Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will be the principal commencement speaker at the University of Notre Dame in May and receive an honorary degree.
Dolan is considered a candidate to succeed Pope Benedict XVI. He's the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and one of the best known religious figures in the U.S.
Notre Dame's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, calls Dolan a man of great intelligence, personal warmth and a "dedicated shepherd" of the church.
Dolan has helped lead the challenge to the White House mandate for birth control coverage in health insurance. Jenkins was criticized for inviting President Barack Obama to give the commencement speech in 2009 because his policies on stem cell research and abortion run counter to church teaching.