tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 22, 2015 3:00pm-3:46pm EDT
pope, our pope, is doing a great job. i find it is not unusual to hear this type of response from jewish -- iristian, have a very dear jewish rabbi friend who reminded me one day that i need to be very careful that i am taking good care of our pope. [laughter] has this ability to reach across all kinds of lines and touch people on something that is fundamental, absolutely basic, and that is our humanity and our desire to live together in harmony, in another'specting one faith convictions, one another's identity. in an, i find particularly
strong among young adults -- an impact i find particularly strong among young adults, a demographic that is usually identified as having drifted away from or not particularly interested in faith issues. yet, i am finding the largest who are showing an interest once again in the life of the church, precisely that demographic of young adults . i will give you a couple examples. when i look at our campus ministry program in campuses around the washington metropolitan area, part of the archdiocese, the number of young people at those meetings has increased dramatically. .hey have very good questions one of the things i find so
particularly encouraging about all of this is this is a generation that really is thinking. they are looking and searching. they do not come with baggage. they do not come with a lot of negativity. they come simply looking, and they are saying to me, you know, this pope is for real. i think that is their way of saying what you and i would probably highlight as authenticity. they are seeing in him, they are finding him him something .xtremely authentic, real they would say he walks the walk . i think we would say that he decently reflects in a credible way in his life the message that he announces in his words and
that is a beautiful thing. some of our young people -- we agoed a seminary four years this month -- four years ago. this month is the beginning of its fifth year. that seminary is filled with college aged and post college aged young man. when i asked them about their oppression of the holy father, it is very much along those same lines. one of the young men said to me, and he lookse like, meaning the way he acts, like the way i would envision sounding and acting. somehow that is his ability, pope francis' ability to cut across all types of stereotypes and all types of baggage, all
lenses and actually a way that he is seen as real, as credible, as authentic. greatm going to be, with trepidation, exercising my role with timekeeper and say you have done about 10 minutes to open. if you can summarize at the end, because i have a lot of folks ready -- ready to dorl: that. i will conclude that we do have to leave this open. that is part of the reason why we are here. what weto recognize and ihe hopes to achieve, am not going to try to answer that now because that might be one of the questions that comes up, but the expectation of the
visit he is about to make. having said that, i will follow in the wise and sage direction of the chair. and weing to conclude throw this up into questions, correct? >> corrected i will do the ceremonial softball question. then we will go to my colleague .nd work around i will introduce them when they come up. livesrnalists, our change, sometimes dramatically, when our news outlook gets a new top editor. i wonder how a new hope with new views changes the life of a cardinal. cardinal wuerl: well, in this case, it has changed somewhat dramatically, because one of the things that pope francis is trying to do is engage what we
would call residential bishops, bishops who have diocese, to engage them in the work of the roman curia. the only when you -- the only way you can do that is go and be present in meetings. reald that one of the very impacts he has had on my life is a presence at meetings in rome where the holy father is trying to hear the voice of the church around the world and not just the voice of the curia. .ut there is another element i think he has made life a little easier, because he is the one who seems to be engaging the we areand so when
heited into a discussion, already has a friendly disposition with the message. asmany people find francis, i said earlier, credible, inviting, so our work is a little easier now. it is someone who is already disposed to hear that message. those would be two areas that i would find have impacted me very greatly. >> mark shields. mark: your minutes, the catholic church of the united states and universally has had a very position on immigration. given the refugee crisis in the world right now, if the united states were to accept any refugees, especially giving the united states' role in the unrest in the middle east, do you look for the church to provide some leadership and
calling upon the united states to meet its responsibility, while germany and northern european countries have opened the doors and their hearts to these poor beleaguered souls? cardinal wuerl: thank you for raising that issue. as you know, the voice of the church in the united states is usually articulated on matters that touch public policy through our conference of bishops. the united states conference of voiceic bishops has a that we utilize to address public policy issues. and for years, we have been addressing the need for some more equitable and humane ways to deal with the issue of migrants, immigrants. in hugedisplaced people numbers because of the violence because of what we are experiencing. most of these people are coming
from one particular part of the world, coming from the middle east, where the violence particularly directed into minorities, it is her rent this -- it is horrendous. i find it shocking that there is so much violence about that, that we are seeing the slaughter of people, and there is not that type of outcry that one would expect from parliaments and congresses and talk shows and editorials and social media. that is one element, and i believe silence is a big factor in atrocities. you have atrocities because there are people who will commit them, and then there are those who will remain silent while they are going on. within history recently of this
atrocity that has caused waves of people, people that are drowning in the mediterranean, fleeing a situation that threatens their very life. people that are now clogged on a greek island, people trying to make their way through train stations to get out of -- that is the result of what is happening in the land where they are, and there does not seem to worldwidehat commitment to do something about that. and it could mean all of us finding a much more absorbent view and much more absorbent north america to help receive people who are fleeing for their
lives. so part of the issue, i believe, is the church has spoken out over and over again for decades on the humane treatment of people, particularly those who come to our country, because we all started that way. we all came here from somewhere else. we are the only country in the world that really was founded by victims, not the victors. so we should be aware and alert to the needs of people struggling to share in all the promise that makes us a great country. your eminence, i am interested in what wounds remain from the vatican's clash with american nuns and the deeper
challenges for the american church as a whole. cardinal wuerl: i am not sure there are residual, to use your word, wounds. happening wasas -- ryan to get different perspectives on the same issue -- trying to get different perspectives on the same issue. one of the things that has emerged from all of this, and i think it is because pope francis has been strongly supportive of the idea that there is much more to be gained by all of the parties involved listening to each other. where thereo see might be differences in perspective. that thetanding is sisters made it very clear they ,ad no doctrine or difficulties
and the congregation, i understand, at the conclusion of this study said that the issues .oday are essentially resolved it is a question of listening and hearing. call.ly wilkins from roll emily: i feel the big news from the vatican is the pope's announcement that priests will begin to forgive abortions and people who have had them. one of the big stories in congress right now is the discussion about planned parenthood and the videos that have come out where it appears that health officials have admitted to selling fetal tissue. is this a priority for the vatican to address? is this something that the pope wants to address? cardinal wuerl: the long, long standing position of the catholic church, going back all the way to the second century,
articulated well, is that the destruction of innocent life in the womb is wrong. it is innocent human life. heinous whenmore use is made of the remains of a child that has been destroyed in the womb. the church's position is clear in will not change. human life is the great gift of god here at we have all received so many gifts, but the fundamental gift is the gift of life itself. rightlly do not have the to determine who lives and who dies when we're dealing with innocent human life. underlinedhas been
as underlined recently that even in the case when someone is not innocent, for example, the death penalty, the bias should be in avor of life, because it is fundamental gift. i think our holy father speaks to that. one of the things i found so attractive about the encyclical , at theis is he says very heart of all of creation is the only person who can start to recognize the dignity and value of human worth is the person. now we all have to recognize that human person has a home, that our common home is this earth, and we need to care for this earth. thathe goes on to say development, whatever development is going to take place, has to take place with the awareness that the human
being needs to be the center of itt development, and develop has to be sustainable and done in a way that the next generation and the generation after that will be able to enjoy the fruit of this. to drag as and to the earthly realm of logistics. how hard is the church going to work to get catholics to washington, d.c., for the pope's visit. people break out in cold sweats when you tell them they're going to bring in buses. speaker boehner said he had invited three popes and this was the first one to agree to visit congress, never mind speak to it. why have hopes traditionally shunned the legislative branch of the united states? cardinal wuerl: let me start with the beginning of that multifaceted question. [laughter] whether -- what are we doing by way of inviting people and preparing to receive people?
you should remember, the holy father is coming to the united states -- he is going to visit three cities. philadelphia is the place where thes going to be engaging huge crowd. we were told in preparation for the visit that the idea of doing masses was not really what the holy father was looking for when he visited washington or new york. that is going to take place in philadelphia, because they have been preparing for years for this world meeting. that has not stopped people from asking. this is part of the challenge we are facing. i do not have to encourage anybody to come to this city and to come to these papal events. i found that i have far more dear friends than i ever
realized i had. and for every seat we had -- remember, we only had 25,000 seats at that mass. for every seat we have, i would say we have had 10 requests. so the balancing act, the equitable distribution of those seats, so that representation of everybody is there. that is the first challenge. you are right. those that have the responsibility of security, ,raffic, crowd control, safety headquarters, i think they are working wonderfully well to try to face the reality that when this pope comes, there are going to be people everywhere who want
to see him. our problem is simply the limitation of space. that is a good problem to have. [indiscernible] i do not know: the history of other requests. i do know that this holy father seems to be comfortable taking any forum, any podium, any platform, any pulpit, and he does not seem to be molded by the audience. he takes his message and presents it in the hope that that audience will hear his message. so i think when he speaks to congress, he will bring a ,essage, a spiritual message and i am pleased that he feels that comfortable speaking to any group, not just a religious
forum. >> i have a quick follow up. as you know, in new york, they recently announced plans to have the pope drive-through central onk, and people can see him either side. is there any such plan underway in washington? cardinal wuerl: we hope when he is out of the basilica, the national shrine a catholic university, for the canonization mass, that there will be some wheref a route there people will actually be able to see him. we are also hoping that there will be some time when he is coming or going from the white house, that there will be an opportunity for people to see him. that has not been altogether finalized yet. part of it is the concerns of security that you do not an ounce too far in advance.
-- that you do not announce to far in advance to one thing about central park, that area will be closed off long in advance. venue that they have that we really do not have quite in the format. call from the "washington examiner." religious liberties are a hot topic in the church with the same-sex marriage decision. it was suggested that the government might ask all religious institutions to conform to the law. if that happened, what with have to begin in up, and how would it be addressed? cardinal wuerl: the issue of religious liberty, as it you know, predates that particular issue and goes back basically to the hhs mandate. -- objection or merely was
primarily was the decision of the government to decide for us what constitutes religious faith and practice and what constitutes religious work that is not part of our faith and practice. we went into court precisely because we said we feel -- the gospel mandate, feed the hungry, give the thirsty, is as much as the mandate that you shall not kill. so that is our argument right now, that we really do not think government should be telling us how we should practice our own faith. historically in our country, the practice of the faith has been a public thing. you think of the great institutions -- health care, social service, charities. you think of all of these areas lives in thisur
country. these are religious institutions that established the first hospitals, the first social service outreach, the first charities. and we are saying that that is as a valid today for us as it was all this centuries ago when we were just getting started. so i think part of the concern is going to be, and why the bishops of our country have spoken out, religious freedom should not be determined for us by somebody else any more than people in the media would want freedom of speech determined by somebody else. object tolegitimately those who would say that these are the things that you can address and these are the things that you cannot address because they do not come under the realm of freedom of speech. it is the same constitutional guarantee for religious liberty. we are saying, do not say to us you cannot be religious in this area.
you can only be religious in your sanctuaries. that is part of the challenge, but isn't that something we have worked on and worked through from the beginning and our country? finding the balance between good public order, the law of the land, and how we live with it. >> we're going to mike dorning from bloomberg. mike: we write primarily about public policy. i was interested, particularly given that the pope is coming to washington tomorrow, i would think issues of public policy would be addressed. one would expect the pope to address issues of public policy. he has not shied away from it before. how much has been communicated, signaled, or through your expertise, have you picked up on what he will say regarding public policy matters in the
united states? one area in particular, which a layperson like me might expect like you might expect him to say something on would be climate change, given the letter in june and the summit -- do you have any sense about what and how much he will say about climate change or other issues he has been speaking about, such as treatment of the poor and migrants in the u.s.? cardinal wuerl: thank you for that question, because it allows for a response that concludes a very important distinction. i am very much aware that public and anis a big part interest of everybody around this table. i think what our father will be doing is addressing issues --
public policy is one way of responding to issues. but another way to address issues is to put them in a spiritual and pastoral dimension , to remind us that these are real, valid interests and that they require a response and that there has to be a way to do it. as you point out, there has to be a way to deal with issues of environment, with issues of human freedom, with issues of life and the flourishing of human life. but the government has to come withth policies, come up ways of addressing that, particularly in a society where the voices of all will be heard, and it is up to the pope to
remind us that you need to address these and there are parameters for addressing those issues. he keeps reminding us that the human person is the center of whatever decision you make concerning any public policy. and at the flourishing of the toan person, from conception natural death, the flourishing of the person is at the heart of our appreciation of human life and development. also, he is saying, i believe -- i do not know what he is going to say, but i think he is going realll onto our own very and, i think, positive history. this country is made up of so many groups and so many institutions and so many expressions of community, whether it is religious, community service, fraternities,
made up ofther it is gatherings of people who work together to solve a problem in their local community. multilayered. we're not monolithic. we're not one gray state in which decisions are made and carried out by a system of government. there are responses to human problems, which reflect the complexity and plurality of the makeup of our country. i think it is a something that the holy father should be speaking out of or aware of this history of hours, being free to take on the challenge of responding to human problems. -- rom "usa today" >> going back to the subject of abortion, there seems to be a lot of confusion, even among the
faithful, about what it means. can you expand what the norm has been? in terms of absolution in cases of abortion -- how will that change this coming advents? can you talk about that in the context of pope francis' papacy where he seems to be presenting a more open, merciful, forgiving church in areas of abortion, , the hothomosexuality button topics, while still maintaining fun little catholic doctrine on those issues? cardinal wuerl: i believe that the secret to this holy father's , but at, he does adopt same time, he proclaims the fullness of the gospel. there is no change in catholic teaching on the value of work and sacredness of life, and
there is certainly no change that that life cannot be taken, even when it is in the womb. what our holy father is saying, all that said, how do we deal now with someone who has had an abortion? and isn't the response a response of love, compassion, care? he keeps reminding us mercy. who can say, i -- i don't need -- i'm -- i'm perfect? maybe mother theresa could have, but there are a few others who could say that. in fact, when the pope was asked early on to identify himself, he said, i'm a sinner. i'm a sinner who has been embraced by the love of god, and i think that's what he's trying to say.
this year of mercy is a time when all of us should be looking at one another with compassion and forgiveness, mindful of god's mercy, but that mercy is also shared through us. we pray to be forgiven as we forgive. when it comes to abortion, it has been the practice of the church that given the particular violence of this action, the destruction of live, they are required for absolution to remind us of all serious that is, they were required special permission. the holy father is saying every priest across the world, during this time of mercy, should have that faculty. that power to do that without
checking it for the bishop. >> so, in the past, it has had to come to you? announcer: their you saw wuerl.l donald for the arrival for the first time in this pope's life in the united states, scheduled to touch down in the half-hour or so. the pope being greeted this afternoon by the president and other dignitaries on his arrival from cuba, along with the president, the vice president, and their wives during the three-city visit. he will meet with president obama, address congress, speak at the united nations, and take in a conference on family's income of the few.
a new poll conducted last week found 62% of catholics have a favorable view of francis, and nearly eight in 10 approved of the direction he's taking the church. this is live from joint base andrews on an overcast day in the 70's in the washington, d.c., area. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]