Letter to Fr. Jenkins
Bishop Edward J. Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa, OK
March 31, 2009
Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC
Office of the President
400 Main Building
University of Notre Dame
Fort Wayne, IN 46556
Dear Father Jenkins:
I am writing to plead with you to cancel the invitation you gave to President
Obama to speak at the University and the plans to honor him with a doctorate
degree. Many, many Catholics and alumni of the University of Notre Dame are
waiting for you to do so – some of them live here in Tulsa and are graduates of
As you know, President Obama is aggressively promoting abortion on demand not
only here in the United States but all over the world. In fact, he wants doctors
to be required to perform an abortion whenever the mother asks.
Faithful Catholics and all men and women of good will are appalled by the sin of
abortion. It is a cancer in our society which is eating away at all the other
pro-life issues because abortion destroys human life at its very beginning and
has become so common.
For President Obama to be honored by Notre Dame is more than a disappointment,
it is a scandal – especially to young adults. His being honored by Notre Dame
will make it easier for a woman who contemplates abortion to actually submit
herself to this cruel and deadly procedure. At the same time, the University of
Notre Dame will have distanced itself from the Bishops of the country who
unanimously have asked that no politician promoting abortion be honored by any
of our institutions.
On the other hand, your cancellation of the president’s visit will be noted and
remembered as an affirmation of the intrinsic value of human life, a courageous
example of prophetic witness worthy of a Catholic institution.
I promise my prayers for you, for President Obama, and for all those who lead
our Church and our society.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Edward J. Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa
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