After all the furor over the ill-advised invitation by Georgetown University to Kathleen Sebelius to speak at the "non commencement event," and the predictable deaf ear turned toward it by the University administration, what did she say?
Well, pretty much work hard, work for the common good, keep your idealism, Carpe diem. She was pretty heavy on the Georgetown sports metaphors (the transcript of the speech I read doesn't transcribe whether there was any hooting or hollering when the teams were mentioned). Which ideals she meant for the graduates to hold onto wasn't clear, but strongly implied that elders don't have them anymore.
She used the word "Catholic" once in referring to John Kennedy's presidential campaign but did not identify herself as one. And she repeated the poorly understood phrase "separation of church and state" which has often been used in an attempt to silence public discussion about moral issues. (Some critics have noted there was little to fear Catholicism would influence anything Kennedy did, public or private.)
Some of then-Senator Kennedy’s opponents attacked him for his religion, suggesting that electing the first Catholic president would undermine the separation of church and state, a fundamental principle of our democracy. The furor grew so loud that Kennedy chose to deliver a speech about his beliefs just seven weeks before the election.
In that talk to Protestant ministers, Kennedy talked about his vision of religion and the public square, and said he believed in an America, and I quote, “where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials – and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against us all.”
Kennedy was elected president on November 8, 1960. And more than 50 years later, that conversation, about the intersection of our nation’s long tradition of religious freedom with policy decisions that affect the general public, continues.
Indeed it does. Except under Sebelius' watch, it's the federal regulations that are being imposed on Catholics.
In support of the US Catholic bishops call for faithful Catholics to be heard, Holy Cross will have petitions available for parishioners to sign which call for the protection of religious liberty in the United States.