Skip to comments.66: Bishops Decry "Toxic Residue" of Notre Dame Scandal
Posted on 05/06/2009 8:01:28 AM PDT by NYer
SOUTH BEND, Indiana, May 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Four more U.S. bishops have come out against the decision by the University of Notre Dame to honor President Obama with the commencement address and an honorary law degree at the school's graduation May 17.
Philadelphia's Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, released to the Catholic professional group Legatus his letter to University president Fr. Jenkins expressing "great distress" at the invitation and calling for its retraction. (http://patricknovecosky.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/cardinal-bevilacqua-addresses-n...)
"While one may understand an invitation to President Obama to engage him in conversation on creating a culture of life, it is not appropriate for him to speak at the commencement exercises of a Catholic university, nor should he receive an honorary degree," wrote Bevilacqua. "Such actions cause confusion among faithful Catholics and send a mixed message regarding the clear Magisterium of the Catholic Church on life issues.
"It is my hope and prayer that the University of Notre Dame will rescind the invitation to President Obama to speak at the commencement and withhold the conferral of an honorary degree to him or to anyone who so blatantly disregards the basic moral principles upon which the United States of America was founded," he wrote. Cardinal Bevilacqua added that he would keep "a special remembrance in my thoughts and prayers" for Fr. Jenkins and Notre Dame.
In a statement yesterday, Bishop Lawrence Brandt of the Greensburg, PA diocese wrote that he learned "with shock and deep distress" of Notre Dame's honoring of "one of the most pro-abortion politicians ever to appear on the American political stage." (http://www.thecompassnews.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&...)
"Although the University claims to be opposed to abortion, this issue is apparently not deemed important enough to preclude Mr. Obama's receiving honors at the Notre Dame Commencement," said Bishop Brandt. "There is a serious dichotomy between what the University says it believes and what it does."
Bishop Brandt also declared his solidarity with Notre Dame's Bishop John D'Arcy, who has condemned the Obama honor and announced he would boycott the ceremony.
"The attempts to justify this invitation represent for so many a pathetic trivialization of Notre Dame's Catholic identity," Brandt continued.
"The toxic residue from this scandal will be the perception that Notre Dame has made dissent in the Catholic Church respectable. This cannot be looked upon as a paradigm to be followed by others.
"For the sake of those yet to be educated at Notre Dame, for the good of the Church which Father Jenkins, as a religious priest, is vowed to serve, I urge him to do what is honorable by acknowledging the crisis and having the courage to cease and desist from pursuing the deconstruction and division he has embarked upon," Bishop Brandt concluded.
Another letter to Fr. Jenkins was issued by Bishop George Thomas of Helena, Montana, on May 1. In it, Bishop Thomas said he felt the decision was "misguided and damaging both to the University and to the Catholic Church at large." (http://www.diocesehelena.org/thomas/050109%20letter.pdf)
"The honorary doctorate should be reserved for persons whose lives and accomplishments reflect those exemplary qualities and values we wish to cultivate in the lives of our students," wrote Bishop Thomas. "Sadly, President Barack Obama's consistent assault upon the civil rights of the unborn reflects the very antithesis of our Catholic social and moral teaching on the sacredness of life from conception until natural death."
The Helena bishop joined the majority of opposing bishops who pointed out that the invitation violated USCCB policy, and said he was "particularly disappointed" in Fr. Jenkins' leadership.
"By allowing the University to confer this degree, you have failed to exercise your prophetic voice and teach the American people that the only change we can count on is 'founded on truth, built upon justice, and animated by love' - love for the least, the last, and the lowliest in our midst," he wrote.
According to an article in The Compass, the newspaper for the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bishop David Ricken has also spoken out against the scandal and said the Obama honor violates USCCB policy. (http://www.thecompassnews.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&...)
The bishops who have so far expressed disapproval of Notre Dame's invitation to Obama (in alphabetical order) are:
1. Bishop John D'Arcy - Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN
2. Bishop Samuel Aquila - Fargo, ND
3. Bishop Gregory Aymond - Austin, TX
4. Bishop Gerald Barbarito - Palm Beach, FL
5. Bishop Leonard Blair - Toledo, OH
6. Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (Archbishop Emeritus) - Philadelphia, PA
7. Bishop Lawrence Brandt - Greensburg, PA
8. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein - Indianapolis, IN
9. Bishop Robert Baker - Birmingham, AL
10. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz - Lincoln, NE
11. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran - Oklahoma City, OK
12. Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú - San Antonio, TX
13. Archbishop Charles Chaput - Denver, CO
14. Bishop Paul Coakley - Salina, KS
15. Bishop Edward Cullen - Allentown, PA
16. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo - Houston, TX
17. Archbishop Timothy Dolan - New York, NY
18. Bishop Thomas Doran - Rockford, IL
19. Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty - Scranton, PA
20. Bishop Robert Finn - Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO
21. Bishop Joseph Galante - Camden, NJ
22. Bishop Victor Galeone - St. Augustine, FL
23. Cardinal Francis George - Chicago, IL; President, USCCB
24. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger - Evansville, IN
25. Archbishop José Gomez - San Antonio, TX
26. Bishop Bernard Harrington - Winona, MN
27. Bishop Robert Hermann - St. Louis, MO
28. Bishop William Higi - Lafayette, IN
29. Archbishop Alfred Hughes - New Orleans, LA
30. Bishop Michael O. Jackels - Wichita, KS
31. Bishop James V. Johnston - Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO
32. Bishop Peter Jugis - Charlotte, NC
33. Bishop Joseph Latino - Jackson, MS
34. Bishop John LeVoir - New Ulm, MN
35. Bishop Jerome Listecki - La Crosse, WI
36. Bishop William E. Lori - Bridgeport, CT
37. Bishop Paul Loverde - Arlington, VA
38. Bishop George Lucas - Springfield, IL
39. Bishop Robert Lynch - St. Petersburg, FL
40. Bishop Joseph Martino - Scranton, PA
41. Bishop John McCormack - Manchester, NH
42. Bishop Robert Morlino - Madison, WI
43. Bishop William Murphy - Rockville Centre, NY
44. Bishop George Murry - Youngstown, OH
45. Archbishop John J. Myers - Newark, NJ
46. Archbishop Joseph Naumann - Kansas City, KS
47. Bishop R. Walker Nickless - Sioux City, IA
48. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt - St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN
49. Archbishop Edwin O'Brien - Baltimore, MD
50. Bishop Thomas Olmsted - Phoenix, AZ
51. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk - Cincinnati, OH
52. Bishop Reymundo Pena - Brownsville, TX
53. Bishop Glen Provost - Lake Charles, LA
54. Bishop David Ricken - Green Bay, WI
55. Cardinal Justin Rigali - Philadelphia, PA; Chairman, USCCB Pro-Life Committee
56. Bishop Kevin Rhoades - Harrisburg, PA
57. Bishop Alexander Sample - Marquette, MI
58. Bishop Edward J. Slattery - Tulsa, OK
59. Bishop Richard Stika - Knoxville, TN
60. Bishop Anthony Taylor - Little Rock, AR
61. Bishop George Thomas - Helena, MT
62. Bishop Robert Vasa - Baker, OR
63. Bishop Michael Warfel - Great Falls-Billings, MT
64. Bishop Thomas Wenski - Orlando, FL
65. Archbishop Donald Wuerl - Washington, D.C.
66. Bishop David Zubick - Pittsburgh, PA
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
62: Three More Bishops Against Notre Dame Scandal, Obama Urged to Decline Invitation
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
I’m still waiting on a statment from Bishop Dale J. Melczeks office (Gary/NW Indiana Diocese).
How many Catholic bishops are there in the US?? What percentage have not (yet!) signed on to the protest??
Also, our supposed “conservative” Bishop Di Lorenzo in Richmond, VA diocese - let’s have the Church break with ND and be DONE with it, already! Also, Georgetown, BC, Xavier, etc - we don’t need the examples of doctrinal hypocrisy rubbed in our kids faces anymore. Call yourself a Catholic - BE and live life as a CATHOLIC!
What are there, about 300 Bishops in the United States? 25%, nice work standing up for our Central Beliefs, guys.
Do you count retired bishops? Auxilary bishops? About 1 in 4 bishops have signed, but this includes most of the authoritative ones. The biggest two who have not are from Boston, Archbishop O’Malley, and Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony. Bevilaqua is the first retired bishop, but he probably spoke out because he is still a U.S.-based, active, voting Cardinal. I wouldn’t expect many other retired bishops to. Only two auxiliary bishops have spoken up, but that’s unusual for them to speak up, also. Actually, it’s amazing that anyone besides Notre Dame’s own bishop (D’Arby) and metropolitan (Cdl. George) has spoken up, but I guess several bishops feel they need to speak up for the benefit of their own congregants who may be students at Notre Dame.
Bwah hah hah hah! You’ve gotta have a lot of deranged fruitcakes if they’re calling Di Lorenzo a conservative!
Bwah hah hah hah! You’ve gotta have a lot of deranged fruitcakes if they’re calling Di Lorenzo a conservative!
(I’m pretty sure that the last time I attended a mass in the diocese of Richmond, Harrisonburg, the pianist was a he-she.)
You bet, still no word from Massachusetts; Kudo’s to Manchester.
There is about 256 Bishops and Cardinals in the USA!
Only 66 Bishops signed up.
Archbishop of Wilton Gregory of Atlanta does not respond to request that he express his disapproval of Obama at Notre Dame!
Despite Bishop Martino and Dougherty of the Scranton Diocese of Scranton expressing their disapproval Obama at Notre Dame, BISHOP JAMES CLIFFORD TIMLIN, THE BISHOP OF EMERITUS OF SCRANTON, HAS NOT EXPRESSED HIS DISAPPROVAL OF OBAMA. BY THE WAY BISHOP CLIFFORD TIMLIN IS A SUPPORTER OF SENATOR BOB CASEY WHO HAS A 64% APPROVAL RATING FROM NARAL!
I am so proud of my Cardinal. He is a great leader.
Don’t fall for the tactics of the leftists on this one. Bishops don’t need to conduct a walking plebescite among themselves on this one. The local bishop (D’Arcy), the metropolitan (Cdl. George), the de-facto prelate (Cdl. Dolan), the “king-maker” (Cdl. Rigali), the top American curiate officer (Abp. Burke) and all the key leaders of the USCCB have all spoken out. There are 190 dioceses, by the way.
It’s always nice if other bishops affirm the relevant ones, but it’s not really their place. I guess we got about 60 who are speaking out for the benefit of their congregants who may be students at Notre Dame. But I’ll pardon the bishop of New Ulm if he thinks the issue has been settled by his brothers.
That number includes residential, auxiliary, eparchial and metropolitan bishops. Of that number, 195 are residential. List of Bishops in the US.
What percentage have not (yet!) signed on to the protest??
The percentage that don't want to tread on toes, get involved or support Fr. Jenkins. Not all bishops will agree on this issue. Take a look at NY. Only 1 of the 16 bishops has made a statement (+ the new Archbishop Dolan). The silence from the other bishops (including mine), is deafening.
I understand your point, The Church isn't a democracy (nor should it be), but I do believe it would be helpful to actually illustrate the united front and identify anyone who's wobbly.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the damage done to the Church in Richmond during his tenure.
By comparison, Bishop Di Lorenzo is a conservative, and the demonic lunatics who ran the assylum during Uncle Wally's tenure have been spitting mad for a couple of years, now.
Sadly, I know you are correct.
Nothing would make me happier than to see hundreds of people walk out of his speech in droves. After he’s done, people can return to their seats.
No kidding! I guess compared to Sullivan, that “progressive”, Di Lorenzo looks more traditional. I got a “survey” a year ago from the diocese to find out what we “think” or something...did you? In it they asked about family situations,: husband, wife OR PARTNER! I went nuts and sent back the survey asking if this was from a CATHOLIC diocese! Will NOT contribute to Lenten Appeal anytime soon. Recently, we left a church we were at for three years because the new priest, 2 wks after the election, took pot shots at Bush and Cheney from the altar. We left so fast, the door didn’t hit...geez!
195 U.S. Catholic dioceses - each one headed by only one bishop who is fully responsible for that flock and who answers personally to the pope.
All other bishops are either emeritus (retired), auxiliary (assistants), or co-adjutors (named as the permanent future replacement to the reigning bishop - usually appointed only when the reigning bishop’s ability to do the job is doubtful).
My request to all is for intense ongoing prayer for this situation.
The spiritual warfare that is going on there is intense.
Thanks for the replies and links. It gives perspective to the number of bishops who have placed church teaching and moral values above politics. The rest of them should be ashamed not to at least issue a supporting statement on such a clear-cut issue.
It’s a bit misleading to look at the percentage of bishops who have spoken out. A number of diocese (if not most) have multiple bishops with one in charge and the others as auxilary bishops. The head bishop speaks for his diocese. If the head hasn’t spoken yet, then it’s doubtful that the auxilary bishop would release a public statement. If the head guy has spoken, the auxilary would be a bit redundant in releasing a statement. Also, some of the bishops are retired. I believe that only 2 or 3 of the sixty-something bishops are auxilary.
Most of the big diocese have chimed in — Los Angeles is the notable exception but I can see multiple reasons for Mahoney staying out of this.
Back when the 0bama Invitation was issued, some folks on this forum observed that by stringing out their responses, the bishops kept the issue (and their condemnation of Baby Killer 0bama) in the news. Each new condemnation is a new story ... it’s harder for the MSM 0bama Acolytes to spike the story when there’s something new every other day or so.
Also, the published number is very misleading. If you’ve followed the reports, you’ve seen that MANY of these became public many days or weeks after the bishop actually contacted Jenkins privately.
Based on this pattern, it’s highly likely that many more bishops have expressed their concerns directely to Jenkins but have chosen not to go public with it.
Agreed. Not only is my RC bishop missing from the list, the local diocesan newspaper has provided zero coverage and/or commentary on this topic. Nada! But this is not surprising, given his preference for issues of social justice over 'single issue' items. He is decidedly pro-life but also pro "our first black president" Obama.
Rest assured of our prayers!
Do you anticipate any possibility that the invite will be withdrawn?
It will take a tremendous amount of pressure to overcome their extreme liberal arrogance. It’s really hard to shame the shameless.
Not possible ... if the latter is true then the former is a fraud.
That’s one of the most horrible things one could possibly have on one’s resume.
My bishop came out and opposed the ND appearance, and today somebody wrote a hate-filled, raving letter to the local paper urging that the county act immediately to take away the local property tax exemption for the Church because the Church is nothing but an evil, tyrannical institution full of child molesters and the bishop was “engaging in politics.” I was stunned that they even published it.
But it shows you how full of hatred these people are; your bishop is very liberal, but I bet he’s probably also a bit of a chicken, because he’s not up to opposing the “social justice” types who have probably always been on his side.
Good point and strategy by the Bishops!
More bishops ping!
I wish I could be certain that their excellencies were capable of that sort of strategic thinking ... In any case, whether deliberately or by accident it is turning out well.
Which is precisely why they published it :-)
Did the paper offer a retort to the screed? ( /sarc)