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04-28-2009, 09:49 AM
White House Expects Obama to Wear Traditional Notre Dame Robe That Bears Prayer to Virgin Mary

" The Demon comes to the School of Notra Dame the BVM's House ."

- President Barack Obama is expected to wear the traditional doctoral robe featuring the cross and prayer of the Virgin Mary when he speaks at the University of Notre Dame next month, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told CNSNews.com on Monday.Gibbs spoke on the same day that a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican declined to accept an award from the Catholic university because of the invitation extended to Obama.

Obama’s upcoming commencement speech at Notre Dame has sparked protest among many Catholics because of the president’s support for abortion rights.

“I honestly don’t know what the dress code is for that day. I can assume that the president would wear what one traditionally wears at that commencement,” Gibbs told CNSNews.com during Monday’s White House press briefing.

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told CNSNews.com earlier this month that the university expects Obama to wear the robe. The question was posed after the monogram “IHS,” which symbolizes the name of Jesus, was covered up when Obama spoke at Georgetown University, a Jesuit university. Georgetown officials said the “IHS” was covered at the request of the White House.

On Monday, Mary Ann Glendon, a pro-life Harvard University professor and the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican under the Bush administration, declined to accept the Laetare Medal, an annual award given by Notre Dame to a layperson for outstanding service to the Roman Catholic Church.

In a letter to the Rev. John I. Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, Glendon wrote, “I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree.”Glendon, who would have given a brief acceptance speech upon receiving the Laetare Medal, said that such a platform was not the “right vehicle” to bring up the “very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision” to honor Obama.

In her letter, Glendon described the president as “an uncompromising opponent of the church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.” Glendon, noting that other Catholic schools also are choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, said she was “concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.”