Vatican Archbishop Criticizes Notre Dame for Inviting Pro-Abortion Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vatican Archbishop Criticizes Notre Dame for Inviting Pro-Abortion Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 8
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A top Vatican leader is the latest to speak out against the University of Notre Dame for inviting pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give its commencement address. Archbishop Raymond Burke, who essentially leads the Vatican’s top court, said Notre Dame was wrong to invite Obama.

He called the university’s decision to allow him to give the graduation message a scandal and said it was made worse by it giving Obama an honorary degree.

Burke said the Catholics bishops in the United States have made it clear that Catholic colleges and universities should not give a platform or honor "those who teach and act publicly against the moral law."

"The proposed granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our president, who is so aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda is rightly the source of the greatest scandal," Burke said.

Burke said if Catholics are not willing to stand up for the church’s teachings, "we are not worthy of the name Catholic."

He also said that “in a culture marked by widespread and ingrained confusion about the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, our Catholic schools and universities must be beacons of truth and right conduct.”

The comments from Burke, who formerly led the Archdiocese of St. Louis, came during the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast held in Washington. Burke received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 1,200.

Burke has been one of the more outspoken Catholic leaders when it comes to politicians who are pro-abortion. He said in 2007 he would deny communion to pro-abortion Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and, before that, said in 2004 that he would not provide the sacrament to then-presidential candidate John Kerry.

Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal New Society, a group that monitors Catholic colleges and has helped lead the response to the Notre Dame decision, applauded Burke.

“The faithful in the Church and especially Catholics in America are blessed to have a shepherd such as Archbishop Burke reminding us of our responsibilities as disciples of Christ to always and everywhere proclaim the Truth,” he told

Related web sites:
Cardinal New Society –

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.