A Boston College spokesman has been forced to defend and justify their selection of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as the commencement speaker after hearing criticism from Catholic groups over his stance on Ireland abortion law reform debate.

Kenny has become a target for Catholics after expressing his support for legislation that would allow abortions if the circumstances pose a real and substantive threat to the mother’s life. 

The Boston Globe has reported that the Catholic Action League have expressed and encouraged others to express their outrage for the Jesuit school’s decision.

Executive director of the advocacy group C. J. Doyle asked “How does any rational person reasonably take seriously the Catholic opposition to abortion when a Catholic institution honors someone who is in the process of legalizing abortion in their country?”

He added “This is a terrible scandal.”

Boston College defended their choice in saying the selection was made to celebrate the great relationship Ireland and the university share.

Spokesman Jack Dunn explained  “Boston College invited Prime Minister Kenny a year ago to speak at our commencement in light of our longstanding connection with Ireland and our desire to recognize and celebrate our heritage. Our invitation is independent of the proposed bill that will be debated in the Irish Parliament this summer.”

The ceremony is scheduled for May 20 at Alumni Stadium where Kenny will reportedly be presented with a Doctor of Laws degree.