Catholic Church Cancels YAF-Sponsored Anti-Abortion Talk by Matt Walsh as Faculty Protest

A speaking event on anti-abortion issues featuring conservative political commentator Matt Wash and co-hosted by the Young America's Foundation and the College Republicans was unexpectedly canceled Tuesday by the Missouri Catholic church set to host the talk.

St. Francis Xavier College Church, which is located on the campus of Saint Louis University, cited many of Walsh's public statements as in opposition to the church's teachings as the reasoning behind why church leaders pulled the plug on the forthcoming talk.

"Following more scrutiny of his statements, we cannot in good conscience give him a platform to speak," the statement released Tuesday read, noting that based on his public remarks the church believes he "holds positions contrary to the values of our Catholic faith."

"His provocative positions on immigration, on communities of color, on Muslims, and on members of the LGBTQ community seemed designed to stir anger and resentment, rather than encourage thoughtful dialogue. His statements are in contradiction to Jesus' great commandment to love God and love our neighbor," the statement continued.

Young America's Foundation spokeswoman Kara Zupkus called the church's decision "disappointing" in a comment to Newsweek.

"It's disappointing to see the church cave to a loud minority of students and faculty who are intent on shutting down thoughtful discourse," said Zupkus. "Matt Walsh's views on gender, abortion, and marriage fall directly in line with Catholic teachings on the matter. If SLU students have such a problem with that, why are they attending a Catholic school to begin with?"

Newsweek reached out to Walsh through the public relations department at conservative news outlet The Daily Wire where he hosts his popular podcast The Matt Walsh Show, but did not receive a response prior to publishing.

Matt Walsh Anti-Abortion Talk St. Louis
A talk scheduled to be given at a Catholic Church at Saint Louis University in Missouri featuring Matt Walsh, shown here at Daily Wire Presents Backstage Live at Ryman Auditorium on October 12, has been cancelled. Keith Griner/Getty

Walsh himself is Catholic. He recently made headlines with the release of his children's book Johnny the Walrus, which challenges the Left's gender narrative through a tale about a boy pretending to be a walrus. According to the Daily Wire, the book sold out on Amazon.

He was set to speak about the topic at St. Francis Xavier Church Wednesday, the same day the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning Dobbs v. Jackson, which hinges on abortion rights.

Instead, the YAF re-located the event to the historic hotel The Coronado.

"Young America's Foundation and the conservative students at SLU worked tirelessly to find a new venue for tonight's event, ensuring that the speech will go on and conservative viewpoints will be heard," said Zupkus, noting that the speech will be posted tomorrow at YAF's YouTube channel. "We look forward to a successful event."

Newsweek also reached out to Saint Louis University. The school's Public Relations Director Carrie Bebermeyer explained that while St. Francis Xavier College Church is located on campus, it operated independently from the university and that the school was not involved in the church's decision to both host and subsequently cancel the event.

She also noted that the SLU College Republicans student group received approval through the university's processes to host Walsh on campus for the Dec. 1 talk titled "Why the pro-life movement is center stage in the culture war." That was followed by the group then informing the university they were voluntarily moving the event to St. Xavier.

However, more than 250 professors, faculty members, and staff signed a "Statement of Solidarity" against the scheduled remarks of Walsh, published on the student news site The University News on Tuesday.