Notre Dame caused a flap when it invited President Obama (who might be more pro-abortion than any other politician in federal office) to speak at graduation. To defend itself, Notre Dame released some talking points, including this:
- We have said from the start, that this invitation does not mean we agree with all positions the President has taken. We do not condone the President’s positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. We have crucial differences with him on issues of protecting human life. Fr. Jenkins made that clear.
- But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invite him to Notre Dame. We can never change the President’s views unless he listens to us. And how can we expect him to listen to us if we won’t listen to him?
- And President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.
- We think having the President come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the President and for the causes we care about.
Professor Glendon has (rightly) hit the roof at being a fig leaf:
A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.
Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.
It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.
Good for Ms. Glendon. It Looks like this particular clusterbungle will harass Notre Dame for some time. . .