Two leading theologians at Boston College have written a stinging letter objecting to the college’s decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to speak at graduation and to give her an honorary degree.
Nearly 100 faculty members have signed the letter, according to the theology department, which declined to release their names.
The letter, which will be delivered to the president and board of trustees, has set off a fiery debate.
Kenneth Himes, chairman of the department of theology, and the Rev. David Hollenbach, who holds the Margaret O’Brien Flatley chair in the department, titled their letter ”Condoleezza Rice Does Not Deserve a Boston College Honorary Degree," and sent it to the entire faculty inviting members to sign on. The writers said they were distressed with the university’s decision to invite Rice to commencement May 22. Her selection was announced Monday.
”On the levels of both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice’s approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with Boston College’s commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university’s work," the letter said. It pointed out Pope John Paul II’s opposition to the war in Iraq.
”I have no objection to her coming here to speak — I am in favor of free speech — but I don’t believe we should be honoring her with an honorary degree," Hollenbach said.
I think they are right, but for the wrong reasons. There are a lot of things I like about Condi Rice, but definitely not who pro-abortion position. She describes herself as "mildly pro-choice" which means she goes along with the ban of federal funding of abortion, but that is about it. As the Bishops document Catholics in Political Life 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." Now if only the staff of BC (which by their theology most of the time must mean Before Christ) would be consistent since they have no problems with giving honors to others who are solidly pro-abortion or promote some other aspect of the culture of death.