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Bishop Doran to Notre Dame: Rescind Obama Invitation or Change your Name

April 3rd, 2009
Cardinal Newman Society (www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/)

This decision of your flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision.(Bishop Doran)

MANASSAS, Va. (Cardinal Newman Society) – Bishop Thomas G. Doran of the Rockford, Ill. Diocese, has provided The Cardinal Newman Society a copy of a letter he sent to University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins expressing his “dismay and outrage” at the decision to honor President Obama at commencement on May 17, 2009.

Bishop Doran wrote that Fr. Jenkins should rescind the invitation “and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese.” In a separate letter to The Cardinal Newman Society, the Bishop indicated that he has advised the people of the Rockford diocese how to make their own sentiments on the matter known to the authorities at Notre Dame.

The bishop suggested that if Fr. Jenkins fails to rescind “this unfortunate decision” he should have the “decency” to change the university name to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”

“On behalf of our more than 20,000 members and the nearly one quarter of a million signers of the petition opposing Notre Dame’s actions, I want to thank Bishop Doran for his strong public witness and letter encouraging Fr. Jenkins to rescind the commencement invite to President Obama,” said CNS President Patrick Reilly.

The following is the text of the letter provided by Bishop Thomas G. Doran to The Cardinal Newman Society:


March 31, 2009

Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear President Jenkins:

I wish to express in my own name and on behalf of the Catholic community of this Diocese, my dismay and outrage at your decision to invite the current President of the United States to address the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame and to receive an honorary degree.

This decision of your flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, that Catholic institutions not so honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”

Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, I would point out that it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.

I sign myself, Very truly yours,

The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.,Bishop of Rockford

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