On Wednesday, April 22, Georgetown University Law Center will host an event honoring Vice President Joseph Biden with the “Legal Momentum Hero Award,” in a move that Catholic commentators say is in direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 policy against Catholic institutions giving honors to pro-abortion politicians. Georgetown University Law Center is affiliated with Georgetown University, a Catholic and Jesuit institution.
Vice President Biden is infamous for his strong support for abortion, despite his claims of being a faithful Catholic. During last year’s election cycle, Biden provoked denunciations from scores of bishops after he went on NBC’s Meet the Press and claimed that his support for abortion is in keeping with his Catholic faith.
Georgetown’s decision is likely to set off a renewed storm of controversy, after another prominent Catholic University, the University of Notre Dame, last month announced that Barack Obama would be speaking at its commencement exercises and would be awarded an honorary doctorate. So far over 325,000 individuals have signed a petition condemning that decision. (See: http://www.notredamescandal.com)
In addition, more than 40 U.S. bishops have publicly decried the University of Notre Dame’s plan to honor President Barack Obama next month. Most of the bishops have invoked the 2004 statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
“Even as Notre Dame publicly snubs the Catholic bishops, Georgetown appears to be saying, ‘Me, too!,'” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, in response to the announcement about Biden. “Just last week, Georgetown covered the name of Jesus Christ at the request of the White House. Scandal after scandal at Georgetown, including the stunning 2007 law school policy that offers paid internships for students to work at organizations that advocate for abortion rights, has severely compromised its integrity as a Catholic institution.”
Vice President Joseph Biden, a professed Roman Catholic, has since the 2008 presidential campaign come under sharp criticism from pro-life advocates, including his hometown Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., for supporting the legal abortion.
According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Biden “strongly support[s] Roe v. Wade.” Biden was the co-sponsor of the extremely pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act in the 102nd and 103rd congresses. He also voted for federal funding of Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell research, and against parental notification for minors seeking out-of-state abortions, a ban on abortions at military facilities, and a ban on human cloning.
Tomorrow’s symposium is sponsored by the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and Legal Momentum, a women’s rights advocacy group that sharply conflicts with the Catholic Church by promoting “reproductive rights,” advocating same-sex “marriage” and opposing abstinence-only education programs and pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.