A few dozen pro-life Notre Dame students skipped their own graduation to attend the alternate ceremony, with Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life giving the address. In the arena, a few people tried to interrupt President Obama’s speech. Most of those present, however, chanted, “Yes we can!” to drown out the protesters. Fr. Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, gave a glowing introduction to Mr. Obama.
So much for Fr. Jenkins’ claims that, by honoring Obama, they would have a “discussion” about abortion or some kind of “persuasion” or “discourse”. It sounded like a pretty much wall-to-wall lovefest. Sort of like “persuading” China to improve its human rights record by giving them every political and economic concession they want. Yeah, that worked really well; just ask the jailed lawyer who tried to expose the forced abortions (which are supposed to be illegal, anyways) under the One Child Policy. Gee, it gives the impression that we really didn’t care about either China’s human rights abuses or Obama’s radically pro-abortion record.
The good news is, Fr. Jenkins, et al., have probably managed to lay to rest any remaining doubt that Notre Dame might have some interest in being a truly Catholic university anymore…
While writing an answer to our local paper (more on that later), I came across this set of photos from Voices Carry, via Jill Stanek’s blog (Jill Stanek was the nurse who blew the whistle on aborted babies who didn’t die being left in dirty laundry or buckets of water to kill them). I’m just giving you the juxtaposed photos; go read the rest of the post. I agree with VC: Obama already got his thunderous ovation, but this priest has earned one from the more important audience. (Obama is shown receiving his honorary award, the priest is receiving a jail tag from the police.)
Randall Terry made the comment in a newsletter once that only priests who had an arrest record for abortion protests, or at the very least a record of having participated actively in the pro-life movement, should be considered for promotion to bishop.
Where were the bishops at Notre Dame?
The local bishop refused to attend the graduation, for the first time in twenty years as the bishop of the diocese, but, as far as I’ve heard, he wasn’t at the alternate graduation for the pro-life seniors.
Archbishop Burke, formerly of St. Louis and now working at the Vatican, denounced the debacle at Notre Dame to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast… but none of the U.S. bishops were at Notre Dame to protest, or even said much.
Dr. Alan Keyes, who was arrested for protesting, said on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News that Bishop Sheen once said that the laity will save the Church. I’ll take heart in the fact that Bishop Sheen has been downright prophetic on many other things about our society and Church; maybe he was right.
But why aren’t the leaders leading? Is this why they like the UN so much: both the bishops and the UN prefer to hurl sharply worded papers (preferably with $5 words to make sure few people understand it) from a distance and pretend they’ve solved the problem while the massacres continue?
I’m not trying to be disobedient or disrespectful of my bishop. I’ve written his office a few times, things along the lines of, “Can we expect to see a letter or press release on this? Please? Anything?” I read the pope’s encyclicals, addresses, etc. when I have time. I try to “think with the mind of the Church” as the saying goes. The Church is soundly pro-life. We have a tradition of being outspoken. (Remember Peter and Paul in Acts getting flogged, arrested, and thrown out of cities for speaking boldly in the name of Christ?) Bishops, in fact, wear red to remind them that they, too, must be ready like the martyrs were to let their blood be spilled for the sake of Christ and His Church. (Do they remember that? Paper cuts don’t count!)
I don’t want to lead the Church; I have other callings, other things to be taking care of (three of them, in fact, who are finally in bed). I have no interest in “fixing” the problem by ordaining women. I don’t think lay boards will improve the situation, either. More or different groups in power won’t solve the fundamental problem.
I want the shepherds to lead.
But I won’t wait for them, either, if they insist on being silent.