Massachusetts prolifers lament Catholic school’s choice to honor pro-abortion cabinet member

Joe Bukuras   By Joe Bukuras for CNA


Marty Walsh, United States Secretary of Labor under Joe Biden, who will be given the Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice Medal by Catholic Memorial School April 1, 2022. / Shawn T Moore/Department of Labor (CC BY 2.0)

Boston, Mass., Mar 14, 2022 / 16:58 pm (CNA).

A coalition of Catholic and pro-life organizations in Massachusetts is speaking out against the decision of a Boston Catholic school to honor U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh with an award named for Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice.

The award is meant to recognize an individual who shares their God-given talents and resources to improve the lives of others.

But Marty Walsh, who was Boston mayor from 2014 to 2021, is not improving the lives of the unborn, says the spokesman of the Massachusetts Pro-Life Coalition, William Cotter.

“The award to Marty Walsh is a shameful betrayal of core Catholic moral beliefs and an overt violation of the prohibitions contained in Catholics in Political Life,” Cotter said in a March 14 statement. “It demonstrates a depraved indifference to the slaughter of 63 million unborn children since Roe v. Wade.”

Catholic Memorial School is an Edmund Rice Christian Brothers college preparatory school in Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood. The school has announced that they will be granting the former mayor with the Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice Medal at their Spring Gala in April. Bl. Rice was founder of the Christian Brothers.

Walsh was Mayor of Boston before being confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Labor for the Biden administration. The former mayor, a Catholic, has been an avid supporter of abortion rights in the Bay State.

CNA asked Catholic Memorial if they considered Walsh’s abortion stance when deciding to grant him the award.

A spokesman for Catholic Memorial, Michael Persson, told CNA March 14 that they are aware of the pro-life group’s denouncement and added that at the gala “A few hundred alumni, school families and generous supporters are helping us raise much needed scholarship funds, which are given to more than 60% of our students, many of whom would not be able to attend our school without the aid.”

Tuition at Catholic Memorial for the 2022-23 academic year is $25,450.

Cotter told CNA that Walsh has gone “above and beyond” in promoting the acceptance of abortion and said that the school should rescind their decision.

He added that “most of us Catholics are disturbed at the inconsistency with which the Catholic hierarchy holds accountable public figures within the Church with respect to the issue of abortion.”

Superintendent of Boston Catholic Schools, Tom Carroll told CNA that Catholic Memorial is independent of the Archdiocese of Boston.

And Archdiocese of Boston spokesman Terry Donilon referred CNA to Catholic Memorial when asked if the archdiocese agreed with the choice to honor Walsh.

In 2016, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gave Walsh the “Men for Choice” award, which, in a tweet, he called “an honor.

In his 2017 re-election campaign, Walsh received the endorsement of Planned Parenthood, which he also said was “an honor.”

As mayor, Walsh was a supporter of the state’s ROE Act, which expands abortion access past 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases when a physician deems it “necessary to protect the patient’s life or physical or mental health, or in cases of lethal fetal anomalies, or where the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.”

The ROE act also allows 16-year-old girls to attain an abortion without the consent of a parent or judge, according to NPR. The act was passed in 2020.

Walsh earned the congratulations of NARAL in 2021 when he was appointed to the new presidential administration’s cabinet.

Cotter commented: “Catholic Memorial was founded to educate and foster good catholic youth to grow up and assume positions of leadership and responsibility both within the secular realm and within the Church.”

“So what kind of example are they setting by saying that this guy gets the honor because he donated money or he helped bring the unions in or donated resources to the school? Once again, it’s like saying that mammon takes precedence over truth,” Cotter added.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 6482 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


  1. The gala is “helping us raise much needed scholarship funds,” so apparently that makes the award to a pro-abortion Catholic okay? I’m betting that, in the State of Massachusetts, a pro-life person worthy of the award in the name of the founder of the Christian Brothers could be found. Why not invite Xavier Beccera who could talk about his lawsuits against the Little Sisters of the Poor?

  2. “And Archdiocese of Boston spokesman Terry Donilon referred CNA to Catholic Memorial when asked if the archdiocese agreed with the choice to honor Walsh.” What horse hockey!! The Archdiocese just wants to kick the can down the road. Speak up for the unborn.

  3. I decided that I was not interested in the national aspect of the Ancient Order of Hibernians when they did the same thing at their national convention in 2020. When you look at their national magazine, a significant percentage is dedicated to pro-life measures, marches, etc. But a Democrat elected official was too important to the political side of the Hibernians to stand up for Church teachings.

    Question: If you believe–as is taught by the Church–that abortion is murder, how can you honor a murderer regardless of the great things he has done?

  4. This report was a very good write-up, and I agree completely with the Massachusetts “pro-lifers”! However, while Blessed Edmund Rice may have helped establish the Christian Brothers in the Boston area, it was St John Baptist de la Salle who founded the order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in France many years ago.

  5. If having an abortion is a grave sin for a Catholic woman, & I assume it is, then why isn’t it a grave sin for Catholic politicians who vote for and approve them? Does the church have two sets of rules? Will SOMEONE clarify for us laity who feel our religion has turned to mush?

  6. When our dad pulled us out of Catholic school in 1965 it was as he stated “they are now pushing hmanism and relativism”. This has been proven time and again until now we have so called catholic school honoring those who promote the murder of the innocent. Ironically the parents who have their children in these schools justify these abominable teachings and leave their children in these godless schools. BTW parents God will hold you culpable, His truths are unchanging.

  7. It’s always about follow the money…to hell with the Catholic doctrine. How disgusting. I’ve been to many Catholic school galas and a lot of money is raised regardless of the guest speaker.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Massachusetts prolifers lament Catholic school’s choice to honor pro-abortion cabinet member – Via Nova Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.