The cardinal told a conference on bishops that "Notre Dame does not understand what it means to be Catholic."
The comments have fueled a controversy over whether the Catholic university should have invited the president to speak, considering his views on stem cell research and abortion.
On Friday, George explained that the comments were made as an answer to a question at a conference on human life last weekend, not for the wide public dissemination they have received.
"The Bishops don't control the University of Notre Dame ... but what one Catholic does affects all of us," George said. "I have great respect for Mr. Obama and espcially for his office and he knows that."
George said that he and Obama agree on many issues, but that doesn't include abortion or stesearch. The cardinal reiterated his point: "It is a crime to kill a human being."
Speaking as the father of a Notre Dame alum and as a Roman Catholic who happens to be pro-choice, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said Friday he has no problem with the university’s decision to make President Obama its commencement speaker, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.