Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Franciscan University of Steubenville sociologist Anne Hendershott suggests that Boston College's choice of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as today's commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient is the latest in a long line of offenses by the school. Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley is not attending the commencement because of Kenny's support for loosening Ireland's abortion restrictions.
Hendershott notes that the College's School of Law invited Massachusetts pro-choice Republican senator Scott Brown for commencement in 2010, and pro-choice Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey in 2007.
"There has been an uneasy relationship between the church and the wider Boston College campus community," writes Hendershott.
Professors described the College's 2009 decision to place 40 crucifixes in classrooms as offensive, biased, and "insensitive."
In a sense the professors and students are continuing the tradition of the longtime proponent of abortion rights, the late Rev. Robert Drinan, who was dean of Boston College Law School for 14 years (1956-70) before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. While a congressman, Drinan could be counted on to vote for increased access to abortion, just as earlier, while a dean, he had helped counsel Catholic politicians on how to accept and promote abortion with a clear conscience. In 2011, the Boston College Law School held a symposium to honor Drinan.
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