Land O’Lakes Statement
By Charles E. Rice
Fr. Norman Weslin, O.S., at the complaint of Notre Dame, was arrested in May 2009 and charged as a criminal for peacefully entering the Notre Dame campus to offer his prayer of reparation for Notre Dame’s conferral of its highest honor on President Obama, the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world. The University refuses to ask the St. Joseph County prosecutor to drop the charges against Fr. Weslin and the others arrested, still known as the ND 88 although one, Linda Schmidt, died of cancer this past March. Judge Michael P. Scopelitis, of St. Joseph Superior Court, recently issued two important orders in this case.
The first order denied the State’s motion to consolidate the cases of multiple defendants. That motion would have denied each separate defendant his right to a separate jury trial. The order did permit consolidation of the trials of twice-charged defendants on the separate offenses with which that defendant was charged; a defendant charged, for example, with trespass and disorderly conduct would therefore not have to appear for two trials. Judge Scopelitis also denied the prosecution’s attempt to force each defendant to return to South Bend for each proceeding in the case, which would have coerced the defendants to abandon their defense. Instead, the Judge permitted the defendants to participate by telephone in pre-trial conferences.
It’s no secret to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to the state of Catholic higher education that it has drifted far from orthodoxy, and in some cases, from basic Catholic teachings. The list of examples that might be complied would be sufficiently ghastly to demonstrate that fact. Unfortunately I think a new threshold has been crossed, as nominally-Catholic schools become involved with Planned Parenthood. Thanks to CatholicCulture.org for these updates.
First there is the case of Alverno College in Wisconsin, which placed a student as an intern for Planned Parenthood, as can be seen on page 34 of this PDF. Alverno College states in its mission statement that “[s]ervice to the community, improving society by addressing educational needs, and working for social justice, especially for women, are core components of both the founding order and the college.” On the left, “social justice, especially for women” has traditionally meant the unrestricted right to abortion. It is sad to learn that a nominally-Catholic institution may be adopting that same view.
Next there is the case of Spalding University in Kentucky, where a “prominent administrator” has, in the course of her “community involvement” served on the board of Planned Parenthood. Some people might wonder what the big deal is, if she is only an administrator. Well, this same university co-hosted a conference with a CCHD-funded group called “Women In Transition”, at which a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest gave a speech. The topic? Here was the title of the presentation: “It begins with me: Confronting reproductive health issues.” A fitting title, since abortion is the height of selfishness, whether it is a woman choosing to dispose of her child or a father threatening, coercing, or encouraging the mother to do so. No, pro-aborts, it isn’t all about women.
The really tragic thing here is that there is, I believe, some good in the work these groups too. They wish to address poverty and genuine social injustice. But there can be no social justice as long as the innocent and weak may be murdered on a whim. I hope the Catholic students who understand this truth hold the faculty and staff of their schools to account.
[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.