Noted ND Law professor calls for Jenkins to step down over Obama messProfessor Charles Rice, an icon of the Notre Dame Law school community, is quoted as suggesting that given the current crisis at Notre Dame concerning its invitation to have President Barack Obama speak at its commencement in May, this is a time for prayer. He also suggested that Fr. Jenkins should step down from hiss post as president of the university.
Given the reaction Jenkins has had to his decision to invite the most pro-abortion anti-Catholic president in our nation's history, there is much wisdom in Professor Rice's remarks. It is clear that the decision to invite Obama was made without any real consideration to the pro-life question. It simply was not important.
Fr. Hugh Cleary, Jenkins Holy Cross superior in Rome, weighed in with his comments in a published letter earlier in the week. His statement from Rome was to put it mildly "pretty dumb." He makes some syrupy statements about wanting to support Obama but not being able to do so because of Obama's position on abortion. Then he practically begs Obama to make this a "teachable" moment. He should be making this a "teachable" moment by teaching Obama that one does not honor a person who thinks so little of protecting innocent human life. Obama is not dumb. He knows the unborn child is a baby. He does not want laws to protect the unborn child. I do not understand how these supposedly intelligent men cannot see the harm they are doing to the church, to the school and to the pro-life position. Oh and by the way Father Cleary, it isn't "a Catholic faith conviction that human life begins at conception." It is a position of the Catholic Church that she recognizes scientific facts and evidence and applies moral teachings to those facts. I am so tired of reading that the Catholic Church "believes" that human life begins at conception. "Belief" has nothing to do with acknowledging medical facts.
The president and his aides have an agenda inimical to Catholic principles and beliefs. I am tired of reading people "praising" the president for his "monumental" achievement in becoming the first Black president. After all I thought we were all past this "race" thing. Let's look at the "content of his character," to quote Martin Luther King, Jr. Lets start with his attitude toward innocent human beings in the womb. This guy (Obama) thinks it is permissible for an industry (abortion) that helped fund his campaign to kill these people (unborn babies). And we are all suppose to be polite about this.
It is a little embarrassing that to date just fifteen bishops had had the testicular fortitude to address this matter (But then the USCCB fumbled the ball last year prior to the election regarding the document "Faithful Citizenship" (or allowed the fix), completely dropped the ball on the priest homosexual scandal that has scarred the Church and her people, and otherwise acted with a certain timidity as to crucial issues). Of course the Catholic laity has not been acting any better. A sizable portion of Catholics ignore Church teachings on the fundamentals; Many approach our walk with Christ with a "what's in it for me" attitude; many are unwilling to sacrifice or even attempt discipline in order to advance the Gospel; and many certainly do not want to tell anyone what they can or cannot do - even if the action is destructive to all involved. Archbishop Chaput commented upon the lack of concern and the consequences of such apathy.
This is not unique to the catholic Church. Many Christian communities are unwilling to address the serious issues of the day out of fear of what it would do to the collection plate or the size off its congregation.
But the symbolism her with the Notre Dame situation is unique. Just as the speech by Mario Cuomo in 1984 gave cover to pro-abortion Catholics, just as the pro-abortion votes of Robert Drinan helped cause the demise of pro-life Democrats, just as the flipping of Jesse Jackson buried efforts in the 1980s to build a civil rights component among pro-lifers wit the Black community. so this effort by Obama to speak at the most prestigious catholic university in America is an effort to forever divide the member so f the Catholic community on abortion. Fortunately over 240,000 people have signed the online petition objecting to the invitation. fortunately there will be a massive demonstration at the university if Jenkins does not rescind the invitation or Obama does not see that his operatives have overplayed their hand. Already there has been a drop in the popular support for the president.among those Catholics who voted for Obama thinking that he was "moderate" in his views on abortion.
Jenkins exercised poor judgment. Not just in his invitation to have this pro-abortion extremist speak on the campus of a Catholic university, but in failing to appreciate the impact of such an invitation. Many have suggested that it would be the equivalent of inviting George Wallace to speak during the 1960s when blacks were seeking passage of the Civil Rights Amendment or after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Can one imagine the outcry if Fr. Jenkins equivalent had in May of 1969, following the death of King, invited a known racist to address the commencement accept an honorary degree. Barack Obama is to abortion what George Wallace was to racism.
Professor Charles Rice is correct. Jenkins should step down. And the school should do 40 days of penance in reparation for its historic complicity in the sin of abortion.