What’s gotten into all these bishops and cardinals recently? Many are actually…standing up for morality all of a sudden. Up until recently there had been so much “contextualizing” of abortion from bishops. Yes, they’d say, abortion is very important but so is immigration and welfare and the War in Iraq. But it seems that many have realized that without the right to life, all other rights are meaningless.

I bring this up because Cardinal Egan today criticized Fordham University for giving an award to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a supporter of abortion rights. The Jesuit university wasn’t just giving him any award though. Breyer is scheduled to receive the Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize Wednesday at a dinner in New York. Ironic, huh? A judge who’s supported partial birth abortion is receiving an ethics prize from a Catholic university.

A spokesman for the New York Archdiocese said Cardinal Edward Egan was surprised to learn Breyer would receive an award from Fordham’s law school and has spoken to the Catholic university’s leaders to ensure “that a mistake of this sort will not happen again,” says the Associated Press.

Leaving no room for misunderstanding, spokesman Joseph Zwilling said Monday that Egan was talking specifically about Breyer’s votes on the court in favor of abortion rights.

More than 1,100 Fordham alumni and others have signed a petition to the university administration calling for the reward to be revoked, the Cardinal Newman Society said on its Web site.

While it’s depressing that they have to, I have been thrilled recently to see bishops and cardinals standing up against public immorality by Catholics and Catholic colleges.

Hooray for Cardinal Egan!