Fordham to Honor Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 candidate for the vice presidency whose position on abortion repeatedly put her at odds with New York’s late John Cardinal O’Connor, will soon be memorialized at Fordham Law School, according to a report in Fordham magazine.
Ferraro’s husband, John Zaccaro Sr., and their son, John Zaccaro Jr., who are pictured in the magazine, recently made a “leadership gift” to Fordham in honor the late Queens congresswoman who rose to national prominence. Ferraro died of multiple myeloma in 2011.
The gift, whose amount is not disclosed in the article, reportedly will go to support a new Law School building and undergraduate residence hall, now under construction and scheduled to open in 2014.
A floor in the building will be named for Ferraro, a memorial Fordham magazine describes as “a fitting tribute to a woman who spent her career fighting for victims of inequality and abuse.”
Ferraro also spent some of that career in highly public conflict with Cardinal O’Connor.
The New York Times even saw fit to mention Ferraro in Cardinal O’Connor’s 2000 obituary:
In his first year as archbishop, Geraldine A. Ferraro, a Catholic who supported abortion rights, was nominated by the Democrats to run for vice president on a ticket headed by Walter F. Mondale. When she was a member of the House of Representatives from Queens, Ms. Ferraro, along with several other Catholic public officials, had signed a letter saying that there was ”a diversity of Catholic opinion” about abortion.
After the letter was released during the presidential campaign, Archbishop O’Connor assailed the candidate, saying, ”Geraldine Ferraro has misrepresented Catholic teaching on abortion.” He went on to say that there was no diversity of Catholic opinion, only the opinion of the church that abortion was wrong under all circumstances.
An obituary in National Right to Life News described Ferraro as having been a “close ally of the militantly pro-abortion group, then known as ‘Catholics for a Free Choice.” It was that organization that reportedly organized the “diversity” statement on abortion.
Fordham did not respond to a request for a comment on the appropriateness of honoring Ferraro.