Alumni Campaign to Withhold Funds from Notre Dame

Coalition Calls for Removal of University President

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DEARBORN, Michigan, APRIL 20, 2009 ( A new Notre Dame alumni coalition is gathering support in an effort to withhold donations until the university’s president, Father John Jenkins, is replaced.

The campaign is part of a protest launched in response to the university’s decision to honor the U.S. President at this year’s commencement ceremony.

The coalition, called “Replace Jenkins,” states on their Web site: “We feel strongly that the university should not honor President Barack Obama given his well known commitment to abortion in the broadest possible context.

“Father Jenkins’ decision to honor President Obama directly violates the 2004 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ directive on Catholics in Political Life and is offensive to all Catholics.”

The statement continues, “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 teaching of the Catholic Church.”

In a press release publicized Thursday, the coalition encouraged other alumni and supporters to withhold general donations to the university, and to favor pro-life groups on campus such as the Center for Ethics and Culture or the Notre Dame Fund to Protect Life.

The statement expressed the group’s intent to “call upon the university’s board of governors and trustees to act by replacing Father Jenkins with someone who will act in the best interest of the university and the Church” and to continue its efforts “as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame.”

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