CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts, February 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Notorious abortion rights advocate, congressman, and Jesuit priest, Robert Drinan, is to be honored at the Catholic Boston College next month with a celebration of his life and work.

Boston College announced yesterday that a panel discussion, featuring other pro-abortion speakers, will be held March 7, 2011. 

Though he died in 2007, Robert Drinan’s legacy of opposition to his Church survived him.  The combative Jesuit was a lightning-rod for controversy throughout his political career.  He came to Washington as an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam; later he became one of the most reliable votes in Congress in favor of unrestricted legal abortion. 

In 1996 the priest-politician shocked many Catholics by praising President Bill Clinton for his veto of legislation banning partial-birth abortion.  One of Father Drinan’s last acts was as celebrant for a mass requested by pro-abort Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s at Washington’s Catholic Trinity University in 2007.

The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) today issued a press release and letter to the president of Boston College opposing their decision to honor the priest.  CNS requested that Boston College cancel the event and make policies to ensure that future honors conform to the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

“Whatever Father Drinan’s contributions to Boston College over the years, and despite his perhaps laudable efforts on other human rights issues, his record on abortion should disqualify him from any honors by a Catholic institution,” said Patrick Reilly, president of the CNS to President William Leahy of Boston College.

The panel discussion is scheduled to highlight Fr. Raymond Schroth, S.J., a public supporter of pro-abortion politics, and author of new work “Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress.”  Another speaker scheduled is U.S. Congressman Barney Frank.  CNS called Frank a “strident defender of legal abortion” whose opposition to Church teachings is well-known in both personal and political life.

Sanford Katz, law professor at Boston College and moderator for the panel, called Fr. Drinan one of Boston College’s brightest stars.  “One of the key and very important missions of the Jesuit order is to pursue social justice,” said Katz. “Fr. Drinan personified that mission of the order.” 

“To celebrate his legacy is a public dishonor to the souls of the millions slaughtered in the name of ‘choice,’” said Reilly of the CNS. “It would also seem to be a flagrant violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 ban on honors for those who are publicly opposed to Church teachings.”

To Contact the President of Boston College:
President William Leahy
Botolph House General
18 Old Colony Road
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Phone: (617) 552-3250
Email: william.leahy@bc.edu