Next month President Obama is scheduled to address graduates of the University of Notre Dame. Since the university’s announcement that the President had accepted its invitation to keynote the commencement, the invitation has been drenched with controversy due to Obama’s positions on abortion (against all protections for women and the unborn) and marriage (supports “equality” for homosexual couples). The life issue in particular has sparked opposition, as more than 334,000 people have signed a petition asking Notre Dame to rescind the invitation.
In an attempt to counter the rising criticism, the university had cited its decision this year to give its highest award, the Laetare Medal, to Harvard Law Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, a former ambassador to the Vatican, author of Abortion and Divorce in Western Law, and an orthodox Catholic. Today [April 27], in a stunning letter to Notre Dame president the Rev. John Jenkins, Glendon communicated her decision to decline the award. The letter, which was released to the magazine First Things, questions how Notre Dame could fly in the face of the 2004 request by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that Catholic universities not bestow awards or platforms on “those who act in defiance” of “fundamental moral principles,” which certainly includes the sanctity of human life. By declining this award in this way, Glendon has shown why she richly deserved it in the first place.
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article was excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.