Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien said he is “disappointed and bewildered” by the decision of University of Notre Dame officials to honor President Barack Obama with an honorary doctorate at this year’s graduation ceremony.The story goes on to state:
The university announced March 20 that the president would be the commencement speaker at its May 17 graduation.
In a March 26 letter, Archbishop O’Brien told Notre Dame President Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins he “fully supports” the March 24 statement of Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., that raised concerns about the decision.
Bishop D’Arcy pledged not to attend this year’s graduation and cited a 2004 statement by the U.S. Catholic bishops that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”
“(I) regret that (Bishop D’Arcy) must bear this personal affront from a university which he has so consistently and ardently supported this last quarter century,” Archbishop O’Brien wrote.
Bishop D’Arcy has not missed a graduation at Notre Dame in the 25 years he has been bishop of the diocese.
In a separate letter to Bishop D’Arcy sent March 26, Archbishop O’Brien said he admired the bishop’s courage and was “proud and grateful to you as a brother bishop.”
“Thank you for your strong and noble stand in your effort to uphold the reputation of the University of Notre Dame as a thoroughly Catholic institution,” Archbishop O’Brien said
The story appeared dated April 7th in the Catholic Review.