U.S. President Joe Biden’s planned town hall meeting at a Catholic university in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Wednesday has drawn criticism from the area’s bishop and abortion opponents, but the university said the event will proceed as planned.
Biden, the second Catholic to serve as U.S. president, will take questions on his economic plans from local residents during the town hall event at Mount St. Joseph University.
Local authorities say they are bracing for protests after the Cincinnati Right to Life group blasted the university for hosting the event and urged supporters to call the school and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr to complain.
The archdiocese issued a statement late Tuesday saying Schnurr would not have approved the event if it were up to him, although it conceded that the university operates under sponsorship of the Sisters of Charity, and not under the direct oversight of the archdiocese.
Pat Crowley, a spokesman for the university, said the town hall event would proceed as planned.
The university, which has about 2,000 undergraduate students, is run by the Sisters of Charity, a relatively liberal order of nuns.
“The University has always been and will continue to be a diverse and inclusive place where people from different races, ethnicities, social backgrounds, beliefs, and religions can come together to discuss and share their unique perspectives,” the university said in a statement.
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
His invitation to speak at the University of Notre Dame also prompted alumni to criticize the school citing Biden’s “pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty agenda.” Biden declined the invitation due to a scheduling conflict.
“Tell them this is unacceptable for a Catholic university,” an email from Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati read. “They should be ashamed to host a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent unborn lives.”
They called on Schnurr to make it clear to area Catholics that “President Biden is not a Catholic in good standing until he does all in his power to put an end to abortion.”