President O'Donnell Takes Part in International Colloquium

July 24, 2006


1President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell spoke at an international colloquium hosted by the Bavarian Christian Social Union in southern Germany. The topic of the five-day German-American gathering was The Fragility of Democracy.

"It was an incredible gathering of philosophers, businessmen, economists and theologians to discuss democracy from different perspectives; not as an ultimate good, but as a great good, which springs from a Christian inspiration and, furthermore, how necessary virtue and the moral order is in sustaining it," O'Donnell said.

In his talk, "Democracy and the Moral Order: A Reflection Upon the Thought of John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae", O'Donnell said, "[John Paul II asserts] that in the face of growing darkness, there must be a 'precise and vigorous reaffirmation of the value of human life and it's inviolability'. He warns that only if this reaffirmation takes place will justice be able to flourish and true freedom, peace, and happiness be found."

Concluding, O'Donnell asserted, "Moral relativism, with it's denial of the fundamental rights of the human person when embraced by democracy, forces it to contradict its own principles…Sound democracy must be grounded in the objective moral law with a proper understanding of the human person, not upon a theory of moral pluralism, which seeks to maintain a false peace between groups holding different fundamental moral views."

According to O'Donnell, the colloquium reminded him of Christendom in the sense that the Catholic Faith wasn't compartmentalized. They started the day with mass before going onto our seven-hour day of talks, which were followed by intense and fruitful reflection. The Faith was everywhere-from their conversations to the crucifixes on the walls, he said.

Attendees of the colloquium also heard from George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Michael Novak, along with representatives from Fordham University, Catholic University of America, City University of New York and other intellectual leaders from German


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