Catholic Bishop Won’t Attend Mercyhurst College Graduation to Protest Clinton Event

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishop Won’t Attend Mercyhurst College Graduation to Protest Clinton Event

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 1
, 2008

Erie, PA ( — Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman has announced he won’t attend the graduation ceremonies at Mercyhurst College because the school is hosting Hillary Clinton today. Trautman says it’s wrong for a Catholic college to give a pro-abortion politician a platform to air views that diametrically opposed the Church’s pro-life stance.

Trautman released a written statement on Monday, one day before Clinton’s scheduled appearance for a rally.

"I am disappointed in Mercyhurst College for not reflecting the pro-life stance of the Catholic Church regarding abortion," Bishop Trautman wrote.

"As tangible expression of my disappointment, I have notified [Mercyhurst President Tom] Gamble that I will not be present for Mercyhurst’s graduation," he added. "I am open to meeting with Dr. Gamble in the future to ascertain how the Catholic identity of Mercyhurst can be better clarified."

Trautman has frequently attended the graduation ceremonies at Mercyhurst, according to the Erie Times newspaper, but won’t appear at the May 18 ceremonies this year.

The Times said Gamble released a statement of his own in response.

"While we respect Bishop Trautman’s decision, we are saddened by it and will deeply miss his presence at graduation," he said.

"Our mission counsels us to educate our students in an environment where faith and reason flourish together, and toward that end provide opportunities for our students to be well informed politically and religiously," he wrote.

As reported on Monday, Tim Broderick, the head of People for Life, said his group would protest the evening speech.

"We will, among other things, be organizing a protest demonstration. I hope to mobilize 100 – 200 people for the demonstration," he said.

Broderick said Clinton’s appearance at Mercyhurst College will "mislead the general public about Hillary and Bill Clinton’s extreme commitment to actively promoting abortion in America and around the world."

He said it would also "mislead the public in general and Catholics in particular about the Catholic Church’s very cogent recognition that abortion is precisely the murder of an innocent human being."

This isn’t the first time a Catholic college has given one of the pro-abortion candidates a platform to promote themselves.

The Clinton campaign rally comes after Villanova University hosted Michelle Obama earlier this month. In January, Senator Obama appeared at a huge rally on the campus on Saint Peter’s College, a Jesuit institution in Jersey City, New Jersey.

ACTION: Please send your complaints to: Dr. Thomas J. Gamble, President of Mercyhurst College, phone: (814) 824-2311, fax: (814) 824-3333 or e-mail: [email protected]

Related web sites:
People for Life –