The campus of Notre Dame University, a Catholic school in Indiana with a tradition of inviting US presidents as graduation speakers is stirred with controversy as the community struggles whether to allow Pres. Barack Obama to address students and receive an honorary degree in a commencement exercise on May 17.
“A public act of disobedience and grave mistake,” says Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Phoenix Diocese of Obama’s invitation.
Bishop John D’Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese refused to attend in protest against the president’s policies.
“Seventy percent of the alumni letters opposed having Obama giving the speech, while 73 percent of student letters supported his appearance.”—–AP (03/27/09, Coyne, T)
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, one of the largest pro-life organizations in the United States committed to protect humans from conception to death issued a statement which read in part:
“American Life League joins the Cardinal Newman Society and all Catholics of goodwill in condemning Notre Dame University’s defamation of Our Lady through its unconscionable invitation of the leading symbol, hero, and darling of the culture of death.”
Objection against Obama has been sharp because of his staunch support for abortion and stem cell research which the Catholic Church condemns. The chief executive has recently lifted the ban for embryonic stem cell research and offered federal funding for its scientific investigation. He has extended tax-payer money in support to international groups which practice abortion as a way to control population. Angered Catholics feel having Obama and his liberal views contradict Christian moral values.
Those who favor Obama’s graduation appearance say that having the president in the university is an honor—a way of engaging him in a dialogue even when his opinions are diametrically opposed to the core beliefs of Catholics. (Photo Credits: BKWDayton; Hogan 27 world)
RELATED BLOG: “Obama’s stem cell research policy: the use of embryonic cells from helpless unborn sparks religious debate” Posted by mesiamd at 3/10/2009