Bishop Won’t Attend Notre Dame Commencement Over Pro-Abortion Obama Invite

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

Bishop Won’t Attend Notre Dame Commencement Over Pro-Abortion Obama Invite

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 24
, 2009

South Bend, IN ( — Bishop John M. D’Arcy who oversees the part of Indiana that includes the University of Notre Dame says he will not attend the Catholic college’s commencement because it invited pro-abortion President Barack Obama. The president will be receiving an honorary doctorate and speaking to graduates.

The decision by Notre Dame to invite Obama and UNF president John Jenkins decision to defend the invitation has sparked national outrage within the pro-life Catholic community.

It has also produced fallout — with Bishop D’Arcy not attending the ceremony.

"This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation," he said in a statement received.

"I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith ‘in season and out of season’ and he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions," he continued.

"My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life," D’Arcy stated.

The bishop said Notre Dame is deviating from the request of the nation’s Catholic bishops not to provide a platform for abortion advocates either by allowing them to speak at graduation ceremonies or providing them with awards such as an honorary degree.

D’Arcy said that "the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for."

Bishop D’Arcy said Obama has been out of step with Catholic Church teachings about the sanctity of all human life, including unborn children.

"President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred," he said.

The bishop condemned Obama’s pro-abortion position but also his decision to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of human life.

"While claiming to separate politics from science he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life."

The Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend said he was not informed of the decision by Notre Dame officials to invite Obama until just before the decision was announced to the public.

The National Right to Life Committee has asked Jenkins to rescind Obama’s invitation because of his pro-abortion record.

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.