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John Carroll Priest Welcomes Candidates

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The priest of a prominent Cleveland-area catholic university says politicians whose views contradict church teachings are not necessarily unwelcome on campus. That's in response to a recent statement by the U.S. bishops warning Catholic schools against honoring or providing a platform to unrepentant politicians. ideastream's Tasha Cook has this report.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004 at 8:23 am

New pressure is on for Catholic colleges and universities this election year as they decide which speakers to invite on campus. The issue is a hard one for schools, which have long struggled to balance their Catholic identity with academic freedom.

But, for Father Howard Gray of John Carroll University, it is clear. He says the whole role of a Catholic university is to promote discussion with a real desire to seek the truth. He says the fact that Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is a Catholic who supports abortion rights, is a critical point worthy of debate.

Howard Gray: Do I think that Kerry should be challenged on this? Sure. Do I think he has a better chance of being challenged on a Catholic campus like John Carroll on this position and demand an explanation and have a good public forum discussion? I really do because I think it is an issue people want to ask about.

Father Gray says he also welcomes President Bush, whose position on the war on Iraq and death penalty contradict that of the Catholic Church. In Cleveland, Tasha Cook, 90.3.