Our Lady's University Fights the Church That Founded ItOur Lady's University has decided to give place to the Devil by inviting Barack Obama to deliver the commencement address and grant the most pro-abortion president an honorary doctorate. It is the latest and deepest salvo in a recent history of accommodating abortionists:
Back in the 1970s, before pro-abortion advocacy had become settled orthodoxy for the Democratic Party, “Catholic leaders such as the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, then president of Notre Dame, still enjoyed tremendous influence,” McGurn writes. “Had they used that influence to try to arrest the Democrats’ slide on life, things might have been very different today. Instead, they became classic enablers, treating abortion as an irritating issue that needed to be placed off to the side.
“Thus, in 1984, Notre Dame famously handed its platform over to then Gov. Mario Cuomo, who bequeathed to delighted pro-choice Catholics the same personally-opposed-but rationale that Stephen Douglas had used in his debates with Lincoln. A few years later, the university followed up by awarding its Laetare Medal, one of the American Catholicism’s most prestigious, to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan — another Catholic who had long since cut his conscience to accommodate the pro-choice direction of his party.”
Since then Notre Dame has made “a few nods and feints” to indicate solidarity with the Church’s pro-life teachings, McGurn says. But for the most part, “time after time, Notre Dame has opted for the inner Cuomo.”
Following three decades of this institutional accommodation of pro-abortion Democratic politicians, McGurn writes, “In the end, the result is moral incoherence. It is an incoherence in which abortion-rights advocates have the most to gain, because it demoralizes those who support the cause of life while removing fears of even the slightest social sanction for those who do not. And it is an incoherence we see all across American Catholic life today.”
Most liberals, particularly those who do not care much for the teachings of the Catholic Church, or those who call themselves Catholic but refuse to accept those teachings, may think that those who speak out against the notion of Obama giving the commencement are being intolerant or self-righteous. The problem is that Notre Dame is supposed to be a Catholic institution in union with the Holy See...
Contrary to the popular belief of certain people on the Left in the blogosphere, I do not think myself sinless or perfect in any way. In terms of being a "good Catholic" or a "good Christian," I am a work in progress, and that is putting it mildly. I am hardly an example of perfection, and I need to go to confession more frequently than I do-but I understand right from wrong and I know what mortal sin is. So does the President and faculty of Notre Dame.
Barack Obama does not merely pull a Mario Cuomo, he does not simply present us with the "I am personally opposed to abortion but..." argument. That idea is a Satanic straw man, but Obama's position is far worse-Obama has admitted that he has no problem with his daughters procuring an abortion. He sees no difficulty with redefining marriage. President Obama also shows no indication that his positions are going to change any time in the near future.
"But Oatney," you say "didn't Christ eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Yes, but with a clear message: Reform your thinking and your life. Allowing Obama to address Notre Dame's graduating class as though there is no serious conflict between Obama's ideology and that proclaimed by the Catholic Church (Pope Pius XI wrote that "no man can, at the same time, be a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.") belittles and mocks the Church's teaching authority, and makes a very public unspoken statement that the teachings of the Church which Notre Dame is supposed to represent matter very little in South Bend.
At a time when the Vatican is now officially saying that pro-abortion politicians can and should be denied the Holy Eucharist, the nation's most well-known Catholic learning institution welcomes those who embrace abortion with open arms. Our Lady's campus doesn't seem to belong to Our Lady any longer.