Does Notre Dame's president think we are really that stupid?I just read Fr. John Jenkins commentary on the Bishop's 2004 statement declaring that Catholic institutions should not honor those who stand against the Church's teachings on the sanctity of human life. He claims that the document only refers to honoring or recognizing Catholics and that therefore it does not apply to Obama. He then makes the incredible statement that claims that just because the university is giving Obama a platform does not signal any support for the man's policies.
Here is the operative line that leaves one without words (or perhaps brings to minds words that are better left unsaid).
In addition, regardless of how one interprets the first sentence, the second is also important. It reads: "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions. [My italics]" In every statement I have made about the invitation of President Obama and in every statement I will make, I express our disagreement with him on issues surrounding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research. If we repeatedly and clearly state that we do not support the President on these issues, we cannot be understood to "suggest support".
Providing the commencement address at a prestigious university is an honor.
Bestowing an honorary degree of laws is by its very nature an honor. And does anyone find it interesting that Arizona State University is NOT conferring an honorary degree on Obama when he speaks at ASU this May?
Inviting a person to speak at commencement declares the appreciation and respect the university has for the person. It provides a "teaching" moment at an institution that is by its nature designed to teach. There is not "dialogue or conversation" with this person who thinks it is permissible in a civilized society to kill pre-born children. His goal is to continue to divide Catholics and other people of good will be talking out of both sides of his mouth on the single most important issue of the last 100 years.
Does Fr. Jenkins really believe that we do not see through his patronizing dribble? One would think that this fellow is smarter than that. Does he really think that hunkering down and attempting to ride this out is good for the Catholic Church, the nation, the university, the pro-life movement, his soul?
In a follow up blog, I will give Fr, Jenkins an exit strategy out of the mess he has manufactured. If he truly wants this day to be a "joyful" day for the graduates, then he had better figure out how to deal with the thousands of protesters who are guaranteed to show up on May 17.
In the meantime, continue to call the university switchboard every day and leave a message. Today Good Friday would be an especially appropriate time. After all we read about the betrayal of Christ, the suffering of Christ for the sake of sinful man, and the consequences of how sin can lead us away from the Gospel.