.- Bishop of Bridgeport William Lori has said he will not attend a Sacred Heart University dinner which will honor pro-abortion Catholic Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. He also commented on the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to President Barack Obama, saying it was contrary to efforts to resist the president’s “anti-life” policies.
The April 4 edition of the Fairfield County Catholic reported: “Bishop Lori indicated that he will neither support nor attend Sacred Heart University’s Discovery Awards and Scholarship Dinner on April 22 because it will honor Kerry Kennedy, a longtime Catholic pro-choice activist. Bishop Lori is chairman of the Sacred Heart board.”
The Cardinal Newman Society, quoting the Connecticut Post, reported that Kerry Kennedy disagrees with the Catholic position on issues including abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and same-sex “marriage.”
Sacred Heart University, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, previously honored Bishop Lori at its 2004 Discovery Awards and Scholarship Dinner.
Bishop Lori also commented on the invitation of President Barack Obama to the University of Notre Dame to deliver the commencement speech and to receive an honorary degree.
“Notre Dame extended this invitation unilaterally, seemingly without regard for the consequences for the mission of the Catholic Church in the United States. It is contrary to the efforts of bishops, parish priests, and laity to resist the anti-life decisions, policies, and legislation promoted by the Obama administration,” he said in the Fairfield County Catholic.
Patrick Reilly, President of the Cardinal Newman Society, commented on Bishop Lori’s actions, saying:
“The nearly quarter million people who have signed the petition opposing Notre Dame’s honoring of an abortion rights supporter will be thankful for Bishop Lori’s public boycott of Sacred Heart University …SHU and all Catholic colleges must learn from the mistakes at Notre Dame, where defiance toward the U.S. bishops’ speakers and honorees policy has provoked outrage from Catholics nationwide.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2004 statement “Catholics in Political Life” said Catholic institutions should not honor “those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”