The University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana) has invited President Barack Obama to speak at the May 17th commencement ceremony. The Catholic university is under attack by many who feel that having a dignitary speak who supports abortion and embryonic stem-cell research is an affront to the church. Indeed, these are two issues which the Catholic church is dead-set against. While it must be a prestigious feather in Notre Dame’s cap to have the new president speak, it does seem a contradiction of the school’s values and founding principles to do so.
On April 10, 2009, Archbishop of Indianapolis, Daniel M Buechlein, wrote a letter to the school’s president, John I Jenkins, to express his disagreement on the matter and closes it by saying “I await some action that indicates your regret concerning a truly wrong decision.”
Sadly, the archbishop doesn’t expect a response, nor does he expect the invitation to be rescinded. It would seem it was important enough of an issue to weigh in whether or not any change or response is forthcoming.
But why not push for change? Change is the very platform upon which the speaker in question rose to his current office. Seems a “wrong decision” requires SOMETHING! A change in direction perhaps?
It seems the archbishops who have spoken out against this including John D’Arcy in whose diocese the school sits should have more leverage in the matter—of course, consider my ignorance as to the hierarchies within the Catholic church. Still, to write a letter of objection and indicate that some penitent action should be taken, but then to dismiss the letter as little more than a need to express an opinion is pretty lame. Gee, why not just blog about it?
Where is the real conviction here?