Exclusive Interview: Cardinal Rigali Says Notre Dame Defence of Obama Honor “Evades Common Sense”
By Kathleen Gilbert
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, April 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Philadelphia’s Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, weighed in on the Notre Dame scandal in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews.com today. Rigali called the school’s decision to honor President Obama a “most unfortunate” decision that “must not happen again,” and criticized the school’s defense of the decision as one that “evades common sense.”
President Obama is due to give the commencement address and receive an honorary law degree at Notre Dame May 17.
“My reaction is that it is most unfortunate,” said Rigali. “It’s most unfortunate because of the confusion it causes; it’s most unfortunate because of the message that it gives with regard to the importance of human life; it’s most unfortunate in regard to the confusion that it causes also in the ordinary people – the students, the graduates, the families … but above all, it is most unfortunate because the value that is attributed to life through the recognition of an honorary degree in this regard is just not acceptable.”
Asked to give his opinion on the unprecedented backlash from U.S. bishops and thousands of Catholic laity over Notre Dame’s decision, Rigali said he believes that “something very positive is going on in our country along with all the negative things – that there is a greater and evolving understanding of the value of human life in many, many people.”
“The backlash is due to a great extent the reaction of people who through their intuition, through their common sense, they know that this is just not an acceptable way to take a position on something that is so important,” he said.
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