Entries in Notre Dame (2)


A Wedge Between Romney and Ryan? Notre Dame-BYU Football Game

Win McNamee/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Their families may agree on politics, but when it comes to football, the Romney and Ryan families’ college rivalry will be on display this weekend at the Notre Dame-BYU football game in South Bend, Ind.

Two of Romney’s five sons, Craig and Tagg, who are BYU alumni, and Tobin Ryan, a Notre Dame alum and the older brother of Rep. Paul Ryan, will attend Saturday’s football game together at the University of Notre Dame.

“This is probably maybe the only wedge issue between the Romneys and Ryans is tomorrow’s game,” Tobin Ryan told ABC News in a phone interview as he drove from Chicago to South Bend with his daughter Friday afternoon.

Tobin Ryan, who graduated from Notre Dame from 1987, will give Craig and Tagg’s families a tour of Notre Dame, stopping at the grotto and Basilica and maybe even popping into Tobin”s old dorm Sorin College, where Knute Rockne once lived.

They will then attend an event, which will include some fundraising, with Romney-Ryan supporters from both Notre Dame and BYU at the LaSalle Grill in downtown South Bend, and Tobin Ryan and his 14-year-old daughter will sit with Craig and Tagg’s families at the game Saturday afternoon.

Tobin’s older brother Stan also attended Notre Dame and graduated in 1984, but despite the urging of his brothers to go to Notre Dame and being a Fighting Irish fan, Paul Ryan decided to attend Miami of Ohio.

“We put a lot of pressure on him to come to Notre Dame. That’s for sure, and he just wanted to be his own man, and my mom took him to a number of schools in the Midwest, and he absolutely fell in love with Miami of Ohio,” Tobin Ryan said. "But Notre Dame has a place in his heart.”

Last year, Tobin and Paul Ryan attended the Notre Dame-USC game together with their two sons, and they were supposed to attend a Notre Dame game together this year, but as Tobin Ryan said, “Other things came up and made Paul’s schedule a little busy.”

So instead of watching the Fighting Irish face the BYU Cougars with his brother, the Republican vice presidential nominee, Tobin Ryan will take in the game with two of the Romney sons, who he hopes will be forced to wear a Notre Dame hat if the Irish win on Saturday.

“I’m sure there will be some good side bets and probably that loser will be seen on Twitter wearing the other team’s hat,” Tobin Ryan said. “I hope Tagg Romney will be wearing a Notre Dame hat.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Notre Dame, Catholic Dioceses Sue Obama Over Contraception Mandate

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Forty-three Catholic groups, including the University of Notre Dame and Archdioceses of New York and Washington, have sued the Obama administration over a controversial mandate requiring employers to offer insurance plans that include contraception coverage.

In a coordinated filing of 12 lawsuits in federal courts across the country, the groups argue that the mandate would unconstitutionally force religiously-affiliated institutions, like Catholic schools and hospitals, to indirectly subsidize contraception for female employees in violation of religious beliefs.

President Obama in February attempted to accommodate the groups’ concerns with an administrative compromise he said would ensure no religious organization had to pay for or provide the services directly.  But today’s lawsuits signal that the Catholics groups found the effort insufficient.

“We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it – but there’s still no fix,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said in a statement. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”

Catholic officials said one reason behind the decision to file suit was the need to have clarity ahead of decisions about which health plans to provide employees in the coming year, or whether to offer health insurance at all.

One Catholic college in Ohio -– the Franciscan University of Steubenville -– announced last week that it was discontinuing its health insurance plan because of the contraception mandate.

The lawsuits, which name the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury, are being coordinated by the high-profile law firm Jones Day, church officials said.

The White House declined to comment on the new lawsuits.  But senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod suggested support for the president’s compromise should be “common sense.”

“I think that the administration struck a common sense rule here that doesn’t ask these institutions in any way to sponsor contraceptive services for their employees, many of whom aren’t catholic, but gives the employees a chance to access those services through a third party,” Axelrod told MSNBC. “These institutions don’t have to pay for it, don’t have to sponsor it. And I think most people agree that’s an appropriate compromise.”

In a March ABC News/Washington Post poll, Americans were broadly supportive of the regulation in general – 61 percent in favor, 35 percent opposed – but not if religiously-affiliated employers were forced to comply in violation of its religious beliefs. In that case, support dropped to about an even split, 49-46 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio