Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cardinal George and Bishops Object to Notre Dame's Folly - not the President's; that Is His Problem

Dan Kelley sent this fine note to the Editorial Board at The Chicago Tribune. They will read this note - it is doubtful that the Editorial Board at the Sun Times can, much less would, read this.

Francis Cardinal George is not alone in his criticism of Notre Dame University's invitation to President Obama to speak at commencement and to receive an honorary degree: The twenty-five bishops who have so far gone public with their disapproval of Notre Dame's invitation of Obama (in alphabetical order) are:

1. Bishop John D'Arcy - Fort Wayne-South Bend

2. Bishop Gregory Aymond - Austin
3. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran - Oklahoma City
4. Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú, San Antonio
5. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo - Houston
6. Archbishop Timothy Dolan - New York
7. Bishop Thomas Doran - Rockford
8. Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty - Scranton
9. Cardinal Francis George - Chicago, President, USCCB
10. Archbishop José Gomez, San Antonio

11. Bishop William Higi, Lafayette, IN
12. Archbishop Alfred Hughs, New Orleans
13. Bishop Jerome Listecki, La Crosse, WI
14. Bishop William E. Lori, Bridgeport, CT
15. Bishop Robert Lynch - St. Petersburg
16. Bishop Joseph Martino - Scranton
17. Bishop Charles Morlino - Madison
18. Bishop George Murry, Youngstown, OH
19. Archbishop John J. Myers - Newark20. Bishop R. Walker Nickless - Sioux City.
21. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt - Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota
22. Bishop Thomas Olmsted - Phoneix
23. Bishop Kevin Rhoades - Harrisburg
24. Bishop Edward J. Slattery - Tulsa
25. Bishop Anthony Taylor, Little Rock, AR

Cardinal George and most Catholics do not object to the President being invited to Notre Dame, but not as a recipient of an Honorary Law Degree or Commencement Speaker.

Notre Dame's Jenkins was too cute by half and seemed to believe that MSNBC could 'shout' this controversy quiet. 'Oh, Joe Biden, Teddy Kenendy, John Kerry, the Daley Lads, Chris 'Milky' Matthews and Bill Maher are all Catholics and they have no problem with this Honor! Let's bring People Together and smear Catholic Faith and Morals!'

It's here. It will stay.

Ann Deegan of Glen Ellyn had this poignant response to Bill Daley's bumptious kiss-up in the Chicago Tribune:

April 7, 2009
In response to William M. Daley's commentary ("Uneasy mix of religion and politics," Commentary, April 3), Cardinal Francis George deserves praise for his stand on Notre Dame's invitation of President Obama to speak at its commencement ceremony and receive an honorary degree. It should be noted that the cardinal expressed his opinion on behalf of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, of which he is president, not as Archbishop of Chicago. He stated in that speech, "As president of the U.S. bishops' conference I have to speak precisely for the bishops and not in my own name, as I could as Archbishop of Chicago."

If Notre Dame's invitation were for the president to participate in a debate about issues such as abortion or embryonic stem cell research, Obama would be an excellent choice to represent the opposing view. This invitation, however, is meant to honor a man who adamantly opposes the Catholic Church's view on these matters and has publicly demonstrated this through major policy decisions and appointments since taking office. This is simply not the place or the setting for a person of such diametric views.

If Notre Dame is truly a Catholic university, it would respect the inappropriateness of such an invitation. Those who signed off on the decision need to reexamine "what it means to be Catholic" and recognize the disrespect their decision has for the Catholic Church and its followers, particularly those at Notre Dame. I respect the cardinal and his fellow bishops for their courageous and correct response.

Ann Deegan,Glen Ellyn

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