“Catholics shouldn’t speak as if we were agnostics, or too embarrassed to talk about God,” said Australian Cardinal George Pell to a roomful of journalists Wednesday night.
“Our job is to keep God in the news,” he said.
The event was organized at the North American College in Rome to celebrate the launch of “Crux,” the new Boston Globe online publication dedicated to the Catholic faith.
“I have little respect for priests and bishops whose primary ambition is to keep out of the press,” the Cardinal continued. “If we are silent, we can’t complain that we are not being heard.”
“It is important that the Catholic Church remain an active participant in the struggles and in the dialogue in the public square,” he said.
“A few people, mistakenly ambitious, would like to exclude us from the public square,” he said. “I was never one to accept that.”
“I believe the answer is quite simple: we just keep talking.”
Pell said that he also encourages dialogue, discussion, and even debate within the Catholic church, as the mark of a healthy institution.
It is time to stop fighting one another and realize where our real enemies are, he suggested.
Quoting an Australian public intellectual, Pell said that “for 400 years Catholics fought the Protestants, for 40 years after the Vatican Council we fought one another, and now we realize that we are part of a broader Judeo-Christian coalition and that the serious tension is between those of us who share this viewpoint and a small aggressive minority who would like to dismantle that.”
Another Cardinal present, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, praised the Globe’s choice of veteran Vatican journalist John Allen as editor of Crux, while getting a dig in at the sloppy religious reporting so common in mainstream media.