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Bishop Speaks
August 2, 2007 Edition

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Authentic Catholic voice: Must be heard
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Bishops' Schedules:
Bishop Robert C. Morlino

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007
11:00 a.m. -- Preside and Preach at Stational Mass, St. Patrick Church, Madison

Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007
11:00 a.m. -- Preside and Preach at Stational Mass, St. Patrick Church, Madison

Bishop George O. Wirz

Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007
12:00 noon -- Preside and Preach at Celebration of the Eucharist, Bishop O'Connor Center, Madison

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007
12:00 noon -- Preside and Preach at Celebration of the Eucharist, Bishop O'Connor Center, Madison

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Robert C. Morlino this week.

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Authentic Catholic voice: Must be heard

FRONT ROYAL, Va. -- It is not only a right, but a responsibility for Catholics to share Church teachings in the public square, said Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino to an audience of 350 at a conference on marriage and family held at Christendom College in Front Royal recently.

In an age where secularism is increasingly saturating popular culture and politics, it is necessary for the authentic Catholic voice to be heard, he said.

"We have to defend marriage against those in our government who want to force the religion of secularism on us," Bishop Morlino said. He said the foundation of secularism is the abandonment of objective truth, and objective truth is not only known by revelation, but also by reason.

In the name of separation of church and state, many politicians want to "force that secularism on us," he said. In order to combat the ideology one must use the "weapon" of natural law. Aside from being disingenuous and contradictory because it allows one to make up their own truths as they find convenient, secularism, Bishop Morlino said, lacks the sense of sacredness of life.

'Not be silenced'

The bishop urged his audience to speak out in public forums and "claim our right to exercise our citizenship as Catholic people. Our voices should not be silenced."

Although "we cannot legislate our faith," Bishop Morlino reminded his audience that Catholics have a right and responsibility to demand that elected officials be responsible and respect the dignity of every human person.

Last year Bishop Morlino came under fire for vocally supporting a referendum to ban same-sex marriage. The definition of marriage flows from the nature of the human person, he said. Reason alone shows that marriage is a one-flesh union between a man and a woman. People are not required "to be religious in order to understand that," he said.

The bishop encouraged his audience to have the energy and courage to speak out "no matter how tough it gets." He said, "In the end there is victory. People who know there is victory at the end can never end up losers."

Other conference speakers included Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Father Benedict Groeschel, Mary Stanford, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. The conference also included Mass celebrated by retired Bishop Thomas Welsh of Allentown and founding bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, and a presentation by Timothy O'Donnell, president of Christendom.

Henrietta Gomes writes for the Catholic Herald of Arlington, Va., and can be reached at hgomes@catholicherald.com

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