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Georgetown Symposium to Examine Catholic Perspectives on Religious Freedom

September 10, 2012


Catholic scholars will convene at a conference titled “Catholic Perspectives on Religious Freedom” hosted by the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Maryland Catholic Conference. The symposium is one of dozens held by the Religious Freedom Project since January 2011 to explore different understandings of religious liberty as it relates to other fundamental freedoms; its importance for democracy; and its role in social and economic development, international diplomacy, and the struggle against violent religious extremism.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has placed considerable emphasis on the importance of religious freedom as a matter of human dignity and individual flourishing, and as central to a just and democratic society.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl will deliver keynote remarks on "Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society" as part of the symposium. In addition, three panels of leading Catholic scholars will discuss issues of religious liberty in the United States and abroad.

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Panel I: Dignitatis Humanae and the Legacy of Vatican II
Panelists: Gerard Bradley, Lisa Cahill, Rev. John O'Malley, S.J., Tom Farr (moderator)

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. | Keynote: Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society: The Legacy of Dignitatis Humanae
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, with introduction by Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia

1:45 - 3:15 p.m. | Panel II: Religious Freedom, the Church, and International Law
Panelists: Robert Destro, Rev. John Langan, S.J., Daniel Philpott, Marilyn McMorrow, RSCJ (moderator)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | Panel III: Conflicts Between Religious Freedom and Other Rights Claims
Panelists: Marc DeGirolami, Cathleen Kaveny, Mark Rienzi, Thomas Banchoff (moderator)

Detailed biographies are available at


Thursday, September 13, 2012 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Copley Formal Lounge
Georgetown University
37th & O Streets, NW
Washington, D.C. 20057


Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
Maryland Catholic Conference

COVERAGE: Limited space for cameras. Media interested in attending should RSVP to Rachel Pugh at (202) 687-4328 or Press must present valid credentials on campus.

Rachel M Pugh

Erin Taylor



Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

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