A celebration honoring the life and work of Robert Drinan, a Jesuit and former Massachusetts congressman, will take place at the Boston College Law School. The panel, which will take place on March 7, was announced on Friday, February 18, and will feature other pro-abortion speakers.
Among the members of the panel is Fr. Raymond Scroth, S.J., who has publicly supported pro-abortion political policy. He has recently published a book entitled, Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress. Also scheduled for the panel is Congressman Barney Frank, whom the Cardinal Newman Society calls “a strident defender of legal abortion.” An article on Lifesitenews.com remarks that Frank’s “opposition to Church teachings is well-known in both personal and political life.”
Robert Drinan, a native of Massachusetts, graduated from Boston College in 1942. That same year, he joined the Society of Jesus. From 1956 to 1970, Drinan served as the Dean of the Boston College Law School. In 1970, the Jesuit was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served for twenty years.
During his tenure in Congress, Drinan became notorious for his support of abortion, which drew considerable criticism both from the Church and other pro-life advocates. In addition, Drinan is known for having influenced the Kennedy family into adopting pro-choice politics.
In 1980, following a request from Pope John Paul II that all priests withdraw from electoral politics, Drinan did not seek reelection. From 1981 until his death, Drinan taught at Georgetown Law.
Despite ending his political career, Drinan remained an advocate for pro-choice. In 1996, the Jesuit spoke out in favor of President Bill Clinton’s veto of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. According to a 1997 article in The Boston Globe, Drinan apologized for his support of the Act. However, as the Cardinal Newman Society expressed, “Unfortunately, Father Drinan did not, to our knowledge, recant or apologize for his many years of support for legal abortion.”
The Cardinal Newman Society published an open letter to Father William Leahy, S.J., President of Boston College, urging him to reconsider hosting this event on campus.
Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society writes, “Whatever Father Drinan’s contributions to Boston College over the years, and despite his perhaps laudable efforts on other human rights issues, his record on abortion should disqualify him from any honors by a Catholic institution. To celebrate his legacy is a public dishonor to the souls of the millions slaughtered in the name of ‘choice.’ It would also seem to be a flagrant violation of the US bishops’ 2004 ban on honors for those who are opposed to Church teachings.”
He continues, “Father Leahy, on behalf of the members of the Cardinal Newman Society–including not a small number of BC alumni–and so many of the faithful working everyday to end the scourge of abortion, I prayerfully urge you to cancel this event immediately and to develop policies for Boston College that ensures that future honors conform to both the bishops’ sensible 2004 honors policy and Ex corde Ecclesiae.”
Persons who do not support the event on the Boston College Campus have been urged by both the Cardinal Newman Society and LifeSiteNews.com to contact Father Leahy.