Catholic Church Disaffiliates New York College Over Abortion Dispute

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Church Disaffiliates New York College Over Abortion Dispute Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 29, 2005

New York, NY ( — The Catholic Church has disaffiliated itself with a New York college that came under fire when it announced plans to plans to honor pro-abortion Senator Hillary Clinton with an honorary degree next month. She is also scheduled to deliver the commencement address.

The Archdiocese of New York has declared that Marymount Manhattan College is no longer allowed to declare itself a Catholic institution in good standing.

The move comes after the Cardinal Newman Society protested plans for honoring Clinton.

Patrick Reilly, president of the Catholic watchdog group, wrote to New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan earlier this month, to point out the problems. Egan determined that the college violated standards set by the church urging educational institutions not to give a platform to abortion advocates.

In an April 14 letter, Eagan had previously warned college officials that their actions "may require the declaration that an institution is no longer Catholic, and we support such action if Marymount Manhattan College obstinately refuses to acknowledge" the church’s pro-life teachings.

Officials at the college offered no remarks in response to the decision and have apparently been seeking to loosen ties with the Catholic church for some time.

In a statement, Reilly praised the decision.

"There is tremendous value to clearly and formally identifying wayward Catholic institutions as no longer Catholic, as Cardinal Egan has done so courageously," he said.

"The decision to honor one of Congress’ most outspoken and strident advocates of abortion rights was just the latest episode in a long history of secularization at Marymount Manhattan College," Reilly explained.

Still, Reilly said his group would have preferred that MMC honor its Cathodic roots and disinvite Clinton.

Eagan has disaffiliated other colleges in the past.

Marist College, Nazareth College and Saint John Fisher College, have all seen their ties to the church ended because of pro-abortion speakers.

The action reduced the number of Catholic colleges in the United States to 219.

Other Catholic educational institutions that have come under fire include Pennsylvania’s Cabrini College, Le Moyne College in New York, Saint Xavier University in Chicago, and Seattle University.

Related web sites:
Catholic Bishop’s statement on withholding communion and pro-abortion speakers –
Cardinal Newman Society –