April 16, 2009 | Surprising word today that President Barack Obama‘s White House asked Georgetown University to cover all religious symbols at the scene of the president’s economic speech at the Roman Catholic institution Wednesday.
And the prestigious Jesuit university agreed.
The decision, unnoticed at the time, seems likely to add further fuel to the ongoing controversy over Obama’s upcoming graduation speech at the University of Notre Dame, where the Jesuit Indiana campus is plastered with numerous religious symbols.
This includes a mosaic of Jesus Christ covering the entire 14-story southern wall of the Hesburgh Library next door to the speech site in the Joyce Center, primarily used for athletic-related events such as basketball, hockey and raucous pre-game pep rallies. (See photo below.)
An online petition asking Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to Obama has gathered several hundred thousand signatures.
An American cardinal, Texas’ Daniel DiNardo, has also expressed strong displeasure with the Catholic institution so prominently hosting a “public figure who has been candid on his pro-abortion views.”
And the local Indiana bishop says he will boycott the May 17 ceremonies.