By Kathleen Gilbert and John Jalsevac
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Vice President Joe Biden, a strong abortion proponent, said that there is "no excuse" to harm a child during an awards ceremony at the Law Center of the Jesuit-run Georgetown University yesterday, according to CNSNews.com.
The vice-president’s appearance at the university had been condemned by pro-life Catholics, who argued that the event violated a directive from the U.S. bishops that pro-abortion politicians should not be honored by Catholic institutions.
The president of the Cardinal Newman Society, which has been in the news recently for its efforts to oppose Notre Dame’s decision to have President Obama as its commencement speaker and to honor him with an honorary law degree, said that in some ways Biden’s appearance at Georgetown may be even more problematic than the Notre Dame situation.
"In many ways this honor is worse because not only is Georgetown honoring a pro-abortion Catholic politician, but it is doing so in co-operation with a national pro-abortion lobby, Legal Momentum," said Patrick Reilly, according to CNSNews.
Biden spoke and was honored at a ceremony celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA).
The event was co-sponsored by The Georgetown Journal of Gender and Law and Legal Momentum, a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual "marriage" lobby group once known as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. Biden was given the Legal Momentum Hero Award due to the fact that he was one of VAWA’s original sponsors.
"You know there is no excuse for violence against a woman or child. There is no excuse," said Biden in his speech.
Biden, a staunch advocate in favor of abortion availability, drew ire from the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. when, in a 2008 Meet the Press interview, he attempted to justify his support for abortion in light of his Catholic faith.
The National Right to Life Committee gave Biden a 0 percent rating for the 2007-8 Congressional session, meaning he did not vote to protect unborn children in any opportunity.
The award to a strongly pro-abortion politician at a Catholic university comes at a sensitive moment, as over 330,000 individuals, including 46 bishops, to date have condemned the University of Notre Dame for inviting President Obama, an aggressive abortion proponent, to speak and receive an honorary law degree May 17.
In their criticisms of the Notre Dame situation many of the bishops have cited a 2004 mandate by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that states: "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."
The response to Biden’s being honored at Georgetown has been muted in comparison to the Notre Dame scandal, due in part to the fact that news of the award only broke in news media the day before the award ceremony was set to take place.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Georgetown Law School to Honor Pro-Abortion Catholic Biden Wednesday