PHILADELPHIA, PA, February 3, 2009 ( – On Thursday, February 5, 2009, Cabrini College, a Philadelphia-area Catholic institution, plans to bestow its annual public affairs award upon pro-abortion media personality Cokie Roberts.

Cabrini’s Ivy Young Willis Award recognizes women “who have made outstanding contributions in the field of public affairs.” Founded by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1957, Cabrini College strives to integrate “intellectual competency” and “moral and social responsibility.”

Cokie Roberts, a Roman Catholic, is a political commentator for ABC News and a senior news analyst for National Public Radio. In her syndicated column with husband Steve Roberts, she has espoused abortion rights and ridiculed pro-lifers as “extremists.” The pair characterized the federal ban on partial-birth abortion as “off the track” and “cynical game-playing” by pro-life activists. In an April 2007 segment for ABC News, Roberts said that she found the Supreme Court decision upholding this ban on partial-birth abortion “offensive as a woman.”

Roberts has also publicly attacked Pope Benedict XVI as “really lacking in the theological virtue of charity,””an extremely controversial choice” and “the most conservative voice of Catholicism.” Again, in a syndicated column with her husband, she argued that the authority of the Catholic bishops has been significantly weakened, in part because of the teaching on homosexuality and contraception. “It’s as if they are asking to be ignored,” she wrote.

“Catholic families today are yearning for colleges that embrace morality in an age of skepticism, and insist upon high academic standards amid the decline of American education,” said Patrick Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), in response to the news of the award. “There is no legitimate moral or academic purpose to publicly honoring an individual who advances her career by ridiculing the pro-life movement and slinging mud at the spiritual leader of her own Church.”

CNS argues that the honor violates a clear directive of the American Catholic bishops in 2004: “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 Cardinal Newman Society faxed a letter to Dr. Marie Angelella George, President of Cabrini College, last Friday, January 30, urging her to rescind the award offer to Roberts. As of today there has been no response.


To contact the college:

Dr Marie George
610 King of Prussia Rd.
Radnor, PA
Phone: (610) 902-8200
E-mail: [email protected]