Catholic college commencement scandals in 2012
posted May 1, 2012
The spring 2012 commencement season comes nearly eight years since the U.S. Catholic bishops banned Catholic honors and platforms for public opponents of Catholic teaching — and still The Cardinal Newman Society finds at least 11 scandalous speakers and honorees at Catholic colleges, with possibly more to be announced in the coming weeks.
In one respect, that may be good news. Recent years have seen a marked decline in Catholic college commencement scandals: from 24 colleges in 2006 to 14 last year. Although repeat offenders like Georgetown and DePaul have not yet released names for 2012, dare we hope for another decline?
And readers should celebrate the fact that the large majority of Catholic colleges appear to have chosen non-controversial speakers or honorees whose public actions don’t run counter to Catholic teaching. Good for them.
Nevertheless, in a year when the Catholic Church is fighting for religious liberty against government overreach, it’s especially important that colleges refrain from undercutting the clear moral stance of the bishops. One might even expect that Catholic colleges would be gratefully honoring the bishops this year. But while we know of a few instances of bishops to be honored in this year’s commencement ceremonies (we will celebrate these and other stellar choices in a subsequent post), we are aware of only two invitations to the heroic Cardinal Timothy Dolan and none at all to Archbishop-designate William Lori. the rest