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About ninety percent of faculty and administrators from America’s top Catholic universities who contributed to presidential campaigns in 2012 gave to President Obama, a Campus Reform investigation has revealed.
The strong support for President Obama from Catholic schools came despite Democrats’ controversial health care legislation which could force employers to provide contraception for employees even though it is explicitly forbidden under Catholic doctrine.
The findings, based on official Federal Election Commission data made available by the government transparency site OpenSecrets.org, revealed that employees of the top 23 Catholic schools contributed $449,229 to President Obama while giving just $70,304 to Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Of the 826 individuals who donated over $200 to the two major candidates, 748 gave to President Obama’s campaign while 78 contributed to Romney.
Campus Reform sought comment from all 23 universities, but received no replies at the time of publication.
Leaders from prominent Catholics pro-life organizations expressed outrage on Monday, citing the study as further evidence that Catholic universities of higher education have strayed far from Church doctrine.
Bill Donohue, who is the president of the Catholic League, for example, suggested that many prominent Catholic schools have almost entirely abandoned their religious roots.
“The difference between Boston College and Boston University, and between Georgetown and George Washington, is miniscule,” Donahue told Campus Reform in a statement. “Indeed, at Georgetown they have two pro-abortion clubs on campus,”
“They would never allow an anti-Semitic club (nor should they) but they have no problem supporting abortion,” he added. “The pope and Cardinal Dolan know there is a serious problem, and they deserve our support.”
Father Frank Pavone who is the national director of the Catholic pro-life organizations Priests for Life told Campus Reform on Monday that his organization experiences more hostility to pro-life doctrine on Catholic campuses than on secular campuses.
“We find much more denial and resistance on Catholic campuses than on secular campuses,” said Pavone. “It’s evidence that the [Catholic] campuses need reform, including a lot more brain power invested in the task of applying Catholic teaching to political choices.”
President of the Cardinal Newman Society, Patrick J. Reilly, said he believes staff and faculty at Catholic Universities are now “out of touch” with what most Catholics believe.
“Clearly many professors at Catholic universities are out of touch with practicing Catholics,” Reilly said in a statement to Campus Reform.
Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., who is the President of the Association of Catholic College and Universities, also expressed disappointment with the level of support for Obama, who he perceives as hostile to Catholic doctrine.
“We hope that the foundation of faith that is the hallmark of Catholic higher education would encourage all members of the Catholic higher education community —some who are and some who are not Catholic—to make decisions in a way that is consistent with the common good, ground in gospel values,” he said.
Among the 23 schools surveyed, the highest percentage of Obama donors came from Santa Clara University, College of the Holy Cross, Loyola University Maryland, University of Dallas, University of Portland all with 100 percent of donations going to Obama.
Villanova University’s faculty contributed in the lowest amount, with 87 percent still donating to the Obama campaign.
Correction: The initial version of this story inaccurately stated that 100% of faculty and staff donations from Thomas Aquinas College went to President Obama's reelection campaign. In fact, Federal Election Data includes no record of political donations from staff or faculty to any presidential candidate in the 2012 election cycle.
Campus Reform strives for accuracy in its reporting and apologizes for this error.
Follow Levi Fox on Twitter: @levithefox
CampusReform.org is a project of the non-profit Leadership Institute. Please consider supporting our efforts.
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