Catholic World News

Spokesman for Catholic colleges says US bishops ambiguous on honoring figures like Obama

May 11, 2009

At its 2004 general meeting, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a statement that said, “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.”

Richard Yanikoski, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, says it is not evident that the statement-- which he characterized as provisional even after its approval by the full body of bishops-- applies to honorary degrees for non-Catholics. “It is clear to me that there is a degree of ambiguity in the bishops’ guidelines issued in 2004,” he said. “There are people of good will who, based on the 2004 document, believe greater clarity is needed.”

Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne - South Bend, the diocese in which the University of Notre Dame is located, has offered strong criticism of the view that the document is ambiguous on the question.

 


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