Washington D.C., Mar 31, 2017 / 18:27 pm
Pope Francis’ representative to the U.S. said that Catholics must be “be the soul of this country” in a panel discussion this week.
“We as Catholics – as Christians, and we are in the majority of this country – we should be the soul of this country,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, insisted at a panel discussion at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
“This is what the Pope says,” he continued, adding later that “the Church is, again, the soul of the world.”
The nuncio spoke at a Monday panel discussion on Pope Francis’ influence four years into his pontificate. John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown, moderated the discussion and began with a one-on-one conversation with the nuncio.
Later, other panel members joined – Kim Daniels, a member of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications and a founder of Catholic Voices USA; Ken Hackett, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See from 2013-17; and Maria Teresa Gaston, managing director of the Foundations of Christian Leadership Program at Duke Divinity School.
The conversation ranged from Pope Francis’ priorities for the Church to current affairs, including a tumultuous 2016 presidential election that ended in November.
“I think pro-life issues are central to our politics, and they should be, care for the voiceless and vulnerable, and particularly the unborn,” Kim Daniels commented on the recent election, which she said exposed a “crisis of solidarity” in the country.
“I think Catholics in general were looking for solidarity,” she said. “And I think that it’s a misplaced understanding of solidarity to say that it is ‘us against them’,” she added. “I think the Catholic understanding of solidarity is one that includes everybody.”