Below is a letter from Arch. Nienstedt on the whole Obama/Notre Dame issue.
The bishop sees the bigger picture, I think.
A few things need to be considered on this issue:
-Obama is receiving a 'honorary doctor of law' degree; he promotes laws that
disregard human life, and are an affront to human dignity (gay marriage, etc.).
-Obama is the most anti-life president in history, and this is only 100 days into his
presidency. The ignorant speech he gave about stem cells is enough to
make George Bush look like a philosopher at a prestigeuos university. He also
said we ought not 'politicize science'- basically that means no ethics bind science?
-Obama has a penchant for nominating unfaithful 'Catholic' politicians to his cabinet;
this is a total embarassment and affront on the Church. The message of this is clear:
you don't have to pay attention to your bishop or Rome, we are the authority.
-Times have changed. In the past, everyone expected a lack of fidelity after the council;
this is no longer the case. Vatican II is now becoming more and more clear, thanks
to JPII and BXVI. The post conciliar Church was not pressing the 'reset' button
on doctrine and tradition as the progressivists have pushed for 40 years.
-Although ND has invited presidents to speak since Jimmy Carter,
one cannot simply look to past precedent; past precedent (Carter & Clinton) displays two
presidents who did not respect human life and should not have been honored. It is time
that the Church break from tradition (that of the last 40 years), a tradition of relativism
and infidelity to authentic teaching. It is one
thing to allow a president to speak at a Catholic school, but another to give them an
honoring and let them speak from the pulpit after mass and at commencement.
This has nothing to do with academic freedom, but the promotion of 'worldly' ideas and bowing
down to 'the world'. ND has been doing this since the Land O' Lakes decree under Hessburg.
ND would rather be a second rate Harvard, than the #1 Catholic university.
-This is a teaching moment, and everyone is paying attention. To waffle on this very clear
issue is to promote pusilanimity and infidelity to Church teaching.
-Lastly, here's Obama's anti-life record.
So, I think this is a big deal and dispicable if ND goes through with it.
Neinstedt's letter is below.
March 26, 2009
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Dear Father Jenkins:
I have just learned that you, as President of the University of Notre Dame, have invited President Barack Obama to be the graduation commencement speaker at the University’s exercises on May 17, 2009. I was also informed that you will confer on the president an honorary doctor of laws degree, one of the highest honors bestowed by your institution.
I write to protest this egregious decision on your part. President Obama has been a pro-abortion legislator. He has indicated, especially since he took office, his deliberate disregard of the unborn by lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research, by promoting the FOCA agenda and by his open support for gay rights throughout this country.
It is a travesty that the University of Notre Dame, considered by many to be a Catholic University, should give its public support to such an anti-Catholic politician.
I hope that you are able to reconsider this decision. If not, please do not expect me to support your University in the future.
The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis