Dialogue Sought in Wake of Controversy

In the wake of the controversy involving President Barack Obama’s address at the University of Notre Dame’s 2009 commencement, some U.S. bishops and Catholic university presidents are preparing for a dialogue aimed at reaching a consensus about speakers on their campuses. The board of directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities has said that they would like to see the U.S. bishops revisit their 2004 statement Catholics in Political Life, which declared it inappropriate for Catholic institutions to honor or provide a platform to someone who holds positions contrary to the teachings of the church. Two bishops attending the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ spring meeting in San Antonio told The National Catholic Reporter June 17 they also see a need for dialogue with the U.S. Catholic university presidents about this issue, and that all parties should perhaps revisit the bishops’ 2004 statement.

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