Franciscan does not back trustee member’s Obama endorsement, says university

.- Franciscan Univeristy of Steubenville issued a statement on Friday distancing itself from its Board of Trustees member Nicholas Cafardi, who has recently come out in support of Sen. Barack Obama, despite the candidate’s abortion stance.  

Cafardi, who is the dean of Duquesne University’s School of Law and serves as a trustee for Franciscan, explained his reasons for endorsing Obama in an editorial for the National Catholic Reporter this past Tuesday.

According to Cafardi, there are two reasons that he can support Senator Obama, who has professed his support for upholding Roe v. Wade. First, he claims that the pro-life movement has "permanently" lost the struggle over abortion, and secondly, he asserts that Obama’s plans to strengthen the “social safety net” will decrease abortions.

“Every faithful Catholic agrees that abortion is an unspeakable evil that must be minimized, if not eliminated,” Cafardi wrote. “I can help to achieve that without endorsing Republicans' immoral baggage. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not the only way to end abortion, and a vote for Obama is not somehow un-Catholic,” he asserted.

This line of reasoning did not fly with Franciscan University of Steubenville, where Dr. Cafardi serves on the Board of Trustees.

In a statement obtained by CNA, the university said that it “stands with the Catholic Church in its opposition to abortion as an intrinsic evil and violation of the sanctity of human life.”

Contrary to Cafardi’s belief, the university said that it “does not believe the abortion battle is lost, but that the tide is decidedly turning in favor of life.”

The school also pointed out that, “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated, “Life issues are paramount among all issues because the right to life is fundamental. All other rights are based on it.”

“In keeping with the Church’s guidelines, Franciscan University does not endorse any particular political party or candidate. It does, however, strongly encourage its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other constituents to view the life issues—such as abortion, euthanasia, and the protection of marriage and the family—as foundational, and as issues that do not lend themselves to the prudential judgment of the voter,” the statement said.

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