Statement on Cardinal George and Notre Dame

The Catholic New World, newspaper of the Chicago Archdiocese, has published a statement in an attempt to clarify again what Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago actually said — or didn’t say — about next month’s commencement appearance by President Barack Obama at the University of Notre Dame.

The four-point statement says:

1. Cardinal George did not say the university should “disinvite” the president. He said that both the president and his office should be respected and that the university could not and should not rescind an invitation to the president of the United States. The president’s views are well known as are his reasons for them; he is not himself the issue here.

You can read the rest here.

12 Responses

  1. Fr. Jenkins arrogance in this matter is beyond belief. A statement from him saying the rules of the University only pertain to Catholic speakers is ridiculous. I am hoping those who have children graduation from Notre Dame will advise them not to attend the ceremony. I know my 2 nephews are not going to walk in this graduation affair simply because Obama is being recognized. What a shame their college years will be remembered by this debacle.

  2. Having read all the debates and seeing everyone’s opinions mangled by everyone else to make their own points, I have a new appreciation for why important statements such as papal encyclicals are written as a set of independent, related, numbered paragraphs and not as a magazine article.

  3. We’ve had, as part of the ongoing culture wars, full frontal attacks on religion for decades now. And Cardinal George is just the latest one unwilling to face these battles for what they are. We’re waiting for someone among the hierarchs to tell it like it is, but we’re not holding our breath while waiting.

  4. With all due respect to Cardinal George (whom I’ve had the pleasure of working and conversing with in the past), the Bishops have a role to play in this affair, if only because of their own policy advising Catholic organizations (including Universities and Colleges) not to give honors to politicians opposed to Church teaching. Frankly, if they hadn’t made this policy, their would be no basis for protesting ND’s Obama-honor.

    For this reason it’s disingenuous to state that “those who were upset about the invitation should let their opinions be known to the University, not to him or other bishops, since the bishops do not control or manage the University”. And further, although the USCCB doesn’t run ND, the Congregation of the Holy Cross could be worked with to address some of the openly defiant leadership decisions by Fr, Jenkins in this matter. The Bishops do have clout, but as usual are refusing to lead in the controversy. Alas, alas, …

  5. Could the bishops be a little more wishy washy on this issue? After teaching the faithful of the Sanctity of Human Life, they wimp out when confronted with out right propaganda efforts for the Culture of Death. They should put up or shut up. Why should anyone listen to them? They are a cowards who prefer not speak truth to power.

    As for Notre Dame, it no longer is a Catholic university. It joins Georgetown and the Jesuit schools as pseudo-catholic univerisities. Who needs that Jesus guy anyway? He’s so yesterday and out of touch with modern America.

  6. Cardinal George, You say that the president Obama is not at issue here. But is not a man what he stands for? Are they not one and the same? How else do we know a person?

  7. I am grateful for Cardinal George’s considered and measured tone. I don’t believe the Church is ever served by hysteria.

    There is obviously much work to be done between the Catholic universities in the U.S. and the Bishops’ conference (or the ordinaries of the dioceses of the universities) but that work can’t take place if doors have been slammed shut.

    Not one of us (zero, zip, none) is a perfect Catholic — and to propose that we NOT engage with each other in constructive and edifying ways is the unkindest and most unCatholic cut of all.

  8. While we wait longer and longer for the hierarchy and catholic universities to get it right in their “measured tones” so to say, we teach untruths and soon will have no one who remembers what is right and what is wrong.
    NOTRE DAME you need to be cathecised – go to the pope, the magistirum to “get it right” before you teach another word. “Our Lady” must be saddened by what you teach in opposition to her Son. The stones will cry out if we don’t. Amen.

  9. Cardinal George maybe is wise not to attack this President directly at this time–the President is too powerful, too clearly anti-life and new in the job. Besides all ND had to say initially when The White House asked for this gig was ‘we have someone to speak already thank you very much Mr. President for your offer’. There are far bigger battles looming—maybe the Cardinals/Bishops should now save their ammo (note to Homeland—not literally)

  10. There is a bigger, emerging picture here that needs to be addressed (and fast) by the USCCB and all faithful Catholics: western culture has pretty much lost its “salt and light” of the Gospel. Georgetown University recently allowed Mr. Obama to speak there and when his staff asked that religious symbols, including the name of Jesus, be covered over before the President spoke, they obliged. Notre Dame officials find it okay for Obama to speak there as a way of “dialoging” & “honoring” the president, yet they fail to see that Obama has every intention of putting laws and judges in place that will guarantee abortion on demand for years to come.

    Some elected officials who are Catholic and pro-choice, continue to receive Communion, and even re-write church history to support their positions, yet only a few bishops, when private discussions with these politicians seemingly fail, are willing to publicly mention and consider excommunication.

    For these politicians, and for Obama as well, the dialogue was over a long time ago. Their “buy-in” to the dominant, secularly progressive culture-(a culture of death) is where they’ve decided political expedience leads them. Unfortunately, they seduce many people, including university presidents and trustees, to follow them.

  11. To allow the President to speak at Notre Dame when he asked that all religious symbols be covered at Georgetown University when he spoke there, is a slap in the face to all religions. Is religious freedom gone in this country?

  12. Until and unless, the pro-life community can demonstrate in the courts that the unborn have rights under the Constitution of the United States,access to abortion will remain the law of the land. If abortion is merely a religious issue, and not a constitutional issue, the prolife cause is lost. The only solution to the abortion question is to challenge the Roe v Wade decision in the courts by massive litigation. If the African-American community had acted in regard to litigation in the courts as the pro-life community has acted, segregation would still be the law of the land.
    There has been no challenge to the Roe v. Wade decision in the courts since that decision was passed down in 1973. There have been challenges to state restrictions on abortion, but no case, starting in the lower courts, to challenge that decision. If we cannot trranslate our moral and religious convictions with regard to the unborn into legal and constitutional terms, we have lost the battle.

    Father Clifford Stevens
    President: National Organization for Embryonic Law.

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