Mary Jane Ziola sent along the following note (written by the head of the Bishop's Pro-Life Activities here in Omaha, Fr. Damien Cook) concerning the honored appearance of a Girls Inc. commencement speaker at the supposedly Catholic College of St. Mary's:
Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I am alarmed and dismayed that the College of St. Mary's, a Catholic college, has decided to invite Roberta Wilhelm, Executive Director for Girls Inc. of Omaha to deliver the college's commencement address on May 20, 2007.
Girls Inc. is incredibly and unabashedly pro-abortion, pro-gay, and pro-contraception. Please just visit their website if you don't believe me (http://www.girlsinc.org/ic/ -- look under "Advocacy Statements" on the "Take Action" page.)
Here are some excerpts I lifted straight from their website:
Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies.
Girls Incorporated encourages all girls to develop positive sexual identities and to function comfortably as responsible sexual beings. We recognize that the family is the primary source of information about sex and we help girls and young women communicate with their families about sexuality.
To make responsible decisions about sexuality, pregnancy and parenthood, girls need and have a right to sensitive, truthful sexuality education; convenient access to safe, effective methods of contraception and protection from disease; and referral to comprehensive information, counseling, clinical and other services that support their responsible decisions. We recognize that any sizable group of girls includes those who face issues related to their sexual orientation or that of a family member and who face discrimination based on this sexual orientation. Girls have a right to positive, supportive environments and linkages to community resources for dealing with issues of sexual orientation.
Girls Incorporated affirms that girls and young women should make responsible decisions about sexuality, pregnancy and parenthood.
We recognize the right of all women to choose whether, when, and under what circumstances to bear children. Reproductive freedom and responsibility are essential to other rights and opportunities, including pursuit of education, employment, financial security and a stable and fulfilling family life. Restrictions of reproductive choice are especially burdensome for young women and poor women. Girls Incorporated supports a woman's freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade.
(Fr. Cook continues) I am asking you to do what you can in a respectful manner to encourage the College of St. Mary's to cancel this commencement speaker. Whatever the speaker's personal feelings, she works for and represents a corporation that works in direct opposition to our Faith and the true health and good of girls and women. Please encourage others to take a stand and to prevent the College of St. Mary's from tarnishing its reputation.
I would also encourage you to read the statement of our own USCCB, "Catholics in Political Life." I have included a quotation from the document: "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..."
You can contact the president of the College of St. Mary's, Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, 7000 Mercy Road, Omaha NE 68106, 402-399-2400, Fax: 402-399-2342.
You can contact the superior of their religious order: Mary Waskowiak, RSM, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Office, 8380 Colesville Road, Suite 300, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
God bless you.