In his letter, which later was released to the public, Fr. Jenkins announced that he would lead the university’s contingent of pro-life supporters in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., next January. He also invited other members of the Notre Dame family to join him at a Mass for Life.
He also announced the formation of a “Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life.”
“My charge to the task force is to consider and recommend to me ways in which the university, informed by Catholic teaching, can support the sanctity of life,” stated Fr. Jenkins.
He added that among the activities the task force may undertake would be to review conscience clause provisions; the most effective ways to support pregnant women, especially the most vulnerable; and the best policies for facilitating adoptions.
“Such initiatives are in addition to the dedication, hard work and leadership shown by so many in the Notre Dame Family, both on the campus and beyond,” he wrote.
Fr. Jenkins sees this moment as an opportunity to heal wounds that resulted from President Obama’s commencement address. While that event was a moment of division, Fr. Jenkins’ announcement is a time for all Catholics to unite.
Notre Dame is a Catholic university. It also ministers to people of all faiths. Dialogue and the exchange of ideas are part of its mission. As Fr. Jenkins acknowledges, the sanctity of life is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission. It’s time to applaud the university and its leaders as they promote the sanctity of life.