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As Fortnight for Freedom concludes, Cardinal Wuerl decries threats to Church’s freedom, defends college chaplain

July 05, 2013

Evoking the persecution of Catholics in colonial Maryland, Cardinal Donald Wuerl concluded the US bishops’ second Fortnight for Freedom by decrying threats to the Church’s liberty and defending a priest who faced opposition at George Washington University after he called upon homosexual students to lead chaste lives.

In 1634, the Catholic settlers of Maryland “constructed what would become known as the birthplace of religious freedom in America,” Cardinal Wuerl preached at a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. “Unfortunately, in 1704, when those who did not share this foresight and Catholic perspective gained political control, they revoked the freedom of religion in the colony. They found it more convenient to silence the Church — even with force — than to live in peace with her and her Gospel message.”

“Closer to our day, we see another tactic,” he continued. “The Church is denounced as prejudiced, narrow-minded or even un-American simply because her teaching respects human life, upholds marriage and calls for health care for the most needy in our country. In March, just across town, we witnessed an example of the new intolerance, the new form of locking doors. At George Washington University an effort was made to silence the Catholic chaplain and to ‘lockout’ his ministry to Catholic students and faculty just because he taught those who freely came to Mass what Jesus said about marriage.”

Recalling Pope Benedict’s concern about radical secularism in the United States, Cardinal Wuerl added that

The Holy Father’s answer to this “radical secularism” and “denial of rights” is, as he explained, “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism.” And here you are!

Your faith is a remedy for what ails our society. The mission of all of us, but particularly of the laity is to engage the culture with the Good News that only comes from Jesus Christ.


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  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jul. 06, 2013 4:53 PM ET USA

    Agnes, Thankfully the Cardinal did defend the young college Chaplain. Even that might not have happened a few short months ago. Hopefully the US Bishops will grasp the enormity of the scandal regarding those disgraceful Politicians who have set up their own magisterium to the grave harm of the Church. Peace

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jul. 05, 2013 6:38 PM ET USA

    Right. Talk is chep.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 05, 2013 11:21 AM ET USA

    So, why has Cdl. Wuerl not disciplined the "Catholic" politicians who are in his jurisdiction? All the complaints ring very hollow indeed.