Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hughes Won't Attend Xavier Commencement

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 4:11 PM

New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes will not be attending Xavier University’s upcoming commencement because Donna Brazile, a Kenner native and Democratic political strategist, is the keynote speaker and a supporter of abortion rights.

     In a letter to Xavier University president, Dr. Norman Francis, the archbishop wrote of Brazile’s efforts in working with the poor, particularly in the African American population, but said her stance on the abortion issue “is not in keeping with Catholic moral teaching.”

     It’s not a surprising move by Hughes. A month ago, he wrote a letter criticizing Notre Dame’s selection of President Barack Obama, again because of Obama’s support of abortion rights. What is interesting is that Brazile grew up and remains a Catholic, something that Hughes notes in his letter. U.S. bishops, however, have made it clear they oppose the selection of speakers like Brazile by Catholic institutions. Abortion has always been the church’s hot-button issue, but it does make you wonder what constitutes “Catholic moral teachings?”

     Why is all right for Catholic bishops to attend a graduation ceremony where the non-Catholic speaker is someone who used false information to foment a war, in which tens of thousands have died, but it’s not all right to attend a graduation where the speaker is a Catholic who supports abortion rights?  

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