Tag Archives: Gov. Bobby Jindal

Annual summit builds bonds

LEGATUS SUMMIT: Members from across the country rally to change the culture for Christ . . .


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks to Legates on Jan. 31

When Legatus members gather, they always grow in their passion for the mission “to learn, live and spread the faith.”

This happens at monthly meetings, but the 2015 Annual Summit multiplied that spiritual growth exponentially, according to Legates who attended the three-day annual conference hosted by Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter.

The gathering – among the largest in Legatus’ 28-year history – drew nearly 650 Legates and guests from across the country to the Ritz-Carlton Beach Resort in Naples, Fla., from Jan 29-31.

Diverse Topics

One of the most notable elements of this year’s Summit was the diversity of topics presented by an all-star lineup of speakers that included New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, author Jennifer Fulwiler, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and current Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, among others.

Topics ranged from chastity to same-sex attraction, from religious liberty to physical fitness, from atheism to the importance of the Mass, and from evangelization to the success of the free-market system.

In his homily during the opening night’s Mass, Cardinal Dolan saluted Legates for beginning their events with Mass.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivers his homily at the Summit’s opening Mass.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivers his homily at the Summit’s opening Mass.

“We can’t forget the words of Pope St. Pius X,” he said, “who reminded us that the greatest vehicle we have to sanctification is through the Mass and worthy reception of Holy Communion —  which is the aim of Legatus. There are many excellent groups in the Church, but Legatus starts first with holiness of life and personal sanctification.”

Later that evening, Jindal discussed the challenges to religious liberty and reminded attendees of Ronald Reagan’s warning that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.

“Every generation has to choose for itself to renew those principles of freedom because I believe we live in the greatest country in the history of the world,” the possible presidential contender said. “It’s not because of our DNA, it’s not because of our geography or our soil, it’s not because of our natural resources. It’s because our founders believed in limited government to secure, but not create, our God-given rights.”

Jindal, a convert to Catholicism, saluted Legatus members for its bold mission and dedication to the faith.

“What I understand Legatus to be is an organization of committed Catholics, committed to the Gospel, committed to Jesus’ instructions to us on how to live our faith, to care for the least among us,” he said. “I told [Legatus founder Tom Monaghan] that if this organization didn’t exist, it’s the kind of organization we’d have to create.”

Defending Marriage

Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks on Jan. 29.

Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks on Jan. 29.

One of the greatest challenges to the culture comes from the rapid advance of the LGBT agenda, several speakers told Summit attendees. C-Fam president Austin Ruse talked about the growing acceptance of gay “marriage.” (Read a summary of his talk here.) Also defending marriage was Courage in the Marketplace award winner Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage and a member of Legatus’ Philadelphia Chapter.

Huckabee, another potential presidential contender, devoted much of his talk to defending natural-law marriage.

“Until someone convinces me that there is a new standard [for marriage], and tells me who changed the standard, and by what authority they changed the standard, and what the consequences are of changing the standard, I’m just going to stick with what we’ve got,” he said.

Quite often people who hold to natural-law marriage, he said, feel alone in a left-leaning media-saturated culture.

“Part of the thing I want to say to people is, ‘No you’re not,’” he explained. “There is still a whole lot of America who think like you do. But even if the whole world changes, why would you come up with a standard other than the one that God laid forth?”

Austin Ruse’s talk  was entitled No Better Time to be a Faithful Catholic.

Austin Ruse’s talk was entitled No Better Time to be a Faithful Catholic.

One of the most lauded speakers at the Summit was virtually unknown to attendees before his address. Former male model Paul Darrow told how he left the gay lifestyle, converted to Catholicism and now lives a chaste life dedicated to the Lord.

“I used to think I was happy being part of drug-filled parties in New York City penthouses, surrounded by famous movie stars,” he said. “But today I realize that’s nothing. I’ve never been so at peace, so full of joy than when I’m on my knees before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”

The Summit also included a seminar hosted by Thomas Aquinas College entitled “On Human Dignity and Religious Freedom.”

Other speakers included Harry Kraemer, former CEO of Baxter International; Al Kresta of Ave Maria Radio; fitness author Chris Crowley; Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute; and comedian Tom Dreesen, who doubled as master of ceremonies.

Passion for the faith

Summit co-chair Sam Reed of Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter said he was thrilled not only by the speakers, but by Legates’ enthusiasm for their faith.

“It was a privilege for our chapter to host the Summit, to meet folks from across the United States and talk about common concerns,” he said. “I don’t think the Summit missed a beat with regard to leadership and the issues that we’re concerned about as Catholic leaders.”

Legatus conference director Laura Sacha saluted the host chapter and all attendees.

“Legatus members are some of the most committed Catholics I have ever met, and seeing their enthusiastic attendance at this year’s Summit was truly inspiring,” Sacha said. “Their energy  is contagious.”

Oklahoma City Legate Peter Hodges said the Summit experience met and exceeded his expectations.

“I expected to meet a lot of devout Catholics and have a good educational experience, and that’s what happened,” said Hodges, who was attending his first Summit. “It was time well spent.”

Reed commended Legatus staff and the members of his chapter for the record-setting sold-out gathering, which tied Legatus’ 25th anniversary event in 2012 for the best-attended Summit.

“Hosting the Summit really brought our chapter together,” Reed said. More than 20 couples from Indianapolis attended. “The camaraderie among members from across the country was remarkable. We have different geography, but our concerns and experiences are very similar.”

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is the editor-in-chief of Legatus magazine.

2014 Award Winners

Defender of the Faith
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

Ambassador of the Year
Tom & Glory Sullivan

Officer of the Year
Maureen Adams (Phoenix) & Craig Henry (Lafayette-Acadiana)

Courage in the Marketplace
Brian Brown

Bowie Kuhn Award for Evangelization
David Lukinovich

Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award
Kathy DiFiore, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, Wesley Smith

Angott Award
Fort Wayne, Pittsburgh, Baton Rouge

Campbell Award
Cleveland, Jersey Shore, Lexington, Phoenix, Portland


Summit Speaker: Gov. Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal is one of the highlighted speakers at Legatus’ 2015 Summit . . .

Governor Bobby Jindal

Governor Bobby Jindal

Not only is Bobby Jindal the 55th and current governor of Louisiana, but he’s also the vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Born in Baton Rouge to immigrants from India, Jindal is a convert from Hinduism — first to evangelical Christianity and then Catholicism. He was first elected to the U.S. House in 2004, then governor in 2007 and again in 2011. He recently spoke with editorial assistant Tim Drake.

What led you to consider Catholicism?

It was all part of one continuous process. The entire faith experience, starting as a Hindu and ending as a Catholic, was about a seven-year process. I became Christian the summer after my junior year of high school. I saw a film depiction of Christ being crucified. I figured that if that was God, dying for me, then how arrogant for me to do anything but get on my knees and worship him.

When I attended Brown University, I had made a promise to a friend back home that I would attend a Catholic Mass. I started attending daily Mass, but I never really understood the rituals and the beauty. I came to appreciate the Mass and had a spiritual longing for the Eucharist. As I began my sophomore year of college, I was baptized and confirmed.

What do you plan to speak about at the Legatus Summit?

I’m interested in discussing and sharing about my faith, but also on the issue of the assault on religious liberty that’s going on in our country. Christians around the world are facing a shooting war, but here there is a silent war going on against those of us who want to live our faith. This is a very important issue for our time. America didn’t create religious liberty; religious liberty created America.

You’re the son of immigrants. What’s most vital in immigration reform?

One, we have it completely backwards today. We have a low wall and a narrow gate. That’s opposite of what we need. We need a high wall and a broad gate. We make it too easy for people to come here illegally and too hard for those who want to come here legally.

Secondly, we also have to reform our legal system. There are those who want to come here legally and work here and come for a better life. We must secure the border, but we also need to reform the legal pathways to our country.

In August, you sued the federal government over Common Core.

The worst part about it is giving up local control of education. Under the 10th Amendment, the federal government does not have the right to make curricular decisions. It’s a classic bait-and-switch. The government is inserting itself — just as it did with medical care — into so many decisions. It’s dangling a carrot in terms of funding, but then saying that it’s allowing states to back out.

There was a rush to implement [Common Core] without proper deliberation and parental input. The most dangerous thing about this is that it’s the federal government enforcing a one-size-fits all curricular approach.

Do you have any aspirations for public office beyond Louisiana?

I still have a year as governor. I’m absolutely thinking and praying about what I’ll do after being governor. We won’t make a decision until after November.


Governor Jindal and the politics of birth control

Fr. Pacholczyk dissects Gov. Jindal’s proposal for over-the-counter birth control . . .

Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk

Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last December, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal argues that the cost of birth control could be reduced by eliminating the required doctor’s visit to get a prescription — making contraception available “over the counter.”

If it were made available this way, he argues, it would no longer be reimbursable by health insurance, and people could simply purchase it on their own. Jindal posits that this approach would result in “the end of birth control politics.” He relies on several simplistic assumptions and inadequate moral judgments, however, as he tries to advance this argument.

First, he misconstrues the objective. The goal should not be to remove birth control from political debate, but rather to arrive at reasonable medical, ethical and constitutional judgments about birth control and public policy. Contraception is an important topic for public discussion because it touches on basic human and social goods, such as children, family and sexual fidelity.

Indeed, laws about contraception have always been based upon concerns for the public good and public order. This was the case when Connecticut, in 1879, enacted strong legislation outlawing contraception. This law, similar to the anti-contraception laws of many other states, was in effect for nearly 90 years before it was reversed in 1965. These laws codified the longstanding public judgment that contraception was harmful to society because it promoted promiscuity, adultery and other evils.

Yet Jindal fails to engage these core concerns and instead retreats behind a common cultural cliché when he writes, “Contraception is a personal matter — the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it.” If it’s true that contraception is often harmful to individuals and families, to marriage and to women’s health, then it clearly has broader public policy implications and is, objectively speaking, not merely a “personal matter.”

Consider just a few of the health issues: Contracepting women have increased rates of cardiovascular and thromboembolic events, including increased deep vein thrombosis, strokes, pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs), and heart attacks. Newer third and fourth generation combination birth control pills, which were supposed to lower cardiovascular risks, may actually increase those risks, and recently there have been class action lawsuits brought against the manufacturers of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, because women have died from such events.

In seeking to serve the public interest, the government may determine to become involved in such matters, as it did back in 1879, through specific legislative initiatives or through other forms of regulatory oversight. Indeed, the recent deployment of the HHS contraceptive mandate, as a component of ObamaCare, reflects an awareness of the public ramifications of this issue, even though the mandate itself is profoundly flawed and ultimately subverts the public interest. It compels Americans, unbelievably, to pay for the sexual proclivities of their neighbors, not only by requiring employers to cover costs for the Pill in their health plans, but also to pay for other morally objectionable procedures, including direct surgical sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs.

Jindal goes on to argue, “As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it.” Yet Jindal is really quite apologetic (and inconsistent) in his pro-life stance by arguing in this fashion. Contraception can never be pro-life. It regularly serves as a gateway to abortion, with abortion functioning as the “backup” to failed contraception for countless women and their partners. Abortion and contraception are two fruits of the same tree, being anti-child and therefore anti-life at the root. Certain “emergency” contraceptives (like Plan B and EllaOne) also appear able to function directly as abortifacients. IUDs can function similarly, making the uterine lining hostile for an arriving human embryo and forcing a loss of life to occur through a failure to implant.

Jindal, a committed Catholic, should not be minimizing the medical and moral risks associated with promoting contraceptive use, nor lessening social vigilance by promoting “over the counter” availability. Committed Catholics and politicians of conscience can better advance the public discourse surrounding contraception by avoiding such forms of circumlocution and instead directly addressing the medical and ethical evils of contraception and the unacceptability of the coercive HHS mandate itself.

REV. TADEUSZ PACHOLCZYK, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Mass., and serves as the director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.