The Friends of Saint Benedict Center today criticized Saint Anselm's College in Manchester, New Hampshire, a Catholic Benedictine Institution- for its decision to host a debate of Democratic presidential candidates, all of whom repudiate fundamental Catholic moral teachings about the sanctity of human life, the character of marriage, and the conscience rights of religious believers.
Saint Anselm's, sponsor of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, will hold the presidential debate at the college's Thomas F. Sullivan Arena, on Feb. 7, four days before the first in the nation New Hampshire primary. "Saint Anselm's is proud to play a role to support and shape the American democratic process with this important event" said college President Dr. Joseph A. Favazza.
In its 2003 statement, Catholics in Political Life, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops enjoined that "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
Saint Anselm's College is listed as an official Catholic Institution by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester.
The Friends of Saint Benedict Center is calling the decision by Saint Anselm's to host the Democratic debate "a grave scandal, a flagrant betrayal of Catholic principles, and an overt violation of the explicit prohibitions contained in Catholics in Political Life."
Friends of Saint Benedict Center Communications Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment:"How can any rational person reasonably be expected to take seriously Catholic opposition to abortion when a Catholic institution provides a televised national platform to politicians who not only believe that the killing of hundreds of thousands of pre-born children each year in this country ought to remain legal, but who aggressively advocate for the removal of all remaining restrictions on abortion?"
"All of this is compounded by the complicit silence of the Diocese of Manchester, whose Ordinary, Bishop Peter Libasci, not only failed to to take steps to prevent this disgrace, but refuses to even publicly criticize it. This is the same diocese, which without warning or provocation, imposed draconian sanctions on the faithful Catholics of the Saint Benedict Center for upholding traditional Catholic beliefs."
"The definition of a bully is someone who victimizes the weak, but carefully avoids conflict with stronger opponents. Bishop Libasci and his Judicial Vicar, Rev. Georges de Laire, have obviously decided that the Democratic Party is a more powerful adversary than the pious and humble Brothers and Sisters of the Saint Benedict Center."
- The Friends of St. Benedict Center