May 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Opposition to college award for Irish PM

— Boston College plan to give Enda Kenny an honorary degree denounced by Cardinal O’Malley

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has denounced plans by Boston College, Massachusetts, in the US, to award an honorary degree to Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny as the Irish Government attempts to legalise abortion.

Mr Kenny is scheduled to be the principal speaker at Boston College commencement exercises on May 20 (Monday). The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts had urged Catholics to oppose the invitation to Mr Kenny, and to express their concerns to officials at the Jesuit-run school, to Jesuit superiors, and to Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

In a public statement, the Catholic Action League said its opposition centred on Mr Kenny’s attempts to increase access to abortion in Ireland.

“Mr Kenny’s government has just introduced legislation to legalise abortion in Ireland,” the statement said. “It has also introduced legislation which would impose criminal penalties, including imprisonment, on Catholic priests who refuse to violate the seal of the confessional in cases of sexual abuse. Mr Kenny has misrepresented the words of Pope Benedict XVI, insulted the Holy See and closed the Irish Embassy to the Vatican.”

Cardinal O’Malley said that the decision to confer a doctorate on the Irish leader violates the US bishops’ directives for honours bestowed to public figures by Catholic institutions. The cardinal said that because Boston College has not withdrawn the invitation, ‘I shall not attend the graduation.’

Mr Kenny has said he will support the proposed legislation to allow for abortion in Ireland that the Catholic Church opposes.

Cardinal O’Malley recently underlined his own opposition to the Irish bill.

“Ireland should be very proud of its pro-life heritage and how traditionally there has been great importance given to human life,” the cardinal said. “I hope that Ireland will continue to stand up against the pressures—I know the pressures are there. Pressure to legislate for abortion is a dehumanising force in our world.”

Cardinal Seán Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh and Ireland’s most senior Catholic cleric, said in an interview that the bill made the right to life of the unborn child subservient to that of the mother.



— This story ran in full in the May 17 print edition of the SCO



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