Hello Everyone! The conference here in Kansas City, MO is winding down and I am preparing to leave the hotel soon. Before leaving, however, I wanted to issue some thoughts.
First: I attended the conference after receiving an invitation to debate Christopher Ferrara on the third part of the secret of Fátima. As his book is of primary consideration for the topic of my own book, I could not pass up the opportunity to meet Ferrara and converse with him both privately and publicly.
Secondly: while I wanted to debate Ferrara, I confess that I also had an ulterior motive that developed over the course of my preparation. I wanted to speak to the heart of the traditional movement. In my concluding statement, I wrote:
The Church has been martyred enough in the past several decades from division and arguments resulting from the spread of errors contrary to God and His doctrines and dogmas that help us go to Heaven. It is time for open and honest dialogue. The traditional movement is marked with good people who love the Church and are deeply concerned for her future in these troubled times. A dialogue will only happen, however, in a spirit of honesty, integrity and—above all else—true Christian caritas on both sides of the discussion. I hope by my presence here today, we can begin this process. Thank you.
I truly hope that my presence would be viewed as someone reaching out and willing to engage the arguments put forth by individuals within the traditional movement. This was my first formal debate and polemics are not something in which I often engage. The event was a learning experience for me and I am grateful for it.
Thirdly: Ferrara and I certainly do not see eye-to-eye on a number of key issues. We have not resolved our differences. Nevertheless, I wish to state that, now that we have met each other in person, there is a better sense of who each is and that there is no ill-will between us. It is my hope that he and I will be able to continue the discussions in respectful ways either in person, telephone or by writing. We may, I suspect, throw barbs and the occasional grenade over the wall at each other. I shall read that as just another way of keeping open the discussions until, hopefully, we can resolve the issues.
In the interim, now that the debate is over, I am working on some more Fátima-related materials. The story goes on and my work is not yet done. Stay tuned!