Congratulations! The names of the first 300,000 signers to the NotreDameScandal.com petition opposing Notre Dame's honor for President Obama are being delivered today to Father Jenkins and the individual members of the Notre Dame Boards of Fellows and Trustees.
These board members are preparing to meet on Friday in South Bend, and now they will have something more to consider! This meeting is our best hope for Notre Dame's leaders to listen to the nearly 350,000 concerned people like you who have signed the petition and the 50 bishops who have publicly opposed this honor.
We are also rushing copies of your petition to the Vatican, Cardinal George, the Apostolic Nuncio (Pope Benedict's ambassador to the U.S.), Notre Dame's Bishop and the Chair of the U.S. Bishops' Education Committee!
Below you will find the press release regarding the delivery of the petitions.
Please, take a few minutes over the next few days to pray that Our Lady's University will end the scandal and be a witness for Life.
And please keep the pressure on by urging friends and family to sign the petition at NotreDameScandal.com before May 17. About 8,800 people per day have signed the petition – thank you so much for all of your efforts!
Let's keep the pressure on Notre Dame to BE CATHOLIC!
P.S. Our cost for printing and shipping 80 huge binders containing more than 64,000 sheets of paper, across the country and overseas, is more than $13,000. If you can help with a tax-deductible donation, please click here. Thank you.
The Cardinal Newman Society
For Immediate Release
April 29, 2009
First 300,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to Notre Dame Board Members, Fr. Jenkins
Copies Are Being Rushed to Rome, Papal Nuncio, USCCB and ND Bishop John D'Arcy
Manassas, Va. – Today, April 29, 2009, the first 300,000 names of individuals who signed the petition at NotreDameScandal.com— opposing the University of Notre Dame's decision to honor President Barack Obama at commencement — are being delivered to Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows as they prepare for scheduled meetings on Friday, May 1, at Notre Dame.
As of this morning, more than 344,000 people have signed the petition, but because of the overwhelming numbers it took The Cardinal Newman Society more than 24 hours to prepare the data and print more than 64,000 sheets of paper, double sided, which were then bound in notebooks and sent via FedEx to Father Jenkins and individual members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows.
Copies of the petitions are also being rushed by The Cardinal Newman Society, which sponsored the petition, to Archbishop Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education; Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the United States; Francis Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop John D'Arcy, of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who presides over Notre Dame; and Bishop Robert McManus, Chairman of the USCCB Education Committee.
"Only the Notre Dame Trustees and Fellows have direct authority over Father Jenkins, so their meetings on Friday are our best hope for an end to this scandal," said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.
"It is critical for all of us to pray that the Trustees and Fellows charged with safeguarding Notre Dame's Catholic identity will heed the 50 bishops and hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics urging Notre Dame to withdraw its invitation to President Obama."
The University of Notre Dame is governed by a 12-member Board of Fellows, including six Holy Cross priests, who are charged with ensuring "that the University maintains its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning." The Fellows delegate most of their governing authority to the 38-member Board of Trustees, comprised mostly of lay people.
The university's charter states: "The essential character of the University as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained, it being the stated intention and desire of the present Fellows of the University that the University shall retain in perpetuity its identity as such an institution."