John-Henry Westen


Hilary Clinton to Receive Honorary Doctorate at Catholic College Despite Abortion Advocacy

John-Henry Westen

MANASSAS, VA, April 21, 2005 ( - Marymount Manhattan College has invited pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton to deliver its commencement address and receive an honorary doctoral degree on May 20, publicly defying New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan and the U.S. bishops who forbade such honors in a statement last June.

Sen. Clinton has consistently supported legalized abortion, speaking at gatherings of abortion-rights advocates and voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion. She also has advocated expanding embryonic stem cell research and has declared contraception “basic health care for women.” During a January 2005 speech to New York State “family planning providers,” in which Clinton was widely reported as softening her stance on abortion, Clinton in fact began by repeating her firm commitment to keeping abortion legal: “I am so pleased to be here two days after the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that struck a blow for freedom and equality for women. Today Roe is in more jeopardy than ever, and I look forward to working with all of you as we fight to defend it in the coming years.”

However, the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), a national organization dedicated to the renewal of Catholic identity at America’s 220 Catholic colleges and universities, is working to stop the scandal. “We are blowing the whistle on this and any other Catholic college that blatantly disrespects the bishops by defying their clear command and teaching,” said CNS president Patrick J. Reilly. “After decades of scandal at secularizing colleges, last June the bishops drew a line in the sand. No college that deliberately crosses that line deserves the label ‘Catholic’ or the support of the faithful-most especially monetary support.”

CNS has written Marymount Manhattan president Judson Shaver, urging him to immediately cancel both the honorary degree and Clinton’s commencement address “in order to restore fidelity to the College’s Catholic mission, obedience to your bishop and public trust in your commitment to not lead astray the College’s students, your employees and the general public.”

CNS has also written Cardinal Egan suggesting “immediate action to prevent scandal in the Archdiocese of New York.” CNS asked Cardinal Egan to consider advising the College privately to withdraw Clinton’s invitation, but also cautioned against waiting “until it is too late to inform the public that the invitation is in direct conflict with the U.S. bishops’ statement and the Church’s expectations for Catholic colleges, as presented in the 1990 apostolic constitution for Catholic higher education, Ex Corde Ecclesiae.”

In June 2004 by a near-unanimous vote, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the statement “Catholics in Political Life” including the following mandate:

“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.”

“Pope John Paul II has been laid to rest, but his legacy continues to be desecrated by heretics and public dissenters in ‘religious studies’ departments, campus entertainment like the offensive ‘Vagina Monologues’ and college officials who fail to uphold their colleges’ Catholic mission,” Reilly said. “The time to implement the Holy Father’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae is now, not later. Which class of students will finally be liberated from false teaching and fraudulent institutions? For how many more years do we abandon our young adults?”

To express your concerns to the college contact college president
Judson R. Shaver, Ph.D.
[email protected]
Marymount Manhattan College, 221 East 71st Street, NY 10021
1-800-MARYMOUNT or 1-212-517-0430

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