Monday, October 02, 2006

Heard On the Steps

Kudos to the NYTimes' Neela Banerjee for picking up an intriguing exchange in the post-Red Mass bustle:
Later, on the steps of the cathedral, two young men approached Archbishop Wuerl to have him bless their rosaries and to take pictures with him.

As the archbishop stood with one man, the other, holding the camera, said happily, “Here’s to the union of church and state!”

The archbishop laughed, but gently corrected him. “No,” he said, “remember, I said they were two distinct spheres.”
Which calls to mind one of the most telling passages of yesterday's homily, replete with some savvy appeals to history:
Perhaps nowhere is the relationship of values, religious faith, public policy and the application of the law more deeply rooted in its historic expression than here in our nation’s capital. Here is the place where our first president, George Washington, and the first Catholic bishop in our country, John Carroll, recognized so very early on in the life of our country the need to respect, honor and support the understanding that the goals of governance and the expression of faith-based morality mingle and overlap. At the same time, each was respectful of the prerogatives of the other, and both were mindful that all the voices needed to be heard.
Message received.