I've been bugging Mrs. DaBlade for her (our) take on the whole Notre Dame/Obama controversy, and she has finally complied. I have only "blogged around the edges" on this topic for fear that my snarky (yet witty) commentary wouldn't do it justice. I believe Mrs. DaBlade's essay more than does this justice and I now feel free to "snark away" later. Enjoy!
I would like to voice my opinion on the Notre Dame scandal as a tuition paying parent of a current ND sophomore and a practicing Catholic. I am a convert to the Catholic faith. I was raised a Lutheran and converted in 1992. I will admit that when I made the decision to become a catholic, I didn't know as much as I do now, however I wanted my family to all go to church together as one faith. When my oldest son (the Notre Dame student) transferred to a catholic high school after completing K-8th grade in our local public school. When he began learning about the faith, I then began falling in love with the one true and apostolic faith. I began reading everything I could about the history of the Catholic Church.
President Jenkins (ND's president) has brought great shame on our Lady's Catholic University. Inviting Mr. Obama to celebrate one of the greatest achievements our adult children will ever have is nothing short of a slap in the face to all the practicing catholic parents and students. Thank God my son is not a senior. There is no way in hell I would ever sit and listen to the most pro-death president in our country's history. When my son decided that Notre Dame was his choice, I was truly happy that he would receive an education from a midwestern ivy league university along with living and studying in a catholic environment. I am now second guessing that decision. If Notre Dame wants to defy the Catholic Church and give Mr. Obama a platform along with an honorary law degree than maybe they should consider removing the catholic identity from their institution. The mission of Notre Dame is supposed to be in agreement with the Catholic Church. However, the catechism of the catholic church states "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable." (CCC 2271) Or there is always this passage, "From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a 'criminal' practice.(GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life."(CCC 2322).
Mr. Obama's voting record affirms that he is pro-death. He has on every possible occasion voted in opposition to this teaching. By honoring him and giving him this platform, President Jenkins is blatantly going against church teaching. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, stated that Catholic institutions not honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. I am not sure what else has to be said. If Jenkins does not rescind his invitation, then he should be removed from his position. I am concerned about the future of our church if he is allowed to continue saying mass and distributing the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have heard many fellow Catholics (cafeteria Catholics) state that by inviting Mr. Obama we are following catholic social teaching. Catholic social teaching doesn't exist if we continue to allow mothers to kill their own children. Feeding the poor and clothing the naked are irrelevant if you are not allowed to live. If I hear one more person call this a dialogue and not what it is, a monologue I may have to inflict bodily harm. "He is the President of the United States and deserves our respect."
God deserves our respect!
This is not going to be a forum where he will take questions from the audience, that is not is style (no teleprompters). This is a commencement speech, where graduating seniors are supposed to be inspired and look to the speaker as someone who has accomplished great things in their life. Being a Catholic University one would think those great accomplishments may include being pro-life. Another ludicrous argument is the "death penalty is equal to abortion" and conservative Catholics in favor of the death penalty and against abortion are hypicrtical. That too is ridiculous! Again I turn to the catechism, "Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor." CCC 2267.
Abortion is always an evil act!
Notre Dame has disappointed many Catholics, but if I had to pick an emotion that could best describe how this has affected me it would sad. I am worried about my kids future. I hope and pray that this generation of young Catholics will realize what God gave them over 2000 years ago, His Church, His bride. I promise you that there will be a price to pay if we all remain silent while more than a million of His children are murdered every year.