St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California has invited Pepperdine University law professor and Obama backer Doug Kmiec to give an election “post-mortem” lecture.
According to the California Catholic Daily, Kmiec will give the Thirteenth Annual Newman C. Eberhardt Lecture next Tuesday. The seminary’s web site says his lecture will examine “the prominent role played by the American Catholic community in the 2008 election, from Bishops educating candidates on ensoulment to alternative ways to be pro-life to the selection of running mates.”
Kmiec, former legal counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has also been dean of the law school at the Catholic University of America and a law professor at Notre Dame University.
Though a pro-life Republican, in a March 23 essay in Slate magazine he endorsed the pro-abortion rights Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, saying Obama “wants to move the nation beyond its religious and racial divides and that he wants to return the United States to that company of nations committed to human rights.”
Kmiec’s justifications for supporting Obama have drawn criticism from Catholic clergy and laity. He has argued that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s position on the Catholic citizen’s voting duties “discounts reducing the incidence of abortion by cultural (economic and social) means” by focusing on legal remedies.
However, Kmiec insists his disagreement is not over the “essence of Church instruction” but rather the “preferred means of implementing it.”