Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, has declined the invitation to attend and pray at Commencement at Boston College on May 20. Here is the Cardinal's statement in which he explains why he will absent himself from BC's graduation:
Because the Gospel of Life is the centerpiece of the Church’s social doctrine and because we consider abortion a crime against humanity, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have asked that Catholic institutions not honor government officials or politicians who promote abortion with their laws and policies.
Recently I learned that the Prime Minister of Ireland, the Hon. Mr. Enda Kenny was slated to receive an honorary degree at Boston College’s graduation this year. I am sure that the invitation was made in good faith, long before it came to the attention of the leadership of Boston College that Mr. Kenny is aggressively promoting abortion legislation. The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirming the Church’s teaching that “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong” and expressed serious concern that the proposed legislation “represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”
Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation.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. Although I shall not be present to impart the final benediction, I assure the graduates that they are in my prayers on this important day in their lives, and I pray that their studies will prepare them to be heralds of the Church’s Social Gospel and “men and women for others,” especially for the most vulnerable in our midst.
As we pray in my parish in the Intercessions every Sunday:
For the good earth which God has given us
and for the wisdom and will to conserve it;
for respect and reverence for life
in all its shapes and forms;
for children waiting to be born
and the mothers who carry them;
and for children waiting to be adopted
and the families who will receive them,
let us pray to the Lord…
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