Notre Dame Alumni Group Launches Protest Against Obama Graduation Invitation

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 27, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Notre Dame Alumni Group Launches Protest Against Obama Graduation Invitation

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 27
, 2009

South Bend, IN ( — A Notre Dame alumni group has launched a protest against its alma mater for extending an invitation to pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give the commencement address there this May. The university will also bestow the president with an honorary degree.

In a statement, Project Sycamore says it "urges protest of Notre Dame’s decision."

"Despite President Obama’s unwavering and notorious support of the pro-abortion agenda, the University has inexplicably decided to honor him," the group added.

The group said it supported the decision of Bishop John M. D’Arcy of Fort Wayne/South Bend, who said Notre Dame is violating the statement the nation’s Catholic bishops almost unanimously approved asking colleges not to provide abortion advocates with a platform for their views or awards, to boycott the graduication ceremony.

On the other hand, Project Sycamore disagrees with the defense Notre Dame president John Jenkins gave about why he invited Obama to participate.

Jenkins has pointed to a "long-standing tradition of inviting the current U.S. president to speak at the University."

But the alumni says that doesn’t "explain how honoring a person who champions a cause so antagonistic to fundamental Church teaching can be reconciled with the University’s claim to Catholic identity."

The alumni also noted that the list of presidents Notre Dame has invited does not include President Clinton, a strong pro-abortion advocate.

Although Jenkins contends the university is not honoring Obama for his pro-abortion views, Project Sycamore says Jenkins would never make the same argument about a president who opposed civil rights.

"Surely the University would not advance such a justification for conferring honors on a pro-discrimination President committed to wiping out the civil rights laws," the group says.

The group crafted a letter to Jenkins highlighting its objections.

"President Obama’s statements and executive and legislative actions identify him as unremittingly hostile to the moral claims of the unborn and accordingly to a central teaching of the Catholic Church. By virtue of his position, he is now the nation’s leading champion of virtually unrestricted abortion," the group writes.

"Notre Dame is the nation’s leading Catholic institution. Its action will be publicized widely by enemies of the Church and by pro-abortion advocates as a sign that the pro-life position is too ‘inflexible," it adds.

"This compromising action gravely diminishes Notre Dame. It profoundly wounds its claim to be a Catholic institution. It strikes with incalculable cost at the pride of its graduates," the conclude.

Project Sycamore joins an ad hoc group of several student organizations which have also condemned the decision.

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

ACTION: Contact Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, at 574-631-5000, fax 574-631-2770, email [email protected], or mail to 317 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556. You can call Notre Dame at (574) 631-5000 or use the email form at

Related web sites:
Project Sycamore –
Notre Dame response –

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