Catholic Georgetown University Upset with Commencement Speech on Catholic Moral Doctrine by Senior Vatican Cardinal

Zero tolerance expressed for Cardinal Arinze's teaching on homosexuality
Thu May 22, 2003 - 12:15 pm EST

Washington, May 22, 2003 ( - On Saturday May 17 Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze gave a commencement address at Washington’s prestigious Catholic, but notably liberal, Georgetown University. One of the University’s most illustrious graduates is former president Bill Clinton.  Students and faculty received more than they bargained for as Arinze—president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and who is often spoken of as a possible successor to John Paul II, gave a blunt talk on the importance of Catholic moral and spiritual doctrine. He had been invited to give an address on Christian-Muslim Relations.  Today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reports the Cardinal told the assembly “that happiness is found not in the pursuit of material wealth or pleasures of the flesh, but by fervently adhering to religious beliefs.”  Arinze continued, “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.”  The AJC article reported that theology professor Theresa Sanders left the stage while Arinze was speaking and other students left “according to e-mails on a subscription list used by many of the university’s gay and lesbian students.”  70 faculty members signed a letter protesting the speech and submitted the letter this week to Jane McAuliffe, dean of the university’s school of arts and sciences.  See the complete AJC report at

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