Archbishop Viganò, Vatican ambassador to the U.S., to speak at Notre Dame conference on martyrdom

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, will speak on religious freedom and the persecution of Christians at 7:45 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 4) in the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall auditorium.

Archbishop Vigano’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is the keynote address for the conference “Seed of the Church: Telling the Story of Today’s Christian Martyrs,” sponsored by the Institute for Church Life Nov. 4-6.

Other conference speakers will include John L. Allen Jr., Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and senior Vatican analyst for CNN, who will speak on “The Global War on Christians” at 7:45 p.m. Monday (Nov. 5), also in the McKenna Hall auditorium.

The conference will bring together Catholic bishops, theologians, lay experts and human rights activists from around the world — including Nigeria, Egypt, China and India — to describe the landscape of Christian martyrdom and persecution from their respective viewpoints.

“By some accounts, nearly 80 percent of those killed for their religion in the world today are Christians, yet this has attracted scant notice from the press or from the academy,” said John Cavadini, director of the Institute for Church Life. "The conference is an attempt to raise up the problem for thoughtful consideration, to honor the memory of those killed and to seek solidarity with those whose lives continue to be in danger for practicing the Christian faith. What better place than a Catholic university to raise this issue in a way that motivates not revenge or empty recrimination, but constructive action on the basis of the truth as we know it, in partnership with all people of good will?”

Admission to conference events is free, but registration is required and available online at

Contact: Jennifer A. Monahan, 574-631-9195,