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Obama, Catholics and Notre Dame

The objections of more conservative Catholics to the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Obama to deliver this year’s commencement address and to receive an honorary degree have received a lot of attention. But the views of moderate and liberal Catholics haven't received nearly as much notice.

My friends at Commonweal, the liberal Catholic magazine (which -- full disclosure -- occasionally runs my column), recently had what I though was an excellent editorial on the issue. They defended the university for inviting Obama, noting that “university officials have made no secret of Notre Dame’s disagreement with the president about abortion and stem-cell research, and certainly the president and the public cannot be in doubt about the church’s opposition to his policies in those areas.” Commonweal added: “Honorary degrees signify an institution’s admiration for the accomplishments of the recipient. They do not signify blanket moral approbation.”

But the most important point came in the last paragraph:

The church is not simply the prolife movement, and to the extent that every interaction between the church and our political system is held hostage to the demands of the most confrontational elements of that movement, the church’s social message, including its message about abortion, will be marginalized and ineffectual. The respect and honor owed the office of the president does not depend on any particular president’s merits.... That respect is, among other things, a powerful affirmation of the willingness of Americans to live together peacefully, despite profound disagreement. Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama is perhaps best understood in that light.

Declaring that “the church is not simply the prolife movement” is both true and essential. I understand that there are committed pro-lifers who really do believe that abortion is the most important issue, and who therefore cannot abide the invitation to the president. But the Catholic Church has a rich history of concern with issues related to social justice, peace and equality. It should not be defined solely by the politics of abortion.

Moreover, I cannot help but suspect that some of the opposition to Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame among Catholics comes from political conservatives and Republicans who are at least as motivated by their political views as by their views of church teaching. By the same token, many Catholics who support the invitation are no doubt also motivated by their political sympathies. It’s unfortunate that what might take the form of a straightforward political debate among Catholics is being couched as an attack on Notre Dame.

This also bothered Doug Kmiec, a staunch pro-lifer and a former official in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations who -- to the consternation of many of his friends -- endorsed Obama last year. “Some of the reaction to Obama is still post-election sour grapes,” Kmiec wrote in a thoughtful essay this week in Politico. “Obama netted 54 percent of the Catholic vote nationwide, including a sizable share in Notre Dame’s home state of Indiana.”

Kmiec had some useful advice to Obama, noting that the president has made life among Catholics harder for himself than he had to:

Unlike his masterful dominance of the rest of the national conversation, Obama has let the right wing frame his post-election ties to the Catholic constituency. For example, when Obama suspended George W. Bush’s hastily drafted eleventh-hour conscience clause regulations, the word went out that this was the end of Catholic hospitals. Not so, but to make the point, the Obama team needed to highlight well-established federal and state laws that already permit medical personnel with moral and religious objection to refrain from abortion practice.

Of equal importance is reminding America of how his administration has already assumed the mantle of Catholicism in winding down the war in Iraq, establishing a greater social safety net for the poor, setting out a bold plan for eliminating nuclear weapons and jump-starting a serious interfaith conversation with Islam, long sought by the Holy Father himself.

But Kmiec said we shouldn’t worry about the ability of Notre Dame students to make moral distinctions. “Well-acquainted with abortion politics in America,” Kmiec wrote, “Notre Dame’s graduating class is less confounded. Indeed, an overwhelming majority are delighted by the opportunity to have their special moment embellished by Barack Obama’s intelligence and eloquence.”

And as you watch this controversy, it’s worth bearing in mind that a Pew Research Center poll earlier this month found that Obama’s ratings among Catholics stood at 65 percent favorable, 23 percent unfavorable -- slightly better than his margin (61 percent favorable, 26 percent unfavorable) in the country as a whole.

By E.J. Dionne  | April 17, 2009; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

While I appreciate your analysis, I must say as an African-American Catholic that this absurd behavior among Notre Dame alumni smacks of racism--the latent and potent racist-xenophobic-pro-war-pro-death penalty infection widespread in the so-called conservative wing of American Catholicism. How anyone could abide Bush the Younger, who murdered innocent people who happen to be Muslim, along with U.S. troops, on a messianic mission to keep gas prices cheap and war profitable is not Christian, and it sure ain't Catholic.

Posted by: blessinggirl | April 18, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Quoting the Commonweal editorial, Mr. Dionne claims that "certainly the president and the public cannot be in doubt about the church’s opposition to his policies." But in fact he proves the opposite in this very article - he is himself in doubt about the church's teaching!. . .

He writes: "I understand that there are committed pro-lifers who really do believe that abortion is the most important issue . . . But the Catholic Church has a rich history of concern with issues related to social justice, peace and equality. It should not be defined solely by the politics of abortion."

It is not just "committed pro-lifers" who believe that abortion is the most important issue . . . it is the Church! Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have both made clear that abortion IS the most important moral and civil rights issue of our day, because it involves the fundamental right to life upon which all the other "social justice, peace and equality" issues are based.

In quoting Mr. Kmiec so favorably, Mr. Dionne sides with Catholics who willfully ignore the Church's perspective on this issue. Why? Because it is politically expedient for them - and politics, not theology, is the lens Dionne and Kmiec primarily employ.

Hence, Mr. Dionne chooses to close his article with polling numbers. This shows beyond a doubt that he is primarily concerned with politics . . . and as a result, it is HIM who causes the Church's teaching to be "defined solely by the POLITICS of abortion."

The Church isn't a democracy - sound theology, not politics or polls, determines what she teaches. Mr. Dionne would do well to remember that it is perfectly possible for a majority of Catholics to be in dangerous error about the Church's teaching and its political/moral implications . . . just as so many Catholics were in error regarding racial equality in 1950s America, or 1940s Germany.

Posted by: skoeth | April 18, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

You couldn't find a bigger abortion fan than the Obama. He has no problem whatsoever with partial birth abortion and voted again a measure that would have required medical help for any baby that somehow survived a late term abortion. The alternative to saving the baby was to throw it in the medical waste. Not the kind of guy you'd want to honor, is it?

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | April 18, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Obama should stay away. What will he do next, visit the Pope????? Try to tell Catholics to have abortions and it is OK to be gay or lesbian?

Posted by: WISEOWL1 | April 18, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree the criticism by some conservative Catholics to President Obama speaking at Notre Dame is politically motivated. Most Catholics voted for Obama, so a majority almost certainly approved the university inviting the President there.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | April 18, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm a progressive Catholic. I do not, in good conscience, accept all that I'm told. If God gave us free will and a conscience to guide us, then we also must have options. Not all our options can, or should, be considered choices between good and evil. For example, there are Catholics who support the death penalty though the church does not. We must be free to face our beliefs and prejudices, make our choices, and interact with others with respect and love. If we must believe and behave as automatons, then there is no such thing as faith and community. We would be nothing but ants. So, I do support Obama's presence at Notre Dame's commencement. I am sure his address will be conscionable and enlightening.

Posted by: gaystaggo | April 18, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse

It's ridiculous to see church establishment speaking out on abortion yet never holding politicians accountable for starting wars, for their nihilistic attitudes about wealth and money, etc.

Posted by: davestickler | April 18, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

No - the affront is racism, and it cuts all the way to the bone in this case.

I get it that the catholic church has 'positions' - on abortion, on the death penalty, on war, etc.

But this particular Pope is the iddy biddy buddy whose job it was to relocate priests caught raping children to unsuspecting parishes where they could do it AGAIN! It was how he earned his creds in the hierarchy of the church. It earned him his Popedom.

Somewhere in recent history, the very Bishop who first said he would not attend the commencement because Notre Dame intended to honor President Obama with the honary degree, voted for this particular Pope-in-process to be made the Pope... KNOWING his complicity in the raping of children and the Church's covering it up.
Several other Bishops have since demanded Notre Dame's invitation be rescinded.

The church has paid out millions to victims, they claim the practice has stopped, and all the Bishops can look at the whole body of this Pope's work and - perhaps - give him the benefit of any doubt..

Notre Dame awarded George W. Bush, the hangingest Governor in the US, an honorary degree without a murmer...

So what is it... the Church's stance on abortion is more a moral tenet than its stance on capital punishment and child sexual assault?

Further, the Church has recently taken to denying elected officials communion for their positions in upholding the law of the land.

Does this mean that we can never have a catholic running for POTUS for fear of the church interfering with our political and civil lives?

Do they think we don't know they suborned their moral tenet to give George W. Bush an honorary degree without a word of discussion, or that we don't know who this Pope is? Why a stand against this President and not Bush, if the Pope gets a pass, why not this President?

Did the Bishops think they could take a cheap shot at a black President and no one would defend him?

Posted by: dutchess2 | April 18, 2009 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Abortion has been made into a political club by some conservative Christians. By saying that abortion is the only issue, they are saying that no other issue even matters. We might as well not even talk about them. This is not the Christianity that I want to be a part of.
I believe that the students of Notre Dame are smart enough to make their own moral judgements, and will not be swayed one way or the other because their university has chosen to allow the President to speak at commencement and receive an honorary degree. I would hope that they have all learned good critical thinking skills at some point during their time at the university.
Thank you for this column.

Posted by: chlind | April 18, 2009 3:07 AM | Report abuse

The Catholic Church is not simply the prolife movement. The Catholic Church actually has two tenets today: (1) Value the lives of fetuses above everything else and (2) treat lesbians and gay men as subhumans unworthy of life itself. Because the institutional Catholic Church no longer gives a damn about anything other than those two "ideals," I permanently severed my ties to the degenerate organization years ago. I encourage other moderate and liberal Catholics to do the same. Your cause--saving the Church from its twin obsessions--is a lost cause.

Posted by: uh_huhh | April 18, 2009 3:12 AM | Report abuse

The commenters who think that this controversy have something to do with race are appallingly ignorant. Have you heard of the last ten years of controversies about dis-inviting pro-abortion politicians (all of them lily white) from commencement ceremonies at Catholic universities? Do you live in a cave? I don't think so, I think you are just so obsessed with race that you sincerely misconstrue every criticism of Obama as racially motivated.

Posted by: carlo4 | April 18, 2009 3:39 AM | Report abuse

The striking thing about reading E.J. Dionne say that "Obama has assumed the mantle of Catholicism" is that he really seems to believe it! This is what I call being a Catholic Democrat (as opposed to a Democratic Catholic). Your heart is in the politics, and you appreciate your Church inasmuch it support your politics.

Posted by: carlo4 | April 18, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

After 4 years of college, and they are
still Catholic proves these students are unteachable.
So what does it matter who speaks to them?

Posted by: atmanman | April 18, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

it's nice of you to say that killing babies is no big deal...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 18, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

After 4 years of college, and they are
still Catholic proves these students are unteachable.
So what does it matter who speaks to them?

Posted by: atmanman | April 18, 2009 6:23 AM

******************************************

"Classy" comment, atmanman.

I would have thought your mother taught you better.

After 13 years of solid Catholic education (and 4 years at a loony liberal University), I remain staunchly, proudly, unabashedly Catholic.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Since March 20, there has been controversy regarding Notre Dame’s invitation to our President to give their commencement address on May 17. Many want the invitation rescinded because of his pro choice stance.

President Obama should give the commencement address at “Our Lady‘s” University. Five other Presidents have.

However, Obama is undoubtedly this nation’s most accommodative President ever when it comes to abortion. His four votes against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, 100% NARAL voting record while a Senator, reinstatement of the Mexico City policy which provides taxpayer funding to international groups that offer abortion, authorizing abortions in military hospitals by executive order, taking steps to remove the conscience clause established to protect pro-life medical personnel and his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act irrefutably underscore that observation. Although this nation‘s “Abortion Accommodator in Chief,” Obama should avoid addressing life issues including embryonic stem cell research, human cloning or the intersection of morality with science, etc. Doing so will only inflame the sensibilities of those Catholics who faithfully follow the moral teachings of the Church. If Obama foolishly decides to speak about life issues, he would be wise not to make those issues morally relative, relegate a pre born child’s life to a “choice“ or resort to his charm to dilute and trivialize their seriousness. Obama speaking on life issues is analogous to Mae West speaking on chastity. Foreign or domestic policy or a biblical theme such as Mathew 25: 31-46 are topics Obama could address without further alienating Catholics.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

blessinggirl wrote:

"While I appreciate your analysis, I must say as an African-American Catholic that this absurd behavior among Notre Dame alumni smacks of racism."

*****************************************

It has nothing to do with the color of Obama's skin pigmentation.

Stop playing the race card!

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Dave stickler wrote:

"It's ridiculous to see church establishment speaking out on abortion yet never holding politicians accountable for starting wars ........."

************************************

Dave, that thought is dopey.

Both JPII + Benedict admonished Bush on Iraq.

How can the church hold a non Catholic, secular head of state/government responsible for starting a war?

Dave, THINK!

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

dutchess wrote:

"No - the affront is racism, and it cuts all the way to the bone in this case."

******************************************

The controversey regarding Obama speaking at ND has nothing to do with racism.

You have a fertile imagination but it is best to stop playing the race card.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

uh_uuh wrote:

"The Catholic Church is not simply the prolife movement. The Catholic Church actually has two tenets today: (1) Value the lives of fetuses above everything else and (2) treat lesbians and gay men as subhumans unworthy of life itself. Because the institutional Catholic Church no longer gives a damn about anything other than those two "ideals," I permanently severed my ties to the degenerate organization years ago. I encourage other moderate and liberal Catholics to do the same. Your cause--saving the Church from its twin obsessions--is a lost cause."

******************************************

You obviously haven't read "The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" lately.

Or, the Catechism.

Give 'em both a read.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

carlo4 wrote:

"The commenters who think that this controversy have something to do with race are appallingly ignorant. Have you heard of the last ten years of controversies about dis-inviting pro-abortion politicians (all of them lily white) from commencement ceremonies at Catholic universities? Do you live in a cave? I don't think so, I think you are just so obsessed with race that you sincerely misconstrue every criticism of Obama as racially motivated."

*****************************************

Thanks carlo4. Spot on.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Tupac_Goldstein wrote:

"You couldn't find a bigger abortion fan than the Obama. He has no problem whatsoever with partial birth abortion and voted again a measure that would have required medical help for any baby that somehow survived a late term abortion. The alternative to saving the baby was to throw it in the medical waste. Not the kind of guy you'd want to honor, is it?"

****************************************

Agree.

There were many reasons I did not and will not vote for Obama.

The pre eminent reason was Obama's 4 votes against "The Born Alive Infants Protection Act."

Disgracefull. Shamefull. Unmanly.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed how "respect and honor owed to the office of the president" seems - at least among left-wingers - to trump respect and honor owed to the teachings of Jesus Christ, e.g. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, That you do unto me." Obama the Betrayer has already decided to forgo prosecution of Bush administration officials for war crimes - so neither the lives of innocent Iraqis nor the lives of innocent pre-born children seem to count much to this occupant of the "office of the president". Commonweal, Rev. Jenkins, and E. J. Dionne have chosen idolatry - worship of the state - over worship of God.

Posted by: LeszX | April 18, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Mr.Dionne,

Simply put. As a mother of a Notre Dame
grad I am totally opposed for Obama to
speak at ND.Is he going to lecture them or have ND remove all signs of Catholicism
(as he did in Georgetown)?? It simply is one thing after the other. And I am a
Republican who sadly voted for Obama thinking he was a different person but this is just too much.

Posted by: anamaria1 | April 18, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne,

Are you on Obama's payroll?

Column after column, you protect, defend or offer effusive praise of "the one."

It is too early to start campaigning for Nov., 2012.

Put down the Kool Aid and terminate your love affair with the secular Messiah.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

After 13 years of solid Catholic education (and 4 years at a loony liberal University), I remain staunchly, proudly, unabashedly Catholic.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 6:55 AM

FURTDW, NO ONE WANTS YOU TO BE DISLOYAL
TO YOUR CULTURAL GROUP...STICK WITH SPORTS!

A MATURE INTELLECT CANNOT ACCEPT THE
USURPATION OF THE CHURCH BY THE CLERGY,
OR THE INCONSISTENCIES..ABORTION IS BAD,
BUT SO ARE CONDOMS.

JESUS SAID "BY THEIR WORKS, YOU WILL
KNOW THEM.'

YOUR GENERATION IS SADDLED WITH A
$3 BILLION DEBT TO PAY FOR CHILD
ABUSE SUITS.

WAKE UP AND COME OUT OF YOUR TRANCE!

Posted by: Sanabitur | April 18, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

furtdw is absolutely correct in his postings, which I might add are well reasoned and free of invective often present, especially on this issue.

I know Obama well, having been one of the few Republicans to have debated him one on one (a total of three appearances). He is a political animal to the bone. He torpedoed a born alive protection bill for infants of botched abortions as political payback and promise of future support for his Senate campaign. He is a triangulator in political terms worthy of the Clinton machine. His positions on abortion, labor, health care are all about politics; he cannot defend the ideology behind his positions - I have experience with that. We had an hour and a half debate on education and health care and he had few defenses outside of government is necessary to equalize results.

As for the speech at Notre Dame, I am not a grad but have been a Catholic my adult life. While I do find it obnoxious that such an openly pro-abortion advocate is allowed to speak, I recognize that universities are and should be institutions where ideas are given open debate. His appearance there is certainly keying debate.

Having said that, it is quite another thing to give him an honorary degree. His position on abortion, as so ably pointed out by fuyrtdw in the orders he has given in just his first two months in office, is bad enough and should not accord him an honor. However, his other policies, such as the massive spending, the tax increases, the huge debt, the erasure of vouchers from DC, the government takeover of health care, the huge new tax on carbon - all of these run counter to the economic justice he and other liberals profess to favor. You don't elevate the poor to success by taking from the rich (which disincents risk taking and job creation), producing inflation (which erodes purchasing power and steals from the elderly), reducing competition and choice in health care (which will mean rationing and lower quality care for all), taking away the only way poor kids can get the quality, competitive education to rise from poverty and adding a huge new tax on energy so costly to poor and middle income Americans.

I said it during the campaign - he will be worse than Jimmy Carter and set the country back decades. Unfortunately, I may be proven correct.

Posted by: jcox998 | April 18, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Catholics racist? Why because they are trying to save babies? African Americans have the highest abortion rate of all races and Obama is proud of pro-abortion stance. Margaret Sanger (a real racist) would be proud of killing as many minorities as possible.

And when they poll Catholics; are these practicing Catholics who go to church every Sunday, or people who were baptised in the Catholic church 50 years ago and haven't been back since. I bet it is the latter.

Notre Dame should never have invited him to the campus. This is a disgrace.

Posted by: nolib1 | April 18, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The corrupt rotten Roman Catholic Church should be outlawed, it is a haven for pedophiles.

"The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool".
Voltaire.

Posted by: daniel3715 | April 18, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

As an Irish Catholic Democrat I can understand the reluctance to have the President speak at Notre Dame. The church is within its moral authority to question the Democratic party on abortion and stem cell research.

However what I fail to understand is why the Catholic leadership refuses to challenge the Republican leadership on war, poverty, pollution and a host of other issues. Does the Catholic Church really wish to allign itself with the GOP?

Posted by: dfdougherty | April 18, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Eugene Dionne is so emasculated by his feminist wife, he can't address this issue with any objectivity. For him to use Commonweal as an authority is similar to Nikita Kruschev quoting Tass.

Black women have 37% of this nation's abortions, despite being only 11% of American women. As Fr. John Raphael of St. Augustine H.S. in New Orleans notes, it is so hard for blacks to focus on Obama's fanatically pro-abortion policies in the euphoria over electing the first black President. Why do blacks continue to abort their unborn at such a horrible pace?

Notre Dame's endowment has taken an incredible hit from the protest, as many donors have padlocked their wallets, because the University abandoned Catholic principles in order to honor the first black President. ND has given up meeting its 2009 financial goals, and their fundraisers are worried the protest could have permanent effects on the school's bottom line.

Even ND board members privately asked John Jenkins to justify his violation of the bishops' 2004 pastoral letter, "Catholics in Public Life", and Jenkins provided a lame explanation, focusing on Obama not being a Catholic, rather than focusing on Notre Dame's obligation as a Catholic university not to honor someone who mocks Catholic principles with his issue stands. One of the board members was so angry, he leaked Jenkins' unsatisfactory letter last week.

Posted by: graydm2 | April 18, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

How predictable that E. J. Dionne should find support for his characteristically “liberal Catholic” take on the Obama at Notre Dame disgrace in an editorial in Commonweal, which, while certainly “liberal”, has long abandoned any resemblance to the Catholic magazine it was founded as.

The sticking point, of course, is Obama’s radical pro-abortion agenda, which, to put it plainly, comes the closest to the policy of the Third Reich as that of any U.S. President who ever lived. But for Dionne and other theological Neville Chamberlains, abortion is simply one of many Catholic social teachings, one to which Catholics should not be held politically captive. As Dionne puts it, “the Catholic Church has a rich history of concern with issues related to social justice, peace and equality. It should not be defined solely by the politics of abortion.” Solely, no; determinatively, yes. As then Cardinal Ratzinger made unequivocally clear in his 2004 letter to Cardinal McCarrick, the Church’s opposition to abortion (and euthanasia) is not subject to negotiation: “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” Liberal Catholics want a pass on this issue, but none will or can be given.

In the end, the question is whether maintaining one’s Catholic identity in our age and time demands a staunch, counter-cultural opposition to abortion, or whether one can fudge the burning moral issue by burying it in the sludge of “abortion politics”. This nothing new, of course. Similar challenges have tested Catholic mettle throughout the centuries; one thinks, for example, of the Duke of Norfolk’s attempt to gloss over papal primacy with the veneer of royal politics when arguing with his friend Thomas More in “A Man for All Seasons”. Christ’s own word cuts to the heart of all this: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). As high the cost of discipleship, so high the price of political and social respectability.

Posted by: doxology | April 18, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

After 13 years of solid Catholic education (and 4 years at a loony liberal University), I remain staunchly, proudly, unabashedly Catholic.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 6:55 AM

******************************************


FURTDW, NO ONE WANTS YOU TO BE DISLOYAL
TO YOUR CULTURAL GROUP...STICK WITH SPORTS!

A MATURE INTELLECT CANNOT ACCEPT THE
USURPATION OF THE CHURCH BY THE CLERGY,
OR THE INCONSISTENCIES..ABORTION IS BAD,
BUT SO ARE CONDOMS.

JESUS SAID "BY THEIR WORKS, YOU WILL
KNOW THEM.'

YOUR GENERATION IS SADDLED WITH A
$3 BILLION DEBT TO PAY FOR CHILD
ABUSE SUITS.

WAKE UP AND COME OUT OF YOUR TRANCE!

******************************************

Thanks for your advice.

After carefully considering your thoughts, I'll remain faithful to the doctrine and moral teachings of the Magisterium (despite the moral failings of Catholics including myself and, at times, the clergy).

PS. some unsolicited advice for you .... TURN OFF THE CAPS. All the best ....

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Who the hell gives a good god damn what the Church of pediophia thinks about anything? Anyone who takes that group seriously, is seriously nuts.

Posted by: anders1 | April 18, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

nolib1: I am in the latter category, but have not been polled.

What has happened to the Church since my youth? Politics and scandal, for sure, but also continued stern moral teaching. Most thoughtful people--of whatever religion, or lack thereof--look to her in search for some approximation of eternal truths. Only non-Christians and those with an uneasy conscience can easily dismiss Church doctrine.

I would put the onus on Pres. Obama. He should exhibit at least as much integrity as Henry VIII by denouncing Rome and all its trappings. He wouldn't even need to establish an Anglican substitute as he clearly belongs in Flip Wilson's "Church of What's Happening Now."

My flippancy is nothing compared to UND and its secular apologists, who denigrate the opportunity to take a solid stand for the culture of life.


Posted by: elgropo1 | April 18, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Religion is hard to debate. Truth is hard to debate. Both are almost impossible to resolve, especially for those who have spent time and emotion at a particular school or under certain tutelage. But from my experienced life perspective, the so-called "church" gave up any position of authority on any matter centuries ago after they blew it on heliocentrism. They are not and never have been guided by any supreme authority on any subject.

Posted by: ghp60 | April 18, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This nothing new, of course. Similar challenges have tested Catholic mettle throughout the centuries; one thinks, for example, of the Duke of Norfolk’s attempt to gloss over papal primacy with the veneer of royal politics when arguing with his friend Thomas More in “A Man for All Seasons”. Christ’s own word cuts to the heart of all this: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). As high the cost of discipleship, so high the price of political and social respectability.

***************************************************************

I suppose it never occurred to you that your quote could also be applied most readily to Peter, you know - founder of the "Church"...who as we heard last week...denied Jesus 3 times... There is much in the Bible that can be construed to fit the human desire to "know" God's purposes...but fortunately God has his own plans...to forgive Mankind of its pride and foibles and to save it from itself on HIS terms in HIS way which is impossible for me, a simple sinning human, to comprehend or pretend to know.

I leave you with another, more well known quote from Mathew 7:1-4 - "Judge not, that you be not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your eye."

Concentrate on YOUR deeds and actions...Have grace. Be patient. All sins are equal in the sight of GOD for we have but ONE sin given to us by Adam - redeemed for us by Christ. Believe in the original purpose of Jesus' coming and not fall victim to the vagaries and idolatries of man and the Church - (which kind of proves the point of our decided sinfulness in need of divine intervention and reconciliation) You will find your life less angry and frustrating.

Posted by: NWREB | April 18, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse


fertdw...you seem like a nice person who is looking for something by being here...
you don't need a priest as an intermediary ...

Try this. Start with this invocation to the Holy Spirit

Veni santificator omnipotens aeterne Deus

Then say:

Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam: ipsa me de- duxerunt et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum

Then pray to know what is true.

Posted by: atmanman | April 18, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The Church is a relentlessly backward looking and regressive organization, awash in superstition and patriarchy. Having said that, Notre Dame is a fine University as are a number of other Catholic universities in the US and elsewhere. I guess we have the Jesuits to thank for some of that but not all of it. In other words, the Church is a much larger and more complex institution than some make of it, just as Obama’s administration is. It’s easy to see what the movement conservatives can’t understand that, or movement liberals for that matter. Both sides are so much locked into their own policies they can’t see beyond them. But for the Church to move beyond its many failings of the last century, really too many to mention, they need to allow some room for diversity in thought. The Pope is not infallible. Nobody is infallible. That along with some of the other ridiculous mummery that comes from the ultra-orthodox, and the Opus Dei crowd of fanatics really makes them look like much less than they are.

Posted by: ElectricBill | April 18, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable.

Unbelievable.

Notre Dame honors GEORGE W. BUSH who snickered and giggled as he signed death warrant after death warrant.

Nobody said a WORD.

Notre Dame honors Barack Obama who voted against a badly written, utterly redundant, politically devious "born alive" law and who has set in motion economic and social justice measures that will reliably result in fewer abortions, and "Catholics" have apoplexies right and left.

Jesus wept.

Posted by: herzliebster | April 18, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Dionne must be another fallen away Catholic, because no Catholic loyal to Church teaching would want Obama speaking at Notre Dame or any other Catholic university.

Race has nothing to do with it, politics has nothing to do with it, and the reference to it being a "pedifilia church" as Anders1 called it, shows the hostility the non-believers have toward a religion that has helped so many people in this country and in poorer lands.

Obama should avoid Catholic universities and the Catholic hierarchy should refrain from inviting him to their campuses.

Sometimes the Church is its own worst enemy trying to placate liberal aethists.

Posted by: disunion | April 18, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Sir: Poster skoeth, 1:18 a.m., has it right, exactly. It's ALWAYS politics with Mr. Dionne never the truly difficult issue of morality!

Posted by: baltic | April 18, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

atmanman wrote

fertdw...you seem like a nice person who is looking for something by being here...
you don't need a priest as an intermediary ...

Thanks, but I've found what I'm looking for. Jesus Christ, his true church and the beautiful sacraments he left us.

And *YES* I do need a Priest for both confession (Mathew "...... who's sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, who's sins you shall retain, they are retained") and transubstantiation/Eucharest (John 6: 49-65, 1 Cor etc, etc).

****************************************

Try this. Start with this invocation to the Holy Spirit.

Thanks again but ........ nightly I pray to the Good Lord and frequently invoke the help of the Holy Spirit throughout the day.

**************************************
Veni santificator omnipotens aeterne Deus

Then say:

Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam: ipsa me de- duxerunt et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum

The best teacher I ever had was my Latin teacher in H.S. ... Father S.

After two years with him, I was virtually fluent in Latin. Unfortunately, I have forgotten my Latin.

Kindly translate.

PS. You weren't trying to pompously impress us with your Latin were you?
******************************************

Then pray to know what is true.

Thanks again. I find truth from both prayer *AND* the 2,000 year old teachings of the Magesterium predicated on biblical scripture.

Junior, you may want to refrain from offering theological advice.

I'll subscribe to the teachings of the Magesterium. Not your's.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama forced Georgetown University to cover Christian symbols in the hall where he gave the lecture. He had not problem walking into a Mosque, however. and even rcited Muslim call for prayer by heart. Not to mention kissing Saudi King hand.
Now, cry "racism" like that insane Gorafallo woman so that everybody could see you have no argument left.

Bush by the way FREED Iraqi people. Your opinion on the matter is irrelevant, the only judges of that are Iraqi people. Obama on the other hand is enslaving our children and grandchildren with enormous debt. And unlike Bush he does not have 2 wars to fight. Well, maybe he will start some liberal war, like Clinton did. Bombing civilians in a friendly European country, that's what to be expected from a lib

Posted by: pihto999 | April 18, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Pro life Catholic?

Opposed to Obama speaking at "Our Lady's University?"

Visit:

http://www.notredamescandal.com/

Sign the online petition.

Currently, more than 310,000 have signed.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama is THE most aggressive,strident abortion supporter to occupy the White House.His clear contempt for so many Catholic beliefs is stunning.He revoked the Mexico City Policy within days of his inauguration.His anxious,quick move to fund embryonic stem cell research happened within weeks of his inauguration.His defiant and arrogant choice of pro choice nominees to be Vatican Ambassadors are insulting and have all been rejected in Rome...and the beat goes on!Obama does not have to be invited to any Catholic University.We can respect the Office of the President and extend Presidnt Obama the courtesy he deserves.We don`t have to honor or welcome him to our institutional homes.A final thought for Mr.Dionne: There are Catholics who believe in the basic tenets of their faith.They are not "Conservatives" or "Liberals". They don`t accept moral equivalency or trade offs when it comes to destroying LIFE.Some people may wish to identify themselves as "Catholic" for whatever their reason,but if they reject the well defined and consistently articulated Church position on abortion,they are simply annointing themselves as deity.

Posted by: bowspray | April 18, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse


I see Mr. Ferdw is naturally apprehensive toward experiencing an epiphany today...growth is painful.

Overcoming early childhood religious indoctrination is a life long task.

Some are helped along when they discover Santa is a hoax, and begin
to wonder what else is made up.

The Koran is directly dictated by God to Muhammad, so does not have
all the inaccuracies and agendas present in the New Testament.

I don't see this there:

And *YES* I do need a Priest for both confession (Mathew "...... who's sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, who's sins you shall retain, they are retained") and transubstantiation/Eucharest (John 6: 49-65, 1 Cor etc, etc).

BTW

P. Veni, Sanctificator omnipotens aeterne Deus. et bene dic hoc sacrificum tuo sancto nomini praeparatum.

P. Come, O Sanctifier, Almighty and Eternal God, and bless, + this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Your holy Name.


Emitte lucem tuam, et veritatem tuam - Send forth Thy light and Thy truth

Posted by: Sanabitur | April 18, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

One question to the morally superior, obtusely self-righteous who are opposing Obama's presence at ND: Perhaps your objections would have more credibility if you would show equal outrage and indignation at those politicians who support capital punishment - ironically many of those are pro-life and pro-guns as well. It is amazing how conveniently you define the "culture of life" - yes you oppose abortion, but you seem to think the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" contains an addendum saying, "unless it is approved by us self-righteous 'true' servants of God." And do you think Jesus would oppose gun control?

Posted by: cogosome | April 18, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Mr, Dionne,

As you should be aware, in 2004, the United States of Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a policy statement called "Catholics in Political Life," which says, with reference to pro-abortion politicians, "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

President Obama has been called the "abortion president" by pro-life activists, it is evident his appearance at the university would violate the USCCB's policy against honoring pro-abortion politicians.

In the event Mr. Dionne has forgotten, Mr. Obama won over many Catholics with his rhetoric declaring his intention to find "common ground" on the abortion question.

Follows is his record to date.
The pro-abortion resume of President Obama, courtesy of LifeNews

• Overturning of the Mexico City Policy, which had prohibited U.S. funds from being used to promote or provide abortions overseas
• Working to overturn conscience protections for healthcare workers, forcing them to cooperate in abortion or risk losing their jobs
• Appointing pro-abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who has close ties to late-term abortionist George Tiller, to head the Department of Health and Human Services
• Dedicating federal funds to harvest embryonic stem cells for research at the expense of the most defenseless members of the human family

Yes, there are other social justice issues within the Catholic Church, but if you are dead they do not matter. I never met a dead person who was poor, hungry or naked.

As for the assertion of racial prejudice within the Church. If true the Church should quit fighting the abortion issue.
While blacks are approximately 13% of the U.S. populations they are said to comprise 35% of all abortions. Based on those statistics it would be more reasonable to declare Mr. Obama prejudice against his race.

Posted by: prita46 | April 18, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne you never cease to amaze me at your ability to exploit the media with verbage similar to Goebles. The bottom line is that you are a Catholic or you are not. If you are, you follow the Church Hierarchy which the Lord himself put into effect as the authority to be followed. Just because you have free choice doesn't mean you aren't supposed to follow the teachings of the church. Obama is anti catholic and he should not speak at our Catholic institutions. It is seen as a support for his policies and to further say we will award you an honorary degree is over the limit.

Posted by: pechins | April 18, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Those (Catholic or Evangelical) folks who shout about Obama being "pro-abortion" are simply wrong. He is not pro-abortion, and neither are most of us who take the stance that a woman is capable of deciding her own fate in one of the most personal matters she ever faces. No one is really pro-abortion. I bet very few people are pro-war either. This is a debate about whether women ought to have the right to choose for themselves about becoming mothers.

Catholics also disallow contraception. Catholics also refuse women the chance to become priests. Catholic popes are not only men, but they are celibate and have no experience with anything feminine. How can we expect Catholic theology to take the woman's side in anything? Think about being against contraception, folks.

Meanwhile, Catholics are at least consistent. They disallow abortion, but they also claim to disallow the death penalty. Some Catholics don't even know this. Why did they allow Bush to speak? He was a rampant pro-death-penalty advocate.

Catholics ought to be even more consistent and disallow war, since it very, very often means the death of babies, mothers, innocent civilians, old people -- never just soldiers.

So, instead of venting the politics only here, Catholics need to look to their own young people, the students who are looking forward to hearing their president speak. Open-mindedness is a virtue. Universities are available for the sharing of opposing ideas. Let ideas be shared -- not shut down.

What the alumni and conservatives seem to want is a horde of automatons all mouthing the same words, over and over.

No thought, no rational discourse, no enlightened thought. If they had their way, Galileo would still be excommunicated, right? The world isn't flat, and the earth is not the center of the universe. The sun doesn't go around the earth.

We can learn. We can still be unafraid to ask questions. And hear answers from a variety of the world's people.

Posted by: cturtle1 | April 18, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

For all of those who cling to medieval Christendom, Christ has moved on. You are, in fact, racists, for screaming about our president-of-color and staying silent about the war and human rights crimes of Bush, Reagan, etc. Christianity is about deeds, not words. And I do not live in a cave. Race is not a card to be played. Ask God for forgiveness for your sins.

Posted by: blessinggirl | April 18, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

First we must stop using the meaningless and foolish term "prolife" as a euphemism for those who oppose abortion. There is nothing wrong with the term "anti-abortion" to describe those who oppose the procedure.

I am the Roman Catholic mother of seven; therefore my credentials as prolife should be obvious. I am, however, also pro-choice, and consider the term "pro-abortion" ridiculous. No one is "pro-abortion.

I long ago decided that unless I were willing and able to say to a pregnant woman "Give me your baby; I will care for, nurture, and financially support him or her until adulthood" I should mind my own business. I suggest that those who so eagerly comment about the issue might consider doing the same. It would save us all a lot of blather.

I'd also like to ask the males among them, "How was your last pregnancy?".

Posted by: djccq | April 18, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

That's exactly what I said: you do not live in a cave, but you are so race-obsessed that you have to mix it with everything under the sun (like: people objecting to a pro-abortion politician being invited to the Notre Dame commencement). As you know many Catholics, including two Popes, spoke very forcefully against the recent wars. I am waiting for you to condemn Obama's vote in the Illinois senate as forcefully. Allowing doctors to dispatch infants born alive is a DEED (an evil one in my book).

Posted by: carlo4 | April 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

djccq:

my last pregnancy was wonderful because my mom brought me to term and took great care of me ever since. I think every baby in the world is entitled to the same treatment. If anybody put me in front of the alternative of taking care of a baby or letting her have an abortion, I would take care of the baby, so help me God.

Posted by: carlo4 | April 18, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Sanabitur wrote:

I see Mr. Ferdw is naturally apprehensive toward experiencing an epiphany today...growth is painful.

*****************************************

Your comment is that of a condensending, self righteous, pompous A$$.

Although I don't know factually, I presume you are another liberal who has it all figured out for yourself.

Again, I'll stay with the teachings of the Magesterium not that of an erstwhile, part time theologian with probably not much more than a shallow, bumper sticker mentality and the intellectual depth of a puddle.

Liberal one, it may just be you who requires "growth."

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

blessinggirl wrote:

"You are, in fact, racists, for screaming about our president-of-color."

**************************************

" .... in fact ......"

Facts require proof. Please provide proof.

Who has been "screaming about our president of color?" No one posting here has. You are the only one who has brought up race.

Undoubtedly, you're imagining others "screaming about a president of color."

The controversy regarding Obama speaking at ND has nothing to do with his color.

Playing the race card will not win you any sympathy.

Try again.

Posted by: furtdw | April 18, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse


He seems a bit defensive and angry.

But maybe that mean he has moved past denial then.

Any loss is painful and must be mourned, even if it is archaic beliefs and attributions that no longer serve a purpose. The need to cling to childhood concepts is strong. Even Islam could not give up "resurrection of the body."

Posted by: atmanman | April 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

If Notre Dame held every speaker to canon law the ONLY person that could be allowed to speak would be - the Pope. I grew up Catholic and thank God I am now an Atheist ;), but it is pathetic to listen to liberal Catholics go on about how the church needs to change and such. I have news for you - The Catholic church is not a democracy and never has been. Thousands of folks have dies horrible deaths trying to escape it. But nowadays, it is not the only game in town. If you disagree with tenets of the Church, chances are you can find another faith that is more compatible with your values (or none at all). Sadly, particularly with Catholics, breaking away from the church is hard because unlike the protestants, the Church has a comprehensive indoctrination process that virtually glues ones will to its hull. I prefer to call it brain washing, but in any case it can take a lifetime to recover should one wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by: aredant | April 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This situation requires delicate balancing and targeted support and opposition to the Obama administration.

The far right will hide behind abortion to push the rest of its agenda (much of it uncatholic), and the left is in denial about how grave the abortion problem is for the well-being of the nation.

I wish Obama success overall, but it's nonetheless useful to harass his administration on this point. He and the DEMs are stuck in a pro-abortion groove.

The opposition might help some of them get out of it and present the possibility to the public that one can be center left politically and still oppose abortion. Right now that combination seems unthinkable. It shouldn't be.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | April 18, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I am an Afro-American and raised in the catholic faith. However, after experiencing twelve years of discrimination in catholic schools and having my children denied entry into a catholic school in the 60's, I left the church. Catholics refuse to accept any belief system except their own. That is untenable.

Posted by: Leathnm | April 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Notre Dame is a "Catholic" university in name only. Being Catholic is not among the admission criteria for Notre Dame; the university will take your dollars for its inflated tuition whether you're Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or atheist. And if you're a promising Division I football player, you'll receive a Notre Dame scholarship on the basis of the "win-at-any-cost catechism."

Posted by: judithod | April 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention the other underlying problem: "...and besides, he's black". This comment ought to be appended to most if not all Repub. statements about the President.

Posted by: rfmilly | April 18, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Notre Dame has President Bush speak in 2001 with no problem. President stole the election, killed millions of people, torture/rape men/woman/children, caused the US Stock Market Crash/Recession, has lied from day one. Is he what Catholics see as following God. Catholic Churches still protect those who molest kids. Something is wrong here where's the teaching of God in all this. President Obama has shown the values/morals once taught in our Churches yet he's not what the church wants. They perfer Bush and Cheney who have been doing Satan's works for 8 years. Are Catholics now saying we should have Leaders with Bush/Cheney as examples who use God's name while kidnapping children and torturing them? Once the Church got into Govenment in 2000 it's no longer working for God it's working for MONEY. But the Bible did say this would happen. GREED is more power in the Church then God's Word and this action is an example. What the question of why Americans have lost religion this is one example of why. The same thing happen in Matthew 27:24-25 as again people and the church will ask for forgiveness.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | April 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse


There were 1 million abortions in America last year alone. Obama has lifted restrictions on the medical experimentation on developing children, basically killing the unborn for spare parts... we'll just call it "stem cell research". Obama has also promised more undemocratic judges to ensure another 20 million abortions in the years to come. It is what it is. It is ugly.

Posted by: dboc_991 | April 18, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled, simply appalled by the reaction by a few alumni to the President of our United States! I wonder if these alumni had the same vocal outcry while priests abused and molested children with no obvious recourse by the Archdiocese.

This is an outrageous reaction and very racist.

Posted by: AndraAlex | April 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

As a Jesuit university alumni, I am appalled by the supposed opposition to Obama's visit from some Notre Dame's alumni. I was taught back in college that catholicism is universal, it respects other people's point of views, it engages in causes for the common good, it embraces openness of mind and of spirit. Maybe these Notre Dame's alumni were to drunk while in college to get what a catholic education at a Jesuit college is all about.

Posted by: JERomero | April 18, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Do you prolife Catholics have any idea how many abortions have been performed in the United States since 1973? 30 million...THIRTY MILLION!!!!! You have lost the war...its time to move on. On a final note, this idea that you are so upset about the number of black babies who are aborted is truly laughable, laughable. Who the heck are you people trying to fool with that nonsense. Here's a shocker? Married, white, Republican women have abortions too!

Posted by: ilg123 | April 18, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse


Obama shouldn't be allowed within 10 feet of Notre Dame. He's a baby killing socialist thug without a moral bone in his body. He should be in prison.

Posted by: dboc_991 | April 18, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Will the race card ever end ? This is not about race, get it !!!
There are much more deserving and accomplished people than Obama.
Although I am not Catholic, I do know many of the Notre Dame alumni who are opposed to Obama speaking at commencement.
I just hope that morally I can never get to a place in my life to justify murder.

Posted by: skip1937 | April 18, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I am a lifelong committed Catholic. This Pope, once known as Ratzinger, ex-enforcer for the most reactionary part of the Church, and ex-member of the Nazi youth program, is in no position to give moral instruction to anyone about "life" issues.

When the Church is taken back from the counterrevolutionaries who are trying so desperately to pretend that their authoritarian view of religion still matters, that someone significant still looks to them for a future, when these people are put in the past like Franco and his kindred Falangists (Benedict's real spiritual brothers) are in the past . . .

then at last the Church will rise and matter again. Until then, the Church is in the tomb, waiting.

Posted by: Jenny6 | April 18, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The Vatican ignores the fact that Christians do not make up a majority of the world's population and Roman Catholics are not a majority of all Christians. The Pope is charged by the tradition of the church to make moral decisions for Roman Catholics, but the rest of us are free to ignore those decisions for any reason or reasons that suit us.

When a religious leader of any suasion promotes the idea that his moral decision is so pure that it must or should be enforced by the state, he is saying that he has no moral or ethical validity based on his theological stance. Those who believe do not need a sword over their heads to comply with that religious leader's decision.

Duchess2 has it right that the threat of punishment by the church will give pause to voting for a member of the church. Not just POTUS but any office.

And as for WISEOWL1, you need to pick a new screen name. Many catholics already know that it's perfectly fine to be gay. Some gays are even practicing the religion, although it seems like an oxymoron to me.

Posted by: mickle1 | April 18, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Jenny6:

where did you get your Ratzinger information? The National Inquirer? The Onion? You are so clueless it is not even funny. Go read some books, for goodness' sake. Read "Introduction to Christianity," one of the true Catholic classics of the 20th and tell me if you find an authoritarian view of religion. Read Spe Salvi and show me the affinities to falangism. You live in an imaginary universe.

Posted by: carlo4 | April 18, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Dionne wants a post in Obama's admin so bad he could taste it. Somehow I think of Faust when I think of him, Dionne. And Mephistophiles? Well, I leave that to the imagination.

Posted by: Rehcab1 | April 18, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Two important points are overlooked by all sides in this discussion about the Obama honorary degree from Notre Dame.

1)Obama has been trying to reach out to all of the people he disagrees with, whether on political or moral issues, e.g. the invitation to the Evangelical minister to deliver a prayer at the inauguration. That minister attempted to support Obama's effort to bring different people's together in his invocation. Many did not accept his effort, but I respected it. I also respect Notre Dame for inviting Obama to speak there as an effort to support that dialogue.

2) Many claim that the honorary degree is an endorsement of Obama's views and not the initiation of a dialogue. Notre Dame is trying to address this by giving Mary Ann Glendon an honorary degree also. She has taught at Yale, been the US ambassador to the Vatican, and has clearly defended the Church's anti-abortion and pro-life teaching. Some might consider that invitation only a political maneuver to put a window dressing over the true intent of the invitation and what they think will be the actual effect of giving Obama the degree.

I respect that concern, because many who speak out of the social issues camp that Obama shares, have used the argument of respect for different views to foist their views on a minority.

But I think Obama is different. Unlike Geo. W Bush who claimed a mandate, even though he had a minority popular vote, Obama recognized that more than 40% of this nation did not vote for him. As he said, he wants to be their president too. I don't see Obama coming to Notre Dame to try to get a Catholic endorsement of his views on abortion. I think he wants to get a dialogue going to find common ground to reduce the need for abortion. This conversation has been taking place in his office of religious affairs.

I wish there was better coverage of these dimensions of the Notre Dame graduation.

Posted by: Instructor5 | April 18, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

this sooo easy folks!

President Obama: (Calling in scheduler) "who's got that date??"

Scheduler: Notre Dame Commencement

President Obama: Cancel that, and contact Spellman or Howard and tell those ND racists hiding behind the cross to ....

(President walks away smiling).

Posted by: kurtbw | April 18, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

take the phony DRAMA QUEEN religious practive to a sucked up head in Rome and stick it~!

Still a joke after all these years, biggest RED MEAT fans on earth still! Only Nero and Ceaser came close and Hitler a distant third. Oh that's right, your HEAD IN ROME sucked up to Hitler too!

No thanks. I take Billy Graham, TD Jakes and many others over the fag tag crew. That's right, you bought out a court to hide your iniquities and your shame.

Soon!

Posted by: kurtbw | April 18, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Carlo4, I do not want to get into an ad hominem comparing of credentials; let's just say that I hold a tenured position at a large eastern university, hold a Ph.D. in an affiliated field, read these documents in their original languages, and have almost certainly read the requisite books to hold a conversation.

You consider "Introduction to Christianity" as a classic of the 20th century. This tells me something of your horizon. To put it mildly, this opinion would not be widely shared by divinity schools not dependent on the mandamus of the local authorities. Go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, and see if this "classic" is on the required reading list. The same with the very thin Spe Salvi, which name drops a good deal, but never actually comes to grips with any of the ideas of, for example, Marx or Adorno. A shame, that, but not surprising for an authoritarian who clearly still believes that "Roma locuta est, causa finita est."

But those days are over, and that's what's eating a lot of the reactionary right about Obama at Notre Dame specifically, and about the Church generally. The days of thumbscrews are gone, and they aren't coming back. And despite the attempts of the Ratzinger-backed elites (e.g. George of Chicago and his ilk pronouncing that Notre Dame had done the wrong thing by inviting Obama . . . once upon a time, that sort of declaration by the nearest prince of the Church would have set knees a knockin' 'neath the golden dome, but no longer) the will to power of the episcopacy seems doomed to be frustrated, despite thirty years of conservative purges, e.g. Leonardo Boff, Charles Curran, Matt Fox, Ivone Gebara, the assault on comunidades de base and liberation theology, Ray Hunthausen, dozens of Newman Centers and other progressive centers closed down or otherwise disciplined . . . you asked for specifics . . . but I won't belabor the point.

As for points of correspondence between the falangist movement and Ratzinger / Benedict's views (beyond the obvious actions already noted), is his treatment of the "dictatorship of relativism." Ratzinger sees all understanding as provisional except his own - the very definition and apotheosis of a demagogue. He has demonstrated this dramatically again in his attempts to canonize the fascists and falangists, many guilty of the most monstrous crimes against humanity, killed during the Spanish Civil War.

I hope this age of authoritarianism passes quickly and the Church will return to its authentic roots and mission. Until that day, all humanity will see her for who she really is.

Posted by: Jenny6 | April 18, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate Mr. Dionne's article. Reasonable people will know that not all Catholics are so dogmatic to the point of being hostile to anyone who does not agree with their most controversial issues. As a Southern Baptist all of my life, I am proud to say that my wife and I know a very dedicated and God-fearing Catholic priest associated with Notre Dame. Since he is well along the path to assuming a dominant role in the administration of Notre Dame, we'll not give his name. However, we appreciate the ecumenical spirit of many of the Catholics that we know.

It is time for the vocal minority to realize that voicing their concerns is enough to absolve them of any perceived punishment from God. The God that I serve made us all. He uses all of his created order to accomplish His purposes.

I do know one thing for sure: President Obama will not embarrass anyone at Notre Dame on this great occasion. President Obama practices his profound faith in God as expressed through Jesus Christ each and every day. Those who are hurling the stones at him need to take a close look at themselves and then ask, "What would Jesus do." I do know that Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Posted by: EarlC | April 18, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I forgot, the right-wing fanatics do not sin. President Obama will surely wear his protective gear when he speaks at Notre Dame. :)

Posted by: EarlC | April 18, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

First we must stop using the meaningless and foolish term "prolife" as a euphemism for those who oppose abortion. There is nothing wrong with the term "anti-abortion" to describe those who oppose the procedure.

I am the Roman Catholic mother of seven; therefore my credentials as prolife should be obvious. I am, however, also pro-choice, and consider the term "pro-abortion" ridiculous. No one is "pro-abortion.

I long ago decided that unless I were willing and able to say to a pregnant woman "Give me your baby; I will care for, nurture, and financially support him or her until adulthood" I should mind my own business. I suggest that those who so eagerly comment about the issue might consider doing the same. It would save us all a lot of blather.

I'd also like to ask the males among them, "How was your last pregnancy?".

Posted by: djccq | April 18, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The Catholic Church in the USA has morphed into the "Accommodating Cool Church". Ta ta to the traditional Mass, to traditional prayers, to traditional Commandments (remember how they deleted those pesky ones about coveting and stealing in order to accommodate the illegal aliens?).

So if Notre Dame, a member of the Cool Church, wants to honor a baby-killing-promoter, that is right in line with their 'accommodation'.

And those silly, traditional conservative Catholics had just better get "Cool".

Posted by: segeny | April 18, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Arizona State University will have the President at its commencement but will NOT be giving an honorary degree.

Posted by: eabgarnet | April 18, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I’m glad that this contentious issue has now been addressed and framed in a way that makes sense to me. All I have heard regarding the issue thus far is from outspoken Catholics against the President’s visit, rather than his supporters. I particularly agree that support or rejection of Obama’s visit is politically motivated, though it is under the guise of staunch piety. It is true that the President’s relationship with the Catholic population should not be evaluated purely on the issue of abortion, but also on his administration’s stances on war, treatment of the poor, and relations with Islam. Additionally, the reaction at Notre Dame cannot accurately reflect the entire Catholic population of the US, the majority of which supported President Obama in the election.

Posted by: crwoessner | April 18, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

INFALLIBLE BLUNDERER?

I don't follow that closely,
but isn't this pope always putting
his foot in his mouth?

Didn't he use some 1600 year old quote
to insult Islam.

And he should just be quiet about the
condom thing. If a prior "infallible"
pope made a stupid error with the
condom issue, I guess he is wed to it.

It does not make a lot of sense.
Why is the rhythm method OK, if
it's intention is the same as the use
of condoms?

Too bad the Church bought the wacky
views of reformed sex addict Augustine
of Hippo. In "City of God" he talks about
his "member" for 30 pages...unlike his
other body parts, it does not always
obey his will etc. He is worse than
an ex-smoker once he reforms.

So bad enough the pope forbid condoms for
Catholics and thereby promotes unwanted pregnacies and abortions in "the faithful."

But why block UN funding to prevent aids
in Africa...unless you like to have
kids see their parents die before their eyes.

Now we are getting into the promotion of evil, to protect a errant policy.

Jesus said, "by their works, you shall
know them."

The clerics have stolen the Church
from the people and duped them into
thinking expensive pointed hats, $500
shoes, and fancy robes are a good use
of their money, now combined with a $3
Billion liability for child abuses claims.

May God strike down those who trade
on the Name of Jesus for their
own perverted purposes, Amen.

Posted by: Sanabitur | April 18, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Carlo4 - I'm glad that your mother carried you to term, and hope that you have both enjoyed your life and have used it well. You, however, were a passive part of the pregnancy your mother experienced. My own pregnancies tells that you probably kicked her a lot, but that does not make her pregnancy "your pregnancy." My pregnancies were happy ones, and I hope your mother enjoyed hers too. It does, however, remain hers unless and until you can tell me how long you were in labor.

Should you really want to have the opportunity to persuade a pregnant woman not to have an abortion by offering to raise her baby until adulthood, I suggest you go to the nearest abortion clinic, and speak kindly and seriously to such a woman. She may accept; I doubt it. If you're not willing to do this, please do not preach to any woman who has given birth, or at least stop talking nonsense.

Posted by: djccq | April 18, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for putting this controversy in perspective. It is tiresome that the university is only following its mission: welcoming a speaker who honors educational institutions where ideas are expressed, developed, and debated. I hope that our president delivers a profound speech in such a great setting.

Posted by: ett2e2005 | April 18, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Despite all the blasting done at Obama, the real problem here is that, as usual, many Americans have lost the ability to mind their own business. Obama's visit is the business of the school, the students, and the donors (as a decision as to whether to donate to the school or not). Everyone else needs to just chill out.

If it's true that the university is seeing a heavy backlash from donors over this (in a year where I'm sure donations are down anyway due to the economy, and the endowment has probably taken a huge hit), then it could be argued that taking a step that might put the university in financial distress is not necessarily worth the honor of Obama's speech.

Posted by: naggy | April 18, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a disgrace for all Christians in general and Catholics in particular. He posed as a Christian to dupe naive voters and now he is revealing his true beliefs---abortions on demand funded by the taxpayers,hiding Christian symbols, renouncing America as a Christian nation, attempting to send abortion rights zealots to the Vatican as ambassadors, using taxpayers' money to fund abortions in foreign countries and proclaiming full support for FOCA.

Posted by: tsapp77 | April 18, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Not racist?

OK - then why are those Bishops so willing to elevate the Bishop among them whose job it was to transfer the priests who raped children to unsuspecting parrishes. Did the rape of children violate their moral values or the Church's tenets? Raping children is ok?

How to explain inviting George W. Bush to speak at a commencement and giving him an honorary degree after executing so many? Capital punishment does not violate a church's tenet?

The right of a woman to choose is the law of this land. Is the catholic church attempting to impose its religious beliefs on American citizens - even non members? Threatening public servants with excommunication - interfering with the conduct of official business while it enjoys a tax free status?

so how else to explain demanding our first black President live up to their coda but never any white President?

Posted by: dutchess2 | April 18, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The comments here fully validate my decision to sever all ties to the degenerate catholic church years ago. Driving by fanatics like the commenters here, the church has made abortion and gay rights its only two litmus tests.

Inviting a Jewish prolifer to speak would be fine. Believing in the divinity of Jesus is not a requirement, but opposing abortion is.

Inviting a Christian warmonger to speak would be perfectly acceptable, as long as he opposed abortion and gay rights, because being a warmonger is a non-issue.

Inviting the man who broke the ultimate race barrier is not acceptable because the civil rights of fetuses are the only civil rights that the church gives a damn about anymore.

Bestowing an honorary degree on a torturer would fine, as long as the torturer opposes abortion and gay rights, because the church doesn't give a damn about torture anymore.

Commenters here and their degenerate church have every right to obsessively put abortion above everything else in every context. And I and millions of others have every right to regard them as obsessive fanatics entitled to no respect.

Posted by: uh_huhh | April 19, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

An institution that values embryos over humans has no moral authority. Maybe by going there Obama can talk some sense to them.

Posted by: Bowerguy1 | April 20, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

As a Catholic, I don't mind President Obama's invitation to speak at Notre Dame. It's an opportunity for those faculty, staff, and students at the great Catholic University to help him reflect on the error of his ways (as Jesus did by ministering directly to sinners whenever he could).

Posted by: DQuixote1 | April 20, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

As a practicing RC I find the comments here to be distressing. No institution which is founded by humans can possibly live up to the spiritual righteouness of God. Like all men, all organized religions have flaws and inconsistencies in their practice and belief. It is acceptable to oppose abortion and permit ridiculous disparity in the wealth of the world's citizens? To support the governments that develop nuclear arms and look the other way at the death penalty? Do we chose to take the alleged moral high ground on same sex marriage and then provide asylum for our institutional leaders who knowingly enabled child molestation [Law]? These questions are confusing. It is important to understand that we are, by our nature, humans with contradictions- and the forgiveness and acceptance we eagerly seek from God we must be willing to give to others. Obama is not the ideal Catholic, and neither, I suspect, are most of us who are commenting on this blog and who are members of the Church. The rancor of some postings being abjectly contrary to "Love one another"- Christ's primary message to everyone- and there are no exceptions to this- not even Presidents with whom we do not agree. One cannot choose one or two issues from the stack and claim the moral high ground, ignoring the others. Wouldn't this country be better off if the vehemence directed to the President could be channelled to eliminating poverty, providing education, and support world peace? Let those of us who are without sin cast the first stone.

Posted by: slmdarien | April 20, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The amount of dis/mis-information in this threat spewed by the zealots is staggering.

Keep marginalizing yourself, folks. There's a reason no one cares what you say anymore.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

If Obama gives the commencement ther must be conditions;
1) No campaigning
2) No talk of the economy
3) No Bush Bashing
4) MOST IMPORTANT: HE MUST GIVE A PRO-CHRISTIAN SPEECH EMPHASIZING THE CONTRIBUTIONS CATHOLICS HAVE MADE TO AMERICA!

Posted by: tiotom77 | April 20, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I graduated from Notre Dame in 2001. When President Bush spoke at the commencement. There was just as much protest then. Many thought President Bush's policies concerning War and torture were not pro-Catholic. It's a large church and school, with many view points.

Posted by: ideallydc | April 20, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

nolib1, so you are against abortions and samesex marriage---What if a lesbian was raped and impregnated, shouldn't she have an abortion because her baby will be part gay/part rapist? Should she marry her rapist so the child can be born in wedlock? Obviously I'm being facetious. My first encounter with catholisism was when I was about ten, and overheard my mom chatting with our RC neighbour who had six kids 8 years old and under. My mom was concerned because her friend had found out her husband was having an affair. Our neighbour said, 'at least while he's with her, I don't have to get pregnant again for awhile.' Isn't that wonderful, birth control by infidelity. Yeah, that's really strenthening for a marriage.

Posted by: katem1 | April 20, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

phito999: the Iraqi people that you claim Bush freed did make their judgement of Bush known. They now have a martyr, a national hero, (actually, Bush was so disliked that most of the western world also did this)--the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush. So I wouldn't be contacting too many people outside of the redstates to donate to Bush's library if I were you. Maybe he could find a job there for Gonzales, since his tenure as AG seems to have made him unemployable.

Posted by: katem1 | April 20, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Since 1973, Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia has supported one of the most treasured institutions in our city, the library. Our mission is to support the Free Library of Philadelphia through neighbors and library patrons like you who care about their communities and volunteer for their local Friends Group. Library Friends are stewards of our free and equal access to information and ambassadors of life-long learning Friends Groups;

Posted by: edtroyhampton | April 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Catholic Church stated that its defense of life was a “seamless garment.” This placed the Church in opposition to abortion but also to capital punishment, to the waging of unjust wars, and in opposition to any war except, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population.” This year there has been a great protest against inviting President Obama to deliver the Commencement Address at Notre Dame University. However, there was no protest by the Bishops against the invitation to President George W. Bush to deliver the Address in 2001. As Governor of Texas, President Bush presided over the execution of 152 people and in 1999 mocked a woman, Karla Faye Tucker, whom he condemned to death. There was no strong and persistent opposition from the Bishops to President Bush’s conduct of the war in Iraq, no withholding of communion for those Catholics who voted for the war and who voted to continue financing it, despite the Pope’s condemnation of the war. In practice, politically right-wing “pick and choose” cafeteria Bishops and laity do not consider the defense of life to be a seamless garment.

Posted by: arthur6 | April 20, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

This is why we have Separation of Church and State. Although I think most of us really could care less about the uproar over this. I am sure President Obama will be invited to other Universities and his view will still be know regardless.

The Church has it views and so, getting one more degree I am sure is not on President Obama's mind right now. He can but, it is not something that is urgent to him at the moment.


Posted by: Scar1 | April 20, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

When I first heard that Obamanation was invited to Notre Dame, I immediatelt e-mailed my displeasure to Notre Dame, but got no response. I thank God that I am not deceived like many who choose to turn a blind eye to the immoral and barbaric practice of abortion, nor am I deceived by Obamanomics, Obamaligion, or Obamalism!

Exodus 21: 22-23 clearly addresses the issue of "abortion", for if one acts in a manner which causes the death of an unborn child, not by neglect, but intentioanlly, that persons life is forfeit.

Is it better to obey the laws of God or the laws of man? For even science declares that life begins at the moment of conception, while the judges have declared in their own blind arrogance that life occurs at the point of birth.

Obama supports infanticide, even voting against the "Child Protection Act".

He voted in support of Partial Birth Abortion! He also has declared that he will undo the "Conscience Clause", which will require medical professionals to perform abortions or aide in such brbaric procedures even if doing so goes against their moral or religious convictions.

Is it better to please God, or embrace the evil practices of men? Do you think that God will withhold His righteous judgement against wicked men forever? Surely Sodom and Gomorrah will fare better than this nation at the day of judgement.

Why do men fail to discern the times in which they now live? For the beginning of God's judgement against a wicked and sinful people has even now begun. For surely we now see the beginning of His pleadings with corruptable and blind men who have forsaken the truth and exchanged it for a lie. They call good evil and evil good.

For surely, Obama is not your "political messiah", for he pilots the ship which will lead to your own destruction. He is a deceiver of men, perhaps blindly, but none the less, he shall deceive many.

This world cries out for tolerance, but be forewarned that God is NOT tolerant of the wicked, for He shall not stay His hand of judgment much longer. For in ONE HOURS TIME, all you have will be torn from you and given to another.

Posted by: Jordan48 | April 20, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Some who don't want Pres. Obama at Notre Dame is racism and some is anti choice. However, if it's based on sin - there is no such thing is a big sin or a little sin so where was the opposition to Bush for all the deaths in Texas (more prisoners executed than anywhere) when he was Governor or the wars (Iraq and Afganistan)?

Posted by: rlj1 | April 20, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Catholicism is a religion, not a political movement. Therefor, there are not liberal and conservative Catholics - just Catholics. "The Gospel of Life" makes it clear that abortion is morally wrong. Thus Obama's position on this issue makes him an inappropriate person to receive an honorary degree from a Catholic University, period.

Posted by: trumpeter63 | April 21, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Catholicism is a religion, not a political movement. Therefor, there are not liberal and conservative Catholics - just Catholics. "The Gospel of Life" makes it clear that abortion is morally wrong. Thus Obama's position on this issue makes him an inappropriate person to receive an honorary degree from a Catholic University, period.

Posted by: trumpeter63 | April 21, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Modern liberalism is antithetical to the Catholic Cathechism. A "liberal Catholic" is nothing but a Catholic that has rejected Catholicism. So why should they be given any more credence than a "gay rights activist" who opposes gay marriage?

Posted by: BinkyLover | April 21, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Brothers and sisters, it is not his humble servants, but God himself who is under attack. Since the first of us, we have rejected our Father. Only in the end will the world see him for who he is. We see, here, in myriad passionate words, the constancy of humanity in its rebellion against Truth in its stubborn refusal to believe in His name. We rebel and proclaim our sovereignty, each in our own way, unashamed of our vanity, ignorant of our bland unoriginality, insensible that we are mere flotsam in a stagnant pond. Pray that all may see beyond the shell of their own imaginations and into the mysterious eternal kingdom of heaven. Keep in your hearts, faithful brothers and sisters, the prayer of Jesus who prayed in unity with the Holy Spirit to the Father,

"I passed your word on to them, and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world. I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth. I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me. May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see my glory which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Father, Upright One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them."

Rest in his words, my friends, and know that we are, indeed, one in the church.

Posted by: 4life3 | April 21, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

obama should not have been invited to speak there in the first place...he is obviously an evil man. he needs to be taken out of office now!

Posted by: smathern | April 21, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Most Catholics supported and voted for President Obama in the last election. For the Catholic minority who voted for McCain I say... just get over it. Would these same conservative Catholics have objected to a President McCain speaking at Notre Dame? The same McCain who cheated on, then divorced his crippled first wife to
marry his beer heiress mistress? Probably, yes.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

how can black women have the greatest# of abortions in this country and still have the greatest number of illegimate children born? those stats just do not add up. i think that the right wing has swallowed a bitter pill with this last election. as a catholic, republican, and retired military,i was one of the 54% that voted for this great american. let the man do the peoples' work. it has only been 90 days. he has another three years and 9 months to "git-er-done" (job, i.e). let's keep race out of this pix. not one time did i hear this talented person state that he was running for "potus" as a black man. others stated that premise. after his first term, and if the electorate does not think he has not performed his duties to standard, they will have a chance to elect someone else. let the graduates of this great school be recognized by the speaker they chose to give the commencement address. leave the politics of it.

Posted by: yvonneprivera | April 22, 2009 5:37 AM | Report abuse

st smathern: why don't you cast the first stone? what sin has he committed that you are aware and have not done yourself?

Posted by: yvonneprivera | April 22, 2009 5:41 AM | Report abuse

You and your liberal "Catholic" friends are wrong. The Church is the pro-life movement. Everything the Church does is for life. True life in God, through Jesus our Lord. That starts with the recognition of that human beings are made in the image of God. Therefore, human life is to be respected. Without life, there cannot be social justice.

Posted by: MikeL4 | April 22, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Notre Dame is hypocritical letting a death penalty advocate, a policy maker that increases poverty, preemptive war in Iraq, little respect for God's green earth when Dubya spoke without the Obama didsdain. Even the new cardinal of NY has quantified death saying the death penalty is debatable while abortion is not. Killing is a sin and to quantify it is why people don't follow the teachings in greater and greater numbers. Saving a few bucks protecting perverts is a sin by the church leadership. Coin and government is the world of Caesar not God.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 23, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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