Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Obama Notre Dame

[Updated as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:01 pm CST, see below]

Bishop D’Arcy pens an article in the dissident Catholic Jesuit-run magazine, America, by rapping the University of Notre Dame in it’s failure in being a witness to the Gospel by honoring the most anti-life president in the history of the United States.

He goes on to single out Father John Jenkins for his failure in leading as a man of faith and to the board of trustees for their deafening silence.

Finally he asks the University of Notre Dame, but also other Catholic universities, whether they will follow the Land O’Lakes Statement, which proclaimed in ambiguous language that it was ‘ok’ to dissent from Catholic teaching, or adhere to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, where Catholic teaching and identity must be a priori.

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32 Responses to Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

  • Should Notre Dame have avoided teaching or even discussing evolution until the Holy Father accepted it as fact? Should any Catholic school not asked Galileo to speak if the Church leaders believed the Earth was the center of the universe?

    Sometimes ignoring those we do not agree with and at times violently opposing them, simply means leaders will have to apologize for the backwards thinking a few decades or centuries later.

    I understand abortion is less cut and dry than evolution or the basic structure of the solar system. Ethical and moral positions may not need objective knowledge in determining their validity, but often morality is seen as a means to ignore the pain of others, a means to stop thought and discourse, a means to vilify the “other.”

    Allowing President Obama to speak did not cause anyone to perform an abortion and keeping him from speaking would not have prevented any abortions.

    There is more to life and to the Life of Christ than one issue, no matter how important it is, and I would have liked to see a similar discussion take place when anyone who supported the death penalty or the war in Iraq or the torture of prisoners came to Notre Dame.

  • MacGregor,

    I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about.

  • I am sure MacGregor does not know what he is talking about. Abortion is more cut and dry, not less, than the other issues he raises.

    But putting that aside, how will ND answer for the O scandal? Will D’Arcy walk the walk? Them’s fine words, but what consequences has ND suffered, other than increased applications from liberal students and professors? Do you seriously expect that, if push comes to shove, that ND’s Catholic creds (to the extent they exist) will be removed by the Bishop?

    Heck, I haven’t even seen one deny communion to a Catholic pro-abort politician, much less yank a Catholic university’s affiliation.

  • Hi Tito and c matt

    I actually do know what I am talking about.

    I am very clear that abortion as an issue is more cut and dry as to its moral consequences than the other issues, however it is less cut and dry when it comes to being able to prove that personhood and the soul enters the body at the moment of conception/fertilization. It will never be possible to PROVE the existence of the soul much less prove that the Bible or Church Teachings are infallibly correct … that is why it is called FAITH.

    Both of you act as if your conservative views of Catholicism are the only ones that matter.

    Asking Obama to speak at ND is no different than asking Bush to speak there. That is the point.
    Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.
    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith. It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    ND should not merely stand for dogma, like a radical Islamic madras, as both of you seem to feel. ND as an institution of learning needs to stand for the free and honest and ethical exchange of ideas so that those who come have all of the opportunity to seek the Truth and live a moral life.

    I believe that abortion is the ending of a human life, but it is not self-evident to everybody that that is true. The Catholic Church can deny communion to anyone that the Bishops want, but the Church and they must do so for the right reasons, not just to make conservatives feel good about themselves or because they have a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    My comments are merely a voice asking those who feel the need to condemn others, to look at ourselves first. More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions, yet I rarely see conservative Catholics protest these as much. They may not be as viscerally abhorrent to you as abortion or as politically significant, but they are just as important. Maybe both of you did protest the war in Iraq – I don’t know. I simply want the discussion of Obama at ND to be fair and reasonable and sometimes a quick post to a blog isn’t enough for that to occur.

    Peace.

  • Actually Capital punishment is not a sin. Sorry, as cmatt and Tito point out, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.

    Errr, no. It isn’t. The Church is very clear in its teachings that abortion is neve permissible under any circumstance, whereas the death penalty is permitted, though under strict applications. This is not the “conservative” Catholic approach – it’s simply the Catholic approach. If you disagree with that, take it up with the Pope.

    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    I am beginning to agree with Tito. Clearly you do not understand what you’re talking about, or what the issues of this debate are. The question has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith.

    You sound like my Junior year high school theology teacher, who was unsurprisingly a Jesuit priest.

    It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    No, actually, you have this reversed, unless you are looking at this from a non-Catholic perspective, which I take it you are.

    a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    Considering that every single statement you have uttered indicates that you have not ever picked up a Catechism, I would refrain from such comments if I were you.

    More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions

    Aside from the fact that your stats are wrong, at least as applied to the US, your comment is just silly. The fact that you think that the war in Iraq is a more pressing moral issue than abortion just confirms the fact that your viewpoint is pretty much worthless.

  • The whole quote on the death penalty from the Catechism. This is probably at a higher level then just pure Sunday school.

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

  • Paul, Phillip, C Matt,

    Thank you for supporting my points with examples.

    MacGregor,

    Paul made it pretty clear.

    The fact that a Catholic university gave an honorary degree to a person that implements policies that are diametrically opposed to the most important of Catholic issues is the scandal.

    Not anything else.

  • Thank you Phillip for the quote from the Catechist. I do understand the doctrine, but I also believe that maximum security prisons are quite able to “effectively defend human lives against the unjust aggressor” and that there are plenty of “non-lethal means to defend and protect people’s safety.”

    Maybe in times of war or civil strife on the battle field it is necessary to execute a guilty aggressor, but

    I agree that the Catechist IS at a higher level than Sunday school, I just think some people who read it are not and that comment was not even directed at anyone on this blog. I did make the observation that this blog seems to be as much about political conservative principles as it is about Catholic theological principles.

    As I do not know anyone in this forum, I wouldn’t presume to attach any of you as uninformed. As for myself, I went to a diocesan elementary school, a Jesuit high school, an Holy Cross university and my home parish was Franciscan. Maybe that makes me mixed up a bit, especially when it comes to donating to alumni associations, but I think it was a great education. The diocesans taught me how to respect authority, the Jesuits taught me how to think, the Holy Cross taught me how to be a college football fan and the Franciscans taught me how to love.

    I don’t have the time or the space to explain each of my points fully, and I acknowledge that I may have been a bit chavalier comparing abortion and the death penalty, but I have had a good deal of time discussing these issues with Catholic theologians, and I do believe that life is a little more complex than a few paragraphs in the Catechism. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit to continue to guide the Church.

    Regarding the extremely limited allowance for death penalty, this is largely an acknowledgment of the position of self-defense and the defense of others who are innocent. I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year would never be released and executing them is not an act of self-defense. It is an act of revenge or “justice” or some other emotion that is not clearly self-defense. No one on death row to my knowledge has ever escaped unless they were exonerated and I’m pretty sure most people in the judicial system would admit that more than a few innocent people have been executed in the last 100 years. So here simply quoting the Catechism may be a good sophist’s argument, but it isn’t particularly practical for most cases.

    As for the immorality of “any and all abortions,” I don’t have the time right now to describe my thoughts on the historical context, historical writings by Church Fathers (Didache, etc.). The supposed moral clarity of a few lines of text in old writings were never sufficient defense for the stagnant, overly conservative, “whitened sepulcher” Pharisees when Christ came to articulate the new commandments of Love so I hope that the same is true for you. Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Again not enough time to go over this and I do appreciate and agree with most of Donald DeMarco’s writings concerning this in http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3362&CFID=14144486&CFTOKEN=20473498

    However he and many here act as if any question of interpretation or any critical thinking that may find contradictory propositions in Catholic teaching as being “liberal” and “anti-Catholic” is absurd. My issue in this thread is not with the details of the abortion debate, it is with the peculiar atmosphere of the debate as to whether President Obama deserved to be honored. And that atmosphere is one of being partisan and political and exists within the context of a vehement conservative backlash that goes beyond theology.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this? Is euthanasia and unjust war suddenly numbers 2 and 3? Are only conservative issues of life the ones that Catholics should be concerned with?

    Let’s not fool ourselves, George Bush was not protested by many of the same people who protested Obama because they only care about their social/political biases, not by theological arguments.

    No person or president is defined by one issue, no matter how important that issue is or no matter how important it is for you.

    When I was in my parishes boys choir, we went to the state capitol to sing for a pro-life rally. It was a deeply respectful and moving moment and even though I know a good deal more about life and morality now than when I was 12, I still remember it as a spiritual event. I did not see that in the fearful, ignorant, arrogant and angry faces that I saw on some at ND, nor on those at tax teaparties or at some of the latest health care town halls.

    I didn’t challenge anyone’s morality or question anyone’s education or honesty in this forum in my post. I wish you would do the same.

    If it is true, paul, that the ONLY question “has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.” Then I accept you opinion and I sympathize with your statement. However you and the protesters have proven that that is not the only question, and that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

  • I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year

    Texas executed 18 people last year, 16 people so far this year, and they are by far the leading state. Let’s at least start with facts, okay.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/number-executions-state-and-region-1976

    Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this?

    Actually, yes.
    http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0917/difference.htm

    In his letter, Cardinal Ratzinger also wrote that “Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia…. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging war or applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

    Again, since you have repeatedly shown a complete lack of knowledge about basic Catholic teaching, you ought to quit making this ridiculous assertion.

  • If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    Perhaps MacGregor has this in mind:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HT38B2/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1400046416&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1Q9W3T79BK6BRZZ4283P

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed. If you dissent, you show a “complete lack of knowledge”.

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed.

    To my knowledge, more of our writers here oppose capital punishment than support it, and even among those of us who think there on occasions when it is called for (a claim that the catechism supports — though it questions whether they exist in modern first world nations) that support is generally fairly quiet. What people are pointing out here is simply what the Church teaching, indeed what the pope himself has written: that the justice of a given war or issues such as capital punishment are prudential while the evils of abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage and cannot legitimately be questioned by any Catholic.

    That this does not align with your personal preferences is unfortunate, but it’s not “our version” of Catholicism but Catholicism itself that you have a problem with if you find this unacceptable.

    We are all called to accept correction and guidance by Christ’s church on earth — and this applies even when this does not align with one’s political tribe.

  • Master C,

    I abhor capital punishment.

    You need to do your research before you say anything accusing us of what we aren’t.

    The American Catholic was put together with varying points of view being represented. The one thing that unites us is our love of the triune God and fidelity to the Magisterium.

    I hope that helps you the next time you accuse us of something we clearly are not.

  • Since when do you oppose the death penalty?

  • I never commented on it until now, that’s why you didn’t know. But I’ve always opposed the death penalty. Most of my friends know this, but now you know.

    Final judgment is for God, not man.

  • remember this?

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservativism

    Call it an accusation if you like, but this blog has certainly stood up for it
    [the death penalty] previously.

  • Master C.,

    That is a blanket statement. You are reading too much into this particular topic.

    Just because we don’t fit into your worldview of an evil conservative doesn’t mean you need to accuse us of what we aren’t.

  • I am glad to hear you are opposed to the death penalty. Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

  • My long rant of the night. Since we’re talking about the death penalty, I want to talk about the prison system.

    I oppose the entire prison system as it exists today… it makes monsters out of mere lawbreakers. The condition of prisons in states like California are a testament to how little we value human life. A non-violent criminal has no business being thrown into a jail with hardened, violent, career criminals. And no one deserves to be beaten, gang-raped, and given terminal diseases, yet it happens all the time – and the prison guards are either indifferent or the perpetrators themselves.

    With such a system in place, I would actually prefer a quick execution to a long prison sentence, especially a life sentence. As things are, I’m not sure it is even an effective deterrent.

    I do believe there is a small percentage of criminals who are incurable sociopaths/psychopaths who should be put to death. I mean, these people are going to suffer an eternity in hell (most likely); if we’re so terrible for wanting to put them to death, how does the angry liberal deal with the reality of hell? Is God just a mean old man, or has hell been effectively written out of liberal theology? Is the problem REALLY that we’re supposedly taking the judgment out of God’s hands, or is it just materialist-determinist sociology seeping through theology – they didn’t really “choose” to be criminals so they shouldn’t really be punished?

    Let’s not forget that there is an unforgivable sin, the total and willful rejection of God. It is unforgivable, I think, because forgiveness would do nothing for such a person. A psychopath/sociopath that has willfully rejected all restraint and consideration for others, I believe, can and should suffer the final punishment. They cannot be cured because they will not be cured. We have to respect their decision.

    For the other 95% of criminals, I think the death penalty should be off the table and prison reform enacted as soon as possible. We have more criminals than any other developed country in the world – over 2 million prisoners. States like NY have ridiculous drug laws. Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    This attitude is unconscionable for a Christian. Every effort at rehabilitation must be made in a society that places value on human life, and sensible policies regarding sentencing, placement, the structure of the prison, the screening out of sadists and bullies among the guards, all must take place.

  • Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

    I bet Google will find a way. 😉

    Joe, I agree, our prison system is an abomination. It’s a scandal that persists quietly in the background. Infinitely more good would be done by working to reform the prison and justice system before tackling the death penalty.

  • Looks like Joe is our google. He has already figured out which 5% should be put to death. He already knows they are going to hell. Bravo.

  • I never said I knew. It’s just an opinion, one I’m willing to defend with a reasonable argument.

    Can you say the same about anything you believe, or do you think indignation is an adequate substitute for argument?

  • Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    Suggest that the State of New York issue brief determinate sentences specified precisely or by formula in the statute. Families and charitable organizations can work on rehabilitation after convicts are released.

  • I agree with Tito that capital punishment is wrong.

  • Master C,

    Absolutely.

    Who are we to judge a man and take his life away.

    That is for God, not man.

  • It looks like my last post on Friday didn’t make it to the thread, but I appreciate reading the discussion that has taken place since.

    First to paul:

    Thank you for actually using facts on the number of death penalty executions in Texas, my suggestion that the number was in the hundreds was incorrect and came from what I read concerning those on death row, not actually executed. Here is a graph from the US State Dept. that represents the number of exectutions by year over the last century.

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/exe.htm

    It is interesting to see what the effects might have been of the civil rights movement and a more “liberal” slant to national politics during the 60’s and 70’s. However, paul, your data begs several questions.

    1. If Texas is on tap to execute over 20 prisoners this year, is that much different than executing 100 prisoners (beyond of course the perspective of those individual prisoners)? Meaning, is a morally questionable act moderated by how often one does it?

    2. If Texas executed 18 individuals last year and the entire US executed 37 individuals, what does this mean for Texas – that it has around 50% of all the most vicious criminals in the country? That it is 50% better at finding, convicting and then executing its most vicious criminals, or that it has a political bent that make it more likely to execute someone than in most other states?

    3. Even if you believe capital punishment is okay, do you trust the system to be fair and impartial and effective in implementing it? Many governors, those who have the most personal and public choice about allowing the death penalty in their states have found that the system is far too biased and have found too many innocent people have been on death row, though I think only a few have been exonerated after their execution.

    My point is that with capital punishment, there seems to be more than a few grey areas and many times when one side acts very self-righteous and misses their own moral relativism.

    Also, paul, you wrote:

    “Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.”

    You are either being overly glib or completely ignorant and callous as to what giving birth entails. Abortion as means of self-defense is an incredibly small number, but to say that the risk does not exist is too ridiculous to waste time arguing. So what is more common, to die in childbirth (600 deaths per year in the US) or for death row prisoners to escape (0 per year in the US).

    I’ll leave your comment of – “As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.” – as just an example of snarkiness or it being a long day for you.

    As for your final quote from Cardinal Ratzinger – certainly it is obvious that not all moral issues of life and death are the same. Certainly times of war one of the greatest evils is that people are put into violently diverse grey areas regarding the morality of killing someone else – is it murder or self-defense, is it personal or political self-defense, etc., which is why war is so terrible. I am certain that the Cardinal at the time did not think World War 2 was a particularly insignificant moral issue.

    As I read the article from 2004 regarding then Cardinal Ratzinger (http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0917/difference.htm), the author actually has to explain a series of “technical” terms to interpret the Cardinal’s remarks. The point behind the article was good, in that voters are often lazy in how they vote and in how much responsibility they take for voting.

    Again, this thread and my purpose is not to argue abortion, Roe v. Wade or liberal vs. conservative values, it is about how we should view Notre Dame’s honoring of President Obama. Those are all related, but different discussions.

    I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors. I do not question the theology behind Cardinal Ratzinger’s letters, but I do question how they are used by others to act holier-than-thou and how they are applied to political decisions.

    This forum does not seem to be the place for an open, sophisticated or truly rational debate on how Catholic teachings should operate in the public sphere.

    As for the view that gay marriage is of similar evil as euthanasia, this is an example of what I mean. I respect the Church’s opinions on both, but my “fidelity to the Magisterium” does not simply give me a hall pass to ignore the fact that there is a difference between the legality of civil marriage and the grace of the sacrament of marriage. Two people choosing to live together even if they can not produce children does not need a papal blessing and it is not morally equivalent to killing an innocent person. As much as I am sure DarwinCatholic knows all about the biological and psychological and spiritual truths of homosexuality, I find space to still question those who “cast the first stone.”

    Obama is against gay marriage. I did not see any signs of support by those who picketed his speech at ND, showing that they support his views on gay marriage. THAT is my point. THEY obviously already made up their minds about Obama and THEY did so from a very narrow viewpoint.

    I agree that the justice system is broken, but also based upon medieval ideas of punishment and rehabilitation. I also believe that a just economic system and a rich cultural/familial/social system are the best means for reducing criminal behavior outside the very rare sociopaths that any population will have.

    I believe a supportive family and just economic system and a just and universally accessible health care system is the best way of eliminating abortions. Anyone who claims to be pro-Life and yet wants to continue the current system in which cut-throat competition and corporate board rooms get to arbitrate all aspects of our health system are blinded by ideology.

    In the end, in my opinion, those who protested the Presidents visit to ND may be driven by honest opinions, but in the end they will probably save more innocent lives by helping him succeed, than by holding signs in opposition.

    Thanks for your comments.

    PS That conservative website http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservativism is pretty funny. The fact that it has these two sentences at the very beginning and that the author doesn’t see the inherent contradiction is amazing:

    “Reagan said: The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom . . .

    The sine qua non of a conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all.”

    This shows the basic flaw in current American, neo-conservative thought. This is the notion that there is no conflict between self-interest and community values, that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

  • “I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors.”

    Has anyone ever heard the President describe abortion as a tragedy? Unlike Hillary Clinton, I have not seen him say anything like that.

    Not to get into the kerfluffle of “pro-choice” v. “pro-abortion,” but it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic. It is of a piece with the statement that his administration will work to reduce the need for, but not the number of, abortions. Leaving aside the difficulty of measuring reduced “need,” as opposed to measurable numbers, the former comes from a world view where abortion is the morally responsible decision. Troubling, to say the least, and difficult to see how workable common ground can be found.

  • “…it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic”

    It appears you didn’t watch the last presidential debate last year between he and McCain wherein Obama had actually mentioned that he considered abortion itself not even being a moral matter.

  • that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

    Yeah, I love me some Atlas Shrugged. Good, perceptive analysis there.

  • Paul, you kinda take things personally, don’t you.

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USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D'Arcy

Tuesday, June 23, AD 2009

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Hattip to reader Rick Lugari.  The USCCB* has issued this statement of support for Bishop John D’Arcy, the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D’Arcy.  We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.”

Bishop D’Arcy had been in the forefront of protesting Notre Dame honoring Obama on May 17, 2009.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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30 Responses to USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D'Arcy

  • I wonder if, now that the entire USCCB has voted on this resolution, people will stop claiming that the ~80 bishops who spoke out against Notre Dame’s actions at the time were some sort of partisan hack minority.

  • “A sad testament to the co-option of the USCCB by Republican partisans…” will probably be the editorial gloss from the usual suspects, followed by more faux hand-wringing about “civility”, which, as practiced by its proponents, rarely involves a good faith attempt to respond to legitimate criticism.

    It is nice that the USCCB decided to recognize Bishop D’Arcy. I thought his firm and temperate response to the Notre Dame controversy was a model for other bishops.

  • The members of the Obama cult will have no difficulty discounting this.

  • How soon we forget!

    D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit. Some of you even called him a coward! Now you’re spinning this as you wish. I commend the USCCB’s recognition of his leadership. In doing so, they have expressed their solidarity with HIS view, not the views of the mosr radical, Republicatholic bishops.

  • Catholic Anarchist, I defy you to find a quotation from any member of this blog in which Bishop D’Arcy was called a coward.

  • Michael, I think it’s you who are spinning. Bishop D’Arcy could not have been more clear in his position that Notre Dame was wrong to honor president Obama and that in doing so, they violated the 2004 Bishop’s statement (both statements are available on the diocese website and the one interview he gave is available on youtube). His response was direct and prayerful. I read all the bishops statements and I didn’t see any who said anything markedly stronger than Bishop D’Arcy. Maybe I missed it. Can you point me to the bishops you think are the “radical republicatholic bishops” and which parts of their statements went so far beyond Bishop D’Arcy that the USCCB’s statement of support can’t fairly be said to apply to them also?

  • D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit. Some of you even called him a coward!

    Michael,

    I have no recollection of such a statement by anyone on this blog. As far as I know, I am the only one who (gently) criticized any of the bishops, and that post suggested Bishop Olmsted had been too harsh with Fr. Jenkins (a view I later revised as more Bishops spoke out). I praised Bishop D’Arcy’s response as striking the perfect balance; certainly, no one called him a coward. Please either produce a link or retract the accusation.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/03/26/bishop-olmsted-accuses-president-jenkins-of-disobedience/

  • As I recall the debate the only thing negative and disrespectful said about any of the bishops were from people who called them Republicatholics and the like because they spoke out against a Catholic college honoring a vehemently pro-abortion politician who happens to be a Democrat. Those who supported the bishops were called partisan hacks who don’t understand what true Catholicism is – strikingly similar to Schiavo affair when the enlightened Catholics told us that Terri’s supporters and the many vocal bishops simply didn’t understand. Now the USCCB, albeit a late, gave voice, just like the Vatican did – thought at least in the Schiavo case Pope John Paul II and the Vatican were speaking out all along – but the arbiters of true Catholicism ignored all that too.

  • Rick

    Thank you for combating the revisionist history

  • I read all the bishops statements and I didn’t see any who said anything markedly stronger than Bishop D’Arcy.

    This is simply absurd. D’Arcy was about the tamest of the bishops who spoke out. This, jh, is revisionism.

  • Now, now, now–don’t confuse the excitable lad with facts. He expects neologisms like Republicatholic actually mean something to others, which is almost endearing.

    About the only truly intemperate statement was from Bishop Bruskewitz, the exception which proves the rule.

  • “Republicatholic bishops”

    Like I said, self parody. Who needs “i” when you have the real iafrate?

  • D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit.

    What a hack. So a “more moderate” response was D’Arcy’s boycott of the Notre Dame graduation, along with his prayer for “Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.”

    After your behavior over at VN, no one in their right mind thinks that your positions have anything to do with fealty to the Church. Your comments are dripping with contempt and intellectual pride whenever anybody in the Church suggests disagreement with your precious political positions.

  • Michael J is the embodiment of the axiom that being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry, either for baseless accusations or for a bad memmory. There does seem to be a catholic modification to his leftism; he generally tells those he disagrees with to merely “shut up”. This is vastly better than the Che Guevara supporters on youtube who say they are going to kill me.

  • Michael J is the embodiment of the axiom that being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry, either for baseless accusations or for a bad memmory.

    What should I apologize for? I was against the idea of Obama receiving the degree from the beginning.

    he generally tells those he disagrees with to merely “shut up”.

    Prove it.

  • What should I apologize for?

    For claiming that you were against Obama receiving an honorary degree, when in fact you ridicule the Bishops that you supposedly agree with as “radical Republicatholics.”

  • Yeah, SB, that second example you posted is something I’ve seen more than once from him.

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    October 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm
    S.B., shut up or you will be permanently banned from commenting on my posts. Understand?

    I assume that smart people on the left resort to verbal bullying and intimidation because they know their arguments are weak. Some on the fringe right have the same tendency.

  • For claiming that you were against Obama receiving an honorary degree, when in fact you ridicule the Bishops that you supposedly agree with as “radical Republicatholics.”

    I was against Obama receiving the degree but I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed by your “heroic” bishops who went much further and said he should not be allowed to speak at ND and even went so far as to make judgments about Fr. Jenkin’s spiritual state. Surely you see that there is a difference.

    In the first example you cite, S.B., I clearly did not simply say “shut up” as a way to end an argument.

    Nor did I do so in the second example. In fact, “Pauli,” if you look at my comment in context you will see that was in fact S.B. who was engaging in verbal bullying. That’s his tactic as I’m sure you well know. I have no qualms about telling him to shut up when he does such things at my blog. But that is not the same as saying “shut up” in order to shut down an argument. Once again, you and S.B. must resort to mischaracterization in order to “win” an argument.

  • It wasn’t verbal “bullying” to point out the obvious fact that you were making an astonishing claim (about starvation being caused by “deliberate policies of global capitalism”) with zero evidence to back it up (“click around the internet,” you said, when you turned out to be incapable of finding any supportive links yourself).

    So you’re merely proving the point that leftists sometimes resort to verbal bullying (“shut up”) when their arguments lack logic or evidence.

  • S.B. – Your bullying reputation is obvious to anyone who reads this blog or Vox Nova. But continue to claim otherwise. It’s nice to have a little giggle in the middle of a busy day.

  • People who say stupid things often experience it as “bullying” to have it pointed out.

  • Ha! Two giggles in one day! You are too generous, S.B.

  • Addendum: People who tell outright lies in defense of unorthodox beliefs, and yet who derive enormous intellectual pride from their faith, often experience it as “bullying” to have that pointed out as well.

  • Reading his stuff is kind of like looking at pictures of crystal addicts–it keeps most sane folks from going over to the left. At least I would hope so.

  • I was against Obama receiving the degree but I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed by your “heroic” bishops who went much further and said he should not be allowed to speak at ND and even went so far as to make judgments about Fr. Jenkin’s spiritual state. Surely you see that there is a difference.

    Of course there’s a difference. But it says much more about your partisan idiocy, and about your willingness to put your own ideology above respect for the Church’s stewards, that you think a Bishop’s fierce opposition to Obama’s position on abortion makes him a “Republicatholic.”

  • Please, by all means, prove that I am a “partisan.” I am, and have been, against the republicans and democrats for many years. You are just spewing filth, nothing accurate, nothing based in reality.

  • It’s not “filth” — just the obvious truth — to point out that you are unorthodox, as are some of your fellow bloggers. If you’re not intelligent or honest enough to admit that fact, that’s your problem.

  • Is partisanship equivalent to unorthodox?

    It doe not matter here… SB is allowed to live out rather ungracefully his continued obsession with MI.

  • No, they’re unorthodox on several moral issues.

    I’m not “obsessed.” Believe me, it takes but 30 seconds or a minute at most to type out an occasional comment. I spend far more time thinking about my family, my work, the book I’m publishing, the classical guitar album I’m making, and how to improve my squat form as I progress towards squatting 405. It’s just that when I read this blog, and I keep coming across obnoxious and asinine comments from unabashed dissenters who nonetheless have managed to convince themselves that they are the only true Catholics, I can’t help responding.

Bishop D'Arcy Responds

Thursday, April 23, AD 2009
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18 Responses to Bishop D'Arcy Responds

  • I hope it’s OK to comment. I am a Catholic, but I disagree with the Bishop somewhat. Plus: Why is it only abortion that matters? Obama is also pro-death penalty. Obama is not that pro-choice (what he says and who he appoints are two different things). But he is rabidly pro-death penalty.

    I don’t care if Obama speaks at Notre Dame. Lots of presidents speak at universities and to me it is something that students will always remember, whether they agree with that president’s political stands or not. I disagree with Obama on almost everything. I would rather see protests WHEN he speaks than protests about him speaking. IMHO.

  • Plus: Why is it only abortion that matters?

    That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it has been pointed out that the evil of abortion does outweigh some other issues. As then Cardinal Ratzinger put it:

    Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    Obama is not that pro-choice

    Yeah, he kind of is. He is so rabidly pro-abortion that he opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have guaranteed some basic rights to babies that survived a botched abortion. Even Planned Parenthood didn’t hold such an extreme view.

    I don’t care if Obama speaks at Notre Dame.

    That’s nice. But that doesn’t really speak to the issue of whether or not honoring a public individual who supports a grave and manifest evil that is unequivocally opposed by the Church ought to be honored at a Catholic university.

    would rather see protests WHEN he speaks than protests about him speaking. IMHO.

    Why not both?

  • Carrisa,

    Whether you are Catholic or not, you are more than welcomed to comment here just as long as it relates to the topic, charitable, and constructive.

    Welcome to American Catholic!

  • Understatement of the year:

    Obama is not that pro-choice

    Yeah, he kind of is”

    I laughed when I read that 🙂

  • “Obama is not that pro-choice.”

    I think the argument used by some is that he is pro-choice but not pro-abortion.

    We’ll leave it at that.

  • Bishop D’Arcy talks about how proper consultation could have avoided all this. This is the real shame here. This all could have been avoided. Father Jenkins acted unilaterally. Where have I heard that unilateral action is the worst kind of sin? Hmm…

  • Father Jenkins acted unilaterally.

    Just because he didn’t consult with the bishop does not mean he acted unilaterally.

  • I’m pro-choice with regard to holding slaves.

    I think that every person should be free to hold slaves without government interference, the government should provide funding for people to purchase slaves if they can’t afford them, the government should provide facilities to keep slaves, also it’s good for the government to fund organizations which further the cause of slavery worldwide, I speak often at slavery conventions, and receive many political contributions from slavery groups.

    But…. I am not pro-slavery, I would not hold slaves, although if my children needed some help around the house I wouldn’t want them punished with having to do the work themselves, so I would take them to the slave auction and give them money to buy slaves).

    Slaves should be safe, legal, and rare.

  • Michael,
    Ought not a priest consult with the local bishop on a decision that was surely to be controversial? On a matter that cuts to the core of Catholic teaching and its alignment with the Natural Law? If not unilateral, then surely imprudent. The good father chose perishable wordly praise over timeless universal truth. How very sad.

  • Matt,
    Bravo. Can I borrow this comparison of yours? I may be able to make some headway with this.

  • daledog,

    I’m sure it’s been done before, but it fits Obama so precisely! Feel free to use it.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to make an analogy of the opposition to “Born Alive Protection Act” any suggestions?

  • “I’m still trying to figure out how to make an analogy of the opposition to “Born Alive Protection Act” any suggestions?”

    Not a direct analogy, but here goes:

    Fugitive Slave Act. If a slave actually manages to make it to freedom in the North, it is against the law for people in Northern states to aid said slave in his/her escape or otherwise provide assistance.

  • With respect to my comment that Obama is not that pro-choice, I realize in Catholicize there is no wiggle-room. But Obama isn’t Catholic, even though he gave more money to Catholic Social Services last year (as revealed on his income tax forms) than to any other group. Many Catholics belonged to a pro-Obama group (Catholics for Obama) because they believed that he was more anti-choice than pro-choice. I did not support Obama, but I think that group had good evidence. His first choice for Health and Human Services was Tom Daschle, a guy who had only a 50% rating from NARAL. And many of Obama’s associates are ministers like James Meeks of the Illinois Family Institute.

    Abortion just took over the Church as an issue. In the 1980s it became impossible to attend a mass or sometimes even a funeral without hearing about abortion. Now it seems to be homosexuality.

    When are we going to get back to the central message of love? When are the words of Jesus going to come to us from the pulpit? I have listed to pro-life men speak about abortion without ever using the word woman or mother: they say “womb,” like we are incubators. I don’t hear Jesus in that. I am not saying the Church should drop its doctrine or not take stands on issues of life. If I wanted no doctrine, no transubstantiation, no veneration of the Blessed Virgin, I would be a Unitarian or something. But I find more vitriol than love most of the time when Catholics talk about current politics.

    Thank you for letting me comment. God bless.

  • Above, second line should say Catholicism. Sorry.

  • Carrisa, here is a good site to learn about Obama and his record on abortion:

    http://www.lifenews.com/obamaabortionrecord.html

    The Church has condemned abortion since the time of the Apostles and Obama is a champion of abortion. The facts shout for themselves. A website you might find interesting is here:

    http://www.feministsforlife.org/

  • Carissa, even though I am 100 percent pro-life, I have sometimes wondered myself why the Church seems to “harp” on abortion so much.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because no other major institutions (other than evangelical Protestant churches) are doing so, and the Church HAS to go out of its way to remind people how evil abortion is because they aren’t getting that reminder anywhere else, with a few exceptions (e.g. Feminists for Life, noted pro-life atheists such as Nat Hentoff, some Orthodox Jews and Muslims).

    The Church doesn’t have to put quite as much effort into condemning war, poverty, capital punishment, or murder of people already born because there are plenty of other individuals and groups out there doing so already, and the force of civil law already condemns things like murder. With abortion (and now, gay marriage), however, Catholics and evangelical Protestants stand nearly alone in opposing it; so I guess they just have to repeat their message louder and more frequently.

  • The reason the Church harps on this so much is that Catholics DO NOT GET IT. Most voted for Obama, and every pro-abortion presidential candidate before him. Maybe they’ll take it easy when liberal Catholics get it.

  • Catholics say in the Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord and Giver of Life…” Anyone who thinks that abortion or euthanasia ought to be legal is an enemy of God and will receive the recompense which befits an enemy. This is so clear a child can understand. The enemies of God cannot see this which is the first sign that they are already being punished.

Third Bishop Reproach's Notre Dame Decision

Friday, March 27, AD 2009

Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Diocese of Austin has reproached the decision rendered by the University of Notre Dame to allow President Obama to do the 2009 commencement address and receive an honorary law degree.  In an E-Pistle issued earlier today, Bishop Aymond had this to say:

“I, along with many other Catholics, express great disappointment and sadness that a Catholic university would honor someone who is pro-choice and who holds many values contrary to our Catholic belief.”

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7 Responses to Third Bishop Reproach's Notre Dame Decision

  • Pingback: Cardinal DiNardo Charitably Critiques Notre Dame « The American Catholic
  • I was actually surprised when I saw Bishop Aymond’s e-pistle. Our ordinary is not generally very political — to my knowledge he was pretty quiet and simply referred everyone to Faithful Citizenship during the election. So that he spoke out on this really struck me.

    On the other hand, it strikes me that for many of the bishops, while they are reluctant to tell people specifically not to vote for one party, the call on not handing out honors to a pro-choice politician may be a lot more clear cut. Unless one abstains entirely, one will generally vote for one of the two major parties. But there’s certainly no requirement that one go handing out honors without good cause.

  • I was fortunate enough to speak with Bishop Aymond briefly last week Wednesday in College Station and I was impressed by his orthodoxy, charity, and demeanor. He was easy to speak with and very polite.

    I to was thrown off guard and was happy to be surprised.

    Now his recent statement concerning the scandal at Notre Dame has made me even more impressed with his episcopacy.

    You have a good bishop in Austin Darwin.

  • My pastor (Notre Dame alumnus) is not particularly happy about this either 😉

  • Hey man, Obama is actually pro-life, or at least in the holistic sense of the term – what’s the deal with the private theology of these bishops?

  • at least in the holistic sense of the term

    Does one have to drink green tea, do stretching exercises and burn some sort of herb to achieve this kind of holistic sense of the term? A sort of alternative medicine for the mind?

    🙂

  • Darwin,

    Whooaaa now, that’s hitting to close to home with me.

    Fortunately, I don’t burn herbs of any sort (I don’t burn anything except a good Jamaican cigar for that matter — Cuban cigars are vastly overrated).

    🙂

Bishop Olmsted Accuses President Jenkins of Disobedience

Thursday, March 26, AD 2009

Here is the text of Bishop Olmsted’s letter to President Jenkins (h/t American Papist):

olmsted

While I am disappointed by President Jenkin’s decision to invite President Obama to speak at commencement, particularly the decision to confer an honorary law degree, I have several questions about this letter:

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43 Responses to Bishop Olmsted Accuses President Jenkins of Disobedience

  • A voice of reasoned consideration in these woods.

    Deo Gratias.

  • I would assume that one of the benefits of being a bishop is that you can usually assume that people are interested in knowing your opinion — and most of us are interested in making our opinions known.

  • I think if it wasn’t a public act of disobedience on the part of Jenkins it certainly was a public act of stupidity. Of course people will see Obama getting a commencement speech and an honorary degree as the Notre Dame administration supporting a pro-abort pol. I am glad that Olmsted took Jenkins to the ecclesiastical woodshed, and I only regret that his language was so restrained. Jenkins isn’t a stupid man. He knows precisely what he is doing and I find it reprehensible.

  • To read the document in any other way than the reading given by Bishops D’Arcy and Olmsted is to render the document completely meaningless. I mean, was there REALLY a problem with Catholic colleges giving “awards, honors or platforms” to pro-abort politicians as a way of honoring them SPECIFICALLY FOR those pro-abort activities? Of course not! Such a reading is ludicrous Jesuitical hair-splitting.

    The only way the Bishops’ document makes any sense at all is for it to be given the quite straightforward reading the Bishops themselves seem to be giving it.

  • Hopefully Bishop D’Arcy will see the letter as an act of support from a brother bishop. As someone in the AmP comment section pointed out, there are most likely Catholics from Phoenix attending Notre Dame, so Olmsted is, if nothing else, acting in their interests as a concerned pastor.

    And although Fr. Jenkins is trying to wriggle his way around the statement on “awards, honors, or platforms,” I find his argument rather worn and tenuous. If Notre Dame were only inviting President Obama as a speaker, he might have a leg to stand on. However he is also being awarded an honorary degree that is meant to recognize his leadership. Arguably, thus far Obama’s most major acts as our new leader have been anti-life ones. I’m sure you’re familiar with what he’s done so far, so I won’t labor to make a list.

  • I always love Jay Anderson’s responses!

    1. Bishop D’Arcy’s response was weak. He’s pals with Jenkins. Who cares about his toes.

    2. Prudent to go public? Are you serious? ND’s Pres. Obortion invite was a very public F-U to the bishops.

    3. Yes, a “hair-splitting”, Jesuit type argument (I agree with Jay).

    Cheers!

  • And I should add: I don’t really think it does to question whether a bishop is correctly parsing a USCCB document that he cites, unless his citation is just flagrantly out of line. Olmsted is, after all, a member of the USCCB. That doesn’t make his interpretation definitive, but it’s not as if he’s some lay person spouting off as to what a USCCB document means.

    If it was a bit outspoken of Bishop Olmsted, I think his crosier and miter give him the license to be so if he chooses.

  • ND’s Pres. Obortion invite was a very public F-U to the bishops.

    I think you’re exaggerating a bit.

  • Exaggerating on the “Obortion” part or the “very public F-U” part?

  • DC wrote:
    I would assume that one of the benefits of being a bishop is that you can usually assume that people are interested in knowing your opinion — and most of us are interested in making our opinions known.

    If a bishop is going to accuse a member of a religious order of public disobedience, a serious charge, it seems to me that this is more than simply offering an opinion. It seems odd to me that Bishop Olmsted felt compelled to address Fr. Jenkins so publicly, when Bishop D’Arcy had already addressed the situation quite well. If he had simply supported Bishop D’Arcy, all well and good. But instead he made a serious accusation, which is likely to damage Notre Dame’s relationship with the Church hierarchy.

    Jay wrote:
    To read the document in any other way than the reading given by Bishops D’Arcy and Olmsted is to render the document completely meaningless. I mean, was there REALLY a problem with Catholic colleges giving “awards, honors or platforms” to pro-abort politicians as a way of honoring them SPECIFICALLY FOR those pro-abort activities? Of course not! Such a reading is ludicrous Jesuitical hair-splitting.

    The charge of Jesuitical reasoning hurts on two levels Jay: 1) Our shared graduate educational background; 2) I’ve been educated (insert scare quotes as necessary) by Franciscans and Salesians, but never by the dreaded Jesuits.

    In response to your comment, I think there has been a serious problem with Catholic colleges inviting and honoring pro-abortion speakers, and that many colleges have not made it clear that they oppose the speakers views on abortion. So yes, I think the statement could plausibly be read in this manner. In this case, Fr. Jenkins has made it clear that the invitation is not an endorsement of Obama’s views on abortion and ESCR (although, of course, I wish he had not made the invitation at all).

    Regarding the Jesuitical point, the question here is whether it’s clear that Fr. Jenkins was disobedient. I don’t think it is. I think the USCCB statement is worded ambiguously, and that the ambiguity is not an accident. My recollection is that you are not shy of criticizing the USCCB, and it would hardly surprise me if the document was deliberately written this way . To cite another recent example of this phenomenon, one could drive a truck through the wiggle room in the recent Faithful Citizenship document.

    Bishop D’Arcy, as the local ordinary, has a responsibility to interpret the document, and I think his interpretation is probably the stronger one. But there is a difference between providing an interpretation as Bishop D’Arcy has done, and declaring that a priest in a religious order is publicly disobedient because he had a different interpretation than the Bishop of Phoenix when he invited the President of the United States to speak at Commencement.

    Finally, I think there is a prudential question here. Notre Dame is in a fairly precarious place as an ‘elite’ institution that is also trying to maintain its Catholic identity. In many ways these goals conflict. To the extent Fr. Jenkins and the University are not only constructively criticized (see Bishop D’Arcy’s statement), but condemned as publicly disobedient (Bishop Olmsted), this type of statement is likely to damage the University’s relationship with the hierarchy. It’s a delicate balance, and I think Bishop D’Arcy struck the perfect note; I think Bishop Olmsted, however, was somewhat unfair (because of the deficiencies in the USCCB document), as well as imprudent. And I’m not sure why the Bishop of Phoenix has special jurisdiction vis-a-vis priestly religious in Bishop D’Arcy’s diocese.

  • Btw, thanks to all commenters for the responses. I don’t have time to respond to every criticism right now, but I appreciated reading people’s thoughts.

  • “My recollection is that you are not shy of criticizing the USCCB …”

    Actually, I have tried to avoid criticizing the USCCB and I give particular leeway to the Bishops when interpreting their own documents. I give much less leeway to the dubious interpretations and justifications of University presidents with a history of coming down on the side of “engaging the culture” over faithfulness to Catholic identity.

  • Should a divorcee who has remarried (without any annulments), especially someone who is known by the public, be allowed to speak and get an award at a Catholic institution, since they are, after all, going against the morals of the Catholic Church?

    Again, the vagueness is on many levels.

  • Comparing divorce and abortion is comparing apples and rock salt. Nobody dies as a matter of course in a divorce. Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Ratzinger recognized the special level of evil involved in abortion and euthanasia:

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

    One would think this would be clear enough even for academics that someone who promotes abortion should not be honored at catholic unversities and colleges.

  • I agree with John Henry that the statement is somewhat ambiguous. At least, I think the situation might affect whether or not having a speaker with views contrary to Catholic fundamental moral principles consititutes support for those views. If, for example, Obama had been invited to speak prior to the election, where his speaking could help him win the election and thus put his views into action, then the argument that ND is endorsing his views would be stronger.

    There’s also the ambiguity of the word “defiance,” which can mean simply contrariness, but usually suggests resistance. A pro-choice Catholic politician who has been admonished by his bishop would seem to be more defiant than a non-Catholic politician who holds the same views.

  • Even conceding the ambiguity, President Jenkins has done next to nothing to separate the award and platform from President Obama’s defiance of our fundamental moral principles. Thus far, it’s been a rhetorical tongue bath and excuse-making to the larger Catholic world. Not to put to fine a point on it, but Jenkins’ behavior has not been above board and, frankly, has been rather shabby.

  • Kyle: there’s no credible argument that Obama is unaware of Catholic moral principles on abortion and ESCR. Even the obsequious fawner Doug Kmiec says he discussed the matters with him.

    The President is Rhett Butler. He frankly doesn’t give a damn, and when it comes to brass tacks has (an admittedly elegant) contempt for them.

  • On the other AC thread, Elaine pointed out if anyone has contacted the CSC superior? Meaning since Notre Dame was founded by the Congregration of the Holy Cross. Why doesn’t somebody contact them to see if they can pull some strings?

    I’m sure someone has, just covering all our bases here.

  • That’s an interesting question Tito. I haven’t heard anything about that, although I’d be surprised if anything changed at this point.

  • Dale,

    I didn’t mean to imply that Obama isn’t aware of Catholic teaching on the life issues. My point is that he’s not Catholic, and so his holding opposing views on the life issues isn’t defiant in the way that a Catholic’s holding his views would be. Of course, one need not be Catholic in order to oppose abortion and ESCR.

  • Rush Limbaugh has been discussing Notre Dame and Obama on his show now. He is stunned that a Catholic University of Notre Dame’s stature is providing a forum to the “most anti-life President in our nation’s history”.

  • Since when is Rush Limbaugh competent in matters Catholic.

    And I am not surprised by the emotionalist rhetoric of “the most anti-life President in our nation’s history”. His is a lucrative industry of demagoguery.

  • Mark,

    While I would be more surprised if Limbaugh did not profess to be stunned because being stunned has entertainment value, I think there is a strong case for that description of President Obama, given his record on life issues (we need not recite all the details here).

  • Thank you Mr. DeFrancisis, I was waiting for someone to attack the messenger. Rush Limbaugh, thrice divorced, a former oxycotin addict, add on anything detrimental against him you wish, is here standing for Catholic truth, while Jenkins and his administration are falling all over themselves to pay homage to a man who has fought for abortion up to the time the cord is cut, and against medical assistance to those infants who survive the abortion. This is a deeply shameful moment for the Catholic Church in this country when a non-Catholic like Limbaugh stands up for Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life while Jenkins and his acolytes are doing their very best to ignore that teaching. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to respond to your comment.

  • Donald,

    I honestly was not referencing his personal life. I do not know of all the sordid details, other than his past, temporary (but understandable) prolem with addictions to pain medication.

    His show and its modus operandi, however, virtually precludes a constructive discussion which actually fosters the culture of life and an evenhanded assessment of all parties/positions involved.

    To me, he is a high stakes entertainer.

    I avoid him like I avoid Olbermann these days.

    Aditionally, you and I have differing interpretations on what the commencement address and honorary degree expresses. Let us as gentlemen respect each other’s differing interpretation of both that matter in itself and the USCCB document that is intimately related.

    Let me just end by communicating to you my utmost respect for your life long and lifewide commitment to the unborn, our society’s most vulnerable.

  • Mark, I ask this in all sincerity, as you are on the other side of this issue from me:

    How has the administration of ND taken care to ensure that the award and platform offered to the President do not suggest support for his actions which are contrary to fundamental moral principles?

  • JH,

    Who is The most “antilife president in our nation’ is a very tough thing to gauge.

    For one, Eisenhower ordered and was ultimately responsible for the unjust nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which directly resulted in deaths in the millions and millions.

    While Obama’s stance on the legality of abortion and his recent ESCR moves are heinous, I do not know if he will rack up such numbers of deaths in which is hand is so front and central in the matter.

  • Not to be a nitnoid, but the atomic bombing wasn’t ordered by Eisenhower, but rather by Harry Truman.

  • “Is Bishop Olmsted stepping on Bishop D’Arcy’s toes by commenting on events in the latter’s diocese after Bishop D’Arcy has already addressed the matter (quite well, I might add)?”

    The good bishop is merely supporting his fellow Bishop on the matter and, thus, consolidating their position should there be any doubt concerning the wrongfulness of such an action.

    It’s not unlike how several bishops from various dioceses during the elections kept advising Catholics on how pro-life issues should be a major point of consideration when selecting a candidate.

    “Since when is Rush Limbaugh competent in matters Catholic.”

    Was this even a serious matter for consideration?

    I mean, Rush was the very same who mocked Mother Teresa, accusing her of playing to the camera and both blatantly and maliciously characterizing media coverage of her as really her ulterior agenda of taking advantage of several photo opportunities just to cheaply advertise on behalf of the Catholic church then.

    The guy’s a prick.

  • For one, Eisenhower ordered and was ultimately responsible for the unjust nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which directly resulted in deaths in the millions and millions.

    Also, in addition to the fact it was Pres. Truman, not Pres Eisenhower, the number killed was in fact slightly under 250k — not millions.

  • Nobody dies as a matter of course in a divorce.

    Don:

    I don’t know about that. I’ve heard of family law attorneys who have gotten the other spouse so angry that they have undertaken murderous actions against their former spouse and children.

    Most successful family law attorneys I know love to fan the flames of contention and in an already emotionally charged situation it results in the parties not reaching a quick resolution and lines their pockets with additional fees. So what if it occasionally ends in disasterous results. . . blame it on the party who wasn’t your client?

    By the way, Pope John Paul did state that attorneys “should avoid being personnally involved in anything that might imply cooperation with a divorce.”

    http://www.lawandreligion.com/new_devs/RJLR_ND_54.pdf

  • By the way Reagan as Governor of California signed into effect one of the most liberal divorce and abortion laws in the nation at that time. Of course he later said he regretted it, but then what else is he going to say when he is running for the Republican nomination for President in the 70’s and 80’s.

  • On the other AC thread, Elaine pointed out if anyone has contacted the CSC superior? Meaning since Notre Dame was founded by the Congregration of the Holy Cross. Why doesn’t somebody contact them to see if they can pull some strings?

    I’m sure someone has, just covering all our bases here.

    You are assuming that the decision is that of Father Jenkins alone. He is appointed not by his CSC superior as president of the university but by Notre Dame’s lay board of directors (thank you Father Ted and the Land of Lake’s Conferenc). Of course dear Father Ted when he handed the University over to laymen (to give it greater academic credibility) did put in the requirement that the President always had to be a CSC priest. No one denies that Father Ted does have his priorities and looking out for No. 1 always comes first.

  • a-man,

    Just got word that the CSC provincial completely supports Fr. Jenkin’s decision:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032708.html

  • Most successful family law attorneys I know love to fan the flames of contention and in an already emotionally charged situation it results in the parties not reaching a quick resolution and lines their pockets with additional fees.

    That’s some company you keep. However, I find it hard to believe. Divorce is evil. It does great violence to the souls of everyone involved. From my experience though, lawyers recognize that more than most (even secular minded lawyers). Contrary to your characterization, lawyers generally want to get it over with as quickly and painlessly as possible. It’s usually the clients that keep the flames fueled while the lawyers are trying to bring some reason to the process even as they advocate for their client. Hmm, now I’m considering the adjective you used, “successful”. Maybe you can stand firm on your comment as I will stand on mine. We may just have a different idea of what it means to be successful.

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  • “Don:

    I don’t know about that. I’ve heard of family law attorneys who have gotten the other spouse so angry that they have undertaken murderous actions against their former spouse and children.

    Most successful family law attorneys I know love to fan the flames of contention and in an already emotionally charged situation it results in the parties not reaching a quick resolution and lines their pockets with additional fees. So what if it occasionally ends in disasterous results. . . blame it on the party who wasn’t your client?”

    Some lawyers can be jerks, no doubt about that. Most lawyers in divorce cases, including those who specialize in them in my experience, do their best to get the parties to compromise or at least try to be civil. Lawyers tend to be fairly busy, and the last thing they want to do is field anguished phone calls from a client in a contentious divorce or be constantly running back to court on minor matters that should be easily resolved by negotiation. For every divorce I have seen where the personality of the attorney is a problem in the case, I have seen 10 where one or both of the parties simply want to go to war. Most divorces are not like that however. Usually after some preliminary skirmishing in court an agreement is worked out fairly quickly. The hotly contested divorce from start to finish does happen of course but it is far from the norm.

    “By the way, Pope John Paul did state that attorneys “should avoid being personnally involved in anything that might imply cooperation with a divorce.””

    He then later said that attorneys might be involved if they were attempting to resolve the case to the benefit of the children involved in a custody proceeding.

    He also said that attorneys should look for effective measures that favour marriage, above all mediation and conciliation. The first question I ask anyone seeking my counsel in a divorce case is if mediation could save the marriage. They almost always say no. If clients ask my opinion I always say counseling should be attempted prior to a divorce action if there is any hope at all of avoiding a marriage. I also tell them that I do not believe in divorce and they might do better with a counsel with views different from mine.

    Like most attorneys I find divorce actions depressing and I have deliberately kept them a very small portion of my practice. Often times I enter a case post-dissolution where there is an issue of enforcement of child support, visitation or an attempt to modify child custody.

    However even more depressing are paternity cases where the family tie is never formed to begin with. When I hung out my shingle in 82 paternity cases were rare, at least in central Illinois, now they are commonplace. Of course with a 40% illegitimacy rate one would expect that. Quite a few handbaskets on their way to Hell these days.

  • In regard to Reagan and the California abortion law, he always regarded it as his biggest mistake:

    “In May 1967, the Therapeutic Abortion Bill began to take shape. It was a measure to allow pregnant women to terminate embryos prejudicial to their “physical or mental health.” Reagan had to admit that he agreed with “the moral principle of self-defense.” If 100,000 California women were desperate enough to undergo illegal abortions every year, he could at least make it safer for some of them.
    He signed it into law. Only as abortion became an extension of welfare, would he wish he had paid more head to the bill’s manipulative language. The very word “Therapeutic” was a medical euphemism, sanitizing essentially bloody procedures. It defined “mental health” as at-risk if a pregnant teen went out and smashed windows. In common with the more liberal laws it was to spawn at state and federal levels, the Act ignored the feelings of fathers.

    Reagan was left with a sense of guilt. “If there is a question as to whether there is life or death, the doubt should be resolved in favor of life.”

    Source: Dutch, by Edmund Morris, p.351-352 May 1, 1967”

    Here is an article which Reagan wrote for the Human Life Review in 1983:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/document/reagan200406101030.asp

    “Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.”

  • “I mean, Rush was the very same who mocked Mother Teresa, accusing her of playing to the camera and both blatantly and maliciously characterizing media coverage of her as really her ulterior agenda of taking advantage of several photo opportunities just to cheaply advertise on behalf of the Catholic church then.”

    Unless you have some quotes e. I believe you are probably confusing Rush with Christopher Hitchens. I can recall Rush speaking very highly of her on his radio show on several occasions.

  • “For one, Eisenhower ordered and was ultimately responsible for the unjust nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which directly resulted in deaths in the millions and millions.”

    As Dale and Darwin note, Mr. DeFrancisis, the President was Truman, not Eisenhower. Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Anglo-American forces in Europe. He had no role in the war in the Pacific. In his memoirs he contended that at the time he thought the bombs were unnecessary, but he also stated that all of his attention was focused on Europe and that he was unfamiliar with the war being waged against Japan other than as an observer from the sidelines.

    “Let me just end by communicating to you my utmost respect for your life long and lifewide commitment to the unborn, our society’s most vulnerable.”

    A handsome statement Mr. DeFrancisis which I very much appreciate. I pray that some day abortion will no longer be a political issue because we will look at it with the same abhorence engendered when we now recalll slavery. I do not know if I will live to see that day, but it will come.

  • I certainly do think it is an act of public disobedience to the Bishops to not only invite the President to speak but to give him an award on top of it – and it is a slap in the face to all Catholics who have built the College up through the years. As a Catholic I expect any institution purporting to be Catholic to be Catholic and uphold the Church’s teachings. That is basic to any group in society that has rules and regulations to be followed. Every Catholic knows the Church’s stand on abortion. Why do people belong to the Catholic Church if they dissent from her teachings? The door is open for them to walk out if don’t like anything the Church teaches. They are not bound to stay. Christ Himself said to take the narrow path. He kicked the money lenders out of the temple. He didn’t mince His words. It’s high time Catholics shook themselves up and realise how morally lax we have become.

The Bishop Speaks

Tuesday, March 24, AD 2009

bishop-john-m-darcy1

Hattip to Dale Price.  Bishop John M. D’Arcy has made his statement:

“Concerning President Barack Obama speaking at Notre Dame
graduation, receiving honorary law degree

March 24, 2009

On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.

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14 Responses to The Bishop Speaks

  • The good bishop chose his words carefully and eloquently. He is a true standard bearer of upholding Catholic teaching. This is in stark contrast to the depravity and lack of spine that Father John Jenkins exhibits. And for what?

    For Wales.

  • “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

    This being granted the commencement address and degree would not in themselves suggest support for Obama’s (anti-life) actions.

    The bishop assumes a comma after “platforms” that is not in the quoted sentence.

  • Mark,

    I could swear that your middle name is Webster in your proficiency in catching grammatical errors. But I wouldn’t be surprised if your middle name is Webster, since now Webster’s dictionary endorses same-sex marriage with their redefinition of ‘marriage’.

    http://westcoastcatholic.blogspot.com/2009/03/merriam-webster-dictionary-marriage.html

  • Tito,

    Now, now…

    Mark,

    If even Homer nods, I’m sure it’s at least as possible that the USCCB missed a comma as that this particular member of the USCCB doesn’t understand the difference between a descriptive and a restrictive clause.

    As has been emphasized for other reasons recently, bishops are intended to be our shepherds and we should respect their decisions in executing their teaching office. (Though as with anything, we may at times find ourselves in disagreement with them.) Given that Bishop D’Arcy has been dealing with Notre Dame for some time, and is a member of the USCCB and thus can be assumed to have some understanding of what they meant by that phrase, I would think we should at least give his judgment in this situation a fair amount of weight.

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  • Further, even though it is the case that there is no comma I’d be curious to know what is covered by the presumably non-empty set “awards, honors or platforms that do not suggest support for their actions.”

    To a more-important grammatical point, what does “for their actions” mean? In a certain sense, that question is stupid: they’re the things a person does. Obviously.

    But what I’m getting at is “how does one determine which of ‘their actions’ fairly characterize a person” and therefore (most relevant to this matter) “what it can mean to give, specifically, an honorary degree and a commencement invitation to any Person X.”

    The Church teaches that no man is completely evil. And none are without sin. Therefore, by definition, any honor to anybody will involve honoring a person who has done a mixture of good or bad things. It’s tough to think offhand of the good things Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson has done, but they do exist. Now, nobody would seriously argue that OBL or Manson is worthy of any honor at a serious institution because they are mass murderers, despite the fact that on all but a handful of days of their lives, neither man has killed (fewer than five in Manson’s case, we know to a moral certainty; and possibly never in OBL’s case, if we mean “personally kill”). Nevertheless, we feel comfortable calling them “murderers,” characterizing them that way, at least for the purpose of determining their honor-worthiness (or jail-worthiness or kill-worthiness).

    Further, there is the issue of the specific award and specific purposes of a campus visit. Consider as a potential parallel, this article in the New Republic about the great Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who apparently supported his country’s invasion of Georgia and plans to conduct a concert of Russian music in that part of Georgia that the Kremlin still controls. Prescind from that specific event though. Would anything think if Notre Dame were to invite Gergiev to put on a Tchaikovsky opera or a Prokofiev cantata or suites, that it was (1) endorsing Gergiev the man in a general way (and therefore in principle everything about him), or (2) honoring Gergiev the conductor and putting on a specific event that was about the things being honored.

    So to bring this back to Obama, this is not a specified honor on some other point that allows us to dismiss his pro-abortion record. As a contrary example, I wouldn’t have a problem, for example, with Julianne Moore or Glenn Close or some other actress with a history of pro-abortion statements or activism being feted at a campus film festival or leading an actors workshop or speaking to drama or RTF students or performing in a play, etc. To be fair, Obama is not getting specified kudos for his great work on life issues (though more on that below).

    But a commencement speech is a generalized honor, to the whole graduation class, and it’s also the highest-profile honor a university can offer. It’s also essentially a monolog by that person, rather than either a dialog or a discussion or a work. It’s also open-ended in its subject matter, and to the extent there are expectations about its subject, it will be about life as a whole, as the graduates move from one stage of life to another. So a commencement speech, by its very genericness and one-sidedness, is, I think necessarily a general endorsement of the person as a whole in a way that speaking on a specified topic or doing a specific task need not be. Therefore, we get to the question of whether a general endorsement of Obama is possible for a Catholic institution. Obviously, the issue of “how do you characterize ‘their actions’ in the USCCB doc” is not as clear cut in Obama’s case as with Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson, whose best-known public achievements that brought them fame were entirely bad ones.

    But ask yourself … what are Obama’s achievements? They are primarily being elected, to the presidency and earlier to lesser offices, which is hardly a particularly good thing, in itself, separate from what he does or did with the political power thus gained. It needs no saying that breaking the White House color barrier is a very good thing. But it’s hard to see, other than that, what makes Obama’s political record honor-worthy. And even harder to see what else he has, even in principle, worth honoring. It all has to stand or fall on his votes and political rhetoric.

    And on abortion, he is simply beyond abominable. Even before becoming president, there was his votes on partial-birth abortion and on the Born-Alive bill, his lying about the Born-Alive bill and calling others liars, his rhetorical support and earlier sponsorship of FOCA, and rhetoric like “above my pay grade” and “punished with a child.” In the 60-some days since becoming president, he has thrice acted on life issues and every time done bad: the Mexico City policy on funding abortion overseas, government funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and ordering a weakening of the conscience clause. Every opportunity to dis’ pro-lifers, he has taken.

    So “can you honor a whole person when his actions in his principal field of achievement are this bad, from the perspective of the Church” (and frankly of right reason). Now to be sure, those abortion things aren’t Obama’s only political acts. Bigger fans of him than I no doubt can name them. But I think it’s fair to define him as a politician that way, simply because abortion is not one issue among many. Rather, as the US Church has said repeatedly, that the defining issues of current US politics are abortion and the other life issues (ESCR, euthanasia — oh, BTW, does anyone even remember that Obama called his vote to stop the Schiavo murder his greatest mistake). Other issues besides life exist, they don’t “not matter,” but they can never override wrong choices on life. Here is the USCCB (skip to section 23):

    But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the “temple of the Holy Spirit” — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation.

    Given that stated centrality of abortion and euthanasia, given that Obama is a politician whose only achievements are in this very field (public votes and rhetoric), and given how awful, hard-to-imagine-how-they-could-be-worse his votes and rhetoric in this central field are — I think it quite clear that giving *this* honor to *this* man does suggest support, or at least indifference (which would be unacceptable for its own reasons), for his actions on abortion.

    There is one other point, a smaller one that tends to get swallowed up. Obama is getting an honorary JD, a law degree. That’s a specific honor that has specific meaning to competence in a specific field. And one that Obama has even cited as giving him expertise to act against life (if you look at the link above, he calls his recanted Schiavo vote something that “as a constitutional law professor, I knew better”). Given that Obama has defended Roe vs. Wade and the “right to privacy” and said de-facto that as president he would only appoint pro-Roe judges, then it seems to me that to grant him an honorary JD (rather than an honorary PhD is chemistry, say) is to honor his legal thought, and thus indirectly to honor the jurisprudence that has given us 45 million abortions since 1973.

  • Also … (phew) … here’s the other grammar point.

    The sentence is phrased wrong whether or not its intended meaning is restrictive or descriptive, because the clause isn’t introduced with “that.”

    In other words, if the USCCB had said “… awards, honors or platforms that would suggest…” then clearly some such honors do suggest support and some don’t; the latter are permitted, the former are not.

    Or if the USCCB had said “… awards, honors or platforms, which would suggest…” then equally clearly all such honors suggest support and all are barred.

    As it’s written, with no comma and “which” … impossible to say from grammar.

  • Let’s be clear: abortion is the murder of children, probably the worst moral offense there is. If you don’t believe that, you’re out of line with the Church and you should not be receiving communion. If you do believe that children are being murdered by abortion than you should be outraged by those who are performing the abortions and those who create laws that promote, support, or permit it. If you are outraged by those people you should not bestow honors upon them (or vote for them). There are many things you can do with them: engage them in dialogue, work with them on issues of agreement, etc. But you should not honor them! (respect is different than honor) You should not let yourself or your institution be used by them to win a swing state!
    Any argument to the contrary is mere equivocation.

  • What Courage Man said. Other than the matter of the subordinating conjunction, of which my old Warriner’s grammar states that it mox nix as long as you’re referring to things and not people.

    If we’re going to make issue of commas, from where I’m reading it makes little diff:

    “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions,” indicates that those (and presumably only those) items which would suggest support should not be given them.

    “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms, which would suggest support for their actions,” indicates that all items on the list would suggest support and should therefore not be given them.

    One could argue, I suppose, that the specific honor and platform being given the President do not indicate support, but one would be hard pressed to make that case.

  • I would say bravo to His Eminence and do. But I could also say bravo for celebrating Mass this morning. Or visiting a sick grandma at the hospital. Part of his gig to stand up for official Catholic teaching. Clearly he is peeved that Father Jenkins only told him of the invitation before the glitzy news conference to an adoring MSM. Not going well for Johnny. Alums in a tizzy. Large percentage of the younguns in uproar, too. A gag me with a spoon moment in which he hoped the invitation would lead to ‘positive engagement.” A phrase designed to replace the old warhorse ‘dialogue.’ Earth to Johnny- you don’t have to out-Hesburgh Father Hesburgh. You don’t have to be America’s Open-Minded Promient Priest. Just gently rescind offer and move on.

  • I was disappointed that Bishop D’Arcy encouraged Ambassador Glendon to receive her Medal. The juxtaposition of the invitations to Obama and Glendon actually furthers the impression of a political equivalency btween the two.

  • For days all the attention has been on what Bishop D’Arcy was going to do. However, Notre Dame was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross — not the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend — and I presume they still run the place, or have some kind of governance over it. Father Jenkins, in his priestly capacity, answers to their superior general (or whatever the head honcho’s title is), not to Bishop D’Arcy. So has anyone been writing letters, e-mails, etc. to the CSC superior about this? I would think he’d have a little more pull here.

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The Bishop and the President

Monday, March 23, AD 2009

bishop-john-m-darcy

Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is planning to release a statement tomorrow, March 24, on the intention of Notre Dame to pay homage to Obama on May 17, 2009.  Assuming that the Bishop condemns the visit this would not be his first clash with the powers that be at Notre Dame.  On February 24, 2004 he condemned the annual presentation at Notre Dame of the Vagina Monologues.  Notre Dame ignored him, and, under President Jenkins, the department sponsored Vagina Monologues performances continue, with his about face on that issue indicating Jenkins’ complete lack of willingness to defend Catholic teaching and morality.  On  April 30, 2006 and again on March 2008, Bishop D’Arcy released statements about the ongoing performances of the Vagina Monologues, highlighting his intense disagreement with Jenkins.    The Bishop has also condemned the “Queer Film Festival” sponsored by Notre Dame.

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20 Responses to The Bishop and the President

  • This case is akin to that of our American Catholic politicians who consistently ignore Church teaching, our bishops, and most recently (in Madame Pelosi’s case) our pope.
    Unless God changes their hearts, nothing will happen until the bishops start laying down excommunications, or in this case revoke ND’s Catholic affiliation.

  • I’m sure it will be deleted at some point, but why does this idiot troll keep posting these comments on this website? Is this some sort of Hot Air offshoot that I am not aware of?

  • Because you are a bigot Jim as amply demonstrated by your obsession with attacking the Catholic Church. I have deleted your comment as I will delete any comments of yours that appear in future in any of my threads.

  • Correct Paul. Follow this link please and you will see what has Jim up in arms:

    http://aggressiveconservative.blogspot.com/

  • Okay, now that you’ve deleted jim’s comment, I hope Blue Shoe doesn’t think I am calling him a troll 🙂

  • In regard to jim, I shouldn’t allow myself to be drawn off topic, but this is just one of many anti-Catholic comments that he posted at Hot Air:

    “If God had thought abortion was murder, then why didn’t He say so more clearly in the Bible? He apparently thought it was significant enough in the Old Testament to tell people what types of clothes they could wear and what types of food they could eat, yet no explicit mention of abortion?

    As to you Orthodox Catholics, if you don’t like what’s going on in the US, why don’t you move to Vatican City?

    jim m on February 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM”

    Needless to say, I have no intention of providing a platform to a person of this stripe.

  • And Sydney is right. Every HA comment thread that alludes to the Church in some way always seems to draw some anti-Catholic kook. I’ve recently registered to comment there, but it’s hard to dig through the morass on such a highly trafficked site.

  • In addition to being a bigot Jim you are dense. As I stated earlier I will delete all of your comments in my threads, just as I deleted your latest musing. I will not give you a forum to vent your hatred of the Catholic Church.

  • I’m a lawyer too Jim, and even a bad attorney should know that you cannot libel or defame a pseudonym. Your threat is as meaningless as your bigotry against my Faith is repulsive, and your comment is deleted.

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  • Thank you Dale for sharing that link. You and Donald are just as sensitive to this issue as I am and I appreciate your proclivity in sharing this information in a timely fashion.

    The best we can do as Catholics outside of prayer is to disseminate this information as quickly as possible to inform Catholics everywhere of the culpability that the University of Notre Dame, in specific, Father John Jenkins, shares in endorsing the slaughter of innocents.

  • My pleasure. Thanks for the hat-tip.

  • …of the culpability that the University of Notre Dame, in specific, Father John Jenkins, shares in endorsing the slaughter of innocents….

    Fr. Jenkins has made no such endorsement. Tito veers toward calumny again.

  • You are correct Mr. DeFrancisis, I think the sentence would better read as follows: “shares in honoring a politician who has fought to keep legal the slaughter of innocents.”

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you Donald.

    You wrote exactly what I was attempting to convey.

    Glad to see that Mark DeFrancisis is astute to catch that, but it fails me to comprehend why he is incapable of catching the errors of Father Jenkins in inviting a pro-abortion president. Or condemn President Obama’s policies of promoting abortion on demand. Or ever condemning any action that is unCatholic.

    Instead he wriggles in his dungarees reading through various pro-life and pro-Catholic websites trying to find anything that would undermine the Catholic message to relieve his anxiety that there are people that love their faith and actually stand up for their beliefs in God and His Church.

    *sigh*

    One can only dream of having a warrior such as Mark on the side of good, rather than an enabler of excuses and dissent.

  • Just don’t forget, Christ has come to save President Obama. Does his work to save Obama mean he supports him? Obviously not. Yet, he worked for his salvation despite what Obama has, and will, do.

  • Indeed He has Mr. Karlson, and I hope He succeeds.

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