Blog Post

Catholic College Commencement Speakers Improve This Year

Catholic university of americaCatholic identity continues to improve on Catholic campuses nationwide, but there are still a few holdouts who are planning on hosting commencement speakers this year who openly oppose Church teaching.

The Cardinal Newman Society is reporting on nine Catholic colleges which will be snubbing the U.S. Bishops call to withhold honors and platforms from opponents of Church Teaching.

“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,” the bishops write in Catholics for Political Life.

But that’s not stopping Boston College from inviting Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, a Catholic who dissents from Church teaching on same-sex marriage to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony.

New York’s College of Mount Saint Vincent is hosting Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services to give the commencement address as well as receive an honorary degree. Vullo has fought parental notification for minors seeking abortion, and works to provide free coverage for contraceptives and “medically necessary abortion.”

Xavier Becerra, California’s virulently pro-abortion attorney general will deliver the School of Law commencement address at the University of San Francisco on May 20. He has a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

DePaul University College of Law in Chicago is honoring Paulette Brown who tightened prohibitations against attorney discrimination on the bases of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” which has posed a serious threat to the religious freedom of Christian attorneys. She’s also in favor of creating an additional protected class for “gender expression.”

Loyola University Chicago invited Mary Francis Berry, former chairwoman of the Commission on Civil Rights and a supporter of the legalization of same-sex marriage, who spoke at last weekend’s commencement exercises.

In total, the names of nine Catholic colleges and universities were added to the “hall of shame” this year, but this number represents a dwindling number of institutions who are willing to openly defy Church teaching.

The good news is that the list of Catholic colleges who are making wise choices about commencement speakers continues to improve.

As the National Catholic Register (NCR) reports, the Catholic University of America has invited Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan to address graduates this weekend. She was the former special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan and the recipient of 2017 Pulitzer Prize for her commentary.

Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California has invited Mother Agnes Mary, superior general of the Sisters of Life, to speak at this Saturday’s graduation. In addition, Father Paul Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, will serve as the principal celebrant and homilist at the baccalaureate Mass.

Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, will holst Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as its commencement speaker May 13. The cardinal is to receive an honorary degree, and, the day before, celebrate the baccalaureate Mass.

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh will preside at the baccalaureate Mass at Franciscan University of Steubenville this weekend and receive an honoray doctorate “for his courage and fidelity as the shepherd of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.” Ryan Anderson, author and senior research fellow at the Heritage who is an outspoken promoter of religious freedom and traditional marriage will be the commencement speaker.

Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, told the NCR that “It’s great to see many colleges honoring bishops from the United States and the Vatican.”

In spite of the colleges who continue to defy the Church, he says, “It’s important to note that these colleges are going in the opposite direction of Catholic education generally, as Catholic identity continues to improve nationwide.”

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®