Speculum Iustitiae 2024 Conference Speakers

Meet the speakers presenting at the 2024 Speculum Iustitiae Conference.

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

“Can. 915: The Minister of the Holy Eucharist and Those Not to Be Admitted to Holy Communion”

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 30, 1948, the youngest of six children. He began his priestly formation as a high school student at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse. After studying philosophy at The Catholic University of America and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he was ordained to the holy priesthood by Pope Paul VI at St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29, 1975.

As a priest, Father Burke served as Associate Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman in La Crosse, and also taught religion at Aquinas High School.

In 1980, he returned to Rome for studies in Canon Law, and obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1984. He subsequently served as Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of La Crosse. In 1989, he was appointed Defender of the Bond at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome.

On December 10, 1994, Monsignor Burke was appointed Bishop of La Crosse by Pope Saint John Paul II, who consecrated him a Bishop on January 6, 1995. After almost nine years of service as Bishop of La Crosse, during which he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at La Crosse, Bishop Burke was named Archbishop of Saint Louis, and was installed on January 26, 2004. On June 27, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Burke Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals on November 20, 2010. Appointed in November of 2014, Cardinal Burke was the Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. In September of 2017, Cardinal Burke was appointed as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. As Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Cardinal Burke continues to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Reverend Vincent W. Woo, J.C.D.

“The Canonical Right of a Priest to Celebrate Mass individuali modo in light of the Post-conciliar Teachings on the Eucharist”

Father Vincent Woo is an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California. He received a BA from UCLA and a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Under the tutelage of Joseph Cardinal Zen at the Holy Spirit Seminary, he was ordained for the Diocese of Hong Kong and received his Licentiate and Doctorate of Canon Law from the Catholic University of America after a period of pastoral work. His research interest is in sacramental and liturgical law. Following his recent article on ember Saturday ordinations in The Jurist, he has two journal articles scheduled for publication in the second half of 2024: one on the canonical right of a priest to celebrate Mass individuali modo and the other on the denial of ecclesiastical funerals. He has also worked as a stable advocate for the Archdiocese of Military Services, USA and is currently training permanent deacons to serve in this role at the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The Very Reverend John Lessard

“The Canonical Status of the SSPX and Its Consequences in the Sacramental Life of the Faithful”

Fr. John Lessard graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Magna cum laude in 1988, in English, Theology and Philosophy from St. Mary’s College at Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake, Michigan. After supplementing his education and life experience in Kraków, Poland, and in the United States Army, he earned a Master of Divinity in 1992 from St. John Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts. That same year, he was ordained for the Diocese of Springfield, where he served as Parochial Vicar and Pastor in local parishes for more than two decades. He was awarded the Master in Canon Law and Licentiate in Canon Law in 2018 from the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University, respectively, and in 2022 was awarded PhD and Doctor of Canon Law from same. He presently serves as Adjutant Judicial Vicar, Promoter of Justice, Chancellor and Delegate for the Extraordinary Form as well as Judge and Defender of the Bond ad causam in the Diocese of Springfield.

Mr. Timothy Cavanaugh, J.C.L.

"Proles in suis principiis - Distinguishing between the good of children and procreative intent"

Tim is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a graduate of Marquette University High School. While a student at Columbia University, he experienced a deepening of his Catholic faith that led to a desire to study canon law. After completing a master’s degree in theology from Marquette University, he obtained his JCL at the Catholic University of America in 2011. He studied as a “free agent” without diocesan sponsorship and was ready to bring his growing family wherever he could find a job, so it was providential that he wound up working in the Diocese of Madison in his home state, where he has since remained. He has held various offices in the diocesan tribunal and curia, and in 2020 he was appointed as chancellor while retaining the office of defender of the bond. Since 2017 he has taught a weeklong practicum in tribunal praxis at the CUA Institute for Matrimonial Practice. He lives in Madison with his wife and five children.

Attorney Luke A. Lafferre

“Avoiding Litigation, or, How to Immanentize the Eschaton”

Luke Lafferre is the Immediate Past President of the Catholic Bar Association. He is a cradle Catholic and is a native of West Virginia. He and his family have been members of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Huntington, West Virginia for 36 years where he serves as a Reader.

Luke has practiced as a litigation partner in the Huntington, West Virginia office of the national law firm Dinsmore & Shohl since 1988. His practice has concentrated in the defense of personal injury cases, property damage claims, and commercial litigation, as well as product liability and premises liability cases. The personal injury cases have included allegations of exposure to diesel fumes, silica, herbicides, asbestos, creosote and other substances. He is a member of the LinkedIn “Million Dollar Trial Lawyers” group for having won more than a million dollars in an indemnity claim for a corporate client. He notes that his predecessor firm, before the merger with Dinsmore, had been in existence so long that it once represented the Hatfields in litigation arising from the famous Hatfield & McCoy feud, but that he was not counsel of record. He has defended thousands of personal injury and occupational disease cases and has had first-chair responsibility for the trial- some lasting for weeks- of over thirty cases to jury verdicts.