Bishop Says Speaker at Catholic College Not Pro-Life Enough

May 4, 2009

This year's commencement season has already seen the University of Notre Dame and other Roman Catholic colleges questioned by church leaders over appearances by President Obama and others who are defenders of abortion rights. In a new twist, a Catholic colleges is being criticized by a bishop for having a speaker who is anti-abortion, but not sufficiently so. Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton, who has already questioned whether local Catholic colleges are following doctrine, has attacked the choice of King's College to have U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania as its graduation speaker, the Associated Press reported. Casey opposes abortion and favors the reversal of the Supreme Court's decisions legalizing abortion. He is among the most prominent Democratic politicians with such views. But Bishop Martino said that King's would be commiting an "affront to all who value the sanctity of life" by having Casey as a speaker because the senator voted to confirm Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services. King's officials aren't commenting on the dispute. But a spokesman for Casey told the AP that the senator thought it would be irresponsible to leave the HHS position vacant. "He disagrees with her on abortion, but feels that she has the required expertise to help pass health care reform and provide health care to the uninsured , one of our country's top priorities," the spokesman said.

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