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View of stained glass with the Georgetown University seal

Reverence for Life Sparks Conversation With Cardinal Wuerl and Panel

October 2, 2017 – Georgetown and the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) held an event today in Dahlgren Chapel, “Lives Worthy of Respect,” to reaffirm the Catholic community’s reverence for all stages of life.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., spoke at the event, which included a panel discussion in observance of Respect Life Month.

“Let us always be prepared to stand for the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life,” said Wuerl, who before delivering his remarks asked for a moment of silence to honor lives lost in yesterday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. “Let us be ready to stand for those who cannot yet or can no longer stand on their own. Let us stand in the strength and gift of our own life, so generously given to us by God, in order that we can always be a witness to the message – all life, all life is sacred, all life is worthy, all life has dignity.”

Helen Alvare, Tony Lauinger, Sister Mary Louise Wessell, and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (Ohio-R) sit as a panel in Dahlgren Chapel with stained glass in the background. Following the cardinal’s remarks, Dr. Kevin Donovan, a GUMC professor of pediatrics and director of the Pellegrino Center, moderated a panel on the topic. 

Catherine Szeltner, host of Pro-Life Weekly on EWTN global Catholic network, introduced the panelists – Helen Alvare, professor of law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School; Tony Lauinger (C’67), vice president of the National Right to Life organization; Sister Mary Louise Wessell, founder and program manager for the Tenants Empowerment Network Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington; and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio).  

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said the cardinal’s remarks and the panel discussion provided a “deeper exploration and understanding of the tradition” of the lives that make up the university community and communities beyond campus.

“As our nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning, we are the beneficiaries of a profound moral and spiritual tradition that has been shaped over the course of two millennia,” DeGioia said. “This tradition calls us to the deepest conviction that we share – a commitment to honor the dignity of each of us and all of us.”