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Every Christian has a calling, cardinal tells BC students


Cardinal O’Malley speaks with BC students Joseph Al-Shanniek, Eileen Puzo and Colin Laughlin after a talk organized by the college’s Church in the 21st Century Center. Pilot photo/Christine Williams

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CHESTNUT HILL -- Many view the Catholic Church as the church of “no,” Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley told a group of 50 Boston College students Jan. 30.

The cardinal’s talk was sponsored by BC’s Church in the 21st Century Center, which began as a program responding to the sexual abuse crisis and became a permanent center in 2005.

Increasing secularization around the world and a culture addicted to entertainment have caused people to perceive the Church as prohibitive. They see the Church as an institution with too many rules, including the weekly Mass requirement, the cardinal said.

“Many people are shocked, disturbed, when the Catholic Church doesn’t hesitate to proclaim that the Ten Commandments are the path that God has given us to lead a fulfilling human life,” he said. “Indeed the Church’s positions are often challenging, but they are like the restrictions of parents who love their children and want what is best for them.”

The small group of students, selected from various campus organizations, gathered in BC’s Gasson Hall to hear the cardinal. Following the cardinal’s remarks he fielded questions from the students on topics ranging from relations with the Orthodox Church to AIDS in Africa.

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