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Notre Dame yanks support for pro-life event due to Ben Shapiro 2010 tweet

ANALYSISNotre Dame officials pulled regular support for pro-life event, but frequently allows events that contradict Catholic Church teaching to happen 

University of Notre Dame withdrew its regular donation to a pro-life event because it would include conservative commentator Ben Shapiro – but the Catholic school has had no qualms about supporting pro-abortion and pro-prostitution events.

Furthermore, it informed students to respect someone’s sexual orientation, even though the Catholic Church views homosexual activity as sinful.

“Administrators determined that support of Ben Shapiro would contradict the Catholic mission component of the university’s charitable giving policy,” Irish Rover editor-in-chief emerita Mary Frances Myler told The College Fix in an email.

That is why Notre Dame pulled its support for the Right to Life Michiana event due to Shapiro’s scheduled appearance.

Myler’s publication first broke the story about Notre Dame pulling its regular support for the pro-life event.

“This event is problematic. This speaker is problematic,” Mission Engagement director Chuck Lamphier had said, according to the Rover.

The university cited a 2010 tweet where Shapiro criticized Palestinians who attacked Israel.

“Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue. #settlementsrock,” Shapiro tweeted.

Shapiro, who is Jewish, has frequently explained he was criticizing Palestinians who wage war against Israel.

Notre Dame did eventually give money to the local pro-life pregnancy center, which it had not done prior to the Rover article.

Myler told The Fix that after the publication of the initial Rover article, her source at the Women’s Care Center “informed me that Notre Dame had made a major donation to the WCC, just as Lamphier had told [Rover reporter] Merlot Fogarty in his meeting with her.”

The Fix emailed and called media relations officials Sue Ryan, Dennis Brown and Erin Blasko for comment on the situation multiple times in the past two weeks but none responded.

On the night of the benefit, the university promoted a pro-abortion panel co-sponsored by its Gender Studies Program and its Institute on Race and Resilience titled “Post-Roe America: Making Intersectional Feminist Sense of Abortion Bans.”

MORE: Catholic Gonzaga prohibits pro-life event with Liz Wheeler

The panel featured Sharon Lau, an advocacy director for the abortion chain Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, and Eli Williams, the former director of an LGBT center in South Bend. All the panelists support abortion.

Prior to the night of the October 27 pro-life dinner, Notre Dame paid speaking fees to Cruel Valentine and Elizabeth Ricks for a “Decriminalizing Sex Work” event hosted by the LGBT Law Forum. Valentine is a self-identified “sex-worker and activist.” Ricks is an attorney for a group that provides housing to individuals with sexually transmitted diseases.

The College Fix has covered other examples of university officials contradicting the teaching of the Catholic Church, such as a professor who offered to help students abort their babies.

Bill Dempsey, president of the alumni Sycamore Trust, called on the university to protect its Catholic identity.

“Since Notre Dame holds itself out to parents, students, and donors as a Catholic university, it has obligations arising both from its proclaimed identity both as Catholic and also as university,” Dempsey wrote in a Nov. 17 email to The College Fix. “No issue should be off limits. And on controversial issues, while views contrary to Church teaching may be presented they should not be endorsed and the relevant Church teaching should always be presented.”

MORE: This small Catholic college produces priests, nuns and other religious vocations

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Aidan Mays is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville studying English with a writing focus, while also studying Greek and tutoring at the Writing Center. He is enrolled in the Honors program and is an active member of Sigma Tau Delta and the Treasurer for his local chapter.  He is a Krav Maga and Muay Thai practitioner.