FALLS CHURCH, VA, May 7, 2003, ( – In its annual survey of U.S. commencement speakers and honorees, Cardinal Newman Society-the national organization dedicated to strengthening Catholic identity in Catholic higher education—has identified 16 Catholic colleges that have invited inappropriate speakers and honorees and is applauding 14 colleges for their selections.  As evidence of the growing concern about commencement scandals, the American Life League has joined the protest of pro-abortion speakers as part of its “Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church.” Other pro-life and alumni groups are participating in local protests.  “We are pleased with most of this year’s speakers,” said Patrick Reilly, president of Cardinal Newman Society. “But it’s shameful that 16 Catholic colleges and universities would invite scandal by honoring abortion-rights advocates and other inappropriate speakers and honorees.  Certainly they realize that there are thousands of upstanding, admirable people out there who deserve these honors?”  The Cardinal Newman Society also has identified colleges and universities particularly deserving of praise for their excellent speaker and honoree selections.  They include:  U.S. Catholic Bishops speaking at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio; and Saint Leo University in Florida. Notably, Cardinal Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity at the Vatican, will speak at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California.  Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. will be honored at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia; the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts; Saint Joseph’s College in Rennselaer, Indiana; and Siena College in Loudonville, New York.  Faithful Catholic pro-life politicians Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) will speak at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, and Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Well known Catholic leaders Ralph McInerny, will speak at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, Texas.  Details on speakers protested by Cardinal Newman Society including contact information to lodge protest are reproduced in today’s LifeSite Special Report at: