Too often, we talk of the "cult of personality" in negative terms: the pampered athlete who has feet of clay, or the politician or cultural authority who manipluates his or her audience to become slavishly addicted to his or her tastes (usually promoting a particular brand or style).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The University of Notre Dame is sticking with its invitation to President Obama to speak at its May 17 commencement despite criticism from some Roman Catholics that his views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to Catholic teachings.
"I don't foresee a circumstance in which we would rescind the invitation," Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told The Associated Press in an e-mail message Monday.
The Cardinal Newman Society, an advocacy group for greater orthodoxy on Catholic college and university campuses, calls Obama's commencement appearance "an outrage and a scandal." It has set up a Web site seeking donations and signatures for a petition to protest the invitation to the Obama.
The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, issued a statement Monday saying the invitation did not mean the university supports all of Obama's positions.
"The invitation to President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem cell research," Jenkins said.