In a strongly worded email to Fr. John Jenkins obtained by CNA, Bishop Olmsted accuses the university’s president of committing “a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States.”
“I am saddened and heavy of heart about your decision to invite President Obama to speak at Notre Dame University and even to receive an honorary degree,” began Bishop Olmsted.
But the prelate went further, charging that Fr. John Jenkins, the university’s president, has committed “a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States” by inviting Obama to the May 17 Commencement.
The grounds for the bishop’s charge are found in a 2004 statement from the U.S. bishops which calls on the Catholic community and Catholic institutions not to “honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
The Bishop of Phoenix also said that Fr. Jenkins could not have invited President Obama out of ignorance. “No one could not know of the public stands and actions of the president on key issues opposed to the most vulnerable human beings,” he said in his email.
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