MSNBC news is reporting that there is a backlash against Notre Dame University inviting President Barack Obama to deliver this year’s commencement address.
The article asks, and answers…
“…The point of contention? The president’s record on issues related to abortion, the majority of which clash with the strict anti-abortion stance of the Catholic Church.”
True. Never mind that this fairly innocuous statement is the only polite way of saying that Barack Obama is the most anti-life person to ever occupy the office of President of the United States.
But the secular media doesn’t understand that the reason for the backlash goes deeper than opposition to President Obama’s abortion on demand stance.
To begin, it helps to know that Notre Dame University is not governed by the Catholic Church. Their website states "The University of Notre Dame is governed by a two-tiered structure (Fellows of the University and the Board of Trustees), in which laymen and women have joined with religious of the Indiana Province of Holy Cross in the governance of the University."
But it still bears the name of the Mother of Our Lord.
Notre Dame. Translated from French to English - Our Lady.
How DARE the president of Notre Dame University, Father John Jenkins, invite a man who is responsible for such colossal setbacks in the prolife movement, to speak at a University bearing the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Patroness of the Unborn.
Does he not understand that by extending the invitation and giving Obama an honorary law degree, he is implying endorsement of Obama’s abortion policies?
Does he not understand how implying endorsement of Obama’s abortion policies in the name of Our Lady is so offensive it defies description?
What is next, a center for fetal stem cell research on the Notre Dame campus?
Their excuse is that it is prestigious to have the President of the United States accept an invitation to deliver the university’s commencement address, regardless of his policy stances.
Perhaps this argument would be defensible if the policy difference were minor, but abortion- on- demand is a central tenet of President Obama’s political ideology. Or maybe if it were not on the heels of the rescinding of the Mexico City policy and fetal stem cell decisions.
But there is no getting around Obama’s’ extreme position on abortion.
Notre Dame's bishop John M. D'Arcy, who was not informed of the university's decision to invite Obama, responded by deciding to boycott the event and invoking "Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige"
As if to vindicate Father Jenkins' decision, MSNBC reminds us that Catholics voted 54-45 in favor of Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
What MSNBC and Father Jenkins don’t understand is that Catholics are paying attention these days. Obama’s action on abortion has been swift and absolute. Any doubt that ‘he couldn't be that bad on abortion’ has been erased.
Further, many Catholics have buyer’s remorse. Even those who wrongly overlooked his stance on life, thinking perhaps his economic policies had merit, are now concerned at the alarming rate at which he is spending money, expanding government and moving our country towards godless secularism.
Father Jenkins crossed a line. Backlash among alumni and donors is likely, but he may actually have provided the catalyst for an examination of the Catholic political conscience.
Bishop D'Arcy states: "Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for."
The same holds true for Catholics everywhere. And, I can say without reservation, that offending Our Mother is something Catholics will not stand for.
Contact Notre Dame here, or call 574-631-5000. Better yet, travel to South Bend on May 17th to prayerfully protest this sad occasion.