Petition to Fr. Jenkins
Dear Father Jenkins:
It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17.
It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.
This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame.
Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos.
The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”
This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “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.”
We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.
(AS OF 3/20 AT 6 PM)
Patrick J. Reilly,
President of The Cardinal Newman Society
Candace de Russy, writer
National Advisory Board, The Cardinal Newman Society
Philip F. Lawler
Director, Catholic Culture Project
Fr. C. J. McCloskey III
President, QEV Analytics
Thomas N. Peters
American Papist Blog
Gregory K. Popcak, Ph.D., LISW
Executive Director: Pastoral Solutions Institute
Host: Fully Alive!—The Catholic Channel, Sirius 159/XM 117
Host: Heart Mind & Strength—Ave Maria Radio
Dr. Pia de Solenni
Dr. Stephen M. Krason
Political Science Program
Society of Catholic Social Scientists
Franciscan University of Steubenville
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