Anti-abortion Catholic activists in the U.S are being asked to target Boston College (BC) and try to stop Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as commencement speaker at the Jesuit-run Boston College on May 20. There seems a real prospect of large demonstrations by anti-abortion groups at the event.
The Irish organization ProLife Campaign.ie has apparently circulated attack letters against Kenny to Catholic organizations including the powerful Knights of Columnbus which call for support on the issue. The Knights Order often refers to itself as the "strong right arm of the Church".
Kenny is about to introduce legislation in the Irish parliament at the request of the Supreme Court clarifying the law on abortion which will allow it in certain very limited circumstances.
BC President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. is to present an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to him at the ceremony at Alumni Stadium at 10 a.m. on May 20, 2013.
A letter from American Catholic groups seen by Irish Central says “Enda Kenny is NOT a fit person to be the Commencement Speaker and an Awardee at BC. Please contact the following to DEMAND that Pro-Abortion Enda Kenny be DISINVITED."
The names and phone and e-mail addresses given are Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Reverend William Leahy head of Boston College and Pope Francis who the letter points out is a Jesuit.
The letter claims that BC's sister college - BC Law - had “Pro-Abortion Commencement speakers: Vicki Kennedy (Ted's widow) in '12, and 4 when John Garvey was Dean (1999-2010).”
The letter says Kenny is “introducing legislation to legalize Abortion in Ireland, NOT "promoting human rights".
The Pro Life Campaign (PLC) in Ireland issued a statement picked up by American groups that states in part the Taoiseach’s reassurances on abortion are “empty and misleading” and “Two-panel six-doctor proposal for signing off on abortions is utter nonsense.”
Boston College is now facing its second Irish controversy. The college became enmeshed in the issue of handing over tapes of IRA operatives done as part of an oral history of The Troubles project which the Northern Irish police subsequently demanded.
The matter went all the way to the Supreme Court which found that the college had to hand them over. There has been much criticism in the irish American community about how the college handled the oral history project.