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...