Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Cardinal Wuerl's silence on Sebelius: disappointing, not surprising

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | May 14, 2012

The Catholic Standard, the newspaper of the Washington archdiocese, gives Georgetown University a well-deserved editorial thumping for inviting HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak at commencement. The Standard rightly notes that the invitation from Georgetown to Sebelius—who has taken the lead role in enforcing the noxious contraceptive mandate—is “a disappointment but not a surprise.”

It’s not a surprise, the editorial notes, because in recent years Georgetown has not shown much interest in defending Catholic teaching:

When the vision guiding university choices does not clearly reflect the light of the Gospel and authentic Catholic teaching, there are, of course, disappointing results.

The criticism is right on target, as it applies to Georgetown. But roughly the same criticisms could be raised against the publisher of the Standard, Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl. If a Catholic institution in the archdiocese is failing to present authentic Catholic teaching, the archbishop should take action. If Catholic politicians living and working in the Washington archdiocese are flouting Church teachings and discipline, the archbishop should take action. But in light of his consistent failure to speak out, Cardinal Wuerl’s silence regarding the Sebelius appearance at Georgetown is… a disappointment but not a surprise.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Foundas - Jan. 04, 2019 7:22 PM ET USA

    The Vatican is now trying to discredit Mc Carrick's abuse victim by saying since he was 16 years old that the fondling, etc. was consensual, thereby allowing this behavior to continue within the Church. Anyone smell cover-up?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 31, 2018 2:47 PM ET USA

    Figure 10 in the Sullins/Ruth Institute Report shows a 90% correlation between the rate of increase in the percent of homosexual priests and the percent of abuse incidents (aka, the abuse "scandal") from 1950-1999. Fig. 11 shows a 96% correlation between the rate of increase in the percent of homosexual subcultures in U.S. seminaries and the percent of abuse incidents during the same period. Even if data are not available for abuse of seminarians, the incidence of minor abuse is still a scandal.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Dec. 30, 2018 10:02 PM ET USA

    The "burgeoning homosexual scandals"? Please tell, Phil. The ones from the 1970s and 1980s? "Burgeoning"?

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Dec. 29, 2018 11:23 AM ET USA

    I predict the February meeting will be tightly controlled and limited to pedophilia cases only. There is no will to address the homosexual predator situation. The last of the Vatican's credibility will be squandered. I wish it wasn't so.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - May. 19, 2012 1:25 PM ET USA

    Human respect is the driving force behind this sort of thing. Cardinal Wuerl, like many other prelates throughout history, have sold Christ like Judas for the empty silver of human respect and to maintain non pariah status among the secular elites. Cardinal Wuerl and in fact all of us Catholics must pray to be given the grace to not betray our Lord or His Church for something as ephemeral as the fickle praise of our fellow men.

  • Posted by: - May. 15, 2012 8:40 PM ET USA

    The Dutch have their hero, William the Silent. In Washington, we have Wuerl the Silent. Yes, the dodge has been that someone else is Pelosi's bishop or Sebelius' bishop. But canon law, Can. 383, reads: "In exercising his pastoral office, the diocesan Bishop is to be solicitous for all Christ's faithful entrusted to his care, whatever their age, condition or nationality, whether they live in the territory or are visiting there...."

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - May. 15, 2012 7:59 PM ET USA

    It seems a number of universities have forgotten that it's their Catholic history and Catholic identity that has forged their greatness. as current administrators and faculty (with the silence of some Bishops) seek to diminish the committment to Catholic Truth, they are setting in motion the unraveling of these great insitututions. Soon there will be little to set them apart as anything 'special'.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 15, 2012 1:43 PM ET USA

    Sometimes I feel like I am watching a football game and at the same time listening to a knowledgeable sports commentator, but is this a sporting event or anything like it.?; Essentially not... Souls will go to Hell and others will have to struggle more desperately to attain Heaven. 1Cr 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Love made Paul mature. May it be likewise for us.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - May. 14, 2012 9:23 PM ET USA

    Isn't the standard dodge that Ms. Sebelius is a subject of Archbishop Naumann and not a subject of Cardinal Wuerl?

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 14, 2012 6:02 PM ET USA

    Bravo! Short, sweet and to the point!