By Kathleen Gilbert

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, March 26, 2009 ( – Fr. Tom Euteneuer, President of Human Life International and University of Notre Dame alumnus, has condemned Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama to give the commencement address and receive an honorary law degree May 17.

“It appears that President Obama will soon receive a great honor from an institution that used to represent the best in Catholic scholarship and culture,” said Fr. Euteneuer. 

He continued: “The nation’s president who has done more damage in 60 days to the cause of life than President Clinton did in 8 years, the president who threatens to remove even the freedom of conscience from medical practitioners who have moral objections to collaborating in the destruction of human life … the list of his crimes against the laws of God and nature is, only two months into his term, already too long to include here.”

Euteneuer called the invite “yet one more insult to Notre Dame alumni like myself, to all Catholic faithful, and to anyone who respects human life; all from the leaders of the university which used to be dedicated to upholding the Truths of both Faith and Reason.

“I’d like to join the chorus asking for Obama to be disinvited, but we know from experience and from familiar-sounding recent statements by Father Jenkins that Notre Dame’s leadership is deaf to any voices of dissent, unless those voices are dissenting from the Church.”

Euteneuer said it was “heartening to see the groundswell of opposition to Notre Dame’s latest mockery of its charter.”

“Alumni everywhere are reminding us of the courage and clear thinking that our alma mater once stood for,” he added.

“Our Lady would hardly be impressed by the ‘prestige’ this event will bring to the school named in her honor,” Euteneuer concluded.  “Nor should we.”

A fast-moving petition launched by the Cardinal Newman Society against the invite has topped 170,000 signatures within six days (

See related coverage which contains contact information:

Bishop Olmsted: ND’s Obama Honor “Public Act of Disobedience to U.S. Bishops”

Notre Dame’s Bishop Will Not Attend Obama-Honoring Graduation, Criticizes University’s Decision

Notre Dame Faces Groundswell of Outrage after Announcing Plan to Honor Obama

Notre Dame President: School “Honored” by Obama’s Acceptance to Speak and Receive Honorary Degree

Catholic Notre Dame University to Give Obama Honorary Degree on May 17, Against USCCB Policy