Notre Dame 88

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

By Charles E. Rice

Fr. Norman Weslin, O.S., at the complaint of Notre Dame, was arrested in May 2009 and charged as a criminal for peacefully entering the Notre Dame campus to offer his prayer of reparation for Notre Dame’s conferral of its highest honor on President Obama, the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world.  The University refuses to ask the St. Joseph County prosecutor to drop the charges against Fr. Weslin and the others arrested, still known as the ND 88 although one, Linda Schmidt, died of cancer this past March.  Judge Michael P. Scopelitis, of St. Joseph Superior Court, recently issued two important orders in this case.

The first order denied the State’s motion to consolidate the cases of multiple defendants.  That motion would have denied each separate defendant his right to a separate jury trial.  The order did permit consolidation of the trials of twice-charged defendants on the separate offenses with which that defendant was charged; a defendant charged, for example, with trespass and disorderly conduct would therefore not have to appear for two trials.  Judge Scopelitis also denied the prosecution’s attempt to force each defendant to return to South Bend for each proceeding in the case, which would have coerced the defendants to abandon their defense.  Instead, the Judge permitted the defendants to participate by telephone in pre-trial conferences.

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Is Notre Dames Football Program Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Before the Charlie Weiss era I used to root for Notre Dame as my Number 2 selection after my childhood religion  The Ohio State University.  After discovering that Weiss was seemingly proud of being an excessive abuser of profanity ( an entire 60 Minutes piece seemed to revolve around how cute everyone thought it was that Notre Dame’s coach loved to heap profanity out in liberal portions- including the school’s priest-president),  I decided to drop cheering for Notre Dame football- for what would it be for Our Lady University to succeed on the field  but lose her soul in the locker-room.

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Notre Dame: Where Intellectual Diversity is Dying

Thursday, March 4, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

Click above for book information.

Hattip to the Curt Jester. Dr. Charles E. Rice is a Professor Emeritus of Law of the University of Notre Dame.  (He is also a Marine, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, so you know he already has a warm spot in my heart.)  He has written 13 books and hundreds of articles.  He helped found the Conservative Party in New York.  He has been a champion of the pro-life cause.  In the old Notre Dame he fit right in.  The new Notre Dame, not so much.

Professor Rice writes a bi-weekly column in the student newspaper, The Notre Dame Observer, entitled Right or Wrong.  Here is a column he wrote recently remembering his late colleague Professor Ralph McInerny.

Recently Professor Rice wrote a column that you will not be reading in the student newspaper.  Here is the column:

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Father Jenkins: Looking for a Pro-life Initiative? Drop the Charges Against Father Weslin

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

NotreDameDialogue

 

Hattip to Ignatius Insight.  Father Norman Weslin, arrested at Notre Dame for protesting Obama Day, faces trial on October 1.  Notre Dame has refused to drop the charges.  Now that Father Jenkins is trying to get some pro-life street creds,  perhaps a good place to start would be to drop the charges against Father Weslin. 

An open letter from Dr. Charles E. Rice, Professor Emeritus of Notre Dame Law School, to Fr. John Jenkins, President of University of Notre Dame:

Open Letter to Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame

September 21, 2009
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Dear Father Jenkins:

Professor Fred Freddoso has shared with me the response on Sept. 17th by Dr. Frances L. Shavers, Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the President, to Fred’s email of that date to you asking that Notre Dame request dismissal of the charges against the persons arrested for trespass on the campus in relation to the honoring of President Obama at Commencement.  Dr. Shavers responded on your behalf to Fred’s email because, as she said, “the next few days are rather hectic for [Fr. Jenkins].”  I don’t want to add to the hectic burden of your schedule by sending you a personal message that could impose on an assistant the task of responding.  I therefore take the liberty of addressing to you several concerns in the form of this open letter to which a response is neither required nor expected.

First, permit me to express my appreciation for the expressions of support for the pro-life cause in your September 16th “Letter concerning post-commencement initiatives.”  I know, however, that in a matter as significant as this, you will appreciate and welcome a respectful but very candid expression of views.  In my opinion, the positions you have taken are deficient in some respects.

In your Letter of Sept. 16th, you rightly praise the work of the Women’s Care Center (WCC) and of its superb leader, Ann Murphy Manion.  I commend you on your statement that the WCC “and similar centers in other cities deserve the support of Notre Dame clubs and individuals.”  Your praise of the WCC and similar efforts, however, overlooks a practical step that Notre Dame, as an institution, ought to take.  That would be for you, on behalf of Notre Dame, to issue a standing invitation to the WCC to establish an office on the Notre Dame campus to serve students, faculty and staff if, in the judgment of the WCC, that would be desirable and effective.  Such would give practical effect, right here at Notre Dame, to your words in support of the WCC and similar efforts.

Your Letter announced your formation of the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life.  Rather than offer a detailed evaluation of my own, I note my agreement with the personal analysis of William Dempsey, ND ’52, President of the Sycamore Trust, calling attention to “the obviously deliberate exclusion from Task Force membership of anyone associated with the ND organizations that have been unashamedly and actively pro-life: the Center for Ethics & Culture and the ND Fund for the Protection of Human Life.  Nor was the student representative chosen from the leadership of the student RTL organization or from anyone active in last year’s student alliance protesting the honoring of the President, ND Response.  It is hard to resist the inference that this is as a move toward marginalizing the Center and the Fund, neither of which receives any University support the way it is…. Finally, it is unsettling but instructive that this announcement comes a day after Fr. Jenkins’ annual address to the faculty in which he described his goals for the year, which included increasing female and minority faculty representation but not a word about the most crucial problem facing the university, the loss of Catholic identity through the failure to hire enough Catholics to restore the predominance required by the Mission Statement.  This is a striking falling away from [Fr. Jenkins’] wonderful inaugural address.  The fact that ND did nothing to serve the pro-life cause until forced by the reaction to the Obama incident testifies to the fact that, without a predominance of committed Catholics on the faculty, any pro-life efforts launched under pressure will in time fade away.  The risk, and surely it is real, is that this initiative and the publicity ND is generating about it will deflect attention from the fundamental problem besetting Notre Dame….But I return to where I began: A project that deliberately excludes from participation those who have courageously manned organizations standing against the faculty attitude toward the pro-life cause ought to be regarded with suspicion.” 

My main concern in this letter arises from your statement in your Letter that “Each year on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life is held in Washington D.C. to call on the nation to defend the right to life.  I plan to participate in that march.  I invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me and I hope we can gather for a Mass for Life at that event.”  I understand that Notre Dame students have invited you to participate with them in the March.  The problem arises from an aftermath of Commencement.  On this I refer back to Chief of Staff Shavers’ response to Professor Freddoso’s request that Notre Dame ask dismissal of the charges against those arrested.  Dr. Shavers states that “these protesters were arrested for trespassing and not for expressing their pro-life position.”  That is misleading.  This is not an ordinary case of trespass to land such as would occur if a commuter walks across your lawn and flower bed as a short-cut to the train station.  Notre Dame is ordinarily an open campus.  Those 88 persons, 82 of whom are represented by Tom Dixon, ND ’84, ND Law School ’93, were arrested not because they were there, but because of who they were, why they were there and what they were saying.  Other persons with pro-Obama signs were there but were not arrested and not disturbed.  Serious legal and constitutional questions are involved, arising especially from the symbiotic relationship between the Notre Dame Security Police, who made the arrests, and the County Police.  This letter is not a legal brief.  Rather I merely note that it is disingenuous for Notre Dame to pretend that this is merely a routine trespass case. Read the rest of this entry »


McBrien to Eucharistic Adoration: Step Backward

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Father Richard McBrien, Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, boy that comes as a shock doesn’t it, doesn’t think much of eucharistic adoration.  McBrien of course has been a fierce defender of the secular zeitgeist for decades, and has done his very best to wean generations of Catholics from anything in the Faith that would not pass muster at fashionable parties in academia. 

For myself I love eucharistic adoration.  I never have done it without feeling much closer to God.  Since John Paul II also approved of it in his letter DOMINICAE CENAE, I guess I will just have to bear up under the strain of being thought backward by Professor McBrien.  Father Z gives McBrien his patented fisking here

You know, tenured dissenters like McBrien have a real problem on their hands in the age of the internet.  It is very easy now for ordinary Catholics to have access to church teaching by a few clicks and read what John Paul II wrote:

“Adoration of Christ in this sacrament of love must also find expression in various forms of eucharistic devotion: personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, Hours of Adoration, periods of exposition-short, prolonged and annual (Forty Hours)-eucharistic benediction, eucharistic processions, eucharistic congresses.”

Of course Pope Benedict’s views are well known and are set forth here.  When we have such easy access to the words of Peter, it is much harder for Catholics to be bamboozled by flim-flam artists like McBrien seeking to distort the teaching of the Church in service of their personal agendas.  The modern world provides many challenges to the Church, but I think in the long run the internet may become a great advantage to the magisterium of Holy Mother Church.


USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D’Arcy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Hattip to reader Rick Lugari.  The USCCB* has issued this statement of support for Bishop John D’Arcy, the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D’Arcy.  We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.”

Bishop D’Arcy had been in the forefront of protesting Notre Dame honoring Obama on May 17, 2009.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops



Nat Hentoff takes President Obama to task

Friday, May 29, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Nat Hentoff’s characteristically blunt and ‘no b.s.’ columns used to be one of chief attractions of the Village Voice, before they made the foolish mistake of letting him go. Politically he’s not one you can apply a label to — in 2003 he supported the removal of Saddam Hussein’s murderous dictatorship on humanitarian grounds, but as a supporter of the First Amendment and civil liberties, harshly criticized the more excessive measures taken by the Bush administration.

Unapologetically pro-life, he is a staunch opponent of the death penalty and abortion (the latter apparently causing some tension with his liberal colleagues at the Voice) and vigorously opposed the court-ordered murder of Terry Schiavo.

Not surprisingly, he established a rapport with the feisty John Cardinal O’Connor, about whom he wrote an appreciative biography.

A self-described “member of the Proud and Ancient Order of Stiff-Necked Jewish Atheists,” he is also one who might merit the attribution: “on the side of the angels.”

Now, he takes aim at President Obama’s faux-support for “dialogue” at Notre Dame:

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Kmiec Lectures Fellow “Conservative” Catholics

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

Professor Douglas Kmiec recently gave a “reflection” over President Obama’s speech at the University of Notre Dame last week. No surprises there. It appears that Kmiec is still campaigning to be Ambassador to the Holy See. But this was not his point here. We might call that a “background fact.”

Still obsessed with statistics and raw data, he noted that the President received the vote of 54% of self-identified Catholics on November 4, 2008 in the presidential election and that more than two-thirds of Catholics supports the Obama Administration. Why? Social justice–which includes a litany of issues that we terribly are far behind on because of “conservative partisans” who wish to keep Catholics in a “one-issue pocket,” which, in turn explains the “neglect” of social justice matters in “far too many parishes.”

Obama at Notre Dame: Incomplete Eloquence by Prof. Douglas Kmiec

The presidents were there in splendid form; the bishops were not.

Three presidents stood upon the stage: Father Jenkins, the embodiment of academic integrity informed by faith; Father Hesburgh, Notre Dame’s president emeritus and civil rights champion, and Barack Obama, whose inauguration just months earlier was greeted with virtual national euphoria, but whose visit to campus was claimed to be “in defiance of church teaching.”

And the bishops? Sadly absent. Some, no doubt, honestly believed the President to be their antagonist. Most were silent. Notwithstanding repeated entreaties, the pastoral shepherds of the Church chose not to extend a simple pastoral blessing upon the graduates of the flagship Catholic university in America and their families.

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Father Corby Remembers Gettysburg

Monday, May 25, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Father William Corby

Irish Brigade

In light of all the controversy regarding Notre Dame over the shameful honoring of Obama on May 17, 2009, it is important to remember that many Notre Dame students, faculty and graduates were appalled by this, and also to remember that Notre Dame has in the past been a great Catholic university, and may be so in the future.  This heritage of greatness was exemplified by the third president of the University, Father William Corby.

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Some Pictures Need No Commentary

Friday, May 22, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

NotreDameDialogue

Hattip to Curt Jester.


What does President Barack Obama actually MEAN?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

For consideration: an excerpt from President Barack Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame:

The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.

The question, then — the question then is how do we work through these conflicts? Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without, as Father John said, demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?

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Peter Hitchens on Obama at Notre Dame

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Hitchens Brothers

Peter Hitchens, the sober and sane brother of Christopher Hitchens, has a good column on Obama at Notre Dame.

“Some of you will have seen that Saint Barack ran into the first serious public hostility of his career on a visit to Notre Dame University, an old-established Roman Catholic college of some reputation, in South Bend, Indiana. The headline on this posting refers to the shouts which echoed across the hall as he addressed the student body and picked up an honorary degree, against the opposition of many American Roman Catholics. They are right to oppose these unjustified and mistaken compliments. I do not think Mr Obama seeks genuine compromise with this great Christian institution. I think on the contrary that he hopes to co-opt it into his machine, and compromise it so that it moderates its opposition to him.

I also do not think that ‘Yes, we can’ is much of a response to the accusations of abortion opponents. It reminds me of the general empty-headed rock-star worship which became such a feature of Mr Obama’s campaign. What, in this instance, does it mean? So far as I know Mr Obama’s attitude towards abortion is at the extreme end of permissive, as he will no doubt show when he picks his candidates for the Supreme Court, the USA’s potent and unelected third legislative chamber.”

For the article click here.


Chaput on Jenkins

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Archbishop Chaput

Hattip to Catholic ReportArchbishop Chaput’s thoughts on Jenkins and Obama Day at Notre Dame:

Archbishop Chaput on Notre Dame and the issues that remain

“I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.”

~ Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., May 17, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life.  The best have humor.  Some genuinely inspire.  But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time.  Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability.  This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

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The Fisking of Jenkins

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.
Obama and Sycophant

Here is the text of the speech that Jenkins gave before he introduced Obama at Notre Dame on Sunday.  My comments are interspersed:

“President Obama, Fr. Hesburgh, Judge Noonan, Members of the Board of Trustees, Members of the faculty, staff, alumni, friends, parents, and most of all – the Notre Dame Class of 2009:

Several autumns ago, you came to Notre Dame from home….now Notre Dame has become home. And it always will be. For home is not where you live. Home is where you belong. You will always belong – and I pray you will always feel you belong – here at Notre Dame.   Fairly odd sentiment.  I never confused my college with home.  I believe that the students at Notre Dame also pay 50k a year to be part of this “home”.

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Notre Dame Takes Sycophancy To A New Level

Sunday, May 17, 2009 \PM\.\Sun\.

Hattip to Gateway Pundit.  Well, the leaked text of the honorary degree awarded to Obama was accurate.  The awarding of such a degree to the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history was of course an abomination.  However, just from the stand-point of academic self-respect, it astonishes me that this text, which reads like a piece of campaign literature written by a starry-eyed student volunteer, was used.  I am glad though that the text was utilized however.  It adds the necessary farcial touch to these proceedings, and makes it impossible for anyone with any integrity to argue that Jenkins and the Notre Dame administration did not intend to pay homage of the most lickspittle type to Obama.


Another May 17th at Notre Dame

Sunday, May 17, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

Father Hesburgh, I thank you very much and for so many things. The distinguished honor that you’ve conferred upon me here today, I must say, however, compounds a sense of guilt that I have nursed for almost 50 years. I thought the first degree I was given was honorary. [Laughter] But it’s wonderful to be here today with Governor Orr, Governor Bowen, Senators Lugar and Quayle, and Representative Hiler, these distinguished honorees, the trustees, administration, faculty, students, and friends of Notre Dame and, most important, the graduating class of 1981. Nancy and I are greatly honored to share this day with you, and our pleasure has been more than doubled because I am also sharing the platform with a longtime and very dear friend, Pat O’Brien.

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“The Golden Dome of Notre Dame…will be disgraced and dishonored”

Saturday, May 16, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Bishop Trautman

Bishop Donald Trautman of the Diocese of Erie has spoken out against Obama  Day this coming Monday at Notre Dame:

“The Golden Dome of Notre Dame, the long revered symbol of a Catholic university, will be disgraced and dishonored on this coming May 17th, the commencement day of the university.  On that day the leaders of the university are giving a platform and honorary degree to an individual who is a relentless advocate of unrestricted abortion: President Obama.

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Did They Have Doug Kmiec Write It?

Friday, May 15, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Saint Obama

Making the rounds of Saint Blogs is the purported text on the honorary degree to be conferred by the Notre Dame law school upon Obama at Notre Dame on Obama Day, May 17, 2009:

“At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises

The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.

On Barack H. Obama, Washington, District of Columbia”

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Jenkins to Glendon: “OK, We’ll Find Someone Else.”

Monday, April 27, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

jenkins2obama-and-valentine4

Hattip to Hot Air.  Notre Dame’s reaction to the stunning Glendon withdrawal:

“We are, of course, disappointed that Professor Glendon has made this decision. It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make that announcement as soon as possible.”

Now who could Jenkins get at the last moment?  Hmmm, someone on board with Obama, doesn’t mind ticking off the bishops, nominally Catholic, nominally pro-life.  I have it!  The perfect candidate for Jenkins is here.


Bishop D’Arcy Responds

Thursday, April 23, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

Lesser of Two Evils or Worthy of Honor

Friday, April 17, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

Since the Notre Dame controversy has all the staying power of an inebriated relative after a dinner party, I’ll attempt one more brief comment on it.

It is a disappointment to me, though hardly a surprising one, that just about everyone in the Catholic blogsphere who advocated voting for Obama in the first place (or sympathized with those who did) now find so much to object to in those Catholics (including quite a few bishops — all who have address the topic to my knowledge) who are upset at Obama being made the commencement speaker for Notre Dame and awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

The argument, which was made frequently enough during the election, was that while Obama was far from perfect (and, we were always assured, the speaker was indeed deeply troubled by his positions on abortion) he was the better of two distinctly poor alternatives available on the ballot.

If such was one’s true position, I disagree, but with a fair amount of respect.  Sometimes both options available are very bad, and choosing the lesser of two evils is quite the judgment call.

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Catholic Democrats Come to the Defense of Notre Dame

Friday, April 17, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

catholic-democrats

Catholic Democrats come to the defense of their leader in regard to Georgetown and Notre Dame and run into a buzzsaw named Father Z here.

Update:  Good analysis of why Catholic Democrats and other Obama-philes are so concerned about the fallout from Notre Dame is given here by the always readable Damian Thompson across the pond at his blog Holy Smoke.


“I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University.”

Friday, April 17, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

bishop-fabian-bruskewitz

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, a personal hero of mine, sends a letter to Jenkins that is blunt and to the point regarding Obama Day at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009:

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