Cardinal Newman Society calls for Georgetown to rescind AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s honorary degreePosted by: Juliana Brint in News, Vox Populi, tags: AFL-CIO, Cardinal, Catholicism, Contraception, Georgetown, Honorary Degree, John Sweeney, Same-Sex Marriage
John Sweeney: Lovable labor leader, or enemy of Catholic doctrine?
Next Thursday, Georgetown will be giving an honorary Doctor of Law degree to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney for his dedication to fighting for better working conditions and human rights for workers. Sounds like some harmless, feel-good ceremony, right? Not to the Cardinal Newman Society.
The conservative Catholic organization which is “dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at America’s 224 Catholic colleges and universities,” caught wind of our plans yesterday and called for Georgetown to rescind the honor.
Why the hubbub? The Cardinal Newman Society believes the AFL-CIO’s pro-gay marriage and pro-contraception stances are at odds with Catholic doctrine and should disqualify Sweeney from receiving an honorary degree from Georgetown:
“The Catholic bishops have made it abundantly clear that Catholic universities are not to publicly honor leading opponents of Catholic moral principles, said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS). “We strongly urge Georgetown to uphold its Catholic mission and rescind the honor to John Sweeney.”
According to Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations, the University disagrees with CNS’s condemnation. In an email Pino writes:
This criticism is totally unwarranted. Georgetown University awards honorary degrees based on an individual’s distinguished accomplishments over the course of his or her career. Throughout his career, John Sweeney has championed the needs of working people, demonstrating his commitment to principles of Catholic social teaching such as social justice and social equality.
Read the rest of Pino’s response after the jump!