Shortly after it was founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, the Society of Jesus became perhaps the most formidable religious order in the history of the Church. It served as the centerpiece of the Catholic Counter-Reformation against the new-born Protestant Revolt and sent missionaries across the globe.
Their militant structure, intense zeal for the Catholic cause, intransigence toward error, and absolute obedience to the Pope earned them great admiration. Indeed, the Jesuits’ love for the Papacy included an additional vow of obedience specifically to the successor of Saint Peter and the Supreme Magisterium of the Church.
Such holy and illustrious origins highlight just how far many Jesuit universities have drifted away in recent times. On Monday, May 20, Jesuit-run Boston College hosted Enda Kenny, Prime Minister of Ireland, as the 2013 commencement speaker. He was also given an honorary doctor of laws degree. Such a choice by a Catholic university is a scandal since Mr. Kenny is currently promoting pro-abortion legislation. In fact, Marty Walz, President of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, praised the choice as an “appropriate commencement speaker.”
Mr. Kenny has also raised the ire of Catholics for his attack on the Church through proposed legislation that would punish priests with up to five years in prison for not breaking the Seal of Confession to report certain crimes.
Catholics in Boston and beyond were outraged by the choice of Mr. Kenny. Cardinal Sean O’Malley declined to attend the ceremonies, stating that, “It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops’ directives," referencing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops instruction that Catholic institutions not honor those whose views contradict the moral teachings of the Church.
Approximately fifty faithful Catholics protested outside the Beacon Street entrance of Boston College on Monday morning as Mr. Kenny took to the podium. The peaceful rally and press conference was organized by Students for Life and supported by the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, Operation Rescue (Boston) and local pro-life leaders.
A contingent of volunteers from TFP Student Action also participated, bringing large signs, a 14-foot banner, TFP standard, American flag, bagpipes and drums. The TFP banner and signs read: “Boston College honors pro-abortion politician Enda Kenny. Catholics Protest!” and "Real Catholics never promote abortion."
Some graduates and their parents arriving by car expressed support with a honk and a thumbs up. Many had no idea Prime Minister Kenny was pro-abortion. Others, unfortunately, were more upset over the presence of protesters than the honors being conferred on a pro-abortion politician.
The TFP drums and bagpipes lifted the spirits of the group and magnified the impact of the peaceful protest. National and international media outlets mentioned the pro-life demonstration. The Christian Post mentioned TFP Student Action's protest petition to Boston College which has over 8,500 signatures.
May God spare Ireland from the sin of abortion. Pray for the Irish that they may not allow the Land of Saint Patrick to be turned into a wasteland of Margaret Sanger.