A Catholic university is under fire for hosting a CNN-sponsored town hall last week with President Joe Biden, who has been referred to as the “most pro-abortion president” in modern U.S. history.
CNN hosted its invite-only town hall moderated by opinion host Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Wednesday.
Biden, the only other Catholic besides the-late John F. Kennedy to serve as president, is known for attending mass regularly. Jen Psaki, his press secretary, frequently refers to him as a "devout Catholic" in response to reporters' questions about his stance on abortion policies.
He and other pro-abortion Catholic Democrats have been the subject of much debate in the Catholic Church over whether they should be allowed to receive Communion since their political support for abortion organizations and policies goes against Catholic doctrine.
Catholics and pro-life groups were critical of the Catholic university for hosting the president due to his pro-abortion stance.
Right to Life of Cincinnati, a pro-life organization located near the university, encouraged people to call Mount Saint Joseph ahead of the event and to tell them it's “unacceptable” for the university to host a president who is “[responsible] for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of unborn lives.”
The group noted that Biden’s record on abortion contradicts with the university’s founding values described as “rooted in our Mission, in the Gospel values of service, compassion, and charity, and in the legacy and vision of our founders, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.”
“What compassion and charity is shown the unborn when the university hosts a president who claims to be a Catholic, yet has the most pro-abortion administration in the history of our country?” Right to Life Cincinnati asked.
The group also asked people to demand that the archbishop prevent the event from happening.
“We need [the archbishop's] leadership and his voice to stand up for the most innocent among us, and to make it clear that President Biden is not a Catholic in good standing until he does all in his power to put an end to abortion,” Right to Life Cincinnati said.
“In this time of evil and confusion, we need the leadership and voices of good and faithful Catholic men.”
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati released a statement on July 20 reiterating that the archbishop wouldn't have granted the approval of the event featuring Biden at the Catholic university had he been asked. It emphasized the university operates under the Sisters of Charity and not the oversight of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
“Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr has not been contacted by any involved party about the upcoming visit of President Joseph R. Biden to Cincinnati to participate in a CNN town hall meeting at Mount St. Joseph University,” the statement read.
“Archbishop Schnurr has therefore not been asked for, nor would he have granted, his approval for any such event to occur on Catholic premises.”
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is made up of nearly half a million Catholics living in the 19 counties of western and southwestern Ohio.
Dusty Rhodes, a Catholic and auditor in an Ohio county, tweeted about the event, “It's official. The Sisters of Charity are a disgrace.”
Lisa Bloomfield, a Delhi resident and 2006 alumna of Mount St. Joseph University, said she was disappointed in her alma mater and Sisters of Charity for hosting the pro-abortion president.
“The fact that he is called a ‘devout’ Catholic because he attends Sunday mass does not negate that his behavior is considered gravely sinful by Catholic Church teaching and is therefore opposed to any such status,” Bloomfield said in a statement.
“It is not in the interest of the Sisters or any Catholic institution to play host to a man who promotes the killing of unborn innocent children,” she said.
Mount Saint Joseph University defended hosting the town hall in response to the backlash from the Catholic community.
"The university has always been and will continue to be a diverse and inclusive place where people from different races, ethnicities, social backgrounds, beliefs, and religions can come together to discuss and share their unique perspectives," the university’s statement said. "We look forward to introducing the Mount to a nationally televised prime time audience."
The university, however, did clarify the president's event was not prompted by the Catholic university but was chosen by CNN.
“All decisions about the event are being made by CNN and Mount Saint Joseph and do not involve the Sisters of Charity. CNN is utilizing the Mount’s facility and will make the decisions on attendance at the event, whose questions will be asked of the President, etc.,” according to a statement from the university published by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Mount Saint Joseph University is a private, Catholic college in Ohio founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
At the town hall, Biden claimed there is a pandemic among the unvaccinated, despite evidence that there have been thousands of deaths and hospitalizations among the vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Biden also said the push for COVID-19 vaccinations for children younger than 12 years old would be happening "soon."
Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org