Depending on what news sources you usually follow, you may or may not have heard about what is happening at Notre Dame.
Most people in this country have the (outdated) impression that the University of Notre Dame represents the best and strongest of Catholic culture in the United States. Strong Catholic families used to dream of sending their kids there.
Informed and faithful Catholics, however, have been avoiding Notre Dame for some time now. Like so many other Catholic-in-name-only institutions of higher learning, Notre Dame dumped its Catholicism some time ago in favor of respect from secular academia and “academic freedom.”
And now this.
The president of Notre Dame, Father Jenkins, invited President Obama to give Notre Dame’s commencement address. This was in spite of complaints that this voilated the university’s Catholic character and clear statements from the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) forbidding Catholic institutions from honoring or offering a platform for pro-abortion politicians.
Trying to cover his gaffe, Fr. Jenkins let it be known that President Obama’s rabidly pro-abortion positions would be balanced by the presence of Mary Ann Glendon, a law professor and former ambassador to the Vatican, as well as a known pro-life voice, who would be receiving an important award and giving a very short acceptance speech. Prof. Glendon did not particularly appreciate being used as an excuse, and let the president (and everyone else) know that in an open letter.
Still, Fr. Jenkins insisted on carrying his plan forward. Notre Dame always invites presidents, other presidents weren’t perfect either, Obama said he wasn’t pushing FOCA anymore, etc., etc.
Yes, but other presidents weren’t as enthusiastically pro-abortion as this one is. And he doesn’t have to push FOCA; now he’s trying to get nationalized health care, which would effectively do much of what FOCA would.
Okay, okay, but the students don’t care!
Really? Maybe that means that you didn’t do a particularly good job in teaching those students about the value of life.
In fact, some students are organizing an alternate graduation ceremony, with Fr. Frank Pavone as the commencement speaker. Others are planning various protests, possibly even at the graduation.
Meanwhile, the local bishop has condemned the university and announced that he won’t be attending the ceremony, which he normally does. The USCCB has condemned the university’s actions in inviting and conferring an honorary law degree on President Obama. Archbishop Burke, formerly of Archbishop of St. Louis and now stationed in the Vatican, condemned the path our nation is on in general, and on abortion in particular. Millions of dollars of donations to the school from alumni have been cancelled or rescinded. Alumni have also been mailing back souvenirs to the office of the president, with letters explaining that they are ashamed of their alma mater.
And yet, President Obama will speak at Notre Dame’s commencement this Sunday.
So, the protesters have stepped in.
Randall Terry has been organizing an on-going protest for a while now. Dr. Alan Keyes, former presidential candidate and U.S. ambassador to the UN, was among those arrested for walking onto the Notre Dame campus. In a separate protest, Fr. Pavone should be there by Saturday, as will Norma McCorvey, the now pro-life women who was the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade.
Reading another pro-life blog, the comments mostly ran to, “They’re just attention hogs. They make us look bad. Shouldn’t they be doing something usefully pro-life?”
So what should they do? Just sit at home and carp? Shut up and go pray somewhere we can’t see them and let things just slide along as they are? Isn’t that how we got to this point?
The AP, of course, doesn’t get it. Their story included a line that the protesters had a sign saying, “Defend her honor…” with no explanation at all of who “she” might be. (I’ll give you a hint: she’s kinda important, seeing as how she’s the namesake of the university…) From the Stop Obama at Notre Dame website:
That would be Our Lady of Guadalupe. (“Our Lady”, or in French, “Notre Dame,” is a general title of respect Catholics use for Mary. When followed by a specific location, it refers to a particular apparition.) When Mary appeared to an Aztec convert to Christianity, dressed as an Aztec princess and speaking his native tongue, telling of God’s love for the Aztecs, millions converted. (Given Spanish behavior to that point, converts had not exactly been coming in in droves.) And the Aztecs’ child sacrifice (which had been accelerating, due to the Spanish conquest of their empire) ceased. So, she is the patroness of the unborn.
Recently, in an impromptu side trip while she was in Mexico, Secretary of State Clinton visited the shrine with the original miraculous image of OLG on St. Juan Diego’s peasant cloak. “Oh, who painted it?” she asked. The priest, nonplussed, somewhat curtly replied, “God.”
Shortly thereafter, while accepting the Margaret Sanger Award, Secretary Clinton got to gush about how much she “admired” and “respected” Margaret Sanger, the racist eugenist who founded Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country.
The irony was not lost on the pro-life community.
Now we have the most pro-abortion president ever being honored by a university supposedly dedicated to Our Lady.
“Irony” doesn’t begin to cover this… more like “disgrace” or “blasphemy.”