Notre Dame to Name New Laetare Recipient

«Disappointed» That Glendon Declined Award

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SOUTH BEND, Indiana, APRIL 28, 2009 ( Father John Jenkins, Notre Dame president, expressed disappointment over Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline the university’s Laetare Medal award.

A statement released Monday by the priest responded to a letter sent to him the same day by the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

Glendon was chosen to receive the award and give an acceptance speech at this year’s commencement ceremony. However, she expressed in her letter that she decided to decline as part of the widespread protest of the university’s decision to honor President Barack Obama at that same ceremony.

She wrote that this decision was «in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions ‘should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles’ and that such persons ‘should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.'»

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

Father Jenkins responded: «We are, of course, disappointed that Professor Glendon has made this decision. It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make that announcement as soon as possible.»

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