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Vatican silent on Obama speech

WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- Catholics who have protested Notre Dame University's commencement invitation to President Barack Obama have received no encouragement from the Vatican.

Since Obama was elected, Pope Benedict XVI has generally been conciliatory, welcoming the new president's approach to foreign affairs, Time magazine reported. In late April, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, published a generally favorable assessment of the president's first 100 days.

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"On ethical questions, too -- which from the time of the electoral campaign have been the subject of strong worries by the Catholic bishops -- Obama does not seem to have confirmed the radical innovations that he had discussed," the newspaper said.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that Catholic views on whether the president should speak at Notre Dame mirrored those of all U.S. residents, with 60 percent of Catholics and 56 percent of all respondents saying the university should not take back the invitation. While Catholics who attend mass regularly were more likely to say Obama should not speak, there were still more in that group who said he should.

Details of the survey were not provided.

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