(Excerpt from the Catholic Key Blog). "In my first U.S. Bishops’ Conference meeting – June of 2004 – the bishops passed what seemed to me to be a compromise statement as a result of our lengthy debate on politicians and Communion. There we stated that pro-choice leaders (and specifically, Catholic leaders were mentioned) should not be given public platforms or honors. As we all know the eminent American Catholic University, Notre Dame, is poised to bestow such an opportunity and honor on President Obama, who is, of course, not Catholic. But it doesn’t take another Bishops’ Conference statement to know this is wrong: scandalous, discouraging and confusing to many Catholics.
"God knows what all motivates such a decision. I suspect that, since Notre Dame will need a scapegoat for this debacle, and Fr. Jenkins will probably lose his job, at this point perhaps he ought to determine to lose it for doing something right instead of something wrong. He ought to disinvite the President, who I believe would graciously accept the decision. Notre Dame, instead, ought to give the honorary degree to Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who has supported and tried to guide the University, despite their too frequent waywardness, faithfully for 25 years." (Photo from blog's file of Bishop Finn's Pontifical Low Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception).
Related Story: Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando will offer a Mass of Reparation in response to the University of Notre Dame’s decision to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree. “As Catholics we are aware of the many shortcomings and transgressions committed against the dignity and sacredness of human life in our world,” according to a diocesan notice.
"That is why it is inconceivable that Notre Dame University, a Catholic institution of higher learning, should receive and honor anyone who promotes policies that are contradictory to who we are as a people of faith. As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI stated in his visit to the U.S. last year in reference to Catholic university presidents, to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission.”