Manassas, VA, February 26, 2008 ( – Following a series of campaign events by pro-abortion presidential candidates on Catholic college campuses, a coalition of influential Catholic organizations today released a statement urging all Catholic institutions to refuse to host politicians who oppose Catholic teaching on serious moral issues. 

  Organized by The Cardinal Newman Society, a group that works to renew and strengthen the Catholic identity of colleges and universities across the country, the statement urges Catholic institutions to “refrain from all activities that provide a public platform to, or imply support or even neutrality toward, political leaders and candidates who advocate positions on serious moral issues that are clearly contrary to Catholic teaching.”

“Too often,” write the signers, “some Catholic institutions pursue a misguided engagement with public policy and politics that compromises and even undermines their Catholic mission.  Catholic institutions should engage the culture from a faithfully Catholic perspective, not a position of neutrality.  Political engagement does not require partisanship or endorsement of particular candidates.  But it also does not require secularization, by which Catholic institutions accept moral relativism and simply mirror secular culture.”

  Signers of the statement include leaders of prominent Catholic organizations such as The Cardinal Newman Society, Catholic Education Association, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights, Catholic Medical Association, Catholics United for the Faith, Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, Fellowship of Catholic University Students, Human Life International, National Association of Private Catholic & Independent Schools, and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.

  On February 13, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio hosted a rally for Sen. Hillary Clinton over Archbishop Jose Gomez’s objections.  St. Norbert College in Wisconsin did the same on February 17.  St. Peter’s College in New Jersey hosted a large rally for Barack Obama on January 9, as did Loras College in Iowa last March.  In January, Archbishop Raymond Burke urged Saint Louis University to discipline its basketball coach for his remarks at a Clinton rally supporting abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

“Like any Catholic institution, a Catholic college or university has a distinct and unique responsibility to provide an environment that supports and upholds Catholic values,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS).

“We call on Catholic institutions to join us in finding opportunities-appropriate to the nature and mission of each institution-to engage in political and public policy dialogue by publicly proclaiming Catholic teaching, especially on issues related to human life and marriage,” the statement says.

“We call on Catholic institutions to join us in refusing to honor or provide a public forum for any political leader or candidate who acts ‘in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.’”

  See related coverage:

  Jesuit Colleges Host Vagina Monologues, Fund Pro-abortion Internships, and other Scandals

  193 Catholic Campuses Reject Vagina Monologues, But Georgetown and Others Go Ahead

  Archbishop Burke Calls on Catholic University to Discipline Pro-Abortion Coach

  Catholics Call on Catholic University to Stop Hillary Clinton Appearance