Friday, April 3, 2009
IS NOTRE DAME STILL A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY?
I am a Catholic. Having said that, I need to put a modifying adjective in front of that, "Conservative." That means I believe in the teachings of the Church. I am not a part of the Church that is populated by the Kerry/Biden/Pelosi wing. As it stands today I am in the minority. I voted for McCain because I agreed with his pro-life position among other things.
About 54% of my fellow Catholics voted for Obama. They are the wing of the Church that champions "social justice," a long time staple of the largely left-wing clergy of the Church. Social Justice and those who espouse it, whatever "it" really means, are willing to overlook the fact that these politicians don't agree with many of the teachings of the Church. Their agenda leads them to put their churches up as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants and other assorted criminals. Jesus would have done the same thing, right?
What brings me to this point is the recent controversy over the president speaking at Notre Dame. This has been roundly renounced in some quarters of the Church by some of the clergy. It would seem that some of the parishioners are also beginning to feel betrayed by recent Obama decisions on stem cell research, funding for overseas abortion and they are worried about the biggest one of all that is looming on the horizon, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).
Many pundits in the MSM have dismissed the fact that Catholic hospitals and doctors' offices would close if the health providers were forced to administer procedures that were not in keeping with their consciences. Judging by the literature that has been distributed in my church, the disgust and angst against FOCA is real. This is an issue against which the Church has drawn a line. I don't think this one will go away.
Please do not underestimate the power of conscience. I stood, as a police officer, near a line of people who were picketing a Planned Parenthood Office/Abortion Clinic. As I confronted the picketers I felt an affinity with them. Myself and another officer went to our supervisor and asked to be relieved because we felt we could not arrest these people. Luckily, he understood and relieved us. What would have happened if he had forced us to enforce the line? I know one thing, my friend and I would have went to the wall against arresting them. After that, professionally, who knows. I was good with my decision.
Over the years I have been appalled at the Church's stance on a lot of issues. I am still disgusted by the sex scandals. I got by that after a stern talking to by my dad. Under the guise of social justice, the Church has overlooked a lot of violations of its doctrines. I don't think it will overlook Obama's approval of the FOCA.
As an alumnus of a Catholic university, I don't like that Notre Dame invited Obama to speak. Of course, in my mind, Notre Dame ceased to be a Catholic university many years ago. I get Gerson's point that the presidency deserves to be respected and I do. However, when it comes to speaking on the grounds of a private university I think ND should have stood for its Catholic principles and not invited him.
Notre Dame did and it's now more a sectarian university than a Catholic university.