DAYTON, July 17, 2001 ( – Acting on his own initiative and not as a member of any particular organization, Fr. Peter West of Priests for Life has encouraged pro-lifers to urge a Catholic university to halt plans to honor a pro-abortion politician.

The University of Dayton(UD), a Catholic university run by the Marianists, notes in their Alumni Newsletter that the UD Alumni Association plans to present retired Senator John Glenn with the 2001 “Leadership with Virtue” award on September 20, 2001. Fr. West notes that they cite his four terms in the Senate where he opposed nuclear proliferation and supported increased aid for education and job-training programs, “Yet they overlook the fact that he consistently voted against pre-born children.”

LifeSite contacted UD for its response to Fr. West’s concerns. In a faxed response to LifeSite, the university spokesperson explained the selection of Senator Glen calling him “a true American hero” and a “man of integrity and honor.” UD did say that “as a Catholic institution, we disagree with his position.” However, the University excused its selection of “someone who’s (sic) pro-choice for this award.” The university concluded, “No leader who takes definite and courageous stands will be found perfect by all parties. We live in a world where even the most virtuous are imperfect.”

Fr. West urges pro-lifers, “Please contact the University President and the President of the UD National Alumni Association and politely express your dismay that a Catholic university would honor someone who has dedicated his career to promote abortion.”

Below is contact information:

Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M.  President University of Dayton St. Mary’s Hall, 2nd Floor Dayton, OH   45469-1634 (937) 229-2228 Fax: (937) 229-2009 [email protected]

Bill Hunt Director of Alumni Relations 300 College Park Dayton, OH 45469-2710 (937) 229-3299 [email protected]