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Cardinal George Addresses AMU Convocation

There will always be tension between the Catholic Church and any government, Cardinal Francis George said Tuesday in the opening address at a conference on Catholicism and America at Ave Maria University.

Speaking before a packed ballroom, he noted that the tension is partially rooted in the fact that Catholicism is based on the revealed world of God. Yet that tension benefits American culture, he said in a talk at the university's spring convocation.

The Church will always be "in tension and partially at odds with any purely political or social construct in every age, democratic or otherwise," Cardinal George said.

george-5aaBut "only if Catholics develop and cherish . . . the truth that comes from God," he added, "can the church be of real service to American culture or any culture."

"If the pursuit of happiness is central to America, which it is, we Catholics need to be confident that we can, freely, show our  fellow citizens the way to that happiness through our witness, and our persuasiveness."

At the conclusion of his talk, AMU President Nick Healy presented Cardinal George with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

The cardinal greeted students and faculty (see pictures below), signed copies of his latest book The Difference God Makes, and toured the oratory.

george9a"He was impressed with the oratory," parish administrator Fr. Robert Tatman said, adding that the cardinal also has an interest in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright which inspired the design of the oratory and other buildings on the AMU campus. Left, Fr. Tatman showing the oratory to Cardinal George (l) and his secretary.

The Catholicism and America conference continues Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. with a talk by Catholic author and columnist George Weigel. More details on the conference, which is sponsored by the AMU Graduate School of Theology, can be found in a previous Ave Herald story here.



Right, Cardinal George greets Father Michael Monahan, who is visiting his parents at their home in Del Webb. Fr. Monahan was ordained by Bishop Dominic Rey of the Diocese of Frejus Toulon in southern France in June 2009.  He is currently pursuing graduate studies at the Institute of St.
Thomas Aquinas in Toulouse, France.

Below, left, Elizabeth Gotlund, an AMU senior who lives in the Chicago archdiocese, greets Cardinal George. Below, right, student Joshua Johanni has a book signed.




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