Monday, April 27, 2009

The Plot Thickens . . .

ND was going to try and claim "equal time" for orthodoxy and infanticide by awarding the prestigious Laetare Medal to Mary Ann Glendon, former ambassador to the Holy See and a strong pro-life advocate.

Ms. Glendon has decided to decline being Fr. Jenkins & Company's cover story. She refused the award. First Things provides her comments:

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Has anybody actually agree with Jenkins's interpretation of the 2004 statement? Other than his still-unnamed canon lawyers, I mean.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Translation: Using an event like this to defy the Church and whore yourself out to someone who has set themselves up as an enemy of life itself is bad. I will not be a party to it.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

Translation: You're creating scandal. This is bad, too.

Fr. Jenkins, rock that he is, responded:

"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.”

I'm sure you are, since this pretty much cements your termination.

What are the odds he tries to give the Medal to Pelosi?

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