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Archbishop Naumann and Our Religious Liberty: Top Quotes

NaumannEvery year, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the diocese of Kansas City, Kan., comes to Benedictine College to address the graduating Theology and Philosophy majors in an informal, fireside chat. This year, Archbishop Naumann took the annual opportunity to talk about a pressing issue now facing the public as well as new grads: religious liberty.

From his talk and the Q&A with students that followed, here are the top eight quotes from the evening.

1.  “People are asleep to what’s going on in our country regarding religious liberty and the ramifications of it.”

2.  “We have the freedom to worship. In the U.S., this means something special. It means we have the ability to live our faith in every dimension of our lives. We cannot let that right diminish or be contracted into something less.”

3.  “Scalia’s death has made [the situation with the Little Sisters of the Poor] more precarious. Catholics should be very interested in his replacement appointment, especially since the Court has been inserting itself into political areas beyond the judiciary and now determines public policy rather than simply determining whether a case ruling upholds the Constitution or not, as it was created to do.”

4.  “Eventually, the issues now facing the Little Sisters of the Poor will directlyMemorareMonday affect the diocese of Kansas City, Kan. This is creating a potentially perilous situation – to avoid supporting abortifacients and contraception, Catholics may stop offering insurance at all, which the government may want – it would force all employees onto the national insurance.”

5.  “The Church teaches that the dignity of every person is not in question. Behavior is. And by definition, same-sex relations are about activity and behavior.”

6.  “We’re all disordered, and no, God doesn’t want us this way.”

7.  “The underlying cultural assumption is that you cannot be happy if you’re not sexually active. Of course, we know that isn’t true.”

8.  “We love, we pray, we don’t despair. Culture is changed one person at a time. John Paul II said we must engage the culture. We will do that, and we will turn the culture one person at a time.”

The Gregorian Institute is Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).

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Eileen Wittig

Eileen Wittig is Program Coordinator for the Gregorian Institute. A 2015 graduate of Benedictine College, she assisted the Center for International Education before joining The Gregorian. She wrote for C-FAM's International Youth Coalition and was a representative at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. Born in Germany, Eileen lived in New Hampshire and Wisconsin before settling in the Kansas City area.