Skip to main content

Courageous Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley Will Not Attend Boston College Commencement Comments

The truly liberating message of authentic and true human progress which only the Catholic Church offers the world - is just what is needed in this critical hour in human history. It is the only solution for the malady which ails western culture. However, we need strong, courageous, holy and faithful Bishops who can proclaim it in both word and deed. We have many these days and Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap, is one. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 11 Comments

  1. Dr. Anne Marie Vale
    1 year ago

    Once again Boston College has openly defied Church teaching by honoring the radically pro-abortion Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the annual commencement ceremony. In an article in the May 23rd issue of The Wanderer, Cardinal O’Malley is quoted as saying that he was “sure that the invitation was made in good faith, long before” Kenny’s legislative action “came to the attention of the leadership of Boston College.”
    With all due respect to Cardinal O’Malley, who is a holy man and deeply devoted to the pro-life cause, I am clearly perplexed as to why he would allow the administration at Boston College to honor Enda Kenny, despite his strong objections. In all fairness, Cardinal O’Malley is not the only prelate who has been in this unenviable position in recent years. Each year many purportedly Catholic institutions honor individuals at commencement ceremonies whose ideologies are in complete contradistinction to Catholic teaching. It is quite evident that the mere absence of a bishop or cardinal at a commencement exercise honoring persons with anti-Catholic positions is not very effective. The person is still honored, and all the graduates and their families are present for the event, giving credence to the honoree.
    There must be some disciplinary action taken to prevent these scandalous situations from taking place in the future. I question who is directly responsible for inviting speakers and honorees to graduations in Catholic institutions of higher learning. Why do they not submit a request for approval in a timely fashion to the bishop or cardinal?
    As a public school teacher for 29 years, I always had to submit a request for a guest speaker in my classroom. I needed to include reasons why my students would benefit educationally, culturally, and ethically from their encounter with the prospective guest. First, I would submit my request to my principal for approval. Then, the principal would submit it to the superintendent. If either the principal or superintendent disapproved, then the guest speaker was canceled. If I was insubordinate and continued to invite the guest speaker to my classroom, there would be sufficient grounds for my termination, and rightly so. I can’t help but wonder why a Catholic educational institution would not also have a similar policy, especially when one’s eternal salvation is at risk and serious moral scandal is given to the entire community.
    Blessed John Paul II’s 1990 Apostolic Constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (On Catholic Universities) clearly states the following:
    Each Bishop has a responsibility to promote the welfare of the Catholic Universities in his diocese and has the right and duty to watch over the preservation and strengthening of their Catholic character. If problems should arise concerning this Catholic character, the local Bishop is to take the initiatives necessary to resolve the matter, working with the competent university authorities in accordance with established procedures and, if necessary, with the help of the Holy See.
    There is also a footnote regarding the “established procedures”, which reads as follows:
    [T]hese procedures are to be established in the university statutes approved by the competent ecclesiastical Authority; for other Catholic Universities, they are to be determined by Episcopal Conferences or other Assemblies of Catholic Hierarchy.
    How closely does the Catholic university administration ally itself and communicate with its local bishop? Is there sufficient supervision of the local Catholic colleges and universities provided by the local bishops throughout our dioceses? Obviously, Blessed John Paul II expressed very serious concern about the present state of affairs.
    This is my ultimate question. Are there clearly delineated “established procedures” for disciplinary action when a university official ignores a bishop’s plea to prevent a certain speaker from addressing students for valid moral reasons? Perhaps college and university presidents who claim to promote Catholic teaching, but whose actions belie that claim, need to be swiftly terminated and replaced before any more of these public scandals occur again.
    We need to pray that our bishops and cardinals will summon the courage to not simply withdraw their presence from these ceremonies, but also take positive action to prevent individuals from being “honored” for their anti-Catholic beliefs and actions. Let us pray hard for our Church leaders and for our universities that a true Catholic identity will once again return to all our institutions of higher learning.

  2. Anthony R. Corea
    1 year ago

    While I greatly respect Cardinal O'Malley, I believe it is a profound mistake for him to boycott Boston College's graduation. His blessing is an important part of the graduation ceremony at this Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher learning.
    The Cardinal ,who attended Senator Kennedy's funeral mass, said at the time ," As Archbishop of Boston, I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy out of respect for the Senator."Surely, no one misunderstood his attendance as approval of Senator Kennedy's pro-choice viewpoint. He showed pastoral compassion and love. Why is he not showing the same pastoral attitutde to the graduates of Boston College?

  3. Michael Flynn
    1 year ago

    If Boston College is a Catholic college why would they accept Enda Kenny and let the Bishop go. A little backwards I'd say. Shouldn't Catholic schools be setting example to its students? What kind of example is this? I respect Cardinal Sean O'Malley but shouldn't he be telling the college to also follow? Just a little confused!!

  4. Tom McGuire
    1 year ago

    Protest by not attending is one way, but there is another. Jesus went to the homes of tax collectors and sinners. May there not be a way to imitate Christ and be present to the sinner, calling for conversion?

  5. Roger
    1 year ago

    I commend Cardinal O'Malley. We need more of our leaders and laity to stand up, not in opposition to, but reverence for church teachings.
    It is time to call a duck a duck. When our institutions and politicians call themselves Catholic, and then advocate for legislation opposite of Catholic faith they Must be called to the mat.

  6. K.C.Thomas
    1 year ago

    The message delivered through the article by Deacon Keith Fournier is very much appreciated. It is really principled and courageous decision of Cardinal Sean no to attend the Boston College function. However the believers have to find a suitable machinery to ensure that Catholic Institutions do not directly or indirectly take steps that works detrimental to catholic teachings.

    It may not be out of place to write here to inform the Deacon who is at the apex seat of Catholic on line that the prayer requests published in catholic on line many a time contains requests which are contrary to Catholic teachings ( An example seeking prayer for expediting divorce). I request that such publications which are scandalous may not be done

  7. James E O'Leary
    1 year ago

    Courageous? My eye. Enda is courageous.

  8. Robert
    1 year ago

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    Clarity of Thought

    Integrity of Action

  9. michael
    1 year ago

    Yes, this is good news from a good cardinal. Perhaps he has learned from his unfortunate appearance at Ted Kennedy's funeral that you cannot dialogue with the culture of death.

  10. Joe
    1 year ago

    Bless you Cardinal Sean O'Malley. If only Boston College had the courage as you. They can not be proud of themselves.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Saint of the Day

March 4 Saint of the Day

St. Casimir
March 4: Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a ... Read More