Notre Dame students gather pro-Obama signatures

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After weeks of vocal protests against President Obama's upcoming commencement speech at Notre Dame in May, voices from the other side are speaking out.

A group of Notre Dame students has gathered hundreds of signatures supporting the decision to invite President Obama.

Several student groups, including the Black Cultural Arts Council, launched the petition that will eventually be handed off to university president Father John Jenkins.

Council president Matthew Tipton, a senior from Gary, said the Roman Catholic faithful should focus on more than just abortion.

Junior Tim O'Brien said after signing the petition that he did not vote for Obama, but that it is an honor for the President to speak on campus.

Demonstrations by pro-life groups, like the one led Friday by activist Randall Terry in Washington, D.C., have been staged nationwide since the University's announcement.

The main argument is over whether President Obama, whose views on abortion many say are opposed to that of the Catholic Church, should speak at a Catholic university.

As the debate rolls on, the bishop of the Fort Wayne - South Bend Diocese has asked Catholics to end the demonstrations.

Bishop John D'Arcy says prayer is needed now, and he is urging Catholics to work toward a peaceful graduation ceremony on May 17th.