New Jersey Catholic School Rejects Pro-Abortion Speaker Christie Whitman
by Steven Ertelt
October 8, 2008
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — A Catholic school in New Jersey has stuck with the directions of the nation’s Catholic bishops and has rejected a pro-abortion former politician from speaking. Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic girls school in Princeton Township denied former governor Christie Whitman a platform.
Whitman is a rare Republican elected official who supports abortion. She was booked for an event at the school called the "Women in Leadership Forum."
The event was scheduled for Monday night but the school eventually canceled Whitman after a request from Diocese of Trenton Bishop John M. Smith.
Bishop Smith wrote the school last month and told officials that Whitman is a long-time abortion advocate and her pro-abortion position is "totally contrary" to Catholic teachings promoting the right to life.
Smith wrote that her speaking could mislead students, teachers and parents about where the Catholic Church stands on pro-life issues.
According to a Trenton Times report, school headmistress Sister Frances de la Chapelle wrote to Bishop Smith and said the school would comply with his request.
"We are sincerely disappointed that we will not be able to hear Governor Whitman speak about leadership to our students. However, as a Sacred Heart School, we respect and honor the views of the Roman Catholic Church," she wrote.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops adopted a policy in 2004 that tells Catholic schools not give a platform to abortion advocates.
"Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles," the document they unanimously adopted says. "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
The statement, called "Catholics in Political Life," was adopted by a vote of 183-6.
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