Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Dear President Jenkins:
I wish to express in my own name and on behalf of the Catholic community of this Diocese, my dismay and outrage at your decision to invite the current President of the United States to address the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame and to receive an honorary degree.
This decision of yours flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, that Catholic institutions not so honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.” Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, I would point out that it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.
I sign myself
Very truly yours,
The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
Bishop of Rockford
In the midst of all this furor, it is important to recall that none of this would have taken place but for the misbegotten decision of Jenkins and the powers that be at Notre Dame to honor our pro-abort President. They could end it tomorrow by rescinding the invitation. They will not because being in sync with the academic zeitgeist is much more important to them than the teaching of the Church that abortion is an abomination. I am glad that so many bishops in this country are finally, finally engaging in some straight talk in the face of this latest attempt to ignore clear Catholic teaching at a university dedicated to the Mother of God.