Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
There Professor Rice goes again, being an unruly dissident! Doesn't he know that the decision to invite Obama is made by the proper and legitimate authority at Notre Dame and that he shouldn't criticize it? Professor Rice is so ungrateful, biting the hand that feeds him his salary. Shame on him. And you alumni, stop criticizing your alma mater! Don't you know that this hurts Notre Dame's reputation when you spread this calumny! And that goes for you too, students! You are a minority group that is being manipulated by disgruntled professors like Professor Rice. All of you, stop being academic terrorists!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
March 31, 2009, is Red Envelope Day, a national protest against President Obama's pro-choice policies.Keep up the good work, students!
Supporters of the pro-life movement from around the country will be sending an empty red envelope to the president to represent a child lost by abortion... Therefore, we, students at the University of Notre Dame du Lac, are extending an invitation to participate in a Notre Dame edition of Red Envelope Day to those who are rightfully concerned or disappointed by the University's decision.
on the front of a red envelope, write:
President Barack Obama
on the back, write:
This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion.
It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.
This envelope was going to be sent to President Obama on March 31st. However, as he is scheduled to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Notre Dame on May 17th, we ask that you deliver it to him on our behalf at that time.
Drop off the Red Envelope at the Knights of Columbus Building by 1:00 pm on March 31st and we will deliver it to Fr. Jenkins. Alternatively, you may choose to deliver it yourself. (Please note that this project is not sponsored by the KofC, but is merely using their building as a collection point.)
For the rest of us, don't forget to consider signing the online petition at notredamscandal.com. (More than 150,000 have already signed.)
UPDATE:"An observer" suggests in the commments that others can join in on the Red Envelope initiative to Obama, via Fr. Jenkins, President of Notre Dame:
Anybody who's interested could probably just fill out a red envelope as the students suggest, and then on the front address it toGood idea!
President Barack Obama
c/o Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C.
Office of the President
400 Main Building
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
STUDENT COALITION STATEMENT ON THE 2009 UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES
In defense of the unborn, we wish to express our deepest opposition to Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.'s invitation of President Barack Obama to be the University of Notre Dame's principal commencement speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree. Our objection is not a matter of political partisanship, but of President Obama's hostility to the Catholic Church's teachings on the sanctity of human life at its earliest stages. His recent dedication of federal funds to overseas abortions and to embryonic stem cell research will directly result in the deaths of thousands of innocent human beings. We cannot sit by idly while the University honors someone who believes that an entire class of human beings is undeserving of the most basic of all legal rights, the right to live.
The University's decision runs counter to the policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops against honoring pro-choice politicians. In their June 2004 statement Catholics in Political Life, the bishops said, "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." Fr. Jenkins defends his invitation by saying that it does not honor or suggest support for the President's views on abortion, but rather support for his leadership. But our "fundamental moral principles" must be respected at all times. And the principle that requires us to refrain from the direct killing of the innocent has a special status even among the most fundamental principles. President Obama's actions have consistently shown contempt for this principle, and he has sought political gain by making light of its clear political implications. Leadership that puts the lives of the most innocent at risk is leadership we must disdain. In the face of President Obama's actions, Father Jenkins' words ring hollow.
It is a great irony that the University has chosen to award President Obama an honorary law degree. As the oldest Catholic law school in the country, the Notre Dame Law School states that its mission is "to facilitate greater understanding of and commitment to the relationship between law and social justice." The social justice issue of our day is the deliberate, legal attack on the most vulnerable members of society, the unborn. To award a Notre Dame law degree to a lawyer and politician who has used the law to deny equality to the unborn diminishes the value of the degree itself.
Additionally, Fr. Jenkins has placed some of his students in a moral dilemma as to whether they should attend their own graduation. Many pro-life seniors, along with their families, are conflicted about whether to participate in the commencement ceremony. The lack of concern for these devoted sons and daughters of Notre Dame, who love this University and the Catholic principles on which it was built, is shameful.
In response to the University's decision, we pledge ourselves to acts of witness that will be characterized by respect, prayerfulness, outspoken fidelity to the Church, and true concern for the good of our University. It is appropriate that only members of the Notre Dame community lead all such protests, and we ask outside groups to respect our responsibilities in this regard. Over the next several weeks, in response to this scandal, our organizations will host various academic and religious events to engage the University community. We request any groups who are committed to respectful actions to support our efforts, thereby ensuring a unified front and a more compelling public witness.
In Notre Dame,
Notre Dame Right to Life
The Irish Rover Student Newspaper
Notre Dame College Republicans
The University of Notre Dame Anscombe Society
Notre Dame Identity Project
Militia of the Immaculata
Children of Mary
Orestes Brownson Council
Notre Dame Law School Right to Life
Notre Dame Law St Thomas More Society
The Federalist Society at Notre Dame Law School
The Naples News article goes on to state:
The law school signed a four-year lease with the university to use the property in January. The law school plans to relocate again to Ave Maria town, but there's no timetable for that move, school officials have said.Right... no institutional connection.
Ave Maria University founder and chancellor Tom Monaghan also founded the law school and sits on both boards, but there's no institutional connection between the two schools.
Again, what's interesting is that the Naples News has posted a memorandum of the lease agreement. The language states that the landlord is "Ave Maria University, Inc., a Florida not-for-profit corporation" and the tenant is "Ave Maria School of Law, Inc., a Michigan nonprofit corporation registered with the State of Florida as a foreign not-for-profit corporation." Paul Roney as Treasurer and CFO, signed for Ave Maria University or Landlord, and Eugene Milhizer as "Acting Dean" signed for Ave Maria Law School or Tenant.
I guess it would have looked weird to have a document where Tom Monaghan signed as both the Landlord and Tenant. (Monaghan could have done that, couldn't he? After all, isn't Monaghan CEO of Ave Maria University, Inc. and CEO of Ave Maria School of Law, Inc.?)
Also, note that Milhizer is only "Acting Dean." That's because Bernard Dobranski is still Dean and President of the law school. Finally, the document was prepared by a familiar Ave Maria Law grad at the offices of Roetzel & Andress. Good to see that Ave Maria grads still have legal work in this economy!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.Regarding the choice facing Mary Ann Glendon, I think there are two options, and I don't know which one is better:
President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred. While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.
This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith "in season and out of season," and he teaches not only by his words - but by his actions.
My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life.
I have in mind also the statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 2004. "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." Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for.
I have spoken with Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is to receive the Laetare Medal. I have known her for many years and hold her in high esteem. We are both teachers, but in different ways. I have encouraged her to accept this award and take the opportunity such an award gives her to teach.
Even as I continue to ponder in prayer these events, which many have found shocking, so must Notre Dame. Indeed, as a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth.
Tomorrow, we celebrate as Catholics the moment when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, became a child in the womb of his most holy mother. Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.
1. Reject the award, issue a statement about how Notre Dame is wrong to honor President Obama, and explain that you can't support Notre Dame and her mistake, or
2. Accept the award, take the opportunity to speak from a platform with all of Notre Dame and President Obama watching, and give witness to the truth by explicitly denouncing Obama's evil actions and the immorality of abortion and embryonic research, similar to what Mother Teresa did with President Clinton.
I think a middle ground of attending and accepting the award without saying anything about President Obama or abortion is absolutely unacceptable. What would you recommend?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I agree with American Papist, who said: "I'm extremely pessimistic about Notre Dame rescinding the invitation. You simply can't deny a sitting President from speaking once you have invited him. The cat is already out of the bag. What can and will happen, I hope, is a frank discussion in the public spotlight about a) the mission and identity of Catholic universities and b) a greater awareness of the anti-Catholic policies and legislation that Obama is currently pursuing."
I expect (and hope for) a huge pro-life protest on the day of the event. Is it too much to hope for something in the scale of the annual Washington, DC "March for Life"?
In an apparent attempt to stem the outrage, Notre Dame announced today that Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be presented the Laetare Medal at the May 17th commencement. The AP reports that the medal is "considered the most prestigious honor for American Catholics" and that "Since 1883, the Laetare Medal has been awarded annually to a Catholic 'whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity.'" (Although Martin Sheen got the medal last year, so I'm not sure how prestigious it is.)
UPDATE: In 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a statement entitled "Catholics in Political Life," which said:
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.I don't think the Obama invitation complies with this principle.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
A loyal FUMARE reader has brought the following item to our attention. It seems that Mr. Thomas Monaghan, Chancellor of Ave Maria University and Sometime Fellow of Dominick's Pizza, Ypsilanti, Michigan, will be joining two-time Tony Award winner and Rambo foe, Brian Dennehy for the 225th Anniversary Dinner of the Society. Festivities will take place this Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, with a reception at 6:15pm and Dinner at 7:00pm sharp.
For those unfamiliar with the Friendly Sons, they are an eminent group of Irish men noted for their good works and for being a tough room at their annual St. Paddy's Day festivities. Many a speaker lacking in both wit and blarney hath fallen to the violent mob of Friendly Sons. We don't fear for Mr. Dennehy--for he single-handedly took on a bad-ass Vietnam Vet and chased him through the woods of the Northwest. (Courage that!) Nor do we fear for His Eminence, Cardinal Eagan. Though he sounds like the Beatles' Abbey Road Album famously played backward for the "Paul is dead" message, he will not receive the customary mocking that another endowed with the same tonal quality in his speech would. No, he is a Prince of the Church, and thus insulated from the customary opprobrium.
But Mr. Monaghan? We fear for his success. While he his full of blarney, we are concerned that he has not the wit to withstand what may be his toughest bored room. Vic Melfa just asked questions; these guys throw chairs! Nick Healy, President of AMU, is compliant and holds hands at Mass; Nick Healy, FDNY Ladder 12 (Queens) and Friendly Son, is known as the "mean dad" on his block and can down a pint of Bushmills. Yes, laddies and lassies, this will have to be the performance of a lifetime for Mr. Monaghan.
Thus, we ask the Friendly Sons, in the spirit of Hibernian hospitality, go easy on Mr. Monaghan. Shout not: "May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat!" Sit on your chairs, don't throw them; and if you must curse, for love of Pete, curse the Queen.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I spied an "OBAMA BIDEN" bumper sticker, but had read it to say "OSAMA BIN LADEN"
made me wonder
OSAMA BIN LADEN
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
AveWatch has dug some pertinent nuggets out of the depositions that lead to the question of whether there was scienter in a certain representation made to the ABA regarding what the Board had or had not resolved to do regarding the Florida move. read it there and be prepared to discuss scienter here.
SCIENTER is a fun element of fraud. Scienter requires some level of intelligence, planning, and intent to cause another to act (or not act) because the deceit. For the INCENSE guys, there likely isn't any because they are still living in some other world (privately at least). But did the school have some? Or was it the case that a chimp worked the word processor to type the ABA comments? (they can do some pretty impressive things).
Some have suggested that this chimp has the password to INCENSE and is entering it.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This weekend, Thomas Aquinas College dedicated its campus chapel, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Here is the news report and there are pictures of the event here and here and here.
Contrast this chapel with the Ave Maria University oratory (seen here). Yes, there are very significant differences between the two chapels due to the fact that they have different architects and different church-styles.
Duncan Stroik, a professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame and a principal of Duncan G. Stroik Architecture, an architectural firm specializing in ecclesiastical design
Tom Monaghan, a pizza salesman-turned-billionaire, drawing self-described "amateurish" sketches on a paper napkin
Southern California Spanish Mission, incorporating other elements from the Church's long tradition of sacred architecture
Thorncrown Chapel, a Protestant church in Arkansas designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Which chapel do you think is more beautiful and reverent?
HT: American Papist
Obama's action leaves the door open to the creation of embryos for the purpose of experimentation and research. Note also these words of Obama: "We cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society." Obama is limiting the use of cloning only to "human reproduction." I predict we'll next see the use of cloning for experimentation at the pre-natal level, perhaps within the next 5 years. After all, if there is no problem with creating and destroying embryonic humans before birth for stem cells and research, why would there be a problem with cloning and destroying embryonic humans before birth for stem cells and research?
Monday, March 09, 2009
It didn't take long. There was immediate violence against Christians in the wake of Prop 8 (no comments from Obama), and now we are seeing this kind of thing.
The State is seeking to wrest control of local parishes away from the local ordinary by targeting Catholic Churches directly. Check out Bishop Lori's comments here.
It seems that this has been a very carefully planned attack that is tied to a debate on homosexual "marriage."
Here are comments from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty:
Thank's to the Papist for covering this story.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
The archbishop has met with Sebelius about her pro-abortion views and has publicly asked her to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. I wonder how fellow bishops in other dioceses (like Archbishop Donald Wuerl in Washington, DC) handle situations like this one, where someone's home bishop has made clear that an individual shouldn't receive communion.
Also, why is pro-life Kansas Senator Sam Brownback supporting the Sebelius nomination? The interview gives Archbishop Naumann's take:
I think, as I interpret Sen. [Sam ] Brownback's and Sen. [Pat] Roberts' support of sorts for the nomination - it's simply saying we elected President Obama with the positions he took. We can't expect that he's going to appoint someone to these cabinet positions that do not share his views. And in a sense I can understand that. When there is a pro-life president, we resent if there is an effort to try to prevent the president from appointing people who share his vision. So, I can understand why they might acquiesce, I guess, is the best way to put it, to her appointment.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 4, 2009, at 3:00 p.m., is the Ave Maria School of Law Renovation Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. If you're in Naples, please consider attending and feel free to post your report of the event in the comments, for the sake of those of us who cannot make the ceremony.
Update: Reports of the ceremony can be found here and here.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Fr. Orsi goes on in his article to argue that though Maciel may have been flawed, that doesn't mean the Legion is flawed. This is where Fr. Orsi goes wrong in his analysis.
Fr. Orsi says "By their fruits you will know them," and that there are many good fruits coming from the Legion. I recognize that there are many good fruits, but there are some bad fruits too: the injuries suffered by Maciel's victims, both at the time of the initial abuse and since, with the victims being scorned and their pleas for justice disparaged; the complaints of former members of the Legion and Regnum Christi; and of course, the current scandal and its effect on the faith of many members of the Church. Fr. Orsi also says "God writes straight sentences with crooked lines," and that good can come from flawed sources. Of course, God is all powerful and can bring good out of evil. But that doesn't mean that we should just accept flaws and fail to correct what is evil or flawed. Institutions which are flawed must be fixed, and if the flaw is sufficiently large or deep-set, then the institution may have to be entirely dissolved.
Then, Fr. Orsi weakly argues that Maciel is like King David, because David was also flawed, being an adulterous and murderous person from whom much good came and who is now honored. The comparison of Maciel to King David is entirely wrong for two reasons. First, King David publicly repented of his sin, corrected his sinful ways, and lived the rest of his life as a generally virtuous man. Maciel did not. Though it is possible that Maciel may have made a death-bed conversion, Maciel never publicly repented of his sin. Moreover, Maciel (with the help of the Legion) lived the last few years of his life as a hypocrite claiming that the allegations of wrongdoing were baseless and that he was imitating Christ on the Cross by suffering the ignominy of untruthful accusations. This difference between Maciel and David is significant - the very reason why David is honored by the Church is because he repented. For Maciel, at the current time, there is no evidence that Maciel repented and tried to make amends for his sins, and so there is no reason to honor him.
A second important difference between King David and Maciel is that during the sinful period of his life, David never created a religious institution with followers who would look to the words and example of David during his life of sin. Maciel created the structure and mission of the Legion while he lived a life of duplicity and sin. Members of the Legion can no longer look back to Maciel as a man whose life is to be honored and who is to be held as an example of living the mission of the Legion. The words and writings of Maciel (though some of them appear helpful when considered separate from their source) can no longer be considered as being the thoughtful reflections of a holy man - instead, they are hypocritical statements of a man who did not sincerely believe them. This is the reason why I think that the Legion may need to dissolve itself and be refounded. "It redounds to the good of the Church that institutes have their own particular characteristics and work. Therefore let their founders' spirit and special aims they set before them as well as their sound traditions - all of which make up the patrimony of each institute - be faithfully held in honor." (from Vatican II's Perfectae Caritatis) I don't know how the Legion can continue holding Maciel's spirit and special aims in honor.
© 2007 FUMARE