Catholic Pro-Life Prof Cafardi Quits Franciscan U Board After Endorsing Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Pro-Life Prof Cafardi Quits Franciscan U Board After Endorsing Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 7
, 2008

Steubenvile, OH ( — A pro-life former law professor Nicholas Cafardi, the former dean of the Duquesne University Law School, has quit his position on the board of trustees for Franciscan University of Steubenville. Cafardi’s decision comes after he received criticism for endorsing pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Cafardi recently issued an endorsement for Obama and claimed the pro-life movement is dead — drawing a strong rebuke from pro-life advocates.

Franciscan University issued a statement saying Cafardi did not represent the views of the college, but it appears Cafardi has resigned on his own without pressure from university officials.

Catholic writer Deal Hudson, who has been following the controversy, tells about the latest events.

"Dr. Terrence Henry, president of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, has just told me that he received a letter of resignation yesterday from [Cafardi]," he said.

"Fr. Henry stressed that Dr. Cafardi’s resignation from the board of Franciscan University was voluntary and had in no way been requested by the University," Hudson added. "Henry added that he was ‘grateful’ for Cafardi’s letter."

"Cafardi’s continued presence on the Franciscan University board became an issue several weeks ago when he publicly endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president," Hudson said.

Cafardi became the second prominent Catholic attorney to endorse Obama, following Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine University — who has been the subject of significant criticism from pro-life advocates.

Cafardi based 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.

But Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, disagreed.
"If you think the battle against abortion has been lost permanently, then you are asserting that the battle for America and civilization itself have been lost," Pavone says. "So don’t trouble yourself one way or another about this election."

"In a case like that, as the bishops state in Living the Gospel of Life, the American experiment would ‘no longer be worth conducting,’" Pavone says.

Pavone also rejects the view that Catholics can support Obama based on other issues apart from abortion — saying "this analysis overlooks the fact that permitting abortion makes the common good impossible."

"You cannot be right on other issues while undermining their foundation," Pavone says — expressing the notion that other rights and freedoms are worthless if someone is killed before birth via abortion.

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