It has been revealed that Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan will deliver the commencement address at Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony on 19 May this year. The Cardinal will also receive an honorary degree on the day.
Considering the controversy that erupted after the same invitation was extended to President Barack Obama in 2009, Cardinal Dolan is a very suitable candidate for the honor.
Four years ago, in 2009, the renowned Catholic University met with much controversy in pro-life circles when Notre Dame offered President Barack Obama the same honor Cardinal Dolan will receive this year. Dolan objected strongly to Obama’s invitation at the time on the grounds that the President is deeply committed to legal abortion beliefs and would be held as a model for those students he would be addressing.
Dolan was recently made Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 and, before that, served as the Archbishop of New York since 2009. He is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and has done much work in this capacity to defend the religious liberty of individuals and institutions from the recent federal contraception mandate which requires employers and schools to offer health insurance plans covering sterilization and contraception.
Notre Dame president, Father John I. Jenkins, has called Cardinal Dolan “a man of great intelligence and personal warmth, and a dedicated shepherd of the Church” the Catholicnewsagency.com reports.
Father Jenkins also said that the university is “grateful” that the cardinal has accepted the invitation to celebrate the student’ gradation and to “provide them with words of wisdom as they set out into the world.”