Cardinal Mahony live from RECongressTranscript of Cardinal Roger Mahony on AOL Live!, April 7, 2000

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OnlineHost: Join us at 2PM ET for a LIVE chat with Cardinal Roger Mahony [CongCard] of Los Angeles from the Religious Education Congress 2000. Send in your questions for Cardinal Mahony now! [This event is led by AOLiveMC19.]

RECCRM: Good morning Cardinal!
CongCard: Good morning.

AOLiveMC19: Hello, Cardinal Mahony -- ready to get started?
CongCard: Good morning, everyone! Welcome, everyone, to our live chat with Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, direct from the Religious Education Congress 2000.

AOLiveMC19: Cardinal Mahony, let's get right to our audience questions.
CongCard: Yes, please!

Question: What can you tell us about the Pope's recent trip to the Holy Land?
CongCard: It was a great pilgrimage of faith, of reconciliation, and of hope for the world. A great pastoral success.

Question: As we head for a national election in November, what are the major issues of concern for most Catholics in America today?
CongCard: As always, the Church is concerned that public policy focus upon all of our citizens, that there be opportunity for all, that human life is protected, and that the future is bright everyone.

AOLiveMC19: From a question concerning the whole country, to one of a very personal nature.

Question: My spiritual crises extend from the pain and abandonment I've faced since becoming manic-depressive. Where's God in all this and why should good people suffer so much?
CongCard: God walks with us day after day, and especially in our sufferings and pain. Please open your life to the fullness of God's spirit, find a good spiritual community to support you, and continue to find solace in God's Word.

Question: Has the church reconsidered its policy on not allowing a priest to marry?
CongCard: Actually, priests of the Catholic Eastern Rites have been married since the beginning of the Church. In the Latin Rite, that is not now permitted. Will it be? No one can tell now. We'll see what the Holy Spirit directs us.

Question: What do you recommend praying for during this Lenten season?
CongCard: This great Jubilee Year 2000 is a great time for healing, reconciliation, forgiveness. Let's really focus upon reconciling with each other during the last two weeks of Lent.

Question: How is the building of the new cathedral in L.A. going?
CongCard: Great! About two more years before the Cathedal of Our Lady of the Angels is completed. It will be a great source of inspiration for all passing by the freeway.

AOLiveMC19: Since you've just had Youth Day at the Religious Education Congress, here's an appropriate question:

Question: Dear Cardinal, my son is considering taking an out-of-state offer to attend college at UCLA which puts him in your great archdiocese. How will he find the Catholic student community on that great campus?
CongCard: He will be very pleased. We just opened a new Newman Center on the west side of UCLA campus--great outreach to Catholic students. Have him inquire as soon as he arrives. He will be warmly welcomed.

Question: It is such a pleasure to talk to you, Cardinal! How is the Religious Congress going?
CongCard: The Congress is the greatest event of its kind in the world -- about 24,000 people here, a time of grace, learning, inspiration, and mutual support in ministry.

Question: What about women being ordained?
CongCard: That issue is discussed often. The Church does not believe it has the authority to make a  change in that teaching, but is trying very hard to enhance the role of women in the Church at every level. Ordination is only one of the ways that we serve the world and the Church.

Question: Who is your patron saint, and why?
CongCard: St. Joseph. He is a wonderful example of fidelity to God's will, and even when there is great mystery in our lives, Joseph helps us move forward in faith.

Question: How does one become a Cardinal? :)
CongCard: It is a direct appointment by the Pope. There can only be 120 Cardinals under 80 years. The Pope chooses them from all around the world to get good representation.

Question: It's very heartening to read of the progress the Church has made in opposing anti-Jewish prejudice. How are changes such as the new Catechism being implemented in parochial school and seminary curricula?
CongCard: There are a variety of joint teaching/learning options in our schools and seminaries. We bring together young people from both traditions for a good sharing and learning.

Question: Any thoughts on little Elian Gonzalez in Miami?
CongCard: I always thought that children belonged with their parents, not as political pawns.

Question: What kind of books, fiction or nonfiction, do you enjoy and what do you recommend? We value your insights.
CongCard: I enjoy books on theology and liturgy; light reading such as Tom Clancy; and lots of journals and periodicals. Biggest challenge: finding time to read them!!

Question: Are there other religions besides Catholicism attending the Religious Congress?
CongCard: Some other Christians attend, but because of the space limitations, priority is given to the Catholic community.

Question: What can a lay person do to spread the teachings of the Catholic Church?
CongCard: Best avenue: live out our lives visibly with fidelity to the Gospels. Personal witness is the strongest way to bring Jesus Christ to other people. Actions speak louder than words!
Question: Do you get to travel much? Where do you like to visit most?
CongCard: I travel too much! Lots of meetings with the Bishops' Conference, and to Rome during the year. As I get older, traveling is less appealing. But I enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places.

Question: Do you feel that the Internet has been helpful in preaching to the world about the Catholic faith?
CongCard: Yes and no. There is still a lot of confusion on the Internet when all kinds of groups claim they are "Catholic," but are really not authentic. People have to be very careful about what they see on line as Catholic.

AOLiveMC19: And here's a related question...

Question: I work for the Catholic Press developing Internet services. What do you think of creating online "parish communities" as a FIRST step to reaching unchurched youth: i.e., online Bible study, spiritual counsel, prayer circles, even online Reconciliation?
CongCard: Personally, I find the small group settings far more valuable. For example, Bible Study is best when it involves interaction, prayer, and mutual support. On line efforts are a bit too remote for that.

Question: Do you preside over Mass at any Church?
CongCard: Without a Cathedral right now, I am in different Churches week after week. It's a good experience being in all of our parishes.

Question: Do you one day see all religions joining in a true "Oneness" to worship One God?
CongCard: I pray the prayer of Jesus, "that all may be one." I see gradual steps towards that goal, and I look forward to the day when we have complete unity among the Christian Churches.

Question: A friend of mine was recommended by her bishop not to enter into marriage with her fiance. Both are Catholics, and both have given   it a lot a prayer but still are not sure what to do. What would you recommend?
CongCard: I'm not sure why the recommendation was given, but if others see potential problems in our relationships, we should heed those signs and seek good counseling before making a final decision as important as marriage.

Question: What is the difference between being a Roman Catholic and Catholic Orthodox, i.e., Celtic Orthodox?
CongCard: The Orthodox Churches separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054, but we retain so much of our unity in faith, worship, the Sacraments, etc.

Question: Your eminence, many Catholics have been concerned that the LA Diocese's new Cathedral represents deconstruction more than Catholicism in its jarring style. How have you responded to such concerns?
CongCard: I'm not sure what "deconstruction" means. If you mean the Cathedral does not look like a Cathedral from another century, you're right. Our Cathedral speaks something new to this new century and millennium. Great art and architecture is in constant creative tension, and it's exciting. God isn't done with creation, you know!!

Question: Being homebound, I'm unable to regularly attend could I find out where you will be so that I could make arrangements to have the privilege of attending?
CongCard: Please call my office and they can give you the names of Churches -- especially Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. (The number is (213) 637-7288.)

Question: Do you feel we, as a country, are turning the corner, towards spirituality, or are we not there yet?
CongCard: I think we are doing much better, and I'm pleased that our young people are more interested in finding God, seeking God's blessings and guidance, and enjoying the support of other youth on their faith journey.

Question: How do I convert my husband and son (24) back into the church? This has caused me great distress and I would love to have them go to church with me.
CongCard: Have you invited them to attend some special event at Church with you? Maybe Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, a parish Mission, or the like? Usually, people tend to respond best when they can be at  something special. God's grace often touches them deeply at those moments.

Question: Will you be publishing an autobiography soon? Do you have a biographer? You are an inspiration to so many in the post Vatican II Church.
CongCard: Actually, it never even occurred to me! No plans of any kind. I prefer that people look to the best biography of all -- the four Gospels!!

Question: why do Christians place so much emphasis on teaching the resurrection of the body? Isn't WHO you are more important? and eternal happiness?
CongCard: All of these are important. But the bodily Resurrection of Jesus was the great proof that he was the Son of God, and it became the great birth of the Church.

Question: I am a young college student who was raised Catholic. I was educated in a catholic school environment, but I found the more I learned, the more I questioned, thus the more I strayed from the Catholic Church. How did your intellect not contradict your faith?
CongCard: Faith is a gift and grace, and it is important to live our live in Christ first. After we learn to live our faith, then the questions become easier to deal with. Stay with the Lord and all your questions will be dealt with.

AOLiveMC19: From philosophical matters, we switch to practical matters...

Question:   I have a Lent question that has been a discussion between several of my fellow Catholic church members: Some people think that Sunday are not part of Lent, ending Lent on Holy Thursday. Is this right or does it end on Palm Sunday, including all Sundays?
CongCard: Actually, all of the days of Lent are days of Lent—including Sundays. While Lent does end on Wednesday of Holy Week, the Great Triduum has a special character of renewal and fasting. Hold off until the Easter Vigil is over!

Question: Greetings from South Carolina. How do you encourage implementation of the RCIA: especially in moving to a model that encourages faith formation rather than just imparting of information *about* the Church?
CongCard: The RCIA is great because it does create for us a sense of journey, the essence of our life in Christ Jesus. And having others along on the journey is so important. The restored catechumenate is so vital for the Church.

Question: I'm 15 almost 16 from New York my mom is Jewish and my dad is Catholic. I am part of a congregation but many people don’t accept me cause of my dad and in the Catholic Church I’m not accepted because of my mom. I’m very confused and don't know what to do.
CongCard: I feel badly that both congregations are treating you that way. Both of those groups should embrace you with love, understanding, and prayer. I wish you were here in Los Angeles where we have great relationships with all peoples!

AOLiveMC19: Cardinal Mahony, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today! Any closing words for our audience?
CongCard: It is a joy being on line with AOL audiences, and I look forward to this opportunity year after year.

AOLiveMC19: Again, thank you, and thanks to our audience for sending in great questions!

CongCard: Thanks so very much.

AOLiveMC19: Thank you so much, Cardinal Mahony. It's been an honor. :-)

CongCard: Anytime -- not always just at Congress.

AOLiveMC19: Great! :-)



April 7, 2000 at 2:00PM ET

Join Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony in a live chat session on April 7 at 2:00PM ET, from the main hall at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, California. The Cardinal will discuss his 25th anniversary as a bishop, the Pope's recent travel to the Holy Land, the building of L.A.'s new cathedral, and anything else on your mind. This is the Cardinal's fifth annual online appearance and one of the highlights for the more than 32,000 attendees at the four-day event.

Click here for more information: 
Religious Education Congress held April 6-9, 2000

**Be sure to come back to AOL Live (keyword: LIVE) for access to the event at showtime.

(C) 2000 America Online, Inc.


Event Keyword: "AOL Live" for America Online members
Date: April 7, 2000

Time: 2:00pm ET


Read the transcripts from other Religious Education Congress online chats

Congress Chat History:
Beginning in 1996 on CompuServe, Cardinal Roger Mahony conducted the first nationwide, online (typing) live from Hall A at the Anaheim Convention Center. in 2001 the Cardinal suggested adding a private chat with students from a school in the Archdiocese. Since then, we have had the tradition of a private school chat.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jos Gomez continued the tradition of a Congress Chat, and now we've expanded our chats to include regional bishops and schools from their region. This year, Bishop David O'Connell joins us for our sixth video chat with a school from his region.

with Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell of the San Gabriel Region

2019 (All Souls, Alhambra)

with Los Angeles Archbishop Jos Gomez

2017 (St Francis of Assisi, L.A.)    2016 (St Mary Magdalen, Camarillo)    2015 (St Finbar School, Burbank)    2014 (St Columbkille School, L.A.)    2013 (St Bernard School, L.A.)    2012 (St Dorothy School, Glendora)    2011 (St Thomas School, L.A.)

with Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

2010    2010 (St John Chrysostom School, Inglewood)    2009    2009 (St Elisabeth, Van Nuys)    2008    2008 (Sacred Heart, Covina)    2007    2007 (St Benedict, Montebello)    2007 (St Rita, Sierra Madre)    2006    2006 (Holy Innocents, Long Beach)    2005    2004    2003    2001    2001 (St Jerome, Westchester)    2001 (Holy Family, South Pasadena)    2000    1999    1998    1997    1996

with Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark of the Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region


2016 Marks 20 Years of Congress Chats — The first (typing) RECongress chat was held on Friday, February 23, 1996 on CompuServe with Cardinal Roger Mahony. Ten years later, on Friday, March 31, 2006, the Cardinal's annual chat was conducted in a room hosted on The Cardinal participated in 22 Congress chats (both nationwide and with schools) over 14 years.

At Congress 2016, Archbishop Jos Gomez has continued the tradition of (now, video) chats with school students from the Archdiocese. This was his sixth Congress chat (and fourth video chat) conducted from the Tech Center, located in the center of Exhibit Hall A at the Religious Education Congress. The RECongress chat are now continued through the regional bishops, while the Archbishop now holds an event on Facebnook Live.

Beginning on CompuServe, the RECongress nationwide chats have been hosted by AOL Live! (1997-2000), Beliefnet (2001), (2002-2003), and (2004-2010). The school chats have been conducted on AOL (2001-2006), Yahoo (2007), Chatzy (2008-2012), Skype (2013-2014) and Google+ (2015-2016).


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