Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, said on Friday that he will boycott Boston College’s commencement ceremony May 20 because the scheduled main speaker is Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. The College plans to honor Kenny, who supports loosening restrictions on abortion in his country, by presenting him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
According to a statement released by O’Malley:
Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach (prime minister) has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation. It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives.
O’Malley referenced the instruction by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that Catholic institutions should not honor those whose views are inconsistent with the Church’s teachings.
In an interview with the Catholic Herald, O’Malley urged Ireland to stand up to the abortion lobby, encouraging the nation to be proud of its pro-life heritage.
“I hope that Ireland will continue to stand up against the pressures- I know the pressures are there,” said O’Malley. “Pressure to legislate for abortion is a dehumanizing force in our world.”
O’Malley was asked whether the change in the Irish law would make a difference, since many Irish women travel to Britain for an abortion. O’Malley responded, “The laws have a function of teaching what is right and wrong. And simply because someone is going to do something, does not mean that we have to facilitate it, condone it, or encourage it.”
In his statement that he would not attend the commencement at Boston College, O’Malley said of the pro-abortion proposed legislation in Ireland:
The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirmingthe Church’s teaching that “the deliberate decision to deprive aninnocent human being of life is always morally wrong” and expressedserious concerns that the proposed legislation “represents a dramaticand morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”
Boston College is a Jesuit institution. Traditionally, theArchbishop of Boston delivers the final benediction at Boston College’scommencement each year.
According to the Boston Globe, Boston College Spokesman Jack Dunn said, “Our invitation is independent of the proposed bill that will be debated in the Irish parliament this summer.”
However, according to the Cardinal Newman Society, there has been a link between Boston College and Planned Parenthood for several years.
In 2010, Boston College’s Law website featured contactinformation for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts in a list ofpro-bono organizations. The link was eventually removed.
The College Fix reported earlier this month that Planned Parenthood has been supplying contraceptives to Boston College Students for Sexual Health, a non-college affiliated student-run organization. Though the administration threatened disciplinary action against the group for distributing condoms on campus, the students have refused to stop, and have indicated that they are an official Planned Parenthood Vox: College Reproductive Rights Group.