Buffalo Bishop Does Not Request Cancellation of Clinton Address to Jesuit College

BUFFALO, January 31, 2005 ( - Following on the news that pro-abortion Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to address Catholic Canisius College today, the bishop of Buffalo has issued an equivocal statement distancing himself and the Church from the college, while failing to force the college to withdraw their invitation. 

Clinton is speaking at a lecture series titled “Corporal Works of Mercy,” on the government’s role in caring for the sick. Series organizer, local Democrat John J. LaFalce, claims he invited Clinton because of her expertise on health care issues. 

Buffalo Bishop Edward Kmiec issued a statement Friday saying that, despite reservations about having a pro-abortion politician address a Catholic institution, he “. . . subscribe[s] to the statement on ‘Catholics in Political Life’ issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

The bishop quotes the USCCB: “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principals with awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” His letter continues, “However it also states that we are ‘committed to maintaining communications with public officials who make decisions everyday that touch issues of human life and dignity.”

“It is for that reason,” the bishop writes, “despite calls for the cancellation of the event, that it was thought best to allow it to proceed, though reluctantly, in order to maintain channels of communication with Senator Clinton and others who hold her views.” 

Pro-life groups including the Buffalo Regional Right to Life Committee, the Cardinal Newman Society, and the Republican National Coalition for Life have all issued statements condemning Clinton’s appearance. 

“I don’t think he went far enough, I’m sorry,” said Stasia Zoladz Vogel, president of the Buffalo Regional Right to Life Committee, referring to the Bishop’s letter, as reported by “They owe her nothing. She’s a public official. They can talk to her at any time.”

“The bottom line is (Canisius officials) are responsible for creating a grave scandal within the Catholic community,” Vogel said. Allowing Clinton to speak at a Catholic college, Vogel continued, “is like taking a member of the Ku Klux Klan to address foreign trade and saying, ‘Well, he’s addressing foreign trade, so it doesn’t matter.’”  Senator Clinton is scheduled to speak today at 1:45 p.m. 

Canisius College President, Father Vincent Cook can be reached at 716-888-2100 or by e-mail at [email protected]  


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