Tuesday, March 24, 2009

VIDEO: Catholic Outrage Over Scheduled Obama Commencement Address

Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama's scheduled commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, citing the president's views on abortion and stem cell research that "directly contradict" Roman Catholic teachings.

Phil Donahue and Father Jonathan Morris discussed this today on Fox's "The Live Desk".

Fox News reports:

Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama's scheduled May 17 commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, saying the president's views on abortion and stem cell research "directly contradict" Roman Catholic teachings.

"It is an outrage and a scandal that 'Our Lady's University,' one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage," the petition at notredamescandal.com reads.

The Cardinal Newman Society, an advocacy group for strengthening ideals at the nation's 224 Catholic colleges and universities, created the Web site to end what it calls the "travesty" of Obama's selection. The petition, which had garnered 64,051 signatures as of midday Tuesday, asserts that thousands of other "accomplished leaders" in business, law or education would have been more appropriate selections. The group says it is sending the list to an independent firm Wednesday to ensure that there are no duplicate names.

"Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality," the petition reads. "Whatever may be President Obama's admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos."

David Constanzo, communications director for the Cardinal Newman Society, said Notre Dame's tradition of inviting sitting U.S. presidents to its commencement should be rethought.

"There is a time when policies need to be reconsidered in light of the fact that the individual invited may have a history of standing in direct opposition to some of the most prominent aspects of our faith -- the biggest case in point is that of the pro-life agenda," Constanzo said. "The obligation of Notre Dame as a Catholic institution is to follow the directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who clearly stated in 2004 that Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."

George Weigel, a Catholic theologian and distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said the invitation is not a "neutral act" and will significantly damage Notre Dame's reputation in Catholic circles following Obama's decision to reverse restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and for family planning groups that provide abortions.

"I think Notre Dame should not have issued the invitation," Weigel told FOXNews.com. "This is a colossal mess. This is their mess to fix right now, but they should know that they have forfeited an enormous amount of credibility as an institution that takes moral reasoning seriously."

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  1. Unlike the Catholic Church, the President of the United States hasn't aided and abetted pedophiles and excommunicated 9 year old rape victims.

  2. Phil Donahue is a blooming moron.

    What he doesn't understand is if you put a teaspoon of sewage into a gallon of pure water, what you have is a gallon of sewage.