Reverend John I. Jenkins, CSC, President
University of Notre Dame
300 Main Building
South Bend, Indiana 46556
Dear Father Jenkins:
I am appalled, disappointed and scandalized! Notre Dame University has certainly turned against the Catholic Church. I believe you have a moral responsibility to withdraw the invitation to President Barack Obama to be your commencement speaker in May. I also ask that you refrain from giving him any award whatsoever.
President Obama has publicly and ruthlessly affronted the Catholic Church of America during the short time of his presidency. His single-handed actions have totally reversed decades of successes of the Church in the prolife cause. Needless to say, he deserves no honor or recognition from Notre Dame or any other Catholic institution.
Please have the courage to take this extraordinary stand in view of the extraordinary scandal you have generated.
May Our Lord and Savior and Giver of Life bless you during this penitential season of Lent.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Eusebius J. Beltran
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
And in case you missed it elsewhere, Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran has not minced words:
Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
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