A gloss on Fr. Jenkin’s introduction of Pres. Obama

From a reader… an astute observation about Fr. Jenkin’s introduction of Pres. Obama at the Notre Dame commencement last Sunday. 

A portion of that introduction goes:

JENKINS: "As the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council wrote in their pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes: ‘Respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters. In fact, the more deeply we come to understand their ways of thinking through such courtesy and love, the more easily will we be able to enter into dialogue with them.’ "

Too bad Fr. Jenkins conveniently omitted the immediately succeeding portions from the text of Gaudium et Spes, which reveals the full context of the passage. It goes:

"This love and good will, to be sure, must in no way render us indifferent to truth and goodness. Indeed love itself impels the disciples of Christ to speak the saving truth to all men. But it is necessary to distinguish between error, which always merits repudiation, and the person in error, who never loses the dignity of being a person even when he is flawed by false or inadequate religious notions. God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts, for that reason He forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone."


Error "always merits repudiation".

In this case it was honored.

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  1. TJM says:

    Sounds like Father Jenkins stole a play from the Marxist playbook – print half of the statement, that is omit the “inconvenient truth.” Too bad the media is so stupid, or so complicit, that it would NEVER point this out or ask Father Jenkins why he omitted this portion of the statement. Tom

  2. Allan says:

    Probably just edited out for time constraints.

    Yeah, that must be it.

  3. Tim says:

    Great catch…

  4. Bobby Bambino says:

    Wow, great insight! I’m surprised a man as intelligent as Fr. Jenkins would set himself up like this for people to be able to look at the text he quoted, and see IMMEDIATELY a statement following his cherry-picked quote which voids Fr. Jenkin’s interpretation. But then again, there really is no Church document which would give credence to what Fr. Jenkins was trying to say…

  5. EDG says:

    So much of this has been reduced to wordplay by Obama and Jenkins. I read an interesting observation by Jill Stanek, in which she quoted part of Obama’s speech where he described, to show what a great guy he is, how he had responded when people reacted negatively to some pro-abortion words of his on his website during his Senate campaign. He said that, in response, “…I didn’t change my underlying position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my website.”

    At least he was honest enough to say that he hadn’t changed his position, but it indicates to a great extent how both he and Fr Jenkins regard this issue.

  6. Sylvia says:

    Yeah, who actually READS the COUNCIL documents, anyway? All people heard was “blah blah blah, Obama is good, blah, Vatican II agrees with me, blah, the Pope agrees with me, blah, blah…” That was a rough translation, but you get the idea.

  7. Altbanater says:

    Dear Father,

    Is it correct to say that error was honored by Notre Dame giving Obama the honorary law degree? I would
    need further convincing on that point. I agree that given Obama’s advocacy of abortion and other evils
    it was wrong for Notre Dame to publicly honor him. And certainly that act by ND glosses over an error
    that deserves nothing but persistent repudiation. But I don’t see how ND directly honored error.

  8. Keith says:

    Was that ‘Respect and love’ that was exented when Fr. Jenkins had Fr. Weslin and Norma McCorvey for ‘thinking and acting differently?'</i?

  9. Keith says:

    oops – typo – I meant:

    Was that ‘Respect and love’ that was exented when Fr. Jenkins had Fr. Weslin and Norma McCorvey arrested for ‘thinking and acting differently?’

  10. Rancher says:


    How much closer to “direct” would you like it to be? The highest elected official in our land who is without question the most strict proponent of abortion of any president in history…honoring him is about as direct as it gets unless they were to have honored the doctor who uses a suction device to actually perfom an abortion.

    Re TJM’s post, Jenkins and Obama are both playing directly from Alinsky’s prescription for the advancement of Marxism. Both are intelligent and both are devious. They, in a very calculated manner, decide what partial truths they can credibly “sell” and that is what comes out of their mouths. They have an agenda and have no reluctance to say and do things which they may have to change at a later date…but they also know that their mistakes and inconsistencies will never be pointed out by the mainstream media so lies, half truths, and inaccurate/incomplete quotes of scripture are of little concern to them. It is only us right wing conservatives who will oppose them and of course the media will instantly discredit anything we have to say in opposition to Jenkins, Obama or others of their ilk.

  11. John 6:54 says:

    Fr. Jenkins doesn’t appear to read most documents anyway. Catholics in Political Life reads “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.”

    Imagine paying good money to send your child to a “Catholic” institution where the schools president give himself as an example that shows its okay to be ignorant/defiant of Catholic teaching because nothing happens to you.

  12. Ricky Vines says:

    John6: I won’t send my children there either, not with that spirit of defiance to the bishops and
    scandal to the faithful.

    FYI, Jenkin’s argues that the complete USCCB directive was “They should not be given awards,
    honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” and he made it very clear,
    both in his initial announcement in March and at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, that Notre
    Dame was not honoring the President because of his positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell
    research but for his other notable accomplishments.
    Cf. http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/blog.cfm?blog_id=2

    But if there was any doubt about that, then the exhortations of 70+ bishops was enough to clear it.
    But Jenkins did not care for their the bishops or the 350,000 petitioners.

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