.- Speaking this morning at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, President George Bush thanked Catholics for the contributions they had made to American society—especially in the defense of its most vulnerable members. “Catholics”, he said, “have made sacrifices throughout American history because they understand that freedom is a divine gift that carries with it serious responsibilities.”
“Among the greatest of these responsibilities”, the president added, “is protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.”
He recalled that this defense of human life “was the message that Pope John Paul II proclaimed so tirelessly throughout his own life, and it explains the remarkable outpouring of love for His Holiness at the funeral mass that Laura and I were privileged to attend in Rome.”
The president encouraged attendees to continue along the path of morality on which, the United States was founded and called on faithful to help build a culture of life “where the strong protect the weak.”
The second annual breakfast, which featured Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez, drew an estimated 2,000 participants from around the country.
“This morning”, president Bush told the crowd, “we first thank God for the shared blessings of American liberty. Catholics have always known that a society built on respect for the religious beliefs of others would be a land where they could achieve and prosper.”