MANASSAS, VA, November 10, 2008 ( – Several outspoken professors and political activities on Catholic campuses helped deliver pro-abortion Barack Obama the Catholic vote, according to a new report from The Cardinal Newman Society (To read the full report, go to:

Exit polls show that Obama won over self-described Catholics 54 to 45 percent—better than the 52-46 split among all Americans—and even made inroads with Mass-attending and white, non-Hispanic Catholics.

Despite the U.S. bishops’ concerns about political candidates who support legalized abortion and embryonic stem cell research, several outspoken professors and political events at Catholic colleges and universities helped convince Catholics that they could vote for such candidates in good conscience. 

The Cardinal Newman Society report documents campus politics in 2008 under four sections: On-Campus Activities at Catholic Colleges, Catholic College Employees, Student Activities at Catholic Colleges, and Honors to Pro-Abortion and Stem Cell Advocates.

Among the examples cited in the report:

– Outspoken professors including Boston College theology professor Lisa Sowle Cahill, Duquesne law professor Nicholas Cafardi (former dean of Duquesne’s law school) and Notre Dame theology professor Cathleen Kaveny publicly challenged bishops’ statements encouraging Catholics to oppose pro-abortion candidates.

– Xavier University in Cincinnati hosted an Obama “Campaign for Change” rally on the eve of the election, and St. Peter’s College in New Jersey hosted an Obama rally featuring a choir of Catholic schoolchildren.

– Nine professors at Catholic colleges and universities served on Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Committee.

– Pamela Trotman Reid, president of St. Joseph College in Hartford, Connecticut, expressed excitement about Obama’s candidacy and concern about future Supreme Court decisions affecting “the right of women to make choices about their own health.”

– Judy Feder, public policy professor and former public policy dean at Georgetown University, joined the Democratic ticket as a pro-abortion congressional candidate in Virginia’s 10th District.

– Several Catholic colleges and universities selected pro-abortion politicians as commencement speakers and honorees.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meets this week in Baltimore, with politics and abortion on the agenda for discussion.  In 2004 the USCCB mandated: “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.”

Last week The Cardinal Newman Society’s Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education published a national survey finding that the behaviors and beliefs of Catholic college students often conflict with Catholic teachings.

See related coverage:

Study Finds Catholic Colleges Have Little Positive Impact on Faith, Values