Sunday, April 5, 2009

Notre Dame Update

Diane over at Te Deum Laudamus! has been keeping a running total of Catholic Bishops who are speaking out on the scandal of Notre Dame's invitation to Obama.

And Kathy over at Threshing Grain has been covering the story extensively as well, including a link to this excellent letter from a Notre Dame Alum:

Damage control under the dome

April 2, 2009

In recent comments surrounding the controversy at Notre Dame, our own Cardinal George remarked that Notre Dame has put itself in an impossible position. On the one hand, by inviting President Obama Notre Dame did not understand what it means to be Catholic. On the other hand, out of respect for the office you don't disinvite the president.

Obama is a man of principle. One of these principles is his unwavering commitment to abortion rights. Time and time again, at every available opportunity--as a state senator, a United States senator and now as President--he has used his elected authority to effectuate every pro-abortion issue that has crossed his desk.

You don't disinvite the President? Indeed? There was a time, on principle, when the Catholic Church did not fear to stand up to emperors, barbarians and kings. There are some violations of universal truths that cannot be gilded even under the Golden Dome.

Vincent C. Muscarello
Notre Dame Class of 1979


Anonymous said...

that makes me want to cheer!

Anonymous said...

It might be difficult to cancel his appearance, as it's an event that every president has been invited to. Maybe an effort should be made to eliminate the awarding of the Honorary Doctorate.

Susanna said...

Even if the president of Notre Dame doesn't "disinvite" President Obama, the students of Notre Dame and other faithful Catholics involved in the commencement ceremonies can certainly follow the lead of Bishop John D'Arcy and boycot the event.

When so-called "academic freedom" becomes a poisonous euphemism for "bait and switch" in "Catholic" teaching facilities, then a very loud DEMAND for "truth in advertising" - backed up by stiff sanctions - should be the antidote.......especially when Notre Dame sends out letters to her alumni begging for financial support.

Anonymous said...

We should remember that this is a graduation for students that have worked hard for the last 4 years to earn a degree. They are the ones that should have a special day and receive the recognition they deserve. By boycotting the commencement ceremonies they will be denied that. It's a tough situation, but if the school is going to have Obama there, then the students should still attend and show support for each other. By being there, it does not necessarily mean that support is being given to Obama. People should continue to call, write, email the university and express their feeling. Let's at least give the students the celebration they deserve.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous. Let's not let the appearance by one person spoil this day for the kids that have worked so hard, and deserve to be honored. Write and call the University in protest, but don't boycott and hurt the graduates. Maybe enough pressure could get them to drop the doctorate degree.

Gibbons in SF said...

Anonymous 6:29PM:

"We should remember that this is a graduation for students that have worked hard for the last 4 years to earn a degree."

I think you have misplaced prioirities. Correction: I KNOW you have misplaced priorities.

What "we should remember" is that the day of the commencement May 17, 2009, will be a day like any other day in America. That day will see about 3,500 human beings legally murdered.

Barack Obama has no problems with this. Throughout his career, at every single opportunity, he has done everything he could to further this legal murder anywhere, anytime, at the public expense.

Anonymous said...

No, my priorities are not wrong. These students are the ones that we should hope will fight causes like the one you refer to. You need to consider the whole picture. Let the school know your feelings, but don't punish the graduates. While I also totally disagree with Obama, I feel strongly that the kids are the ones who will be hurt by boycotts, not Obama at all. Lets show our support for the grads, congratulate them for what they have accomplished, and encourage them to become involved in causes that will benefit us all now and in the future (for they really are our future).

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To Anon 9:20

You totally miss the point. And if you feel so strongly, then go to the school administrators who invited Obama. (I wonder how you would feel if it was your child graduating??!)

Gibbons in SF said...


Your argument boils down to: let's ignore the moral teaching of the Church--it might spoil the party!

But it's as clear and simple as this: when one belongs to an organization hosting an event honoring a supporter of mass murder one is faced with a very simple choice. One either attends or doesn't. That applies to students, bishops, priests, etc. That's not a "punishment" of those faced with the choice--it's an obligation that comes with "living the examined life."

Anonymous said...


You really don't understand, and it's unfortunate. There is no "party." It's a graduation for our future leaders. You have such strong sentiment against our current leaders, including those leading our Catholic schools, that one would think you would want to honor those who will be hopefully taking charge with the morals you desire. Remember, these students haven't committed the "murders" you refer to. And it's not just Obama. Take a look in you own backyard at Pelosi. Do you boycott the church she attends and the priests who are there?

Gibbons in SF said...

Anon 9:26:

Apologies, the last two comments were published in reverse order.

I deleted the 9:20 comment you were responding to, because I accidentally checked the "anonymous" buttome rather than the Username//url button.

But to respond to your last comment: I, and many, have indeed gone to the Notre Dame administration. That's why we have the link at the top right of this blog called "NO OBAMA AT NOTRE DAME" which goes to, which has already collected over 250,000 signatures asking the University to rescind their invitation to Obama.

How would I feel if I had a child graduating at Notre Dame? After I had spent well over $100,000 to send my child to a "Catholic" University? And on the day of his/her graduation he/she was forced to listen to a speech by the most anti-catholic supporter of the culture of death ever to sit in the White House?

I'd imagine I'd probably feel like decking a few Notre Dame faculty...

Anonymous said...


Then "deck" the faculty, but don't punish the kids.

Gibbons in SF said...

Anonymous 9:40:

You can find this blog's position on Nancy Pelosi by clicking the permanent link on the right hand panel, which will take you to Fr. Malloy's "Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi."

The "open letter" was written in January, 2007--Fr. Malloy was way ahead of the curve.

Gibbons in SF said...

Anonymous 9:53:

I'm tempted to say: "Quit yer whining!"

"Punishing" kids? It's like we are talking about nine year-olds.

These "kids" you refer to are college graduates. They are old enough to drink, to get married, to vote, to get killed in a war.

This patronizing attitude towards them just breeds the kind of juvenile society that elected Obama in the first place.

But let me ask you: would you support Notre Dame's rescinding of the invitation to Obama? And if so, why?

Susanna said...

Gibbons in SF,

You are right. We are not talking about nine-year-olds. We are talking about young men and women like the one who recently took on Barney Frank at Harvard Law School.

The term "punishing the kids" sounds like the "kids" are somehow in danger of being forced to do something against their will.

When I suggested a boycot - and I still do - I am suggesting something that can be done VOLUNTARILY by the students strictly on their own.

These future Notre Dame alumni can also withhold financial contributions to Notre Dame when they receive requests for money.

THAT is the time when protest letters explaining WHY Notre Dame isn't going to receive one red cent would be most effective.

As has already been established, merely letting Notre Dame "know your feelings" is a total waste of time.

Anonymous said...

The President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, is a very pro-choice person. The Vatican, in the person of Pope Benedict gave an honorary title--an award--to Sarkozy on December 20, 2007. He was given the title of Honorary Chanoine of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Several pictures of the Pope and Sarkozy together are making the rounds on other internet blogs about the pros and cons of Obama speaking at Notre Dame. How does one respond to this?

Anonymous said...
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Gibbons in SF said...

Anonymous 6:46 PM:

It's because Europeans are much more used to genocide than Americans are.

Anonymous said...

Gibbons, I am the one asking the question about Sarkozy and the Pope. I didn't want a sarcastic answer, but am looking for reasons why this was OK for our Pope to honor this pro-life leader. This event happened and now many are bringing it up in discussions about Notre Dame. If we are to effectively oppose Obama, I would like to be able to discuss it rationally.

Susanna said...

Unlike Notre Dame, France is not pretending to be a "Catholic" country!

Gibbons in SF said...

Anonymous 8:23 PM:


However, that post was only partially meant sarcastically. I believe that abortion is (and will continue to be) the central issue of American politics because it brings into question whether the unalienable rights of the Declaration actaually are unalienable--in other words: is the Declaration true? Or is the whole American experiment based on falsehood?

That's not the kind of question that would be asked in Europe, or at least in the same way, because those countries are founded on ties of blood, not on adherence to a set of principles which imply God-given rights and duties. So I think the question of abortion does not have the same urgency there.

But as for the Pope meeting Sarkozy: he's a head of state meeting another head of state. I would not object to the Holy Father meeting with Obama. The Holy Father would not give him a platform to address students.

Our American Bishops have spoken quite clearly on this in "Catholics in Political Life"

"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."

Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame is well aware of this, and right now he is trying to turn those two simple sentences on their heads. Go here:

Anonymous said...

Gibbons, You do know that Sarkosy professes to be Catholic.?

Gibbons in SF said...

Anonymous 9:43 PM:

No, I did not know that. I know nothing about his religious affiliation.