Pro-Life Notre Dame Students Hold Prayer Vigil to Protest Award Given to Pro-Abortion Joe Biden

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 19, 2016   |   12:40PM   |   South Bend, IN

A bunch of Notre Dame students were not happy when their Catholic university decided to honor pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden with its most prestigious award.

But rather than simply protest the decision, the pro-life students decided to hold a prayer service on campus, The Observer reports.

The university recently announced that it would give Biden the Laetare Medal, its oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics, LifeNews reported. Because of Biden’s strong pro-abortion record, many pro-life Catholics are upset by the decision. Even Cardinal Raymond Burke rebuked the university, calling it a “great scandal” to give the award to Biden.

During the prayer service on Saturday, the students made it clear that their purpose was to pray for, not protest, the decision.

Senior Timothy Bradley opened the service by saying they were there to pray together for the university’s commitment to the Catholic faith, including its teachings on the sanctity of life.

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“I hope that in coming together here today, we may pray to Our Lady and to her son, both for our University and for all of us gathered here, asking for forgiveness for our own failures to bring the Gospel of Life to those around us, and asking for the strength to serve as compelling witnesses to our faith in the midst of our culture,” Bradley said.

Janelle Wanzek, a senior and the president of Notre Dame Right to Life, said she believes Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who also is a recipient of the medal, do not deserve the honor.

“We are concerned for our University in light of the recent announcement of the Laetare Medal recipients, as we believe that they have lost sight of the truth, that truth being the undeniable right to life of every human being,” Wanzek told the news outlet. “The Laetare Medal bears the Latin inscription … ‘The truth is ready and it shall prevail.’ It’s saddening to see that this medal is going to two men who have not been upholding the truth of the sanctity of human life.”

Wanzek said the students prayed that Biden would recognize the sanctity of every human life.

“Although people may lose their way and lose the sight of the right to life, absolutely nothing can diminish the God-given dignity of every human being,” she said. “We need to pray for them to regain their respect for life and for human dignity from conception until natural death.”

Honoring Biden has stirred up contention in the Catholic community across Indiana. Bishop Kevin Rhoades severely criticized the university for its decision, saying it gave the impression “that one can be ‘a good Catholic’ while also supporting or advocating for positions that contradict our fundamental moral and social principles and teachings.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, as well as groups of studentsalumni and faculty also are openly opposing the university’s decision.