Group Calls to Task Pro-Abortion Professors at Catholic Colleges

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 17, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Group Calls to Task Pro-Abortion Professors at Catholic Colleges Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 17, 2005

Washington, DC ( — A leading Catholic watchdog organization that monitors Catholic colleges and universities for their adherence to church teachings says some of the leading Catholic colleges in the country have professors who back abortion and euthanasia.

In a letter to tens of thousands of pro-life Catholics across the country, the Cardinal Newman Society says 18 professors at institutions from Boston College to Georgetown University should be replaced because of their views that run contrary to pro-life teachings.

The group says the professors back abortion and also supported the euthanasia of Terri Schiavo, the disabled woman whose estranged husband was granted the ability to remove her feeding tube.

"It is for us to raise our voice in defense of the truth and demand that authentic Catholic doctrine be brought back to our beloved universities and colleges," Eugene Diamond, former president of the Catholic Medical Association, wrote in the CNS letter.

The group says administrators at the Catholic educational institutions that fail to remove the professors run the risk of being "stripped of its Catholic identity by the bishop who has authority over that college."

Eric McFadden, director of Catholics for Faithful Citizenship, a more liberal Catholic group, criticized the letter and told the Associated Press CNS should not have named professors.

But Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, defended including the professors’ names because they have already publicly stated their views in favor of abortion or supporting killing Terri Schiavo.

"Who came out publicly in the first place?" Reilly told AP. "To suggest we should not come out would be fairly hypocritical."

”We are responding to the public actions of statements of faculty members at these institutions. We are responding to their advocacy contrary to Catholic teaching," Reilly explained. "We don’t think those positions are appropriate. We don’t think they should be using platforms at Catholic institutions to present those positions."

Rev. John Paris, a bioethics professor at Boston College, in an interview with AP, called CNS "a self-appointed vigilante committee."

Some Catholic institutions have come under fire not just from CNS but leading Catholic Church officials.

In April, the Catholic Church disaffiliated with Marymount Manhattan College, in New York, when it announced plans to plans to honor pro-abortion Senator Hillary Clinton with an honorary degree. Clinton also delivered the commencement address.

In May, Cardinal William Keeler, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, indicated he would boycott the graduation ceremony at Loyola College of Maryland because it chose pro-abortion former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to give its commencement speech.

Last summer, the nation’s Catholic bishops adopted a document that calls on Catholic colleges and universities not to give a platform to elected officials who back abortion.

"Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles," the bishops said. "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

The statement, called "Catholics in Political Life," was adopted by a vote of 183-6 last summer.

Other professors highlighted in the letter include those from the University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, Marquette University, University of Notre Dame and Seattle University.

CNS describes itself as a ”movement to rescue Catholic higher education."

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