The Fighting Irish feud over Obama invite

One of the great institutions associated with Irish America, the University of Notre Dame, has found itself at the centre of a political row which exposes the liberal-conservative faultline running through much of the Catholic community in the United States. The University of Notre Dame’s convention of inviting the newly inaugurated President of the USA to speak at commencement ceremonies has been attacked by catholic conservatives, with the Bishop of Fort-Wayne South Bend Diocese (where the university is situated), John M. D’Arcy, stating he will not be attending in protest at President Obama’s stance on abortion and stem cell research. The furore has sparked a number of online petitions, with supporters of the President’s attendance and opponents articulating their cause online and seeking support.