Le Moyne Students Against Cardinal Dolan

Le Moyne Students Against Cardinal Dolan

Photo courtesy of www.cnsnews.com

Matt Clark '15, Editor-in-Chief

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, was announced Le Moyne’s 65th commencement speaker in early March. Since then, there has been much uproar at the decision. This has led to a recent petition being started by Amy Denny on change.org to have Dolan removed as speaker. At time of writing, the petition has reached 411 signatures, which is close to its goal of 500. The petition’s main qualm against Cardinal Dolan centers on his handling of the church’s sexual abuse crisis while he was Archbishop of Milwaukee. Current student Rachel Polman commented on the petitioner’s page in support of Dolan’s removal, saying, “I stand with my fellow Dolphins against sexual abuse and anyone who tries to sweep it under the rug. That isn’t what any Catholic or Jesuit should stand for.”

Understandably, with this knowledge of the public record, there is much backlash against the Cardinal. Senior Krystal Wilson is hopeful that this petition brings awareness of past transgressions of the Church to the campus. By starting the petition, Wilson says, “We let this school know we do not stand by Cardinal Dolan. Everyone on this campus needs to know who is representing their school.”

No matter the opposition, there are those who are still in favor of Dolan speaking. Senior John Barlow finds Dolan to be a great candidate and is disappointed at said outrage. Said Barlow, “For two of the past three years Le Moyne has been under heavy scrutiny due to who they selected. This year, Le Moyne selected an elite member of the Catholic hierarchy, someone that had serious consideration to become the next Pope during the last conclave, and people think he shouldn’t be here?” Barlow also questions why Le Moyne students are only now upset over Dolan’s past.

“They came to Le Moyne, they work at Le Moyne. Why’d they come if they don’t want to be Catholic purists? The Catholic Church sent an ‘Army’ to go kill Muslims to recapture the holy cities. My point is this. You can’t pick and chose issues you want to stand behind. It bothers me that they want to stand up for Le Moyne’s Jesuit values, but they’re only standing up to certain issues.”

Still, it appears as though Le Moyne will go through with Dolan as commencement speaker. President Dr. Linda LeMura supports both the protests from the students and the selection of the Cardinal. “As an institution of higher learning that encourages critical thinking, we have a responsibility to consider views from all perspectives,” said LeMura.

There will be a student-only forum held at the Panasci Chapel on Friday, May 1 to discuss this recent controversy. The event will be open-microphone and all opinions are encouraged to be heard.