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Rescind Michael Hayden's Honorary Doctorate

This petition had 419 supporters


In 2007, while addressing the 12th World Congress of the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care, Pope Benedict XVI decried the use of torture, saying that those overseeing prisons must eschew "any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners."  He continued, citing the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, "In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture 'cannot be contravened under any circumstances.'"  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship listed torture among one of the many intrinsically evil actions, actions which "can never be justified," (22-23).

In May, 2012, Franciscan University of Steubenville conferred upon Michael Hayden, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an honorary doctorate in public administration for his service to the United States.

On December 9, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released their "Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program," which highlighted the various uses of torture techniques in the most appalling ways and, on at least one occasion, these actions resulted in the death of a detainee (cf. 495-6).  These kinds of actions have been defended by or performed under the direction of Michael Hayden.

The Franciscan University of Steubenville Mission Statement says that its purpose is “to promote the moral, spiritual, and religious values of its students” and in this regard, "endorse the constant teaching of the Catholic Church to avoid all unnecessary proximate occasions of sin and pledge itself not to be a party promoting such occasions."  By conferring an honorary doctorate upon Michael Hayden, a man who has promoted torturous activity, the type of activity that resulted in the death of at least one person and contributed to the permanent psychological damage of those detainees, it seems the University has promoted sinful activity and the occasions thereof, i.e. scandal.

We, the undersigned, call on the University to rescind the doctorate they conferred on Michael Hayden.

Note:
It is important for SFS to make sure all supporters fully understand this petition. A few persons have suggested that we have misled supporters in the way things were described in our original petition, several hundred signatures ago. Since then (we have heard that at about 277 signatures), the wording has been refined in order to more perfectly transmit our intended meaning. The typical concern was about the death of detainees under Michael Hayden. We have no knowledge of detainees dying during Hayden's tenure as the former-DCIA. The last sentence of both the last and second to last paragraphs in the petition have been revised above

Second to last paragraph: "These kinds of actions have been defended by or performed under the direction of Michael Hayden."

Last paragraph: "By conferring an honorary doctorate upon Michael Hayden, a man who has promoted torturous activity, the type of activity that resulted in the death of at least one person and contributed to the permanent psychological damage of those detainees, it seems the University has promoted sinful activity and the occasions thereof, i.e. scandal."

Therefore, if you no longer support this petition for any reason whatsoever, please retrieve the e-mail that was sent to you when you signed the petition. The e-mail is from Change.org and the subject line is "Students for a Fair Society has sent you a message". You may remove your signature by scrolling down the e-mail and clicking on the "here" in "Didn't sign this petition? Click here." and following the directions. If you are having trouble with this, please send us an e-mail by January 12 (staff@studentsforafairsociety.org) asking us to strike your name from the petition.

Update:
Hayden appears on NBC Nightly News and provides an apologia "of history".
Hayden’s testimony vs. the Senate report on the Washington Post.
FUS alumnus, Nathan O'Halloran, SJ, address the subject.
FUS alumnus, Kyle Cupp, adds to the conversation.
FUS alumnus, Sam Rocha, calls on FUS to repent; and writes a "A Plea to Love my Alma Mater, Franciscan University of Steubenville".
Mark Shea supports our petition, and again, and incorporates religious freedom.

Petition author, Joseph Antoniello, provides clarification on the petition here and responds to the accusation that Students for a Fair Society was acting in a reactionary fashion.



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