Donation of Constantine Debate

Weekly Debates

In the midst of Georgetown University’s Jesuit Heritage Week, the Society gathered to debate “Resolved: The Donation of Constantine ruined Christianity.” The debate was led by two of the Society’s most esteemed senior members, Mr. Matt Cantirino (COL ’11) and Mr. Mike Desnick (COL ’11). The Mr. Cantirino led the affirmation in insisting that the Church’s prophetic voice must not become entangled in state affairs. Keynoting on the negation, Mr. Desnick insisted that the Church’s assumption of stately roles and institutionalization was necessary to fill the power vacuum in Western society.

During the floor portion of the debate, a divide emerged between those who believed the role of the Church is transcendental and those who believed it must also be of the world. Mr. Askonas’ challenged the keynoters’ framing of the issue—insisting that Christianity, made up of all Christians, was distinct from the Catholic Church, the elite. Chancellor Wagner echoed this sentiment by arguing that one edict could not possibly ruin the spiritual tenants of love of self, of neighbor, and of God. Speaking on the affirmation, President Iacono argued that there is a different morality for politics and for men and that political cunning and power are inconsistent with the Christian virtues. Mr. Henderson offered that perhaps the Church must do both—that its primary concern is to navigate the power and spirituality in the human spirit. Ms. Pesant also challenged President Iacono’s dichotomy, insisting that the Church and State are both fundamentally human organizations.

In the end, the Society affirmed the resolution 32-22-4.

The following outstanding speakers were awarded Merrick points:

  • Mr. Cantirino: 5
  • Mr. Walker: 4
  • Ms. Green: 3
  • Mr. Henderson: 2
  • Chancellor Wagner: 1

This brings the total Merrick points to:

  • Mr. Cantirino: 10
  • Chancellor Wager: 4
  • Mr. Walker: 4
  • Ms. Wood: 4
  • Mr. Henderson: 3
  • Ms. Green: 3
  • Mr. Desnick: 2
  • Mr. Spagnuolo: 1



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