My Alma Mater Gets It Wrong


The University of Notre Dame has invited President Barack Obama to speak at commencement this year, and will give him an honorary degree to boot.

This announcement was made Friday, the very same day I received an appeal for donations to the Annual Fund.

I kept the postpaid envelope that came with that appeal, but when I return it, there won’t be a check inside. Instead, there will be a letter explaining my opposition to my alma mater’s invitation of the most pro-abortion president in history–an invitation that implies that the University agrees with his policies and proposals.

I’ll also be writing and emailing Father John Jenkins, CSC, president of the University. (Yes, he’ll hear from me twice. At least.)

I believe that the University of Notre Dame needs to do a lot more to reinforce its Catholic character, especially in terms of its faculty and administration. In my opinion (as an alum, so I’ve seen and experienced student life there) the student life itself is evidence of Catholic life in spite of the faculty and administration. Frankly, that’s a shame. At a Catholic university, the religious lives of the students should not be clearly opposite to what is often taught and to the example set by the administration.

There is no need for Notre Dame to invite and honor anyone who does not live by the ideals of the Church that founded the University. A Catholic university should bend over backward to find interesting commencement speakers who can truly be an example for the graduating students, who live by the principles of their Faith. Notre Dame never has trouble attracting applicants, so this cannot be a publicity stunt set up by the admissions office. And this may very well turn out to be counterproductive in terms of the Annual Fund.

At a University where Our Lady’s Grotto is one of the most popular spots for students, employees and visitors alike, the selection of a pro-abortion president as a graduation speaker and honorary-degree recipient is both disappointing and shameful.

Bloggers all over are discussing this topic. I am particularly impressed with this post.

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