Cardinal Francis George, the American Contribution to Catholic Social Thought, & Our Current Moment
A web panel discussion held April 17, 2020, upon the 5th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Francis George O.M.I. After his appointment as archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal George emerged as an intellectual leader within the Church, nationally and world-wide, and served as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. His thought on American culture and society—expressed in numerous lectures and in three major books—provides a challenging, critical view of the American experiment from the perspective of post-Vatican II Catholic thought. Revisiting his book on social questions and public life—God in Action: How Faith in God Can Address the Challenges of the World—allows us to reflect on the American contribution to Catholic Social Thought and to apply it to consider our situation today as we confront a great global crisis. The panel will include Russell Hittinger, Senior Fellow of the Lumen Christi Institute and Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Law School (Fall, 2020); Stephen Schneck, emeritus Professor at the Catholic University of America and Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network; and Theresa Smart, assistant professor in the School of Civic and Economic Thought at Arizona State University. Each will draw from their own expertise and entertain the question of what distinctly American contributions have been made to Catholic Social Thought and how Cardinal George’s work fits within this tradition.