My friend, Jack, drove to Notre Dame to attend the graduation of his granddaughter this past weekend.  That was the day that Notre Dame’s president, faculty and graduates made it crystal clear to the world that Notre Dame is not a Catholic university.  As of that date, 74 U.S. bishops had called on Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to President  Barack Obama to give the commencement address because of his  views on abortion and stem cell research.

Obama came.  Obama spoke. Notre Dame gave him a standing “O”.

“Obama hit a home run,” Jack told me.

He did, indeed.  Our silver-tongued president (with the help of his speech-writers and his teleprompters, of course) told us “Let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies… Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

He also said that the Catholic church’s rejection of abortion and his staunch support of abortion for those who “need” one were irreconcilable.  He’s all about dialogue but he knows no one’s position is going to change. Let’s see what he does to reduce abortions and help pregnant women carry their children to term.

He told us, “Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.”  He did not care (or dare?) to recognize the difference between embryonic stem cells and so-called adult stem cells, the former requiring the death of an embryo and so far non-productive, the latter fruitful and the source of our hope.  (See my previous post.)

He told us, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”   We will see, won’t we, whether Catholic hospitals, doctors and medical personnel will be forced to provide services that violate their consciences as has already happened with Catholic adoption services.  Why do I fear that Obama’s “sound science” will trump God’s wisdom every time?

He said, “It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.”   Does Mr. Obama think anyone’s wisdom is greater than his own?  He doesn’t give us a clue as to what he thinks is God’s wisdom.  It can’t imagine that it’s the  ten commandments!

He said he hopes to more fully “realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children.”   This is from the man who opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act!   Jill Stanek (below) tells what happens to God’s children who are intended to be aborted but are born alive.

Yes, Obama hit a home run.

And, smart man, he said nothing at all about homosexual marriage, one subject on which he ostensibly actually agrees with the Catholic church.    He wouldn’t want to rile his gay base.   He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

His talk was all platitudes and kumbaya.   He talked about “Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” But, talk is cheap, Mr. President.  Will you walk the walk, or will you just talk the talk and do whatever  you  please?


If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 13.1
For the record I am adding comments by a few of the many bishops who disapproved Fr. Jenkins’ honoring Obama:

Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Denver:  “‘Notre Dame didn’t need to do this to show its openness to ‘dialogue.’  And candidly, very few Notre Dame faculty members would accept from their students the kind of creative reasoning now being used to defend the invitation.”

Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, Kansas City:  “In reality, NotreDame’s invitation signals to President Obama that there is no need to dialogue.  Why should the president feel a need to dialogue when he is honored by our nation’s most prestigious Catholic university no matter how extreme his policies and actions supporting legalized abortion!”

Most Rev. Thomas Doran, Rockford, IL:  “I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese.  Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, ‘The Fighting Irish College’ or ‘Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.'”

Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, Lincoln, NE:  “[Fr. Jenkins,] I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University.”


September, 2009:

Tradition Family Property Student Action launched an online petition yesterday urging Fr. John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, to drop trespassing charges levied against eighty-eight pro-life advocates who entered university property during the 2009 commencement address of President Obama.

Among those arrested are Ambassador Alan Keyes, Fr. Norman Weslin, and Norma McCorvey.

If Notre Dame does not drop the charges, the pro-life advocates face up to one year in jail. “As the original complainant,” the petition reads, “Notre Dame has the choice to drop the charges.” reports: “While witnesses say pro- Obama protesters were allowed to roam free, the arrested individuals were singled out for displaying any pro-life message — including slogans on the sanctity of life, photographs of aborted children, a large wooden cross, and images of Mary.” Notre Dame “has repeatedly refused to seek such leniency or even answer the pro-lifers’ requests for dialogue.”

“The double standard is shocking,” said James Bascom, TFP Student Action volunteer. “Why does the most pro-abortion president in American history receive an honorary degree while pro-lifers receive a jail term? Pro-life Americans should respectfully ask Fr. Jenkins to drop the charges.”