New York Catholic Diocese Cancels Abortion Activist’s School Talk

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 22, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Catholic Diocese Cancels Abortion Activist’s School Talk Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 22
, 2007

Syracuse, NY ( — The Catholic Diocese of Syracuse has canceled a planned speech by former national Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe was slated to discuss a book he’d written on his involvement in politics at his high school alma mater, Bishop Ludden High School.

The political activist is now the head of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and officials with the Catholic church said the talk would be inappropriate because McAuliffe is a strong abortion supporter.

His views go against the pro-life teachings of the church.

The diocese cited an interview McAuliffe gave to a nationally syndicated radio program last month saying he favors abortion "no question about it."

During the 2004 presidential campaign, he named former NARAL president Kate Michelman as the head of a campaign to mobilize pro-abortion voters behind Democratic nominee John Kerry.

Danielle Cummings, assistant chancellor and diocesan spokeswoman, in a statement issued Wednesday said the talk was scrubbed.

According to an AP report, she indicated that the diocese adopted a policy in 2003 saying "any person who publicly supports abortion or who holds that abortion is a right or a matter of choice, may not be invited to speak at diocesan functions or in its diocesan/parish facilities — except at an academic symposium where both sides of the issue can be fairly presented."

Syracuse Bishop James Moynihan approved McAuliffe’s appearance but was unaware of his pro-abortion stance.

The activist responded to the cancellation with a statement he gave AP.

"While my views on this issue have been public and consistent for many years, they have not prevented me from working and speaking to Catholic organizations in the past," he said. "I hope we can keep an open dialogue to find common ground in the future."

This isn’t the first time the diocese has scratched a speech from a pro-abortion activist.

In May 2005 it canceled a commencement address pro-abortion Republican congressman Sherwood Boehlert planned to give at St. Elizabeth College of Nursing in Utica after a local pro-life group complained.