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President Barack Obama is hooded as he receives an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Laws during commencement ceremonies at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday, May 17, 2009. At left is University Registrar Harold Pace and on the right is Chairman of the Board of Trustrees Richard C. Notebaert. (AP)
President Barack Obama is hooded as he receives an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Laws during commencement ceremonies at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday, May 17, 2009. At left is University Registrar Harold Pace and on the right is Chairman of the Board of Trustrees Richard C. Notebaert. (AP)

For weeks there was fury over Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to address its 2009 graduation, and to give the famously pro-choice president an honorary degree.
One bishop called that “truly obscene.” Scores formally objected.
Yesterday, before the gathered thousands of graduates and family in South Bend, the president sought to calm the waters on abortion. Some heckled with shouts of “baby killer.” More cheered with Obama’s cry of “Yes, we can.” The president called for open hearts, open minds.
This hour, On Point: Catholics, abortion, and Obama at Notre Dame.
You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Joining us from South Bend, Indiana, is Scott Appleby, professor of history and director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He attended the commencement ceremony yesterday. 
Read the transcript of President Obama's speech at Notre Dame.

From Washington we're joined by E.J. Dionne, columnist at The Washington Post and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His latest book is "Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right."  In his Post column today, Dionne calls President Obama's Notre Dame address "both the most radical and the most conservative speech of his presidency."

Also from Washington, we're joined by Helen Alvare, professor of law at George Mason University and nationally-recognized speaker on pro-life issues. She is a member of Pope Benedict XVI's Pontifical Council for the Laity, former attorney for the National Council of Catholic Bishops, and a senior fellow at the Culture of Life Foundation.

This program aired on May 18, 2009.

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