Notre Dame Right to Invite Obama

THIS CATHOLIC’S VIEW By Thomas J. Reese Controversy over commencement speakers at Catholic universities pops up every spring along with … Continued

THIS CATHOLIC’S VIEW

By Thomas J. Reese

Controversy over commencement speakers at Catholic universities pops up every spring along with the tulips. This year the controversy is over President Obama speaking at Notre Dame University May 17. Some have objected that this is a violation of the bishops’ statement Catholics in Political Life. This is absurd.

According to Catholics in Political Life, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

I would argue that having Obama as a commencement speaker and giving him an honorary degree does not violate Catholics in Political Life because:

A fundamental principle of canon law is that it should be interpreted “strictly,” which means “narrowly,” that is in a way limits its restrictions.

How do I know that Notre Dame is not violating Catholics in Political Life? Because Notre Dame is doing nothing more than what has already been done by Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, who taught canon law and worked as a judge in the Tribunal of the Sacred Roman Rota, a church court based in the Vatican.

If Cardinal Egan can invite Obama to speak at the Al Smith dinner in October of 2008 when he was only a presidential candidate, then there is certainly nothing wrong with Notre Dame having the President speak at a commencement. Other pro-choice speakers at Al Smith dinners included Al Gore and Tony Blair (a Catholic). What is OK for a cardinal archbishop is certainly OK for a university. Or are bishops exempt from “Catholics in Political Life”?

Canon law aside, people need to recognize that Catholic universities have to be places where freedom of speech and discussion is recognized and valued. Not to allow a diversity of speakers on campus is to put Catholic universities into a ghetto.

When I was a student in the 1960’s, Jesuit-run Santa Clara University was attacked for performing “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” and for having a Marxist speak on campus. Now we are fighting over the “Vagina Monologue” and pro-choice politicians. If Catholic universities are afraid to have people on campus who challenge our views, then we are not training students to listen and think critically. We are admitting that our arguments are not convincing.

For a report on the organization leading the attack on Notre Dame, see “Catholic academic ayatollah shows true colors” by Joe Feuerherd in the National Catholic Reporter.

Thomas J. Reese, S.J., is Senior Fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

By Thomas J. Reese | 
March 24, 2009; 12:03 AM ET

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  • madest

    The problem with Catholics is they’re never right and they defend the indefensible. The new Pope has proven himself to be borderline retarded and hallelujah Notre Dame is going to get a taste of sanity.

  • JMGinPDX

    I applaud Notre Dame for this action.I think the biggest problem with most religious zealots is their refusal to entertain opposing ideas, to debate logically and fairly, and to respect those with whom they do not agree.They choose to live in a cloistered world where everything is dictated for them and they never have to think for themselves.While I personally am not religious in any way, I can see where this type of chosen ignorance is actually a BAD idea for those wishing to further their ideology…how can you convince people you are right when you don’t know enough about what is wrong? It’s not good enough to simply be told and repeat “the Bible says it’s bad,” you have to have the ability to go beyond that and defend your position on a higher intellectual plane.Kudos to Notre Dame for understanding this concept.

  • lukasswid

    OMFG I just think it is way too funny how these religious folks are so damn hypocrites. Does anyone remember the good catholics protesting against John Paul II when he failed to provide the justice system with documents that proved how his priests were molesting little boys? Did you see anyone outraged at the bishops and the pope himself when it was made public that they were protecting child molesters by moving them from church to church so their crimes against children wouldn’t become public? If there is a hell, I think these very voices who are speaking against Obama’s speech will be the first ones to be heard in the gates of it.

  • Grant_x

    Ummm, we at the University of Hawaii would love to have Obama speak at our commencement. Of course we aren’t bible thumping culture hating people like the Catholics want us to believe that they are.

  • jonesykins

    Let him speak, but DON’T give him an honorary degree. I personally think this is a poor business decision. Notre Dame risks losing quite a bit in alumni gifts by this choice. Maybe Harvard will turn the other cheek and ask Václav Klaus or Lech Aleksander Kaczyński to speak at their commencement. They’re no J.K. Rowling, but who is?

  • dottydo

    Odd.Very Odd.

  • Mark30339

    So this logic twists on the unsupported assertion that Barry’s personal conduct does not include complicity with an actual abortion. His repeated acts to fund Planned Parenthood with tax dollars is apparently not personal conduct. With this logic, it appears that a nazi camp prison camp worker could be similarly honored, as long as he only advocated extermination of Jews but did not actually harm one in person.

  • mypitts2

    I don’t think this even needs to be defended. Notre Dame extends this offer to presidents, regardless of party affiliation. Four of the last five have spoken there. A university does not automatically adopt all the views of everyone who speaks there. Notre Dame is not the Vatican itself. It is a respected institution for higher learning, and as such, thrives on recognizing different viewpoints.Many people believe the Iraq War was both immoral and illegal, and the Vatican was never a big fan (or a fan of war in general). Still, Bush II spoke at ND.

  • irish031

    Hmmm,”Religious Zealots”? “Retarded”? It seems there are a lot of closed minded anti-Religion bigots who in the name of being “open minded” have no problems casting anyone who is not in favor of killing babies to be closed minded. Would a pro baby killing(the term abortion is such a misnomer) organization invite an anti-abortion speaker to one of their functions? Would they lend support to this person? Would they be so open minded as to accept this person into their group? I hardly think so. Obama once said he would not want his daughters to be “punished” by getting pregnant while their were teenagers. Now, I understand he would not want his teen-aged daughters getting pregnant, but to describe pregnancy as being a punishment is not just wrong, but an indication of a sick mind. He also supports partial birth abortions(where babies have their skulls cracked and their brains sucked out), despite his lying about not supporting it. Obama has already turned over two previous Executive orders that had limited abortions. While Obama gives lip service to wanting to limit the number of abortions, his actions and votes say otherwise. Notre Dame is wrong to give obama the platform to spread his anti life views.

  • tlangenfeld1

    The reason it is scandalous for Notre Dame University, or any other Catholic institution, to honor (it’s called an honory degree, therefore, it is an honor. When Mr. Obama leaves office, do you think he won’t add this commencement speach to his bio? Of course he will, because I’m sure he considers it to be an honor. Be wary of priests, especially Jesuits, who do not refer to themselves as being a priest)anyone who supports a woman’s right to kill her unborn child, is because the Catholic Church infallibly teaches that all life, from conception till death, is created in the likeness and image of God and is sacred. Would ND President Fr, Jenkins invite President Obama to give the commencement if Mr. Obama supported a woman’s right to kill her 1 year old child?

  • jackp1

    I am a ND grad, a catholic, and I did not vote for Obama but I think that it is quite an honor for the University of Notre Dame to have our newly elected President speak at Commencement. The University is upholding its fine tradition as one of the top academic institutions in the country.

  • irish031

    Hmmm,”Religious Zealots”? “Retarded”? It seems there are a lot of closed minded anti-Religion bigots who in the name of being “open minded” have no problems casting anyone who is not in favor of killing babies to be closed minded. Would a pro baby killing(the term abortion is such a misnomer) organization invite an anti-abortion speaker to one of their functions? Would they lend support to this person? Would they be so open minded as to accept this person into their group? I hardly think so. Obama once said he would not want his daughters to be “punished” by getting pregnant while their were teenagers. Now, I understand he would not want his teen-aged daughters getting pregnant, but to describe pregnancy as being a punishment is not just wrong, but an indication of a sick mind. He also supports partial birth abortions(where babies have their skulls cracked and their brains sucked out), despite his lying about not supporting it. Obama has already turned over two previous Executive orders that had limited abortions. While Obama gives lip service to wanting to limit the number of abortions, his actions and votes say otherwise. Notre Dame is wrong to give obama the platform to spread his anti life views.

  • Mungomunro

    >>>>WASPs in Political Life, “The WASP community and WASP institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our WASP principles. If a protestant church did this to a catolic the Catholics in political life would say it’s rasist.

  • kutterson

    My alma mater, Notre Dame’s mantra is, above all, “God, Country, Notre Dame.” It is here, that my problem with ND inviting Obama to speak resides. In this instance, I think that ND has put “Country” before “God.” Recently, Obama has taken some of the most anti-life actions of any American President, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting tax-payer funded research on stem cells from human embryos. Not content with legal abortion-on-demand in this country, he seeks to foist the same policy on the rest of the world by rescinding the Mexico City Policy, which previously kept U.S. tax dollars from funding groups working to subvert the pro-life laws of countries overseas; and he seeks to export abortion around the world through his policies and appointments at the United Nations, including providing U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund, actively involved in China’s coerced-abortion program. Similarly, not content with Roe v. Wade, he champions the “Freedom of Choice Act,” (FOCA) which would nullify something like five hundred or so state and federal laws which impose modest, limited regulations on the unfettered right to abortion. Signing the FOCA would be “the first thing I’d do as president,” he promised the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. His support for these policies and laws directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and, as a result, Notre Dame is breaking it’s own manta of “God, Country, Notre Dame” by putting “Country” before “God” and embarrassing our Lady. -Kimberley Utterson, Notre Dame Class of 2003

  • Torquemada1

    Notre Dame should have the Pope come and speak about how the use of condoms promotes AIDS. Or maybe one of the boy-buggering priests could be sprung from whatever prison he’s moldering in to give the grads a rousing, morality-laced send-off.And I thought the Mormons were loons . . .

  • fishcrow

    The Catholic Church has withstood the Roman empire, the Crusades, the barbarians, the Protestants, even murderous and immoral Popes – and emerged unscathed. It’s been here for 2,000 years and will never fall. It certainly doesn’t have anything to worry about from this president or the limp assaults of the moral relativists. Kind of cute to see them try, though. They’re so darned earnest!

  • Domermom

    You pro-lifers are such hypocrites! Where was the outrage when Bush was killing tens of thousands of innocents in Iraq? When the Pope spoke against condoms in Africa? Do you only care about embryos & fetuses?

  • Mark30339

    Re: GRANT_X | MARCH 24, 2009 4:08 PMCatholics aren’t telling non-catholics or the U of HI whom to invite or whom to honor — perhaps you could show the same respect. You brazenly insist that Catholics yield and stop being Catholic at a key place of Catholic worship and education, Notre Dame. As to having contempt for much of America’s permissive, baby-killing culture, I am guilty as charged. As to bible-thumping, you clearly don’t know many Catholics.

  • sd-mouth

    Would Notre Dame invite Dick Cheney or George the Lesser to speak? Both had set policies that killed people under their directives. So why not show indignation on par with abortion for what they have done? If you equate an unborn life with one that was nurtured, guided in growth to adulthood and then tell them to go kill and be killed, what is the value of life and at what point? Hypocrisy has many sides.

  • madest

    They’re so earnest that non believers account for 15% of the population and that’s up from 8% in 1992. Maybe someday you’ll realize how foolish you’ve been to waste all those perfectly good Sundays.

  • grclarkdc1

    I am an ND grad (’69) and appalled at those who say Obama should not speak. Aren’t universities supposed to teach you to confront and learn about different views? How do you do that if you set up artificial barriers against the President of the US speaking to you? Are you that closed-minded? What concerns me most is that too many ND grads are returning to the days when anything non-Catholic was viewed as the work of the devil.Fr. Jenkins, don’t listen to the nuts. You should be proud that the President has chosen to speak at commencement — I am.

  • DL13

    You wouldn’t ask a thief to come into your home and give honesty and integrity lessons to your children, so, you wouldn’t ask a baby killer to come talk to your children about anything. Why would you want your children exposed to one that has made his stance contrary to what you believe in?

  • ahut6882

    I’ve read all of the posts, some supporting ND’s right to invite Obama, as well as some against his invitation. To all who

  • TJFod

    Contrary to the beliefs of the secular zealots signed on here, the Church requires of its elect, (meaning it requires of its members) that they seek truth in all things…even when that truth is uncomfortable and may indict.President Obama has stated that science alone (his truth)will drive his decisions on issues of life. Yet it’s his executive orders that are so far out of the mainstream discussion of truth about life. He is on the fringe. In fact a small minority of Americans accept his open-ended view of abortion. With his permitted abuse of the language , it is impossible to tell the difference between Pres. O and the belief system of the German 1930’s.Notre Dame can invite whomever it wishes to speak and entertain her children. Her children and alums should understand why Notre Dame is viewed by many Catholics as merely a commercial institution, not a spiritual one. By promoting the lie as a valid position she has lost her leadership to encourage and reward seekers of truth. It was only a matter of time. It is embarrassing to watch her suck at the tit of temporary power. Pax Cathedra

  • disunion

    Notre Dame hasn’t been a Catholic university since Father Hesburgh, so it’s not surprising to me Father Jenkins is following in his footsteps by inviting the president to speak.Forget that his views on abortion, stem cell, gays in the military, etc. are at odds with Catholic teaching – hey, it’s a feather in their cap!So goes the world.

  • prietopersonal

    Notre Dame have you no shame.

  • nodebris

    The Catholic Church spent several hundred years reluctantly learning how to effectively differentiate between temporal and ecclesiastical authority, and accommodate itself to the separation of the two. The lessons so learned served it well when it existed in the U.S. as a scorned minority religion protected by the Constitution.For it to now unlearn those lessons, at some are determined to have it do, would be a sincere shame indeed.

  • eraskauskas

    President Obama impresses many as a reasonable, level-headed, open to persuasion type of person. Perhaps, just perhaps, a visit to Notre Dame might have some effect on mitigating or changing his stand on abortion. Excluding him as a

  • hmctighe

    Fr Reese should take a good, serious look at all the anti-Catholic comments left on this site. They are written by those who agree with him on this issue and others. That should hopefully force him to wonder just how off base his view are on Catholic teaching. Why are you on this side with all the anti Catholic bigots, Fr Reese?

  • boredbybaseball

    Catholic universities should not use commencements for teaching right from wrong. Those are subjects for an apologetics class.Frankly, I believe President Obama should be given every opportunity to speak, so he can now tell us what his plans for change are. (But, unfortunately actions speak louder than words.) Besides, I like to hear the popping sound when he pulls his foot out of his mouth.

  • bbbrenda3

    No one should speak. …for we all as filthy rags…compared to His righteouness. This is the way our God describe all of us.

  • lgstarn

    “Fr Reese should take a good, serious look at all the anti-Catholic comments left on this site. They are written by those who agree with him on this issue and others. That should hopefully force him to wonder just how off base his view are on Catholic teaching. Why are you on this side with all the anti Catholic bigots, Fr Reese?”To say that “Fr Reese’s view of Catholic teaching is off base because Catholic bigots agree with him” is very poor logic indeed. If a Catholic bigot said abortion was wrong, would that mean automatically that abortion was right? In general, you should think about the issues for yourself and not consider what others think. These are the kind of critical thinking skills that Fr Reese are pointing to, and in the long run they are very good for both you and all of society. God would not have given you the ability to think for yourself if He didn’t want you to use it.

  • kase

    “Man will never be free until the Last King is strangled with the entrails of the Last Priest”Let’s start with Jenkins

  • lclifton

    Obama should go and bring his TWENTY-YEAR spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, with him. He should come clean about his hatred for all things traditional, all things American. Jeremiah Wright could do his “Go$#amn America thing. How cool would that be. Yobama could bring Pelosi too, and that old bag could wear a swaztika and do Obama cheers, bobbing up and down as he speaks.

  • khote14

    don’t mistake anti catholic comments with anti fairy tale comments. Catholic is just another variant of the christian disease, itself just another variant of the religion disease.catholic, protestant, fundamentalist evangelical, taliban, zionist … they all smell the same. Why should the catholics be spared?

  • theobserver4

    “Canon law aside, people need to recognize that Catholic universities have to be places where freedom of speech and discussion is recognized and valued. Not to allow a diversity of speakers on campus is to put Catholic universities into a ghetto.”I take it Feuerherd has never been to Notre Dame. It’s surrounded by ghetto. South Bend is a miserable place.

  • coloradodog

    Oh, but deniers of the Holocaust, anti-semetics and hiders of pedophile priests are OK. Catholic logic.

  • ravitchn

    I think people, including many Catholics, are tired of the Church and its dilemmas about public policy, and its medieval stands. It needs to disappear.

  • Climacus

    Father Reese, there seems to be something wrong with your implied syllogism about the precedent set by Cardinal Egan.First of all, you’re assuming that there was nothing wrong with what Cardinal Egan did. That may well be the case, although it’s not necessarily the case. Second, and more important, you’re assuming that inviting Obama to speak at last year’s Al Smith dinner is not distinguishable in any relevant respects from the current situation. But there are obviously distinctions, some of which are at least potentially relevant, and none of which you acknowledge or analyze. Here are two (among others) that spring to mind:1. While his mind may not have changed, Obama had no executive record when he appeared at the Al Smith dinner. Now, he does, and he has undertaken a number of actions in office that many Catholics find deeply objectionable.2. The nature of Obama’s role at the Al Smith dinner carried a much different significance and symbolism than it will at the ND commencement. Both McCain and Obama addressed the dinner attendees in equal capacities, but there is only one top billing at commencement. Moreover, ND is awarding an honorary degree to Obama. Where was the equivalent honorific gesture at the Al Smith dinner?

  • Mark32

    Would a Jewish institution invite someone that denied the Holocaust?

  • intercal2000

    I would not be surprised to hear that the priests at Notre Dame hand out condoms to their Christian Marriage 101 classes. I believe that the liberal philosophy espoused by the Holy Cross priests has created an alumni that is largely secular. Of the dozen or so graduates that I personally know, not one is a practicing Catholic. So I am not surprised to see why the chickens come home to roost in this amoral atmosphere.

  • hanley12

    So Thomas J. Reese, SJ, has written a post called “This Catholic’s View.” Most Catholics don’t care what he has to say, and here is why:Fr. Reese resigned after seven years as the editor of America because the Vatican objected to his treatment of issues like priestly celibacy and the ordination of women.

  • WarriorGrrl

    I think that ND is perfectly ok with inviting the President to address the graduating class. I am not an ND grad, but the product of 12 years at a Jesuit University. I find “Pro-Life” people to be (in general, not in all cases) strangely silent on the “Pro-Life” President who started an unjust war resulting in many innocent lives being lost, and who personally allowed more people to be executed on his state’s death row than any other in history. That would be President Bush 43. Where were all the “Pro-Life” protesters then? Last time I looked, Catholic doctrine condemned unjust wars of aggression, and the death penalty.And I am not going to even start on the child molestation evil that the Church Hierarchy allowed to continue for so many years.

  • wapo9

    “Publicly, Obama has never spoken out against the fundamental moral principle that abortion is wrong.”That’s incorrect:”I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

  • Samantha24

    I went to a private, Catholic University and I’m pretty sure we would have been more than HONORED to have had the leader of the free world AT our graduation, let alone SPEAK at it.And to those of you who are blindly ignorant (User: dottydo), Barack Obama is not a Muslim.

  • shag11

    Religion is such a crock and filled with hypochrosy. Cardinal Mahoney is the Cardinal of So. California. For 10 years or more, he’s been stonewalling on documents in numerous sexual molestation cases, involving priest.

  • Lovethefetushatethechild

    Tempest in a teapot, who cares!

  • drichte1

    I just finished my studies at ND last year. The professors there are challenging, intellectually open, warm and caring people who often invite students over for dinner. In short, they are some of the best in the world, and plenty of them are not Catholic and are pro-choice. I enjoyed the company of most of the other students, and made several good friends with whom I will probably stay in contact for the rest of my life. ND, overall, was a wonderful, fulfilling and productive experience. However, never would I have imagined that President Obama wouldn’t have been welcome there. I have a feeling that a lot of the people who signed that never went to ND. Being pro-choice though, and having actually worked to raise money for the the Obama campaign over the summer, I really don’t know where to begin with this.. This is not an accurate representation of what the university is like. Daniel Richter, ND 2008

  • leoalberti76

    All of you can talk as much as you want, it doesn’t change the fact that you are defending those who support the murder of children. The fact that people think that their “intellect” is higher than the word of God shows how lost all of you truly are. We’ll see how good your BS is when you have to lay it out for God.

  • pscott1

    To those, including the author, who speak of not letting those of opposing voices speak on campus you miss the issue. This isn’t whether they should allow Pres. Obama to speak at ND its whether he should be invited to give the graduation commencement address – huge difference. This is going beyond allowing someone with contrary views to speak on campus, it goes beyond giving honor to someone with contrary views. Commencement speakers are a University’s ultimate stamp of approval.

  • leoalberti76

    Thomas says: “Notre Dame is not honoring Obama because of his views on abortion but because he is President of the United States”I say: That’s kind of like saying Europe didn’t honor Hitler because he was killing Jews but because he was President of Germany.In fact, Obama is going to be responsible for the deaths of more children than Hitler ever was.

  • louis7

    It’s ironic that a group that claims to “seek truth in all things” is always so eager to believe lies. The notion of Obama being “the most pro-abortion politician in American history” is rarely explained. When anyone does try to explain it, the argument fails. From the “born alive” legislation in Illinois to the Mexico City policy, to Bush’s 11th hour HHS rule, it doesn’t take much digging to find each one follows a certain pattern.It’s easy: first, invent an issue that will rile up your religious base. Like, federal funding of abortions, which has been banned since the 60s. Or “forcing” doctors to assist in abortions, which has been banned since the 70s. The more outrageous you can make it the better.Once you’ve found your hot-button issue, just add language that extends your law beyond your stated goal. Redefine “contraception” as “abortion.” Disqualify anyone who says the word “abortion” from any kind of federal funding — no matter that the law already prevents tax dollars from funding abortions. Even if it’s fundamentally counter-productive to do so, even if you end up having to exempt your other programs (like PEPFAR) from your law (like the Mexico City Policy). Also, make it vague, so the door’s open to whichever interpretation you later decide you want to run with.Now, dare your political opposition to vote against your new law. What? You’re voting against the “Born Alive” law? Nobody will read why you’re voting against it. Nevermind that your new law makes something illegal that is already illegal (though now it can be used to intimidate anyone seeking an abortion, which is your actual goal).While Catholic fundamentalists will always see abortion as a black and white issue, most Americans, and many non-fundie Catholics don’t. Obama’s stated, and I believe sincere goal of reducing the number of abortions should be common ground for everyone. The “all or nothing” mentality of anti-abortion crusaders is counter-productive, and only ends up making everyone else unwilling to listen to them.

  • louis7

    Oh yeah, and compare your political opposition to Hitler, Stalin, the Nazis, the KKK, whatever. That always wins the argument!

  • Lou3

    “Odd.Strange.

  • Torquemada1

    Catholics are “pro-life” for the same reason that Mormons are “pro-family.” Mormons say that there’s a “pre-existence” full of spirit children waiting to be born into bodies; thus, they have huge families to provide the bodies (and if the Mormon hubby is really, really good, he gets to be the god of his own planet after he dies). But it comes out the other end as “families are forever. We love families.” Catholics claim that their god acts through nature, and that any interference with nature is against their god’s plan. So no birth control, no gay marriage, and so forth. But it comes out the other end as “we love life.”In both cases, what on the surface are perfectly respectable statements are actually founded on perfectly insane beliefs. When they dig up our civilization 2,000 years from now, our cathedrals and Mormon Temples will be looked upon in the same manner that we look upon the Greeks’ ruined temples to their civilization’s gods.

  • intercal2000

    It is interesting to note that Fr. Reese is from the same school that produced the Mayor of San Francisco, Any Twosome Newsom. I am also the product of a Jesuit University but have distanced myself from my alma mater because of their liberal views. It appears that as long as an American president doesn’t advocate the dismembering of Jesuit and Holy Cross priests, they are welcome on campus.

  • Lou3

    “All of you can talk as much as you want, it doesn’t change the fact that you are defending those who support the murder of children. Posted by: leoalberti76″You appear to be a fanatic–someone who wants the power to do what God would do if He were in possession of all the facts.If we all have to answer to a higher authority, well and good–but that Power isn’t you, and that answering isn’t good enough for you (or Al Qaeda): you both want the power to enforce your biases and hatreds.The church was there, once. We called it the Dark Ages.Never again.

  • dolph924

    “This is absurd.” The article was complete at that point and all else in it just elaborated on the obvious 3-word summary at the beginning.Catholocism is struggling just to remain a non-joke. With all the pedophile priests harbored and protected by the church, with all the anti-female bias in the church, with all the pretense by those wearing pointed hats that Catholics must avoid birth control that is practiced by 95% of American Catholics, with an ex-Nazi Pope leading the way back to the past in the church, this is just another attempt to become ever more irrelevant. Tend to the Beam in your own eye and don’t worry about the mote in your neighbor’s — that’s a parphrase from the bible for those who have never read it.

  • longbow1

    “If we all have to answer to a higher authority, well and good–but that Power isn’t you, and that answering isn’t good enough for you (or Al Qaeda): you both want the power to enforce your biases and hatreds.”What’s your point? Are you saying that people are incapable of using reason and judgment to evaluate right from wrong?

  • dmscontractor

    Our Constitution and Bill of Rights address Religion as as an “Interfaith” endorsement. No one religion over another, while recognizing individual freedom of religion. The framers rightly recognized that the G-d this “One Nation” is under is Bigger than our understanding while witnessing that G-d is One over this One Nation. Our individual differences pale in respect to our common Beliefs. Faith is a Human attribute. Our birth and our death is as a Single Soul. Notre Dame is living up to its name “Our Lady” Mother of Jesus. Mary told her questioners to ask the Baby; Jesus, when confronted by those of little faith or understanding. Jesus said he was the Word of G-d, which all of us recognize willingly or unwillingly, that there is a Creator (G-d) over this Creation. Mary was a Sign and Notre Dame is a Witness to that Sign as is President Barack Hussein Obama. G-d Bless America, and the President of the United States of America.

  • nobama9

    I disagree with all this.

  • kamorgan79

    As a 2001 graduate of ND (you know, the year that the school allowed Pres. Bush II to ramble like an idiot at our graduation) I am proud of ND for embracing a speaker who may not be in line with all Catholic teaching (like Bush was? PLEASE!) but who will give the stdents an experience to remember. This just about evens the score foe me, cancelling out the embarasment I feel about Mr. Bush. I sincerely doubt every (or any) commencement speaker at the University has been fully in line with Catholic teaching (hell, the Catholic Church is more often than not failing to act in line with Catholic teaching). And why would that be necessary? Does the school check on every graduate to make sure they hold up to the highest standards of Catholic morality before they receive their degrees? What about requiring every professor to do the same? I realize there is some difference, and yet, really there isn’t- this is an institution of higher learning and as such, the school would do itself a disservice by turning away important figures simply over ideological differences. Yes I know, slightly easier for me to say being pro-choice and in no way religious. (There are strong feelings on both sides of the religious/not religious divide and not worth stooping to name-calling)

  • Lou3

    “What’s your point? Are you saying that people are incapable of using reason and judgment to evaluate right from wrong? No, I am saying that religious zealots claim divine authority for their refusal to use reasoned judgment–and to deny to others the right to use their own reason and judgment.”God rejects your actions–therefore I (personally) must control all actions. I’m doing what God should do.”That is the ground of the fanatic. It has been the attitude of the Catholic Church toward secular affairs since its founding.

  • qrankshaft

    we are all loosing sight of the big picture. the important thing is that abortion be affordable and readily available to the poor, minorities, and other undesirables

  • BrianK299

    One would think that the people at a University would be smart enough to see through the excellent speaking abilities of our TOTUS (Teleprompter Of The United States) and see him for what he really is… other than a gifted speaker.A Proud Christian Irishman.

  • Lou3

    “we are all loosing sight of the big picture. the important thing is that abortion be affordable and readily available to the poor, minorities, and other undesirablesWell, I see why you chose your username. I support affordable access to abortion by everyone. As for the “undesirables”–the rich and privileged have always had discreet access to abortion, even when it was illegal. Of course, if you consider contraception to be abortion, as many Catholics and evangelical Christians claim to do, the overwhelming majority of U.S. Catholics and other Christians are abortionists already.

  • techlady441

    Nothing surprises me anymore. I don’t consider those so-called Catholics who voted for Obama true Catholics because he has nothing in common with the Catholic Church. Those Obama supporters are Catholic in name only and only in their own minds. Somehow this all reminds me of how Hitler was accepted by the Pope in Rome. I hope they have a teleprompter for him or all they’ll get is goulish laughter. He won’t even expose his college records—we have no proof he’s an American!

  • sql_yoda

    Just another reason why I’m a ‘recovering’ catholic. A smear of ejaculate in a spot of menstrual blood is not a life. On the flipside, stem cell research could have had me out of this wheelchair by now had GWB and the funda-mentals not decided to place a higher importance on fringe religious beliefs than on the advancement of medicine in the past eight years. Science stays out of god, keep god out of science. I’d really like to pee standing up again, and the honorable Bishop will never be able to fix that.

  • kamorgan79

    Oh please techlady- you could make that argument for pretty much ANY candidate anyone voted for. Would voting for McCain have really made anyone a “better Catholic?” (hey, you could argue that that is a vote in support of incessant adultery!) On top of the fact that Catholicism is making itself increasingly irrelevant- the ones who can cling to it so tightly in this day and age despite all logic that they would condemn a fellow paroshoner for voting for one candidate over another solely on the basis of ONE ISSUE, abortion, are very disturbing indeed. You should all learn to take the religion with a grain (or shaker) of salt.

  • jjedif

    After the recent but brief period during which the Catholic Church drifted away from the radical pro-rich, anti-poor, anti-women and anti-gay positions which the Church held for almost 2,000 years toward more enlightened positions, the Catholic Church finds itself becoming more or more irrelevant…unless it returns to the radical, extremist roots it shares with radical Islam and radical evangelical Protestantism. The rush toward the adoration of the worst in humanity is on.

  • qrankshaft

    the unsettling part of legal abortion is that we keep thinning out the ranks of the “good guys”. if only we could figure out a way to get the right wing wackos to slaughter their children also.

  • SwellLevel5

    One of the really neat things about being Catholic is that there isn’t a week that goes by where someone from the faith — from the Pope on down — doesn’t say or do something really stupid.

  • BrianK299

    Posted by: Torquemada1 | March 24, 2009 7:41 PM:

  • barker3320

    Father Reese states, “In his personal life, Obama has never acted in defiance of the fundamental moral principle that abortion is wrong.”How could Fr. Reese possibly know that?

  • reasonisstupid

    Reese is clearly still pissed that he got canned from his position as editor of ‘America’ magazine. That’s why he continues to produce anti-catholic editorials in the most anti-catholic newspaper in the US. Time to get a real job Fr.

  • Phil6

    Bottom line: Barack Obama approves of the killing of babies while they are still in their mother’s womb. It is a barbaric act that is becoming more and more morally outrageous as technology is showing all of us what these babies look like before their lives are snuffed out by the abortionist’s knife.

  • mauialoha

    Catholics should be more outraged at their own priests molesting children and the decades of cover-up that followed.

  • dottydo

    Posted by: qrankshaft You are not a Catholic are you?Why talk about the bigger picture if it is not the bigger picture?Perhaps a disscussion with a Priest might enlighten you a little.Obama coming to speak with such a philosophy, is like inviting the anti-Christ himself into the sanctuary.

  • aroj

    First, I am offended by some of the Catholic commentary written here. I myself am a Catholic, but I don;t approve of the actions of many of the right-wing Catholics who shove into the throats of others that their way is the only way. Don’t think that you can categorize all Catholics into that thinking. Second, I feel that Notre Dame did the right thing of letting Presided Obama speak on campus. Their intentions were right that they didn’t invite the President to speak because of his pro-choice views. Even he himself is against abortion. This notion that all Pro-Choice people are evil and don’t care for life is a vague statement. The attacks that the Pro-Life has against the Pro-Choice are the reasons why I chose to be neither and disapprove of their political methods of achieving their goals that birth is a fundamental right. Birth IS a fundamental right, yes. Yelling at the people the people elected is not the right method because they are not the ones giving birth. Instead of yelling at political officials, go to the people and reason with them.

  • Lou3

    “Hiding Constitutional requirements behind a judge’s court seal doesn’t seem like I’m the liar.Illinois bar applications records do show that Obama lied and didn’t disclose his name Barry Soreto who went to Islam (Koran) school in Indonesia for the developing years of his life.Obama apparently hiding the school records that disclose he was a Foreign National student, was not my lie.Lies are sins.Remember?If I find it Odd that the Catholics want him to speak, why is that called racist?Posted by: dottydo”Sorry to all to repeat this nonsense by cut and paste. But it is important to point out that none of this is true.It is ignorant, malicious, and false. Sad it is that a human being swallows and regurgitates this kind of bilge because it affirms their existing neuroses. Dottydo, it is racist because you are prepared to believe anything negative about a black man based on no more than e-mail slander or village gossip, even though the lies have already been exposed. You will not stir yourself to look at the actual evidence because it pleases you to stay ignorant and hateful.I can’t pray for you, but I do pity you.It must be like living in a fog.

  • Lou3

    “Obama coming to speak with such a philosophy, is like inviting the anti-Christ himself into the sanctuary.Posted by: dottydo”Anti-Christ, hm? Here’s another joke for you:What is modern Catholic pro-life practice?The priests abuse girls.

  • wakeup3

    There is no separation of private and public morality. God sees it all. The President’s policy on abortion is clearly consistent with his personal acceptance of the murder of unborn children. The Catholic’s in Political Life organization is correct and consistent with the Pope’s position on abortion and I agree they should protest the President’s participation in the commencement. However, I am sure that the university will have its way and Mr. Obama will address the commencement. That position too speaks loudly about the moral fiber of the institution and its faculty. May God have mercy on us.

  • ekim53

    Obama said at Saddle back that his favorite scripture is, “What you do for the least of My Brethren…….”. Obama aren’t the least of His brethren the babies that depend on adults for EVERYTHING? And yet you don’t even stand up against Partial Birth Abortion, the practice of pushing a baby back in the birth canal and sucking his or her brains out. This is a practice that ALL legitimate doctors say is NEVER necessary today.

  • sept2006

    Just like the old Catholic School system. I went to a Catholic School for the first nine years of my schooling and Heaven forbid if you raised your hand to question a Church teaching. You accepted what the nun told you and you shut up. Some things never change.

  • kamorgan79

    BrianK, as I read your post I started assuming it was a joke, and then started to fear it wasn’t….are you serious? Do you actually think that any of that is a real distinction from Greek mythology or any of the ancient religions we’d pass off as “pagan” and silly today? For those of you who argue there’s no distinction between religious morality and what we as a society codify as morality- I guess you don’t really believe in the religious freedom on which this country was founded either huh? God has no business in our laws- you can believe that the “immoral” are going to hell all you want as long as you aren’t making the rules that the rest of us have to follow. “Because the Bible says so” is one of the most infuriating sentences in the Enligh language.

  • kamorgan79

    and yes I realize I have typos everywhere, too annoyed to proofread

  • peter7411

    To compare an invite to the Al Smith Dinner to giving an honorary Degree from a Catholic University as the same thing is a gross misrepresentation. The University is held to a higher standard in the Catholic faith. The purpose of a Catholic University by definition is to teach the truth to bring glory to Christ. The question the University should ask when contemplating hosting the President, the Vagina Monologues, or any other event is “How will this event bring glory to Christ?” I’m sure an argument will be put forward that this should be done for “Academic Freedom”. The Church has always focused on teaching the truth. It is not necessary to teach a lie to know the truth and recognize a lie. What the University President should realize is that this institution is a Gift. He should be able to articulate how extending this honorary degree brings glory to Christ and enhances this Gift. From what I’ve seen of Mr Obama, he does seem like an intelligent, honest person with moral convictions. Given the Church’s known position on the matter, I don’t understand why he would accept the invitation. For a devout Catholic, it’s offensive.

  • JoeBridgeman

    nothing gets people to go crazy like religion …

  • zjr78xva

    Fr. Reese asserts that “Obama has never spoken out against the fundamental moral principle that abortion is wrong.” Nonsense. Obama addressed the abortion industry and gleefully, enthusiastically, unreservedly embraced every jot and tittle of its agenda, which he pledged absolutely to enact in its entirety.Fr. Reese goes on to say that the ersatz messiah “supports programs to reduce the number of abortions.” This likewise is rank nonsense, nothing but boilerplate code for population control and various social engineering schemes.A commencement address is not a colloquy in which a speaker can be challenged and corrected, so the free inquiry argument is specious. And why honor him with a degree?Finally, it is beneath Fr. Reese, whom I highly esteem, to refer to a hate piece in a notoriously hateful anti-Catholic rag.

  • kamorgan79

    you dissenters are acting like he’s going to give a pro-abortion speech. I highly doubt it and think your protests are misplaced. Furthermore, Bush was also given an honorary degree, which, let’s face it, should be FAR more of a disgrace for Catholicism. Finally, its funny, but I thought the purpose of a University was to produce well-rounded young adults who understand as much as possible the world around them, not to simply “glorify Christ.” Well, they sure missed the mark with me (and the vast majority of my classmates, very few of whom I’d label devout Catholics). I was actually quite impressed with the school’s emphasis of comparative religious education- I was a bit fearful going in that it was going to be nothing but Catholicism shoved down our throats. Substantive debates on legalized abortion are misplaced in any argument about whether it is appropriate for Obama to speak at this commencement (as if making it illegal actually stops abortions from happening…fools). Then again, we all know how the Catholic church views women (inherently evil a la Eve, and only good for making babies). Heaven forbid a politician actually consider the welfare of pregnant women and what pregnancy can do to their bodies and lives.

  • sql_yoda

    “The President’s policy on abortion is clearly consistent with his personal acceptance of the murder of unborn children.”This is where most of you are getting it wrong. Life does not begin at conception. Regardless of what my priest, pastor, or neighbor says, a piece of goo inside of a womb is NOT a child until quickening, when it begins to move and has a heartbeat. Abortion is not murder, and I don’t really care how loudly you freaks scream that it is. Abortion is legal, subject to certain codified limitations, and all your railing against the serious, practically applied research with regard to the wasted by-products of abortion is hurting more people than you will ever realize. Stem cells have the potential to cure all of our worst ailments. Abortion is happening no matter what you try to do to stop it. Stop making the rest of us suffer spinal cord injury, cancer, alzheimer’s, and a thousand other ailments for which stem cell therapy holds the most scientific promise to treat. You all are incredibly self-centered to believe that when your code of morals is opposed to the law of the land, it’s the law that needs to change instead of your outlook.

  • kamorgan79

    And to SQL, my sympathies to you,if only the last 8 years hadnot been wasted with religion limiting or even preventing scientific research that could have helped you. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be and hope the policy changes have some hope of helping you. And you’re right, while people have a right to personally feel that life begins at conception and structure their own choices accordingly, I fail to see why that should dictate my reproductive choices! Oh wait, again, keep forgetting that my only purpose in god’s plan is to breed :)

  • Rob-Roy

    Obama tried to push through late term partial-birth abortions in Illinois that many staunch abortionists couldn’t even support. The faithful Catholic graduates of Notre Dame should sign pledges stating that they will not participate in the official commencement but rather they will hold an alternative commencement. I am quite sure that they could get an awesome speaker (maybe even the Pope!). There is a petition for everyone to sign that has garnered >100,000 signatures in one day alone:

  • fabdivakat

    Here is a great link that talks about why Catholicism and Obama are not mutually exclusive.

  • BrianX9

    .Catholics want to keep their Catholic identity, and non-Catholics want Catholics to give it up.

  • dolph924

    Abortion is now, always has been, and always will be, legal — for women with the means to travel to Scandanavia. All the talk about making abortion illegal is just misdirection — the ONLY issue is whether it should be illegal for POOR women. If everywhere you see a reference to political issues relating to “abortion” you simply add in the words “for poor women” then you will understand the actual political issue in dispute — regardless of your position on it.

  • dottydo

    The Bishop will not attend if Obama is the speaker. Many do not want to have their religion insulted by “life is not sacred” vendors.

  • katavo

    So Catholics, how’s that exclusionary policy of yours working out for you?Another question: is english still the primary language in your particular church?I see a connection. The incoming peasants from Mexico and south are your new future, what there is.I’d like to see the world free of the religion disease. With this in mind, from a pragmatic point of view, you are doing everything I’d like to see to help this along.Thanks Catholics, you’re good christians for sure … I thought suicide was a sin?

  • Mary_Cunningham

    When President Obama signs FOCA into law I expect to see his law degree from Notre Dame displayed prominently in the background. As a gesture of good will, BO will also donate one of the signing pens to Fr Reese, who by then will have left the Church (

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Katvo:Despite the best efforts of the Fr Reese’s of the world,

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Y’know I don’t think we would have heard about it if he had done the right thing and said: “too busy” or just “busy”. But he wants to keep those Catholic votes–how stupid does he think Catholics are anyway, has he studied at the school of N Ravitsch?–coming in.And what does it cost him? Nothing. It’s kinda funny if you think of it. A FOCA supporter, and he’s been honest about it, and

  • erikavanheusen

    All religious fanatics, as the guys running the Catholic Church are, want women to be reduced to a sub-human status. There is no difference between the Pope, his Cardinals and Bishops and the Islamic clerics that want to ban women from TV in Saudi Arabia. None. No difference at all. So…What is the solution? Lets burn all these fanatics, Catholic, Muslims, ALL in the public square and finish with them once and for all.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Erika wrote: Well, you have to hand it to the pro- abortionists for sounding fanatical. Where is that tolerance they keep baying about?All I wrote was that a Catholic instituion should not bestow an honor on a pro-abortionist. Is that fanatical? Anyway, who gets to decide whose a fanatic? Does Erika judge as a fanatic anyone who disagrees with her? Or is a practicing Catholic by definition a ‘fanatic’? What about Fr Reese, although nominally Catholic–and I have my doubts–he agrees with Erika. Does that mean he doesn’t get burned?

  • DesJay

    Catholic University and Military Intelligence…?The damage both do to open -minded learning is on show in many of the comments. Pro-abortion? The failure of logic represented by that false tag is almost despairing.The Catholic church has yet to come fully clean on the depredations of pedophile priests and enabling bishops. But it’s brainwashed supporters can close their eyes to that, and fulminate as directed on demand.

  • MikeL4

    In his public life, President Obama has violated the principal of respecting life. He has signed executive orders that has authorized federal funding that will fund the killing of unborn children overseas. He has signed exectuive orders authorizing the expansion of embryonic stem cell research that will allow for the killing of developing human beings to extract their stem cells for scientific experimentation. So he does violate “Catholics in Political Life”. Don’t lie and say he doesn’t.The only saving thing of that for him is he is not Catholic. Notre Dame is bestowing on honorary degree on him. For a Catholic school to bestow on honorary degree on someone who expands the “right” to kill unborn children is a scandal for that school and shame for them.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Now, now desai, don’t fall into the semantic trap: pro-choice, simply means able to choose not a child but an

  • youngmartin76

    It is an error to think that any American prelate speaks for any American Catholic. It’s more likely that they speak for institutional orthodoxy which is based on medieval authoritarianism as manifested by the current Catholic-in-charge, the Pope. I find it very strange that most of the righteous outrage voiced by American prelates has a peculiar Republican tilt to it. That alone should signal the paucity of their intellects and the duplicity of their morality pederasts to the contrary not withstanding.

  • katem1

    when I was about ten, I overheard a conversation my mother was having with our neighbour, a Catholic woman with about six kids all younger than me. She was telling my mom that she found out that her husband was having an affair. When my mom asked’what are you going to do?’ she said ‘nothing. this way I don’t have to get pregnant again for awhile.’ Birth Control by infidelity, yah, that’s really moral. But when you follow the teachings of a misogynistic church, what do you expect? And those of you calling Obama and others baby killers shows how ignorant and bigoted you are. No one likes abortion, no one thinks it’s a great thing, and I am so sick of hearing anti-abortion people referred to as pro-life when most are for the death penalty, and as one poster already said “don’t help the poor, don’t sign SCHIP(kid’s medicare) don’t ban assault weapons, don’t fix schools, don’t give welfare to the poor woman with 5 kids who wanted an abortion, don’t give life long psychiatric help to a girl forced to have her uncles baby from incest and rape. Yeah, that’s really being PRO-LIFE. And now the Pope is running around Africa saying condoms don’t work to quell AIDS epidemic? When the Catholic Church let’s women become priests, that’s when I’ll have respect for this institution.

  • coloradodog

    Meanwhile, Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is boycotting Obama’s speech. Seems he is taking his Priests to a gay bar that day.

  • katavo

    Mary_Cunningham I’m referring to the people who come to the church, not the people who live there and run it.But then you knew that didn’t you.For whatever reasons, and I won’t claim to know them, the Catholic church is declining in membership overall. It’s current numbers are maintained only by third-world peasants climbing over the fences in our southern deserts.My elderly mother abandoned the [Catholic] church long ago, but has lately returned to it. I don’t know why she left, I don’t know why she returned. I am grateful she never inflicted it on me during my youth.She tells me that the priest (deacon whatever) who runs the place is asking her to learn spanish, because most of the flock cannot speak english.I wonder if Americans are leaving that church because of the absolutist nature of its leadership. The subject at hand here smacks of political correctness, as vile and arbitrary as any PC committed by the liberals.As I’ve said, I approve of this desire by the Catholic church to deny access to any who stray one tiny bit from the Absolute Truth. It can only help to drive out the more tolerant natured Americans, perhaps free them from religion altogether.

  • jackp1

    The hatred shown towards our President, the University of Notre Dame, and our fellow human beings on this blog is appalling.

  • michaeljmcfadden1

    On the one hand, I think this is a non-story, since Notre Dame is about as Catholic as the author of this article. That is to say, who cares if a school that *calls* itself Catholic but consistently sanctions those who defy church teaching takes one more step to clarify its separation from the Catholic Church?

  • debmries

    Notre Dame is a Catholic school. Obama’s views do not support catholic values in more than just the abortion issue. I believe he should not have been asked and that he should decline. But with Obama’s arrogant view of himself as the super orator, he would never decline an opportunity to open his mouth and try to pursuade the youth of this country.

  • JRussell42

    With the Catholic Commander in Chief in Africa spouting his ridiculous unenlightened 8th century condom ignorance, maybe the students at Notre Dame could use a little 21st century intellectual reality.

  • BrianK299

    “BrianK, as I read your post I started assuming it was a joke, and then started to fear it wasn’t….are you serious? Do you actually think that any of that is a real distinction from Greek mythology or any of the ancient religions we’d pass off as “pagan” and silly today?”Posted by: kamorgan79 | March 24, 2009 11:29 PM

  • LeszX

    Inviting a person to speak at a university – and honoring him as the commencement speaker – are two different matters. The honor of speaking at the Notre Dame commencement and an honorary doctorate are not proper for a man who publicly advocates and has acted in official capacity to tear pre-born children limb from limb, to smother, crush, and decapitate babies, to violate women, and to commit these outrages against the sanctity of human life, marriage, and motherhood not just in the hundreds, not just in the thousands, but in the millions every year in the United States and abroad.

  • anderson2

    …abortion?….Everyday nearly 100,000 children die for lack of one meal, one glass of clean water and a simple vaccination….things we here in America waste by the ton…while self-righteously condemning abortion.Grow up and get a life….and get some true Christian compassion for all those humans you have demanded be produced onto this planet.

  • yard80197

    Bravo Mr. Reese.It is sad how people cannot keep Church/Synagogue/Temple/Mosque OUT OF STATE!!! Go O’Bama !!! Your detractors are blinded by their own prejudices.

  • jp1954

    Notre Dame will welcome President Obama because it respects the office of the presidency and it also believes in preserving the free marketplace of ideas. Critics would prefer that the university follow a course of narrow dogmatism and political correctness. Both are antithetical to an institution of higher learning. The students of Notre Dame don’t have to agree with the president’s beliefs to sponsor him as a speaker. They simply recognize that as a leader of our country he has something to say.This is not an awards ceremony, it’s a speech. No one need fear speech.

  • erikavanheusen

    Does anyone know if the the Pope and some Republicans were together recently in Saudi Arabia? I just saw this:A group of hard-line Saudi clerics urged the kingdom’s new information minister In a statement, the 35 clergymen also called on Abdel Aziz Khoja, who was “We have great hope that this media reform will be accomplished by you,” said The statement does, however, put a degree of pressure on the new minister and “No Saudi women should appear on TV, no matter what the reason,” added the

  • arosscpa

    What Fr. Reese has left out of the analysis is that the Roman curia and the US bishops applied a new set of instructions to Obama’s invitation not applicable to the previous presidents that reflect the lack of Christian values among many politicians, President Obama being a good example. To the eyes of most people who think with the Church, this new ordinary magisterium obviously makes it inappropriate to give President Obama any recognition that would seem to validate any of his policies which conflict with Church teaching.What ND President Fr. Jenkins and Fr. Reese are also pretending to ignore, is that because Fr. Jenkins is flouting the Church’s prerogatives in this matter, the ultimate decision can and may be taken out of his hands. For the sake of the Church’s unity and the vitality of ND, I sincerely hope Fr, Jenkins and the Board reconsider this affront to the Catholic Church.

  • edscottaz

    Notre Dame should show moral courage and leadership and withdraw the invitation to Mr. Obama to speak. Just because he is President doesn’t validate his personal views on what is moral.This is not about free speech or showing the President respect. This is about a Catholic Institution defending its moral teachings. Obama doesn’t share the values or teachings of the Catholic Church. The Church should be speaking to him and not vice versa. Send him a message, withdraw the invitation.

  • sandram1

    Just reading these comments makes my head ache and reminds me of just HOW TIRED I am of religious zealots dividing the world into “us and them”. As a Notre Dame Grad married to a notre dame grad for 40 years, with five siblings and in-laws also being Notre Dame Graduates, the religious principles we were taught during the late 1960’s and 70’s were deeply Philosophical and very forward thinking. For example, in one theology class , a monseignor taught that the Church’s opposition to birth control made no sense and would very soon be changed as dogma because there was no reasonable difference between practicing “Rhythm” and using other means of birth control. How reasonable! But now we are back to the Dark Ages of the Catholic Church- led by a misanthropic Pope who has made very clear what he thinks about women’s role in the Church, i.e., do what you are told and get out of the way.

  • djsmir

    Wake up people!! There are no twists or spins you can put on abortion to make it right!! It is killing innocent life regardless of how it was created. You are only deceiving yourselves and the people to whom you preach. There is a 15 year old who is facing 25 years for torturing a cat yet a doctor can rip a child limb to limb from a woman’s womb and it is legal. I would like to see the reaction of an animal rights activist if they were to see kids catching tadpoles and squashing them!! Could you argue that they are not frogs yet?? It’s exactly like Mother Teresa said to President Clinton when he thought he’d go get a picture with the sweet little old lady…she refused to shake his hand and waved her frail finger in his face and told him there will be no peace on this earth unless there is an end to abortion.

  • theobserver4

    You wouldn’t ask a thief to come into your home and give honesty and integrity lessons to your children, so, you wouldn’t ask a baby killer to come talk to your children about anything. Why would you want your children exposed to one that has made his stance contrary to what you believe in?Posted by: DL13-Because you’re supposed to be an adult and teaching your children to think like one as well. If someone challenges your belief do you stick your fingers in your ear and shout la-la-la or can you actually listen to the viewpoints and debate the subject at hand? If that is what you teach your children to do then they will fail miserably despite going to a great University.

  • theosnyder

    We have displayed here the venomous ignorance of the vocal Catholic right wing concerning how the full moral tradition of their Church concerns the invitation to Presdident Obama to speak at Notre Dame. We also have displayed the venomous hatred aqnd ignorance of vocal anti-Catholics who have a frozen and incomplete understanding the Church’s moral thought. All in all a depressing responce to Fr. Reese’s reasonable and wholly supportable commentary on this latest tempast in a teapot produded and directed by the Cardinal Newman Society whose stock in trade is mispresentation of what Catholic higher education is. The Society is determined to role back the higher ed clock to a time when Catholic colleges were intellectually sterile, instead of engaging with leaders and thinkers from the perspective of Catholic moral thought. Can’t do that in the abstract or without back and forth on the issues that divide. Obama is not afraid to do that, why should Norte Dame be afraid. I am disappointed in the refusal of the local bishop to participate: what a teaching moment is being lost there! Ironically the UND’s annual award for accomplishment is being awarded to Many Ann Glendon, who has written legal world class research on the human rights of the unborn. The anti-Catholicism respresented in response to this commentary continues to be apalling in its failure to observe basic standards of civility in public discourse (bishop taking his priets to a gay bar that day)in its insulting tone, loud ingorance of what in fact has been said in particular situations and the distinctions between various church issues. That the WP does not moderate for civility in the On Faith blog is disturbing and puzzling, and has cheapened what should be a valuable media resourge. Anti Semitism and anit-Islamism also abound. I am not opposed criticism of the Catholic Church or other religious bodies -Lord knows criticism often deserved as Fr. Reese demonstrates– but it needs to have some relationship to reality.

  • kamorgan79

    Briank- again your distinctions make ABSOLUTELY no sense. However, you can choose to believe the story you want to believe. Where’s your “proof” as you call it? Your argument about an “Event” is nonsensical. Clearly the religion speaks to you and makes you happy, and I truly mean it when I say I am happy for you- if you can find something in this world that brings you internal peace, there is nothing wrong with that! But the fact remains that the bible is a series of stories written by humans, remarkably similar in basic structures to many other religions you would pass off as less “true” than yours. We can choose to believe these tales from various religions or not but how is the story of Jesus’ death/resurrection any more or less real than other stories? Again those who have put thought and reflection into it and choose to believe it- good for them.I think those that are hoping for a serious student rebellion against Obama as a speaker are in for disappointment. I would be willing to bet that the VAST majority of students are thrilled to be having a more enlightened president speak to them- as opposed to those of us who were playing tic tac toe during Bush’s ramblings of 2001! Finally I think SandraM1’s comment is dead on- it is good to know that even many decades ago the University was more realistic about the flaws within the religion!

  • liddymic

    “Publicly, Obama has never spoken out against the fundamental moral principle that abortion is wrong” – Father Reese

  • arosscpa

    sandram1:Humanae Vitae has remained a part of the Church’s ordinary magisterium for the past 4 decades, each year being enriched by theological reflection from clergy, and lay men and women from around the globe.The only thing your “monsignor” accomplished was sinning by deliberately teaching error (that artificial birth control is generally permissible) and share the culpability of everyone of his students’ sin when they relied on his erroneous teaching.

  • arosscpa

    kamorgan79:It isn’t student revolt that universities fear; it’s a revolt in the funding base of graduates and other major contributors. And the evidence of the brewing of such a revolt has been seen on the web since ND posted the news item on Friday afternoon.

  • kamorgan79

    Aross- for every alum in opposition to this, there is alum in favor. I had not been giving to the school, but that will change…(also my comment was in response to someone below claiming that there will be a separate graduation ceremony for those who protest the President speaking- just not going to happen). As for your comment back to sandram, along with the other commenters and their desperate clinging to the rules laid out for them by some popes (who are JUST PEOPLE!)….well keep on going, you’re going to wipe out your own religion by making it nonsensical and irrelevant. Congrats. Gotta love the melodrama of the folks who cry “babykiller”- I’d like to see your plans for what to do with all these unwanted children, and how you support the mother who did not want them, financially, emotionally and physically for undergoing the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy…way to continue the church’s position on women as nothing more than baby breeding machines who should have no say on their own bodies. Thankfully you don’t make the rules

  • kamorgan79

    back to sandram1’s point- could someone please RATIONALLY explain to me how birth control is a “sin”? haha “sin” such a funny concept….

  • lclifton

    Pompous mets more pompous. I don’t go to church except for weddings and funerals. They are clubs that create guilt and tax you for it. The Catholics don’t allow women in the top spots, and half of the men they employee are child molesters acting out their long deferred sexual tensions. It’s that simple, folks.

  • blarsen1

    This just shows how backwards the Catholic church is. I would leave it to the student body. There are plenty of campus’ that would love to have a sitting president speak on campus. Once again, Obama extends a hand to the right and they slap it.

  • arosscpa

    kamorgan79: Humanae Vitae is not explained in 25 words or less. I would suggest reading the document first, which is widely available on the web. The author of the document (Karol Wotyla) ground the philosophical precepts of the 20th century Eastern European Personalism in the book “Love and Responsibility.” As John Paul II, Woytyla grounded the theology in the first three chapters of Genesis and the Sermon on the Mount. That text is entitled “Theology of the Body.” Christopher West and compatriots have published many accessible materials for lay people, as well as many web resources. I think the new ways of looking at gender and sexuality will repay the effort many time over.

  • love234america

    The day before and the day of the presidential election in Nov., the Catholic Church I attend had an on-going prayer for election to the office of president of the United States of a “righteous”, etc.man. Obama’s belief in abortion, etc. does not in the Catholic eye make him righteous. Why have someone like him speak at the most well-known and respected Catholic college in the country? Most everything Obama believes in goes against the teachings of the Church. Obama is not righteous. It would be wrong for Notre Dame to give Obama more publicity and Catholic acceptance by having him speak at this University.

  • kamorgan79

    I’ve read Humanae Vitaebefore and read it again now to comply- during none of these readings did it make any sense, and is rather intrinsically contradictory. As far as pope’s go, John Paul II was at least a little reasonable, but this is still silly- we reach SO HARD to make it okay to take advantage of “infertile” periods (which we all know don’t ACTUALLY exist) while denouncing other birth control methods? Its yet another example to me of the church digging itself into a hole and overly complicating things. Why not just focus on the values put forth by Jesus and be done with it! (while I’m not a believer in the religion, I do think it is reasonable to think he did in fact exist)Anyway I’ve simply had enough- there is never any real discourse between the two sides so what’s the point

  • bugmenot

    Go ahead and try to publicly snub THE President of the United States for a PR stunt — and make no mistake that’s exactly what it would be: a cheap PR stunt to remind everyone who they’d better pay attention to. We’re tired of your culture wars. Check the election results for proof of this. Now please go away.

  • GaiasChild

    Hysteria frames this conversation as baby murder and there’s no space for conversation. If I support a woman’s choice, does that mean I cannot deplore and grieve abortion as a shame and sorrow? Now why is it that the creator has given human beings free will and choice in whether to love and follow the divine? Then, the faithful or rather churchful, feel called to deny choice!! That’s another frame for conversation. But there’s no talking to either hysteria or conviction. Only notice what all those original sin doctrines and dogmas have brought with them. The inability of the faithful or churchful to believe that they are in their human form acceptable, perfect, beloved, good. Without that ability to accept the creator’s handicrafts, us, of course humans are driven to make preventive rules for each other. Abortion is sad. The sad exercise of free choice is sad. But that’s how the divine has set it up. Rarely if ever has the RC church improved on things.

  • kamorgan79

    love234america, please explain exactly WHAT, aside from abortion and stem cell research, is so “unrighteous” about Obama? How do you justify saying “most everything” he believes in goes against the Church? (not that I think it matters because there is that whole SEPARATION of church and state thing, but I’m still curious what delusions you are living under to say that about someone who seems to embody christian values a hell of a lot more than his predecessor)

  • lclifton

    Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s 20-year mentor . . . G*&d*@n America

  • kamorgan79

    and to clarify my last post, I have no problems with either Obama’s pro-choice stance or his policies towards stem cell reserach

  • usapdx

    THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CHURCH MAIN GOAL IS CONTROL OF THE MEMBERSHIP BY GUILT BY MAN MADE RULES. CHRIST’S TEACHINGS IS ONE THING AND THE LEADERSHIP IS ANOTHER. WHY HAVE SO MANY VOTED WITH THEIR FEET?

  • CCNL

    And the welcoming statement should start with:WELCOME NEW LEADER OF THE IMMORAL MAJORITY. AS YOU KNOW, YOU BECAME PRESIDENT BECAUSE OF THE VOTES OF 70 MILLION “PARENTS” OF ABORTED CHILDREN!!!! ( the math, one million abortions per year since 1973 (the Roe decision) x 35 years x 2 parents/voters = 70 million votes.)

  • HarrisTheYounger

    This is nothing more than an attention grab, put on by folks who feel marginalized in their thinking, which they’re unused to. Their contrived issue (abortion) doesn’t get the attention it once did, so you see a lot of little displays of self-righteousness and tantrums. It won’t amount to much, and this kind of nonsense will continue to fade into the background. Granted, it will be around as long as the wilfully ignorant exist, but maybe not so much in the spotlight.

  • CCNL

    kamorgan79,Birth control within marriage is not a sin. With or without birth control, intercourse outside of marriage i.e. adultery and fornication are sins!!!! Of course then you have Bill Clinton’s way of dodging the issue.

  • benighse

    Notre Dame–Keep your minds open and public discourse healthy. The President is President of ALL the United States, and hearing him speak in your part of this country will be a good thing. Ask tough questions and expect tough decisions, but don’t hide you head in the sand on the issues facing the world. You can be part of the solution, or part of the problem. You only fail yourself when you stop listening to all sides of an issue. So listen and then decide….Really!! It works!!

  • kamorgan79

    CCNL, you’re actually wrong there in terms of what’s considered a “sin”- but obviously throughout the years its become clear that people don’t always udnerstand the whole religion to which they subscribe (like those Catholics who don’t realize that by virtue of being Catholic, they are professing they believe the eucharist is the physical body of Christ- my mother was actually kind of appalled when I explained that to her, even though she grew up in a devout catholic family). But then again, call it a “sin” all you want, because those of us who don’t believe in things as black-and-white as “sin” moral truths handed down by god don’t actually care. Why on earth intercourse outside marriage,or with contraceptives, or in any of the variables that don’t involve vanilla sex between straight, married people for the sole purpose of procreation is considered a “sin” is beyond me! (but sure does explain the repression-fueled anger)

  • benighse

    SIN AIN’T SIN WHEN GOOD FOLKS DO IT…..If Catholics divorce–it is a sin and ex-communication, BUT ANNULMENT of that same marriage even after YEARS of living in sin (since a marriage subject to annulment was NEVER a marriage by definition and thus can be said to be annulled, so all that premarital sex in this non-marriage was not a sin either, I guess)–NO PROBLEM–because this type of “divorce” has an acceptable catholic name; SEX outside of marriage is a sin–BUT the child of this sin is a new catholic born without sin; GLOTTONY is a sin–but FAT priests from this sinful eating are held in high esteem if they oppose birth control…You can find ENVY, SLOTH and PRIDE sins in abundance with the comments in the article alone—BUT—SIN AIN’T SIN WHEN GOOD FOLKS DO IT—SO SIN AWAY GOOD FOLKS OF ND!!

  • paulc2

    USAPDX, You wrote: This is a tremendously biased statement with no basis in fact. The only Goal of the Catholic Church is to help people get to heaven. Demonstrate that Church teachings are in any way contrary to Christ’s teachings. You will not be able to, because the Catholic church was founded by Jesus and placed under the leadership of St. Peter and his successors to teach the way to heaven. Everything we know about Christ has come through the Catholic Church..

  • drazen1

    The last I heard, Barack Obama was NOT a Roman Catholic. So why is everyone so surprised that a non-Catholic doesn’t adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church? Does it automatically follow that he has nothing to say about any subject at all?

  • DickCheneysDutchOvenCookies

    I applaud the Bishop’s stance. For consistency, I’d encourage him to go even further. He should also seek out information on all members of his flock who voted for Obama or who did not vote against him. He should also find those who listened to any of Obama’s speaches, campaign ads, or those of any other candidates AFTER finding out their stance on abortion. Then, he should ex-communicate every last one of them for not following the guidance in Catholics in Political Life. This should include priests and other Church employees and volunteers, along with parishoners. As the pews, pulpits, charity offices, and collection plates empty, he should feel very very proud at the undeniable good he has done.

  • Bcamp55

    I am trying to figure which to be more asinine, Obozzo attending or ND extending the invitation in the first place.Obummer – instead of taking time to extend your celebrity tour, why not focus on what some consider being mildly serious problems affecting the citizenry of the country. Need a list Obogus, you imbecile?Instead Obysmal – you focus on Leno and Notre Dame. Exactly how stupid are these people who keep hanging on the hope that Obomination actually has more than 2 brain cells rolling around in his head?

  • intercal2000

    In light of the many ridiculous responses condoning Barack Obomabort speaking at Notre Dame, I didn’t realize that Notre Dame produced so many mascots. With the University’s philosophy grounded in moral relativism, the fact that most students and alumni no longer practice their religion makes it quite apparent that sending your children to this university for the purpose of them receiving a Catholic education is a waste of both good money and bad faith.

  • kamorgan79

    I ask those who call for the ex-communication of those who voted for Obama…shouldn’t YOU be excommunicated if you voted for Bush the last 2 times around? And who SHOULD good Catholics have voted for? McCain? What an absolute laugh. I pity the kind of religious idiots who can’t think for themselves and are this narrow-minded. No I do not mean that to apply to all believers, just the assinine type who predominate here.

  • kamorgan79

    And to Intercal- don’t be an idiot- you don’t have to be a Catholic to go to ND. I knew MANY who weren’t. Nor was I practicing. But I found something about the religious tie to bring a different element to the campus and the education I received. So if the school can confer a real degree on me, and many students like me, what the hell is the difference? You all need to get off your soapboxes.

  • kamorgan79

    and Bcamp55- also an ignorant comment. Don’t pretty much ALL presidents take time out to speak to a few graduating classes? Your precious Bush certainly did, 2 hours of my life I would have liked to get back

  • CCNL

    Some of the consequences of adultery and fornication i.e. Mother Nature also has her set of sins:from the CDC-2006″Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain STDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of STDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs associated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars.”

  • kamorgan79

    CCNL, so you’re saying Mother Nature punishes sexual activity outside of marriage with disease? If that’s the case, then Mother Nature is pretty mean, because she’s the one who has given humans the biological drive to have sex, regardless of marriage, and for men with as many partners as possible. Kind of a bs argument. That is not to say that STD’s aren’t a huge problem, but the religious extremists contribute to that problem with their advocacy of abstinence-only education rather than comprehensive sexual education. To call it “punishment” for sexual activity outside of marriage is plain ignorant. But that’s a whole other ball of wax.

  • strictly_liberal

    Ask the Bishop how many boys he’s fu_ked up the a_s during his time in the Catholic church.

  • prita46

    I would put absolutely no creditability in anything Father Reese had to say. He is well known for his heterodox teachings. Why he would be allowed a platform on any Catholic Church topic is beyond understanding. If Father said “black” my first reaction would be that is probably a lie–it must be “white”.

  • CCNL

    kamorgan7,As noted, there are consequences for our actions. If you cannot control your sex drive, masturbation is the sanitary/STD-free option given to you graciously by Mother Nature. And where did you come up with the idea that men are biologically driven to have females-at-the-males’-sexual- Sounds a bit Islamic??

  • DoTheRightThing

    Reese wrote, “In his personal life, Obama has never acted in defiance of the fundamental moral principle that abortion is wrong.” However, Obama has championed and signed legislation to enable expansion of U.S. funds going abroad to free up funds for abortion. Reese wrote, “Publicly, Obama has never spoken out against the fundamental moral principle that abortion is wrong.” However, neither has he spoken FOR that principle. And, he doesn’t have a problem with partial-birth abortions, either. Rees Wrote, “Obama supports legal restrictions on third trimester abortions with a health-of-the-mother exemption.

  • kamorgan79

    CCNL you are making it abundantly clear you have no idea what you’re talking about- for one thing, masturbation is also considered a “sin” For another, you are missing my point- that biology drives us to want sex, and your argument that STD’s are “punishment” to succoming to that drive is frightening at best. It makes no sense to propose that nature has a built in “punishment” for non-marital sex in STDs when nature is what drives us – and particularly the male biological drive to have sex with multiple partners. Why would nature come up with a punishment for that? You simply twisted what I said to fit your purposes. It disgusts me that the church takes what is a beautiful, natural act and makes rules we must follow to honor “god” through sex. Messed up. And how is masturbation in any way a substitute for sex? I can only assume you’ve never had good sex in your life if you can honstly make that argument!!! Sex is a natural part of intimate relationships, married or otherwise. All of this is beside the point! The point here is that ND is doing a smart, perhaps courageous thing in bringing the leader of our country in to speak to the graduating class even though it strongly opposes him on one sore subject. This encourages students in the future to engage in intelligent debate on tough subjects, to critically analyze their own beliefs (an important reminder to have as they enter into the adult world), and not just bury their heads in their bibles (or the opposite for critics). Inviting Obama was not putting prestige over principle- it is accepting that a President must act in the best interests of his people (including supporting a woman’s choice to something he may find personally repugnant), and recognizing the vast amounts of good he has promised to do for them.

  • Loyolalaw98

    Jesuit casuistry is alive and well in America in 2009. Fr. Reese has “resurrected” (no pun intended) a variety of schewed moral logic that many thought dead. It seems obvious that many of the supportive comments he has received here are written by well-meaning and sincere individuals who nonetheless have no knowledge of what “Roman Catholic” means, or is supposed to mean.The notion that a Roman Catholic priest of prominence, a member of a religious order founded on the principle of obedience to the Papacy!, can in a public forum engage in these moral “gymnastics” clearly points to the decrepit exercise of authority in the Roman Catholic Church.To the extent that we “adopt” his moral logic to cloak gross immorality, that we embrace this brazen casuistry, we will suffer the same fate as those of the ancien regime who made the same mistake two hundred plus years ago.

  • kamorgan79

    Do the staunch Catholics reading and posting here realize how weak they make themselves look by objecting so strenuously to this? Do you really mean that only perfect Catholics should ever be allowed to speak at an ND graduation, no matter what else that person has done to make him/herself “worthy?” Don’t be so pompous! The point is- an institution of higher learning CANNOT be worth anything if it wants to act so narrowly!!!!!!!!! Who cares ND, you have PLENTY of supporters behind this decision!

  • Loyolalaw98

    KAMORGAN79,An institution of higher learning has worth if it strives to impart the truth. In a Catholic university that should be truth with a capital “T.” That Truth, the real truth, is true irregardless of how many people support or do not support a decision.I would agree that in the public sphere, in what happens at state institutions, with public money, the will of the majority should be expressed.Notre Dame is not such an institution. It purports to “pursue its objectives through the formation of an authentic human community graced by the Spirit of Christ.” (taken from their website)Fr. Reese is peddling a notion of some type of hybrid institution that can serve both “God and mammon.” Persons far above his pay grade spoke of the fallacy of such arguments millenia ago.

  • kamorgan79

    sure Loyolalaw- but guess how you get to truth, or “Truth” (if that is in any way possible)? Through DISCOURSE! Sure, you religious folks out there think you already know the “Truth”- but that is simply arrogant- believing a human mind could actually comprehend a “god” is just another example of human arrogance. At any rate, how having the President speak interferes with the quest for truth baffles me. Furthermore, a University worth its salt doesn’t “impart truth” or however you want to put it. It teaches students how to think critically for themselves and understand the world around them. It certainly should NOT seek to brainwash them but rather give them the means to come to the “right” conclusion themselves. Total bull for anyone, Catholic or otherwise, to fear outside opinions the way you seem to.

  • kamorgan79

    and you are disgracing your law school with the use of “irregardless” – come on now.

  • kamorgan79

    Dottydo, all I can say is “huh?” was there a coherent thought in there? Maybe i’ve been on this post too long but I read it multiple times and still can’t figure out if you have an actual point

  • mbc7

    As usual, about half the comments preach hate. It is sad the Washington Post won’t impose some standards. As for Notre Dame, why can’t they offer some support for the pro-life program. After the President’s recent policy changes, it seems premature to invite him to address the graduates. Why not wait and see if he can moderate his views. Notre Dame would certainly have a better argument if they invited a man who opposed some abortions and supported choice under other circumstances. Doesn’t the US have one of the most liberal abortion on demand laws in the world? Is this right? For the few folks who politely asked if Catholic Universities should enable discussion of complex issues, would they have held the same position on civil rights in the 1960’s? Should George Wallace (the Governor,not the comedian) been asked to explain the Southern point of view on segregation?

  • mmm1110

    Notre Dame is well within its rights to invite Obama. The university can invite whomever it chooses. There is no story here.

  • kamorgan79

    MBC- just to address the tail end of what you said- I think the difference is that no one is expecting Obama to talk about abortion in this address. I know one can argue its a hard line to draw if you’re going to accept some speakers who hold contrary views and reject others, but I think you could distinguish your George Wallace example- certainly you wouldn’t want to bring in someone who most of the student body would find repugnant and who propounds hate. I can see how the pro-life side would try to analogize that to a stance against “fetuses” but to me its just not that simple. I suppose I would ask- would there be this much opposition to bringing in a leader in another religion- someone like the Dalai Lama for instance (I know, I know, that’s a stretch, but just as an example- I can’t imagine anyone objecting to such a fascinating person speaking, even though clearly not Christian). My point is that the objection is not so much Obama’s failures to espouse Catholic values and beliefs as it is his stance on one particular issue. Why oh why do I keep getting sucked back into this!!

  • irishgirl

    Thank you,Fr. Reese for your intelligent discussion. I am a proud alum of ND (class of 77) and support the university in their decision to invite the President of our country to the graduation.

  • Sanabitur

    You should not give a forum to reprobates

  • CCNL

    kamorgan79,My monogamous sex-life is just fine. Yours on the other hand apparently is filled with potential serious consequences not only for your self but for your many sex-only “objects”. Back on the topic:Once again, And the President of Notre Dame’s welcoming statement should read:WELCOME NEW LEADER OF THE IMMORAL MAJORITY. AS YOU KNOW, YOU BECAME PRESIDENT BECAUSE OF THE VOTES OF 70 MILLION “PARENTS” OF ABORTED CHILDREN!!!!

  • postpost3

    There seems to be quite a bit of hypocrisy on the part of conservative anti-abortion Catholics. How many American politicians, Republican or Democrat, actually espouse the absolutely no abortion position of the Catholic church — no abortion in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother? Quite the contrary, right wing Catholics are quite willing to support Republican politicians who say abortion is acceptable under certain conditions. So right-wing anti-abortion Catholics do support politicians who allow abortion — do the anti-abortion bishops make a big deal out of this? McCain supported the right to abortion in the case of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother. So do many Republicans. If you really believe abortion is killing and cannot be permitted, you are not going to find few if any politician that pure. Cut out the hypocrisy. And if right wing anti-abortion Ctaholics accept abortion for x reasons, where do they draw the line?

  • katavo

    Thanks to the Catholic “my way or the highway” attitude, more and more Americans are choosing the highway.Good for you! Remember now, you must not engage in reasonable discussion with those who do not agree with you. You must not accept their differing opinion as meaning anything other than an atheistic desire to force you to give up your gods … god … whatever, to force you to have sex with animals and to marry your brother.And hello from the highway.

  • Sanabitur

    CCNL is an early bird. With all respect, See “Folie imposée .”Didn’t you get suspicious when you found out Santa Claus was a hoax?I bet you think that you think Mormon beliefs are preposterous…with their gold books falling out of the NY sky…and you need a decoder ring..

  • TomfromNJ1

    I agree that he should speak. I also agree that there is a certain hypocrisy here because these bishops always seem to apply their condemnations to Democrats and seem to neglect the fact that there are 10 commandments and we must keep all of them. Back in the 50’s there were bishops saying Catholics should not vote for Stevenson because he was divorced (and not remarried I hasten to add) but then when the Republicans had Ford (never elected) and Reagan, you never heard a word. Now it is abortion, what will be next? Why are these people so tied into one party? There is more than meets the eye here. What is really behind this? Secondly, to CCNL, your math leaves a lot to be desired. You make a lot of assumptions. For example, you assume that even if the number of abortions is correct, that nobody had more than one (you assume 2 different parents for each). You further assume that all of these people involved are eligible to vote (perhaps true, but highly unlikely – some are probably not old enough, some not citizens, some convicted felons, etc.), and then you assume that even if eligible, they are registered (statistically VERY unlikely) and even if they are registered, that they actually vote (again, very unlikely). SO with all the room for error, I have the same question. Why would you have to misuse math to exaggerate your point? If you had a good argument, it should stand by itself.I do not favor abortion, but I voted for Obama (my first choice would have been HRC) because after what the Republicans did for 8 years, there was no way I could see putting them in for any more time – I love my country too much to give them any more time. I know the previous pope begged GWB not to go into a war in Iraq. Where were the bishops condemning schools that invited Bush to speak? What would a God who tells us to make swords into plowshares have to say about opposing gun control? That same pope condemned laissez-faire capitalism when he condemned Communism but I do not hear anyone mentioning that. I know many people who are strongly oppose abortion. But that does not mean they are able to run the country. God himself did not pick saints as leaders. We need look no further than King David. If we had a leader with the wisdom of Solomon, he would get my vote even if I did not agree with 100% of his views.

  • Rynne1

    Father Reese strains – – ridiculously – – to define “act” as narrowly as possible. He would exclude the numerous and undeniable actions Obama has taken to promote and expand legalized abortion in the United States, and across the world, including advocating legislation permitting doctors to kill those poor babies who actually survive an abortion. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if the speaker in question was a promoter of legalized slavery, Father Reese would not lift a finger to defend his or her right to speak, and would undoubtedly condemn any decision allowing them a forum to speak anywhere.

  • kamorgan79

    Rynne please, I think most people are smartt enough to realize abortion and slavery are very different issues and these comparisons are ludricrous. Why do anti-abortionists tend to sensationalize, while also ignoring larger issues and implications, ie, all these poor aborted “babies” – had the mothers been forced to carry to term, what do you propose to do with them? Particularly in poor countries where they are just as likely to starve to death? It must be so easy to have the line shine to brightly to you

  • MikeL4

    In his public life, President Obama has violated the principal of respecting life. He has signed executive orders that has authorized federal funding that will fund the killing of unborn children overseas. He has signed exectuive orders authorizing the expansion of embryonic stem cell research that will allow for the killing of developing human beings to extract their stem cells for scientific experimentation.

  • kamorgan79

    You can choose to believe that Rynne. I do not. I do not consider a little bundle of cells to be human. And I actually care about the right of a woman to not be violated by an unwanted pregnancy, to not be forced by the government to be a little baby factory, unlike the anti-abortion extremists. Do I LIKE the idea of abortion? No, of course not. Ideally, unwanted pregnancies would never happen (and maybe would be less common if there was appropriate access to and education regarding effective contraceptives. But that will never be the case- accidents will happen, people will go unable to afford birth control, etc, and then what? The woman should suffer the consequences in your opinion I guess. If someone ever told me I HAD to undergo a pregnancy I did not want, for whatever reason, you can bet that wouldn’t be a pretty scene. Comparing a woman’s right to control her body to the atrocities of slavery in any of its forms is ridiculous. Apples and bicyles (meaning- not even in the same general category)

  • getsix1

    i say live the way you want let god sort them out the old saying goes you will get whats coming to you in the end

  • usapdx

    IF a catholic, do you KNOW all the TEACHINGS of the CATHOLIC CHURCH and AGREE 100% with them? What whould you do as a PARENT of the case in BRAZIL of the NINE YEAR OLD GIRL of EIGHTY POUNDS PREGNANT with TWINS by her step father? You better read ” Acts of the Apostolic See” vol.80 (1988,1888)and Canon 1323. Please note that Canon 1323 was not written by a PARENT. P.S. When does a STEM CELL receive a SOUL?

  • Rynne1

    Honorary degrees should be given for what is honorable. They should testify to what is honorable. They should be in a context of knowing what is honorable and what is not. By giving an honorary degree a university, whether it knows it or not, teaches us what it stands for. By accepting a degree, the recipient tells us what he stands for. Honor is a subtle thing, much more subtle than monetary rewards, as Aristotle also saw. It intends to emphasize the good, true, and beautiful in a particular way, in the way that such institutions can point to the importance of these realities and their understanding of them. The universities in the Catholic tradition are not designed to confuse us about what the truth as that truth is enlightened by reasoning and revelation. The world is full of folks who do not hold these positions. This is why the Church, as the new Pope has said, the Church is by its nature missionary. What cannot be honored are views that clearly undermine what the Church holds to be valid. Why a school would choose someone who takes a position contrary to the Church’s views, or why someone would want to be called Catholic or be honored who takes a contrary view, are rather curious issues. One possibility is that the school or the honoree thinks that the Church is wrong. The other possibility is that there is a deep-seated reluctance to cut one’s ties with the Church on the suspicion that such an act would be a final break with a tradition that claims to be true. In either case, the question of “who is honored at commencements?” is no neutral consideration. It does reveal, in a rather obvious way, just what a school thinks it is about and just what the one honored stands for in the light of the attention focused on him by the honor. One might phrase the issue this way: “Tell me what you honor and I will tell you what you are.” What we see worked out at university graduations, more than we might at first suspect, is a particular answer to this question. If in this context, the Church has its own response to such particular questions, it is in fact doing little more than proclaiming what it is, a source of truth that it too must uphold because it is true. James V. Schall, S.J.

  • kamorgan79

    If honorary degrees should be given for what is “honorable” then should they be revoked when they holder proves himself dishonorable? In that case, ND should hasten to revoke G.W.’s honorary degree. And then he should be beaten over the head with it in case that might rub some honor off on him. How could anyone ever speak at ND’s graduation and receive an honorary degree if they must hold all Catholic beliefs to do so???I just cannot believe the naivete

  • carylindsay1443

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”–GandhiThe United States is the world’s biggest producer and SELLER of military weapons…either by our own use or use by other nations we therefore contribute every day to the murder and death of humans…and now there are those who want to question our president speaking at a university!!!!!!!!!!!!!”The silence spreads. I talk and must talk. So I speak to him and say to him: Comrade, I did not want to kill you. If you jumped in here again, I would not do it. If your would be sensible too. But you were an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. It was that abstraction I stabbed. But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenade, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the samy dying and the same agony–forgive me, comrade, how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother, just like Kat and Albert. Take twenty years of my life, comrade, and stand up—take more, for I do not know what I can even attempt to do with it now.”—Paul Baumer(All Quiet on the Western Front.)

  • CCNL

    Once again,(with some numbers)And the popular vote was? 69,456,897 votes for BOi.e. BO only needed 9,522,083 votes from this rapidly growing demographic of “parents” of aborted children.Even correcting the estimated members of the now Immoral Majority of 70 million for multiple abortions, deaths of “parents” and adjustments for age, there are still more of these “parents” than there are registered Democrats or Republicans.”Nationwide, there are about 42 million registered Democrats and about 31 million Republicans, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.”BO’s campaign managers recognized this early on. Mr. Axelrod, one of these managers is now on the White House staff.

  • Alex511

    fr rob-roy:>…I am quite sure that they could get an awesome speakerThey already do, the President of the United States, Barack Obama! Your little tantrum against the leader of the free world is very tired and goes to show that you seem to have some issues of jealousy.

  • kamorgan79

    Thanks for the additional gibberish CCNL. Spouting off random numbers that make no sense just make you sound insane. Are you seriously arguing that liberals/democrats are the “immoral?” You have your head stuck in the sand.

  • Athena4

    Actually, CCNL, you’d be surprised at how many daughters of good Republicans are getting abortions. Ones that were protesting the very same clinics where they were sneaking their daughters in via the back door.

  • kamorgan79

    of course not Athena- republicans would NEVER do anything “immoral”- it HAS to be heathen liberal democrats! :) Don’t be so silly, things are always clearly black and white hehe.CCNL, you are just making yourself sound crazier and crazier, you should quit before you’ve dug yourself into a hole you could never manage to escape

  • kamorgan79

    And as for your link- I’ve only had about 2 minutes to flip through but it only goes to 2002…I’d be curious to see what happened during the Bush years. My guess would be the rates shot up with the “abstinence only” education policies GW loved so much

  • atmanman

    Sanabitur, funny you should mention Mormon’s in discussing CCNL..Isn’t he like the

  • CCNL

    Who said there were no Republicans in the Immoral Majority? Based on the estimated number of “parents” of aborted children i.e. 70 million vs. the number of registered Democrats i.e. 42 million, there a large number of Republicans in the Immoral Majority. For added CDC abortion statistics during the Bush presidency (up to 2004), see I believe the CDC no longer collects said data. With the morning after pills being available OTC and RU486 being available without prescription via the Internet, said statistics will no longer be accurate anyway. And yes some say use of the morning after pill is not abortion. Well that gets into the biology of conception timing which is a tough call.

  • CCNL

    Atmanman, Atmanman, Atmanman,How goes the contract with Yale?? Hopefully you will cancel it since your conclusions about there being no Easter is “old hat” as the “simple preacher man” has been thoroughly “dissected” for the last 200 years. Time now to “dissect” Mohammed. The Mormons might support you in such an endeavor. e.g.

  • Sanabitur

    CCNL might find Islam an improvement. Same stories he likes, but dictated directly my Allah,

  • JG77

    Reese throws in the term Canon Law in two different spots. I have studied Canon Law and see no reason for his bringing it up as he did. What part of Canon Law is Reese referring to? Does he know what he is talking about? Because if he does not, is this not just another proof that Notre Dame is worse off than us Catholics think; when even a priest can’t use Church teaching or Law to back his statement but rather merely throws terms around to sound impressive. Reese went on to say, “If Catholic universities are afraid to have people on campus who challenge our views, then we are not training students to listen and think critically. We are admitting that our arguments are not convincing.” It is not fear of having views challenged, for that has happened since the founding of the Church and it will continue till the end of all things – no, what is getting people worked up is the fact that a University that calls itself Catholic is honoring someone for their leadership and for their role as the leader of our country – a leader who supports the killing of innocent unborn children, children who are citizens that should be receiving the right to life that you and I have. A president who allows a specific group of the people under his care be killed legally is not someone who should be honored for their service, unless he is getting some type of award that associates himself with people like Hitler.And for Reese, what about this part of Canon Law “Can. 810 §1. The authority competent according to the statutes has the duty to make provision so that teachers are appointed in Catholic universities who besides their scientific and pedagogical qualifications are outstanding in integrity of doctrine and probity of life and that they are removed from their function when they lack these requirements; the manner of proceeding defined in the statutes is to be observed.” So Reese, if I interpret this strictly as you said Law should be, then there are teachers in Notre Dame that should be removed for letting a pro-abortionist leader be honored for his observance of the law and for his leadership and for the fact that that action proves that some people at that University are not holding to the integrity of Catholic doctrine.

  • usapdx

    CCNL of 9/26…. PLEASE NOTE NEW YORK TIMES of 9/8,2009 ” VATICAN BACKS EXCOMMUNICATIONS STEMMING FROM AN ABORTION” by AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE. THIS IS THE CASE OF THE NINE YEAR OLD EIGHTY POUND GIRL PREGNANT WITH TWINS AFTER BEING RAPED BY HER STEP FATHER. ALSO READ ” ACTS OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE” vol.80 (1988 & 1818) AND CANON 1323. SOME OF THESE CANONS NEED TO BE UPDATED WITH PARENTS IN PUT TOO.

  • ekim53

    Outrageous to give this non defender of those that can’t defend themselves an honorary degree. Outrageous!

  • kamorgan79

    so CCNL, are you arguing that pro-choice republicans voted for Obama, and if so it was only because he is pro-choice? Have you put any thought AT ALL into what you are saying?

  • kamorgan79

    and your comments about the morning-after pill prove you actually have no idea what you’re talking about anyway. I don’t know why I let the ignorant bother me so much.From the Observer for anyone who actually cares what the graduating seniors seem to think

  • broger8

    I concede that Notre Dame may not be honoring the President specifically for his actions regarding life issues. However, to say that Obama has not acted in defiance of Catholic moral principles regarding the sanctity of life is a lie.Obama’s voting record over his entire career as a politician has received a 100% rating from NARAL. In his short time as President, he has allowed federal funds to be channeled to family planning organizations that perform abortions and scientific research that involves the destruction of human embryos. If everyone could make the distinction between his actions against human life and his office, the Obama invitation might not be a problem. It is scandalous precisely because people may be tempted, like Fr. Reese, to turn a blind eye to Obama’s crimes against humanity.

  • timplamondon

    I contend that honoring President Obama with an honorary law degree at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony and inviting presidential candidate Obama to speak at a memorial dinner to “honor” Al Smith are distinguishable. The difference between Notre Dame honoring President Obama with an honorary law degree and presidential candidate Obama speaking at the Al Smith dinner is that, at the former, he is being honored or awarded something; whereas, at the latter, he was merely a speaker honoring Al Smith. There is no hypocrisy in arguing against honoring President Obama b/c at the former, he is the honoree and, at the latter, he was an honorer. Notre Dame ought not honor President Obama b/c he is a man who through his office as President of the United States acquiesces abortion by allowing U.S. taxpayer’s money to fund global abortion mills. Also, honoring President Obama does suggest that Notre Dame supports his blind consent to funding global abortion mills. Notre Dame honoring President Obama at its May 17th commencement ceremony will be like the apostles honoring a Pharisee at the last supper.

  • My_Two_Cents

    Notre Dame ceased being a Catholic university in 1967, when they penned and signed the Land O’Lakes Agreement.Now, Catholics are outraged because they’ve been giving money to Notre Dame thinking it was a “Catholic” institution. What dolts!