FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 10, 2016
Contact: Leslie Palma
NEW YORK – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement regarding Notre Dame University’s decision to honor pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden with the 2016 Laetare Medal, the highest award the university gives to Catholics.
“Back in 2009, I was honored to stand with graduating students at Notre Dame who refused to attend their own commencement because pro-abortion President Obama was being honored by the University. We had an alternate commencement ceremony, in which the students’ commitment to defending the most vulnerable among us, the unborn, was highlighted and honored.
“Apparently, some at Notre Dame still don’t get it. And this time, matters are made worse, because the pro-abortion public official being honored claims to be Catholic. Any attempt by him, or by the University, to cloud the issue with philosophical or theological abstractions and nuances only proves the point (as I make at length in my new book, Abolishing Abortion) that there is a profound institutional denial, in many of our Catholic institutions and dioceses, that we are living in the midst of a holocaust. There is only one legitimate Catholic response to this holocaust, and it is identical to the only legitimate human response: radical solidarity with the children in the womb and with their families, expressed by a total rejection of abortion both in culture and in law.
“On the political landscape today, there is a widespread frustration and rejection of establishment politics. The same is true within the Church. Countless faithful Catholics — priests included — are fed up with the disconnect between the rhetoric and the action, and the betrayal by leaders and institutions that don’t live up to the principles on which they were founded.
“Vice President Biden, like President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and many others, are public servants who do not know the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Our youngest brothers and sisters, our nation, and our Church – in all its institutions – deserve better than that.
“Priests for Life calls on Catholic institutions and in fact on all schools to remember at this year’s commencement exercises the children who would have graduated had they not been aborted. A mention of these children, a candle, a dedication in the yearbook, or an empty chair would all be appropriate ways to remember them.”
Priests for Life is the largest ministry in the Catholic Church focused on ending abortion. View here a playlist of videos of Fr. Pavone’s talks at Notre Dame in 2009 during the alternative commencement ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9D166BCD035DC37F