May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
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    WASHINGTON, DC ( - A Catholic higher education advocacy group on Wednesday released a list of 14 Catholic colleges and universities in the US who will have "inappropriate" commencement speakers address their graduating classes.

    "These colleges have stabbed the backs of the Catholic bishops, perhaps unwittingly in some cases," said Newman Society executive director Patrick J. Reilly. "Last November, the bishops issued very reasonable guidelines for Catholic higher education after working closely with college leaders, who assured the bishops of their fidelity. But now a few colleges go and invite commencement speakers who undermine our Catholic beliefs. It's tragic."

    Reilly said last year 21 of 235 Catholic schools had graduation speakers who have publicly contradicted Catholic teachings through their work or public life. This year, the society has identified speakers at 57 colleges, expressing concerns about 14 of them.

    Many of the speakers are members of the Clinton administration, including Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera and Attorney General Janet Reno, former or current elected officials, or members of the media. Most have publicly expressed support for legalized abortion.

    Following is a list of the speakers deemed inappropriate by the Cardinal Newman Society with their affiliation or profession, the reason for the objection, and the college inviting them:

  • o UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; UN is leading promoter of abortion and population control in Third World countries; University of Notre Dame.
  • o Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera; as California assemblyman 1992-1997 supported abortion and gay rights; St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.
  • o Ida Castro, chairman of US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; former lobbyist for pro-abortion groups; St. Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut.
  • o Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund; CDF promotes school health clinics that emphasize contraceptive services and abortion; Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
  • o US Ambassador to Italy Thomas Foglietta; as Pennsylvania congressman had pro-abortion voting record; Cabrini College, Radnor, Pennsylvania.
  • o Retired New Jersey Supreme Court justice Marie Garibaldi; court rulings expanded "right to die"; St. Peter's College in Jersey City, New Jersey.
  • o Timothy Johnson, medical editor for ABC News; publicly supported abortifacient "morning-after pill," supports abortion rights; Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • o US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont); a long pro-abortion voting record; St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont.
  • o Anthony Morro, author and editor of Newsday newspaper; Newsday has been accused of anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, pro-abortion bias; College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont.
  • o Former US Senator George Mitchell (D-Maine); pro-abortion voting record; Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts.
  • o Former US Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin); supports radical population control policies; Marquette University in Milwaukee.
  • o US Attorney General Janet Reno; supports and enforces laws targeting pro-life demonstrators; Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia.
  • o Garry Wills, author, columnist, history professor; has attacked Church's positions on abortion, contraception, and priestly celibacy; Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
  • o Henry Winkler, actor and producer; public supporter of legalized abortion; Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

  • May 4-7, 2000
    volume 11, no. 87

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