Xavier University has drawn criticism for hosting a “Countdown to Change” get-out-the-vote event sponsored by Obama for America on Monday, the day before today’s election.
According to an announcement on the university’s web site, the school is not supporting the event. The announcement also notes that the McCain Campaign visited the campus last June.
The university is providing a venue and working with the Obama campaign to coordinate logistics.
“This event falls within Xavier’s commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and to the orderly discussion of issues confronting society,” Xavier University said.
Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society, criticized the university:
“Allowing the Obama campaign to come onto a Catholic campus and encourage students to vote for a vehemently pro-abortion candidate on the eve of the election is a scandal.
“If Xavier University wants to engage students in politics, it could have encouraged them to vigorously oppose the destruction of innocent human life.”
A Cardinal Newman Society press release noted that Sen. Obama has pledged that his first act as president will be to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which would abolish present limitations and restrictions on abortion.
The Cardinal Newman Society also cited the U.S. bishops’ 2004 document “Catholics in Political Life,” which states:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
The get-out-the-vote event features performers Mary J. Blige, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and media executive Kevin Liles. Its stated purpose is to encourage young voters to be informed about their voting rights and to “make their vote count.”