Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Where Have All the "Personally Opposed, But" Pro-Abort Commencement Speakers Gone?

(Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

From The Boston Globe:
... After repeatedly getting criticized by conservative Catholics, and after years of pressure from the Vatican and some American bishops, Catholic colleges and universities are now shying away from politicians - especially those who, like Kennedy, Kerry, and Pelosi, support abortion rights - as commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients.

Instead, the schools are scrutinizing the public records of potential honorees for evidence of open dissent from key church teachings, especially on abortion, and they are choosing noncontroversial church insiders or nonpolitical figures for their most prominent honors. "I think there's a concerted effort to use the moment of naming people who reinforce the Catholic identity of our institutions, and I'm pleased by that," Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston said in an interview.

At the College of the Holy Cross, where the local bishop boycotted commencement five years ago because the speaker was Chris Matthews, an alumnus and television personality who had voiced sympathetic opinions about abortion rights, this year the speaker is Dr. Kevin M. Cahill, a specialist in tropical medicine who had worked with Mother Teresa.

Boston College, which in the past has given honorary degrees to abortion rights supporters such as Senator Warren B. Rudman and Attorney General Janet Reno, this year chose as commencement speaker the Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough. Catholic University of America graduates will hear from Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, and his wife, Dorian.

And the University of Notre Dame, which once spurned complaints from several cardinals and gave its highest honor, the Laetare Medal, to the abortion rights-supporting Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, this year chose as its commencement speaker Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the very prelate who chaired a task force urging colleges not to have abortion rights-supporting politicians as commencement speakers or honorary degree recipients.

"I think that Catholic administrators at Catholic colleges are much more attentive to the selection process than they may have been in the past, and there is a growing awareness that these types of invitations are related to Catholic identity and mission," said Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, who is chairman of the education committee for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops...

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
I like the approach of eschewing politicians and political commentators of ALL stripes as commencement speakers at Catholic colleges and universities.

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At 5/13/2008 4:40 PM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Totally agree. No political speakers of any stripe as commencement speakers.


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