Thursday, May 14, 2009

Notre Damned

It's neither surprising nor particularly interesting that Notre Dame has chosen to honor our notoriously anti-life President with an invitation to speak at this weekend's graduation festivities. The real shocker ought to be the awarding of an honorary doctor of laws degree. If it weren't so ironic, it might be sad.

But, the state of Catholic higher education is what it is... and it ain't good. There are but a handful of American colleges and universities who remain faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium and thereby deserving of the title of "Catholic" in name or in identity. Notre Dame is not among them. Nor has she been for some time, as many faithful Catholics may be aware.

What is surprising about this whole "scandal" ... is that Notre Dame is dismayed by the negative reaction from some of her boosters and alums. Why, she (and other pro-abortion Catholic dissenters) wonders, are people being so unreasonable about this whole thing? Can't we just sit down and air out our differences over a cold one... or a commencement speech?

The answer is most emphatically NO, but not for the reasons that Obama supporters and anti-life advocates would have us believe.

The problem lies not with our august President pontificating at an academic convocation such as the (formerly) esteemed Irish's commencement ceremony, however disparate his views may be from hers; but rather, from the awarding of a degree which honors the very thing this man stands against: justice.

What is law, if not the defense of justice... the upholding of a code of moral law and reality? Do we simply create justice by informing our legal system with contrived, artificial values?

Or maybe, just maybe... is there some kind of intrinsic truth, an order to the universe which we neither create nor destroy by force of our own will?

Notre Dame is bestowing a great honor upon a man whose own sense of honor is terribly wounded ... and deeply misinformed. In a relativistic quest to "bridge party lines" and "agree to disagree," Obama (along with dissenting Catholics) would seek to convince the world of the viability of holding two completely contradictory, competing realities in one's mind... without ever having to make a definitive choice for or against.

It's like this: I am personally opposed to
abortion, but I respect your right to obtain one, should circumstances beyond your control render your unborn child inhuman
.

Sound familiar? That's the tired rhetoric of relativism which rang out in churches and lecture halls across this land last election season, and it's the only way Fr. Jenkins can justify "personally supporting" (with an honorary degree from his institution) a man whose "personal beliefs" he does not, himself, "support."

The nice thing about relativism is that, really, when you come right down to it... anything goes.

Which is terribly convenient is this climate of "just-do-what-you-feel-don't-judge-me."

And terribly damning for the future of the Church in a country whose sanity is in more rapid decline than Sunday Mass attendance.

Oh well. Go Irish. I mean, I'm personally a fan of their football team...

4 comments:

  1. "But, the state of Catholic higher education is what it is... and it ain't good. There are but a handful of American colleges and universities who remain faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium and thereby deserving of the title of "Catholic" in name or in identity. Notre Dame is not among them. Nor has she been for some time, as many faithful Catholics may be aware."

    This comment shows how ignorant people can be about Notre Dame. Notre Dame is not what you read in the papers. Notre dame is not the president of the university. Notre Dame is still a very authentically Catholic university. The reason it seems that the university has lost it's catholic identity is because of the stories about it that hit the news.

    Daily mass in EVERY dorm. A chapel in every building. Adoration. Eucharistic processions. Marian feast celebrations. Pro-Life activities. These are things that will never make the CNN news.

    Don't blanket an entire school as being bad and corrupt just because of a few stupid people.

    Besides, places like Stubie, Chrystosom, Aquinas, Belmont, Ave Maria etc . . . aren't without their own problems.

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  2. I think you misappropriate my points:

    Notre Dame, in refusing to honor her debt of fidelity to the Magisterium and to the episcopal hierarchy, (read: Bishop D'Arcy) has effectively divorced her catholicity in name and in practice. Relativism is all very fine and good on paper, but in practice, you either profess to believe and LIVE what the Church teaches... or you do not.

    Yes, there are many, MANY faithful Catholics at Notre Dame. I went to a public University for my undergraduate work - there were faithful Catholics there (and daily Mass at the University parish) too. Does either school merit the distinction of being inherently Catholic? No. It's not a cultural label, nor is it an approximation of how much of x is tolerable as long as y is being met, sacrementally speaking.

    For all their myriad problems and shortcomings, I'll take the fidelity of Steubenville or Christendom as institutions over the pious posturing of Notre Dame's administration.

    Are there faithful Catholics on campus and in the faculty population there? Of course.

    But can a school who acts, as a separate entity from her individual students, in direct opposition to the teachings of the Universal Church be considered truly Catholic. Not a chance.

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  3. I try not to get offended when people misspell my alma mater(s). : )

    Jenny, I'm glad you're still a fan-- despite that oh-so-memorable game...

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  4. I would phrase it this way: Notre Dame is an ex-Catholic university with a bunch of Catholics who missed jumping out of the boat still hanging around. Kudos to 'em. I attend a CINO university myself, and I'd love to have 1/10 (percentage-wise, due to size differences) the Catholicism at mine as remains at Notre Dame.

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No trolls allowed.