CJ Doyle, Executive Director

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C. Joseph Doyle
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Joseph B. Craven, Jr.
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FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2017 — Updated September 12, 2017



May is the month of Our Lady. It is also the month when Catholic educational institutions in Massachusetts—and their parent religious orders—advertise their rejection of Divine and natural law by hosting as commencement speakers, and conferring honorary degrees upon, proponents of abortion, contraception, and sodomy.

BC commencement 2017: BACK ROW, right to left: Cardinal O’Malley, Chris O’Donnell, BC President Rev. William Leahy, SJ. FRONT ROW, center: Senator Robert Casey, Jr.

  • The commencement speaker at Jesuit administered Boston College, who was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree, was U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pennsylvania). Casey, who claims to be pro-life, is a supporter of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and the Obamacare mandate requiring religious employers to subsidize abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilizations. He actually asserts that the morning after pill does not cause an abortion. Casey also defends the deformity of marriage.
  • BC also honored Hollywood actor Chris O’Donnell, the star of various R-rated movies, and the co-star of the film Kinsey, which respectfully portrayed the atheist bisexual “sexologist” voyeur Alfred Kinsey, the notorious degenerate and predator whose fabricated research did much to mainstream deviance in American society. The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, attended the ceremony and was photographed with O’Donnell and Casey.
  • The commencement speaker at Boston College Law School was the Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Geraldine S. Hines. An appointee of former Governor Deval Patrick to both the Court of Appeals and the SJC, Hines is a longtime member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Marxist affiliated National Lawyers Guild. Upon her retirement in 2018, she will become a Rappaport Visiting Professor at BC Law.
  • Merrimack College—administered by the friars of the Order of Saint Augustine—hosted as its commencement speaker Kenneth Cole, described as a “fashion industry icon” known for his philanthropic support for progressive causes, LGBTQ causes, and “equality.” An honorary degree was also awarded to University of Massachusetts President and former Congressman Marty Meehan, who, during his fourteen year career in the U. S. House of Representatives, (1993-2007), received a 100% rating from both the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
  • Regis College—administered by the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston—conferred an honorary doctorate of laws degree on John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction, who is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Boston College. Fish is a major, six-figure donor to pro-abortion politicians in Massachusetts. His company was embroiled in controversy when it made illegal contributions to Hillary Clinton. The college’s commencement speaker was Dr. Knatokie Ford, a Senior Policy Advisor to former President Barack Obama.

I. A Corporate Culture of Betrayal

The events recounted above are not anomalous or aberrational. Nor are they of recent origin. The practice of Catholic institutions of higher learning—along with Catholic charities, religious orders, fraternal organizations and elite secondary schools—bestowing awards, honors, and platforms upon public figures, particularly politicians and judges, who promote the mass killing of pre-born children, the corruption of minors through contraceptives, and the deconstruction of traditional marriage is overt, pervasive, and longstanding.

Far from being exceptional, the custom of nominally Catholic institutions to honor the enemies of the Faith is now normative. The example of Boston College Law School is instructive. This is the eighth consecutive year that BC Law has had a pro-abortion commencement speaker. Since 2010, this Jesuit affiliated school has invited the following supporters of Roe v. Wade to address its graduates: U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA); Massachusetts Chief Justice Roderick Ireland; Mrs. Victoria Kennedy; U.S. Senator Mo Cowan (D-MA); Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy; Obama Political Strategy Director David Simas; U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); and now, as reported above, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine Hines.

BC Law is not unique. If one followed the history of Catholic educational institutions in Massachusetts since the 1970s, one would discover repeated, indeed, continuous examples of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients who are rejectionists when it comes to Catholic moral teaching. The abandonment of the unborn to infanticide, and the perfidy towards faithful Catholics struggling to defend the sanctity of innocent life is, for Catholic institutions, the religious orders which sponsor them, and the Catholic elites who fund them, both systemic and routine. Catholic higher education is mired in a corporate culture of corruption, heresy and betrayal.

II. No Pro-Life Catholics Need Apply

The selection of abortion proponents for honors is not random or coincidental, nor is it merely a matter of indifference. Nor is it entirely contingent upon other factors, such as wealth, celebrity and political office, though these exert a powerful influence. Catholic institutions seem to have an unstated policy of deliberately excluding from recognition orthodox Catholics who publicly defend Christian morality. They refuse to honor faithful Catholics in politics, even when such choices would be easy and obvious.

Three of the most dedicated and effective proponents of the right to life in elected office in Massachusetts were the late Governor Edward J. King, former Senate President William M. Bulger, and the late State Representative Charles R. Doyle (no relation to this writer). All three were graduates of Boston College. William Bulger is a Triple Eagle—a graduate of Boston College High School, Boston College, and Boston College Law School. Yet none of these three outstanding Catholic gentlemen in public life were ever honored by their alma mater. They were, apparently, unsuitable to stand in the company of John Kerry, Janet Reno, and Tip O’Neill.

The only pro-life political figure in recent decades to be invited to deliver a Boston College commencement speech was former Republican Congressman Ray LaHood in 2011. At the time of his selection, however, LaHood was serving in the cabinet of President Barack Obama as U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Magnanimously, BC was prepared to overlook his pro-life background while he was working for America’s most pro-abortion president.

Eleanor McCullen of Operation Rescue: Boston, and the late John J. Hurley of the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston, both won landmark U.S. Supreme Court victories affirming the constitutional rights of pro-life and pro-family Catholics. If Catholic institutions were actually Catholic, who would be a more logical choice for an honorary doctorate of laws degree than one or both of these Catholic heroes? There was no such degree for Hurley and there will be none for McCullen. Such honors are reserved for third level Obama functionaries like Jon Favreau, David Simas, and Knatokie Ford.

The Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston twice honored the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who among other derelictions, was pro-abortion. Former Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, who was pro-life, and went on to become the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, never received comparable recognition.

III. The Negligence of the Religious Orders

One of the more disturbing, but almost entirely overlooked, aspects of this malfeasance in Catholic institutions is the spiritual negligence of the religious orders which founded and still sponsor these colleges and universities. One never hears of an objection to a commencement speaker or degree recipient from a community superior. There is never even a rumor of tension between a college president and the provincial of his or her order. The general of the order in Rome never intervenes.

All of the major teaching orders that have institutions in Massachusetts—the Jesuits, the Augustinians, the Holy Cross Fathers, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur—have been compromised by this corruption.

While numerous factors are at work here, the toxic amalgam of modernism and homosexuality, so destructive in the diocesan clergy, seems even more acute and pernicious in religious life. The affirming presence of Franciscan friars in Boston’s depraved, pornographic “Pride Festival,” the invitation extended by the Benedictine monks of Glastonbury Abbey to the sulphurous Barney Frank, and the recent, mandatory “Pride Day Assembly,” celebrating homosexuality and propagating LGBTQ ideology in Jesuit administered Boston College High School, speak to the severity of this corporate, institutional decadence.

IV. The Complicity of the Bishops

The Catholic hierarchy in Massachusetts, most especially in the Archdiocese of Boston, might be likened to a police force in a Third World country, which not only fails to enforce the laws against corrupt officials, but actually combines with them to perpetrate corrupt acts. Our bishops are on a continuum which began with cowardice disguised by hypocrisy, and has now descended to treachery, unconcealed, even by shame.

In 2004, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an official statement, Catholics in Political Life, which said “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.”

This statement is now a dead letter, negated, in practice, by some of the very bishops who voted to authorize it.

Of the nineteen violations, detailed above, of the explicit prohibitions contained in Catholics in Political Life, the offending prelate in eighteen of them was the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. The number would be higher if we included honors to pro-abortion figures by Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese of Boston that did not include the personal participation of the Cardinal. All of the incidents in 2014 and 2015 occurred while O’Malley was serving as Chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Cardinal remains, rhetorically, pro-life, though even that minimalism is problematic. Some of his rhetoric seems to pander to the prejudices of feminists, the media, liberal Democrats, and other opponents of the right to life by reinforcing their invidious stereotypes of pro-lifers. In October, 2007, while speaking from the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common to the Walk for Life, the Cardinal told the assembled crowd, many of whom were carrying their rosaries: “No violence, no, no, never violence.”

On January 21, 2014, at the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the Cardinal warned pro-lifers that being “judgmental and condemnatory” was contrary to the Gospel of Life. He went on to say that “We must never allow that [pregnant woman considering an abortion] to perceive the pro-life movement as a bunch of angry self-righteous Pharisees with stones in their hands, looking down on her and judging her.” Margery Eagan could not have said it better.

In the officials he appoints, the employees he hires, the consultants he retains, the advisors he listens to, the affluent elites he solicits, the politicians he ingratiates himself with, in the decisions he makes, in his personnel, policies and practical governance, the Archbishop of Boston is, effectively, pro-abortion.

The Cardinal is not merely amicable, but laudatory to those who promote abortion. He is not simply complaisant towards Catholic institutions which collaborate with the Culture of Death, but cooperates in their betrayals. He has just, for the second time in two years, sabotaged a signature gathering campaign for a pro-life initiative amendment, and he lectures the pro-life movement in the language of its adversaries. The facts speak for themselves.

V. The Pro-Life Response

The pro-life community must not be the enabler of its own abuse or the facilitator of its own betrayal. It must make known to our spiritual leaders that their behavior is morally objectionable, a grave scandal, a source of confusion to ordinary Catholics, and profoundly demoralizing to the faithful Catholics in the pro-life movement. It is a betrayal of the innocent unborn, slaughtered by the millions, and of those struggling to save them. Non-Catholics of goodwill, who might be attracted to the Church’s pro-life message, are instead, repelled.

The bishops have converted no one by their toadying. If Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is an example, the regime of appeasement and conciliation has only emboldened him to embrace even more extreme positions in favor of abortion. All of the movement among politicians in Massachusetts on the abortion issue has been in one direction—from pro-life to pro-abortion. No one can identify a member of the congressional delegation, the Legislature, the Boston City Council, or a constitutional officer who has changed from pro-abortion to pro-life.

The pro-life community must make it clear that providing or participating in awards, honors and platforms to pro-abortion public figures is unacceptable to the pro-life movement, is irreconcilable with being identified as pro-life, and is incompatible with participation in pro-life events and activities.

Our prelates have a choice to make, and they must no longer be permitted the disloyalty and duplicity of pretending to be pro-life while conducting themselves in a manner that any rational person would reasonably conclude is either indifferent to or supportive of legal abortion.

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“The Apostle tells us to rejoice, but in the Lord, not in the world. Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world, says Scripture, will be reckoned an enemy of God. As a man cannot serve two masters, so one cannot rejoice both in the world and in the Lord.”
— From a sermon by Saint Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church

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