Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Archbishop Nienstedt Staunchly Opposes ‘Travesty’ of Obama Invite to Notre Dame Commencement

His Excellency John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, has joined a growing list of US bishops in opposition to the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor and host President Barack Obama at commencement in May. The petition organized by The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) urging Notre Dame President Father Jenkins to rescind the invitation has grown to more than 220,000 signatures.

“The faithful owe a debt of prayerful thanks to Archbishop Nienstedt for his statement calling on Notre Dame to reconsider its planned honor for President Obama,” said Patrick Reilly, President of CNS.

In his letter dated last Thursday, March 26, and provided today to The Cardinal Newman Society, Archbishop Nienstedt wrote to Father Jenkins to “protest this egregious decision on your part,” calling the honor a “travesty.” Nienstedt wrote that President Obama is an “anti-Catholic politician” and whose “deliberate disregard of the unborn” does not deserve Notre Dame’s “public support.”

The following is the complete text of Archbishop John C. Nienstedt’s letter to Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins:

March 26, 2009

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

Dear Father Jenkins:

I have just learned that you, as President of the University of Notre Dame, have invited President Barack Obama to be the graduation commencement speaker at the University’s exercises on May 17, 2009. I was also informed that you will confer on the president an honorary doctor of laws degree, one of the highest honors bestowed by your institution.

I write to protest this egregious decision on your part. President Obama has been a pro-abortion legislator. He has indicated, especially since he took office, his deliberate disregard of the unborn by lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research, by promoting the FOCA agenda and by his open support for gay rights throughout this country.

It is a travesty that the University of Notre Dame, considered by many to be a Catholic University, should give its public support to such an anti-Catholic politician.

I hope that you are able to reconsider this decision. If not, please do not expect me to support your University in the future.

Sincerely yours,

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis