By Hilary White

WASHINGTON, October 25, 2006 ( –”Few have accomplished as much as Fr. Drinan, and fewer still have done so much to make the world a better place.” So said T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center on Monday, as he honoured one of the US’s most infamous and aggressive crusaders for abortion, Jesuit priest, Robert Drinan. The ceremony at Georgetown was to name a new faculty chair for human rights after Drinan.

Catholic News Agency quotes Aleinikoff saying, “This new Chair honours Fr. Drinan’s lifelong commitment to public service and will allow us to bring distinguished human rights scholars and advocates to Georgetown Law.”

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, head of Human Life International, called the honour, “deeply disturbing” and “hypocritical.” In a statement, Euteneuer condemned the creation of a faculty chair for human rights “in the name of a heretical priest who has spent much of his lifetime advocating for the most heinous of human rights violations: abortion.”

One of Fr. Drinan’s many contributions to the contemporary legal and political environment not mentioned at the Georgetown ceremony is now a maxim for politicians in support of abortion: “I’m personally opposed butâEUR¦” The popular equivocation, has found its way into every stratum of public life and is now being applied to the other end of the life issues, specifically euthanasia. In the presidential election race in 2004, pro-abortion “Catholic” Democrat candidate John Kerry used it to defend the Oregon assisted suicide law.

Drinan continues to maintain his “personal opposition” to abortion while he defends legalized abortion without restriction up to the last moment before natural birth.

Drinan has received 21 honorary degrees throughout his life and has authored several books. He is the vice-chair of the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that has made anti-Christian activism its watchword in recent years. Drinan continues to teach classes in international human rights law at Georgetown and is a prolific columnist.

In 1970 Drinan won a seat on the Democratic ticket to Congress where he used his position to promote abortion in law. His abortion advocacy finally prompted Pope John Paul II to issue a decree definitively banning priests from running for or holding public office. This prohibition was written into the newly revised Code of Canon Law and has been reiterated in Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est.

The official censure of the Church did not stop Fr. Drinan from speaking out in 1996 supporting US President and fellow Georgetown alumnus Bill Clinton’s veto “partial birth abortion” ban. In 2004, however, Georgetown’s Dean Aleinikoff called Drinan, “an international treasure.”

Fr. Drinan is still treated by the Church as a Catholic priest in good standing and his faculties to celebrate Mass have never been suspended by his order, the Society of Jesus.

Drinan’s disobedience and promotion of child-murder have earned him a hero’s reputation in the US in certain circles. In 2004, calling him “the stuff of which legends are made”, the American Bar Association awarded Drinan its highest honour, the ABA Medal.

“Father Drinan has never faltered in his extraordinary humanitarian efforts and support for justice under the law,” ABA president Dennis Archer said at the time.

American Life League’s Joe Starrs wrote the same year as the ABA Medal award, that Drinan is a hero at Georgetown specifically because of his disloyalty to the Church.

Starrs, pointing to an article in Georgetown University’s campus newspaper by Jesuit Fr. Ryan Maher, described Drinan as “a Georgetown hero of legendary status.” Maher wrote, “Drinan’s career in Congress is a matter of public record. It’s a record that has been assailed by some. ‘Un-Catholic,’ [sic] they rail, with the smug certitude of Pharisees in every age.”

Fr. Euteneuer said in a media release Monday, “At age 85, Fr. Drinan doesn’t need another hypocritical award. He needs to be in a monastery praying for the salvation of his soul. While he’s at it, he should also pray for Georgetown’s return to full communion with the Catholic Church.”

The media spokesman for Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, did not return calls by deadline.

Read related coverage:
Kerry “Personally Opposed” to Assisted Suicide But Will Not Oppose Oregon Euthanasia Law

Pro-Abortion Jesuit Robert Drinan to Speak Today at Catholic University