Weigel calls on Catholic colleges to transform the world

First slide

Author and theologian George Weigel launched Christendom College's Major Speakers Program Sept. 14 with a lecture titled "Evangelical Catholicism and Catholic Higher Education."

"The Catholic college and university of the 21st century and the third millennium exist to equip disciples for mission," he said. "It exists to deepen the human and intellectual formation of witnesses to Christ. As Pope Benedict XVI said … in 2008, "facilitating personal witness, personal friendship with Jesus Christ in communal witness to His loving Truth is indispensable to Catholic institutions of higher learning."

Weigel, who calls Christendom one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country, began his lecture by reviewing Catholic history over the past 60 years.

Pointing specifically to the pontificate of Pope Saint John Paul II, Weigel explained that his strategic vision, both during the Second Vatican Council and his own pontificate, was to re-propose Jesus Christ as the answer to the question that is every human life. Weigel asserted that this was a turning point for Catholicism, leading to a new era that "is first and foremost dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel, an era that John Paul II came to call the new evangelization."

Weigel said Catholics now are living in one of the most dramatic moments in church history. Begun by Pope Leo XIII with the creation of modern Catholic social doctrine in the papal encyclical "Rerum Novarum" and continued by Pope Saint John XXIII with the Second Vatican Council, the new evangelization exists, according to Weigel, so that Catholics can experience a new Pentecost, and thus go out to convert the world.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015