Cardinal Arinze’s speech at Georgetown

Cardinal Arinze’s speech at Georgetown

Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Nigerian prelate who heads the Congregation for Divine Worship, ruffled feathers at Georgetown University the other day with a commencement address that—horrors!—promoted Church teaching on family life and morality. If you want to know what the fuss was all about, here is the address in full. It is quite good (and relatively short.)

Update: An emailer tells me that Cardinal Arinze said back in February that he knew what a stink his speech would raise at Georgetown. Double bravo to a bishop willing to do what is right even knowing it would make him unpopular and a lightning rod for controversy. It certainly doesn’t help his oft-touted (by media pundits such as myself) chances of becoming Pope at the next election or endearing him to his American or European brethren.

Strange anecdote: I once met Cardinal Arinze briefly, when I was a student at Franciscan University. My neighbors were a nice couple from Nigeria, teaching and studying at the school. It turns out the cardinal is the husband’s cousin and when he was in town, we were invited to come by and meet him. I was struck by the idea that here was potentially the next Bishop of Rome (and maybe the first African pope in over 1,000 years) and I was shaking his hand as he sat on my neighbor’s porch.