While there were those who disagreed with Notre Dame's decision to honor the president, the president honored Notre Dame with his speech. President Obama spoke bluntly and very clearly about his desire to reduce abortions (by reducing unwanted pregnancies, providing more assistance to single mothers, making adoptions easier) and also invoked the Catholic belief in common ground, dialogue and mutual respect for those with whom one differs. On top of that, he movingly recounted how his work with Catholic Charities in Chicago helped him return to religion, and how Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and Father Theodore Hesburgh had been religious role models for him. Finally he addressed the need on all sides for a degree of humility when approaching contentious issues, or, for that matter, one another.
His speech made it clear why Notre Dame had not only invited him--but also honored him.
What did you think?
James Martin, SJ