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                                                Pres. Obama's Going to Notre Dame                        

      It would've been better had they not invited the President to speak at Notre Dame. Abortion is too high profile of an issue to glide over in the context of what's happened in our culture.

      His record on abortion is seriously at odds with the Church's position. As a state legislator he voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act meant to protect babies surviving late-term abortion. Leaving a baby to die without medical attention, is heartless and cruel.

      We must stand against this callousness and abortion itself with all our strength. There's hate crimes legislation making its way through Congress. If enacted, don't be surprised if it's used to criminalize those who voice their disapproval of abortion.

      The President may seize the moment at Notre Dame and speak on the subject of abortion. The university has provided him with a platform, against the backdrop of the Church. Quoting a news report: "Cardinal George told a recent gathering of Catholic priests that Obama says he is not pro-abortion and will eventually work to reduce abortions." But the report goes on to say," For most pro-life advocates, Obama's extensive pro-abortion record of executive orders and key political appointments proves otherwise." If he does take the opportunity to speak on the issue, what will he say? Will he try to reduce his opposition?

      But the issue Notre Dame isn't just a matter of speaking, it's also a matter of honoring him as well. We should ask by what standard is the President being honored, by this institution of the Church? For some in the pews, abortion may not be big issue, but they'd be wrong: it's a mountain of an issue. Where some are in their minds does raise a question. I'm remembering the report that an estimated 54% of Catholics voted for him.

      The university's motto is "Vita, Dulcedo, Spes," and Vita is Latin for life. While the words are applicable to the Blessed Virgin, hers is human life and had a beginning like ours, the only difference being she was immaculately conceived, free of original sin, and we were not.

      The steward of the university, Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., said in his inaugural address, that they should rise to build a great Catholic university for this century "...whose intellectual and religious traditions converge to make it a healing, unifying, enlightening force for a world deeply in need." But what sort of message is being broadcast by this invitation to President Obama? Has it been healing or unifying? If it clouds the proper perspective on the issue, will it be enlightening? In a world beset with the culture of death, does the university position itself with a sense of clarity against the slaughter of the innocents? As for the greatness that they wish to be known for...wherein is the greatness and excellence of its action in this matter?

     This university setting is named for Our Lady whose Son was our embryonic Savior and the fetal Son of God. His unborn life is a statement to the rest of us: His humanity existed at conception. Some would have you believe that conception begins at implantation, which simply is not true. It does not begin then nor at any later time. Those who espouse abortion, tread upon the way Christ came into the world.

      When the President signed the executive order to let taxpayer funds go overseas to groups performing or promoting abortions, it's been reported that he said, "I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate on abortion. The Commandment against killing, is not stale but applies continually afresh to mankind. Fruitless? If fruitless, then who's the cause of that? Then, too, abortion itself brings about a fruitlessness -- a fruitless womb -- against the laws of Nature and Nature's God.

      Regarding acting to fund pro-abortion groups, if a man pays for an abortion, he's also bears a responsibility for the destruction of that little innocent life.

      I've heard about the idea of "reduction of abortions." Lest any people feel comfortable about that, the matter shouldn't be about not killing as many, but not killing any! Could anyone approve and be content with the idea of killing fewer Jews in the holocaust, when none should have been killed to begin with? Or making slaves of fewer Blacks?

      This is the man Notre Dame will honor: one who officially decided to fund those who would promote or deprive the innocent unborn of life. He not only doesn't stand in the way of it; he's helped make way for it.

                                                                 John Riedell

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