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Catholic college president asked to clarify support for church teaching on abortion

.- The Cardinal Newman Society has issued a statement criticizing Pamela Trotman Reid, president of St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Conn., for appearing to dissent from Catholic teaching in comments praising Sen. Barack Obama and warning the next president’s Supreme Court nominees “could affect the right of women to make choices about their own health.”

Such language is often a euphemism for abortion rights.

An October 9 article in the Hartford Courant carried President Reid’s comments. Reid, who is African American, called Obama a “kindred spirit” who she surmised probably experienced racial bias growing up.

Reid said she “expects so much from an Obama presidency,” noting the next president is likely to make appointments to the Supreme Court.

“That could affect the right of women to make choices about their own health. These are issues of incredible importance,” Reid said, according to the Hartford Courant.

Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society, speaking in an October 10 press release, called on Reid to clarify her statements.

“It is a serious scandal when a Catholic college president appears to publicly dissent on the non-negotiable issue of abortion” Reilly wrote in a letter faxed to Reid. “The Catholic Church expects educators to be role models, upholding Catholic teaching and values.”

Citing concern for the Catholic identity of St. Joseph College and for the potential of her comments to mislead people into a “pro-choice” position, Reilly wrote: “we urge you to publicly clarify your support for Church teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion and your opposition to legalized abortion.”

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