Skip to comments.Obamamania Infects Notre Dame
Posted on 04/04/2009 5:18:50 AM PDT by kellynla
Controversy has erupted over Notre Dame's invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at its May commencement ceremony. The president will address the university and receive an honorary doctorate in law.
Bishop John J. D'Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese has decided not to attend the commencement, explaining, "My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life." Bishop D'Arcy's position is reflective of the outrage of many in the Catholic community.
Their angst is understandable since Mr. Obama has pursued a strong anti-life agenda both before and after assuming the office of president. Indeed, Mr. Obamas actions are at odds with the very foundations of American law and justice: a belief that all men are created equal and that innocent human life should be protected by the state.
Catholic tradition is very clear that both abortion and the destruction of embryos undermine the basic principles of human life. The Catholic catechism states, "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a personamong which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life."
The catechism goes so far as to call for "excommunication latae sententiae" (essentially, immediate default excommunication) for anyone who cooperates in an abortion. With such clear, strict pro-life doctrine, it is no wonder that Catholics are up in arms over Notre Dame's decision to honor a man whose words and actions directly support the destruction of nascent human life.
Since taking office in January, President Obama has changed U.S. policy to support abortions abroad, removed limitations on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (research which would require the destruction of embryos), and appears ready to remove federal laws which allow physicians to object on conscience to performing abortions or giving out contraceptives.
Moreover, the president promised during his campaign to repeal the Hyde amendment, an amendment that prevents federal funding of abortions (except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother).
He also promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would overturn nearly all state and federal restrictions on abortion and nearly all state and federal restrictions on funding for abortion.
The right to life has properly been described as the First Right. It is that right without which no other right can exist. As Pope John Paul II stated in his Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, "The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life.
Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rightsfor example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to cultureis false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination." The protection of human life is necessary to establish justice and compassion in society.
Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins has defended the school's position, calling the speech "a basis for further positive engagement." Pro-life Notre Dame alumnus Kenneth L. Woodward echoes this defense in a recent Washington Post column.
He explains that the university must necessarily allow for the open discussion of such issues, since it is "devoted to both faith and reason." Woodward and Jenkins miss a key distinction: There is a big difference between allowing a person to speak at a university and granting him an honorary degree and making him the centerpiece of commencement exercises.
The former can be defended on the grounds that a university should allow for a wide discussion of issues, but the latter expresses the university's stamp of approval on the president.
Catholic theologian and biographer, George Weigel, sees through Rev. Jenkins's faulty argument: "Commencement is not an occasion for debate. Commencement is not an opportunity to set the foundations for a dialogue. Commencement and award of an honorary degree is a statement on the part of the university that this is a life worth emulating."
Catholics have long upheld the importance of protecting nascent human life, even as other groups of Christians have succumbed to cultural pressures.
Pope Benedict XVI stated, "God's love does not differentiate between the newly conceived infant still in his or her mother's womb and the child or young person, or the adult and the elderly person. God does not distinguish between them because he sees an impression of his own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26) in each one."
Unfortunately, Notre Dame appears to value cultural approval more than the teachings of the Catholic Church.
By honoring Mr. Obama at its commencement, Notre Dame trivializes our culture's devaluation of human life.
The consequences of doing so are explained clearly in the Vatican's summary of Evangelium Vitae: "The causes of this 'culture of death which threatens man and civilization are traced by the Holy Father to a perverse idea of freedom, which is seen as disconnected from any reference to truth and objective good, and which asserts itself in an individualistic way, without the constitutive link of relationships with others."
Our culture is increasingly embracing a culture of death, and Notre Dame's blessing of our president is yet another disturbing sign of this trend. If even Catholics are abandoning their traditional, rich understanding of life, who will be left to defend it?
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
It is amazing how the press has created this guy and continues to fuel the fire. The cult of personality. You can see how the people will be tricked in the last days with the anti-Christ.
“Our culture is increasingly embracing a culture of death:”
Message to the left:
Be Careful of what one embraces because it will eventually consume you whether you like it or not.
If you haven’t already,
Please sign the Notre Dame Scandal petition.
And email it to all your friends, family & neighbors! PLEASE!
The original Christians started the Catholic Church and now they surrender without a peep to a worse heresy then the ones,as they perceived,that they fought and died for to stop for centuries.
Notre Damned is Catholic shame and Catholics dishonor.
Since when do any Christians,even Catholics,rationalize away core beliefs rooted in the Holy Gospels?
Sure the University honors ALL American Presidents,but this is the first one from socialist secular Hell!
Are there no exceptions for persons of perdition?
Id love to see the fans of their opponents this coming football season wear black arm bands to their game against ND-as a sighn of protest.
Let's face it. Notre Dame is no longer Catholic. The institution should change its affiliation to some other denomination and be done with it.
This school has brought shame upon the Catholic Church.
I wouldn't say the massive outrage that has been voiced throughout the Catholic Church across America is nothing but a “ surrender without a peep”. LOL
The "original Christians started the Catholic Church?"
FYI, Jesus Christ "started the Catholic Church."
Excuse me, but if you came on this thread to smear and besmirch the Catholic Church, Catholicism and Catholics; you can leave...and pick up your “Anti-Catholic Bigot Badge” on your way out!!!
Exactly. This is a BS argument, Fr. Jenkins. None of the students nor any of the family watching from their seats will be allowed to "engaged in debate" with obama, unless they want to be ejected or arrested by the SS. It will be a one-way debate, if obie even brings the topic up.
If you really had the nuts, you would introduce him and tell him why he is wrong before he speaks. You would have the whole place on its feet cheering. (Hey, you could be the rock star of the day! I bet you'd like that.)
Perhaps the Episcopal Church could assume patronage over UND. sarc/off
In truth if he does speak there, I hope some adventurous students go up to the top of the dome and put a blind fold around her eyes.
I just don't see too many Christians of other denominations willing to sully their sacred institutions by honoring an evil abomination like Obama.
I'm sure there are good Muslims as well—but...
I have had the pleasure to work with a number of devout Catholics, many of whom have been contemplating colleges for their children. Trust me, there are no devout Catholics attending Notre Dame.
It is, after all, no longer a "Catholic Univserity." It is a "university in the Catholic tradition." The distinction is not trivial. It means they long ago sold out.
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