Notre Dame Statement
Archbishop John J. Myers
Archdiocese of Newark, NJ
It pained me to hear that one of the symbols of Catholic education in our
nation, Notre Dame University, had extended an invitation to President Obama to
speak at its commencement.
Not all people believe what the Church teaches, and in our society today we
sometimes must work on issues of importance with people who do not agree with us
on the primacy of the sanctity and dignity of life -- a moral issue on which
there can be no compromise.
When we extend honors to people who do not share our respect and reverence for
life in all stages, and give them a prominent stage in our parishes, schools and
other institutions, we unfortunately create the perception that we endorse their
public positions on these issues. We cannot justify such actions, and the
Bishops have stated so clearly and strongly.
If the president of Notre Dame University truly wishes to show that his
institution is rooted in Catholic teaching and tradition and committed to the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, he must underscore this message at commencement plainly
and clearly, and invite everyone to embrace an immutable and all-inclusive
reverence for life.
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