Xavier University, the nation’s only historically black Catholic college, has invited Donna Brazile to speak at their commencement, but the Archbishop of New Orleans says he won’t be there.
Brazile, the campaign manager of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign — and a one-time student activist with the United States Student Association — is a black Catholic, and a native of the New Orleans area. But she’s also pro-choice, and that’s not sitting well with Archbishop Alfred Hughes.
In a letter to the university’s president, Hughes declared that although Brazile “is a Catholic Louisiana native who has worked effectively in service to the poor and African Americans in particular,” her views on abortion render her an inappropriate choice as speaker.
In an email, Brazile said that ”as life long devoted Catholic,” she was “sorry the archbishop will boycott this celebration of the class of 2009.”
Hughes, who is white, was raised and educated in Massachusetts. He has been Archbishop of New Orleans since 2002.
Brazile served as a member of the USSA board of directors while an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, and a lobbyist for its foundation in the early 1980s. She will give the commencement address at Xavier on May 16 and receive an honorary degree.
Xavier awarded an honorary degree to Barack Obama in 2005, without objection from the archbishop.
(via Inside Higher Ed)