(CNSNews.com) - Georgetown University President John DeGioia praised pro-abortion President Barack Obama for standing up for the “powerless” and “those without a voice” when Obama spoke at the Catholic university on April 14. The university has posted a video of the speech on its Web site.
The speech became the object of controversy when it was reported that Georgetown, at the request of the White House, had covered up all signs and symbols on the stage behind where Obama spoke in the university’s Gaston Hall.
As reported by CNSNews.com, the monogram “IHS”—a symbol for the name of Jesus—that was inscribed on a pediment that stood directly behind and above the podium where the president stood was covered over with what appeared to be a piece of plywood that was painted black.
In little-noticed remarks introducing Obama before his April 14 speech, Georgetown President DeGoia praised the president enthusiastically.
“President Obama was last here in this hall in the fall of 2006, just a few short months before he embarked upon one of the most extraordinary campaigns in the history of our republic,” said DeGioia. “Through that process, he captured the imagination and passion of our young people like no candidate in our lifetimes.”
Obama was elected last November, taking 28 states to the 22 that were won by the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The 28 states won by Obama gave him 365 Electoral College votes to McCain’s 173. Obama won 52.7% of the popular vote.
By contrast, Ronald Reagan won 44 states against President Jimmy Carter in 1980, giving Reagan a 489 to 49 victory in the Electoral College. Reagan took 50.7% of the popular vote that year. Four years later, Reagan was reelected by winning 49 of the 50 states, and taking a 525-13 margin in the Electoral College. Reagan won 58.8% of the popular vote in 1984.
DeGioia stressed that Obama, who favors legalized abortion on demand and has issued several pro-abortion policies since taking office, has stood up for the “powerless” and “those without a voice.”
“Throughout these past months and these early days of his presidency, and addressing our most difficult challenges, he has been resolute that in this moment we as a people will only be equal to the demands of the day if we stand up to the needs of the marginalized, of the powerless, of those without voice,” said DeGioia.
DeGioia, a layman who was named president of Geogetown in 2001, is the first non-Jesuit priest ever to lead that institution.
“The members of the Society of Jesus have educated me,” DeGioia told the National Catholic Reporter in 2001 after he had been named president of Georgetown. “They've shared with me their spiritual inheritance, but I'm going to have to develop my own leadership approach as a layperson to ensure the Jesuit and Catholic identity of Georgetown. I intend to do everything in my power to sustain and enrich and deepen this heritage, but it will require a different style than if I were a Jesuit.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published a document in 2004, Catholics in Political Life, saying that Catholic institutions should not honor or provide a platform for public figues who defy fundamental moral principles, including respect for the sanctity of life.