Dozens of Catholic professors are pressuring House Speaker John Boehner to back off proposed cuts to programs for the poor and elderly, accusing the Catholic lawmaker of diverging from the tenets of his faith ahead of his commencement address at a top Catholic university.

The professors sent a scathing letter to the speaker ahead of his scheduled address Saturday at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. They focused on the House GOP-crafted 2012 budget, claiming it “guts long-established protections for the most vulnerable members of society.” Citing changes to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as cuts to food stamps and programs for pregnant women, the professors from Catholic University and other schools accused Boehner of imperiling programs for the poor.

They wrote that it is his “moral duty” to prioritize those programs going forward and said they hope his visit to CUA will “reawaken” his familiarity with Catholic teachings.

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