Catholic Bishop Won’t Attend Loyola University Graduation Over Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishop Won’t Attend Loyola University Graduation Over Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 10, 2005

New Orleans, LA ( — The archbishop of New Orleans is criticizing Loyola University for planning to honor a pair of pro-abortion politicians. He says he will not attend commencement ceremonies at Loyola University this weekend as a result.

The university is offering a collective honorary doctorate to the Landrieu family, which includes Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and her brother, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. Both support legal abortion.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes said he was disappointed about the honor, and had told Loyola’s President, the Rev. Kevin Wildes, of his opposition to the decision to honor former Mayor Moon Landrieu, his wife, and their nine children.

“Not all members of the family have been faithful to the church’s teaching regarding public policy,” Hughes said in a statement.

The archbishop said he would boycott the commencement because he did not want to “confuse the faithful” by giving the “impression that it is appropriate to include in an honor anyone who dissents publicly from Church teaching.”

The archbishop’s statement cited an agreement reached in 2004 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. That agreement stated that Catholic institutions should not “give awards, honors, or platforms to those who act contrary to church teaching on fundamental moral principles.”

The university has issued a statement describing the Landrieus as “extraordinary examples of people living out the Jesuit mission of ‘men and women for others.’”

While Mary Landrieu voted to prohibit a controversial late-term abortion procedure, she has consistently supported legal abortion.

And as a state lawmaker in 1990 and 1991, Mitch Landrieu opposed several measures to criminalize abortion.

Back in 2002, the university attracted criticism when it invited abortion advocate Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, to speak on campus and receive an award for her work. The event drew about 75 protesters.