Sunday, May 31, 2009

Digest of Weekend's Posts (31 May 2009)

  • Madness

  • Bleeding Kansas

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (29 May 2009))



    If anyone has an urge to kill someone at an abortion clinic, they should shoot me... It’s madness. It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder. It’s madness. You cannot prevent killing by killing.

    ~ John Cardinal O'Connor

    (Hat tip: Mark Shea)

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    Bleeding Kansas

    Late-term abortionist George Tiller shot and killed.

    More reactions:
    Tiller the Killer Killed

    Father Frank Pavone on the Killing of Tiller

    Matthew 26:52

    Abortionist Shot to Death at Church

    The assasination of George Tiller

    Murder Is Always Wrong...

    Breaking: Late - Term Abortionist Tiller Shot to Death

    My Personal Reaction to Tiller's Murder

    Operation Rescue Denounces The Killing of Abortionist Tiller

    Kansans for Life Deplores the Murder of Dr. George Tiller

    A.L.L. Statement on George Tiller Killing

    Despicable. Cowardly. Evil.

    Late-term abortionist George Tiller murdered at his church

    A few thoughts about the Tiller murder

    Abortionist Tiller is Killed

    Dr. George Tiller Murdered In Wichita

    Late Term Abortion Doctor Shot Dead at his Church

    A martyr for Moloch

    Abortionist George Tiller killed during Church service

    Abortionist George Tiller Shot and Killed

    Abortion doctor shot and killed at his church

    Pro life movement repudiates murder of Kansas late-term abortion provider

    Dr. George Tiller RIP

    God have mercy on both victim and murderer

    Updated: Tiller Murder: First Reactions

    Oh No: Abortion Doctor Tiller Murdered

    Pro-aborts exploit Tiller murder

    Abortionist George Tiller murdered

    Confronting evil with evil

    Tiller Murdered - But Not By A Pro-Lifer

    On Not Grieving

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    Friday, May 29, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (29 May 2009)

  • Toledo Diocese to Welcome Five Men to Priesthood ... Largest Class in Over a Decade

  • Kmiec Tells Another Lie in Service of Obama

  • Robert P. George on "Obama and His Pro-Life Apologists"

  • Robert George vs Douglas Kmiec: How Should a Pro-Life Citizen Respond to Obama? [UPDATED]

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (28 May 2009))


    Toledo Diocese to Welcome Five Men to Priesthood ... Largest Class in Over a Decade

    From the Diocese of Toledo's website:
    On Saturday, May 30th at 11am, Bishop Leonard P. Blair will ordain five men into the priesthood of the Diocese of Toledo at Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral at 2535 Collingwood Boulevard. This is the largest class of new priests the Diocese of Toledo has seen in more than a decade.

    Deacon Kishore Kottana, 44, from Visakhapatnam, India grew up in Mumbai, India and has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Theology both from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy. Since his arrival in the Diocese of Toledo in 2007, Deacon Kishore performed his pastoral internship at St. Wendelin Parish in Fostoria, and also served at St. Mary’s Parish in Sandusky. Before entering the seminary Deacon Kishore worked as a submarine refit supervisor for 18 years at a naval base in India, and served the poor in an orphanage as part of a Catholic lay community. Deacon Kishore says of the Catholic community here, “I have this sense of belonging, this sense of happiness that I’m accepted.”

    Deacon Jason Kahle, 29, from Kalida,Ohio, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Industrial Design from The Ohio State University and a Master’s of Divinity from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. Deacon Jason performed his pastoral internship at St. Mary’s Parish in Sandusky. He also served at St. Joseph parish in Ft. Jennings, Immaculate Conception in Ottoville, St. Mary in Defiance, Transfiguration of the Lord in Upper Sandusky and at Columbus Children’s Hospital. Deacon Jason says he can trace his first thoughts of priesthood to his involvement in youth ministry in high school and the suggestion of his parents that he would be a good priest.

    Deacon Chris Bohnsack, 40, from Toledo has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s of Divinity from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary of the West. Deacon Chris performed his pastoral internship at All Saints Parish in New Reigel, and also served at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Before entering the seminary Deacon Chris worked with Sunshine Children’s Home where he cared for men with developmental disabilities in a group home environment.

    Deacon Eric Mueller, 32, from Landeck, Ohio has a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental and Hazardous Materials Management from the University of Findlay, a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toledo, and a Master’s of Divinity from St. Meinrad’s Seminary. Deacon Eric performed his pastoral internship at St. Michael’s Parish in Findlay, and also served at St. Caspar in Wauseon, Indiana University Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, and St. Mary in Sandusky. Deacon Eric spent 11 weeks studying Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala. A suggestion from a friend during his junior year in college influenced Deacon Eric to consider the call to priesthood. He now says, “I’ve grown to really love my vocation and want to give of myself as a priest.”

    Deacon Tony Recker, 32, from Napoleon Ohio, is the son of a permanent Deacon, the late Deacon Louis Recker, and credits this strong Catholic upbringing as the foundation of his vocation. Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine, Deacon Tony added a Master’s of Divinity from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary of the West. He served his pastoral internship at St. Thomas Aquinas and Good Shepherd Parishes in Toledo, and also served at Immaculate Conception in Bellevue, Our Lady of Suyapa Seminary in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, San Juan Bautista Parish in El Paraiso, Honduras, St. Patrick's Historic Parish in Toledo, and St. Mary's in Defiance. Deacon Tony felt the call to the priesthood during medical school, and entered the seminary shortly after finishing his medical degree.

    According to The Class of 2009: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood conducted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Vocations and analyzed by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University there are 465 potential ordinands this year. Researchers gathered information from 310 seminarians, or about 70 percent of the potential ordinands, and reported that the average age of ordinands this year is 36, and that about 57 percent of new priests are between 25 and 29 years of age.

    Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, noted the quality of the Class of 2009 saying, "These new priests reflect a tremendous dedication to the Church and show great promise. They reflect God's blessing on our Church."
    Please pray for all of these men.

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    Kmiec Tells Another Lie in Service of Obama

    Jill Stanek has the story:
    During last night's "discussion" between pro-life/pro-Obama Prof. Doug Kmiec and pro-life/anti-Obama Prof. Robert George, Kmiec repeated a false statement.

    Kmiec said the number of abortions went UP under President George W. Bush. On
    Fox News Sunday May 17 Fr. Richard McBrien, a pro-Obama Notre Dame theology professor, made the same erroneous claim in a debate with Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life.

    My friend, Professor (and statistical analyzer) Michael New, wants to correct the record:
    The data do not bear this out. In fact the most recent data from both the Centers for Disease Control and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (research arm of Planned Parenthood) indicate that abortions fell during George W. Bush's presidency.

    According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute between 2000 and 2005 the number of abortions declined from 1,312,990 to 1,206,200 (a decline of 8.1%, data obtained from all 50 states).According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute the abortion rate (abortions per thousand women between 15 and 44) between 2000 and 2005 declined from 21.3 to 19.4.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia post on this subject:
    Catholic News Agency: Catholics in Alliance "Abortion Reduction" Study Found to be Faulty - Social Welfare Policies Have Little Effect on Abortion

    Archbishop Chaput: "Abortion Reduction Strategies" Ignore Half of the Problem [UPDATED]

    Catholic World Report: "Douglas Kmiec and His Misinformation Offensive for Barack Obama"

    Prof. Robert George: Notion that Obama's Policies Will Reduce Abortion is "Delusional"

    National Catholic Register: "Pro-Life Candidates Save Lives" [UPDATED]

    Archbishop Chaput: Kmiec Doing a "Disservice to the Church"

    USCCB Sets Record Straight Re: Catholic Stance on Overturning Roe

    Mainstream Media Compliant in Obama's "Faith Outreach" Pitch

    Debate Over at Amy's: Should Catholics Work for Legal Restrictions on Abortion?

    Bishop Blair Responds to Gaillardetz Opinion Regarding Roe v. Wade

    Cardinal Rigali's Statement for Respect Life Sunday

    Deacon Fournier Puts Smack Down on Prof. Kmiec

    Abortion Rate Falls ... Again

    Mark Stricherz: "Why the Democratic Abortion Strategy is Worse"

    U.S. Catholic Bishops: "You Can't Reduce Abortions by Promoting Abortions"

    Blackadder: "Would Overturning Roe Reduce the Abortion Rate?"

    "Poverty and Abortion: A New Analysis"

    Number of Abortions Lowest in Decades

    National Review Online: Mainstream Media Continues to Distort on Abortion

    Pro-Life Quote of the Day

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    Robert P. George on "Obama and His Pro-Life Apologists"

    Three months into President Obama’s first term, one of his most prominent pro-life opponents, Robert P. George, engaged in a debate with one of his most prominent pro-life supporters, Douglas W. Kmiec. This article at The Public Discourse is adapted from George's remarks, which called for candid speech on Obama's abortion record:

    ... In my judgment, citizens who honor and seek to protect the lives of vulnerable unborn children must oppose the Obama administration’s agenda on the taking of unborn human life. Our goal must be to frustrate at every turn the administration’s efforts, which will be ongoing and determined, to expand the abortion license and the authorization and funding of human embryo-destructive research. Because the President came into office with large majorities in both houses of Congress, ours is a daunting task. But the difficulty of the challenge in no way diminishes our moral obligation to meet it. And I here call upon pro-life Americans, including those who, like Professor Kmiec, supported President Obama and helped to bring him to power, to find common ground with us in this great struggle for human equality, human rights, and human dignity. [ED.: Yeah, good luck with that. As Regular Guy Paul has noted, " I have yet to see any "pro-life" Obama supporter engaging anyone in the Democratic Party on the issue of abortion. All I see from them is calls to social conservatives to either convert to become Democrats, or to sit down and shut up."]

    Professor Kmiec and I share common ground in the belief that every member of the human family—irrespective of race, class, and ethnicity, but also irrespective of age, size, location, stage of development or condition of dependency—is entitled to our care and respect and to the equal protection of our laws. This is what it means to be pro-life. In this shared conviction, Professor Kmiec and I are on one side of a crucial divide, and President Obama is on the other. Professor Kmiec and I stand together in our opposition to abortion and human embryo-destructive research, but we share very little common ground on these matters with President Obama and those whom he has appointed to high office who will determine the fate of vast numbers of our weakest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters.

    The President is right. His view regarding the status, dignity, and rights of the child in the womb, and the view shared by Professor Kmiec and myself, are irreconcilable. A chasm separates those of us who believe that every living human being possesses profound, inherent, and equal dignity, and those who, for whatever reasons, deny it. The issue really cannot be fudged, as people sometimes try to do by imagining that there is a dispute about whether it is really a human being who is dismembered in a dilation and curettage abortion, or whose skin is burned off in a saline abortion, or the base of whose skull is pierced and whose brains are sucked out in a dilation and extraction (or “partial birth”) abortion. That issue has long been settled—and it was settled not by religion or philosophy, but by the sciences of human embryology and developmental biology.

    So it is clear that what divides us as a nation, and what divides Barack Obama, on one side, from Robert George and Douglas Kmiec, on the other, is not whether the being whose life is taken in abortion and in embryo-destructive research is a living individual of the human species—a human being; it is whether all human beings, or only some, possess fundamental dignity and a right to life. Professor Kmiec and I affirm, and the President denies, that every human being, even the youngest, the smallest, the weakest and most vulnerable at the very dawn of their lives, has a life which should be respected and protected by law. The President holds, and we deny, that those in the embryonic and fetal stages of human development may rightly and freely be killed because they are unwanted or potentially burdensome to others, or because materials obtained by dissecting them may be useful in biomedical research.

    President Obama knows that an unborn baby is human. He knows that the blood shed by the abortionist’s knife is human blood, that the bones broken are human bones. He does not deny that the baby whom nurse Jill Stanek discovered gasping for breath in a soiled linen bin after a failed attempt to end her life by abortion, was a human baby. Even in opposing the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was designed to assure that such babies were rescued if possible or at least given comfort care while they died, Barack Obama did not deny the humanity of the child. What he denied, and continues to deny, is the fundamental equality of that child—equality with those of us who are safely born and accepted into the human community.

    President Obama’s supporters do him no good service by pretending that his expressions of willingness to find “common ground” with pro-lifers involve, at some level, recognition that abortion or embryo-destructive research is bad or tragic because it kills a living member of the human family. Unlike, say former President Clinton or former New York Governor Cuomo, or even Vice President Biden, President Obama does not profess to be “personally opposed” to abortion, or to believe that abortion is a wrongful act that must nevertheless be legally permitted because the consequences of outlawing it would be worse than those of tolerating it. His belief, and his policy, is that abortion, if a woman chooses it, is not wrong. That is why he is not personally opposed to it. There is no wrong there to oppose. Indeed, the President made crystal clear his view that abortion can be an entirely legitimate and even desirable option, when he said that if one of his daughters made a mistake and became pregnant, he would not want her to be “punished with a baby.” In such a case, he saw abortion as the right solution to a problem—a solution that we should be happy is available, and that we should make available if it happens not yet to be available. Without it, a young woman would be “punished.”

    All of this was made transparently clear at a recent meeting at the White House in which people on both sides of the abortion issue were brought together to see if they could find some common ground. The meeting was led by Melody Barnes, the Director of the President’s Domestic Policy Council and a former board member of Emily’s List, one of the nation’s most aggressive organizations devoted to legal abortion and its public funding. At one point in the meeting, she recognized pro-life activist Wendy Wright, who attempted to explain ways that the President could begin to achieve his reported goal of reducing the number of abortions. Barnes interrupted her to make clear that the precise goal of the administration is to “reduce the need for abortions.” Two days after the meeting, the President spoke at Notre Dame, and he chose his words carefully. In speaking of common ground, he did not propose that we reduce the number of abortions, but rather [and I quote] “the number of women seeking abortions.” Get it? The President and his administration will not join us on the common ground of discouraging women from having abortions or even in encouraging them to choose childbirth over abortion. The proposed common ground is the reduction of unwanted pregnancies—not discouraging those in “need” of abortion from having them. The idea that the interests of a child who might be vulnerable to the violence of abortion should be taken into account, even in discouraging women from resorting to abortion or encouraging alternatives to abortion, is simply off the table.

    The President and the people he has placed in charge of this issue, such as Melody Barnes, have a deep ideological commitment to the idea that there is nothing actually wrong with abortion, because the child in the womb simply has no rights. This commitment explains the policy positions President Obama has consistently taken since he entered the Illinois legislature. It crucially shapes and profoundly limits what he and those associated with him regard as the “common ground” on which he is willing to work with pro-lifers. And it explains why he and they reject what we, as pro-lifers, propose as common ground.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Robert George vs Douglas Kmiec: How Should a Pro-Life Citizen Respond to Obama? [UPDATED]

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: Obama Advisor Says “It is Not Our Goal to Reduce the Number of Abortions” [UPDATED]

    Catholic University of America Offers Forum to Discuss Life Issues at National Press Club

    Prof. George Schools Prof. Kmiec ... Again

    Scholar vs. Hack: Prof. George Schools Prof. Kmiec re: "Did Obama Allow Human Cloning?"

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    Robert George vs Douglas Kmiec: How Should a Pro-Life Citizen Respond to Obama? [UPDATED]

    Denise Hunnell, M.D., (a.k.a. Catholic Mom) was able to get a press pass and attend yesterday's discussion between Prof. Douglas Kmiec and Prof. Robert George (moderated by Amb. Mary Ann Glendon) concerning a pro-life citizen's response to President Obama's administration. Her report, as well as a link to a video of the event, is here:
    ... Professor Kmiec spoke first. Unfortunately, his initial presentation offered little towards the goals put forth by Professor Glendon. His focus was on the presidential campaign and not on the current state of policy. He asserted that Catholics who did not support Obama were relegating themselves to the sidelines to talk among themselves rather than engaging the opposition. He also claimed that Obama’s campaign priorities of addressing climate change, the Iraq war, poverty, and health care justified support from Catholics even if they did not agree with his position on abortion or embryonic stem cell research. He also spent a great deal of time criticizing Catholics, especially priests and bishops, whom he said used mechanisms of intimidation to advance their position. He assailed the denial of Communion to pro-abortion Catholics as an act of intimidation. He ended with the statement that it is wrong to make justice the enemy of love.

    In contrast, Professor George spoke very specifically about how a pro-life citizen should respond. He first outlined the multiple initiatives of the Obama administration that were opposed to the sanctity of human life from the moment of its conception. He said the pro-life citizen must vigorously oppose the Obama agenda that aims to kill unborn life. In light of the president’s party enjoying a majority in both houses of Congress, this is a difficult task. However, the difficulty of the challenge does not diminish our responsibility to make such a challenge.

    Professor George also made a very significant point: Unlike Biden, Pelosi, or Kerry, President Obama does not say he is personally opposed to abortion. He is not opposed to abortion at all. Abortion is not a tragedy. The circumstances that cause a woman to seek an abortion may be a tragedy. The abortion is a welcome solution. Professor George continues by pointing out that President Obama admitted at the University of Notre Dame that his views and the views of those who consider abortion an intrinsic evil are irreconcilable. This makes it nearly impossible to find common ground since he views as good what pro-life citizens view as evil.

    George also took the opportunity to challenge the notion that denial of Communion was an act of intimidation by noting that in 1962 Archbishop Rummel of New Orleans excommunicated three prominent Catholic politicians for their support of continued segregation. They New York Times lauded this action. However, when current bishops withhold Communion from pro-abortion politicians, the New York Times considers this meddling in politics. What is the difference?

    Another significant point made by Professor George is that pro-life citizens can support an incremental strategy. If President Obama will not accord human right to an embryo at conception, will he do so in the second or third trimester? Will he support parental notification? Will he support a ban on abortion for sex selection? Professor George asserts that President Obama’s unwillingness to entertain any limits on abortion belie his call for common ground. There is no common ground when President Obama feels the equality of women demands an inequality of unborn children and an unfettered access to abortion at any time for any reason.

    Kmiec treats the personhood of the unborn as a matter of faith rather than a matter of natural law therefore feels it cannot be imposed on those with whom we disagree. Professor George claims that it is a matter of justice to recognize the personhood of the unborn from the moment of conception. Failure to do so divides the world into human person with human rights and human persons without rights. History has shown the horrific results of such a division...

    [Read the whole thing]
    Chris Blosser also provides coverage of yesterday's event at Catholics in the Public Square and at The American Catholic.

    In comments to this post, James H makes an outstanding observation:
    "Kmiec treats the personhood of the unborn as a matter of faith rather than a matter of natural law therefore feels it cannot be imposed on those with whom we disagree"

    Good grief another 180. Did not Kmiec is all those Catholic Online articles he do say that believed the Right to Life was based on the Declaration of Independence dealing with rights.
    Great catch, JH!

    That WAS Kmiec's WHOLE argument as to why the conservative position on overturning Roe isn't actually "pro-life" ... because it doesn't go FAR ENOUGH in recognizing the fundamental Natural Law right to life of the unborn. In fact, he praised Justice Thomas as the ONLY Justice willing to take into account such Natural Law considerations in his jurisprudence.

    So, once again without even acknowledging his change in position on the issue, Kmiec comes down on the complete opposite end of the spectrum than what he has previously argued as the "pro-life" position. Proving once again that there is no previously held viewpoint that Kmiec won't abandon in the service of his political master.

    What a pathetic, lying, hypocritical, sycophantic Obama suck-up Kmiec has become. As our friend Paul Zummo put it the other day, "How many bags of silver were thrown at this nitwit anyway?"

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Catholic University of America Offers Forum to Discuss Life Issues at National Press Club

    Prof. George Schools Prof. Kmiec ... Again

    Scholar vs. Hack: Prof. George Schools Prof. Kmiec re: "Did Obama Allow Human Cloning?"

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    Thursday, May 28, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 May 2009)

  • Pro-life Leader of The Catholic League Roots for Sotomayor ... Tells GOP Not to Fight "This One"

  • Saint of the Day: Blessed Maragret Pole

  • Results for the 2009 Cannonball Awards ...

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 May 2009))


    Pro-life Leader of The Catholic League Roots for Sotomayor ... Tells GOP Not to Fight "This One"

    Writing in The Washington Times, our friend Victor Morton reports on Bill Donohue's surprising announcement of support for the Sotomayor nomination:
    A prominent pro-life Catholic says he will be quietly rooting for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and said she may even be an improvement over retiring Justice David H. Souter - as both sides of the abortion issue try to discern her position.

    William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Judge Sotomayor's record has more bright spots than conservative Catholics can reasonably expect to get from an appointee of President Obama.

    "If the Republicans are smart, they would not fight this one," he told The Washington Times in an interview Thursday.

    "I wish I knew more about her. But from what we know, it looks like she'll be at least a wash with Souter, and maybe we'll even see improvement."

    The White House said that Mr. Obama did not specifically ask her about her views on the issue but that the president is confident she agrees with him on the fundamental constitutional issues.

    But pro-choice groups are uncertain about Judge Sotomayor, and this week they called on senators to ask her directly how she would rule on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.

    "We encourage the Senate Judiciary Committee to engage Judge Sotomayor and any future nominees to the Court on their commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "Anything less threatens not only a woman's constitutional rights, but her life and health."
    Victor also gets a quote from another friend of this blog, Steve "Feddie" Dillard:
    Mr. Donohue was not alone among conservative Catholics in calling for pro-lifers to hold their fire.

    "My concern is that the people in Obama's on-deck circle are much worse," said Steve Dillard, an adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee and founder of the site Catholics Against Rudy. He called Judge Sotomayor "the best of the worst."

    "Do you really want to win this battle only to get Diane Wood?" said Mr. Dillard, a lawyer and former clerk at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Judge Wood, whom he called a brilliant radical, sits.
    Exactly right. Donohue concurs:
    Mr. Donohue also suggested that opposing Judge Sotomayor's confirmation would not be wise in the short term, in terms of who the alternative nominee might be.

    "I am looking at this pool of likely competitors, and, far and away, Sotomayor is the best candidate," he said, adding that making too big a political fight over the Sotomayor pick "might look like we have an agenda that will not look good to many in the Latino community."
    My Comments:
    I have a dream:
    I have a dream that one day I meet Feddie on a train platform. Associate Justice Sotomayor has just joined the Supreme Court majority in overturning Roe v. Wade in the landmark decision Planned Parenthood v. South Dakota, and I know how thrilled Feddie must be because I am in a similar state of euphoria. We start running through the crowd toward each other, and when we meet, we embrace, laughing and crying. An ecstatic Feddie weeps tears of joy, telling me over and over: “We were right about telling conservatives to hold their fire on Sotomayor! ... We were right!” The two of us are so jubilant, so giddy — practically dancing — that onlookers think we are crazy; but we just keep laughing and yelling and hugging each other because sometimes, there are happy endings.
    Do I think such a scenario is likely? No. For one thing, the likelihood of Feddie and me appearing on the same train platform is somewhere between slim and none. For another thing, I am fairly sure that Sotomayor is a conventional liberal who would vote to uphold Roe should the opportunity ever present itself.

    Still, a guy can dream (and pray) can't he?

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    NY Times: "On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Show Unease"

    Round-Up of Reactions to Sotomayor Pick [UPDATED]

    Supreme Court-Related Quote of the Day ... [UPDATED]

    Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War [UPDATED]

    My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]

    Conservatives, Liberals, and Supreme Court Picks

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    Saint of the Day: Blessed Maragret Pole

    At Catholic Fire, Jean notes that today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Margaret Pole, mother of Cardinal Reginald Pole (who eventually became the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury and, along with his cousin, Mary Tudor, would lead England's nearly successful Counter-Reformation).

    Blessed Margaret and a number of other members of her family were beheaded out of spite because Cardinal Pole - who was living abroad on the Continent and preaching against Henry VIII's break with the Church - was beyond King Henry's reach.

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    Results for the 2009 Cannonball Awards ...

    ... are in.

    A belated thank you to our friend the Carolina Cannonball for hosting these awards, and to all of you who voted for this blog and helped carry the day for best blog in the category of Potpourri of Popery.

    I'm not sure this blog quite fits the category, but thanks anyway.

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    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 May 2009)

  • NY Times: "On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Show Unease"

  • Round-Up of Reactions to Sotomayor Pick [UPDATED]

  • NY Times Loves "Mocking Provincial Mediocrity ... to Appease Yen for Regional Condescension on the Coasts"; Condemns "Jeering at Liberal Pieties"

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (26 May 2009))


    NY Times: "On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Show Unease"

    All the pro-lifers who claim to "KNOW" with certainty how Judge Sotomayor would rule on abortion should give the pro-aborts a call to reassure them, because the pro-aborts don't seem to have any idea where she stands on the issue:
    WASHINGTON — In nearly 11 years as a federal appeals court judge, President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has never directly ruled on whether the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. But when she has written opinions that touched tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some cases that were favorable to abortion opponents.

    Now, some abortion rights advocates are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.

    “Discussion about Roe v. Wade will — and must — be part of this nomination process,” Ms. Keenan wrote. “As you know, choice hangs in the balance on the Supreme Court as the last two major choice-related cases were decided by a 5-to-4 margin.”

    But in his briefing to reporters on Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, was asked whether Mr. Obama had asked Judge Sotomayor about abortion or privacy rights. Mr. Gibbs replied that Mr. Obama “did not ask that specifically.”

    ... at this point, Judge Sotomayor’s views are as unknown as Justice Souter’s were in 1990, said Steven Waldman, the editor in chief of, a religious Web site, where he has blogged about her lack of an abortion rights record.

    “Everyone is just assuming that because Obama appointed her, she must be a die-hard pro-choice activist,” Mr. Waldman said, “but it’s really quite amazing how little we know about her views on abortion.”

    In a
    2007 case, she strongly criticized colleagues on the court who said that only women, and not their husbands, could seek asylum based on China’s abortion policy. “The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child,” she wrote, also taking note of “the unique biological nature of pregnancy and special reverence every civilization has accorded to child-rearing and parenthood in marriage.”

    [Read the whole thing]

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Round-Up of Reactions to Sotomayor Pick [UPDATED]

    Supreme Court-Related Quote of the Day ... [UPDATED]

    Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War [UPDATED]

    My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]

    Conservatives, Liberals, and Supreme Court Picks

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    Round-Up of Reactions to Sotomayor Pick [UPDATED]

    At Catholics in the Public Square, Chris Blosser has an excellent round-up of the reactions around the blogosphere to President Obama's choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice David Souter.

    Also, the CBSNews blog Political Hotsheet has some very interesting reactions to this nomination coming from abortion supporters: "Sotomayor Nomination Renews Roe V. Wade Debate":

    ... Another reason why both pro-choice and pro-life groups will be paying close attention to Sotomayor's views is the example of retiring Justice David Souter, whose seat she was chosen to fill. Conservatives are still smarting from President George H.W. Bush's choice of Souter, who was little-known at the time and was selected in part because the elder Bush wanted to avoid a bruising Bork-era confirmation battle.

    That example is probably why the Center for Reproductive Rights signaled some concern on Tuesday, saying that it wants the Senate Judiciary committee to verify Sotomayor's "commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade." An e-mail message from the group asks supporters to lobby Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to require "full disclosure.

    Meanwhile, liberal activists on the Daily Kos blog are already fretting that "Sotomayor is a stealth ANTI-CHOICE supreme court pick." Steve Waldman of suggests that the nominee is "an abortion centrist." And some Catholic pro-life bloggers are saying :"We've dodged a bullet. It could have been much worse..."

    Just the fact that there are hard-core abortion supporters out there who have big-time doubts about the nominee ought to be a clue to the pro-life organizations that maybe they need to re-evaluate and tone down their knee-jerk condemnations of the Sotomayor pick.

    Again, I'm not saying she's a stealth anti-Roe vote. In fact, as I've said previously, I believe her to be a conventional liberal who, if given the chance, would likely vote to uphold Roe. That said, the over-the-top rhetoric coming from pro-life organizations is obviously misplaced, especially given Judge Sotomayor's sparse record in this regard and the unmistakeable concern emanating from the pro-abortion crowd.

    UPDATE #2
    Posting at Mirror of Justice and commenting at The American Catholic, Notre Dame Law Professor Rick Garnett notes that Judge Sotomayor "has a pretty good track record on religious-liberty and 'religion in the public square' cases":
    Prof. Howard Friedman, at the "Religion Clause" blog, has collected Judge Sotomayor's religious-freedom decisions, here. In my view, notwithstanding the (unsurprising) fact that my strong preference would have been for Justice Souter to have been replaced by someone selected by Pres. McCain, Judge Sotomayor's religious-liberty decisions -- especially her dissent in Hankins (on the ministerial exception) -- are encouraging.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Supreme Court-Related Quote of the Day ... [UPDATED]

    Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War [UPDATED]

    My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]

    Conservatives, Liberals, and Supreme Court Picks

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    NY Times Loves "Mocking Provincial Mediocrity ... to Appease Yen for Regional Condescension on the Coasts"; Condemns "Jeering at Liberal Pieties"

    Matthew Archbold, writing at Creative Minority Report, ridicules an "unintentionally funny piece" in The New York Times:
    The New York Times has written the most unintentionally funny piece I've read in a long time. In short, The New York Times doesn't think Mike Judge is funny anymore. Mind you, they thought he was hilarious when he created the show 'King of the Hill' because they saw it as mocking middle America but now Judge's new show "The Goodes" is mocking political correctness. And the NYT is not happy.

    The Times introduces the piece by saying "King of the Hill" was great because essentially the dumb rubes in middle America didn't know they were being made fun of while the show "mocked provincial mediocrity enough to appease the yen for religious condescension on the coasts."

    Yup. They actually wrote that.


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    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 May 2009)

  • Supreme Court-Related Quote of the Day ... [UPDATED]

  • Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War [UPDATED]

  • My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]
  • Labels:

    Supreme Court-Related Quote of the Day ... [UPDATED]

    ... from Glenn Reynolds:
    A SUPREME COURT THAT LOOKS LIKE AMERICA: If America were 2/3 Catholic.

    UPDATE (27 May)
    And the best blog-post title of the day goes to this one: Habemus SCOTUS.

    Well, habemus 2/3 of one, anyway.


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    Sotomayor Blurs Lines in Abortion War [UPDATED]

    Dan Gilgoff writes at the U.S. News & World Report blog God & Country:

    The news media are reporting that conservative groups are girding for an all-out assault on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. And, to be sure, those groups are slowly releasing statements venting unalloyed outrage at President Obama's first high-court pick.

    "She is a radical pick that divides America,"
    [ED.: Really? She seems like a fairly safe and conventional (albeit clearly liberal) pick to my "untrained" eyes.] Americans United for Life said this morning. "She believes the role of the court is to set policy, which is exactly the philosophy that led to the Supreme Court turning into the 'National Abortion Control Board.'" [ED.: NEWS FLASH!!! The Supreme Court, like it or not, DOES set policy. They have ever since a little case back in the early 1800s called Marbury v. Madison.]

    On the crucial issue of abortion, however, Sotomayor—a U.S. appeals court judge who previously served as a federal district judge—is largely a blank slate. "Sotomayor has never directly decided whether a law regulating abortion was constitutional," according to a recent Americans United for Life analysis.

    Despite the purported outrage by conservative groups, Sotomayor's thin record on abortion is most likely a relief to those groups—and may actually wind up making abortion-rights groups anxious. In light of today's AUL statement, for instance, it may come as a surprise that Sotomayor receives the kindest treatment of nine potential Obama Supreme Court nominations the group examined. [ED.: I believe that's called hypocrisy. They know the Sotomayor pick is actually much better than we could've expected, yet they've gone on the offensive anyway.]

    AUL notes that Sotomayor upheld a ban on federal funds going to abortion providers overseas. "The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the antiabortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds," Sotomayor wrote in the decision. She has also ruled in favor of antiabortion protesters who sued West Hartford, Conn., claiming that police there used excessive force against them at a demonstration.

    For the moment, groups on the left are applauding Sotomayor, and groups on the right are attacking her. Everyone's following the script.
    [ED.: Politics as usual. Disgusting, but expected, I suppose.] But on abortion, the attitudes on both sides are probably much more complicated.
    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    My Comments:
    Granted, I am of the opinion that, absent very extreme circumstances, a President is entitled to the Supreme Court nominees of his choice ... especially with his first pick, so I recognize that I'm probably more tolerant of this pick than your average pro-lifer may be.

    That said, I'm thoroughly disgusted by the reaction of pro-life groups and many other conservatives to this nomination. They've wasted no time before engaging in knee-jerk condemnation of Judge Sotomayor without, I'd wager, spending more than a minimal amount of time reviewing her record. As I noted in an update to my previous post, "I'm beginning to think that certain pro-life organizations already had their anti-nominee press releases ready to go this morning when Obama made his Supreme Court announcement, and that they just filled in the blank once they learned the name."

    It's pure politics, and it's disgusting. I want no part in it, and I'd like all the pro-life groups to stop their barrage of emails to me telling me how the country as we know it is doomed if we don't derail the Sotomayor nomination (the head of one group, which will remain nameless, has emailed me no fewer than 5 times today asking me to promote this anti-Sotomayor tripe).

    UPDATE (27 May)
    One pro-life blogger for whom I have a great deal of respect has described Judge Sotomayor as a "radical liberal pro-death nominee".

    On what basis does one make that claim? Certainly not based on Judge Sotomayor's actual judicial record. Who knows? That assessment may turn out to be 100% accurate. But, at this point, there is absolutely nothing - other than the fact that she has been nominated by President Obama - to indicate the accuracy of that description.

    And even if it turns out to be accurate, like it or not, President Obama won the election. Elections have consequences. One consequence is that Presidents get to put Justices of their choice on the Supreme Court.

    UPDATE #2 (27 May)
    The CBSNews Political Hotsheet has more on this subject: "Sotomayor Nomination Renews Roe V. Wade Debate":
    ... Another reason why both pro-choice and pro-life groups will be paying close attention to Sotomayor's views is the example of retiring Justice David Souter, whose seat she was chosen to fill. Conservatives are still smarting from President George H.W. Bush's choice of Souter, who was little-known at the time and was selected in part because the elder Bush wanted to avoid a bruising Bork-era confirmation battle.

    That example is probably why the Center for Reproductive Rights signaled some concern on Tuesday, saying that it wants the Senate Judiciary committee to verify Sotomayor's "commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade." An e-mail message from the group asks supporters to lobby Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to require "full disclosure.

    Meanwhile, liberal activists on the Daily Kos blog are already fretting that "Sotomayor is a stealth ANTI-CHOICE supreme court pick." Steve Waldman of suggests that the nominee is "an abortion centrist." And some Catholic pro-life bloggers are saying :"We've dodged a bullet. It could have been much worse..."
    Thanks for the link, by the way.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]

    Conservatives, Liberals, and Supreme Court Picks

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    My Advice for Conservatives Re: Judge Sotomayor [UPDATED]

    First and foremost: Relax. Don't get worked up. Don't make her out to be the devil incarnate. She's not.

    Conservatives and Republicans would be wise to hold their fire on this pick. She's going to be confirmed anyway, and the conservative cause has very little to gain by standing athwart this historical nomination (the first Latina Supreme Court nominee) yelling "Stop!" In fact, they have much to lose (i.e. what's left of the Latinos who still vote for them) by being seen as opposing this nomination.

    Besides, Feddie is right. We've dodged a bullet. It could have been much worse, and I'm actually a little surprised Obama didn't go ahead and use some political capital while he still has it to go for broke on as big a lefty ideologue as he could find. Believe me, there are some disappointed folks on the left who likely view this pick similarly to how some of us on the right viewed the Harriet Miers pick.

    The better strategy for the right is to let Obama have this one ... maybe even confirm her 100-0. Ask tough questions during the confirmation hearings, but don't go overboard, and definitely don't be seen as hostile to her personally. State openly for the record that you're willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt on his first pick, but that future nominees will draw much tougher scrutiny.

    And then draw the line in the sand with Justice Stevens' replacement.

    Some interesting facts about Judge Sotomayor include that she would be the 6th Catholic currently sitting on the Supreme Court (joining Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito), and that, as a federal appeals court judge in 2002, she ruled against a pro-abortion group that had challenged the Mexico City Policy (which prohibits foreign organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or supporting abortions). In her opinion, Sotomayor ruled that the government can favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-abortion position when deciding how to spend public funds.

    So, given this history, another tactic conservative Senators should use during the confirmation hearings is to get Judge Sotomayor on the record saying things that will alienate the President's hard-core left supporters. That would be awesome.

    UPDATE #2
    More from Feddie here. I concur.

    UPDATE #3
    Michael Denton offers his take.

    UPDATE #4
    NARAL Cautious on Sotomayor?

    UPDATE #5
    I'm beginning to think that certain pro-life organizations already had their anti-nominee press releases ready to go this morning when Obama made his Supreme Court announcement, and that they just filled in the blank once they learned the name.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Conservatives, Liberals, and Supreme Court Picks

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    Monday, May 25, 2009

    Memorial Day: "In Flanders Fields"

    In Flanders Fields
    Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army

    IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead.
    Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

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    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: Obama Advisor Says “It is Not Our Goal to Reduce the Number of Abortions” [UPDATED]

    (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    If the allegedly "pro-life" supporters of the President don't speak out forcefully against the administration for this, then they will have proven themselves to be the pro-abortion liars and hypocrites that Regular Guy Paul has always said they are:

    Uttered at a meeting of abortion interest groups, pro and con, to discuss the sort of meaningless “common ground” to which Obama paid lip service at Notre Dame.
    I noted that there are three main ways the administration can reach its goals: by what it funds, its messages from the bully pulpit, and by what it restricts. It is universally agreed that the role of parents is crucial, so government should not deny parents the ability to be involved in vital decisions. The goals need to be clear; the amount of funding spent to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions is not a goal. The U.S. spends nearly $2 billion each year on contraception programs — programs which began in the 1970s — and they’ve clearly failed. We need to take an honest look at why they are not working.

    Melody testily interrupted to state that she had to correct me. “It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions.”

    The room was silent.

    The goal, she insisted, is to “reduce the need for abortions.”

    Abortion advocates object to the phrase “reducing abortions.” It connotes that there is something bad or immoral about abortion. Melody’s background as a board member of one of the most hard-core abortion groups in the country (Emily’s List even opposes bans on partial-birth abortion) sheds light on why she was irritated when that was stated as her boss’ goal.
    [Read the whole thing]
    My Comments:
    So, in other words, it is as many of us always said: the goal is to do nothing more than implement the leftist policies that the Dems would have introduced anyway regardless of their impact on abortion, and to just ASSERT - without proof - that such policies reduce - not abortion itself - but rather the so-called "need" for abortion. And I suppose the "common ground" on abortion that we're all supposed to be finding is that we can either get on board with Obama's big government agenda (whether or not it actually reduces abortion) or else be seen as "culture warriors" who are "tied to the old failed ways of doing things" and who are, therefore, "obstructionists" to finding a "pro-life consensus".

    What happens, then, when the policies prove themselves to have been ineffective at reducing either the rate or the number of abortions? What happens when the fears of those of us who have been critical of the Administration's pro-abortion policies are proven correct and the rate/number of abortions actually increases?

    Will the so-called "pro-life" supporters of the President then admit to Catholic voters that they were sold a bill of goods? Will they admit to aiding and abetting the most pro-abortion President in history in duping Catholics to vote for him? I'm not holding my breath.

    This Obama Culture of Death Update™ has been brought to you by Prof. Douglas Kmiec, Eric McFadden, all the fine folks at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good / Catholics United / Catholic Democrats, and countless other Catholics for whom "Hope" and "Change" trumped LIFE.

    UPDATE (25 May)
    Regular Guy Paul responds:
    This comes as no surprise to me. If you've been paying attention, it should come as no surprise to you. The Obama Administration is pro-abortion. Abortion is not a bad thing, in their view, and they have no interest in discussing ways to end abortion, nor even to reduce the number of abortions.

    It was a lie. Just like all his other lies. The people who claim to be pro-life and who supported abortion have been patsies. Suckers. Useful idiots, to use a term I saw over at Vox Nova to describe conservative pro-lifers.

    The only question is, will the ostensibly pro-life Obama supporters claim to be surprised? Will they resent being shown, and so quickly, to be patsies, suckers, and useful idiots? Or will they continue to make excuses for their real savior? I expect no conversions. There is nothing, nothing Barack Obama can say or do that will cost him the support of Morning's Minion or Douglas Kmiec. He could sign FOCA, he could personally perform abortions, and his Catholic "pro-life" supporters would still be out there shilling for him...

    (emphasis in original)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Obama Culture of Death Update™: Administration Now on Record That Promoting "Reproductive Health" Equals Promoting Abortion Abroad

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: President Lifts Ban on Federal ESCR Funding

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: Obama Nominee for Deputy Sec. of State Says Taxpayers Constitutionally Obligated to Fund Abortion

    Moral Accountability . com

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: Abortion Necessary to "Ensure Our Daughters Have the Same Rights and Opportunities As Our Sons"

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: "White House Web Site Becomes Pro-Abortion After Obama Takeover"

    Obama Culture of Death Update™: Among President Obama's First Official Acts is Promoting Abortion Abroad [UPDATED]

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    Thursday, May 21, 2009


    I'm not a viewer of the TV talent show American Idol, but from what I do know, that Adam guy got robbed.

    He'll join the ranks of Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry as American Idol "losers" who have outshown (by far) the respective winners in the years they competed.

    Ten or fifteen years from now, we'll still be talking about Adam Lambert as an artist and a star, while Kris Whatever-His-Name-Is will join Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and Taylor Hicks as mere cultural footnotes or a Trivial Pursuit question: "Who was the guy who beat megastar Adam Lambert on American Idol only to release some lame over-produced pop album that went nowhere ... just like his career?"

    I have no stake in the outcome and, as I said, don't even watch American Idol. But I recognize unique talent and artistry when I see it. Mark my words, Adam may just go on to be the biggest star of all the American Idol alumni.

    Ring of Fire by Adam Lambert

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    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    A Priceless Takedown of America Magazine

    Read Dale Price's priceless (pun intended) takedown of America Magazine's jesuitical nonsense regarding the opposition to Obama at Notre Dame. This is some of Dale's finest work.

    (Hat tip: Don McClarey at The American Catholic)

    [UPDATE: Okay, I changed the title of this post to something a little less provocative. I like the original better, but I can see how it might not be conducive to "dialogue".]

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    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    Notre Dame's Missing Witness [UPDATED]

    Bill McGurn writes in The Wall Street Journal:

    ... Pro-lifers are used to this. They know their stand makes them unglamorous. [ED.: Not according to Mark Shea, who believes pro-lifers ... errrr ... sorry ... the "anti-abortion movement" ... take this stand out of some sense of political "convenience" - using Catholic teaching as a "convenient prop", if you will - in an effort to be part of the "right-wing Catholic 'in' crowd".] They find themselves a stumbling block to Democratic progressives -- and unwelcome at the Republican country club. And they are especially desperate for the support of institutions willing to engage in the clear, thoughtful and unembarrassed way that even Mr. Obama says we should.

    With its billions in endowment and its prestigious name, Notre Dame ought to be in the lead here. But when asked for examples illuminating the university's unambiguous support for unborn life, Mr. Brown could provide only four: help for pregnant students who want to carry their babies to term, student volunteer work for pregnant women at local shelters, prayer mentions at campus Masses, and lectures such as a seminar on life issues.

    These are all well and good, but they also highlight the poverty of Notre Dame's institutional witness. At Notre Dame today, there is no pro-life organization -- in size, in funding, in prestige -- that compares with the many centers, institutes and so forth dedicated to other important issues ranging from peace and justice to protecting the environment. Perhaps this explains why a number of pro-life professors tell me they must not be quoted by name, lest they face career retaliation.

    The one institute that does put the culture of life at the heart of its work, moreover -- the Center for Ethics and Culture -- doesn't even merit a link under the "Faith and Service" section on the university's Web site. The point is this: When Notre Dame doesn't dress for the game, the field is left to those like Randall Terry who create a spectacle and declare their contempt for civil and respectful witness.

    In the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, there is a wonderful photograph of Father Ted Hesburgh -- then Notre Dame president -- linking hands with Martin Luther King Jr. at a 1964 civil-rights rally at Chicago's Soldier Field. Today, nearly four decades and 50 million abortions after Roe v. Wade, there is no photograph of similar prominence of any Notre Dame president taking a lead at any of the annual marches for life.

    Father Jenkins is right: That's not ambiguity. That's a statement.
    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    UPDATE (20 May)
    Steve Skojec has more on Notre Dame's purported "commitment" to the Church's pro-life teaching:

    ... We all agreed that it would add value to track the marchers as they journeyed across country. John Carroll High School of Birmingham, Ala., readily agreed to let us put a camera on one of its busses as did Missouri Right To Life, a non-denominational group out of St.. Louis.

    We wanted a college group as well. Sanborn had contacts at Notre Dame University, and they too seemed eager to participate. Given Notre Dame’s status as the iconic Catholic university, we all thought the university’s participation a good idea.

    As the Jan. 22 date approached, however, Sanborn started getting mixed signals out of Notre Dame. The administration was proving as unhelpful as his contacts had been helpful.

    When I asked Sanborn whether the resistance was just routine boilerplate or active obstruction, he said obstruction. As far as he could tell, the Notre Dame administration did not want our camera on the bus.

    The reason seemed clear enough even then: The university had no interest in seeing its name publicly associated with something as unblushingly Christian as the March For Life...

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    Yeah that's some "commitment" to the pro-life cause. If it were a civil rights march to protest racism, Notre Dame would be front and center, as Fr. Hesburgh's example indicates.

    But a civil rights march against the holocaust of the unborn? No way! Notre Dame can't have its good name besmirched by being associated with such an unenlightened endeavor. Why, they would be the laughing stock of elite academia.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Notre Dame Should Be a Witness for Human Life

    The REAL Beneficiaries of Abortion (Hint: It Ain't Women Who Are the Ones Being "Liberated")

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    Monday, May 18, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (18 May 2009)

  • Two Bishops Reflect on Obama at Notre Dame

  • Weigel: "Obama and the ‘Real’ Catholics"

  • Notre Dame Commencement Wrap-Up [UPDATED]
  • Labels:

    Two Bishops Reflect on Obama at Notre Dame

    (Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

    First, Archbishop Chaput:
    ... Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation's history: Roe v. Wade.

    In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops' guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life. It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame's 2009 Laetare Medal honoree - who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university's action. It ignored appeals from the university's local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops' conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics...

    The May 17 events do have some fitting irony, though. Almost exactly 25 years ago, Notre Dame provided the forum for Gov. Mario Cuomo to outline the "Catholic" case for "pro-choice" public service. At the time, Cuomo's speech was hailed in the media as a masterpiece of American Catholic legal and moral reasoning. In retrospect, it's clearly adroit. It's also, just as clearly, an illogical and intellectually shabby exercise in the manufacture of excuses. Father Jenkins' explanations, and President Obama's honorary degree, are a fitting national bookend to a quarter century of softening Catholic witness in Catholic higher education. Together, they've given the next generation of Catholic leadership all the excuses they need to baptize their personal conveniences and ignore what it really demands to be "Catholic" in the public square.
    (emphasis added)

    Second, Bishop Finn:
    ... I think the message of the day was this - that the President of Notre Dame said that they had invited the President of the United States and decided to honor him for the sake of dialogue. And then the President got up and said that the differences that we have on abortion - namely the Catholic Church's staunch opposition to abortion and his staunch support of abortion were "irreconcilable." And at that moment, it would seem to me that the dialogue came to a screeching halt. Father Jenkins' expressed desire for dialogue, whether it was well-founded or justified, at that point got thrown back in his face. The President shut the door on dialogue by saying that there was not going to be any change in his position on abortion and he understood that there was not going to be any change in the Church's position on abortion. To me, that was the lesson of the day. I am glad that Mr. Obama was so clear.

    And then, amazingly, everybody gave him a standing ovation. The perception unfortunately was that this was a completely acceptable position of his and, because he is a bright and talented man, this trumps the destructive decisions that he's making day after day...
    (emphasis in original)

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    Weigel: "Obama and the ‘Real’ Catholics"

    Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

    George Weigel writes on what Obama at Notre Dame portends for the future of Catholicism in America:
    ... So the “seamless garment” went underground for a decade, only to be dusted off by Douglas Kmiec and others in the 2008 campaign; there, a variant form of the consistent ethic was used to argue that Barack Obama was the real pro-life candidate on offer. As casuistry, this was risible. But it worked well enough that Catholic Obama-supporters on the Notre Dame board saw their chances and took ’em, arranging for the president to come to Notre Dame to complete the seamless garment’s dust-off and give it a new lease on life by presenting the late Cardinal Bernardin — “a kind and good man . . . a saintly man” — as the very model of a real Catholic in America. Not the kind of Catholic who would ever criticize Notre Dame for bestowing an honorary doctorate of laws on a man determined to enshrine in law what the Catholic Church regards as a fundamental injustice. Not the kind of man who would suggest that, with the life issues, we’re living through the moral equivalent of the Lincoln/Douglas debates, with Barack Obama unhappily choosing to play the role of Stephen A. Douglas. Not a man, in other words, like Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Cardinal Bernardin’s successor, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and one of the most articulate critics of Notre Dame’s decision to honor a president who manifestly does not share what Notre Dame claims is its institutional commitment to the Church’s defense of life.

    Whether or not President Obama knew precisely what he was doing — and I’m inclined to think that this politically savvy White House and its allies among Catholic progressive intellectuals knew exactly what they were doing — is irrelevant. In order to secure the political advantage Obama had gained among Catholic voters last November, the president of the United States decided that he would define what it means to be a real Catholic in 21st-century America — not the bishop of Fort Wayne–South Bend, who in sorrow declined to attend Notre Dame’s commencement; not the 80-some bishops who publicly criticized Notre Dame’s decision to invite the president to receive an honorary degree; not the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which explicitly and unambiguously instructed Catholic institutions not to do what Notre Dame did. He, President Obama, would settle the decades-long intra-Catholic culture war in favor of one faction — the faction that had supported his candidacy and that had spent the first months of his administration defending his policies.

    What the bishops of the United States have to say about this usurpation of their authority will be very interesting to see. Whether Obama’s Catholic acolytes will recognize a genuine threat to religious freedom in what they are already celebrating as their Notre Dame victory over the pro-life yahoos and reactionaries will also be instructive.

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    Notre Dame Commencement Wrap-Up [UPDATED]

    Amy Welborn has Notre Dame Commencement wrap-up coverage here, here, here, and here. Read them all.

    I paid no attention to yesterday's activities at Notre Dame. It was Gracie's 2nd birthday, and our family had better things to do (and a more worthy person to celebrate).

    By the way, the only "winner" in this imbroglio are the culture of death and Obama's cult of personality.

    When the voice of a pro-life protester can be booed and shouted down with cheers of "Yes we can!" and the President's pro-ESCR statements can receive a standing ovation by those participating in graduation exercsises at the world's preeminent Catholic university, Our Blessed Mother, for whom said university is named, can surely only be weeping bitter tears.

    Says Ron Chandonia, commenting at Amy's blog:
    Whitney got this one exactly right:
    I may not agree with him but he and the graduating students put the pro-lifers to shame. Did you hear the students BOO the pro-life guy and start chanting "Yes we Can"? It graphically showed how unimportant the students thought the pro-lifers and they out numbered them BIG time.
    The whole country was treated to the spectacle of some of the most coddled and expensively-educated Catholic kids in America cheering for abortion rights and hooting at the cardinal value of Catholic moral teaching. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect George Soros had paid Father Jenkins 30 pieces of silver (or more) for this day.

    UPDATE #2
    Opinionated Catholic has an excellent roundup of what's being said about the Notre Dame Commencement around the Catholic blogosphere.

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