Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins plans to address his critics in his speech at the hallowed Catholic University today.
A senior Notre Dame figure told IrishCentral.com today that Jenkins will quote previous Popes in his speech to support his decision to invite President Obama to be the commencement speaker.
Jenkins has been under fire from conservative Catholics since he invited Obama to give the commencement speech.
Critics have cited profound disagreement with the president on issues such as abortion and stem cell research.
But there was also profound disagreement with George W. Bush on the death penalty and there was little criticism from the same quarters.
Two of the most strident opponents to Obama are local prelates Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne Indiana, and Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.
Both have been criticized themselves for failing to act to stop the sex scandals which tore through the Catholic Church in the 1990s.
D’Arcy was a close associate of the disgraced Cardinal Law during the Boston sex scandals of the 1990s.
He warned Law about several pedophile priests but did nothing when Law refused to act.
Meanwhile, George covered up for one of his own priests who was charged with sexually abusing two minors.
Fr. Daniel McCormick was allowed to stay in his church even thought George knew that serious allegations had been filed against him. Later George apologized for his actions.