Catholic Bishops’ Leader and More Bishops Oppose Barack Obama at Notre Dame

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops’ Leader and More Bishops Oppose Barack Obama at Notre Dame

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 2
, 2009

South Bend, IN ( — It is the controversy that just won’t die and the University of Notre Dame brought it upon itself when it invited pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give its commencement address. Now, more Catholic bishops — including the head of the nation’s Catholics bishops — are speaking out against the invitation.

At a conference last Saturday, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, weighed in on the debate.

He labeled Notre Dame’s decision to honor and host Obama at the May 17 event an “extreme embarrassment” to Catholics.

George alluded to President Obama’s pro-abortion positions, noting that, “the problem is in that you have a Catholic university – the flagship Catholic university – do something that brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic.”

Cardinal George urged concerned Catholics to continue contacting Notre Dame officials about the Obama invitation.

Other Catholic leaders from across the nation are also making their concerns known.

Bishop Thomas Doran of the Rockford, Illinois diocese sent a letter to Notre Dame officials expressing his “dismay and outrage” at the decision.

He said Notre Dame president John Jenkins should rescind the invitation “and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese.”

If Jenkins fails to rescind “this unfortunate decision” he should have the “decency” to change the university name to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”

Bishop Myers of the Newark Diocese released a statement yesterday to the Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic educational watchdog group.

"When we extend honors to people who do not share our respect and reverence for life in all stages, and give them a prominent stage in our parishes, schools and other institutions, we unfortunately create the perception that we endorse their public positions on these issues," he said. "We cannot justify such actions."

Myers said that if Jenkins "truly wishes to show that his institution is rooted in Catholic teaching and tradition" he will present a strong pro-life message at the graduation event.

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:
Cardinal Newman Society –

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