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Lopez Lectures on Catholics in Public Life


Catholic role in public life must be rooted firmly in the faith, said Lopez

Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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STEUBENVILLE, OH—"We're all struggling to answer God's call," said Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, in describing a Catholic's vocation in public life to a packed house at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor of National Review Online

Lopez entertained and informed the audience with a mixture of humor, anecdotes, and advice during her November 10 talk, "Faith, Journalism, and Politics."

She invited listeners to hear the call in the Liturgy of the Hours from the day of her talk to "walk in innocence," attentive to God's will for their lives. She asked, "Without humble servants walking in God's service, how will the world know his call?"

Lopez discussed the cultural turmoil so prevalent today. "Pope Paul VI warned us 41 years ago in Humanae Vitae that men would lose respect for women, that men would view women as mere objects for selfish enjoyment," she said. "Everything he predicted has now become reality. Culturally, it's hard to walk in innocence."

Lopez emphasized that the Catholic role in public life must be rooted firmly in the faith. She quoted Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., who said, "We should see ourselves as Catholic first in the way we identify ourselves."

Lopez continued, "Of course, it demands we study our Catholic faith. The teaching is not a set of clothes we tailor to our liking."

Drawing on her background with National Review—founded by the prominent Catholic, the late William F. Buckley Jr.—and as a syndicated columnist and regular writer for a variety of Catholic publications, Lopez said, "A journalist rooted in a patrimony of principles anchored in the Gospel will be very different.

"Pope Benedict suggested in Spe Salvi, his encyclical on hope, that someone who has hope lives differently," Lopez said. "Many of you are here for something different than you can get at most college campuses. This is not running from the world, but finding people who will help you be good, who will help you be holy.

"So many among us are not well-formed Catholics, and we need to be well-formed. That's why it's so important schools like Franciscan exist."

An award-winning opinion journalist and editor, Lopez is the editor of National Review Online. She is a frequent guest on radio and TV shows internationally. Lopez writes often on bioethics, religion, feminism, education, and politics and is a faithful Catholic who stands up for the culture of life in the rough-and-tumble world of Washington journalism and politics.

Her lecture was the latest presentation in the Franciscan University Distinguished Speaker Series, which features leaders who have distinguished themselves in service to Church and society.

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