A decision by the University of Notre Dame to honor Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) as an outstanding Catholic has drawn protests from two Roman Catholic cardinals who object to the senator’s position on abortion, spokesmen said Friday.
Notre Dame spokesman Dennis K. Moore said the school, in South Bend, Ind., had received letters from New York Cardinal John J. O’Connor and Boston Cardinal Bernard F. Law.
Moore declined to release the letters or discuss their contents except to say they expressed the cardinals’ dismay with the selection of Moynihan to receive the university’s Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.
Moynihan supports abortion rights. The church condemns abortion.
Moore said the church leaders’ letters would not change the university’s decision.
“We will present the medal to Sen. Moynihan at commencement,” he said.
The medal is given annually to a Roman Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity,” the school said in a news release.