Clearly, on the important issues of abortion and stem cell research the President’s position is in opposition to the long standing policies of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church strongly supports the sanctity of life at all stages, from the moment of conception to death.
With such deeply rooted differences on such important issues, it is troubling that a Catholic institution, Xavier University of New Orleans, would host Barack Obama for a Katrina anniversary event on Sunday.
Last year, Notre Dame University invited President Obama to speak to their graduates. This created uproar among the Irish faithful and many of them withdrew their financial support of the school. This year, there is no outcry among Xavier alumni and little controversy over the President’s visit. It seems that most people in the Xavier community are excited the President will be coming to New Orleans for a rare visit and commemorating the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
This stance is not sitting well with some Catholic activists. According to Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society, there is a “concern about Catholic institutions trying to simply be a neutral platform, when they ought to be actively promoting Christian values.”
There should be no neutrality on the issues of sanctity of life. Obama is not only opposed to Catholic teaching he is nominating pro-choice Supreme Court judges who will fight to maintain Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision which legalized abortion, as the law of the land.According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, there should be no controversy on this issue as the President should not be allowed to speak. In 2004, the bishops issued a statement called “Catholics in Political Life.” It clearly stated that “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 stance could be why New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond will not be attending the event on Sunday. According to his spokeswoman, the Archbishop was not invited to the presidential event, and, in any case, has a conflict on Sunday afternoon.
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