Notre Dame Students to Host Prayer Rally to Oppose Obama Speaking Invitation

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Notre Dame Students to Host Prayer Rally to Oppose Obama Speaking Invitation

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 1
, 2009

South Bend, IN ( — Students at the University of Notre Dame who are upset by the college’s decision to invite pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give the commencement address will hold a prayer rally on Palm Sunday. The rally is the latest in a massive backlash UND is facing for planning to honor Obama.

Last week, nearly a dozen Notre Dame student clubs announced a joint effort to express their “deepest opposition” to Notre Dame president Father John Jenkins’ decision to bestow Obama with an honorary degree.

The rally will take place on Sunday in front of the University’s Main Building follow Mass and the main speaker will be nationally recognized attorney Harold Cassidy, a pro-life lawyer.

Notre Dame Response, the collection of student groups opposing Obama’s appearance, told they "hope that through this prayerful and public demonstration, the University community will be respectfully reminded to celebrate its Catholic character and to defend those non-negotiable principles for which Notre Dame stands, including an overarching recognition of the inherent dignity and value of all human life."

"This event is also a response to University President Rev. John I. Jenkins," they said.

Meanwhile, in an opinion piece for the Notre Dame student paper The Observer, Dr. Charles Rice, emeritus professor of law at the University, suggested that Jenkins resign.

“The invitation should be withdrawn. It implies no personal animosity to suggest that Fr. Jenkins and the other Fellows and Trustees responsible for this fiasco should resign or be removed," he writes.

Rice also expressed his desire for a rally on the day of the graduation ceremonies as a response to the Notre Dame scandal on the day of commencement.

Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a pro-life Catholic watchdog group, says the students need the support of the pro-life community.

“These faithful students need the prayerful support of everyone who is concerned that the damage done to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity by honoring President Obama will be irreparable,” he told

“We have now heard the plea from both our friend Charles Rice and the Notre Dame students that any demonstrations should be peaceful and rooted in prayer,” he added.

The Cardinal Newman Society endorses this request, and while we will continue to vigorously fight this scandal in the coming days and weeks, we encourage all faithful Catholics to respect the sensible calls that any campus protests emphasize prayerful witness," Reilly concluded.

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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