Maintaining the Truth at Notre Dame


#1

God Bless Notre Dame! Please read the following excerpt from the Observer (school newspaper)

"University President Father John Jenkins delved into the relationship between academic freedom and Notre Dame’s Catholic character with more than 500 students Tuesday in an address almost identical to the one he delivered Monday to faculty, using a frank and explanatory tone he later said was necessary to confront the weighty topic.

“I think it was important I said what I thought,” Jenkins told The Observer Tuesday. “I don’t want to come out and say, ‘Really, I’m undecided,’ because that would be dishonest … To say I don’t have any views on this, that would be dishonest.”

Tuesday’s address was slightly pared down for students, omitting sections geared toward faculty, but Jenkins’ message was just as clear - Notre Dame could not protect its “distinctive Catholic character” while permitting on-campus performances of events “clearly and egregiously contrary to, or inconsistent with, the fundamental values of a Catholic university.”

The message made a strong impact on the audience. Students poured into the aisles to line up behind microphones and respond to Jenkins’ stance, focusing their comments on ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and the Queer Film Festival in particular, while others made their opinions known through bursts of applause.

While he said he has not seen “The Vagina Monologues” or attended the Queer Film Festival, Jenkins told The Observer this would not prevent him from making a fully informed decision on either event.

“I’ve read ‘The Vagina Monologues’ a couple times,” he said. "There are some really great theatrical works, Greek tragedies, that I have never seen performed, but I’ve read, and I feel I know those works pretty well. I think [seeing the play] helps a bit, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

“The Queer Film Festival, I think I know enough because [my concern] was about the title … and again, that’s been addressed. Because [my concern] really was more superficial.”

Students raised certain issues repeatedly while questioning Jenkins, one being the fear that if “The Vagina Monologues” are not allowed on campus - as they have been the past four years - that victims of sexual assault and rape will be silenced.

Jenkins told The Observer that the issue of violence against women was “always on the agenda.”

“I honestly don’t know what we need at this stage,” he said. “[Violence against women] is something we need to continue to look at, and I imagine I’ll be responding to, but what particular steps are needed at this stage. I am not prepared to say. I’m open to learning.”

The issue of sponsorship was also a recurrent theme in the address and a point of contention for some students, who questioned if Jenkins thought students should not have the right to decide whether or not to participate in, attend or protest controversial events.

That’s not the case at all, he responded.

“I think views that are contrary to Catholic teaching should be presented at Notre Dame. We should engage them, we should think about them, students need to encounter them and make up their minds, and I’m 100 percent behind all that,” Jenkins told The Observer. “That is not only something I would allow, but something I insist on, that range of views.”

But when those views run the risk of denying the University’s fundamental identity, Jenkins said, problems arise.

“When, year after year, we sponsor something or a unit of the University sponsors something that appears to be in conflict with Catholic teaching, the University’s name is used in such a way that it seems to support that which it doesn’t support. It’s more [about] authenticity of character and its representation,” he said. “But that in no way should limit a wide and broad environment and presentation of views, events, artistic productions.”

Regardless of whether they agreed or disagreed with Jenkins, the students who addressed the president - especially those dissenters - conducted themselves admirably, said Glenn Hendler, director of undergraduate studies and associate professor in the English department who attended both Monday’s and Tuesday’s addresses.

Student body president Dave Baron said he thought students understood and respected the opportunity Jenkins presented and conducted themselves professionally.

“I was extremely proud of the student body,” Baron said. “I thought we held ourselves well.”

Students who couldn’t make it into Washington Hall - capacity is a little over 500 - were sent to a spillover room in LaFortune, Baron said, where the speech was broadcast on campus cable.

He was not surprised by the high turnout.

“I started to feel this was really on the pulse of what the campus was talking about,” Baron said."


#2

Let’s remember that Notre Dame came under international criticism last Spring. Former ND President Fr Malloy accepted an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Canada at last Spring’s convocation.

He accepted this award in the middle of a huge scandal wherein Canada’s foremost abortionist – Dr Henry Morgentaler – was given the same award along with a number of other prominent Canadian abortion promoters. Did Fr Malloy use this publicity to explain the Church’s teaching on abortion? Not once.

There were letters to Bishop D’Arcy, the bishop for Notre Dame. There were also letters to Canadian cardinals, bishops, vatican envoys, the new Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic League. Not good publicity for the Church or for Notre Dame.

In the case of the Catholic college involved in Fr Malloy’s award in Canada, parents were pulling their children out of that college as fast as they could cancel their cheques. Donations plunged.

Point? Public Catholic protest does work. And money does talk.


#3

It sounds like you’re a little bitter. Fr. Malloy accepting an honorary doctorate and some abortion doctor accepting an honorary doctorate seem like two totally separate situations. I’m not sure how Fr. Malloy can be associated with the other. …and I’m sure he’s not. Fr. Malloy was one of the priests who lived in my dorm while I was a student at ND. I know him well. You do not. Trust me, he is extremely pro-life. I don’t agree with everything he has done during tenure as president, but he is a very upstanding man and dedicated priest. That I do know for sure.

Regardless, he is the former president. The current president is Fr. Jenkins, and he is an outstanding individual. American Catholics should be very excited that such a geniune individual is at the helm of the world’s most prominant Catholic university. It’s important for the entire church. Notre Dame has a loud voice in this world. That cannot be denied. Please be happy that the future of this voice is one of true orthodoxy and loyalty.

Let’s all look at this change in administration as a major positive direction for the American Church. Let’s see the glass as half full versus half empty unlike so many bitter people in this world. Any other thoughts from anyone else?


#4

[quote=Domer1997]It sounds like you’re a little bitter.
[/quote]

Then you would be wrong. Do you normally attribute unsubstantiated motives to people whom you do not know? And is this considered good form where you are? Does no one call you on it?

[quote=Domer1997]Fr. Malloy accepting an honorary doctorate and some abortion doctor accepting an honorary doctorate seem like two totally separate situations.
[/quote]

And you know this because you have troubled yourself to do what research into the event in question? I will assume that you have done none and fill you in as follows:

There had been several attempts on the part of the UWO senate to award Dr Morgentaler in the past. Because delegates from UWO’s three Catholic colleges sat on the Senate awards committee and because Catholic teaching on abortion had to be respected, this award had been consistently quashed.

Then the new President of Catholic King’s College sat on the Senate committee, some rules were broken, and Fr Malloy got his award. In the eyes of the public, particularly the Catholic public, Fr Malloy’s award was very much connected to Morgentalers award.

Moreover, in Canada, Morgentaler’s award was considered a prelude to his being given – some time in the future – the nation’s highest honour – the Order of Canada – for his work in normalizing abortion. Socialist demonstrators had a field day scoring political points around those awards.

At that particular time, one notable socialist published a cartoon on her website of our Pope as a Nazi saluting the Virgin Mary as if Our Lady were Hitler. A spate of anti-Catholic profanity appeared on that website before said socialist showed up a few days before the awards to speak at an opening of the Morgentaler film.

So you can see that the award ceremony at which Fr Malloy appeared was no small parochial affair. Nevertheless, amid this storm of controversy and confusion, with people scoring political points left right and centre against the Church, Fr Malloy said nothing about the Church’s teaching on abortion.

And this, in your view, accords with Ex Corde Ecclesiae in what way?

[quote=Domer1997]I’m not sure how Fr. Malloy can be associated with the other. …and I’m sure he’s not.
[/quote]

You are sure he’s not. Is this because you have undertaken extensive research into this event before venturing to speak authoritatively on it?

[quote=Domer1997]Fr. Malloy was one of the priests who lived in my dorm while I was a student at ND. I know him well. You do not.
[/quote]

How do you know that I do not know Fr Malloy? It turns out that I do not in fact have a personal acquaintance of Fr Malloy, but this is something you had no way of knowing. I think you were gambling that you could one-up me and that I would not call you on it.

In any case, Domer, you have posited an ad hominem argument. It is not necessary to have personal acquaintance of Fr Malloy to comment on his behaviour vis a vis the awards controversy. It is his choices vis a vis the awards controversy which are in question, not his personality and not my acquaintance with him or lack thereof.

[quote=Domer1997]Trust me, he is extremely pro-life.
[/quote]

I am aware of his pro-life record. And that is why his accepting the award when it was clear that so much scandal to the Church surrounded it, while not so much as whispering a word in protest of abortion, contributed greatly to the confusion of young, vulnerable Catholic minds – evidence of which appeared in various letters to the editor of the local paper and to the protest organization.

Were you aware that one London Catholic was so concerned about this situation that he flew to the Vatican to discuss it with Church representatives there?

[quote=Domer1997]I don’t agree with everything he has done during tenure as president, but he is a very upstanding man and dedicated priest. That I do know for sure.
[/quote]

I have no argument with this. I am aware of the grandeur of this man, his enormous contributions in enlarging Notre Dame and in promoting Christian virtues among young Americans.

continued…


#5

[quote=Domer1997]Regardless, he is the former president. The current president is Fr. Jenkins, and he is an outstanding individual.
[/quote]

What I am saying is that things don’t happen by magic. Changes in direction have causes. There was a lot of pressure on Notre Dame and on the bishop because of the UWO awards, because of Fr Malloy’s willing involvement in those awards, and because people protested those awards.

[quote=Domer1997]American Catholics should be very excited that such a geniune individual is at the helm of the world’s most prominant Catholic university. It’s important for the entire church. Notre Dame has a loud voice in this world. That cannot be denied. Please be happy that the future of this voice is one of true orthodoxy and loyalty.
[/quote]

I am happy. Please feel happy yourself that you had folks up in Canada, across the United States, and indeed across the world who were willing to fight publicly for the notion of Notre Dame acquitting itself in the public eye as a defender of Catholic values.

[quote=Domer1997]Let’s all look at this change in administration as a major positive direction for the American Church.
[/quote]

Let’s be grateful where gratitude is indicated. Not only does the US have a great example of Catholic education in Notre Dame University, but it also has a great watchdog in the Cardinal Newman Society which keeps an eye on Catholic orthodoxy at American universities.

[quote=Domer1997]Let’s see the glass as half full versus half empty unlike so many bitter people in this world.
[/quote]

Wow, a personal attack. :rotfl: How can you justify calling people ‘bitter’ in the absence of no personal knowledge of them? Even if you were to have personal knowledge of them, calling people ‘bitter’ exemplifies Christian charity in what way?


#6

Things like “The Vagina Monologues” and a “Queer Film Festival” should be stamped out at a Catholic University (ideally, anywhere). Both are just fronts for radical liberalism.


#7

Ani,

My esteemed collegue - please take a breath. What we are talking about here is a positive shift in the culture here at Our Lady’s university. Let’s try to stay positive and take Domer’s words as charitably as possible.

Domer,

As a domer myself, I would urge you to be mindful of your tone when writing online - inflection loses quite a bit when converted to electrons. Please, stay positive as well.

As for Fr. Jenkins…
I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s quite a good post about his comments over at The Shrine of the Holy Whapping. It’s a domer-run blog that’s top notch! It also has a link to some of the notes taken by one of the students who helps to run the Shrine, which include some of the questions from the Q&A period (which you won’t get from the news articles). Very telling stuff.

God Bless, and GO IRISH!
RyanL


closed #8

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