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The Magdalen graduates. Photos courtesy of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

By Mary Eberstadt, The Catholic Thing, May 14, 2022

Mary Eberstadt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute and holds the Panula Chair at the Catholic Information Center. This column is adapted from her introduction to Judge Conrad at his book talk on December 13, 2021.

Note: Mary Eberstadt gave this Commencement Address to the 2020 (COVID delayed) and 2022 graduates of Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire on May 7, 2022.

Mary EberstadtSome people say that there has never been a harder time in the United States to be Catholic. One can understand why. Public approval weighs against us: today, a furious secularism repudiates ancient Christian teachings about marriage and family, even as rebellion against those teachings produces ever more bitterness and dysfunction. Social cachet weighs against us: for some time now, defending or even mentioning certain parts of the Catechism has all but guaranteed exclusion from the headiest parties and most glittering prizes. And, of course, for nearly sixty years – until this very month! – even the magnificent institution of Constitutional law clashed every minute of every day with sacred teaching. Since 1973, the highest court in the land mandated indifference to the incineration of many millions of the unborn, and to the seismic scars these losses have left across America.

The bad news could continue – and in truth, it would be easy enough to go on. Yet on this joyous occasion, let us do something different. Let’s put aside the anxieties familiar to today’s religious Catholics. I want instead to share a story with you – one with a very different message to remember from your Commencement Day.  …

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