Notre Dame’s Fr. Jenkins and a different view of Pres. Obama

In 2009, the President of the University of Notre Dame, Fr. John Jenkins, actively participated in, promoted and defended, in the bestowal of an honorary doctorate in Law on the most aggressively pro-abortion President of the United States we have ever experienced.  I wrote about that here.

Now that the Obama Administration has shifted aside even the pretense of an interest in “common ground”, and we are looking down the line at a persecution of Catholic institutions by the feds under this administration, it seems that Fr. Jenkins may be shifting ground himself.

I saw this on CatholicVote.  It is also on Forbes:

[The] University of Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins sent a letter to the White House denouncing the mandate. “This would compel Notre Dame to either pay for contraception and sterilization in violation of the church’s moral teaching, or to discontinue our employee and student health care plans in violation of the church’s social teaching. It is an impossible position.” Having already spoken at Notre Dame, one wonders what use President Obama has in listening to Fr. Jenkins.

Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    What a child…

    …and when they came for me…


  2. Supertradmum says:

    As a Notre Dame is my alma mater, I am pleased by this late, but timely, response. I always give people, including the clergy, the chance to repent, change, grow, etc. as God gives me this leeway. God bless this effort and I hope for ripple effects.

  3. tzard says:

    I guess he could withdraw the honorary degree – but to do he would have to say that the original premise of the degree was wrong. That’ll take a lot of humility.

    What could be the premise of withdrawing the degree – that he’s shown he has no appreciation for the rule of law and for natural law?

    I dont’ see it happening, but it could be a powerful message – should “dialogue” go nowhere.

  4. benedetta says:

    In other words, for those who saw the video of the guy who yelled “Yeah” and applauded the question to Ron Paul by Wolf Blitzer on CNN as to, if someone hasn’t purchased health care coverage then suffers a debilitating disease, “should we just let them die”…the Obama White House now apparently channels that proposition, however, they would target for letting die, all of the, Catholics, as a punishment for not doling out the pill, which, a great number of women, of all faiths and no faith simply do not want for health reasons…

    I think the legislation would not pass muster under the Equal Protection Clause. The administration certainly must be well aware so one can only conclude that the reason behind this grand proposal to public fanfare is to generate animus and increase bigoted hatred toward individuals perceived as or are professed Catholics.

  5. Dr. K says:

    If he does not strip Obama of the degree, these words hold no meaning.

    Action, I want to see action.

  6. benedetta says:

    I think ND is doing what it must do and say, it is essentially a self-defense of a Catholic institution. It may be surprised to find itself in this position but the reality sets in that this legislation is in essence targeting Catholic institutions for destruction. And why, one may rightly ask, would a government single out for destruction one religious group? Well coincidentally this same group is the most organized and vocal in the voice that supports the dignity of life. What is the simple solution when insatiable culture of death can no longer by science or ethics argue favorably in terms of ideals, ethics or morality in favor of expanding the now 30 million plus lives lost? Of course it is to kill the messenger. Can’t win on message so eliminate the opposition, the Church.

    It no longer has any coherent sense in politics or ideology. Who hates Catholics and human life, most of all? The answer is not a political party or special interest group, surprise surprise (for some of us)…Ephesians 6:12.

  7. Jackie L says:

    “This would compel Notre Dame to either pay for contraception and sterilization in violation of the church’s moral teaching, or to discontinue our employee and student health care plans in violation of the church’s social teaching. It is an impossible position.”

    Maybe I’m a cynic, but I see this as giving the Obama Administration cover. The “Catholic” institutions that provide heath care plans which include contraception and sterilization will be painted as those who stand personally opposed to such things but will not force it upon others. While those who do not offer heath care plans at all will be rigid ideologues who put their religious views above health care for their employees. I can hear the arguments already.

  8. Cristero says:

    Dogs and fleas indeed.

  9. pm125 says:

    A vile, dark campaign afoot to force the hand of the Church with the intent to lower its membership and so weaken its voice. Members be reminded to pray for strength, understanding of right and wrong, and salvation in the face of all these fingers of evil intent.

  10. benedetta says:

    pm125 What “membership” are you referring to.

  11. JMody says:

    The admin is following different steps on the same road that the republican government in Spain and Communist governments everywhere have followed — to the extent that the Church is visible, she must be pushed into the corner. To the extent the Church provides service to society, she must be shut down, superseded, or nationalized. The State and the State alone is allowed to provide meaning or benefit or even comfort to the individuals.

    If Fr. Jenkins would precede the revocation of the honorary degree with a week or two of public griping in the press about how used and cheated he feels, and about how sorry he is that he permitted the name of a fine institution and Our Lady Herself to be associated with such a brazen lie, and maybe even publicly ask his bishop for forgiveness first, that would be even better.

    And even more unlikely …

  12. Marc says:

    When I read this story this clip from Batman came to mind:

    I am guessing Rev. Pres. John Jenkins is the one who did the dancing.

  13. BobP says:

    What does contraception have to do with health or health insurance anyway? Seems as if this would fall into the elective department (like facelifts) so it shouldn’t be an insurance issue. There are people out there with real health problems and all our focus is put into this nonsense. Sorry.

  14. Random Friar says:

    The reason the POTUS could do this, Fr. Jenkins, was because of priests like you, of religious like you. As uncharitable as that sounds, you and the “magisterium of the nuns” cannot feign surprise here. The “how could we have known?” defense is hollow, hollow, hollow.

    I may have trusted him, if the ND88 weren’t dragged through legal costs for years. Feigning that you couldn’t do anything to hasten the dropping of the charges (which the police department repeatedly said wasn’t true) seems about the same here with this sudden rash of indignation: about as real and provides you as much cover as a $2 toupee.

    I mean, this is either an extreme textbook case of “willful ignorance,” or this is outright deception. Either way, the damage is done, my confrere, the damage -IS- done.

  15. Tony Layne says:

    @ Random Friar: Would that be “vincible ignorance”? :^)=) In the spirit of charity, I’d definitely plunk for self-deception; Fr. Jenkins and Amb. Kmiec are two of a kind in re President Obama.

  16. moon1234 says:

    All I know is that I would NEVER send my kids to a school like Notre Dame. Why would a parent risk their child’s soul and their own by sending their child to a school who gives out honors to one of the most evil enabling presidents of all time?

    All I can say is that 2012 can not come soon enough. We need a new president that will wipe clean all of the evil people who are in Washington now. Priests like Fr. Jenkins do more to destroy the Church than her enemies do. He needs lots of prayers. If people continue to send their kids to Notre Dame, then all I can think is that they are fine with the way that the leaders of Notre Dame run the school.

  17. Di says:

    Father Jenkins should have known that it is a sin to vote for a pro abortion candidate in the first place. His ignorance or flat our blatant denial of Church teaching is deafening.
    I think it is time for the Church to say it will no longer be tax exempt and speak from the pulpit what should have been preached a long time ago. Maybe the Church wouldn’t be in the shape it is in now, if it had done it when they should have.
    I also think there should be punishment that is swift when clergy take a stand against Canon Law and Church Dogma. For clergy like Father Jenkins and colleges who cover a Crucifix for the most pro abortion/anti life president we have ever had, the punishment should be quick like a parent trying to get a child to stop doing something wrong.
    Sorry I needed to rant…
    God Bless and I will be praying for all clergy.

  18. ContraMundum says:

    The economy reminds one of Lazarus after 4 days: It stinketh. I doubt our current secular messiah will be able to call it out of the tomb, though. Consequently, his term in office may be expected to be another 16 months, no more.

    That being said, has anyone been asking his potential electoral opponents what they would do about this mandate? Would they strike it down, or would they “seriously re-examine it to determine an appropriate response”?

    As Chesterton wrote in Eugenics and Other Evils,

    Compare the modern Party System with the political factions of the seventeenth century. The difference is that in the older time the party leaders not only really cut off each other’s heads, but (what is much more alarming) really repealed each other’s laws. With us it has become traditional for one party to inherit and leave untouched the acts of the other when made, however bitterly they were attacked in the making.

    Until this is understood, it is impossible to understand how we came to find ourselves in the current mess.

  19. revueltos67 says:

    Perhaps Fr. Jenkins needs to review St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

    “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

  20. revueltos67 says:

    And maybe I should learn to quote the Douay-Rheims Bible and not the King James… :-)

    “For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. “

  21. Martial Artist says:

    It pains me to have to say this about a Catholic Priest, and I pray for his benefit as well as for those under his care, that he has now learned the valuable lesson in this sequence of events, but it would appear that Father Jenkins has now learned first hand what it feels like to realize that one has been played as what Lenin described as a “useful idiot,” albeit in a different context. May our Lord heal him and grant him the wisdom never to repeat his mistake.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  22. Random Friar says:

    To be fair to Notre Dame, many of her students and faculty battle bravely for the faith, and the kids have a good idea of what the Faith, and living it, means. It is those few “enlightened” souls that really harm this place.

  23. Emilio III says:

    This is not from any version of the Bible, only from The Silmarillion, but also seems applicable:

    But he that sows lies in the end shall not lack of a harvest, and soon he may rest from toil indeed while others reap and sow in his stead.

  24. Nancy D. says:

    In fairness to Notre Dame, it is important to note the “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in regards to the invitation extended to President Obama to speak at Notre Dame’s Commencement, although clearly the presentation of an honory Law Degree to someone who opposes the acknowledging of and respect for the inherent Dignity of every human individual, is a violation of the fundamental principle of Justice to begin with.

    “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

    Knowing Father John, I believe he was sincere in believing that he could help the president and the causes we all care about. Although it is true that the invitation to President Obama disregarded the Bishops guidelines, I believe that Father Jenkins, realizing that many hearts had been hardened and realizing this same hardening of hearts had led to insufficient guidance within The Catholic Church, decided to disregard the Bishops guidelines in order to address the issue in what he hoped would be a national forum.

    Let us Pray that all Catholics, all Catholic institutions, and all people of Good will, will have the courage to speak the truth in Love in regards to the inherent Dignity of the human person who has been created in The Image of God, equal in Dignity while being complementary as male and female.

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