17-April-2009 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Notre Dame Alumni Withholding Donations in Protest

Dearborn, Mich., Apr 17, 2009 (CNA).- A coalition of alumni and financial supporters of the University of Notre Dame have launched an effort to withhold donations until university president Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, is replaced. The coalition claimed Fr. Jenkins’ decision to honor President Barack Obama and “other regrettable decisions over the years” showed his judgment to be questionable.

The coalition has launched a website to urge supporters to withhold contributions to the Notre Dame General Fund until President Jenkins is replaced with someone who is “committed to the authentic identity of Notre Dame, grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Joe DiFranco, ND Class of 1957 and coalition representative, explained the effort in a statement:

“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 teachings of the Catholic Church. His decision to honor President Obama, together with other regrettable decisions over the years, calls into question Father Jenkins’ judgment and leadership.”

He described the intiative as “the voice of thousands of Notre Dame supporters who are outraged by the decision to honor President Obama, and have no other recourse other than to stop donating.”

“Alumni and supporters of Notre Dame who for years have proudly donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University deserve better,” continued DiFranco.

A statement from ReplaceJenkins.com cited President Obama’s order to allow taxpayer funding for “embryo-killing research” whose “reckless nature,” the coalition claimed, “shocked even some ‘progressive’ religious leaders.”

The coalition also objected to President Obama’s rescindment of the Mexico City Policy, his funding for the United Nations Population Fund, and his administration’s proposal to rescind conscience protection rules for medical professionals.

ReplaceJenkins.com asked alumni and supporters to support campus pro-life organizations such as the Center for Ethics and Culture or the Notre Dame Fund to Protect Life.

“Donations to these University-sanctioned groups through the University will benefit the pro-life cause at Notre Dame, but will not go into the General Fund,” its statement explained.

“We will continue our efforts as long as it is necessary to bring about positive change at Notre Dame that will honor ‘Our Lady’s’ University,” the group said.

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