It’s a bit of a dog bites man story that a Jesuit university is honoring pro-abortion speakers. But the newsy part of this story occurred when the local archbishop openly criticizes that choice.

Xavier University plans to award honorary degrees to “some” of the four speakers who are scheduled for its graduation ceremonies this spring and Roman Catholic Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans is not happy about it.

It was not stated which speaker upset the Archbishop, but the four scheduled to speak are former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corp. of New Orleans. pointed out Landrieu, Holder and Johnson all hold views on abortion and contraception that could be considered contradictory to that of the Catholic church.

The New Orleans archbishop wrote to the university: “I am saddened to inform you that some of those to be honored do not represent the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. I was not consulted on the proposed candidates and remain disappointed in this decision by the university administration.”

Xavier is standing by its decision.

I know. Xavier is standing by their decision. But here’s the thing -if the president or the administration of Xavier decided to change speakers because of the archbishop’s criticism, they’d be hauled before the faculty senate in a heartbeat, given a no-confidence vote, and make of themselves a media target.

So many Catholic schools have ignored hiring for mission for so long that if they were to try to be more Catholic they’d have a strong pushback from faculty and administration. That’s one of the things about this. I don’t know how this trend is reversed. Once you hire faculty and administration who hold views antithetical to the Church’s views, how do you go back?

*subhead*Go back.*subhead*