And more bishops are speaking out.
Like, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, soon to head the Archdiocese of New York.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan appeared on Today’s TMJ4’s
“Sunday Insight” with Charlie Sykes, and was asked if the University of
Notre Dame made a mistake by inviting President Barack Obama to speak
at the school’s graduation ceremony.
Dolan didn’t hesistate a bit, responding “They did, and I say that
as one who loves and respects Notre Dame. They made a big mistake.”
“There’s a lot of things that President Obama does that we can find
ourselves allied with and working with him on, and we have profound
respect for him and pray with him and for him,” Dolan said. “But in an
issue that is very close to the heart of Catholic world view, namely,
the protection of innocent life in the womb, he has unfortunately taken
a position very much at odds with the Church.”
Dolan believes honoring and giving Obama a platform to speak at a
premier Catholic University like Notre Dame sends a mixed message about
the Church’s teachings.
Acton Institute’s Fr. Robert Sirico published his letter to Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame.
I feel compelled to write to you as a brother priest to
express my own dismay at this decision which I see as dangerous for
Notre Dame, for the Church, for this country, and frankly Father, for
your own soul.
I have had the honor to speak at Notre Dame over the years in my
capacity as the president of the Acton Institute. I recall the
sparkling discussion and questions from the student body, notably from
a number of the Holy Cross Seminarians. I have, in fact, been invited
to your campus on a number of occasions and on my last visit I was
given a statue of the Lladro Blessed Mother in appreciation of my
speech. I was told the statue was blessed by Fr. Hesburgh. It has
occupied a special place in our religious community since then.
Father, I have no degree or awards from Notre Dame to return to you
to indicate how strongly I feel about this scandalous decision. So here
is what I have decided to do:
I am returning this statue to your office because what once evoked a
pleasant memory of a venerable Catholic institution now evokes shame
and sorrow. The statue is simply too painful a reminder of the damage
and scandal Notre Dame has brought to the Church and the cause of human
life in this decision.
Moreover, I will encourage the young people from my parish and
within our diocese to consider universities other than Notre Dame for
their college career and I will further encourage other priests in my
diocese to do the same. I will also discourage Notre Dame alumni to
make donations to the University.
And you may rest assured that I will make this sentiment known from
my pulpit and in other public outlets as the occasions present
This is not a matter of abortion (I presume we agree on how evil it
is); nor is it about free speech (you could have invited the president
to a discussion for that). This is about coherence. You no longer know
who you are as a Catholic institution.
The upside of this controvery is…the nation sure is learning.