As you know there was great controversy this Sunday when Notre Dame had President Obama, admittedly the most pro-abortion president ever, give it's commencement speech. It also gave him an honorary law degree. The controversy stems from the question on whether a Catholic University should be honoring such a pro-abortion politician. A similar question lies in the decades old controversy of whether or not a Catholic politician can be pro-choice.
Notre Dame President Fr. Jenkins stated that this honor would open the channels of dialogue and cited Pope Benedict on faith and reason. President Obama stated he favored openness and stated that options needed to be found to reduce abortions, promote adoptions and help those who want to carry babies to full term. (to quote Gregg Willits, "Why reduce abortion if there is nothing wrong with it?")
Pro-choice Catholic politician have said that they have to separate their faith from their political stances.
To quote Archbishop Chaput, "Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life." In this statement the bishops stated that honors should not be given to politicians who support the killing of the innocents.
Notre Dame also ignored the pleas of 70 bishops who voiced their concerns over the honor bestowed upon President Obama, include Bishop D'Arcy--the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Catholic politicians cannot separate their faith from their political stances on abortion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the "formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. (CCC 2272)" So by being pro-choice and supporting pro-abortion agendas they are formally cooperating in abortions. A grave offense means that when politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden or Katheryn Sebelius supports abortion they put themselves in a state of mortal sin. When you are in mortal sin you cannot accept communion until you go to confession. Part of confession is promise that to the best of your abilities you will not commit the sin again. So . . . in essence. . . NO--a politician cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.
Catholic institutes such as universities and Catholics themselves (politicians or not) uphold Catholic teaching to fail to do so causes scandal and confuses people about what Catholic teaching is. We ALL must do better.