Notre Dame Asked by Pro-Life Group to Rescind Invitation to Pro-Abortion Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Notre Dame Asked by Pro-Life Group to Rescind Invitation to Pro-Abortion Obama

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 24
, 2009

South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) — That the University of Notre Dame has extended an invitation to pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give its commencement address and to receive an honorary degree has sparked outrage. Obama is slated to speak at Notre Dame’s commencement on May 17.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates have contacted Notre Dame officials expressing their disappointment and pro-life groups have condemned its decision, but one group is going further.

The National Right to Life Committee has asked the Catholic college to rescind the invitation.

Anthony Lauinger, the NRLC vice president and a father of seven Notre Dame alumni and one current student, tells LifeNews.com he has asked Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins to withdraw the speaking engagement.

"Notre Dame’s invitation to the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history is a betrayal of the University’s mission and an affront to all who believe in the sanctity and dignity of human life," he said.

"We call upon Father Jenkins to rescind the invitation and stand up for the millions of unborn children who face death under Obama Administration policies," he added.

However, Notre Dame officials continue to defend their decision.

"We fully expected some criticism and have received it, though nothing more than we anticipated," Dennis K. Brown, a spokesman for Notre Dame, todl the Catholic News Service. "I can’t foresee us rescinding the invitation."

Brown said he thinks most Notre Dame students are pleased with the invitation of pro-abortion President Obama.

In a letter to Father Jenkins, Lauinger pointed out that, through words and actions, Barack Obama has launched a comprehensive anti-life agenda that targets decades of life-saving policies while treating the views of pro-life Americans with complete contempt.

"As a Notre Dame parent and supporter, I am outraged by this invitation to Barack Obama. I have apologized to my eight children for the poor guidance I provided them when I encouraged them to enroll at Notre Dame," Lauinger said.

As LifeNews.com has reported, University President Fr. John Jenkins has no second thoughts about Obama’s invitation and has defended his actions.

"The invitation of President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research," Jenkins said.

He told The Observer, the Notre Dame student newspaper, he does not "foresee circumstances" that would cause the Catholic college to rescind its invitation to him.

"We have invited the president and he’s honored us by accepting," he said.

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