(Extensions of Remarks - January 31, 2007)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E223]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

[[Page E223]]



                           HON. NANCY PELOSI

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 31, 2007

  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I request that the remarks of a former 
Member of this body, Father Robert Drinan, at a Mass at Trinity 
University prior to my swearing-in as Speaker, be included in the 
Congressional Record.

Remarks of Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Professor, Georgetown University Law 
Center, at a Mass Honoring Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi at the Chapel of 
    Trinity University in Washington, DC--Wednesday, January 3, 2007

       Today is a new epiphany for all us, for our country and for 
     the world.
       Epiphany brought the three Magi to worship the new born 
     child. We are here to venerate that child and to pledge that 
     the message of this infant Jesus will be followed in our 
     country and throughout the universe.
       This is a new and wonderful moment for all of us.
       The new Congress has 16 percent women and for the first 
     time the Speaker is a mother.
       We re-pledge our lives to the love of children. In this 
     regard the Holy See has shown us the way. In 1981 the Vatican 
     was the fifth nation of the Earth to ratify the United 
     Nations Covenant on the Rights of the Child. That magnificent 
     treaty has now been ratified by all of the 192 nations in the 
     world--except Somalia and, we say it with shame, the United 
       The children protected by the U.N. Covenant now number some 
     three billion--almost one-half of the 6.4 billion in the 
     world. Today we re-pledge ours elves to pray and work for 
     those children. We must continue to be shocked that 31,000 of 
     those children will die today and every day--from diseases 
     and malnutrition that are clearly preventable.
       Imagine what the world would think of the United States if 
     the health and welfare of children everywhere became the top 
     objective of America's foreign policy! It could happen--and 
     it could happen soon--if enough people cared.
       Today at this moving and unforgettable Mass we gather to 
     pray, to reflect and once again to commit our lives to 
     carrying out the faith we have that the needs of every child 
     are the needs of Jesus Christ himself. The tragedies of the 
     children of Darfur and the victims of Katrina have made us 
     feel guilty for the neglect of the young people in these 
     nations. That guilt has to be developed so that the United 
     States and other developed countries will use their resources 
     to help the 800 million people in the world who are 
     chronically malnourished. We must also remember the 100 
     million children who are not enrolled in any school--and that 
     70 percent of these children are girls. In addition, children 
     are still being injured by land mines placed by the United 
     States in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vietnam, Kuwait and 
       We have come to this beautiful place to pray for our new 
     leaders and for ourselves. We are ashamed that we have been 
     so careless and thoughtless about the rights of children. We 
     cannot forget Christ's personal love of children and his 
     affirmation that ``whatsoever you do for the least of my 
     brethren you do for me''
       We are increasingly aware that the world--especially the 48 
     Islamic nations--have the deepest doubts about the intentions 
     and activities of the United States. They know that the 
     United States has less than five percent of the world's total 
     population but consumes 40 percent of its resources.
       We pledge again before the Blessed Sacrament that we will 
     deepen our love for all children. It is depressing to realize 
     that only 18 percent of America's children are registered in 
     Head Start and that an appalling number do not graduate from 
     high school. We are aware at this holy place of the weakness 
     of our faith and the fragility of our love.
       Let us reexamine our convictions, our commitments and our 
     courage. Our convictions and our commitments are clear and 
     certain to us. But do we have the courage to carry them out?
       God has great hopes for what this nation will do in the 
     near future. We are here to ask for the courage to carry out 
     God's hopes and aspirations.
       Let us not disappoint our Redeemer.
       We learn things in prayer that we otherwise would never 
     know. Let us pray now and always.
       If a plane crashed this afternoon at Dulles with 310 
     children aboard the whole world would cry and cry and cry. 
     But a tragedy like that happens 100 times each day--3l,000 
     children every day--needlessly--die because the heedlessness 
     of all of us. President Kennedy once said that those who 
     ``make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution 
     inevitable.'' We pray here today and ask God's help in our 
     ardent desires to ``make peaceful revolution possible.''