On Friday, my wife and I attended the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. President Bush and Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. were the featured speakers.
George Bush did well, though this year's address lacked the buzz of last year. Last year I counted at least 4 or 5 standing ovations during the President's address. Anytime, he mentioned the words "immigration", "abortion", or "stem cells" the seats scooted and the Catholics stood to their feet in applause. This year, nothing like that happened. There were a few giggles when the President mispronounced "Apostolic Nuncio" - not the worst offense. (He couldn't get the "s" in "Apostolic.")
Bush had some good words about Charles Carrol - the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. He recounted the episode of Carrol's signing of the Declaration. As he signed it, someone remarked "There goes a few millions," a comment referring to the great wealth of Carrol and the likely amount of money that he would lose by joining the Revolution.
Archbishop Wuerl spoke of the faith of the Puritan pilgrims as they came to America and the legacy of Catholics in forming the culture of America. Perhaps someone who was there could clarify, but I thought I heard the Archbishop say that the first thing that the pilgrims did upon arriving in America was "celebrate Mass." Not a likely event, given that the pilgrims left England because the Church of England was too papist. Maybe I just didn't hear him correctly. Maybe he meant "Lord's Supper." Over all, it was a well crafted address. I didn't hear the Archbishop's Red Mass address last fall, which was complimented by many, but this was the best address that I've heard the Archbishop present.
2007 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast