Pressure Mounts To Exclude Presidential Commencement Address


The University of Notre Dame has been the subject of much controversy ever since the Roman Catholic institution announced in March that President Barack Hussein Obama would be giving the address at May’s commencement convocation.  The university has a tradition of asking the sitting president to deliver an address to its grads and Mr. Obama has graciously accepted.

Notre DameThe controversy in having the current U.S. president address the Catholic school centers on his stridently pro-abortion support. Catholic doctrine asserts that life begins at conception while the president has one of the most liberal abortion viewpoints of any politician, believing that abortion should be legal at all stages of a woman’s pregnancy.

Although John I. Jenkins C.S.C. is the university’s president and is a member of the Holy Cross Society, he asserts that his invitation was extended to honor the president’s office not his policies.

But that distinction isn’t sitting well with some students, faculty members and alumni. A move to bar the president from speaking at Notre Dame is growing and has recently gained the support of the American Life League, one of the largest and oldest pro-life organizations of its kind.

Known as the ALL, the organization wants the University of Notre Dame removed from the Official Catholic Directory (Kennedy Directory) – which is the official list of Catholic institutions in the United States. Recently, the ALL issued a press release calling for this change with the founding and current president Judie Brown issuing the following statement:

We found a tragic attitude at the University of Notre Dame — apathy, if not hostility, toward the faith. In the service of truth, we ask Bishop D’Arcy to acknowledge what the entire nation and Notre Dame itself already know: The university is backing away from the Catholic Church.

In light of Notre Dame’s past in the service of Our Lady, what is now keeping Notre Dame Catholic? Not the president who honors a man guilty of promoting an intrinsic evil; not the faculty — notoriously liberal. The hope of Notre Dame lies with the students faithful to the mission of the Church. For their sake we hope and pray Notre Dame rescinds this honor to President Obama and upholds the Catholic identity that made the school one of the glories of the Catholic Church. If the university will not do this, then it should be removed from the Official Catholic Directory.

Although such a move from the Kennedy Directory isn’t likely, the spreading opposition to President Obama’s appearance at the school underscores the deep divide not only in the Catholic community, but across our great nation regardless of faith.

As of this writing, the president still plans on speaking at Notre Dame. However, given the growing clamor at the school and elsewhere, will this move eventually backfire or will it transform into a wider and concerted effort to oppose the president’s stridently liberal policies?

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Categories: Campus News, Commentary