Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feast of "The Innocents"...Applied Today

The following is a posting from Non-Faithful Catholics.  Please read and forward to all whom you might feel have an interest in saving The Unborn.
Jesus Is Lord!
As the Magi left Herod searching for The Christ Child, Herod asked them to let him know where Jesus was so he could also pay Him homage.  Of course, we all know that was a lie and the Magi went home a different way so did not reveal the whereabouts of Jesus to Herod.  Being the hard hearted murdered that he was, Herod ordered his troops to murder every male child under the age of two throughout the region of Bethlehem.  Sound familiar?

Well, take today's leaders as an example.  Our own President of the United States supports the genocide of his own people.  In New York City alone, more than 50% of all the abortions on demand are by Blacks.  This past year, there were more abortions than live births in the Black community.  Margaret Sanger would be proud of her Planned Parenthood organization for killing so many "undesirable" soon-to-be members of American Society.  So, let's thank Mr. Obama for his continued support of the "Murder of The Innocents".

I am going to print an article that was sent to me today on this Feast of The Innocents that actually might turn your stomach...if Abortion doesn't do it for you.  

Feminists Rally Behind Sex-Selection Abortion
December 27th, 2011 by Charles Colson Print This Article ·Share This
A few years ago, Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of Columbia University were
looking at data from the 2000 Census. They noticed that immigrants from China,
Korea, and India had fewer American-born daughters than you would expect.
Whereas among native-born whites, the male-to-female ratio – 1.05 to 1 – was
constant regardless of family size, that wasn’t the case in families from these three
countries. If the oldest child was a girl, then sex ratio for the second child jumped to
1.17 to 1 in favor of boys. And if the first two children were girls, the sex ratio for third
children soared to amazing 1.5 boys for every 1 girl.  The conclusion was inescapable: These families were practicing sex selection to ensure they had a son. As I have told you previously, this practice is common in Asia: by some estimates, there are 100 million fewer girls alive today than there should be.
The combination of pre-natal testing and abortion, coupled with a strong cultural preference for sons, has created a shortage of females in Asia.
Almond and Endlund’s research showed that the practice accompanied immigrants
to the U.S. Another study of two San Francisco-area abortion clinics found that 89
percent of the South Asian patients carrying females had an abortion during the
period covered by the study. For many of the women, it wasn’t their first sex-selection
The reasons behind these abortions demonstrate how hollow phrases like “choice” and “reproductive rights” really are. Writing in Forbes magazine, Richard Miniter described how these women, “pregnant with daughters, reported incredible pressure by in-laws and husbands to produce sons and not daughters.”
They were threatened with “divorce or abandonment . . . beaten, choked or [even kicked in their] abdomen in the hopes of preventing a daughter,” he wrote.
Remember, this is happening in the Bay area, not in some Indian village. And the
pressures that lead to sex-selection abortion are felt even by women with graduate or
professional degrees.
If there is one restriction on abortion the vast majority of Americans support, it is eliminating sex-selection abortion. Yet many of those who, in theory, should be most troubled by the targeting of unborn females are adamantly opposed to outlawing the practice.
I’m speaking, of course, of feminists and their allies. Ironically, they have come out in
opposition to a bill, the Prenatal Discrimination Act, or PRENDA, which would ban the
selected abortion of females in the U.S.
They claim that PRENDA would “stigmatize some women . . . from exercising their
fundamental human right to make and implement decisions about their reproductive
It’s hard to imagine a statement less-grounded in reality: The women in question are
being kept from making and implementing these decisions right now. The law as it
stands facilitates the coercion that forces women to abort their daughters. It’s easier
for a husband to pressure his wife into aborting her unborn daughter here in the U.S.
than in India or China, where sex-selection abortions are illegal.
Pro-abortion forces are insisting that PRENDA is a “ploy.” Now look folks, the fact of
the matter is that the feminist cannot live with the logical consequences of their own
worldview. And if you can’t, what that proves is that worldview, the feminist worldview,
is false.
This update courtesy of BreakPoint.

So, this is how the "Pro-Choice" folks see this situation.  These include "catholic" organizational such as "Catholics for Choice" and of course the pro-choice (Abortion) "catholic politicians" such as Casey of Pennsylvania and of course Secretary Sibelius, who never saw an abortion law she wouldn't sign.  So where are the Bishops in all of this?  Why, silent, of course...they even run away when there is a problem as did Dolan in New York and Bambera of Scranton, and of course, we can't forget Hubbard of Albany in all this, now can we?

One more article to post here from Steve Kellmeyer.  It's an old one, but still quite relevant today.
Read it and weep...this is soooo true.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Join the College of Athanasius
I know a director of religious education (DRE), in a reputedly orthodox diocese, who taught adults movingly and repeatedly about the problems with contraception. In fact, parishioners were actually acknowledging and repenting of the sin. With the arrival of a new pastor, that all stopped. The new pastor, reputed to be a man of
deep prayer, didn’t want to deal with the angry phone calls from wealthy, unconverted parishioners. The DRE was ordered to be silent on the issue. Three silent months later, the DRE was fired. I know of a priest who had a problem. One of the extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist (EME) in his parish worked as a counselor
for Planned Parenthood. When he found out, the priest removed the person from ministry. That didn’t last long. The individual who had been dismissed appealed to the bishop. The bishop ordered the priest to rescind the decision. The priest did not want to be crucified by his bishop. The EME was re-instated. I know of an extremely well-known and orthodox Catholic author and speaker who was asked at the podium why certain public heretics, who pretended to be Catholic but publicly supported abortion, were not formally excommunicated. The speaker replied that excommunication was not the answer. The existence of these public officials was really the fault of the lay faithful who voted the heretics into public office. When a follow-up question asked why the bishops put a supporter of partial-birth abortion on its national lay review board, the startled speaker simply said, “I can’t explain that, I don’t know.” The questioner pointed out that badly informed Catholics could use the American bishops’ action to justify their own vote for heretical politicians. The speaker began repeating over and over, “I can’t explain that, I don’t know.” The question-and-answer period was immediately closed.
Many years ago, when a certain English king declared himself head of the Church in England, all the Catholic bishops and public officials agreed that he was. All but one bishop and one public official. St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More were murdered for not agreeing, and hundreds of lay people followed them to the scaffolds. None of the Catholic bishops or public officials did. The Catholic Church was stripped from England like living flesh stripped from the bone.
In America, in the year 2003, Henry VIII should call his office.  Opportunities abound here for men of his energy and vision. Opportunities for his kind abound for a simple reason: we are cowards.
I include myself in this. A decade ago, when I was freshly energized in the faith, I saw a teenage boy, no more than sixteen, looking through the condom section at the pharmacy with his girlfriend. He picked a package up and purchased it. I watched. I said nothing. A few months later, I saw a couple of young adults from the local
university walking hand-in-hand to the Planned Parenthood clinic a block away. I knew where they were going. I let them walk by me. I watched. I said nothing. I am a coward. The priests described above are cowards. The bishops described above are cowards. We are cowards. Spineless, craven, lily-livered, yellow cowards, too afraid of our own shadow and public perceptions to accept the
crucifixion we are consecrated to live out. When I read of Christ’s betrayal, I don’t have to wonder what Judas was thinking. I look in the mirror, I look at most of our bishops and priests, and I see Judas
rationalizing it all away. I have a lot of empathy for Judas when I am playing his part. I am disgusted beyond measure when I see my priests and bishops play the part.  Peter and Judas both betrayed Christ. Scripture explicitly says Judas repented (Matt 27:3), but of Peter, Scripture says only that he wept bitterly (Luke 22:62). We do neither.
The American priests and bishops who do not fight for the Faith have a name for their course of action. It is “collegiality.” They argue that public unity is of the utmost importance, one bishop should not shame another bishop by acting in a way that implies laxity on the part of the other bishop.
This argument would be a remarkable discovery to most of the saints.
Take Saint Athanasius, for instance. During the Arian heresy, there were only two bishops in all of Christendom who were not heretics: Athanasius and the Pope. The Arians said Christ was not really God.
Athanasius disagreed.
In fact, the man was a public embarrassment. The emperor found him most troublesome. So did all the heretics who occupied various Catholic bishoprics. At their urging, he exiled Athanasius. The people
demanded their beloved truth-teller back. The emperor relented. Athanasius came back. He took up where he left off. The emperor exiled him again. The cycle repeated. In fact, the cycle repeated and repeated and repeated. Three different emperors exiled Athanasius a total of five different times, all because the man refused to SHUT UP.
Funny thing, that. The emperors didn’t realize Athanasius was just being collegial. You see, collegiality means unity, and it is only possible to have unity in the truth. Athanasius was speaking the truth. Thus, although virtually every bishop and every public official unanimously agreed that Athanasius should shut the heaven up, all of these bishops were breaking Catholic collegiality. It was Athanasius, the Truth-Teller, who was being collegial. Why does this situation resonate so strongly today?
You could look at Athanasius alone against the world and get the mistaken impression that he was alone in the college of bishops. He wasn’t. He had in company with him all the bishops who had ever or would ever keep Faith. Remember, the Catholic Church and Chicago have one thing in common: the dead always get a vote. Athanasius had a voting majority according to the rules of the Church. With the democracy of the dead on his side, he swept the election.
Remember Athanasius. Compare his condition to ours. Ours is not the first or the worst the Church has seen. It is not even the first set of heresies that the United States bishops have indulged in. Remember the recent column on slavery? Remember how the Church railed against slavery throughout her long life? The Church taught against it, but some individual Catholics didn’t. Among the many individual Catholics in Church history, both lay and consecrated, priest and bishop, who personally failed to proclaim the Church’s eternal teaching, among these men who owned slaves or defended slavery, stands a large number of American bishops. The bishops of the United States, in the years prior to the American Civil War, taught nearly continuous error on the issue of slavery. With a few exceptions, they kept insisting that only trade in slaves was un-Christian, that owning them was perfectly acceptable. The American bishops were, on this point, material heretics. As the vehement anti-Catholic, Abraham Lincoln, pointed out, America would pay for every drop of blood spilled because of that most pernicious heresy. We did. The Spirit blows where He will. Anti-Catholics frequently demonstrate this simply by being publicly right on some issue that the local Catholic community studiously ignores. Here’s another example. Anti-Catholics often get upset with the fact that Catholics call priests
“Father”. Now, we have good Scriptural reason to do this, and if this were another column, we might demonstrate those reasons in compelling detail, but let’s leave that for another day. Today, let’s just focus on the word “father” and all that the word implies.
My brother-in-law, a good Catholic father with eight children (seven outside, one inside), recently made a penetrating observation. Every day, every one of his children cry. Every child cries every day until the age of at least seven or eight. Every child. Every day.
Tears, weeping, moaning, gnashing of teeth (whoever has children that do not grind their teeth in the night is blessed beyond measure), the piteous wailing against the rank injustices perpetrated by parents upon innocent waifs who DON’T want to eat their vegetables, who DON’T want to share, who DON’T want to go to bed now, and who MUST have that cookie lest death overtake them and they die unindulged: these cries permeate the life of a father, the life of a mother, the life of a parent. Every child cries every day. If there are no tears, the father isn’t doing his job.
But, our father stops teaching the truth because he doesn’t want to listen to the angry, wailing phone calls. Our father reinstates the material heretic because his father, the bishop, throws a tantrum. We children, the laity, are reduced to chastising each other because we follow our fathers’ example, the example of bishops who lament Leon Panetta’s public politics while simultaneously honoring him with the authority to officially review their actions.
We should chastise each other for following the example of bishops like this, of “fathers” like this. Sometimes, our priests, our bishops are heretics. And sometimes, they are cowards. I am the occasional father to three. I am not always a father. Why not? Because you can’t be a father and be a coward. As long as fathers are cowards, children are orphans. And, God forgive me, I am too often a coward.
St. Athanasius, pray for us fathers.
Posted by Steve Kellmeyer at 4:38 PM 0 comments Links to this post

A copy will be posted on Non-Faithful Catholic Schools...they are as much to blame as anyone.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Missing The Point". A perspective on Notre Dame by The Sycamore Group.

As we very rapidly approach Christmas, the Birth of Our Lord, William Dempsey of The Sycamore Group has provided us with the latest edition of their newsletter...very apropos for the end of the year.  Please feel free to comment on the Bulletin and go to their website and help if you can.  Thank You and God Bless you all.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

Missing The Point

SOUTH BEND, IN — In a recent Irish Rover article, Father Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C., professor of history at Notre Dame, former chairman of the department, and president of Notre Dame Faculty for Life, describes why “there is serious reason to believe” that the Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, Richard C. Notebaert, “is ill-suited to this important role.”
The question Father raises is of surpassing importance.
As Dr. John Cavadini, director of Notre Dame's Institute for Church Life, recently declared in connection with a seminar for executives in Catholic higher education that he organized:
Trustees of Catholic colleges and universities have a fiduciary responsibility for the Catholic character, identity, and mission of their institutions.
We have repeatedly pointed out that all those in governance at Notre Dame — the Board, the Fellows, and the Administration — are in grave default of this responsibility. Notre Dame’s Statutes of the University specify that its “essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained,” and its Mission Statement declares that its “Catholic identity depends upon the continuing presence of a preponderant number of Catholic intellectuals” on its faculty. As we have shown, the faculty no longer meets that test.
Accordingly, the board’s fiduciary obligation is to take whatever actions are necessary to insure the restoration of a faculty majority of committed Catholics.
It has not done so. Rather, successive boards have stood by watching as Catholic faculty representation has plummeted during the University’s quest for secular acclaim.
As board chairman, Mr. Notebaert’s fiduciary duty to remedy this situation is especially heavy. The Notre Dame board does not mirror the structure of boards expected to govern. It is too large — nearly 50 members compared with, e.g., eight for Apple, 12 for Verizon, and 16 for General Electric — and meets only three times a year. The members, accordingly, inevitably depend heavily on the Chairman and his close associates.
Let us see, then, what Father Miscamble tells us about Chairman Notebaert. Since we only touch upon highlights, we urge upon you his full article, Mr. Notebaert, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and the future of Notre Dame.
Father Miscamble begins with a laudatory account of Mr. Notebaert’s “notable corporate experience” and his and his wife’s “generous capacity for giving” to worthy organizations, including the University and the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Observing, however, that Mr. Notebaert “is neither a Notre Dame alumnus nor has he had any significant prior experience in Catholic higher education,” Father Miscamble examines the reasons for believing that he “evidently does not possess a firm grasp on the identity and mission of Notre Dame as a Catholic university.” Father focuses principally upon Mr. Notebaert’s role in the lamentable Martino and Obama affairs.
As Father Miscamble summarizes the Martino matter (see our bulletins Just Stop Talking and Beating Around the Bush) Ms. Martino was appointed to the board despite her substantial contributions to pro-abortion organizations. When these incriminating facts were unearthed and publicized (by The Cardinal Newman Society, Bill McGurn (ND’80) of the Wall Street Journal, and Sycamore Trust), Ms. Martino resigned; but Mr. Notebaert vigorously defended the appointment throughout, “seem[ing] to supplant the University president” and “appear[ing] not to understand the damage that an appointment like this would do to Notre Dame’s standing as a Catholic university.”
What was especially disquieting was what Father Miscamble refers to as Mr. Notebaert’s “quite misleading statement on the matter” and his failure to apologize for his “apparent dissembling.”
Father is charitable in not describing this in detail. But we have done so in the “Cover-up” section of a prior bulletin, as has Mr. McGurn in his two articles, Notre Dame's Chairman of the Board and Notre Dame and EMILY'S List.
In brief, while the main charge against Ms. Martino rested upon her contributions to Emily’s List, a single-purpose and powerful pro-abortion organization, Mr. Notebaert tried to persuade the Board that Ms. Martino didn’t realize the organizations to which she contributed supported abortion by describing only multiple-purpose organizations and omitting any reference to Emily’s List.

Regrettably, Father Jenkins then followed suit even in responding to questions referring explicitly to Emily’s List.
As Mr. McGurn wrote:
What does it say about Notre Dame’s chairman of the board and its priest-president that they would send out the dissembling e-mails they have?...And what does it say about [Mr. Notebaert’s] view of the intelligence of the Notre Dame board that he would put out something so dissembling?
As to the calamitous Obama affair, Father Miscamble draws attention to Mr. Notebaert’s unyielding response to Bishop John M. D’Arcy’s America article in which the bishop explained his and other bishops’ criticism of Notre Dame. (Eighty-three cardinals and bishops condemned Notre Dame’s action.)
Mr. Notebaert, Father writes,
paid no attention to the damage that the Obama invitation inflicted on Notre Dame’s standing in the broad Catholic community and he breezed past any serious consideration of the relationship between Notre Dame and the Catholic Church.
Most tellingly, as Father notes, Mr. Notebaert “ended...with an apparent endorsement of the Land O’Lakes statement,” presumably in response to Bishop D’Arcy’s question in his America article whether the “guiding light” for schools like Notre Dame is to be Land O’Lakes or Pope John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
Father Miscamble closes with the same question:
Does Mr. Notebaert hold that the Land O’Lakes Statement, with its strictures for institutional autonomy from the Church and the aping of our supposed secular peers, should guide Notre Dame into the future? Is this the vision he puts before the future leaders of Notre Dame?
The best answer would be Board action requiring the establishment of a hiring policy designed to insure the ultimate restoration of a majority of committed Catholics to the faculty. Only then will the board redeem itself and discharge its solemn duty to this great university, its founders, those priests and faculty and others who have nourished its Catholic identity over the years, its alumni and donors and parents and students, and the Church.
  • Roadmap for Catholic students. As we have often said, a discriminating student can still obtain an outstanding Catholic education at Notre Dame, and many do. The challenge is to know which professors and courses to choose.
There are now two valuable aids provided by two fine student organizations: The Irish Rover has published a list and description of recommended professors, and the Orestes Brownson Council has established a program under which upperclassmen will “aid students in seeking a truly Catholic education.”
  • Faculty and Department Right to Life Representation. The Irish Rover article also included a list of faculty members of the Faculty for Life (UFL) organization as well as the departments who are not represented by any UFL members. While the list surely does not include all pro-life faculty, it is nevertheless worth noting that there are a number of departments with no UFL representation yet. These include, for example, Classics; English; Film, Television & Theatre; Finance; Gender Studies; Journalism, Ethics & Democracy; Peace Studies; Psychology; Theology; and several science and engineering departments.
  • Student Right to Life Videos & Newsletter. The student Right to Life Club now has a YouTube site. Take a few minutes to watch the testimony of these wonderful young men and women. And take another few minutes to subscribe to their newsletter.
  • Archbishop Dolan at Notre Dame. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan spoke recently at Notre Dame at the inaugural event of a new organization, The ND Human Dignity Project . The Project is situated within the Institute for Church Life and is administered by the office of University Life Initiatives, The Project’s pro-life objectives seem substantially identical to those of the Fund for the Protection of Human Life, the pro-life organization with which readers of our bulletins are familiar, though the Dignity Project’s “human rights” mission is more expansive. It is encouraging to see the Project’s pledge to “welcome partnerships with other institutes, offices, and departments of at the University.”
Obama’s Notre Dame Sting Redux. In an article recounting the Notre Dame/Obama episode, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami described how President Obama’s subsequent anti-Catholic actions showed how “Notre Dame’s leadership” was “played by the President” – a subject we also have recently examined. (In 2009, Archbishop Wenski led a Mass of Reparation for Notre Dame’s honoring of President Obama.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Note On Comments...

Lately, we have been getting comments on posts that are not relevant to those Postings, and don't comply with the requirements of a comment worthy of posting. So, here are guidelines to follow:

Comment must relate to the post it has been sent to.

Comment must be in good taste.

Comments made that are mean or mean spirited will not be posted.

Comments that contain vulgarities or foul language will not be considered for posting.

Comments that contain any racial or ethnic slurs will be deleted.  There is a reason we moderate the comments section, and if you read what some have sent, you would understand fully.

And finally, please check for spelling and grammar.  We are not editors and will post it as you write it, so be aware that everyone who reads the post can read your comment.

Thank you for reading and commenting.  We truly do appreciate the time you take to let us know your thoughts...just please put them in the right place and with the proper approach.

Jesus Is Lord!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Penn State and Planned Parenthood...What They Have In Common

The following article came from Alliance Defense Fund and was published by Steven H. Aden, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund.

Here is the article in it's entirety.  We thought it necessary to provide this at this time to prove that Child abuse is not just for small children.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

Penn State and Planned Parenthood

  • An institution once held in high esteem by the public has been shamed by revelations that it failed to report sexual abuse against children. Despite knowledge by its officials that sexual predators were victimizing children, they swept it under the rug. Now that the news media has brought this to public attention, the institution is facing well-placed anger and demands for justice. Highly placed officials have been forced out. The federal government is investigating whether the refusal to report this child sexual abuse violated federal laws that apply because of reporting requirements attached to the large amounts of federal funding. An excellent public image just one week ago has now been justifiably tarnished as people rethink their support for an institution that could effectively facilitate sexual abuse against children.
    I’m speaking of Penn State. But this should also describe Planned Parenthood.
    A fourteen year old Ohio girl is impregnated by her twenty-two year old soccer coach, a man that she and her parents trust. The coach knows that he needs to get this “problem” taken care of as quietly as possible since the pregnancy is now proof of his statutory rape - repeated statutory rape, in fact, that began almost a year earlier. He turns to Planned Parenthood and they don’t let him down. With no questions asked, the Planned Parenthood clinic allows him to sign for the minor’s abortion in place of her mother and father and to speed up the process and perform the abortion quickly in violation of the state’s 24 hour waiting period. Planned Parenthood staffers don’t report the sexual abuse to the authorities either – leaving the coach with the opportunity to continue molesting his victim. In another Ohio case, Planned Parenthood staffers failed to reporta father’s sexual abuse of his thirteen-year-old daughter – resulting in his continued abuse of his daughter, Denise Fairbanks, for over another year. According to a staffer’s handwritten note, their policy is “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
    Sadly, there is strong evidence that these are not isolated incidents, only examples of a Planned Parenthood policy of empowering sexual abuse of minors. Live Action investigations have revealed that Planned Parenthood clinics across the country have a similarly nonchalant approach to sexual abuse of young girls. Posing as a thirteen-year-old girl seeking an abortion due to intercourse with her thirty-one-year-old boyfriend, Lila Rose called a Bloomington, Indiana Planned Parenthood clinicand was encouraged to lie about her boyfriend’s age and to go out of state to skirt parental notification laws. Calls to Planned Parenthood clinicsin Indianapolis, Tucson, Phoenix, Memphis, Birmingham, Milwaukee, and Louisville revealed similar willingness to hide sexual abuse against children.
    Of Penn State’s scofflaw officials, a leading ethicist, Edward Queen of Emory University, speaks for the chorus when he declares, “they should be wholeheartedly condemned and punished.” Change will come, Queen says, when we as a culture honor whistleblowers who put the safety of the most vulnerable members of our society first; if we do not, he says, “we ourselves must bear the guilt.”
    The evidence is overwhelming that Planned Parenthood, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding annually, routinely ignores, fails to report, and covers up sexual abuse of young girls by older men.
    It is time for the nation’s number one abortion provider to answer some of the same questions we’re now asking of a football coach in Pennsylvania.

    Steven Aden

Monday, November 28, 2011

Notre Dame Faciltates Pornography

As the purpose of this Blog is to inform about the antics and stupidity of "Catholic In Name Only" colleges and Universities, we present the latest from The Sycamore Trust in it's never-ending battle to reclaim ND as a Catholic University.  Here is the latest Bulletin.

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SOUTH BEND, IN —In this bulletin we describe, among other happenings, the University’s role in the distribution of pornography to students. First, however, we offer some introductory comments about the disparate messages sent by various of the University’s actions.
Notre Dame is beset by an identity crisis, neither truly Catholic nor fully secular. It fails its own test of Catholic identity because of the radical reduction of Catholic representation on its faculty, as we have shown. Still, important Catholic elements persist.
The result is that actions by or at the University sometimes evidence the erosion of its Catholic character and sometimes the Catholic strengths that remain.
It is crucially important to recognize that these events are of only secondary importance. What counts for a university is who teaches and what they teach.
Still, these events are significant symptoms of what’s happening to the University. Episodes such as The Vagina Monologues, the Queer Film Festival, and the honoring of President Obama alert unsuspecting alumni and others that something is amiss. On the other hand, projects such as the University’s adult stem cell research initiative that we described in a recent bulletin give hope that what has been lost may yet be regained.
In this bulletin we continue our account of events that evidence this identity crisis.
The University as pornography enabler.
The last edition of The Irish Rover contains an arresting lead article about the University’s role in making pornography available to students.

It is no secret that the hookup culture has a hold at Notre Dame just as it does on campuses across the country. The article explores the relationship between pornography and illicit sex and confirms the pervasiveness of pornography at Notre Dame.
"As many members of the Notre Dame community attest, Notre Dame is no exception to [pornography’s] widespread use, primarily in male dorms."
The principal source of pornography for students is doubtless the Internet, probably supplemented by television. The University controls both. It is the Internet Service provider and the supplier of cable television.
As to the Internet, as the Rover reported, University policy prohibits students and others from “view[ing]” or “send[ing]” “obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or offensive material.” However, the Rover also reported that the University “does not currently filter any sites” in order to block pornography.
This prompted us to ask the University why not.
Our question:
As the ISP and the provider also of cable television to students, the University doubtless has the ability to block sites and channels that are without question egregiously pornographic. This would not, of course, prevent students from gaining access to pornography. It is too omnipresent. But at least much of the worst material might be blocked and, more importantly, the action would amount to a statement by the University. [We] assume pornographic magazines are not offered in Hammes or elsewhere on campus, but at present the University delivers it to the students via the Internet and television in large and unrestricted volume.
The University spokesperson’s answer, “essentially the same” as he had given the Rover, was – brace yourselves – that the University relies upon the students not to look.
"The University relies on the integrity of our students, faculty and staff to abide by this and many other policies."
It is no criticism of the spokesperson, who is courteous and prompt in responding to our inquiries and must work with what he has, to note the transparent inanity of this explanation. Surely common sense and common experience teach those responsible for these services that to count on students' self-restraint respecting pornography is to invite ridicule.
So one can only speculate as to the real reason the University serves as the principal distributor of pornography at Notre Dame. To make matters worse, the University charges for doing it. But what is in any event clear is that, since the University thereby acts as an enabler of what the Church teaches is grave sin, the University is not acting in accord with Ex Corde Ecclesiae’s injunction that at a truly Catholic university “ Catholic teaching and discipline are to influence all university activities.”
Lax on pornography for students while conscientious on birth control for staff.
This heedlessness respecting pornography contrasts sharply with a laudable University action we have described recently: its opposition to the proposed Administration regulation that would require the University to include coverage for contraception in the health insurance it provides employees.
The irony is striking: The University conscientiously resists subsidizing birth control pills for its adult employees but does not do what it can to interdict a fetid stream of pornography to students entrusted by parents to its care.
More items of interest:
  • Two of the prime movers in Notre Dame’s stem cell projects -- Dr. Henry Hyde and Dr. Phillip Sloan recently participated in an important Vatican conference on the subject, and Professor Richard W. Garnett, Associate Dean of the Law School, has been appointed as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ new Committee on Religious Liberty.
  • “Want smarter children? Space siblings at least two years apart, research shows.” That’s Notre Dame’s billing of a recent study by Notre Dame researchers. They built upon prior research that, they write, has found that “children from large families generally have lower educational attainment, lower IQ scores, worse unemployment outcomes, and are more likely to engage in risky behavior.” The University’s praiseworthy refusal, as a Catholic university, to sponsor research that could be used to promote embryonic stem cell research evidently is not thought relevant to research that doubtless will be seized upon by Planned Parenthood and its ilk with stress upon its Notre Dame provenance.
The report is likely to have substantial impact. Already it is reported that "[t]he news is making the rounds of the blogosphere this week since so many parents want to do everything they can so their child can have an advantage."
  • In a recent notable column in The Washington Post, “Obama Turns His Back on Catholics,” that closely parallels one of our recent bulletins , Michael Gerson opens his analysis of the administration’s assaults on the Church with a description of how Notre Dame was taken in by the President when he was honored in 2009. Gerson’s view of the emptiness of Obama’s carefully crafted words echoes our report
    Catholics, eager for reassurance from a leader whom 54 percent of them had supported, were duly reassured. But Obama’s statement had the awkward subordinate clauses of a contentious speech-writing process. Qualifications and code words produced a pledge that pledged little.
  • We have often urged the support of the centers of Catholicism on campus that nourish the Catholic character of the school. One of the most important of these is the student Right to Life club. Visit their home page to see what they do and to contribute. We especially recommend subscribing to the club’s newsletter, “Footprints,” which you can do at
  • We remind you again of the opportunity to contribute in support of the upcoming student-organized Edith Stein conference. For a description and instructions see our previous bulletin.

Friday, November 25, 2011

CCHD And Abortion...Part 2

Since we sent the letters to different Bishops, it was interesting to note the responses we received from two of the "more liberal" or maybe we should call them more "non-Catholic" diocese...namely Albany and Scranton.  We are also posting this on our Sister Blog, Non-Faithful Catholics so there won't be anyone who might miss the replies these Bishops made. The original posting details the CCHD's support for Abortion providing Grant Recipients.  Remember, that this is a "Catholic" organization providing the money.  Here are the responses of these two Dioceses.

First we will do Scranton...they seem to hedge a little in their response.  Included is the name and address of the person involved from the Diocese if you wish to query them on their ambiguous response.  We have removed the name of the person who wrote the letter so as not to cause them any undue hardship.

Subject: re CCHD Collection

Bishop Bambera has asked me to respond to your letter regarding the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the status of the collection in our Diocese. We appreciate that you have shared your concerns about this collection. Thank you also for providing the analysis undertaken by Mr. Marshner. Please know that we are aware of similar concerns that have been raised about CCHD’s decisions to fund certain groups and organizations.  In response to these criticisms, the Bishops who oversee CCHD have undertaken a thorough review of this program.  As a result of this review, CCHD has developed The Review and Renewal of CCHD. The Review and Renewal includes changes for CCHD procedures and policies.  Most notable, as stated in CCHD’s Review and Renewal documents, is the implementation of “new structures to assist CCHD in applying its prohibitions on funding groups which act in conflict with Catholic social and moral teaching…, a consulting relationship with a moral theologian, a CCHD Review Board, and a staff position focused on CCHD mission and identity.” If this process results in a determination that a particular grant recipient has violated CCHD requirements, then funding is prohibited or cut off.  We are confident that these changes will ensure that the funds collected through CCHD will be distributed to organizations whose work complements Catholic teaching. As such, the collection will be taken in the Diocese of Scranton in January (although many dioceses take the collection around Thanksgiving, we take ours in January).  Of course, participation in this or any other collection is strictly voluntary. If you still believe that the CCHD campaign is not worthy of your support, you can certainly choose not to contribute. Be assured that making this choice will not put you in opposition to your pastor or parish.  
Thank you for allowing me to explain the position of the Diocese on this matter.
Hope all is well with you...God bless,
Bill Genello
Executive Director of Communications
Editor, The Catholic Light
Diocese of Scranton
300 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
fax: 207-2271

Next is Albany.  Again, we have removed the name of the recipient to save them any undue hardship.
First, we will recap the letter as sent and then response.  Obviously, Albany doesn't care a bit about truth or facts...that is quite evident in their very short and terse reply.

The following information was sent to me by a reader of my Blog.  This is important enough to forward on to you to either print or forget about.  If you choose not to print the letter, I WILL send it to the Secular newspapers in the area and I know that they will be happy to print it.  We will also post it on our Blog.  The following is the letter as it was sent to the Diocese of Scranton.

To: bishops-office <>
Sent: Thu, Nov 3, 2011 10:57 am
Subject: CCHD Collection

Dear Mr. Genello:

     I am quite concerned regarding the possible upcoming CCHD collection which is promoted in parishes each year on the last Sunday before Thanksgiving.  I am asking that in the event the collection is still being considered, Bishop Bambera direct that this funding be canceled in a letter to all parishes.
     You may be aware of the controversies surrounding this organization and their quite liberal use of monies collected.  For the last two years many Catholics like myself have refused funding based on information we received and verified.  We were elated when they recently distributed a reply to our concerns which at first seemed comforting.  However, when we look at the facts we can now determine that they are engaging in even more inappropriate funding of organizations and groups which are completely contrary to Catholic Church teaching. 
    A gentleman by the name of W H Marshner, STD who is a professor of Theology at Christendom College in Fort Royal, VA (his full list of credentials are mentioned in the included attachment) has released a copy of the letter he sent to the CCHD in reply to their distributed claim that their money disbursement has been tracked and is now fully compliant with Catholic teaching.  He volunteered his services to make sure the CCHD had in fact revamped their cash distribution procedures.  According to Mr. Marshner there are very disturbing findings some of which I have listed:

*     Condom distribution
*     Funding for "reproductive justice" which includes contraception and abortion
*     Sex-educational programs where condoms as well as IUDs are distributed
*     Sexual liberation and abortion courses which encourages homosexual and trans-gendered acceptance

     Please read the attached letter Mr. Marshner has sent to the CCHD.  To my knowledge, the information he has provided has not been refuted.  Please ask the Bishop to make sure these collections do not take place on the appointed Sunday.  If he does not take this action, we will be placed in a position of opposition to our parish as well as our pastors.  I think he will agree, faithful Catholics should not have to defend loyalty to our beliefs.
     Thank you for all your help and I look forward to your reply.
Now, the "Reply" from Albany.

Ginny Daley ( on behalf of Bishop Howard Hubbard (
Tue 11/08/11 3:26 PM

Thank you for your e-mail.
I am sorry that I disagree with your assessment of CCHD and the funding you believe to be credible.
The CCHD Committee has a very respectable moral theologian from St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg.  He and the staff monitor very clearly the grant requests and allocations - no grants are given for the purpose you describe and if a grantee is found to violate our Catholic teaching the program is defunded.

First of all, it was not MY assessment of was  Mr. Marshner's assessment.  His credentials speak for themselves. I wonder if the Albany Diocese even knows where the grant money goes?  They provided a really slick advertisement for the collection, attempting to make it sound really great, but does anyone know where their money actually goes?  Maybe they should really ask the Bishop before they donate.
Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Since it's that time again for the "Collection" for the Campaign for Human Development, (notice I didn't say "Catholic") we felt it necessary to shed a little light on just what this group actually does. The following is a Link
to our sister site that has the entire story detailed.  If you still want to contribute after reading this, it's your conscience.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Notre Dame and Hypocrysy

The following is the latest edition of the Sycamore Trust Bulletin.  It seems that Jenkins really is a tool of Satan, regardless of what he says. 

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

SOUTH BEND, IN — In this bulletin we discuss two events:
  • The first is Notre Dame’s protest of the government’s proposed regulation that would require the University to provide contraception and sterilization coverage in its employee health insurance policies. While Notre Dame's move is laudable, in important respects Fr. Jenkins’s statement is not.
  • The second is another violation by Notre Dame of the policy of the United States bishops against awarding honors to organizations violating fundamental Church teachings, in this instance an organization promoting contraception.
  • In addition, in our concluding “Notes” section we urge support of an important student project, this year’s Edith Stein Conference.
Notre Dame’s Protest of Mandatory Contraception Insurance Coverage
Pursuant to the “ObamaCare” legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed that employers be required to include contraception and sterilization coverage in their employee health insurance plans.
The conscience clause exemption is so narrowly drawn that it does not cover schools like Notre Dame nor a host of other Catholic service organizations.
Father Jenkins’s Statement – The Good News
The President of Catholic University, Dr. John Garvey (ND ’70), fired the opening salvo against this proposal in a widely publicized op-ed piece in the Washington Post.
Subsequently, Notre Dame joined CUA and the USCCB in filing official protests with HHS. In its excellent pleading, the USCCB presented the comprehensive constitutional, statutory, and regulatory argument against the proposed regulation.  Notre Dame’s supplemental protest was in the form of a letter from Fr. Jenkins to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius emphasizing the need for a broader conscience clause. Father Jenkins and Dr. Garvey also joined 18 other heads of Catholic service and other organizations in a widely publicized advertisement opposing the HHS proposal.
We add that Notre Dame Law School scholars Gerard V. Bradley and O. Carter Snead recently co-authored with professor Helen Avare of George Mason Law School a compelling analysis of the HHS proposal that contributes importantly to the literature on the subject.
This was a laudable step by Fr. Jenkins. It is gratifying to see the presidents of the bishops’ university and the nation’s flagship Catholic university, both Notre Dame men, stand side by side with America’s bishops in protest against this aggressive assault on Catholic institutions.
Father Jenkins’s action is especially notable because Notre Dame and CUA stand alone on this matter among the nation’s major Catholic universities and, for that matter, nearly alone among the nation’s 225 Catholic colleges and universities.
Another eighteen smaller schools joined the Cardinal Newman Society in filing protests, and there evidently were a few more last minute submissions. But the great majority of Catholic schools evidently remained silent.
Indeed, a number of them already provide contraception coverage, probably most if not almost all because of state laws. Boston College, for example, obeys state law but does not provide contraceptives in its on-campus dispensary.
While Father Jenkins has declared that Notre Dame will cancel its employee health insurance program if this regulation becomes law, evidently these other schools have decided that it is ethically permissible to comply with state laws on the ground — to use traditional moral theology categories — that this constitutes “mediate material cooperation” rather than “formal cooperation” with evil and is justified by a countervailing proportionate cause, i.e., the provision of health insurance to employees.
This obviously does not advance the conscience clause argument, but it does serve to underscore Father Jenkins’s admirable boldness in so aggressively supporting the Church’s teaching.
We wish the story could end here. Unhappily, it cannot.
Father Jenkins’s Statement – the Bad News
In his letter, Father Jenkins quite unnecessarily volunteered that he “stand[s] by his decision” to confer an honorary degree upon the President in 2009.
Father had said before that he would “do it again.” That is, he would again act in contravention of the policy of the country’s bishops prohibiting the honoring of persons who support abortion, an action that brought the condemnation of 83 cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, a tsunami of criticism from Catholics everywhere, and heated division among alumni.
Still, when Father Jenkins first reaffirmed his decision not a great deal had yet happened and he could be reported as believing that the event “had influenced the President for the better” without being ridiculed.
But subsequent events have surely laid to rest the fanciful notion that a brief visit to Notre Dame would change the views of this dedicated pro-abortion politician.
Thus, we have seen Obama’s repeal of the Bush/Reagan Mexico City policy and the consequent flow of taxpayer money to abortions overseas, new NIH embryonic stem cell research rules wiping out the Bush restrictions, and the narrowing of the conscience clause for medical care workers.
Nor is this all by any means. Observers have compiled a list of Administration initiatives “relentlessly attacking religious liberty” too long to reproduce here, but we should take note at least of how, at a recent fundraiser, the President “offered a flippant ‘darn tooting’ rejoinder to an audience member who called out support for his unyielding enforcement of the contraceptive mandate.”
And yet Father Jenkins insists again that it was right for Notre Dame to honor President Obama. This is deeply disappointing. It confirms Bishop D’Arcy’s charge that the University chose “prestige over truth,” for now there is no other explanation. More, it shows that, while Notre Dame stands with the bishops on the current issue, it will freely leave them again if it judges some secular interest to trump union with the Church.
But there is more. In an evident effort to unearth some benefit from the honoring of Obama, Fr. Jenkins argues that the Notre Dame community and the President had agreed upon, in the President’s words, “a sensible conscience clause” and that the Secretary’s proposal “is not the kind of ‘sensible’ approach the President had in mind.”
This salvage attempt is transparently infirm. The lack of content of the phrase “sensible conscience clause” is obvious. Both Democrats and Republicans want a sensible tax reform, a sensible environmental policy, a sensible deficit reduction program, and all else that is sensible. No doubt the Taliban would like a sensible peace accord. Why, then, all the discord?
But beyond this, Father Jenkins’s invocation of Obama’s statement is especially instructive because it focuses attention on what the President actually said and shows just how easily gulled were those who supported the honoring of Obama.
The paragraph in which Obama called for common ground — just what the audience was waiting for — was a masterpiece of clever drafting. He succeeded in drawing a burst of applause for his call for agreement on more extensive contraception and he limited his empty phrase “sensible conscience clause” to abortion and qualified it with an appeal to science and the “equality of women.” Thus:
So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies.  (Applause.)...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 not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women. (Applause.)
What did the audience think Obama meant by “reducing unintended pregnancies”? Abstinence? It is the administration’s phrase for contraception, but it is in any case in plain English.
And so far as a “sensible conscience clause” for abortion is concerned, as we’ve noted the Administration has already narrowed the Bush regulation.
The fact is that Obama promised nothing. HHS may modify the regulation, but surely not because of Obama’s Notre Dame visit. The Administration might well elect not to become locked in litigation with the nation’s Catholic bishops and Catholic institutions over incursions into religious freedom during an election year. Oremus.
Indeed, it is Obama who might wonder why Notre Dame is turning on him now after the wave of applause that greeted his call for agreement on contraception.  He knew how weak Catholic support is for this Church teaching. Why should it be different at Notre Dame?
Reaction to Fr. Jenkins’s Statement at Notre Dame.
Why indeed?  The student newspaper The Observer deplored Fr. Jenkins’s “clinging” to this trace of Catholic identity. Notre Dame, The Observer declared, has to make up its mind whether it is an “educational institution that happens to be Catholic” – The Observer’s choice – or a “Catholic institution that happens to teach.”
And Notre Dame’s voice in Commonweal, Professor Cathleen Kaveny, confesses that she can’t figure out whether there are any “underlying philosophical justifications for conscience protections.” So much for Fr. Jenkins’s protest.
On the other hand, an editorial in the indispensable independent student publication The Irish Rover provides an admirably balanced perspective. While noting the troubling implications of Fr. Jenkins’s invocation of the Obama episode, the editorial concluded, “Fr. Jenkins’s letter is cause for gratitude” and “gives us hope that Notre Dame may take up its proper role as the nation’s leading Catholic university.”
So hope we all.
Notre Dame Honors a Pro-Contraception Organization.
Notre Dame’s post-Obama actions confirm Fr. Jenkins’s reaffirmation of Notre Dame’s willingness to act in opposition to the policy of the country’s bishops
Last year, as we have reported, honors were conferred on a major embryonic stem cell research player, General Electric.
And now we report that this year the University honored a promoter and provider of contraception services, Partners in Health (PIH).
In conferring the Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity upon PIH, Fr. Jenkins said, “PIH represents in their work the work of Christ.”
While the “work of Christ” phrase is apt for PIH’s important health projects in impoverished countries, it hardly suits PIH’s extensive contraception program  (presumably including abortifacients).
PIH’s website explains:
Family planning is among the most effective tools for reducing maternal mortality. When women are counseled, educated, and provide with contraceptive options, they are more likely to delay childbearing, have fewer children, and reduce their risk for obstetrical complications....Family planning is an integral part of the model of comprehensive women’s health care....Each of ZL’s clinical sites has a full-time nurse trained in sex education and reproductive health counseling ZL has been offering free condoms and other contraceptive methods for over 15 years.”
We wrote to ask how the award to PIH could be squared with the bishops’ injunction that “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”  In his reply, the University spokesperson did not even mention that policy. He simply said that PIH’s contraception programs were “not at the core” of its mission.
Once again Notre Dame substitutes its own policy for that of the bishops. Whether or not its contraceptive programs are “core,” whatever that might mean, they are extensive and important. There is no exception in the bishops’ policy for organizations who conduct morally objectionable programs like these no matter what other praiseworthy projects they may sponsor. Nor, indeed, did the University spokesman suggest the contrary.
Thus, as Father Jenkins’s letter to Secretary Sebelius signals, the fissure between University and Church persists notwithstanding their alliance on the HHS proposal.
It gives us no pleasure to muffle praise of Father Jenkins’s action, but the alternative is to forgo a careful analysis of what he said in combination with what the University has done in favor of a burst of uncritical enthusiasm at any sign of hope for a renewal of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity. That is not our mission.
Special Note:  We urge you to join Sycamore Trust in donating to The Edith Stein Conference. The conference, which will be held at the University on February 10th and 11th,  is produced annually by the Identity Project of Notre Dame and is one of the most important student contributions to the Catholic identity of the University.
Instituted as a counter to The Vagina Monologues, the conference continues as a vital means of illumination of, and reflection upon, the authentically Catholic vision of issues of gender, sexuality, and vocation. It requires substantial contributions to enable it to enlist as participants outstanding faculty members and notable scholars, authors, and commentators from outside the University as it has in the past.
If you wish to help, make your tax-deductible check payable to “The University of Notre Dame - The Identity Project of Notre Dame” and send it to:
University of Notre Dame (The Identity Project of Notre Dame), Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
We suggest you also advise the students and us of your contribution by way of an e-mail to Renee Roden with a copy to George Heidkamp, our Secretary/Treasurer.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Another Notre Dame Debacle...What Else is New?

Recently I received an article from Dr. Dan Boland of The Sycamore Group that adds fuel to the fire about ND and it's lack of Catholicism.  This just brings home the point we've been trying to make for some time.  The original article comes from Judie Brown of the American Life League and this organization deserves your whole hearted support as they are in the forefront of the battle against Abortion.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

The Article.

May 14, 2011
Notre Dame's fixation on dissent
By Judie Brown

A Catholic university, especially one as visible as Notre Dame, must pride itself on upholding the teachings and standards that all Catholics should follow. Our Mother's university is one that should be a beacon during dark and difficult times — drawing not only students, but other faithful Catholics, toward her. Notre Dame must be an example and a leader in everything done in her name. For, when a prominent Catholic university fails to be a witness to the Church's teachings, dissent and chaos are sure to follow. Read today's commentary for more about recent events at Notre Dame.

Every time I see a headline that contains the words "Notre Dame" I wince. I remember that awful experience two years ago involving President Obama, an honorary degree and a commencement address.

I also remember the 88 pro-life activists who were charged with illegal trespass and had to wait two years for the charges to be dropped by the university.

So when I read the latest news about Notre Dame honoring a charity health organization that promotes condoms and emergency contraception, I was not at all shocked. What else is new at this bastion of Catholic higher education that is perhaps best known for its denial that it is obligated to lead students to Christ and His teachings?

The Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity is given in recognition of the work a particular charity has done in the field of human development. According to Notre Dame's press release,

    "PIH does an extraordinary job of integrating the head and the heart in the work of healing," says Rev. Robert A. Dowd, C.S.C., director of the Ford Family Program. "Their work represents the values that are at the core of Notre Dame's mission. We want to honor the work of PIH so that it might continue to inspire Notre Dame students, faculty, alumni and friends to contribute in their own way to the healing and peace that our world needs."
This is interesting to someone who understands the fundamental teachings of the Church and wonders what in the world Father Dowd and his cohorts were doing when researching PIH prior to choosing the organization to receive this award. Clearly nobody at Notre Dame gave a thought to the portion of the PIH web site entitled "Women's Health," which states,

    Family planning is among the most effective tools for reducing maternal mortality. When women are counseled, educated, and provided with contraceptive options, they are more likely to delay childbearing, have fewer children, and reduce their risk for obstetrical complications. Nevertheless, 50 percent of all pregnancies worldwide are unplanned or unwanted, accounting for nearly 300,000 new pregnancies every day.
It is clear that PIH has an agenda that is similar to that embraced by the philanthropy of groups like Planned Parenthood and its allies. Women's health questions, when associated with birth control and other "reproductive health" matters always lead to — at the very least — lip service in support of abortion. So why would Notre Dame provide such a prestigious award to PIH? That is a question that is perhaps best answered by those who have witnessed the trail of dissent that has become part of the fabric of Notre Dame's once proud history.

After the Obama debacle at Notre Dame, then Bishop John D'Arcy wrote an article for the Jesuit magazine, America, entitled, "The Church and the University," in which he set forth the challenge that each Catholic college and university must confront.

It's high time Father Jenkins and his confreres considered the critical questions His Excellency posed to them:

    Do you consider it a responsibility in your public statements, in your life as a university and in your actions, including your public awards, to give witness to the Catholic faith in all its fullness? What is your relationship to the church and, specifically, to the local bishop and his pastoral authority as defined by the Second Vatican Council?
Perhaps if Jenkins had asked himself these two questions first, the award to PIH — not to mention the appearance of president Obama — might never have occurred. But then again, maybe dissent from Catholic teaching has been the identifying characteristic of Notre Dame for more years than we care to think about.

What say you, Father Jenkins?

To inquire of Father Jenkins please contact him at this address:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Notre Dame and Ebryonic Stem Cell Research......Well....Sort of.

I have been given the latest copy of the Bulletin from The Sycamore Trust.  It's very interesting reading so I have decided to post it in it's entirety.  For those wondering why I haven't posted in awhile, my wife died very recently and I haven't been in the right frame of mind to do anything constructive, but that will change soon....on to Notre Dame.

Jesus Is Lord!

SOUTH BEND, IN — In the recent bulletin in which we disclosed the departure from the Notre Dame Board of Trustees of a prominent proponent of embryonic stem cell research (hereafter “ESCR”), Dr. Mary Anne Fox, we said we would examine the University's record respecting this research in a future bulletin. That is what we will do now.
In sum, while we are pleased to report some praiseworthy developments, on the whole Notre Dame's record is not that of a truly Catholic university.
In our prior bulletin we wondered whether anything had happened that might have prompted Dr. Fox to leave the board after almost a decade. She left without a trace — nothing in the news bulletin announcing other changes in the board when she left, no expression of gratitude by the University for her long service, not a word from her. And in telling us that it would “have nothing to add” to its confirmation of Dr. Fox's departure, the University made clear that its silence was deliberate.
It seems unlikely that the University induced Dr. Fox to stand down. Twice elected to the board, she is a nationally prominent educator who was the 2008 Notre Dame graduate school commencement speaker and the recipient of a Notre Dame honorary degree.
But the situation has changed recently. Notre Dame's post-Obama damage control efforts have included the formal adoption of pro-life policy and the highlighting of the University's opposition to ESCR. More, the splendid Fighting to Restore Vision video shown during one of last year's televised football games gave Notre Dame's policy the widest possible publicity.
This accomplished portrayal of Notre Dame's adult stem cell research under the direction of Dr. David Hyde included a forthright declaration of the University's ethical opposition to ESCR — and accordingly by unmistakable implication its opposition to Dr. Fox's prized projects.
This was followed early this past summer by an impressive stem cell conference at Notre Dame organized by two of Notre Dame's leaders in the examination of all aspects of stem cell research, Dr. Phillip Sloan, Professor Emeritus, Program of Liberal Studies, and Professor Carter Snead of the Law School. The conference drew leading experts from across the country.
Would Dr. Fox want to continue on the Board in the face of this ethical censure of the type of research that she champions? If Dr. Fox was in fact influenced by these considerations, the episode would illustrate a likely, if unintended, benefit of the University's intensive effort to burnish its tarnished image. University publications and spokespersons now regularly testify to the University's allegedly robust Catholic identity. While these claims are true around the edges but false at the core because of the radical erosion of the Catholic faculty presence, they may very well discourage scholars with prestigious credentials but no wish to teach at a genuinely Catholic school from accepting invitations from Notre Dame. Oremus!
We turn now to the dark side. What we have reported is very good. But what we now report is much worse.
In terms of Catholic identity, the fundamental question is whether Notre Dame sets its opposition to ESCR aside when it collides with secular interests it deems more important. The praiseworthy activities that we have listed tell us nothing about that. The following items do.
  • The honoring of President Obama in 2009 remains a pre-eminent example of Notre Dame's placing secular values above pro-life values.
The episode cannot be discounted. Father Jenkins has said he "would do it again" and Chairman Notebaert's reaction to the lacerating criticism of 83 cardinals, archbishops and bishops was a no-quarter-given apologia in America.
It is worth pausing to mark Mr. Notebaert's view that bishops have no business criticizing Notre Dame. He disdains even to mention the tsunami of episcopal criticism except to say he was "saddened" that Bishop D'Arcy had not deferred to the university presidents' Land O'Lakes declaration of "true the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical." Under Mr. Notebaert's version of Land O'Lakes, evidently Bishop D'Arcy invaded Notre Dame's "autonomy" simply by speaking out.
There could be no plainer rejection of Ex Corde Ecclesiae's description of the relationship between school and bishop that should prevail: "Bishops have a particular promote and assist in the preservation and strengthening of [the university's] Catholic identity," and "even when they do not enter directly into the internal governance of the University, [they] should be seen not as external agents but as participants in the life of the Catholic University."
  • Father Jenkins's announced goal of becoming a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) is decisive: Once again, Notre Dame places academic prestige above Catholic identity.
The AAU, composed of 61 of the top research universities of the country, pursues aggressively its policy of promoting ESCR and therapeutic cloning. Thus, as Professor Gerald Bradley of the Law School has put it:
    Notre Dame's central academic aspiration has nothing to do with Catholicism. It is the Association of 62 American research schools — none of them Catholic — that Notre Dame is desperate to join.
  • The University's failure to include a unit of instruction on life issues in a required course is a major abdication of responsibility. The Catholic identity of a university depends first of all on who teaches and what is taught, not on academic conferences or research or marches and the like, valuable though they may be. As we have often noted, while at Notre Dame students fall away from Church teaching on abortion in alarming numbers — 31% pro-choice when they enter, 42% when they leave. The situation almost certainly is at least as grim respecting ESCR.
  • Dissent by faculty moral theologians and the weakness of Catholic presence on the College of Science faculty exacerbates the problem.
As we have reported previously, two of the University's most prominent faculty members have publicly dissented from the Church's teaching on both abortion and ESCR. The University cannot control what they say, but a Catholic university might at least request that they disassociate themselves from the school when they oppose Church and school policy on such important issues.
Of far greater practical concern is the alarming decline of Catholic representation on the science faculty. The “check-the-box” percentage has plummeted from 48% in 1998 to 37% in 2007, the last year before the University decided to stop disclosing these data. Since this number must be discounted to account for non-practicing and dissenting Catholics, and since scientists as a group are overwhelmingly in favor of embryonic stem cell research, the University's policy may not be widely endorsed when the stem cell issue comes up in the classroom.
The new Dean Dr. Gregory Crawford, is an excellent choice by all accounts. He faces a formidable challenge.
Prior to the award, General Electric had embarked upon a major and highly publicized ESCR project. As the Wall Street Journal reported:
The agreement marks the first time that a company of GE's stature and size has announced a business venture involving the controversial field of embryonic stem cells.
Why did Notre Dame again repudiate the bishops' policy? It acted, the University told us, “[i]n appreciation for the company's longstanding support of our Executive MBA programs through the enrollment in recent years of 14 GE employees in our Chicago and South Bend programs.” But, we were assured, the University has “made it clear that [it] fully support[s] all aspects of Church teaching on the sanctity of human life.”
It evidently takes increasingly less for Notre Dame to subordinate that support to secular concerns.
But to be fair about it, GE has done a good deal more for Notre Dame. It is the No. 1 recruiter of Notre Dame MBA graduates; a partner in the Business School's MBA Intertern Intensive program; a significant donor to the University; and until recently the owner of, and still a major stakeholder in, NBC, from whom Notre Dame reaps colossal football television revenues.
GE's Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, the 2007 Notre Dame commencement speaker and “proud new employer of 25 Irish '07 graduates,” effused:
I like recruiting Notre Dame students, and I like televising your games.
  • There is an ironic footnote to the GE story. While the University honors GE and accepts its donations despite its involvement in ESCR, it appears it will not invest its money in GE because of that involvement.
Since the University has represented that it follows the investment policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and since that policy forbids investing in companies that engage in ESCR, we asked whether Notre Dame invests in GE.
The University spokesperson replied, understandably, that as a matter of policy the University does “not discuss individual companies,” but he assured us that Notre Dame "compl[ies] with the USCCB.” Since the USCCB’s policy is plain, we take this to mean that Notre Dame does not invest in GE.
Perhaps Scott Malpass, Notre Dame’s eminently successful chief investment officer, should be put in charge of awards and honors.
In short, there is cause for dismay but not despair. The University's professed pro-life policy is severely compromised by its actions. Would it ever join an organization that promoted racial discrimination? Would it ever honor a person or company that did? Would it not leap into action if it learned that large numbers of students turned toward racial discrimination while at Notre Dame?
Still, the laudable efforts of a group of dedicated faculty, the University's clear statement of is opposition to embryonic stem cell research and its support of adult stem cell research, and the singular football video episode — a truly counter-cultural Notre Dame for a change — afford grounds for hope.
Finally, as we have noted, an upcoming crucial test of the depth of the Administration's commitment to the pro-life cause will be whether it forces Dr. David Solomon out as director of the Center for Ethics & Policy, a possibility described by Father Wilson Miscamble in the interview that we discussed in a recent bulletin. Under Dr. Solomon's leadership, the Center and the Fund for the Protection of Human Life have been the principal driving forces at Notre Dame for pro-life thought and action. Dr.Solomon was a leading critic of the honoring of President Obama. His dismissal would carry an obvious message to the a pro-life community already thoroughly disillusioned by the Obama episode.