Statement on Notre Dame Controversy
Published on the Diocese of Palm Beach website
Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito
Diocese of Palm Beach, FL
April 3, 2009
Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Dear Father Jenkins:
I write in regard to the decision of the University of Notre
Dame to honor President Barack Obama at its commencement this year. I wish
personally to express my disappointment in solidarity with the other expressions
of disappointment you have received.
Other decisions of the University in past years have tarnished
the clarity of the University’s Catholic identity. However, the present
one gives rise to grave concern as to what message the University is giving to
the Catholics of our nation when it honors a public figure who, regardless of
his office as President and the good work he wishes to accomplish, stands so
strongly against and has already acted contrary to the Church's moral teaching
on the right to life of the unborn.
If Notre Dame does not alter its present course, it will be
difficult for me to offer support for the University on any level.
I fully realize the difficult decisions which you must make as
the administrator of the University in this day and age. However, the invitation
to President Obama was not necessary and extremely disappointing.
I appreciate your serious consideration of this letter.
With every prayerful wish, I am Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito
Bishop of Palm Beach
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