University of Notre Dame Hires Pro-Life Director After Having Pro-Abortion Obama

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

University of Notre Dame Hires Pro-Life Director After Having Pro-Abortion Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21
, 2010

South Bend, IN ( — The University of Notre Dame continues to try to make amends with pro-life Catholics in the wake of its allowing pro-abortion President Barack Obama to deliver the college’s commencement address and presenting him with an honorary degree. The Catholic school has now hired a director of pro-life activities.

The new coordinator will work to advance the pro-life and Catholic identify of the educational institution, which is in need of much repair following the national controversy.

After the blowup, Father John Jenkins, president of UND, created the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life to advise him on how he and the college can better advance pro-life principles. Naming the pro-life coordinator is one recommendation and he has put pro-life advocate Mary Daly in the position.

Jenkins’ appointment of Daly is ironic given that she was the president of Notre Dame Right for Life and was a spokeswoman for NDResponse — the student-led coalition of groups on campus speaking out against the Obama degree and speech.

The Catholic News Agency says Notre Dame, in its announcement of Daly’s taking the position, said she will seek ways to “broaden and deepen respect for the sanctity of life” at the university and beyond.

Daly told CNA in an email she is “very pleased" UND created the permanent position and said it will further Notre Dame’s “witness to the culture of life.”

“I am grateful and honored to have been invited to work with the university on these initiatives,” Daly said, saying she will foster “a respect for the sanctity and dignity of life, from conception to natural death” and an understanding of “the major life issues.”

She said a faculty advisory committee will be created and that she will promote pro-life activities from both students and faculty.

Notre Dame has come under criticism since the speech and Jenkins participated in the March for Life for the first time earlier this year as a way of making amends but he was confronted by pro-life advocates for the fallout from the event.

They were upset Notre Dame officials had not withdrawn the charges against the 88 pro-life protestors arrested on campus for protesting the Obama speech.

Jenkins was presented with various banners along the parade route, reading "Fr. Jenkins: Free the Notre Dame 88."

Jenkins responded in an interview with the Notre Dame Observer student newspaper at the time.

“Out of all the controversy from last spring, we wanted to take steps to deepen the pro-life cause,” Jenkins said of his participation in the March for Life. I enjoyed being with them [Notre Dame students]. I admire their efforts and was proud of the way they came out themselves.”

He said he was not bothered by the signs and banners.

“I felt it was important not to let those banners take away from the central goals of the day,” he said. “And I refuse to let them distract from advancing pro-life cause.”

Daly, at the time, told the student newspaper she is pleased Jenkins attended the event.

“I think that what we had at the March is a good start by the administration, and I really hope we can expect to see more involvement down the road,” she said.


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