I'm not an Obama supporter, but I have no problem with his speaking at Notre Dame. He is the president [Inviting Obama to Speak at Notre Dame Exposes New Catholic Church Rift, usnews.com]! Perhaps the bishops did not note that the Pope gave an audience recently to [Speaker of the House] Nancy Pelosi, Obama's Catholic partner. My bishop wants me to send postcards to the Congress about abortion, but he is not criticizing Catholic politicians who support abortion. The Pope and bishops need to determine how Catholics should react to Catholics and others who do not support Catholic doctrine, and then they need to take the lead, demonstrating how we should act. Until then, each person will have to do what [he or she] thinks best.
Comment by Thad J. of VA
Why can't we just grow up and disown the fallacy of a fixed church? The [Catholic] church moves, it evolves, it changes, perhaps slowly, but it always has. Most of the so-called traditionalists are aching not for a true "traditional" faith, but the church as it existed in the late 19th to mid-20th century. There is nothing fundamentally true about that. What starts as dissent ends in doctrine. I am not trying to say that the church is wrong about abortion. I don't believe it is. It is wrong about pretending that it can cover its ears and its eyes and in a complex, pluralistic society such as the United States and abortion, embryonic research, etc. will go away. Obama is the president; let's hear what he has to say. At the very least this invitation will essentially require him to address the issue of abortion in America and present whatever new ideas he has about this matter. I look forward to putting him on the spot at Notre Dame. I think the results will surprise everybody, and as for Bill Donohue, dear lord, by all means he needs to put a papal sock in it. I don't understand why the media gifts him with so much authority.
Comment by Kevin of IL
Why is [Catholic League President] Bill Donohue so often interviewed when it comes to Catholic issues? He is an extremist, loud-mouthed bulldog who fits better with the Fox network. He can always be counted on for a good rant, but hardly a reasoned, responsible commentary. As for Obama, of course he should speak at Notre Dame and anywhere else. If the Catholic Church disagrees with him on abortion and embryonic research, it also embraces his views on war, torture, poverty, the economy, and a host of other key issues. The bishops, particularly Cardinal George, are a sad embarrassment. Why not engage this man [President Obama] in dialogue? He is a committed Christian and open-minded intellectual who welcomes debate. Rick Warren is as pro-life as any bishop, but unlike them he has a place at the table with the president. The protest against Obama's presence at Notre Dame is fueled by a vocal, partisan minority within the Catholic Church that identifies Catholic social teaching with one issue and has pinned its hopes more on the Republican Party than the Gospel. Bill Donahue is one of their loudest and most entertaining representatives.
Comment by Lorenzo of NY
I don't think Catholics oppose President Obama's speaking at Notre Dame. The real issue is honoring him. Most Catholics voted for President Obama because he promised better leadership and governance. Instead, President Obama apparently had an agenda against the Catholics because in spite of all other major priorities before him like fixing the economy etc., the first thing he does within the first two days and within two months of his presidency is attack Catholics on three major issues of concern to them: not only revoking but enhancing federal funding for parenthood to foreign countries (at a time when America's economy is bad), granting federal funding for stem cell research, and now a bill attacking Catholic institutions and professionals who refuse to perform abortion. These are defiant moves and not something done for goodwill of a community. President Obama has betrayed the Catholics and their vote of trust in him.
Comment by Estelle of IL
Donohue's views are so twisted and he can never back them up. Notre Dame is lucky to have Obama as a speaker and I will be interested to hear his speech. I only hope that every bishop listens to him as they can learn a lot. The bishops and cardinals have lost their influence and rightfully so.
Comment by Mark Gauer of CA
If 97 percent of the Notre Dame students' response to Obama's invitation is positive while the bishops are having a fit about him coming to speak there, I have a question. Why are those students at Notre Dame? Why are they following their parents into the Catholic Church? Do they not know who the "leaders" are or what they insist upon? I agree, I think all 97 percent of the student population should leave Notre Dame and let it go bankrupt. I am not being sarcastic.
Comment by Morris of IN