Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, and specifically, New York, seemed like an appropriate time to revisit an interview with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. Two recent Fordham University graduates, Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 conducted the interview in June 2014, which focuses on many of the social justice issues currently highlighted by Pope Francis’ trip:
In response to a question on the unique responsibilities of young people today, particularly in relation to social justice, His Eminence explained that “if we properly understand who we are in God’s eyes…and in relation to other creatures and all of creation, we will sense that there are certain duties and obligations that simply flow from who we are.”
“This is not only an ethical, moral, religious, Catholic insight: it’s also a very American insight,” he continued. “It is at the heart of what our founders meant when they speak about the common good. As a civic society, especially at the very core of an enlightened democracy, who we are as privileged citizens of this republic have certain duties which arise from within, upon which a democracy is to depend if it is to flourish. I would congratulate Pope Francis for reminding us of this.”
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. . . Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 35-36, 40)
Following the Vatican’s release of Pope Francis’s first encyclical on Thursday, Fordham University Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D., has been providing analysis and commentary on the much-awaited papal message on climate change.
On Thursday, June 5, 2014, Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education Ethics and Society blog student editors Michael Menconi FCRH ’15 and Ken Ochs FCRH ’15 interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York. The 90-minute interview spanned a range of topics including political party participation, research on human and animal subjects, and how Catholic educational institutions should treat students who become pregnant, among others. He also provided background on many of the Catholic Church’s teachings and moral positions.
Ochs: Thank you once again for having us. We would like to get started with our first question. You have had a great deal of interaction and dialogue with young people, and college students, particularly Fordham students. You’ve been to our university many times since you’ve been installed as Archbishop of New York. What values—ethical values, religious values, societal values perhaps—do you believe are most important for those in our generation to hold and put into practice?