PopeWatch: Notre Dame

Friday, January 31, AD 2014

28 Responses to PopeWatch: Notre Dame

  • Great start Pope Francis. Follow through is completely another story however this tone was long overdue.

    Catholic Identity indeed!

  • Gregory Baum and his band of Canadian rebels, who derided Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, would be pleased with their contemporary counterpart Gary Gutting’s advocacy of abortion; for this subset of “Catholics” abortion is the natural and holistic progression of Baum’s efforts to normalize contraception.
    When contraception fails, abortion is their solution. The popes must be enlightened and made to submit to progress

  • “. . . will continue to . . .”

    On what planet does Pope Francis exist?

  • “There is, then, a strong case for thinking that abortions always bring about some bad results — at a minimum the loss of potential human life — and that for most pregnancies abortion would be morally wrong.”
    Science has proved that human life of an individual person begins at fertilization. “Potential human life” is actually a human life with potential. The endowed human soul is rational, innocent and virgin, capable of willing to live. The will to live of the human person, newly begotten, is the states’ right to life. Since man is born into ignorance, it may be that the sovereign person, begotten, has forgotten more than you or I can know. Even when we retain our free will and intellect, intuition and freedom, intangibles, that cannot be aborted, we can and may have forfeited most of our endowed gifts and talents. Gutting is a prime example of my theory.
    Firstly: The innocent person, begotten, may not be put to death for the crimes of his parents, rapist, murderer or whatever.
    Secondly: The innocence, legal and moral, of the newly begotten is the standard of Justice for the nation and the people. This is the compelling interest of the state.
    Thirdly, The sovereign person endowed with sovereign personhood by our Creator at fertilization, and the conception of the immaculate soul, until undone by concupiscence, constitutes the nation, of We, the people. This is the absolute compelling interest of the state in protecting and providing for the sovereign person in the womb.
    Gutting’s fine example of atheism, undeterred by Catholicism, the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church, science, tradition and common decency makes Gutting a prime candidate for expulsion.

  • he had better not.. he does have the right to express his opinions. if he does suffer any consequences, it will make me even MORE ashamed to be catholic

  • He has a right to be in support of legalized abortion and be employed at a Catholic university? What an odd conception of rights you have Ed. Does the position of the Church in defense of innocent human life also make you ashamed?

  • “…being ashamed to be catholic.”

    This is the line in the sand. Catholic identity. Supporting views contrary to our Catholic identity is what is Shameful.
    It’s time to chose. Catholic in name only weakens the institution, the Church!
    Catholic in deed truth and witness is what will usher in a New Springtime.
    A time of grace for all souls, especially ones teaching contrary to Our Holy Faith.

  • It appears to me that the professor is engaging in the sin of scandal.

    II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons

    Respect for the souls of others: scandal

    2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

    2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”85 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.86

    2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.


  • Ed,

    If so, then Christ, when He comes again in glory, will be ashamed of you.


  • I followed you link back to your previous writing about this professor and “we don’t need no stinkin’ bishops”. Thanks so much for this blog and your consistent Catholic work. You bless us all and you help us stay in touch with right thinking people who reinforce our faith- especially when there are so many who, (in teaching positions at Catholic universities) would lead Catholics astray.

  • “he does have the right to express his opinions.” Not as fact, unless he prefaces his opinion as opinion and says that he truly does not know. Then, in fact, Gutting is wasting the precious time of his students.

  • Ed, he does have a right to express his opinion. Once it is expressed this becomes an act that can be judged. If this act is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church, we have an obligation to refute it in kind – publicly or privately. If this act is by a teacher at a “catholic” university, then it is an incredible scandal and the height of hypocrisy.

    You are protecting the freedom to speak and express opinions. That is fine. Once opinions are expressed, we have to do our part to respond in a manner that reveals Truth. Being “ashamed” to be catholic and allowing scandalous statements to go unanswered is not acceptable. It is a refusal to recognize the Truth and to protect our Lord and Savior. If we do not recognize God here, He will not recognize us at our particular judgment. Lets join together and “fight the good fight.”

  • Factum, non verbum.

    I see talk from the Pope to Norte Dame, but no backup actions.

  • Paul W Primavera.

    Going way out on a limb here….

    For starters a bronze bust of Fr. R. Weslin stationed in a prominent area on campus. The inscription; As a reminder to all who tread this sacred holy ground.
    Be not afraid.

    May 15th 2009 our humble defender of the unborn was hauled off to jail in hand cuffs. Guilty of praying for the unborn on Notre Dame property, opposing Obama’s presence and baloney honorary degree.

    The bust of this true Catholic priest should be a lasting testimony of Catholic Identity on Catholic Universities around the globe. Fr. Weslin passed away near my workplace in Northern Michigan.

  • Norte….not Notre. (sorry)

  • In the interest of transparency I am not a graduate of Notre Dame University. Notre Dame University is the keystone to Catholic HIgher Education. As it goes, so does most if not all of Catholic higher education. In 1967, Father Hesburgh, head of Notre Dame led a conference of heads of major Catholic Universities and Colleges in America at what is known as “The Land of Lakes Conference”. Its purpose was to draw up a policy in which the “Catholic universities and colleges” expressed a new relationship between themselves and the Church and between the Catholic universities and the intellectual life. In masse, led by Notre Dame, the universities sided with entering into a full robust search for intellectual excellence along with “academic freedom’ and other values their secular counterparts held most dear. The cost? Catholic identity and faithfulness not only to Church teaching but to their own mission within the Church.

    While other Catholic Universities and colleges have embraced this outright-Georgetown being the crown jewel of that crowd, Notre Dame has wavered back and forth (I know some will claim it has not wavered, but it has not gone the route of Georgetown). The Obama administration knew exactly what it was doing when they targeted Notre Dame for a major address in which Obama spouted political niceties about recognizing Catholics do not agree with abortion etc.-that turned into outright lies. In the meantime Notre Dame, desiring the prestige etc burned its incense to Caesar. Nonetheless it did not hide crucifixes etc at the expressed direction of the Obama administration as did Georgetown. Notre Dame is wavering, sitting on the fence.

    It joined with so many others in suing the government over the HHS mandate, but when it lost its case (certainly not its fault) it declared it would comply with the mandate-again wavering back and forth. However, this time there are enough Catholic alumnae etc that are pushing back etc. One of their projects was the setting up of a Rome campus of the University. It was to these folks that the pope addressed his very well-aimed comments, using the fine classical (ancient) art of rhetoric [although a bad word for many, it actually is a form of communication urging a certain direction, a change of direction etc. It was the language of the Church Fathers, a venerable tradition indeed). To put it in perhaps less diplomatic terms, what Pope Francis has done has set off a ticking time bomb-calling up the Catholic troops of the alumnae and board members calling for an end of the wavering and to once and for all side with Catholic identity and mission.

    In the meantime, the ripple effect of this happening at Notre Dame will effect the other Catholic universities and colleges. It is very likely the undoing of the 1967 Land of Lakes Conference. Finally.

  • Botolph.


    Thank you for your synopsis.
    I hope your right.

  • Philip,

    Me too lol

  • Botolph.”“Finally.” Thank you for your synopsis. I hope your (sic) right.””
    I second the motion. It may take some time like a volcano or avalanche. I never realized what an ignorant man Hesburgh was. Thank you Botolph

  • Mary De Voe,

    You are very welcome. One thing however I should note is that there very well could be some prominent “Catholic universities or colleges” that will resist this call back (call to repentance) to Catholic identity and mission. They will become totally secularized and literally be “Catholic” in name only-by long association of the name with “Catholic” or even keeping a saints name etc. However they really will be secular and not Catholic.

    This is a time of grace for the Church-opportunity to respond to the call of Christ to holiness and in this way to be the ‘sacrament’ of Christ, the Light for the Nations. However, the time of pruning is literally ‘upon us’ and there will be a great deal of pruning indeed.

  • Two conferences that were bruises on history Lambeth and Land of Lakes. Maybe there will be an equal and opposite pair of conferences sometime that will help bring us back to our senses.

  • Anzlyne,

    You are correct about both conferences-Lambeth and Land of Lakes. But just a clarification for those who might not be as familiar with them: Lambeth was the conference of the Anglican Communion in 1930 [they take place every ten years] It was not a Catholic conference. In that meeting however, the ANglican Communion broke with the received Apostolic Moral Tradition, allowing birth control in certain circumstances. That was the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. A whirlwind developed within all of Christianity.

    In direct response to the Lambeth Conference, Pope Pius XI wrote his encyclical December 31, 1930 Casti Connubii [literally: Chaste Wedlock] which condemned eugenics (a major issue in the West at the time specially in America with such American names as Rockefeller, Ford, and Sanger etc behind it]. It condemned abortion. However its teaching on the sanctity and meaning of marriage is what it primarily takes on: holy matrimony is a sacrament which is equal to virginal and unmarried. It condemned adultery and divorce and called for husbands to love their wives as Christ love His Bride the Church.

    Prior to Casti Connubii it was thought by Catholics that the only real purpose of marriage was to have children. this certainly remains central yet Pope Pius XI added the unitive dimension-love. Here was development of doctrine. Up until this point marriage was seen primarily for the procreation of children. Now it has a two-fold nature and mission: it is both creative and unitive, life giving and love giving. [As you can see Humanae Vitae in 1968 simply repeated this teaching. It was ‘the world and Catholics’ who wanted to reduce marriage to the unitive (opening the gates to any and all forms of unions between consenting adults)

    The Land of Lakes Conference, was a major meeting of heads of Catholic Universities and colleges. It has not been completely tackled, but the speech of Pope Francis to Notre Dame shows the direction he is going in and desires for Catholic universities and colleges.

    Frankly, what I see emerging is a new form of the Code of Canon Law. The Code of 1983 was good but has already been ‘tweeked’ and still needs to be worked on. A real reform of the Canons will bring a clear discipline back into the Church. However, we will see what develops over the next few years.

  • Botolph: “Prior to Casti Connubii it was thought by Catholics that the only real purpose of marriage was to have children.” It still is. Children bring the unitive dimension to matrimony that is the Sacrament of Matrimony. Children, the prospect of children and the intent for children bring the unitive dimension into matrimony.

  • Mary De Voe,

    You are correct, the procreative, creative, life-giving is fundamental to the meaning and practice of conjugal (marital) love. WHat Pope Pius XI brought forth from the Tradition that was not at that point fully understood was the unitive, love-giving aspect is just as fundamental. Since 1930, the Church has taught that marital love is both life-giving and love-giving. Humanae Vitae simply reaffirmed this teaching in 1968

    Today most of the world and sadly many Catholics want to separate the life-giving from the love-giving so that marriage is only about two consenting adults loving each other, changing the meaning of marriage. The Church cannot and will not change her teaching to conform to the world on this

  • Botolph: Thank You for your kind response. Follow me closely. There is no unitive love without the prospect of children. As Isaiah says: “bring forth my sons and daughters from afar” These sons and daughters from afar are our constitutional posterity, as some have called our posterity “our future”. These children to be brought forward are innocent virgins created in perfect Love, our standard of Justice, without whom, all human consent, public and private has been annihilated. Human consent being imperfect to every degree, only the perfect love and innocence of the newly begotten satisfy the demands of consent. One hears oaths, not recommended, in fact, a crime against the innocent and totally unnecessary, for God’s will be done, oaths “on the lives of my children.” using the perfect innocence of children to proclaim the truth of any matter.
    In my own words, if one truly loves you he will desire more of you, and do all that is in his power to bring more of you “from afar”.
    Unitive love is a corollary of procreative love. As any corollary, unitive love cannot be separated from procreative love without destroying the fabric of marriage. “I love you, but only so far” does not make marriage, simply because the other spouse may mean “til death do us part”. Both spouses must mean the same to grow in love. Marriage must be what it is.

  • Mary De Voe.
    No truer words spoken.
    God bless you.

  • Mary De Voe,

    You are completely on target 🙂 !

  • Philip and Botolph: Then pray for me. Thank you.

Bishops? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bishops!

Tuesday, March 13, AD 2012


In the spirit of the Obama Worship Day at Notre Dame in 2009, Notre Dame Professor of Philosophy Gary Cutting has a recent article in the New York Times, the high worship rag for all liberal apostate Catholics, in which he explains why Catholics should not pay attention to the Bishops and the silly fuss they are making over the HHS Mandate, which, among other things, rips to shreds freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment.  I was going to give the article a fisking to remember, but Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has beaten me to it:

Roman Catholics will be interested to learn that Gary Gutting, a philosophy professor at Notre Dame and someone who claims to be a Catholic, recently discovered that the Reformation is finally over and that the Protestants won:

What interests me as a philosopher — and a Catholic — is that virtually all parties to this often acrimonious debate have assumed that the bishops are right about this, that birth control is contrary to “the teachings of the Catholic Church.” The only issue is how, if at all, the government should “respect” this teaching.

Good question since Gutting thinks that Catholics have pretty much plowed it under and sowed the furrows with nuclear waste.

As critics repeatedly point out, 98 percent of sexually active American Catholic women practice birth control, and 78 percent of Catholics think a “good Catholic” can reject the bishops’ teaching on birth control.  The response from the church, however, has been that, regardless of what the majority of Catholics do and think, the church’s teaching is that birth control is morally wrong.  The church, in the inevitable phrase, “is not a democracy.”   What the church teaches is what the bishops (and, ultimately, the pope, as head of the bishops) say it does.

The bishops aren’t the boss of us!!

But is this true?  The answer requires some thought about the nature and basis of religious authority.  Ultimately the claim is that this authority derives from God.  But since we live in a human world in which God does not directly speak to us, we need to ask, Who decides that God has given, say, the Catholic bishops his authority?

Who died and made the bishops religious leaders?

It makes no sense to say that the bishops themselves can decide this, that we should accept their religious authority because they say God has given it to them.  If this were so, anyone proclaiming himself a religious authority would have to be recognized as one.  From where, then, in our democratic, secular society does such recognition properly come?  It could, in principle, come from some other authority, like the secular government.  But we have long given up the idea (“cujus regio, ejus religio”) that our government can legitimately designate the religious authority in its domain.  But if the government cannot determine religious authority, surely no lesser secular power could.  Theological experts could tell us what the bishops have taught over the centuries, but this does not tell us whether these teachings have divine authority.

Out: cujus regio, ejus religio.  In: vox populi vox dei.

In our democratic society the ultimate arbiter of religious authority is the conscience of the individual believer. It follows that there is no alternative to accepting the members of a religious group as themselves the only legitimate source of the decision to accept their leaders as authorized by God.  They may be wrong, but their judgment is answerable to no one but God.  In this sense, even the Catholic Church is a democracy.

You know that joke I like to make about how in the future, everybody, to paraphrase Andy Warhol, will be an Episcopal bishop for fifteen minutes?  As far as Gutting is concerned, every single Roman Catholic is a bishop right now.

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9 Responses to Bishops? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bishops!

  • Who died and made the bishops religious leaders?

    Oh, it’s on the tip of my tongue…begins with a J …. Jim… John …. Joe… Jesse… Jesus!! That’s it.

  • What I read in here is all true. There is nothing other than the Church that claims the Bishops have the authority of Christ to teach in the name of Christ. However, it is stated in the Bible (which was given to us through Tradition passed to us through the Church), that these men were given the authority by Christ himself. Of course, one would have to have Faith in order to “buy in” to that system. Otherwise, it does all become about power and autonomy and the most popular belief (as we have seen work to the great demise of most protestant faith traditions). Do I believe that the Bishops have the authority to teach and have consistently lead the Church through the past 2000 years by the direction of the Holy Spirit? Yes or No? The evidence certainly would point in favor of the constant teachings of the Church, but it still requires faith and a bit of humility. Unfortunately, those are two qualities this world despises. This professors is logically correct in his argument, saying that however, logic and reason can take you only so far. At some point, you must either ascent to the truth or you must deny it. It’s a shame so many choose to deny it, but that doesn’t make it less true.

  • Remember, the whole point of President Caiaphas’ efforts, and those of his infernal minions, is to cause the Church’s charities, medical facilities and social services to close, so they can take over.

    That makes Professor Gutting (ironic, that) a Fascist pig, since anything which does not stand in defense of the First Amendment’s Freedom of Religion clause then stands against it. Any attempt to weaken the Church or divide its members is an attack by the powers of darkness and oppression.

    Surely, a Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame cannot be stupid enough to not see what he’s doing. Thus, it must logically follow that he has consciously and purposefully enlisted in the ranks of the Godless totalitarians, seeking by intent to ruin the Church and eviscerate America in the process. By this overt action he could, and should, be excommunicated.

    What will it take to start the excommunications en masse? What will it take to have the Bishops stand up and slice these forked-tonged serpents to tiny bits? Why so long?

  • I have recently read somewhere that these “so-called” catholics have excommunicated themselves….a pattern that has come about perhaps since Vatican 2. The article I cite did put forth the idea that the Bishops were very careful not to sound too dogmatic! ha ha…..I, for one, would love to hear a Bishop or Cardinal speak out about our high profile catholics (small c)…Let Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sibelius, and others of their ilk be called on the carpet…I hope I am not sounding judgemental, but it might be the one of the jobs of the hierarchy to excommunicate people. The time has come for those closest to the Lord to take a stand!

  • What are Catholics to think about their bishops when they preach the evil of abortion and glad hand the purveyors of it. I’m talking about their cozy relationship with the democrats. When I witnessed Ted Kennedys funeral and the reception of his casket by the Cardinal of DC I wanted to puke. The excuse for overlooking his evil was the social justice babble. Once again they threw their weight behind the dems with obamacare and are surprised by what came out of that public financing of abortion. These are highly educated men how can they be so foolish to have trusted the radical community organizer in the white house to produce a clean reasonable bill. Do they think now that abortion is the only horror in this bill, have they not figured out that the handicapped the elderly and those babies with handicaps that were lucky enough to make it into the world will have reduced medical care as in the eyes of some of his advisors are of little use to the state. There are some good thoughtful bishops who adhere to church teaching and then there are the others unfortunately the ones usually quoted by the media are the misguided ones.

  • Is the following quote pertinent to both clerics and laity?

    “What is reprehensible is that, while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some fearing to offend shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice. To be sure, the motive behind their tolerance is that they may suffer no hurt in the possession of those temporal goods which virtuous and blameless men may lawfully enjoy; still, there is more self-seeking here than becomes men who are mere sojourners in this world and who profess hope of a home in heaven.” from St. Augustine, The City of God.

  • Finite minds need infinite wisdom.

  • JANE a. Sebelius was instructed to not present herself for Holy Communion by her bishop and Pelosi was called to the Vatican. Pelosi’s meeting with Pope Benedict XVI remains private. I think Pelosi and Sebelious do so much bellowing about being Catholic because they are not Catholic and have been chained. Pelosi and Sebelius are like chained devils, rattling their chains.