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SOUTH BEND, Ind., August 3, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – The University of Notre Dame refuses to follow the example of other Catholic universities in revoking an honorary degree awarded to disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick unless sexual accusations levied against him are proven in a Vatican court.  

“While the University finds the alleged actions reprehensible and has no reason to question the review board's findings, it recognizes that McCarrick maintains his innocence and that a final decision in the case will come only after a canonical trial in Rome,” Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins wrote in a statement Thursday.

An influential Notre Dame alumni group is now calling for the honorary degree awarded to McCarrick a decade ago to be withdrawn. 

Sycamore Trust president, Bill Dempsey, called on Notre Dame president, Father John Jenkins, and the Fellows of the University to promptly revoke the honorary degree it awarded Archbishop McCarrick.

Dear Father Jenkins,

On behalf of the officers and trustees of Sycamore Trust, I write to urge the swift revocation of the honorary degree Notre Dame awarded Archbishop Theodore McCarrick in 2008.

There is no time to waste. Other Catholic schools will surely soon follow Fordham University and The Catholic University of America in revoking their honorary degrees. The headline two days ago was “It’s 9 am, Is McCarrick still a Doctor of Laws at ND?”  Notre Dame should be seen as a leader, not a laggard, in this important matter.

Very truly yours,

William Dempsey


cc: Fellows of the University

In recent weeks, the Vatican removed McCarrick from public ministry and the College of Cardinals due to credible reports of decades of predatory sexual behavior toward young seminarians and boys.

The Sycamore Trust letter also suggests that concerned Catholics send individual messages to Father Jenkins.

Contact information: 

Rev. John I. Jenkins
[email protected]


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