Friday, May 22, 2009

Notre Dame

The reverberations from the honoring of our president—whose record on abortion is the most extreme of any US president in memory—by Notre Dame continue, and are a wonderful window into the state of the Church in America at this time in our history.

One can feel, in the impassioned voices discussing this issue on Catholic radio and tv, and see in the righteous words being written in the Catholic press, that there is a gathering of the faithful around the great ideas and truths of the Church within the strength in which their protective arms are being wrapped around her educational institutions and her protection of the unborn; and it is a protection called forth, wholly unanticipated, by the destructive pro-abortion policies of this president and his inexplicable assertion of them at a Catholic University.

Catholic Culture has collected many of the responses to the Norte Dame speech.

An excerpt.

“President Obama's appearance at the Notre Dame commencement exercises produced an enormous outpouring of journalistic coverage.

“Prior to the event, the atmosphere was so feverish that when Duncan Maxell Anderson concocted a story based on the idea that Obama had donated his speaking fee to defray lost alumni contributions, many readers failed to recognize that it was a satire.

“On the GetReligion site, Terry Mattingly continued to insist that reporters should get their facts straight. That was, alas, a losing battle.

“USA Today provided live blogging on the event, with a panel of experts (including Joseph Lawler, son of CWN editor Phil Lawler) offering their perspectives.

“When he addressed the commencement audience, Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, was in effect making his own observations on the controversy. Father Jenkins let his enthusiasm for President Obama show through clearly; it cannot be a coincidence that he used the word "hope" five times in his first five opening paragraphs.

“Father Jenkins clearly implied, in his plea for civil dialogue, that opponents of the President's speech were guilty of intolerance, while "President Obama is not someone who stops taking to those who differ with him." The Jenkins speech did not impress Ralph McInerny, longtime Notre Dame philosophy professor, who commented for The Catholic Thing. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that McInerny was impressed--negatively: “The fallacious defenses on the part of a once stellar philosopher, Father John Jenkins, continued in his introduction of the president, exhibit how corruptive of clear thinking holding high office can be. Not since the local lands were wrested from the Indians has a white father spoken with such forked tongue.”