Tuesday, May 31, 2016

About  Contact  Join  Donate

Catholic Education Daily


Catholic Univ. of San Francisco Honors Prominent Dissenter on the Priesthood

On Thursday, December 11, 2008 the University of San Francisco, a Catholic institution, bestowed an honorary degree upon Irish President Mary McAleese, despite her public dissent from a fundamental Church teaching on the all-malepriesthood.

In 1994 Pope John Paul II issued the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, declaring that the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. Then in 1995, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, in his capacity as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed the doctrine and stated that “This teaching requires definitive assent.”

During a 1995 seminar on women’s ordination in Dublin entitled Women Sharing Fully, President McAleese delivered a speech in response to the Vatican declarations, stating: “They say the debate is closed. I think they had better turn up their hearing aids.”

She continued: “If I truly believed that Christ was the authority for the proposition that women are to be excluded from priesthood by virtue simply of their gender, I would have to say emphatically that this is a Christ in whose divinity I do not and will not and cannot believe.”

President McAleese again, in 1997, sharply criticized the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, comparing "defenders of the Vatican line" on an all-male priesthood to "Communist Party apparatchiks hawking redundant cliches” in an article for The Tablet.

In addition to her support for the ordination of women, McAleese is also the founding legal advisor to the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform. This Irish group motivated the Irish parliament in 1993 to pass a law legalizing same-sex activity.

The bishops of the United States in 2004 declared that “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.”

Cardinal Newman Society spokesman Adam Wilson commented that “USF’s choice of McAleese to receive an honorary degree clearly violates the bishops’ speakers policy.”

“It is quite sad, though unfortunately not surprising, that a historically Catholic institution like the University of San Francisco would honor someone who has compared faithful Catholic leaders in Rome to ‘Communist Party apparatchiks.’”

Founded in 1993, The Cardinal Newman Society works to promote the renewal of Catholic higher education.

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.


Renewal Report


Latest Featured

Catholic Is Our Core


More News Categories




Join Us

Join thousands of Catholic families and individuals standing with The Cardinal Newman Society for faithful Catholic education. Members receive news roundups by email, about weekly.

Start your no-cost membership now!



Our work is possible only through the generosity of countless supporters who share our mission. We have promoted and defended faithful Catholic education for 20 years! Please support our successful work by making a donation today.


Stay Connected

Keep up with the latest developments by joining our social media networks:



Google Plus


Connect on Facebook


Links to News Sites


Links to Blog Sites

Catholic Identity Concerns|Faith in Education|From the Bishops and Vatican|Religious Freedom | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement
Copyright 2016 by Cardinal Newman Society -- 9720 Capital Ct., Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20110