Tuesday, March 31, 2009

President of US Bishop Conference Is Embarrassed by Notre Dame

This is getting more and more heated. I've been following the decision by Notre Dame to invite President Obama to be the guest speaker at their commencement ceremony. When I first heard about it, I was shocked. In fact, I felt as though it was a slap in the face of Catholics everywhere. It was as though Notre Dame was flaunting it's rebellion toward Catholic doctrine. From observing the actions of President Rev. Jenkins, it is clear to me that he simply doesn't care. It doesn't seem to matter that his actions have now been condemned by many Catholics including Archbishop Nienstedt, Archbishop Dolan, and now USCCB President Cardinal Francis George - Jenkins will continue to march to the beat of his own misguided drummer.

From Cardinal George:

"Whatever else is clear, it is clear that Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation," George told the crowd at a conference Saturday on the Vatican document Dignitatis Personae. The conference was hosted by the Chicago archdiocese's Respect Life office and Office for Evangelization at the Marriott O'Hare hotel.

In a video obtained by LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) today, Cardinal George prefaced his remarks by noting that as USCCB president he does not have jurisdiction or authority over other bishops, but nonetheless has "some moral authority, without any kind of jurisdiction or any sort of real authority."

"As president of the U.S. bishops' conference I have to precisely speak for the bishops and not in my own name, as I could as Archbishop of Chicago," he added.

George said he had spoken with the administrative committee of the bishops' conference and corresponded with University president Fr. John Jenkins several times on the issue.

"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.

Full Article

What I've been thinking about lately is this: Did not Pope Benedict XVI's visit and talk with Catholic educational institutions not make a dent? I am just stunned.

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