St. Louis University Undecided on Discipline for Coach’s Pro-Abortion Comments

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

St. Louis University Undecided on Discipline for Coach’s Pro-Abortion Comments Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 5,

St. Louis, MO ( — St. Louis University officials are still undecided on whether they will do anything to discipline basketball coach Rick Majerus after the pro-abortion comments he made at a rally for pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Catholic pro-life advocates have called for the university to do something in response.

Last month, Majerus said in a television interview, "I’m pro-choice personally. I believe that’s the province of being a woman."

He also supported embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

Saint Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke condemned the comments and said Majerus is doing the Catholic university a disservice by speaking out against a prominent Catholic teaching.

The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of the college, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday that he has not spoken with Archbishop Burke about the issue.

At a press conference on Monday about another matter, Biondi didn’t tell the newspaper much beyond the official statement the university produced after the controversy saying Majerus’ comments were his own and didn’t reflect the views of the educational institution.

"Archbishop Burke has said what he has said. Mr. Coach Rick Majerus has said what he has said," Biondi said. "And I’ve made my statement."

"We don’t do embryonic stem cell research. We don’t do abortions. We don’t teach murder," Biondi added when asked about whether SLU tolerates the practices.

Asked if Majerus would be punished for his comments, Biondi shook his head no. However, SLU spokesman Clayton Berry later told the newspaper that Biondi was saying no that he would not answer any more questions about the incident.

Majerus told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last month that he can’t believe the condemnation he’s received, including Burke’s saying he should be denied communion.

"I’m very respectful to the archbishop, but I rely on my value judgments, thanks to my education at Marquette, which is a Jesuit institution, just like St. Louis," he said.

"It’s not possible to be a Catholic and hold those positions," Burke said after hearing what Majerus said.

"When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don’t have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can’t make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic church."