.- Christendom College has announced that it will honor pro-life leader Fr. Frank Pavone and philosophy professor Dr. Jude Dougherty during its commencement activities between May 15 and 17.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will receive the Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country. The Christendom College announcement described him as “one of the most dedicated defenders of unborn human life in the history of the American Republic.“
Dr. Dougherty, Dean Emeritus of the Catholic University of America’s School of Philosophy, will receive an honorary doctorate from the college and deliver the commencement address. He is the editor or author of many books including “Jacques Maritain: An Intellectual Profile.”
“Over the years, we have had some great Catholic men and women come to campus for commencement weekend, particularly, some great pro-life ones. Nellie Gray of the March for Life, Joseph Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, Gov. Robert Casey, and Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey,” Christendom College Director of Admissions and Public Relations Tom McFadden said in a statement. “And we have honored many individuals with honorary doctorates, including Sean Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Raymond Burke, George Cardinal Pell, Francis Cardinal Arinze, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel.“
McFadden explicitly compared Christendom College’s commencement speakers to the University of Notre Dame’s extension of an invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver its commencement address and to receive an honorary degree. McFadden said Christendom College was honoring “one of the world’s most pro-life leaders," while Notre Dame would be honoring "one of the world’s most pro-abortion leaders."
Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnel also commented, saying:"Commencement ceremonies across the country are meant to be times of celebration for the various institutions, and a time to honor individuals from whom we want our graduates to learn and grow as young Catholics entering today’s increasingly secularized society.
“To think that, as a Catholic college, we could invite someone who promotes policies and values that are contrary to basic human truths that can be known by the natural light of reason and are contrary to the fundamental right to life would be a violation of the noble mission of Catholic higher education.”