Christendom College Will Honor Pro-Life Leader at Graduation Ceremonies in May

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Christendom College Will Honor Pro-Life Leader at Graduation Ceremonies in May

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 30
, 2009

Front Royal, VA ( — While the University of Notre Dame is drawing condemnation from pro-life Catholics for honoring pro-abortion President Barack Obama, Christendom College in Virginia will honor a nationally-respected pro-life leader at its graduation ceremonies in May.

The college, which allowed all of its students to take part in the recent March for Life, will honor Father Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life at its May 15-17 event.

Since its first graduation ceremony in 1980, Christendom College has honored outstanding individuals who have rendered faithful service to the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. This year’s invitees are no different.

Christendom officials will present Father Pavone with its Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country.

“Over the years, we have had some great Catholic men and women as commencement speakers, particularly, some great pro-life ones," Director of Admissions and Public Relations Tom McFadden said in a statement to

Nellie Gray of the March for Life, Joseph Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, Gov. Robert Casey, and Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey are some of the past award recipients.

McFadden talked about the controversy at Notre Dame and he said pro-life Catholics never have to worry about Christendom getting into hot water with students or alumni by honoring or inviting abortion advocates to deliver the commencement address.

“Notre Dame, the university named after ‘Our Lady,’ is honoring one of the world’s most pro-abortion leaders on May 17 while Christendom College will be honoring one of the world’s most pro-life leaders on May 16," he said. "I wonder which one Our Lady is happy with?”

Christendom College president, Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, said Catholic colleges do a disservice to the pro-life beliefs of the Catholic Church by giving a platform to abortion advocates.

”Commencement ceremonies across the country are meant to be times of celebration for the various institutions, and a time to honor individuals from whom we want our graduates to learn and grow as young Catholics entering today’s increasingly secularized society,” he said.

“To think that, as a Catholic college, we could invite someone who promotes policies and values that are contrary to basic human truths that can be known by the natural light of reason and are contrary to the fundamental right to life would be a violation of the noble mission of Catholic higher education," he added.

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