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article imageCardinal calls Obama invitation an 'extreme embarrassment'

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 2, 2009 in Politics
A Catholic leader is upset with the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic institution, for inviting President Barack Obama to speak at the commencement in May.
Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, slammed the University of Notre Dame for choosing President Obama to speak at the school’s May 17 commencement. He said at a conference hosted by archdiocese’s Respect Life office in Rosemont:
"[T]he problem is in that you have a Catholic university - the flagship Catholic university (University of Notre Dame) - do something that brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic,"...So whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation."
Cardinal George doesn’t want Obama to speak at the commencement because of his pro-choice views. Obama recently overturned the ban on federal funding of the embryonic stem cell research.
Cardinal George has plenty of company, as many others do not want Obama to speak at the commencement. Bishop John D’Arcy and 12 other bishops support Cardinal George’s view and they have said they will boycott the commencement ceremony.
Usually the presiding president speaks at the Notre Dame Graduation ceremony, but since most of the former presidents were anti-choice, they were able to speak without any protests from the Catholic bishops.
Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins has not changed the decision and he told AP he won’t cancel the invitation.
Cardinal George is urging his fellow Catholics “to call, to email, to write letters, to express what's in your heart about this: the embarrassment, the difficulties."
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