Give Us Barabbas


Here we go again!

In recent years two major Catholic universities, Notre Dame and Georgetown have honored pro-choice politicians at their Commencement Exercises, President Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, respectively. Although the bishops of both the dioceses protested and refused to attend the graduations, the schools remained obstinate in their decisions. Now it is Boston College’s turn to defy the United States Catholic Bishops’ mandate that those who openly oppose Catholic Church teaching should not be invited to speak or be honored at school events.

On April 25th Boston College, a Jesuit University, announced that Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, who is aggressively promoting abortion legislation in Ireland, would be receiving an honorary Doctor of Law degree at their May 20th graduation exercises.

In a limp riposte to Boston’s Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s, protests a college spokesman said, that the school “invited Prime Minister Kenny a year ago” and chose him “in light of our long-standing connection with Ireland and our desire to recognize and celebrate our heritage.” The spokesperson went on to say that the decision to invite Kenny is “independent” of his support of the proposed pro-abortion legislation in Ireland.

Boston College, for sure, has an Irish ancestry – to be exact an Irish “Catholic” ancestry. For those Irish Catholics that founded Boston College (BC) their faith was part of their DNA. BU as well as many of other great Catholic institutions of higher learning can claim a similar heritage. These schools were founded by Irish Catholics to preserve their faith and because of American-Protestant prejudice against their religion.

Boston_College_with_Boston_skylineTo honor someone who directly contradicts and is even hostile to Catholic teaching is inimical to the purpose and mission for which these schools. Furthermore, to try to make a distinction between the person being honored and his or her political position, as BC’s spokesperson Jack Dunn tries to do, is not only philosophically dishonest but intellectually insulting. A person’s faith and politics form an important part of who they are. It is impossible, for example, to separate Pope Francis, from his Catholic Faith.

The tragedy of these honored guest speakers and the awards they receive are the legitimation that they and their positions receive from these events. It is the role of the Catholic education to present a Catholic world view and provide role models for future Catholic leaders. This has all but disappeared from the agenda of our once revered Catholic colleges and universities. In many cases, like those mentioned above, these schools have become detrimental to the Church. They are a scandal!

This being the case, how much longer, can the Catholic bishops allow these schools to promote “pro-choice” politicians and allow them to use the “Catholic” brand name?

It is by no means a reach to say, that when a Catholic college prefers to have a pro-choice politician above the Archbishop of Boston at their graduation that they have lost their Catholic identity. And, if Irish lineage was the deciding factor as to who is to be present and honored at BC’s Commencement Ceremony, what’s not Irish about Sean Patrick O’Malley?

It is time for the Church hierarchy to take a stand and cut out the cancer that is now infecting our American Catholic heritage. Bishop boycotts are not enough. It is time for the bishops to act on Pope John Paul II Apostolic Constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church) (1990), which instructs Catholic education facilities to respect the norms established by the local bishops. And, where this is not the case, that the designation “Catholic” be removed from them.

After so many years of shirking their responsibility to enforce Ex Corde Ecclesiae, this latest BC infraction should lead to action against these formerly Catholic institutions.

There is nothing short of the Catholic Faith and her pro-life stand at stake. To choose Prime Minister Enda Kenny over Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley is akin to the crowds during the Passion preferring the criminal Barabbas over Jesus.

Fr. Michael P. Orsi


Chaplain and Research Fellow at Ave Maria Law. Father Michael P. Orsi was ordained for the Diocese of Camden in 1976 and has a broad background in teaching and educational administration. Fr. Orsi has authored or co-authored four books and over 300 articles in more than 45 journals, magazines and newspapers. He has served as Assistant Chancellor, Assistant Vicar for Pastoral Services, Director of Family Life Bureau, and Coordinator of Pope John Paul II’s visit to New Jersey for the Diocese of Camden. He has also served as a member of The Institute for Genomic Research at the University of Pennsylvania and as a member of New Jersey’s Advisory Council on AIDS. Fr. Orsi holds a Doctorate in Education from Fordham University, two Master degrees in Theology from Saint Charles Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts from Cathedral College. He is presently serving as Chaplain and Research Fellow in Law and Religion at Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. In 2005 Fr. Orsi was appointed as a Senior Research Associate to the Linacre Center for Bioethics, London, England. Fr. Orsi co-hosts a weekly radio program The Advocate which discusses law and culture on WDEO-AM 990, WMAX-AM 1440 in metro Detroit and WDEO-FM 98.5 in southwest Florida [also linked at].

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  • John

    Don’t worry folks! I’m sure Cardinal Dolan is preparing a robust and effective riposte as we speak!

  • FromTheOtherSideOfTheGlobe

    The “Irish heritage” thing may just be a smokescreen. What BC is doing seems to be a worldwide thing at Jesuit universities and colleges. Just early this year, the Jesuit Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines awarded a notoriously pro-contraceptive activist faculty member who has no publication record with a “teacher of the year” award and promoted him to head their institute on social involvement.

  • John Walker

    Sorry, I meant BC in my comments not BU,..oops.

  • BillinJax

    Thank you Fr. Orsi,

    Your caption is exactly the one we should have had splashed
    across all the Catholic websites the day after the last election.

    Until our Hierarchy are willing to become martyrs for the
    faith along with the Church Militant who have in recent years been growing in
    number in this obvious battle for the soul of America
    little can be accomplished.

    Yet how can we be surprised or challenge our universities
    who welcome the enemies of our faith to preach to our young people when Bishops
    allow a breed of prominent Catholics like Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, Durbin,
    Kerry, McCaskill and a host of others to continue to lead the parade of
    perversion with such scant admonishment as a near silent recommendation that
    they should not present themselves for Communion. Today we have to realize that
    politicians are no longer individual public servants of the people but parliamentary
    voting members of opposing social agendas in a clearly culturally divided nation.
    At the same time media with the explosion of technology has turned a less that
    well educated public into celebrity worshipers.

    The shepherds of the faith bound in the Body of Christ have been commissioned and are required to lead and guide their flocks to holy perfection in the love of the Father and His will. The Catholics in name only noted above, with the passive silence of their shepherds; have over the last several decades been able to become the definers of church doctrine with public statements such as the church does not know when life begins by theologian Pelosi.
    HHS secretary Sebelius practically worships at the Altar of Abortion and Joe (we have to spend our way out of debt) Biden tells us that in order to serve his country justly he can not allow his faith to interfere with his decisions. That is a red flag to both the
    voters and his Bishop to ask him to find another profession if he intends to remain Catholic. But no, we now have Cardinals who have witnessed far greater disrespect for Christian values and personally mandating sanction against the Church by the highest ranking proponents of the Culture of Death being invited to celebrate along side them receiving praise and honor for their attendance and service to the country.

    It takes only common sense to know this is destructive behavior and definitely a lack of leadership if not heresy.

  • Cbalducc

    If you want your child to become good Catholics, DO NOT SEND THEM TO A “PRESTIGIOUS” CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY. They are secular, left wing Ivy League Schools with crucifixes.

  • I’m afraid the boat has already sailed. In a secular legal sense the bishops have very power to compel “catholic” universities to do anything. Most are not even any longer under the actual control of the Institutions of Religious Life that founded them. If they are luck such institution may have a hand in the appointment of the university president, or have a seat on the board of visitors. Often they do not any longer have even that.

    The bishops cannot even force such colleges to stop using the Catholic brand name, because U.S. courts do not recognize such a brand, as controlled by the bishops.

    Literally almost the only tool left to them is the one they will not use:excommunication.

    About the only other tool they have is publicity, which is seldom effective because the bishops will not act in a coordinated way to discredit these institutions. It’s all very well for Archbishop Sean to boycott the graduation, but by next year who will remember?

    How many bishops sent a letter to all of their parishes, requiring the reading of a letter to all parishioners explaining why people shouldn’t send their children to Notre Dame and Georgetown? How many have recommended that parents looking for a Catholic Institution of Higher Learning should check with the Newman Society to get a record of how Catholic the institution really is?

    Until these so-called “catholic” institutions start losing students because of their policies nothing will change.

  • What would you suggest Cardinal Dolan Do? Boston College is not in his diocese. He has no authority to do anything. I suppose he could send them a strongly worded letter. Perhaps a letter to Kenny’s Irish bishop would be helpful?

    It’s not like he is the Primate of the “American Catholic Church”. The USCCB has no authority to compel any Catholic to do anything. It cannot compel a bad bishop to support Church teaching or help a good one to enforce his own decrees. Its documents are suggestive in nature and only have force of authority when supported by the individual bishop in his own diocese.

    It is actually quite possible Cardinal Dolan will speak out. He certainly did before Notre Dame, for all that did.

  • J D

    Perhaps there is a greater point hidden here. When the Church Heirarchy shows even a modicum of courage, good people will run to their defense.

    This is evidence of a two-edged sword it seems. We are left praising the least courage for want of some greater example.

    Calling Barabbas a 40-year old, world-wide killing machine that’s committed 500 million acts of infanticide (and this may pale to the number of chemical abortions due to poisons that the pro-aborts call “medicine” or contraceptives), is a disservice to Barabbas.

    Avoiding a quaint reception, and some pollyanna polemic, by just another pusillanimous pol, void of all veracity, is not participating in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST!

    If for 40 years Bishops were hunted and subjected to the same tortures as the baby in the womb, and a graduation ceremony invited a single proponent of this position, would any one truly consider merely avoiding such a graduation ceremony, a profile in courage?

    What will move Church Heirarchy to give the promised service their red hats are reminders of? If the systematic, international infanticide of nearly a billion children will not do it, what, sadly,will?

    What greater cause is more deserving of martyrdom? What could be more ecumenical? No good Catholic would die for heretical, schismatic, or even occult ideas, but for the ability of a child to be born from such unions? Without question!

    There are 5,000 Bishops in the world. If that same number were hunted down and slaughtered every year of the past four decades, could that tragedy possibly even approach the wanton, state-sanctioned destruction of more than 500 million children?

    Padre Pio, the great Saint and mystic, had heard the confession of a very repentant woman once, who had just confessed to having an abortion. Padre Pio moaned, paused, and seemed distressed, even from behind the screen. The woman was alarmed, again professed her sorrow, and begged again for God’s Mercy. The Mystic was reported to have said, “I know, my daughter, God has forgiven you, it’s just that, your son.. your son,.. was to be Pope..”

    These questions haunt you like His Scourging At The Pillar. Innocence tortured, prior to death, while His Apostles succumb to self-preservation..

  • J D

    IF Francis is sincere about reform, Jesuit institutions must be his first order of business. Maybe the reason we have all “red, pickled-pepper” faces is that we’ve wasted thousands of dollars at a Jesuit institution watching our children abandon The Faith and quoting Professor Flapdoodle and Father Lavender as their inspiration!

  • Lee

    Who made the decision to invite the specific speaker? Did the students who have chosen this Catholic university have any voice at all in reference to what they want to hear? Do they have the chose to attend after the speaker or not attend at all? How do Catholics start to stand up for themselves, the Truth and their very souls? God please send your love and mercy upon us.



  • Gloria Schotten

    You are 100% right. This is so degrading, do they have no shame or fear of the Lord.
    They are going against God and will suffer the consequences. Who is this Irish so – called catholic, Even his name Enda gives me the creeps! The Commandment, Thou shalt not kill; what part of this don’t they get.? Do the Irish people have to obey God or Enda- O please!! St Patrick drove the snakes( evil) out of Ireland, this is his claim to fame; Enda Kelly is a modern day snake that St Patrick has to do some work on and drive him out away from the shores of this greatest Nation: St Patrick come to our aid
    The day Pope Benedict resigned there was a sign from God portending the evils to come. Lightning struck St Peters Bacilica in Rome(. Luke 10:18-20) And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven”I wonder what the weather will be like on the day the Irish snake will address the students at Boston College, who knows ?

  • Cathi Massey

    “The Bishops cannot even force such colleges to stop using the Catholic brand name…”
    Agreed. I’ve often thought it was a pity that we did not trade-make that name when the trademark laws were first established.

  • Gloria Schotten

    Here is Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Ministers email address.
    I wrote him and sent him the horrific photos of the aborted babies and gave him a serious lecture and to stay away from Boston College, the so called kathlik’ Boston University, and take his snakes with him, I did not mince words, no mealy mouth rhetoric, just the terrible pics of the aborted little ones.
    We laity have to take thing into our own hands I asked him, aren’t you glad your mother did not let this happen to you.

  • Gloria Schotten

    Sorry I erred on Enda Kenny’s email address.

  • If the Church hierarchy refuses to take a stand against public figures like Pelosi and Biden who publicly and aggressively promote the mass killings of millions of human babies and urge other Catholics to stand with them against the Bishops and the Church, then why should the hierarchy care about Universities using the title Catholic? Really – Pelosi and Biden and Kerry and others call themselves Catholic and proclaim they are in good standing with the Church and to prove this, they had their people post on Twitter that they had received Holy Communion at Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass – this is arrogance!! They know Church leaders will bow to them and never dare to tell them they cannot receive the Eucharist so many Catholics consider that the killing of the unborn is no big deal…no wonder Obama won re-election with a great number of Catholics voting for him again. Andrew Cuomo became more rabid about his pro-abortion agenda after Cardinal Dolan refused to say he was not a Catholic in good standing with the Church…Cuomo is calling for no limits on abortion, for same sex marriage – and that Churches receive no protection if he gets his death agenda through. satan is very powerful and those who do evil – publicly – and urge others to do so make even some of our Cardinals and Bishops cower, afraid to challenge them…and so evil takes deeper root in those aiding and abetting mass murder of God’s babies in the womb and it will spread more and more…

  • You are right BillinJax except for Kathleen Sebelius – she was told by her Bishop that she is not to present herself for Holy Communion and I think she has complied. When Pelosi was asked why she continues to receive Holy Communion despite the fact that she is promoting the mass murder of millions of human babies in the womb, she said that the Bishop hadn’t spoken to her about it and, in fact, the Bishops disagree on this…and so she continues vigorously her murderous agenda. Surely our Bishops know that Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict and even Pope Francis have spoken and written about this – denying Communion to these public figures…how can we expect our people to obey when Cardinal and Bishops disobey the Popes??? Tragic.

  • dymphna

    Let’s keep praying Cardinal Dolan has the courage to confront Cuomo. There are many people in New York who would be instructed if he publicly asked not to present himself at the altar.
    The sin of scandal is a serious thing. Scandal can kill the souls of the weak and it is by our care and concern for the weak that we will be judged