Notable Quotables: 2011

As 2012 gets under way, the people and topics in last year’s Catholic news.

(photo: Shutterstock)

“The idea of abortions being paid for by federal funds does not play well with the American people.”

— Mary Spaulding Balch, the National Right to Life Committee’s state legislation coordinator, on government-funded abortion.

“We are going through a crisis of Catholic identity both in terms of individuals who claim to be Catholic, but neither talking nor acting in accordance with Church teachings, and in terms of institutions such as universities and health-care organizations.”

— Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, following his decision that St. Joseph’s Hospital can no longer be considered Catholic.

“Being sure that the Church’s voice is heard clearly and accurately has always been the core of EWTN’s mission. Continuing the tradition of the Register gives us another means to carry out our mission of service to the Church.”

— Michael Warsaw, the network’s president and chief executive officer, about the sale of the Register to EWTN.

“He encouraged me in my work and in my career. He modeled for me what it means to be a lawyer and a Christian. He was, really, a modern-day St. Thomas More.”

— Matthew Bowman, former law clerk of Judge John Roll, remembering his former boss who died Jan. 8 in the Tucson tragedy.

“Solid marriages and families are essential to a thriving society.” — Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, a champion for God’s definition of marriage.

“The important series of articles on the theology of the body in these pages is an effort to show the pastoral effectiveness that is within the Holy Father’s rich catechesis. The theology of the body is not over our heads. It is deep in our hearts.”

— Cardinal Justin Rigali introduces “Theology of the Body: A Register Symposium.”

“We kept saying to each other, ‘It’ll be all right; it’ll be all right,’” said Kazuki Kikuchi, with emotion in her voice, about living through the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

“I felt that, with Josemaria’s life, what I was looking at was a series of choices. And if you imagine those like beads on a necklace, you could say that after many choices have been made, this man was a saint. But it was each individual act that counts.”

— Filmmaker Roland Joffé in an interview about There Be Dragons.

“By his teaching and his manner of life, he made the Christian proposal interesting and compelling in a world that imagined it had outgrown the ‘need’ for religious faith.”

— Papal biographer George Weigel on the Christian witness of John Paul II.

“We are a believing society. The overwhelming majority of Americans have a personal faith in God. Religion is an important part of our life, but it’s less and less seen as an integral part of our public life. There’s a push to relegate religious faith to the private realm alone.”

— Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George

“The thing I am most happy that I did was pray hard for what God wanted.”

— Father Michael Scanlan on his long legacy at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

“As we began to think about certain matters, our hearts began to melt, and we moved towards Rome.”

— Father Mark Lewis, rector of a church that was formerly St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Bladensburg, Md.

“As the Pope’s representative here, Archbishop Sambi put a face on that presence that was happy, cheerful and welcoming. We saw that same warm spirit during the Pope’s visit, and after the Holy Father’s departure, his caring presence remained in the person of Archbishop Sambi.”

— Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, about the late U.S. papal nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

“Jesus Christ shows you the way and the aim of real happiness. Not only to you, but also to your fellow friends. … Jesus is asking you to put down roots in the hearts of young people of the third millennium.”

— Cardinal Antonio Ruoco speaks to youth in his homily at the opening Mass of World Youth Day on Aug. 16.

“It was a time of great tragedy, but also of great heroes. New York and the world saw examples of self-sacrifice that I don’t think have ever been matched in our time. … We saw heroism and self-sacrifice — expressions of great holiness.”

— Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York, about 9/11 tragedy, 10 years later.

“This visit has demonstrated that the Christian belief is something which relates to today’s society, and this was evident in some of the speeches of the Holy Father, in the people he met, and overall in the emotional presence of the flock.”

— Jesuit Father Hans Langendorfer, chief coordinator of the Pope’s visit to Germany.

“What is happening in our culture is that organized religion is being marginalized. … We have to struggle. The Church and its institutions are mediating structures between the power of the state and the individual. Religious freedom is vital to our culture.”

— Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., the head of the new bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

“We look to the state not to impose religion, but to guarantee religious freedom and to promote harmony among followers of different religions.”

— Bishop William Lori in his testimony before Congress.

“Our world would often have us believe that culture is light years ahead of a languishing, moribund Church. But, of course, we realize the opposite case: The Church invites the world to a fresh, original place, not a musty or outdated one. It is always a risk for the world to hear the Church, for she dares the world to ‘cast out to the deep.’”

— Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the bishops’ conference, in his opening address at USCCB fall meeting.

John Paul II 
“helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel.”

— Pope Benedict XVI at beatification Mass for 
John Paul II.

We “prepare our hearts and our lives for the coming of Emmanuel, God-with-us.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in an Advent Angelus address

“Christ is risen; he is alive, and he walks with us. For this reason we sing and we journey on, faithfully carrying out our task in this world with our gaze fixed on heaven.”

— Pope Benedict XVI’s 
Easter message.

“The ‘door of faith’ is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace.”

— Pope Benedict in declaring a ‘Year of Faith’ for 2012

“If a bishop experiences the fatherhood within his own vocation and office, he will not only demand what Christ calls from all of us, but live that call himself.”

— Archbishop Charles Chaput on the need for a bishop to take a firm stand against abuse for the good of his flock.

“Philadelphia is one of America’s truly great cities, rich in history and achievement, with an extraordinary community of Catholic faith that goes back to saints like John Neumann and Katharine Drexel. I don’t know why the Holy Father sent me here, but I do trust his heart, and I do believe in his judgment.”

— Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver about his appointment as the new archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope Benedict on July 19.

“Mary didn’t expect the Annunciation. She didn’t expect to be mother of the Redeemer. And yet her act of obedience changed the course of history and led to a new covenant of love and fruitfulness. I have no illusions of being worthy of this ministry, but I do trust in the wisdom of the Holy Father. So I’m deeply grateful for his confidence and the privilege of serving this Church.”

— Archbishop Charles Chaput in his homily at his installation Mass as archbishop of Philadelphia.