University of Notre Dame
One of the main defenses of Jenkins in regard to Obama Day on May 17, 2009 at Notre Dame is as follows: “However misguided some might consider our actions, it is in the spirit of providing a basis for dialogue that we invited President Obama.”
It is therefore richly ironic that Jenkins refuses to meet with pro-life Notre Dame students opposed to the Obama homage:
Our old friend and Obama-phile Doug Kmiec, a subject of a few posts on this blog: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, has come out with a column in defense of the Notre Dame decision to honor Obama on May 17, filled with Obama fawning that would disgrace any self-respecting canine. Father Z here does the task of fisking the rubbish so I don’t have to.
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.
There is so much being said and debated in this Notre Dame controversy, and so I want to add one more perspective to the mix. I wrote an essay for my personal website and I don’t want to take up a lot of space with it here, so I will simply provide the link and discussion can take place below.
I know many of you will disagree, perhaps even take offense at what I am saying, though essentially I agree with what most of you have already said (no I will not be defending Obama, or abortion – I am 100% pro-life). I think we should all be mature enough to handle a different perspective. I’m aware of the potential for things to get quite ugly, but I think there is a painful truth that needs to be acknowledged.
If I am truly wrong, so be it – I can be wrong. But if I’m right, or partially right, then it does no good to kill the messenger.
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“The invitation should be withdrawn.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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”