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Faith in the Public Square Conversations

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March 22, 2018

During the three days of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, many of our readers stopped by the booth to talk about the Catholic Legislative Network.  Many more joined us online for a series of Facebook Live broadcasts on Saturday.

Kicking off the sessions, which you can now view on our YouTube Channel, was an interview with California Catholic Conference executive director Ned Dolejsi.  Subscribers submitted questions, such as how a faithful person can talk about abortion in an increasingly secularized, anti-religion environment.

Another rather interesting question was the perception that the California Catholic Conference supports only “progressive Democratic” proposals.   Mr. Dolejsi delved into the difference between ideological positioning, which is the nature of politics, compared to the theological perspective of a faith community.

At noon on Saturday, the traditional prayer and demonstration by Catholics to raise awareness of the injustice of the death penalty took place.  We interviewed Krisanne Murphy, managing director of Catholics Mobilizing Network, on what is happening around the Union and particularly in California. The Network is asking Catholics to “Take the Pledge” to end the use of the death penalty in the United States.  Many people signed up at the Network booth during the weekend.

Earlier, on Friday evening, one of the featured liturgies spotlighted the restorative justice teachings of the Church.  More 2,500 people attended and heard Bishop David O'Connell of Los Angeles deliver a wonderful homily focused on what is truly important in life - love and compassion.  Marty Haugen and Daniel Delgado provided the music, including, "Teach Us Your Mercy", a piece created especially for this Mass.

Finally, on a more lighthearted note, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange stopped by to talk a little bit about what was happening in the hosting dioceses and a hearty St. Patrick’s Day blessing.

Some of the audio is a bit difficult with the tumult of the convention hall setting, but the videos are worth watching in their entirety.  Again, you can find them on our YouTube Channel.