I have to admit that for some time I’ve been skeptical of the Catholic teaching that’s been emanating from Notre Dame University. I’ve been of the belief that they lost their Catholic identity long ago. However, in the past couple of days I’ve been relieved to hear the excellent interpretation of the Catholic Faith that has been coming from the famed university.
A recent article made me realize there is some excellent moral teaching taking place at Notre Dame, especially in regard to pro-life issues. This teaching involves a strong defense of life at all stages and a condemnation of all practices which do not support that position. Reading some of these quotes made me realize that that Our Lady would be proud of the Catholic values that are being promoted at the university which bears her name. Now, before you check your calendar to make sure that today isn’t April Fools Day, let me explain… This Catholic teaching is coming from students and not from the faculty!
Several student organizations have joined together to protest the terribly misguided decision to allow President Obama to deliver the commencement speech and receive an honorary degree. These courageous students have created Notre Dame Response and have issued the following statement:
“In defense of the unborn, we wish to express our deepest opposition to Reverend John I. Jenkins, CSC’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. “
These students really “get it” and Catholics everywhere should be proud of the stand that they’re taking. Some of them have even expressed a desire to boycott their own graduation, even though the president of the United States is speaking to them. Can you imagine young college students having the moral fortitude to take such action? People like Fr. Jenkins and his supporters could learn much about the Catholic Faith from these brave young people. One can only hope that the Notre Dame officials will swallow their pride and humbly accept the true teachings of our Catholic Faith as presented by the young people known as Notre Dame Response.