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cat714
03-24-2009, 01:59 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/images/root_images/032409_nunobama.jpg

Critics Blast Obama's Scheduled Notre Dame Commencement Address

Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama's scheduled commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, citing the president's views on abortion and stem cell research that "directly contradict" Roman Catholic teachings.

By Joshua Rhett Miller
FOXNews.com
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama's scheduled May 17 commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, saying the president's views on abortion and stem cell research "directly contradict" Roman Catholic teachings.

"It is an outrage and a scandal that 'Our Lady's University,' one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage," the petition at notredamescandal.com reads.

The Cardinal Newman Society, an advocacy group for strengthening ideals at the nation's 224 Catholic colleges and universities, created the Web site to end what it calls the "travesty" of Obama's selection. The petition, which had garnered 64,051 signatures as of midday Tuesday, asserts that thousands of other "accomplished leaders" in business, law or education would have been more appropriate selections. The group says it is sending the list to an independent firm Wednesday to ensure that there are no duplicate names.

"Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality," the petition reads. "Whatever may be President Obama's admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos."

David Constanzo, communications director for the Cardinal Newman Society, said Notre Dame's tradition of inviting sitting U.S. presidents to its commencement should be rethought.

"There is a time when policies need to be reconsidered in light of the fact that the individual invited may have a history of standing in direct opposition to some of the most prominent aspects of our faith -- the biggest case in point is that of the pro-life agenda," Constanzo said. "The obligation of Notre Dame as a Catholic institution is to follow the directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who clearly stated in 2004 that Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."

George Weigel, a Catholic theologian and distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said the invitation is not a "neutral act" and will significantly damage Notre Dame's reputation in Catholic circles following Obama's decision to reverse restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and for family planning groups that provide abortions.

"I think Notre Dame should not have issued the invitation," Weigel told FOXNews.com. "This is a colossal mess. This is their mess to fix right now, but they should know that they have forfeited an enormous amount of credibility as an institution that takes moral reasoning seriously."

Weigel said he was not surprised by the outpouring of criticism following the university's announcement on Friday that Obama would become sixth U.S. president to speak at its commencement. Obama will also become the ninth U.S. president to receive an honorary degree from the university.

"Major donors have the most effective leverage in situations like this," Weigel said. "I hope the donors are paying attention."

Asked if Notre Dame is considering rescinding its invitation to Obama, university spokesman Dennis Brown said Tuesday: "I can't foresee that occurring. We made an invitation to the president and he's accepted. We expected criticism and it's nothing beyond what we expected."

The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

LINK (http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=4)

PoliCon
03-24-2009, 07:17 PM
The progressive elitists who run schools like this know better than the unwashed masses.

Gingersnap
03-24-2009, 08:50 PM
Good for the protesters. Either be a Catholic institution or be a secular school. Pick one. It's no longer daring and envelop-stretching for a religious institution to court the secular worldview.

Today, it's daring and edgy in the extreme to actually hew to your religious foundations.

hazlnut
03-24-2009, 11:09 PM
Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama's scheduled commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, citing the president's views on abortion and stem cell research that "directly contradict" Roman Catholic teachings.

Nearly 65,000 people have signed an online petition protesting President Obama's scheduled May 17 commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, saying the president's views on abortion and stem cell research "directly contradict" Roman Catholic teachings.

LINK (http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=4)

The story didn't mention how many of the 65,000 were actually associated in some way with Notre Dame--student, faculty, alumni.

Nor does the story mention how many were actually practicing Catholics.

Lastly, the article seems to leave out the FACT that Obama won the Catholic vote by 9 points.


In light of the presidential election, an exit poll analysis from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found Catholics contributed to President-elect Barack Obama's victory.

Catholics supported Obama over Sen. John McCain by a nine-point margin—54 percent to 45 percent —according to the analysis. However, four years ago Catholics favored Republican President George W. Bush over Democratic Sen. John Kerry by a five-point margin—52 percent to 47 percent.

http://media.www.marquettetribune.org/media/storage/paper1130/news/2008/11/18/News/Obama.Takes.The.Catholic.Vote.In.Election-3547912.shtml

He's a sitting president!!! Are you kidding me!?!

Is your bitterness and regret for the outcome of the election really gone to that extreme??

cat714
03-25-2009, 01:58 AM
The story didn't mention how many of the 65,000 were actually associated in some way with Notre Dame--student, faculty, alumni.

Nor does the story mention how many were actually practicing Catholics.

Lastly, the article seems to leave out the FACTthat Obama won the Catholic vote by 9 points.

Doesn't matter. Gingersnap pretty much summed up my general feeling on the matter.

linda22003
03-25-2009, 06:32 AM
"Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."

They don't approve of remarriage after divorce, either, and yet they had Ronald Reagan as a commencement speaker in 1981. No institution is going to turn down a chance at getting a sitting president to speak.

noonwitch
03-25-2009, 07:26 AM
He's the president-having him speak at a catholic university doesn't mean that the school or the church agree with him on every issue. It's not like Obama is going to bring up the topic of abortion or stem cell research in his speech there.


Actually, he may actually talk about a really cool thing in Notre Dame history and in the racial history of our nation, like about how ND stood up to the Klan. I saw a special about it on The History Channel.

PoliCon
03-25-2009, 08:49 AM
"Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."

They don't approve of remarriage after divorce, either, and yet they had Ronald Reagan as a commencement speaker in 1981. No institution is going to turn down a chance at getting a sitting president to speak.

difference is - remarriage isn't murder in the eyes of the catholic church.

linda22003
03-25-2009, 08:52 AM
It's still an excommunicable offense. They don't like it. I haven't seen where there's a "sliding scale" for potential speakers' sins. ;)

PoliCon
03-25-2009, 08:54 AM
It's still an excommunicable offense. They don't like it. I haven't seen where there's a "sliding scale" for potential speakers' sins. ;)

Ah - but where are the catholic law makers who are insisting that remarriage is supported by the teachings of the church? I can give you a nice long list of those who pretend that the churches teachings support abortion . . . . DIFFERENT.

ReaganForRus
03-25-2009, 09:37 AM
It's still an excommunicable offense. They don't like it. I haven't seen where there's a "sliding scale" for potential speakers' sins. ;)

Remarriage after divorce is not an excommunicable offense. As a Roman Catholic, I had my first marriage annulled according to the tenets of the Catholic religion and church doctrine. It is no big deal. The only requirement that had to be met was to continue to practice the Catholic faith and adhere to Catholic doctrine.

linda22003
03-25-2009, 09:44 AM
Annulment is "no big deal" - so there's another example of a nod and a wink at what's "required". ;) Annulment used to be a very big deal, and took years.

megimoo
03-25-2009, 09:46 AM
Good for the protesters. Either be a Catholic institution or be a secular school. Pick one. It's no longer daring and envelop-stretching for a religious institution to court the secular worldview.

Today, it's daring and edgy in the extreme to actually hew to your religious foundations.
It used to be a strong bastion of Christian Catholicism but these days with Tortured young liberal priests who chose ideology over GOD it's hard to tell where they will land.

The president of Notre Dame the Rev.John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the baby-faced 51-year-old from Omaha has shown quite a bit of liberalism and a lack of the Catholic Churches teachings in his great compromise towards Progressive secularism in the interest in of accommodating all views on campus.He seems to enjoy a certain commonality with young people half his age.Drather that teach from a position of authority he seems to prefer being good friends and share an common attitude in their younger,naive life styles.

In the interest of free speach I wonder if it were possible he would arrange for a debate between Jesus Christ the lord GOD of all creation and the Demon from hell in the interest of fairness and academic freedom ?

This type of Catholic priest though well educated is things of this world is missing a basic insite into the Christian battle against evil .He is willing to present a great evil on his supposed Christian campus as merely a different point of view debatable and equal .

Gingersnap
03-25-2009, 09:59 AM
"Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles."

They don't approve of remarriage after divorce, either, and yet they had Ronald Reagan as a commencement speaker in 1981. No institution is going to turn down a chance at getting a sitting president to speak.

The difference here is that Catholics recognize that others belong to different denominations that may have different ideas about marriage, divorce, contraception, the nature of sin, the status of the Virgin, or other matters.

Abortion isn't just a "different idea" to most practicing Catholics.

linda22003
03-25-2009, 10:05 AM
Abortion isn't just a "different idea" to most practicing Catholics.

I think that's hair-splitting, and I guess the university does too, since they extended the invitation.

megimoo
03-25-2009, 10:22 AM
Bishop D’Arcy won't attend Notre Dame commencement featuring Obama (Boycott Alert!)

Bishop John M. D'Arcy has issued a statement saying that he won't be attending Notre Dame's commencement exercises, which will feature President Obama as the keynote speaker and honor him with a doctor of laws degree.

The full statement of Bishop D'Arcy follows.
Concerning President Barack Obama speaking at Notre Dame
graduation, receiving honorary law degree

March 24, 2009 On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.

President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred. While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.

This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith “in season and out of season,” and he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions.

My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life.

I have in mind also the statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 2004. “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for.

I have spoken with Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is to receive the Laetare Medal. I have known her for many years and hold her in high esteem. We are both teachers, but in different ways. I have encouraged her to accept this award and take the opportunity such an award gives her to teach.
.....................................
Brief Bio: Bishop D'Arcy
"Praised be Jesus Christ --
May He always be praised."

In all our schools and churches, you will find a ready welcome and a true Catholic spirit. Bishop D'Arcy has a regular column each week in Today's Catholic the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocesan newspaper, News and Notes highlights the bishop's week and details events occurring within the diocese.

The son of Irish immigrants, Most Reverend John M. D'Arcy was born on August 18, 1932. He began preparation for the priesthood in September, 1949 at Saint John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. He studied in Rome at the Angelicum from 1965 to 1968 and received his doctorate in spiritual theology in 1968. He served as spiritual director and professor of spiritual theology at Saint John's Seminary from 1968 to 1985.

Ordained to priesthood in Boston, Mass - February 2, 1957
Doctorate in Spiritual Theology from Angelicum, Rome, 1968
Ordained as Auxiliary Bishop for Boston - February 14, 1975
Appointed Regional Bishop for Lowell Region
Archdiocese of Boston - July 21, 1981
Appointed Eighth Bishop of FW-SB - February 26, 1985
Installed as Eighth Bishop of FW-SB - May 1, 1985

http://www.diocesefwsb.org/jmd.htm
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Even as I continue to ponder in prayer these events, which many have found shocking, so must Notre Dame. Indeed, as a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth.
http://romancatholicblog.typepad.com/roman_catholic_blog/2009/03/our-ladys-university.html
.....................................
Tomorrow, we celebrate as Catholics the moment when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, became a child in the womb of his most holy mother. Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/2213604/posts?page=2
..........................................

megimoo
03-25-2009, 10:23 AM
The Rev. John Jenkins (CSC), Notre Dame's president
http://president.nd.edu/about-the-office/presidents-biography
...................................
Father Jenkins,51 earned his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in philosophy from Notre Dame in 1976 and 1978, respectively.
....................................
Ordained a priest in Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1983, Father Jenkins served as director of the Old College program for Notre Dame undergraduate candidates for the Congregation of Holy Cross from 1991 to 1993.
.........................................
He earned the degrees Master of Divinity and Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1988.
He is also a member of the University of Oxford, having received a B.Phil in 1987 and a D.Phil in 1989, both in philosophy.
............................................
Father Jenkins to join higher education Cabinet
http://newsinfo.nd.edu/news/9571-father-jenkins-to-join-higher-education-cabinet
.............................................
Jenkins has been a member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1990, teaching in the areas of ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, and philosophy of religion; currently, he serves as Professor of Philosophy and Fellow of the Medieval Institute. From 1991 to 1993, Jenkins was the Director of the Old College Undergraduate Formation Program of the Congregation of Holy Cross. From 1997 to 2000 he served as religious superior of the Holy Cross priests and brothers at Notre Dame, acting ex officio as a corporate member of the university and a member of the university's board of trustees.

Prior to his election as university president, Jenkins held the office of vice president and associate provost for four years.

The third oldest of twelve, Father Jenkins is a brother-in-law to travel writer/journalist/broadcaster Rick Steves. Father Jenkins enjoys running marathons, reading, writing, and traveling in his free time. He also cheers on his Notre Dame teams, but his role in firing football coach Tyrone Willingham and replacing him with former New England Patriots assistant Charlie Weis remains controversial.

On January 23, 2006, Fr. Jenkins addressed the faculty concerning "Academic Freedom and Catholic Character" in which he expressed concern about "issues arising from the Notre Dame Queer Film Festival and the Vagina Monologues", and "the deeper issues they raise regarding academic freedom and Notre Dame's "character as a Catholic university .
.................................................
Catholic Notre Dame to Allow Vulgar “Vagina Monologues”
Local bishop “deeply saddened” by decision by priest university president
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/apr/06040609.html
............................................
Then, after much heated debate on campus, on April 5, 2006, Jenkins issued a closing statement, declaring the he was "very determined that we not suppress speech on this campus", and was also "determined that we never suppress or neglect the Gospel that inspired this University", saying that "[a]s long as the Gospel message and the Catholic intellectual tradition are appropriately represented, we can welcome any serious debate on any thoughtful position here at Notre Dame."

The Bishop of Fort Wayne, Rev. John M. D'Arcy, expressed strong opposition to Notre Dame's hosting of the events on its campus and stated he was "deeply saddened" by Jenkins' policy. Also, Notre Dame law professor Charles E. Rice called for Jenkins to resign. Professor Rice had in the past also requested resignations from former university Provost Rev. Jamest T. Burtchaell, CSC (1977), and former university Presidents Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC (1983) and Rev. Monk Malloy, CSC (2001).

Father Jenkins was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the Sacred Heart Basilica located on-campus in 1983.

In 2009, his invitation of Barack Obama to the Notre Dame commencement caused controversy among Catholics because of the President's committment to the pro-choice movement.
...........................
Jenkins' closing statement a serious misstep
http://media.www.ndsmcobserver.com/media/storage/paper660/news/2006/04/25/Viewpoint/Jenkins.Closing.Statement.A.Serious.Misstep-1875125.shtml
...........................
Notre Dame sticking with Obama for commencement— The University of Notre Dame is sticking with its invitation to President Obama to speak at its May 17 commencement despite criticism from some Roman Catholics that his views on abortion and stem cell research run counter to Catholic teachings.

"I don't foresee a circumstance in which we would rescind the invitation," Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told The Associated Press in an e-mail message Monday.

The Cardinal Newman Society, an advocacy group for greater orthodoxy on Catholic college and university campuses, calls Obama's commencement appearance "an outrage and a scandal." It has set up a Web site seeking donations and signatures for a petition to protest the invitation to the Obama.

The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, issued a statement Monday saying the invitation did not mean the university supports all of Obama's positions.

"The invitation to President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem cell research," Jenkins said.

Notre Dame's invitation to Obama came at a sensitive time. Theologically conservative Catholics were upset by the president's decision earlier this month to reverse Bush-era restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Obama had said that "as a person of faith" he felt a duty to work to ease human suffering.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hY9EJOvoVv2Mwr_gn_bKdoVG5MGQD97432Q80
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PoliCon
03-25-2009, 10:31 AM
I think that's hair-splitting, and I guess the university does too, since they extended the invitation.

the university extended the invitation because they like to be seen as progressive and on the cutting edge. :rolleyes:

hampshirebrit
03-25-2009, 07:34 PM
The Church (in the form of Pope Ratzinger) also does not favour the concept of condom usage in Sub-Saharan Africa. Presumably God wants more AIDS babies to be born to lead a short and unpleasant life more than he wants the current generation to live at all.

Given that in taking this position, the Church (or at least Pope Ratzinger) is at least as immoral as The Anointed One is in taking his position, I will sit this one out.

Gingersnap
03-25-2009, 07:57 PM
The Church (in the form of Pope Ratzinger) also does not favour the concept of condom usage in Sub-Saharan Africa. Presumably God wants more AIDS babies to be born to lead a short and unpleasant life more than he wants the current generation to live at all.

Given that in taking this position, the Church (or at least Pope Ratzinger) is at least as immoral as The Anointed One is in taking his position, I will sit this one out.

The position of the Church is that monogamous sex between married individuals is the best and safest defense against various diseases (and a host of other ills). This is undeniably true. Uganda dramatically reduced the incidence of AIDS by emphasizing the ABC approach to disease control. The A and the B parts were the primary effective agents although the C part probably lowered new infections among women for a short time.

Condoms certainly delay infection - nobody disputes that. Only abstinence can avoid infection from sexual partners.

The new (free) antiretroviral drugs have actually caused an upswing in new HIV infections as people began to see HIV infection as a chronic disease and condoms as an effective way of preventing the infection with new partners. They were mistaken.

Obviously, the only way to avoid sexual diseases is to have sex with undiseased people (virgin girls, monogamous or formerly celibate women for the most part). Men who frequent prostitutes, play around, or have sex with professional "boys" will eventually infect their partners various diseases whether they use condoms constantly or not. The Pope wasn't out of line, he just isn't saying anything that people care to hear.

hazlnut
03-25-2009, 10:11 PM
He's the president-having him speak at a catholic university doesn't mean that the school or the church agree with him on every issue. It's not like Obama is going to bring up the topic of abortion or stem cell research in his speech there.


Actually, he may actually talk about a really cool thing in Notre Dame history and in the racial history of our nation, like about how ND stood up to the Klan. I saw a special about it on The History Channel.

Thank you, noonwitch.

Yes, a sitting president speaking at one the best schools... I know, let's protest..??

We're so good at pointing out idealogues on the left, yet we sometimes overlook the blindly partisan conservative right next to us. (or on the radio)

Gingersnap
03-25-2009, 10:21 PM
Thank you, noonwitch.

Yes, a sitting president speaking at one the best schools... I know, let's protest..??

We're so good at pointing out idealogues on the left, yet we sometimes overlook the blindly partisan conservative right next to us. (or on the radio)

Really? Isn't that what 'The View', "The Colbert Report', Bill Maher, HuffPo, Letterman, MSNBC, NPR, the NYT, the LATimes, CNN, and about a hundred other outlets that focus on conservative thought crimes do on a 24/7 basis?

It's not like your side is shrouded in secrecy or anything. :rolleyes:

PoliCon
03-25-2009, 10:32 PM
Really? Isn't that what 'The View', "The Colbert Report', Bill Maher, HuffPo, Letterman, MSNBC, NPR, the NYT, the LATimes, CNN, and about a hundred other outlets that focus on conservative thought crimes do on a 24/7 basis?

It's not like your side is shrouded in secrecy or anything. :rolleyes:It's the one thing the press is best at.

hazlnut
03-26-2009, 11:17 AM
Really? Isn't that what 'The View', "The Colbert Report', Bill Maher, HuffPo, Letterman, MSNBC, NPR, the NYT, the LATimes, CNN, and about a hundred other outlets that focus on conservative thought crimes do on a 24/7 basis?

Apples, oranges, pears, and comedy central...? IMO.

Or lack of thought crimes...

PoliCon
03-26-2009, 04:22 PM
Apples, oranges, pears, and comedy central...? IMO.

Or lack of thought crimes...

Very true. Apples and oranges. The blatant and wholesale bias of the MSM hardly compares to the bias of a few people on a message board. :rolleyes: