Cardinal reacts to Planned Parenthood Georgetown talk

A US cardinal has celebrated a Mass for Life near Jesuit Georgetown University after the institution hosted a lecture from an abortion provider.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrated Mass at Epiphany Church in Washington, a few blocks from Georgetown.

This was one day after the university hosted a lecture by Cecile Richards, the CEO of Planned Parenthood.

Ms Richards was invited to speak university by the Lecture Fund, a student organisation.

Previous lectures have been given by President Barack Obama, PayPal cofounder Peter Theil, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Ms Richards reportedly received a standing ovation after her lecture.

Her speech focused on expanding access to abortion and artificial contraception, saying that this is necessary for the advancement of gender and racial equality.

She also referenced past civil rights struggles in her  April 20 speech and also emphasised the idea that women need contraception to be successful.

At the Mass for Life, attended by about 100 students and Georgetown alumni, Cardinal Wuerl said: “Do not let anyone reduce for you the greatness of the American dream to the level of free contraceptives.”

The cardinal also denounced the “political correctness movement” and the twisting of the meaning of words like “choice”.

“The word ‘choice’ is a smokescreen behind which those killing unborn children take refuge. Every chance you get, blow that smoke away,” Cardinal Wuerl told the students.

“But the Word of God comes to us to say, ‘do not conform yourself to this age’,” the cardinal added.

Priests who minister to several college campuses in Washington archdiocese concelebrated the Mass with Cardinal Wuerl.

A Georgetown statement said the university is committed to “the free exchange of ideas, even when those ideas may be difficult, controversial or objectionable to some”.

The university said that it does not endorse every speaker and some speakers represent views that are contrary to its “Catholic and Jesuit identity”.

Georgetown is the oldest Catholic higher education institution in the US.


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