State Catholic conference directors share strategies at annual meeting
Published: August 3, 2012
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CNS) -- Fresh off the national fortnight of freedom campaign, the leadership of some 37 state Catholic conferences that track public policy for their respective regions met in Fort Lauderdale recently to share their experiences. "Every time we get together it is very meaningful, and especially now with so many issues affecting life right now," said Robert O'Hara Jr. executive director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and current president of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors. "It gives us comfort and confidence to know we are not alone when you see your colleagues who seem to be doing a terrific job," O'Hara said, before a Mass with Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski for the conference attendees. The association of executive directors of state Catholic conferences and affiliate diocesan agencies met for a three-day summit ending Aug. 1. Started in 1968, the group helps to facilitate and encourage the exchange of information among its members pertaining to the activities, programs, and organization of the conferences. State Catholic conferences represent dioceses within a state to provide coordination of the public policy concerns for the church. Referencing Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit to Cuba earlier this year, Archbishop Wenski said the church is active in upholding the basic human right to religious freedoms wherever it finds itself, but that the church is not seeking any privileges for itself or to be partisan in its work regionally or nationally. "The church does not seek to impose but to propose," the archbishop said. "The church doesn't impose her views but seeks the freedom to propose them in the public square and, in the give and take of the democratic process, to convince others of their reasonableness; and the church demands the freedom to witness to them coherently in her parishes, schools and charitable institutions, so as to contribute to human flourishing in society."
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