By Gudrun Schultz

  SYRACUSE, New York, February 23, 2007 ( – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse canceled a planned appearance by Terry McAuliffe, key supporter of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, at his old Catholic high school, after discovering he made pro-abortion comments earlier this year in a radio interview.

  The chairman of Sen. Clinton’s presidential campaign, McAuliffe was scheduled to give a presentation at Bishop Ludden High School in Syracuse Feb. 24, on his recently-published memoirs What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals.

  The decision to cancel McAuliffe’s appearance was made after the diocese learned that McAuliffe had declared himself pro-abortion during a radio show hosted by Hugh Hewitt on Jan. 29. “I am pro-choice, no question about it,” he said in response to a question, the Associated Press reported.

  In 2003 the diocese established a policy against inviting public supporters of abortion to speak at Catholic events. “Any person who publicly supports abortion or who holds that abortion is a right or a matter of choice, may not be invited to speak at diocesan functions or in its diocesan/parish facilities—except at an academic symposium where both sides of the issue can be fairly presented.”

  Diocesan spokesperson Danielle Cummings said Syracuse Bishop James Moynihan was not aware of McAuliffe’s statement of abortion support when he approved McAuliffe’s appearance at the high school alumni event, although Clinton’s strong support for abortion and gay activist demands is well known.

  McAuliffe responded to the announcement in a statement to the press, saying, “While my views on this issue have been public and consistent for many years, they have not prevented me from working and speaking to Catholic organizations in the past. I hope we can keep an open dialogue to find common ground in the future.”

  Earlier this month McAuliffe’s bid to join the Knights of Malta, a prestigious order for Catholic laymen, crashed when his pro-abortion views became publicized.

  The Communications Office of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, headquartered in Rome, informed LifeSiteNews that as an openly pro-abortion Catholic politician, Terry McAuliffe would never be admitted into the order of the Knights of Malta, an organization dedicated for nearly 900 years to defending the Catholic Church and its teachings. was also informed by a U.S. member of the Knights of Malta that McAuliffe’s application was withdrawn.

  Also in New York this week, Catholic leaders issued a statement expressing dismay at the decision of New York City officials to up their condom distribution program by millions—the new program, begun on Valentine’s Day, will distribute an estimated 26 million free condoms throughout the city.

“Our political leaders fail to protect the moral tone of our community when they encourage inappropriate sexual activity by blanketing our neighborhoods with condoms,” said Cardinal Edward Egan of New York and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, warning that the “tragic and misguided” decision would “degrade societal standards.”

“Taxpayers’ money that is being spent to distribute condoms and promote the attitude that ‘anything goes’ would be far better spent in fostering what is true and what is decent.”

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Terry McAuliffe: A Pro-Abortion US Knight of Malta?

  Knights of Malta in Rome Reject Pro-Abortion Terry McAuliffe