Notre Dame’s text for honoring Pres. Obama

From a reader…. what I am assuming is the text prepared by the University of Notre Dame for bestowing an the honor of a doctorate of law on President Obama.

"At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises

The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.

On Barack H. Obama, Washington, District of Columbia"

If this is the text….  if this is in fact the text…

It was pretty clear that the original intention of Fr. Jenkins and the University of Notre Dame was to pander to the new power merchants in Washington.  They wanted to bask in the President’s light.

Note the phrase "willingness to engage with those who disagree with him".

This is one of the main talking points of the left.  They are framing this in terms of "engagement" and "dialogue".   However, the University has gone far beyond engagement.

Furthermore, quidquid recipitur… what is received is received in the manner of the one receiving it.

The gnothonic justifications of the University aside, the President has his own reason for accepting the honor Notre Dame is crawling to bestow.  The President’s reason is not to "engage" the Church but to divide and undermine.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Andy K. says:

    Wow. I simply…

    If that is the text.


    speechless. (Maybe I need a teleprompter)

  2. Andrew, medievalist says:

    “encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate”

    ?! ?! ?!

    The institution (I can’t bring myself to slander the BVM’s name) adds mendacity to its reputation. They must know this is a lie. The only reason this administration wants people of faith to enter the public debate is so that it can identify and trash them.

  3. Father:

    Thank you for keeping us up to date on this subject. SAPIENTIA CHRISTIANA Aand EX CORDE ECCLESIA should have been enforced years ago and they were not. You see what happens when any institution reacts in weakness when problems arise. How many souls are in Hell and will be in Hell due to this incompetence?

  4. Patrick says:

    This text is demonic. [Hyperbole does not help. Rather than penetrate through to the other side, they merely point and titter behind their hands over the tinkling of the ice in their highball glasses.]

  5. Matt says:

    I feel ill now. Uhhhh.

  6. Supertradmom says:

    The statement reads like a sound bit for a political advertisement. It does not reveal anything which would indicate that the man receiving it deserves such an honor. One really interesting article I read today reveals the political backgrounds of many of the board of directors. I recommend this read.

    This may explain why the degree, if an explanation is necessary or even wanted.

  7. Supertradmom says:

    Sorry-sound bite, although bit sounds funny..

  8. TJM says:

    “An era of hope?” Not if you’re an unborn child. Liberals simply invent their own reality. Tom

  9. Patrick says:

    Perhaps to you, it’s hyperbolic. I was being serious. This kind of deception and blatant ignorance of reality could only be orchestrated by the Father of Lies.

  10. Daniel Muller says:

    So the LL.D. honoris causa is being awarded to an … event planner?

  11. Laura Lowder says:

    if that is the text…

    Then a lot of people need to be wondering whether a degree from ND is worth the paper it’s printed on. And those who paid should make demands for a refund.

    That was so infantile…!!!

  12. LCB says:

    I have real doubts that this is authentic.

  13. Catherine says:

    “…bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good.”


    A global common good would be that every citizen of the planet have the opportunity to be born.

  14. john polhamus says:

    [EDITED OUT. You don’t get to SHOUT on my blog.]

  15. Sarsfield says:

    How about the lame shilling for his book “The Audacity of Hope” contained in the last line? This is laughably pathetic even by ND’s standards.

  16. John Polhamus says:

    Sorry, Padre, but my code-word was “do the red”; I’m afraid I saw the red…instead.

  17. LCB says:

    Please delete the all caps post. Ugh. My eyes bleed.

  18. Tzard says:

    “…he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics …”

    I wonder how he and Fr. Jenkins propose to heal religious divisions. The differences are there, real, and important – unless you downplay Christian doctrines. I suspect there’s an expectation of religious indifferentism here.

    “…in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

    My mind is starting to play “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow….” from the Disneyland “Carousel of progress”.

  19. Jerry says:

    In May of 2001, then President Bush delivered the commencement speech at Notre Dame and received an honorary doctorate degree. A year later he launched an “unjust war” (the then Pope’s own declaration after trying to dissuade the President to attack)and all of you reading this know the endless loss of life that ensued, both U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and civilians. I do not believe in abortion but I do not believe it should be in the political arena. It is a moral issue and falls under the category of the 10 commandments admonishment “thou shall not kill” but so does invading a country that offered no real threat to us. I believe that N.D. should withdraw their invitation to President Obama when they ask George Bush to send back his honorary degree. Now that would be equal treatment!

  20. Supertradmom says:

    I have a degree from Notre Dame and I have been trying to think of something I can do on Saturday, as I am not near the campus in order to go to the prayer events. I may actually burn my degree at the same time OB gets his. Any suggestions? I am so sad, but not totally shocked, as things were going this way when I was there in the early ’80s.

  21. Charivari Rob says:

    At the moment, this “leak” appears to flow through Randall Terry. [I wonder, given what he did to Archbp. Burke, if anything good could come from that.]

  22. John Paul says:

    Do we really have to go through the whole argument about the “unjust”
    war again? Or help to the poor? Or any other social justice issue?
    Hasn’t that already been asked and answered repeatedly by the Church?
    It is just amazing (and sad) how effective those talking points from the
    Catholic left really were.

  23. “…and now organises a larger community…’

    let me make one thing perfectly clear, jenkins: barry hussain obama does not organise me, my thought, my catholic identity, or my actions which express it. short of his conversion to roman catholicism he will never, ever do so.

    the so called honor that you bestow on him is rendered utterly contemptable by the beliefs held by the man to whom you give it, and the beliefs that you betray in giving it to him.

    that this un-ethical and disingenuous president comes to you to be pandered to makes mock of the christ of the unborn whom you betray in allowing this to happen.

    i call upon you to resign immediately, jenkins, and allow the integrity and the identity of our lady’s university to begin to be re-established.

    quietly, humbly and very sincerely,
    john polhamus.

  24. Richard says:

    But we’ve been told all along that the University simply ENGAGE the President in DIALOGUE…not act as a sycophant toward him…pretty one-sided dialogue: the university fawning at the President and the President nodding and smiling and saying thank you very much…

  25. John Polhamus says:

    “…the endless loss of life that ensued…”

    Addiced to the hyperbole of the left? Come off it, Jerry, the bleeding of Iraq has been much less than under the dictator whom we displaced. Remember, we spared their army in the rush to Bagdad, which is why we have had the insurgency to begin with. We weren’t as kind to the European armies in WWII, nor were the Russians. Do you want to argue the justice of that conflict at Yad Vashem? Remember the Iran/Iraq war? Do you see what’s going on between Muslims and Hindus even to this day between Pakistan and India? Do you want to blame all of that on the last administration as well?

    The bleeding of man in conflict with his neighbor is as old as the story of Cain and Abel, but don’t try to compress the whole history of human suffering into one administration. It’s childish. Nor is the late Pontiff’s opinion on the just or un-just nature of the present conflict anything more than his personal opinion. I think you would have disagreed with Julius II quite alot.

  26. Charivari Rob says:

    Sorry, I should have cited my source. I read the item on American Papist and followed the links back a couple of layers.

  27. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Is anyone else still astonished that Notre Dame is going through with this?

  28. ckdexterhaven says:

    Is it just me or does this have communist/socialist code words/phrases? “committed to human rights and the global common good.” “the worker in the streets of Chicago”

    Obama is not “inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion”. He wants us more divided than ever. That’s why he’s going to Notre Dame on Sunday!

  29. Brian2 says:

    re: Jerry

    …in any case ND gave the degree BEFORE the war, not after, so the comparison isn’t apt. If ND gave Bush a honoray degree after invading Iraq, then we would have an intersting argument about just/unjust wars, abortion and degrees. But, when Bush got the degree… he hadn’t started an unjust war yet. But Obama has been supporting a radically abortion positive agenda for quite some time.

  30. Rancher says:

    I won’t shout. I won’t cuss. But I will say that it has been a long time since I have read text that is so far from the truth. ND, if indeed that text is official and becomes public, is nothing more than the fawning media. That text will contribute to the image his handlers are trying to create that Obama is “the WUN”. It will serve for many as a further ‘catholic” endorsement. The statement about how he is willing to debate those who disagree with him flys in the face of fact. His style is and always has been to trample oppostiion through any means at his disposal.

    For a whole lot of reasons I hope this document is not authentic.

  31. TJM says:

    Brian2. In whose high-flown opinion was the Iraq War unjust? The Catholic Church never made a formal ruling or gave an opinion that the war was unjust.
    All we had were the usual statements from the Vatican deploring war (except of course the war that Saddam was waging on his own people). I would expect
    no less. However, Father Schall, a Jesuit at Georgetown, made a pretty convincing case that the Iraq War was likely a just war. Lastly, war is not intrinsically evil, like abortion. I am growing weary of the left’s desperation to equate abortion with war, or capital punishment, or global warming, or whatever
    moral equivalence they’re pedaling to salve their consciences. Tom

  32. LCB says:


    Discussing the Iraq conflict in relation to this situation is merely a tool of distraction from the left. Bush’s degree was before the conflict, so the conflict is irrelevant. That was in the past, by a previous President. We are concerned with today, and Obama’s pro-death policies.

    Don’t give in to the trolling. ;-)

  33. a catechist says:

    Even if it isn’t authentic, it’s entirely consistent with the letter Fr. Jenkins just sent to the graduating class, which was also distributed to alumni two days ago–I was appalled at the fawning tone toward Obama and the students in that letter. If it’s a hoax, someone at least captured the tone spot on.

  34. Rancher says:

    The major media is quoting this exact language (and some are noting the controversy that language is creating)….so it appears that this terrible document full of falsehoods is legit.

  35. little gal says:

    ‘A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago.’

    As a licensed, trained (graduate level) social worker, my hackles rise every time I read any kudos for the One for his social service work…the real heros are people like my former neighbor Anita, also an MSW ( and a practicing Jew). Her job was to go out in the streets-especially in frigid weather- and try to convince homeless people who were crazy as well as dirty wth feces & urine to come in out of the cold…or maybe the county ER workers who had to treat these folks. I was once told that many of the homeless have maggots eating away at their sores. These are the folks who are the heros and who see the face of Christ in broken humanity. Obama is shameless in how he plays up his social service work.

  36. wmeyer says:

    For those who may have thought that calling it pandering was harsh, having read the text a few times, no other verb fits.

    This text also makes plain that regardless of any nuanced interpretation of the bishops’ 2004 prohibition, Fr. Jenkins has acted with malice and in fact, in defiance of the prohibition.

    Makes me want to wash my hands.

  37. Latekate says:

    “”encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.””

    Is the belief that abortion is wrong up for debate, even when Catholics are encouraged to do so by The Audacious One??

  38. Antiquarian says:

    Does anyone know if the texts accompanying other honorary conferrals of degree from ND are available anywhere? I would like to compare this to others– specifically to those describing the degrees conferred upon other presidents. Yesterday’s Washington Times pointed out that ND had similarly honored Ford and Carter, both of whom were avowedly pro-abortion, and while I realize that those were pre-Ex Ecclesia Corde, I wondered if the texts in any way acknowledged the opposition to Church teachings.

  39. David Kastel says:

    The \”willingness to engage with those who disagree\” may be a talking point of \”the left\” but it is also in keeping with Dignitatis Humanae, which Notre Dame and other \”Catholic\” (i.e. – Ecumenical) schools follow. It\’s about the \”quest for truth\”

    \”Truth, however, is to be sought after in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, in the course of which men explain to one another the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth.\”

  40. Ted says:

    “Then a lot of people need to be wondering whether a degree from ND is worth the paper it’s printed on.”

    Didn’t Jimmy Fallon recently receive an honorary doctorate from the College of St. Rose? They had a piece on his show where he did, whether it was real or not I do not know for certain.

  41. Fenton says:

    It’s beyond ignorance on Father Jenkin’s part…now it’s purely vainglory and pride. He’s not backing down and the gibberish ND is putting out is pure modernism.

  42. Rancher says:

    The most frightening and true line written before the commentary started on this subject was written by Fr Z. Obama’s purpose is “not to engage the Church but to divide and undermine”. Given his history and his tactics along with the fact that potentially the RCC is his only viable adversary this is a very true statement. What is scary is that this is a tactic used by dictators throughout history. When that approach has failed outright persecution is the next step. St. Michael lead us in battle.

  43. Gail F says:

    Silly me. I always thought the text of an honorary degree was pretty much the same as the text of a regular degree.

  44. paul says:

    No mention of this man’s support for unrestricted abortion and support even for not stepping in to save babies who survive an abortion- what’s wrong with Notre Dame??

  45. LCB says:

    Mary Ann Glendon:

    Friends, Catholics, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Notre Dame, not to praise her.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Notre Dame. The noble Jenkins
    Hath told you Notre Dame was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Notre Dame answer’d it.
    Here, under leave of Jenkins and the rest–
    For Jenkins is an honourable man;
    So are they all, all honourable men–
    Come I to speak in Notre Dame’s funeral.
    Se was my mother, faithful and just to me:
    But Jenkins says she was ambitious;
    And Jenkins is an honourable man.
    She hath brought many students home to South Bend
    Whose tuition did the general coffers fill:
    Did this in Notre Dame seem ambitious?
    When that the poor have cried, Notre Dame hath wept:
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Jenkins says she was ambitious;
    And Jenkins is an honourable man.
    You all did see that on the television
    I thrice presented her a queenly crown,
    Which she did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
    Yet Jenkins says she was ambitious;
    And, sure, he is an honourable man.
    I speak not to disprove what Jenkins spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did love her once, not without cause:
    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for her?
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with Notre Dame,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.

    Ralph McInerny-

    Methinks there is much reason in her sayings.

    Bp. D’Arcy-

    If thou consider rightly of the matter,
    Notre Dame has had great wrong.

    ND Response-

    Has she, masters?
    I fear there will a worse come in her place.

    Charles Rice-

    Mark’d ye her words? She would not take the crown;
    Therefore ’tis certain she was not ambitious.

    Ralph McInerny-

    If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

    Bp. D’Arcy-

    Poor soul! Her eyes are red as fire with weeping.

    ND Response-

    There’s not a nobler woman in America than Glendon.

    Charles Rice-

    Now mark her, she begins again to speak.

    Mary Ann Glendon-

    But yesterday the word of Notre Dame might
    Have stood against the world; now lies she there.
    And none so poor to do her reverence.
    O masters, if I were disposed to stir
    Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
    I should do Jenkins wrong, and Hesburgh wrong,
    Who, you all know, are honourable men:
    I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
    To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
    Than I will wrong such honourable men.
    But here’s a parchment with the seal of Notre Dame;
    I found it in her closet, ’tis her will:
    Let but the commons hear this testament–
    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
    And they would go and kiss dead Notre Dame’s wounds
    And dip their napkins in her sacred blood,
    Yea, beg a hair of her for memory,
    And, dying, mention it within their wills,
    Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
    Unto their issue.

    Charles Rice-

    We’ll hear the will: read it, Mary Ann Glendon.


    The will, the will! we will hear Caesar’s will.

    Mary Ann Glendon

    Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
    It is not meet you know how Notre Dame loved you.
    You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
    And, being men, bearing the will of Notre Dame,
    It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
    ‘Tis good you know not that you are her heirs;
    For, if you should, O, what would come of it!

    Charles Rice

    Read the will; we’ll hear it, Glendon;
    You shall read us the will, Notre Dame’s will.

    Mary Ann Glendon

    Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
    I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it:
    I fear I wrong the honourable men
    Whose daggers have stabb’d Notre Dame; I do fear it.

    Charles Rice

    They were traitors: honourable men!

  46. John6:54 says:

    Hope & Change is just code for Death & Taxes.

    When will those with authority step in? Step in or Step down but lets get on with it.

  47. Maureen says:

    Oh, c’mon. Even if this were a citation for someone more worthy, I’d say it sounded like ridiculous goo.

    Does Notre Dame have no staffer who’s an Obama fan and can write? Without slobbering?

  48. irishgirl says:

    And Our Lady on the Dome weeps….

    LCB-great take on Antony’s funeral oration!

    And I’m still mad about this whole thing….

  49. Peggy says:

    Didn’t Alinsky have something specific today about the employment of Catholics in the community organizing agenda, getting them to reject their own purported beliefs? Looks like Fr. Jenkins (and many others) went right for the bait.

  50. Wit needed to expose sorry affair says:

    LCB thank you ! Your marvellous piece should be sent to every member of the Notre Dame community especially Father Jenkins!

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