Online Edition – Vol. IX, No. 4: June 2003
Cardinal Arinze addresses BCL; Georgetown University grads, where protest ensues
Cardinal Arinze was in Washington, DC, in mid-May to address a national conference of liturgy officials and professionals sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (May 16), and to give a commencement address to the College of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University (May 17).
The cardinal’s brief address at Georgetown, "Arise, Rejoice, God is calling you", contained a concise statement of Catholic doctrine concerning the family. Cardinal Arinze observed that the family is "under siege" today, and listed several sources of undermining the family: "In many parts of the world, the family is under siege. It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce".
One theology faculty member walked off the stage at the cardinal’s words. A few days later seventy faculty members of the Jesuit university signed a letter of protest to the dean who had invited him. The dean said she was surprised at the content of the cardinal’s speech, and that she was sure he did not intend to hurt anyone by his words, "but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen". No university official publicly defended Cardinal Arinze. (To date there has been no comment by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.)
For the complete text of Cardinal Arinze’s Georgetown address, and accompanying story, see Women for Faith & Family web site: www.wf-f.org/Arinze-Georgetown.html.
The text of his address to the liturgists was not available at this writing.