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The statement of members of The Roman Forum meeting at Lake Garda, Italy, on 9th July 2015 [] demonstrates that there are many within the Catholic Church who recognise the crisis through which the Church is passing—has passed, these last fifty years—and are able to enunciate a course for the return to the Church's proper station as the means of salvation for all the world.

We have been insistent on superflumina about the need, if the Church's authority and salutary influence is to be restored, for the Vicar of Christ to confront and confound the immense evil of atheism in an encyclical letter.

Such an encyclical ought, in our view, to do a number of things. First, it should mock atheism to its face for the folly of its creed. Second, it should demonstrate the fundamental flaw in evolutionary theory, that pretence at an explanation for reality which is the refuge of so many atheists. Third, it should rattle the certitudes on which the scientific community bases many of its determinations by showing where these are flawed, notably in the attribution of an ersatz reality to products of the scientific imagination, a defect to be found even in Einstein's otherwise admirable work.

Fourth, it must correct that trenchant error of Vatican II—embraced by popes and bishops alike, for the best part of fifty years—of seeking accommodation with, rather than condemning, Protestantism for its errors. Fifthly, it must state the truth about the involvement of the Jewish people in the crucifixion of Christ after the manner of St Paul who, even as he condemned those of his own race for their folly, yet prayed for their conversion, in line with the prophecy of Zechariah that God would “make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high... Who will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death...”

We append a draft that might serve, a suggestion as to how such a pope might address the issues. If it contains a deal that is controversial, it does so, a) that 'the Pope' might be seen as insisting on adherence to principles that the majority of peoples in formerly Christian countries once accepted—the metaphysical—might be seen as insisting, moreover, that it is only by means of these principles that men may come truly to understand the world and the universe in which they live ; and b) that it might attract attention from those to whom it is directed, the future bishops of the Catholic Church. If one pope can present teaching on 'global warming', another can address the fundamental issues of space and time, and show how metaphysics reveals the instrumental efficient cause upon which they are established. He can show men that God's Holy Church exists to advance mankind's grasp of material reality, even as it shows them the way to heaven.

For inspiration we have turned unashamedly to the encyclicals of the greatest pope of the last 500 years, Leo XIII. He was diligent in supplying teaching to meet the needs of his age, he was accurate and he was succinct. We have sought to emulate him. This draft, and any good it may produce, is dedicated to the memory of the great Leo XIII and to his contemporary Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster, to the doyen of the Angelicum, Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., and to one of the greatest of its alumni, Fr Austin Woodbury S.M., founder of Sydney's Aquinas Academy.

Michael Baker
15th August, 2015—The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The One Necessary Encyclical - a draft

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