Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Still Looking For Common Ground

We talked a lot about the utterly bankrupt call for "common ground" from Pres. Obama quite a bit, especially in our coverage of the ND fiasco.

A couple of bishops are revisiting that issue.

First, we have Archbishop Chaput from CNA:

"Common ground" is a phrase that President Obama and some of his supporters have been using to describe their efforts to work for health care reform. But Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver is taking them to task for abusing the Catholic concept, calling any labeling of the current reform proposals as common ground "a lie."

"First, it proves once again that people don’t need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized U.S. Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president. Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a 'specifically Catholic issue,' and the editors know it. And fourth, the growing misuse of Catholic 'common ground' and 'common good' language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism."

"No system that allows or helps fund – no matter how subtly or indirectly -- the killing of unborn children, or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs, can bill itself as 'common ground,' Archbishop Chaput insists, adding that, "Doing so is a lie."

On another note, Bishop D'Arcy isn't going away either. From LifeSite:

Does a Catholic university have the responsibility to give witness to the Catholic faith and to the consequences of that faith by its actions and decisions-especially by a decision to confer its highest honor? If not, what is the meaning of a life of faith?" wrote Bishop D'Arcy. "And how can a Catholic institution expect its students to live by faith in the difficult decisions that will confront them in a culture often opposed to the Gospel?"

D'Arcy's column will appear as the cover story of the Jesuit journal America, which took a perspective favorable of Obama amid the scandal. D'Arcy touched briefly on the journal's bias, saying that the intense pro-life Catholic backlash to the honor was "not about what this journal called 'sectarian Catholicism.'"

"Rather, the response of the faithful derives directly from the Gospel. In Matthew's words, 'Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your heavenly Father' (5:13)," said the bishop. Over 360,000 petitioners and 80 active U.S. bishops voiced opposition to the honor.

Yeah, but you apparently didn't get the memo, Your Excellency. We're looking for common ground here. Faithfulness to the call of Christ is secondary.

"Although he spoke eloquently about the importance of dialogue with the president of the United States, the president of Notre Dame chose not to dialogue with his bishop on these two matters (Matter #2 = The VM), both pastoral and both with serious ramifications for the care of souls, which is the core responsibility of the local bishop," said D'Arcy. The bishop said he was notified of both decisions only after the fact.

"The diocesan bishop must ask whether a Catholic institution compromises its obligation to give public witness by placing prestige over truth," he said. "The bishop must be concerned that Catholic institutions do not succumb to the secular culture, making decisions that appear to many, including ordinary Catholics, as a surrender to a culture opposed to the truth about life and love."

"I firmly believe that the board of trustees must take up its responsibility afresh, with appropriate study and prayer," wrote D'Arcy. "They also must understand the seriousness of the present moment.

The BOT and administration have been missing responsibility and accountability for a while now. It predates Jenkins & Co. They just decided to go all-in.

It's what Bishop D'Arcy says in conclusion, though, that really gets at the crux of the matter:

"Where will the great Catholic universities search for a guiding light in the years ahead? Will it be the Land O'Lakes Statement or Ex Corde Ecclesiae?" he asked.

So true. Will Catholic universities be faithful to the vision of Rome or the vision of the world? Peter and his Successor or Hesburgh and his followers?

Why is this portrayed as a difficult decision?

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