30 U.S. Catholic Leaders to Meet With Bush

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 30, 2001 (ZENIT.org).- President George W. Bush will meet Wednesday with a group of 30 Catholic leaders at the White House to discuss the importance of faith-based social services in his legislative agenda.

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Deal W. Hudson, publisher and editor of Crisis magazine, was asked to convene the meeting with a short briefing and introduce Mayor Steve Goldsmith, chairman of the new national advisory board on faith-based initiatives, who will meet with the group later in the day.

Professor John J. Dilulio, Jr., a Catholic political scientist from the University of Pennsylvania, who was just appointed as the head of the new Office of Faith Based Initiatives will also be attending.

Among those invited are Cardinal Francis George of Chicago; Cardinal-designate Edward Egan of New York; Cardinal-designate Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C.; Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado; Ken Hacket of Catholic Relief Services; Tom Monaghan of the Ave Maria Foundation; and Father David O´Connell, CM, president of the Catholic University of America.

Hudson commented, «The invitees represent a cross section of Catholic leaders nationwide who manage the schools, hospitals, nursing homes, day-care facilities, orphanages, drug rehabilitation centers, AIDS clinics, disaster relief services, hospices, and the myriad of other agencies that comprise the huge and complex network of Catholic social services.

«The president and his advisers knew very well that for their faith-based program to work it must establish a full partnership with existing Catholic social service providers. This meeting is the beginning of that partnership.»

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