During my commencement talk at Ave Maria University in Naples FL Saturday I assured the 55 graduates that my appearance was a role reversal, since I am usually outside of Catholic school graduations protesting a pro-abortion speaker, rather than giving the talk. It’s a nice change.
Words for Ave Maria Grads
My talk was well received, and while at Ave Maria I visited with University President Fr. Joseph Fessio, Founder Tom Monahan, Cardinal Avery Dulles, Student Chaplain Fr. Robert Garrity of the Rockford Diocese, Carol Carpenter of University Relations and Kathleen and Jerry Sullivan of Glenview. I also got an honorary Doctor of Law degree. I have been in and out of more law offices in the last twenty years than some lawyers.
In my talk I referred to Pope John Paul II’s exhortation to build up a culture of life, and I challenged the graduates to focus their special training on converting a world desperately in need of their idealism—a world starving for the truth they have to give.
I also quoted Pope Benedict’s Good Friday prayer in which he warned that our society has lost its sense of sin, but since these graduates are especially aware of evil’s presence and know what is necessary to defeat it, they are especially well qualified to help bring society back to sanity. I called them the “happy few” whom the world is depending on to bring it back to moral health.
This may have been Ave Maria’s last commencement on the present campus. The university will likely be operating on a new campus next fall. A story> by reporter Jenna Buzzacco appears in Monday’s Naples Daily News.
Over 300,000 Call for Protect Marriage Referendum
A few weeks ago local gay rights groups were celebrating the anticipated defeat of a drive to acquire 283,000 signatures to get a Protect Marriage referendum on the November ballot. Yet,on Monday more than 300,000 signatures were hand delivered to the Board of Elections for the referendum seeking to amend the Illinois Constitution to declare that “marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
While homosexual activists have vowed to scuttle this initiative—and believe they will be able to sink it— we seriously doubt that they will succeed. Peter LaBarbara of the Illinois family Institute called the Protect Marriage Illinois campaign a huge grassroots success, historic in its proportions. He said the job of getting our political leaders to protect traditional marriage has united people from all races and backgrounds in what is truly a “we the people” movement.
They had to resort to this advisory referendum because a proposed constitutional marriage amendment has languished in Springfield for over two years. Project Director David Smith says it is a shame the General Assembly did not act, or the referendum effort would not have been necessary.
“Contra-Contraception” Article in NY Times
A New York Times article by Russell Shorto that appeared in the Times Magazine on May 7 is a lengthy but comprehensive look at what is going on in America regarding the whole contraception-abortion debate. Entitled, “Contra-Contraception” it takes a sweeping look at the battle lines, and includes many groups promoting contraception, arguing the issue of abortifacient-contraceptives, and even looks at the abstinence programs, sex ed programs, religious arguments and secular attitudes.
It’s a worthwhile piece for anyone interested in this battle, which is just about everyone, and is available at the NY Times site with a free registrtion. It tries to covers just about every angle of the argument and attempts, somewhat successfully, to remain objective. If nothing else, it starts the brain working. We like it because it shows just how timely our September forum on contraception and abortion really is.