By Hilary White

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, February 13, 2008 ( – One of the most aggressively pro-abortion political candidates in recent times, Hillary Clinton, will not be made welcome at a Texas Catholic university campus if the Archbishop of San Antonio has any say in the matter. Clinton, one of two leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, has scheduled a rally for today at the Bill Greehey Arena of St. Mary’s, a Catholic liberal arts college founded by the Marianist religious order.

Doors are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m., with the rally starting at 6:30 p.m.

Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio said today that he had been neither “advised nor consulted” on the decision to allow Clinton to appear. In a statement, he said, “Catholic institutions are obliged to teach and promote Catholic values in all instances. This is especially important when people look to our Catholic universities and colleges to provide leadership and clarity to the often complicated and conflicting political discourse.”

Archbishop Gomez cited the 2004 statement by the US Bishops, Catholics in Political Life, in which politicians who oppose Catholic teachings on life and family were barred from using Catholic facilities as venues. The statement 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.”

Gomez said, “It is clear that the records of Senator Clinton and some of the other candidates for president on important life issues are not consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.”

In a statement, President Charles Cottrell said only, “As a Catholic tax-exempt university, St. Mary’s does not endorse political candidates or their positions on issues and acknowledges the fundamental differences between those of the presidential candidates and the Catholic Church.”

But others are calling for the school to stop the appearance. The Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization of Catholic students seeking to re-establish a strong Catholic identity in US Catholic colleges, issued a call saying that a Catholic university “has a distinct and unique responsibility” to support and uphold “fundamental Catholic values”.

Patrick Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), said, “These fundamental values include the fact that abortion is always wrong, and St. Mary’s promotion of Senator Clinton’s campaign lends credence to the ‘pro-choice’ position.”

Reilly said he has faxed a letter to President Cottrell, saying, “A political rally by any candidate with a long public record of support for abortion has no academic or educational value and I encourage you to cancel it immediately.”

To contact St. Mary’s University:
  One Camino Santa Maria
  San Antonio, Texas, USA
  (210) 436-3011

Office of the President:
  phone: (210) 436-3722
  fax: (210) 431-2226
[email protected]