An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


March for Marriage: April 25, 2015

Posted Mar. 30, 2015 by DOM 5 comments

nom_marriagemarch_logo_colorBishop Malone and Archbishop Cordileone have once again invited and encouraged the Bishops and the faithful to take part in the March for Marriage on April 25, 2015, three days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of states’ preserving the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Writing to the U.S. bishops, these two Chairmen wrote, “The March will be an opportunity to stand for the good of marriage in our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of children. It complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty ( The anticipated decision of the Supreme Court positions itself to be the most important judicial ruling in our nation since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. The March is an important witness to a movement dedicated to building a culture of marriage and the family, and it serves to remind all people that a Supreme Court ruling will not decide the issue of marriage any more than Roe decided the issue of abortion. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this March.”



SCOTUS Accepts Case, Archbishop Responds

Posted Jan. 20, 2015 by DOM No comments yet

Media-release-SCOTUSArchbishop Cordileone of San Francisco responded to the announcement on Friday that the Supreme Court will hear the Sixth Circuit marriage cases.

The Archbishop notes,  “Only a man and a woman can unite their bodies in a way that creates a new human being. Marriage is thus a unique and beautiful reality which a society respects to its benefit or ignores to its peril.”


Bishops Respond to New Dept of Labor Regulations

Posted Dec. 9, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

The chairmen of four committees responded to the new Department of Labor Regulations that are the result of the Executive Order of July 21 prohibiting federal government contractors from what the Administration deems “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination. The chairmen are Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.  

Here is the full text:

The regulations published on December 3 by the U.S. Department of Labor implement the objectionable Executive Order that President Obama issued in July to address what the Administration has described as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination in employment by federal contractors. We will study the regulations carefully, but we note the following initially. Our Church teaches that “[e]very sign of unjust discrimination” against those who experience same-sex attraction “should be avoided” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC 2358)—but it appears on an initial reading that these regulations would prohibit far more than that “unjust discrimination.” In particular, they appear also to prohibit employers’ religious and moral disapproval of same-sex sexual conduct, which creates a serious threat to freedom of conscience and religious liberty, because “[u]nder no circumstances” may Catholics approve of such conduct (CCC 2357). Very many other people over a broad spectrum of different religious faiths hold this same conviction. Additionally, the regulations advance the false ideology of “gender identity,” which ignores biological reality and harms the privacy and associational rights of both contractors and their employees. In justice, the Administration should not exclude contractors from federal contracting simply because they have religious or moral convictions about human sexuality and sexual conduct that differ from the views of the current governmental authorities.


Pope’s Address at International Colloquium

Posted Nov. 17, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

colloquium image

This week at the Vatican there is an International & Interreligious gathering centering on “The Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, the Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage is among those attending.

The Holy Father opened the Colloquium with an address this morning, November 17. He reiterates:

“Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is ‘indispensable'; that it ‘transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple’ (n. 66). And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium’s emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society.”

He continues, “May this colloquium be an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies.”

Read the full text. 

Pope Francis also confirmed in this address that he will be coming to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families!


U.S. Court of Appeals: Sixth Circuit Marriage Decision

Posted Nov. 7, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

Good news! Judges of the Sixth Circuit upheld marriage in that district.  Read Archbishop Cordileone’s comments in the USCCB Media release. 

USCCB Chairman Praises Sixth Circuit Decision Upholding Marriage

November 7, 2014

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, praised the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding the rights of states to legally recognize and protect the meaning of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

“The Sixth Circuit has upheld the rights of the citizens of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to protect and defend marriage as the unique relationship of a man and a woman,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “We are particularly heartened by the Court’s acknowledgment of the reasonable arguments for preserving the true definition of marriage and by the Court’s respect for the self-determination of states on this issue.”

The Court’s opinion included an argument grounding marriage in the complementarity of man and woman, saying: “It is not society’s laws or for that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws (that men and women complement each other biologically), that created the policy imperative.”

The Court’s opinion also argued for the rationality of the states’ protecting marriage’s unique meaning: “By creating a status (marriage) and by subsidizing it (e.g., with tax-filing privileges and deductions), the States created an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring. That does not convict the States of irrationality, only of awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children in the same way as couples of opposite sexes and that couples of the same sex do not run the risk of unintended offspring. That explanation, still relevant today, suffices to allow the States to retain authority over an issue they have regulated from the beginning.”

Archbishop Cordileone said, “The Church continues to support efforts to promote, protect and defend marriage in the law. We pray in solidarity with all people that the authentic meaning of marriage will be protected and honored in this country, for the good of all.”

Those challenging the marriage laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee are expected to petition the Supreme Court to review the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.


News about Archbishop Cordileone in San Francisco

Posted Sep. 19, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

As you may remember from June, Archbishop Cordileone, the Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, spoke at the March for Marriage.  His participation was loudly protested by a number of public figures.

The news source Catholic San Francisco is running a three-part series on the origins of the protest, which was the group “Faithful America,” an organization that funds “LGBT” acceptance, intentionally using the language of faith to undermine Church teaching.

Read the full text here, and follow it as it continues: “The first part of the series… focuses on Faithful America. The second will focus specifically on the tactic of funding organizations which use the language of faith to attack Catholic teaching. The third part of the series will address the “hate” tactic by opponents of Catholic teaching on human sexuality.”


Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

Posted Aug. 1, 2014 by DOM 1 comment

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Yesterday, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R- Wyo.) and Representative Mike Kelly (R- Pa) introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. This Act is meant to protect organizations who provide child welfare services, such as foster care and adoption, when they have convictions that a child should only be placed with a married mother and father.  Currently, a number of organizations are unable to be of service because of their beliefs about marriage.

Three USCCB Chairmen (Archbishops Cordileone, Lori, and Wenski) gave their support to this bill, noting that, “Indeed, women and men who want to place their children for adoption ought to be able to choose from a diversity of adoption agencies, including those that share the parents’ religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference also indicated their support for the Bill, noting, “In 2012, Catholic Charities helped complete over 3,000 adoptions and foster care placements, including permanent homes for over 1,600 special needs or “hard-to-place” children. By allowing a diversity of providers through the Inclusion Act, we will be putting the needs of children first and also protecting the religious liberty of long-serving child welfare providers.”


Archbishop Cordileone Responds to Recent Federal Rulings

Posted Jul. 25, 2014 by DOM 1 comment


Check out the press release from the USCCB about the recent rulings on marriage in federal courts.  As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Cordileone reminds us, “Recent court decisions on marriage in no way deter our efforts to promote the truth about marriage – a truth that no court decision can ever undo.”  


Archbishop Cordileone responds to concerns regarding the March for Marriage

Posted Jun. 17, 2014 by DOM No comments yet


A number of officials from San Francisco and a number of other groups wrote to Archbishop Cordileone last week to urge him not to join the March for Marriage on June 19.  They argued that the March for Marriage was a platform for hate.

Archbishop Cordileone responded yesterday to the Lt. Governor Newsom and Mayor Ed Lee, pointing out that the March for Marriage, “is not ‘anti-LGBT’ (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March… Rest assured that if the point of this event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly would not be there.”

He goes on to encourage his correspondents not to take hearsay for truth and corrects a number of assertions about the organizers of the event. He states his willingness and interest in meeting the letter signers in person, not only to talk about the issue, but simply to get to know them, writing, “It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart.”

The Archbishop ends his letter with a plea of his own: “When all is said and done, then, there is only one thing that I would ask of you more than anything else: before you judge us, get to know us.”


USCCB Media Release on OR and PA Marriage Decisions

Posted May. 22, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

The USCCB sent out this media release in response to the Oregon and Pennsylvania rulings this week.  

An excerpt: “Children deserve a mother and a father, and marriage is the only institution that unites children to their own moms and dads,” the Archbishop said. “We need policies and laws that encourage strong, permanent and faithful marriages, and that help young people marry before having children.”


March for Marriage 2014

Posted May. 21, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

Every Child Meme

The second March for Marriage will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2014. This is a great opportunity to visibly and powerfully demonstrate your support of the true definition of marriage as a unique bond between a man and a woman.

The March begins with a Rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Capitol before going to the Supreme Court.  Archbishop Cordileone is one of the featured speakers.

The details for the event, including information about the “virtual march”, lobbying, and the gala that evening are available at


March for Marriage: June 19, 2014

Posted Apr. 8, 2014 by Marriage Unique for a Reason 2 comments

March for Marriage

Save the date!


The second March for Marriage will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2014. Organized by the National Organization for Marriage, this year’s march will be an important opportunity to promote and defend the beauty of marriage as the unique two-in-one-flesh communion of husband and wife.

In an April 7th letter sent to all the bishops of the United States, Bishop Richard J. Malone, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, encouraged participation in the march. “The March for Marriage will be an important means to promote and defend marriage for the good of our culture, to pray for our federal and state governments, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will. It also complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty ( This is a critical time for marriage in our country, as marriage amendments are being struck down by federal courts and appeals of these decisions are being made. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this march.”


Here are 4 Ways you can get involved and support the March for Marriage:


1.)    Spread the Word!

You can help spread the word through social media by posting why you support the March for Marriage by adding the hashtag #Marching4Marriage. Some examples are below:

  • I support #Marching4Marriage because kids deserve a mom and a dad.
  • I support #Marching4Marriage because running a business shouldn’t mean shutting the door on your beliefs.
  • I’ll be #Marching4Marriage because sexual difference is essential to #marriage.
  • I support #Marching4Marriage because marriage is the very foundation on which our society stands.

2.)    Organize a group to come to DC!

Whether it be a group of friends, your church youth group, an entire diocesan trip, or you and your family, consider traveling to DC in June to defend marriage!

3.)    Participate in the National Marriage Lobby Day!

On June 19th, once the March for Marriage has concluded, there will be an opportunity to visit your elected officials and their staff to explain why you defend authentic marriage. For more information on participating in Lobby Day, click here.

4.)    Join the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty!

There are many different ways to participate in the Call to Prayer, both as an individual and as a community. Find out how you can get involved here.

To stay up-to-date on detailed information regarding the March, sign up for alerts at


Virginia Bishops File Amicus Brief to Defend Marriage, Commonwealth’s Constitution

Posted Apr. 4, 2014 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

VA Catholic ConferenceThe Bishops of Virginia, represented by the Virginia Catholic Conference, filed an amicus curiae brief today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In January, District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down the provision in Virginia’s constitution that affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The brief filed on behalf of the Virginia Catholic Conference explains, “Virginia’s interest in marriage is based in the Commonwealth’s foresight that changing the legal definition of marriage would unavoidably change the way Virginia’s citizens view marriage and make the Commonwealth’s marriage laws adult-focused rather than child-focused. If the message and function of marriage is changed in concept, the cultural significance attached to marriage will also change.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage voiced his support of the legal action. “The Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States are united in their desire to preserve the institution of marriage, and we support the Virginia bishops in their effort to defend Virginia’s recognition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. For the good of children, it is critical that society preserve the true meaning of marriage.”

With the Virginia Catholic Conference, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) also filed an amicus brief in Bostic v. Schaefer, along with four other institutions. Oral arguments in this case were heard on May 13, 2014. The audio is available at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Click here for the full press release. The amicus brief can be found at

Updated Monday, May 19, 2014


State Marriage Defense Act introduced in U.S. Senate

Posted Feb. 28, 2014 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

archbishop-cordileone-2Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Chairman for the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, strongly endorsed the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 (S. 2024) introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). A companion bill (H.R. 3829) was previously introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Randy Weber (R-TX).

In a February 28 letter of support to Senator Cruz, Archbishop Cordileone noted that the Department of Justice is the most recent federal agency “to use a ‘place of celebration’ rule rather than a ‘place of domicile’ rule when determining the validity of a marriage for purposes of federal rights, benefits, and privileges.”

“By employing a ‘place of celebration’ rule, these agencies have chosen to ignore the law of the state in which people reside in determining whether they are married. The effect, if not the intent, of this choice is to circumvent state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Archbishop Cordileone.

Archbishop Cordileone urged the U.S. Senate to pass the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 and encouraged members to join as cosponsors of the bill stating, “Marriage needs to be preserved and strengthened, not redefined. Every just effort to stand for the unique meaning of marriage is worthy of support.”

The full press release can be found here.


USCCB Subcommittee Chairman Strongly Supports Amending U.S. Constitution to Protect Marriage

Posted Feb. 20, 2014 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Archbishop Cordileone: Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is needed

Amendment is only remedy against judicial activism

Elemental truth of marriage deserves highest protection in law

February 19, 2014

WASHINGTON—Expressing strong support for the federal Marriage Protection Amendment (H. J. Res. 51) introduced by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) in the U.S. House of Representatives, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said, “The amendment would secure in law throughout the country the basic truth known to reason that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”  Archbishop Cordileone , chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, made the comments in a February 19 letter of support to Rep. Huelskamp.

Referencing recent federal court decisions striking down a number of state marriage laws, Archbishop Cordileone said, “An amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the only remedy in law against this judicial activism that may ultimately end with federal judges declaring that the U.S. Constitution requires states, and consequently the federal government, to redefine marriage.”  He added, “Just as Roe v. Wade mandated a constitutional right to abortion throughout the country, we now have the possibility of another bad decision mandating a constitutional change in the meaning of marriage in order to promote (at least to begin with) ‘marriages’ between two people of the same sex throughout the country. Your proposed Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is, therefore, a needed remedy.”

Archbishop Cordileone also said, “Preserving this elemental truth is necessary for the good of society at large and for the good of children who deserve the love of both a mother and a father, neither of whom is expendable.  Indeed, marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any child conceived of their union.”  Archbishop Cordileone also commented on the nature of the recent federal court decisions by saying, “Federal court opinions that essentially redefine marriage to be merely a state recognized arrangement of intimate adult relationships ignore the truth about marriage, which deserves the highest protection in law.”

Archbishop Cordileone urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and encouraged members to join the resolution as cosponsors.

Archbishop Cordileone’s letter can be found online.

For H.J. Res. 51 to amend the U.S. Constitution, it must be approved by two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states.


Archbishop Cordileone: “You cannot be consistently pro-life without being pro-marriage: the two go together”

Posted Jan. 28, 2014 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

On Saturday, January 25th, thousands of people came together in San Francisco to witness to the sacredness and dignity of the human person, marking the 10th anniversary of the West Coast Walk for Life. Before the Walk, nearly 4,000 people met for mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where Archbishop Cordileone explained that the defense of life and defense of marriage movements go hand-in-hand. “You cannot be consistently pro-life without being pro-marriage: the two go together.” He explained further, “The pro-life movement is about more than saving the life of the baby.  It’s about giving that baby all the care, love and nurturing he or she needs to grow up happy and healthy and to achieve his or her total potential in life…It’s especially about connecting that baby to where he or she came from: the mother and the father.  And that, my friends, is the whole point of marriage: to connect husbands and wives to each other and to any children they bring into the world.  There is no other institution that does that, that connects children to their mother and father. Marriage is primarily about the children, not the adults…”

Archbishop Cordileone continued, “My young people: your elders in the pro-life movement have stayed the course during some very hostile and dark times, and now the pro-life movement is stronger than it ever has been.  Now it is your turn.  It is this wider picture of the pro-life movement that is now the critical issue of the moment and, yes, I won’t hesitate to say it: it is under attack.  Yes, marriage is under attack, but not just recently; this has been going on in our society for a very long time now, actually, for at least as long as the abortion-rights movement has been in existence.  And it stands to reason, as both are manifestations of what Pope Francis so often refers to as the ‘throw away’ culture.  A baby in the womb is thrown away because at least one of the two people who brought that baby into the world has thrown the other away, has rejected the other as someone worthy of commitment, self-surrender, and unconditional love.  This is what marriage is and is for: not a privileged social status, not a government recognition of people’s love life, not a special relationship one stays in as long as one is deriving some immediate benefit from it, but a self-surrender of husband and wife to each other for the sake of the children they bring into the world – just like Christ and the Church, as St. Paul teaches us.

“Now the same contempt, accusations and name-calling are being hurled at those who stand for the truth of marriage as were hurled against those who stood for life a generation and two ago. But we cannot allow ourselves to be shamed into silence.  The truth needs a voice, and you, my dear young people, are that voice for the next generation.  And your voice must be heard so that – just as you now understand the harm that abortion does to women despite the lies perpetrated by the abortion industry – so future generations will understand that the natural truth of marriage benefits everyone and discriminates against no one; no one is harmed and everyone benefits when government enshrines in the law the right of everyone to have a mother and a father.  But prepare yourselves: it will require heroic virtue, for there is a lot of reverse bullying going on these days.” (Bold added)

For Archbishop Cordileone’s full homily, click here.


USCCB Blog: Attorney General Holder Acts Contrary to Supreme Court Decision

Posted Jan. 16, 2014 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Although Utah is appealing a recent decision made by a federal district court to redefine marriage and the Supreme Court has stayed the district court decision while the case is on appeal, Attorney General Eric Holder has recently announced that so-called “marriages” performed before the stay would be recognized. In his recent article on the matter, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage explained, “Attorney General Holder is ignoring Utah law and imposing a contrary federal definition of marriage in that state. In this, General Holder’s decision is actually contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision last year in United States v. Windsor.” Archbishop Cordileone continued, “If the federal government is legally obliged to defer to the marriage law of the state, as Windsor itself holds, then how can the federal government recognize as valid – even if only for federal purposes – marriages which a state has not deemed valid? This logically opens the door for the federal government to recognize any type of relationship (and with any number of partners) as valid marriages in contradiction to state law.”

For Archbishop Cordileone’s full article, click here.


USCCB Subcommittee Chair Responds to Recent Court Decisions

Posted Dec. 23, 2013 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

WASHINGTON—Responding to the decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court to redefine marriage and the decision of the U.S. District Court in Utah declaring Utah’s marriage amendment unconstitutional, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said, “In a visit to the United States of America, Pope John Paul II –who will be canonized by Pope Francis– declared, ‘Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to “create” opinion and impose it on others.’ Both the New Mexico Supreme Court and the Federal Court in Utah imposed a wrong decision about the meaning of marriage onto the people of their respective states.”

The Archbishop further said, “We must start off with the right question. It is not, ‘Is there a government interest in not recognizing alternative types of relationships as marriage?’, but rather, ‘Is there a public interest in societal recognition and regulation of the only kind of relationship that brings children into the world?’ Every human society in history has recognized that there is. By losing sight of this fundamental reality, confusion and error triumph.”

Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco is the chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage,Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, New Mexico, Utah, courts, New Mexico Supreme Court, Federal Court, marriage

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Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3202


The Good of the Child

Posted Nov. 26, 2013 by Marriage Unique for a Reason No comments yet

Archbishop Cordileone, Chairman for the Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, was recently interviewed on “EWTN News Nightly.” When asked to expound upon his emphasis of building up a healthy marriage culture, Archbishop Cordileone explained,

“Society should do what is necessary to favor the situation of the child having the best possible advantage of being connected to their mother and their father growing up. So we just need to teach people how to look at the issue from the standpoint of what is really best for the child, because it’s not about the adults…the government isn’t interested in people’s love lives…the reason marriage has the unique status it does in the law is because there’s a public interest. The public interest is the children that come from the union of men and women.”

Archbishop Cordileone’s full interview begins at 13:50.

++C interview 2

Photo and video courtesy of EWTN, Global Catholic Network.