Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nothing more to say.

I watched both Fr. Jenkins' and President Obama's speeches at Notre Dame this past Sunday. My first impulses were predictable and certainly nothing not felt by hundreds of thousands of Catholics across the nation.

The president's discourse was predictably lofty and vague. He urged us to respect all human life, equated adult and embryonic stem-cell research, insisted on his complete sincerity, on and on. I have no doubt of his sincerity. I also have no doubt that, when respectful dialogue must end and action must be taken, that he will always--barring the road to Damascus--decide for the will to power over and to the detriment of human dignity.

UPDATE: To see what I mean, read Wesley J. Smith over at the First Things blog. Talk is cheap. Theater is just ... theatrics.

But I was not nauseated by his words. I've heard them all before, as has Amy Welborn who says it all.

Fr. Jenkins was nauseating. The man should know better. Archbishop Chaput reprimands him so eloquently, that I really can't add anything. The blog is superfluous!


"Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man. The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life. We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good -- insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.

We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness. Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade.

In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life. It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal honoree – who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university’s action. It ignored appeals from the university’s local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics. Even here in Colorado, I’ve heard from too many to count.

There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it."

For the whole thing, click here.

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