Dear Fr. Jenkins:

You are, no doubt, being inundated with letters, phone calls and emails objecting to the decision of Notre Dame to invite President Obama to give the commencement address this year and to receive an honorary doctorate from your university.

I feel compelled to write to you as a brother priest to express my own dismay at this decision which I see as dangerous for Notre Dame, for the Church, for this country, and frankly Father, for your own soul.

I have had the honor to speak at Notre Dame over the years in my capacity as the president of the Acton Institute. I recall the sparkling discussion and questions from the student body, notably from a number of the Holy Cross Seminarians. I have, in fact, been invited to your campus on a number of occasions and on my last visit I was given a statue of the Lladro Blessed Mother in appreciation of my speech. I was told the statue was blessed by Fr. Hesburgh. It has occupied a special place in our religious community since then.

Father, I have no degree or awards from Notre Dame to return to you to indicate how strongly I feel about this scandalous decision. So here is what I have decided to do:

I am returning this statue to your office because what once evoked a pleasant memory of a venerable Catholic institution now evokes shame and sorrow. The statue is simply too painful a reminder of the damage and scandal Notre Dame has brought to the Church and the cause of human life in this decision.

Moreover, I will encourage the young people from my parish and within our diocese to consider universities other than Notre Dame for their college career and I will further encourage other priests in my diocese to do the same. I will also discourage Notre Dame alumni to make donations to the University.

And you may rest assured that I will make this sentiment known from my pulpit and in other public outlets as the occasions present themselves.

This is not a matter of abortion (I presume we agree on how evil it is); nor is it about free speech (you could have invited the president to a discussion for that). This is about coherence. You no longer know who you are as a Catholic institution.

It pains me to write this letter to you. I ask that you go before the Blessed Sacrament and look into your soul – the soul of priest – and reverse this decision before more scandal is brought to the Church.

You and the students under your pastoral charge will be in my prayers and Lenten sacrifices.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Robert Sirico

  • David

    I am not a Catholic. I am an evangelical christian. But I am a Chinese, and a Chinese knows how prevalent abortions are in China. Your strong essay has made a very clear stand, and I am very grateful for that.

  • ed brennan

    great letter
    Ed

  • Matt

    Fr. Scirico

    I am a Notre Dame MBA grad who is now a pastor at a baptist church in Acton’s home town. I also have had the pleasure of attending one of Acton’s Free and Just Society conferences several years ago. I have been greatly edified by your speaking and writing over the years.

    In response to your letter to Fr. Jenkins all I can say is, thank-you! I too am deeply grieved and have used the word incoherence several times over the situation. The weight of this move seems to be lost on so many and that only deepens my grief. Thank you again, and please persevere in this matter.

  • Fr. James Wyse

    Dear Fr. Sirico,

    In a country where Catholicism is made to mean less and less, thank you for saying so eloquently that it should mean something.
    Blessings,
    Fr. Jim

  • John

    Fr.

    Thank you.

    I emailed you letter to Fr. Jenkins. He needs to read it often.

    John

  • Tom

    Wonderful letter, Father. The comment “for your own soul” is particularly appreciated; very few people think — let alone dare to say — such things nowadays. My own letter to Fr. Jenkins cited #2285 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “2285. Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

  • Cecilia

    Fr. Sirico,

    I am a recent ND graduate. I want to thank you for your letter and for making it publicly available. I too have written to Fr. Jenkins and I intend to withhold donations to the University pending the outcome of this debacle. I hope to see more letters from prominent, faithful Catholics. Thank you again!

  • Catholic Hermit

    Dear Father,

    Your courageous and effective letter, words, action, and prayers have all the more renewed me in my own vocation, as I have offered myself in solitude, silence and penance, for the Church, and more so now at this public scourging.

    May much good come to Holy Mother Church and the Faithful as a result of your words and actions, not only for Fr. Jenkins’ conversion of heart and change in course, but for all Catholics to deeper conversions and greater coherence to Christ and His Church, in truth and beauty.

    Thank you and God bless you!

  • Bill Beach

    This will be a sad day for our university. I may withhold future donations. Faith should trump all other conciderations.

    Bill

  • D.L.

    Overdone rhetoric, self-righteous indignation…this disappoints me coming from you, Father Sirico. Let’s leave the culture wars to radio hosts. Not a matter of abortion, but “coherence”? Please don’t try to disguise your indignation with Notre Dame’s action as anything more than what it is: an ideological intolerance of Democrats and their policies. If this is about about abortion, then say it’s about abortion. But your charge of Notre Dame losing its Catholicity over this is at best poorly explained, and at worst hypocrisy. Acton is quick to publicize photos of you standing arm and arm with past Presidents, none of whom were morally irreproachable by Catholic moral teaching. Were any of their presidencies spotless incarnations of Catholic social principles? Or does this all come down to abortion policy? Please be more clear about your disgust with Notre Dame’s actions, rather than leveling these ambiguous charges of scandalizing the church. Acton should be better than that.

  • Tink

    I’m a member of the ND family. I cherish ND and have memorabilia all over my house. I am boxing it up; my heart is broken over this.

    Thank you for your brave email and decision.

  • Cecilia

    D.L. – ND is not losing it’s Catholicity just b/c Fr. Jenkins is not “morally irreproachable.” The incoherence stems from the fact that Fr. Jenkins has said ND is honoring President Obama for his “leadership” which includes an abominable voting record on life issues. President Obama does not just hole pro-choice views, he zealously and actively promotes them and is able to do so in a very damaging way by virtue of his position of “leadership.” For a Catholic institution to honor someone who acts in DIRECT opposition to a core Catholic belief suggests either support for or indifference to those actions. Either is unacceptable when the issue is something as fundamental and important as the sanctity of human life. This is not a minor moral disagreement from a Catholic perspective. Incidentally – I should say that this is VERY different from inviting Obama to speak at the university in a debate or question and answer context. That would not be inappropriate – so this is not just an intolerance for “Democrats and their policies.” It strikes at the very heart of what it means to be Catholic.

  • http://www.shockedandawful.com Del Wasso

    I guess, then, that Notre Dame should reject all students, and their tuition money, from attending classes, let alone graduation.

    After all – This is not a matter of abortion; nor is it about free speech.

    This is about coherence.

    The school won’t be known as anything but a Catholic institution.

  • Gary Bourbeau

    Dear Fr. Sirico,
    Just finished watching you on the “World Over”. Thank you for caring enough about our Church and your brother priest to speak the Truth to him. It is very encouraging to hear your clear and honest voice in the midst of such cowardice within the hierarchy and religious orders. My prayers are with you.

  • http://none Mary Ennis

    These instructions have helped me to form the very core of who I am. When I was a child a priest explained them to me in the confessional. As an adult I had to sit by and not argue with my daughter as she took on “the Bible is her Evangelical Faith”
    Matthew 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
    Luke 17:2 “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.

    1 Corinthians 8:12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. (NASB ©1995)

  • Liz Hayes

    Thank you for speaking from your heart. May God bless you.

  • Carmen and Greg

    This is comparable to inviting a former Nazi concentration camp commandant to a Yeshiva (Jewish) university graduation ceremony and awarding him with an honorary degree. Can one imagine such a thing? The outcry would be tremendous.

    I pray this is the shape of things to come in terms of more being said against this President’s evident “culture of death” agenda.

    How can we pro-life Catholics not protest? Abortion IS our American Holocaust, after all. SIX thousand babies a day–if that doesn’t warrant the word “holocaust,” then what does?

    Shameful.

  • Gregory Rienzo

    Ever since my altarboy days I have rooted for the Notre Dame football team and I will continue to do so no matter who speaks at the ND Graduation. Besides,both my father-in-law and one of my brothers-in-law are proud Notre Dame grads.
    Lastly, pardon my ignorance but who is Father Sirico and what and where is the Acton Institute?

  • Carmen and Greg

    Gregory,

    Please check out this link to learn about the fundamental tenets of the Acton Institute. It’s in their own words:

    http://www.acton.org/about/principles.php

    As far as who is Fr. Robert Sirico–once again, his own words which can be found all through this site would surely speak volumes on the kind of man and priest he is. And a great one at that. We’re more than fortunate to have him as one of the most courageous voices within our Church today.

  • susan Haviland

    Dear Fr. Sirico,
    I thank you for your clear and strong leadership. I am sickened by the ever-emerging anti-Christian leaders in our nation. “One Nation, Under God…” Clearly, President Obama states and instigates his agenda for infanticide not only in the USA, but througout the world. No Catholic Institution should have the ‘right’ to defy the laws of the Church.
    May God Bless us All,
    Susan Haviland

  • Kelly Mason

    Father Sirico,

    Thank you for your letter. I am a sophomore at Notre Dame, and am so overwhelmingly bothered by the scandal that this decision has brought to the students, the Catholic Church, and the world. Honestly, I don’t know if I can stay at such a place. I would like you to know that there are at least 600 of us students fighting this. This is a good number, but no where near enough. I think this is partly due to the vast majority of professors here who have subtly been indoctrinating the student body. It is a side site to see, President Obama is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m uncertain as to how to respond. I don’t know if we should continue to fight for Our Lady’s university or not. Thank you again for your letter. Please pray for us.

  • Irene

    I thanked you personally today for your letter. It speaks the truth and more truth is needed. I pray that God will hear our prayers and put an end to this shamefull behavior on the part of the President of Nortre Dame as well as the shamefull behavior of our current President. I can’t help but wonder though what kind of reaction will be seen by all those Catholic Politicians like Sentor Kenndy, Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker Pilosi.

  • Craig Martin

    DL

    “Acton is quick to publicize photos of you standing arm and arm with past Presidents, none of whom were morally irreproachable by Catholic moral teaching. Were any of their presidencies spotless incarnations of Catholic social principles? ”

    Is this a serious question? Go back and read the letter–nowhere does Fr. Sirico suggest that only those who are “perfect as their Father in Heaven is” should be accorded honors by Catholic institutions. As Catholics we profess our faith in and obedience to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church–the pillar and bulwark of Truth (1 Tm 3:15). The Church, through its bishops, the successors to the apostles, has spoken concerning both life (abortion) and the conferring of honors such as this (“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.” ).

    If DL’s argument is that only those who are “spotless” should receive honors or that only those who are without sin can call out disobedience and dissent from the teachings of Jesus Christ, then he knows little about the Church founded by Christ and, more importantly, the nature of man himself.

    Fr. Sirico’s courage, like that of many other priests and bishops, is born out of a concern for souls. Thank God for his willingness to speak the Truth and be persecuted for it–he strengthens our earthly pilgrimage and gives a reason for the hope that is within us. Thank you, Father.

    BTW, I am an ND graduate, my daughter and two son in laws went there as well–our $$ will go to other Catholic institutions and the ND gear and trinkets have been put away.

  • Mary

    Fr. Sirico,
    Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom.
    I am beside myself that a university dedicated to Notre Dame, Our Lady, would invite anyone to be a commencement speaker who is so anti-life. It’s appalling enough that we have ‘Catholic’ politicians including Joe Biden and Nancy Pelozi (to name a few)who are ‘pro-choice’.
    We Catholics better get our priorities straight. I visited LaSallette this past summer, and I know Mary had strong words for 19th century France. I can only imagine how she feels about this decision to have President Obama speak at a university that is her namesake.

  • Jade V. Lew

    Dear Fr. Sirico,

    I commend you for your stance and your courage to stand up for the very position Jesus would take. I will pray that many more Pastors will take a position and encourage their parishioners and college bound students to support you by voicing their opinions to Fr. Jenkins. We must also pray for our President.

  • Maureen

    Thank you Father for your letter.

    For those of you you are pulling your financial support of Notre Dame, may I suggest that you turn that support to Catholic universities such as Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH. Or to Acton Institute for that matter.

  • Jan F Baumgardner, MD

    As a Catholic Physician, who coincidentally was inspired to leave engineering and take up a medical creer my a famous Notre Dame graduate Tom Dooley. MD, I am appalled at the vicious, uncaring, misguided furor of hate against Father Jenkins, Clearly the best way to Acheive a change in the attitide toward abortion of the majority of Americans and the majority of Roman Catholics, is not to play to the incredibly narrow egomaniacal views of the far right. An example is Archbishop Chaput,who is parlaying his intense one issue focus into a Red Hat. Father Jenkins action is truly responsible and responsive to the need for Catholic Universities to continue to provide the example of an open intellectual resource, and so beautifully described By Cardinal Newman’s great essay ” The Ideal of A University”

  • Father Robert Sirico

    Dr. Baumgardner:
    I am not sure where you have seen such “vicious, uncaring, misguided furor of hate against Father Jenkins,” but it was not on this site or from my pen. Your own insinuations (without a trace of argument or evidence) as to the motives behind Archbishop Chaput’s effort to exercise his apostolic responsibility to teach the Faith is far closer to such a demeanor than what I have written above.

    Neither did I argue that Notre Dame should not act as an “open intellectual source” (though I would not have used the phrase – afterall people can be so open minded their brains fall out). This is not about wide ranging discussions, but about the identity of a Catholic University in granting an honor to someone who so clearly opposes the identity of the Church.

    And as to the Venerable Cardinal Newman’s writings, two points: First, his book is entitled “The Idea of a University” (not ‘ideal’) and it is hardly an essay. It is, in fact a series of talks he gave in Ireland while founding the Catholic University in Dublin. Second, I would suggest you return to the text and read the section in Part II under the heading “A Form of Infidelity of the Day” wherein Newman laments what we today would call the secularization of the universities of Germany, Paris and his own beloved England. It makes for fascinating re-reading against the backdrop of the Notre Dame University controversy. Thanks for reminding us of the Cardinal’s insights.

  • Betty Dobson

    God bless you for your letter. You have expressed my thoughts exactly. Rev. Jenkins should be ashamed for reducing the bar for speakers by inviting anti-life Obama.
    Our blessed mother must be in tears. I was happy to read that members of the alumini are withholding donations.

  • Mary Vazquez

    Dear Fr. Sirico, I saw you on World Over and thought you were wonderful. Thank you for the letter you sent to Fr.Jenkins and THANK YOU for speaking up for Our Dear Lord. We need many more priests like you who defend the Catholic Church and are not afraid to speak up for Her. Thank you, thank you! Mary V.

  • catherine

    I am a cradle catholic who remains faithful to all the imperfections of the church that have marked its history. This I think, has allowed me to grow in the patience and tolerance with which I can today embrace president obama. I see him too as that time in history with which the church should be able to empathize. I pray that as church we can all exercise the same patience with him as if he was one of us; for indeed he is

  • Mary Grove

    Father:

    Thank you for giving those of us who will not be heard a voice. I am proud of you and grateful.

    Mary Grove

  • Frances M. Holmes

    I am so pleased that you have taken a public stance against the Holy Cross priests of Notre Dame who have taken such a twisted stance in deciding to present the president who will go down in history as being “THE abortion president”–not only allowing abortion to be funded by the United States nationally, but globally; reversing the stance on embryonic stem cell research when it has been proven that using embryonic stem cells is more detrimental than helpful (and adult stem cells have had success). He plans to force physicians to abort babies in hospitals across the nation and to remove any and all restrictions on abortion including parental notification.By his avoiding the vote against protecting the babies who have survived botched abortion he has allowed infanticide in Illinois hospitals as a Senator!

    Martin Luther King advised judge by character and not by the color of skin. By going beyond where the secular media was taking us it was clear that Barak Obama was 100% pro abortion so I did not vote for him. In addition, his economic policies are downright dangerous to our nation.

    Why would any univeristy glorify him with an honorary law degree?! Thank you for taking the position against him. Please continue to do so. I would hope that President Obama would be gracious enough to not come to Notre Dame and avoid all of the sadness and confusion that his presence will cause.

  • Donald P. Condit, MD

    Dear Fr. Sirico,
    I was on Notre Dame campus this weekend. Catholic faculty feel betrayed. Graduation will be dominated by controversy rather than the celebration the students deserve. Many alumni are disgusted.
    Thanks for adding your voice to the chorus of students, parents, alumni, priests, Bishops, and at least one Cardinal who have reminded Fr. Jenkins of his duty of fidelity to our Holy Father and Magisterium.
    Notre Dame must not award a honoris causa degree to someone who threatens human dignity at the most vulnerable stages while claiming to remain a Catholic University.

  • http://julieahoffman.blogspot.com Julie Hoffman

    As a Catholic mother of 6 children, 4 of which are now adults and have attended other universities. I have been encouraging the last two to consider Notre Dame. I have now changed my mind and am now encouraging them to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, we will be seeking another Catholic University! What an outrage to our Catholic Faith and to the Catholics who uphold and hold dearly the Catholic faith and identity in the world.

  • Erina

    Time to face the fact that the Catholic faithful of ND condone abortion promoters and encourages on many levels. Biden, Kennedy, Pelosi, Kerry, Sebillus, and the list goes on and on. Now this, President Obortion! To really deepen the insult, they rub the world’s nose in heinous pretentious Honorary Degree to the Dregs!

  • Gwen4God

    Does anyone really wonder why mass attendance is down? No need to wonder why I am out! As of today my family will begin searching for a new TRUE church. I’ll be damned if we send our son to ND!

  • http://www.orthodoxytoday.org Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

    Fr. Robert,

    We Orthodox, despite some differences with Roman Catholicism, admire the moral courage the Catholic Church has shown for the inherent dignity of the human person. We share a moral tradition in common and deeply appreciate your clear witness to the necessary precepts by which the Apostle Paul’s mandate to care for the weak are met, and through which the freedom that Christ promises can be known.

  • Sean

    Gwen4God,
    I’m afraid your conclusion is flawed. First, there can not be a “new” true church, since there can only be one true church. And even if you could, which church would you identify as “true” and by what authority can you claim it to be the “true” one(since there are thousands of denominations to choose from)?

    I am confused by your connection between why Mass attendance is down and the current issue with ND. The Church is urging Fr. Jenkins to change his decision. I can assure you that Mass attendance is not down because of Fr. Jenkins and ND. Most importantly, the Church teaches the Truth and does not attempt to fill seats by what is popular at the time.

    To save you time, may I suggest you read G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy.” Perhaps one of his most insightful lines in the book is after Chesterton searched for his “true church” he discovered something: “I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered it was orthodoxy.”

  • Barbara Huet de Guerville

    Dear Fr.: Sirico:

    I admire your ability to keep your sense of humour! Terming Fr. Jenkins’ invitation to Obama on EWTN a “failure of catechesis” provoked tears – laughter and heartbreak at the same time.
    Faithful Catholic parents should consider Ave Maria, Christendom, and Ave Maria. I wouldn’t even consider any Jesuit affiliated college or university, given that ALL of their insitutions have Lesbian Bi-sexual, Queer, etc. centers and support activities as the recent “Sex Positive” Fest at Georgetown. The Newman Center’s Website has a lot of useful information for any Catholic parent.
    As faithful Catholics we must pray for Fr. Jenkins’ conversion AND, given Obama’s sponsorship of the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, that Obama decline the invitation. Any Catholic that defends the choice of Obama as a speaker at Notre Dame has forgotten that this act violates the freedom of choice of Catholic hospitals, doctors, and nurses.
    As Mother Theresea put it,”…If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?…Any country that accepts abortion is not te4aching its people to love but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
    If I had any ND memorabilia I’d pack it up and send it to Fr. Jenkins. I urge ND fans who do have “stuff” lying around to send it back and stop buying it until Fr. Jenkins’ sees the light! The dollar loss will be immediate and considerable whereas urging alums not to give will not have the same effect.

  • Amy Townsend

    All four of my children go to St Michael’s grade school. Every year we arrange a group trip of families to see the campus and enjoy a college basketball game, during the winter semester break. I fear this past trip may have been our last. But remember that the University is an institution of this earth, and run by man, it is hoped to be guided by Our Lady. But it is not her. God shall see this through. And we shall all pray that those involved in the issues and invitations find the best human way to get through it. I believe that a leprechaun is more involved in this fiasco. Meanwhile, you all have my prayers. I am so heartened to see those who take a stand and voice their beliefs for those who cannot.

  • Monica

    To Gwen4God: Please don’t leave Jesus because of Judas! No one else has the ‘TRUE’ Eucharist. To paraphrase St. Peter, ‘To whom shall you go?’ Once you have the full truth, there is no other option. (Other great Catholic university suggestions have been listed in this blog.) God’s peace to you.

    To catherine: Yes, Obama is a child of God, one who needs much prayer and guidance–and humility to be open to that guidance. He’s a bit short on that.
    ALSO…yes, we need to be patient with everyone. But we can’t let that patience slip into complacency. We have a Catholic duty, from Jesus, to love the sinner and hate the sin AND to help the sinner recognize the sin, in love. (That’s not an easy task since it usually appears as being judgmental and the media blows it up.) Jesus said when we recognize a sin, to, first, speak to the sinner. (ND isn’t allowing that; only Obama’s doing the talking.) Then, He said, take it to two or three. If no result, then He said to take it to the Church. The worst ‘sin’ here is honoring Obama with a degree. It is confusing to the public and, worse, defames ND and the Church.
    ONE LAST POINT: ‘Tolerance’ is a misused word. We cannot be tolerant of evil or the promotion of it. The ‘politically correct’ ideology of the day preaches tolerance of aberrant, dishonest, and immoral behavior and practices, but promonents are very INtolerant of anything not in line with their ideology. Please don’t buy the rhetoric of the ‘tolerant’ crowd. Be vigilant. Be willing to be a soldier for Christ to fight the good fight. There are more spiritual battles than ever and the Church needs you.
    God bless.

    To Father Sirico:
    Bravo!…Not only for the letter but for all your work for Christ’s Church! We appreciate your appearances on EWTN and your speaking the truth in love and concern for souls.
    Thank you for your ministry.

  • Jamie Shafer

    Fr. Sirico -

    I am a new Catholic baptised and confirmed at the Easter Vigil of 2004, so I am about to celebrate my 5th year as a Catholic. One – an only one – of the many reasons I became a Catholic is because it is the sole opposition to the destruction of small souls who will be our treasured little born children. Having lost a son of 12 through an accident, my husband and I conceived another child who was in a way the – we felt – the rebirth of our lost son. What if he had been destroyed as an inconvenience. I shudder to think of all the dear little souls who have been destroyed as inconveniences. Fr. Jenkins is mistaken in his welcoming of the president who endorses this mass killing.

    Blessings upon you Fr. Sirico for your letter,

  • http://lefleurdelystoo.blogspot.com/ Richard

    Fr. Sirico:
    One of the most difficult problems a priest has to face is the public correction of another priest, I applaud your Faith and your courage. I have copied your letter to my blog.
    Jhesu+Marie,
    Brantigny

    http://lefleurdelystoo.blogspot.com/2009/03/letter-to-notre-dame-president-rev-john.html

  • Madelyn

    As a Mother of 5 ND graduates, 3 children-in-laws who graduated from ND and a grandson in his third year at ND at this time,I too am greatly distressed with the invitation & honorary degree offered to Mr. Obama since his views and actions are such an assult to the Catholic Church and all that I hold sacred.

    I have written my letter to Fr. Jenkins and pray without ceasing. Calm comes to me when I realize Pres. Obama and Fr. Jenkins are to the World and ND in a similar capacity and this outrage is only dust on the Feet of the One who truly Oversees and Leads us. ND and our Country will suffer financially but in the end, This too will pass!

  • Kent

    Dear Madelyn -

    Well said, Mom. From one of your five ND graduate children.

    Dear Father Sirico – It is the clear voice and reasoning of religious leaders like you that helps me maintain my faith. Thank you for having the courage and leadership to take a public stand on this important issue.

    Sadly, the (unfortunate) lesson learned about Notre Dame from its decision a mere 10 days ago speaks louder to me than all of the lessons learned over my four years of being part of the Notre Dame experience as a student.

  • C. L. Alsobrook III

    To Catherine,

    Be sure not to confuse the imperfection of men with the universal perfection of our Mother Church.

    She is, and will always be, sciptually and doctrinally perfect! This is why we profess the “four marks” daily.

    The men and women who make their ways to the pews and cathedras, on the other hand, are so very imperfect.

    We mustn’t let ourselves be confused by the “historians” (quite possibly a few of those blabbing in the classrooms of Notre Dame) who mistakenly lead children away from Peter by focusing on the sins of Judas.

    “Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified.” – G. K. Chesterton

  • David

    Unfortunately, Notre Dame lost its Catholic identity years ago. While this latest decision is disappointing, it is not surprising. I appreciate your letter Father Sirico. We must hold our fellow Catholic brother and sisters accountable for their bad decisions.

  • Mike

    The furor over the Notre Dame invitation to President Obama reminds me the 1957 movie, The Bridge on the River Kwai.
    The ranking British officer at the Japanese POW camp in Burma is a Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness) who capitulates to his captor, a Col. Saito (Sessue Hayakawa), and builds a railway bridge. Another POW, Major Clifton (Jack Hawkins), says that this might be “…collaboration with the enemy … Must we work so well? Must we build them a better bridge than they could have built for themselves?”
    Despite this, Fr. Jenkins wants to build a bridge to Notre Dame for President Obama, an avowed opponent of the Church’s teachings on Life. Must Notre Dame surrender and give such an enemy a better bridge than he can build for himself? Let Obama make his own.
    At the end of the movie, Nicholson realizes his monumental mistake, exclaiming, “What have I done?” He falls on the detonator, the bridge collapses, and the train never reaches its destination.
    Like Col. Nicholson, it is not too late for Fr. Jenkins to realize what he has done. He should “fall on his sword,” withdraw the invitation to President Obama and withhold the honorary degree.

  • Florence Mary

    God bless you, Father Sirico – now and forever! A light shining in the moral darkness of our world. How we need to be led by such as you! My heart hurts for Father Jenkins and so many other priests like him, and I pray for their souls which are in such peril. May our Lord and His dear Mother hold you always close to Their Hearts.

  • Ernie Marsteller

    Fr Sirico
    Thank you for your courage and speaking out; you will and are inspiring others to do the same. In addition, your comments are very stirring and diificult to read, nonetheless, they are very appropriate. I was on the campus of St. Mary’s this weekend. In the past I have always apprecited the experince of admiring with a certain sense of awe the Golden Dome peering over the trees from the near by ND campus. Saturday morning as I gazed on that familiar landmark there was no sense of awe. Rather, I felt like I was looking at a tomb stone.

  • ND student

    As a student at Notre Dame, I’d like to thank you Fr. Sirico for your letter to Fr. Jenkins and your continued prayers. I too am concerned about the future of this great university but am confident that people like you can help maintain its adherence to Catholic values in the years to come. Please do not discourage your young people from considering ND- we want them to come here with the values you try to instill in them!
    In peace,
    ND student 2010

  • Lou

    God Bless You for taking a public stand! I made the comment to my son last night that Obama is the most Pro Abortion President in our entire history of Presidents and he remarked, “The only thing he has not done is perform the abortion himself.” That says it all. This is a sad day for the Catholic church and a sad day for America. I pray that this controversy would change the Presidents heart and drive him to his knees. Please join me in praying for lives to be changed by the events unfolding before us.

  • Ken Brinzer

    It is the truth that will set us free and you spoke it to Father Jenkins.

    Father Jenkin’s is very lucky that you are courageous enough to stand up for “the least of those among us”, those who in his callousness this president ignores. Now, if only Father Jenkins would do the same, then it would be clear that Notre Dame is a Catholic University.

  • Ross

    Oh that Bill Bucklet and Clair Booth Luce were still with us. We can only pray the President is a man of honor and will reject the invitation politely to prevent a schism in the church. However he may think this is an opportunity to fracture his opposition.

  • http://none bryce

    As a Protesant who feels that Catholic politicians who are
    “pro Choice” are in my opinion the ultimate in hypocrisy.

  • george freeman

    Dear Fr. Sirico;

    A beautiful letter simple and powerful, says it all and lays out an effective protest plan. You are so right this action by Fr. Jenkins is going to cause harm to the Church.

  • http://none Sam

    That was a good letter…until Father came to the reason for his letter: “coherence”…what does that mean? For me,the prime reason for not having Obama receive an award from Notre Dame is that he is not only the most rabidly pro abortion politician in Washington, but he is filling his administration with rabidly pro abortion politcians, some of them Catholic, like Sebelius. More than that, Obama is not only rabidly pro abortion, he is, as we know, pro infanticide. So, I ask myself if the President of Notre Dame would have invited Hitler himself to the University and would have offered him reward for his speech giving abilities…? My answer: yes, Hitler would have been invited, and would have been permitted to receive Holy Communion as is Pelosi, and other so called ‘Catholic’ abortion fostering politicians…sad for Our Lady, the real head of Notre Dame…sad, sad, sad….

  • Jovi Dacanay

    Thank you Father for your letter. I myself was quite troubled by the news. I thought that their decision would have been a political move. But it is not within my competence to cast a judgment over Rev. Jenkin’s decision, much less can I make one on the over-all, and albeit, collegial decision which may have been done by the management of Notre Dame University. But intellectual and moral coherence, both of which forms part of justice and prudence, are most important virtues nowadays. Your letter clarified many points of confusion for me. I appreciate the advise you have given Rev. Jenkins. I will include this issue and his intentions in my prayers.

  • Mike Anderson

    As horrendous as the Obama invitation is, I believe the Lord has allowed this to happen just to light a fire under the dead spiritual butts of apathetic Catholics. This is only one of many canonical abuses going on within our own Church and hopefully this will ignite a blaze great enough to address the other incoherence within our own walls.

  • Eddie Capp

    Thank you Father Sirico for your outstanding letter. May I add my suggestion that they all share in a prayer breakfast and present Obama with his honerary degree while he holds the Chalice for Rev. John Jenkins to administer Communion to Nancy “Pro Abortion ” Pelosi, and further desecrate my Religion. Is there nothing Sacred ? P.S.I sincerely hope that they invited the Rev. “GD” Wright to the festivities [Obama's mentor].I’m sure his speech would be interesting.

  • Eileen Buckley

    Thank you Fr. Sirico for your courageous letter to Fr. Jenkins. As the wife of an ND graduate,mother of Two graduates (six children} and now grandmother of two attending ND {twelve in total} with more aspiring to attend . We are dissappointed in The message ND and Father Jenkins is sending to all those who hold ND in such high esteem. This is very confusing . There will be no dialogue and Pres. Obama is to be homored for his work on what ? All effort has been to ensure that congress move quickley for his pro-choice agenda. For many years I felt that ND was not forming Catholic students. Now I am sure it is a secular university. Let’s hope that the faculty will be more accountable, to its alumnae and its students in the future, since we are now awakened to what is really going on particularly in its very secular agenda. Yours in Our Lady Eileen Buckley

  • http://gmail Jim Merski

    Fr. Sirico,

    I applaud your efforts. I believe that our society will be judged by how we treat the weakest and most vunerable in our society. Having a Catholic Institution like Notre Dame allow President Obama at its commencement ‘waters down’ and confuses the truly Catholic position of protecting the unborn. This ‘event’ will confuse persons who do not have strong understanding of the issue and give tacit credence to the Pro-Choice group. In short, he who is not with Me is against Me; he who does not gather, scatters.

    I will pray that you continue to make the voices of many people who don’t know how to speak-out on this issue heard.

    Jim Merski

  • Fred Ragusa

    Thank you, Father Sirico, for a clear, concise and powerful
    encapsulation. This situation impelled me to write to Fr Jenkins today, urging him to rescind his invitation. Tomorrow, I will return my diploma to ND. At one time I was proud to possess it. Now it’s just another piece of paper, rendered meaningless by these events.

  • http://mrslilli678@aol.com Elaine Lilli

    As a community, we Catholics do not come together on issues that affect all of us. To see a Catholic leader,respected and followed by many, fail in this way is devastating to the entire Catholic community. Are there no other leaders who could be honored at Notre Dame’s commencment. Surely this country is not that lacking!

  • http://davidjjs@aol.com David J. Smith

    Great letter by a brave priest (to also return the statue).
    Nobody ever says NO to Obama.
    Especially as he’s all talk, political posturing, etc.
    It’s about time that Notre Dame did so and cancel this invite.
    In addition, to not insult all Catholics with his anti-life policies.
    It will also negatively damage the ND brand.
    ND has to “man up” and do what’s right in life (as this is about the sanctity of life). Perhaps Notre Dame should change its name to “Another Dame.”

  • Pat Madden

    As a lifelong Catholic and Notre Dame graduate I fail to understand the logic of those who rail against Father Jenkins for inviting President Obama to give this year’s commencement address. While I too disagree with Obama’s voting record on abortion, I also recognize that his votes were political decisions made in conscience by someone not morally restricted by his religion from doing so. While abortion is in my opinion a great moral wrong, I believe it is important to distinguish between our country’s laws, which proscribe the criminalization of this activity and the actions of women who choose this option and especially the doctors who perform it. To refuse to ban abortion in a secular country where half its citizens accept the practice is, I submit, not nearly as grave a sin as abortion itself. Furthermore, as important as the abortion debate is, it is only one of the many moral and ethical issues that must be faced by our nation’s president. To suggest that the President’s stance on a single issue (however important to Catholics) should prevent him from speaking and receiving an honorary degree at the graduation ceremony of a Catholic University is in my opinion illogical and provincial. The President honors Notre Dame by accepting its invitation. I fear the protests against his visit to my beloved alma mater will negatively impact the pro-life cause and further undermine the moral authority of the Catholic Church. Let us pray that these demonstrations are peaceful and reflective.

  • http://smith430@aol.com Mark Smith

    Thank you, Father Sirico, for having the guts to write your letter to Fr. Jenkins @ Notre Dame. Your actions speak louder than your words (which are also very impactful). We need more Catholics to take a strong stand and not fold on issues like these as issues like these are the basis of our faith.

    Does Fr. Jenkins run or ruin the Notre Dame reputation?

    Even if he wises up and hopefully cancels Obama’s invitation, the damage and negative perception of ND is already done. Good for you to not recommend nor encourage any students to attend ND as it has lost its way. I only hope that the head of the Holy Ghost Congregation in Rome and the Acton Institute there can influence Fr. Jenkins to do the right thing and nix the BO invite (as it stinks).

  • MIGEL VALADEZ

    AND WE WONDER WHY WE LOST SO MANY PRO LIFE ISSUES DURING THE LAST ELECTION. NOW WE HONOR A PRO ABORTION PRESIDENT. CATHOLICS EVEN BOAST ABOUT VOTING THIS MAN TO THE HIGHEST OFFICE. IS NORTRE DAME GOING TO GIVE HIM A GOLDEN SCALPEL TO GO ALONG WITH HIS HONORARY DEGREE?

    HAS NO ONE ENOUGH SENSE TO CALL THE REGENTS TO A SPECIAL MEETING AND CORRECT THIS SHAMEFUL ISSUE?

    MIGEL VALADEZ

  • Mary Reed

    Thanks Father,

    We need more Shepherds like you instead of the sleeping shepherds we have cowering in the pulpit. I have not heard a pro-life message in years and I attend Mass every Sunday. How long will the Lord stand by with a President whose first agenda was to pass his massive abortion agenda. Did I learn any of it in Church? No and what a shame! Am I now to be my own Shepherd???

  • Alexander

    This battle is about the secularization of our Catholic identity. “Open Intellectual Inquiry” is code for “Moral Relativism”. Ideologies and Political Parties do not “Judge the Church”, the Church judges ideologies. If the Democrat party decided to embrace the culture of death, they did so knowingly and willingly, the Church did not change.

    In an age of “Militant Secularism”, Post-Modernism, Feminism, and now according to Newsweek a “Post-Christian” America…our Catholic institutions must be think-tanks for Catholicism and Christianity not devoted handmaids of Godless Secularism. To those angered by the Good Father’s words. WAKE UP!….YOUR…NOT…GETTING…IT!

  • Fighting Irish Redhead

    As a student, I am exhausted–and deeply saddened–after having had to respectfully state my point and fight for the truth to countless fellow students AND professors here on Notre Dame’s campus. I feel like Fr. Jenkins has stabbed me in the back.

    The extent to which this nation is enamored with Obama is fascinating, but I am shocked the sentiment has been able infiltrate into Jenkins’ brain. I expected differently. A LOT differently. $200,000 worth of differently.

    It is understandable that my peers are infatuated with Obama–it’s no secret that college students are characteristically a liberal constituent, and that people become more conservative with age. But the fact that Jenkins does not have the wisdom to see past the Obama-infatuation and notice the danger in honoring Obama with a degree is terrifying.

    There ARE students on this campus who are deeply saddened and betrayed, and who feel conflicted because of how much they love this university. PLEASE keep us in your prayers.

  • http://www.cornellsociety.org Iosephus

    An outstanding letter, Father! Thank you for your words AND actions!

  • http://no william

    you are not nice to notre dame by telling president usa speach at notre dame is not good for notre dame and rest of INDIANA who do not like this speach for president usa at all if you do not stop this we will write pope if this do not stop right now got it from people of INDIANA

  • Stephanie

    Father, Bless you for this very courageous letter! Please keep up the great work! As a Young Catholic student, I am so sad that too few priests stand up for our Catholic Faith. Thank you so much!

    In Pax Christi!

    P.S. I will pray the Rosary for you and your wonderful work!!!!

  • James Breen

    Fr. Sirico, and friends,

    I am presently a junior at the University of Notre Dame and I am rather disturbed by your abandonment of Our Lady’s University.

    I ask you please consider thoughtfully what I have to say before you abandon me and my classmates all together.

    The student body here has had countless debates about this topic. Several students have pointed out that Obama’s speaking is in keeping with tradition to invite a new president to do the commencement his first year in office. It is also in line with tradition to award him an honorary degree, because all commencement speakers are awarded such. It has also been pointed out that his speaking does not imply that the University agrees with his politics, and that while his politics are anti-Catholic in regards to abortion, they are in line with Catholic teaching in other areas. Some have questioned how valid of a pro-life issue this is considering George W. Bush did the commencement 8 years ago and there was not this kind of backlash despite his support of capital punishment. Some have used other arguments to defend Obama.

    There are of course plenty of people like yourself who have condemned ND’s choice of commencement speaker. In many ways it is obviously a political move on Obama’s part since he’s only speaking at 3 schools (ND because he was weak in the catholic and midwest votes).

    What the debate boils down to isn’t being addressed by a lot of people. The semantics about Obama’s politics vs. Catholic teaching don’t matter. The question is what the role of a Catholic University is. I believe attending a Catholic University means (among other things) that I will receive my higher education with a Catholic perspective, not a Catholic filter. If in fact you believe that ND should only offer classes/hire professors/invite speakers/or otherwise control its academic content is strictly Catholic friendly then I can see your objection to Obama’s selection. If however, you believe that a good practicing Catholic like myself will be able to enrich his understanding of God/Catholicism/The World by engaging in an open discussion with those who’s views do not match those of Catholic teaching, then I do not see your objection.

    Fr. Hesburgh said (regarding Obama’s selection) that in the 100+ years of this University’s existence its Catholic character has not changed, but those who come here have often been changed by this place.

    Considering the two traditions (honoring speakers and inviting presidents) it should be obvious that the University does not endorse Obama’s stance on abortion. Having risen to be the first black President of the US, Obama seems like an appropriate choice of speaker to give general life advice to graduating seniors. His talk probably wont involve abortion or his politics, and his morals aren’t in question as he does not believe a fetus is a human being.

    Catholics should not fear their own church for listening to a non-Catholic speaker. Other non-Catholics should not fear for the faith of the Catholics listening. It is only by listening to the questions and arguments of others that we may enhance our understanding of God and his creations.

    Rather than condemning and abandoning ND for allowing Obama to speak. He’s going to no matter what anyone says or does to The University. It would seem more appropriate than ever to pray for all those involved that we may come to a greater understanding of ourselves and our faith in light of this, and that we as Catholics may change people’s hearts and minds through our love and understanding of those we interact with.

  • Mary Ann Siebieda

    Dear Father Jenkins:
    I’m so glad we can’t afford to send our grandchildren to Notre Dame.I sincerely believe their faith would be in danger!An honory degree to a man who is a very questionable person.I’m a cradle catholic and I am distressed by your decision. What other questionable people will you ask in the future!Possible a commander of a concentration camp to explain his experiments with human beings!
    I’ll pray for you.
    Mary Ann Siebieda
    PS,Just so you don’t think I’m an uninformed person, I have a Masters Degree in Health Care Services and graduated from a Catholic School of Nursing.All of my grade school and high school years were spent in catholic schools. Thank God I have a strong foundation in my faith or I might not be able to see the error of your ways.

  • Mary K. Gray

    This letter and the responses above are all I need to again affirm my decision to leave the Church and all of its hypocrisy far behind. The fact that Catholics allow the abortion issue to become the only issue within a “pro-life” agenda is ridiculous. Where was your outrage when war was declared in Iraq? Do you have any idea how many Iraqi civilians have been killed in this war? Do you have any idea how many non-combatant citizens have died in Afghanistan or Pakistan? What about the women and children in war-torn Africa who pray for American help and protection when their villages are devastated by rebels intent upon destroying every living thing in their way? How much sleep do you lose over these vulnerable souls? How much thought do most Catholics give to the suffering of children (especially children of color) throughout the world who live in poverty and neglect, raised by indifferent or violent adults, with little hope for the future? These are subjects truly worthy of protest. The self-satisfied ignorance expressed above gives evidence of how little good is actually done by those who allow the veneer of religion to replace true humility and compassion. The real irony here is that Barack Obama, a devout Christian, who early in his political career sought to improve life in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Chicago and who vociferously opposed the war in Iraq, may have a better record of pro-life activity than the uninformed and deluded zealots who oppose his presence at commencement. Sadly, it seems that Notre Dame would be an exceedingly poor place to seek a higher education, although clearly one could expect to gain skills in dogmatic and uncritical thinking.

  • Jean Jaskierny

    I’m an LCMS Lutheran and we stand together on so many issues. Please continue to support life, we need the strong arm of Catholicism to help save lives. Please remain faithful midst so many arguments that really have nothing to do with and need not be compared to the sad fact of death by abortion. Jean <

  • Father Robert Sirico

    To James Breen:
    As you requested, I have considered your thoughtful comments and would like to thank you for them and to make the following observations:

    The fact that ND has a several decades old tradition of inviting and awarding presidents is not in itself, a sufficient reason to justify defying the American Bishops’ clear directive in this matter. After all, as a professed Catholic University, ND was inspired and is associated with a more ancient Tradition that has courageously stood against political leaders when they disrespect the dignity of life (see St. Ambrose vs. Theodosius).

    Surely, James, you can see that it is not necessarily out of fear that one would oppose ND’s decision to invite this president. It is out of a sense of witness and a desire to demonstrate a Catholic identity. Saying that it is fear is really a subtle form of an ad hominum argument.

    On the matter of what Fr. Hesburgh said on the unchanging nature of ND, I fear he is simply too close to the matter to be able to see the changes. He may even be part of the problem. The very fact that now one quarter of a million people have signed a petition (http://www.notredamescandal.com/) in opposition to this invitation should indicate that at least a substantial number of people had different expectations of ND in this regard – so something has changed. This also applies to ND students, like yourself, who have obviously not received a sufficient Catholic formation at ND to make these distinctions.

    An example of this is your argument that that the president’s “morals aren’t in question as he does not believe a fetus is a human being.” Would you like to re-visit that? Are you really saying that if a person does not believe that another person is a human being, and either kills or enables others in the killing of such “non-persons”, they cannot be held morally accountable? You surely did not learn that from Dr. Ralph McInerny at ND. I wonder where you did learn it.

    James, I can only imagine that this is a difficult moment for students like yourself at ND who are attempting to live out your faith, remain men and women of integrity and continue to love what will one day be your alma mater. But you have two another Alma Maters to whom you owe allegiance: The Church, who nourishes with the truth handed down from the apostles, and the Mother in whose honor your university is named. Do not dishonor them. Be brave and stand up for them, no matter the cost.

    It is not we who have abandoned ND; it is ND who has abandoned and disappointed us. You may rest assured of our prayers and our love.

  • Chuck Calvano

    Dear Father Siroco,

    I had just sent an email to Father Jenkins when my search engine led me to your site and your letter to him.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for defending the values we have embraced for so many generations while our world becomes more and more amoral.

    Chuck Calvano

  • Beth

    Thank you, Father Sirico, for taking a stand, so eloquently, to protect the foundation or our faith and our respect for God’s gift of human life. Notre Dame University should be shamed and pay the consequences of such an affront. Giving honor from a Catholic institution to someone like Obama who has a total disregard for human life is an abomination.

  • Celia Morabit

    Thank you, Fr Sirico,

    Well done! Glad to know you’ll be directing students and donors away from Notre Dame. There have to be some consequences to their actions. Also, there are many very worthwhile and truly Catholic universities, such as Ave Maria, Christendom, etc, that truly deserve our (Catholics) support and acknowledgment for the good they do. I’m sick of the news media calling Notre Dame the “most Catholic” of Catholic universities. It wasn’t close to being that even before this latest and last straw disgrace.

  • http://no william

    member,s of head group is not fair to people and staff of notre dame at all by having president of usa give a speach at ger. time is not nice thing to do all of INDIANA and people of other city,s ether period from all of us in INDIANA got it

  • http://davidjjs@aol.com DJ Scanlon

    Hey Jimmy Breen,
    Per your note of April 7th and as a ND student, wise up & as you mentioned, it is, indeed, a calculatied political move by BO (and it stinks-pun intended). ND has no guts and the brand is heading into the toilet. Doing the right thing in life is key and this invite is a shameful act and an insult to all Catholics.

    James Breen’s note of April 7, 2009…”ND’s choice of commencement speaker. In many ways it is obviously a political move on Obama’s part since he’s only speaking at 3 schools (ND because he was weak in the catholic and midwest votes).”

  • http://davidjjs@aol.com DJ Mahoney

    Notre Dame’s invite to Obama is the a classic SELLOUT.
    ND used to be a steller Catholic instition.
    It has now become a cellar institution.
    Perhaps even a “seller” institution with this sellout move.
    The luck of the Irish will be no longer.
    It will now be characterized by continuous maladies.
    Will Fr. Jenkins snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?
    Will he win one for the Gipper and for all Catholics?
    All he has to do is tell BO that the invite is off.
    Fr. Sirico’s brave letter to the ND President said it all.

  • Jude Chua

    Oh dear, what is Notre Dame doing to itself? Many thanks to Fr Sirico for his brave fraternal correction.

  • teresa

    Dear Fr. Jenkins: what symbols will you cover for the White House??
    Jesus Missing From Obama’s Georgetown Speech White House asked university to cover symbol

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Jesus-Missing-From-Obamas-Georgetown-Speech.html

  • Mary

    Dear Reverend Father Jenkins,

    If it is not out of line for me to say this, may God bless you and increase your apostolate. May God use you to bring others to the Light of Christ. Thank you for letting the Light of Christ shine through you. May God help Notre Dame to live up to its beautiful dedication to Our Lady, and to be truly, authentically Catholic. May Holy Mary, St. Olaf, and St. Michael keep you in all the fortitude you will need to continue to do God’s Holy Will in our times.

  • Mary

    Ach! I got the name wrong! I meant all those blessings in my last post to Father Robert Sirico. It’s late. Mea culpa!

    Blessings to all in Christ :)

  • Patrick

    All good Catholics ought to applaud Fr. Sirico for his letter to Fr. Jenkins. This incident with ND is a symptom of a moral disease that has infected many institutions of higher education for a over a century. If truth in advertising were required, an acceptance letter to a university would include the warning “Harmful if swallowed.”

    There are courageous Catholic voices in the student body and alumni of ND that have courageously brought the issue of life into the public arena. These voices must be commended, showered with our prayers and gratitude.

    The moral relativism of most of the students, disguised as academic freedom, warns us that our intellectual elite need to be reminded that life and death issues are above their pay grade, and not honored for asking “What is truth?”

  • Martin Dybicz

    Thank you, Father Sirico.

    Another thing I wish Father Jenkins and everyone at ND would get is that an honorary degree is being given to someone who would have been just glad if their mothers had aborted the members of the Class of 2009 as he is to give them a commencement address.

  • Marian

    Our Lady is crying! Return to her son!

  • R. Knight

    William,
    Kindly stop with all the Indiana stuff.
    Go watch the movie HOOSIERS.
    Kick back and relax.
    Consider inviting BO and he might stop by for a beer (after his ND visit).
    Best,
    Bobby Knight

  • http://davidjjs@aol.com Dave Smith

    I sent the below note and finally, finally now on Fox News (Friday, May 8th at 10:55pm), at a Catholic breakfast in Washington, DC, Archbishop Burke spoke very directly about BO’s policies and anti-Catholic principals…It’s about time and now ND should cancel the invite.
    Finally, someone besides the Holy Father said NO to BO.
    ——————————————————
    Great letter by a brave priest (to also return the statue).
    Nobody ever says NO to Obama. Especially as he’s all talk, political posturing, etc.
    It’s about time that Notre Dame did so and cancel this invite. In addition, to not insult all Catholics with his anti-life policies. It will also negatively damage the ND brand (and has already done so).
    ND has to “man up” and do what’s right in life (as this is about the sanctity of life). Perhaps Notre Dame should change its name to “Notre Shame ” or “Another Dame.”

  • John

    After watching clips of Obama’s speach, I must say I am at the very least impressed. You make him out to be a man who loves abortion. You call him names. You say he does not believe in Catholic values. I may be niave, but I hear a man who is rightous in defending the Constitution of the United States. The United States Supreme Court deceided years ago that abortion is a woman’s right. He is a constitutional lawyer. He is sworn to defend that right along with the rest of those rights. The only option in the United States to get rid of abortion is by constitutional ammendment. So of course he will not create a law, state or federal against abortion. Abortion is a very personal sin, which effects thousands of women. That is what ought to be preached and taught by the Church, not criminalizing abortion. The true evil in this world is those who would gain power using the guize of respecting life, when truely they have no respect for life.

  • Tom Lavin

    The sad thing is that souls are being lost in greater numbers than ever as a result of the poorest of decisions at the top layers of Government, the top layers of Education and the highest levels of Religion. The best way to stop the madness has been told to us time and again through the Word and through miraculous apparitions – Prayer. Once our prayers have been offered, we must have faith that they will be answered but, in the meantime, fire and replace Fr. Jenkins and the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and impeach and remove the usurper BO, just in case our prayers were not loud enough.

  • Prayforswell