Jesus Is Lord!
May 14, 2011
Notre Dame's fixation on dissentBy 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."
- 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.
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?
What say you, Father Jenkins?
To inquire of Father Jenkins please contact him at this address: