Home » Opinion »  George Weigel »  Reaffirming Catholic identity

Reaffirming Catholic identity


Help us expand our reach! Please share this article

Throughout his recently completed three-year term as president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, gently but firmly led his brother bishops through a reflection on their duties as defenders of the integrity of the Catholic "brand." A deeper commitment on the bishops' part to being the stewards of Catholic identity in their dioceses was, one may speculate, one factor in the election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York -- a robust defender of Catholic truth -- as Cardinal George's successor in the president's chair at the USCCB. Not everything that is labeled "Catholic" warrants that label, the bishops have come to understand; and if anyone is to do something about that, the bishops are going to have to be the principal agents of change.

The debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions of higher education has been underway for decades, and may well take some interesting turns in the years ahead. At the moment, however, the hottest of hot buttons on this front involve health care institutions that call themselves "Catholic" but which have acquiesced to practices approved by an increasingly aggressive secular culture -- and to the lure of government dollars. On that new front in the campaign to reaffirm Catholic identity, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has become an important leader.

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article

Submit a Letter to the Editor