Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

The Teacher, the Lawgiver, and Notre Dame

Bishop D'Arcy is the diocesan bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, the diocese that includes the University of Notre Dame among its local Catholic institutions. Notre Dame decided some time ago to invite our nation's president to speak as commencement speaker and receive an honorary juris doctorate. In the resulting flurry of fury, laity have formed petitions, bishops have written positions, and Notre Dame has gone on the defensive. The university's president has tried some Nancy Pelosi-style scheistiness, i.e., redefining terms and pretending to teach the teachers of our Church.

Here is Bishop D'Arcy's response to Notre Dame's actions, firstly, its awarding of an honorary law degree of a man who advocates maintaining and advancing laws to permit and enable the murder of babies (and God knows who else) under the pretext of personal autonomy; secondly, mouthing off to our nation's bishops and telling them, in essence, that they didn't know what they meant when they wrote the document "Catholics in Political Life," regarding the relationship of Catholic institutions with political personalities.

Firstly, Bishop D'Arcy reminds Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, that according to canon law and the entire tradition of the Church, the local diocesan bishop (Bishop D'Arcy) and no other is the authoritative teacher and lawgiver, and thus interpreter of laws, for everyone in his diocese. Only to Rome can appeal be made. And the opinions of whatever canonists and bishops Jenkins claims to have consulted, well, are simply irrelevant. Bishop D'Arcy then recognizes that Notre Dame has pulled off a fait accompli without so much as consulting him, and officially advises the university that he isn't happy about it. At all. He lastly notes that a serious rift has developed between Notre Dame and the Church, a rift that is primarily Notre Dame's responsibility to heal.

The kicker in all this, it strikes me, is that the Democrats have been DYING to get someone in Catholic officialdom to support them so they can claim the moral highroad, or something. (I think, frankly, that their consciences eat at them, and they are desperate to soothe them.) Think of Nancy Pelosi trying to get a photo-op with the Holy Father, who very skillfully denied her the opportunity to appear with him in public. Now Notre Dame, one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in the world and certainly the country, has given this morally depraved rascal an honorary degree of law - which can be seen as nothing, if not an approval of his way of legal thinking.

No comments: