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Biden, Boehner to receive 2016 Laetare Medal

| Saturday, March 5, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner will jointly receive the Laetare Medal at Notre Dame’s 2016 Commencement, the University announced in a press release Saturday.

The Laetare Medal is awarded each year to American Catholics “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity,” according to the press release.

University President Fr. John Jenkins commended both men for their dedication to the nation and for their civility. 

“While both have been loyal and committed partisans, they were leaders who put the good of the nation ahead of partisan victory, seeking through respectful dialogue honorable compromise and progress,” Jenkins said in the press release. “Speaker Boehner’s resistance to a simple reductionism made him suspect in his own party; Vice President Biden reminded his fellow Democrats that those in the other party are ‘our opponents, not our enemies.’”

According to the press release, Vice President Biden has served two terms in the Obama administration, and oversaw the $840 billion stimulus package in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and leads the Ready to Work Initiative.

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, former Speaker Boehner served as chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee where he authored several reforms, including the Pension Protection Act and a school choice voucher program for low-income children in Washington, D.C., according to the press release. 

“In recognizing both men, Notre Dame is not endorsing the policy positions of either, but celebrating two lives dedicated to keeping our democratic institutions working for the common good through dialogue focused on the issues and responsible compromise,” Jenkins said in the release. 

Boehner and Biden join the ranks of past Laetare Medal recipients President John F. Kennedy, Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, Martin Sheen and many others.

The University’s 171st Commencement will be held May 15.

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  • NDaniels

    “All human beings are created equal by God and thus deserve to be treated with love, dignity and respect.” – John Boehner

    It is important to note that the fact that all human persons, from the moment of their creation at conception, have been created in The Image and Likeness of God, not as an object of sexual desire/inclination/orientation, but equal in Dignity, while being complementary as a beloved son or daughter, Willed by God, worthy of Redemption, is not a statement of reduction. In fact, we can know through both Faith and reason, that Love does not divide, it multiplies, just as in The Loaves and Fishes.

    • João Pedro Santos

      John Boehner supports the death penalty. I thought the Catholic Church was against it… But you seem to only care about the fact that Biden, unlike Boehner, supports human rights.

  • NDaniels

    It is not Loving or Merciful to desire that we remain in our sin, and not be transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.

  • NDaniels
  • noobama13

    Jenkins Must Go before He Completes His Agenda To Make Notre Dame Completely Liberal. Mar 15, 2016 CNS News: Catholic Bishop: Wrong for Notre Dame to Honor ‘Pro-Choice’ and Pro-Gay Marriage VP Joe Biden. Jenkins’ first step to Liberalism was the invitation of Obama as the commencement speaker and conferring a degree in 2009. Now Jenkins wishes to honor another Liberal Democrat. Biden has traded his soul for political expediency. He has taken pro-abortion legislative positions, put himself forward as a model of a Catholic in public life, and acted consistently to support abortion on demand making him a cooperator in evil in a public manner. As predicted by Christ, who Christians proclaim as their Lord and Savior, CINOs have succumbed to the wiles and desires of the world, have abandoned their God, and no longer believe in the Bible in which they so profoundly profess to believe but in their hearts do not. They do what sinful man wants and not what God wants and should be. Biden may consider himself a Catholic; but the Official Catholic Church does not. Biden should not present himself for Communion at Mass! Sep 24, 2015 CNSNews: 2 Catholic Bishops: Biden Not to Speak at Catholic Schools; Should Not Receive Communion; Risks Cooperating With Evil. But Biden had lost his soul a long time ago when he lied on public TV during the 2012 Election debates and became a member of the amoral, Godless, soulless Liberal Democrats.

    • João Pedro Santos

      Honoring people when they fight for human rights. What an awful thing to do! (irony)