'Devout Catholic' Biden to Skip Notre Dame Commencement Amid Abortion Policies Uproar
4,300 'members of the Notre Dame community' signed a petition
Democrat Joe Biden, a self-proclaimed "devout Catholic," will skip the University of Notre Dame's 2021 commencement after backlash for this abortion policy.
Biden will not address the ceremony after 4,300 "members of the Notre Dame community" signed a petition demanding Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins not to invite Biden over his stance on abortion.
But the White House told Catholic News Agency that Biden was invited but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.
The finance executive and trustee of the university, Jimmy Dunne, will address the graduates instead.
For the past three presidencies, either the president or vice president has attended the Notre Dame commencement in their first year in office.
President George W. Bush gave the commencement address in 2001
Obama gave the address in 2009
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the ceremony in 2017
Obam's attendance drew backlash for reasons similar to Bidens'.
The petition demanded that Biden should neither speak at commencement nor be given an honorary degree.
It added that signers were "dismayed by the pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty agenda of President Joe Biden."
"He rejects Church teachings on abortion, marriage, sex, and gender and is hostile to religious liberty."
"He embraces the most pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty public policy program in history."
"The case against honoring him is immeasurably stronger than it was against honoring President Obama," it continued.
The petition said Biden had a goal of "providing direct federal funding to abortions."
A university spokesperson told CNA:
"While Notre Dame has had more presidents serve as commencement speakers than any university other than the military academies, we have not always hosted a president in his first year in office – or at all."
The news comes just weeks after Biden’s National Day of Prayer proclamation bypassed any mention of God and instead pushed "climate change" and "racial injustice."