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Catholic Education Daily


Cardinal Wuerl Again Defends University Chaplain, Decries the “New Intolerance”

BasilicaAt the closing Mass for the second annual "Fortnight for Freedom," at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington decried what he called “the new intolerance,” according to The National Catholic Register.

Delivering a homily on the importance of religious freedom, Cdl. Wuerl pointedly referenced an incident earlier this year when a number of homosexual students attempted to have Father Greg Shaffer ousted from the campus of George Washington University because he taught Catholic doctrine on sexuality.

According to The National Catholic Register, Wuerl said :

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.

And so, here we are.

The idea that the pastor of a parish today or the chaplain of a religious community or campus ministry today should simply be silenced because he faithfully announces the Gospel of Jesus Christ — that he should not be allowed to engage in dialogue with our culture, even in a place that is dedicated to the free and diverse expression of ideas — may seem somewhat radical today, but you have to remember there have always been those who try to force their views on all of us. There have always been those who want to lock doors so the voice of the Gospel cannot be heard.

When we talk about marriage, when we speak about the dignity of human life, when we teach about the natural moral order, we are lifting up elements that we find deeply rooted in the consciousness of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Just because someone wants to change all of that today does not mean that the rest of us no longer have a place in this society.

Remember, after someone says you cannot speak here, then comes the sentence, “And you do not belong here.” Our response must be the response of Jesus Christ, the response of his Church, a response rooted in love.

This is not the first time, Cdl. Wuerl has referenced Fr.Shaffer in a public way. The Cardinal Newman Society reported earlier this year that in a homily on GW’s campus, Cdl. Wuerl reportedly said, "I want to offer a word of support and encouragement to your chaplain, Father Greg Shaffer…and to stand in solidarity with a good priest."

He said at the time that Church teaching doesn’t depend on modern trends. “We propose the ways of the kingdom of God in terms that the world can understand and examine, in terms they may freely accept or reject,” he said. “Even when they said to him you need to be current, you need to be contemporary, you need to be politically correct, you need to be with the times, Jesus did not say, ‘Oh, then, I will change my teaching.’”

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