New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes will not be attending Xavier Universitys upcoming commencement because Donna Brazile, a Kenner native and Democratic political strategist, is the keynote speaker and a supporter of abortion rights.
In a letter to Xavier University president, Dr. Norman Francis, the archbishop wrote of Braziles efforts in working with the poor, particularly in the African American population, but said her stance on the abortion issue is not in keeping with Catholic moral teaching.
Its not a surprising move by Hughes. A month ago, he wrote a letter criticizing Notre Dames selection of President Barack Obama, again because of Obamas support of abortion rights. What is interesting is that Brazile grew up and remains a Catholic, something that Hughes notes in his letter. U.S. bishops, however, have made it clear they oppose the selection of speakers like Brazile by Catholic institutions. Abortion has always been the churchs hot-button issue, but it does make you wonder what constitutes Catholic moral teachings?
Why is all right for Catholic bishops to attend a graduation ceremony where the non-Catholic speaker is someone who used false information to foment a war, in which tens of thousands have died, but its not all right to attend a graduation where the speaker is a Catholic who supports abortion rights?