Catholic College Disinvites Pro-Abortion Politician at Request of Bishop

For the second time this commencement season, a pro-abortion rights commencement speaker had their invitation rescinded at the request of the local bishop.

On Friday, State Representative Democrat Bob Hagan’s reported pro-abortion rights stand led the Youngstown campus of Mercy College of Ohio to rescind its invitation for him to speak at the school’s commencement ceremony on Tuesday at the public urging of Bishop George Murry, S.J..

Bishop Murry released a statement regarding his decision.

“It recently came to my attention, without any proper review by my office, that the Mercy School of Nursing, a Catholic institution, invited Representative Robert Hagan to be its commencement speaker at the Cathedral of St. Columba.

“While I respect and appreciate many of the social justice positions taken by Representative Hagan, it remains a fact that he also has consistently voted for pro-abortion legislation, policies and funding. Abortion extinguishes an unborn human life. It is an intrinsically evil action which the Catholic Church has condemned for centuries.

As Catholics, we must in good conscience oppose Representative Hagan’s position in support of abortion. Therefore, I asked the Mercy School of Nursing, a Catholic sponsored institution, to rescind their invitation to Representative Hagan to speak at the Nursing School graduation.

“I am most willing to meet with Representative Hagan to discuss his position and concerns, while, at the same time, speaking with him about the Church’s long standing teaching about the sacredness of human life in all its dimensions.”

According to news reports, Hagan posted a response to the bishop’s position on his Facebook page, declaring his commitment to social justice:

“I have fought for social justice my entire life and today, I am one disappointed Catholic. After being invited to give the commencement speech at Mercy Nursing School here in Youngstown, I got a call telling me that the Bishop has overruled their invite and they have rescinded the invitation because of some of the political positions I have taken. I am saddened that the work that I have done to feed the poor, clothe the naked, help cure the sick, and to bring an end to the death penalty has fallen on deaf ears.”

He later tweeted a less confrontational comment, “Let’s be clear, the bishop is just doing his job.”

Earlier this month, Anna Maria College in Massachusetts, at the request of Bishop Robert McManus, rescinded an invitation to Victoria Kennedy, widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy, to give the school’s commencement address because of her support of abortion rights and gay marriage.

Matthew Archbold


Matthew Archbold is a contributing writer to Campus Notes and to National Catholic Register, as well as the co-founder of the popular website, Creative Minority Report.

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  • Joe DeVet

    We can celebrate this decision and the one in Massachusetts as small steps of progress toward walking the walk, as well as talking the talk, about the evils of abortion and our duties as Catholics to avoid cooperation in this evil (such as voting pro-abortion.)

    And we can pray for the day when all Catholic institutions will, on their own and without prompting from their bishops, make decisions consistent with the Catholic faith in all things, including avoiding the scandal of directly or tacitly honoring those immersed in the Culture of Death.

  • Jkbecher

    God bless our bishops in their courage in taking a public stand for the Truth!!!  This is HUGE, and we need to love, appreciate, and pray for our bishops that they feel emboldened to stand out as the sign of contradiction that they are in this culture of death we live in.  

  • TD

    First, what was the college thinking inviting him in the first place?  Second, I don’t know anything about Rep. Hagan, but if he has “fought for social justice” his entire life as he says, that’s great.  A lot of people do, also.  However, if he can’t understand that a defenseless baby, with nowhere to run, being brutalized and torn apart in the womb, is a victim demanding our protection, then he has no clue about the true meaning of social justice.   

  • edmund burk

    did anyone here catch what this politican claimed, be’s practially Jesus! How dare this Bishop disenvite him! Maybe this politican is the second coming.. Just kidding, this guy is an idiot.

  • Florin S.

    AT least the Bishop was respected and obeyed. That did not happen when the local Bishop asked Notre Dame not to give an award to Obama…any “Catholic” institution that defies their Bishop and/or the teachings of the Church should be told to remove the title “Catholic” from their institution.

  • Florin S.

    By the way, Bob Hagan did not end the death penalty.  In fact, he enforces the death penalty every day for millions and millions of human babies in the womb. Pray that he may realize this and stop the killing.

  • High time that the church became consistent!

  • arthurkraftii

    Yes the Bishop’s are starting to do thier job’ 
    Thank God.
    even though this should never be necessary.
    Thank God Again!!!!

  • livethegoldenrule

    Now if Georgetown will do the same and admit its mistake in inviting Kathleen Sebelius.  Such betrayal that a promoter of the HHS Mandate would be invited to speak to the graduates of the “Catholic”? university…It only serves to affirm what she is doing as good, rather than evil.

  • Victoria

    Lord Jesus, we pray that you will open the mind and heart of Representative Hagan to see that it does no good to feed the poor, clothe the naked, help cure the sick, and bring an end to the death penalty, while he is allowing the innocent unborn to be slain in the womb. One must first be alive in order to be hungry, naked or sick. 

  • Florin S.

    These Catholic universities who invite a radically aggressive pro-abortion person such as Kathleen Sebelius are affirming her in her sin thus denying her a chance for conversion of heart.  Sebelius was a colleague and friend of George Tiller, known as the ‘baby killer’ because he killed babies in the womb up to 9 months of gestation and, if requested, would pose the fully formed dead baby on a bed with the mother so a picture could be taken…this is gruesome and Sebelius needs prayers not affirmation in her sin, just as Nancy Pelosi does who openly and aggressively mocks the Bishops and the teachings of the Church and lures others to her side with the declaration that the Church and the Bishops are old fashioned and she knows what is right…she too is affirmed in her sin because she is permitted to continue to receive Holy Communion.  At least Kathleen Sebelius’ Bishop told her not to present herself for Communion until she had publicly recanted her pro-abortion agenda and gone to confession.

  • Pingback: Catholic College Disinvites Pro-Abortion Politician at Request of Bishop | Tom O'Halloran()

  • Diana

    Our country is on the road to recovery in the way most necessary; and that is spiritually. The Bishops are doing their work’ and their priest and parishes will benefit.If Russia is realizing their prosperity can only grow through increased spirituality, we really need to take heed. Stand up for the Truth.Life is precious.