Y-town Bishop Murry, SJ, dis-invites abortion-supporting State Rep. Hagan

Ohio State Representative Robert Hagan* of my home town, Youngstown, received a phone call from the Mercy School of Nursing** letting him know that George Murry, SJ, bishop of Youngstown, had requested that they rescind the invitation to have him speak at their commencement tomorrow.

Hagan, who is Catholic, put this statement on his Facebook page:

Ohio State Rep. Bob Hagan D-Youngstown

I have fought for social justice my entire life and today, I am one disappointed Catholic. After being invited to give the commencement speech at Mercy Nursing School here in Youngstown, I got a call telling me that the Bishop has overruled their invite and they have rescinded the invitation because of some of the political positions I have taken. I am saddened that the work that I have done to feed the poor, clothe the naked, help cure the sick, and to bring an end to the Death Penalty has fallen on deaf ears. I guess being an altar boy for 6 years didn’t qualify me for dispensation. I will write to the Bishop.

“…fallen on deaf ears”? hardly.

Bishop Murry’s statement after the report hit the news said in part:

While I respect and appreciate many of the social justice positions taken by Rep. Hagan, it remains a fact that he also has consistently voted for pro-abortion legislation, policies and funding.

Note to Catholics interested in social justice: the garment is seamless, but abortion is always and everywhere intrinsically evil, while the exact composition of social safety nets and precise levels of funding for social services established to help enrich lives are negotiable based on prudential judgments. So while Catholic social justice tenets require us to assist all persons in the ways they need assistance they do not dictate the exact policies that ought to be implemented. In other words, reasonable people can disagree on the best way to achieve this goal. Abortion, however, can never be countenanced. Reasonable people, if they are Catholic, cannot disagree. Murry’s statement reflects that reality; Hagan’s statement raises the former to utmost prominence and wholly ignores the latter.

Think of it this way: the fabric is life itself, every other social justice issue is the weaving craft that makes the fabric into a garment. If you deny the very fabric then you have nothing to weave.

In other words, without the right to life no other rights make sense.

Not even six years of being an altar boy gives one a dispensation from protecting life.


*Hagan, you might recall, referred to someone with the term “buckwheat” during an online disgreement early last year.

**Mercy School of Nursing could have prevented this whole embarrassment, of course, if they had just remembered that they are Catholic. Of course, the silence of the bishops for too long on these topics likely gave them enough reason to believe they’d get away with it. But still. And in a way I’m glad it happened, so that we all have a nice teachable moment. Public embarrassment is not a bad thing for those who cause public scandal, whether they are public officials or Catholic nursing schools.



  • Lamar Hunt, Jr.

    I want to thank Bishop Murray, SJ, for his courageous position on this matter. We are in a serious demographic mess in the United States because we have killed so many innocent children via abortion. Ohio State Representative Hagan needs to go to confession and publicly renounce his positions on voting for legislation that supports the killing of innocent children. There should be no higher priority in his own life than doing this immediately. I will pray that he does have that heart-to-heart talk with the Bishop. He can continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge and see just how deeply he has wounded the Body of Christ with his irresponsible positions on abortion. God Bless to all, Lamar Hunt, Jr.

  • Anon

    Bob Hagan votes to abolish the death penalty for tried and convicted violent criminals yet voted to apply the death penalty via violent abortion to innocent victims. And he doesn’t get the irony of his actions?
    Hooray for Bishop Murry.

  • Stephanie


  • Anne

    CCC: QUOTE ” 2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. ” UNQUOTE

    I don’t know what religion Hagan belongs to, but it is not Catholic – unless he admits to being a heretic or schismatic.

  • Marc

    I agree with the Bishop. As a concerned Catholic I would also like to add that those who support the death penalty are just as bad as those who support abortion. We usually give Republicans a free pass but they are guilty of supporting a culture of death too. Murder is murder.

    • Shawn

      The death penalty isn’t against the teaching of the church like abortion it…”Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.” -2267 from the Catechism.

      • Brian C


        Do you believe that in the USA in 2012 the death penalty is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor?

  • Anne

    Rep Hagan, does not know what it means to be Catholic.
    He must read and ahhere to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.
    This includes voting against the murder of innocent babies – Abortion.

    All elected officials need to know that they will be held accountable by the Church and voters for their PUBLIC statements and their PUBLIC voting record.
    Elected officials affect almost everything that happens in the USA, including appointing those of their like mind.

    Public voting records do not lie, and are available on the internet.



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