Monday, February 05, 2001

Politicians' patron saint had integrity

Lawyers examine life of Thomas More

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CRESTVIEW HILLS — Nearly 500 years after his death, St. Thomas More has a new title — patron saint of politicians — and he's the perfect choice, a Thomas More College historian said Sunday.

        As a lawyer, judge, politician and statesman, Thomas More led an exemplary life of integrity and honesty, said Dr. Raymond G. Hebert, history professor and dean of the college emeritus, at the 20th Annual Lawyers' Brunch at Thomas More.

        About 70 people attended the brunch, which gives lawyers who graduated from this college or others a chance to reflect on their profession and Thomas More's influence.

        Pope John Paul II gave Thomas More, already the patron saint of lawyers, the additional designation of patron saint of politicians on Nov. 7, Election Day.

        At the time, some speculated it was a papal commentary on President Clinton, whose presidency was riddled with financial improprieties, sexual scandal and perjury — behaviors that contrast with the life of More, who gave up his life for his principles.

        More (1478-1535) was beheaded for refusing to pledge allegiance to the king as the head of the Church of England.

        “Unlike so many other great men of the past, Thomas More is not so much an object of study as he is a man to meet and to get to know,” Dr. Hebert said.

        Among his attributes, Dr. Hebert said, More was true to his family and his church. He believed in the education of women to levels that equaled and rivaled men. He treated every client with dignity.

        Steve Wolnitzek, an attorney from Fort Wright, attended the first Lawyers' Brunch in 1982 and has made it to all but two.


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