Card. O’Malley to boycott Boston College when they honor pro-abortion Irish PM

I wrote HERE about Jesuit-run Boston College’s plan to have anti-Catholic catholic, pro-abortion Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny speak at commencement and then confer on him an honor.

Outrageous. Shades of Notre Shame.

Now I read at the site of the Cardinal Newman Society (see their feed on the side bar) that the local Archbishop, Sean Card. O’Malley, will boycott the event.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley Will Boycott Boston College Commencement

Archdiocese of Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley said today that he plans to boycott Boston College’s commencement ceremony May 20 because it will feature Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as its commencement speaker. The College is scheduled to award Kenny an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Kenny supports loosening the country’s legislation against abortion.

“Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach (prime minister) has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation,’’ O’Malley said in a statement released this afternoon. “It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives,” he added, referencing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops instruction that Catholic institutions not honor those whose views are inconsistent with the Church’s teachings.

Traditionally, the Boston archbishop delivers the final benediction at Boston College’s commencement each year.

Continued Cardinal O’Malley’s statement:

The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirming the Church’s teaching that “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong” and expressed serious concern that the proposed legislation “represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”

“Boston College invited Prime Minister Kenny a year ago to speak at our commencement to celebrate its heritage and relationship with Ireland and our desire to recognize and celebrate our heritage,” Boston College Spokesman Jack Dunn told the Boston Globe. “Our invitation is independent of the proposed bill that will be debated in the Irish parliament this summer.”


Read the rest there.

Fr. Z kudos to Card. O’Malley for this.

Bishops need to rise up and give Boston College a piece of their minds.


There is a petition HERE

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  1. frjim4321 says:

    As I read it, the cardinal did not use the word “boycott,” that was LFN’s spin on the situation. According to the first definition of “boycott,” (1. to combine in abstaining from, or preventing dealings with, as a means of intimidation or coercion:) the term includes the sense of intimidation or coercion. As one of our most refined churchmen, surely the cardinal would not want to intimidate or coerce.

    This is another example of LFN’s rampant disregard for accuracy and almost always skewing the truth to promote its agenda. LFN = Not a real news source.

  2. Bosco says:

    I sent the following e-mail to the president of Boston College today:

    “Dear Rev. Father Leahy,

    I am a Catholic and live in the County Cork.

    I am simply stunned that your naive (at best) invitation to Toaoiseach Enda Kenny has been extended to a man who, in the very teeth of Church and pro-life-opposition here in Ireland, steadfastly and unabashedly advances an agenda destined to usher-in the liberalization of abortion in our nation, an agenda defended both by the liberal Irish news media and that ungodly Moloch, the European Union.

    It is a slap in the face to both Catholic and Protestant pro-life groups in the Republic and gravely if not fatally, owing to the priceless publicity you will afford Mr. Kenny, undermines our efforts to hold back ‘the blood-dimmed tide loosed upon the world.’ (W. B. Yeats ‘The Second Coming’, circa 1919)

    Would Pope Francis, also of the Society of Jesus, for one moment give this promoter of liberalized abortion a public platform? No! .

    I pray that you find some way to extricate Boston College from this brewing international scandal.

    Your brother in Christ Jesus,

    Liam Ronan

    P.S. You may want to have a read of the W.B. Yeats poem cited above. It adds a biteen of contemporary perspective.”

  3. Long-Skirts says:

    The Cardinal said:

    “It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, ”

    …the “confusion”?!!! There is no confusion!!

  4. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Great response, Bosco. The Irish still have a way with words! Now let’s hope other bishops and cardinals step up and address this issue as part of their pro-life stance.

  5. Titus says:

    LFN? I don’t see any organization in the post or the article with those initials. I agree that I would not have used the term “boycott,” however.

    On to the topic at hand. If we go back and look at Fr. Z’s stock photograph of the Obama ND hooding, we see in the middle background then-ND Law School Dean O’Hara, seated and apparently not partaking in the adulation. O’Hara’s previously announced resignation became effective at the end of that school year, and she never commented publicly on the University administration giving out one of her degrees to the President, and she’s probably sitting down because she needed surgery on both knees at the time. But I do not think the Obama affair was her idea.

    The current dean of BC’s law school, by contrast, is another man. Vincent Rougeau, now the BCLS dean, was one of Notre Dame Law School’s loudest apologists for Obama’s candidacy for president and the administration’s invitation. He served on the Obama campaign’s Committee for Confusing Catholics and Sowing Dissension within the Church (or whatever it was technically called). He is indisputably a fellow traveler of the culture of death. (He was also an abysmally vacuous contracts professor.) He would be just as infamous as Doug Kmiec or Cathleen Kaveny if he were as widely published in popular periodicals. I would not in the least be surprised to learn that he’s terribly pleased at the invitation BC has extended to the Taoiseach.

  6. Animadversor says:

    Perhaps it would be better to go and say what needs to be said to the faces of those who ought to hear it.

  7. Jack Regan says:

    I always like Card. O’Malley. His blog is always a good read.

  8. Cantor says:

    FrJim – ‘boycott’ is a very Irish word with the meaning to shun somebody who has done wrong. For example, they don’t burn down your place of business; they simply go elsewhere until you correct the wrong or leave. Those opposed to such action are the ones who apply the concept of threats or coercion.

    The Archbishop’s response is perfectly suited to the occasion. Thank God for men like him.

  9. marthawrites says:

    Good for the cardinal. I was proud of my husband who walked out on Cardinal Bernard Law when he spoke at the first Magnificat convention in NYC several years ago; more of this public repudiation needs to be witnessed by the rest of us.

  10. Matt R says:

    Excellent quotation from Mr. Yeats in an excellent letter, Bosco.

    Fr Jim, I presume LFN is Lifenews or one of the other news sites covering the pro-life movement? If so, it’s NEVER pretended to be ‘fair and balanced’…there is (are) explanations on Lifenews and Lifesite News which explain this.

  11. Mr. P. says:

    Boycott?! That’s all a cardinal and member of the Holy Father’s super-cardinal reform council can do?

    Thank you, Your Eminence, but with all due respect, I would like to see some major administrators’ heads roll for granting this honor in the first place, along with some stronger episcopal sanctions.

    Very Respectfully,

  12. Father Flores says:

    Our invitation is independent of the proposed bill that will be debated in the Irish parliament this summer.

    I am always saddened by the compartmentalization so prevalent in these statements. It’s the kind of mindset that will lead BC to one day say “We are honoring Dr. Gosnell for his commitment to always separating his recyclables and has nothing to do with his murder of children.” I would give more examples but I would hate to become fluent in Newspeak.

  13. jimsantafe says:

    Kudos to Cardinal O’Malley for not attending. But is that enough? Isn’t it time that bishops in circumstances like these to act Catholic or stop calling themselves Catholic? Bishop McManus kind of sort of told the College of the Holy Cross that must not host Planned Parenthood on campus. The College publicly stated that it would not comply with their local ordinary and so … nothing. The bishops’ inaction has given carte blanche to the dissent colleges.

  14. OrthodoxChick says:

    I think that Cardinal O’Malley is taking a step in the right direction by boycotting, or not attending (however he terms it). But, he’s the Cardinal. Is there something preventing him from contacting B.C. and privately ordering them to withdraw their invitation before he calls on them publicly to do so? And if they dare defy the Cardinal, can’t he issue a public statement that they are no longer considered to have any sort of affiliation with the Catholic Church unless and until they reconcile their administrative policies with Church teaching?

    This invitation to Enda Kenny violates B.C.’s mission statement as stated on their own website.

    And I’ll bet anyone dollars to donuts that Pope Francis would also feel that it violates their Jesuit tradition, were he to become aware of this nonsense. Cardinal O’Malley has an opportunity here to demonstrate to all Catholics the importance of living the Church teachings, rather than just ignoring them – or worse, thumbing one’s nose at them. If we believe, as we claim to, that the Roman Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ, then we ought to live as though we believe that. When we live as though there is no such thing as a Bride of Christ, our Cardinals, bishops, and priests need to remind us in voices that are loud and clear.

    I’ll be praying for Cardinal O’Malley.

  15. iPadre says:

    Its time that BC follows the example of our 1st Jesuit Pope. He has always been a die hard defender of human life and the unborn. Come on BC and embrace the true Jesuit charism!

  16. Where was the outrage when Cardianl O’Malley allowed Ted Kennedy to have a Catholic Mass when he died? His Eminence is a disgrace, as is Cardinal Dolan-

    [And the rabbit hole opens…. Thanks a lot.]

  17. Actually, what Cardinal O’Malley ought to do is to show up, but outside the front gate with a picket sign. I’m sure he could get a few hundred pro-life people in Boston to join him.

  18. Tony says:

    Dachisies: What a terrible thing to say about two archbishops and Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.

    As for His Eminence demanding the BC not have the Irish PM: it is a Jesuit run school. My understanding is that the Society of Jesus is not under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Boston. In addition to that, since the Jesuits ARE a Catholic religious order, I don’t think Card. O’Malley can strip them of the title Catholic…

  19. Katylamb says:

    Dachsies: Why should there be outrage at Ted Kennedy having a Catholic Mass after his death? I believe he had the last rites, didn’t he? Maybe Cardinal O’Malley knows something you don’t?
    I’m no fan of Ted (or any other) Kennedy but I think it’s kind of sad that you wish he’d been denied a funeral Mass. How do you know what he said to the priest? In my opinion, calling a cardinal “a disgrace” when you cannot possibly know all the facts is itself a disgrace.

  20. poohbear says:

    Really he needs to publicly state that BC is no longer a Catholic College. I think the powers that be at BC don’t care if the Cardinal shows up or not. The bishops need to back up their hollow threats with action if anything is to change.

  21. Ichabod says:

    Kudos to Cardinal O’Malley. We need more witness and courage such as he has demonstrated. He’s welcome at Notre Dame to celebrate their commencement speaker, Cardinal Dolan. Praying that BC will learn its lesson as Notre Dame has.

  22. JARay says:

    That letter from “Bosco” is excellent. I may have the name wrong, but somehow I think that Bosco is responsible for referring to Ireland’s Toaoiseach as “End-a-Life” Kenny. A real gem, in my opinion.

  23. Dave N. says:

    It’s really difficult to understand why institutions such as BC and Notre Dame are allowed to bring continued scandal upon the Church. Who is going to undertake the massive cleanup needed at these schools? And who can provide the much needed continuing oversight? It seems like the bulk of the system is broken.

    Yes, kudos to Abp. O’Malley; his comments are clear and at least a simple step in the right direction.

  24. campello says:

    I was no fan of the Kennedy Clan, but Ketylamb nailed it on this one. You don’t just go around denying funerals to people. You have no idea what state of grace they were in at their moment of death. And to call two Cardinals a disgrace in the same breath, turns my stomach. I am proud to have Cardinal Sean as my Cardinal!!

  25. campello says:


  26. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Kudos to Cardinal Sean O’Malley!

    If only Cardinal Sean Brady in Ireland had the guts to impose canon 915 on his prime minister for the latter’s disingenuous attempts to legalise abortion in Ireland…as long as no canon 915 is imposed on leading politicians out of true mercy for their souls, catholic moral teachings will continue to be considered by most people a joke with no link to reality, I am afraid…

    One has to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, to be credible.

  27. Anabela says:

    Yes this is good news. Our own Bishops in Ireland I hope will learn to wake up and encourage every Parish to pray and act during this time. Not one word was mentioned from the Pulpit in my own Parish about the Vigil for Life for Knock. There should have been 10,000 at Knock Shrine for that Vigil not 5,000 but due to the complete apathy in the country and in many Parishes that is all who attended. 30,000 attended a vigil in Dublin where there was little or no prayer and yet this is a spiritual battle we are waging. If we have little ammunition on our side (prayer), we are going to lose. Its that simple. But lets have hope and Pray. It is simply not enough to protest – The most important weapon we have is PRAYER. Then we can get on to our politicians and protest in other ways but Prayer and Action must go together.

  28. Anabela says:

    Can I just also add that Precious Life (based in Northern Ireland) are organising 40 days Prayer and Fasting for Life which starts tomorrow at 12 noon for the Protection of Life in Ireland. So please support this great effort and pass it on to your Priests who may organise something in their Parish (Holy Mass, Holy Hours or Rosary, Chaplet of Mercy etc). You can check out the Precious Life facebook page for details for those who are on facebook or their website They are a wonderful organisation full of prayer and action for Life.

  29. jflare says:

    Huh. This is one of the VERY few times that I wind up agreeing with Cardinal O’Malley. Whether he’s officially boycotting or not, he will not be attending. This is a good step.

  30. jflare says:

    Katylamb, I don’t pretend to know about Dachsies view, but I’d say that I wouldn’t object to a Catholic funeral for the late Ted Kennedy. ..So long as it would’ve been a PRIVATE affair to be celebrated quietly by his immediate family. He WAS, theoretically at least, a practicing Catholic. Considering the scandal he inflicted on the Church though, I share Dachsies’ disgust with allowing Kennedy’s funeral to be rather a public spectacle.

  31. JonPatrick says:

    I also emailed Fr. Leahy although I’m not sure it will accomplish anything, thees sorts of people seem to have their mind made up.

    Concerning some of the comments about Cd. O’Malley ordering the college to rescind the invitation, I wonder what the “chain of command” is here, whether His Eminence even has any jurisdiction here, or whether it would come under the local Jesuit Ordinary, or what?

  32. Juergensen says:

    This is all well and good. But then, why doesn’t the Cardinal do something about all the abortionist homosexualist politicians who vote for and fund abortion and sodomy during the week and receive and profanate the Holy Eucharist on weekends?

  33. The Masked Chicken says:

    I had some really blistering remarks to make (involving the Keebler Elf), but I decided that they might be too mean-spirited. Sometimes, restraint in the combox is best.

    The Chicken

  34. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    It seems we spend a lot of time bashing the school or the Bishops, but I think the ball is now in the students and their parents.
    The school is more beholding to those paying the bills.
    Parents spent good money to send their kids to a Catholic college. One would think they would be upset to have someone pro-life speak and not have the Bishop speak. If they and the students do not care, then why should the school care?

  35. Priam1184 says:

    I agree with Juergensen. The Cardinal has had many opportunities over the years to show the world his pro-Life credentials with regard to pro-abortion politicians and, while I am gratified that he has finally taken one, I do find it odd that it was over the issue of an Irish Taoiseach rather than one of the many hundreds of politicians who reside in the Archdiocese of Boston alone who have similar positions on the issue of abortion. I’m sorry and I would love to join in the chorus of praise for the man but I cannot ignore that fact. As to the issue of Ted Kennedy: I very much hope that he confessed his sins at the end of his life, received plenary indulgence, and is now singing the praises of the Almighty in heaven. However, since he never publicly repudiated the positions he took and the deeds he committed during his life I’m not entirely certain that it was necessary for the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston to celebrate the funeral Mass of someone who had given such a horrible and to all eyes, except possibly his confessor in his last moments and of course the Almighty Himself, unrepentant example on one of the most crucial good vs. evil issues of our times. The funeral Mass could have been said by any priest.

  36. Bosco says:

    @Ambrose Jnr,
    Our Cardinal Sean Brady cannot rightly invoke sanctions under Canon Law at the present moment (though he has very publicly cited them) nor instruct the priests of Ireland to withhold the Holy Eucharist from anyone until such time as the final wording of the legislation, i.e. ‘Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013’, is decided upon and the votes are cast.
    Then we shall see.
    (See )

  37. Random Friar says:

    @frjim4321: Merriam-Webster uses “to engage in a concerted refusal to have dealings with (as a person, store, or organization) usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions.” I think in this case, simple disapproval is conveyed.

  38. Charivari Rob says:

    Oh, for cryin’ out loud…

    I usually try to stay away from the rabbit holes when Father Z has waved the caution flag, but since a comment above involves a misstatement of facts, I’ll take the chance. Cardinal O’Malley did not celebrate the funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy. Yes, he was there, but not as celebrant.

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  40. KingofCharity says:

    Shut the damn thing down.

  41. Basher says:

    Cardinal O’Malley did not celebrate the funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy. Yes, he was there, but not as celebrant.

    …and that was a mistake. The Church has been making mistakes around the Kennedys for a long, long time.


    The Kennedy rabbit hole is closed.

    This is about BOSTON COLLEGE.


  43. JMody says:

    So, at the risk of sounding a bit medieval or even troglodytian (TM), cannot the good cardinal, as primary teacher, liturgist, and all-around absolute BOSS of the diocese, answering only to the Holy Father and the Lord, do ANYTHING at all to stop this? Can’t we have him dust off an old, nearly-forgotten, but delicious word and use it in this case?

    I N T E R D I C T ?

  44. Ambrose Jnr says:


    Thank you for this clarification. Much appreciated. AJr

  45. Chris says:

    I am a student at Boston College, and I sent Fr. Leahy the following email last night…..

    Dear Fr. Leahy,

    Taking a break from preparing for my exams, I write to you tonight to express my displeasure at the current situation surrounding the upcoming Commencement. Here we are, celebrating the 150th anniversary of an institution of higher learning which was founded to form young minds in the mold of the Catholic faith. I fail to grasp how it is that, on such an occasion, the decision has been made to honor Enda Kenny, an individual who has in the past and continues in the present to use his political power to work actively against the Catholic faith by allowing for the legal protection of the murder of unborn children. It is an embarrassment that the Cardinal Archbishop has declined to attend what should have been a joyful day of celebration in the life of this university, the local church, and the Society of Jesus.

    One can immediately think of so many better persons to have received this high honor on this momentous anniversary. Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus and thereby successor to St. Ignatius himself, would surely have come to such a notable Jesuit institution for its 150th anniversary. He could have been honored with a degree and the privilege of sending the graduates from this place, leaving them with an impression of the Love that is only to be found in the faith by which this school has tried to form them. But no. Sadly, that is not what you have chosen. As you send these students off into the world after their time at Boston College, you will allow the parting words they hear from this place to be ones that come from a man who stands against that for which the Church stands and against that for which this school (at least nominally) stands.

    As a student and as a Catholic, I urge you to rescind the offer previously made to Enda Kenny.

    Would your superiors in the Society have chosen to honor this man? Would our Holy Father – a Jesuit, like yourself – have chosen to honor this man? Would your saintly forebears in the Society have chosen to honor this man? Would Jesus Christ himself have chosen to honor this man?

    Chris [Last Name]

  46. Bosco says:

    Bravo! Fine and telling missive.

  47. Tony says:

    JMody: Card. O’Malley has generally good relations with Boston College and the Jesuit community there. His brother Capuchins send many of their seminarians there, and I know a Jesuit who is finishing his tenth-year there who is quite solid and several other students in the School of Theology and Ministry. Why would His Eminence put an interdict on a school for this? Compared to much of the good the BC does it seems that his not attending the commencement is a proportionate response.

  48. Charivari Rob says:

    In circumstances like this, it can be interesting to read up on a college’s Board of Trustees. Not that they’re necessarily involved in the operation minutiae of inviting commencement speakers, but they’re the ones who have the real potential to steer actions and set limits, and to tell the administration “it would be a good idea to rethink such-and-such”

    Looking at the list on the BC website, they seem to be mostly BC alums, a lot of them from financial houses and law firms. Not too surprising. There’s a couple of younger/recent classes alumni. A nice touch is the presence of a “parent of current undergrad” seat. I don’t know the structure – don’t know if they’re all “voting seats” or not.

    Of course there’s a strong Jesuit presence on the Board. Frankly, there should be. It is interesting, though. There’s a certain amount of… I’m not sure what to call it – self-referential cross-pollination? – among Jesuit institutions in the USA. You read those Trustees names, follow back their bios and institutions, look at their Trustee lists…

    You’ve got a couple of other Jesuit college presidents or provincial superiors as BC Trustees. Father Leahy is a Trustee at a couple of those schools. As you follow the degrees of separation, there’s a bit of overlap. A few people seem to pop up at several places. Is that a problem?

    I’ll have to go back and reread the BC list. It would be interesting to see if there’s a slot for “delegate of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston”. That might be a good thing to have.

  49. Jim R says:

    Well, how long until MSW is forced out of Fishwrap for being Catholic? I give it less than 6 months. Any takers?

    It’s actually nice to see in print an ongoing conversion in process

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