On its face, it’s a good letter. Then I realized who wrote it and I cracked up. I’d love to think that, as Fr. Jenkins said, he is “one in whose heart ‘dogma lives loudly’”, but then I remember his ridiculous moves over the last 8 years. Let’s relive them, shall we?
In 2009, Notre Dame invited pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-contraception, pro-transgender President Obama to be the commencement speaker. A mere three years later, the institution had to sue the Obama administration for First Amendment violations.
As if that isn’t enough, just last year Notre Dame’s Laetare medal was given to then-Vice President Joe Biden (and somewhat less obnoxious John Boehner), and then Fr. Jenkins had the audacity to say this:
“One of our great challenges today is that people who disagree often will vilify, will attack, will demean the opposition, and then they can’t work with the opposition,” Father Jenkins said. “So we come to this impasse of acrimony, of intransigence, and it doesn’t serve society.”
Uh, Fr. Jenkins, might I remind you that you had to sue the opposition? They should be vilified, demeaned, and you shouldn’t work with them, invite them, or GIVE THEM AN AWARD! So says the Church, the USCCB and your local bishop.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the current bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said on March 14, “I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any ‘pro-choice’ public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law and violates a very fundamental principle of Catholic moral and social teaching.” In the 2004 document “Catholics in Political Life,” the U.S. bishops said that “failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice.” The document also prohibited Catholic institutions from honoring those “who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” with “awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
No brainer to the faithful Catholic and yet this is what we get from Fr. Jenkins: “Gee, Mr. Biden, your administration tried to require us to violate our doctrine and cooperate with evil, but here’s an award for you anyway!” Give me a break!
Personally, I’m happy to be considered intransigent in matters of toeing the line when it comes to Catholic identity and doctrine. You betcha I’m not going to roll over and cheer Joe Biden. You betcha I’m going to complain, as did a HUGE group of your alumni. Please tell us, Fr. Jenkins, how honoring both Obama and Biden is working out for us. Did they suddenly stop advocating their agenda in opposition to the Catholic Faith? No, they didn’t. Your actions only served to further confuse people and make the Church look just a wee bit, well, stupid. Thanks.
So, what are we to think of this little letter to Di? My opinion? He couldn’t care less about the Faith. In fact, he really didn’t mention the Catholic Faith, truth, etc., in this statement. It had nothing to do with defending the Faith. It was just a response to an attack on an employee and alumnus of his precious institution, Amy Coney Barrett, and thereby himself. If the nominee had no ties to Notre Dame, I’m reasonably sure we could see Dianne Feinstein as a future commencement speaker or Laetare Medal recipient. So, I guess if “dogma” means “Notre Dame” this makes perfect sense. Otherwise, he has no problem honoring a parade of people who trounced Catholic dogma at every turn.
So, again, good letter. I just wish it had been penned by someone with some credibility. And, congratulation to Amy Coney Barrett. If you annoy Di, that’s good enough for me.