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Notre Dame Prof: Engage Obama In More Than Commencement Invite

Last updated on Tuesday, April 7, 2009

(SOUTH BEND) - Controversy continues over President Barack Obama’s invitation to speak at this year’s University of Notre Dame commencement.

Hundreds of students, alumni and others recently gathered on campus to rally against the speech. They're unhappy because the president's stance on abortion goes against that of the Catholic Church.

Members of the black cultural arts council have organized a petition drive in support of Obama's visit.

A campus ministry sponsored forum on life issues and Catholic teachings examined the tension Notre Dame faces in its identity as a Catholic university in regard to the invitation of President Obama to speak at this year's commencement ceremony.

History professor Scott Appleby attended the forum. He says Catholics should honor Obama for his willingness to engage his opponents. He adds Notre Dame is obligated to respect the individual opinions of others while still working for positive change in the world.

Thus, he says the "university is obligated to make an effort to engage Obama more than just inviting him to commencement."

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