Francis Cardinal Arinze: 'Arise, Rejoice! God is Calling You'

Cardinal Arinze's controversial speech on religion and family, including marriage and "irregular unions."

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May God bless all the families here present and grant our graduands who will one day set up their own families his light, guidance, strength, peace and love.

3. The Patrimony of St Ignatius of Loyola.

We rejoice with the Jesuit Community that set up and keeps up Georgetown University. In the patrimony of St. Ignatius of Loyola, love of the Church is prominent. It is a joy, an honour, and a responsibility to belong to the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church. This Mystical Body of Christ, this largest of all religious families that ever existed, is the divinely set-up family for all peoples, languages, and cultures. This Church has produced Saints from every state of life, men and women who, open to God's grace, have become signs of hope. But this same Church also has sinners in her fold. Far from discouraging and rejecting them, the Church offers them hope, wholesome Gospel teaching, saving sacraments and the invitation to abandon the food of pigs, make a U-turn, and return to the refreshing joy of their Father's house, like the prodigal son (cf Lk 15: 14-24).

This Church has inherited from Christ, the Apostles and her living tradition, a non-negotiable body of doctrine on faith and morals. The tenets of the Catholic faith do not change according to the play of market forces, majority votes or opinion polls. "Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever" (Heb 13: 8). This is the Church which St. Ignatius invites all his spiritual children to love and cherish. This is the Church to which we have the joy to belong.

My dear graduands, parents and the Jesuit Community of Georgetown, arise, rejoice, because God is calling us. And may God's light, peace, grace and blessing descend on you and remain with you always.

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