Catholic Identity Abandoned: Loyola University Speaker Who “Thanked God and Country for Abortion”

Catholic Identity Abandoned: Loyola University Speaker Who “Thanked God and Country for Abortion” January 12, 2015

Loyola University in Chicago has invited a pro-abortion rights speaker to be the keynote speaker at its January 21 celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.  The event is sponsored by Loyola’s Department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

The journalist Touré, who goes by his first name alone, is co-host of The Cycle on MSNBC.  He has been invited by the Jesuit institution to deliver a speech entitled “How Racism Functions Today.”



Loyola University administrators are now facing criticism from pro-life Catholics including Kimberly Scharfenberger.  Writing for the Cardinal Newman Society, Scharfenberger reports that on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Touré spoke publicly about his girlfriend’s abortion and how it had “saved his life.”  According to Scharfenberger, Touré touted the importance of abortion rights on MSNBC’s The Cycle:

“I knew that pregnant woman and I were not going to be able to form a lasting family,” Touré reportedly remarked. “She decided it was best to have an abortion and days later she did, we did, and in some ways that choice saved my life.”

“I cannot imagine arguing against a woman’s right to control her body,” Touré continued. He even went on to “thank God and country” for abortion, which he claimed “was there to save [him] and keep [him] on a path toward building a strong family…”

In November 2012, before the presidential election, Touré brought on complaints from pro-lifers when he posted a tweet on Twitter encouraging young women to have abortions before the election, “in case the Republicans win.”



This is not the only controversy to beset the liberal MSNBC host.  The Daily Caller reported that during his college years at Emory University, Touré founded a militant anti-white student newspaper, The Fire This Time.  According to The Daily Caller, the paper

“…lavished praise on famous anti-Semites, black supremacists, and conspiracy theorists whom Touré helped bring to campus. Before he became an intense-but-sardonic TV personality, Touré also decried “the suffocating white community” and defended a nationally famous fake hate crime.

In an interview with ‘The Daily Caller,’ Touré described the newspaper as “an important black voice on campus” and “a form of community building.”

‘The Fire This Time’ only solicited funds from blacks. “Kujichagulia means self-determination,” he wrote. “Economic kujichagulia is an essential part of any realistic program of African-American liberation. This is why we insist on being completely funded by African-Americans.”

As recently as 2014, Touré was accused of anti-Semitism  when he suggested on The Cycle that Jewish survivors of the Holocaust benefited from “the power of whiteness.”


This was the theme of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae (Born from the Heart of the Church).  Ex corde laid out the “honor and responsibility of a Catholic University to consecrate itself without reserve to the cause of truth.”  

Ex corde shows how universities can remain a faithful Catholic institution, while pursuing academic excellence.  Among the requirements of Ex corde is that “any official action or commitment of the university is to be in accord with its Catholic identity.”

And Loyola University Chicago seems, according to its website, to understand that precious responsibility.  It says,

“As a Jesuit Catholic university, we are stewards of our Catholic tradition and our unique Ignatian heritage. Our mission defines our roots, our ways of proceeding and the outcomes we strive to achieve….”

So why, then, is a pro-abortion speaker given a voice on this Catholic campus?  


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  • Korou

    In the interests of free speech?

    Being anti-abortion seems to be a Catholic position rather than a Catholic essential. Yes, Catholics are passionate about it, and can cite scripture to support that passion but it is possible to be a Catholic and be pro-choice. It is possible than one day the Catholic Church’s official position will change on the matter.

    Perhaps Toure in some way represents the majority of Catholics who use contraceptives, and those Catholics who support a woman’s right to choose?

    • BTP

      Eager to hear when Loyola invites a surviving Khmer Rouge official to explain his views on population control.

    • Raphael Walker

      It is possible to be Catholic and be pro-choice because Catholics too have consciences dimmed by sinfulness. It is not possible that the Catholic Church will change her doctrine to favor baby-killing. It is possible to be a Catholic with an unformed, uninformed, or deformed conscience and write things like that.

    • Phil Steinacker

      No, it is NOT possible to be a pro-abort Catholic in good standing with the Church. It is NOT a policy which can be changed. Only because of the gift of free will may a Catholic thumb his nose at Jesus Christ and His Church by supporting or procuring an abortion.

      Toure represents nobody. These questions are only political outside the Church, which is NOT a democracy. In the Church, there is NO democratic representation of sinful behavior, by this fool or anyone else.

      You will get old, shriveled, gray, and eventually die waiting for the Church to change its teaching against abortion.

      • Korou

        Such a lot of sound and fury. Sounds to me like you’re just trying to convince yourself.
        Never mind which side is in the right, pro-choice or pro-life. I’m just arguing that there are two sides – and that it’s possible for even a good Catholic to choose between them. If you don’t want to admit that, that’s your prerogative.

        • Peter Calabrese

          I would ask what other doctirnes one can ignore and still be a “good Catholic”. Can one be a racist and be a good Catholic? Can one be in favor of spousal rape and be a good Catholic? The answer is no. One will always be Catholic once baptized or received into the Church, but if someone dissents from a Catholic Teaching then one is just that a dissident Catholic. The late Governor Mario Cuomo tried a “personally opposed but … ” line to say that he was Pro_Life but felt the government had to be pro-choice and thus tried to make your point. The point fails because to be pro-Choice is to say that a person can kill innocent life, to be pro-choice is to call the killing of babies a human and civil right. Wheraas teh first role of government is to protect human life and human rights not make it a human right to kill the weakest. So logically and calmly I state one can only be a dissident Catholic and be pro-Choice.

          • Korou

            Well, you may find that pro-choice Catholics have a different opinion. And unless you say that the Church has never changed and can never change then you don’t have grounds to contradict them.
            To take your example of racism – yes, it did used to be perfectly possible to be a Catholic in good standing and a racist. And spousal rape too. The Church has changed in the past and will too in the future. We can only hope that the changes will be for the better.

          • Peter Calabrese

            It is not a quesiton of opinion. Pro choicers can have all the opinions they want but it is the Catechism that clearly states abortion is an intrinsic moral evil. Former Speaker Pelosi can wax eloquently about varying penalties for abortion an debates about ensoulment but the Catholic Church has NEVER said abortion was a moral good. The Church has not changed on racism. Maybe some people turned a blind eye, maybe according to certain times treatment of people’s was not what it should have been but it was never Catholic doctrine that it was OK to hate someone because of their race. Besides it is not a question of what may or may not be in the future – teh quesiton is isn the here and now and anyone who says the butchering of little babies is a human or civil right is a dissenting Catholic. The opinion that it might change does not change what they are dissenting Catholics, who are heterodox in regard to the protection of human life.

          • Korou

            Clearly you and I have a difference of opinion about the importance of a difference of opinion. And saying that it was never Catholic doctrine to hate a person because of their race rather neatly ignores the fact that it was not Catholic doctrine not to – or to oppose those who did.

          • Peter Calabrese

            Really? I am not sure which catechism you have been reading or whcih Denzinger you are using for the history of Catholic Doctrine. Interestingly enough one of the few excommunications in the United States ever issued for political issues was over refusal to integrate schools. All of this however is merely smokescreen to teh fact taht pro-choice position calls butchering babies a human and civil right. This has been contrary to Christian thinking forever and is already explicit in the Didache.

          • ed

            mr. korou seems to be profoundly ignorant of the catholic faith.
            other than pointing out his or her errors in logic, history and his or her profound ignorance, it probably serves little purpose to engage his or her profoundly ignorant statements as though they merited a response.

          • Korou

            Besides which, maybe the University is quite sensibly inviting Toure so that an outside voice can be heard, representing all of the people who do believe in pro-choice arguments. Which sounds quite sensible to me.

          • Peter Calabrese

            Do you invite racists to give unopposed speeches to get other points of view? Will there be a speaker promoting the security benefits of waterboarding next month? I should hope not – I am against torture as well! I can see inviting pro-choice people when there will be an equally illustrious and eloquent pro-life person on the same stage to present the Catholic view in a panel type situation. That could be considered academic dialogue, perhaps. It makes no sense to let a baby killer have unopposed access to university students at a Catholic institution, especially a celebrity. Now if he wants to come and debate Mary Ann Glendon or Fr. Frank Pavone then I would see it as an academic exercise offering various points of view. This is just inviting a pro-death celebrity to get his evil talking points in has no place in a Catholic institution.

          • Korou

            Thanks for admitting that you would be happy to invite a pro-choice person if it meant opening up a dialogue. That could be exactly what’s happening. It seems our views aren’t so far apart after all!
            You say that it’s completely different to have a person give a speech to having him participate in a debate, but it won’t be that much of a difference. This is a university, full of bright andf educated minds. Surely they won’t be so feeble as to completely switch over if a Catholic apologist isn’t there to protect their dogmas?
            Not that this is likely to happen, mind you, because – it really is worth remembering – he seems to have been invited to talk about racism, not abortion. So I don’t really think there’s much to argue about.

          • Peter Calabrese

            I teach high school students religious ed. They are fed Planned Parenthood’s pro-death agenda on a daily basis in public schools. The pro-death camp has been given more than ample opportunity to present their views in schools and pop culture. It i not a matter of finding fair space for the pro-choice position, it is a matter fo finding fair space for the pro-Life Cahtolic position. The role of a Catholic university is to form men and women in Catholic principles not provide a forum for a celebrity of the industrial abortion complex to continue their view of the world. He is being presented an an honored guest here and a man who promotes the slaughter of millions should never be an honored guest at a Catholic institution. At best he can be invited as part of a truly serious discussion in which he is called upon to answer for teh racist roots of the Pro-Choice position and the killing it propmotes

          • Korou

            Well, I think we might want to close this discussion now. If you’re going to talk about “industrial abortion complex”, “pro-death agenda” and”racist roots” then I quite see why you’re angry about the mere possibility of abortion being presented in a positive light.

          • ed

            it is interesting korou appears to find it possible to represent the act of murder in a positive light. it is even more interesting to find out that korou thinks a person is in the state of grace even though they promote murder and hope to keep it legal.

          • Korou

            It’s even more interesting to find that most Catholic people agree with me.

    • Anthony

      It is obvious you do not read Catholic teaching, history, or writing of the Saints. I am going to guess you have been taught by LCWR nuns.

      • Guest

        Yup. And maybe even toured on the Soros-funded bus with them.

        • Korou

          Well since both of you have guessed wrong, maybe it’s not that obvious 🙂

  • Micha Elyi

    “So why, then, is a pro-abortion speaker given a voice on this Catholic campus?”

    Lazy bishops?

    • TomD

      Catholicism, with respect to many American bishops, priests and lay people, especially in the academic context and among “intellectuals,” functions through the secular filter of modernism and Americanism . . . as if there is an American Catholic Church that is, in many ways, distinct from the Catholic Church. This is a false notion, but one that is quite operative today in the United States, in both theory and practice.

    • Anthony

      They’re not lazy, they’re cowards.

      • ed

        more cowardly than those men who refused their vocation to the priesthood?
        more cowardly than those who never having been ordained insist upon calling those who accepted the office of priesthood names even thought they (the name callers) possess no authority to teach the faith except for the authority they might be granted from the men they mock and ridicule?

  • Ignatius spirituality: where there is no sin that is worthy of being forgiven, because there is no sin worthy of being called a sin.

  • Korou

    Anyway, I’ll be interested to hear what he has to say in his speech.