In a statement issued Monday, the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, said Obama will be honored as an "inspiring leader" at the commencement."Of course, this does not mean we support all of his positions," Jenkins said. "The invitation to President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Yet, we see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement."
But Ralph McInerny, a philosophy professor at Notre Dame for more than 50 years, likened the invitation as a "deliberate thumbing of the collective nose" at the Roman Catholic Church.
"By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic university," McInerny wrote in a column for The Catholic Thing. "It invites an official rebuke. May it come."
Will it come is the real question?