Will Obama Invitation Cost Notre Dame President His Job?

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer
Speculation is rising that embattled Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins will lose his job over his invitation to pro-abortion president Barack Obama to speak at the school’s commencement ceremonies next month.

According to a report by Zenit News, outraged alumni are now banding together to withhold donations to Notre Dame until Fr. Jenkins is ousted. The new coalition, called “Replace Jenkins” issued a press release which states: “Although we love Notre Dame, our conscience requires that we withhold all financial support from our university until such time as Father Jenkins is replaced as Notre Dame’s president with someone who will be more loyal to the teaching of the Catholic Church.”

The coalition is encouraging other alumni and supporters to withhold general donations to the university, and to favor pro-life groups on campus such as the Center for Ethics and Culture or the Notre Dame Fund to Protect Life.

The statement expressed the group’s intent to “call upon the university’s board of governors and trustees to act by replacing Father Jenkins with someone who will act in the best interest of the university and the Church” and to continue its efforts “as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame.”

While speaking at the 2009 Gospel of Life Convention, Bishop Robert Finn of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, told participants he doesn’t expect Fr. Jenkins to keep his job. 

“I suspect that, since Notre Dame will need a scapegoat for this debacle, and Fr. Jenkins will probably lose his job, at this point perhaps he ought to determine to lose it for doing something right instead of something wrong.”

Bishop Finn, who is one of 42 bishops who have spoken out publicly against the Notre Dame decision, went on to speculate suggest that Jenkins disinvite the President, and instead give the honorary degree to Notre Dame’s Bishop John D’Arcy, “who has supported and tried to guide the University, despite their too frequent waywardness, faithfully for 25 years.”

Bishop D’Arcy was one of the first bishops to speak out against the invitation and, consequently,  has announced that he will not attend the event. 

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