Notre Dame Alumni Withhold Nearly $14 Million for Honoring Pro-Abortion Obama
by Steven Ertelt
May 13, 2009
South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) — Notre Dame alumni who are upset with the university’s decision to allow pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give this coming weekend’s commencement speech and to give him an honorary degree continue to withhold their donations to the Catholic college.
In total, pro-life alumni and donors who feel disenfranchised by Notre Dame’s decision have decided to withhold nearly $14 million in gifts they normally would have given.
David DiFranco, a Michigan businessman and 1995 Notre Dame graduate, told LifeNews.com on Wednesday that the ReplaceJenkins.com web site for disgruntled alumni has received over 1,400 pledges to withhold donations within a month since its launch.
Most of the donors were at least loosely aware of the Universitys trend away from its Catholic identity," DiFranco explained.
"But the invitation of President Obama to speak and to receive an honorary degree, combined with the weak responses presented by Father Jenkins as a defense to those who have criticized the decision, is what drives most alumni to our site," DiFranco added.
Unwittingly, Father Jenkins has brought national attention to a problem that is decades in the making, DiFranco told LifeNews.com.
A shrinking percentage of Catholic faculty and the efforts of secular-minded board members has long been eroding the Catholic heritage and foundation that makes Notre Dame great. President Obamas invitation represents the culminating scandal in this trend," he said.
News of the donation withholdings comes after the announcement that some pro-life Notre Dame students will be boycotting the graduation ceremony.
Instead, they will attend an alternate rally featuring Father Frank Pavone.
Alumni and financial supporters of the University of Notre Dame launched the online effort in an effort to withhold donations from Notre Dame, until its president, Rev. John Jenkins, is replaced.
The coalition web site urges supporters to withhold all contributions to the Notre Dame General Fund until President Jenkins is replaced with someone who is committed to the authentic identity of Notre Dame, grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church.
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