Catholic World News

Irish columnist says Cardinal O'Malley broke a deal on Kenny commencement speech

May 13, 2013

Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s public statement denouncing Boston College for honoring Irish prime minister Enda Kenny was a violation of an informal agreement with the Irish government leader and the Jesuit university, according to an Irish columnist.

Niall O’Dowd charges that Cardinal O’Malley reneged on an agreement when he engaged in open criticism of the plan by Boston College to award Kenny an honorary degree. O’Dowd writes:

According to my sources O’Malley had indicated agreement with a plan that would see him absent on the day at Boston College but with a plausible reason not directly related to Kenny for not attending.

The columnist says that the agreement would have allowed the Cardinal to register disapproval for the honorary degree without causing a major public controversy. But last week, as pro-life activists announced plans to demonstrate at the Boston College commencement ceremonies, Cardinal O’Malley said that he would not attend the ceremonies. The cardinal’s public statement clearly indicated that his absence was due to the honor for Kenny, who has strongly supported legislation to allow for legal abortion in Ireland.

O’Dowd—whose column shows a strong bias in favor of Kenny— said that the cardinal’s public statement angered Kenny, but the Irish leader is determined to carry through with his speech on the Jesuit campus. The liberal columnist adds that the incident has hurt the cardinal’s standing in Ireland: “O’Malley had been seen as by far the most reasonable voice in the American Catholic church in Ireland but that perception, given how he has dealt with this controversy is now changed.”

In a related development, the local president of the Planned Parenthood League in Massachusetts has praised Boston College for selecting Kenny. Marty Walz said that the Irish leader was an “appropriate commencement speaker” for the Catholic campus. C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League commented: “BC, a school built by and for Catholics, now stands with Planned Parenthood and a pro-abortion government against the Church and the pro-life movement.”

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - May. 15, 2013 3:44 PM ET USA

    The Irish PM is known as End-A-Life Kenny.

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - May. 14, 2013 7:13 AM ET USA

    As the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal O'Malley has the authority to order the Jesuits to leave the diocese of Boston. This would result in the immediate closure of Boston College, and the end of a very embarrassing opponent of the Church. Before any more souls are lost to the faith, the Cardinal should - and must - grasp this nettle and act at once. We cannot tolerate the liberal nonsense from this Jesuit establishment any longer.

  • Posted by: bnewman - May. 13, 2013 10:48 PM ET USA

    Well done Archbishop! I think it safe to ignore the story of Irish "sources". It sounds like just the usual ideological posturing of typical politicians.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 13, 2013 7:20 PM ET USA

    The cardinal running away (literally and figuratively) means little when compared to the shirking of his responsibility to insure that the Catholic college teachers (which logically includes invited speakers) within his archdiocese teach the Magisterium. Or is it that Jesuit schools (of all levels) get a pass to do what they please?

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - May. 13, 2013 6:46 PM ET USA

    And Enda Kenny broke an agreement, both formal and informal in nature, that prohibits men from killing innocent human beings. It even prohibits hypocritical prime ministers from doing so or from approving laws that permit these kinds of heinous acts. The cardinal has nothing whatsoever even to be ashamed of; Mr Kenny has much in his moral portfolio to confess, beyond simply blushing about them.