NEWARK, N.J. -- A Roman Catholic group has asked Seton Hall University to rescind an honorary degree it awarded to a college president who served on a commission for an abortion rights group.
CatholicVote.org, a project of Catholic Alliance, said a Catholic school like Seton Hall should not recognize someone such as Dolores Cross, the head of Morris Brown College, who has a position contrary to church doctrine.
Cross was among 42 members of the National Commission on America Without Roe that was organized in 1992 by the National Abortion Rights Action League, according to NARAL.
"We would strongly oppose the conferring of an honorary degree to a person who advocated racial profiling, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan or who was an anti-Semite," said Raymond Flynn, president of Catholic Alliance and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
Cross said the alliance's request, made Tuesday, would "violate the spirit of the Constitution."
"At issue are the constitutional freedoms of speech and association," she said. "Attempts to associate my conduct with groups who act out of hatred is an affront to my character and integrity."
Seton Hall spokeswoman Susan Diamond said the university does not knowingly confer honorary degrees on candidates who publicly espouse positions that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church.
Cross was awarded an honorary doctorate at Seton Hall's commencement on May 7.
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