Students at Catholic Univ. Reject Catholic Cardinal as Graduation Speaker
Students at Le Moyne College in upstate New York are calling on the school to cancel the upcoming commencement speech by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
More than 600 people have signed the Change.org petition, which criticizes the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York for, among other things, his stance on "sexual violence."
The petition states that Le Moyne "does not, in any way, support sexual violence."
Le Moyne College has appointed Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan as Commencement Speaker for the graduating class of 2015 and the graduates, along with staff and other students, do not approve of this choice.
Over the years, Cardinal Dolan has been involved with sexual abuse scandals dealing with clergy of the church, homophobic comments and does not represent the ideals we have come to know Le Moyne to represent. With the growing attention toward sexual assault on the Le Moyne campus, students have felt that keeping Cardinal Dolan as commencement speaker completely opposes what we have advocated against.
On "Fox and Friends" this morning, we heard from the president of the Jesuit, Catholic school, Dr. Linda LeMura, who said that the petition was launched by students, alumni and faculty.
But she said people "outside the context of the Le Moyne College community" were also involved. The school is standing behind the decision to invite Dolan.
"We met with our students in an open forum and suggested to them that they do their research. That the college would not disinvite the cardinal, who is a very important voice in the American Catholic scene. They understand that. They understand they need to listen respectfully," she said.
Father David McCallum, director of mission and identity at Le Moyne, pointed out that the opposition to Dolan's appearance is coming from a "small portion" of students.
He said he believes this is a good example of an institution having a "broad spectrum of views" and creating a space for everyone's voice to be heard on an issue.
Watch the interview above.