9 Responses to "You dishonor the reputation of the University of Notre Dame"

  • As Cathleen Kaveny has said in other contexts, “we would all do well to beware of prophets whose prophesies cost them little.”

  • 30 plus bishops have thus far denounced the decision of Jenkins to prostrate Notre Dame in homage to Obama. The Archbishop’s statement as to Jenkin’s dishonoring the reputation of Notre Dame isn’t a prediction, merely an accurate observation.

  • Ms. Kaveny’s statement is one of those dazzling pseudo-profundities whose emptiness becomes apparent very quickly.

    So, unless one has something at risk, one should shut up on an injustice that does not directly affect them?

    I never figured you and Mr. Iafrate as pray, pay and obey advocates, Mr. DeFrancisis, but people usually have surprising facets.

  • OK, yes, that was snarky on my part. But Kaveny’s formulation is a zinger meant to discredit both the speaker and the cause for which he/she is speaking, and can be applied to anyone whose particular ox is not being gored at the moment.

    It boils down to “‘Shut up,’ he explained.”

    Applied to the teaching office of the Church, it is especially dubious.

  • A particularly nasty version of the strawman fallacy is to mock someone for saying he is something he doesn’t say he is.

    In this instance, Bishop Buechlein says or implies that he is speaking as a faithful Catholic of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, as a good person, and as a person of good faith.

    He does not say or imply that he is speaking as a prophet.

  • Thank you, Archbishop, for standing up for all of us who oppose Father Jenkins’ invitation to President Obama. I am a Notre Dame graduate and a member of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as well. I sent Fr. Jenkins an e-mail urging him to change his mind, but I’m sure he will never see it. I pray that your words will be heard and will make a difference.

    Again, thank you.

  • As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame I just emailed Father Jenkins my unqualfied support of his invitation to President Barak H. Obama to attend and speak at ths year’s commencement.

    Why haven’t our bishops spoke out about many of the other right to life issues such as: pre-emptive war, ethnic cleansing, denial of human rights, rendition, and torture–and, yes pedophilia? It seems to me that President Obama has made some significant strides in these areas of the right to life issues.

    I have held signs at right to life parades. Have I ever seen a bishop? No. I worked in a Catholic soup kitchen for many years. Only a couple of times did I see a priest, but never a bishop.

    However, I have seen a Bishop Gumbleton not only talk the talk but walk the walk–literally. I have never seen him in princely garb.

    Charles J. Collet

  • “Why haven’t our bishops spoke out about many of the other right to life issues such as: pre-emptive war, ethnic cleansing, denial of human rights, rendition, and torture–and, yes pedophilia?”

    I’ve heard bishops speak out on all those issues.

    “Have I ever seen a bishop? No.”

    You must not have been looking hard. I see them constantly at right to life parades. Here is an article which details the presence at March for Life in January of a Cardinal and four bishops from Philadelphia alone.

    http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/01/23/top_stories/doc497975d96bac9331623411.txt

    I hope that when President Obama speaks at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009 there will be several bishops there to protest the honor that Notre Dame is paying to the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history.

2 Responses to “but it's not all THAT bad.”

  • Why are we surprised when we learn that Father Hesburgh was for a time President of the Rockefeller Foundation, a large supporter of abortion.

  • Gabriel,

    you forgot to mention he was a founder of “People For the American Way” and the lead signer of the “Land ‘O Lakes Statement”

In Defense of Notre Dame

Saturday, April 4, AD 2009

william-mr-daley

In the Land of Lincoln, when we have any great moral question to address, we often turn to the Daley clan who make their pronouncements from the Duchy of Daley, motto Ubi Est Mea, sometimes mistakenly called Cook County.  Now the brother of the current Duke, Richie the Lesser, William M. Daley, has come to the defense of Notre Dame and lambasted Francis Cardinal George for his statement taking the administration of Notre Dame to task for their planned adoration session with Obama on May 17.  Father Z has given this statement the fisking to end all fiskings, so I will let him do the honors.

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61 Responses to I Write to you with a Heavy Heart

  • The comments section on that site are always vicious, as bad they are, it was worse when Hughes was fighting the mess over parish closings (a shrinking city, priest shortage, and 100 million in damages from a hurricane and people still are upset that you have to close some parishes).

    Hughes usually isn’t one for controversy, so I was very surprised when I saw that he had stepped into this debate. That he would is a sign of how important this is to the bishops.

  • ‘We Catholics are in danger of becoming known not by how we love but by how we hate.’ –John Kavanaugh

  • Mark:

    Are you just posting this quote around? You posted it at VN’s thread on Bishop Dinardo’s comments too.

    Moreover, Archbishop Hughes’s letter is hardly hateful. If anything it conveys a sense of great sadness, which is unique in a political culture that prizes outdoing one another in self-righteous moral outrage.

  • You got me Mr. DeFrancisis I do hate abortion. Of course I hate it because I love unborn kids, so maybe that gets me off the hook.

  • You got me Mr. DeFrancisis I do hate abortion. Of course I hate it because I love unborn kids, so maybe that gets me off the hook.

    Where does your loving draw the line?

  • Mark that quote is at the core of what I think is wrong with this whole blasted ND situation.

    I don’t think we can gauge what is possible, though, by a rabble on the Internet anymore than we can accurately perceive a man’s heart who is overcome with the bloodlust of the mob. We will never convert, or defeat, the mob. It will always be there.

    We will only be able to inspire individuals who come together to form communities of faith and charity, by whose good deeds in the name of Christ all of society will come to know exactly where we stand. When we live with, among and like the pagans, when the petty concerns that consume their lives consume ours, it doesn’t matter what we profess to believe – actions speak louder than words.

  • “We Catholics are in danger of becoming known not by how we love but by how we hate.”

    In other words:

    Catholics,

    Get with it — show how much you love by defending & promoting acts of murder that hate (particularly, against innocent children).

  • “When we live with, among and like the pagans…”

    Does sacrificing millions of children on the altar of Moloch count as such?

    Or is that merely a petty concern that should not get in the way of our ‘Catholic brotherhood’?

    Did not St. Paul scold the Galatians, to the point of even calling them stupid, when they were committing error?

    Or are we supposed to simply let things like the murder of innocent children go, all because we don’t want to disturb the peace of the so-called Christian community (let alone, the consciences of certain folks) and for now on start calling evil ‘good’?

  • E,

    Why don’t you relax. I usually don’t end up in a snarky argument with a person until at least 5 posts after the disagreement has begun!

    You need to stop making assumptions about everyone who doesn’t share your exact level and frequency of apoplectic rage at a given situation – so do all of us, so do all Americans.

    As a matter of fact, yes, abortion IS a pagan practice, and even Aristotle, whom I highly respect as a great thinker, promoted it (not for women, of course, but population control).

    And yes, Paul did scold the Galatians, but do you know what else? Those Christians also cared for them. Recall the Roman emperor that saw Christianity as a threat because the “Galileans” fed his people as well as their own. They were conquering pagan idolatry with love – imagine that, by actually following strictly to the letter what Jesus taught about loving one’s enemies, they managed to succeed. God favors those who heed His Word.

    No, we don’t “let it go” – abortion is evil and we denounce it. But lets not pretend that denouncing it is really opposing it. Its a first step but without the steps that must follow it really is nothing but hot air and people, naturally, rightly or wrongly, will judge us by what we do, not what we say.

  • Yes, as I quoted in another thread:

    ‘We Catholics are in danger of becoming known not by how we love but by how we hate.’ John Kavanaugh.

    Many of us, it sadly seems, take our lists of official doctrine as the combative, but fundamental basis for our Catholic life, making it as our primary task to guard these truths and attack that which contradicts or does not fully comply. The outside world then sees from us primariy what appears most as our hate toward it.

    The pernicious error here is that we think that truth is ultimately about the ‘insurance’ propositions for our personal salvation, that we are to cling to defensively and utilize offensively, against the fallen world of which we have somehow escaped. Of course doctrine anf teaching are important, but they do not take us fully yo the heart of the matter.

    We miss the fact that truth ultimately is the faithful disclosure of Trintarian, communal, tri- personal love, in which we are to transformatively reside and to which we to invite others, through our acts of self-emptying love, ever so humbly yet efficiaciously mirroring the courtesy and kindly concern of our Savior, Christ Jesus showed us in his invitation into divine life. And only this type of truth ultimately changes hearts (and minds).

  • I don’t see how not speaking up against abortion and those Catholics who would actually defend Pro-aborts and the various policies which promote it is such an awful act.

    It seems those individuals who would support such heinous acts are to be heralded as amongst the virtuous whereas those who dare speak against them are to be condemned as the actual villains.

    I suppose it is a fitting twist in an already twisted world where killing innocent children is deemed not an evil but, on the contrary, an actual right.

  • Joe,

    No, we don’t “let it go” – abortion is evil and we denounce it. But lets not pretend that denouncing it is really opposing it. Its a first step but without the steps that must follow it really is nothing but hot air and people, naturally, rightly or wrongly, will judge us by what we do, not what we say.

    Inviting Obama to speak at a Catholic university is an action. Speaking out against it is an action. Denying UND funding and removing it’s right to be called Catholic is an action. Standing and praying is an action, aiding mothers who are the targets of the abortions is an action.

    Are you ok with all these actions, or should we toss some out?

  • “Many of us, it sadly seems, take our lists of official doctrine as the combative, but fundamental basis of our Catholic life, making it as our primary task to guard these truths and attack that which contradicts it or does not comply to it. The outside world then sees from us primarily what appears most as our hate toward it.”

    So, instead of “guard[ing] these truths” and standing up against the malevolent forces which “contradict it or does not comply to it”, you would instead have us compromise the truths of the Faith and, rather, simply keep silent?

    This wholly contradicts what Jesus, the Apostles, and all the Saints of Christendom did —

    These did not give into the Wiles of the World but rather spoke for and in defense of the Truth, even to the extent of being hated by the World (since, after all, they were not of it) because rather than gaining it and losing their souls in the process (since, often, they would preach against it), they knew and stood by the Truth, even at the cost of their own lives.

    Indeed, if our actual objective as Christians is to love and be loved by this World, we fail to be Christians.

    There’s a reason why the World hated Christ and those who preached for him.

    It was often because of the Truths preached that was, for the most part, so unpleasant to hear — especially in the ears of the worldly.

    “If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you.” Jn 15:18

    “If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Jn 15:19

    However, Catholic moderns have so succumbed to the post-modernist notion of pluralism so much so that they’ve distorted the Traditional message of the Gospel, even as made evident in the lives of the Saints, to preaching a new gospel that runs thus:

    “Love the World — Preach nothing that would so offend it! For what matters most is loving and being loved by the World, even at the expense of compromising Truth! Shame on you should you do the contrary!”

  • “It seems those individuals who would support such heinous acts are to be heralded as amongst the virtuous…”

    By whom? If this is what you think either Mark or I are doing, you are way out of line and you need to check yourself. You’re letting rage cloud your rational faculties. Stop it.

    We live under a pagan regime, not Christendom. We have to accept that reality and work on concrete ways to change the culture from within, like a virus, not an attack dog. That is how every movement succeeds.

    And Matt,

    I’m really sad that you would even ask me that. In any case, I was talking about OUR actions, so I fail to see the relevance of your point. I know you’re a bright fellow, so, I’m going to assume that you saw red and charged instead of thinking this one through.

  • The president of the university clearly stated the the commencement address platform and the conferral honorary law degree are not in any way to be taken as an endorsement or condonement of Obama’s position on abortion and ESCR issues.

  • And as for this…

    “There’s a reason why the World hated Christ and those who preached for him.”

    Yes! And there’s a reason why Christianity went from being universally hated to universally embraced in 300 years, which in today’s information society is more like 30.

  • Joe,

    I’m really sad that you would even ask me that. In any case, I was talking about OUR actions, so I fail to see the relevance of your point. I know you’re a bright fellow, so, I’m going to assume that you saw red and charged instead of thinking this one through.

    Those are our actions, at least the Catholics I affiliate with, I suspect many on this blog do the same. I don’t see red, I see equivocation. Can the condescension, it’s unbecoming.

    The Catholic Church started hated and has always been hated by many in the world. The days of universal embracing of Christianity died during the “enlightenment”. They may rise again, but not from when we compromise.

    Mark D.,

    so what?

  • Matt,

    With all due respect, until you show evidence of yourself as a Christian interloculator who attempts to hear and actually understand what your dialogical partner is saying, I see no point in trying to have a conversation with you.

  • Matt,

    Why did you include “inviting Obama to speak at a Catholic university” on that list, then? That isn’t our action.

    As for the rest I do embrace them, but why don’t you can the accusatory question? Why would you even ask me a question that you think you already know the answer to anyway?

  • e,

    I’ve gow news for you. The world hates us not only because we spraekin the name of Christ, but also because we fail miserably to live up to our name as Christians.

    I would not get so haughty whenever you encounter the world’s resistance. As the Church with Christ at its head and with Mary in her unconditional “yes”, we are saintly and virginally. But as a Church who basks in its pride and not the self-expending glory of its Savior and spouse, we are unfaithful harlots. And the world sees this all too clearly.

    And I wonder if the bloody, inter-Christian squabblings, in which all parties shared some serious blame, had anything to do with the perceived attractiveness of the Enlightenment?

    Have some humble self-reflection. We are not and were never told we would be a Church triumphant.

  • Joe,

    For somebody who adamently consuls about not forming assumptions about others, you’ve formed quite a variety concerning myself.

    Although, it’s a strange coincidence how when certain Catholics start speaking on behalf of the Truth and wholly defend it, there are those so peeved at this that they start engaging in platitudes in some sort of feigned moral high-ground effort to wrestle attention away from the substance of the actual wrongs being committed by those who hold and actually promote error such as abortion.

    When a Pro-life Catholic says:

    “Abortion is wrong — those who promote it are wrong since abortion is the killing of innocent children!”

    There are Catholics who, in turn, say:

    “What hate you Pro-lifers demonstrate toward your fellow man! Do you not recognize the sort of hate that is spewed forth from your own mouths???”

    Sometimes, it might be best to say:

    “Abortion is wrong, killing of innocent children is wrong — but since it is hateful to preach thus, I will simply say that because I love you as a fellow brother/sister in Christ, I will not say so but commend you on it!”

  • Joe,

    I honestly don’t know the answer, since I’ve only seen your posts a few times.

    that quote is at the core of what I think is wrong with this whole blasted ND situation….But lets not pretend that denouncing it is really opposing it. Its a first step but without the steps that must follow it really is nothing but hot air and people, naturally, rightly or wrongly, will judge us by what we do, not what we say.

    When you say things like this you’re trying to shutdown opposition to an evil which is occurring, and I would like to know exactly how you parse it. What is the “blasted situation”? That Obama was invited or that there is moral outrage and active opposition seeking to reverse it?

    Don’t avoid answering my question, just answer it.

  • Mark (& Joe),

    Okay, you’ve won —

    I surrender.

    Abortion is a good thing and we shouldn’t call others out on it but simply let them promote it, even globally in fact.

    Shame on me for ever speaking up against it and, most especially, against those who are for it.

    Also, to speak up against the Son of Man, Obama, concerning abortion (and, in particular, those acts which would aggrandize and even go so far as to seemingly legitimize the position of such proponents) is surely an offense against God Himself.

    I am thus a horrible, unfaithful Christian.

    I’ll go to my local Pro-Life chapter and start telling them to close shop because speaking for Life is after all, in all actuality, a demonstration of hate and not Christian. at all.

    In fact, whenever we speak up against these things (such as the bloody murdering of millions of innocent children) and against those who are for it (where even the slightest utterance concerning thus should be deemed a mortal sin in and of itself), we are merely showing ourselves to be but unfaithful harlots.

    You’ve shown me the error of my ways.

    The truly Christian are the Pro-aborts.

    They are the ones who quite rather nobly live up to the name ‘Christian’ and their work of defending abortion as well as pro-abort politicians (and their policies that significantly promote it) is actually a corporal work of mercy.

    God bless them. Every one.

    Hail the Vox-Novans!

    Saints Pelosi & Biden, Pray For Us!

  • Mark, I’ve got news for you. The world hates us because we try to convince it not to do what it wants to do. It then uses our inevitable imperfections to discredit our admonitions. The cry of hypocrisy is today’s last refuge of the scoundrel. Conforming one’s actions to one’s conscience is difficult and never done perfectly; so much easier to just conform one’s conscience to one’s actions and cry hypocrite at the imperfections of others.

  • e,

    I don’t think you’re characterizing Joe and Mark accurately.

  • Mike Petrik,

    Excellent Comments!

    (Also, I’m glad you’re still visiting the Catholic blogs! Haven’t seen you for quite a while since JA.O!)

    DarwinCatholic,

    If I’m in error, I apologize; however, it doesn’t seem to be that way.

    Error (especially that concerning Abortion) should never be embraced, defended or rationalized, even if unwittingly or through sheer obfuscation due to political (the sheer benefit of various entitlements) or even personal ends (such as to salve the collective conscience); no matter how the world views us — even if that should include suffering the enmity of our own fellow brothers & sisters in Christ because what we happen to preach (which is Truth) is not what they’d like to hear or proves to be such a matter of intolerably great inconvenience.

  • I deleted your last comment Mr. Karlson. Your mischaracterization of what Mr. Petrik was saying crossed a line. I am also placing you in moderation for the time being.

  • e.

    I don’t think Mark and Joe are trying to argue that abortion is good or that it’s okay to support abortion. However, they do seem to be put off by the strong reaction against providing Obama with this honor. I would surmise that’s probably because on issues other than abortion they find themselves more in sympathy with Obama than with many conservatives, and thus they suspect us conservatives piling on the Obama-honoring as mainly having ulterior motives for being worked up. (And we do, but I think we’re also dead right that it’s inappropriate to give him this honor.)

  • I agree with DarwinCatholic. e. neither Mr. DeFrancisis nor Joe are making pro-abort arguments. I will not delete your comment since Darwin has responded to it, but I will ask you to refrain from mischaracterizing the arguments that others are making. I appreciate and share your passion for the pro-life cause, but in my combox threads I want people to deal with the arguments actually being made by other commenters.

  • Now I wish I HAD stuck to my no-blogging-during-Lent resolution 🙂

    The problem, as I see it, is that devotion to even the most noble possible cause does not magically cure one’s fallen nature, nor does it eliminate temptations to pride, anger, resentment, and frustration.

    My guess is that probably 95 percent of blog comments that are labeled as “hateful” are motivated not by actual hatred (a genuine desire to see evil, physical harm or eternal damnation visited upon someone) but by simple frustration with the inability of other commenters to “see” what seems glaringly obvious or logical to you.

    When we combine this natural temptation with all the frustration that comes with embracing an unpopular, highly controversial, or seemingly hopeless cause (e.g., defending the unborn, opposing gay marriage, reviving the Republican Party, keeping Illinois governors out of jail, rooting for the Cubs) it’s no wonder commenters seem to get “hateful” at times.

    The Obama invitation to Notre Dame was, quite simply, the “last straw” for thousands, perhaps millions, of committed pro-life Catholics already worn out and discouraged from years of setback, ridicule and defeat and facing 4, or maybe 8, more years under a presidential administration more hostile to their most cherished beliefs than any before it. Hence the “strong reaction” which Mark and Joe believe to be excessive. Okay, maybe it was a bit excessive, but entirely understandable; kind of like screaming at your out-of-control kids at the end of a really, really bad day when absolutely nothing seems to be going right.

  • e. is absolutely correct when he states that certain commentors are defensive of the honoring of Obama because they are more in agreement with Obama than not, and apparently believe those areas of agreement outweigh his rabid pro-abortion positions. So, while that doesn’t belie a pro-abortion position, it certainly suggests that these commenters lack the Church’s passion for protection of the most innocent from vile attacks.

    Elaine,

    being a pro-life fanatic is not a psychological problem it’s a moral obligation. How can we not be passionate? I don’t know ANY pro-lifers who feel “worn out and discouraged from years of setback, ridicule and defeat” (in fact great strides have been made in the past few years). Don’t psychoanalyze us.

  • You don’t know ANY pro-lifers who feel worn out and discouraged? Sheesh, I know plenty of them, including myself.

    And while it is a moral obligation to be pro-life, and to defend Church teaching to the best of our ability, I don’t know that I would call it a moral obligation to feel passionate, fired up or “fanatical” about it 100 percent of the time. I have a moral obligation to love my husband and be faithful to him; but does that translate into a moral obligation to be “madly in love” with him 100 percent of the time, to never disagree with him, or to attack anyone who expresses even mild disagreement with him?

  • Elaine,

    I said, I don’t know any pro-lifers who feel “worn out and discouraged from years of setback, ridicule and defeat”. I don’t.

    I don’t know that I would call it a moral obligation to feel passionate, fired up or “fanatical” about it 100 percent of the time

    Again, that’s not what I said. I said it’s a moral obligation to be fanatical about pro-life. Let’s try this. If you were in Nazi Germany, do you think you’d be obligated to be passionately opposed to gassing Jews? What about slavery? What if it were born babies being sliced into little pieces by the thousands? Would you be any more passionate?

    My point is that many Catholics have become desensitized to the true horror that is abortion, this trend MUST be reversed if we are to succeed.

    Being angry or fired up is NOT a disorder, there is a time for righteous anger.

  • The accusations of “E” are simply outrageous.

    It is a perversity of logic and reason, not to mention immoral, to try and portray me or Mark or anyone else as being in agreement with abortion because we take issue with the tone of the rhetoric surrounding this controversy.

    I take particular exception to it because I lost a lot of friends and colleagues when I came out as pro-life. I have no desire to make false friends who only want identical copies of themselves for companionship.

    This isn’t about speaking up. I LOVE the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s tours of college campuses that display the large images of aborted children.

    What I don’t like is what I am seeing in the Catholic media, particularly the blogosphere and the com boxes, the levels of apoplectic rage that make it seem as if the future of the whole country and the survival of the Church hinge on this. It makes us look irrational and absurd. No amount of rightenousness can make up for the losses we face when people see this ugliness.

    Do you really think that it is necessary to get this angry in order to oppose abortion? When this level of rage isn’t accompanied by daily civil disobedience against the government and its policies, it looks ridiculous and it is ridiculous.

    It only makes us feel good. I say this not as someone who doesn’t get angry and feel rage, but as someone who regularly has to choke it down with great difficulty.

    Matt,

    As for your question, both of those things are part of the situation. The whole situation is regrettable, and I stated clearly that I disagree totally with the invitation and do not believe Obama should be allowed to speak.

    It’s not even this invitation that seems to be the main issue anymore, it is just another incident where this maniacal wrath surfaces, a level of rage that I have never seen in words or in speech of any of the Holy Fathers or any other respected member of the clergy.

  • If one really, literally believes that abortion is an evil on the scale of slavery or the Nazi Holocaust, AND that we are obliged to be “fanatical” in opposing it, does that mean one must be willing to wage a shooting war (complete with abortion clinic bombings, sniper attacks on abortionists and their supporters, and possibly violent overthrow of the government) to stop it, as we did to stop slavery and Nazism?

    For about 99.99 percent of pro-lifers, the answer is “no.” They do not advocate violent action or even consider it. Not because they aren’t “passionate” enough about the cause, but because they realize that it would do far more harm than good, undermine their message of respect for all life and possibly endanger the lives of innocent bystanders.

    Perhaps, on a much lower and less serious level, the same question could be asked about the level of discourse being used in the public forum to oppose abortion. Is it really necessary to “get this angry” all the time? Does it help the cause, or convert people to the pro-life point of view, more than it turns people away?

    I have to agree with Joe that, while the Obama/Notre Dame mess is a serious matter that demands response, and I believe firmly that Obama should never have been invited, the world is not going to end if Obama shows up on May 17, and to act as if it is does indeed make us look ridiculous.

    The responses made by most bishops so far are entirely appropriate; the only one I have seen yet that even comes within 10 miles of being “apoplectic” is that of Bishop Doran of Rockford (who suggests that Notre Dame change its name to “Northwest Indiana Humanist University”), and it’s pretty mild compared to some of the comments out there in the blogosphere.

  • Also, I find (both from personal experience and observation) that it is very easy — due to original sin and the natural temptation to pride — to slide into a mindset that dismisses ALL criticism, fraternal correction, or disagreement, even when entirely justified, as merely “persecution” from benighted, ignorant, or evil souls blind to the Truth that you, of course, possess. This can happen both on a religious level (e.g. Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart) and on a secular level (Gov. Blago). But it CAN happen to anyone and it takes constant vigilance and the grace of God to avoid this trap.

  • Elaine,

    If one really, literally believes that abortion is an evil on the scale of slavery or the Nazi Holocaust

    Do you not?

    AND that we are obliged to be “fanatical” in opposing it

    Don’t you?

    does that mean one must be willing to wage a shooting war (complete with abortion clinic bombings, sniper attacks on abortionists and their supporters, and possibly violent overthrow of the government) to stop it, as we did to stop slavery and Nazism?

    Do you think that slavery or genocide would be serious enough to do those things? I do… However…

    For about 99.99 percent of pro-lifers, the answer is “no.” They do not advocate violent action or even consider it. Not because they aren’t “passionate” enough about the cause, but because they realize that it would do far more harm than good, undermine their message of respect for all life and possibly endanger the lives of innocent bystanders.

    Precisely, because your suggestion of violent action in response to the horrific violence of abortion necessarily follows “fanaticism” is completely false. MLK was fanatical about civil rights, he spoke angrily about abuses, but did not promote violence, was Ghandi not fanatical about independance? Of course they were, but in the time and circumstances they rightly determined as do we, that violence is not the answer, that it would do more harm than good, and we are obliged to discard the notion.

    Here’s my problem, your assertion (which you repeat even as I write this), that we who are angry at this (and I’ve seen nothing approach apoplexy) are basically mentally ill, and that you are Sigmund Freud analyzing how demented we are.

    I love how those who want to let this issue die keep referring to it as a “situation” or a “mess” as if to avoid laying blame on the perpetrators.

    When we talk about different approaches, don’t forget that the Holy Father has issued a document (Ex Corde Eccelsiae) that state it is not permitted to honor public supporters of abortion at Catholic Universities. Period. While we can all take different approaches those approaches must fall in line with authoritative instructions.

  • One of the most alarming aspects of the battle over abortion is the number of people who argue that abortion is either morally neutral, a constitutional right, or even a good. The Holocaust is an instructive comparison. The Nazis did their best to hide as much as possible the evidence of their mass exterminations. In a great scene in the miniseries Holocaust there is a scene in the clip linked below beginning at 6:03 where the character portrayed by Michael Moriarty argues that a case can be made for the extermination camps and that they should not attempt to conceal their activities. The other Nazis, including Himmler, look upon him with shock. They realize that what they have done is ultimately indefensible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPE8ZmFaPQM&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2Fvideosearch%3Fq%3Dmoriarty%2Baushwitz%26hl%3Den%26emb%3D0%26aq%3Df&feature=player_embedded

    An invitation to a supporter of legal abortion to receive honors at a Catholic university underlines the extent to which large segments of the population, including within the Church, simply refuse to recognize the immense evil that abortion constitutes. The main evil of abortion of course is the innocent lives lost. The secondary evil is a loss of moral sense. If this evil can be tolerated, and even embraced, what evil cannot be accepted by our society?

  • Ok, you all just proved once again why I should have stuck to my no-blogging-for-Lent resolution.

    I never at any time said anyone who was angry, passionate, or fanatical about abortion was “mentally ill” or “demented”. I simply stated the following:

    1. I agreed with Joe that SOME Catholic bloggers might be overreacting a bit to the situation/mess/scandal/disgrace/blasphemy (choose whatever word you feel is appropriate) occuring at Notre Dame.

    2. I acknowledged that not everyone who opposes abortion gets equally emotionally consumed with the issue or responds in the same fashion, simply because everyone has different temperaments.

    3. I presented my own personal theory that some of the rhetoric which Joe and others find “hateful” is NOT born of actual hatred but more of frustration or pride.

    4. I pointed out that pro-lifers themselves agree there are some limits to how far one can or should go in opposing abortion. Nearly all rule out actual violence, and most rule out illegal actions (other than civil disobedience actions). There are other actions besides violence that most pro-lifers would never resort to — for example, trying to perpetrate a deliberate fraud or scam upon an abortion clinic operator in order to make him go bankrupt and drive him out of business. Whether harsh or heated rhetoric falls into that category is a matter of opinion about which several of the commenters here disagree.

    Frustration, pride and anger are NOT in and of themselves mental illnesses, by the way, unless you consider our fallen nature due to original sin to be a “mental illness.” I do not at all agree with the modern tendency to classify every manifestation of sorrow, guilt, anger or despair, or every lapse into habitual sin, as some kind of mental or personality disorder. The example of the parent yelling at their kids after a really bad day was not intended to show that such a parent is mentally ill, unstable, or deranged; just the opposite — that he or she is reacting in accordance with well-known human weaknesses that most people can identify with.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • Elaine,

    like I said, being a fanatical pro-lifer is not an illness it is most certainly not a consequence of original sin. How dare you accuse those who work hard to end abortion of pride… look in a mirror.

  • Matt, Elaine has been quite polite to you. You have not been polite to her. Any further comments along those lines in this thread will be deleted by me.

  • Donald,

    while my speech may be at times intemperate, I respectfully submit, accusing pro-lifers of pride for being angry over this “situation” is hardly polite. She compares us to Blago, Bakkar and Swaggart… i find that deeply offensive.

  • I don’t think that Elaine is saying that working to end abortion necessarily leads to pride but that giving one’s all to a struggle often ends up resulting i pride, frustration, anger, etc. It is, after all, one of the hallmarks of the devil that he seeks to turn all good that we do to evil.

    For instance, back when I was at Steubenville I went to a couple of peaceful clinic protests, watched the sidewalk counselors and their opponents, the pro-choice escorts, in action, etc. After the third time I decided that I shouldn’t go anymore. I simply couldn’t be there without my mind becoming full to the bring with a simmering fury. The tipping point was when one of the pro-choice escorts started taunting an obviously special needs protester with, “I bet your mother wishes she’d come here.” People better than me said, “God bless you,” and prayed the rosary. I literally felt like I could kill someone, and rather than starting to scream at the deathscort I went off, bought a cup of coffee, and went to talk to the police who were supervising the whole thing.

    Now, I’m not saying that everyone’s as weak as I am when it comes to dealing with this kind of highly charged issue. But I think it is an example of how even in the best work possible there’s the temptation to be overcome with anger that does not do anyone any actual good.

    In online interactions, that can be even more of a temptation, since we’re just talking at each other. It’s often tempting to give people what they deserve, or make a bit show of our own virtue (see how great my stands are?) than it is to calmly explain the truth to others.

  • “I bet your mother wishes she’d come here.”

    Ah yes, someone saying that to a disabled protestor would have been more than enough for me to have gotten into a screaming match with the villain, particularly after the birth of my autistic son. Either that or I might have sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress which is one of the more “expansive” legal actions allowed under the Civil Code.

  • Matt you personalize these combox debates too much, and that is a very easy thing for all of us to do. I do not believe that Elaine has done so, and in my threads my opinion regarding combox decorum prevails. Debate ideas and not personalities. Having failed to observe this rule not infrequently in the past myself, I can attest that the debate tends to go downhill once the insults begin to fly.

  • How dare ANY PERSON accuse pro-lifers of pride for being angry over this “situation”.

  • “Ok, you all just proved once again why I should have stuck to my no-blogging-for-Lent resolution.”

    Elaine! I made the same resolution for the same reason! lol

    And I’m going to say something else here: stop comparing abortion to the Holocaust. The two are nothing alike.

    The Holocaust was a program of mass murdered ordered and carried out by a government.

    Abortion is a mass murder carried out by our fellow citizens of their own free will (most of the time), the women who have them, the men who pressure them into having them. Government allowing it is heinous, but no one is putting a gun to anyone’s head.

    Finally, if abortion were as bad as the holocaust, to discuss it on the internet (day after day) instead of spending every waking moment trying to permanently stop it would be an insult to the victims. What good does it do to point out that “if it were your neighbors being dragged away, you’d do something” if that’s what you believe but you’re here telling us about it?

    The problem here isn’t the rhetoric – its the thought of such rhetoric coming consistently from some guy behind a computer screen, angry men and women venting their impersonal rage at a keyboard and monitor, accomplishing nothing but a sense of righteousness. Elaine, myself, and others don’t see the value in that.

    And our suspicions are confirmed when some of you are so deep in your rage that now, at this point, people who don’t share the exact pitch and frequency of your rage about an issue that is only tangentially related to abortion are either minimizing or sympathizing with abortion. And you wonder why we might think you’re a little crazy?

  • Actually Joe I think that in certain respects abortion is far worse than the Holocaust. Thank you for the idea for a post! I sincerely, no irony intended, appreciate it!

  • Joe,

    The Holocaust was a program of mass murdered ordered and carried out by a government.

    Abortion is a mass murder carried out by our fellow citizens of their own free will (most of the time), the women who have them, the men who pressure them into having them. Government allowing it is heinous,

    So, it’s less heinous when the mothers, fathers and doctors are doing it with the PROTECTION of the government? I see.

    but no one is putting a gun to anyone’s head. no, just a poison filled syringe, or a mix-master to an unborn child’s head.

    if abortion were as bad as the holocaust, to discuss it on the internet (day after day) instead of spending every waking moment trying to permanently stop it would be an insult to the victims.

    Indeed it is, that, unlike “insecurity” is one of my failings.

    What good does it do to point out that “if it were your neighbors being dragged away, you’d do something” if that’s what you believe but you’re here telling us about it?

    Do you reject the analogy, or do you believe a more cavalier approach is called for if your neighbor is dragged away?

    Instead of tossing out personal accusations of lunacy and insecurity, try not being so personal and respond to my points? You did not respond substantially to a single point I made, other than saying it’s not as bad cause the government is not doing most of the killing itself.

    I’m sorry if my rhetoric is too fiery for your tastes. If people say this is not as bad as the holocaust then the only conclusion is that some people believe that the murder of 6 Million Jews is a greater evil than murdering 40 Million unborn children…that God somehow values those Holy Innocents less. So much for “we are all created equal”.

  • One of the primary reasons why I think that abortion is worse than the Holocaust in some respects is because so many of our fellow citizens embrace it as a positive good or at least a necessary evil. Even the Nazis realized that a moral case for the Holocaust was impossible to make. Can one imagine a perpetrator of the Holocaust being feted at Notre Dame under any circumstances? The Holocaust at least serves as a short hand description in modern society of ultimate evil, and rightly so in many ways. Abortion is defended as a “choice”. The deadening of our sense of right and wrong as a result of legal abortion is absolutely terrifying.

  • Darwin, thanks; you seem to “get it.” The only thing that keeps me from blowing up (sometimes) is remembering that we are ALL sinners and that only by the grace of God, humility and continual repentance do we avoid becoming just like those we despise. And yes, that temptation is even greater when blogging.

    I did not say all pro-lifers were prideful, or that they were all like Blago, Bakker, Swaggart, et al. I simply said that falling into a frame of mind which assumes:

    1. that “my way” and my way alone is the only “right” way to defend life or to preach the Gospel;

    2. that any criticism of that way, even from those who share the same goal, represents persecution or disloyalty to the faith,

    places us in danger of becoming like them.

    I believe that one of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters addresses this issue in relation to Wormwood’s “patient”. Wormwood asks whether he should try to make his patient become a pacifist or an extreme patriot (the Letters were written during World War II). Screwtape says there are advantages to both ways, but making him a pacifist carries a better chance of making him self-righteous and arrogant precisely because it was an unpopular cause embraced by relatively few people.

  • Matt,

    I wasn’t even responding to any particular post of yours here. You even agreed with me on the other thread about the man screaming in rage at the atrocity happening in front of him, and standing still – it would look strange, if not crazy.

    These aren’t personal accusations, because we have consistently said that this is a problem affecting many people. They’re valid observations that any reasonable person could make. If that bothers you, maybe you should look to your behavior instead of ours.

    The language you use, the way you try to keep making it as if we don’t care about abortion as much as you, also makes you look irrational. Your persistent error in logic is the assumption that those who don’t share, and are in fact a little bothered, by your outrage are somehow morally defective. What kind of stupid question is this?

    “So, it’s less heinous when the mothers, fathers and doctors are doing it with the PROTECTION of the government?”

    Who said the word “less”? Was that me, or was it you? I am pointing out a difference of kind, not degree. If anything this makes abortion harder to deal with because a government is concentrated power, a visible object of our efforts, it can be changed or even destroyed.

    The confusion and evil that dwells in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens cannot be gotten rid of as easily. Much of the time the people getting the abortions are themselves victims, not only of circumstance but of a campaign of lies and disinformation. The Feminists for Life and other pro-life groups have a saying, that abortion leaves two victims, one dead and the other wounded. This is a problem that has woven itself into the fabric of our society for decades.

  • Well said Joe as to the mothers who get abortions often being victims. Our outreach to post abortive women at the crisis pregnancy center where I am president of the board has provided many personal illustrations of that truth to me.

  • Elaine, I love that passage in the Screwtape Letters! There have been few keener observers of the human condition than C.S. Lewis.

  • Joe,

    you said:if abortion were as bad as the holocaust, to discuss it on the internet (day after day) instead of spending every waking moment trying to permanently stop it would be an insult to the victims.

    then you said: Who said the word “less”? Was that me, or was it you? I am pointing out a difference of kind, not degree.

    Are you saying your first statement does NOT imply you think it’s not as bad? or are you backing off? Speak plainly.

    Of course I concur with you and Donald that the mother’s are victims, but they along with everyone else involved are perpetrators also.

    In keeping with Donald’s exhortation, I’ll decline to respond to your personal attacks.

  • Remember this whole line started not with the more vocal among us criticizing the less vocal for being so, but with those supposedly less vocal criticizing those speaking out…

  • Ok, whatever you have to say to make this attitude go away, I’m “personally attacking” you, that’s fine. Let’s just be done with it.

    With regards to my first statement, I’m suggesting that perhaps some of the people who get as angry as they do don’t really believe in the hearts that it is as bad – that, in keeping what I have been saying all along, the anger is being used as a means of release or self-indulgence.

  • Joe,

    With regards to my first statement, I’m suggesting that perhaps some of the people who get as angry as they do don’t really believe in the hearts that it is as bad – that, in keeping what I have been saying all along, the anger is being used as a means of release or self-indulgence.

    Or, perhaps, a little more in line with reason, that people who aren’t angry is because they have other priorities to be concerned with.

  • On a final note: Matt is indeed fortunate that he does not know ANY pro-lifers who are beaten down or discouraged by years of defeat. Here’s just one example, taken from the “Catholic Answers Forums” on the “Notre Dame Shame,” of one who is:

    “All the prolife work done in the last 10 years by Catholics, all the prayers, all the fasting, all the crying, swett and tears, down the drain, at least for now. No wonder people leave the Church. I have been so frustrated I could not even sleep at all last night do to this, so today I offer up the surffering of my sleepless mind and body to Christ for this matter. Satan says thank you Jenkins for causing this scandal. Very Sad!”

    I do commend this person for having responded VERY appropriately to his frustration and discouragement by offering it up as a further sacrifice. I am sure many pro-lifers who share these emotions do the same. He is certainly not being self-indulgent — although I wonder if he isn’t being overly pessimistic in his assumption that Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame means that everything the pro-life movement did in the last 10 years is “down the drain”.

  • Elaine,

    this poster is not beaten down after years of defeats, he is feeling discouraged, I guarantee this one is not defeated. I’m not saying that we don’t feel bad sometimes, that’s human nature, but that’s not how you describe this “phenomena”. The poster is quite right though, Satan is smiling, although given the level of uproar, he may have woken a sleeping giant.

  • “It is a perversity of logic and reason, not to mention immoral, to try and portray me or Mark or anyone else as being in agreement with abortion because we take issue with the tone of the rhetoric surrounding this controversy.”

    I find this ironic coming from a person who happen to mischaracterize my views so perniciously (especially given my other comments under the entry “A Different View”), even worse than before.

    “What I don’t like is what I am seeing in the Catholic media, particularly the blogosphere and the com boxes, the levels of apoplectic rage that make it seem as if the future of the whole country and the survival of the Church hinge on this. It makes us look irrational and absurd. No amount of rightenousness can make up for the losses we face when people see this ugliness.

    Do you really think that it is necessary to get this angry in order to oppose abortion? When this level of rage isn’t accompanied by daily civil disobedience against the government and its policies, it looks ridiculous and it is ridiculous.”

    I would’ve also gone to the extent of calling the above comments perverse and immoral if only it weren’t so vile as to tread even beyond that and went straight into outright calumny.

    Of course, it isn’t the first time that the views of a prolifer happened to be so maliciously demonized just because he simply happens to oppose giving honor and, even further, a platform to a vicious pro-abort like Obama who in just a matter of days after the election had initiated a global policy for the Culture of Death.

    Yet, this kind of vocal opposition to such a president — as even merely regarding the very aggrandizement of his very figure — will simply be perniciously painted by such adherents as nothing more than unreasonable, illogical and even spectacularly immoral ‘rage’ against the U.S. government itself and its policies!

    Should one even utter a word of disrespect or disagreement or fail to kneel to these people’s long hailed messiah, you shall be painted as a traitor to the country.

    My, how monstrously perverse a Christianity as this where a messiah for the Culture of Death is much preferred to the Messiah of Life — even in such a small case as this!

One Response to Notre Dame Has Certainly Turned Against The Church

  • I deleted your comment Catholic Anarchist on the grounds of language. I am sure, if you make the effort, that you can express your thoughts in a less scatalogical manner.

Notre Dame Professor Calls For Fr. Jenkins To Resign

Wednesday, April 1, AD 2009

Breaking story:

The University of Notre Dame student paper The Observer has a piece by Dr. Charles Rice, emeritus professor of law at the University, asked that ND President Fr. John Jenkins resign.

“The invitation should be withdrawn.  It implies no personal animosity to suggest that Fr. Jenkins and the other Fellows and Trustees responsible for this fiasco should resign or be removed.”

We’ve had multiple bishops and two cardinals reproach Notre Dame’s decision to invite pro-abortion President Obama.  Now we have an esteemed professor requesting President Fr. Jenkins resign his position as president of Notre Dame for inviting President Obama and creating this scandal.

For the story click here.

(Biretta Tip: Patrick Madrid)

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11 Responses to Notre Dame Professor Calls For Fr. Jenkins To Resign

  • Prof. Rice has called on every Notre Dame President since 1952 to resign at one point or another. If Father Jenkins is replaced I’m sure he will call on his successor to resign as well.

  • Maybe they all should have…. 😉

  • Considering there have only been three since 52, including Jenkins, that does not strike me as excessive. Now let’s see if other Professors at Notre Dame call for his resignation.

  • Professor Rice is a good man with a superb legal mind. But, alas, he’s going to be as successful in this fight as he was against Tom Monaghan at Ave Maria. Once again, the deck is pre-stacked.

  • Matters not. Administration will react that Prof. Dr. Rice is just grumpy old f—t and acts like the crank who sues this or that person and/or organization. At this point, methinks the President should attend. And that ND students, alums, faculty opposed to invitation should act at their creative, non-violent best. My own suggestion- soon as Prompter gives him the cue to speak, those opposed should rise and begin publid recitation of the Rosary. Let them pick specific set of Mysteries. The Patron Saint of the joint will be most pleased. Lots of indignant harrumphing in MSM- though common for grads to do same with GOP speakers though not using Rosary of course. Father Jenkins’ resignation letter on desk of Board of Trustees Chair the next morning. Big fun.

  • We either all have a right to exist or none of us do.

  • Don,

    Amen!

    Gerard,

    the rosary.. I like that!

  • The graduates should organize a walk-out. As soon as Mustapha Mond (aka Barack Obama) begins to speak, they should all get up and silently file out. This would be more powerful than any letter, no matter who from.

    But of course, most of them being thoroughly processed, flat souls, they won’t. Such is the Brave New World.

  • “Father” Jenkins can stay. He can honor anyone he likes. Even notorious anti-life politicians like Dr. Kervorkian, Dr. Tiller of Kansas, Adolf Hitler, or Obama. Just stop calling Notre Dame a Catholic University!

    Doctor of Laws for a man like Obama who, not once, but four times, objected to laws against saving the lives of babies born of botched abortions? Doctor of Laws conferred by a Catholic University upon such a man? Are you nuts??

  • “Father” Jenkins can stay. He can honor anyone he likes. Even notorious anti-life politicians like Dr. Kervorkian, Dr. Tiller of Kansas, Adolf Hitler, or Obama. Just stop calling Notre Dame a Catholic University!

    Doctor of Laws for a man like Obama who, not once, but four times, objected to saving the lives of babies born of botched abortions? Doctor of Laws conferred by a Catholic University upon such a man? Are you nuts??

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-1-2009

Wednesday, April 1, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. I recently received confirmation from Lila Rose to post here on American Catholic that a little over two weeks ago she converted to the Catholic faith on March 15 in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Deo gratias!

Lila Rose is an impressive young lady.  A few weeks ago she was the keynote speaker for the Houston Coalition for Life Benefit 2009 dinner.  She has an excellent grasp of the history of the pro-life movement and to my nice surprise she is also very knowledgeable of the role of Catholics in the Pro-Life movement from Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Fr. Frank Pavone.

I had the opportunity to speak with her briefly at the benefit dinner and I came away deeply impressed.  She is a talented and motivated young lady and she’s only a junior at UCLA.  She began getting involved in the pro-life movement as a sophomore in high school by founding a pro-life newspaper!  She now runs a production company, LiveActionFilms.org, and is editor-in-chief of the pro-life newspaper at UCLA, The Advocate.

She is the newest crop of Pro-Life warriors that will contribute to the end of abortion on demand nationwide.  With the growing strength of the Pro-Life movement being energized more and more with babies, toddlers, children, teens, and young adults, the days of Roe v. Wade are numbered.

2. There is a wonderful story of how two Catholics met online using Ave Maria Singles.  The adventure begins when Katie and Devin, for different reasons, chose Ave Maria Singles to search for a spouse.  Katie three years out of college saw slim pickings at work, at church, and definitely not at a bar.  Devin had been looking online for a spouse for four fruitless years, yet still carried a positive attitude.  After an initial ‘dust off’ by Katie and a close call by Devin, the two, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit were able to find their sacramental partners for life via Ave Maria Singles.

It’s a sweet and compact romantic love story that spans two articles, so for the introductory portion click here.  For the final encounter and happy ending click here.  To learn more about Ave Maria Singles click here.

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What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2009

Over at New Catholic, Mark Stricherz expresses his doubts about the ‘dialogue model’ of engagement with culture, as mounted by some in defense of Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame:

But the dialogue model can’t, doesn’t, and shouldn’t entirely govern Catholic universities (and again, all universities). In exceptional cases, it breaks down. Surely these cases are absolute moral issues: torture, slavery, genocide, racial segregation, and yes, violence against pre-natal life (abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning). Universities have little to learn from politicians who support such intrinsic evil. What exactly would Notre Dame have learned from, say, Stephen A. Douglas in the 19th century about domestic policy or Dick Cheney in 2009 about foreign policy? Would Douglas and Cheney have changed their mind about slavery and torture?

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15 Responses to What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?

  • In answer to the titular question of this post, it seems obvious to me that this honor communicates — and is intended to communicate — that no moral, religious or political position is so offensive, evil or outrageous that we wouldn’t be willing to hear from a President who held that position.

  • Paul,

    we wouldn’t be willing to hear from a President who held that position

    hear from? I think awarding an honor goes far beyond “hearing from”, you don’t?

  • “What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?”

    To be quite blunt it means that the powers that be at Notre Dame, at best, don’t give a damn about the fight against abortion.

  • “What does honoring Obama with a law degree communicate about our view of law and morality?”

    That sucking up to power is an overriding goal.

  • As proof of the utter failure of the honorary degree = dialogue hypothesis, consider this: none of the Presidents honored by Notre Dame changed their views so much as a jot or tittle.

    Jenkins and the University are flattering themselves. Good luck pulling a rabbit out this time, Bullwinkle.

  • none of the Presidents honored by Notre Dame changed their views so much as a jot or tittle.

    Well, I don’t think we can say that a dialogue wasn’t successful simply because the participants didn’t change their views. It’s pretty rare for anyone in public life to change their position on an issue of importance, and it’s difficult to take them seriously even if they claim they have (see, e.g., Romney, Mitt).

    A dialogue does, however, involve an exchange of views. And there’s little to reason to think that granting an honorary degree and a role as commencement speaker involves an exchange of views, rather than a platform for Obama.

  • I’m referring to what Professor Appleby and Father Hesburgh have said:

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/obama-visit-to-notre-dame-provokes-debate/?hp

    Prof. Appleby: Mr. Appleby, the history professor, said the long-range goal of such a discussion with Mr. Obama would be “to change hearts and minds” and move the country “toward a culture of life” that opposes abortion and embryonic stem-cell research and allows medical workers who oppose abortion rights to opt out of participating in certain procedures.

    “The question is, how can one who is so good and so insightful and so poised on issues of human dignity and human rights — how can that same person not engage fully and seriously in a debate on unborn life?” Mr. Appleby said.

    Fr. Hesburgh: “No speaker who has ever come to Notre Dame has changed the University. We are who we are. But, quite often, the very fact of being here has changed the speaker.

    Again, in light of the stated aims, ND’s batting average in such things is .000. What makes them think Obama will be any different? Given his contemptuous statements on embryonic stem cells, the odds are to small to be meaningfully calculated.

  • Appleby:how can one who is so good and so insightful and so poised on issues of human dignity and human rights

    Is he joking???? It is clear that those who oppose the rights and dignity of the most vulnerable can not be trusted with any issue regarding human dignity and rights. Obama’s perspective of dignity is entirely different from the Catholic one.

  • Notre Dame, since the days of Father Hesburgh, has had far less impact on the World, than the World has had on it. Hesburgh isn’t an idiot, he realizes and supports this. His words are just so much flab-jab to help the current powers that be get through a rough patch among Catholics who actually believe in what the Church teaches in regard to abortion, instead of laughing at it behind closed doors at academic conferences at Notre Dame.

  • To be quite blunt it means that the powers that be at Notre Dame, at best, don’t give a damn about the fight against abortion.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the Catholic Americans here of this blog’s comment policy:

    I will not exaggerate others’ beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

    Donald, you seem to have failed.

  • As in so many, many things Catholic Anarchist, we will have to agree to disagree.

  • I think granting an honorary law degree to President Obama is a gesture of an “honor” for speaking which is a common practice. It is honoring him with a degree at the level which he has already earned, as he graduated from Harvard Law. Most importantly, it shows a separation from the role of belief and a “fight against abortion” to support the continuation of a tradition that has held for I believe over 24 years of inviting the President of the United States. This invitation is given with the recognition of position and accomplishment, regardless of belief or political party, to speak at a University known for teaching intelligent students, to see the world through understanding and knowledge. Both of which require listening to and debating issues with the brightest minds not only of whom you agree with, but more importantly those you disagree with, to find wisdom and depth beyond initial judgment. This especially goes for highly religious students, who seek temperance and tolerance as foundational ideals in a world of chaos and hatred.

  • Alexander,

    regardless of belief or political party

    or violent action against the unborn.

    listening to and debating issues

    There will be none of that in this case.

  • As I said before, if this is simply a gesture of an “honor” that Obama deserves, then might as well grant the same honor to Hitler as well for having successfully resurrected a Germany that had been reduced to ashes after WWI.

    Of course, you would have to ignore the fact that he had wanted to exterminate an entire race of people now would you?

    Yet, there will be those who would find this analogy inappropriate — after all, Obama’s fiercely global pro-abortion policies have little or really nothing to do with the extermination of people but babies.

    Unborn babies hardly qualify — as even certain Catholics themselves here would attest to, in fact.

    So, Hail Obama and, yes, Hail (or rather Heil) Hitler!

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-30-2009

Monday, March 30, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Please pray for Father Benedict Groeschel as he suffered a stroke last week.  For the story click here.

2. Jay Anderson is contemplating leaving blogging.  It seems he is being worn down by the grind of writing on politics and religion.  For the story click here.

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4 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-30-2009

Save the Honors for Scholars

Friday, March 27, AD 2009

On the general outlines of the Obama-honored-by-Notre-Dame fraucus, there can be little question. It’s fairly obvious that this was a bad move on the part of the Notre Dame University leadership, especially when they already had a precedent to follow in that they had not had Clinton — another pro-abortion non-Catholic president who had been a law school hot-shot — as a commencement speaker. It’s fairly obvious this will be seen, not as an opportunity for dialogue, but as the Catholic intellectual establishment endorsing Obama. It’s fairly obvious that Notre Dame will not back down at this point, and to be honest this is very much in keeping with the general tenor of Notre Dame over the last 30 years or so, so that’s hardly a surprise either. It’s generally agreed that Notre Dame is the most elite Catholic college in the US, and also generally understood that the question of whether it is its Catholicism or its elite status that is its controlling characteristic is undecided.

However, there’s a wider question at play here which is, I think, worth considering as regards what academia is and ought to be. It’s become quite common for colleges and universities to bring in commencement speakers who have been successful in the wider world: politicans, CEOs, actors, people well known for their work at non-profits, etc.

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12 Responses to Save the Honors for Scholars

  • Well written.

    I agree that Reagan and the two Bush’s along with Obama should not receive an honorary degree. Especially when it has almost nothing to do with their own personal histories and experiences.

  • “It’s generally agreed that Notre Dame is the most elite Catholic college in the US”- I think some folks in Georgetown might disagree with you on that one. Oh wait though, they’re Jesuits so they don’t matter.

  • I think another reason why outside speakers are invited to give commencement addresses is that the vast majority of students are not continuing in academia. The commencement speaker, who presumably has been successful in some pursuit, is supposed to give them advice in navigating the outside world. I suppose the honorary degrees have been added along the way as a sweetener, although they’ve always struck me as a faintly ridiculous.

    John Schwenkler made a somewhat similar point the other day, although he was more focused on exemplars of the faith for Catholic universities, rather than academics. I thought it was interesting fwiw:

    My own inclination is actually to say that the standard should be really high: only individuals who’ve contributed in pretty radical ways to the life of the Church should be given honors like this one. That this means that pretty much no national politician would clear the bar is, I think, one of such a proposal’s very best effects. There are countless people who teach, write books, feed the hungry, aid the sick, and otherwise do the real work of advocating for God’s justice who deserve an honorary doctorate more than Barack Obama does; that most such people are not presently famous is all the more reason to single them out.

    http://johnschwenkler.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/a-bit-more-on-obama-and-notre-dame/

  • I think I agree, or at least I would choose scholars over politicians were I in the position of choosing commencement speakers. Of course, I would probably choose obscure postmodern philosophers, and they have a history of provoking opposition and outrage. In 1992, Cambridge gave Jacques Derrida an honorary degree. Protest from philosophers opposed to deconstruction ensued. They wrote a letter to the London Times urging faculty to vote against the honor.

  • Kyle Cupp

    I agree with the fact that honorary degrees should be given to academics (though, one could say Obama had an academic career, of sorts, as did and do many politicians, so the distinction is not as easy as we would like). But more than that, save for extraordinary circumstances, I don’t think honorary degrees should be given. I don’t like the practice. But since it is the norm, and I am not the one in charge, I understand why they are given, and given to politicians.

  • Giving honorary degrees to anyone who speaks at a commencement would be like conferring the title of “honorary President” on anyone who makes an official appearance at the White House, or “honorary Congressman” on someone who testifies before Congress or one of its committees. It is silly and superflous (which is probably one reason Stephen Colbert makes such a big deal of his honorary degree from Knox College).

    If the Obama commencement invitation hadn’t come with an honorary degree, it might have lessened the outrage among (orthodox) Catholics somewhat, but probably wouldn’t have eliminated it entirely.

    Did Mr. Clinton never speak at Notre Dame because they didn’t invite him, or because he never accepted the invitation? If ND does have a tradition of inviting new presidents I assume Clinton was invited but didn’t accept.

  • Actually, John Henry, (as you are probably aware), Notre Dame already has an award called the Laetare Medal that fits the criteria you cite (intended for someone who has contributed significantly to the life of the Church).

  • Kyle,

    It doesn’t strike me as surprising that a good university’s choices of whom to honor would make some people mad — though in this ND case I think it’s the university rather than those who are objecting that is in the wrong.

    Henry,

    Agreed. Passing out honorary degrees like party favors does pretty much rob them of any meaning. One would think that if a university thought its degrees worth of some estimation, they would only rarely give them out to those who had not earned them in the traditional fashion.

    (It’s true, as you point out, that most politicians have had an academic career in the sense of earning an undergraduate degree and either a law degree or an MBA, but I think we’d probably agree that’s not usually an “academic career” deserving of any degrees other than the ones actually earned already.)

    Elaine,

    Perhaps ND can honor Stephen Colbert for his leadership next year…

  • Jose,

    That was pretty funny. :~)

  • With apologies (of sorts) to Rush Limbaugh, I offer the first of Elaine’s As Of Yet Undetermined Number of Undeniable Truths:

    When it comes to Catholic faith formation, a secular university with a well-staffed, active and orthodox Newman Center is preferable to a “Catholic in name only” private university. (It’s also a lot more affordable.)

    My daughter isn’t in the college or university market yet — probably won’t be for a while due to her disability — but I would, on this grounds alone, choose to send her to the U of I Champaign over Notre Dame, Loyola, DePaul, et al. In fact I would argue that UIUC may be one of the best Catholic colleges in Illinois, and it’s not even Catholic!

  • Plus, as Don can attest, St. John’s Chapel can hold its own in architectural wow power, even if not in size, with ND’s Sacred Heart Basilica.

Cardinal DiNardo Critiques Notre Dame Invite

Friday, March 27, AD 2009

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Daniel Cardinal DiNardo has become the latest in a series of bishops questioning the appropriateness of the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to invite President Barack Obama to address the commencement ceremony as well as to receive an Honorary Law degree.  One distinguishes Cardinal DiNardo from the previous three bishops is that he is the highest ranking prelate in the United States to voice his “disappointment” to the invitation.  The following is an excerpt from the Texas Catholic Herald, the mouthpiece of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (separation of paragraphs and emphasis mine):

“I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the human person from conception to natural death is a principle that soaks all our lives as Catholics, and all our efforts at formation, especially education at Catholic places of higher learning. The President has made clear by word and deed that he will promote abortion and will remove even those limited sanctions that control this act of violence against the human person.”

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8 Responses to Cardinal DiNardo Critiques Notre Dame Invite

  • Thank you Cardinal DiNardo from the bottom of my heart.

  • By God, this is what one expects of a Texan Cardinal !
    Give ’em [charitable but vigorous] Hell, Cardinal DiNardo !

  • Yes, thank you for your leadership, Cardinal.

  • Now Archbishop Timothy Dolan, upcoming Archbishop of New York, has weighed in on matter. In interview broadcast Sunday on WTMJ-TV Milwaukee- where he will leave April 14 for Manhattan skyline- His Eminence told host Charlie Sykes about his own disappointment for Father Jenkins’ decision. Not going well for the Good Father. Tee hee.

  • As a Notre Dame graduate I ask ” are we a Catholic University or are
    we just another fine university with a good sports program?”

  • The most visible clergy in the U. S. have a moral responsibility to express disappointment and disagreement with what Notre Dame has done. Cardinal DiNardo has absolutely done the right thing. It seems to me the Pope has the same responsibility but we will not hear from him.

  • It seems to me the Pope has the same responsibility but we will not hear from him.

    I would have to think that Notre Dame University is pretty peripheral to the pope’s concerns. It’s one college (although a moderately prestigious one) in one country in the world.

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

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  • 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.

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-25-2009

Wednesday, March 25, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. The great Cardinal Pell offered his thoughts on the future of liturgical development by stating that ad orientem will be mandatory so as to move away the priest as the center of worship back to Jesus Himself, ie, both the priest and the congregation should be facing towards God.  In addition, when the priest turns away towards the congregation, there should be a crucifix in between he and the congregation so as to maintain the center of worship God and not the priest.  What a wonderful and great Cardinal that Australia has!  Let us pray for more such strong leaders of the Church worldwide and especially here in America.  Ora pro nobis!

For the article click here.

2. Sister Janet Ferns, a nun who has worked in Nigeria and Zambia, has explained what most condoms are used for by the locals in Africa… to fish with.

For the link click here.

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One Response to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-25-2009

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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50 Responses to Notre Shame

  • Mark,

    You crossed the line one too many times with me. I had to delete your comments for the first time ever. I’ve tolerated your obtuseness for far too long.

    Please, if you can’t be constructive don’t comment.

  • Tito,

    You see no presumption and lack of charity in the cartoon you chose?

  • I think Rick Garnett’s take is the best I’ve read so far. In particular, I like the mild tone:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTBlNmY2NzM4ODdkNDY0NzRjMzA3OTZlYjg5YzcwYjU=

    Most institutions don’t, in the big picture, really matter. There are workable substitutes available, and lots of other players doing pretty much the same thing in pretty much the same way.

    The University of Notre Dame — which is, obviously, flawed and fallible in many, many ways — does matter. Truth be told, it is the only real hope left for a great university that is meaningfully Catholic. The Church and the world — all of us, Catholic or not, football fans or not — desperately need such an institution.

    This great need imposes a weighty burden. To paraphrase Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, with Notre Dame’s matter-ing comes a great responsibility to be true to her calling and worthy of her mission. Unfortunately, by honoring President Obama — who has, in recent weeks, taken steps that are glaringly in conflict with his bedrock moral obligation to respect and protect the equal dignity of unborn children — Notre Dame has clouded what should be clear, and deeply disappointed not just her usual critics, but also those of us who want very much for her to succeed (and work hard to help her succeed).

    To say this is not to say that a Catholic university should only invite speakers or engage leaders and thinkers whose views and records are consistent with the Church’s teachings. It is not to question President Obama’s accomplishments or to deny that his election was, in many ways, historic. Certainly, a Catholic university should engage, challenge, learn from, and “dialogue” with, the wider world.

    Still, to do these things, to be what the world needs her to be, Notre Dame has to be distinctive — not weird, “sectarian,” narrow, or nostalgic, but authentic, courageous, integrated, and . . . interesting. Here, I am afraid she failed.

  • I’m not sure I understand the 30 pieces of silver bit. How is Jenkins profiting from having Obama as a commencement speaker?

  • Mark,

    It represents the mood of the country quite well among Catholics.

    John Henry,

    Good article. Yes, she has failed us.

    BA,

    It’s a reference to Judas selling out Jesus for silver, ie, Fr. Jenkins sells out the relatively good name of Notre Dame worldly adulation.

  • It’s a reference to Judas selling out Jesus for silver

    I get that. My question was whether the reference had any basis in reality. I take it the answer is no.

  • BA,

    It can be interpreted any which way you wish.

    Henry,

    This is your last warning.

    Anymore ad hominem’s from you and you will be placed back on moderation. That is my way of dealing with someone who does not practice his Catholic faith by showing a lack of charity in the comm-boxes. The rest of your actions will be left up to God to judge your lies and deceit.

  • I am sure Obama was not invited because of his position on abortion. He was invited because he is president of the United States.

  • “That is my way of dealing with someone who does not practice his Catholic faith by showing a lack of charity in the comm-boxes.

    Tito,

    Where is your charity to Father Jenkins? I would bet my eternal soul that he did not intend his invitation as an endorsement, condonement or acceptance of Obama’s abortion position. And do not hide behind the “mood of Catholics in the country spill, used already above!

  • Tito,

    You compared Notre Dame’s president to Judas. That’s an ad hominem. I think Professor Garnett is right to express some disappointment; but I think some of the commentary has been excessive.

  • Henry Karlson,

    You are now on indefinite moderation.

    Do not ever threaten me again.

    You are a very sad human being.

    May God have mercy on your soul.

  • John Henry,

    I made an analogy, not an ad hominem.

  • ….Jenkins made clear the University is not honoring the president for his stances on these issues, but for his leadership.

    “The invitation of President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research,” Jenkins said.

    These “crucial differences” in positions on the protection of life are not being ignored in extending the invitation to the president, Jenkins said, but rather can be used as a catalyst for dialogue.

  • Mark,

    Fr. John Jenkins has repeatedly crossed the line as president at Notre Dame. First with pushing the V-logues on campus and now with the invitation to President Obama.

    If Fr. Jenkins is the president, wouldn’t he have anticipated the uproar that this would cause? If he didn’t then he needs to be fired. If he did, then he is thumbing his nose at God.

    Either way, it was a grave mistake and to come out and say that he doesn’t endorse Obama’s abortion policies is incorrect. He knows full well the contentiousness of abortion in the country, especially as a Catholic priest. He was fully aware what his actions would do, create the scandal that has now hit Notre Dame.

    He bears full responsibility and he has damaged the reputation of Notre Dame and has marginalized himself from Catholic orthodoxy for the forseeable future.

  • John,

    It is certainly creating a lot of ‘dialogue’.

    [ed.] Henry Karlson is besides himself in profane and explicit verbal attacks on anyone who would dare try to protect the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent, the unborn children of God.

    Par for the course for alleged and dissenting Catholics.

  • Henry Karlson,

    Keep digging your hole and I’ll keep deleting your un-Catholic comments.

    You and your fellow dissenting Catholics can bad mouth the Church, Her teachings, and Her followers, but God will have the final say on how you have pushed the agenda of the Culture of Death.

  • Tito,

    As you are well aware, Henry and Mark are not dissenting Catholics. I think Henry’s rhetoric (although it’s been deleted now, so he can’t defend himself) was ill-advised and intemperate. That happens to most people from time to time on comment threads. But he is not a dissenter.

  • John Henry,

    That is where you and I disagree.

    When one leads others away from the faith with lies and deceit, ‘dissenting’ is one of the few kind words I can think of that is allowable in the comm-boxes.

    [ed.]

    And if you consider lies, deceits, and threats to me a form of ‘defense’, then so be it.

  • Tito,

    I am defending abortion in no way, shape or form.

    How do you expect to advance the culture of life, if you do not provide forums to charitably engage with those who have influence, but disagree with you in the public square?

    What if some good comes out of this engagement?

    Perhaps Obama may–albeit ever so slightly–see things with another perspective in mind. He is not pure evil. He is a human being on his way, just like the rest of us, who now has the responsibility of being the leader of the free world. Cannot this be an opportunity?

  • Henry Karlson, [ed.]

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    — Holy Gospel of St. Matthew 7:15-21

  • Tito,

    For heaven’s sake, calm down.

    And you cannot insult me personally, because I think very little of myself apart from Christ, so don’t waste your energies about my false prohecy deceptive clothing et al. I did not know, for one, that wolves wore T-shirts and dungarees as sheep’s clothing. What if I were wearing my blue blazer and grey flannels? A sweater and khakis? Would that be different?

    Please answer my questions.

  • Jenkins said that Notre Dame was “honored” by the President accepting their invitation. Is there any political position that a President could hold which would cause Jenkins not to be honored by the President accepting such an invitation? Being in favor of the legality of kids being killed in the womb is rather an extreme example I would think. Perhaps if he were in favor of infanticide Jenkins would draw the line? Although considering the fact that Obama raised campaign funds based on his opposition to banning the disguised infanticide known as partial birth abortion I guess that line has been crossed. Perhaps if a President were in favor of cannibalism Jenkins would draw the line?

  • The irony: I’ve been called a “dissenting Catholic” because I said our Lady deserves to be shown respect.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    That is mere social politeness.

  • Greetings,
    Obama deliberately chose the Notre Dame invitation out of dozens of private schools he could have chosen. It is part of his re-election campaign in which he seeks to deceive the ill-informed Catholic voter into believing the rhetoric about “abortion reduction” and him being some sort of “moderate” on abortion. He is using Notre Dame and Jenkins is letting him do it.

    Obama has sized up the Catholic bishops and decided that they are too weak and too cowardly to hurt him. He is basically spitting in their eye to see if he gets any reaction. If he does not get a reaction, he will go further next time. Next up is the removal of conscience rights. Then it will be Catholic hospitals. Eventually it will be FOCA.

    The Catholic bishops need to speak together and Notre Dame needs to lose its right to call itself a Catholic university. If Jenkins had thought that would happen, he never would have invited Obama.

  • No Mr. DeFrancisis, Jenkins extended the invitation to Obama. Obama accepted and Jenkins says Notre Dame is honored by the acceptance. Considering that the invitation was extended in the first place, I take Jenkins at his word. So I repeat my query, what political position would a President have to take before Jenkins would draw the line at inviting him to give the commencement address at Notre Dame and receiving an honorary degree?

  • Just a little thought experiment. Does anyone wish to argue with a straight face that Notre Dame would extend these honors to a President who publicly stated that blacks were an inferior race? I assume that Jenkins would prefer to eat ground glass, and rightly so, before he would honor such a man, President or not. In what way is the moral offense of honoring an overt racist greater than honoring a President who, throughout his career, has fought vigorously for abortion on demand? Could it be because in academia white racism is rightfully regarded as evil, while abortion is regarded as a sacred right? Isn’t the explanation for this decision painfully obvious? The administration at Notre Dame fully subscribes to the beliefs and prejudices predominant in American academia, and opposition to abortion is anathema to these beliefs and prejudices. By inviting Obama they are defending their faith and it has little in common with the Catholic Faith.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Are you prone to believe in conspiracy theories too?

  • I guess Joseph Cassano wasn’t available to initiate a dialogue on greed and unrestrained speculation.

  • The question (for me, at least) isn’t whether inviting Obama to deliver the commencement is a good idea. I think it was a big mistake. The question is whether comparing Father Jenkins to Judas is a proper way of expressing one’s disapproval of the decision.

    I don’t know Father Jenkins personally, but he was the spiritual director for a friend of mine. She speaks very highly of him.

  • “Are you prone to believe in conspiracy theories too?”

    Mr. DeFrancisis, you can do better than that. Anyone who has dealt with any colleges or universities in the past few decades will readily concede that abortion is viewed as a sacred right, not to say rite, by the powers that be in most of those institutions.

  • If one was serious about thinking Fr. Jenkins to be on a par with Judas because of the decision to invite Obama, I think one would pretty clearly be unhinged. But then, the political cartoon is a genre in which William Jennings Brian was portrayed as a Christ figure for supporting the gold standard (or was it the silver standard?) Overstatement would seem to be the nature of the genre.

    I think it was a very poor decision on ND’s part, but it hardly strikes me as surprising. They’ve had a great deal of difficulty over the years trying to decide how to balance being Catholic with fitting in with the rest of elite academia. And this seems to fit their overall pattern.

    I’d be curious to know why they didn’t invite (or at least didn’t get) Clinton, yet did invite Obama. Was the reasoning for not inviting Clinton anything to do with moral issues, and if so what was seen to be different with Obama?

  • William Jennings Bryan was an advocate of bimetalism often called the “Free silver” policy. The cartoons followed his speech at the 1896 Dem convention where he said “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” His rhetorical style was prone to hyperbole.

  • BA,

    I appreciate your genuine concern on the comparison, but Darwin and largebill have expressed my sympathies quite eloquantly on the matter.

    Go in peace.

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  • Christ Himself was given to hyperbole when He felt it appropriate. He had pretty harsh words for the Pharisees whom He called “whitewashed tombs” and “blind fools.” He said things that obviously were not meant to be taken literally, such as “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” He even had harsh words for His own apostles at times. Yet He can hardly be accused of lacking charity!

    We fallen human beings are going to have a harder time telling the difference between righteous indignation and just plain being insulting. Some of us are going to draw the line in different places that others.

    It is a well known principle of media law that public figures are pretty much fair game for satire, parody and editorial cartooning. Fr. Jenkins, being the president of the nation’s best known Catholic university, should know this. He is not some innocent private citizen being held up to ridicule after being sucked into a controversy not of his own making. He HAD to know this would tick off a lot of people. Since he stands accused of ‘selling out’ one of the most important values his institution is supposed to stand for (right to life from conception to natural death), the comparison to Judas in an editorial cartoon is not, in my opinion, inappropriate. (If it were, you would hear Bill Donohue of the Catholic League screaming about it all the way from NYC.)

  • ” John Henry Says: ….Jenkins made clear the University is not honoring the president for his stances on these issues, but for his leadership.”

    Yeah, promoting the killing of innocent babies not just in the U.S. but globally is a notably excellent leadership quality.

    Heck, might as well hail Hitler for his leadership quality as well given how he raised Germany from the ashes of the first World War — you’ll just have to ignore the fact that he had wanted to exterminate an entire people, which according to some Catholics, unborn babies are not actually.

  • e.,

    That was a quote from the link in the update, not my opinion. I am disappointed by Fr. Jenkin’s decision, but he has at least made it clear that the University does not endorse Obama’s position on abortion on ESCR.

  • Here, apparently, is the cartoon I was thinking of, or at least a similar one:

    http://www.authentichistory.com/postcivilwar/timeline/William_Jennings_Bryan_Cross_of_Gold_Cartoon.jpg

    William Jennings Bryan was an advocate of bimetalism often called the “Free silver” policy.

    Of course, I can never hear of bimetalists without thinking of Evelyn Waugh’s Scott-King’s Modern Europe in which the bimetalists play a memorable (though off stage) role.

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  • Tito,

    You seem to be embarrassing your co-contributors more and more each week. It’s amusing to watch.

    Michael

  • Catholic Anarchist, don’t you have better things to do in the wee hours of a Saturday morning other than to spread bile?

  • Michael,

    You are too old for that type of juvenile taunting.

  • Not taunting at all. Just an observation. Do you disagree?

  • Michael,

    Yes. It’s one thing to have a strong reaction to topics related to abortion; quite another to play the troll (as, I believe, you are). The former is understandable; the latter, to use your phrase, ’embarrassing’.

  • I see. Defend “your own” at all costs. Very american of you.

  • I would have to say it’s a human characteristic, rather than an American characteristic. There seems to be some sort of ridiculous fallacy floating around VN that because a character trait is exhibited by some Americans, it’s unique to Americans or distinctively American.

    As far as whether defending one’s own or a desire to be fair is on display here, that’s for others to judge. As this is not my thread, and we are rather far afield, I will not comment on this any further. I would appreciate it if you did not as well.

  • I think we tend to try to take each case individually, which may or may not be characteristically American — though it does seem to be something Michael can congratulate himself in being quite free from.

    I, for one, am certainly not embarrassed by Tito. He at times makes statements that I disagree with, and when that happens I sometimes ignore it and sometimes tell him so. However far from being embarrassed by him I have a lot of respect for Tito. Among other reasons, because he far surpasses me in the ability to take fraternal criticism honestly and humbly.

  • mong other reasons, because he far surpasses me in the ability to take fraternal criticism honestly and humbly.

    I have seen absolutely no evidence of this.

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