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.”
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.
News spread fast with the announcement that the University of Notre Dame (ND) will have President Obama at its commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree. Our very own Donald R. McClarey was johnny-on-the-spot with the breaking news last night. Here is the official press release states as follows:
“Mr. Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to be awarded an honorary degree by the University and the sixth to be the Commencement speaker.”
Here’s a round up of the near-unanimous condemnation of this invitation to Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama:
1. Bishop John D’Arcy has been very critical of ND in the past. Bishop D’Arcy has also defended unborn children againstPresident Obama’s anti-life agenda in the past. His Excellency will have quite a bit to say come Monday.
2. The ND switchboard was overwhelmed late last night with all calls expressing their outrage at the invitation of a president with blood on his hands of innocent children. The voice mailbox for the President, Fr. John Jenkins, Vice-President, Provost, assistant-provost and PR director of ND were all full by 9pm EST.
The University of Notre Dame announced today that President Obama will be the commencement speaker this year and receive an honorary degree. Leaving aside the spit in the face insult to Our Lady that this invitation constitutes, the bishops of this country* spoke on this point in 2004:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
I hope that faithful Catholics will do their best to persuade the administration of Notre Dame to rethink this invitation. If the administration does not, I hope that enough faithful Catholics show up on May 17, 2009 to make the protest of the speech a memorable one. I also trust that the students of Notre Dame who take their Faith seriously will also find means during the speech to express their displeasure over the choice of speaker known.
* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or USCCB
Update I: As usual, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is on top of the story.
Update II: Totus chimes in.
Update III: For those of you who would like to make your views known to the president of Notre Dame, click here.
Update IV: Good. There is a website set up to organize resistance to this invitation.
There is a disconnect between Cardinal O’Malley’s recent statements regarding the referral for abortions at Catholic hospitals in Boston and what is actually happening on the ground. Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, has stated in so many words that no abortions will be referred to patients in Catholic hospitals that is run by Caritas Christi Health Care Network (Caritas). On the other hand the Boston Globe has reported that last week Thursday Massachusetts state regulators voted to accept a joint venture between a Catholic hospital chain and a healthcare organization that covers abortions, Centene (pronounced sen-teen).
This new joint venture between Caritas and Centene, called the Commonwealth Family Health Plan, will provide information on where to get an abortion at all Catholic hospitals operating under Caritas. In addition Centene is a St. Louis based health organization that no hospital in the state of Massachusetts offers. So basically this ‘joint venture’ will only be operating in Catholic hospitals under the Caritas plan.
A lone individual with a sign protesting the second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development sets Vox Nova‘s Morning’s Minion on a tirade against Fr. Neuhaus and evangelicals:
After a moment of confusion, it suddenly dawned on me what this was about. And then I became rather angry. Yes, it was just one “whack-job”, but I was still angry. And then I thought of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’s partially-successful attempt to align Catholics with the emergent right-wing evangelical movement, and realized that it had come to this. Catholics, including Neuhaus, were lambasting an anti-poverty program because it simply did not fit with the the ideological talking points of the hour.
As Fr. Neuhaus points out, “Ten years ago, CCHD was exposed as using the Catholic Church as a milk cow to fund organizations that frequently were actively working against the Church’s mission, especially in their support of pro-abortion activities and politicians.”
Pointing to the CCHD’s stated principles, including that it “will not consider organizations which promote or support abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, or any other affront to human life and dignity,” Morning’s Minion dismisses Neuhaus’ concerns:
This is important as many of the critics (including Neuhaus) claim it is funding pro-abortion activities. (Yet again, the mis-use of the abortion agenda as a Trojan horse to further a distinctly less noble cause– will this ever end?)
Unfortunately, Neuhaus’ claim is true — CCHD has a disappointing history of, contrary to its stated principles, providing extensive funding for questionable political groups with agendas morally at odds with Catholic teaching.
So I sit on the couch watching Thursday Night Football, cringing at the poor performance of the Denver Broncos, and alternatively trying to work on my writing and my reading. And then it pops up during one of those lulls in action. Spicy chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. My stomach rumbles, and I immediately consider the benefit of running down to Wendy’s and ordering some. The store is just a few blocks away, the nuggets are only 99 cents a pack, and I haven’t eaten dinner yet. I stand up, contemplating, and then with a sigh I decide to eat the leftover stew from the previous night.