Catholic University of San Francisco Hosts Head of Pro-Abortion Amnesty International
by Steven Ertelt
October 20, 2009
San Francisco, CA (LifeNews.com) — The University of San Francisco, a Catholic educational institution, will host an event with the head of Amnesty International, even though the human rights group changed its position in 2007 to support abortions. The move is coming under fire from a pro-life group that monitors Catholic colleges.
On October 27, the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Research at the Jesuit university will host a book signing and panel discussion featuring Irene Khan.
She has been the secretary general of Amnesty International and it was under Khans leadership that the organization changed its official position on abortion from neutrality to support for abortion.
Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, condemned the decision.
The Catholic Church has made it abundantly clear that the decision of Amnesty International to support abortion is a direct betrayal of its own mission in service of human rights, he told LifeNews.com today. How sad it is that USF is degrading its Catholic identity by giving a platform to the head of this once-admirable, but now morally compromised organization.
Reilly noted that, in September 2006, Bishop William S. Skystad, representing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to Khan in defense of the unborn against the move to a pro-abortion stance.
He also pointed to a statement by the Vaticans Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace that promised if Amnesty persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organizations must withdraw their support because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, Amnesty International has betrayed its mission.
Meanwhile, in 2004, the USCCB issued the statement Catholics in Political Life which precludes granting a platform such as the one USF intends to give Khan.
The statement says: The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.
Reilly notes that the University of San Francisco web page announcing Khans discussion says the event is sponsored by the ‘Office of the President, University Ministry, Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, and the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.
CNS says this isn’t the first time the University of San Francisco has promoted abortion.
Most Reverend Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa, was an honorary degree recipient and undergraduate commencement speaker at the University of San Francisco on May 22. Bishop Dowling has publicly criticized abstinence-only programs.
Meanwhile, USF staff member Julia Dowd was criticized for supporting pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius for a post in the Obama administration.
Related web sites:
Cardinal Newman Society – https://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org
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