Monday, September 01, 2014

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Notre Dame Seniors Have Mixed Feelings on Cardinal Dolan as Commencement Speaker

According to an article in The Observer, graduating seniors at the University of Notre Dame have mixed feelings about New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivering the 2013 Commencement address. While the article profiled three students who were supportive of the address, and three who were not, it gave more space to the students who were disappointed with the selection.

Some are concerned that Cardinal Dolan's address won’t be relevant for students. Said senior Camille Suarez:

I feel like this choice isn’t perfect for this moment. I was hoping Notre Dame would use this opportunity to kind of move the University forward, and I think this might be setting us back a couple steps.

I hope he talks about Catholic Social Teaching because I think that’s one image of the Catholic Church that needs to be promoted. I hope he makes a call to the graduating student body and encourages us to use our [Notre Dame] degrees to promote Catholic Social Teaching and help the poor and suffering.

The article also profiled the reactions of seniors Julia Kohn and Rachel Chisausky, who said they were disappointed and feel the speech will only be relevant for students who “identify as conservative Catholics.”

“… everything I’ve read seems to indicate that he appears to have apolitical agenda rather than just being a religious figure, and I don’t agree with any of the views that his agenda suggests,” said Kohn. “I just don’t know what he’s going to talk about that’s going to be that relevant to my beliefs and opinions.”

Chiasuasky hoped that the speech wouldn’t alienate non-religious students.

“I was disappointed, because I don’t really know much about him but I’m not Catholic or really religious at all,” she said. “I just hope [his speech] is very open and applies to every student in the graduating body and not just to religious people.”

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