Image

University of Notre Dame officials were standing firm on their choice of President Barack Obama as commencement speaker at the institutions May 17 graduation, in spite of a large number of Catholics calling on them to rescind the invitation. The Indiana university, run by the Congregation of Holy Cross, and the White House announced March 20 that Obama would be Notre Dames 2009 commencement speaker and confirmed that he will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the graduation. "The invitation to President Obama to be our commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem-cell research," said Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame. "Yet, we see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement.”