Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Budapest, Hungary. He just gave an interview in which he expressed grave concern regarding the Vatican document on blessing, published December 18, Fiducia supplicans. The full text of the interview is below

    Letter #5, 2024, Monday, March 4: Hilarion in Blessings

    Below is an interview given a few days ago by Russian Orthodox Metropolitan of Budapest, Hungary, Hilarion Alfeyev, 58, on the subject of the December 18 Vatican document on blessings, Fiducia supplicans (“The supplicating trust”).

    This document has become controversial in the Catholic Church, with bishops in Africa, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Belarus, and in a number of other countries, protesting that the teaching in the text in favor of blessing couples in homosexual and irregular heterosexual relationships is a departure from traditional Catholic moral teaching, and therefore unacceptable. In fact, more than 500 Catholics have signed an appeal asking Pope Francis, 87, to rescind the document (the text of the appeal is below, and at this link).

    Now, in this interview, Hilarion also expresses his concerns about the theology of Fiducia supplicans, saying it is not in keeping with traditional Christian teaching on blessings.

    In essence, Hilarion gives a negative judgment: “The declaration Fiducia supplicans caused an unambiguously very negative reaction from our commission,” he said. “We were unanimous that this document reflected a very serious departure from Christian moral standards.”

    Hilarion gave this interview after chairing a meeting of Russian Orthodox theologians in Moscow a few days ago — so his views do not represent only his own personal views, but the views of an official theological commission of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    This suggests that document has become a source of division, not only inside the Roman Catholic Church, but also between the Roman Catholic Church and other Christians, in this case, with the Russian Orthodox Church — the Orthodox Church with the largest number of members. World Orthodoxy counts about 250 million members in more than a dozen national Churches (Greek, Serbian, Romanian, etc.). The Russian Orthodox count an estimated 100 to 110 million faithful, so about 40% of all the Orthodox in the world.

    Since “building bridges” between the Orthodox world and the Catholic Church (the two Churches were united until the “Great Schism” of 1054, and have been divided now for almost 1,000 years) has been of some importance to Pope Francis, this rejection by the Russian Orthodox of the theology of Fiducia supplicans may be motivation for Francis to consider an adjustment to what was published on December, or a clarification of its meaning and intent which takes into account these criticisms.—RM

    Special Note to readers: This is the second letter I have written since early February, when I wrote about the death of my friend, Silvio Mattacchione, at the age of 72. I hope to be able to write regularly in the days and weeks ahead.

    The Hilarion interview, published February 29, 2024 by the Russian news agency RIA novosti

    Metropolitan Hilarion: “The Vatican has given in to liberals on the issue of same-sex couples”

    © RIA Novosti / Maxim Blinov

    Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ is considering the conclusion of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Catholic declaration “Fiducia supplicans.” The declaration recently adopted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church addresses the issue of blessing unmarried heterosexual unions and same-sex couples. The chairman of the Synodal Biblical Theological Commission, Metropolitan Hilarion of Budapest and Hungary, spoke about this resonant topic, dialogue with Catholics, as well as the “papal” claims of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the churches of the Russian Orthodox Church in Hungary in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti. Interviewed by Olga Lipich.

    Olga Lipich: Vladyka Hilarion [the Russian word “Vladyka” means “Lord” and is used for “Father” or “Bishop”], how did the commission headed by you begin to consider the declaration “Fiducia supplicans”?

    Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev: We studied this document on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’. We held a plenum of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission, and I had the opportunity to present the results of the plenum personally to His Holiness the Patriarch.

    Why did the Russian Orthodox Church even take up this declaration, since this is an internal document of the Roman Catholic Church?

    Hilarion: Because we have a dialogue with the Catholic Church, interaction. And we considered it our duty to respond to such a radical innovation.

    There are many different interpretations of the declaration: some say that this is an intermediate step towards the wedding of same-sex couples, others say that the document opens up the opportunity for people to receive help from the Church, including in the fight against their passions, that those who come are blessed in turn [ed. note, individually], that imitation of a wedding is not allowed. What is your opinion?

    Hilarion: The declaration Fiducia supplicans caused an unambiguously very negative reaction from our commission. We were unanimous that this document reflected a very serious departure from Christian moral standards. You said that the blessing can be performed one by one, but in fact this is not in the document. The document specifically talks about blessing couples. Moreover, two categories of couples are mentioned. One is couples who are in a so-called unsettled situation. That is, this is a man and woman who live in an unmarried marriage or in a civil union. There are a lot of such situations in the Catholic Church, because the divorce process is very complex and it is difficult, almost impossible, to receive a blessing from the Church for divorce. But another category of persons referred to in the document are same-sex couples. And so, the same criteria are now applied to both.

    What, according to the commission, is the main contradiction with Christianity here?

    Hilarion: Same-sex couples are spoken of as people who need the blessing of the Church for healing and upliftment. That is, you can bless them in pairs, and not each individually. Yes, the declaration expresses, repeatedly and in different forms, concern that such blessings should not be ritualized, that they should be spontaneous and not outwardly resemble a wedding. Because of this concern, various specific recommendations are offered for how to make such blessings different from weddings. The document postulates that the Church’s teaching on marriage as a union of a man and a woman open to procreation remains unchanged. But at the same time, this practice of blessing same-sex couples, from our point of view, is in radical contradiction with Christian moral teaching.

    Could you explain in more detail?

    Hilarion: The document says nothing, for example, about the sacrament of confession, nothing about repentance or the fight against sin. That is, the pastoral assistance that is provided to people in an unsettled situation or in same-sex cohabitation, according to this document, does not at all imply that, for example, a priest tells these people about the sinfulness of their lifestyle. This especially applies, of course, to same-sex couples. And in general, the word “sin” is mentioned several times in this document, but exclusively in the context of the thought that human sins cannot exceed the love of God, that God’s grace acts despite our sins. And neither repentance nor correction of lifestyle is offered to those people who come for blessing specifically as a couple.

    Then, in your opinion, why did the Catholic Church adopt such a document — for the further recognition of unregistered cohabitation and the wedding of same-sex couples?

    Hilarion: I don’t think that we can talk about the wedding of same-sex couples, because so far it has been declared that the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage as a union of a man and a woman remains unchanged. However, we see what is happening in Protestant communities: it all started with the same thing, with some non-ritualized, spontaneous blessings, and then in some Protestant communities they simply introduced the ritual of blessing same-sex couples. I don’t think the Catholic Church will come to that. But all this is perceived as a very dangerous signal and as a concession by the leadership of the Catholic Church to those liberal circles that are trying to dictate their agenda.

    You said that this was a “concession from the leadership,” but how did the Catholic world as a whole, priests and parishioners react to this document — what do you know?

    Hilarion: The declaration has already caused a very controversial reaction in the Catholic world. Of course, some approved of it, and various gay activists and representatives of sexual minorities rejoiced at the declaration. But, for example, local structures of the Catholic Church in some cases openly opposed this declaration.

    In which countries did this happen?

    Hilarion: The Hungarian Bishops’ Conference has decided that the blessing of same-sex couples is impossible under any circumstances. The document will not be implemented in Hungary. And also, for example, in Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. I think it will definitely not be implemented in African countries. That is, this document has already created a serious division within the Catholic Church itself.

    What will happen in the future with the “document about the document” – with the results of the discussion of the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission of the Vatican Declaration?

    Hilarion: The Synodal Biblical Theological Commission always works on behalf of His Holiness the Patriarch or the Patriarch and the Holy Synod. When we prepare a text, we then give it to the patriarch, and then His Holiness decides its future fate. Either this document is published, or it is published with amendments, or it forms the basis for some decisions, actions, letters…

    What kind of reaction would you expect from Catholics to the conclusion of the commission of the Russian Church?

    Hilarion: I wouldn’t want to predict the reaction, but we did our job. Our commission is called biblical-theological, and we drew attention to the fact that there is no way to justify this new practice with Holy Scripture. Because the Holy Scripture expresses a completely unambiguous view of same-sex cohabitation. We have drawn attention to the fact that, from our point of view, these new decisions of the Catholic Church are contrary to basic Christian moral standards. We’ve covered our part of the journey. It is difficult for me to predict what the future fate of the commission’s document will be, and if it is published, what the reaction to it will be in the Catholic Church. But we can already see the reaction in the Catholic Church and in the world to the declaration itself (Fiducia supplicans – ed.).

    How does all this affect the relationship between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church today? And are any joint peacekeeping efforts currently being prepared, in particular, to resolve the situation in Ukraine?

    Hilarion: I don’t know anything about this. And when Pope Francis came to Budapest last year and I met with him, we had no discussion about this. True, when the pope was flying on a plane from Hungary, journalists asked him what he talked about with Prime Minister Orban and Metropolitan Hilarion. And he replied: “Of course, we weren’t just talking about Little Red Riding Hood.” I think that the Pope still had in mind, first of all, Mr. Orban, with whom he, of course, discussed political issues. He did not discuss political issues with me.

    Is Little Red Riding Hood” just a joke?

    Hilarion: Yes, a metaphor. It probably meant that we were talking about serious things.

    You have repeatedly noted that the Patriarch of Constantinople lays claim to the role of “pope” in the Orthodox world. How would you comment on the reports that this week he reinstated Archpriest Alexy Uminsky, who was deprived of his rank in the Russian Church for violating the priestly oath – refusing to fulfill the patriarchal blessing to read a prayer for Holy Rus’, in which there is a petition for the granting of victory?

    Hilarion: The previous project of the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission was the preparation of a detailed document on the new ecclesiology of Constantinople, that is, on innovations in the doctrine of the Church. They, in our opinion, very seriously deviate from the Orthodox Holy Tradition; they are essentially an attempt to impose on the Orthodox Church on a universal scale a new model of governance, similar to the one that exists in the Catholic Church. Our document is called “On the distortion of Orthodox teaching about the Church in the actions of the hierarchy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the speeches of its representatives” (approved by the Bishops’ Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2023 – ed.).

    We show in this document that for centuries the Orthodox, including the Patriarchs of Constantinople, in polemics with Catholics, defended the point of view that local Orthodox Churches are equal to each other, that there cannot be one earthly head for the entire Ecumenical Church. But those specific actions that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is carrying out, in particular, to legalize the Ukrainian schism, to “restorate in rank” those who have lost this rank for one reason or another, are actions that follow from his new doctrine. After all, Constantinople now proclaims itself the supreme court of appeal.

    That is, any cleric of any local Church, dissatisfied with the decision of his clergy, can now turn to Constantinople, and Constantinople will make a decision at its own discretion. Moreover, this cleric can remain geographically in the same position, as was the case in Lithuania, when Constantinople “restored the rank” of the clergy who had lost this rank, and they continue to be in Lithuania. Based on them, a parallel structure of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Lithuania has now been created, while this country is part of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    It turns out that the document “On the distortion of Orthodox teaching about the Church in the actions of the hierarchy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople” adopted last year has not yet brought some sense to opponents?

    Hilarion: We did not imagine that this document, let’s say, would bring some sense to the hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. But, firstly, we had to prepare this document for our internal use – so that everyone in the Church would clearly understand why the break occurred (communications with the Patriarchate of Constantinople – ed.), and that we are not talking about some situational disagreements, but about fundamental disagreement. Constantinople has developed a whole new ecclesiological doctrine, which contradicts the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church. In addition, we, of course, wanted our document to be read in other local Churches. Especially those who disagree with Constantinople. And we know that it was read there with great attention.

    That is, you note positive results in communication with representatives of other local Orthodox Churches on this issue?

    Hilarion: Yes.

    Vladyka, how has the situation with the restoration and construction of spiritual and cultural objects in Hungary changed recently: the Assumption Cathedral in Budapest, churches in Miskolc, Tokaj, Heviz?

    Hilarion: Our main object is the Assumption Cathedral in Budapest, which is located in the very center, on the banks of the Danube, on Petőfi Square next to the monument to the great national poet of Hungary Sandor Petőfi. This cathedral was built at the end of the 18th century. The Patriarchate of Constantinople tried to sue him. Just when I was the temporary administrator of the Budapest-Hungarian diocese in the period from 2003 to 2009, we were in litigation with Constantinople: they sued us. We won all three courts one after another, but it took about six years. At the same time, the restoration of the Assumption Cathedral began. We were able to restore the pedestal under one of its lost towers; the Lukoil company gave money for this.

    But a full-fledged restoration became possible after the Hungarian government in 2016 allocated a significant amount for four objects at once: the Assumption Cathedral in Budapest, St. Nicholas Church in Tokaj, Trinity Church in Miskolc and the temple in honor of the Life-Giving Spring icon in Heviz. Unfortunately, the pandemic greatly slowed down the progress of restoration work in the first three objects and the construction of the fourth. But now the restoration of the Assumption Cathedral is in its final stage. The external repairs have been completed, the internal repairs are almost complete, and we are now only engaged in the restoration of the icons in the iconostasis.

    The temple in Heviz has been built and finishing work is underway. The other two objects are still in varying degrees of readiness: in Miskolc restoration work is still ongoing, in Tokaj they are close to completion.

    Filial Appeal asking Pope Francis to withdraw Fiducia Supplicans tops 500 names (link)

    March 1, 2024

    Together with the initial 90 signatories, the document now lists around 150 clergymen – one bishop, several monsignors, dozens of priests and deacons – as well as hundreds of scholars from all over the world, totaling 500.    

    By Maike Hickson

    (LifeSiteNews) — The team who organized the filial appeal to cardinals and bishops of the world asking them to forbid blessings of irregular and homosexual “couples” in their dioceses and to request Pope Francis rescind the Vatican document allowing for such blessings (see full text below) is presenting today the final list of signatories.

    Together, with the initial 90 signatories, the document now lists around 150 clergymen – one bishop, several monsignors, dozens of priests and deacons – as well as hundreds of scholars coming all over the world, totaling 500.

    According to Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, who together with Professor Claudio Pierantoni was crucial in getting this initiative organized, this list is “a sign of the sensus fidelium that stretches across the earth wherever the Catholic (universal) faith is professed.”

    He put together for LifeSite the different countries from which the signatories hail, saying that this “breadth of countries” is “most impressive: “nearly 50 in toto, including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin Republic, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, México, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Perú, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Ukraine, United States of America, Venezuela, Zambia.”

    As this list will show our readers, many of these countries have currently grave challenges and face sufferings, such as Nigeria and China. Dr. Kwasniewski noticed this phenomenon, too when he said: “Most movingly, we find 17 signatories from Ukraine, a country torn by war, yet one in which adherence to Christianity has not grown weak, as it has done in the liberal West. They have plenty of other anxieties as their country is invaded and bombarded, yet they cared enough about the divine law and natural law to place their signatures on this letter.”

    Moreover, and in quite a touching manner, is the fact that there are among the signatories many pastors of parishes, parochial vicars, administrators, deacons, and rectors of seminaries. These men put their positions at risk for signing this document and show laudable courage.

    As Dr. Kwasniewski noticed, “there are numerous canon lawyers, a large number of medical doctors, psychiatrists, and pastoral theologians – exactly the kind of people who can best evaluate, on the ground, what homosexuality involves. We find numerous government officials, especially from Poland and Spain.”

    Finally, there are among the signatories also numerous professors from prominent universities in the world, such as Stanford University, Sorbonne University (France), University of Florence (Italy), Pontifical University of Salamanca (Portugal), the Arctic University of Norway, University of Toronto (Canada), St. John’s University New York, University of Dallas, University of Alberta (Canada), University of Munich, as well as the University of Turin (Italy).

    Among the new signatories that have not yet been highlighted, we may mention the following names: Msgr. Richard C. Antall, Pastor, Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Cleveland, Ohio; Monika Gabriela Bartoszewicz, MA, MLitt, PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science, UiT The Arctic University of Norway; Rev. Daniel J. Becker, PhD, priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts; Chaplain, St Benedict Center in Harvard, Massachusetts; Deacon Joseph Bell, MTh, Chancellor, Diocese of Reno, Nevada; Rev. Viktor Bilous, Rector of the Seminary, professor of the moral theology, Gorodok, Ukraine; Biagio Buonomo, PhD, Professor of Ancient History, former culture editor of L’Osservatore Romano (1990–2011), Naples, Italy; Very Rev. Donald Calloway, MIC, Vicar Provincial, Marian Fathers, Steubenville, Ohio; Giovanni Ceroni, MA Bioethics, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, Rome, Italy; Giovanni Codevilla, former professor of Comparative Ecclesiastical Law, University of Trieste, Italy; Rev. Pio Vito De Mattia, moral theologian, canonist in matrimonial jurisprudence, Italy; João Pedro de Sousa Mendonça Correia, JCD, attorney at law, canonist, Faculty of Canon Law, Pontifical University of Salamanca, Lisbon, Portugal; Dr. Artur Górecki, historian, educator, rector of Collegium Intermarium; former Director of the Department of General Education and Core Curriculum at the Ministry of Education, Poland; Rev. Remigiusz Kalski, SJ, parish priest of Saint Michael Archangel Parish, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Oswaldo Javier Lozano de la Garza, Former Assistant Professor of Theological Anthropology and Theology of the Body, John Paul II Institute in Monterrey, México; Brad Miner, Senior Fellow, Faith & Reason Institute; Senior Editor,; Dr. Christine M. Ward, Co-founder of the Theology of the Body Network UK; Lecturer (Sexual Ethics, Christian Anthropology), Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, UK; Dr. Charles P. Prezzia, MD, MPH, MMM, FRSM, Past President of the Catholic Medical Association, Clinton, Pennsylvania, as well as Jay Richards, PhD, Director, Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family and the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.

    LifeSite is pleased to publish here the final list of signatories to the Filial Appeal and honors all those signatories who have been urged in their conscience to take a moral stance in spite of the possible repercussions that they could endure for it.

    Read below the full text of the filial appeal including the 90 initial signatories:

Open Letter to All the Cardinals and Bishops of the World: Act Before It Is Too Late

    Your Eminences, Your Excellencies:

    We, the undersigned Catholic priests, scholars, and authors, write to you on the occasion of the latest document published by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Fiducia Supplicans, which has caused so much scandal in the Church during this last Christmastime.

    As is widely known, a relevant part of the world episcopate has practically rejected it, due to its evident break with Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. Twenty episcopal conferences, dozens of individual prelates, and even cardinals invested with the highest positions, such as Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Sarah, have expressed an unequivocal condemnatory judgment. So have also the UK, USA, and Australian Confraternities of Catholic Clergy. Never in the history of the Catholic Church has a document of the Roman Magisterium experienced such a strong rejection.

    Indeed, despite its explicit reaffirmation of the traditional doctrine of the Church on Marriage, it turns out that the pastoral practice that the document allows is in direct opposition to it. So much so, that the document has been very favorably received by those few episcopates and prelates that for decades have been openly advocating a change in the doctrine on sexual morality. It is evident that the practical message that this new declaration transmits is much more in line with the program and ideas of those who want to change the doctrine, than with the doctrine itself that the document claims to keep intact.

    The document effectively attempts to introduce a separation between doctrine and liturgy on the one hand, and pastoral practice on the other. But this is impossible: in fact, pastoral care, like all action, always presupposes a theory and, therefore, if pastoral care performs something that does not correspond to the doctrine, what is actually being proposed is a different doctrine.

    The blessing of a couple (whether “liturgical” or “pastoral”) is, so to speak, a natural sign. The concrete gesture says something naturally, and therefore has a natural, immediate communicative effect, which cannot be artificially changed by the verbal caveats of the document. A blessing as such, in the universal language of humanity, always implies an approval of what is being blessed.

    Therefore, the concrete sign that is given with such blessing, in front of the whole world, is that “irregular couples,” extramarital and homosexual alike, according to the Catholic Church, would now be acceptable to God, precisely in the type of union that specifically configures them as couples. Nor does it make sense to separate “couple” from “union,” as card. Fernández has tried to do, since a couple is a couple because of the union that gives existence to it.

    The fact that other significant and accidental circumstances such as timing, location, or ornaments such as flowers and wedding clothes are excluded from the act does not change the nature of the act, since the central and essential gesture remains. Furthermore, we all know from experience what such “restrictions” are worth and how long they last.

    The fact is that a priest is imparting a blessing on two people who present themselves as a couple, in the sexual sense, and precisely a couple defined by its objectively sinful relationship. Therefore—regardless of the intentions and interpretations of the document, or the explanations the priest may try to give—this action will be the visible and tangible sign of a different doctrine, which contradicts traditional doctrine.

    Let us remember that the traditional doctrine on the subject must be considered infallible, since it is unequivocally confirmed by Scripture and Tradition, a universal and uninterrupted tradition, ubique et semper. And it must be remembered that this is a doctrine of natural law, which does not allow for any change.

    In practice, the faithful will not even be aware of the subtle theoretical justifications introduced by the Declaration, much less those that were added in the recent clarification on the Declaration. The message that is effectively launched, and that the people of God, and the entire world, will inevitably register and are already registering is that: The Catholic Church has finally evolved, and now accepts homosexual unions, and, more generally, extramarital unions.

    This situation fully justifies the decided rejection of so many episcopal conferences, so many prelates, so many scholars, and so many ordinary lay people. In this context, it is definitely not justifiable, especially for a cardinal or a bishop, to remain silent, since the scandal that has already occurred is serious and public, and if it is not stopped, it is bound to be more and more amplified. The threat does not become smaller but more serious, since the error comes from the Roman See, and is destined to scandalize all the faithful, and above all the little ones, the simple faithful who have no way of orienting and defending themselves in this confusion: “Whoever offends one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him if a donkey’s millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mt 18,6).

    The pastors and all those who have some responsibility in the Church have been constituted as sentinels: “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the horn, so that the people are not warned, and when the sword comes he kills one of them, he will perish because of him, but I will ask the watchman to account for his blood” (Ez.33,6).

    In light of the above we fervently implore you to:

    (1) Follow the brave example of so many brother bishops around the world: please forbid immediately the application of this document in your diocese.

    (2) Please ask directly the Pope to urgently withdraw this unfortunate document, which is in contradiction with both Scripture and the universal and uninterrupted Tradition of the Church and which clearly produces a serious scandal.

    In this difficult moment, a clear word of truth would be the best example of your faithful and courageous dedication to the people of God entrusted to you, a sign of fidelity to the true mission of the Papacy and at the same time the best help for the pope himself, an eloquent “fraternal correction,” which he urgently needs in this last and most critical period of his pontificate and probably of his life. If you act promptly, there is still some hope that he may rescue his pontificate and his own person from a stain that could otherwise weigh on him indelibly, not only in history, but in eternity.

    Initial 90 Signatories

    Edmund P. Adamus, MA, Secretary to Commission of Inquiry into Discrimination Against Christians, UK

    Wolfgang R. Ahrens, PhD Philosophy, Chile

    Sergio González Arrieta, MA in Classics and History, Chile

    Gil Bailie, Founder and President of the Cornerstone Forum

    Dr Heinz-Lothar and Raphaela Barth, Bonn, Germany

    Donna F. Bethell, JD, USA

    Judie Brown, President, American Life League, Falmouth, Virginia

    Dr Dr Sergio R. Castaño, CONICET, Argentina

    Paweł Chmielewski, commentator for Polonia Christiana, Warsaw, Poland

    Michelle Cretella, MD, USA

    Edgardo J. Cruz Ramos, President, Una Voce Puerto Rico

    Dr Tomasz Dekert, religious studies scholar, Rajbrot, Poland

    Deacon Julian L. Delgado, MD

    Roberto de Mattei, historian, President of Lepanto Foundation, Rome, Italy

    Deacon Nick Donnelly, MA, England

    C. Joseph Doyle, Executive Director, Catholic Action League of Massachusetts

    Rev. Angelo Luigi Fratus, Montfort Missionary, Zambia

    Rev. Stanisław Gibziński, Portsmouth Diocese, England

    Corrado Gnerre, professor of theology and founder of Il cammino dei tre sentieri

    Maria Guarini, author, Editor of Chiesa e postconcilio

    Michael K. Hageböck, headmaster and journalist, Germany

    Michael Hichborn, President of the Lepanto Institute, Virginia

    Maike Hickson, PhD, Front Royal, VA

    Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Dr.rer.pol. Rudolf Hilfer, Stuttgart, Germany

    Rev. Joseph Illo, Pastor, Star of the Sea Parish, San Francisco, California

    Marek Jurek, former Marshal of the Polish Parlament, Wólka Kozodawska, Poland

    Bogusław Kiernicki, President, Saint Benedict Foundation, Dębogóra, Poland

    Kacper Kita, publicist, international policy analyst, Poland

    Rev. Donald Kloster, Lumen Christi Academy Principal, Pipe Creek, TX

    Dr Dr Adorján F. Kovács, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

    Dr Thaddeus Kozinski, Memoria College

    Gabriele Kuby, sociologist and author, Prien am Chiemsee, Germany

    Peter A. Kwasniewski, PhD, Lincoln, Nebraska

    Dr John R. T. Lamont, D.Phil.

    Philip F. Lawler, author, Editor of Catholic World News

    Leila M. Lawler, author

    Rev. Joseph Levine, Pastor, Holy Family Catholic Church, Burns, Oregon

    Pedro L. Llera, director of educational centers, Gobiendes, Spain

    Maria Madise, Managing Director, Voice of the Family, UK

    Rev. Patrick H. Magee FLHF, Fall River, MA

    Dr Regis Martin, professor of theology, Franciscan University Steubenville

    Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Chair in Law, University of Oklahoma

    Deacon Eugene McGuirk, Front Royal, Virginia

    Dr Justyna Melonowska, psychologist and philosopher, Warszawa, Poland

    Rev. Cor Mennen, emeritus lecturer in Canon Law, Seminary of ‘s-Hertogenbosch

    Dr Paweł Milcarek, Editor of Christianitas, Brwinów, Poland

    Sebastian Morello, PhD, Senior Editor of The European Conservative

    Rev. Alfredo Morselli, Italy

    Rev. Gerald E. Murray, JCD, Pastor, Church of the Holy Family, New York, NY

    Dina Nerozzi, MD, child psychiatrist and endocrinologist, former professor at the University of Rome

    Doyen Nguyen, MD, STD, moral theologian, bioethicist, USA/Portugal

    Rev. Daniel R. Nolan, FSSP, Littleton, CO

    Deacon Dr Bart Overman, Den Bosch, The Netherlands

    Michael Pakaluk, PhD, professor of ethics and social philosophy, Washington, DC

    Gottfried Paschke, theologian, retired professor of mathematics, Bad Homburg, Germany

    Paolo Pasqualucci, retired Professor of Philososophy, Faculty of Law, Perugia, Italy

    Rod Pead, Editor, Christian Order, UK

    Dr Claudio Pierantoni, PhD History of Christianism, PhD Philosophy, Chile

    Rev. John A. Perricone, PhD, adjunct professor of philosophy, Iona College in New Rochelle, New York

    Prof. Thomas Pink, emeritus professor of philosophy, King’s College, London

    Rev. Andrew Pinsent, MA, Dphil, PhB, STB, PhL, PhD, FRSA, University of Oxford, UK

    Tomasz Rowiński, historian of ideas, Editor of Christianitas, Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland

    Anna Rist, retired professor of classics, Toronto, Canada

    John Rist, PhD, retired professor of classics and early Chrisitian philosophy and theology

    Luis Román, theologian and Catholic commentator, Florida

    Jesse Romero, Catholic apologist, evangelist, author, Queen Creek, Arizona.

    Eric Sammons, Editor, Crisis Magazine

    Dr César Félix Sánchez Martínez, professor of philosophy, Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, Perú

    Dr Tommaso Scandroglio, author, Italy

    Wolfram Schrems, Mag. theol., Mag. phil., catechist, pro-life activist, Vienna, Austria

    Dr Anna Silvas, specialist in Greek Fathers, retired adjunct, UNE, Australia

    Rev. Robert Sirico, President, St. John Henry Newman Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Dr Michael Sirilla, Professor of Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

    John Smeaton, Co-founder of Voice of the Family, UK

    Rev. Tam X. Tran, S.T.L., Pastor of Our Lady of Vietnam Catholic Church, Silver Spring, Maryland

    Rev. Glen Tattersall, Pastor of St. John Newman Parish, Melbourne, Australia

    Inge M. Thürkauf, actress, journalist, pro-family public speaker, Germany

    José Antonio Ureta, author, Paris, France

    Aldo Maria Valli, writer, Rome, Italy

    Dr Gerard van den Aardweg, author, psychologist and psychotherapist, The Netherlands

    Christine de Marcellus Vollmer,  president of PROVIVE, ALAFA, Former Member of PAL, Venezuela.

    Mathias von Gersdorff, author and pro-life activist, Frankfurt, Germany

    Prof. Dr Berthold Wald, retired professor of philosophy, Münster, Germany

    Dr Thomas Ward, President, John Paul II Academy of Human Life and the Family

    Leonard P. Wessell, Dr.Phil., PhD, emeritus professor, German Studies, University of Colorado

    John-Henry Westen, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief, LifeSiteNews

    Elizabeth D. Wickham, PhD, Executive Director,, Raleigh, North Carolina

    Dr Timothy Williams, professor of French, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

    Chilton Williamson, writer, former editor at National Review and Chronicles, Laramie, Wyoming

    Dr Hubert Windisch, priest, retired professor of pastoral theology, Burglengenfeld, Germany

    Deacon Timothy Woods, Huntington, Indiana

    Elizabeth F. Yore, Esq., Founder of Yore Children, Chicago, Illinois

    Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

    Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

    Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte, Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.

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