Why does a pre eminent Catholic University in the States,Notre Dame, want to invite the world's most pro abortion leader, President Obama, to speak at its graduation ceremony, and to confer upon him an honorary degree?
A retiring professor at Notre Dame, Ralph McInerny, has commented on this state of affairs; the full text can be read here, thanks Fr. Z., and is well worth reading.
Amongst other points, McInerny makes these:
'Abortion is an essentially evil act, both from the viewpoint of natural morality and from the explicit teaching the Church. There is no way in which an individual, a politician or an institution can finesse that fact.'
'By inviting Barack Obama as commencement speaker,Notre Dame is telling the nation that the teaching of the Catholic Church on this fundamental matter can be ignored . Lip service may be paid to the teaching on abortion, but it is no impediment to upward mobility, to the truly vulgar lust to be welcomed into secular society, whether on the part of individuals or institutions.'
Insidecatholic also reports on the Obama invitation speculating that the 'academic freedom' argument may be deployed as justification:
"a Catholic university is where the Church does its thinking, and that thinking, to be beneficial, must come from an intellectually rigorous engagement with the world."
True; however, I would also agree that:
"Whatever educational value there is in the visit of a U.S. president to the campus is trumped by the spectacle of moral support being offered by Notre Dame to Obama's position on abortion. "
"Barring some miracle of divine intervention, the world will soon watch as the preeminent Catholic university in the country lauds the world's leading advocate for killing children in the womb. Under Father Jenkins's leadership, Notre Dame has had an "intellectually rigorous engagement with the world," and the world has won."