Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bishop D'Arcy Speaks on Notre Dame and Obama; Bishop Will Not Attend Boycott Ceremony

(Hat tip: American Catholic and Dale Price)

Bishop D'Arcy's statement:
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.

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.

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.
(emphasis added)

UPDATE (26 March)
American Papist: Bishop Olmsted tells Fr. Jenkins Obama invitation "public act of disobedience to US Bishops"

UPDATE (27 March)
American Papist: Bishop Aymond [of Austin] on ND award: "does not live up to its Catholic identity"

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
President Obama Invited to Give Commencement Address at Notre Dame; Catholics Respond to the Scandal [UPDATED]

Notre Dame's McBrien Blasts Pope, U.S. Bishops [UPDATED]

Notre Dame Alums Behind "10,000 Catholics for Obama" Website

Where Have All the "Personally Opposed, But" Pro-Abort Commencement Speakers Gone?

Notre Dame's Fr. Jenkins Twisting Pope's Words?

Bishop D'Arcy Responds to Notre Dame

Notre Dame President Approves Vagina Monologues [UPDATED]

Martin Sheen ... Pro-Life

Catholic Bishops Seminar Won’t Meet at Notre Dame Because of "Vagina Monologues"

No Monologues on Notre Dame Campus This Year

Backing Down at Notre Dame - Selling Our Kids' Souls for Job Security

Weigel: A Golden Dome Opportunity Missed

An Open Letter to the Notre Dame Community Regarding Catholic Identity [UPDATED AGAIN]

Bishop D'Arcy Issues "Pastoral Response" to Father Jenkins' "Closing Statement"

Rape Survivor (ND Graduate) "Shocked" and "Depressed" by Father Jenkins' "Closing Statement"

Bishop D'Arcy Denounces Notre Dame Policy

Some GOOD Things Happening at Notre Dame, Too

The "Scooby Doo" Ending to the Academic Freedom Debate at Notre Dame

An Open Letter to the Notre Dame Community Regarding Catholic Identity [UPDATED]

Father John Jenkins, Moral Coward

More of the Same at Our Lady's University?

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