Abortion Supporter To Speak At Holy Cross Commencement; Bishop Refers To Euphemism For Abortion As ‘A Woman’s Right’

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/05/21/abortion-supporter-to-speak-at-holy-cross-commencement-bishop-refers-to-euphemism-for-abortion-as-a-womans-right/

A supporter of abortion in the United States and around the world is the scheduled commencement speaker at the College of the Holy Cross.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, plans to give the main address via video hookup during the graduation ceremony Friday morning at Holy Cross, which is a Roman Catholic college in Worcester run by the Society of Jesus, which is a Catholic religious order.

Thomas-Greenfield expressed support for funding abortion in foreign countries during her confirmation hearing on January 27, 2021.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), who also supports legal and publicly funded abortion, asked Thomas-Greenfield about abortion during the hearing. A transcript of a portion of the C-Span video (which starts at 54:43) is below:


U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen:  And as you think about this position, will you also commit to working to restore American leadership in addressing values around empowering women and helping to ensure that women have access to a full range of reproductive health services that they need if they’re going to play a significant role, and to advance their education, participate in the economy, support their families and communities. All of that is related to women’s health care.


Linda Thomas-Greenfield:  Senator, I can commit to you that I will be a leader on this issue, in New York. It’s an issue that is personally a priority for me. And I’ll look forward to working with you to advance our goals in this area.


The United Nations is headquartered in New York City.

“Reproductive health” and comparable terms are often used by supporters of legal abortion to refer to abortion.

During her first press conference as ambassador to the United Nations, Thomas-Greenfield identified U.S. government funding of abortion as an important goal. The previous Trump administration had prohibited U.S. federal funds from going to pay for or promote abortions abroad – something opponents referred to as “the gag rule.”

In ticking off early accomplishments during the press conference on March 1 – six days after her confirmation by the U.S. Senate — Thomas-Greenfield said:  “We also restored financial and political support to the United Nations Population Fund, eliminating the global gag rule on reproductive rights.”

(The comment came at 3:38 of the C-Span video of the press conference.)

Thomas-Greenfield is among four featured guests expected to receive an honorary degree Friday from Holy Cross, which is the oldest Catholic college in New England.

A 2004 document of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops titled Catholics In Political Life calls legal abortion “a sin against justice” and states:  “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.” (Boldface is in the original.)

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts on Thursday hammered Holy Cross’s selection of an abortion supporter for its commencement speaker. The league also criticized the Roman Catholic bishop of Worcester, Bishop Robert McManus, whose comment about the ceremony quoted in the diocesan newspaper does not criticize Thomas-Greenfield or Holy Cross and refers to “the ambassador’s acknowledged support of a woman’s right to a full range of reproductive health issues.”

C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, noted that the written statement attributed to the bishop appears to describe abortion as a “right” – a formulation that goes against Catholic moral teaching. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that abortion is “a grave offense” and a “crime against human life.”

“Has Bishop McManus lost his reason, or does he simply not bother to read the statements others have written for him?” Doyle said in a written statement Thursday, May 20. “Bishops are supposed to be successors to the Apostles, not secularized spectators to the corruption of their own institutions. The time has come for pro-life Catholics to imitate the survivors of sexual abuse and hold Catholic prelates accountable for their misconduct and for their heinous acts of betrayal.”

A spokesman for the bishop could not immediately be reached for comment late Thursday night.

A spokesman for the College of the Holy Cross declined comment Friday morning.

The school announced on April 1 that Thomas-Greenfield would be the graduation speaker. The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts pointed out the ambassador’s longstanding support for abortion on April 9.

The bishop is quoted as commenting on Holy Cross’s graduation speaker in the April 23 edition of The Catholic Free Press, the newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester. Bishop McManus says in the written statement that he hasn’t been invited to the attend the graduation ceremony because of the coronavirus emergency. The statement ends:


However, it has been brought to my attention that a controversy has arisen as a result of the invitation to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the commencement speaker and an honorary degree recipient. At the center of this controversy is the ambassador’s acknowledged support of a woman’s right to a full range of reproductive health issues.


As with most diocesan newspapers, the bishop is the publisher of The Catholic Free Press.

Thomas-Greenfield, who is in her late 60s, was a retired career diplomat when President Joe Biden nominated her to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in November 2020.

At the time, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Alexis McGill Johnson, said Thomas-Greenfield “will be critical to championing sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.”



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