Speaker: Catholic citizenship ‘rooted in love’

Staff Writer

The Center of Leadership sponsored a talk titled “Bruised, Hurting, and Dirty: Catholic Citizenship in the 21st Century” on Feb. 10.

Stephen P. White, a representative from The Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C., was the keynote speaker.

He said, “The church is not confined to a socioeconomic level but to the bruised, hurting and dirty. This is the church which Christ built for us. We are called to love and be vulnerable, just as Christ was vulnerable on the cross,”

The title of the talk, directly quoted from Pope Francis, reflects the people’s yearning for something deeper, White said.

“Material needs can be met, but there is something deeper that we long for,” said White. “Faith, love, hope and charity can lead us to a greater cause: Christ’s mission.”

White focused on Catholic social teaching, American principles and the strengths of specific evangelization tools utilizing quotes from Pope Francis and Blessed John Paul the Great.

Further, he focused on three specific tiers: the Culture of Death, Relativism and the Culture of Waste.

While White discussed the greatest problems Catholics face in the culture. He also touched on evangelization tools, which are least helpful to a Catholic, he said.  White suggested that although arguments supporting the natural law, an active engagement in politics, and ecclesiastical life are amazing gifts to society – and great tools in evangelization – love is the best and most comprehensible explanation in apologetics.

“A tool which never dulls is the logic of love,” said White. “Love is undiminished by skepticism. … Experiencing love over a long time will even allow the most hardened of love to know God.”

White’s audience received his talk with much interest.

Student Mason Fiascone said, “It offered a great a perspective on how to live out a political life. I really enjoyed how he pointed towards love has ‘the’ tool and his personal stories that really stuck to me.”

David Schmiesing, vice president of Student Life, was very happy with the presentation. “I think this challenge of how we are called to be Christians in the world, and how we maintain hope is a very important question. Mr. White was realistic and pinpointed the root of the problem.”

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