What Would Geno Do?
at confirmation hearings in 1977
What is public morality? Many religious and secular leaders believe it is more than personal morality – that it is about vision, and what journalist Walter Lippman called “pursuit of the good society.”
How can we create a framework of public morality at a time when poverty has increased four years in a row, tax breaks are being given to the rich, domestic spending is being reduced, schools are becoming more segregated, and the public sector has failed New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina?
One man who dedicated his life to the pursuit of the good society was the late Father Geno Baroni, Assistant Secretary for Neighborhoods at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the late 1970s and the highest ranking priest in the federal executive branch of the government.
On what would have been Baroni’s 75th birthday, the Eisenhower Foundation held a forum on public morality that gathered more than 30 government, religious and secular leaders to discuss his legacy and explore ways it can be put to practice today.