BOSTON, May 15, 2014 ( – The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today criticized Jesuit administered Boston College for its decision to confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on U. S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who has also been invited to serve as the university's 2014 Commencement speaker. The League is also urging Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, to repeat his 2013 decision to withdraw from the commencement because of the honoree's advocacy of abortion.


In their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said: “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.”

Secretary Kerry is a supporter of legal abortion, the public funding of abortion, partial birth abortion, abortions at military hospitals and buffer zones limiting free speech around abortion clinics. He has also endorsed contraception, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, physician assisted suicide, same gender marriage, federal gay rights legislation, the distribution of condoms to minors, family planning programs as part of U.S. foreign aid, and taxpayer financing of both Planned Parenthood and the U. N. Fund for Population Activities.

As a U.S. Senator, Kerry received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. As a presidential candidate in 2004, Kerry was endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and promised, if elected, to appoint only those jurists who agree with Roe v. Wade to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In August 2003, Senator Kerry publicly criticized Pope, now Saint John Paul II in the pages of the Boston Herald. Kerry accused the recently canonized pontiff of “crossing the line,” of violating the American separation of church and state because of a Vatican exhortation to Catholic political leaders to oppose same gender marriage.

The Catholic Action League called Kerry's selection “an outrageous insult to faithful Catholics, to the pro-life movement and to Saint John Paul II.”

“Few American politicians have managed to compile John Kerry's record of prolonged, sustained, and pervasive opposition to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” said Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle.

“Last year, Cardinal O'Malley withdrew from the BC commencement and criticized the choice of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as the graduation speaker because the cardinal said Kenny was 'aggressively promoting abortion legislation,'” he added. “Nothing in Kenny's position on abortion begins to remotely compare however with John Kerry's 30 year, wide ranging, career long, lockstep support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL.”

Doyle, an alumnus of Boston College, said of his alma mater, “Three weeks after the canonization of Saint John Paul II, the Jesuits at Boston College are honoring a political figure who launched a demagogic, intellectually dishonest, cheap shot attack on that saint while he was alive and infirm, and the man created Archbishop of Boston by that saint is, reportedly, participating in the proceedings. It's really quite appalling.”

The Catholic Action League will join with Operation Rescue Boston, and other Catholic and pro-life groups in protesting John Kerry's award on Monday.

Contact information:

Cardinal Sean O’Malley