BOSTON, May 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - While Ireland’s Catholic bishops and the pro-life movement are fighting desperately to keep the government from enacting legislation to permit abortion, Boston College, a Catholic institution in Massachusetts, is honoring the head of the same government. Irish pro-life leaders say they are incredulous at the news. Niamh Uí Bhriain of Ireland's Life Institute told LifeSiteNews that the Jesuit college should withdraw its invitation.
The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts also condemned the college for selecting Republic of Ireland Taoiseach (Prime Minisster) Enda Kenny as its 2013 Commencement Speaker. The university will also confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Kenny during commencement exercises on May 20th.
On April 30th, Kenny's coalition government introduced legislation with the Orwellian title "The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013," which would legalise abortion in Ireland under the guise of preventing the suicide of pregnant women. As there is no gestational age limit to the measure, criticis say it would mean abortion on demand, under threat of suicide, through all nine months of pregnancy.
Catholic hospitals would be forced to comply with the proposed law. The bill has also been criticized for containing no conscience clause protections for physicians, nurses, and other health care workers.
"Ireland has a long and proud record of protecting human life and Mr Kenny is using the European Court to foist abortion on Ireland. This is a shameful and horrendous proposal and that needs to be recognised and highlighted, " Uí Bhriain said.
The Catholic Church in Ireland has denounced the measure and called upon the Irish people to lobby their elected representatives to oppose it. Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of Ireland, said the bill, if approved, would "make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful in Ireland." Brady went on to say that: "It is a tragic moment for Irish society when we regard the the deliberate destruction of a completely innocent person as an acceptable response to the threat of the preventable death of another person."
Kenny has threatened to expel pro-life Catholic TDs (members of parliament) from his Fine Gael parliamentary party if they refuse to vote for measure, which is expected to be acted upon in July.
Last year, Kenny's government published legislation---The Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences Against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill---which would impose criminal penalties, including imprisonment up to five years, on priests who refuse to violate the seal of the confessional in cases of sexual abuse.
In a July, 2011 speech, Kenny implied that Pope Benedict XVI approved the cover up of sexual abuse and castigated what he called the "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism" and "narcissism" of the Vatican. Following that attack, Kenny closed the Irish Embassy to the Holy See.
Boston College said Kenny represents the "progressive center" and is committed to "social justice."
The Catholic Action League called Kenny's selection "an astonishing, appalling, disgraceful and deplorable act of betrayal."
Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle, an alumnus of Boston College, said: "Even for a university whose Catholic identity is as compromised as that of BC, this decision is shameful and dishonorable. Boston College has gone beyond promoting dissent against Catholic teaching to giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the Church. Every faithful Catholic in this country ought to protest against this odious perfidy."
Responding to a request for comment, the Archdiocese of Boston noted that Cardinal Sean O'Malley was not scheduled to attend the Commencement due to another committment.
Boston College President Rev. William Leahy, S.J. at 617-552-3250, 617-552-8000, e-mail William.Leahy.email@example.com
Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston at 617-782-2544 or 617-254-0100, e-mail ArchbishopSean@RCAB.org