“—a Moral Issue on Which There Can Be No Compromise.”


Before he was elevated to be Archbishop of Newark, John J. Myers was Bishop of Peoria, my diocese.   I always liked him.  He was vibrant and orthodox and attracted many men to the priesthood during his tenure.  Earlier this month he released this statement in regard to Obama Day at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009:

Statement of The Most Reverend John J. Myers,
Archbishop of Newark,
On Notre Dame University’s Decision to Host and Honor President Obama at its Commencement Ceremony

It pained me to hear that one of the symbols of Catholic education in our nation, Notre Dame University, had extended an invitation to President Obama to speak at its commencement.

Not all people believe what the Church teaches, and in our society today we sometimes must work on issues of importance with people who do not agree with us on the primacy of the sanctity and dignity of life — a moral issue on which there can be no compromise.

When we extend honors to people who do not share our respect and reverence for life in all stages, and give them a prominent stage in our parishes, schools and other institutions, we unfortunately create the perception that we endorse their public positions on these issues.   We cannot justify such actions, and the Bishops have stated so clearly and strongly.

If the president of Notre Dame University truly wishes to show that his institution is rooted in Catholic teaching and tradition and committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he must underscore this message at commencement plainly and clearly, and invite everyone to embrace an immutable and all-inclusive reverence for life.

Hattip to Catherine Harmon at The Catholic World Report.   The number of cardinals, bishops and archbishops who have spoken out against the Obama visit to Notre Dame is currently 50:

  1. Bishop John D’Arcy, Fort Wayne-South Bend
  2. Cardinal Francis George, Chicago
  3. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Galveston-Houston
  4. Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Milwaukee (–> NYC)
  5. Archbishop John Nienstedt, St. Paul-Minneapolis
  6. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran, Oklahoma City
  7. Bishop Edward Slattery, Tulsa
  8. Archbishop John Myers, Newark
  9. Archbishop Alfred Hughs, New Orleans
  10. Bishop Joseph Martino, Scranton
  11. and Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty, Scranton
  12. Bishop Thomas Doran, Rockford, Ill.
  13. Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Phoenix
  14. Bishop Gregory Aymond, Austin
  15. Bishop Robert Lynch, St. Petersburg
  16. Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Sioux City
  17. Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Harrisburg, Pa.
  18. Bishop William E. Lori, Bridgeport, CT
  19. Bishop Robert Morlino, Madison WI
  20. Bishop George Murry, S.J., Youngstown, OH
  21. Bishop William Higi, Lafayette, IN
  22. Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, AR
  23. Archbishop Jose Gomez, San Antonio, TX
  24. and Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu
  25. Bishiop Jerome Listecki, La Crosse, WI
  26. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Baltimore MD
  27. Bishop Alex Sample, Marquette MI
  28. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, Indianapolis
  29. Bishop Robert Baker, Birmingham AL
  30. Bishop Samuel Aquila, Fargo ND
  31. Bishop Gerald Barbarito, Palm Beach FL
  32. Bishop Fabian Brukeswitz, Lincoln NE
  33. Bishop Richard Stika, Knoxville TN
  34. Bishop Robert Finn, Kansas City
  35. Bishop Joseph Latino, Jackson MS
  36. Bishop Leonard Blair, Toledo OH
  37. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger, Evansville IN
  38. Bishop George Lucas, Springfield IL
  39. Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, Cincinnati OH
  40. Bishop Thomas Wenski, Orlando FL
  41. Bishop Robert Vasa, Baker OR
  42. Bishop Paul Coakley, Salina KS
  43. Bishop John Le Voir, New Ulm MN
  44. Bishop Victor Galeone, St. Augustine FL
  45. Bishop David Zubik, Pittsburgh PA
  46. Bishop Paul Loverde, Arlington VA
  47. Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Kansas City, KS
  48. Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte, NC (April 24 Catholic News & Herald in a short publisher’s note to a story on the topic)
  49. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, NY (April 25 at a homily for a men’s conference with 800 attendants)
  50. Bishop Glen Provost, Lake Charles LA

Update: Hattip to Catholic Online.  Archbishop Charles Chaput weighs in against the Notre Dame invitation and expresses his admiration for Mary Ann Glendon’s refusal of the Laetare Medal.

“I very much admire Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline the Laetare Medal, as well as Bishop John D’Arcy’s excellent leadership in this matter,” said the Archbishop. “I’m glad so many bishops have expressed their concern.”

Chaput also lauded ND alumnus and Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn’s recent comments criticizing the school’s “route to incoherence” in a campus event sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture.

Chaput said it was “difficult to imagine any way” the Obama invitation could be justified in light of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 document “Catholics in Political Life.” The directive states: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

“Notre Dame didn’t need to do this to show its openness to ‘dialogue,'” Chaput continued. “And candidly, very few Notre Dame faculty members would accept from their students the kind of creative reasoning now being used to defend the invitation.”

The number of bishops speaking out against the Obama administration now stands at 53:

1. Bishop John D’Arcy – Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN
2. Bishop Samuel Aquila – Fargo, ND
3. Bishop Gregory Aymond – Austin, TX
4. Bishop Gerald Barbarito – Palm Beach, FL
5. Bishop Leonard Blair – Toledo, OH
6. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein – Indianapolis, IN
7. Bishop Robert Baker – Birmingham, AL
8. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz – Lincoln, NE
9. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran – Oklahoma City, OK
10. Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú – San Antonio, TX
11. Archbishop Charles Chaput – Denver, CO
12. Bishop Paul Coakley – Salina, KS
13. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo – Houston, TX
14. Archbishop Timothy Dolan – New York, NY
15. Bishop Thomas Doran – Rockford, IL
16. Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty – Scranton, PA
17. Bishop Robert Finn – Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO
18. Bishop Joseph Galante – Camden, NJ
19. Bishop Victor Galeone – St. Augustine, FL
20. Cardinal Francis George – Chicago, IL; President, USCCB
21. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger – Evansville, IN
22. Archbishop José Gomez – San Antonio, TX
23. Bishop William Higi – Lafayette, IN
24. Archbishop Alfred Hughes – New Orleans, LA
25. Bishop Peter Jugis – Charlotte, NC
26. Bishop Joseph Latino – Jackson, MS
27. Bishop John LeVoir – New Ulm, MN
28. Bishop Jerome Listecki – La Crosse, WI
29. Bishop William E. Lori – Bridgeport, CT
30. Bishop Paul Loverde – Arlington, VA
31. Bishop George Lucas – Springfield, IL
32. Bishop Robert Lynch – St. Petersburg, FL
33. Bishop Joseph Martino – Scranton, PA
34. Bishop Robert Morlino – Madison, WI
35. Bishop George Murry – Youngstown, OH
36. Archbishop John J. Myers – Newark, NJ
37. Archbishop Joseph Naumann – Kansas City, KS
38. Bishop R. Walker Nickless – Sioux City, IA
39. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt – St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN
40. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien – Baltimore, MD
41. Bishop Thomas Olmsted – Phoenix, AZ
42. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk – Cincinnati, OH
43. Bishop Glen Provost – Lake Charles, LA
44. Cardinal Justin Rigali – Philadelphia, PA; Chairman, USCCB Pro-Life Committee
45. Bishop Kevin Rhoades – Harrisburg, PA
46. Bishop Alexander Sample – Marquette, MI
47. Bishop Edward J. Slattery – Tulsa, OK
48. Bishop Richard Stika – Knoxville, TN
49. Bishop Anthony Taylor – Little Rock, AR
50. Bishop Robert Vasa – Baker, OR
51. Bishop Thomas Wenski – Orlando, FL
52. Archbishop Donald Wuerl – Washington, D.C.
53. Bishop David Zubick – Pittsburgh, PA

10 Responses to “—a Moral Issue on Which There Can Be No Compromise.”

  1. Zak says:

    Has Bishop Jenky said anything? And have you read Archbishop Myers’s book, Space Vulture? It’s a fun sci-fi work.

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:

    In regard to Bishop Jenky, he has not yet Zak and I hope he does soon. My guess is that he has been working behind the scenes to attempt to get the invitation rescinded, obviously without success up to this time.

    I am aware of Space Vulture.


    To say the least, an Archbishop who also writes science fiction is an unusal combination! I love science fiction, but I have not read this book yet.

  3. karen says:

    I do hope Bishop Jenky will say something publicly soon.

  4. Blue Shoe says:

    I’ve also been surprised not to have seen any statements from Chaput yet.

  5. Elaine Krewer says:

    In other developments, a case of swine flu has been reported at Notre Dame…. with all the hysteria about an imminent pandemic, I wonder if this won’t give Obama and/or Jenkins just the “out” they need to cancel the speech.

    Blog posts portraying swine flu as divine punishment for the ND scandal or for the election of Obama will commence in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1….

  6. Elaine Krewer says:

    I mean blog posts on Catholic blogs in general, not just here.

  7. Donald R. McClarey says:

    In regard to recurrent flu hysteria, anyone else remember the swine flu “crisis” during the Ford administration?, this article has a good common sense take.


  8. Elaine Krewer says:

    Yes, Don, I do, though I was only 12 years old at the time. I don’t recall anyone in my family getting swine flu shots, because they thought the whole thing was a boondoggle.

    My exhaustive Web-based research (translation: a quick glance at a couple of Wikipedia and other articles) finds that U.S. deaths attributed to swine flu vaccine (25) far outnumbered confirmed U.S. deaths from swine flu itself (1). Still, public health researchers do regard the 1976 swine flu scare as a valuable lesson in what to do, and what NOT to do, in the event of a genuine pandemic.

  9. Matt says:

    Back in 93, Jenky protested, preached, publically condemned a tavern owner who was going to name a sports bar the Hail Mary. Jenky was so outraged that Our Lady’s name would be made a mascot. Yet the most powerful pro abortion politician on the planet wears Our Lady’s name and is honored at Our Lady’s University where Jenky is on the Board, yet he is silent as can be. Hey Jenky, why no public witness, outcry? Why no resignation from Our Lady’s University that causes such a scandal, that hosts the Vagina Monologues and an annual Queer Festival? Frankly Bishop J., you are a hypocrite.

  10. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Matt, the incident you referred to was in 2003. Otherwise, although it pains me greatly to say it, you are correct as to Bishop Jenky. He has always been very active in the pro-life cause, but when it mattered most, when his speaking out might have derailed yesterday’s profanation of Notre Dame, Bishop Jenky was nowhere to be found.

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