Fr. Hesburgh called Wavering Democrat Catholic Rep. Donnelly before health care vote: Former Notre Dame president said: ‘Vote your conscience.’

On Sunday, it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who reportedly asked Hesburgh to secure Donnelly’s vote for the reform, according to the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. Donnelly earned his bachelor’s and law degrees at Notre Dame while Hesburgh was president of the university. But Hesburgh, 92, did not tell Donnelly how to vote Sunday, said the congressman’s press secretary, Elizabeth Shappell. “Father Ted’s advice was simple: Vote your conscience,” Shappell wrote in an e-mail.