Bishop John Wester of the Salt Lake City Diocese was not looking backward as he considered the significance of Cardinal Francis George's visit to Utah and address at Brigham Young University. "This is not the beginning," Bishop Wester said, "but the continuation of a something that's already begun -- a very fine relationship between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church."
Bishop Wester was pleased to hear of the "parallels in our religions" associated with religious freedom described by Cardinal George in his talk to students, faculty and Church leaders at BYU. "As the cardinal brought out, the LDS and Catholic Churches are standing shoulder to shoulder on many issues of religious freedom and our ability to speak out in the public square and have a moral voice," Bishop Wester said. Unfortunately, he noted, both churches have been persecuted, but "both faiths have also made contributions" to our country. "I was very proud that we could be sitting here at Brigham Young University and hearing this speech from Cardinal George."
Reflecting on Cardinal George's visit and the supportive relationship between the Catholic and LDS Churches in efforts such as caring for the needs of the poor in Utah, Bishop Wester observed that in his mind "this signals that we've taken the next step and that we're really moving forward."