19 April 2009

Let us see...

Notre Dame University, in its determination to have President Obama as its commencement speaker, also expects him to wear the traditional doctoral gown when accepting his honorary doctor of laws. The gown bears a cross and a snippet from the Salve Regina. This would not be an issue, except that just last week President Obama had asked Georgetown University to cover up all signs and symbols of Christ on the stage where he gave his speech. Georgetown complied.

Notre Dame, however, has made it clear it expects the President to don the traditional robe when he receives the degree. The question is: if he didn't want symbols of Christ in the background while he gave his speech, how will he deal with a symbol of Christ worn on his own self?

My guess is that he will wear the gown without fuss, because the symbol and prayer are part of the university's coat of arms. And he is undoubtedly aware of the controversy his invitation to Notre Dame has caused; it would be foolish beyond measure if he were to refuse to wear the gown, or ask that its coat of arms be covered up.

(via William Dempsey)