Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Modest Penance Proposal

The University of Notre Dame, a Catholic university, has invited President Barack Obama to speak at the university's May 17 commencement. The university has asked other presidents to give similar speeches, and several have spoken at previous commencements.

But this case is different. President Obama has recently issued Executive Orders directly counter to primary Catholic teachings. As a direct result,

  1. Bishop John M. D'Arcy, bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese that includes the Notre Dame campus, has announced that, for the first time in his tenure as bishop, he will not attend the commencement ceremonies because of President Obama's "long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred."
  2. The university community is now in an uproar. The Cardinal Newman Society has created an on-line petition at http://www.notredamescandal.com/ and has collected, as I write, well over 100,000 signatures asking the university to uninvite Obama.
Whether or not the invitation to President Obama is withdrawn, it seems to us that, in this Lenten season, the university needs to do some penance. And Mrs Critter has a suggestion. She suggests that Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe should write to Bishop John D'Arcy and suggest to him that the University of Notre Dame, as a penance, should (a) bail out the College of Santa Fe, currently suffering from financial troubles and scheduled to close in May, or (b) take over the College of Santa Fe as a Notre Dame branch campus.

I like her idea (especially the branch campus).

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