On November 7, supporters and friends of The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), and its Return to Order campaign, gathered in the small town of Alma west of Topeka, Kansas, for their annual regional conference. Because of COVID restrictions, organizers chose a location in a more rural county that allowed larger audiences. The greater capacity was needed as well over 60 attendees traveled from as far away as Missouri, Kansas City and Wichita.
The two speakers were Gustavo Solimeo, director of the American TFP’s Sedes Sapientiae Institute, and John Horvat, TFP Vice-president and author of Return to Order. The event also featured a special tribute to Luiz Antonio Fragelli, a long-time American TFP director, who recently passed away. His life impacted many of those present.
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The first presentation offered by Mr. Solimeo was titled “Remaining Faithful During the Current Crisis of the Papacy and the Church.” The logical and systematic analysis answered the questions of many who are afflicted by the crisis inside the Church. Mr. Solimeo showed that the faithful not only have the right but the duty to resist wrong doctrine, erroneous policies and heretical acts, even when involving the pope and other high ecclesiastical leaders. The consistent teachings of Church doctors and theologians uphold this right.
Mr. Solimeo highlighted the Resistance position taken by the TFPs as elaborated by Prof. Plinio Corrrêa de Oliveira in 1974. This position is not revolt or irreverence but reflects a desire to stay strongly united to the Church and papacy, rallying around Catholic truth and morality.
John Horvat offered the second presentation on “Dr. Plinio’s Hopes that America Would Convert and Accomplish Its Providential Mission.” On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Mr. Horvat prepared a talk that outlined considerations by the learned Catholic thinker about the providential mission of America in current times.
Contrary to thinking of the times, the speaker showed how nations can have providential missions and speculated about the present American mission. The nation’s reaction to many modern evils gives room for much hope about the future.
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The purpose of the talks at the regional conference was to inform and help people better understand the massive assaults on Christian civilization and then take action. The events also serve to break the isolation of similar minds and spur them to unite for action.
The day before the conference, Mr. Horvat visited the Messenger Catholic Bookstore in Hays, Kansas, where he presented the book, Return to Order. It was an excellent occasion to talk with like-minded Catholics about the topics presented in the book.