Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Holy Cross Priests Challenge Obama Invitation

From the ND student paper, The Observer, we have the courageous voices of 10 priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross pleading for ND to reverse its course:

It is our deep conviction that Notre Dame should lead by word and deed in upholding the Church's fundamental teaching that human life must be respected and protected from the moment of conception. In so doing the University must take seriously the 2004 instruction of the U.S. Catholic Bishops that "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."

The University pursues a dangerous course when it allows itself to decide for and by itself what part of being a Catholic institution it will choose to embrace. Although undoubtedly unintended, the University administration's decision portends a distancing of Notre Dame from the Church which is its lifeblood and the source of its identity and real strength. Such a distancing puts at risk the true soul of Notre Dame.

This last bit is especially sad. ND has been on this course for some time now. You could go back to 1967 and the Land O' Lakes statement, or just fast forward to the more recent rejection of Ex Corde Ecclesiae. This is just the straw breaking the camel's back.

We regret that our position on this issue puts us at odds with our brother priest in Holy Cross, Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C. Yet, in this instance, for the good of Notre Dame and the Congregation of Holy Cross, we cannot remain silent. Notre Dame's decision has caused moral confusion and given many reason to believe that the University's stance against the terrible evil of abortion is weak and easily trumped by other considerations.

Which is, of course, exactly what is being argued. Abortion isn't so bad as long as you get health care and such.

We prayerfully request that Fr. Jenkins and the Fellows of the University, who are entrusted with responsibility for maintaining its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning, revisit this matter immediately. Failure to do so will damage the integrity of the institution and detract from all the good work that occurs at Notre Dame and from the impressive labors of its many faithful students and professors.

Unfortunately, it seems to be too late now. If there was going to be a change, it would have been done by now. The damage is done.

For what it's worth, the Holy Cross Superior, Fr. Hugh Cleary, wrote a letter directly to the President about all this. You can read it at CNA. Alternating between pleading, fawning, and lamenting, it's pretty long, but gives you another idea as to what some of the higher-ups are thinking.

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