A price tag will soon be attached to the University of Notre Dame's decision to invite President Barack Obama as the commencement speaker next month.
A group of seven alumni and donors has launched an online effort using Facebook and the Web site, replacejenkins.com, to withhold funding to the university until the school's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, is replaced.
"Although we love Notre Dame, our conscience requires that we withhold all financial support from our University until such time as Father Jenkins is replaced as Notre Dame’s President with someone who will be more loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church," Joe DiFranco, ND Class of 1957 and coalition representative, said in a statement this past week.
Jenkins has repeatedly defended invite, first by saying the invitation was meant to honor Obama's accomplishment and not condone his abortion stances. He later disputed a line found in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' direction "Catholic in Political" – which instructs Catholics institutions not to honor those who go against the Church's moral teachings – only applied to Catholics, not Protestants such as Obama.
Still, DiFranco says, the decision to invite Obama as the commencement speaker and to award him an honorary doctor of laws degree "calls into question Father Jenkins’ judgment and leadership."