Cardinal O’Malley boycotting Boston College graduation over abortion controversy

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley arrives at St. Peter's Basilica on March 6, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley arrives at St. Peter’s Basilica on March 6, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has said he will not attend tomorrow’s graduation ceremony at Boston College to protest the school’s choice in speakers.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is set to address graduates and receive an honorary degree, an honor O’Malley opposes due to Kenny’s promotion of abortion legislation in Ireland.

Kenny is leading an attempt to amend Ireland’s ban on abortion by allowing pregnant women to get abortions if two doctors confirm that her life is in danger. Ireland is one of two nations in the European Union where abortion is illegal.

On May 10, O’Malley released a statement saying he would not attend the graduation, as is customary, since the college did not withdraw Kenny’s invitation.

“It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives,” O’Malley said in the statement, which was posted on his blog.

Students for Life of America is also organizing a prayer vigil and public witness outside the graduation ceremony to protest Kenny’s presence.

Boston College Spokesman Jack Dunn said school officials invited Kenny to speak at the commencement due to the historically close relationship Boston College has enjoyed with Ireland.

“As a Catholic institution, Boston College supports the Church’s commitment to the life of the unborn. Prime Minister Kenny has encouraged individuals to read the proposed bill and his position statement, which reaffirms the constitutional prohibition on abortion in Ireland and attempts to clarify and regulate Ireland’s response to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights,” Dunn said. “We respect Cardinal O’Malley and regret that he will not be in attendance. However, we look forward to our Commencement and to Prime Minister Kenny’s remarks.”

It is the school’s 137th commencement ceremony. It is set for 10 a.m. in Alumni Stadium.

Read O’Malley’s entire statement below:

Because the Gospel of Life is the centerpiece of the Church’s social doctrine and because we consider abortion a crime against humanity, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have asked that Catholic institutions not honor government officials or politicians who promote abortion with their laws and policies.

Recently I learned that the Prime Minister of Ireland, the Hon. Mr. Enda Kenny was slated to receive an honorary degree at Boston College’s graduation this year. I am sure that the invitation was made in good faith, long before it came to the attention of the leadership of Boston College that Mr. Kenny is aggressively promoting abortion legislation. The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirming the Church’s teaching that “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong” and expressed serious concern that the proposed legislation “represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”

Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation. It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives. Although I shall not be present to impart the final benediction, I assure the graduates that they are in my prayers on this important day in their lives, and I pray that their studies will prepare them to be heralds of the Church’s Social Gospel and “men and women for others,” especially for the most vulnerable in our midst.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Comments

1

  1. Let him. Boston College doesn’t need dinosaurs, and kudos to the Irish PM for standing up to women’s lives and health.