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Bishop Listecki’s Statement on Notre Dame Invitation to President Obama

May 1, 2009

Bishop Jerome Edward Listecki
Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin

The University of Notre Dame recently invited President Obama to give this spring’s commencement address and to receive an honorary degree in law. This invitation was extended in spite of President Obama’s continual offenses against the sanctity of human life through his executive actions and appointments since taking office. In 2004 the U.S. Bishops established an important principle: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” The decision of the President of Notre Dame to ignore the Bishops and to give both a platform and an honor to President Obama is indefensible. And so I raise my voice along with many of my brother Bishops, as well as the faithful who have been deeply scandalized. I ask Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, to rescind the invitation. Sincerely yours in Christ, Most Rev. Jerome E. Listecki, Bishop of La Crosse

Faithful in the Diocese of La Crosse can express their opposition to Notre Dame’s decision through an online petition sponsored by the Cardinal Newman Society.

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