The appearance at a Catholic college of a presidential candidate who supports abortion has provoked objections from the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization focusing on Catholic identity and renewal in higher education.
On Wednesday Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama addressed St. Peter’s College, a Jesuit-run institution in Jersey City, New Jersey. College president Dr. Eugene J. Cornacchia in a press release before the event said the college welcomed Obama “as we would welcome any presidential candidate who wishes to discuss and debate the ideas and events that are shaping our history.”
The college cooperated with the Obama campaign to provide links for media registration and public participation, with 1,074 individuals reportedly registered through the link.
Students from St. Dominic’s Academy, a girls’ Catholic high school in Jersey City, also performed at the rally in their school uniforms.
The Cardinal Newman Society said today that Obama supports partial birth abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand.
“It’s irresponsible for a Catholic college and its leadership to host a political rally for an aggressively pro-abortion candidate,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society. “Such events curry public attention at the expense of public morality. In so doing, they demonstrate reckless disregard for the most vulnerable human lives and contribute to the general decline of Catholic higher education.”
Reilly urged Catholic colleges and universities to “remain true to their Catholic identity and principles and reject any manipulation by politicians who work against these principles.”
“A college or university is dedicated to seeking and teaching truth, and a Catholic university embraces the truths of the Catholic faith,” he said.