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May 5, 2009

The words are carved in stone above the east doors of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart: "God, Country, Notre Dame." What they mean for the University indicate what is at the heart of the controversy surrounding the 2009 Commencement
- Jenn Metz | The Observer Online (Univ. Notre Dame student newspaper), April 29, 2009
Bring Faith and Reason to Bear on the Moral Issues of our Times
Please Sign the Statement of Support for Notre Dame
Dear Friends,

Main Building - 1890sThank you to the thousands of you who responded to our April email and signed the Catholic Democrats's Statement of Support for the University of Notre Dame and its President, and Catholic Educational Excellence.

In the past month, we have witnessed attacks by the Right growing everyday.  Their acrimony is taking on a circus-like atmosphere.  Billboards admonishing Notre Dame and President Obama are now lining the highways to the university.  One of the leading organizers was arrested on a charge of trespassing after being ordered off the Notre Dame campus.  This week, a single prop plane started flying over the South Bend campus hauling a photo of a fetus.  All of this is sadly a backdrop to what is supposed to be one of the most joyous moments in the lives of the Notre Dame's Graduating Class of 2009, their families, and the Notre Dame community.

However, the extreme protests have come from the mainstream Right as well.  Former Vatican Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon withdrew from her acceptance of an annual Commencement honor, the Laetare Medal.  Among the reasons she gave is that Notre Dame is honoring "a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church's position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice."

While there is no excuse for the attack campaign being levied on Notre Dame, we believe that comments of people such as Ambassador Glendon ignore the facts of the President's positions and policies (see Catholic Democrats's press release).  This is not just the opinion of the Catholic Democrats. According to the Catholic News Service, "The Vatican newspaper [L'Osservatore Romano] said President Barack Obama's first 100 days in office have not confirmed the Catholic Church's worst fears about radical policy changes in ethical areas."

Today, you can provide your support and leadership for Catholic identity by doing a few easy things:

  • Sign the Statement of Support.  We will be sending this to the head of all 245 Catholic colleges in the nation at the conclusion of the campaign.
  • Forward to a Friend  Forward this e-mail to as many friends and family whom you think want to voice their support.
  • Join the Catholic Democrats's Facebook Group.
  • Visit our Notre Dame Support campaign resource page for more ways you can support our campaign as well as some key articles and opinion pieces on the controversy. 
Thank you for your support and for providing leadership in bringing faith and reason to bear on the moral issues of our times.

With warm regards,

Patrick Whelan MD PhD
Kevin Hayes AIA (University of Notre Dame, 1983)
Suzanne Morse
Lisa Schare
Steve Krueger

PS  For those of you on Facebook or Twitter, please post the link to the Statement of Support,  And please contact us if you would like to be part of our grass roots efforts for this campaign in your state.