Catholics defend CUA decision to invite Boehner as commencement speaker
Speaker John Boehner
Speaker John Boehner

.- Ahead of House Speaker John Boehner’s May 14 commencement address at the Catholic University of America, over 75 professors from Catholic universities have written a letter criticizing the Ohio Republican’s budget proposal.

However, the letter itself drew criticism.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said with some sarcasm that it was “delightful to learn that all of these professors are now on record expressing fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

He was dismissive towards the letter’s authors, saying they are “not representative of Catholic sentiment.”

The letter from academics said Boehner’s voting record is at variance from the ancient Christian teaching that those in power are “morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor.”

“Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress,” they charged.

The letter said the 2012 budget Boehner supported is “particularly cruel” to pregnant women and children, as it cuts $500 million from the Women Infants and Children nutrition program. The letter also criticized the budget’s cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and its “$3 trillion in new tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.”

Stephen F. Schneck, director of Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, helped draft the letter.

The signatories  included many of the university’s faculty as well as Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., of Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center; Lisa Sowle Cahill, a theology professor at Boston College; and Francis X. Doyle, former associate general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Schneck is on the board of directors of the Democratic-leaning group Catholics In Alliance for the Common Good, while Cahill and Fr. Reese are on the group’s advisory council.

Donohue defended Boehner, noting that Boehner is pro-life. The speaker’s support for school vouchers for residents of Washington, D.C. shows his “strong commitment” to the poor.

The Catholic League president said that Schneck had signed a 2009 letter praising the nomination of abortion rights supporter Kathleen Sebelius as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. He also supported the 2010 health care legislation over the objections of the U.S. bishops.

Catholic University spokesman Victor Nakas said that the decision to invite Speaker Boehner and give him an honorary degree was made by the university’s president, John Garvey, and approved by its trustees, who include prominent bishops and cardinals.

Discussing the issues of the professors’ letter, Nakas said, “(t)here are diverse viewpoints on these questions not only within our university but also within the Catholic community,” the New York Times reported.
A spokesman for Boehner said that the speaker will deliver “a personal, non-political message” that he hopes will speak to all members of the graduating class.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Synod on the Family October 2014
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Paintings of Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »


Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: