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Catholic Archbishop Speaks on Faith, Family and Religious Freedom at BYU Forum

Catholic Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia urged students at Brigham Young University to help defend faith and religious freedom. “We need to wake each other up to see the world and our nation as they really are — the good along with the evil. We need to support each other in the work for religious freedom we share.”

Archbishop Chaput spoke during a forum in the Marriott Center on the Provo, Utah, campus on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. He was joined on the stage by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The private university is owned and operated by the Church.

“I’m here today because I believe the friendship of the LDS and Catholic communities is important,” said Archbishop Chaput. “We need to treat each other as friends, not enemies or strangers. We need to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.”

He continued, “It’s important for our own integrity and the integrity of our country to fight for our convictions in the public square. Anything less is a kind of cowardice. But the greater task is to live what we claim to believe by our actions — fidelity to God, love of spouse and children, loyalty to friends, generosity to the poor, honesty and mercy in dealing with others, trust in the goodness of people, discipline and humility in demanding the most from ourselves.”

Archbishop Chaput said, “Our task as believers, whatever our religious tradition, is to witness our love for God and for each other in the time and place God puts us.”

“No society can sustain itself for long if marriage and the family fall apart on a mass scale. And that’s exactly what’s happening as we gather here today,” stressed Archbishop Chaput.

“Faith in God is the road to life,” said the archbishop. “And to borrow a line from the Gospel of Luke, the soul of this university, and the soul of each and every one of us here today, should ‘magnify the Lord.’”

He encouraged the Mormon students to inspire others by following one of BYU’s unofficial mottos, “Enter to learn, go forth to serve.”

Archbishop Chaput said, “Dear friends, go forth to serve. Serve the poor. Help the weak. Protect unborn children. Fight for your right to love and serve God and for others to do the same. Defend the dignity of marriage and the family, and witness their meaning and hope to others by the example of your life.”

This is Archbishop Chaput’s second speech on the BYU campus. He delivered a message on religious freedom on January 23, 2015. His visits follow a 2010 speech on the Provo campus six years ago by Cardinal Francis George, who also fostered friendship between Catholics and Latter-day Saints. Cardinal George passed away last year.

Archbishop Chaput’s address was carried live on and can be viewed online and read at First Things.

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