Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institute of higher learning in the United States, will honor advocates of abortion during its commencement ceremonies this coming weekend.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) are among those scheduled to take the podium for addresses to Georgetown graduates.
As the Cardinal Newman Society observes, Ban Ki-moon will address graduates of the School of Foreign Service. An ardent supporter of universal access to abortion and contraception throughout the world, Ban Ki-moon affirmed “the importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights” for women last September when he met with other U.N. leaders.
Lewis, who will address graduates of Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, earned a NARAL pro-abortion voting record of 100 percent in 2013 and 2014, and voted against the prohibition of partial-birth abortions as well as even minor restrictions to access to abortion.
“We are fortunate to welcome an extraordinary breadth and depth of leaders to share their insight during this year’s Commencement Weekend,” said Georgetown University president John DeGioia. “Our speakers bring a great range of perspectives from their experience as distinguished leaders in journalism, public health, international law and public office and will inspire our graduates as they take the next step toward their professional, academic and personal aspirations.”
In 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a document titled Catholics in Political Life, which set a policy requiring Catholic institutions to honor with awards and platforms only those who affirm Church teachings.
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,” the bishops’ conference asserts. “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
The Cardinal Newman Society has identified other Catholic colleges and universities that are honoring speakers at commencement ceremonies who are in direct conflict with the Church’s teachings.
The pro-abortion Lewis, for example, will be honored for his “personal and political focus on civil rights” at the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts during its commencement.
Similarly, New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will receive an honorary doctorate at Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York this week. Hochul has been described by NARAL’s executive director as “a powerful counterpoint to the opponents of women’s health care” and one who would “stand up to those who would deny women access to critical health care services,” such as abortion.
Additionally, Loyola University in New Orleans honored former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue at its commencement last weekend. Tagliabue has publicly supported same-sex marriage and contributed $100,000 to a same-sex marriage campaign in Maryland, and reportedly donated $1 million to support the LGBTQ Resource Center at Georgetown University.