Benedict Rogers, Ave Maria Law Professor Jane Adolphe, and numerous others.

The campaign’s website – – features resources for pastors, parishes, and individuals, including up-to-date information on the repression and persecution of Christians in China, as well as the genocide of the Uyghurs and others suffering atrocities and injustices throughout China. It includes profiles of individual prisoners of conscience and pastoral resources for prayers and homilies, as well as the text of Cardinal Bo’s call for prayer.

A new three-minute video on the Cardinal’s call for prayer, created for the campaign, is available at and viewable below:

Campaign spokesperson Andrew Bennett stated: “Cardinal Bo has taken a very courageous and welcome step in calling on the Church around the world to pray for the Church and the peoples of China, and it is incumbent on us to respond to his call. That is why a group of Christians has come together to help facilitate this week of prayer.”

He emphasized the importance of having others join in the prayer initiative: “We hope many individuals and parishes will take part in some way, through the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass and in personal, private prayer. Our new website is designed to assist and facilitate this, and we hope that individuals and parishes will use the resources available through the website, spread the word to others, and mobilize the Church worldwide to pray for China.”

For further information on the Global Prayer for the Church and Peoples of China, contact Dr. Andrew Bennett at



Cardinal’s Call for Prayer for The Church and Peoples of China Builds International Support

(Thursday, May 27, 2021)—On May 23rd, Pope Francis added his voice in a growing global movement, started by lay Catholics in March in response to Cardinal Charles Bo’s Call for Prayer for the Church and Peoples of China. Various Cardinals and Bishops, and both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales have also pledged their prayers for the cause.

Addressing the issue of China and the faithful of that country after the May 23rd recitation of the Regina Coeli prayer, Pope Francis remarked, “Dearest Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in your trials. She accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel might shine in you as the power of God for the salvation of those who believe.”

Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, voiced his support for Cardinal Bo’s appeal, “Recognizing China’s growing global power, Cardinal Bo has expressed his hope that through these prayers, China ‘may become a force for good and a protector of the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized in the world.’” Similarly, Pope Francis affirmed his prayers for Catholics in China, acknowledging their difficulties, assuring them of his daily prayers, and exhorting them to be good citizens. Francis also appeared to endorse efforts such as the lay-led Global Prayer for China campaign by inviting all the faithful to accompany the Christian faithful in China.

Endorsements and letters of appreciation and participation continue to show support for the Global Call to Prayer, including those from Most Reverend Peter A. Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, Bishop Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton, and Austrian Cardinal Schönborn, who stated that the issue is, “…a matter close to my heart.”

An international coalition formed in response to Cardinal Bo’s Call for Prayer for the Church and Peoples of China is facilitating the global prayer effort launched the week of May 23-30 and focuses on the persecuted and repressed in China. The campaign is backed by an informal coalition of lay Christians from six continents.

Coalition members include American Congressman Chris Smith, the U.K.’s Lord David Alton, Canadian Parliamentarian Garnett Genuis, Australian Parliamentarian Kevin Andrews, Irish entrepreneur Declan Ganley, Canada’s former religious freedom envoy Andrew Bennett, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Nina Shea, CSW’s expert Benedict Rogers, Director of the International Catholic Jurists Forum and Ave Maria Law Professor Jane Adolphe, as well as numerous others. The campaign has also been endorsed by Lord Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong, former U.K. Cabinet Minister, and Vatican advisor. The campaign’s website –— features resources for pastors, parishes, and individuals, including up-to-date information on the repression and persecution of Christians in China and a series of informational videos, including a three-minute video on Cardinal Bo’s call for prayer, created for the campaign. The videos are also available at the International Catholic Jurists Forum’s website:

For further information on the Global Prayer for the Church and Peoples of China, contact Dr. Andrew Bennett at