Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Kathleen Gilbert

3/20/2009 (7 years ago)

LifeSiteNews (

His appearance at the university would appear to violate the USCCB's policy against honoring pro-abortion politicians.

At Notre Dame, the administration there just made a choice. They took a giant step away from their identity as 'Catholic.'

At Notre Dame, the administration there just made a choice. They took a giant step away from their identity as 'Catholic.'


By Kathleen Gilbert

LifeSiteNews (

3/20/2009 (7 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

NOTRE DAME, Indiana ( - White House Secretary Robert Gibbs stated today that Obama will give the commencement address at Notre Dame University this year. The school confirmed the announcement, stating on its website that Obama will also receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University's 164th University Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. May 17 in the Joyce Center on campus.

In 2004, the United States of Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a policy statement called "Catholics in Political Life," which says, with reference to pro-abortion politicians, "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

President Obama has been called the "abortion president" by pro-life activists, and his appearance at the university would appear to violate the USCCB's policy against honoring pro-abortion politicians.

One alumnus from the university has already expressed his displeasure in an open letter sent today to the president of Notre Dame, Rev. John Jenkins.

William Newton, a D.C. area attorney, wrote, "As an alumnus of Notre Dame Law School, I am deeply offended that you would invite President Barack Obama to speak at Commencement this year."

Newton then lists the numerous pro-abortion decisions that Obama has made since assuming the office of the presidency. "This is the person that you feel is worthy to address the students and faculty of Notre Dame, in the shadow of Our Lady atop the Golden Dome, with the spires of the Basilica in the background?" writes Newton.

"Father Sorin must be wringing his hands in heaven, that his successor would approve this disgrace. Shame on Notre Dame for choosing to scandalize the faithful who continue to support the Catholic identity and mission of the University."

Conservative commentator Kathryn Jean Lopez said on The Corner that the arrangement was "shameful."

"Last week the president of the United States perpetrated an assault on human dignity. No statements or press releases will undo what Notre Dame's position in the eyes of the world is in response: 'Doesn't matter,'" wrote Lopez. "We've got THE ONE. So much for the One the school's namesake gave birth to."

"I've been optimistic that the radicalism of this administration on life could be a real catalyst for renewal in many churches. At Notre Dame, the administration there just made a choice. They took a giant step away from their identity as 'Catholic.' They [sic] rather be of this world than the one they supposedly exist to bring people toward."

Notre Dame is among the most prestigious Catholic universities in America. The school's Center for Ethics and Culture recently established a pro-life fund in an effort to bolster Notre Dame's pro-life identity.

To contact Notre Dame:
Phone: (574) 631-5000
email form:

Notre Dame Fellows:
Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., President, U. of Portland
(503) 943-7101

Patrick F. McCartan, Senior partner, Jones Day
(216) 586-7272

William M. Goodyear, CEO, Navigant Consulting
main: (312) 583-5700

list of all Notre Dame Fellows:

To contact the USCCB:

Cardinal Francis George, President
Archdiocese of Chicago
phone: 312-751- 8200

Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Chairman, Committee on Education
Diocese of Worcester
phone: 508-791-7171
committee email:

To contact Notre Dame's bishop:
Bishop John D'Arcy, Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese
Fort Wayne Chancery
phone: (260) 422-4611

--- is a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family. It was launched in September 1997. LifeSiteNews Daily News reports and information pages are used by numerous organizations and publications, educators, professionals and political, religious and life and family organization leaders and grassroots people across North America and internationally.


More Politics & Policy

No matter what, Donald Trump won the third debate -- bigly Watch

Image of The third presidential debate resulted in a Trump victory as the Republican nominee soft-launched his own television network.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The third and final presidential debate between Clinton and Trump was surprising because it stuck mostly to the issues. However, there were some cringeworthy moments from both candidates. Snap polls following the debate hand the win to Trump, but pundits say Clinton is ... continue reading

Trump Catholic Advisory Group Demands Vice President Biden Denounce Anti-Catholic Bigotry and Call Cardinals Dolan and O'Malley to Apologize

Image of The Catholic Advisory Board to the Trump Pence campaign includes our own Editor-in-Chief, Deacon Keith Fournier.

By Catholic Advisory Group to Donald Trump.

The Catholic Advisory Board to the Donald Trump/Pence campaign has issued a statement regarding the absolute lack of apology for the anti-Catholic bigotry in the Clinton camp exposed by WikiLeaks. At this point, any Catholic who casts a ballot for Clinton is also ... continue reading

Ken Blackwell:Trumped Up. Time to Focus on the Real Issues

Image of Election 2016

By Ken Blackwell

The essential question this year is not who is the more congenial personality, but who is more likely to address the range of pressing issues facing America? Under whom are Americans likely to be safer? More prosperous? Better educated? Allowed to practice their ... continue reading

FATE OF A NATION: Catholics called to prayer as election looms Watch

Image of The Rosary is a powerful tool in the fight against evil.


The Trump/Pence campaign has asked for prayers as the nation moves closer to the election. A lot is at stake. Hillary Clinton and her team have promised to destroy the Catholic Church in America, describing Catholics as 'backwards.' Catholics need to unite in prayer to ... continue reading

RIGGED ELECTION? If Clinton is willing to 'destroy the Catholic Church' to get her way, then what will she do to democracy? Watch

Image of Praying to destroy the Church perhaps?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As WikiLeaks reveals the corruption of the Clinton camp and the DNC, Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump has expressed concerns that he could be running in a rigged election. The idea of a rigged election is catching on with Americans who are becoming ... continue reading

NEW WIKILEAKS: Guess who has disturbing ties to Putin? HINT: it isn't Trump Watch

Image of Via Podesta, the Clinton camp is remarkably close to Putin, something they accuse Trump of being.


Much has been made of Donald Trump's statements about Russia and Vladimir Putin. However, leaked emails suggest the Clinton camp may also be cozy with the Russians. New information reveals that Clinton chair John Podesta has a lot of shares in a Putin-linked company. ... continue reading

Here's the top reasons to choose Trump or Clinton - YOU decide? Watch

Image of Trump's platform is far more consistent with Catholic faith than Clinton's.


We are often asked why we're discussing politics on a Catholic website. That's because it is a Satanic Lie that our politics and our faith should be separated. This is how we get politicians like Tim Kaine, who claim to be Catholic but support abortion. Do you believe ... continue reading

Hysteria aside, here's why Trump would actually be a pretty darn good president Watch

Image of Trump may be a very effective president given his business experience.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The current presidential election antics have disgusted everyone. We are being asked to vote against a candidate rather than to vote for one on the basis of merit. We are instead playing a game of "would you rather." Yet we must consider which candidate would truly ... continue reading

Do you know about the third political party inspired by Catholic teaching? Watch

Image of What is the third party?

By (CNA)

In a country long entrenched in a two-party political system, Mike Maturen faces an uphill battle. Washington D.C. (CNA) - He's the 2016 presidential candidate for the little-known American Solidarity Party, which holds views rooted in Catholic social thought.But while ... continue reading

Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Join Together to Oppose Anti-Christian Bigotry in Clinton Campaign Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton (now the Democratic nominee) and John Podesta

By Catholic Online

The WikiLeaks emails reveal a contempt for all traditional Christians, and we are - Catholic and Evangelical - united in our outrage and united in our call for Mrs. Clinton to immediately apologize for the Christophobic behavior of her associates.  Los ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More