Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sycamore Trust Reports More Troubling News from Our Lady's University [UPDATED]

Sycamore Trust - a group of Notre Dame alumni working to preserve the university's Catholic identity - reports that America's flagship Catholic university is working overtime to undermine those efforts:
SOUTH BEND, IN - Notre Dame absolves pro-gay and anti-military trespassers but supports prosecution of pro-life demonstrators; Father Hesburgh accedes to Speaker Pelosi’s request to call key Congressman about health care bill.

We have learned that a few years ago the University dropped trespass charges against pro-gay and anti-military demonstrators. This contrasts sharply with the University’s ongoing support of the trespass prosecutions of the pro-life Commencement Day demonstrators (“the ND88”).

[...]

The name of Father Hesburgh suddenly surfaced in the accounts of Speaker Pelosi’s successful management of the health care bill. A McClatchy report, which mirrored other accounts and spread rapidly, led off with this:
In the tense hours Sunday leading up to the House vote on a historic health care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took time to call the former president of Notre Dame, the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh....What she wanted was Hesburgh to help lock up the vote of Rep. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from South Bend, Ind., who was wavering over the abortion issue. Donnelly ultimately pressed the yes button late Sunday night.
Representative Donnelly’s press secretary then confirmed that Father Hesburgh had in fact made the call. She added that he “did not tell Donnelly how to vote” – as if anyone would think otherwise – but rather advised, “Vote your conscience.”

Father Hesburgh made the call at Pelosi’s request. Clearly, the call was made within the context of the strong opposition of the nation’s bishops to the bill. The call has been characterized
in the media as designed “to convince [Donnelly]t o vote for the final bill at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request.”

[Read the whole thing]
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)


UPDATED (22 June)
I received a very nice note in the comments from Mr. Bill Dempsey, President of Sycamore Trust:
We appreciate your reproducing our bulletin because we believe that information touching upon the Catholic character of Notre Dame should be of general concern. And while we would not use terms like "perfidy," we have no standing to object to your characterization of the facts we report. However, your statement that "Sycamore Trust . . . reports that [Notre Dame] is working overtime to earn the moniker 'Notre Shame'" might be read to mean that we used the phrase "Notre Shame." I realize you did not mean to imply that we did, but I want to make perfectly clear to readers that we did not and would not. While there is much to criticize about Notre Dame, there is also much to praise. Our hope is that accurate and respectful criticism will assist in arresting and then reversing the secularization that has been for decades eroding Notre Dame's Catholic identity. Again, we thank you for your coverage of matters important to Catholics and to the Church.

Bill Dempsey, President, Sycamore Trust
In light of his comments, I have updated this post to change the terms that might be deemed objectionable.

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3 Comments:

At 4/22/2010 1:24 PM, Blogger Bill Dempsey said...

We appreciate your reproducing our bulletin because we believe that information touching upon the Catholic character of Notre Dame should be of general concern. And while we would not use terms like "perfidy," we have no standing to object to your characterization of the facts we report. However, your statement that "Sycamore Trust . . . reports that [Notre Dame] is working overtime to earn the moniker 'Notre Shame'" might be read to mean that we used the phrase "Notre Shame." I realize you did not mean to imply that we did, but I want to make perfectly clear to readers that we did not and would not. While there is much to criticize about Notre Dame, there is also much to praise. Our hope is that accurate and respectful criticism will assist in arresting and then reversing the secularization that has been for decades eroding Notre Dame's Catholic identity. Again, we thank you for your coverage of matters important to Catholics and to the Church.
Bill Dempsey, President, Sycamore Trust

 
At 4/22/2010 1:46 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Mr. Dempsey,

Since I support your objectives, and because I, too, love Our Lady's University (despite my deep disappointment with what has occurred there in recent years, the highlight of my family's trip to Indiana last summer was a visit to the campus of Notre Dame), I will change the content of my post to remove the references to "perfidy" and "Notre Shame" (although I believe the shameful treatment of the ND 88, alone, merits such a moniker).

Thank you for writing, and may God bless your noble efforts.

 
At 4/22/2010 3:51 PM, Blogger Bill Dempsey said...

Thank you for your gracious response, Mr. Anderson. I assure you we share your sense of deep disappointment with Notre Dame's position in the ND88 case, as I trust our bulletin makes clear, as well as in other matters that we have described in recent years. We are very grateful to you for your support.

 

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