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Mary Ann Glendon Says “No” to Notre Dame: Is Anyone in Washington Similarly Capable of Acting On Principle?

RedState readers will recall previous posts regarding the misguided decision by Notre Dame to invite the decidedly anti-life President, Barack Obama, to give the commencement address this year (e.g., here). Today, Mary Ann Glendon – the pro-life Harvard Law School professor and former Ambassador to the Holy See – declined to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, an honor she was to receive at Notre Dame on commencement weekend.

The full story can be found at Catholic World News, but in her letter to Notre Dame, Professor Glendon summarizes her decision thusly:

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Would that anyone in a position of leadership in Washington act on principle as has Mary Ann Glendon. Imagine the possibilities…….

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