Bp. Sample (D. Marquette) on Notre Shame and Pres. Obama

His Excellency Most Reverend Alexander Sample, Bishop of Marquette in Michigan has this to say about Notre Shame’s invitation to Pres. Obama.

Here is Bishop Samples statement

Read Bishop Sample’s full statement below with my emphases:


    I would like to add my voice to that of many U.S. bishops who have expressed their disappointment and dismay over the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Obama to be the commencement speaker at this year’s graduation ceremonies and to receive an honorary degree from the university.

    President Obama has made it clear in his campaign rhetoric and in actions he has taken since becoming president that he intends to promote and expand the destruction of innocent human life.  His reversal of the so-called “Mexico City Policy,” his approval of federal funding for destructive embryonic stem cell research, and his pledge to sign into law a resurrected Freedom of Choice Act, should it come to his desk, are all evidence of this.

    Given these facts, it is unconscionable to me that a Catholic university would bestow such an honor upon an individual who is so completely out of step with the Catholic Church’s teaching on the need to protect innocent human life in its most vulnerable forms, even if that individual holds the highest office in the land.

    Because this has the potential to cause grave scandal to the faithful and weaken our united Catholic efforts in defense of life, I have taken the step of writing to the president of the university, Fr. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., expressing my concerns and requesting the invitation be withdrawn.

    In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Eternal Son of God was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Holy Mary nurtured that fragile life within her, giving the world its Savior.  It saddens me beyond words that the great university named after Our Lady would bestow distinction and honor on a politician who would seek to expand threats to such innocent human life.


Huzzah to Bishop Sample!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Steve K. says:

    I am really very heartened at the stand of the bishops on this scandal, and during the election, in the midst of so much darkness. This is truly strengthening the faithful. God bless these bishops!

  2. Good, but no consequences mentioned.

  3. Kaneohe says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul, this is simply a press release stating the Bishop has written a letter and not the actual letter itself:

    “…I have taken the step of writing to the president of the university, Fr. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., expressing my concerns and requesting the invitation be withdrawn.”

    We may never be privy to the actual content of the letter.

    To date 26 bishops have made public statements. Lets pray the rest follow.

    Grace and peace.

  4. LCB says:

    Like tenebre it starts off with a long silence, then a bit of noise, then a great deal of noise.

    The Bishops standing up in defense of the Faith, slowly but surely, is something that will spread among them.

  5. Benedict Follower says:

    It is a great statement by the Bishop- I am sensing more and more solidarity of these American Bishops with the Pope and with the faithful. If Notre Dame does not rescind the invitation or at the least does not resolve not to give the honorary degree, it seems to me that the Bishops should do something even more concrete to either stop the scandal or else request that the University not any longer call itself Catholic.
    Or otherwise have fired the authorities or remove the faculties from the Holy Cross priests in authority. Hopefully the Holy Cross priests have sense enough to listen to over twenty Bishops including Cardinals.

  6. jacques says:

    Now it is not a question of “requesting the invitation to be withdrawn”, but instead “ordering” since Fr Jenkins looks like being deaf & dumb and possibly even autist.

  7. Ben Trovato says:

    Is there scope for the Holy See to intervene directly in this scandal?

  8. Tomas says:

    What a difference from the pre-Summorum Church!

  9. ssoldie says:

    Twenty -six and growing, more Shepards needed, keep em coming. brick by brick

  10. Kaneohe, I know the Bishop wrote the letter asking to rescind the invitation, but my point is that I would rather see the consequences made public for all to see. That’s the maximum leadership example. There are more “teeth” in that.

  11. magdalene says:

    Well, I think we ahve reached the 10% of the bishops mark. That is refreshing in some way but then the other side of the coin is that 90% have not spoken out.

    But 10% is better than we have seen in years on a serious matter of faith and morals and hopefully this will indeed spread and more bishops will have the courage to stand up for the Catholic faith and not hide behind a specious ‘pastoral prudence’ that clings to some sort of seamless garment.

  12. TS says:

    The Diocese of Marquette has a pole going on their website about the whole issue. People can vote every 3 hours.


  13. Orlin Bowman (from Marquette) says:

    Bishop Sample is right-on in his statement regarding this issue. I’m very disappointed that Notre Dame invited President Obama to be the commencement speaker because of President Obama’s stand, and voting record,on abortion.

  14. Janet says:

    Bp. Robert Baker, here in Birmingham, AL, has also joined the ranks of Bishops publically disapproving of Fr. Jenkins decision to invite Obama to Notre Dame. Bp Baker’s letter was published in our diocesan newspaper (“One Voice”) last week. I was thankful to see him step forward and voice his disapproval publically.

  15. irishgirl says:

    I second that Huzzah, Fr. Z!

    Father Jenkins-are you listening?

  16. mfg says:

    Letters from Fr. Jenkins’ superior and provincial have both seen the light of day. Both, like Pilate, washing their hands, not wanting to get involved. His own bishop–powerless to persuade him tp the Catholic viewpoint. Then there is Card. George, lamenting that he has no authority, encouraging the laity to make their voice heard, and insisting that Barack cannot be uninvited (the President, you know). The bottom line is that the 2004 directive of the USCCB is as unenforceable as any emanating from the U.N. The small number of ND pro-life student groups (bless them) could attract only a small number of the greater student body at Palm Sunday’s rally–very disappointing. But what can be expected of young iimpressinable people under the tutelage of such as ‘Fr.’ Richard McBrien, the necktied one of “…well certainly the BVM could have had many children…” and “…of course Jesus could have been married to Mary Magdalene, blah, blah…” Archbishop Sheen’s advice to parents comes to mind: Paraphrasing; it is better to send your children to a ;ublic university where they can fight for their faith, rather than a Catholic college where they could be in danger of losing their faith.

    Around 40 of nearly 500 (that’s a guess) bishops have been heard. The consensus from the American Catholic press is that half the bishops voted for Barack. (After first writinng and then reading ‘
    Faithful Citizenship’, no doubt.) All of these actors together could not persuade Fr. Jenkins to cancel the Vagina Monologues over the last many years, or close down his on-campus homosexual group, or fire Fr. McBrien who is just the tip of the liberal faculty iceberg. As for the Holy Father, Heaven Help im, he has his hands just outwitting the Curia from sunup to sundown.

    No, Fr. Jenkins is Napoleon with no recourse to his curiouos decisions and loony invitations. If this were the 1940’s Fr. Jenkins would invite Hitler, focusing on his kindness to his German Shepherd and dismissing his murder of thousands of priests and nuns and untold millions of others. And what if he were to hear from thje Pope? With his superior and provincial hiding in the priory, with his trustees and ‘fellows’ enabling him, and with Uncle Sam sending him millions of our tax dollars every year he would simply respond: The Pope is the ope in Rome, and am President of otre Dame! Or he might show him pictures of his children ala Nancy Pelosi.

    Now Barack has compounded the debacle by stating to an international audience that America is not a Christian nation. Who knew?

  17. I am glad that bishops are showing their opposition to the actions of Notre Dame University.

Comments are closed.