L’Osservatore Romano finally reports on objections of US bishops re: Notre Dame

From CNA.  I haven’t seen the Italian yet.

Vatican newspaper finally reports on U.S. bishops’ criticism of Obama, Notre Dame

Vatican City, May 22, 2009 / 03:30 pm (CNA).- The Vatican daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, which has faced criticism from many pro-life U.S. Catholics for its positive assessment of Barack Obama’s presidency, finally reported today on the objection of U.S. bishops to both Obama’s pro-abortion record as well as to Notre Dame’s decision to invite him to its commencement speech.

In the article titled "U.S. Bishops and ethical questions," L’Osservatore quotes the strongly-worded statement from the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput which comments on Father John Jenkins’ commencement speech that justified his decision to invite the President of the U.S. to Notre Dame.

The Vatican newspaper does not mention that Chaput’s words were addressed to Fr. Jenkins, but quotes the Denver Archbishop saying that "the most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist – by their words, actions and financial support – that institutions claiming to be ‘Catholic’ actually live the faith with courage and consistency."

L’ Osservatore then explains that Archbishop Chaput "criticized the decision of the University of Notre Dame to honor someone who has demonstrated the willingness" to uphold Roe v. Wade.

"Other U.S. bishops recently," the Vatican newspaper continues, "have recalled the non-negotiable terms in which (Catholics) must confront ethical issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research and the right to conscientious objection of health workers."

L’Osservatore still seemed to defend Obama by saying that the President promised during the commencement speech at Notre Dame that "such a right must be defended," but concluded with the article quoting the Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Robert W. Finn, saying that "Obama has closed any door to dialogue, affirming that he will not change his position on abortion."

I am very please that His Excellency Bishop Robert Finn was quoted in the final, memorable, position.

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36 Responses to L’Osservatore Romano finally reports on objections of US bishops re: Notre Dame

  1. John6:54 says:

    In sports they call this a “make up call”

  2. Mark says:

    As with the first one, I reserve any judgment until I can see the original Italian.

  3. David says:

    The damage was already done.

  4. Thomas Gillespie says:

    More balance here, but still disgraceful earlier “reporting” – L’OR had to be dragged to this point.

  5. Herbert says:

    Yes that is absolutely true. The damage has been done. If the President of Notre Dame dreams of a dialogue with Obama, then he is really dreaming. Obama has closed any room for dialogue as mentioned by Bishop Finn. The scandal has been done. How many thousands of simple folks, Catholics and others whose consciences are weak has been misled and given the wrong signals. Should charity impel the president of that University to have considered the implications of this so called dialogue to the innocent and simple people whose consciences are weak and can be offended and be misled to do what is wrong? Even if we think we are honest and open for dialogue, we must consider those who may not be ready for dialogue and who may be offended and in the process loose the faith. As an ordinary Catholic all I can do is weep and be terribly sad about this scandal. I do not know why until now the Religious order to which the university president belong has not expressed anything to discipline the erring persons. Should religious superiors now use their powers to command obedience? Or should they be timid and be afraid? Now in this grave scandal all I can picture in my mind is Jesus hanging on the Cross, Mary weeping, and the terrible passion our Lord underwent just to buy our redemption. How sad that religious leaders and Catholic academics have to crucify our Lord once again. How do we imagine the countless innocent babies killed by abortion because some women have abandoned their calling and insisted on their “Rights”. Is this insistence on “Rights” a form of sinful pride which cause the fall of Humanity in Eden? Is this a form of defiance against the authority of the Almighty Creator?

  6. EDG says:

    Definitely a step in the right direction – and I wonder who had to give somebody a kick in the pants to make that step possible?

    But if “the Vatican” is serious about trying to play the media game, they have to realize that the only thing people remember is the first statement, however erroneous it may be. We’ve got to make sure the first statement is a good statement. No “nuances.”

  7. Ricky Vines says:

    Better late than never. (But better never late.)

    Re: “Definitely a step in the right direction – and I wonder who had to give somebody a kick in the pants to make that step possible?”

    Maybe they saw our posts.

  8. Hidden One says:

    The about face has not yet completed its proper course… but it has begun, and for that I am glad.

    We should all spare L’OR some more prayers.

  9. Boko says:

    “‘demonstrated the willingness’ to uphold Roe v Wade”

    Well, that’s one way of putting it, but I don’t think it quite captures the passion of the Obamessiah. Which is, of course, the point.

  10. Mark VA says:

    “L’Osservatore still seemed to defend Obama by saying that the President promised during the commencement speech at Notre Dame that “such a right must be defended”…”

    Perhaps some of the writers at L’Osservatore Romano should recall Pope John Paul II ways of dealing with socialism, especially his skillful use of its language to make a winning counter argument. In this context, L’Osservatore’s good faith use of the word “promised” is so pitifully naive.

    It’s about time we start learning how to use the language of socialism to make our case. What shall we say about an unborn human being who embodies the audacity to hope that he’ll be allowed to be born? How about permitting the targeted unborn to enter the common ground of our dialog, to plead the case for their lives, against the wishes of their mothers? Why not view the civil rights movement as a living and evolving process, and apply to it the proposition that the unborn are truly human, and the mere stage of their development is incidental to their humanity? Why not argue that “irreconcilable differences” are only signs of things imperfectly understood, but Truth, when grasped, liberates both sides from their deadlock?

  11. I will never get tired of saying this: God Bless His Excellency, Bishop Finn. He is a good and worthy shepherd.

  12. Michael says:

    Tho’ the enthusiastic response of the largely Catholic assembly would suggest that the bishops’ credibility with the faithful is slipping which may be attributable to the failure of the bishops to handle the sexual abuse crisis effectively. Bernard Law, the poster child of episcopal malfeasance, was rewarded with a prestigious position in Rome; yet now bishops such as Finn and Burke wonder why no one pays attention to their ideas on Notre Dame. We need to address the reasons why the faithful pays little heed to their leadership.

  13. I thoroughly enjoy reading about the Vatican. It is like watching the movie PATTON where, during the Italian campaign, an Italian muleteer’s mule would not move on a bridge, thus holding up a military column. While the Italiani argued how to get the mule to move, Patton arrived, ordered the mule shot and thrown off the bridge. The same appplies when the Pope goes to the Middle East, speaks at Regensburg, involves himself in the condom debate or says Mass in Israel. Basta! It is long overdue for the Vatican to move to Switzerland where people pride themselves on being precise.

  14. Fr. Andrew Moore says:

    A make-up story indeed… but the rapidity with which it appeared makes me think that maybe someone was afraid he was about to lose his job.

  15. PNP, OP says:

    This just in from Human Events: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31970

    The “reduce the number of abortion” lie is uncovered.

    Fr. Philip, OP

  16. PNP, OP says:

    Mr. Phelan, while in seminary I heard some of my less-than-orthodox profs give thanks to the goddess that the Vatican is located in Rome, Italy. Why? “Can you imagine the damage they could do if they were in German or Switzerland?”

    Fr. Philip, OP

  17. Central Valley says:

    Thanks be to God for men like Finn and Burke. Notice in the article there is not one quote from and California bishop. No quote because all of the California bishops were silent, not one public statement that I am aware of.Better to be in with Finn and up with Burke, as this is the direction of the Church. The Mahony’s, Brown’s and Steinbocks, all 70′s remnants, will soon retire and maybe once again California will be as catholic as it once was. Fr. Serra, pray for us.

  18. Michael says:

    Is the original text of L’O.R. available in Enlish ?

  19. It’s about time…and it is way TOO late.

    I’m not one to quickly grab torches and a pitchfork, but I hope some heads should roll at L’OR over this.

  20. gb says:

    Its hard enough to stand up for Life in this country without
    hearing “See, even the Pope’s newspaper doesnt’ think O is so bad”
    Could we have a little HELP HERE???

  21. TJM says:

    Perhaps the reflexive anti-Ameicanism of many in the Vatican now extends to the religious sphere as well. You see, the American bishops are American citizens whereas the “One” is a “citizen of the world.” So prejudice trumps religious belief. How nice. Tom

  22. Rome says:

    Good American journalist are putting some pressure on Vatican press. This is great news, because they will think twice the next time:

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily/losservatore_editor_defends/

  23. Archivist says:

    Good to see them covering what the bishops said, but it’s a mystery why this wasn’t done earlier.

    Slightly OT, but some of your readers may be interested in a new blog intended to respond to Ruth Gledhill’s frequently inaccurate coverage (esp. of Catholic affairs) in The Times:

    http://ruthgledhillmonitor.blogspot.com/

    (The misreporting of Archbishop Nichols’ comments on the Irish abuse scandal was the final straw.)

  24. LCB says:

    I suspect that this is one of the downsides of having a national episcopal conference. When 70+ Bishops rise up and speak as one, denouncing manifest evil, it isn’t considered news or authoritative “Because the conference hasn’t taken a vote on the matter.”

    It remains incumbent upon the USCCB to act and speak with one voice on this matter.

  25. MichaelJ says:

    Michael,

    Perhaps the faithful find it difficult to trust their Bishops about this is because the headline on the USCCB’s site reads as follows: “Cardinal George Praises President Obama’s Promise to Support Conscience Clauses, Seeks to Work with Administration on Goal”.

    Or maybe it is because there are about 430 Bishops listed on the USCCB site (http://www.usccb.org/dioceses.shtml) and about 70 of then spoke out. So 1/6th object.

  26. mpm says:

    Does this perceived “soft line” on the president given in L’Osservatore Romano emanate from Secretary of State officials who, perhaps, want to see Obama visit the Pope in July? (NCRegister)

    “Any talk about a supposedly soft line in the Vatican newspaper is only a reconstruction by those who have an interest in dividing Catholics, those who imagine the Holy See is opposed to American bishops. Our task is to inform and form opinions.” (Vian)

    I don’t “imagine” anything. I know what the Church teaches about unity and communion, and I know what is going on here in the US re abortion. Has Mr. Vian not read what he is supposed to have written? I think this is another case of “Christopher West”: good intentions, not so good execution, in this case from little actual appreciation for the facts.

    For example, is it a “hard line” to ignore the fact that there was a USCCB “policy statement” already written, published, and accessible to Notre Dame, and to talk about those bishops who called for its being adhered to, “some bishops”? Where does he get his information from, the National Catholic Reporter or America Magazine?

    “Vatican newspaper”, “Holy See”, what about the “Roman Pontiff” and what he had to say in April, 2008?

  27. TNCath says:

    Better late than never. While this will not likely be a “heads will roll” moment, perhaps L’Osservatore Romano will be a bit more “observant” the next time. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, I found Cardinal George’s reaction to the Obama speech to be rather nuanced:

    http://www.zenit.org/article-25975?l=english

  28. mpm says:

    TNCath,

    Thanks for the reference. I think I understand what you mean by nuance here.
    Cardinal George added: “A government that wants to reduce the tragic number of abortions in our society will also work to ensure that no one is forced to support or participate in abortion, whether through directly providing or referring for abortions or being forced to subsidize them with their tax dollars.”

    Meanwhile, back in Congressional testimony, Secratary of State H.R. Clinton told
    Congress that a) we won the elections; b) elections have consequences; c) one
    of the latter is our definition of “health care” to include b/c and abortion as
    part of women’s reproductive services.

    We are merely in the first games of the first set of a 5-set match.

  29. Matthew W. I. Dunn says:

    Notice how the “heteropraxic” Bishop Chaput essentially abdicates his authority as a bishop:

    “[T]he most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist–by their words, actions and financial support–that institutions claiming to be ‘Catholic’ actually live the faith with courage and consistency.”

    So, now the laity have jursidiction in deciding whether an institution can call itself “Catholic”? What does the Code of Canon Law and the apostolic constitution, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, say about who has the authority to determine such matters . . . and, consequently, the blame if he is lax?

    And, what happens when laity approach a bishop saying that an institution has forfeited its position as a “Catholic” institution, properly so called? More “balloon juice” from our shepherds?

    And, by the way, Bishop Chaput:

    Weren’t the “Vagina Monologues” presented at Denver’s Regis University?

    Does Regis have a gay/lesbian/transgendered club?

    Do you require those who teach Theology and Sacred Scripture in Regis’ Religious Studies Department to have the mandatum?

    He gives nice talks . . . but, what does he do?

  30. Supertradmom says:

    I understand that this newspaper is technically not the official voice of the Pope, and runs like a secular newspaper under Italian employment laws, which make it very hard to fire anyone. After all the damage down and confusion spread among Catholics and non-Catholics alike over the Obama articles, I think some changes need to happen at L’Osservatore Romano. I also understand from a person who used to work there that some of those on staff do not agree with the Church’s teaching on birth-control, for example. I wonder how deep is the rot.

  31. Karen says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the people at the Vatican are stone cold deaf. We SCREAMED for years about the priest abuse stuff, and they reacted like “it’s an American only problem, so who cares if they get justice.” I second what Tom said. Their reflexive anti-Americanism trumps doctrine. Meanwhile WHERE IS JENKINS being disciplined. A slap on the hand from the local bishop. Strong words mean NOTHING to “these people.” Why does Jenkins still have faculties? Why has his order done NOTHING? The flock is being lead by too many wolves or gutless wonders.

  32. Karen says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the people at the Vatican are stone cold deaf. We SCREAMED for years about the priest abuse stuff, and they reacted like \”it\’s an American only problem, so who cares if they get justice.\” I second what Tom said. Their reflexive anti-Americanism trumps doctrine. Meanwhile WHERE IS JENKINS being disciplined. A slap on the hand from the local bishop. Strong words mean NOTHING to \”these people.\” Why does Jenkins still have faculties? Why has his order done NOTHING? The flock is being lead by too many wolves or gutless wonders.

  33. Fr. Andrew Moore says:

    Isn’t LOR published in the Vatican? If so, it wouldn’t be accountable to Italian labor laws with regard to firing employees.

  34. Gail F says:

    I hope that this is a mistranslation and that \”demonstrated the willingness\” to uphold Roe vs. Wade should really be \”demostrated his determination\” to uphold Roe vs. Wade.

  35. quiet beginning says:

    William H. Phelan wrote:

    “The same applies when the Pope goes to the Middle East, speaks at Regensburg, involves himself in the condom debate or says Mass in Israel.”

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger:

    “The messianic expectations of the Jewish people have not been in vain. We, like them, live in waiting. The difference lies in the fact that for us, he who will come will have the traits of that Jesus who already came and is already present and active among us.”

    A careful reading of this last sentence makes it clear that “he who will come” is not Jesus Christ but some one else who “will have the traits of that Jesus who already came.” Our Lord Himself made reference to this when He said: “I am come in the Name of My Father and you receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43). St. Paul in his second Epistle to the Thessolonians, foretold the signs of the end of the world — the apostasy and the coming of the anti-Christ (2 Thess 2:3). Since Vatican Council II and the false ecumenical church that emanated from it, these prophecies are being realized.

  36. quiet beginning says:

    This Michael Matt link is noteworthy:

    http://www.cathinfo.com/index.php?a=topic&t=7468#p1