Bp. Doran (D. Rockford) vivisects Fr. Jenkin’s (Notre Shame)

In the little time I have spent with Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, IL, I picked up a few of the best hard-hitting one liners I have.  I preserve them like arrows in my quiver.

His Excellency has written to the President of the University of Notre Dame.

My emphases and comments.

                                             March 31, 2009

Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear President Jenkins:

    I wish to express in my own name and on behalf of the Catholic community of this Diocese, my dismay and outrage  [goes a little beyond the soft-peddling "disappointment", right?] at your decision to invite the current President of the United States to address the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame and to receive an honorary degree.

    This decision of your flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, that Catholic institutions not so honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

    I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. [He is sticking for his flock.] Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”  [simply.too.good] Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, [!  This refers to Fr. Jenkin’s relationship to the play The V. Monologues ] I would point out that it is truly obscene [i.e., this is worse yet] for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.

    I sign myself

                                             Very truly yours,
                                             The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
                                             Bishop of Rockford

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tominellay says:

    My gosh, what a strong letter!!

    “…please have the decency…”
    “Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you…”

    This is a VERY personal letter.

  2. ssoldie says:

    Wow! is that the ‘tenth’?, that’s great keep em comin.

  3. Rebecca says:


    And that’s why he’s a Bishop of our Church!

  4. Brian Day says:

    Wow. Simply, Wow.

    “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”


  5. Rich says:

    I think I just found my new favorite Bishop!

    While I understand the need for respect and “diplomacy” in this modern age, there’s definitely something to be said for those who don’t mince words. Three cheers for the good Bishop calling a spade a spade.

  6. Michael says:

    Thank God that there are still bishops who are Catholics.

  7. Noah Moerbeek says:

    My faith in our Bishops is growing more everyday.

  8. Eileen says:

    This whole controversy is absurd. The office of President of the United States is to be respected regardless of the occupant. Further, President Obama is a pro-life president: ending the war in Iraq, universal health care (especially for children), greater unemployment benefits, etc. The fact that we don’t agree with him on stem-cell research or abortion is no reason to censor his appearance. He does a great honor to Notre Dame by agreeing to speak there and to receive their honorary doctorate. [You have consumed the Kool-Aid… Kmiec-Aid… A perfect summary of a tragically errant position.]

  9. Ottaviani says:

    Ouch! I would not like to be Fr. Jenkins!

  10. Roger says:

    Excellent! Finally, a bishop who is not afraid to confront the situation!

    Do religious priest take vows of obedience??? Of course…so, why hasn’t the Superior of his order said anything???…remove this guy already!

  11. San Diego Seminarian says:

    God Bless His Excellency!

  12. TJM says:

    Wow, if this is for real it’s the toughtest statement I have ever seen from a prelate. Tom

  13. Ottaviani says:

    Further, President Obama is a pro-life president

    Eileen – been smoking the magic mushrooms lately?

  14. Jonas says:

    Dear Eileen, abortion is not just some kind of medical operation. It is a killing. You are talking about the end of war in Iraq (while former president was planning this as well), providing this as the proof of Pres. Obama’s pro-life stand. However, he is clearly for the killing, and especially for the killing of those who cannot defend themselves (unlike the Iraquis). Are you that naive? Or just normal American political correct lefty liberal?

  15. Simon Platt says:

    Offices don’t receive honorary degrees.
    Offices don’t give speeches.
    Offices don’t promote the destruction of unborn children.

  16. TJM says:

    Eileen, are you a Catholic? Do you not understand that abortion is an intrinsic evil in contrast to war which is not. Universal healthcare has nothing
    to do with being pro-life. I guess the aborted children will not be able to participate in the alleged paradise you write about. Notre Dame has
    dishonered itself. Tom

  17. Steve says:

    Eileen wrote: “The office of President of the United States is to be respected regardless of the occupant”

    Thank you for making this important distinction. But Notre Dame is not conferring a degree on the
    Office of the President are they?

  18. William Radovich says:

    Now that’s my Bishop. God bless and strengthen him. Decorum is out the window and he is ready to fight the good fight. ICXC NIKA! [Decorum must never be thrown out the window. There is nothing indecorous about Bp. Doran’s letter.]

  19. Baron Korf says:

    Now that’s what I’m talking about!

    Anyone who says that Roe v Wade is the lynch-pin of their law education has no business being honored with a Law degree from a Catholic institution, period.

    I need to send him a note or something, this is too good.

  20. J.Haye says:

    This is a very strongly-worded letter no doubt, and I respect Bishop Doran’s conscience and his right to speak out against what is morally outrageous to him.

    However, as I’ve commented before (and I know that many here will disagree with me) his letter is another example of the kind of rhetoric that is entirely counter-productive. [Okay… if that is so… please give us an example of rhetoric, a sample letter, of what you think would be best. Would you help us out here? Show how we should really be writing?] It’s why the pro-life movement hasn’t been able to gain any significant ground among swing voters, liberal Catholics, you name it.

  21. TJM says:

    If you mean by “liberal” Catholic, an individual who dissents from the Church’s teaching on abortion, that’s ok. They’re not Catholic. Tom

  22. Irenaeus says:


    I have to disagree. On one hand, I love seeing a bishop throwing caution to the wind [But… that is not what he did. He did not “throw caution to the wind”.] and essentially saying to hell with his career. On the other hand, when we — bishop, priest, religious, lay — speak, we’ve gotta do so not only forcefully and clearly but also with great savvy. So, I concur with J.Haye.

    Eileen, what kind of crack are you on? [Tone it down.] I don’t see troops coming home from Iraq in droves, and didn’t I hear something about sending MORE troops to Afghanistan? If Obama’s pro-life, then the Devil in Hell is pro-life.

  23. tess says:

    Correction, thati should be Bishop Doran’s letter, not Dolan.


  24. Nicknackpaddywack says:

    I am unable to locate any factual errors in this missive, which is admittedly comprised largely of opinions.

    It is refreshing to see a bishop of all people for once throwing diplomatic niceties to the wind. [What is it with this “throw to the wind” thing?]

    I sympathize with the opposition to having Obama as graduation speaker and, even more, the granting to him of an honorary law doctorate. The fact that the new President of the law school, announced today, is an Obama donor probably tells us something more about the direction things are taking. I think this is so disappointing for conservatives partially because they hoped they had at least Notre Dame in the bag, but now it appears to be just another lousy “Catholic” institution. There are hundreds more throughout the land – many worse off than Our Lady’s university.

    But here’s what I don’t get: when did points of natural law become the keystone of Catholic orthodoxy? Is respect for innocent human life a fundamental Catholic teaching? Of course! But so is the papacy and apostolic succession and transubstantiation. Does Obama agree with any of those? Nobody seems to care about that, however. I guess they would say it is because he is a public official endowed with care for the common good and not a religious figure. Still, to me something seems fishy here.

    Have we perhaps gone off on the wrong track in our thinking about what it means for a University to be Catholic? Is is possible than even conservative and traditional Catholics have forgotten that the core of what makes an institution Catholic is faith in Christ, his Church, and the care of souls? [Read the statutes of the University.]

  25. Irenaeus says:

    Whoops. I meant to quote the bit about “Northern Indiana Humanist University” or whatever.

  26. Any day now, I expect Notre Dame to affiliate itself with the Episcopal Church and change its name to Queen Elizabeth I University.

  27. Simon Platt says:

    Fr. Z is puzzled by people’s reaction to this letter – “throwing caution to the wind”, etc. It does seem a bit like that to me. Perhaps that’s because (at least in England and maybe in the States, too) we have become so used to bland statements from bishps, to hyper-cautious statements, that this stands out as being so different.

  28. Anne Scanlon says:

    Please God the more our Shepherds lead with courage and in truth the more the faithful will speak out…….

  29. Tzard says:

    I liked it when he invoked the Second Vatican Council.

  30. Nicknackpaddywack says:

    To my dismay, I did afterwards notice that several other commenters had already made use of the “throw to the wind” cliche. Still, it seems absurd for anyone to deny that diplomatic niceties are set aside in this letter. Fr. Z himself called it a “vivisection.” C’mon people. [Okay… another rabbit hole… But… it is entirely possible to vivisect diplomatically. I think the bishop’s letter was within the bounds of decorum, given the subject..]

    So, this is about the statutes of the university, then? And what, pray tell, shall I find therein that will make it clear why pro-abortion rights speakers shall not be allowed at graduations but those who deny fundamental matters of Catholic faith are no problem?

    It is almost always the case when these controversies erupt that the issue is abortion or fetal life. My point is just that it is not preordained anywhere that this should be THE issue, the one great litmus test for Catholic orthodoxy or the acceptability of graduation speakers.

  31. Thanks, Father, for printing my Bishop’s strong letter of response to Notre Dame. I have the privilege of working with him every day and can assure you of his great concern over this matter. Some of the above comments question language, tone, etc. But it is clear that simple, reasoned logic, of which Bishop Doran has plenty to spare, is not always the only way to attack an issue. Sometimes, simple outrage is the best method–such as Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple. [The point is: decorum involves the proper tone for the circumstances and the receiver. I believe that the bishop’s letter expresses his anger without being indecorous.]

  32. Thomas says:

    The audacity of someone like a Nancy Pelosi who claims to be a faithful Catholicbut then outright ignores the correction by her archbishop and the Holy Father himself is astounding.

    How much sadder is it when the president of the University of Notre Dame is the one stubbornly maintaining his untenable positions in the face of the most heated episcopal outcry I’ve seen in a while? [He is not maintaining, directly, that abortion is acceptable…. as Pelosi and Biden do.]

    Pride truly is the first and most deadly sin.

  33. Nathan says:

    Fr Z: “You have consumed the Kool-Aid… Kmiec-Aid… A perfect summary of a tragically errant position.”

    Father,I’m a little skeptical about the source of Eileen’s comments. [There doesn’t have to be a direct quote for that way of thinking to have been articulated, given shape by Kmiec, etc.] They don’t engage the actual post or even mention Bishop Dolan’s letter, they seem a bit polished for combox comments (my first reaction was “better written than Kimiec’s op-ed this weekend”)and look a lot like talking points. Could WDPRS be the target of some pro-abortion activists conducting blogosphere information operations?

    If they’re genuine, then I’ll humbly stand corrected. It just seems too glib, IMO.

    In Christ,

  34. Londiniensis says:

    As they say “oop North”, this man doesn’t just call a spade a spade, he calls it a bl—y shovel!

    “oop North” refers to Yorkshire – God’s Own County

  35. Tim Ferguson says:

    Northwestern Indiana Humanist University? Good – but how about going a step further: Northwestern Indiana Humanist Institute of Learning, or NIHIL for short. No more insults to Our Lady and no more slander of the Irish – let the Fightin’ Nihilists take the field. [TOO GOOD!]

    I love the fact the Bishop Doran is speaking out on behalf of his flock.

    WDTPRS Gold Star for the Day

  36. Ricky Vines says:

    I hope all these bishops will join the big protest in May as a sign of force and solidarity. There’s a reflection on how Our Lady is gathering her corps to resist the pro-aborts offensive http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html#7605632313653357323

  37. Jim says:

    Same tone as might be expected from John Chrysostom or Ambrose of Milan. Remember Ambrose? He’s the one that made the Emperor Theodosius do public penance after he caused the slaughter of an entire town in Thessalonika.

    Something wonderful is happening among the bishops of the United States. It has been long in coming.

  38. Thomas says:

    “[He is not maintaining, directly, that abortion is acceptable…. as Pelosi and Biden do.]”

    Sorry, Father, for the lack of clarity. I was drawing the comparison between their stubborn refusal to listen to the personal correction by the Successors of the Apostles, not between their positions on abortion.

  39. mr.croucback says:

    While I agree with the general point of Bishop Doran’s letter, I think the tone used in it is counter-productive. To be sure, there is a time for righteous anger, but I wonder sometimes how effective rhetoric such as this actually moves the ball forward in converting souls and saving the unborn. Just because the Faith is contra mundi and, indeed, has driven and may once again drive Christians to the catacombs, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be cognizant of how non-Christians or secularized Christians will perceive us. St. Paul spoke with fervor and passion for the Truth, but he also understood who is audience was.

    Additionally, as a Notre Dame student (indeed, a student who is graduating this semester), I am starting to get a little annoyed with how some have been characterizing what is still a deeply Catholic university with a significant group of faculty and students who take their faith VERY seriously. Evidence for this assertion is legion, but I will point out that the University quickly responded to Summorum Pontificum by having the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated ever Sunday on campus. They’re aren’t a lot of Catholic universities who can say that, let alone any university that merits the name “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.”

    This isn’t an apology for Fr. Jenkins and the Administration; they deserve everything they’re getting. But please don’t forget that the Faith is still very alive at Our Lady’s University.

  40. Supertradmom says:

    Thank you Bishop Doran, as this is a letter most people, and hopefully, Father Jenkins, will understand.

  41. Thomas says:

    “Counterproductive”? Jenkins has demonstrated that he will NOT humble himself and obey the bishops, so when hopes of “productivity” flee, there’s nothing wrong with a good punch in the mouth. Just ask St. Nicholas.

  42. Magdalene says:

    Wow for the bishop. If only any of the strong words would change a hardened heart…

    For Eileen to claim that obama pro-life is a very sad claim indeed. He even supports infanticide! National medical coverage will provide substandard care that has folks from other countries flocking here. Obama wants to rescind the conscience clause to force doctors and medical personnel who want to preserve and promote life to either act against thier conscience (this country would no longer be free) or to face fines or jail. He did this in Illinois.
    Do we have peace in Iraq? No. Is obams sending more troops to Afganistan? Yes. Is he socialist in wanting to ‘redistribute the wealth’? yes. But he is smart and has done a fine job of dividing up the Catholic church so that people like Eileen who think his extreme pro-abortion record someone can be called ‘pro-life” will support him. If all CAtholics ever came together and followed the teachings of the church, we would change this country and the world. We would again be a Christian nation. But that is not going to happen.

    How do we like the change so far? Not so much.

  43. I agree with the tone of the letter 100%, although I wish he spelled out the allusions to the monologues, since he knew the letter would become public… because most people arent aware of the previous scandal. And that particular statement made the letter much more personal.

  44. Brian Day says:

    the Fightin’ Nihilists
    OT: isn’t the “fighting nihilists” an oxymoron?

  45. Mike Petrik says:

    Eileen nailed it:

    “This whole controversy is absurd. The office of President of the United States is to be respected regardless of the occupant. Further, President Obama is a pro-life president: ending the war in Iraq, universal health care (especially for children), greater unemployment benefits, etc. The fact that we don’t agree with him on stem-cell research or abortion is no reason to censor his appearance. He does a great honor to Notre Dame by agreeing to speak there and to receive their honorary doctorate.”

    Exactly. One should not snub leaders just because we disagree. The office of the Chancellor of Germany is to be respected regardless of occupant. Further, the Fuhrer is a pro-life leader, stopping the attacks from Poland, universal health care (especially for children), greater unemployment benefits, etc. The fact that we don’t agree with him on Jews and gypsies is no reason to censor his appearance. He does us a great honor by agreeing to speak to us and accepting our honorarium.

    Right. And to all of you who think you understand Godwin’s law, don’t even bother. You are all hopeless.

  46. TJM says:

    mr. croucback,

    As a double-domer who actually lived on the Notre Dame campus in Vetville in the 1950s while my father was in school there, I can personaly attest that Notre Dame, globally, lacks the Catholic character it once possessed. I agree there are still pockets of genuine Catholicism there but it is in the shadows and the folks that get the media attention are the left-wing loon heretics and Vagina monologue supporters. My father who is buried on the Notre Dame campus is likely rolling over in his grave at Abortion King being the Commencement speaker this year. If he were alive, he would make Bishop Doran’s letter seem rather tame.

    The roots of the demise of the strong Catholic character at Notre Dame, I say with regret, goes back to the Hesburgh era. He was so competitive and consumed with Notre Dame being the “best” and on par with Harvard and Yale, that he sold the University’s soul to be “like the world” rather than focusing on its unique mission and charism. We already had Harvard and Yale, we didn’t need to become a Harvard wannabee. Ironically, as a practicing Catholic, if I had to do it all over again, I would have gone elsewhere to a school which makes no pretense at being a Catholic University. “Catholic-lite” just doesn’t cut it for me. Best of luck in your future endeavors.


  47. Rob says:

    Amazing. God bless this fearless servant of the Lord.

  48. Mary Ann says:

    I notice that the letter is dated March 31st…thank you, Father Z, for NOT publishing this on the blog yesterday, April Fools day! We needed to have this good news today, no questioning about whether this was written by this fine bishop. ;-)

  49. Rancher says:

    Here is one Bishop who understands that the nice guy approach, and being politically correct, has accomplished NOTHING over the past 4 decades in terms of the Church’s position on critical moral issues. All the nice guy approach results in is being stepped on particularly by agenda driven autocrats like Obama. If the old soft approach hasn’t worked what is wrong with trying a harder line? As long as it is truthful (which the Bp’s letter was) and in defense of life and the Church’s teaching I say go for it. I think Tim’s gold star is deserved but Northern Indiana Heretical Institute seems to fit better.

  50. Woody Jones says:

    I would not neglect the significance of the conclusion either. None of the “extending to you my blessings” or “wishing you all the best”, just “I sign myself”. Might as well have been a monitum.

  51. Bill says:

    For his excellency- a cheer: Red Hat! Red Hat! Red Hat!

  52. little gal says:

    Can we get the good bishop to give the same treatment to Fr. Pfleger–per his website, he has Rev. Wright coming to the 11:15am “Mass” on 4/19–you know, I think that he and Fr. Jenkins suffer from the same malady.

  53. michigancatholic says:

    Cha-ching. We’ve got a live bishop wearing red there. Thank you, Bp. Doran, for sticking up for the church and for all of us.

  54. I love this letter, straight to the point, that line NIHIL too good!

  55. michigancatholic says:

    This one should be a cardinal!

  56. Tomas says:

    Bp Doran’s letter is certainly satisfying to those of us who have been waiting for our shepherds to act like shepherds, but when I read Abp Hughes’ letter, I almost felt as though he was asking Jenkins to take up his cross and walk to Calvary. Bp Doran’s letter represents the Church Militant; Apb Hughes’ letter represents the Church Suffering. Remarkable.

  57. laminustacitus says:

    “The office of President of the United States is to be respected regardless of the occupant.”
    Not only is this wrong, but it is also a very dangerous doctrine. If the president of the United States does not uphold the law, protect individual liberty, and ensure peace, then he deserves no respect whatsoever. The president is a man, not a god.

    “Further, President Obama is a pro-life president: ending the war in Iraq, universal health care (especially for children), greater unemployment benefits, etc.”
    To begin with, is the United States military still in Iraq. If yes, then how did he “end” the war in Iraq? Plus,the other examples you have cited in no way make him “pro-life,” and whether the government can ever properly involve itself in that era is another question. You pervert the meaning of “pro-life” here to justify the policies you desire, not the policies that a proper “pro-life” politician would support.

  58. mfg says:

    3 cheers for Bp Doran. Another Nienstedt letter. Keep the ball in the air. We may score yet.

  59. Jan Dennis says:

    Eileen, what are you smoking?

  60. Pope Paul VI sent Abp. Jean Jadot to this Country in order to appoint bishops who were more concerned about social action rather than with piety. He was responsible for placing about one third of the bishops during the seven years he served. He was “retired” by John Paul II and was never made cardinal. We are still feeling the effects of his ideas (and the pope’s ideas who sent him!). However, we are now seeing the effects of fresh episcopal appointments and the U.S. Church is beginning to see a Springtime of piety and rigor.

    Benedicamus Domino!

  61. Indelible Inkstain says:

    What a great letter! Well-presented and absolutely to the point. I don’t understand what others find reprehensible about it. While I sometimes cringe a bit when I read some Catholic conservative comments and I agree in general about the importance of keeping a reasoned dialogue there is nothing in the letter that goes beyond that and it is, after all, from a Bishop. Even if the letter were seen as overstrong and to be dismissed as a crank and cast into the outer darkness the name at the bottom should give one pause and prompt us (and one hopes, cause Fr Jenkins) to rethink.

    Pray for our shepherds and for more cut from the same cloth as this

  62. Eileen, nobody is trying to ‘censor’ President Obama. The trouble is that so few have been listening to his pre-election promises, promises he is now carrying through on. He is now exporting abortion to developing countries, is trying to trample on the consciences of health workers who see their vocation as one of promoting life, not of death. Obama is a promoter of death, with the world as his forum. Notre Dame should be a forum for truth and life.

    I applaud Bishop Doran. As a native of Ireland I might quibble with his suggestion that the university change its name to ‘The Fighting Irish College’ but I rejoice in the fighting, Christian words of a bishop with Irish ancestry.

    I notice too that the bishop’s letter starts with ‘Dear President Jenkins’ rather than ‘Dear Father Jenkins’. No father, least of all one in holy orders, should be promoting abortion as he is. Maybe we should be invoking a genuine Holy Cross priest, the late Fr Patrick Peyton, a true son of Ireland and, far more importantly, a true son of the Church, unlike his spineless confrere.

  63. cthemfly25 says:

    Right. And to all of you who think you understand Godwin’s law, don’t even bother. You are all hopeless.
    Comment by Mike Petrik — 2 April 2009 @ 5:43 pm

    Mike–I prefer my Hope straight up and not on the rocks.

    Can anyone address the issue of whether Father Jenkins’ decision, and his now subsequent decisions to disregard several (though not nearly enough) bishops, is beyond prudential or administrative and falls into some other theological concern of say disobedience. thx.

  64. Maynardus says:

    Jim wrote: “Something wonderful is happening among the bishops of the United States. It has been long in coming.”

    Indeed. My own perception is that the recent awakening of courage and infusion of vertebrae in our shepherds began with the dawning of the Benedictine papacy. Truly, the lines are being drawn and sides are being chosen. The Church has always flourished most during times of persecution…

    As bad as this whole ND scandal is, at least some good has come of it, and maybe someday we will date the “re-awakening of the bishops” to the Spring of 2009. Perhaps this whole “Bishops-acting-like-Catholics” thing will become contagious and spread to some of their lukewarm brethren!

  65. Rose says:

    Thank you to all these bishops for their strength; can’t express how joyful I am during this Lenten season to see so many examples of the Church Militant everywhere. The anti-Catholicism that has been spewing all over the media these past few months must have convinced a few bishops that enough is enough…….

  66. Reminds me of Jesus’ words white sepulchers full of dead men’s bones. In the PC world of today, direct truth is rare indeed.

  67. Clinton says:

    Bishop Doran’s letter is brilliant. There is not one syllable of it of which Fr. Jenkins could dispute the
    truth. I’ve no doubt Fr. Jenkins will simply file it in the trash, but too bad for him. This letter and all
    the others from other bishops are important not just for what they tell the leadership of Notre Shame,
    but also for what they tell pro-life and not-so-pro-life Catholics.

    Bishop Doran — speaking truth to hubris.

  68. Dave DeCleene says:

    My brother and sister live in the Rockford Diocese, and I can tell all of you that the pious, orthodox rigor exhibited in Bp. Doran’s letter percolates throughout the parishes and the Catholic schools. I refer you to Holy Angels Parish in Aurora and see how Fr. Heinz electrifies with his love of the Church, as one outstanding example of a Doran protege.

  69. Benedict follower says:

    This is a wonderful statement with decorum and it even seems Chestertonian. It seems to me
    that the Bishop chooses to use such language because of the audience who does not seem to comprehend the erroneous thinking involved and so the Bishop must take a more florid approach. Of course it can be misconstrued as without restraint, thrown to the wind and “counter productive”, but I would consider that it is supremely well-said and extraordinarily appropriate. It is greatly appreciated that some Cardinals and Bishops are speaking forthrightly for the Gospel of Christ and for the honor of the Church.

  70. Benedict follower says:

    It seems that the reason why the pro-life issue is most important especially in regard to politicians being granted honors, and in regard to this particular President, is because his problem is not only a fine isolated point of a particular dogma of faith, but it concerns an extremely grave matter of sin- unjustified intrinsically evil murder of the innocent (currently there have been over 50 million homicides in the United States due to abortion). That this President has plans to organize and has already dramatically increased government (tax-payers) support for this worst of sins- abortion- both home and abroad- with plans to consolidate the most comprehensive positive legal system for abortion even state funded abortion of embryos and infanticide, he thinks and acts so contrary to what true Christians and Catholics understand as moral and just, by natural and divine law (and even orthodox Jews would uphold as a grave violation of natural and divine law). Because of the supreme contradiction of the President’s views to the Catholic conception of the moral good and his position of power to implement such views, it offers extreme scandal to offer this particular President an honorary doctorate of laws. It is opposed to good common sense, reason, truthfulness, both love of God and humanity. If Fr. Jenkins does not rescind the invitation and proposal for an honorary degree, he could not call the University anymore the University of Notre Dame, nor could he call it Humanist, if he wished to be truthful (although Humanist would be much more appropriate).

  71. TJ says:

    Sadly conspicuous by his absence is Cardinal Rigali. As a cardinal and as the head of the US Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, he should have been among the first to publicly condemn the invitation. But in all the recent skirmishes with the culture of death politicians and academians, Rigali remains as silent as possible for as long as possible.

  72. Scott says:

    Is this guy going to be Archbishop of New York?
    Wow thats amazing, the tide I suspect is turning. I see some dark days coming for the world but God in his mercy may be about to provide us with some strong bishops

  73. Corleone says:

    Little Gal – OH KNOW! You said the “P” word! I mentioned Pfleger in the thread dedicated to Cardinal George’s response (so called) and was jumped all over for “bishop bashing”. Pfleger is relevant as he does represent IMHO the ineffectiveness of the leadership in Chicago to actually DO anything. THIS was the reason I was so skeptical about Cardinal George’s letter. A lot of words, no action.

    Now THIS response is neck and neck with Archbishop Nienstedt’s at this point.

  74. Fenton says:

    I guess the guest list at the next Al Smith Dinner will be trimmed back a bit, eh?

    Heh, heh, heh…

    Can’t our clergy take Pius X’s Oath against Modernism?

  75. jarhead462 says:

    Cha-Ching! indeed. Great letter!
    Eileen- Providing health-care to the chillldrennn makes me warm and fuzzy, but it is NOT the function of the Federal Government to do so…To do this, they must TAKE from some, and give to others….Thou shalt not steal….remember that?

    Semper Fi!

  76. Corleone says:

    Jarhead – not agreeing with Eileen here, but I need to point out that the Federal Government takes and takes and takes REGARDLESS of what the objective is. In other words, YOU say it is not the function of the Federal Government to do “X”, and that is your opinion. I say it isn’t the function of the Federal Government to do “Y”, and that is MY opinion. At the end of the day, the government decides (wiht or without the consent of the people) on how, and how much money is taken from us and how it is spent. If they decide tomorrow that my tax dollars will fund children’s healthcare, then I see no difference between that and how it currently funds monitoring volcanos or an art exibition celebrating “New York Homosexual Dada painters of the 1950’s”.

  77. Kevin L says:

    Forgive me Fr.Z, but perhaps one more “wind” analogy? It is a fine thing that so many American Bishops are getting the “wind” back in their sails and speaking out on what it is to be Catholic in more than just name.
    Mr. Ferguson, a tip of the hat to you sir and a free beverage of your choice should you find your self in Texas.
    To speak the truth in an uncompromising manner, without animosity cannot be construed as counter productive or a detriment to your cause.
    God bless all priests.

  78. Mickey says:

    Great letter. Thank God for good bishops.

    …for the record, President Bush ended the Iraq war and signed the agreement that withdraws US combat troops by 2011 when he signed the Status of Forces Agreement in Dec 2008 (which began negotiations in the spring of that year).

    If Bush were allowed, and had been elected, to a third term…he\’d have presided over a withdrawl of all but a few thousand advisors and Airmen from Iraq.

  79. irishgirl says:

    Kudos to Bishop Doran! Short, sharp, and to the point!


  80. TerryC says:

    It is quite proper that Bishop Doran’s statement be strong. Nine other bishops have already spoken out, including the local ordinary of the diocese in which UND is located. Fr. Jenkins has not rescinded his invitation nor has he withdrawn his offer of an honorary degree. Every statement from now on should be stronger because by now one must wonder at Fr. Jenkins’ intentions. He cannot feign ignorance of the response. He cannot feign ignorance of the standing of the bishops.
    One wonders what some people would consider constructive dialog. What do they think we have been engaged in for the past 40 years? It has been pointed out that the Church has been anti-abortion since the first century, since the very beginning. Science, with every advance of the last 40 years has only shone more clearly how the pre-born are individual humans from the moment of conception.
    Members inside the Church have been told. They know what the Church teaches. If they do not understand why the Church teaches as she does they are in vincible ignorance and are themselves responsible for it. Note I am not talking of the teenagers still in faith formation but adults, most fully past their teen years decades ago. If they insist on holding positions contrary to Church teaching they need to be told by their priests and bishops to refrain from reception of Communion, because they are in a state of mortal sin. Note I do not say personally told. They are not children. If father says, ‘If you support abortion do not present yourself’ they will understand. If he says, ‘If you voted for a pro-abortion politician you should discern very deeply if you are supporting abortion by your actions.’ Most will at least think about it.
    Then there are those outside the Church.
    Does anyone here really think that excepting Divine Intervention Obama will ever change his stand on abortion? Pelosi? Sebelius? Biden?
    Discussion will not work with these people. Here we are down to prayer and forceful actions by the bishops. The time for “constructive dialog” is past. Lets save that for outside the clinics where it might do some good in convincing a teenage mother to save her child. It has already been tried with the hard core pro-abort politicians and failed. Time for stronger measures.

  81. sacerdos in germania says:

    Cha-ching…!? More like Ka-blam…! This what we need more of…bishops who are willing to be bishops. Well done Your Excellency!

  82. Richard Jacobs says:

    “Dear President Jenkins” How wonderful! Addressing a secular humanist for what he is. “Dear Father” would be inappropriate. This all raises an entirely different issue: who are those priests ordained to serve? The Church? Themselves and their ideologies? Or, their constituents? That is the crux of the issue here.

  83. Mary says:

    Wow!! May he receive ecclesiastical dignities fitting to his intelligence and care for the faithful! I am so pleased to find that perhaps I may not be able to count the number of REALLY good US Bishops on one hand anymore.

  84. Kimberly says:

    These are tough times we are going through, but a good thing I have noticed, is that alot of Bishops are being knocked off the fence and taking a stand. God bless these Bishops!!!

  85. John says:

    While I’m completely against cloning in any form, I think I would like to see this man cloned immediately…

  86. roxanne says:

    I am proud to say this is my Bishop! He is awesome. He spoke last summer at our parish on the dedication at our new school (the 1st new school in 35 yrs in our diocese). He told the story that when he taught there were only a few students over the years that deserved an “A” in his class and he was so sick of parents complaining that he graded too hard. He is truly “old school” and we love him for it! We have many orthodox young priests in our diocese and our Msgr at Holy Cross is such a blessing. Praise God for Bishop Doran and his no-nonsense, midwestern brand of the truth!

  87. Kathryn says:

    I know of someone who attended Notre Dame and I believe to be a Notre Dame graduate. This person attended and desired a degree from Notre Dame only due to the prestige that came with the name. As was mentioned, the school had become not famous for piety, but worldliness. Now, this person I mention is frequently at daily Mass and seems to have seen the light of true Catholic faith. I am overjoyed. I believe that Notre Dame the institution could have the same turnaround. But President Jenkins needs to be present in the world as Fr. Jenkins first, and the transformation begins.

  88. MVH says:

    I would call Bishop Thomas Doran’s letter blessedly pithy, and a classy stemwinder. It even has shades of that Old-Time Religion that we need every once and a while! Looks like Fr. Jenkins got a good spritzing of episcopal whoop-a*s.
    Does anyone know what His Excellency will be doing in March of 2011? We sure could use him here in LA.

  89. Mary says:

    That is my bishop :) I am glad he is sticking up for me :)

  90. PCN says:

    With Obama in office, persecution is HERE. How will Catholics be able to be in the medical field? What about our hospitals? What is going to happen? Catholics are going to have to go to jail. I think it started with Levada in Calif when he compromised on the homosexual issue and allowed anyone to claim whoever they lived with (to get benefits), ie any member of their household (Levada skirted the issue while caving). He should have made a principled stand and let the chips fall where they may. Levada (and/or his enterprises, i.e. institutions run under the auspices of the Catholic Church) would have been punished by U.S. civil law and the fight would have begun. Levada is our Chamberlain. Now the enemy is emboldened and (I think) beyond all but a miracle of God. Let us pray…(and THANK YOU Bishop Doran! We’re digging in…)

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