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Catholic University of America officially cancels classes for March for Life

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic university has instituted a new policy cancelling classes that fall on the annual National March for Life.

Catholic University of America (CUA) announced yesterday that henceforth, classes will not be held during the March for Life so faculty and students can attend the demonstration.

In a news bulletin for its webpage, CUA noted that the American Catholic Church's national university has participated in every March for Life since it began in January 1974. This was one years after Supreme Court made abortion on demand legal in its Roe v. Wade decision. 

Previously, CUA had accommodated participation by counting the March as an excused absence from class. The university's President Garvey introduced  the new policy to the university community in a December email, saying he wanted "a simpler approach" to the issue.

"Effective the 46th annual March for Life on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, all classes will be cancelled from 11 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.," the university announced. 

It also noted that CUA students, being only three metro stops away from the March, have the quickest and easiest trip to the event. Meanwhile, CUA regularly provides hospitality to marchers from around the country.

"Every year the University hosts thousands of high school students overnight in advance of the March," the communiqué read.

"In addition to serving as hospitality ministers to these visitors, Catholic University students also serve as ushers at the National Prayer Vigil for Life, where thousands of pilgrims gather to celebrate Mass the night before the March."

CUA faculty, staff, and students going to the March will meet at 11 A.M. for a brief assembly in O'Connell hall before heading to the March together.

Not all CUA students are thrilled with the administration's endorsement of the March for Life. A CUA Master of Social Work student named Allana Chittick wrote on CUA's Facebook page that it is important for the public to know that "not all students support this."

"As an MSW graduate student, PLEASE do not be deterred to apply to our amazing program by this oppressive march. I intend on protesting it this year, and feel comfortable as a student doing so. Many different opinions exist here," she wrote.

Her dissent was echoed by a graduate of the MSW program, who called CUA's National Catholic School of Social Services a "safe haven."

"[G]raduated from the MSW program in 2013 and loved it," wrote Jackie Easton.

"NCSSS was a safe haven on that campus and seeing the activism by current students recently demonstrates the strength of the program. So disappointed to see where the university is going in this era. Was a totally different place when I was an undergrad."

These opponents of the March for Life were confronted online by several Catholic CUA students, who pointed out that the university is both private and Roman Catholic.

"It's almost like the university's motto is literally 'God is my light,'" quipped Conner Philip Dunleavy.

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