Text of Notre Dame Honorary Degree Praises Barack Obama, Excludes Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 14, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Text of Notre Dame Honorary Degree Praises Barack Obama, Excludes Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 14
, 2009

South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) — The text of the honorary degree President Barack Obama will receive on Sunday at the Notre Dame graduation ceremony lauds the president on some political issues. However, it fails to mention Obama’s extensive pro-abortion record and his faith to uphold the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

"At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises, The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States," the text reads.

It says Obama’s "historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism."

"A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good," the text reads.

"Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow," the text concludes.

However, when it comes to the human rights of women and unborn children victimized by abortion, there is no mention of Obama’s record.

That troubles pro-life activist Randall Terry, who made the text of the honorary degree public.

"The fact that Obama promotes abortion around the world makes him the adversary — not the champion — of the ‘global common good,’" he told LifeNews.com on Thursday.

Alan Keyes, the former ambassador and president who was recently arrested at Notre Dame, also condemned the text of the honorary degree.

"This idolatrous language confirms the scandalous nature of the invitation and honorary degree being given to Barack Obama; it not only honors evil, it exalts and worships it," he told LifeNews.com.

The two pro-life advocates note that the text of the honorary degree stands in contrast with the definition of common good as defined by Pope John Paul II in his Evangelium Vitae.

"It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop," Pope John Paul II wrote at the time.

"A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized," the pontiff added.

"Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace," he concluded.

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