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Rhoades responds to life statement

Observer Staff Report | Monday, April 19, 2010

Bishop Kevin Rhoades praised Notre Dame for taking steps toward the “renewal of a culture of life,” in response to the University’s recent institutional statement that affirms its defense of human life.

“I am grateful to [University President Fr. John Jenkins] and to the Notre Dame Task Force on Life for the efforts they are making to serve the Gospel of Life,” Rhoades said in an Apr. 18 issue of Today’s Catholic, the weekly newspaper serving the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

“I pray that their work will bear much good fruit,” he said.

The University’s statement stemmed from a recommendation by the University’s pro-life task force, which was created by Jenkins in September.

The statement said the University upholds the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, and also clarified its position on charitable gifts in the principles on charitable activity.

“Our Catholic universities are in a unique position to promote the renewal of a culture of life in our society,” Rhoades said. “Being actively pro-life in teaching and research, pastoral ministry and service, Catholic universities indeed contribute to the renewal of our society and to the promotion of the common good.”

Rhoades also said Notre Dame’s statement falls in line with Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, “The Gospel of Life.”

“[Pope John Paul II] called for ‘the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves’ and wrote of the specific contribution that Catholic universities should make in building a new ‘culture of life,’ Rhoades said. “I believe that the efforts that the University of Notre Dame is making in this regard are important for the Church and for society.”