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Cardinal Wuerl: Discrimination Against Church Still Strong

Sunday, 05 April 2015 02:41 PM

Different measuring rods could come into play when it comes to issues concerning discrimination and religious freedom laws, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of the Washington D.C. Diocese said Sunday.

"If we talk about discrimination, then we also have to talk about discriminating against the Catholic Church, its teachings, and its ability to carry out its mission," Wuerl said in an exclusive Fox News Sunday Easter interview. "I think at the heart of this is the ability to recognize everyone."

He noted that how people act touches others, "and no one should be forced to follow the actions of another and accept the actions of another... our schools should be free to teach. We don't believe in abortion, and we need to be free to teach that."

And in some cases, where businesses are asked to perform services for activities in which they don't approve, such as a Christian baker being asked to make a cake for a gay wedding, Wuerl said it's time to take a look at the word "discrimination."

"Is it being used in the same way for both instances?" he said. "I wonder if across the board we're not seeing different measuring rods being used when it comes to issues that we're facing here, for example. Why would it be discrimination for a Catholic university to say we're not going to allow a gay rights or an abortion rights group to have their program on our campus, and it not be discrimination for that group to insist that the Catholic school change its teaching?"

If the same measures are used, Wuerl said, he believes there will be a way to "recognize the dignity of everyone and at the same time recognize the freedom and the rights, especially religious liberty of everyone."

Also on Sunday's show, Wuerl spoke about the escalating incidents of violence against Christians in the Middle East and in Africa, where late last week the al Shabaab terror group targeted Christians for murder.

The cardinal said he believes it's fair to say Christianity is under attack.

"What I heard on the media was that those assassins went in and they separated the Christians from the Muslims and killed the Christians," he said. "This is something that the whole world should be shouting out about, the whole world should be rejecting this."

And he does believe, like Pope Francis, that it is morally allowable to stop an unjust aggressor.

"Everybody knows that you can defend yourself against an aggressor," Wuerl said. "All you have to do is try even with a child to smack the child. The child's hand is going to go up to protect itself. Why? It's instinctive in us to stay alive."

And with ISIS taking "intolerance and hatred and violence to a new institutional level," everyone has a right to defend themselves.

The Cardinal also discussed the pope's upcoming visit to the United States in September, saying that he believes the pontiff will deliver the message that "God loves all of us the way we are...and God asks us to love one another."

He believes the pope's high popularity ratings is "that we see in him not just the message, but how you do it. The way in which he lives, treats people, responds to people, says I think to many people says to me, he sounds and looks a lot like what Jesus would have sounded like."

And while the pope has come under fire by some, Wuerl believe he is calling on the church to look at its teachings and how the faith is followed.

"He keeps saying, and this is a beautiful part of his ministry, he keeps saying, go out, meet people where they are, and accompany them on their journey so that perhaps all of us could get a little closer to where we all need to be," Wuerl said. "And I think that's the beauty of his ministry. I also think that's the secret to why so many people find him so inviting, so welcoming. He's saying you can, you can do better. You don't have to start with being perfect."

Wuerl also delivered a short Easter message, saying to the audience: "We can do better. We can have a better world. We can build a better community. We, who walk with the risen Lord, know that. And the call to everyone else is let's never give up hope, that we can really have a better world."

On ABC's "This Week" Program, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who is arranging the pope's visit, gave a tour of some of the behind-the-scenes details of the pontiff's visit, explaining that the pope's altar will be set up near the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the steps made famous in the "Rocky" movies.

He said that he hopes to show the pope an "active, vibrant Catholic Church," and has even considered getting him one of his city's most famous delicacies: a cheesesteak sandwich.

Chaput said that he was in Denver when Pope John Paul II came, and that the visit was "extraordinarily transformative" and hopes Francis' visit to Philadelphia will bring a new "evangelical energy."

The pope is a reformer, said Chaput, who is calling on all to reform their personal lives.

And the archbishop's Easter message was very short: "God is triumphant."

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Different measuring rods could come into play when it comes to issues concerning discrimination and religious freedom laws, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of the Washington D.C. Diocese said Sunday. If we talk about discrimination, then we also have to talk about discriminating...
cardinal, wuerl, discrimination, catholic, church, gay
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2015-41-05
Sunday, 05 April 2015 02:41 PM
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