THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2007 – The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today commended the Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, for his unambiguous opposition to the forthcoming 2007 Teen Pregnancy Institute, to be held at the College of Holy Cross on October 24th. This conference, sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, will discuss various methods of birth control, and will include three workshops conducted by Planned Parenthood and one workshop conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.
In a statement released yesterday, Bishop McManus said the Church’s teaching on respect for life is “manifestly clear”, and “beyond modification and compromise”. He warned Holy Cross that it was in danger of losing its Catholic identity, and called upon its President, Rev. Michael McFarland, to revoke the invitation to the Alliance.
The Catholic Action League called the bishop’s response “an act of courage and an exercise in leadership which other members of the Catholic hierarchy in America would do well to emulate.”
Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle stated: “No one can be expected to take seriously Catholic opposition to abortion and contraception when a Jesuit college provides a forum for Planned Parenthood — an organization responsible for more than a quarter of a million abortions each year in this country — and the National Abortion Rights Action League, which has a history of framing the abortion debate as an attempt by the Catholic Church to impose its archaic morality on pluralist America. The deplorable decision by the college administration to permit this conference to go forward is a betrayal of Catholic principles, an implicit repudiation of the Church’s moral teaching, and an insult to faithful pro-life Catholics. Holy Cross is also sending an appalling message to its own students of official indifference to the destruction of innocent human life by surgical abortion and abortifacient contraception.”
“When Catholic college administrators and religious superiors not only fail to defend the right to life, but actually collaborate with the purveyors of death, then it is necessary for the bishop to intervene, and Bishop McManus has done so appropriately and forthrightly. It remains to be seen what action the Bishop will decide upon if Holy Cross defies his request, and what course Sean Cardinal O’Malley will take. One of the member agencies of the Alliance is Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston, which is slated to conduct one of the workshops at the conference. It seems that the leadership of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts is in for a time of testing.”