Notre Dame: Obama Yes, Trump No

Friday, December 9, AD 2016



I am shocked, shocked.  Matt Archbold brings us the news that Notre Dame, which gave pro-abort Obama a thunderous reception as their guest of honor at the 2009 commencement, is considering not inviting President Trump:

In surprising comments reported by The Observer, Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, said he is considering not inviting Donald Trump to speak at this spring’s commencement ceremony — a break from the university’s tradition of inviting new presidents to speak at graduation.

“I do think the elected leader of the nation should be listened to. And it would be good to have that person on the campus — whoever they are, whatever their views,” he said. “At the same time, the 2009 Commencement was a bit of a political circus, and I think I’m conscious that that day is for graduates and their parents — and I don’t want to make the focus something else.”

“My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus,” he said.

Fr. Jenkins infamously hosted and honored President Barack Obama, the most radically pro-abortion president in our country’s history, in 2009. The Cardinal Newman Society garnered more than 367,000 petitions against Notre Dame’s honor of Obama in 2009, and 83 U.S. bishops publicly opposed the commencement honor. Fr. Jenkins has defended honoring Obama on multiple occasions since 2009.

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20 Responses to Notre Dame: Obama Yes, Trump No

  • Fr. all due non-respect, go fly a kite!

    What a farce and bold face hypocrite.
    His leadership reminds me of the Religious souls suffering in hell. If Fr. Jenkins makes it to purgatory it would be a shock!

    Please pass on giving Norte Dame support until this university is Catholic. Not Catholic in name only. For the good people who work and study in Norte Dame, God bless you. Remember Fr. Norman Weslin! Please remember him. The hero of May 16th 2009. Hand cuffs and all.

    To the board members of Norte Dame..SHAME on you.

  • I twittered a link to this post to . I think more people should do this. Let Notre Dame know that Fr Jenkins needs to repent.

  • Darn! My comment was supposed to say that I twittered it to @nd_news. The Notre Dame news twitter page.

  • The Catholic academy is frivolous and run by poseurs in clericals? Say it ain’t so….

  • The pro-infanticide president is welcome but the pro-business guy is not?

  • FND – Don’t ask me to spell it out.

  • “he pro-infanticide president is welcome but the pro-business guy is not?”

    Because they are likely pro-infanticide and anti-business.

  • I’m not sure where abortion ranks anymore on the Catholic morality priority list, but it could be seen that this is saying no to Trump because of Obama. Because of the ‘circus’ that swirled around the Obama appearance, perhaps he doesn’t want it repeated.

  • Dave Griffey.

    Catholic University Dave.

    I disagree with the excuse that Fr. John Jenkins is truly trying to avoid the “circus.”

    The circus has three rings, and in the center is himself, barking the social justice doctrine that squashes the rights of the innocent by awarding Joe Biden the highest honor bestowed by the university in humanitarian excellence. In the ring to the right is the clown act. Obama, the most pro-death president to date. Not just pro-death, but willing to penalize businesses that won’t supply their employees with insurance coverages that contain abortifacients. The left ring Dave?
    Well that’s reserved for mom and dad. They pick up the colossal excrement left over by the dog and pony show that is liberal progressive inteligencia that can not accept the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding abortion, but gave no problem pretending to be Catholic.

    That Dave is B— S—!

    Their the circus.
    Grab some cotton candy and enjoy the show.

  • … sorry for the typos;( have no problem…)
    and (That’s the circus)…not Their the circus.

  • “A sucker born every minute.” P.T. Barnum had Fr. Jenkins in mind;

    Human rights?

    Go Norte Dame Go! Margaret Sanger would of been proud to have given an opportunity to address the new grads! If only….

  • ND fought tooth and nail to host and honor pro-abortion Obama. ND was
    happy to weather the protests from over 100 US bishops, ignored and side-
    lined the objections of their then-Ordinary Bishop D’Arcy, had faithful Catholic
    students and even priests arrested and prosecuted for protesting, and expended
    a great deal of their ever-diminishing credibility as a Catholic institution defending
    their determination to host and honor our baby-killer-in-chief.
    Notre Dame loves abortion and sees nothing wrong with it. All of their sophistries
    aside, that’s really what ND is about here. I’d sooner cut off my hands than let
    someone i loved either attend or send them a dime. A pox on the once-Catholic
    Notre Dame.

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  • Here is a case where NOT being invited is a greater honor.

    Notre Dame is the Archbishop Cupich of “Catholic” Colleges.

  • My husband and I belong to a club and enjoy social time with several good people whose children are just at that age they are going to college (we ourselves are somewhat older, but our children just younger due to late marriage.)
    Ah, the college application and decision process!!
    I smile, or something, whenever I hear that Little Johnny (or Jane) is going to Loyola or ND, or Fordham or whatever Catholic University. They will receive a remarkable education there, surely.
    As far as I know, my husband and I are the only committed Catholics. Granted, my commitment lacks considerable enthusiasm these days. It just would not occur to me to allow my child to go to undergrad at a Catholic university.
    As I type this, my second child just finished up reading the Bible at the breakfast table. Off to take the ACT in an hour.
    They children’s father reads the Bible daily. I’d like the boys to continue with that. I fear it won’t happen if they go to a Catholic University. Worse, I fear they will completely lose what little Catholicism they have, and will be lost completely.

  • Notre Dame is Catholic in name only,

  • No doubt if Hillary had won she would be invited and worshiped by ND….

  • Notre Dame University should be bought by Trump so he can tell the administration: “You’re fired!”

  • @ Tim.

    Agreed. The Grotto might have had a make over. Out with our Lady and in her place a likeness of Margret Sanger. ND. A victim of identity crisis.

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

Tuesday, March 13, AD 2012


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

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

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

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

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

The bishops aren’t the boss of us!!

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

Who died and made the bishops religious leaders?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Who died and made the bishops religious leaders?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Finite minds need infinite wisdom.

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

Archbishop Wenski Reminds Pro-Obama Catholics of What Chumps They Are

Tuesday, December 6, AD 2011

Archbishop Thomas Wenski points out that pro-Obama Catholics were played as chumps by President Obama in an essay which appeared on December 2 in the Miami Herald.  Here is his essay interspersed with my comments:

In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame  University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an  honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in  contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many  Catholics throughout the United States.

To say the least.  That event demonstrated the de facto schism that exists in the Church between those who follow the teaching of the Church in regard to abortion and those who do not.

Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech  the president promised to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with  abortion,” stating that his administration would provide “sensible” protections  for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably  include healthcare providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might  otherwise have to pay through their healthcare plans for other people’s  abortions.

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21 Responses to Archbishop Wenski Reminds Pro-Obama Catholics of What Chumps They Are

  • Good article.
    Your last sentence: hard = had.

  • Thank you daledog. The wages of blogging swiftly over an abbreviated lunch hour due to a looming court hearing!

  • The good Archbishop is too charitable. It seems clear to me that the likes of Stupak,
    Keenan, and the administration of Notre Dame were all willing tools for this president’s
    agenda. In the unlikely event that these people truly are so naive and so incompetent
    that they allowed themselves to be played, then they have no business in Congress or
    overseeing Catholic healthcare or running (what was once) a Catholic university.

    Incompetence is not the same as treachery, but it often achieves the same results.
    I believe these people to be knowing traitors to their Church. However, even if they
    are mere dupes and fools, then they still have no business continuing in positions
    where the Church must count on them to defend Her.

  • The archbishop is long moderation.

    Get to Confession. You won’t be going to heaven if you voted for Obama.

  • I wonder if the archbishop realizes just how many Catholic females get abortions every year? The abortion tables are filled to overflowing with Catholic girls and women. I have personally known many. There are more than a few Catholic husbands and fathers who will never know that their wives and daughters were among those who aborted.

  • There seems to be a small but increasing number of US bishops starting to speak up.

    Time is well past for them to put up a united front, name and shame the politicians and those in high office who make a mockery of Church teaching and insult the Church by boldly calling themselves Catholic – that brings the Church into disrepute.

    Sadly, our 7 bishops aren’t much better – we have only one conservative bishop, the others are fairly liberal. They are presently on their way to Rome for their Ad Limina visit. I suspect quite a rap over the knuckles for the.

    They made a mess of printing the new missal, so we have not yet introduced the new translation (except for what the congregation say – that was introduced last year) so New Zealand is technically in schism with the rest of the Roman Catholic Church because of our bishops’ incopetence.

  • “It’s great being back here with you in Texas!” The genius oBAMA told a Kansas gathering of Obama-worshiping cretins.

    Keep telling me about dunces among GOP candidates.

  • Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections “robust.”

    Ignorance and cowardice are a bad combination, and unfortunately the Church in America has had far too much of both over the past four and a half decades.

    Obedient faithful ready and waiting for loud, clear direction … parish bulletins and sermons are their prime educational, formative news source. If only there were a way to download serious, official insights to the weekly, in the same way the little, happy, generally without impact, essays on the weekly readings are done.

    “HHS seemingly wants to regard fertility as a disease — and elective abortion subsidized by the taxpayer as healthcare.”

    “What this administration intends is to make every institution of the Catholic Church in this country complicit in supporting intrinsic evil. Tolerance of differing opinions is not in the lexicon of Obama and his merry band of would be thought police.”

    The faithful need to have right words for response to so many critical, cynical attacks on their virtues. Government legislates tolerance of atrocity. Catholic (Christian) consciences become “the intolerant”.

  • Catholic votes may have helped Obama get elected, but whether they will help him get re-elected remains to be seen. Of late there have been reports that Obama has pretty much given up on trying to win the white, working-class vote. This would, I suspect, include a lot of the blue collar, pro-union Catholics who voted for him last time mainly out of traditional loyalty to the Democratic Party. Most pundits attribute this to the economy but I strongly suspect his attacks against the Church and its institutions have a lot to do with it also.

  • Agreed Elaine. If Obama is defeated next year I guarantee one of his thoughts will be: “The revenge of the bitter clingers!”.

  • What T. Shaw said: “Get to Confession. You won’t be going to heaven if you voted for Obama.”

    I would amend this statement for two things: (1) some people voted for Obama out of ignorance; now is the time for them to prove they have learned their lesson, and (2) those who deliberately voted for Obama regardless of his evil can always repent.

  • Before we go off consigning all Obama voters to hell, keep this in mind: Pope Benedict, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, issued a statement on the question of voting that said voting for a pro-abortion candidate was a sin if the vote was cast in direct SUPPORT of the candidate’s pro-abortion stance. He also went on to say that voting for a pro-abortion candidate IN SPITE OF his stand could be morally permitted in the presence of “proportionate reasons.”

    The $64 gazillion question in this case, of course, is what constitutes “proportionate reasons.” Some argue that there are no proportionate reasons whatsoever that justify voting for any pro-abortion candidate. Others (including Pope John Paul II in “Evangelium Vitae,” along with a number of bishops) say that in a contest between two or more candidates who are both or all pro-abortion, voting for the least aggressively pro-abortion candidate in order to minimize the potential damage provides a proportionate reason.

    Another possibly proportionate reason to vote for a pro-abortion candidate (e.g. a “moderate” Republican) could be if they belong to a party that is generally pro-life or conservative and voting for them will help keep that party in control of one’s state or national legislature. (That is why I voted, very reluctantly, for Sen. Mark Kirk last year; RINO though he may be, there was a chance his election would enable the GOP to take control of the Senate, and the alternative would have been an even more pro-abort liberal Democrat.)

    Still others (including myself) might argue that a pro-abortion candidate could, in some circumstances, be preferable to an ostensibly pro-life candidate who is so obviously corrupt, incompetent, mentally unstable or otherwise unqualified for the office that he or she would expose the public to grave danger if elected (e.g. by starting a nuclear war). I cannot, however, think of a single instance so far in which I personally have been faced with this choice.

    It’s possible that a sincere Catholic might have voted for Obama in 2008 in spite of his position on abortion because they were truly convinced that McCain and Palin were dangerously incompetent for the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS. If that is the case, I wouldn’t assume they were guilty of mortal sin. However, they may not have the same excuse this time around, now that we have seen how dangerously incompetent AND aggressively pro-abortion Obama has turned out to be.

  • Those who believe Obama’s word is his bond are simply choosing to believe what they wish to believe. It’s a cafeteria thing.

    I remain unconvinced anybody was truly convinced that McCain and Palin were dangerously incompetent for the offices of POTUS and VPOTUS.

  • Many people, Catholics included, voted against the McCain / Palin ticket for no other reason than that they hated the idea of a beautiful conservative Christian woman being VP.

    There were NO propotionate reasons to have voted for that man of sin now in the Oval Office. Many people wanted hope and change regardless that they KNEW he’s a baby-murdering, sodomy sanctifying anti-christ, no matter what and by golly they got their hope and change. He deserves every bit what God allowed to befall King Manasseh because like King Manasseh before him, that’s the only thing that will force him to repent of his narcissistic evil.

  • Thankyou Archbishop Wenski, for speaking out. It’s a shame that every Cardinal and Bishop in this country didn’t speak out prior to Obama’s speaking at Notre Dame, or any other institution which calls itself Catholic! They take money on the pretense of being a Catholic institution, but it’s actually the difference between Roman Catholicism, and American Catholicism which doesn’t admit to being at great odds with Roman Catholicism. Unfortunately many of the “sheeple” don’t know the difference and it’s not made clear in many parishes today.

  • I think some Catholics will not vote for some Republican candidates because they support waterboarding. Putting aside the evil of abortion, to which Obama is completely dedicated, I think we need to consider the constant attacks on the family by Obama and the Democrats.

    I think only a fool will see an equivalence between the issues.

  • “I think only a fool will see an equivalence between the issues.”

    Waterboarding is not equivalent to abortion. Both are evil, and I refuse to support any politician who supports either.

  • “… I refuse to support any politician who supports either.” Then don’t vote.

    Hypothetical scenario: a terrorist knows the location of a bomb set to detonate in some unnamed school in some unnamed large city. Waterboarding can force the terrorist to reveal the location of the bomb and save hundreds of children’s lives. But some people opposed to waterboarding would rather the children die.

    What would Charles Martel have done during the battle against the Islamic fanatics in Tours, France so long ago? Hand the city over to the demonic fanatics? Make peace in our time because peace at any price outweighs the freedom and safety of our children?

    Some people simply prefer dhimmitude, but not this American, not this Christian!

  • Oh, noes! Not the ticking timebomb scenario.

    lol. Where have you been for the last 5 or 6 years, Paul?

  • Sandi Trusso @ 7:22AM: “It’s a shame that every Cardinal and bishop in this country
    didn’t speak out prior to Obama’s speaking at Notre Dame…”.

    Actually, in a surprising show of unity, they did. As I remember, about 100 to 120
    bishops published open letters of protest concerning ND’s decision to honor Obama.
    It’s likely that many other bishops wrote in protest but chose not to make their letters
    public. I have a hard time thinking of any subject that has united our bishops in such
    a way. With so many bishops pointing out their errors, Notre Dame has absolutely
    no room to claim that they could not have known that what they did was both wrong
    and stupid. Notre Dame is run by willing tools of the culture of death. Our bishops
    did a good day’s work pointing that out.

Catholic Left (Academic Branch) Boehner Bashing

Friday, May 13, AD 2011

For many years Catholic universities and colleges have disgraced themselves by honoring pro-abort speakers.  The indispensable Cardinal Newman Society has taken upon itself the onerous task of keeping track of this ongoing betrayal of the Church and their latest report may be read here.  A prime example was Obama as commencement speaker at Notre Dame in 2009, a debacle which was covered in full by many posts here at The American Catholic.   These affairs have often drawn protests by Catholics who realize that honoring pro-aborts is no part, or rather should be no part, of what it means to be a Catholic institution of higher learning.  

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a pro-life stalwart and a Catholic, has been invited to deliver the commencement address at Catholic University of America on May 14.   81 professors at Catholic colleges and universities, organized by some CUA profs, have decided to try a little bit of payback by protesting Boehner speaking at CUA by claiming that Boehner, because he is in favor of budget cuts, is against the poor and therefore in defiance of Church teaching.

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44 Responses to Catholic Left (Academic Branch) Boehner Bashing

  • B.’s stock just went up.

    Whom they fear they hate and lie about.

    They are “telling” me that B. is not marching lock-step in progressives’ covert war against economic growth, rational energy policies, job creation, and the evil, unjust private sector.

    “Woe to him who calls good evil.”

    The credentialled, cath wing of the humanist lib/radical devoloution . . . infallible ignorance . . . intellectual incompetence. I am being charitable.

    Some questions:

    What evidence do you have?: Cite votes on abortion, gay marriage, infanticide, public school brainwashing in the Seven Deadly Sins, (hint: The POPE’s four non-negotiables), etc. Cite chapter and verse of the Gospels and Scriptures not your chimera compendium of socialist (economic and moral) bankrupcy for America.

    Compared to whom/what? Bernanke, Geithner, Barney Frank, Pelosi, Teddy Chappaquiddick, Jeremiah Wright, . . . ?

    Forget charity: Calumnies, detractions, heterodoxy, uncharity, . . .

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  • I’m waiting for these academia types to send a letter to Sen Bob Casey, who’s going to be the commencement speaker at Villanova this spring, to ask him to refrain from speaking because of his pro-abortion positions.




  • the principle of subsidarity. With good reason, this is something the Catholic Left — or whatever remains of it these days — rarely mentions or grapples with, because they know that it would raise many questions about the prudence of any number of welfare programs they support.

    By the “Catholic Left”, I take it you mean the Episcopate? Have the American bishops ever once opposed a single federal welfare program based on a violation of the principle of subsidiarity? Once? Ever?

  • After the way Kurt and his ilk trashed the Bishops as misinformed, beholden to partisan groups, liars, or all of the above, for their opposition to federal funding of abortion in the health care bill, I think we can safely ignore him whenever he tries to throw the Bishops in our faces over such prudential matters as federal budgetary policy.

  • Personally, Kurt, I don’t think the bishops should oppose such programs. Nor should they support them. The principle of subsidiarity requires an application of prudence. A bishop may well have informed thoughts on such matters, as do I, but if you think their thoughts are more informed than mine you would be mistaken. The bishops should fearlessly teach Catholic teaching, but should wade in with great caution in matters of prudential application for one very important reason: most people will fail to distinguish between the bishops’ explanation of their prudential preferences versus their explanations of actual Catholic teaching. This in turn allows people like the Dishonest 81 to try to fool Catholics into conflating the two; it also harms the credibility of the Church when the bishops’ prudential preferences are later proven wrong.
    Personally, I support a robust federal role in assisting the poor, though I’d organize it differently. My views are based on years of leadership and service to organizations such as the United Way, SVdP, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army, Yet, I acknowledge that my opinions, however well-formed, are applications of prudence to Catholic teaching. Reasonable and well-intended Catholics can certainly disagree in good faith. Extending this presumption of good faith is something the Dishonest 81 are unwilling to do.

  • This is bad enough and really turns your stomach but when you add to it the recent news out of the “Vatican” that we simply MUST vigorously act to stop global warming you realize just how much the leftists agenda has poisoned our political theology. The bottom line is they have, with a cheering main stream media which displays its own celebrity Catholics like Pelosi, Fr. Jenkins of ND, and these academic “every day” Catholics behind them, become the more effective purveyor of our faith and its tenants than our Bishops. Where is our 21st century Bishop Sheen and will he please step forward for God’s sake?

  • There they go again! Politicizing the Gospel.

    It’s like they plagiarized a diatribe from a Vietnamese re-education camp manual or from Mao’s Little Red Book.

    It’s left-wing liberal propaganda calling itself church teaching.

  • I didn’t know the Church had a dogmatic position on the 2012 fiscal budget! I wonder if they also have a secret dogmatic position on Oscar picks, because that’s something I’d really like to get a look at.

  • Mike,

    I appreciate your thoughts. I would strongly agree with your statement that “Reasonable and well-intended Catholics can certainly disagree in good faith” about public policy questions.

    While unlike you, I tend to agree with the statements the Bishops have made on social welfare issues, as well as the statements made by the United Way, SVdP and Catholic Charities. However, I am pleased that each of them has presented their statements in a way that does not make a person like you feel excluded or disinclined to participate in the Church, Catholic Charities, SVdeP, etc.

  • It’s my up close and personal opinion, having worked for both private and public non-profit organizations, that the private non-profits work more for the betterment of those in need and do it for less money. State organizations, unfortunately tend to become first and foremost committed to helping their employees. The poor and the weak become afterthoughts.

    However, the logic of this letter writing group would put me at odds with their view of the Catholic Church because I believe that the 10-15% of my income that goes to social services programs would be better spent going to private non-profits that create more benefit with my money and serve more people.

  • So to summarize, Kurt, you disagree with the stance these CUA professors have taken. Can you now go tell the rest of the Catholic left that they are wrong on this?

  • So to summarize, Kurt, you disagree with the stance these CUA professors have taken.

    I went back and re-read the letter. Let me make three points.

    #1 — I am deeply appreciative of the fact that they in no way suggested that he be not allowed to speak or that the event be boycotted. Nor did they trash the University authorities for inviting him. Others on both the Right and the Left haven taken a different course in other cases and my hope is for this to be a model for the future. That part of the letter is very good.

    #2 — They give witness to a vision of Catholic Social action that has been consistently promoted by the Episcopate and call the Speaker to practice that same witness. Like the Catholic signatories, I concur with the Bishops witness and statement on social welfare questions,* so I view that as a good.

    #3 — I don’t see the signatories saying the Speaker is a bad Catholic or a heretic. The letter is vague about Chuch teachings and the Bishops clear and consistent application of those teachings. Perhaps that could be a bit tighter.

    Personally, I thing inviting a Catholic Speaker of the House like John Boehner is an obvious and proper choice for CUA. And I think a polite letter from faculty calling him to embrace the principles of social policy the Bishops have called for is a proper response given the Speaker has not.

    I have twice (to my memory) received the Eucharist at the same Mass where Mr. Boehner also has and I considered it a great witness of the catholicity of the Church.

    *with a few rare exceptions where I respectfully disagree, dissenting towards the position of the secular Right. For example I supported the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which the bishops opposed.

  • She is on their “side.”

    So, I won’t hold my breath until the liberats send a letter to Sister Heretic Jeannine Gramick, who blasphemed Jesus as a model homosexual, and is scheduled to lecture at so-called Catholic: Fairfield University.

  • The Catholic left (those leftover liberation theology priests and bishops) are responsible for turning the American Catholic Church’s fundamental reason for existing from the salvation of souls to one of “social justice” administered by the great utopian state on earth. They’ve largely lost their faith in God and have turned their souls over to the socialistic destruction of souls. Our bishop’s councils are not blameless in this heresy.

  • This past week the daily gospel readings have been from John chapter 6. Jesus feeds the 5000 and then He and his disciples go across the lake. The crowd awakes the next morning, and finding Him gone, follows Him to Capernaum where they ask, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” Jesus answered, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meath which endureth unto eternal life…”

    Liberal Demokrat self-described Catholics are like the crowd that Jesus fed. They want more bread and circuses, but not the bread of eternal life. And sadly, this social justice heresy has infected even many within the clergy.

    Let’s take that point a little further. In John chapter 12 Mary, the sister of Martha, anoints Jesus’ feet with costly oil. Who protests about this, saying that the oil could have been sold for 300 denarii to feed the poor? The traitor Judas Iscariot, that’s who! He was the one conscious of “social justice.” And what does Sacred Scripture say about this? “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” How like every liberal Democrat elected to Washington, DC who call themselves Catholic (and sadly not a few Republicans)! Every time I hear about this social justice horse manure, I recall Judas Iscariot and John 12:6. With all our science, engineering and technology, man himself has changed not one iota in 2000 years.

  • Don L and PWP are 100% correct

    Plus, these intellektuals have responded to reasoned GOP proposals (to save our nation, our children, and our grandchildren from national bankruptcy generated by runaway spending) with harsh, partisan demagoguery; and, WORST, call it church teaching.

  • I am a religious Sister serving my Congregation in Guyana. Today I was looking for a responsible Catholic Dialogue website concerning Catholic Americans. Yours was the first place I saw and the introduction looked promising. Then I saw the horribly disrespectful picture that was posted here (disrespectful regarding religious sisters) and I saw how much rancor and hostility was being touted as dialogue. In order to find a mature, intelligent and respectful dialogue I guess I will have to keep looking…

  • Best wishes in your continuing search Sister. The picture you are referring to is only disrespectful to Catholic Leftists who use the Faith as a disguise for their political machinations. As to rancor and hostility, blogs open to public comments are rarely going to be mistaken for a Platonic dialogue, especially when one person, a la Plato, isn’t writing the dialogue. The American Catholic provides a forum for Catholics to debate issues that people feel strongly about and this will sometimes produce somewhat heated comments. We at The American Catholic try to maintain some decorum, but in my experience unless there is at least a little heat there will be no light.

  • Sister,

    Thank you for giving yourself to save souls in Guyana.

  • To Donald R. McClarey. With all due respect. If I minded a little heat I wouldn’t be living here. And I also recognize that public blogs are always going to be open to a certain amount of rancor. However, as to your comment that only Catholic leftists would be offended by the disgraceful picture which was posted. I strongly disagree. The religious sisters that I know here help feed and shelter the homeless, take care of orphans and teach little kids their catechism. This caricature of a religious sister, wearing a symbol of consecration to God, is degrading, ill-thought out and lacks charity. I was hoping, in humility, that you would remove it and say sorry. Was I wrong to hope for that?

  • Yes Sister you were mistaken to hope for that for the reasons I have already explained. The picture was not intended as an attack on anyone other than the persistant misuse of the Faith by those on the political Left which has been an ongoing problem throughout my lifetime, as I think would have been clear to anyone reading my post.

  • What is very clear to me from reading your post, and what bothers me, is not so much that you have a problem with the religious left, but that you don’t mind showing disgraceful caricatures of religious women, including nuns in habit (which I am privileged to wear, Praised be God). It may not have been “intended” to insult, but it definitely did insult. It didn’t insult the religious left, it insulted religious women. You could have gotten your message across without depicting nuns in such a degrading way. As far as my desire to have this disturbing image removed from this site. I still very humbly request that you do it. I will be asking all the sisters I know to pray for that, starting now. And thank you to T. Shaw for your encouragement. Women who serve the Church, sometimes in countries very far away from their home, do so because they love Jesus and want to care for others, pure and simple. They don’t deserve to open up a Catholic website and see that.

  • The issue here involves partisan demagoguery (exaggerations, distortions, fabrications, omissions) leveled at a decent Catholic man by leftists distorting church teaching.

    Mac, “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” Nathan C. Brittles, Captain, Cavalry, U.S. Army

  • We will have to agree to disagree Sister. The picture will stay up. I would think that prayers might be better directed towards Catholic institutions of higher learning no longer honoring pro-aborts, but de gustibus.

  • Dear T. Shaw, How about demagoguery (distortions, exaggerations, caricatures) leveled at decent Catholic women serving God by religious conservatives who are mad at religious liberals? And since when is apologizing a sign of weakness? And, T. Shaw, does Captain Brittles think going to Confession is a weak unmanly sort of thing to do? It definitely involves apologizing for one’s mistakes. In fact, I think the Church definitely encourages people to apologize (and atone) for their mistakes. And, Mr. McClarey, as far as praying for Catholic Insitutions, that’s a very good idea. I can pray for them and for you, too (to take the insulting picture off the site).

  • “I can pray for them and for you, too”

    I can always use prayers Sister, even if they are requesting God to have me do something I have no intention of doing. I am happy that you have decided to stick around the blog thus far. While you are here you might wish to read some of the other posts on the blog in addition to the one which has raised your ire.

  • I apologize. Really.

    The situation re: Captain Brittles is a military maxim. Therein the officer/leader, even with regard to superiors, cannot evince weakness even if he is wrong, but ever aggressiveness and confidence. Men’s lives depend on him.

    Another military maxim: never make an excuse. “No excuse, sir.” Whatever happens, I am responsible and there is never an excuse.

    I believe in Charity and Confession. Also, and maybe this is even harder, a Spiritual Work of Mercy: “forgive all injuries.”

    There is considerable class, cultural, and political warfare being waged in this country. The left is good at it and constantly shows that it doesn’t give a darn about right or wrong.

  • First, I have the utmost respect and reverence towards those religious women – nuns and sisters – who take their vows seriously, devote their lives to Jesus Christ and work without ceasing for the Kingdom of Heaven. We should and must pray for them and contribute what we can to the good work that they do.

    That being said, the picture of the leftist socialist pseudo-nun with the commie painted on her bosom is nothing like the picture St. John gave us of similar Jezebels in Revelation 2:20-23:

    St. John was a lot more forceful.

  • Now, for good or ill (i’m sure the moderators think for ill; I’m not debating that), the signatories of the letter take the Speaker to task for public policy differences where they concur with the Episcopacy and the Speaker dissents from the position taken by the Episcopate. Again, I’m not asserting here the wisdom of the bishops’ positions on these issues, I’m just noting that the Speaker (respectfully) disagrees with the Bishops and the signatories are in agreement with the Bishops on these public policy proposals.

    So my question is, why the derogatory picture of a woman religious? Why not one of a bishop? It might be a virtue or a vice, but you know critics of your viewpoint will think this is done because conservatives find it easier or more pleasurable to pick on women. Why bait us? Just for jollies?

  • “Why bait us?” I don’t know the reason why, but by your own admission we know for certain what side you’re on. Secondly, there would be no bait if the picture weren’t so true.

    It’s amazing that the leftists claim to support wealth redistribution as social justice and codify the same into the law of the land on the supposition that that is the Christian thing to do, yet at the same time would not and do not support measures to restore a sense of righteousness and holiness throughout the land. If the leftists were so intent on Christian virtue as they claim, then they would support measures to outlaw abortion, contraception, homosexual activity, adultery and fornication. The fact that they refuse to support such measures, on the assertion that this isn’t a theocracy, points to the fallacy in their argument to codify (at least their version of) social justice as the law of the land: this isn’t a theocracy.

    Liberals want theocracy (with Obama as their messiah) when it supports redistributing wealth from those who earn to those who don’t. By so doing they can keep the non-wage earner addicted to teat of the public treasury, thereby enslaving these people and ensuring again and again the re-election of their champions of the common good where everyone is equal at the lowest common denominator except for those elite few enlightened enough by the gospel of socialism to lead society forward into a man-made kingdom of heaven.

    Here’s the bottom line: it doesn’t matter how much social justice you have, or how much you spend on the poor. As long as you allow abortion, homosexual marriage and the rest of the murder and filth to go on, there will be NO social justice. Repentance and conversion come BEFORE social justice and NOT afterwards. But liberals, wanting unlimited license to do whatever feels good without consequence, refuse the former, and thus will be denied the later.

  • the Speaker dissents from the position taken by the Episcopate

    Or, more precisely, the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference, which no one seems to be able to control or kill.

    but you know critics of your viewpoint will think this is done because conservatives find it easier or more pleasurable to pick on women.

    I pull the wings off flies, too.

  • Kurt,

    I’m not particularly interested in defending the picture, but I think the answer to your main question is that few not firmly in the Leftist camp would accept the claim that “the bishops” are against any cuts to or restructuring of entitlements such as outlined in the Ryan budget — certainly not in a way in which disagreement could be classified as “dissent”. This in part because I think very few (except those who do so entirely for convenience) would consider the occasional murmurings out of staff in the political offices of the USCCB to be any kind of “teaching” so much as “this is what these particular staff who are hired to try to apply teaching to the issues of the day have to say.”

    At least when issues such as abortion are being discussed, there is an absolutely clear and doctrinal teaching of the Church in play which it is not hard to figure out how to apply to the political realm — certainly when discussing the scandal of supporting a politician who never found pro-choice legislation he didn’t like. By comparison, while the Church unquestionably teaches us about our duty towards the least fortunate among us, there is no Church teaching or clear extrapolation of Church teaching which informs us what the necessary growth rate or structure of specific federal programs in one country in the this particular time in history should be. (And really, when one thinks about it that way, the idea that there would be seems rather silly.)

    This is why in situations like this conservatives invariably see the sudden fuss for “fidelity” put forward by leftist Catholics as a set of theatrics in order to claim “oh yeah, you’re just the same” when the “dissent” of conservatives relates to fine details of how to allocate tax dollars and entitlements, while the very real dissent on the left involves the legalization of killing the unborn.

  • that few not firmly in the Leftist camp would accept the claim that “the bishops” are against any cuts to or restructuring of entitlements such as outlined in the Ryan budget —

    You need to sign up to get the emails they have put out asking us lay faithful to write letters on various issues. Its pretty clear the signatories and the bishops are asking the Speaker to change his position on the same issues.

    It’s amazing that the leftists claim to support wealth redistribution as social justice and codify the same into the law of the land on the supposition that that is the Christian thing to do, yet at the same time would not and do not support measures to restore a sense of righteousness and holiness throughout the land. If the leftists were so intent on Christian virtue as they claim, then they would support measures to outlaw abortion, contraception, homosexual activity, adultery and fornication.

    I don’t support wealth redistribution as social justice. While I support outlawing abortion, I do oppose laws to throw people in jail for contraceptive use or homosexuality. I welcome a chance to hear your arguement for the conservative position on those two concerns and would give a respectful response supporting my position.

  • “So my question is, why the derogatory picture of a woman religious? Why not one of a bishop?”

    The answer to that question is quite simple: the picture was avaliable. If I had encountered a similar picture of a bishop or a priest or brother I would have run with it. The picture was meant to be a symbol of the Catholic Left, and not to single out women religious. If I had wished to attack women religious, I certainly not have chosen a young woman in a habit, normally the sign these days of a member of an orthodox order. I would have picked out a picture of a sixtyish woman dressed like a social worker, the usual garb of the orders of woman religious who have gone off the rails and are now dying out for lack of young postulants.

  • Yes, the Committee on Domestic Justice and such send out fairly vague (and from a policy point of view, to my mind not very incisive) letters every so often. However, to take that as a representative of what all US bishops think is quickly belied by the fact that when you actually get all the bishops together what they can agree on in the political arena is generally both more vague and more moderate.

    Indeed, if there are two things which the bishops generally can agree on, it’s generally in opposing same sex marriage and opposing abortion — two things which the Democratic party is singularly out of sympathy with.

    (Which, incidentally, simply underscores how unprecedented it was for such a huge number of bishops to come out against Notre Dame giving Obama an award — the event which these signatories are trying to be the equal and opposite to.)

  • Yes, the Committee on Domestic Justice and such send out fairly vague (and from a policy point of view, to my mind not very incisive) letters every so often.

    You need to get on the same list I am on. The alerts are not vague, but pinpoint specific: “Please contact your Senators/Representatives and tell them to vote yes/no on S./HR. 123”

    And they are fairly frequent when Congress is in session.

    And they have been doing so for a long time..I recall getting them my postal delivery before email was an option.

    And there are letter sent to Members of Congress by the Bishops themselves again asking for a particular vote — yes or no — on a particular piece of legislation.

    I respect the right of any Catholic to respectfully disagree with the bishops on any public policy proposal. I just think people are being silly and childish to pretend the bishops pnly mean it when they argree with them and don’t really mean it when they take a position contrary to their opinion.

    The bottom line remains the signatories have done what the bishops have already done — asked the Speaker to support certainly legislative proposals.

  • Well, if this list has a news feed or website, I’d be happy to take a look.

    Maybe I just have an overly exalted view of how the bishops spend their time, but I must admit that I’m having a very hard time believing the claim that all the nations bishops routinely meet or otherwise confer, discuss the merits of specific pieces of legislation, and then ask the faithful (in their capacity as bishops) to support a yes or no vote. I remain convinced, until proved otherwise, that this is the work of a couple of staffers somewhere with at most one or two supervising bishops on a single committee providing signatures.

    And if that is the case — no, I really don’t see that I’m much more required to agree with their judgments on legislative merit than I am with the USCCB film reviews on artistic merit.

  • ask the faithful (in their capacity as bishops) to support a yes or no vote.

    I’m looking at a 2009 statement; “USCCB supports H.R.1” (the Stimulus bill). I don’t know how much more clear it could be they are asking the faithful to support (or oppose) a particular piece of legislation.

    And if that is the case — no, I really don’t see that I’m much more required to agree with their judgments on legislative merit

    No debate. I don’t think any Catholic is required to agree with the Episcopate on a matter of civil legislation. I just think it is silly to try to pretend the bishops don’t take stands on particular pieces of legislation and encourage the lay faithfull to support their position. I can accept that the bishops may be misguided but its just an objective fact they take such positions.

  • When I Google the title you give, Google tells me that no documents match it.

    And again, I’m unclear as to the mechanism which you are claiming exists for the episcopate as a body to express detailed and frequent opinions on specific pieces of legislation. The bishops only convene as a body a few times a year, and on the agendas I’ve seen I don’t recall ever seeing debates on specific pieces of US legislation. How exactly are we to know that the bishops as a body actually hold the opinions which you are to attributing to them? Do they hold an vote of some sort? How much of a majority constitutes “the episcopate” in your view?

    If I went up to my bishop with a specific one of these policy updates and asked, “Do you and all other bishops agree with this?” would he reply in the affirmative, or is it possible he wouldn’t even know that the update had gone out?

  • Kurt,

    Prudential judgments exist.

    Is this the stimulus USCCB told Catholics to push?

    Two economists quoted on Power Line:

    “Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.”

    Facts not ideology . . .

    Where is Sgt. Friday when we need him?

    If the USCCB endorses legislation and tells people how to lobby or vote it could lose IRC tax exempt status.

  • “If the USCCB endorses legislation and tells people how to lobby or vote it could lose IRC tax exempt status.”

    Half right. 501(c)(3)s are not permitted to engage in partisan political activity, which includes instructing people to vote for or against candidates. Within certain limits they can endorse or oppose legislation. That said, the broader point is correct. The USCCB should be cautious about sharing its collective prudential judgments for the reasons I expressed earlier as exemplified by the econimic study cited by T Shaw.

  • Sinners. God creates the Hell too. There’s no social justice even God being nailed to dead on the cross by this type of ‘catholic’ people. SIC!

  • T. Shaw writes:


    Prudential judgments exist.

    Yes. And I have tried to go out of my way to simply make the point that I am just noting the position adopted by the bishops and not suggesting any Catholic is bound to follow their stance on pieces of particular legislation.

    If the USCCB endorses legislation and tells people how to lobby or vote it could lose IRC tax exempt status.

    Mike gives a correct and accurate responses to this. The Bishops have developed and maintain a very good lobbying and grassroots action operation.


    And again, I’m unclear as to the mechanism which you are claiming exists for the episcopate as a body to express detailed and frequent opinions on specific pieces of legislation.

    The method is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I don’t know why you are puzzled by this.

Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy!

Wednesday, December 2, AD 2009

With the recent scandals rocking the Catholic Church here in America as in President Obama receiving an honorary degree at the University of Notre Shame to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming that abortion is an open-ended issue in the Church, we have seen a reemergence of ecclesial leadership on behalf of our shepherds.  Many bishops have awoken to the fact that being “pastoral[1]” has been a remarkable failure in resolving the deviancy emanating from Catholics and Catholic institutions.

The upsurge of young adults rediscovering their faith to the excellent parenting of Catholic families in raising fine orthodox Christian children, we have seen what is only the beginning of a Catholic renaissance here in America.  And let us not forgot the ever faithful cradle Catholics among us that have contributed in keeping the faith in the tumult arising from the Second Vatican Council to today.

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6 Responses to Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy!

  • Gates are not an offensive construct, they are purely defensive.

    It seems to me that Hell’s defenses are weak and rather than sit back and hold off Satan’s attack we should be taking the offensive. Christ has assured us that if we attack Hell’s gates, they cannot prevail against us.

    How do we attack Hell? We must seek virtue.

    Thanks for posting this. Will our orthodoxy increase the attacks against us individually in spiritual warfare? I don’t know about you, but the current situation, both in the Church and the secualr world; think more and more Tridentine Masses and mantillas as well as Tea Party Protests, is pusing more and more of us to conservatism and orthodoxy. Will that cause a step up in demonic attacks – it sure feels that way.

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio. . .

  • I wouldn’t have said “Goodbye, Liberals” as the title to Michael Voris piece, but “Goodbye, Heretics” which is more accurate in my opinion.

  • It sure is inspiring to see young people be proud of their faith. When my 16 year old daughter came back from an A.C.T.S. retreat, she inspired me to be closer to Jesus and proud to be Catholic. I was supposed to teach her and she ended up teaching me.

  • protestantism=institutionalized dissent….it also bleeds into Holy Mother Church members as well unfortunately.

  • Diane,

    I agree on some levels. It’ll be a generation or so until most (unfortunately not all) dissidents and heretics leave or are purged form Holy Mother Church.

    Ora pro nobis!

Father John Jenkins Pro-Life Baby Steps

Saturday, September 19, AD 2009

Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., released a message to the University of Notre Dame family outlining two pro-life initiatives to recompense for the scandal of awarding President Obama an honorary degree.

1.  Father Jenkins plans to attend the March for Life Anniversary of Roe v. Wade event in Washington D.C.

2.  Establish a Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life.

These two initiatives are a good first start in adhering to the teachings of the Catholic Church established by Jesus Himself.

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6 Responses to Father John Jenkins Pro-Life Baby Steps

Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Obama Notre Dame

[Updated as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:01 pm CST, see below]

Bishop D’Arcy pens an article in the dissident Catholic Jesuit-run magazine, America, by rapping the University of Notre Dame in it’s failure in being a witness to the Gospel by honoring the most anti-life president in the history of the United States.

He goes on to single out Father John Jenkins for his failure in leading as a man of faith and to the board of trustees for their deafening silence.

Finally he asks the University of Notre Dame, but also other Catholic universities, whether they will follow the Land O’Lakes Statement, which proclaimed in ambiguous language that it was ‘ok’ to dissent from Catholic teaching, or adhere to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, where Catholic teaching and identity must be a priori.

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32 Responses to Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

  • Should Notre Dame have avoided teaching or even discussing evolution until the Holy Father accepted it as fact? Should any Catholic school not asked Galileo to speak if the Church leaders believed the Earth was the center of the universe?

    Sometimes ignoring those we do not agree with and at times violently opposing them, simply means leaders will have to apologize for the backwards thinking a few decades or centuries later.

    I understand abortion is less cut and dry than evolution or the basic structure of the solar system. Ethical and moral positions may not need objective knowledge in determining their validity, but often morality is seen as a means to ignore the pain of others, a means to stop thought and discourse, a means to vilify the “other.”

    Allowing President Obama to speak did not cause anyone to perform an abortion and keeping him from speaking would not have prevented any abortions.

    There is more to life and to the Life of Christ than one issue, no matter how important it is, and I would have liked to see a similar discussion take place when anyone who supported the death penalty or the war in Iraq or the torture of prisoners came to Notre Dame.

  • MacGregor,

    I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about.

  • I am sure MacGregor does not know what he is talking about. Abortion is more cut and dry, not less, than the other issues he raises.

    But putting that aside, how will ND answer for the O scandal? Will D’Arcy walk the walk? Them’s fine words, but what consequences has ND suffered, other than increased applications from liberal students and professors? Do you seriously expect that, if push comes to shove, that ND’s Catholic creds (to the extent they exist) will be removed by the Bishop?

    Heck, I haven’t even seen one deny communion to a Catholic pro-abort politician, much less yank a Catholic university’s affiliation.

  • Hi Tito and c matt

    I actually do know what I am talking about.

    I am very clear that abortion as an issue is more cut and dry as to its moral consequences than the other issues, however it is less cut and dry when it comes to being able to prove that personhood and the soul enters the body at the moment of conception/fertilization. It will never be possible to PROVE the existence of the soul much less prove that the Bible or Church Teachings are infallibly correct … that is why it is called FAITH.

    Both of you act as if your conservative views of Catholicism are the only ones that matter.

    Asking Obama to speak at ND is no different than asking Bush to speak there. That is the point.
    Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.
    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith. It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    ND should not merely stand for dogma, like a radical Islamic madras, as both of you seem to feel. ND as an institution of learning needs to stand for the free and honest and ethical exchange of ideas so that those who come have all of the opportunity to seek the Truth and live a moral life.

    I believe that abortion is the ending of a human life, but it is not self-evident to everybody that that is true. The Catholic Church can deny communion to anyone that the Bishops want, but the Church and they must do so for the right reasons, not just to make conservatives feel good about themselves or because they have a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    My comments are merely a voice asking those who feel the need to condemn others, to look at ourselves first. More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions, yet I rarely see conservative Catholics protest these as much. They may not be as viscerally abhorrent to you as abortion or as politically significant, but they are just as important. Maybe both of you did protest the war in Iraq – I don’t know. I simply want the discussion of Obama at ND to be fair and reasonable and sometimes a quick post to a blog isn’t enough for that to occur.


  • Actually Capital punishment is not a sin. Sorry, as cmatt and Tito point out, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.

    Errr, no. It isn’t. The Church is very clear in its teachings that abortion is neve permissible under any circumstance, whereas the death penalty is permitted, though under strict applications. This is not the “conservative” Catholic approach – it’s simply the Catholic approach. If you disagree with that, take it up with the Pope.

    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    I am beginning to agree with Tito. Clearly you do not understand what you’re talking about, or what the issues of this debate are. The question has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith.

    You sound like my Junior year high school theology teacher, who was unsurprisingly a Jesuit priest.

    It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    No, actually, you have this reversed, unless you are looking at this from a non-Catholic perspective, which I take it you are.

    a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    Considering that every single statement you have uttered indicates that you have not ever picked up a Catechism, I would refrain from such comments if I were you.

    More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions

    Aside from the fact that your stats are wrong, at least as applied to the US, your comment is just silly. The fact that you think that the war in Iraq is a more pressing moral issue than abortion just confirms the fact that your viewpoint is pretty much worthless.

  • The whole quote on the death penalty from the Catechism. This is probably at a higher level then just pure Sunday school.

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

  • Paul, Phillip, C Matt,

    Thank you for supporting my points with examples.


    Paul made it pretty clear.

    The fact that a Catholic university gave an honorary degree to a person that implements policies that are diametrically opposed to the most important of Catholic issues is the scandal.

    Not anything else.

  • Thank you Phillip for the quote from the Catechist. I do understand the doctrine, but I also believe that maximum security prisons are quite able to “effectively defend human lives against the unjust aggressor” and that there are plenty of “non-lethal means to defend and protect people’s safety.”

    Maybe in times of war or civil strife on the battle field it is necessary to execute a guilty aggressor, but

    I agree that the Catechist IS at a higher level than Sunday school, I just think some people who read it are not and that comment was not even directed at anyone on this blog. I did make the observation that this blog seems to be as much about political conservative principles as it is about Catholic theological principles.

    As I do not know anyone in this forum, I wouldn’t presume to attach any of you as uninformed. As for myself, I went to a diocesan elementary school, a Jesuit high school, an Holy Cross university and my home parish was Franciscan. Maybe that makes me mixed up a bit, especially when it comes to donating to alumni associations, but I think it was a great education. The diocesans taught me how to respect authority, the Jesuits taught me how to think, the Holy Cross taught me how to be a college football fan and the Franciscans taught me how to love.

    I don’t have the time or the space to explain each of my points fully, and I acknowledge that I may have been a bit chavalier comparing abortion and the death penalty, but I have had a good deal of time discussing these issues with Catholic theologians, and I do believe that life is a little more complex than a few paragraphs in the Catechism. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit to continue to guide the Church.

    Regarding the extremely limited allowance for death penalty, this is largely an acknowledgment of the position of self-defense and the defense of others who are innocent. I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year would never be released and executing them is not an act of self-defense. It is an act of revenge or “justice” or some other emotion that is not clearly self-defense. No one on death row to my knowledge has ever escaped unless they were exonerated and I’m pretty sure most people in the judicial system would admit that more than a few innocent people have been executed in the last 100 years. So here simply quoting the Catechism may be a good sophist’s argument, but it isn’t particularly practical for most cases.

    As for the immorality of “any and all abortions,” I don’t have the time right now to describe my thoughts on the historical context, historical writings by Church Fathers (Didache, etc.). The supposed moral clarity of a few lines of text in old writings were never sufficient defense for the stagnant, overly conservative, “whitened sepulcher” Pharisees when Christ came to articulate the new commandments of Love so I hope that the same is true for you. Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Again not enough time to go over this and I do appreciate and agree with most of Donald DeMarco’s writings concerning this in

    However he and many here act as if any question of interpretation or any critical thinking that may find contradictory propositions in Catholic teaching as being “liberal” and “anti-Catholic” is absurd. My issue in this thread is not with the details of the abortion debate, it is with the peculiar atmosphere of the debate as to whether President Obama deserved to be honored. And that atmosphere is one of being partisan and political and exists within the context of a vehement conservative backlash that goes beyond theology.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this? Is euthanasia and unjust war suddenly numbers 2 and 3? Are only conservative issues of life the ones that Catholics should be concerned with?

    Let’s not fool ourselves, George Bush was not protested by many of the same people who protested Obama because they only care about their social/political biases, not by theological arguments.

    No person or president is defined by one issue, no matter how important that issue is or no matter how important it is for you.

    When I was in my parishes boys choir, we went to the state capitol to sing for a pro-life rally. It was a deeply respectful and moving moment and even though I know a good deal more about life and morality now than when I was 12, I still remember it as a spiritual event. I did not see that in the fearful, ignorant, arrogant and angry faces that I saw on some at ND, nor on those at tax teaparties or at some of the latest health care town halls.

    I didn’t challenge anyone’s morality or question anyone’s education or honesty in this forum in my post. I wish you would do the same.

    If it is true, paul, that the ONLY question “has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.” Then I accept you opinion and I sympathize with your statement. However you and the protesters have proven that that is not the only question, and that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

  • I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year

    Texas executed 18 people last year, 16 people so far this year, and they are by far the leading state. Let’s at least start with facts, okay.

    Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this?

    Actually, yes.

    In his letter, Cardinal Ratzinger also wrote that “Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia…. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging war or applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

    Again, since you have repeatedly shown a complete lack of knowledge about basic Catholic teaching, you ought to quit making this ridiculous assertion.

  • If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    Perhaps MacGregor has this in mind:

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed. If you dissent, you show a “complete lack of knowledge”.

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed.

    To my knowledge, more of our writers here oppose capital punishment than support it, and even among those of us who think there on occasions when it is called for (a claim that the catechism supports — though it questions whether they exist in modern first world nations) that support is generally fairly quiet. What people are pointing out here is simply what the Church teaching, indeed what the pope himself has written: that the justice of a given war or issues such as capital punishment are prudential while the evils of abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage and cannot legitimately be questioned by any Catholic.

    That this does not align with your personal preferences is unfortunate, but it’s not “our version” of Catholicism but Catholicism itself that you have a problem with if you find this unacceptable.

    We are all called to accept correction and guidance by Christ’s church on earth — and this applies even when this does not align with one’s political tribe.

  • Master C,

    I abhor capital punishment.

    You need to do your research before you say anything accusing us of what we aren’t.

    The American Catholic was put together with varying points of view being represented. The one thing that unites us is our love of the triune God and fidelity to the Magisterium.

    I hope that helps you the next time you accuse us of something we clearly are not.

  • Since when do you oppose the death penalty?

  • I never commented on it until now, that’s why you didn’t know. But I’ve always opposed the death penalty. Most of my friends know this, but now you know.

    Final judgment is for God, not man.

  • remember this?

    Call it an accusation if you like, but this blog has certainly stood up for it
    [the death penalty] previously.

  • Master C.,

    That is a blanket statement. You are reading too much into this particular topic.

    Just because we don’t fit into your worldview of an evil conservative doesn’t mean you need to accuse us of what we aren’t.

  • I am glad to hear you are opposed to the death penalty. Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

  • My long rant of the night. Since we’re talking about the death penalty, I want to talk about the prison system.

    I oppose the entire prison system as it exists today… it makes monsters out of mere lawbreakers. The condition of prisons in states like California are a testament to how little we value human life. A non-violent criminal has no business being thrown into a jail with hardened, violent, career criminals. And no one deserves to be beaten, gang-raped, and given terminal diseases, yet it happens all the time – and the prison guards are either indifferent or the perpetrators themselves.

    With such a system in place, I would actually prefer a quick execution to a long prison sentence, especially a life sentence. As things are, I’m not sure it is even an effective deterrent.

    I do believe there is a small percentage of criminals who are incurable sociopaths/psychopaths who should be put to death. I mean, these people are going to suffer an eternity in hell (most likely); if we’re so terrible for wanting to put them to death, how does the angry liberal deal with the reality of hell? Is God just a mean old man, or has hell been effectively written out of liberal theology? Is the problem REALLY that we’re supposedly taking the judgment out of God’s hands, or is it just materialist-determinist sociology seeping through theology – they didn’t really “choose” to be criminals so they shouldn’t really be punished?

    Let’s not forget that there is an unforgivable sin, the total and willful rejection of God. It is unforgivable, I think, because forgiveness would do nothing for such a person. A psychopath/sociopath that has willfully rejected all restraint and consideration for others, I believe, can and should suffer the final punishment. They cannot be cured because they will not be cured. We have to respect their decision.

    For the other 95% of criminals, I think the death penalty should be off the table and prison reform enacted as soon as possible. We have more criminals than any other developed country in the world – over 2 million prisoners. States like NY have ridiculous drug laws. Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    This attitude is unconscionable for a Christian. Every effort at rehabilitation must be made in a society that places value on human life, and sensible policies regarding sentencing, placement, the structure of the prison, the screening out of sadists and bullies among the guards, all must take place.

  • Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

    I bet Google will find a way. 😉

    Joe, I agree, our prison system is an abomination. It’s a scandal that persists quietly in the background. Infinitely more good would be done by working to reform the prison and justice system before tackling the death penalty.

  • Looks like Joe is our google. He has already figured out which 5% should be put to death. He already knows they are going to hell. Bravo.

  • I never said I knew. It’s just an opinion, one I’m willing to defend with a reasonable argument.

    Can you say the same about anything you believe, or do you think indignation is an adequate substitute for argument?

  • Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    Suggest that the State of New York issue brief determinate sentences specified precisely or by formula in the statute. Families and charitable organizations can work on rehabilitation after convicts are released.

  • I agree with Tito that capital punishment is wrong.

  • Master C,


    Who are we to judge a man and take his life away.

    That is for God, not man.

  • It looks like my last post on Friday didn’t make it to the thread, but I appreciate reading the discussion that has taken place since.

    First to paul:

    Thank you for actually using facts on the number of death penalty executions in Texas, my suggestion that the number was in the hundreds was incorrect and came from what I read concerning those on death row, not actually executed. Here is a graph from the US State Dept. that represents the number of exectutions by year over the last century.

    It is interesting to see what the effects might have been of the civil rights movement and a more “liberal” slant to national politics during the 60’s and 70’s. However, paul, your data begs several questions.

    1. If Texas is on tap to execute over 20 prisoners this year, is that much different than executing 100 prisoners (beyond of course the perspective of those individual prisoners)? Meaning, is a morally questionable act moderated by how often one does it?

    2. If Texas executed 18 individuals last year and the entire US executed 37 individuals, what does this mean for Texas – that it has around 50% of all the most vicious criminals in the country? That it is 50% better at finding, convicting and then executing its most vicious criminals, or that it has a political bent that make it more likely to execute someone than in most other states?

    3. Even if you believe capital punishment is okay, do you trust the system to be fair and impartial and effective in implementing it? Many governors, those who have the most personal and public choice about allowing the death penalty in their states have found that the system is far too biased and have found too many innocent people have been on death row, though I think only a few have been exonerated after their execution.

    My point is that with capital punishment, there seems to be more than a few grey areas and many times when one side acts very self-righteous and misses their own moral relativism.

    Also, paul, you wrote:

    “Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.”

    You are either being overly glib or completely ignorant and callous as to what giving birth entails. Abortion as means of self-defense is an incredibly small number, but to say that the risk does not exist is too ridiculous to waste time arguing. So what is more common, to die in childbirth (600 deaths per year in the US) or for death row prisoners to escape (0 per year in the US).

    I’ll leave your comment of – “As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.” – as just an example of snarkiness or it being a long day for you.

    As for your final quote from Cardinal Ratzinger – certainly it is obvious that not all moral issues of life and death are the same. Certainly times of war one of the greatest evils is that people are put into violently diverse grey areas regarding the morality of killing someone else – is it murder or self-defense, is it personal or political self-defense, etc., which is why war is so terrible. I am certain that the Cardinal at the time did not think World War 2 was a particularly insignificant moral issue.

    As I read the article from 2004 regarding then Cardinal Ratzinger (, the author actually has to explain a series of “technical” terms to interpret the Cardinal’s remarks. The point behind the article was good, in that voters are often lazy in how they vote and in how much responsibility they take for voting.

    Again, this thread and my purpose is not to argue abortion, Roe v. Wade or liberal vs. conservative values, it is about how we should view Notre Dame’s honoring of President Obama. Those are all related, but different discussions.

    I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors. I do not question the theology behind Cardinal Ratzinger’s letters, but I do question how they are used by others to act holier-than-thou and how they are applied to political decisions.

    This forum does not seem to be the place for an open, sophisticated or truly rational debate on how Catholic teachings should operate in the public sphere.

    As for the view that gay marriage is of similar evil as euthanasia, this is an example of what I mean. I respect the Church’s opinions on both, but my “fidelity to the Magisterium” does not simply give me a hall pass to ignore the fact that there is a difference between the legality of civil marriage and the grace of the sacrament of marriage. Two people choosing to live together even if they can not produce children does not need a papal blessing and it is not morally equivalent to killing an innocent person. As much as I am sure DarwinCatholic knows all about the biological and psychological and spiritual truths of homosexuality, I find space to still question those who “cast the first stone.”

    Obama is against gay marriage. I did not see any signs of support by those who picketed his speech at ND, showing that they support his views on gay marriage. THAT is my point. THEY obviously already made up their minds about Obama and THEY did so from a very narrow viewpoint.

    I agree that the justice system is broken, but also based upon medieval ideas of punishment and rehabilitation. I also believe that a just economic system and a rich cultural/familial/social system are the best means for reducing criminal behavior outside the very rare sociopaths that any population will have.

    I believe a supportive family and just economic system and a just and universally accessible health care system is the best way of eliminating abortions. Anyone who claims to be pro-Life and yet wants to continue the current system in which cut-throat competition and corporate board rooms get to arbitrate all aspects of our health system are blinded by ideology.

    In the end, in my opinion, those who protested the Presidents visit to ND may be driven by honest opinions, but in the end they will probably save more innocent lives by helping him succeed, than by holding signs in opposition.

    Thanks for your comments.

    PS That conservative website is pretty funny. The fact that it has these two sentences at the very beginning and that the author doesn’t see the inherent contradiction is amazing:

    “Reagan said: The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom . . .

    The sine qua non of a conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all.”

    This shows the basic flaw in current American, neo-conservative thought. This is the notion that there is no conflict between self-interest and community values, that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

  • “I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors.”

    Has anyone ever heard the President describe abortion as a tragedy? Unlike Hillary Clinton, I have not seen him say anything like that.

    Not to get into the kerfluffle of “pro-choice” v. “pro-abortion,” but it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic. It is of a piece with the statement that his administration will work to reduce the need for, but not the number of, abortions. Leaving aside the difficulty of measuring reduced “need,” as opposed to measurable numbers, the former comes from a world view where abortion is the morally responsible decision. Troubling, to say the least, and difficult to see how workable common ground can be found.

  • “…it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic”

    It appears you didn’t watch the last presidential debate last year between he and McCain wherein Obama had actually mentioned that he considered abortion itself not even being a moral matter.

  • that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

    Yeah, I love me some Atlas Shrugged. Good, perceptive analysis there.

  • Paul, you kinda take things personally, don’t you.

  • Pingback: Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy! « The American Catholic

The Obligatory Obama Speech Post

Sunday, May 17, AD 2009

After months of discussion, Obama finally gave his commencement address at Notre Dame University today.  Due to a near fascistic exercise on the part of the ND administration, the event was virtually free of any signs of protest, and Obama made full use of the event to do his “don’t you wish you could be as moderate and measured as I am” shtick which we know so well from the campaign.  The text is as follows:

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15 Responses to The Obligatory Obama Speech Post

  • Let me add to that faith part and also what troubled me. Right after that he said:

    “And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us to persuade through reason, through an appeal whenever we can to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works, charity, kindness, and service that moves hearts and minds.”

    Now Obama has touched on this theme before

    Now what is troubling as you tell Catholics to be sure to base things on reason (I think we have a good hisotry of that) he fails to mention the important side of the coin that Secular folks have as a part of this bargain

    As he stated last year

    “But what I am suggesting is this – secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King – indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history – were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their “personal morality” into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    Moreover, if we progressives shed some of these biases, we might recognize some overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country.”

    That was missing and in a Speech that was watched by millions perhaps a tad unfortunate. Especially as we have seen recently even by using Reason on issues of abortion and gay marriage any hint of our religious viewpoint gets us dismissed. As we in a striking section of the Iowa Supreme Court Opinion on gay marriage

    I do wish Obama had not omitted that

  • Obama did what Obama always does: he gave a glib speech that does not stand up under more than a few minutes cursory analysis. Much more disturbing to me was the reaction of most of the Notre Dame students who acted as if they were at an Obama rally, including ritualistic chants of “Yes We Can” to drown out protestors speaking up for the unborn. Whatever knowledge most of the students received during their college days at Notre Dame, the key Catholic teaching of the duty to defend innocent human life seems to have been carefully omitted.

  • “What troubled me….” How laudible and sensitive, jh. So the ceremony site was devoid of outside pro-lifers. Then again some of those pesky dinosaurs
    were present among the graduates. That is, those on other parts of the campus praying for Dear Leader’s immortal soul. And that of Father Jenkins. Who can brag tut tut pulled off that one. But not so fast. Note that in the past five days,both Presidents have hotwired the pro-life movement. Based on the hundreds of noble souls who spent quality time in some of South Bend’s finest holding tanks. Including my new hero, Father Westin- what was it, arrest 22, 23, anyone counting? Frankly, the conditions were never better for a movement that had been gulping wind of late. An extraordinarily pro-abort POTUS combined with the ND President whose idea of dialogue is the equivalent of the grumpy old man shouting You Kids Stay Off My Property was superb in bringing the issue of the babies front and center. I even saw brave souls hauled off on my local 6 a.m. teevee newscast so even the MSM had to cover their arrests. So everybody claims victory and goes home. Perhaps as much ‘dialogue’ as Father Jenkins will allow. Along with the increasing financial hole caused by decreased contributions becaused of the invitation. That won’t be filled while he has the job.

  • Darwin you might be interested to know that even the Progressive Mr Winters has thoughts similar to you over at America’s blog

    Obama Gets a C minus at Notre Dame

  • Take no comfort from the sop Winters is throwing to pro-lifers. His buddies at Commonweal were orgasmic over the Obama spiel. But what can we expect? For forty years, our catechesis has insisted that “Be nice” is not just the cardinal moral virtue but the only moral virtue. Obama has spent enough time around Catholics (and hired enough of them to run “Common Good” websites) that he had no problem standing up in front of a bunch of expensively but poorly educated kids and giving them back exactly what their Catholic school teachers have shoveled at them from first grade up to their Notre Dame graduation. Naturally, they ate it up.

  • JH,

    I would imagine that for someone like Winters, who actually imagines that Obama might make a good faith attempt to do something positive in the pro-life realm (on the “reducing need for abortion” side of things, of course) and meet Catholic Democrats half way, it would be even more disappointing. Obviously, if Obama had in fact made some statement that seemed like a positive move towards the Church’s position in this speech (even if it was something as basic as saying he’d gone too far by promising to sign the Freedom of Choice act — which is unlikely to be passed in its original form in the first place — and instead promising to veto it if it reaches his desk as being “too extreme” — a promise that would itself be as empty as his original one to sign it) Obama would have totally cut the legs out from under his conservative Catholic critics and handed those like inters a major victory.

    Of course, unlike Winters, I would never have imagined that happening in the first place. But if it had, it would have been a signal defeat.

  • Gerard, I think you’re right. While the idea of the one of the nation’s most prestigious Catholic institution giving an honorary law degree to a politician who professes a view of the law that is so contradictory to Catholic values cannot be considered a good. The effects may well be as you say. And what’s more, I bet we will see stronger, greater and more unified actions from the bishops in the future.

    I think the text of the degree is enough to make any thoughtful Catholic vomit, but even if that’s just my bias, any bishop who thought it prudent to give Fr Jenkins the benefit of the doubt and keep quiet through this is probably feeling rather disappointed and probably resolved to head this sort of thing off in the future.

  • I ma actually optimistic in some ways. I don’t think many of these Bishops and Cardinals have taken kindly to this. I also think they perhaps have been taken about with the name calling toward them.

    Again though what can they do. I think we all realize that United States Bishops Conference actual Jurisidcational authority has often been a question. See debates on the Citizenship document. Now we see it as to a 2004 explict directive

    However what is shocking is this provides that even the Bishop of the Dicoese where these Catholic Universities reside are pretty much powerless. Having the local Bishop have such a disconnect from a University is troublesome.

    So I am not sure what the Bishops can do or how they are going about doing it

  • Good speech, Barack.


    So do you actually think that, or is this just the obligatory “one in the eye for the conservatives” reaction?

  • Someone on Bill Bennett just pointed out that “open hearts and open minds” is part of the United Methodist creed… it is most certainly NOT part of the Catholic creed.

  • So do you actually think that, or is this just the obligatory “one in the eye for the conservatives” reaction?

    As if it had to be asked . . . . But hey, at least michael came up with something above school-yard taunts and obscenities here.

  • What strikes me as particularly dunderheaded about the speech is his repeated and detailed invocation of the Civil Rights movement to prove his points. Does he honestly not know that most pro-lifers see themselves as the abolitionists/civil rights movement part two, or does he actually want to douse himself in unintentional irony?

  • “Good speech, Barack.”

    His teleprompter must have been working.

  • I walk into church and there is a sign on the window that says “Contact your congressman to vote against the abortion bill.” This sign went up sometime after the first of this year. My immediate question was, “Hey, where were you during the election? “ I must digress here to tell a short story. During last week’s mass (yes, I am Catholic) a sudden political discussion arose regarding the invitation by Notre Dame University to Mr. Obama to speak at the graduation. Obama is outspoken in his support of abortion rights. He asks us to be tolerant of differing view points. I guess he means we should tolerate the killing of unborn humans. Now we can get into an abortion discussion but that is for another time. Anyway, during the impromptu discussion (right in the middle of a prayer, no less,) Mr. Obama’s position on abortion was condemed, but his positions on the economy, forgien policy, and health care and the death penalty were applauded by several members of the congregation. One would assume that those people voted for Mr. Obama and by extension, the policies of the Democratic party. Now we all know what happens when we “assume.” But it would be safe to say that these people voted for Obama because they wanted money to be appropriated for universal health care, for welfare payment to the poor, welfare payment to the banks, welvare payments to the car companies (and by extension the unions, thereby giving the unions control of the car companies, thereby giving contol to the government, thereby giving control of a large part of the economy to the Democrats) and money to many other “worthy” causes. So in the end it is really about money…government money. (Just an aside…it’s not government money, it’s money extracted from taxpayers, eventually at the point of a gun if it if someone wanted to take it that far. Oh yeah, and money borrowed from the Chinese, who I’m sure have nothing but the best interests of the United States at heart. But I digress again.)

    “Uhh…you digress alot…what’s your point?” you ask.

    My point is, that if someone is against abortion, why would they ever vote for a Democrat in the first place? Every Democratic office holder is always and everywhere going to support abortion. Well maybe not some local office holders but they belong to the political party that will always and everywhere support abortion. Voting for a Democrat is like giving the ax to the executioner. Do you think he’s going to put it down and lay down with the lambs when it comes time to support abortion? The chance to strike a blow against abortion was at election time! Why was it not taken then? Oh yeah, I forgot. It’s so we can get government money to support “human dignity.”

    God says he knew us BEFORE we were in the womb. So as the liberals are so fond of saying, “the research is in, there is no longer any question.” Human life began BEFORE conception. Are we going to cut that life short for our thirty pieces of government silver? Where is the human dignity in that?

4 Responses to Sorry Doug!

  • Yeah, so sad for Doug’s being snubbed for a regifted Laetare Medal.

    But there’s always a Supreme Court vacancy to which he can hold out some delusional remote hope of being nominated.

  • My guess for SCOTUS is Kagan. I’d be willing to bet Kmiec isn’t even in Obama’s top 50.

  • Kmiec’s not even a remote consideration. Not even on Obama’s radar screen. I’d be shocked if Obama views Kmiec with anything other than the the same disdainful contempt with which the British viewed Benedict Arnold.

    I agree with Feddie that it’s likely to be Diane Wood. Although Kagan is a good guess, as well.

  • It would be interesting to have Mr. Noonan’s analysis of the actual working of the contraceptive methods. Condoms are contraceptive – preventing the union of sperm and egg. Pills, IUDs, and other methods are abortifacient – preventing a created fetus from installing itself in the uterus.

"—a Moral Issue on Which There Can Be No Compromise."

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2009


Before he was elevated to be Archbishop of Newark, John J. Myers was Bishop of Peoria, my diocese.   I always liked him.  He was vibrant and orthodox and attracted many men to the priesthood during his tenure.  Earlier this month he released this statement in regard to Obama Day at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009:

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10 Responses to "—a Moral Issue on Which There Can Be No Compromise."

  • Has Bishop Jenky said anything? And have you read Archbishop Myers’s book, Space Vulture? It’s a fun sci-fi work.

  • In regard to Bishop Jenky, he has not yet Zak and I hope he does soon. My guess is that he has been working behind the scenes to attempt to get the invitation rescinded, obviously without success up to this time.

    I am aware of Space Vulture.

    To say the least, an Archbishop who also writes science fiction is an unusal combination! I love science fiction, but I have not read this book yet.

  • I do hope Bishop Jenky will say something publicly soon.

  • I’ve also been surprised not to have seen any statements from Chaput yet.

  • In other developments, a case of swine flu has been reported at Notre Dame…. with all the hysteria about an imminent pandemic, I wonder if this won’t give Obama and/or Jenkins just the “out” they need to cancel the speech.

    Blog posts portraying swine flu as divine punishment for the ND scandal or for the election of Obama will commence in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1….

  • I mean blog posts on Catholic blogs in general, not just here.

  • In regard to recurrent flu hysteria, anyone else remember the swine flu “crisis” during the Ford administration?, this article has a good common sense take.

  • Yes, Don, I do, though I was only 12 years old at the time. I don’t recall anyone in my family getting swine flu shots, because they thought the whole thing was a boondoggle.

    My exhaustive Web-based research (translation: a quick glance at a couple of Wikipedia and other articles) finds that U.S. deaths attributed to swine flu vaccine (25) far outnumbered confirmed U.S. deaths from swine flu itself (1). Still, public health researchers do regard the 1976 swine flu scare as a valuable lesson in what to do, and what NOT to do, in the event of a genuine pandemic.

  • Back in 93, Jenky protested, preached, publically condemned a tavern owner who was going to name a sports bar the Hail Mary. Jenky was so outraged that Our Lady’s name would be made a mascot. Yet the most powerful pro abortion politician on the planet wears Our Lady’s name and is honored at Our Lady’s University where Jenky is on the Board, yet he is silent as can be. Hey Jenky, why no public witness, outcry? Why no resignation from Our Lady’s University that causes such a scandal, that hosts the Vagina Monologues and an annual Queer Festival? Frankly Bishop J., you are a hypocrite.

  • Matt, the incident you referred to was in 2003. Otherwise, although it pains me greatly to say it, you are correct as to Bishop Jenky. He has always been very active in the pro-life cause, but when it mattered most, when his speaking out might have derailed yesterday’s profanation of Notre Dame, Bishop Jenky was nowhere to be found.

Mary Ann Glendon

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2009


Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard, is in the limelight now for her decision to deprive Jenkins of his fig-leaf over his invitation to honor Obama on May 17, 2009.  I am not surprised by this development.  She has long been an eloquent defender of the unborn in a completely hostile environment.  She has written many articles on the subject.

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16 Responses to Mary Ann Glendon

  • I was glad to see her remind Jenkins that his first reponsibility was to honor the graduates and not turn their special day into some three-ring travesty of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Glendon made good use of her teaching moment, whether or not the lesson was received.

  • A great woman with integrity, wit and eloquence.

    I hear the position’s still open for an ambassador to the Vatican? 😉

  • Glendon is awesome. BTW, looks like Notre Dame is having a REALLY tough time finding a replacement:

  • A beautiful woman – inside and out.

  • South Bender,

    That’s hilarious.

  • I am not a catholic, am very pro life and I wanted to let her know I am so excited to see someone with their beliefs and principles stand up against notre dame for honoring Prez Obama/ it is so wrong for the school to honor a man who has none of the same views of life.. breaking Gods heart im sure!

    thank you for your courage Ms Glendon!

  • An observation:
    Ever notice that the bravest people speaking out against the excesses of Islam are women? Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Brigitte Gabriel are a few. The same can be said about the pro-life cause. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • Mary Ann Glendon for Vatican ambassador? Been there, done that 🙂

  • Bishop D’Arcy has suspended Fr. Jenkins faculties a divinis. He is forbidden to say mass, hear confession, preach or in any way address the Catholics residing in his diocese. This is nuclear option.

  • Matt, according to American Papist this suspension rumor is merely an e-mail hoax:

  • That’s crazy, the Director of Pro-life at the diocese sent it to me. It’s a shame if it turns out as a hoax.

  • First rule of the internet Matt: just because we wish something to be true does not make it true.

  • Thanks Donald, I’m sure a wise man like you never makes this kind of error.

  • Not often, but when I do I own up to it and resolve not to make that stupid blunder again.

  • I have the highest regards for Mrs. Glendon and applaud her decision. The rewards that this woman will have someday will make the Lataere Medal look like a peanut. God bless her.

  • Kudos to Mary Ann Glendon! It’s wonderful to see that there are still at least a few people who are willing to stand up for their morals and God’s Law and refuse to follow the lemmings over the cliff. While Fr. Jenkins has not rescinded his decision to “honor” President Obama at ND’s commencement, he will hopefully get that “knot in his stomach” when it actually happens and he realizes what he has done in spite of the best advice in the world to recant. How can an educated and practicing Catholic, a teacher at an iconic Catholic University, simply ignore the counsel of the entire Council of Catholic Bishops and others, such as Mrs. Glendon and hundreds of thousands of Catholics, who have tried to pint out the error of his decision? Hopefully, for Fr. Jenkins’ sake, God will not look on this as “scandalizing his little ones”!

Mary Ann Glendon Declines Notre Dame's Invitation

Monday, April 27, AD 2009

As Brendan noted a while back, the Notre Dame controversy, “has all the staying power of an inebriated relative after a dinner party.” I’m loathe to post on it again, but there has been a fairly significant development: Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon has decided not to attend the graduation or accept the Laetare Medal. Here, via First Things is the text of her letter to Father Jenkins:

April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

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32 Responses to Mary Ann Glendon Declines Notre Dame's Invitation

  • And in other news, Jesus accepts the invitation of a tax collector to visit him at his home! News at 11.

  • Wow. An impressive stand on principle, and good reason for it, too, citing the “ticket balancing” references, which I had not seen. That rhetoric is analogous to Bilbo’s “gross” invitees, suggesting she was selected as cover for the laurels to be rained upon the President.

  • Henry,

    It might be more productive to specify why you disagree with Prof. Glendon’s decision (if you do disagree with it), rather than (facetiously?) making an analogy of dubious relevance.

  • I’m pretty sure that Jesus wasn’t sucking up to the tax collector and giving him honors; in fact, I seem to recall something about calling the tax collector to repentance. Quaint old notion, repentance.

  • And in other news, Jesus accepts the invitation of a tax collector to visit him at his home!

    And we all know that when the tax collector and Jesus chatted, Jesus didn’t call the tax collector to repentance and conversion. Instead, Jesus spoke about the weather and how well seasoned the fish was.

    Look, if you’re going to snarkily make a biblical reference, it would probably help if the situations were analogous. But that would require a depth of reasoning beyond your pay grade.

  • Henry, that analogy only works if you are contending that Jenkins and the university sinned and repented. But using her as cover suggests that the administration is far from repenting of anything.

    As opposed to making an award to Glendon out of mixed motives. Which your analogy also fails to account for.

    Also, it would be nice of you to admit that the University put Glendon in a Hell of a spot: to offer even the mildest criticism of the President in front of the “honored” (read: star-struck) Domers would have risked that greatest of sins of progressive Catholicism: divisiveness.

  • Isn’t Henry Karlson calling Notre Dame a sinful tax collector? Maybe Prof. Glendon should go and reproach them?

  • Glendon shows great character here. Commencements are not the place for fighting; the focus should be on the graduates. Giving Glendon a medal while expecting her to be the hired gun to try to salvage the university’s moral authority isn’t an honorable move nor is it one truly oriented to the graduates. Glendon did the right thing.

    Now, the university is in a bind. They just got slapped in the face hard b/c of Obama. One still hopes they switch course (though that is highly unlikely at this point) because now they just had the prestige of their highest honor lessened and may deem the Laetere Award (a symbol of their own prestige) more valuable than Obama.

  • Didn’t Jesus go to sinners to tell them to stop sinning?

  • Rush L. used the same “argument” to rationalize writing a column in Playboy: you’ve got to go where the sinners are. Henry K., weak, very weak.

  • Didn’t Jesus go to sinners to tell them to stop sinning?

    Walk me through this, please.

    Mary Ann Glendon plays the role of Jesus, right? So you’re saying she should go to Notre Dame and, while accepting the Laetare Medal, tell someone to stop sinning?

    Who is it she should tell and what should she tell them?

    And if you’re going to criticize her for being insufficiently Christ-like, can you explain why it’s her responsibility to tell whoever she should tell whatever she should tell them?

  • Actually Tom you missed my point. I was pointing out that Jesus went to sinners to tell them to stop sinning. I think Notre Dame giving an honorary degree is not telling the sinner to stop sinning, it is rewarding. The comment related to Henry’s post and not to Glendon’s refusal to go. I think this sort of refusal is appropriate in that she has made her objections known.

  • Actually Tom you missed my point.

    I sure did!

    Based on the comments he made at dotCommonweal, though, I think Henry was criticizing Glendon, not defending Notre Dame.

  • Glendon to Jenkins: Find yourself another figleaf!

  • Yes, my comment was not completely clear. But my point was to criticize N.D.

    Thanks for the link.

  • Henry K., I read your comment in Commonweal. I think what she was doing is not being cynically used by Jenkins to give “cover” to ND — “see how balanced we are.” It blew up in his face. As she points out, her speech would be short and not really that appropriate time to do a point by point or pro-life philospy talk to an honored President. She was as wise as a serpent. As the following article points out, Jenkins got schooled by a ‘Ahvard law prof.

  • While it’s disappointing not to have Glendon there to provide a Catholic voice at the event (as I seem to recall the local ordinary had said he hoped to see happen, when he originally said that he was choosing not to attend for principled reasons) it seems to me that the university was putting Glendon in a deeply untenable situation. On the one hand, all of Obama’s explicit or tacit supporters would expect her to say all sorts of positive things about his presence there (or at least ignore it) while those (including the local ordinary) who have decried the Obama invite would expect her to deliver a Jeremiad of some sort.

    Either way, it seems clear that Glendon was being set up to the the fall guy (fall lady?) of the event by both sides, and I think it shows wisdom on her part to simply back out. There was no gracious way to deal with the situation she was being thrust into.

    If Henry requires a biblical allusion, perhaps he should turn to where Jesus asks the Pharisees whether John the Baptist was a true prophet as a condition to his answering their questions.

  • This will provide an even greater Catholic voice than if she went and did some speech. Her action speakly loudly — Catholic teaching matters; character and integrity matter. This is a bombshell and watershed moment in Catholic public life. I don’t care what else she has done, I will never forget her sacrifice and integrity.

  • de Med,

    I agree this is a watershed moment of some type; I’m not sure which way it will go though. It could lead to a more explicit and permanent break in the already uneven relationship between the bishops and Notre Dame (not to mention colleges even less interested in preserving a Catholic identity). On the other hand, the sharp backlash from the bishops could provide motivation for presidents of Catholic universities to take the bishop’s statements and, by extension, their Catholic identity more seriously. It’s hard to tell, but I’ve been very surprised by the forcefulness of the bishop’s criticism; as, I’m sure, has Fr. Jenkins.

  • John Henry,

    I agree. I think the bishops will be emboldened by her actions. It’s hard not to respect her integrity and courage. They will naturally want to emulate it. I think more will register disapproval. At some point, Jenkins looks foolish. How many US bishops have to be against you to make that happen? This event is a dividing line. Univ., are you Catholic or not? Make up your mind. I just think there are enough ND faithful who will side with Bishops as against ND. ND runs the risk of being marginalized. ND is special, precisely b/c they are Catholic. If they lose that identity, they’ve lost a pearl of great price. Jenkins has ND and himself in a box. I think we didn’t think through possibilities. He got caught up in the moment — something which I’m guilty of myself.

  • Using Jesus this way makes it harder for us to invoke him the right way.

    I would invite Obama into my house for dinner on the condition that he listen to what I have to say about abortion.

    I wouldn’t honor him with any sort of degree, which only legitimizes his position. While I agree with him on some things, probably more things than I did Pres. Bush, the dividing line in our culture is between the culture of life and death. Those on the death side can be engaged respectfully, but they must not be honored.

  • Dualism fails to ignore the dignity of the human person, and also the dignity of offices. Sad.

  • “A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families.”

    So simple, yet so elusive to Fr. Jenkins.

  • Joe,

    I would invite Obama into my house for dinner on the condition that he listen to what I have to say about abortion.

    good post! Sadly that is not what Fr. Jenkins has arranged.

  • Henry Karlson,

    I’m sorry — I’m missing something. What are you saying?

  • de Med.
    Henry is saying that Catholicism does not allow for the belief that people fall into one of two buckets — good and bad. This means, therefore, that the conferral of an honorary law degree upon a lawyer whose most famous legislative contribution was to ensure that infants may be legally deprived of ordinary care if born as a consequence of a failed abortion is perfectly ok. Or more precisely, to think it is a bad idea is to be less than Catholic. All clear now? You will know if you are laughing.

  • Mike, what view of Catholicism is he espousing that doesn’t recognize people who do evil? Give me more info — I’m still a little unclear. This is a new concept to me. Is he saying ND was right to give this honorary law degree to Obama?

  • Mike, I was going to comment, but you have said it all. Bravo!

  • de Med:

    “Is he saying ND was right to give this honorary law degree to Obama?”

    Not quite in so many words, but for all intents and purposes, yes.

    What he has said explicitly is that objecting to the conferral of the honorary degree is un-Christian and fails to follow the example of Christ’s parables in some way known only to Mr. Karlson.

  • Dale,

    Thanks, for the clarity. I sincerely didn’t know where he was going – it was vague. I asked a ND student about this. I asked her “is there anyone who you think would be disqualified from getting such an honor? Where do you stop? And if it’s somebody really really bad, then what does that say about how you view abortion? I would like to know Henry’s criteria and who he thinks wouldn’t pass muster.

  • You’re assuming that Henry has any criteria here, besides reflexively opposing whatever real pro-lifers do or say.

  • In my opinion everyone loses: President Obama, Notre Dame, its students, Fr Jenkins, its Board of Trustees, Mary Glendon, the Bishops. This is a mess
    that breeds ill feelings and broken hearts,

5 Responses to Northwestern Indiana Humanist University

  • “Please have the decency to change the name of the University… it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady.”

    Well, Bishop Doran certainly minces no words. It reminds me of the time about six or seven years ago when Bishop Jenky of Peoria got equally outraged about the fact that a bar owner in Moline was going to name his establishment the “Hail Mary Sports Bar and Grill,” or something like that, referring to the “Hail Mary” pass. He actually wrote a letter to the local newspaper calling the name “blasphemous.” At the time, I thought maybe he was going a little bit overboard but his basic desire to defend the honor of Our Lady was admirable.

    Which makes it seem all the more odd to me that I have yet to find any public statement by Bishop Jenky on the Obama unpleasantness, since he is, after all, a Holy Cross priest, a member of the Notre Dame board of trustees and was the rector of the Sacred Heart Basilica for many years! I have checked the Peoria Diocese website and all the recent online issues of The Catholic Post and have yet to find anything. A Google search on “Bishop Jenky” and “Notre Dame commencement” turns up nothing either.

    I realize this might be an awkward situation for him given that he is a CSC himself and likely personally knows Fr. Jenkins; but I would think he would have said SOMETHING by now, even if it was just a 2- or 3-sentence press release expressing “regret” or “sorrow” at the situation, etc. Did I miss something or am I not looking in the right places?

  • I have been disappointed in the fact that Bishop Jenky, my Bishop, has not yet commented on the Notre Dame situation. I agree that his position is awkward no doubt in regard to Notre Dame but his duty as a Bishop I think is clear. I also think he is one Bishop who might carry weight with the powers that be at Notre Dame. We are of course quite a way yet from May 17. It is possible that he is working quietly to convince the administration at Notre Dame to rescind the invitation with the clear implication that he will go public with his opposition if they do not. We shall see.

  • Reading stories like this, part of me wants to say: if you find Obama and what he stands for so objectionable, why did you say so before the election? You know, when it actually might have made a difference.

    Not entirely fair, I know. But that’s my reaction.

  • Actually Blackadder, many bishops did just that, including Bishop Doran:

  • I wonder if Faithful Citizenship will undergo changes in the next few years.

"Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic"

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2009


As President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,  Francis Cardinal George of Chicago today spoke out on the Notre Dame scandal.  The money quote:  “So whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation, …” Note however that the Cardinal also spoke of corresponding with Jenkins several times on the issue.  That of course will get approximately nowhere.  Jenkins and the powers that be at Notre Dame have made very clear that they will not back down.  They should be compelled to do so.  Here is a fisking of the press report by Father Z.

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27 Responses to "Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic"

  • Ahhh suddenly the Catholic Americans give a damn about the USCCB! I thought it had no authority? Where is Tito when we need him?

  • Let me guess Catholic Anarchist, you have a Notre Dame beanie glued to your skull and can’t wait to cheer the abortionist-in-chief as he receives the adoration on May 17 of the retreating Irish?

  • Kathleen Gilbert wrote:

    Cardinal George prefaced his remarks by noting that as USCCB president he does not have jurisdiction or authority over other bishops, but nonetheless has “some moral authority, without any kind of jurisdiction or any sort of real authority.”

    So I’m quite pleased that the President of the USCCB has recognized this fact that I have known for quite awhile.

  • Let me guess Catholic Anarchist, you have a Notre Dame beanie glued to your skull and can’t wait to cheer the abortionist-in-chief as he receives the adoration on May 17 of the retreating Irish?

    Of course not. I actually have a problem with Notre Dame honoring ANY u.s. president.

    Of course none of you Catholic Americans raised a peep about the several members of the Bush administration who were honored with various degrees at Catholic schools during their reign, considering Bush’s approval of some types of abortion as well as his war which directly an unambiguously contradicted Catholic teaching.


  • Gee, Catholic Anarchist perhaps you would call Cardinal Ratzinger a hypocrite?

    “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.”

    You voted for Obama, a man who has never met a form of abortion he hasn’t supported, who has raised campaign funds by touting his support for that barely disguised infanticide called partial birth abortion and who has pledged his full support for passage of the Freedom of Choice Act. You are not a hypocrite. You are simply a de facto pro-abort.

  • Michael J. Iafrate.

    So it appears you are just a dog?
    Time to give yourself a good kick in the ribs.

    So you are one of the supporters of Baldrick O’Bama?
    Why am I surprised.

  • Don,
    As the farce of 0bama unfolds expect his supporters to become even more rabid.

  • What do you mean by “supporter?”

    I am a supporter of calling out hypocrites on this blog.

  • Michael I.

    as opposed to calling out hypocrites and dissenters on your OWN blog (and in your mirror)? I guess it only depends on who’s ox is being gored, right?

  • as opposed to calling out hypocrites and dissenters on your OWN blog

    I do that too. Quite a few of the Catholic Americans comment over at VN, y’see.

  • Well, I guess all commenters in this thread, including me, have had ample opportunity to make their personal likes and dislikes clear. Any further comments involving personal attacks or which are off topic will be deleted.

  • Deleted your last comment Catholic Anarchist as it was a personal attack. Pay attention. No personal attacks and stay on topic.

  • Deleted your last two attempts at comments Catholic Anarchist. One personal attack and one not on topic.

    I will respond to your query contained in the second comment however. I stated that I would delete further personal attacks. Everyone had their licks in and I did not want this thread to devolve into a weary back and forth exchange of insults. That is not what this blog is for. If you wish to participate in my threads you will observe my rules.

  • Deleted your last attempted comment Catholic Anarchist which was off topic. I have already explained that I would delete further personal attacks. I did not say that I would delete prior personal attacks. I have kept yours up along with everyone elses.

  • Three more comments deleted Catholic Anarchist. One personal attack and two off topic. As for your suggestion for an e-mail for the blog that actually might have merit and I will take it up with my fellow contributors in due course.

  • Personal attack Catholic Anarchist, so your latest attempt to comment joins the rest in internet oblivion.

  • Deleted your last comment Catholic Anarchist. No personal attack in that one as opposed to the other ones that I have deleted in which there were personal attacks, but it wasn’t on topic.

  • Why do you care what the president of the USCCB says? You don’t recognize their authority.

  • Michael,

    I am not sure who you are addressing. Personally, I’ve always respected Cardinal George a great deal, and I would be surprised if anyone here had a different point of view.

  • John – I am addressing the author of the post. I generally respect Cardinal George a great deal as well and agree with him often.

  • I recognize the authority of all cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church Catholic Anarchist. I also recognize their ability to be wise or foolish, either individually or collectively. In this case Cardinal George is acting wisely, albeit probably ineffectually, in regard to the Notre Dame scandal. I trust more of his fellow cardinals and bishops will join him in expressing their outrage at the honoring of our pro-abort prez.

  • So you recognize the USCCB when it agrees with you. Nice.

  • No Catholic Anarchist I recognize the fact that bishops and cardinals can be right or wrong depending upon their actions or statements. Only the Pope has the charism of infallibility, as bishops and cardinals amply demostrate each day.

  • Only the Pope has the charism of infallibility, as bishops and cardinals amply demostrate each day.

    You might want to do some research on what the Catholic Church teaches about infallibility.

  • I don’t recognize the USCCB as having any authority except where the Holy See has granted specific powers, I don’t recognize the USCCB as really being wise about much of anything. Which is why we especially rejoice when the president of the USCCB actually does the right thing.

    By the way, the Holy Father only exercises infallibility under very specific circumstances, he may be in error on a number of things, but he does exercise universal jurisdiction.

  • It is quite adequately set out in Vatican I Catholic Anachist, and at 891 in the Catechism I believe. No guarantee there of the infallibity of either any individual bishop or cardinal or of national assemblies of ecclesiastics such as the USCCB. Of course in this case, their lack of infallibility, we do not have to rely on faith alone. Experience also teaches us this truth.