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Cardinal George leaves legacy championing religious freedom, marriage

Friday, Apr 17, 2015
Cardinal-Francis-George 110516 photo by Adam-BielawskiThe following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears regarding the passing of Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the already planned co-recipient of Alliance Defending Freedom’s 2015 Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism and Religious Liberty:

“Cardinal George was a stalwart champion of religious freedom, marriage, and the family throughout his 17-year tenure. He never stopped advocating for what’s good and true, nor did he succumb to damaging cultural trends—regardless of how fierce the opposition. He remained steadfast to the truth and to the teachings of the faith. His passing is a loss to the Catholic Church and to all those he inspired to remain loyal to religious freedom and the undeniable meaning of marriage and family.”

Significant quotes from Cardinal Francis George:

  • “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” (Catholic New World, Oct. 21 – Nov. 3, 2012)
  • “Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. … It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to ‘swim against the tide,’ as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do….” (CNS News, Sept. 10, 2014)
  • “The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.” (CNS News, Sept. 10, 2014)
  • “The larger issue here is whether or not the government can tell what is a Catholic institution, therefore part of the Church, (that) this is what you must do in order to be part of health care in our society. …The long-term effect is that the Catholic Church will be stripped of the institutions that are her instruments for public service. We will lose hospitals, we will lose universities. That’s not the country I was born in.” (On the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 18, 2012)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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ABOUT Alan Sears
Alan Sears was the first president, CEO, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, leading its efforts from 1993-2017. Across those nearly 25 years, he built an ADF team committed to a comprehensive legal strategy that includes training, funding, and legal advocacy. Sears earned his Juris Doctor from Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. While serving in numerous positions within the Reagan and Bush administrations, he worked for the Department of Justice under Attorneys General William French Smith and Edwin Meese III, including service as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Section. Sears was appointed as director of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography and served as associate solicitor with the Department of Interior under Secretary Donald Hodel. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Sears has continued his education with professional instruction at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Pepperdine University. He is a member in good standing with the American, Arizona, California, District of Columbia (inactive), and Kentucky bar associations.