Another Bishop’s Response to the Notre Dame Problem

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo wrote to Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame on April 5, expressing his thoughts on President Obama’s invitation to speak and receive an honorary degree from Notre Dame in the next few days.  I would like to quote a section of the letter I found particularly incisive.  Please log on to the Diocese of Fargo’s website to read the letter in its entirety.

“Inviting President Obama to award him a degree and to speak at a Catholic University implicitly extends legitimacy to his views on these issues in the minds of the average onlooker. Your actions and that of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame do real harm to the mission of Catholic education in this country and further splinters Catholic witness in the public square. Your actions provide a forum for an advocate of abortion, in a university which is committed to teaching truths known to reason and science, and most of all to our faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church. This places commitment to these truths on an equal plane with a commitment to an intrinsic evil which destroys innocent human life. Your judgment in this matter is seriously flawed, with damaging consequences, for “…you are not on the side of God, but of men” (Mt 16:23)”

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Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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6 Responses to Another Bishop’s Response to the Notre Dame Problem

  1. Deacon Bob says:

    Please, would you let this issue go to rest. Have you ever thought of forgiveness as a response to this issue and let our Almighty God and Spirit take care of the rest.

  2. karen querna says:

    so I have a question, would Cheney or Rumsfeld be eligible for an honorary degree?

  3. admin says:

    Karen, if you are asking about my personal opinion,then I don’t know if I would offer them one for various reasons. Your question, if taken literally, could only be answered by the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame University.

    I would refer you to Fr. Jenkins letter to the graduating class of 2009 for, perhaps a better answer. You can read it at the following site:

    I am assuming America magazine is accurately reporting the letter’s content.

  4. admin says:

    To the author of the first comment:

    I don’t think we can ignore or be silent anymore to the prevailing political, social and economic attacks to the culture of life. Not only the unborn, but those in need of health care, the elderly infirm, the immigrant,the victims of war, all of these are vulnerable in the current time.

    I don’t presume to judge anyone’s heart or soul. That is God’s domain. But there are certain actions, attitudes and policies that are contrary to divine and natural law, and contrary to the common good. It is to those that I speak in opposition.

  5. Andy Vanyo says:

    As someone has said, “Evil comes in four stages. First, it shocks you, then you accept it after which you embrace it and finally, you defend it.” The University of Notre Dame apparently is at the final stage, along with many others.

  6. Karen Querna says:

    Fr. Jenkins letter well worth reading

    “There is much to admire and celebrate in the life and work of President Obama. His views and policies on immigration, expanding health care, alleviating poverty, and building peace through diplomacy have a deep resonance with Catholic social teaching. As the first African-American holder of this office, he has accelerated our country’s progress in overcoming the painful legacy of slavery and segregation. He is a remarkable figure in American history, and I look forward to welcoming him to Notre Dame.”

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