Monday, May 18, 2009

'Cafeteria Catholic' president @ ND

This statement speaks of the University of Notre Dame as a place of teaching and research, of scholarship and publication, of service and community. These components flow from three characteristics of Roman Catholicism that image Jesus Christ, his Gospel, and his Spirit. A sacramental vision encounters God in the whole of creation. In and through the visible world in which we live, we come to know and experience the invisible God. In mediation the Catholic vision perceives God not only present in but working through persons, events, and material things. There is an intelligibility and a coherence to all reality, discoverable through spirit, mind, and imagination. God's grace prompts human activity to assist the world in creating justice grounded in love.
"As we all know, a great deal of attention has surrounded President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame. We honor all people of good will who have come to this discussion respectfully and out of deeply held conviction."

Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, president of Notre Dame

Well, almost all people. Of course as the above hug fest began, Fr. Jenkins had his police force at ND arrest a 78 yeard old priest (and former US Air Force colonel), Fr. Norman Weslin. He was carrying a cross and, with friends, saying the Rosary. Ruffians like this need to be stopped.

So sad. The irony of one powerful priest, defying the advice of the US Bishops by choosing prestige over principle and honoring someone who is pro-abortion, having a brother priest handcuffed and arrested -- for the crime of defending the unborn. Being dragged away as he sang "Immaculate Mary". Disgusting... and something I didn't think I'd ever see, at least on a Catholic campus.

In addition to the security threats to Notre Dame posed by septuagenarian pro-life priests (that term didn't used to be an oxymoron), Fr. Jenkins had some nuns rounded up as well. I'm sure someone will find someway to spin this. That somehow Jesus would want His religious being arrested at one of His schools, for defending the Faith. Just like He would have wanted His name covered up last month at a school operated by a Society named after Him.
The topic must have made for an interesting Examen for Fr. Jenkins last night. Some quotes that caught my eye...

...The Church hierarchy has, when it has spoken on the issue, clearly and unambiguously condemned Notre Dame's decision to honor Obama. At last count 70 American bishops, including 4 cardinals, had responded publicly to the Notre Dame situation. All were at least skeptical of Notre Dame's choice, and many denounced the university officials in strong language.

The sight of the president standing at the country's biggest Catholic podium, literally wearing the badge of Catholicism, pontificating on the meaning of dialogue, tells viewers who might not understand the Catholic perspective on the issues that the Church believes that a principled stand on problems like abortion is beyond the realm of dialogue. Fr. Jenkins is responsible for the moral confusion that results from this episode.

Fr. Jenkins's introduction pits those who favor dialogue against those who "demonize" or "condemn" others. This obviously has overtones for the debate over Obama's appearance. Fr. Jenkins intentionally misunderstands the difference between seeking dialogue with those who oppose you and honoring them. Again, no one at Notre Dame would object to a dialogue with the president -- it is just that commencement and an honorary degree do not constitute a dialogue at all.
~ Joseph Lawler, a 2008 alumnus of Notre Dame American Spectator

The Golden Dome of Notre Dame, the long revered symbol of a Catholic university, will be disgraced and dishonored on this coming May 17th, the commencement day of the university. On that day the leaders of the university are giving a platform and honorary degree to an individual who is a relentless advocate of unrestricted abortion: President Obama.
On his fourth day in the White House he approved federal funding to perform private abortions in other countries (the overturning of the Mexico City Policy). He restored to the United Nations Population Fund monies to support abortions, while opposing federal funding for pro-life pregnancy help centers. He authorized funding to conduct human embryonic stem cell research. In the words of Mary Ann Glendon, professor of law at Harvard University who turned down the prestigious Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University, President Obama is “an uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.” May 17th will mark not just a bad decision by university officials, it will mark a day of shame and blemish for the Catholic record and reputation of Notre Dame University. Its relationship to the Catholic hierarchy and to the fundamental principles of the Church has been fractured and will take new leadership to rebuild. Many loyal alumni, students, and faculty will continually pray the rosary in reparation at the Notre Dame Grotto during the graduation. They will give witness of what the real Notre Dame is all about.
What should be a day of joyous celebration for graduates and their families will be a day of shame and dilemma as the university leadership moves away from its rich Catholic tradition. Now must begin the work of bringing new luster to the Golden Dome. Now is the time for recommitment to being once again a great Catholic university.
~ Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, STD, SSL

Obama will reduce abortions, these same folks assure us, by making them free, by repealing all the protective laws that have brought down the deadly toll, by exporting abortion around the world, by filling his administration with abortion-activists, by slashing funding for abstinence education, by unleashing a torrent of money for the abortion traffickers, and by stripping Christian doctors and nurses of their conscience rights not to take part in abortion. George Orwell knew something about such intellectuals in politics. “The man must be an intellectual,” this socialist author of “1984″ wrote, “no one else could be such a fool.”

~ Ken Blackwell is a former vice president of Xavier University in Cincinnati.

It is no wonder that Catholic politicians undertook to support policies in flat contradiction to what they purportedly believed privately. And so it was that on Sunday at Notre Dame faithful Catholics were regarded as dissenters. To such disfavor we have come.

If the Obama invitation has stirred such passionately prayerful reaction from an heroic band of students, from alumni and Catholics across the country, and – mirabile dictu – from more than seventy bishops, it may prove to have been providential, an opportunity for Catholics to recognize that their house is indeed divided.

Anathemas have been called for. Some long to have Notre Dame declared non-Catholic. Perhaps it will come to that, but the awakening of the laity, simple priests, a large number of the bishops, suggests that this is a possible epiphany. The sad fact is that people act contrary to the faith without realizing that that is what they are doing. A heretic chooses the opposite of the faith, but when in the present confusion as to what is in and what is out, heresy is not the appropriate word.

And so, on Sunday, surrounded by priests and all the panoply of Notre Dame, the smiling Caesar, thumb turned down on life, was engulfed in allegedly Catholic applause. Elsewhere on campus, faithful Catholics gathered and sent up prayers of reparation.

~ Ralph McInerny is a writer of philosophy, fiction, and cultural criticism, and a professor at Notre Dame.

So when President Obama goes to Notre Dame this week, we should be sure what is at issue. He goes there for one reason, namely, in this symbolic place, to convince the vast majority of Catholics that his operative definition of “human rights,” not that of the Church, is the correct one. “Rights” mean precisely what the government defines them to mean. The president is the government.

~ Fr. James V. Schall, SJ is a highly respected professor at Georgetown University.

1 comment:

  1. With the news today of the irish catholic child sexual abuse scandal, it reminds of why i always wonder how I can meet so many quality catholic individuals, yet the institutions get so many thing so horribly wrong.