Notre Dame Students to Protest, Boycott Obama Speech, Confront on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Notre Dame Students to Protest, Boycott Obama Speech, Confront on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 4
, 2009

South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) — The collection of pro-life student groups at the University of Notre Dame who have led much of the response to the Obama graduation invitation have announced their plans for commencement. Notre Dame Response will hold a peaceful protest when President Barack Obama speaks at the Catholic college.

The invitation from Father John Jenkins to the pro-abortion president to both give the graduation address and receive an honorary degree has prompted national outrage.

An ad hoc coalition of several pro-life students groups has led the official protest from UND students to the decision.

Today, the groups announced their plans for the May 17 event, saying, "ND Response has received official permission to hold a prayerful and constructive demonstration on the South Quad of the University of Notre Dame between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of Commencement."

"The students of this coalition would like to extend an invitation to all those interested in joining us on campus on May 17th as we respectfully give witness to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity and pro-life principles," the group added.

ND Response informed LifeNews.com that a subcommittee it facilitated of 2009 graduates has concluded their discussion of the best way to respond and it appears a large percentage of Notre Dame students will boycott the graduation event.

Other students may also confront Obama over his pro-abortion record during the event.

"It certainly appears obvious from these announced plans that a large or perhaps the sole focus of that response is a boycott," ND Response indicated in a statement. "There also may be other small groups or individuals amongst the 2009 graduates and their guests who have their own ideas about raising the pro-life issue to Mr. Obama inside the Joyce Center."

The students say they want a focus on peaceful and respectful opposition, especially in light of some of the more in-your-face opposition appearing at their campus in recent days along with the arrest of some pro-life advocates.

The schedule includes time with Bishop D’Arcy, who has said he would boycott the official ceremony because of Obama’s presence. He will celebrate Mass the evening prior to the graduation event and will pray with families.

ND Response says that it hopes some of the Catholic priests who have objected to Notre Dame’s decision will appear on Saturday for a pre-graduation Mass.

The group planned for a Mass at the same time as the graduation ceremony, but, after consulting with Bishop D’Arcy, the group has decided not to turn a Mass into a protest event.

During commencement, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life will speak at a rally on the other side of campus.

Related web sites:
Notre Dame response – https://www.ndresponse.com

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