FRIDAY
March 23, 2001
volume 12, no. 82

Bush Boosts Pope's Ideal of "Culture of Life"



    WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 23, 01 (CWNews.com) - President George W. Bush dedicated the new Pope John Paul II Cultural Center on Thursday, praising the Pope's call for a renewal of the "culture of life."

    Speaking of the Holy Father's grand contribution to humanity, Bush said: "The Pope reminds us that while freedom defines our nation, responsibility must define our lives. He challenges us to live up to our aspirations, to be a fair and just society where all are welcomed, all are valued, and all are protected. And he is never more eloquent than when he speaks for a culture of life."

    He added, "The culture of life is a welcoming culture, never excluding, never dividing, never despairing, and always affirming the goodness of life in all its seasons. In the culture of life we must make room for the stranger. We must comfort the sick. We must care for the aged. We must welcome the immigrant. We must teach our children to be gentle with one another. We must defend in love the innocent child waiting to be born."

    The crowd, including several US and foreign cardinals and bishops, burst to their feet in applause. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, a noted proponent of abortion, remained seated.

    Touring the center, which includes a multimedia exhibit, an academic think-tank, and displays of some of the Pope's possessions, Bush remarked, "Always, the Pope points us to the things that last and the love that saves. We thank God for this rare man, a servant of God and a hero of history." He added, "His is not the power of armies or technology or wealth. It is the unexpected power of a baby in a stable, of a man on a cross."

    Both Rome and Krakow, the Pope's hometown in Poland, were considered as sites for the center, but he selected Washington because he sees the city as "the crossroads of technology and the people," said Father G. Michael Bugarin, the center's director.

    "We will come to view this as our little Vatican in the United States," the Holy Father has said. "The Church has never done anything like this and we see it as a reflection of our faith." The Pope could visit the center sometime during its first year, Father Bugarin said.


Bush Present at Pope John Paul II Cultural Center with Anti-Abortion Message



    WASHINGTON D.C., 23 (NE) The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center was inaugurated yesterday in Washington, with a ceremony attended by President George Bush, who praised the effort of the Holy Father in favor of life and defense of human dignity. "We must defend in love the innocent child waiting to be born", said Bush during the ceremony, in a defense of the pope's pposition to abortion. Also present where Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, Papal delegate for the occasion, and Cardinal Adam Maida, Archbishop of Detroit and director of the cultural center.

    "The Pope reminds us that while freedom defines our nation, responsibility must define our lives", said President Bush during his address at the opening ceremony. "He challenges us to live up to our aspirations, to be a fair and just society where all are welcomed, all are valued, and all are protected. And he is never more eloquent than when he speaks for a culture of life. The culture of life is a welcoming culture, never excluding, never dividing, never despairing and always affirming the goodness of life in all its seasons."

    "In the culture of life", he continued, "we must make room for the stranger. We must comfort the sick. We must care for the aged. We must welcome the immigrant. We must teach our children to be gentle with one another. We must defend in love the innocent child waiting to be born." "This place stands for the dignity of the human person, the value of every life and the splendor of truth. And, above all, it stands, in the Pope's words, for the "joy of faith in a troubled world," he added.

    The center, where visitors will be able to explore Catholic culture, history and theology, is in northeast Washington, adjacent to Catholic University and down the street from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It houses an exhibit on John Paul's life, including a pair of his skis, a fountain pen, a wristwatch, some of his vestments and books. A 50-minute video in a large theater summarizes his importance in world affairs. Among other things, visitors can enter an immense rotunda showcasing a nearly 2,000-year-old stone that Vatican curators say was excavated from the tomb of St. Peter in Rome.


Bush Dedicates Papal Museum

By Sandra Sobieraj Associated Press Writer


    WASHINGTON March 22, 2001 - (AP) - Surrounded by delighted Roman Catholic cardinals, President Bush affirmed his opposition to abortion as he presided over Thursday's ribbon-cutting at a museum named for Pope John Paul II.

    Bush, a Methodist, praised the Pope as ``never more eloquent than when he speaks for a culture of life.''

    ``We must defend in love the innocent child waiting to be born,'' the president said, winning a standing ovation from more than 1,000 Catholics and Church officials at the dedication of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center on the campus of the Catholic University of America.

    In the second row, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and his niece Caroline Kennedy - both supporters of abortion rights - their spouses and her three young children remained seated and did not clap.

    Her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, created the center's high-tech exhibits.

    Bush, who has had his own tensions with the Catholic Church, poured on the charm and was rewarded with hearty applause and cheers.

    ``Thank you for your smile. What a great smile,'' Bush said enthusiastically to Cardinal Adam Maida, director of the multimedia center where visitors can explore Catholic culture, history and theology.

    The president fished his reading glasses from his pocket to admire the 80-year-old Pope's signature on a letter read by his personal representative to the ceremony, Cardinal Edmund Szoka.

    ``Always, the pope points us to the things that last and the love that saves. We thank God for this rare man, a servant of God and a hero of history,'' Bush said.

    ``His is not the power of armies or technology or wealth. It is the unexpected power of a Baby in a stable, of a Man on a cross.''

    As a presidential candidate last year, Bush offended many Catholics by making a campaign stop at Bob Jones University, a South Carolina school whose leader called the Roman Catholic Church a ``satanic cult'' on the school's Web site. In the election, the Catholic vote was fairly evenly split between Bush and the Democratic candidate, Al Gore.

    Ever since, Bush has assiduously courted Catholic support - both for him and for his proposal to let religious groups participate in government social-service grant programs - by meeting with local bishops when he travels outside Washington and by dining at the Washington home of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

    ``I may not be a parishioner,'' Bush told McCarrick on Thursday, ``but I'm proud to live in your archdiocese.''

    Wednesday night, Bush entertained about 60 Catholic leaders in the East Room of the White House.

    Maida thanked Bush ``for this tribute you show our Holy Father and our Church.''


March 23, 2001
volume 12, no. 82
USA News
www.DailyCatholic.org
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