WORCESTER, Massachusetts, October 24, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just hours before the College of the Holy Cross hosted a conference on preventing teen pregnancy that includes workshops by organizations such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL and a presentation of an award to pro-abortion Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, The Cardinal Newman Society hosted a talk by Dawn Eden at the Worcester Cathedral in front of 150 people.
The event promoted the type of Catholic approach to the problem of teen pregnancy, that Holy Cross might have chosen to remain faithful to its Catholic identity, and was held in cooperation with the Worcester Diocese’s Respect Life Office and a broad coalition of Holy Cross alumni and supporters.
Miss Eden, Director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s Love & Responsibility program and author of The Thrill of the Chaste, delivered a speech entitled “Preventing Teen Pregnancy: The Catholic Approach.”
In her talk, Eden detailed how Church teachings on chastity offer a solution to not only the problem of teen pregnancy but also the wider problems of family breakdown while abortion, contraception, and other “solutions” offered by Planned Parenthood and their allies exacerbate those problems. She also placed the issue, in accordance with Church teachings, into the context of what steps Catholic colleges can and should take to promote Catholic values on life, love and sexuality.
Eden noted “A Catholic college like the College of the Holy Cross ought to ensure that all aspects of campus life, including residence halls, speaker policies, campus ministry activities and health center services are all directed toward building a culture that encourages chastity. Obviously bringing Planned Parenthood and a pro-abortion politician to campus is not the way to do this.”
The talk by Eden closed nearly a month’s worth of behind the scenes efforts and public pressure on the college to cancel the event. Vic Melfa, President of the independent Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society, who has been tirelessly working for over a decade to renew his alma mater’s Catholic identity, provided the Cathedral audience with an up to the minute update on situation on the Holy Cross campus.
Among those who have spoken out forcefully has been Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester, who said in a lengthy statement, “It is my fervent wish that the administration of the College of the Holy Cross will unequivocally disassociate itself from the upcoming conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy so that the college can continue to be recognized as a Catholic institution committed to promoting the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.”
Unfortunately, Holy Cross President Father Michael C. McFarland, S.J. responded to the Bishop’s thoughtful statement by declaring his continued support for the event.
“How can students develop a religious, moral and social sense if their Catholic college is not dedicated to truth and life? Fortunately for the students of Holy Cross, they have a wonderful shepherd in Bishop McManus,” said Eden.