Letter Regarding Notre Dame University’s Invitation to President Obama
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
FROM: Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, STD, SSL, Bishop of Erie
RE: Notre Dame University’s Invitation to President Obama
ERIE, Pa. – The Golden Dome of Notre Dame, the long revered symbol of a Catholic
university, will be disgraced and dishonored on this coming May 17th, the
commencement day of the university. On that day the leaders of the university
are giving a platform and honorary degree to an individual who is a relentless
advocate of unrestricted abortion: President Obama.
On his fourth day in the White House he approved federal funding to perform
private abortions in other countries (the overturning of the Mexico City
Policy). He restored to the United Nations Population Fund monies to support
abortions, while opposing federal funding for pro-life pregnancy help centers.
He authorized funding to conduct human embryonic stem cell research.
In the words of Mary Ann Glendon, professor of law at Harvard University who
turned down the prestigious Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University, President
Obama is “an uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues
involving fundamental principles of justice.” May 17th will mark not just a bad
decision by university officials, it will mark a day of shame and blemish for
the Catholic record and reputation of Notre Dame University.
Its relationship to the Catholic hierarchy and to the fundamental principles of
the Church has been fractured and will take new leadership to rebuild.
Many loyal alumni, students, and faculty will continually pray the rosary in
reparation at the Notre Dame Grotto during the graduation. They will give
witness of what the real Notre Dame is all about. What should be a day of joyous
celebration for graduates and their families will be a day of shame and dilemma
as the university leadership moves away from its rich Catholic tradition.
Now must begin the work of bringing new luster to the Golden Dome. Now is the
time for recommitment to being once again a great Catholic university.
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