Franciscan U Responds to Nicholas Cafardi Backing Pro-Abortion Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Franciscan U Responds to Nicholas Cafardi Backing Pro-Abortion Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 3
, 2008

Steubenville, OH ( — Officials at the Franciscan University of Steubenville are responding to criticism over Catholic law professor Nicholas Cafardi endorsing pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama. The endorsement has caused waves within pro-life Catholic circles, party because Cafardi is a Steubenville trustee.

Cafardi, the former Duquesne University School of Law dean, wrote an editorial appearing in the National Catholic Reporter saying he believes abortion is an "unspeakable evil" yet he supports Obama, who has pledged to keep abortion legal another 35 years.

Cafardi bases his endorsement on two points — claiming the pro-life movement has "permanently" lost the abortion battle and saying voting for Obama can be justified on other political issues.

Catholic writer Deal Hudson penned a piece on how a Catholics for Obama event at Carlow University in Pittsburg where Cafardi’s piece was read and subsequently challenged by Steubenville students, who attend a university known for its uncompromising pro-life position.

Steubenville officials responded to the piece with a statement about Cafardi.

"Cafardi’s defense of Barack Obama as a moral choice for Catholics reflects his views as a private citizen, and in no way reflects the views of Franciscan University of Steubenville," FUS officials said.

"Carfardi has acknowledged that in this he does not speak for the Board of Trustees, or for any representative body of the University such as administration, faculty, students, alumni, or parents," the statement read.

Franciscan University directly challenged Cafardi’s contention that the abortion battle is lost.

"Franciscan University stands with the Catholic Church in its opposition to abortion as an intrinsic evil and violation of the sanctity of human life," the school said. "The University does not believe the abortion battle is lost, but that the tide is decidedly turning in favor of life."

The college also said it agreed that, when it comes to public policy, as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, “Life issues are paramount among all issues because the right to life is fundamental. All other rights are based on it.”

As a result, FUS said it encourages students to view pro-life issues "as foundational, and as issues that do not lend themselves to the prudential judgment of the voter."

Cafardi has also come under fire from Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life.

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