The Catholic Church accepts the decision by St Andrews University to award an honorary degree to Hillary Clinton.
The church’s position was spelled out on Wednesday as the editor of the Catholic Truth, an unofficial Catholic newsletter, urged the university to “reconsider” due to Mrs Clinton’s stance on abortion.
The Courier revealed on Wednesday that St Andrews University is at the centre of a hate campaign as it prepares to welcome the former US secretary of State and first lady to St Andrews next week.
Emails sent to university principal Professor Louise Richardson and seen by The Courier compare the honouring of Clinton next Friday to “honouring Adolf Hitler for ridding Germany of the Jews”.
A church spokesman said: “Decisions on who should receive honorary degrees or other awards from the University of St Andrews is entirely a matter for the university.”
In a letter to Professor Richardson, Catholic Truth editor Patricia McKeever, whose views are not sanctioned by the church, accused Mrs Clinton of having “the blood of countless innocent babies on her hands”. She said that if Dr Richardson had indeed received abusive correspondence, then the Catholic Truth would publish them with an accompanying reprimand.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, John Smeaton, distanced the organisation from any abusive emails to the university.
His organisation has encouraged supporters to write to Professor Richardson to “protest at the planned honour for Mrs Clinton, explaining why Mrs Clinton’s promotion of abortion is contrary to education, human rights, democracy, civil society and promoting opportunities for females around the world”.