Church Honors Cardinal Wuerl of Washington for Commitment to Religious Liberty

Church Honors Cardinal Wuerl of Washington for Commitment to Religious Liberty

News Release

President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints honored His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, Saturday night, June 2, 2018, for his commitment to religious freedom and his devotion to Deity.


“Cardinal Wuerl, we thank you for your commitment to religious liberty and, more importantly, for your example of a life dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ,” said President Ballard, who presented the Catholic prelate with the Brigham Young University Management Society's Distinguished Community Leader Award. “We are grateful for your example and friendship, Cardinal Wuerl. We admire your values amidst a culture that seems more hostile to religious faith.”

In his keynote speech at the evening gala hosted by the BYU Management Society at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, Cardinal Wuerl spoke of the importance of deepening interfaith relationships to strengthen religious liberty.


“We, Mormons and Catholics, stand together in our recognition [of] freedom of religion [and] freedom of worship — the focus of the 11th article of faith in the Mormon Church,” said Cardinal Wuerl, who was named to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. “It’s all about ensuring and guaranteeing the worship of God according to our conscience. This we call our first freedom. … What Mormons and Catholics espouse is the recognition that with religious faith comes a way of living, a set of standards, a set of rules for moral and civil behavior.”

Cardinal Wuerl has been a vocal advocate of religious freedom for many years. For example, you can watch him speak about how religious freedom is our first freedom and how we can preserve this liberty. You can also hear his hour-long address at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs about Catholic perspectives on religious liberty.

Later this year, Cardinal Wuerl and other Catholic bishops in the United States will mark what they call “Serving Others in God's Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018” (June 22–29). They are inviting parishioners to “pray, reflect and take action on religious liberty, both here in [the U.S.] and abroad.”


On May 3, 2018, the cardinal was one of several faith leaders (including Latter-day Saint Relief Society general president Jean B. Bingham) who participated in the National Day of Prayer at the White House.

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