Joe Biden was originally set to address Notre Dame for its 2021 commencement ceremony but bailed at the last minute after thousands of Notre Dame students, alumni, and other members of the community petitioned against the former vice president’s presence at the ceremony.
According to the Daily Wire:
President Joe Biden on Sunday will break a 20-year tradition of a president or vice president delivering a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame during the first year of a new presidency.
Sources at the White House claimed the school had invited Biden to speak, but said the nation’s second Roman Catholic president is unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict, according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA). Jimmy Dunne, who is a finance executive and trustee of the university, will address the graduates instead.
Former President George W. Bush delivered a commencement address at the school in 2001, followed by former President Barack Obama in 2009 and former Vice President Mike Pence in 2017.
Citing the injunction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which said, “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,” the petition said in part:
Biden is such a person writ large. 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, an action that alienated countless Catholics and brought upon Notre Dame the harsh criticism of 83 cardinals, archbishops and bishops.
Currently, Biden and other “Catholic” leaders will learn their fate when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops convenes to determine whether pro-abortion politicians will be allowed Holy Communion, as they are not in good standing with the Catholic Church, per canon law.