Bishop to Skip Obama Event Over Stem Cells, Abortion

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2009 3:46 PM CDT
The mural at the University of Notre Dame affectionately known as "Touchdown Jesus."   (Creative Commons)
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(Newser) – The Roman Catholic bishop whose diocese includes the University of Notre Dame says he will boycott President Obama's May 17 commencement speech at the school because of Obama's support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research. John D'Arcy said today that Obama's recent decision to fund embryonic stem-cell research brought the US government for the first time "into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life."

The bishop is from the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind. Obama has said the policy will ease human suffering. Notre Dame says it doesn't support all of Obama's positions but does not plan to rescind the invitation. Other sitting presidents, including both Bushes, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, also have addressed Notre Dame graduates.