Prof. Charles Rice, professor emeritus of ND law school in an article in the ND/SMC Observer newspaper has called for a peaceful response to the President’s visit to campus during commencement:
Apart from the “life” issues, our leaders were reckless to commit Notre Dame to Obama in the face of mounting and well-grounded opposition to other Obama policies, including his fiscal deficits and such a stunning expansion of executive power and of federal control over private entities and states that it amounts to a constitutional coup. Unmentioned in the background are the pending lawsuits – not yet decided on the merits by the Supreme Court – that raise serious questions as to Obama’s eligibility for the office.
Our leaders act in what they think is the best interest of Notre Dame. But that is no excuse. The invitation should be withdrawn. It implies no personal animosity to suggest that Fr. Jenkins and the other Fellows and Trustees responsible for this fiasco should resign or be removed.
What would be a proper response? On-site demonstrations would be counterproductive. You can petition or write to our leaders. But the appeal should be made instead to a higher authority. An alumnus has suggested that students, faculty, staff and friends of Notre Dame ought to – and we will – pray a continuous Rosary of reparation at the Grotto during the time of Commencement, from two to four on Sunday, May 17th. This would not interfere with Commencement which is on the other side of campus. It would not be a demonstration or protest. No signs, marches, or disruption. Just peaceful prayer, in silence or aloud, by individuals and families. If you can’t make it to the Grotto, pray the Rosary during that time wherever you are. Incidentally, Professor Mary Ann Glendon, the Laetare Medal recipient, would make a better use of her time at the Grotto than as a warm-up or wind-up act at Commencement.
Parking is limited, but you can park off campus and walk to the Grotto. There should be no objection by Notre Dame officials to students, faculty, staff and friends of Notre Dame peacefully going to the Grotto to pray. It makes no difference how many show up. The objective is simply a union of prayer to make reparation and to petition Notre Dame, Our Lady, for Notre Dame, our University.