Gardone is a small, very beautiful village set just a little way above the largest and loveliest of the Italian Lakes; indeed, since the beautiful baroque church (where we said our private Masses and joined together for a Sung Chapter Mass after the first Paper of the day) is dedicated to S Nicolas, I have wondered whether it may one have harboured fishermen. A little way down, on the lakeside, are grand Belle Epoque hotels and villas built by the German and Austrian monied classes for whom it was the Riviera. It must have been a very plummy posting for the Wehrmacht units which spent 1944-1945 here ... not exactly the Russian Front!
Although the rite normally used at the Roman Forum Symposium is the Extraordinary Form, we did one morning have a Ruthenian Liturgy celebrated by a participant with biritual faculties; and the Conference group contains a wide spectrum of orthodox Catholics not all of whom are 'traditionalists'. Many and different views are exchanged by young and old, male and female, laic and cleric, religious and secular.
Again, we welcomed the great historian of Vatican II, Professor de Mattei, who read a characteristic and fine paper on Islam. At this turning point in the history of the Catholic Church, the Professor is working very hard; the following Saturday he was in England to give a lecture, the text of which you can find at Rorate, at the Ordinariate's main London Church of the Assumption Warwick Street. I break off to point out, with surely pardonable Ordinariate pride, that this former Bavarian Embassy Chapel, with its history going back to before the Gordon Riots, has become such an important centre in London for the dissemination of orthodox Catholicism. Nobody can possibly deny the contribution we are making to the life of the Church!
I am going to risk being invidious by mentioning only one of the other papers: Professor Dr Thomas Stark, an Austrian who teaches at Heiligenkreuz, lectured on the theology of Cardinal Kasper. I do not think I was the only person to be edified by his exposition of the roots, going back four decades, of His Eminence's errors; he is an exceptionally dangerous man. (A version of Dr Stark's paper can be found on CWR.) Also at the Symposium were Eva Doppelbauer and her brother Fr Markus; she works with Gloria TV and had Professor Stark as her Doktorvater. Neither of them is ever dull!
Later, I will have something to say about the very important Lake Garda Statement, the text of which you can find on Rorate.