Pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Biden turns down Notre Dame commencement speech invitation
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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-abortion “Catholic” Joe Biden broke with 21st century U.S. presidential tradition by declining an invitation to deliver this year’s commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame.
During recent administrations, the newly elected president or vice president has addressed the school’s graduating class. Notre Dame announced that a school trustee, Jimmy Dunne, will instead speak at the May 23 event.
The Biden White House told Catholic News Agency (CNA) that the President could not attend due to a scheduling conflict.
The university dodged a hot controversy. While Biden maintains that he is a faithful Catholic, his actions increasingly tell a different story, attracting criticism from many corners of the Catholic Church, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Biden has fought for passage of the so-called Equality Act, which would diminish religious liberty across the United States, has rolled back Trump-era guidance regarding transgender military service, has aggressively promoted social acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism for grade school children, and has established a new White House Gender Policy Council to promote abortion and gender ideology throughout all government agencies.
“Less than 48 hours after Mr. Biden took the presidential oath of office, the White House issued a statement celebrating the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that summarily mandated today’s American abortion license – one of the most radical in the world,” noted Catholic author George Weigel in an essay that appeared in Catholic World Report in February.
“Our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender,” wrote USCCB President Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. “Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”
“The fact that President Biden identifies himself as a devout Catholic, while working to preserve and expand legalized abortion, even using tax dollars to fund abortion, presents a unique challenge to the Bishops of the United States,” according to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, USCCB Pro-Life Committee Chairman. “The President’s actions are confusing Catholics and non-Catholics regarding the Church’s teaching on the evil of abortion.”
A letter addressed to Notre Dame president Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. earlier this year, which was signed by more than 4,300 “members of the Notre Dame community” and “others dismayed by the pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty agenda of President Joe Biden,” urged Jenkins to reconsider inviting Biden to speak at the 2021 commencement.
The Catholic president “rejects Church teachings on abortion, marriage, sex and gender and is hostile to religious liberty. He embraces the most pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty public policy program in history. The case against honoring him is immeasurably stronger than it was against honoring President Obama, an action that alienated countless Catholics and brought upon Notre Dame the harsh criticism of 83 cardinals, archbishops and bishops.”
“Biden’s actions already taken and those promised will result in the killing of countless innocent unborn both here and abroad through federal funding of abortions and abortion organizations,” continued the letter. “This is not hyperbole.”
“By honoring Biden, Notre Dame would make a bad situation worse,” asserted the 4,300 signatories. “The University would be seen as little troubled by Biden’s actions, the voice of a more ‘progressive’ Catholic Church. Catholics – including especially Catholic politicians — and others who share Biden’s views would be confirmed in their ruinous error while others would be newly led astray.”
Despite Biden’s policy actions in direct defiance of Catholic teaching, on the occasion of his January 20 presidential inauguration, Father Jenkins officially congratulated Biden for being “only the second Catholic in American history to assume the presidency.”
At the school’s 2016 commencement, Biden was awarded Notre Dame’s highest honor, the Laetare Medal. When that action met with swift backlash from orthodox Catholics, Jenkins inferred his critics were antagonistic, demeaning, and uncompromising, including his own local bishop in Fort Wayne-South Bend.