Fr. Jonathan Morris on ND scandal

Sorry if this has already been posted.

Good job, Fr. Jonathan.

Yes, good job for your personal opinion. That’s all it is, his personal opinion. Which is fine.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on one’s perspective, he is speaking for neither the U.S. Bishops nor the University of Notre Dame. Which is also fine.

Of course you already know, but the president of the USCCB (Cardinal Francis George) said:

“That conversation will continue … whether or not it will have some kind of consequence that will bring, I think, the University of Notre Dame to its [the USCCB’s] understanding of what it means to be Catholic,” said the Cardinal. "That is, when you’re Catholic, everything you do changes the life of everybody else who calls himself a personal Catholic - it’s a network of relationships.

“So quite apart from the president’s own positions, which are well known, the problem is in that you have a Catholic university - the flagship Catholic university - do something that brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic,” said the cardinal.

“So whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation, and didn’t anticipate the kind of uproar that would be consequent to the decision, at least not to the extent that it has happened,” said George.

And you point is what?

Note Cardinal George did not say ND should revoke the invitation.

So, again…your personal point?

You seem pretty fired up about this. I don’t think I have even offered an opinion, but have instead just provided quotes from others. You indicated that the USCCB was quiet on the issue, but that isn’t true. I think Cardinal George was pretty clear on his position. Instead of just disregarding these opinions, why don’t you share your opinion. I’m assuming that you think it’s okay for ND to have Obama speak and to give him an honorary degree. Why is it okay?

So, what’s your point… that he needs your approval on an article, and make sure it’s fine?

Yes, I support ND’s decision. Obama is the President and not a Catholic so I don’t think it’s a scandal. Re the USCCB, I meant that as a Conference no statement to this issue has been given. I recognize that many bishops have individually spoken out. I’m not disregarding any opinions.

Your support of the most pro-Abortion president we’ve had speaking on a Catholic platform was fairly obvious from your other posts. It’s a huge scandal. Please go pray and learn about this. It comes down to a matter of legitimately forming our consciences. Those whom Christ sent, disagree with you. Why do you oppose them? By doing so, you also oppose Christ.

You are wrong The USCCB made it clear as long ago as 2004 that Catholic Institutions should not honor or give a platform to those who support abortion:

*The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. **They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions. ***


If the USCCB Conference had issued a statement opposing this decision, would you feel differently? I’m not trying to get into an argument here, but I think we (Catholics) tend to look for reasons to make us feel better about our opinions. Does the lack of a unified statement make this decision by ND right? Is it only wrong if there is a unified statement? I’m as guilty as anyone and more guilty than most in doing this.

You support ND’s decision, but my question is why? Why is it okay for a Catholic institution to invite a radically pro-choice individual (president or not) to receive an honorary degree and speak at commencement? Do you at least see how this gives an inconsistent voice to Catholics worldwide? On the one hand you MUST be pro-life, on the other hand if you are pro-choice, we’re willing to ignore it and even give you an award.

I think I might.

No to both.

I support ND because they’re inviting the President to speak (as they’ve done many times in the past, regardless of the President’s religion and despite the fact that none of them agree 100% with Church teaching). I personally don’t see how ND inviting the President to speak in any way would make a person think that Catholics or the Catholic Church in any way support or condone abortions. I can understand that some may see this as an inconsistent Catholic voice. I don’t. The University does not speak for the Church, and the Church is quite clear regarding the issue of abortion. I don’t think the University is “ignoring” anything, though again in fact there has never been a President who spoke at ND who met the Catholic Church’s pro-life standards.

I understand many don’t support ND and don’t see things the way I do. I respect their views, I’m not saying everyone has to support ND or President Obama. I don’t think Catholics have to support ND’s decision, but I do think they are free to if they are forming their consciences as the Church teaches. I disagree with the view that Catholics cannot in good conscience support ND’s decision.

bob. Thank you for posting the words of the Bishops (in 2004) re such actions.
diggerdome has been on many of the ND-Obama threads, eagerly defending ND’s actions.

Why should the bishops re-stae what they said so clearly in 2004?
Surely Fr. Jenkins is fully aware of the bishops’ mandate from 2004.

You are in error as is ND.
The bishops have spoken against such actions as early as 2004.
Faithful Catholics are not free to oppose the direction.
Father Jenkins is not free to oppose the direction. I imagine he knows that quite well.

As estesbob posted:

Originally Posted by estesbob
You are wrong The USCCB made it clear as long ago as 2004 that Catholic Institutions should not honor or give a platform to those who support abortion:

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

Choosing to ignore this clear directive speaks of rebellion to Church Teaching.

While I agree that the bishops stated their position clearly, I do think they should state it again. It isn’t that they were unclear, but it seems that we always need a constant reminder. I’m guilty of this, but it seems that when the bishops are apparently quiet, many seem to think this means they have no opinion and so it is okay to be on either side of the issue. This speaks more to our (referring to the majority of Catholics) lack of formation than to any ambiguity on their part, but it is precisely because of our lack of formation that a statement should be issued. Just my opinion.

Father Hesburgh, then-Notre Dame president, helped author the Land O’ Lakes Statement in 1967, which says:

“To perform its teaching and research functions effectively the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself.”

Neither Father Hesburgh’s successor - Father Malloy, nor the current president, Father Jenkins, have repudiated the Land O’ Lakes Statement. My point, then, is that Father Jenkins may not believe the USCCB’s mandate applies.

This doesn’t mean you give an ardent anti-Catholic a platform at your university. His speeches can be studied from reading them if you want academic exploration and discussion of ideas. You certainly don’t give an ardent anti-Catholic an honorary law degree, which also signifies that you recognize them as a “teacher”.

I totally agree, MDK, I’m just tossing in some background info to flesh out the picture.

The excuse doesn’t make sense. Fr. Jenkins is subject to the Bishops of the Catholic Church. How would the Bishops’ statement not apply? Is there some parallel universe he is living in? In our universe, Fr. Jenkins is subject to the Bishops. If he doesn’t live in this universe in which Notre Dame seems to reside (at least physically), he doesn’t have any business being in charge.

Sadly, he isn’t the only one, either. The Land O’ Lakes Statement was signed by presidents and other executive administrators from Georgetown, Seton Hall, Boston College, Catholic University of America, Fordham, and Saint Louis University.

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