Rev. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, says the reason students and Catholic leaders are protesting Notre Dame's decision to award an honorary degree to Obama is because they believe it's the latest indication that the country is "trivializing abortion."
President Obama is "in the minority" with his abortion views, the leader of a group protesting the president's Notre Dame commencement address said Sunday.
Rev. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, told "FOX News Sunday" that the reason students and Catholic leaders are protesting Notre Dame's decision to award an honorary degree to Obama is because they believe it's the latest indication that the country is "trivializing abortion."
Pavone was reacting to a new Gallup poll that shows more Americans calling themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice," by 51-to-42 percent, for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995. A recent FOX News poll also showed more people describing themselves as pro-life for the first time since 2004.
"The nation is becoming more and more pro-life and they're realizing that ... abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy is just not where the American people are today, it's not where they've ever been," Pavone said. "The president's position on this is in the minority."
Even if Obama is in the minority on the issue, supporters of his address Sunday on the Notre Dame campus say that's no reason to protest his visit.
The Rev. Richard McBrien, a theology professor at Notre Dame, told "FOX News Sunday" that the invitation "in no way" connotes support for all his positions. But he said Obama stands with the Catholic Church on other key issues.
"There are other positions he has taken, whether it's on immigration or poverty or whatever, which are entirely consistent with Catholic social teaching," he said. "If we required 100 percent agreement with the Catholic Church of official teaching from everyone who speaks at or gets an honorary degree from a Catholic University we would not then have any politician from either party."
A small but vocal group of students and Catholic leaders staged protests against the president's address Sunday. Pavone had planned to lead a prayer vigil with students in response to the speech.