George W. Bush to address Summit, receive award
President Bush to address Legatus Summit and receive Cardinal O’Connor Award . . .
Legatus will present President George W. Bush with its prestigious Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award at its annual Summit, Feb. 4-6, in Dana Point, Calif. Previous recipients of the award include Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life), Fr. Thomas Euteneuer (Human Life International), Judie Brown (American Life League), Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Sam Brownback, and Rep. Henry Hyde.
In one of his of his last acts as president, Bush declared Jan. 18, 2009, as “National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” stating that the “the most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent.” It was the culmination of eight years of pro-life policies that included opposition to embryonic stem-cell research, the appointment of two pro-life Supreme Court Justices, an executive order barring federal funds to be used for abortion-related projects abroad, and a rule protecting federally funded health employees from taking part in abortion or practices that conflict with their faith.
Bush will accept the award and address Legatus members for the first time since leaving office one year ago. He previously spoke at Legatus’ first annual pro-life conference in Washington, D.C, in early 2001 shortly after taking office as the nation’s 43rd president.
The President joins an already impressive host of speakers at the upcoming Summit, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista, Emmy Award-winning actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond), entrepreneur Frank J. Hanna III, Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, and Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A medical panel, moderated by Ascension Health president Tony Tersigni of Legatus’ St. Louis Chapter, will discuss the future of health care in America.
The Summit’s theme, Challenging the Culture, is just what Legatus members are asking for, said the event’s chairperson, Kathleen Eaton.
“I’ve been speaking to a number of Legatus chapters about the Summit, and people are really excited,” she said. “It’s been a rough year on a number of fronts, and they really need this shot in the arm. They want to come together to pray and learn more about what the Church is saying on different issues.”
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