“We have a much more challenging mission than most universities. Most universities strive simply to be excellent educational institutions by the accepted standards of the profession. We do this at Notre Dame, and we have had great success. But we also foster and celebrate a distinctive mission to be a Catholic university, inspired and guided by a great spiritual tradition.”
~Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President
Those words found on the Faith and Service section of the University of Notre Dame's website. They seem meaningless and empty in the wake of recent going-ons at the school.
Let's start with their recent decision to 'confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in recognition of outstanding service to the Church and society,” upon Vice-President Joseph Biden at their 2016 commencement.'
The reaction has been swift and strong, and rightly so, as evidenced by this interview conducted by Thomas McKenna with Cardinal Raymond Burke over at Catholic Action:
Thomas McKenna: Your Eminence, recently the University of Notre Dame announced that it was going to bestow their Laetare Medal which is presented “in recognition of outstanding service to the Church and society,” to Vice President Joseph Biden. Vice President Biden is on record consistently supporting abortion rights and same sex marriage. Recently Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the ordinary of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend where Notre Dame is located, released a public statement declaring:
“I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any “pro-choice” public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law and violates a very fundamental principle of Catholic moral and social teaching: the inalienable right to life of every innocent human being from the moment of conception. I also question the propriety of honoring a public official who was a major spokesman for the redefinition of marriage. I disagree with awarding someone for ‘outstanding service to the Church and society’ who has not been faithful to this obligation.”
Does Your Eminence agree with the position taken by Bishop Rhoades and could you comment on it?
Cardinal Burke: Bishop Rhoades is simply exercising his responsibility as a teacher of the faith and as a bishop who has the care of a prominent Catholic university in his diocese, and what he says is absolutely true and most commendable. I find it difficult to imagine that a Catholic university would assign its highest honor to any politician who favors abortion and who also advocates for the recognition of the sexual liaison of two people of the same sex as equal to marriage. It is even more difficult to imagine that the university would confer such an honor upon a Roman Catholic who supports these anti-life and anti-family policies and legislation. It is my hope that Notre Dame University will hear the voice of their shepherd, the successor of the Apostles in their midst, and change this gravely wrong and most scandalous decision.
Thomas McKenna: The university of Notre Dame says that it is bestowing this award to honor Vice President Biden for his public service in politics and that they are not recognizing him for his positions regarding support for abortion and same-sex marriage. What would Your Eminence respond to this?
Cardinal Burke: Well, we honor people for the integrity of their lives. Notwithstanding the fact that Vice President Biden may have sound views on other matters, his positions with regard to human life and marriage are contradictory to the natural moral law and obviously, therefore, to the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So, as much as one may want to praise certain positions which he has taken, at the same time one must realize that other positions are in the most grievous violation of the moral law and therefore make him ineligible to receive such an award from a Catholic university.
There's more at the link and it's well worth the click over.
But wait... there's more.
I'd love to state that this is the only 'scandal' taking place at this formerly prestigious Catholic institution.
Sadly, it is not:
Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday, when the Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and Christ was conceived in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit. But at the University of Notre Dame, a number of students spent Monday night on campus listening to former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis describe the benefits for women of choosing abortion or using contraception.
During Mass on Monday, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to open their hearts to God and to say “yes” to his message of salvation. “Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross” he said. “Today,” he said, “is a beautiful day in which to thank God for showing us that path, but also for thinking about our lives.” The Feast was transferred to April 4 because it would have fallen on Good Friday.
Davis’ message ultimately taught students at the nation’s most recognizable Catholic university that saying “no” to God’s plan for the creation of life and to the Church’s teachings on human dignity can help women achieve worldly success.
Davis — who rose to stardom in the political world following her 2013 filibuster of pro-life legislation in Texas — ran the gamut of pro-abortion, anti-Catholic talking points during an event Monday hosted by the University of Notre Dame Department of Gender Studies. The department co-sponsored the event in coordination with the College Democrats of Notre Dame, the Progressive Student Alliance, Notre Dames, Women in Politics and bridgeND.
The Notre Dame Department of Gender Studies touted Davis’ abortion advocacy in a description of the event posted on the department’s website, calling her “a modern-day Texas heroine”...
G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “We do not want a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.”
Notre Dame, though not a church, is moving with the world.
Crossposted at Wizbang.