More Catholic Leaders Speak Against Notre Dame Inviting Pro-Abortion Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More Catholic Leaders Speak Against Notre Dame Inviting Pro-Abortion Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 31
, 2009

South Bend, IN ( — The chorus of boos from Catholic leaders against the invitation the University of Notre Dame has given to President Barack Obama to speak at its graduation ceremonies continues. The Catholic university has seen over 220,000 people sign a petition against awarding the pro-abortion president.

The latest condemnation comes from Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who has joined a growing list of bishops speaking out about Notre Dame’s decision and UND president John Jenkins’ defense of it.

In his letter dated last Thursday and provided to the Cardinal Newman Society, Archbishop Nienstedt wrote to Father Jenkins to “protest this egregious decision on your part,” calling the honor a “travesty.”

Nienstedt wrote that President Obama is an “anti-Catholic politician” and whose “deliberate disregard of the unborn” does not deserve Notre Dame’s “public support.”

Noting Obama’s pro-abortion record, Nienstedt wrote, "It is a travesty that the University of Notre Dame, considered by many to be a Catholic University, should give its public support to such an anti-Catholic politician.
"I hope that you are able to reconsider this decision. If not, please do not expect me to support your University in the future," he concluded.

Archbishop Nienstedt is the eighth Catholic bishop and the second archbishop to condemn the decision. He joins Bishop John D’Arcy, who has already announced his decision to boycott the Notre Dame graduation ceremony because of Obama’s honorary degree and participation.

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin told the annual Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Chicago that he would have not invited Obama had he been making the decision about a commencement speaker.

Bishop Robert Lynch of the diocese of St. Petersburg has also commented on the scandal saying the graduation invitation "is a very prestigious platform to offer a President who is leading the battle for an expansion of abortion rights which may ultimately end up being unparalleled in recent history."

The Cardinal Newman Society has organized a petition urging Notre Dame president Father Jenkins to rescind the invitation and it has grown to more than 220,000 signatures.

“The faithful owe a debt of prayerful thanks to Archbishop Nienstedt for his statement calling on Notre Dame to reconsider its planned honor for President Obama,” CNS president Patrick Reilly told

The commencement address at the Catholic university is one of three Obama will give in May. Obama will also be at Arizona State University on May 13 and the Naval Academy on May 22.

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

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