Saturday, May 19, 2007

Catholic college cancels speaker after pro-life protests planned
OMAHA, Nebraska

(CNA): The College of St. Mary, in Omaha, Nebraska has decided to withdraw its invitation to Roberta Wilhelm, the scheduled speaker for Sunday's commencement out of concern that threatened protests might disrupt the ceremony.

The college had invited Ms. Wilhelm, who is the executive director of Girls Inc. in Omaha, to give the address. The controversy was caused by Girls Inc.'s national advocacy positions, which include statements on contraception, abortion and sexual orientation that are contrary to Catholic beliefs.Last weekend, the college began receiving e-mails, faxes and telephone calls, some of which threatened to picket, demonstrate or shout down Wilhelm, said Sister Maryanne Stevens, the college's president.
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