Thursday, September 17, 2009

"seek steps to witness to the sanctity of life" @ ND

Just imagine if all the time, money, and energy wasted - yes, wasted - over
President Obama's controversial appearance and commencement speech on Sunday at Notre Dame could be spent on more meaningful endeavors.

Think of it - what will really change after his speech and all the protesters - both in support and against his invitation there - go home for the night? Not much, if anything.

The pro-life supporters will return to their daily orbits, content in their efforts. The pro-choice supporters will return to theirs, feeling the same way. And media personnel will return to their offices to broadcast "the news of the day."

What, really, will be accomplished by all this? Besides higher TV ratings, bold headlines, and a lot of back-slapping, nothing really.

Jerry Davich on May 16

As Johnny Carson used to say... "wrong again Buffalo breath." I'm happy that Fr. Jenkins had a change of heart and will be saying Mass for today's Holy Innocents lost to abortion.

Only someone as naive as the author above, or the sometimes clueless Michael Sean Winters from America Magazine, would think that the protests had nothing to do with the change of heart / attitude at ND. If they didn't then this would be more of a public relations ploy -- and I don't believe a man who dedicated himself to God and the Congregation of the Holy Cross would do that.

Bravo Father Jenkins.

Dear Members of the Notre Dame Family,

Coming out of the vigorous discussions surrounding President Obama’s visit last Spring, I said we would look for ways to engage the Notre Dame community with the issues raised in a prayerful and meaningful way. As our nation continues to struggle with the morality and legality of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and related issues, we must seek steps to witness to the sanctity of life. I write to you today about some initiatives that we are undertaking.
Each year on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life is held in Washington D.C. to call on the nation to defend the right to life. I plan to participate in that march. I invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me and I hope we can gather for a Mass for Life at that event. We will announce details as that date approaches.

On campus, I have recently formed the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life. It will be co-chaired by Professor Margaret Brinig, the Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law and Associate Dean for the Law School, and by Professor John Cavadini, the Chair of the Department of Theology and the McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life. My charge to the Task Force is to consider and recommend to me ways in which the University, informed by Catholic teaching, can support the sanctity of life. Possibilities the Task Force has begun to discuss include fostering serious and specific discussion about a reasonable conscience clause; the most effective ways to support pregnant women, especially the most vulnerable; and the best policies for facilitating adoptions. Such initiatives are in addition to the dedication, hard work and leadership shown by so many in the Notre Dame Family, both on the campus and beyond, and the Task Force may also be able to recommend ways we can support some of this work.

I also call to your attention the heroic and effective work of centers that provide care and support for women with unintended pregnancies. The Women’s Care Center, the nation’s largest Catholic-based pregnancy resource center, on whose Foundation Board I serve, is run by a Notre Dame graduate, Ann Murphy Manion (’77). The center has proven successful in offering professional, non-judgmental concern to women with unintended pregnancies, helping those women through their pregnancy and supporting them after the birth of their child. The Women’s Care Center and similar centers in other cities deserve the support of Notre Dame clubs and individuals.

Our Commencement last Spring generated passionate discussion and also caused some divisions in the Notre Dame community. Regardless of what you think about that event, I hope that we can overcome divisions to foster constructive dialogue and work together for a cause that is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission. We will keep you informed of our work, and we ask for your support, assistance and prayers. May Our Lady, Notre Dame, watch over our efforts.

In Notre Dame,

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

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